Tuesday, December 30, 2008

San Francisco Christmas

I just returned from San Fran.

The last few years, my family and I have met up in various locations-- anything other than home-- just to get out of Dodge (a.k.a. Dallas) for Christmas and the days that surround it. This year we chose San Francisco. We went a couple of times as a family back when I was around 7 years old. I can remember our visit to Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, The Hearst Castle, Salsalito, Carmel, The Crookedest Road, The Golden Gate, and the Muir Woods. We stayed at the Hyatt and I remember just thinking "What a GRAND hotel!" I LOVED our trips to San Fran. We all did. And we thought maybe we could recreate some of that magic.

This time around, we stayed in a family's house (while they were out of town). The house was a three level, cozy home built in the early 1900's. It was just a couple of miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. Fermin and I got to stay in the little girl's room on the top level that had a beautiful view.

The weather forecast had predicted rain and clouds for nearly our entire trip, but instead, we had sunshine all days but ONE!

We didn't get out and see nearly as much as we did back in the day when my dad was much more drill sergeant-like. Instead of getting out and seeing all the sites of S.F., we did a lot of lounging around the house. We ate a few meals out, had a few in, went to a couple of movies (there are so many great ones out right now!) and went on some walks. We DID make it to the Muir Woods and Salsalito, we walked across the Golden Gate, and we made it out to Fisherman's Wharf.

Sounds like a pretty good Christmas, I'd say! But we could've been anywhere, really. The city of San Francisco didn't get to play much of a role in our Christmas vacation. But somehow, going to a different city for Christmas is what we still need to do. We miss Mom. We don't want to attempt a Christmas at home without her just yet.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays

I can still remember how exciting the anticipation of Christmas was when I was a kid. I loved watching all the Christmas specials on TV, visiting Santa at the mall, going on car rides with my family to look at Christmas lights, reading Santa Mouse with Mom, and writing my letter to Santa each year.

This year, I've done very few of those things. However, I did get to meet Rudolph and Frosty just the other day! I was so excited when I saw them, that I just yelled out, "FROSTY!!!!" like he was my long lost friend. He came over to give me (and others) a peppermint and I asked if we could get a picture together. He nodded, so my friend snapped a picture of me and my man, Frosty. He also took a picture of Rudolph.

Once we saw the picture on a large screen, we realized because of the camera flash, we could see in thru Frosty's eyes. I saw a man (not a snowman tho) with a mustache! That is just not what I pictured at all behind the mask of Frosty. I hope the image here is big enough for you to see the man inside- It's pretty funny-

It's true that Christmas just isn't the same as it was back when I was a kid, but obviously, I still get a thrill from seeing some of Santa's friends.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, or whatever it is that you celebrate, everybody!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not Enough Time

This past Tuesday was my mom's birthday. She would have been 72. But she would've looked at least ten years younger than that. Her friends would've all gotten together and taken her out for lunch, and I would've been sitting right beside her.

This song, Not Enough Time, I wrote a few years ago about Mom. Really, it's a song of what I imagine her and my dad's sentiments to each other must have been. Anyway, I didn't even know anyone was videoing me, and the person who filmed it didn't know the meaning behind it. However, he posted it, and sent me the link, which I read the morning of Mom's birthday.

I miss you, Mom. Happy Birthday~

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The White Rock Marathon- Perseverance

Today my husband ran miles, and miles and miles. 26.2 to be exact. Slower than he expected, due to some major, debilitating muscle cramping (to the point of him nearly crawling at times)- but who cares? He finished. And that was triumphant!

There were so many marathoners out there today- it's really an unbelievable sight to see the masses that participate. And what they all have in common, obviously, is perseverance. Many, like my husband, have trained for months for this single day. Train all you want, but you can really never predict how race day is going to go.

Aside from my husband's muscle cramping, he realized his toe felt funny during the race for a now obvious reason once he took his shoe off, AFTER the race. (See scary looking toe photo.) That is perseverance!

The lead half-marathon runner had his own difficult day. He missed a turn, and because he was so far out in the lead, it took the officials about two minutes to tell him of his mistake. It cost him some time and a ton of frustration. I'm not sure how it all turned out for him, but I saw how distraught he was when it first happened. Many would've just stopped and said, "Forget it, I've lost 4 minutes, I can't win!!!" but this runner kept on running. That, also, is perseverance.

And although I didn't run a marathon today, I did walk around and perform twice at the Dallas Heritage Village Candlelight celebration. My shoes felt so comfortable. In fact, uncomfortably comfortable. They seemed a little roomier than normal. And they were! (See picture of red shoe unattached from it's sole/soul.) I had to lose the ripped shoe and keep on walking around while avoiding donkey poo left from the Donkey Drawn Carriage Rides. I had my own unexpected mishap, but I too persevered! However, not at all in the same way, or on the same level as the runners I saw today.

So my admiration goes out to those that will most likely be hobbling around tomorrow, and maybe the next few days, regardless of how comfortable their shoes are. (Pictured below are my two favorite marathoners.) You just ran a marathon! YOU are the SHIZ!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Long Lost

Months ago, I wrote here about a love triangle I was involved in during the summer after 8th grade, also known as The Summer of Love. My best friend, Kelly, and I had quite the tryst with one boy named Rick. He was her boyfriend first, then mine, then hers again. We nearly killed each other over him. We were 14, he was a few years older. We were 8th or 9th graders, he was a construction worker. And I loved him. I loved many boys, and their names fill the pages of my diaries I have kept most of my life.

Anyway, I again mention this sordid love affair, which is exactly what it should be called when you are in 8th grade!, because I have to share the beautiful power and magic of the internet.

Yesterday, the infamous Rick Zuppa's name appeared in my inbox. He wrote that he happened to do a Google search on himself (and c'mon, don't we all do that on occasion?) and found my blog because of it. That is AWESOME. I couldn't wait to call Kelly and let her know that it was ME he contacted first after all these years!

Kelly's married now, I'm married now, and Rick is married now, too. And none of us are married to each other. Whew!

So now, I'd like to post the names of those I have wondered about for years and years. I hope that like Rick, they will Google themselves during some lonely evening, and they will be led to ME and this blog. I would love to hear from the following:

1. FIRST and foremost- My first REAL boyfriend. The first boy I really, truly loved. TOM DONOGHUE. I've tried to find him on Facebook and elsewhere- There are quite a few Tom Donoghues out there...But so far, I haven't found the right one.

2. Lisa Bardenhagen- My favorite friend from my freshman year at UNT. All of my best memories of my first year in college include her. But she left the next year, as did I, and we lost touch.

3. Lee Barge- Another very cool friend from college. We reconnected a few years after losing touch, but even that was probably 10 years ago.

4. And last, but NOT least, Amy Smith- She was my friend from 4th grade until...well, until we lost touch. I'm not even sure when that was, altho it was gradual. She was at my wedding and that was nearly 15 years ago, and I'm not sure I saw her again after that. So, it's been awhile, and with a name like that, she's going to be a little hard to ever find. AND, women's names often change if/when they get married.

Ok, those are my top 4. I'm putting this out to the universe- also known as the internet. If you can hear my voice, or rather, read these words- please contact me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Home Tours

Lately, I've started going to "Home Tours"- If you're not familiar, a Home Tour is when you pay somewhere between about $15 and $25 for a ticket to see inside houses of the Rich and Famous. Except, they're not actually famous. But based on the vast numbers of people who show up to these tours, you'd think they were.

This past weekend, I was not only was an attendee, but also a performer at the Highland Park home tour. My cellist friend and I played songs for about 2 hours. On the average Sunday, we rehearse for a couple of hours in the morning. This past Sunday, we just pretended I had moved to a mighty fine house! And that we had opened up my home to lots of well dressed ladies to wander around, oohing and ahhing at all of my lovely things.

After we played, I met up with another friend, and we toured the other homes on the list. Lots of times, I find these home tours make me wish I had a "home like that." But honestly, this weekend, the homes were SO big, and so extravagant, and just so...ELITE, I was just awestruck. I can't and don't even really want to imagine myself living in such a home. One of the homes on the tour was 18,000 square feet. That's no typo, my friends. Yes, I meant EIGHTEEN THOUSAND SQUARE FEET. If I misplaced my keys or cellphone, I'm not sure I could ever find them again. Assuming I did any of my own housecleaning (which I sort of enjoy because housecleaning gives me some odd sense of peace and order in my little world) it would be endless and likely bring war and disorder to my life. And never could I use the excuse to out-of-town guests that I'd love for them to stay with me, if only I had the room! :(

The home tour has inspired some additional house-cleaning today. I can really clean my humble home in just a matter of an hour or two. There's plenty of room for my little family- Fermin, Zoe, Scout and Me. And I misplace things all the time, but they never take too long to find.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Music to My Ears

Yes, it 'tis the season. And I know most people get sick of hearing the holiday songs while they're shopping, and many complain about how commercialized the holiday season is. But I say, "Turn that music up! Spread the good cheer!" because THAT is what I'd rather hear when I'm shopping...

While out doing some of my shopping this week, several times, I've noticed very loud cell-phone talkers thinking they are multi-tasking and getting several things done in one quick swoop, by having seemingly deep conversations while getting either grocery, or holiday shopping done. (And that, my friends, is a very long sentence. Whew!)

One woman I overheard was one aisle over from me at Target. I could hear her angrily saying over and over, "YOU ARE ENABLING HIM! YOU ARE ENABLING HIM". I actually walked over to her aisle just to check on her and make sure she was okay. But she was just sort of feeling cans of beans, and looking bored as she gave out her important advice. Her conversation went on for a few more minutes while I did more shopping. When I passed her aisle again a little later, she was still talking on her cell, and still feeling off the beans.

First of all, I wonder, why talk so loud? If the person was there in the store with her, would they be having this conversation for everyone to hear? It seemed kind of private. Secondly, rubbing your hands over cans of beans doesn't constitute a shopping trip. Hang up the phone and shop, or leave the store and talk on the phone. Chose one. Please, just one.

Today while I was at a department store, I overheard another very serious conversation that should not have been had while looking at jewelry around lots of other shoppers.

It's December. The stores are hustle-y and bustle-y enough without all these excessive, loud and dramatic phone calls. These multi-taskers are just making it unpleasant for the rest of us.

Linger in the bean aisle if you like, caress all the costume jewelry that you want, but please be PRESENT with those items and give them your full attention. OR, like I said, leave the store, and give your enabling friend your full attention.

And please, let us hear that holiday music instead!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dear Listener

Dear Listener,

Although you came up to me after I played last night and gave me a very generous tip, all I said to you was, "Thank You". But I'll add here on my blog, although you will never read it because you don't even know my name, a further explanation of my gratitude.

While I sang to a bar full of profiles and wine glasses, yours was the face I saw turned toward me, really listening. I'm pretty sure you led the applause after every song I played. And you even stood up for awhile toward the end of my set. I noticed and it was meaningful to me.

One slightly drunk man meandered over to me while I was performing and told me the owner of the bar was gay, and recommended I play something a gay man would like. I'm not even sure what he meant exactly, but he made me uncomfortable. He just stood there, longer than I wanted him to looking at me and saying, "Oh, you know!" But I didn't.

I'm not sure what kind of songs that man wanted me to play, but he made me feel like they were something other than the ones I was playing. And I thought, "Hm. What should I morph into? Should I try a Cher song?"

But because of you, Dear Listener, I knew the person that was really listening in a loud bar, liked my song choices. And you helped me feel confident enough just be myself, and play the music that I play. You made me happy that I was ME. I couldn't really be anyone else anyway...