Friday, May 29, 2009

NIN|JA Concert in Kansas City

On Wednesday Brian and I had third row, center seats at Starlight Amphitheater to see Street Sweeper Social Club (Tom Morello and Boots Riley), Nine Inch Nails, and Jane's Addiction. We are now officially spoiled- it's going to be hard to go to a concert again without getting the best seats possible. It almost felt like we were at a small venue because of how close we were, and because of it we were able to get some amazing photographs of all three bands (thanks to Trent Reznor's badass camera/video policy).

click to enlarge any photo

The night started out at 7 P.M. with Street Sweeper Social Club. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but they really rocked. Boots Riley really makes you want to get up and dance, and Tom Morello is an awesome guitarist, at one time he even played with his face and the analog guitar plug. We will definitely be acquiring their CD when it comes out.

Next up at 7:45 P.M. was Nine Inch Nails. It seemed weird to me that they would play before Jane's, but supposedly Trent did it out of respect. I think it is because Perry Ferrell is a prima donna little bitch. Anyways... NIN was awesome as usual. They played a lot of older songs, as well as newer songs. No Closer this time around, but Brian and I both got to hear our favorites- Burn and Physical (You're So) respectively. I did get annoyed at one point during the concert when I noticed the two jerks in the front row not even nodding their heads to the music when Brian and I were going crazy screaming along to every song. All in all, I can't wait to see them one more time (we're going to the New Jersey show- 8th row), but it's sad knowing that could be it... forever.

Nine Inch Nails Setlist:

Now I'm Nothing
Terrible Lie
March of the Pigs
The Frail
The Wretched
Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)
The Becoming
Gave Up
The Fragile
The Way Out Is Through
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole

Jane's Addiction closed out the show. I did not have high expectations going into their set because I have never really been a huge fan, but they were amazing! Perry Ferrell is a great showman- he kept standing on the rail getting close to the fans (at one point he even fell on his ass and kept on going) and then he started pouring wine from his bottle into people's beer cups! He really works the stage and the crowd- he doesn't use a microphone stand so he can move and shake his hips (which he did mighty finely). And as always, Dave Navarro is a total stud. He knows how to please the fans, as well as rock the guitar. I really can't wait to see them again and see what Perry will wear next time.

Jane's Addiction Setlist:

Three Days
Ain't No Right
Pigs In Zen
Then She Did...
Mountain Song
Had A Dad
Been Caught Stealing
Ted, Just Admit It...
Ocean Size
Summertime Rolls
Jane Says

In closing, it was so nice being able to bring a SLR camera to the show- I wish more concerts would allow that. Not only did we enjoy the show, but we got some excellent pics for memories!

P.S. You can see all of the picture we took in our gallery here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Koi Pond- Done!

While I was busy working on the front landscaping, Brian was in the back finishing up the koi pond and surrounding landscaping.  He also ran electrical (for two different fountains pumps), installed landscape fabric and edging, trucked in 27 smelly and wet bags O' mulch, and put up hangers (so I could hang a plant, bird feeder and wind chimes).

We're still waiting to get some fish and water plants, but that will be happening in the next few weeks.

Brian's favorite part:

All the pics here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Front Landscaping- Done!

Landscaping before last weekend:


I finally have the front landscaping looking like I want it to!  Every single plant that was orignally put in by our homebuilder has found a new home- either still in the front, but in a different spot, or in the back around the deck.  I am so relieved that this project is completed!  I am not a landscape designer and I had a terrible time trying to figure out what plants would look better in the front, how big they would get when they were mature, what plants actually survive in pure clay soils, etc.  I even broke out the graphing paper and rulers!!

Here is what I planted:
One Maiden Grass
One Dwarf Burning Bush
One Dwarf Lilac
Four American Hollies
One China Boy Holly
Three Knock Out Roses (Red Shrub Roses)
Two Emerald 'n Green Euonymus

Hopefully my design and plants look great when they mature.  I really wanted to make sure I would have some color as opposed to all green shrubs, that's why I chose the Knock-Out roses and the lilac.  Maybe in a couple of years I will remember to post a picture of the mature plants so I can compare the growth.

Don't get me started on all of my planters and hanging baskets...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Koi Pond Project

If you read our other blog MegaFireOnYourFace you may have seen a few pictures of what Brian and I (99% Brian) have been working on for the past couple of weekends.  We have been creating a water feature next to our patio, as well as a fenced-off outdoor storage area.

This has been a pretty fun project, and I think it will look really good next to our patio once all of the landscaping is completed.

The first step of the project was to mark off the future site of the pond and then dig a hole the shape of it.

The next step was to pour a layer of sand in the bottom of the hole so the liner has something to rest on and will help keep it's shape (unlike rock-hard clay that can shift and potentially cause the plastic to crack).  Then you put the liner in and surround the lip with a layer of dirt so that when rocks are placed around the edge they are sitting on a mound of dirt, as opposed to the plastic lip of the pond (which would crack under the weight of the rocks).

Then you take a break and spend the weekend out at Kansas Speedway watching the truck races get rained out and the Indy Cars run while listening to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Talladega race on your headset.

Next we surrounded the liner with our stockpile of massive (and not so massive) red rocks we had been collecting since we'd moved into this house.

But this wasn't quite the look we were going for.  The water feature really needed something.... and then Brian remembered Chris had found these really awesome looking black slate rocks in a creek near his house, so we went hunting for them last Sunday afternoon.  They were a little hard to find because the creek was running high and fast. Brian eventually crossed the river and found a ton of them (too bad they were on the other side of the river). Long story short, after Brian collected them and brought them back across the river we acted like pack mules and transported them back to the truck. The walk back was kind of insane, we were transporting a total of about 150 lbs of rocks on our backs and we couldn't even stand up straight or we would fall backwards (a funny site for passer bys I'm sure). Ultimately we managed to score enough to work perfectly around the pond.  Here's the current set-up:

Much better!  It's going to look really good when it is surrounded by mulch and landscaping.

And we have to give a huge shout out to our friend Nate, who came up Saturday to help Brian dig the post holes for the storage area, pick up cement and 8 foot 4x4s, and move a large tree from the front to the back.  Thanks Nate!!  It got me out of doing all of the crappy manual labor so I could work on getting my flower pots populated.

Here is a view of Brian readying the fence posts for concrete (I did help with this part) and the tree.

Here comes the concrete!

Hopefully the weather stays nice this week so we can have a finished project by Mother's Day!