Friday, July 31, 2015

#summerofconcerts Rolls on with Bryan Adams

This tour commemorates the 30th anniversary of the release of the album Reckless. I first saw Bryan Adams on the original Reckless tour 30 years ago, have seen him since, and now, 30 years later, got to share this tour with my daughter.

With no opening act, Adams took the  first "half" of the show to showcase songs from the Reckless album, including songs recorded during those sessions that didn't make it to the original release of the record.

the second "half" of the two hour plus set covered some of his other 13 studio albums. At 55, Adams still has that boyish look and charm that won over the crown. It was a really fun show!

Set list:
  1. Reckless 
  2. One Night Love Affair 
  3. She's Only Happy When She's Dancin' 
  4. Run to You 
  5. The Boys Night Out 
  6. Heaven 
  7. Kids Wanna Rock 
  8. It's Only Love 
  9. Long Gone 
  10. Somebody 
  11. Ain't Gonna Cry 
  12. Summer of '69 
  13. Let Me Down Easy 
    (Roger Daltrey cover)
  14. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You 
  15. If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good 
  16. Can't Stop This Thing We Started 
  17. Please Forgive Me 
  18. 18 til I Die 
  19. Cuts Like a Knife 
  20. The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You 
  21. Encore:
  22. You've Been a Friend to Me 
  23. C'mon Everybody 
    (Eddie Cochran cover)
  24. She Knows Me 
  25. Straight from the Heart 
  26. All for Love 

Smashing Pumpkins (and Not So Smashing Openers) Part 2 - The Smashing

When the Smashing Pumpkins first came out, I recall Billy Corgan had hair, and was scary to look at with hair, and as such, so distracting that I couldn't really pay much attention to the music. I know how ridiculous this is, but it's the truth. Sometime after Corgan shaved his head, and around the time "Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness" was released, I had this epiphany and just fell in love with this band.

I was psyched when I got the tickets because I had never seen them live and finally, my time would come. I suspect if the Pumpkins were a sole headliner, their set would be about 20-30 minutes longer but since they co-headlined, it was a bit more compact. To his credit, and since I never saw them before, I didn't know if this is his M.O. or to compensate for less stage time, but Corgan barely talked - it was all about the music, song after song, gem after gem, great after great.

Here's the set list:
  1. Cherub Rock 
  2. Bullet With Butterfly Wings 
  3. Tonight, Tonight 
  4. Ava Adore 
  5. Drum + Fife 
  6. One and All (We Are) 
  7. The Everlasting Gaze 
  8. Zero 
  9. The Crying Tree of Mercury 
  10. Mayonaise 
  11. Disarm 
  12. Landslide 
    (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  13. 1979 
  14. Run2Me 
  15. Thru the Eyes of Ruby 
  16. Stand Inside Your Love 
  17. United States 
  18. Encore:
  19. Today
More than finally getting to see them, I got to share the experience with my daughter - made it all the more better!

Smashing Pumpkins (and Not So Smashing Openers) Part 1 - The Crap

Tuesday night's stop on the #summerofconcerts tour took me and my daughter to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (originally and affectionately known as Harbor Lights) to see the Smashing Pumpkins with marilyn Manson.

Before either of what I only learned the day after the concert, the two headliners (technically, Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson are co-headliners on this tour), an opening act called (according to the sheet posted for staff at the venue to note set times) "Cave" (there are some people who have mentioned that they are actually called Cage...not sure, really doesn't matter a lot to me).

Cave (or whomever the fuck they were) may have been the worst live music act I have ever seen, and I will even include them among the horrible middle-school brass players I had to endure at the annual recitals when my kid was little. Not only did their music and performance suck but the lead singer was a major asshole; at one point he said he wished ISIS would blow up every club in Boston - total fucking LOSER!

Marilyn Manson, have to say it, sucked as well. As an artist, he proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is in fact, not an artist at all - he's doing the same shtick as he did 20 years ago and it's all cheesy and dated and ridiculous. Manson also proved to be really classless in some of his antics, taunting the parent of a "young kid" who was brought to the show, talking about how he now couldn't "whip out his cock because he would be arrested" then later about how he wouldn't give away his drugs "pouring faux drugs all over the stage"...the guy is a real loser, lowlife, asshole.

There were lots of Manson fans there to see just him (most left before the Pumpkins came out) wearing their ridiculous creepers, makeup and ridiculous outfits.I do have to say that it was pretty funny at the end of the night, leaving the venue, there is almost always a super Jesus freak with a sign and pamphlets preaching about how everyone needs to be saved; this night there was a "satan worshiper" (not sure it she was the real deal or just acting, but she was holding a sign of her own and standing right beside him, it was brilliantly funny - whether the comedic effect was intended or not.

Here is Manson's set list (as published on
  1. Deep Six 
  2. Disposable Teens 
  3. mOBSCENE 
  4. No Reflection 
  5. Third Day of a Seven Day Binge 
  6. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) 
    (Eurythmics cover)
  7. Angel With the Scabbed Wings 
  8. Personal Jesus 
    (Depeche Mode cover)
  9. The Dope Show 
  10. Rock Is Dead 
  11. Lunchbox 
  12. Antichrist Superstar 
  13. The Beautiful People 
  14. Encore:
I have always liked the song "The Beautiful People" and Manson's cover of "Sweet Dreams", his performance of "Sweet Dreams" here was so so, and weakened by the fact he was walking around on stilts and looking stupid. His cover of Personal Jesus didn't suck, but it wasn't good either.

All in all, the two hours from the time those assholes "Cave" came on, through Manson's set and the set change before the Smashing Pumpkins came on were among the most painful two hours in my thirty something year history of seeing concerts.

I'll post about the Smashing Pumpkins separately, they were too good to post about among this muck.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Two Times The Tales in Bullets

  • I am hoping that by days end I can recap the concerts we went to On Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • I have a photo to share with you that I call, "First Date, Last Date" It's from the Bryan Adams concert.
  • I fee really sore today...
  • ...I will reveal the reason I am sore.
  • This post is turning into a teaser campaign!
  • Does not wanting to hear anything about the Dentist who shot a Lion make me a bad person?
  • Had the most appreciative response to teaching someone how to use embed codes to add videos to their courses on Blackboard.
  • The more this post goes on, the less relevant the title of the post becomes.
  • This bullet for rent.
  • Don't even start on the stupid NRA.
  • Better leave now...almost lunch, got work to be done.
  • See ya later!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


There's been so much talk about what has often been referred to as deflate gate. I've heard/read ramblings from people smarter than me about football, people I respect and a host of others, and yet, I have not heard any really rational, reasonable, somewhat unbiased thought about the thing.

I don't know the rules well enough (though it seems that the NFL commissioner is just as clueless, yet makes tens of millions of dollars per year to run the NFL). I do know that if the case was such that Tom Brady/The Patriots really did intentionally deflate balls to gain an advantage in the game, then there should be punishment.However, if punishment is handed down, it must be equitable among ALL guilty parties. every ball in every play is touched my the refs and in some cases, by the opponents. Why is it that nothing was said by any of those parites, except the other team, and only after they lost the game bay a way larger margin than any such situation could have presented.

My personal opinion, which has the potential to carry bias since I am a Brady/Pats fan, is that this is all hogwash and Goodell is just looking to make an example of the best team and the best QB.

Regardless of the truth, which we may all never know, the credibility of Goodell and the NFL seems to be more in danger than that of the future hall-of-fame QB. I think it is all a a mess - let's get back to sports and sportmanship!


I know, I know...busy, busy, excuses, excuses!

I finally posted the Foo Fighters concert note, of course last night was another stop on the #summerofconcerts tour and tonight, another stop as well.

Last night was Smashing Pumpkins with Marilyn Manson, Tonight is Bryan Adams.

I'm 16 pages into my report on the conference I attended last week, reasonably up to date with grading for my 6 week class, though with a 6 week class, you are never up to date on's all been very frantic!

I am not complaining though, just merely stating what is going on and why my presence here has been a bit bothers me but really can't be helped.

One of my colleagues was saying, "With all the concerts you've been taking your daughter to, you could have gone on a really nice vacation." While that is very true, there is nothing that I would trade the time I've gotten to spend with my daughter and the experiences we've had to share.

For the record, there may be calamari involved before tonight's show!

Foo Fighters at Fenway

First opener was a band called Royal Blood, they were pretty good and made a lot of sound for two people.
The night before we saw the show had The Mighty Mighty Bosstones in the second spot, I love them and would love to have seen them. For our show, it was The Dropkick Murphy's-whose music I was familiar with and kind of liked but they were really outstanding live.

Let's talk Foo, Dave Grohl broke his leg weeks earlier on the European leg of the tour and they ended up cancelling dates - this had me worried that they would cancel here as well. Fortunately, Dave Grohl is awesome, as are his team, who constructed what is being referred to as a rock and roll throne (among other things) that allows Grohl to perform without compromising his leg or healing - it also doesn't compromise the greatness of his perfomance ability which stems from his incredible ability to connect with his audience, despite the size of the venue.

Two and a half hours of amazing rock and roll, storytelling and surprises (most notably by his actual orthopedic surgeon coming out and doing lead vocals on the White Stripes song "Seven Nation Army"..

Here's the set list:

Monkey Wrench
Learn to Fly
Something From Nothing
The Pretender
Up in Arms (Slow version with extended intro with Dave telling the story of his broken leg and his moving throne)
Let's Go (The Cars cover) (Snippet during band introduction)
I'm the One (Van Halen cover) (Snippet during band introduction)
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes cover) (With Dave Grohl's orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lew C. Schon, MD on vocals)
Cold Day in the Sun
My Hero (Acoustic)
Times Like These (Acoustic)
Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie cover)
All My Life
These Days
School's Out (Alice Cooper cover) (with Sully Erna)
This Is a Call
Best of You

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I took my daughter out for sushi this evening for a birthday dinner. We ate a lot of sushi, a lot, and it was glorious. It was the first time I ever had one of those giant wooden boat thingies filled with sushi - we polished it off with no problem - but we of course started with a sashimi ceviche and jalapeno hamachi was a nice indulgence!

This coming week has a number of stops on the #summerofconcerts tour, I will try hard to post my brief thoughts on the Foo Fighters show from last Sunday sometime tomorrow.

I just saw that Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away, it is very tragic for sure, but it is really hard to feel bad for her - I do hope that the peace that seemed to not exist enough in this world, that whatever it is that led her down a path of darkness, I hope that all of that is done with for her. I also hope that others who walk down a similar path, that turn to drugs, I hope they all learn something from this.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Back Home

I am back at home after spending this past week in the D.C. area for the annual Blackboard World Conference.

Today is my daughter's 17th birthday!

I spent 4 full days in Washington, D.C. and did not see the White House, or any other of the more popular attractions - I was bummed about it but I'll get back there - I had too good a trip to be bummed.

I am tired.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


As in busy-ness...sorry for the couple days absence< it was just too hard to fit in blogging - I tried. I type this around 9:30 pm tonight, the conference has ended, I left the client appreciation party early to get a few things done (plus the dj kind of sucked and I am tired).

Conference had a number of good moments, lots of information to process - but I will, I always do.

Tomorrow I am flying back early so I can squeeze in a little time with my kid as she turns 17.

I never wrote about the Foo Fighters at Fenway, I'll try to recap sometime this weekend.


Monday, July 20, 2015

A Dose of Gratitude

As I sit here in my hotel room in Washington, D.C., I am feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Don't get me wrong, I know that if asked, I could probably come up with a bunch of stuff to gripe about and things that I wish were this moment, I just want to sit back and be grateful for all that I have, all that I have been blessed with.

So very grateful to have had the chance to meet up with an old friend today, someone I've know for more than 40 years, he went to school with my brother.

I'm quite filled with gratitude and all sorts of emotions this evening - it's kind of nice.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What Will Mother Nature Do?

This morning, I received a weather alert informing me of the possibility of sever thunderstorms. This of course will make attending a concert in an outdoor baseball field much less desirable. This evening, the #summerofconcerts tour makes a stop at historic Fenway Park in Boston where the Foo Fighters are scheduled to perform.

I've got ponchos packed just in case, but let's all join in and kind of wish the storms to hold of a few hours. A friend is out at the car races in New Hampshire, so I am sure she will appreciate the rain being held off as well.

The kiddo and I are going into town a bit early hitting up the awesome Sapporo Ramen in Cambridge before heading to the show...that made her very happy!

I think that's about all I have for you right now.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Catch Up and Scramble

Been a little while since I hung with my pals The Road Dawgs, they were on a break, then I was either sick or away...rectified that last night as they had a last minute gig.

I had dinner at the place, and not sure it was responsible since it was a simple grilled chicken caesar sald, but the relux that was happening by the end of the night was epic.

Hadn't eaten food from "The Carve" in a few weeks, fixed that right up this afternoon with a beautiful and delicious Pasta Primavera and a side of Corn Beignets.

Been grading assignments all day to stay on top of tomorrow's noon deadline and the fact that I have another stop on the @summerofconcerts tour with my daughter tomorrow (Fenway Park - The Foo Fighters).

Blackboard World 2015 will be taking place next week in Washington, D.C. - I will be a part of the event. I am also hoping to connect with my old friend Tommy and my friends Sarah and Tyler.

Missing my reunion gang a lot...DeCoursey's, Mineo's, Buonanno's, Careaga's etc.

Friday, July 17, 2015

U2: Just Remarkable!

I have seen U2 once before, back in 2009, at Gillette Stadium. I have been a fan of this band since day one, have every one of their albums and love the fact that since the day they were able to make a living in the limelight, they have used their fame to make the world a better place.

This was an important stop on the #summerofconcerts tour with my daughter, and as I write this not just right after the show, but having had a couple of days to sit with it, I can honestly say it was probably one of the five greatest live shows I have ever seen.

I'll share a very brief FB interaction I had when asked by a friend who is seeing them soon in NYC about how the show was:

Bono is as good a front man that ever played the game, he is masterful at sucking you in, reeling you, getting you exactly where he wants you to be and delivering an emotional journey through their powerful catalog of music that has never once wavered from who they are as a band yet never once sounded like it was meant to be heard any time other than in that moment - and it all remains that way whether it's a 30 year old song or a brand new one.

Here is the set list:

People Have the Power (Patti Smith song - they didn't play this song, it was on the sound system, with video as a prelude)

The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
The Electric Co. (with "Send in the Clowns" and "I Can See for Miles" snippets)
I Will Follow
Iris (Hold Me Close)
Cedarwood Road 
Song for Someone
Sunday Bloody Sunday (with "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" snippet)
Raised by Wolves (with "Psalm 23" snippet)
Until the End of the World (with "Love and Peace or Else" snippet)
The Wanderer (this was a video intermission - featuring Johnny Cash vocal)
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Mysterious Ways (with "Burning Down the House" and "Young Americans" snippets)
The Crystal Ballroom (with "Miss You" snippet)
All I Want Is You
Every Breaking Wave (acoustic)
With or Without You
City of Blinding Lights
Bullet the Blue Sky
Pride (In the Name of Love) (with "The Hands that Built America" segue)

Beautiful Day (with "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" and "I Remember You" snippets)
Where the Streets Have No Name (with "Mother and Child Reunion" intro and "California (There Is No End to Love)" snippet)
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (with "People Have the Power" snippet)

I have to say, you never really hear the name Adam Clayton when you hear talks of great musicians/bass players, let me tell you something, Adam Clayton is a phenomenal bass player!

Just a great show, great mix of songs, a couple of great never forget this night moments when he brought a few audience members on stage to participate.

If you have a chance to see them on this tour, 8 shows in NYC left before they head across the pond, go for it.

In My Ears 2015 Vol. 10

Since last I posted an "In My Ears" post, I had a road trip with my kid that was over 7 hours each way - so we did some listening. This list includes the road trip records we listened to plus other stuff I've listened to since my last post.
I love the title alone, add the incredible vocals of Annie Lennox and a selection of classic standards you have magic for the eardrums. A beautiful record.
Bat Out of Hell is one of three vinyl records that in the late 1970's I wore down to the point where it needed to be replaced (Boston's first record and Silk Degrees by Boz Scaggs are the other two).

It was fun to hear these songs all in a row with my kid and to talk a bit about Jim Steinman, Todd Rundgren who produced the record and the world class musicians who played on this record.
Another one of the road trip records, took me back to a day 38 years prior, summer of 1977, sitting on Larry Cerbone's stoop and hearing him speak of the new Billy Joel album.
This album is special because when the single "Radio Nowhere" was released, it got into my daughter's ear. At the time, she was 9 years old and when it came time for Springsteen to tour, I had tickets and my friend was unable to make it to the show and it was last minute, so I took my 9 year old to see the greatest live performer in rock and roll.
My daughter and I had just seen Def Leppard live the night before we set out on the road, she appreciated hearing this record during our trip.I have to say, their music holds up so well.
"We're seeing the Stones dad, let's pick one of their albums to listen to." "Okay, my favorite is Exile on Main St., play that one."

"All Down the Line" is my favorite Stones song, they didn't perform it live but it was great to hear with my kid.
Back in the very early 1980's, I was all caught up in the metal/hair band movement and kind of hated on George Strait when he first cane to prominence. It wasn't too long after I realized how great he was - by the way, Strait has had more #1 songs than any artist you can name - 3x more than the Beatles - 60 in all.

George Strait is a classic.
This is Kid Rock's newest record and boy is it fantastic! We saw him life a month or so ago, great performer.

Kid Rock makes solid music, crossing genres and doing each well. This record has some very catchy songs!
I saw Rush a few weeks ago and had realized I had not listened to a Rush album fully through in at least 5 years. I grabbed Hemispheres from the basement to get things started, over the next few weeks I will be going back and listening to more Rush.

In fact, I hadn't heard any of their last few records (until I say them live and heard them play a few of the songs).
Saw them for the first time as openers for Def Leppard; despite only one (maybe two) original members, they were great live.

This collection came out years ago and quite frankly, while the songs are great, the collection sucks - very randomly paced together and even more randomly sequenced.
My daughter wanted to hear "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", so she played this record. A while back I got a copy of the box set with all of The Smiths records and listened at that time, gotta have a Morrisey/Marr fix ever so often.
My daughter was surprised to see Volbeat on my iPod. "Tori got me into them." I told her. "Really, my friend got me into them too."

She them proceeded to go all Volbeat for four straight records....if you've never heard Volbeat, they are everything I wish Metallica would be sometimes. I love Metallica, so much, but I do get impatient sometimes when they do those 9 minute songs...keep them all in the 5 minute range (give or take a minute).

Great playing, great lyrics, great melodies, hard driving...amazing music from this Danish band.

My girl is a big Weezer fan, always has been. I am pretty sure that my kid selected this one because I made a reference to the food "Pork &  Beans" and that happens to be the title of a song on this album.

Weezer has always delivered consistently good music and this record is no different.
This album frustrates me, I love Whitesnake, love David Coverdale as a vocalist. Back in the early to mid 1970's, David Coverdale was the primary lead singer for Deep Purple, he recorded three albums with them.

There is a lot of stuff in the liner notes to this record about how they were going to get together and record some of the material as a tribute or whatever, but I am not sure how much I believe any of it, except the part where Ritchie Blackmore is a bit cooky!

Anyway, the songs are really great but they did not do a good job recording, mixing or mastering this record and I don't feel like they did any favor to any of the songs. I would much rather have see the investment to this collection of music go into remastering the original albums and perhaps get a bit of new material from Whitesnake,

That said, this record doesn't suck if you can get past all of that.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Inspired by Caitlyn

I just posted this on Facebook, but not all of you who read this are on my Facebook feed, so I am sharing it here to because it is important.

I just watched the entire segment with Caitlyn Jenner from the Espy's. I must say, it is one of the most moving moments I have ever seen on television in all of my life.

I have been recently very disappointed by people that I have known and loved, dear friends, and others who have posted memes and comments about Caitlyn Jenner, that seem to be offended that the words courage and bravery are being used to describe her and comparing her to soldiers, firefighters and the sort.

Nobody questions that what first responders and soldiers do is brave and courageous, but if you don't think those same words apply to Caitlyn Jenner then you have no idea what those words mean, you live in a box where you refuse to at least try to understand, or you are just choosing to be close minded - that is just the way it is.

I have been fortunate in my life to meet people from all walks of life, from many different countries and cultures, religious beliefs. I have friends and family who are white, black, gay, straight, trans, mentally ill, alcoholic, or any other label you can think of. Every one of them have the same things in common, they are all human beings, they are all God's children, they are all inhabitants of the same earth as all of you reading this.

You don't have to understand another human being before you choose to be a decent human being to them, before you choose to be kind instead of mean, before you choose to accept them for who they are.

Be kind people, I know sometimes the world is a bit challenging and some days, it's a bit harder to be nice than others. I myself fail sometimes, but I will never stop aspiring to be the best person I can be and I will never stop learning the true meaning of acceptance and understanding, and I will never stop advocating for human rights for all humans.

Peace and love to all of you.

Ladies and Gentlemen - The Rolling Stones

I think for this post, I am going to begin with presenting the set list:

  1. Jumpin' Jack Flash
  2. It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)
  3. You Got Me Rocking
  4. Tumbling Dice
  5. Out of Control
  6. Wild Horses
  7. Can't You Hear Me Knocking
  8. Let's Spend the Night Together (by request, preceded by a snippet of Super Freak by Rick James)
  9. Honky Tonk Women (followed by band introductions)
  10. Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
  11. Happy (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
  12. Midnight Rambler
  13. Miss You
  14. Gimme Shelter
  15. Start Me Up
  16. Sympathy for the Devil
  17. Brown Sugar


  1. You Can't Always Get What You Want (with The Calvary Episcopal Church Choir)
  2. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Having seen the Stones before, I had some idea what to expect, but to go out there knowing the four main guys in the band are 71,71,68, and 74 years of age and to see them play and perform with the level of energy that they are performing at for over two hours, there is something really mesmerizing about it.

With more than 50 years of recording, performing, and fans, I suspect if you ask enough people, they could come up with dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of different set lists, all believing that the one they came up with is the definitive one. The thing is, when you tour 50+ years and and especially when you do so few shows across the country, you kind of have to play certain songs and that just leaves very little wiggle room.

In this set, "Out of Control" from Bridges to Babylon was probably the one most from left field. I was sad not to get "Moonlight Mile", knowing they had played it at many of the shows on this tour and if I had one criticism, "Midnight Rambler" went on for 15 minutes; it was great, but all things considered, I'd have preferred it to be 6 minutes and get another song or two,

Let me talk a minute about the musicianship, Keith and Ronnie sound better than ever, they were really sharp and on point. Ronnie's slide playing is as good as anyone's ever was and just really stellar in this show.

I bought these tickets on the first day they went on sale, all shows on the tour went on sale that day. I kind of got inspired by my buddy Dan and while the show was all the way in Buffalo, my thought was that JetBlue usually had very low fares ($69 ea way) to Buffalo from Boston and if for some reason, I decide I can't or don't want to go, I felt I should be able to sell the tickets at the very least, at face value. In fact, the day I bought them, I posted them on StubHub at a ridiculous high price figuring if someone were willing to pay that much, I'd take the profit and be content with having seen them.

I had the tickets for a long time in advance of the show, but as the tour got closer, I wanted more and more to actually go. In fact, since I had been doing this #summerofconcerts tour with my kid, I thought it would be a great experience for her. There aren't a lot of kids her age that will be able to go through their lives saying they saw the Rolling Stones in concert.

As the show was rapidly approaching, you will recall I was put down hard for a bit by pneumonia. I was getting scared that I wouldn't be able to make the long trip - Oh, I forgot, the $69 each way fare was not happening for this time period, plane fares were twice that and so the only way I was going was driving, an 7-8 hour trip! So I have this pneumonia, and couldn't imagine making an 8 hour road trip - a trip so long that I wasn't sure how I was going to manage it in the first place, fully healthy.

I had two nights booked at a local motel, planning to drive up on Friday in advance of the Saturday show. I posted the tickets on Vivid Seats, Stub Hub, Craigslist (locally and in Buffalo) and on Facebook - hoping that someone would buy them so I wouldn't take the loss should this pneumonia keep me down.

Fate wanted me, and my kid, to see this show. the meds took effect and by Wednesday, I knew I was going, no matter what. I am so glad I did!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Tour and The Battle Continue

The #summerofconcerts tour made a stop at the TD Garden in Boston last night - me and my daughter saw U2. I will write more specifically about the show soon (I know, I still need to post about the Stones show) but suffice it to say, if you have a chance to see them either tonight in Boston or at one of the 8 shows they are doing in NYC over the next week or two, go - they are spectacular. I first (and last) saw them about 5 years ago or so - they were incredible then too - this tour is super special.

The battle to gain full lung health continues - I know that I am not doing my recovery from pneumonia any good by keeping my current schedule but I am trying to balance my commitments, my time with my daughter, and my health (not to mention financial outlay on concert tickets).

The next show on our #summerofconcerts tour is this Sunday at Fenway Park - Foo Fighters.

Catch up with you soon - thanks for stopping by!

Oh, before I leave, I am working out getting together with some friends who live in the D.C. area when I am there for work - fingers crossed it all comes together.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Catching Up

The weekend trip to Buffalo to see the Rolling Stones was fantastic - I will elaborate soon. I am trying to catch up on work stuff, tomorrow is yet another concert - U2 in Boston.

I was in a Walgreen's today that had some Halloween candy out - that's wrong on every level.

My cat smells like ass today...yuk!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Def Leppard with Styx & Tesla - Part 3

I've seen Def Leppard a few times before, but not in the last couple of decades. I am so pleased to say that they have not lost a step, they are as good a live band today as they ever were; in fact, probably better.

The biggest surprise of the night for me was seeing the great guitar player Vivian Campbell. Not long ago, there were reports that his cancer had returned and that he would be off the tout. Campbell was introduced by Joe Elliot as "happy and healthy", his playing was on point for sure and he hid look terrific.

Everything about this show was everything you would want to see in a rock and roll show, it was as close to perfect as you can ask for, I really was blown away as to just how great they sounded after being out there for so many years.

Here's the setlist as reported on "":

  • Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
  • Animal
  • Let It Go
  • Foolin'
  • Promises
  • Love Bites
  • Armageddon It
  • Bass Solo
  • Rock On (David Essex cover)
  • Two Steps Behind (acoustic/Joe only)
  • Rocket
  • Bringin' on the Heartbreak
  • Switch 625
  • Hysteria
  • Let's Get Rocked
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me


  • Rock of Ages
  • Photograph

When Joe Elliot came out for his solo acoustic performance of Two Steps Behind, he was playing the song "More than a Feeling" by Boston on the guitar; it was a pretty cool and subtle tribute that went over most people's heads until he siad, "what? don't ya reognize it? are you too young?" It was funny, as the overall crowd age was on the higher side.

My (in two weeks from now she'll be 17) 17 year old daughter was over the top thrilled, in fact, it was as joyful for me to watch how happy she was to be there than it was for me to see this show myself.

The folks to my left were a couple that were as old as me and they brought their two teenage daughters, it was pretty cool!

I think what was one of the more interesting aspects of this performance, and something to be said for Def Leppard's music, is that while for me, I go far back with them enough for there to be a sense of nostalgia, but the material and the performance was anything but nostalgic - it was fresh, current and spectacular - it was everything anyone could ever want at a rock show.

Def Leppard with Styx & Tesla - Part 2

Of these three bands, Styx was the only one I hadn't seen before. If I am not mistaking, Tommy Shaw is the only classic member of the band in the current touring unit (not 100% certain though). Still, they were really great - so glad that I got to see them. Here's the setlist:

  • The Grand Illusion
  • Too Much Time on My Hands
  • Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
  • Miss America
  • Lady
  • Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
  • Rocket Man / Bohemian Rhapsody /(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
  • Come Sail Away


  • Rockin' the Paradise
  • Renegade

While it was definitely well done and entertaining, the little cover medley could have not been done and give me another Styx song or two - that said, Styx put on a really fantastic show filled with wonderful harmonies, a terrific stage set and classic songs that stand the test of time.

I know there was buzz not too long ago that the band was in talks with Dennis DeYoung, I am not sure if that was true or hearsay but I would see that in a heartbeat. Lawrence Gowan who has been with Styx since 1999 is a talented and entertaining performer with similar vocal range to DeYoung - for the old timers who go back to the DeYoung days, it's clearly different but for all who appreciate a good musical performance, this version of the band can deliver.

Def Leppard with Styx & Tesla - Part 1

I was afraid I might not be able to go to this show because if the pneumonia, and that made me sad because it was one that my daughter was looking forward to the most. Fortunately I got treatment when I did and despite not being fully recovered yet, the meds are in me, doing their thing, and I feel way better than I I took her (plus, I couldn't just throw the money away that I spent on the tickets).

The first miracle was the moment we stepped through the door and had our tickets scanned. The funny thing is that I'd been a little nervous at some of the shows because I bought a number of tickets through people on Craigslsit, which always carry at least a little risk at being fake, These tickets I bought through Ticketmaster, which is what made the ticket scanner's words initially concern, then elate me when she said, "please step over to the customer service booth."

We got upgraded big time! See the seating chart below? Original tickets I bought were in sec 11 row J (about where the letter A is marked). They gave us sec 5 row D (where the Z is); my daughter was ecstatic and that made me ecstatic.

The band Tesla opened the show with a 35 or so minute set. I remember when Tesla first hit and I know I saw them at least once, maybe twice, but I can't recall with whom.

Here was there set, you'll recognize at least one or two of them:

  • Edison's Medicine (Man Out of Time)
  • Gettin' Better
  • Hang Tough
  • Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)
  • Signs (Five Man Electrical Band cover)
  • Love Song
  • Little Suzi (Ph.D. cover)
  • Modern Day Cowboy

Tesla's set was solid, very rock and roll, Jeff Keith might have forgot that his crowd isn't teen/20-something anymore but in general, they did a nice tight, well rounded, hard driving set that was great to see.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

The Contractor Thing

It's getting very close, I have identified a short list of contractors to call for quotes on the bathroom remodel project that will be happening soon here in my home. I hate contractors, I hate the whole process of having work done and beside the expense, just the whole pain in the ass of it all (and potential for short and long term nightmares).

Readers of this blog know about the pain I went through a little over a year ago as I was having the kitchen done, those woulds are in the past, put they still sting a little.

I've harvested contractor names via soliciting my town bulletin board on Facebook asking those who have had work done and are happy with the overall experience, it seems to be at least a decent start. I will be vetting them all further before hiring anyone, extensively searching the validity and integrity of their license, insurance and references.

See, I already have a headache and haven't even made the first call yet.


Last summer I taught both 6 week sessions of summer courses, both are 6 week intensive sessions - one starts in late May, just after the spring semester ends and the other starts after July 4th holiday.

Last year, I found most students in the first summer session reasonably motivated and ready to work while the group that started after the 4th were lost in space and very hard to jump start,

It's not hard to see the "logic" simply based on the timing but these are adults who paid to take a class, it seems that should be enough motivation to get into it.

This year, I am only teaching the second summer session, which started this past Monday and again, the starting point has been very slow and again, I wonder what is going through their heads.

There is not any time for give in a 6 week course and the work load is going to be heavy throughout as we are completing the same amount of work as we would in a full 15 week semester.

It's getting harder for me to find positive motivations to feed to them....many seem to need a good old fashioned you know what from granny or from mamma :)

The adventure continues...

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

The Next Four Days

The next for days of my life will be very involved, the most important of which I must keep very close at hand and remember is that I am still recovering from pneumonia, and I must keep that at the forefront.

Much of the time will involve me spending a lot of quality time with my kid, something I hold sacred and precious. the fact that she is turning 17 this month and still like hanging out with her old man plus in a little over a year, she goes off to college, I don't want to not go ahead with these plans that have been in the books for a while.

I do ask that if you might keep us in your thoughts as we travel for part of it, about 16 hours or so will be in a car,

I plan to be checking in.

The Dunkin' Run that Had to Be Done

I made the decision to take the entire week off as I recover from pneumonia. Incidentally, I think I may change the pronunciation of the word to better express how I feel about the illness itself and to give the p some value in the word instead of just sitting there silent. For the time being, I am calling it, "pooh-neumonia".

The night before last was a bit of a breakthrough in terms of being able to pretty much sleep through. Last night I did wake up once in the middle of the night but there was no prolific coughing fit involved, a short time later I was back asleep.

It's very evident to me that it's not over, and may not be completely over for  awhile, but it does finally feel that I am on the mend and that the medications are doing what they are paid to do.

After being couped up for days in this house, and as I am almost completely out of food and snacks, I made an executive decision to drive the mile and a half to the nearest Dunkin Donuts' this morning to get a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a medium decaf, with cream (no sugar).

More than the Dunkin' product, it was the idea of getting out of the house for a few minutes that really made the difference for me. It was recommended to me that I get out and wlak a little up and down the driveway, just to get some fresh air and be outdoors, however, the humidity is about as high as it can be without precipitation, it's extremely oppressive and that will not be good for my lungs, my comfort, or my disposition.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Meds are Kicking In?

I got around six straight hours of sleep last night! That hasn't happened in a week or so, I think it means that the medications are finally taking effect and this crazy lung of mine is on the mend.

I do not wish to jinx anything, I am home from work again today and just resting, but I am hopeful to be on the mend.

I have things that were planned a long time ago with my daughter coming up and I don't want to let her down, I want her to experience those things and I believe I may be able to do it all, I just need to take it easy and remember that despite feeling better than I have in a while, that I am not fully healed and need to take it much easier than usual.

Also, I am running out of things to stare at in the house :)

Monday, July 06, 2015

LIfe In a Haze

The past few days have been something of a haze, but with clarity. I know, confusing, but so is pneumonia. I recall as a little kid, I remember hearing the term "pneumonia" and always thought people were mispronouncing "ammonia"; and if course, that made the fact that people "had it" way more confusing.

Most of the haze haze factor is attributed to sleep deprivation. There is a real catch-22 involved in that they say that rest is relevant to recovery, yet the fact that my lungs are attempting to exit my body through my mouth via violent fits of coughing, it's been impossible to piece together more than an hour or two of sleep at a time. Yesterday and today I may have a 3 or 4 hour block under my belt, but that's about's all fuzzy.

I'm getting a little worried because this is a big week for my kid and I on the #summerofconcerts tour: we are schedule to see Def Leppard with Styx & Tesla on Thursday evening and then travel to Buffalo on Friday to see the Rolling Stones on Saturday. She is super psyched about Def Leppard, I don't want to not take her. If I am still too sick, I may ask her mom to take her. I've posted the Stones tix on Stub HUb and Craigslist, as much as I'd like to see them again and more, have my kid see them, it's going to be a very long trip and taxing - if I can't sell the tix, then I will go, not going to throw $240 in the trash.

I am doing my best to take it easy, home from work, checking in with my online students and forcing myself to at least lay down in bed even if I can't sleep. Oh, and the ridiculous amount of fluids and am pouring into my body.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

I am So Not Okay Right Now

It's very hard for me right now, because I know how much I have to be grateful for, and I truly am grateful that I have health insurance and was able to get my ass into this miracle thing called urgent care to get a diagnosis and treatment plan when I did.

That said, pneumonia hasn't been fun so far and the meds haven't yet really kicked in...this coughing is so over the top painful and exhausting that my mind is beginning to play tricks on me and I'm almost frightened.

I haven't slept more than an hour or two in a row in days, end even then, an hour or two is quite rare. As I type this at 2:30am, I am two doses in to the cough syrup with codeine and am only now feeling a little groggy, but I can't find a position an the bed or recliner that won't trigger a violent fit of coughing.

I am counting on hope right now, hoping that in the next 24-36 hours the antibiotics and steroids will do their thing.

I don't ask this often, but I am asking right now...if you have a prayer or a good thought you can send my way, it would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

5 Questions with Chris

A little pneumonia isn't going to take the goofy out of me:

From Fourths Past

From 2014, CLICK HERE

From 2013, I wrote a poem that day, CLICK HERE

From 2011, which complies from previous years, CLICK HERE

Today, it's going to be a very quiet 4th for me, I am battling pneumonia, so more rest is necessary and especially because I need to be well for a big weekend next week.

I am debating sneaking out briefly to get some take out from The Carve so I have real food for lunch and dinner - though I may find someone to make that run for me.

Later for safe, have fun!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

70% Markup

A few months ago, someone on a local bulletin board was selling one of those wine refrigerators for $50. Someone offered her $35, so I responded, if the deal falls through, I'll give you $35. I've wanted one for a long time and this particular model is a good size and originally retailed for over $300.

The day after the offer, the person who offered $35 backed out and I got the deal. While a nice item, and in good working order, it didn't have multiple zones, something I really wanted in such an item.

I put the unit in my garage and then time got away from me, until a few days ago, when I listed it on Craigslist...for $60.

Tonight, I sold it...took the cash,a nice profit, buyer was thrilled.