Summer Vacation Update: Flostam and Jetsam

Oh, friends. If you like rambling monologues interspersed with possibly-related photos, well, you are in luck.

Like, this one? This photo is related to nothing! In fact, I’m pretty sure that I took this photo on Mother’s Day, before we went to see Dave’s folks. That’s not even summertime. It’s from the dang spring!

Anyhow, things that I have been up to? I know that I think about things to write about but pretty much- as soon as I have composed them in my “brain blog”- I forget about them. I just cannot be one of those people who reports on their every bowel movement. Lucky you. But in between bouts of over analysis, I’ve been trying to err on the side of fun, a version of thought that is almost non-stop-party-wagon lite. That is, if someone invites me to do something fun (like go to the beach. or drink in excess) I command myself, “Liz. It’s the summer. Have some f*cking fun.” And then I have that fun. Do you find that you have to permit yourself to do things that are first and foremost pleasurable? Am I the only default teetotaling puritan in the room?

Despite this, there hasn’t been a whole lot of classic vacation action going on. I’ve gone to the beach a few times and Dave and I spent a night on Cape Cod for a family reunion (I can’t believe that all those fair Irish-looking folks are related to my boyfriend who, sometimes, looks like a casual grindcore rabbi.) I watched the downstairs neighbor’s chickens for a week, waited as the garden grew lush and full, and cringed as water leaked down the central chimney shaft and into our little garret/library. Only a few tomes were irreparably harmed: a couple copies of Weird NJ as well as Paranoia Magazines (a delightful collection of periodicals native to my two homestates), an “Oh My Goth” treasury that I had kept around out of nostalgia- but not out of taste so please don’t send me a replacement and, like, a Daniel Quinn novel or something. It looks worse than it was.

In smaller news, Martin got sick for a few days and we stopped everything to freak out a lot. He is much better now and has resumed hunting our kitchen’s resident grey mouse with a renewed zeal.

An unrelated summertime sunset outside our third floor window.

In larger average-height news, my good friend, Ben, attempted to repair 5 years of omission by finally coming up to see me and mine in Providence! He brought along our friend, Evan, and all three of us spent two days at the Newport Folk Festival! Not that I thought that I would be a glum chum about it, but I had way, way more fun than I had anticipated. When we were in high school, Ben and I would often slip into New York City to see shows: music, theater, and art. It was very nice to be show going and day navigating with him again. Even when we are hot, hungry and hung-over, we manage to get along in a mostly functional manner… even when we are on small water craft.

Evan, to the left, spent the day betting people that he couldn't play the violin only to show them up in a spectacle of classical training meeting hucksterism. Ben, on the right, corrected people's inaccurate facts about Bob Dylan.

I expected the high point of the festival to be Elvis Costello and, trust me, I was about 4 people back from the stage, clutching my hands to my chest and murmuring, “Golly. You sound just like your albums.” As a long time fan, it had never really occurred to me that I could just go see the man who made me all swoony with the rolling lilt of “Oliver’s Army” (actually. it was written by Attractions keyboardest, Steve Nieve. Proper props are due). He is still alive and he does still need a job, amirite? In the end, everyone else thought his set was crud but, to me, it was magical. Sparkly f*cking magical, you sun-baked jerks.

Also magical were the sets by Wanda Jackson and Mavis Staples. Luckily, NPR has recorded their performances for posterity even if they lack the oomf of their, er, performative aspect. I was super impressed by Gogol Bordello who have evolved from being a bunch of crazy, mischief-making punks into band of good substance; from idea to product and successful, to boot. I’m going to tell you that I last saw them about 8 years ago and you have to imagine me rolling my eyes at the total banality that is the world. They were good fun then and excellent for jumping up and down to (and I did.) But, this time, they were just… better. I listened to their set three times in a row one night. Thrice.

Sound booth reminder to the general public.

I wasn’t sure what the vibe of the festival would be and I certainly anticipated an older crowd of middle aged squares. I was pretty surprised to find that young folk were not only in solid attendance, but that few of them were playing hacky sack/ acoustic guitars, slurringly drunk or complete assholes from Brooklyn. Sorry to Brooklyn: Authenticity Capital of the World. There was a lot of good lady-style being shown- so much so that I decided to start a new Tumblr account so that I can guiltlessly document dresses that I like. But, as some might guess- it is actually dude-style gets me all green-eyed, lately. Despite all the foof, ladies really get the shaft when it comes to dressing. As I often complain, a woman is expected to make her clothes look good where as the inverse is true a of a man. A man’s clothes serve to bring out the essence of “him”. I’m having trouble finding an analogous style for women. The closest that I can come is Lauren Bacall in her jungle wear. Or maybe Katherine Hepburn. God. Katherine Hepburn.  But even she wore a lot of menswear. Maybe Audrey Hepburn in her black turtleneck and capri pants. Regardless, watch out for an emphatic and lumpily phrased post about how women wear dresses and men get to wear symbols and how that makes all the difference.

What I really wanted to say was that a button up shirt, jeans, boots, and a woven palm short-brim fedora worn with Ray Ban Clubmasters is a universally flattering look so keep up the good work, young men of the American east coast.

Me, as some sort of gothic beekeeper from when Jess and I went birding.

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One thought on “Summer Vacation Update: Flostam and Jetsam

  1. Molly D says:

    Oh hurray you saw Wanda Jackson!!! I caught her show when she was in town and I think my heartbeat slowed down because I was so in love. I’m glad your pup is okay!

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