Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Slahw me dahhhhn...

Okay, I don't usually use my blog to make fun of young and mostly innocent ingenues, but Lainey really hits the nail on the head with her critique of Emmy Rossum's new video. I just don't get it--IMDB says that Emmy was born in New York, yet in this video she totally sounds like she's trying to be the younger crowd's Enya. Watch for yourself, but be warned: you probably won't get through it with a straight face.

Here's the link.

Now get it out of your head by following up with this totally awesome video from Flight of the Conchords...you'll be so glad you did!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Good times never seemed so good...

We got back from Boston last night and I'm still recovering, but I have to write while I remember the trip.

We got in Saturday morning at 6:30, after a flight with a screaming child. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep, so after a stop at Dunkin' Donuts (for Larry) and Diesel Cafe (for me) we went back to his sister Linda's place and crashed for a while. The rest of the day was perfectly lazy; we bummed around Harvard Square and stopped in at some of our favorite shops from the last visit. We also got hot chocolate from Burdick's, which is really the most insanely chocolatey hot chocolate you will ever drink. Love it! That night we went to S & S Deli for dinner and rented Stranger than Fiction, which if you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend.

Sunday morning we had brunch in the South End and took a stroll through the Public Garden, where Make Way for Ducklings was set. On the way there we walked along Newbury Street where all the fancy shops are, and Larry saw A-Rod pushing a stroller. We wanted to ask him why he wasn't getting ready for the game but refrained. I guess he wanted to do some pre-game shopping.

Sunday night was the reason for our visit: after 3 years, Larry finally got into the lottery and was able to get tickets to a Red Sox/Yankees game. We chose the last Red Sox/Yankees match-up of the season, and were really excited when we found out that Curt Schilling would be pitching against Roger Clemens. It was an authentic Red Sox experience - we lost in the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded, by one run. Heartbreaking. But it was still a very exciting game, and definitely worth the whirlwind trip. I loved being in the ballpark, eating a Fenway frank, hearing all the Boston accents and cheering along with the crowd. I even got the chance to properly boo that traitor Johnny Damon.

We got some extra entertainment in the bottom of the seventh inning, when some crazy fan ran onto the field! He ran to second base and tried to high-five Eric Hinske (who had just hit a double), then he stole and put on Robinson Cano's cap! He was doing a pretty good job outrunning security and I know I wasn't the only one cheering him on, because it was hilarious. Finally someone tackled him and they started to cart him off the field, when he tried to escape AGAIN. He didn't succeed, but it was awesome to watch.
Soxy Lady has some video of the guy, and a much better recap of the game than I could hope to provide, so I suggest you visit her site. I totally agree with her complaint about people who don't deserve to go to a game at Fenway. The people in our row got up so many times that we wondered why they bothered paying for seats!

Although it was tough to watch the Sox lose after flying 3,000 miles to see them, it was completely worth it and now I'm hoping we'll get picked in the lottery for playoff tickets...

As we were leaving Fenway, vendors were selling funny t-shirts that mostly made fun of the Yankees. My two favorites were "A-Rod: Mr. April, Miss October" and "Derek Jeter Drinks Wine Coolers." I love Boston!

Yesterday we drove to Concord to visit Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women. Yes, I'm a total dork and I don't care who knows it. The tour was really fun, but the introductory video was a little weird - they had an actress who played Louisa, which was bizarre in itself, but then she kept talking about herself in both past and present tense. Creepy! One cool thing I didn't know was that Louisa's sister May was an accomplished artist who had several paintings shown at the Paris Salon. Their parents let May draw all over the house, and in her bedroom there are drawings all over the walls and windowsills. She probably would have been just as famous as Louisa, but she died 6 weeks after having her daugher Lulu. Of course now I have the urge to read Little Women again and try to find the similarities between the Marches and the Alcotts. Outside the house, a local club maintains a garden just like the one described in the book (chapter 10):

"The garden had to be put in order, and each sister had a quarter of the little plot to do what she liked with. Hannah used to say, "I'd know which each of them gardings belonged to, ef I see 'em in Chiny," and so she might, for the girls' tastes differed as much as their characters. Meg's had roses and heliotrope, myrtle, and a little orange tree in it. Jo's bed was never alike two seasons, for she was always trying experiments. This year it was to be a plantation of sun flowers, the seeds of which cheerful land aspiring plant were to feed Aunt Cockle-top and her family of chicks. Beth had old-fashioned fragrant flowers in her garden, sweet peas and mignonette, larkspur, pinks, pansies, and southernwood, with chickweed for the birds and catnip for the pussies. Amy had a bower in hers, rather small and earwiggy, but very pretty to look at, with honeysuckle and morning-glories hanging their colored horns and bells in graceful wreaths all over it, tall white lilies, delicate ferns, and as many brilliant, picturesque plants as would consent to blossom there."

We also visited the Old North Bridge, one of the first battle sites in the Revolutionary War. One thing I really love about New England is how much of our nation's history is still there in the architecture and landscape. Also, it's just plain beautiful. I do have to say that Concord appears to win the prize for most commemorative plaques per square mile. Besides Louisa May Alcott, Concord was home to Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville and others that I'm forgetting. Add to that the Colonial and Revolutionary historical events, and you have yourself a lot of plaques.

Emerson's house was closed the day we visited Concord, but we'll save it for the next visit. I hope there will be many more visits, because Boston (and New England in general) is just a fun place to be. And I have photographic evidence to prove it.

Yawkey Way, outside Fenway Park

In our seats, section 18 of the grandstand

Curt Schilling warming up

The Old North Bridge in Concord

View from the bridge

Concord School of Philosophy
(founded by Bronson Alcott, on the grounds of Orchard House)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Weekends away

I finally turned 30 last weekend! I say "finally" because once you're 29, really, you're so close that what's the point? Better to just be 30 and be done with the twenties. Happily my birthday fell on a Saturday this year so I got to celebrate all weekend long, first with a dinner at The Pink Door with our good friends Kristine and Bob, and then on Sunday night with a surprise birthday dinner at Cremant, organized by a very sneaky Larry. It was my first ever surprise party, and a great way to kick off my next year.

We spent Labor Day weekend at Bumbershoot, seeing so many bands I can't remember them all. Fortunately Larry made an Excel spreadsheet to use as our personal schedule - his nerdiness comes in really handy sometimes. So here's who we saw:

Carrie Akre
Crowded House
The Shins
The Saturday Knights
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Gogol Bordello

The Watson Twins
Art Brut
Stars of Track and Field
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Kings of Leon
The Apples in Stereo
Zap Mama
Devendra Banhart

Fleet Foxes
Andrew Bird
The Damnwells
The Frames
Steve Earle

Larry got us tickets to the KEXP Lounge, so we got to see several of the bands there. It was nice because it was a smaller room, the bands often played acoustic sets, and it was cool inside. I can tell I'm getting older because the first thing I wanted to do whenever we got to a different stage was find a place to sit! But come on, it's 3 days of non-stop shows - I had to pace myself, right? (at least that's the story I'm sticking to...)

My two favorite acts of the weekend would have to be Rodrigo y Gabriela and Fleet Foxes. Rodrigo y Gabriela are an acoustic guitar duo, but the way they use their instruments would make you think they have an entire band up there. Gabriela uses her guitar like a percussion instrument while Rodrigo's amazing fingerwork goes up and down the frets faster than you could imagine. I've never heard two musicians play tighter in rhythm! It was mesmerizing to watch. Fleet Foxes are a Seattle band that's been around for a while, but I hadn't heard them till Bumbershoot. They play 70's inspired/influenced rock with lush 3-part harmonies, and I just love their songs. In fact, I think they might be my new favorite band. Not that anyone could ever supplant the Decemberists, but there's always room for more great music...

Other extra fun shows, in no particular order: The Saturday Knights, Crowded House, The Shins, The Watson Twins, The Apples in Stereo, Art Brut, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Smoosh, Steve Earle, Andrew Bird. All in all, a fabulous weekend.

This coming weekend promises to be equally exciting. We're headed to Boston to watch a Red Sox/Yankees game at Fenway Park!!! Look for me on the highlight reel - I'll be the one getting arrested for rushing the field to hug David Ortiz. We might also go to Concord to visit Walden Pond and Louisa May Alcott's house (Larry's not the only nerd in this relationship), and of course there will be some good eating involved, because when is there not?