Monday, August 25, 2014

Music on the Wind: A Yearly Tradition

This past weekend, the First City Music Festival was in town. Seth and I briefly considered getting tickets months ago when I first found out Beck would be headlining, but at the end of the day, we decided we'd be better off saving the money for other things. We attempted to see if we could get press passes, as we did want to cover the concert for some of our media outlets, but things didn't quite come together in time. 

That said, we decided to engage in something that has honestly become a much loved tradition for us. Something we affectionately call our "Music on the Wind" concert series. We're lucky enough to live so close to the fairgrounds that when there's a concert down there major enough to warrant a spot on the Redwood stage, we can totally hear it from our porch. And when I say we can hear it, we can totally hear it. It's loud. You can hear all of the lyrics well enough to sing along if you want. Especially when the wind from off of the bay is blowing in the direction it normally is -- right toward our house. 

Some people might find that annoying, but we personally love it. In fact, when we know someone we like is going to be playing, we make a whole event out of it. We plan a menu, have a barbecue, pick out drinks, and make plans to be outside by the time the concert starts. We look forward to it the same way you'd look forward to any other special event. Then when the day arrives, we have a complete blast just being together and enjoying some free music. We've been doing this for a few years straight when it's time for First City. Last year, Modest Mouse was playing and the year before, it was Mumford & Sons. We've gotten to enjoy live music from Trace Adkins, Bob Dylan, and countless other truly awesome artists this way as well. Of course we wanted to arrange a Music on the Wind event around a Beck concert.

As usual, we couldn't pass up a chance to barbecue. We've been doing the whole calorie conscious thing lately, but unlike so many other dieters, we don't believe in full-scale deprivation. Just as we take advantage of creative ways to enjoy concerts when we're too strapped for cash to afford tickets, we don't believe in giving up the hamburgers and hot dogs we love because we're trying to lose some weight. We just start making smarter choices.

That said, we've still been having a wonderful summer full of delightful things to eat. Like the grass-fed lean beef burger and the lean hot dog from Saturday pictured here.

And Beck absolutely rocked. He played so many of my favorites. OK, so "Devil's Haircut", "Hell Yes", and "New Pollution" are probably most people's favorites, but whatever. We had so much fun. So much so that we weren't really all that sorry we didn't score an opportunity to be there in person. That's how much we've come to love this particular tradition of ours.

A lot of people have trouble truly understanding how few resources Seth and I actually have because of the way we always seem to be having such a good time. They figure we must not actually be as poor or have as little as we say we do, because they have these images in their heads of poor people moping all the time. The fact of the matter is, we have even less than we let on most of the time. We just choose to make the most of it. We don't believe that not being able to afford more should mean we aren't allowed to enjoy each other or our lives. Just like we don't believe needing to lose a few pounds should mean you can't enjoy at least a lean, low-calorie cheeseburger once in a while.

We have our moments that find us really super frustrated with life to be sure, but generally speaking, we choose to be happy. We choose to listen to the music on the wind and count ourselves among the lucky. Next up, the Monterey County Fair, complete with all of the wonderful music and food that comes with it.