Last night we took in a special show by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman for Valentines Day. Kelly is a huge fan of both and I was happy to take her to see them.

I did not start the evening as a Palmer fan, but I was one by the time it ended. Her songs can be pretentious, self-involved, shrill, off-key -- all qualities that are off-putting at first that gradually become endearing. I particularly enjoyed her piano playing and wished for an instrumental number, but it wasn't in the cards.

I enjoyed Gaiman's comics back when I read comics, and I knew of his reputation as a very gifted storyteller otherwise. He doesn't have the best reading voice (and an even worse singing voice), but he certainly made do. His stories were touching and clever.

The best part of the show by far was the conversations with the audience, in the form of Q&A on notes dropped in a box in the lobby. Both stars have a mutual love affair with their fans, although Palmer's are far more extroverted (and prone to shouting things at her all night, as I learned). They improvised very funny answers to fan questions and showed a lot of personality. They were there to engage with the audience, not just put on a one-way show.

We arrived too late to have the planned dinner with friends in Tampa, so we sat shivering outside without jackets (boo hoo, right northern friends?) at a sidewalk bistro before showtime. I was on diet, so I just had to sit while Kelly ate hummus and tried to get it over with quickly. We walked around downtown Tampa a bit and found a shop selling all kinds of chocolates, the perfect spontaneous purchase on Valentines Day. Due to the show running past midnight and it already being a long drive to Tampa and back, we wound up having a ten-hour day trip. It was worth it.

Logical Operator

The creator of Funeratic, Scott Hardie, blogs about running this site, losing weight, and other passions including his wife Kelly, his friends, movies, gaming, and Florida. Read more »

Rambling Phone Post

Does it make sense for me to keep my phone? Work has provided me with a cell phone. I broke my home phone last weekend, and I could buy another one at Target for ten bucks, but I wonder if I should finally kick the $45 monthly bill and stick to either the cell phone or something like Skype (for which I'd have to buy a mic). Go »

Scott's Car is Dead; Long Live Scott's Car

Is it a reflection of our road-rage culture that a company named Dodge manufactures cars with violent names like Ram, Magnum, Caliber, and Viper? I pondered this at the dealership yesterday during the eternal wait between brief flurries of document-signing so I could buy my first car. It took some doing to get the sunroof and other features I wanted, but I'm now the happy (and relieved) owner of a 2007 Dodge Caliber SXT. Go »

Ketchup Packets

I was verbally mugged by a former coworker today, a guy I used to think of as a friend some time ago. I had the displeasure of laying him off last year, and after months of struggling to get by with nothing but condiments in his fridge, he started a blog to vent his frustration at me and a few other coworkers he disliked. The comments are very mean-spirited, from professional criticisms about my managerial competence and decision-making, to personal and apparently very nasty jokes about my weight and appearance. Go »

Jump to Conclusions

Walking through the store tonight, I came across this product... ...and upon seeing the little girl thinking of all the things she could do with her toy egg, I thought, BACK UP IN YO ASS WITH THE RESURREC-SHUN! Go »

Moving Day

You don't think about how much unnecessary stuff you own until you're paying someone by the hour to move it all. After Kelly and I moved into our new home last night, here's the current state of our living room, guest room, and garage. The house is a mess, and so are we. Go »

Risky Games

Here's plugging two games that I've been enjoying lately: Dice Wars is a good little miniature online game for one person, playable in about 20 minutes and very satisfying for its size. The text below the game explains the rules, but suffice to say, it's basically Risk but built to be played rapidly thanks to some rule simplification and a very swift AI. (Thanks for suggesting it, Joandy!) Go »