Saturday, June 30, 2007

new camera

I bought a new camera and I love it.

I've also been super busy and slightly crabby.
It is the fiscal end of year at Second Helpings, I've been working extra at the Red Key, helping people move and attending lots of committee meetings.
I've started a few posts, but they seemed extra whiney and who wants to read that crap?

I need to find a way to tell the story of helping my mom move something that culminated in me administering first aid to my friend Tammy.
I will tell you the punch line --"applesauce".

More on all of that later, I promise

I'm headed to bed for a very necessary pre-waitressing nap.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

this is how my garden grows

I thought it was high time I showed off my garden.

Two tomato plants and four hills of pumpkins.
In my front yard.
Good thing it's hard to be the biggest hillbilly on my street.

Monday, June 25, 2007

the good, the bad and the ugly

The good:
I totally goofed off yesterday. I slept in, took a walk to the newsstand (in the rain -- woo hoo), wrote for a little bit and went to a parade. The town of Fishers throws a parade the weekend before Independence Day every year. It was fun to see my niece and nephew in action. We went back to J.R. and company's house. J.R. grilled out, my cousin Jim and his family joined us and a couple of J.R.s employees stopped by. The big attraction was Molly's birthday present -- a trampoline! This was not the trampoline of my era. It is round with the springs underneath and a big mesh wall all the way around it. It was a blast and a good workout.

The bad:
I totally goofed off yesterday. The column for the Gazette was due (on Wednesday, actually), my nominations for NUVO's "best of" issue (complete with blurbs)and a 500 word piece about a fundraiser for a public radio station in south-central Indiana (that I had not even started). I came home with a belly full of barbecue and good cheer. Instead of working, I went to bed, setting my alarm for 5:00 am.

The Ugly:
I woke up at 7:30 in a panic. I raced to work. I got the day started at Second Helpings, had a 9:00 meeting, wrestled with my conscience -- and worked on my writing stuff.
I justified it, knowing that I have a whole vacation day that I'm not going to be able to use before the fiscal year is over. I pounded out the work (some good stuff too) and was done by noon.


I have to tell a story on myself about Molly's 5th birthday.
This weekend is typically super busy for me.
The Twilight Tour party is Friday (I ran the Silent Auction for years).
The MKNA Home Tour is Saturday and Sunday, I typically waitress Saturday night, and I always forget to ask for Sunday off.
Sweet Molly's birthday is smack in the middle of this.
I usually run on a few hours sleep for the whole weekend.
Two years ago I went straight to the birthday party from working at the clothing store.
Dinner was over by the time I arrived, so I ate birthday cake and drank two of Anna's famous margaritas.
I started feeling a little icky, so I laid down in their guest room.
My nephew came in a started jumping on the bed, and I started feeling really icky.
I shooed him out of the room, closed the door and fell asleep.
I woke up at 2:00 am.
I tip-toed downstairs and found my keys tucked in to my sandals.
I left a note: Auntie Nora had to "sleep off" the Barbie cake.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

busy busy

Thursday night brought more music, Friday was the MKNA Twilight party followed by a trip to a club to hear even more music.
I have lots of writing to do...and its all due tomorrow!

I worked at the Red Key tonight and donated all of my tips to a customer/friend that is battling cancer.
As with too many people, he has no health insurance. The Red Key declared it "Don Weaks Day" and raised a significant amount of money.

For this week's edition of the "person that I felt weird waiting" on...the director of the department of agriculture of our state was in with some folks after the governor's ball.
Six good looking people in black tie attire plus one tired stained tee shirt and skirt wearing damp and frizzy haired from taking trash out in the glorious rain waitress equals hi-jinx and hilarity.

Mr. Ag is a big fan of Second Helpings.

Does one --
A: Re-introduce herself?
B: Bring the drinks and say nothing?
C: Trip and spill a drink on their table. Introduce herself while mopping it up with the hem of her skirt, so nothing gets on their fancy clothes?

Ding ding ding.
If you guessed "C" you're right.
It was a good way to break the ice.

I'm off to take a shower, gotta wash this night right out of my hair...and the gin right out of my skirt.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

tag...i'm it.

In honor of spending time with Jerry last night, I finally did the meme he tagged me with. What does meme mean anyway?

Jerry and I went to see Robert Earl Keen. He was fun (both Jerry and Robert Keen) and I really enjoyed the opening musician Hayes Carll. Hayes was funny and a great songwriter. I really needed all that after the torture of Ted Nugent the night before.

Here goes....

I am named for both of my grandmothers. Nora Spitznogle died in 1951 when my papa was 15 years old. Leona Gremelspacher died when I was in college. I've always adored my first name and changed my middle name to Leona a few years ago to honor my wonderful Grandma Leona. I cannot imagine being called anything else.

Last Saturday while working at the Red Key. I heard some sad news while I was already stressed out.

I do, I don't use it enough. I did like the way my signature looked when I had the honor of signing the check to pay off the mortgage for the Second Helpings building this month.

The students made prime rib for lunch yesterday, does that count?

No. I have a fabulous niece and nephew. Miss Molly will be 7 this Saturday -- and she is amazing. John is 4 1/2 and equally as fabulous.

Probably, I seem to have an embarrassing amount of friends.

I wish I didn't, I try to keep it inside. It is really hard when you're waiting on people.
I generally have the conversation that is running in my head, and the filtered one that comes out of my mouth. Occasionally they meet.


My fear of heights gets in the way of a lot of those who-in-their-right-mind-would-do-that activities.

Granola. Mixed in with a sliced banana and yogurt.

Running shoes, yes, Chuck Taylor's, no.

Freakishly so.

Coffee. If it is scooped out of the carton with a thin mint Girl Scout cookie, all the better.

Their handshake. Wet fish -- ugggh.

Since St. Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday, the house explodes with both in February.

I'm becoming more comfortable with my looks...

Mr Krudy. He was 93 when he died. He would come to the coffeehouse every day and have an espresso. He fled Hungary with his wife and baby son in 1956 after the revolution. In Hungary he was an attorney. When he came to Indianapolis he worked as a painter to support his family. He retired as an Information Technologist from Dow Chemical. He raised a fine son and his grandchildren are amazing. When he died I had a flower arrangement made in his espresso cup. I keep a picture of Mr. Krudy and me wearing birthday hats I made for his 90th birthday on my fridge. He was a true gentleman.

No pants (I'm wearing a dress) and black shoes.

Kettle Corn from the Farmer's Market. It was my dinner, midnight snack and breakfast.

The students moving tables and chairs, preparing for their graduation tomorrow.


Popcorn. The air right before it rains. Baby heads.

One of our board members.

NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Dark brown (as far as you all know).

Greenish Blue.




Rock and Roll High School. I adore Jack Black.

No shirt (dress -- reddish. It has a very 1940s look. One of the students said that I look like "an old lady", I reminded him that he did not graduate until tomorrow).

Summer when it's summer and winter in the winter. I really like them both.

Hugs -- barely. I'm working on being more demonstrative.

Can I say popcorn again?

I'm not good at the whole "tag" thing. My niece and nephew did teach me to play potty tag...does that count?

See above.

Julie/Julia. A woman, Julie made all of the recipes in Julia Child's French cookbook. It's really fun.

No mouse pad. It is built in to the iBook and my keyboard stand at work as a cool thing that slides out of the side.

No T.V. last night -- concert with Jerry.

I'm going to quote my Dad on this one. He said his favorite sound is his children's laughter. I'd have to say hearing anyone laugh, especially Molly and John.

Beatles, I think.


I hate to steal Jerry's talent, even though I do drive better in reverse than forward from years of backing wagons around the grain bin. I'd say my special talent is remembering names.

St. Francis Hospital, Beech Grove (suburb of Indianapolis).

I'll be surprised if anyone does this...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


That's all I can say.
Yesterday was interesting.
Who else had a lovely beef and noodles dinner with the Greenfield Kiwanis Club and then went to see Ted Nugent?

The Kiwanis were lovely and the talk went well. When I was introduced before dinner my name brought a laugh, I promised to be as entertaining as my last name. I think I was able to deliver. I love doing those events. They re-energize me and remind me that I do have a cool-ass job.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole Nugent thing. He played at the Vogue, a cool old theater. Ted is also known for his vocal support of hunting. I'm all for the right to bear arms, but I'm not so comfortable with a stage decorated with giant grenades, machine guns, animal hides and skulls.
The show itself was classic rock. Flip Flop Mama would love it. The drum kit was on a big riser, the drummer had a fan blowing through his long hair -- very rock and roll. The band was good and looked happy to be there. I can imagine that playing with the Nuge was a dream of lots of jr. high boys in the 1980s. Ted is a master of the heavy rock guitar licks. I'm a fan of the bluegrass, finger picking style of guitar player -- but this was fun too (with earplugs, of course).

The audience was full of middle aged men. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Did I mention that the hundreds of guys were sweaty, drunk and playing air guitar. There might be something wrong with that. The few women that I saw were wearing teensy little camouflage dresses or tube tops. How did I see the women if they were in camo, you ask? They were all smoking, of course.

I will say this, Ted has aged better than his fans. He looks great.
Must be all of the healthy living.

Oh, I almost forgot -- I bought the best piece of band merch ever!
A Ted Nugent baby bib.
I know just which new parents are getting it -- after I wash the smoke out of course.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

deep breath

To say that I've been feeling overwhelmed would be an understatement.

This is a busy week.
Finance committee meeting in the morning (what the hell I'm I doing blogging?), talk at a Kiwanis club tomorrow evening and Ted Nugent tomorrow night (with a backstage pass -- start the prayers now!). Wednesday brings a board meeting and a donors reception. Thursday is the agency executives meeting for United Way, Friday is graduation for the culinary class -- I will be speaking and the Meridian Kessler fundraiser dinner/dance (the only thing I like less than a dinner/dance is a dance with no dinner)that evening.

The finance meeting and the board meeting have me freaked out. I officially took the financial part over the last week in May. We're just looking at the May numbers and the year-to-date stuff, so I'm not technically on the hook for them. But I'm so afraid that I will not be able to answer a question.
Getting ready for the board meeting is taking twice as long as I thought it would. I worked today on making an offer to a bookkeeper and the usual stuff that happens in the course of a day of a not-for-profit agency that prepares and delivers 2900 meals and rescues thousands of pounds of food each day.

So, of course what did I have on tap for tonight?
Bartending at the Red Key.
I was so panicked that in my four minutes between jobs that I froze.
My craziness manifested itself into total indecision about picking out a tee shirt to wear to work.
After four shirts tried on and rejected I wound up with a plain black one.
I rolled my jeans up, stuck my hair up in a ponytail and ran out the door sans makeup.
I managed to look exactly as crazy as I felt.

So, we all know what happened.... three different guys that I am interested in came and sat at the bar. One of them that I've known for twenty-five years. His band used to play with my punk-rock buddies back in the day. One of the tee shirts I tossed on the floor? His old band.

I'm off to bed to toss and turn for a few hours.
I'll fall in to a deep sleep a good fifteen minutes before the alarm goes off.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Hello lovelies,
As much fun as I have, I sprinkle in a good deal of work.
This weekend, I'm working both of my part-time jobs. By the end of this stretch I will have worked 14 days in a row, and a couple of those both at Second Helpings and the Red Key.
This will be a busy week for me. "My" first board meeting, a donor reception to celebrate burning the mortgage, an extra night at the Red Key, graduation for the culinary class and three concerts to cover (Ted Nugent on Tuesday-- rock on!).
I guess I'm telling you this to justify my messy house.

I worked last night at the Red Key.
It was a typical night. Just busy enough to handle being both the waitress and the cook.
Mom and sister Beth stopped in for a bit.
Just before midnight at group came in after their 30 year class reunion.
I knew a good chunk of the guys, they graduated from an all-boys Catholic high school.
Actually, it was almost all-boys. The year before they graduated the all-girls Catholic high school Ladywood-St. Agnes closed and the two boys schools in the city started accepting girls that year.
I usually don't feel weird about waiting on people. I truly think the restaurant and service industry are noble professions. People don't always treat the folks that are waiting on them very well. AVS used to ask me how I could be so nice to the folks that treated me like I was an idiot.
My reply "I just act as dumb as they think I am."
Anyway (I told you this is random), I recognized a woman in the reunion crowd. She was my "big sis" when I started at LSA as a freshman. I was traveling from the farm, and knew no one at all in the school. All of the other girls were from the vast web of Catholic grade schools in city. They had all grown up together, and I didn't know a soul. In retrospect, "Big Sis" was a typical 16 year-old, not sure what to do with a very shy socially awkward 14 year old fresh from the farm. I overheard tell a group of her friends that she thought I was dumb. Ugggh, no wonder I don't remember much about my high school years.
Anyway, she did not seem to recognize me (even though one of the guys introduced me to the group) and I didn't remind her of our connection. When do you shake off those high school years?

I ran to the drug store before I went to work. I grabbed a case of diet Pepsi, two bags of Twizzzlers (sale!), an eye liner pencil and a tube of Nair (smooth leg season). About 9:00 last night I ran out to grab a bag of Twizzlers and must not have locked the door after me. Someone took the soda and the bag of randomness from the truck. I don't want you to think I live/work in a bad neighborhood, but there must be a lot of thirsty folks around. Beer in April, diet Pepsi in June. What do you think they did with the bag of stuff? Took it home to their honey? "Hey dear, I got you something" I'm picturing that jar of Nair getting chucked towards someone's head.

Off to the shower, gotta get ready for the next gig.

Happy Father's Day to all of you amazing papas out there!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

the jeffs

My friend Jeff gave me a ticket to see Wilco for my birthday.
Wilco is led by Jeff Tweedy, one of my favorite musicians. Before Wilco he was in the amazing band, Uncle Tupelo.*
I always joke that if I were going to stalk someone, Jeff Tweedy would be at the top of my list. I'm not sure how the rest of the band, and his wife would feel about a 46 year old Hoosier following the tour bus in an S-10 pickup truck with 4-H licence plates.

The concert was in a great historic venue, The Murat. Our seats (not that anyone sat down) were great -- 10 rows from the stage on the aisle. I could have danced in the aisle --if I could dance. I did my little bop-my-shoulders-almost-to-the-beat thing. And I was close enough to Jeff T. to confirm what I've always suspected--He cuts his hair with fingernail scissors.

The whole evening was fun, I stayed downtown after work. I used to read Glamour and those types of magazines until I realized that I was tired of feeling like crap for not having the perfect airbrushed body and right purse. One feature that I always liked was the "office to evening" articles. These women were going from a high-powered office job to a nightclub in a limousine. They would peel off their stockings, add diamond earrings and lipstick and step out to paparazzi flash bulbs.
Not one of them was leaving a non profit job where they had visited a factory, pounded through mounds of paperwork, talked to the insurance agency about just why we had a claim for one of our drivers running in to a (our own!)dumpster with one of our vans. Not one of those models struggled with frizzy hair or changing shoes in a small pickup truck. And I bet that none of them had as much fun as I did.

As much as I don't mind, and even enjoy doing stuff by myself I'm making an effort to do more stuff with "the gang" and I'm having a blast.

* AVS old band, Middletown, was part of a tribute record of Uncle Tupelo songs, "For Anyone That's Listening.

Friday, June 15, 2007

truck and bus

I think I'm a true mix of my parents, not only physically but personality wise.
I have the Spitznogle nose and the Gremelspacher chin (yeah, I said Spitznogle and Gremelspacher, what of it?).

The last funeral I attended in Cass County, I had folks on either side me simultaneously say "you look just like a Spitznogle" and "you look just like a Grememspacher" (yeah, Cliff -- I said Spitznogle and Gremelspacher again!).

I get my love of writing and reading from my Mom. I hope that I've also gotten a fraction of her compassion, spirituality, generosity, style and wisdom. She is also an excellent public speaker and I am enjoying that more and more.

From my Dad I get the never-met-a-stranger, and I-can-sleep-when-I'm-dead vibe. He's very social and not afraid to walk in to any room. I also have a bit of his "one more can't hurt" attitude. He is also incredibly generous and very involved in the church.

Mom is retiring this month from her career in the Catholic Church. She's worked as a director of religious education for decades. It has been fun to run in to people who's lives she's touched.

Dad retired in 2001 from the GM Truck and Bus plant after 44 years as a tool and die maker. He also farmed most of that time. I had a pretty good idea of what farming was about, but I was never sure what happened each day at "the plant."

When I was young I had a real romantic idea of what working in a factory must be like. I pictured a bunch of men in denim aprons pushing deck brooms back and forth all day. I have no idea where I got that image. Dad did not talk about his actual work much, just the card games and conversations that happened on his break times. When I was older I realized that it was a hot, loud and dangerous place to be each day.

When Dad retired we realized that he did not know the real names of folks that he'd worked with for decades. Try addressing an invitation to "Wild Lil, Toad, Mountain Man or Big Joe."

The UAW chapter at that plant has a community and health fair each year and I've signed Second Helpings up to participate.
Three years ago I manned the booth by myself. I'd ask people if they knew Dad.
Me: John Spitznogle? Spitz?
Them: No...
Me: He also farmed...
Them: No....
Me: He sold sweet corn from the back of his truck in the summer.
Some of them: Oh, his name is John?
If they didn't recognize Dad as Mr. Sweet Corn, I'd press on.
Me: He, um, also made wine...
The rest of them: Oh yeah! We miss him!

Dad was not alone in his lack of name knowledge.

Now that Dad and Dale (another retired die maker --nickname Whitey, brother of Toad) are volunteering at Second Helpings I send them to man the booth. I think they enjoyed seeing everyone and everyone loves seeing them.
I managed to slip over there at shift change today.
It's still fun to be introduced as "my daughter" to dad's friends -- what ever their names may be.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

murphys law

I've been in charge of building maintenance for a year at Second Helpings. It is a job that comes pretty naturally to me after years of restaurant management and farm life. It helps that I'm not afraid to climb up on a ladder and ask questions. I know the HVAC guy was pretty surprised last week when I crawled up on top of the cooler -in a dress- to see which compressor he was talking about. I'm also a big believer in PMS (preventive maintenance service) contracts.

My biggest fear?
That I'll call for a repair, the serviceman will come out, pat me on the head and say "you just have to plug in in, honey."
Trust me, I check plug-ins, reset buttons and breakers before I ever make a service call.

With my new position "the buck stops here" in regard to expenses and major maintenance decisions -- and most other things.

We had an anonymous donor that pledged $225,000 to pay off our mortgage if we could raise the same amount in a year. We did and I had the pleasure of signing the check last week that made the building ours.

Two years ago we received a very generous donation from The Glick Foundation to help pay the mortgage and to use toward building maintenance.

Our annual visit from the Glick Foundation was today and our donor reception/burn the mortgage event is next week. I've been really worried about both events, wanting things to look as good as possible.
I've been harping on the staff to have clean and shiny offices and working on the outside to make sure it looks good also. Remember how your mom used to freak out before a party? Or how I imagine Ralph's family is doing for the DOR wedding preparations.

I cannot do anything about the brown grass, but I did ask our lawn guy to cut out some unsightly bushes. The were overgrown, blocked the view of the driveway and caught a lot of trash. I had the staff food-rescue guys power spray the back dock and around the dumpster. When I left yesterday the lawn guy going to town with his chain saw and everything looked great.

When I pulled in this morning, I almost fainted.
There were three homeless people stretched out on our lawn.
The middle two bushes were partly chopped down, but the end ones were still there.
The trash company had not done their nightly pickup of the trash and cardboard. Someone had 'dumpster dived' and thrown trash across the parking lot.

I was furious when I walked in the building.
I was thinking of all of the choice things I was going to say to the lawn guy and the trash company. I had a phone message from the lawn guy -- his chainsaw had broken and he'd be back to finish the job this weekend. Akk!
The students usually walk around and 'police' the parking lot, picking up trash and cigarette butts. This morning they had me on their butts, prodding them along with shovels and the power washer. These are the same students that were responsible for the great cup tragedy of 2007 -- I was showing them no mercy!
The people sleeping on the lawn disappeared during frenzy, so they avoided a loud WAKE UP! call.

I was tired before the day started, and I think everyone was tired of me.
We pulled it off, the Glick visit went well. I was able to show them the PMS contracts and the approved budget for some repairs. They said that everything looked nice. Phew!

I can't wait to get home and take a hammock nap.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

the price of cool

I grew up in a very sheltered world.
It was not until I got out of college that I realized that every one's dad did not have a good job and UAW health insurance.

Once I discovered that there were hungry and homeless people in our own country, I became quite militant about fixing it.

I spent 5 years as a vegetarian -- not for health reasons, but political.
Why should I eat like a queen when others are starving?
I gradually realized that not eating a chicken wing was not going to save the world. I decided to worry about the root cause of hunger -- poverty, and broke my meatless fast by puling pork off of a pig that my cousin Chuck was roasting.

I had the same relationship with air-conditioning. I'm privileged to have a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head -- air-conditioning is a luxury. I didn't grow up with it, my college houses never had it, my Philadelphia flat did not have it, and my house now does not have central air-conditioning.
It became a point of pride.
I spend a good deal of time getting dressed in front of the open refrigerator door.

Of course it became easy to do. Work was air-conditioned and I spent a lot of time (about 3 years) on AVS's side of the house.

When AVS and I broke up we had one of those horrible nights on the porch that no one should put themselves through. AVS was moving out and throwing lots of stuff away. He'd hold something up (sometimes something I'd given him) and ask if I wanted it. Arms crossed and teary, I'd adamantly shake my head "no." This continued for quite a while-- photos, ticket stubs, cards and candles hit the trash can. Furniture, books and music were set out for a trip to Goodwill. My heart was breaking, but I could not quit watching.

He hauled out his air-conditioners asked me if I wanted them and I squeaked out "yes."
I'd found the price of my pride, and it was air-conditioning.

For a few years after that I would not let myself put them in until July 1-- make myself suffer for a bit.

This year I jumped the gun. This evening I hauled the air-conditioners from the basement and in to my windows.
I was tired of waking up in the morning all sweaty and crabby.

Maybe next year I'll get central air.
You can't change the world when you're hot and cranky.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

baby steps

My wonderful landlords (Mr and Mrs Young) have offered to sell me the double (duplex) that I've been living in for a dozen years.

It is a great house.
Brick with a big screened in front porch, hardwood floors, plaster walls and the original wood trim and doors.
The backyard is amazing. It is a double lot, with 15 mature trees. The yard backs up to the Monon Trail, an old railroad trail-turned-linear-park.

The house is also very linear. Living room leads to dining room to a long hallway (home of the PEZ display -- all 400 of 'um). The kitchen is on the first door on right, the bathroom is the next door. The bedroom and the only closet is at the end of the hallway.

I've felt good about renting all of this time. My landlords have been great. The rent is extremely reasonable and any repairs have been made pronto. It has been a great experience for me, and allowed me to have a series of crappy jobs and find a career that I love.

I told the Young's that if they ever decided to sell, I wanted to be first in line. The bought a couple of properties when they married to put their kids through college. The youngest graduated this year.
I signed a purchase agreement this February and promptly freaked-out.
It felt like I was making a life style decision.
"I'm never going to get married"
"I'm going to die alone in this house"
"I'm going to be the crazy cat lady in the neighborhood"
"I'll become the woman who's house is so stuffed with stacks of books that she moved in to the other side"

Luckily the purchase agreement is good until the end of the year.

I finally turned my thoughts around.
"I will become a woman of property"
"I will have rental income"
"If I'm still here in 10 years I can knock out some walls, have a fabulous kitchen on one side and big bathroom on the other and finally have more than one closet"

I called a mortgage broker this morning and so far so good.
I was afraid a giant anvil would fall from the sky when my credit record was checked.
Did I purchase a boat in my sleep? Had I never paid back school loans?
The credit check came back okay.

So naturally I came home and freaked-out one more time (I'm sure it won't be the last).

I stood in my beautiful back yard as the sun set and watched the cat chase the fireflies.
It was all okay again.

I came in and gathered the documents the broker needs.

The mortgage train has left the station.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Remember how I have the wardrobe for my pretend life?
It paid off this weekend. I had the perfect little black dress for a swanky event Friday night.

My friend Anne-Marie called me late Friday afternoon to offer me a ticket for Zoobilation. Thanks to Dave Allee at the Jazz Kitchen for hooking me up. The event has been sold out (at $250 a pop) since February.

I had no idea what to expect. I asked Anne-Marie what the women would be wearing. "Boobs and bling" was the answer.
I had to settle for butt and black.
Anne-Marie also said "I don't know anyone else that would and feel comfortable by themselves at a black tie event full of couples."
I tried to ignore the dread I was feeling about hanging out with a bunch of couples dressed in shiny clothes and arriving in limos.

I had a blast. The zoo was sparking (no animal poo in sight) and the grounds were lined with restaurants giving out samples and some adult beverage stations. Everyone was walking, mingling and eating.

I ran in to several people that I knew. Only one guy introduced me to his wife as "I used to wake up with Nora every morning."
That's one coffeehouse joke I'd be happy never to hear again.

It was a beautiful night and the view of the city was gorgeous. The zoo is right on the White River. Across the river is the General Motors Truck and Bus plant where Dad retired from after 44 years. It is not lost on me that he worked hard so his daughter could hang out with the pretty people on a Friday night.

The crowd loved the bands, and they were all great -- Abba to ZZ Top. I get so amazed about how people go nuts for music that already know. Play 'Black in Black' and the dance floor is packed. Don't get me started on 'Brown Eyed Girl.' If you can get hundreds of WASPs dancing...go for it!
I'm not a dancer at all. I belong to the feet planted, swing my arms gently school of dance.
I know that I tend sound snobby about music. I'm so impressed by folks that play original tunes. There are a few cover bands that I like, Soul Bus and The Benders.
I like bands that do the ironic covers. I love the Leisure Kings and I'm sure I would like Crabby Dad's 70's cover band.

It was a great night and I'm glad I got to go.
I'm only sorry that my S10 pickup truck did not turn in to a pumpkin at midnight.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Since my last post can be filed under the "ewwewh" column, I thought I tell you about the person that I was honored to talk to yesterday.

Rosevelt Colvin played football (and basketball) for Broad Ripple High School and graduated with honors in 1995. He played football and got a degree from Purdue. I got to see him play for Purdue several times, including the 1998 Alamo Bowl. He was drafted by the Bears and now plays for the Patriots.
He does lots of charity work for the NFL but wanted to do something for the Indianapolis public schools.

His first annual "5 on 5 Hoops Tournament" is June 23 and 24. The proceeds will benefit Broad Ripple High School's athletic program and provide scholarships for two 2008 graduates. His mom just retired after 40 years in the school system.

I was trying to think of interesting, atypical questions. Mostly I just stammered and blushed. I asked him about his high school basketball career, what position did he play? "Power foreward --I was the tallest, thickest guy on the team." That made me laugh.

Mr. Colvin is proud of his mama and was a pleasure to talk to.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

i like boys

I’ve never been a goal setter, which might explain why I’m single, 46 and just now buying my first house.
One thing that I’ve always had in the back of my mind was to be a “writer” -- whatever that is. The fact that I now get to write for two publications just blows my mind.

I write a regular column, “Buzzing Around Town” for the Broad Ripple Gazette about music. I have been doing this for about a year and a half and I love every second of it. The column is more observational than critical, so I get to be my usual goofy self. Some of my blog posts have make it in to the column. The BRG is a community, family newspaper. BRG often “scoops” the bigger papers on community issues.

I’ve been writing music previews for NUVO for six months. NUVO a weekly arts, entertainment and social justice paper. They are more provocative. The pieces I write for them are third person profiles of upcoming music. My niche for NUVO is singer/songwriters, folk musicians and under-the-radar sorts of stuff. I’ve always been a fan of NUVO and am honored to write for them – and not just ‘cause they pay me. Leslie Benson is the new music editor and she has done a tremendous job of expanding the music coverage. She will send me an e-mail asking if I want to write something and include the deadline and any information that she has. If the musician has mailed a promo pack to the NUVO office she’ll forward it to me.

I’ve been super busy at work. Leslie e-mailed me last week to see if I wanted to write about Fr*dr*ck *ord (I don’t want to make his name Google-able). Without reading the bio she sent me, I told her I’ve love to. I clicked on the name of the musician’s publicist to set up a phone interview. I told the publicist my phone number and a good time to reach me. I didn’t think about it again until about 10 minutes before I expected the call.
I clicked on FF’s Website and just about fainted.
His first love is music (electronica /dance), but his career is made on g*y p*rn. Holy Crap!
I ran and put on another layer of clothes.
I had my legs crossed, eyes closed and I blushed throughout the whole conversation.

I often think that people must wonder about my sexual orientation. After all, I’ve never been married and am fairly capable. A good number of the women musicians I write about are l**b**ns. I was joking with my friends that the FF piece would really make people wonder.

I went to the Indianapolis Indians day game yesterday. My brother and some of his friends joined me at the Red Key. I grabbed a NUVO to see how the piece turned out. Beer came out of my nose when I saw it. It has a rainbow banner over it.

No wonder I never get asked out.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

busy bee

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with work and writing.

I took the weekend off and spent it with my cousins in Logansport. Graduations, pig roasts and swapping memories.
They tried to fix me up with the local welding teacher, but it did not take (he was cute, in a charming-high-school-welding-teacher-kind-of-way).
I loved having the whole weekend free with no deadlines.
I decided that I am getting too old for keg-beer.
Not drinking it, but moving the damn thing around.
Those things did not used to be so heavy.

I promise to catch up soon -- I have an especially blog-worthy writing assignment to tell you all about.

Friday, June 01, 2007

missing in action

It has taken me a couple of days to write about this.

First of all I've been too upset to talk about it and secondly, I'm having a hard time accepting that it is true.

Something that has become very important to me is gone.
It was last seen on Tuesday.
I had it with me at work, in the student's training kitchen.
We set up a mock restaurant two days for every culinary job training class.
The students create a menu and the recipes, and we invite the public in to dine.
It gives the students real world line-cooking practice.

It is one of my favorite thing we do here. I also get to play restaurant.
Half of the students work as cooks and the other half as servers.
I put on an apron and work as the expediter, calling in the orders and keeping the cooks on track.
My sister Beth has the harder job. She teaches the other students to be servers.

I took one of my favorite things in to the kitchen with me, something that has become very important to me in the last two months:

My beloved Morrow Kennel cup is missing.
Not only does it bring back great memories, it is the perfect cup.
It holds lots of ice and one can of diet Pepsi.
It fits on in the cup holder in the truck without falling over.

I left the kitchen on Tuesday to give a tour and eat lunch.
When I came back it was missing.
No one knew where it had gone.
I was trying not to wig-out --and I really do not freak out easily.
In this same building I have given CPR, put out a fire and escorted a violent student out the door.
And this was making me shake.
I gathered the students together and asked in a wobbly voice if anyone had seen the cup. No one would claim any knowledge. Someone started to talk, but quickly stopped.

I said the classic "I won't be upset if it got thrown away, I just want to know."
I think the students were a little afraid of me. And these are adults that have overcome great hardship. Some are currently living in shelters or the department of corrections (with us on work release).
I'll keep praying to Saint Anthony --Tony, Tony look around something is lost and must be found -- but I'm not feeling good about it.
At least I have the memories.