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|Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012|
And the tumbleweeds keep tumbling on . . . . . . .
|Monday, April 12th, 2010|
Every once in a while someone will ask me about the kind of books I enjoy reading. I'm a very multifaceted reader, I consume both fiction and non-fiction books with equal relish, and my reading habits are often dictated by whatever project I currently find myself working on. If I'm prepping a workshop my reading tends to revolve around that. If I'm in "hibernation" mode I tend to read more fiction (or at least not books about Paganism/Religion!).
When it comes to fiction I mostly read the "fantasy" genre. That's not to say I don't read other things, but when I'm fiction reading I'm often looking for escape, and worlds full of magic and elves tend to supply that. The last few years have supplied a treasure trove of fantasy, so I thought I'd write about my favorite series from the past ten years or so. Some of the authors I'm going to mention have been releasing books for the better part of a decade, some of them for just a year or two. All of them have now entered the realm of "Jason must read these authors right now!" which goes along with me fretting over release dates and making sure I get my reading started within days of release.
So all of the books and authors in this post have the Jason seal of approval. With summer coming along don't you need something to read anyways?
I just finished "The Warded Man" last week and it's been banging around in my head ever since. There were two things about this book that really stood out for me. The first was just that the characters rang true. Their reasons for being who they are, and doing what they do, didn't feel forced or contrived. I've read a lot of books where characters become heroic (or villainous) for reasons that just don't make any sense. That doesn't happen with Brett. There were also several amazing moments of suspense, worry, and tension. When an author leads you down a path where you actively worry about the main character . . .that's great writing! Brett did that to me a handful of times in under 500 pages. This is the best first novel I've read in four years or so. "The Warded Man" is also just the first book in a trilogy (the second book "The Desert Spear" came out in the last two weeks), so much more great reading to come!
Brent Weeks' "Night Angel" trilogy is like a video game translated into a book. It's full of gratuitous killing, and this kind of unconventional "Ninjas in late medieval Europe" thing that was absolutely gripping. While Weeks' main protagonist Kylar is good character, it's the side stories of the secondary characters that steal books two and three. So many authors have trouble telling one good story in a book, Weeks tells two or three in each book!
I did kind of feel that the third book was a bit sloppy. It could have benefited from some tighter editing, or even by being split up into two books. Even with that criticism, Weeks tells such a gripping story that you don't mind the problems too much. Night Angel was recently optioned for a movie too, so read the books before Hollywood spoils the story.
That's Vin, the main character in Brandon Sanderson's "Mistborn" trilogy, and she's just so hot and the picture is just so stunning that I stole the original painting that makes up the cover to the first book. Just like Weeks' "Night Angel" trilogy, "Mistborn" was optioned for a film back in January. And while i can see "Night Angel" as a movie, "Mistborn" is another thing entirely. Unlike most fantasy worlds, the world of Mistborn is absolutely unique and original, and like nothing I've ever read before. The story is dark and depressing, but the writing is bright and engaging. There are a good dozen solid characters in Mistborn too, and I have a feeling that the Mistborn trilogy will become one of those "Must Read Essential" fantasy serieses.
Sanderson is currently finishing up Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series, and having read "Wheel" I have to say I think Sanderson is a better writer than Jordan. The characters, the magical system(s), the totally out of left field plot twists, and new fantasy creatures (kandras rule!) are going to make Sanderson a household name like Tolkein. (OK, maybe it won't go that far, but people will know who is!)
I started reading David Coe's "Winds of the Forelands" series about five years ago and once I got through the first two books I thought it would be huge! I has a feeling that every new book he released in the series would be a fantasy event! For reasons I don't understand, it didn't happen, but I still love the series. If you like "dense" series like George R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" or Jordan's "Wheel of Time" you'll love "Winds of the Forelands." It's full of big battles, politics, and a huge cast of players. The best thing about is that it's only five books long and it's all done! Unlike Martin and Jordan, Coe was able to write his epic quickly so you don't have to wait around for a decade to finish up.
Coe also recently finished a second series with a few of the main characters from "Forelands" called "Blood of the Southlands." While not quite as epic as "Forelands" it's still a good read, and the eight books in total should keep you busy all summer long.
Joe Abercrombie's "First Law" trilogy is the dirtiest, grittiest, and most adult fantasy series of last twenty years. Now I'm not using adult here to imply sex, I'm using it to imply that these books are for adults. There's no illusion that "First Law" is for teens, or is "cute." It's a violent, cut-throat fantasy series, full of petty characters that you'd be hard pressed to call heros. They're certainly "real" people in that they are believable, but they aren't all good, or even sympathetic, and as soon as you have one of them figured out they either do something reprehensible or surprisingly noble, sort of like real humans.
Abercrombie is the book I most pass recommend to friends these days because it manages to avoid nearly every major cliche that haunts the fantasy genre. While Abercrombie's books lack the cliched "orphan who grows up to realize a great destiny" tangent, there is an executioner named Glokta who has become one of my favorite characters in the history of fantasy. When you are ready to read a fantasy book that doesn't feel like a role-playing game, pick up "First Law" you'll be glad you did.
|Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010|
|"God's Will" Just Always Seems So Convenient.
While advocating the existence of global warming (or as it should be known, "climate change") on a friend's facebook page, one of his friends contributed a line that read something like this "and even if it is real, it's not something to worry about because it's God's will." Something tells me the lady who wrote those words doesn't apply that way of thinking to her life on a day to day basis. If she did she'd probably quit the Tea Party movement, because Obama being President has to be God's will, and at least by her way of thinking. (Global warming is a man-made problem, Obama was legally elected President by popular vote and the electoral college. In both cases they are the direct result of humans interacting with their environment, and hence, examples of "God's will.")
The use of the term and idea "God's will" just seems like a major cop-out to me. If global warming is real we shouldn't worry about it because God is causing it. If that's the case we shouldn't worry about acid rain either, because God is causing it. "God's will" is an excuse to pass the buck, ignore the problem, and then not feel guilty about it. Unless you practice Christian Science, when you get sick you see a doctor or take some medicine, but maybe you shouldn't. Perhaps being sick is strictly "God's will" in your own life, and to make yourself better is to ignore His will.
Since global warming can be stopped, it's a lot like getting sick in my estimation. The only events that I would ever attribute to the will of a deity are natural disasters: earthquakes, volcanos, lightning strikes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes (though due to global warming we are partially responsible for the rise in hurricane strength), and even then we know why those things happen. This world was made in such a way that we can explain those even, so maybe not even those things are due to the will of a deity. If you want to attribute small, personal, everyday miracles to the will of God or divine intervention I might even back you up on it, but don't tell me our job as human beings is to sit around and do nothing when terrible things happen.
I've just never been able to attribute horrible things to the will of God. There are many reasons for this, some include God being busy, and others are just due to my belief that God is not horrible. Princess (my cat) didn't die due to God's will, she died because of cancer, and because she was old. God does not inflict babies with horrible problems in order to test the faith of a family, sometimes rotten things just happen. I do believe that things like prayer can contribute to the good health of a loved one, but I will never believe the dire circumstances that necessitated those prayers was due to the will of God.
I understand the need to attribute these things to God. Sometimes it helps one to make sense of a horrible situation, and at other times it becomes a convenient excuse to do nothing when the planet is threatened. The first of those two reasons makes sense to me, the second not so much. Sometimes shit happens, and you either deal with it and try to fix the problem, or you roll over and ignore it.
"God's will" just doesn't explain the world to me. Lady Gaga is a huge superstar due to God's will, right? I'm sure she's lived this moral life, and is just an exemplary human being. I think the same thing of a lot of rappers, especially those who have gone to jail. Their success is all due to God, kind of as a reward for being a jackass. Not buying that really, and sometimes you become successful because you do have some talent (which doesn't mean you are a great person) or because you were in the right place at the right time. For the record I do think Lady Gaga has some talent and is a decent human being, but I don't think she's one of Yahweh's darlings. I question the talent of a lot of rappers, and think many of them owe their success, not to God's will, but due to producer's who mask their flaws, and friends who got them record deals.
I am not an atheist, or even a deist, but I can't live in a world where things like global warming can be attributed to the will of deity. I honestly believe that the universe functions as it does because something Cosmic set the wheels into motion, once those wheels were moving and we were created out of the primordial slush it became our job to keep them moving. I think God can be a part of your life, but I just don't see him sitting in a heavenly bingo parlor going "B4-Steve gets in a car accident" or "D7-That dude there is getting to prostate cancer," and of course "CO2-Global Warming."
|Thursday, December 17th, 2009|
|Jason's Year in Sports
It was an amazing year in sports. Furious finishes abounded and improbable champions were crowned. It was a lot of fun, and certainly memorable. So here are my favorite moments of 2009, interspersed with reflections from sports that just didn't show up on the radar for me this year. Enjoy, and cry Red Wings fans.
1. The Pittsburgh Penguins shock the world and beat the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals
Why was this the best sports moment of 2009? I think it's because it topped off an amazing Stanley Cup Playoff. The NHL Playoffs featured some amazing series this year: Detroit beating Anaheim in seven games, The Penguins beating the Capitals in seven games, and then this, the rematch from last year's Cup Finals. It was a back and forth contest, with the home teams getting all the breaks in games one through six, and then it featured the heart-attack inducing game seven. The Penguins go up by two early, the Red Wings get back within one with six minutes to go, and then have the game tying goal clank off the center post . . . followed by a furious last two minutes that saw the Wings almost tie it up.
Part of the amazing thing about the Penguins winning this thing is that they almost moved about four years ago. They were headed to Kansas City, and hockey was supposed to die in Pittsburgh. Mercifully the city, state, and Super Mario reached a deal and hockey remained in the city of champions. Following that save the Pens get lucky and drafted Crosby, and then Geno Malkin and suddenly they are stacked for about ten more years. This was sports at its best, two great teams playing great hockey. I'm not sure the Stanley Cup Finals will ever be this epic again.
I just recently re-watched the highlights of this series, and what sticks out is how competitive it was (with the exception of game five). Sure the Wings won two games by three goals, but in games one and two those goals came late, and the Pens even led in game two for a period and a half. The Penguins won by two twice at home, but game three featured an empty netter, and game four featured a hot Marc-Andre Fleury basically ruining the Wings best period of the series (that'd be the second period, watch the tape, they just got unlucky). Games six and seven, with those 2 to 1 scores are the real measuring sticks of this series.
(Totally off topic but goodbye Tim Tebow! Tebow only has one more game to go in college and then he can fade into obscurity in the NFL and continue to provide the Philippines with free vasectomies during the off-season. Yeah, Florida kind of sort of won a National Title in 2009, but I thought Utah was better last year, I really did. This year I think TCU is the best team in college football, but alas, we'll never know. College football will never matter as much as it should when a true champion can't be determined. The BCS is a pile of crap, and the AP voters have no balls. The worst of the polls is the college coach's poll, which featured five number one votes for Texas at the end of the year. After the hurting Alabama gave Florida the number one team in the country was obvious. Texas was lucky to get past a mediocre Nebraska squad. I like watching my teams (Go Vols! Go Spartans!) but beyond that it's getting to be a tough sport to swallow. Way to play that tough out of conference schedule Gators, I hope those games against Florida International, Troy, and Charleston Southern weren't too difficult. What a sham of a sport.)
2. The Pittsburgh Steelers become the first NFL franchise to win six Super Bowls.
Yup, those toes were just enough on the ground for this go ahead touchdown to count with less than forty seconds on the clock. This year's Super Bowl featured an amazing finish with two touchdowns scored in the last two minutes or so, a furious rally by the Arizona Cardinals who were nearly blown out at one point, and the longest play in Super Bowl history, James Harrison's 100 yard interception return. Harrison's return might have been the defining moment of the game, that is until Big Ben and Santonio Holmes were forced to drive down the field late to win the game. The Super Bowl remains the greatest one off spectacle in sports, and the last few Super Bowls-all close games, have cemented that fact.
(A quick diversion-the year in Major League Baseball. With a 200 million dollar payroll the New York Yankees won the World Series. How exciting, a team with a payroll bigger than that of four other franchises combined wins the World Series! What a well managed sport! The Yankees have some great players, I will always respect Jeter for instance, but is this kind of shit fair? Wouldn't it be more thrilling if you were a Yankee fan to actually win a World Series because you put together the best team in a competitive league? Is it as rewarding to buy a title? Great for New Yorkers, but mark my words, this kind of crap will end up killing baseball in every smaller market in the country. It can't be cool to wake up in Pittsburgh or Kansas City knowing in April that you won't even be in playoff contention at the end of May.)
3. The Michigan State Spartans get close, but North Carolina is just better.
The Spartan run in March/April was thrilling. Couldn't take my eyes off of it, and while it didn't come from nowhere (I had them in the Final Four in my brackets) it was still a pleasant surprise for a state that really needed it. While I was sad to see the Spartans lose to North Carolina, they did lose to a great team, and one of the best college players of all time in Tyler Hansborough. There's no shame. Izzo has built one of the cadillac programs in Division 1 Basketball, and we know he'll get the Spartans back to that mountain pretty soon.
(The year in NASCAR. Whoops, not a sport, we'll continue.)
4. Kobe Bryant comes out of Shaq's Shadow
The NBA Finals were pretty thrilling, until the NBA Finals when the Los Angeles Lakers just spanked the Orlando Magic. The Chicago/Boston series was especially thrilling with about 2 dozen overtimes spread over seven games. The Boston/Orlando series was a thrill ride too, and seeing the heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers lose to the Magic was also enjoyable. While the Finals were kind of lackluster, it's probably best to think of them as a coronation of Kobe Bryant as the best player of this decade. Fear not Lebron fans, your guy will be the best player of the next decade. He's still a baby. Looking forward to Celtics/Lakers this spring.
(I don't watch Mixed Martial Arts and boxing has fallen off the face of the earth, so I think that's it. Until next year.)
|Thursday, December 10th, 2009|
|Christmas is about Christmas, right? Uhmmm, well maybe not.
"Bottom line is Christmas is about Christmas. That's why we have it. It's not about winter solstice or Kwanzaa. It's like, 'Wow you guys, it's called Christmas for a reason.'" -Erin Ryan, president of the Redding (CA) Tea Party Patriots.
I hate to correct Mr. Ryan, but Christmas is only kind of sort of about Christmas, and even less about Jesus Christ. Sure, there are religious aspects to Christmas for a lot of people, and I would never belittle those beliefs, but Christmas is a complex four-sided beast of a holiday. Its origins lie in ancient paganism, and it retains many of those trappings. It was later adopted by Christians, who put their own spin on it (at least some of the time, in many ways it's kind of a "new" holiday). It's also a giant secular holiday about gift giving, parties, and family. The final side is either your favorite or least favorite, it's a holiday of corporate gluttony and a testament to the current American way of over-indulgence. (Don't worry, no judgement here, my family has always over-indulged!)
At the very core of Christmas is the winter solstice. Mr. Ryan proved his absolute stupidity by saying that Christmas is not about the winter solstice. Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25th because of its proximity to the winter solstice. By the time the Christian Church developed, winter solstice celebrations were common throughout the world, and it made a great deal of sense to the early church to celebrate something at that time of year. If you knew you were going to lose one of your favorite holidays would you convert to a new religion? When you can't beat them, sometimes you have to join them! If you've ever bothered to read the Bible you'll find no mention of a December 25th date for the birth of Jesus, nor any mentions that the day of his birth should even be celebrated.
In many ways Christmas is a celebration of winter. We decorate with snowflakes, and it might be the only time all year we actively wish for snow. Since it tends to snow during the winter, and the winter solstice is the first day of winter, well you know, it's a part of that Christmas being about the winter solstice argument I've been trying to make. What's wrong with celebrating the natural turn of the Earth anyways? The winter solstice is a naturally occurring event, the recent outcry about acknowledging it in a Gap ad is almost laughable. Maybe next year we can prevent the solstice as not to offend the easily confused?
Ancient pagan winter solstice celebrations looked a lot like our modern Christmas. There were gift exchanges, and even some of the decorations those people used before the birth of Christ are still in use today. If you bother to really look at Christmas decor you'll notice that it's all green. The things we use to decorate are things that bloom and live through winter. That goes back to a very pagan concept called "like attracts like." If you want it to be warm again, you should probably surround yourself with green growing things. It's pretty simple. That's why we use holly, ivy, poinsettias, fir trees, mistletoe etc. Those were certainly never gifts from the Magi, they were the trappings of the winter solstice in Europe (with the exception of the poinsettia which is from Mexico).
You can try to take the pagan winter solstice out of Christmas, but you won't be left with very much. Even the birth narratives of Jesus reflect a kind of pagan outlook. Contrary to public belief, a great many sons of deity were born near or on the winter solstice, and a large amount of them were born with great celestial occurrences marking their birth. Many of them were also visited by kings or magicians, and had virgins for Moms. Most Bible scholars tend to discredit the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke (they are missing in Mark and John) as recent additions, a sort of cosmic mythology used to prove a theological point. There's certainly nothing in the latter parts of the New Testament to confirm any of the birth story. If Jesus had truly been born of a virgin under a magical star you think Paul might have mentioned it somewhere!
For most of its existence Christianity has tended to look down on Christmas a pagan celebration. It was a feast day in a lot of churches, but it wasn't the holiday par excellence it's become today. Until the 19th Century it was rarely celebrated at all, and it took a book, Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" to really establish the tradition. One of the more curious aspects of 'Carol' is that it completely takes the Christ out of Christmas. There are no mentions of Jesus in the book, and Dickens' Christmas is more of a Dionysian Revel than a religious holiday.
One of the best things about the grafting of the Jesus story onto the winter solstice holiday was that it prevented the holiday from just becoming a celebration of excess. While I'm quite in favor of Dionysian Revels, one of the truly magical things about the Holiday Season is that sense of compassion and charity it stirs up in so many of us. A great many people do a lot of wonderful things at Christmas-time, and that generous spirit has often been inspired by the legacy and teachings of Jesus. As I said before, Christmas is a complex thing, created from many different strands of thread, and I think all of them have contributed in positive ways to the holiday. In many ways, Christmas has come to represent the best of Christianity with that spirit of giving.
So much about Christmas these days is secular. While I can trace back a lot of trappings and traditions to winter solstice celebrations, there are a lot of elements about Christmas today that are strictly secular. While Santa Claus might claim Odin as a great-grandfather, he's a rather secular creation, molded into shape by a political cartoonist and the Coca-Cola Company. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer began his life as a department store tie-in. Frosty the Snowman has no religious connotations, but I can't imagine Christmas without him.
Of course these secular figures also represent that commercial aspect of Christmas that you either love or hate. Christmas is a celebration of consumerism. "Black Friday" is a holiday unto its self, the malls hum, and people make up lists of stuff that they want. l certainly don't mind this part of the holiday, and it also puts to rest the argument that Christmas is about Jesus, or even about the winter solstice, it's about all of those things, and spending money.
I love Christmas. I loved it as a Christian, I love it as a Pagan, and I love it as a shopper and watcher of Christmas TV specials. I hang my stocking by the bookshelf with care every year and put a nativity scene near by. I also have a few menorahs floating around the house (might as well invite everyone to the party). Christmas is about what YOU want it to be about. If Jesus is the reason for your season, that's great run with it and celebrate it, but don't tell me that's all that it's about. And if you believe that's all that it's about, please take down your Christmas tree, stop giving presents, and cut out the Santa Claus. Of course those of us who are smart revel in all of it, regardless of where it came from.
|Thursday, September 24th, 2009|
|The Most Perfect Album of All Time (In My Universe At Least)
Last week I was flying across America and weird thoughts kept continually tumbling out of my head. VIcodin will do that to you I guess. One of the longest conversations I had with myself was on the best cd/record/album of all time, or at least what I consider to be the most "perfect record." It's hard to describe perfection, but it basically implies great songs, great sound, great performances, and no wasted moments. Most albums are full of junk, or "filler" wedged between the "singles" which are all you are really meant to listen to.
For the life of me I've only been able to come up with a handful of perfect records. Nearly every record I like has a few moments of just "ehh." Even Led Zeppelin IV has "Four Sticks" which is just a good song surrounded by great ones. I'm sure you've already guessed, "Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy" is my favorite record of all time, not because it's perfect ("Don't Wanna Know" is a throw away track), but because it's so very nearly perfect, like our own lives, and encompasses this crazy wide rage of moods. There are more moods expressed on "Fizzy" than any other record I've ever listened to. It's an album that still makes me cry, but also leaves me with hope at the same time. There are bouncy songs on it, clever double entendres, great guitar solos, and some of the finest American song-writer ever. If you don't believe me, you've never listened to the album.
The Refreshments are generally known for one minor hit song in 1996. "Banditos" wasn't a radio phenomenon, but it was played a lot. Most people are familiar with it, and if you hum a little bit of "the world is full of stupid people, so meet me at the mission at midnight and we'll divvy up there" they tend to figure it out. If they don't figure it out, they didn't have a radio in 1996, only listened to Christian music stations at the time, or lost their hearing that summer. Those are about the only excuses I'm going to buy. "Banditos" was a fun song, perfect for radio, and with a chorus that demands to be screamed out at the top of your lungs, but it's only an introduction, and far from the album's apex.
The entire record is influenced by the desert Southwest, but even more than the land that created it, this is an album shaped by heartache and loneliness. I have no idea if lead singer and song-writer Roger Clyne was suffering some sort of great depression when he wrote most of "Fizzy," but there's this sense of loss on the record that slaps you in the face even during the most happy sounding guitar solo. One of my favorite tracks on the album, and one that just grooves and almost forces you to move, is called "Girly" and while it's all upbeat and buoyant, lines like "beat me till I'm black and blue and I'm hanging by a thread, then I can get back up and we can do it all over again" make Roger sound like some sort of sado-masochist. The music stands in sharp contrast to the protagonist of the song whose woman does nothing but beat the shit out of him, emotionally I'm guessing.
There's an angriness about relationships in some of the songs, and having met Roger on a number of occasions, I can tell you he's not an angry person. Perhaps relationships are just frustrating, and there's no way to avoid that frustration, no matter how you feel about the other person. One of the things I always liked about Roger as a song-writer (and especially on this album) is how humble he is. "I was never cool enough to work in a record store," whether it's true or not in his case, it was true enough in mine, and I can relate to the lyric. Life is just a giant "Suckerpunch" and you can do everything just right and still fall flat on your face and end up with blood on your clothes. I like songs where the guy doesn't get the girl, and most of us go through that a time or twelve in our lives.
("Suckerpunch" might define the entire career of "The Refreshments." I've never seen a better reviewed band, and anyone who has ever been exposed to the band becomes a fan for life, but somehow Polygram record couldn't translate that into a platinum album. Think of all the dreck in pop-music, and it becomes even more unfathomable why I'm writing about these guys on Facebook, instead of watching a "Behind the Music" on them.)
While the album ends on the heartbreaking yet triumphant "Nada" part of me wishes it had ended with "Down Together," perhaps the most hopeful song on the whole record. Basically an declaration that doing stupid things is OK, it also opens the door to thinking that it might be possible to find a speck of dust and scribble down a shared life story. It's the only song on the entire record that doesn't document a dysfunctional relationship with a significant other. It was almost like a giant shrug, reminding the listener that it's not all that bleak, really.
It's hard to write about "Fizzy" without spending a paragraph on each and every song on the album. There's an energy and piece of experience in each and every story that it feels like blasphemy to ignore one to praise another. While songs like "Nada" and "Interstate" both have this shared sense of lonely, one ends in victory and the other ends in defeat. We don't win every time, nor will we. It's almost ridiculous to think otherwise.
If there's a climax to the record it's a shared one. For me and many of my friends the sing-a-long drinking song "Mekong" will always haunt (and bless) our lives. "Mekong" is a depressing song wrapped in a celebration of life. Even when we are far from home and all on our own with only "what's his name my new best friend" to pass the time with life is still worth celebrating. Even in the crappiest of circumstances it's still OK to raise a toast and cherish the small victories. It is always happy hour, mostly just because I've lived to fight another day.
"Mekong" is an amazing song, but the real climax of the record might be "Nada," which borders on life altering anthem. I don't know why a tale of some guy's desert wanderings is so poignant, but it is. To this day the line "I tip the bottle and bite the lime" sends shivers down my spine. I know it's just a reference to tequila, but when Roger sings it, the whole thing becomes an approach to life. I know that there's crap on the highway, the car is out of gas, and I'm about to get bit by a rattlesnake, but whatever, I'm gonna tip that bottle and bite the lime.
|Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009|
|Party this Saturday-9:00 pm
Ari and I are having a party this saturday to celebrate our (amazing) five year anniversary. We made it five years, who would have thunk it? Who is left in the pool? I'm sure someone was taking bets somewhere. I feel so lucky to still have this beautiful woman as the center of my life. Awesome.
Anyways, you don't need to bring us anything, we don't want anything, just your presence! It's all an excuse to have a party, and besides, we love our friends a lot. (I also need to get in some practice before the Halloween Party!)
So show up, bring friends, get ready to sing "Mekong" etc etc.
|Wednesday, September 16th, 2009|
|Type O Negative at Harpo's on Halloween!
I'm not sure if I want to do this or not, but Type O Negative is playing Harpo's on Halloween night! I don't do anything on Halloween as it is, maybe that'd be fun to go see? Perhaps some Type O followed up by some City Club or something?
(For those who read these posts and live outside of Michigan, Harpo's is a most-excellent (and dangerous) heavy metal club in a horrible part of Detroit. I try to go there a couple of times a year.)
|Monday, August 31st, 2009|
|The Schedule Early Fall 2009
Saturday September 5th: Tesla Pine Knob/DTE Clarkston MI
Thursday September 10th: NFL KICKOFF titans vs. STEELERS. Iron City Beer, Chili, The World Champs, my house
Friday September 18th-Monday September 21st: Pagan Pride Weekend Sacramento CA. It's a great feeling knowing that people will pay to fly me out west, but no one knows I'm alive in my own backyard. This is the icing on the cake when it comes to Ari and I moving.
Saturday September 26th: Five years and a day of Ari and Jason. I am a lucky boy!!!! :)
Sunday September 27th: PENGUINS (world champs!) vs. red wings at the Joe.
Saturday Oct. 10th-11th: STEELERS vs. lions. Downtown Detroit for a day and a half, and the game of course!
Saturday Oct. 24th: ZE HALLOWEEN PARTY 9:00 pm until 4:00 am. 812 of course.
Friday Oct. 30th: Red Cedar Circle Samhain Ritual Time and place TBD
Wednesday Nov. 4-Monday the 9th. Ari and Jason in San Francisco.
What did I forget Ari?
|Monday, August 17th, 2009|
|NFL Predictions 2009-AFC
The best teams are in the AFC, no doubt about it. The favorites going into this year are the usual contenders: Steelers, Patriots, Colts, and Chargers. The deepest teams all play in the AFC, and it should be a horse-race all the way till the end. Here's how I see it playing out.
I like the Patriots and Dolphins to both post winning records. I'd like to see Miami win the division, but I'm going the conservative route and picking the Patricheats. The Dolphins have a much more difficult schedule this year, while New England has an easier one. I think that will proably be the difference.
New England Patriots 11-5 Brady won't be the same, and the lines are getting old, fast.
Miami Dolphins 10-6 Solid team, but things are going to be rougher this year.
Buffalo Bills 9-7 This team has steadily been improving.
New York Jets 5-11 Rookie coach plus rookie quarterback equals crappy season.
There are only two teams in this division, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. I think the Ravens will miss Rex Ryan this season, and the defense will take a small step back.
Pittsburgh Steelers 13-3 All the pieces are back, and the schedule is easier.
Baltimore Ravens 11-5 Will lose to the Steelers twice.
Cinci Bengals 6-10 It's been fun Coach Lewis.
Cleveland Browns 4-12 Mangini and Quinn are both frauds.
Jeff Fisher is rapidly becoming the next Marty Schottenheimer, he just can't win the big one, and he can't beat the Ravens. That's a shame, I like the guy. The Colts will win the division, but the Titans will challenge. I'm not drinking the Texans Kool-Aid quite yet.
Indianapolis Colts 12-4 Peyton continues to get it done.
TN Titans 11-5 Best running back stable in the NFL, not the best wide receiving corps though.
Houston Texans 8-8 Great players on offense and defense, it's just that the Colts and Titans are better.
Jacksonville Jaguars 6-10 Wow, what a collpase! Two years ago this was a playoff team.
The Chargers will coast in this division. The Radiers and Chiefs would have trouble beating Arena League teams.
San Diego Chargers 12-4 The team is stacked, the coach is Norv Turner, which equates to failure.
Oakland Raiders 7-9 Finally, light at the end of the tunnel
Denver Broncos 6-10 Bad defense and Kyle Orton as a starter? Blech.
Kansas City Chiefs 5-11 I was going to say four wins, but Chuck insists it will be 5.
Getting hosed: Dolphins
Patricheats 31 Titans 20
Ravens 24 Colts 21
Steelers 38 Patricheats 21
Chargers 31 Ravens 24
Steelers 31 Chargers 20
Steelers 31 Eagles 20
Back to back baby!!!!
|Sunday, August 16th, 2009|
|NFL Predictions 2009-NFC
It's in the air now, I can almost smell it. Football season is nearly upon us. I am rarely correct when it comes to predicting what is going to happen in the NFL. Some of it is homerism, I do like picking the Steelers. Some of it is ice-cold hate, I'd never pick New England to win anything (and besides, they can't win without cheating, so I'm not sure if their wins count anyways). The hardest picks this year are in the NFC, an extremely flawed conference, with no obvious favorite. Here goes anyways.
This is the most competitive division in football, with three playoff quality teams, and a fourth that's not too far behind. The defenses in the NFC East are some of the most rugged in the league, and this should be a battle until the very end.
Philadelphia Eagles 12-4 They have receievers, but they also have that dog killer Vick. It could curse them.
New York Giants 11-5 Who will Eli throw to? The D should be fierce.
Dallas Cowboys 9-7 Romo is not good enough to get it done, especially in December.
Washington Redskins 7-9 I don't like Zorn, the wideouts, or Campbell's confidence.
Three teams should compete for the division crown here, and the Lions might win a game. Each of the three contenders has a serious, perhaps fatal flaw. It'll be a battle.
Chicago Bears 10-6 No wideouts, the defense has to be better this year. Forte will shine.
Green Bay Packers 9-7 Aaron Rogers was not the problem, the horrible defense was.
Minnesotta Vikings 8-8 Tavaris Jackson, enough said. With Favre I would have picked them to win the division.
Detroit Lions 4-12 That's a 400% improvement!
Almost as tough as the AFC East, the South could produce two playoff teams, much like they did last year.
Atlanta Falcons 11-5 Matt Ryan will not regress, and Tony Gonzalez will make him better. Love Turner too.
New Orleans Saints 10-6 If the defense can make two stops a game, the offense can win ten games for them.
Carolina Panthers 8-8 The Panthers never put two winning seasons together in a row.
Tampa Bay Bucs 6-10 The Bucs are "rebuilding."
Arizona went to their first Super Bowl last year, and if Warner is healthy they could do it again. The Seahawks and 49'ers should be much improved.
Arizona Cardinals 11-5 Winning games on the road in November and December could prove difficult.
Seattle Seahawks 9-7 Healthy players will make the difference.
San Francisco 49'ers 7-9 New head coach Mike Singletary will have these guys ready every week.
St. Lous Rams 6-10 This team has some playmakers on offense, but not enough.
Saints 24 Falcons 28
Bears 20 Giants 24
Eagles 35 Giants 21
Cardinals 28 Falcons 18
Eagles 28 Cardinals 24
Tomorrow I'll do the AFC.
|Tuesday, August 11th, 2009|
|At my desk
At my desk . . . pretty typical, except for lately. This is the first time I've been in my office since the surgery, and also the first time I've sat down at the computer. I like my laptop (most of the time), but I like typing on my desktop so much better. I type faster on it too . . . . Anyways some random musings and statements.
Just started Ronald Hutton's "Blood and Mistletoe" which is an academic history of Druidry. The first chapter alone is an academic tour de force, a thorough look at the limited information on the Druids up until the Middle Ages. What I like most about Hutton is that he can take a pretty complex idea and then break it down in such a way that will stick in your head for ages. In a lot of instances at this stage of the book, Hutton is more reporter than historian. He rounds up all the different theories about the ancient sources pertaining to Druidry, and then writes about them. The only judgement is reserved for the discredited ideas, many of which continue to percolate, especially in Contemporary Paganism.
Once you get by the ancient sources section (Roman/Greek/Irish/Welsh) the book is really an examination of Druidry in literature, culture, and self-identification in Britain. He released a similar work two years ago aimed at a general audience, but I find his writing is more effective when he goes full out academic. (He also writes in a way that my tiny non-academic brain can comprehend. One of my favorite scholars of antiquity, Stephanie Lyn Buidin, can only write full out academic, and I need a note card to keep up while reading.) Full review later I'm sure as I'm a Hutton groupie.
I've been watching a lot of Mtv and Fuse in my house-locked state, and I'm both embarrassed by it, and sort of secretly transfixed by it as well. If you had told me 4 months ago that I would like Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas" I would have slapped you, but it's catchy pop music and I hummed it all day yesterday. Pop music has been a cesspool of crap since the end of the 80's, and it's nice to see it catchy and fun again.
I was watching VH-1 Classic this morning (Fuse was running infomercials-boo!) and they were playing all 80's stuff (which usually means a period from 1982-86) and I was loving it all. There's something so hummable, and dare I say fun, about stuff like Mr. Mister's "Kyrie" (an all-time favorite song actually), "Use Your Love" by the Outfield, even Romeo Void is great. Pop music is not the bane of the world's existence, and sometimes I find it necessary in life. The best hairmetal was always great pop music glammed up with hairspray and a guitar solo.
The "Rockstar Party" at Starwood has forced me to start re-evaluating music to begin with. I thought it would be a celebration of Led Zeppelin, G'n'R, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd. Instead the crowed reacted most strongly to stuff like Rage Against the Machine, Disturbed, Dr. Dre w/Snoop Dog, and Marilyn Manson. Was not expecting that. I think if I had played The All-American Rejects "Give You Hell" I would have brought the place down. I should have also played some Papa Roach along with the Buckcherry. Things to know for next year I think.
The Dre and Snoop thing is the most surprising thing to me, and in my exile I have been watching a lot of rap videos. Rap is not as good as it was in the 80's and early 90's. Dre's first solo record "The Chronic" is a classic and set the template of rap for the next 15 years, but nothing else ever sounded so good. People only noticed the thug-life crap in it, and every rap song/video become a torrent of derogatory proclamations against women and curse words. RunDMC and Public Enemy put everything else in this decade to shame, but I have been enjoying rap again, to a limited degree. I miss the politics of PE, but I also enjoy hip-hop that is just plain fun and dumb. There's a lot of that right now, and it's not full of profanity. You can listen to a video without all the words bleeped out. I'm starting to like the Black Eyed Peas, shoot me.
What's probably most embarrassing is liking a little Lady Gaga. Chuck and Ari's taunts of me being a 14 year old girl will probably increase tenfold, and deservedly so. The only video currently on Fuse that doesn't make me feel 117 is Green Day's "21 Guns" which just happens to be on every hour, almost as much as the Kings of Leon.
I'm hoping my infatuation with pop music is short-lived, and probably will be. Next week is AC/DC in Grand Rapids, and Dio Sabbath. Hell yeah.
I'm out of the knee brace on a limited basis. I will wear it tomorrow when I go back to work, but around the house I can get around without it. I've started bending my knee a little bit and putting some weight on my right leg. The hope is to be crutch free by monday (maybe earlier).
|Thursday, August 6th, 2009|
Its been a week since surgery and while life is nowhere near normal I did venture into the backyard yesterday for the first time in 6 days. While I have not been without computer access, since Saturday I have been limited to the Blackberry when the laptop power cord began smoking.
The leg hurts, but nausea has been my biggest enemy. I miss sleeping next to Ari, and I REALLY miss Princess right now. This would have been a lot easier with her near by. Its been a month and the wound is still very raw.
In order to get my tummy on the up and up I've stopped using most of my meds. The only day the pain was crying bad was friday night when all the heavy drugs finally wore off. I have been too distracted by pain to do much reading though which is a shame. My brace rubs up against all of my stitches which is irritating, and the brace doesn't fit quite right. It "slips" now and again. I have skinny legs.
Thanks to Ari and Chuck for taking care of me and to all my visitors! I love you guys! It has really helped.
|Wednesday, July 29th, 2009|
|On the knee surgery and other things
I hate being a drama queen, tomorrow's procedure is a relatively minor one, and by the end of August I'll be walking around pretty well, and hopefully by October/November I can start running(!) again. That last one is such a big deal to me, the running, which I haven't really done since I was 20 years old. Good gods I want to run in a 5K or something! So I'm super-excited about this surgery and feeling whole again. I'm also excited about the ten pounds (or more) I'm going to drop once I start with the jogging. So yes, surgery is good.
So for those who wanted to know, surgery is tomorrow morning about 9:30 am (though check-in is much earlier). I should be back by dinner-time if everything goes ok. What they are going to do me is kind of fluid. I have a "loose knee-cap" which is the first order of business, apparently they are going to put a new ligament in there to brace the kneecap so it holds its' place. My ACL is torn, how badly is the question. That could be replaced entirely or just cleaned up. Other parts of my knee will be looked at, and they'll do what they have to do in there. Surgery is at Ingham Regional, on South Penn. Most of the surgery is via the scope, but they do have to cut me open a bit to get to the kneecap.
This weekend will be spent on the downlow, but I will be accepting visitors, if you call first. I need to not be comatose when you arrive, and relatively not smelly. If anyone would like to drop off a movie or something that would be very appreciated. I'm extremely unsophisticated, so there are tons of movies I haven't seen over the years. The only movie I know that I'll be watching for sure right now is the new "Green Lantern: First Flight" animated dvd that came out tuesday. I'm dying to get ahold of that disc. I loves me some Green Lantern.
I've been down this road before, so I know all about the physical therapy afterwards. No biggie, and I'll work hard it to get back on my feet as quickly as possible.
So that's it. Wish me luck and happy drugs upon my return home tomorrow.
|Tuesday, July 28th, 2009|
As most of the Starwooded will tell you, 2009 was a down year. It was my least favorite Starwood ever, though there were some great moments here and there. And I do enjoy hanging out with friends, especially the ones I only get to see once or twice a year.
*The Rockstar Party. Oh my gods, who knew screaming songs by Rage Against the Machine and Distubred could be so much fun? I've never had that much fun on a tuesday night before (or well at least since the one time Morrison was scheduled in that slot). I thought we'd be rolling after that, but it was not to be. (I did like having three things to do tuesday-friday too. Rockstar/Rumble in the Jungle/Morrison. Starwood is about parties and those three are a doozy.)
*Starwood Radio. I hated doing the morning shift, but talking to Pope Gryphon most days was a blast. That guy is the funniest man at Starwood, period. I also kind of enjoyed the isolation of the radio station, getting to sit by myself for a little while and listen to some music. Starwood is not like an indoor festival, there's no where to hide, and I like hiding, the radio station enabled me to get away for a bit.
*Morrison, but only kind of sort of. I can't believe how many people enjoyed the Morrison Ritual this year. I thought the energy was off, but a lot of people disagreed. So if you enjoyed, great! That makes me feel a lot better. It was probably closer to an old fashioned Lansing Morrison Ritual than anything else, since most of the people who went had been to a few before.
*Workshops. I did well with my stuff, but the stuff I do no one wants to see at Starwood. I get better turnout at Convocation. To put it in a nutshell I had a conversation that went like this:
"Jason, are you doing workshops this year?"
"Yeah, I'm doing one on Greek gods and one specifically on Aphrodite."
"Oh, you aren't doing any rock and roll stuff?"
"OK, see ya round."
I know people like the (Fill in this blank) and the Occult workshops but the amount of time it takes to prepare them is way too much. Besides, I don't want to be known for that.
*Relationships. Ari is awesome, and I love her.
*Mud. I can deal with rain, what I can't deal with is six days in a row of hearing "squish" inside my tent. (Yes, the mud moved under the tent and tarp.) Blech. It got old pretty fast, and drained a lot of life out of the whole festival.
*The emptiness of Starwood. Generally the Starwood Festival attracts around 1400 people, and it's been as high as 1800 people in the past five years. That makes it the largest Pagan festival on the East Coast, this year they had maybe a 1000, and not by much. It was depressing to see.
*Festival boredom. Not all the bands were bad, but I didn't like most of them, and the "super guest speaker" types left a lot to be desired. Perhaps someone was thrilled the guy who writes "American Splendor" was there, I wasn't. It's like the organizers have no idea who they are programming for. The guest-speakers at Convocation are better. (Why the comparisons to Convocation? Convocation averages less than half of what Starwood usually does, and I'm pretty sure they have a smaller budget. As a result it makes for an interesting comparison.)
*Politics/Bad Energy/Over the topness. The politics between Brushwood and ACE (Brushwood being the campground, ACE being the people who put together Starwood) have gotten out of control, and it's taking the festival down with it. They started a concert thirty minutes late because someone from ACE covered up a Brushwood sign in a camera shot, resulting in Brushwood cutting the power to the stage. I got out of middle school a long time ago. The conflicts between the two groups created so much bad energy that it was hard to escape it too. It was all that people talked about all festival. Within two minutes of arriving at Brushwood I heard that this would be the last Starwood ever and that ACE was broke. Can I have a cider first please?
There was more than just Brushwood/ACE stuff though. Everyone's problems seemed to become huge issues. I realize you might have (insert mild malady here) but you didn't crack your skull open. Sit down and breathe. I can't stand that kind of rush-rush-panic energy when it's not warranted. On top of that there were relationship dramas (love the term drama llama, one fortunate pick-up there) and assorted poos.
*The Parking Lot that was our campsite. I can understand needing a car nearby if you have a serious medical condition (though I'm not sure you should go camping if you have a serious medical condition), but that's about the only justification for having one near a tent that I can think of. The field where we camp was filled with cars, dozens and dozens of cars, and not parked neatly by the road either. People parked as close to their tents as possible, and then built "driveways" out of stakes and orange tape, in order to "reserve" space for their cars to get out. The end result was that they took up twice the amount of space that they should have. The Lansing Village was surrounded by cars and these stupid driveways. Grrrrrrrrrr.
A weird Jason note.
I have changed a lot over the last couple of Starwoods, and those changes really came to a head this year. I go to Starwood (and especially SIrius Rising-the festival before Starwood) for rest and relaxation. I enjoy reading around the campsite and being a hermit. As everyone else has changed over the past few years, and more and more of the people I camp with have made friends with other Starwoodians, it's become harder and harder to find those quiet moments. I missed those quiet moments a lot this year. Starwood isn't just a vacation for me either, it's often work, which means I sometimes NEED those quiet times. (Of course it's also unfair to think that the whole world should be quiet at 2 in the afternoon just because Jason wants it that way. Don't think I haven't thought about the absurdity of all this.)
My closest "festival friends" are probably from Starwood. My favorite festival these days is undoubtedly Pantheacon. It certainly hasn't always been that way, and hopefully one of these days Starwood will turn things around. It still remains a good festival, but it feels so out of touch sometimes. Hell, I feel out of touch at Starwood sometimes. Too much BDSM talk, cigarette smoking, and way too many predators walking around the bonfire these days.
Am I sad that I went? Definitely not. The friends, and the good times certainly made up for any deficiencies in the festival. It's not the cosmic recharge to me that it is to some people anyways. For me it's a chance to get outside for a bit and have some fun before football season. Current Mood: indifferent
|Sunday, July 12th, 2009|
|Life Update before Vacation
Not the best summer so far. It hasn't been horrible mind you, I've gotten a ton of writing done, and the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. But on the other hand I was denied entry into Canada and my cat died, and there were a few disappearances and things in there as well. The bad has probably outweighed the good, but we tend to remember the happy long-term and not dwell on the bad.
Went to see Lacuna Coil on friday night. For a concert, it was kind of last minute for me. I didn't know about it until a few days before and then forgot to tell anyone but Ari and Nick. Sorry if you were interested in going. It wasn't a bad show, but it wasn't great either. The band sounded really good, but the opener was horrid, and LC only played for about an hour. In the age of Roger Clyne and Gaelic Storm, I'm used to headliners playing for a minimum of two hours. One hour and you are just getting warmed up.
As far as concerts go, this summer has been a disappointment. There was Spinal Tap, a Roger show, and Lacuna Coil, that's been it. August promises better things: AC/DC and Dio Sabbath, and I'm hoping to see Tesla in there as well, but some of that (and some of my enjoyment as well) will probably depend on the knee.
Ahh the knee. I'm looking forward to running again, playing some indoor soccer this winter, and having better sex (yes, the bad knee effects my sex life, I know that's a bit TMI, but it's true, it kind of limits positions). It's not a huge procedure, a scope really, and I'll be in and out in six hours, but I don't know how long I'll be on the crutches. Speaking of surgery, apparently I'll have several days of doing nothing ahead of me after that, suggest some movies and tv shows I need to catch up on. I rarely watch any movies of substance and quality, so help me out there.
Today has been spent getting ready for Starwood. I got my Itunes library onto an external hard-drive (yay), and I've been doing some cleaning up of things and packing. Heathen festival time is just three days away, yay. I really need the vacation right now, and I'm surprisingly excited about a long week which will include two workshops, a ritual, morning radio duty, and a Jason hosted party.* I sure know how to vacation. (Where is the eye roll icon?)
Saw "Bruno" with Ari yesterday. I'm not sure it was as good as Borat, but there were moments of pure demented genius. I can't believe some of it made it past the censors, it's that raunchy. I laughed my butt off, but it's not for the faint of heart.
Back to packing and doing laundry.
*What!?!?! You haven't heard about the "Party Like a Rockstar Party?" It's two hours of great rock music, the election of a Rock God and Goddess, and lots of partying. It's all hosted by me (at least some of it) and will be tuesday night at the North Pavilion around midnight.
|Friday, July 3rd, 2009|
|4th of July
Ari and I will be home for the 4th of July, so we'll be doing the usual stuff in the backyard:
*Firing up the grill (dinner between 6 and 7), you are welcome to come over anytime after 5:00 pm.
*Cheesey Potatoes if enough people give me a heads up/RSVP.
*Drinks and conversation
*Fireworks downtown afterwards.
*Post-city-fireworks, more fireworks and we'll get the little firepit going.
So there you go. It's also a great time to drop off Starwood pavilion fundage . . . .
Happy Fourth Everyone.
|Thursday, July 2nd, 2009|
Though it's only Thursday, this has been an unusually long week. I want to sincerely thank everyone for the care and concern the past few days over Princess. She was a big part of my heart, and there is certainly a large void there right now, but I know it will get better. The house has felt so empty the past few days though. It's hard to get used to. Every time a door stirs or I hear a creak, I expect Princess to be running into the living room and jumping up on my lap. I realize she lived for 145 cat years, but she was such a presence in my life. Honestly, this whole thing has hurt as much as my grandparents passing so many years ago. I knew her time was fast approaching, and I thought I had prepared myself for it, but I was wrong. I'm not sure it's something you can ever prepare yourself for.
The flip-side of Princess' passing is that it's motivated me to work and read a bit more than usual. I'm currently putting together a book just to sell at festivals (and on Amazon.com) called "Panmankey: Gods, Rituals, and Rock and Roll." It sort of reads like a Jason's greatest festival hits anthology. There are essays in there on the Horned God (only one, and it doesn't interfere or overlap with that book), Aphrodite, The Devil, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jim Morrison . . . . stuff people know me for. There's also 8 sabbats in there, a horned god ritual, the 1899 Ritual (all material used dates to 1899 or earlier), and possibly one or two more things. I tore through the seven page Aphrodite essay in two days this week, piece of cake. When all is said and done the book should be about 150 pages and retail for fifteen bucks, twelve at festivals.
I went to the knee doctor yesterday with the hope that I might get it fixed, finally. The last doctor I went to told me that I "should look into gliding sports" and that I shouldn't run ever again. Why he didn't just offer to fix the damned thing is beyond me. This new doctor has said my knee can be fixed, though I'm going to end up with a dead person's ligament inside of me. He thinks I tore my meniscus, and I have no idea how that happened. I have had knee surgery before, so I know what to expect, though it sounds like they are going to really open it up this time. I'm actually looking forward to it as well. I've been in a lot of pain the past ten years because of that knee, and I'd like to return to the world of the running and not-hurting.
I'll be heading to Starwood/Brushwood/Sirius Rising in a little over a week and a half, and it can't come soon enough. I really NEED a vacation and some mind numbing. Some years I only half-heartedly look forward to Starwood (remember I do a lot of work there too), but this year it's looming as a great escape.
Did you all know that Ari is wonderful? She's been a rock this week and I can't express how much it has meant to me in words. On Monday she got rid of all the old cat food (and baby food) in the house and tried her best to remove many of the day to day reminders of Princess, all in attempt to save me a lot of tears. It was such a sweet and thoughtful thing to do. She's also just been there for hugs and words of encouragement. I love you hun.
This weekend I will be heading to the thumb for one night (Jeff's big 4th party) and then back home for fireworks and whatever that saturday. Since it seems like we will be home this weekend, we will be doing the usual fourth of July grilling and stuff. RSVP for cheesey potatoes.
And again, thank you all. I have some wonderful friends, even ones I haven't seen in 18 years have been wonderful. Love you all.
|Monday, June 29th, 2009|
I love you little baby. Check out the drool on her scratching board, she loved those things. I'll miss you hunny.
|Thursday, June 25th, 2009|