With a tip of the Mondo Mortarboard to Timothy Gassen, author of The Knights of Fuzz (the latest edition of which includes an entry for a certain band from Mondoville), I want one of these… with twelve legs.
Mrs. M, the Spawn and I trekked to Real City yesterday. We ate at one of the Spawn’s favorite restaurants, and then Mrs. M dropped the Spawn and me off at a local used media emporium. The Spawn picked up a graphic novel for her current fannish obsession, and I killed an hour or so by reading Donald Westlake’s Money for Nothing.
It’s a nifty little cross between a spy caper and a mistaken-identity crime novel with a touch of screwball, and while it won’t supplant the works of Chaucer on my favorites list, it made me smile on a consistent basis and it carried its weight all the way to the end. A nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Out of gratitude for the store’s hospitality, I bought a copy of Michael Connelly’s The Black Echo, the first of his Harry Bosch novels. I cracked it open during lunch a little while ago, and the opening few scenes are working nicely. I guess that isn’t surprising — Mr. Connelly’s series has made it through sixteen books, a TV series, and at least one short story in a certain collection you might enjoy.
A good day, and indeed, it seems (he said, knocking wood) to be a good weekend, with a viewing of Double Indemnity (which I’ll be showing the film kids Wednesday night) and a Mondoville basketball game on today’s agenda.
The new semester began last week, and the classes seem to be a pretty nice lot of kids thus far. Typically on the first day, I talk to the kids as I go down the roll and find out a little about them. A decent percentage of the time, I ask them what brought them to Mondoville, and while lots of them say they came to play their sport (which is OK — at least they’re here, and may accidentally learn some other stuff along the way), they often tell me they came because they like the school’s smallness and sense of community.
This makes a great deal of sense to me, as those were some of the things I was looking for when I got into this racket some years back. As it happens, during my one serious run at the market, I had three job offers, two of which were at Mondoville-type colleges (The third was at a state school, but that offer came after I had accepted my current position.) I liked the other small school quite a lot as well, and came very near to accepting the position, but we figured that Mrs. M had a better chance of employment here. That turned out to be true — Mrs. M and I came down and interviewed at our respective schools on the same day, and she got an offer on the spot, while mine didn’t come until after dinner. We occasionally laugh that she has Mondoville seniority.
So I’m now into my 27th semester here (I was on leave in fall semester of 2013 for the trial), and while there are still aspects of life down here that I don’t quite follow, I understand why kids — including the Spawn — come here. It feels like home.
On the musical front, the Berries are gearing up for a show in Greenville this weekend. It’ll be our first show in a few months, and I’m looking forward to getting back on stage — and we hope, to making some more money to pay for future recording.
Also on musical matters, I’ll be taking the Spawn to her first “real” rock show in May, as we landed tickets to see Alice Cooper. It’s kind of funny — our seats (front row of the middle tier of a three-tier venue) cost about three or four times what I paid for front row floor seats to see the Coop in Cincinnati in 1986, with Tesla as the up-and-coming opener. On the other hand, front row floor seats for this show are going for $725, which includes a meet-and-greet and some swag, so I guess 60 bucks a head isn’t so bad.
But the Berries typically play venues where folks get in for $5-8. No complaints, Sarge, but next time you go see some groups at your local, you might want to remember you’re getting a pretty good deal. And if you’re in Greenville this Saturday, drop in and say hello — we won’t charge extra.
And speaking of music, here’s a little something as we close. Thirty years ago this month, I had front row seats to another concert, when a guest and I saw Miles Davis at Music Hall in Cincinnati. Here’s the title cut from the album he was promoting:
See you soon!