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2003-09-14 @ 7:23 p.m.

Today was one of those late summer, early fall days. Still kind of warm, but the trees are just starting to take on a tint of orange.

I went to a local festival today. My kind of festival. Lots of tree-huggers, Bush haters, women with henna tattoos and armpit hair. I have to admit I'm one of them. I do shave and don't possess any body fuzz, except for where its "supposed" to be. Yeah, there. But it was fun to be among MY people.

There was a parade. I usually go every year, but this year, it was the shortest parade on record. Maybe 4 minutes long. There was one band who wore wild print shirts and purple shorts and played a Jamaican-tinged song that was featured in the movie "Beetlejuice". Next a contingent for "Howard Dean for President". Then a troupe of dancers dressed in coats with hundreds of pieces of ripped colored clothe hanging off their jackets. Kinda looked like Grandma's rag rug with arms. They had bells attached to their legs and danced and jangled in unison. Then there was this massive air balloon shaped like a bomb, that said something like No Nukes. It was about a 1/2 city block long. It was our version of the Macy's Day parade. The subversive version. And then the fire department trucks from the neighborhood. And was it.

The only original thing that happened was about 4 minutes later, the whole parade reversed. Same people. Same music. Same bomb. It was just in the opposite direction. Guess they were compensating for length.

I walked through all the hippie booths. Saw lots of cute earrings and cool clothing that I couldn't afford. I took a free historical tram ride through the surrounding neighborhoods. At one point a car was blocking our tram, so our historian jumped off the vehicle and ran up to a house and demanded that the car be moved, but the students living there wouldn't admit to owning it, so we had to back up and go down a different street, a seemingly less historical one, which included "an abomination" (i.e., a 1960's stucco and fake brick student housing unit). Horrors! The historian even spoke with disdain of the ranch style and cape cod houses that dot the edge of the historical district.

Good God woman, I grew up in those. They're not THAT bad.

Back down at the festival there were several stages set up. I naturally gravitated towards the blues music. Always up for free music, especially the blues. There was a great duo, one on the harmonica and one on bass guitar. I was particularly impressed with the harmonica guy whose growly smoke stained, alcohol tinged voice was made for the blues. And what harmonica playing. He made more music come out of that little metal bar than the whole N.Y. Philharmonic playing "Rhapsody in Blue". I also always enjoy hearing those great blues lyrics like, "I ate so many hot-dogs, cold dogs wouldn't even talk to me." Another song was about a woman who had a wasp's nest above her door "and everytime I knocked, it made them really sore." They just don't write lyrics like that anymore.

While sitting there enjoying the music, I had two almost-dates. At least that's what I call them. Men sit next to you at a concert, and may want to talk to you, but...

Well, here's the scenario. You sit next to each other, grooving to the music together, notice each other out of the edge of your eye. And yes, I always glance down to see if there's a wedding band. Both guys today were in my age range and wedding band-free.

I had a particularly heavy vibe from the first guy. I was already planning our life together in our nice historical district home (no ranches or cape cods of course), driving our Passat to the local yuppie store and going to peace marches. The pressure was incredible though. I could barely enjoy the music. He finally leaned over and asked me what time it was. I was too petrified to talk, so I just tilted my Mickey Mouse watch towards him and he said something about forgetting his watch and then looked back at the music.

Shyness is such a curse. He left soon after that and he was quickly replaced by another 40 something hipster. Ok, I promised myself. If this guy asks what time it is, I will definitely TELL him and then we will go out for a chalupa or something. So we sat next to each other for a while. Grooving to the music. His furry little knee was going to the beat of the music. He HAD rhythm. That's good. Again my mind was wondering to the house in the historical district...the Passat...the marching on Washington to stop Bush from spending money on bombs, and then on cue, he asked me what time it was (Do any of these men ever where watches??).


I chickened out once again. I briefly glanced at him, but again twisted my wrist towards him, so he could see my watch. Damn. And then HE left. I hadn't even gotten a good enough look at either guy to identify them in the thronging crowds. I had also felt "close" to a cute guy on the tram tour, but couldn't get up the courage to say anything sarcastically funny about our fearless historian when she got off our tram to kick somebody's ass for blocking the route of our tour.

And I'm not bad looking. I'm actually kind of cute. Kind of a natural girl. Former hippy. Irish. Long dark hair. These guys are obviously initially attracted to the package, but then when I'm unable to complete the transaction with a dazzling smile or witty reporte, they jump ship.

Story of my life.

I did do one bold thing today, at the Festival-de-Hippie. Remember the rag-coat dancers? Well later in the day, off on a side street they were performing (after the overweight belly dancers, who were mostly administrative assistants, when introduced). I watched for a while. They had their own little musical trio of fiddle, accordion and recorder. After 4-5 dances, they asked for volunteers. I decided to just go for it. Why?

Because I had just seen a friend in the crowd a couple of minutes earlier and she had basically blown me off, and I felt a little sad, so I set my purse under a nearby peace table and joined in.

It actually was pretty fun. We just had to clap, jump, clap under our leg, jump, step 3 steps back, jump. Just silly stuff like that. The Hippy version of STOMP. Fortunately I was so engrossed in trying to keep up I didn't stop to think how stupid I looked. I don't usually do stuff like that, but I was just getting into the hippie groove thing and decided to have fun. having fun.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty