What was the first concert you went to?

photo by Richard E. Aaron

photo by Richard E. Aaron

The Ramones were the first band I ever saw (1984). They made a huge impression—the moment they walked out on stage, my young mind decided they were the coolest guys in the world. All of the music I was drawn to after was shaped by that first concert experience. I didn’t know how to articulate it at the time, but the minimalist approach to their look and set just spoke to me. Their uniform of skinny jeans, leather jackets, and black hair was understated cool. They seemed to act like being on stage was no big deal; they were unselfconsciously and unceremoniously just doing their job. But they rocked so hard. I went with a group of older kids from high school, no parents chaperoning for the first time in my life. The Ramones opened for Billy Idol and the venue was large and pretty packed. I saw the Ramones again a few years later at a smaller club in Rochester NY, cool as ever. So how about you, do you remember your first concert? Big act or small? Did it make a huge impression or was it lame?



Preston Hall: Pack Love Pack Member of the Week

In case you hadn't heard, there is a social media channel for dogs! It's called "Pack Love" with the credo "there’s something magical about dogs and the people who love them. . . . make it fun to celebrate and share the experiences we have with our dogs." The site is still in private beta, so if you have a dog (or dogs) and would like to join, let me know in the comments and I can share an invite. I only have three, so first come, etc. It's a little silly and very fun—you load up a photo of your dog, add some general stats (like birth date and weight), and you can give your dog a tag line. Preston's is "el diablo blanco," a little something we affectionately called him during housetraining. Other Pack members can "love" your dog by hitting the heart-shaped button on your dog's feature page, plus you get a breed-specific weekly newsletter via email. That's really all there is to it right now. This past week was very exciting because Preston was the Bichon Frisé "pack member of the week"—which means his photo and a little blurb were featured in the newsletter (edited-for-space version below).

Pack Love newsletter featuring Preston.jpg

Castelvetrano Olives


What can one say about olives, right? They're . . . olives. But, Castelvetrano olives are special. I first had them at a friend's dinner party this past Spring (a very fancy, chic friend). She served them along with nuts and cheese as part of the first course. They are light and delicious with a mild, sweet, buttery taste. Not quite as flat as black olives but nowhere near as briny as the typically pimiento-stuffed green olives. Castelvetranos are super versatile—we've since used them in hor dourves, on pizza, in several different kinds of salads, omelettes, and they make the very best martini olives. They are, dare I say, the perfect olive. The only imperfect thing about them is they are difficult to find. Our local Costco carries them in a huge jar right now (pictured), and occasionally Whole Foods has them in stock. If you like olives at all, and have the chance, I recommend giving them a try.


A New Look

Staged Normalcy logo

A nip here, a little tuck there, and Staged Normalcy has a fresh look, complete with a new logo. I'd been meaning to create an actual logo for ages, but it never came together. I had the type and colors, but was having trouble getting the illustration to look exactly the way I imagined. Fortunately, Jeff stepped in and illustrated the site mascot for me—Preston looking dapper in his New Year's Eve bowtie (being married to a talented artist has its perks). Speaking of Jeff's work, he now has a few pieces available on Society6! You can get free shipping through June 16 on his merch, just make sure to use this link and the discount will automatically apply. These are a few of my favorites–