Saturday was Record Store Day, some sort of odd holiday we’d never heard of before but with which we felt like participating that morning. So we got up early and headed out to The Bop Shop, one of the three record stores in the area, and the most mom and pop-like store. It was raining and there was a line… “oh, so it’s one of those things,” I thought to myself. I slipped on my trench coat and cursed the unpredictable nature of the Rochester weather. Just yesterday it had been eighty degrees out and sunny.
We waited for a while before the shop opened and we were allowed to file in. I let Ruud do all the picking as I just tried to stay out of the way. I’m not overly fond of crowds, cramped quarters, or both combined. Ruud got what he was looking for, limited releases of Amanda Palmer and Leonard Cohen. He asked if I wanted anything. I told him to look for some Janis Joplin as I picked up a Byrds single. He came back with the Janis Joplin before eying a set of singles for The Wall as well as a vinyl of The Hives. People here were clamoring for the Phish records. He asked me why, I told him that everything they release is unique and they have cult power. He asked if he should purchase one for resale. Though I knew he could make a killing on that I said leave it to the collectors to find to preserve the spirit of the day.
After this we loitered around for a while waiting for the other two shops to open. We went to the second record store an hour later and just pawed through their stuff and listened to some live music. Ruud found a pretty Dio album he wanted. There were barkers here lined up behind the limited release boxes calling out the band names in their particular crates. I didn’t know the vast majority of them but I found the scene amusing. Standing off to the side was a makeshift dummy wearing a bird mask and a bunch of random pins. I also was amused by the bubblegum at the counter. One had a picture of a woman barfing her brains out into a toilet bowl. The top read, “I voted republican.” Another read “ass man” and had a picture of the democratic donkey. We left there.
The House of Guitars was the largest place we’d been into. It was like walking into a schizophrenic’s brain. There were posters and photos and flyers on every inch of space here, including the towering ceilings. It was chaos. Sharpie signature graffiti took up one whole wall. This place also had live music. We left with nothing this time.
After this we ended up at the Farmer’s Market which is huge in Rochester NY. We ended up buying some of the tastiest cashews I have ever had, seasoned with cinnamon. They were worth the $4 price tag for the tiny little cone of them. We also bought some dry sweet potato pasta to bring home before finding some sweets at the Amish stands. We bought a banana and zucchini bread to share later that day. They were both dry and I was severely disappointed. I thought the Amish were good at baking… oh well. There was everything you could want here. Women with huge cloth bags were buying their produce for the week. There was a fish market, random nonfood related items, a few fine art crafts, and all sorts of neat variations on normal things like peanut butter. There was also a booth for meals on wheels selling spice cans full of happy remarks to give your mother for mother’s day. I would have donated but Ruud was already turning away, having no idea whatsoever this was all about and being only more confused by the guy’s explanation. He’d already been annoyed at High Falls where the shops were all looking for donations and obnoxiously seeking them. Oh well, next time. We left as it started to rain harder.
From here we went to the park where the BBQ was supposed to be held. This was the reason we had come down here. Everyone was supposed to attend. It was dreary, miserable, and cold. We were supposed to rent out the space but the town office was not open and it was raining anyway. Only a few of us were there to begin but man was there a lot of food and soda to go around. Too bad we had to spend an hour and a half trying to light up the grill.
It was 40 degrees out and wet. People here were shivering, huddling around the BBQ, and adding layers to their clothes. Shelly the DJ lesbian I kept hearing about was here with her new girlfriend Brit, a deaf tattoo artist. She was a larger than life sort of personality, brash as they come. Now she had gathered a small crowd and telling everyone how she would be mooning the resident creepy JW should she ever be fired. She made a whole routine of it before leaving to retrieve the grilling utensils that had been forgotten by Joe and his girlfriend Sara, the food bringers of the party. Steve was also here. He’d been at Moe’s the day before as well and we had spent some time at his place later that night with him and his lovely girlfriend Sadie as well. That night was a bit loopy as everyone kvetched about certain personalities and I cracked snide jokes from the sidelines that were only understood every now and then, which is usual for my odd referential humor. Steve had brought chicken for me as I am not into hamburger and hotdogs. His girlfriend unfortunately couldn’t attend as she was with family that day.
Shelly and Brit took forever to return. I kind of figured they went off to have hot cocoa and forget about a day in the rainy park. When they did return we were almost ready to put meat on the grill! Mark had yet to show up. He was supposed to be bringing the macaroni salad. He was apparently still sleeping, and continued to do so as his roommate Walter showed up with a friend Kay. They were new faces to the crowd. Casey eventually showed up too. Pretty much everyone but Ruud and myself drank a beer to keep warm. I’m a sad little teetotaler, and Ruud just doesn’t like being in the passenger seat for any reason.
By now Shelly was off burning old photos and cards in a cathartic ritual, Steve was fidgeting about trying to keep warm, Joe was still fussing with the grill, Brit was doing her best to confuse Casey, Sara was quietly sitting and smiling, and I was just watching. When Mark finally arrived he didn’t bring any macaroni salad but I think he is the one who brought cheese for the burgers. Soon hamburgers, hotdogs, sausages, and chicken were being flung around as everyone ate and shivered some more. Everyone split up not long after this as it was just too damned cold. Eventually it was back down to the original group, Joe, Sara, Steve, Ruud, myself, and one other, Mark. We cleaned up and killed the grill. Steve by now was holding a business card of Brit’s, with a look of confusion on his face. “Wait! How do I call a deaf woman?!” Everyone started laughing. Mark gave a technical answer. Ruud just asked if he’d never spoken to a deaf person on the phones at UniSys.
After this we split apart and went back to our lives. We came home and took a nap, absolutely exhausted and chilled to the bone. When we woke up we gathered Casey and set out in search of dinner, finding that mostly everything was closed we ended up at iHop. There was strange crowd here as one table away from us had a chick with her face painted like a skull or something similarly Halloween-like. There was no explanation for this. They left soon after.
We all sat down and ate pancakes, what else was there to do? By now Casey was still playing Alchemy on his phone and trying to get me to download it. I would have earlier at Steve’s place when everyone was playing it then but my phone was deader than a doornail then. I downloaded it. It’s an odd little game and it did keep me amused.
I don’t remember what we talked about that night, besides con artists, but it was funny and we had a good time. When we got back to Casey’s we all passed out again. None of us, particularly Casey, had been getting the proper amount of sleep as of late.