Tuesday, March 31, 2009

march wrap-up

Akk! Another month passed by without keeping my promise to myself of blogging more regularly. If only you could read the posts I've written in my head...

One reason that I was out of touch last three weeks is that I had a secret! And it is hard for me to keep such exciting news quiet, so I stayed home and told the cat. And Cliff (I figured telling someone in Nebraska was fairly safe).

The Sunday night, tear-jerker show, ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to Indianapolis. And they are holding an Extreme Food Drive for Second Helpings in conjunction with the construction of the house. Any food that we cannot use for prepared meals at Second Helpings will be sent to food pantries in the neighborhood (Martindale-Brightwood) of the makeover home.

Second Helpings provides 880 meals in that neighborhood every single week. We also redirected 131,000 pounds of food in the last six months to the Saint Vincent DePaul Food Pantry that serves the neighborhood. In the first two days of the Extreme Home Makeover we’ve collected over 800 pounds of food.

I am just amazed by all of the behind scenes things on this project. There is a staging area across Keystone (a major street in the city) in an industrial park. All of the trucks are queued up and ready to go. When I left Monday evening they were pouring concrete for the resource/library building and working on the basement for the house. One day later they were putting on the roof, running the electricity and putting in the HVAC system.

The show travels with a crew of 70, a security company and trucks of supplies. The community has stepped up with 3000 volunteers, donated goods and labor. All of the food for the volunteers and crew has been donated.

I am most impressed by the work that is being done in the neighborhood. Two abandoned houses have been demolished, several houses painted, tons of trash picked up, windows replaced and 1500 trees planted. It warms my heart to see some basic quality of life things that most of us take for granted being addressed. I can’t say enough about Estridge (the builder for the project) they’re doing things right.

view from the golf cart

I volunteered on Monday and had the best, yet most nerve-wracking volunteer job ever. I told them I'd do anything but drive. So of course I drove all day. I shuttled VIPs around the site in a golf cart. It was disconcerting to look over my shoulder and see a cement truck behind me as I crossed Keystone. My next job was driving the shuttle bus. Sarah Fisher was one of my passengers. I think I sweat through all four layers of clothes I was wearing having her as a passenger. For the record, she was lovely and didn't do any backseat driving.

I also have a media pass, so I'll be photographing the progress each day.

The Golden Gloves matches started this month - John Mellencamp's son is fighting this year adding to the excitement. I've had fun playing with the camera. I really need to take a class - in my spare time.

My favorite thing I did this month? Shopping with June Bug, Mom and Anna for JB's First Communion veil. I was searching for the perfect Godmother gift for such an important occasion - the veil was perfect.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

shamrock walk

In my life I've waffled between being a hyper-planner and a not making plans at all. I think I've settled on being a go-with-the-flow sort of girl. And I could not have planned this day any better anyway.

I signed up for the Shamrock Walk months ago and sent brother J.R. a link. I talked Dad in to participating in the walk the day before. It wasn't until Dad and I were on our way downtown that I thought to call J.R. and ask if he was running.

We were able to find J.R., my friend Sheila and ran in to some Red Key folks in the thousands of people gathered on the Circle.

The four mile walk went through the city, around Irish Hill and past St. Patrick's Catholic Church. J.R. ran and Dad and I walked. Our goal was to walk fast enough to NOT get get tossed in to the trolley picking up the extra-slow folks.

We did it!

Here is Dad crossing the finish line (J.R. patiently waited for us) with Mike, Johnny and Dawn (Red Key regulars).

The clock shows 1:17, but I think our actual time is closer to 1:15 since we didn't cross the start line for a few minutes. Not bad for a 73 year-old guy and his daughter!

Dad's never met a stranger, especially one with a tray of post-race brownies.

We celebrated after the race in the swanky Columbia Club with a bucket of (fake) beer. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning and I'm looking forward to the next walk with Dad.

Monday, March 16, 2009


A big bonus to keeping the house tidy is that I can entertain on short notice. 
Maura was visiting from Portland so I had a little post-nonprofit event fawn over Maura party. 

It was fun to catch up with her, we have that long-time friendship that can be caught up on a few words. We have several things in common. We're roughly the same age, have a history of dating younger guitar-player types and have never married. 

I had a secondary motive for having the party - I still had a whole bunch of beer, wine and booze left from the Saint Valentine's Day party. I was hoping to clear some room in my fridge. Instead, thanks to my generous friends I would up with more beer than I started with. I did manage to finish the last bit in a bottle of Jameson. 

It was great to hang out with the gang and a great way to get back in the swing of entertaining. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

hanging on my ear

I feel guilty about all of the unwritten blog posts that are floating around in my head. As I was cooking burgers at the Red Key last night, I realized that they were "hanging on my ear." Chances are they won't get written. 

I have been writing my ever-shrinking ass off (26 pounds lost - 4 to go). You can read all about the music and stuff here: QueenBeeMusic

I've also been working on the house. I'm trying to keep things clean and tidy. My old ways of writing in a nest of books, papers and Twizzler wrappers are gone. It is hard work to keep up! I've also sorted though all of my clothes - some to a resale shop, some to Dress for Success, some for a yard sale and some had to be pitched. I had a pretty impressive concert tee shirt collection, but years of waiteressing in them have taken its toll. I can't believe how emotional I got about tossing some of them. 

I've also vowed not to walk out of the house looking like crap. I'm obsessive about brushing my teeth, but not so much my hair. I'm working on applying makeup somewhere besides the rear view mirror.  In the last month I've worn a scarf as an accessory (not just to keep my neck warm or cover up a coffee stain), worn something besides big silver hoops in my ears and necklaces other than my beloved John Travolta (Sweathog years, not Scientology). And in the biggest fashion news: I WENT SHOE SHOPPING! 

Thanks to Kristi's Christmas generosity, I made my first trip to DSW. It was totally overwhelming. I'm glad she went with me or I'm sure I would have run screaming from the store. 

Here are the shoes that I got with the gift certificate, they are darker than they appear in this photo - a lovely brownish-ivory color. And yes, that is a leg lamp in the background. I said I was keeping the house clean, nothing about classy!

In my new found quest of self-improvement I fell for some fancy skincare creams. "Look younger! Smooth lines!" Ha! I broke out so badly that my face puffed up (yeah, that smoothed those lines right out) and I my face was covered in tiny blisters (looked like teenage acne, so yeah, younger) and had to get a prescription for magic make-things-better cream. 

I've also been making myself separate myself from work a little bit. I realized that I was at the dangerous point of wrapping my identity up with my job. I've been making myself stop on the way home from work and do something - be it a bowl of soup at the News Cafe, dinner at Yat's or a trip to the grocery store. Something to create a division between work and home. It seems to be working. 

All of this self improvement has brought some excitement too. The boys seem to be noticing. Nothing close to a date, but fun stuff. For the first time since Joey Ramone gave me a nod in 1983, a musician openly flirted with me on-stage. Lose weight, wear a mini-skirt and cowboy boots, throw a camera over your shoulder and next thing you know you're on a tour bus. 

I need to work on my technique from there. Chattering nervously about how we listened to the band while touring Ireland and that we drove through their hometown singing their songs at the top of their lungs was probably not the most impressive thing I could have done. Here is the review and photos from the show.

See you soon!

Monday, March 02, 2009