Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Air Hockey- Best. Game. EVER.

For my immediate family, Dec. 25th is a secular holiday of presents, food & family fun. As in years past, J10X & I arrive at my mom's house, fashionably late, with santa hats on our heads & my incredibly warm, long, heavy forest-green cloak about my shoulders. (It is of no surprise to me that people no longer wear substantial cloaks to drive- the shoehorning of myself & that garment into my car alone is a Herculean effort, never mind clearing enough room around me in a sea of wool to locate the car's gearshift.)

I have finally come to the realization that all along it is only my sister, mother & myself who get completely hysterical during the present opening. My 5 year old nephew (Jack) doesn't even get that excited, tho' he claimed to be way more excited than me. But there's just no way- he doesn't even get to drink mimosas before gifts.

But the most fun to be had was when my dad brought up an air hockey table he had purchased for my nephew - or so he thought. J10X & Jack tried it out (Jack employing the Nowyckyj Goal-Blocking Ploy- placing his forearm in front of his goal) but things really heated up when J10X & myself went head-to head. My dad was pretty sure we were destroying the table & my mom was laughing as hard as we were- air hockey can get very intense, very fast & very fun. Half the time you end up knocking the puck into your own goal by mistake, or in my case, sailing it onto the floor, into my sister's back, the walls, etc. Considering the advent of so many great computer games, Xboxes and the like, I was amazed at how intense a simple game like this could get- we were sweaty & totally crazy.

So, we finally peeled ourselves out of there & to home- we recuperated by watching 'Mr. Bean's Holiday' which was a tad disappointing- good effort made to create a story, but I expected way more silly stuff. This past weekend we also watched 'Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix' which I was only compelled to watch because I had seen all the other movies. I think with the exception of the 'Prisoner of Azkaban', they've all been disappointing. I've not read any of the books, but the movies tend to make me feel that a LOT has been left out.

So, now I have a week to create & read!

Happy Boxing Day!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Local heroes, libations, lashings of music and the lengthening of days...

Saturday night was a celebratory night for music in New London- Paul Brockett Roadshow Band's 2nd Anniversary show was opened & closed by The Reducers!

PBRB had goodies to give out- a CD of rollicking fun with music, skits and some bizarre yodelling barnyard shenanigans, a poster photo montage on the inside of the CD (with some pictures of people you know) and a fabulous pin.
PBRB wore their dress blacks onstage, looking very sharp. Their set had somethings old, something new, nothing borrowed and 'Can't Mix Gin with You' featuring the vocal stylings of Ms. Daphne Glover. It was fun, fast and fantastic!

[Note: if Paul is the Gentleman of New London, Meghan is certainly the Glamorous Spirit and both rest on the Solid Foundation that is Dave. And if that isn't enough for you, they're really terrific people, too....]

The Reducers were, as usual, their efficient, rocking selves- this band consistently over the past 20-odd years I've seen their shows just deliver the goods every time, with no fuss and exquisite form. They rock, plain and simple.

Seeing both bands in the same venue is always a treat as we always see our friends, too- everyone was filled with holiday joy and the joy of a great night of music. I was so happy to actually find that one spot in the place where I could actually hear someone talk, so I did spend that last set of the show chitchatting with, it seemed, half of the music-loving population of New London. A great night all around...

Happy Anniversary, Paul Brockett Roadshow Band!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vodka & Me

We had a very good year.

I discovered in Women's Health magazine that my fave summertime vodka garnish, blackberries, are even better for you after being soaked in ethanol.

I have just now read that my very favorite potable, Reyka, is processed 'green' via geothermal heat. And they have no plans to ever flavor the vodka - skál !

Monday, December 17, 2007


Adrenaline rushes come in two great flavors-the fun-I can't-believe-I didn't-hurt-myself-kind and the not fun-I can't-believe-I'm-not-dead-kind.

I experienced both tonight within 10 minutes of each other -two coworkers hit me up to sled down the considerably steep hill next to Mitchell Hall on a car sun reflector....scary, but so worth it! Whee!

A few minutes later, I hopped in my car to get something delicious from Saeed's International Market and turned up the wrong street - uphill into a completely iced-over parking lot with a steep slope. My car miraculously made it up there, and as I realized my error and turned my car around, it decided to do a double basic spin and slide sideways down the hill, while stalling. It recovered beautifully and I gave my car a 9.9 for a complicated routine....

Winter Zombie Night at the Aloha Alcohula (TM)

Last Friday, the Aloha Alcohula (TM)* had a little impromptu tiki drink gathering - featuring nothing less than Zombies made from the original c1938 recipe by Don the Beachcomber. And featuring nothing less than your intrepid hostess' homemade cinnamon syrup & falernum (#8) to boot.

Winter Zombie Night was dedicated to two people: the joey Zone and the lovely Adrienne at Stop & Shop who risked life & limb to retrieve the last 4 existing bottles of lime juice from the very back of the tallest shelf in the store. Your hostess wasn't able to milk enough limes for the Zombie-making without further damaging her delicate little wrists.

The joey Zone did a fine, fine job of giving an extensive tour to Mike & Sandy of 9th Wave fame, all the while explaining the provenance of every single piece of tchotchka - some of which I didn't even know, such as the fine lockers I purchased to house CDs & DVDs that apparently had belonged to a strip club in the past.....(we suspect it was probably the Log 'n' Lantern. )

So, thanks to those who came & drank and didn't throw up little fruity bits!

*Best tiki bar in Willimantic

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Of Oil Tanks, Royale Footwork and a Hula Dancer.

This past weekend started with having my house's oil tank ripped from the soil - the entire process was completed by the time I returned from a far-too-early appointment. I was a little disappointed, because it would have been fun to see the process, but when I walked down my driveway at 9:30 AM, my oil tank was dangling from a backhoe & the hole was completely filled! Hooray!

Friday night, Johnny von 10X and I were invited by Miss Wendy to attend the service she was presenting at her synagogue. This was really interesting, as there was quite a lot of interaction with the congregation (including a question-and-answer period at the end) and the text provided had the songs printed in Hebrew, English, and a transliteration of the Hebrew text; there were also annotations. Miss Wendy did a fabulous job and also contributed a very beautiful poem - I may actually start liking poetry...

Saturday night, we watched poetry in motion - we saw the Royale Brothers (yes, again, jZ) play at the Backstage Pass at Rosie's Cantina in Groton - it's a nice space, totally separated from the strip club portion of the building. There were a decent amount of people there and the bar had Laphroaig - so lovely on a chilly night. Even better, friends I hadn't seen in far too long were in attendance and we had time to catch up.

Eventually, the Royale Brothers hit the stage - two band members were dressed all in black, (perhaps in recognition of the passing of the Great American Hero, Evel Knievel), two in various shades of plaid. The addition of the fog machine & some fancy flashing lights ramped up the visuals, including much fancy footwork (a la James Brown) by Joey Royale, and the adrenaline-inducing sight of Sebastian Royale coming THIS CLOSE several times to nailing Joey in the head with his guitar (or perhaps just poking an eye out with a guitar string) and Joey coming THIS CLOSE to taking out some lights & electricals when he brandished his microphone stand in the air and howled. There's just something exhilarating about the combination of rock'n'roll, near electrocution and near ocular impalement...

As usual they did not disappoint - as Marko observed after they had finished, 'I pity the next band following THAT!' Indeed!

But the very best line of the evening was: "I've been making Feejee Mermaids...when I'm not working or making out with my girlfriend, I'm making these...things...!" Hmmm...I wonder how much it would cost the Aloha Alcohula* to obtain one for display? As for the person who uttered those fine words, please do yourself a favor and visit the NE Anomaly site!

As for All Things Tiki, there is rumored to be a tiki bar opening in Vernon very soon- of course, this will entail making an exploration into unknown territory. Hopefully the Sacred Text of The Bum will be utilized in its proper form.

And what about the Hula Dancer? Oh, that would be the tattoo that Nimble-Fingered Phil Royale sports on his forearm, merrily dancing away....

*the best tiki bar in Willimantic.