Wednesday, June 27, 2001

The To-Do List for 'ZonaFest 2001, 8pm

  1. Buy more shorts. I have only 2 pair (Done)
  2. Obtain reading material for trip for myself and Geoff (Done, with exceptions)
  3. Confirm with Dan M drop off time for dog (Done, date/time set)
  4. Pack for me and Geoff (not done)
  5. Color hair (done)
  6. Pick up prescription from CVS (will be done on way to drop off dog, see number 3)
  7. Drop off video rentals (see #6)
  8. Dishes (do before leaving/Thursday night)
  9. Get directions to airport
  10. Buy Gift for Emily Yag's birthday (after all, she is the hostess when we visit!)
  11. Leave note for Pete with contact info, how to turn on water for hose (to be done tomorrow)
  12. Give megan the plants in the pot to babysit (to be done tomorrow)
  13. Feed that fish
  14. Locate and secure tickets where you won't misplace them

Right then. Steady on. I hate getting organized for a trip, but this one seems to be under control thusfar. I am struggling with whether or not to "drug" the Boy with some benadryl before the flight, people have suggested it to me. I think I will bring some just in case he's a total wired basket case and won't be calm/quiet through the trip... it will be very obvious immediately whether or not this will be necessary. Kind of funny that I'm even thinking of 'dosing' my kid as it were, but friends have recommended it to me, they've done it with their children... I'm not sure it's a great idea, so I will just keep it as a consideration.

Doug and Jessica have called me from St. Louis, MO and Salinas, KS. I have no idea where they are today... they could have gone from Kansas south to Oklahoma and Texas, into New Mexico, or, from Kansas westward to Colorado. I wonder which they chose. Doug's put a lot of miles between us since Saturday, and I'm looking forward to hooking the fandamily up in Phoenix.

My dog will be babysat by a very good friend who has watched him before. The last time Kinger was there he was with Missy. Kinger chewed the arm off their leather couch, and ate a duck off of the kitchen counter, which made him sick to death the following day (here at our house, luckily... I would have felt horrible if it had been at Dan's...) Dan has 2 dogs, both are retrievers... they are fun. We'll babysit them in August in exchange for this. We babysat them last summer when Dan and his fiance Honey went to Thailand (that's where she hails from) for 2 weeks. Dan neglected to tell me one of his dogs has a "thing" for hair scrunchies. I was sitting in the grass after a rousing game of tennis ball with all four dogs, and Buddy came up behind me and bit my hair... and started dragging my by my ponytail across the yard, yanking and pulling and scaring the living crap out of me. Finally the hair scrunchie came out of my hair and she danced away tossing it in the air victoriously, and rolling around with it like a kitten with a ball of yarn.

What a fucked up dog.

Anyway, I love them, I love Dan... he's great. I need to get that list at the top of the page completed to the Nth degree so as to enjoy my visit down at his house with him when I drop off the dog. I don't want to ditch and run, nor do I want to stay there, be friendly, hang out, and then come home to a complete catastrophy of life.

Off to pack.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Resistance is Futile. You will be assimilated. All your portals are belong to us...

I work for the corporate office of an internet company that owns a bunch of other companies. In this economy of internet dot-bomb companies, I'm psyched to have a job.

In working for "the corporate entity" I am watching the culture of the way things have gotten done in the past change. And I am afraid I am part of the change-implementation team. We are consumed with how we're going to save money. What can we cut? Where can we slash? People are no longer people, they are "head count" like cattle. Anything that can be automated should, and the humans who did the job dutifully before will assist in making the automation happen, then be handed pink slips.

We have a portal. I work on the web development team. Our subsidiaries built their own portals... some of them. They felt they liked their autonomy, they bought servers to keep stuff safe and in house, while we busted our asses putting in an infrastructure to enable them to use the servers here for content. They aren't interested in our portal... they want to use their own.

So, they're pissing money away, which is fine if they want to pay for it out of their profits, but oh! Lookie here! THEY ARE NOT SHOWING ANY PROFITS! Oh, so sorry for you.

We've put forward initiative to consolidate all portal operations here in house, which is great for me because it protects my ass because someone has to be in charge of stuff, and we have just enough people in house to do that right this minute. It also guarantees that we'll be busy as beavers for the near future in getting content from the subsidiary's portals into ours... by hook or by crook. And, then, people at the subs will be let go, because we'll do it in house now. End of conversation.

All your portals are belong to us.

So I totally feel like I am part of a Borg Collective. The philosophy had been to let the subsidiary companies operate totally on their own, with their own everything, but that proved to be incredibly unprofitable. So, now the plan is to centralize as may operations as possible.

Nice to meetcha. I'm Christine of Borg. You will be assimilated. And I'll absorb all your stuff and it will be part of the collective. Resistance is futile... and I obviously feel so good about it.

(By the way, I am not a big Star Trek weasel in any way, shape, or form, but I always have sort of feared the concept of the Borg. Nameless, machine-like entities just sucking up whatever they come across and destroying its identity and personality... that's what business is all about though). I can't say as I think any of our centralization activities are wrong. I mean, money is the bottom line. Our stock is lame. We've got to do something NOW so we can be here in 10 months. In 2 years... so I can keep getting paid.

So I'm trying to figure out what our strategy will be to politely, and with great encouragement and education around it, get people to see that this is all for the good.

The good of the collective. I mean, the corporation. Right.

On another note, I rented some movies in Doug's absence as he is now someplace west of St. Louis. I watched one of them last night. "The Wonder Boys," with Michael Douglas, Tobey McGuire, Frances McDormand and Robert Downey, Jr.

It was an amazing movie. I loved it. I won't talk too much about the plot, but suffice it to say it takes place at the University of Pittsburgh for the most part, many scenes filmed in the Cathedral of Learning, and there were lots of road scenes around the rivers and in very Western Pennsylvania looking neighborhoods. I love Western PA and what it looks like, and enjoyed the visuals, as well as the story. The story weaves round and round several problems that crop up in the day of Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas) as he prepares to go to a University dinner party full of pompous windbag authors and pretentious English students. A world of Writers and Wannabe Writers, that echoed a lot of what I remembered from my college years.

Michael Douglas' character, Professor Grady Tripp, was likeable enough in a pathetic way, even if he was kind of a self centered jack ass unable to end a book he's working on, is unavailable emotionally and spiritually for his wife, and has knocked up his lover, the University's Chancellor. Tobey McGuire is wonderful as a creepy student named James Leer who fabricates an unbelievable life of suffering and pain, which he pours out in stories that he maintains are autobiographical, to the point where his fellow students are sickened by his tales and can't stand him. Robert Downey, Jr., is pheomenal as Crabtree, a gay editor/manipulator of writers (and in the end, the young author James Leer).

My favorite scene is when they're in a bar and they scope out a patron and make up a story about what he's all about. They name him Vernon, and proceed to weave this imaginative tale around him about where he got scars, and how his brother was murdered by the mob. It reminded me of something that I used to do with my friend Bonnie in college, where we would just create fiction based on what people looked like. I watched this scene with amazement, watching them enjoy the creation of a tale, watching the characters feed off each other's imaginations, and it really made me laugh. I highly recommend this movie. Good ending (a little too hollywood for my liking, but an okay ending nonetheless) and I think I will rent it again when Doug gets home from his trip.

Okay. Gotta run. I have to pick Geoff up from pre-school because I am in "single-mom mode" this week while Doug's away. I have been dropping him off very early and getting in here, very early. It's good to get out of here very early.

Monday, June 25, 2001

Newsflash - I'm not, that's not a baby in my belly, that's just my belly.

All my life I have been overweight. It's just been something I've dealt with. I've been very lucky though to be a somewhat active human, and aside from carrying about 80 pounds more than my frame should have on it, I'm a healthy person.

All that aside though, I've gotta drop some weight.

I get asked about once a month when my baby is due. I'm rather rotund right in front, right where a baby would naturally LOOK like he or she is hanging out counting down to their birth-day. I kind of smile and say "oh, I'm just fat. Not pregnant" or if it's a complete stranger, I say "What baby?" and watch them turn white with shock and shame. It's a great effect. I've always had a sick sense of humor, and love turning that on people.

A friend of mine got mad once when I told her that people ask me if I'm pregnant, or any other baby-related questions. She thinks people have "some nerve" and it disgusts her that if a woman is overweight that someone should have the gaul to ask such a question without THINKING about it first.

I told her it actually makes me feel pretty good. After all, to BE pregnant one must have sex, which means that these people have jumped to the conclusion that I "get my party on" heh, heh, heh, nudge nudge, and am not so ugly that I CAN'T find someone with whom I can play hide the salami. And it also implies they still find me YOUNG enough in appearance to actually be of child bearing years.

One of the problems is I have small boobs. I wear about a B cup in whatever diameter size I happen to be at that time, right now it's between a 38 and a 40. B cups are small... considering when I'm skinny I'm an A cup I actually give thanks for these. I think if I were proportionally balanced with a C or (gasp) a D cup, I'd look normal. Fat, but blessed.

So with the tiny boobs and the larger than normal belly area, yes, I do honestly look about 7 months pregnant. So the questions come, the glances as people pass me... and I know what the pedestrian coming the other direction thinks ("Is she or isn't she?" "Should I ask?")... People are more polite to me, they hold doors and they smile that knowing smile, as they help out a woman "in that condition." And I know they are doing that because they think there's a load in there that I'm schleping around...

My husband has jokingly suggested that I ought to take advantage of that knee-jerk human reaction to be kind to the prego lady... but I can't. Well, a large part of me can't. God is watching (grin).

When I was in college I weighed about 170lbs. It was my freshman year, and I'd give anything to weigh that again. Well not anything, I don't wish to lose weight from cancer and related treatments or anything. I'm just sayin'.

I had a roommate who wasn't quite so bright. Her name was Mary. She went to the store one day at the beginning of the school year. The college had van runs to a local mall so that resident students without cars could go shopping, and get off campus and see the "real world" once in a while. Mary came home with about 7,000 dollars worth of merchandise from a store called "Ann & Hope" which is a step down from say a Sears, and barely an inch up from "Everything for a Buck." She bought some very interesting things. And she insisted on showing our other roommate Bonnie and me EVERY item she'd acquired.

First, a bottle of "Silver Fox" shampoo. "Uh, Mary," I commented, "I've seen commercials for that, and I think that's old lady shampoo." Sure enough, I read the label and discovered that it was custom designed for hair that had seen many moons, many summers... grey hair, which needs extra assistance in gaining that youthful sheen and glow. "Why'd you buy shampoo for hair over 50?" I asked, trying not to laugh in her face.

"I like the bottle," was young, naive Mary's reply. Whatever makes ya happy, Mare.

She went on to show us more stuff, and was especially psyched (inordinately psyched) to show us her new underwear. Purchased in a packet of 6, the panties were folded together around a sheet of cardboard, wrapped in plastic shrink-wrap. Mary gleefully tore into the package. I see her clear as day in front of me as this happens...

She unfolds one side of the underpants, and that one side extends about 10 inches off her lap. There is dead silence in the room, I hear Bonnie's stomach hit the soles of her feet. Mary then painstakingly, slowly, slowly, opens the OTHER side of the underpants, and holds one large tent-like ass covering piece of cloth and elastic pair up in front of her face. They seemed incredibly large, frighteningly large, like the mylar dome over the hockey rink large.

We were silent for a minute as she gape-mouth stared at the underwear, which was large enough to host a small family of mexicans as they hid out in the desert trying to cross into the United States.

"Holy Crap, Mary, what the hell size underwear did you BUY!" I stammered.

"Size 10. I got size 10 underpants."

Now, I'm not a woman of the world, I'm not a fashion connoisseur, but I do have a clue. Bonnie starts laughing herself sick as her stomach has now bounced back and hit her esophagus. She's falling out of her chair onto the floor, and incredulously I ask Mary, still staring at her under pant tent thing, "What were you thinking? I mean, I am a fat lard ass and I wear size 7 underwear. What would make you buy size 10 underpants. I mean, you MAYBE wear a size 5."

The answer made perfect sense.

"It's the same size I wear in pants." Size 10. She wore size 10 pants, and presumed that lingere and pants/skirts/shirts ran on the same sizing scheme.

Oh, to be young, 18 and completely naive again. At the time, I looked at those underpants unfolding across her lap like the cloth Betsey Ross used to make our nations first multi-colored banner. I said to myself, "Damn, them's big panties."

And now I look at my own and say "Damn, these is big panties."

Nearly 20 years ago I never dreamed I'd be wearing size 8 or 9 underpants, but suffice it to say, it's only one step away from size 10. And I'm not going to ever wear those. At least I didn't buy size 18 underpants, the same size I wear in pants.

I know Sir Mix-a-lot would love me. I hear he likes big butts and can't deny it. But the big butt is overshadowed by the big gut... and that's all gotta change. Hopefully I can see to that before my next trip out for Hanes-Her-Ways.

Saturday, June 23, 2001


4pm on a hot and somewhat sunny afternoon, and my recently bathed and scrubbed-clean son is out cold on the couch in his Charizard Pokemon underpants, after a few hours of out of control fun in the sun with the hose, and some (understatement) mud. I sat on the deck in my bathing suit and a pair of shorts, sure to wear sunscreen after what happened to me a week ago today (worst... sunburn... ever... never... felt such... pain, as James T. Kirk might overact and say).

Without the boy climbing on me or nefariously into anything, I hardly know what to do with myself, so I figure, hey! Journal Entry Time!

Doug and Jessica left this morning for their massive road trip. I did about a gazillion loads of laundry last night, washing everything, not just what was needed for them to pack. I organized all of Jessica's things and let Doug pack his own. Getting ready for vacation is usually such an incredible pain for me... I end up packing for everyone, and invariably I farg up and forget something for someone. When Doug's sister got married I neglected to pack Doug's suit jacket or his pants or something, and he was reading in the wedding... so I vowed I would never pack for him again, seeing as I simply suck at it. That was five years ago this past April. So, I organized everything I felt I was supposed to, and left it at that. And it all went smoothly. They got going later than I thought they would, around 11am, and I anticipate they'll be at their first overnight in Western PA at Doug's parent's house by 9 pm tonight... even if they stop to eat.

I am slightly jealous, as hanging around here makes me feel as if i should be DOING something productive with my time. I'm a very poor (lousy, crappy, insert negative adjective here) housecleaner, and we have half the house in a kind of remodeling state, and this room... the study, fuggedaboudit. It's an atrotious mess of old papers, files from Doug's graduate school years, boxes from my last job which I left over 15 months ago, more papers, magazines, all kinds of stuff, intermingled with rolling tumbleweeds of black dog hair... oh I'm nauseous just typing about it.

Thing is, I feel like with them "freshly gone," as it were, I deserve a moment of doing nothing. Yeah, I deserve that. Some down time. Time to myself. I wish I had a beer or something!

On the other hand, I tell myself I spend most of my time here doing nothing in the first place, so while I have no boy up my back, or in the cabinets, or messing with lotion in the bathroom (he loves lotion. Go figure)... I ought to make use of these precious alone seconds and start cleaning. I could clean Jessica's absolute pig sty of a room, reorganize all the stuff I pulled out of the closets to go through to give to Doug's sister's new baby (our niece, Elyse... it rhymes), clean the kitchen, clean my messy room... clean Geoff's black hole of a messy room... oh the possibilities are endless...

But there's a 3 hour Powerpuff Girls Marathon on, and then Dexter's Lab is on...the only good stuff on TV on a Saturday afternoon, and that's just so fun... it couldn't hurt to just relax and watch a few episodes, could it?

I'll be sleeping in about 15 minutes. Out cold... Right on the other end of the couch from my half naked four year old. That's Saturday afternoon fun family entertainment. It would be justified, a big nap that is... we did lots of yard stuff, watered plants, had the biggest mud puddle under the swingset in history... it was a good day for science in my backyard! And who could ask for anything more when you are a four year old (and you need to be distracted from the fact that your dad and sister just split and you won't see them for about a week, plus, you have to fly on a plane! Oh, it's too much to think about). More mud please.

On another note, I discovered wild strawberries growing underneath the swing set last week. There are about six or seven plants beneath the platform going to the slide. The plants cropped up right along the wooden bottom, where if you wanted to you could fill it with sand for a sand box. I "harvested" six of the berries this afternoon. They are lush, huge, very red, perfect in ripeness, but they don't taste as good as they look. Why is that? How disappointing, to bite into what looks like will be an amazing piece of fruit only to find out it's an "okay" piece of fruit.

Still, the fact that they are there amazes me. I had tried to replant all the wild strawberries I had found in the yard when we moved in, and they didn't take to the new spot in the garden. I'd given up, thinking I'd rounded them all up and killed them all. But here I find a flourishing colony. I'll leave them be, they seem to be doing quite amazingly well on their own. And the Boy hasn't discovered them yet, which is extra great. There are a good 20 more berries on the remaining plants, I am going to keep a close eye on them, harvest them as they come due. There is a huge black raspberry bush in our yard that is out of control this year, so I am looking forward to fighting the birds for that bounty. There usually are so many, that the we get all we want and the birds still get well fed. That's lots o'berries. I hope they don't come to ripeness while I'm away and we don't get ANY. That would be the first time since we moved in here.

That's about it... I do think that nap sounds good. And I'll get Geoff to at least HELP me clean his room. Later.

Friday, June 22, 2001

Better look before you sit... if you wanna take a ....

Shown below is your submission to on Fri Jun 22 15:50:28 2001

Topic : Charles Sturken's Ridiculous Comments to the Press about the Caiman in the Pond
Name : Christine xxxxxxx
Email address :

Comments : Dear Commissioner Miele, I would like someone to clarify to me whether or not Mr. Sturken was kidding when he commented that he'd rather see the caiman placed in your city's sewer system than taken to a more native climate in florida.

Please tell me he's joking. I mean, where would you rather live... in the flotsam and jetsam of the sewer system, where sure, the water is replenished on a regular basis but it's full of human waste, and the temp doesn't drop below 57 degrees, or, in a reptilian society with your peers sunning yourself on swamppy rocks and eating fresh foodchain victims.

If he thinks it'd be "cute" or "clever" or "appropriate" or "kitchy new york urban legend in action" he's an idiot. I recommend mr. sturken spend a few days living in the sewer. i'm sure the whole experience will make him long for florida. have a super day, and kick him in the butt a few times to get some logic flowing to his braincells.

The above referenced email content is something I fired along to the New York Department of Environmental Protection. Seems there was a large reptile in a part of a pond in Central Park, and a man who wrangles gators came all the way up from Florida the other day because he heard about it and volunteered to catch the critter to take it back to more reptile-friendly climes in his native state.

Turns out it was a 2 foot long caiman, kinda like a gator, and this guy caught it with his bare hands. He's a 15-minute celeb in NY right now... and he is probably having the time of his life. Good for him.

The thing that chaps my britches about this event though is the comments by the Chief of Staff of the NYDEP, Charles Sturken, who in two seperate interviews in the past 3 days has commented that the critter belongs in the sewer system once it is wrangled from the pond. Initially I was dumbstruck at his idiotic comments. The sewer system. Uh, isn't it full of like shit and, well, shit?

Mr. Stucken is quite proud of the sewer system in New York. The water is replenished frequently, there's plenty for the critter to eat (rats and stuff) and the temperature never drops below 57 degrees, so it would of course be the most wonderful and perfect place for a reptile to wile away his days! And I am sure would be cute and kitchy for NY, as it is the city that loves its demons, fables and legends.

Now, I'm not an animal activist. I'm not all "save the whales, don't eat meat, meat is murder... yadda yadda yadda." If it were up to me, I'd'a shot it. I mean, shit. That stupid thing could run out of the pond and bite someone! Who wants to be responsible for THAT! But thanks to the kindness of the Southern Man with the fast hands and not too bright brain, the caiman is captured and won't take one in the hat from me. That's better. But I cannot believe someone would actively advocate with a straight face (sans tounge implanted firmly in cheek) that the stupid misdirected homeless critter belongs floating with the intermingled shit of celebs and paupers.

So I took the opportunity to email the commissioner. Damn it, I want answers. That guy should lose his job.

And by the way, how the hell did it GET there anyway... That's what i REALLY want to know.

I'd rant further on this... calling Mr. Stucken more names and questioning his intelligence quotient, but I think I should leave it at this. I got over being shocked, got over laughing my ass off until I almost pee'd. Now I'm just shaking my head saying "only in New York, baby. Only in New York."

In other news, Doug and Jessica leave for their southwestern trip tomorrow morning. I'll write, I'm sure, about the chaos of getting them out the door, and how I either miss them or am enjoying their absence.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

what did SHE have for lunch?

I hate public restrooms, especially public restrooms where daily I visit and am surrounded by people I know.

It's one thing to go to a public restroom and have the anonymity of being far away from home, far away from friends, where if your shit don't stink or if it DOES, no one will be able to look at you later and marvel. "What'd she have for lunch? Damn!"

Office bathrooms are the absolute worst places in the world to have to be when you need that moment of "aloneness." There are peak times when there are lots of women in the bathroom. I try to ignore the proverbial call of nature right before and right after lunch, but of course, you can only wait so long.

Pee is one thing. I find it amusing when I'm in the stall and another woman rushes in and has to pee like the racehorse she is. She throws her keys on the counter and rushes in, slams the door and you know she barely gets her jeans down when the sound hits the water like friggin' Victoria Falls. Sometimes she sighs, and I sit and laugh.

But dumping is something that I wish I could reserve for just the homestead. I hate having to go, and hearing that main door open. I sit and wait. I wait until the interloper leaves. And invariably, someone else comes in right as she's leaving... and I'm sitting thinking "this could go on all day." Usually I am all set after that first or second person is gone, I can make the deposit, flush, wash and get out of there quickly.

I don't know what it is about me. I am worried about being too noisy, too smelly, and then suffering from the paranoia of the other person sitting there dreading the day they were born.

One of my biggest pet peeves is sitting there and having someone come out of her stall, while I'm waiting... and then she has to fucking stand there for 20 minutes playing with makeup, looking at her ass in the mirror, examining her teeth for tell-tale lunch remnants... when I have to crap. No one cares about your hair, bitch, get the fuck out!

There are no "safe havens" in my building, places where there is a ladies room on a floor and virtually no ladies, or, a handicapped bathroom where you know you can be alone for a few minutes because, truth be told, no one handicapped works in the building. It's a nightmare.

Once, when I was pregnant with Jessica I was in a rest area bathroom as we were heading from Atlanta to Boston, moving away from the south and back "home" where our friends are. I was in the bathroom, having recently been at a McDonalds (which always wreaks havoc on my intestinal tract for some reason) and had finished up and was getting ready to leave when four old women came into the bathroom.

"Oh dear, it stinks in here!" said one of them. "Smells like... sulfur of some sort. I wonder why..." and the four of them spent the entire time talking about the smell, and how it smelled that way on the FARM where they grew up... and on and on. I stood stoically in the stall, waiting for them to finish and leave (make up adjusting, ass looking, teeth examining... of course). And I eventually left the bathroom.

My husband stated he was ready to call the rescue team, thinking I'd fallen in. I told him I wish I had... he laughed at me. The little old ladies saw me then, and then came over to tell me how cute I was with my baby belly and how excited I must be...

If they only knew, someone that cute could be that stinky...

Saturday, June 16, 2001

...the space between

The company I work for has a luxury box at Foxboro Stadium. They raffled off tickets to people in the corporate officewho would want to go to certain shows this year, and I won tickets to see Dave Matthews Band. I love older Dave Matthews stuff, not fond of the new album... but hey. Luxury box. Free beer. Comfortable and safe surroundings for my daughter to go see her first concert, and a band she actually likes. I figured this would be an ass kicking 9th birthday present for my best girl... so I decided to take her instead of my husband (who, by the way, dislikes DMB greatly...).

The kids and I spent the afternoon at a pond, and I got a killer sunburn. I always remember to put sunscreen on them and not on myself. It was monkey hot that day, and I really wanted for us to get out and have fun swimming and sunning. My daughter and I left for Foxboro at 4:30. When I was much younger, the need to get there before noon to tailgate, eat, drink and puke in the parking lot was a lot stronger.... I felt that if we got there before the opening artist, Macy Gray, was finished, and before DMB started playing, that'd be good timing.

We got to the Foxboro area at about 6pm. Parked in a motel parking lot for $20 and walked the mile to the stadium. Again, it was super monkey hot, there were tons of drunk college students... and my 9 year old daughter right there among them. She seemed completely oblivious to their behavior, which made me feel good. She had the binoculars in hand, and was enjoying listening to the songs that the tailgaters were blasting from their cars. The parking lot area brought back a lot of memories for me, being a drunk stupid college student once upon a time... I honestly don't remember ever being THAT drunk and stupid though.

She asked for a slushie (turned her mouth horrid blue) and we got to the stadium, the luxury box, the beer, the pizza and the whole 9 yards before Macy sang her "signature song" which I can't stand. We had binoculars, a view of all God's creation, and it was refreshingly cool up in the box with the window wide open, and the cold beer and good friends from my office to hang out with.

Dave and the boys took the stage at about 8:20, earlier than I expected. With luxury box tickets you also get tickets in the stands, our tickets were right on the 50 yard line (had it been a football game) in the very low section of the first tier above the floor. After DMB took the stage, they were about 3 songs into their performance, I suggested we go down to our seats to see what the view was like there.

We fought the crowd, made it to our seats. Someone was in them, of course, so I made no big deal of it and we just stood beside the drunk college students who were in our seats. The row of drunk college students in front of us had a guy in the midst of them who looked like he was going to hurl. He'd stand up straight, sing along, wave his arms, yell "Wooooooo hooooo!" and then he'd bend over at the waist, fix his hands upon his knees and breathe heavily for a little while, hunched over forward in vomit-position. I kept a good eye on him... I didn't want him to do a lightning fast 180 degree turn and slather my daughter with spew.

Jessica noticed the pot smell, and I asked her if she was bothered by it. She said the smoke itself, not the smell was bothering her. I asked her if she wanted to go back yet, and she said she wanted to stay there a little while longer. I got the impression that she was kind of nervous, but it was exciting and weird at the same time. The band went into "Sattelite" and had a woman singing in some one of the many African languages (Dave's big into his Africa roots), and it was very pretty. Jessica was fascinated by the stage backdrops, they looked like tree trunks, made of taut canvas, painted in a way that made them also look sort of like snake skin. She eventually started applauding and "Wooo hoooo"-ing along with the crowd, and was getting into it.

Aside from the fabulous music, the crowd watching was the best part. I watched this tall, black security dude behind our row of seats keep a tube-topped, drunken blonde-floozy from scamming her drunken ass down into our section. He was a riot, not putting up with her drunk ass shit as she drunkenly begged him to let her go "back to her seat" and she didn't have her ticket because she "dropped it" somewhere when she went to the ladies room... and dropped it because there are tiny tiny pockets on her little tiny white shorts and no pockets on her tube-topped entombed boobies. Something happened behind her, and he turned his attention to the frackas, and she tried her drunken damndest to squeeze past him with all the determination and strength youth could muster. He thwarted her attempts with a "What DO you think you're doing?" Then she started cursing at him, yelling at him... "That kinda talk isn't helping your cause, young lady," was his retort. She slammed her foot down and screamed through her teeth, like a 7 year old.

It struck me right there and then that she was more childish than my own 9 year old.

I laughed.

My daughter eventually wanted to head back up to the booth. Even at 5' 1" she felt too short to see anything well. So after another two songs we pressed our way back to the luxury box entrance, and went back upstairs.

The stadium broadcasted the show on the jumbo-trons (four of them) and closed circuit tv in the boxes. We were the only people up in the booth for a while, then other people started filtering back in. One of my friends from another department sat with my daughter and shared binoculars. He asked her how old she was, she answered; he smiled and said "do you know how lucky you are?" She replied, "I have an idea."

We left before the encores, which bummed me out but we needed to get out of the Foxboro area before the crowds tried pouring out. The drunk and ridiculous crowds. Plus, Jessie was showing her tired side, and would have minded a long trek back to the car. We got a ride from one of my co-workers, who dropped us off right by our car, and we were home in an hour.

Boyd... kicked ass.
Dave and the boys played a lot of stuff off the new album, and I wasn't overtly impressed with the playlist. They did play an unbelievable rendition of "Bartender," which I've only ever heard played acoustic by Mr. Matthews himself (an mp3 of Austin City Limits lives in my "soundtrack of my life" mp3 folder), and a rousing rendition of "Lie in our Graves" where Boyd Tinsley performed a 15 minute "fiddle" solo that had the crowd writhing with joy... I never would have imagined that a "fiddle" solo would get 60,000 people that frenzied up. It was so amazing.

I think if Mr. McCune, my elementary school music teacher, had told me there was something more to violin playing than classical music I might have stayed with it. I mean, if I knew you could bend notes, play frenetically, rip the bow across the strings like Boyd does, man... I think I would have enjoyed myself more at it.

I really wanted my daughter to see a live concert. And this was a great one to go see. (I just wish they'd done "#41/Say Goodbye", "Two Step" and "Rhyme & Reason" that night, and there was just too much stuff from the new CD, which I am not particularly fond of). It was a great show. And I am glad my daughter's first big rock concert was mostly spent in the luxury box, with a bird's eye view of all that's wrong, funny, crazy and good about college/high school kids. I think she got a musical and social education. It'll be one she will rightly remember.