Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Decaffeinated Cats and Other Wednesday Musings

Lori and Java... 2009
It's nice to work weekends sometimes so I can get my errands done during the week. I picked up the rental car, put in my Beastie Boys CD, and rocked out. (Note to self: adhere to speed limits during Sabotage and Whatcha Want. It's so easy to drive fast to these songs.) Enjoyed a delicious lunch with a friend and then engaged in hairapy. I'm pleased with the color and cut with long layers trimmed so my hair doesn't resemble a triangle. I finally mustered the courage to pick up The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and open the book. In case you didn't know, he's the professor who gave the last lecture while suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. He has since passed, but his words are inspiring. I'm halfway through the book. (Note to self: add this title to GoodReads.) Rather than the caffeinated cats, I really should refer to Java and Latte as the decaffeinated cats. A friend mused that they are so mellow. Latte will run out the door, leap onto the couch in the sun, and proceed to stretch out and sun her stomach. Java prefers a more stealthy method of sneaking out the door, perching on the bean bag in the corner, or jumping up on the ledge to keep an eye out on the neighborhood. For your amusement, I snapped a couple of photos with Java post-hairapy on the porch. I have something to share that is eerie. Well, because of Mom's passing, I wasn't going to observe my birthday this year. At all. I now believe Mom has a different plan. My library (LaSalle Branch) was supposed to re-open on June 29. Because of construction delays, it is now slated to open (soft opening) on JULY 20. My BIRTHDAY. Of all the days to have the new LaSalle Branch open in 2009, it is going to open on my 38th birthday. This is the best present I could have and I think there's a divine component. I'll end this post with that thought. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Field of Blue

Field of Blue... LCS/2009
Tomorrow I'll paint and take a photograph of my Field of Blue painting to accompany this song. I wrote it early this a.m. (like 1a.m.) I wrote it in 15 minutes in a blue journal. I sent it to a musical friend who is in the process of putting this to music (blues, jazz, folk). Enjoy... Field of Blue Welcome to a field of blue where dreams begin and inspiration stems moving forward onto the painted page where emotions are raw and love is true Welcome to a field of blue where clouds are blown over away out until there is only a clear blue sky even if you have to cry oceans of pacific tears and face all one's hidden fears as waves and waves hit you and stop you and knock you over until you smile and become truly alive again Welcome to a field of blue where dreams begin and inspiration stems moving forward onto the painted page where emotions are raw and love is true Welcome to a field of blue where dreams begin and love never ends. LCS-2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Coachella Music and Art Festival

Coachella Art-Tesla Coil--LM 2009

I lived vicariously through a friend who attending Coachella that was held this weekend in beautiful Indio, California. The festival started in 1999 and has continued from 2001-present.

There are several musical acts that performed at Coachella. Some of the more popular acts, at least in my Generation-X opinion, were Morrissey, Paul McCartney, Henry Rollins, M.I.A., Joss Stone, Public Enemy, The Cure, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. (The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s were just on SNL last week!)

I also looked up Lollapalooza 2009 and it's in Chicago in August! The Beastie Boys are going to be a headliner! Whatcha, whatcha whatcha want...

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Musical Weekend

Crowd After the Performance... LCS 2009
I enjoyed our spring weekend. I played library, painted Friday afternoon, worked out, and attended film fest on Friday night. Saturday morning I played library until after 4:00 p.m., came home, and worked out. Then Steve and I drove to Lake Michigan College to see a girlfriend in the play entitled: Ragtime: The Musical based on the book written by E.L. Doctorow (1975). It's based on the story of three groups in America. It's heavy and powerful. Our friend managed to snag two seats in the fourth row, so we had a GREAT view. The one-night performance with a professional symphony orchestra brought the audience to our feet.

After the performance there was a crowd to meet and greet the actors. I dared my friend to wear her costume out to dinner afterwards, but she politely declined. :) We managed to find a Chili's restaurant open in the off-season in St. Joseph, Michigan at 11:00 p.m. for a moonlight snack (okay, a meal.) We arrived home after 1:00 a.m.

Up at 8:00 a.m. (or so) for early morning rehearsal for church services at 10:30 a.m. I manage to drag myself there and perform without falling asleep on the conga drums. (Extra coffee helps.) Then, time to work out again, and then off to the Century Center. It was a quiet day, but I made a lot of contacts with other community groups. It was a busy weekend and an even busier week, which is good. ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Night Musings

Is spring finally here? I am jonesing to get out into my yard and attempt to make it pretty for late spring /summer. When I am available to go outside, it's raining. Hmm. Still too early yet. I am also going to plant food in pots on the deck. I may even paint my pots. :)What are your favorite foods from the garden? It's been a busy week already and will be a busier weekend. A lot of projects are coming together. Our library re-dedication and LaSalle RetroFest will be on Saturday, July 11, 2009. I hope you can join me. We'll be celebrating the 1940's, so there will be swing music playing. Perhaps I will dust off my drums and can play too... It will be wonderful to finally come back home to a beautiful new facility. I finally broke down and went to aftercare today. I was hoping it would be just allergies. Sinus infection. Gah. I was stoked that my script was FREE at Meijer. I was so on that. (Some scripts can be very expensive.) Afterwards, I came home, let the caffeinated cats out onto the porch, locked the door and took a delicious catnap myself. Steve picked up homemade spaghetti from his folks house, so I enjoyed a home-cooked meal. Friday night will be film night at a friend's house and Saturday night Steve and I will be going to the theatre... the first time in a long time. A friend of ours is performing in the play Ragtime: The Musical. It'll be fun.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Rainy Monday

Good afternoon, It's a rainy Monday and that's okay. I took today off since I am playing library from Tuesday-Saturday. I was going to do yard work, but that's totally not going to happen. I'll do inside stuff today. I slept in and Latte is now attempting to give me a shoulder massage as I write (use SOFT paws Latte. No claws, please!) Before I visit the gym today, I am happy to report that a friend from California sent us a couple books he co-wrote called Does It Count? Conversation Starters. I'm looking forward to reading it and trying it out some people. Don't be surprised if I ask you a fun question! P.S. Yes, M., I have stood up on a board. This must mean I am a surfer. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter and Happy Birthday, Steve!

Good morning, Trying to get moving before attending an early rehearsal for Easter services. Although our family in recent years hasn't been big on Easter, it's a little nostalgic today. I remember the early morning services the youth group would put on. Also, happy happy birthday to my sweet Steve. He is 37 today. Now we're the same age until July! He is such an amazing person (and will be totally not happy I wrote this but too bad.... the world has to know what a great guy Steve is!) We'll go to lunch to celebrate. I'll have to thank his parents again for raising such a great son. Okay, off to get ready. Have a good day! -xo

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Katie the Irish Setter

We tried out Katie the Irish Setter today. She's too much dog for us. (Yes, you can say you told me so.) At least we know that she is not the right breed for us. Katie (a 9-month Irish Setter puppy) went for walks with us and she even took a nap on our couch, with puppy paws twitching. She's beautiful and energetic and...high maintenance. Our caffeinated cats (Java and Latte) are warily scoping the place out after the aftermath of ultimate dogness. Perhaps in time they will forgive us for this recent transgression. I want to thank my "dog" friends for giving me a heads-up about Irish Setters, which is why Steve and I originally said we would give it a try before committing to adopting her. Have a Good Easter!-xo

Friday, April 10, 2009

Reading my Vent on Grief

Well, it's been a good, hard, productive week. A trying Friday, though. I'm tired. I painted today and still have green acrylic paint on my hands. If you ever get a chance, paint with acrylics without brushes. It's like fingerpainting for adults. There's much more feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. And I do want to pass on a message for those who are experiencing grief... and those who have friends or family who have lost a loved one... There is no timetable for grief and getting over someone (which actually, you never do). Do not let anyone impose a time limit on you to "get back to normal", especially if these are your first days, first holidays, first months, first year... you find out your support system and learn to find yourself quickly during this process. (Because grief is also a solitary experience.) People who are grieving want to move forward JUST AS MUCH as people who are not. Even more so since they are in pain. And there are the supporters, the people in your corner, who will be there during your moments of pure sadness, anger, and frustration and will allow you to be who you are without making judgment statements. There are proven documented stages of grief. If you are a family member or friend, please do not judge them or call them out if they are not skipping and prancing for joy!(This happened to me recently and it made me FURIOUS.) Yes, people who are grieving will complain more than people who do not. I have been told (by a professional) that grief is a very dark and negative time and that it's understandable. Give us a break. We're trying to get through every day and holidays are twice as hard. Thank you for reading my vent.

Saturday Surfing and Leaving for L.A.

Saturday Saturday was a lot of fun. Steve and I enjoyed breakfast at a little cafe in San Diego called The Eggery, visited a farmer's market, bought fruits and flowers, trolled on the boardwalk on Mission Beach, crashed a friend's place, walked a dog (as featured in the last blog), checked out of our resort, returned to a friend's place, met new people, rented a wetsuit, went surfing, and had to leave for L.A. to catch a flight home the next day. Surfing today was more intense. The waves were higher and it was windy. One of my new friends helped me to try to catch a wave. I didn't...the waves caught me rather...but it was a lot of fun trying. Saturday Night We dined in a restaurant in LA: it was called 96th Street Bistro. On our last night in California, we dined in this restaurant. Located in the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel, this venue was casual and elegant. Our waiter was fun--he laughed at my quirky humor. I had to have California wine--in California. (I think I ordered a glass of Chardonnay pinot noir.) The ambiance was romantic yet modern chic. Sunday We left from L.A. to Chicago to Home. Made it to O' Hare Airport, but had to take a bus home. Flight was cancelled. Thank goodness for texting and my ipod to keep us company during this excursion. We made it home about 10:00 p.m. California was wonderful...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

California Dog Blog Posting: Willy the Pup

Saturday morning Willy the Pup gets his own blog post. He is such a sweet little guy. I took him for a walk on Mission Beach. He chomped on the leash and growled like he wanted to go out and explore! So we did. Something that alarmed me at first and struck me as interesting later is that Willy does not play well with bulldogs. (Apparently a bulldog was not kind to him in a former life.) A bulldog sniffed at him out on the boardwalk and Willy started snarling! Yikes! A dogfight in my care! I envisioned Willy coming home bruised and bloody and his happy tail broken. But, no, I pried Willy away from the bulldog (no dogs reported injured) and we strolled on our merry way. We experienced a great walk with Willy the Pup's little tail going at 100 miles an hour. (I wonder if you can utilize his tail for some kind of wind energy.) We walked for a little bit and then we strolled back to the cottage.

A Quick Siesta on the Beach, the Wave House, a Sunset, and a Quick Dinner

I look at the photos, realize how much fun we had and what a magical weekend it truly was. After the surf lesson, Steve and I perched on the chairs under an umbrella and zoned out for a bit. Then we got hungry, talked to our friend L. and visited his cottage off of Mission Beach. I totally fell in love with his dog, Willy. (I think that's where I got my puppy lust.) We hung out for awhile and then went to a place called The Wave House Bar and Grill. Here's my MojoPages review: "This is a fun place to visit. It's an amusement park for twenty- and- thirty somethings. There's a wave called the Brutus Maximus that people can surf while patrons enjoy their favorite beverage or liquor that resembles cough syrup. The service wasn't that great, but the food was decent (bar/deli food) and our friends provided the afternoon entertainment for us." Enough said. A friend joked on FaceBook, What happens in San Diego, gets posted on FaceBook. Ha! We had a good time. A couple other friends joined us. Steve and I then borrowed bikes and watched a San Diego sunset over the Pacific Ocean. I have to say it trumped a Key West sunset. We then enjoyed a dinner back at the Catamaran.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Surf School

My friend D. asked me to post the Gidget photos as soon as possible. Sorry, D., this girl's in a wetsuit. It's too cold to frolic in the ocean in just a swimsuit, although one brave soul did on Saturday. :) Steve arranged with the hotel for me to take a surfing class with The Pacific Beach Surf School . My surfing instructor was so nice! Here's an excerpt from my review with MojoPages: Craig the surfing instructor was wonderful. The class ended up being a group lesson of two, so it was discounted. Craig gave us the history of surfing and then took us out into the Pacific Ocean! I caught waves! It was amazing. Tip #1: Tip the surfing instructor. Tip #2: Wear a swimsuit under the wetsuit. It's a rental. Tip #3: Make sure they don't overcharge you if you book your class through the Catamaran. I felt one with the waves. I felt more alive than I had in a long time.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Breakfast at the Catamaran

Lori and Steve enjoying breakfast at the Catamaran...2009
Friday, March 27 A perfect day. Blue skies, breezy, clean, clear, and happy. Just a happy place. Steve and I enjoyed a granola-and-yogurt breakfast (which we'll have to make at home) outside on the patio with a view of the bay. After breakfast, it will be time for surf school.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Catamaran to Hotel Solamar

Lori on the Phone, Catamaran... SJS 2009
San Diego in the Evening... LCS 2009
Mojomural... LCS 2009
We drove to lovely downtown San Diego where the last San Diego MojoPages party was held. It was so nice! We saw an interesting puppet show (I wanted to run behind the stage and play too) and a ping pong tournament. Also, an artist created a mural onsite. Very interesting. It was so great to see my friend L. from high school and meet his friends. He said a kind toast to us. We travelled up to the 4th floor, enjoyed cocktails, and saw the view of historic San Diego. We drove home and crashed.

Arrival in Beautiful San Diego

View from our deck... LCS 2009
View of the bay from our suite... LCS 2009
Steve and I arrived in San Diego around 4:30 p.m. Our room in the Catamaran was upgraded to a suite! Sweet! (Pun intended.) We experienced an amazing view with the bay directly in front of us and the ocean to our right. Our room was located in the tower (6th floor). The weather was perfect for the whole weekend: sunny, windy, and a bit breezy.

Alien Fresh Jerky: Welcome to California

Lori next to a palm tree in Baker, California... SJS 2009
Alien Fresh Jerky: Welcome to California... LCS 2009
Thursday, March 26 Steve and I stopped at an Arby's outside of an interesting town called Baker, California. It's right next to the Mojave National Preserve. The town had a carnival feel to me. We passed a couple of interesting restaurants. Where else would you find a statue of David next to a stop sign or an alien perched on the top of a roof that advertised a restaurant called Alien Fresh Jerky?

From Las Vegas to California

From Las Vegas to California... LCS 2009
Thursday, March 26 As usual, Steve woke me up early this morning. We checked out seamlessly from the Luxor and took a taxi to the car rental place. The attendant and the cab driver were funny and kind. Our cab driver provided us with a tip: watch out for the winds. The rental place,, was busy because of spring break. I guarded the luggage and Steve took care of the rental information. We picked out a silver Chrysler Seabring. (It matched my outfit.) The weather is gorgeous, 70+ degrees, dry, windy, blue skies, and a few clouds adorn the air. We drove through the desert and mountains and then we were in California! Tumbleweeds, yellow desert flowers, mountains, foothills, dust, popped ears, and elevation of 4,000 feet. Palm trees, cacti, CA license plates.

Flying from Chicago to Las Vegas

Trekking Through the Desert... LCS 2009
Wednesday, March 25 It seemed to take forever although the layover was only like an hour and a half. After finishing our plane boarding place, we foraged for food. We found a Quiznos and Steve almost ran into a security officer. We sat down and my sub sandwich fell over. Some fell on the carpet. The guy next to us laughed and told us he lives in Las Vegas. He's a fireman for Las Vegas and served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the air force. He laughed when I asked if everyone in the Air Force flew planes (I didn't know.) "No," was his amused reply. He gave us a flying tip since he flies about once a week: the best seats are above the left window in front of the wheel. We thanked him for the tip. Steve and I eventually departed on the flight. The person who took the tickets laughed and joked with the passengers. We then sat down next to a very kindly middle-aged woman named Diane from Las Vegas. She was funny. We were making fun of Capt. Dave. Captain Dave was too happy and too cheesy for my tastes! The flight attendants were happy and despite a bit of turbulence on the way in, the flight proved to be smooth. We finally made it to Las Vegas. The cab driver was kind and friendly. We made it to our destination: The Luxor. This casino had an Egyptian feel. Our room was nice and comfortable. Steve and I dined at the Pyramid cafe, which was tasty! We played the slots and did not win much. We left and was down about $40.00. I almost fell asleep at the slot machine.

Flying from South Bend to Chicago

Somewhere Between Las Vegas and California... LCS 2009
Wednesday, March 25 I'm officially on vacation! Woke up early this morning with Steve saying goodbye and Latte sleeping next to me. J called and left a message about a food party (which we will be gone). It was a dreary morning, drizzling and raining. It's about 50 degrees here in the Bend. I closed my jewelry party (a successful one!) and made appointments for getting my hooves painted and hairapy. I don't want to fuss with my hair throughout most of my trip. So I visited friends at Salon Rouge and engaged in a great Hairapy session. Then Steve and I packed up and Dad S. chauffeured us to the airport. At the airport, we learned how to do the self check-in thanks to a friendly person named Lisa. It was amusing, as a person at the counter checked us in and told us if we hurried, we could catch an earlier flight to Chi-town. However, when we arrived in the terminal area, no one was at the United Express terminal and we watched the puddle jumper go bye. Damn. We were going to grab a bite, too. Oh, during the process of checking in, Lisa gave us a tip: if you attempt to carry your bags on the plane,they'll make you check-in for free, but in the terminal, they won't charge you. (The exception is LAX. They are evil, anyway. But that's another blog posting.) The security check-in procedure was interesting. I didn't realize that you can't carry on aerosol cans. I forgot abut the $10.00 can of SPF 70+ I bought. Damn. Then the strap in my canyon bag broke. That was embarassing. Oh, well. I managed to stumble my way through. Steve bought me a Snicker's bar. However, the diet coke machine was broken, so no diet coke. Yar! Chicago was only a 20 minute flight. Then the trip to Las Vegas. the flight attendants proved to be kind and the pilot had a hilarious British accent.

National Lampoon's Garden Adventures, and Last Thoughts on 46

Update on Sake Sakura: We will be making an appointment to get Sake's MRI. It's been really hot and our schedules have been nuts,...