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Well, it's the night before the big show and it's about 10 minutes until I go to bed. We had a run through of the set again tonight and things sounded as good as we've ever heard them. We're super excited and I'm sure the nervousness will set in sometime about the point where we're setting up and looking out and seeing people in the audience. If I owe you an email, I'll get back to you soon, I promise. Hopefully my next update will involve talking about a successful show.

Oh, and if you're coming to the show tomorrow night, be sure to stop by our merchandise table and grab a limited edition Marianas button.

This has been the weekend of getting things done so far. Instead of relaxing on Friday night as usual, we hopped to it and made a run to the local hardware mega-store before coming back and working on the master bedroom for a couple hours. It seems like we've been working on it for a really long time, and we have. The fact remains, though, that it's the largest room upstairs by a big amount, and once it's finished, every other project up there will seem like much less of a headache. At any rate, we're getting much closer to finishing things up at this point. Although there are still quite a few things to be done, we're definitely on the downhill slope at this point. We need to take some pictures to remember how much of a mess it was, because in 2 months, it's going to look totally cool.

In addition to the work inside, we spent a couple hours in back of the house this afternoon pulling out a chickenwire fence that had been installed before we moved in (it served the purpose of keeping squirrels out of our produce for the summer, but it's time to move on) and generally cleaned up the yard. Looking back there after we were finished, it was a good feeling. Even though we didn't technically actually do a lot of work, the yard seems bigger than it did before, and we're inspired to keep going on the different projects that we have in mind for it.

The housework weekend will probably continue tomorrow with more sanding and scraping and plastering. I'm also trying to write my reiews extra early this week, because band and The Big Show on Wednesday is going to eat up most of the rest of the week. Speaking of reviews, I wrote some for last week as usual. I know I've said it before, but damn, there's a lot of great music that came out this year.

It's pretty much the same old going down here on this front. Tooth socket is slowly healing up, band is practicing quite a bit in preparation for the huge opening slot for My Morning Jacket next week (I'm sure I've mentioned that before, right?), and I mowed the lawn for the first time in quite awhile last night. Zoey is still rocking the town, and she's much more snuggly now that it's getting a bit cooler outside. Snuggly puppies are nice.

puppy kisses

Well, near-daily updates have turned into near-weekly ones and once again I find myself at the end (beginning?) of the week and wondering where the time has went. Oh yeah, it was productive, and things are all coming together nicely, but I sometimes wish that it was possible for me to only sleep for 1 or 2 hours a night (instead of 6 or so) and be fully rested, simply so I could accomplish a little more (like finish those books I've been plowing through for forever now).

This last week was a non-stop barrage of music practice with the band and healing up from a pretty major dental surgery procedure that I had on Tuesday. It was the second part of the whole implant procedure, and this was the part where they cut the gum and peel it back and drill into my jawbone and insert a metal implant up into it with a small ratchet-like tool. The whole procedure took about an hour, and I had only local anesthesia and varying volumes of Front 242's Evil Off to keep my mind on different things. I'm still working on my endontist to send me pictures from the whole thing so I can do a little more interesting write-up about it all, but I'm not sure whether that will happen or not. Perhaps the most interesting item of note from the surgery is that I actually have bone from a dead person in my mouth now (call me Frankenstein face if you like). It's true. Because of bone density reduction due to the infection in my other tooth (that was pulled back in June), I needed a small bone graft so that things would look similar when the new tooth was put in. So, what was really little more than powdered tooth from a tissue and bone bank (sterilized many times, of course) was inserted up under my gum and will be allowed to fuse with the bone in my mouth. Big fun! Now, I have to wait 4 more months for my bone to fuse to the implant, then I can get a temporary abutment and finally a permanent abutment and a new tooth (crown). The entire process taking roughly 10 months (which I knew would be the case when I started this thing).

Anyway, other than the tooth, Marianas has been practicing hard for the big gig with My Morning Jacket (who made an appearance on Conan O'Brein this week, lest you doubt their current hype level) and the set is coming together nicely. With the two new members (Tom and Malcom), our sound has really filled out even more and gone in different directions, both of which are good things. We've even been slowly working on fleshing out some new songs, although I think that only one of them will make an appearance at the Ranch Bowl when we play in just under two weeks. We're freaking excited to say the least.

Finally, TG and I rented Catch Me If You Can last night as some light entertainment and it worked like a charm. There's nothing offensive or challenging about it, but sometimes that's ok, darnit. It was enjoyable and fun and the visuals and music were great, so I'd have to recommend it, even if you're one of those people who are like "Spielberg/Hanks/DeCaprio, what good could come of that?" Just before the movie started (and just after the rating bar flashed across the screen), I actually turned to TG and said something like, "this is the first non-R movie I can remember us watching in a long time" (it was PG-13).

I have kind of a bum neck and sometimes it flares up pretty badly. I think it's mainly due to bad posture and bad sleeping habits (sleeping on my stomach with my pillow crunched into a huge ball), and when it's had enough, it lets me know. This morning was one of those times, and I woke up feeling just a little bit better than earlier this year when I had to go to the doctor because I could barely move my head at all. After a morning of stretching, and re-arranging my workstation in my office, it seems to be feeling on the upswing. Sheesh.

TG and I have watched two movies this weekend, and they were sort of on the opposite spectrum of enjoyment. Personal Velocity was a trilogy of stories told with one film, linked together in a rather flimsy way (it seems that this part was only added in order to somehow link them, not adding in any way to the movie itself). A story of three different stories of women, it fortunately got better as it went on, with the second story better than the first and the final story better than either of the previous. Mainly, though, I was just annoyed by the constant use of voice-over narration (stating the obvious on many occasions), as well as the gratuitious use of still-frame to illustrate a point (again, making things painfully obvious). Not so good...

On the other side of things was Read My Lips, an absolutely great French film that TG picked out simply by deciding it looked good after reading the back of the DVD case in the store. As it turns out, it was better than good, a super-suspensful film that at some points played sort of like a modern-day update on Hitchcock's Rear Window (one of my favorite films of all-time). The homages were subtle, though, and the story had some nice twists and characters that started out with their quirks but were easy to empathize with. I'd have to recommend this one highly.

Finally, if you live in Lincoln or anywhere near and want to check out our group. (The) Marianas (Sleepytime Trio) will be playing a subdued show down at The Coffee House tomorrow evening (Monday, Sept 15th) at 8p.m. with The Amazing Disappearing (guitar and cello duo). Should be a good little quiet time.

Almost an entire week without posting. Wow. To say that the last week has been busy would be an understatement. It would also be redundant, but if you've been reading this site up to this point, you probably realize that I repeat myself far too much...

At any rate, this past week has been great in so many ways, I'll try to get them all down. First off, the weather seems to have finally switched over to a fall mode for good (fingers crossed). Down into the 50s at night and up into the 70s (or very low 80s) during the day. We got some rain last week, which was much-needed, and it's generally been really nice and comfortable out. The second big thing of note (actually probably the biggest) is that Marianas has gotten a _huge_ opening gig. On Wednesday, October 1st, we'll be travelling to Omaha to open for My Morning Jacket and The Sleepy Jackson at the Ranch Bowl. We're the first of the three bands that night, and we were all high-fiving and celebrating at practice on Thursday night, not only because it's a big show, but because we all enjoy the work of the band as well. This will be our first real big show for a big-name band and it will also be our first unveiling of our new lineup. I know I mentioned it before, but we've added a drummer/percussionist (Tom) and bass/horn player (Malcom), both good friends of ours. We've been working our asses off to get a good set together and our songs have changed and bulked-up and generally become a lot better. We are hugely stoked, to say the very least. Mark your calendars.

In other news, Zoey got the stitches out this morning from her spaying surgery, so she's back to full strength again. I obviously didn't do a whole lot with this site last week, but I did manage to churn out the new reviews as usual. Speaking of music, this year is turning out to be absolutely killer in terms of good music coming out. I have a feeling that when it comes time to do my year-end list, I'll probably have to expand it to 25 from 20, simply because of the amount of great music that I've heard and would like to share with other people.

Also speaking of music, Johnny Cash passed away two days ago, and it bummed me out more than any other musician dying since I've been alive. I've listened to Cash since I was a youngster, and although I went through periods of my life where I didn't own any of his work, I've always had a place in my heart for his music. He wasn't country, he wasn't rock, he just made great music that was quite often moving and touching. He transcended genres. Punks, indie-rockers, country-lovers, and all kinds of people liked his music, and he spoke to people through his music for at least 5 decades. There aren't a whole lot of musicians you can say that about. Mr. Cash will be missed in this household (TG is a big fan as well).

Another busy couple of days this weekend, although there was a little bit of time in there to relax, which was nice. Today, I helped TG measure out our entire lot for a landscape design class that she's taking. It was actually quite a bit of fun to run around with a tape measure and get everything down on paper. Now that she has all the rough measurements, she has to transcribe everything to a scale drawing, then totally re-design the property in terms of landscaping elements that should be taken away and added. The final result will probably be the projects that keep us busy outside during the fall and then again next spring, but it should be a lot of fun. Bonus is that we won't have to pay for a landscape architect, and she'll learn a good chunk about doing it herself (and I'll help, of course).

Once again, I've neglected to shave for almost a week. Although it would probably save me time in the long run to shave a couple times a week, it seems like lately I've been going nonstop until I simply crash into a pile in bed. Fortunately, I've been getting in some reading before turning out the lights, and I'm about halfway through one book and one-fifth through another (I've only finished 6 so far this year, which is totally crap). So it goes, I guess. Taking up one hobby more (in this case, music) reduces the amount of time to be spent on other things.

As I suspected, TG and I are totally flying through the Simpsons Season 3 box set. We've already watched 1.5 discs of the 4 discs of material, and there's no release date in sight for Season 4 still. When you're not in the mood for sitting down and watching an entire movie, let me tell you that watching 2 or 3 episodes makes for a great option.

Zoey is back from the vet and doing well. Her energy levels are a bit down, but that's to be expected only one day after such a major puppy surgery. We now have the somewhat difficult task of keeping her from zooming around for the next week while the stiches heal, so it will probably mean more time confined to single rooms instead of free roam of the entire house as she usually has. I have to admit, I missed the little pup even after only one day away. I need to get some more pictures and put them up here, because it's not like anyone reads this thing to listen to me blather on. They want puppy pictures, darn it!

Self-linking is fun. Music reviews for the week (and fast approaching number 1100).

The long weekend was nice and already the week is half over with. The temperatures have creeped into moderate zones (with absolutely lovely cool at night) and the days are getting shorter all the time. It's heading into my favorite season of the year, and things are going well in general.

Today was sort of a bummer because we took Zoey in to get spayed. We couldn't feed her after midnight last night, so this morning when she came downstairs and expected to see her morning meal, I think she could already tell that something was up. On the way to the vet, she was a bit fussy and nervous, but overall did pretty well up to the handoff point. We got a call today around lunch that things went well and she's spending the night and we'll go get her after work tomorrow evening and dote like crazy I'm sure. TG went out and bought her a couple new kinds of treats, because we're silly like that and I think she'll need some spoiled time after her first night away from home and a somewhat painful ordeal. I have no doubt she'll bounce back quick, though, and be tearing around the house again in no time.

On the band front, there are several things in the works. I know I already mentioned adding new member(s), but there are other little things churning in addition to that. The original three-piece will be playing a chilled-out set at The Coffee House in Lincoln, Nebraska on Monday September 15th, but we're waiting to let loose with the other information until the time is right and ready. I think it will be worth it.

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