Saturday, May 21, 2005

Fire on the Mountain: A Classic Rock Weekend in Syracuse

Allie and I came up to Syracuse for the weekend. Her for a wedding shower, me to hang out with my brother. Today we went downtown. Her to buy a shower gift and me to use a gift certificate (which I exchanged for an Otis Redding boxset. I finally saw his Monterey Pop Festival performance and decided 20 years of procrastination was long enough; it was time to get some Otis in my life. For all of Hendrix's pyrotechnics at Monterey, Otis was the more electrifying performer. And he certainly had the better material. It was interesting to watch Jimi set his six string ablaze, but otherwise that version of "Wild Thing" is remarkably tame.). When I'd finished at the record store I caught up with Allie and my mom. They needed more time to gaze at pewter measuring spoons and ceremic cereal bowls, so I went across the street and found the perfect place: a brew pub with the Mets/Yankees game on and Brooklyn Lager on tap. It was the sixth inning and I was excited to see the Mets up 2-0 against Randy Johnson. In the seventh, I was surprised to see Mets reliever Dae-Sung Koo, in relief of Kris Benson, slap a double to straightaway center, and I was stunned, in that same inning, to see Koo score from second on a bunt attempt by Reyes. It was the most ill-advised move I've seen a Met make all year--the smart move was to stay on third and, with one out, let Cairo or Floyd bring him home--but Koo recklessly shot for the plate and put the Mets up 3-0. (I hesitate to say he was safe because, as the replay showed, Yankee catcher Jorge Posada didn't miss the tag.) Making all of this more ironic is the memory of Koo's first MLB at-bat last week--he looked like a frightened puppy, standing as far from the plate as possible and clearly not even considering a swing of the bat--and realizing after the game, that I'd been listening to the Grateful Dead for over an hour. "Fire on the Mountain," the longest song ever, seem to play the whole time I was there.

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