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» Sunday, June 05, 2011A Weekend to Remember
It was an eventful weekend even if we've been taking it a bit easy today.
James had to work yesterday, so I got up and finished the housework that got behind after Timegate last weekend, plus I had to whisk the spare room into a bit better order since we were having a houseguest that evening. When I was finished with the final task, vacuuming Those Damn Stairs :-), I went to Costco to get some paper towels and also bought milk, looked into getting a couple of other things including a outdoor rug for the deck and a copy of Tangled, but that can wait for the next paycheck. Not much in the sample department in the mornings.
Made it home by one o'clock, put some other things away, and cleared off the rocking chair so it could be used as an extra seat, then sat down for the afternoon to complete my May book reviews and listen to Agatha Raisin on BBC 4X. I've never read the Agatha Raisin mysteries, but Penelope Keith is playing Agatha in the radio adaptations and that's good enough for me! I'd started the first episode of a 12-episode Sherlock Holmes series with Clive Merrison as Holmes when the internet crashed. So I took Willow outside and fetched the mail, and by the time I got back in the DSL modem had rebooted and I could restart it.
By the time Sherlock was approaching the three-quarter mark, our evening guest arrived!
Our friend Rodney asked us a few months ago if we would be home on June 4, and if so, could he stay overnight? Well, sure! He didn't say why he'd be in the area, so we've been speculating for weeks.
Turns out he was on his way back from having taken a cruise to Mexico and Belize! He's been busy for several months working overtime and reorganizing his home, and he figured after all that he deserved a vacation! So he'd driven down and spent some time with a friend, drove to Port Canaveral where he boarded his ship, and, on the way back, had stopped by for the night. So until James got home, he told me about the trip, going to see Mayan ruins, etc.
I had an idea for the evening, but only if everyone wanted to do it. Louis Robinson posted on his Facebook page that he was appearing at a music venue, Ragamuffin Music Hall, in Roswell on Saturday night with some other musical artists. I'd never heard of the venue, but Rodney has eclectic taste in music and James and I always enjoy Louis. So I called to see if they still had seats (the place only seats fifty) and they did.
We had a humorous, minor bobble before leaving. Rodney had been low on fuel on the way to our house, figuring he would fill up with gasoline when he left this morning. He parked backwards on our driveway, which slopes downward, in front of the garage door where I needed to get my car out. When he tried to start his car to move it to the opposite side of the driveway, he was so low on gasoline that it wouldn't. James finally got our gasoline container and went out to the closest gas station to get enough to get him going again.
We didn't really have time for a sit-down dinner, so, by means of my restaurant advisor (Google Maps on my Droid), we found Firehouse Subs on Johnson Ferry Road. Yum! I had a plain beef brisket sub (not even cheese) and it was quite good. I would have enjoyed the place more had it not been so warm in there, though! It went up to 94°F today and their air conditioner obviously couldn't keep up.
At this point we were only five miles from the place, which is on the corner of Roswell Road and Atlanta Street, across from the Roswell Mill. It looks like at one time it was a realty office or some sort of store. On the left is "backstage," while on the right is a tiny cafe with drinks and some snacks, plus CDs you could purchase. The middle section was the performance venue, very informal and comfy, with the rafters exposed and all sort of interesting things hung up there: a paper hot air balloon, big stars, a chandelier, and other things.
There were a last few seats available around a table in the corner, so that's where we sat. And we had a grand time. Tonight's performance was "Ashley Harris and Friends," with one of the performers being...surprise!...Ashley Harris, the owner of Ragamuffin. :-) Ragamuffin is also a music school, and at least two of the younger performers were students from the school. I'm sorry to say my memory is utterly terrible and I don't remember all the names or all the songs, and I apologize to the performers. There was a young man (James, I believe his name was) who played several songs, including the anthem "Alleluia" on piano; a young woman, Kailie (sp) did guitar duets with a young man with a banjo; another gentleman (Nick, I think) did several songs, including "At the Beach" and "I Love Trains" (the latter made me smile; I do, too); and Ashley closed the show with several songs including "Unfinished Woman."
Louis did four songs after the intermission: "All in All" by Pat Walsh; a wistfully sweet song written by Amanda McBroom (who composed "The Rose") about her dad (actor Donald Bruce) entitled "Errol Flynn"; the song he played at the Timegate cabaret, "For Ireland"; and "Those Were the Days." So we had a great variety of music all together: folk, a bit of rock, bluegrass, country, ballads...quite nice.
I liked doing this on the spur of the moment. We have to find more of these unexpected things to do in the summer, as long as they involve being inside, since neither of us can tolerate the heat. We pretty much hibernate in summer. There's a Brittrack Meet-n-Greet coming up soon and I want to go to that, barring emergencies, and I'm hoping we can have a "gang-movie night" when Deathly Hallows part 2 comes up.
We did get on chat when we got home, a small crowd with just Emma. She'd found some neat records at yard sales, so we were chatting about them a lot.
Rodney was leaving early this morning, about 7:30, but I figured the dog would start barking when he started to move around, so I didn't set an alarm. Willow, who barked up a storm when Rodney arrived, snoozed through his entire awakening and taking his backpack downstairs and opening the garage door. I guess she'd accepted him into the pack! I thought I heard his alarm go off, but figured I was dreaming until I heard the garage door go up (he'd stowed his big suitcase inside for the night). So we have a last picture with us that I took, but James and I look very rumpled and baggy, being in hastily tossed-on clothing with "bed hair." LOL. Rodney asked Ashley to take a better one of us at Ragamuffin last night, so hopefully we'll have that as a neater remembrance. Not sure why I didn't take pictures; I think I was just enjoying the moment.
He had a long drive ahead of him, so I've felt vaguely guilty all day really not doing much! We went to Kroger to get a few things including something for supper, stopped at Food Lion for a few more things (including cucumbers, which Kroger was out of), and then came home. I looked at the sale papers, but there wasn't anything we needed all that badly to go out in 90-degree heat again. I did change the bed in the spare room and fold up the futon again, and put most of the things we store in there (the vacation snack bag, the party bag, the vacuum cleaner, and the extra seats) back.
For most of the afternoon we watched the BluRay of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (completely forgetting we hadn't watched Chamber of Secrets yet). Excellent picture, but again, annoyance with the BluRay. If it has a main menu, I have yet to find it. When you start it, it goes directly into the movie. If you press "top menu," it goes into the extras menu, which is another level of futility. Usually there is a different color font, or a little pointer or symbol, to show you which extra you are on. We couldn't see any pointer or any different color font, and basically blundered through using the arrow keys until we'd seen everything on the menu. Finally, right at the last couple of features, we noticed there was a different color font for the selected item, but it was such a pale blue it was indistinguishable from the white font. Way to go, guys. However, the extras were all worth watching, especially the cast and crew interviews, even if they did get cutesy and have the talking shrunken head from the Knight Bus helping do the interview [eyes roll].
Now James is watching a BluRay DVD of air shows which he bought at Costco. Wow. The picture is so bright and sharp it makes your eyes hurt. Nice quality, if the narrative is rather careless.