Friday Fill In #100

1. My stomach is empty right now, and I’d like to put something in it.
2. Ma’s sausage stuffing is what I ate the most of on Thursday.
3. The yard is in rough shape, needs another raking, and needs the toys put away (again!).
4. Snuggling with Susan is where I’d rather be at any given time.
5. The smell of Grey Flannel reminds me of a Shawn Colvin concert I attended with Susan.
6. Lunch is what I need right now!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to an early gig (done at 12am), tomorrow my plans include going to the Festival of Lights parade and Sunday, I want to attend a bachelor party!

Heather Armstrong Has Been Found!

For years, I’ve been trying to find Heather Armstrong. All through middle and high school, we were in home room together. (Her last name starts with A, mine with B. Melissa Baker fell in between us!) On graduation day, Susan, Heather, Chris Clayton, and I drove to Perry’s Nut House and hung out for the day. And then, after graduation, she fell off the face of the earth. No one could find her. When the time came ’round for the 10th class reunion, no one could figure out how to find her. And so, I kept posting about Heather hoping that she would some day find me–since I couldn’t seem to find her.

Fast forward eighteen years. Allison has been trying to get Susan to join Facebook.  So Susan joined up. And guess who she found?! Seems Heather DID go to Johnson and Wales, got married, had a few kids (one quite recently), and joined Facebook. So Susan asked to be her “friend” or whatever on Facebook, and they messaged each other like three times yesterday! It was nice to know she’s doing well, and is somewhat close by. Heck, she mentioned the irony of me gigging down in Boston (where Heather lives now) last weekend. She invited me to stop in the next time I play down that way.

She also wanted to know what happened to Scott Ballard. And as I thought about that, I realized “I haven’t heard anything about Scott since graduation!”

Paging Scott Ballard, where are you Scott? 🙂

Four gigs, three days, too tired, one oyster

The weekend started for me on Thursday this week. Three Button Deluxe was booked to play a gig in Boston. I still had (still have, actually) some vacation time to use up, so I decided to take Thursday and Friday off from the office. Paddy and I tooled down to Boston, and had a relatively easy trip. On the way down, there was one slight lane issue (I was trying to get into the same lane that someone else also wanted), and on the way out of town, I missed my on-ramp, which forced me to double back a block or three. The gig went well, no major issues, and I took some time to eat a raw oyster. I was home at 2:30am Friday–which in reality isn’t that late.

The boys were spending the weekend at Grandma’s and Granddaddy’s, so that meant–luxury of luxuries–I could sleep late! I slept until 9am, something I haven’t done since I don’t know when. It was nice! I ran a few errands for Susan, and took a little nap in the afternoon. Then, I drove to Bar Harbor for a gig at The Blues Authority. Again, I was home about 2:30am.

Saturday morning was an 8am wake up–a little more my norm. The boys were still away, so Susan, Julia, and I went to The Brass Compass for breakfast. My bacon/mushroom/swiss omellette was pretty good, and Susan’s “Granny Apple” pancakes looked really yummy. Then I think I just hung out at home until I needed to leave to play the matinee of Annie Get Your Gun at Medomak High School. That lasted ’til about 4:30pm. A bunch of us from the pit (all rhythm section players and the music director) went to Waldoboro to have supper. And then it was back to school for the 7:30pm show.I was home by 11, in bed by midnight.

Sunday, and everything was back to normal. The boys were back home, and ready to go with the sun. Church in the AM, then lunch at Mom’s. I took a one hour nap Sunday afternoon, then got up and washed some dishes before heading back to church. After church, it was straight home. Susan was very tired, and wanted to go straight to bed. I nuked some Spaghetti-Os for supper, and watched a documentary on Noah’s Ark. Then I went to bed, and the weekend came to its conclusion.

No Ghostesess!

A couple days ago, Susan was working with the boys on writing their names. She wrote their given names on one side of the paper, then their nicknames (Matt & Nat) on the other side. She then had them practice writing their letters on top of hers. At some point, Matthew decided to make a sign with his paper. He scribbled some stuff on the paper, and Susan asked him what it said. He said “It says ‘No ghostesess allowed in my room!'”

Watching Movies MI-5

This Five is not so much concerned with what kind of movies you like, but how you watch them!

1) When you’re at the theater, how do you want your atmosphere? Do you prefer old theaters or megaplexes? Full houses or intimate seatings? Lots of kids, or none at all?

I really prefer old theaters to new. They have so much more character. Today’s multiplexes are like concrete bunkers. They’re so, blah. And, since I’m in a theater, I’d like to have some people there. In my opinion, the only thing you get in a theater that you don’t get at home is the crowd interaction. And, like my sister, if I’m watching a kid movie, I’d like to have lots of kids running around. Their laughter is contagious!

2) What’s your “home theater” like? High tech? VCR and TV? What?

My home theater is pretty decent. I really haven’t added much to it since my children have been born. I’ve got Dolby Digital 5.1, 32″ RCA Cinema Series TV, nice speakers, subwoofer, DVD and Laserdisc. The only thing I’d like to have is a 16 X 9 widescreen display. But since my current TV is working fine, I see no need to go out and spend $700 or more just to change the ratio of my screen size.

3) We’ve probably all got DVD and VCR players, but how about alternative movie watching gadgets? Have you got an Apple TV? Ever watch a movie over the Internet?

I’ve got a TiVo. Sometimes we’ll get a movie off that to watch. Not too much, though. I don’t watch movies on my computer. My iPod Touch can play movies, and I’ve ripped a few I own to watch on it. I don’t forsee myself watching them, though, until I’m on a plane or something. (I don’t normally carry the earphones with me.)

4) Do you belong to a subscription movie rental service, like NetFlix? If so, how many movies are you renting a month? Are you happy with the service?

I don’t have anything like that. We watch so few movies, it wouldn’t really be worth it to us. We’ll usually just watch the same movies over and over. Madagascar and Cars are perrenial favorites in my house.

5) Share with us your ratio of buying movies to renting them. Do you rent more, or just outright buy your movies? Do you get DVDs, tapes, or movie downloads for your computer most frequently?

I would say we buy and rent at about an equal ratio. We usually rent things we’ve never seen. If we see it, and like it enough to watch it again, we’d probably by it. With that said, though, I’ve got some movies from last Christmas I still haven’t watched yet.

Friday Fill In #98

1. Please feel free to leave a comment. (And, if you do, I’ll come visit your blog. Who knows, maybe you’ll hook me as a reader!)
2. When I kiss my wife’s neck I can’t help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is breakfast. (Anything dealing with breakfast, and I think I can turn it out pretty well! Ask me about last Saturday’s roast beef hash!)
4. Susan is something I can’t get enough of.
5. That’s the thing I love most about cupcakes and squirrels. (I must admit, I don’t think I understand this one…)
6. Drivers who pass me when I’m 6th in a line of traffic always makes me think to myself, “What the heck?” (“Just how far ahead do they think they’re gonna get? Seconds?”)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to opening night in the pit of “Annie Get Your Gun,” tomorrow my plans include a big breakfast (see #3) and a gig in Portland, and Sunday, I want to relax at home!

Amy’s Mish Mash MI-5

Amy says: This week I had the MI-5 so I asked some questions that had been rolling around my head.

Bath or Shower?
Shower. In the AM. Hair washed. Neti pot. Shave every other day or so.

If you are a beer drinker- what is your favorite? Is it a seasonal thing? If you aren’t a beer drinker what is your favorite beverage and does it change with the season?

I do like beer, but I don’t drink much of it anymore. Heck, even in my heyday I was a two beer guy. One or two good ones is all I ever wanted. My tastes do change with the seasons: as it gets colder, I like “heavier” beers. In the winter, I like Shipyards Longfellow and Prelude ale. I tend to like English style ales with lots of hops, like IPAs. Shipyard’s Chamberlain ale is also a favorite, as is Geary’s Special Hampshire ale.

Now that the election is over what is one thing you are looking forward to as “life resumes”?
Less talk of politics around the office. I don’t mind everyone talking politics. And usually, it’s all pretty civil. This year, though, there were some times where things got a little dicey.

If you were a board game what game would you be?
Probably Scrabble. It takes some time for me to make the words make sense.

Do you like barbecue sauce? Do you have a favorite brand? A favorite barbecue dish?
I LOVE BBQ. My favorite sauce is probably KC Masterpiece original. I tend to like the Memphis/KC style sauce: tomato based, brown sugar or molasses, maybe a little heat. And, like Memphis, I tend to dig the pig. Brisket’s good, and chicken is ok, but usually I want ribs, or, even better, pulled pork. Yum!

On the Death of Mitch Mitchell

Mitch Mitchell was the drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. I first got into “The Experience” when I was in high school. And because I really started playing the drum set in earnest about the same time, he became one of my big influences. Notably, Mitch combined both rock and jazz drum styles into one. He, along with Ginger Baker, really set the benchmarks for drummers in the late ’60s/early ’70s. Keith Moon (The Who) had lots of bombast, but not much finesse. Ringo and Charlie Watts (The Stones) has taste, and the ability to play the “exactly right” part for the song, but weren’t great technicians. Mitch had it all. “The Experience” was a trio. When you play drums in a trio, you have the room to play more without getting in the way. And Mitch could fill up the space, but do so with finesse, taste, chops, and great sounding drums.

Check out the drum solo in this cut, about 3:30 in. Check out that snare roll with the tom accents. Right out of Jazz. Dig the cymbal crashes within the rolls; if you know what Max Roach’s drumming sounds like, and I played just that little bit for you, you couldn’t tell the two players apart. Heck, I even remember where I was when I first heard that solo! I was in the parking lot of Pen Bay Hospital for some reason, listening to the new CD I had just received. To that point, I had never heard any of the live BBC stuff. That solo came on and I was floored! No one, I mean no pop drummer of that day, had ever played a solo like that. At least, none that I had heard. Even today, I haven’t heard many solos from that era that rival it.

Rest in peace, Mitch. Know that your influence still resides in the hearts and hands of drummers all over the world.

Gina’s Halloween MI-5

1. What was the worst costume you ever wore? What was the best?

The worst costume I ever had was the year I went as a ghost. How can a ghost costume be bad? When your Dad insists that, for the sake of safety, said ghost wears a necktie. Yup. No joke. My parents were afraid I’d trip in the sheet or something, so they forced me to wear a necktie. Awful. All the rest were just fine. Nothing really stands out as “the best.”

2. Tell us about the scariest nightmare you’ve ever had.

I used to have this recurring character in a dream: Zim Bo Bin. He looked very much like the love child of The Joker and the Green Goblin but he was 1/2 red and 1/2 green.  We would play this awful game of tag. Once he tagged you, you would then have five nights of bad dreams. I remember one dream sequence when he chased me from my house next door to my grandmother’s house. I ran into her back room, where she keeps her washer and dryer. I closed the door, and knew he’d only be able to get in through that one door. What happened? He came down through the ceiling, and touched me on the head. I immediately “fell asleep” (of course, I was already asleeep, but I fell asleep in my dream), and began dreaming. (So in reality, I was deaming I was dreaming.) I was in a locked station, tied up in the back, and rolling down a hill without a driver.

Or, the other one would be the one where I dreamed I was riding a magic carpet through Hell.

3. Does your family have any Halloween traditions?

We have a glow in the dark skeleton we hang on our door. Though I particularly like Halloween, Susan really doesn’t care for it too much. We used to have a tradition of calling Halloween “Julia Day.” We would get McDonalds for supper, and then watch some movie of Julia’s choosing–usually some princess or Barbie movie. Of course, since the boys have been born, we haven’t really had Julia Day. This year we went “Trunk or Treating” at Littlefield.  I hope that tradition will continue.

4. Have you ever seen/felt/heard something strange that you just couldn’t explain?

Not really. There was this one time, though, when Susan and I were living in a trailer in St. George that we heard voices. It seems that the furnace motor was acting as a bit of a radio receiver. When the blower motor was on, but not the burner (i.e. when the blower was blowing out residual heat), you could hear voices in the duct work. It was a little freaky at first, but we finally figured out what the heck was going on.
5. What do you find scary?

The thought of having my eyeballs poked out.
Bonus Question-Do you have any stories to share about your experiences with The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

I’ve seen it. It’s ok. It’s obviously got to be better when seen with a group. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen it in a theater.