Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Get Freaky with the Tiki

To mark the 3 month observance of the WTC/Pentagon attacks, this morning all the local radio stations played the Star Spangled Banner. When I heard it sung/played on the Sunday after the attacks at the NFL games, it brought a tear to my eye. But this morning I was stuck in rush hour traffic taking Geoff back to see the ophthalmologist in Waltham... a harrowing drive in and of itself, and one I didn't want to be caught sitting in while feeling overtly emotional.

One of the local radio stations decided to play an a capella version of the SSB by an ensemble known as "Eddie From Ohio." When I used to manage the coffeehouse I got to see these guys and they were AMAZING. The silly name aside, these fabulous musicians blew my literal and figurative socks off.

And then I lost track of what they were up to. I floated out of folk music listening circles, got back into Metallica and they might be giants (bwa, what a combo) and other bands. The coffeehouse closed, and my connection to the wider Boston Folk scene lessened with a few exceptions.

So, intrigued by the band as always, I stayed on the station to listen to the tune, instead of cruising over to the classic rock station in hopes they'd play Jimi Hendrix' version just to be wicked cool.

It made me cry.

I sat in the car, in bumper to bumper traffic on the highway near Lexington, MA, bawling. Crying my fat ass off. I knew all up and down the dial that stations were playing everything from stuffy old brass ensemble versions to (shudder) Whitney Houston. I knew in cars all around me people were making the choice to put in a CD or turn the radio off. How they missed it. Oh, they sure did.

I knew I'd made the right decision to listen to the dulcet beauty of Julie's soprano (she hit the high note, yes she did) combined with the layered and creamy harmonies. Simple, tasteful, contemporary yet somehow timeless and classical. This was a wonderful thing to hear. I felt broken inside, and then felt healing. From the first note to the last. It was redeeming.

I knew one person who died in the WTC. I went to high school with him. I haven't seen him since we graduated. We were in homeroom together for four years. But aside from that, the impact on me in the human toll column has been minimal. The impact on the collective spirit of my nation and on my inner New Yorker has been staggering.

If you want to support EFO (which is so cool, it's like ELO -- Electric Light Orchestra -- only more folkie and less British and synthy) please do so. Swing by their 9eleven page, buy the CD.

By the way, the Classic Rock station played Boston's version of the SSB. How lame. So I'm glad I stuck with the River and EFO.

Why are the AbFab women at the top of my screen, you may ask? Well, for lack of a better little picture I guess. And the fact they have put out 6 new episodes of their raunchy silly britcom. I enjoy it greatly. Running on Comedy Central, Eddie and Patsy indulge in all the sins and behave poorly Mondays from 9pm to 11pm. Yes, cheers sweetie.

My sister does a really funny Patsy imitation. She pulls her hair up and puts on sunglasses and stands posed in her best aloof fashion with a bottle of vodka. Funny shit, y'all.

I'm more of a big fan of Dawn French, who is a writing partner to the woman who plays Eddie, Jennifer Saunders. Dawn was in the Vicar of Dibley (as the Vicar) and "Murder Most Horrid," both of which are great shows. If you get British Comedy, they're both must sees. Dawn is amazingly funny. I wish I could see more of her work.

This just came to me via instant messenger in a discussion with Smitty... Had to share it:

"I was supposed to go to an anger management training today but I forgot to register and they were over booked. The instructor was mad that so many people kept showing up. I guess that's ironic."

A little too ironic, yeah I really do think.

The big news is temporary news. The weather here in New England has been unseasonably nice. The banner at the top of the page is clipped from a picture I took of Geoff coloring in the driveway on December 1. We were out in shorts and Tshirts. Geoff had on his favorite flannel and baseball cap. Jessica was scootering in her favorite BNL tshirt and had no socks on.

It was December 1st .

It was 75 degrees.

Unseasonably pleasant weather in New England is rather nice. I went to our Holiday party (through the office) and didn't wear a coat so the coat check boy didn't get a tip. We've been walking to and from church, which you don't get the chance to do after say November 10th. But all good things do come to an end, don't they. Eventually it snows.

When I went out on Saturday night to C's surprise birthday, the forecast called for snow changing to freezing rain. I got home at 8pm and there was nothing falling from the sky. I figured that once again the local crack smokers at the local big news affiliates were hallucinating... there would be no snow whatsoever.

But lo and behold, ten minutes before I went to bed, we had this much snow...

It was still snowing lightly. And I figured it would do just as they said it would, and change to sleet and freezing rain in the night. Well, they were wrong. We got our first substantial snow. At 7am, Geoff was so excited he tried to run out of the house in his shorts, an unbuttoned flannel shirt, and his snow boots. We had to stop him... there was about 7 inches on the ground and it was still happening.

I love my yard in winter. The hemlocks in the back of the house are like a strong green wall that stands guard, and that wall is unfailing even when covered in feet of fluff. The street becomes quiet. The stairs make a good place to slide down on with your snowpants on. The dog pen mesh fence holds the snow and turns into a nice enclosure... until the wind blows it all off.

So this is the first snow.

Geoff eventually was dressed warmly and well and went out to play. It was a very fun day. But it is not 50 degrees again. What snow is left is quickly retreating. I think of the Frosty The Snowman cartoon and how he needed to hop a train to stay alive, flee to the north lands where it is always cold... Spring wants to come here and come now. I drove past a hedge of rhododendrons yesterday and they were in full bud. The apple tree in front of our church is showing pink flowers.

It's been pretty messed up for mother nature.

We've had later snow, but never in my memory this long a stretch of fine warm weather this late in the year.

I'm dreaming of an hawaiian christmas...

Speaking of which, A&M are coming down for New Years, and Doug and Aaron decided they wanted a South Pacific kind of theme. Tiki mugs and tiki torches, polynesian foods, mai tais... Hawaiian shirts. The whole nine yards. Our last big get together was the Equirox, for which I made engraved invitations. Seeing as only A&M come, it is odd that I go through the effort of making these invitations. But what the heck. Makes it seem more official.

So here are the two invitations I made. I like both of them but feel free to let me know which one you like. I'd love the feedback.

I like them both. I like the top one because Doug made me take art from someone for the second one and then alter it to our needs. I added the tiki glasses, straw and text... and I feel guilty. At least the first one is pretty much all mine except for the tiki guy.

This should be a fun gathering. I hope we have shitloads of snow out there so it's extra worth it to have a grilled porkroast on the weber in the yard. Aaaah.

Okay. Must work. Must get some caffeine. Must move along.

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