Saturday, December 23, 2006

it's a wonderful life

It has been a long week, mostly fun.
I’m the first to admit that I live a fascinating life, and no one is more surprised than me.
Here is a snapshot of the last five days (and the reason why I’m sitting on my sofa on a Friday night—willingly missing two parties).
Pop some corn and hunker down—it’s long.

Monday, December 18th.
I arrived at Second Helpings at 8:00. The Indiana Lt. Governor and her staff came at 10:00 to volunteer in our production kitchen. Her staff decided to volunteer at Second Helpings instead of going out for a holiday lunch. They did not let any media know, but our Marketing Department sure did. It turned out well and two stations showed a clip on the 6:00 news. Lt. Governor Skillman was charming and rolled up her sleeves and made meatballs for two hours. I think she’s been our only volunteer to wear pearls in the kitchen.
I left work at 5:00 and went to work some more—at the Red Key. It is hard to have a big head about being on the news with the Lt. Governor when you’re watching the broadcast while serving PBR and making tenderloin sandwiches. It was a late night. The Indianapolis Colts were on Monday Night Football. The bar was pretty full. Guys would sit at a table, I’d take their order, serve their drinks, cook their food and then a seat would open up at the bar—they’d pay their tab and tip at the bar. Quite frankly, I was feeling a little cranky (and poor) by the time I got home at 2:00.

Tuesday, December 19th.
I only slept for four hours and that was not nearly enough. I make a real effort not to complain at work. First of all, no one really cares. It’s my choice to work at the Red Key (well, maybe if I was paid a little more…) and I’m aware that some of our students live in shelters and would be thrilled to get four hours of sleep in an actual bed. It was the typically busy day. I wound up giving several tours and we had more group volunteers in the kitchen.
I was taking a nap by 6:30 with the intention of getting up and going to a birthday party. I couldn’t manage to get motivated. Marty said that he had a bottle of Irish whiskey just for me. I think it’s just as well that I missed it. I did wind up meeting DM for dinner. He’s a great friend and I’ve cried on his shoulder many times, so I was happy to listen to him talk about his current relationship. We exchanged gifts. He gave me three kinds of homemade cookies, a restaurant gift certificate and a great book (Reading Like A Writer). I gave him a box of my famous toffee, homemade vanilla extract and a measuring cup.

Wednesday, December 20th
My Dad and two of his grade school friends were hanging out on December 20th when they were 19 years old. They were having so much fun that Dad declared they should meet every December 20th. And for the last 53 years they have. John Dunn became my godfather and an Illinois state legislator. Jack Richason stayed in Logansport in the agriculture business. Between them they had 14 children and just as many grandchildren. Mr. Richason died four years ago. Richard Corso, another classmate has taken his place on December 20th. I was teasing Mr. Corso that he’d been on the waiting list for 49 years. I was honored that they choose to volunteer at Second Helpings this year. They do admit that a good number of the early reunions they saw the inside of a few bars.
I was able to surprise Dad by having one of his godchildren, Michael Carroll Jr. volunteer also. Michael is home from the Army for a few weeks before he ships to Afghanistan. I invited both of my sisters (Annie is visiting from Phoenix), Mom, my sister-in-law Anna, nephew John (celebrating his 4th birthday) and long time family friends Ann Mitchell and Fran Herr for lunch. It was a wonderful day, and I admit to walking around with happy tears in my eyes. I think Dad had a blast—at least I hope so, ‘cause that and a jar of peanuts is his Christmas gift.

I had an appointment for a haircut and color (big emphasis on the color) at 5:00. Michael made my hair look a shiny and straight, and making my hair straight takes a village and several products and tools.
I had not seen any music to write about for my Broad Ripple Gazette column. I went to the Red Key first. There was a band called The Three Wise Guys. They play Christmas songs with a bluesy slant. I’m not a fan of the blues. I can say that here, but not in my music column. I felt like they were playing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in actual time.
I ran in to a college roommate and his son. Rick was telling his son how wild I was in college. Which is funny. I was a punk-rock chick, but I barely drank, didn’t smoke or do drugs and certainly missed out on the whole sex thing. I’m guessing I was the only punk rocker that worked in a nursing home.
From there I went to Birdy’s, a music venue, for their Christmas party. It is one of my favorite traditions for the year (note to Mom: except for family gatherings, I promise). The fabulous musician Otis Gibbs dresses up as Santa each year. I love hanging out upstairs by Santa Otis and his girlfriend Amy Lashley (also an amazing musician) and the buffet (not necessarily in the order). I get my photo snapped with Otis each year. I keep looking older and Otis looks exactly the same, must be that Santa magic at work. It is also a chance to catch up with old friends. All of the bands play Christmas music. It ain’t Christmas until you’ve seen four guys in their forties performing the Chipmunk’s Christmas Song. It is a helium-helped masterpiece.
I stopped at the Jazz Kitchen on the way home (it really is on the way home). DJ Rusty was spinning to a full house. I ran in to lots of friends. Believe it or not, I hadn’t had a cocktail yet. A Jamison Irish whiskey appeared before me. And I drank it, ‘cause that is always a good idea at midnight.
I also allowed myself a moment of nostalgia. The Jazz Kitchen is across the street from the coffeehouse I managed for 8 years. A fence was put up around the CATH property that day. The site is being prepared for the arrival of Fresh Market grocery next year. The fence means that the buildings will be demolished soon. Standing in the rain, on the other side of the fence seemed like a good time to finally say good-bye to the CATH. I can’t believe how much of my identity is in that building.


Thursday, December 21.
Back at work at 8:00. I am the Director of Volunteers/ Building Maintenance. It always makes for an interesting day. After work I did some Christmas shopping. It feels odd to do last minute shopping in the Spring-like weather. After that I went to cover another concert.
This one was a holiday party for a record label. They seem to specialize in young angst-ridden bands. I won a raffle prize and the emcee called me “m’am” when I went to fetch it. The Birdy’s party felt like a family reunion to me. The Standard Recording party was like looking at the next generation of nieces and nephews. All of the cool kids were there, and I am old enough to be their mother. The editor of the Gazette was there and he had saved us a table. I typically don’t sit down at shows. I get too antsy and sitting down makes you an easy target for the weirdoes. Which is kind of what happened. After AVS (see October 29 post) and I broke up he dated Stacy. I run in to her occasionally and it is always fairly awkward. I’m guessing she is at least 10 years younger than me (AVS is 8 years younger). I literally bumped in to her a few weeks ago and we had a conversation that did not involve me turning red and clenching my fists. This night she plopped down at our table and started writing in my little notebook. You could have knocked me over with a feather. She was acting like we were best friends, which I’m not comfortable with. I walked away for a bit (I’m lying—I headed straight to the bar) when I came back she was asking me about TC, a guy I had been talking to at the bar. She told me I should ask him out. I said I was not comfortable with that. She said that if I didn’t she was going to tell him I liked him. It was all very junior-high like. I was chatting with TC later and she handed me a note that said “Ask TC out.” Ugggh. That and all of the shoe-gazing music wore me out. TC did text message me with a review of the last two bands. “Arrah & and the Ferns—disturbingly tiny banjo. Everthus the Deadbeats—circusy.” Those are the kind of reviews I like.

Friday, December 22.
I woke up at 6:00 to write my column. The deadline was earlier than usual because of Christmas and I had been given an extension already. I was talking to another columnist last week. She writes about birds. She was telling me that she has her articles done through April. She was suggesting to me that I do the same thing. I was telling her that was not possible reviewing music. I’m not sure that she understood why, of course I'm not sure how she manages to come up with something abut her backyard twice a month.... The BRG crew is very quirky; it is the first time that I’ve been the sanest member of any group.
Second Helpings was pretty quiet today. We prepare food that we send to other social-service agencies. A good number of the agencies are closed next week (day cares and senior centers) and there are groups that feed people just twice a year (Thanksgiving and Christmas), so the shelters do not need our food.

I’m glad I stayed home tonight. I’m wondering if AVS is in town..not that I’m afraid to run in to him. Okay, I am leery of running in to him. I’ve the difficult decision not to be in contact. Typically he would stay with me. I’m not sure how I’d react seeing him somewhere. And if he’s with a date—Ugh.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

lazy days and sundays

I should be writing my Broad Ripple Gazette column, working on the piece I’m assigned for NUVO’s year in review issue, cleaning the house, doing laundry, writing Christmas cards, shopping for gifts, working out or cleaning the basement. Instead I’m taking procrastination to a new level.

I’m lying in bed, “Googling”. That is not as perverted as it sounds. I need to backup at bit, start with a confession. I did not have Internet access at home until last week. Yes, it’s true. I was loath to admit it. Write for two publications, book music and maintain a Web site? No DSL or wireless? Not even dial-up?

I had dial-up for years, and it was a pain. My house is pretty old with the standard one closet, four electrical outlets (some of my wiring is “tube and knob”—when the clothes washer is spinning, the lights dim) and one phone line jack. I purchased my beloved Apple iBook G4 in March. Dial-up did not work well and it seemed such a shame to have a mobile computer but be chained to the phone line. I do not have cable television and the heavily advertised AT&T/Yahoo high-speed access was not available in my neighborhood. How about spending a little less in advertising and bring cheap access to the poor folks AT&T? Cable access would have cost at least $50/month. I also dislike how the cable folks want to sell everything as a package. “It’s less expensive if you also get basic cable and cellular service only $99/ month." Huhh?

My favorite newsstand has wireless access, as does Indy Hostel down the street. I soon discovered that you could park outside of those businesses and still access the signal. Which came in handy when I was e-mailing a column in at 2:00 am. The owners of both businesses knew I was doing it, and found it funny. Matt (from the newsstand and my black-tie date) scared me a few time by knocking on my truck window as I was hurriedly typing away). Northside Newsstand is next to a bar popular with people who like to drink pitchers of beer (not that there is anything wrong with that) and watch the 82 televisions in the joint. I’m not kidding about the TV’s. I might be off by a couple, I get mixed up when counting—and that has nothing to do with the beer. I swear. I saw lots of fun/sad things sitting outside of there doing work in my truck. Once the signal was too weak to send the document, so I had do stand in the rain mashed up against the newsstand window to transmit it. I can only wonder what people leaving the bar were thinking about me.

All of this kept my Internet time pretty focused. Until last week. I got a new neighbor on the other side of the double. Matt is a full time writer and is 30 years old. I cannot describe the look of pity he gave me when I told him I did not have access at home. I think that gist of it was “poor clueless old woman”. Actually Matt is great. He wrote the piece profiling me as a community volunteer. We are now sharing the cost of wireless. The signal is strong enough for both of us.

Which is why I’m lying in bed Googling. I searched for “Nora Leona,” couldn’t find any born before 1882. And it’s not lost on Nora Leona Spitznogle (born 1961) that the time I took to write this I could have finished my column, started a load of laundry and walked to the Newsstand to get coffee.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

orange is not my color

I made it to the airport in time, returned the mini-van and checked my suitcase. I was sailing through the security line. Boarding pass -check, ID –check, computer out of bag –check, shoes off—check, jewelry off –check. Beep, beep, beep. The guy sent me back out to take of a little hoop earring that I wear in my left ear. I got that ear “double pierced” the day my Aunt Rita died fifteen years ago and I wear one of her little hoop earrings. Earring out—check, Nora having an internal meltdown over the thought of losing the earring and seeing her computer being banged around at the end of the conveyor belt –check. Beep, beep, beep. Hell, what could it be? I was wearing a tank dress, no shoes, no jewelry, no replaced hip, no pacemaker, nothing. I’m told to sit in a chair; I can hear my computer hitting the end of the belt—thwap, thwap. Someone yelling, “whose earring is this?” I have to wait for a female officer. With a wand. So in the middle of the bustle of three security lines I’m getting a good going over. And, I mean good. The Hokey Pokey with a metal detector. Right leg out, left leg out. Did I mention I was wearing a dress? Arms straight out, palms up. Beep, beep, beep. It’s my damn bra.
If you know me at all, that is really funny. I’m, umm, small. I’m what they kindly call “an almost A.” Try being 45 years old and shopping for appropriate underpinnings. The manufacturers either assumes someone my size is either a chubby preteen (no Strawberry Shortcake, please) or that I want to something padded and full of technology (dayglo sequined water bra, no thanks). Apparently my new bra is full of wire and lots of it. The security guard (after she did a hand pat down) commented, in a healthy voice that she’d never seen a bra set off the detector like that. Red faced I retrieved my stuff and ran to the gate.
I have a three-hour layover in Baltimore, but I’m not leaving the security area...not with my underwear on anyway.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm never going home

It has been a fabulous day. I dropped my brother and his family off at the airport, took command of the Town and Country mini-van (stow AND go!) and headed to Ft. Myers Beach.

The only glitch in the day was when I checked in to the hotel I’d booked on-line. It is a well-known chain with a midrange price point. I’d stayed in one on the way down here. I checked in and gave them my credit card. The guy at the desk gave me my room “key,” one of those plastic cards. He blew on the little envelope to slide the card in. Ugggh. I’m not a germaphobe, but blowing on stuff freaks me out. Have you ever been to deli or something when the employee blows in the bag to open it up? You might as well spit on my doughnut. I drove around to my room (did I mention the mini-van?) and got a really creepy feeling. It was so strong that I went back to the desk and checked myself out. A big bold move for me. I’m famous for not wanting to rock the boat and putting up with what ever is handed to me. I’ve only returned my food once and would never ask to change tables or try to return something after the date printed on the receipt. I high tailed it out of there and checked in to a slightly nicer hotel. Which turned out to be way nicer.

I spent the day swimming, reading, writing and sitting in the hot tub. And surfing eBay to replace the sunglasses I lost on the drive here. I wish they had been my shades. JH give me a pair of his to wear while I was driving and they disappeared. I stopped at a sunglasses outlet store today and was stunned about how much they cost. Damn boys and their toys. Now that I know how much they cost I really feel like I need to replace them.

I had dinner with an old Indianapolis neighbor who now lives here. Her house is gorgeous and it was nice to catch up with her. Until tonight, I did not realize that her father had been president of Purdue University while I was there. I actually was part of several meetings with him. I hung out with a punk-rock band when I was in college. We ran for student body government and won. I’m sure the whole thing gave him fits. I promise an entry soon about those heady days.

It will be hard to head home tomorrow. This hotel is hiring. I wonder if they’d let me live in this room? It has more closet space than my house.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

gone fishin'

Click on the three dots above for a little bit about me. Scroll down and ignore the photograph. I swear that’s not me. Okay, it is me. Me with just two hours sleep (it was taken the day after I got back from Phoenix), squinting in the sun, wearing not one, but two very unflattering sweaters and surprised by the photographer. The photo session was scheduled for the next Monday and she arrived Friday.

Anyway, it is an honor to be included in such a great group of community volunteers.

I’m enjoying this morning of hanging out with my niece and nephew. Cartoons sure have changed!

Sanibel (French for very clean bell) is beautiful. We ate at a fun restaurant last night, The Bubble Room. It is chock full of memorabilia and old toys. The tables were glass topped and stuffed with old Cracker Jack prizes, board game pieces and plastic toys. There were big animated displays of Santa’s workshop and bears. I think it might have been a little lost on the kiddies.

The weather is amazing. We’re going fishing today. I have three articles that are due by Monday morning. I thought it would be easy to whip out some quick work in the fabulous place. Instead of writing I spent two hours staring at the water. Time well spent for the soul.

Friday, November 24, 2006

thanksgiving on the road

Thanksgiving Day

I’m feeling as relaxed as I have in ages. I’m on my first road trip in twenty years. The last was spring break 1986. And I was not able to pull out my laptop to write in the car.

It must seem like I take a lot of vacations, but that is not true. Last year I lost six vacation days because I did not take them. I’m determined not to make that mistake this year.

My brother and his family go to Sanibel every year. I joined them two years ago. I started exploring the option late to join them last month and the cost of a flight was outrageous. I could not justify the $650 it would take for the tickets. I’d written the idea off and made the mental note to check in to airfare in July. The next week I accidentally dialed John H. instead of John N. We were making small talk and he said he was driving to his moms for Thanksgiving. Next thing I knew I was making plans to drive down with him. I’m flying back Tuesday for only $104. Woo Hoo.

I was nervous about the trip. JH is a good buddy of my brothers. He’s always been super nice to me. But there is no better test of a friendship than a 19-hour drive. So far it’s been great. We’re traveling with John’s dog. John has a big Chevy truck with an extended cab for Benny to stretch out. I drove four hours from Atlanta to somewhere in Florida. We visited a friend of JH’s and found a motel to crash for the night. I checked my e-mail, read for five minutes and slept like a rock star. Today has been leisurely, stopping for breakfast and dropping Benny off.

I really thought I’d read and write more on the trip. JH and I have had some nice conversations. I find that car trips are conducive to honest conversation. Instead of sending employees to my office to talk, I’d always suggest a trip to the bank. You can get a lot hashed out in a ten-minute car trip.

The last two weeks have been crazy busy. I’ll write about the Tonic Ball soon. It is my favorite day of the year. The forced ‘down time’ in the truck has been great. Sitting still is not one of my strong points. I’m also working on being ‘present’ in whatever situation I’m in. Not worrying about what I should be doing or what I’m missing.

I’m looking forward to seeing my niece and nephew. Sleeping on a rollaway bed in their room will be a treat. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

time to quit this cheesy putting "time" in the title

Hello folks,
I’m not doing a good job of blogging. I do love reading everyone else’s blog. I’m glad to hear the Jerry and Cliff had a successful and safe harvest. Happy Anniversary Ralph, Tee—I hope you’re feeling better and welcome home Crabby Dad. If I ever have a free hour, I’ll figure out how to link those blogs.

I’m sitting in the conference room of a construction company waiting to give a talk for the United Way campaign. I’m a “torchbearer” for Second Helpings. This time of year I give at least three talks a week to companies about what we do. Apparently I’m funny and people enjoy me.
Believe me, it’s hard to talk about hunger while people are eating waffles.
This just happens to be a barbeque luncheon. And they are running late. I arrived here at 10:45 and now I’m not going to speak until around noon. If I were not so overwhelmed at work and feeling like my head is going to explode, I’d enjoy the break.
I do like doing these, even though it can be nerve wrecking (or is it wracking?). I’m never quite sure whom I will be taking to. I give a lot of talks at factories and places where I need to put on a hardhat and a haz-mat suit. It seems I play well to union folks and construction workers. Which is where I feel comfortable, so it works out for everyone.

Speaking of sensible shoes, I went to a gala (with a capital G) Saturday night. As you know, I’m single. Asking a date to one of these black-tie optional things is tricky. Plus it’s a fundraiser for the guild that I’m a member of, so I had the 10:00 pm—midnight volunteer shift. Honey, can you hold my purse?
I asked my Dad to go with me and he backed out a couple of days before the dinner. How pathetic is that? A single woman’s worst nightmare…my Dad got a better offer! I was telling the story at my favorite morning coffee stop, the Northside Newsstand. My friend Matt offered to go, “I have a suit” was all I needed to hear from him. Matt was a great escort (wing man, was his term), I think he knew as many people as I did, he’s very interesting and indeed he looked great. It was fun to dress up and wear wildly uncomfortable, but sexy shoes. It was an expensive evening. As a member of the Christamore House Guild I am required to buy two tickets to the event ($150 x 2=$300), I had to give up my Red Key waitressing shift (loss of at least $100), hair cut/color ($80 + tip) parking ($10—I opted not to valet park the S-10 pick-up truck--and Matt has a nice suit, but not the most reliable car) and a round of cocktails at the swanky hotel ($20 +tip).
I had a better time before I added that all up!
No wonder I have two part time jobs.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

time to go home..

I’m sitting at the Sky Harbor Airport.
Sky Harbor, what a great name for an airport. And they have free wireless. Woo Hoo!

My visit was a blast, but I’m ready to go home. We packed in a lot of activities in to three days. Today was a little more laid back. Ann and I visited the Heard Museum (Native American Arts), where she used to work. I also got a tour of Bentley Gallery where she now works. I was great to meet all of the volunteers at the museum. They have been there for years, and really like Annie. Tim met us for lunch at Matt’s Big Breakfast. It’s a tiny little restaurant with a small menu and great food.

We had time for a nap, an attempt to color my hair (I was chicken and rinsed it out too soon), and the challenge of stuffing all of the crap I bought at IKEA in to my suitcase. What was I thinking? Buying “S” hooks and zip ties? I’d be laughed out of Sullivan’s Hardware. They must hyptotize you when you walk in the door at IKEA.

I’m so glad I got the chance to see Ann and Tim…

time for a rest

I'm still in Phoenix soaking up the sunshine.

I started yesterday out with All Saint’s Day Mass, had lunch with Al Gore and took my first-ever trip to IKEA. As you can imagine my brain is a whirl of saints, global warming and stylish Swedish furniture.

I went to Mass with my brother-in-law Tim. They attend Saint Gregory Catholic Church. The Mass started with a procession of saints. School children depicted select saints and told a history of the saint. Of course, Saint Gregory was represented. Did you know that his mother was also a saint, Saint Sylvia? I liked how they tied the saint they were talking about to a real person in the parish. It was great to see how enthusiastic and articulate the school children are.

We attended a luncheon (yes, they served chicken) for Jim Pederson, an Arizona candidate for senator. Ann and Tim have been working on his campaign. Al Gore was the keynote speaker. It was a fairly small group—about 200 people. There were some lovely folks at our table. Former Vice President (is that the official title? I think I called him “Mr. Gore” when I spoke to him) mentioned the couple sitting next to me in his talk. I only stopped the conversation at our table once.

Mr. Big D.: “My son tells me that there are people who don’t vote straight ticket!”
Nora: “I am one of those people, I tend to be more issue and candidate driven.”
Everyone else got very interested in their salad.

FVP Gore gave a wonderful talk, about how we all are responsible for what happens in this world. My volunteer work is more neighborhood oriented, and I really appreciate people who are working for change on a higher level. But, what happens on the local level is just as important as what is going on statewide and nationally. I promised myself that this blog would not become political, so I’m stopping there.

After the talk about global warming and social justice we went shopping.
I need to figure out how to haul all of this stuff home. I’ve always wanted to go to Anthropologie. I slung a purse over my shoulder to see how it looked. I saw the $698 price tag and broke out in a cold sweat. I set it down very carefully. Luckily they were having a nice sale. Not only were things marked down, but also they took another 40% off of the sale price. I was able to buy a shirt and a sweater for under $50. I did pass on the $8 lip balm at the counter.

After a nap Annie and I went to IKEA. It was my first-ever time in the store, and it was a bit overwhelming. But not too overwhelming for me to buy a great set of lights, some ice cube trays, cocktail napkins, a bag of "S" hooks and zip ties, and a set of stacking boxes. Sounds like the start of a good party!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

time for a vacation

I’m in sunny Phoenix visiting my youngest sister, Ann and her husband Tim. It’s been a wonderful day. I flew here this morning (and boy are my arms tired). I took a little nap on the plane and watched the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”, which made me laugh out loud. I caught up on a weeks worth of the Indianapolis Star newspaper and read a People magazine. I think it was the longest I’ve sat still for ages.

We went to the Arizona State Fair this afternoon. I am a State Fair junkie. I enter baking and antiques in the Indiana State Fair every year. I almost did not take the job with Second Helpings because I knew it would interfere with me going to the Fair everyday. The AZ State Fair was markedly different than the IN Fair. First of all, there were hardly any 4-H or open show projects. I counted only ten tables of 4-H things and most of those were posters. The only animals we could find were in sideshow-type trailers and you had to pay a dollar (each) to see them. The only food was the typical Fair food--all fried. I’m a big fan of supporting the local causes. At the Indiana Fair the Cattleman’s Club, Pork Producers, Dairy Club and Jaycees all have food booths. There was not a ribeye steak sandwich or roasted ear of corn to be found. I was hoping for something more ethnic to Arizona but unless the natives ate corndogs, I did not find it. I did see an amazing Native American dancer. He did a great job of explaining the dance and telling about his tribe. The thing that made it all worth the price of admission was the huge sculpture made from 800 pounds of butter (unsalted, if you were wondering). It was titled “Mount Rushmoo” and depicted the four presidents heads on cow bodies. A true work of art.

We spent the evening handing out goodies to trick-or-treaters; me dressed as a giant clown PEZ dispenser. There were over 70 children that came to the door. My clown face only scared about half of them. I brought gobs of PEZ dispensers and Ann had toys. We saved all of the chocolate for ourselves.

Any day that I can attend a State Fair and hang out with my little sister is a fantastic day.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

time to move on...

I’m seeing a Sunday evening blogging pattern. I might have to rename the blog Sunday Afternoon Driver or something equally as witty.
This was a weekend of good-byes. I always joke that I drive men to move out of state, but it really is true. My long-time boyfriend AVS moved to Austin, TX two years ago. It was a great move for the guitar-playing-rock-star-younger-than-me man. He got to tour this summer with Susan Cowsill, the youngest member of the iconic family band The Cowsills. Things are going really well for him. None of that stuff would have happened if we were still sitting on his sofa watching Law and Order and reading library books.

I’ve only really dated two people in the four years since AVS and I broke up and both of them are leaving Indianapolis this week. I met MC at the coffeehouse I was managing. You can tell a lot about people in the ninety seconds that you see them in the morning. MC is handsome, polite and funny. Of course I had a terrible crush on him. MC is moving back to his native California to be closer to his parents, children and grandchildren (I’m old enough to date a grandfather—holy moly!). I’m thrilled for him and he’s been working toward that goal for a long time. MC and I went out right after AVS and I broke up. I was so nervous on our first date that I tripped on the way in to the restaurant and broke my foot. My foot hurt like hell but I didn’t say a word all through dinner. How goofy was that? MC is one of the nicest, best people that I know. I was not emotionally ready for a relationship. I was still pining for (and still occasionally seeing) AVS. I thought I was ready for a more intimate relationship with MC. MC was mature enough to not take advantage of that. He was the voice of reason. I am so grateful to him for the respect he showed me. He and I became good friends and confidantes and I will miss his friendship. We had breakfast and took a walk this morning. He said some thoughtful and amazing things to me this morning. He has always been sensitive and in touch with his emotions, pretty much the opposite of me.

Dr. TW and I dated for a bit last year. He looked great on paper. He is a therapist and musician. He’s age appropriate and well read. Somehow we never quite clicked. I tend to move and react pretty quickly (follow me if there is a fire—I’ve already scoped out the exits and have an emergency plan) and I’m a “glass half full” person. TW is very deliberate and skeptical. I didn’t help that I thought the pauses in conversation were because he was analyzing me. I broke out in hives on his birthday and took that as a sign that the relationship did not need to go farther. TW took a job in Italy, taking the moving out of state to a new extreme. He and I had a farewell dinner Friday night…and no hives appeared.

I guess it is time for me to meet another man to have an awkward relationship with. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

taking my sweet time

I really thought I'd be better at updating this. I have not had the time to figure out how to add links and all of that snazzy stuff, so I've gotten a little frustrated with it.
It has been an incredibly busy week. We had a big fundraiser for Second Helpings on Friday. It was a success...I only had to drive one volunteer home (it was a wine tasting event). I worked on Saturday and have spent a chunk of today writing a music preview for NUVO, a weekly arts and entertainment paper. The story was assigned to me. The guy promoting the show kept bugging the paper for a piece. Once it was assigned neither he or the musician would return my calls/e-mails. I wound up writing it from information I found on various Web sites. It felt slightly like cheating, and it took me three times as long to do as it should have, so I'm not feeling the love towards this particular singer/songwriter.
I'm off to do some house cleaning....Chez Pez needs some dusting...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

my first time...

...and there is a lot of pressure.

It took me forever just to sign up for at blog. I couldn't get past what to name it. Or the address to pick. I protested for the longest time about picking a user name. What do you mean that my name can't be Nora? A name with four letters is not good enough? I've got plenty of letters in my last name...Don't need so many in my first.

Naming the blog was a challenge. I felt like I was choosing my identity for life. I am many things, and PEZ dispenser collector is one of them. And that is not the nerdiest. Trust me.

I have a great job that I love as the director of volunteers for a food rescue, job training and hunger relief agency in Indianapolis. I write an observational column about music for the Broad Ripple Gazette, a twice a month newspaper. I occasionally write music previews for NUVO, the weekly arts and entertainment paper in Indianapolis. If that is not enough, I work most Saturday nights at the Red Key Tavern, an Indianapolis institution. The Red Key is a great bar frequented by neighborhood folks, politicians , musicians, writers and cool kids. The owner is eighty-eight (and a half), curmudgeonly as hell, a WW ll POW and one of my favorite people.

I am very active in my neighborhood. I managed a group of coffeehouses and a bakery for eight years. I became president of my fairly powerful neighborhood association (one of the first non-attorney ones and the only one who *gasp* rents her house).

I'm a old punk-rocker that now listens to angst-ridden singer-songwriters

As you can surmise from the above, I'm single and have no children.

I'm sure this blog will be about my many jobs (I didn't mention Marigold yet--it gets a little embarrassing to tell folks that you have three jobs), music stuff that does not fit in to the paper, my neighborhood and the challenges of being forty-something and dating. Or wishing for a date.

Phew, not that that is over I can move on. Or at least start writing my column that is due...um...now.