at Buttermilk Falls
at Buttermilk Falls
Ithaca is as they say.
Finger Lakes, New York. Glaciers clawed them into the earth as they retreated during the last Ice Age.
Top to bottom (West to East): Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles.
Ithaca, with all its academics and hippies and organic nut butters and donkey-footed tow-truck drivers, sits at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake (on the left, in this picture).
It’s only about 100 minutes away from me, which I realize is not very far in the grand scheme of long distance relationships - particularly as I’ve watched so many of you through the years endure entire oceans and continents worth of separation - but as these weeks go by and our relationship continues to flourish, that short distance only seems to grow further.
We’ve seen each other for the past seven weekends in a row, and they’ve all been great, but I’m eagerly looking forward to finally seeing what Heather looks like on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Hopefully soon.
@hdealz Hailing the mothership a few weekends ago.
From Ontario to Superior, the Great Lakes in mid-March, as-seen from Earth orbit.
I can see myself and so many of the friends who live in my phone in this picture. Hello, everyone!
I’ve had 6 great weekends in a row. I can’t remember the last time I could say that.
GO GO GADGET STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS!
On Friday night we went to a party for one of Heather’s friends. It was pretty goth and it was Miyazaki themed and there were people in costumes and I showed up wearing jeans and my bright red cardigan and duck boots. I was, you could say, out of place. But, I enjoyed myself and danced sillily (in public!) and had an all-around fun time.
Saturday we went to ‘Nam and I ate my first Vietnamese food and I realized I’d made a huge mistake as soon as the plate hit the table. As my dad would say: “I no recognize it. I no eat it.” It was chicken… I just don’t know what part of a chicken. Same for the shredded “pork.” After that we went to visit Carl Sagan and I paid tribute by taking a picture of his grave and posting it to Instagram because I’m sure that’s what he would have wanted. Later we went to a bar to watch the Sabres lose and it was really cold inside and the bartender bro thought he was the shit because he was knew TMBG originally played with a drum machine on stage… but he wasn’t actually the shit because he was a Flyers fan. Anyway, he gave Heather a free glass of OJ for her cold, so I guess that was a nice gesture. But still, fuck the Flyers.
We went to Wegmans and bought Scoops and Golden Oreos and then went home and ate some of my edamame dip before going to Chipotle for dinner and heading up to visit her friend Anna and her animals. Butter the cat is gorgeous and I’m sure he’s awfully cuddly but I appreciate the fact that the only holes in my skin are those that god intended me to have so I pretty much don’t ever “play” with cats. Jetta the black dog is SUPERHYPEROMGLETSPLAYPETMEPETME LETMELICKYOURCHINLETMEBITEYOURHAND LETMELICKYOURCHINAGAINPETMESTOPTOUCHINGTHAT DONTLOOKOVERTHEREIMRIGHTHEREPETME, but still cute, and Mocha, aka “brown dog,” is an old lady who is so very sweet and loving but she gnaws on her front legs/paws so much that she has open sores all over them and she bleeds and it was kind of gross… but still, super sweet and loving.
The three of us then went bowling but the Ithaca bowling alley was packed because apparently there’s nothing else to do in that city so Heather was like “we’ll just go to the Cornell alley” and she took us up the hill and then we walked down about 35 flights of stairs into the bowels of Cornell University and it smelled like a high school locker room but the next thing you know, we were in a quaint and perfect little underground bowling alley. It was, however, The Bowling Alley That Time And Technology Forgot, for it had no electronic scoring. They gave us a scoresheet and a pencil and we all looked at each other like “uhhhh…” but thankfully I knew how to score manually (heh heh) so we started bowling but I spent the first 6 frames of the first game searching the App Store for a bowling scoring app and holy shit you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find one but I finally did and I started putting in our scores and lo-and-behold I had done all the math right! Heather and I tied with 91 in the first game. Pretty weird and awesome. But then something amazing happened. In the second game, I made it through seven frames without missing a pin and ended up with a 208, which is far better than I’ve ever bowled. I’m still shocked. I should have stolen the ball and the shoes and the entire fucking lane. Then we left and checked out a really incredible Leo Villareal LED installation at the art museum on campus and I made a video that I’ll post someday and there were some weird green plastic bubble things below the school of architecture that we took photos of like the complete weirdos that we are.
Sunday morning we slept late and then braved the St. Patty’s day bullshit and went to lunch and she said “Let’s go find a four leaf clover…” and I sort of groaned and then she finished her sentence with “…or a midget.” and I cackled with laughter. We went back home and I jacked up her car and took the bolts off her flat tire. What appeared to be a coat hanger had lodged itself deep into the rubber. “Did you know your car was pregnant?” I’m probably going to hell, but jokes like that are totally worth it. Then we proceeded to spend 10 minutes whacking the rim with anything we could find to try to get the wheel off the car but the damn thing was fused to the hub so we called AAA. 45 minutes later the friendly AAA man arrived. “We can’t get the wheel off the car!” we exclaimed. He looked at us, looked at the wheel, and with one swift kungfu donkey kick, he booted the wheel off the car. It was amazing and hilarious. I told him that we loosened it for him. He chuckled and drove away, probably radioing back to his friends about how weak I am. Then we drove to WalMart and had them put a new tire on the wheel and the old mechanic guy was overly friendly and told us that he made his wife mad because he woke up that morning instead of dying so she could collect an insurance settlement. Marriage!
WHile waiting for the wheel repair, we drove around on some of the classic twisty Ithaca switchback roads. If I ever win the lotto, I’m going to setup a Rally Ithaca event, because holy crap some of those roads are dangerous and utterly fantastic and so much fun to drive.
Then perhaps the most amazing thing of the whole weekend happened.
On the way back to WalMart, driving down Court Street… we passed a midget* who was just strolling down the sidewalk. No fucking joke. A midget. On St. Patty’s day. After Heather had said “Let’s go find […] a midget.” just a few hours earlier. I don’t really believe in god, but that shit really made me pause for a moment because, seriously?
Then back to WalMart and an old cashier told us all about his undergrad experience because Heather’s last name matched the name of some jazz DJ in Rochester and the cashier was an Econ major but he had to fight the system to take a History of Music class and it was all worth it because he learned so much. Cool story, bro. We went home and put the wheel on the car and then tied up the muffler with a coat hanger, just as the Dodge engineers intended, and then ate more chips and dip and cookies, just as our bellies intended.
We wanted to play pool and eat dinner and watch the Sabres lose, so we went to one place that smelled funny and as soon as we walked in, a table full of St. Patty’s Day drunk girls cackled with “OMG WE’RE TAKING SELFIES AND WE’RE SO DRUNK BECAUSE WE’RE WEARING GREEN AND THIS HOLIDAY IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE HEHE APPLETINIS” laughter, just like you’re imaging in your head. Just like that. It was brutal. Like nails on a chalkboard that were then turned into a powder and loaded into a shotgun and fired into your brain. So we immediately turned around and left. Plan B was the place we had our second date, so we went there to watch the game but it was also occupied by St. Patty’s Day Drunkards. What is it with this holiday? It. Is. The. Worst. Day. Of. The. Year. Good french fries and a great playlist were enough to sustain us for about 1 period of typical Sabres bullshit. A Bowie song came on the radio and I remarked “This dude sounds like he looks like a girl.” which is still cracking me up. Fuck you. That’s some funny shit. If Jim Gaffigan makes that joke then everyone and their gramma knows it and worships him for it.
Anyway. We couldn’t take the drunk bros anymore so we left and went to another place up in Collegetown (Hey. Ithaca. That’s a ridiculous name for a neighborhood. All of Ithaca is a college town. Stop trying to be so meta. It’s redundant.) and we played pool while they set up for open mic night. I said “I wonder what the score is” and proceeded to check my phone just as Heather responded “You don’t want to know.” I saw that it had turned into a standard Buffalo Massacre and I was super angry and I took out my anger on the cue ball. I made the shot, but hit it so aggressively that I knocked my finger on the table and took a big chunk of my knuckle skin off. It hurt. I blame the Sabres. They’ve finally caused me physical pain. They hit me cause they love me? That’s bullshit. Heather is pretty good at pool. Meanwhile every hippie in Ithaca seemed to be making their way into the bar to get ready to play their jangly twiddly geetars and mandolins. Just as we finished our last ball the Queen Hippie Girl had pulled out a HOMEMADE RECORDER PAN FLUTE BULLSHIT TOOT TOO NOISE MAKER and was blowing it into a mic on stage and Heather said “Looks like we finished just on time.” and I gave her a huge hug and a kiss because her situational misanthropy makes me so happy and so we got the fuck out of that place before shit got real.
TL;DR: I’m feeling really happy these days.
Hi, Carl. (at Lakeview Cemetery)
The rest of us didn’t pay to listen to you chit-chatting while rock and roll royalty is on stage playing our favorite songs. If we wanted to struggle to hear these songs while people shouted over them, we’d listen to them on our iPhones while sitting in some random noisy bar.
I’m not sure when this inconsiderate bullshit really became a problem, but it’s undoubtedly gotten worse in my lifetime. If it was a local music show and you didn’t have to pay a cover to get in, then I might understand that there are people at the bar who are just there to have a drink and be social, regardless of whether there is any live music happening (talking would still be a douchey thing to do, but not as bad). But when every person who entered the door had to buy a ticket in advance, then there is literally no excuse for showing up and running your mouth the entire time. You knew damn well that you were heading out to see a show and as soon as you open your mouth and start yapping you’re guilty of being a selfish twat who doesn’t actually care about the musicians, their music, or their actual fans.
Alcohol certainly only serves to exacerbate the problem. I’ve wanted to open a juice bar/coffee house rock and roll club for years. Think about whatever you favorite local stage is - now imagine the bar serves pretty much anything other than alcoholic beverages. I’d actually get serious about trying to make something like that a reality if I didn’t know without an inkling of a doubt that it would fail - because I firmly believe that most adults would rather go to the bar down the road where they can drink shitty beer and be terrible people while a musician struggles to make a connection with his fans from the stage.
Anyway. I think Black Francis was great last night in Ithaca. I mean, I certainly enjoyed the bits and pieces of his set that I could hear over the constant din of conversation and clinking shot glasses, but I can’t really provide an honest review because I was too distracted to actually focus on the music he was playing.