Thankful for things that work out

Brian tending the fire
Originally uploaded by V'ron
Long weekend, and amazingly enough, things all fell into place and worked out. To wit:
  • The Trash Can Turkey. We decided there wasn't any ground we were willing to kill perennials on, so we just jurrigged up our regular Beer Can Chicken Holder for a Turkey (we got some tall boy imports to balance the turkey on) and used the other vessel to place parsley, sage, rosemary and Blatzfor extra moistness and flavor. It worked perfectly. All the online instructions say it takes only an hour and a half for a 15 pounder, but I've undercooked too many birds, so we let it go for two hours, and it was perfect. Besides basically making the turkey in a Red Green-style convection oven (although we all agreed it wasn't a true Red Green contraption because it had neither duct tape or any moving parts), it freed up my real oven to make side dishes as well as fresh bread and that popover recipe that finally worked out. Everything came together on time, the Packers won, and we had plenty of leftovers to keep me from having to cook until at least tomorrow.

  • In keeping with my own tradition, I didn't buy a dang thing on Friday. Instead, I went with my Girl Scout troop for a lovely tractor pull ride out at the Shalom Nature Center near West Bend. It was a short ride (only an hour, some of their tours go for two hours, I'm told), but that was OK because it was chilly. Fun Santa theme, so it wasn't as educational as usual, but the girls didn't care. They just liked getting out of the house and spending some time with their girlfriends. I learned that there are Lynx in the Wisconsin wild! I knew there were bison and foxes and all those kinds of critters, but I didn't know we had wild cats out here. The Shalom Nature center has, of course, a nature and native american theme in its decor, but I haven't decided if I was creeped out or intrigued by this ceiling. On one hand, what else are you going to do with all these antlers? On the other hand, its got that deserted, only bones to be found here, look you see in introductory scene-establishing shots of movies where you want to convey that there was once the living here, but no more...

  • Jason of the Danglers
    Originally uploaded by V'ron.
    After I put the kids to bed, I put on warmer clothes and headed over to Points East for a rare show from the Danglers. Damn, they're good. Sometimes the Danglers bring their electric instruments (as in guitars, etc.) but tonight it was simply a violin (and Jason Loveall was beating up the bow strings...) double bass (and Dave Gelting was beating that up) and drums (and John Sparrow was NOT beating those up, simply playing them elegantly.) I think lots of people would want to call them prog, but there's too much passion poured into this music to risk calling it prog and having people think they're too technical. Anywhere else, the technical prownness of the players would have been the calling card. But they don't rest on their laurels at all. Here the passion takes front and center, and then it sinks in that, "Oh, these mofos can play." What drives that point home is not only the well-constructed and comples originals ("Aphrodite's Thighs" has been sticking in my head lately) but the variety of composers they choose to cover: Hendrix, Coltrane, Syd Barrett and Slayer, and did them all with their own stamp on them, but retaining the spirit of the originals.

  • Saturday, I got a workout in, and then, since it was going to be loud in our house, (F/i was rehearsing!) I took the kids to the movies and we saw "Enchanted" -- a film a friend of a friend actually helped write. I'm agreeing with the critics on this one, it's Disney sweetly paroding itself and its done well. Amy Adams' sweetness is so genuine you don't get a diabetic blackout from her: you're cheerig her the whole way through. The kids loved it, and there's enough pop culture references in it to keep pop culture junkies like me happy. And I didn't even recognize Susan Sarandon as the evil stepmother until the very end!

  • We got home in time for me to welcome the sitter, put on my makeup and hair and rockstar clothes, load up the car, and head over to the Stonefly to do our show. Loblolly -- my band -- was first, and this was much better than our Points East offering. I think we covered our mistakes (Wups, did I say we made mistakes? No, not at all.) But note to self, I need to stop being vain and stop wearing my contacts. There's not a pair of reading glasses made that works when I'm wearing my contacts, and that's a problem when part of your schtick is reading a newspaper story. >Oh well, I'm told my rant still worked.
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    Roni of Guido's Racecar
    Originally uploaded by V'ron.
  • Up next Saturday night was Guido's Racecar, with a fairly new lineup that includes the Buggs' Lane Klozier on drums, Johnny Washday on bass, and uberproducer Mike Hoffman on guitar. Fronting this outfit is Roni Allwaise, dressed as a sort of punk burlesque queen, with a Billie Holliday quality to the back tone of her voice. They play a sort of underground Americana blues -- and Allwaise's songwriting would fit in nicely with, say Exene Cervenka's LA-by-way of the midwest blues. This is a good backing band for her, from Hoffman's EIEIO cowpunk credentails to Washday's pop punk sensibilities. And Allwaise has the stage moxie to pull off her vaudeville/burlesque queen look, with expressive eyes that pop out to emphasise her lyrical points. I need to go see these guys again when I'm not coming down from my own performance. They finished their set with a favorite i rmember from the last time they played a few years back "When People Die in Nebraska."
  • My own sweat had finally dried when Dr Chow's Love Medicine took the stage to finish the night, and they filled their slot with mostly originals -- instead of mixing in almost as many covers as they have. Great version of "Sea Creatures" again, and they played for almost an hour and a half. So that worked out nicely as well.

So now the holiday season is upon us, and a regular work week is upon us as well. Plenty to do and see this next month, so I'm going to go rest up for it. Rusnak out.


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