Monday, September 22, 2014

A Birthday and a Fair Day

What to do for Becca’s Birthday?  Rachael opted for Mount Rainier or the Olympic peninsula, but I pointed that we would not have time to drive either place, since I couldn’t start till after Mass and that would be lateish.  Those were start-at-the-crack-of-dawn destinations. Well, the Fair was on its last day, and they both LOVE the fair.  Me?  Not so much.  But I put on my happy face, and off we went.  My primary concern was actually getting there, as none of us really knew where exactly where Puyallup is, and then where the fair would be once we found Puyallup.  But after accidentally taking several scenic (they actually were scenic) routes, we found it, and, mirabile dictu, also found a nice parking place. 

One really important Fair activity:    

Fair Food!

Another:  Admiring the flashy colors!

And the truly Weird!  There were lots of "collections" on display - some quite bizarre.

And the rides!  This one was really scary, rendered its passengers unable to walk without wobbling immediately on exit.  It got excellent reviews from my girls.  I opted to take pictures from solid ground.

Less scary, but still lotsa fun!

Rachael assured me that this one would not be scary - just fun.  She was mistaken.  It was hideous.  As I was finally tottering off it, the kindly attendant asked me. "Are you okay, hon?"  Rachael and Becca thought this was hilarious.  If you look closely, you can barely see Rachael waving happily, and me fainting away.

Splendid sunset, and then evening falls on a fun, fun day.

The essentials

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Literary Day

Joe Guppy being adorable

There have been lots of blogworthy events lately – so many in fact, that I haven’t had time to blog about them.   Hence the huge hiatus. Sigh! I look at the date of the last post, and can only sigh again.  So now, where to begin? Well, maybe with the most recent and significant.  My cousin Joseph has just had a book published. That is quite significant, as anyone would agree. The grand opening  (do books have grand openings? or only grocery stores?) was a smash hit reading at Elliot Bay Bookstore.   Joseph was his usual fabulous self, and, as they say, the crowd, and there really was a good crowd, went wild. The book is memoir about a very difficult time as a youth thirty years ago, when, during a trip to Mexico, he took a tummy med, and had a terrible reaction – a toxic psychosis which sent his already angst filled psyche right over the edge and him to a mental hospital for three months.  The episode was a Boschian nightmare, which Joseph details with humor, while never minimizing  his terror and sometimes hopelessness.  Take a peek at the book’s video trailer and take a taste here!

Joe Guppy being intellectual

When I got home from the reading with my new book, I thought I would dip in and read a few pages before going night-night, but I was immediately drawn into Joseph’s hellish situation and I had to keep reading until about four hours before I needed to get up.  Then I forced myself to put the book down until the next day. 

You can get your copy at Elliot Bay or here!!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Another Humiliating Day

In my relative youth, I was at least a mediocre pianist, and actually played at Sunday services with a sweet little choir.  Then, I joined the fabulous St. James Choir, fulfilling lots of lifetime dreams, and, getting my musical fix there. That was nearly twenty years ago. My piano practice time immediately dwindled to about twenty minutes a year.  And those twenty minutes were usually a sort of torture.  This year, having retired and expecting to have more time on my hands, I decided to try to practice a bit every day as a Lenten penance.  And a penance it was.  I could not play even the simplest thing.  Soooo discouraging!  I struggled, and got so that I could schlep through a couple of easy pieces, but never with aplomb. 

And absolutely never if anyone was listening.  I could even just imagine someone listening as I played, and kaboom!  The music would go “splat!”  So I decided to make my relatives listen to a little number, just to practice having a listener. Knowing that she would still love me no matter how bad it was, my first test audience was my soon-to-be ninety year old aunt. Splat!!!!!  I could not even play two chords consistently. Utterly humiliating.  Then my daughter and granddaughter became the test audience.  This was way worse.  They could not even bring themselves to utter hypocritically polite remarks.  More like, “Hmmmm!  You are going too fast,” or, “Need to work on that a bit!”

My pal Ana recently inherited her Grandma’s piano, and she too, decided to try to resuscitate her childhood piano prowess.  We agreed to get together to compare notes and play our songs for one another.  She executed hers brilliantly.  Mine went well for one note – then – Splat! 

I was comforted by the scrumptious corn soup we made (recipe here,) but humiliated nonetheless.  

On Sunday, I invited my aunt for tea again, and made her listen to my piece.  I played it fairly well.  But I have to confess that she is stone deaf, her hearing aid was broken, and she was, in addition to that, in the bathroom.  She insisted that she heard every note and it was great!  I chose to believe her.  Sort of.

Saint Cecilia, I'm counting on you to help me out!