Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So how drunk was Paolo Nutini?

Note: I like Paolo Nutini. I enjoyed his concert. If you are coming to my site for the first time because you found me in a search engine and are going to blast me I liked his show. Don't go all Gaga on me (as in Lady Gaga) and write mean things. I like his music - particularly his new CD - and enjoyed the show. Feel free to read this story but if you came here in a huff, like a bunch of Gaga fans who didn't read the post they were commenting on, please go away.

This is turning into the year of concerts for me. The English Beat show was my Valentine's Day present from Amazing Guy and later this spring we saw Keane.

Friday evening Amazing Guy and I dragged MoJenn (what? you don't know that Jenn in the Netherlands is now Jenn in St. Louis? Get it? MoJenn as in Jenn in Missouri?) to the Paolo Nutini concert. You know the kid, he sings "New Shoes". Everybody now

Hey, I got my new shoes on
And everything is alright
Hey, I got my new shoes on...

So with my new skirt on (really, it was fabulous) but no new shoes we went to the show.

And thought we were watching a train wreck in progress.

Little Mr. Nutini came out waving his half-full glass of red wine. He stooped over and barely got through "New Shoes", the song he is most famous for. When he finally got through this 93 second version (complete with skipped lyrics and inane mumbling) he practically growled into the microphone "no. more. shoes." He was beyond drunk and full of contempt.

I'm sorry but Van Morrison can have complete and utter contempt for "Brown Eye Girl" because he has recorded 3 million songs (approximately) since it was a hit in 1967 (a year before I was born) and he is 1.5 million years old (thereabouts). He is entitled to his contempt for a song that has been around longer than cell phones or the internet.

Little Mr. Nutini is 22 years old. He was born when I was a senior in high school. "New Shoes" was released in 2007. My daughter is older than that song.

He is not old enough nor has "New Shoes" been around long enough for him to be so bitter. Or drunk.

The show eventually came together. His band was amazing. Just an incredibly talented group of men. Paolo eventually stood upright, played guitar and sang songs in their entirety. He kept drinking but he either hit his stride or sobered up. Either way the show finally came together.

And it was a very good show. Too bad I was worried that he was going to pass out. It would be nice not to worry about the health of the performer.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Started and ended with a funeral

This past Saturday started and ended with a funeral.

The first one was in a huge Catholic church in a city neighborhood for a colleague of mine. A woman I knew of for over 10 years before I had the pleasure of working with her for the last two. She died suddenly in her home.

Judy was a lobbyist. While we didn't work for the same organization, we spent time in the State House, in meetings, via email and phone calls trying to figure out how to pass legislation and budget items that would ensure the residents of our Commonwealth have safe and affordable housing.

As my boss wrote in an email "Judy was a special person and the type of lobbyist that you don't read about in the papers". He went on to write

"She had the knowledge, networks and skills to represent any client and to make lots of money. But Judy chose to represent non profits who worked for those with fewer advantages. She not only provided a voice for those who are too often not heard in the State House, but she also provided them with an ear- and that is just as important. Judy was a tremendously valuable source of information, intelligence, and yes gossip, from the State House that enabled us to be more effective. And despite endless hours in the 'the building', she always lived her values, maintained her integrity, and never forgot why she was there."

She made a difference for thousands of people. People who will never know the role she played in their lives.

Her death cut short a vibrant and purposeful life. She missed a key vote for a bill she had been working on for over 10 years. That was how we knew something was wrong. Because Judy never missed a vote.

The day ended in a grand theater downtown. One of those guilded tributes to the stage. A dear dear friend came to the big city to see a touring production of Rent with two of the original cast members.

Judy would never think of a Broadway show tune recalling her. But what struck me while hearing the song was how it was about shelter.

And that is what Judy gave by being a lobbyist. Shelter.

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

Any song gives you comfort?

Sorry for the lack of Linky Love options. Just put a link to your post in the comments and I'll make a nice little list.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heard it from a friend

We were all in the car this weekend and there were several times when I was floored at the songs the boys could sing along to.

True by Spandeu Ballet wasn't too much of a surprise. A song by Daughtry was a bit of a shock but I figured they were probably hearing it on the radio at camp.

But when this song came on - and they sang nearly every lyric, with terrific phrasing and feeling - I nearly fell out of the car.


Because really, 8-year-old boys can sing the following with such authority -

Heard it from a friend who
Heard it from a friend who
Heard it from another you been messin' around
They say you got a boyfriend
You're out late every weekend
They're talkin' about you and it's bringin' me down

Never thought I would hear REO Speedwagon's Take it on the Run sung so well by third graders.

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

Any song sung by little kids that makes you (happily) smile?

Sorry for the lack of Linky Love options. Just put a link to your post in the comments and I'll make a nice little list.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Now we have an Ironman in the family

Over the weekend we drove to a smaller city in a neighboring state to watch a bunch of crazies attempt to travel 70.3 miles. On water and land. Without aid of a plane or train or automobile.

Or boat.

These crazies got up really early to swim 1.2 miles. As one athlete described it "the swim really sucked (white cap waves)". He ended up asking another triathlete, someone he surmised had done this before, how to manage the white caps. The experienced one said to just go with the flow and not fight it.

Then there was 56 miles on a bicycle. This athlete explained that the the cycling "kinda sucked". He went on to say that "everyone had Tri(atholon) bikes except me, which was kind of like running in flipflops while everyone else had sneakers".

Much yelling and screaming greeted the athlete as he finished his final mile on his non-Tri bike. Much running and jumping and down accompanied watching him get off his bike, switch to running shoes and take off for the next part.

And after he started off, little men decided to have their own running races.

They were pretty tired after a few hundred yards.

And the last part was a run. A mere 13.1 mile run (called half marathon in competitive craziness).

The athlete noted that "the run sucked, too (too humid and too hilly)".

And to say that my father (above), nephew (in his arms), sister-in-law, kids, husband, and mother were not insanely proud of my "little" brother (he is after all four years younger than me so I remember the day he came home from the hospital) for finishing an Ironman race - with a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bicycle race and THEN a 13.1 mile half marathon is an understatement. And that he finished this Ironman in 6 hours, 17 minutes and 23 seconds is just jaw dropping.

Because I remember him when he was first learning to walk. And it wasn't pretty.

According to the athlete, my brother, "overall, it was pretty fun!"

Monday, July 13, 2009

A thank you note

Dear Mother Nature,

Thank you.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!

You flipped your calendar and realized it is now JULY where we live. So now we've had sunny days and temperatures in the 70's.

Thank you for finally giving us summer. I can't stop singing Feeling Groovy, Sunny Days and Here Comes the Sun.

Gratefully yours,

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

What's your favorite sun song?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Have to admit

I have to admit we've been listening to a lot of music by a recently deceased performer who was known for wearing one white glove. It is funny how one kid is drawn to the early Jackson 5 songs while another likes the tunes from Off the Wall and Thriller. The third just seems to be coping. Until I found out he suggested the camp group name this summer be "Rocking Robins". So he's been listening too.

But this version of ABC on the Carol Burnett show is priceless partly because she is a terrific comedic actress and because they are all singing live, something you never ever hear on television these days.

While grocery shopping this weekend, little lady broke into her own MJ-inspired medley which led to several store employees stacking a vegetable section to break into smiles and clap.

Anything making you break into song and dance next to the cucumbers?

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

Sorry for the lack of Linky Love options. Just put a link to your post in the comments and I'll make a nice little list.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

King Street - Charleston, SC

During our visit to Charleston, South Carolina, Ambassador and I stayed at the King's Courtyard Inn on King Street.

Quite simply, Ambassador could not have found a more charming and wonderfully located place to lay our heads at night. The staff were helpful, the room spacious and the wine and cheese at the end of the afternoon the perfect way to recharge after a hot day of photography and shopping.

And was there shopping. Window shopping in antique store windows.

The little boutique, Jayne, one of many along King Street, caught our attention because the sign in the window said "Yes, You CAN AFFORD to shop here!" And guess what? I could. I found the cutest summer jacket with ribbon and zipper detailing for a price that was insanely affordable.

I fell in love with this pharmacy sign. When we went in for various sundries, it became apparent we were in a Republican Party haven, complete with personal photos of various 2008 presidential candidates and the Republican Party chairman. The little old lady at the cash register even regaled us with anti-Clinton and Obama slogans. I still love the sign.

But the shop I loved was Lily. Not only for the wonderful items they sold (I literally shopped there three times while in Charleston) or the fact the shop was located in the first floor of our Inn. Or that it can be described as "swanky". I loved it for Kevin who co-owned the shop with his wife, Lin. He gave us tips including where to get drinks, suggested sites for photography and made us feel very special.

Because Charleston is a special place to be.