A Younger Person’s Game

I mean, there does come a time, you just don’t always know that the time is now. Or really, probably passed a while ago and you just didn’t notice. But the time does come when spontaneity just can’t be quite so spontaneous.

Anyway, Randy and I used to be at least a little adventurous.

One time, when driving between Kansas City and Wichita, we decided to veer right and go to Denver. About an 8 hour drive. We ended up changing course in the morning and went to Colorado Springs to see Pike’s Peak.

Colorado Springs was under fog that day. I went into a convenience store and asked the clerk where Pike’s Peak was and he sort of rolled his eyes and pointed out the window. “Right outside?”

Well, you couldn’t see shit. So, I bought a postcard. I’ve still never seen Pike’s Peak.

I was pregnant with our son, Joey, when we made that trip over 26 years ago.

We used to do stuff like that regularly. And then those times slowed down a bit. Then stopped. I can’t remember the last time we took an impromptu trip.

The trip we took last night wasn’t impromptu, really, but we only decided last weekend to drive to Lexington, KY and see Southern Culture On The Skids at a venue called The Burl.

Our first mistake was not finding out in advance that the seating isn’t seating.

Standing room only? Yeah, we can’t do that shit. My fucking knee hurts. His fucking back hurts. And fuck standing for 3 hours even if they don’t hurt. I am not anti-standing, but I don’t want to take a 3 hour bath either and I love baths. I don’t love standing.

The Burl is more of a complex than a typical venue. There was a food place, a building filled with video games, a roof top bar, a brewery, and a building with a bar and a stage. There was seating on the deck outside and we found a place there. So we could hear the music, but not so much see anything.

The good news is, we’ve seen this band before. In fact, we’ve seen them 3 times in less than a year. We know what they look like.

We took an Uber from our hotel. Randy found a Motel 6 for under a hundred bucks a night. We stayed at much nicer place because I paid my dues at the Motel 6. I’m not doing that anymore. I think our Uber driver was practicing being the wheels for getaways because damn. I drive too fast. I know I do, but I have nothing on that Uber driver. I’m glad we were only 5 miles from the venue.

Sitting outside allowed us to see other things we might have missed. Like the low-rent limo trolling through the parking lot.

I wish I had taken a picture of this, but I did not. There was this limo driving around the parking lot. It was a little rusty and completely janky. There were clouds of exhaust fumes and the muffler needed some attention. There were fairy lights behind the tinted glass and the driver had the music cranked. There was a sign on the door that said “Need a ride? Flag me down!”.

I have never wanted to ride in a limousine more in my life.

Also, the bathrooms were filled with graffiti.

I am not complaining. I love graffiti. I am fascinated by graffiti. If I get stopped by a train and all the cars are not covered in graffiti, then I am kind of salty.

It’s just this one bit of graffiti that I took exception to.

bathroom graffiti

Crunchy is a whore?

No. No, crunchy is peanut butter. Or maybe potato chips. Or a word one might use to describe the music they are listening to if one is sort of pretentious.

But crunchy is never a whore.

I was on board with the “fuck trump” sentiment though.

Because fuck trump.

We ended up leaving before the show was over. Not because they weren’t awesome because they were. It’s just that we were tired, and those chairs were really hard.

Also, room service was available at the hotel I picked. But only until 11.







4 Thoughts.

  1. It may not be as often, and it may not be spontaneous, but at least you’re getting out and doing exciting things! There are enough days when you wear your sweat pants and t-shirt all day and don’t think about hygiene – these are the moments in you life now that you should point to with pride. My friends just went to a concert in Orlando to see the Rolling Stones and said that our (theirs and mine) age group was in the minority, that nearly everyone was between 30-60. So I’m proud of them for making the trek and enjoying the hell out of watching an 80 year old man still able to strut his stuff, albeit more slowly.

  2. I think we all have had those times when we didn’t do enough research into where we were going and what we would be doing and staying but when I was younger and took spontaneous trips there was no Google to go to in order to check stuff out

  3. Number fifty four, the house with a bamboo door…
    My boss Jason put that song on a mix CD that he played in the warehouse where I worked for years, and that’s how I found out about Southern Culture on the Skids. I feel you about concert venue accommodations. After my stroke I was worried that I just couldn’t go to rock concerts any more, but I have managed three of them. The first was The Joy Formidable in Sonoma at a fancy winery where they took one look at my quad-cane and started making exceptions: they brought a golf cart to drive me from the parking lot to the venue (I really could have walked) and brought two folding chairs into the Redwood Barn where the show was. That did make a difference. I got up and danced a lot, but I really did need that chair to sit on. The second was Neko Case at the Fox Theater in Oakland the week Trump was elected. They had a special area for mobility impaired people, and it was better seats than our tickets, so that was really good. Especially when the girl in the row behind me yelled “We love you Kelly!” to Kelly Hogan. The other one was a “Live From Here” show by Chris Thile and NPR at Sonoma State, where our friend Brenda took us while we were living in Rohnert Park. Those seats were a little tricky for me to get to, but I did OK. We ended up watching the second half of the show outside on the lawn on a giant screen they provided on the front of the venue. Gone are the days when I can stand up for the whole show at the Fillmore or the Great American Music Hall. Saw some really good shows doing that, though.
    I remember the first time I realized that I was getting too old for something: I was racing motocross at Ruth Lake and I was twenty years old. That’s ridiculously young, but after the starting gate fell and we were bunching up to go into the first corner, I caught myself thinking that this month’s bills are paid so if I crash we’ll still be OK, and I knew I didn’t have any business being there any more.

  4. There’s a reason why, on long road trips, my wife doesn’t allow me to drive. We always have a specific destination and a time frame and I would stop at every weird store and roadside attraction and, let’s face it, several truck stops just to buy postcards. I will probably never outgrow that kind of spontaneity but I’ve also reached a point in my life where it can cause too much trouble.
    And your experience really shows how there are benefits to taking what works best for you. Although I would have paid just to ride that limo around the parking lot.

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