Best Month Ever
So it's looking like June 2012 is well on it's way to being the best month of my life so far, and it's only halfway done. This could displace October 2007 and October 2009 as the current reigning champions. This past week was on the mellow side and I'm mostly enjoying the slower pace after a good long while of a full schedule. Monday after work I mostly unpacked from Apogaea. Tuesday we had a good Afronauts rehearsal and made some musical improvements to the form of some of our songs. Wednesday I got some groceries including ingredients for the meal I was planning for Andrea and I on Friday. My recollection of Wednesday seems to be mostly gone, but I probably also started practicing M. Zachary Johnson's second Serenade for Alto Saxophone. It's a new composition and the composer sent it to me. A few saxophonists are going to record it over the next few weeks, so I hope to work on it and then get a recording made. I'm enjoying getting back into regular saxophone practice and working on classical repertoire. I'd like to learn this Serenade and then learn how to circular breathe.
Thursday was a good CATS workout. I hadn't been on fabric in a while. I worked on my hip key flip a bit and enjoyed the bike ride home in the calm dark summer air.
Friday after Andrea came over in the evening. I cooked us the recipe that Chris and Tina showed me when they were out visiting. Grilled lamb skewers with onions and figs, a mint and pepper apricot glaze, grilled eggplant, and cous cous. The lamb and cous cous came out quite tasty and well-seasoned with cumin, corriander, raisins, and carrots. The eggplant wash mushy and not very good. I had marinated it overnight like I did with the meat but I think that was definitely a mistake for the eggplant. But anyway, it was still quite delicious overall and we enjoyed the summer air on the deck and some cold beer.
After dinner we walked into town for the first Louisville summer street faire. We caught the last song and encore of a great, super groovy Zydeco band. It was really fun and the crowd was absolutely loving it. They only played the encore when the applauding and hollering continued for over five minutes after their official set ending. After that we explored around a bit but most of the street faire stuff was being torn down by that time. We ran into Blake and Heather, two of the acrobats from CoiL and chatted with them about aerial rigs a bit. We considered getting some ice cream at Sweet Cow, but there was a long line out the door so we opted for some cookies from Bittersweet.
One of Andrea's musical connections, Greg, was playing with his band outside behind Bittersweet. She and her friend Tess were planning to sit in with them and sing a few songs, which they did to start the second set. They sang a bunch of nice harmonies and the simplicity of guitar plus three voices was a nice contrast to the full rock band that had played the first set. After that we went and hung out a the Waterloo, the local pub that's half English style pub and half Johnny Cash theme bar, for reasons not understood by their patrons. Tess's friends John and Noah joined us for a bit as well. Here there was yet a third band playing, this time a Tom-Waits-Inspired folk/country/bluegrass outfit that was pretty good and had some of the audience up dancing. Overall it was a super fun local evening here in Louisville.
Saturday I mowed the lawn with my neighbor's push mower. It took only 17 minutes this time as opposed to the 45 it took last time. Not sure how that can be, but the lawn was mowed by my landscapers just a few days ago, so maybe that makes some difference, but that doesn't really seem to account for it. Anyway, I canceled my lawn mowing service as is consistent with my current trend of frugality, insourcing, and DIY. We'll see if I can sustain this or if I wuss out.
Then I biked into Boulder hoping to catch open aerial workout at Boulder Circus Center, but my plans were foiled as I discovered a juggling festival in full swing. So I biked into downtown Boulder and shopped for chocolate. I had read that the Boulder Book Store carries Kallari chocolate, but I was sad to find they did not seem to have any in stock at the moment. They did have several other interesting small-batch varieties, but I wasn't in the mood to sample new vendors. I just wanted my Kallari. I ended up spending about 3 hours biking around and getting a mild sunburn on my arms.
When I got back I made some mochas for myself and my two roommates. I used this awesome dark chocolate hot cocoa mix my Mom got for me in Buck's County, Pennsylvania. They were quite yummy and I was proud of avoiding buying them in downtown boulder for $4 and just making them at home. Then I practiced saxophone for a bit and worked on the Johnson Serenade. In the evening, Jasmine came over for our dinner date at Imperial Fez, the new Moroccan restaurant in downtown Louisville. I had promised to take her out for a nice treat dinner after Apogaea in appreciation of all her hard work. We walked into town and had a delicious 5-course dinner of yumminess. Of course I was a fan of the "appetizer" course which was a savory pastry topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon. The entree lamb with honey and almonds was also quite delicious. There was live belly dancing, music, and amusing emceeing throughout the evening. The mayor of Louisville, Bob Muckle, was there and even got up for some of the big group dances. It was a really fun, long, delicious meal. Quite an experience, but of course not cheap, so probably a once-a-year thing for me. I had a Living Social coupon (the first daily deal thing I have done) that got us half off, which is the only reason I was willing to splurge for it. Jasmine was stunningly dressed in a form-fitting athletic top, tight ripped jeans, and gigantic superhero boots with about a dozen buckles each. When the emcee called her up to dance that was quite a bit of discussion of her awesome outfit.
After dinner we relaxed back at my place and spent a long time listening to music. I played her some Glenn Gould, Tallis Scholars, and Coltrane stuff among others and it was quite lovely.
Today after a nice breakfast I talked with Dad on the phone a bit and wished him happy Father's Day, practiced some saxophone, did some grocery shopping, and supervised the Comcast tech here to fix my Internet. I've had quite annoying intermittent outages for the last 6 weeks or so. At this point my Internet connectivity disappears for 1-5 minutes every hour or so. It bounces me off my VPN when I'm working, interrupts my Team Space conversations, and makes web browsing impossible. I think perhaps the new cable modem the tech installed will fix it, but of course it's down again right now. I called in for about the 6th time but found out the current outage is area-wide. So hopefully once that's fixed, my Internet will be working reliably. The other great thing is they reduced my bill from around $80 to around $40 for the next six months and added basic cable, which of course I despise and will not watch, but my roommates will enjoy it. The new modem also increased my download speeds from around 7 Mbps to nearly 20 Mbps. So almost a 3x increase plus a bill divided in half. Yay (hopefully)!
Tonight I went to open aerial workout at Dardanno's in Denver. I practiced my Ginger Drop and Double Star quite a bit. I think I'm getting the hang of the drops now and am able to remain aware of the motions throughout the drop, as opposed to before where I would set for it, let go, pray for the best as my body randomly fell and spun, and then suddenly arrive at the landing position and regain my awareness of my body. I've been daydreaming lately about buying a portable aerial rig I could set up in my back yard. It would be fun and would avoid me having to drive to Denver and bike to Boulder all the time, but so far it's just daydreaming. I would probably have to convince myself to sell my tenor saxophone to finance it.
I'm really enjoying my time post-Apogaea getting closer with Andrea and Jasmine, and that's what is making this the best month ever for me. I'm hopefully things will continue on their current trajectory. Jas and I are planning to do some backpacking near Aspen in July, which is on my bucket list for this summer, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've never really done proper backpacking, and I bought a big climbing pack last season, so it should be a new and fun experience.