Friday, June 27, 2008

how did it know?

Have you heard all of the ads for Chevrolet's no finance deals good through the end of the month?

I got excited for a minute. I drive a 2002 S-10 pick up truck. It's been a good little soldier and I've only driven it 28,000 miles-ish. But I'm getting tired of not being able to take more than one passenger and even then its kind of a pain. If I pick you up at the airport, you'd better hope it's a sunny day, 'cause your luggage is going in the bed of the truck.

I like the idea of an HHR and I think that will probably be my next car. I had a grand time on the Web site last night choosing colors and fun stuff. That fun aside, at the end of the night I decided that I'd be better off keeping the truck. I don't need to add another payment to my life. And it would be crazy to buy a car and a house in the same year. Right?

So, dear readers, what do we think happened on the way to work this morning? A horrible racket started blasting from under the hood.

Ball bearings in a blender.
A blender with a metal cup.
Only louder.

It made the ride to work interesting and I was getting lots of looks. Too many to put my make up on at lights, my usual routine.

When I got to work I called the specialized repair place across the street.

Me: Hi, my name is Nora and I work across the street, do you work on anything besides Jaguars?

Nice Man: We also work on Land Rovers.

Me: [laughing] Well, my S-10 pickup truck would really bring down the neighborhood. [keep in mind the repair place is next to a homeless day shelter, a block from one of the jails and there is a backhoe and gobs of road equipment parked in the middle of the street].

Nice Man: [big laughter] Oh, yeah an S-10 in my lot would be the death of the place.

Me: Any suggestions of where to take it [the dealership in my neighborhood closed a few months ago]?

Nice Man: My mechanic drives an S-10, come on over and he'll look at it.

I got on line looking for reports about the business and everything I found was positive. So after a committee meeting about nothing (did I say that out loud?) I drove across the street. The truck was so loud that I swear the road construction stopped and I saw one of the construction workers make the sign of the cross. I was laughing so hard that I was crying. I popped the hood and three of us looked at the engine bugged eyed with our hands over our ears. The mechanic signed for me to turn it off so would could talk.

Nice Mechanic: Clearly there is a problem

Me: [Nodding me head yes, with a 'do ya think!' look on my face]

Nice Mechanic to Nice Man: I'd like to explore it.

Nice Man to Me: We'll work on it.

Me: [feeling like I'd been given a blessing by the Pope] Yes, thanks.

I left the key and walked back to work, which should have been a straight shot but I had to walk around trenches in the road and backhoes.

An hour later my cell phone rang.

Nice Man: Hi, can you come over here? We need to see you.

Me: Okay [thinking this can't be good].

I walked back across the mine field of the street.

Once again we gathered around the noisy truck, on this time it was in the garage, in a bay so we got the pleasure of some echo. On the work bench next to the truck was a big belt. I was hopeful for a second...belts are easy to replace, right? My relief was short lived. The mechanic had taken the belt off to narrow down the problem and isolate the noise to the motor.

So, I'm looking at a big repair.

My only question is: How did the truck know that I was thinking about trading it in? I feel like I'm being punished - I only cheated in my mind.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

blogstock '08

I'm getting very excited about Blogstock next week. Jerry and I are driving to Nebraska. Cliff's farm is our gathering space. 

I was waffling on my plans until just a few weeks ago. I'm a big fan of the Fourth of July in Indiana. I was feeling especially sad about missing it after Mr. Herr died. I talked it over with best friend Ann and we decided that I could be gone this year, but Blogstock would just have to come to Indiana next year. 

I decided not to second guess my decision. Where ever I was, was where I needed to be. 

The real kick in the pants excitement I needed came yesterday after I read this article. Thanks Cliff!

I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

fresh market, finally.

A little history. I used a manage a coffeehouse on my little corner of the world, 54th and College in Indianapolis. I wrote a very self-indulgent post about it here.

The day has finally arrived and the market is open! I was invited to a 7:30 breakfast reception they had this morning before the official store opening. It was nice being able to walk to a grocery story again.

I made the news- watch the clip here. I'm at about 1:40. I'm gracefully juggling a bottle of Bubble Up, a bottle of Frosty's root beer and a bottle of Dad's red soda. Ironically I purchased nothing fresh at the Fresh Market. If look you closely at the clip you can see me stuffing my sample cup between the shelves. Classy.

You can read my quote here. And here are photographs that I took. Scroll down to the Fresh Market link.

When I watched the clip earlier I was very critical of how I look. I got an email this evening from a woman who is the great-great neice of my grandmother Nora. She said that I looked just like photographs of Nora and Grandpa Paul. Made me feel a lot better about how I look. And I'm looking forward to meeting new cousins.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

happy birthday june bug

I love this kid so much my little heart swells every every time I see her.

The day she was born ranks right up there on my favorite days ever list. The birth of her brother and the weddings of my siblings round out the Top Five.
When she was born I decided that I would only give her savings bonds, books, art or music for gifts. It was a little rough the last two years. Barbie and friends had a lot bigger pull on her. I was thrilled that she liked her gifts from me. Two "chapter books" and five biographies- Cesar Chavez, Harriet Tubman, MLK Jr, Alexander Graham Bell and Helen Keller. Aunt Nora just had to pass along a little bit of her social justice bent.
I was really happy that she liked the Ivy and Bean books. In the past she was not very excited about reading.

Grandma gave M. a camera, scrapbook and all of the trimmings. Here is a classic photograph of June Bug taking a photograph of me taking a photograph of the June Bug get it.

Her younger brother gave her a Webkinz -- always a hit. Aunt Beth and Uncle Ron gave her the board game Sorry and loaded her down with markers.

I behaved this year, no need to retire to the guest room to "sleep off" the Barbie cake. I did spend time on the trampoline. I really want one for my back yard.

I went to tuck her in for the night and when I opened the door there was a bunch of rustling under the covers and a guilty look on her face. When questioned she admitted that she was reading under the covers-- wheeeee! Auntie Nora fully condones that activity. I think I may have to expand my approved gift list to included a book light.

Happy 8th birthday M.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

hello....anyone home?

Hi, long time no see. 

I had lots of posts written in my head, but I've been pretty darn crabby and who wants to read that - unless Crabbydad is writing, of course

I'm in a 'what the Hell I'm a doing with my life ?, why am I single ?, blah blah blah' mood. It was triggered by lots of factors and ended with me sitting on the floor sobbing over a relationship that ended 25 years ago. I opened a Pandora's box of old letters on Tuesday evening.

What was I thinking then? Ugggh. I just have to keep telling myself that if it didn't feel right at the time, it wasn't right. 

I'm working on stuff the boxes and my emotions back into the cabinet and getting back to my present life. 

Speaking of work, my next big home project is dealing with my basement. My basement has always been damp and with all of the rain lately it has been a lake down there. Lots of boxes are soaked and stuff is ruined. I only have one closet, so the basement is full of out-of-season clothes, holiday decorations and just plain old junk. Wet moldy junk. 

This morning I hung tons of things on the line to air them out and went to the pool for the first time this season. You guessed it: RAIN!

I now have clothes hanging all over the house. It ain't easy being green. 

Okay, enough of the pity party. I'm off to bed. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

achy breaky feet

I cannot even tell you how tired I am. Seriously. Tired. I am.
It has been a fun week. I just figured out that I'm on track to see at least 40 different bands/musicians this month, so I'll catch you up on that.

In other news, I got to help a friend host David Sedaris at her book shop yesterday. David was charming and signed books for seven hours! I love what he wrote to me: Nora, thank you for doing stuff. And, I did do a lot of stuff yesterday. Ugggh.

The NUVO night life guide came out today. I got to write some of the blurbs. Since I'm always writing it was fun to have something written about me. From the contributing writers section:

Nora Spitznogle
With all her work for the Broad Ripple Gazette and her Web site Queen Bee music, and her day job as director of operations at Second Helpings, it's a wonder Nora Spitznogle finds the time to write about music for NUVO. But who better to write about Broad Ripple than Nora, the former manager of CATH Coffeehouse and a fixture at local shows and bars.

I think it is great, except for the "fixture [in] bars" part. I like to point out the I work in a bar and I go see music in bars....wait, maybe that does make me a fixture. Dang it!


It is only 6:30 and I'm in bed with a Peanut Buster Parfait, the new David Sedaris book and my feet up propped up.
I'm guessing I won't be doing any laundry.

Friday, June 06, 2008

the price of cool redux

Some of you might remember the 'price of cool' post from last year. I just reread it and I think it might be one of the better things I've written here. You might also remember how the air conditioner met its end

When I kicked the unit to the curb last year I had a grand fantasy - I thought that after I bought the house I'd put in central air. Bahahaahahhaah ha. Seriously. What pretend world did I live in? At that point I had a good chunk of money in the bank and had just gotten a raise and was thinking rich. 

I haven't talked about it much, but my mortgage took all of my savings and is way more than I thought it would be. It's over half of my salary each month. So having a part time job or two really makes a difference in my quality of life and my haircut. And I had a fun spring: trip to Ireland- good!, tree on house: bad!, bathroom remodeled, good!, computer croaking, bad!

Anyway, it's been hotter than hell in here. And I have poison ivy. Throw some freaking hot flashes on top of that and you have the recipe for one very cranky Nora. This morning I  swore that I was not coming home without a new air conditioner for my bedroom. One quick trip to Lowes later (that for the gift certificate LuAnn and Bill!) and I brought home this little beauty. 

Air conditioners have come a long way in the last twenty years or so. Quieter, digital, programmable and this:
A remote control. 

Thursday, June 05, 2008

twenty-third best day of my life.

Actually, I'm not sure where yesterday ranked, but it was pretty darn good.

Started the morning off with a visit to Robert Egger and D.C. Central Kitchen. Second Helpings is based on D.C. Central Kitchen, so I loved getting to poke around and see how they do things. I got some great ideas. 

I also got to see Robert Egger is his element. I love his office, it looks an awful lot like mine - except his is tidy. You can read my previous posts on Mr. Egger here and here and see our feet here. I'm such a big fan of his that I get all stammery and blushy around him. 

I have a whole bookcase full of Harry Truman books and Truman paper dolls and other goofy stuff. It was fun to see old 'Give 'um Hell Harry' above the Iggy Pop poster. 

On the flight back to Indianapolis we circled around the city. This photograph shows our old football stadium (RCA Dome), the new almost-finished-one (Lucas Old Stadium) to the right and Victory Field. The baseball stadium is in the bottom, center of the photograph. Since I could see that the lit score board from the sky, it was a sure sign that I should go to the afternoon game. So I did. I had an idea that Dad would be there and he was. I bought a big ole tub of popcorn and plopped down next to him. Dad's crowd yelled Nora and then three guys behind me also yelled Nora. 

I was so excited! One of my favorite musicians, Steve Poltz  (from San Diego) was sitting behind us! I'd missed Steve's show the night before (thanks for the during-the-show text updates Heck of a Gal and B.I.G) and I never miss his shows. Steve is quirky and fun and I'm always in a better mood at the end of the gig- which I cannot say about all of the concerts I cover. He had a long career with his band The Rugburns, but is best known for co-writing the song You Were Meant for Me, with then-girlfriend Jewel. The song holds the record for the longest chart run. 

For once, I got the chance to entertain Steve and his tour manager. I took them up to the Public Announcer's booth and we got to see the view from the press box. We watched the last inning sitting right behind home plate. 

And, as if that wasn't a big enough day...I went to the Ryan Bingham late-night show. The talented twang-rocker is only 26. The whole band was great and I made myself stay until the end, just to prove that I could last as long as the kids - of course I wasn't drinking shots and PBR's and smoking....and I bet they still felt way better than I did this morning!

And there you have it: A day in the life of Nora. 

Sunday, June 01, 2008

miss nora goes to washington

I'm off to the National Nonprofit Congress. Exciting stuff!

How could this adventure be even cooler? 

The smart and talented Kirsten  and I are traveling together.