liquidj: (Default)

 I have had two friends that I have known for the past twenty years, that are not LIKE family, they ARE family to me. Much to my pleasure and happiness for them, they married each other 14 years ago, a bonus to be sure. My two best friends, in one wonderful package, so to speak.

On Saturday, to everyone’s surprise, and extreme sadness, my friend George passed away, in his sleep. It is perhaps cliché, but also true to say that we have seen each other through good times and bad, and I will not dwell on the sad times here. On the other hand I would like to share with you some of the happy times that I have shared with him/them over the years.

I met Aries in college at approximately the same time as Shazza, and so the three of us all hit it off knowing fairly early on that we were going to be the best of friends. Shortly after that, I watched the love between him and Shazza grow, and they became a couple. I couldn’t have been happier for them both, as they seemed meant for each other. All the while, our friendship grew as well, and they both became my “chosen” extended family. Although it was said from time to time, it truly was unnecessary to say the words that had become part of the bond between the three of us “Anytime, Anywhere”.

College ended, but our friendship continued, we were never that far apart, getting together was a regular thing. I fell in love with the woman that would eventually turn out to be my wife a few years later, and they welcomed her into “the pack” immediately, without reservation. Yet another level of happiness occurred when Aries and Shazza got married in 1996 and I was very excited to be a part of the wedding party sending them off as husband and wife. My wedding then occurred two years later and both Aries and Shazza had parts in it. He served proudly as my best man, and Shazza spoke some of our chosen words in our ceremony because we very much wanted them to be a part of our wedding day. The friendship between our two couples was so close, that we even invited them to join us for part of our honeymoon, as well as many subsequent vacations and anniversary trips over the years. When we adopted our son, we needed to get recommendation letters from family and friends to give to the Adoption agency. Since Aries and Shazza to us, were both friends and family, asking them if they would write one for us, was top of our list. After Jonathan came home with us from Guatemala, and he got older, he always had a great time with Aries and Shazza when we got together, and often remembered fun times that we had all spent together, especially riding on the motorized Razor that Aries had brought along for an outing we all took to Artesani Park one time.

Aries was a complete sci-fi, computer geek, and he and I had many a conversation lasting for hours, on the merits of Star Trek, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, computers, software,  and the like, lasting far longer than anyone else cared to be a part of. Yet we could still talk about the intimacies of our relationships, in ways most guys wouldn’t or couldn’t.

Over the past few years, he had been through a number of rough patches, but the last time I saw him, at our “Picnic in the Park” two weeks ago, He appeared to be more relaxed and happier than he had been in a while, and I was glad for that.

Some would say that knowing someone for twenty years, to any extent, could be enough, but I beg to differ, in this case, it wasn’t nearly enough by far.

Aries, you will be sorely missed.

liquidj: (Default)
It's time again for None of the Above's, 6th Annual Spring-Fling-Sing-Thing!

Spring Fev-ah!

None of the Above's -Spring Fev-Ah!


Come on down for a night of Acapella Music from a myriad of musical backgrounds ranging from early polyphony, Jazz, Barbershop, Pop & Rock hits and More!

Saturday, May 8, 2010-- 7:30pm
Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills
309 Washington Street
Wellesley Hills, MA

None of The Above

With Special Guests:
Talk to the Hand
The Lowell Gentlemen Songsters

In advance - $12 adults, $10 students/seniors
At the door - $15, adults, $12 students/seniors
Children 7 and under are free!
Get your advance tickets here:


Jan. 6th, 2010 09:56 am
liquidj: (Default)
So, lack of sleep/being overly tired for me, translates into my being depressed or unhappy about such things as having too many repetitive (but necessary) routines, a boring dead-end job, & too little time to do it all... I get it.
So, how does one actually change any of the above, when one has all of the above?
liquidj: (Default)
It is interesting to note, that the decade started with the scare of world-wide "Y2K bug" computer crashes, of a type we've never experienced before, and ended with a world-wide recovery from an economic crash of a type only seen one other time in the last century. Of course all sorts of good, and bad events happened during these "book-ends" but it is at least worth mentioning the (slight as it may be) similarity between the two.

I repeat my wish from last year at this time:

To one and all, In the words of Col Potter, MASH 4077th:
"Here's to the new year...may she be a damn sight better than the old one."

To one and all, love and hopes for good times in the new year.

Happy New Year!
liquidj: (Default)
The birth of my newest niece, Skylar!

She was born was born, healthy & alert, early (2:30am) this morning.

*Does the happy Uncle Dance (yet again)*
liquidj: (Default)
Yes I know that Thanksgiving was 2 days ago... but still worth stating...

I am very thankful for:
* My wife: We've known each other for 15 years, been married for 11, a most impressive trip so far, here's to many more :-)

* My son: Almost eight years old, Adopted by us AMAZINGLY, already 7 years ago. I can't imagine our family without him, nor would I want to.

* My chosen family/friends: You know who you are. I will always be there for you, as I know you will for me.

* My Music: None of the Above has pretty much been "all of the above" in what I've wanted to do musically, for a very long time, with a great group of people who all enjoy what we do, and who they are singing with.

* My job: It may not be flashy/exciting, and my boss may not be the most enjoyable to work for, but working, now-a-days, is a good thing.

* My 20 year High School Reunion: I fought down demons from 20 years ago, to go re-visit (most of) the people that I couldn't get away from fast enough, and found that most were gracious and those that I wanted to see (that made it to the reunion) were well worth the trip. :-)

There are of course more things that I am thankful for, but these are the first that come to mind. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here come the Holidaze!
liquidj: (Default)
-Mysterious allergic reaction/skin irritation on arms and legs, persisting for over a week, Check.
-No luck with ANY over the counter rememdies, plus being unable to stop stratching arms & legs or getting a full night's sleep during said timeframe, ending in a desperation visit to the doctor's office on Friday, check.
-Combination Prednisone & benedryl script from the Doctor's leading to my first full night's sleep in over a week, PRICELESS!
liquidj: (Default)
Farm-fresh produce? Check. Arts and crafts? Check. Award-winning a cappella singing? Check. Come hear NOTA at the Waltham Farmers' Market (corner of Main and Moody) on October 10th at 11am! (rain date is Halloween!)
Add equal parts of early polyphony, cutting-edge modern harmony, familiar folk songs, uplifting spirituals, catchy pop tunes, and lush jazz standards...
liquidj: (Default)
Who knew that a 7 year old could be so completely thrilled by the local DCR swimming pool, 2-3 water guns, and a gaggle of friends who all just happen to be there at the same time!(no planning, I swear!) LOL! If only we had started coming to this place BEFORE... the last weekend of the summer that it was open! Next year we start going MUCH earlier!!
liquidj: (Default)
I firmly believe in free speech, and I understand that topics such as Universal Heath Care foster polarizing viewpoints. But what I don't understand are the people (on BOTH sides) that are "fighting the fight",with mis-information & scare tactics, not intelligent conversation. Not to mention the people that just aim to disrupt. People need to be informed, not scared, to make a sane & educated decision. Pass OR Fail.
liquidj: (Default)
Yesterday, I went back to the town where I grew up, Sharon, MA, for something related to my school-life. It was a Drama Club  reunion (yep, for those that don't know, I was a performing arts geek EVEN back then ;-). It was hosted by everyones favorite Music teacher from back then, Mr John Ford. He was THE music teacher in Junior High, that everyone loved, whether or not you liked music. On a personal note, it was the "trifecta" of Mrs Hall (elementary school), Mr. Ford (Junior High), and Mrs Hughes (High School), that always made music fun for me & encouraged what ever musical path I took.  The sad thing is that, just a few years after I graduated High school, due to budget cuts, he and a number of other good teachers were let go. But I am happy to say that he stayed in Sharon, changed careers, and is now one of the most respected police officers in the town.

But to get back to my original "story": 
For some time now, I've been considering what to do about my upcoming twenty year high school reunion.

When I left Sharon High in 1989, I hated (strong word, but that is how I felt), the school, and MOST of my classmates. The town itself was(and probably still is) a very snobby Jewish town, which my family had moved into when I was 8. To this day, I'd like to think/hope that I didn't pickup on those "snobbish" traits. I was never in the popular crowds, because even by second grade, when I came into the town the "cliques" had already been formed. We were moderately "well off" but we weren't rich. On top of that, admittedly, I was the over emotional kid, that got picked on by most of the other kids. That being said, over time I did find/create a small collection of friends.  The one area, that I did enjoy, was the music, and arts programs. So I did get to know a few people, both in my grade, and others, that were in some ways, kindred spirits. But I didn't interact much even with them, because I still needed to grow up/find myself. Something I didn't REALLY do until college. So I left High School, vowing never to come back. I had no interest, care or desire to see the majority of these people EVER again. Turn the page..

(insert black screen with Title:   TWENTY YEARS LATER )

Back in October, I joined Facebook, on a whim, and I start getting "friended" by people from high school, most I remembered, some I didn't. Shortly thereafter, talk started regarding our 20 year reunion, and all the old feelings start coming back. Thoughts that I had long since pushed into the past. But quickly my childhood came back to remind me: "Why the hell would I want to go back to Sharon and see all those people that I didn't care for back then, just for the VERY SMALL percentage of those that I would want to see?" It is planned for this upcoming November, so I still have time to think about that.  Then, about a month ago, a Sharon Drama Club group popped up, and immediatetly talk of a gathering started.  It was all planned by other people, but I was invited, and still I'm thinking, "Do I really want to go back and see these people?" Even up until Friday, the day before, I hadn't confirmed my RSVP. Finally, curiousity got the better of me, and these WERE people that I at least had some good interaction with way back when... I would go, yes, I would go.

Off I went, still battling twenty year old "demons" in the car. In fact I can recall saying to myself, even as I turned onto the street where I was going: " I still have time to change my mind".  Pushing through that, I got out of the car , walked up to the house, and was greeted by a small gathering of approximately 15 drama club members & of course Mr Ford (now with most of us somewhat awkwardly, just calling him  "John"). At first I swear that I was seeing caricatures of the people that I had known 20 years earlier. Some with less hair, others thinner, others not, amusingly enough ALL the guys had goatees (myself included). We all did the "catch up" talk, to see where everyone was in their life. Mostly laughs were had by all, not a lot of super serious conversations went on, even the yearbooks came out! It wasn't painful, Everyone was decent, and anxious to hear about everyone else. Again on a personal note, I was able to personally thank Mr. Ford.... um... John, for being one of the strongest musical influences in my life, and that I am still singing today, due to him and Mrs Hall, Mrs Hughes.

So, I did go back to Sharon, Massachusetts, It wasn't painful, It wasn't horrendous. Although this was a Mini-reunion, I can see that it won't be so bad, in November. If this was just a sampling of what I will see come November, I see that we've all grown up. Maybe all those old feelings that have flooded back, will be washed away, when I see what has become of the rest of my class.   So in November, I will go, yes, I will go.

In the end, I refused to live in fear of twenty year old memories and I'm VERY glad that I went.
liquidj: (Default)
This has got to be (IMHO) one of the funniest parodies that he has ever made. Especially for the sci-fi,techno geek crowd that i know/love/am a part of.
Without Further Ado, I give you: White & Nerdy.

liquidj: (Default)
Hey Folks Spring Fevah is less than 2 weeks away! Did I mention that you get a DISCOUNT for reserving your tickets early?? Go figure, a fun show AND saving money! What could be better?


Saturday, May 9, 2009-- 8:00pm
Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills
309 Washington Street
Wellesley Hills, MA

Adults - $12 in advance, $15 at the door
Students and Seniors - $10 in advance, $12 at the door
Children 7 and under are free!

Get your tickets now!

liquidj: (Default)

None of the Above
NOTA's Annual Spring-Fling-Sing-Thing!



Saturday, May 9, 2009-- 8:00pm
Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills
309 Washington Street
Wellesley Hills, MA

Adults - $12 in advance, $15 at the door
Students and Seniors - $10 in advance, $12 at the door
Children 7 and under are free!



The program will be an eclectic mix of music styles ranging from early music to modern pieces, pop, rick, jazz and soul.

Also featuring the vocal styling of two of the Boston Area's premier a-capella groups:
liquidj: (Default)

We got there around 3:30 for the sound check at 4:00. All went as planned, and expected. We didn't expect much from the sound guy, as he is the same person that does it every year (as told by folks who have been to Harmony Sweepstakes before), and isn't very good at his job.  After we got things in order, we chose to have him do a "set it & forget it" on the board. The other choice was to have HIM try to keep up with us while we sang our three songs, and adjust as we go. We did NOT want that. We have been practicing on mics for a few months now and have gotten down, reasonably well, how to distance the mic as needed, and to adjust our own vocal sound, to better control our balance. We didn't want him to do it.
So from there we broke for dinner. We cut because we care... )

We cut because we care... )

we are called "on deck". We watch from off stage, just the last portion of the group ahead of us, not bad at all. Sounds like a fun group. The mic's are brought to us off stage, the green light is given, we are announced, and we Take the Stage. This is what we came for, no more waiting!  For me, I've been "here" before, on stage, in competition, and there is a special level of thrill & nerves.  Smiles all around, we are feeling good, the pitch is blown and we are off.  We have a 10 minute time limit, and three songs to sing: Nelly Bly; an upbeat love song, Keep Your Hand of the Plow; a gospel/spiritual that grows in volume & strength, and This Could Be the Start of Something Good; a VERY upbeat jazzy/show tune. I don't want to sound conceited, but I do believe that we nailed those songs better than we have ever done before. A VERY fast 9 minutes later, we finish and the crowd gives us our applause. We know we did well, it wasn't "polite applause", it's the kind you get when what you performed was well liked.  We walk off the stage and we are pumped! We know that we achieved what we set out to do, get on stage, in front of a large crowd, sing our music & do it well!
We go back to our warm up room, and relax. No changing yet, all the groups have to go on stage for the awards announcements. A little while later we are called back to just off stage. We listen to the host group (the champions from last year) sing a few songs while the judges tally the scores. Finally they finish, and all the groups are called on stage.  First they announce the audience favorite: Our Town (a barbershop quartet, who, from everything I've heard, is an excellent group). Then they start to announce the top 3. We are not expecting anything, we are just enjoying the final moments of the show. Wouldn't you know it, when they call third place, IT'S NONE OF THE ABOVE!!  We practically jumped off the stage, we were so excited. We caught who the 2nd place (Road Show, another excellent barbershop quartet), and first place (Our Town) groups were, but we didn't care. In fact, we were so excited about the fact that we actually PLACED, we were probably more excited than the first & second place groups!
The stage cleared but we stayed on longest, continuing to marvel at what we had achieved. Some of our friends & family joined us up there, and slowly we moved offstage. I found Deb and she knew how excited I was. To add to it, up walked a close friend and former member of the barbershop quartet that I had been in, just before joining None of the Above, who hugged me and said that what he just saw, from me specifically, was one of the best performances on stage, that I personally have ever done! I was stunned!
All of us in NOTA couldn’t stop grinning and enjoying what we had done. Hell, I’m still feeling it today.  It was A LOT of fun, and we did GREAT!

liquidj: (Default)

Not to shabby for a group that went to the show just to have fun, the judges be damned!

I am very proud to be a part of None of the Above!
liquidj: (Default)


What is Harmony Sweepstakes:

The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival ( ) is the premier American showcase for vocal harmony music. The annual national competition draws from hundreds of vocal groups from around the country with regional competitions in eight cities.
If you like accapella and want to get a taste of what’s out there, come show your support for the eight groups, Including the group that I'm in: NONE OF THE ABOVE ( ), that are competing in the Boston Competition this Saturday night!


When: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 7:30PM

How to get in: Tickets from Box Office - 617-627-3493

Hope to see you there!

liquidj: (Default)
My computer lives again!
(and the rebuild continues  muahahahah!)
liquidj: (Default)
So I get a regular email newsletter from ZDNet/Cnet, a well known & reputable tech outfit. This week's newsletter talks about a program that they have that scans your pc for drivers & lists which of them may/may not need updating. It then gives you active links to the manufacturers sites to download the needed drivers. So far so good! I run the scanner, find 8 or so drivers that apparantly need updating (mind you my pc IS working just fine up to this point). So I download them (confirming that they are all from the manufacturers), and install them. Reboot & VOILA instant  and continual BSOD on every reboot. Safe mode you say?  Heck no... more BSOD's. System restore... NAH! No good AND to add to my displeasure, now I'm missing data as well!! I go back a couple system restore points... STILL missing data... but at least I can now boot into safe mode (where i'm at now, desperately backing what's left, to my external HD). Data recovery program to find the missing data you suggest? Well partially successful, but my email apparantly is TOTALLY lost back to 2004. 

Tto add insult to injury, one of our 2 dvd players died a horrible death, AND I scratched the screen on our brand new LCD TV (which of course isn't covered under the warranty), ALL TODAY!

This is NOT my idea of an enjoyable Saturday.
liquidj: (Default)

I've been meaning to post on this for some time, but this morning's version of "event #1 (see below) was especially cute:

1 ) Everytime I go outside to the car, making sure that he can see me from the living room window so that we can have silent waves & funny face exchanges through the window.

2) Stepping out of the shower to find multiple smiley faces drawn in the fog on the medicine cabinet mirror.

3) My coming home, and as I walk in the door, have an entire greeting conversation that consists only of our nick names for each other (Him: BIG GUY!, ME: Little Guy!, BIG guy... Little guy, etc), ending in a huge hug!

4) Knowing that his "linebacker hug" which he has been working on ever since he could run, is THIS CLOSE to actually knocking me over at this point, because he tries so hard to achieve it.

5) Swimming in the pool, yelling & waving at each other underwater, and then coming up laughing hysterically.

This collection of cuteness, brought to you by the (little guy) letter "j" :-)

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