What did you do this weekend?
As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their weekend. Did you make any plans? Take a trip? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!
Saturday - The annual Pate Swap Meet at Texas Motor Speedway. 18 miles of vendors selling old car parts in gravel, dirt, or poorly paved parking lots and we did every row, plus the car show. Effectively 2/3 of a marathon while carrying car parts because we found stuff we needed at the start of the day instead of at the end. Plans made to be more prepared next year. Oddly only saw two Trump flags, one guy in a Trump shirt, and zero MAGA hats. Did see a white guy wearing only shorts and sandals that epitomizes the phrase/song "Wear Sunscreen" as he was both the color and (appeared to be) texture of old tanned leather. Little did I know this would be the start of my people-watching adventures for the weekend.
Sunday - Birthday party at a park for my 4 year old "niece" (best friend's daughter, she calls me uncle, close enough). Not much to report until the rival ice cream trucks arrived. First one arrived about half an hour before the second, parked in a normal parking spot, music playing until the kids came running, then it was turned down to background noise levels. Second ice cream truck arrives, parks in the row behind the first, blocking the first in, and cranks up the speakers on his ice cream truck to the point that there was obviously little chance the patrons could be heard making their order at the first truck. We were a good distance away and it was loud enough to interrupt our conversations. Begun, the ice cream wars have.
Child's party ends, go to take my adult friend out to lunch for his birthday. On surface streets toward our destination, oddly slow moving traffic for the two lane road we're on, witness minor fender bender, then see cause: car parked along the road, hood up, one guy looking under hood, woman on all fours looking underneath the car in a short skirt and... enjoying the breeze, chuckle at distracted idiots as they pull over to assess damage. Arrive at chosen lunch spot, turns out all they serve is cheesecake. It's what he wants for his birthday lunch, so that's what he gets. Pretty damn good cheesecake.
Take him home, at this point in the day I've had coffee, a slice of birthday cake, and a slice of cheesecake, decide I'd like some real food to fight off the scurvy. Look at restaurants in my "to try" list, find one that looks good, a "ghost kitchen" in a craft beer bar, and head that way. In an attempt to find parking navigation is telling me to make a U-turn at a no-U-turn light with a cop behind me, elect not to do so, and pull through a mostly empty parking lot behind the place to turn around. Casually notice a car sitting near the side of the lot that I entered with a guy talking to a woman in the driver's seat, get to other side of the parking lot only to find it exits onto a one way street going the wrong direction for where I want to be, turn around and cross the parking lot back the way I came. Notice man is now on passenger side of vehicle, passenger door is open in an attempt to block the view, man and woman are vigorously engaged in what I'm willing to bet was an exchange of goods and/or services.
Pull out of parking lot and around corner, park at destination, walk to door, am confronted by beggar, he starts referencing needing money for "Sunday", I inform him it is Sunday, he resists this fact, asks another person passing by, they confirm, he seems perturbed by this news and loss of a day, bolts off into another direction. I enter bar, find out the ghost kitchen is closed today for a popup event somewhere else, sit down to have a beer anyway because what else would go with my day of cake and public nudity than beer? Watch basketball with bartender, discuss finer points of the sport, poke fun at the Memphis Grizzlies not changing their name when they moved to Tennessee despite there being no grizzly bears in the state, the jokes continue as we discuss other team names with the conversation inevitably turning to one of the whitest states keeping the name Jazz when the team moved there. Quest continues toward actual foodstuffs.
Head to another spot I've had saved near a farmer's market, my calves protest parking a couple of blocks away after the previous day's adventures. On the way I see a lover's quarrel where two men are in a heated discussion, apparently over a third. Third man throws his hands up and begins to walk away, the two others both point at the third at the same time, seemingly blaming the other for the third walking away, a push from one is answered with a punch from the other and a scream from the third.
I just want some damn Thai food, man.
Wait until the street is clear so I can go around the three men blocking the sidewalk with their screaming match.
Finally get some lunch at 5 in the afternoon. Pretty good, will probably bring the wife here to try the noodles.
Sunday was a saga. Thank you for sharing it.
Saturday I stared out the window of my dining room at the dandelions exploding in my backyard, and was once again reminded that dandelion wine is a thing that exists and may or may not be worth the trouble.
Not having quite everything I needed for the endeavour, I put on actual pants and located a homebrew supply store 45min away. There used to be a local one about 10min away, but sadly they closed during the pandemic. I grabbed a roadtrip companion and we had a nice drive to the place, picked up some supplies and some bottles of wine (they also had a nice wine selection).
Then I spent the afternoon picking, trimming, and boiling some dandelion blossoms. Filtered it all and combined it with a few pounds of sugar and some orange and lemon zest and pitched some yeast into it. A few days later now and the airlock on the 2gal bucket is slowly bubbling away, and I can hear a quiet fizzing if I listen closely, so the yeast appears to be happy.
Will it be good? Dunno, I'll report back in 2 years when it's done fermenting and aged a bit.
I set myself a reminder to ask in two years. I look forward to the review.
How will you be aging it?
I don't know a whole lot about the intricacies of aging wines, I'm mostly blindly following these instructions : https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-make-dandelion-wine-1327932
I've brewed beer before, but never wine. And never anything that had aging as a requisite step.
We are gearing up to either sell and move, or to just enjoy our house more, so I did a number of small home improvement projects:
Next weekend, I'll likely add a primer intended for anti-mildew in bathrooms for both bathrooms, and then the following weekend I'll repaint everything.
It wasn't an incredible amount of work, but it filled up several hours on both weekend days. I'm not usually very clumsy when doing stuff like this, but I have a half dozen cuts on my hands, which are actually bothering me a fair amount today while typing especially the cuts on both index fingers.
Finished the last of a string of 3 gigs (1 in NYC, 2 in our home city) this week on Saturday with the band I'm playing with. They all went really well but I've been gigging on and off for over a decade at this point, and at the ripe age of 30, I can't tell if I'm getting burnt out on the whole music scene thing. I moved out of the city earlier last year, so I'm not sure if it's the added 45 minute commute to get to anything or what. Music has always been an uphill battle, yet brought me a lot of happiness, but for the first time in my life, things just don't feel all that worth it, and it's not a great feeling. Might be an overall mental health thing, and I just need to start running again, which usually gets me over any depressive/anxiety slumps, but even that has been difficult since moving out of the city, since it has meant way less safe/runnable spots.
Had my first Renaissance Faire experience. My brother had gone with a friend and a friend of the friend and had a rough time because of the other guy, was venting to my other brother and mom who went "Why not go with your brothers?" We went and hung out with his wife from opening at 10 to the last show we wanted to see at 5:30. I brought a bunch of cash and mostly spent it on drinks (just festival standard canned beer selections, as well as soft drinks. You could bring water, and they checked to make sure no booze was going in or out. I also bought an ocarina from a stall, which I've wanted for a few years. Navigating the crowds sucked, and we missed a show we wanted to see because we didn't account for all the chokes in movement, but we caught the next showing and saw a powder rifle demonstration while we just soaked in the ambience.
Ren Faire is a great experience. If you're willing to sacrifice your weekends for the summer, it can be an even better one to work at the faire. Some of the best memories of my young adulthood were at faire. Ridiculous improv acting during the day entertaining and scandalizing the patrons, being a hawker encouraging people to throw dull chunks of metal, and parties and new friendships at night. It's a tight-knit community, and the people are remarkably friendly. I'm a remarkable introvert, and it was still a blast.
It seems like it would be a blast to work there, everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves. I was also surprised at how friendly everybody was, because anywhere else I've been there's usually been at least one curmudgeon.
Think of it this way: A lot of people don't get paid at all; they show up to goof around and have fun. Most of the people who get paid to be there, still don't get paid that much. Think a small cut of the day's take, plus a couple rounds of beer or cider. No one would do this sort of thing but for the fun of it. If you're not having fun, you're likely to just stay home. It beautifully filters for people who are there to have a good time and share that good time with others.