Friday: the kids went off to Chad's parents, and we went to see the Hold Steady in a little tiny restaurant/bar in Albany. I was still really tired from the week and recovering from this cold, but I found a bar stool to perch on at the side of the room, which both kept me from having to stand and elevated me slightly so I could see somewhat. Unfortunately, this meant I had a really good view of the singer from the opening act, who spent 85% of the time with the microphone pressed against the underside of his nose, like, moving the stand back and forth by smushing his nostrils against it, which was mesmerizing in all the wrong ways. (Ten percent of the time he flipped his head up so his chin was pushing against the mic instead; the other five percent, he wasn't touching it at all.)
Anyway. Chad has been a huge fan of the Hold Steady since the days of "Your Little Hoodrat Friend"; I like a few of their songs and can take or leave the rest, but I had a very good time anyway, because it's the kind of music that sounds best when played loud, live, and to an audience who knows all the words. Their lead singer has the weirdest version of rock star . . . stardom, I guess, though. I can't call it charisma, because I have seen rock star charisma, I have been to a Yes I Am-era Melissa Etheridge concert and two Bruce Springsteen concerts, okay, that is charisma, which (if you swing that way, and maybe even if you don't) obliterates the "or" in "everyone wants to do me or be me" (TM Tom and Lorenzo). What Craig Finn, the Hold Steady's vocalist, has, is neither do me or be me, but is kind of an infectious dorky joy at being there in the first place to have fun with everyone else (the last part is key). I just spent way too long looking for decent live videos of my favorite songs, without luck, so have a semi-random video of "Chips Ahoy" (the racing wagers song) from several years ago, to give you a sense of the idea. For more details, see Chad's post and the set list.
Then Saturday I had a routine endoscopy, just to make sure a decade of acid reflux hasn't caused significant damage; this was actually why we'd sent the kids off in the first place, since it involved anesthesia and someone else driving me home. The procedure was fine and I spent the afternoon asleep on the couch, just a little soreness that has passed. Even not eating after midnight or drinking after eight was perfectly tolerable when I didn't have to get up at five with a toddler, so hey, no complaints. Plus that night we got to watch the college where Chad works, Union College, win their first-ever NCAA championship in men's hockey, which was pretty great. (The NYT story does a good job of putting the game in context.)
Today I drove out to Massachusetts to have lunch with friends from high school and a selection of their kids, including an eleven-week-old that my friend was kind enough to let various of us snuggle. I do not want another baby, but there's just nothing like a tiny baby asleep on your shoulder, and that was a really lovely full-body trip down nostalgia lane. Plus I got to have a conversation with another kid who is a bit older than SteelyKid, and catch up with all the adults, and it was all very restorative, despite the drive.
And then tonight Chad and I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, because he skipped it opening weekend to take SteelyKid to movie night at her school (he was much less interested than me, and SteelyKid was super-hyped to go to movie night). More on that (inevitably) in a moment.
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