With My Final Reserves of Energy, I Drag Myself to the Laptop to Chronicle My Weekend

I’m sitting at my overly cluttered desk with The Moody Blues (the Every Good Boy Deserves Favour album).  Truly riding on fumes here, but I realize I haven’t written in here in a week, so–even if no one else is reading–I’m going to post to try and restore my mental and physical energy level.

On Monday, Steve and I took Susie to Girlz Rhythm ‘n’ Rock Camp at Hoover Y-Park in Lockbourne, about 18 miles from us.  This is her second year there.  Girls aged 8-18 come together to form bands, write music, learn to perform it, and put together complete stage performances.  Unfortunately, after we dropped Susie off, Steve made good on his promise to get me to work promptly afterwards.

I’m sure Suzie Simpson (the director) and her volunteers kept the girls running around to all hours, until they fell over from exhaustion.  My week was packed to the rafters with work, since my co-worker is on vacation the entire week, which doubled my workload considerably.

So how did I unwind?  By cramming Saturday with one activity after another.  Our friend Cynthia drove me down to Lockbourne Saturday morning to see the girls’ performance and take Susie back to Columbus.  Susie surprised me when I saw her onstage at the Yamaha keyboard while singing lead vocals for Moonlight Band.  (She had to sing two vocals, since one of the girls in her band left the camp by emergency squad on Friday, apparently with appendicitis.)

The littlest kids’ song had everyone in stitches.  I didn’t catch all the lyrics, but the gist of it was “Leave me alone, get out of my life,” and the refrain included “When I see you, I want to vomit.”

Susie at the Yamaha, awaiting the cue to begin.

Only one finale was appropriate: a very spirited rendition of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock and Roll.”
They love rock and roll!

Susie and I went to the Whetstone Library once we were back in Columbus.  The outdoor performance was racing the sky, which was darkening every minute.  Steph and her friend Joanna had come down separately from us, and headed back to Columbus as soon as the performance ended.  Cynthia, Susie, and I stayed for the potluck.  (Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of the blackberry pie that Cynthia contributed.)  By the time we were back in Columbus, it was raining.
I didn’t realize just how exhausted I was until Susie and I came home from the library.  I lay down for about 45 minutes, and then jumped on the COTA bus northbound to the Noodle Company, across from Graceland Shopping Center.  Pulpfest was this weekend at the Ramada Plaza Hotel on Sinclair Road.  I went to it last year–its first year in Columbus–but didn’t go this year.  (I wrote about the ’09 show in my LiveJournal blog here.)
Since I met him at an Old-Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention in Cincinnati in 2006, I try to see Mike Nevins any time our paths intersect.  Long before I ever met him in person, I had bought his Cornell Woolrich: First You Dream, Then You Die, which chronicles the wretched life of the author of “Rear Window” and The Bride Wore Black.  Last year, he was our dinner guest, and since I couldn’t make it to PulpFest, Steve and I met him for dinner at Noodles.  Mike talked about his forthcoming book, Cornucopia of Crime, in which he analyzes the works of many popular 20th-century crime novelists, such as John D. MacDonald, Cleve Adams, and Erle Stanley Gardner.  (We all had quite a discussion about Perry Mason in its various incarnations.  This started when I opined that Hamilton Burger had to be, without question, the most incompetent attorney in American history.)  All the characters of the Perry Mason series grew and changed with the times, of course.  I always remembered Raymond Burr in the courtroom with “But, Mr. Phillips, if you were in San Diego that night, as you claimed, how could you have known…”

Steve headed home, and Mike back to the hotel for a PulpFest event.  I’ll probably see him in Cincinnati next spring at the radio convention.  He planned to head home to St. Louis early Sunday morning.  (Mike publishes under the name Francis M. Nevins, and has written several mystery novels, including Beneficiaries’ Requiem and Publish and Perish.  He is a retired professor of copyright law at St. Louis University.)

Mike Nevins and me, post-repast at Noodles Company.
Not sure why we look so solemn.
Through the miracle of Facebook, I was invited by a friend of a friend ad infinitum to a “Meet Our House” party on Medary Ave.  It was truly a wonderful occasion, christening the Judi Bari House (named in honor of the Earth First! activist who died in 1997).  No one there knew me by name, although when I introduced myself to one of the hosts, he recognized my post to the event’s Wall.  (I wrote: “Only in Clintonville can you have a calendar like this: 1. Pick up daughter at summer camp; 2. Have dinner with mystery novelist in town for PulpFest; 3. Go to radical activist house warming party in evening.”)  I walked into a crowded, but still comfortable living room, and everyone was drinking beer.  I felt a little presumptuous, but I went straight to the kitchen and filled up a cup with water, which was all I drank all night.  (I truly overdid it on the Diet Coke during my dinner with Mike Nevins, and had tried to walk some of it off between dinner and the party, so I wouldn’t be quite as wired.)

A lesson I never learned when I was in Athens was that booze isn’t what makes the party.  It’s the people, and I met quite a few people I hope will become friends, and not just in the loose form of the word that all the social networking sites use.  I spoke with different people–male and female–at different stages in jobs and education, many at the crossroads.  (One woman has a very circuitous journey planned for the next several months.  She plans to become a laborer at The Farm, the Tennessee intentional community, and from there to move into a squat in Brooklyn.)  The music consisted almost entirely of very unorthodox dance mixes and hybrids of disparate sound files.  I am not a dancer, so I remained on the porch or in the kitchen, where I could actually hear myself think.

I was home around 3 a.m.  Steph was sound asleep, but I was too wired to sleep.  I considered blogging, but I made a stab at writing in the holographic diary and finally fell asleep around dawn.  I had wanted to go to church, but when I woke up, I realized I wasn’t going to make it.

Now the work day looms before me, and I still want to write up the day’s events in the diary, especially since I’m down to the last seven pages in the composition book.