Mr. & Mrs. Brickhouse Hit The Town!

Can I tell you how much  I recommend having an empty nest?  Yes, it will be very sad at first and you will miss the offspring like crazy, but  the next day after a while, you will adjust.  And adjusting we are doing.  I mean, someone’s got to adjust and it might as well be us.

We have been empties for about eight months now, minus some vacation weeks where the babes have been home (Glee!)  It is wonderful to see how they have matured while away at school and what great adults they are becoming.  As empties, you learn that you no longer annoy the heck out of your kids all of the time, only occasionally and particularly if you walk around your house humming, in which case your 19-year-old daughter will not be happy.

With this new-found freedom and spontaneity, we behave like two teenagers in lust love who ran away from their homes to be together at last.

Although every night feels like a Saturday night, this past Saturday night we spontaneously decided to go out on the town for a late dinner.  Our town had just hosted the annual Extravaganja Festival (that’s for another blog post but basically it is an organized and somewhat controlled marijuana festival in our town common – don’t ask.)  Because of the amount of participants lingering around once the festival ended, we opted to go out in the next town over.

After a delicious Italian dinner, vino and mas vino, we ventured up stairs of the restaurant where their bar/lounge is.  A band from Vermont was performing and the bartender told us that they were fantastic, so we decided to stay and watch them.  Mind you, it is now about 10:45 pm (way past my bedtime).

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We got carded before entering and were almost not allowed in because Mr. B had left his license in the car.  Seriously?  The bouncer didn’t believe that we were 21?  Once inside, I noticed that there were no chairs in the entire place.  None.  How is a 50 something brickhouse with lot’s of problemas supposed to stand the whole time? Then, I spotted two chairs at the bar being used by a Stephen King look-alike wearing ear plugs, and his date.  How the hell did he get a chair and what did he know about how loud this band was that he came prepared?

We stood at the bar with our drinks watching Stephen King like hawks in case he go up so we could immediately steal his chair.  That’s when a 30 something girl asked me to take a group picture of her and her friends celebrating girl’s weekend.  I clicked away and before you know it we were bffs.  The four of them and the two of us.  Long lost friends, found.  

After explaining to them that we were empties and out past our bedtime, they proceeded to tell me that there was no way I could have children in college. After lot’s of, “no way, it cannot be, you are lying”, I revealed my age to them.  They all gasped and fainted right there and then (well, not really) and then told me that I looked like I was 36.  Thirty Six?  Ding, ding, ding, ding! How ecstatic was I?  Poor Mr. B got the, “you look good too but she looks amazing”, sympathetic afterthought.

Feeling much younger now and drunker, I looked around sizing up the crowd.  It was a very…er, eclectic group.  Old, young, hippies, clean, black, white, hippies, single, dating and hippies.  The aroma around me was…skunk-like, in a good skunk kind of way.  Wait.  Had the crowd from the Extravaganja in my town made their way here?  Wherever they had come from they had come relaxed and ready to hear this band (which by the way had not started playing yet at 11:15pm).  I made sure to take long deep breaths as I waited for the band…

What a fantastic and cool band!  They call themselves Barika, meaning to blossom, bloom or be successful.  A six piece ensemble playing all acoustics.  I had never heard such varied funky/psychedelic music played like this.

 “Led by their grooves, Barika is wholly rhythmic, captivating audiences with the beautiful, hypnotic way in which they interweave melody and groove to create something that is not only danceable, but incredibly interesting to listen to. Barika creates a soundscape of funk soaked in psychedelic, West African resonance.” – Performer Magazine

The most unusual instrument (played by a nice and quite high man) was the Ngoni.  It is a West African harp-like instrument made of Calabash (a gourd), dried animal skin and fishing wire.  

The highlight of my evening by far was that he let me touch his Ngoni !  He let me play with it and even pluck it!  SCORE!

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Mr. B and I could not stop ourselves from dancing to the groove.  Such great rhythms and beat.  We were not the only ones dancing, though.  It appears that Elaine from Seinfeld was also there.  This amazon woman who was super wasted, jerked her arms, legs and head in seizure-like movements, almost broke Mr. B’s nose.

 A young man next to us must have been…meditating, because his eyes were closed the entire time as he tripped swayed back and forth.  He looked very tranquil.

After dancing a bit, it was clear that my feet were going to fall off so I looked over to Stephen King and can you believe he was getting up to leave?  I literally ran over to him, took his chair and dragged it to where Mr. B and I were standing. We continued to enjoy the fabulous music.

Before long (at 12:30 pm) the place was packed.  More and more people kept streaming in.  The later crowd consisted of a lot of muscle men sporting men-buns.  What in the world is up with men wearing their long hair in a little bun?  I know it’s “in” and I admit that I was staring at their muscles and not their buns, but still. 

At this point it got way too crowded.  It was shoulder to shoulder crowded with people bumping into us no matter where we were.  I actually became very claustrophobic and had a mini panic attack.  I had to get the hell out of there ( I know, I’m old).

Although it took me until today to recover, we had a blast!  

Not bad for 50-something empties (who look like 30 year olds – um, only me – that is!)