Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Morning After

Preppygirl's birthday was yesterday and we celebrated in grand fashion. My mother, Eileen, took the kiddoes on around noon and kept them overnight. Having the house to ourselves, we behaved like energetic newlyweds - and cleaned the place.

Let the drinking begin!
Preppygirl clobbered the indoors whilst I humiliated our yard.

Galoot - Yuengling Black & Tan

After some heavy vacuuming, Pgirl hit the mall to find a new top for the evening. I stayed behind to tackle the computer area and take a shower.

Galoot - another B&T

We hit Southern Tier Brewing (just a few short miles from the house) for some new brews, a tour and some barroom monologues by a board member of the arts council I work for. Fun was had by all.

Pgirl and Galoot - 1 each - Hop-Sun Brew and Cherry Wheat

Next we headed for our favorite hipster restaurant, Forte, for din-din. Unfortunately, after hosting a rehearsal-dinner the night before and the current slate of diners, the kitchen had run out of food. It was 9:30, so we had to act quickly. We made a bee-line for The Pub and ate a Caesar Salad, Veggie Lasagna and Stuffed Shells.

Pgirl - 1 glass of Pinot Grigiot
Galoot - 1 glass of Merlot

Our hungers sated, we returned to Forte for drinks. Mr. Social and Ian soon joined us and we had fun catching up with some of the other patrons. Mr. Social and I began to pine for Steely Dan songs, but could only come up with fragments of tunes. After getting stuck on a Donald Fagen solo tune, I ran upstairs to my work office and printed the lyrics to "New Frontier". We tried to orchestrate a sing-along in the bar, but no one bit.

Pgirl and Galoot - 1 bottle of Pinot Evil
Pgirl - a glass of a wine she can't remember
Galoot - a very dry martini with 3 large queen olives

Around midnight, our crew of four (and some stragglers from Forte) trekked a few blocks to close out the Wine Cellar. Things just got sillier here. The drinks flowed and so did the electronic darts. Team Cricket was the game and we were loud and obnoxious. I put $5 into the CD jukebox and programmed all 18 songs from The Clash's "London Calling". Pgirl picked 7 more tunes for her birthday. It was 1:30 in the morning before our music started playing and the darts raged on. The bar let us hang out until 2:15 before showing us the door.

Pgirl - glass of white wine (from a box) and an imported beer in a bottle
Galoot - 1 gin & tonic and a Phin & Matt Brew from Southern Tier

Finally, our gang of four rolled over to Aldo's for a late night/early morning of breakfast and prank calls. Brother Tim will has a lot of voice mails to listen to. By night's end, we were discussing "The Young Ones" and laughing our asses off.

It was a good time.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

13 Items Regarding This Link

Watch this before reading ahead:

Meet Bob Chautauqua

1. This is a video my improv troupe made to promote the county we live in.
2. All five of the troupe members contributed to the project:
- Jane and Mr. Social (Preppygirl’s brother) work for the company backing the project and came up with all of the locations and the scripted segments.
- Kip handled all of the taping duties and worked with Mr. Social on the edit.
- Ian played Isaac, the Amish guy who walks into some of the shots. Jane plays the woman on the park bench.
- Both Jane and Mr. Social did the additional voiceovers.
3. All of us contributed to the direction of the piece.
4. Bob is a character I made up while goofing on the idea of an area spokesperson, a few years ago.
5. I forgot the fake moustache on one of the taping days. In those shots, Bob's back is turned or his face is obscured by an object.
6. I've had to do Bob's moustache with a make-up pencil and an eyelash brush when the real thing wasn't available.
7. Two lakes were featured - Erie and Chautauqua.
8. Welch’s Grape Juice (courtesy of Mr. Lincoln) still has operations in our area.
9. Some of the cutting room floor stuff included Bob’s interaction with a dog and a goose.
10. Bob’s dialect is my heightened version of a Great Lakes dialect.
11. Major Kong (our production moniker) is an offshoot of the Guests which focuses on scripted and recorded material.
12. I work in the building above the marquee featured in the video.
13. The long-haired man Bob shakes hands with is founding 10,000 Maniac, Dennis Drew (And my tenuous connection -r- !)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It takes a bandwidth of millions...

My kids like Disney. Ten years ago, I would have said, "My kids have been tainted by Disney!" Parenthood, however, has made me a bit less jaded. While I don't embrace the commercialism that my children relish, I accept that I was the target of it 30 years ago.

Nevertheless, I still try to offer my kids alternatives to what they are watching and listening to. I bought Preppygirl II an alternative-country compilation CD called "The Bottle Let Me Down - Songs For Bumpy Wagon Rides". This one features Alejandro Escovedo, The Handsome Family and Jon Langford, among others. It is full of classic children's song covers and a few originals. Best of all, the kiddoes and we parents can enjoy the tunes as well. I have every intention of buying kid's music from Dan Zanes and They Might Be Giants. Alt-rock for kids! I think the Violent Femmes owe us an album of nursery school songs.

On the televised front, Preppygirl and I have made certain that the little ones are watching some "classics" along with their diet of Nicktoons. "Wallace and Grommit", "The Snowman" and "Pee Wee's Christmas Special" live on our DVD shelves. Once in a while, I'll sneak in a "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast". "The Electric Company" and "The Muppet Show" have also made it into the collection.

Not every choice I make on the kids' behalf works, though. I can't seem to get them to embrace rap. Preppygirl II would dance to A Tribe Called Quest as a toddler, but could care less about it now. There's hope for Galoot Jr., though. Last week, I tried to get him to do a call and response thing with me, ala Public Enemy. If I yell "Bass!", I want him to yell "How low can you go?" Sadly, he would just mimic me, yelling back, "Bass!" PGirl2 will do it, but move on to other things soon after. So, on Saturday, I propped Jr. on my lap and brought up In a few moments, PE's "Bring The Noise" video was streaming. Fists raised in unity, my son and I made a connection. The boy got it. I called, he responded. We worked on it for the rest of the weekend, until it was ingrained in him like "London Bridges". And when I showed my wife a movie trailer on Quicktime last night, Jr. walked up to the computer monitor, turned to me and said, "I want bass." I nearly cried.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

Well, it has been a great one so far! Preppygirl II woke me up with a card that had pictures she had drawn. One was of herself as a baby, the other one was of Galoot Jr. on fire. Not sure how I feel about that one.

There was also a hand-written I.O.U. from Preppygirl about my forthcoming gift – Roadhouse Special Edition DVD! I can’t wait. As I ate a Father’s Day breakfast at Aldo’s diner with the family and father-in-law, the Silver Fox, I reminisced about the year that “Roadhouse” came out, 1989…

What a year. I finished my Junior year of high school and prepared for Senior year by beginning the growth of my first and last mullet. That summer also featured my best summer job ever – usher and snack seller at Loew’s Cinemas in Florence, Kentucky.

It was quite a season for film. At our theater alone, we screened “The Abyss”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “Lethal Weapon 2” and “When Harry Met Sally”. The highlight for me was selling concessions to Ozzy Osbourne and his entourage on a sleepy Sunday evening in August. What a thrill! He had come out to see Weird Al’s “UHF”. None of the mostly adult patrons recognized him. However, after a break-time phone call to friend Kenny, a dozen or so teens were outside to greet the legend as he left early.

Showcase Cinemas in Erlanger also had some winners too, including “Batman” and “Weekend At Bernie’s” (itself a DVD gift to the Silver Fox from Preppygirl). Sadly, Showcase also screened “Star Trek V” and “Ghostbusters 2”.

Anyway, I must be going to do some housework. I kind of relaxed yesterday, so I need to make up for lost time. So, if you’re thinking of popping in a movie on this humid summer day, look no further than 1989 for your entertainment. (“Beaches” and “Uncle Buck” are also perfectly fine movies from that year.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

13 Things About My New Office

1. Overlooks 3rd Street and the marquee for the Civic Center which my new employer is affililiated with.
2. Computer is an iMac that is probably 6 years old. It has crashed 3 times already today.
3. Within 3 blocks of 2 bars and my bank.
4. Parking garage is directly across the street (looking forward to refuge from the winter.
5. Central air conditioning!
6. Walls now contain several posters from my college days and a framed Greek festival poster from Finneytown, OH (Panegyri! Opa!).
7. Very cool restaurant exists downstairs.
8. Floor space is occupied by my predecessor's paper work. I'm trying to sift through it all. Preppygirl helped out after lunch today.
9. At least I can stream some radio through this computer.
10. Lots of stairs to climb throughout the day.
11. An elevator, too, for those blah days.
12. I can see plants growing out of a chimney on the Commons Mall building.
13. It has potential.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Thursday 13 - On Friday!

1. Today was the last day of classes at my school. The principal was trying to convince me to buy a house down the street from here. Sadly, I must be going…
2. I might watch some of the MTV Movie Awards. Might.
3. One of my improv students was listening to some streaming audio on a school computer. I told him to check out The revolution has begun.
4. My nose hairs need clipping.
5. I was given a going-away gift of a blanket with the school logo on it. Then, my name was pulled for a door prize. The only remotely appealing item was a St. Benedict crucifix on a chain. I broke the last cross and chain I had, so I figured, “What the heck?”. When I got back to my table, I realized the chain would be more like a choker for me. I don’t have a thatch of chest hair for it to sit upon, nor do I resemble Scott Baio. I’ll give it to one of the kids.
6. Aren’t there bigger issues than gay marriage to be tackling right now? And which people “have spoken”?
7. I need to take my old office posters to my new office.
8. Every office space has one of those “talky guys” who stop by when you’re working to chat about nothing in particular. Ours just made an appearance. He was interested in purchasing a keyboard stand to use as a golf bag holder. Gotta love it.
9. My nose hairs still need clipping.
10. These scissors should help.
11. Much better!
12. I can leave soon.
13. I’m bringing my dog in to work tomorrow.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Guilty Pleasures of Mine

1. For Better or For Worse – The Comic Strip
This one is sentimental as they come. I’ve grown up with this strip and love how the characters have aged in real time. FBFW doesn’t tackle social issues as much as it plays flag football with them.

2. Steely Dan
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have been churning out light rock hits since I was in diapers. I still don’t get all the references in their lyrics – but I rarely turn the dial when one of their songs is on the radio.

3. Road House
Look a couple of blogs below.

4. The Cosby Show
Man I wish I had been a Huxtable.

5. Peanut Butter On A Spoon
Preppygirl is sure to chime in on this one. When I crave a late-night snack but don’t want to prepare much, this hits the spot. Be sure to clean the spoon afterwards to destroy the evidence.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thursday 13 – June 1 Edition

Things on my mind right now:

1. Since I am leaving this job soon, I don’t have to handle parents who call the office when the cast lists for the plays and musicals go up. Part of me is glad I don’t have to explain to justify casting decisions to people. The other part wants to console and encourage both parent and student to try again at the next audition.

2. Soon I won’t be driving a 90 mile round trip every week day. Upside: Less money spent on fuel. Downside: Now I’ll be buying more expensive gas in New York state. I’m used to buying cheaper fuel where I work in Pennsylvania. What the hell, New York? Am I paying more money for gas because I live in the same state as New York City? Let it secede and form its own state!

3. The Buffalo Sabres are in the finals of the Eastern NHL playoffs. That is kind of cool.

4. Pardon The Interruption is my favorite sports show on television.

5. Still have to raise several thousand dollars to take a musical to Scotland in August. If you know of any potential donors, drop me a line.

6. Thursday used to be the night I’d watch Cosby, Family Ties, Cheers and Night Court with my family. I miss those Thursdays.

7. Vito got whacked on “The Sopranos” a couple of weeks ago. The actor who played him was on Stern last week where he was loose and funny. Then he was on Fresh Air yesterday where he was abrasive and unappealing. Maybe he had a bad day.

8. I read some Baxter Black cowboy poetry to my son last night. He fell asleep within minutes.

9. I tried to find a Captain Underpants book to read to my daughter, but I failed.

10. Preppygirl’s circle of blogger friends are a pretty fun group to hear from. They all seem to have a lot in common. If they are anything like Preppygirl, their significant others are lucky.

11. I’ll have to mow the lawn very soon.

12. Lunch is less than an hour away.

13. “Friday The 13th” is airing on IFC soon. Check it out in the widescreen!