06 April 2013

Social Calendar Updates - April 6-12th '13 edition

Thank the heavens it's the weekend. And thank the heavens, too...for (finally!) Spring is coming. (And, in comparison to most, I have absolutely no reason at all to complain about our winter. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I've earned my PhD in Complaining now.  So why let great life experience go to waste??)

That said, I'm taking a quick moment to update several things of interest on the 'to do' calendar (in general for right now):

Today, April 6th:
  • For the NCAA basketball fans out there (go Wichita State! my underdog love goes unchecked still), Southern Rail in Carrboro is having a viewing party (both for the semis today and the actual final game on Monday).  Free admission, but I recommend dining/beers there any time.
  • And, for something completely new to my experience:  The Vaudevillain Revue - U.S.Oh! is on over at Motorco tonight.  Promises to have "...live music, burlesque, comedy, circus arts, and general shenanigans...". (Seriously, now, who doesn't like 'general shenanigans'?  Not love them, even?)  Doors open at 9pm, $10 tix now (plus Eventbrite charges, I think, unless bought in advance or at Motorco proper).  Facebook page updates here.
Tomorrow, April 7th:
  • For the college baseball fans out there, UNC, the No. 1 ranked college mens' baseball team, has a home stand weekend (Friday-Sunday) battle versus Maryland.  Tickets are very affordable ($7-$10), and Sunday's game has a 1pm start time.  Home games are at Boshamer Stadium, and save $5 back for approved parking (nearby parking decks).
  • And the aforementioned Motorco is hosting a "Mad Men" premiere party tomorrow night.  Free admission, on the jumbo megatron.  Starts at 8pm, but arrive early enough to drink and fix your hair.
Monday, April 8th:
  • In what could be a problematic attention-divided night for me should Wichita State (hopefully) advance to the NCAA Championship Game, Monday is the Season Home Opener for the Durham BullsTickets are still available as I write this, but generally this frequently sells out...so act quickly. (Not to mention, it's predicted to be in the low to mid 70s at first pitch.  Ahh, spring.) **First pitch is at 605pm this year**, but allow some time (and a few bucks) for traffic parking in advance.
  • As mentioned above, Southern Rail will also be showing the NCAA Mens' Final game. (Complete with, I'm sure, the irritating send-off that CBS always does yearly with their "One Shining Moment" segment.  Even though I'll be watching the Bulls start, I always hate to see college basketball end.)
  • And the wonderful folks with Band Together have a *huge* event booked for May 4th and are seeking volunteers to help out.  Volunteer meeting is Monday, April 8th, 6pm, at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh...details found here. Their May 4th fundraiser will be at Cary’s Booth Amphitheater and has Lyle Lovett, Delta Rae, Chatham County Line, and the Mac and Juice Quartet on the bill. Proceeds will aid the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities, with a goal of $850,000. Tix start at $34.50 (plus fees, advance) for the lawn and are on sale now. If you can't volunteer to help on the 4th, come out to the show!
Days in between: 
  • Several things that involve me working, or exercising, or daydreaming, or all of the above, in here and that's not very exciting stuff, so I'll spare you.  Unless I win the lottery and then I'll update y'all before I leave from the international terminal.
 Friday,  April 12th:
  • Unfortunately, these two cannot be combined, and both are scheduled at the wonderful Carolina Theatre in Durham:  In one area, starting at 8pm, it's the Classic Albums Live series, this time with Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" in its entirety, plus some other Floyd gems afterwards. Tix are $29-$39, and they do serve some tasty brews from their concession stand (which is not totally appropriate for this album, I agree, but proper stuffs are not legal in this state).  Up in the movie house at the Carolina, their Retroclassics Film Series has a doubleheader of "The Mummy" & "The Invisible Man" (yes, the originals...with Boris Karloff and Claude Rains!).  This monster tour-de-fierce starts at 7pm, and I think tix hold strong at $8 for both...and I cannot stress this enough...**get your tickets in advance if possible and get there early for both a good seat and tasty concessions**.  Several of these Retro series' movies have sold out/almost sold out this season. (Kudos to Jim and his great staff for bringing all their different Series to us, by the way.)  I still hold out hope for the classic "Wizard of Oz" film and this Floyd audio pairing someday in a proper theatre, though.
  • And while I adore Floyd and Boris and Claude (and Jim & his people!), I'm heading over to Raleigh instead for something even rarer:  to watch a restored print of Mary Pickford's "Dorothy Verndon of Haddon Hall" from 1924.  And thankfully, it will feature live piano accompaniment (amazingly, I've been to some silents that didn't...and it's damn trying in that format).  Starting at 8pm, this is an one-time only show at the North Carolina Museum of Art.  Tickets are $5-$7 (plus fees), and can be purchased online.  I do so have a weakness for the silent movies, and many are lost gems.  Hopefully, the original "America's Sweetheart" won't disappoint.
I'll probably be found in the popcorn line...

03 April 2013

I Can See Clearly Now...er, or Will Be Soon

"Life is Big.  Dream Accordingly."

And hopefully, unlike my sad display here, your photos will also get better once the coffee is actually consumed.  Kickstart my brain functions, please.  @ Caribou Coffee, 4/2013.

17 March 2013

Southland in the Spring Time

Contrary to popular reports otherwise, Spring is indeed on its way.  And I saw signs of it today while driving west on I-40, returning from a visit to Carolina Beach, NC.  @ about Wallace, NC.

21 March 2012

Let Me Go ("Bohemian Rhapsody")

For those of us who have been waiting for a long time now for something featuring the greatness of Queen in an advert, consider your prayers answered (or at least acknowledged).  Well done, Cosmopolitan.

However, I keep hoping for something with kids and "Bicycle Race", or a plus size clothing models paired with (a personal fave) "Fat Bottomed Girls".  Thankfully for us all, though, I'm not in advertising.


20 March 2012

The Joker

Locals:  in case you haven't heard the news, the uber-fabulous comedian Lewis Black will be performing this Friday, March 23, at Memorial Hall on the University of North Carolina's campus in Chapel Hill. "Lewis Black & Friends" is scheduled to start at 7pm. Also featuring Kathleen Madigan and Jon Friedman . Tickets for the general public are $20.00 each, and for UNC students with proper id $10.00 each. Even though this show is scheduled to take place while the UNC Mens' basketball team is playing against Ohio in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen brackets, it's also pretty certain that this show will be a sellout...get your tickets early. Click through on the link to purchase tickets:  http://memorialhall.unc.edu/
Also, a head's up:  due to several construction projects going on in downtown Chapel Hill, choose your parking early and wisely. If planning to also have dinner in the downtown area before the show, make sure you have reservations (if applicable) and/or can get out of your restaurant easily.  With all the basketball-loving and TV-watching sports fans in town, The Game will trump all others in priority. Plan accordingly to arrive early, as traffic in and around Chapel Hill may be very heavy prior to game time.

23 August 2011

Can't You Hear Me Knocking?

It's been a bit of a day, truth be told.  What started out as a usual Tuesday ended up with a bit of worry about an approaching hurricane including thoughts about renters' flood insurance and worries about exploding beer in my brew room.  That and I experienced my first earthquake (which apparently was an experience shared with most of the East coast).

The earthquake, I admit, was surprising as hell, because we aren't supposed to get those kinds of phenomenon here.  Earthquakes, raging wildfires, mudslides, El Nino sandstorms...those are the kinds of things we have gladly surrendered to our cousins out West.  In exchange, they get that expansive Pacific Ocean to gaze at, their news programming on a delay, and some spectacular scenery along the Pacific Coast Highway.  We get snow and wicked nor'easters up in the North, and mosquitoes the size of small toddlers down here in the South.  Trust me, we always knew the Western cousins weren't really getting the better end of the deal.

This afternoon, though, I was at work, explaining an online computer project when what I thought was a strong breeze pulled at the edge of our roof line soffitt, or so I thought...so much so, that I actually ventured outdoors to check out the roof.   Simultaneously, another co-worker three doors down from me experienced the same sensation and began to think her walls suddenly shifted inward.  And yet another co-worker four doors from me thought the building had been hit by a runaway dump truck.  Weird, very weird...same earthquake, but three completely different theories to its sensation.  And we were all trying to find proof to support our hypotheses.

Upon reading these thoughts now, though, clearly they were all pretty damn implausible to happen in broad daylight.  However, if you had told us that it was an earthquake that hit our company instead, to a person we would have laughed you out of our roof damaged, wall enclosing, dump truck damaged home away from home.  Some things you can't really believe happened unless you experience it yourself; and sometimes you still don't readily believe the truth when revealed.  The rest of this afternoon's conversations was spent on validating and reassuring each others' reactions...and damn it, the tremor itself only lasted 10 seconds.

That drama subsided for now, the focus for the next few days turns to the 'impending' landfall of Hurricane Irene onto the Eastern seaboard shores.  It's Tuesday as I write this; landfall is expected sometime over the weekend...if it happens at all.  Apparently, as every weather forecaster from here to DC and back down to Georgia reminds us, determining the actual landfall strike zone area is a far less accurate science than predicting where a spinning top will come to rest.  However, some islands in NC are starting evacuation tomorrow morning...not so much because everyone is sure of Irene's path, but because it takes 2 days' time to get these folks off those islands (have to use ferries, one lane roads, etc).  These remote island getaways in NC are 'remote' for a reason...and nothing about them, under the current conditions anyway, screams 'quick evacuation'.

The North Carolina Governor, Beverly Purdue, has made the traditional flip-sided appeal of both being prepared, but also not getting too worked up about this early forecast, either.   And in a telling nod to our tourism economy, she used her famous 'school librarian with chocolate chip cookie'-like tones to also not discourage potential visitors to come into the state these last few days of the official summer travel season.  I honestly cannot remember her ever doing so in any potential weather event in the past, but then again tourism is one of our main industries...and we need to keep everybody employed in it as long as we can.  So actually we're now (1) getting prepared (and in some places, evacuating), (2) not worrying about getting prepared, but (3) still inviting folks on in to come join in the fun.  Bad news is we take Southern hospitality seriously here all the time, and that tradition is always the high card, and so it effectively cancels out (2) and (3) above.  After all, somebody has to worry about the barbecue, biscuits, and greens, damn it.  I just hope that the Gov and all the weather geek forecaster types are correct in predicting that Irene's gonna continue to head out east, and maybe not even come ashore at all...otherwise, we may have a lot of hurricane newbies sweatin' it out.  And that, except for the alcohol consumed at the hurricane parties, does not make for a good vacay. 

With all respect to Gov Chocolate Chip and her advisers, though, I've decided to follow the slightly more universal emergency prep method:  I'm going with the guidelines set forth by the CDC earlier this year...in case of a zombie apocalypse.  (And, yes, this is from the real CDC.  Humour while educating, what a freakin' concept that's so rarely deployed.  Kudos to the authors for making it an internet sensation that many of us, like me, remember to reference in a time of need.)  I figure if my beloved Federal government is already this forward thinking, most everything I would need to do for a simple hurricane should be covered in this cheat sheet.  (Except a chainsaw, which got omitted from their list somehow...one really does need a chainsaw in both hurricane clean-up and zombie survival.  And gloves, really thick and sturdy and bite-proof gloves.)

With that said, I'm off now to the Kroger/Piggly Wiggly/Food Lion/Lowes (I don't shop Harris Teeter, sorry) to stock up on recently marked up hurricane 'foodstuffs'.  I'm going to fight off other tourism-defenders who are willing to take a chance their milk won't sour after we lose electricity in Irene's aftermath. Maybe I should get the gloves first??

Happy non-prepping, neighbours.