“I’m going to sleep late” she said, lying to herself.

Since I can’t sleep, might as well entertain myself here!

My little dog is still sick but our vet was on vacation so we took her to another out of worry. She was tested last month but showed positive for roundworms this time. Ewww! She’s been on treatment for two days and is seeming a bit better. We’ll see if that trend continues.

Within the past week, I’ve been to four shows of sorts. It has been utterly exhausting but a boatload of fun.

Book of Mormon was a riot. Everybody around me had been unfortunate enough to catch me singing one of the songs lately.

Judas Priest and Uriah Heep did an awesome job, as expected.

Avantasia was awesome. It’s hard not to be excited by that many legendary metalers in one show…especially ly excited to see Jørn Lande sing live! Sample of him from another musical project I love, Ayreon, with Annekke: Here.

Perhaps the most fun was Dracula’s Ball in Philly. It was a bit sad because it’s the last one they’re having, as the Troc is closing at the end of the month. I loved getting a chance to dress up (it was a costume party!) and dance to some industrial then settle down for a bit of goth’n’roll.

…and to help me burn a bit more time before forcing my poor hubs to wake up too, a survey thingy. The graduation hits home this year, as one of the kids we knew from foster care graduated yesterday. So proud of that kiddo!

It’s graduation season, let’s talk about your SENIOR year in High School. The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be.

Class ’03

1. Did you know your spouse? Nope, not yet. We’d have been friends in HS though.

2. What kind of car did you drive? A 92 Dodge Spirit, the family car that wouldn’t quit

3. Where did you work? On a farm and babysat their kids

4. Where did you live? With my parents and sister

5. Were you popular? Lord no. I was one of the kids in the group of nerdy misfits back before nerdy was the cool thing…we made our own Magic the Gathering-esque card games and spoke in our own made up languages. 

6. Were you in choir? The school didn’t hsve one until my senior year, so nope.

7. Ever get suspended from school? No

8. If you could go back, would you? I graduated a year early, partially to escape. I still have nightmares about going back. I think that’s a hell no

9. Still talk to the person that you went to prom with? I didn’t go to prom, I went to a concert out of state with my sister instead. Worth it.

10. Go to all the football games? Every single one. I was both a cheerleader and in marching band, I went to everything

11. What was your favorite class? I’m guessing study hall in the computer lab with just two of my friends doesn’t count? We were supposed to be doing our college English class then but it was a whole lot of gaming and Neopets. Soooo probably Chemistry or horse back riding (PE was required every year where I went but it was a hell fest, so I took riding lessons through the community college my last year for dual credit instead!)

12. Do you still have your yearbook? My mom has it, I think.

13. Did you follow the career path you chose? I went to college for it but nothing ever came of the degree

14. Do you have a class ring? I do but haven’t worn it in years

15. Did you letter? Yes. 5, yes FIVE, times. Take thaaaaat stereotypes!

16. Did you graduate with a 3.0 or higher? Of course

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Drama ahead.

I thought posting might help me get back on track a bit.

I’m exhausted, mentally, physically, emotionally…all of it…and can’t seem to land on my feet right now.  Things have been a bit crazy and I’m not happy about it.

My husband decided to apply for a new job.  He didn’t discuss it with me until after he was interviewed and kept telling me he wasn’t going to take the job.  He took the job.  It’s a horrible idea. He’s taking a demotion, didn’t get the salary he wanted, and will now work a lot more hours a day, to the tune of 40 hours over two weeks…no overtime.  The company is restructuring and laid off almost half of their employees two years ago.  The laid off an additional 1,200 people between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and 300 the Thursday before Easter.  Hubs is easily bamboozled, says it’s his dream (that he never told anybody), and doesn’t see how leaving one of the most stable jobs in the country with clear and consistent career growth for a company that is circling the drain is a problem.  His parents have money.  They’ve promised they’ll bail him out.  Who cares that he’s married?  Needless to say, we’ve had some pretty nice screaming matches about him making this kind of decision without talking to me about it.  That’s not how relationships work.

My little dog is sick.  She has been for an entire month.  She fire hoses poo out in a gross stream and has to go out many, many times a day.  The vet can’t figure out what’s wrong with her and we’re now just blindly trying things.  Her bloodwork and stool samples all come back normal. He couldn’t find any obstructions.  She’s stopped spewing blood and losing weight, so that’s something.  He’s out of town this week, which is why I’m not in his office…again…for about the 8th time this month.  She vomited this morning but I think it’s because I was too sick (not sure wtf is going on with me either — I woke up at 2 a.m. with bad upper abdominal pain and nausea…reminds me a bit of my ulcer years ago but that was lower.  Ugh!) to get up and dose her medication, so hubs just gave it to her in a pill pocket and left without bothering to feed the dogs.  I feel gross on antibiotics too when I don’t eat.  I’m hoping that’s what it was.

I’m also on antibiotics…because I was bitten by a tick.  My personal nightmare.  Lyme disease is so common here that it’s scary.  My neighbor died from complications of it.  If I get so much as a sniffle in the next two months (or a headache, which is laughable since I have migraines), I’m supposed to go back to the doctor for more bloodwork and antibiotics.  I still don’t have a primary care because of husband’s shenanigans.  We’ve had three new insurance providers since my last doctor appointment.  Again, something I’m very unhappy about.

…and the wedding I was in went to hell in a hand basket.  Almost everybody involved was drunk by 11 a.m. and the wedding wasn’t until 4.  I was one of the sober people, despite my best efforts with lots of tequila, packing my own flask of whiskey, and sharing some homemade moonshine with the groom’s family, so I ended up babysitting a lot of drunks.  Whatever you can imagine went badly, did…and then some.  It was the type of wedding where the father of the groom shows up with moonshine and all of the groomsmen are packing pistols but the bride goes full diva bridezilla and wants to be a princess (and when that failed we found her drinking champagne in a rusted bathtub). People got so pissed off that they literally drove off, abandoning the rest of their family at the venue, which was an Amish farm in the middle of nowhere.  Interesting twist is that in at least one case, some married people enjoyed hooking up with other married people when their spouses left.

By the end of the night, cops were involved.  Physical fights broke out and protection orders were issued.  People should’ve gone to the E.R. but didn’t because it’s a wedding and a party and who ruins that?!  At one point,  I splinted a finger with duct tape because it’s all I had and tried taking them to the doctor but nope, they refused to go; they just went (two weeks later!!!) and the joint was so shattered it needs to be rebuilt, along with the tendons.  I’m guessing it’s from not going to the doctor to begin with — broken bones don’t like to heal if they’re constantly being moved and used to punch people.  But I’m not the one that’s so addicted to opiates that they could go two weeks with a finger grinding where their joint used to be, so what do I know?

As follow-up, the next day there was a threat of suicide in the order of a full will being sent out to everybody and them blaming their spouse for driving them to this.  The protection order turned into a restraining order.  Other people issued statements about being afraid for their lives.  People were kicked out of houses.  The day after, I received a mayday to please come pick somebody up from jail.  They were facing 24 months in jail but needed a ride home after they posted bail.  Thank goodness I was enroute even further south to GA for hub’s family and friends.  Joy.  I did find somebody else to pick them up and they took them to stay with some very unexpected people if you knew everybody involved. Eventually all of the charges were dropped…but people are still kicked out and strewn about. The bride’s mother is giving the marriage 6 months and the groom’s mother said he’ll learn his lesson the hard way — doesn’t bode well.  I’m also joining the bet but giving it 9 months because the bride/groom were already fighting the week after their honeymoon. I think the only reason they’ll stick together longer is because he’s still living on base until December, so that’s 8 months until he comes “home” with a month to realize what he got himself into. I think I’m the only one they’re all talking to.  I don’t know why.

I’m VERY glad I live 700 miles away.

After that, everything has just been a whirlwind of busy.  I’m an introvert and it takes a long time for me to recover from people…especially my people.  I think, after the wedding and the party last year, my husband is starting to understand why I largely refuse to go to family events.  I haven’t had time to recover to me yet and I’m not sure when that’s going to happen.  Yay, stress!

On the plus side:

My hair is blue now.  I like it.

I also have my Grandmother’s recipe for macaroni salad (mine still didn’t turn out as good as hers) and am about to have a bowl for lunch.  I also like that.

Grandmother says I’m a lot like her in temperament.  Biggest complement anybody could ever give me.  Now to become as friendly as she is.  Not sure I can pull that one off.  XD

Even though I don’t like being around people, I have lots of concerts and fun things to distract me.  I’m seeing Book of Mormon on Thursday.  Going to a costumed Dracula’s Ball in PA on Saturday to see a goth’n’roll band I like (The 69 Eyes).  Seeing Judas Priest on Sunday.  Avantasia is next Friday…then we’re thinking of doing an insane trip back to VA for the Memorial Day weekend to see the graduation of a kid we know.  He was in foster care when we met him and really took to my husband; the kid was adopted several years ago and has had a few issues, so we still try to encourage him in any way that we can.  He REALLY wants hubs to be there for his graduation.  We’re going to try to deliver, even though it means leaving the concert in MA and driving nonstop, all night, to maybe pull into the parking lot right as graduation starts.  It’s an 11 hour drive.  Graduation starts at 11.  The show isn’t supposed to end until Midnight.  Can we do this?  Are we crazy enough to try?

I talked to the bank and have secured approval for a car loan.  I was worried about how it would go over since hubs is job hopping but apparently my credit is too awesome to deny.  I’m thinking about getting an AWD Prius in June.  I’d looove to have a set of wheels to call my own again and the freedom that comes with it.

I also booked three (!!!) extended vacations for metal festivals this year.  ProgPower USA (Atlanta), Heavy Montreal (location should be obvious), and Full Metal Holiday (Mallorca).  There are 89 bands between them…and I’m throwing in another 6 bands by going back to Montreal both days before I fly out for Mallorca because I’m insane and very, very excited.  I think my only hobby now is concerts.  Crafting has taken a back-burner, even if I do still carry a sock to knit on in my purse.

I read a long time ago that metalheads are happier and live longer, which I took to say that I’d be in the nuthouse if I didn’t have my music.  With the way things have been going lately, I may end up there regardless.  :X

 

 

Yet another concert

I needed a bit of a break from reality this weekend, so I went to a concert.

What else should I be expected to do? 😀

Omnium Gatherum, Moonspell, Amorphis, and Dark Tranquility.  I guess I’d probably lump them all into melodic death metal, maybe gothic metal — growling vocals and a deeper, soothing kind of doom feeling.

…did I just say doom music is soothing?  Weird that I find it so.

Regardless, fun night.  I’d seen all of the bands but Moonspell before so I pretty much knew what to expect.  Moonspell was a real treat live; they created such a fun atmosphere.

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It’s impossible to see but the singer was wearing a plague doctor mask.  It was pretty awesome.  The song in that particular photo was “1755“, off of their album due out next month.  I look forward to it!

September Summary + Tons of Photos

I blinked and September was gone.

The hubs and I left at the end of August to go do our big, annual migration south.

Not wanting us to forget home, this was on our front stoop while we were packing:

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The frog was still coherent and walking around, dragging the snake with him.  The snake was refusing to let go.  The frog had sustained some pretty gnarly injuries by that point so I figure he lost in the end and hope the snake was able to enjoy his meal.  Our plumber calls our home a house of horrors because of the wildlife (and random cats jumping from the ceiling while he’s working).  I really like having the critters around.  Yes, especially the snakes because they are masters of pest control.  I didn’t like it when one of the cats brought a live snake into the house though.  I could’ve gone without that adventure.

For the first leg of our trip, we stayed in a hand-built cabin with some friends in the mountains of North Carolina.  It’s gorgeous there.

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There were seven of us in total.   …and the first night, the well pump died.

Seven of us for a week without any running water.  Using the toilet was interesting and showering was unheard of.  There is a hot tub and it rapidly became our nightly ritual: bathing with friends in highly chlorinated water.  We’re pretty sure that by the end of our stay, it was more of a people broth.

We did try to keep our gross levels down.  We didn’t go fishing like we normally do or get overly sweaty.  The one hike we took ended at a waterfall, so you can be sure everybody was in the water and trying to scrub clean.

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Our friends eventually had to go back to their real lives but hubs and I chose to stay at the cabin for a few extra days rather than adventure onward.  Still no water, but it’s hard to argue with a real chance to relax.

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…except when a herd of deer walked up to me and scared the hell out of me.  I was sure I was about to get kicked but thankfully I startled them just as much and they ran off.

Before leaving NC, we spent the last day gem mining.  That area is really replete with all kinds of neat things.

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That’s my personal jackpot: a 298.5 carat emerald!  It’s obviously not gem quality so not worth much but I was over the moon.  How cool is that?!

When we did finally decide to leave the mountains, we went to visit hub’s grandmother in Alabama.  She has dementia now (and she’s about to turn 93, so it’s well deserved) but we always enjoy getting to see her.  She’s a little firecracker and even though she doesn’t remember we visited, she knows we’re there when we’re there…and maybe she remembers more than we think because she’s never forgotten who we are, including me, even though she doesn’t recognize some of her own family.

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This visit, she taught us how she and her husband used to dance back in the 1940s.  She still loves dancing!

After our day in Alabama, we ventured over to Atlanta to kick off our real agenda: ProgPower USA!  It’s nice having a music festival that allows us to see everybody.

Some of the highlights from the festival this year:

Pictured are Gloryhammer, Cellar Darling, Vuur, Sons of Apollo, Manimal, Bloodbound, Oceans of Slumber, and the queen of metal herself, Doro.  There were twenty bands total but those were my favorites.

Gloryhammer is one of hub’s favorite bands and he got right up front for their show — you can see him in a photo, hoisting a hammer.  The band later took that hammer, hit him with it a few times, hit each other with it even more, then signed it for him.  He was thrilled.

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If you know what he looks like, hubs can be spotted in every photo with a crowd.  He really spent a lot of time on the floor this year and I camped our favorite seats for when he was too exhausted to carry on.

We also ran into Manimal in the lobby and they (for some reason) agreed to let hubs pretend he was one of them.

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…but the best show in my opinion was Alestorm.  They didn’t put on a show, they put on a party.  People were dressed like pirates and waving around plastic swords.  A few people had bubble machines in the audience.  They hoisted the huge rubber ducky out into the crowd for us to bounce around then destroy like zombies.  There was even rapping shark.

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…and they were, of course, super hilarious and friendly.

They also signed my pirate ducky!  The drummer, of course, insisted that he was going to sign its butt.  I’ve had this ducky for over a decade and now it’s even more precious to me.

After four days of festival, we went further down in Georgia and spent a few days with a friend.  Then we headed back to North Carolina and caught the Judas Priest and Deep Purple concert with some of my family.  We saw 23 bands that week!  Crazy!

…and then hubs and I parted ways.  He had to recruit at his alma mater for work and I had to go to where I grew up and spend time with my family.

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A few cool things happened while there.  Mom and I went to a local museum and I FINALLY found out what the heavy old rock was that my dad and I dug up out of our garden when I was little.

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I kept it because it’s insanely heavy for its size and was oddly shaped with some neat striation.  Even little me knew it would be interesting.  I’d always wondered what it was — especially since we regularly dug up arrow heads and all sorts of other fun things.  Turns out, it’s a kettle ball.

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I also visited my hair dresser.  Is it weird that I’ve only ever been to the same person?  She’s awesome, my hair is crazy, and it’s worth the wait between visits.

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I also saw some family.  I, of course, hung out with my Grandmother as much as I could.  She’s still a spry 84 and we had fun going out shopping and for Chinese.  I went to a party with a lot of my mom’s family that I haven’t seen in forever.  Hubs was able to join us for that party and he found it hilarious how aggressive a bunch of old, toothless hillbillies got over croquet.  >_>;  I was also asked to be the matron of honor in a wedding next year.  Guess I’m going to stay busy for the next few months.

…and on my greedy side, I got a sewing machine!

My aunt had been storing them in an old sea crate so they were in absolutely horrible condition.  I was able to check on my Granny Boo’s (mom’s mother) machine and I already have an identical model but mine was made in 1900 and the serial number on hers was from 1910.  Singer 66 machines are great but I only need so many and since I already had the one with Sphinx decals (and in much better shape, sadly), I chose to take home my Granny Sally’s (Granny Boo’s mother) machine.

I didn’t even know what it was, just that I didn’t have anything that looked like the outside.  The cabinet was solid oak and a chain lift.  The chain lift was rusted shut, as were the hinges.  Add in the warped wood from being in wet conditions for several years and it took me over a week to ease the new baby open.

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I brought the head home with me and mom is bringing me the treadle cabinet up at the end of this month when she and her husband are coming here for a concert.

I’ve never used a Davis VF before but I’m pretty excited.  The finish is crackled but I’ll see what I can do about getting her shined up again.  I did get all of the mechanisms to move so she’ll sew.  These models are really interesting, as there aren’t any feed dogs — the presser foot is what moves to advance the fabric.

…and then we got to come home.

Just in time for my favorite fall activity: apple picking!

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The trees were absolutely laden with apples this year.  I had already picked a bushel from this tree and you can’t even tell it.

All of those apples were quickly processed down in what hubs calls my “factory”.  Most of them were turned into applesauce then apple butter.  I love me some apple butter and I was on my last jar!

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…and of course it wouldn’t be fall without some apple cider donuts.  I made my own this year and hubs claims to like them even better than the ones he gets at the orchard.  I’ll call that a win!

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Oh, deer

Our yard is finally starting to wake up from its winter slumber!  I’m so happy that I don’t see any casualties (yet) from the very harsh conditions this year.  I think it was the 3rd snowiest year on record, ever, for our area thanks to the back-to-back-to-back nor’easters that hit in March.  Up until today, we also had fresh snow every day in April.  Spring as been fun for those of us who enjoy snow!  🙂

The one issue I did notice when I was trampling around in my yard yesterday was deer damage.

Do any of my fellow gardeners and plant lovers have any good suggestions for ways to discourage the pesky deer?

They really chewed on just about everything this year, even plants they normally don’t bother that much.  I don’t know if it was because winter seemed so much longer this year or what, but they’ve nipped almost every bush I have down and stripped bark off of trees.

I was proactive this year and put a wrap on my pink magnolia — they always nibble and strip it, so at least the base of it was saved and I still have some blossoms higher up.  They chewed anything else they could reach though.  My rhododendrons look like they’ve been a buffet, as do my mountain laurel and azaleas; all of them have been stripped of leaves.  They’re still supple and green, though, so I’m hoping they can recover.  I have quite a few rhododendrons and they’re all really large and would be hard to cover, so the deer have been really at it recently.  The ground around them is churned up badly and covered in scat.

Thankfully, my new-ish berry bushes have been completely unscathed.  I think the deepness of the snow spared them from unwanted attention (usually the rabbits are what get after them anyway).  They look healthy and happy and I’m looking forward to adding some blueberries, black currants, and lingonberries this year to our normal blackberry and raspberry crops!  I hope!  🙂

Aside from deer damage, Logan and I have had a busy week.

Three doctor appointments, one vet specialist, our anniversary, and two shows at our local theater!

We were supposed to have contractors at the house this morning but they had to reschedule for next week.  They’re installing air conditioning!!!   Other people lost heat and that seemed more important to all of us; it’s still way too cold for air co and the need for heat is very real since it’s still dipping into the 20s at night here.

The doctor appointments all went well.  The end results are I have new glasses — I’m getting less and less far-sighted as my optometrist of yore predicted when I was little.  Logan has to have a skin biopsy next month but we’re not too worried about it.

Our little doggo Mitzi has been having a really odd leg thing since December where she’ll randomly draw one leg up for no longer than a minute and whimpering slightly like it’s hurting her.  As soon as it’s over, it’s over.  It repeats every couple weeks.  Earlier this month, she has three episodes in a day and we took her to the vet.  He couldn’t figure out what on earth may be causing it, so referred us to a neurologist.  Who would’ve thought those existed?  The neuro said her evaluation was great but he thinks she may either be having partial seizures or have a muscle contracting disorder, which usually presents when they’re younger.  He’s leaning towards seizures right now but we’re watching and waiting and trying to gather more data before diving into a very expensive MRI or a risky drug trial.

I found a video of another Mini Schnauzer that was having the exact problems that Mitzi was and the dog is the same age, so I left a comment but I don’t have any hopes of hearing back from them.  For the sake of interest or if anybody else has had a similar experience, the video is here.

The shows we saw were lots of fun.

We saw Wrath of Khan, followed by a Q&A with William Shatner.  He was, as always, full of personality.  The last time Logan and I saw him was years and years ago at Dragon*Con when he did a panel with Leonard Nimoy.

We also saw a really odd amalgamation of things — poetry, music, interpretive dance, dramatic readings — performed by Bill Murray.  I think my favorite parts were when he chose to sing, sometimes off key.  …or maybe when he decided to run out in the audience and fling the bouquet of roses somebody gave him at audience members.  That was super entertaining.  So was his playing the piano with his butt, but that’s neither here nor there.  😛  It was an all around entertaining show and not entirely a comedy as one would expect from the likes of Bill Murray.

Birthday celebrations

I think my house gnome ran off with my yarn and ate it.  I could’ve sworn I had an extra ball of what I was using to make Mom’s scarf and poof!  Nowhere to be seen.  I even had two listed on my Ravelry stash.  Something is amiss and I’m stuck until I can make it out to the store to buy another ball unless the missing one magically shows up again.  Phooey!

…and by gnomes, I of course mean the kind from Trollhunters.  What other kind could live in my house of horrors?

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Gnome Chompsky 3D printable from MyMiniFactory’s @3DofTom — not my image or design, but I do need to get my hands on a 3D printer again so I can make this awesome little guy.  Adore!!!

Logan’s birthday is coming up in about a week, so we kicked off our year of concerts with an early birthday gift: The Chieftains.  Logan hasn’t always been a fan of music but he has always liked The Chieftains, go figure.

We had quite a bit of confusion in our house because he kept talking about their being the ones that made “The Long Black Veil”.  I like the song too but didn’t remember a whole lot of Celtic/Irish influence to the song, but hey, whatever, sometimes they have a guitar?  It still left me confused but I largely just went along with it. …until Logan said something about it was going to be a pity that it wouldn’t be played at the concert.  I agreed, it really is a good song.  “Because there’s no way Mick Jagger will be there.”

WUT?!

We grew up with two very different versions of the song.

I listened to Johnny Cash, specifically the Folsom version, while Logan only thought it was original to The Chieftains.  Turns out it was originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell as a twangy country song.  Logan and I both still prefer our respective versions — I will concede it would probably be better if you could swap out Cash for Jagger, but that’s just a preference for his voice in general.  I do quite like the Celtic instrumentals.

We’re also seeing another concert this week: Nightwish.  Logan is super excited.  We’ve had a bit of an adventure over the years trying to see them in various places and finally saw them a couple of years ago in Birmingham.  To date, Logan said it was his favorite show, ever, so he’s really excited to see them again.  I’m personally excited about the venue.  Seats at a metal show (and we have AMAZING ones) are to be appreciated!

I think we’re up to seeing 39 bands between now and October so we’re in for a real whirlwind!

The rest of Logan’s birthday gift, well, it got complicated.

Somebody hacked my eBay account and Logan’s physical birthday present was mailed to somebody unknown by the name of “Steve” in the Bronx.  I received a bunch of creepy ransom looking texts late one night from a lady who doesn’t speak English and her son — they seemed just as confused as I was, were very sweet, and also aren’t named Steve.  Thank goodness I remembered a smattering of Spanish from high school and the son speaks pretty good English!  Turns out the hacker changed the name and address but NOT my contact phone number and thankfully the eBay seller included the invoice in the package.  The whole thing is being investigated by eBay now.  D’oh.

The last part of Logan’s gift (he asked for experiences this year rather than physical gifts but who can resist Blue Batman?!) is scheduled for on Friday, April 13th.  Dun-dun-dunnnnn.  If the weather holds, he has a flying lesson!

Right now we’re in the 3rd snowiest March ever for this part of New York, so I’m really hoping the weather clears up for Logan’s flying lesson — if not, the pilot said we’ll just reschedule until it works out.  🙂

 

 

Better weekend

After a thoroughly crappy week, as soon as the weekend hit things began to look up.  Amazing how the weekend makes everything better, isn’t it? 😛

Logan works what is called a 9/80 schedule over two weeks.  He works nine hours on Monday – Thursday then eight hours on the first Friday and has the second Friday, his “Gold Friday”, off.  He loves having a three day weekend twice a month and it often lines up with holidays so we get to enjoy having the time to take small trips here and there without having to use his PTO.

We didn’t take a trip this weekend, but it gave us time to get some things done around the house.

We cleaned up a bit in anticipation for Halloween on Tuesday.  About 1/3 of the time, we have snow by now, so we don’t usually get to see the kids in costumes, just parkas and snowboots.  With this year still being unseasonably warm — the leaves are just now changing colors! — we’re really looking forward to seeing what the kids come up with.  I haven’t decided what we’re going to wear yet or if we’re going to dress up or just play games while we wait to hand out goody bags.

I did sign us up for the Teal Pumpkin Project and put us on their map, so maybe we’ll get a few more trick-or-treaters.  We usually just have the kids in our actual community after they do the hayride and party the community throws; we’ve never had more than two dozen trick-or-treaters anywhere we’ve lived.  …but in addition to bags of candy, we made up a dozen bags for our teal pumpkin with activity books, pens, stickers, erasers, sticky hands, bat rings, stencils, and those super obnoxious whistling straws.  Logan and I loved that stuff when we were little, so hopefully kids with bad food allergies will too!

I also found a fabric shop that had the llama minky I wanted.  Thank goodness!  Better yet, they were only 19 cents a yard more than the other, bigger place, AND they sent an email just a few hours later saying my order was completed.  I don’t have a tracking number, so I’m not sure if it’s in the mail or not yet — I just found it and ordered it Friday afternoon, so no expectations on that — but I’m delighted either way.  So long as the order actually works out, I’ll be using TheFabricMarket again in the future!  The other place. Fabric.com, had told me they were restocking the fabric on Friday, but they never did, so I’m glad I wasn’t counting on it…or worse, needed it for a custom order.  This is one of my rare selfish, for me, quilts.

On Friday night we went to our “adult” Halloween celebration — it IS the best holiday of the year, afterall!  One of these years, I’ll find a live Rocky Horror to take Logan to see (last year there was one but the timing didn’t work for us).  This year, though, Evil Dead worked beautifully.

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Evil Dead the Musical was hilarious.  Campy, raunchy, and a great mashup up all the movies shoved into two hours.  The front few rows were a plastic covered “splatter zone” where, by the end of the show, the cast was gratuitously running around and spraying fake blood on them out of bottles.

Then we got to come home to start watching Stranger Things 2!  Yay!

Saturday, I sent Logan off to the Green Energy and Sustainable Living Fair.  I somehow hurt my elbow on Friday night (the week wasn’t quite done with me yet) and couldn’t move my arm until yesterday evening, so chose not to head out into public.  He had a great time and said he felt like a gas guzzler driving a Prius with all the electric vehicles.  He talked to a lot of vendors about home improvements and tried out lots of cars, so he was a happy camper when he came home at the end of the fair.

Today Logan is banking in some rare overtime for a letter he has to issue.  It’s rare for the company to open the overtime wallet, so he never refuses when it is — and I don’t mind having a bit of time to knit on the weekend.

I separate the sleeves today!  I’m a bit nervous and have procrastinated it a bit because it’s the first time I’ve ever had to CO in the middle of a row, and the instructions are definitely written for somebody who’s an old hat at sweaters, so this could get interesting.  >_>

 

Composure? What is that?!

I don’t often lose my cool.

I’m actually fairly level-headed in most circumstances which may be hard to believe…except when Logan is driving, then I might as well be a screeching harpy.  >_>;;

I don’t cry during movies or those gut-punch animal abuse montage videos.  Sure, some people can make me super angry but those are few and they’re incredibly consistent in their ability to light my angry fuse.  Celebrities generally don’t impress me, either — they’re just people and, let’s be honest, I don’t like most people so I don’t see why some people obsess over people they don’t know.  I am, unfortunately, fairly nonchalant about most things in life unless an anxiety attack is hitting.

I still enjoy things, I just don’t show it.  It worries Logan to no end; he’s always asking if I’m enjoying myself at concerts and shows or curious if I want to leave early, even if I’m having a blast.

Today, I’ve been the equivalent of an ear-piercing, shrieking, pre-teen girl.

Why?

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Add this to my book as FanGirl Experience #3.  The Nightmare Before Christmas playing with a live orchestra and the original singing cast *including* Danny Elfman (Jack), Catherine O’Hara (Sally), and Ken Page (Oogie Boogie)!!!

My childhood is coming to life on stage!   …and it’s not going to be some miserable hack!

I’m sooooooo excited!!!  I’ve been running around the house, butchering songs and spazzing out all day.

What were my other two fangirl moments?

Meeting my favorite author in 2009:

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I was the definition of deer in the headlights.  I couldn’t even talk to him at first.  Logan had to physically drag me over to say hello when I spotted Peter S. Beagle sitting all alone.   …so then, being the absolutely amazing man that he is, he just grabbed hold of my hand, and began chatting and telling me about the time he was afraid to meet HIS favorite author but he did so anyway, and how she was dead now, so he was so glad he’d always went up to say hello to her.   Half an hour later, he signed my copy of The Last Unicorn (somebody tell me I’m not the only person that carries books around all the time?!) since it has been one of my favorite novels since I can remember.  I’ll take the chastisement since I did say hello in the end and did get to meet him, even though I was being super shy.  Besides, it makes for a hilarious book inscription and a good reminder.

My second fangirl moment was also well deserved.

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So well deserved that I’ll even post a photo of myself from 2015.  My favorite band ever playing their last show EVER.

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Falconer had just announced that year that they were becoming a studio band only.  They’ve never toured much, playing only a handful of shows in their long history as a band.  I’ve been a fan pretty much since the beginning.  The only other show they’d ever played in the United States was while I was an IFYE Ambassador in Austria in 2003 — so ships passing in the night.  I was going to go see a show of theirs while I was an IFYE Representative to Denmark back in 2007, but my Dad was getting more and more sick and I ended up coming home early; too early to hop over to Norway for the festival they were playing.

I was able to say hello to them, though!  I learned my lesson!  They were all super awesome and nice and signed a few things and then somebody asked if we wanted a photo with the singer.  Uh, of course!  I hate my picture taken but I’m not passing that one up.

Favorite band, favorite author, now favorite movie live….I guess that’s deserving.

ProgPower + Plague

I always seem to catch some sort of plague when I go out in public.  I don’t know if my immune system is just especially protected and low or if people are just -that- gross.  Probably a mixture of both.

*hack, cough, snort, sneeze*

We had to cut our trip south short by a week due to Hurricane Irma.  Logan was supposed to do some recruiting at his alma mater but it was right in the path of the storm, so it the job fair was postponed until next week…so the company will be flying him back again on Monday.  It’s almost ridiculous, right?

ProgPower was, as always, an amazing festival.

Logan built up the courage to go to the floor and mosh for three of the bands: Twilight Force, Amaranthe, and Seven Spires.  He’s in the photo below somewhere.

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One thing I love about ProgPower is you get to see a full show from each of the bands, they don’t skimp on time, so you actually get to enjoy the bands you came to see.  Conversely, if you don’t like a band, you have time to go out and get something to eat and still have plenty of time to get back before the next band.  We saw every band this year, though.  I’ll link up a few of the better ones in the rundown below.

Wednesday: Power Quest, Serenity, Orphaned Land, and Haken

It was Power Quest’s first ever show in the U.S. and they brought one of their former singers with them…as well as the singer from Theocracy (which I can never figure out why he keeps popping up there other than he’s local to Georgia so is always at the show anyway?).

Serenity’s singer stage dove and crowd surfed after their set, which is always fun.

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Orphaned Land is one of the bands that I was most excited to see — they’re Israeli and most of their songs deliver a strong message of peace for the different religions in their homeland.

Haken is a progressive band from London.  I’ll admit, I’m not always a fan of Prog bands — I find a lot of them needlessly tedious or like highschoolers in a garage band that just don’t quite know edit their music or end songs…and Haken falls into that category.

Thursday:  Next to None, Twilight Force, Vandan Plas, Between the Buried and Me, and Metal Church

Next to None is quite literally a band of teenagers.  They’re also a Prog band but they have a lot of potential, most likely because the drummer is Max Portnoy, son of Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy.  They varied their music enough that even a 20 minute song remained interesting.

Twilight Force was Logan’s big draw this year.  They basically LARP on stage, so how could he not be super happy.  He’s also pretty convinced we need to move to Sweden.

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Vandan Plas is a German prog band.  We stayed for about half of their show before we got hungry and ducked out to grab dinner.  They weren’t bad, we were just really hungry after a day of being at the festival.

Between the Buried and Me is another prog band, but from North Carolina.  We came back from food about halfway through their set.  We were pleasantly surprised by them — neither of us had listened to them before.  When we came back, their mosh pit was literally square dancing.  It was highly entertaining.

Metal Church is an oldie but a goodie….as in, they’re way older than us but Logan still rocked out and enjoyed them.  He’s pretty picky about his metal but he’s starting to appreciate older sounds due to Primal Fear and Battle Beast.

Friday: Daydream XI, Distorted Harmony, Lords of Black, Angel Dust, Myrath, Mike Portnoy

Daydream XI is a Brazilian band.  They surprised me….for an unexpected reason.  At ProgPower you tend to make a bit of a family over the years.  You sit in the same place year after year and kind of adopt the people around you.  You never know a single thing about them, but you trust them more than the other weirdos around you.  They won’t steal your shit and they’re somebody to casually chat to if you’re desperately bored.  On Friday, we were missing six people — our tall guy, who doesn’t like prog music, so we weren’t surprised he wasn’t there…but also the five smelly guys.  That was a bit unusual because they never missed anything.  ProgPower is sold in Wednesday/Thursday and Friday/Saturday blocks though, so we thought maybe they just didn’t come for the second part of the Festival and didn’t think much more of it….until those five smelly guys showed up on stage as Daydream XI.  Who on earth would’ve thought it?  Even more surprising, for all their man-buns and body odor, they were actually tolerable.  XD

Distorted Harmony was another prog band from Israel.  Not bad, but not really my cup of tea either.

Lords of Black are a Spanish power metal band.  Definitely a good time.

Angel Dust is an older heavy metal band from Germany.  They were great, of course, but made the mistake of pulling a crazy female fan on stage.  I have no clue what on earth she said to the singer (as she was groping him) but her trip in the spotlight didn’t last long.

Myrath is the other band I was really excited to see.  They’re Tunisian, so not somewhere you’d expect to find a metal band….and let’s be honest, I’m not traveling to Tunisia any time soon, regardless of how much I love these guys.  They’re my brand of prog metal; something unique and varied.  I’ve always loved a bit of local flare and folk music mixed in with metal though.  Zaher, the singer, did something absolutely magical during his set and crawled out into the middle of the moshpit and somehow convinced the entire crowed to SIT on the incredibly nasty floor for a song.  I almost died laughing — the event coordinator posted a video before the event fussing about how nasty people are and how they spill trash and beer everywhere and how gross it is for the crew to clean up…so then they had to sit in their own mess.  Karma at its finest.

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Mike Portnoy did his Shattered Fortress show.  It’s definitely a spectacle.

Saturday: Seven Spires, Dynazty, Snowy Shaw, Pain, Amaranthe, Katatonia

Seven Spires was a surprise because they weren’t supposed to be on the roster.  One of the band members from Teramaze (Australia) was sick and the band had to cancel, so they filled in last minute…quite literally.  It was a happy surprise for us — Seven Spires is a bit of a local band, based out of Boston, so we’ve seen them as an opening act when we’ve attended shows over at the Palladium in Worcester and have chatted with them before. They just put out their first CD a few months ago, so Logan bought it and had them sign it for him.  They’re still very sweet and young….I think the drummer may still be a teenager.  In a bit of awesomeness, I’d seen the guitarist, Jack, walking around Atlanta on Wednesday morning (the show is attended by LOTS of bands in general), so when Teramaze had to cancel, I told Logan I hoped that Seven Spires would be the replacement…then a few hours later they were announced.

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Dynazty started off the rest of the day’s Swedish invasion.  The singer burst his pants wide open on the first song and gleefully showed it off.  No shame — it’s just a sign of his rock prowess. 😛

Snowy Shaw is a legend.  His show was amazing.  Logan didn’t listen to the playlist I had made him to prepare for the show so he had NO clue what to expect.  He was suuuuper happy.

Pain is actually more of a project than a band.  It’s all recorded by a single guy but when he performs shows, he has a band that tours with him.  The project itself is an awesome mix of metal with almost a techno influence — again, Logan was blown away.  I just spent the hour being completely mesmerized by the bassist, Andre Skaug.  That guy should teach headbanging lessons, I’d sign up in a heartbeat.

Amaranthe was awesome, as to be expected, even with their relatively new lineup.  I was a bit surprised that Jake (former male clean vocalist — Amaranthe has three singers) didn’t make an appearance since he was definitely at the show (and did show up on stage with Snowy Shaw).  Logan had a great time as a gate hugger during their show.

Katatonia is more of a death metal prog sound, so was a good, chill way to end the night.  I personally prefer to end the night with really high energy bands as I tend to get tired after being at a festival all day (doors are at 1:30 and the headliners don’t usually go on until at least 10:30), but it was still a good band to end on.

The lineups for next year were also announced and needless to say, we’re already planning on buying tickets the second they go on sale!

Ross the Boss (Manowar set)

Gloryhammer (Logan’s FAVORITE band, another costuming one and the band responsible for both of our ringtones right now)

Nocturnal Rites

Voyager

Cellar Darling

Kingcrow

Dream Evil

Angra

Triosphere

Eclipse

Soen

VUUR (I was tempted to go to Amsterdam to see them while we were in Scotland, so not missing them while they’re here!  It’s Anneke’s new band, hooray!)

Alestorm (One of my old favorites — they’re pirate metal.  How could I not love them?!)

Tarja (Yes, the old voice of Nightwish)

Manimal

Persefone

Bloodbound

Labyrinth

Redemption (with new vocalist Tom Englund)

James LaBrie (from Dream Theater)

 

 

 

 

Numbers game

I love payday.  It’s not payday (I wish it were), but I think I love paydays for reasons that other people probably think are insane.

I love paying bills and balancing our accounts.  I’m paying a doctor bill from a tick bite Logan had last week and having fun shifting things around for our big vacation next month today.  I don’t need a pay day to do that!  😀

I makes me feel like I’m an adult.  I am an adult, so I should feel like one at some points in my life, right?  Paying bills is just about the only thing I do that makes me feel adult and responsible.  Bills and taxes.  I also like preparing our taxes.  That probably really does make me insane considering ours are fairly complicated and are filed with multiple states.

It is all really just a big numbers game.

I like seeing that when we buy our dog’s thyroid medicine from our regular vet, it costs 11 cents a pill, but when he was out for a hip replacement and we had to get her medicine from another vet, they charged 27 cents per pill.  I like knowing if I ask for our cat’s happy pills to be filled in capsule form instead of tablets, I can save 8 dollars on every refill.

Even I recognize it’s a bit crazy but there’s a lot of fun…and maybe a little pride…in knowing that I’ve gotten the best deal I can for the things we need so we can use our money for things we want so we can enjoy life.  We somehow survive on one income in a state that’s notorious for high taxes and a high cost of living, so might as well make the best of what we scrape out of the pan at the end of the day.  🙂

Speaking of which:  NIGHTWISH!!!

They announced a 9-month world tour about two weeks ago that’s going to be focusing on their older material.  They’re coming to several venues we frequent so I got to hem and haw over where I wanted to go!  That’s a new luxury.

In the end, I decided to be a little less frugal and decided to pick the venue that’s half an hour from us that has assigned seating and then got Logan some amazing seats (he’s a bigger fan than I am) when they went on sale yesterday.  I didn’t want to be in the orchestra pit ’cause he doesn’t like straining his neck, so we got the first row out of the pit on the aisle.  It won’t be jammed packed, no chance of a mosh pit, tons of leg room, and since it’s a real theater, not a run-down industrial building that most metal concerts are held at, it smells nice.  No gunk and grime and years of old smoke staining everything! Woo-hoo!  All in all, the tickets only ended up being about $50 more total than they would have been if we’d went to a General Admission cesspit at some of the other venues.  Totally worth it.

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We’re where I so expertly used MS paint to blob in some yellow.

I don’t like sitting next to strangers. >_>;;

…and if people decide to stand the whole time like they did at the Opeth concert at Radio City Music Hall last year, we’re still in a fantastic spot.