Monday, March 15, 2010


A summary of events last week leading up to an evening with the Bunnymen:

Boarded a plane very early Tuesday morning and traveled to Jacksonville FL for a Federal facilities project managers symposium, joining many others from all around the country. Thankfully, the flight was uneventful.

Checked in at the hotel at a time I assumed was early in the afternoon, believing I could catch a bus to the coast 20 miles away. What I forget was that Jacksonville was two hours ahead of Denver, shortening the time available for my mini adventure. Instead I rented a car there in the hotel and drove eastwards to the coast, stopping long enough to pick up a small bottle of tequila.

I parked myself on the fine sand beach and enjoyed the late afternoon and early evening, enjoying a cigar, venturing into the cold water (the only one to do so while I was there) and watching the sunset play itself out on the clouds overhead. Savored a tasty seafood dinner at a local restaurant after it became to dark to stay on the beach.

Two days of listening to speakers talk about managing projects to remediate environmental contamination at Federal facilities, primarily belonging to the Department of Defense. For the most part, these sites are not unlike all others requiring remediation with the exception of the fact that acute "exposures" to munitions and explosives are immediate and their management posing unique problems and technical challenges. Good speakers covering interesting subjects.

Dinners were spent with other attendees of the symposium, primarily other regulators. A great group of people who are fun to hang out with. I always found some time during the evening to cross the bridge over the St. Johns River, park myself near its center and enjoy either sunset or the company of a fellow employee while enjoying a good cigar.

I managed to find some time to wander the halls of the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art before they closed Thursday evening. Nothing special, but I did enjoy the fact that one floor was devoted to an art exhibit featuring Marylin Monroe, mostly photographs with some paintings. A Hollywood legend, an American icon.

If Jacksonville is any indication, Florida is hurting economically. The downtown area is devoid of the crowds you'd expect in a city billed as the largest in Florida. Many shops along the street are shuttered, for lease signs looking for new tenants. Wander a few blocks from the hotel and the city thins out quickly, its heart being a waterfront mini mall consisting of a few small shops and restaurants surrounding a plaza with a fountain and scattered outdoor tables and seating. Somewhat depressing. I could tell from my drive east that there's more money near the coast, but not before you travel through lower middle class territory.

Returned to Denver Friday, getting home around dinner time.

Saturday was spent putzing around the house completing some long neglected work hanging blinds on windows of a room I renovated the summer I had a bum shoulder from the ski accident. I was mostly looking forward to spending time with the Bunnymen that evening.

Hears the soothing sound
Crashing of the rippled sea
For eternity

Standing on surfs edge
Gulls thin legs endure the cold
Call to the evening

White sand beaches tracked
Peoples lives come and then go
Traces washed by the sea

Break in the gray clouds
Warmth fades with the setting sun
Pale green and blue sky

In the evening twilight
Water reflects the dimming sky
A lighthouse calling

The flat horizon
Ocean surf against the sea
Reflects the twilight sky

The bridge hums with cars
People race through everyday lives
River swirls below

Black water churning
Reflects the setting sun
Yellowed diamonds sparkle

Golden orbs descent
Its arc across the sky is done
Swallowed by the gray

Youths flower is plucked
Dizzy from the rapid ascent
Burned by the sun

The Saturday night party with the Bunnymen begins after 10 PM. Throw open the truck doors and crank up the stereo, the flask and cigar await the festivities. The show begins with their three song single entitled Don't Let It Get You Down, released in 1997. Two of the songs are live performances from the Glastonbury festival. Yes, their sound following their 1997 reunion is different from their best days back in the early 80's, but I like most of it as much as their early classics. Must be that they ripened with age. Many fans would instead say they were beginning to rot. A good warm up for the main act.

The headliner for the evening was the Bunnymen's live show in Buenos Aires in Argentina on September 29, 1999. An excellent soundboard (?) recording of an hour and a half long show featuring many of their old classics with a sprinkling of some of their newer material. Ian was sounding good this evening. He chatted with the crowd between songs, but his heavy Liverpool accent made it close to impossible to understand what he was saying, which I believe he does intentionally. Towards the end of the show the crowd was getting very rowdy and you can sense that Ian did not appreciate the verbal remarks hurled at the stage, mocking them in return. Because of a cut in the recording, one can't say how long he made them wait afterwards before performing the encore.In bed sometime well after 1AM

Starts with it intact
Tight grip on reality
Only to let go

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