Saturday, September 29

qotsa: live

Last night we headed to the Pittsburgh area to go to a concert. I learned an important lesson: never drive to Pittsburgh at sunset. The sun was a huge, glowing ball of fire in the sky and I thought my eyes were going to melt. I've never seen anything like that before and hope to never see anything like that again. I'm surprised I can see anything today.

Anyway, Jake got to attend his first rock concert last night. Queens of the Stone Age played at the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead, which was a really cool venue. We normally arrive at concerts late, in order to skip the opening acts, but Dax Riggs was the first band of the night and we wanted to catch his set. Dax used to sing for an incredible metal band called Acid Bath. They broke up years ago. He's had a few other projects since then, but now he's performing as a solo artist. We don't like his solo stuff as much as Acid Bath, but it was still interesting to see him play. The second band, Howlin' Rain, is the reason we normally skip the opening acts. Not so good.

QOTSA definitely made it worth the trip, though. It was a perfect show. They are a great bunch of musicians and we couldn't have taken Jake to a better first concert. Our seats were in the balcony and we were probably 20 feet from the band. I've never had better seats than that at a show, that's for sure. It was a pretty tame crowd, too, so no problems there. Brian brought his camera along just in case the venue allowed it. He got lucky, so here are some pics from the concert. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27

zodiac

We watched this movie last night (and the night before--it was kind of long). It told the story of the Zodiac serial killer. It was pretty interesting, but more from a detective standpoint than from a "here's a bunch of people being murdered" standpoint. Oh, it was also directed by David Fincher (the guy who brought us Fight Club and Seven, two of my favorites), so you know it had to be good.

I was wondering how the film would end seeing that the Zodiac crimes went unsolved. They did a good job handling that in the movie, but I won't give the ending away. You'll just have to see it for yourself.

Saturday, September 22

steve

Our friend Steve came over for dinner this evening. As always, it was a pleasure. On the menu tonight was chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, oven-roasted ratatouille, white bean dip, baguette, antipasto, and marble cheesecake squares. I'm still full. Among many other things, we got to talk about some of my favorite subjects--gardening and dogs.

Brian had practice scheduled for 7pm, so Steve hung out with the "band" for a bit. I was upstairs with Jake, straightening up and playing the 20 questions game Steve brought for Jake. Boy, is that game addicting.

Anyway, I can't think of a better way to spend an evening--good food, good drink, good friends.

the exorcism of emily rose

I rented this movie to get us in the mood for Halloween. Unfortunately, it was more like watching a version of Law & Order: Exorcism Victims Unit. Ripped from the headlines, of course. The story had an interesting premise--the main focus was the trial of a priest who performed an exorcism on a woman. The woman died. The exorcism story was told in flashbacks during the trial.

Sounds interesting enough, but it wasn't.

Friday, September 21

close call

This evening we were on our way home from grocery shopping when I noticed that a police car was behind us and its lights were flashing. I pulled over at my earliest convenience, hoping that the policeman had urgent business elsewhere. But, no, he pulled right up behind me. Brian, having been pulled over numerous times in his life, grabbed the registration and insurance cards from the glove box and told me to put them, along with my license, on the dash.

Long story short, seeing that I don't even have a parking ticket to my name, I got off with a warning. Phew! But, I guess this means I will need to be extra careful for the foreseeable future. They don't give you two warnings, you know?

Watch those speed limits!

Tuesday, September 18

tastefully simple

My cousin Chris hosted a Tastefully Simple party this evening. I'm not one for attending these types of parties, but when there's food involved, I'll admit that has a certain allure for me. So, I went. It was nice to get out of the house for a change. The food was pretty good, too. Apparently I'm in the minority when it comes to cooking, though. As the saleslady was delivering her spiel, I was leafing through the catalog. She asked, "who here loves to cook?" and I dutifully raised my hand without looking up. She pointed out the fact that only one of us raised our hand and then asked, "who hates to cook?" and all of the other hands shot up. Oh well. I do love to cook, though. But, even more importantly, I love to spend money, so I got to do some of that this evening. I mostly bought stuff for dips. I plan on doing some fall entertaining, so those will come in handy.

Saturday, September 15

apt pupil

You can't change the ending! By doing just that, they missed the entire point of the story. But, that was hardly the worst thing about this movie--it was also dreadfully boring. Apt Pupil has always been one of my favorite Stephen King short stories. Coming from the same collection as The Body (aka Stand by Me) and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (aka The Shawshank Redemption), I expected a little more from this adaptation.

Thursday, September 13

winding down

I noticed that things are finally winding down around here. So it officially must be the end of summer. Sure, I still have some things growing in the garden, but mostly I'm on clean-up duty these days. My cucumber plants finally died, thank goodness, but I still have a few dozen cukes in the fridge. Note to self: don't plant as many cukes next year.

Don't get me wrong--I still have a lot to do, but none of it is pressing. This fall, I'd like to get started on the stone paths in the back yard. I think that will make a nice addition to my garden. And, as a bonus, Brian will have less grass to cut! That's always a good thing.

Even with the end of summer looming, our social schedule remains a little busy. Now that Jake's older, things seem to be in full swing again for us. I don't think we necessarily socialize as much as many people do, but, this year was pretty busy for us. Things started up in spring and haven't really let up yet. And with the holidays coming, it surely won't get any better.

If you don't think fall and winter are right around the corner, I suggest you take a motorcycle ride when the thermometer has dipped below 60 degrees. We did that last night and I thought I had frostbite, my hands were so cold (and I even wore gloves). I guess our motorcycle riding days are numbered. I'll have to be sure to take advantage of whatever days we have left.

Tuesday, September 11

the jester

Wow. I think I've had my fill of James Patterson for a while. This book was supposedly written by him and some guy called Andrew Gross. I've read at least one other of his "co-authored" books and it wasn't good, either. Here's my theory--the name James Patterson sells books. So, I think someone at Warner Books thought, hey, we can get this other guy to sort of write in the style of James Patterson and we'll say it's a collaboration. We'll sell millions of books and everyone will be rich and happy!

And, holy crap--I just wikipedia'ed the guy. Turns out I was right.

Saturday, September 8

ol' jake four eyes

dog run 2007

We did the dog run today with our new friends Dan and Dani. I wasn't feeling confident enough to ride my own bike (maybe next year) so I rode with Brian. We got to Windber around 11:30am so that gave us plenty of time to walk around and check out all of the bikes. As usual, the run was a lot of fun--it's a really nice route to take.

Afterwards, we eschewed the Dog Run party and went to Dan and Dani's for a cookout. They have three sons--one being a few years older than Jake, another one being a few years younger than Jake, and a toddler, so he had a great time playing with the two older boys. Jake claims to have drunk seven sodas. I guess we'll find out for sure in the morning if I have to change the sheets. I'm pretty sure Brian drank more beers, though. Luckily, he doesn't pee the bed anymore. It is unfortunate that Jake got my looks, but Brian's personality. We would've been better served had that been reversed, I'm sure.

Monday, September 3

chris and katie

Yesterday, we headed to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio for the wedding of Brian's cousin Chris and his now wife Katie. The trip out there wasn't bad, but we had to drop off the dogs at the Cozy Inn in Stahlstown so it took a little longer that it would have otherwise. We got there about an hour before we had to leave for the ceremony so we were able to relax a little bit before getting ready to go. The ceremony was nice. It was in a Methodist church, so there wasn't a lot of fooling around--those Methodists get to the point rather quickly.

The reception was conveniently located in the hotel we were staying in, so we went back to our room after the ceremony and relaxed before we had to go downstairs for the reception, which was very nice. I talked to Brian's dad most of the evening. Brian and I also made the rounds and talked to his other relatives that were in attendance. Brian's sister and her family were there, too, so it was good to see them.

This morning, there was a little coffee and donut breakfast for the wedding guests, so we caught something to eat down there before heading home. I guess I can take the rest of the day and do some things around the house, but not before I take a nap. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?) for Brian, he has so much work to do for his business that he has to work this afternoon. I took tomorrow off (I have to pick up the dogs in the morning) so between today and tomorrow, I should be in pretty good shape for the week.

Saturday, September 1

it's a festival

Last night, we went to the FolkFest and met up with Brian's new friend Dan and his kids. Dan's wife was working at the FolkFest so she was unable to hang out with us, but she did stop in to say 'hi'. They seem like really nice people. Anyway, we hung out for a bit and talked, but Dan's youngest kid was getting cranky because it was past his bedtime, so they headed home. We walked around for a little longer and ran into a few more people we knew, then headed home ourselves.

Today, we went to the Ethnic Festival in the West End. Brian actually had to meet one of the vendors there because he was interested in a website for his business, so Jake and I tagged along. While Brian was in his meeting, Jake and I walked around. After the meeting was over, we ate lunch at St. Mary's church and then called it a day. There wasn't much going on down there at that early hour.

Brian's friend Jennifer Drummey is playing at the FolkFest tomorrow. I would've liked to have caught her set, but we have other commitments tomorrow afternoon, unfortunately. Maybe next year...