This past weekend was pretty fantastic. It had a lot of good things in it and the weather was just about as great as Baltimore summer weather gets. I wouldn’t say that Saturday morning’s activity was fun exactly, but made me feel good about life. Sadly my friend’s house was involved in a fire the previous weekend, so this weekend a bunch of us went over to see what we could help her salvage, clean it off, and then pack it up for storage until she has a permanent new place to live. Obviously it’s a horrible situation, but she’s been amazing through the whole thing. Her generally positive attitude about life has carried over through this whole ordeal. I on the other hand imagine I would be lying on the ground curled in the fetal position crying if I was going through this. It was also great to see a group of my friends come and work together to help out, even though I’m sure it was the last thing any of us really wanted to be doing on a Saturday morning. My favorite was the exchange in Facebook comments where one friend said he was going to come, but now then he saw the time.. He said it was too early, so he was out. Then he commented again and said that his wife asked him what he was going to be doing. Sleeping in his bed that didn’t burn down? So then he felt guilty and said he was back in. We got as much as we could done in about 3 hours, so it went pretty quick. It was also an education for me in smoke damage. I was really astounded at how insidious it is. Even just leaving the boots I was wearing in my bedroom for a few hours had my bedroom reeking like smoke.
Saturday evenings activity was on the actual fun side of things. I went with a friend to see The Fault in Our Stars. We go see all the big movies based on popular YA novels together, so of course we had to see this one. I know the book is a little polarizing with it seeming that people either loved it or hated it. I was one of the people who loved it, so I was interested to see the movie even though I’m not the biggest Shailene Woodley fan. I don’t know why because I’ve actually liked her performances in every movie I’ve seen her in including this one, but I kind of groan every time I see her cast in a property I like. I may have problems. Anyway, the book of course was better as it always is, but I think they did a great job with the movie for the most part. It definitely made me cry more than once. It was also one of those instances where having already read the book made me have reactions I wouldn’t have otherwise. I spent the whole first half of the movie (spoiler) dreading the moment they were going to meet Peter Van Houten because I knew what a jerk he was going to be, and they were so super excited the whole time. I thought they did an admirable job adapting it.
Sunday my friends had a backyard BBQ featuring a live performance by the Bumper Jacksons, who describe their music as country swing, roots jazz, and street blues. The Bumper Jacksons had a Kickstarter campaign to support the funding of their newest album, and my friends gave at whatever level got them a concert performed in their backyard. My friends smoked up a delicious brisket for the occasion and then everyone else came with sides and desserts. There were an insane number of desserts, including the pina colada cake I made. It was yet another entry from my Booze Cakes cookbook, and it was once again delicious. That cookbook never lets me down.
It was a really great afternoon. The music was fun, and you know how much I like live music. It was awesome to sit outside with friends and enjoy some great food and music, while watching little kids dance around. It was like all the things I love about going to The Newport Folk Festival except it was in my friends’ backyard.
And to give you a little taste of their music
We unfortunately had to cut out of the concert a little bit early because it was our final show of the season at The Hippodrome. We had tickets to see Sister Act, which I was not horribly excited about going in. I am really, really tired of all these musicals they are creating from movies these days. I feel like it’s so rare for their to be an actual new musical these days. Everything is either based on a movie, a revival, or a jukebox musical. I did not have high hopes for this one at all, but I was very pleasantly surprised by it. I actually liked it quite a bit. It was funny. I enjoyed the music because I’m a sucker for some 70s disco and R&B, which were the undertones for much of the music in this show. I don’t think I’ve been as surprisingly delighted by a show that I had low expectations for since Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. So it was a good note to end the season on.
I of course then had to come home and stay up late to watch The Tony awards. It was a little less fun that I couldn’t really play with all the people in my Twitterfeed live tweeting the awards because I was 90 minutes behind. I can’t say much for most of Hugh Jackman’s hosting this year, sadly. I still have no idea what his entire opening number was supposed to be. At any rate I enjoyed all the performances from the various musicals on Broadway right now. As always it makes me realize how many more shows I wish I could see. Aladdin has been on my radar for awhile. My friends and I were obsessed with that movie when it came out, and the guy I was dating at the time, which was my Freshman year in high school, and his fellow theatre nerd friends actually plotted out their own Broadway version of the show way back then. So now I am really amused by the fact that it’s actually happened. I can at least tell you the act break does not occur in the same place they had it happening. I lost touch with all of those people long ago, but I have to wonder if any of them have seen it. I would also really like to see A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. I don’t have any trips to NYC officially on the books at this point, but there’s some potential talk of at least one trip so we’ll see what happens.
It was really a fantastic weekend, and I look forward to hopefully having many more like it.