Thursday, June 16, 2005

AWOL no more

Okay, so I've only posted a couple of memes over the past few days and I haven't updated anything about my date Monday night or the picnic on Tuesday, but I figured no one really wants to know about my boring days and nights.

Then again...

I really shouldn't call Monday night a date. I had given a close friend a ticket for the Michael Johnson concert for his birthday last month and Monday night was the night. I also got a ticket for me because I missed him in March due to the nasty flu that nearly turned into going through death's door, but I finally got to see and hear the man.

Well, my friend came over after work, tired and worn out, and went directly into my bedroom where I'm still sleeping on a feather bed on the floor. (A bed really isn't high on my priority list and it is his fault since he said I should get used to sleeping on the ground for when we go hiking overnight.) So he sat down on the love seat in the front room, my other piece of furniture, leaned back and snoozed a little while I finished getting ready. When I was ready we talked for a while and then left since we didn't want to have to stand in a long line. Instead we just stood at the head of the line for a while. (what is the difference again?) Jimbo's is an intimate little setting with the front of a real house as the backdrop for the stage. Normally there are couches and lots of antiques and a few tables and chairs, but Monday night there were nothing but a few small round tables (outdoor cafe sort of tables)and chairs in front of the small stage.

While we waited outside, we heard Michael Johnson tuning and warming up his vocal cords. I must say it was really good.

Back inside, an older woman (very pretty) and her daughter (a roofing contractor) asked us if we were from Ohio. We told them we were. They were from Ohio, too, and from the west side of Columbus where we are both from and where we grew up. The daughter went to Hilltonia and Franklin Heights and West High. My friend went to Hilltonia and West and I went to Westmoor Jr. High and West. It was like old home week. We talked a little longer about things back in cowtown, Ohio and then Jimbo got on stage and warmed up the crowd with some rockin' blues and a few silly tunes thrown in. Then the big moment...

Michael Johnson took the stage, talked a little about how people sometimes confuse him with the other Michael who sings and jumped right into the music. He played one of my favorites, Bristlecone Pine. I have to admit his rendition isn't as good as Hugh Prestwood, but it was good Monday night. He played a lot of my friend's and my favorite songs and a few we had never heard, like Emilio, which is a new song for MJ. The crowd was friendly and attentive and the venue intimate, but nothing could match MJ's artistry on the guitar. He plays guitar with a Spanish classical rhythm and fingering and it is beyond good.

Like I silly fan (something I have never been accused of in my life up to this point), I asked MJ to autograph a couple of my CD inserts -- the ones my friend has given me. I have interviewed and spoken with presidents, governors, politicians, criminals, movie stars and foreign dignitaries, but meeting MJ for the first time made me feel shy all of a sudden. And he's a lot shorter than I figured. I'm about an inch or so taller than he is.

Anyway, MJ took a break, we talked with the mother and daughter from Cowtown (Mother is 77 and her BF is 49 and she's known him since he was 13 and her daughter is married to a man 12 years younger -- it runs in the family). The mother is very pretty and could well pass for much younger -- not so the daughter, although they were both very charming.

After the break, more music and amazing guitar playing, an encore and it was time to go home. Unfortunately, Jimbo's is closing their door at the end of the month, so if you like live jazz and blues in an intimate and small club atmosphere, check them out before they close their doors.

My friend drove me home and we talked about the concert. He came up for a couple minutes to pick up something and I walked him back downstairs. Neither of us wanted the evening to end, but we both had to be up early for work. Besides, we had a picnic in the park planned come rain or come shine. When it rains and thunders and lightning forks through the sky we get fireworks with our picnic.

He IM-ed me the next morning and said he was in the mood for Cobb Salad for lunch, so I picked up the ingredients, came home, made the salad, cut up some fresh watermelon, tossed it all in a canvas bag with some bowls and plastic utensils and met him at the park for our picnic. He was there ahead of me. I think he was hungry.

Spending time together is difficult and wonderful -- wonderful because the time flies by and difficult because the time just flies by.

Anyway, after he ate some of the watermelon he tells me he is allergic. Just a little allergic he says. I wanted to smack him, but those dimples, that sparkle in his green eyes and the laughter kept me from hitting him. Besides, he buys and eats watermelon, too. It's a summer tradition. Some things are definitely worth risking a little swelling in the throat.

There is more, but I'll save it for later.

I'll shut up now.

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