Thursday, May 26, 2011

Telluride and testicles

Last night, David and I left the girls with some close friends, got ourselves moderately gussied up, and headed out for an evening of hedonistic debauchery. Which for us means dinner and a concert. We went to Joss Cafe in downtown Annapolis, which is both our favorite restaurant and the place where we had our first date. We've probably celebrated every major event in our life together there and a lot of minor ones as well, but since we moved away from the downtown area, we haven't been able to go as often. Its a tiny place and they've crammed as many tables as possible into the space they have, and so you are usually seated right all up in someone's face, though everyone makes a heroic effort to pretend that they don't have a stranger's elbow in their miso soup. Our waiter was a guy who bussed tables when we started going there, and he remembered us, as did another waitress who had also been there that long. We even sat at the same table where we had on our first date, so the rest of the evening just descended into  pure self-indulgent nostalgia.

We were, however, saddened to see that the resident tanuki statue had been turned away from the delicate eyes of the clientele. For those who do not know, tanuki statues are found in a lot of Japanese restaurants and they are representative of a creature that is said to be a kind of shape-shifter, and is a good luck deity for restaurants. It usually has a straw hat, a bottle of sake, and GINORMOUS TESTICLES:

I do not know why it has freakishly huge balls and I'm not sure I want to know, but clearly somebody got all huffy with the management and made then turn the one in Joss so only the sushi chefs can see it now. My feeling is, if you can't take the tanuki testicles, get out of the sushi bar.

Naturally, we said to hell with our diets and stuffed ourselves silly:

And that was after a bunch of tempura and soup. David even ordered some sort of jellied bean paste thing for dessert, and then had another dessert at the show. When we go off a diet we REALLY go off a diet.

The concert was Sarah Jarosz, who is doing her current tour with a fiddle player named Alex Hargreaves and a cellist named Nathaniel Smith, and my god are they amazing. And young! I kept wanting to ask them if they wanted some juice or needed a nap.

But other than the show itself, the highlight of the evening was the couple we sat with. At this venue, Rams Head Tavern, you are seated at tables and unless you buy all the seats at your table you share with someone else, and it is always such a treat to find out what kind of wingnut you're going to be sharing your evening with. I love going to Rams Head because it's small, and even if you get a bad seat you still have a fairly good view of the stage, and you can eat and drink during the performance. You just have to be prepared to have your tablemates tell you about every single time they have seen the featured artist perform and how they have a shrine in their backyard shed and how they are going to find a way to have sex with and/or marry the aforementioned artist if they have to kill every person in the room to do it. It's even better if they are the sort who like to get up and shake their moneymaker during the peppy numbers.

Usually, though, no matter how crazy our forced partners in musical crime are, they are too much in awe of the performer to be so rude as to talk loudly during the show. And they even have a helpful announcement just before the kick-off: PLEASE DO NOT TALK DURING THE PERFORMANCE. Maybe it's just me, and my lack of imagination, but I tend to take that to mean we shouldn't talk during the performance. Since it's a small space, talking could easily disturb both the performer and the patrons, so it would make sense to just shut your yap and enjoy the show, right? No, it turns out there's an exception: Telluride.

Our new friends, Bill and I can't remember her name but she looked like that chick from Dynasty who was hooked up with Yanni, could not wait to tell us that they had seen Sarah Jarosz play at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Which, you know, yay for you, bet that was quite a show, small talk small talk small talk please let me drink my wine now. But then, once the show started, every time they began a new song, one of them would lean over to the other and say something about fucking Telluride. Then they would begin a competition to see how many times they could say "Telluride" in the course of each song. So throughout the performance, one I had been breathlessly anticipating for months, I would hear: "mumblemumblemumbleTELLURIDEmumblemumblemumbleTELLURIDE." This is what I imagined they were saying:

"She didn't play this one at TELLURIDE. But we were there. At TELLURIDE."

"You are correct about TELLURIDE. And also TELLURIDE. But let me ask you this. Were we such flaming assholes when we were at TELLURIDE?"

"At TELLURIDE? Yes, I think we managed to stun all of TELLURIDE with our magnificent assholery."

And so on.

Despite the flaming assholery, we had a great time. We ate like pigs, reminisced about our life together, listened to great music, and came home to a quiet house and two sleeping children. Our friends suggested that we make a night out a regular thing: we'll each take care of the others' kids once a month so we can go out and hobnob with the hoi polloi some more. Which I think is an excellent idea. Perhaps next time, we'll go to a movie, though my record for sitting next to horrible people at movie theaters is legendary. Stinky. Loud. Making out and feeling each other up (and down). Consumptive. I get 'em all. I can't remember the last time I went to a movie and didn't want to smack someone silly. But I'll risk it anyway if it means a few hours of having David all to myself. He's still my favorite person ever. Even if he hasn't been to TELLURIDE. And has normal-sized testicles.

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