Sunday, June 01, 2003

It is Pouring Out....

Twelve years ago today that was not the case. The only thing that was falling from the sky was a heavy rain pine pollen, which got in Doug's eyes and makes him look rather red-lidded in our wedding portraits.

Today, however, it is just plain pourin' down like freakin' mad. So far today I've not had a most romantic or exciting anniversary. I slept until 11am. My bedroom becomes a sensory deprivation chamber of sorts with the pouring down rain. The rain pounds on the roof, and the sound blocks all other noises from the rest of the universe right out.

I had mind-altering and very disturbing dreams and visions. I had a horrible dream about a dog biting me on the arm in front of my office building, at night, in the middle of traffic, in the pouring rain.

I had a very strange dream about living in an apartment building in a very big city, and the apartment across the street (these were skyscraper kind of apartments, not like a brownstone... big big buildings with thousands of people in them) was occupied by a pair of serious exhibitionists with no regard for pulling down the shade when "doin' it" as Kelso would say.

I had four roommates, all male, and I'd come home from work and the guys would be sitting in the windows, pulled back just far enough from the glass so the other couple couldn't see them watching, and they'd have popcorn and beer.

It was like living in a porno store. Go figure.

And I think the sad part of the dream is I had four male roommates, none interested in "doin' it" with me.

I wake up from dreams really confused sometimes. I wonder "where the hell did THAT come from?" and I analyze what's going on in my life or work or what I watched on TV looking for a connection. What dreams may come usually are just of their own making.

But I do feel somewhat skeeved out and disoriented after them. Not fun. I like waking up refreshed and ready for the day instead of wondering where that guy with the arm growing out of his forehead trying to feed himself soggy pizza is coming from.

Mr. Garfield emailed me today to say he's sad that my monkey sighting streak was over, but I don't count it as over. Stacey had emailed me and I got the email late, so in my cheating mind, it sure as hell continues.

And it's funny that some days are drenched with monkey, and others I get barely a reference. Saturday, for instance, was a monkey filled day. Everywhere I looked on Saturday it was monkey this, gorilla that... And this morning I wasn't out of bed 2 minutes when Jessie and Geoffrey were fighting on the couch and she called him "Chimprey." I even found another blog referencing monkeys in the title. That will be my next aortal.

Mr. Garfield also reports that his sister in Connecticut is logging her simian sightings as well and finds that she's seeing at least once a day.

I'm tellin' ya. It's hard to avoid them there primates.

Today I discovered a toad on the walkway on the way down to the basement. I stood outside with the umbrella as the kids and the dogs had a field day watching it try to hop around. Jack was especially entertained and chased the poor thing around the yard. I'm shocked that he didn't try to eat it, pick it up with his teeth or even bark at it.

Geoff is saying "C'mere little fella, it's okay" and trying to pick it up. When it jumps, so does he, screaming. This went on for about 10 tries until he turned to me and said "you pick him up, mom!" My hands were full, with camera and umbrella, but I tried. The stinkin' thing jumped away into the grass and I wasn't going to give chase. That was Jack's job. The picture to the right is the top of Jack's head, nose aimed toward the ready to leap toad. We all came inside after Jack lost track of the thing in the dog pen.

Yesterday was a geocaching day. We figured we'd get a couple in before the rain hit, and a couple we did.

We went to Gloucester to do one of the two caches in Dogtown, an area we'd heard a lot about but never had visited.

It is town land owned between Gloucester and Rockport. There was a settlement there in the 1800s, but the ground was too rocky to cultivate for farming, and was too far from the ports to encourage anyone to live out there, so the area was abandoned. There are dozens of rockwalls and foundations of homes there, as well as an area with dozens of boulders with one-word things engraved on them. We were nowhere near that area, and there's another cache that involves all of them, it's a big puzzle and we'll do that one with Ian Eagle Eyes some other day.

The cache is called "Whale Jaw Hollow" and there's a rock that looks like a big whale jaw there, but we never saw it. We were way in the wrong area coming in, and had to bushwhack back to the area where the cache actually was. We totally missed a right turn pathway, it was hard going for a while.

We found the geocache we sought, got bit by mosquitos, got a Motley Crue tape (insert secret devil sign here) and had a great time getting in and out.

The second cache was much harder and without Doug's tenacity we never would have found it. This one is in Ravenswood Park, a beautiful Trustees of the Reservations property.

It was a "micro" cache, which meant that there was a damn good chance we'd be out of luck finding it, what out in the woods and all. Tiny little film canisters hidden in 9 acres of land... they aren't easy to spot.

I won't give away any secrets here, but if you go to do "Nevermore" do email me and let me know and I'll give you one important pointer. Because it's a microcache, you can't put anything big inside. I took out a Dilbert comic with Catbert the Evil HR director (now that I'm in HR I can lay claim to such things and feel I know what it means truly to be evil and in HR) and I inserted a little grey furry mouse. He fit just right, and I have a feeling he'll be there for quite some time. This cache isn't often visited.

We decided to keep walking on the trail rather than go back the way we came. It turned out to be a beautiful hike, but a lot longer than we intended. We heard two owls talking to one another at one point -- their voices echoing in the ghostly quiet, the thick greens and browns darkening the forest. We stood right underneath one tree where one of them was, and Geoff pretended to be an owl for a while, echoing their calls. It was cute at first... then it started to incredibly irritate me. God bless my kids, I tell you what.

It was starting to get cloudy we were still a half mile away from the truck when the showers started. I was sure we were going to get completely drenched and Geoff's cast would be totally ruined. Our luck held, and it didn't start pouring until we got home. Plus, the tree cover was very heavy and kept a lot of the rain from reaching us. We covered a lot of ground in that reservation, and there is still another whole part of the area to investigate. It was really nice.

It was really nice until I dropped a wad of money somewhere in the woods. That's right boys and girls -- I had about 28 bucks in my pocket at the 2nd cache, and I pulled the trail map out of the same pocket at one point to consult how far we were from the truck, and I dropped the money. No one in my family saw it fall (I was ahead of them) so it's still out there.

If you find it, let me know.

We discovered our loss when we stopped to get slush puppies for the kids on the way home. I felt like a total shit, and Geoff cried and cried because he didn't get a slushy. This is the first time something like that has ever happened to me. I'm usually really good with not dropping cash in forests or on city streets.

Even though we're poorer in the wallet, the dogs, the kids, and the grownups all slept wonderfully last night. It was a very good day.

From the Mailbag:

The Avril things continue. Andi found a website dedicated the world rising up in an "Avrilution," which cracked my shit up, like she's Che Guevara or some shit.

I am not sure if it is a pro-Avril site or an Anti-Avril site. Sort of like the "Black people love us" webpage, the message of satire may be overwhelmed in my mind by the outright serious stance of this. Seeing as they want average and regular people who are just your regular musician types to get attention instead of the mass-marketed music out there, which Avril happens to be.

I'm getting mixed messages. There is no clear "marketing has created this monster and she must be stopped" agenda (the founder espouses his views in the Spin magazine content, which never got printed in Spin magazine, it got boiled down to a little splash on the page).

and Amy writes to me:

Hey, did I tell you that my sister and brother in law took the girls to see her in Lowell recently? The girls really wanted to see her, so P and M suffered through it. They said that there were LOTS of little kids there (in the requisite outfits), and her performance was less than stellar. That she basically just stood there. There were also two opening bands, one called "Gob", and my brother in law kept saying "I need a Gob-stopper!". Ha!

But as a musician, its more than just annoying or funny to see such slavish devotion to such crap. It speaks of the incredible power of marketing, the kind of rabid audience that only millions and millions of dollars can buy you. The same reason that Clay and Ruben, both decent - but not amazing - singers or performers, are now "celebrities". Its not about talent - its all marketing.

How does little ol' independent music stand any chance against that?

Steve from BNL also recently touched upon this in the BNLblog. They are both completely right ....

So all y'all need to get out there and support your favorite SOUNDING bands, and not just the bands that get marketed to you by Clear Channel Radio. Make it your mission. M'kay?

On the Avrilution site, please laugh as hard as I did at all the disclaimers like "Avril Levigne does not endorse this site."

Someone needs to create a fully and totally honest not in the least bit ironic website about stopping the complete marketing frenzy to create stars movement that is out there in the world. Avril may just be your average kid, but her celebrity status is based upon nothing more than the fact she wears clothes from Hot Topic and has nice hair and sneers well.

By the way, if you have a favorite band, email me and tell me about them and I will plug their shit like crazy (especially if I agree). I turned Tess on to some local independent musicians that I love, and she's way the hell up in Alaska. The power of communication in cyberspace is the only thing that can possibly compete with the marketing blitz of media giants. I swear that's the only way small and independent musicians can compete. Build a following and create their own buzz.

And on Johnny Cash, I got this from Faryn:

I have to agree on the whole Johnny Cash/"hurt" thing. I'm from Nashville and the NIN version was actually quite well played when it first came out (even though this city is overrun with country and Christian stations). It is not remarkable. It does not "crank my tractor". I'd much rather hear the song from Trent himself. Have you heard Mr. Cash's version of U2's "One"? Heard it once......hated it.

I never did intend really to say that south the mason/dixon all one could get was country or rap. Although my drive through South Carolina with my sister last year could be held as evidence to support that theory. Nashville is full of radio stations that play everything, it's quite the music mecca for many different genres. As for Mr. Cash's version of U2's "One," I have not yet heard it and don't wish to.

I actually have an MP3 cover version of U2's "One" that Clayton gave me. I guess some members of U2 and REM got together and did it, they called their little ensemble "Automatic Baby," taking from Automatic for the People and Achtung, Baby. The vocal by Michael Stipe is lovely, and the backing harmony by Mike Mills is fabulous. I highly recommend it instead of Mr. Cash's... even though I've never heard of it.

I think Johnny Cash's latest also falls into the it's popular by mass marketing philosophy. He may have been a legend in the first place, but this latest album is popular just by being pumped. Not because it's any good.

And Faryn, I love the crank my tractor line. Nice!

Doug is filling out all his paperwork for his new job, and I really need a side trip out to Target or Walmart for some things... sigh. With all this rain, I just don't even want to go out to the truck to get something I left on the front seat. I doubt we'll be going out anywhere tonight for dinner, even though Carrie said she'd babysit for us... I hate going somewhere in a weather mess. I'd rather go out another night and not worry about running my ass across a crowded parking lot in a nice dress and getting soaked by a passing car. It's easier to get a pizza delivered

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