Tuesday, December 22, 2009
There are a handful of websites that have helped me go from using a few coupons each time I shop to now being an "extreme couponer". The most helpful one is http://www.iheartpublix.com/. Each week, the readers of that website post a picture of their weekly Publix savings and this is mine. This week I bought the following at Publix, for the sale that ends on Christmas Eve:
(4) Barber chicken meals (Cordon Bleu and Chicken Parmeseam) BOGO, plus $4 in manufacturers coupons= $1.98 final cost for 4 boxes
(2) Buitoni Angel Hair refriderated pasta BOGO, plus $2 in manufacturers coupons= .38 cents final cost for 2
(6) Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese $1.25 each, plus 4 $1 manufacturerers coupons and 4 $1 retailers (Publix) coupons for a 75 cent "moneymaker" on each (total of $4.50 moneymaker)
(8) Steamfresh vegtables, 50% off plus 8 .50 cent off manufacturerers coupons for a total cost of about .40 cents each ($3.20)
20 tangerines, total cost $2.00
Downey wrinkle releaser $4.19
(2) Publix Ceasar Salad mix BOGO $2.99 for 2
(5) Kraft Mac and Cheese cups .99 cents each
Arnold Mulitgrain sandwich thins
(4) Schick travel size razor packs, .99 cents each with 4 $2 off manufacturers coupons, makes it a $4 "moneymaker"
Rachael Ray magazine $3.75, plus a $3.75 manufacturers coupon and a $3.75 Publix coupon, making it a $3.75 moneymaker
(7) cans Pedigree dog food, .99 cents each
Revlon emery boards $1.89, plus a $2.50 Publix coupon for a .61 moneymaker
(2) Sorrento Mozz cheese $5.00 plus $2.00 manufacturerers coupons and $2 Publix coupons, total cost $1.00
(4) Coca Cola 12 packs, $12.00 buy three get one free plus a matched Albertson's coupon for $2.00 off
I also used Food Lion coupons for $2 off a produce order, two $5 off a $50 order from Albertsons and GFS (because my total was well over $100 before coupons)
My final total before tax was: $20.20
plus tax of: $ 1.47
total out of pocket cost: $21.67
total savings after BOGOs and coupons: $100.38
Big thanks to www.iheartpublix.com for the coupon matchups, I couldn't save this much without them!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Joey came home from school yesterday with the news that he'd scored an actual paying job thanks to his work with the TV production class at school. He will be videotaping all of the varsity girl's basketball games for his school. He'll get paid $5 a game, plus a free meal at the away games. That may not sound like much, but considering that his weekly allowance is $7.50, the two games a week he'll tape will more than double his income. The pay is a bonus, I think he just enjoys being involved with the team and doing the videotaping- he really likes the TV production class and all the things that he's learned there. Tonight was the first game that he taped, his next one is on Tuesday. We told him that he could give it a try, but if he doesn't have time to get his homework done he'll have to stop doing it- hopefully he can fit homework in.
I had a great coupon shopping day today- I got $225.80 in groceries at Publix for $77.30. In fact, I qualified for a $15 rebate on some of the things that I bought so I'll get $15 of that back later and my final cost will be even less.
The concert season is getting back up to speed here, I have a show in two weeks (a bunch of local bands are performing Pink Floyd's classic album "The Wall" live, song by song) and I bought tickets for a Dec 30 Rick Springfield show a few days ago...I've seen Rick many times and it's always a LOT of fun. This show is at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, so John is begrudingly going along (mainly as the driver, he's not quite the Rick Springfield fan that I am!)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Joey started something new at school, he was an endzone videographer at the homecoming football game last week. He stands under the goal posts and films the touchdowns. We made sure he had lots of water (and Coke!) to drink, but by the end of the game his hair was absolutely soaked and slicked down to his head. At the end of each quarter, the teams alternate end zones so he would run from one end zone to the other at full speed, with an alarmingly expensive camcorder and a tripod as big as him. He got some great shots, he'll be doing more of that next year during football season.
I had the pleasure of getting together with some old friends from high school a few weeks ago, some of them I hadn't seen in nearly 20 years. We talked and laughed and enjoyed some great pizza, and I ended up not getting home until nearly 2 AM! I was zombie-like at work the next day, but it was worth it to reconnect with old friends. A week from today, I'm going to an alumni event for my high school with some of them; we made a committment to see each other a few times a year and not let decades go by again before we get together again.
Next weekend (the first full weekend in November) is the Jamboree at Joey's school and John's work. They have a midway, concerts, food vendors- the pastor says it's "a county fair without the smell", and that seems pretty accurate. We're really looking forward to this one because we'll get to see a comedian that we really like, named Tim Hawkins. John and Joey have been watching videos of him for about a year and a half, so they're excited to see him in concert. Here's a video from his most recent DVD, it should be a lot of fun.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
As the title of this entry says, I'm afraid that summer is on it's way out and autumn is just around the corner. That's not totally bad news, we're all back to school/work and getting back into the whole getting up early, doing homework, etc rhythm of things. But, the very best part of autumn arriving- football season! The first game of my alma mater, the University of South Florida is next Saturday and I can't wait to watch it. The football team at Joey's school (it's a kindergarten through 12th grade school, so kids of all ages come to the football games but only the high schoolers actually play) started their season with a win last night. I've convinced John and Joey to give up their regular Friday boys nights out at the gun range when there's a home game at Joey's school, so we'll get to go to 4 or 5 of the games. Joey is hoping to help with the filming of the games (so the players can make highlight films to send to colleges), partly so he can avoid sitting with me during the game- I get really, really involved and tend to scream...a lot...when our team is doing well. I can't help it, I love watching football.
Another cool thing that I've been enjoying lately is that I've reconnected with three of my best friends from high school (Doug, Wojo and Dianne) on Facebook. I've been talking to them on Facebook a couple times a week, and last week I posted some pictures of our graduation (in 1987!) there and everyone chatted about them for most of the evening. We were working on getting together at a dinner at Capogna's Dugout hosted by the class after ours (CHS '88), but it's the same day that I'm having my parathyroid surgery next week so I had to decline. We might go next month instead, it sounds like many of the class of 88 folks have dinner at Capogna's every month and don't mind of other classes join them.
Joey is doing well at school, so far the homework load in 7th grade is much lower than it was last year. He's working on the school TV news show as one of his classes. He's the only middle schooler there, everyone else is a high school student. He says that he runs all three cameras during the live show, I'm not sure how that works but he seems to really enjoy it.
I'll probably be back to post another entry after my surgery on Thursday, I have five days off of work to recouperate so I'll have plenty of Internet time- yay, that beats working any day!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
July has been a very busy month for us all, with a two week vacation and a week of summer camp for Joey. I'll post some vacation pics shortly, but for now click here for a slideshow of Joey's week at the Camp Boggy Creek heart defects summer camp. This was a kids-only camp (no parents) so he took all the pictures. They are mostly of his friends and the camp counselors, but they do give you an idea of his week there. He had so much fun, in woodshop he made a beautiful box to store his pocketknife collection in. It came out very, very nice. They also had something called "The Silly Olympics", where they had a HUGE food fight, drenched their counselors in pudding, and covered each other in paint. He cheered so loud during the Silly Olympics that he completely lost his voice and had to go to "The Patch", which is a fully equiped medical center at the camp. The doctor prescribed frozen popsicles and hard candy- Joey was fine with that! He was just starting to get his voice back when we picked him up, but it was REALLY deep and scratchy for a few days! That's a sure sign that he had a great time, I guess. He spent a lot of time in the pool, on paddleboats at the lake, fishing and doing archery. The picture at the top of this post is Joey with "Mista Bill", a longtime volunteer at the camp who has been a great friend to him since he was 7. I'll post again soon with some vacation pictures.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
We are leaving for a two week vacation in just under 18 hours (to get to our favorite campground in Tennessee in time for a dip in the pool before dinner we leave at 4 AM, or as my friend Lisa calls it "O'dark thirty".) John has a jaunty 12 hour day at work today, so Joey and I are getting the last little things packed and the final housecleaning done before our house/dog sitter arrives tomorrow. I got a new phone (an enV Touch) so I'll have access to my email and Internet while I'm gone but I don't think I'll blog too much on that little screen so this may be my last blog entry for two weeks. When we return, we have one day to do mountains of laundry and get Joey packed for a week at Camp Boggy Creek. He's going to the summer camp there for kids with heart defects, it will be the first time that he has EVER spent even one night away without one of his parents and he's spending a WEEK! He's really looking forward to it, he's heard talk of a giant outdoor food fight, a paint war, and some sort of pudding attack on the camp counselors. They do all that in one day, and suggested that he pack a set of clothes that "can just be thrown away" for that day. He'll also have the regular camp activities- archery, fishing, swimming, crafts, woodworking, etc. They have a banquet, a dance and a "utensil free" spaghetti night- all the kids just plunge their faces into their dinner. Sounds like a perfect meal for a 12 year old boy! I'm a little freaked out about him being gone for a week, but we can call each day and talk to his camp counselor (but not him) so that's reassuring. Plus, John says he'll take me out to hear live music of my choice nearly every night that Joey is gone, so that will help take my mind off of things. I'd better get back to vacation prep, I'll see some of you reading this very soon!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
We went today and bought a new couch, as our circa 2000 couch has completely given up- springs are sprung and cushions are sagging to the extent that we have to rescue the dogs as they fall into the abyss that used to be their favorite couch spot. The new couch will be arriving on Saturday. On the way home from the furniture store, the new principal of my school called my cell to say that he's "shifting resources" (that's code for messing with people's jobs) and he's put me in charge of the school morning news show, complete with a class of students to be responsible for 60 minutes daily and somehow coax a profanity free live 10 minute news show out of each day. It should be interesting, I haven't actually had a class of my own since...um..1990! I just signed up for the TV production class that the school board offers in two weeks to remind myself how to use all the equipment. Oy!
Tomorrow is Joey's yearly cardiology checkup, he'll have an echo, EKG and an office visit with his regular cardiologist. As always, we're hoping to hear "nothing has changed, see you in a year"- feel free to send good mojo our way if you're reading this before 9AM on Friday.
Joey got his report card a few days ago, he did manage to get all A grades for this grading period. He also got his standardized testing results, he did great on those as well. The only disturbing yet somehow amusing score- on "Biblical Knowledge" he scored a 666. Yes, he scored the number of the devil on his Bible standardized testing. I found that worrisome at first, but we've decided it's just a statistical anomoly.
We're heading off on a short camping trip early next week, just a few days at Fort Desoto to try everything out in the new camper. That's all the news from here for now, I'll no doubt post another blog tomorrow after Joey's cardiology appointment. Here's hoping that all of you are enjoying a mellow summer as well!
Friday, May 29, 2009
They went a little crazy at Cracker Barrel it seems, as they also made up a custom basket of even more candy that I like AND gave me two cases (24!) of chocolate Moon Pies! I think I may need to invite any and all of you blog readers over to help me with all these sweets! At work, four of my coworkers remembered my birthday and were kind enough to come to the library to wish me a good day. After work, we went out to eat at Balla's Steakhouse in Largo with John's Mom and Lisa, my best friend of nearly 31 years. Dinner was great, I had French onion soup, steak and grilled shrimp. After dinner, we went shopping for a while then back home to play the new Wii games that Joey bought with the money he earned helping John and his boss with a couple caterings that they did this week. Tomorrow, we're going to a movie (Night At the Museum 2) with Lisa- hopefully we'll bring along some of that candy for the movie! It has been a nice relaxing birthday, but I fear that Joey gave me another gift- he has had a cough for the last few days that I attributed to allergies, but considering that I started the day with a matching cough and a mild fever I suspect that it wasn't allergies at all! So, I'm heading off to bed as soon as I take some cold meds. Have a good weekend everyone, and thank you so much for the birthday wishes that I received, whether by mail, email, Facebook, Plurk or Twitter- no matter how they arrive, they are very appreciated!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
We sold our "old" popup camper tonight, and made reservations to take our new travel trailer to Fort Desoto Park in St Pete in a few weeks- that place was booked solid for the near future. There is a beautiful beach there, it's a really nice county park.
Tomorrow is my big shopping trip for groceries, I must have officially become an "extreme couponer" because last week the manager of the store actually came over to the line that I was in and pulled my cart out of line so he could go through it and make sure my items matched my coupons! Everything matched up, I'm very careful to make sure that I only use the coupons for the things I buy, but I was a little peeved that he would do that. Hopefully he was satisfied that I'm not a scammer and he won't paw through my groceries tomorrow. Personal space, dude! :)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I was recently asked to write a guest blog item on the St. Petersburg Times blog "Stuck in the '80s". I chose to write about a topic close to my shallow, still teenybopper-ish heart: teen idols of the 1980s. The blog item was published today, click on the title "Bubblegum bonanza: Top 5 '80s teen idols" to read it. Feel free to leave a comment 'fessing up to YOUR favorite teen idol of the '80s.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I have a few pictures to share of the events of our week, here you go! First, this is a picture of Joey after the academic awards ceremony at school. He received an award for "Silver Honor Roll", which is all A's and B's for the whole school year. I wanted to yell "that's 22 A's and only 2 B's!" but I managed to restrain myself! He was pretty proud of himself and of course milked it for a trip to McDonalds afterwards.
On Friday, we bought a new (used, but new to us) SUV and travel trailer from a widow in St Pete. She doesn't want to camp alone, so she gave us a great deal. The SUV is a 1999 Chevy Suburban, absolutely spotless inside and with low milage- only 41,500. We took it for it's first longish drive on Saturday, when we drove to the next county North to pick blueberries. We got over 6 pounds of fresh berries and the ride was SO comfortable! It will be John's car and I'll keep my Saturn Vue for as long as it can keep creaking along with 95,000 miles on it. The travel trailer is a 1998 Sunny Brook 26 foot camper, also in beautiful shape- it's clean all over. It has a full bathroom with shower, fridge and freezer, microwave, stove and oven, twin beds in the back, and a couch and dinette that convert into twin beds too. It is going to be such a change from our small popup with minimal appliances! I did manage to get John and Joey to get out of the new camper for a while today (they are obsessed- they even slept in it- in our driveway- the night we got it!)long enough for a Mother's Day meal at Cracker Barrel with my mother in law. We had a good time, and the food was great!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Good stuff, now that summer is near I'll have to drag out my "What Would Mr. Rogers Do?" t-shirt. Joey is absolutely mortified every time I wear it, but it's one of my favorites. Was I right? Were you both inspired and touched? I hope you enjoyed this video as much as I do!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I tallied up my grocery savings for the month of April today, and I was amazed at how much I was able to save in my first full month of really organized, focussed couponing. The total was: $974.16! My goal was $750, so I'm really thrilled with this amount. The actual money out of pocket that we paid for all our groceries was just over $200. We had to go to Publix tonight to get some things for a school assignment Joey had (he had to write a step by step paper about how to do something- anything, of his choice. He chose "how to make a patty melt", then he had to make a video of him completing the steps he wrote.) While we were there, I used my 6 "buy 1 get 1 free" Schick razor coupons on the razors that were already BOGO- so I got 12 three and four packs of razors for essentially free- all I had to pay was tax. The cashier (who was about a 19 year old girl) got so flustered over my coupons, she kept saying "you know, I hate you. I am going to steal your coupons!" It was kind of odd, but John really got a kick out of how she so grudgingly announced "you saved $75.00 today at Publix." :) My "big" shopping trip will be Saturday, because that's when some of the new sales start- I'll make sure to avoid that cashier's line, because she'd probably combust if she saw the stack of coupons I have ready for THAT shopping trip!
Edit: Here's the video that Joey made for school. He filmed and edited it all himself, and wrote the music on Garageband. The best part was that we split the patty melt three ways after it was done- it was GOOD!
Monday, April 27, 2009
It’s Growing (not sure of the title, but I think that’s it)
What A Mighty Storm
Why Baby Why
Oh What A Beautiful Morning (from Oklahoma)
You’ve Got a Friend
Shed A Little Light
Down In the Hole (sez JT: “Here’s a song about clinical depression. Hope ya like it!") :)
a cover that I didn’t recognize, originally by Junior somebody
Sweet Baby James
Fire & Rain
Sweet Potato Pie
On My Roof
Carolina In My Mind
Shower the People
Whenever I See Your Smilin’ Face
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
You Can Close Your Eyes
The two partially acapella songs that he did with his 4 backup singers were worth the price of admission alone, they were "Shed A Little Light" and the final encore, "You Can Close Your Eyes". Here is a video from a few years ago of that song- so beautiful!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I don't have anything substantial enough to generate a whole blog item from, so here are short random bits of things I wanted to get out to my blog readers (all three of you!)
Tomorrow is my last concert for a while, (though I heard a rumor that my musical boyfriend Rick Springfield is coming to town, so there's hope on the horizon) I'm seeing James Taylor in Clearwater. I think this will be the 5th time I've seen him in concert, but I'm not sure. His concerts are so mellow and soothing, I just love seeing him at small venues like Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. The show is sold out, but my seat isn't bad at all- 21 rows from the stage. Considering that I once saw him at a huge hockey stadium where the only glimpse of him I could see was the occasional stage lights gleaming off his bald head, those are excellent seats.
We got a letter in the mail this week that Joey has been selected to receive and academic award a week from tomorrow. They are having an award ceremony at school, we don't know what exactly he's getting an award for but I'm tickled pink about it. He has to wear dress pants and shirt, which means we need to shop this week- he's had such a growth spurt that his dress pants end a few inches above his ankles!
For any of you who would like to check out the articles I've written recently, the page with links to all of them is here. The last two articles were assigned topics, so they are a pretty light- one on the top 10 Meat Loaf songs and one (not yet published) on venues for children's birthday parties in the Clearwater area.
Check out my coupon tracker on the right of this page- my goal was to save $750.00 in coupons for this month and as of today I'm at $861.67! I've really stocked up on a lot of things, plus many of the things that I've gotten free with coupons I've given away to friends and to the food pantry at church. My out of pocket cost for all the groceries this month is just over $200.00, it's really worth the time to cut, organize and plan those coupons.
That's all the news from here for now. I'd better go check the rump roast (buy one, get two free with coupons- I got $40 worth for $13!) we're cooking in the slow cooker with corn on the cob to eat while we watch the wrestling pay-per-view tonight. Yum! :)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The supervisor of all the school libraries in the county sent an email last night that sounds like good news for my job next year. A few months ago, I was told that each school would have to eliminate one of four jobs, with media specialist being one of the four possibilities. The email I just got, while full of loopholes and qualifiers, seems to indicate a much better outlook than that. It's a lot of doubletalk, but here's what it says:
"Based on our current understanding, you may complete your roster on the assumption
that media specialist positions will not be affected by the budget reductions." That's good news, as long as their "current understanding" and "assumptions" don't change at random.
This week Joey signed up for his classes for next year, his required classes are Bible, English, history, science, P.E. and math. His math class will be pre-algebra, it puts him on the accelerated math track so he can do "dual enrollment" classes in high school to complete his college math classes as a high school junior and senior. His elective class is media production (like making videos with a camcorder and computer software), it usually is only for grades 9-12, but the teacher is letting him in the class as a 7th grader because of his experience running the video camera at church. I'm fairly worried about the pre-algebra class, since I'm having a hard time keeping up with his regular 6th grade math this year! I'm NOT a math person- math is a dark and scary thing for me. We'll see how it goes, any math whizzes out there?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Beyond Twilight: The Best Vampire Fiction for Young Adults
There is more to the teen vampire genre of books than Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. Here are five recommended vampire books for young adults, with plot summaries and notes of age appropriateness.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Last Monday, my mother in law and I took a coupon class with Sherri McCann, whose couponing blog I have been following for about a month. She taught us how to match up coupons with the best sales to save money, it was very good (and fun) class. Today, I put that class into action at the grocery store, and it was thrilling to save so much money. (Yes, apparently I am easily thrilled.) I spent $67.82, but I saved $148.33! My groceries at full cost would have been over $200.00, but I walked out paying less than $68! I even stocked up on frozen pizzas (the good ones, not the cardboard ones) and boneless pork roasts (buy one, get two free with coupon) so we won't have to buy meat for a while. I'm keeping track of my coupon savings for the month on the right side of my blog, I'm interested to see just how much I can save. If you want to save some serious coin, check out Sherri McCann's blog- it certainly worked for me! She has "live" classes in the Tampa Bay area, or she can mail out her class in book form- I started with the book, then took the class later but even just the book will get you off to a great start. (I love the vintage grocery picture in this blog- I had a great time looking at old pics on Google image search!)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Last night I saw Colin Hay in concert, and it was a really remarkable show. I nearly always enjoy the music at every concert that I go to- I mean, you wouldn’t drop the cash on a ticket unless you had a reasonable assumption that you will like the music. This show was different- not only did I enjoy the acoustic music, I also alternated between laughing until it hurt and surprisingly, having tears run down my face in response to songs that I had never even heard before that moment. The show was at the Largo Cultural Center, a very small venue, and my seats were three rows from the stage. From the start, Colin Hay told stories that were genuinely hilarious. He was cursing a blue streak, (actually not so much a streak, it was just one word, over and over, used in every part of speech), and he finally said (in that beautiful Scottish accent of his) “I’m sorry for my language if there are any children here. But, the fact is that I’m simply a very bad man.” He sang many of his 80’s hits with Men At Work, such as “Who Can It Be Now”, “Down Under” and (my fave 80’s song of his) “Overkill”. He also did a great selection of his solo music, with highlights being “Beautiful World” (one of the top 5 songs on my iPod), “Waiting For My Real Life to Begin”, “I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” and “Are You Looking At Me?”
He sang two songs that had me very unexpectedly weeping, the first was “Maggie” The second is from his upcoming album “American Sunshine”. He told a story about his parents, both in their late 80’s. They live in Melbourne, Australia and he lives in Los Angeles. He spoke about having had a blissfully happy life as a child and even today, then said that he wrote this new song in response to himself being “terribly unprepared for tragedy”- essentially, the song is him practicing mourning for his parents while they are still alive. I spoke with him after the show, mentioning that it is so powerful, particularly in context of the stories about his childhood that he tells before he sings it. I told him that the song absolutely destroyed me, I had tears running down my face and didn't recover for another song after it- he said “that’s what it’s supposed to do!” I **think** that he said the song is called “You Love Me Across the Water”. It is amazing, and if it’s any indication of the quality of songs on his upcoming album, it’s not to be missed. As you can see from the picture above, I'm still sporting some wounds from my fall at the Todd Rundgren show, and Colin Hay really is looking at the camera, despite appearances. His independently wandering right eye is a bit of a trademark, hence the name of his record company, "Lazy Eye Records". He was very sweet, staying after the show for pictures and autographs and thanking each person who spoke with him. I already had two of his CD's, but I picked up a third that I hadn't seen before and he signed it to me (even taking the time to spell my name right, that's an oddity!) This was a small concert, but I enjoyed it immensely and I'll make sure to take John along when Colin Hay comes back to town next year. My next concert is a whole month away, but it's James Taylor (swoon...that man just knocks me off my feet) so JT is most assuredly worth the wait.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Are you ready to rumble?
Are you just gonna grumble?
You might take a tumble."
"Strike" by Todd Rundgren
When Todd Rundgren sang the song "Strike" at last night's Clearwater concert, the lyrics quoted above were very reminiscent of my pre-show activities. I managed to both "take a tumble" and "hit the streets" as I walked from the parking lot to the concert. Due to mold problems in the theater where the concert was to have taken place, it was moved outside, to the middle of Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater. I parked in the Stein Mart parking lot, just one block off the stage, and made my way to the street where the stage was set up. A security guard told me that I couldn't enter near the stage, and directed me "two blocks over and a block up" through the back alleys. I crossed the street, and looked ahead to determine which alley had the fewest homeless people asleep in it (really- downtown Clearwater is chock full of folks asleep in alleys). Instead, I should have been looking down at my feet, because I tripped right over a curb. I slammed down on an asphalt and gravel driveway, face first with my right eye and cheek taking the worst impact. I'm glad I had my (now destroyed) sunglasses on, because if my eye had taken the impact that the sunglasses did I'd have been in the emergency room for sure. As I stood up, I had just enough time to announce "dang, that really hurt!" before the same security guard ran over to reassure me that "I don't think that your nose is broken, if that makes you feel any better." I had asphalt stuck in my face and below my nose was bleeding like crazy, so he sent me into Stein Mart for some paper towels- the poor girl at the cosmetics counter was a little stunned when I asked for help with my dirty, bloody face. I got the bleeding stopped, weighed the need for stitches below my nose and finally decided that it wasn't necessary- 'cause I'd miss the concert! :) I cleaned up, then went in search of bandaids at a Walgreens five blocks away. I got them, but they wouldn't stick so I just went with the natural, swollen bloody look for the night. Here is a pic that John took when I got home last night:
Once I got used to the odd looks from random strangers, I met up with a few friends from other shows and we all tried to come up with a much more rock and roll worthy excuse for my injuries, other than "I tripped over a curb". We came up with some good ones, it was fun. The Todd Rundgren show was excellent, but honestly the only reason I go to his shows is to see his keyboard and guitar player Kasim Sulton. I got to talk to Kasim before the show and for quite a while afterwards, he's a doll. He was hugging me, and kissing the side of my face that wasn't covered in road rash scrapes, and introducing me to folks: "This is Sherrie, she's the best!" He was kind enough not to be too put off by my rapidly blackening eye. He even asked about John and why he wasn't at the show (he had to work), that made John feel good that he'd mentioned him. Today, below my eye is a kalaidescope of colors- purple/black/yellow, and every muscle in my body hurts. I'm not going to be nice to look at for a few days, but I had a great time at the show and I loved getting to see Kasim again. Here is a pic of him on stage, since it was an outside show at night it was hard to get good pics so this is about the best.
My next concert is Tuesday night (Colin Hay), I'll be much more careful of curbs for that one! :) Edit: Here is a much better photo of Kasim, taken by my friend Don W. who I've attended several shows with in the last few years.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tomorrow, Joey's class is going on a field trip to The Florida Aquarium in Tampa and John is going along as a chaperone. We haven't been there in a few years, they should have a lot of fun.
In the evening, Joey is going to the youth group at church and John is catering a wedding rehearsal dinner for Joey's teacher from last year. I'm going to see Todd Rundgren in concert in Clearwater tomorrow night, mainly because I'm a big fan of a member of his band, Kasim Sulton. I was thrilled to find out that there is going to be a street festival event in downtown Clearwater to coincide with the concert. They are going to have vendors, food, and live music. One of the bands that is having a free concert tomorrow (two hours before the Todd Rundgren show, so I can catch both) is The Greg Billings Band. Back in the late 80's/early 90's, that band was known as "Stranger" and they were my very favorite local band. I used to see them often around Clearwater. I would foolishly stand right against the stage in front of the speakers, I remember many, many days going to my job at a bookstore with tremendously limited hearing from the Stranger show the night before- those shows were so loud, it took a good 12 hours for my hearing to get back to normal. Here's a video from their glory days.
They've mellowed and lowered the volume a bit (but not much!) now. Not only are they having a free outdoor show, they are also the opening act for Todd Rundgren- so I'll get to see them twice tomorrow! Between seeing them and seeing Kasim Sulton with Todd Rundgren, it should be a tremendous night of music for me. Hopefully I will have some pictures to post on Saturday.
Monday, March 23, 2009
This one is of John and the sunset over Lake Tiger- such a pretty sky!
They had a great time, I'm sure they're looking forward to the next time the church has the event, in October. They came home with lots of "bass bites"- fried cubes of bass- delicious, thank goodness someone on the trip actually caught some fish! :)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thanks to my friend Marissa, I think I may have finally been successful in posting videos here on Blogger...this is my first try. I was playing my iPod today, and among the thousands of songs on there I was surprised to find that I don't have any Monkees songs with my official elementary school fantasy boyfriend Mike Nesmith singing lead! The horror! I've determined that anyone's day will be just a little better with the addition of a little Nez music, so here it is. Enjoy, as I practice my Blogger skills. (Oh, and if you are, or have ever been, a Monkees fan, send out some major mojo to Peter Tork who is currently recovering from cancer surgery and starts radiation in a few weeks.)
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tonight I did my grocery shopping on the way home from work, and I had one of my best weeks ever with coupons. For a weeks worth of groceries, my final bill was $27.81 and I saved $41.08 with coupons and BOGO deals- essentially, I brought home around $70 in groceries for under $30. I'm planning on taking a coupon class on the 30th, hopefully I'll learn how to save even more. When I got home from the grocery store, I went out to dinner at Golden Corral with my parents and my grandma- you can't beat that company for a meal. I just finished watching the movie "Fireproof" and now I'm trying to settle the dogs down before bed. I have three dachshunds, and they are all out of sorts with two of "their people" being out of the house. The 14 year old, hunchbacked doxie girl is just standing on the porch barking into the darkness. There's nothing there, I just think she doesn't know what to do if her Dad's not here. There's not much else happening here, but I'll be back on Sunday with photos of the conquering fishermen. (Let's hope they catch something...the last time they didn't even have a bite to show for three days of fishing!)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I'd like to balance some of the badness of today with the profoundly good karma that is generated by the return of the actor simply known as "My Boyfriend, George Clooney" to ER. My husband doesn't seem to mind that Mr. Clooney's name has been amended each time I say or type it to include his status as my official boyfriend, he's good that way. I read in the paper yesterday that he will be appearing in the final three episodes of ER, starting tonight. I have been known to bring my whole family running in fear that I have injured myself in response to the high pitched squeal that I let loose at the mere mention of his name, so I'll try to keep it down when I see him on the show tonight. :)
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
(And the answer to that question is no. I appear to have stunningly insufficient Blogger skills. I tried the embed tool on YouTube but it won't copy/paste the whole code...any advice from seasoned Blogger users?)
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The photo that you see to your right is my maternal grandpa, Joe Ross. Sixty four years ago this week, he earned a Purple Heart in the most costly (in terms of casualties) battle the Marine Corps has ever faced, the battle of Iwo Jima. He didn't speak of the battle often, but when he did it was clear that it was important to him that the sacrifice of veterans such as himself were remembered. He was injured twice on Iwo Jima. The first time, he was injured on (If I remember correctly) his birthday (February 20) which was the second day of the five week battle. After recovering for a week, he returned to the island February 28th and was injured a second time (blast concussion) on March 12th. After that injury, he was evacuated from the island and sent to a military hospital in San Francisco. According to a newspaper article from his local newspaper at the time, when the battle was over all of his company was killed except the captain, a lieutenant and 16 men. This past week was both his birthday and the anniversary of the start of the battle, though he's been gone for just under 13 years I thought it was appropriate to remember him here. He is remembered in my home daily, as my son Joey is named in his honor. Thank you for taking the time to read about my grandpa, if you have the opportunity please take a moment to thank a living veteran for their sacrifice.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Whenever I see someone listening to their iPod or similar music device (my friend Lisa calls her MP3 player an "anti-Pod") I always wish that I could eavesdrop on their music. I love to discover new music, and I think that knowing the top songs on someones iPod is a great way to discover songs that I might overwise have missed. As a result, I thought I might share my current top five on my iPod in the hopes that some of you might do the same and we can all perhaps discover some tunes that we otherwise would never come across. Ready? According to my iPod, my current top 5 most played songs are:1. The Slide - NLCS - Atlanta Braves The Team of the 90's Ultimate Soundtrack
This isn't even a song, but it's the most played bit of audio on my iPod. It's late Atlanta Braves broadcaster Skip Carey's call of lead footed Sid Bream's mad dash from second to home on Francisco Cabrerra's hit to win the final game of the 1992 National League Championship Series and send the Braves to the World Series. I remember running around the living room at my parent's house screaming like crazy when this happened, and it never fails to give me goosebumps every single time I listen to it. I love how Skip gets so excited that his words all rush together and the ecstatic ranting "Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves WIN!" is the best.
Click here to watch a clip of this event, one of the most memorable in Atlanta Braves history.
2. All Summer Long - Kid Rock
I know that Kid Rock is super skeevy and mega-trashy. For goodness sake, the man was arrested for assault after tussling at a Waffle House in the middle of the night. Still, there is something about this song that makes me want to hang out with him on a hot summer day. Maybe some of his appeal is because he's from Michigan, the first stop my family made after getting off the boat at Ellis Island, I don't know. That would also explain my love of equally skanky and unbalanced rapper Eminem, another Michiganian. (Eminem's profane "Kill You" is in the top 25 on my iPod, held back from the top of the list by the fact that I can only play it when my son's wee ears are not in the house.) "All Summer Long" is pure joy and nostalgia, and I loved it from the first time that I heard it.
3. Land Of Canaan -Indigo Girls
(Click on the song title to watch a live video.) The Indigo Girls were totally my fashion role models in the late 80's/early 90's. I was all about the torn blue jeans, vests, Guatemalan bracelets and sneakers. I first saw them in concert when I was 20 or 21 and I was blissfully unware that they were a lesbian group so at first I couldn't figure out why there weren't ANY males at the concert...it freaked me out a bit, but eventually I ended up seeing them in concert maybe a half dozen times. I even met Amy Ray on the street in St Pete after a show in 92 and she was really cool. This is my favorite Indigo Girls song, I love how in live shows it has speeded up to almost thrash metal speed over the years.
4. Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)- Billy Joel
I have two versions of this song in my top ten (an album version and a live version), if I combined them this would be the top song on my iPod. Billy Joel was the first concert I ever went to, and now I've seen him 7 times since. This song, along with "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" (with the lyrics, "cold beer/hot lights/my sweet romantic teenage nights") always reminds me of camping out on the sidewalk outside a mall newsstand for Billy Joel tickets in the winter of '86 with a great high school friend named Dianne. Sometime around 2AM, each of our painful unrequited crushes (Doug and Tim) came by to see us and we set up a basketball hoop on a stop sign and played basketball in the freezing weather with great friends in the middle of the night- I'll never forget it, and those two songs are a big part of that memory. (Click on the title to see a video of a live version of this song.)
5. Beautiful World (Alternate Mix) - Colin Hay
I was introduced to this song by my friend Marissa (thanks Riss!), and it's a really soothing song. I listen to it often, and I have tickets to see Colin Hay (former lead singer of 80's Aussie band Men at Work) in concert next month.
And (because I can scarcely be contained to a top five) two songs that are making their way into the top 5 with a bullet and will likely replace a couple of these songs in the next week:
Paper Planes -M.I.A.
This is one of many new songs that I found thanks to Sean Daly's Pop Life blog. It samples my favorite Clash song, "Straight to Hell" and uses both a cash register and gun shots as percussion. Good stuff, check it out if you haven't heard it before.
Longest Days - John Mellencamp
This is another one that I first heard on Sean Daly's blog that is now a big hit on my iPod. It's horribly morbid and depressing ("Nothing lasts forever/and your best efforts don't always pay/Sometimes you get sick/and just don't get better/that's when life is short/even in it's longest days") but the stark arrangement and, well, "Mellencampness" of it overcomes that and makes it compulsively listenable.
Alright, now it's your turn- let me know the top 5 songs on your iPod. Maybe you'd like to do it as a blog entry, if so please leave me a link to it in comments. As Public Enemy (another heavy player on my iPod) would say, "Bring the Noise!"
Monday, February 16, 2009
Kasim Sulton, live DVD release party and concert Saturday February 28th at the Rusty Pelican in Tampa. Kasim Sulton is Meat Loaf's musical director and bass player, a longtime bandmate of Todd Rundgren and an amazing solo artist. I've been a fan of his for years, and he's been kind enough to both dedicate songs to me from stage when opening for Meat Loaf and to get me backstage when he comes to town with Todd Rundgren. In summary, he rocks. This is a very small concert, the ticket sales were limited to 55 people. It features a dinner party with Kasim followed by an acoustic show featuring songs from his new live DVD, An Evening with Kasim Sulton. I am very excited about this show, John is going with me to this one but the rest of the shows that I'm going to will be solo outings for me.
Todd Rundgren (featuring Kasim Sulton), at The Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, Florida on Friday March 27th. Honestly, Todd Rundgren freaks me out a little but I always go to his shows to see Kasim in the band. Even better, this show is at a theater built in 1896 that is reputed to be haunted. I haven't been in the theater since the late 70's (I think that I saw "The Empire Strikes Back" there!) but I certainly don't recall any scary apparitions back then. I last saw Kasim play with TR five years ago, this should be a good show.
Colin Hay at Largo Cultural Center in Largo, Florida (my hometown!) on Tuesday March 31st. You may not recognize Colin Hay's name, but you know his sound. He was the lead singer of the 80's Aussie group "Men at Work" and is the vocalist on their songs "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under". He's since done some amazing solo work, his song "Beautiful World" is one of the top played songs on my iPod. I have great seats for this show, second row center.
James Taylor (swoon!) at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida on Monday April 27th. I've seen JT in concert 3 or 4 times, and (having seen him as a tiny speck hundreds of yards away at at hockey stadium) I love seeing him in the cozy confines of Ruth Eckerd Hall. The last time that I saw him there, the teen girl next to me was on her cell phone for like 15 minutes during the show complaining about "having to see some gross old guy sing" with her parents. I gave her mother the steely stare of death and thankfully she made her put the phone away. I'll be prepared if that teen shows up again and attempts to ruin the JT show!
I'm hoping that a few more shows are added to this list in the near future, I haven't seen Paul Thorn or Rick Springfield this year so there are some holes to fill in my concert list!
Are any of you looking forward to concerts this spring/summer? Tell me about them in comments, I love to talk about music!