Friday, December 29, 2006

Jim's MI-5

Jim says: "It is a Jimmy double take five! I decided to grab it one more week because it seems like it has been forever since I last did it. I took a quick look and it was like September even though Bill swears I have done it since then. I didn't care enough to look deeper. I had some ideas so here we go."

1. Tell us something funny about the place you live. (could be town, residence, street or whatever works)

I think this question came up a few Fives back. I think what's funny about Rockland is our wastewater treatment plant is located on prime waterfront land.

2. If your job (for whatever reason) was gone tomorrow and you had to seek employment what kind of work would you look for?

I like working in Public Relations. I think I'd look for a gig along those lines. Or perhaps I'd start my own snare drum company. What would be ideal would be for me to be the sales rep for a major drum company.

3. Is there something you would have liked for Christmas you didn't get?


4. Tell us something that happened to you in the past that was negative at the time but helped you grow as a person.

When I was younger, I was somewhat accident prone in vehicles. I don't know that I really grew much as a person. How about the many times I've put my foot in my mouth. That's helped me learn there are some things you shouldn't joke about, as you may end up embarassed.

5. Tell us 5 things you think everyone as a part of growing up should have to experience.

I like my sister's answer. I'll steal it.
1) Living with a mom and dad who really love each other.
2) Hot lunch at school
3) The bus
4) Living in a small town, where you can run free and not have to worry about being kidnapped, run over by cars, or shot by a peer.
5) Rat cheese and gingerale at your grandmother's house

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Bounty

Do you want to hear about my Christmas? Sure you do!

We started out Christmas Eve over at Ma's house. We had our buffet dinner, and then went to church for our evening service. Lisa put together a really nice service based on the gifts the wise men brought Jesus. Everyone commented on it. Then it was back to Ma's, where Unk acted as Santa and distributed the gifts. The boys, ant 2 1/2, have caught on to the whole deal a little bit. They were asking for presents, and Nathaniel kept asking "What's inside?" Of course, Ma and Aunt Ginny "cut back" this year. They say that every year. Every year, you can barely get in the living room.

We got up on Christmas morning, and I put together some oatmeal muffins. (I was out of blueberries. Darn!) Susan's family came here to open gifts. Susan got me some really nice gifts. She got me some CDs and a bunch of chocolate. She also got me some books that I used to read in grammar school. She also got me some more pasta bowls in my pattern. (How manly is that? China for Christmas! I got a bunch last year too!) Interestingly, at one point Matthew decided he had had enough of the whole opening presents deal. He went into another room, and just read one of his new books.

We then went to Mom's house for lunch. The hotel turkey breast Mom made was CRAZY good. I kid you not, it was the best turkey I've had. She made the stuffing in individual muffin cups, which made everything extra crunchy. It was a fantastic meal.

Everybody had a great time when the gift giving came around. Mom really surprised me by buying me the Calphalon cookware set I've been wanting for years. It was such a surprise, that Mom, Susan, and Lisa ended up crying! Once again, towards the end, Matthew decided he'd opened enough presents, and didn't feel like opening any more.

On the way down to Ma's on Christmas Eve, I asked Susan what her top three gifts would be. I got all three! Really, the great part about Christmas is finding the perfect gift for the people you love. I think I did well in my giving this year.

Reading: How We Got Our Bible, a gift from my in-laws
Watching: Top Chef

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!

xmasphoto2006 (38k image)

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Rainy Saturday Before Christmas

My posting sure has been off this week. Ah well, I've been busy. We went caroling on Tuesday night, and Wednesday I had my drum lesson. Thursday... What was Thursday? And last night Julia and I helped out at the Salvation Army Christmas party. Today, I made breakfast for everyone, and worked on cleaning the kitchen. We finally got the tree up. (We've been keeping it down in an attepmt to keep the boys from destroying it.) My shopping is all done, so I have no plans on going anywhere.

I need to throw out some props to some people. My buddy Jim bought me a nice ammo/range box for my birthday, and I forgot to thank him for it. And Tim "Blink Dresser-Dale" and Lisa from Adult Ed made me my very own "Little Drummer Boy Ale." I kid you not! It's got the website logo on it and everything! What a super nice gift.

I'm not sure what I'm doing for the rest of the day. Susan's not feeling too well, and is upstairs lying down. I should probably put away the clean dishes.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 22, 2006

Jim's MI-5

Jim says: "This week are questions that loosely center around Christmas and things that happen at Christmas."

1) Lots of people put their Christmas shopping on a credit card. I think most everyone has had at least one credit card even if they don't have one now. What is the best credit card company you have ever dealt with?

I can tell you which one I don't like! I guess I don't have any particular one that I like. Our current card is with MBNA, who is now owned by the company I don't like. As some point we'll change, I'm sure, we just haven't yet.

2) Illness is rampant this holiday season and the cold season is upon us. Tell us about the worst sickness or illness you ever had.

When I was a freshman in college, I got walking pneumonia. I was out for a week. When I got back to class, I was swamped! I was so behind, just from that week. It was then that I switched majors from Jazz and Contemporary Music to General Studies, and that change lead to my major in English. So that one week illness was pretty important to me.

3) Christmas can be a time of secrets. Many of us know things others don't know for whatever reason. Tell us something you know that you feel most people don’t know?

I have a friend who told me a secret, and I've never revealed it to anyone--not even Susan. So, there's something I know that most people don't. Also, when needed, I can keep a secret.

4) Some people love to just get out of town for Christmas. Tell us about an American city you have never visited that you would like to visit and why?

Austin, Texas. All that music and BBQ--it must be one of the greatest cities in the world!

5) It seems like lately that every Christmas season has to have some controversy around it due to the religion side of things. It depends on who you talk to. What constitutes a religious holiday to you as opposed to a secular one? Use examples of holidays in your answer.

I will say I've already read Jim's answer. His thought is if a holiday started as a religious holiday (like Thanksgiving), it's religious. I don't like that angle. That makes Halloween a religious holiday; after all, it has religious roots. I think it depends on the context of where a culture is at any particular moment. For many people, even Christmas isn't a religious holiday. To me, it is. So is Easter, but again, many people think Easter = bunny and eggs. The Apostle Paul tells us that some people will esteem one day above another, and some people will treat every day the same, and no matter what side, we shouldn't get hung up on it.

5b) A Christmas Bonus question... What is your favorite part of Christmas? (if you have any)

The giving of presents. I really like to give them.

Listening to: Martha Stewart's Jazz Christmas CD

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 15, 2006

Amy's Mish-Mash MI-5

1. Do you have a favorite piece of clothing that you don't necessarily wear but can't bare to get rid of?
No. I do have some stuff that I don't wear that I SHOULD get rid off. Some day, when I'm in the cleaning mood, I'm sure I will.

2. Tell me two favorite christmas decorations you own...(or two favorite items you own)
My grandmother (Ma) had a set of ornaments: one each yellow, blue, white, and pink. They're kinda frosted glass, with "Happy Holidays" (or some other sentiment) written on them. As a kid, I always like the pink one. Ma has since given it to me. That's probably my favorite. I also have some nice drum ornaments I've been given over the years, and there's one with Julia's picture in it that I like very much too.

3. Give me three favorite christmas foods, tunes, or traditions (or one of each)
Food? Maybe those yellow foil-wrapped peanut butter bon-bons that Wal-Mart sells each Christmas. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" would have to be the tune. Tradition would be egg nog after opening presents at Ma's house on Christmas Eve.

4. Name four of your favorite things about ___________(you fill in the blank first....can be person, place or thing)
Normally, I'd pick Susan. I've already done a list of favorite things about her, though. So instead, I'll post my four favorite things about being a musician!
1) You get to play drums.
2) Since you have to play the drums, you have to buy drums!
3) Since you have to take the drums with you, you get to buy cool cars like station wagons and minivans.
4) You get to work with great musicians, and, if you're doing things right, have fun.

5. Name five favorite blogs or websites I might not know about:
Most of the blogs I frequent are posted on my page. There are some, though, that I don't visit every day.
Maine Foodie.
Brian's brother, the doctor, posting from Iraq. (This one's relatively new to me.)
I used to read Citizen Keith, but his blog went far too political. I also used to read Textism, but Dean's now posting like twice a year! Biz Stone seemed to go on hiatus after his new job at Google, but it looks like he's posting again.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Jen's Wedding

Almost forgot! My cousin Jen's getting married this weekend! She even set up a site for it. It's a really small affair. So small, she even set up a bio page on each person who's going to be there. I don't think she reads here, but congrats Jen and Joe!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekend Wrap Up

Here's what I did over the week end. Seems like it was quite full! I'm going to start with Thursday. Thursday was my birthday. Birthdays to me are no big whoop. When you're a kid, of course they're important. Once I got into my 20's, though, I got ho-hum about them. It's kinda like New Year's Day to me. What's the big deal? So on Thursday night, Susan had some scrapbooking thing going on. So the kids went to bed, and I had a Pizza Hut pie (which I rarely get as Susan doesn't like them) with pork topping (not sausage, mind, but pork), and then I watched 1/2 of Das Boot. I'm always up for a good sub movie, and being Pearl Harbor Day, I figured a WWII title was appropriate. Susan gave me a present: an old book I used to read in grade school.

On Friday, we had snow. I didn't even know they were forecasting snow. Apparently, they really weren't. Something happened over the ocean, and we ended up with some fast pilling, wet-ish snow. It was a little slow at the office, so I picked Julia up at school at 3pm, and took the rest of the day off. In the evening, we went to my Mom's house to celebrate my birth with the fam. Mom renewed my Modern Drummer magazine, as she has done since 1988. (March of '89 was my first issue, with Def Leppard's drummer on the cover.) Almost 20 years of Modern Drummer thanks to Mom. My sister got me some movies of the old Frugal Gourmet TV shows. (I know there were some accusations about sexual abuse, and that they were settled with "The Frug." But his original cookbook is the one I reach for most often.) And Susan, my beloved wife, really went out. She bought the waffle iron/sandwich press off my Amazon wish list. I've never liked making waffles because off the mess of cleaning the iron. This machine has removable plates, so clean-up is easier. And, she bought me some of my favorite all time chocolate: Harbor Sweets "Harbor Lights" truffles. Yum! Raspberry and cranberry! The down side is they're expensive. I've looked for a decent alternative. Carol at The Pastry Garden makes a raspberry truffle that's very close. But due to the fact she's a bakery, and not a chocolaterie, it's hot in her shop, so she only makes candy in the winter, usually around Valentine's day. So, I've been without a really good raspberry truffle connection. But then my beloved orders me the gigantahuge box of my favs, so I'm set for a while!

Saturday morning rolled around, and I broke out the waffle maker and gave that a whirl. Even just plain waffles were nice, but I'm looking forward to banana walnut and honey pecan and chocolate waffles. At 8am, Julia and I went to ring the bell for the Salvation Army--something we try to do every year. There was a bit of a mix up, and instead of ringing the bell from 8am-10am, we rang from 9-10. After that, we did a little Christmas shopping, and went to Kathleen Designs Velvet's open house. Julia spent much time smelling the different goats milk soaps, and finally decided we should take the orange one. I did a bunch of errands in the afternoon.

Sunday morning I got up with the boys at 6:30. Nathaniel had a bit of a cough, so Susan decided to keep him and his brother home. Julia and I proceeded to church. Right after church was over, I headed home in order to get ready for my gig in New Hampshire at the 100 Club We were treated very well at this posh, she-she (xi-xi? chi-chi?) private club. We played two sets: one Jazz, one Jump/Swing. We ate our dinner (prime rib steak sandwiches with caramelized onions on focaccia and onion rings) in the club's Audio/Video room. You too could become a member of this swank place. All it takes is an invite from a current member, and $4500 for the first year. (Gulp!) I'll tell you what, though. If I were running a business in Portsmouth, I'd consider a membership for the business. You get free use of any of the rooms whenever you need it, so it's nice for conference, lunch with clients, that sorta thing.

I got home around 2:30am I think. I'm ready for bed now!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 8, 2006

Lisa's Toy MI-5

The Toy MI-5

1. What was your favorite toy as a child? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christmas present, although if it was, please specify.)

Hmm. I liked books. I suppose they're not technically toys, though. I had an Emergency play outfit that I really liked, complete with fire helmet and scba tank and mask. I also had this diorama type thing called "Undersea Adventurer," with boat, shark cage, shark, and other plastic animals. Also, Uncle Rog gave me an old CB one year for my birthday. Not only was it a pretend CB for the car, but it was a war radio for when we played "guns," and all kinds of other things. As I got older, I would take it apart and play with the parts.

2. Was there a toy you wanted very badly as a child, but never received?

A mini bike! A Colecovision.

3. What toy does your child want most for Christmas? Why do they want it so bad? (If you don’t have a child of your own, you could “borrow” someone else’s.)

Julia want's Barbie stuff. She's just into Barbie. She wants some dolls, some accessories, even a couple of movies. The boys are too young to really "want" anything, but they're into trains and cars and trucks and pirates.

4. Is there a toy that your child wants very badly, but that you are unable, or simply refuse, to give?

Not really. She wanted some Crocs, and I really hate them. Grammy Nan got her some, but she's only to wear them around the house, or when she's at Grammy Nan's.

5. If you were a child today, what toy would you most want?

A mini bike! Really, I'd like model fire engines.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, December 5, 2006


I'm having one of those days where I really wish I could talk to Dad.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, December 4, 2006

Weekend Wrap Up

How was my weekend? It was ok. On Friday night, Susan's folks had the kids. We took the time to head out to dinner. We went to our old favorite restaurant. They had closed, but times changed, and they reopened. It wasn't the same. Thee food wasn't anywhere near as good as it used to be. They used to have the best Caesar salad on the mid-coast. Friday was wet lettuce. Susan reported her steak was good. My was tough and gristle-y. We agreed the potatoes were cold and bland, My buttermilk mashers were all over theirs. But at least we got to go out with no kids.

On Saturday morning I had a gig playing Christmas music and Jazz at a craft fair. It was a good time. Only one bad part: I forgot the right snare drum. Or better, I brought two inappropriate snare drums. I always have two snares in the car--a main snare and a backup. I forgot the snare I played on the previous gig was the Stewart Copeland snare. It's loud with lots of crack. It's a gunshot. It's not a warm, mellow Jazz can. My back up snare was a piccolo! Oh man, why did I forget my Pearl mahogany? Oh well. In the afternoon I just chilled for a little bit, then we went and picked up the kids. At 6:30, Susan and Julia (along with my sister and her family) went to a living Nativity scene in Camden, while I stayed home with the boys. Since they were in bed, I spent the alone time watching U-571. When the girls and gang came back through town, I made hot chocolate for everyone.

On Sunday morning I got up with the boys, and made pancakes for everyone. We had our usual church services in the morning, and lunch at Moms. I watched some documentary about two locomotives salvaged from the ocean floor in the afternoon, and snoozed a little. In the evening, we had a missions service on Nigeria. Lisa always does such a good job with them. And then it was home!

The end.

Listening to: Christmas Cookin' Jimmy Smith

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 1, 2006

A Christmas Music MI-5

While listening to NPR this weekend, I heard a couple of new bands that really interested me. So I bring to you a music/holiday MI-5

1) Have you got any CDs on your Christmas list? By whom?
I've got a bunch. John Zorn's "Masada Rock" has been on the list for a year, I think. There's some Lisa Loeb on there, and I think Shawn Colvin has a new album. Also, see the next question!

2) What was the last "new" band that got you excited? Not new CDs by artists you knew, but some new band/act that you'd never heard of, but once you heard them, you needed their album.
On this particular NPR show, the was an album by the band called "The Decemberists." I really liked the sample. I went to Amazon, and checked out some of their other tunes, and I liked them too. Interestingly, it was NPR that introduced me to Drive By Truckers and Sarah Shannon. Seems I pick a lot of artists up from that station. Oh, and the aforementioned John Zorn was them too. Also, Phil Brown's Jimi Project is on my list, but Amazon didn't have it yet.

3) Do you have a favorite Christmas album? Recommend it to us!
My favorite Christmas album is Jimmy Smith's "Cookin' Christmas." I also like Harry Connick, Jr.'s Christmas album. And Susan bought me one year Verve's "Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas." That's got a great tune by Rashan Roland Kirk called "We Free Kings." Super!

4) There are some funny holiday songs out there. Which one do you like best?
Tom Lehrer has one called "A Christmas Carol" that I like. Also, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." But please, not more "Grandma Got Run Over" or the barking dogs!

5) Share a holiday music memory with us.
There are so many! There's the target .22 rifle I got from Father. My first drum set over at Ma's house. (See the gallery for a photo of me playing it!) The bass drum microphone incident that Mom and Susan pulled on me. Demonstrating Christmas gifts with Tara at Wal-Mart. It seems strange that I couldn't think up a really good Thanksgiving memory, but their are oodles of Christmas ones.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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