June 2011 Archives

Big Doings

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This blog has seen almost nothing posted by me about my girlfriend and her terrific kids over the past few years, for varying reasons, but this entry I think will be the first of many. Last Thursday night, 6/23/11, I asked Linda to marry me, and much to my delight, she accepted. At the same time, I got the OK from both Chris and Lindsay to move the whole family up to my area next spring. I've told this to a bunch of people, and posted it on Facebook when it happened, but haven't actually blogged about it, or about what this whole experience has been like.

Long distance relationships are hard--really hard. Linda and I have some money, and that's helped a great deal as we can see each other nearly every weekend, but it's still not the same as living in the same house. There's something to the idea of no matter how busy and chaotic the day is, when night time rolls around the other person there in bed waiting for you. Awake or asleep isn't really the point--it's the touch, the closeness. That's not there over Skype, or via IMs when Linda's 200 miles away, but seeing the homestretch closing in is something amazing to both of us.

When I popped the question, it was in front of Chris at a nice restaurant in Virginia. Linda was completely surprised and just stared at me, in shock. So was Chris. I thought how important it was to make sure Chris (and Lindsay) knew that they weren't moving just so their mom could be closer to her boyfriend, but moving so that we could all become a family. Linda and I, Chris and Lindsay, Ellen and Katie, even Kim and Mike, all part of this new, extended family. Who knows what complexities lie ahead for this group, but ultimately, no matter what they turn out to be, I'm looking forward to sharing them day in, day out, instead of the snippets I get now. That's how a real family grows into each other and I can't wait.

Still Crazy...

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Tonight I was fortunate enough to see the almost-ageless Paul Simon in a tiny venue in NYC (Webster Hall) with my friend Brandi.

(click on any of the pictures to make them REALLY big and mostly blurry! Yay!)


Wanting a decent spot in the room, I arrived about 2 hours before the doors were scheduled to open, figuring there would be a bunch of people already. In fact, I ended up maybe 10th in line, and then right against the rail in the front of the room:


The concert started an hour late, but all thoughts of having stood forever vanished as they came out and started with one song after another that I knew and loved. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Kodachrome, Slip Sliding Away, Hearts and Bones, and easily a dozen more before the first encore. Here are a few shots:




The set must have gone on for 90 minutes, without a break. Song after song, sounding great. After the first set, he came back for the first encore by himself, and I happened to decide to take the only video of the night. At first, I was going to just record audio in my pocket (hence the black 10 seconds or so with sound) but then I decided what the hell and put the camera on the rail to take the whole song. I didn't realize I ended it so abruptly, but otherwise the video's not bad. It's a bit weird when it's pretty obvious and you're RIGHT THERE and he's staring at you...but enjoy. (don't know why there's no controller, but just double-click on the box below and it should play...)


A blur of songs afterwards, including a great version of Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, he left and returned for a last encore. Before he did, though, they brought out a second mic. Of course, a buzz ran through the already very raucous crowd as to who was coming out with him. Turns out, for some bizarre reason, it was David Byrne from The Talking Heads.


Byrne is a really wacky guy. I've never seen him in person and know very little Talking Heads, but he's got a great voice and they powered through Road to Nowhere and then an insanely goofy version of You Can Call Me Al, featuring Byrne dancing around the stage until he toppled over a floor-speaker into the bass player. Still, unabashed but laughing, he got up and continued (somewhat more safely) to prance around the stage, forgetting lyrics and having a good ole time. The crowd loved it.

We found out at the end of the show that they whole thing was being taped for a PBS/DVD special. I have a feeling Brandi and I will be splashed all over that DVD as the camera was pointed squarely at us for long periods of time. Hopefully, the cameras will capture what we really saw--a master performer running through 4+ decades of great songs, with great musicians in an amazing setting. The floors were literally bouncing up and down all night as people stomped, bounced and danced their way through one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

Here's to you, Paul Simon. Still crazy after all these years.

When Ellen gets bored...

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This is the sort of trouble she gets into. This was, apparently, when she decided Old Navy had gotten dull...


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This page is an archive of entries from June 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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