Friday, March 30, 2007

Rocking on the outskirts of Buffalo

Tonight I went out on the town with my mom (and dad) and never even left the suburbs, yikes.

Doesn't outskirts make it sound more dangerous? I'm going to start telling people I live on Buffalo's outskirts.

First my parents and I had dinner at a fairly new Japanese restaurant that was both crowded and served decent sushi. Though the jury is still out on the sushi -- there is still a chance it could receive a failing grade by tomorrow. Then my mom and I dropped my dad like a bad habit, sorry Dad, and headed to a concert.

My Brightest Diamond opened the show, and we were greeted not by the Shara Worden that we have grown to know from watching Sufjan Stevens on Austin City Limits over and over, but by something else all together. She has about twenty million different personalities and I think we saw them all in her 30 minute set. I think she must only be about ninety pounds, which by comparison makes me pretty sure that I could take Sufjan in a fist fight (Not that I have designs on the man, I'm just sayin'). I would have liked 15 more minutes with Shara and her band, even when things got a little weird she was still adorable.

Then The Decemberists graced the stage for close to two hours. I learned several things I not know about the band. First, Colin Meloy is much more the showman than I would have guessed from his morbid lyrics. He seemed downright giddy at times which made me like the band a little more than I thought I did. Also, the Decemberists have legions of young female fans in the Greater Buffalo area who gathered at the edge of the stage and danced and sang like it was, I don't know, a rock concert or something -- not what I was expecting from a band whose instrumentation features accordion, twelve string acoustic guitar, and hurdy gurdy.

As always when I go to a concert now I am stunned by the number of people texting each other during the show. SO RUDE! Colin can see you girls!!! Hmm. Maybe that was part of the point?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sound of Silver Lining

There are a lot of things I could write about today, like the grocery clerk who squished both the bread and the whole grain blueberry muffins, or the umpteenth trip I am making to in-laws tomorrow to help them sell their house, or the continued ridiculousness of Kindergarten report cards -- shoe tying is no longer on the report card now that Henry can do it.

No, I've got two vitriolic men to thank in today's post. They are connected too, so it's kinda nifty.

Last week I ripped open the package from Amp Camp (I don't just pretend to work there, I am also a steady customer) that contained the new LCD Soundsystem CD, Sound of Silver. The CD felt like a consolation prize because I knew mailing it out to me was practically the last act of the site's now former editor, and I knew I was really going to miss him and his work.

Not too surprisingly given the pre-release buzz, the CD is great. I am enamored of its creator James Murphy (that's him in the tub) because he dives just as fearlessly into anger as he does into fun and he melds them both into the best record I have heard this year. Yeah, this one pretty much kicks the Arcade Fire and the Shins in the teeth.

I am going to miss my editor because he was just beginning to do much the same thing for Amp Camp. The site was evolving into something a little different than when I started there, but something just as unique and vital. Now POOF. It's not the first time the site has lost its leader, and I am sure it will survive and thrive because that's what happens. I am just not a fan of the process.

But in the words of James Murphy, "it's the memory of our betters that are keeping us on our feet." Cheers to you, Walter Pillman, and your many other incarnations.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I smell a South Park episode

According to the Associated Press: "An eighth-grader said he found a dead mouse inside a bag of Frito-Lay barbecue potato chips he bought in a school lunch line, and his claim appears credible, school officials said." His school is located about 40 miles south of Denver. Matt and Trey get your scissors ready.

And I thought Henry's faux e coli issue was bad. And of course I realize this could be another hoax, like the "I found a finger in my Wendy's Chili" incident. So I am not here to place blame, but occasionally something outside of my tightly wound little world goes so wrong that I have to mention it.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I believe the technical term is "mixed bag"

1. Cary left me at home alone with the kids all day and night because he was going straight from work (completely acceptable) to the first round of the NCAA tournament (also acceptable, but still left me cranky and griping because I wanted to go too, damnit).

2. Duke finally lost an opening round game. But I was watching it at home on TV and I didn't pick it in the pool because I thought they were good for at least one round.

3. Henry got socked in the eye on the schoolbus by a kid that he usually identifies as a friend. Although this same boy has intentionally stepped on Henry's shoelaces in the past to make them come untied. But I was pleased that Henry didn't strike back. He told the driver and managed to avoid a knock down drag out brawl.

4. I learned at dinner that the same boy now sits at Henry's table in the classroom.

5. There was a e coli found in the drinking water of Henry's school. Yep. Two months ago. But they just reported it yesterday. Fortunately it looks like a lab error. I can't believe I am saying this but I actually feel bad for the principal because she has to try to explain the concept of a false positive to hordes of irate parents.

6. My brother sent me a sweet James Murphy DJ set. I can't wait until I have time to unzip it, import it into itunes, add it to my ipod, and find time to listen to it.

7. Henry scarfed down four helpings of spaghetti and meatballs at dinner and Lucy ate three bowls of dry cereal. And neither kid hassled me when it was time for bed.

Now I am off to finish wrapping Lucy's birthday presents. We are celebrating one day late since everyone who was consulted thought her Daddy should be here for the celebration. She is very insistent that she is two and will show you or anyone else who is aound by holding up two fingers and saying "I two." She is going to have a really hard time transitioning to being another year older. Don't we all. So I gave her the present of not telling her until tomorrow.

Monday, March 12, 2007

What Will Go Wrong...Bracketology Comes Undone Again

I know as a mother a person is bound to give up a lot of things, but I wasn't counting on my tournament of 64 mojo as one of the things my kids were going to rob from me. I was never a tournament superstar of Mommy at Work's ilk, winning cases of Champagne, but I held my own and preserved my dignity.

After Henry's arrival 6 years ago I seem to have lost my touch, and can no longer hope to find myself in the upper quartile at the end of the pool. What's worse is that I am actually home during the day to watch those first four days of non-stop basketball action, but the children won't let me. Oh, the humanity!

I should explain, I don't follow college basketball at all during the year. Nor do I do any reading to help me make my picks. So it isn't that my kids have robbed me of the time to keep up with a beloved hobby. No they have sucked my brain dry of its ability to concentrate on the random, the fun, and the unnecessary. I will just have to console myself with the thought that Florida and Joakim Noah could have another long run. I know Auntly H and I will be checking for his Daddy in the stands.

Friday, March 02, 2007


1. I made coffee but forgot to put the pot under the coffee maker. By the time I noticed there was coffee everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
2. At that same moment I realized our last two working electrical outlets in the kitchen had given out. Coinicidence? Maybe. Two hours and $200 later all of our outlets worked, so I'm not sure I care..
3. I had also decided it was time to visit the Doctor because my cold had gathered new strength. Diagnosis: Sinus infection.
4. After picking up my amoxicillin RX, I returned home from the Doctor to learn that Henry's birthday cupcakes were expected at school the next day. His teacher isn't fond of advance notice, nor is she flexible (I was worried it was Friday or no b-day party at all Also, I had sent a note in asking what day she wanted to snack on MONDAY but got no answer).

So I decided to scrub my hands thoroughly and go ahead and bake them. Henry had requested red frosting, but at 9:25, when I started to frost them, they were undeniably pink, no matter how much food coloring I used, or how much unprocessed cocoa I snuck into the frosting. On a whim I had purchased star-shaped cup cake cups, that we were going to decorate with tiny M+Ms. Now that I had pink star-shaped cup cakes inspiration struck, and I tried to salvage the pink frosting the only way I could, by turning them into Patrick from Sponge Bob.They are pretty abstract, but Henry liked them. He said, "They look red to me."