Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wordless Wednesday #1

Image©Anne Geddes

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Meeting the Maestro

I love music, I love attending live theater and concerts and I love the Boston Pops which heralds the arrival of spring in Boston every year! This week I went to the Pops; the program that night was Classical Countdown - Fiedler's Greatest Hits. Being there was as enjoyable as it has been in the past, but this evening held a special ending for me!

I have had a major crush (blushing) on the conductor, Keith Lockhart, since he picked up his baton as the conducter of the Pops in 1995, when he replaced John Williams. He is so talented, so energetic and so very, very easy on the eyes! When the concert was over, I asked if Mr. Lockhart could sign my program. To my amazement, an usher told my date and I to go stand by the inside stage door. A few minutes later, a young man opened that door and I asked if I could meet Keith so he could sign my program; he told me and a few other people who had congregated there to wait and he'd see what he could do. Not long after, he opened the door and told us to go upstairs. We climbed up a long, narrow, winding staircase and to my amazement we were about to enter the inner sanctum! Another gentleman ushered us into an office with comfy chairs and sofas and there he was in the flesh!!! Keith Lockhart!!! Be still my heart!!! I have met other celebrities in the past, not just locally known, but never before had my heart been beating so hard nor had I been flush with this kind of excitement! I felt like I was tripping over my words while gushing accolades at the same time. He is a genuinly nice man and even more adorable in person ... and yes, he did personally autograph my program which I will treasure!

Apperently, I'm not the only one who feels this way about Lockhart. Here's an exerpt from an article in "Lockhart is the boy wonder of the music world. In 1995, at the age of 35, he was named conductor of the Boston Pops, the world-famous orchestra that has blended orchestral music with pop for some 117 years. Compared to most conductors, he was a kid. About two years later he was named director of the Utah Symphony. In Boston, he has attained a certain rock-star status. His face appears on T-shirts, coffee mugs, postcards, city buses, TV and radio shows. Women have been known to scream when he takes the stage. He is stopped for autographs on the street. Attendance soared to an all-time record when he took over the Pops. His often-noted charisma and youthful good looks - people tell him he reminds them of actor Hugh Grant - along with his position as conductor of the beloved Pops, have made him a popular figure in Boston."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Oh, Puh-leeze!!! Big Brother!!!

Congress Demands Phone Records Answers

Congressional Republicans and Democrats demanded answers from the Bush administration Thursday about a government spy agency secretly collecting records of ordinary Americans' phone calls to build a database of every call made within the country.

Personally, I don't think this should be happening!!!

For full text of the article, click here

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My Strangest Job?

Years and years and years ago, when I was still in college, I had the weirdest summer job working on an assembly line in a meat processing plant. Picture the "I Love Lucy" episode where Lucy and Ethel worked in a candy factory and the conveyer belt kept speeding up with hilarious results. Well, my job description at the plant was to pick up 3 or 4 knockwurst at a time from the conveyer belt with one hand, hold a plastic bag open with the other hand, stuff the knockwurst into the bag and place the filled bag back onto the conveyer belt. From there, it traveled to the end of the line where it was vacuum-sealed and placed in a box. Believe me, if they didn't pay an outstanding hourly wage, I would have never tried this job!

My first (and only) day there, it was 96 degrees outside and I walked into a 40-degree packing room at the plant. I had many layers of clothing on and I was still freezing! Of course my hands and fingers weren't nimble due to the cold. Then the products started to roll down the line. I sure was having trouble grabbing 4 knockwurst with one hand and OOPS, one got away! It traveled down the belt past 4 other employees and just before it fell onto the floor, my supervisor grabbed it, waved it in the air and asked in a very authoritative tone, "Who lost this?" I thought I was going to die from holding in my laughter. I sheepishly owned up to my incompetence at my new task and thankfully, coffee break arrived a few minutes later. Everyone bolted out of the plant (we had a 12 minute break) to a waiting canteen truck to grab a coffee. A very nice lady came over to me and asked if I was new there. "Yes, I'm new", I said. Then she asked, "What department do you work in?” Honestly, I had no clue! A fellow worker who overheard our exchange came to my aid and said "She's in Knockwurst" (ah, at last I learned my department’s name! *LOL*) The woman put out her hand to greet me with a handshake and said, "Hi, I'm Cathy and I work in 'Ham and Bacon'. It's a much better department because we get out of work 1/2 hour earlier than 'Knockwurst'. I thought I was going to PMP!

P.S. I found a more suitable job the next day and it took me a long time before I could eat a hot dog again.

Friday, May 05, 2006

So Proud of My Niece

I am blessed to have nine nieces and nephews, all very special in their own way. I received a letter from one of them today as follows:

Dear Friends and Family,

On Saturday June 17, 2006 I will be participating in the Cure for Autism Walk. This walk is to help raise awareness and also to help find a cure for this puzzling disease. I'm doing this walk for personal reasons. My younger brother who's 19 is Autistic, he's also non-verbal. He was diagnosed with Autism at age 2 ½. He is a very special person in my life and I want to help find a cure for him and all the other children with Autism. Every 21 minutes another child is diagnosed with Autism. Race, ethnicity and cultural background are not factors in these statistics. More and more cases of Autism are appearing each year and with the help of awareness and money we can fund more research to pinpoint the cause of this disability. Donations are greatly appreciated and your generosity won't go un-noticed. If anyone would like to walk on my team or donate please let me know. Thank you.

I'm very proud of her for walking for her brother and my nephew!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #1

This is my first TT and I thought I'd share a question I've had for a long time. What does Queen Elizabeth II carry in her pocketbook? I think she even carries one while wearing her crown, most definitely a fashion faux-pas! Here are my guesses as to what may be in her purse ... what do you think is in there?

Thirteen Things in Queen Elizabeth's Pocketbook?
1. Keys to the Tower of London.
2. A polishing cloth for her crown.
3. A crumpet for sudden hunger attacks.
5. Extra hatpins. (Oy! Those hats!)
4. Carrots for her horses.
6. Treats for her dogs.
7. A small fire extinguisher for stays at Windsor Castle.
8. A mini-sword in case she decides to "knight" someone on the spot.
9. A can of Royal Crown Cola.
10. A map of Buckingham Palace so she won't get lost in there.
11. A tube of Maybelline "Royal Red" lipstick.
12. Stamps with her own likeness, of course.
13. A Blackberry to check her e-mail. You can write to the Queen through her website.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!