torn.

My brain has been occupied by two things today.

delnor

1) A text conversation with Mrs. Crappy that ended with us concluding that a Florida trip — our first financially feasible one in years — is in order later this year. E: How do we go about inviting ourselves to Naples this summer?

My Internet friend Rachel took this beautiful shot of what I hope to put in my face for dinner in a couple hours.
My Internet friend Rachel took this beautiful shot of the very thing I hope to put in my face for dinner in a couple hours.

2) Another text conversation with Mrs. Crappy, this time about getting burgers at Benjamin’s for dinner. It’s a bit dicey for me to write about this, because Mrs. Crappy has probably changed her mind about dinner seven or eight times this afternoon. But I remain hopeful that a Candied Jalapeno Burger — that’s candied jalapeno cream cheese and applewood-smoked bacon — is in my very near future.

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music for months.

Getting our Crappy selves to Chicago for the Dead/Trey shows isn’t happening, but we’re looking at a pretty good musical run in the coming weeks nonetheless. And that’s a good thing — I know I can really use the break.

What’s coming? I’m so glad you asked:

Sunday: moe., at Mr. Small’s. They’re pretty much an annual Pittsburgh thing for us. A 15-minute “Plane Crash” would be awesome.

The week after that: The Traveling McCourys and Bill Nershi of String Cheese Incident, at the Rex Theater. A badly needed bluegrass fix for me.

The week after that: The Decemberists, at the Benedum Center. I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed if they don’t play “Row Jimmy” for Mrs. Crappy’s birthday show — but I’d be awfully happy if they did.

A few weeks after that: Skinny Moo, at the Greenville Inn in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. One word: Legendary.

After that? No specific plans, but you can bet there will be at least a few Three Rivers Arts Festival shows. The Umphrey’s McGee/Widespread Panic show at Stage AE looks interesting. And there was something about the Rolling Stones playing Sticky Fingers in its entirety? Hmmm.

10. i get around.

Continuing my long-standing tradition of ignoring Facebook memes in favor of posting them here, today I present: The States To Which Uncle Crappy Has Traveled.

travelmap

That’s the same map that’s been popping up all over Facebook in the last few days, courtesy of Defocus Blog. Here’s the key, based on the specs of the creator:

  • White: I haven’t been.
  • Red: A brief stop or a drive-through.
  • Orange: Spent a day or two.
  • Blue: Multiple trips.
  • Green: I’ve lived there, stayed there for more than a couple weeks or taken multiple multiple trips.

Naturally, I have more information:

Greens:

  • Ohio: I was born and grew up in Columbus. Athens is my spiritual home.
  • Pennsylvania: Uh, I live there. Here. Whatever.
  • Kentucky: I lived there for just over two years, while stationed at Fort Knox. If you haven’t heard it already, ask me to tell you my Kentucky Derby story.
  • Wisconsin: I spent several summers at the lake houses of Dr. History’s family, on a chain of lakes between Woodruff and Minocqua. Love that area.
  • Florida: This is perhaps a borderline green state for me, but I’m including it because of our nearly annual trips there to spend time with my sister’s family.

Blues:

  • It’s interesting to see how many of these are included in the list because of Grateful Dead, Phish or other miscellaneous hippie-band touring over the years. Several — Indiana, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and probably New York — were bumped up from Oranges or Reds because of the shows I’ve seen.
  • Texas: The result of the residence of my mother in law and her husband, and a long family vacation that led to the discovery of the Whataburger chain. That was the same trip when I thought I’d be good an order a water at a restaurant in Nuevo Larado, Mexico; my mother quickly told the server that I would have a Coke instead, leading young me to believe that Mexico was the coolest place on the entire planet.
  • Colorado and Utah: Ski trips. And I need to go back soon.
  • Michigan: The State Up North would have made the list for several ski trips to Boyne, but there have also been football games at East Lansing — a good one — and two trips to that other college town. Those weren’t so good.
  • Hawaii: A family trip — the one that led to our brush with Pele, the state’s goddess of fire — and our honeymoon. The family trip also led to my only appearance in California; our flights to and from the islands both went through LAX.

Whites:

  • Man, I need to spend some time in New England.

vacation.

[vimeo 61594873]

Getting to a beach is definitely in the cards, but there is one thing we know for sure: We’ll see you at Merriweather.

catching up, grumpy edition.

And doing it as best I know how:

* Florida was fabulous. The kids are amazing little people — getting more grown up by the minute — and my sister and BIL are doing a great job with them. Mrs. Crappy and I got to the beach four of the six days we were there. I ran a 10K and didn’t die. And we properly celebrated Crappydad’s upcoming 75th birthday.

* And then we had to come home to snow flurries. Really?

* While we were in Florida, I neglected to wrap up the Seventh Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown). Because of unusual circumstances that require consultation with our sponsor, I will do so on Monday.

* The 10K was difficult, but fun. I was too slow — finished at 1:20 — but I completed the race knowing what I needed to focus on as I get ready for the Pittsburgh Half. And then my groin decided that there would be no running of any consequence this week, and I’m left with three weeks to prepare to run 13 miles. I am not happy about this. I’ve joked a bunch about not letting my various attempts at running kill me — see above, for example — but the half — especially if it’s a warm morning — actually could be a dangerous thing, given my lack of training in the last couple weeks.

* If I’m able to run it at all.

* For as excited as I was about the start of the hockey playoffs, the actual games have been nothing short of a horror. I’m less concerned with the fights and cheap shots on both sides — they happen, although usually not this much in the playoffs — than I am with Penguins’ horrible defensive effort. Or lack thereof. The team is staying positive — Bylsma said after Sunday’s game that Fleury would start the remaining four games of the series — and I will as well.

* I’ll do that for a couple of reasons. First: Mrs. Crappy and I want to watch Friday’s game at the big screen outside CEC. Can’t do that if the series ends Wednesday night.

* Second: I need to give my playoff beard a little more time.