Saturday, September 29, 2007

Yippee!!!

Red Sox clinch AL East crown

The Red Sox clinched their first division title in 12 years Friday night by beating the Twins 5-2 at Fenway and then watching the Orioles rally to beat the Yankees in extra innings.

Many thanks to the kind folks at Camden Yards who helped the Sox secure the division:
Especially Mariano Rivera for another collapse and Melvin Mora for that SWEET RBI bunt!

Pics!

Go Sox!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Many Mini-posts all at once (OK catching up)

All is well here...just got out of the groove and then the topics started piling up which of course becomes intimidating but then I'm like what the heck, it's MY blog, I can skip stuff if I want to.

But I won't. SO:

Willie Nelson/Ray Price/Merle Haggard concert the day after I got back from Nashville, with one of my oldest and best friends, Carolyn, and her husband Andy. Carolyn is being shipped to Iraq soon. She's a nurse anesthetist. Hopefully away from danger for her but I'll worry. Anyway I gotta push that thought down. The concert was great and Ray Price (81 yrs old) freakin STOLE the show. Wow. And I made fun of my mom for listening to him when I was a kid. That man can mesmerize an audience. And I was really happy to see Willie Nelson (no spring chicken himself) - I've wanted to for years and I was afraid it would go the way of Jerry Garcia before I got the chance. We had a great time. Next up: Loretta Lynn. Hope she comes around this way sometime soon.

Randy's parents in town from SC the last two weekends. Very fun, went to Rockport, MA to play tourist and poked around Faneuil Hall in Boston. Watched a couple games on the tube. They were great to hang out with, it's always nice when they visit! Randy had a great time going to NH with them to visit relatives and they all got their gambling fix at Foxwoods...after which Randy, after breaking even, got on line and promptly commenced a nasty winning streak playing poker on line. So great to see his dad after that scary health incident earlier this year. And his sweet mom left us some pin money for dinner sometime...

....which I used to plant some bright perennials in the dark corner of the garden. They're still alive. Does mountain laurel grow in the city, if it's native to the region? And are plants like goldfish, where they only grow as big as their habitat allows them to?

Gorgeous weather all September long. Seriously. 80's and 90's heading into October. Wow.

Red Sox magic number to clinch the division is 2!!!

Kitties are happy and healthy. Emmie (the stripey one) has eaten two consecutive issues of Sports Illustrated. (Thank god she didn't eat the Jonathan Paplebon cover though.) Mimi (the blackie one) has taken to mimicking Emmie by dragging a ball & feather toy all around the house and depositing it as a gift each time she moves it. Very cute.

Got my friend Howard coming to visit from California this weekend. I met him nearly 20 yrs ago when he was a customer at a pub I worked at in England that summer. He owes us a dinner due to a dumb baseball bet he made against the Sox, and we're taking him to Fenway for Saturday's game-his first time there. We get to make a dream come true!

And then next weekend I'm off to Chicago to work at the Chicago Marathon expo.

My boss & two co-workers are off in Asia this week and next. And with the big boss out of the office too (oh, who we saw while out to dinner with Randy's folks, he sent us a round of drinks!), the living creatures I get to see are few and far between. The place is a ghost town!

That's it from here for now!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Nashville with my girlies Labor Day weekend

This is the picture that goes on the fridge!


Hard to believe that a whole week of real life has gone by already! I wish we could see each other more often, but it's just not the way it is, so we just gotta take it when we can.

Karen lives in Albany, NY (since 2000), Kim lives in CA (since 2004), and I'm in the Boston area. Along with our friend Mary Clare (who still lives west of Boston but now with a young family of her own), we all lived in the Boston area from 1995-2000 and became great friends. We had awesome times together and many of the stories we tell are still the stories from that time. Those were the days!
Well, now THESE are the days. We don't get to see each other as much as we used to (Karen and I much more so than the others, but we're only 3 hours apart). We've been to CA to visit Kim a couple times, and she came out here a couple years ago (and MC was able to join us, that was fun!) but it's not like the old days when we all lived within a mile of each other and hung out every weekend.
It was high time to have a nice girly weekend without anyone else around.
So, we picked Nashville. Why? Because none of our well-traveled butts have been there. And we heard it was fun!
We all got to the airport there within 10 minutes of each other, rode in to the Hilton downtown, and dragged our suitcases straight into the bar for a good old-fashioned sit-down and catch-up.
A few beers and a few stories later, we finally dragged our suitcases into our room, got dressed, and went out on the town (OK, the town was right around the block from the hotel).
All in all, we had a blast, and it was so great to be able to be with each other for three days in a row, doing all the fun girl stuff we like to do. It was just like no time had passed; we just picked up where we left off - isn't that the way of all the best friendships?
Highlights?
1) Great country music in really fun bars- you would not believe the amount of talent there is in Nashville. (Well it IS the Hollywood of the country music world!) Our favorite was the world famous Tootsies.
2) Ernest Tubb's Record Shop
3) Grand Ole Opry. It's just as hokey and filled with great talent like it was in the old days. Porter Wagoner performed, he was the biggest name. He's the guy with the white hair and the sparkly blue suit in the pics below. Advice: Avoid the gift shop (well, you can't, but that's because that's the only way out). But rush through, it's like the Filene's Basement Bridal Sale in there. Holy crap!
4) Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Really cool to see the old guitars, clothes, cars, and writings of the household names.
5) REALLY (and I mean REALLY) nice people. Everyone talks to everyone!
6) Karen's awesome Cowboy boot-style mules, and my new bag, both purchased at Trail West downtown from a really nice, very cool woman that works there (it's across from Joe's Crab Shack if you happen to be there)
7) Nashville JAM festival with jazz, gospel, and R&B on the river, complete with fireworks.
8) Scoring at the mall after a very very slow start. (we had to though, our clothes stank too much to wear them next to other passengers on the flights home).
I had my awesome cowboy boots professionally cleaned/polished/waterproofed. And wear them I did. I love those things.
Randy's a big guitar buff, so we also stopped by Gruhn's guitars-I guess the guy there is a renowned expert appraiser, and the shop is really cool. I got Randy a cool tee shirt and some guitar picks (and pics).
Also, who knew, there's a Charlie Daniels Band museum? It's free, you just gotta make your way through the Charlie Daniels Band store to get to it. :-) Pretty cool displays if you're a fan.
And, you CAN get your picture taken with a statue of Elvis, even though it's not Memphis.
We also got to see Music Row where all the major recording studios and music companies are. That was pretty cool. No celeb sightings that we knew of but heck it WAS a holiday weekend!

What did we miss? The only thing of note came to light when Kim talked to one of her customers that was there the same weekend. Evidently, a very drunk Hank Williams Jr jumped onstage by surprise at Tootsie's, and then told everyone to fK off and walked out when someone screwed up a chord. But the only reason we missed it was 'cause we had to get up at 4:30am to catch our flights.

Broadway by night