Saturday, February 28, 2009

Charity Event

Chris Sligh was the entertainment at a charity event I went to last night. He has a strong, clear voice and lots of energy on stage. The audience loved him. He told us to get up on our feet during the first song and everyone happily complied:

Before two of his songs he taught us a part that he wanted us to sing. I noticed everybody-from the youngest to the oldest- belting it out as instructed:

Chris was nice enough to pose for a photo with me during his break:

Chris placed tenth on the sixth season of American Idol and dubbed his fans the "Fro Patrol."

From Wikepedia:

Through 2008, Sligh toured relentlessly, with over 115 shows and over 150 other various appearances (radio, tv, web interviews). In Aug-Sept 2008, he headlined the Back to School Tour with Jason Walker opening. The tour hit 32 cities, most of which were partnered directly with Christian radio stations.

In April of 2008, Sligh cowrote a song called "
Here Comes Goodbye" with Clint Lagerberg (also the cowriter of Chris' first single "Empty Me"). This song was released by the country music group Rascal Flatts as a single in January 2009.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Chris Sligh

A friend of mine runs a non-profit organization for at-risk kids. It's basically a place for them to go after school so that they aren't out getting into trouble. She does an incredible job.

Every year she hosts a fund-raiser with a silent and live auction, followed by a show. I don't know how she managed this, but this year the entertainment is Chris Sligh. I admit that I don't know anything about him except that he was an American Idol contestant. Did he make it to the top 10? (And how do you pronounce his name?)

It all goes down tonight. I'm looking forward to it. I seem to remember something about Chris naming his fans the "Fro Patrol." Do you think he'd like to hear some Taylor stories? No? Everyone else I know has been subjected to them, why not him? ha!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fire Ants, Pecans and Geese, Oh My!

I noticed an impressive spider web in our garage the other day. It's been there for a while and my thighs can prove it. It's on my bicycle.

My beloved bicycle. The frame is a deep shiny blue and when we first brought it home, it had that new-tire smell. It's got too many gears for my liking, but that's OK. They look cool.

I've always loved to ride bikes, though I'm not like those guys you see with the skintight outfits offering views you feel you should tip them for. Or those women hunched down over the handle bars, getting some extra use out of their Lamaze lessons. No!

I'm that grinning goof-ball coasting down a small incline, feet stuck out on either side, seeing how far she can get without pedaling. Dare I say it? I ride for fun.

But I haven't given the old bike a whirl for about a year, I guess. No particular reason, I just haven't made time for it. I'm sure I would take it out if I had a specific place to go, like my mom did when she was about my age. She decided to ride her bike to work and though it was only a few miles, you have to give her credit for doing it.

The memory of mom pedaling off on her bike made me realize that I shouldn't rely so much on my suburban. So when it needed some minor repairs, I impulsively turned down the ride the repair shop offered and walked the few miles home.

I cut through a small park and temporarily became one of the walkers pumping around an endless circle. As they cruised off to the right, I continued straight towards an embankment. I got some curious glances, but I wanted to follow the creek instead of taking the road. That's the beauty of getting around on foot. I could go the shortest distance between two points by taking the straight line.

Well, nobody mentioned that the straight line might go through a marsh.

The grass was knee-high and the ground beneath my inappropriate shoes was wet. I walked on, unwilling to backtrack. Besides, I thought, as I looked around. It was really beautiful. You don't see sights like this from a car! The creek ambled through some empty fields. Not a soul in sight. Not a living soul. Good place to dump a body, I thought.

Whoa! Too much TV. Still, sufficiently spooked, I ran, knees high, like a deranged gazelle. I worried about ant piles, snakes and a guy I saw on America's Most Wanted.

Spotting the road up ahead, I was relieved, but I wondered if anyone could see me. It's one thing to catch an eight-year-old wildly hopping through the high grass. It's quite another to see a forty-something woman doing it.

Reaching the sidewalk, I played it cool, like it was perfectly natural to be walking along on Hwy 6. Mid-saunter, I crunched on a pecan and couldn't help but look for more.

Here's some advice. If you're picking up pecans on a busy street, don't bend over fifty times with your butt facing traffic. When I finally realized what all the honking was about, I straightened up and concentrated on my walk.

I passed the pond and was chased by a gaggle of geese, flapping their wings as they ran towards me. "No bread!" I yelled, tossing pecans behind them.

I made it home in time to hear my phone ringing. Amazingly, my suburban was ready. I paused, considering the walk back. Perhaps the bike? I could show that spider who's boss.

Sighing, giving in, I asked, "When can you pick me up?"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Live A Little

I got a call today as I was headed out the door to buy groceries. Purse flung over one shoulder, keys in hand, I doubled back and picked up the phone.

"Caryl?" It was my neighbor, Sherry. "I hate to bring you bad news, but Pam passed away today."

So soon? I fell into a chair, dropping my keys on the table.

We neighbors had organized to take the family food on the days that Pam had chemo. Just two weeks ago my husband and I carried our meal across the street to their house. Pam let us in the front door, showed us where to put everything and then invited us to sit with her in the living room. We chatted for about 30 minutes. She was in good spirits. The tumors were shrinking.

But a week later she seemed disoriented and was taken to the hospital. A spinal tap revealed cancer in the fluid. She went from the hospital to hospice care. We planned to visit her there, but now it was too late.

Sherry promised to call when she knew anything more. After a phone call to my husband, I resumed my trip to the store.

Our local grocery store recently added a Starbucks inside. As a reward for being such a good little shopper, I always get a small...excuse me...TALL coffee. Though I love their mocha frappucinos so much I should marry them, I dutifully get a regular old coffee. Mocha fraps are expensive and fattening.

Pam was heavy on my mind as I checked out with my groceries. I pushed my cart towards Starbucks and realized I wasn't in the mood for coffee today. I headed for the door. And then out of nowhere, I stopped and knew I had to buy a Mocha Frappucino. "What are you saving it for?" I thought.

I got the works: whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top. When the barista handed it to me, I silently toasted Pam. I smiled to myself and vowed to make more of an effort to enjoy however many days I have on this earth. I know from the many talks Pam and I had that if she could, she would say to me, "Life is too short. Live a little!"

I'll miss her.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nothing Happens For A Reason

It makes me crazy when people say that everything happens for a reason. How does it possibly make sense when a child is murdered or a church full of people is struck by a tornado? When Christopher Reeves' wife died I decided once and for all that life's events are random. Their son was only thirteen at the time and he had already lost his Dad. He needed his Mom. Senseless!

I found out today that my neighbor's cancer has spread throughout her body. Though we all have been hopeful and were thrilled to hear two weeks ago that her tumors were shrinking, today all hope is gone. She's dying.

She's 54 and has a husband and a 15 year old son. They're devastated. During one of my visits to see her when we first found out about the cancer she told me she didn't want to leave her boys (her husband and her son). I said, "That's not going to happen." She looked me in the eye and said, "But it could." And now it is.

What do you say to someone who's losing his wife? How do you comfort a child who's losing his Mom? I will never say to them that everything happens for a reason. I'm not sure I can tell them that I'll pray for them, either. What would be the point? There's nobody there to listen.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bruce Sprinsteen Live in Barcelona

I watched a bit of "Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band Live in Barcelona" today on palladia, a music channel from MTV Networks. You feel a certain connection to Bruce when you're from Long Island, even though he's a Jersey boy. I guess it's because both areas are outside NY City and you grow up street-wise and cool, even if you're a dork like me.

When I was a kid, it seemed every new house came with a basement, a yard and a copy of "Born To Run." EVERYBODY went to see The Boss in concert at The Nassau Coliseum or Madison Square Garden. Everybody except me. My friends got to go with an older sibling and came to school the next day with a T-shirt from the show. I never seemed to have the money or a ride.

Well, I'm finally going to see the man in concert for myself. Tickets went on sale last weekend for a show here in Houston and I punched in seconds after the designated time. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have seats on the floor.

*angels singing*

The show's in March. I'll tell you all about it. Maybe it'll go a little something like this:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Hate My Life

Do you ever have one of those days where you hate everything about yourself? I had that kind of day today. I don't even know why that feeling washed over me, but it hit me when I left the house to run some errands.

My hair didn't come out right, my jeans were too tight and even though I had put on a bit of make-up,. it didn't "take." Blah. Not only that, but I feel as if I'm not getting anything done around the house. I suck.

Here's a video that has about every bad word yo momma told you not to say, so be warned!! Hope it doesn't offend anybody, but I think parts of it are funny.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Confession Time

(Why does Bret Michaels look like a wax figure in this photo?)

I love Rock of Love Bus. I know, it's completely ridiculous. I don't for a minute think anything about it is real (except maybe the breasts. haha!), but Bret Michaels has a certain appeal. He's smart, funny and well spoken. He makes the show as believable as it can be.

I'd like to know where they found these women. I've never seen anything like them in my world. I wouldn't be surprised if the producers found them all in the files of a plastic surgeon's office. Perhaps there was a BIG sale on implants. You know, buy one, get one free. Every woman's breasts are so big and so high on this show, I'm surprised they don't suffocate.

The only girl I really like is Beverly because she seems the most normal.

Maybe she'll win. Nah, probably not. Normal don't bring in the viewers.

But the scary chick who supposedly slept with Bret on the last show will lose fer sure.

Why do I think that? Because right now it looks like she's the favorite. So, in keeping with the tried and true reality TV format, she's got to go.

Here's a little taste of what you're missing if you're not watching this oddly entertaining show: