You Be The Judge

In addition to putting EVERYTHING in their mouths, our babies are also starting to pull themselves up to something resembling a standing position. They’re much better at climbing and babbling, but the standing is improving every day. Which means one thing: walking isn’t that far away. They appear to be right on schedule. Except for one thing – I think they’re geniuses. Maybe evil geniuses, though. I went into the kitchen to make their breakfast this morning and when I came back, they were admiring their work:




I was brushing my teeth last night and as I squeezed the toothpaste out of the tube, I started thinking back to when I was growing up. I think we predominantly used Aim toothpaste at home, but that’s not the point. The point of today’s post is how we got the toothpaste out of the tube. Everyone in our family basically just squeezed the tube wherever they could to get the toothpaste out. Not my dad. He used to squeeze from the bottom and every couple of days, he’d run the tube across the edge of the counter or something to push all the toothpaste up to the top of the tube, so it was easier to get out. I mean, it’s a minor thing, but it does make it easier. Still, he was the only one in the house who did it. Now I do it, too. I think it’s pretty rare that people do this with their toothpaste – or is it? Do you or anyone you know do it?

My dad does a lot of stuff like this – making things easier to access and/or find and being orderly with things. I think it’s because he doesn’t want to deal with the prospect of having to fight with the tube or waste time looking for something. Maybe he can comment if I’m wrong, but that’s what I’m thinking is the reason.

Extreme Makover update: they’ve pretty much finished the exterior now and most work going on is on the interior. We’re lucky to live so close – at about 6pm, the throngs of the curious public emerge, walking orderly past our house (nobody is allowed to drive on the road except residents and HUGE trucks) to see the job site. The nice part is that during the day there’s almost nobody out there, so you can get a front row seat. I’ve been out there during my lunch each day this week, taking it all in. It is awesome to watch.


You Deserve A Pee Break Today

Steph and I started seeing each other in February of 2000. One of the early dates was a visit to Improv Boston, where a small group of local actors basically make up skits on the fly and often involve the audience. Of course, I was petrified they’d pick me to go up there to do something, but other than that, we laughed like hell. It was a good time and a very funny and quick-thinking group of people. We encouraged a large group of friends to go about a month later, telling them it was hilarious. Murphy’s Law struck hard – because that night was pretty weak. So it goes.

Anyway, my point is that I love improv and spontaneous comedy involving unsuspecting real people. A friend of mine sent me this last week, where a group of New York City-based improv folks did some pretty funny stuff in a McDonald’s bathroom at Times Square. I got a good laugh out of this one – pictures and video included.

The Extreme Home Makeover people have completely taken over the neighborhood. It is really amazing to watch. Yesterday they destroyed the house in about 30 seconds. No lie. Three big yellow dozer like things with big-ass claws just rammed it twice and all four walls just fell in like it was made of glass. The foundation was put in overnight – they’re working 24 hours, all day, all week. It’s impressive and the area is just a total zoo. I can’t wait for Friday when they unveil it to the family. I rarely watch the show because that Ty dude yells too much, but I respect very much what they do. The spirit of our community is really shining a light this week. I’m extra proud to be a resident of Maynard right now.

Pictures are here. I will not post pictures of the finished product. Some things need to remain a surprise to viewers!


Move That Branch!

Back in August, you might remember that I wrote about the show Extreme Home Makeover coming to our hometown of Maynard to do some pre-screening for a family that, at the time, lived about a mile away from us. I had sort of filed in the deep recesses of my mind that they might be back at some time, but life always seems to get in the way of such things. I had kind of forgotten about it until last week when one of the production crew knocked on our door and told us to prepare for bedlam in the neighborhood because the house three doors down from us was the family whose house is being knocked down and rebuilt! Wow! I didn’t know it was on our street, much less three doors down. I even met the woman who lives here one morning when I was outside clearing snow! I didn’t even know it.

So this morning around 8am, Ty Pennington’s Bus barreled down Elm Ct and stopped in front of the house and the family ran outside in a gently falling snow, psyched beyond belief that they had been chosen. They are well deserving. Their story is in my post from August, which I linked to above. And now, starting today and culminating next Friday, they will tear down the house and build a new one so their dad and husband can come home after a year-and-a-half. How about that! We have one hell of a view from our upstairs window – it’s clear as day and very close to us, there’s a small branch obscuring one small corner of the house, but that’s it!

I’ll post pictures here and on Flickr from time-to-time as things progress.


Hey Hey River Chay

In the height of my music obsession (1993-1999), there were but a few albums that ALWAYS got airplay on my stereo. Oh, I’d go nuts for something for a year or so, but there were only a select few that just never got old. To this day, Grant Lee Buffalo’s “Mighty Joe Moon” remains one of my favorite albums of that decade and probably one of my top 10 of all time. At times gentle/acoustic and at other times forceful rock’n’roll, this was Grant Lee Phillips masterpiece. Nothing he or they did since or before even touches it, though a few came close.

So it was a huge, giant surprise when I saw that a great blog called Captain’s Dead posted an entire Grant Lee Buffalo show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles from November of 1996. It was a radio broadcast, so it’s clear as day and really gives you a sense of how powerful and passionate a musician Phillips is. It also gives you a sense of what a spaz he is, too. When I saw them at the Paradise in Boston on this tour, I truly thought he was coked up. But damn what a show they put on. Take a sample of the L.A. show here – this song is called “It’s The Life” and the last two minutes are quite funny – Phillips at his spastic best addressing an inaudible request from someone in the crowd.

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