Saturday 9: So Into You

Saturday 9: So Into You (1977)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) The singer says that he noticed the lady in question as soon as she walked into the room. Tell us about someone who made a powerful first impression on you. I can’t think of anyone who was, like, super memorable, but I know a few people who I had a negative first impression of, ignored it and gave them the benefit of the doubt, and go burned in the end. So my takeaway here is my negative first impressions, at least, tend to be pretty spot-on and I should trust them.

2) He sings that he’s so into her, he can’t think about other, more mundane things. Do you find you get easily distracted from your daily tasks? Or do you enjoy seeing your everyday chores through completion? I’m pretty focused–if I’m getting distracted easily, it’s because I’m burning out and need a break. My husband’s amazed at my ability to focus intently on whatever I’m doing, to the point that I once was writing while he was watching Netflix in bed right next to me and I had no problem ignoring it.

3) The band took their name from Georgia’s biggest city. Have you ever been to Atlanta? Just on a layover. But I’d like to go back and enjoy the city.

4) The Atlanta Rhythm Section once played the White House. President Carter’s son, Chip, was a big fan and invited them to play at his 28th birthday party. How did you celebrate your last birthday? Just went to hibachi. My husband’s not a big hibachi fan, so I play the birthday card to go.

5) Studio One, where the band made all their recordings, was torn down and replaced by a parking lot. Can you think of a structure that you missed, after it met with a wrecking ball? A big, old building in my hometown growing up was torn down and also replaced by a parking lot. It was a really cool building and I understand that it had sat vacant for a long, long time and repairing it probably would’ve been more difficult and expensive than demolishing, but still, it was a bummer. It still sucks to lose that kind of history and heritage, especially in that town.

6) This song hit #7 on the US pop charts. 7 is the number most often chosen as “a lucky number.” How about you? Do you have a lucky number? No.

7) Today the Atlanta Rhythm Section reunites with to play at classic rock concerts. What oldies band would you love to see again? I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot of the classic acts a love, some of them more than once, but I’d love the chance to see the original Queen lineup and The Beatles. Prince and David Bowie, too, even though they’re not really bands.

8) In 1977, the star of NBC’s Chico and the Man, Freddie Prinze, took his own life. Is there a celebrity death you found shocking? Most of the ones from a couple years ago, when it seemed like the entire year was just death after death. David Bowie and Prince were surprising to me, and going back farther, Robin Williams.

9) Random question: What word do you always misspell? For a good while, I kept messing up “amphitheater,” but I’ve had to use it so often in writing about music that I’ve got it down now. More often than not, I just have dumb typos that I repeat, most recently typing “quarter” instead of “quartet.” You know how the iPhone has text replacements so you can type something shorthand and it’ll put out a longer word or phrase? We can do that at work, and I’ve put in a ton of my common typos. Makes things so much faster and easier.

Friday 5: Over Under Sideways Down

  1. What are you so over? Rain! We haven’t cut the grass in a week or so easily because just when we think we have a break in the weather to do it, it rains again. The last 24-ish hours, we’ve finally gotten a long-term, sunny break, so as soon as I finish this, I’m heading out.
  2. What’s something you’ve got under wraps? Ooh. I can’t say! I can’t even hint at it because it’ll be too obvious. I don’t even want to drop a hint about when I can come out and say it. But you’ll know.
  3. What does it take to get you sideways, and what’s your preferred method? Either a lot of liquor or a little bit of wine.
  4. What’s coming down the pike? Some much-needed lawn care and a new front door. I’m putting off new landscaping until next spring or summer, but now that the weather’s cooler, we’re gonna rip all the shit out of the garden plot to get it ready to plant. We’re gonna weed-whack the shit out of the front of the house. We still can’t really afford to either redo the siding or paint the house, but we definitely need a new front door before winter–the current one’s too drafty and I wanted a new one anyway–so I’m hoping to tackle that in the next few weeks.
  5. What’s the last thing you read directions for? Instructions for a fireplace screen, mostly to get an idea of if it would work for what I need…which is to keep the cat out of the damn fireplace.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday, after a couple hours sitting in Friend Emily’s stylist chair, I came out with a pretty great shade of violet hair and a new subtle undercut in the back, then went over to Sister-in-Law Emily’s dorm to bring her back our way to see none other than Henry Rollins.

We didn’t have enough time to eat nearby–with traffic, parking, and events, especially when I believe there were both Pirates and Pens games that same day, I like a nice two-hour chunk of time to eat, and we didn’t have it. But we did have time to eat elsewhere, so we introduced Emily to the wonders of Mad Mex. It’s a shame she didn’t have the proper appetite to truly enjoy it because it’s the best.

And so is Henry Rollins. He’s one of those guys who’s come through tow a few times in the last several years and I’ve managed to miss him every time, so I jumped on this chance–25 bucks to see him in a small lecture hall in Oakland. Not bad at all. This tour is focused on his travel stories, and he has a lot of great things to say not just about what he’s learned and experienced abroad, but how some of that can apply to us here, with a nice dose of why everyone ought to travel. All three of us loved him.

We came back to the house and slept in pretty late–Paul and I have been experimenting with letting the cat roam the house now that she’s settled in, and the weekend was the first time trying it. I was worried about her getting into trouble so the slightest noise kept waking me up, and on top of that, she has a thing for attacking you under the sheets. We think the issue is that, being a cat, she doesn’t get what they’re for, so when they move, she absolutely must investigate…with her claws. I’ve noticed that for the most part, she only does this right before bed and when she’s awake and ready to take on the day in the morning, so it might also be a play/attention-getting thing, but it hurts and is not conducive to sleep. Which is how I ended up sleeping late into the morning and also why she sometimes gets kicked out with the door shut behind her, as much as I’d love to sleep with a kitty.

We took Emily to our usual coffee run, then took her back to Greensburg. We made a pit stop at the mall for a bit, and after we dropped her off, we headed over into Uniontown to see Million Dollar Quartet.

And turns out half our family was there. I knew my godmother and her husband were going, but my mom’s Aunt Elaine and Uncle Del were there, too, and we were all coincidentally in the same row, just different sections.

Million Dollar Quartet made the Broadway rounds a few years ago, but it’s a great, short musical if you like early rock ‘n’ roll. Brandon and I first saw it when the tour came through Pittsburgh a few years ago and loved it, so hearing it was gonna be in little Uniontown was a pleasant surprise. It has a runtime of just under two hours and is structured almost more like a concert than a musical, so it’s great for the non-musical-theater types, too. And funnily enough, Brandon and I enjoyed it more this time around than the first.

I took Monday off to sleep in, which I really needed, and then we were out yet again Tuesday night. And who did we run into yet again–an hour away from home in Greensburg–but Aunt Lainie and Uncle Del?

We all chose the same place, The Headkeeper, for evening food and beer. We were in the area to see Emily again, this time doing a reading on campus, and they were heading into downtown for a concert.

Emily was one of a few students on the bill opening for a pretty cool, well-known poet, Guante. I’ve never read any of her poetry before, and I was honestly impressed. And she read with the perfect amount of attitude and sass and looked awesome in this jumpsuit she got while we were shopping Sunday. All of the kids were great–and Paul kept saying, “They’re not kids!” We had a really good time, and the only bummer was that my former professor wasn’t there.

And so a solid three days of good times–four if sleeping in counts as a good time–came to and end, and the nice thing is it’s already the middle of the week. Keeping busy can be fun. This weekend, I don’t think we have any plans, but Paul mentioned maybe inviting his parents over. Failing that, my vote’s for a movie. We don’t see enough movies.

Saturday 9: Listen, People

Saturday 9: Listen, People (1966)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) Basically Herman is telling us that we each both break hearts and have our hearts broken during our lifetime. Do you agree? Yeah, I think it’s inevitable. I mean, my husband is the only guy I had a serious relationship with, but I’ve been heartbroken in other ways because of other people. And really, I think sometimes relationship struggles that you come out of doing okay can still be heartbreaking when you’re in them. A heartbreak doesn’t have to be a split.

2) He implores us to take his advice. Have you more recently given or received advice? Probably given. There’s not much going on that I need advice on, and I don’t know many of the unsolicited-advice type.

3) Herman’s real name is Peter Noone. He was popular with girls because of his bright, toothy smile. How’s your oral health? When are you due to go to the dentist? I am far overdue, but I hate dentists and I’m hoping to put it off until I die.

4) Peter/Herman got married on his 21st birthday. That’s one way to make sure you don’t forget your anniversary. Do you have a good memory for anniversaries and birthdays? Anniversaries outside of my immediate family I tend to forget, but I’m pretty good with birthdays. I still don’t have all my in-laws’ birthdays down, but in my defense, my husband has five siblings and he’s spent years remembering at the last minute.

5) Between 1965 and 1971, the Hermits worked very hard. They appeared on all the major TV shows of the day, recorded albums, made a movie and then criss-crossed the United States and the United Kingdom, performing live. After those six years, Peter decided he’d had enough and left the group. Have you ever felt burned out and ready for a change? I did a lot of unpaid work for a music website for a couple years, and I was burned out when I left. It was too much to do for zero money on top of a full-time job and I had some issues with the way things were being run, so I bailed.

6) In 1966, when this song was popular, the miniskirt took the fashion world by storm. What’s the most recent piece of clothing you added to your wardrobe? Leggings!

7) In 1966, TVs were expensive pieces of furniture. A set with a 16″ screen and a wood console sold for $250, which is $1,950 in today’s dollars. Tell us about your TV. How big is it? Where did you buy it? I don’t know the actual size, but it’s kind of medium-sized, typical TV. My parents grabbed it for me either on a Black Friday or Cyber Monday from Best Buy.

8) David Schwimmer, aka Ross on Friends, was born in 1966. Who was your favorite FriendI don’t know if I have one. I think Phoebe, if I have to pick.

9) Random question — Describe your dream car. I’m not a car person, especially now that I work from home–I’m only driving to the gym half the time anymore. And I’ve never really cared about nice, expensive cars, even though I know they tend to be very good quality and worth the price. I guess I think of cars as more of a functional thing than anything else, so luxury cars or muscle cars or anything beyond, “It gets me where I need to go and won’t break down,” just isn’t on my radar.

Friday 5: “Nine Times?” “Nine Times!”

  1. If you were to play hooky on your next regular work day with no negative consequences, and if you could only spend the day by yourself, what out-of-the-house fun activities would you pursue? I’d probably start with an iced coffee and pastry at my favorite coffee shop in town, in part because my husband’s is like 6’5″ and complains that a little muffin for breakfast doesn’t cut it for him and only goes with me on Sundays because I like to go, which is kind of sweet. But I’d definitely take advantage of the opportunity to go without him…come to think of it, I’m off Monday, so maybe that’s what I’ll do. Anyway. Then I’d probably shop, either at the outlets or in the South Hills because again, not activities the husband enjoys. I’d consider a movie, but it would depend–I generally prefer to go to movies with somebody, but if there’s something I want to see that he’s not into, fine. Except I’d probably tap a friend from a horror movie. I’d go do cardio at the gym because I save weight lifting for when I go with him because I need supervision. I realize to most people, this sounds like a kind of mundane day, but I think it sounds pretty nice!
  2. In the same situation, what stay-home fun activities would you pursue? This I do plenty–Internet, write, read, and Netflix. My husband and I have our shows and then I have some of my own that he’s not really interested in, so I’d tackle those.
  3. If you played hooky specifically because someone else needed the time off, who in your life would be your accomplice and what would be first on the agenda? My husband because, you know, husband, but also because I’m way more likely to take a day off here and there than he is, but I think it would benefit him more. I also have more vacation time than he does because I’ve been with my company longer, so it’s easier for me and I don’t have to be as careful with my days as he does. He ate up a lot during the moving process last month. So I’d make him take a day and get out of the office and do something. First on the agenda would be sleeping in, then a breakfast buffet so he could eat as much as he wanted, then a trip to the mountains. If we didn’t spend the whole day there–and it’s likely we would–we’d go to a movie, then either the park or the gym.
  4. When did you last visit a museum, and what item on exhibit impressed you? It’s been a while, maybe getting close to a year ago now, but we did one of those themed, adults-only, After Dark museum events at the art and history museum in Pittsburgh. I wasn’t too impressed by any exhibits specifically just because I’ve been there so many times, but one of the events on the schedule was a guided tour of some of the museum’s most interesting items. So that was really cool to hear more about what the museum has, how they got it, and what makes it stand out in the collection and why the curators love it.
  5. What’s something you’ve recently gotten away with? Nothing interesting. Speeding. Having opinions.

As always, from Friday 5.

So our weekend went from a planned trip to Gettysburg to a canceled trip and no other real plans to being jam-packed with activities.

It started Friday night. One of my co-workers was getting a group of us together to go into town where said work is for the annual Oktoberfest, and originally, I figured either we wouldn’t be able to go or we’d pop in for a quick bite to eat before we hit the road. But when the trip was canceled, that freed us up to go–except Paul made plans to meet up with a friend of his later in the evening. No problem, I thought. We’d take separate cars so he could leave when he had to and I could stick around. It was a great plan that didn’t work out at all. First, construction on the interstate to get there was horribly backed up, so we took a different, longer route. And then I wasn’t 100% sure where I was going and my phone’s GPS ended up being nothing but lies, and it took us so long to get on track that there was no point in Paul sticking with me so he headed on his way. After some more struggling and then the struggle of where to park in a small town with streets closed, I finally made it and did have a good time drinking, bullshitting, and perusing the various vendors one can find at these things.

A few covered bridges are in the area, so every September, they all have festivals at the bridges. One is in one of the parks we go to a lot, but we’ve never made it to the festival because it’s always the same weekend as the annual Gettysburg trip. So I figured hey, we’re free this time, let’s check it out, so we took in more artsy vendors and more fair-like food.

Now, while I was out Friday night, my mom called with a very important question. We’d gotten word a few weeks earlier that Morris Day & the Time were gonna be playing at the casino that’s like 10 minutes from my house, but the good seats were mostly sold out by the time we found out. But something made my mom decide to take a look and see if anyone was reselling, and sure enough, someone had two tickets for pretty good seats. Originally, my mom and her best friend were gonna go and I was the backup in case said best friend couldn’t go, and sure enough…that’s how I ended up with Morris Day tickets Saturday night.

I figured it would be a good, entertaining show, but I was honestly surprised. He was super entertaining, completely in the Morris Day Purple Rain character, with all the showmanship and dance moves and attitude you see there. And getting to go to something then being home not at all long after was really nice.

And finally, on Sunday, we went to brunch as a very belated Father’s Day celebration for my dad. He wanted to go to the Grand Concourse in Pittsburgh but didn’t want to actually do it on Father’s Day, and this was the first weekend all of us were free to do it. And it was pretty delicious. Afterwards, Brandon and Kelly came over to the house to meet our new kitty, Robbin, and deliver a new toy she’s a big fan of.

And…there’s a little more to the story than that, but it’s not time to tell it just yet.

Saturday 9: Teenage Dream

Saturday 9: Teenage Dream (2010)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) Much of the video for this week’s song takes place in a convertible and on the beach. How’s the weather where you are? Would you be comfortable riding around with the top down today? Overall, we’ve had a lot of rain and it was supposed to continue through the weekend, but by some miracle it’s been warm and sunny.

2) This video was filmed all around Katy Perry’s hometown of Santa Barbara. Amtrak runs through Santa Barbara via The Pacific Surfliner. Tell us about a memorable train trip. I took a train trip to Washington, D.C. with some friends several years ago. I read a lot of Bleak House.

3) Katy sings that her boyfriend thinks she’s funny, even when she gets the punchline wrong. Do you think you’re a better joke-teller or audience? I’m a better storyteller. I can never remember jokes, but I have funny stories to share.

4) Her “teenage dream” lover is shown working out with a heavy bag. When is the last time you visited a gym? Thursday, I think? The weekend ended up busier than we initially expected and we didn’t squeeze it in, but we’ll probably be back tomorrow. I’m just happy to be back in a routine after not consistently going.

5) Katy changes her hair a lot. She’s gone from long black hair to cropped blonde hair with stops at red, green and purple. Today, are you having a good hair day? Yes! I’m relying on colored conditioner to get me through until my next dye session next Saturday, but it came through for me and looks great, considering it’s been a good while sine my last appointment. And my curls are amped up and laying nice. Honestly, I felt really good today overall.

6) Katy thinks dimples are “irresistible” and can’t help poking a finger when a dimpled friend smiles. Do you have dimples? Sure do.

7) Two of Katy’s fragrances (Meow and Purr) are sold in cat-shaped bottles. Are you wearing a scent as you answer these questions? A sample I got from Sephora–Armani’s Because It’s You. I like it, but I’m not sure if I want to buy it.

8)  Katy’s favorite dessert is ice cream (specifically Cold Stone Creamery’s Birthday Cake Remix). What’s the last dessert you ate? Mini cheesecake and mini key-lime pie at brunch this morning.

9) Random question: How often do you change your bedsheets? Every weekend! Listen. It’s advised that sheets be changed once a week because dead skin and sweat are gross, but when we lived in an apartment, paying 4 bucks every week to do it just wasn’t gonna happen. They used to get washed when I could haul them to my parents’ house for free. But now that we’re in a house of our own, the bed gets stripped and the sheets get washed every weekend, as do towels. It doesn’t always happen–some weekends, we  just have too much going on to tackle it all. But I don’t think they’ve gone more than two weeks without being changed since we moved in.

Friday 5: Stay and Let Me Look at You

  1. (Earth, Wind & Fire) Why are you dancing in September? Look, I’m definitely a summer girl. Fall-lovers like to think they’re in the minority, but judging by all the “ready for Halloween” Facebook posts I keep seeing, they’re really not. For me, September means the start of the slow death of my favorite season. But there’s a silver lining–the weather is still pretty warm and nice most of the time, and there’s a lot going on, like everyone’s trying to take advantage of that and cram in events and festivals while they can. So normally, we go to Gettysburg this weekend, but that was canceled because of rain and instead, I went to a local Oktoberfest last night, I’m going to the covered-bridge festival today, and next weekend, I’m going to see Henry Rollins. There’s still lots of fun to be had before I hibernate for the winter.
  2. (Neil Diamond) September morning still can make you feel what way? Optimistic. It’s not cold yet!
  3. (Green Day) What are some things you have to endure until September ends? The aforementioned “ready for fall” people, because at least when we’re in it, they won’t be talking about it so much. But then it’ll be the “ready for Christmas” people, so…
  4. (Kool & the Gang) What place or thing is your September love? Gettysburg, I think. We’ve been going out there this time of year for a few years now–even though I think this is like the third or fourth one I’ve missed–and it’s a place we’ve visited so many times that we know our way around really well and can just kind of go and hang out. And I think our new cat, Robin, is my new September love, since we got her right after Labor Day.
  5. (Willie Nelson) What is your September song for the rest of the month? Probably the aforementioned Earth, Wind & Fire “September” because it’s such a great song. I don’t have a specific song I’ve been super into lately or a go-to song for September otherwise.

As always, from Friday 5.

Having a cat is fun. I’ve missed having a pet–I couldn’t have any at my apartment, and although we had Paul’s gecko, a reptile who is rarely seen isn’t really what I want out of my pets. So the cat is nice. She hide for the first day or so, to the point where we pretty much never saw her, and by Friday afternoon when I finished up my work, she’d come out and was ready to play, and she’s been running all over the house ever since. Well, sort of. She seems to prefer to stick to the end of the house with the bedrooms and seems a little intimidated by the rest, although curious, and she seems to like to stay close to us. If she’s not actually sitting with us, she’s typically no farther than across the hall. Hell, she won’t even really go more than halfway down the hall if one of us isn’t at the other end. I was expecting her adjustment period to take a bit longer and I’m sure she’s still in it to some degree, but she’s very much active and having a good time. She kills us with her cuteness. She purs a lot, she has big eyes, and has the tiniest meow I’ve ever heard. We love her already. Although she did run up the chimney the first night and Paul had to grab her and pull her down. Yep.

Meanwhile, outside of the house, we’ve had rain for a few days straight, to the point that it’s causing flooding in other parts of town and nearby areas. We wanted to go see a movie since we had nothing else going on and didn’t want to go too far with a new kitten at home, but the road to the movie theater flooded. And then I thought about venturing at least to the South Hills, but we decided we didn’t really feel like it. Turns out that was probably for the best because the mall lost power. It’s stopped for now and we may get a reprieve for the next 24 hours-ish, but the rest of the week is a washout.

We were supposed to go to Gettysburg this coming weekend, but that’s up in the air now, too. For starters, we don’t want to leave a kitten alone all weekend, even though my mom could come check on her. We kind of feel like it’s a long time, and she’s young and still adjusting. So one of us may stay home while the other goes–no sense in us both missing out, I say. But there’s a chance that’ll be a bust in the end, too, due to rain, especially since the event we go to, World War 2 weekend, is outdoors on a farm. It’s a bit of a bummer since I haven’t been able to go in a few years, but at least if we do all bail, we don’t have to decide who stays and goes and can kind of chill. We still owe my dad a Father’s Day dinner, so there’s talk of doing that if the plans are canceled.

And then there’s the issue of grass needing cut…

Saturday 9: Gotta Travel On

Saturday 9: Gotta Travel On (1959)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, the Billy Grammer sings that “summer’s almost gone, winter’s coming on.” When you look out your window, do you see any evidence that the seasons are changing? Surprisingly, yes. We have some leaves on the ground.

2) He admits he has laid around and played around for too long. Do you consider lazy days to be wasted days? Kind of. I’m always trying to cram so much into a day that I definitely feel like a lazy day has been wasted, but at the same time, downtime is important and time reading or watching Netflix has its benefit and is therefore not a waste. Lazy days are just hard for those of us who like to keep busy.

3) Billy relaxed by fishing. Tell us about a visit you made to a pier, or a ride you took on a boat, this past year. (Bonus points if you went fishing!) Man, I don’t think I did either.

4) Born in 1925, Mr. Grammer was the eldest of 13 children. He and his wife Ruth were childless. What do you think is the ideal size for a family? Honestly, I’m gonna give the super generic and positive answer of whatever is right for you. My personal idea? Four kids tops. My husband is one of six and it’s just a lot of people.

5) This song was very popular on juke boxes back in 1959. When were you last in a bar or restaurant that had a juke box? Did you play it? Definitely over the course of the summer, maybe back in July? But I did not play it.

6) In 1959, movie tickets zoomed up in price to $1.00 and Ben Hurwas the big blockbuster. What’s the last movie you saw in a theater? Do you remember how much the ticket cost? It was The Incredibles 2, and I don’t know the exact price, partly because we used a gift card, but it was around 9 or 10 bucks.

7) Huckleberry Hound was a hit with the younger audience in 1959. What cartoon did you enjoy as a kid? I watched a lot of Rugrats, and I remember a good bit of Spongebob Squarepants as a pre-teen.

8) In 1959, continuing dramas (soap operas) were still broadcast each day on the radio. When you turn on the radio, do you listen for talk, news, or music? A little bit of everything. The only thing I have programmed that’s news/talk radio is NPR and the rest is all music and I generally prefer driving to music, but I still do like to hear what’s happening in the world and NPR has some great content.

9) Random question — Which competition would you rather judge: The Pillsbury Bake Off, The Miss America Pageant, or Dancing with the Stars? Dancing with the Stars, because I’d enjoy it and actually know enough about dance to feel like I’d know what I was looking for and critiquing.