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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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23 Aug

The Olympics are over, and I’m still sad.  Summer tv sucks.  The Olympics should have inspired me to exercise and look forward to getting back into running.  Instead, they inspired me to want to move to London, become royalty, and date someone from One Direction.

We may be naming the baby Pandelela, after Malaysian diver, Pandelela Rinong.  We thought she was so cute, and, really, what’s a better name than Panda?


Speaking of Panda, here are some pictures of her finished nursery.  I made the sign myself, after seeing it on Pinterest and finding it for sale on Etsy for $125.  It’s a piece of wood and some paint, and I can barely draw a straight line, so I was pretty proud of my mad crafty skillz.

We got a new camera.  Baxter doesn’t feel the fish-eye feature is flattering enough.


We’re ready for the baby!  Just need to evacuate the sock monkey and we’re good to go!

Summer will “officially” be over next weekend, and I’m ready for the Fall.  Bring on the pumpkin beer, football, and chili!

Hopefully my next post will include some baby pictures.  If it doesn’t, there’s bound to be a lot of complaining in there.  You’ve been forewarned.

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.


8 Jul

I guess its been a month since I last blogged.  Ooops.  Where has the time gone?

I spend a lot of time in our air conditioned bedroom, AKA the cold cave, watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.  I felt guilty at first, but now I kind of don’t care.  However, we’re now seriously considering the name Evelyn Ted Mosby for the baby, which is not a good sign.

Baxter spent a day at doggie day care and came home exhausted.  Then he didn’t perk up, and kept licking his paws, so we took him to the vet, who told us he’s allergic to grass and pollen.  Awesome.  He’s on prednisone, which means he drinks like a fish and pees a lot.  He’s learned how to pee on the rug from inside his crate, which is just a great talent to have.  He can do that, but he can’t remember we moved his crate downstairs a month ago.  Weirdo.

J & I have been enjoying the summer (when I’m not locked in the cold cave) by going to the beach, Block Island, any cookout we’re invited to (especially ones with a pool) and coming up with ways to tire out Baxter.  I haven’t spent much time in my hammock, because I’m not sure I can get out of it on my own, and I’m afraid to try.

My mom, besties & aunts threw me a great baby shower.  It was on a Friday night and involved nachos, what more could you want?  We got to see lots of people we don’t get to see often enough, and got tons of great gifts.  I’ve been washing clothes and organizing things all week, a little at a time, in between writing thank you notes.  The nursery is almost complete, it just needs a few little details and we’ll be good to go.  Now, we just wait out the next seven weeks and five days (but who’s counting?)

I’m looking forward to more cookouts, OAR in August, and lots of lobster & ice cream.  Hopefully I’ll remember to blog about them!

This Week in iPhone Photos

5 Sep

Big-ish waves, compliments of Irene

J & I waiting at the Ocean Mist to eat.  He still has his Bloody Mary, so I’m guessing this was *only* hour one of waiting

Worth the wait

(disclaimer: this isn’t even my burrito, but I didn’t realize until after I had taken a picture.  And a bite)

Hurricane Damage

Our new friends/dinner guests

J making butter at the Woodstock Fair

(it was gross)

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.

Race #6: The Urban Dare in Providence

14 Jul

I believe this was my 50th race ever (since my first in 2005), so I wanted to do something a little different.  I found out about the Urban Dare on Cool Running, and quickly recruited three friends to join me.  The Urban Dare is basically a one day Amazing Race.  No course, no real starting line, just a sheet full of clues and a whole city to roam.  The only rules are that you can only run, walk or use public transportation.  Since we were in Providence, public transportation wasn’t really an option.  (I hear there are buses, I just don’t know where you get them, when they run, or where you go in them).

Saturday was a beautiful day, a little warm for a race that starts at noon, but no humidity.  It started at my least favorite bar in Providence, Ri Ra, but it’s not so bad with no people there.  My teammate and I got these awesome shirts the night before, and met our other friends to start the race.  The plan was to work together, and then we would pull away and win (I’m a little competitive).  Here we are before the start:

We started the race with a bang, figuring out one clue and running to the State House while looking up other clues and making phone calls on the way (very dangerous for klutzes like myself).  Most clues (like this first one) required us to take our picture in front of the landmark.  While at the State House, we stood on the lawn and figured out the other clues.  Thank God for iPhones.  We seriously would have gone nowhere fast without them.

One clue required us to take a picture of a couple acting out this photograph:

The “couple” we chose were a father/daughter from NJ, who obliged after much begging, but we had to do them a favor first.  We had to take their picture in front of the State House, very specifically, with no brick, but most of the building.  With his big fancy camera.  I let my pal B handle that one, I probably would have cut off their heads and they would have stormed off.

From there, we had a plan.  Well, people who knew the city had a plan, I tagged along and periodically asked “now, where are we?  what are we near?  which way do we go?”  My teammates also had CamelBaks, while I had one warm bottle of water.  My only asset was my iPhone, I really brought nothing else to the table.

Providence is quite hilly.  So hilly that I had to walk like I was riding a horse up the hills.  Trust me, it works.  We hiked up an extra hill to get bonus points on this one, and then wanted to die:

Our one real failure was phoning my brother for a clue answer.  He neglected to note that Patrick Keely designed two churches in Providence, and sent us to the wrong one, clear across town from the correct one.  We left a confused older man at the first one, looking for a memorial that wasn’t there.  I hope he’s not still looking for it.  (My brother’s free post race beer was revoked for this mishap, by the way.  I don’t play around).

In addition to the picture-taking, we had to answer a few trivia questions, do a 3-legged race for some homeless people, and jump rope five times.  Overall, we covered about 6 miles, and I’d say we ran almost as much as we walked.  And we did not trip over any sidewalks or hoses while running, even if we almost tripped twice.  (yes, by “we” I mean “I”.  I told you I was not an asset to the team).

We sprinted in to the bar  (beating the other team, of course) at around 2-1/2 hours.  The judges checked our pictures, and we got some time bonuses, so our official time was around 2:05.  I was pretty happy about that, considering I was afraid we wouldn’t make the 5 hour cut off.  After the race, we had burgers and as much water as we could hold, plus a super late, super gross order of fried pickles.  Not bad for race #50!

Next up: TBD.  My training is all but non-existent, making the 10 and 13 mile races I had planned on impossible.  There aren’t many races in July & August around here, but I’m hoping to get one in before September.  My running bug is back, so I need to capitalize on it before I lose it again!

Random Saturday Ramblings

9 Jul

I wanted to get a “real” post in before I blog about Race #50, happening in a few hours.  In no particular order:

– J & I had a great day off together last Friday.  We biked 9 miles on the East Bay Bike Path, had lunch at Luxe Burger Bar (slowest burger in RI!), and went kayaking on the Narrow River.  My butt has still not forgiven me for the bike ride.

– We started getting out market shares from the farmer’s market, and after a few weeks of too much applesauce, we’re getting into better veggies.  More kale than I care for, but some awesome raspberries & granola this week.

– Speaking of veggies, my garden is out of control.  J built a fence to keep the bunnies out, and its starting to stunt the growth of my tomatoes.  I’ve also got some awesome basil & rosemary, plus actual flowers that are surviving the summer.

– Seafood Fest 2011 was a success, despite the keg being kicked fairly early and my drunk husband’s diatribe on the way home on how “No good music has come out in the last 5 years.”  (he later promised he did not include OAR in that statement).

– Did you know OAR has a new single out?  Go here for a free download.  You can also pre-order the new CD if you’re crazy like me.  It’s not my favorite song ever, but its growing on me.  It will be interesting to hear how it sounds live (on 8/10!)

– Life has been stressful lately, for a variety of reasons, some good, some bad.  I’m going to have to make some big decisions soon, that I may or may blog about.  How’s that for vague-blogging at its best?

– Did we talk about how the Bruins won the Stanley Cup?  And that J was (and still is) ridiculously excited about it?  Really, no one was happier than this kid:

He was not so pleased when he had to work on parade day, and I forwarded him a picture of the cup from a friend at work.  He thought I went to the parade without him.  I’m not sure our marriage could have survived that.

– I almost forgot (blocked out) the fact we dog sat for a few days for my parents’ puggle.  She was actually okay, despite being a beggar & a bed hog, until the last day we had her, when J took her to the farmer’s market.  She was not well behaved, and he put her in the car for three minutes to grab some more stuff, and she peed on the passenger seat.  She’s lucky she’s so cute.


I have to go finish my pre-race prep.  I’ll be blogging about it later, as long as I don’t get lost somewhere in Providence forever.


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  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).