This Sunday, August 12, my daughter Maddie and her band, Nuclear Plankton, are performing in Minipalooza, a benefit rock festival. Minipalooza is a great program put together by West Side Music (where Maddie has been taking guitar lessons for the last two and a half years) which organizes kids into bands, who then rehearse a handful of songs every week and finally perform at the festival. There will be three kid bands performing, plus two "grownup" bands. I've heard Nuclear Plankton practice a few times, and they're really good - at Minipalooza they'll be doing "I Love Rock and Roll" (with Maddie belting out the lead vocal, with a great Joan Jett snarl), the Beatles' "Come Together", the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and the Surfaris' "Wipeout."
Minipalooza should be a lot of fun for the whole family (all-ages show!), cheap ($5 cover), and for a good cause - the Muscular Dystrophy Association. It's at Live 59 in Plainfield (16108 Route 59, between Renwick Road and Fraser Road), starting at 2 PM. If you happen to be in the area on Sunday afternoon, please consider attending. I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
Farewell, noble stallion
That photo is our beloved '95 Honda Civic, nicknamed Zyx, which we finally sold today after seventeen years, 109,000 miles (most of those during its first five years), and a few too many years of neglect on my part. It was Julie's car before we first got together, and sort of became mine after she started a new job in the city that was walking distance from our house (and thus she no longer needed the car for work) and she worried that my decrepit Ford Probe was no longer safe to drive to Oak Brook every day. I had never even driven stick-shift before Zyx, but Julie patiently taught me how - and I must have been a good learner, because the car still has the original clutch.
When we moved to Joliet and I worked from home for two years, the car mostly just sat in the garage, and then when I started working downtown and took the train, I only drove it to and from the train station, just a few miles each day - so during the past twelve years it's only been driven a few thousand miles. Reliable as it was, though, Zyx became superfluous when we bought Julie's Fit three years ago, and kept the Civic sedan that I now drive to the train. Since then Zyx has sat, undriven and rather ignominiously, first in the driveway and most recently in the street.
We finally decided Zyx's time had come, and sold it to the father of a girl from Maddie's gymnastics class. Soon it will be fixed up and driven by the family's teenage son when he starts driving. I hope it's now in good hands, and will give him years of reliable driving, as reliable as it was for us. Hondas are truly great cars, of which Zyx is just one example. We never had any major problems with the car, which never required anything more than regular maintenance and occasional replacement of basic parts like brake pads and such.
Though we knew it was time, we're still going to miss Zyx, which has been part of our lives for so long. The other night Maddie and I took one last spin around the block, and it was as fun to drive as ever. Loud - it needs a new muffler - but fun. So long, Zyx.
It's Always Time For Pie!
This week my wife and daughter whipped up an apple pie, from scratch. Darn good eatin'!
I second this notion, and welcome young T.J. Quinn to the world. He's the first child of my wife's youngest sister Amanda who, until I started working longer hours on my new job and she went on maternity leave, used to be my "train buddy": we sat next to each other on the Chicago-to-Joliet train every night. Try as I might, I couldn't divert her too far from her fondness for James Frey, Nora Roberts and countless pastel-covered chick lit novels, although she did admit to enjoying Slaughterhouse-Five and The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas when I foisted them on her. Or maybe she was just humoring me.
...from everyone here at the Joliet Yacht Club. Barbie and Cinderella Barbie had a bit of a mishap with their annual egg delivery, but the rescue squad has already been contacted and is on their way. Everything should be fine as long as the crane operator shows up.
Photo of the Week
Maddie, still coming down from her Halloween sugar high.