Friday, April 04, 2008

Eh, what the heck. Chase's brain tumor has been vanquished, so I'm not needed there. I've started knitting (okay, a year ago) and might have some junk to post. Besides, Clay's new album is out soon - can a tour be far behind?

Let's see if this blogging stuff sticks.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Call me a rotten blogger

Haven't had much to say lately, and probably won't for a while, at least on this blog. My 18 year old nephew's been diagnosed with a brain tumor, so the family's blogging over here.

I'm hoping all the news I have to post is good!

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Yeah! My wallet's back!

I mentioned at the bottom of this blog that I lost my wallet on the way to the Chicago airport back in July. It came back in today's mail! Well, not the actual wallet, but the contents. Okay, not all the contents, but my license (which I replaced a month and a half ago), my credit card (cancelled a month and a half ago), and my parking ticket for the airport (I got my car out...a month and a half ago). The money? Gone. The actual wallet? Nope.

So while I feel I should write a thank you note, what do I say?

Dear friend,

Thank you so much for returning (the only bits of) my stuff (that are totally worthless)! You said you found it on the Number 66 bus, which is exactly where I lost it (back in July)! It means so much to me that there are honest people in the world! (but where's the cash?)

I hope you find the little wallet as useful as I did!

Other than that...I'm stuck. Where's Jemock when you need her?

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Everyone has a purpose

While Clay was starting his album promotion by posting this:

I was off in Arizona doing this:

1842 miles, 3 states (barely), and 2 countries (if you count walking across the Mexican border for 2 minutes). Why can't I have a normal vacation? Eh, this is fun too. Not that I had a choice! We three sisters and my mom spend this week together every year, and usually it involves a lot of wear and tear on some poor rental car.

The word for the week was VAST. Lots of different kinds of vast, of course, but wow. Big vistas everywhere.

Grand Canyon


oops, that was last year...

Ahem. Sorry Judith, Karen made me do it. Why don't you believe me?

So we all had our purpose. Karen sat in front and navigated while I drove, and Judith sat in the back to keep Mom out of trouble. I'm not sure that was such a good pairing, since they're both a bit on the wild side, but we kept throwing tootsie pops back there to keep them quiet. I made good use of the brakes for all the quick cactus photo stops, and I only hit one curb, people! Shesh, you'd think I made a habit of it, as often as they brought it up. I can't help it if I saw a roadrunner and got corroboration (blows raspberries at Judith ;-).

I enjoyed Bisbee and the Queen copper mine, and the short side trip to Naco, Mexico was interesting, at least. The border fence just looked weird to me, and we saw the border patrol bring a few young Mexicans back into Mexico.

Sign heading into Arizona

We drove over the Hoover Dam on our way to spend a night in Vegas. We drove a different way back and went about 3 miles out of our way to touch California. There's a freakin' cattleguard on the border!

One day we took in the Biosphere 2, which is more interesting in retropect than I thought that day. I'm amazed my brain actually retained anything since all I could think of at the time was how hot and muggy it was inside. The 8 people who stayed in for two years grew their own food and didn't intend to allow anything in or out except a huge amount of electricity (which surprised and disappointed me). They did need oxygen pumped in once though; the microbes weren't doing their job. I would like to have seen it in its prime. Right now it looks like it's more or less dying, unless there's a large infusion of cash and enthusiasm.

We hit all the hot spots we wanted except, well, Phoenix itself. Mom's "Passport to Your National Parks" book got a lot of new stamps. At the rate she's going, she just may get them all stamped!

No National Parks next year, though. We're going to cover lots more miles and I won't even have to drive - we'll leave that to the Captain of the "Freedom of the Seas"!

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Friday, July 21, 2006

My Kind of Town

Sorry, bad cliche. But while I used to just fly through O'Hare, now I love to leave the abominably familiar airport for the less familiar but much more interesting city of Chicago.

It was a last minute 4 night trip that almost didn't happen. Flights were hard to come by, hotel space was tight, and we all but gave up. I worked out a celebratory birthday dinner with some friends on the last night, so we soldiered on. Vacations are such a chore ;-).

Four days using only public transportation - quite a change for this suburbanite. A couple of planes, a water taxi, a bunch of trains, too many buses, and a lot of stairs. No cars. It was hot. I think we dragged some NC weather with us. There was a thunderstorm our last night, so we when we left, the weather was much better. You're welcome.

We'd never noticed Buckingham Fountain on our previous visits, but we saw the 100+ foot vertical jet of water from the water taxi, and splashed through the spray on a later day. My camera never left the room, so I swiped this pic from a tourism site. We went to the Field Museum for our educational requirement - did you know we're still in an ice age? I didn't. Sue the dinosaur was smaller than I expected, but amazingly complete. The snack bar employees lacked the basics of competent service, but that's all I'm going to say about that.

While waiting for a bus back from the museum, we watched the participants stream into Soldier Field for the opening ceremonies of the gay games. The only thing that made it look different from any other sporting event were a few lame protesters. We did joke about a new version of drag racing (Oh! I broke a heel!)

We had two evening shows scheduled - Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, and Blue Man Group. People kept asking which we liked better, which was like comparing apples and basketballs. Both were great though! The Chicago run of Martin Short's show was just a brief warm up for Broadway, so if you get a chance, see it there. It's a musical loosely (quite loosely) based on his life, with much of it just made up for laughs. Irreverent, a bit bawdy, and fun! In many ways, he reminded me of Clay's recent tours. It had all the necessary elements - singing, a bit of dancing, some chatter, a little local humor, and audience participation, but I just can't see Clay singing the lyrics to the song that I kept hearing all weekend - "Big Titties" (it was set in the hospital nursery just after Martin was born, so it's not quite as bad as it sounds). However, this one? Maybe...

As my wife said to me,
just before she said no,
"If you need nightly stroking,
do a one man show!"

Click on the pic for some videos on the official site. It really was quite fun.

I don't have a performance bone in my body, but his quip about audiences being similar to Methadone struck me - They both make you feel good, but the audience members have their "judgement hats" on. It must be scary out there on that limb.

We'd seen Blue Man Group in Vegas where they were perhaps a bit more polished (and playing a much larger stage), but it was still very fun, and quite worth while. It's interesting that they can convey so much without moving their mouths. No talking, no smiles, no giggles. Just the tilt of a head, a deadpan glance, a pause. Very interesting. They have a good bit of audience participation (for the entire audience) and a couple individuals are brought up on stage. Shy folks should stay well away from the aisles!

One afternoon we did some shopping on Michigan Ave. Oh, who am I kidding; we were there for Ghirardelli's, but I did succumb to a Fossil purse. Marshall Field's gives out of towners (out of staters?) a 15% off coupon if you go to the 6th floor customer service and request it - nice!

Eli's Cheesecake was also on our "must do" list, although after our 1 1/2 hour public transportation debacle (original meaning) we weren't quite so thrilled (we missed the one daily public tour). We got tossed outside because of a fire alarm, and I chatted with one of the employees and got ourselved added to an afternoon group tour. Yeah!

The ChiPRoC is excellent at crashing manager's receptions! We hadn't had more than few drinks between us the previous few days, but...I think we made up for it that last night. We moved on to a deli around the corner and closed that place down as well.

I lost my little travel wallet on the bus to the airport (I hope whoever found it and didn't turn it in needed the money more than I do). No strip search required at the airport, but I did get patted down quite thoroughly. And we paid less for 5 days of airport parking than our friends did for one evening's parking in Chicago. Yeah, I enjoy visiting Chicago, but it's always good to be home.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Growing up

Swans Beautiful (and not muggy) day here, so we headed back to the lake. Awwwww...the ugly duckli...I mean the cygnet is still around! He's matured a lot since I last saw him.

So...will it be September 19th when he finally becomes a Swan?

Not much other news, but next week, next week... Fingers crossed for some album news from Clay. His simple little contest at the fan club (that brought the fans out in droves) ends on Wednesday. Bring it, Clay!

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Charmed flowers

I just have a different way of showing off my garden. These photos are a couple years old, but I wanted to do some colorful charms, so I did a bit of 'shopping and charming.

Three guesses who that last photo is.

Okay, one guess. *g*

:: waves to YSRN ::

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