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The Obligatory OAR at BoA Summer Post

5 Aug

Yes, I know, we saw OAR again.  I know people think I’m crazy, but I really don’t care.  It wasn’t too long ago that I remember saying to J – I don’t even know if there’s a band I’d want to go to see in concert.  Then I found OAR, and I was hooked.  I love that I know most of their songs and can sing along.  And I love that their shows are all different.  Sure, some things are the same – you’ll always hear Poker, usually last or next to last, and there will always be some sort of cover – but every show is different.  I own about ten versions of That Was a Crazy Game of Poker to prove it.

This year, the show was on a Saturday, and I was not giantly pregnant, so we made a night of it.  We ditched the dog at the kennel (best $60 ever), and the baby at my parents (where she ate a ton of food, conned them in to buying her things, and didn’t even realize we were gone), and headed up to Boston.  We got a good deal on a room at the Westin, grabbed a beer at the bar, and headed towards the Harpoon brewery, which was closed.  So we went to the roof bar at Legal Harborside (aka the DB Deck), where worlds collided – I was with my college friends, old work friends, and family – nothing drastic, but worlds colliding sounds cool.  From there, we needed food, and got stuck at Atlantic Beer Garden, which sucks.  But, I got to see a friend I hadn’t seen in too long, and then, it was show time!

Our seats were great, the weather was perfect, and OAR, as always, was great.  They played all my favorites (including Irish Rose) and only one song from their newest album, which J was happy about.  I didn’t get an up close Marc performance like last year, but Jerry (the sax player) came down our aisle.  Unfortunately, some guy pushed his way past us and blocked our view.  At the end of the show, they brought the two opening acts (Andrew McMahon & Allen Stone) and their bands up on stage for Under Pressure and Live & Let Die.  It was the most different end to a show I’ve seen, and it was great.  Another great show in the books!

From there, we walked back to the hotel, pretended to go get a drink, and crashed.  The next morning we slept till 8:30 (!), had coffee in bed, went for a walk, to brunch, and to the Harpoon Brewery before heading home to pick up our beasts.  It was a much-needed, relaxing weekend away.  J thinks he’s “over” OAR, but I’m sure I can talk him into another show next summer…if not sooner!

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That Was a Crazy Hot Sweaty Game of Poker

5 Aug

Friday night was the OAR concert at Bank of America Pavilion in Boston.  I’ve been looking forward to it all summer.  You might remember that I went last year and had a blast.  This year, I willed little Wylson to stay put until at least after the concert, J & I drove up to Boston after work, and I proceeded to sweat my way through a sober concert.  The ticket taker actually warned me not to have the baby during the concert.    I really am ginormous.

Anyway, as I mentioned, BoA is a great place to see a summer concert, and we had awesome seats.  I also had an aisle seat, which was great.  We had a strange crowd in front of us, including a skinny Asian dude in a suit coat and not a drop of sweat on him, and a guy with glasses who was there alone, dancing his head off, and kept asking me to save his seat, even though it wasn’t even really his seat.

It was hot.  Really, grossly, hot.  I was pouring sweat, and sat down more than I would have liked to, but it was necessary.  The venue was cooler towards the back, and the bathrooms were air conditioned, so that was a plus!

The show was great.  The horn section was awesome, and the set list was really good.  They played some stuff I didn’t know, which made me feel like a bad fan.  They only played a few new songs, which made J happy.

Which brings me to the highlight of the night.  J & I went to the restrooms during “Heaven,” mainly because I knew they’d be ending soon and I didn’t want to miss the encore.  As we were walking back to our seats we could hear the lead singer (Marc) saying they weren’t going to do an official encore since there was a curfew, they were just going to play straight through till 11.  We had to show our tickets twice to get back to our seats, and the second ticket lady said “you’d better hurry up!”  I couldn’t figure out why, but when I looked up, I saw Marc walking up the aisle towards me.  I almost went into labor right then & there.

He wasn’t coming towards me to profess his love, though, he & Richard On were coming to play a song on the mini stage four rows behind our seats.  And people were rushing up the aisles to see them, and we just stopped and we were right there.  Right there, as in, ten feet away, with just a security dude between us.  Look at this picture!

I also got some great video.  They played “I Feel Home” and I was careful not to sing along so no one would be able to hear me on the video.  You’re welcome.

Then some girl pushed in front of me and started waving her ticket and screaming at Marc.  Her friend tried to push her way around me, and said “oh, I’m with her.”  So I pulled the “I don’t want to be knocked down” card, while looking pointedly at my belly, and she backed off.  Ha!  This video has the girl with the ticket in my way, but she did get Marc to wave at her, and I’m going to pretend he was waving at me instead.  (oh, and I hope you can’t hear me say “shut up” as she was screaming “Poker!”  Rookie fans).

After the song, we headed back to our seats for the end of the show, which was awesome.  Curfew was 11, they played until 10:59:30.  Perfect timing.  The walk to the car on swollen ankles was fun, the ride home uneventful, and I needed a shower before I could think about getting into bed.  Baby’s first concert was a big success.

Get Away, Get Up, and Get Away

5 Nov

J & I have been on a lot of great vacations – just the two of us eating and drinking on the beach, a family trip to Vegas, trips with friends, etc.  But last week, we somehow combined a lot of awesome stuff into one trip, and had one of the best vacations we’ve ever been on.

My best friend’s older brother planned a wedding in Marco Island, FL, and we were invited.  We planned on going from Saturday to Wednesday, along with my two best friends and other family members.  Then we thought – why go back to work for two days?  Let’s go to Orlando!  We’ve been dying to go to Harry Potter at Universal Islands of Adventure, so we planned on making the 3-1/2 hour drive to Orlando on Wednesday.  Then we discovered that plane tickets were only $29 – even better!  And then, in a lovely twist of fate, I learned that OAR was playing in Fort Lauderdale on the day we arrived, and thought – Road Trip!  And so we had planned the perfect vacation.

Here’s how it all shook out:

Friday night/Saturday morning – J went to a concert in Boston with his sister and didn’t get home until 2:30 (making him awake for 24 hours).  I also didn’t sleep much, and we had to be up at 3:30 for the flight.  J loves to sleep on planes.  He looks forward to it.  He only moved twice – to switch seats on our layover, and to eat some cookies (actually, I’m not sure he was awake at that point, but he ate the cookies and woke up again briefly when I tried to take them from him).  The stewardess even asked if he was still alive!

Saturday – checked into condo on Marco Island, food shopped, etc.  We met the wedding crew for a quick happy hour drink, and then set off for the 2 hour ride to Pompano Beach.  It was the longest, most boring ride ever – nothing to look at, flat, straight, boring road.  No alligators, despite the name Alligator Alley.  And I had to drive because the car reservation was in my name (the guy at Dollar put the fear of God into me about anyone else driving, I was convinced we’d end up on Cops if J even drove around the corner).

We checked into our gross hotel, and had a quick dinner at a beer pub (Brother Tuckers – biggest quesadilla ever).   Then we headed off to the concert.  It was at the Pompano Beach Ampitheater, which was a great venue.  It was General Admission, we got a great seat, the beers were cheap.  OAR rocked, as always.  I was especially happy that they played “Irish Rose” as an encore.  Check it out if you can, it’s a beautiful song.  (I took some videos, but you can hear me singing in all of them, so I’ll spare you that torture).

Sunday – drove back to Marco after breakfast, hung at pool, got ready for the wedding, which was beautiful.  My best friend wasn’t able to make the trip to Florida, because she’s busy keeping a couple of babies where they belong for the next few months.  She wrote a speech that she asked me to give at the wedding, which I was happy to do.  She’s a great speech writer, there were lots of tears, and the bride & groom loved it.  There was lots of drinking of dancing (not sure why the bartender thought she should make the drinks bigger as the night went on?).  I got sick at night, with my tee-shirt on inside out & backwards.  J made a sandwich & took a picture of me.  What a good husband.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – eat, beach, eat, pool, happy hour, dinner out.  J got all you can eat ribs one night, not his finest moment.  Went to Naples for a nicer dinner Tuesday.  Beautiful weather, rough water, a little windy.  Still, what’s not to like about eating & drinking on the beach and by the pool?

Wednesday afternoon – flew to Orlando.  Cool dinner at a tapas place (Cafe Tu Tu Tango), where we waited a while to order so they gave us a free glass of sangria (to go with the bottle we already ordered!)  And, cheesecake on a stick!

Thursday – We were at Universal Islands of Adventure at 9:30am.  I practically ran to Harry Potter.  It was just so cool – Hogsmeade was beautiful, the butterbeer was delicious, Moaning Myrtle even wailed at you in the loo (that’s British for bathroom!)  The Forbidden Journey ride was the coolest ride I’ve ever been on (we went twice!)  We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks (Pasties!) and then we did the rest of the park.  We went on pretty much every ride, including all the water rides, so we were like drowned rats.  We had nachos & margaritas for dinner, and passed out at the hotel before heading to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights (sucked, way too crowded with drunk teenagers.  1.5 hour wait for haunted houses).

Friday – Universal Studios all day.  All the rides, roller coasters twice (I’m not a total baby!)  I had to have one more butterbeer, so we went back to Islands of Adventure to see the Harry Potter part all lit up.


Saturday – home to an October Nor’Easter.  Yay?

Overall, it was an awesome trip.  J & I needed a vacation together, and this was the perfect way to get in some quality time.  I missed my best friend a lot, but was glad I got to share Marco Island with J, and hope that soon we’ll be there with her family.  Of course, now that we’re back to the grind, it feels like we never went away, but it was well worth it!

Do You Remember?

5 Oct

Wow, I really suck at this blogging thing.  Sorry.  (You must be sick of these apology posts by now, huh?)  Stuff got in the way, I wasn’t in the mood, yaddayadda.

Anyways, here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post:

Did the Heart Walk in Boston with J’s family – it was fun, we walked very slowly (J said he thinks he gained weight during the walk), but it was for a great cause and we had a nice day.  As with all family events, we ended up drinking in a bar afterwards to recover.

Had a bachelorette party involving a sex toy party, penis shaped cupcakes, and a ton of food.  J went to the bachelor party portion of the night, and returned to my BFF’s at 3am after being awake for 24 hours straight.  He also won (and promptly lost) a bottle of Jaeger. 

September is, of course, the best month of the year because it’s my birthday month.  We celebrated by being hungover, eating Italian & Mexican (twice).   J got me boots & a watch, and I got lots of wine & cards, and even a birthday brownie from my new co-workers, so it was a good day!  I bought myself two presents.  This and an OAR CD on iTunes.

 

Speaking of pumpkin beer, I’m in that panicked “OhMyGod its October so the pumpkin beer will be gone soon, we have to get as much as we can now!” phase.  The Harpoon UFO Pumpkin pictured was not easy to find, and, frankly, I’m not sure it’s better than Shipyard Pumpkinhead (my all time fav).  The Blue Moon Pumpkin is awful, don’t waste your time.  Shocktop has a surprisingly good pumpkin.  I have Sam Pumpkin that I haven’t tried yet, but will report back. 

We had our annual End of Summer Cookout/Fry Fest, and had a keg of Brooklyn Oktoberfest, which I did not enjoy, but tolerated after a few Shipyard Pumpkinheads.  I think (and hope) everyone had fun, even though my arm hurt the next day from scooping out a million bags of leftover chowder.  We are now the proud owners of a tent we didn’t need, so let me know if you need to borrow it! 

In other alcohol related events, J & I went to a wine tasting at our favorite liquor store last week.  75 wines, free to taste.  We got there in the middle of a monsoon, and promptly tried the first 12 wines we were offered.  Needless to say, we didn’t make it very far past the first aisle.  Luckily, our dinner plans were right across the street, and we were able to sober up over calamari, and Sam Oktoberfest.  We also went to the Jonathan Edwards Harvest Festival, which was jam packed but fun.  We opted out of the hay rides this year, as I’m still recovering from last year’s experience. 

We almost bought this picture for the basement, but decided against it.  

 

We babysat Chloe last weekend.  She’s still the devil, but she’s cute.  If you ever wondered how many grown adults does it take to get a 14 pound dog into a crate,  the answer is 2.  She’s also not a good bed sharer, and I think she broke my back.  She does love her munchkins though.

  

I’m trying to branch out into some new music.  Someone loaded up my Pandora with new stations, and I’m trying them out instead of just deleting them and going back to OAR.  I’m not sure I like Mumford & Sons (though I do own one song I enjoy), but I’m giving their station a shot.  

Work is good.  I still love the commute, I’m trying to learn the running trails, and I made some new friends:

(Not really.  Still no friends)

 

Sunny Days…I Swear There Must be Sunny Days Up Ahead…

29 Aug

I’ve been neglecting the blog for various reasons, but since we’re in the middle of a tropical storm and I have no power, but a fully charged MacBook, its become my number one priority for the day (to be posted when the Interwebs are available again, which best be before the Jersey Shore/VMA combo night I’ve been looking forward to for weeks).

I started my new job two weeks ago.  So far, so good.  I love love love the commute.  Thirty minutes from my driveway to my cube (and the longest part is from my car in the garage to my cube).  The people are very nice, and I’m learning my way around.  I don’t have any friends yet, but I keep busy by IM’ing Joe and it’s almost like I’m still in Boston, until I have to go to the caf alone and start talking to myself.  It’s amazing that I haven’t made friends, huh?

On the plus side, I have been getting up and joining my buddy Tony Horton for a little P90X each morning.  In the past two weeks, I’ve worked out for 12 days, and gained 2 pounds.  Go me.  I’ve also been sound asleep by 10pm most nights.  J is up later than I am, which almost never happens.

Last week was one of those weeks where everything went wrong.  Nothing major, just stuff, and stuff I don’t want to blog about.  How’s that for vague?  It’s all fixable, and partially inspired the blog title (which is, of course, a song by OAR called “Over and Over”).

The week did end with a happy note.  My best friend in the world got married Friday night, to a guy who is super sweet (despite the fact he’s from Smithfield), loves her very much, and has passed the test with her crazy family and friends, so he’s a keeper.  It was a beautiful, simple wedding, and we had a great time being a part of growing their favorite tree.

Yesterday we had a lovely day eating munchkins and watching Man v. Food, then hanging on the beach until we got kicked off.  Next, we waited two hours for a table at a restaurant on the water while drinking $2 ‘Gansetts.  Thankfully, our food came before the surf kicked up and we were kicked out.  This little piggy would have lost it if she had not gotten her burrito.  It was the first time I’ve been to this place, and I’m hoping it doesn’t get washed away so I can go again.  That was a good burrito.

That brings us to today, and Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene.  Here’s a little tip: if you ever want to know when a bad storm is coming, just call me and ask for J’s schedule, because he’ll be at work during every storm we have.  Luckily, he went in for 7 this morning and missed the worst of it on his ride in, and I’m hoping he won’t leave until the worst is over.

I, on the other hand, am home alone with no power, waiting for a tree to come down on my house, and bored out of my mind.  I got up at 6 and brought the plants in during a downpour, so now I have a table full of wet, dead, plants.  We lost power around 9:30, so I folded laundry, changed the sheets and unpacked from our night away.  I’m trying not to go in the fridge to conserve the food, and I didn’t work out this morning to conserve electricity.  (I’m a do gooder like that).  I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do next, but I believe it will involve wine of some sort.  I wish I could sleep until it was over, but that’s doubtful.  Did I mention that I had to shut all the windows because the rain kept coming in, and it will soon be 88 degrees in here?  My biggest fear is that my iPhone will die, but plan B is to sit in the car in the driveway charging it with the AC on.  Someone come look for me soon, okay?

Update: going on five hours without power, but J brought home some AA batteries that fit in my iPod dock, so I can listen to music all day and charge my iPhone as needed.  I’m on OAR song 28 of 90.  I may have heard “That was a Crazy Game of Poker” 5 times already.  I’m on my 3rd glass of wine and my second meal of lukewarm dip & chips/crackers.

Update #2: I’m posting this on Monday night, from my brother’s apartment, waiting to eat my first hot meal since yesterday morning.  Obviously, we still don’t have power, and I’m not happy.  I drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of crap yesterday, so much so that my body was begging for a vegetable.  We came here to shower, do laundry & eat.  We might not have power for a week, and I’m not pleased about the four bags of food we had to throw away.  Note to self: next time, actually prepare for the storm like “they” tell you to.

O.A.R. Does Boston, Julie Does the Hippie Dance

13 Aug

I’ve been looking forward to the O.A.R. show in Boston since last summer, right after I missed them.  The Mount Sunapee show just made me more excited to see a “real” show (you know, one you could drink at and not be corralled in a drunk tank).  The show was on a Wednesday night, and since I was somehow talked into giving 4 weeks notice at BAC, I was still in Boston, which worked out well.

The show was at Bank of America Pavilion, which was awesome.  I had never been there before, but it was by far the best place I’ve ever seen a show.  Outside, on the water, small venue, not a bad seat.  It was only about 2/3 full, and no one was in front of me, so I could play the bongos on the seat back.  There were little tables & chairs that we sat at before the show, the beers weren’t that expensive ($12 for 24 oz Harpoon), and the best part is: I never waited in line for the bathroom.  Not once.  Not even when I went after the opening act, when everyone else goes to the bathroom.  It was so easy to run to the bathroom and back, and not miss entire portions of the concert.  I’m still amazed by this fact.

The show itself was awesome.  I thought they would play more songs from their new album, but they played all of the best old songs, plus a few new ones.  They also did a cover of “Downeaster Alexa” by Billy Joel, which was pretty cool.  From the way back time machine came “Program Director,” along with one of the guys from the opening act (SOJA), and also awesome.  The encore was their new single, “Heaven” and, of course, “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker,” with a freestyle rap by Kelley James about Boston in the middle.  I felt like the song was cut a little short, and I think it was because the noise curfew is 11pm.  Still, awesome as always (how many times can I use that word in one post?)

Here’s a fairly awful video of “Poker,” by some dude on the internet with a bad voice who sang along.  It’s a good video of some hippie dancing though.

I don’t have any of my own videos because the tickets said no cameras and I am a rule follower.  I went to a show at the Orpheum once and they made me throw away my disposable camera, so I didn’t want to take that chance with my real camera.  I just have some awful, blurry pictures from my iPhone that are not blog worthy.

Overall, it was a great night.  A lot of beer, a lot of singing, a lot of hippie dancing.  I was tempted to drive to Hartford for last night’s show too.  Like I said, it was awesome.

Things I Hate, in no Particular Order

27 Jul

Disclaimer: despite my hatred, I wish no harm to any of these people/things. Except the geese.

Brett Favre – retire or don’t retire. I don’t care. But stop going on tv and crying about it. You’re a football player. Man up.

Birds – they’re loud and squawky and dirty. All of them. They wake me up at 4am. Anyone remember bird flu? (The exception to this is dead, cooked birds. Those are cool.)

Canadian geese – I see no redeeming value in these creatures. I doubt they even taste good. And they’re mean. I’ll cross the road if I run by one, because I’m convinced they’ll attack me for no good reason.

John Mayer – I’m sure he’s a great guitar player and all, but I can’t get past his lyrics. “Your body is a wonderland”? “Say what you mean to say”? Gag. Stupid, cheesy, gross. I was horrified when he dated Jennifer Anniston.

Flan – could there be a more disgusting dessert? The only dessert that should jiggle is Jell-o. I was adamant that I not get the free birthday flan at my Mexican birthday dinner a few ears ago. I made my friends spring for the fried ice cream, the far superior Mexican dessert.

The Black Eyed Peas – yes, you were cool for awhile. Until I heard that awful song every day. And I can’t believe you messed with Time of My Life. Patrick Swayze is rolling in his grave over that one. It’s as bad as putting baby in the corner.

Trail running – in all fairness, I’m not 100% sure I hate it, but I got 5 feet into a trail today when I fell and scored this, so it’s not my favorite activity at the moment.

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NKOTBSBNBN

14 Jun

I may have mentioned this previously, but, as a painfully awkward teenager, I was the world’s biggest New Kids on the Block fan.  For real.  I had all the standard tee shirts, painters caps, special editions of Tiger Beat, and pins, along with some snazzy homemade pillows (thanks, Mom!), and a giant poster of Joey McIntyre above my bed.  (He may have been my un-official first kiss).  At one point, I told my dad that the New Kids would be bigger than the Beatles.  I don’t think he’s stopped laughing about that one, and it was a good twelve years ago.

I don’t remember if the New Kids faded out or I lost interest in them first, but either way, I refined my taste in music.  I had a brief affair with NSync and OTown, went to college and listed to Dave Matthews Band like everyone else, and had a bad boy phase with Eminem.  But my love for the New Kids (now adults like me, and known as NKOTB) never really ended, it just took a back seat to other obsessions (currently, O.A.R.)  Come on, who doesn’t love when “Hangin’ Tough” comes on the iPod?  And you know you get choked up during “Please Don’t Go Girl,” you just won’t admit it.  I even met Danny Wood (admittedly my least favorite New Kid, but still a New Kid!) at the Komen Race for the Cure a couple of years ago, and may have swooned.

Okay, I definitely swooned.  And, as an aside, Danny is a pretty big Komen supporter, as he lost his mom to breast cancer.  A New Kid and a good guy, what more could you want?

So, when my college roommate told me she had an extra ticket to NKOTBSB (that’s New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, together, for those who live under a rock) at Fenway, I jumped at the chance.  The last time I saw the New Kids in concert I was 12, and with my mom and brother (who will lie and say he didn’t love it, but he did).  NKOTB + alcohol + Fenway = perfect, right?

The concert was pretty great.  Uber cheesy, but what else would you expect?  I was obviously there mostly for NKOTB (not that I don’t love me a little BSB too, I’m an equal opportunity boy band lover – see OTown comment above), but I caught a ride from the party I was at during the day with some younger girls who were there for BSB, so there was a good mix of people, 99% female, in the crowd.  (And yes, I drank at a party all afternoon before the concert.  I’m pretty hardcore, if hardcore means 5 beers over 5 hours).

Both groups started the show together, and I don’t know what the “mash-up” (I learned that term on Glee.  Maybe I should do more adult things) was, but it involved Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and I didn’t like it.  I love Coldplay, and it just felt wrong.  It got better from there, as both groups took turns on stage, going through all the classics.  They also pulled out all the classic moves: pulling girls up on stage and handing them roses while they sang and the girls swooned, lots of shirt ripping and ab flexing, and a slightly overdramatic “Please Don’t Go Girl” by the ever-hot Joey Mac.

Then the rain came, and it came hard.  I looked like a drowned rat within minutes, and was not really drunk enough to enjoy it.  But the show went on, and the boys (men?) took advantage of the rain by stripping more, and using the stage as a slip and slide.  I wish I had more pictures, but I was afraid of drowning my camera or iPhone.  It was seriously that wet.

Oh, the NBN in the title?  Naughty by Nature was there, and sang “Hip Hop Hooray” while wearing Naughty Kid on the Block tee shirts.  I’m not 100% clear on why they were there, but they were awesome.

The final song of the night, performed in Bruins jerseys, was the NKOTBSB single, “Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” which I didn’t think I knew, yet seemed to know all the words to.  Weird.  After chanting “NKOTBSB” for a few minutes (did I mention I turned into a screeching teenager sometime after the first song?), BSB sang “Everybody” and NKOTBSB sang “Hangin’ Tough” on the Green Monster, then they mashed it up (thanks again, Mr. Shue from Glee, for that helpful new term!)

Despite the rain, and lack of cabs, and running to catch the last train home, it was an awesome night.  “They” say a picture says a thousand words, and I’d say this one pretty much sums it up:

For those of you not lucky enough to be there, here’s a clip of “Hangin’ Tough” from bostonherald.com.  Come on, tell me that doesn’t make you want to wave your arms from side to side?  (Baby put your hands up)

(Oh, and I heart Joey Mac.  For Evah).

Road Trip!

10 Apr

Last weekend, J & I, along with seven friends, headed up to NH for a weekend away.  Well, the main reason we went was to see my favorite band, OAR, who were playing a concert at Mt Sunapee.  To sweeten the pot for my non-OAR-obsessed friends, we threw in skiing, frying and drinking, all in a pretty cool house that slept 9.

J & I set off for the three-hour drive around noon on Friday.  We both took the day off of work, and wanted to get an early start.  I don’t really “do” car rides more than two hours, so we stopped twice – once for lunch, once at the NH Liquor Store.  Well, in all fairness, we stopped three times, but the third was for a speeding ticket, so we don’t need to talk about that.

The house was great – it was on a giant lake, with a view of the mountain, 5 bedrooms, a wood stove, a deck, and this guy, who we named Benny:

Officially, Benny is a footrest, but he was used for many things all weekend.  He was greeting the rest of the crew above, but I used him a lot for his intended purpose, and was more than happy about it.

We cooked up some pasta & drank some wine Friday night, played a little Just Dance on the Wii, and did  not burn the house down.  Score!  Saturday afternoon was the concert.  It was held in the parking lot of the mountain, where J & a friend skied earlier, even though we had 8 lift tickets (long story).  We got in to the tent, and went through the long process to get beers, just as OAR was starting.  We tried to get up as close to the front as possible, and this is what we got:

The drinkers were corralled in the back of the tent, while everyone up front was closer to the band, but dry.  Surprisingly, the dry group was having more fun than the drinkers.  The drinking section was distracting, with everyone chit chatting and not worshipping Marc Roberge as they should (isn’t he cute?)

Despite the seclusion and the multiple trips to the bathroom (damn Bud Lights), the show was great.  OAR is an awesome live band, and they did not disappoint.  There was crowd surfing, a guy dressed as a hot dog, and beach ball tossing (all up front, of course).

Beer service ended at 6:15, and after one last trip to the bathroom, we made our way to the promised land up front.  Just in time for the last song.  Luckily, the last song was the best song, a seventeen minute version of That Was a Crazy Game of Poker, which we had rehearsed in the house all weekend.  They came back for an encore of Night Shift, and rocked that as well.  Here’s the obligatory self-portrait (one of many):

From the concert, we bar hopped through Newbury (two bars, two beers each, three pizzas to go).  I met some youngins from my alma mater, who got kicked out of the bar for kicking a pint glass across the floor.  Way to represent!  This sign was in one of the bars (Bubbas!) and I found it appropriate.  It’s a little fuzzy, as was I, but it says: Warning: Drinking may cause memory loss…or worse yet…memory loss.  (Maybe it was only funny after 6 beers) .

After we returned to the house & scarfed down the pizza, the frying began.  The winner of the night was the fried Twinkie.  I don’t know what this was, but it was fried and therefore good:

Of course, we played LCR, we sang along with the iPod, we talked about bodily functions, we ate.  You know, the usual.  The next day we ate more, packed up the car and headed home, this time without incident (although we did have a failed stop at the college bookstore/coffee shop.  Why are they always closed when I need them?)  Overall, a great road trip!

The End of an Era

17 Jan

No, I’m not talking about that bumbling fool, George Bush. I’m talking about something way more important: my iPod Nano.

I bought NanoNano in 2006, as I considered it a necessary tool to get me through Boston Marathon training that was done 90% alone, in the cold. I got the Red one, and felt good about somehow helping a cause The Gap supports so strongly. Plus, it was pretty. I also bought the Nike+ kit, and loved when Lance Armstrong congratulated me on a great run. I also enjoyed the mileage countdown. There’s no better feeling than being lost on a cold February morning, and hearing “You have ten miles to go.” That’s motivation.

NanoNano not only got me through my runs, but he got me through my commute. With him, I didn’t have to listen to my fellow MBCR riders comment about the weather, the late trains, or hack up a lung. I could sleep in bliss to Billy Joel instead.

A few months ago, I won an award at BAC for being great, and I bought an iPod Touch to commute with, because I can play games on the train, and surf the sites BAC restricts while I’m at work. But I still took NanoNano out for runs, and he sat in my speakers on the kitchen counter for Sunday morning Jack Johnson and party music. He was still loyal.

A few weeks ago, I was half asleep and making coffee, when I missed the coffee maker and poured water on to NanoNano. He was fine at first, but then he sputtered and died. Later, I got him to turn on, and he had Xs for eyes and a sad face. I did not take that as a good sign. Even though I have the touch, I need him, especially because I am running a 10K alone in a few weeks.

So, I brought him to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store tonight. I told the Genius that ” I might have gotten it a little wet” and he confirmed my worst fears: dead as a doornail. I could replace him for $129, or turn him in for 10% off a new one (which will still cost me $129). I didn’t do either, as I can’t really afford it, but I miss my Nano! I know I don’t really need two iPods, but I feel empty without NanoNano.

So, I’m stuck with a big decision: Buy a new Nano, or get an armband for the Touch, and risk dropping it on a run? I think I’ll end up with Option#1. I wonder if J would like a Nano for his birthday? That might be a bit selfish, but I’d let him use it too…