Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to John!
It's my brother John's birthday. I won't tell you how old he is...except that he turned eight three weeks after I was born. And I turned 30 three weeks, for the math minded: you may draw your own conclusions!
I thought I'd share with you a few pictures of my big brother through the years:

Richie on the left, Johnny on the right. Yes, that is a very devilish grin on John's face. He's probably about two.
John and Rich holding Gail. They are probably four and three? Five and four? Somewhere around there.
John. At five? Six? Who knows? well, probably Johnny knows.
I'm that baby. John is eight or nine. Rich is seven or eight. Gail is four or five. And my Mom is around 40/41.
John and Rich playing in the backyard. John eating an apple. Hopefully one that was given to him by my mom, not some random fruit dropped in the backyard.
John Today!
Happy Birthday, Dude!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Swan Boat BBQ
Got a visit from the kiddie fairy and was graced with the presence of three superfun tiny ladies in Gail's pool
I know Steph looks like she's not having fun, but I think the sun was in her eyes. ( Much later, she sang "Raindrops keep Falling on My Head"--all I can say is: Eat your heart out, Burt Bacarach!)
After a full day of swimming and eating, we saw a Rainbow!
Speaking of rainbows, you'll never guess what made an appearance:
Yes, that's right! The contraversial rainbow shirt--THAT I MADE!
Later, alligators...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Willie Mae Rock Camp! Mary Poppins! Drums!

So Gail and I went to Rock Camp this weekend. The premise is that they will teach you an instrument (from scratch), you will form a band, you will write a song, you will play the song in front of an audience at the Knitting Factory, a real live rock venue. I may have been a little skeptical that these ladies would be able to teach me to drum on a set, something I have never been able to do--and that we would need a little miracle. I thought, when we were going, that it would be a preview to really learning how to play something. And that it was going to be more pretend music than anything else...

Boy, was I wrong.
Dude! They taught me how to play the drums! I know how to play the drums. and I love it. I mean, I really love it. Willie Mae Rock Camp was the greatest place I have ever been and possibly the greatest place I will ever be. The women who volunteer at this camp are perhaps the coolest, nicest, most encouraging people in the entire universe! (and i worked in residential life, so that's saying a lot) Every single thing you did, move you made, idea you had, someone said "yes. that's cool. that rocks. you're awesome." And they're sincere. And it was great.

So, yeah, I learned to play the drums.
And, though I'm not smiling here, I was smiling the entire weekend.
Here's Gail, whaling on her I'm not sure how to spell it.

So, the ladies who run things divided us into bands, based on some sort of magic formula, I'm certain, because a) they let Gail and me stay together and b)they gave us Gladys, possibly the most excellent and chill bass player in all the land.

So, on Friday, we had instrument instruction for a couple of hours, and then had a song writing workshop, and then broke up into our bands to figure out how to work together and write a song. We also had a band art workshop, where we learned how to silk screen shirts.
Gail, Gladys and I became the Robo Poppins. Originally, we were going to be the Punk Ass Poppins--with the tag line "Mary Poppins Gonna Cut You", but we decided to go less PG13 and more G. Also, I could draw a robot.
So, that's our band shirt, along with the other bands' shirts.
So, Friday night we had a lot of our song done. But there were problems with it. We needed some transition stuff, we needed a hook. Our song was about happy things, but it didn't sound happy, and it wasn't good enough to be ironically sad. On the way home from camp, Gail and I listened to a lot of music, and discovered how the songs that we listen to every day aren't that complicated musically even though they are interesting. Very cool. Also, over the weekend Gail and I learned how hard it is to be in a band, and now I know why bands break up and make up and why people love to play. Gail said she also learned why guitarists take so long to set up.
Saturday was more instrument instruction and then band practice and then more band practice. And some of the volunteers helped us with our song. And we took an awesome self-defense workshop (these ladies think of everything!). I got to play the drums for eight hours. My arms hurt, but I didn't care. Gail said I play a little like Animal from the muppets. And that may be true.
Sunday we took the train in, because it was SHOW DAY. And we practiced and practiced and practiced. And everything was kick ass awesome. Except I kept dropping my sticks. And we took band pictures:
And then Gladys' boyfriend Danny drove us to the Knitting Factory, and we waited in the rain for a while and then we went in and they set us up and it was time and we all played and everyone sounded good. There was an order list:
We were ninth. And everybody's songs were so different and so fun and we had kind of heard pieces of them and then it all came together! When it was our turn we went up and played our song "Welcome to our Happy Place" which was about all the things that make us happy, including bacon, daisies (Gail's favorite flower) and purple (Gladys' favorite color). And it was super fun.
And then it was over. And that was totally sad. But I am already totally ready to start taking drum lessons and G's gonna take guitar lessons and we are going to play all the time! At least I am. Check out the rest of my pictures on my flickr page
And the Ladies Rock Camp will be happening next summer and maybe you should go if you are a lady because it is the best time ever! And it actually pays for a scholarship program for Girl's Rock Camp, which gives girls from the city an opportunity to learn to play an instrument and become confident and learn to listen to their peers and support each other as females and work with all of these amazing people... you should go. You should go and bring your friends. Rock on, Robo Poppins.
If you want to see us/hear us go HERE: !

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thoughts on 30.
So, it seems I've been putting things off. Like, just about everything I've ever wanted to do. So, I'm 30. And someday is today. Tomorrow, Gail and I go to Rock Camp. And I learn how to play the drums. That's the first thing I'm learning to do this birthday year (8/2/08-8/2/09). Then, I'm getting my passport. I want to go to Newfoundland, Scotland and Alaska. I want to learn to weave. I have to see the puffins. I want to spend one month taking ten pictures every day. I want to reduce the number of things I own by a third. I want to learn how to tile stuff. I need new glasses. I got published last year...sort of. So, now that's off the table. And I took a pretty sucky writing class online. So, I did a couple of things I meant to do last year.
If you want in on any of these adventures, you let me know.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Long Week (end) Catch UP

So, Gail had a little pool party for Seanie's birthday


In attendence were:








And Miss Mady!

Also Joe, Gail, Bean, John, Peepah, AnnMarie and Ams...and me.

Gifts, cake


and a wild running time were had by all.

I heard tell that some exciting things happened later, but as I was not there (some of us had to work), I cannot speak to them.

Wednesday, Joe and Pop went to New Hampshire with Jack the dog. Gail and I (work again getting in the way of fun) had sleepovers Wed. and Thurs. nights, and then we drove up to NH on Friday. After big debates about garbage, we left at 7 in the morning and got to our house before 1PM! John and Bean had gotten up the day before.

Joe and Gail raced Jack in the Fairgrounds cowpie pen (where we saw cow pie bingo!)


We went to my cousins Mike and Donna's house, where we played a terrible game I was terrible at, which I didn't even bother to learn the name of. I can only liken it to using the skills of a dart player to play basketball...

And we went swimming and we ate and I drank a delicious Hefeweizen or three...and we hung out with Aunt Jean and many of my cousins


and we listened to Ben and James play amazing music (because they are so stinking talented)

Saturday we went to Laurie and Kim's house. Saturday was also my actual big 3-0. Gail and Joe and I went shopping at the brand new Sandwich Emporium, which is a kind of handicraft, supergrooving store. I bought a hooded sweatshirt with a moose on it. I don't have a lot of moose wear, so I was pretty excited for it.
Here's what happened at Kim and Laurie's, though not necessarily in this order: fudge, Blueberry pie, hot dog, cheeseburger (cooked to perfection!), Magic Hat Sampler Case, chips, cookies, swimming, sitting, bocce, more chips, more fudge, more Magic Hat. And some pictures were taken. That's what I did, anyway. I'm sure other people played some sport-y activities (including basketball).
There was the ever-present, usually belly-flopping Splash Contest:
Splash contest
There was some ping pong:
We hung out with my Pop and his sisters, my Aunts Jean and Edith:
(and my Dad's hat)
The three little kids played so nicely together all day:
And I had a super great birthday! (And I got a lot of presents!)
self portraits
Sunday, Gail and I babysat for Loch and Seanie while their parents golfed. WE: went on adventure walks to look for alligators, took a ride in the car complete with singing concert, went to Peepahs and played with toys, went for a walk with Peepah to pick out special snacks at the corner store, had snack at Peepah's house,
went back to Kathy and Vincent's house, watched some tv, ran around ran around ran around...Seanie eventually took a nap, and McKayla and Lochlain ran superfast races! Then it rained really really hard. Then we had some delicious ribs and chicken! OH, Kathy's ribs! I could write a million sonnets to them. Then we played Wii Playground ( I love it!) and our house went home. Later, I took a ton of pictures of my mom's teacup collection and other stuff laying around our house. Joe and I wandered around the house looking into everything and trying not to bother Gail. Then, Joe found an old log of Gail's. My mom used to make us write a log (journal) while we were in NH for six weeks--I guess to improve our writing skills...or maybe to make fun of ourselves when we got older. Gail was pretty serious about her musical talents back then--she practiced her recorder all the time! heh.
I'll leave you with this image of the power hug:
My happy friends...adorable.
More about the things found in NH house next time!