Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bathroom trauma is real. Have a plan.

If you were going to the bathroom and went to open the bathroom door and realized the door was stuck, what would you do?
  1. Akwardly crawl out from under the bathroom door, wallowing in bathroom floor germs, and making the person in the stall next to you wonder what on earth is going on.
  2. Call someone for help, also akwardly making the person in the stall next to you wonder what is happening.
  3. Text someone for help, hoping they will get your text message and respond in a timely manner.
  4. Tell the person using the bathroom in the stall next to you that you don't know that you're stuck in the stall and can't get out.

What would YOU do? Bathroom trauma is real. Have a plan.

Some options:

  • Implement the buddy system. Have someone who knows when you're going to the bathroom and if you don't return in 5 minutes, send them in after you. Or bring them along, just in case. (The time frame can be adjusted to 10 minutes if you're doing some serious business.)
  • Carry a screwdriver with you at all times. People may laugh at you now, but they won't be laughing when you rescue them. From the bathroom.
  • Always have your phone on you, in case you need to dial an emergency number if you get locked up.
  • Keep steady conversations going with people who are using the bathroom in the stalls next to you. You might need them to be your friend.

Any other options would be much appreciated by me after today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NYC - Day 4 - Pete Seeger Concert

We had intended to do more exploring in NYC, but unfortunately two of the days we were there it was pretty rainy, which slowed us down quite a bit. So our plans for a picnic in Central Park this past Sunday were completely shut down. Therefore, the highlight of Sunday was Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Concert, which is more of a highlight than we could have even asked for in one day. It was phenomenal!

The lineup for the concert was mindboggling. Seriously. Pete Seeger, Ani DiFranco, Taj Mahal, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Billy Bragg, Kris Kristofferson, Joan Baez, John Mellencamp, Steve Earle, Richie Havens, Roger McGuinn (The Birds), Bela Fleck, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), and many more. I mean, I would have been tickled pink just to see any one of these musicians in a concert by themselves, much less to see them all in one place and performing with each other! It was almost more than I could handle.

The highlights of the concert?

Maybe Joan Baez singing "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" (which I have recently been learning how to play by listening to her version).

Or Pete Seeger leading everyone in the audience to a sing-a-long Pete Seeger style to "We Shall Overcome" (to which Andy leaned over and whispered in my ear, "They're singing about the gospel, and they don't even know it.").
Or Billy Bragg leading everyone in "Union Maid" - and hearing thousands of people robustly singing, "Oh you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union, sticking to the union, sticking to the union," just the way you would image a union song being sung.

Or Dave Matthew's version of the old folk song "Rye Whiskey", which was stuck in my head for the next few days after the concert.
Or Kris Kristofferson, Ramblin Jack, Richie Havens, Taj Mahal, and others singing "Maggie's Farm", while contemplating the fact that Pete Seeger himself said he wanted to cut the cords with an axe when Dylan went electric playing this very song at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. And here on stage is this variety of musicians and sounds, both accoustic and electric...
These are just some of the highlights. There are many, many more that I could mention. In fact, with a 4 1/2 hour concert with all of these top calliber musicians on stage, I couldn't give the concert justice. You'll just have to watch it yourself this summer when PBS airs it on national television. But if you happen to be interested right now, here's the set list from the concert.

I do think seeing 90 year old Pete Seeger was the highlight of the show! And after watching a few interviews with him before the show, I have even more respect for him. He said the greatest accomplishment he's had in his life is staying married to the same wonderful woman. He still criticizes the commercialization of music, down to this very show. The proceeds of the concert all went to Clearwater to help clean the Hudson River, not to his own gain. He still wears simple clothes and a baseball cap, and looks humbled by recognition.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

NYC - Day 3 - Part 3

In our short time in Woodstock, we were able to do just a tad of exploring the town. Come to find out, the Woodstock festival that we all know of was actually not held in the town of Woodstock, NY, but actually 60 miles away. Am I the only one who feels lied to about this? Nevertheless, the town was just what I would have imagined it to be - earthy, hippie, music loving, and a tad commercial from all the hype.

Don't you think if you were going to protest war that picking any place other than Woodstock might be productive? I'm just sayin, I think that maybe Woodstock in general might be anti-war. Just a guess.
Goodbye Woodstock! And thank you Nikki for driving in NYC. This picture is proof to show your mother that you really did drive in NYC, and we all lived to tell about it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NYC - Day 3 - Part 2

Our friend Billy Faier was himself visting Woodstock from his home in Marathon, TX, when we stopped in. He was staying with an old friend, Betty Ballentine. Betty is now about 90 years old, and come to find out, a very well known publisher of science fiction books. She and her husband formed Ballentine books, the publisher of the first authorized version of Lord of the Rings, endorsed by J.R.R. Tolkein himself. Betty was very kind and even fixed us a spur of the moment lunch.

We enjoyed her beautiful home. Here are a few pictures.

Of course Andy and Billy were able to squeeze in some great music!

Nikki as we all know and love her (laughing).

The yard ornaments were so picturesque, considering Betty's publishing history.

Thanks Betty for allowing us to crash your home!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NYC - Day 3 - Part 1

Ok, maybe breaking things down to Day 3 and Part 1 is a bit ridiculous, but I can't help it!
This past Saturday we rented a car in NYC (which by the way is quite an adventure in itself), and drove to Woodstock, NY, to visit a good friend of ours, Billy Faier, who just so happened to be visiting Woodstock himself.

Billy lived in Woodstock from the 70's all the way through the 90's (give or take because I can't remember the years, but it was a long time). He bought up some land from a man who just wanted beer money for dirt cheap (no pun intended) and began designing and building his own house. About 5 or so years ago, Billy sold his house to a really cool family. While we were in Woodstock, Billy gave them a call to see if they would let us stop by to see their house. It was pretty much the coolest house ever!

Chris and Andy played some tunes on this tiny little out-of-tune guitar, and fun and freshly baked bread was had by all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

NYC - Day 2

Because Andy is so involved in the modern day folk music scene, we particularly enjoyed seeing Greenwich Village during our last visit to NYC. We wanted to make it back to explore the area one more time. Here are some pics for your enjoyment:

Andy at the White Horse Tavern, where beat poet Dylan Thomas drank himself to death, and Bob Dylan performed in his early years.
Nikki, pretending to be a musician at The Music Inn - an ecclectic music store that collects instruments from all over the world, and old records.
For those of you who follow the news, you will find this advertisement for a sale in a local boutique humorous.
Andy and I by the Hudson River, and by a cool door.
Me, posing with my new guitar strap that we bought at a guitar shop in Greenwich Village. It is handmade by Jodi Head. If you click on this link, you can see mine (Style #15) and Andy's (Style #13). I found it ironic that the style of these straps is called "Hootenanny".

NYC - Day 1

We arrived in NYC amid swine flu fears. Our dear friend, Chris Sand (aka "The Rappin' Cowboy"), was waiting for us at the airport. You can rest assured that swine flu jokes abounded. I was particularly amused when I saw this at a drugstore:
Seriously, do you really think that latex gloves are going to keep you from contracting the swine flu if it's as big of a pandemic as the media is making it out to be?

When we met up with Nikki we were all thrilled to grab a burger at Five Guys. Their slogan "Worth the Pilgrimage" is true.

If you want an explanation on this, please ask Chris...
Thursday evening, we went to see a new Broadway play called "God of Carnage". There are only 4 actors (including Jeff Daniels from "Dumb and Dumber") in the entire play, which takes place on one set. I highly recommend it!By the end of the play, the pristine living room set was not so pristine any more.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Ginormous Apple

After a last minute/late hour/unexpected drive in a rental car from the DFW airport Monday night (or Tuesday morning), Andy and I finally made it back home at 5am from New York City. And after our bags sat in the airport all day Tuesday when they were supposed to be delivered to our house, we finally got them back. Ourselves. By driving to the airport and picking them up ourselves.

Darn Northwest Airlines. I don't recommend them.

But I digress...

Our vacation to NYC was a blast! I've been mulling over how to summarize it on my blog for my few fellow bloggers who are interested, but I just can't seem to sum it up in one small post. So, I've decided to summarize it in a series of posts about specific activities.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Zoom Lens

Thanks to my wonderful coworkers, I got a massive gift card for my birthday and was able to purchase a new zoom lens for my camera! Happy birthday to me. I think the thing I like about the zoom is that you're able to take pictures of people without them noticing that you're taking pictures of them. And I love people pictures! Here's a few random pics I've taken with my new lens.

Here's little Keadryn (Jordan took this one).

And Sayla. Don't you love the tongue?

This is Joel, enjoying the slide.

Which do you like better of Kelsey? Color or sepia?

Here's a few in sepia that I thought were fun - Salem and Whitney.

I know this is racy, but it was a random painted sign in the Depot District and ended up being a really cool picture! (No, it's not anyone I know.)

P.S. - Andy and I just got back from a wonderful vacation in NYC. As soon as I have a chance, I'll post about it.