• Category Archives Children
  • American Idiot and ONCE

    Eldest son gifted us with theater tickets for Xmas, so off we went last night to see the 8 pm performance of AMERICAN IDIOT at the Opera House. Parking is a Big Deal in-town Boston, so I feel as though I have the right to brag about the $16 space we snagged at the Hiatt Hotel’s Garage, right next door to the venue. We parked there last month to see ONCE, as well, and it works out well. We usually park at the Underground Garage at the Common and walk down to Washington St, so this is a HUGE discovery, particularly on a frigid winter night.

    IMG_1012

    We’ve had the Green Day CD for years, but this was our first viewing of the rock musical that premiered in Boston in 2012. Unlike a typical play, the show has very little dialogue and no intermission. No real scene breaks for moving props around, either, so limited space for squeezing in applause. At the end of one number, a new song would immediately start. People were getting up and down between songs for potty breaks. Disconcerting at first, but then added to the rock show ambience.

    These are my impressions: Popping lights on the stage that could trigger an epileptic seizure. Pulsing music that never quit. High octane from the actors throughout, no energy lags whatsoever. The thread of the character arc was carried by a few BIG songs: “Wake Me Up When September Ends”; “Before the Lobotomy”. ( Terrence is playing the former as I write this blog.) Unusual way to plot the story, which I enjoyed when I got used to the style.

    As to ONCE, I’ve seen the movie twice and the stage show the same amount of times, once in NYC and once in Boston, another Xmas gift, this time from my remaining two sons.

    I liked the movie better. Didn’t like the musical score as much in the play and, unlike in American Idiot, I found the limited scene changes claustrophobic after a while.  DH, of course, preferred ONCE to AI even though he’s the Green Day fan.

    Boston Opera House
    Boston Opera House

    However — straightaway after our early arrival at the Opera House, we lined up to go on stage, which was set to look like the interior of an Irish Pub, complete with full liquor-serving bar. Though only 40 audience members were allowed up there at any given time, the stage quickly grew crowded, which only added to the authenticity. The distant view of the theatre from the stage was spectacular, as were the props and instruments up-close. Unfortunately, no pix allowed.

    Terrence ordered a beer. No Guinness!!! And a straw in the plastic cup! HUH???? We could’ve stayed up there while the actors came on and launched into a medley of Irish tunes, but others were waiting, so we returned to our seats. Before too long, the audience smelled of Fenway Park. I LIKED IT.

    But, I liked the movie more, even without the beer aroma.


  • Happy Easter

    Two of my bunnies are already home to the hutch for the holiday; this afternoon, the third is due in with his girl bunny pal.

    Looks like this Easter Sunday is a dress rehearsal for another glorious spring production. The sudden warmth in N.E. raised the green curtain on my lawn. While an orchestra of daffodils tune up their yellow trumpets, a score of purple and white tulips wait to enter center stage. Flowering dogwood, cherry, and pear trees, all jazzed up to put on their show, hover ornamentally in the background. And the lilacs! Still tiny buds yet, but by the second act, they’ll strut their stuff too. I sit in the audience, camera in hand, impatiently waiting for the performance to begin.

    Everything is okies-dokies in my little world. I hope everything is fine in your little world too.


  • Reasons to be grateful today:

    1) It’s spring! Though a few snow flakes fell early this morning, mommy ewes at the farm up the street proudly showed off their newborn lambs to us during our walk. Baaaa

    (2) The man wheeling the adorable triplet boys in a stroller at the mall, with another cute little fella toddling behind, is someone else’s husband!Yipppeee

    (3) My own teenage son finally removed his pastel blue fingernail polish! Though his droopy black jeans still revealed a large expanse of plaid boxers when he left the house, I take my blessings wherever I find them. Hallelujah

    (4) I actually found a cotton skirt to wear in Florida! Hot damm


  • Hurry up and leave so I can start missing you

    No, that’s not the title of a Country Western single, at least I don’t think it is. But, let me explain:

    While waiting to hear from grad school, 22 year-old middle son landed a stellar job in electrical engineering. He moved back home in December, having finished up his college courses a semester early, and though he has to wait ’til May to actually walk across the graduation stage, with a decent resume and security clearance as a result of that decent resume, opportunity came a-knocking and he opened the door and let his future in.

    I thought I’d have this kid under my roof at least ’til September, but as of yesterday, the house officially has a second guest bedroom.

    Yep, I’m now a two-thirds empty-nester. And like just about everyone else in our demographic, we’re thinking downsizing. Chucking everything into an extra-large dumpster appeals to me on so many different levels. Now, to persuade the rock star youngest son to pack up his bottle of powder-blue nail polish and take his gig on the road . . .


  • When mom is an erotic romance writer

    Three months ago, my oldest son flew the family nest after a job change. It was time, and we were all okay with his decision. He now lives in the city, where he’s trying to make friends–

    Read that, lady friends.

    I don’t ask about his methodology, but from reading between the lines, I gather he hopes to statistically increase his chances of empirical success by the random sampling of a large quantity of subjects.

    Read that, he’s going through these babes like water goes through a sieve.

    Tonight, he’s seeing someone for the second time. I wished him good luck. This is not to be confused with “get lucky”. I’m his mother; I would never say such a thing. Think it, yes. Verbalize it, no.

    He emailed me back, telling me he would need all the luck he could get, as she was a really good “Caliber 2”.

    Folks, I won’t tell you what I thought. Suffice it to say, it was a thought no mother should ever have about one of her adult male children.

    Turned out, the kid and the young lady are gaming tonight, and that was the name of the Playstation martial arts video.


  • The Guest Room

    These are transitional years in my family–sons going off to college, transferring to different colleges, graduating from college, going onto grad school, moving into their own apartments. During the interim, like fledgling birds learning to fly on their own, my sons return to the nest–

    Bringing their friends with them.

    Fine. Friends are always welcome to stay the night. At the moment, the house has one VERY active guest bedroom, redecorated in light cherry furniture, with color coordinated curtains, rug, and quilt. It’s lovely. But since I keep farmer’s hours and my kids keep no bedtime schedule whatsoever, some mornings, I don’t know who is sleeping in that lovely guest room. Or, on the sleep sofa. Or, on the other three sofas. Or, on the spare cot. Or, on the floor, for that matter.

    After resorting to counting strange cars in the drive and unfamiliar shoes on the rug by the door, I’ve now asked for a brief note, detailing who is in the house. So far, the system is working. I now have names to go with the winter jackets and scarves strewn all over the floors.

    After the Christmas insanity, the guest bedroom is empty this morning. On the way down to the kitchen for a cup of tea, I went in, just to appreciate the deafening silence.


  • Basking In The Afterglow ( or, Where Do I Stick This Thing Now?)

    Let me first preface this blog with: I love it, guys, I really do love it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The sons gave me a Cuisinart coffee maker for Christmas. No doubt about it, this is one high concept piece of design engineering. As soon as I read the 30 page owner’s manual and, for the first time in my coffee drinking career, buy a few pounds of roasted coffee beans, I intend to brew myself a fresh cup of java.

    What a wonderful gift! When I opened the box, the chrome alone was enough to make me gasp. The Cuisinart was so big and shiny, I could actually see my face reflected on the side, horrified expression and all.

    Where do I put it?

    No, seriously folks, where do I stick this thing after it comes out from under the tree.

    The kitchen is large, but the counter space is already jam-packed with the Christmas presents of previous years. Short of taking out the stove, where do I install my wonderful Christmas gift? (See that guys? That’s the second “wonderful” in just a few short paragraphs. I love my new coffeemaker, I really do love it.)

    The sons gave DH a new electric guitar. Wrapping still clung to the strings when he plugged it into the amp, strapped it around his neck, and started playing. By the end of the evening, why, he must’ve had that completely portable guitar in every room in the house, taking it with him wherever he went, the logistics of using his new gift no problem whatsoever.

    See where I’m going with this train of thought?

    I need a guitar strap for my new coffeemaker.


  • Double Standards

    The youngest son plays in a couple of rock bands. Bass, drums, sings. He’s not the first in the family to do this. All three sons inherited their Dad’s musical genes, all three play various musical instruments. Sax, drums, keyboard, trumpet, guitar, bass, French Horn, theremin ( Don’t bother looking up that last one. A Russian physicist invented the instrument in 1919 and it’s in there only to impress you. Personally, I think its one eerie instrument.)

    Anyway, here’s where the double standard enters the picture: Through the years, I’ve been front row center at all the classical concerts, but not the rock concerts. Don’t get me wrong I like the sound, I sing along with NIN when alone in the car, and I do go to rock concerts–just not when one of my sons is up performing on the stage.

    They write and sing hardcore lyrics, with raw themes.

    Fine. No objections. Hey, I write erotic romance and, philosophically speaking, don’t happen to believe in censorship. Besides which, my sons are all young adults now, and fine creative human beings, even if I do say so myself.

    But, but when it’s one’s very own baby boy up there on the stage performing, funny how quick philosophy gets chucked out the window. When four-letter words start flying out of the cherub’s mouth, letting go of the MOMMY within to applaud from the audience gets a little dicey. You know . . . like where’s the bar of soap? And, I taught that kid a more expressive vocabulary than that!

    The youngest rocked out Saturday night, at a really awesome venue too, and I wasn’t there.

    Sigh.

    Long live Rock.


  • Music

    Went to two college concerts this past week, band and jazz. Middle son plays in both. In band, he featured in a sax ensemble on the bari; in jazz, he played a solo on the alto-HOLD BACK TOMORROW, a really fine melodic piece, but the quick changes making the notes difficult to finger. I’m not a die-hard jazz enthusiast, but this was nice, and the accompanying singer had a wide vocal range that augmented the mellow sound. The Jazz Director is the grandson of a North Carolina Baptist minister and it shows. He gets up before the audience and preaches his gospel of Brotherly Love as his head nods and his hips swing to the beat. His jazz stories span more than forty years, and listening to his tales of fast women and slow money and real talent is a treat. His is one story I’d love to write . . .

    Today, after shoveling out, CAPTIVE gets my attention. I’m polishing all my books except the last two. No major changes, just adding some sparkle.

    Keep it real.