Ok, first I just want to thank everybody who has responded to my plea...I will be publishing the responses soon, but they are still trickling in so I want to hold off a little.
Music....what amazing power it holds!!!! I had happiest day since I got here yesterday because I finally got out and listened to some live music. There is an eight-week long jazz thing here in the summers and every Sunday night they have a different group playing for an hour and a half on the bank of this little lake in a park downtown. I knew that going would put me in the right frame of mind for the whole week, so I made my way down there.
Now, as I'm sure many of you know, few things can enhance the live musical experience like a little somethin' somethin' to wet the whistle. So I made a stop at the grocery store before I went. I sold out, though, because, as I was a young girl there by myself, I felt too goofy to bring a 40 ounce like I would have liked :), and ended up with the more socially acceptable Bartles and Jaymes Hard Raspberry Lemonade. I know, I never expected to see the words "Bartles and Jaymes" and "hard" on the same label, either. It was for the best that I drank mild wine-coolers, though, because I had to go to work after the concert last night.
So, Hard Raspberry Lemonade and stationary in-hand, I made my way down to the lake. The Sunday evening concerts seem to be a place for jazz afficionados to have a listen, and young non-jazz afficionados to see and be seen...the mix is interesting, and everybody brings food and makes a picnic of the whole thing. So, walking to find a spot, I was letting myself enjoy all the smells that were changing and mixing as I made my way along the cement path...barbeque....cigarette smoke....pachouli (?)....and I found a spot right by the lake. There were families on rented paddle boats coming around to listen, dogs and kids running around everywhere, and loners like myself taking it all in. The kids were so freakin' cute - a bunch of them jumped onto the steps near the large gazebo that was serving as the stage, and they were moving and shaking in that free and spaztic way that only kids are smart enough to know is not only okay, but a pretty good to spend an evening. I watched this one little girl wander onto another family's blanket and ask them for a piece of the chicken they were eating...only little kids (about four years old) can pull that sort of thing off. They complied, and the girl made a wry little face when she took a bite and discovered it was spicy. She just grabbed her little pink water bottle and wandered around with chicken in one hand and water in the other...and she was very happy. That's the other thing about children---they really know how to adjust.
So, just as I suspected, the majestic peacefullness of the jazz made me happy and ready for work...live music should be a part of my daily experience.