Sunday, October 30, 2011

Music Midtown 2011

Here we are sitting on the grassy knoll at Music Midtown September 24, 2011!

Music Midtown returned this year after a few years off.  It had been a three day event with up to six stages.  This year there were two stages and it was just one day.  The stages were set up rather closely together.  As one performance ended on one stage, the next one began on the other stage.  If you sat in the right spot, you could see all the bands play that day.  Which is pretty much what we did.

Justin told me that he preferred music festivals to regular concerts.  I can't remember what his reasons were.  Multiple bands for a great price?  Decent food?  No lining up, unless you really want to?  I suspect, however, it's more about the lounging around in the grass for him!

I think this is when the Joy Formidable were on.  Great group out of Wales.  We're fortunate enough to see them open for the Foo Fighters soon!

We decided to get up a little closer for The Black Keys, since we missed them at Outside Lands in August.

There was a lot of confusion about this big, green tarp that was lying on the ground.  The girl who owned it kept saying, "It's just a tarp!"  I don't think she'd been to a festival before, because she was using up the space for about 15 people.

Some festival goers ended up folding up the tarp.

The tarp owner in gray.  She was a bit miffed about the whole thing.  Maybe once people started crowding in she understood.  Who knows!

Why is there always some 7 foot guy that decides to push in front of me?!

The crazy dancing guy.  He had some serious moves.  I didn't manage a clear picture, because he was really going for it.  He invaded A LOT of people's space. 

Most people were pretty nice.  If they wanted to push forward, it was not too jerky.  Until pretty close to the end of the Black Keys.  This group of maybe 10 people came pushing and shoving their way up front.  We were all just standing there watching them, because we were just astonished by their nerve.  Had we been thinking about it, I'm sure somebody would have gotten a swift kick in the backside!

The Black Keys!  I tweeted at the time that Akron, Ohio must be pretty depressing, because TBK play a whole lot of blues!  So, this was the crowd in front of us.

And this was the crowd behind.

We also heard/saw: Young the Giant, Manchester Orchestra, Cage the Elephant, Band of Skulls, and a couple of other smaller bands.  And, oh yeah, Coldplay.

We decided to stay put during Cage the Elephant, and just listen from the other stage.  We moved back and sat down on the grass.  I have no pictures, because my phone doesn't have a flash, and naturally, I forgot the camera.  We thought ahead and brought a blanket along.  So, we were just sitting there.  Minding our own business, when this large drunk woman decides to sit down on me.  She was a friendly drunk.  It took a little coercion to get her off me, but she didn't want to abandon "her" spot on the blanket at first.  She told me she worked with the elderly, and kept telling us to be kind to old people.  Umm...ok.  Finally, her exasperated friend told her she had found so and so, and that was her cue to get up.  I did make sure she wasn't driving.  Pretty soon after that, the flood of people started coming back, and Coldplay began to play.  Really enjoyed them live.  I was pleased to hear "Fix You" live.  Overall, a great day.  We didn't have any problems with traffic.  So, yeah, I can see us doing it again!

A Serious Case of the Sillies

This is how we tailgate around here.  In a big, comfy chair not anywhere close to a football game.

Oh yeah, with cookies.

Miranda, In cognito

Silly girl is silly.

Duncan insisted on wearing his "firefighter coat" on his bike ride.  In spite of the warm weather (see how Justin is dressed!)  Silly boy is silly!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Fall, Y'all!

After a really long, hot, DRY summer, it is wonderful to be able to get outside and play now that Autumn has finally arrived! 

The kids have been out on their bikes and scooters.  We have a dreadfully steep driveway, so we have to choose our route with care.

Although, the kids don't mind.  They just like circling around the cars.  Plenty of places to hide when you're playing, "Let's jump out and say, 'Boo!'"

Duncan decided to pretend he was going duck hunting (with my vacuum cleaner parts!)

And sometimes he even treated Miranda to a little ride in the wagon!  (But he mostly complained about her!)

But when you play outside on the concrete, there are bound to be boo boos.

Miranda had a nasty fall while running full tilt down the driveway.  She scraped both knees and her arm.

Ouch!  (Sadly, she re-scraped that one on her right knee three times!)

Nothing that a few band aids and a juice box can't cure, though.  You realize that band aides have miraculous healing powers.  And serious analgesic properties.  Why, whenever Duncan has a boo boo, just putting a band aid on it makes it feel all better!  Or maybe it's Mommy's kiss!

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Day of School!

Yes, I'm a couple of months behind. Duncan started Big Kid School in August this year. Here he's demonstrating how much heavier his bag is. Or maybe he's just being silly.

I got several photos of Duncan trying not to smile. He was making silly faces. Ready for his big day!

Then Duncan took the camera. And zombies attacked!

Another shot from Duncan of the beautiful blue sky!

And some flowers (Early Bird Gold Rudbeckia, if anyone's interested!)

The obligatory self portrait.

Goofy grin!

Duncan and me. I don't think I even cried that day!

And his first ever ride on the school bus! He had a super first day of Kindergarten, and he's doing great. All the stress I had when choosing which program this year has melted away. Duncan is in a wonderful school with a wonderful teacher. I couldn't be any more proud. And he's starting to read! It's a very exciting time!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

So, I'm cheating again.  I didn't take any of these photos on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (the 15th of each month.)  I usually just go out and take some pics when I remember (usually the 16th or 17th) and post those.  These were taken on October 7th.  Some of the flowers are still in bloom and some are not.  The hydrangeas are not really in bloom, but their spent blooms from summer still look pretty.

I purchased this  Clematis H.F Young in the spring.  I planted it, watered it a bit, and pretty much forgot about it.  Late in summer I noticed that the foliage had died back (not unusual in some Clematis, but I was afraid I'd killed it!)  I watered it, and lo and behold, new foliage started emerging!  And then recently, a bud appeared!  Which developed into this beautiful bloom.  I was very excited!

I know I've taken more than a few pictures of my ground cover roses, but they've just been outstanding.  I'm interested to see what they look like over the winter months.

I think the birds need to get their act together and come have a snack already!  This American Beauty Berry is still chock full of berries!  Mom got me the pink one, that I hope to put in Evan's Garden, along with a new Bergenia (called Pigsqueak!)

Toad Lily (Tricyrtis) and Turtlehead blooming like crazy in Evan's Garden.  I think I may need to get some white Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii) to go with the pink.  I love Turtlehead.  Such a great little reliable plant.

Outside Lands 2011

Back in late spring, early summer I started bugging Justin about going to see the band Muse at one of their concerts over the summer.  I knew several other people going to the Indianapolis show, and begged and pleaded to get tickets.  I even offered to bake Justin an apple pie!  (This was after dropping Lolapalooza hints that went pretty much unnoticed.)  He finally asked, "Do you really want to go?"  "YES!" "Well, ok.  Set it up, and I'll get the plane tickets with my sky miles."  I had a hard time with the ticket purchase.  I was on the third attempt when Justin called back.  "Have you bought tickets, yet?"  "  I've been having problems with the ticket vender."  He says, "I'm not really interested in going to Indianapolis.  Hey, isn't Muse playing in San Francisco?"  Me, "Yes."  He says, "Well, I'd much rather go there than Indy."  "Sounds good!  I'll get tickets for Outside Lands, then!  And we'll get to see Craig and Amy" (good friends from high school/college.)

So, we got the tickets in the mail and waited for August to roll around.  A week or so before the festival, Justin found out he was going to be let go from his job at the end of the month.  We decided to go ahead and go to San Francisco and take the much needed break.  We flew into San Francisco, and a few hours later, we walked onto the grounds of Golden Gate State Park, hearing the band MGMT blasting nearby.  We got some grub and headed over to see  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and do a little people watching.

Apparently, music festivals are great for people watching.  There were a whole lotta people wearing these weird animal hats.  I mean, everywhere.  It was cold, so it made sense to keep warm, but the animal hats (or Spirit Hoods, as we came to find out), were more than just headgear. 

They were personality changers.  Once you slip on the Hood, you are the animal.  Or maybe just a douchebag.

One good thing about dressing up in a crowd of sixty thousand people is that you might actually find your friends.  If you're all dressed in blue button down shirts, you might blend in too well.  You need beany hats to really stick out!

I'm surprised this picture of Phish isn't blurred, because I know my body was shivering and my teeth were chattering from the cold.  I was completely unprepared, with only a lightweight jacket and skort.  So, we ended up leaving a little early and getting some hot chocolate.  I was bummed, because I was enjoying it.

On Saturday we met up with our friends and had some good playground time and lunch

Note Benjamin's classic sliding position.

And the handsome, Louis!

After some epic bowling (well, by Craig) and an excellent lunch at the mall (mall court food in San Fran is really good!), we headed back over to the festival.

.It was much warmer on the second day until the sun went down.  We didn't do as much people watching, because we were camped out at the main stage (called the Land's End stage) for most of the day.

We got spots next to the sound desk for OkGo.  This is the group that got Duncan into Rube Goldberg machines earlier this year.  Had loads of fun, and especially enjoyed :

Without the treadmills, unfortunately!

The Sunflower Guys!

I'm pretty sure a short, chubby woman with mountains for boobs was pointing at Justin and me and laughing during the Arctic Monkeys performance.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe our nerdy appearance.  Or the sunburned faces (in spite of sunscreen!)  So, after that we decided to get some hats and dinner, hoping to watch The Black Keys when we returned.  My stone oven baked pizza took forever, and by the time we'd got our hats, and eaten, The Black Keys were finishing up.  I was pretty disappointed.  Because I really wanted to see this live:

I don't even know what this is supposed to be!

We walked through the masses to get back to Lands End stage for Myoooooooze!

This is the one and only picture I took.  I didn't want to bother, since I only had my phone, and wanted to enjoy the music.  And did I enjoy it?  Yes, yes, I did.  Two songs I hadn't heard before: Butterflies & Hurricanes and Citizen Erased got this Southern girl jumping like a crazy person, and no longer complaining of the chill in the air.

Citizen Erased (although, I don't remember that echo)

And Lasers!  hehe!

After the concert, we waded to the front against the crowd, and met up with the brave souls who had been crushed to the barrier at the front all day.  Apparently, it was a pretty rough crowd, with lots of people pushing their way up front.  Pushing and shoving are pretty expected when you're in the pit, but not being able to lift your arms?  I think I would have bailed.  I'm much too claustrophobic.  Besides, where we ended up I was able to jump to my heart's content.  And, oh boy, did I.  Got a good workout that night.  Somehow, I didn't manage to get any pictures of friends! 

The third day was really laid back. We didn't have specific plans to see any particular group, so we went from stage to stage checking out as many bands as we could.

The guy on stilts!  Right next to the Trash/Recycling and Compost bins.  It was amazing how many things were compostable: the plates, cups, utensils and all the food.  Pretty cool.

Choco Lands, also known as "Creepy Candy Land."  This was a small area with all your dessert eateries.  Outside Lands had a nice array of good food and drink.  Choco Lands had a little place called Epic Cookies.  I got a Snickerdoodle.  It was totally epic.  Seriously.  I also got a hot chocolate from whatever the hot chocolate place was called. 

Every once in a while there would be a volunteer manning the compost/recycling/trash cans.  Generally, they were helpful if anyone had a question about where an item should go.  This guy in the above picture was a bit of a compost natzi, though.  He'd yell at people if they got it in the wrong bin.


One of the surprise hits for us was the Infamous Stringdusters.  They played on a small stage tucked in near some food stalls and other stuff.  They were fantastic!  They started off with about a hundred people watching, and ended up with a couple thousand.

We saw "Grizzly Adams" a few times during the festival.  Wearing the same outfit and exhibiting really, really hairy arms and back.  And bare feet.  Here he grabbed a poor, innocent girl and got her dancing.  Good times!

Yoda made a special appearance at Outside Lands this year.  He wasn't telling this girl to "Try not," he was mostly just hanging out.

We caught Arcade Fire at the very end of the fest, and headed back to the hotel.  Talked to my mom on the phone and found out Duncan had gotten something in his eye.  But seemed ok.  The next day we tooled around San Fran and ended up watching Harry Potter 7 part 2.  I turned my phone back on after the movie to see that Mom had called.  I called back.  Duncan's school called, his eyes were running and he was crying.  She took him to the doctor, and he had an eye infection.  Poor thing!  So, we managed to get an earlier flight back the next day, so we'd get home in the afternoon instead of the middle of the night.  We had an epic time (cookies and all!), but it was good to be home, and be able to hug my runny eyed little boy and my, thankfully, not so runny eyed daughter!