Tales of Steaks, Yard Work, Bach, Brubeck, Open Cars, and the Like.
After work I went to Whole Foods and bought steaks for steak salad. I picked up two dry aged ribeyes (they were out of dry aged strip). I took it home and realized I'd purchased way too much meat, so we cooked one and saved the other. Then we went to the Fairmount Martini Bar or whatever it is called and met up with Kornells and Ray and Kristen to celebrate Brian's admission to grad school. I had a couple of nice Manhattans -- don't remember the last time I'd had one, but it just sounded right. Fairmount was interesting, but the crowd looked just a little annoying to me -- that is, very few of the people I saw in there looked like anyone I'd ever want to talk to in real life. And that's ok. The drinks were great, and the immediate company even better.
After a breakfast of steel-cut oatmeal and turkey bacon, Gina and I cleaned up the yard. We raked up the last of the dead leaves from the flower beds and the back yard, and I mowed the back yard.
We then went to the BW Bach Festival. Gina's younger sister, Ginevra, was playing in it. We went to Severance Hall and enjoyed Bach's Mass in B Minor. I've seen many shows at Severance over the years, but it was extra special to look at the stage and see Ginevra right there with the other cellists. I enjoyed the show very much, more than you might expect when sitting through two plus hours of baroque music.
Before the show, we drove to Berea to pick up Gina's youngest sister, Giovanna. Note to travellers: avoid 480 and 77! From the house, we could have just as easily gone to Berea by driving downtown and catching the Inner Belt, as opposed to driving down Warrensville Center to 480. But with all the construction at the 480-77 interchange, we were panicked about getting to Berea and then back to University Circle in time. Happily, we left ourselves more than enough buffer to get to the concert in time.
Afterwards, we loaded up Meatball with four passengers and a cello, then drove to Parma to pick up yet another cello (Ginevra's was being repaired and she borrowed one for the concert), and somehow managed to squeeze a second cello into the car and drive to Berea (and happily, not Buffalo.) Once in Berea, and having not eaten since breakfast, the four of us went to Bucci's, and demolished plates of calamari, pasta and prime rib, two baskets of bread, a bottle of Castle Rock pinot noir, and creme brulee. All very good.
More yardwork, this time the front. Dad and Marcy stopped by with Dad's new toy: a Mazda MX-5, 6 speed manual with Highland Green exterior and saddle leather interior, Bose stereo system, tan ragtop. He let me take it for a drive around the block. It drives like a go-kart. The little thing is hotter than hell, and reminds me of how I almost bought one last spring. He will NOT be driving it in the winter -- and that's the thing to do. They handle like crap in the snow, and keeping it out of the salt will keep it nice.
I then gave the Saabcar a good washing, and apparently showed off plumber's crack to the whole neighborhood. No matter, it was a beautiful day for a ride in an open car, and with no cellos to haul around, we could enjoy the weather on our ride...
...back to the Bach Fest. This time at BW, we saw ... The Dave Brubeck Quartet! Brubeck may be 86 years old, but his playing is as alive and vibrant as it was in any recording I've heard from the last 50 years. Yes, they played Take Five, but they also played selections from more recent albums -- and by more recent, I mean as recently as 2005. And while I could go on and on, and may yet still, I will sum it up like this. As long as Dave Brubeck is still with us, I don't think anyone else can more rightly be called a living legend. This was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. Brubeck moved around slowly getting on and off the stage, but once he was seated at the piano, the years melted away. I don't believe he would have sounded any better if I'd been alive to hear him play in the 50s or 60s. Paul Desmond died back in the 70s, but Bobby Militello was so good on the alto sax, it made me want to dust mine off and play again. And the drumming Randy Jones did on a five piece kit rivaled any drumming I've heard anywhere by anybody, Neil Peart and Gavin Harrison included. I sneaked in my camera and took a few pics... maybe I post them later. More likely I don't get around to it.
We went home. I cleaned up the grill to put the new door on it (one of the doors broke on it and Charmlight sent me a replacement), only to learn that... they sent me the wrong door. Happily you don't need a front door over the propane tank to actually operate the grill. We cooked the other steak and had steak salads again. Gina thoughtfully picked up fat free mango sorbet for me for dessert.
I picked a new paint color for the woodwork for the master bedroom. I played with Tito a bit. I did a little laundry. It was a full weekend, yes.