Friday, December 22, 2006

Kicking it old skool

Last night was a trip down memory lane, and it was excellent, but I woke up this morning feeling rather nostalgic and heavy of heart. It started with dinner with two of my friends from my first job in Boston at Gargoyles on the Square in Davis Square in Somerville. The ambience of this restaurant is really interesting. The bar area was packed, but the restaurant only had a third of the tables filled. And the decor and lighting almost makes you think that the dining experience is going to be rather snooty, but they were playing 1970s disco and Barry White over the sound system!

Once we got over the fact that the menu was a bit intimidating (sometimes less is more in terms of the description of meals, I have learned,) we had a delicious meal, full of flavors. I had the hoisin & honey glazed duck confit with sweet stickly rice, mango,cashews, young coconut milk. I can highly recommend that; I cleaned my plate. I kind of felt a little bit like a pig, actually, but I didn't have an appetizer, and I was on my second glass of prosecco by the time the food was served. So it was probably better that I cleaned my plate. I had really fallen out of touch with these friends, and it was only at the beginning of this year that we started hanging out again, so it was nice that we ended the year together as well.

After that, I headed over to the Kirkland Cafe. That was after calling PunkRockMom to say "I am lost in Somerville after dark again. Get me out of here!!" It turned out that I was lost in the exact same area that I was lost the LAST time I called PRM when I was lost in Somerville. I think that I am actually finally getting the lay of the land now because I realized that I was lost in the same place; it only took ten years.

ANYHOW, the point of going to the Kirkland was to see the reunited Allstonians play their first gig in ages. Back in the heyday of ska, when bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Big D and the Kids Table and Skavoovie and the Epitones were bringing the dancehall beat around the country, before bands like Reel Big Fish, No Doubt and Save Ferris began the trend of watering down the sound, these guys from Allston really did Boston proud. Last night, their set was fantastic, and it was cool to see some of the old school supporters there, many of whom I haven't seen in four or five years. When the Allstonians first started playing , there were only a couple of us on the dance floor. (JR and I were actually dancing in the bar area, which was verboten by the regulars at the Common Ground, back in the day.) But by the third song, there were people full out skanking on the floor in between the tables. It was old school, and it was fun. JR's boyfriend got called up to help D-Train sing "Allston Beat," and the encore was "Allston, Mass," an anthem for not only the neighborhood, but an anthem for our youth.

As it was getting pretty late and I had to work today, I headed out right after the encore, but not before remarking to keyboardist Nigel Knucklehead that I felt ten years younger. The music is so intimately connected to a particular period of my life, and it brought a whole slew of feelings of youth and hope and promise to the surface that I haven't felt in ages. I could have stayed up all night riding that high.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Seven Things

I haven't really posted a well-rounded entry in a little bit, so I am going to write a "Seven Things" catch-up post.

1. I really think that my employer should just send us home for the remainder of this week... and most of next week too. The phone doesn't ring. Nobody is stopping in. Nobody seems very interested in even following up on e-mail. I went to a vocal performance at lunchtime...and would really like to take a nap right about now. Co-Worker Nina is out today with a cough so the day seems like it is going by very slowly, despite the Christmas carols on iTunes.

2. I took a half day yesterday in order to start my Christmas shopping. Yes, START. What can I say? I am a procrastinator when it comes to Christmas. I love the music, I love the food, I love the television, but I cannot stand heading to the mall during the holiday season. Fortunately, I had a general idea of what I was going to buy my family... er, well, at least where I was going to buy their gifts anyhow. I ended up spending the night packaging up presents while making homemade chicken soup and doing two loads of laundry. It was a very productive day. Go me, go me!

2a. Rather than going back to the mall today, I have to T it up to Harvard Square to finish the rest of my shopping. I also want to try to get Christmas puddings at Cardullo's. I still don't have a real handle on the new system for buying fares for the T. It's like they want to be like a real city with a real transportation system, but somehow it still feels like a little kid running around in mom's high heels.

3. Having gotten lost not once, twice, but three times, I spent a fabulous evening at a holiday party at my friend MH's house in Hingham on Saturday night. I haven't been there since the beginning of the summer, shortly after she and her husband (CC) purchased it. It is GORGEOUS and looks like it should be featured in the West Elm catalog. It wasn't a very large party, but it was people from all different areas of the hosts' lives (MH and I are friends/roommates from college)... and yet, 10 out of the 12 of the guests there were from Connecticut...all over the state. It was SO random and so cool at the same time. I really like CC's friends and hope that I get another chance to hang out with them.

4. So I spent two nights last week (Tuesday and Saturday) out and about long past my bedtime. (MP: no follow-up from my Tuesday night companion, which is disappointing, but at least this is a consistant pattern of behavior. Michelle says either I am going to have to get some patience or let this one go. My response to both of those options is "no" so clearly I am going to be having some problems with this.) ;-)

To catch up on my lost sleep, I have been to bed before 10pm every night this week; I just can't keep my eyes open any later. My life without caffeine is sucking so bad, and my teeth STILL giving me problems. Except these particular hurty teeth are part of a whole new problem called: "I am so stressed out by Christmas that I am going to grind my teeth into a pulp while I sleep." I think that I am going to have to suck it up in the New Year and buy myself a nightguard. Otherwise, I might end up doing Polident commercials in my old age.

5. I now am the owner of not one, but TWO, Slinky Juniors: a purple one and an orange one. I think that I might have to race them down the stairs next week when no one is around... (see item 1) I should come up with some fun gifty things to bring in to work for people next week. I really do wish that I wasn't quite so far behind with things this year.

6. Is anyone else missing tv? Everything on lately is repeats. I watched "House" reruns last night, as there wasn't even a "Veronica Mars" rerun on. I like House... wellll, I like Hugh Laurie :-) but he is no Veronica. I was checking entertainment blogs earlier today and new shows aren't going to be on again until mid-January. Is this a new development? Are the networks ordering fewer episodes? Because I remember new episodes right up until Christmas and then a few reruns during the Christmas week and then back in to your regular scheduled programming in time for MLK weekend.

My personal favorite is when I catch myself watching films that I own on dvd on tv...with the commercials. I don't know why I can't be bothered to go put in the film and watch it without the commercials. Maybe I just like the option of being able to change the channel if I want to. I have some films that I really want to see coming from Netflix this week: Mrs. Palfrey at the Clairmont, Lady in the Water, Scoop; so that is something to look forward to for tonight.

7. Tomorrow night, I am going out with some old work friends for dinner at Redbones, where I have never been. Nothing like a little barbeque at Christmastime; makes me feel like I belong in the cast of Steel Magnolias. I have to stop reading the menu; it is making me horribly hungry. These Lean Cuisines are just not cutting it. I am totally having pulled pork... and hush puppies... and mac and cheese. Screw the diet. (Question: would it be horribly gauche to order a cocktail with one's barbeque or should one stick to Coronas?) Then I am meeting other friends to see a friend's band at the Kirkwood Cafe: The Allstonians, who are reunited with original lead singer King K. It is going to be a HOOT. Hopefully I won't end up feeling too old. ;-)

So that is the big picture of what has been going on with me. Holiday greetings and blessings to all of you.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Broadway Bound

This link to You Tube nearly had me fall out of my chair this morning. It is Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segal from "How I Met Your Mother" singing from Les Miserables on the Megan Mullally show. It is priceless. Like MasterCard priceless. (I knew NPH was "Broadway", but the Segal guy is really good too.)

I have watched one episode of "How I Met Your Mother" in the past two years it has been on the air. I am going to start watching next week.


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