Saturday, March 14, 2015

Comments on The Bawdy Balladeers

My last post was 2010?  I am still here.  I am notified of a new comments, mostly on an older post "The Bawdy Balladeers".  If you left a comment on that post you might find a reply there. Every time, I promise myself to make a new post indicating that I am alive.  To quote Baymax from Big Hero 5, "I am not fast". 

As for me, see that selfie+1 up there?  That is us at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2014, 7 years after diagnosis and treatment for brain cancer.  I say us because Life Is A Team Sport. I still go for a brain MRI every 4 months to visit my favorite tech Paul.  A week later Dr. Grossman shows me it is unchanged since treatment finished in 2008. Pretty nifty team.

We have been keeping busy.  In the last year we've been to (probably out of order):
  • Philadelphia for the Flower Show 2014 (and 2015)
  • Charlotte N.C. for NASCAR race
  • Drumstrong music festival
  • Atlanta Aquarium
  • Atlanta Botanical Gardens - amazing
  • Dream Cars exhibit and more at The High Museum in Atlanta - even more amazing
  • Atlanta Braves game
  • My favorite Mexican restaurant in all the world - Zocalo
  • Orioles vs. Yankees
  • The Big E - if you have to ask, look here
  • 12-14 car shows in various locations
  • and one day while just driving down the road, we had to turn around and go back because we both did a double take.  Across some train tracks and down a steep hill was the TV set for Sheriff Hood's home/Sugar's bar from Banshee (a sick, violent show we indulge in).  The girl on Sugar's porch said they are no longer filming in N.C., it was private property and wanted to charge us $5 to go in.  We were content with a few pictures.

I am still amazed when I get a blog comment, an email from a fan or am recognized as Bliss. That happened a few weeks ago. I had to sing Thing Be for a surgical tech during minor surgery on the back of my shoulder. What a hoot!  I haven't been to The Maryland Renaissance Festival for two years because it was just too dangerous last time.  Balancing my scooter on rough terrain has been increasingly difficult on three wheels.  Tipping over is for cows. I might live to eat mor chikin without rocks and mulch under my wheels.  I miss visiting, but every year there are fewer friends and more changes.  Better to have the good memories I think.

It might take a while, but I will still try to answer if anyone reads this drivel and clicks "post a comment" down at the bottom.  If not I'll be back in another 5 years to let the blogosphere know I am still here.



Thursday, July 1, 2010

Roll Your Leg Over ~ by Oscar Brand

If you want to add this song to your repertoire you need to start with sheet music, or at least this recording of Oscar Brand singing "Roll Your Leg Over" from his album Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads Vol 1 1955.

Thank you to rumandoldspice at YouTube.

This is the album that inspired our version of the song.
When Laura and I started The Bawdy Balladeers in the '80s, we changed the song to a woman's point of view changing laddies to lassies. I thought "the man in the moon" wasn't funny. I came up with "it's better that way" and we gave it "the clap".

Countless Renaissance Faire groups and Pub Sings have sung our chorus ever since.

Please give credit to the originators of any music and lyrics or
the recording you used to the best of your ability. If you are researching songs for yourself or a group, be creative. Or at least change the arrangement and how the song is introduced.

Perhaps one day, another budding musician will honor you in the same way.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Goodness Gracious

My last real entry here was back in June 2009 after our anniversary. Shame on me. Y’all must have thought I didn’t love ya, or was in the grave.


In fact, just two days ago my oncologist informed me my MRI was perfect. No changes since the end of my radiation and oral chemo in November of 2007. None. Zip. Nada. After two and a half years of MRIs every two months I have graduated to every three months. This really is huge to me. I had asked him if I could decrease the frequency last year, and he gave me reasons to stay on schedule which I agreed to. Finally he is feels he can loosen the reins a bit and my head won’t explode.


In other news, remember the pink brace? It just wasn’t working out. I kept falling, and I couldn’t get up because the toe of the thing would not bend at all. I finally went to a different style of brace and could get up- no problem. But I kept falling.

In August I had a really bad fall.

The stupid nurse in me screamed for 45 minutes then calmed down, crawled to the couch and got up to call Bobby. Then I talked him into going to an urgent care center. They mis-diagnosed me, even though I vomited. We drove straight to our local hospital. The urgent care guy didn’t believe me when I told him my insurance company nurse said to do that.


Cat Scan showed hematomas, I injured my right kidney and liver. The ER doctor calmly says “We don’t have the constant monitoring in case you need emergency surgery, so we’re sending you to Shock Trauma at University of Maryland by Ambulance. You can imagine our faces. I asked to go to Hopkins instead and they arranged that. After four days, and a brief stay in step down, I went home on good drugs. I told Bobby to never listen to me when I’m irrational again. As long as I didn’t move, I was pretty good on the drugs. Then I realized an amazing thing. My arms didn’t hurt. My arms and my sides and my face and my skin didn’t hurt. For nearly twenty years I knew I was dealing with chronic pain, and massages gave me some relief. I always said it was the absence of pain. But I never knew how much I had until I had the narcotics for the fall. After several weeks, I began to wean off the pain meds. It was a hard decision. No wonder there are addicts. The anticipation of the return of my pain was so depressing I cried. It hurt less, then only really bad when lying down, from pressure on my liver and kidney I guess. But the other pain came back as predicted. Then finally . . . back to yoga for pain control. And so I’m walking with two sticks now. It was hard to swallow, but the physical therapist was right. I’m much more stable and I haven’t fallen since.

Enough of that. We haven’t traveled much since the two big trips last year. We went to Rhinebeck New York for the fiber festival in the fall and recently to Philadelphia for the Flower show. Both trips were short but sweet. Bobby has a long weekend starting Friday and we may head to a NASCAR race in Virginia for another short getaway if the weather is good and the tickets suit us. Oh! Nah, never mind. I’m not going into the snowicane, I’m looking at the crocus and daffodils in my garden.
That’s the highlights. Sorry for the long absence here.

I’ll try to keep it alive better :-p

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Laura,

Dammit woman, no current contact info for you. Have called the one I have repeatedly to no avail. Your livejournal died. Have sent notice to whimseywoman(all I had that was current). Please do the calling. Number hasn't changed or I'm in the book.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

10 Years of Wedded Bliss

A few weeks ago he woke me up and said we’re going – in 9 hours. He covered every step, every hotel, every activity, and even had rain contingencies for twelve days. He hijacked our hotel email confirmation address by guessing my password hint so I wouldn’t get notified. He arranged cat coverage with my neighbor and sister (who patiently listened to me wistfully wonder why he didn’t seem up for a concert or at least a movie. Was he feeling run down? I’ve been wanting him to get a physical). He did all the laundry. He turned the GPS away from me so every day was a surprise.

After we left Maryland:

  • NHRA drag racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN - I couldn't figure out why signs said x-miles to Bristol. There's no NASCAR race that weekend in Bristol! But as we ate in FATZ (fried green tomatoes on stone ground grits mmmmm) he handed me tickets to the drag races. We saw all the big time drivers from TV up close in the pits. They don't hide like in NASCAR. Skipped the autographs, there were so many drivers I was content with great pictures. Very cool.
  • Roller Derby at the Shriners in Atlanta, GA – We laughed, we cheered, we had a ball. The funny names for the players and the teams were a scream. My fave team was the Apocalipstix, while the husband was all over the Sake Tuyas. What a hoot.
  • Tradin’ Paint in Marietta, GA – A wonderful play about an auto parts clerk with a crazy(as in mentally ill) NASCAR lovin’ boyfriend, who finds her true destiny. I loved the scene where she’s hit with debris and during brain surgery dreams of her race-fan gay black English professor, the father she blames for her poor self esteem, and the ghost of Dale Earnhardt.
  • Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida – The site of most of our original honeymoon. It rained the whole time. The Lion King show stopped abruptly after the first number due to a leak but we returned later and it was fantastic. It took three (count 'em three) tries before we saw Beauty and the Beast all the way through because of mist blowing onto the stage. Bobby scored more than me on the Toy Story ride and Expedition Everest still made me cry. Four times. Our car still smells like swamp water but it couldn’t kill our fun, fun, fun, fun . . . fun.
  • Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC – No, not for the rained out NASCAR race, though we could have stayed for Monday and easily bought resale tickets for a pittance. We went for the stuff at the circus in the parking lot and because the husband wanted to replace my favorite hat that went over the edge(gulp)at the Grand Canyon in March.
In between were days of driving with my Boo. Doing what we like to do. I got to knit - although I thoroughly messed up my project and had to switch to smaller things. But mostly we just enjoyed each-other’s company and the music we could find on the radio instead of CDs we brought from home. Or just talked.

My husband. He loves me.

It still amazes me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Husband . . .

. . . calmly woke me up this morning and said, "Boo, do me a favor. Put some clothes in this suitcase". My first thought was "Oh God, he's sick and has to go in the hospital after work and didn't tell me - how like him."

I think I managed to choke out

"You need clothes for Honeymoon."

On Saturday we will celebrate out ten year anniversary. Not for a nice weekend somewhere, but 8-10 days and we leave as soon as he gets home from work. I have no idea where. Heck, we just got back from Vegas.

My husband. He loves me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Vegas Baby!

After I got up off the floor(see previous post), I really needed to hit the blog. We just got back from two weeks vacation.

I highly recommend two w
eeks at a time, especially if travel time and "recovery" is needed. We live in Maryland, and went to Las Vegas, toured some of Arizona and finished with a few days back in Vegas. We stayed at the MGM Grand the first week with a plan to decide on the hotel for the end of our trip later. Our reservation was incorrect and we were upgraded that night. It was still incorrect, so they upgraded us again in the morning. We were transferred to a "Hollywood Suite" on the ground floor - right off the casino floor on a secure hallway. It was palatial. Luckily I did not pee myself when the bellman opened the door and showed us in, it was that amazing.

Folks automatically think of gambling when you say Las Vegas - we only bet on the NASCAR races. There is so much more to do. We went to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a day at the Neon Garage to see the cars and drivers up close and take pictures. I even had a private moment with my favorite driver I'll always remember. We went to the Shelby427 Nextel Cup race too, and while I didn't pick the winner, I won one of my bets! (that my driver would beat his teammates) You can bet on lots of things in Vegas.

Then there were the shows. Our first show was Ka from Cirque du Soleil at our hotel. That show with it's ever changing stage was worth the trip. Then we saved lots of money using Tix 4 Tonight. They didn't carry everything we wanted to see, but for up to half price plus 10% with a coupon it was worth a trip downstairs or across the street. With their service we saw another Cirque show LOVE (click video tour up top) an amazing show inspired by the music of the Beatles. Then there was The Vegas version of Phantom at the Venetian from Tix. It was a bit shorter than the Broadway show to do away with intermission, and the overall did not suffer. We hit Crazy Horse Paris at the MGM which was an all female review of perfectly matched body type women plus a few unique acts in a small theater a la strip joint. They weren't the feathered showgirls, but I had to admire their precision.

We ate rather moderately in Vegas this trip, with no big casino dinners. Instead we hit some great local fare and chains we don't have at home. Places like Cozymels, (twice!) where our waiter David made fabulous guacamole tableside. Or the Italian Buca di Beppo - famous for double portions to be served family style and split. And Memphis Championship Barbecue really deserves the trophies in the case that back up that claim. We also favored the 24 hr Studio Cafe at the MGM with reliable service and good food for several breakfasts and a lunch. Their Ruben was the best I've ever had. We checked out In-N-Out Burgers and I also made several pilgrimages to Jack In The Box. Jack's was a favorite of mine from High School and was the first drive through with "talk to the clown" in our neighborhood. My best friend and I still talk about it.

There was other stuff of course, but let's go on to Arizona, shall we?

We took off the south route to Grand Canyon, marveling at the desert and the mountains. The two days there was a trip back in time, to when I was 5 and my family drove across the US in a station wagon. I found myself choking up big time, even in the gift shop. Srsly. But the wind. The WIND! It was the first week of March and we expected temperatures in the forties, but the WIND!

I lost a hat over the edge.

Then it was off to Monument Valley in Navajo Nation. That is where John Ford filmed many of his Westerns with John Wayne. Movies like Stagecoach, Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Movies I used to watch with my Dad. Seeing those sculpted red rocks rising out of the earth for no apparent reason was just as sobering as the split earth we had left behind. Our hotel The View, was perched on a cliff and has only been open since December. The feel of the place was very spiritual and our pictures are amazing.

Next we headed south for a bit of historic Route 66, stopping for a night in Flagstaff before heading back to Vegas. We even managed a movie and shipped a box of laundry home from there.

North now to cross Hoover Dam, where Bobby spotted some Big Horn Sheep as we emerged from the mountains. We toured it the last time we were in Las Vegas, but were surprised to see they are now building the Hoover Dam Bypass. It was interesting to see the two sides of the span working towards the middle.

Back to Las Vegas. Back to Tix 4 Tonight.
Vegas is also known for magic, and we saw two shows. Lance Burton is talented but quite dated and needs a smaller venue so the empty seats aren't so noticeable. Still, after I got past his canned patter, the show had a few good "howtheheck?"s. But Penn & Teller kicked his butt. Part of the butt kicking is delivery, but even the tricks they explain are pure . . . magic. After the show they have a meet and greet. I'm not much of an autograph hound, but I happened to have a 3 of clubs in my scooter pocket and Teller signed it "Is this your card?". Very cool. Finally, we closed our Vegas vacation with the dozens of feathered ladies and the muscled men of Folies Bergere at The Tropicana. We were fortunate to see them in their last month and were sad to hear they were closing after 49 years - the longest running show on The Strip. All those shows. And with the discount, we could get the better tickets. Yes, we liked Tix 4 Tonight.