Saturday, September 20, 2008


Every night when we walk, we pass Chumpie's. You might call Chumpie's a convenience store, but it's not really that convenient. Unlike a 7-11 or a Wawa (oh, how I love you, Wawa!), Chumpie's has limited hours and is closed on holidays. Which is actually fine because they don't really carry that much. No matter, we rarely actually enter Chumpie's.

Mr. HP is fascinated with the Chumpie's bike. For whatever reason, the braintrust at Chumpie's has put this huge sign advertising ice cream on the back of one of those adult tricycles. Not that anyone actually rides the bike anywhere. They just bring it to the road everyday, and back to the store at night. Mr. HP kind of wants to steal the bike. He always notes if it is locked up or not. I point out that if he started peddling off, it's not like (a) he would be hard to spot or (b) he could get away very quickly. No matter, he still kind of wants to snatch that bike. I keep imagining the kid behind the counter spotting him jumping on the bike, pedaling away. The kid sighs, shakes his head, mutters, "not again," grabs his car keys, and chases after Mr. HP. "Dude, you gotta bring the bike back."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Surprising Old-People's Concert

Last week we saw Liz Phair and it turned out that it was an old-people's concert! I know! Am I sure it was an old-people's concert? Well, I was home before 11, even with traffic issues. 

Liz Phair is touring in honor of the 15th anniversary of "Exile in Guyville" which was just too tempting to turn down. She was playing the TLA, which I like because it's a small venue. I dragged Mr. HP along, assuring him that although there would be a bunch of angry chicks, it would be a bunch of angry chicks who like sex. Turns out a lot of really dorky guys like Liz Phair as well.

We were sure that a "special guest" would be wasting an hour or so of our time, but at 8:20 or so, Liz and her band took the stage and launched into "6'1"". Whoo-hoo! It was kind of weird, knowing exactly what she would play in and the order she would play it. She stayed fairly true to the album which I am mixed about. On one hand, it's always cool to hear new versions of the songs you've heard a hundred times, on the other hand, I don't want her "messing up" my favorites. 

One of the funny things about the concert was the fact that the album is 15 years old. Most of us in the audience bought the album back then, when we were, well, young, angry chicks. And Liz isn't that different from us. We've all read our old diaries and laughed and cringed at what was in them. I'm not sure how I'd feel about singing that diary on stage. 

A bit about "Flower": obviously she can't sing both parts, so during this tour, she pulls someone on stage to sing the back-up vocals. Earlier in the show, a couple of girls in the back had "whoo-hoo'd" that they would do it, but when it was time, they were not to be found. This young-ish (possibly drunk) guy in the front was like, "I'll do it! I'll do it!" Liz was looking at him, like, no way, dude. He starts begging, no one else volunteers, she's, like, oh, what the hell. Everyone else in the audience is thinking: disaster. And he was fantastic! Honestly, better than I ever thought. And you could tell the Liz was digging it, too. 

One last thing: I miss ticket stubs.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bargain Hunt!

Let's discuss my love for "Bargain Hunt"! You've never seen it? Oh, you are missing out. It's a simple show: two teams of two go to an antiques fair and, assisted by an "expert", spend 200 pounds (oh, yes, it's very British) and then resell these items at an auction. The team that makes the most at auction wins the profit! Yes, the entire amount! It's crazy!

Now, if you have BBC America and catch this fabulous show, your first thought will be: "Oh, this is a show from the '70s," but you would be wrong. I would like to remind you that this is a British show. But how can you not think it's the '70s when you see the host, the wonderful David Dickinson. Yes, those are rainbow reading glasses. That feathered hair! Those suits! I am cooing with delight! 

My love for David is deep and true, but I also have a soft spot in my heart for some of the experts. The experts vary from show to show, so there is the anticipation of who will be on the show. Will I be stuck with one of the women (bleh, they're all horrible) or will we have one of my favorites? Philip Serrill is just cuddly, but David Barby is especially wonderful. Sometimes, after you have gotten over the disappointment that David Barby is not one of the experts, he will be the auctioneer! Joy!

The teams are actually the big throw-away of the show. They serve a couple of basic functions for me: the women provide someone for David to openly flirt with (oh, they love it!) and the men are always porcelain experts (not gay -- British.) Sometimes they show the expert obvious clunker items, which is always a bit amusing, especially when they've already bought the item. Of course, the expert is too polite to do anything but say, "Oh, dear."

But David makes the show sing. He offers his opinion on all of the purchases ("a bit dear..." "cheap as chips!") and, sometimes, other items up for auction. He hugs the ladies when items don't do well and will do the math for you ("You bought that vase for 40 pounds, it sold for 15, for a loss of [pause for thinking] 25 pounds.") He gives the winning team their cash prize (if there is one) and questions them about what they will do with their huge amount of cash (usually go to the pub. Of course.)

Oh, Bargain Hunt, never change!