Friday, November 28, 2003

Thanksgiving wrap-up

Well, Thanksgiving dinner was a lovely feast.

Doug got out of bed to be Chef Doug around 5am. I heard him get up and the dogs got excited that someone was vertical. But there was no dog-taking-outness at that hour. It was all about Turkey.

He prepped the seasoning and sauteed the garlic (36 cloves) the night before and put them aside. The turkey was still slightly frozen, but seeing as it was being cooked unstuffed by stuffing (stuffed with bell pepper, onion and carrots to make a killer broth) we weren't worried. Frozen turkey can still be cooked safely, just requires a little extra time and good use of the digital thermometer.

I got out of bed to give him a hand. I had forgotten to wash the roasting pan, so I got that all set for him while he pulled the skin up from the bird and slipped sauteed garlic cloves between the skin and meat, positioning them in strategically tasty places. Then he rubbed the turkey down with the seasoning mix, stuffed the cavity with veggies and pre-heated the oven.

I went back to bed while he did his Chef thing, and he put the big bird into the oven at around 5:30am, at a slow cook temp of 225 degrees.

After we woke up, around 9, we figured we'd have forever to get a few geocaches done and then get back to make the fixin's. So we got ready light out.

I asked my mom to peel potatoes for us (towhit I received grumbles and protestations. Don't most houseguests OFFER help make stuff and do things to get dinner ready when they come for the holidays??? Jebus!) and only Doug, Geoff and I went Geocaching, everyone else opted to be lazy and stay home.

We did one geocache It started out kind of funny when we didn't figure out the parking coordinates. On the GPS screen we could basically drive up to it, the only problem was there was a house in our way and we didn't know where the trailhead was. So we spent time figuring that out, and then I realized the parking coordinates were in the cache description. So we drove to that after wasting about 15 minutes driving all around the general area, getting a tour of the backend of this particular town.

We parked and it was a 1.5mi (more or slightly less) roundtrip hike on a perfectly flat and paved (in most parts) trail. It was a gorgeous walk, lovely day, easy find. Very fun trip. Had it just been Doug and myself, we would have been in and out of there easy as pie.

But Geoff took forfreakinever to walk back to the truck. He was at least a quarter of a mile behind us the whole time, fighting invisible ninjas with double death stick action. It was kind of cute to watch but when one is trying to go for the geocache bodycount and get home in time to make stuffing, well. It just doesn't bode well.

We attempted a second cache. The print directions put us on one side of I-95 in Newburyport, but the GPS reading put us on the other side. Doug obeyed the GPS.

We found a nice little park where we thought the best parking access would be (quite a nice little find, I must say) and Geoff played while Doug searched. Doug was starting to get bear grumpy from lack of food and gave up when he realized there was no underpass to get us access to the other side of I-95 after all. We were scant feet away from it, but on the wrong side of things... we headed home.

Doug thought the turkey would have at least another hour to cook, but upon insertion of digital thermometer we discovered it more than ready. The sudden rush to get the side dishes made quickly then turned on. Mom willingly made a killer gravy (I suck at making gravy, damnit!) and I did the green bean casserole, stuffing and corn.

Jessie had made cranberries from scratch the night before (so damn easy and so damn good, why ANYONE would buy canned is so beyond me) and we feasted.

Doug was asleep on the couch and snoring within minutes of finishing. I didn't want to abandon my parents with the kids lest they be bad and fight (and interrupt my napping) so I forced myself to stay awake.

We had pie several hours later while watching the Simpsons. We watched Dr. Doolittle 2 which was abysmally bad.

Geoff crashed and then I told everyone I was going to bed. Before I retired I showed my mom how to find the movie channels on our remote and Jessie and my parents both said "Ooooh! Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!" which I guess they'd started watching while we were geocaching but they didn't get to see the whole thing due to my mother's forced conscription into KP duty with my old fashioned and not very sharp but seems to work just fine for me potato peeler (which I also got bitched at about because it's OLD and isn't an AUTOMATIC MOTORIZED potato peeler. Gah. Moan, moan, moan. I know what she's probably buying me for Christmas this year y'all).

I ended up watching HPATCOS with the family, because I'm a sucker for it, and didn't get to bed until after midnight.

7am and a needy dog came too early this morning.

So that's our story thus far.

Doug has to work today. He's planning on getting there at about 10:30 so he slept until 8:45. Hopefully tonight I can convince him that we should go out for a drink and ditch the kids with my folks for a couple hours.

As for us, it's raining, and I have nothing scheduled for entertainment during the day here today...

I'm hoping I can convince my parents tomorrow that they/we need to go to the South Shore to see my great aunt, who is not well. Doug has about 6 hours worth of videotapes he needs to watch for continuing ed credits, so he's looking for some everybody-out-of-the-house time this weekend. I'm hoping tomorrow would do good for him in that respect.

We don't have any actual holiday shopping planned, but I do need to go out and buy about a dozen pint glasses to put fairy lights in them for table centerpieces for our Christmas party at work. I'll keep the glasses. God knows we always need them. And I have to figure out what to put around them. I may get some small wreaths, and some tiny red glass bobbles (I think we have a box) and rope tinsel, put them on the center of the table with the glass in the middle and then do something with handfulls of that mini-confetti stuff in festive holiday shapes that I can just sweep off the table and be done with.

Hmmm. Lots to think about and five days to accomplish it.

More later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

BNL on Sharon Osbourne

Geoff wrote a poem. He insists that I share it with you now, for the ages... for the ages. Spanning time.

Snake baked a cake.
Jake came.
Jake takes the cake.
Snake fell in the lake!

Jack came back.
Jack sleeps in his sack.

Max gets in a tax.
Max goes to pax.

The end

Last night I forced myself to stay awake until 1am so that I could watch the Barenaked Ladies on the Sharon Osbourne program. I've always admired Sharon Osbourne, but she doesn't deserve a TV show. Really.

She has these guests on and asks stupid questions and then asks if they like Minnie, her little dog, she talks in babytalk, and they get all schmoopy and self congratulatory and ... gross.

So aside from some little excerpts over time, last night was the first full episode I've ever seen. If it hadn't finished up the way it did, I would have regretted every blasted second. I now recap the entire damn thing for you in painful minute detail. Stick around and read. I think you'll enjoy it.

The format of this week is 'sexy week,' and every guest has to bring something sexy with them, something they use that's sexy or makes them feel sexy.

She opens the show with Anthony Anderson... and I guess he's got his own TV show or something, and reading his bio the only thing I've ever seen him in is "Me, Myself, And Irene," where he played one of Jim Carey's three MENSA genius black sons. That was very funny, but I seriously have no recollection of seeing him anywhere else.

Sharon's website says: "Who better to co-host Sharon's pajama party than the often naughty, always hilarious Anthony Anderson?"

Often naughty? Always hilarious? Um, I'm not getting his naughty hilarity, or his hilarious naughtiness. But she's into him and totally enjoying herself.

And heretofore I shall refer to him as Mr. Named For What He's Feeling In The Moment.

Mr. Trying To Sex Up Ozzy's Wife is all into Sharon. They're both wearing sexy bathrobes, standing by a baby grand in the candlelight and he's all Teddy Pendergrasting her to death. He's feeding her chocolates and kool aid (cause "that's how we do it in tha hood," he tells her).

He plays piano for her, they get all schmoopy, he says "Ozzy I'm gonna steal your wife!" and they get all giggly and gropey and she's all into it and it's making me sick at this point.


The show takes place in a bed. A really really big bed. Sharon is world renown for always wearing her pyjamas, so I guess lounging around in a really big bed was the production company's genius.

She's in the bed with Minnie dog and Mr. Co-host Wife Stealing Guy introduces Ali Landry.

They show her Doritos 3D commercial that got all the guys hot & bothered a couple years ago. They interview her for hours and hours. And Mr. Horny For The Ladies In The Bed is all about how sexxxxay she is, and "Oooooh look at YOU in this FHM magazine. Oh I have really strong legs, here feel the muscles in my legs" and this goes on and on and on and on and Oh My God will someone go to commercial (I flip over to check the MNF game and see if the Giants can possibly win against my boy Chucky. They can't HA!)

Ali presents both of them gifts. For him, underwear (I guess boxer briefs are very sexy in her mind) and for Sharon a really nice pushy uppy bra thingie. Sharon models it over her jammies and everyone has a good laugh.

Okay shut up now and let's go to BNL!

But no. They go to Sharon interviewing Hugh Hefner and a ton of blonde bunnies. Hef talks about how Picasso had a blue period, he has a blonde period.

I go back to the football game.

I flip back, they're at the mansion, Sharon's getting a tour. Sharon's petting Hugh's pekey dog and babytalking to it.

I go back to the football game.

Back to Sharon's bed, I discover that there are now four playboy bunnies in the bed with Ali, Sharon and Mr. Oh My God I'm the Luckiest Man Alive. He. Is. In. His. Glory.

He's all surrounded by hot sexy women and he is loving loving LOVING every microsecond, every heart beat. He is getting progressively less tolerable as the minutes tick by. As a gift they bring Sharon bunny ears. "Where are Minnie's?" And everyone says "Aaaaawwwww, yeah! Minnie coulda used some bunny ears, couldn't you sweetieweetie Minnie winnie." I'm barfing on the hardwood at this point.

Where are BNL?

Well, because this is a talk show they ALWAYS save the musical act for the very very end of the program. Why break with formula and allow me to end this painful staying awakeness.

Mr. So Horny That Comforter Has Been Converted To A Tent is groping Ali Landry and groping Miss September 1999 and stating that he is going to steal Mrs. Osbourne from Mr. Osbourne. Sharon introduces Dita Von Teese, a burlesque dancer who has gained mass noteriety for being Marilyn Manson's girlfriend. She comes out and does this long and boring burlesque dance with two assistants in maid garb, and she rides a merry go round horse. Oh so provocative. Yawn. She's goth white, not too bad looking, but really. Who. Cares. Bring on the Barenaked Ladies for chrissake!

Dita ends up in the bed with Ali and Sharon and Mr. Now He's Not Even Remotely Funny Anymore, He's Massively Oversexed Annoying Guy. Dita brings her choice items for things that make her feel sexy out of a sexy bag. She's got a feather tickler, and a riding crop, and she's smacking Mr. Still Not Funny At This Point in the chest and he looks like he's just going to orgasm right there on the set. He's so happy.

Sharon introduces BNL.

The boys come out, dressed normally. They are showing the Video for "Another Postcard" on the monitors all over the stage and set, which was a super cool touch (IMO) and they rock out. Ed inserts alternate lyrics to what the chimps are doing, including "A chimp that barks at the moon" as massive homage to Ozzy himself.

They rock, Ed's mohawk is high and tight. Jim is rocking out on bass. All is looking good. The song ends and they immediately drop instrument and drop trou.

Yes. They drop trou.

They take off their pants, and in some cases manage to get off their shirts (Ed and Jim especially) and they go running over to Sharon's lovey wuvey bed and start jumping up and down and all over the place like crazed chimps in thongs.

Their asses are totally blurred out (they didn't blur out Dita von Tits, but hey... she didn't show nip in her "dance") and Ali Landry and Sharon are SCREAMING at the tops of their lungs as Jim and Ed are basically wanging right in front of them. The audience is going nuts.

Tyler ends up sitting next to Dita von Tits and she is AGHAST. The look on that woman's face was one of astonishment and realization that she had been one upped by naked Canadians. She thought she was the penultimate in sexy, Striptease as Art... Nudity as Art. But no. Trump card -- here's Ed in mauve thong.

Ed hops in bed next to Sharon, Steve and Kevin scoot in beside him. Ty is sitting out on top of the covers by Ms. Shocked to see someone with healthy skin tone for the first time in months and months (that's a slam on Marilyn Manson because he's so Elmers Glue colored) and Mr. I'm so into the Sexy Ladies But Not The Barenaked Naked Ladies has JUMPED out of bed and is standing as far away from the bed as he can manage.

They're all laughing at him, and Ed is trying to encourage him to come back into the bed, that it's okay. Mr. Aghast That Now There Are Men Other Than Him In Sharon's Bed insists that they're fine where they are and he's fine where he is.

Sharon manages to ask a few thoughtful questions, Ed tells her that growing up he had a Rush wall and an Ozzy wall. She asks him if he ever imagined he'd be in bed with Ozzy's Missus. Ed laughs and says that he sure did imagine that, only she'd be wearing the mauve thong.

Ed is clearly not pleased that Mr. Afraid Of Penis Other Than His Own is still sweating and twitching across the room. He tries encouragement one more time, and then jumps out of the bed, VAULTS the back of the couch and chases Mr. It's Not Funny Anymore!!! all through the studio audience, all around the set, and everywhere.

Mayhem ensues. The show ends in absolute chaos. Priceless.

By this point I'm laughing myself silly. Was it worth staying up until 1am to witness.


It is now 7:30pm on Wednesday. I wanted to post that entry last night but Doug needed the computer and then I fell asleep. There are tons of work related dramas going on. I'm happy to not have to go in for two days, and my dad brought a ton of microbrews from the distributor where he works. They'll be all frigging gone by tomorrow. Dad, Doug and I put the TV up into the built-in cabinet and it looks the balls. We're looking into getting an Xbox, PS2 or GameCube, and now that the TV is up there it will help us decide what to do and buy.

Not sure when I'll get another chance to write. So I wish you all a great relaxing Thursday, whether you celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving or not. Make use of the time you have to connect and tell people you're thankful for them. I'm thankful for each of you I've made connections with over the last 2 1/2 yrs. Thank you for being deeply in or on the periphery of my life.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Wherein I almost run over a small child with my truck

I am sick to my stomach.

This morning when I dropped my kids off at school, I was sitting in traffic waiting to leave the parking lot. I was making a right into the driveway to leave the school from the pickup/drop off zone. A bus driver to my left waved me on.

I saw two kids walk in front me, I waited, looked back at the bus driver to make sure he hadn't changed his mind about me taking too long to pull out, and took my foot off the gas.

Suddenly, two more kids ran out in front of me, around the front of my truck and I didn't see them.

I wasn't accelerating, my foot was off the brake and I was rolling forward. I didn't hear any noise, I looked up and both kids were at the far front left end of my truck and the taller one looked over his shoulder at me while running and he continued to run.

I thought nothing of it and I went to work.

This afternoon the principal stopped me when I went to pick the kids up (normally my neighbor does pick up when I drop off but she didn't send her daughter to school today). She asked me if I realized that I'd hit a child this morning.

My heart exploded in my chest and I thought I was going to puke right there. I explained to her what happened, that it looked to me that run out in front of me to presumably catch up with the other two taller boys who had walked in front of me while I was waiting.

She told me that my tale was consistent with the younger brother's version of events (not sure what the older brother, the one I hit, had to say). I asked if he was okay, the principal told me the school nurse looked him over and he was perfectly fine but she told me she had to call his parents and explain what happened.

Holy shit, I totally know he's going to go home and his parents are going to call the cops and I'm toast.

I'm going to get arrested for leaving the scene of an accident.

I'm going to get sued.

I'm going to lose my license, which luckily I remembered to renew last night (I forgot it expired on my birthday).

The principal said there's nothing for me to worry about, but I swear this isn't the first time this family has heard that phrase and it hasn't turned out that way.

I'm so upset right now and it's all I can think about.

He looked perfectly alright when I made eye contact with him... he's got to be in about fourth grade or something. I am so glad he was with his younger brother because that kid was too short for me to see over the front end of my truck. I can't believe that instinctively I didn't just roll down the window and say something to him or ask him if he's okay, or put the damn truck in park.

Whenever I drop Geoff and Jess off at school, I wait until they're up on the grass by the bus circle before I leave. I think these kids are walkers from up the street from the school. I see them every day.

god I'm freaked out.

I have a shitload of stuff to do. More later.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Early and Cold

My son. God love him. He gets up with the sunshine. Even when the sun isn't shining, he knows what time it should be shining. And he's up and at them (No, up and atom!).

This morning he climbed into our bed at about 7am. Now, 7am isn't that early, but it's Saturday morning for crikey chrissake. Sleep a bit you little energetic freakazoid!


I pretended to sleep and delayed getting up for about another 45 minutes, until I really had to go to the bathroom. He had gotten out of our bed and made his way to the kitchen, where he'd poured himself a glass of juice and was politely sitting in front of the Casio keyboard which we had set up for him last night, waiting for permission to play.

Sometimes this kid's kindness and courtesy blow me away.

I told him to wait until after I took the dogs out, fed them, shut the bedroom door so as not to disturb daddy, got some coffee on, and then I would set the volume at the right spot for him and he could play.

He did wait through all those things and played for a good half hour before realizing it was Saturday morning and that infernal FoxBox programming would soon be on.

The Casio was turned off and he sat through the pet show with Marc Marrone, that chaotic animal wrangler from the Martha Stewart show who now has his own program in syndication. I was in youth group with his brother and sister. I met Marc once in 1982 or something... he is older than his siblings, and I remember being somewhat creeped out by him. Now he's a big time syndicated Jack Hannah petstore wannabe.

Anyway -- his show is bizarre. There's balanced chaos in which predators and prey sit on the same table while he talks about the puppy he's holding. Because there is so much going on in the scenes, Geoff sits there with his mouth hanging open trying to figure out what the animals all are and why there are so many of them there when Marc is talking about one parrot.

Why do we need the bunnies and the snakes and the mice and the chicken and the donkey and the gastropods all on the table at the same time? Something's going to go horribly wrong one of these days. Bunny will get eaten by python as Marc stands with his back to them and discusses this macaw's beautiful plumage.

Anyway -- the stupid FoxBox shows started and he's happily eating waffles, watching Sonic or whatever the hell is on, and going over to the keyboard to start the preprogramed tune loop.

It's a quiet day. After 10am and Doug and Jessie are still in bed.

Last night we went out to see All About Buford. Not as big a crowd as last time they were in this venue, but a happy crowd nonetheless. Multiple birthdays were celebrated, mine among them, and Amy made a cake for me.

AAB has a new vocal percussionist, in fact it has TWO VPs now, one lives on the west coast, the other here in Boston. They perform as a fivesome when they can, but otherwise it's just the quartet.

We got to see Ben, the local VP, for the first time last night. He does some wonderful things with bass while doing his mouth drumming. It sounds like five things are coming out of him at once. A lot of the songs they do that I'm very familiar with now have a new mix to them. Very interesting.

Shah even channeled Michael Jackson (the dancer, not the alleged diddler) and a good time was had by all. Thank you Amy for baking the cake and causing the power in your town to go out (your cake baking powers overwhelmed the grid!) and thanks as always for making me cry with "My Funny Valentine."

I got us a babysitter from the college, she has her own car so it was nice not to have to drive 1/2 hour there and the same back for someone to watch the kids for a few hours. Finding a highschool kid around here to babysit is a near impossibility. NO one wants to babysit. They all get money from mater and pater and want to hang out with their friends and that's about it.

So I'm glad to have found this girl. The kids really liked her, she's a music major so she was really keen on learning more about AAB, and all told I'll have her back again.

This weekend will probably get washed out for us, not because of the weather or anything but because Doug has continuing ed stuff he needs to do. I may take the kids for a short walk to get them out of the house so he can watch a video that he sent away for and then go online to take a test, or however it's done. He's procrastinated on this one for months and now has to get it all done with.

We also have to get the ACs out of the windows. We keep our heat fairly low, so each draft is felt as you walk past the vulnerable ventage. I was thinking maybe my dad could help Doug do that when they come up for thanksgiving.

On that note -- I've laundry to fold and need to swing by the church and pick up donation money for turkeys and go pick some up. I'm the turkey girl! Wooooo!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Steven Page photo...

Only one picture from my film camera came out good. Not sure if it was the quality of the film being used (on many of the non-concert shots the quality is really grainy and weird, almost disposable camera quality...) or the fact that the floor was bouncing up and down while I was trying to take pictures. So I'm sadly disappointed.

Here's the one picture that worked out:

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Maine, and Carrie's take on the BNL show...

We went to Maine on Friday, in the big storm that almost blew us off the highway 10 times. Quimby the big red truck held the highway fast from here to Augusta. From there, it was all a blur due to my excessive exhaustion. I was so tired by the time I got to A&M's in Barhahbah that I had a gin and tonic and found myself quite sleeping by 11:30.

We got up Saturday, and around noon headed out for some cold weather Geocaching. The weather in and of itself was gorgeous. The big windstorm of the day prior had passed, and while the temp gauge read in the low 30s we were plenty warm on the two hikes we did. Found both caches, snared a cute little travel bug at one of them. Laughed at Doug when he didn't take our urgings not to drive up a road because we'd seen the gate was locked (he took it well) and had a dinner feast and birthday cake for me and totally enjoyed the fire, the dogs, the sunset, the day.

Sunday we went back at it again and did another geocache. The instructions stated that the walk was 1.2 miles, but Aaron knew better. There was a private fire road with summer houses down the end. He told us to simply drive down. We drove up to within 300 feet of the thing, snared it, and took a long and leisurely drive all around MDI. Bass Harbor, Southwest Harbor, downtown Pretty Marsh. It was a wonderful and relaxing day. We hit the road a little after 3 and were home in time for the 8:30 Patriots game. Very happy to have had the time to get away, and very happy to hang with our good friends and get the royal treatment.

We rented "Amelie" and on TV this weekend was "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." I highly recommend both. If you haven't seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure since 1985, rent it or watch for it on cable or something. It holds up. The sight gags, the physical humor, the bow tie. All hysterically funny. "Everyone I know has a big but. Let's talk about your big but." And Amelie was very funny, very clever. The photography and use of color and techology were stunning. It was a little "Ally McBeal" in some ways with the use of the technology to show what she's thinking/feeling at times, but for the most part this was one of the best movies I've seen in a while. Subtitled, so if you don't jive with that, get over it.

Pictures, of course:

Aaron and Geoff ham it up in the forest
Eeek! Monkey Reference!

Top left: View from the cliffs at the Hunters Beach cache, gorgeous color in the water... the picture cannot capture it.

Top right: All the hikers up the trail to the cliffs and me down below picturing Geoff slipping and falling to his death!

Right: Bass harbor light.

And now, for the guest blogger thing. I haven't done something like this for a long time, but I'm letting somoene else's opinion take over the space. Mostly because I think it's well thought out, and mostly because... It Is About BNL.

As I've done nothing but talk about the Hartford 2nd row concert experience to anyone who is willing to listen to me for two seconds or five minutes, my concert co-goer, C, has also been extremely stoked from having seen them. She was familiar with the band but nowhere near as obsessed as I am. We may be looking at a convert. But... her thoughts on the overall concert, where the band is today, and the nature of being a fan (which she asked me to write about from my perspective and I certainly did a couple entries back), and her own personal reflections on what she can and should do and give really impressed me. I've not edited her email to shorten it. Her thoughts in full deserve a place for all y'all to see them.

So. Without further adieu: C's thoughts...

So I have been thinking about the Hartford concert.

I have been wondering what the crowd looks like to the band from stage. I have been wondering what a band sees in their fans faces on concert night.

It's this whole fan issue with me again. It's fascinating to me. What is a fan? Someone who buys the cd? Goes to the concerts? Knows all the lyrics? Buys the t-shirt? Has all the b-sides? Dresses up, ala Kiss? Joins the fan club? Posts emails? Runs a website? Names a child after a band member? A song? Anybody named Brianna out there?

I wondered if BNL wanted the kinds of fans that come with intense popularity. The kind of fan that dances and yells to Steve while he's singing War on Drugs, the kind that come to a concert just to get stoned, or spends the whole concert standing in line for beer.

I decided that a real fan likes a band or an artist because it hits some personal chord. It explains why if the band is raw and vulgar, then a lot of the fans are too. If the band is talented and intelligent, then that's who they appeal to and who shows up at their concerts.

I looked into the band's faces closely that night and liked what I saw. I couldn't see any sign that they were weary or jaded singing even their most popular songs and it was so appealing. Maybe I don't know how famous they are in Canada, maybe they can't get coffee at Tim Horton's without being mobbed. Maybe they never make a move without a personal security guard. But I didn't see that kind of fear or elitism in their faces.

Whenever I have attended something excellent, I always want to and try to thank the performer(s). Concerts are generally the ultimate frustration that way. The experience of being that close to the stage moved me, it was a remarkable evening, so what is my response, I wondered?

I thought about it. I pulled up the websites and read a little, I didn't know their names before the concert. I read that Kevin had beaten cancer. I thought about that.

I thought about my life. I thought I could almost write lyrics to a song about it. That feeling doesn't happen often, which is how I know the concert reached me. Would everyone want my life? Would anybody want my life?

I thought about what makes people likeable, what the process is to determine if you like someone and what people see when they look at each other.

So, I decided to give blood. An odd response, but a big deal to me. I have a rare blood type and once they know where to find you, the hospitals never stop calling. I wanted to find a way to give as generously as I had been given to, both by the person that invited me to the show and the band that evening.

I read that BNL wants change, they want to be known for more than the funny songs, they want to be a sane voice in the madness. I think many artists are frustrated that they aren't known for what they consider their best work, Mozart, Charles Schultz, Arthur Conan Doyle, Louisa May Alcott, Van Gogh. It's probably the rule, rather than the exception.

The band should take heart, they are in such a fortunate position. Unlike a book or a piece of art they are given a different opportunity with music because most people buy the whole album so they have the chance to go deeper. It seems to me this band has it all, an album they are proud of, great fans who are listening and just enough commercial success to buy coffee without an armed escort.

Today the Boston Globe called the new Brittney Spears album "profoundly vacant". Now that's a bad review but one BNL never needs to fear receiving.

Thank you C. What a wonderful thought process here and indeed I doubt BNL will ever be deemed "profoundly vacant" the way Ms. Thang's new release is. But. Her release will sell billions more copies. And perhaps she's the type of person that BNL is singing about in my #6 "muttering" this week:

Don't call me a zero
I'm gonna be a hero
Like Phil Esposito or the Kennedys

I'll be incorporated
And I'll be imitated
And overrated, but that doesn't bother me

All the jaws will drop
And all the girls will scream
And there will be commotion when I show up on the scene

All that you will see is a celebrity (x2)

When I'm riding in my limo
I won't look out the window
Might make me homesick for humanity

There's nowhere that I can't go
And there's nobody I don't know
And there's an emptiness that's eating me

All the clocks will stop
And all the jeans will cream
It has always been my one and only dream

All that's left of me is my celebrity (x2)

Leave your heart
Lay down your art
You're here for the party
Smile and wave
Try to behave
Be happy that they've made you a celebrity

I could disappear into the great unknown
And it would wear my face as if it were its own

And all that you will see is a celebrity
All that's left of me is my celebrity
I will get in first and I will get in free
All that's left of me is my celebrity

Speaking of Celebrity... There's a band that deserves more. All About Buford will be performing for ME and my 37th birthday on Friday November 21st at the Crescent Dragon Cafe in down town Haverhill MA.

Well not really for ME per se. It just happens to coincide closely to my birthday and so I'm all ego and am pointing out that it's all about me me me.

The Crescent Dragon is right near the train station, so easy access coming up from the City or Portland Maine or wherever. They are filming a video, and want as many people in the house as possible. It shouldn't be a problem, because last time they were there the place was jam packed and overflowing.

It promises to be a phenomenal show. Perhaps not as insanely phenomenal as I thought BNL was, but they do put on a kick ass performance, and I've touted their vocal ability like mad in these pages lo these last two years. So get off your keister on Friday night and get thee hence to the show, damnit!

Just a note -- this one is a non-kid oriented show, so leave the shorties at home.

They do kid friendly and non-kid friendly (no kids are abused or hit, it's just a tad "blue" as they say in the industry... look at me, I'm so full of lingo!) shows, so this one happens to be specifically requested to be kidless and I'm happy to oblige.

So try and make it if you can. Haverhill is so easy to get to up 495 and 95. You have no excuses. Right then. More later.

Friday, November 14, 2003

BNL Peepshow Review, 11/13/03 Bushnell Auditorium Hartford CT

It is 1AM. I just got home. And who on earth would have imagined the night would be as specfriggintacular as it has been.

Our tickets at the Bushnell Auditorium (a mighty fine hall, makes the Orpheum look like the chumbucket that it truly is) were in the 2nd row, right in front of Ed.

??? I'm sorry, second row? You've got to be shitting me. C and I were both astonished, amazed, blown a way. Ohmygodwe'reinthe SECOND ROW!!

And then I thought of my sister, who was supposed to be with me and opted for romance and California. Suckaaaaaa!

And then I thought of Andi -- I so very much would have loved to met her there for this show, and I feel so horrible that she didn't get a chance to come with me.

Sorry Andi. So very very sorry. I think you might have died on me, and that would have been hard to explain to Joseph. I called my sister to gloat, but couldn't bring myself to call you and do the same.

C probably derived as much pleasure in watching me watch the band as she did watching the band. I knew every word to every song from Yes Yes Yes to Powder Blue, and I think I must have made Kevin laugh at one point when he was up in front of me with the blue sparkly accordion and I gave him the secret devil sign.

They were so much more phenomenal than at the Boston show last month. And not because I was close enough to see fillings in the teeth and eyelashes and the fact that Steve has the same kind of mole thing on his forehead that I have... They seemed so together and so confident in the new material, and the audience sang along with all the E2E stuff... unlike Boston where hardly anyone had a chance to listen to the new CD because the release date and tour were the same day. It really appears that they've polished the new stuff and have such a grasp on the presentation, and the show rocked as a result.

The BNL Ladies Room came through for us on this one -- best seats ever, best concert ever. I don't know if I can say enough about it. I took the film camera and digital, the top picture is the only one that came out on the digital because I ... forgot to open the lens cover and wasn't using the LCD display so as not to betray the camera's existance, so I had no idea... I only took a couple shots with it and they were on the super low light setting, so they would have sucked anyway. I'm relieved but stupid all at the same time.

So I'm banking on the film camera for a couple good shots. Oh please oh please.

Highlights musically, aside from the 2nd row seats, were:

  • Powder Blue, unbelievably done and in full operatic voice from Mr. Page.
  • Ed's slick mohawk looking curled and fine.
  • A wonderful rap about getting a hot shave and ass waxing and an invitation therein to come up to "Torontaa" to continue having waxings done.
  • "This is where it ends" was simply amazing.
  • Steve gave a gorgeous and very touching introduction to War on Drugs which had C and me in complete tears hugging each other and weeping, thinking as always of our Clayton.
  • Ed gave a very VH1 storytellers intro to "Leave," which I never realized isn't a breakup song... wonderfully enlightening to me. As he was introducing the song and explaining it, I totally thought they were going into "Tonight is the night I fell asleep at the wheel" and was surprised to hear Leave. Then the lyrics made so much sense and were so much more poignant.
  • Some Fantastic done in the Prairie Home Companion one-mic format
  • Kevin and the Mandolin, the craziest synthesizer work ever, the blue sparkly accordion and the funniest patchy pants in history
  • These Apples, Conventioneers, and Enid!
  • Killer encores, "Have you seen my love," and Brian Wilson among others.

The Q and A session was awfully fun, with an audience member asking "Can you give me directions to the Bryan Street Theatre" (the answer being, no I can't... and the response "Aw Fer Chrissake!" and "Welll????") A wonderful question about why they changed the CD art on the re-release of Gordon. And a very funny and embarassing answer to the question from a teacher as to what qualities they thing are best in a good teacher. Tyler's response was pretty much "a really fabulous tits!" The woman then confessed that Ty once autographed her tits and the band went nutty. It was a riot.

I can't say enough about how good they were tonight, how they made each other laugh, how wonderful and polite and well behaved the audience seemed and how fucking incredible our seats were.

They are totally like a boyband and I'm totally the biggest geek fan girl in history. Only none of us are 15. And they are far far more talented than any boyband in history. Amazing. Far too good. I could see them a million times and I probably will. God willing.

Speaking of God -- Tiny was in great form. See him up there in the background behind Steve. Nice!

I hope to God himself (he plays a mean bongo!) that my photos came out alright. I have no idea what speed film is in the camera and flash photography was prohibited.

And now -- off to bed

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

more BNL upcoming

What a gorgeous weekend. It doesn't seem to be "THAT" cold when no wind is blowing. We were out geocaching yesterday and the thermometer at the car said 35 degrees.

Once we got moving and the wind wasn't bad out on the trail, we could have walked forever. A mile and a half into the woods, hit the first cache, hit the second, and ran out of time at the third which thankfully was very close to the parking area as it was getting very dark on our exit.

I love the fall. Yesterday couldn't have been more Novembery unless it was sleeting on us, which it wasn't, thankfully. And geocaching -- so much fun but you know that's what I think already so I'll shut up.

Eclipse -- we got home with pizza in hand and got outside to check out the first shadings of the eclipse of the moon last night. I tried to take pictures but it was futile... the moon, she is close but not too close, no? Jessie and I enjoyed standing out in the driveway watching, even though we confused the occassional passing motorist. We were going to go up to the big hill here around the corner, but it was cold and she already had on her jammies. Plus, the local amateur astronomer club was up there, and while I do love me the nerds I didn't think we'd want to go up and hang with a crowd.

I do wish we'd done what our neighbors did and had a bonfire. Ah well.

Sunday was football day, and some yardwork was accomplished. We still haven't gotten the air conditioners out of the windows. That has to happen soonly as it's starting to get pretty chilly at night and heaven knows I'm not heating the outdoors!

So far, it now being Tuesday, the week goes well at work. I've not majorly flubbed anything, so I'm pretty psyched. Thursday night I'm going to see BNL in Hartford, so I'm living for that. And we decided that we're going to go up to A&M's in Bar Harbor (home of the wicked pissah July 4th festival). So right now I'm just lasting through the weekend, biding my time... longing for BNL, knowing I'm going to be an exhausted mess on Friday morning but so glad of it.

My friend C is going to come with me. Initially Linder was going to be with me, but she's off to Someplace with Someone. Then I asked Andi, but she sadly could not accompany me. So ... I guess more later, after the show!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003


It is 1pm and I'm home from work. Geoff has had a barking cough for the past couple weeks, it comes and goes. It has gotten pretty bad, and I've been giving him cough medicine to keep it at bay during the school day. Today he just didn't want to participate in anything in school, sat with his head down on his folded arms, was lethargic, unwilling, sleepy. They called me to let me know that his throat looked red and irritated, and they thought he may have strep because EVERY kid in school has strep right now. The neighbor girls all have it.

So when they paged me at work while I was in a meeting, I knew what it was about.

I told A, who seemed slightly panicked, supportive and perturbed at the same time as only an HR manager can... knowing what the laws and rules are, but knowing what we've got hanging over our heads and all... she asked for an update of where open enrollment data entry stood.

I lined up everything that I hadn't gotten done yet for the deadline of 4pm tomorrow. I told her I'd do my best to come back in this afternoon. There are only 10 forms that need finished in data entry, and I've got that under control. She seemed somewhat relieved and told me that if I couldn't make it back in she'd take care of things.

Funny thing is, on Friday she told me to stop entering them and to focus on another project that I've ignored for months, because I had all the way until Thursday afternoon to get it all done.

Then my PC imploded on itself, and that took 2 days to rectify, and now I'm out with Geoff.

So don't stop me again when I'm making good progress, m'kay?

Hee hee.

Anyway -- I'm waiting for Doug to come home and Geoff's on the couch watching him some Noggin. I feel like slipping my pyjamas back on and curling up with him on the couch, but I'll force myself to make better use of the time here.

I've got three websites to build, one is built and was on hold for months and months because the people who hired me to do it hemmed and hawed and then one of them got drastically sick so we couldn't complete the project. Now we're back on track. I've got C&M's car website (and I am just now done with all the scanning of the photos and documents and am working up the layout, just so you have an idea C of where it is...) and professor MF's husband called me and asked me to do a site for him.

So there are plenty of opportunities for making some cash here. Gotta make them all shine.

Not much else really to write about. The monkey reference log has been getting me some rather weird email. I got something the other day about hot wild monkey copulation activity. Not something I wanted to see. The sender suggested "Hey! This would be good for your monkey reference website!"

No. Sick bastard. Very very sick bastard.

I'm going to make some coffee and try and get these monkey images out of my mind now. Biß Später!

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Geocaching, pictures and oysters

What a lucky thing for us that Saturday turned out to be the stellar day and Sunday is poopy. We are Sunday layabouts. If we go to church, the afternoon is more oft than not spent lounging with Big TV and way too much football. Today is no exception. It is helpful that the rain is starting and no one can give us crap for not going out to play.

Yesterday was a sterling, sunny day, and we blew off Geoff's soccer game in order to get dressed and ready to head out caching. I'd gotten an email late on Halloween night stating that one of the clues was missing in the multi stage cache that I just put out the other day, so I panicked. I knew at least two other local teams who would be heading over there this weekend to make the grab, so I wanted to check on the report.

We trekked over to the cache and confirmed that the clue was indeed in its rightful spot. On the way out we ran into one of the two aforementioned teams that I knew would be on the hunt for our cache, and had a wonderful time chatting with them.

Simon says: "Shut your yaps, Let's go Cache!"

Huzzah! Then, it was off to Rye NH.

We were cruising up Rte 1A in Seabrook, and Doug suddenly slammed on the brakes. "Did you see that!?" he yelled.

No. I hadn't seen whatever that was.

"There is a ton of beanie babies in the road!" We were driving again at that point. I told him I thought it was sad. So he banged a reverse turn and headed back to do a Roadkill Rescue. We parked on the side of the road, and I watched for cars while Doug collected the hapless abandoned lovies.

How retarded are we?

We were giggling like freaks as he ran all over the road picking these stupid things up. The catch of the bunch is a little sock puppet dog that Geoff has latched on to. It lost its nose this morning, which is sad. I'll have to make a new one. We figured some of these were in good enough shape to go into caches. Some aren't. There's a bugs bunny there who is missing an eye. He's ... destined for the trash, I'm sad to say. He's not in good shape.

I've always had a soft spot for abandoned toys. When I drive past a house that has had a garage sale, and there are stuffed animals sticking out of the "free" box or the rubbish bin, I feel horrible and it makes me sort of weepy. Don't you laugh. Shut up.

It's true. I'm a mush in that respect.

So I'm proud of us for this roadkill rescue. Nyeah.

We did three caches yesterday. The first was a piece of cake but a Muggle couple watched us as Doug pulled it out from between the very open and chucked me the container. I then had to explain it to them, because they were somewhat incredulous that we went to that spot and found something in this manner. The Muggle woman thought we had lost something and rejoiced for us that it was found. Perhaps they'll be converts to the way of the cache.

Took a couple cool pictures along the stretch of road in Rye there.

Jack wouldn't turn around, but at least I got Kinger and Jess here. And check out my cool tree picture... ocean waves and rocks in the back. I'm all arthouse, yo.

Next we hit a cache at an old abandoned fort. A year or so ago we took my mom to another cache at a fort just on the other side of the harbor in Portsmouth. This fort was not in as good preservationist condition, but it was cool to spelunk through and check out. We found the cache easily, and took the opportunity to spend some relaxing time by the ocean at the jetty before Jack tried to run off with another dog's family.
I have been trying to get a good picture of the kids for our Christmas cards. I got them to pose here on the rocks -- it was gorgeous, but they don't look their best. Not a Christmas card worthy picture... but an okay shot nonetheless. Right then is when Jack decided to run off, so I couldn't get them repointed to have less squintiness in their faces. Such is life with dogs.

A rather closeup look at some bittersweet
on the vine at the cacheside

The final cache was yet another example of me knowing better and Doug being a renegade. We headed in the wrong direction, and after a certain period of time we had recircled around to point in the right direction go get to the cache, we found ourselves on The Cliffs Of Peril on the Piscataqua River. I wanted to turn around and go back around the building and fence and approach from the correct side. We were about 200 feet from the cache according to the GPSr, and Doug wanted to press on.

Everyone should always listen to ME. No one does.

We had to cling for dear life along a rock face, Jessie behind me quivering with fear and Geoff not exactly knowing what to do with poor vision and lack of discernment, me between them trying to guide and comfort them, and Doug scurrying like a friggin' billy goat up the scree to get to the cache yelling 'See, It's EASY!'

Yes it IS easy, but not with the kind of baggage I'm totin'. Not to mention the dogs kept jumping up from the river and running on the rocks, causing our only locations for footfalls to become butter slick.

We made it. But it would have taken less time to walk around and approach from safety.

This is the view from the Cliffs of Peril and Doom

We then jumped back into the truck to head home, over an hour late getting back in time to get all cleany and down to Michael's for dinner. We were excessively later than intended (uh, two hours!) but dinner was fun and all had a good time. I got to see the unabridged version of the Vacation Pictures, and lived vicariously through his camera eye.

We got home at 1am.

I'm incredibly tired today... I have dead stuffed animals in my truck. I need a nap. But yesterday was a fabulous and wonderful day, peril not withstanding.

Today is our usual hangabout day. At dinner last night with Jon and Michael, Jon gave Doug a bigassed bag of Oysters that he'd gotten from Wellfleet. Today Doug ate some raw on the shell and grilled a bunch of them out in the rain.

I thought I'd be brave and try one, thinking it was great that they were cooked. Raw oysters to me are nothing more than very large phlegmballs, and I gag when I have a cold and I'm coughing and one hits the back of my throat so I couldn't imagine trying to down one of these suckers... So Doug took one fresh off the grill and inserted it into my somewhat skeptical but willing mouth.

Regretted it the instant the thing hit my tongue. Not only was it still a giant phlemmish thing, it was a warm phlemmish thing, and I balked. "Geh ih ough mah mouf!" I gagged, and he laughed at me, put the shell in front of me and I spit it out.

So glad we did this at home instead of some highclass hoity toity restaurant. It would have been slightly unclassy for me to hawk one of these things out of my mouth and back into the shell at a 35 dollar a plate meal.

Doug got the most joy out of the oysters, and it was fun watching him shuck them (is that how it is spelled?) and get his chef on. The rest of us landlubbers had burgers on the grill after he finished with his culinary art efforts.

So Jon -- thank you immensely for the oysters, even if I'm with Michael on the not wanting to eat them side of the aisle.