Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

I'll Have One For The Road--Make That A Double

The Rogue Speak:
The pilgrimage begins on Saturday morning.. It is our annual trek to Hotlanta to see Rod’s mum, and it just may be our last. My sweet MIL is not doing well. Her 95 year-old body is starting to wind down, and we want to spend some time with her while we can..

My BFA’s birthday is on the 21st of this month, so since I will be gone, we
celebrated yesterday. We had lunch at Amarsi, a new Italian restaurant in Oro Valley. The food was wonderful, and Julie Vlahakis, the new owner stopped and chatted with us. She is a delightful YOUNG woman, and we hope we see a lot more of her. Our waiter was named Thomas. He is a really cool guy, and catered to our every need (well, ALMOST!) If you go there to eat, please ask for Thomas. You will know him by his striking good looks, and his evil wit. We really pigged out, and I may not eat again until Sunday morning. The lunch menu has some really yummy stuff from sandwiches to pasta. I got the Italian sausage sandwich, and Di got the Italian beef, then we shared! Mine came with an excellent salad. I don’t know what hers came with because I was too busy eating. We are happy that we finally have a real restaurant in that spot, with real chefs and real waiters, and an owner who actually cares that we love the place enought to come back again and again. Thanks, Julie! Welcome!

I know you are thinking that I said I was never going to make any more cross-country trips because of my developing case of agoraphobia. Rod knows that too, and he offered to let me fly part of the trip, but I dragged my feet so long that we missed out on the good prices. I never was much of an early bird, so I lost THAT worm!

In my duffle bag I have packed all the essentials I need for the trip. I read over 20 books on last year’s trip, and I have 10 packed, and plan to get more along the way. I’ve packed tranquillizers. Then I have to have my music. I love jazz, so I’ve packed my Sai Ghose CD’s. If you have never heard Sai play, and you love jazz, you had better get on it, and check this guy out! I packed a few more CD’s as well. I’ve packed tranquillizers. I’ve packed my knitting ( I showed some restraint, though, and did not fill my duffle bag to the brim with yarn.), so I can get ahead making scarves for the winter shows. I’ve packed tranquillizers. I threw in my swim suit, in case we decide to stop at Gulf Shores, and we can beat the oil spill. I threw in some tranquillizers. I bought some asparagus, because I read recently that if you eat lots of it, and frequently, it cleanses your liver of the harmful effects of alcohol, which I know I will be exposed to on a regular basis once we get to Mum’s. I remembered the tranquillizers, thank goodness.

Our first major stop will be NOLA, to see our daughter. Once we get there, I will be fine, and hopefully recovered from holding my breath while driving through Las Cruses, NM, and the stock yards along the interstate. We have all our favorite local spots to eat in NOLA (not the touristy ones—been there, done that). I will spend some family time with my great big granddogs, and the grandcats. The dogs are always glad to see us, and try to dig us out of bed every morning. One of the cats likes to sleep with me, but last time she threw up on my pillow, so I think she had better sleep with her mom this trip.

Rod and I grew up in Atlanta, so we know how to get around that city pretty well. We will surely stop at the Varsity, billed as the largest drive-in restaurant in the world. It was THE hangout when we were in high school. We always order the same thing—two all-the-way dogs and an order of rings. SOOOOO bad for us now that we have to watch our sodium intake, but what the hell—we only eat there once a year.

Rod always loves to drive around our old neighborhood, see our old school, and the golf course he used to play when he was a kid. I know I should be sentimental about that stuff, but frankly I am not. Nothing ever changes—it just gets more decrepit every year, and that is depressing to me. “Oh, look! The bushes in front of the living room window are gone! The paper boy used to throw the paper in those bushes every morning. Dad cursed that boy every day! Good thing Dad had such long arms!”

After Rod has had his nostalgia fix, we will go to Mum’s. She’s been in that house for over 50 years now. Rod is the only one of his siblings who never returned to live there temporarily. Mum’s door has always been open to anyone who needed a place to stay. Our niece and her husband have lived there for a while, in “the basement,” while she was finishing up her college and working on her Master’s degree. It has been a blessing for Mum to have them there, but they want and need their own place—all young married couples do—so they will be moving out this year.

We will sit in Mum’s living room, in those worn chairs dating back to the 50’s, and try to engage her in conversation. In years past, we heard all about her life as a young girl growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They were fascinating stories! And we heard about her life as a young bride. We heard stories about Dad going up to the Northwest Territories with a bush pilot to fix the teeth of the Indians while sitting in a flat boat, with his dental chair nailed to the bottom of the boat, and his drill run by a foot pedal (ouch!).

Those conversations will be different now. Mum’s hearing is very bad, so we have to constantly repeat ourselves, and her memory is failing to the point where she is asking us the same questions over and over again. It will be very sad.

She is still beautiful, though. Her hair is snow white, and even though her blue eyes are beginning to fade, there is still that same sweet countenance that we have treasured all these years.

We will stay there for a few days and then head up to Nashville to have “dinner on the grounds” with our oldest son, our middle daughter, and all their kids. For those of you who are not from the south, all that means is we will have an afternoon picnic outside.

Then we are going to Lexington, Kentucky ( actually to a suburb—Wilmore) to visit with our middle son and his wife and their TWINS who will be a year old in June.. Aimee and I are planning on playing Bunco one night as a charity event for cancer research.

When I finally get home, spring will be all but over here in Tucson, and the weather will be bloody hot. I don’t really care as long as I am in my own bed and have my very own bathroom back again.

I know this is not an especially humorous post, and it is certainly not particularly profound. I kind of drained myself with last Sunday’s post. Maybe when I get back to Arizona in June, I will be so wildly ecstatic that I will write something so funny you will wet your pants, and shoot coffee out your nose.
I'll miss you all, but I will be checking in from time to time. Don't forget about me! Later!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


The Rogue Speaks:
We are the laughing stock of the nation! By we, I mean Arizona! When we moved to Tucson in 1998, we were happy to get out of the humid south--away from the bugs and mosquitoes, away from tornadoes and ice storms that wreaked havoc, and destroyed property on a regular basis. But those were acts of nature, something over which we have no control.
What has happened in the last week in Arizona was strictly man-made. And these men (and women) who have done more damage than the Mt. Lemmon fire, just who the hell do they think they are? How did they get in a position of such power that they can bring down an entire state with one bill?
7000 people marched in Tucson yesterday, protesting bill 1070. Even the police are against this idiocy. They are saying that it will make it difficult to do their jobs effectively, bringing down the murderers, thieves, drug dealers, etc. In contrast, only 40 people marched in support of the legislators.
O.k, so they round up ALL the people who are here illegally, and send them back to their country of origin. So just who will pick the Pima cotton, and the vegetables, and fruit? Who will do the jobs that the "real Americans" don't want? Maybe the legislators can do it in their spare time. Actually, if I have my way, those morons will have all the time in the world come the next election.
The cost of many of our goods and services is going to go sky-high. We won't be able to afford any fresh produce. Oh, I know! We are a global economy now! We'll just import our lettuce from China!! Or Mexico! Hmm, well maybe not Mexico. The Mexican government is so mad at Arizona that they are locking the door, and posting a sign, "Keep Out! This Means You!" or " No Gringos Allowed!"
Already the economic damage of this shameful act of stupidity is being felt. The Arizona Inn, a Tucson landmark, is reporting record cancellations this week. I expect to hear about more economic loss in the coming weeks. The country has been in an economic crisis for a while now. Just how much more can we take?
I wish I could just shut out all this ugliness and concentrate on my creative spirit, which has flourished since we moved here. How can this be? How can one area of the country, overflowing with such beautiful vistas, an art mecca for so many artists seeking to create, just how can it also contain such narrow-minded, illiterate, arrogant people? String 'um up, I say! If we are going to revert to the old west here, back to the past, let's just find us a hanging tree, and make an example of these mean little people. That'll teach 'um!
Despite my developing agoraphobia, I am thinking that it may be a good thing that we will be gone for almost a month. NOLA will look like the city of my dreams, and the south in general will appear ultramodern and futuristic in comparison to Arizona. And maybe by the time I get home, this will all be over. You think?
I have a headache. I'm going back to bed.
O.k., it is now 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. I stayed away from all the Sunday morning news programs, watched golf for most of the day IN MY PAJAMAS, made a nice dinner, and then sat down to watch Conan O'Brien trash Jay Leno on 60 Minutes.
Of course the first segment just had to be about illegal immigration. There is a muddy grave yard in California where over 500 immigrants are buried, having died trying to cross "The All American Canal" trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. The graves are marked with names and numbers--John Doe # blah, blah,blah. Do you actually know any Mexicans called JOHN? Of course you don't! Would it have been too much trouble to mark those graves as "Juan Cierva"????
The second segment was about a Spanish chef, Jose Andres, who came to America to try and create "A Circus in Your Mouth." O.k., so much for the dead Mexicans, let's eat!
The last segment was about Conan trashing Jay. Who gives a rusty f***??
I am going to bed, and I don't even have to change my clothes first.