A Good Yarn

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's July already?

I know I say this constantly, but doesn't it seem like this year is going faster than ever? I can't believe it's already July. With July comes my birthday and I had a great birthday weekend last weekend. I got a number of very nice gifts from my friends - I'm so blessed with kind and generous friends! On Saturday night a couple of them took me out to True Thai, a restaurant that was just mentioned by Andrew Zimmern as perhaps the best Thai restaurant in the Twin Cities. My first time there and I will definitely be back. We had a few different appetizers and they all were delicious. I had the Drunkard's noodles. It wasn't very spicy, but I didn't specify what spice level I wanted, so I imagine they set it at "Minnesota hot" if not specified. My friends had the curry which was really tasty. This winter I want to go back and try the lemon chicken soup.

After dinner, Deb treated me to an evening at The Guthrie for the play 1776. I really liked it - and what a great way to celebrate Independence Day than to remember how it all began. The play tells the story of the Continental Congress' debate and eventual signing of the Declaration of Independence. It's sort of a musical, because there are a number of musical numbers. However, there's a lot of just straight dialog too, so it's not like your typical Broadway style musical. The music is ok. Enjoyable, but not something that's going to stay with me forever. In fact, less than a week later, I can't hum a single tune. The performances were really great. The play shows the "founding fathers" as the real men they were - human beings with faults and strengths just like everyone. I particularly enjoyed the performance of the actor playing Benjamin Franklin. We all know Franklin's wit from his famous sayings, and at least in this play, he seems to be a great fun to be around, too. I'm definitely going to have to pick up David McCullough's book, "1776" and read more about this.

I started my birthday as I traditionally like to, with a pedicure. There aren't very many spas open on Sundays, but Solimar was, which is a spa that I do enjoy. It wasn't quite as relaxing as I would have hoped because there was another patron there, so the four of us (the clients and nail technicians) spent the time chatting - mostly about books. Mostly about Harry Potter and the Outlander books (yes, we were all girl equivalents of fanboys). After that I headed over to Bill's for a picnic. Red was being absolutely adorable and even sat on my lap for a little while when we were watching some animation on the computer, which was the best present of all! In the evening I had dinner with Michael and Greg, so I got to spend the day with all my best boys at one time or another. A very nice, relaxing birthday.

A couple of days later, I enjoyed a gift for myself, a concert:

When I heard The Police were doing a reunion tour, I literally screamed. And waited for an announcement that they were coning through the Twin Cities. When it finally came, I realized that tickets were going to go on sale day I was leaving for the cruise with my mom, so I wouldn't have access to a phone or internet to buy them. After checking with several of my usual concert-going buddies and striking out, I finally convinced my brother to go with me and buy the tickets for me when he could - they went on sale at 10:00 on a work day, so most people were in the middle of their work day at that time. We got first row of the middle level, which is great because we didn't have anyone in front of us, but sucked because everyone around us was very sedate. But we were there and I was so excited!!

My top three bands of all time (in no particular order) are:

The Police/Sting
Pearl Jam

I've seen Sting in concert a half dozen times, but I never got to see The Police because the last time they played together around here was in the mid-80s, while I was still living in South Dakota. I remember how jealous I was of Diego in Spanish class when he came back from a trip up to the Cities with his new Police t-shirt from seeing the concert. (On a side note, I just found out that my Dad went to that concert. He used to work for Carlson Companies up here when I was in high school - he commuted on weekends from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis. I'm so glad I didn't know that back then - I would have been so bitter - as only a teen can be).

I loved the concert. Every song they played is one I love. I thought they sounded great together and they looked fantastic. I think Sting and Stewart Copeland could still wear the clothes they had back in 85. Andy Summers is even older than the other guys and looked a little older too, but still great. They re-arranged a lot of the stuff, which really didn't bother me. I like it when you see a show live and it doesn't sound exactly the same as it did on the record. Sting plays some of the Police songs on his tours, so maybe I'm just used to the way he performs them. They got bad reviews from both of the local papers. I think it just depends on whether you like Sting or not. The re-workings are definitely more of his style and his work. Andy Summers also plays a lot of jazz, so I think he and Sting both gravitate more to a jazz sound than a reggae sound that The Police had in the early years. Stewart Copeland was just completely intense and high energy throughout the show. He and Sting were always the two battling it out in the old days and given I was a teenage girl, I always thought he obviously was a jerk who was jealous of Sting's popularity. That may be true, but now that I'm a little older and little wiser, I have to say that Stewart's amazing and talented and maybe he's right, too. If you're interested, here's the set list:

1. Message in a Bottle
2. Synchronicity II
3. Walking on the Moon
4. Voices in My Head/When the World Is Running Down…
5. Don’t Stand So Close to Me
6. Driven to Tears
7. Truth Hits Everybody
8. Bed’s Too Big without You
9. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
10. Wrapped around Your Finger
11. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
12. Invisible Sun
13. Walking in Your Footsteps
14. Can’t Stand Losing You

15. Roxanne
16. King of Pain
17. So Lonely
18. Every Breath You Take
19. Next to You

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