Thursday, July 29, 2004
I loved Todd as a kid. My first double album was Something Anything. Alone in my room I played it over and over on my dinky little record player until the vinyl was gray. I knew all the works to all the songs. My favorite was "I saw the Light." It was the one song that I longed to hear. I knew it would take me back to my small cozy room, with the pink walls and burgundy wine color carpet, with Beatle posters on the wall, and most my clothes on the floor. I wanted to close my eyes and look out the window of that second story room into the tree tops of my youth. I wanted to step into that time machine with Todd at the controls.
While standing in line to purchase the tickets with about 200 other nostalgic baby boomer aging hippies, our freak flags replaced with the gray mantle of grand parenthood, I felt someone's eyes on me. Turning, I found myself looking at a person who I went through prison with, though our parents called it a Catholic High School. We caught up on the years since out last high school reunion and purchased tickets next to each other, which were ten rows back from the stage.
I couldn't wait! Finally the evening came. The theater was packed. We settled into our seats and the show began on time without a warm up band. Who needed to warm us up! We sang along with the songs and were having a grand time.
I began to panic, as the show was long and he had yet to sing, "I saw the light." I poked Joe and said, "Have I missed something." And Joe replied back to me, "I wish he would do his hard rock stuff!"
It was then that Todd put down the guitar, walked away from the piano and brought out a drum machine and a ukulele!
He began to play "I don't want to work" which is my anthem anymore. I was still happy and still waiting for "I saw the light." Suddenly, I thought I recognized it....oh no! He was singing it accompanying himself with the ukulele! He was making fun of it! Styling it as a parody of the wonderful song. I could not help it, I began to cry.
Joe, or course, thought it was hilarious.
Leaving the theater with Joe and my high school friend, we encountered yet another High School class member sitting right behind us!
"What did you think?" he asked us.
"He was great." Joe replied.
"What did you think about 'I saw the light", I asked.
"That was the best one. I hated that song."
Damn. Am I the only one who loved that pop icon? Instead of being carried back to my youth, I had my memories trashed!
The reason I bring this up is that I go to very few concerts anymore. I have seen the Rolling Stones one too many times, the Beatles will never tour again. Todd is on my "bad word"" list now. Yet, I have been knocked out by the sound of the SAW DOCTORS, an Irish band (natch) that is going to be playing in Dublin, Ohio at the Irish Festival in August.
Since discovering them, I have memorized the entire "Live In Galway" album (CD).... I want to be able to sing along in case I am being watched ("remember Metallica" is my touchstone regarding such things) They better not try anything funny.....
Monday, July 26, 2004
I went to Louisville to visit with Bridget and her boyfriend S. I have had a hankering to taste the dairy delight I caught on a morning television show, called Geli's Cakes on Bardstown Rd...Italian Ice Cream!!!
It was wonderful! So creamy and smoother than the ice cream I am accustomed to. It was absolutely heaven.
I took this picture of Bridget and S. walking down Bardstown Rd. ahead of us. I thought they looked so cute holding hands.
The digital camera is unforgiving...you can not have the slightest movement. The shutter is unlike a 35mm SLR which is measured in fractions of a second. I am disappointed in so many of my blurry pictures. This one was even worse, because I thought the camera was broke. In all the pictures there was this strange extra blurry white burst in the left corner! Oh drat!!! I have finally ruined my camera!
Then I realized all the tainted photo's were after the ice cream......Hey, wait a minute.
I looked at the camera lens...yup! Ice Cream smeared in the left corner! But...Italian Ice Cream.
Friday, July 23, 2004
For the past ten days I have been involved with the Bluegrass Fair. This is the seventh year I have managed this event. When May rolls around there is a little voice in the back of my head that begins to whisper, "It's almost July....almost July....almost July."
The first year I was in "charge" it was a catastrophe. I was new to the position, my boss was brand new, the account manager I replaced had been promoted to another sales center and was not available for consultation and advice. I was on my own. They did give me the "boy." I'll call him Brian. Brian was a University of Kentucky college student who worked for my company as the Campus Rep.
He was (and still is) a good kid. He was a fifth year senior, an only child, mature beyond his years, responsible and a great companion. He was given to me with these instructions, "Use him to help with the Fair, and teach him something." I'm not sure I taught him much of anything, but we had a great time together that summer.
The first thing we did with the Fair was to meet all the concessionaires and take their orders. We either loaded the Pup Truck (a small kind you can use without a CDL) or had Crazy Ernie ("what's in it for me") load it for us. Off to the Fair we'd go, dropping off the product, chase down the concessionaires for payment, haggle over payment and price. They abused us, refused to pay, told us our prices were too high, had us running ragged and loving every minute of it. We worked from 7am until 8pm some nights. Brian handled the money. At times he began to resemble the concessionaires with his huge wads of cash.
In addition to the Fair, I was also in charge of the Cincinnati Bengal Training Camp in Georgetown. So I had two huge events happening simultaneously and not a clue about either of them. But I did have Brian, and we got through it somehow. Barely.
Saturday afternoon we met and delivered our "much needed and much loved" product to the Fair. We were driving around the circle doing our thing of dropping off the product and trying to find someone to pay us. We were paged from the Bengal Camp...Frantically! Some emergency that required our immediate attention!
Mary and Brian to the rescue! We were using one of the cargo vans at the time, and it was into this vehicle that we jumped to race off. Taking that right turn out of the Fair, I got way too close to the gate and clipped it...Clipped it good.
Now I'm still pretty new at this job. I did not know that I was required to immediately report myself as having had an accident to my supervisor so I can wisked away to be drug tested (one of the little idiosyncrasies of working with the DOT). Instead, we continued on our mission to resolve the problem at Bengal Camp.
The next day we were in Cincinnati at Kings Island having the yearly family outing the company throws. I was sitting in the Beer Garden with my immediate supervisor and I causally mention, "Oh by the way, I wrecked the van at the Fair yesterday." He spit beer across the table and nearly hit Joe in the face with it.
Monday morning Brian and I were taken into separate rooms and made to deliver our story of the accident. We were not to hear what the other was saying. Our stories were the same! The biggest concern was that I was taking the rap for Brian. Concern was that he was a college student, he might need to "study" for the drug test. And that I was covering for him. There is more to this story, that involves breaking the law so I will not go into it. HA. HA.
Brian and I were then separated for the rest of his tenure at the company, which was another three years! Every so often it would work out that he would accompany me, presumably to help out. Whenever we were seen together people would feign mock horror.
The Fair has always been a hassle. It is hard to believe that this fair is the seventh I have overseen. It runs much more smoothly that that first frenzied summer.
But it will never as much fun.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
This is the last picture I took while in Ireland. We had just gotten through Airport security, cashed in the Euro's for American (I left Ireland with $35 dollars! Astonishing!) then promptly spent them in the last Irish Pub I would set foot in on Irish soil.
You have to love the Pub. If you are looking to meet a rugby player, or football player, hang out in the Irish Pub at the Airport. It was noisy, boisterous, shoulder to shoulder, full of testosterone and I prayed they were on the plane with us! Alas, they were not.
For me, some of the best parts of the trip is the traveling. Perhaps this is a left over from my childhood when we would pile into the family station wagon for our family vacation adventures. I still love the act of "getting there" almost as the place itself.
On our way home from Ireland, we had filled up a water bottle with vodka! A great way to spend the eight hour flight to Chicago. After the first round of drinks, the flight attendants abandoned us and left us to our own devices. Joe went up and down the aisles, bringing us orange juice! We watched two air line worthy movies, he slept, I read.
My magic carpet ride.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
I'm not sure if I'm flattered or shattered. I work in an industry that requires that we have drivers with ADL's. These guys drive our bulk and side load trucks delivering our much needed and much loved product to our customers, who then provide it to the end consumer. Anyway, that is why I was talking to one of the drivers in the parking lot yesterday afternoon. Important to note that his age is approximately late 20's, maybe early 30's.
We were discussing the movie crew that was in my home town the day before, filming a movie starring Orlando Bloom, Kirstin Dunst, and Susan Sarandon. (I kid you not, movie directors and producers have discovered the beauty of central Kentucky.)
I said something to the effect of, "I bet you would have liked to have gotten out of the truck and met Kristin?" and he replied, "Oh no. I would much rather have met Susan Saharan." Then he gave me THAT LOOK, lowering his eye lids and his voice, "I prefer older women."
At first I thought, "That little bugger....calling me an 'older woman"!! I am not an older woman!!!!!!" Then I realized he was trying to flirt with me! And paying me a compliment.
When did I become an "older woman". In my mind I am still that girl who blushes at such a compliments. One who feels like she is 16 when around an attractive man!
Oh my gosh......this is serious. When did this happen?
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Molly Malone...one of, if not, the most recognizable statue in Dublin.
From that tart to this tart.............Thank you all very much for all your comments and kind words. It has been a trip to be featured on the Editors Top Five Picks and quite an honor.
Having the opportunity to visit and explore Ireland was a life altering experience. It was a pleasure to share my adventure with you guys. To write about it was to live it again.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
When we were driving towards Galway after seeing the Cliffs of Moher Joe would ask, "And the name of this town....? You can imagine my attempts at pronunciation! The names were as lyrical as the villages were magical.
It was raining this day, yet it just made it more beautiful. As you can see, we are on the left side of the road! And the ocean is in front of us.
Breathtaking in its beauty...even thru the raindrops on the windshield.
(Actually, I think this is Ballyvaghan. Please notice all the empty beer kegs outside the pub!)
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Spanning the Liffey River is the footbridge Ha'penny (the toll use to be half a penny). Narrow and beautiful in its arching simplicty we crossed it several times in our wanderings around Dublin's O'Connell Street area.
Notice the absence of tall buildings. It is this way in all of Ireland.
Monday, July 12, 2004
Every June for the past five years we have traveled to Tennessee to spend a long weekend at the Lake House in Lake Norris. Omega's husband's family, a bunch of builders, constructed this magnificent home for their parents as a retirement vacation get a way. It is a mammoth home with four bathrooms, two great rooms, two kitchens, six bedrooms, two levels high build overlooking the forest dense Lake Norris. It is really gracious of them to allow our family a family reunion at this paradise once a summer.
It is a typical lake mini vacation. Boat rides, tubing, canoeing, cooking, eating, beer drinking, swimming, sun bathing on the dock. One year we were decided to have a swimming competition! I was doing a mental review of the mouth to mouth resuscitation! This year we had fireworks. The really good kind you can only get in Tennessee! Always included is a trip to Dinosaur Island. This is a continuing game for the children. A pirate map washes up on shore in a grimy bottle. The map leads them to Dinosaur Island and a treasure hunt!
All my brothers and sisters and their families attend the week end. And sometimes we are visited by Omega's brother-in-law who is married to her husbands sister. They live close to the area, out side Knoxville. He is great fun. One night playing charades with my mother he acted out Moonstruck...but that is another story!
I just have to share with you all this story he told us about his recent visit to France.
He and his wife were invited to attend a wedding in Paris. She speaks fluid French and actually stayed with this family while an exchange student. He can only speak a few phrases of French and understands even less. The morning of the wedding they ate a light breakfast of only yogurt and toast. Then set out to attend the wedding which was to take place in the late morning.
Civil ceremony 1 hour
Drive to church 45 minutes
Wait for church wedding 1 hour
Wedding 1hr 15 miutes
Reception at church
for those unable to
attend big reception 1hr 30 minutes
Drive to reception 1hr
Waiting for doors to open 30 minutes.
Remember, nothing to eat all day since the light breakfast. Now they are being served wine, and a lot of it! On top of the champagne they were served at the mini reception. He is beginning to feel light headed...but the doors are finally opening and ...........
They are thrown open, everyone rushes in. But wait, there are games to play first before any food. And of course, they drink more wine.
Several people are chosen from the tables, and he is one of them. Out of all the people attending the reception, he is the only one who does not speak French! He does not understand a word of the instructions of how to play this game. All he knows that is that everyone is running around frantically yelling at him and making gestures he cannot decipher! His wife is red faced shouting English instructions at him. He instinctively holds up the number he has been handed and the crowd cheers!!! They won!!
The next round, they lost and he had to sit down.
Oh happy day! Food....wait, its only French Soup, and more wine. And Jesus, Mary, and Joseph...another game! All the men must gather on the dance floor while the women sit. Once again he is clueless as the instructions are given, but he can see this time what he must do. When his turn arrives, he must dance and gyrate in front of the women while they cheer and give the thumbs up or thumbs down. He passes and continues on to the next round. More wine.
He passes through many more rounds doing the 20 second flash dance! More Wine. He is beginning to feel loopy.
Finally, he is one of the final two, him and the groom!
The music starts. He thinks, "I'll do the Russian Cossack dance" (which he had been taught by his wife's brothers! All handsome hunks in the prime of their life). He gets out on the dance floor and immediately gets right down into it
Everyone is screaming at him! Encouraging him! Cheering him on! "I can make it" he thinks "Its only 20 seconds"
His wife is really red faced trying to get him to hear her. He finally does over the roar of the frenzied worked up crowd. This is what he hears, "SLOOOOOOOOOOW DOOWWWNNN! PAAAAAAAACE YOURSELF!"
He had to keep it up for four minutes!
Needless to say, he won. His great award was not the three tiered wine bottle, but finally getting to eat the main course.
I was laughing so hard at this story that I had tears rolling down my face.
My summers are turing into some really great times as I grow older.
This is one of my most cherished photo's of Dublin. This is the taken on Anglesea St. and Dame St. is seen at the end. I love it because of the sun just beginning to throw her soft glow over the city. On the right is the infamous Blooms Hotel where Joe and I stayed for several days, having given up trying to drive around Ireland.
In the guide book to Ireland we purchased before traveling overseas the building to the left is featured with the comment, "understatement is not a characteristic of Temple Bar".
The cobblestone streets, the bicycles, the iron rails, the vibrant color.....I want to go back.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
When I was a kid it seemed like June would never arrive. It was torture waiting for the day school let out and it was summer vacation! Free at last! As a child, there was little to do than just be a child. When my memories go back to that time, I understand that they are the best summers of my life.
Every year we traveled to New York City to visit my grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I looked forward to the trip with great anticipation! We counted the days. The trips to New York always included a night at a motel, a side trip to Harrisburg, PA to visit another set of cousins, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike with the seven tunnels! It could not get any better than that for a kid!
Those years that we did not make the trip, they came to us. My Uncle drove his Silver Streak to Kentucky. We loved that thing! I wanted so badly to jump on board with them and visit all the exotic places they traveled to, like Out West.
As you can see from the photo, a very dominant Y chromosome in our family.
The cousin closest to our age, K., was our favorite. He was a lot more worldly than we were due to him living on Long Island. One summer he came to stay with us for a week! What a week it was! I am not blessed with the greatest memory. The memories sometimes are as faded as the old photographs I find at my Moms. Yet I vividly remember that visit, that summer, that incident.
The little place I live in had a small movie theater in the heart of town. On Saturday's the matinee was only 25 cents for kids under twelve! We all were twelve well past the deadline. We all went to the movies one afternoon, the gang of that summer. K. was so sophisticated, being from Long Island, that it was no surprise to any of us when in the middle of the movie he decided to light up a cigarette! Several moments later we all found ourselves on the sidewalk, thrown out of the theater and my mother called and informed of our infraction.
Over the years, whenever we all get together it is referred to as the "Movie Eviction Incident." I hope I can paste the picture of K. being taken to the airport. It is old and faded, a sun burst blocks out his groovy hair (late 60's hair). When I found this photo and turned it over I doubled up laughing. My Mom had written on the back, "Kevin & his luggage visiting us taking off for home from Louisville." Why so funny?
Check out the luggage, a brown bag!
Opps..can not get the photo to stick no matter what I do!!! I have not mastered the FTP space as of yet..Sigh.
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Right before my computer was zapped, I had embarked upon a series that I call the "Ghosts of Summers Past." Always lots of fun going through my box(es) of photographs and my Moms. Photos are such a great way of waking up memories.
This photo will cause me to remember a day several weekends ago when Joe and I and his nine year old daughter ventured to the Red River Gorge area of Eastern Kentucky, in the Appalachian Mountains, to have a picnic in Natural Bridge State Park.
The day was picture taking beautiful. Not too hot, but brilliant sunshine. The Red River Gorge area has been a favorite of central Kentucky natives. It is about 45 minutes max from Lexington and has the most spectacular sandstone arches imaginable. "The" Natural Bridge is about 80 feet high and 65 feet across. The hiking trails are suited for beginners and the wondrous views are worth the exertion of climbing to the top!
In spite of this we took the Sky Lift up to the summit. Once on top, we ventured off on a trail to the right and ended up hiking about a mile! We came upon Devils Gulch! A slimy descent. The sandstone rock steps were squashed on both sides by cool, wet, moss covered rock walls. Once down, you worked your way back up. It was a humid climb back. We arrived at the plateau and encountered a family happily taking pictures. "Can you point me in the right direction for the Arch?" I asked. The guy looked at me quizzically and pointed up! My gosh! We were standing under it!
Once on top we admired the view and walked across the arch where I silently thanked God it was about 20 feet wide and I would not have to get anywhere close to the edge! Looking out over the beautiful kaleidoscope of the valley of mountain tops......coming in fast from the West, was an ominous wall of black clouds! Complete with lightning. We rushed to the Sky Lift only to be turned away. "There is a structure on the East side of the bridge. The storm is about 10 minutes out. Lightning is bad."
Ha! The rain drops began to pelt us as we raced back across the arch (Thank you God!) alerted the nice family, from under the arch, who joined us in our sprint to the shelter.
Then it hit with fury! It was magnificent in its scary, thrilling intensity. The sky turned black and the lightning cracked all around us, the rain came down with such force that it ricocheted from the ground. Then they began to come.....all the hikers from the numerous trails close to the Bridge. Running, laughing, soaked to the bone. They came in droves! One group of about 30 hikers, all young teenager, who took a head count and the most courageous of them all went back to rescue the lost....who ended up to be two very cute girls.
We all stood packed together, our clothes steaming. Every so often someone else would emerge from the woods, run frantically to the shelter, jumping over the rails to escape the machine-gun rain! 75 soaked souls sharing together this dramatic moment, this sensational Sunday afternoon. Odd in a wonderful way, we were all laughing together. When a crack of lightning would hit, collectively we would all shout "WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" , "AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" as if we were attending a Fire Works show.
The storm lasted about 15 minutes, then just as quickly as it came, it cleared up. Tentatively we poked out heads out. Slowly we headed across the Bridge to descent from the mountain, the arch and the fury of nature.
This was the best experience I have ever had at the Bridge!
Thursday, July 8, 2004
I think I was in love with my Dell...at least 2 and a half years old..much faster, this E-machine will be a bear to learn...And yes!!!!! I did see Elvis..pictures to follow as soon as I can get my scanner loaded....and my "old" digital software (Oh gosh, I can not find it anywhere.......)
P.S. When they send you the email that you are one of the editors picks, they do not tell you anything else. I had to read it from JukeBox Woman (thank you). once again, blown away. Thank God I didn't write that LSD entry ..(hahahah). I am totally astonished!
Before I learn that I am disqualified.......The sweetest blogger on AOL is (y"all know who) Robbie from Robbies Ruminations...and the next best journaler is Gary from GVP's Way...please check them out.
All my Kentuckian journaler pals are well aware of the series of violent thunderstorms that have hammered Kentucky the past several days. Joe was blissfully unaware, on the computer, "Lalalalala, life is wonderful, look at all the great motorcycles!" When suddenly the computer was zapped, apparently through the telephone line.
Woe is me! It is to Best Buys I go this afternoon to see if I can get someone to wait on me so I can purchase a replacement! This is a blessing in disguise, since my crippled Dell did not have a CD burner, audio ...any of that cool stuff!
I was notified that I have been chosen this week to be one of the five Editors Pics! Yea! I am thrilled. I am totally blown away.
I have to admit that recently I have been thinking about the DISPLACEMENT theory. That I have spent so much time reading and writing in AOL Journal land that a lot of my usual activities have been neglected. I do not run anymore (no time). I walked out to the back yard and was astonished to see the remnants of the vegetable garden I planted in late April (Did you all know that broccoli will sprout flowers?). A usually voracious reader, I have only read about 10 books so far this year! Joe has pointed out that I seem to have turned lazy on him! Fact is, I don't have time to cook and clean! I was thinking of putting Alphawoman to bed for awhile.....I guess it is not going to happen now!
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge several people who have touched my life through AOL Journals.
I never learned to hyperlink, and God know its impossible on the computer at the University of Kentucky library! Most of the journals are in my favorite's.
My first friend In AOl, Lisa, Coming to terms with Middle Age. We muddled through adding pictures together. Her journal is terrific, well thought out and articulate.
My second AOL friend, Michael, A Spiritual Journey...well, you just have to go there. In my humble opinion, the best journal in AOL land.
A big thank you to the Blogfather, John Scazli for highlighting my journal several times over the months making me believe that I could write.
And one apology. I had a journal that I used to experiment and teach myself things. No one ever read it, or so I though. I hurt someone with my opinions and pompous attitude and I would like to apologize. I should understand that no one knows anything about anyone unless you climb inside their skin and walk around for awhile.
Thank you AOL, you have made my day!
Stay tuned...don't turn the dial, I promise more Ireland stories since the theme is Travel!
Saturday, July 3, 2004
Last year Joe and I ran in the Bluegrass 10,000. It was with some trepidation that I signed us up to run in this years event. I have not tied on a pair of running shoes since participating in the 10 miler in Louisville...in April! The Bluegrass 10,000 appears to becoming a tradition in our family.
It was hot at 8am...just like last year. Thank God this year I did not have a small hang over like I did last year. Estimates would put the field at 4,000. At least I was confident I would not come in last.
Joe has not run much either. So, he decided he would walk/run with me. That lasted until mile marker Three. He took off and I was relieved. Why is it that once he was on his way, I felt able to just find a steady slow pace that did not require me to walk? I finished the race slow, but running.
I had it in about a little less than 13 minute miles...which is not bad for an old chick!
I am mental.
Thursday, July 1, 2004
Fast forward a few life times and I am a single mother with an almost school age child. That summer, right before her sixth birthday, we went to Florida!
This was my first trip to Florida. I missed all those wild Spring Breaks while pretending to be a college student. I missed running away to Florida when I was a disgruntled teenager.
I had never been to Disneyland. I had only seen it Sunday evenings when it was featured on the Walt Disney Show. I longed when I was a child. Wasn't it every child's dream? Then and now?
Bridget and I were on the monorail into the Park after parking the vehicle. As soon as I saw the Castle I had a feeling of unrestrained joy swell up inside of me! I could not for the life of me wipe the silly grin off my face. Bridget and I both...giddy with anticipation.
In addition to visiting the Magic Kingdom, we wandered into Weeki Wachee land and the Mermaids. This picture is of Bridget, chosen out of the crowd, to have a bird perched on her head.
She was so innocent at this age. Never before and never after has she allowed a bird on her head