Not consorting, which sounds more fun, but concerting, which I define as the act of going to a concert. Merriam Webster may disagree, but what the hell does he know? He still owes me for drinks that one night as we argued the merits of gerunds until the wee hours of the morning.
Anyway, I enjoyed hitting the road with my youngest daughter a few weeks back to catch a Lumineers/Caamp concert followed by a Lord Huron show. The 4th of July weekend is typically a good time to see a free concert in the greater Chicagoland area. I had hopes for a show at Frontier Days in suburban Arlington Heights. Tonight they feature Ace Frehley of Kiss. Could be fun, but I am attending a “dance concert” in Chicago that my middle daughter is in as part of Noumenon Dance Ensemble. So, I can “kiss” seeing Ace Frehley goodbye.
On Saturday night, Jason Scheff, who had a cup of coffee with the band Chicago, is performing at Frontier Days. We have a neighborhood party starting in the late afternoon that should extend well past the point of when Jason Scheff takes the stage in Arlington Heights to a chorus of “Who?”
Finally, 4th of July Eve brings that vocalist Steve guy from Journey to the Frontier Days stage. No, not Steve Perry with the great voice and all the hits. This will be Steve Augeri who took over vocals for Journey and accrued no hits after Steve Perry left. Steve #2 singing the hits made famous by Steve #1 will keep me from making the journey to Arlington Heights on Sunday night.
But I do have an upcoming free concert on my calendar.
The judges’ results are in, and I definitely participated in a 100 word micro fiction short story contest. If you are too lazy to click that link, I don’t blame you, but you’ll miss out on rereading the thrilling story I wrote, rejected, and did NOT submit to the contest. Here’s the 100 word micro fiction short story that I deemed contest-worthy and entered in the contest.
I really don’t know for sure. Not for COVID, silly readers. I’m twice vaxxed and boosted against COVID. I just got vaccinated against RSV (click HERE for more info on RSV), which stands for Respiratory SomethingIcannotspell Virus. Or, did I get vaccinated? I really don’t know. I’ll explain.
You may have heard or used the expression “when pigs fly” before. What about when they are “flying” around a racetrack? I will be working the booth for the local county Democrats again this year at the annual local County Fair coming up in July. We will try our best to convert Republicans, Trumpers, MAGAs, RINOs, QAnons, Libertarians, pedestrians, and “patriots” to vote Democrat in November. Trust me, it’s an uphill battle. Consider who attends the fair when the local yokel newspaper posts this online as an attention-grabbing headline.
Old favorite? What’s even scarier to me is that I can walk to the fairgrounds from my house. Oh well, better get my bib overall shorts cleaned and pressed. It’s fair-goin’ time!
I kicked off my summer swimming season when I was on my recent trip with my daughter. I swam indoors over 3 mornings and totaled 1 mile. It felt good getting back in the pool, but I yearned for open water swimming. Today was the day. The only thing keeping me from a 7:30AM swim in a deep water quarry with 66 degree F/19 degree C water when the air temp was 62F/17C was common sense. Well, that has never been much of a deterrent to me in life. I would definitely literally be in over my head today in the water.
I was also figuratively in over my head today. I pulled in as another swimmer was having his wife (assuming they were married because who else would be crazy enough to be out there with him?) help him prepare for his swim with wetsuit, goggles, swim cap, emergency inflatable, amphetamines, swim diaper, etc. He and many others present were serious swimmers training for triathlons. Don’t believe me? Take a look at his car.
For many years now, I’ve been a practicing pescatarian. I don’t eat red meat and avoid buying chicken for myself, although I have been known to eat a chicken wing or two that nobody else in my family will eat. I eat fish to get some protein, and I like catfish, although this story has me rethinking the whole pescatarian thing, especially catfish.
Someone had some fun with that headline. Hard object indeed. If you want to see it, here’s the link to the full story with a pic that is NSFW.
I think that we can agree you didn’t get catfished with this post. Sure, I lured you in with a cute gif as bait, but you reeled in and netted a good catch with this story. Alright, gotta go as I have a bit of a haddock.
I thought maybe I could squeeze in another concert after seeing The Lumineers and Lord Huron last week. On our way home from St. Louis, my daughter and I stopped to visit with a cousin who is my daughter’s age and was spending a few weeks in central Illinois with a relative. That cousin let us know that the Macoupin County Fair was in full swing, so we decided to stop in and maybe see a concert. I was excited to see two possibilities.
Well, it turns out that Open Goat (great name for a band) is actually not a band, and it wasn’t much of a show. Just a bunch of goats in pens. And although it was tempting to hang around for the Beer Tent Band (a very pedestrian name for a band), I did not want to be in central Illinois that late with a four hour drive to get home. I also wasn’t sure if the band was playing in the Smoky Jennings Pavilion or a literally smoky Jennings Pavilion. There’s still a lot of smoking going on in rural central Illinois.
The trip home was excellent as we stopped to see some top notch roadside tourist attractions along the way. However, I sense a scandal brewing at the World’s Largest Covered Wagon in Lincoln, IL. Take a look and see if you can spot the problem.
My daughter and I finished off our St. Louis concert tour with a show by Lord Huron. I had purchased tickets for both concerts with Covid in mind. So, our seats were on the side with minimal people near us. I felt this was a necessary precaution, because we were concerting in Missouri where people think Covid has been completely eradicated or never existed in the first place. Our seats for the Lord Huron show were top row, on the end.
Those seats may sound terrible with a view like this.
My daughter and I took a break from concerting last night, and we saw St. Louis from a riverboat on the waters of the mighty Mississippi River. And boy, oh boy, what an ugly view … except when we were passing The Arch.
I don’t want to make any “arch” enemies of readers in St. Louis, so I will note that St. Louis offers a beautiful riverfront park by The Arch. But the rest of the riverfront is very industrial and agricultural. The view of and smell from the asphalt manufacturing plant was … memorable. And if you like to listen to a running commentary from the ship’s captain about bridges, tugboats, and barges (who wouldn’t?), then this is the riverboat tour for you.
However, I was very concerned about this sign I saw on the boat.
The first stop on our summer concert tour was to see Caamp and The Lumineers. Most important for me is always legroom. I chose seats that did not disappoint.
Yes, those are my delicate little feet at the bottom of the pic with lots more room to stretch out. And a clear view of the stage … at least for Caamp while everyone was seated. There was plenty of standing and dancing for The Lumineers.
Speaking of Caamp, they underwhelmed me. Their sound reminded me a bit too much of Mumford and Sons, and I can only take so much banjo at one time … unless it’s Steve Martin wielding one.
Thankfully, I will not be touring to perform but to partake. I hit the road Wednesday with my 13 year old daughter to head to St Louis to see two concerts, squeeze in one day of work, do some sightseeing, and get my daughter over to see her cousin from Arizona who is staying with a relative in Central Illinois. I know you’re thinking, “Jim, please tell us more about that fascinating day of work you have planned with your daughter.” Well, work plans are still in flux, so instead I will tell you about the concerts.
Wednesday we drive straight from home to our hotel, check-in to the luxuriously-appointed Holiday Inn Express, and walk across a couple parking lots to the concert venue to see …
It was a busy night last night. I sold a car, unclogged a second floor downspout, diagnosed an electrical problem with our other car, bought the part to fix the electrical problem, got some food for an upcoming trip with my daughter, audited expenses and signed checks as part of my role as elected township government trustee. Oh, and most importantly, I reached a lifetime achievement milestone after discovering this last night.
No, it’s not an ancient coin, weapon, or jewelry that I discovered while metal detecting.
It is a far more important find that resulted in a culmination of my life’s work. I’ll explain, but first, a metal detecting joke.
Attention writers who can’t get motivated to write. What better way to get writing than with the hope of winning a major award? Maybe that will get you off your lazy ass and writing something. I’ve blogged about some FREE writing contests in the past, and I’ve got another one for you. Here’s the link below to click.
It sounds fun. They provide the opening line, a plot twist, and the final line. You supply the rest. And everyone who registers is entered in the prize drawing for what are described as “awesome prizes.”
The real prize is getting some writing practice. Sign up and write something. Maybe it will turn into an award-winning book of short stories like I wrote that I am practically giving away by selling it for only $0.99. Clicking my book link will be a prize for me for telling you about prizes for you. Does that make any sense? That’s why we need writing practice. Click, write, and maybe even win something.
But who in their right mind would? It would be challenging to find anyone who would admit to taking my advice. I have seen a lot of my dermatologist recently as she carved away more skin cancer from my noggin. I was hoping that in lieu of payment, I could do some “consulting” work for her. I have spent almost all of my career in sales & marketing, so I thought I could help her out with some ways to promote her business and make her waiting room even busier.
I had noticed more women than men in the waiting room. On my initial recent visit to my dermatologist, I shared with her a way to draw more men to her practice. For every visit a man makes to her practice, offer a free transplant of 5 hairs. I’d be in to see her every couple weeks for excellent dermatological care and a better hairline.
On my next visit to her for the actual surgery, I wasn’t sure if I was more excited to have my cancer removed or get 5 hairs planted on top of my head.