Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Green Day

My husband and I love concerts. His first, at age 14, was the Allman Brothers. He was my first took me to my first, Blue Oyster Cult. Both at Rob Gym, UCSB. (Sidetrack...Who else did we see there? The Tubes! Anyone remember The Tubes??? "What Do You Want From Life?")

So we were really pleased when our kids got old enough to drag along (we started them early, at 10 or 11), because let's face it: theme parks get old after a while. We've taken our sons to a lot of great shows, but it's been a while since our last major concert.

We were supposed to see Aerosmith last Sunday, but you know what happened.

Thankfully, seeing Green Day Tuesday night made up for that. Although, if I'd know we weren't going to see Aerosmith I would have bought more expensive (closer) seats for Green Day.

Frank had a ticket for the floor. (We had an extra ticket for a friend of his, who couldn't go, and Frank did not find anyone else to take the ticket. Maybe he should have asked harder.) The rest of us had real seats...because my feet get tired! I have no commentary on Frank's experience, except he didn't get trampled and he got back to the car before we did.

The show opened promptly at 8:00 with Franz Ferdinand, from Scotland. Not a group I'd ever listened to before, but they were great. There were random explosions (probably from testing Green Day's pyrotechnics) which made everyone jump, a toilet paper blower (I hope the folks who have TPd us don't get one), and even bagpipes at the end.

Green Day took the stage at 9:11 and they TOOK OVER. This was their last US show, and I have never heard a band express so much pleasure over their audience ("this is the most people we've had on the floor the whole tour") and their location ("Los Angeleez!"). Billie Joe said they were going to play all night and they did, literally, till midnight. So much for getting home early!

My husband says: "I loved the cadence of his voice and his crunchy, hard guitar." I don't review the was great. You can find lots of clips on YouTube. These are from Tuesday's show. No doubt there will be more later.

The audio on this one is not great, but...what the heck...

This show was ALL ABOUT audience participation. I've never been to a show where so many people were encouraged to crawl up on stage. The security guards, instead of pushing people back, were pulling people up onto the catwalk to dance and prance. Some audience members got special treats: two kids were pulled up to be saved, a boy sang a whole song, and a supposedly 21-year old long-haired blond guitarist, after downing an entire beer, played on Jesus of Suburbia. He was so good, I thought he was a plant! But there's a video of another show, with someone completely different, so I think it's legit.

I met another mom in the frisk line (they were seriously patting us down). Her daughter was 11, it was her first concert, and the mom thought she was old enough to tolerate the "f-bombs." Yes, Billie Joe said FUCK a lot. Constantly! But not in an insulting way like Ozzy.

Summary: We had a great time, I hope I've written something coherent because I'm still functioning on less than 4 hours of sleep, and I'm surprised we couldn't find someone to take the extra ticket. "I don't like Green Day," was the common answer.

I say: "Keep an open mind and you might have a great time!"

Good Things

Frank's mini is back home, all fixed. He washed the truck in preparation for our trip yesterday afternoon. Did I mention we saw Green Day last night????

I had a good day at school. Ernest's mood definitely improved. I picked him up early, because did I mention we went to Green Day??? Where the boys did their back-to-school shopping: concert t-shirts.

I'll post on the show later. It was great!

Now Ernest and I are going to drag our sleepy selves (only 4-4.5 hours sleep) to school.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Strange Ending

And the first day of school ends... MY day was fine.

The ThirteenYearOld???? Comes home, procrastinates, complains, says he's forgotten how to write, delays, snarks, snaps, and is totally unlike the lovely person I kindly drove around all summer. This person? A stranger I don't want to know. Time for bed, because we have a really long day tomorrow.

First Day

Me: made Ernest's lunch and located my whistle (yes, I got rehired).
Ernest: stocked his backpack with supplies leftover from last school year.

Take a deep breath and we're ready to go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Freeway Crash (NOT MINE!)

I was really glad my days of Driving Miss Daisy Mr. Ernest are over when I saw this picture...

I'm also glad the Handy Husband and Frank were home too, because it happened on a piece of freeway we've all been driving on frequently!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who's the Cute Capybara

I've always loved the capybara. She looks like a giant guinea pig. She was hidden away in the back of the zoo during construction, but now she is back in front where she belongs. Ernest sees her swimming in the morning, but when I see her, she's usually sitting. Yesterday was unusually exciting for me: she got up, scratched, sat down again, and yawned. Picking up Ernest every day, we always meet by the capybara compound.

But I never knew her name. Finally, I was able to ask Kevin the Keeper. It's Marie.

Hello, Marie!

Now I can say to Ernest, "Meet you at Marie's!"

There used to be a second capybara. I wonder if his name was Donny?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Muscular dude!

Lucy was thrilled when the butterfly landed on her foot.

Self portrait.
Ernest took these photos too.


Butterflies Alive!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Satellite view of the smoke from the La Brea fire. That smoke has been hanging over us for days, causing an eerie yellow light. Finally today, it's relatively clear. Maybe we can wash the ash off the cars soon.


I do believe this is elephant poo on his pants. LAUNDRY TIME!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Snooze Nooz

He didn't take pictures, darn it.

But at 9:00 this morning, HE SHOVELED ELEPHANT POOP!!!! Seriously, how many people get do that??? Each poo clump was "as big as a toddler's head," he said. I saw an elephant poop the other day -- I agree!

In prettier news, I have some lovely butterfly pictures... but I am not allowed to can't upload them right now because they are WoWing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why I Made My Son Say What I Made Him Say

I. I drove Ernest to the zoo this morning (leaving the house at 9 a.m. on Sunday when I should have been SLEEPING) and...

II. at 10:30 remembered that he didn't have lunch money and interrupted my arts&crafts walk (wishing there was food -- less artsy, more fartsy as Homer Simpson said) to bring him some money...then...

III. as I was on my way to pick him up at 1:00 heard a phone message garbled by too much background noise... "CITs sleepover...can borrow sleeping me back..."

IV. spoke to him in person and found out details...Zoo Snooze from 6 pm to 10 am. Intense negotiations follow:
A. Yes, he can come back early after we're done with our visit to the museum of not live animals (I wonder if there is a rivalry between the places).
B. Someone will loan him a sleeping bag.
C. I've been driving forever! I don't want to drive again tomorrow morning.
D. So he'll be a CIT (counselor in training?) volunteer tomorrow, and his dad can pick him up after work. (Long day for Ernest but he's OK with it.)
E. I think he needs a jacket. He is too long and tall for the jacket that's in the trunk of my car. After we finish our family time somewhere else, we find the perfect jacket at Old Navy -- On sale!

V. Knowing that I totally HATE HATE HATE last minute planning like this, after it was arranged I made him say "You're the best mommy in the whole wide world."

VI. And he did.

VII. And he added "I love you." And "Thank you so much!"

VIII. And he pushed my dearest friend around the other place in a wheelchair. He was so nice. She was amazed that a 13 year old could be so sweet and patient. (But Frank was also a sweetheart at 13, too. Thirteen has not been a problem in our house!)

So my youngling is sleeping at the zoo tonight. I loaned him my camera -- hope he takes pictures. Do you think they tell scary animal stories?

Like this one time, when the Cabybara escaped?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chocolate in 1793

Trying to minimize Ernest's long days, I drive him to the zoo, amuse myself for a few hours, then pick him up again. If he goes with his dad, it's an 8 hour day.

I lived in or near Santa Barbara for 10 years, and commuted to work there for another 12. I am enjoying my rediscovery. I'm trying to visit the many places I have just driven by. High on the list was El Presidio, because you literally drive through it going "up" on Santa Barbara Street.

Part of a requisition list for supplies, dated March 31, 1793:

But wait! Only 6 boxes of chocolate? Inconceivable.

If you could read that, you would see that at that time, chocolate was for drinking, not for eating. And here's the chocolate paraphernalia. Chocophernalia?

To make your mouth water, check out Jen on the Edge's chocolate reviews. She is doing all of us a community service here.

Friday, August 14, 2009


You may have noticed a lack of concert posts from me this summer. That's because we blew most of our so-called "concert budget" on a big one. Some of us have seen Aerosmith. Twice. But one younger family member has been completely irritated because we left him home both times. (It was too loud for him before! That's my story and I am sticking to it.) Then a recent tour was cancelled because of Tyler's throat surgery. Finally having scored some really awesome seats through the fan club, you can imagine we were desperately horrified a little concerned when this happened:

We heard the Canadian concerts were cancelled, but so far have heard no bad news about the shows in our area. Today, a package arrived with what I call our "Aerophernalia" -- lanyards and passes, t-shirts, pins, postcards, oh, and a box of Aerosmith pens that didn't make it into the photo.

So wish us luck. Or more importantly, wish Steven Tyler a speedy recovery!

What's crazy about this? The concert is the night before school starts. 3.5 hours away. (Why didn't I get tickets to the Staples center on a Friday night? I don't know... I thought this was a Saturday when we were buying the tickets. And we wouldn't have gotten such great seats at the Staples Center.)

What's even crazier? We're going to Green Day two days later! (But their tickets were way cheaper less expensive!)


Thursday, August 13, 2009


Yesterday I got stung by a bee, for the first time in 40 years since I was a child. It was an big ugly thing, not cute like the one I spotted at the botanic garden today:

Look at that cute little bee butt!

I hadn't been to the Botanic Garden in years. There were a lot of burned areas from the Jesusita fire, but it was amazing to see the plants coming back again. Nature finds a way.

OH, but I forgot the LOW point of the day! "Martha," the elderly cashier at the botanic garden asked me, "Adult or Senior?" I have NEVER been so insulted before. I don't think I look 60! Fifty, OK, since that is creeping up on me next year. Martha, please have your glasses checked.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rental Car Shenanigans

Our insurance company will reimburse us $16/day for a rental car. The cheapest car rental is $18/day for an "economy" car (special negotiated insurance company rate, not the commercial rate). Net price, $2/day. Not too bad, right? We could manage without the extra car but it would require a lot of schedule juggling..."OK, you take this car but you have to be back by x time so I can drive to my appointment." Or, "I'm going to San Diego so I don't care know what the rest of you are going to drive or how Ernest is getting to the zoo." So for a net of 2 bucks a day, we thought -- hey, the HH can drive it to work and that's fewer miles on our own cars. And an "economy" car probably gets really good gas mileage!

Only, they don't have any of the $18 cars. The next cheapest car they have is $24. So we got that for one day and made a reservation for the $18 car for the following day. The next day, guess what? Still no "economy" $18 cars available. The HH complained a lot and so now we have the $24 car for the $18 rate. I wonder if they have any "economy" cars at all?

Even though we now have an adequate number of vehicles, I am vacillating on going to San Diego to meet Debbie at Jenn's house. Oh, I should go. What's a little 4.5 hour drive? But then there's that annoying pain in my neck that keeps bugging me when I drive. No, not one of my kids! An actual pain! I think I'll keep changing my mind until the last minute (or the last 4.5 hours!). That's the way I am.

Tight Fit

Frank's been the Handy Husband's right arm in the garage lately, and literally in this picture since I don't think the HH would have fit in that little space!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Whacked Weekend

Some moron tourist backed up into Frank's car on Friday night. They were both in a left turn lane. The person in front decided he was in the wrong place and without looking behind him he just backed up -- SMASH! right into Frank. Big bad vehicle missed the little vehicle's bumper and dented the hood, air conditioning, radiator? Poor little baby car was trailered away today. Our insurance covers most of a rental car...I'm going to pick it up this afternoon.

Then on Saturday, someone ran a red light and nearly t-boned me. Fortunately I saw him coming from the corner of my eye and floored it to get out of the intersection on time. That aggravated the small headache I already had and it turned into a massive one.

Sunday was better. Our lovely visiting friends joined me at the zoo and we saw Ernest perform twice. Spider says, "You don't have any Raid, do you? I hate Raid. It frizzes my hair...and then it kills me."

But the Whackness continues. Today I got a questionnaire (fortunately not a summons) for jury duty (U.S. District Court) for a 6-8 week trial - 141 MILES AWAY!!! WTF? I have to find my proof that I already served on a trial this year.

So how was your weekend?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Today's Adventure

Today was the first day of Fiesta, so in addition to visiting the Santa Barbara Historical Museum I had to hit De la Guerra Plaza for some food and flamenco. One troupe of small girls was dancing with fans. What does slapping the fan on your hip mean? That wasn't listed on the fan language! Then I went to the beach and sat under a palm tree. I lead a hard life, waiting for around for Ernest!

Meanwhile, back at the Zoo, Ernest got a prize assignment: Loosen up the dirt in the tortoise habitat, so they can put in sod. He says the dirt was very compacted and he had to keep moving the tortoises out of the way. I wish I had a picture of that!

The Radiated Tortoise

Monday, August 03, 2009

Language of the Fan

In my continuing adventures around Santa Barbara while Ernest is at the Zoo...I discovered something that will be useful for women dressing for the Fiesta this weekend.

I bring you the Language of the Fan, from the de la Guerra Adobe.

In case the picture is poor, I will transcribe:

With handle to lip - KISS ME
Carrying in the right hand in front of face - FOLLOW ME
Carrying in left hand - DESIROUS OF ACQUAINTANCE
Placing it on left ear - YOU HAVE CHANGED
Twirling in left hand - I WISH TO GET RID OF YOU
Drawing across forehead - WE ARE WATCHED
Carrying in right hand - YOU ARE TOO WILLING
Drawing across cheek - I LOVE YOU
Drawing through hand - I HATE YOU
Twirling in right hand - I LOVE ANOTHER
Drawing across eyes - I AM SORRY
Letting it rest on right cheek - YES
Letting it rest on left cheek - NO
Open and shut - YOU ARE CRUEL
Fanning slowly - I AM MARRIED
Fanning fast - I AM ENGAGED
Open wide - WAIT FOR ME

Who knew? So ladies, be careful of your fan language this weekend.

Love, your Smalltown correspondent...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Do the math...

Eggs were on sale, 99 cents/dozen. Hence, we are having deviled eggs tomorrow. I boiled a dozen, but used 2 in salad tonight.

The question I posed: how do I divide 10 eggs amongst 4 people?

Ernest's answer: give me the extras.
Frank said nothing.

Grade school math. (10 eggs = 20 halves/4 people =5 halves each).

I think I'm going to eat the extras.

"Hence?" "Amongst?" If you're British, please don't kill me. It just felt right tonight.