From the monthly archives:

October 2008

Rhubarb and Shepherd were born in late November, 2007 in Kingston Ontario. But their first birthday party will be held the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving in Boston, MA. If you’re a family friend we’d love for you to come and join us as myself and Shepherd (obviously) will both be in town and anxious to see people.

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The party is VERY kid-friendly so snacks, juice and gift bags will be available. However it’s still a Pye Party, so beer and wine will be flowing long after the children have left and probably long before they’ve left to be fair. Help us celebrate this special day and prime your pumps for the big holiday at the same time.

Presents for the pooches are welcomed and encouraged! Sweaters, treats, toys and anything else you may dream up are all great ideas. And if anyone can dig up the Dog Indiana Jones Costume that was sold out everywhere I looked online – Shep really had his hopes up for that one. Hope to see you there, and that nobody calls the ASPCA! If you would like to come, send me an email or Facebook message where there is also an Event page for the evening.

Signed: Dave and Janet – Proud siblings and parents of siblings (No, this party isn’t actually taking place in Kentucky).

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P1000443
“Remember – you’re both playing to decide who gets more attention today and who gets to sleep in Dave’s bed tonight. Question #2 – True or False: Dave likes it when you sleep on his feet so he can’t roll over.”

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Crazy Fall Follies, Part 2

by Dave on October 22, 2008

in Travels

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll continue…

Sunday we all picked up and drove back to our respective homes. The departure was anything but early and I got back to Portland, to an extremely psyched puppy, by about 10pm. It was great to be home, but the odyssey wasn’t quite over. I was supposed to drive to Michigan to Mike and Kelly’s wedding the following Friday, but I bowed out and the couple were very cool about it. It was just too far, too soon. I really, really wanted to be there, but I was shattered. I also had something else I really needed to get done which I moved up to that weekend.

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Gratuitous recent photo of Shep and Bella. Because I can.

Reiner is my first cousin and although I hadn’t seen him in 4 years, we’ve remained very close. It’s one of those relationships where you don’t really have to work hard to maintain it – it just is. It’s a family thing, after all. Reiner had been home from Spain for nearly 3 weeks by the time I finally got to see him. The deal was thus – “I drive to Hamilton and pick you up, take you to Burlington, you help move me out of my uber-expensive storage locker there and then drive a UHaul back to Portland while I’m in my car in front of you. In return I build you a 3d graphic designer (pause for the cause) website, entertain you in the country for a few days, drive you back to Hamilton and to top it off you get a 60 gig iPod“. Pretty good arrangement if I do say so myself.

We had a blast in the process – it was insanely good to see him and was like no time had passed. I hope to go visit him in Spain, maybe for a sort of spring break, and he has promised to come back to Canada about every six months to see his family. Our eventual return to Hamilton – after two long car rides spent listening primarily to the Magnetic Fields , Beta Band and Joy Division – was timed perfectly with Canadian Thanksgiving! We rolled in on the Thursday and stayed up until 3am with his parents (my Aunt Susan and Uncle Heinz) drinking, smoking and talking on their back deck. Yes, the extended Pye family likes to smoke. It’s like being in a Hemingway novel most of the time.

The late night conversation got pretty emotional, as we discussed my father and several other extremely juicy tidbits of family history I had absolutely no clue existed. In addition to stories about my father specifically, which knocked my socks off on a couple of occasions, I learned the truth about his father and uncles – who apparently ran the rackets in Hamilton during the 20’s/30’s and shipped rum and whiskey down to the USA during prohibition. They were all very large men and two-fisted drinkers and gamblers the lot. I also learned that my father’s mother’s father – who I’d always thought of as my “British Grandfather”, was actually born in Ireland. This brings my family ancestry, with the exception of my mother’s father Jimmy who was Scottish, to almost 100% Irish. As recently as 3 years ago I was under the impression that I was primarily Scotch/English. In reality… I think I’m a mick! My House of Pain and Pogues obsessions make perfect sense now! I need to call Kent.

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“Thanks, but we’re set. We have 3 prostitutes back at the house.”

Friday night we went to Toronto to hit a birthday party. I managed to convince the illustrious JV to come with us, and we spent most of the night being silly and having fun. He actually said to me at one point, “Dave, stop making jokes about that girl – she’s gonna hear you. We’re too old for this shit.” I was momentarily concerned. The king of the ball-busters is telling me to lay off my brilliant “she has knees like fucking Bill Laimbeer” jokes because we’re adults? I immediately asked if his wife Amy was pregnant – and she isn’t. So what was afoot? My fears about Jason suddenly turning into Danny Glover were thankfully dashed half-an-hour later when he tuned his back to a guy and girl who were totally smushing me against the wall for no reason and walked backwards, imitating their drunk conversation until he has pushed them about 3 feet away from me. “Hey man! You’re an asshole,” they screamed. “I know” he replied. And all was right with the world.

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Reiner and Dave kept their Uncle Richard in stitches. And concerned for his safety.

Saturday was the big family dinner at Aunt Susan’s and we arrived around 2pm strapped with our assigned foodstuffs – 6 bottles of red, pumpkin and bumbleberry pie, olive oil mayo, salad fixings and 2 cases of beer. I hooked up my PS3 for the kiddies – OK, me and Reiner – and slowly the family started to arrive. Aunt Rose, Uncle Richard, Kathy, Erynn, Chris and my “little” cousins Thomas, Christopher, Seth and Jakob were also on hand. It was a wonderful afternoon and I really needed it. Everyone asked about Gordo, and even more stories I hadn’t heard emerged. Particularly from Dad’s older brother Richard, with whom he shared a bedroom for many years. I think I will have to save them all for a separate post. Anyhew, the food was delicious, the laughs long and hard and we ended the evening with a viewing of the woefully underrated and insanely hilarious StepBrothers .

Sunday we drove back to Portland after picking up a friend’s Grandparents on the way back. Grandma started telling me a story about World War 2 (they are Latvian) and paused before admitting that she talks a lot. I said if you’re going to talk about history and specifically WW2, feel free to talk my ear off. I heard tales of Nazis fighting Russians in the fields of her father’s farm while they hid and watched, and was thoroughly engrossed as she continued to describe their desperate flight to England and then finally Canada in 1956. It made the 4 hour trip go so much faster, and she even brought sandwiches and cookies!

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“One last shot of Jaegar and I’m cannonballing into the lake.”

That evening my Mother and I were invited to the Abele’s house for another round of incredible food. Turkey was once again the order of the day, and the Eastern European influences to the meal made the bird seem like a completely fresh notion. The awesome view of the Big Rideau in the background didn’t hurt, and they even had us back the next day for lamb. But much was to transpire before Monday, and it was to get a little bit crazy before my 7-week odyssey finally drew to a close.

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“This will almost make up for all the errant charges to our credit cards over the summer.”

Vilis got a call around 8:30pm which saw the local bar, which is part of a marina and closes for the winter, inviting us all down to help polish off the perishable liquor stock. We thought about taking the boat but finally decided to scoot over in the Charger where we met Dawson, Shane and a bunch of my other new local friends. After polishing off a few half-finished bottles of wine, Vilis decided to invite the whole lot of us, staff included, for a bonfire on his soon to be developed 36 acres of beautiful property – which happens to be around the corner from my house – and the night went late. Very, very late. When I finally crawled back to their house for lamb around 2:30 Monday afternoon – I wanted to take my own life with baby laxatives. What a capper to a truly exhausting, enjoyable, heart-warming and necessary month-and-a-half long journey.

tgx

Throwing the can of boat gas on the lit match was a bad idea. But sometimes, bad ideas work.

This last weekend was the first in 7 weeks that I was actually at home, and it was lovely. However the dock still needs to come out of the lake, the boat has to be winterized – as does the Winchester. I have my work cut out for me for a while yet. But I’ll be home, and that’s always time well spent. Even if I’m up to my waist in freezing lake water with one foot cut to ribbons by zebra mussels. It’s my lake. They’re my zebra mussels. And it’s Oktoberfest Night at the cove this Saturday. I’ll raise a stein and be just fine. I’d better start resting up for American Thanksgiving as I plan to drive down to Boston again to partake. Will it ever end? No – and I thank Christ for that, everyday. Friends and family are why I get out of bed in the morning.

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Crazy Fall Follies, Part 1

by Dave on October 21, 2008

in Travels

September was a bastard, and I’m here to put into words a few of the reasons I have been remiss in posting for the longest time, ever. Wow. I am looking at these front page post dates and it’s embarrassing. To the folks that still check this everyday, hanging on my silly words – I apologize, and I will be doing better. A quick note: One of the things that has challenged me since upgrading my blog software is that the awesome little plugin which copies Facebook galleries and captions to this site no longer works, so I will link to public versions of said galleries on FB where applicable. So, will this juicy, super-long ultra update with photos make up for 3 weeks of silence? You be the judge. Judge Judy, preferably as she is my favorite.

peterborough-wedding
Yes, we all prayed for Stilts.

The first weekend of last month my friend Mike got married near Peterborough, Ontario. I was a groomsman and my fellow groom attendees were two guys, Paul and P-Nut, I hadn’t seen since the Guelph days. The bride gave me a lovely engraved silver business card holder and the wedding itself was lovely. The reception was held at the father of the bride’s farm and the sprawling home with several additions over the years made for a great location. I spent a good portion of the night chatting with a room full of seniors about the good old days, and told them I wish I had been born in their time. Then, I remembered I wouldn’t have had the internet and quickly switched the subject to Benny Goodman.

perth-wedding
“Don’t worry, ladies. No one who sees this will think we’re all sleeping together. Not until I tell them that, anyway.”

The following weekend I was asked to accompany a lovely friend of mine to her friend’s wedding reception at another private home in Perth. “Really? You mean, we don’t have to go to the ceremony? Just straight to the food and liquor?” It was a great time, my favorite memory having to be making fun of some jerk on the dance floor who unbuttoned his shirt (all the way) and was hitting on a bridesmaid at least 10 years his junior. I unbuttoned my own shirt, as did my friend’s brother, and we grinded away with our respective dates behind his back as the silly clown continued, oblivious. We had quite a fond audience by the end of our display and I in no way felt ridiculously immature.

danvers-wedding-photos
“You’re looking at this the wrong way, guys. For example, if I come on the Honeymoon with you I’ll pay for 1/3 of the hotel room.”

The next Thursday morning I pulled out of Portland at the ass crack of dawn and was parking at the Peabody Marriott by 4pm. I scarcely had time to check into my room and drop off my suitcase before the bride-to-be was dragging me to the rehearsal dinner. My very good, old friend PJ is married to one of the Bridesmaids, and between that night, the wedding and a bar bender in Boston that Saturday – I got to spend 3 whole nights with him, and there was much rejoicing. I also had a great time with Jen, Becky, Scott, Dan, Chris, Amy and many other Concord friends whom I don’t get to see often enough. Megan and Mark got married at the Danvers Yacht club, and the day was a doozy. Pictures

silvertone-party
P.J. did NOT approve. And Jim didn’t feel a thing.

Saturday morning I drove to the city and parked in the old Brinks Building (yes, that Brinks building) which is now a parking garage. I walked through driving rain through the North End to Matt and Lauren’s house and was immediately put to work carrying tables from the Nazarro center to NEMPAC. Just like old times! Although we were doused, Griffin and I had a joyous reunion and were back to our favorite mutual passtime… in no time. That evening I had arranged to meet a big whack of my friends at Silvertone, and that just got silly. I ended the evening screaming obscenities back at the husband of a woman I walked home, and spent most of Sunday lying in M & L’s guest bedroom, head in hands, while Griffin rocked through levels of Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb. Which is kind of appropriate, as I was simultaneously praying for death. Pictures

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“It’s been a long time, boys. Now who just grabbed my ass?”

I spent the week working out of the offices of my favorite Boston Web Designer (pause for the cause) company in Wellseley. Wednesday I drove all over the state visiting clients, and Thursday we had our first off-site company meeting at the Weston Golf Club. Wow – what a cool place. I spent the evenings at Chris and Amy’s in West Acton, and we had several impromptu weeknight gatherings which were spontaneous and awesome. I got to hang out with Chris, Kelly, Jenny, Killer, TKO, Carina and Ryan. We also recorded two episodes of our Goonblog hockey podcast, the first of which I finished editing and posted Sunday night, so be sure to have a listen. Funny stuff. Pictures

Friday I was back at Matt and Lauren’s in the North End and a few friends stayed in and watched the first Presidential debate whilst gingerly working on a couple six packs of Harpoon. I think we were all still a little delicate from the previous Saturday, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Old friends met new friends, we had a lovely breakfast Saturday at the North Street Grill (Nutella/Banana Sliders, anyone?) and we set off to Boston Wedding #2 around 1pm. Back to, you guessed it, the Peabody Marriott. What are the chances?

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“Are we on our way to a wedding or a fucking swim meet? Regardless, BACKSEAT!”

My old Vermont Academy friend, Wardy, was married later that day at a lovely estate somewhere in the MA countryside. The name escapes me, but the fact that they closed the bar at 9pm does not. The groom and best man were beyond pissed-off, but we had a great time while it lasted and continued the festivities back at the hotel until the very wee hours when security finally kicked us all out of Kim’s room. I had not seen Gaston, Ezio or Roller in 15 years, and it was also great to spend time with Carolyn (bride) Pritch (best man), Harriett (mother of the groom) Ron and others. Pictures (coming soon).

I’ll break down the rest of September/early October tomorrow, and if – after reading – you choose to let me off the hook for lack of posting I’ll be forever in your debts. It’s been a crazy fall so far. Until then.

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Shepherd Goes Bananas

by Dave on October 2, 2008

in Uncategorized

I know you’ve heard this song and dance before. I swear my technical issues are almost over with and there is a new design, level of functionality and increased activity all on the horizon for Pye in the Face. In the meantime…

The first time Shep and I were apart for any length of time, it was 3 days. And he went absolutely apeshit when I got home. Upon getting back from my recent 10-day trip to Boston, I realized he’d do the same again, and very likely to a much crazier degree. So, as I entered the house on Sunday night, I made sure I had the video rolling. The above is the result. Enjoy, and I’ll be back up and running 100% very soon.

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