Monday, November 26, 2012

#322 American Boy

Last night Heidi and I went to see Chris Isaak.  I have one of his CDs (Always Got Tonight) but have never seen him live.  He was in town for 92.3's Rock to Read.  A friend sent me an online promotion for $15 tickets.  Can't beat that! 

The opening act was Kat Edmonson.  She was great with a very distinctive voice.  A good pairing with Chris, as he is very distinctive as well. 

I expected a good show and that's what we got.  He's a great performer and very funny as well (as I knew from watching a few episodes of The Chris Isaak Show).  He did not disappoint! 

We sat in the balcony Row P, pretty much center. There are no bad seats at the Murat, but my picture taking was hindered by the spotlight, which tended to wash him out. Two of my approximately 10 pictures turned out really well, and as luck would have it, one of them included a giant blowup pin-up girl. You're welcome, guys.

P.S. - After posting yesterday I realized I forgot to tell a funny story about the concert.  As I stood waiting for Heidi to arrive, I noticed quite a few women wearing crazy high heels.  Like the heels without heels.  And really interesting outfits.  And most of them were black.  I thought, "Wow, I didn't realize Chris Isaak had such a black following!"  I then realized that everyone was walking through the Egyptian Room entrance and they were not there for Chris Isaak but for a Studio 54 hair show.  Hahahaha!  I even saw a friend from work, who is black, and as I waved to her (I was on the phone with my brother) I thought, "Dominique likes Chris Isaak?"  Heidi and I talked to Dominique today and next year we want to go with her to the hair show. 

#321 Small Business Saturday

Last Saturday I headed to Irvington to do some Small Business Saturday shopping.  One of the stores I hit was Black Sheep.  I usually spend time looking at lots of different things - some are new, some I've seen before, but all are interesting. As I paid for my items, the owner said, "I love that you appreciate all the things on the top shelves."  That I do!  But that got me to thinking that maybe I'm missing some things on the bottom shelves...

Other great stores are Homespun and Annie's Apparel Resale.  Check them out! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

#320 Sophie and Naomi

Ellen has Sophia Grace and Rosie (see Post No. 282). I have Sophie and Naomi. Last Saturday I stopped at the Aunt Millie bread outlet. They changed their hours and I can no longer go after work so I have to go on the weekends. As I picked out my bread I was immediately greeted by a little girl holding up a box of Christmas cakes. “Look!” she said. “Mmmmmm.” I replied, somewhat ignoring her. I then got in line and there she was again. With her sister. Who started talking to me and by the time we got to the counter I had learned that her name was Naomi and little sister was Sophie. Naomi asked how old I thought she was (I guessed 10 and was off by three months. She turns 10 in February). I did guess Sophie correctly at age 7. (Not bad for a childless person!)  Naomi plays soccer and scored five goals in one game so her coach told her to let other players score. She also plays kickball at recess. During one game she got up to kick and all the boys yelled to move in. She proceeded to kick the ball over all of their heads. The next time she was up they didn’t move back. Way to go Naomi! She commented that I was very tall and asked me how I got to be so tall. Then she asked me if I played basketball, and when I told her I used to, she asked me why I didn’t play any longer. I started to say, “I’m too old” but I didn’t want her to think that just because you get old you stop playing, so I told her I wasn’t in school anymore so I didn’t have a team to play for. And that I now play tennis. She was a very nice and respectful young lady. Another customer kind of ran her cart into Sophie and Naomi was quick to apologize for Sophie getting in her way (which she really wasn’t). Naomi’s parents seemed amused at our conversation. They were probably happy to have a break from her talking to them.

When I walked in the store I was bummed that I’d have to stand in line on a Saturday. When I walked out of the store, I had a smile on my face after having a nice conversation with a pretty cool 10 year-old. If we could all be more child-like, life would be a lot more enjoyable.

#319 Line 'Em Up

Last Friday night I attended the 12th Man Leukemia Jam, a benefit for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and to show support for Colt’s coach Chuck Pagano, who was diagnosed with leukemia several weeks ago. I have participated in two bicycling events with LLS’s Team In Training Program, so when I heard about this event I was interested. Make a donation and get to meet interim Colts coach Bruce Arians, quarterback Andrew Luck and wide receiver Reggie Wayne. And have food and drinks from Dunaway’s Palazzo Ossigeno. A win-win, right? Almost.

The event was from 6-10 p.m., with autographs scheduled from 7-9 p.m. I drove by the restaurant around 5:50 p.m. and people were already in line down the street. My friends and I got in line at 6:15 p.m. At that time I estimate there were over 100 people in line. Outside. In November. Luckily, the temperature was fairly moderate in the upper 40s. The line moved along ok until around 6:45 p.m., when we stood still for probably half an hour and were maybe 20 feet from the door. During this time a few people in front and behind us gave up and called cabs. We finally made it inside around 7:30.

After checking in, we immediately got in the autograph line. I did want food (the Donger needs food!) but our main concern at this point was autographs. My friends all brought items so I offered to help them get more things signed. Did I mention I had to go to the bathroom? Our line snaked through the bar area and back toward the stair landing, up the stairs, and all through the second floor. I felt like I was at King’s Island. The only thing missing was a sign telling me how long of a wait I had from a certain point. (One guy did tell us it would take about 45 minutes once we got into a bigger room upstairs).

We finally made it to the autograph table at 8:45 p.m. Whew! Along the way we read signs that autographs were not guaranteed so we never were overly confident. I stepped up to face Reggie and he looked at me with his head cocked to one side. I said, “You look puzzled.” He smiled and asked, “How tall are you?” I’d never seen him up close, but he is adorable! They were all very nice, and Julie and I both leaned in separately to get pictures with Andrew and Reggie. We waited a short time for our friends to get through the line and then headed to the food.

Ahh, the food. The food was great – a carving station, bruschetta & dip station, seafood station and slider station. Vegetables & dip, fruit, antipasto & cheese. We even heard there were crab claws but never saw them. We stuffed ourselves for the last hour of the event. We even made it to the roof for s’mores, hot cider and hot cocoa with amaretto. Yum!

This event did not turn out how any of us expected. I think it’s great that Dunaway’s held it at their restaurant. The owner’s brother died of leukemia in the 1950s. Back then, and even as recent as 20 years ago, there was much more limited treatment. I know how important fundraising has been to facilitate the creation of new treatments to save lives. However, as a person who works in the event-planning business, I have a few observations about this particular event (that I will also share with Dunaway’s).

• If you have 500 people RSVP for your event, I would suggest you have space for 500 people in your establishment. I realize they wanted to raise as much money as possible, but having people who paid a lot of money stand outside in line for over an hour is not a good practice. What if it was 30 degrees outside? What if it was raining? As I said earlier, I saw several people leave and I heard more than one person remark that they had paid via credit card and planned to stop charges. This could reflect badly on the LLS and Dunaway’s, but I am mostly worried about the LLS. My plan was that if I did not get in or get an autograph, I would cancel my charge and make a donation directly to the LLS.

• Once you have people inside, it would be nice to have the food and beverages along the line so you can eat as you go. The food was at the far ends of the rooms and with all of the items we had in our hands it was difficult to maneuver around all the people. And our main priority was autographs. Well, my friends’ main priority was autographs…I’m always about the food. :-)

Despite our frustrations during the night, we did have a good time. I’m one to hang in there (see Post No. 283) until things are really dire. We kept our sense of humor and it was definitely good people-watching. And I’ve learned that if you keep a relatively good attitude about things, more times than not, things end up working out ok.

Friday, November 9, 2012

#318 The Tall Girl!

Last night I attended a customer-appreciation party at Matthews Bicycles. As I browsed the store, a man stopped me and said he’d seen me before around town and that he always thought, “There’s the tall girl.” Yes! I am the tall girl again!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

#317 The Tall Woman

I was in the locker area at the gym this morning when a woman I’d seen regularly this week walked into the room from the shower and said, “It’s the tall woman!”  She then introduced herself and said something like, “I just always refer to you as the tall woman.  Now I know your name!”  She’s very nice and I was not offended by her comment.  The only thing that bugged me a little is that she referred to me as a tall woman.  I still refer to myself as a girl, even at age 44. 

#316 I Vote, I Count (I Knock Myself Out)

This past Tuesday I arrived at my voting location at 6 a.m.  There were about 20 people in front of me outside the building.  Since they combined precincts a year or so ago, the lines have been longer and the room is not very large so the line extends outside.  The line moved fairly fast and as I was about halfway to the door I noticed there was a canopy over it.  Once I actually got to the door and started to step in, I hit my forehead lightly on the front of the canopy.  Sigh.  I used my usual self-defense mechanism (humor) to make light of my embarrassment.  I turned to the woman next to me, an older woman topping out at maybe 5 feet, and said, “Watch your head.”  She gave a great belly laugh.  Mission accomplished.  Probably the only laugh of the morning at that polling station.   

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#315 Faith, Football and Winning the Big One

I went to a Southeastern Conference school so I am well aware of the competitiveness of SEC football.  I read an article today about Georgia's football coach Mark Richt and thought it was too good not to share.  How wonderful to see a coach that is not afraid to speak about his faith.  It was also nice to hear his story about Bobby Bowden at the beginning of the article. 

Bowden's speech about "winning the big one" is true for many aspects of life.  The vast majority of society things success is only about winning, being famous, having lots of money, a big house and a fancy car.  Take a look at the headlines and you will see examples of people who seem to have it all, yet they are not truly happy and don't feel any different.  They may even feel more empty. 

Fame and fortune can bring security to a point, but what is the point if at the end of your life, Christ wasn't a part of it?  He is the only security you will ever need. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#314 Five Finger Discount...Sans Fingers

Last Thursday I walked to the mall on my lunch hour.  I made one detour on the way back to the office and stopped at T.J. Maxx.  I browsed the purses, shoes and some coats.  While looking at shoes, I knelt down to see the lowest shelf, then stood up and continued to walk around the store.  A short time later, a woman approached me and said, "Excuse me, but you have a bra hanging from the back of your coat." 

The rack of bras on plastic hangers was right next to the shoes, so when I knelt down and stood back up, one of the bra hangers hooked onto the belt on the back of my coat.  I didn't feel it at all!  It was a big, black, strapless push-up bra.  Not even my size. 

When I got back to work I told my boss that I was almost arrested for shoplifting at lunch.  I can't imagine what I would have done had I walked out of the store and heard the alarm go off!

#313 Brian Cramp

My blog title is not a typo.  Let me give some background information:  my college basketball coach used to yell at us when we'd make a mistake in practice and would say, "Whatya got, a brain cramp?"  From then on I would jokingly say I had a brain cramp whenever I'd do something stupid. 

Fast forward to earlier this year when I attended the KISS concert.  (See Post No. 307)  Heidi, Nicole and I were hanging out in the VIP room and I noticed a very tall guy who looked familiar.  I knew he played basketball but couldn't put my finger on where.  After a while I settled on Brian Cardinal, a 6'8" center who played at Purdue from 1995 to 1997. 

I tried to Google him on my phone to see a picture, but didn't get very good service.  Later in the evening I heard another guy in the room yell, "Hey Brian!" so I felt that was the confirmation I needed to go talk to him.  He was married, but thought it would be cool to rub elbows with a Purdue person.  And he was with some other tall guys.  I approached him, introduced myself, and told him my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew all went to Purdue.  He was with some friends so they talked to me a  bit, and then I went back to Heidi and Nicole. 

After I got home I had a nagging feeling to try to look up his photo again.  This time it worked and...that doesn't look like the Brian I saw.  The wheels in my brain started whirring and it hit me.  That wasn't Brian Cardinal.  That was Brian Evans.  Who played at Indiana.  Holy crap!  Even though I was alone in the comfort of my own home, I was mortified.  I'm a basketball player for Pete's sake!  I should know my basketball players!

I told this story to Heidi the next day, but swore I would never tell this story to anyone else.  But it's too funny not to share!  My brother and sister-in-law will especially love this.  I will probably never hear the end of it.  Oh well. I did have a huge Brian cramp!! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

#312 Happy Halloween

I just realized I hadn't posted pictures from Halloween since 2009.  What's up with that?  For the past few years I've had to come up with two costumes.  One for a party held outside (well, inside an garage), and one for work.  I need to dress for warmth for the outside party and sometimes the work costume will work, but is not always ready.  I also need to step it up for work because we have a contest.  I have won one of the titles each year in the past and feel a mounting pressure each year to continue my streak.  People also expect big things from me and I don't want to disappoint them.   

This year's party costume was put together in less than a week.  Heidi decided to be Daphne after checking out costumes for red heads.  Krista (Scooby Doo) and Julie (Fred) jumped on board, as did I (Shaggy).  Velma was kidnapped by the ghost.  Zoiks!

 My work costume took a little more time to put together, although I did get my idea over the summer when I saw a street performer on Mass. Ave. during a First Friday Fringe event.

Special thanks to: 
  • The Mass. Ave. lady for giving me the idea. 
  • Michelle for giving me the dummy head. 
  • Patty (Michelle's deceased neighbor) for my swimming cap.
  • Lynne for finding the swimming cap in Patty's yard sale (best .25 ever spent).
  • Sears for having a super sale so I could buy two identical tankinis for $10 each. 
  • Work for letting us dress up! 
I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween!