Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Life Pursuit

I hadn't heard of Belle and Sebastian until just recently. I listened to clips of most of their albums at Barnes and Noble and enjoyed what I heard.

Then I remembered that I had seen that they were coming to The Riverside. "Please be there this weekend" I thought. They were and I bought 2 tickets.

Abbey and I went to see them and The New Pornographers (opening act) on Saturday night. Let me first say that I had a great time.

The New Pornographers were quite good. I am very impressed with their sound and constant ability to keep me interested in what will happen next. They're not afraid to jam on stage and that's usually a good thing (and was in this case) and they seem to be very grateful for performing and for the audience.

Belle and Sebastian was great also. I only have their newest album, The Life Pursuit, but from listening to that a ton and the clips of the other albums I've heard, I'll be getting more of their music. They put on a great show including the awesome background/harmony singer Sarah Martin kicking some serious ass.

She honestly has one of the sweetest voices I've ever heard. She's always in tune and never lets me down. I think I'm love.

Maybe the next time they're in Milwaukee I'll take her to Alterra...

Oh and in case you couldn't tell from the pic above, Abbey and I met the lead singer of Belle and Sebastian after the show, chatted and took a picture with him.

I knew that the performers generally left the stage door on the riverwalk behind the Riverside 30-40 minutes after a show. I learned this when my family inadvertantly stumbled upon Harry Connick Jr. signing autographs after his show we had just seen in May of 2002.

That was friggin' sweet.

"They brought me here for Mother's Day!" said my ecstaticly starstruck mother.

"Oh, that's real cool." said the man himself.

I was pretty pumped to meet him. I mean, I had been listening to his records for the better part of 5 years at that point and he was and is somewhat of a musical idol/legend to me.

But back to Belle and Sebastian.

Abbey and I were checking out the stage door when a small man with a black pushed back fedora walked out of the door and headed toward Mo's. We waited for a moment and followed.

Our quest led us to Stuart Murdoch, the chief songwriter and lead singer of Belle and Sebastian. He was chatting with a few fans and we were next in line. Luckily we didn't have to make much of an introduction.

The crowd parted and there stood this man. A very softspoken, yet confident man, he greeted us at once and asked our names.

We told him and he immediately commented on our buttons (purchased approximately 15 minutes before we met him). They say "Scotland's for me!" and have a logo that is on the latest album artwork.

He chuckled about the buttons and then said that he wished he had more time to spend in Milwaukee. He liked the layout and the look of it.

I assured him he'd have a good time here.

They had to get going to Minneapolis to make a gig the next day.

Abbey asked if he'd take a picture with us and voila! The rest is history.

(This post goes out to Andrew Aschenbrenner. Thanks for the introduction to the great band!)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Lunch Lady Land

As some of you know, I eat school lunch nearly every day. This school lunch preference has to do with 4 factors, each on a very deep personal level.

1) It's $2.10/meal without milk. $2.40 with. Done.

2) I'm way too lazy to pack a lunch every day.

3) It reminds me of eating school lunch as a kid.

4) I actually eat a balanced meal once a day.

Some of the lunches are much worse than others, it's true. For example; I love to eat cold meat sandwiches. Pretty much any type of meat on some bread is always a good option. But school lunch meat is different. The roast beef seems pickled and the ham is pink and shiny.

The turkey, however, is not bad. So today I will be trying a Turkey wrap.

What is this Turkey wrap, you might ask. Well it's turkey cold cuts on a tortilla with a little ranch dressing, lettuce and tomato inside. It's tasty. It's good. It's cheap!

The lunch always consists of the basic 5: grain, dairy, fruit, veggies and meat. When I'm at home a balanced meal consists of these 5 also, but they tend to be mixed together (Jack's Supreme pizza and a glass of milk. For the purposes of making me feel better I count tomato sauce as a fruit). Now that's a balanced meal.

Another fun thing about school lunch is the issue of recycling. Not paper and plastic, but food. Today's hamburger will be recycled into tomorrow's chili. Today's garlic bread is tomorrow's crouton. You never know what you're going to be getting - it's always a guessing game! This is how we stimulate minds in public elementary schools; "Guess how we reused the lunch."

When I was young I thought the cool kids were the kids who had cold lunch every day. How lucky they are, they get to pick their lunch every day. My parents would make me eat hot lunch. Now I'm thinking that I had it all wrong.

I'm proud to eat school lunch every day. I sip milk through a straw and use the tiny napkin that accompanies my spork, straw and napkin packet. I sit in a chair that's just a little too small for me. I chat with my colleagues and supervisors about reality tv (these ladies love their Survivor) and whatever is on their minds.

Some of these lunches have been downright racy.

At one point, one of my colleagues mentioned seeing a movie with a gratuitous secks scene (I'm typing this at school and it won't allow the three letter word). One of my supervisor (60 years old, graying hair, conservative in nature) piped in with, "There's nothing wrong with seeing a little secks every now and then. It's fun sometimes!"