Monday, March 23, 2009

The Pogues! The Pets!


Shane McGowan of The Pogues

We got last-minute tickets to The Pogues Friday night. They played at the House of Blues, one of only a few stops on their mini tour. Might possibly be the last time they perform. I couldn't understand what Shane McGowan was saying, but he was alive, and they were awesome.

The other night we got some photos while hanging out with the pets (below).


Michael and Snapdragon, the sick cat


Charlemagne, the eldest greyhound



Merlin, the naughty greyhound


Lily, the fat cat

Thursday, March 19, 2009

They're Always After Me Lucky Charms!



St. Patrick's Day, a holiday I never think anything about, is huge in Boston. The first celebration in the U.S. took place here. We decided to take part in the festivities, so on the 17th we got up super early and took the train in to Boston for the first time yet.



We were at the bar by 8:30 AM. That's right. We went downtown to The Black Rose, a popular Irish bar, to see the Irish rock band, Black 47. The first 100 people got a traditional Irish breakfast; we missed it. But the band, who Michael remembers from his teenage years, was pretty awesome. And I fell in love with the lead singer's green suede shoes. You can see in the video below a girl doing traditional Irish dance.

video




After a few Smithwick's and Guinness beers and some sausage rolls, we walked over to another bar, where I ran into these lovely fellows (below). They made t-shirts to pick up ladies. Look at Mr. Intensity's guns!!





video

After several more beers, a bagpipe performance (above), and since the bartender did not know what was in an Irish funeral, we decided an eight hour day of drinking is enough and caught the train back home.

***

The night before, we created a entirely green meal in preparation for the following day. I made fettuccine with parsley pesto and walnuts, along with some roasted broccoli. Michael got some food coloring and put it in our drinks. For dessert, we baked a chocolate cake with green buttercream frosting we concocted. And, of course, it wouldn't have been complete without green Jell-O.

The Shot Heard 'Round the World



This weekend Michael and I spent a bit of time in Concord. We went to the North Bridge at Minute Man National Historical Park where in 1775, the American Revolution began with "the shot heard round the world."




Old Manse, home of Emerson and Hawthorne

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fleetwood/McVie/Buckingham/Nicks!



After last night I think I've decided that Lindsay Buckingham might possibly be the greatest guitarist in the universe. Michael got me tickets to Fleetwood Mac (my first favorite band) for my birthday. Last night we went to see them at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. From the photos you can see we were practically in the front row.




The arena was huge, our seats were very high up (I'm quite acrophobic), and the place was pretty packed. I think I might have been the youngest person there. I spotted lots of interesting characters, namely the 40ish woman wearing a fringe leather vest, dancing in the bathroom.

Fleetwood Mac is touring with their most popular 1975 lineup, sans Christina McVie (which made me sad because I love her). But despite being minus one McVie, they really sounded amazing. Lots of reunited older bands can be quite boring to watch, but they made me realize why so many people like them. They were very entertaining; Buckingham was jumping around on stage, pummeling his guitar, and not seeming at all like 60!

"Won't you lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff!"

After the show, we drove around and finally found an area of Boston that doesn't close down at 11 on a week night. I think we were near the universities. We found a pool hall where we got all kinds of awesome, terribly unhealthy bar food.

***

The snow has been off and on this week. We went to go snow tubing the other night but found that the conditions were slow, so we sadly returned to the house. The other night we drove to a pub (supposedly one of the most haunted in America, so says Michael) in Ashland, MA, called Stone's Public House. Once an inn, there was a poker disagreement that ended in death, with the body possibly buried on the grounds. Pretty neat little pub; there was an alright jazz ensemble playing. We didn't experience any ghost sighting but we did experience a huge plate of fries with gravy.


Friday, March 6, 2009

On Walden Pond



We found cross-country skis in the attic the other day and decided to go out and take advantage of all this snow while it lasts. We went into Concord to Walden Pond, the home of Henry David Thoreau. It was so sunny and nice outside, but the pond was completely frozen over with about a foot of snow on top, so we skied out on it. My first time on a frozen pond and on cross-country skis. There was a man ice fishing; I would really like to try that. We tried to make it up into the woods, but it was way more fun skiing on the pond. It was so sunny, I could have napped in the snow. I really hope we keep the snow through the end of March.


Walden Pond





the ice underneath


a snow angel

Below you can see the replica of Thoreau's 10' by 15' one-room cabin and me having a snowball fight with his statue. Michael bought Walden at the gift shop, and the nice cashier gave us some recommendations on bars/restaurants in the Acton area. He told us about the Colonial Inn (below) in Concord, so we went there for lunch. The inn was built in 1716 and apparently has haunted rooms (Michael's a ghost nerd).




Yesterday, we went to Nashoba Valley, which is right around the corner, to go downhill skiing. The second time I've skied ever. I was surprised that I wasn't as horrible as expected. Not that I was good, by any means, but I didn't break any bones. Before we left, I was going over small jumps without falling down! Of course, tons of nine-year-olds are soaring over me on their snowboards. Skiing is so much fun, but I just don't have enough access to it to get any better. We may try snow tubing before the snow melts.



the ski lift

Monday, March 2, 2009

It Snows!



We woke up this morning to more than a foot of snow on the ground, and it kept coming down all day! One of the biggest snows I've ever seen. It looks so amazing outside. We have to find Michael some snow boots so we can play in it tomorrow. We've been doing even more cooking (I made a caramel pie last night) and going to the gym here at the condo. Today it smelled like a foot. Speaking of smells, we keep finding doggie turd surprises all over the house. Lovely. In the photos you can see what we do every morning, noon and night--walk Charlemagne and Merlin.


walking the greyhounds


Michael's car


the front of our condo


the odd statue by our door

The the other day we drove into Boston and walked around the city. I did a bit of shopping. I just noticed that they don't have sales tax on clothing up here! Below you can see us at the harbor, next to the New England Aquarium where we watched sea lions swim about in their tank. They are strange creatures with creepy eyes.





Yesterday, we went in search of a brunch. We heard good things about the Acton Jazz Cafe. We were a bit disappointed because it turned out to be in the same building as a bank, had an over-priced, unimpressive buffet, and the atmosphere of a retirement home. So we left and drove into Cambridge to the Temple Bar. Such a cool bar with a delicious brunch. We shall return.


leaving our condo in Acton


Temple Bar