Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday In The Park ...

So there I was, in the middle of Blues Fest, buying my overpriced food and beverage tickets, and wandering among the offerings. In honor of being at Blues Fest, I settled on, yep, pad thai.

It was mediocre, as pad thai goes, but what did I expect, eating out of a cardboard boat with a plastic fork?

Angela opted for something fried. She threw at least half of it away.

Between us, we had three tickets left. As we wandered toward Michigan Avenue, I stopped a guy wearing a The Who T-shirt and offered them to him. He thanked me in his British accent. Ah, I can pick 'em.

Later, we decided to flop down at a Starbucks for a spell. Angela ordered an orange creme Frappuccino. "It tastes like a Dreamsicle, right?" she asked the cashier.

Yup, we were told, it tastes like a Dreamsicle. Angela grabbed two straws so I could taste it. "Does it taste like a Dreamsicle?" she asked.

"Yup, it tastes like a Dreamsicle," I said. "Actually, it tastes like a St. Joseph's baby aspirin."

I stuck with my decaf coffee Frap. It tasted like a decaf coffee Frap.

It was a good day, wandering around the Printer's Row Book Fair and Blues Fest. Well, it was more fun wandering around the Book Fair. Blues Fest was just too, uh, festy. Too many people.

Waiting for Angela, noshing on my pad thai, a somewhat sweaty black guy sidled up to me, positioning his bike at the rack in front of us.

"You've got some height on you," he said. "How tall are you?"

Why, why, why do men think this is a good opening line? Hint, men: It's not a good opening line. Noticing that I'm tall is not the best way to astound me with your adroit powers of observation.

I gestured as if to say, "Chewing."

I swallowed and said, "Six three."

He stood up straight next to me, to see if we were the same height. We were.

"How tall is your boyfriend?"

"Six five," I lied.

"Damn," he said. "Why can't I find a single woman your height?"

"Women like men who are taller," I said. "You have lots of women to choose from."

"But I want someone my height. Why do you have to date guys who are taller than you?"

"I don't," I said. "I once dated a guy who's five nine."

Angela arrived then, with her cardboard boat of hot-sauced something. "Wanna head toward the stage?" I said.

I turned back to Mr. Biker Man: "Have a good day," I said. And off we went.

After we finished as much as we were going to finish of our overpriced food, we decided to make our way back behind the stage to see if I could spy Dave Specter, a guitarist I've known online off and on for quite some time. We'd never met live, and he was hosting a set today. I figured there was next to no chance that I'd run into him among the thousands of people. And then, there he was, on the sidewalk, a few feet from me.

"Excuse me," I said. He didn't hear me. I placed the flat of my hand gently on his upper arm. He turned to me. I introduced myself. He paused, thinking, no doubt, "Who the hell are you?"

"Oh, hi," he said. We chatted for about ten seconds, interrupted by a very strange moment with a stranger. "I go on at six," he said. "Stick around."

But we didn't. I'm sure his set was cool. I've sampled a lot of his work online. Blues isn't my scene, but I can appreciate the artistry of his music. I'd be lucky to learn how to strum a few chords. He produces amazing music with his guitars. Maybe I'll catch a set somewhere more sedate someday. Somewhere without several thousand people. Somewhere where beer isn't seven bucks. Not that I drink beer.

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