Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Explosions, frisbees and frames

Watching Explosions in the Sky was a concert dream come true.  I check my favorite bands' websites every season to see if they're touring through the area, and after over a decade of existence, Explosions finally came to the northeast!  So when I knew about my early return to the U.S., I purchased my ticket for the Westcott Theater in Syracuse.  I also convinced my neighbors, two brothers down the road, to join.  Catching up with them made the hour and a half car ride fly by.
The venue is a restored theater that fits a few hundred people at most.  Aside from the stifling body heat of a sold-out show, it was an ideal space to experience the atmospheric, post-rock music.  It seemed so right to finally feel this music come alive before you, proving that lyrics aren't necessary for an incredible concert.  The band members just seemed to lose themselves in every rift and build-up, swaying and falling to their knees.  I was blown away, and at $20 a ticket, I would follow Explosions in the Sky anywhere to watch them play again.
Each concert I've attended at the Westcott has concluded with a stop at Alto Cinco, right next door to the venue.  I imagine their restaurant menu is as extensive as their take-out boards that feature bursting burritos, quesadillas, pizza, enchiladas, tacos, tostados, fish and other bar fare.  I love that they have vegetarian and vegan options, which are no less substantial than the meat counterparts.  Also nearby are pizzerias and a Greek restaurant, all open late for the usual college and concert crowds.


Saturday the 10th was spent under the sunny, clear skies of Rochester at Ellicott Park playing ultimate frisbee.  I registered for the TJ Weber Memorial Hat Tournament through the regional ultimate league, giving me the opportunity to play with students and adults for the day, while fund raising for disease research.  There were some amateur professional players, but everyone still had that friendly, crazy spirit that guides ultimate.  My handling skills (passing the frisbee) aren't that secured and controlled, but I made a fair contributions with cuts, even scoring a few points!
I attempted to upload a video of my team, Faraflies, on the field as another team's stereo rocks in the background.  We were all given these enormous, glittering blue butterfly tattoos to denote our team and it left an awesome tan line on my upper arm.  After playing from 9 AM to 3 PM without much break in between, we had a bye, watched the finals (which we obviously weren't in), then wolfed down the picnic.
It was certainly one of the best meal offerings I've had at a tournament: garden salad, potato salad, grilled portabellos, grilled chicken and brisket.  If I happen to end up around Rochester in the future, I certainly plan on joining the league.
Oh, and look what I found from Beijing ultimate summer league!  We had a group of sports photographers sponsoring the league, and someone captured me going for the disk during a drill.  And yes, I pretty much wear the same uniform (the reversible Ruckus pinnie and Five ultimate shorts) whenever I play.


I also had the opportunity to purchase not one, but two new pairs of glasses!  
We switched our eye care provider to one that doesn't have as many designer frames, but is much more affordable.  I haven't had new glasses in about six years, so this was a well-welcomed change.  I was also pleased that my prescription has hardly changed.
And our cat, Samantha, stealing the scene.  She's been pining for much more attention her mother passed away this winter.

Listening: the NPR Tiny Desk concert of 17-piece(!) chamber orchestra, Motherfalcon.

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