Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Two Recommendations

My daughters, all three of them, have been bugging me like crazy to buy some CD by some new singer they have been raving about. It was by someone I have never heard of before. A cross between Linda Ronstadt and Janis Joplin, I was to "love" it. Not one to run right out and by anything, particularly a CD, I certainly wasn't jumping out of my seat to zip down and get this one. After a few weeks of endless harassment, Annie, my nearly 22 year old baby, gives up and brings it to me. Guess what? I LOVE it! So, I am passing on this free bit of information. Fabulous, great songwriter, vocalist, musician.

THE STORY, By Brandi Carlile.

Now, number two. I like to read. But again, I usually don't go out and buy something unless someone recommends it or I saw it on Oprah! This next recommend came from a tennis partner who recently lost both parents and was having trouble with her son. She said it really made her laugh, clear her head, a good read. I saw it recently at the college bookstore where I work (not the bookstore--the college) so picked up the last copy. I'm loving it. I divorced seven years ago, after 27 years of marriage and four kids. And though I have recently remarried (now three years), I still carry a tremendous amount of guilt around feeling like I let my entire family, kids, parents, aunts uncles and all my deceased ancestors down. I know in my heart of hearts it was right but this vice-grip around my heart keeps saying I shouldn't have given up on the marriage. Reading this has been theraputic and great fun. Quick read about a 30 something depressed, newly divorced woman who decides to take a year off and find herself.

One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonsia.
by Elizabeth Gilbert,

Good Night!

And Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Car Shopping--UUUGGGHH!

Fortunately, I have only been shopping for vehicles four times in my life. I keep my auto as long as possible at least 8 or more years. And now the possible is as long as it is going to be on my Safari. For the past several weeks my hubby and I have been talking about what car I should get. He spouts all the rationale from Consumer Reports, and the number one factor-- fuel economy. Keep in mind my aged hippie husband gave away his vehicle and rides either his ten-speed or his motorcycle to work, and everywhere else for that matter. Thus, he feels very good about his contribution to society in saving the air and the world at large.

I, too, want to save the air and the world. Only, I want to be able to pull my tent trailer, go off-roading occasionally, and think color is as important as fuel economy. So, when he asks me what I want in a vehicle, I, of course, say " a jeepy kind of thing, that has a rack, with a tow package and cool school bus yellow would be great!" He usually frowns, mutters something about going green and leaves the room. I don't know how to tell him I could NEVER own a green car!

After his hours of research online, we then have the whole going-to-the-car-lot experience. I tell my hubby who hates to go to car dealerships that I will be the one to handle all of the transactions. I am resolved to remain calm and I am intent on finding a car that I will have a connection with as I will be spending many hours with this vehicle in the upcoming years.

There is a reason why car salesmen have such bad reputations as slime-ball predators. They truly are vultures, just waiting and watching for fresh prey. We drive up and "Jimmy" is the first to pounce on us. He proceeds to tell us how he could never sell a product he didn't believe in because he is a man of integrity. Isn't that super! He wants me to take a car out for a test drive. I want to know the price, will it tow my trailer. He's not sure.

I just want to know the price. But that's not how the game is played. I explain I don't have time and just want to know how much is the car. Jimmy starts in: "Let's go for a drive. Just sit in the car." He continues: "What color would you like Driftwood Pearl, Galatic Gray, VooDoo Blue, Sun Fusion. Let's go to my office and I'll put some numbers together for you." I ask if it can tow my trailer. He's not sure unless we go to his office. The sun is beating down on us and I really, really, really just want to know the price. I have a list of possible cars, I want to make the best comparison of prices and features. But Jimmy just wants to go to his office and play 'Deal or No Deal!"

I refuse to go to his office. I refuse to get in the car. I refuse to drive the car. Just give me the damn price and tell me if it can tow my tent trailer! What's so hard about that? I feel all my zen leaving. All my resolve to remain calm and have a peaceful car buying experience while I try to makle a connection with a car is quickly disappearing. I tell my hubs, "We must go!"

We drive back home in the same old van we drove up in. Back to Consumer Reports. Back to all the stats on fuel economy, side-air bags, brakes, resale predictability......and not one word about anything school-bus yellow. Oh, excuuuuse, me. I mean Sun Fusion!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Travels to Austin or the Road to Hippie Hollow

Last week I flew to Austin for an educational conference. Being a native of Las Vegas, I find most conference towns pretty boring. The conference day ends, you go and try to find a place to eat, most towns roll up at 9pm and you end up spending the majority of the time watching tv alone in some hotel room. I don't know what I expected from Austin as I have never been there or anywhere in Texas, but let me tell you, it is ever a party town as Vegas.

On the way to the hotel from the airport, some guy on the shuttle mentions a free concert going on somewhere, but he doesn't know where. My sister and I (did I mention my sister from Reno joined me?) decided we would find this free concert.

We did! It was way cool. I have never seen more rednecks and hippies congregated in the same place as there were at this outdoor concert. I wasn't quite sure of those wearing t-shirts with "Keep Austin Weird!" but suffice it to say there were all kinds roaming the grounds.

The top talent for the night, of the long list of talent, were Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristopherson! Wow. It took me back to the early 70's, music, tie-dyed t-shirts, peace signs, the smell of mary jo riding the breeze in and out through the crowd. Tremendous musicians. Lots of local talent that were simply fabulous! The concert ended with Kris singing "Me and Bobby McGee." Ahhh.

That was the first night. Every night we found a different place with a different band, and great food. The last day prior to heading back to the airport we took off and found our way to Travis Lake and Hippie Hollow. I had seen it on the tourist map we had received when we had checked into the hotel. I had to go to Hippie Hollow, after all I had been a hippie in my teen years, I had to find this place and make a connection.

It wasn't until we had paid our $10 and were walking down the path in our little jean skirts with our sandals and our little purses swinging by our sides, that we realized, by the man walking toward us, that Hippie Hollow is a NUDE BEACH!! I cannot stress enough our complete surprise at seeing a man with shoes and socks, straw hat and nothing else swaggering toward us. We both made a right face to stare at the woods and close our eyes. I don't know what we were thinking, perhaps if our eyes were closed, he couldn't see us standing there biting our lips and trying not to laugh. Which then had me quite alarmed that we were breaking the most sacred rule of all......NO LAUGHING WHEN NAKED MEN WALK TOWARD YOU! I am certain that cannot be good for any man's self esteem!

We soon realized we were surrounded. Naked people everywhere. Imagine being the only clothed persons there and trying desperately to act cool. Trying to keep the hysterical laughter form spurting forth everytime some guy came swinging by, trying to talk to people and keep your gaze looking at their face and not wandering down to you know where! I hate not fitting it. I quickly pulled my sunglasses out of my purse and told my sister there was only one course of action "Quick! Take your clothes off--Blend in!"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Long Time

It's been a very long time since I have got on the old computer and started reading my favorite blogs. Gee with DebbieDoesLife out of commission, my inspiration just wasn't there. I jumped online this evening and just for the heck of it looked up Debbie's site and "sure nuf" she was back on. Too bad I didn't check sooner and I could have enjoyed a CD of her favorite hits.

Of course, I just couldn't come back and start posting. Like most of my time here, I start messing around with the templates and trying to come up with a new header. Ahhh, how nice it would be to be one of you amazing bloggers who can just jump on here and start writing without being so critical of your blog's appeareance.

I am going to try and write some more and mess with html less.

That said, I may just very well go home and tell you all about my amazing adventure to Austin....Hey, Debbie....why haven't you ever mentioned "Hippie Hollow" in Austin?

But, that was the last day of the trip, first things first. Get my butt home!