Wondering and getting side tracked

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This blog was written down on paper before coming to you via the world wide web. I wonder how many writers still take pen to paper vs. hitting the keyboard straightaway. I also wonder what makes a writer a good writer. And, I wonder what station is playing in the background of this coffee house. I have the power to address one of the wonders with accuracy, but the question becomes – will I ask for the information?

I love this coffee house. Each time I have been here, the same two guys have been working. One guy reminds me of [a younger] Brian Vander Ark, from The Verve Pipe. The other guy reminds me of a slightly older version of the guy from the sitcom The Middle, Axl, played by Charlie McDermott.

If I were younger (and single), I’d definitely be interested in chatting with them in an effort to get to know them better. As it is, I am content with the typical banter that flows with ordering a cup of coffee and a veggie & hummus sandwich. I also enjoy watching the one or two particular girls that seem to frequent this place, too. One of the usual ‘Janes’ is here tonight, sitting at the coffee bar counter. She’s enjoying the attention of both guys without having to share with the other girl.

As I eavesdrop, I flash back to the days when I lived in Rockville, MD. I stumbled upon a small restaurant/bar called, Hard Times Cafe. I don’t remember, for certain, who introduced the place to me, all I remember is the guys behind the bar had me at ‘hello’. I love the look of long hair on guys. Please. I am not talking Kid Rock kind of long hair, or Billy Ray Cyrus kind of hair. I am talking Daniel Day Lewis, ‘Last of the Mohicans’ hair. [Yes, I know it was probably hair extensions; still, a girl can dream, and dream this girl did.] Anyway, the bartenders/cooks at Hard Times Cafe had long hair and looks to match. Oh, and did I mention they were in a band? Color me happy, and color me a frequent Hard Times Cafe stalker, er, customer.

I went to Hard Times Cafe as often as possible, when I lived in the area. My girlfriend and I often stayed until they closed and hung out with the staff after hours. Aside: The Brian Vander Ark lookalike just asked “Jane” if she wanted to step outside with him. Newsflash: She said yes. Big shock.

While living in Rockville, I continued stalking, er hanging out with the crew from Hard Times. My friend and I even traveled to VA (Fairfax, I think) to hear the band play a few times. I have one of the tapes from RISE, perhaps their only tape. And, I had the band’s bumper sticker on the back of my car. By the way, that is the only bumper sticker I have ever had on the back of any of my cars. Ever.

Oh, if you are scratching your head with my tape reference – well, tapes were used to listen to music back in the 90s and earlier. I am guessing you’d be hard pressed to find tapes nowadays, let alone a cassette player for which to play the tape. The music I am listening to in this coffee house is streaming through Pandora. No cassette or cassette player required!

Back to my wondering what station was playing in this coffee house. I did ask the ‘Axl’ lookalike about the Pandora station. Clearly, I am super hip, because when he told me, I responded in question, “The Ships”? Thankfully, he didn’t laugh in my face, though I also knew he wasn’t going to be asking for my phone number. “No, ‘The Shins’,” he said. “Shins with an ‘n’,” he clarified.

Hello. My name is Lenore; I am in  my 40s, and it is apparent I am not up on today’s music, even when the band is 10yrs old. However, I’m hip enough to like today’s music, at least along the lines of The Shins and their current hits. At least, I think they have current hits. And, yes, I have added The Shins to my Pandora list of stations. Who knows, ‘Axl’ or ‘Brian’ may ask me to join them outside next time I hit the coffee house. Remember, a girl can dream.

The Iron Giant

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My latest addiction is Netflix, and I thank Roku for enabling the addiction. OK, wait a minute. I have two young boys. Finding time to sit and blog without interruption can prove challenging, at times. However, blogging while the boys are home and actively running around can also prove to be entertaining and inspirational. As I type, the boys are watching Iron Giant, hence the title of this post. In addition, their friend from next door is visiting and watching the movie, too. My boys have seen the Iron Giant several times, and my oldest is having a hard time sitting still and watching the movie, quietly. [Note: Do not go to movies with my oldest, if you are a person who enjoys watching movies without an ever-flowing commentary taking place next to you.] Suddenly, I hear my oldest say to his friend, “Hey, do you want to see my sock drawer?” Wait. What? OK. I don’t care who you are – that is funny right there.

So, as I was saying before becoming distracted by an apparent exciting sock drawer, I am in love with Roku. Moreover, I am in love with Netflix and the ability to watch several movies instantly. We do not subscribe to cable TV at our house. We actually have an antenna on our roof, and we are able to watch television for free! True, the channels are limited, but the time we spend in front of the television is limited, too. Compared to the average household, we watch very little television. Get this – we only have one TV in the house, too. Are we crazy or what?! (Keep in mind, though, at least one of us in this house has a very cool sock drawer, so we are hip.)

Wednesday nights are special nights in our house. On Wednesday nights, we all rearrange our sock drawer. I’m kidding. And, I will stop with the sock drawer jokes. My husband is part of a men’s group at church, and the men get together on Wednesday nights. Because my husband is not home for supper on Wednesday nights, the boys and I have deemed Wednesday nights ‘Sandwich and a Movie Night’. The three of us look forward to Wednesday nights and plopping ourselves in the living room to eat pb&j sandwiches and watch a movie. I enjoy looking for new movies to share with the boys. Thanks to Netflix, the selection of movies is greater than our current DVD/VHS collection. And, through Netflix, we found The Iron Giant.

Prior to the giant made of metal, the boys requested the lovable computer/trash compactor over and over again. However, Wall-E has taken a back seat to The Iron Giant. Yes, you will still hear the boys and I quote the movie Wall-E with our ‘ta da’, ‘mo’ and  ‘eeve-ah’;  but, Wall-E is now in hibernate mode, as we watch and quote The Iron Giant with a growing frequency: “What you have IN YOUR MOUTH – IS ART!”; “You know, Blah, blah, blah?”; “Roooock. Treeee.”; etc. Based on the fact that our neighbor is completely focused on the movie now, I am guessing we may have hooked another new fan of the movie. Have you seen The Iron Giant? Go ahead. Watch it. I am confident you’ll like it. And, I’ll be sure to keep my oldest at home, so he doesn’t distract you with tales of his sock drawer.

Thank you Netflix and Roku, for opening a world of streaming movies and music to me and my family. When the boys aren’t watching The Iron Giant, we are more than likely listening to our classical music channel via Pandora, with our Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel and Genesis channels also receiving frequent airplay. In fact, the boys have finished their movie and have gone outside to play, giving me the freedom to turn on our  Simon & Garfunkel channel. Spending a Saturday morning listening to Peter, Paul & Mary’s ‘Wedding Song’, Harry Chapin’s ‘Cat’s in the Craddle’ and Seals & Crofts’ ‘Summer Breeze’ makes me feel fine. [Something tells me this post is not going to resonate with the younger generation.] Do you Roku? If not you should; because Roku is fun, and fun is good!