Joie de Vivre


For her birthday, Beverly and I took her mother to Graceland, home of her #1 favorite celebrity, Elvis Presley.

The next few posts will be about more specific parts of the trip, and this post is just an overview.

We left the house at 4:45 AM for BWI, on about 4 hours of sleep, having gotten in late from the Pixies show. We arrived in Memphis, which was already sweltering, and rented a car. We then headed to Beale Street to kill some time.

Here’s a funny thing: on father’s day, we were walking back from brunch when I found this boot. And not 20′ away, I found the boot return. Get it??? Hilarious.

While we didn’t plan this, the order in which we visited places on this trip really enhanced our experience. We started a Beale Street, and since we don’t drink/party, we avoided what a local called “the shit show” of the evening tourist crowd. We wandered into the Peabody hotel, and visited Lansky Bros., where Elvis had many clothes made. We discovered one of the most charming bookstores I’ve ever encountered. We then went to Sun Records, and to the Civil Rights Museum. We watched the latest Elvis film, and then we went to Graceland.

We learned a great deal about Memphis, the struggles of the civil rights movement, and of course, Elvis.

Okay, onward, dear reader.

Joie de Vivre

The Pixies + Modest Mouse

We finally got to see the Pixies. Fortunately, we had pavilion seats at Merriweather, as it poured! The Pixies came out, and hammered through song after song, and did not utter a single word during the entire performance. I am amazed at how great Black’s voice is.

Modest Mouse sounded really good, too.

I drove out to Columbia twice in one day – I went in the afternoon for a colleague’s memorial service for his wife’s sudden passing. I rushed home and we went right back for this show.

We arrived home at a quarter past midnight, went to sleep, and woke at 4:30 to head to Memphis for a whirlwind weekend!

Joie de Vivre

A fine start to June

I had a lovely weekend with my beautiful wife. On Friday, we had dinner at Zen West, and discovered their quiet, jazzy 25+ back room, which was wonderful. I had no idea it was there.

A oriole bird painted on Zen West's exterior wall
A Raven bird painted on Zen West's exterior wall

We took a long walk to the farmer’s market on Saturday, and had breakfast at Pete’s.

Last week was tough at work, even with the 4 day week. I think the memorial day tree slaying set the tone, so it’s been nice to hang out at home. I picked up my work from the Art of Accumulation show, and I have some new projects in the works. I’m excited and grateful to be inspired and have work to do (both the tough day job kind, and the joyful life’s work kind).

We had dinner at Cypriana, and discovered their hidden “back room” rooftop dining area.

Trader Joe’s has canned calamari, which is nice when sautéed with garlic and pepper flakes.

This is post 1100!

Joie de Vivre

A Blast in the Past

We met work friends for dinner at Crabtown USA in Glen Burnie, and I found a beloved Tron machine from my youth. Among other treasures.

Joie de Vivre

Hiking/Bowling/Fish Sandwiches

Today, we went for a hike at Rock State Park. It was warm, and the trees are just starting to show their buds and some green.

JD and BD by the rocks

I was climbing around the rocks – there were probably 20 other people up on the overlook. I walked around the far side of one cluster of rocks, thinking it would be a nice secluded corner to sit and take some photos. As I turned around, I realized my mistake. I had walked about 10′ along a ledge that was maybe 2′ wide, and there was nothing below the edge. I was looking down on tree tops, and I could not see the bottom. Beverly had just come around that corner to join me and I said “I made a mistake – please go back.” I’ve had nightmares like this, where I find myself on some precarious ledge at some impossible height. Anyway, I made it off that ledge on wobbly legs. Phew!

We then went bowling – the first time together.

We each won a game, and the nice lady next to us gave me some advice. I’ve only every played duckpins, so this was unfamiliar.

There is a restaurant attached to the bowling alley with pretty terrible fish sandwiches (even for this raccoon).

It was a lovely, eventful day.

Joie de Vivre

Sole of the City 10k, tattoo convention, late night with the devil

What a fantastic day in Baltimore! First thing in the morning, we ran a 10K race through downtown. It was bright and cold. Then, we walked over to the convention center and explored the tattoo convention with my daughter. Lots to look at. It was fun.

This guy has been at most races I’ve done – he runs and juggles. Even during half marathons! I suspect he juggles in his sleep, too.
Us running to the finish line

Finally, we ended our 25 thousand step day with a movie: Late Night with the Devil. It is gloriously set as 1970’s late night TV, and I enjoyed the whole thing. The intro has a recap of late 60’s to early 70’s America, done with a solid 1970’s voice over. It sets the story up in a satisfying way. The filmmakers suggest that what we are going to watch is the original footage coupled with behind the scenes camera work from the Halloween 1977 show.

The premise is that an ailing late night variety show attempts a risky bit of programming on live TV. That was a big draw in the 1970’s.

I made a mental note in the beginning to watch the cuts between the live TV cameras and the backstage, commercial break footage. And I lost track when hell broke lose, which tells me they did a nice job.