Category Archives: Did You Know?

When FRIENDS Have Babies

What do so many of us have in common?  Surely not all of us….but, many of us?

I’m guessing that, like me, many of you spent 30 minutes each week for 10 solid years hanging out with friends.   And, by “friends”, I really mean FRIENDS….as in the television show.

From September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004 I tuned in for 30 minutes of serious bonding with Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey.  Good times.

Say what you will, but I’m not going to lie, I think we should all consider ourselves lucky if we are able to say that we have friendships in our lives as strong as theirs.   And, yes, I do realize that they were merely television actors…

But, fresh out of college when we first “met” I loved getting to know them.  I loved watching their ups and downs…while laughing, crying, wishing, hoping, wanting, wondering…you name it.  We should all have a “Chandler” or a “Rachel” or a “Ross” or a “Phoebe” that we treasure in our lives.

So, if…like me…you were tuning in during that decade, you may remember when Ross and Rachel had a baby.  An adorable little baby girl named Emma.  But…did you know that Emma was played by not one but two adorable little girls named Cali and Noelle.   AND….that Callie and Noelle have all sorts of Cape Ann roots.

They are the stunning, funny, generous, smart, talented, kind, and polite 13 year old daughters of Geoff Sheldon and Gretchen Carpenter.  While they now live out in California, Geoff hails from Rockport.  And nothing beats 4th of July week when they all usually make their pilgrimage home!

My own warm fuzzies about Geoff began the night I was introduced to him and my future husband on Christmas Eve back in 1998.  Ironically, smack in the middle of the FRIENDS years.  Little did I know when I met Geoff that night that I’d marry the guy he was out celebrating Christmas with….and that he and his beautiful wife would later boast to sharing custody of their daughters with Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer. Well, you know, kind of.  And then there’s “Aunt Heather”.  When Heather isn’t out being amazing on horseback….she can be found in all of her gorgeous glory making Halibut Point Restaurant and even better place to be!

So, how fun to read this article yesterday!

This is What Baby Emma Looks Like Now

Photo Courtesy of Reddit

Photo Courtesy of Reddit

Also pretty cool is…

The twins made #11 of this Hollywood List:

Top 20 TV Baby Births of All Time



The Road to the Show

You all know where this year’s Vince Lombardi Trophy is going to reside.  But, do you know where it came from…or how it was made?


If you’re not so sure and have ever wondered….here you go.

Some simple facts first:

  • The trophy stands at 22 inches tall and weighs about 7 pounds.
  • It takes about 4 months to craft the beautiful trophy at Tiffany and Co.
  • Tiffany and Co. has been making the Vince Lombardi Trophy since the first Super Bowl.
  • The football on the trophy is regulation size (a fully inflated one at that).

The Making of the Vince Lombardi Trophy

Tiffany and Co. Sports Trophies

The best way to support local musicians is to go to their big shows — like TONIGHT

When your favorite local band gets to open for a multi-platinum, national recording star, the best way to honor that opportunity is to go to the show.  And you can do that by bopping on down to road to  Beverly’s Larcom Theatre TONIGHT at 8pm.  Good seats are still left to see  Gary Backstrom Band open for John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.  Get those seats RIGHT HERE.  Some of the best available seats are in the balcony GET THEM HERE.

And there’s a wonderful personal connection going on at this show.  Gary’s drummer Mike Doyle studied at Berklee with Jackie Santos, who plays drums for Beaver Brown Band. This will be the first time student and teacher have performed on the same stage in a while.  ANT THEY’LL BE HOT!

In fact, John Cafferty and “Tunes” sound better and have more energy now than they did in this 1984 video.

Wake up by 9AM on Sunday to get the scoop on Matt Damon’s “Manchester By The Sea” movie filming

Aurelia Nelson

This just in from our friend Aurelia Nelson, host of “Curtain Up” Sundays at 9am on North Shore 104.9.

“This Sunday’s guest is Chris Palermo of Mass Movie Mavens. We will be talking about upcoming film projects happening on the North Shore, including the latest on “Manchester by the Sea” being produced by Matt Damon and now starring Casey Affleck.”

Worth getting up for — even if you stayed up late with John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band at the Larcom tomorrow night.  Don’t forget our local favorites, The Gary Backstrom Band is opening.  What better way to support them than to bop down the road to Beverly and revel in their opportunity to open for a multi-platinum recording star!



It’s On!

Bring it, co-workers.  It’s on!

I’m kidding.  Kind of.

Several of my co-workers and I have been challenging, taunting, supporting, pushing, and heckling each other…all in good fun…and for a good cause. Sadly, I don’t mean a good cause such as a charity, but I mean a good cause like our own mind, body, and soul well-being.

Armed with our Fitbits (literally) we’ve been conducting Work Week and Weekend Challenges to see who can clock more steps….hence, burning more calories each day/week.

The Fitbits are tons of fun…even if they count steps that aren’t necessarily exercise oriented.  Honestly thought, for this group of overextended teachers, that’s part of the charm.  While the main goal is to accumulate “active steps” through actual exercise, we all take full advantage of simple things too.  We make trips to the copier at the end of the hall on our own… rather than sending a student. We go to the art room for supplies ourselves…rather than asking a child. We walk to the front office to ask a question…rather than simply calling them on the phone.

More than those little tasks, the friendly challenges have definitely kept me on my game with actual exercise during the past couple of cold weeks too.  I’m fairly competitive, but I don’t force myself to go out for a run after work because I want to win per say, I go because I’m in the challenge and to not step up and play means ignoring the efforts that others are making to participate.  So, I’ve been making time to run for myself, but also to be a productive part of the challenge.

Those of us participating in the challenges are between the ages of 35-45, most are mothers, all are teachers, some actively participate in sports, some don’t, some are morning people, some are night owls, some shorter, some taller, some with big goals for health, some with smaller, all are hoping to simply feel healthier.

It has been funny to watch each other’s progress.  Some get to exercise in the morning and start the daily challenge running (literally again), others are able to fit in some type of work out during the day and might suddenly take the lead, one may be late in the polls and then will soar to the top after playing a late night soccer game in an adult league! I’m lucky to fit in a run in the early evening if a) both boys have hockey and go with my husband or b) neither boy has hockey and my husband is home to watch them. So, we’re all over the place…and that is one of the things that makes it fun.

This evening I was laughing because a co-worker (who happens to be the mom of two young girls) and I were “neck and neck” for a solid couple of hours. During those hours, I was busily folding laundry, changing linens on bunk beds, packing lunches, emptying out hockey bags, etc.  It was safe to assume she was at home gaining steps by doing very similar activities.

The Fitbits do more than track steps and exercise.  They also, if you choose, will track sleep patterns, water intake, calories consumed, calories burned, and exercise routes if out for a run/walk.

So, if you find yourself looking for a simple way to get motivated this winter, get yourself a Fitbit, challenge some friends, find a routine that works for you….and get going in your own little (or big) way!

Check out Fitbits here!

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If there’s one thing that pisses me off about the 4 or 5 weather apps I own on my iPhone, it’s that none of them ever make me laugh. “Really” you ask? “NO” dipstick, and nobody on this planet has ever thought that either. Well…until now that is.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some weather and l love me some comedy. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why a website dedicated to funny viral-videos would want to cash in on the weather app game. Isn’t weather hilarious enough on it’s own? Nothing says funny like a good ole’ life smashing storm. When a hurricane or tornado hits, I bet the app gets pretty gut busting’ funny on the quick.
I haven’t downloaded it yet, so I don’t know how amazingly hilarious this app is going to be. But I sure hope it pushes out some funny weather quirkiness like this:



It’s friggin colder than a gawdamn witches ti*@y

during the Salem winter solstice parade.



Whatya you think d-bag? It’s still friggin cold!


Who cares, the Pat’s are in the Supa Bowl ya dink! And since none of yuz or ya boyz can afford tickets to Arizoner, get ya broke ass ova to ya neighbors house, he’s the one with the stolen cable ya bum!


You get the idea. Perhaps we need our own “Glosta” weather app. One that speaks to us on a local level!




It’s friggin blowin out daya, so ya nowt fishin. Go hit Pratty’s or the Nest for a pop.



Crappy, rainy, but in the 80’s…so get dressed, you have the greasy pole to walk today. And get drinkin, it’s almost noon!



Really? Look out da window a shmuck, there’s da weda right in ya face! It’s perfect out, call in sick and go to da sox game…and oh yeah..Yankees suck!



Who’s in? Any developers out there for iPhone apps?


Hey Peter Lovasco, what say you???!!!!!

Appears almost sold out, but there really are plenty of good seats left

Balcony Seat

View from Balcony Center Row H Seat 11 — still available here

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know we always warn you when a concert is about to sell out.  A quick glance at the seating chart for next Saturday’s John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band concert at Beverly’s Larcom Theatre, looks like it’s almost sold out.  But here’s the thing: there are lots of excellent seats left.  Most importantly, every seat at the Larcom has a great view and the sound is PERFECT!  For this show, the best available seats are in the Balcony and you can get them here.

This will be a special show, in part because local Rock Star, Gary Backstrom, is opening with his excellent band — and there’s a wonderful personal connection at play too: Gary’s drummer, Mike Doyle, studied at Berklee with Jackie Santos of the Beaver Brown Band.  You don’t want to wait until it really is sold out and miss this drummer’s reunion do you?

You can see Mike showing off at 3:23 in the video below, of Gary Backstrom Band at Harbor Loop.

And just in case you’ve forgotten the cult hit Eddie and the Cruisers (for which John Cafferty wrote and sang his hit “On The Dark Side”, here it is (with the movie’s co-star and Beaver Brown member, Michael “Tunes” Antunes on sax).


Holiday Delights on Cape Ann TV This Weekend

This just in from Lisa Smith:

Keep Warm, stay inside this MLK weekend and watch “Holiday Delights” on Cape Ann TV Channel 12. This latest version of the Gloucester Stage perennial favorite Christmas play was filmed with three cameras last month. It features over 30 young actors from the Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop and tells the story of a Gloucester girl who finds the true  meaning of Christmas on Christmas Eve. The program airs Saturday, January 17 at 9 am and 5 pm; Sunday, January 18 at 8 am; and Monday,  January 19 at 9 am and 6 pm.  See complete Cape Ann TV Schedule here.

So This Happened

In the category of Never a Dull Moment

I’ve been teaching for 22 years.  I’ve seen a lot.  I have had all sorts of excellent…and funny…and puzzling things happen….but, never…ever, this.  Until this week.

We have two crested geckos.  I’ve always believed in having a lot of pets.  It is a time suck when you’re the one ultimately responsible for caring for them (even with lots of helpful hands), but the lessons for the students are invaluable. We’ve had your run-of-the-mill hamsters and gerbils…and now the coolest guinea pig around.  We’ve also had a hedgehog and a rabbit.  We’ve had birds…and more fish than I can count.  We’ve also had tree frogs, anoles, a tortoise…and now geckos. There were a few years before I had the boys that I had a fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal all at one time so that we could really learn first-hand the different classifications of Phylum Chordata.  I digress.

The children have always treasured having the opportunity to interact and care for these critters and they’ve also provided fantastic learning opportunities.

What better way to learn the parts of a fish…ventral fins, pectoral fins, dorsal fin, caudal fin, gill openings, lateral line, etc…than observing a real live fish?

You get my point.

So, this week we learned that when a gecko feels threatened (don’t ask) it will “drop its tail” in an attempt to distract the predator so that it can flee.  Fascinating.  Most geckos will grow a new tail.  Crested geckos do not.  They can, however, live happy and healthy lives without their tails.  Phew.

What happens after the tail falls off, you may ask?  Well, see for yourself.


You Spoke, We listened: Booker T. Jones is coming to the Larcom 2/21

Just before Christmas, we asked people whether we should bring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient & the greatest Hammond B3 master of all time, BOOKER T. JONES, to Beverly’s Larcom Theatre.  Response was overwhelmingly positive, so we’ve done it and tickets are now on sale to the public, but they’re selling fast.  Get your tickets here and don’t miss out on Booker T.’s only New England appearance on this U.S. tour.  You may remember him from Booker T. and the M.G.’s, with hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time Is Tight,” and “Melting Pot,”.  While at Stax Records, Booker T. also wrote “Born Under a Bad Sign” with William Bell, which was recorded in 1967 by Albert King and later by Cream and Jimi Hendrix and covered live by many others. Here’s Booker T’s powerful version with his excellent touring band!

And here’s Booker T. with Gary Clarke Jr. and John Mayer live at the 2013 Rock and Roll Induction Ceremony

BREAKING NEWS: GARY BACKSTROM BAND to open for John Cafferty on Jan 31 in Beverly

You’ve all heard the Gary Backstrom Band, right?  (If not, you’re missing out on one of Gloucester’s most exciting musical ensembles.)  Be sure to catch these guys when they open for John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band on Saturday, January 31 right down the road at Beverly’s Larcom Theatre.  Good seats are still available RIGHT HERE.  Some of the best available seats are in the balcony GET THEM HERE.

Gary’s got quite an impressive bio (see here) having opened for the Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks and Los Lobos among many others.

Besides being one of the area’s top guitar players, Gary is also a very talented singer/songwriter.  Here are a couple of videos of the band at Harbor Loop with special guest Carlos Menezes Jr. on Sax (great solos in the 2nd video):

Cape Ann Winter Solstice on Cape Ann TV Starting Tonight

If you missed this stellar December 20th show at Gloucester’s UU Church, hosted by Allen Estes and featuring Charlie Farren and Danielle Miraglia — or if you were there and want to re-live the extraordinary experience of that magical night, you can watch the entire concert on Cape Ann TV cable channel 12 tonight (WED) at 8pm.   Thanks to Jim Capillo for his excellent work on this show.  Here’s a teaser he put together for us.

It airs again tomorrow at 9am, Friday at 9:30pm, Saturday at 11am and 9pm, and Sunday at 9pm.  Check the schedule here for updates.

gimmesound embraces the paradigm shift in music

The music business is in undergoing a huge transformation — but you already know that, so why are we stating the obvious?  Two reasons:

1) Once in a while when you find yourself in the middle of a major paradigm shift, it’s worth stepping back for a moment to notice what’s going on before you arrive at the next level and exclaim, “Oh! Look what happened.”

2) 2014 was a dramatic turning point for music as evidenced by two Earth shattering stats that you might not be aware of:

  • Taylor Swift was the ONLY artist to release a platinum album in 2014.
  • Digital music sales were down in 2014 for the first time in 10 years (maybe ever, it’s hard to get good stats on music downloads).

Even with all the tech advances that empower musicians to record and distribute their own music relatively inexpensively and without getting “signed” by a major label, it’s harder than ever to make a living as a musician.  We believe that recorded music sales will never again be the major source of revenue for musicians — just like sheet music sales are no longer a major source of revenue.

Vickie and I believe that live music holds the most promise for the future of the music business, both for musicians and fans.  In this new world where we spend more and more time staring at a screen of some kind, we find people crave live concerts where we make powerful connections with musicians and other fans that transport us to a magical place we just can’t experience any other way.  Musicians who can draw fans to their concerts are able to make a good living doing what they love most–playing music.  Everybody wins!

We’re embracing this musical paradigm shift by focusing our efforts on presenting and promoting live music even more than we have in the past.  Our new focus is reflected, in part, by changes to  We’ll continue to provide live music listings while we transform the site into something new that helps musicians and venues promote their live shows better and works well on all devices, including phones.  You’ll notice that songs on gimmesound can now be played on phones and tablets (including the iPhone and iPad).  More mobile enhancements are coming.  Stay tuned . . .

Chelsea Berry & Tony Goddess on Curtain Up with Aurelia Nelson tomorrow (SUN) 9AM on 104.9

Our friend Aurelia Nelson just keeps the local stars coming on her fascinating North Shore 104.9 radio show Curtain Up and tomorrow (Sunday) is no exception.  Local singer/songwriters Chelsea Berry and Bang-A-Song Studio owner Tony Goddess will be Aurelia’s guests.  Worth getting up to listen in at 9am!

Here’s an example of the excellent results Chelsea & Tony got collaborating on Chelsea’s latest solo CD:

Firing up the GMG Santa Tracker


Good Morning Gloucester will be firing up the Santa tracking Radar Thingy when Santa is within 500 nautical miles of Cape Ann. Meanwhile, NORAD and Google have far larger Santa Tracking budgets and are currently tracking Santa leaving Kathmandu. Click links below for up-to-the-second plotting of Santa. Santa is currently darting back and forth between India and Russia reaching maximum velocity for the trip. Elves have had to douse him with water several times already to keep him from bursting into flames.

NORAD tracks Santa
Google Santa Tracker

Did you know?

“Jingle Bells” is one of the most popular Christmas songs ever written. Except it’s not a Christmas song. It was written to celebrate Thanksgiving. In 1850, James Lord Pierpont was hanging out in a tavern in Medford, Massachusetts, when he was inspired by Medford’s famous sleigh races to write a tune called ‘One Horse Open Sleigh” for a children’s Thanksgiving play. Everyone loved it so much that it became incorporated into Christmas. Another bit of trivia for you: Mr. Pierpont was the uncle of banker John Pierpont Morgan, better known as J.P. Morgan. “Jingle Bells” was also the first song broadcast from space, in a Christmas-themed prank by Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra.

Should we bring Booker T. Jones to the Larcom?

We’re about to book lots of new shows down the road at Beverly’s Larcom Theatre and one of the people we’re seriously considering is Book T. Jones who wrote “Born Under a Bad Sign” with William Bell, recorded in 1967 by Albert King and later by Cream.  Here’s Booker T’s powerful version with his excellent touring band!  Leave a comment or Click here and tell us whether or not you think we should bring these guys to the Larcom this winter.

Concert Tickets make Great Gifts — easy as 1-2-3 — Buy-Print-Under the tree

Oh, I just couldn’t resist that terribly corny rhyme …

Before I head downtown (Gloucester, that is) to (hopefully) finish up my shopping, I figured I’d remind all of you, who might be stressing about what to buy, how easy it is to raise your loved ones’ spirits with the gift of music.  Of course there are many excellent choices this year, but I’ll take this opportunity make a shameless plug for just 1: John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band right down the road at Beverly’ Larcom Theatre on Jan 31.  It’s really easy:

1) Buy your tickets here.
2) Print them out.
3) Fold, wrap in a bow and put under the tree (or where ever you like).

Here are some reasons why this is a good idea: It’s local.  Fun.  Don’t have to go to the mall.  Don’t even have to get dressed to buy them.  Gives you and your loved ones a treat in the dead of winter.  Gives you something to look forward to.  Doesn’t take up any space.  Music heals your soul.

Santa’s ETA on Christmas Eve is No Joke

In just three days children everywhere will be turning to NORAD to track Santa’s flight around our great big world. Because, after all, knowing exactly when to put out cookies and milk is super important.  Warm milk and stale cookies are crappy. The big guy and his team of furry friends deserve better than that.

NORAD’s mission is summed up simply as, “We have the Watch.”  And, that they do.


“We have the watch.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a United States and Canada bi-national organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning for North America. Aerospace warning includes the monitoring of man-made objects in space, and the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands.

However, on December 24th, they take on an even more important task.  That of tracking Santa.  And…they take it quiet seriously.  Their tracking system is no joke.  It consists of a radar comprised of 47 installations, satellites, SantaCams, and Fighter Jets!

It did, however, all start as a joke.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

NPR told the story through the eyes of “Santa Colonel’s” children earlier this week. It is truly quite wonderful.  Warm fuzzies, for sure.  Check it out with the link below.  And then, don’t dare forget, to also check out the Official NORAD Santa Tracking Site.

NORAD’s Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport

The Official NORAD Santa Tracker








Save $5 on CAPE ANN WINTER SOLSTICE TICKETS if you get them at Liquor Locker before 3pm today

WinterSolsticeBenefit2014Tickets for tonight’s Cape Ann Winter Solstice benefit for Gloucester’s UU Meetinghouse Restoration are only $20 in advance at The Liquor Locker 287 Main Street. But you can only get those tickets until 3pm today.

After that, tickets are $25 at the door.

Plus we have a few VIP tickets left on-line here.

We realize this holiday season can be hectic and stressful.  That’s why this year’s Solstice concert is designed to take you away and give you an new appreciation for the power of acoustic music in a magical space to cleanse the soul.

When you hear Boston rock star Charlie Farren’s hits like ‘Fool In Love’ and ‘You are the Only One’ solo with guitar in this intimate room, you’ll feel them even more deeply than the electric versions.  Add Danielle Miraglia’s soulful blues with slide guitar and mix in Gloucester’s iconic Americana singer/songwriter Allen Estes as host and we guarantee you’ll leave having been taken to a place you’ve never experienced before.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” outside.  Join us tonight and feel the holiday spirit inside.

Here’s a taste of what it will be like:


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