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

30 September 2015

From behind the steering wheel

Orange, California
3 September 2015

The daughter acquired her driver's license on September 18, as planned. We got her insured, and ready to go. We started looking at cars for her, and test drove different ones all Sunday afternoon. Monday, one of the dealerships acquired a car we wanted to look at. The daughter and I went down and we each drove it, and then the daughter drove it home. That was Monday.

Last night, Tuesday, she dislocated her right patella. Does this sound at all familiar? It should because she did the same thing in November 2012, just as we were planning to start her driver training. Between the injury and subsequent surgery, she was unable to use her right leg for four months.

And here we are again. Wednesday is her long day at school, so today, I was hauling her all over the campus in my car. She is on crutches and in an immobilization brace. I also spent the day dealing with the insurance, and the orthopedist who is seeing her on Friday.

I will be driving her to school for at least six more weeks.

I know. I know. It's just a knee.

Did I also mention I got called for jury duty?

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. Yes, we're still going to Austin.

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29 September 2015

Fun in the ER

Emergency Room
Orange, California
29 September 2015
The daughter blew out her knee during the last few minutes of her self-defense class. Whoever was running it panicked and called the paramedics before we even knew what happened.

I don't think the injury required either the paramedics or the emergency room.

It's turning out to be a very expensive week.
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.

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27 September 2015

Blood moon

Super moon eclipse (as seen from uncooperative camera)
27 September 2015

My camera wanted nothing to do with this event. Nada.

Granted, the humidity, the haze and the bands of clouds were not making it easy. It may also be time to take the telephoto in for a looksee. The auto focus motor was being difficult. Not that it liked my attempts at manual focus any better.

Of course, possible it was just because the moon was tough to see. Through the shadow, the humidity, the haze and the bands of clouds...

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000.

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24 September 2015

Just another pretty picture

Somewhere far away
23 July 2012

Other than the happy Austin news, I've had a mightily exasperating week. Usually that leaves me with little to post, so just enjoy the sunset.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40, off the coast of Britain, I think.

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21 September 2015

Off to Austin...again!

Austin, Texas
23 April 2013

If you'd told me as I took this photo that I'd be visiting Austin again...and again...and again over the course of 2 years, I would have laughed and said, "Sure. Whatever!"

But the daughter and I will be in Austin, again, at the end of next month.

And that is because the daughter's short film will be showing at the Austin Film Festival in the Young Filmmaker Competition. Which is freaking awesome.

(Fun fact: the bomber jacket that figures so prominently in the film was actually purchased in Austin last September--Lucy In Disguise With Diamonds!--when the daughter and I visited UT, and D. took us around SoCo.)

The daughter is beyond excited. The Civil War story for which she wrote the screenplay made it into three festivals last year, but she can't wait to show the work that she directed.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4. Bonus points on this trip because we get Chica Time with D. A good time will be had all around.

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10 September 2015

The tie that binds

Caernarfon Castle
Gwynedd, United Kingdom
13 July 2012
As we all know, weird things fascinate me. Like the mortar used to hold castles together. Why would this fascinate me? Often, ancient buildings are rebuilt over time--fire, flood, war, age all take their toll. But places that are left undisturbed have stories to tell: where did the constituent parts come from? Even if there's rebuilding, a story still emerges. This, too, would be why archaeologists love garbage middens. You can construct opuses from a civilization's garbage!
While I'm happy to leave the garbage to other more lofty academicians (I once read a novel where the Black Death reemerged because of people fussing around old corpses), I'll stick to photographing mortar.
If nothing else, that's quite an attractive rock.
Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. Last night, I sliced my left index finger open with the bread knife (trying to be kind, I was making the spouse a sandwich) and typing is a beast because of the bandage. Mostly, I can't quite seem to get the "b" and "g" keys. So for now, you get a rock. But Louisiana is yet to come! Let's face it, I could easily drag this out for the rest of the year.

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09 September 2015

Bigger in Texas

San Antonio, Texas
19 May 2015

So we left off with lots of singing. At 3 a.m.

D. had to go to work when the sun rose Tuesday morning. I had to figure out if I was going to Houston.

Yes, no, yes, no.

Plane! (no)

Concert! (yes)

But...plane. (argh)

I looked at flights. The idea of getting on a plane seemed like a gargantuan undertaking.

(Concert hangover. Singing hangover. General exhaustion. General inertia. nononono)

San Antonio to Houston. Houston to New Orleans. I needed to be in New Orleans by Friday. San Antonio to New Orleans?

I stared at my iPad with disgust and finally started pushing buttons. (yes?)

So...I'd committed to Houston with a non-refundable flight. And I still didn't have a ticket to a concert that was beginning to sound sold out.

Which meant I was going to be getting off the plane and heading straight to the venue to see if any tickets were going to be released. Always a fun proposition. But one that had worked well for me in the past, most memorably when I entered my house years ago, sweaty and disgusting from mowing the lawn and pulled up a third row ticket to Nokia for face value on Ticketmaster. Some things, apparently, are just meant to be. So I'd keep my fingers crossed.

When D. returned home from work, we took the rental car back (please note: only D. could successfully convince me to drive a truck I with which I was unfamiliar in a city I'd never seen before. Did I mention that D. and convincing was how I ended up in the pit at Irvine? Yes, yes, I did.), and then D. decided I needed a Big Red margarita.

It's true, everything is bigger in Texas. Even blue drinks that are also red.

Bonus margarita photo!

(That scant inch from the rim was about the sum total of what I drank. The margarita was in about a quart huge.)

Over the course of the evening and into the next morning, I was checking the Houston venue's website via my phone. Ticket? No ticket. Ticket? No ticket.

And finally, while I was sitting in the departure lounge at the San Antonio airport: ticket! Which sent me into a panic. Tech savvy as I may be, I do NOT buy things using my phone.

But Wednesday, May 20 was a day of firsts: setting out for a concert alone for the first time since December 2010, and hitting the "purchase" button on my phone as I boarded a plane.

(It was also the first time I actually worked during a concert, though I begged off the conference call I was supposed to be on, citing noise issues. Still, I sat there responding to emails and setting up agendas before the show started and during intermission. Because I am weird like that.)

I ran into a number of people that I know that night, but a concert is never the same without D. Yes, I still have a blast, but it's just not quite the same. At least in my head, D. and I have been Team Chica for the last decade, and it's always more fun when she is standing there elbowing me, or vice versa, during the show. Plus there is the getting lost and the 1 am breakfast and the reliving of the previous 3 hours. And invariably, whatever happens becomes fodder for storytelling for years. Witness the two of us sitting up over homemade pancakes until all hours after Irvine in July, regaling the daughter with stories of Kansas City and Chicago, Red Rocks and Las Vegas, New Hampshire and Atlanta, Toronto and Austin, crying with laughter as we lived it all again.

And just as invariably, stories come from the times I travel solo. There I was during the first half of the Houston show, happily giving myself whiplash during "The Anarchist," when suddenly someone grabbed me from behind. I nearly came out of my skin.

It turned out to be the inebriated male significant other of the even more inebriated woman in the row behind me. They were trying to hug me (!!!) because, as the woman screamed at me, "you're a Rush sister!"


At least they didn't spill beer or throw up on me!

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. I have had beer spilled on me many times, which is why one of my traveling rules is that I always have a completely clean change of clothing packed along with a large garbage bag for the clothes I wore to the show to keep them separate until they can be washed. Blessedly, I have never been vomited on nor peed on, though I know that has happened to others.

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08 September 2015

Think cool thoughts

Sequoia National Park
27 November 2008

The temperatures topped 100F today and are expected to again for much of the rest of the week.


Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

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07 September 2015

Cats and dogs

Mitzi and Milton
Orange County, California
31 July 2005

Milton now has a Facebook. I have no love (negative love, actually) for Facebook, so making a page for my cat seemed perfect. And yes, I am very aware the world is going to hell in a hand basket--I am living in that hand basket, thankyouforasking--so ensuring there are more cats on the Internet seems a good thing. At least until Facebook realizes that MMS is a cat.

No worries. I love dogs, too. So much so that I've yet to find a replacement for Mitzi the Wonderdog, Baddest Dog in the Universe. Who died more than nine years ago. She is a tough act to follow.

I miss her.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon Powershot S110. I promise: more Texas! And because someone always asks: Mitz was a standard American Eskimo. The most willful dog ever born. We were told she was untrainable (she wasn't). Milton adored her.

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04 September 2015

What Friday looks like

Orange, California
4 September 2015

The daughter has been going to college for one week and it already feels like 6 months. It didn't help that I had to make a trip to Los Angeles in the middle of the week and that didn't end well.

She takes her license test in two weeks. So I probably have 3-4 more weeks of chauffeur duty (until it starts raining, and then all bets are off). Fridays are great in that she only has one class, but it only lasts 50 minutes and the roundtrip is 45. So, in Pollyanna fashion, I walked the area (three miles!) to kill time until she was done.

It beat the recumbent bike.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. And probably this weekend, more Texas.

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02 September 2015

How to talk to girls at college

Just a kazoo player in a rock and roll cover band
Santa Ana, California
8 June 2012

The daughter, of course, is terrified that she will never have any friends at university.

(This is discounting the fact that the young woman who starred in her senior project is also in the daughter's college, as is someone with whom she spent 4 years in her high school conservatory, as well as several other people with whom she went to high school, including numerous older students. And this also discounts the numerous students she knows from her high school who are in other colleges at this university.)

So here we are first day of school, and the daughter is having lunch with someone she's known for four years, and they commandeer two seats at a table where two young men are already seated.

The daughter is wearing her R40 t-shirt.

One of the young men asks the daughter rather shyly, "So you like Rush?"

"He was expecting me to say it was my father's t-shirt," she told me.

"I hope you said it was more likely to be your mother's t-shirt," I replied severely.

She gave me a look.

So, of course, the daughter responded to the young man with enthusiasm about her favorite band and there was much discussion about albums and songs.

(And it transpired both the other boys were juniors and also in her college.)

Today, she was in class and as class ended another young man asked her, rather shyly, "So are you the girl who was wearing the Rush t-shirt on Monday?"

And she said, "Yes!"

And there was much discussion about albums and songs, and the Irvine show which this young man also had attended, and shock and awe that the daughter had seen three shows this tour.

(And it transpired that this young man was also a junior and also in her college.)

"I didn't tell him that I've been going to shows since I was 7," she said to me.

"But isn't it nice to be known as 'The Girl in the Rush T-shirt?'" I asked.

"Yes!" she said, and then very seriously added, "I hope they'll let me hang with them because they seem pretty cool."

She'll figure it out.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

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01 September 2015

The other shoe drops

Overexposed super moon and really cool clouds
Orange County, California
29 August 2015

I knew it wouldn't last, but wow.

Today, everyone went back to school. Traffic was ungodly. Especially when I went to pick the daughter up. The university doesn't have the sense to provide a pick-up/drop-off zone anywhere, and there is no parking. I finally found a place that I could stop the car a half-mile from where she was, so that was aggravating. That is how a 45-minute round trip turns into an hour and a half round trip.

(And, this is California. Public transportation doesn't exist. Or it takes you to Santa Ana.)

On top of that, an elderly relative who needs a caretaker is fighting the idea, so there's that to deal with tomorrow. Yay!

No wonder I woke up with a headache.

But I will figure it out. I always do.

It's a new month...

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000 and telephoto.

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