Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

Posts tagged ‘friends’

Just Hangin’ Out With Damien J Carter

This is  a clip of Damien J Carter singing “Hanging Out With My Family.” Drink in the majesty!

Last night I got together with a group of friends old and new. There was booze, sloppy joes, snacks, and amazing cupcakes! We also watched an extraordinary movie called “Birdemic” (James Nguyen, 2008). It was epically terrible. We watched it along with Rifftrax commentary. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Rifftrax, other alum from the show Mystery Science Theater 3000 offer hilarious mp3 film commentary for many of today’s top movies and a few cult film classics. You simply buy or rent the DVD or blu-ray, buy the Rifftrax (usually about $4) and play them along with the movie. The riff for “Birdemic” made an already hilariously bad movie positively side splitting! Add warm, wonderful and funny company and you get my second grown-up geektastic weekend in a row! It was a rare and welcome treat.

Ann Arbor Trip Report

Top 5 Reasons Why My Fateful Trip To The CT Show Sucked:

1. I forgot my shoes. I don’t mean I forgot to bring that perfect pair to match my outfit. I mean I left my home completely unshod. There were no shoes in my luggage, in my car, or on my person. No shoes people, NONE! (There actually is a semi logical explanation but I think I’ll just present the goofy facts and let the reader come up with her/his own wild story.)

2. The rental place was two hours late getting me my car. Well actually an hour and forty-five minutes since I spent fifteen of those minutes buying a freakin’ pair of shoes.

3. I had to spend the whole trip hunting for radio stations because the “Sounds Of Detroit” CD box set I bought was full of badly recorded live versions and bizarre remixes. Techno “Tears Of A Clown?” Ew!

4. Outside of rush hour and outside of Chicago, I ran into a traffic jam that ran into two states! Do you know what was at the end of it? Can you guess? Three freakin’ orange cones and one flashing light. That was it. Gah! Why can’t people just GO?!

5. Stupid late car plus stupid long traffic jam made me completely miss the Friday night dinner with all my CT show friends. There was great conversation and laughter and gooey fistfuls of Stilton cheese and I wasn’t there!


Top 10 Reasons Why The CT Show Was Awesome:

1. I did finally catch up with and hug all of my CT show buddies! The Titans put on a hell of a funny show, no doubt about it. But what keeps me coming back again and again are the friends I make at these shows. Nerds are so cool!

2. The opening act:
-Gruber’s lip syncing shadow puppets!
-Mary Jo reads teh Wikipedia like no one can
-Trace Beaulieu, DVD super model deserves a Vulcan high five!
-Anatomical geography lessons from Gruber. Show us Florida!
-Intros from Joel mean it’s time to start the show!

3. “East Meets Watts” live hurt me with funny. I have the hilarious DVD but it was double awesome live! I love that the way the riffs keep changing slightly to stay topical. They also added MST callbacks to pander to us like we like it. “Rock climbing Joel. Rock climbing.”

4. The audience was awesome! If it wasn’t sold out it was pretty darn full and they came ready to laugh. It was also the most diverse crowd I’d ever seen at a CT show. I rarely see kids at these things but there were quite a few at the early show. I noticed that the riffs were a bit more “family friendly” at the early show this time around too. I don’t know whose idea that was but I liked it.

5. Mid-show visits with friends. It was a big full theater which is happy news for Titans! But it also meant us two show ticket holders were only allowed to go through the receiving line once. But I didn’t feel the least bit deprived. I got some extra signatures on my CT fan shirt and I got to gab with some of the warmest, funniest, friendliest people you’re ever likely to meet and I get to call them friends. I am a lucky woman.

6. The second show opening act.
-The Clown Song and WADD radio. Gruber and Josh really do have excellent
singing voices.
-“Convoluted Man” killed! I love it when that happens.
-Gruber raps to Al Stewart’s “The Year Of The Cat.” I love you Gruber.
That is all.

7. “The Oozing Skull” hurt me with funny. I loved the riff changes they made. It was my second favorite movie of the evening but I was still cracking up through the whole thing. No more “family friendly” at this show. It was grown-up time and I liked that very much too!

8. Post show chatting with Gruber. I got to take two pics with him. He wanted one more with us fake laughing which would have been awesome but unfortunately I think the time just got away from us. Ah well, there’s always the November show if he’s still interested in that sort of thing. Apparently you never know with Gruber!

9. Post show chatting with Titans!
-I lamented to Josh that I still had no photographic evidence that I’d ever met any of them.
-I made Frank laugh! Well okay it was a courtesy chuckle. My comment wasn’t that funny. But still! He has a great smile and I like that I made it happen.
-Mary Jo thanked me for coming to the show. She was gracious as always
-Brief but nice chat with both Trace and Joel about my town and its TV stations and the now defunct Time Museum.
-These guys are all absolutely awesome and I can’t emphasize that enough!

10. Closing down the joint yammering with friends. We stood around gabbing so long that the autograph line finally ended. I accosted the poor tired Titans as they were leaving and finally, on the 5th try, I have a picture of myself with the whole CT gang! It’s glaucoma blurry but by God everyone is visible so it’s posted on Facebook! It took us a further hour to say “goodbye” to each other outside the theater but we finally did manage to call it a night!

(If you know me at all you knew there’d be tap dancing before this post was over.)

Top 3 Reasons My Friends Rock:

1. They will make a tired, hungry house guest an egg sandwich at 3 am when she didn’t have any dinner plus stay up and chat plus supply sacks full of snacks for the long road trip home. Yummy!

2. They share their home with 6 gorgeous PUMA sized kitties. Many of them were gracious enough to allow me to scratch their ears and bellies. There’s nothing like the seal of approval from the real owners of the house.

3. Reconnecting with warm, wonderful friends and cementing bonds forged during another fantastic trip to another CT show. (Don’tcha love it when stuff comes full circle?)


Top 1 Reason I’m Glad I Stayed For Breakfast The Next Day:

1. Not even the constant shower of poop from angry squirrels could dampen the great time with all my fabulous friends. Thanks for a fun post-birthday celebration guys!

Ahmad Jamal and Grand Theft Moments

Ahmad Jamal has been cited as one of the most important influences on the development of jazz after 1945. He recorded this song for his 1970 album “The Awakening.”

Nelson wrote “Stolen Moments” for a 1960 Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis album called “Trane Whistle.” No one thought much of it at the time of the album’s release but it quickly became a jazz standard. Two sets of lyrics were written for the song years later but I prefer it unsung.

I listened to this song while thinking about moments that have been stolen from me. We all have those but happily mine have been few and relatively minor. I listened again thinking about all the stolen moments of pure pleasure I’ve had in my life. I have to say it works both ways. I might just have to pick up “The Awakening” to listen to as I drive to Ann Arbor next weekend to steal a few moments with some dear friends.

The Great Minneapolis Adventure

Here’s a handy geography tip for the gentle reader: Minneapolis is NOT the same as Milwaukee. I’m sure you’re all as shocked to hear it as I was. Not only that, neither city was even willing to consider relocating to save me a little cash on the non-refundable hotel reservation I accidentally made in the wrong place! Yeesh, some municipalities! I had to fake cry my way through about seven phone calls to get a refund. But once I got booked into the right city and state, I actually did “make it on my own” to the hotel without incident.


My internet friend gang was already pretty stoked that we were going to get to meet each other and see some of Minneapolis and see w00tstock. Then serendipity smiled on the nerdy and we found out we could also see J Elvis Weinstein at the ACME Comedy Club! Mr J was performing with the very funny Chris Bliss. Only Super Geeky had heard of him in our group but apparently he’s quite famous. The two performed tag team style. They went for 90 minutes and I don’t think I stopped laughing once! Then when the stand up was done Chris did the amazing routine in the video. The crowd went wild of course. They closed the show with Chris juggling to a Fat Boy Slim song sung by Josh. Josh even got into the juggling a bit too. It was awesome! I know I saw some folks with cameras out bootlegging it but unfortunately no one’s uploaded it to You Tube that I could find. After the show Josh found us and chatted for a bit. Unfortunately we had all gotten up at the crack of dawn to get to the show on time so we were all pretty brain dead. I don’t think anyone said anything brilliant but I hope we were at least coherent! I attempted for the fourth time to get a pic with a Titan. I am convinced I’m cursed though so I’m betting that picture will never see the light of day.


Mall of America! Okay, it’s a totally touristy cliche thing to do but half of our group came from far flung corners of the Midwest and we wanted to see it. We had a blast! We got to fondle a cardboard vampire, take photos with a life size Lego Boba Fett and I got a high five from a bright blue land shark! After we finished exploring the mall we went to the very fine aquarium in the basement where the gorgeous, funny and talented Blablover5 (Introvertedwife on Twitter) shot the video for this section. We ended the evening at the Rain Forrest Cafe sharing fresh warm donut holes with chocolate and caramel dipping sauce. Nothing like sharing a mouthgasm with friends.


The tourist portion of our group started the day off at the Science Museum of Minnesota. They were having a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit which was quite awe inspiring even for a heathen like me. We also had the pleasure of exploring a science museum with actual scientists which is entertaining as well as educational.

Next it was time for our entire group to meet for a pre-show dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. CT forum was represented by Blablover5 and her Mister, Splatnuk, and yours truly. Twitter’s own Spideyo came along with his beautiful wife and their pretty daughter. Facebook was represented by a lovely woman who doesn’t frequent this forum or Twitter so, as far as I know, she doesn’t have a nickname I can use. The food was good and the company was even better. 

I had absolutely no idea what w00tstock was when I bought the ticket to see it. I just knew some cool people I really liked would be in it and some other cool people I really liked would be there watching it and I knew I wanted to be a part of that. It turns out w00tstock is a show which celebrates nerdiness in all its glory. I loved every minute of it. The clip features the show’s entire cast on stage singing a generic national anthem. Hard to hear but very funny!


I drove home. I don’t live in Chicago but hey, close enough. Besides I figure I really oughta get some actual jazz into this post.

I am beginning to formulate some reflections on the power of nerd gatherings. I really must write them out some day. Maybe I will after I go to my first Con.

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