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Saturday, June 14, 2003

This is definitely the life. I'm lying in a hammock in my back yard under my sun shelter with a bottle of Sam Adams by my side, and an American Spirit dangling from my lips (though I'm not a smoker, really). Laptop in lap. Sunshine. My cat Yemen (aka Dum Dum) grazing on the grass by the firepit. Laptop on lap, complete with wireless internet access.

A week ago today this yard was the site of my fabulous First Annual 39th Birthday Party, which was complete with music by XFM being piped in live over the internet (and keeping everyone quite happy) and an invasion by the Lee's Liquor Lounge after bar people. It's not a party until you see 15-20 tatooed and greasy-haired rockabililly musicians and fans coming around the side of your house at 2:30 a.m. When the sun came up, people were still playing guitars and singing around my firepit and drinking wine from one of many bottles I'd received for my birthday. (During party cleanup I noted every bottle had been opened and half consumed, so I was required, of course, to finish them all off myself over the following few days.)

I believe I'm finally recovering from that, though today I must recover from too much beer and sun at last night's Wilco concert / 15 Year anniversary of the Sculpture Garden celebration. I'm still working on a short piece for howwastheshow regarding that event.

For some reason the Joe Walsh song "Life's Been Good To Me So Far" seems to apply today. Although "Where is My Mind?" by the Pixies is a close second.

I changed my plane reservations today to fly out of Dublin on July 14th instead of London on my return from Europe which short of finalizing my Witnness tickets helps assure I will be catching up with Har Mar Superstar when he plays the festival there on Sunday, July 13th (though his website for some reason indicates that is a Wednesday. You will be reading my account of that concert somewhere I am certain, possibly even in a well-known local arts and entertainment weekly.

Talking about procrastination, I finally (today) developed the film from the disposable camera I used at last year's Witnness Festival (they took the batteries from my digital camera away from me.)

Here are a couple shots, one of the main stage at 2002's Witnness Festival, the other of me and my Irish friends Pete and Rich whom I will be hooking up with again this year. I met Rich, Pete and Pete's girlfriend Laura in 2001 in England while we were all desparately trying find the Reading train station to catch the "last train to London" after the Reading Festival. It's so easy to get turned around in that town.

Cheap camera pictures from 2002's Witnness Festival. Click 'em for full size versions. I'm the guy in the black Bobby Conn t-shirt on the left.

My intention to try and see fewer bands and save money in preparation for my trip is failing. I'm glad though that I caught a bit of the consumate and charming Dale Watson at Lee's last night. Tonight if I venture out it will be to see Dana Thompson open up for Josh Ritter and Gemma Hayes at the Entry and then perhaps over to the Turf Club for All the Pretty Horses.

In other news, if you haven't read it elsewhere, Mark Baumgarten will be leaving Lost Cause Magazine after the July issue. What happens after that is still a bit up in the air, although current plans appear to be for the publication to take a one month hiatus to regroup and then return in August. It's not determined yet, but yours truly may be taking on a bigger roll at the magazine in the months to come.