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lizziebelle: (artsy me)
I was in Boston today with over 100,000 others to rally for Women's rights, and it was amazing. What made it even better was all the people I know who were there, and in sister marches all over the country. I know people who marched in New York, Washington, Binghamton, Albany, Seneca Falls, Ithaca, Peoria, Seattle, Austin, L.A., Montpelier, and Raleigh. And probably other places as well. Reading my Facebook feed today was wonderful, which is quite a change from what it's been lately.

I took the train in with a couple of friends. There were a lot of people at our stop, mostly women but there were men and kids, too. Carrying signs, and wearing pink pussy hats. There was a palpable excitement in the air. I complimented a trio of women on their hats, and they gave me one from a bag of them that they were carrying. I have a pink pussy hat!

IMG_7239

Ours was the third or fourth stop on the line, and it was already standing room only. They picked up more people at the next stop, then they stopped letting more people on board. They did add another train afterward, but they were totally overwhelmed and unprepared. They never even took tickets.

The atmosphere was quite festive. It felt to me like being at a Pagan festival on bonfire night. Lots of smiles, laughs, camaraderie. We got off at Back Bay and started making our way up Boylston Street. I tried to meet up with a Facebook friend, but we never managed to find each other so the three of us headed across the street to the Common.

There were people pouring onto the Common from all sides. We found a spot to stand, toward the back of the crowd. It didn't take long for it to fill in behind us, with hundreds more people streaming in all around us. I have never seen so many people in one place before. I can't even imagine what it was like in Washington.

Lots more pix )

I found my friends at the station, with plenty of time to get a ticket, eat something, and use the bathroom. The train was pretty full, but not nearly as crowded as it had been on the way in. The conductor had started taking tickets, but he never made it to us as more people got on at the next two stops. He was funny though, joking around with the kids on the train. We thanked him when we got off.

Seeing all of my friends and relatives who were protesting all over the country today was so uplifting and heartening. Getting messages of support from those who couldn't go made me so proud that I was there. Seeing the footage from all the cities made me feel a kinship with all those who stand up to the fascism that is rearing its ugly head in our capitol. I hope the message was heard.

IMG_7247

rock star

Feb. 1st, 2015 03:45 pm
lizziebelle: (Elvis)
I won tickets to see a private performance by Billy Idol at the Foundation Room in Boston, part of the House of Blues, through my favorite radio station this week. I invited my friend Michelle to be my plus one, and today we headed into Boston and had an amazing afternoon.

There were probably 75-100 folks there for the show. The room is quite small, and decked out in couches and coffee tables, chairs, and a really great old carved wood and stamped metal bar. It's a really cool place, with lots of interesting details scattered around.

Billy and Steve Stevens, his guitarist, did an interview first with the host, one of the DJs from the radio station. Then they started playing, and did not disappoint! They sang six songs, all acoustic, and all awesome. "To be a lover" is now my fave song of his, I have to say. Wow.



The pictures didn't come out great, because the lighting was not very good in there, but I don't care. The show was wonderful. Billy still has it. His voice is as great as ever, and I never realized how amazing a guitarist Steve is.



After the show, they lined us up to get our pictures taken with him. They put us in groups of six, and said no selfies or signing anything. In & out. But I turned to Billy and took his hand, told him that it was a great show, I loved his book, and he's a really good writer. His face lit up, he smiled, and said "Thank you!" That just made my day. My week. Oh hell, my month. Billy Idol looking me in the eyes and smiling will always be a high point of my life. I've been a fan since the early 80's.

I've been bursting into spontaneous giggles ever since I got the email telling me I'd won the tickets. I'm still giddy. What a wonderful experience. I don't go to a lot of shows, and I don't like big crowds, so this was just perfect. There aren't a lot of famous people I'd really care to meet, but I'm so glad I met Billy and got to tell him I'm a fan.
lizziebelle: (selfie)
I got called up to report for Federal Grand Jury service, which was today. Being on a regular jury does not excuse you, and they're pretty strict about excusing you on the form, so in I went.

This one's in Boston, on the waterfront. I decided to take the commuter rail into town (first time!) since it goes to South Station, a couple of blocks from the courthouse. And then I got lost, because the Google directions I had sucked. Got there a little late, but I wasn't the last to arrive. I am usually on time or early, so that was a little stressful! At least it wasn't raining today like it was yesterday.

I got a form to fill out, and a groovy pin.



We weren't allowed to bring any electronics, so no phone or iPod. At least I have a great new book to read (Lev Grossman's THE MAGICIAN'S LAND) so I didn't have to sit there twiddling my thumbs. We also weren't allowed to bring any food, but they had coffee, juice, and soda, so I grabbed a bottle of Ruby Red Grapefruit and sat to wait.

There were over a hundred prospective jurors, but the dude in charge said they needed 23 jurors, 15 alternates, and 10 alternates for a different Grand Jury which had used up all of theirs, so chances were about 50/50 for each of us.

He gave us the talk, answered questions, and showed us the video. After a bathroom break, we all headed upstairs to the courtroom for empaneling. He called out each person's name, and we got in line. I was third from last, so I knew chances were pretty good I wouldn't get chosen. The guy sitting next to me was keeping track, and there were two rows of people to go when they were choosing the final few so we knew we were in the clear. The judge let about half the people who said they had a hardship or other reason for not serving go, which I found surprising.

The Federal courthouse and courtrooms are a lot nicer than the district courts, but they sat us on wooden benches which were uncomfortable after a while.

When we walked out of the courthouse, there was a bank of TV cameras and reporters on the sidewalk. Something big was going down there today! I'll have to watch the news to see what it was.

It was noon exactly when I got back to South Station, and wonder of wonders, there was a train leaving at 12:05! I found the right track, and climbed aboard. I do love trains; I wish our rail system was better in this country. I'd love to take the Acela sometime (which we passed on the way in). Trains are so much nicer than buses. Most things are so much nicer than buses. ;)

I was really bumming that I couldn't have my camera with me, because I was right in the heart of the waterfront, and the weather was perfect. We saw lots of boats go by, including a whale watch and a gorgeous tall sailboat. I'd forgotten how much I love downtown Boston. I used to work a couple blocks from South Station, back in the early 90's. Full of bustle and tall, shiny buildings, boats, cafés, museums, and history. I really need to go spend a day wandering around town, this time with my camera.

I'm really relieved I don't have to serve. While I'm sure it's very interesting, the jury they were picking today was for healthcare fraud, which sounds rather tedious. And it's one day a week for eighteen months, which I don't think I could deal with. They said it's usually not every week, but it could be. Ouch.

But I did have an adventure today, and it was interesting.
lizziebelle: (ganesha)

Athena, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

Plenty of people took advantage of the free admission at the MFA today. I'm sure the weather had something to do with it; cool and rainy is not exactly beach or picnic weather.

I should have taken more pictures with my phone, it does much better in low light.

We saw lots of cool, old, and beautiful things. I love the ancient statuary and jewelry. [livejournal.com profile] leenah loved the furniture and paintings. Despite the crowds (and the weather), we had a nice time.

After a couple of hours, we both were ready for some food. The lines at the museum café were long, so we headed out to find someplace to eat. Siri was unhelpful in getting us directions to a nearby restaurant we had picked, what with one-way streets and foreign names, so we headed over to Cambridge and ate at a cute Mexican café in Central Square. My burrito was so huge, I couldn't finish it. Yummy, though!

It was a fun day. It's been ages since I've been to the museum. I really love it there. I like it even better than the Met in NYC, 'though I've only seen a fraction of that.

outing

May. 5th, 2013 07:33 pm
lizziebelle: (Blue Butterfly)

underpass, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I joined [livejournal.com profile] urbpan and a few others this morning along the Muddy River in Boston for an urban nature walk, as part of my get-out-and-do-stuff-different initiative. It was the perfect day for it, and it's a lovely park that goes along a street I've traveled many times, 'though I've never explored there before.

Getting there was a challenge, as today was also the huge walk for hunger event that had Commonwealth Ave. blocked off, and no matter how I tried to get around it, I kept hitting police barriers. It was also the first time I tried using Siri for driving directions, and I fear I confused the heck out of her. I ended up backtracking and getting back on Storrow Drive, where I could take an exit that took me over Comm Ave instead of through it. I made it just in time!

We walked up and down the paths along the river, which has several lovely old stone bridges and lots of great old trees. We saw lots of birds, including a Flicker and a Great Blue Heron, and some wildlife, including a muskrat and a couple of turtles.

turtle in the sun

joggers

spring on the river

[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume, you should recognize this:

instant mushrooms. just add water

[livejournal.com profile] urbpan took a branch that looked like the one on the left (above) and put it in the water while we walked. When he retrieved it, the black spots had swollen into the mushrooms you see on the right! That was pretty cool.

It was great to meet another LJ friend in the flesh, especially one whose posts on nature I have enjoyed so much. Yet another reason I'm glad to be back in eastern Mass.

This afternoon, I went to the dollar store and bought some more flower bulbs, and also planted some morning glory & moonflower seeds. More flowers!

lizziebelle: (grania)

123456
Originally uploaded by LizzieBelle Too.
I logged a lot of miles this weekend. Today, I hit 123,456 on the odometer, and pulled over to document it.

Last night was the most fun I've had in a long time. I got to Jim's house around 4:30, got changed & made up, and we hit the road. Drove around the theatre district for a bit before finding a parking space, and hit the pavement searching for a place to grab a bite to eat. We ended up at this cute Thai restaurant around the corner from the theatre, where I had crispy pad Thai (yumminess!). We then headed over to the theatre to wait for our pals, and to see & be seen. Laurie Cabot was there, holding court (both before and after the show), along with a large percentage of the Boston-area Pagan community. I believe Loreena McKennitt is the unofficial official favorite musician of Pagans everywhere (it's a well-known fact that her music *must* be played at all Pagan gatherings), and we were all out in our finery (I wore plum velvet for the occasion) (where else to wear such things besides festivals and Loreena McKennitt concerts?).

The Wang theatre (I refuse to call it by its corporate name) is magnificent (even Loreena commented on it); one could get a neckache looking up at the paintings and decorations on the ceilings. It's the perfect venue for her.

What can I say about the show, except "Wow!" It started with just Loreena and her harp, singing "She moved through the fair," and segued right into "Gates of Istanbul" (which is my favorite piece from the new CD). The set was gorgeous, with a burnt-velvet-looking backdrop, hanging lanterns, a Byzantine-looking arch, and a scrim in front with an arched cut-out. The lighting was fantastic, lots of rich colors and spots. Her musicians are unbelievable; during "The Bonny Swans," the guitarist and fiddler were playing off each other, and she was clearly enjoying it as much as we were. *That* is why one goes to see music live. I get chills thinking about it. All of them were in top form, all playing off each other, all enjoying themselves immensely.

Loreena was much looser and more open than the last time we saw her, and seemed to be genuinely happy to be there. She unfortunately (and perhaps inadvertently) encouraged the audience to speak to her, which unleashed a chorus of loudmouths to do just that (and was the only drawback to the experience). I really dislike when people do that. I was taught to respect the proscenium, separate performer from audience. Maybe in a small club, but not in a place like that. But I'm ornery that way. *g*

There were two sets, with all the favorites (some of which were arranged in new and interesting ways), and I enjoyed when she shared stories about the songs (did you know that "Bonny Portmore" is about a tree?). She did two encores, the first of which was the "Huron Beltane fire dance" (I don't remember what the second one was).

After the show, we hung out again in front of the theatre, catching up with old friends and enjoying the wonderful night air. I went back inside to write down the set list (and wished I could afford the DVD). They had the DVD running, and it occured to me that Loreena resembles Helen Mirren quite a bit; they could be sisters, or perhaps cousins.

After a bit, we went in search of a place to have a refreshing adult beverage, and found this really nice Indian place with an empty bar, just waiting for us. They had some very interesting, inventive, and yummy cocktails ([livejournal.com profile] spinningwheels- I have three words for you: clove infused vodka). We all tried something different, trying each others' drinks, and the single-malt that Toby decided he had to try. I don't remember what it was (it was one I've never heard of), but it smelled very peaty and was quite smooth. We closed the place (it wasn't *that* late, maybe 11:30) then hung out on the sidewalk for a while, watching the twenty-somethings in their little dramas, and cars not getting out of the way for an ambulance (what is up with *that*?). Then we broke off into our little groups and headed for home.

I watched a bit of Saturday Night Live with Jim, for the first time in years. It hasn't improved much. The bit about marble columns was funny for a few seconds, but ran on too long on one joke, as is the wont of that show. It's probably just as well that I can't ever stay awake for it.

Jim was late getting up this morning, so I went for a walk down to Curry College, which is just down the street from his house. It was a lovely morning for a walk! This weather can stay as long as it likes. Then I went to Dunkin for bagels and decaf, and we sat out on the deck and read the paper. It was a really nice morning.

Glad to be home now; I'm resisting taking a nap (I'll never get to sleep tonight if I do), and playing Loreena CDs. I should head out and enjoy this weather some more (gotta find that sunscreen). Have a lovely Sunday, and I wish you were all with me last night (some of you were)!
lizziebelle: (grania)

123456
Originally uploaded by LizzieBelle Too.
I logged a lot of miles this weekend. Today, I hit 123,456 on the odometer, and pulled over to document it.

Last night was the most fun I've had in a long time. I got to Jim's house around 4:30, got changed & made up, and we hit the road. Drove around the theatre district for a bit before finding a parking space, and hit the pavement searching for a place to grab a bite to eat. We ended up at this cute Thai restaurant around the corner from the theatre, where I had crispy pad Thai (yumminess!). We then headed over to the theatre to wait for our pals, and to see & be seen. Laurie Cabot was there, holding court (both before and after the show), along with a large percentage of the Boston-area Pagan community. I believe Loreena McKennitt is the unofficial official favorite musician of Pagans everywhere (it's a well-known fact that her music *must* be played at all Pagan gatherings), and we were all out in our finery (I wore plum velvet for the occasion) (where else to wear such things besides festivals and Loreena McKennitt concerts?).

The Wang theatre (I refuse to call it by its corporate name) is magnificent (even Loreena commented on it); one could get a neckache looking up at the paintings and decorations on the ceilings. It's the perfect venue for her.

What can I say about the show, except "Wow!" It started with just Loreena and her harp, singing "She moved through the fair," and segued right into "Gates of Istanbul" (which is my favorite piece from the new CD). The set was gorgeous, with a burnt-velvet-looking backdrop, hanging lanterns, a Byzantine-looking arch, and a scrim in front with an arched cut-out. The lighting was fantastic, lots of rich colors and spots. Her musicians are unbelievable; during "The Bonny Swans," the guitarist and fiddler were playing off each other, and she was clearly enjoying it as much as we were. *That* is why one goes to see music live. I get chills thinking about it. All of them were in top form, all playing off each other, all enjoying themselves immensely.

Loreena was much looser and more open than the last time we saw her, and seemed to be genuinely happy to be there. She unfortunately (and perhaps inadvertently) encouraged the audience to speak to her, which unleashed a chorus of loudmouths to do just that (and was the only drawback to the experience). I really dislike when people do that. I was taught to respect the proscenium, separate performer from audience. Maybe in a small club, but not in a place like that. But I'm ornery that way. *g*

There were two sets, with all the favorites (some of which were arranged in new and interesting ways), and I enjoyed when she shared stories about the songs (did you know that "Bonny Portmore" is about a tree?). She did two encores, the first of which was the "Huron Beltane fire dance" (I don't remember what the second one was).

After the show, we hung out again in front of the theatre, catching up with old friends and enjoying the wonderful night air. I went back inside to write down the set list (and wished I could afford the DVD). They had the DVD running, and it occured to me that Loreena resembles Helen Mirren quite a bit; they could be sisters, or perhaps cousins.

After a bit, we went in search of a place to have a refreshing adult beverage, and found this really nice Indian place with an empty bar, just waiting for us. They had some very interesting, inventive, and yummy cocktails ([livejournal.com profile] spinningwheels- I have three words for you: clove infused vodka). We all tried something different, trying each others' drinks, and the single-malt that Toby decided he had to try. I don't remember what it was (it was one I've never heard of), but it smelled very peaty and was quite smooth. We closed the place (it wasn't *that* late, maybe 11:30) then hung out on the sidewalk for a while, watching the twenty-somethings in their little dramas, and cars not getting out of the way for an ambulance (what is up with *that*?). Then we broke off into our little groups and headed for home.

I watched a bit of Saturday Night Live with Jim, for the first time in years. It hasn't improved much. The bit about marble columns was funny for a few seconds, but ran on too long on one joke, as is the wont of that show. It's probably just as well that I can't ever stay awake for it.

Jim was late getting up this morning, so I went for a walk down to Curry College, which is just down the street from his house. It was a lovely morning for a walk! This weather can stay as long as it likes. Then I went to Dunkin for bagels and decaf, and we sat out on the deck and read the paper. It was a really nice morning.

Glad to be home now; I'm resisting taking a nap (I'll never get to sleep tonight if I do), and playing Loreena CDs. I should head out and enjoy this weather some more (gotta find that sunscreen). Have a lovely Sunday, and I wish you were all with me last night (some of you were)!

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