Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Three Beautiful Things 03/25/14: Dandelion Joy, Meiji Plates, Bluegrass Jams

1.  Back to the front yard, poppin' dandelions, much to the delight of a guy walking in our neighborhood (I think he sells crepes at Saturday Market) who was genuinely delighted to see the bushel of dandelions sitting near where I was working away.  "That's a lot of dandelions, man!" he crowed, laughing.  "I know!  And they just keep disappearing!" I crowed back, matching his delight.  "They sure do! Take care, man!" He kept walking, smiling, shaking his head.  "Will do.  And you have a good one." I beamed and got back to my poppin'.

2.  It was as if I'd turned the clock back nearly twenty-five years to when I used to go to late night shows and danced at the W.O.W. Hall to bands like Zero or Little Women or Big Head Todd and the Monsters or Widespread Panic or, best of all, Nine Days Wonder.  The evening started with Don and Cliff and Shirley and Marji at Izakaya Meiji for a bourbon flight we all shared, some Oakshire Watershed IPA and, for me, some Pan Seared Scallops followed by Salmon Onigiri followed Shoka Yagi Donburi.  Delicious.  Delicious.  Delicious.  I'd been hearing good things about Izakaya Meiji since it opened a few years ago, but this evening was my first visit and it was very enjoyable thanks to the food and drink, but, above all, the conversation.

3.  The others mounted their bicycles to head home and I was on foot, thinking this might not be the best evening to be driving.  I went to Sam Bond's and suddenly realized that I had not sampled any of the beer they started brewing and serving recently.  I ordered an Instrumental IPA and its name set the tone for the rest of the night.  While sipping my beer, the phone rang behind the bar, and the bartender replied to the caller, "Yes.  Tonight's the bluegrass jam.  It begins at 9."  Aha!  A plan formed.  I'd never been to Hop Valley's Eugene brewpub and I knew there was a 7 o'clock bluegrass jam down there.  I finished my beer, strode a few blocks to Hop Valley, got myself a pint of Citrus Mistress IPA and listened to some really find bluegrass music.  Then I strode back to Sam Bond's, ordered another Instrumental IPA, found a table close to the stage, and soon I was delighted to hear another bluegrass jam made of different players. Soon some of the Hop Valley jammers joined in and it was a rocking fun night.  The jam ended about 1 a.m. or so.  I hadn't been out listening to music this late since forever and it was scintillating to have those banjo, mandolin, harmonica, fiddle, dobro, and guitar licks, not to mention the song "I'll Fly Away", going through my head as I walked the half mile back home in the rain. 

Jam at Hop Valley

Jam at Hop Valley

Jam at Sam Bond's

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