Friday, August 31, 2007

Hey, did I ever tell you about Lollapalooza???


Well, our whole family bought tickets to Lollapalooza, a weekend outdoor concert festival in Chicago, remember? Well, unfortunately I got a job, so of course I couldn't go. But the rest of them went.

I would have had a great time, I'm sure. It was a very artistic weekend, as you can see from these pictures.
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There were bands all weekend.

Frank even wrote a poem about it. Yes, HUSBAND Frank. I'm pretty sure he didn't expect me to post it, but I really liked it, so tough. This is it:

Festival grass flattened by the masses
flip flops crisscross a field of blankets
Beer putting smiles on everyone's face
Strangers share music then go on their way

Contrast of trees against glass buildings
Gravel dust and mud corralled in by asphalt
Tattoos matching tee shirts reinforce the commitment
Visual advertisments for audible preferences

Two dance in a puddle as if they're alone
Hundreds look on observing the show
Arms pump skyward in time with the beat
Bare legs point downward to shuffling feet

So many different bands, so many different sounds
a patchwork of blankets covering the ground
Some listen intently, only background for some
Conversations begin with where are you from?

Stage lights blink fast, unnatural colors
Revealing other faces just for a moment
Crunchy guitar sounds cut the summer air
The drummer sings wildly; uncontrollable hair

Thousands sing lyrics from the same famous song
Sweaty guys and dirty girls, they all get along
The stage is the hub of harmony, not even one fight
Punctuated with fireworks in the sky of the night

Plastic monoliths lined up in a row
Indescribable smell as they all overflow
Lines form to enter the nickname named john
Their importance increases as the night time wears on

At the end of the day, thousands clear out
Empty cups and lost sandals scattered about
Recycling signs abound, most intentions are good
The field sprouts with plastic, they misunderstood

End of night exit, the cops shut the streets
The army marches out in their souvenir tees
Walking and talking about who was their favorite
Amazing experience, take time to savor it
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Say Hi to Al.

Al took my place, since I had to work.
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Al was into some serious photography.

He has a major camera and he was working on some very artistic shots.
Nick really got into photography, too, and Al gave him a few tips. Al is also the person who took most of the photos, because he wanted to bring the camera, and I guess Frank didn't want to. Since Al was taking Black and White, we have more black and white photos than color; but it gives everything a very cool look.
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Nick at a cheap hotel in Chicago -

-- a study in black and white. Copyright Al.
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The crowd at Lolla -- many, many stages

Frank said that everyone was in a great mood. No one was pushy or nasty or anything, everyone was just thrilled to be there -- kinda like the summer of love or something. Lots of people, though, huh? See the Sears tower in the background?
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The boys at the show

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Pearl Jam Rocks...

... here is the view from the cheap seats. Ok, there really were no seats. They enjoyed it, though. But I may have enjoyed it more, because I was watching the video download on line, and I was MUCH closer to the screen than they were to the stage.
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Some of the Rafting Photos, Finally!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ok, Mom SENT the pix.

I just haven't had time to update. Not to mention that I have computer issues AGAIN, or should I say STILL.

I'm GONNA, though!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Camping weekend... (but no pictures yet, sorry!) -- MOM - SEND PIX!!!

So we went camping this weekend. It was a great trip and a horrible trip at the same time. Isn't it always? If you camp, you may know what I mean. So many great camping experiences are really hard to get through while they are happening, but are great looking back at. At least, that's the way I've always experienced them. Those really hard trips become especially memorable because of the difficulty.

I can't really figure out why it is that I like to camp. I think maybe it's something in my nature to be opposite of most people, to not like what other people like, just out of spite or something. Like Coach bags. I really COULD like Coach bags, probably, I just don't -- on principle. Too many people around here have them and spend too much money on them for me to want one.

I love camping just out of spite because so many other people hate it, and I'm able to handle it. There aren't many things that are difficult for (many) people that I actually enjoy. Especially if it calls for exercise or hard work or discomfort. And yet, I love to camp. I don't understand why, myself. I don't even like to sit out in my backyard and read on a beautiful spring day. I hate bugs. Pollen drives me out of my mind. So why do I like to camp?

So this camping trip was one I'd been waiting for, for a long time. We went back to the scene of our youth. As an older teen and twenty-something, I used to go with Frank to Dot and Charlie's house in Narrowsburg. Jimmy and Laura would come along, and assorted other people. And sometimes we would stay at Dot and Charlie's, but sometimes we would stay at Bob Landers Campground, and camp and raft.

This was the first time we'd take our children rafting. I don't know why we've waited so long to take them rafting, because it's a great trip for kids, but we never got around to it before.

We invited a bunch of people, and ended up with a good sized group. My family of four, Jimmy and his son James -- Laura didn't make it, or Tara; Ray and his boys, (but Marisa's not that into camping, so she stayed home), Booth -- who's Frankie's friend from Boy Scouts -- asked his God Father to bring him; and I invited my Mom and Dad, who even though they are in their 60's are still very young and are willing to camp. And they know HOW to camp, so they can make themselves reasonably comfortable, which is good. And they don't complain much, which is also good. And they brought my nephew William. (Which is really the only reason they decided to come.)

My Mom and I don't do boats. (Like I said -- alot of things make me uncomfortable, and so I don't do them. Mom and I both get seasick on rocking chairs. We've gotten seasick watching a boat on TV. For real, I'm not kidding.) So the raft wasn't the reason I was there. To get on a boat, I would have to take enough dramamine to make myself sleep through most of the trip, and it just isn't worth it. So Mom and I didn't go.

We went shopping to an antique store, then had a lovely lunch at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and then picked up food for dinner. Then, we went back to the campsite to read our books and wait for the boys to come back down the river, right past our campsite.

When they floated up to the site, after some hours on the river, you could see they had a great time. Mom took some great photos (which I hope she sends me because I'd like to post them!) They had three rafts and tied them all together, and the boys all jumped in and out of the rafts and swam all day...

OK, so that was all the good stuff. And the weather was great, although it was hot as anything, and the company was very pleasant, everyone got along great, and the food was great, and the campfire was great, and no one got injured.

What was the horrible part???

When we were young, we used to come to this campground and party all night. We blasted our music and screamed and laughed. (well, everyone else in our group did, especially Frank. I usually drank a little and got sleepy and went to bed and listened to them scream all night.)

So now that we are old, why should I have been surprised that the campground was still frequented by people who like to party all night long?

Apparently, one of the people in the site next to us was a DJ, because he had an amazing sound system and tons of music. It was like being in a club. Your ears almost hurt to listen to it. I kept thinking that they would HAVE to go to bed EVENTUALLY. (Apparently, I was wrong.)

At 3:00 AM on Friday night, it was really getting aggravating. I didn't HATE the music, but I was pretty tired -- and a bit embarassed that my friends and family, who came on this trip that I had planned, had to put up with the neighbors being SO LOUD. (I was glad that my Mom had thought to bring earplugs, so she was a bit less disturbed -- but actually, she said she could hear the music right through the plugs.)

They finally settled down at 4 AM after one of the guys in our group went over and said something.

Saturday night, it was the same thing. 10:30, I couldn't take it anymore, and I went to complain to the office. I felt aggravated, guilty and hypocritical, and afraid that the neighboring group -- after drinking so long -- would act stupid and fight with us or something. But I complained anyway.

After 11:30, campground security started yelling at them, and after several warnings, I think they finally moved the party to a different location so we could sleep. But all night long, I worried that they were going to be so mad at us that they would retaliate or something. So I didn't sleep anyway.

So that's my camping story for this weekend. I hope to follow it up with some good photos if Mom reads this post and sends them to me...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

6:00 AM is just too early.

My alarm clock rings at 6:00 AM. Then again at 6:10 AM. It is a nasty sound and isn't pleasant. I have to get up and go to work. It takes me until 6:15 before I can drag myself out from under the covers. Then, I wander downstairs and lay on the couch until my tea is boiled... I can't hop right in the shower, because I know from past experience that I will fall back asleep standing there.

I like work fine, but I hate waking up! And to make it even worse, these are the summer hours... I don't have to start until 8:00 AM. Starting September 4, I have to be there by 7:00 AM. Which means getting out of bed at 6:15 isn't going to work!

And I've tried going to bed earlier over the last few days. That hasn't been helping either!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nothing really to say.

No, really, I have nothing much to say at all.

I've gotten a job and that's been keeping me busy. Yes, I really like it. My plan is to make like a barnacle and stick there for the next 25 years or so, so I can retire with a pension. It's a good job with nice people and reasonable responsibility.

Since I got a job, and since I went to the psychic that Sandi goes to and she told me I should do more for myself, I've gone out and gotten myself an Ipod and joined a place to work out. Which I do almost every day... which hasn't helped my weight even slightly. But, whatever. I'm enjoying it, it's peaceful and it's a good thing.

I've been having a good summer, all in all. But I can feel it slipping away. Fall is on the horizon!