The Kt we loved

The Kt we loved
"I just might hurt you if you don't move that camera." — Kt

Friday, August 16, 2013

Global Warming, feh...

August in Virginia, and it's in the mid-70s! I wonder how many people who visit this month will move here, and then spend the next n years wondering why summer is so much grimmer than what they remember...

I spent part of this week in Boston, at SHARE. I haven't spent time in BOS since we were there with Katie in 2008. That was a nice trip: we went up to Maine first and "did" the coast, then spent several days in Boston itself.

Every previous time I'd been in Boston, it was either winter and cold, or summer and 90+. And so other than some fond memories of that family trip, I've always had a somewhat negative impression of the city: sweltering or freezing outside, then racing inside to comfort.

The whole Northeast is experiencing this unseasonably pleasant weather, and as people had repeatedly told me, Boston turns out to be a lovely city. I had a nice time, other than hating being away from Anita (as ever). And other than seeing an ad for Blue Man Group, which we'd seen there with Katie. Weird how random things like that strike with almost physical force.

Meanwhile, The Verge covers an unlikely topic,Cracking suicide: hackers try to engineer a cure for depression. Not a particularly accurate headline, but an interesting, if sad, article. With a (largely) lively, cogent, and civil set of comments following.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Saturday before last, I flew to Detroit, then drove up to London, Ontario, and finally saw Saga. I last caught them live in 1984: they don’t tour much in North America, despite being from Ontario, because although they sell out arenas in Europe, they’ve never caught on here for some reason.

I was supposed to see them November 20, 2010, but of course that didn’t work out. Then I had a ticket for a show at B.B. King’s club in Manhattan last September, and the band cancelled (something about a visa problem for one of the band members). I have a watch on their tour page, and thus sometime in May learned that they had been added to the bill for Rock the Park 10, so I booked my trip.

It was a grey, rainy day, but that failed to dampen (!) my spirits, or those of the other concertgoers. With the doors opening at 3PM, I got in line about 2:30 and chatted with my line-mates—most of whom were my age or older. I’ve never seen that many guys with long, grey hair outside of Grateful Dead photos!

And it was a good show. Not as long as I would have liked—that’s the price you pay for having multiple bands on the bill—but Saga were as tight as I remember. After 35 years of playing together, they still seem to be enjoying themselves. And they must be able to read each other’s minds: during the opening track, the keyboardist was trying to adjust one of his (six!) keyboards. The display either wasn’t backlit or wasn’t bright enough, so he was trying to shade the display and adjust it with one hand, while still playing with the other. The lead vocalist noticed this (although it was behind him), and came over and shaded the display himself—all without missing a beat. Pretty impressive.

The impact of just hearing live music again took me by surprise. Katie of course lived for music, and loved concerts (I think she agreed with me that any music sounds good live, no matter the genre). I wound up about 25 feet from the stage, and when the otherwise-mediocre opening act started playing, I found myself missing her more intensely than I have in a very long time. She was my “concert buddy”: I took her (and friends) to her first concert, Green Day, in Pittsburgh. Later we saw Rush a couple of times, the Doobie Brothers once, David Wilcox at the Birchmere, and more. And she had desperately wanted to see Saga: I’d tried to make an expedition work once when they were playing in Ontario, but the logistics proved too difficult.

I left after Saga, to enjoy the other treat of the weekend: my sister had come down from Toronto just to visit her little brother! We had a nice dinner, then spent most of Sunday just talking and walking, what I call “found time”. With nothing in particular that we needed to or even really could do, we just relaxed and visited. I think those are often some of the best times. Then I dropped her at the train station to return east, and headed west on the 401, back to Detroit.

On the drive I was listening to the radio, and heard an ad on WCSX, a Detroit classic rock station, that starts with Boston playing in the background, and a question: “How do you teach your kids to like classic rock?”, with a baby gurgling happily. Then we hear a woman: “Honey, can you turn that up? The baby’s trying to sleep!” (I haven’t been able to find the ad on the Web, but I’ll keep looking.)

I could see Katie’s smile…