Friday, July 31, 2015

Rocking Out At Warped Tour

Call me old, my kids do it all the time, but I am so out of touch when it comes to music. A went with her buddy to a big concert event in CT called the Warped Tour, which I had never heard of, or at least thought I'd never heard of until A informed me that it's been going on for about 20 years. This means that it existed back when I was still going to concerts, so I must have been somewhat aware of it. Also, Green Day once played there, so it's not nothing.

Whatever be the case, A went and had a great time. I think it was a pretty cool event, especially if you're young and hip. It's a big outdoor event with all sorts of bands and a variety of venues. It was an all day gig and she was gone from morning til late at night, but she came back beaming. I could tell she had fun because she was going on and on about how cool it was. The technology aspect makes today's concerts a completely different experience than when I was young, but don't get me started on that. Interestingly enough, several of her other friends were there, as well, she just didn't know it until after the fact.

I'm glad she got to go and would like to see her have a chance to see other concerts. They were always a big deal when I was younger, and you just can't beat the live music experience. This is particularly true when you're a musician.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Melanie Levi for the pic.

Busy Summer

Summer is more than half over, and it dawned on me that we are having a busy one. Between the market and mom and me both working, not to mention the kids having camp and A now gainfully employed, we are busier than ever. You don't realize it but it really creeps up on you, and before you know it, you're swamped with things to do. Oddly enough, you can be oblivious to it until you stop for a moment and reflect upon how crazy your life is.

A couple of observations: we skipped the month of June for the market because we were away and there were too many things going on, and that break really helped in terms of keeping our sanity. June is a usually a bad month for weather, anyway. As for me, it's good to have a job and make some income to help support our fabulously luxurious lifestyles, but it's also good to hang up my apron now and then and get out and interact with people in the community. Finally, I'm glad the kids are pursuing some interests and developing skills that will be fun, and hopefully useful, later in life. A has been working pretty hard and it's been a great experience, and N will have some animal care gigs coming up, so there is more in the pipeline. As I mentioned, summer is far from over.

July is coming to an end and August is upon us, so if we're lucky, the worst of summer heat may be behind us (I sure hope so) and we can cruise into fall from here. That means I'll have to step up my pace on certain projects, but that's nothing new for a real-man in training. Plus, let's not forget about school and all that good stuff.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Don Miller for the pic.

Reading Young and Hip

At the suggestion of my daughter, I have been reading young adult fiction and believe it or not, I've been really enjoying it. In fact, for the first time in more years than I can count, I even found myself staying up way past my bedtime to keep reading, and then woke up in eager anticipation of reading some more. How crazy is that? Does this mean I'm finally hip? Highly unlikely, but at least I can talk about books with the young and hip.

The books that were recommended to me included the Hunger Games series and some by the author Rainbow Rowell. The Hunger Games was really cool, and I plowed through all three books in no time. I read Fangirl, but my favorite was the book Eleanor and Park, which is set in Nebraska, of all places, and is about a half-Korean kid who falls in love with the new girl who is different and bullied at school. Somehow Rowell really did a great job of touching on the subtly painful yet magical process of young people falling in love. I couldn't put it down. Then again, I'm a sucker for a good, sappy love story, and have found that some of my favorite movies as of late are the indie love stories about young love and coming of age. While this doesn't bode well for my real-man in training status, it might win me points with the emotional and sensitive crowd. A setback, no doubt, to becoming a real man, but what are you going to do.

One thing is for certain, A is getting a huge kick out of my interest in her favorite books. We can even talk a bit about characters and plot-lines, though I've found when I bring up a revelation, she tends to roll her eyes and respond with, "Duh." Sometimes dads just can't win.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to splityarn for the pic.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Saved By a Phone Call

As I mentioned, the other day we were trapped at home cooking falafels (or at least I was trapped) and I felt bad for N because he had to hang with his boring old dad, when from the sky a ray of sunshine came in the form of a phone call from AM. She came over and took N to the pond with his buddies and I was able to keep cooking... lucky me. It was sweltering hot, and I was thinking how nice it would have been to jump in a lake, but no such luck for falafel man.

Either way, N ended up hanging with his friends for a couple of hours, and by the time AM brought him home, mom and A were just getting back, as well. By that time I was finished cooking and cleaning, and believe me when I tell you, it was Miller Time.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to plenty.r. for the pic.

Massive Falafel Cookout

I am not sure what possessed us to cook so many falafels, but this week we went a little crazy and made a massive batch. I think we soaked 14 bags and ended up with bowls after bowl of the stuff. I had to take N to his ortho appointment in the AM and when I got home, I spent 4 hours cooking the darn things. I literally started at 2:00 and finished at 6:00. It was also, without question, one of the hottest days of the year, so I was melting out there by the hot stove. I tell you, living the American Dream ain't easy. I hooked up a fan and that helped a lot, but all in all it was a brutal day.

What made it especially hard was that since I was cooking, I was locked down and couldn't go anywhere. I wanted to hit the pond with N, but couldn't leave, so he was sort of stranded, as well. Fortunately AM called and came over and picked him up, so he not only got to cool off, but he got to hang with his buddies, as well. I love when that happens.

The market was once again a little disappointing, though not bad. I think last year we had some stellar days that really raised the bar and we're hoping to emulate that, but maybe we need to get over that and just be happy that we're doing any business at all.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Gerda for the pic.

Family Movie Night

A week or two back we had family movie night out, and it actually worked out nicely because the kids got to see a modern action movie (The Avengers) complete with superheroes, villains, and plenty of explosions and sci-fi violence, and mom and I got to watch a Euro movie lots of psychological and emotional intrigue, and a smattering of obligatory European nudity. I originally wanted to see the Avengers because N and I watched the first one and it was pretty cool, but I couldn't let mom go to the thoughtful Euro movie on her own, and truth be told, it was really good. The movie was Gemma Bovary and it was a play on the novel by Flaubert, set in modern times. I liked it a lot, and figured I could watch it on Netflix when the time came.

The kids invited their buddy NP and she came over for supper and then they went to meet mom at the movie after work. It was a little bit impromptu, so I had to scramble to come up with a vegetarian dinner since she doesn't eat meat, but it worked out fine, especially with mom's garden cranking out greens and peas. NP's mom was working that evening so I think it gave her dad an evening off while we hit the cinema in the big city.

We got home late and everyone was tired, nobody more so than yours truly, but that's the life of a modern parent. No rest for the weary.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to JakeTheRandomGuy for the pic.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Waiting for Insulation

I just want to whine a little (what else is new?) about LaValley's and their delivery service. I guess I can't complain because delivery is free, but I burned my whole day waiting for them to bring over this rigid board that I ordered and I could have gotten some other things done. Then again, maybe I need to lighten up and just slow things down... nah. I ordered a load of rigid board in order to finish insulating the barn, and it came as a stack of 4X8 boards, so they are way too big to fit in the Fit. LaValley's offers free delivery for anything over $100, which is cool, but then you have to sit and wait. I'm fine with that, but I asked for a rough idea of when it would arrive and they said sometime in the late morning. Fair enough.

It was pouring all day so I couldn't do much in the yard and I didn't want to leave the insulation outside in the yard. I was going to go out and do poster boy work and do some preparation for the market, but I had to stay put for when the guy arrived because I didn't want to leave it to mom to have to deal with the delivery and then move the stuff into the barn. The situation would have been fine if I could have worked outside, cutting wood or grass. Whatever be the case, the delivery didn't show up until the afternoon, which was a bummer, but what are you going to do? The guy was really nice, so I couldn't be mad with him, and it wasn't his fault. Plus, he helped me carry the bundles into the barn and away from the rain.

I managed to get a little done in the basement chopping kindling, but I would have been happier getting some poster and market stuff done. Oh well, sometimes these things happen when you're training to be a real man.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Dineshraj Goomany for the pic.