Thursday, July 21, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
I am still blissed out after another fabulous night at The Birchmere. I bought tickets to see Kasey Chambers the moment her new tour was announced. Originally I thought my bestie Betsy was going with me but she made plans to visit her family at the beach (and who could blame her) then I thought I'd force Miles to join me, he's my child he has to do what I say right? Well he made other plans as well...so then I invited EVERYONE I could think of including broadcasting it on Facebook, but NO ONE could/would go. So you know what I did? I went all by myself!!! I had a blast.
The Birchmere is my favorite venue, it relatively small and intimate and it has open seating, so it doesn't matter when you buy your ticket, it only matters what time you line up at the door the night of the show. I have a system and a favorite seat and so far I have not been disappointed, since I started my system I have always sat at the same table with the same fabulous view of the stage. Last night was no different. I showed up at 4:30pm last night which is actually late for me, I've been known to get there as early as 3:30 and been first in line! Last night I was #20 in line. I sat on the ground with my back against the building and read my book until 5pm when they opened the door and gave me my tickets and line number. Then I sat in the bar and read my book (really good book btw) until 6pm when they opened the Music Hall door and called my number. I sashayed my way right to my favorite table, a 4 top, and sat down and opened my book again. Within a few minutes a gentleman walked up and asked if I was alone and if he could sit with me. Well of course you can! Turned out he was an education professor at Towson University, one of my alma maters! Also turned out he was a big fan of Kasey and folk/bluegrass music so we had a great conversation about music and we each made a list of acts and albums to check out. Also turned out that he is married. Sigh, the story of my life. Shortly after Mr. Professor and I dove headfirst into conversation two more guys walked up and asked if they could sit with us. We said SURE. They sat down and talked to each other. All three of these guys were age appropriate, tall, handsome and obviously had good taste in music. I figured the other two were gay.
The opening act was a young guy I had never heard of although this didn't bother me in the least because I have discovered both Red Molly and Justin Townes Earle when they opened up for someone bigger at The Birchmere and they are two of my favorites. This kid's name was Owen Danoff and he just graduated from the Berklee School of Music. He did an excellent job, he was funny and self deprecating and he and his partner (who's name was Adrian something) were terrific at the guitar and at harmonizing. Turned out that his mother was sitting at the table right behind me so I got to talk to her as well.
I talked to all three of my table mates during the break between acts. Mr. Professor went out to the merch table and the other two and I compared notes on what we thought about Owen. Turns out they were brothers although they looked NOTHING alike and one of them is a Lighting Guy on Broadway!!!!!!! Needless to say I SWOONED at that! His brother was the local of the two and when we had a discussion about the best pizza, he actually named Melting Pot before I could!!!! We were each suitably impressed that the other knew about our favorite pizza.
Then Kasey and her band came out and brought the house down. She is amazing and last night she was 6 months pregnant which makes her even more amazing in my book! She had her dad with her on stage as always and this time she had another girl and a young guy as well. She did a great job as always but I think my favorite part of her shows is her storytelling between songs. She played my two favorites "Not Pretty Enough" and "The Captain" but I think my favorite song of the night was a bluegrass primer for Aussies. She said that they don't really know bluegrass in Australia so she is trying to introduce them to it gently. And then she played the funniest medley I have ever heard!!! All four bandmates stood up around one microphone and started playing bluegrass sounding music and then began singing Not Pretty Enough followed by The Captain followed by Stayin Alive followed by Beat It!!! I thought I was gonna fall on the floor laughing. It was priceless and I only wish I had video of it!
When the show was over Mr. Pizza and Mr. Broadway waved and left before the lights even came up. Mr. Professor said how glad he was to meet me. I turned to Owen's Mom and told her what a great job her son had done and then I made my way to the parking lot where I read my book for another 15 minutes while the traffic jam cleared off.
All in all it was one of my best concert experiences ever and other than the fact that I had to eat a ticket, it may be my favorite one so far. Definite proof that I don't need a date to have fun!!!
Monday, July 4, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I have had a very good week:
- I had my annual review at my new job which was really my 90 day review since that's how long I've been there. They all had flattering things to say about me so I was more than pleased. I'm not sure if I'm eligible for an increase or a bonus at this stage but obviously both things would be welcome.
- I finished a project that I thought would only take a few days and ended up taking more than three weeks. It was transcribing interviews with various heads of human services organizations and while sometimes tedious it was also interesting. I also got to use a transcribing pedal for the first time and I really loved that gadget!
- I found a birthday gift for my mother that I have wanted to get for her for years. Her birthday isn't until November but I really want to give it to her RIGHT NOW!
- I have almost nailed the ins and outs of a complicated project that I have to accomplish on the 14th of every month for one of my five bosses. Each month I get it done faster and I understand it better, next month it should be a breeze.
- I bought myself a skillet and a turner at a thrift store so now I can have grilled cheese sandwiches again. Hooray!
- I had some very illuminating conversations with a college friend who only new me for a short time 25 years ago. Their memories of who I was then, how I carried myself, how I was viewed by the world around me gave me terrific insight and peace on who was then and who I am now. I feel almost reborn in a way, that sounds so cheesy, but I really do have a new sense of peace and I wake up smiling every day.
- I bought two tickets in the second row of BOOK OF MORMON for my birthday next year!! Miles and I can hardly wait!
- I figured out what to do with an afghan that I had started for someone that I could no longer give it to. I have almost finished it now and the little girl who will get it will be thrilled as it is much larger than the one I made that she keeps stealing from her new baby sister.
- I met a young man at work who is equally interested in blood drives and we have spearheaded a new blood drive program at work. We are both very excited about it and so is HR.
- I discovered Green Olive Tapenade at Whole Foods and it is my new favorite food.
- I read, I crocheted, I played on the computer, I sang, I practiced my banjo, I cooked for my son, I visited with friends, all to my heart's content.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
I just took this cake out of my oven. OMG, it is so yummy!!! Mine isn't as pretty as this picture, but it was definitely easy and quick. There is most certainly some rapture going on in my living room.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
It has been rough being me over the last few months and I had no desire to share my pain online. Even now I'm not sure I can tell the story and I know I can't tell it without tears pouring down my face. Frankly, I'm tired of crying. Suffice it to say that my heart was ripped out of my chest and stomped on and I'm not recovered. I have however made a fresh start.
I am living in a cozy, sweet apartment three miles away from my wonderful, gorgeous son. I am working for a cool, dynamic company that takes very good care of their employees and I have such a solid collection of friends that complaining about my lot in life would be ludicrous.
I crochet and read and watch tv as much as I want. I have work that challenges me. I see my son as much as his busy teenager schedule will allow. I watch every minute of every NASCAR race. My paychecks are back where they belong. Life is good.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I'm sorry I have neglected you! I know, I know, you are waiting for the rest of the Birthday Trip story...and all the news happening now. I have just been overwhelmed with school and life and school and life. Five people in my town or from my town have died in the past three days...see, life is overwhelming here!
Anyway, I am writing today just to tell you this...I love Elizabeth Berg! She writes wonderful novels and a wonderful blog. I wrote her a letter last year and I just read her blog and discovered that she thanked me online for my letter!!!! Here's what she said...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
However, they also had Galaga which was my FAVORITE arcade game back in the day! I rock Galaga, I even beat Joseph's high score, although I came nowhere close to the high score for the machine which they post on a little placard on every machine there! When our hour was done (which felt like three minutes later) we went out onto the boardwalk and were planning to walk down to the water's edge and get our feet wet, but the "beach cops" had different plans for us. Turns out that you have to pay to walk out on the beach there! I didn't need wet toes that badly, so we turned around and headed to the rig, for some reason though the cops gave us the stinkeye until we were out of siight. I'm not sure why they were so anxious about our presense, maybe they thought we were gonna turn around and bum rush our way onto the sand?
Monday, August 2, 2010
When we finally got home from our Lake trip we unpacked and got our laundry started. We were still pouting because we didn't want the adventures to stop. We drove up to Winchester in our car which felt very weird after being in the rig for a week. We went to the Camping World store there though, so we were still traveling in our souls! After shopping we stopped for lunch and while we were eating my sister called. My sister lives in Brooklyn and was feeling lonely because her roommate was out of town. She didn't have to ask us twice to come visit! We could hardly get home fast enough to pack up and take off for New York City.
Now, I know you are wondering where on Earth we thought we were gonna CAMP in New York City. Well for once Dear Reader, I am one step ahead of you. It so happens that years ago when I was married we travelled to NYC on a regular basis, but we couldn't afford to stay in the expensive hotels in the area. We usually stayed with friends, but I researched camping options (we were tent campers) so that if our friends' couches and floors were unavailable, we'd still be able to go visit the big apple. While Joseph was throwing our snacks and computers and clean laundry into baskets to carry out to the rig I looked up the Liberty Harbor Campground which I had found way back in the day. It still existed, but by the time I called it was after 5pm so I got a voicemail when I tried to make a reservation.
Liberty Harbor is in Jersey City where two friends of mine live or have lived. It has been my gateway to Manhattan for years. So directions were not an issue, from the time we left the house until we got off the turnpike I knew exactly where we were, and finding the campground turned out to be a snap. We pulled into the gatehouse and although we didn't have a reservation the night guard assured us there was room and took our information. We drove through the gate and were simply amazed at what we found. It was nothing more than an asphalt parking lot with 50 or more motor homes, fifth wheels and travel trailers. They were all parked close together just like a regular parking lot, but down the center lines of the rows were electric and water hookups. I think it is a truly amazing and beautiful idea. Whoever owns that parking lot is making themselves a mint. It was a random weeknight and the place was packed. It turned out that the campground was actually completely booked, even though we had found an empty space, and in the morning they informed us that although we couldn't have a regular space with hookups, we could still stay in lot, off to the side and pay for the privilege. We were happy to pay for a safe parking space though, we have a terrific generator for power and they had a nice bathhouse . They are located only 6 blocks from the PATH train and they have a view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty.
So here we are in NYC, we headed over to Manhattan around noon and our first priority was some good new york pizza! We got off the PATH train at the WTC and started walking north. Within a couple of blocks we found our heart's desire and had a slice. We texted Katy and let her know we were headed in her direction and got subway instructions. Now, as many times as I have been in NYC, I have never taken the subway unless I was with a local. It just seemed entirely to confusing and I really didn't want to be lost underground. Katy has been living there for a while now and was confident of her subway directions, so we trusted her and headed underground. We found her work with no trouble at all. She works for an adorable portrait studio on the upper west side, Portrait Bug, you can even see her pretty face on their website! She introduced us to her co-workers and showed us some portraits she had shot that morning and then just before her quitting time, her boss came in and we got to meet her and her husband as well. After we left, we made our way to several landmarks that I have always wanted to see including the flagship Tiffany's store, Trump Tower and St. Patrick's Cathedral. We also found a Tad's Steakhouse which is one of my favorite places to eat in NY. It is just a hole-in-the-wall chain, but the food is always good and the prices are great, especially for Manhattan.
The next day we left the rig earlier and made our way all the way over to Katy's apartment in Brooklyn. Katy needed food and had other errands to run, so we ran around Brooklyn with her including a trip to Costco. Katy didn't have a Costco card but I do so she was able to stock up on a ton of frozen foods that were reasonably priced. Her local grocery stores don't have the variety of frozen choices that she is used to and she hates buying fresh food and then having it go bad before she has time to eat it. She was a very happy girl, and I was actually able to add her to my account while we were there, so she can go back. After all our errand running we met up with my friend Nicole for dinner at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame restaurant at 519 Hudson and 10th Street. This restaurant had been on my list of places to try for quite awhile. I actually first saw it on Sex and the City. The food was really good and we were glad to have searched it out. It was really good to see Nicole and have her finally meet Katy. On our way out we walked through a movie or television taping. Not sure what show it was but they were filming street scenes outside another restaurant as well as filming a scene inside a restaurant, so we just moseyed our way right on down the street.
We headed back to Katy's house in Brooklyn because our brother (CAB) was on his way up from Florida and Joseph and I wanted to surprise him. He had no idea that we were already up there and I had been very quiet about it on facebook all week to keep him in the dark. We went to all this trouble because CAB loves to surprise people in this way, and it was nice to be able to do it to him for once. Once CAB arrived and was suitably surprised we played a trivia game which is pretty much a mandatory activity when a group of us in are in the same room. By the time we left it was close to midnight and by the time we got back to the Rallye Girl it was after 2am and we were EXHAUSTED.
CAB wanted to see our rig and Katy had to work the next morning so he left Brooklyn with her and came to find us in Jersey City. We hung out for a while and then we drove him back to the PATH station and we headed home. We love NY and were thrilled at how well the Liberty Harbor Marina RV Park served our needs. We know we will be back there soon!