we will rise
Fun facts about Friendly Rich:
- He runs a program every year in which he teaches hundreds of 9 year olds how to make instruments and compose their own experimental music, then he leads them in parade through the main streets to a park where they give a concert.
- The Arts Festival he created is wildly experimental but is patronized by the Mayor's office and going into its 8th year.
- He is a Doctor, though not the kind you would want if you needed an emergency intubation.
- He actually is friendly.
- The artist who created the cover on his last album also did work for Frank Zappa and designed the sets for PeeWee's Playhouse.
- Whenever I'm at one of his events, I have an uncontrolled need for attention and participation. I think Soot has come to dread my hand shooting into the air.
- He likes my brother and remembers at least half of my name when we meet.
- He usually plays at the a summer concert for the instrument store that outfitted my brother's bands and gave me more than a year of drum lessons.
- He lives in my hometown, and brings acts here months ahead of engagements in Toronto. He brought Geoff Berner and He Poos Clouds to me. He makes me happy to live here.
My journey to last night's Friendly Rich Show was epic. I have made their regular appearances at the Tranzac a staple of my social calendar: much like Drunken Knitting, I can commit to something awesome that only happens once a month. But since the July show, they have been absent from the scene. This October show has been a goal of mine for a long time. And even when I knew that the Boy would be out of town, speaking at his alma mater for a weekend, I was still determined to go. I would get Nic to take me, I thought. He just needed 6 weeks of notice and continual reminders.
It wasn't until Tuesday that I had a key thought: how was I to get to the show if the Boy had the car?
Asking Nic for help was inconclusive, as he doesn't keep a car and relies on the largesse of my parents. I also found out that he was working until 11 that night. I began to give up hope; the Boy, feeling guilty, spoke of renting a car for the weekend, but memories of bouncing Blake's first tuition cheque were just too fresh (it was only a month ago). I told my dad that I would keep Blake for the night, after all, what was I getting babysitting for?
But I forgot something else: my mom just got a new job, and her current hospital is less than 10 minutes away. She no longer needs the car for 14 hours; in fact my dad can easily drop her off and pick her up. The car was ours if we wanted it. Game on.
(And of course, my dad had to put the screws to me one more time before the details were finalized, and I ended up promising to stay the night along with Blake. I tried my best, but I just couldn't think of a reason to justify going home by myself so that I could wait for Blake to be dropped off the next morning.)
So yesterday we said goodbye to the Boy and were dropped off at my parents' house. Blake & I spent a pleasant hour out & about before supper, rediscovering the fun twins who live down the street and their fun mom, who immediately gives me beer when we're over and yet doesn't make me feel like a lush. Excellent vibes, there. After supper we fooled around a bit, I gave Blake his bath & put him to bed, and then settled in to knit in front of the teevee and try to stay awake. Hard. Going. Even "Freaks" had a hard time keeping me from napping.
But it all worked out. Nic came home, brushed his teeth for a zillion years and then got in the car again to go. We made it by 11:40, not bad considering we took a "shortcut." The only problem was that THEY HAD ALREADY PLAYED.
Oh, the humanity.
So we collected Needle Addict and went to Las Iguanas for midnight burritos. On the one hand, I was bitter that all of my striving had been for nothing. On the other hand, I got to knit a sock to "November Rain", sitting at a table with my elusive brother and a fun girl I haven't seen since the housewarming party. I think there's a balance there somewhere.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*