festival festivities

Pacific Grove is having its annual spring celebration this weekend: multiple bands, local dance troupes, kids doing karate, dogs dressed in costumes, funnel cakes, crafts for sale, adults corralled in a beer garden (PG was dry until the mid-60s and evidently still frowns on people walking around with beers in their hands) and rides for the kids.

We attended last year’s event, which was just a couple of weeks after we moved into our house. I think we were still shell-shocked. This year was a lot more fun.

Moonalice is the headlining act both days. They play psychedelic roots-rock, have amazing technical prowess (live streaming most shows free online) and are fond of marijuana.
This is Barry Sless. He is very talented.
John Molo (drummer) is the tallest member of the band and also seems to have the most fun.
James and I ate a funnel cake today because that’s kind of the rule of going to a festival like this. It was very windy, as it often is this time of year, and a huge amount of powdered sugar blew off the funnel cake and onto my face. And everything else. It looked like I’d taken a dive into a vat of cocaine. But it sho tasted good. Humiliation doesn’t really impact my taste buds. Hope the dude running the drone got some good footage.
I thought this guy making a smoothie with pedal power was the most hipster thing I saw today, then I noticed the bike valet. Actually, it may be a tie.
Pure joy.
I bet it’s illegal in California to set your orange balloon free.

Finally, there were a lot of guys who appeared to be doing a Michael McDonald impersonation. Perhaps it’s inevitable if you’re an older white man who still has thick hair and a beard.

We’re probably going to go again tomorrow. It’s not often there’s music and dancing in the streets around here.



he came from somewhere back in my long ago

Today, I will write about two important men in my life.

First, Michael McDonald. My younger, more hip friends think I’m kidding when I get starry eyed over MMcD, but it’s all for real. He’s a cool cat. Pull out a random record from the ’70s, and he’s probably singing back up on it. I’ve seen him in concert three or four times recently, and he still puts on a great show.

MMcD’s occasional “appearances” on Family Guy and elsewhere suggest that I’m not the only one who still digs him. Did you see the Yacht Rock videos seven years ago? So damn funny. A few days ago, I shared a link on facebook to an old Conan bit – Camp Michael McDonald. A friend, John Dunn (not to be confused with John Dunne, who I don’t think is on facebook), responded that he’d done a Nirvana cover, singing as Michael McDonald. I begged for a copy and am excited to be able to share it with you. You’re welcome.


Second, today is James and my 9th anniversary. According to my calculations, I have spent 21% of my life with him. I don’t like to get into my personal relationships on my blog, so I’ll just share this photo instead. Looking forward to more squinty adventures in places near and far for many years to come. You’re a hearty soul, James Noles.

still squinty, after all these years

Friday list

you don't know me but I'm your specter

James and I saw Michael McDonald a couple of months ago. Though we were close enough to easily see sweat beads on the various performers, I was unable to capture a good shot of MMcD. Everyone else would show up just fine, but he was all white. Like a ghost. Perhaps his deep, soulful voice comes from beyond?

In sort-of related news, did you know that the Doobie Brothers were on What’s Happening!!? Seems the Doobie Bros were playing at the local high school, and Raj was trying to bootleg their concert. Hijinks ensue. Episodes like this made me actually believe that might happen at my small town high school some day. If I recall, I think I sent a letter to ZZ Top asking them to play our prom. I probably don’t have to tell you–that didn’t happen. Instead, we had a Whitesnake song as our prom theme. Yeah.

Here’s a solution to getting slow walkers out of your way. Would it work in Houston where there aren’t a whole lot of bike riders? I don’t know, but I like the fact that people in grocery stores and on escalators (presumably places without bike traffic, even in Japan) get out of the way too. Maybe everyone is trained to move when a bell is rung.

I adore this series of photos. NSFW, I guess, because there’s very slight nudity (tittays) in one. A photographer recreated decades-old photos using the same people. “It’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today,” says the photographer. So wonderful to recognize the child in the adult. A good reminder to reconnect with our youthful selves. (By the way, the guy in the first photos looks like a different Michael McDonald–the one who was on MadTV.)