Monday, February 18, 2013

Update; Jazz Sundays at Strange Brew

The weekend was pretty good.  Amy's still working a lot, so we're really enjoying the free time that we have together when we can get it.
Friday night Amy got home a little late.  We didn't do a whole lot.  We had a fish dinner that I picked up at Central Market, and we just sort of relaxed.
Amy got up early Saturday morning and went in to work.  I went to the grocery store and did some shopping.  After I got back I had big plans to go for a lengthy bike ride.  Instead, I rode about two blocks.  A car came flying around the corner and I had to slam on my brakes pretty hard.  My bike skidded sideways.  I stayed upright, but I popped two spokes.  After that my wheel was wobbling badly, so I had to take it in to the shop to get it fixed.  Pretty much a bummer since there was beautiful weather over the weekend, and the bike shop said it would take a few days to get the wheel back to me.
I went back home and exercised on the elliptical.  When Amy got home we took Cassidy for a walk.  Then Amy wanted to go for a run.  It was very nice outside, but I'm not a runner.  I dug my old cruiser bike out of our storage closet, aired up the tires, and rode along with Amy while she ran for 5 miles.  I felt a little lazy on my bike, but I had already worked out, it was nice to be outside, and it was really great to have the chance to hang out with Amy while she ran.
She runs pretty fast, by the way.  I could never run that fast for even half as long.
Saturday night we tried to go out to Homeslice for some pizza, but it was slammed.  The line was nuts.  We ended up ordering a takeout pizza.  We had a beer and waited at the counter, watching while they made out pie.  We went home and had a glass of wine and ate our dinner.  Afterward we watched Moonrise Kingdom.
I liked the movie.  It didn't have the same sort of emotional impact as The Royal Tenenbaums, but it was a funny film with cool cinematography and an entertaining story.  I thought the performances were good.  Pretty classic Wes Anderson.  If there was a weak spot for me, it was in the fact that I didn't feel like the characters were developed much.  Sort of stereotypically alienated teenagers.  Maybe that sort of generic awkwardness was the point, but still- I didn't feel like the movie hit a home run in terms of giving the audience relatable protagonists.  But I still enjoyed the movie.  Some of the same supporting characters that probably detracted a bit from the development of Sam and Suzy had some funny and occasionally touching stories of their own.
In my mind, Anderson's movies always feel like bedtime stories for grownups.  They feel like gentle satire, contrasting the absurdity of life (both tragic and comic) with the sort of stoic seriousness that we often employ while living it.
That's how his movies feel to me, anyway.
On Sunday we got up and had breakfast at Central Market.  I like to go out for breakfast.  I like getting up and about in the morning.  Not sure why.
I'm not sure exactly what we did Sunday.  Amy did some work.  We did another bike/run thing.  I exercised.  Walked the dog.  A few chores.  There was some ukulele/guitar jamming.
Sunday night Amy made fish tacos.  Amy makes some sort of radish topping thing that goes on them that's excellent.
After dinner we went to Strange Brew, a coffee shop near our house.  Strange Brew recently started serving beer, and they also expanded their operation significantly by buying an adjoining space next to the coffee shop and opening a music lounge (called the Strange Brew Lounge Side).  It's a cool place to see live music.  They have signs up asking people to be quiet while the music is playing, which, as a music fan who's had to deal with loud, drunk people who were trying to talk over performances, I appreciate.  They also stock some local bottle and canned beers and also have a few local craft beers on tap.
Anyway, we saw the Jeff Lofton trio, and they were really good.  They played a number of different jazz tunes of various styles and eras, from original tunes to Cole Porter to Thelonius Monk to Miles Davis.  The place was about half full on a Sunday night, but the audience was enthusiastic.  I would highly recommend checking them out at Strange Brew if you get a chance.  They're playing the first and third Sundays of every month right now, inviting other jazz musicians to play in the slot after theirs, and they definitely deserve a following (and it was only $5 to get in ladt night!).
Lofton's a great trumpet player, and his rhythm section was excellent.
I like jazz.  It makes me feel relaxed and energized at the same time  If Strange Brew is trying to make a tradition out of bringing jazz to South Austin on Sunday nights, that's a tradition I definitely want to support.

I've had today off for President's Day, but Amy had to work.  I've got some chicken dinner in the crock pot, I worked out a little while ago, and I went to see Argo earlier this afternoon.  I liked it.  It's a really interesting story, and the movie was well executed.
Well, that's it!  Hope everyone has a nice week!

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