Monday, November 21, 2011

A Sunday Evening with Rachel and Mat

I relented to Rachel's pleadings and spent much of Friday putting up our Christmas lights. The task included a couple trips to Fleet Farm for lights and several trips up the ladder to the roof which really doesn't bother me much at all. It's the section along the front of the house where I have to fully extend the ladder and stand on a rung beyond where I should and reach further than I like to secure the lights that give me the creeps. I always hate that part and am glad when it's done for another year. I was somewhat amused at Rachel's logic though in that I "have never fallen off the roof before!" Haha...tell me that when I'm laying broken on the ground below. The job is nearly done with the exception of some shrubs and our flowering crab tree.

And just in time.

We had our first snowfall of the season Saturday afternoon. What a mess. I don't think I've ever seen an inch of snow cause so much havoc out on the roads. But truth be told, it was more a combination of warm roads and falling temps working to create an icy layer with no residual salt to help melt it away. An inch of snow is usually a non-event but not this time. I ventured out for a trip to Burnsville Center but altered my route to avoid a backlog of traffic. What a mistake. I found myself on County Road 42 in gridlock. I finally made my way via some back roads to where I was going. It was stupid to even be out there but I never imagined it could be so bad and so I pressed on. It was nice to be home in one piece.

Tammy has been working on Christmas tree ornaments at the studio. I may have to have her teach me so I can try my hand at them as well.

I took off work early last night to go on a father/daughter date with Rachel. I always enjoy those times with her. Our main purpose for going out was the Mat Kearney concert at First Avenue in Minneapolis but as usual we worked a nice dinner into the evening. She chose Fuji Ya on Lake Street in Minneapolis. I'll have to take Tammy there because I know she would love it as much as we did. Once we made our way beyond the bar area filled with '70s disco music we were seated in a nice, quiet booth toward the back.

The menu offered much to choose from but we eventually settled on a Rainbow roll and a Caterpillar roll with an appetizer of deep-fried soft-shell crab. It was all so good. Where has this sushi been all my life?

We contemplated another item off the menu but decided to find a coffee shop instead for some hot drinks and pastry while we killed time out of the cold before the doors opened at First Avenue. It was a fine idea but we spent a considerable amount of time in the 14f weather trying to find an open Starbucks. Rachel used the GPS on her Bionic to guide us and we learned a valuable lesson in the process. That lesson being that when and if we finally make it on the Amazing Race (there's never been a step-father/step-daughter team) I'll be in charge of navigation. She's a good driver, I'll leave that to her. She agreed.

We stood in line out in the cold for 20 minutes when we got to the venue before being let inside. There were quite a few people ahead of us but we still managed to position ourselves in the 2nd row of people behind the railing in front of the stage. A spot we'd occupy for nearly the next four hours.

This place hasn't changed in the 30 years it's been since this used to be a regular stop of mine on the weekends with Gary Sink busting moves out on the dance floor that I'm quite sure would leave the guys in my dads' dance group nodding with their approval.

The show was sold out to a mostly college-age crowd. Rachel pointed out what looked like one other dad among the sea of heads and for a moment I considered waving to him.

We'd never heard of the opening act, Leagues, but they actually had a couple of songs that I easily warmed up to. Mat took the stage at 9:45 and proceeded to play a 90 minute set of a lot of songs from his newest release but also a smattering of older stuff as well. It was such a good show!

We hung around for 25 minutes after they cleared the stage to see if we could get a photo of Rachel with Mat and have him autograph her CD sleeve but he never made another appearance. Still, it was a great night. Rachel enjoyed herself and that to me was all that mattered. A text from her tonight confirmed that. "My voice is shot. I have a feeling this won't go away for a while".

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