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Long, long way

February 13, 2011

I spent a good part of yesterday in a bowling alley. And not just one bowling alley. Two of them.

The first one was for the annual Mother-Son bowling outing with AJ’s school. It’s our last one ever — next year AJ will be in middle school. I was getting all nostalgic about it. “AJ, this is our last Mother Son bowling EVER.” But of course, he just rolled his eyes. That’s his job, after all. We shared a lane with The Boy Across the Street and his mom, although they left after the first game so TBATS could go play basketball. With our lanemates gone, AJ and I whizzed through five games until our arms were too tired to pick up the balls. I even broke my previous bowling record with a new score of 112. I realize that this is laughable. The best I can hope for in bowling is “Not too embarrassing.”

Afterwards, we barreled home in time to get AJ to his own basketball game, which was, unfortunately, their first loss of the season. But still, they’re 6 and 1, so a totally respectable record no matter what happens. AJ plays like he means it and had a couple of absolutely gorgeous baskets. The kid does not get his athletic prowess from me.

After dinner, Mr. Spy’s brother and sister came over to hang with AJ and Mr. Spy and I…hold onto your hats…went OUT. Like, into the world. Without a kid in tow. I’d forgotten what that was like. And this is where the second bowling alley came in. Because that’s where we went, but not to bowl. The place is an old alley with five lanes. The rest of the lanes are covered up to make a stage. The stage was what brought us there. One of Mr. Spy’s friends from high school is an awesome guitarist — he plays with a couple of bands you’ve probably heard of and a bunch you probably haven’t. Last night’s band was one of the latter type. It’s a labor of love for Mr. Spy’s friend and his three bandmates. They do covers, mostly from the 70s, but some from other eras as well and the array of styles is astounding (the highlight from last night was “Ooh Child” by the Five Stairsteps). The level of musicianship is extremely high and they look like they’re having so much fun, that it’s pretty impossible not to have a good time. We sat at a high top table in the back and nursed our beers and checked out the crowd. My first reaction was, “Wow, there are a lot of older people here.” But then I started to wonder if they are actually my age. I think I may have a profoundly skewed sense of my own age. In any case there were a few things I noticed about the crowd: 1) Most of them seemed to know each other 2) Many of the women were wearing things I would not have been comfortable in when I was 20, although they all looked stylish and with the exception of one woman in an alarmingly low cut sweater, rocked it. 3) Almost everyone — male and female — was entirely dressed in some combination of grey, black and brown. Myself included, actually. Mr. Spy was a glaring exception in his light blue sweater. I started to worry: am I a type? About halfway through the set, a lot of the women went down front to dance. One man sitting near us tried to get his wife to dance, but she wouldn’t. He asked another woman with their group to dance, first asking her husband if it was okay. “I don’t know. Ask her,” he replied.

Today we’re in full-on Valentine’s Day mode. AJ and I made our annual batch of pink vanilla cupcakes. Then I helped him make his class valentines. It’s the first year I’ve been able to get him to make them in a long while and it only happened because I told him he could do it on the computer. He drew a picture; we scanned it in, added text and printed them out. Also, all of the Spys have been off doing crafty things in their separate corners. I’m actually falling behind in that area. I’ve got some cards to make and some violin and guitar to practice (today’s repertoire: Wagner overtures on violin and R.E.M, “Endgame” on guitar). The weekend’s winding down. So little time, so much to do.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2011 7:42 pm

    I’m sorry we missed it last night. Good for AJ with the baskets! DJ’s work league still could use a few players – if Mr. Spy is interested he would be welcome, I think.

  2. February 13, 2011 9:20 pm

    I’ll mention it to him, Julia. He does love to play. But I think he may be nervous about it.

  3. February 13, 2011 11:41 pm

    BTW, didn’t comment on the last post, but:

    A. How sweet.
    2. Happy birthday, late, to Cranky.
    iii. My best friend, who plays in a bad for fun, says the hardest thing to do is play and sing.
    FOUR. Good song choice. Better than something by the Afghan Whigs, for sure. Though I wonder if you could have pulled off a Sandy Denny-era Fairport. Of course, if you did Tam Lin you may have had to split it into two videos.

  4. February 14, 2011 9:30 am

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pull of the Afghan Whigs. Nor Tam Lin, for that matter. But I have “She Moves Through the Fair” on my list of things to try. The singing and playing is a challenge. I’ve sung with fiddle before, but I’m discovering that playing a contrapuntal melody with my voice is a completely different thing from playing something that’s primarily rhythmic. It’s hard to maintain a smooth vocal line while playing rhythm. It makes my voice tense and I end up sounding more like a belter, especially in the lower registers of my voice, which isn’t really my thing.

  5. February 14, 2011 9:03 pm

    !!! Is Fireside hosting shows again or did you go somewhere else? That used to be one of my favorite sweaty dives, back in the day.

  6. February 14, 2011 9:28 pm

    This was a different place — The Alley in Highwood — but I used to love the Fireside. A friend’s band used to play there semi-regularly and I spent a fair amount of time there in the early and mid-90s. How can we not have met before the internet, Lass? It seems all but certain that we must have been in the same place at the same time at least once or twice.

  7. February 15, 2011 9:16 pm

    I have often wondered the same thing. For at least a couple of years there, we were living parallel lives, geographically and socially.

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