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My Perfect Saturday Night [10/09/2007 01:16:00 AM]:
Here's my damn-near-perfect evening, as of this past Saturday, after dropping the munchkin off at Grandma's for a little spoilage (I love the midget, but y'know...):

  • Dinner with the love of my life at Spaghetti Western. Sweet-ass Italian margaritas, vintage memorabilia for Westerns you've never heard of (call me a Philistine if you will, but I had no idea Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra were ever in movies where they didn't wear suits & carry martinis around), darn good garlic bread, and the best chicken parmigiana I've ever had, bar none (sorry, Mom).

  • A quick run to the Domy Store before it closes. Got there just in time to snag a copy of last week's Grey Ghost release by Mlee Marie of Hearts of Animals (see here for info; and yes, it's good, delicate and quiet, and will hopefully get reviewed soon), gawk at all the cute/cool toys, and reach longingly for the one Joe Sacco book I still need to get only to have the wife smack my hand and say, "Wait for Christmas!" Made her week by buying her the latest issue of Found, which she's already planning to send off to a friend & fellow junk-store connoisseur who's stuck in rural North Carolina.

    The place makes me feel 12 years old again, and in a good way, not a dammit-those-guys-gave-me-a-wedgie-again way. (Um. Not that that ever happened to me, of course. Just, ah, some of my friends, y'know...) I've got to get there during daylight hours sometime soon, I swear.

  • Hitting The Chocolate Bar for some dessert. I was just about full to exploding after S.W., but I fought it down in order to devour a couple of those fucking incredible truffles they make -- they nearly dissolve in your mouth, honest -- and half a peanut butter cup (screw Reese's, this is the real deal). The sweet lady had her favorite, fresh orange slices dipped in chocolate. Wanted to make a stop by the Empire Cafe, too, but my stomach wouldn't let me...

  • A sold-out Okkervil River show at Walter's. Great, great, great songs, a freakishly enthusiastic crowd (thank God for will-call tickets), and damn, do my legs still ache, two days later. Felt like a clueless doof with all the new stuff -- haven't picked up the latest album yet, and Black Sheep Boy felt over-long, so I don't know it real well -- but was over the moon the hear "Westfall" again, not to mention "Okkervil River Song."

    So good not even the two obnoxious SuperFansTM who shoved in front of us -- one of whom looked like Ike Barenholtz from Mad TV in his Kevin Federline costume and the other of whom appeared to be attached to his girlfriend somehow by the baby-blue headphones hung around both their necks -- could fuck it up. That Will Sheff is something else, even if my wife thinks his eyes look like a newborn gerbil's (she loves OR, too, mind you)... The band's come a long way from the first time we caught 'em at Rudz, with only Sheff & their old mandolin player playing to about eight people. They deserve all the success they get.

    Beyond Okkervil, Damien Jurado was absolutely spectacular, despite not looking a thing like I thought he would (turns out he's from here, weirdly enough; he went to elementary school & juvie in H-town). I need some of his albums, seriously. And I liked what I caught of the Colour Revolt; Aaron from The Church of Philadelphia declared they were his favorite band ever (heck, he made the drive down from The Woodlands just to see 'em), and I can definitely understand why. Oh, and the show was over before midnight. No shit. That and the blessedly smoke-free environment made it feel like we were in a whole other city for a while, one where clubs routinely finish up early for the kids & old-and-grumpy near-urbanites.

It might not sound like much, but there it is -- the best evening out we've had in a very, very long time. Hell, even just driving around the Shepherd/Montrose 'hood listening to Peter and the Wolf and Jana Hunter on the car stereo was cool; some nights just work out perfectly, I guess, when the stars are all aligned properly...

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