On Wednesday, May 23, James and I had lunch at the Olive Garden. I like lunch at the Olive Garden because of their unlimited soup, salad and breadstick deal. I get filled up at a classy joint without breaking the bank. Now that’s what I call true bliss. We spent lunchtime with Ben and Tara getting filled in on whatever gossip we hadn’t discussed on Monday. And I had a whole post brewing in my head about gossip in general and my take on it specifically, but I think that one might have to wait. Because I’m still trying to sort out the last couple of weeks’ memories at the same time as my life keeps chugging forward. It’s kind of a lot to deal with.
So after lunch, we hit Half Price Books, an old standard among our particular group of nerds. And even though neither of us should have purchased anything there, there’s always a find or two. A low-cost alternative when the book you want isn’t at the library or easily found in stores. James walked out with a book on chess and I got an Anne Carson paperback of poems I hadn’t yet encountered in my studies. I justify it because she’s on my list, so I have to read whatever I can get my hands on anyway, and here, here are my hands on this.
This was one evening where I shockingly failed to have a proper dinner. The reason? I attended my niece’s band concert, which started at dinnertime and didn’t end. Okay, so it did end, eventually, but we had to stay until the very end because her band was, of course, the last to play their set, and then there were awards, and then her band closed the show by playing the Stars and Stripes. Now, my niece is graduating from the eighth grade this year, so this lengthy program was not entirely unexpected. What I didn’t prepare for, however, was the fact that the auditorium would inspire such buckets of sweat. Now, aside from the cringe-worthy attempts at emitting sounds vaguely resembling music, the program was alright. I was glad that the younger students started off the show because it only got better from there. The seventh graders were a little better, and the eighth graders were by far the best. I especially enjoyed their jazzed up version of the Pink Panther Theme. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I wouldn’t have minded if they had closed with a repeat performance of it instead of the patriotic Stars and Stripes. I got to see some of my niece’s artwork on display, and her big smile when she caught me creeping up the aisle to take her picture during intermission. I know it meant a lot to her that I was able to see her play her clarinet. And it meant a lot to me just to go, and if it came down to it, I would have even offered up another bucket or two of sweat to those auditorium seat cushions for that amazing smile of hers.