Tag Archives: family

9/12/16 Liz blogs: Blink-182

Hi, it’s Liz here, hijacking Maggie’s blog to tell you about the concert we went to this weekend.

The first thing I want to say is that I did not drink any alcohol. The fact that, three days later, my voice is still gone has nothing to do with booze. But I’m getting ahead of myself!

Blink-182 “crappy punk rock” was formed in San Diego, CA in 1992. I’ve been a fan of theirs for almost the entire time they’ve been in existence. They’ve had their ups and downs, member changes and breakups. But I’ve always loved them. For one reason or another, I’ve never been able to catch them live. The closest I came was a couple of years ago in Minnesota, where I was staying for the weekend, directly across the street from the venue where they were going to play the next day. When, of course, I would be homeward bound.

I remember standing on the street, looking up at the flashing sign, “BLINK-182. BLINK-182” and feeling my stomach lurch. A short while later, they broke up. I was devastated, and thought I’d blown my last opportunity. I kicked myself for a long time, but the band reformed.

Anyway, this weekend, they came to the Hollywood Casino Ampitheater in Tinley Park.

You may have heard of this place from the big U2 concert when the venue was named The World Music Theatre. Kind of a big deal, and everyone was shocked when it was sold and became the Tweeter Center, First Midwest Bank Ampitheater, and now, Hollywood Casino Ampitheater.

The day tickets went on sale, I snapped up a handful. This was also going to be Jamie’s first concert, and Erik and Miguel were going, and Heather was coming in from Michigan for the event. Heck, the kids were reared on this stuff. I used to tell them to disregard the “bad words”. I remember when Jamie was little, he’d sing along, and when a swear word came up, he’d whistle to censor it.

Everyone met at my house and Jim was the designated chauffeur for the evening, for which we were all extremely grateful. He dropped us off early, before the gates opened, and it started to rain. Fortunately, I had been scoping out the weather and we were prepared with emergency plastic ponchos. Donning these, we waited in the rain until they let us in.

Heather was a veteran of the Ampitheater and, since we had “lawn seats”, she knew the best place to go. We stationed ourselves in front of Section 204 and, since the ground was quickly turning to mud, congratulated ourselves on not dragging a blanket with us. We were determined to stand for the four and a half hours we were there.

Time passed quickly. DJ Spider got the crowd warmed up, then the first opening band came on stage. The All American Rejects. They were really good, and played most of their hit songs like, “Dirty Little Secret” and “Gives You Hell”. I noticed that the venue hadn’t filled up yet. Jamie was kind of “meh” as this was not his favorite type of music. I worried he wouldn’t have a good time.

Next up was “A Day To Remember”, a band I admit I’d never heard of. They were kind of a “screamo” type, and they were together and energetic, but I wished they’d hurry up and get to the main act. A lot of people were wearing “ADTR” T-shirts, and Jamie said he’d enjoyed their first two songs more than he thought he would. I felt hopeful.

Under a darkened sky, the stage was set for the headliner. Blink-182 came out swinging. Tighter than a gnat’s ass on an ice cube, they rolled out an hour and a half set. They played older hits like, “Carousel”, “What’s My Age Again?” and “Violence” along with plenty of new stuff like, “San Diego”, “Brohemian Rhapsody”, and “Teenaged Satellites”. By this time, the venue was packed with 30,000 people, all screaming, fist pumping, and singing at the top of their lungs. It was emotional, it was exciting, it was awesome. And that is how I lost my voice.

Jamie said he could not believe the sound of 30,000 people all singing together. He, the other kids, and everyone else at the venue knew every word to every song. Blink-182 dropped their latest album, “California”, in July, and started their tour right away.

I really can’t put into words how the night made me feel. Seeing my favorite band live, with my kids and family, everyone having a great time and no trouble (the people in the crowd were very nice, there was no aggression) was just indescribable. I guess I’m speechless. Which is good, because I can’t talk yet.

Thanks for reading this long blog. Here’s some pictures of us from the show. We were far enough away that all the lights and fireworks on stage prevented me from getting a clear pic of the band, though.

Heather’s friend, Jamie, Liz, Heather, Erik, and Miguel, hidden behind the logo

Erik and Liz (who did not drink)

Heather being silly, Miguel, Liz, and Jamie looking like he has to be the adult

Miguel and Liz getting ready for the show

Thanks for reading, rock on! Your friend, Liz



12/26/15 Pitmas Day

After all the excitement of Christmas Eve, Mom was happy that Christmas Day was going to be a lot more low-key and quiet!

In the morning, we opened gifts from Santa Paws, and you can see how excited I am from this blurry picture:


I got a new stuffed squeaky toy and lots of treats! (No chicken or beef – Santa Paws must have got my letter about my food allergies!)


Dad’s friend from work, Gines, (his name is pronounced, “He-nez”) came over for a quiet dinner. We played Christmas carols in the background, and worked on “tavern puzzles” that Gines had brought over for the occasion.

Tavern puzzles are elaborate metal puzzles that have to be taken apart and put back together again. They are very difficult, yet enjoyable! The humans worked on them for a long time while I chewed on my new toy.

After a simple Christmas dinner served by Mom and Dad, Gines made the family dessert crepes and Spanish hot chocolate. They were fantastic, and he even started the crepes on fire before serving them:



Gines is from Spain. His whole family moved to Venezuela, and is still over there. Gines was recently very ill and was hospitalized for five days. He lost his job, and when we invited him for Christmas, he was at first, shy to accept, because he said he was in a “bad financial situation”. Dad and Mom assured him that what they wanted was his company. When he visited for the holiday, he said that his time and talent (in making the crepes) was “all” he could give us. My humans thanked him profusely and assured him that this was the best gift of all.

When Gines left to go home, he hugged everyone and said, “Thank you for having me over as family.” I thought Mom was going to cry!

Truly, this was the best Christmas ever.

I sincerely hope all of you have had a wonderful, meaningful, joyous, holiday.

Woof! Love, Maggie


9/26/15 I Help Take Down the Pool

For various reasons, or various amounts of money, Dad has not bought a permanent pool for the family. So every season, they struggle to assemble the pool and then have to drain it and take it down at the end of the summer.

Saturday was that day.

They had started the week before, draining it all out, and now what had to come down was the shell of the pool.

In doing this, Mom ripped a fingernail (which aren’t long to begin with) down to the quick, Jamie got hollered at, and Dad finally hied himself off to the backyard to help.

Naturally, I came with. I helped take down the pool. As the remainder of the water leaked over the sides, my humans yelled, “Maggie, move!” So I did. Closer and closer. I’m sure that’s what they wanted. How could they do it without me?


The original plan was for Dad and Jamie to disassemble the pool and Mom to brush out the liner with bleach, spray it with the hose, and let it dry a day or two. Since absolutely nothing went smoothly, or on time, and Mom was hurt and bleeding, she finally snapped. “Throw it away and next year I would like a REAL POOL,” she said to Dad. Who laughed and said the dreaded, “We’ll see”.

Saying, “We’ll see” to Mom is kind of like throwing gas on the fire. So, now Mom is doubly adamant.

Oh – by the way – about the tree that fell on our fence: no one ever got back to us about that. So Mom is going to find out if the Jesters are going to cut the protruding branches off. Nothing like red tape from our city officials!

Woof! Love, Maggie-who-was-clever-enough-not-to-get-wet (but can’t say the same for Dad).

8/27/15 Paintings from The Art Club

The Art Club certainly drew various and differing paintings. The vibe was creative and relaxed. However, the humans were all sad that Dad was several hours late and did not make the Club. Maybe next time.

Jamie painted a geometry-themed abstract that we are calling, “Disobey”. I really think he is on to something with the use of shadows:


The quote on your lower left reads, “Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.” by Phillip K. Dick

I find Jamie’s painting intriguing, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I also like his use of a quotation in the artwork.

Erik made a blended color, fire-breathing dragon. Mom says it reminds her of me! But I think she is kidding.


Is it a love dragon? Is s/he breathing hearts of fire or hearts on fire? There is a softness to the dragon’s face that I like. This is another painting I’m enjoying looking at and thinking about.

Finally, Mom (the tattoo enthusiast) painted a tribal rose on a white background.


Mom says she wants to sharpen the lines a bit now that the painting has dried and add a little more white and highlight in spots, especially amongst the leaves.

All in all, the family had a wonderful time, and agreed that this was the best idea Mom had come up with for a long time. Everybody is looking forward to the next painting session, and hope that Dad can make it.

You may be wondering what I did during the painting time. I mostly lay under the table and occasionally on the chair to avoid getting paint on my white fur. I already have a black spot – don’t need another! Woof! (tail wags) I enjoyed being with my family and having a good time.

Let me ask you: If I gave you some paint and a blank canvas – what would you paint?

Woof! Love, Maggie

5/7/15 Visitors!

Yesterday was a very exciting day. We had lots of visitors!

Dad took the day off to watch over Mom, and after he brought Jamie to school, he came home with Mom’s sister (Auntie), her niece (Val), and Uncle Rick. Mom was overjoyed to see them, especially since Auntie has been so sick. (Mom says Auntie still looks very thin but is at least up and around.)

We all went out in the back and sat under the umbrella. Mom kept her foot up and all the ladies chatted. Jamie came home from school not long after (Dad had to pick him up) and the men decided to demolish the old swing set that was rotting away in the back yard.


I was having a blast! Mom connected two tethers so I had lots of room to roam without the danger of me going through a hole in the fence. I rolled in the grass, chased fat bumblebees and birds, and played “stick” with Uncle Rick and Dad. Mom made sure my water dish was outside and filled and I drank and drank and drank. Uncle Rick works with horses and he knows about dogs, too. I was so happy!

Dad grilled some food and everyone ate while the sun set. Then we had a surprise, because Auntie’s other daughter, Heather, stopped by. Our Erik couldn’t make it though, and we missed him a lot.

Pretty soon, Jamie had to go to play floor hockey and Dad lit the bonfire for Mom and everyone else. He took Jamie to the game while Mom sat with her crutch and the rest of the family around the blaze. They talked and talked until the stars came out. At first, I was “on guard” near the fence, but when I saw that nothing was happening, I lay down in the thick grass near the humans and rested. It was very dark, and the stars were twinkly, and the heat of the fire warmed my fur. I slept a bit.

Soon, Dad and Jamie came home and everybody had to leave. Mom says it was the best day, and she wasn’t lonely, and it was like having a party in the middle of the week. I myself loved it because I was out all day and got lots of playing and attention. As soon as the humans left, I stretched out as large and as long on the human bed as I could and fell fast asleep. What a great day!

Today we are all tired. I guess that is to be expected! Mom goes later to have the bandage changed on her foot. She is doing well, and says that yesterday was like a shot in the arm for her.

Woof! Love, Maggie