Friday, July 29, 2011

Feline Embarrassment

Can I embarrass my darling Homer any more than this?

Possibly, if I compare him to this.

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Homer says, I'm no Otto. I'm only half his weight.

I say, Homer, we need to cut back on that kibble a bit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

(Tues) Day Off

It almost seems like I am still working since I am hardly ever home. Driving Mr. Ernest does get time consuming, although I do enjoy my afternoons. He had a day off yesterday, so I did too. Sort of.

We spent an hour waiting at the medical clinic to see the doctor for 2 minutes to confirm the red bump on Ernest's back was a blablabla hemangioma, and Ernest could either leave it alone or take it off. Since it's just going to get bigger, I voted to take it off.

I realize you need some backstory here. The night I combed out the dreadlocks snarls I thought it might be a good opportunity to trim his hair after his shower. When I felt his eel-like slippery tresses slither through my fingers, I decided it was not the time for me to attempt an amateur trim. "Let's make an appointment with a hair professional," I said. Oh yeah, I can pass the scissors buck baby!
However, I exposed his upper back for the first time in years. Even when he has his shirt off, the hair normally covers it. And there was a little bulgy red bump on his right shoulder blade. "We should have that looked at," I said, because I don't like to see mysterious bumps on my golden child, and that's yet another story.

So we had to schedule another appointment next week for the bump-ectomy. The doctor said something funny like, "There Will Be Blood, " but I can deal with that. How many times have I taken someone to the ER for stitches? And Ernest won't see anything, since it's on his back.

= = = =

In the afternoon, Ernest was bored so he helped me with a cooking project. He juiced an entire watermelon in my handmedown* juice extractor for my Watermelon Jello project. Why am I making Watermelon Jello? Because I saw the recipe in Sunset magazine while we were waiting waiting waiting at the doctor's office. And since there was watermelon juice to spare, he made watermelon/strawberry/lemon/ade. Later I realized I could have saved the extra juice for Frank to make Watermelon Pie.

Oh well, I'm sure I can get someone to pulverize another watermelon. I got Ernest interested in the first place because I said, "Want to Gallagher a watermelon?" He was slightly disappointed that I did not hand him a sledgehammer.

= = = =

*I love my mother-in-law for many reasons, not just because she gives me the appliances she doesn't want anymore.

= = = =

Back to the jello...

Looks gorgeous, doesn't it. Like something out of, oh I don;t know, a magazine? Sadly, it did not taste as good as it looked. I think it was the sugar. I thought to myself, "Self, why does the recipe have all that sugar when watermelon is so naturally sweet?" But we added the sugar anyways. I should listen to myself.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meeting Friends

Well, I think this is going to me my week of meeting old and new friends.

Saturday, I met Lala and her husband Dave. Now this was a case of new friends feeling exactly like old friends.

Sunday, Frank invited his best buddy and his parents over for what is becoming our usual Sunday barbecue. Again, terrific new people that we would love to see again.

(Frank made 3 batches of his incredible cookies...our guests also got plates of them to take home and we are left with only half a dozen for ourselves. But I'll have to wait a bit for the next batch. Next he's planning to make lemon bars from the lemons his grandfather gave him.)

Wednesday, I am lunching with two former co-workers, and hope to set up a lunch with another one on Friday.

Usually I go for weeks without seeing anyone but my family, so look at social little me.

What's happening with you this week?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Staying Awake

After being awake since 4 am, this is how I feel right now...

Why was I awake at 4 am? oh, I don't know, some strange noises from the other side of the bed and so as not to embarrass the other party, I'll just say it wasn't snoring. Then we were up at 5:30 anyway to take Ernest to a bike race.

Fortunately, I was able to stay awake long enough today to meet Lala and her husband. Fantastic people with great vacation stories! I just knew I would like her in real life, too. And such a small world: although we met through our blogs, it turns out we went to the same high school for a while.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Off My Rocker?

Do you think I have enough rocking chairs? I inherited all these from my mother's house and had them refinished. From back to front, the rocker in my room as a baby, a classic oak craftsman style from my great-uncle's house, my mom's favorite rocker which she kept in her kitchen, and my own little childhood rocker. They all have some kind of meaning or memories attached to them so I made room for them.

Plus we had Frank's childhood rocker. That's Frank at age 3, during the Year of Face Paint, as a frog. He sat in it a lot, until he got so big he got stuck! Ernest did too. Now it finds use as our favorite footstool.

So I need another rocking chair like, what? Like a hole in the head? Like Homer needs to gain weight?

But then I fell in love. It actually matches most of the furniture in my house. So I guess this one is mine, all mine, no emotional baggage attached, it's just here because I find it beautiful.

And it's so cool...

look, Frank Sinatra had one!

When I showed my husband that picture, his eyes slid right past the chair to the high-tech 1964 stereo system. "I think those are Klipschorn speakers," he said. We are all attuned so differently.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Harry Potter Memories

I shared some Harry Potter memories when Deathly Hallows part 1 opened. Now that part 2 is out, here's part 2 of my Harry Potter Memories. These are about 9 years ago. Seems just like yesterday!

Here's Frank, ready to do his book report on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. He made his own golden snitch out of a bouncy ball, paper wings, and gold spray paint. I believe the scar is lipstick.

And the Harry Potter Sleepover Party for Ernest's 6th birthday.

A sleepover party for 6 year olds? What the hell was I thinking? ***

*** What was I thinking? That I could not say no to this adorable little wizard.

I had an ordeal getting this cake. Albertson's had a big sign up on their bakery counter advertising Harry Potter cakes. So I walked up to order the cake. "What do you want on it?" the baker asked. "Harry Potter!" I said, pointing to the sign. "Oh, we can't do that. We're all out." Then why the hell was the sign still up? So I stormed out and went to a local bakery, where they said, "Harry Potter, sure thing!" and voila, I got this beauty. Tasted better than Albertson's too. (I haven't bought a cake at Albertson's since....I can hold a grudge a long, long time!)

Well, now I'm going to kick back with my morning coffee and re-read the end of Deathly Hallows.
Accio coffee cup.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monkee See

Last week we saw The Monkees 45th Anniversary Tour at the local casino. We haven't been to a concert there in a long time. Usually there are a lot of country singers, which you may have gathered isn't quite our cup of tea.

The show was a lot of fun! Although their voices sound older, the songs are still great. They were backed up by an 8-person band. Kudos to the lady on the right who played keyboard, 2 saxophones, and flute, "and all for one money," quipped Davy. He was full of quips, like "Justin Bieber stole my haircut, and Axl Rose stole my moves." Peter and Micky were quippy too. (Michael chose not to make the tour.)

They opened with "I'm a Believer," my favorite Monkees song, so I was a little disappointed to hear it so early. Not to worry, though, they closed with it too!

I had my experience with their greatest fan about one minute into the show. See that arm and elbow in white just behind my head? Well, she whacked my head twice within the first minute of "I'm a Believer." I was so annoyed. I had to turn around and tell her to be careful. Humphf.

There's the rest of the greatest fan right there below, once again directly behind my head. That's probably the hand that hit me. I absolutely love music and concerts but I am somehow able to contain myself and not spoil others' enjoyment. I wish they would do the same.

Frank came with us. Since it's an 18-and-older venue, we had to leave Ernest home alone. Frank has been to the casino before. To celebrate his 18th birthday, he went in and promptly lost $5 at blackjack. He's not a big spender!

He realized he had heard some of the songs before, even if he wasn't really familiar with the Monkees. Well, everyone has heard I'm a Believer in Shrek.

He was a little surprised by the hordes of old people (my term, not his) rushing the stage at the end. It was a senior mosh pit!

It was a nice long show, about 2 hours 15 minutes, so we got our money's worth. I loved seeing all the old TV show clips on the screen. Micky was always my favorite.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cats in High Places

To add to our on-line gallery of cat art, this little statue is perched atop a parking lot wall. Looks like its ear has seen some cat fights.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Was it Robert Plant who said "I am a golden god," or was that just a line from Almost Famous?

Here's my golden god, after I got through combing out the dreadlock snarls...

He had comments about the biggest fan sitting next to him at the Eddie Vedder concert. "She used me as a prop when she got up for one of her beer runs." And "I wouldn't have minded her singing along if she had been even close to being in tune."

This afternoon he's going to see Winnie the Pooh with me. Six feet tall and he's still willing to see a Pooh movie with his mother. I just love that. He's a honey, all right.

Or worth his weight in gold...

$769,824 4 years ago. Of course he weighs more now.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Last Summer's Concerts

Here my concert season has started, and I realized I had unposted blogs about LAST year's concerts. Oh well...

So this is all from 2010!

First up, a double bill with Peter Frampton and Yes.


Frampton Comes Alive was one of THE biggest albums at the end of our high school years. (He's touring again this summer, doing the complete album.) Although he doesn't have the hair he used to (my husband can commiserate with that), he was still quite awesome. So cute and self deprecating. His band lost instruments and equipment in a flood in Nashville (I think -- this is what happens when I wait months to blog about it) and were very grateful for the help they got to replace them. He talked about the banjolele he found in his grandmother's attic. I love unusual instruments -- the Handy Grandpa has a ukelin. And then there's his talkbox -- you can't talk about classic Frampton without it. And he can't talk into the talkbox when he's laughing. Only it's not a box, it's a plastic tube.

"Do you feel like we do? Still? I don't. Sometimes when I hear it I change the channel... ... ... I'm lying." And he laughs.

His son Julian is pretty cool, and came out to do a song. A song. One. Not as much of the old nepoTIZ as Wolfie Van Halen benefited from.

Then there was Yes. There were some know-it-alls behind me during the intermission, annoying me with their trivia, but they didn't know it all. Let's see, they said the bass player owned the name but everyone else was new. Excuse me, Steve Howe is not NEW. He looked pretty OLD, as a matter of fact.

As for the newbies, the singer, Benoit David, who sang in a Yes tribute band, was a temporary replacement when Jon Anderson had throat surgery last year, but he seems to be permanent now. Benoit dressed like a Las Vegas lounge singer in a black vest and a yellow shirt with large lapels. He reminded me of a short, stocky, pirouetting David Hasselhoff. But man, does he have pipes! And Oliver White, Alan White's son, was an amazing keyboard player.

Rush again.

I know some of you don't care for Rush, but I have to say they've really grown on me. And I love that they have a sense of humor.

American Idols. There was criticism that last year's Idols weren't Idol-worthy, but it was the first year I was ever interested in watching the show and that's all due to Crystal Bowersox.
After the bottom 4 performed, I was wondering why I wasted the money on the show and the fancy hotel room. But as we moved into the top 6, it got better. Anyway, I loved Crystal!

Roger Waters/The Wall Unfortunately I didn't write anything down about this one but it was fantastic! We had great seats, just one section away from the Wall.

OK, now I'm caught up to 2011. Who have we heard so far this year? Jake Shimabukuro, Jeff Bridges and the Abiders, and Eddie Vedder.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Ernest recently had a physical for school, which reminded me of this anecdote I saved from last year...

...I warned him they would probably need a urine sample. (Ahem, he's never had to provide one before.) He said, I don't need a drug test. I couldn't do what I do if I was on drugs! He was just mortally offended about that. I reassured him that it was just to check for physical problems.

This year he had a new surprise ... a hernia check. I left the exam room for that one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Some days, you just want to crawl up on a nice warm rock. Aaaaah.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Getting Vedder All The Time

Since Saturday night, my husband is probably singing this song right now...

..but I think he's a little bit in love with Eddie Vedder's voice, too.

The show opened right on time with Glen Hansard, Oscar winner for "Falling Slowly" from Once (but he didn't play that YET...wait for it!!!). His set was far too short, only half an hour, but man can he get sound out of that old guitar. I swear, it was the same one as in the movie, with a big hole in it but our seats were way back so I couldn't say for sure. One guitar and a stomp box. Awesome. And he's from Dublin. And says fuck with an Irish accent---fook! This Irishman is fookin' awesome.

I always hate that the opening act has to play while the venue is half empty and people are strolling around. The opener this year may be the headliner later. (For example, I saw Michael Buble open for Chris Isaak, and a couple years later Buble was back on his own.)

And then Eddie...

Well, first we thought we saw him at a pizza place on the way to the bowl, but that turned out to be his doppelganger. And the doppelganger...he was waving, and calling to people, and switching seats. We thought it might be Eddie, maybe going to make a funny entrance to the show, as we heard he did at the Arlington Theater on a previous tour -- he swung out from one of the fake balconies.

No dice, the real Eddie came out on stage (with much better hair than the doppeganger)...

Click on that to embiggen it...he had many instuments besides the ukulele. And, apparently, many ukuleles!

A cute moment was his love/hate relationship with the mandolin. "If this is a campfire and we're out of wood, this is the first thing that will go in's the little guys you have to watch out for..." (it was even smaller than the ukulele).

And he used a lot of guitars...The whole show was fantastic.

This time Ernest had the misfortune to be seated next the biggest fan. "She kept bumping me... and my ear is numb from her screaming...then she fell over on me..." And if it had been a girl his age, maybe it would have been fun, but this was a 40 year (I'm being generous) woman.

Towards the end of the show Glen came back and they did "Falling Slowly" together. Beautiful.

Oh, I'm still swooning over his voice and I can't write reviews anyway....just breathe...

(music starts at about 2:10)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sights on Sunday

I think we'll see the usual sights around here today.

That poor barbecue...this was it 2 and a half years ago,

The husband kept patching it...and patching it...

finally I saw some new ones at Costco

and he brought this baby home so today he will inagurate it.

I like the new one because of the cutting board shelves...he won't have to put his paraphernalia on the chairs or ground.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Top of the World

Ernest and his cousin have been doing some serious mountain biking and the other day they were at the the top of the world (locally). They could see the ocean on one side and the valley on the other. While they were on top of the world, I nervously waited at home because they were out of cell phone range. It's hard on a mom when your 6 foot tall baby goes free-range.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Butterflies are Back

The butterflies are back at the natural history museum.

(Here's a prior year's visit. This time I was by myself.)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Most Adorable

You know I love my Homer. Homer, my darling, when you look at me with those big eyes, I can forgive you almost anything (such as your litterbox stench) when I see your sweet sweet face.

But then I started playing with the fisheye feature on the camera. Sorry baby, I couldn't resist.

I'm trying to make you look like one of those big-eyed paintings.

Oh, Mrs. G, there's so much cat art out there.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th

It's that time of year again. Time for Nathan's hot dog eating contest.

This is about all we could manage.

Ernest will be in the parade with the cyclists. (I'll add a picture when we get back.)

Since it's just too darn hot outside...

...we're foregoing our usual barbecue in favor of tacos, which can be cooked indoors.

Then off to the fireworks. I need some photo tips for shooting fireworks.

And for your amusement, here's a Robot Chicken take on the day.

Happy Independence Day!