Well, it’s official. The future addition to Team Bubel will be a baby girl. I guess all I can do is teach her how to dance and help her future boyfriend understand how the A.R.G.O. Piston-Driven System on a Benelli M4 shotgun works.
On the remnants of a wooden pier pillar in Longport, New Jersey.
I spent the weekend in Chicago helping a colleague with WP University – a sort of WordPress workshop which took place at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. It was my first time to the ‘Windy City’, and it ended up being a fantastic trip – the event went well, the hospitality was unmatched (thanks to Mike and Susan!) the food was yummy, and I got to meet David Burke. The cold was, in fact, worth braving.
I know. I should have taken ‘before’ pictures, but just take my word for it when I say that it was an utter mess. We put it off for over a year since moving in, but finally tackled it this past summer with the help of my father-in-law, “Big Jimbo P”, who is pretty good at this stuff (I am not).
It was a nightmare of a project, but it’s pretty much done – other than some extra decor and a nice blind. Our favorite part? The porcelain floor tile that looks like hardwoods. It is now our own lovely, little sanctuary.
Celebrating The Boss’s 63rd birthday with 60,000 or so other fans in New Jersey is quite the experience. We got started early, tailgated throughout the afternoon, and entered the “new Meadowlands” ready to go. With a huge storm moving directly over MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, the entire seating bowl was evacuated to the main corridors of the venue. Imagine around 60,000 people – most of them drunk and anxious – crammed into just a few narrow hallways waiting for some news, good or bad. The show was delayed for several hours, as the rain poured and the storm rolled. But spirits remained high, and over an hour into the delay, we were given the green light and proceeded to our seats. The experience seemed surreal.
Three hours after the scheduled start time, at 10:30pm, Bruce finally took the stage and got right to it. ‘Out in the Street’ kicked things off, and the place exploded for ‘Badlands’ not long after. Starting with ‘My City of Ruins’, about halfway into the set, things became a bit dull for me (it’s entirely possible I’m in the minority here) with some strange song selections and a lack of intensity. But it was the dude’s birthday, so I thought I’d give him another chance.
The encore was spectacular – an incredible ‘Thunder Road’ and even ‘Glory Days’! ‘Born to Run’ was as good as ever, and I still think you haven’t experienced live music until you’ve seen his anthem in the flesh. When the house lights fire up, you know it’s a real party. After a visit from Bruce’s mother and other family members, a guitar-shaped birthday cake was cut, and the entire crowd serenaded The Boss with ‘Happy Birthday’. And although I would have preferred ‘American Land’ to close it out, ‘Twist and Shout’ sent us all home in a fantastic fashion. This was at 1:55am, by the way.
I’ll never forget this one. Celebrating Bruce’s birthday with him and the E Street Band. With 60,000 other screaming fans, several members of my family, and my lovely wife. With a weather delay lasting several hours. With fireworks. With 33 songs and three-and-a-half hours of the restoration of humanity’s faith and belief in rock music. In New Jersey (!!!). Just awesome.
We recently celebrated the 200-year anniversary of the War of 1812 in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Tall Ships from all around the world (Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia included) were on hand to celebrate the event. It was a fantastic day, and there’s nothing better for a shot of American pride than the Blue Angels flying over your head all day.