Monday, August 31, 2009

Not Sure How I Feel About This

I just read that Disney is buying Marvel for 4 billion dollars. I don't like the idea of the Silver Surfer, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four being owned by Disney, it just doesn't sit well with me for some reason.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Providence & Waterfire

Just returned from a quick 24 hour getaway (sans kids) to Providence, Rhode Island. The more time I spend in Providence the more I like it- tons of public art, with a downtown that is less polished than Boston and still a little rough around some of it's edges, yet with plenty of great restaurants and amazing architecture. We stayed at the newly renovated Renaissance Providence Hotel, which was originally a Masonic Temple, cool mix of art deco and modern architecture. Started the afternoon at one of my favorite bars, Cuban Revolution, for drinks and apps. The bartender turned me on to Caipirinhas (recipe below), which is a Brazillian cocktail made with Cachaca rum. This could become my new summer drink of choice. We returned to the hotel and had another drink at the hotel's basement Temple Bar, before heading out to Waterfire. How do you describe Waterfire? This was my first time experiencing this art installation, which is part public sculpture, part performance, and unlike anything I had ever seen before. Thousands of people look on while volunteers light the one hundred floating bonfires along the Woonasquatucket River. Walking through the crowds, and listening to the music that seemed to come from the river itself, you couldn't help but feel part of the experience. Fabulous dinner at Local 121, small plates of grilled striped bass, scallops, and stuffed clams, then back to the river to watch more of the fires. The crowds had died down a bit, but the fires were still burning well after midnight, and the whole scene had transformed into a carnival atmosphere. Very cool. This morning we slept in, which is unheard of at home. Back to the Temple Bar for a lazy brunch before driving home. A much needed respite, and a good way to celebrate the "unofficial" end to summer for me before I have to head back to work next week. Thinking about that makes me want to have another Caipirinha.

Here is what you need to make a Caipirinha:
1 lime
2 ounces Cachaca Rum
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Here is what you do:
Cut lime into 8 pieces. Muddle lime and sugar in the bottom of a glass or cocktail shaker. Add rum. Add about 1 cup ice. Cover and shake vigorously. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Enjoy the last days of summer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Searching for Lead Belly's Grave

Every summer I get the urge to hit the road, call it restless energy from being home all summer, and now that it's August, and the humid weather has settled in like a wool blanket, I am itching to get out of town and feel the wind in my hair. Suzie and I are heading to Rhode Island this weekend, sans kids, and hopefully it will cure my traveling bug, at least for the time being. While searching for places to eat in Providence, I started thinking about road trips. I've always wanted to visit Lead Belly's grave, in Shreveport, Louisiana. I first became aware of the music of Huddie William Ledbetter from the Nirvana cover of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?", which was on the 1993 MTV Unplugged album. From what I can tell, Lead Belly didn't write the song, but he did record it on many occasions. Much of the folk music that has been recorded can be linked back to Lead Belly, from Pete Seegar's "Goodnight Irene", to CCR's "Midnight Special", just to name a few. Now a road trip is nothing without a destination, and what better destination than the final resting spot of one of America's most notable musicians? I've heard that his grave site is actually pretty difficult to find, no signs on the highway or other markings, which makes it all the more intriguing. The following video beckons you to gas up the old Subaru and hit the highway.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thought for Today

"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Treehouse:: Day 8-9

Today I installed the windows and finished up the trim and railings. The metal roofing arrived also, so hopefully I will get that on tomorrow. The last thing I need to do is build a door and a safety gate for the top of the ladder. This has been a fun project, but I'm ready to move on to something else.

In other news, I recently washed my cell phone with some laundry, I don't recommend that. The phone is really clean though. I've been without a phone for almost a week, and I have to say, I don't really miss it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hello Big Dummy

I finally got a chance to take a spin on a Surly Big Dummy, and though it was only for five minutes I can tell you that this is one fun bike to ride, sort of like riding a longboard. Super solid, you can barely tell you are pedaling a cargo bike, I really didn't notice the longer wheelbase or extra weight. My six-year old daughter loved riding on the deck, and it felt so much safer than the trailer we used to have. I could see myself using the Big Dummy also for commuting, hauling all the shit I usually save for the days I drive. And no more excuses about having to drive because I have to pick up something from the store on the way home, this thing has tons of room. Sounds like I am talking myself into buying one, eh? People who own an Xtracycle say "they will change your life", and I can see what they mean now. Could be a fun winter project...

I know I've posted the following video before, but I have to think that anyone who owns or rides an Xtracycle must have this song playing in their head all the time. Pure bliss.