Archive for the ‘Weird Things’ Category

I’ve been challenged by the members of my blogging group to do this. I resisted at first because I was sure I couldn’t come up with 25 interesting things I wanted to share. I hope this is at least somewhat amusing for you. Why don’t you try it too?

1.  I love to travel, just about anywhere.

2. Outside of America I have been to England, Wales, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Spain, Austria, Lichtenstein, Thailand, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Mexico. Monoco, Switzerland. (see #1)

3. I have Bachelor of Music from Lawrence University, A Master of Music from the University of Texas and a couple more years at Yale all in flute performance.

4. I love to garden, but only flowers not veggies.

5. Blogging is my new passion.

6. I once ran into Bruce Willis-literally. He is really tall.

7. Charles Nelson Reilly was a colleague of mine. He was one fantastic opera director. And really funny too. I miss him terribly.

8. I didn’t get married till I was 34. No longer though.

9. I am the production manager for the one man play Muse of Fire

10. I drive a manual transmission car and always have.

11. I was taught to drive by a race car driver (see #10)

12. I have lived in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Texas. Connecticut, Maine and Washington. (see #1)

13. My favorite part time job ever was working at Walmart, in the dressing room. Yea, really. It was a tourist town and I was able to speak with people from all over the world. (see #1 and # 2)

14. I enjoy taking photographs of interesting things but I don’t call myself a photographer.

15. I collect china from defunct restaurants, but only if it has the logo on it.

16. Beautiful things make me cry.

17. Kirtan, Krishna Das changed my life.

18. Lobster, lobster and more lobster please.

19 I studied with Jean Pierre Rampal

 20. I have not been to Wyoming, Montana, Alabama, South Dakota, Idaho, Nebraska, Alaska, Hawaii. Georgia, or South Carolina (see #1)

21.I love crayons-the Crayola box of 64 with the sharpener. During college finals we bought coloring books and new crayons, sat on the student lounge floor and colored away our stresses. The heck with practicing.

22. I have been to Maine, so have nothing to fear thanks to Maestro Charles Bruck. Thank you for sitting on my shoulder.

23. I still believe in Santa Claus and dragons.

24. I am 3 degrees of separation from Johannes Brahms, 2 degrees from Igor Stravinsky.

25. I want to travel to India, Egypt, Morroco, Kenya, Japan, Peru. What the heck, and  the rest of the world I haven’t been to yet. I’d love living in stateroom on a Cunard ocean liner and hopping on and off when I felt like it. (see #1)  I have travelled on the QE1 and QM1 so I know what I am talking about.

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OK,OK….I promised my last post was the finale of the holiday season. I lied

While reading another blog, The Flemish American, I was reminded of St. Nicholas Day. I just had to tell you about it. Early in December, the 6th to be exact, was the special day. I was about 4 or 5 and getting excited about the upcoming Christmas Festival.

I heard sleigh bells at the back door! What was that all about? Mom and Dad said why not go and look who is making the noise. I was never allowed to open the door by myself so this was unusual. I went to the door. No one was there. But….there on the doorknob was hanging a bag of nuts and sweets. Hmmmmm where did those come from?

Maybe the person has gone down the street. Run to the front window and see, prompted my parents. Run I did. “And what to my wondering eyes should appear” but Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) walking down the street in his red suit with a bag over his shoulder. He turned and waved to me. Imagine my excietment.

This happened every year on December 6th until I was old enough to find out it was my neighbor from across the street acting the role. He visited all the children on our block that evening. I think he had even more fun than we did.

Here’s to Herbie, a kid at heart who wasn’t afraid to share it. And now this holiday is put to bed for another year.

Go to The Flemish American to see a wonderful, illustrated post on the roots of St. Nicholas

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Are you sick and tired of the half time show being usurped by needless commentary. Well here is your solution-the University of Hawaii Marching band. Enjoy and Happy New Year.

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1.  Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday  spirit.  In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls. 

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can.  And quickly.  It’s rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now.  So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something.  It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think.  It’s Christmas! 

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on.  Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. 

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. 

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a  Holiday  party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello? 

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog. 

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again. 

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day? 

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. 

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by: 

“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!” 

I didn’t write these. I don’t know who did. If you do let us know.

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I was recently down in Tacoma, WA  for a meeting, but I was early. So what did I do? I went off to find something interesting that I hadn’t seen before. That wouldn’t be hard to do since I have only been to Tacoma once before. But I found myself in a mostly industrial area with a lot to see. This was my favorite find of the day.

Bob’s wasn’t open that day. And I’m not sure how famous it really is. But now it is more famous than it was before.

Java Jive reminded me of a drive-in restaurant in Milwaukee, WI called the Milk Jug. Shaped like its namesake, it was not such a strange choice for America’s Dairyland. California cows eat your heart out. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo to show you and I’m sure it has disappeared from the landscape by now.

There used to be numerous example of such vernacular architecture on every roadside. Sadly, IMHO, most have disappeared now.

Then I found the Lucky Silver Tavern. Not sure how lucky it is as half the neon wasn’t working on this sign. But to me that made it even more interesting. If you are a regular reader of this blog you know my fascination with signs.

Then I met this happy warrior. Such a handsome smiling face. He must have some special powers since the rest of the sign is rather worn but his face remains bright and wrinkle free.

Today’s last pick is the Opal Lounge. I’m not even sure I was still in Tacoma at this point, but here it is anyway. Isn’t that a great paint job. And I love the metal sculpture of an old fashioned truck, too.

Do you have a favorite roadside attraction or old faded sign that you just love? Tell us about it and leave a link in the comment section so we can all enjoy your pick.

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Go Mondo

To paraphrase Mondo…

When the cookie crumbles, bake another batch.

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Halloween is my favorite holiday after Christmas. It allows us to be a little crazy.

When I was in grade school the town didn’t want us all out on the streets going from house to house. What spoiled sports! Their solution was to have a costume parade that went from the high school down to the grade school (all of two blocks). Behind the school was a sort of natural amphitheater with playing fields and a field house.

We would all dutifully dress up in our costume of the year and march behind the high school band. When we arrived everyone was given a goodie bag filled with yummy treats. And then we would watch cartoons and Laurel and Hardy films in the open air. The town thought this would satisfy us.

They were so wrong. We marched on Halloween but the night before, which was known locally as Beggar’s Eve, we went door to door to trick or treat. No one really seemed to mind this double dose of holiday fun. Especially us kids.

It was my Mom’s favorite holiday too. That’s kind of funny since she was Welsh and they didn’t celebrate Halloween in Wales. We had a thick hedge in front of our house but there was a gap between the hedge and building. She arranged several boxes behind the hedge. Dressed up as scary as she could and lay down on the boxes. When the kids would come to the door she would bolt upright and scare the candy corn out of them. You never heard so much shrieking. A good time was had by all.

What about you? Do you love Halloween? Do you have a memory of a favorite costume or escapade?

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