Saturday, October 11, 2008

Autumn in the air

  • So many people think spring is the season of love. For me, it is autumn. It's the perfect time to be with someone special.
  • I dug out a James Ingram today before I hit the road for some errands. Good, good stuff. Soul touching. Amazing what music can bring out in you.
  • Speaking of music, I came home with new Keith Urban and Allison Krauss CDs today. Can't wait to pop the plastic on those, but I promised myself Carole King while I clean house.
  • For what it's worth, I feel like my soul will suffocate if I don't see mountains NOW. Maybe I can wait until tomorrow. But the mountains -- that's where my spirit sings and the depths of my being are touched like no other. How did I end up living two hours away from my heartland?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tonight....Let it be Lowenbrau

Didn't you just love that jingle? I don't drink beer, never have, and certainly the beer drinkers I know don't drink Lowenbrau. But I remember it from the 80s, that earthy voice singing,

Here's to good friends,
Tonight is kind of special.
The beer we'll pour
must say something more, somehow.
So tonight (tonight),
Let it be Löwenbräu (let it be Löwenbräu).
It's been so long.
Hey, I'm glad to see ya.
Raise your glass.
Here's to health and happiness.
So tonight (tonight),
Let it be all the best.
I had been thinking that I need to make a list of the ones I've seen, for myself. It's getting to the point where I can't remember them all, so I'm sure I'll have to pop back in and add to this later. The first one is listed here only for the sake of honesty. The music definitely improves after that.
  • Ozzie Osbourne
  • Heart
  • Bryan Adams
  • Reba McEntire
  • Rod Stewart (twice)
  • Elton John (twice)
  • Paul McCartney (twice)
  • Aerosmith
  • The Eagles
  • Earl Klugh (not a typical concert, but definitely worthy of a mention)
  • Kenny Chesney (twice, including Keith Urban)
  • Alabama
  • Van Halen
  • Eric Clapton
  • Barry Manilow
  • Boston
  • The Bangles
  • KISS
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Robert Plant & Jimmy Page
  • Mercy Me & Michael W. Smith
  • Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Billy Joel
  • Billy Joel AND Elton John, together
  • Jimmy Buffett
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Huey Lewis (free tickets; no, I would not have paid)
Some other notable events that weren't concerts
  • Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evert in a tennis match (I've never cared for tennis but did want to take advantage of that opportunity -- it was not a disappointment)
  • The Boston Celtics with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, et al in 1989
  • Being kissed by Richard Petty at an autograph signing event

Election Day 2008 & Other Miscellaneous Neuron-to-Dendrite Connections

Well, I guess I can go back to McDonald's now. We haven't eaten there since when, May? Wasn't really that much of a loss, honestly. The biggest way it affected us was on Sunday mornings, since we always at there just before church. We just exchanged it for Mrs. Winner's instead, but McD's is more convenient, so I guess our normal Sunday-morning routine can be re-established.

I went to vote today. Thought I was being brilliant, getting it out of the way early so I wouldn't have to a) stand in a long line on November 4th, or 2) get up too early to avoid standing in a long line on November 4th. I pulled into the parking lot at our county elections office and was stunned. There must have been 150 people in line in the parking lot! Amazing. I really didn't feel like staying, being sicky and all, but I did. I thought about the brave men throughout history who have given everything for this country, and I realized yes, I CAN stand out here for as long as it takes. From out of the car to back into the car was about an hour, so it wasn't horrible. That's probably the longest I've ever waited, though, so it was a good time for people watching. I find it fascinating to study people in election lines and see if I can figure out who they're voting for. Of course, this year it may be easier to break them into groups just by looking, but I'm sure there are some who would fool me either way. I saw Sonny of Sonny's Service Center. No, I don't now him, but he had his name on his coveralls. I feel pretty certain that a man who owns his own small business sees a lot of issues the same way I do.

And I have to admit I felt pretty good about things standing out there today. Come the evening of November 4th (or shortly thereafter, Lord willing), one group is going to be very happy and the other group is going to be very distraught. But, you know what? I have seen pictures and videos of "elections" in other countries where blood is spilled when people vote. There are nations that don't have the privilege of choosing a leader. There are cultures where a woman couldn't drive somewhere to vote. So, in light of all those things, I felt pretty good about it all. Our system isn't perfect and isn't necessarily beautiful, but it's ours and I'm proud to be an American.

OK, having waxed patriotic...I have to wonder -- why is it that the myriad unavoidable reports of voter registration fraud that I read are always associated with Democrats and liberals? Seriously. That is frustrating to me. This ACORN stuff is getting crazy.

And I guess the economic crunch is hitting everywhere. I stopped at Sears today to buy some new jeans for my girlie. I guess two years' worth of wear out of her last ones isn't bad. Anyway, the mall was practically deserted and there was ONE cash register staffed on the whole upper level. There were a few workers out on the floor, but I was in line for ten minutes before one felt compelled to come help us out.

Anyway, that experience led me, in a very circuitous manner, to think about a flair button on my Facebook account. It says, "SARCASM: The body's natural defense against stupid." Yes, I know, I'm Christian and lovey and tolerant of people's faults, but that doesn't mean people don't still say stupid things that make my teeth bleed. I bought three pairs of jeans and (gasp!) wrote a check. Of course I had to pull out my driver's license. The cashier looked at it for a minute, then asked, "Is this your ID?" I just stood there, looked at her, and smiled what was probably a ridiculously goofy grin as I contemplated...."No, I saw a woman in the parking lot who looked just like me, and I thought it would be a good idea to use her ID instead of mine, so I hit her over the head with a tire iron, swiped her ID out of her bag, and am using it to present a check that, oddly enough, also has her name on it." The next candidate for a response was, "Pretty good for PhotoShop & Contact paper, don't you think?" Instead, I corralled my decorum and replied a hum-drum, "Yes." And that was that. Here's your sign...

What else...oh, THANKS A LOT to a friend who got me hyped up to see "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and I realize there's not a copy to be had within a country mile of here. No, I don't know why I hadn't bought it already, but it's nary to be purchased or rented anywhere that I checked today, so I sit at home in a frustrated funk. It's okay, I still love ya, bud. :-)

"We thought you was a toad!"