Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rockin' Roger

Last Friday we made our second trip to Salina in the last month, which was kind of strange since in the whole year before that I'd probably only been to Salina twice! I just don't get back to the old hometown very often, but this trip was for a very important purpose. Chad and I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see a concert by the lead singer (Roger Daltrey) of Chad's very favorite band in the whole wide world (The Who). While we'd seen The Who in concert before, this show was a once in a lifetime deal because the venue--the Steifel Theatre--was SUPER tiny in comparison. It also happened to be the site of our first movie date together (Crocodile Dundee), back when it was the Fox Theatre and back when we were 14 years old.

Anyway, thanks to our friend Danny who works for a production company with the inside scoop before the show was publicly announced, and to our friend Jason who knows someone who works at the Steifel, we were able to get dead center third row seats as soon as (or maybe even before) tickets went on sale. I can't even explain to you how awesome it was to be standing 20 feet away from Roger Daltrey. It was seriously phenomenal, and he and his band put on a freakin' incredible show. I know Daltrey's an old pro and all, but I was still blown away at how incredibly hard he rocked it for a ridiculously small crowd of fewer than 1200 people. He's 66 years old and looks and sounds flipping terrific. I don't even know how he does it.

Lots of people have asked me why in the world Roger freakin' Daltrey was playing a venue like the Steifel in a town like Salina. We were a little confused too, but Roger explained during the show that it has to do with Pete Townshend, the only other living member of the original band. Apparently Pete has terrible tinnitus and can no longer tour with the full band using the traditional feedback amps that blare right in his face. So Roger and some of the musicians who now play with The Who (one being Pete's brother, Simon Townshend, interestingly enough) are out on the road practicing using those earpiece monitors to hear themselves sing and play so that Pete and Roger can go back on tour eventually without the old amps. Roger more or less said that they were playing places where it really didn't matter much so he could practice using his "American Idol" earpiece!

Anyway, we had a flipping fabulous time at the show, and the only thing that could have made it better would have been the omission of one unfortunate incident that could seriously only happen in a town like Salina. When the show started and Roger and the band started busting out Who Are You, we obviously stood up, like we would at any concert. About three songs in, the guy behind us taps us on the shoulder and tells us rather rudely to sit down, at which point we realize that most other people behind us aren't standing anymore (if they ever were). I basically just turned around and said no, I wasn't going to sit down, which probably seems super rude and inconsiderate. My thought at the time was "seriously people, this is ROGER FRICKING DALTREY and it's the one time in my life I'm going to be standing this close to him and I just paid $100 a ticket and drove over two hours to be here and I have absolutely no intention of sitting down." A few seconds later, the guy taps me again and says "You guys are blocking so many people's view!!" At this point I look at Chad and can tell that just like me, he's debating whether to punch this guy in the face or accommodate his request. Right at the same moment, however, some young guy pushes his way into our row and starts acting like he has a ticket, trying to tell other people in the row to get out of their seat so he can sit down. So while we're trying to convince Mr. Seat Stealer that he's in the wrong row and we can't actually sit down because of the commotion, several people (mostly women) behind us start screaming "SIT DOWN!" Seriously? I mean I know most of Roger's fans are a bit older than we are, but did they really come to a rock concert with the intention of sitting down the whole time? Really? Apparently so.

Anyway, we very reluctantly sat down for most of the rest of the show, until the end when they played a few more Who songs, at which point I happened to glance behind us to see that everyone was now standing up. Apparently they were capable all along--just lazy. I know I'm harping about the sitting down entirely too much, but my biggest issue with it is this: a performer like Roger Daltrey is doing Salina a HUGE favor by coming to play for them, and yet they're completely disrespecting him by not even showing him they're into his set! Roger even mentioned half way through the show that there was way too much sitting going on, so clearly he was just as disturbed about it as I was!!

Other than all of that, the show was fabulous and I was so thankful we were able to be there. My only regret is that I didn't take my good camera to get some good pics of Roger and the band. Chad insisted that they wouldn't allow "big" cameras into the show, but of course this was Salina, so there was absolutely no security to check bags as you came into the theater. While most people just had point and shoot cameras, there were a couple of SLRs too. I was so jealous because I knew they were getting better pictures than I was, but I did get a few decent ones in the batch. There are also a few really great video clips, which I'd definitely recommend checking out here, especially if you're one of those people who isn't familiar with The Who. Once you hear them, you'll realize you know lots of their songs!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Little Man

Once again it's entirely too late for blogging, but I just have to give a quick shout out to our little guy Celtic, who is celebrating his 13th birthday today. I can't believe our firstborn is already a teenager, which is somewhere around 90 years old in dog years!

Celtic is definitely showing his age these days, although he is getting around better since we've started shortening our walks but making them more frequent, and since he's using the steps much less frequently thanks to his wheelchair ramp. Most of the time, he seems to feel pretty good and seems pretty free of major discomfort. Although a few weeks ago he had an anal gland that got clogged, so we had to rush him to the vet and have it lanced, which wasn't a pleasant experience for anyone--especially not for him. He wasn't super thrilled about the makeshift diaper we put on him after getting home either, but I have to say he looked darn cute in it.

Celtic is becoming more environmentally conscience in his old age, so lately we've been collecting his brushed off undercoat in a box so that we can ship it to an organization called Matter of Trust, which has organized volunteers to make hair booms to help soak up the oil spill in the gulf. Celtic is pretty proud of his donated hair, as you can see.

In all seriousness though, we couldn't be more thankful for this little guy and for the 13 wonderful years he's been bringing us joy. Here are just a couple of pictures from a quick photo session we had this afternoon in honor of his important day. We love you, little guy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Beta Test

It's late tonight and I don't have time to write much, but there's something that I'm so excited about I can't wait any longer to share! Check this out!

This is a still photo from a brand new web series that will premier very soon, and in case you didn't notice, the actor in that picture is my very handsome brother! I'm so excited, not only because I think my brother's awesome, but also because I think the show's going to be awesome. Here's the official trailer--just a warning that there's a little adult content!

Doesn't that look great? There's a bunch more information on The Beta Test website, although I think the site still has a few glitches they're working out. You should definitely bookmark it though and check back on July 1 when the first episode is scheduled to be released. Tell your friends and family and neighbors and become a fan on Facebook! You can bet I'm going to--and you can bet I'm going to be the first person to buy one of these!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In Memory of Brenda

Almost two years ago I posted about a friend of mine from my volunteer days at the humane society who had been diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. Last Sunday, my friend Brenda passed away after fighting this horrible disease for the last 22 months. This morning her memorial service was held in her hometown of Eudora.

Brenda's diagnosis came at age 47, which is three years before she was was even supposed to have her first screening for colon cancer. The doctor said the amount that it had spread would indicate her cancer had been growing for many years before it was detected. How do you even explain that? How was she supposed to have a clue that something was so terribly wrong when she was still so young? She wasn't overweight, didn't have an unhealthy lifestyle, and many of her family members have lived extremely long and healthy lives. In fact, when I met a bunch of her family members a couple of months ago at a gathering they held for her before she went to MD Anderson, I was struck by how many of her elderly family members--both parents, aunts and uncles--are still going strong. I can't imagine how hard this must be for her parents and her older brother.

Brenda had the most amazing attitude about her diagnosis and throughout her treatment; I can only hope that I would display the same grace when faced with a terminal illness. From the very beginning, she was completely matter of fact about the news that her cancer wasn't curable. She never complained and was never bitter or negative about the challenges she was facing--she just went on living her life with the same humor and determination that she always had. She was really an incredible person, and I know she will be missed by so many.

Brenda being interviewed on the radio at Mutt 'n Strut in 2007

It's so hard to understand why Brenda had to leave this earth so soon, and I'm sure we won't know the answers completely until we get to heaven and can see the bigger picture. I found this poem in the program from her memorial service very moving and comforting though, so I wanted to share it here.

God Saw
God saw you were getting tired,
And a cure was not to be,
So He put His arm around you
And whispered, "Come to Me."
With tearful eyes we watched you
And saw you fade away,
And though we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands at rest
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


One last reunion related post and then I promise I'll be done talking about our 20 year celebration and the many busy months that preceded it. I just have to share one more thing--the centerpieces I made for the tables on Saturday night. My friend Charla had the idea of putting pictures of our high school teachers on table tents to spark conversations about our school years. Since I'd scanned the pictures of our classmates and then sent them to Charla for nametags, I decided I'd go ahead and start scanning pictures of teachers too. As I looked for yearbook pictures of our teachers, I decided there were lots of other memory-jogging pictures from yearbooks and from my personal collection that would be fun to put on the centerpieces as well. I just started scanning pictures left and right before I was even sure what I was doing with them.

I started Googling centerpiece images trying to get ideas, and somewhere along the way I read a description of an easy centerpiece that used a large mason jar for the base, which I knew we happened to have in our cupboard. For several days I scoured the Internets and channeled my inner Martha Stupid to try and come up with something easy and creative. I tried putting the pictures into a collage and then printing them out and placing them on the inside of the jar, but making the collage was like putting together a puzzle and took forever. Even though the end result looked okay, I would have still had to figure out something to put in the jars, since I'm pretty sure the fire marshal wouldn't approve of a candle surrounded by paper.

Finally, after about three days of searching for ideas, I saw this centerpiece on Etsy that gave me an idea. I started cutting out all the pictures I'd scanned and printed, and I went to Michael's and picked up some different ribbons in our school colors. I tied some elastic around the top of each jar and then tied 5 to 6 pictures to the elastic with tiny little ribbons. I finished each jar with a big bow around the top and a tea light candle inside. Here are a couple of shots so you can see what they look like.

To be honest, I was a little unsure about how they would look on the tables, but people really seemed to like them! I got tons of compliments and people really enjoyed looking at all the pictures. One classmate who does some wedding planning said she might even steal the idea, so I think that means they were a hit!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Sweet Sixteen

Back on the 4th of June, while I was right in the midst of reunion planning, we did take a break for a day to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. We had a fantastic day off together that involved me caddying for Chad on the golf course, lunch and a little sun at the pool, and a trip to KC to buy each other new patio furniture for our back deck. Our dinner at Yardhouse turned out to be fairly marginal, but other than that it was a pretty perfect day. The best present was getting to spend a whole day off with my best friend!

In honor of our 16 years together, I've made us a lovely anniversary card--the same one I made for our friends James & Beth and Pat & Kristin, who both had anniversaries a week or so before us. This card's just too fun--I can't resist enjoying it once again!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

That actually kind of makes me want to enroll in some sort of couples dance class. Think I can get my husband to get his groove on with me?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finally Finished!

It's seriously been so long since I blogged I just about forgot that I had a blog! Most of my friends and family know exactly what's been keeping me away--planning our high school reunion. For the last several weeks, every night that we were actually home was exclusively devoted to doing reunion related planning and activities. Every free minute was entirely consumed with sending reminder emails, scanning yearbook photos, making centerpieces, calling caterers and recording RSVPs. In all seriousness, I almost considered not even going to the reunion once the planning was done only because I was so sick of the whole thing! Had my friend Charla not been helping me during these last few months, I'm pretty sure I would have lost my mind completely weeks ago.

The good news is that the reunion is now over, and the other good news is that everyone seemed to really have a good time! There were certainly things throughout the weekend I would do a little differently here and there, but for the most part, everything went pretty smoothly and people seemed to enjoy themselves. Chad and I had a really great time too and loved seeing so many old friends.

While I still have no intention of helping with the next reunion, the one thing that (almost) made the planning nightmare worthwhile was how incredibly appreciative all my classmates were at the end of the weekend. People just couldn't stop thanking me for all my work, so it turned out to be the complete opposite of a thankless job, which was a nice bonus!

If you know none of the people from our high school class, the slideshow probably won't be very interesting, but I still want to share it for those few family members who might remember these folks! I have to say, I think the majority of us look pretty darn good for being close to 40!