Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Zack Attack

Happy Birthday Zack!

Zack has a unique way of looking at things that is always like a breath of fresh air. Here's one of his recent classics:

KevPG32: dude it is sooooo funny how many ppl mention the chipotle burrito in their blog sites...
ov3rc1ocked: because
ov3rc1ocked: it touches peoples lives
KevPG32: lol
ov3rc1ocked: i mean
ov3rc1ocked: look at how big it is to us
ov3rc1ocked: i eat it every week!

I sure hope he gets (at least) one for his birthday; he missed completing the 2BC by about 1/3 of a burrito, but there'll be another chance soon, as I owe him two for feeding the cat while I was in Vermont...as I said, the Chipotle burrito really has become the wampum of our day.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Burlington and Birthday

OK, let's get caught up on a few things here:

VERMONT: A quick food-and-music review from Saturday night. So there are lots of great little restaurants on Church St. in downtown Burlington, and they all have patios or sidewalk seating since those several blocks of the street have been closed to vehicular traffic. The only trick was, we didn't get back downtown until nearly 7:00 (had to take the instruments back to the hotel after the gig) and the Dave Holland concert started at 8, so we wouldn't have gotten a table at some of the better places anyway. Plus, a couple of the people in our group were running out of money...but still, a few of us were adamant about not doing McDonald's or the like. Fortunately, we took a glance onto a side street and discovered the answer: Henry's Diner.

Henry's is one of those boxcar-shaped diners that has actually been there since 1925. The waitress was a charming sort--reminded me of Penny Marshall's "Laverne" character in a way, except classier. There were five of us crammed into a table for four, but we were well taken care of and the food was great. I had an open-faced pork sandwich that was really good and had lots and lots of meat. Everyone else had these humongous cheeseburgers. Then a few of us actually got free carrot cake, which evidently had been cut into pieces that were too small to be sold. But the biggest thing was yet to come, when one of the guys ordered a chocolate/peanut butter pie. By the time I came back from the restroom, the whole table had some, and wanted more. I got to take a bite; imagine a Reese's cup in pie form and you'll have the idea. We found out it was from a local bakery, and some of the guys who didn't go to Dave Holland actually found the place, but it was already closed. So if you're in Burlington, I highly recommend the place....Bank St. just west of Church.

Then it was on to the Dave Holland Big Band concert. A great time, lots of energy; they played for almost two hours without a break. The big band is basically an expanded version of Dave's quintet (Dave on bass, Chris Potter on tenor, Robin Eubanks on trombone, Steve Nelson on vibes and Billy Kilson on drums), and most of those players had leading roles in the big band as well (Chris Potter wasn't there, which was a disappointment to us saxists, but he was ably replaced by Mark Turner). Robin Eubanks (brother of Kevin, of Tonight Show fame; another brother, Duane, played trumpet in the band as well) didn't solo until a few tunes into the set, but when he did, he tore it up. I have a few of his solo CD's and really enjoyed hearing him live. Steve Nelson was all over the place on vibes and marimba; a lot of times, he used these mallets with bright green heads, and they were moving so fast it was like watching someone twirl one of those light-stick things. I had never heard of Billy Kilson before Dave's quintet, but he was nothing short of explosive. And the leader himself--what can I say? We got to witness another living legend. Can't wait till the next CD comes out sometime next year.

BIRTHDAY: OK, a real quick rundown....after teaching, I went to big band, where we had a short round of Basketbottle during the break. Sasquatch joined the game and was the only one to make it, so he said he no longer owes me the burrito he promised me when I went to pick him up when he had car trouble...oh well...After rehearsal, it was on to Chipotle, where we took up three tables. Then on to the Main Event for some bowling (I won. Yay!) and games (a quite hilarious moment when Zack went to play DDR in bowling shoes). A few people didn't feel like calling it a night yet, so we came back here for a short jam session.

So, if you're keeping score at home, that's birthday, big band, Basketbottle, burritos, bowling and bebop. I guess that day was brought to you by the letter B. :-) Whew, I'm all caught up now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Blowing Out My Own Candles

Happy birthday to me! :-)

And nope, not gonna reveal my age on this site, heh heh. My only hint is that this year could be especially meaningful in a Deep Thought kind of way...

Not teaching a very big load today so I'll try to get back on and update the rest of the Vermont trip.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

No Delays, For Once

OK, we made it back, in one piece, with no flight delays; in fact, we even got to leave Newark early because some sort of VIP was on board and it got us bumped up in the takeoff order.

The concert went well yesterday...some of the usual looseness that happens with an outdoor performance, but the weather cleared up in time for us to play, and there was a huge crowd out there. Oh, and I was also totally blown away by the Dave Holland Big Band performance last night; I'll throw in a review of that and a charming little diner where we had dinner before the concert...but for now, a pile of newspapers and laundry beckons.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Mounting a Challenge

BURLINGTON, VT: I conquered Mt. Mansfield this morning, for the second year in a row. :-)

(OK, 'conquered' is a relative term; there's a toll road that goes crisscrossing up through the ski trails and does about all but 500-something feet of the climb for you...but hey, it's way more rugged terrain than we're used to in Dallas. And also, I managed to drive the rental van up the toll road without falling off the side of the mountain--even though we encountered oncoming traffic at many of the turns--so I consider that a positive accomplishment.)

We play in about two hours. On my website, I promised any of my friends from Dallas a Chipotle burrito if they drove up here and heard us play...but I'll fall over from shock if anyone actually did. That's a long way to go, even for a burrito.

Oh yeah, and Sonny Rollins was phenomenal last night. The guy's nearly 73 years old and he played for around two hours: on one tune, he took approximately 30 choruses of blues. Truly amazing. The Dave Holland Big Band is tonight, and I'm sure I'll have a report before we fly back to Dallas tomorrow.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Finally Here

BURLINGTON, VT; OK, we finally made it to Vermont this morning. It was supposed to be last evening, but we got stuck in Newark for the night as weather prevented us from landing in time to catch our connection (they wouldn't hold the plane for us even though we were half the passengers on the flight, and we only missed it by about 15 minutes). But now we're here; it's rainy and cooler than last year, but it's still beautiful. Gonna be fun. Had the lobby computer to myself for 45 minutes, so maybe I'll post more while I'm here.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

And We're Off...

Amazing....it's 12 hours before time to leave on a trip, and I'm already packed and ready to go. This usually doesn't happen before 2 a.m. :-)

The college jazz band is off to Vermont...if you're in the Burlington area, it's Saturday at 4:15 p.m. on the Top Block of Church Street, so come hear us. Should be an awesome trip just like last year. The hotel has a computer (yes, one) in the lobby, so maybe I'll post something from there.

Monday, June 02, 2003

An Unusual Anniversary Celebration

Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad!

Yeah, I know...seems like every other posting is some sort of special occasion these days. Once we get past my birthday next week, it'll be back to 'normal' for a while.

But this anniversary will go down in history as way far from 'normal' as Dad spent the special day having his appendix removed. He thought all this time it was just chronic indigestion. He's doing fine, expects to be out Wednesday. Coudn't eat anything today, and tomorrow he's stuck with just Jello and broth. They had to cancel their part of Dad's church choir's European trip next week, but at least they'd been to those countries before. Still a weird way to spend an anniversary, so get well soon, Dad.