Thursday, March 01, 2007

Decade Dude

Today our big guy turns 10 so I'm sending out a BIG Happy Birthday to you, Z!

It's hard to believe that Zoli has been around for an entire decade. While he was a bit apprehensive about flipping to double digits, he did so, quite nicely while he was sleeping, at 1:06 am.

It doesn't take much for me to recall his birth. It was a mild evening in February and I was trying hard to deliver him before the calendar changed to March...only because Steve and I had a bet. Steve was convinced that Z would be a March baby and I thought February. I know that Steve won but Z made it a close race. When he arrived he was 8lbs, 7oz (just a little guy compared to Julie who "paved the way" at 10lbs, 8oz). While we had a few name choices with us, he was a Zoli from the moment we saw him...visions of the Cameron Crazies (Duke fans) chanting Zeeeee-maaaan as he runs down the court sealed the deal.

Time has certainly flown since that first day. 10 years encompasses a multitude of memories. I often tell Z that he needs to stop growing (or I'll put him in "time out") but that doesn't seem to be working. But it's all good. Each stage, in its own way has been wonderful. Steve reminds me often that I should enjoy the moment so I do. I do fondly sneak a peak at those past times once in a while, though, too! Yes, that birthing video will be making it's appearance this evening (much to my family's chagrin!!!).

In any case, Happy Birthday to you, Z, our little guy, our "nun-yuh," our noodle. With your birthday comes the promise of spring, the excitement of the Duke-UNC game, and, undoubtedly, a trip to Mamma Lucia's! Let the party begin!


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

See It Like a Baby

So this past weekend was the New York City listening party for Marillion's upcoming release, Somewhere Else. Kenny's Castaways, the bar/club where the event was held, is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, right on Bleeker Street.

As we strolled up to Kenny's, there was a group of Marillion fans milling about on the sidewalk. They had come back out into the cold because there was a dramatic reading going on inside that was apparently pretty boring (at least to the ears of people itching to hear new tuneage from Los Marillos). We decided to head in and check out the scene for ourselves.

Once inside, we found a small table right in front of the stage and pulled up a couple of chairs. The reading was over in a few minutes and, before too long, Pete Trewavas and Steve Rothery took the stage to introduce the new album. We all then spent the next 50 minutes or so listening to Somewhere Else in its entirety.

This was an interesting time, and not only because of the songs themselves. I found myself glancing around the room, to see what other people were doing. Some seemed to be doing very little listening, preferring to talk amongst themselves. Others were totally absorbed in the music, nodding their heads, closing their eyes. As for us, we did a little of both, chatting and listening.

Once the album had finished, Pete and Rothers jumped back on stage and proceeded to play a set of four classic Marillion songs--Eighty Days, Easter, Sugar Mice, and The Answering Machine. This was fascinating, in part because Pete was handling the vocals. (H and the rest of the band were hosting listening parties around Europe.) I have to say, the vibe was great, with lots of singing along and some classic Rothery poses.

The party was capped off with a second playing of Somewhere Else, which was very helpful from a retention point of view. (It really is hard to get a sense of new music, even top-notch new music, on just one listen.) The only downer of it all? It will be more than a month until we get to listen to the album again...and again...and again...


Monday, February 26, 2007

Technology and the Turnpike

"This Turnpike sure is spooky at night when you're all alone"

When the Boss sang these words back in 1982, it was about driving in the "wee wee" hours to get back to his baby. For me, these kinds of late-night episodes usually entail jumping into the car when my parents find themselves suddenly confronting a health emergency of some sort. The other day it was the news that my dad had been in a car accident. He's banged up, but will be fine. His car, on the other hand, lost its battle with a delivery truck, tree, and building (for real...).

Recently, the two biggest changes for me on these types of runs up the Turnpike have been cellphones and my iPod. It was not all that long ago I would enter into a 3-4 hour news blackout when pulling away from the house. I simply had no way of getting in touch with anyone up in Jersey, unless I pulled off the road and dialed from a pay phone (remember those?). And boredom was a constant problem (and danger), as there truly are 57 channels and nuthin' on. Avoiding white line fever was a real challenge, to say the least.

These days, though, technology has made this kind of emergency management way, way easier. I need to keep abreast of how my dad is doing? No problem...information is only a cell phone call away. I have to stay awake at all costs? Simple...alternate talking to Desi and listening to a Mandarin lesson.

So even though long-distance troubleshooting is anything but easy, technological advancements have taken some of the edge off the process. (And I haven't even mentioned E-ZPass yet.) With Desi, Ken Carroll, and Jenny Zhu as my co-pilots, the Turnpike isn't so spooky after all...