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Monday, August 07, 2006

Aftermath Grand Haven

Well, Summer's biggest celebration in Grand Haven has wrapped up for another year. As with most large gatherings, I chose to enjoy the only way I know how, on the outskirts. I stayed away from the parade, the carnival, the downtown bars & ventured down only for the fireworks on Saturday. Even then, we watched 'em from the outskirts, far away from the carnies, the smell of elephant ear grease, & the people who've been sitting on blankets for hours on end saving there perfect spot for the fireworks. They were pretty good, as fireworks go, they usually all look the same to me. It was still a great night, with a great meal down at JW's & hanging out around a bonfire at Dan's place with friends. There was Phillips Union Cherry Whiskey, Pabst Blue Ribbon (only two of course, the diet doesn't get flushed down the toilet just 'cause it's Coast Guard Festival) a story from junior, after fireworks postgame reports from passersby, a guy named dirty joe, bad music on the stereo, a guy named Tony selling irons & swords on the street, burning fences, & the smell of campfire in your hair well into the next morning.

Grand Haven seems to have a little breathing room again, free of most of the tourist traffic (FIPS, as Ryan so affectionately calls 'em) that usually clogs up 31. The party seems to be over, what a drag.

I've never much cared for August, all of the fun stuff is usually over, the heat tends to be unbarable. August for me represents endless bad memories of waking up early to go run for seven miles during cross country practice & shopping at KMart for school clothes. Maybe Philip Larkin put it better.

The School in August

the cloakroom pegs are empty now,
and locked the classroom door,
the hollow desks are lined with dust,
and slow across the floor
a sunbeam creeps between the chairs
till the sun shines no more.

who did their hair before this glass?
who scratched 'Elaine loves Jill'
one drowsy summer sewing class
with scissors on the sill?
who practised this piano
whose notes now are so still?

ah, notices are taken down,
and scorebooks stowed away
and seniors grow tomorrow
from the juniors today
and even swimming groups can fade,
games mistresses turn grey.

On the other hand, some of my favorite people have birthdays in August; Heidi, Mike, Katie, the late great Philip Larkin, Sophia & perhaps Elizabeth all celebrate their birthday during the dog days of summer.

Hope springs eternal, soon the leaves on the trees will change colors, school will become routine rather than something to be dreaded & cooler weather is right around the corner. While your waiting for these things to happen, sit back, relax & enjoy an ice cold country time lemonade. Isn't that how the commercial goes?

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

The Henney Buggy Band-Sufjan Stevens, the Avalanche

I don't know what I think of these outtakes from Illinois, yet. Listening to these songs in the background can drive you insane, what with the repetitive ambient noises & melodies. Listening while driving is where it's at.

Closing Time-Leonard Cohen, The Future

I lost a bet last night regarding the writer of another song called "Closing Time". It's a piece of tripe, but I still don't like losing at music trivia. For those of you keeping score at home, "Closing Time", (every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...ugh) was performed by Semisonic, NOT the New Radicals. Leonard's closing time is of course, genius.

No Man's Land-Sufjan Stevens, the Avalanche

What's this? This is the first time I've paid attention to this song, it's quite good. He's got alot of nerve to argue with Woody Guthrie, but at least he's made a good little ditty out of his argument.

this land is not your land
for the right hand takes what it can,
ransacks with the mad man
for this land is not yours or mine to have,
this land was made for the good of itself

I'm Going on a Long Journey Never to Return-T-Bone Burnett, The True False Identity

This is the best new album I've heard in a long, long time. I can't figure out where the melody of this song comes from, but I'll figure it out soon.

Aftermath USA-the Drive By Truckers, A Blessing & a Curse

Happy Philip Larkin's birthday, friends, & here's to the grouchy ol' curmudgeon in all of us!



Pam said...

Who's Elizabeth? Are you referring to the new baby girl Woehlke to come? I don't think "Elizabeth" is in the current list of possible names since it's Sophie's middle. But maybe you know something we don't know.

Heidi said...

Yes, I was wondering myself!

andrew said...

So, what was it, then? I thought it was decided when Ella told me. Oh man, now I feel bad for not remembering.

Joyce said...

Don't feel bad about losing the bet, you're still in upper ranks in music knowledge compared to most of us in the masses.

It's Ethel.

Pam said...

It's "Yettobedecided"

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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...