Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween - Boo!

Happy Halloween - Boo! First let me start with a clip/song from one of my favorite movies "Nightmare Before Christmas". I love this movie from both an artist's perspective, appreciation of the creative mind of Tim Burton and musical creativity of Danny Elfman, and that it celebrates both Halloween and Christmas.

Upon researching the holiday further I found that Halloween was brought to the US by Irish and Scottish imigrants (yeah McFarlane!). Early on it was called "All Hallows Even" because this is the day believed to be when the veil between the alive and the dead was the thinnest or even. This actually is kind of a cool idea, remember the scene in Harry Potter where he gets to see his parents. Maybe we could use this opportunity to say hi to our friends and family members who have passed through the veil. My Grandpa Verdus loved playing tricks, even when it wasn't Halloween. His sense of humor was awesome, I see traces of it in Dan (when he teases his kids), Angie (with her love of water balloon ambushes), ... play a trick on someone for him and for Halloween.

In celebrations past, I remember fondly trips through the neighborhood to the homes of friends, who would lovingly craft popcorn balls (Grandma Vinnie), candied apples (Lulu's house), hauted houses (boyscout troup and/or Kathy & Shauna Davis' house (lots of big brothers)). My mother spent months making cool handmade costumes (jaguar, dog, vampires...). One year I decided to be a clown. I donned the sparkle top hat from my dance recital, taped colorful paper polka dots to my jeans, put desitin (white cream) on my face, and then for the shoes... after some creative improvising I took my Dad's size 12 boots, put my whole sneaker inside, and wore them like that. It was great, I thought I looked awesome! My older brother Dan and his friend Jason decided to go drag (like they had seen on Saturday Night Live) and wore some of my Mom's old dresses and wigs - it was hilareous!

We love seeing what you have done with your kids every year! Robbie did a great job getting Paige, Grace, Whitney, and Crew dressed and ready for their early halloween party - still amazed at how good he is with the girls hair (I remember my Dad hopelessly trying to do two EVEN ponytails for me when Mom was at the hospital when Robbie was born, he finally gave up and made one in the back after several failed attempts). Speaking of hair - OMG Jen (my cousin) the things you do with Karen's hair is awesome! The costumes and face painting for Karen and Michael were really cute!

Gary and I are headed out to West Chester, PA in the next few minutes. He's playing a venue called Vincents. Should be fun, wonder how many people will dress up and come out to party?

Send me pictures about your fun tonight - I'm dying ;-) to see what you've scared up for a costume.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Crazy Eights!!

Crazy Eights!!

Okay so I've been "tagged" to the Crazy Eights Game (thanks so much Cindy & Jen).

Of Course when I was in high school, the "Crazy Eights" were a local horn band (Corvallis, OR) who won on star search. (Still Crazy after all these years)

8 TV Shows I Love to Watch:
1. Hardball with Chris Matthews
2. Countdown with Keith Oberman
3. the Rachel Maddow Show
4. Late Night with Conan O'Brien
5. CSI Miami
6. Dexter
7. Weeds
8. Curb your Enthusiasm (Larry David)

8 Favorite Places I Love To Eat:
1. El Rodeo (this is where we went for my birthday - great Mexican food)
2. Fire Mountain Grill (fun buffet that just opened a site near us)
3. Cici's (pizza, pasta, fun all at an affordable feed-the-whole-family rate)
4. El Pollo Rico (the BEST rotissary chicken I've ever had, you can smell it for blocks, and where Gary & I had our first dinner date)
5. Saigonese (our anniversary dinner - food so yummy we drove 2 hrs to get there last year)
6. the Taco truck where we used to live (looks like a hotdog truck)
7. Little Viet Garden (fun place to have great Vietnameese in DC area)
8. Deli C (take out 24/7 in Carlisle - good Gyros)

8 Things That Happened Yesterday:

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. The new Robin Trower CD - RT@RO.08
2. hearing Gary's new custom made (just for him) amp tomorrow night at the gig (click on the link to see pictures - we're gonna call it the "Viper Verb")
3. Getting the new glow-in-the-dark t-shirts ready to sell online
4. Seeing what "Blues Review Magazine" has to say about the new CD (December/January issue)
5. Waiting to see what "Blues Matters Magazine" (a UK publication) thinks of Live & Blue
6. Playing a weekend gig set at The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino (near Niagra - never been that far north on this coast) (they put us up and feed us for free :-) can you say romantic working weekend)
7. November 4 - Election Day ...DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!
8. A record contract would be nice - anyone interested???

8 Things I Love About Fall:
1. Kids playing in leaves
2. Hay-rides
3. Bonfires
4. walks in the woods
5. seeing the leaves change color
6. hot-chocolate
7. stretchy gloves
8. hoodies

8 Things On My Wish List:
1. Trip to Scotland to vacation and gig
2. A Winnebago with cargo room for band equipment
3. lower gas prices so we can afford to drive the winnebago
4. A record contract
5. more radio airplay
6. permanent band mates
7. a job with health insurance
8. a new digital camera with a histogram and video capacity

There was a "8 People I tag" section, but most of my friends/family have already participated. If you haven't and want to share your answers, leave me a comment, I'd love to see your answers too. :-)


Monday, October 13, 2008

Mourning the death of Mr. Common Sense

Thanks to my friend Tamra for sending this to me, felt the need to pass it along, especially in these days of hate mongering political advertising...


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. no one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and the criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you could not defend youself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is surved by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

I knew common sense was on the decline but was unaware that it had passed away. This is indeed a sad day for all. I hope you enjoyed this little excerpt, I found sadness, truth and humor in it.

Have a blessed day and think of me.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

All About me (Trudi & Gary)

Thanks to my cousin Pam (& her husband Troy) for this:

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your friends. Copy then change all the answers so they apply to you, then post on your blog. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 11:30 which is actually early for us since we usually don't get to bed until 5 or 6 am.
2. Diamonds or pearls? Pearls - especially the uncultured one I got at a street vendor's cart in Hawaii when I was young.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I don't like the theater much as you can't pause the movie when you need a drink... the last/only time we've gone to a theater in the last several years is when a hurricane knocked out the power to our whole neighborhood for 2 weeks, we drove several miles found an open theater and watched Pirates of the Caribbean (I think) just to sit in the air conditioning for 2 hours.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Tie between Late Show with Conan O'Brien and Countdown with Keith Oberman.
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? I don't eat until I've been up for several hours and had some exercise, then it's usually lunch type stuff.
6. What is your middle name? McFarlane (Trudi), Duane (Gary)
7. What food do you dislike? Food with faces (Trudi), 7-11 nachos (Gary)
8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Eric Gales "Story of My Life"
9. What kind of car do you drive? 1996 Honda Odessey (got it as a wedding gift from Trudi's Dad)
10. Favorite sandwich? Just had BLTs, but also love Italian subs
11. What characteristic do you despise? Hypocracy (amen Pam & Troy)
12. Favorite item of clothing? Bushmaster t-shirt, and McFarlane Family Reunion t-shirts
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Scotland
14. Favorite brand of clothing? Starbury
15. Where would you retire to? Retire? I don't think musicians ever do that - do they?
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? Gary's birthday/gig last year at Frisco Grille (got video clip on our myspace page)
17. Favorite sport to watch? Boxing (did you see Shane Moseley last weekend?)
18. Furthest place you expect someone to look at this from? England and Oregon (which is further?)
19. If you had a superpower, what would it be? A truth lasso like wonder woman - I hate when people lie to me
20. When is your birthday? August 3 (Trudi), November 25 (Gary)
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Always been a night person, love to sleep in
22. What is your shoe size? 7.5 (Trudi), 12.5 (Gary)
23. Pets? Pryor & Wilder - stinkpot turtles
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Gary registered to vote for the first time ever, he finally feels like his vote might be worth something!
25. What did you want to be when you were little? an acrobat (Trudi), a scientist (Gary)
26. How are you today? Happy that justice is going my way
27. What is your favorite candy? peanut butter cups
28. What is your favorite flower? chicory (Trudi), roses (Gary)
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Thursday (when Gary gets his amp)
30. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Blue Bunny pistachio almond
31. What are you listening to right now? MSNBC
32. What was the last thing you ate? BLTs & chips
33. Do you wish on stars? Every night :-)
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? cornflower (same color as my favorite flower chicory)
35. How is the weather right now? starting to get cold
36. Who was the first person you talked to on the phone today? District Attorney Birbeck
37. Favorite soft drink? orange drink from McDonalds
38. Favorite restaurant? Siagoneese in Silver Spring, MD, and El Pollo Rico in Arlington, VA
39. Real hair color? Blonde (Trudi), mostly gray (lol) (Gary)
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? lincoln logs at Grandma Gladys' (Trudi), any kind of ball (Gary)
41. Summer or winter? I think the snow ought to stay in the mountains where it belongs, I love spring and sunshine
42. Hugs or kisses? both
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? vanilla bean
44. Where was your last vacation? McFarlane family reunion at Malibu Dude Ranch in PA
45. When is the last time your cried? yesterday when I fell into the floor fan and hurt my arm
46. What is under your bed? the hard wood floor (no bed frame)
47. What did you do last night? I watched the vice presidential debate, gave more evidence to Officer Groller, and ordered something from Adan's (Angie's son) fund raiser catalog
48. What are you afraid of losing? My family or my sanity, they are really tied together (good answer Pam and Troy)
49. Salty or sweet? both
50. How many keys on your key ring? 8 (2 for the car, 2 for the apartment, 1 from my grandma's skeleton key collection, 1 from our first apt, 2 for the lock box)
51. How many years at your current job? we've had the band since 1993
52. Favorite day of the week? Monday, (the first day to rest after gigging all weekend)
53. How many towns have you lived in? 7 towns, 6 states (Trudi - Las Vegas, NV, Riverside, CA, Philomath, OR; Gary - Palmer Park, MD, Daytona, FL, Buffalo, NY; together - Arlington, VA, Rockville, MD, Silver Spring, MD, Carlisle, PA)
54. Do you make friends easily? people are naturally drawn to us because we are musicians, but we usually like to just hang out with each other, or a few close friends, or family