Saturday, July 31, 2010

Peter Frampton and Steve Miller

We saw them last night. It was funny as we had the same seats as we had at Phish, just 1 section over.

We were running on Keith time, so we missed about 30 minutes of the Frampton. He was the opener, and honestly, I wish it had been the other way around. Not to diss Steve Miller, but I just like Peter Frampton more.

You may remember that I was amused by being the way oldest person at the Phish show. We were on the younger side of the crowd last night. It was definitely an older crowd that looked how I pictured the Chastain crowd. You know, lots of tans, bleached hair, gold jewelry, etc. At one point Keith looked around and said, "there are a lot of tanned people here." I replied, "yeah, if I were a dermatologist, I'd be thinking cha-ching."

Just in front of us was a man who may have been about our age, but with his tan and facial lines (he was kind of wrinkly), it was hard to tell. (Honestly, he looked older than us to me, but it could have been the mileage from sun damage.) He was there with a slip of a girl, young enough to be his daughter, and a couple of her friends. There's something pitiful and sad about someone trying to act younger than their age. I sat there, looking at his skin, which seemed fragile to me with it's lines and tan. It looked thin, once again bringing to mind his future need for a dermatologist. I wondered about his relationship with the girl for a minute or two. I felt sorry for him, trying to recapture his lost youth that way. I know, I'm horrible, but people watching can be fun. After all, I know I look odd, sitting there smirking while knitting away on a toe up sock, which looks like a very large willie warmer until the heel is turned!

The other big difference I noticed was the concert odors. Phish smelled the way a concert should - weed, alcohol and vomit. Last night's smelled like the occasional cigarette, whiff of aftershave drifting in the breeze, and somebody nearby farting. Ugh! I'll take skunk weed over farting anyday!

I will admit that I did enjoy it. I've been wearing earplugs to shows for the past few years. I've already got enough hearing loss from the concerts of my youth. What I've discovered about earplugs is they block a lot of the crowd noise and distortion, and I can actually hear the music. I hadn't been planning on going to last night's show. Keith got the tickets at the last minute, and I was racing around, looking for my earplugs. He said we could stop off at Home Depot and buy more, but luckily I found them. This time I'll remember to put them away in the first place I searched for them instead of some random drawer.

Oh, should I mention the music? Those guys can make a guitar wail and sing. Frampton did a cover of Black Hole Sun that was great. While he was playing and singing during Do You Feel Like I Do, Keith said he sounded like Stephen Hawking. Of course, remember that it's us, we decided that he needed to say "Boom shakalakalakalaka..." Hell, just watch what we wanted him to say.

Frampton still has his voice and can sing. The same can't be said about Steve Miller. He's had a little too much fun over the years, and you can hear it in his voice. He had another singer along who sang about half the show, but that was fine. They did some great covers of blues songs. He did ask for donations for his music school, which seems to be a real life school of rock. He even had one of the kids along on the tour who got to jam with the band. The kid, whose name escapes me, looked like he was having the time of his life.

A good time was had by us both. We got out of the house, which is actually quite good as I could stay inside while knitting, dyeing and spinning with movies going all the time and be happy. That would drive Keith crazy!

Now, if he can get tickets for Greenday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bye bye Fishy

Yesterday we lost our giant goldfish. I wish I could say he'd lived a long life, and I suppose he lived a much longer one than many goldfish did, but I still think it was all too short.

I spent a lot of time researching goldfish and their diseases online yesterday, and I learned just how ignorant we were as fish caretakers. I didn't know just how scientific you had to be about everything, testing the water for just the right chemical balance. I know now, but I so wish I hadn't learned about too high nitrate levels the hard way.

The other thing I noticed yesterday and didn't read because I was hoping all the while for a good outcome was an article about euthanizing your fish! I'm wondering what the emergency vet would think about my coming in with the mini tank and gasping fish.

We spent a lot of time yesterday trying to save our fish. Yes, he probably only cost us about 20 cents when I bought him a couple of years ago. You wouldn't know that by the amount of money and time we spent trying to fix the problem. On Saturday we saw him sitting on the bottom of the tank gasping, so Keith ran out and bought a new aerator. We changed part of the water. He seemed to perk up some, but by yesterday morning, he was looking really bad. That's when Keith started searching goldfish diseases online while I went out to buy a second tank so we could move him while we found what was wrong with the first tank. I also bought that water test kit and discovered what the problem was. We moved him to a smaller tank, changed more water, treated it, tested it again. I went back to Petsmart to get something to treat the nitrate levels to help bring them down because we were afraid that changing out all the water would kill him if the nitrate levels didn't.

It's a very strange feeling to be in the parking lot of the petstore when your phone rings, and you're thinking it must be the news that your fish has died.

Unfortunately, our attempts to save him were futile. I'm sorry he suffered from our ignorance. With all the research I've done on cats and dogs, I never really thought to do much on fish. It seems I was much mistaken there.

Perhaps it seems silly to mourn a fish, but he'd been part of our lives for several years now. He'd gotten so big that we had started looking at larger tanks so he could continue to grow. He seemed to be thriving.

Keith had to measure and weigh him last night. We'd gotten him as a tiny little comet, and he'd grown to be almost 9" long and weighed 8.25 ounces!

The tank is in our front room. It's one of the first things we see when we come into the house. I keep looking at the empy tank. I plan to empy it out, start with fresh water, let it cycle with the plants and the good bacteria, then get another fish or two, along with a fancy water testing kit. In the meantime, I'm going to keep missing our fish.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Letting you know I'm still around

I've been busy the past few weeks, and obviously not blogging!

I posted over on Fiber Charmer what I've been up to, so I won't repeat it all here. I'd like to think once cucumber and tomato season is over, things will calm down, but I kind of doubt it. I've got stuff planned for this fall that I want to learn how to do, and before Gale headed out to Convergence, she told me to watch two videos she had about scouring fleeces, fiber prep and how to dye them. I haven't had a friend give me homework like this before!

So, I'm still around, just enjoying learning so many skills that our pioneer women ancestors knew.

My aunt hooked me up with a pickle bucket from a deli near her house, so I'll be liming cucumbers to make my first ever batch of pickles sometime this week, as well as taking a look at the pressure canner and seeing what parts need to be replaced before I start canning tomatoes.

I must admit, I'm loving it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Phish and Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine

An overly long blog entry in which I'll take you into my youth and back into the present, which is now the past.

Keith had gotten tickets to one of the Phish shows here over the weekend. He knows more about Phish than I do, and he had heard some of their music. What I knew about Phish is this - they were a jam band like the Grateful Dead. People followed them around like they used to with the Dead. Also, Trey Anastasio was redheaded like me, and he'd been on the cover of some of Keith's guitar magazines.

Keith asked me if I'd go with him to the show, and I said yes, because I knew he wanted to go. I can always take knitting with me.

Now let's get into that WABAC machine and take a little side trip to my past. We were teenagers back in the 1970's and very early 80's. In fact, I've got a birthday coming up soon, and I'm starting to see 50 looming way too close. I started going to concerts when I was 12 or 13, and boy, back in the day, were they wild! A haze of pot smoke filled the air. Lots of open containers of all sorts of alcohol. I remember one time drinking Boone's Farm slushies that we'd made. I never smoked too much pot myself because I grew up in a family of cigarette smokers, and I just can't stand smoking. I did, however, love the smell of burning pot, so I always breathed deeply at all those shows.

Ronald Reagan came along, with the whole just say no to drugs campaign. I remember going to some shows at the Omni (when it still existed) and finding that security was like the Gestapo. This was in the late 80's, as I remembered we'd brought our own liquor to the AC/DC concert sometime in 85 or 86, so this was after that.

We go to very few shows nowadays. Rarely does anyone come through that we want to see. Tickets are ridiculously expensive. I've got a bit of tinnitus, which I'm sure is the result of some of those very loud shows of my youth.

Let's get back to the recent past. Yes, I'm going to Phish. I'll admit that I sort of hoped he'd be able to find a buddy to go with him instead, but I went. I've got my earplugs (I don't need to lose any more hearing) and my knitting. What non-knitters don't always understand is that knitting allows us to be more patient and actually pay attention to what's going on around us instead of us thinking when in the world will this be over?

Entering Verizon Wireless Amphitheater for Phish was very strange. I felt like I'd entered the WABAC machine and landed in a concert from my youth. All of the shows we attend are geared more towards our age group. (Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, even Billy Idol) Here we were the oldest. Way old. All these kids in wild clothing reminded both of us how shows used to be.

After we got drinks and started looking for our seats, we passed through clouds of pot smoke. Here was a concert that really was like the ones we used to go to! Lots of pot, lots of liquor, everyone was dancing (except for me. I sat down and knitted on a sock. Too hot to dance for 3 or 4 hours. After all, I'm seeing 50 on the horizon, and I need to get my well upholstered butt to the gym.) Keith did get into the dancing. He's in better shape than I am (right now).

During intermission, while Keith went to replenish our drinks, I had one kid ask me if I was enjoying the show. I think my knitting distressed him. I said yes, it was great. (It was. I was enjoying it.) I had another come sit next to me and ask about my knitting. Then I got to hear about his grandmother's needlework. (Ugh, but he was cute.) Now, while I know I'm old enough to be their mom, I was unprepared for the cute gal who introduced herself, thinking that I had brought my adult son to the show. I told Keith when he got back, and he asked, "how did she know you were old enough to be his mom?"

Isn't that just the sweetest thing for him to ask? All I have to do is look in the mirror and see the effects of gravity and time, but he always tells me I don't look as old as my age. While at dinner last night with another couple (who I later found out were a good 17 years younger than us), they said that when you're 20, everyone over 20 looks equally old. Not sure I'm buying that.

I guess we were the "cool parents" at the Phish show. Keith said that he kept getting into conversations with the guys. They approached him, but he's a very approachable person.

I do find I'm having a little bit of a problem with it. As I mentioned, I've got a birthday soon. I won't be 50 this year, but it's getting awfully damn close. I normally hang around people my own age, and it was a little shocking to discover that I do seem older. I can normally pass for a few years younger amongst my crowd, but I wasn't with my crowd that night.

In all honestly, I'm pretty content with my age. What I'm not content with can be changed by actually going to the gym and exercising instead of just thinking about it. As the saying goes, you're only as old as you feel, and I feel pretty young. It's just that damn mirror that says otherwise.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


We absolutely, positively need to check the garden daily for cucumbers. As you can see, if we skip a day, we end up with some monsters! Today I'll pick up a quart of jalapenos, and tomorrow I'll make up some cucumber jalapeno relish. Yum!