The following is a list of all entries from the Ray LaMontagne category.
Ray LaMontagne’s seranade in the produce section of Publix as the snow fell on a Saturday morning. The ritual of selecting a bag of celery never sounded so good. Celery to serve as a vessel for the creative peanut butter I keep making. Currently, there are no less than 5 plastic containers of nut butter in my fridge. My latest concoction is banana peanut butter. Banana. Peanut butter.
Die Hard 5 aka A Good Day to Die Hard, the first time I’ve paid money to see a movie since June when I paid to see Magic Mike. Twice. Got a little Die Hard On for the actor who plays McClane’s son. My fascination with the Die Hard series cannot be explained.
Ray got into it with something with claws when I let him outside to the backyard.(When I called home for help, my dad suggested if it wasn’t a mean housecat, it was a raccoon or a bobcat. I had to explain to him that the only bobcats we have around here are those that don’t put up a fight. I’m talking to you, worst team in the NBA.) I did the best at being a nurse until the Nyquiltini kicked in and I was out cold by 10 pm.
Sam’s for two pounds of salmon. Who am I? A baby Grizzly bear.
Rented Celeste and Jesse Forever. I had such hopes for this movie with Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg.
An hour and a half until a staff meeting and I’m half tempted to still be sick just so I can get out of it.
After Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I went to Atlanta to reunite with some friends from college. I flew from Charlotte to New Orleans, but I took the Megabus to get from New Orleans to Atlanta because double decker discount buses are cheap. Like $60 cheap. Not having any prior experience and knowing no one who has traveled that way before, I was pleasantly surprised that the Megabus didn’t turn out to be a mega bust. I really can’t say enough good things about my new favorite mode of transportation. They boast free Wi-fi, but it’s something to be desired since I had little to no service on my iPad. So passengers are left to entertain themselves with their phones. I’d suggest packing a book/Kindle to read. And snacks, A LOT OF SNACKS. The Megabus has a schedule to keep so there aren’t any stops (save for 15 minutes at a rest area in who knows where Georgia where I raided the vending machine.) For tiny bladdered folks like me that means holding it for hours on end, or peeing in the tiny bathroom at 70 mph. (What’s the Megabus equivalent to the Mile High Club?).
My friend was late picking me up so I waited across the street from the bus stop at a hotel bar where I warmed up with an outrageous $6 bottle of Miller Lite. Always making friends while traveling, I got to chatting with a married couple. They asked where I was from. I told them about what brought me to Atlanta. They have a timeshare in New Orleans. They also shared with me the story of how they met 35 years ago. At a bar. She tripped over his huge feet and busted her chin. He was quick to give aid and ask if she was okay. She followed up with “Honey, if the rest of you is as big as your feet, I think I’m in love!”. Isn’t that just precious? I’ve always wanted my meet cute to involve a sexual innuendo.
I bid my new friends goodbye and was finally reunited with my old friend. She asked if I was hungry. I don’t usually eat dinner at 9 pm, but then again I don’t usually eat a bag of chex mix for lunch so to dinner it was. I requested Flip Burger because of krispy kreme milkshakes on their dessert menu. (Flip Burger, if you are reading this, please come to Charlotte…and bring H&M with you). We shared a platter of fries, onion rings, sweet potato tater tots and Brussells sprouts, in addition to scarfing down burgers and shakes.
On Thursday, my friend had to work at one of the eight Atlanta Whole Foods all day so I set out to visit with my college roommate and her 9 month old baby girl. I got to hear all about her 24 hour labor and what the hell a nipple shield is. It was nice to visit and catch up since seeing her 3 years ago when I came down to see Ray LaMontange at the Fox Theatre the day after moving into my house.
After catching up, I made my way in Atlanta traffic to the fanciest mall in the world. I thought South Park Mall was fancy, but Phipps Plaza takes the cake. It was the fanciest mall I have ever set an underdressed foot in. There’s a piano in the foyer. There are SO many stores that I have never heard of before. There’s no food court so I had to make one outside of Nordstrom’s ebar to chow down on french fries and kalamata olive dip from the Nordstrom Bistro Cafe. It was Valentine’s Day after all so why not spend it with something that you love?
Once my friend got off of work, we trekked to Clermont Lounge. She claims it to be an Atlanta staple. It’s hard to describe what the Clermont Lounge is exactly. It’s a dive bar that Atlanta hipsters flock to. After paying $8 in cover, you enter a dingy smokey bar with a small stage with a live band playing to your left. And strippers to your right. But not just any strippers. Overweight, tattooed, cellulite-ridden, past their prime strippers. It would seem as if Clermont Lounge is where strippers go to retire.
No visit to a strip club would be complete without a visit to a diner. The Magestic Diner for cheesy hashbrows. One of the servers there was in New Orleans for 48 hours of Mardi Gras too.
The alarm sounded too early on Friday when I had to make it to the bus bound for home. All in all, a spectacular week!
It’s Ray “of sunshine” LaMontagne’s birthday today. He’s 3. I thought about throwing him a party, but then I thought about how more people would show up at his birthday party than my birthday party. I will never be as popular as my dog.
“Sorry to hear about your show being cancelled. Have fun with the T and L today!”, what I wanted to say to a juiced up Jersey Shore-like dude exiting the Y Friday night as I was entering. I have a lot of internal conversations while working out at the Y. Most of them include curse words. I said a few on Sunday morning when I was too early and found the doors closed until noon. I took advantage of the outdoor track though. In the 3.5 miles that I lapped, I didn’t see any flashers. And trust me, it’s been awhile so I was quite looking forward to it.
With another hour to kill, I skipped over to shiny, new Whole Foods for an early lunch from their salad bar, bypassing their complimentary valet parking. (Only in Charlotte). Delicious salad bar fare as always. I can’t stay away from sprinkling roasted garlic on everything.
Finally, it was noon and I was allowed to enter the Y. I watched “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” on the Food Network while ellipticalling (because combining cooking shows with cardio totally makes sense). And then I ventured into the cardio funk class, which was just like Zumba. It being my first time, I hung out in the back of the gym, flailing my arms like a fool.
In case you live under a rock, it’s the DNC in Charlotte this week. I am staying as far away as possible. The closest thing I got to seeing Jeff Bridges yesterday was when I rented “Crazy Heart” from the library and promptly fell asleep on the couch during the middle of it. Something about an old musician’s mumblings I found to be a nice lullaby. (I also finally saw “The Hunger Games” (and it only took visiting 4 Redbox kiosks) and each time a tribute died, I bit the head off of my Sour Patch Kids). Speaking of mumbling musicians, (two legged) Ray LaMontagne is touring this fall! And just like me and the DNC, he is staying far from Charlotte.
I was a Scrooge for Christmas. I didn’t send any Christmas cards. The Christmas gifts I ordered for my family from Amazon arrived days after. I was a party pooper for New Year’s Eve. I had to take a nap before waking at 11:45 to watch the ball drop and take a shot of pink champagne before going back to bed at 12:01. Knowing that I would have to be awake in 8 hours to make the trip home, I wanted nothing more than sweet slumber. It reminded me of the time, decades ago, when me, my brother and cousin were spending the night at our grandparents’ house and jumping like monkeys on the bed. And just like jumping monkeys, one of them is bound to fall off and bump her head and ruin it for the rest of them. That monkey was me, right onto a dresser. My poor grandmother had to stay awake with me in front of the television in the living room to make sure I didn’t have a concussion while her non-bruised grandchildren slept.
I assumed a new year would usher in a renewed energy. Here is your clean slate, have at it. It’s hard to be excited about a fresh start when it feels exactly like it did a year ago. Every year at this time, the work piles up from being out of the office for 2 weeks and I’m met with the harsh reality that my relaxing Christmas vacation came with a price.
So after a busy day of work I return home where I don’t get a good night’s sleep. Ray has taken to waking me in the middle of the night, whining at my bedside. I roll out of bed, slip into bunny slippers to guard against chilly hardwood floors and release him into the backyard. Not wearing my glasses, I follow a blurry white blob. The white blob does not lift his leg to pee. He instead fierecly digs away at the back corner of the yard. For Christmas, my parents gave him a huge rawhide bone and as soon as we got home, he buried it in the yard. Not content with any one spot, he’s spent weeks moving it from one place to another under the cover of night. I suspect his fears would be allayed if he took his prized possession to the bank, like the pup in the Traveler’s insurance commercial. Coincidentally, his namesake Ray LaMontagne provides the background song, Trouble.
To recap, I am exhausted and need another vacation like a dog needs its bone.
I was born with many talents (picking up things with my toes, double jointed fingers, etc.), but musical talent was not among them. In the second grade I tried my hand at piano, but could not graduate from Chopsticks, so that 8 year old’s dream died. In the fifth grade, I tried to master the saxophone, but since I am not a yellow cartoon character, realized that I just couldn’t make it cool. In high school I joined the color guard because I wanted to hang out with my marching band friends. Even in college I roomed with three music therapy majors, hoping to learn something through osmosis.
Since I cannot play music, I support the musical arts. I drive four hours to Atlanta when major tour stops don’t include Charlotte. I sneak onto tour buses in the Amos’ parking lot to play tic tac toe with Rocco deLuca. I have JET members autograph their albums I checked out from the library. I catch drumsticks from the Blues Traveler drummer. I stand in line for hours on Record Store Day and don’t even own a record player. I make out with the Wailers young tour manager at the Holiday Inn in the middle of the night. I make out with Harry Connick Jr.’s bass player on top of the Holiday Inn uptown. I beg lighting supervisors to give me Ray LaMontagne’s set list from his Cincinnati show on my birthday. I fly to New York to see The Civil Wars when their Charlotte show is a sell out. I serve as Justin Timberlake’s back up dancer for part 3 of the history of rap with Jimmy Fallon.
There’s pretty much nothing I wouldn’t do (and no one I wouldn’t make out with) to show my music appreciation.
My 29th birthday was pretty awesome. I was in my hometown of Cincinnati, OH at my fifth Ray LaMontagne show with friends I’ve held onto since the 7th grade. It was for sure the best 29th birthday ever. Especially when I was reunited with Nordstrom Bistro Cafe’s fries and kalamata olive dip. ($2.95 for a generous side of fries? Hell, yeah!) Next year for my birthday I’m requesting a pool of their kalamata olive dip with giant crispy fries to be used as rafts.
Me: Excuse me, are you Ray’s lighting supervisor?
Ray LaMontagne’s skinny weathered hippie of a lighting supervisor: Yep.
Me: It’s my birthday today and I would love to meet him.
Lighting supervisor: It’s pretty impossible to meet him.
Me: Can I have the set list at least?
Lighting supervisor: Talk to the sound engineer the second the concert is over. If you’re a minute late, you’re not getting it.
Me: Okay. Thank you!
I woke early this morning to participate in the 3rd annual Record Store Day at Charlotte’s only participating record store, Lunchbox Records. I thought that the rain would keep some music buffs away, but no such thing. I stood in line for an hour, waiting to get inside the small record shop. All for grabbing 1 of 3,000 of Ray LaMontagne’s live fall 2010′s vinyl album, despite the fact that I do not own a record player, nor am I an actor in any John Cusack movie. My justification for dropping $14.99 on something I literally cannot use was that my new purchase can serve as wall decor, because I’m always complaining about the plain white walls in my home.
Before heading home to my unadorned walls, I wanted to participate in the grand opening of Buffalo Exchange but there was a sign on the door that they weren’t able to open its doors to me due to unforeseen circumstances.
This just in, some poor slub is trying to sell his/her copy for $59.99 on ebay.