Trip To D. C. – Part 1

The day of my trip to see my friend Alan came. As I got ready and put my stuff in the car and said goodbye to Cindy the enormity of the trip began to settle in. I was excited to say the least.

The level of excitement bordered on the sensation I got when I was a kid in school and the book order had finally come in. Remember Scholastic book orders? Weeks of a book nerd agonizingly waiting for the fresh books that seemed like a tiny Christmas each time. Then the day came and a big box of books was separated into piles and we were brought up one at a time to grab our fresh stack of adventure. My mother always indulged my love of reading and I always found books that I wanted. Bless you Mom.

At any rate, I was too early to go to the airport, even as excited as I was even I knew that it was ridiculously early, so I made a stop at St. Vinny’s. I was determined to have some music purchased that day for the flimsiest of excuses to write in my music blog about my best friend and my trip to see him. (spoiler alert, this was unnecessary).

I found 3 CD’s that I took with me. “The Smashing Pumpkins – Adore” which I have found a new love for. Overlooked a bit by me at the time who just wanted “Gish” all over again, but have since rediscovered. I couldn’t remember if I still owned the CD so I picked it up.

Next was something I never had owned before, but Cindy had/has and I thought it would be a riot to play it on the way to the airport. I didn’t realize I knew and loved 2 songs on this. “Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock – It Takes Two”.

I sampled “Adore” and listened to “It Takes Two” and “Joy And Pain” from Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock and then put in the 3rd CD I picked up.

This one I have to admit was a bit of a blind buy. The name on the spine caught my eye and I had to pull it out and see, and then when I had it out, I looked at the back cover and my keen eye noticed the name Ani DiFranco as the producer of half of the tracks on this.

“Bitch And Animal – Eternally Hard”

For a buck sometimes you just take a chance. I’m glad I did. This turned out to be (as described on Google) Queercore. The first song “Best Cock On The Block” was infectious and the second song “Traffic” was hauntingly beautiful (and very Ani DiFranco influenced) and those 2 songs were worth the buck, and some songs I have sampled from YouTube are equally cool. Good pick Mike. I like it.

Also in my purchases at St. Vinny’s that day was a book. It was a nostalgia buy and I knew it wouldn’t be the best book of my life, but I couldn’t resist.

Yeah. I AM a little ashamed but I loved this show when it was on TV (and so did our Lyft driver from the airport as it turns out) and it turns out there are a LOT of these books. I am not a particularly fast reader, but by the time I touched down in D.C. I had completed the book. You could say that it wasn’t a heady read, but it was a bit of fun. I will likely decline any further Sydney Bristow books in the future. This one was enough. I just wasn’t feeling Conan that day, which is what I was currently reading.

The plane travel turned out to be not terrible.

I walked with a purpose from the arrival gate at O’Hare to the departure gate literally at the other end of the airport and arrived as my group was boarding. Whew! I finished the Alias book on this leg of the trip and realized that I probably should have tried to sleep a bit, but Alan worked that day… so how late could we be up anyway?

Sigh. Answer… Late.

Anyway, Alan (who looks great for a man of my age) collected me at baggage and we entered the rarefied air of Washington D.C. with one important first stop in mind. Bed Bath and Beyond !     ?     His spare room bed needed bedding. So he needed a comforter set. So after a Lyft ride with the Alias loving driver (he jumped into our conversation about it) we entered BBB, with me pulling my suitcase. Also picked up some other items and I announced as we waited in line that it was time for our first selfie.

I love this guy.

Then, with him carrying a bed set and me pulling my suitcase we stopped at a nearby restaurant, where we talked and talked and laughed and laughed. It was awesome and if I never express it to you Alan in so many words, it was a deep pleasure to be with you my friend. There is a transcendence and an evaporation of time that has been between us the moment I am with you.

We dragged our stuff several blocks to a Fed Ex store to have a project that Alan had been hinting at for a long while cut. He promised to deliver it once we got back to the townhouse. Part 2 of this Trip Log will feature that amazing project.

After a quick stop at Gong Cha for my first Pearl Black Milk Tea (delicious!)

we got another Lyft ride to the Townhouse.

After getting things settled we ended up talking about music until a startlingly late hour. A well-played first evening of the trip. It’s seems silly, but knowing more about Alan’s musical taste really informed my overall world view of him. He’s an indie guy at heart, but like us all has his exceptions.

It was during this late night conversation that I snapped what turned out to be a favorite picture of my friend.

We spent hours talking and listening to music on his couch. We were doing the Trevor Noah bit “you never had tacos!?” about band after band. “You never heard Ty Segall!?” “You never heard Alt-J?!” “Listen to this. You will love it.” “King Shilo turned me on to Soundsystem”. “The Bob Dylan album with the woman in the red dress on it.” We did so much talking about it and bouncing from one track to another we didn’t even copy anything. I suspect that will come, but the discovery was a sweet ride.

It wasn’t until we realized that if we didn’t eventually sleep we would end up sleeping away our whole next day that we bleary eyed and under silent protest gave up and went to bed. My body was so done, but my mind was still racing and it took some music, and then environmental albums of rain on my I-pod to finally get me to sleep.

The new comforter was nice.

Thanks Alan.

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