Duck and Danny

After a late night out yesterday evening I slept in. Andrew woke me at 11 because Dad needed my car keys. He took out the alternator today to have it tested. Removing it wasn’t much trouble. It turned out to be bad and Dad bought a replacement at Pep Boys. Later in the afternoon when he tried to install it he discovered that the connections were oriented the wrong way. In the process of trying to put it back together the right way, he broke the brush housing.This evening I met Amy for dinner at the Maple Street Café. We had arranged to meet yesterday but she had to cancel that afternoon. I was running a bit late having had to deal with the car unexpectedly but I got lucky with the cab and arrived not long after 6:30. Amy arrived just after I did. I had the Duck Jameel, “pan seared boneless pepper crusted duck breast served with a fig sauce.” Earlier in the afternoon my brother Andrew recommended it and it was quite good. Amy had a crawfish pasta dish.Having just met the last week I didn’t know much about her. I asked a bunch of questions about her childhood and growing up in Shanghai. I don’t believe I know anyone else from China so I was curious to hear about it from someone with first hand experience.After dinner we walked to Dixon Hall on campus. Amy came to the restaurant in a small scooter and I pushed it along as we walked, a decent work out for my right arm. There was a recital this evening featuring British pianist Danny Driver. It struck me as a pretty safe bet compared to the last time I took someone to see new live music on a first date.The turnout for the performance looked pretty light in the 1000-seat auditorium. It was taking place during the much hyped Florida/LSU game. Mr. Driver opened with Partita for keyboard No. 1 in B flat major by Bach. Admittedly I’m a novice in the realm of classical music but I was most impressed by his performance. Playing from memory alone was pretty remarkable to me. While technically superb he is also a visibly animated player, which I suppose makes sense when you don’t have any sheet music to look at. You could see him pause and overtly shift his mood between movements depending on the tempo.Following the Bach piece, Mr. Driver addressed the audience and discussed the next piece, Sonata No. 5 by York Bowen, a comparatively unknown British composer. I would be hard-pressed to colorfully describe his performance but I can say it was damn good.An intermission followed. Amy and I relocated from fourth row center to the left side for a different perspective. From our new seats you could see the performer’s fingers work the keys in stellar form. It was a bit mesmerizing. Driver resumed playing with Four Piano Pieces by Brahms and concluded with Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32, a soft ending to a rousing performance that earned a standing ovation.After the performance I walked Amy to the business school where we parted ways for the evening. Before heading home I stopped at the Boot for one drink and to catch the end of the Florida vs. LSU game which was apparently quite anti-climatic. Florida scored the lone touchdown of the game for a final of 13-3. I almost felt sorry for all those people that paid hundreds of dollars to see the dud of a football game. I finished my drink and walked up to The Mushroom to see if there was anything I might like buying. I picked up a copy of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue which the clerk was kind enough to play over the stereo while I continued browsing. I also walked out with a copy of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly It took longer than I would have liked to catch a cab but I did get home before midnight. I wasn’t tired yet so I watched A Fish Called Wanda which was pretty amusing. Krystle called pretty late but I still was not very tired so I talked to her for a while before finally turning in for the night.

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