'm starting to actually get to work
as the setting-into-school business seems to be coming to an end. Always One More Thing. The new distraction has been yesterday and today's flurry of emails with bits of planning as Fleming's circle of guy friends plans this years version of our occasionally-annual Do-It-Yourself-Men's-Retreat. This year, in order to accommodate Fr. Wurtz, who is on a quick visit home from his graduate studies in Rome, we switched to August instead of May, and to the Ozarks instead of Jackson Hole, so that we could gather in his native state of Arkansas. Actually, it works out quite well geographically, as everyone seems to now be orbiting that area, coming from Tulsa, Kansas City, St. Louis, and me now in New Orleans. The only Odd Man Out as far as location goes is newcomer Henri, who is flying in from Los Angeles.
We rented a lovely piece of lakeside architecture called Winterwood Lakeside Cottage
, which is conveniently attached to a recording studio, so that we could even lay down a few professionally-recorded tracks for whatever jamming comes up. Or "convenient" we thought, as it turns out the studio will be closed while we are there. Maybe just as well. McGlinn is going to bring a mobile recording setup, to capture whatever may be worth capturing, although I cannot shake the memory of the 2008 retreat's
epic disaster of the Recording That Just Mysterious Vanished
from his computer set-up last time. I really find myself digging these low-tech, spontaneous live "albums" I've been part of over the years (with the prize still going to 1997's first Chrysogonus Fest
, and so I've always missed having the 2008 recording, which had a few tracks I was particularly looking forward to having. I'm so out of shape now as far as guitar-playing goes, though, that I fear I won't have much to contribute to the festivities. (Not that my guitar-playing itself ever contributed much.) And if my movers don't get my stuff down here soon, I won't even have the time to catch up that I had hoped for.
So far the chief topic of conversation has been menu preparation, which has been kind of fun in itself as this event is also just sort of an Ultimate Cook Out lasting half a week. So food and drink preferences have been bandied about, I've been made fun of for not liking asparagus, and just for a little spice, Kevin slipped in the news that he and Frannie are expecting a new child. So all the more reasons for toasts!