We had planned to go to Shaw’s Cove on Memorial Day weekend, but the late night club music upstairs (a recurring problem with the new renters up there) put a stop to that. Snorkeling requires a lot of energy, not to mention a long drive, and neither can be done on three hours of sleep.
So, we had to patiently wait for the next opportunity. I convinced a friend from work and his wife to join us. Unfortunately, the surf was high that day and neither of them got far without wetsuits. Sam was still studying for her big test (more on that later), so she couldn’t go in the water at all. Two other friends met us there, one of them an avid ocean swimmer. He and I spent hours way out in the kelp forests while the rest of the crew sunned themselves on the beach.
The waves near the shore were so high that they didn’t leave any sand on the bottom for rays to hide in, so despite hunting diligently, I didn’t see a single stinger.
This was also the first time taking the A7 under water. The camera would probably perform admirably, but the case was such a hassle that it became a fight to shoot anything but the inside of the case. The difficulty is that these bags are made with extending lens portions for zoom lenses. I just have the short prime. Underwater that extendable piece just keeps doing its thing and I end up getting a lot of vignetting or just shooting sideways. I shot over 1,400 photos, but the only decent ones, less than a hundred, are those you see in the Flickr gallery above.
After the beach, we went to Brodard for dinner. The good feelings of the day were marred when we discovered some idiot scraped Sam’s bumper while we were inside.
Sufjan Stevens came to the Dorothy Chandler to play back-to-back shows in early June. Unlike the Age of Adz, something most Sufjan fans would rather forget about, this concert was a return to the tender genuine Sufjan we’ve come to know through his music. The set included every song from Carrie and Lowell, turning most of the songs into a much punchier and orchestral arrangement than the sparse album recordings. For most of the songs, sadness still pervaded, and once that portion of the set was over, Sufjan’s spirits seem to lift. He began speaking to us, sometimes at length, telling stories of his life and all our lives.
You can find a setlist online if you like. It seemed like the goal was to include one song from at least every album. Luckily the only inclusion from Age of Adz was the song that seemed leftover from something else. It seems Sufjan’s is as fond as his former predelection for auto-tune as the rest of us. Song after song at this concert was a treasured favorite. My “I can die now” song that I never thought I’d hear performed live was The Owl and the Tanager. Fittingly, for it is perhaps even sadder than anything on the latest album, it came immediately after the close of the Carrie and Lowell portion of the set. Often, the “singles” (if anything from a Sufjan album could be called that) were eschewed for more meaningful pieces like that.
Although – apparently he’s included it in sets before:
The only downers were that the show closed on the boring version of Chicago. I’ve always thought Come on Feel the Illinoise! would be a better show closer from that album. Unfortunately, Sufjan chose not to treat us to John Wayne Gacy Jr.; perhaps he’d heard too many times it was too sad to close on. Perhaps the chatter from the idiots on the last tour, who never heard the song before, is still affecting his song choices.
I tried my best to take photos in the dark at 50 ISO from a high balcony seat, but out of over 400, only a few photos were worth processing.