Also on Friday, two other events--one from the sports world and one from the music world:
Starting on the hardwood, our girls' HS hoops team made it back-to-back AAAA titles as they dismantled Archbishop Ryan from Philly, 70-43. I was able to make it to a part of a few practices this year and they're as tough as ever for sure. They lost two games this year. Both were in big time national tournaments to teams in California ranked #2 and #4 in the country. They lose three starting seniors, but their best player will be back next year. Maybe they'll make it three in a row.
The other Friday event happened on the South Side. Unbeknownst to Beth and I, one of our all time favorite performers, Jennifer Knapp, was in the 'burgh for a concert at a place called Club Cafe (not that us party animals would know where that's located on the South Side). This came entirely out of the blue. One of the other track coaches, who's a big music fan, told me at the beginning of practice on Friday that he was reading an article about her in the newspaper and he remembered her name because I burned a CD of her music for him a few years ago.
Her story's an interesting one. Back in the late 90's-ish time frame, she came out of nowhere to have a big time album on the Christian scene. It was just Jennifer, her acoustic guitar, and a little backup drums and bass. She has such a strong voice and her lyrics were very honest about learning about her faith and struggles. This connected to a lot of people. Her second and third albums were just as strong. Beth and I even caught her in concert down in Lancaster back in the day.
Then, she just went away. Over the past few years I would check google periodically and see if her name would come up. However, only places with speculation or rumors would come up--nothing concrete. Back in February, her website came back up and there were a few songs on it. It sounds like she just needed some time away, but now is refreshed and ready to get back at it.
She has some very honest quotes in the PG article that shows her character and where her heart is regarding music:
"I had to get away. I was losing where my inspiration came from and shutting down. I was on tour for one album, it hadn't even been out for a whole year, and the A&R guys were telling me they needed a new record. I was writing in stairwells and not even living like a human being. It was insane. "
...later in the article after talking about her living in the Outback of Austrailia for a time...
"I was oddly attracted to sitting down and playing again. There wasn't anybody bothering me. Slowly, I learned the artistic process and the vulnerable preciousness of music." She started playing her new tunes for friends and it was very apparent that it was time to get back to doing "what I was put here to do ... and I was scared to death."
Saturday was our first track invitational. It was a sunny, yet chilly day. Mostly in the low 40's. For my crew, the long jump was first for girls and the coldness showed. A lot of the girls, even the eventual winner who was a state finalist last year, jumped about a foot shorter than usual. But, they persevered and we had a decent day altogether. No meets with spring break/Easter Holy week but we've got some practices and then get back in to competing the week after Easter.Got finished with the meet just in time to get home and pick up Beth and go down again for the Saturday night church service. They had a live donkey come down the main aisle with a kid on it to commemorate the Palm Sunday arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem. Pretty neat for everybody except the donkey. He didn't seem to like the spotlight and stopped a couple of times. Once it dropped off the kid, the donkey sprinted back up the aisle with the handler. He said, "Get me out of here!"
After church, dinner at Qdoba and we swung by the DSW across the street. Since I don't get shoes provided for me due to my athletic achievements (or lack thereof) like some others that we know, I go there and look for bargains around $50-60. It's a hit or miss chance each time you go, but usually every second or third time I'll find a quality pair of running shoes there.
A negative of this endeavor occurred one time about a year or so ago where there was this nice pair of Saucony's for cheap. The catch was that they were this electric blue shade (see picture). But, being the frugal person that I am, I convinced myself that they weren't THAT blue and I wouldn't mind. Boy they haven't lost their glow yet!! I always get comments (and snickers) from the kids when I wear them to practice.
Anyway, last night was a good trip as I found FOUR pairs of shoes (and none of them were a glowing blue) for less than $60--Saucony, Brooks, Asics, and New Balance. All were originally $80-$100. I thought about getting them all, but ended up just getting one pair. Good deal!
So that's the weekend. Now we're drying out from finishing our long run in the rain and watching some basketball. Good luck to everyone else's brackets. Feel free to take my leftover luck since I apparently didn't use up any of it for my bracket.