I feel like this past weekend has been all about sound. Well, sound and food.
Guitars, stories, howling wind, radio chatter, singing, screaming, mall rush, dinner clatter, voices, voices, voices, voices. It’s all been a little overwhelming really, but it was nice to finally settle in at home Sunday night for some well-deserved (I feel) quiet time.
So wherefore all the hubbub? Well.
Recently, my manager celebrated his 25th year with the company. (The jig is up! I don’t work for Google!) To mark the occasion, a lunch was had. I motored down to the Tropics for the day, where I hung out with my estranged team, and got to chow down while listening in on stories they all had shared over the years. (I’m relatively new to this team, having only been here a little under two years; some of the guys have been in their role over 12 years, so there were some pretty funny histories being bandied about.)
The day was really beautiful. Sunny, clear, bright, cold; that perfect precursor to winter snowfall. My team consists of slightly older (than me) guys who are in the young-children stage of their lives, so I suppose I’m lucky to have the escaped the hazing phase of their personalities, but it also means they’re a little shy to sit and chat with me. Still, the morning was spent pleasantly with a couple of them before we headed out for food and reminiscing.
I’d driven down the night before, and since I made the drive by myself, I had a grand total of around 9 hours of empty audio time to fill as I chose. The Boy having run off with the iPod and my newer CDs the morning of my departure, I chose to listen to my remaining CDs — most of them dating from around 10 years ago. Maybe a little more.
It was actually really nice to listen to the collection; a weird sonic reminder of what my tastes used to be, and what I used to find relaxing, comforting, inspiring. An audiograph of my past, as it were.
For those who are curious, my soundtrack on the way down was…
horrorscope, by Eve6
The second CD in the Rent soundtrack
Smeared, by Sloan (although I admit I didn’t listen all the way through)
No Angel, by Dido
6teen stone, by Bush
Debut, by Björk
Room for Squares, by John Mayer
Eight Arms to Hold You, by Veruca Salt. I needed something with a little more ass-kicking to wake me up for the hometown’s freeway madness.
After the lunch for my manager, my family had a dinner celebrating my uncle’s 50th, as well as my baby cousin’s birthday. That celebration meal had a completely different feel to it: stories were still thrown up, good food was shared, but the crazy cacophony of a Chinese banquet and excited family members is definitely in its own category, far away from the more sedate office lunch.
While there, I got to hear about my (non-baby) cousin’s honeymoon plans, following her wedding in the spring. (It’s shaping up to be an exciting year of early weddings!)
After the late night, I got a pocket of quiet in the sunny Saturday morning as my dad and I made brunch (with homefries!). Shortly thereafter, I was on the road again, heading east, powered by…
Pinkerton, by Weezer
Garbage, by Garbage
Edges of Twilight, by The Tea Party
Galore, by The Cure
Go!, by Letters to Cleo
elephunk, by The Black Eyed Peas
Pennybridge Pioneers, by Millencolin for the home stretch.
After a quick hello to The Boy and the kittens, I was off to unpack and primp for a friend’s closing night performance in The Secret War of Mother Goose. The play was so much fun, with plenty of camp, enthusiastic singing and ample photo opportunities with the cast after the show.
The Boy wasn’t even get jealous of me getting a little close to Captain R. Cansas (The First).
We’d actually met up with him prior to the show at a delicious restaurant in town (which Yauza will review any day now, allegedly) and proceeded to completely ignore each other once the food arrived, in favour of shoveling it hungrily into our maws.
The curries were good (albeit not as spicy as implied), the garlic and cheese bread delicious, and the waiter did not lie: Ballygiblin’s does have excellent fries. My chimi-steak-aspararagus salad was phenomenal, although the star of that dish is actually the potatoes the salad is served over. I was impressed that the steak was not overcooked in the least, and the whole thing was very flavourful. (Note: in my world that usually means (among other things) that the cook is generous with the garlic.) Their dessert menu was super-tempting, although I can only vouch for the tartuffo first hand.
Anyway, it was an extremely satisfying (umm, and filling) meal to tuck into before the lot of us rolled ourselves down the (decorated and lit up!) main street to the entertainment.
After three days of constant motion and sound, Sunday seemed a bit disjointed. We woke up to the announcement of a new birth (!), continued the previous night’s foodie overindulgence with dumplings, then puttered around putting a dent in our gift lists. Although the weekend was definitely too short, I’m happy to have had at least part of Sunday to wind down a bit and settle back into “normal” for the week.