A glorious weekend at the Cape

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of my Aunt, we were able to stay in her cute little beach cottage in Dennisport for the weekend while we visited our friends who had twins.

My Aunt’s little cottage is the quintessential beach cottage-a little bungalow with bright yellow shutters within walking distance to a nice little private beach.
We enjoyed sitting on her porch and playing cards (I beat Chris at Rummy!) while listening to the sounds of summer and feeling the ocean breeze.
The Dennisport neighborhood was nice and quiet, and within walking distance to a few yummy places to eat; our two faves: Woolfies bakery (really good pies and bagels, it always smelled like cinnamon in there ), and the Sundae School, an old fashioned ice cream parlor which had excellent homemade ice cream (“the baby” wanted to eat there every day, and did (hehe!)). At least we walked off the calories!
Dennisport wasn’t too far from Hyannis, which tended to have a more “happening” nightlife and a few more restaurant selections. We drove there for dinner Friday night and had Paninis at a little Italian cafe.
On Saturday we drove to Sandwich to visit our friends Sally and Shaari. It was our first time seeing the twins-now 3 months old! Sally and Shaari are moving from Sandwich back to the Northampton area, so we went to help them out with packing if they needed it. It turns out they were farther along with packing then they thought they’d be, so we spent the morning and afternoon together and helped out a bit with the babies. They are very precious-a boy, Julien, and a girl, Charlotte. They don’t look very much alike but they were absolutely adorable and sweet! When I held Charlotte, the baby in my belly kicked her, as if to say “Hey, I wanna play with you!”.
We took some nice family photos of them at their local beach. They said they were going to miss the shoreline but were happy to be moving back to familiar territory.

Later that afternoon we stopped by the Edward Gorey museum in Yarmouth. Edward Gorey is well-known for his semi-macabre illustrations and tales (probably most popular of which would be “the Gashlycrumb Tinies”– (C is for Clara who wasted away …). The museum was really neat, and it was interesting to find out that he was a great animal humanitarian and was quite prolific in his illustrations for children’s and adult literature, television (the PBS backdrop for “Mystery” comes to mind), and even broadway (“Dracula”). The museum was inhabited by several rescued cats, one of which was larger than our fat kitty Cosmo (quite a rare thing!). He was a vast, old black and white kitty named “Ombledroom”, after a made-up character in Gorey’s Utter Zoo Alphabet. Here is the link to the Gorey house: http://www.edwardgoreyhouse.org/index.html

Sunday morning came too soon, and we waited until the evening to leave to a.) wait until the thunderstorms passed and b.) hopefully avoid excessive shoreline traffic. On the way home, we stopped by a children’s consignment shore in Hyannis that our friend Shaari had recommended we visit. We were so glad we did! Everything in the store was practically brand new because the owner would only accept items in mint condition. We were able to buy a baby Bjorn carrier, a brand new “boppy”, a nice diaper bag, and some cute baby toys (like a crinkly playmat), all for under the price of what one item would have cost at full price! This store was AWESOME! We would have bought more if our car wasn’t already stuffed from a trip to Ikea on the way down.

All in all it was a lovely weekend that passed by too quickly, but it was nice to rest by the shoreline and visit friends, and spend some alone time with Chris (not too many more months before that will end!).

In other news, as you will soon see from newly updated pics, my belly is getting HUGE and the baby is kicking me more and more each day, as if to say “Let’s get a move on!”. Sounds like I’ve got a little drill sargeant in there!

Augusten Burroughs back in the berkshires

Thanks to a coworker of Chris’, we were offered last minute tickets to see author Augusten Burroughs do a live reading at Mount Holyoke college last night.

Augusten is best known for writing “Running With Scissors”, and Chris and I are both fans of his funny/dark/sad memoirs and short stories, as a matter of fact we have his whole collection.

Augusten was originally from the Northampton area, and he seemed happy to be back on familiar turf (it’s funny to be reading a well-known author and have him mention several familiar things about the Hadley area in his novels). He was very congenial and got everyone laughing, even though his subject matter was macabre.

His latest book is called ” A Wolf at the Table”, and its his darkest of memoirs, about his relationship with his father. He read a few excerpts from it and answered readers questions. One of the best responses he had was to a woman who said she identified with a lot of the tragic events in his stories (molestation, being pushed around from foster home to foster home, being abandoned by parents, etc…) and wanted to know what is the best way to write a memoir of her own, and she also wanted to know if writing about it helped him to “heal”.

He told her that he thinks the term “healing” is a bunch of psychobabble. That people never completely “heal” from things, and to try to seek absolute healing after terrible tragedies is futile. There are certain things, he said, that you will never fully heal from. The loss will feel like a huge hole in your chest at first, and you will wonder how you can possibly go on. You’ll have to rely on others to ground you at first. But then an amazing thing happens. The hole doesn’t dissapear, but you begin to develop a “musculature of the soul” around the empty spaces, and you are able to carry on with your life. He said, “I am so full of holes that I’m basically a piece of swiss cheese that can stand upright and shop. But I’m happy, because I’ve stopped trying to be “complete”, and “whole again”. I’ve simply learned how to live with the emptiness.”
His answer about where to begin writing was to start at the middle, and tell the absolute truth, as dirty and terrible as it seems. He said the best memoirs are those that are deeply honest. An embellished one doesn’t sound nearly as good as one that’s honest, even if it’s about something trite.

All in all, the talk was very inspiring and reminded me of the memoir class I was taking last year at GCC. I haven’t been writing in a while and I really need that in my life. So hopefully I can get back to the pen and notebook, no holds barred!

Cousin Joey’s & Kristen Wedding

Went to my cousin Joey and Kristen wedding this last weekend. What was really nice about it is I got to see several cousins that I hadn’t seen in a LONG time. Kinda strange how that happens in families.  It is one of those things that when you are with the people you havn’t seen in a while you realize just how much you miss them all. So it was great I got to see my cousin Tabatha, Trisha, June and Joey and his new wife Kristen along with their respected significant others. It was a nice wedding and was really great catching up with all of them, that is what I really remember about it. My cousin Tabatha is due a few weeks earlier then Kathy so it was cute seeing them next to each other. One thing that irks me about some Family holding some sort of grudge or whatever is the communication. I wish I knew my cousin June lives in Orlando. Me and Kathy go to WDW once in a while and we could have visited. I know one thing for sure we will definitly be seeing her next time we are down. Me, Kathy, Jen and company are going to make sure we see them all soon which will be great. We spent many hours when we where young with them so it is nice to reconnect.

2 Concert Updates from the past week.

Last Sunday night in Boston was concert weekend–not only did we see the True Colors tour on Saturday, but on our way home on Sunday we saw She Wants Revenge and Be Your Own Pet at Paradise Rock Club in Cambridge. The concert was inexpensive and it sounded like a good way to get our music fix in.

Be Your Own Pet did a very energetic opening set, however the sound quality at Paradise was horrible that night-sounded like a speaker had blown out–so we could barely hear the lead singer as she pranced around stage. Still, they had a cool rockabilly punk vibe (and they are young–I think no one in that band is over 25!).

She Wants Revenge were OK but a bit lackluster compared to the first time we saw them 2 years ago at Northern Lights. Back then they had an edgier vibe, they seemed a bit too casual and low-key for the night. But what could you expect for the price? We were still glad we went.

Then, this past Thursday we had the good fortune of being able to see the Breeders at Pearl Street. Yes, the Breeders! At Pearl Street!!!
We were shocked that such a legendary band would end up in such a tiny place.
We were thinking that it probably wouldn’t be that great of a concert, and that the Breeders would probably play a few old songs begrudingly, mostly new songs from their O.K album and then snobbishly leave the stage without saying much to the crowd.

But boy were we surprised! When the Breeders arrived on stage, they couldn’t be any friendlier. They chatted up a storm with the audience and thanked us all profusely for coming to “their little show”. It was an absolute treat. They did play a few songs from their new album (which isn’t bad, but not nearly as good as Last Splash), but they did us the pleasure of singing quite a few songs from Last Splash, and a few good rarities from compilations that they did in the 90’s (eek! Hard to believe they’re now considered “old skool”.)

Kim and Kelly Deal still have the same great harmony and energy; if you closed your eyes you wouldn’t have thought it was over 15 years since they debuted (The Breeders themselves, not the Pixies, which in that case, it would’ve been ages longer!). They barely faltered, with the exception of “Cannonball”–it wasn’t their best performance of it, but hey, one out of a whole bunch isn’t bad.
They came back for an encore and ended with “Saints”, which was a perfect song to kick off the summer (“Summer is ready when you are”)

They were funny and seemed pretty humble to be playing in a small place. We all felt lucky to be part of such a great little gem of a show.

Side note: Opening for them were the Montana Boys, who didn’t have a sound that we particularly cared for, but they did have very funny titles to their songs (for example, “Doogie Howser will stalk you in your dreams”.) Gotta hand it to them for creativity.

Band-o-rama 2008

Here is a list of the concerts/bands we’ve seen so far in the new year with some ratings out of 5. I guess we’re music freaks, what can I say:

1. Blonde Redhead(3.5), School of Seven Bells(3.5)

2. The Birthday Massacre(4), Schoolyard Heroes(2.5), Creature Feature(5)

3. Zox(4.5), the Everyday Visuals(1.5)

4. Ghouls Night out (4.5), Mongrel(2), Creature Feature (again!)(4)

5. April 17th -> Jen Tobey’s Alter-Ego(3.5), The Clicks(5)

6. May 1th -> Eric Hnatow(3), Future Islands(2), Dan Deacon (4.5)

7. May 3rd – > Hemlock (3.5), Meshuggah (2), Ministry (4.5) – final Al Jourgensen tour 😦

8. May 31st-True Colors Concert Tour–The Cliks (5), Regina Spektor (2.5), The B-52s (5), Cyndi Lauper (4).

9. June 1st-Be Your Own Pet (3), She Wants Revenge (3)

10. June 4th-The Montana Boys (2.5), The Breeders (4)

An interesting thing we have noticed is some bands really vary depending on the venue and the crowd, blonde redhead is much better at festivals.

It looka like a…

Well, folks, we had the “official” ultrasound yesterday and we’re happy to report everything looks A-OK. I was so nervous I hardly slept the night before, and I drank enough water to drown the titanic for the ultrasound.

The ob-gyn said-(and she said this literally too, which was funny)–that “it looks like you’re going to have a hamburger”. I know there can always be errors on these things, but Chris was jumping for joy and squeezed the living daylights out of my hand!

The ob-gyn said our little baby was “very photogenic” and she was able to get a lot of good pics (which we’ll be posting up). It was so cute, she even yawned and stretched her little arms out at one point…
She was twisted up in some funky pretzel positions and moved around A LOT…which is funny because I still don’t feel too much kicking on the inside yet.

We are so relieved that the baby looks healthy. Seeing her on the big screen made it all the more real, that this kid is coming into OUR life. Pretty damn awesome. Chris is over the moon with happiness.
A daughter…somebody please pray for me!!! 🙂

Very Late Ministry Post

This is a very last post about the Ministry concert we saw in Montreal a few weeks ago. I have been listening to Ministry since I was in High School and when I heard they where on a farewell tour I just had to go. In recent years, front man Al Jourgensen has had some very political songs and even more of late. So we went to see them at the Metrolpolis at Montreal.

The Venue itself was great. There was a general “moshin” section and a smaller balcony section. The great thing is that after the moshin section each section rose up a foot or two letting anywhere in the place have a great view. The sound system was also top notch.

Opening for Ministry was hemlock. I was very impressed by this band. They just got a record deal after 12 years and where very excited about it. Being the first opener is tough but they managed well and where humble about it, and really had an energetic set. Not the typically music I like since it was a cross between speed metal and death metal but the fact they where talking to the audience a lot made it great.

2nd opener was Meshuggah and I was not impressed. Though they had much more songs to play the lead singer just stood in one spot the entire set. He also did not say much, call it strike 2. I am sure they are good on a CD or such but their live show, at least this time was not that good.

Ministry came on and it was just an amazing show. I don’t even know where to start but to say the band was great and Al was more then amazing. They had a multi-media screen in back of Al and they played some images to go along with the video. That made some of the political songs even more powerful. The sound was great and the band was one of the tightest we have seen. They played a lot of good songs but several older songs where not played in the first set. After what was a long time they where done and I was amazed at how quickly the time went. Luckily they came back for another set and played several of their classic songs. What was amazing is they played a LOOONG encore which was rare. They even had the guy from fear factory at one point since and no less than 6 guitarist on stage made it a night to remember.
In all I was sad it was the last time I would see Ministry but reminded me why they have been able to be around for 20+ years and still sell out venues. They just are amazing live and seem to get better and stay current to their audience.