Big business sent me to Baltimore at the end of last week. Everything was going along so well, highway-wise, until the dashboard gas tank signal lit up and I had to get off as soon as I hit Maryland to look for gas. The local Hertz does this to me every time and yet, I’m never prepared for it. They send their cars out with only a half tank and by the time I realize it, I’m out of New Jersey and in some God-forsaken wasteland where you have to pump your own gas. This time, I made it as far as Maryland.
Anyway, one thing led to another and there was a Chick-Fil-A and before I knew it, I was 45 minutes behind schedule and I couldn’t get the navigation device to resume my route so I plugged the destination in again and spend the rest of the trip on secondary highways and neighborhood streets. streets. This really slowed me down but what a great silver lining there was here:
A local rock station did a live broadcast of Elton John performing at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. Sir Elton! I love calling out knighted rock stars – Sir Paul! Sir Mick! The world has come along way away from Sir Galahad and sir Walter Raleigh. Anyway, the concert started and there he was banging out the oldies in a theatrically deep voice. I got all misty eyed when Burn Down The Mission started up. It was almost like listening to the live broadcast that became the 11-17-70 album, except now Sir Elton sounds like Michigan J. Frog.
Somebody YouTubed some of that performance. The images in the video aren’t great so you might as well look at the frog while you listen.
Here’s 3 weird things, or 2 weird things if you bundle like events together:
Weird Thing 1. In downtown Denver, there are free shuttle buses that runs every two minutes the full length of 16th street and stops briefly at every corner. The drivers watch in the mirror to see if people are still stepping off before they shut the doors and continue on. So one assumes they see a lot of feet during the course of the day. I was getting off the shuttle at the end of the line and as I walked past the front of the bus, the driver stuck her head out of the window and complimented my shoes and asked me where I got them. That never happened to me before.
Weird Thing 2. Or possibly Weird Thing 1a. In Denver airport, as I was working my way through the security check (pat down. ugh. it’s a free show. everyone watches.) a middle-aged, middle-of-the-road kind of male TSA agent picked up my shoes from the bin and said “Nice shoes!” One assumes they see a lot of shoes during the course of the day.
Would you like to see these remarkable shoes? Here they are:
Ryka Leather and Mesh Slip-on Skimmers from QVC now on clearance for $23.50
Big deal, right? I bought three pair. I was wearing the black ones on the shuttle and the blue ones in the airport. I can’t wait to see what happens when I wear the beige ones.
Weird Thing 3. I had a window seat on the plane for the trip home. About an hour out from landing, I noticed a collection of water droplets streaking across the outside of my window. I was trying to assess what the chance of me being sucked out through the little porthole if the window fell out when I drifted off to sleep for a few minutes. When I opened my eyes, the clouds all around were pink. I thought maybe I was already on the other side of the porthole and was pleased to discover that my death was painless. The pink only lasted a few minutes then it was back to regular earthly-type clouds …
I suddenly had the answer to a work problem that I had been struggling with for a few days. So who’s to say? Maybe I was dead and the angles told me which cohorts were missing from my census base. And then they returned me to United Flight 229. And gave me a nosebleed.
This was a weird trip.
Here’s some snow:
dining al fresco
Here’s some concern:
exiting the ladies room
After spending last week in downtown Denver, I went home for a day and a half and then came back to the outskirts of suburban Denver. The difference between the two places is that downtown has bums and the burbs have glittering malls.
I have had airplane adventures, hotel clerk adventures and work adventures. And by “adventures”, I mean distress and frustration. And yet, it’s the same old same old.
I’ll be home in the wee small hours of Thursday and probably good for nothing the rest of the day. Maybe I’ll goof off on the deck.
Just noticed that there are little shreds of crab meat stuck in my hair.
Back to Nashville again this week and you know what means for you, my dear reader – a week full of rerunning old blog posts. This one is from July 12, 2007.
As you may have heard by now, Lady Bird Johnson has passed away.
You can read all about her life history, her personality and her
accomplishments elsewhere on the internet and in the print media, but
where do you go if you want to know about her dinnerware? That’s right,
people – as we like to say on the shopping mall maps: YOU ARE HERE.
Bird Johnson and her staff worked very closely with Tiffany and Company
of New York City on the design and the china was manufactured by
Castleton China, Inc. Like First Lady Caroline Harrison, Lady Bird
Johnson was personally involved in the design of the Johnson china.
Mrs. Johnson combined her main cause, beautification and conservation
of the country’s landscape with the history of White House china. The
pieces feature the eagle motif first designed for the Monroe china, and
the porcelain was decorated with wildflowers found throughout the
United States. There were over forty different wildflowers represented
on different pieces of china. Again with a tribute to nineteenth
century history, she had dessert plates made featuring the state flower
of each fifty states. The floral decals on original dessert plates did
not meet Mrs. Johnson’s final approval, so the flower designs were hand
painted on each plate, delaying the completion of the china until the
summer of 1972.” Party Politics, firstladies.org
Her influence regarding wildflowers went beyond the roadsides, parks
and public land – she got them onto the White House china which means
that space-suited schoolchildren of the future will be reading about
them long after the billboards and wild onions have resumed their
terrifying return to roadside domination. The pictures here don’t do it
justice at all. It’s on display in the Johnson Library in Austin
and thank goodness I was allowed to stand at gawk at it as long as I
wanted to because only moments before, I was rudely torn away from the “Dessert Plates of the First Ladies” for sale in the museum gift shop.
Overall, my perpetual host in Texas is
a gracious host and extremely accommodating, but over time I have
bumped up against the limits of his hospitality, and they are these:
- will not shop for knock-off pocketbooks with me
- will disregard your concern about hair-dos and delicate skin tone
if he wants to drive you around in his sporty little convertible under
the hot Texas sun
- has no tolerance for gift shops
- won’t watch The Thornbirds with me
So, sadly, I was not able to purchase a dessert plate which I didn’t
need, does not match anything else I have, but did indeed covet. It’s
America, isn’t it? Don’t we have the inalienable right to pile up as
many dishes as we want to? Let’s see them try that in Russia.
Anyway, Lady Bird Johnson. She gave the impression of being a total
cream puff, but was able to impose floral patterned china with a girly
yellow background on old Lyndon. Even Nancy Reagan couldn’t do that and
Ronnie was totally whipped.