Wow. That weekend went by pretty quick and I have tons of things I could talk about but it's late and I'm not sure I want to keep sitting in the basement when I could be in bed catching up on lost sleep. At any rate, I will give the quick rundown and maybe fill in the blank spots later.
On Friday, we finally got some central air installed and it is really worth the money spent. Considering that Saturday was easily one of the hottest days of the year so far, it came just in time, and I must say that it's nice to come into the house and actually have it cooler inside than it is out. Over the course of Friday and Saturday evening, TG and I watched 3 seperate movies, and they were all of varying quality. Tully, and it was one of the best of the bunch. It was actually filmed in Nebraska here, and it was funny pointing out the Joyo Theater. The movie was sort of a bittersweet look at small-town life and people growing up and both apart and together. I'd definitely recommend it. The second of the batch was the highly-disappointing Love Liza, a film that I'd heard both good and bad about. I'm a huge fan of work by Philip Seymour Hoffman, but this movie just left me in a literal daze. I don't mind slow movies, but there were so many pointless scenes and even annoying ones that I just can't bring myself to recommend it. There was one really seriously hilarious moment (that was in the trailer), but it doesn't make up for things. Dogtown and Z-Boys was the final film of the triumverate, and it was a great little documentary about early skateboardin' daze out in southern California. Both entertaining and educational, I really enjoyed the heck out of it (I went through a skater phase, so I even remembered and knew a good bit of the names involved). At any rate, highly recommended.
The rest of the weekend was spent doing things inside mainly, because it was pretty brutal outside. Tonight, we had a show at the Zoo Bar, which I mentioned below. It was a benefit show for a rally that's taking place next weekend in Omaha and it was a really great time. It was the most loose I'd felt for a show, and I thought the performance was good as well. We did a cover of Bob Dylan's "Masters Of War" and did an extended rock-out jam of "Body Is A Sail" and closed with a brand-spanking new track. The only bad thing is that I botched things when I plugged into the soundboard to record it, so our audio recording of the show is unfortunately hosered and buried in about 6 layers of fuzz. We'll just have to play another show soon again (hopefully!).
As usual, this is a frantically busy week. It seems to be the pattern that things have fallen into this summer, but that's a good thing because I rather enjoy being really busy. If you live in Lincoln or anywhere near, we (Marianas) have a show upcoming this Sunday evening (the 27th) at the Zoo Bar downtown. This will be yet another venue that we haven't played yet, and the show is actually a benefit concert for the Speak Out At Stratcom rally that's going on in Omaha in two weekends from now. The lineup for the night is an interesting one as well. Kevin Chasek will be playing some indie-folk type stuff, then there will be 30 minutes of belly dancing before our set. It's a good cause and we're going to try to put on a good show (as usual).
Because the rest of this week will be busy, I'm not sure when I'll be posting. My new motto for the site is, "if you don't have anything to say, post a puppy picture, because people like puppies..."
Today, I went to the funeral of a classmate of mine that I went to school with from Kindergarten through graduation. I went to school in a small town, and our graduating class was only 30 students. Of that 30, there were probably roughly 18 or so who had literally gone to school together for 12 years. It was an unexpected death (obviously, at the age of only 27), but it was from natural causes. When I went to the funeral, only an hours drive away, I saw many people that I hadn't seen in almost 10 years. It's almost completely my fault that I haven't kept in touch with anyone that I went to school with. Over the course of the four years in high-school, I felt like I slowly grew away from most of the people that I'd spent so much time with over the years. We were all starting to form our own opinions on things, and some of us didn't happen to have the same ones. I didn't dislike anyone that was in my class, rather I just sort of ran out of things that we had in common. When I was back, it was nice to see everyone and talk a little, but I ultimately felt uncomfortable. I felt like some sort of outsider, which is partially my own making. The circumstances were unfortunate and sad for being there, but I'm glad that I went.
I realized that since getting a puppy, I havn't upheld the puppy-picture to website ratio that I should be. Hopefully I can make up for that a bit with this one and more forthcoming...
After a rather busy week and knowing that the next one will be just as bad, TG and I decided to take a night and just relax and sit in our very hot livingroom and watch a couple movies for once. The first movie of the evening was Pornstar: The Legend Of Ron Jeremy, and although it was funny in places, I really didn't think it was that great. I'm a big fan of documentaries, and I think that the material they had was pretty decent, but the focus of the whole thing was too much on the porn and partying. Granted, that's a large part of the lifestyle of Jeremy, but towards the end the filmmakers starting touching on some pathos and insecurities that had me a lot more interested than anything else. He seems happy-go-lucky most of the time, but there was definitely a side that started showing through that made it pretty easy to tell that he was covering up some pretty big issues (and who wouldn't have issues after working in the porn industry for 25 years?). As a side note, the other parts of the film I found the most intriguing were the interviews with the porn stars themselves. It's a completely different world, and there are a couple short interviews that completely give that away and basically made me wriggle in my chair a bit. Weird stuff.
The other movie we watched was Laurel Canyon, and again, despite some good moments, it left me feeling very little one way or the other. Some good performances, but it felt too overemotional and drama-school at times. There was a great part of the plot that dealt with a band trying to record a record for a big label that I found very interesting, but the relationships and interaction between the characters felt pretty forced at times (especially with Kate Beckinsdale). Blah Blah. Not horrible, not amazing.
We also managed to get our third review in as many weeks for the album. This one is on a UK site, and although it's short and not quite as positive as the previous two, it has some good things to say. If you want to read the whole thing, go here.
Three familiar refrains. The heat index was down to 107 today, but it still felt brutal. We started recording a new song in practice tonight. I posted some new reviews. HOTT!
This week is already kicking my butt in a big way, but it's going by rather quickly, so that's a good thing. The weather was at its most brutal yesterday and the heat index reached 114 degrees. When I watched the evening news report at 6pm, the actual temperature was still 99. Today it cooled down into the upper 80s and I felt like wearing a sweatshirt this morning. The rest of the week is hit-or-miss, with not much chance for rain, then one week from this Friday the central air is finally installed. Whoot!
After band practice last night, we readied a big update for the band site, and it turns out that we had yet another thing to add this morning as we got our second review at Lazy-I. It's slightly less positive than the first review we got, but still says some good things (and is nice overall) about the release. It will be reprinted in this weeks Omaha Weekly Reader for those who live in the area and want to check out a print copy. Speaking of the band site update, spin on over there to download yet another song (from our recent live show at Duffy's), as well as watch a video from the same performance. We still have a few CDs left to sell as well.
Whew. Another weekend has flown by and now I'm coming out the other side and steadying myself for another week. Once again, I managed to get a lot of things done in only two days, and the house projects are coming along nicely. Last night, I realized that I had a little bit of time before bed, so I went into the bedroom and chipped up yet more tile and tarpaper, leaving only a small (probably 3 by 3 feet) patch to finish, and TG went in today and cleaned up the remaining tar with the solvent. Things are getting much closer on the room, and our goal is to have it finished by the fall sometime. Hardwood floor, refinished woodwork, and all the small plaster cracks fixed and repainted. In terms of being finished, we're probably about half there, but it's a lot more heartening to look in now and feel like we're on the downhill slope instead of still climbing a steep incline.
Also today, I finally (after weeks of saying I would do it) put up the last of the three screen doors that we bought a couple months ago. It ended up being much easier than I'd planned on, which is probably mainly due to the experience of putting up the other two. I can almost shim like a pro at this point.
Also forgot the mention the amount of bomb de la bomb foods that TG has cooked lately. Last week, she put together some fresh pesto and pasta with garlic havarti that was absolutely stunning, and this weekend she made some roasted new potatoes with dill and garlic that went along with steamed veggies and lentils. It's much better than any restaurant you could get around here. Damn!
The first one-third of this month is probably the least that I've posted to this section since I started it about a year and a half ago. It's been one of those times where I'm busy with anything and everything, and sitting down at night to write about my thoughts isn't usually the first thing on my mind at night. Not only that, but I don't have a lot of amazingly interesting details of my life to post. The funny thing I've noticed is that overall traffic to my site is down this month, so it's not like most people are missing anything anyway. It's a down month, everyone is busy, and I'm just trying to last for two more weeks until central air is installed in the house. It's not overwhelming or anything since we have window airs cranking much of the time, but it's not like the place is really comfortable either. The living room temperature hovers between 80 and 88 (according to the thermostat), but given the weather we've been having, even that feels pretty good most of the time.
Because I don't have much of anything to say right now, I'll simply point you in the direction of a hilarious and slightly disturbing photoshop website (check out gallery pages 20-25 before giving up) and send you on the way to new reviews.
Oh, and did I mention that we've started some more new tracks with the band? Nothing solidified yet in terms of recording, but lots and lots of cool bits that will hopefully eventually come together into really cool tracks. The way our luck has been going, we'll finish the second album before we get any more reviews for the first one.
This was one of those weekends where I know that I was pretty much busy all the time, yet looking back I can barely pull out individual things that I accomplished. I know that Friday was spent mainly doing yardwork, which was good because we'd neglected things for awhile. I mowed and did my thing while TG did her usual weed-whacking and we split the difference on everything else. It was also one of those days that was very warm, yet very sneaky about being so. We were both busy running around, sweating just a little bit, then both realized that we were lightheaded and needed a drink.
In the past couple days, we've also done several small things that have overall made the house a much more comfortable place. The first thing we did was to move the extra window air conditioner (the one that we pulled out of the master bedroom when we started work on that and had been sitting under the basement stairs since) to the dining room on the first floor. Although it doesn't cool off the entire first level, it makes things a lot more bearable with the strategic placement of a couple fans and the living room is no longer getting up to 88 degrees (as it did one evening a week ago when it was hot). The next thing we did was buy a large dehumidifier for the basement area. Although we've never really had any problems with moisture in the basement, it has been pulling about 2 gallons of water out a day, and we simply use that water on our herbs and flower garden, somehow continuing the cycle. Meanwhile, the basement seems to be a bit warmer than it did before we bought the dehumidifier, but it doesn't feel quite as sticky.
The puppy is still being her usual puppy self, and I swear she's grown detectable amounts in the almost 2 weeks that we've had her so far. She still has a few bad habits in terms of chewing (what puppy doesn't?), but she's doing really well with the housetraining and is a good little buddy overall.
After a slight cooldown at the end of last week, things again broke for the much more hot again this week. A steady build-up has taken place, with yesterday clocking in at about 95 and today around 100 (with high humidity both days). This is the kind of extreme weather that people laugh about when it's nice, but it's true that in Nebraska we have several days each year that are over 100 (some of them with high humidity), while during the same year end up inevitably having severely cold days as well, with wind chills around negative 40 (this is all in Fahrenheit). We don't have central air in the house (scheduled to get it at the end of the month), so we've been frequenting the parts of the house with window airs and drinking lots of liquids. Tomorrow, there's a chance of rain, and I really hope it happens.
In addition to the heat, people started lighting off their fireworks earlier this week. It may be a sign of age, but I'm already completely tired of hearing them, and tonight was the worst. We took the dog out in the backyard to do her thing and there were fireworks lighting up they sky in all directions, sharp cracks of fireworks close by, and deep booms of something off in the distance (did someone just lose some fingers?). At any rate, I've never been a big fan of firecrackers. The noise just sort of annoys me anymore, especially when they're going off for days before and after the actual event.
Just to prove I'm not a slacker, new reviews.
Well, I guess the year is pretty much half over at this point. With everything that's gone on over the course of the past 6 months, things have pretty much been a big blur. The first couple months were dominated with finishing our album, then the third and fourth months were basically devoted to moving and settling into a new house. The past two months have been remodeling and continuation of the above items, with a large garage sale, yard work, gardening, writing for the site (including the 1000th review), a live show with the band, and getting a new puppy. That new puppy is sleeping in her bed at my feet right now, worn out from a long period of running around and playing earlier tonight. I swear that sometimes the little puppy acts like she's posessed, running from one room to the other with her ears peeled back for aerodynamics and her feet barely keeping up with her body. For all the somewhat naughty things she does (a tendency to bite fingers hard and chew on just about everything), it's good to have her around, and she's a welcome addition to the household.
So yeah, despite the past months being uber-busy, they've also been hugely fullfilling and actually quite a bit of fun. I'm one of those people who enjoys being busy with very little overall downtime, so hopefully that trend continues and there are more milestones in the next 6 months.