Thursday, June 21, 2007

Play, magic fingers!

When we went to Louisville on Sunday for Annabelle's performance, I hadn't quite gotten around to telling Mike that we would be staying for "Hello, Dolly" afterwards. I didn't intentionally NOT tell him. It's just every time I thought about telling him, I thought, "Oh, he's going to whine about this," and I just didn't feel like dealing with it. So I broke the news at supper Sunday night, and needless to say he was Not Pleased. He made it through the show, but every now and then I would catch him shooting dagger-eyes at me.

I think I redeemed myself last night.

When were up in Louisville killing time before the performances, Mike noticed a flyer in the music store announcing that Michael Angelo Batio would be performing Wednesday night. Apparently, MAB is a Very Big Deal in the world of guitars, as he not only plays incredibly fast (and loudly!), but he also is known for playing a "twin-necked, left- and right-handed double guitar," which looks something like the guitar version of a Pushme-Pullyou.

Even though it is not my taste in music at all, I couldn't help but be impressed by his technical expertise. He was also a very good speaker, and it was interesting listening to him talk about why and how he does what he does. I couldn't resist taping a little snippet when he was playing that double-necked guitar:

Afterwards he hung around and signed (free) posters for everybody and was just as polite and congenial as could be. (I suppose my biases are showing if I admit that this surprised me.)

Mike was in seventh heaven the entire evening, and balance was restored to the universe: Sometimes I will kidnap you and make you sit through corny musicals, but sometimes I will make your dreams come true.

Let me be a lesson to others

Remember several weeks ago when Fred and I took Ginger to Louisville to see the frisbee dogs? That same day Ginger was experiencing a burst of FRAP (that's: Frenetic Random Activity Periods) while she was on her flexi-leash, and she went zinging by me, causing the leash to rub up against my shins. Here's what it looks like, over a month later:

I'm scarred for life!

Of course, people frequently notice the bizarre line I have engraved across the fronts of my legs. I tell them that Fred beats me, because really what is the point of having a visible injury if you can't have a little fun with it?

I shudder to imagine though what the results would have been had it been the face or neck of a small child instead of my middle-aged shins that got in the way of the flying leash. So if you're using a flexi-leash with your dog (and we still do, because it's the best way for her to have a chance to run around like a maniac outside, given that we never let her run loose), be vewy vewy careful. The shins you save could be your own.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Another boot camp over

Remember back in the winter when Annabelle participated in Music Theatre Louisville's Broadway Boot Camp program? Well, she just finished up the 2-week summer program as well, which culminated in the big performance last night.

This time, their program focused on scenes from "The Lion King," which is in town right now at the Kentucky Center. The actor who plays Pumba came and talked to the campers, and a local puppet company worked with them on the animal puppets that they made for the "Circle of Life" finale.

Annabelle's big moment was as Rafiki in the scene where Rafiki confronts Simba about his future as the king. Obviously, I'm biased, but she was so great! She just had such presence and wasn't shy or timid at all.

She carried a bird puppet in the "Circle of Life" number. I got totally choked up at that point, so it's just as well that I didn't try to videotape it. (We're supposed to get a DVD, but given that we're still waiting for the winter session DVD, I'm not holding my breath.)

After the show, we stayed on to watch "Hello, Dolly," which was really great! Two of the counselors from boot camp were in it, and I think Annabelle enjoyed seeing people she actually knows up there on stage.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I'm catching up on a backlog of posting today. The high school had another spirit week this spring with more opportunities for wacky costumes. Never one to pass up a chance to play dress-up, Mike chose Retro Day to channel his inner Arthur Fonzarelli:

Jacket courtesy of the Goodwill store. Jeans courtesy of Fred.

I keep meaning to blog this

So did I ever tell you guys that I was running for a position on the school board? Well, I did run, and I got a spot, and my fellow new members and I were sworn in at the May meeting:

Blogging from my Louisville office

For the past 2 weeks, Annabelle has been participating in the summer session of Broadway Boot Camp up here in Louisville. Fortunately, one of our neighbors is also attending, which has allowed us to trade off driving.

For the first couple of days, I was all about the shopping. Soon though, it became obvious that I needed a way to get some work done while I'm up here, so I started bringing my clunky old laptop computer along. I discovered that Heine Brothers Coffee on Frankfort Avenue has free wireless, so I have adopted it as my home away from home.

When it's my turn to drive, I drop the kids off at their program and then set up shop at Heine Brothers. Yesterday I worked for most of the morning and then took myself to the movies. Today I think I'll hang out here for a couple hours and catch up on my bookkeeping and write an article that I've been putting off for weeks, and then I'll take myself out for one last shopping extravaganza.

Boot Camp ends this weekend. I will miss my coffee-shop office, but I won't miss the drive!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Caution: Squirrel crossing

I don't usually blog twice in one day. Heck, these days I seldom blog twice in one week. But I just had the most unusual thing happen to me, and I have to share.

I got run over by a squirrel. Fred and I were taking Ginger on her nightly walk, when she took off running after the sqirrel. I was standing between him and a tree, so he ran at me, full tilt, and sprinted between my ankles and dashed up the tree. On his way through, he smacked his head into one ankle and kind of scratched me lightly with his scrabbly little claws. Believe it or not, being head butted by a squirrel kind of smarts!

A most unfortunate evening

A couple weeks ago, Fred and I took Annabelle up to Louisville to hear Daniel Handler speak at a writers' conference. Handler is better known among her age-group as being "Lemony Snicket," author of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Annabelle is a huge fan, so she was very excited to have the opportunity to meet him.

After he spoke, he signed his books. The event handlers had said that he would NOT be personalizing the inscriptions, but he did. It made the line move slowly (took us over an hour and a half to get to the front), but it was really nice how he took the time to chat with everybody in turn.

He is a rather strange duck, snide but so very funny. When Annabelle's turn came, he asked her how it was working out for her, having me as a mom. She said it was going pretty well, and I started motioning for her to move closer to him so that I could get a picture of the 2 of them together. He told her: "I don't like your mom. She seems bossy." I might be bossy, but I got my picture:

Annabelle took an extra book with her to get it signed for her friend Maya, who is a huge fan. He signed it "to an alleged friend," since--as he said--he really couldn't tell since she wasn't there. It was very dim in the room, so the video didn't really turn out, but if you click this link you can listen to his conversation with her about that. It's pretty funny.

So now Annabelle has spoken with Lemony Snicket and sat on J.K. Rowlings' fence. Those are a couple of the biggest names in children's literature today!