Archive for October, 2007

it’s crafty - part 2

On Sunday I went to the Craft’s Fair again, this time with my mom. We perused much and I decided to purchase the necklace I’d picked out on Saturday. It was expensive and I’d needed to sleep on the decision. I’ve yet to take a decent shot of it, but here’s a link to this guy’s work. Works of Man. I’m wearing it in the picture below with Ken, but you can’t really see it. It’s in the “best sellers” area of the site. I dig his rings, too.

I also found the perfect gift for my bff, Mel; a necklace of a silver pendant with an indentation of an animal paw. Sounds weird, I’m sure, but it wasn’t gaudy at all, just adorable and made me think of her. She’s been so unbelievably generous and gifty with me for no good reason (well, ok, cancer, but cancer diagnosis doesn’t necessarily = lotses of gifties) so I got her this pendant for no occasion but that I love her.

Monday Michael and I made it to the YMCA again and afterwards he dropped me off at the International Market so I could have lunch with Johnny and Debbie, my birth parents. I must say again, I am so lucky. So incredibly and amazingly lucky. Not only did I get adopted into a family I love, one I never ever questioned was mine, but I am blessed with genetic parents who I also love. I adore them! And we share a similar sense of humor, so when we get together we do a lot of laughing, as you know, it’s my favorite thing.

silly debbie and roo

silly roo and johnny

johnny roo debbie

I can’t get over looking like someone because we’re related. When I was little people thought I looked like my mom, but it’s mostly because she gave me her haircut and we both have brown hair. But she has brown eyes. My dad and I have some similarities with our smaller noses and mouths, but my eyes are much larger. It’s just, you’ve no idea how strange it is unless you’re adopted (or something). It’s quite the experiment to me, the whole nature v. nurture thing. In psychology classes I always leaned more towards the nurture side, and why wouldn’t I? I knew nothing else. But as I get to know Johnny and Debbie I am swayed more and more to the idea that our personalities are given shape by our genes. It’s fascinating.

That night we had a little supper at home with Ken as dinner guest. He used to be my dad’s teaching assistant and they are still very close. Dad hadn’t seen him since he left town and missed him, certainly. Plus, we were going to the Exit/In that evening to see a friend of his perform. Monday Night Football was the Pats, so, of course, I was concerned about being late to the show. I needn’t have worried, the Patriots were winning by such a margin that I could easily miss the 2nd half and feel confident.

silly ken and roo

Silly boy. To think, he’s a professor at Belmont. Huhn.

It was a good show; his friend is talented.

The Exit/In has had some renovations, too, and the place looked good. It’s always nostalgic for me to go down to Elliston Place in Nashville, but the area has changed so much since high school.

sigh.

Tuesday morning, my last full day in Nashville, Michael and I opted for a game of frisbee golf instead of the YMCA. It was another beautiful day, why waste it inside?

loveless silliness

Turned out to be a good decision because his friend Chris found us and joined our game. Funny, he was all, “Oh, I haven’t played in so long, I don’t know how I’ll do.” Meanwhile, he threw like a rocket. Shark. Good thing I didn’t have money on that game.

We then went out to the Loveless Cafe for a late breakfast along with Jim, another of Michael’s high school friends. Quite the nostalgic trip. I hadn’t been to the Loveless in yeeeeeaaaaars. I made them do this. In the picture is me, Chris and Michael. Yes, another insanely sunny day in Nashvegas.

Now, I don’t mean to speak ill of the Loveless, but they say they’re known for out of this world biscuits. I found them to be a little heavy and hard. But to each his own. I still ate them, though, didn’t I?

gummy fried eggs

I found these in the gift shop and cracked up, so to speak. Michael obliged and posed with them and yes, you guessed it, they’re gummy fried eggs.

No, I didn’t buy them. A picture was enough.

That afternoon into evening was all about me and mom playing Trivial Pursuit (I won! amazing!) and the requisite Boggle game, me against everyone. Not to brag, but (understatement alert) I’m a pretty good Boggle player, so whenever possible I am pit against the whole family working as a team, combining their score. They’ve never won. And I’m always up for a match, just let me know.

it’s crafty - part 1

So, lessee, where was I?

At the end of September/beginning of October I went down to Nashville to visit my parents and to attend the Centennial Craft’s Fair of which I wrote such high praise in an entry in April, I think. Man, I’d forgotten how awesome kettle corn is. But they sell it in such enormous bags, even the small is huge. I told them I’d use it as a lumbar support pillow and a snack. Yummers.

I arrived on a Friday and my brother, Michael, picked me up at the airport. First things first, of course, we went to lunch and then Krispy Kreme. Might as well get my fix right away. I wish I didn’t love the bready sweets so very, very much.

Thinking back I realize I did a lot over this short vacation to Nashville. Friday night my friend Ken and I went to The Basement, a club owned by the same guys who started The Lizard Lounge, if I’m not mistaken, to see The French Licks. It was so nice out and we got there so early that we were able to hang out talking on the patio.

Poor Ken, though, was in some real pain from a big crash a month or so earlier on his mountain bike. He had qualified to go pro and was training for his first pro event when he fell. Among other more obvious injuries he’d had a nagging back pain he kind of ignored. That morning he finally visited a doctor about it and turned out he had a compression fracture on his tenth vertebrae. ouch! Hence, he sat uncomfortably all evening and was unable to go through with our foosball rematch. A likely story!! Bet he just didn’t want his ass kicked again. ha.

Saturday morning Michael and I made it to the YMCA to work out and then met up with Johnny, my birth father, at Centennial Park and enjoyed the Craft’s Fair. I’d forgotten how long it stays warm down south and I didn’t expect it to be as hot as it was. I mean, this was the first day of October! That sun was unrelenting and I think the temperature was in the 80s! I’m not one to disparage nice weather, but I was unprepared for that heat. I’m a shade lover and there was none to be found. Had a great time despite the tremendous heat. Lots of cool arts and crafts, a number of didgeridoos, for whatever reason, and adorable little ‘dog stops’ with water bowls for thirsty pups in attendance.

Mom and dad were getting back from Australia that afternoon so we surprised them by retrieving them at the airport. It was a bigger surprise than I expected, too, because evidently they didn’t know Michael was in town, too. All good.

That night Michael and I went to dinner and then hung out with some of his friends from high school. Very nostalgic and strange. I remember them all, of course, but it’s always interesting to see where people are in their lives years later.

Here’s where my memory gets foggy and I realize I should definitely have blogged about this closer to when it happened.

I also realize this entry will be gargantuan if I don’t break it up, so I’ll pause here.

55 miles in a day +

It’s been way way too long since I’ve written. Just because I’m cancer free is no reason not to maintain my blog.

On Sunday, September 23rd I took part in “Hub On Wheels.” This was a 25 or 45 mile ride (riders could decide for themselves which one they wanted to do) through the parks of Boston, including The Arboretum, Forest Hills and Stony Brook. This was my first ever organized ride and I was pretty excited. I rode down to City Hall and waited in the “medium speed” line of riders and listened to Mayor Menino and Senator Kerry address the fairly large crowd. We set off at 8AM with the “fast speed” riders going first, but soon the makeshift lines disappeared and soon everyone around me was going. So off I went and got to ride on a beautifully car-free Storrow Drive up till Kenmore. Don’t worry, I won’t list out the entire route, you can see it on the website. They even got a picture of me on there.

Roo at HOW

That’s me on the right on Storrow Drive. Funny how I’ve spent so much time outside and yet I remain as pale as Nicole Kidman. I swear my skin must physically reject the sun.

Yes, surely you guessed that I planned to do the 45 mile ride. The way the route was laid out riders could decide once they were riding how long they’d like to go. It was nice to know I had a couple spots where I could, if necessary, change my mind. But I didn’t.

Nor did I stop at any of the 4, or so, designated rest stops. This despite the fact that it was a windier day than expected and there were far more hills (one KILLER hill in particular) than I anticipated. I wasn’t alone in this - chatting with some of the other participants at different times I learned how many other people were surprised by the hills. I also met a guy who told me he walked his bike up that hill previously mentioned. This filled me with pride because I weathered that hill the whole way in the lowest gear I’ve ever used. I thought my lungs might pop out of my mouth, but I made it and there were neighborhood locals standing in their yards cheering us all on. A very sweet gesture and a welcome one, too.

There were only a few times during the ride that I actually got angry. I wasn’t sure where we were most of the time, but we got to a beach area where we rode these paved paths where people walk, jog and bike. I experienced the same frustration I get on the Minuteman path, which is to say, large groups of people covering the entire path and/or small meandering groups, all of whom are thoroughly oblivious to the idea that someone might need to get past them. Boils my blood! I took deep breaths and merely rode around them in the grass. But at one point I actually rang my bell and this child glanced back at me, started screaming and running willy nilly. I came thisclose to hitting him. MAN, did that suck.

My favorite part of the ride was through Stony Brook Reservation. We rode this completely unpeopled path that was like a freaking roller coaster in the woods. Trees and bushes, etc,… as far as the eye could see. It was phenomenal and fun as hell.

This wasn’t a race, it was a ride for charity, but I wanted to see what kind of time I could make. [Side note - I didn’t get any sponsors because the cause isn’t one I’m necessarily interested in, so I merely paid my $40 entrance fee. It was only when I had about 5 miles or so left that it occurred to me I could have gotten sponsors anyhow and given the money to cancer research. dur. I mentally slapped myself and said out loud to myself what a jerk move that was. Next time….] So with zero stops, windy conditions and fairly hilly terrain I made it back to City Hall in just over 3 hours. Turns out I was riding about 15 mph. This has been my general speed when I’m riding up north, a pace I’ve worked up from 9-10mph when I first started riding outside a lot. Let’s just say I’m not disappointed.

I got my goodie bag and filled it with more of the mini Cliff bars they give out (I love those! I wish they sold them!). I had to ride home with the plastic bag over one handlebar so I couldn’t stuff the bag as much as I’d have liked.

Home, showered almost immediately and walked to Sound Bites for a nosh. The place was packed and it was 1PM. Quite the difference from our weekday visits I tell ya. We watched some of the Pats game there while we ate, watched the rest at home and managed a short nap before heading downtown to see Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals at the Orpheum. YES!

MAN, oh man, I finally got to see Ben live. I love Ben Harper. This was my birthday gift to Todd whose actual birthday was the next day. (That and I treated for all our meals all weekend and got him a t-shirt.) It was a fantastic show and we had great seats. Awesome.

We capped off my overstuffed day by stopping by the Burren. We hung out with Tim, Sean and Chris in the front room, then went in back to wish Danielle a big happy birthday.
Pretty big day, eh? I tell you, I’ve not been so tired in years. I love days like that, big potpourris full of activities you love and music and art and great friends. Days like that make life worth living.