Off in the distance.

Today really feels like a new year. I don’t know why. But it’s not even noon, and I’ve already turned my mattress, cleaned my basement and exercised half an hour. 2006, get outta my way.

I hadn’t planned on this being a hangover day — the Eve, for us, is usually marked by a nicer-than-usual dinner, a nicer-than-usual bottle of wine and a nicer-than-usual rented movie. We did all that — roast chicken, pinot noir and “Me and You and Everyone We Know.” But then, just to show you even a boring old NYE routine can have a little excitement in it, came the show that started around 11:40 p.m.

“Is someone hammering out there?” I asked.

“Those are automatic weapons, dummy,” Alan scoffed, and he was right. How is Detroit like Baghdad? When we’re happy in the D, we like to empty weapons at the sky. Because it’s so…so…what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah: Stupid.

But if any 9mm rounds fell our way, we didn’t notice any. (Last year one penetrated Alan’s office; fortunately, no one was at work, and windows don’t bleed.) Fingers crossed for the rest of the year.

Posted at 8:46 pm in Uncategorized |

17 responses to “Off in the distance.”

  1. brian stouder said on January 1, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    We had burritos, a little Smirnoff Ice, and the 40 Year Old Virgin dvd. The movie was entertaining enough – although the ‘Unrated Version’ seemed interminably long. Note to self: Comedy movies almost have to suffer when footage is added back in.

    At midnight it honestly sounded like the 4th of July. Our 10 year old and I went out on the driveway, and we saw real live fireworks going off in the distance (in the direction of Jefferson Pointe – a newer shopping/fashion mall). They were high and big, and there was a Grand Finale at about 10 after the hour and everything.

    Anyway – Happy 2006, everyone

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  2. colleen said on January 1, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    We installed a new kitchen sink. Missed the dance we were going to, had taco bell takeout, then drank something sparkly and bubbly at midnight.

    Today we worked on ridding the newly installed drain lines of those annoying drippy leaks.

    We know how to live.

    Best to you and yours in 2006

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  3. Dorothy said on January 2, 2006 at 8:16 am

    Our movie of choice was “The Island.” I knew nothing about it going in – it was hubby’s suggestion. And I liked it! Futuristic and kept my attention, although it was just a tad too heavy on the blowing up of buildings, etc. in the chase scenes. But at least it didn’t put me to sleep.

    Once hubby gets the pin out of his toe (Thursday), we’ll be back in the gym, hopefully working towards thinner versions of ourselves. In the meantime, I’m being productive, working on a quilt for my niece who is getting married in June. I’m taking advantage of 3 days off from work, so by bedtime tonight, I might have the whole thing pieced. Go me!

    Best wishes to all for a fabulous 2006.

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  4. Danny said on January 2, 2006 at 11:36 am

    We’re still visiting family in South Carolina, in Pickens, near Dorothy, I believe. I hit the YMCA for a last 2005 workout, but since the kids are sick, we bought a load of explosives, stayed in for a 24 DVD marathon (sis-in-law is now hooked) and blew stuff up after we had drank a little wine.

    Funny, how you can buy fireworks in SC from little mobile shops set up in the parking lot of just about every grocery store. I know next to nothing about them because they were not legal in Maryland and in California a mere firecracker could burn the hold state down. The gals working the fireworks shop asked me if I knew what I wanted. I said something that goes very high into the air and exlodes. The one said, I had a choice of artillery or […something that makes a lot of colors]. I said no to the former and loaded up on the latter. Pretty cool stuff.

    New year’s resolution: Every time Brian mentions Pearl Jam, I shall remind him that Eddie Vedder could not hold Robert Plant’s mic stand…Zep rules! 🙂

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  5. Mindy said on January 2, 2006 at 12:44 pm

    We bought four new tires for my car after exchanging the cell phone that always turns on and expires in my purse for one that doesn’t. Not as much fun as installing a kitchen sink but more expensive and less time consuming. Then we went home to cheese fondue, a game of Clue and a bottle of champagne.

    Good luck with that exercise thing. I’m sure you’ll last longer than me.

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  6. brian stouder said on January 2, 2006 at 1:25 pm

    “New year’s resolution: Every time Brian mentions Pearl Jam, I shall remind him that Eddie Vedder could not hold Robert Plant’s mic stand…Zep rules! :-)”

    You know, I just had a discussion with a buddy who insists that Led Zepplin is the Greatest Rock Band of All Time. I resorted to tangling him up in definitions, and we agreed to disagree (what is a rock band? what about rock stars like Elvis, or the jazz artists he stole from? How do we judge? Dollars? Longevity? Intensity of their fans’ devotion?)

    Here’s a question for you – was Dick Clark’s rockin’ New Year’s Eve really courageous, or slightly creepy? We watched his show as the midnight hour approached, and I couldn’t decide whether the show highlighted his courage, or the cravenous nature of the network….or is it the other way around?

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  7. Dorothy said on January 2, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    “Here’s a question for you – was Dick Clark’s rockin’ New Year’s Eve really courageous, or slightly creepy?”

    We can’t decide either, Brian. I took a b.r. break during “The Island” on New Year’s Eve, and tuned into ABC to see Dick Clark. It was courageous of him, but I can’t help but feel it was exploitative of the network to put him on. Was it just for ratings that they put him on? It’s a thorny question. I just felt sort of sorry for him. I think his return to broadcasting might have been orchestrated better if he’d done a Barbara Walters-style interview to encourage other stroke survivors or something.

    Okay – back to the sweatshop. Nine more blocks to go, and then it’s assembly time!

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  8. Laura said on January 2, 2006 at 2:13 pm

    Since Dick Clark owns the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, it was his choice to go on. Yes, the network could have stopped him, but my feeling is that the suits at ABC let him soldier on out of sympathy, not ratings.

    I agree a Barbara Walters-type gig would have been a better coming out for him.

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  9. Danny said on January 2, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    “You know, I just had a discussion with a buddy who insists that Led Zepplin is the Greatest Rock Band of All Time. I resorted to tangling him up in definitions, and we agreed to disagree (what is a rock band? what about rock stars like Elvis, or the jazz artists he stole from? How do we judge? Dollars? Longevity? Intensity of their fans’ devotion?)”

    LOL! You must have strange powers indeed to be able to Jedi-Mind-Trick your buddy into losing/drawing THAT argument. I’d say that all of the subjective measures you listed would go to LZ and that one could add a host of others like musicianship, breadth of catalog, etc. But this is all in good fun. My favorite bands change from time to time. Currently my mp3 player has Earth Wind and Fire, the Tramps, Willie Nelson, John Denver, Nancy Wilson (solo at McCabe’s), and Genesis (still with Peter Gabriel). Kind of a mix.

    Honestly though, Zeppelin is also quite well known for stealing … er … borrowing from others, but here is something I found sickening. The news the other day was about how Mariah Carey has now tied or passed Elvis for the number of hit singles. What a sad commentary that is on the current state of the music biz!

    I agree, Dorothy. It would have been better to have had Dick Clark in a different venue.

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  10. Dorothy said on January 2, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Not sure if anyone cares, but the quilt is done being pieced! I’m running over to my neighbors for show and tell. I’m so glad I got it all done. I’ll be paying for someone to machine quilt it, however, since I can’t possibly get it hand quilted by June for the wedding.

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  11. brian stouder said on January 2, 2006 at 4:25 pm

    Dorothy – Huzzah!! Huzzah!!

    Your niece will always treasure the quilt, long after she’s forgotten most of the rest of the loot she gets on her wedding day.

    Danny – my buddy is transforming himself into a guitarist, and is full of zeal about all that he believes is best about his new thing (as with all new converts, to anything)

    My son got an MP3 player, and I believe I shall have to get one for my birthday. When I get one, I will load it with lots of Pearl Jam, lots of Police, and then a mish-mash of stuff after that

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  12. Danny said on January 2, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    Brian, being a guitarist myself, I understand his appreciation of Mr. Page. My fav is Steve Howe of Yes. I am fanatic enough to own a 1953 Martin 00-18 that is 14 serial numbers away from Howe’s (that’s devotion .. or insanity ;).

    Yeah, I’ve had my mp3 player for 2 1/2 years now and I highly recommend them. I’ve ripped about a quarter of my CD collection so far. It is great for workouts.

    Regarding Pearl Jam, they are actually next on my list to acquire. I know Ten is great, but I would welcome your recommendations on others, particularly live material. For most groups, I typically get a good best of studio and the best live I can find. I don’t know about you, but I tend to gravitate towards live recordings.

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  13. brian stouder said on January 2, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    My favorite Pearl Jam website is


    (had to break it apart to make it past the filter)

    They have a best-of album out called Rearview Mirror, but I already have all that stuff. Other than that one, I have all their studio albums.

    Ten is like fireworks – just tremendously good stuff. If a person doesn’t like Ten, then that person doesn’t like rock ‘n roll. Versus also has lots of good ol’ rockin’ Seattle grunge goin’ on.

    An album I really like, and would rank as my 2nd favorite PJ album, is No Code. I think PJ & Eddie Vedder appeal so much to me (for one) because they can do definitive, power rock with a strong visceral appeal; and they don’t lose a step producing original and distinctive ballads; they have genuine artistry and poetry, along with wide appeal.

    Lately I have been playing Lost Dogs a lot. It is a double disc of all sorts of good stuff that has accumulated over the years, and never made it onto their albums. Their cover of Last Kiss, and a quirky little song that is one of my non-radio faves – Drifting, are particular favorites from Lost Dogs.

    Pearl Jam live recordings are all over the place (the above website will direct you to umpteen of them). I got a great recording of Pearl Jam at Toledo during the 2004 election cycle, featuring Neil Young. Caught them in concert years ago in West Lafayette – they put on just a marvelous show.

    And indeed – their live recordings reach right out and GRAB me! A great, great band….even if not the Greatest of All Time!

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  14. Dorothy said on January 2, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks Brian – and welcome to SC, Danny. Yes Pickens is nearby, but I don’t think I have been there. Yet. Have you been downtown to see the Reedy River Falls? Can’t come to Greenville and skip that! We have a great downtown.

    Back to the game – GO BUCKEYES!

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  15. Danny said on January 3, 2006 at 10:17 am

    Thanks, Dorothy. We may try that if we get the chance. We’ve actually been here a bunch of times since my sister-in-law and nephews, to whom we are very close, moved here a few years ago (we typcally visit for two or three weeks every year). Our desire is to move to the area to be closer to them, but career is the major concern. I interviewed a few places and received offers, but the fit just did not seem right. Oh well, time will tell.

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  16. Dorothy said on January 3, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    What do you do for a living, Danny?

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  17. Danny said on January 3, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    Mechanical Engineer. I specialize in drive train design and rotating equipment. I work for a division of Caterpillar that is a competitor to GE’s turbine divisions and there is a lot of cross-pollinization between GE Greenville and my company. Problem is, most folks on my side of the fence have little good to say about GE’s corporate culture. I may still make the jump some day. Who knows. And there are other companies too.

    It would be great to be around the nephews (7 and 8 years old) full time and to help in their raising. They lived wih us for two years when one was 6 months and the other 18 months. We love them like sons.

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