I'm exhausted right now, so I should probably go to bed. After all, I'm just beginning a week of vacation and am leaving early in the morning for Algoma. What's in Algoma? Who cares? I won't be at work, and that's why I'm excited about it.
Besides, I need the vacation. Friday was a ridiculously hectic day, thanks to one of my coworkers informing me that offBeat was to perform at the Taste of Madison on Saturday. This was news to me, since we'd considered the offer and turned it down on the grounds that we'd be missing members on that day. I spent most of the afternoon worrying about it and trying to contact people, and finally got a call from Eric just as I was about to leave work informing me that we couldn't perform because he'd be out of town. He said he was going to call the festival organizers to explain, and I'm hoping that call went well. I'm also hoping that it doesn't hurt our ability to find gigs in the Madison area in the future. It's possible that our name on their website was a simple oversight and that somebody else was scheduled to perform. That doesn't sound entirely unlikely to me, since they did acknowledge us when we originally turned them down, and since they never sent us any correspondence regarding where they wanted us at what time or anything like that.
After work I went out with several coworkers to wish adieu to somebody who was leaving. She's actually one of the two United Way coordinators who took over after Heather and I decided we were to busy to helm the committee. Anyway, I was hoping to just sorta pop my head in for long enough to down a Coke and then go home, but I ended up having a good time (!) and stayed really late. I ended up bonding (or close enough) with the girl who was leaving, which is really funny given that we've known each other for like, four years and it took us that long to sit down and talk. I also got to know people from our Merchant Services department quite a bit better, which was nice. My department feels constantly at odds with Merchant Services, but apparently they're really pleasant people who appreciate a good Chuck Norris joke. It was a good night and a huge relief, since (as is well documented in this journal) I hate people. I didn't want to have a miserable time, but I was fully expecting it.
On Saturday, I took my dad and sister to Devil's Lake. It was a gorgeous day, so we spent a couple of hours hiking and convincing my sister not to dump out her iced tea and fill the bottle with minnows. We did a little rock climbing, and went around the lake. Later we drove to Baraboo and checked a couple of the few businesses that were open. One of these was a music store which wanted more than I was willing to pay for a pitch pipe. Another was a used media store where I picked up an LP of the soundtrack to the original, non-musical version of Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Roger Corman. I've never seen this soundtrack before and I'm curious about it.
We ate at the only restaurant that was open on a Saturday afternoon. It was sort of an upscale place -- as upscale as Baraboo can accommodate, anyway -- which looked like it was full of out-of-towners. I had a delicious and overpriced jerk chicken sandwich, but my sister's vegetarian burrito looked a lot more appetizing. I'd say that I'll try the burrito next time, but (in spite of the good food and gorgeous waitstaff) I don't think I care enough for there to be a next time.
After lunch we went to Doctor Evermor's metal sculpture park, which was really the purpose of our day trip. Those unfamiliar with the Doctor and his work really should check it out sometime -- the sculpture park is a sprawling landscape of machines and creatures, all built from scrap, mostly taken from the no-longer-operational Badger Munitions plant. This description barely does the place justice; you really need to see it to appreciate it, but you can get some idea from the photos on the website. Dr. Evermor's favorite subjects seem to be Victorian-age "futuristic" devices and birds (the giant, metal birds on Paterson St. are some of his). My sister acquainted herself with the Doctor (apparently they share a lot of connections in Madison's art community) while my dad and I marvelled at the Forevertron. My dad had never seen the Doctor's work before and was impressed.
After I got home, I relaxed for a couple of hours and watched a few episodes of The Prisoner, which will probably be the subject of a future post. I'm borrowing the DVDs from a friend, and though I'm less than halfway through, it's already one of the most engaging series I've ever seen.