Fun with Time Zones

Here in Massachusetts in the good old (sliding uncontrollably toward becoming a fascist nuclear nightmare) USA, it is not Bellana’s birthday.

However, in Dublin, Ireland, where she is at this very moment, it is her birthday.

Happy birthday/day before your birthday, Bellana!!!

Birthday in Galway

My step daughter, Bellana, is in Ireland and I am super jealous. Jelly AF. Not really, but yeah, really.

Tomorrow is her 21st birthday and she has chosen to spend the day in the land of my forefathers. We had a FaceTime (actually, I think it was snapchat) call with her this morning while she was on a bus leaving the airport. We had to pause our conversation briefly while the bus’ safety announcement was read in a marvelous Irish accent. As soon as it completed I yelled out, “now in Gaelic!” They didn’t read it in Gaelic though. Oh well.

I am so excited for her birthday. I have been excited for all of her European excursions over the last few months, but Ireland… that’s just the best. I told her if she ends up in Cork she should look up my relatives. That’s where my father’s mother’s family comes from. My mother’s parents’ families are in Newfoundland, but before that they were in Mayo, so if she ends up there she can look for them as well.

She’s going to Galway today. She’s also an Elvis fan. Those are the only two things she has in common with the protagonist in this particular song, but it’s completely stuck in my head right now.


I got up early this morning to put the trash out on the street. When I came back inside Jen reminded me that yesterday was a state holiday, Patriots Day, and trash pick up will be tomorrow.


Did you see those pictures of the cellar floor last night? We’re coming to the end, aren’t we. A few more days to finish the floor and all the baseboards and finishing touches. We have a couple of pieces of furniture coming this weekend. Soon enough we’re going to have us a nice little living room down there.

What else is going on? I have another doctors appointment tomorrow. A pre-screening at the hospital. I don’t know what that means, but it has something to do with anesthesia. Prep work.

Two weeks and one day until surgery. Two weeks after that Harry comes home for the summer. The month of May is going to be a busy one, right?


I stayed up really late last night. I didn’t want to, but I was so busy all day that I never had a chance to do some of the things I wanted to do (laundry) and I ended up doing it all after Jen fell asleep. I finally fell asleep around 1:00am and given that I can say without any hesitation that I am ridiculously tired right now.

While I was up last night Harry sent me a text saying that he listened to a Rush album and really liked it. It was Moving Pictures, of course. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. Harry could be a Rush fan, oh glorious day!

He sent me a text a few minutes ago asking me which Rush records to listen to next.

My response was a 100,000,000 word essay.

As I said earlier, oh glorious day!

Here’s a summary of what I told him:

  • You’ve listened to Moving Pictures, now go to Permanent Waves. They both had a similar focus on trying to shorten their songs without sacrificing any musical craziness.
  • Most people who don’t think Moving Pictures is the best album think that 2112 is. It’s heavy and Geddy screams a lot, but it’s pretty much perfect.
  • For 80’s synth Rush go with Power Windows. I wish I could say Hold Your Fire, but the last two songs don’t really cut it.
  • For the 90’s they got heavy again. Go with Counterparts.
  • Clockwork Angels might be my favorite of all Rush albums.
  • Fly By Night is mostly a straight ahead rock record.
  • Hemispheres is amazing end to end, but it’s worth it just for La Villa Strangiato.

Thankfully Europe is Big

I spent my lunch hour reading up on the situation in Ukraine. Once again it’s really hard to tell which reports are real and which reports are propaganda or misinformation. It sounds like “Russian warship, go fuck yourself” is real. I don’t think the ghost of Kyiv is real though. Despite how much I want it to be real.

I was a good student in Junior High and High School Geography classes. The map of Europe looked massively different back then, but even if it didn’t I never saw a map that was drawn to scale so distances are all hypothetical, know what I mean?

There’s a war going on in Eastern Europe. Bellana is in Western Europe. She’s not anywhere close to the conflict, is she? How far is it from The Netherlands to the Ukraine?

Google Maps. I searched for a route from her school to Kyiv. It’s a 21 hour drive. I wasn’t nervous about it at all, and yet I am still feeling a serious sense of relief. Irrational, yes, but when is anything to do with war rational?

Western Europe needs to keep my step daughter safe. Good work so far. Keep it up.

Trip to France

We got a FaceTime call from Bellana today. She and her roommate went to Paris over the weekend. It sounds like it was one of those out of this world experiences that you can only have when you’re 20 years old and taking a semester abroad. You know what I’m talking about. She said there will be a vlog post at some point. I can’t wait to see it.

This morning I was talking about how bringing the barrels out to the street marks the high point of my social calendar. Oh to be 20 and crazy again. Again? I was 20 once, but I don’t think I was crazy. I’m proof that youth is wasted on the young as well as at least 50 other old people cliches.


Today is Harry’s birthday. He’s 19. Happy birthday, Harry! We’re not going to see him until March. He’ll be coming home for spring break. Jen and I both took that whole week off. We won’t do anything amazing or anything, we’ll just be able to hang out with Harry. It’s going to be cool. I am really looking forward to it.

Happy birthday, Harry!

Today is also my nephew Brian’s birthday. I don’t know when we’re going to get to see him again. Covid, right? I am so sick of it, but at least I got to text with him a little today. He has a flip phone. I assume he’s home from school because of the weather but it was nice to hear from him.

Happy birthday, Brian!

We did a little pre-birthday birthday dinner for Harry before he left. Maybe we’ll do another one after he gets back because why not? It’s a birthday, right? Celebrate all you want!

Hook Amps

The YouTubes and I have been goofing around looking at reviews of grotesquely expensive boutique guitar amplifiers. There is a lot of dazzling stuff out there. One sticks out to me for purely family reasons.

I had never heard of Hook amplifiers before this evening. Now that I have, I want one. Drool and all that. The R20, on the demoes I’ve heard tonight, sounds ridiculous. Just plain sick.

Oh yeah, the family reason for wanting one? The company is Dutch! I can ask Bellana to bring one home for me. The combo is only about 2,300 Euros. Consider it done, yeah?