Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I puttered around home during the day, eating Grandma's cranberry salad and popcorn and basically being a lazy ass.
I left home around 4:00 to meet Dad at the farm. We drove to Logansport to hang out with cousin Chuck and his family. It was great fun (and lots of food - ham, yum). There was some Euchre playing, looking at old photographs and story-telling. I got to see the Little Mommy Gotta Go in action - ick!
We spent the night - I slept like a rock star in the spare bedroom. I slept very well, I didn't realize how on edge I was.
The next morning we went to Bullshippers Cafe, connected to the stockyard. It the kind of place that I can imagine meeting a nice farmer and watiressing for the rest of my working years. It was a lovely morning.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Anna and J.R. very wisely let the kids exchange gifts before dinner. June Bug gave me beautiful crucifix earrings and her brother gave me a necklace to match. I don't know whether the kids think I'm very holy or that I need a good dash of religion. Either way, I love my gifts. Ron and I had each other's names in the gift exchange. He gave me cool PEZ ornaments and I gave him a six-pack of Bell's Porter - that just answered my question of what the kids were thinking when they loaded me down with crosses. Both Mom and Dad gave me something green that magically turned in to an iPhone.
Dinner was wonderful. I was feeling a little snappy and tired by the end of the evening. I decided that I'd rather sleep at home with my new locks than spend the night somewhere else. When I woke up to the neighbor's dog barking wildly at 2:00 am, I convinced myself that it was just Santa passing through.
Here is last year's Christmas Eve with the family post.
Everyone has been incredibly kind and generous. I worked until 2:00 and spent the afternoon replacing my locks (I did it myself!), phone and lip balm.
Walking in to the Red Key was like walking in to a group hug. Everyone was full of concern and good wishes. My stocking had some extra goodies - a little purse and coin bag. And I got the best present ever - a leg lamp! It is so cool! I'd just been watching the Christmas Story as I changed my locks. It's proudly displayed in my window at home, with the soft electric glow of sex for all the neighborhood to see.
As much as I wanted to stay for the carolling, it was time for the next party.
Emi took some great photos - see them here.
Here is last year's post.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The more-than-good news: I'm fine.
The news-news: I went to the Northside Newsstands Festivus party tonight. I considered walking the four blocks from my house to the party, but decided that the sidewalks were too treacherous. I almost parked on a side street, but decided that it would be safer to park on College Avenue, a well traveled street. As I was walking toward the Jazz Kitchen two men walked toward me. Being ever so polite, I moved over and walked on the grass so they could pass. No dice. One man batted at my purse and the other showed me his gun. I very nicely handed over my bag. The part that really frosted me was that they both called me a bitch....really? You're taking all of my favorite things and calling me names. Whatever, asshats.
The I-know-I-am-loved-news: It took me a few minutes to walk/slide/freak-out my way to the Jazz Kitchen but I knew once I got there I'd be taken care of. I whispered the situation in to the ear of Frank, the doorman. You know how I hate to cause a scene...I'd debated whether to call 911 or the non-emergency number as I was walking, but Frank very rightly called 911. I stood in the lobby as I was waiting for the patrol car and made small talk with people passing by. The weather was awful and the police were super busy. The policewoman finally arrived and we realized that it was too loud to talk in the entryway. So I got to sit in the back of a squad car, in front of the Jazz Kitchen. By the time I got done giving my statement a crowd of friends had gathered on the deck waiting in the rain for me. It was like walking in to a big group hug. I just wish someone had gotten a photo of me getting out of the police car.
Now that I've had time to sort it out, I realized that I'm just good old-fashioned pissed off. I'm mad for the neighborhood -- it was on College Avenue, between two of my favorite places - the Red Key and the Newsstand. I'm mad because I love to walk at night. I'm mad that they were black and that people ask and that I've had to say it a hundred times. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to be a young urban black man. I'm mad that people are giving me a hard time for walking alone at night (it was around 9:00). I'm mad that I've totally overeaten the last two days and feel like crap.
I'm mad that my camera is gone --I feel really naked without it. I'm mad that the notebook that I've kept notes for every show I've seen in for 2008 is gone. I'm mad that my press pass is gone. I'm mad that my Jesus key chain that was also a flashlight is gone (you never know when you'll need Jesus to light your way) and my Hatch Show Prints key chain is gone. I'm mad that all of my make-up is gone (not that I wear a lot, but it was all in there). Not to mention cash and credit and gift cards and other crap. I'm mad that I have to get another driver's license. I'm mad that my cash is gone. I'm mad that I'm achy and sore (between adrenaline and the one block walk of running/sliding to get help I really goofed up my neck and back). I'm mad that Christmas notes I'd written to friends are gone. I'm mad that I had to change my locks. I'm mad that I don't feel comfortable in my own house. And most of all, I'm mad that I'm mad.
But all in all, it's okay - I'm thankful that my dad could hand me cash and a credit card so I could replace the phone and have some walking around money. I'm thankful that I have such caring friends and family. I'm thankful that I have a warm and cozy and mostly safe neighborhood to live in. I'm thankful for living in a neighborhood that people know my name. I'm thankful to have a good job that I love.
Monday, December 22, 2008
We played the draw a picture on your head game again. It is a giggly good fun game. This year we drew a snowman with falling snow. Here is my version. I think it is better than I could draw if I was looking at the paper.
We also did a gift exchange. We played a game where you could steal someone else's gift. Mine was wrapped really pretty and in a great box and kept getting stolen and traded. The gifts tucked inside were geared towards a woman. Holiday socks, cocktail napkins, a headband, coffee mug, tissues and a candy cane headband.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Dinner was delicious. Wonderful soup followed by leg of lamb and roasted vegetables. We all toasted Linda. I've known Linda for half of my life now. When we first met, I knew what I'd know her forever. I never dreamed that I'd be working in her wildly successful clothing store twenty-five years later. She's a great friend!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Here is last year's post about lunch at Horizon House. It sums up the whole experience pretty well. Except for the emotion and anger and helplessness that I feel about hunger and homelessness. I don't pretend to know any answers or solutions. I just keep plowing on and fighting the good fight.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I shopped for two families this year in lieu of buying gifts for friends and family. The shopping needed to be done in the height of my sickness. I was getting so confused looking at the slips of paper for six children and three adults that I made myself a cheat sheet with sizes and wish lists.
The adults all asked for cleaning supplies and one of the moms asked for plates. I found a cute set of dishes and loaded up on cleaning supplies and diapers for both families. I also gave both families a package of florescent light bulbs -- no time like the present to start with energy conservation.
I seriously had a fever when I was shopping for the clothes and toys. And I was in my least favorite store in the world - not so much because I think they are an evil empire, but because the people who shop there are rude horrible asshats.
The whole time I was shopping I had a prayer/mediation running through my head. I was praying for the young parents that they had the patience and strength to raise these children. I was picturing the kids and how they will have so much fun with their siblings. One family the mom is 22 and the dad 24 and the two daughters are 22 months and 7 months old. I actually giggled as I picked out cute outfits for the girls and thought about how much fun they'd have together.
When I got home I started laying everything out and putting names on piles of goodies. As I was checking names with the notes on my cheat sheet I realized that the 7 month old girl was named Keith....and she was a boy! F dash dash dash. I had to put my coat on and go back out in to the night. Grrrr.
As it turned out, I was not really needed for the day of passing the things out, there were plenty of high school kids there. Since I was already out of the office I decided to play hooky and go to noon Mass. Saint John the Evangelist is the oldest Catholic church in Indianapolis.
The parish was founded in the 1830s by Irish immigrants. Grandma Leona attended Saint John's Academy which was on the church property. It was very peaceful and emotional to think of young Leona Donohue sitting at the same spot 100 years before. I'm going to have to sneak out for Mass more often.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
As you can tell by the photograph, I'm still not feeling good. I remembered to take the camera, I just didn't take any pictures that were worth a damn. This one is of Linda showing Elizabeth and Sofia the new store site. The only picture I took at the dinner at the Brew Pub was of my beer, and I think that was by accident. Since we all work at the coolest clothing store in town, you know we were all very stylish -- you'll just have to imagine how pretty and sparkly we were.
Anyway, the Marigold party was fun. Since I only work there once a month it was fun to catch up with everyone and solve the worlds problems.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I clearly over-estimated my wellness. As good as I felt in the whiskey-soaked glow of one of my favorite musicians and being out of the house last night, I felt equally as crappy today. I worked a long day and drove home through the cold rain, happy to see my driveway. As I was turning in my phone rang - brother J.R. He'd just moved one of his businesses close to Second Helpings and I'd been encouraging him to get to know the neighborhood.
J.R.: Hey, where do you get a drink in Fountain Square?
Nora: The Brass Ring, I'll meet you there in 25 minutes.
And that is why I turned around and drove to the exact same way I'd just come from. In the cruddy weather. And not because I wanted a drink, but because my brother called. I've made it a practice to not turn down a chance to hang out with any of my siblings or parents or cousins or niece or nephew. I've never been disappointed.
I met J.R. and his plant manager, Vince at the bar. As it turned out I knew a few people (no surprise, really) and introduced them to J.R and Vince. Then I talked them in to going to the Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) party. Second Helpings is in the SEND area and several of my friends work there (hi Paul! hi Kipp!). I got to introduce the guys to even more neighborhood folks. And eat some cookies. Just 'Cause Catering made all of the food and I'd been looking longingly at the iced cookies with the SEND logo all day.
I forget what a diverse group of friends and acquaintances I have. The Fountain Square area attracts out-of-the-box folks. The neighborhood is chock-full of artists, musicians, writers and other creative types. By the time I'd introduced J.R. to several performance artists; burlesque and belly dancers his head was spinning (again, where was my camera?).
I have a feeling the guys are now fans of their new neighborhood.
Monday, December 08, 2008
I only worked two half days last week and only worked a little bit of my Red Key shift Saturday night.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
When I got the invitation to the NUVO party I was excited. Not only was it fun last year, but I knew that it would be a good chance to catch up with Kim. And it was at the Jazz Kitchen, within walking distance of my house.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Ron had to go to work and Beth went home to care for their sick dog (poor Santo). Dad and I travelled a whole block to cousin Diane and Tony's home. We had a nice visit with Aunt Muriel, and cousins Jim, Carmen and their families.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I was feeling bad that Tammy wasn't going to be able to attend, but she realized that the all-ages venue, meant just that --all-ages. Here is little Evan Lieber (five weeks old) at his first concert.
Here are some of the women (past and present) of Second Helpings. I'd like to point out that I'm the only one not holding a drink -
Back in my college, punk-rock days these guys (Dale, Evan, Gary) were all around. The forty-something me can't believe that the coolest guys of twenty-five years ago are hanging out with me now. And they're still the cool guys!
Speaking of the cool kids -- sound man Jonee Quest. Jonee has the daunting task of running sound for the fifteen bands that played Queen in Radio Radio - with only ten minute changeovers. And we ran on time. And he's still smiling.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
The interviewer becomes the interviewee. For the Indianapolis Business Journal no less:
Doing Good Tonic Ball VII
I was lucky enough to get involved with the Tonic Ball in the second year. The experience really has changed my life. It connected me with Second Helpings and loads of great people. It is by far my favorite day of the year.
The founder, Ken Honeywell connected with Becky Hopewell over the event- and now they're married. Woo Hoo. The committee is amazing. We all trust and respect each other- novel, I know.
The committee members are all friends in real-life too. Each year we make a bet about who will go home in a taxi. It's never me- I'm always too conscious of my responsibilities through out the evening. And typically I'm hauling a drum kit or an amp or a drunk musician home - or sometimes all three. In my little truck.
I joked that this year my goal is to make-out with someone by the dumpster behind the club. I hope it's not raining....
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I joined Weight Watchers in August and have lost 17 pounds. Over 10% of my starting weight. I'm at the weight I was when I started working at at Second Helpings three years ago. I'd love to lose another 10 pounds, but I'm thrilled with the progress so far.
I'm having fun opening boxes of clothes that I haven't been able to wear for a few years. It's like having a 24 hour boutique in my (clean and dry!) basement.
I've learned some interesting things. A fist full of my beloved red vine-y goodness is equal to eating a cup of chicken and dumplings. My Waterford Twizzler jar is sitting empty and I've learned to write without eating at at the same time.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
It was a fun weekend. The Tonic Gallery opened on Friday. Hundreds of people visited the show and my friend Scott played beautiful guitar music.
The art will be up for a silent auction November 21. Only one piece sold at the special $500 "buy it now" price - the bench that Dad made!
Saturday night was the Christamore House Guild Gala. I love the Christamore House and the Guild does wonderful work. I'm a bit of a Guild anomaly. I'm the only single woman out of 75 active members. And I'm guessing that I'm the only one that had to get her waitressing shift covered!
Is this how people spend their weekends?
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
The October Experiment sucked. I really hated it. As Ralph pointed out, I posted in batches. All written in a panic in an effort to cross something off my list.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I was in a fashion show tonight (Kristi and Liz were not, but they should have been). Yep, that's what I look like all fancied up. It was a blast.
All of my worlds collided in a very good-way at the Night of Fortune…Fun, Fashion and Finds for the Home.
It was hosted by Marigold (work there), The Rivera Club (enthusiastic member) and Style Salon (new fan). And – the icing on the cake (ohh, I’m also a big fan of cake - the band and the pastry) – and benefitted Second Helpings (work there too).
I was sure I’d trip or step on the edge of my skirt or something but it turned out okay. The women from Style made me hair all smooth and flat and did something not Nora-like with my makeup.
I got to pick out two Marigold outfits to wear. For the third trip down the runway we all were sporting G.Thrapp Jewelers goodies. Carol Golden (what a great name for a jewelry store person!) put the necklace, earrings and bracelet on me and I ran up to the stage with out seeing what I was wearing. When I heard the description of the necklace and earrings I stopped in my tracks and looked down. I was wearing more diamonds than I ever have. Wheeee!
The evening drew a standing room only crowd – over 225 people, collected 400 pounds of rice and a healthy monetary donation to Second Helpings. Several Broad Ripple merchants showed off their lovely goods and there was a wine tasting. Thanks to all of my friends that were there to support me (I even got a hoot and a holler or two) and special thanks to Marigold, Rivi, and Style for making me feel so glamorous.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I was thrilled to be invited to a 'meet the Republican candidates' tea in my neighborhood. I was armed with my V3 "How are you going to partner with nonprofits?" questions and my new coat - it's really cute and I was dying to show it off to a group of women.
I'm already a fan of Teresa Lubbers and plan on voting for her. I'll admit that I didn't know much about the county treasurer or coroner. Luckily I have not had the occasion to meet either one of them.
I was thrilled to hear John Pless speak, candidate for coroner speak. He's compassionate, smart as can be and has a plan for cleaning up the current mess in that office.
I'm a ticket splitter from way back- so for it's looking about half and half between parties on my ballot.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The column has morphed (and hopefully matured) in the last three years. I've had good advice along the way. One thing that I took to heart was a comment that I was writing too much about how I was older than everyone else and attending the shows alone. I've toned that down, an occasional "I'm old enough be their mother" comment slips out and I do want people to know that it is okay to go to event by themselves. But I've dropped the whole woe-is-me thing. I save that for this blog :).
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Besides my dear sweet mother and several aunts and my grandmothers there are only two women that I've said "I want to be her when I grow up." One is Doris, the other is Joan.
I met Joan at the coffeehouse. She came almost every afternoon with her own mug and stuff to read. She was one of the main reasons we brewed a pot of decaffeinated flavored coffee each day. She is very stylish- and not in the way that most 80-something women are. She wears cool glasses and I love her silver jewelry.
I always invite her to my annual Saint Valentine's Day party and we've talked about getting together for brunch for years. Joan finally rounded up Novella, Marcella and I for brunch today.
Her home is beautiful- on the property of a former Catholic all-girls high school that I attended my freshman year (the school closed, nothing to do with me- swear). Her house is full of wonderful art work, books, photographs and memorabilia.
Joan is up on current events and has a real-life experience and history to back up her opinions.
She and her husband ran a Kentucky Fried Chicken for years - she's familiar with hard work and long hours. Even though she and her husband have been separated for decades she visits him everyday in the assisted living facility for Alzheimer's patients. Their only child, a son was killed in a car accident years ago.
She prepared an amazing brunch- sausage frittada, spinach and stuffed tomatoes. And two desserts- pumpkin pie and cranberry puddingy something - both with freshly whipped cream. I could have stayed there talking all day. And Novella and Marcella stayed until the afternoon.
You guessed it- Cinderella Nora had to go to work at Marigold.
I know that people don't have amazing brunches with wonderful people in beautiful settings every Sunday, and I hated to race out of this one.
I've been feeling super bogged down lately. My poor house is a mess, all I seem to do is race in for a few minutes, drop a bunch of junk on the floor, and race out. Or like last night (or rather this morning)- get home from work at 3:00, shower, dry my hair and sleep for four and a half hours and do it all over again.
I'm declaring 2009 the Year of Nora Slowing Down on Volunteer Stuff. I know that sounds a little selfish, but its someone else's turn.
The hard part will be saying no.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
That said, working most Saturdays I've missed my fair share of stuff. This Saturday I felt extra Cinderella-like. I've had the last two weeks off - I really needed to work tonight and I've exhausted my options for getting my shift covered.
Today is the Broad Ripple Music Fest. And I am the music columnist for the Broad Ripple Gazette - hummmm, maybe I should be there. The festival matches venues with nonprofits and two places picked Second Helpings adding another layer of guilt.
I raced around the village seeing as much music as possible before 5:00 and stopping in to the two venues to talk about Second Helpings and to thank the volunteers running those stages. The night turned in to one of those excruciating ones that happen every year or so. Not only did the cool kids and lots of musicians come in, which I typically love, but every yea-hoo in town darkened our door.
The Red Key is a family owned bar - wonderful. I'm not a member of the family - not that I wouldn't be honored to be related to Russel, but I'm not his daughter. A customer tonight argued that point for quite a while tonight. Ugggh, seriously - would I choose Spitznogle as an alias?
I am the waitress and the cook and a lot of times I'm making the drinks too. I've worked at the Key for five years and I've got a bit of a routine. Except no one else was playing with my rules tonight. Gette posted this nice little insight in to the world of waitressing. In my crabbiness tonight I thought I'd expound on her list a little bit.
1. We have a business relationship. I am the employee and you are the customer. I can't give you free drinks or food, it is not mine to give away.
2. Just because I'm waiting on you does not mean that I'm stupid. Waitressing is hard work -not only is it physical but it stretches your brain. I've got all of the drink and food prices stored in there, the location of thirty beers and hundreds of liquor bottles and the recipes of thousands of drink combinations and what glass they are served in, I can do math in my head (two beers + a cheeseburger deluxe+ chips + cashews = $12.25), I remember who is sitting where and most likely I remember what you drank that last time you came in and whether or not you like onions.
3. I'm happy to tell you my name and usually throw it in when I'm delivering your first round of drinks. If you're going to ask me my name it is good manners to offer yours at the same time. Tonight a guy made a huge deal of asking my name and then proceed to call my Lora the whole whole evening, even after his friends corrected him. That same guy whipped a bottle cozy out and wrapped his beer in it. I couldn't tell whether his beer was low without picking it up. I asked him every single time I passed by if he needed another drink. He waited until I'd walked away from his table to shout LORA I NEED ANOTHER BEER as I was waiting on other tables. I never did learn his name, but he was wearing the moniker Asshat while he was there.
4. I'm not standing over your cubicle telling you how to do your job. I'm just saying.
5. If you don't see me for a few minutes chances are I'm cooking your food or taking out the trash. I'm not smoking by the dumpster or eating the last order of potato salad, swear.
I'm out of steam and ready for bed- you're spared any more ranting.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I've always had faith in our youth, seriously. I think there are a lot of good, smart, caring kids running around. It does make my heart swell to see them packaged all clean and shiny and wrapped in blue corduroy jackets. There are over 500,000 youth in FFA nationally and something crazy like 55,000 people attend the convention. It's wild to see the sea of blue jackets walking through the city.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The new phone books were on my porch when I got home tonight. I haven't used a phone book for its intended purpose for years. It's too easy to Google for a number and information is free on the cell phone.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Today feels like the lost day.
Target to buy a cozy robe for Tammy.
Hospital to deliver robe and pat the babies.
Work a water station for Crop Walk - BY MYSELF -20 gallons of water in 1000 little cups. [did I mention the BY MYSELF part?]
Back to the hospital to hang out with the twins.
That's all she wrote.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
My sister Beth and I revived the full moon hayride tradition after several years hiatus. I was so disoriented when I woke up this morning I thought - wooo hooo, nothing to do all day until I work at the Red Key. A second later the - holy crap, we're having a hayride at the farm for 100 people! thought burst in to my brain.
Beth did most of the work and all of the cooking. All I did was pick up drinks and ice. Thanks Bethie!
This year featured a record number of kids -I counted over 50 at one point. It was a great evening at the farm. Good food, friends and family, lots of children running around like nuts, a bonfire and s'mores.
I think there were at least four sedate wagon trips stuffed with kids. Then a friend asked for an 'adult' ride. Whoa Nellie! J.R. whipped us around the pasture doing figure eights and doughnuts. All I kept thinking was 'tuck and roll' - as I was laughing my fool head off.
Life doesn't get much better than that.
For more photos (including one of Jerry on the wild ride) click here.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Twins. I'm freaked out and they're not even mine.
I texted updates to Tammy's friends. After the 1:00 am "They're here!" message, two of Tammy's friends replied that they were in the lobby. I ran to fetch Andrea and Lizzie - at this point I had super power all-access bracelets (one for each baby) and a code number to open the doors. We had excited chatter about the birth and I got to show off the photographs I took of the slightly gooey babies.
Tammy hadn't really gotten to see the babies yet, they'd held them up to her face in the OR, but they were bundled up. They moved Tammy to another room, taking a detour along the way to let Tammy touch them. I'm not exaggerating when I say that Tammy was beaming.
When we got to the new room I was starting to crash, I'd been up for 22 hours at that point. I tried to stay awake but I tucked in to the cool pull out in to a bed chair for a nap. I got up at 7:00 to run down to NICU and to give a report to Tammy.
Tammy finally fell asleep after that and I took another nap. I think I want one of those chairs for my house! Tammy's sister and Cara arrived and we took another field trip to see the twins.
I went home and slept like rock star, only waking up long enough to get my ass kicked in Scrabble.