Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Office Superstore

LC and I live in the bottom section of a medium-sized red brick house in a decidedly young-professional neighborhood. Some would mistakenly call what we live in a "basement apartment," but be aware, reader, that we do not, in fact, live in a basement. We have windows. Four of them.

I've struck a mammoth deal with the architects upstairs where we just mooch off their wireless Internet and split the bill every month. Somehow this works out to being like $3.50 per person per month, which is a good deal, barring that there are no huge bandwidth problems like when I try to set-up a download queue of the 8 best Kevin Costner movies.

So here are the things LC and I did this weekend, when, just after the architects packed their car and took off for Virginia Beach, the power flickered, and the router reset, and, trying but failing to break into their living room to fix the modem, we were left, for the entire weekend, with no Internet:

- I built a compost pile; LC dug, fertilized, and planted a 4x10 garden
- I read The Bear by William Faulkner; LC read The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- I beat (finally! finally!) the Water Temple and got the Master Sword; LC wrote all her lesson plans for the next month
- I ran ten miles; LC did not
- I got an extraordinarily large amount of writing done; LC painted a Dodo on a canvass the size of one of our biggest walls
- We went to a wine tasting, watched the Friday night concert series, and saw Who Killed the Electric Car?
- (spoiler alert! I did! I killed it!)
- We made long lists of things to Wikipedia
- I cracked the code: Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain is a straight up sample of Pepe Romero's Concierto de Aranjuez
- I bottled a 5 gallon batch of beer; LC made me put up drapes
- I built a Japanese (I think) rock and sand garden; LC watched as the neighborhood cat pooped in it

The Internet is back now, with all it's wonder, and from my desk of comfort I fondly look back at the time when we did not have its numbing convenience, and when things needed to be done, were somehow done.

Correction: Pepe Romero was not the composer of Concierto de Aranjuez. Joaquin Rodrigo is the composer. Joaquin Rodrigo.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dude. DUDE. Seriously.

One workday and two gigs away from vacating my current climes for ones much more tropic and (one hopes not too much) hurricane-prone, I thought: I should share a story with you. And it's a story you'll get.

We were playing a frat gig at a small, private school. As we loaded in, the air hung heavy with anticipation and pot smoke. Dudes wandered through, assessing our progress and more:

Dude: [to me] Hey! What do you play? The BEARD?!

An awkward silence followed. He then queried guitarist Boobers:

Dude: And what do you play? THE SURFBOARD?!?!!??!
Boobers: Uh....

It's not that I don't think Boobers looks like he could conceivably command a surfboard. It's more that WHY ARE YOU SO HIGH AND TALKING TO US, DUDE. That's pretty much how I felt. Which is probably unfair.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


The wild, buccaneering, gorgeously named Ephraim Wales Bull, pictured below with the original concord grapevine. A womanizer, a moneylender, a trader of feral dogs and blackmarket hot chocolate, he bred and propagated over 20,000 grapevines native to the New England soil, and from the many, he chose one, and it was concord, a grape he deemed "the perfect grape," a grape famous across the world for nothing less than its astonishing mediocrity.

Enter, then, Dr. Thomas Welch, a Virginia dentist with a penchant for sweet milk, basement culinary tinkering, and men with beards. Dr. Welch and his wife, knowing a good thing when they saw it, ganked "the grape of the millions" from the perpetually roaming Ephraim, pasteurized it, and tossed it in the freezer. Throw in a good label and a cute kid, and therein lies the recipe for millions. Dr. Thomas Welch, one should know, never gave up his dental career. Teeth were his thirty-two true callings.

The point of all this? I'm trying to write a back label for a wine bottle, and back labels for wine bottles are boring, and I'm bored.

Monday, August 04, 2008

And the stinger might still be in there

So I swallowed a bee. Story here.