Kate and I spent the weekend in Louisville, visiting our niece Jessica and her husband Kyle. Her parents -- my brother-in-law Bill and sister-in-law Jan -- were there as well. It was my first time in Louisville, and, although there were some relaxing times that verged on sluggard territory, for the most part we kept busy. Surprisingly, there was a lot to see.
That's the Louisville Slugger factory where, you guessed it, they make baseball bats. Naturally, we had to take a tour. And we hit a grand slam. We happened to arrive on the day when the fine LS employees were making the hot pink bats that will be used by all major league teams on Mother's Day as part of an effort to raise awareness about breast cancer. So we watched hot pink bats rolling off the assembly line.
We also ventured down Bardstown Rd., home to various trendy restaurants, coffee shop(pe)s, and one of the great indie music stores on the planet, Ear X-Stasy Records. I found that long-out-of-print Joe Henry album to complete the collection. I noted with approval the Paste Listening Station. That was cool. I restrained myself from purchasing dozens of albums, and contented myself with two. That was a good move as well. Damn college tuitions.
It was one of those magical convergences of good company, good conversation, 70-degree weather, blue skies, and good beer. I had a fine time.
On the way there and back I listened to two albums I have to review, over and over again. This is the price one pays, I suppose. We were in the midst of fullblown, long awaited springtime, the redbuds were in bloom, the Kentucky hills were a glorious riot of color, purples and pinks and whites and greens everywhere, and I wanted to roll down the window and crank up my favorite tunes. Instead, I listened to two earnestly bland folkies harmonizing about how they're each others' favorite song. Won't you sing it again? they asked me. I didn't, but I played it again. Because I kept thinking that I owed it to them, that I needed to give them a fair chance. Six listens, and the verdict was in. Nope, you're not my favorite song. You're boring.
But the rest of the weekend was not boring. It was great fun.