May 1st, 2008


Music Wednesday

Last night a bunch of us went to see The Proclaimers playing in A2, visiting us all the way from Scotland. Everyone has probably heard their famous "I would walk 500 miles" song, but lots of their other stuff is good too. Their vocals are unique, with a nice blend of harmonies. It was really cool seeing (and more importantly hearing!) them live, and the Ark is such a wonderfully intimate venue for music. Sitting in the second row made it all the better.

As a nice additional treat, they had this kid Jeremy Fisher opening for them, visiting us all the way from Canada. I say 'kid' because he looked and sounded about 19 years old, but I could be under-estimating. He had a fun and amusing stage presence, and a nice voice. Here is the song he played that stuck in my mind the most.

I also got to see a bunch of friends randomly in the middle of the week, another rare treat. It was a good night (even if I'm rather tired today from getting home so late).

Powertools and Swingsets

Last weekend M and I went to the house of some friends of his. They had purchased a swingset kit over the internet and needed some assistance putting it together. Initially they'd just asked M, but I told him that I could easily be talked into construction work also. I enjoy that kind of thing occasionally -- spending an afternoon working with friends, doing something with my hands, producing something tangible.

They said they also had a big shrubbery that needed removing, so I brought my new reciprocating saw. As I showed it off, M told the story of its purchase. "So we go to Lowes, and I'm buying a cover for my grill while my girlfriend buys a powertool! I was feeling a little emasculated...."

Our friend said, "Wow M, I'm proud of you. I've never heard you use that word before."

"What, powertool?"

"No, girlfriend."

I laughed. Hopefully she hasn't heard him use the word 'emasculated' all that often either, or that could be trouble. However I think she was so distracted by the word 'girlfriend' that she didn't even notice I had a cool reciprocating saw..... It did a great job of removing the offending shrub though.

Sadly in the end, the project was less than successful. It turned out we were missing some parts. We were supposed to be building a tower with a ladder, a climbing wall, a rope ladder, a long pole with monkey bars and swings hanging down, and a triangle support at the other end. We only managed a tower with a ladder before we realized that several crucial pieces were not in the package. Since it was an internet purchase, we had to call to have the additional parts shipped. (Not only were they unwilling to helicopter them in so we could finish that afternoon, they weren't even willing to answer the phone on a saturday afternoon! Frustrating.)

The little kid we were building it for was a trouper though. He played on the part we had built -- which really just involved climbing up and down the ladder -- without complaint. In fact, he seemed to enjoy it. At only three years old, I'm not sure he really believed he could have a whole swingset anyway. Imagine how much more he'll like it when the darn thing is finished!