Manny keeps an eye on the neighborhood and Amy keeps an eye on Manny. Makes sure he's eating right, taking care of his health.
He told us about growing up in Pasadena, and how it isn't the place it used to be. We talked a little about politics and the state of the nation. Manny had things to do and people to see, and we needed to get ready for the rest of our day.
Amy chefed up a light breakfast for us, and when Dave arrived we took a trip over to Tempe to the Cornish Pasty Company for lunch.
Dave is a big fan of the hand pies from Australia (and we have a little shop near my office so I'm forever torturing him by posting pictures from KO Pies in South Boston.
So we tucked into some tasty pasty action, followed by his beloved Australian Pavlova desert. Pictured below, the Pavlova "isn't quite as good as home" according to Dave but it was pretty amazing.
Then, we headed over to Curious Nature, a little curiosity shop that Doug thought would be neat. I got Jess a gift, and we had a blast hanging out with the Oddities and Peculiar things for sale.
There were a couple of things I wanted to buy, but I didn't think they'd make the trip home safely.
Amy and Dave hammed it up for me. They are delightful as a pair, and for as many years as I've known Amy it is great to see her full of joy with this crazy Aussie.
Back to Amy's for our goodbyes.
That night we were going to be seeing Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers in Tempe, celebrating 20 years of their debut album (when they went by The Refreshments) called Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big, and Bouncy.
They were doing a month long weekends residency at a bar they played at all the time "back in the day, as it were.
Arriving towards the end of the second opening act, we tucked ourselves into a corner in the very crowded and exuberant Yucca Tap Room, got a couple beers from the bar, and were happy we could even see the stage.
In the break time between the openers and the main event, a guy turns to me and asks "So, how do you know the band? Did you go to ASU?" (meaning Arizona State University in town there).
We explained that we'd heard the band on the radio when that album's big hit "Banditos" hit the air, and then realized they did the theme song for King of the Hill.
So we liked the band, had planned a vacation and got wind of the residency, so we got tickets.
She was from another local suburb, and she and her husband had ended up moving to Chandler, near Tempe, for her husband's job. The guy I was just talking to, Brian, was her husband's boss. He had bought tickets for everyone to go see the band - they were a party of ten or so, and they absorbed us in as their own.
Next thing I know, Brian is thrusting a tequila shot into my hand so we can toast to Boston! Roger! Arribaaaaaaa!!!!!! Tequila in question was Mexican Moonshine, Roger Clyne's own brand.
Doug turns to me and just looks at me like "this happens to you everywhere you go. You just meet the crazy people and they make you their own." True.
And they were crazy, and fun, and lovely, and we had a fantastic time with them.
This was actually some of the most fun I've ever had at a show for anyone. Guster, BNL, whoever. This took the gold medal for funnest night ever. The band was just magnificent, the sound perfect, there was so much love in that room. One of the songs on the album is called "Mekong" and the refrain goes:
"Is it true it's always happy hour here? If it is I'd like to stay a while.
And as cliche as it sounds I'd like to raise another round,
If your bottle's empty, help yourself to mine.
Thank you for your time, and here's to life..."
To see the crowd raise their shot glasses, cups and bottles, and yell/sing out the line "here's to life!" was outstanding.
Here's to life indeed.
Part 3 Next, when your humble narrator goes to Tucson