Monday the 14th was a day off in Portland. I have relatives up there and have visited that city since I was a kid, absolutely love it. I had lunch with those relatives at a great restaurant, The Chart House, overlooking the city and The Willamette River. Grand to see them all again, everyone in fine form. Over lunch and a couple of Bloody Marys I was able to put a few strands of family history together that were always a bit of a grey area.
Later in the afternoon I stopped in at the world famous Powell’s Books. My wife and I have ordered from them on-line but I’d never been in the store. Store is not an accurate word, the place is one full city block square, three or four stories high and contains 1.6 acres of new and used books. Overwhelming. It pleased me beyond words that on a Monday late afternoon there were hundreds of people in there browsing, reading and buying books. Check out Powell’s here: www.powells.com I purchased a book of Charles Bukowski poetry, one of the very few I don’t already have and made it to the door. A short walk from Powell’s was Penzeys Spice shop, another product we use around our house. It’s the sign of a civilised town that has both Powell’s and Penzey’s. A little further down the street was Case Study Coffee Shop for a great espresso and a read of Bukowski. I love my life. Here’s to Portland.
I’ve been fending off something for the last several days and whatever it is all came to a head during last night’s show in Salt Lake. We played the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, a beautiful outdoor theatre in the hills of Salt Lake. It had been pouring rain all day and the crew had a miserable time getting set up. We pulled in around 4 and they’d just got the front of the stage unpacked as there was a lull in the weather. We were in a couple of very cramped trailers for dressing rooms, which normally is OK but I really needed to lay down and there was nowhere to do that. I was feeling pretty out of it and weak. Come show time the temps were in the low 60s, damp and breezy. By the third song my hands had completely gone numb, every finger dead and I was shaking so badly I could scarcely play a damn note. Add to that the general weakness I was feeling and I ended up sitting down for most of the show. Anyway, we all soldiered through a very difficult situation and the audience was so good to us out there in that cold and rain in their ponchos.
By the time the cars had arrived at the airport I’d thawed enough to stop shaking and the feeling had come back to my hands. We were flying into Los Angeles where we’ll base for the next several days. It was a couple of cups of hot water with lemon and honey for me. A far cry from the usual gin and tonic hi-jinx . Once landed in L.A., we were driven to the hotel and I was never so glad to end a day.
As I peck this out the following morning, I’m feeling much better and ready to fight another round. We tackle Caesar’s Palace tonight in Las Vegas.