Monday, August 30, 2010

Muggy Madtown

Sitting outside a Starbux in Madison, Wisconsin. This is my second visit in as many weeks, the result of a breeding experiment conducted some twenty some years ago. Said experiment is supposed to join me shortly and I thought I would dash off something short and witty in the meantime.

Hmmmm, well short anyway.

I am delivering stuff to number one daughter. Stuff that didn't fit in the car on trip number one last week. What's a six hour drive anyway? What else am I going to do with my time? These will be the moments I remind her of when she is complaining about changing my diapers in a few years.

OK, she's here. More later.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still Alive

At first it's just business that gets in the way. Then it becomes purposeful procrastination. Ultimately, guilt overlays all, requiring a concerted effort to log back in and open the blog. Once there, one must think of something to say and one realizes that one cannot remember what has happened since one's last confession. Sigh - I am just not cut out for this blogging thing.

I really admire the ones who buckle down and provide a daily entry and am in absolute awe of those who blog in a running stream of consciousness manner with multiple entries per day. Me, I have a difficult time unless there is something of import to talk about and when life is just trundling along, I tend to get caught up in all the little things that go along with that and forget to write.

Such is the case now. Life here on the great inland sea has been basking in our short summer. The deck plants are lovely with hops and morning glory's climbing the large upright supports of the timbered arbor above our deck. We planted some dwarf lilacs along the edge of the driveway to replace a couple of venerable bushes lost during the construction phase of the house project.

The summer has been one of activities and festivals. We had the Homegrown Music Festival that saw 150 local musical acts performing at dozens of different venues over a seven-day period. We made a concerted effort to see as many as we could but just put a dent in the line-up. Then there was Grandma's Marathon followed by the Park Point Art Fair. Just last week the city hosted the Tall Ship Festival where eight tall ships made the journey to the head of the lakes where they were on display for tours and some took visitors out day sailing. There was one from Germany, another from the Netherlands. A bunch named the East Coast as their home ports and some were from other harbors here in the Great Lakes region.

This event probably holds the cup for the most people brought into town to attend. Local merchants were smiling as the cash registers rang non-stop.

Now, we are looking forward to the Bayfront Blues Festival which will run for three days this coming weekend. This event brings in national acts every year for our bluesy enjoyment. This year we have headliners like Elvin Bishop and Dr. John. Can't wait.

When you consider all of these festivals that are designed to bring tourists in from out of town, you have to be impressed by the balls of the Minnesota DOT for tearing up every freeway, street, and alley in the entire city. This is the summer of "you can't get there from here." The city's transportation matrix is a nefarious puzzle akin to a Rubic's Cube that changes daily. An intersection that was open yesterday is closed today, requiring the determined traveler to find roundabout routes that take them through locations of the city that they have never before visited - which, in a perverse sort of way, is not a bad thing. To tell you the truth, I have kind of enjoyed the whole experience for that reason alone. It has slowed things down and forced folks to be inventive. I suspect that I am in the minority in this case and should those around me find out that I am secretively taking pleasure in the driving conundrums they face every day, that I would be strung up by my heels and lashed with wet noodles.

On the family front, my son continues to work two jobs to support his social activities that seem to keep him living out of a car and spending the minimal amount of time at home. My daughter is also working two jobs, but is preparing for her return to college in another week. My significant other has been forced to secure a new (to her) vehicle after she totaled her other one trying to avoid one of the many suicidal deer that delight in leaping into the paths of oncoming vehicles in this neck of the woods. Her search and seizure program has been drawn out to a ludicrous extent by one snafu after another regarding her car of choice. Hopefully all will be well shortly.

And I have been enjoying having by body explored by flexible scopes going everywhere such things can go. Some of these were routine invasions that anyone over the age of 55 can look forward to. Others have been attempts to define and understand my chronic lung and sinus plague that has been my constant companion for these last two years. We all blame it on the experimental chemo drug that I have been taking as part of the Mayo study, but attempts to banish it have so far proven useless.

I am happy to report however, that some of the more unwelcome aspects of said plague seem to be getting better (knock on wood). Perhaps it is due to halving my dosage rate of the chemo drug by going to every other day. Perhaps it is something else. Or perhaps I am delusional and it is only going through another of its periodic mutations. Only time will tell on this one.

Well, that's about it from this speck of the planet. Hopefully I can be a little more responsible about keeping this up. I know that you are all hanging on the edge of your seats for these updates into our fascinating lives. With that, I bid you adieu.