Travel Mac


-- चार हजार तीन सौ चौबीस --

This was a pretty laid back weekend, and honestly the last weekend to be thus until probably . . . honestly, probably June 30. I'll get to that in a minute. I figure I should at least give you the rundown of this weekend first.

It was largely, yet again, characterized by going to SIFF festival movie screenings. Friday evening I was home very briefly before heading down to the Egyptian to see Leave No Trace, which I quite liked. It was, like Prospect which I had seen only two days before, also set and filmed in the Pacific Northwest, except this time in and around Portland, Oregon. Both movies have a lot of very similar exterior settings because they are both filmed in lush Pacific Northwest forests -- it's just that Prospect is science fiction and turns it into a forest moon, and Leave No Trace is a drama about a father and daughter living off the grid.

Shobhit went to Diesel for a drink or two while I did that, and later decided to go to "a party." You can extrapolate from that; he took a shower when he got home. Another time under the same circumstances I might have thus gone to Steamworks after the movie, but I just wasn't feeling it that evening, and once I was done writing my review, just hanging out at home for the evening was fine with me. Shobhit got home soon after I was done anyway. We spent a fair amount of time over the weekend watching episodes of Billions on Showtime. As of yesterday we're up through episode 8 of the first season. Gabriel even called me yesterday afternoon and we talked about it for maybe half an hour.

Saturday was another SIFF movie, this the one I got two tickets for so Shobhit could come along -- the Canadian documentary Catwalk: Tales From the Cat Show Circuit. It was fine. I knew Shobhit wouldn't exactly be eager to see this one, but he does love cats, and it cost him nothing, so he still happily accompanied me. Also, this way he gets a point on the next Social Review for it.

That showing was the second (and last) one to be at Shoreline Community College, and we needed to make a trip to Costco, so we went to the Shoreline one after the movie. Part of what we purchased was a bottle of Ketel One vodka, and a bottle of Casadorez Reposado tequila. Now I could finally get a photo of those, alongside the Fireball whiskey and Bacardi dark rum we purchased a week before at QFC, so I could send a photo to Uncle David and Mary Ann to show what was used to purchase their "late wedding present" they told us to use the $100 for upon leaving after their visit a couple of weeks ago. The four bottles of liquor combined did amount to a bit more than $100 (the Ketel One alone amounts to roughly half that), but it was close enough. Expensive as that is, the same amount purchased via cocktails at bars would be exponentially more, so hey -- we're still saving money!

We did quite a lot of shopping this weekend, actually. Sachin came over Saturday night and apparently drank a lot of our vodka -- the old bottle still isn't finished so, whatever -- and so he did not go home and he crashed in the guest room. I had to wash the sheets yet again, after just washing them like a week before (although I had waited about a week after Uncle David and Mary Ann left to do that). Should I give Sachin a Social Review point for this? Nope; I really didn't socialize with him myself. By the time he came over Saturday night I spent the rest of the evening in the bedroom as he and Shobhit hung out in the living room. I didn't talk to him a whole lot Sunday morning either, and then when he finally left, Shobhit and I left to go to three more stores for shopping: he found coupons for Honey Bunches of Oats cereal boxes for 99 cents he wanted to redeem at Safeway (he got three boxes); then we used a coupon for a free loaf of bread at Essential Baking Company down in Madison Valley; and from there we took Martin Luther King Way down to Macpherson's Produce on Beacon Hill to buy a bunch of vegetables. Oh, and after we got back we walked over to Trader Joe's for a couple of things. When we go shopping, it's an epic journey every god damn time, just so we can get what Shobhit considers the best value. Normal people just get everything they need at their one favorite store, but us -- we have to go all over so we can save, what, ten bucks? Okay I have to admit those boxes of cereal for 99 cents was a sweet deal and worth going out of our way for.

I was shocked it wasn't even yet 12:30 pm by the time we got home from yesterday's shopping. It felt like we'd been out for hours. At most, we'd been gone for two. We pretty much spent the rest of the evening watching television. A few episodes of Billions, and then I wanted to take a break for a couple of hours. I checked out Tom Petty's Greatest Hits at the library and ripped it to my computer.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ चौबीस --

When I came back out and thought we were going to watch last night's episode of Westworld -- which is getting more confusing -- at first we watched some of KTCS Channel 9's presentation of the 1997 live concert Fleetwood Mac's The Dance that originally aired on MTV. Shobhit was almost bafflingly interested in it, and I told him so. "I knew you'd want to watch," he said. He had lots of questions about the songs and the band members and I happily answered them and volunteered much more information than he even asked for, as you could imagine.

I'm not sure when I last watched that concert -- I'm pretty sure I've seen it at least another once or twice since it first aired in 1997 -- but it's been a long time. I did listen to the CD of that concert not that long ago, actually. Seeing the concert on TV again, though, after all this time, really brought back memories, in a lot of ways. How about I share some of them!

The TV special aired Tuesday August 12, 1997, and I watched it in our living room when Gabriel, Suzy and I all shared a duplex in Pullman. This would have been the summer between my Junior and Senior years of college; I graduated the following May. For Fleetwood Mac fans -- including myself -- at the time this was a big, big deal: it was the first time Lindsey Buckingham had been an active part of the band in ten years, and it was the 20th anniversary year since the release of Rumours, what I have long regarded as the best album of all time by anyone.

The live album release that accompanied it was the band's first album release since they released Time in 1995, which itself had given me a conniption fit when I saw it at the store, because I really thought for several years that the band was just broken up and they were done forever. The thing is, that's the one album between 1975 and the present that has featured neither Lindsey nor Stevie Nicks, so that part was a little bit of a let-down. It did have Christine McVie, who, after 27 years with the band, left after their 1997 tour.

So for the three of them to be together again, at the time, was huge. Also huge: this was the first tour they ever did when they were all sober. They all talked a lot in interviews about how being sober made their sound better live than they had ever been. And when I had first heard they'd be doing on tour -- well before I even knew about this TV special -- I was bowled over by the feeling of a dream come true, something I truly thought would be impossible now becoming possible. I saw them live with my sisters Angel and Gina, and Gina's ex-husband Dave, in October that year -- basically the same set as they did on this live TV concert special. I told Shobhit about the true duality of that experience: how truly amazing the concert was, largely neutralized by how sloppy-drunk Gina got that night. She spent a lot of time hanging on me and telling me how much she loved me.

I was the only one who did not drink that night, and for a split second I was the designated driver -- even though, at age 21, I did not yet have my driver's license and actually would not get one for another three years. When I got behind the wheel and basically asked for a reminder as to whether I was supposed to turn the ignition first or put it in drive first, Dave was basically like, "Okay, I'll drive." He probably shouldn't have driven that night, but he did drive fine, and way better than either of my sisters could ever have hoped to. In any case, that was an unforgettable night for two reasons: how amazing Fleetwood Mac was as a performing bad, and how insanely drunk the people I went with got.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ चौबीस --


-- चार हजार तीन सौ चौबीस --

So, in any case, 1997 was a banner year for Fleetwood Mac, and for fans of Fleetwood Mac. Seeing this concert special last night made me think a lot about this stuff. And, Shobhit and I have been together for so long now (14 years on Thursday next week! -- 5 years legally married as of the same date), he's become somewhat familiar with a lot of the songs. He even sang along a little to "Landslide," and I was like, "How are you familiar with this song?" He said, "From you listening to it." It occurs to me now that he's almost certainly heard it plenty of other times, what with how many times it's been covered and widely admired by fans of other singers, from Smashing Pumpkins to The Dixie Chicks to even the Glee cast. It's easily the most widely covered song out of the entire Fleetwood Mac catalog.

Shobhit also complained about how he could only make out the words about half the time. So, for the first time ever, after more than a decade of having the TiVo box, I finally figured out how to turn on closed captioning on TiVo, as I have done on all other devices -- and suddenly he had the words to read along.

The one major disappointment about it last night was that the KCTS hosts would break for literally ten or more minutes at a time just to talk about the special instead of actually airing it, and tell us about the different formats of The Dance they could offer us if we made a contribution to our local public television station. It started to get crazy making, so I did as Shobhit suggested and just pressed "record" on the TiVo (duh), so we could watch it later and fast-forward through all that shit. We broke to watch Westworld, and then came back to the concert. But, because of all that time with fucking promotion, I discovered the concert was actually significantly edited -- I pulled out the CD to look at the track list, and at least five of those songs -- from a concert set already cut down to fit onto a single CD -- were cut out of last night's re-broadcast of the concert. That was annoying. But, whatever. What I did get to see was still fun to watch. I could hardly believe that was 21 years ago. Shobhit asked me how old the band members were at the time -- when there was already much made of the rich and long history of the band, which had existed in one form or another with drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie for thirty years then -- and this was how old they all were when this special aired in August 1997:

Lindsey Buckingham: 47
Stevie Nicks: 49
Mick Fleetwood: 50
John McVie: 51
Christine McVie: 54

Can you believe that? They were kind of regard as "aging rockers" even then -- and that was two decades ago! I saw them at the Tacoma Dome again -- by myself -- in 2014 and they were still fucking amazing. I marveled at the intensity of Stevie singing "Gold Dust Woman" in her high heeled boots at age 66. She just turned 70 last month, and they are touring again this year -- although now, again without Lindsey Buckingham. Because even without drugs complicating everything, their interpersonal complications never cease. I just can't imagine seeing Stevie and Christine singing Lindsey's hits, though. It was weird enough seeing Stevie sing Christine's songs when I saw them without her in 2003 and in 2009. I don't know, maybe I should still go? I mean, I'm by far the biggest fan of Stevie Nicks anyway, and who knows when she'll drop dead? They'll be back at the Tacoma Dome in November.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ चौबीस --

Well. I wrote way more about Fleetwood Mac than I thought I would. I'd apologize for boring you if that's what happened, except I honestly don't give a shit. I was going to tell you real quick about how not laid back my next several weekends are going to be.

We leave for Wallace, Idaho, on route to Yellowstone National Park, on Saturday. This coming weekend gets the added bonus, now, of Ivan coming back for a visit, Friday evening through Sunday morning. He messaged me yesterday that he needed to visit Seattle this month to "take care of some shit," including getting his suits for potential job interviews. The thing is, next weekend is when Shobhit and I leave for our trip; we drive back the following weekend; the weekend after that is Pride and thus the last full weekend of the month (the earliest Pride can actually be, actually, as it's always the last Sunday in June and this year June 30 is a Saturday).

Ivan was hoping to get a visit in with Drew, who only has weekends off of work, which made him want to come down on a weekend -- but, of course, sooner than later. At first I was making it sound like the whole thing with the keys would be complicated, but I totally forgot I have not one, but two spare keys to the condo -- because I no longer have a roommate using one of them! Duh. So, Alexia, who lives next door and has agreed to take care of the cats, can still be given one of those keys when she comes for the cat care rundown on Thursday evening, and that still leaves the other full set of keys for Ivan to use. I'll just take those keys off their ring and he can slip the spare condo key under the door when he leaves on Sunday.

I'd say I'm a little disappointed this means I won't get to see much of him, but honestly I had no idea until just yesterday that I'd get to see him this month at all. So the fact that I'll only see him for a few hours Friday evening means that's an unexpected bonus -- no disappointment at all. It also gives Alexia a day less to take care of the cats, which Ivan will happily do Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Shobhit and I hope to head out as early as possible Saturday morning, which is pretty much a guarantee we don't see Ivan that day -- he's not a morning person.

But, I suspect I will see Ivan several more times this year, and beyond just my intended weekend visit with him either late summer or early fall, after he sublets for a few months (he just moved in with two roommates in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighborhood, not that far from Burrard Bridge so it's a good location, last Thursday) as he looks for jobs. His hope is that once he gets a job he can find a place of his own by summer's end, and then get a cat he wants to call Scarlett O'hara (the gayest cat name ever). I figure my first time visiting him up there will be shortly after that happens, unless he gets really lonely over the summer and wants company sooner. Anyway, he's still got several things in our storage unit, though, and this coming weekend will be the first of a few times he's likely to come down for a couple nights and then take his stuff back up there bit by bit.

So that's this coming weekend. The next weekend is the ending bookend to the Yellowstone trip, with our drive straight through coming back Saturday, June 16. I've already made plans with Danielle for the day after that, to watch the original The Incredibles in the Braeburn Condos theatre before going to see the new sequel in the theatre downtown that afternoon.

And the weekend after that is Pride: Trans Pride on Friday June 22; the Capitol Hill Pride Festival Saturday June 23; Pride Sunday June 24. Nothing much scheduled currently for the weekend of July 30, but Independence Day is a week and a half after Pride. That day is a Wednesday this year, which makes for a weird work week.

I've actually got more travel plans now than I had any idea I'd have at the beginning of the year -- way more than last year, which included the least amount of travel I've had since 2003, with all of 9 days. 2018, if all goes as I hope, will jump at least up to 20, maybe 21 days:

Wallace/Yellowstone: 8 days
Weekend trip with Danielle to her friend Jeanna's in the woods north of Spokane [probably August]: 3 days
Weekend trip to visit Ivan in Vancouver: 3 days
Thanksgiving visit with Faith in Palm Springs: 4 days?
Annual Christmastime visit with Mom and Bill in Wallace: 3 days

Even 21 days is the second-least amount of travel since 2008, but that's okay -- at least it's double what I managed in 2017. I'll never again match the monthly travel I did between 2010 and 2016 anyway.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ चौबीस --


[posted 12:20 pm]