I’m a firm believer in taking personal responsibility for celebrating the day of one’s birth. I got the momentum started by choosing the Banana Bean for the traditional Sunday family birthday brunch and having fried oysters and soft-shell crab. My pregnant baker brought a butter cream coconut cake inspired by my request for Hostess sperm cupcakes. Afterwards, I took advantage of my Mother’s odd refusal to join the family women for a “Wicked “ matinee. This fortuitous opportunity was a gift of healing redemption for someone who had been kicking himself over losing his opening night tickets.
Since August 16th fell on a Monday this year, I had scheduled the day off but another last minute twist of fate landed me on stage in a Judge’s chamber for a short, early morning matinee where domestic disaster dramatically hung in the balance. I had compared my task of changing the Judge’s mind to quickly changing the course of an aircraft carrier but, like an unexpected gust of wind, the facts of the case turned the sails of Justice toward victory. Blind luck had allowed me to smash a scary pinata for my client and I could feel the endorphins raining down inside. Triumphant, I shed my pinstriped armor to revel in the frenzy of shopping for a picnic at the pond.
At the deli, my picnic partner-with-child and I ordered a few slivers each of five exotic salamis, the ones to which I usually pay a wistful glancing homage, right before ordering the ham or turkey that’s on sale. Like a kid allowed to go shopping for his presents in a toy store, I loaded up with a fresh baked batard, triple cream brie, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, black Mediterranean olives and an orange fleshed honey dew. Finally, I allowed myself to be seduced by the gooey strawberry, whipped cream and yellow cake strumpet that I would normally pass by with Puritanical restraint.
Down on the farm, the pond was a glittering private oasis surrounded by impenetrable bands of leafy green in brilliant sunlight and black shade, guarded by stiff, silent regiments of soft, brown-helmeted cattails. We floated between the cool wet surface and the solar-energized air saturated with a micro-toned chord of chirping crickets that slowly rose and fell, bubbled and burst, shifting back and forth across the water, punctuated by the birds’ short horn lines. This classic, sunny August day in Ohio was worthy of being called a gift from God. Time stood still as I eschewed the remainder of my clothing, walked down to the end of the splintery wooden dock and paused in quiet contemplative preparation for a dive into the refreshing layers of descending liquid temperatures.
All semblance of propriety and civilized demeanor were surrendered during our naked lunch on the blanket in the grass as I tore into the mountainous open-faced sandwich that exploded like a volcano spewing delicate, smokey spiced greases, slightly pungent, melting buttery brie, salty olive oil and the watery blood of a freshly picked tomato all over my face and body. On this fifty-eighth anniversary of my birth, in the presence of the sun-kissed freckled pink tumescence of my unborn son, I dove into the amniotic fluid of basic pleasures and reemerged from the womb of innocence.
Thursday, tonight, The Floorwalkers do the happy hour at Rumba followed by JPS Brown and an incredibly good band from Cincy, The Sundresses.
Friday, The Columbus Discount Records Anniversary party is at Bourbon Street with Guinea Worms, Sandwitch and many more. Dick's has The Randys and Kobo has Moon High, Mt. Carmel and The Phantods.
Saturday, The CDR party continues at Carabar with Times New Viking, Mike Rep & the Quotas, Black Swans and more. Wonder Power Twins and G. Finesse & the NS are at Scarlet & Grey. The Athens Community Music Festival will feature over thirty-five local acts at seven uptown venues. All proceeds go to grant opportunities for local musicians and music education. Admission is $10 for an all-venue wristband or $5 per location. Visit myspace.com/athensmusicfest for a complete schedule. Hint: Stella and The Lennon Orchestra are at Jackie O's.
Sunday, Flypaper ends the Goodale Park Summer Music Series at the Gazebo.
We've got to get ourselves back to the Garden. mark