pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: July 2015

30 July 2015

Show Number FORTY

Irvine Meadows Amphitheater
Irvine, California
30 July 2015
The first time I saw Rush, I saw them at Irvine Meadows. A long time ago. I had terrible seats. But the band was off the hook, so it kind of didn't matter. And I love the sound at Irvine Meadows, so I was happy.
That show ignited...something. I'm not sure that there is a word or words for it. I'm not sure I want to examine it too closely. If live music were an addiction, these guys are my drug of choice.
So, though it wasn't planned that way, I guess it was really appropriate I saw my fortieth Rush show at Irvine.
And it will be equally appropriate that I will see my 41st show on Saturday. I will have terrible seats. The band will be off the hook, so come what may, it kind of will not matter.
And I will be happy.
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.

29 July 2015

What you're............................

I am not supposed to climb ladders. I have a heart condition, paralysis, blah, blah, blah. Whatever.

So this morning, I climb to the top of the ladder (with a vacuum cleaner) to clean the Tiffany pendant light over the dining room table.

"What You're Doing" (oh, Irony!) is blasting over the speakers.

While I attack dust bunnies in the lamp, I shimmy and dance to the music.

"MOM!" the daughter shrieks from the kitchen.

I turn off the vacuum cleaner.

"What?" I inquire.

She gestures hugely, no words. Her eyes and arms convey, YOU. LADDER. VACUUM. DANCING. DANCING. WTF?

I shrug and prepare to turn the vacuum back on, foot resuming its movement to the beat of the music.

"STOP IT!" she finally yells.

"All good," I sing out.

(And whisper to myself, "Don't be an idiot. You have places to be the rest of this week...")

Punch line?

Me: 1

Dust bunnies: 0

Ladder: 0

All good.

Update: Perhaps I should mention it was a small ladder and I was actually standing on the very top of it. Dancing.

28 July 2015

Have a cookie, EU!

People in the European Union (and everywhere else):

I just got a notification from Google that I am required to talk to you about cookies. No, not the kind you eat, the kind that land on your computer. Apparently, Google is putting a hideous giant banner on my content in the EU to make you opt in. That's fine. Let's talk cookies:

This is a personal blog, as out of vogue as that may be. I write for my own pleasure and for the various people who keep coming back to read it. I haven't, strictly speaking, invited any of you here, though of course, you are welcome if you're nice and not a content thief. So if you're reading, you agree that it's okay this site drops whatever cookies it drops on your computer. If you don't agree, I suggest you go away now.

How I use cookies (other than periodically baking and eating them):

This is a personal blog (see above). I do not solicit ads or allow placement thereof. You should see the emails I send to marketers who try to sell me advertising. It isn't pretty. So, I do NOT use cookies to target advertising. Because there is no advertising.

I do, however, use certain services that collect information on you, the reader, via a cookie. These services include Google Analytics (which is waaaaay too complicated for my purposes) and Statcounter. Site Meter does too, but I haven't used Site Meter in god knows how long, and should go remove its code from the blog (if I can find it). Blogger also theoretically gives me certain info on readers, but it seems so far off base that I ignore it. Anyway, these services tell me certain things about you, the reader, including where you are geographically speaking (to a first approximation), and what you read (more or less). Mostly, I am curious (in an idle, periodically bemused, way) where you are from. I am interested in what gets read most frequently (in an idle, periodically bemused, way).

The information that is collected is non-personally identifiable. While I am puzzled by the VAST number of hits a photo of my Birkenstock sandals has garnered from (apparent) aficionados in the European Union over the last seven or so years, it's not like I could go to Germany and walk into the Internet café where you are mooning over a photo of my (old, decrepit) sandals and catch you in the act. Basically, I know that someone in Berlin looked at the Birkenstock photo last week. Who knew there were Birkenstock fetishists in the world? Certainly not me.

In a nutshell, that is how I use cookies on this site.

Let me also be clear that I am not responsible for any cookies that Google, which owns Blogger, may be putting on your computer. That's between you and Google. Also, if you are accessing this blog through a third-party site other than a feedreader, you are a) subsidizing content theft and b) at the mercy of whatever that site is dumping on your computer which is nothing to do with me.

18 July 2015

A sight not often seen

Angels Stadium
Anaheim, California
18 July 2015

The remnants of a tropical storm wandered up the coast. I looked longingly at the clouds and told the spouse, "If it just rains steadily for an hour."

Oh, it rained all right.

And naturally, we had tickets to the game tonight. The daughter was put out that she hadn't seen any fireworks on July 4, so I'd promised her we'd go to a Saturday game when they do the fireworks show. She invited a friend to go with us tonight, and I was edgy, wondering if the game would be called on account of the thunderstorms. But it wasn't, and despite a couple of downpours, everything went as planned, Angels beating Boston 3-0, complete game shut out to Garrett Richards.

Which was awesome.

One of the best moments, though was watching the grounds crew with the tarp, folding it up, unfolding it, refolding it. I don't think it gets used much around here.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.

14 July 2015

I don't regret it

Somewhere in Utah
13 July 2015

The daughter and I zipped into Salt Lake City on Sunday evening, and zipped back out again this morning.

While we were sitting in SLC, the daughter made rather hopeful noises that I might consider going back to the ticket desk and purchasing a couple of air tickets to Calgary.

(Don't think that I wasn't tempted. I had both her passport and mine in my bag.)

I've never the finished the Texas stories--I need to if only for myself--and I'm far too tired right now to be eloquent about last night. And even if I were awake, I'm not sure that I could elucidate exactly what I felt.

Wild fun, to be sure. The bliss of immersion in the music, sometimes so intense that it's almost painful. The pleasure of my daughter clinging to my arm and screaming into my ear.

(The first time, she was seven. She fell asleep at the end, and I carried her out of the amphitheater. The next time, she was 10, and I held her on my hip so she could see while she sang and waved a light stick around with glee. Then again at 13, 14 and 15. At 16, she traveled with me for the first time, a memorable show in Denver with Deb. And last night as an adult.)

I used to keep track of the miles I traveled. At this point, I can't even imagine what that number would look like, though I could probably log it. But the miles are beside the point, and every mile, every trip on a plane, has been worth it.

If I calculated every hour that I spent, standing there, in whatever city, whatever state, whatever country, mesmerized, grateful, lost and in love, the actual number of hours would be very small. But the total return has been immense.

So much.

I never forget it.

Tech stuff: Taken with my NikonD7000.

12 July 2015

Here it goes again

Orange County, California
12 July 2015

09 July 2015

The conversations


Ascension triumphant
Tour Eiffel
Paris, France
7 July 2012

Incoming text from Washington D.C. at 6:08 this morning:

The son: Goo goo g'joob?

Me: Expert texpert choking smoker

Me: Semolina pilchard!

The son: Don't you think the Joker laughs at you?

Me: Don't do drugs!

The son: Climbing up the Eiffel Tower!

Me: You are the Eggman

The son: Well I can't well call you a walrus. :[

Me: Not if you know what's good for you. :3


Six months ago:

The daughter: But MOM! I have that Friday off! I can totally go to New Orleans with you.

Me: You've got a ticket for Irvine.

The daughter: But I don't want to go to only one show!

(oh eerie echo of your mother)

Me: You'd have to fly to New Orleans by yourself because I will be in Texas.

Daughter looks stricken.

Me: See? And you'd have to fly out on Thursday because remember what happened when we went to Austin to look at UT?

Daughter, looking equal parts stricken and determined: But Mommmmmmmieeeeeeeeeee...

And that, my friends, is why I'm flying to Utah this weekend.

Tech stuff: Taken with my NikonD40.

04 July 2015

Letting go

Mighty Mississippi
Memphis, Tennessee
4 July 2014

We've spent the day hiding from our neighborhood. Fourth of July is Christmas, New Year's and everyone's birthday rolled into one around here, and with the vagaries of the last 18 months, neither the spouse, the daughter nor I could deal with being social in a group setting.

Maybe we'll sneak out and watch the fireworks in half an hour.

And I kept thinking about sitting on a riverboat in Memphis last 4th of July. I couldn't wait for that to be over, but now the daughter and I are a bit nostalgic.


Wednesday night was my final final meeting of the advisory board I've perched (okay, sat) on for the last two years. I graduated, too. I am done. It was a nice (and social) gathering, and there was laughter, and when stuff turned to business, I hugged the director, I hugged my colleague, I hugged my successors and I left.

And the next morning, I woke up, realizing there was a bit of information I'd forgotten to pass on, and I sat down and started writing an email to my successors, wondered if I should copy the director, deleted everyone but my colleague and finally, finally convinced myself that I was done, and deleted the email, and then the draft. It wasn't that important. It's the second time I've stopped myself writing them with some bit of information.

They will do fine.

Without me.


Something funny just now.

I was searching the blog, which I do if I can't remember whether I've already (heaven forbid) posted a certain photo. As I searched, I came across this:

"And now, I'm writing a short story. A short story that is becoming a script as fast as I can write it. And is slated to become a film."

The same film that is being submitted to festivals today.

A world full of maybe, indeed.

Letting go. Moving on.

A world full of possibilities.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.