Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Little Bit Stranger and a Little Bit Better

What is it that makes a superhero? Is it muscles of steel? The ability to see through brick walls? To turn yourself into a human butane torch? Or is it small, like with Artie—a way of looking at the world and making everything a little bit stranger and a little bit better. -Big Pete (Farewell, My Little Viking: Part 2)

If you asked me to pick my absolute favorite show of all time, The Adventures of Pete and Pete would be a top contender.  The series aired from 1993-1996, when I was in 5th - 7th grade.  It was right around that time that my peers started to become more concerned about being "popular," when I had to make a decision: Try to suppress the weirdness and fit in, or embrace my eccentricities in the hopes that I'd one day find a group of wonderfully bizarre friends, just like Little Pete had. 

Oddly enough, not too long after the show ended its run was when I started to hang out with the people who would become some of my best friends in high school, and many of those friendships endured to this day (heck, I even wound up marrying one of them!).  Amazingly enough, I found an equally weird and wonderful group of people in college as well.  I didn't realize it until fairly recently, but that show was instrumental in reminding me that it was ok to be a little bit odd, and without it I may not have formed such amazing friendships. 

Now on to the REALLY cool part of this post:  About a month ago I wrote about how excited I was to find video of the Pete & Pete reunion that happened in LA back in November.  Well, within days of writing that post, I found out that a second reunion was planned in NYC on February 24!  By the time I found out about it, the show was already sold out, but I was one of the suckers who decided it was worth it to spend triple the face value of the (originally pretty cheap, thank goodness!) tickets on StubHub. 

Totally worth it.  Glen and I got there really early and were right at the beginning of the line.  That meant we were right up front for the panel, which began with a performance by none other than The Blowholes!

Marshall Crenshaw (the meterman) and Syd Straw (Miss Fingerwood) joined Little Pete (Danny Tamberelli) in playing the show's theme song, "Hey Sandy," as well as "Waiting for October."  So amazing! (Click the links on the song titles to see the actual performances - some folks uploaded video from the reunion to YouTube!)

I tried to get a shot of the whole cast and crew, but we were so close that I couldn't fit everyone in:

Hardy Rawls, Chris Viscardi, Danny Tamberelli, Michael Maronna, Will McRobb, Toby Huss (Artie!!!) and Katherine Dieckmann
Hands down, one of my favorite moments of the night was when Hardy Rawls unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a t-shirt he wore in "Farewell, My Little Viking":

Judy Grafe, Hardy Rawls, Chris Viscardi, Danny Tamberelli

And here's Toby Huss, presumably discussing some aspect of the character of Artie that would have scarred me for life if I'd heard it when I was a kid:

Michael Maronna, Will McRobb, Toby Huss, Katherine Dieckmann, Alison Fanelli
I managed to get a video of one of my other favorite moments of the night.  After the panel was over, The Blowholes came out to play a couple more songs, and they ended the night with "Summerbaby," the song from Hard Day's Pete:

I also got a few autographs.  Sadly, neither of the Petes signed my DVD, but I got their "parents" to sign it!

I also got autographs from Alison Fanelli, Will McRobb and Syd Straw:

The only thing that could have possibly made the evening better is if they'd served Orange Lazarus to the crowd. ;-)

Any other Pete and Pete fans out there?  What were your favorite episodes?  I don't think I could pick a current favorite, every time I try to decide I think of another amazing episode.  But during the show's original run I think I would have gone with "Sick Day," for no better reason than my amusement at Little Pete spending an entire episode with a marshmallow shaped like President Eisenhower up his nose. ;-)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Before and After: The Living Room

During my last Before and After post, I shared photos from our bathroom remodel.  The changes we made to the living room weren't quite as dramatic, but it was still a significant improvement.  If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll have already seen the "after" photos, but the "before" photos will give you an idea of what we were working with.


The wallpaper wasn't completely unbearable, but I am so not a fan of borders!  Or broken window treatments, for that matter.

One advantage in the living room (and also in the bedrooms, as you'll eventually see) is the gorgeous parquet floors.  A quick coat of Rejuvenate had them looking brand new.


Taking down the wallpaper in the living room was mercifully easy (unlike the master bedroom and the kitchen, but that's a story for another time!). After that we primed: 

Yes, that is a a stuffed Superman doll in the photo below. It used to belong to Glen, but now it belongs to Elvis. ;-) 

We painted the walls Senora Gray by Benjamin Moore: 

At first we just used our old couches from our apartment, which were tan and didn't really go well with the whole gray, red and espresso color scheme, but about a year ago we replaced them with gray ones that match the tone of the room much better: 

And even more recently, we gave the fireplace a facelift.  It's not terribly evident in these pictures, but the base color went from cream to bright white.  We also got rid of the embellishments on the front and painted the formerly-honey-colored trim black. 

We nearly originally planned to get ride of that recliner next to the fireplace because we never use it, but Elvis seems to like napping there, so it stayed.  Because contrary to what we like to believe, our dog is apparently the boss of us. 

And last, but not least, the fireplace, which did not work when we both the house nearly 3 years ago, got fixed just in time for this past Christmas:

Up next: the dining room!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nerd Love

My husband and I have a tendency to buy each other some pretty nerdy gifts, and this year's Valentine's Day gifts were no exception:

A book-scented candle (yes, a candle that smells like books) for me, a limited edition Star Wars Moleskine notebook for him.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Think I Found My Happy Place

Have you seen this post from Apartment Therapy?

This place is El Ateneo Grand Splendid, in Buenos Aires.  It's a huge bookstore housed in an old theater.  So basically, two of my very favorite things in the entire world, together in one place.

Of course, I'm fairly certain that if I ever visited this bookstore, I would decide I want to live there for the rest of my life and refuse to leave!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fun Times in Philly

So, that concert I mentioned in my previous post? 

Absolutely amazing.

Unfortunately we missed most of the first band's set because dinner ran long, but we made it in time to see Jukebox the Ghost.

I was mostly unfamiliar with them until this point.  My Pandora station has played some of their songs, which I did enjoy.  And oddly enough, I saw them open for Harvey Danger at the last concert I attended.  I have no idea how I managed to not take note of them the first time around, except perhaps that I was too busy mourning the fact that it was Harvey Danger's last east coast performance to care about the opening acts? 

At any rate, I am now a huge fan.  They had a great stage presence, and after hearing more of their music I couldn't resist buying a CD (which their piano player and drummer signed!).  Anyone else a fan of these guys?  And if you're familiar with them, do you find that "Hold It In" and "Empire" are both serious earworms?  Seriously, those songs have been rotating on repeat in my brain since Sunday morning!

Jack's Mannequin was fabulous as always.  This is something like the 4th or 5th time I've seen them, and I'm never disappointed.  Of course, it wouldn't be a Jack's Mannequin concert if Andrew didn't stand on the piano:

They played a good mix of songs from all three albums, and during the encore, Andrew played an older Something Corporate song, "Cavanaugh Park."  Apparently earlier that day, he purchased his first iPhone, so he decided to take his first ever iPhone photo: the audience.  It was posted on the website earlier this week:

Maybe if you squint hard enough, you can see me waaay in the back. ;-) 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hammers and Strings

I could be mistaken about this, but I'm pretty sure the last concert I went to was Harvey Danger's final show on the east coast at The Bell House, back in August of 2009.  That's too long to go without seeing any of my favorite bands.  So needless today, I am SUPER excited to be seeing Jack's Mannequin tomorrow night. 

I'm also super ashamed that their latest album, People and Things, has been out for more than 3 months and I still haven't bought it.  Soon though.  Maybe at the show tomorrow?

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite songs from the first two albums, Everything in Transit and The Glass Passenger:


I still remember the first time I heard the song "Konstantine" by Andrew McMahon's other band, Something Corporate, back during my freshman year of college.  It was basically love at first listen.  I'm a sucker for anything that's heavy on the piano, I think partly because I wish I were a better pianist myself.  I took lessons for a few years in middle school, but the clarinet was always more my focus, so I never got particularly good at the piano.  That doesn't stop me from rocking out to Cole Porter songs in the privacy of my own home on a fairly regular basis, but don't expect to see me giving any public concerts in the near future. ;-)

I'm a big fan of Andrew McMahon for more than just his music.  After he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005, he started the Dear Jack Foundation.  The fact that he not only maintained such a positive attitude during his illness, but took this incredibly negative thing that happened to him and used his influence to make something good come of it, makes me admire him that much more.  In fact, the Dear Jack Foundations is one of the groups I donate to (along with Kiva) with some of the profits I make from Mischievous Kitty Jewelry.  (Speaking of which, I still need to do my 2011 taxes, and I haven't made my 2011 donations yet.  I need to get on that!) 

P.S. I have to thank Amber, aka The Girly Bird, because if it wasn't for her blog I wouldn't know about Grooveshark.  I think I am now addicted.  Expect more music on my blog from now on. ;-)
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