My weekend, in bullet-points
* I was super busy this weekend. I went shopping, a attended a baby shower, ran errands, met with friends, did an on-location woodsy-themed photoshoot for the shop, developed an obsession with Battle Star Galactica, and saw my friend Melynda’s band Hollopoynt a the Riverbank Wine and Cheese Festival. I’m typically a hermit so this was an intense weekend for me.
* The festival was a few towns over, and Anthony and camera-shy Ian thought we should take the country back roads to get there. We were lost for awhile and I was beginning to suspect we’d get eaten by Valley Folk (the flatland version of Hill People) but eventually we got there by following a police car, which I assumed could only be on its way to the festival. I was right.
* Getting there was only half the battle: it took ages to find parking. We passed row after row of Jaguars, Porches and BMWs parked neatly alongside more humble Hondas and the ubiquitous SUVs. By the time we found parking we were nearly in Modesto*.
* Local joke
* This festival was hyped as one of the largest Wine and Cheese festivals in California. That’s saying something because this small town is competing against towns in areas such as wine-centric Napa, the posh Bay Area, and privileged So Cal. I mean, sure we’re the agricultural center of the state, and yes, we have our share of shit kickers, feed stores, vineyards and dairies. But it was still hard to wrap our brains around such a large festival held in a modest town like Riverbank.
*While my friend’s band played we wandered around eating and people watching in the area adjacent to the band. It was really loud, which wasn’t really a concern for us so much as for Isobel. The shady area where most of the crowd sat was too near the stage for our comfort and sitting in the middle of the street in the scorching heat was unbearable. We could still hear the band perfectly while walking around and Isobel was a lot happier to be moving.
* I had to really pace myself during the day. Walking around during a festival is always a challenge for me and I had to pay attention to my body and stop and rest and go at a slow pace. If I hadn’t done that I would have been in pain for days afterward. Yay, autoimmune disease!
* Our first clue that this festival wasn’t going to live up to the hype of it being One of the Largest Wine and Cheese Festivals in California was the proliferation of Bud Light booths and posters. We joked that if they were selling Bud Light as wine then perhaps they were offering Velveeta in lieu of cheese. I was laughing through the tears at that point, afraid it was so. We never found out: the festival had limited times and capacity of the cheese tasting. No Velveeta samples for us.
*While we ate and wandered we enjoyed the best part of the day: Melynda’s piano solo. It was during a song that I didn’t recognize but it was AMAZING. If I had been at all near the stage I would have thrown my panties at her.
*A racetrack had attracted a small crowd but as we got closer I was disappointed to learn it was for remote control cars. Yawn. The only racing I am interested in involves either piglets, or wiener dogs. Or a ketchup racing a mustard.
* Melynda’s band was playing for about an hour and a half and if you notice, she’s the only band member that had to play the entire set in the sun. It was nasty hot and I was uncomfortable just standing there. It must have been much worse to have been playing an instrument that whole time. The keyboard was directly in the sun, too, and Melynda told me later that the keys got so hot they burned her fingertips as she played.
* The crowd watching my friend’s band is actually a lot bigger than it looks. That’s because the seating area was positioned the sun where it was about 95 degrees. Being in the sun was painful. Off to the right was a huge shady park area and that’s were most of the crowd was congregating and dancing. It was hot hot hot so hot.
* Happily, we ran into our good friend and Melynda’s significant other Justy while I was taking photos of the band. We don’t get to see Justy and Mel as often as we used to. I sure do miss them. I had to censor the photo Anthony took of Justy and I because Isobel was exposing a large bit of my bra. Not that anything was revealed, but still. It’s kind of weird posting a photo of you next to your husband’s best man with your bra hanging out.
* I personally enjoy tattoos but I saw two that just baffled me. If I were to host a Weird Tat of the Day competition, I’m not sure which one I’d pick. The first one was a large giraffe skeleton, carefully sewing its skin on itself bit by bit. The second was of a realistic-looking grizzly bear, looking forward and roaring fiercely… while doing Kung Fu. (It was a combination of this and this.) I am mostly sure neither Ian nor Anthony dosed me, and it was too hot to drink wine so I was 100% sober. Ian saw the giraffe one and it weirded him out, but that grizzly doing a Wushu form? Terribly strange. Internet, you decide which is weirder.
* Here’s the part where I whine: why is it that all the vendors at any fair or festival or parade are the same? The same religious fundamentalists, the same chiropractic booths, the same ‘magic bracelet’/’magic pill’/’magic drink” companies, people yelling at me to come buy Tupperware Pampered Chef or airbrushed backpacks or carved wooden signs for my house. The same pointless, unnecessary booths for real estate and air conditioning companies go to every local event. Is this necessary? You’ll find the exact same ones at our county fair, our 4th of July parade, the Chocolate Festival, Garlic Festival, Gape Festival and the weekly farmer’s market. When I go to a food festival I want: 1. food 2. drink 3. music. I don’t know why that’s too much to ask. I feel like there’s barely a point in leaving the house for festivals if it’s all the same, generic crap everywhere I go.
* You can also file this under Whine Fest: neither bathrooms had changing stations for babies. REALLY? Changing my baby on the ground outside makes me irate.