Welcome to our web site. For more information about Stephie's art, please also check out artbystephie.com.
For Matt's writing projects, please go to storiesbymatt.net. Enjoy your visit here!

12/25/09: Kisu asked me to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

And she also says to check out her page to see the video of her romping in the show!

12/21/09: I've been a fan of the Irish band Horslips since probably 1979, when WXRT was playing "Loneliness" and "The Man Who Built America" on a semi-regular basis, and I picked up a couple of their albums at Kroozin' Music on Archer Ave. The last time they played Chicago was in December of '79 at the Park West, but it was a 21-and-over show and I was not quite old enough to get in. They broke up the following year, and I figured I'd never get to see them live.
     And they were supposed to be very good live. In the early '80s, I was able to get most of their records from a great used record store on Clark Street called "Just For The Record". (Legend has it that Al Jourgensen of Ministry once worked there!) One of the guys in the store said he actually saw Horslips perform at a club in Schaumburg and described them as "like an Irish Grateful Dead, real laid back and talking to the audience between songs." I figured I would never get a chance to see them, so I had to be content with listening to the albums I had been fortunate enough to find.
     Then came the Internet. I searched for Horslips info, but all I could find was a general "Irish music" site which had a couple paragraphs about the band. At the same time, WXRT's web site had a message board where people could post messages to other fans, and there was a section where you could swap things you taped off the radio. I knew that XRT had broadcast that last Park West Horslips show, but I had never heard it, so I took a chance and asked if anyone had a tape of it (and of a show from around the same time featuring FM, a progressive rock band from Canada) and as luck would have it, a guy from Chicago responded that he had both shows. I don't remember what I offered him in exchange, but I soon had cassettes of both shows, which I promptly turned into CDs using the brand new CD burner I had just installed in my PC. I even made a fancy cover for the jewel case and everything! I may never find anything else about the band, but at least I had that show.
     Then I got another e-mail. A guy in Ireland had seen my posting about the shows and was wondering if I ever got a copy, and I could send it to him. I was so excited! I didn't know who this guy was, but he was from Ireland! I sent him a copy of my fancy CD (which looks a little cheezy in retrospect) and he sent me a CD by Moving Hearts, another Irish band that merged Irish folk and rock. He also sent me a couple other Horslips concerts which had been broadcast on the radio. Not long after that, the official Horslips website went up, and the band announced that they would be reissuing all their albums on CD. No plans to play live, though.
     Time passed, I lost track of my pal in Ireland, the Horslips site kind of stagnated for a while as there was no new news after the CDs were all released, but I still was playing my Horslips albums. I made a compilation CD for one of the other dog owners in Cheyenne's obedience class after Stephie mentioned the band to him. Then in 2004, there was a flurry of activity on the 'net. A group of fans had put together an art exhibit in Derry of all their collectibles, with album covers and concert posters and all things Horslips. And the band was so impressed that they showed up at the opening night and played a few songs live! I was stunned! And on top of it all, one of the guys that put the show together, Paul Callaghan, was the guy I had swapped CDs with! That show got the guys together and they went on and recorded an acoustic album of their old songs. There was even a DVD documentary about the band. With all that activity, there were even rumors of a tour, with a supposed stop in Chicago! But again, time passed, not much new on the site, and life went on.
     I can't say what it was this summer, but something got me thinking about that art exhibit five years ago. One day, out of the blue, I thought that I would check the web site, and IF they were going to display the show again (as they had a few times since the initial Derry exhibit) and IF we had enough lead time, we should try to go to see it. We were planning on going to Ireland next year for our 20th wedding anniversary, so if we could see that while we were there, it would be almost like seeing the band. So I logged on the 'net from work and navigated to the Horslips web site, and darn near fell out of my chair. They were getting back together for two shows in December! I couldn't believe it. Wouldn't it be great to go? But no, that's silly, we can't go to Ireland for a concert...
     On the way home from work that day, I dialed up some Horslips on my mp3 player and instead of hearing the music, I kept hearing something that my Mom and my Aunt Vi say many times. They would tell me that if there was something that I really wanted to do that was not illegal, and would not "break the bank" that I should do it, because life is short. I got home and told Stephie that we should really consider going.
     I'll continue this later, but in the meantime, I've started to put up some pictures I took. You can see them here.

12/14/09: Well, it's back to work. As you can see, I only had 634 e-mails waiting for me when I got back!

Also, I should have the vacation pictures up in a day or so.

12/08/09: Hey, we're back! Guess where we went for the weekend! More details to follow...

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