Saturday, May 9, 2009


Whew, sorry about the late entry, but after getting home this morning, I spent some time getting caught up on reading blogs, then we had a family get-together this afternoon. This evening, we've both been catching up on more blog reading, and I just got my pictures edited. I thought about a little nap, but I think I've caught my second wind. I have a feeling I'm going to sleep like a baby rock tonight, though!

Dinner at Tippecanoe Place went wonderfully, and we got very positive feedback from the conference attendees. My Ahi Tuna was cooked perfectly, nice and pink in the middle, and with a delicious smoky flavor. Ken's Beef Tenderloin was also delicious and very tender, with a sherry sauce. The wines were good, although the white was a little sweet, but everyone really raved about the desserts: a Chocolate Decadence cake (very intense chocolate), deep dish pecan pie, and an apricot tart that had such a good flavor. I will be writing to Katie and telling her what a wonderful job they did, and what a great impression of South Bend they gave to the out-of-towners!

I'll put some random pictures in here of Tippecanoe Place, just so you can see the beautiful woodwork that is throughout the place, and make additional comments if warranted. The room where we ate, above, is the original dining room. Tippecanoe Place remains one of my favorite places in town, for its history as well as its beauty. It was built in 1889 by Clement Studebaker, one of the five brothers who started the Studebaker company (which began as a blacksmith shop). The mansion is 26,000 square feet (2,400 square meters). It is a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Its name probably comes from the campaign slogan of President William Henry Harrison: "Tippecanoe and Tyler too!"

I love the big staircase! Look at that beautiful wood!

Clement Studebaker died at the age of 70 in his South Bend home. He died in Tippecanoe Place! I wonder if he haunts the place? It's been a very successful restaurant for many years now, and I'm sure there's usually so much activity that Clement's specter would go unnoticed. But if someone were working late at night, after everyone else had gone home, and the mansion settled into silence...who knows what they might see? Or hear...what if the old elevator were to begin running when no one had started it? Oooo, scary!

Left to right, the ballroom, the lobby, and a lounge in the women’s bathroom, apparently in case a lady feels faint and needs to recline for a moment!

Beth at Club Lasalle After dinner, a group of us headed down the street to Club Lasalle, the cigar bar. It was Martooni time, and I had a Limelight (okay, I had two), which has Citron vodka and Midori Liqueur. Mmm, tasty--and a lovely shade of almost fluorescent green! I also indulged in a small, mild cigar. Since you don't inhale a cigar, I felt okay about having one, and it's a very rare occurrence, anyway. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and have no desire to take up smoking again! A very nice bunch of people, and quite interesting. Several people from Canada, including one from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan! A guy who is on the board with Ken in the local chapter, and who is originally from Mexico City. A guy originally from Jamaica, and wouldn't it be cool to have an accent that made you sound almost as if you were singing when you spoke? I love a Jamaican accent. A guy from Chicago who was sort of a typical tough Chicago guy, and really nice and funny. A guy from Bloomington, Illinois who I talked to about Route 66, since Bloomington is right on the Route. Just really enjoyable and fun people, and I think they all had a nice time.

Club Lasalle2 I felt quite proud to be from South Bend, as I think everyone we dealt with did a very good job. It's always interesting to see your town through the eyes of someone from different places, and it was nice to know a little Studebaker history as we looked at the rooms in the mansion. Oh, and as we were walking from the restaurant to the bar, the fireworks at the minor league baseball stadium began! Ken told everyone that he'd ordered the fireworks up just for them. Ha!

A very pleasant night, although I think we're happy to have it behind us. Now we can just think about the big move in a couple of weeks. Yikes! I think I'll pull a Scarlett and say I'll think about that tomorrow!

Speaking of tomorrow..."Star Trek!" Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Friday, May 8, 2009

“Standin’ on the corner, waitin’ for my hair to dry…”

Sing that to the tune of "Standing on the Corner." Ha!

I'm pretty much ready to head downtown for our dinner tonight, just letting my hair dry a little more. (I can't stand to use blow dryers...I can hear my poor little strands of hair screaming in pain as I heat them to death.) I even put on mascara, although I haven't used it for years. I discovered something. When you get to the point where you need bifocals, it's really hard to see those tiny bottom lashes. I think I managed to end up without big clumps! So as soon as I'm a little more dry, I'll head out. Oh, I think I'll put some pants on, too. I'm so traditional that way.

Ken called a little bit ago, and it sounds like they might finish up a little early, so we'll meet some people at the Irish pub, Sean O'Casey's (Or as Ken called it, Finnegan's. Huh?) I foresee a Blue Moon in my near future! Then we'll walk down to the restaurant. The weather is cooperating so far, and I hope the rain will hold off until we get back to the hotel tonight.

I'm looking forward to a yummy dinner--I'm getting the Ahi Tuna, one of my favorites, and surprisingly, that's what the majority of attendees picked! Ken is having the tenderloin. I'm sad I won't be able to get my favorite appetizer there, escargot (butter and garlic...what's not to like?), but we're doing buffet-style appetizers, and then a sit-down dinner. I have my camera ready, so I hope to get some great pictures of this beautiful place, and I'll tell you a little of the history, too.

I don't think I'll be back on until tomorrow, so catch ya on the flip side!

We have a winner!

Silver Squirrel Award Boy, that was fast!

Good job, Jamie, you're the latest winner of the Silver Squirrel award, with your correct answer that "Australia Australia Australia, we love ya!" is from a Monty Python skit. Specifically, the Bruces skit, AKA the Philosophers song skit.

This remains one of my favorites, and it shows just how clever and intelligent the Pythons were and are. I can't hear a mention of one of these philosophers without this song going through my head. Lyrics first, then video. I hope you'll join in and sing along--it's a very catchy tune!

The Philosophers Song

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table
David Hume could out-consume
Schopenhauer and Hegel
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'Bout the raising of the wrist
Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
With half a pint of shandy was particularly ill
Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram
And René Descartes was a drunken fart
"I drink, therefore I am"

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Australia Australia Australia, we love ya!

A Silver Squirrel to the first one who rings in with the source of that reference!

I'm not sure what made me think of this song, but it remains one of my favorites from the 80's, and one of the classic MTV videos (when MTV still played videos). This was sort of INXS's first American breakthrough from the album "Shabooh Shoobah," but they didn't hit it really big here until the album "Listen Like Thieves," with the song "What You Need," and even bigger with the album "Kick" and the songs "New Sensation," "Devil Inside," and "Need You Tonight."

I got to see INXS on the Kick tour, and it's one of the best concerts I've seen. It's been said that Michael Hutchence had a Jagger swagger, but I always thought he moved more like Jim Morrison, and that's who he reminded me of. I was very sad when he died, because he had so much talent and so many good years ahead of him. He took the phrase "die young and leave a good-looking corpse" to heart, and I'm so sorry that he did. R.I.P., Michael.

The One Thing

Well you know just what you do to me
The way you move soft and slippery
Cut the night just like a razor
Rarely talk and that's the danger

It's the one thing
You are my thing

You know your voice is a love song
It's a cat call from the past
There's no ice in your lover's walk
You don't look twice 'cause you move so fast

It's the one thing
You are my thing

You've got a dozen men behind you
You've got dead flowers on the floor
You're too pretty in the daylight
It keeps them coming back for more

It's the one thing
You are my thing
It's the one thing
You are my thing
It's the one thing
You are my thing

Happy as a little girl

Apple blossom Ahhh, what a gorgeous day it ended up being! Gloomy this morning, but the afternoon brightened up, and I was able to sit out on the deck for a bit. I also took care of switching out my summer and winter clothes, and I'm looking forward to wearing summer stuff soon.

I'm batchin' it tonight, as Ken is downtown for his convention. It sounds like it's going well so far, but he's pretty busy since he's basically the host. I'll head up tomorrow evening for dinner, and stay up there. We haven't decided if we'll go for the cigar bar, or the Irish pub, after dinner. I think we're leaning towards the cigar bar, because they have some cool jazz on the weekends. Should be a fun evening!

Although I'm on my own tonight, I decided not to do the traditional Ken-on-a-business-trip Eggplant Parmigiana. It's only for one night, so I'll wait until he's gone for a little longer. I'll go with another thing he's not fond of, creamy pasta salad.

Saturday will be a family get-together for various birthdays and Mother's Day. Sunday will be the new Star Trek movie, with an afternoon matinee. I am really looking forward to it. I'm starting to hear good things, and a friend of our British friend Simon got to see it early, and enjoyed it. Apparently the guy playing the young Spock is just perfect for the role, and in the previews I've seen, Chris Pine does a pretty good young Kirk--a brash, cocky womanizer. In the scene I saw, he tries to pick up Uhura in a bar. Ha! I might have to do another ode to Star Trek at some point.

Now, since it's just me and the cat tonight, let's see what kind of trouble I can get into. Heh!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It’s a free for all!

The infighting continues among the GOP, with some attempting to jockey into a position of front-runner for 2012, others trying to inject a calm voice of reason into the debate...and then there's Limbaugh. Sort of like "And then there's Maude!" Wouldn't you love to see how Maude would have dealt with Limbaugh? What a comedic goldmine that would have been! But I digress.

The latest brouhaha started with Mitt Romney commenting on only two Republicans appearing in Time's 100 most influential people in the world: Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. He tried to make some joke about how maybe it was really a list of the most beautiful people rather than most influential. Silly Mitt. Obviously not, since Limbaugh is on the list! Many Palin supporters took offense at that, thinking that he was being dismissive of her qualifications. Silly Palin supporters. What qualifications? [grin] So a group of Palin supporters came out with this video:

I had seen it earlier yesterday, and when Ken saw it last night, we both started laughing. Not at the video, but at the continued snarky infighting going on in the GOP. But wait, there's more!

Colin Powell spoke Monday about the problems the GOP is facing, and believes that one of them is Limbaugh. "I think what Rush does as an entertainer diminishes the party and intrudes or inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that we would be better to do without." Limbaugh fired back today (surprise, surprise), calling Powell "just another liberal," and stating again that Powell's endorsement of Obama was about nothing more than race. He said, "He’s just mad at me because I’m the one person in the country who had the guts to explain [the endorsement]. There can be no other explanation for it." He suggested that Powell leave the Republican party and become a Democrat.

A few things here.

This sort of fighting amongst themselves is very unattractive. While Ken and I laughed about it, we also agreed that it's exactly this sort of thing that made us stop calling ourselves Republicans, and why we'll switch our affiliation to Independent. While I had made up my mind a while before the election about who I would vote for, Ken's ultimate deciding point was the nasty turn that the McCain campaign took at the end, especially Palin's attack dog tactics. I know some will disagree, but I believe that instead of offering real solutions and plans, their primary campaign platform was to tear down the opposition and paint them as bad people and scary characters. When I see that sort of behavior, it really turns me off, and I much prefer hearing someone clearly articulate their plans and refrain from character attacks.

GOP Road to recovery In that light, Colin Powell is completely correct. I believe that the majority of people are like us in not enjoying such unseemly attacks, and I also completely disagree with their social platform, which I find horribly exclusive and discriminatory--that's another reason they lost me. The fact is that only 21% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans now. They certainly lost me and Ken in this last election, and it would seem obvious (it's certainly obvious to me) that what they're doing isn't working. What don't people like Limbaugh get about that?

As for Limbaugh, his remark that Powell's endorsement of Obama was about nothing more than race is offensive and completely unfair to General Powell. It implies that Powell is neither intelligent enough or impartial enough to make an informed decision, that he voted for Obama only because he's black. Obama wouldn't have been elected without a significant number of white votes, so that's a stupid argument. Also another reason why the GOP is hemorrhaging members. Being so dismissive of an obviously intelligent, decorated member of the military--who also happens to be black--would seem imprudent, don't you think? Suggesting that they leave the party seems even more foolish. I suspect that Limbaugh won't be satisfied until everyone who is still left in the party (after he gets done with his exclusionary tactics) is in complete goosestep with him. Yeah...good luck with that.

In honor of the GOP's free for all, here's the Motor City Madman himself, Ted Nugent, in his gonzo glory days. I believe Ted is quite the conservative, so this seems especially fitting...just like Ted's pants. Nuge is a little crazy, but he's one of my favorite guitarists!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who really does this stuff?

I got some deck time in today before the clouds rolled in, and all limbs are intact after dealing with Mr. Lounge Chair. He seems to be a little tamer now, after being beaten into submission two days in a row. Hey, torture does work! At least when it comes to lounge chairs, rather than human beings.

We also scoped out the available apartments at the complex and called Ken's Mom to get her input, then put down a deposit and got their new address! She loved the pictures we sent, and is apparently very preoccupied with trying to figure out how she wants to arrange things. Ken just got off the phone with her and she said she only got about four hours of sleep last night because she was arranging furniture in her head. Bless her heart! I told Ken that I hope she doesn't stress over this, but it does show that she's excited about the move and ready to be up here. I'm so glad we found a place that we believe they'll enjoy.

When we were looking at one of the buildings, an older lady in the facing building poked her head out the door and asked if we were looking to rent, and did we want to see her place? We explained that we had already seen the inside, and were just checking the building locations. She said something about the robin that was in her yard, that she was nesting, and as we thanked her and walked away, we could hear her talking to the robin! I was taking notes on the buildings, and I noted: "nice front yard, nice neighbor." I can totally see Ken's Mom and stepdad making friends with this nice lady!

Girls Night In As I was sitting out on the deck today, I was reading a Woman's Day magazine. There was a blurb in there about how to have a great girls' night in. As I was reading it, I thought, seriously? Who does this junk? Here are the suggestions for this exciting little slumber party for "big girls," with my commentary in…let’s go with maroon.

Have everyone bring preplanned ingredients, then divide into two teams and have a cook-off.

That's actually not a bad idea, and I can see how that would be fun, especially if you channeled the Iron Chef, spoke fake Japanese, and dramatically bit into a pepper or an apple.

Stock up on celebrity magazines so you can pore over the pages and debate who's sexier: Brad Pitt or George Clooney.

What the hell? First of all, everyone knows it's George Clooney. Secondly, I'm a little too long in the tooth to be pulling the Tiger Beat shtick. The thought of me and my friends getting together and swooning over celebrity magazines makes me laugh.

Grab a hairbrush for a microphone and belt out your favorite songs karaoke-style.

What the hell? No, this deserves a what the f***?! The day my friends hear me belt out a song into a hairbrush microphone is the day I lose all my friends. I care about them too much to ever subject them to such a horror.

Once in your pj's, play a few rounds of Truth or Dare, then pull out the board games. Revisit classics like Clue, Life, Trivial Pursuit, and Monopoly.

Yeah, I really want to play Truth or Dare with my friends. Since when did junior high become fun again? And what are the dares going to be? Laugh uncontrollably without peeing a little bit? Smile without showing your laugh lines? Would we all do facial masks and put makeup on each other? How is that fun for anyone my age?

You know, I love my friends, and they're wonderful and smart women, but I really don't want to have a sleepover with them. I enjoy meeting up with them, talking about what is happening with us and around the world, but do I really want to snuggle up in my jammies with them, pull a Waltons and say "Good night, Jillian. Good night, Aubrey?" No, I do not. I suspect my friends would not enjoy such a thing either, and I suppose that's why I like them as friends.

Good grief. That was the silliest thing thing I've read in a while, and thanks a lot, Woman's Day, for publishing such nonsense. I can't blame it on the magazine, because they merely published a short segment from a book called Girls Getaway Guide by Casey Wohl. I don't know what planet Wohl is living on...I definitely love a good laugh, but my days of giggly girlhood are long behind me. Besides, they didn't mention anything about alcohol. Get real!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Too nice to tweet

Redbud3 It was way too nice a day to sit in front of the computer, so I've done very little on here. I'll get around to everyone, but don't expect much in the way of comments! I didn't do much more with Twitter today, and have a feeling that I won't dive into it like I did blogging or Facebook. Maybe next winter, but not when it's a beautiful day!

After a little shopping and a few chores, I was finally able to use my new chair and sit out on the deck! It was even warm enough that I was able to put on the bikini I bought this morning. (I don't wear them when we're at the beach--I'm a boardshorts kinda gal--but if it's just me and the birds, I don't care.) I had a magazine and a cool amber beverage, and it was very pleasant. Once I got the chair set up, that is...I struggled for five minutes with the stupid thing, and I'm lucky it didn't fold up and bite my hand off. It's quite comfy, though, and I'm glad I got a couple of them. And don't worry, I didn't spend too long out there. I don't like to burn!

I won't feel right if I don't write something at least a little substantive, so I'll mention a Facebook discussion I incited started. I posted a story about how Faux News was whining that they didn't get called on to ask a question at the President's press conference the other night...the same press conference that Faux decided not to air, running "Lie to Me" instead. (I love the show, but I'd rather watch a press conference.) To every action there is a reaction, and to every decision there are consequences. For whatever reason, Fox (okay, I'll stop calling it Faux) chose not to air the press conference, despite the fact that the President had some important things to say about the flu outbreak. As a result of their decision, the President didn't call on any of their reporters. End of story, so stop whining.

My pal Dirk brought up the fact that CNN and other "mainstream media" outlets are far from "fair and balanced," as Fox claims to be, and their liberal bias is obvious. I can't really argue with that--I watch CNN and MSNBC, because they have a definite liberal slant. Not arguing is quite a breakthrough, because Dirk and I don't agree on much when it comes to politics! We agree to disagree. But the thing about CNN and MSNBC is that they don't have "fair and balanced" as their tagline. Everyone knows that they tend to lean to the left, although I find their actual reporting (as opposed to opinion shows) to be quite fair and balanced. For Fox to claim that they are "fair and balanced" is utterly laughable to me. They obviously can't stand the President, to the point where they didn't show his press conference, although it's considered to be part of networks' duties to show coverage of Presidential speeches and press conferences so that our populace can be informed.

Frankly, I think it was disrespectful, and a virtual "slap in the face" to the President. I'd say that the President issued a little smackdown of his own when he didn't call on any of Fox's reporters. And Fox has the nerve to whine about it? Cry me a river!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

So far, I prefer this sort of tweet

Oriole15 I like you, Oreo. Twitter, not so much!

I'm feeling the same way I felt when I joined Facebook...for the love of God, what have I done? But the allure of reading tweets from people like Sarah Palin (Did you know that wild Alaskan seafood can help combat world hunger?), John McCain (Did you know that he thinks closing the U.S./Mexico border might be necessary if the flu outbreak worsens? Hahaha!), and the lunatic fringe ramblings of people like Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich is just too strong to resist. The humor factor for me could be huge! Meghan McCain is hilarious...she was planning on having a Whopper at the airport Burger King, because that's the way she rolls...and she wrote "OMFG!" about a story she'd read. She’s pretty cool.

The plan is to not spend too much time on there (yeah, right...but I have been spending less time on Facebook, so it could happen), but it looks like it might be fun. You can find me under my screen name, Luvrte66. If you see me following people like Palin and Newt, don't panic. It's just for giggles. I haven't decided if I'm going to follow them, though...not sure I want to get constant updates like that.

I'm none too pleased with Twitter at the moment, though, because I thought it would be neat to change my background a bit, maybe use my cool formica pattern that I use in the header here, and every time I tried, it would not take me to that screen. Anger, frustration, and irritation! I am stepping away from it for the moment, and I shall re-engage at a later time.

I’ll think happy thoughts, like about how easy I am to please. We went to Staples today to get nametag holders for Ken's PMI meeting later this week, and I found a tiny little keychain calculator for 99 cents. No more trying to do long division on the back of my grocery list at the grocery store! I can punch away with abandon on my cute little keychain calc! All that paper, all those pens and notebooks, and I walked out of there only 99 cents lighter. Ken called me a spendthrift, and I said, "It could have been much worse. Believe me."

Kick Out the Jams!

Holy of my comments on my previous entry about Creem was this:

Machinegun Thompson has left a new comment on your post "Beth’s Music Moment – Creem Magazine":

Great article on the mag.. Our 2nd album was studio produced where the first was live. Of course they'd be different.

That would be THE Machinegun Thompson, drummer for the MC5! Blogs are like a box o' never know what you're gonna get...and in this case, I got a response from a band member of one of the proto-punk bands! DAMN, this made my day. And yeah, Creem's writers understood the raw power of a live set versus a studio recording, and no doubt about it, they loved the live versions!

Check out the original MC5 and their rock anthem, "Kick Out the Jams."

It's still relevant and still a kickass song--here's Rage Against the Machine's version:

I done kicked 'em out!