05-31-05: memorial day

Ah, Memorial Day Weekend. I love Memorial Day Weekend-- it officially kicks off the summer in my head. Wheeee! Summer's here!

Hamlet emailed me last week and asked me what I was gonna do with my summer. I gave him the rundown and he gave me his, but I think I need to add some stuff to my list. I want my weekends to be full with fun stuff that *I* wanna do. I'm not making anyone else happy this summer. If what I do happens to make someone else happy, well then that's mighty convenient. But golldarnit, I'm putting me first. F-y'all. ;-)   So here it is:

  • I want to learn a new musical skill. I think I'm accomplishing this by playing bass in Rocky Horror. I haven't played bass since high school, and even then it was just for a punk band where skills were unimportant.   So this'll be good. Rocky Horror happens in July.
  • I want people to come visit me. So far, I've got one taker (yay, Tanjent!).
  • I want to visit lots of people. I wanna hang out in Boston, I wanna visit Seattle, I wanna visit relatives in Maine, Asheville, and Washington State. I wanna see my peepz in Phoenix. These will be weekend jaunts, with the exception of Phoenix. I really need to reconnect with them.
  • I wanna clean up shop with Hamlet at the pinball convention in Pittsburgh! (They even have a tandem mini-tournament. W00t!)
  • I wanna fly to LA and do a few gigs with The Industrial Jazz Group.
  • I wanna watch the Perseids from someplace dark (though it coincides with the pinball convention, so I'll see if there's anyplace dark in western PA, maybe).
  • I wanna go water skiing with my dad on the boat.
  • I wanna see if I can go the whole summer without getting a mosquito bite.
  • I wanna see 20 movies, either in the theater or renting 'em.
  • I want to designate at least one evening a week as a bike-ride evening. Even if it's just to pedal around Bellefonte, I wanna get on my bike so I won't be saddle sore for the Bike to the Bay in October.
  • I wanna take Yoga on Thursday nights and get a couple massages.
  • I wanna boogie down with Shelle & Co. in Philly.

    I imagine I'll have lots of updates to this list as the summer rolls on.

    Anyhoo, I had a pretty fun weekend. Friday night Peggy had a BBQ at her beautiful house-- I keep forgetting that Wilmington has hip pockets of awesome houses with cool stuff nearby. Peggy throws a great party: good food, refreshing libations, handfuls of fresh mint, political discussion, book reviews and giddy laughing with good peepz. My choir rocks. I can't believe Peggy is moving away to Santa Fe; I know she will be so happy there, but this place will just not be the same without her. I'm very sad to see her go.

    Saturday morning I woke up reasonably early and got a lot of stuff done around my place. It was a beautiful morning so I opened all the windows, cleaned up some stuff, wrote a bit and started my drive up to my brother's house for a Knapp-fam barbecue. I had the sunroof open, a happy orange shirt on, good tunes on the radio, and I was cruising at a steady 80 MPH. I got to drive up 287North, so I got to see Eyeball Man which made me squeal with delight.   As soon as I arrived I was attacked by my niece and nephew who announced that as soon as I was done eating, we were gonna paint each others' faces with the face painting kit I bought them for Hanukkah. The kit comes with a book, so I had the kids pick out how they wanted their faces painted. Molly wanted to be the Mystical Princess (but of course!) and Jack wanted to be Mademoiselle Butterfly. Molly kept saying, "Jack! You can't be Mademoiselle Butterfly! Mademoiselle means "young lady" in French, and you're a boy!" Jack didn't care. He wanted to be a butterfly, Mademoiselle or not. Anyhoo, I wanted to be a zebra (I mean, who doesn't?) in honor of the latest Zeeba bit in Pearls Before Swine.

    Here's the evidence:

    Molly painted Jack into Mademoiselle/Monsieur Butterfly.

    Jack steals my phone and figures out how to take a picture of himself

    Molly as the Mystical Princess. (You can tell she's
    mystical because she has stars on her face.)

    Jill the Zebra, courtesy of Molly. (She even made
    me those rockin' ears. Wooot!)

    Brian Marshall swung by the house and enjoyed a burger or two; it was great to see him in all his catty goodness. My brother and Brian made fun of me mercilessly for liking the new Star Wars movie, but I took the abuse and stood firm, dammit. :-)   My folks adjourned home, but I stayed behind a little while longer to listen to Molly practice piano and to play a board game with her. Good times.

    I went home and Dad and I watched some TV. On Bravo ("the gay channel" according to my dad) they had these Top 10 countdown shows-- Top 10 Superheroes, Top 10 Evil Vixens, Top 10 Villains of all time. It's so funny; I don't have TV in my house, so whenever there's a TV on, my eyeballs are instantly drawn to it. I don't even care what's on. Drag racing? Great! Nature show on buffalo migration patterns? Fab! Traffic and weather? Sweeet! Rockford Files? Even better.

    I slept in late on Sunday, and by the time I got up dad had already left for his motorcycle ride and Mom was on her way to church, so I began my Quest For Artichokes. I've been craving carciofi (stuffed artichokes, Sicilian style, like my great-grandma used to make), so I hit three different stores until I found some-- I guess they're not quiiiite in season yet. Mom and I made six carciofi --stuffed with olive oil, fresh garlic, parsley, seasoned bread crumbs, this beautiful locatelli cheese-- and they came out awesome.   Later that night I took my folks and my cousin to dinner in Montclair (love that city) and then we came home and played canasta. Apparently there's a move in the game called an "unnatural canasta" so I decided that would be the name of my next album.

    Monday morning I woke up a little out of sorts (had very weird but realistic-feeling dreams). I packed up my car and headed back to Delaware. [Semirelated tangent: On the way down I was listening to the Rocky Horror soundtrack so I can get the music in my head a bit. It's amazing, the bass sheet music for the show is frikkin' symphonic, and the guy playing it on the album is playing simple I - vi - IV - V - I stuff; I asked Joe what he wanted me to play, and he said "As long as you cover the basics and any riffs, I'm happy." Cool.] I stopped home just long enough to make a fruit salad with tons of fresh ginger (yummmm) and headed over to the Mosk-B-Q. I called Jerm on my way over and warned him I was a little grumpy, and the only way to fix it was to let me be the Grillmeister; he gladly obliged. This was the first time I ever grilled tofu (I'm sure my dad is cracking up over this as he reads this), but Slater makes some mean marinated tofu + veggie kabobs. Good peeps were present and accounted for: of note, Alisa, Tom and Mary, Joe and Paula, Lee, Beccah, Bretttt. Once the crowds thinned out a bit, we adjourned to the Zen room and watched George Lucas In Love which is this cute 12-minute short about George Lucas in film school, and how if he doesn't come up with a screenplay for class in 3 days he's gonna flunk. You can see little stuff going on in the background from which ultimately he draws the inspiration for Star Wars (Example: he passes by a tall skinny brit guy in a gold shirt and a midget with a blue and white hat who mumbled). Very cute. After that we watched This is Spinal Tap, which I hadn't seen in probably 15 years but hadn't forgotten a thing about it. Brett and I were pulling to watch it with the actors'/director's commentary, but it was vetoed.

    Anyhoo, I started to get wiggy about 3/4 of the way through the movie [saving that for the private post], so as soon as it ended I headed home, checked my email/LJ and went to bed. I've gotta say, LJ sure is a quiet place with everyone at Flipside.

    In other news, check out Alien Loves Predator-- it's a thrice-weekly web comic where Alien (named Abe, he's the dumb one) and Predator (Preston, the voice of reason) live together, and Jesus (who plays for the Yankees) is their roommate. I love the way the comic is done: the guy takes photos of backgrounds (living rooms, subways, etc.) and then photoshops stills of his Alien / Predator / Jesus action figures on top of 'em. It's so simple, but so funny. It's no Qwantz, but it's a chuckle. Start from the beginning of the archive... the first 5 or 6 are especially rockin'. (Thanks, Hearn!)