A busy day

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How I spent my Saturday:

I slept in. I've been short on sleep all week, still haven't completely shaken this cold. I actually got 10 hours of good sleep. The downside of that is I lost some precious hours on a perfect autumn day.

My wife and older son have what I had about a week ago. Both are afflicted with what one might palindromically call the "tons o' snot" virus. My wife has a raspy voice from drainage, but otherwise isn't feeling too bad; the 13-year-old also has a fever.

I took the three-year-old with me on some errands. First, downtown to the Performing Arts Center to buy tickets for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra concert of Italian music. It's a required concert for our two older kids, as part of their music scholarship, but of course the kid with the fever won't be going. I head up Boston Ave., but it's blocked off between 4th and 5th to allow a huge crane to set up. It appears to have been involved in swapping out a massive air conditioning unit from some building's roof -- the Atlas Life building, I'd guess. The inconvenience was far outweighed by the opportunity for a three-year-old boy to look at a big piece of machinery up close.

As we walked up Boston, I pointed out the interesting animals carved into the Philcade and Kennedy buildings and the Philtower gargoyles. (I learned a lot from Ed Sharrer's downtown safari walking tour.) The ticket office was closed -- didn't open until two hours before showtime -- so we walked back to the car, then drove to the library.

We returned a rolling backpack full of books and videos, then checked out some audio books on CD and a few videos, plus a couple of books on owls for the big son's next science report. I'd have spent more time browsing, but Little Bit was getting restless.

We went to Coffee House on Cherry Street for a treat and to let me see about buying tickets online. He wanted a cream cheese brownie and a bottle of Orange Crush, except that he didn't. He drank about a third of the Orange Crush and took a few nibbles of brownie. I could buy tickets online, but two discounted $5 tickets would cost me $19.50 including "convenience charges." Seems like online tickets are as convenient for the venue as they are for the buyer, so I don't get why I need to pay $3.75 extra per ticket. I decided it would be worth it to drive back at 5:30 to buy the tickets at the box office.

We headed up the hill to the Christ the King Parish playground, which the parish allows the public to use evenings and weekends. The three-year-old decided that the equipment was a big airplane, and because there were two steering wheels, both of us had to drive at the same time.

I tried to talk him into a walk around the block to see some pretty trees and houses, but he was ready to go home and maybe play a computer game. So we did. He got to play Putt Putt Saves the Zoo, while I did laundry and waited for 5:30 to roll around.

At 5:30 (despite some teary protests) I stopped the game and loaded him in the car to get the tickets. We bumped into David White and his wife in the ticket line. David has served for many years on the Board of Adjustment; I got to know him through the Midtown Coalition. It was nice to see him again.

Back to the car with tickets in hand. The three-year-old wanted to go back to Joe Momma's Pizza, where we had dinner the night before while Mom and the two big kids went to a showing of The Wizard of Oz at their school. I said that we had some leftovers at home, but I'd drive by so he could see where it was.

(At Joe Momma's, we had played tic-tac-toe on the butcher paper tablecloth and after dinner played a few games of pinball and Asteroids. He had a non-linear definition of three-in-a-row, which worked to his advantage. There might be a 90-degree bend in the line, but it was still a line connecting his three Os.)

(He has a sense of Mid-Century Modern architecture, too. When we had passed the old First National, Liberty, Bank One, Chase Auto Bank at 7th and Cincinnati, he said it was part of the Central Library. When I said that it looked a bit like the library but it wasn't, he then claimed it used to be a library. He must hear somebody saying "that used to be..." rather a lot on drives around Tulsa.)

My wife usually goes with the kids to these concerts -- a chance to get out of the house -- but she wasn't feeling up to it, so I went with my daughter. The first two pieces, featuring oboe, were lovely, but a bit too soothing for my already tired brain. As an extra piece -- not in the program -- guest conductor David Lockington sang a monodic madrigal, Amarilli, mia bella by 16th century Florentine composer Giulio Caccini. He has a lovely voice, perfect for the type of music, a sort of recitative, and was accompanied by a harpsichord. Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 1, closed out the first half. An early 20th century composer, Respighi made use of baroque and renaissance themes, as his contemporaries played with atonality. The program had a wonderful quotation from Respighi:

We are against art which cannot and does not have any human content and desires to be merely a mechanical demonstration and a cerebral puzzle.

The second half was Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony; I am almost certain that the opening movement was used by Fiat for a commercial in the '70s. (Watch this and see if it rings a bell.) It still makes me think of zipping along an Alpine road in a sporty vehicle.

Then home and a bit of a break, watching an SNL repeat from earlier in the year. The 13-year-old thought that soup would settle well, so I headed out to Reasor's for soup and a few other items. Back at home, got the food put away, dealt with some more laundry, finally got ready for bed.

And now it's taken me an hour or more to get this written, but now you know why I haven't blogged anything else today.

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Mark said:

Hey Michael -

Glad to hear that your younger son already has an appreciation for good architecture. When my 7-year-old has an upset tummy, or is otherwise feeling crummy, he always reaches for my big "Tulsa Art Deco" book!

And by the way, next time you're in the Coffee House, please urge them to take down those hideous Gomez signs so that I can feel free to patronize again. What's up with that?!?

I think I know, but I'd prefer to let the owner speak for herself if she chooses to do so. I'll just say that her reasons make sense with respect to her business's welfare.

I think I know, but I'd prefer to let the owner speak for herself if she chooses to do so. I'll just say that her reasons make sense with respect to her business's welfare.

E. Fore said:

Sounds like a busy but fun day- I especially loved the description of your tic-tac-toe match.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 25, 2009 2:10 AM.

Pictures of old Amarillo on Route 66 was the previous entry in this blog.

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