Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll.....

i hope every one's turkey day has been a safe and blessed one.  thanksgiving day has always been a favorite of mine, particularly in my youth.  the mc side of the family would gather at the grand's house for viewing macy's parade in the morning and watching the 'boys play in the afternoon.  somewhere in there was a meal fit for royalty, usually turkey and aunt lou's cornbread dressing, lots of things grown in the garden over the summer and a host of home made pies and cakes for dessert. good times, i say.

then there is this thanksgiving day.  table for two,  please.  it will not go down among my favorite thanksgiving memories.  with family on two coasts and 9 hours away at the closest, today was in a word-- lonely.

our daughter called early to wish us well and fill us in on her plans for the day. b. talked with the folks in cincy in the morning.

we chose not to cook, opting instead to try the cajun turkey on 'the big texan' turkey day buffet.  it was tasty, the rest of the meal not worth the hour we waited to be seated.  at least if you don't cook, you don't have to clean up afterwards and you don't have all those leftovers to deal with.

given the choice between convenience and having family around, give me family every time. 

thanksgiving day for two-- sucks. aio

Sunday, November 21, 2010

geodesic stars streaming...

an evening with amarillo's symphony is always a welcome respite from the everyday, hum drum life at 7420.  i've never claimed to know anything about classical music, i don't have an "ear" for it, yet an evening at the symphony can make inroads toward taming this savage beast.

last night's concert was titled "bravo broadway".  my favorite of the season is always the "pops' concert.  there's something about having a familiarity with the music that increases my listening pleasure.  it enhances the experience when, by knowing the "piece" being played, one can better appreciate the nuance, the touch exerted by the maestro and our symphony musicians.


last night featured three vocalists, all with experience on broadway in "leading roles".  talk about some "pipes", these folks can flat out "sang".  debbie gravitte got the evening off to a start,  (after the three had rendered a montage of songs from "gypsy") singing "don't rain on my parade from "funny girl".

Next up was doug labrecque. in something of an unexpected turn, singing "over the rainbow" from "the wizard of oz".  he, and his golden voice and limpid eyes, rendered a rendition fit to make one forget the song had ever been sung by "what was her name"?

after the rainbow was over, anne runolfsson sang "ding dong, the witch is dead", also of the wofoz fame.  later in the program she favored us with a tender "memory" from "cats". in a word, moving.

among the memorable performances after intermission-- a "mamma mia! medly from the trio, dl's "bring him home", "the phantom of the opera" from ar and dl, "music of the night" from dl and an a.l.webber "love trio' from "the trio".    

it has been rumored that maestro kimbo ishii-eto is not fond of  "pops" performances.   if true, he hides it well. with his extremely adept baton at the ready, he dipped and grooved, his famous hair on the fly, eliciting nothing short of broadway magic from the symphony musicians.

the music of the broadway stage, the scores, the lyrics, when separated from the story that surrounds them can still serve to move, to entertain immensely. this trio connected with the amarillo audience.  injecting bits of humor at the expense of one another and good natured jibes re: our texas accents, with a bit of nifty choreography thrown in, these three earned the standing "o" they received.  to their credit, all gave props to kimbo and the orchestra, whose performances were no less deserving of the standing "o" as well.

an added bonus for the evening was the mirror ball flashing stars across the geodesic expanse of the performing arts center as the symphony played the "jesus christ superstar" overture.  one could lose himself , the moment transfusing a sense of outer space and inner peace.  aio

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the bourgeoisie life...

don't i wish!  working the set shifts, every thursday, friday and saturday, i had forgotten the luxurious feel of sleeping late on a lazy saturday morning. on occasion my counter part at the first of the week needs, or wants, to be off on one of her set days, monday, tuesday or wednesday. such was the case this week so we traded her wednesday for my saturday.

one of the benefits of my set schedule-- for the wife-- is knowing she can schedule things on my work days without worry.  she had long ago made plans for this saturday morn. she left early to attend to them.

that left me here with the three cats, all sleeping into the late hours of the morning in delicious decadence.  i've nothing specific planned therefore i choose to do just that, nothing in particular.

the coffee and crosswords are done already.  now what?  i suppose i'll tune in the wtamu buffalo's playoff game. depending on how that goes i might go for a run. (i really should, the weather is not likely to be as nice for days in a row until spring comes back around.) we'll go out to dinner before this evenings symphony performance, "bravo broadway. " other than that this is a rare week-end day of lazy, guilt free leisure.

forgive me, if i cut this short.  all this typing is getting in the way of my doing absolutely nothing.  until, next time, have a cat nap.  that sounds like a great idea!  aio                                                                                          

Monday, November 15, 2010

here comes santa claus...

the prospect of the upcoming holiday season has me feeling sad.  living in little a-town seems to me like living on a deserted island.  it is neither an island, nor is it deserted, yet i can't help having a feeling of being stranded here, imagining loved ones as being stranded too, the gulf between our island and theirs too far.

the closest island to ours, austin, holds our son c. and his honey c. it's 500 miles away, 8 hours by car or 400+ dollars for the two of us by air. distance and/or dollars limit the frequency of our visiting them.  a visit to any of the rest of the family involves even more miles, more time on the road or dollars for air fare. there's just too much distance between here and where they are.

573 miles away on conroe island lives my only sister m. and her family; 888 miles away on the isle of new orleans lives our only daughter k. and husband k.  1358 miles away, the california island of concord, is home to our oldest son b. and his lady r.  a visit to any family, be it mine or b.'s,  involves long hours by car, sometimes an overnight stay or two along the way, or mucho mas dinero for plane fares.  distance is no friend of mine.

such is the state of our far flung and disparate lives.  the plan is, for all of mine/ours, to converge on austin at christmas time.  all we can do is to make the best of a less than ideal situation; that and to enjoy the hell out of the time we do have together. as sad as the distances between us all makes me, the prospect of being together again, although not soon enough to suit me, but soon enough still, is almost soon enough to make me smile. aio

Sunday, November 14, 2010

sunshine, on my shoulder...


at least some of the snow remains from friday morning's thunder-snow storm.  in shadowed places, on north facing lawns the sun has yet to do it's do. the good thing abut snow storms here on the high plains-- the storm never hangs around for long; when it moves into the area it's most always passing through toward someplace else.  outside the mountains of dirtied white stuff plowed into the far corners of the mall parking lots, in a few days time no trace of this early storm will remain.


traffic on the I-40 corridor passes to the east and west just a couple of blocks north of our house.  running north and south, one of little a-towns busiest streets, coulter avenue, is just a block to the east.  most of time passes without my being conscious of the thousands of cars and trucks passing by-- so close, and yet so far.

among my favorite things is waking in the morning after a night of falling snow.  the city, the neighborhood, our house, all wrapped in a white muffler. it's like waking in a sound proof room.  no hint of the interstate, the bustle of the city muted beyond perception. my world is perfect, at least for a moment.

if only every morning could start with the heightened sense of peace of an overnight snowfall.  on second thought, the peace of the snowfall yes-- the mess of cleaning up after-- not so much.     aio

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thunder Snow!!!

our part of the thirsty panhandle of texas got a much needed dousing of rain last night.  according to the agn, little a-town received 1.68 inches of rain between 8 p.m. and midnight. that set a new record for rainfall for the date 11-11.  the rain fell at a rate of 2-3 inches and hour.  not having a sewer system of course the underpasses flooded all along I-40 an I-27. there was even a "flash flood" warning for the city.  weather bug indicates we've received an additional 2.11 inches of moisture since midnight. at least some of that fell over the lake meredith watershed. sadly it still has about 60 feet to gain back to previous levels.

There was lots of lightning and thunder with the storm. the local weather guys had predicted some accumulation of snow in the northwest panhandle with perhaps a dusting of snow here in town. i kept hearing thunder and seeing flashes of lightning as i raised up throughout the night.  imagine my surprise when i woke this morning to the visions in these pictures taken around 6:30 a.m.



local weather celebrity "doppler dave" o. is always going on about "thunder snow".  apparently it is a fairly rare phenomenon.  i had know idea that, from about 4 o'clock on, what i  was hearing was not a thunderstorm but honest-to-goodness 'thunder snow".  it continued to snow all morning long, huge, heavy, wet flakes and not the dried up crap snow we usually get around here. the net agn indicated 1.5 inches of snow by "press time".  my guess is 4 to 6 inches. the weight of all that heavy snow resulted in the cottonwood out front losing several limbs. by report, such was the case with trees all over town.


it just goes to show, these weather guys don't know anything for sure. a weather forecast in nothing more than an educated guess and in my mind wrong as often as not. . mother nature very often is of a different bent and 100 times out of 100 she will exert her will no matter what "doppler dave" and the other weather gurus around town have to say.

this weather fan would add only this-- you go girl! aio                                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

waiting beyond the "next blog" button...


in my previous post i opined that any new visitor to "kidsdonegone" likely came to the site via the "next blog" route.  i'm ever curious re: what other people are wasting their time on, like i am, composing the next bit of drivel recorded for posterity on the ethernet.

the first site i was directed to today, when i clicked on "next blog"  today was a site entitled in short, "flying solo, traveling light" authored by Donna ??????.  donna, it would seem is something of a world traveler. her latest blog was posted from mineral de pozos, mexico.  apparently pozos is an abandoned mining/ghost town now being rehabited and becoming a tourist destination.  her pictures of pozos are quite beautiful.

the beauty of her pictures made me reflect on the world at large, most of which i have not an inkling.   certainly i'm aware there is a big blue marble suspended in the vastness of space but there is so much to this world, most of which i haven't the faintest idea.

donna is one lucky lady.  her blog site has a map above which sits an inscription "where in the world has donna been".  suffice to say she is well traveled but even that, when taken into consideration the vastness that is the earth, leaves so much more world for her to see.

it makes me sad when i consider how little of this united states i have any direct expereience with. that aside, it's mind blowing to me when i consider how little of the great state of texas i know first hand.  even places i've visited fairly often, austin, new orleans, the california wine country,  have volumes of interesting things about them i have yet to explore.

so where am i going with this meandering piece.  i don't know really.  visiting her blog has made me feel like a single grain of sand on the beach that is my world.  the tides wash me here and there but circumstance dictates the unlikeliness of my coming to rest on some foreign, more intriguing shore. 

until today i was blissfully unaware of  mineral de pozos' existence.  my loss perhaps, at least until today.  at the very least i now know of its being there.  thank you donna, thank you, for that.  perhaps sometime down the road i can visit there, to breath it's air, to take in it's ancient wonders, to record them in photos of my own.  you can visit www. to see her pics.

and if by some stroke of fate, someone in mineral de pozos happens to hit "next blog" and against all odds "kids done gone" should happen to be the "flying solo, traveling light" discovery for them-- little a-town and myself say, "come on up". there are things here of which you likely never knew; local wonders awaiting discovery like mineral de pozos was for me. aio

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

are you lost????


one might say it is beyond sad when the highlight of my day is to discover some lost soul has stumbled upon this internet way station.  rarely does that happen, but when it does i can't wait to get on the ip tracker site to see from where the hit originated. my guess is 99.99999% of new hits come from the "next blog" feature of the site.

however these new hits come about, i hope the accidental reader takes a minute to browse.  i'm not vain enough to think every entry here is a gem but, as they say, "even a blind pig can find an acorn now and again". 

the focus of the blog is family.  it would be presumptuous to assume a "stranger" might take something away from reading any of the posts here.  still, the sentiments recorded should resonate on some small scale with any who have loved ones far removed and seldom seen. 

friday will mark the 41st natal day of our oldest.  my how the years have flown and with the years have come a wealth of memories for which i can only say-- thanks.  i hope you have a great day! i wish we could be there-- oh, and one other thing--geaux saints!  aio

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Haunted 2010

there's a definite disadvantage in working a set schedule, (usually thur., fri., sat.) in that in interferes with some things i'd like to do.  however, there is the wonder called the gregorian calendar which allows for certain important dates to come up on my days off; usually sun., mon., tues., wed., and such was the case this year.

halloween 2010 came on sunday!  this fortunate happenstance allowed the wife and i to partake for the first time in our son, c's, halloween march. this year saw the fourth annual Krewe de Coeur Maudit Halloween March-- "Haunted 2010" along congress ave. and 6th street in austin, tx.  it was a phenomenal experience.  the video below was sent prior to this years event to familiarize marchers with a new component, one of a "second line" new orleans nature. the funeral celebration.  it has some neat pictures from past marches (not to mention the dulcet tones of ckm.).  acess link below!

i often scratch my head in wonder when considering the fascinating mind of ckm!  three years ago witnessed the first annual krewe de coeur maudit halloween march in austin. at last, it was my thrill, my honor to bear witness, to experience up close and personal the fruits of his amazing vision.  the theme for this year's march leaned heavily on the ghost and skeletal remains of spirits past.  taking center stage, three ghost puppets, carried high above the crowds, gathered under the s. 1st bridge before the march along congress avenue and sixth street.  carried behind the krewe dcm banner and drum corps, these ghostly puppets seemed to float thru the air.  flashing colors, breathing smoke and a beating heart kept time with the drum line. it proved to be nothing short of fantastical.

based loosely on the tradition this year's march added  another touch from the "mardi gras" e.g. doubloons inscribed with krewe dcm on one side and "elysium" (host bar for krewe dcm celebrants) on the other were given outs as favors from the krewe.

it is my hope the krewe can continue the march for years to come.  there is nothing like it being done in austin, (the city that put the W in weird).  a bing search revealed various other halloween marches across the country. i would wager there is none to rival the krewe's march in orginality and scope.

it is enough to boggle the mind, hearing the cheers, seeing the flash of hundreds of cameras, feeling the attention of a 6th street crowd riveted on the spectacle.

check out the links below for images of this year's march.  once the ghosts pass out of frame "krewe dcm "coverage" is finished for the particular video.

my recommendation-- if you ever have a hankering for a once in a life time experience-- take in a krewe dcm march.  as a participant, or spectator, it's one you will not soon forget.