Friday, October 31, 2003

Halloween Devils and Gypsies

My children are raking through their halloween loot, Doug is watching 8 legged freaks, and I'm here to share some pictures of tonight's festivities.

The weather was once again sterling -- not cold not warm, a light sweater and a flashlight were all that was needed. Jessica got invited to a friend's house to trick or treat, so we let her go. I dressed her quickly, she went as a gypsy, same as last year, so the get up was relatively simple to pull off.

For weeks, Geoff repeatedly told me that this year he wanted to be a devil, and I was somewhat opposed. For a child who already has a bad rap as a behavior case at school, does a parent want to perpetuate the image by dressing her child up as the Prince of Darkness?

I hemmed and hawed, asked him if he wouldn't rather be a Ninja of some sort. He told me no -- Devil. A Red Fire Devil. He had it all planned out, to the detail.

It was a very easy costume to put together, and he made a very fetching devil. This morning he was up early and all ready to get in suit. The first, second and kindergarten grades in his school do a parade to all the other grade levels, so he was psyched for that.

I didn't put the face makeup on him in full, but I did take a black eyeliner and give him a little beard, some scary eyebrows and a very mischievous moustache. We purchased copper hair spikey gel to make a "fire" look in his blonde locks. The result is as follows:

His teacher saw him coming up the hall, and absolutely melted "Here's my special little devil!" she cooed to him, he gave her a big hi-five and went into the classroom. All the kids went berserk. They LOVED him. "Wow! Look at Geoff! Your hair is SO COOL! I love your horns! I love your beard! I love your glasses! (like they never noticed them before).

He was celebrity personified. And to quote BNL "All the jaws will drop and all the girls will scream, there will be commotion when I show up on the scene..."

He was celebrity.

He had a fabulous day at school, and by the time I got home he'd already put another five dollars worth of copper hair gel in his hair and it had dried. It was all in like one concentrated spot. It was a mess. A bunch of water and a stern brushing later and it looked passable. We sent Jessie off, ate dinner and then I started the face painting.

By the way, even though she wasn't with us for all the fun, Jessie does deserve a picture here.

She looks a little like Little Steven I think. Not quite as good a job dressing her this year as last, but heck, she was happy, and that's all that mattered. She's had that "crystal ball" on her desk all year... keeps it on a stand. I must admit, I am very proud it has held up.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Lost in the woods, again

Geoff and I went out and hid a geocache this afternoon. We had just enough light to get it done. Round trip it's a little less than a mile. I love multi caches. The final hiding spot is right near where you park, so it's kind of evil that way. Heh heh heh.

He scared the crap out of me tonight. He was right behind me and we were walking back to the truck, having finished hiding the multi-cache hints. I got to the truck, turned around, and he wasn't there. I thought maybe he was throwing sticks into the pond, so I trucked it back the .18 miles (GPS wise) to the pondside -- no Geoff.

It was now pretty damn dark. I started calling for him--and I heard him off in the distance calling back to me.

I ran to the trail, looked for him, and realized he must have turned left or around at a certain point. I had two options, and I held my breath and started towards where I thought he might be...

I made the right choice and he came running to me. He was scared shitless, and he told me that he had dropped his devil horns (they kept popping off his head) so he turned around to get them. Then, he turned the wrong way on the path. All this happened in a few short seconds. I'm totally relieved that he didn't fall into the pond or something, but here on in I won't run on autopilot thinking he's my shadow. Usually when we are heading back to the vehicle that's when he is most compliant and obedient... had he told me his horns had fallen off, I would have gone back to help him, but he made the choice himself to go look alone.

Lessons learned.

I've got some really funny stuff to post -- Bonnie sent me pictures of actual for-real album covers from days gone by, and a couple of them so BEG for me to make fun of them in this forum. I got them today at work and laughed my ass off. I had to be quiet or... I'd plotz. I'll save the album cover mocking for another day. I mostly want to get this up online and go whip up dinner. Tomorrow will be a lot of fun... Geoff is being a devil and we got all the things he needs to be uber scary cool. In a cute and cuddly way. And Jessie is going as a gypsy again, which makes my life very easy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

New TV, Geocaching


It's been a few days yes. I've been hella busy at work now that S is gone and when I get home I don't really wish to be seated at the PC and working on anything. Plus, Geoff has discovered a new website with online games for kids, and he's been enjoying it. Rather than fight with him for control of the PC I've been enjoying our hugeassed TV.

Yes, the TV is huge and Jessie STILL has to sit on the floor 2 inches from it. Looks like she's going to crawl up Alton Brown's nose. She loves him. If he weren't older than I am and already married, she'd be knocking on his front door. Loooooves her some Alton Brown I tells ya.

So where do I begin... Well, I went to see BNL, you know that already. My sister and Andi went to see BNL with tickets that I bought through the fan club. Each of them wrote of the evening and how the show was less than stellar. Not the fault of the band, mind you... but the audience and the General Admission nature of the show. Here's hoping that Hartford is a much much better experience for us.

At Geoff's very first week of soccer, a couple of weeks ago now, I saw a woman who looked familiar to me. There was a girl who lived on my floor in college, and she dropped out after sophomore year. I always wondered what had happened to her. Well, I didn't see her again and thought that it was simply my mind pulling up references because the woman reminded me of this girl.

This past week I saw her again -- she was parked next to me, and was loading up her two kids. I took the chance and asked if she was who I thought she was and she said yes.

I stuck my hand out and said "You lived in Byington hall with me in 1984 and 1985. You lived in Thailand and would talk to your sister on the hall phone late at night. You were in a play where you had to kiss this guy and you said it was always gross because he smelled like chewing gum."

She turned white. Yes, that's me. How do you remember such detail? I told her I can't remember where my car keys are on a daily basis, but can remember minutae from 1984 with just one visual trigger. We talked for 15 minutes, until both our kids were whiney and wanted to be gone from the soccer field. She had left school and got a job, and never completed her degree, she married her husband, whom she met at work, and they have a kindergartener and a toddler. We talked a bit about college, some of the people we remember, our roommates (my Bonnie and Mary of the underwear) and exchanged phone numbers.

During freshman year, she vanished for a couple of months amidst speculation that she'd gone to have a baby. I don't know if it is true or not, and it is one of those things that you just don't want to ask someone ... "by the way, in the spring of 1985, did you..."

But if she did, she gave him/her up for adoption and that person is like 18 now. Hard to imagine. I have a hard enough time wrapping my head around the concept of having an 11 year old, I couldn't really fathom someone being 18. But there it is. We caught up and I don't know if we'll get the chance to talk again outside of soccer. I plan on giving her a call, to see if she would like to get together for coffee or something. She thanked me for seeking her out that way and said, "You know, I needed that." I'm not sure what that means. We shall see.

Saturday afternoon we went Geocaching. We were going to hook up with Chaos Factor and have a BBQ fest at his home, but miscommunication resulted in my not getting back to him, or having his phone number handy here at the house (duh). So we bailed at about 1pm when he hadn't called my neglectful ass yet, and we headed west, out to Barre, Hubbardston, Royalston area.

The area where we were caching is a wildlife management area, and we didn't have any safety orange with us. We did one cache on the midstate trail near the Barre Dam, and that was a safe area, but the next one was at an old abandoned prison foundation, and there were tons of hunters bobbing around with their orange hats and vests, and dogs with flash orange all over them. We left Jack and Kinger in the truck for that one. I think I will need to go purchase a few safety orange things before too long if we're going to be out anywhere this year that falls into that category.

The prison foundation cache was awesome. Spelunking through the rubble was a blast, and there were several other foundations and buildings all through the area. The view from the prison area was awesome -- and one could imagine the sadness and remoteness of such a place when it was active.

There was interesting graffiti on one of the buildings too. Not much to make note of, except these two well endowed ghosts.

Here are some non-boobie ghost pictures for your entertainment.

The abandoned garage. Painted in the back was "HELL" in giant letters. The Ware River water management area
Another shot of the Ware River water management area. Geoff enjoys his walk along the prison foundation wall.
Mom and Geoff pose with the Prison Cache. Mom and Geoff walking away from the prison cache, hoping not to get shot by small game hunters...
Milkweed in the breeze. Dad and Geoff walk ahead on the walls

Sunday was a stay at home and watch football day. It kept threatening rain, and we were going to go hide a Geocache, but we didn't want to get a mile out into the terrain and get trapped, so staying home was a better bet.

Of course, the rain didn't come. And daylight savings time screws us out of the hour in the evening that we could spend together hiking if it weren't for that stupid fact of life. I so wish that they'd do away with Daylight Savings Time. Gah.

Anyway -- that's about the major update from over here. Doug just got home so I'm going to make some dinner and get the family into the evening routine. More later y'all.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Elliot Smith

Elliott Smith was a musician. A fine and talented songwriter who committed suicide.

I didn't own a single copy of anything he recorded, but I knew his music, and I thought he was incredibly talented. I impressed the impressionable into going out and buying his stuff, and for that my thanks was nothing but praise for turning a friend onto the man's amazing music.

That Said.

I followed a link off of Googlenews today to and as a web designer I know that no one sat there and planned this page's layout because all of it comes from a content management feed.

But look at this:

The picture of Elliott is a tiny assed thumbnail, and the page story is broken up with a big fat advertisement. For Ebay. For a damn golden autographed Celine Dion Microphone.

The man's own photograph, his own presence in this column and in his obituary column are smaller, less significant, less important than the advertising.

Just about everything on this page is for someone or something the quote pretty much speaks about... the quote being pasted by me (thank you photoshop) and the important section highlighted. Friend and peer Russell Simins is quoted there as saying:

"There's so much bulls*** around, so many unhumble people who are all about the glitz and the glam and the bulls***. What we lost is a very, very, very, very truthful, truthful, honest star. I think both as a person and as a musician, as an artist. It's really sad because he was just brutally, brutally honest. And very smart. And if you put the two together, it's undeniably appealing."

So my major complaints are:

1. Billboard needs to have an online eye to edit advertisements OUT of obituaries and articles about the deaths of people. I'm sorry. I'm all for making money and advertising and shit like that, but... this is inappropriate in my opinion.

The ad in the actual obituary is for a Versace pocketbook that holds an Absolut Vodka bottle, and you can pour your vodka out of your pocketbook. How lovely on an obituary about a man suffering from depression and addiction. Right.

2. The content management system should also be organized to not pull the major headlines up in the side bar. I put the quote from Russell Simins on top of the headlines intentionally because they all were about how Beyonce's new single can't be stopped and how the Dixie Chicks have a new DVD, and Clay Aiken's new album has hit number one.

3. A Celine Dion microphone advertisement shouldn't be bigger than the dead person's photo in his own obit. Fuck that.

I know some people reading this like Clay Aiken. I'm not necessarily dissing him -- he released an album. People Bought It. Whatever.

But how insulting after death to have your picture and your memory put side by side with that big hyperlink headline? No Elliott Smith CD ever hit Number One anywhere. But hey! Clay Aiken's has!!!!

Having worked with content management systems, I know for a fact that stories/news releases/articles all can have their templates designed so that if something is an obituaryesque/friends mourn the death of kind of a story, no matter who the story is about, the template can have an option to not include advertisements, or navigation on the side. A radio button can be put in. The navigation screen can vanish and a link can appear that says "Return to's front page."

There are landmarks and events in life that are news. New CD releases, Exciting announcements about someone's career. Hell, I've been all about my love of BNL for this last week have I not? But if there was an article about "Shopping" on someone's obit -- I'd feel bad.

So, bite me. Fix your site so it has some class.

That is all, boys and girls.

Elliott Smith -- I'll remember you. I will forget who Clay Aiken is in five years. I promise.

Carrie sent me an email. She says:

you should write a discourse on what being a fan means, or maybe there's a funny one out there to link to.

you know. all the kinds of fans. club fans. fans that get dressed up. Fans that travel to see the shows. insane fans. normal cd buying fans. radio listening fans. people who wouldn't walk across the street to meet marylin manson in person.

I so agreed with your comment about the white stripes song, absolutely love it, but have no interest in seeing them in concert = not a fan.

Or, top ten things to do if I get crowned king would be to have Bruce Springsteen or Bono play at my birthday party = fan

I doubt she would ever be crowned King, but...

I've thought about her email a lot over the last two days. What really does it mean to be a fan? What is the nature of "celebrity?" I say earlier in this entry that I like Elliott Smith's music but don't own a copy of anything. Does that make me not a fan? I downloaded a few MP3s, which yeah, stole money from his pocket, but it got me interested in him, educated me about him, and I've almost purchased his CDs.

Albeit now in death, a lot of people will probably will buy his CDs. Learn even more about the songs he has written that I have not heard, and more about him.

I have always loved a lot of bands. There are artists who make me cry, break my heart, reveal my soul to me on stage or while I'm listening to them on the radio. I've bought multiple copies of the same CD in the past, mostly because I loaned a CD to someone and they took off with it, they liked it that much. Case in point -- "Whatever and Ever Amen" by Ben Folds, I'm on my third copy (and last damnit!) Because coworkers at two different companies wandered off with them.

I've bought multiple copies of the same CD because my kids have ruined my copy. There are some I still need to replace. My kids like the same stuff I like, and so it's refreshing to not have to fight over what we're going to listen to in the car if the drive is longer than five minutes.

Until last month, to my honest recollection, I've never been a member of any "fan club."

I joined the BNL Ladies Room because I like the band AND wanted discounts on tickets to concerts... so joining for a year has already saved me money and prevented me from buying tickets through ticketbastard 2/3 of the times I have needed tickets thus far. So I had an ulterior motive that was bigger than the postcard schwag.

That said, I have considered myself a pretty serious fan of the band since 1999, and I get bigger (not just "gaining weight at the precipice of too late...") each year that I learn more about them.

I don't allow their political or dietary positions to impact me. I think the song "Shopping" is great satire, and allegedly was written in response to GWB's comments encouraging the nation to go out shopping after 9/11. What I think was misunderstood in those comments was GWB didn't necessarily say "hey America, don't be bummed! Go spend money! You'll feel better" more than he said "Don't be afraid to go outside and live your life." Hell, Woody Allen and a mess of "celebrities" did TV advertisements to encourage people to come "shopping" in NYC after 9/11 and I don't see any political satire aimed that way, but, I digress.

For instance, I love Moby.

But, I'm an evangelical, conservative, meat eater. Do I respect and honor his life choices to not be a Christian, not eat meat, and support John F. Kerry (as exciting as plywood) for president? Yes I do. I'm not going to suddenly read his journal and say "Woah. Moby's so RIGHT! I'm voting for Kerry!" But I am going to read his journal and agree that Telescopes are cool, and have empathy for him that he adopted a dog from a shelter and had to return her because she was far to aggressive. I'm not going to write him a long and heartfelt sob story letter to let him know my experiences with our dog, I'll just read it and feel for him.

Back to BNL... I don't have any MP3 files of their rare, unreleased stuff. Andi was stoked last night that she got to hear "Steve Page is Having a Baby," and I thought he announced that he and Mrs. Steve Page were once again expecting. She thought I was really retahded, but that's just it -- I had not clue about the song's existence. For a lot of reasons. I don't get copies of rarities, unreleaseds... Things "fans" slather and drool over and cannot wait to get their hands on. Things that I could have gotten if Napster hadn't gone to the dogs... these things I don't have (if anyone wants to burn me a good quality CD of every non-commercially released BNL tune, I'd pay you money for it...)

Add to the fact that I don't have a decent internet connection and downloading anything during the Napster heyday turned out to not be 100% worth it to me. There were things that I downloaded that turned out to be pure dreck. Horrid quality (I downloaded an MP3 of them doing Prince's "when doves cry" and whoever recorded it was sitting next to someone who talked through the whole thing. I gave up trying to find another version from another user because everyone HAD the same version that day. Gah), damaged or incomplete recordings, really bad quality vocals (I downloaded a song by Vertical Horizon once. The guy was really drunk and forgot the words. Delete!)

I do love the band, and would love to meet them... backstage passes, run into them on the street. Shake Kevin's hand and tell him I'm so happy he Kicked Cancer's ASS!. So yeah, I think I'm a big fan. Maybe not as mentally deranged as ...... you? Per se.

The other person I can think of on this God's Green Earth that I'd want to meet is Michael Palin.

I would shave my head and dye my shiny baldassed scalp kelly green if I had the opportunity to every meet and spend a decent amount of time with Michael Palin.

I can't think of a single movie star, athlete, TV star or anyone else that I'd even remotely care to have dinner with. I wouldn't mind having dinner with David Sedaris, but part of me thinks he's actually not a great conversationalist and we'd end up just sitting there. Matt Groening, perhaps to shake his hand and say thank you...

So in that aspect of fandom, I am a massive failure.

I doubt that I'd ever bring a big sign to a concert or sporting event... Not because I don't want to send a message to the band, but the people behind me wouldn't be able to see through the damn thing, and that's just rude.

For fans who obsess and stalk, (cough Tess! hee hee hee hee) or throw panties (or long to, cough, Andi! hee hee hee hee) I think they have a level of passion and interest that surpasses mine.

Are they bigger fans? Yes. Indeed. Do they love them more than I do? Perhaps not. I don't think that an outward overt display of affection and admiration for a celebrity makes a bigger fan. If you're the dress up kind of fan, the make homemade T-shirts that gush with your massive adoration -- that's all fine and good. Just be careful when you go to a show that your really nice handmade star worshiping clothing doesn't get torn on the ghetto seats or have beer spilled all over it by a rowdy assed fan.

In any respect, for anyone to love one song or an entire catalogue (even of the mystery songs and the National Anthems of Foreign Countries) each of these people makes the band proud and in short, that's all that matters. Fan is short, obviously for fanatic. And I'm simply a few prawns short of a galaxy in the whole "fanatic" realm. Except for that dishy Michael Palin. So weird that I think a 60 year old man is dishy.

Anyway -- Those are just some loose ruminations on fandom. If Marilyn Manson was walking down the street towards me, I might stop and shake his hand and tell him to have a nice day and wish him luck amongst those who don't "get" him. Same for Rob Zombie, who I totally "get" but don't really enjoy. If I met Celine Dion walking down the street I'd grab her by her skinny chicken neck and pour her shit perfume down her whoring and money grubbing throat. Derek Jeter? Don't get me started.

Right then. On that note, I haven't had a good night's sleep since two nights before the concert, so I am crawling to bed. Hope this entry was... quality.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

BNL Peepshow Review, 10/21/03 Orpheum theatre Boston

It's actually now 1:10 am on 10/22/03 and I need to get in bed because 6:30am is going to come very early. We're home, and this is a quick note.

Before I pass out from exhaustion, my initial impressions of the Barenaked Ladies show: In case you are unaware, BNL released a new CD Everything To Everyone, and their mission on this tour is to play every song off of said new CD, and then over the course of the coming months play every song they've ever written at least one time.

Steve is in amazing form. Ed's crazy mohawk thing is slightly disturbing but I can do the same thing to my son's hair so that's kind of cool. Jim wore orange. Kevin is gorgeous and talented. Tyler? Rocks harder than ever.

They were joined by Tiny dressed as "The Lord" in long flowing white gown, beard and hair. I thought he was Father Time initially until Ed properly introduced him. He was quite funny, and I must say that there must be some sort of reason behind Tiny dressing up as God that stems from the picketers outside the Orpheum Theatre.

I shouldn't say picketers really, like there was some sort of Anti-BNL contingent marching up and down Tremont Street. There were two or three guys handing out pamphlets about Jesus and letting us know BNL was pretty much evil.

I think they're confused. Marilyn Manson will be there Thursday. That's the crowd to go cater to with pamphlets, m'kay? There wasn't anything evil going on per se. And Ed only swore once because he couldn't remember what key to play one of the new songs. Can't say as I blame him.

Anyway -- God was there, and he sat in for Tyler on drums at one point and was tremendously good. Thumbs up for God's percussion stylings. There were lots of good God jokes, about God having a sense of humor and carrying Tyler through a song in a "Footprints" kind of way. Tiny rocks.

They indeed played every song off of the new CD, some standard powerhouse tunes as well as not oft heard bits as well. The audience was very subdued for many of the new songs, especially for the really quiet gentle ones, specifically "War on Drugs" which is a total buzzkill in a rock show crowd. They lost a lot of people's attentions. Most people either haven't heard the CD, haven't downloaded it, have only heard the Chimps tune on the radio, or just had no clue why they were there in the first place.

I bought the CD at lunch time today, and listened to it several times... the Chimps tune was the big hit of the new stuff, obviously. The crowd loved it. We'll all be sick of it in no time. Jessica's favorite is "Shopping" it made her laugh but I do believe that they mean it very satirically. Possibly a slam on the culture of spending that we in the West enjoy, make all your troubles go away buy going to the mall. Lalalalalalalalaaaa!!!!! It was the crowd favorite I think. But I digress.

I didn't bring a notepad to write the entire set list down, I lifted the set list off of one of the BNL forums and here's the link. I'd like to give them props for taking the time to post it.

They opened with Testing 123, and Maybe Katie, both were amazing. The surprise tunes to me were Stomach Vs. Heart and Fight the Power. Blew me away with that. I was the only one in our section who knew any of the words. So funny to hear white guys singing Fight the Power. Snarf.

They did a very nice rendition of the song "Next Time," which started out acoustic and quiet and eventually rose up with percussion and noise and ... Steve just singing the shit out of that thing. Gah he was in great form. I liked it much better than the version on the album.

When they did Celebrity and sang the line about being Phil Esposito, the Boston Crowd went nuts. DijonKetchup should be happy to know. Grin.

They opened up the floor to questions after doing a really interesting and intimite "Prairie Home Companion" style one microphone 5 gathered round blue grass kind of bit with For You, Hello City (which the entire crowd sang, including my kid who knows EVERY word, shock shock amaze!) and One Week (of all things) most notably. Ed referred to doing it "Old School," like the grand ole opry would do. It was really cute, but very very hard to hear the vocals.

After intermission and the prairie home companion set, they opened the floor to questions. Audience members got to pitch inquiries to the band, one was about what "I live with it every day" is about, if it's a true story. A girl asked Jim to strip tease for her friend because they needed a stripper for her bachelorette party. He didn't get naked but sure did dance. Someone else said that he wanted to come on stage and play tambourine along with Tyler, and chose "Alcohol" to play along to. They didn't do the whole song, and it turned into them chanting his name along while he rocked out. Quite funny.

Tremendous encore performances, Old Apartment and Brian Wilson most notably. And kudos to them for performing a song they state they've never played before a live audience -- Long Way Back Home. Heartbreaking. A great song to end a concert with, and they should play it every single time they play out.

And now a little rant at my own expense, which you will hopefully find amusing.

The Orpheum Theatre in Boston sucks concert hall ASS. I ripped my pants when I sat down in my seat, not because I'm a lard ass but because this big crappy spring was sticking up out of the cushion.

It took them 20 minutes to get someone up there with duct tape and a fucking piece of cardboard to cover up the hole. Meanwhile I'm standing there pulling my sweater down over my air conditioned left cheek. I complained to someone higher up in the organization and she asked me "well, what do you want from us? What do you expect me to do?"


My goodness. Nice customer service. Why not offer me 20 bucks or something for my pants, bitch. I was being incredibly nice instead of some absolute off the hook bitchwanker, and I almost launched. But I said, y'know what? Fuck it. I'll just go back to my painfully hot seat and enjoy the show.

10 minutes later a guy comes to replace the cushion. I told him to forget it, the show was about to start, that the cardboard and duct tape suit me just fine and to just have a nice night. He shrugged and walked away. Did this woman honestly think after I informed her that the seat had been patched that my life would be better if I had a new seat? Not unless it was jet cooled and filled with beer and a groovy straw it wouldn't. Gah.

I plan on mailing them to the box office and telling them that the pockets in the pants held money at one point, money which will never darken the coffers of their falling down hot as blue bloody blazes establishment ever again as long as I live. And, if they think I'm being rude, wait until Thursday night when Marilyn Manson's fans rip THEIR pants on the circa 1877 cushions and get all goth, dark, scary and satanic on their pimpy asses. Ha!

Anyway. My pants are trashed, my daughter and I had a good laugh. Hell, baby. I'm at a BNL concert. I can still rock out even if I look like Spongebob.

It took longer to get out of the building than it did to get home.

And on that note... I really have to go to bed. All I have to say is they rocked my ripped pants off.

Andi and Linda -- if you read this. Dude. I hate that I bought the BNL fan club tickets for Hammerstein instead of for myself at Orpheum. Fan club tickets are in the front rows. I would have been spitting, slobbering distance from the stage if I'd bought them for me.

Damn. You better worship me for life. And, Andi -- bring that future phone and take hundreds of pictures. Call me and hold the phone up if they play Break your heart, What a good boy, Wrap your arms around me and/or When I fall. So I can cry and cry.

And I'm so looking forward to Hartford when I get to see them with my fan club seats. Hot Damn.

Setlist 10/21/03 lifted from the forum

First Set
Testing 1, 2, 3
Maybe Katie
Too Little Too Late
Next Time
Fight the Power
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Take It Outside
War On Drugs
Upside Down

Second Set (Prairie Home Companion Style):
For You
Hello City
One Week

Q&A Session

Alcohol (sort of)
It's All Been Done (featuring God on Drums)
Another Postcard
Second Best
Great Provider
Have You Seen My Love
Stomach vs Heart

First Encore:
Long Way Back Home
Brian Wilson

Second Encore:
Old Apartment

Monday, October 20, 2003

Gonna Miss My Boss

The obviousness of the date never clicked in my head.

Tomorrow would have been Clayton's 36th birthday. In my giddiness to go see and preoccupation with BNL, I completely braincramped on remembering to mark the date in my heart.

I think it's a good thing that I have something so powerfully fun to distract me from being maudlin and sad all damn day tomorrow. So, here's a pint lifted high for Clay. I'm going to rock out and rock steady to ole BNL and think "Gee, he'd so love this" and enjoy the hell out of the night. I'll be with my daughter, who almost likes them as much as I do, and it will be an event of funness.


It also reminds me that I have to mail that thing in to get a title for his car, which is still in our driveway and NEEDS to be gone by the time snow falls. Today's early frost and suddenly recalling he's been gone for 18 months hit me full force as I sat down to write this.

I am the queen of procrastination. I know.

I am feeling much better today than I did on say, Saturday. I had that bout with vertigo again, and today it seems to be nonexistent. I'm drinking extra water, and I think I may have actually slept 38 of the 48 hours of the weekend. No lie. I haven't slept that much since ... well, the last time I was truly sick.

Sleep is an amazing thing. Don't get enough and you're worn out and twitchy. Get too much and you're worn out and twitchy.

At about 3am I found myself unable to stay in the bed any longer with Doug snoring. I went and shaved my legs because they were driving me insane. I curled up on the couch with Jack dog, he eventually got up and got in his kennel and I think I fell back asleep at around 5am. Not sure. I was twitchy and cranky and just generally miserable for those two hours that I was awake.

I sleep o.d.'ed I guess.

I hope I'll be able to sleep all right tonight.

T-minus four days until my boss is gone. A is steadily flipping out. I told her that I don't intend on taking anything she says or does personally, and she thanked me for that.

We've got open enrollment, and the documentation to the field should have rolled out three weeks ago seeing as OE changes go into effect on Nov. 1st.

But we'll be lucky if it goes out this week. And the next two weeks in our office are going to suck. I'm not going to get things done in time, I am going to have to go back to work when Doug gets home at night, and I know A will still be there.

Part of the problem is the higher-ups are feet-draggin' the way higher-ups do, and S is leaving which puts a lot of pressure on her... so poor A is losing weight and turning grey as each hour passes, and there is little or nothing I can do to help. I have to leave at a certain time. I come in at a certain time. I can hopefully come in more when Doug gets home early, but I can't guarantee he'll be able to come home by say 5pm on any given day.

No ounce of time that I have going forward can possibly be spent in goof-off mode. It's all seriousnessnessness from hereonin. I'm all bidness hithertoforth.

I'm going to miss S.

A is fabulous, and this is a huge step for her, I just hope she can convince the higher-ups to fill HER position with someone full time from the outside world who is a true HR Generalist who knows all the laws and rules and such. I don't want the job, nor am I qualified for it. I have no desire to do the job. I want someone as qualified and smart and talented as A to come in and take it. And we'll all live happily ever after.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Red Sox 103, Yankees 3

I will not talk about the Red Sox here today. But my son did draw a picture for us.

a boy can dream, right? Look at those Yankees wiped out in the field, and those two Red Sox shaking hands and raising bat in Victory. 103 runs is a lot of runs... sigh.

My boss sent me an amusing little link. We Like The Moon. Normally I don't share these things, but... as my boss puts it "this is mad." She's British, you know, so mad means crazy. Not angry. And indeed it is crazy. I showed it to the kids and Geoff thinks it's hysterical but Jessie doesn't quite know what to think about it. I think she's lost her funny. Doug and Geoff spent about a half hour this afternoon watching it and singing along. Perhaps you'll be singing it all day too.

As many of you know, Jessica was at camp all week last week, she returned triumphant and tired on Friday. It's nice to have her back. Doug gone from Thursday morning until last night doing work stuff, which included a conference in NJ.

I took Geoff to see "Good Boy," which was a good movie, for the most part. One has to seriously suspend disbelief to get through the film. There's one recurring theme that cracked me up -- whenever shown evidence that yes, the dogs ARE from space, people shrug their shoulders and say "Works for me!"

Loved that.

Overall the movie is very sweet and nice, and I think everyone was marvelously cast, from the humans to the dogs. The voices of the dogs were great, from Brittany Murphy to Carl Reiner, and the CGI was almost not noticible when the dogs talked.

The only one I thought was miscast was Matthew Broderick (gah, I almost type Michael Broderick, my sister will get a laugh at that!) and I think that they made a big mistake in that one. His voice was too deadpan. Don't get me wrong -- I adore Ferris Buehler and I'm sure he kicked ass on Broadway with the adorable Nathan Lane in "The Producers," but his voice didn't work with the dog thing.

The dog was cute as hell.

Geoff loved it, and he totally understood the message, which was great. It wasn't just a movie about talking dogs and he got that. He came home and hugged Jack and said "You're such a good boy, and you know what, because I love you I'm a good boy too."

Ain't that just what it's supposed to be all about? Yup.

I spent the entire day on Saturday in bed. Vertigo has returned and I've got an ear ache, so I'll be calling my doctor first thing tomorrow to get some antibiotics before this gets further into the pain of insanity and dizziness. I am seeing BNL on Tuesday night, and must be vertical so as to rock.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Lost in the woods

Yesterday we went to the ophthalmologist and he checks out okay for another 6 months. The doctor wants to continue seeing him, and has pretty much ruled out eye surgery for right now. He was impressed that Geoff's vision is doing well, compared to what it was at 15 months of age.

After the doctor's appointment, we decided to swing home and get the dogs and take a walk. We headed over to Cleaveland Farms, where I'm plotting out a geocache hide.

I wanted to get another waypoint and pick a spot for the cache, and make it a really long hard hike of a multi-cache. So we went way out to the south east, found a good waypoint, and started hiking back because it was starting to rain.

We got lost.

I missed a turn, we ended up on a trail I've never seen before and I thought I was walking parallel with the trail we came in on, but it started to cut to the Northwest, totally opposite of where I wanted to be. We found the backside of a nice residential neighborhood, and I am pretty sure at this point we were in Topsfield near Hood's Pond, over a mile away from the truck.

So I found another trail with a cool wooden pallette bridge across a large expanse of swamp, and eventually headed over to the "Esker Trail" which is the trail I wanted to be on after all was said and done. We were about a quarter mile away from the truck, I found a good place to hide the cache itself and pinpointed it on the GPS...

And that's the funny thing about all this, I HAD the GPS with me. And I still got lost. This trail system back there really F's with your head. There are swamppy areas that look solid, and if you decide to bushwhack you're screwed.

Now that I know the place a lot better and have points plotted out, this will be a fabulous geo-hide. Excellent!

So what I intended to be a 3/4 mile walk turned into a 90 minute 3 mile walk. The dogs were beat, Geoff was so tired, and I must say I was too.

I don't know if I can possibly take any more shock.

First, the Red Sox won last night. So my heart has been beating arrythmically since about 8pm. While watching the game, the power went out at about 7pm, scaring the shit out of Geoff, you should have heard the boy screaming. He was sitting here at the computer when it happened, and I thought he was going to have an aneurysm.

We were in the midst of a hell of a wind storm, and lost electricity for about a half an hour total, but in that half hour I managed to find Doug's cell phone, use it as a flash light, light candles, call the next town over for a pizza, and go pick it up (with beer to accompany). I got in the car and the Sox tied it up. I was driving home and the go-ahead run came in.

So I was screaming in the truck, at the top of my lungs. I got home to find the power on, Geoff relaxed (Doug was here with him) and watched Trot Nixon put the Sox ahead for good.

Wish I could say the same about the Cubs. Alas. Such is life.

So last night's win forces game 7, which should be... hopefully interesting and not some sort of restrained and cautious pitching duel where batters can't slam a couple out to Washington Heights or Mamaroneck from Yankee Stadium. I am not necessarily advocating another fight like Game 3, I'm just saying I want some hard hitting baseball.

And I have a suggestion -- I think a person's at bat appearences should be timed, sort of like in football with the shot clock. You have 20 seconds to get into position, stop fucking around with your batting gloves and your pre-hitting rituals (cough, NOMAR!) and hit the damn ball. And while we're at it, fly balls should be strikes all the time... even if it's your third strike.

The game would move so much better then. Totally more exciting. And batters wouldn't be putzing around so much. Baseball can be really boring unless Don Zimmer is getting his ears grabbed and his old hulking Yoda-like frame chucked to the ground. So I want some changes made next year, damnit!

So that's the major heart attack inducer number one, right there.

Second, and I told my boss this was "in the vault" but no one from work reads this... she (S, my boss) resigned. She'll be informing everyone tomorrow, but next Friday is her last day.

Nail? Coffin? I'm dead. I'm so freaking freaked out.

I love this woman. She is the coolest person I've ever worked for. When I fuck up and I have a reason why I fucked up, she's so cool about it. If I fuck up with no reason, she's got a style and grace about her so that telling me not to fuck up again comes off so gentle and understanding, and I don't fuck it up again. She's a great teacher, a natural leader, and I am so going to miss her. Plus, she's British and so fun to talk to about everything from Ben Folds to Moby (naked) to Monty Python.

It seems to me that A, the person I support but who is not my "boss," will most likely be promoted, we think, I hope. And I hope they have plans on hiring someone to fill A's position. Because I sure can't do all that she does in 28 hours a week.

I am sad to be losing my British star of a boss, she's just been the absolute best person to work for aside from Debbie at my last job. I almost cried the whole way home, but I didn't. I'm really stunned. I don't know what I'm going to do.

I love A. She's fabulous, but ... demanding and has a really different style than I do. She's far more organized and detail oriented than I am. I am not sure if I can ... work for her? I have always done better supporting her and working for S than working directly for A. When A is on vacation, I'm so much more relaxed and get so much work done.

I don't know how I feel about this all told. I'm nervous, not because of A moving up but because of me not being able to perform to her exacting standards.

Hmmm. So that's heart attack number 2. I found out at 10 of 3. S asked me to come into her office for a minute and I totally thought she was going to let me know that A was indeed upset with be because I left something undone that impacts our open enrollment. I went in explaining, and S was all "what are you talking about?" and I knew then that A hadn't filled her in because it wasn't the big deal that she made it out to be.

Then she told me she was leaving, and I just couldn't believe it. Not before the Christmas party, not before open enrollment! HOLY SHIT not before open enrollment. I don't know if I'm going to be able to deal with A for the 3 weeks of OE. Holy Flerkin' Schnit.

Ugh. So I'm stressing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Eyes, Rain, Camp No Fun, Baseball

Geoff has an ophthalmologist (did I spell that whack title right? I always mispell that one and I'm too lazy to run spell-check) appointment today in Waltham, which is a million miles from here, so I'm not sending him to school today.

I was leaving the message on the school's voicemail he heard me. "WWWWWOOOOOOOOOO! DAY OFF! Yeah! Yeah! I get a day off! I get a day off!" he starts yelling... while I'm leaving the message.

I'm sure it will sound perfectly believable that he's going to the doctor...

but he is. honest. No, really. He is.

As many of you know (but my archives aren't up to prove it) G's been seeing an eye doctor since he was 15 months old.

His vision is pretty bad, but with the glasses he can see pretty well. This particular doctor insists on seeing him over and over ever four months, rather than saying "okay, he doesn't need surgery after all, so you can go back to seeing your local pediatric ophthalmologist conveniently located near your house!"

So we make the trek down there for a 10 minute visit. With the waiting room wait, it's a total of a three hour trip. Screw school today. I'll just keep him home this morning, take it easy, do dishes, move laundry around, shower and then head out for the ride. Thank God my boss is uber cool and lets me take the time off as I need.

And it is pouring out, so our ride should be less than fabulous. The rain woke me up twice last night and freaked the dog out. Add to that the fact the wind is blowing like John Coltrane, and it's a madhouse out there. Although the radio weather guy says that this is all stopping to our west right now and in the next hour or so should be completely gone.
That's good.

Nothing I hate more than highway driving in Massachusetts with weather as a factor. Not because I hate the weather, but because of other drivers. Some think nothing of the wet road conditions or the high winds, or the ice and snow, and drive as if I-95 is pristine and dry. Others white-knuckle the steering wheel and crawl along as if they will explode in a firey confligration if they go faster than 40 miles an hour on the highway.

That leaves me and anyone else with common sense (all three of those drivers) on the road surrounded by danger. Slowassed losers in front of us, Mario Andretti ripping asphalt behind us. And nowhere to go.

I'll need a lot more coffee before I leave here today.

Camp No Fun (due to the weather, not the fact that camp is, indeed, no fun)
I took Jessica to drop her off at school very early Tuesday so they could depart for their camping trip. Once again thanks to all who bought raffle tickets. The drawing is Thursday.

All of the kids were insanely excited. I totally forgot how wired a group of sixth graders can be, even at 7am facing a 2 hour bus ride.

With the pouring rain, I'm sad for the kids at adventure camp. I know that they have an indoor itinerary for bad weather days, but they are out there in the woods to BE OUT there in the woods. So indeed, may the rain stop, the skies clear, and the resplendent weather of south western New Hampshire be revealed to a bunch of sixth graders who could care less. Except my daughter, who'll show them what for when it comes to orienteering in the woods when they do that.

You go girl.

The Red Sox lost yesterday against the Yankees and not-so-friendly Fenway, so they return to the Bronx to hang out with Jenny from the Block and hopefully not get their asses kicked too badly.

Thing that I can't believe though is that the Cubs blew it.

When I went to bed they were winning. Then, the eighth inning rolled around and the Cubs went into hibernation, allowing the Marlins time to spear them with their nasty fish spikey noses and win the game. I wake up with a whole hearted "Wha fuh?" because of them. Serves me right for going to bed I guess. Serves Doug right for turning off the game and watching Road to Perdition.

In watching last night's Sox/Yankees game, I have to let you know I don't want to say this outloud and I'm going to lose all my street cred as any sort of self respecting Sox Fan/Yankee hater, but... Derek Jeter, whom I loathe beyond belief, well, the boy's a great fielder.

I'll give him that.

I'd still like to smack that smirky look off his face with a hard wet fish, just smack it right off there, but I need to give him props and say... good job. Jerkbag.

After the game they interviewed him, and he had no clue that there was a possibility they'd be playing at 4pm. His look of surprise was entertaining. He's like a friggin' muppet those faces he makes. I laughed.

Had the Cubs won last night, it'd be an 8pm game for the ALCS. But we'll know before 8pm whether it stretches out to 7 or if the series is over with a Yankee win.

I'd like to see it go to 7. It's been fun watching.

I don't watch baseball during the regular season. Not because I'm not a fan... it's too much. There are like five games a week for each team, and the season starts in April or some crap like that... it's way way way too much. So by late in September, things are shaping up the way they should be, there are wild card berths to compete for, sometimes the division is sewn up by a team (usually the Yankees...) and it gets interesting.

From April to September it's like Pre-Season to me.

I know, I'm a loser. But I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I know that for a fact.

In Closing
Alright. Gotta get a move on over here. Geoff is watching the Snorks on Boomerang. Enjoying it fully, I might add. Boomerang is great, because it's all cartoons I used to watch, and to my kids it's all fresh and new, so they don't have Top Cat and Underdog episodes memorized the way they do with the Simpsons and Spongebob. So it's kind of nice to hear fresh laughter. Even though the Snorks totally suck. More later.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Lobsterpalooza 2003!

"A Toast! I declare Lobsterpalooza open for
business! Huzzah!"

Lobsterpalooza has officially come to a close. A&M left about 2 hours ago to head back north, aiming to stop at her mom's for dinner and visit. It was a fun weekend, although yesterday pissed rain on us the whole day.

The recap goes as such -- Saturday afternoon A&M and Gonzodog arrive bearing gifts of a 1/3 keg (skinny) and 12 lobsters. We fire up the water to boil. We start the grill. We commence to having fun.

Hey! Don't forget to get the rubberbands offa that thing! It'll get all stinky an'dat!

Geoff says "Okay. Where's YOUR dinner?
I'm all set over here..."

Geoff was overtly interested in the boiling of the lobsters. He wasn't at all upset that they were living creatures, which somewhat disturbed me and alternately made me relieved that he wasn't upset and crying. When it came time for eating, he cozied right down and got himself a fork and a lobster, enjoying the cracking, breaking, working process to get at what was inside.
I dont think he liked the taste of it at all, but he sure enjoyed the working process to get inside. I'm quite the alternative. I hate having to work excessively hard to get a little bit of food. I enjoyed one lobster, and that was all I wanted. The potato salad and a hotdog was good for the remainder of the meal.

We parboiled the lobsters and then grilled them. They came out wonderfully. It was quite the feast.

And it palooza'ed all night long here at the Way Out Inn. Baseball, beer, good fun, good chatting, good times good times!

Sunday it rained all damn day, but we didn't get too stir crazy. Michelle, Jessie and I went to get Jessie some hiking and cold weather/winter boots seeing as she's leaving for her trip Tuesday morning. We had fun being out, but everyone else on earth was out too, so traffic was insane. We got some more grillable things at the market, and headed home to another great barbecue feast of steak tips and grilled scallops.

Doug had to work this morning, so he was up and out by 8am. The rest of us got up and ate yummy breakfast, and eventually made it out to hike at a local state forest where we are planning to stick a geocache.

The dogs had a good swim, and we all had a good walk. It is such a gorgeous day, and it broke my heart that Doug couldn't be with us, but all told, much fun was had and I can't complain.

Jessie departs tomorrow morning for her adventure camp trip. Packing will ensue shortly. I've promised Geoff a trip to the movies while sissy is at camp. The few days she'll be gone will pass quickly. And if it's anything like it was when she was a way at summer sleepover camp, Geoff should be easy to be around and play with. I love my daughter but I'm sure looking forward to time with G-love. He's coming down with a cold, so I sure hope that it doesn't ruin the whole week for us and that whatever he's coming down with we can kick to the kerb with some vitamins and decongestant.

Doug is going to Hartford or something for 2 days and maybe to a conference in New Jersey over the weekend next weekend, so things will be a tad weird around here for a couple days. It could truly be an alone time with Geoff thing! That doesn't happen too often. We'll probably clean his room and read lots of books, especially if he's feeling poopy.

There really isn't much else to report I guess. I'm tired and in need of a nap, I hope A&M have a successful and safe ride back home to MDI. I miss them already.

Saturday, October 04, 2003


TGIF Baby, working 5 days a week now I have re-earned the right to utter such a ridiculous acronym. When I was working four days a week and all my fun of the week was saved up for Fridays when I'd get to hang out with my babykins, Baby Ben (oh I love him so much!) I could never say at ... 5pmish, "thank God it's Friday!" In theory, I'd have to say "Thank God it's Thursday," but who wants to say that really? No one.

So I've refrained from use of the acronym and all that it implies. Until Today. A is back from vacation, and having her back is all lovely and wonderful, but I am worn out from doin' stuff. As Erin and Lisa say on the Simpsons "Stuff sucks."

I do believe that's the quote.


Continued on Saturday, October 4

We have a new neighbor.

The multifamily house across the streetish went up for sale a couple months ago and just sold very recently. The guy who bought it was out mowing the lawn when I got home from work yesterday so I went over to talk to him. He's recently divorced after 27 years of marriage and retired from a local Fire Department. I didn't ask "gee, how the hell do you end up divorced after 27 years of marriage?" I just left it as such.

He put a bench and a little wooden well flower pot holder across the street from my house and it looks slightly ridiculous. He told me he put it there and encouraged us to enjoy it. So I felt bad for thinking in the back of my head "gee. that looks... ridiculous."

When Doug got home from work he made some choking and gagging noises when we were discussing the flower pot thingie, and I took advantage. I told him the guy's sob story about being recently divorced and kinda sad.

I love blowing up his spot (to steal from my sistah, yo).

I wonder what he got the house for. I know it was on the market for $500,000.00 USD. Yes. 1/2 a million dollars. Then it was lowered to $499,000 such a bargain you know. Then, reduced again. I'm surprised that the real estate agent didn't blame US for how the house wasn't selling. She blamed us when the house next door wasn't selling. She said we had too many vehicles and Pete (our tenant) was driving a big rig at the time, so she said perspective buyers were scared off by that kind of a scene and she asked me to have the truck park somewhere else.

???Wha wha whaaaat?

How's about you bring the right buyers to the house. Bitch. Someone who wants to live next door to someone who works hard and has a life instead of a 17 year old punk ass listening to Insane Clown Posse or Linkin Park at 11 volume while working on his car in the driveway. How's about you talk to the seller who absolutely won't budge on dropping the price because he's so convinced he should make a 200% profit on the sale of the house.


I'm glad we got the neighbors we got. Funny thing is they're not getting along with Pete and his new girlfriend now. No skin off my nose. As long as they're getting along with me and she picks my kids up at the end of the school day, all is right with the world.

Today was a weird day. I got up on time to get Geoff ready for soccer. He's having a hard time of it. He's good at the drills and practice, but when it comes to the game part he's totally distracted and could care less. He stands there looking at the clouds while the game rages on behind him. When someone bumps into him he gets really angry and storms off the field and says he's not going to play anymore. I watch him like a hawk. He decides 10 minutes after the fact to exact revenge upon the kid who bumped him last, and slowly approaches him with his elbows up and a scowl on his face. I know he plans on droppin' the kid. So I stop him. He argues with me. I push him back onto the field.

I feel like psycho mom.

Today was the best he's done to date, of the three weeks worth of soccer he's had. He said he's sick of it though, and he doesn't want to do it anymore. I told him, tough. You wanted to do this you'll go to the end of the season in November and then we'll figure out what to do next year.

There's a little boy on his team who is also a classmate. They haven't been getting along lately. E, the other little boy, is a tad off as well. The two of them should be good friends but both of them together are just plain weird. E does not want to be friends with Geoff. Geoff insists that E is his friend. Not his BEST friend mind you, but a friend. E informed Geoff in the lunch line on Thursday that he had no intention of ever being Geoff's friend, and, well, Geoff punched him.

The lunch lady heard the whole thing and reported to the teacher that E had said some hurtful and mean things to Geoff and Geoff reacted poorly. Both got in trouble. Friday morning Geoff told me he was going to tell E that he forgives him for being so mean so they can be friends again.

E still doesn't want to have anything to do with Geoff. E informed ME on the soccer field this morning that he doesn't like Geoff and wishes that Geoff would stop saying they're friends, because they are not.

"Would it kill you to just be nice to him?" I asked E looking him right in the eye. "It would make him happy and it would end this ridiculous squabbling between the two of you if you would be the big man in this and just ... let Geoff be your friend. He doesn't have to be your BEST friend. Just be friendly to him and life will be beautiful. Okay?"

Was I a bitch?

I can't see what the big deal is. Geoff's not trying to marry him or anything. He just wants to say "I'm friends with E." And E, to be honest dude, I've watched you with other kids. You're hardly captain of the football team/prom king material. You're not going to be beating best friends back with a lacrosse stick. You could use a friend.

His parents are so nice.

I just want people to be nice to Geoff and Geoff to be nice to them. Geoff normally is not wanting to be friendly with other kids. He avoids them. He plays alone. If in the classroom kids can just get along, I don't think it's so damn hard.

Jessie didn't have any good friends until this past academic year. It took her a long while to get established. Geoff's weirdness sets him apart from the other kids just like Jessie's know-it-all-ness distanced her from the other kids until she could learn what it meant to be a friend and be friendly.


Anyway. I didn't come here today to talk all about Geoff again. This has become the Geoff journal lately. So I'll move on to other topics.

Siegfried needs a new partner, or so it seems. Roy got bit by the other cat. Sucks to be him. I mean, I totally wish the best for him and all, but he gets no sympathy from me. Anyone who makes a life's work out of "taming" wild animals isn't a hero or a star or anything. They're stupid. I love animals as much as the average person... I enjoy the zoo. A good elephant balancing thing at the circus to me is a work of art. But. If you get your ass stomped on by an elephant... serves your foolish ass right.

The tiger doesn't belong in a ballroom in Vegas. The tiger belongs in tiger land. And anyone who cries out that this vicious animal needs to be put down needs their head examined. It isn't like Roy was sleeping in bed one day and a tiger jumped into his boudoir and ripped him open. Roy uses a fucking WHIP on the animal. Wild animals are never "trained" or "tamed"... it's like having a loaded gun on your coffee table and a house full of crazy people who might pick it up and aim it at you. It's a risk. It's silly and stupid, all in the name of "entertainment." Whatever. It isn't the tiger's fault.

Similarly, remember Little Joe, the gorilla who escaped from the Zoo in Boston last week? He was pissed and wanted out. The mother of the 2 year old who was hurt in the monkey shine wants Little Joe put to sleep.

Bad news for you lady --- Little Joe is a wild animal who wanted out of captivity. It sucks for you and your baby, but he shouldn't be put down, he should be put somewhere more suitable for a gorilla of his size and skill. You should be mad at Zoo New England or whatever it's called these days. Not so much at Little Joe.

Because it was a crappy rainy day here in New England, we watched a lot of TV. I finally got to see Star Wars II, The Clone Wars. I hated it but all I have to say is Thank GOD there wasn't a lot of Jar Jar Binks in this movie or I would have had to have hurt someone.

I thought the guy who played Anakin was hot, but couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag.

And Natalie Portman is hot too, but it really seemed that this was all too stiff and unrealistic. Not like the Harrison Ford/Carrie Fisher/Mark Hammil style of acting in the original three. Too many bad jokes from C3PO. Cool battle scenes. A really really lame and obvious CGI shot of a model of Natalie Portman riding the back of that animal thing in the coliseum... I laughed my ass off. So fake. Fake fake fake.

We also watched The Devil's Advocate. God, is Charlize Theron pretty in this movie. And Keanu can almost act. I hated the ending. Hated hated hated it. But what can I say. Vanity is my favorite of all sins.

Al Pacino's gonna haunt my dreams for the next few weeks. He was weird, scary and perfect in the role.

My favorite part was how when they were in Florida they had all these heavy southern accents. Three weeks in NY and they're talkin' New Yorker. No accents. Again. I laughed my ass off.

Anyway. I'm getting a tad tired and cranky. It has been a very draining week for a lot of reasons.

I'm going to watch some Spongebob with the kids and hit the hay. We've blown off church for the past several weekends, and I think this week we really need to go. We've got some serious stuff going on in the family (not Geoff related) where we could use some of the good stuff. Pray for us if you pray. Send mojo. I can't discuss it here, nor do I wish to sound mysterious or anything. Hopefully it isn't anything that will result in the end of the world as we know it. No one is sick, no one has cancer -- it's just some legal stuff and it just needs to go away. So pray for us and when the time is right perhaps I'll be able to talk about it. I can't here and now.

Jesus do I sound like that fatass Limbaugh or what? "I can't discuss the situation right now because of an investigation," blah blah blah. Look, jerk, if you're an addict and you have a problem, just say "Hey, I'm sorry if I let you down and you look up to me. I'm going to get help." Hedging and lying lose you a lot of respect in my book.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was recently accused of groping a whole mess of women in the past. He, in light of everything, said "Hey, I'm very sorry. I did these things and it was entirely inappropriate for me to have done them. I was foolish."

If Rush just says "Hey, I'm very sorry. I did these things and it was entirely..." I'd have a whole lot of respect for him.

If President Clinton hadn't waved his finger in my face and said "I did not have sexual relations..." but instead said "Hey, I'm very sorry. I did these things and..." I never ever would have cared about what he did.

An apology goes a long way. Honesty and truth go a long way. And getting back to our situation (I'm all over the map, aren't I?) I can't say anything here because it could have legal repercussions, and piss off someone I love dearly. So. I'll hedge for a while.


Don't forget prayer for us, wouldya? Thanks. Enjoy the rest of the weekend... Tomorrow we feast on NFL Sunday Ticket so I may or may not get over here for a posting. So long for now!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Stargazing and Geocaching

Last night I took Jessica out star gazing because I knew that tonight and tomorrow it was going to be cloudy.

We initially tried to see things from the back yard, but my neighbors have a minor sun glowing on their front porch at night, which fully drowns out everything but mars and leaves one night blind and stepping in dog crap in the yard. So I suggested we hop in the car and speed over to a local very high dark hill.

I'm glad we went. I suck at constellations, I thought the Pleides (spelling???) was the Little Dipper. Retard. This is what I get for growing up in the city, eh?

She knows a lot, I was incredibly surprised. We should have brought blankets, we could have stayed out there a lot longer. As was, she was in shorts and fresh out of the shower. I took off my coat and we sat on it... spent about a half hour trying to figure out where the hell Cassiopeia (did I spell that right???) was.

I saw three shooting stars.

There was no moon out.

We got home close to 11pm on a school night. And it was fun. We had all kinds of good laughs, and I really enjoyed myself. Wish I could do something like that more often. Perhaps if the meteor showers are going to be impressive this November she'll want to go out with me.

Oh, back over to the topic of geocaching for a minute, I totally forgot to mention this... I ordered some Travel Bug tags recently and today, in honor of my parents' 38th wedding anniversary I do something tacky, mean spirited and funny (with nothing but love in my heart)... I release The Grandma Travel Bug.

Yes, Grandma is now officially one for the ages. I have a tag on her and she's ready to rock. I may run up tomorrow morning and put her in our Geocache, and hope someone comes along and grabs her.

Go visit her page and laugh. I plan on adding info on her to the Grandma's Adventures webpage, and of course to my geocaching log once that's all put together.

I could have sent flowers or something. But wouldn't you rather be immortalized by your rotten kid in such a way? You know you would.

Anyway. I'm afraid I don't have much of interest to discuss here today. As usual the monkey reference log is updated. We went out caching last night, here are a couple of pictures. And I'm so incredibly lazy that I'm not even going to reduce their size. I'm leaving them huge.

Sorry this isn't more substantial, but. meh.