The last week was hectic, but only because we were overextended. You know those weeks at a stretch where you race in the house drop stuff off, grab stuff and race back out...every day until it looks like a tornado hit it, and at the end of the week, the place is such a mess that you're 1/2 hour late for work because you can't find your damned keys?
Maybe it's just me. Anyway, in the blogging queue are last weekend's trip to Chicago for an RV show with our camping buddies, meeting a fellow blogger, meeting one of the soldiers on my mailing list, painting the kitchen, and admitting to Clint, at the very last minute, that I hate the kitchen floor tile we picked out a year ago. Yes, we're returning them and buying new tile. And it costs a bit more. And tiling begins in 2 days. And Clint hasn't throttled me; it's a wonder.
I have to start blogging somewhere though, so I'll quick-tell you about our Valentine's date last night, before running off to finish painting the kitchen (The tiler's come in 2 days, remember? I have to have the kitchen done by then!)
As posted earlier, Clint slipped a couple of Buddy Guy tickets in my laptop on Valentine's Day. Whoo hoo! Give me Blues tickets over roses and chocolate any day! The concert was last night.
We started out the evening with—what else?—BBQ. Don't Blues & BBQ go together? We went to Famous Dave's and had a great dinner. I know it's a franchise, but the Famous Dave's in this berg is fun to visit as it's located in an old, round barn, converted into a restaurant. All of the townies will yawn over this fact, but I'm amazed every time I go into the place. I love the woody atmosphere, and it's a perfect venue for a BBQ joint.
The meal was fantastic. I had Texas beef brisket, with macaroni & cheese (theirs is fixed with corn & jalapenos) and firey green beans (bacon and red pepper) on the side. Clint opted for pulled pork, cole slaw, and drunken apples, baked with a splash of amaretto.
Side note: After a weekend in Chicago, I can't help but compare the price of a meal in central IL to that of a "big city" meal. I won't throw too many numbers out there, but this much is true: My Champaign, IL meal cost a nickel less than one Chicago martini.
Oh, and one more little thrill at Famous Dave's: The toilet in the upstairs ladies' room is hooked up to the hot water line. It's an odd sensation, the butt-sauna. I came out of the restroom, laughing my head off, and remembering a scene from one of my fave movies, Under the Tuscan Sun. The same thing happened to newly single France's house:
Frances: This is really bad, isn't it?So, after my post-dinner ass facial, we headed off to the concert.
Patti: Well, it's not good. Unless you want to give your ass a facial.
Mr. Buddy Guy
73 years old, he's been performing the blues since the early 50s, and had, certainly, to be practicing his chops before that. I was more than thrilled to have tickets to this show!
Here's our regal Virginia Theater:
Ronnie Baker Brooks warmed up for Mr. Guy. His father is blues guitarist and singer Lonnie Brooks, and both are phenomenal musicians and showmen. I try to catch both of these guys whenever they're in the area.
There was something about his performance that made it seem like he wasn't performing at all; blues isn't what he does, it's what he is. He's just doing his thing, and we were privileged to watch. "If you don't know what the blues is, just keep on livin' " he told us.
As luck would have it, the batteries on my camara died just at the time Buddy waltzed up into the balcony area where we were sitting, and my flash wouldn't fire for this one. I lightened it up best I could to prove that we got this close to him:
There were several "moments" in the show. A 12 year-old blues guitarist from Carbondale, IL had, apparently, knocked on the dressing room door earlier in the day, and was given some time with Mr. Guy. In the end, he was invited up on stage and got to jam with the band. I had originally blogged here, after some research, that the young man's name was Matthew Curry. It's been pointed out to me in the comments that may not have been the case. Since I can't find a straight answer through research or friends that saw the show, I'll opt to hold up on naming names until I know more, for sure.
My favorite part of the show was Guy's speaking of himself at 9 years old, and his mother teaching him some of life's most important lessons. From those conversations, he wrote "Skin Deep," and his performance of that song choked me up.
"Skin Deep" is the cover title of his latest CD, and he instructed us, last night: "Go to your record store, and if they don't have it, ask the guy there `why don't you have this fuckin' album?' "
I think I'll do just that.