Boo Day Two

November 7, 2015

Fall has finally come to Davis.. marked mostly by cooler temps. At long last. Trees have finally started to turn with an attitude of commitment.. maybe by January the leaves will all be down in time for a mid-January early spring. But my cynicism is getting ahead of me!

All of this is to say, we bundled up for Farmer’s Market and drank hot coffee to stay warm.┬áBecause it was all the way down into the 60s. Kind of a change. (It might have been in the high 50s when we headed out!)

The afternoon was a nice bike ride through campus — a first for me… we got all twisted around in the Vet Med school and all the new bike paths around the new stadium. But a nice day for a ride.

Wandered through the oak grove on the west end of the arboretum…


And looked at the ceramic art.

First, there is probably the most artistically adorned bathroom in all of Davis (though come to think of it, Central Park’s bathroom’s got a huge Heidi Bekebrede…hmm):


And then this Donna Billick piece (with help from my favorite ceramicist Mark Rivera):


I hadn’t realized before that it depicts the drought-tolerant plants best for our region, as grown in the adjacent demonstration garden… which is both beautiful and useful in designing your own garden…

Here’s a close up of one of the panels:


And on this end of the arboretum, the creek still looks horrible… so thick in slime you could probably walk on it..


And all that was lovely.. but the highlight of the day had to be seeing the show at Harlow’s (restaurant and nightclub on J Street in downtown Sac).


Went with Bill and Sabrina. Ate dinner on our laps–it’s what they do there. Fun place, great service. Intimate.

So, Jeff Daniels, the actor, who Jim and I have just seen in two current movies–Steve Jobs and The Martian–and who starred as Flap in Terms of Endearment, among dozens of other great roles, is touring with his son Ben and his band and playing small clubs all over the country. Sort of country rock-ish stuff. All their own material. I believe most, if not all, written by Jeff Daniels. Great lyricist.

Here’s the whole 6-member band:


The woman is Ben’s new wife, Jeff in front, Ben second from right, and a few more talented guys (okay, I’m calling them by name like I know them, feels weird, but there it is). Jeff is a skilled showman (sure his showmanship grows out of the confidence of a successful, decades-long acting career, genuine musical talent, and being the dad up there). The entire show was well-choreographed and polished in its delivery. But it was also a warm and genuinely fun set–Jeff being extremely gracious and clearly loving being up there among the 30-somethings–one being his son, one being his new daughter-in-law (and apparently his wife and another son were backstage…”Partridge Family on Acid,” he said). There was a short middle set that was just the Ben Daniels band, and it had a completely different vibe. It was interesting, but thankfully short.

Many high moments in the show. One was when he invited a woman in the audience up to the stage for a song. Turns out she’s the “sorority girl” in a clip from the Newsroom (tv show) that is virally circulating around the internet. The scene is a Q&A session following a panel discussion taking place on a university campus. The panelists, including Jeff Daniels’ character, are discussing politics and the media. Her question is “what makes the US the greatest country on earth.” Daniels’ character says it’s not–the audience is shocked–and he explains why. I’ve seen the clip numerous times, so it was fun to see the woman there. From the reception, the entire audience was also familiar with the show and that particular clip. I’m guessing the women just happens to live in the area… It was pretty fun.

But the best moment in the show may have been the encore song, just father and son, singing a song Jeff wrote about Ben when he was three. Jim’s comment, “That was not fair,” because it evoked heavy (loving) father/son stuff, very emotional and poignant. Left everyone in the audience in an emotionally tender place but was a super nice note to end on.


Great, great concert.

(And please note, second concert in three days.)