Orange Gearle

family, friends, politics, music and technology... that's what it's all about

Saturday, April 14, 2007

lucy kaplansky

Last week we had a snow storm. My grass needs mowed...and we had a snow storm. It was 80 degrees a week or two prior to this, and yet....we had a snow storm. I wish I had taken a picture when the storm was complete...but here's what it looked like when I woke up Wednesday morning....

I like the (long) green grass with snow on it - very Iowa.

It snowed a few more inches as the day went on Wednesday. I missed The Mill on Wednesday night as a result. I probably could've gone, but with my car a bit under the weather, I thought it best that I let it rest up for the drive to Marengo the next day.

This is what's left of the snow this morning....


Last night my mom and I went to Lucy Kaplansky at CSPS. She was wonderful, of course. My mom was a virgin Lucy Kaplansky concert goer -- I've seen her three times now. It's just her and her guitar, exactly the way I like it. She plays a Martin.

One of the things that I like about seeing Lucy in concert is watching her facial expressions and body language. When she is singing she often looks up...and for some reason it looks like she is making up the song right there on the she is talking to you. She doesn't wear much make-up, but always red lipstick -- and she is beautiful.

Mom turned to me when Lucy played this song, big grin on her face, and said, "You have to learn that one." So she bought me the CD. Last night I got home and listened to it and was sorely disappointed. It's OK, in fact, some of it is great. But something happens when record producers get a hold of music. The link that I provided above will give you the "souped up" version of the song. I enjoy it much more in it's pure form. The thing is, I've usually had good luck with "Red House Records".....but maybe even they have gone a bit too commercial. They turned Mom's song into some sort of cookie cutter country music thing. I hate that. The thing is, the lyrics, melody, harmonies are all good...but the package version on the CD, not so hot, IMHO. But I will learn it for Mom and never listen to that song on the CD again. :-) The lyrics of the song are a bit too 'needy-stalker' for me......but, I'll learn it for mom.

"I'm just a bit maniacal about you
And derailed when I'm without you."
"If you could love me just a little it'd be okay
'cause I couldn't leave you anyway"
"If you turn away, I'll just turn you back around"

Can you say needy-stalker??? I mean seriously....why would you settle for "if you could love me just a little, it'd be okay"???? Maybe that's why I'm 36 and never been married???? :-) I won't settle for less than being loved, and loving, completely. But I dig these lyrics....

"It doesn't matter what you say
I just like the way you sound."
"Don't blame me
It's just your burning gravity
That brings me to my knees
In front of you"

Both of those phrases would be great in a different song ....mixed with the rest of the tends to add to the needy-stalkeresqueness of it. (I think I may copyright that word, needy-stalkeresqueness) here's another song I'm going to learn....Broken Things.....the CD version is much better than Don't Mind Me.....much more pure. I think you'll enjoy it. (who am I talking to anyway? no one really reads this) LOL. I think it's supposed to be about God, but for me it's about the "somebody" out there that I end up with. This one was actually written by Julie Miller, not Lucy. But I like it.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

phat daddy's

It's Thursday. Phat Daddy's again. It's to the point now that I live for these days. It's just so much fun, and there are so many great people. Thursdays are even better than jeans days at work....and that's saying a lot. :-)

I am anxious for summer to arrive. I really like the drive to's's so Iowa...and it will be even better as the seasons progress. I may have to stop next week and take a couple of pictures of the scenery. The last two weeks I have been watching goslings grow. If they aren't too big, and if I can get close enough...I will stop and snap a picture or two on my way next week.

I think it would be nice to find someone to work up a few songs with. Tonight, Jim and I played "Hold On" (Tom Waits). I also like this version (Redbird). Anyway I've always wanted to play guitar with someone...and sing. I'm not good at that picking'n'shit...lead guitar I am not...however, it would be fun to have someone noodle around while I play behind them....and sing together. I should suggest it to Jim, but I won't. LOL I'm such a dork....and a chicken. I decided tonight that I really like his teeth...they make him cuter...and therefore it's more difficult to look him in the eye and talk to him. :-) Chicken.

Tonight was fun. There was a little boy there....just 2 or 3 years old....and he was totally enjoying himself. I asked him if he wanted to strum my guitar, but he was too shy. Then right before he left, he gave in and tried it. He also did a little dancing...and waved at me on his way out. Very cute. The only thing I like more than music, I think, is those little cutie pies.

Donna brought me the article that Jim wrote...if you recall I had lost it in route from Marengo to home a couple weeks ago. As expected, Jim nailed it. And....I laughed out loud a few times as I read it...which is always good. I knew I liked him. Here's a couple quotes I like in particular.....(emphasis mine)

"Except for the steel guitar, there were no amps or microphones. It was a pre-electric sound. You didn't play louder than the person sitting next to you. Otherwise the hoe-down hootenanny could turn in to a riot, or an acoustic punk rock concert."


"I followed the rules and kept quiet. When I wasn't sure of the chords, I played really quiet. When I knew the chords, I played really quiet."

My friend Doug from Washington and his daughter Becca stopped by too. I may have Doug talked into bringing his banjo next week. I hope. :-)

Here are a few pics from this evening.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

best friend

A kiddo in my class made this for me this past fall.
It makes me keep my job.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

the wapsi

The Wapsipinicon River has been a part of my life forever. Growing up I remember a family friend, Rick, telling me that the Wapsipinicon River got it's name from the "Indians". The story was...Native Americans were canoing down the river and one dropped a penny in the river...and said..."Whoopsi, penny gone." I was just young enough to believe that story....never mind there were no pennies back then!

As a kid the whole family would go out to this same family friends' house (Rick, Marlys, Aaron and Stacie) and we would shovel the snow off the river and ice skate. I don't really know if I actually remember that, or if it was just a memory from pictures.

Pinicon Ridge Park, located on the Wapsi was a particular favorite. I used to ride my moped out there when I was a teen to "get away." I spent hours at "Horseshoe Falls" (which is really just a creek that is sometime a trickle and sometimes dried up). I dreamed of walking down the big hill that lead to Horseshoe Falls on my wedding day, to be married on the bridge. In the fall, of course, with a blanket of leaves for an aisle. I made whistles with the snake grass that grew around the creek that lead into the Wapsi.

Also at the park we would go to the "beach". To this day we still have family reunions there at times....and always go on the paddle boats. There are deer and elk in the park....always wanting fed by those passing by. Hollyanne caught her first fish at Pinicon Ridge the Waspi.

We hunted mushrooms close to the Wapsi as well....but I cannot tell you's a secret, you know.

When I was a teen I worked at a ice cream/eatery called "The Wapsi Drive In". It wasn't a drive in when I worked there....and now it's a HOUSE! It was located just off the Wapsipinicon River. I always smelled like french fries when I got home...but I got a free ice cream cone every day that I worked...and all the soda a girl could ever want.

When I was six years old, I went to camp Wapsi for a day camp. I only remember one day at camp. That day I played along the Wapsipinicon River the whole day. I was picked up by my Aunt Maggie, jeans soaked to the knees, and when she brought me home I was told that my sister died in a car crash. I was sitting on my bed, with a parent on either side.

Growing up our family would also canoe a lot on the Wapsi. We would put our canoe in somewhere downriver from the damn...sometimes at Rick's house. And then we would canoe to Waubeek, IA. All that is in Waubeek is a tavern. Not a bar...a tavern...called F B & Co. Somehow Dad's truck was always waiting for us there when we finished.

Tonight I went to FB & Co for open mic night.

I stopped in my hometown to pick up my mom. As we drove toward Waubeek we passed the spot that I totaled the car summer of 1987...and broke my nose. We crossed the Wapsi at Steckel's Bridge....a location that I remember well from a time I went canoing in HS...and night came too the time we got to that bridge, I was SCARED TO DEATH. :-)

FB & Co, was just how I remembered it from all those years ago -- definitely a place to "hover" when going to the bathroom. :-) The smokiest, diviest bar in the world, probably. Rick was already there. Aaron (a great friend - like a brother to me, and also happens to be Rick's son) was there, too. Other than that, I recognized no one. But shortly after we arrived, my brother and his wife walked in the door.

As we walked in there was a guy playing some sort of a keyboard wrapped around his neck with a guitar strap or something. He was playing...While My Guitar Gently Weeps.....on the keyboard....and not well. There were both solo acts and bands of various ability levels. Aaron played with others, as well as on his own. There was a young man there, a senior in HS that played the mandolin. He was quite good. There was a "reunion" of sorts of a band called the Waubeek Trackers. I remember them from many, many, many years ago. Steve Maurice is still hot and he's gotta be in his sixties. I remember being MADLY in love with his nephew when I was in Jr. High and High School. He was the first long-haired musician that I couldn't seem to keep my mind off of!! They were probably on of the best groups there.

I wish I would've taken pictures. Next month I will take pictures, and maybe even play on stage...we'll see.

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Friday, April 06, 2007


You might cry....

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

how was your flow -- a kidney update

I think nurses are cut out of a special mold. Ok, well, I don’t think that, I know that.

Today we had another appointment at UIHC. We got to see Shelley and Kaye again. Kaye is the nurse that has taken Dad’s blood, given him shots, etc. Shelley is the nurse that is following our case through to the end. She is the one that does all the organizing with the different doctors and is part of the transplant team.

All of the nurses that we have worked with so far have been so good with Dad. As anyone that reads this knows, he is ornery! He is always dishing it out…sometimes inappropriately. Well, every nurse that we have been blessed with, dishes it right back…which is EXACTLY what Dad needs. He can laugh with them, and, good or bad, it encourages him to give them a bit more. ☺ But overall, it’s good. It’s very similar to how my sister-in-law (also a nurse, by the way) treats Dad. We are lucky to have her…she’s about the only one that can put him in his place.

Dad had his second hepatitis shot and met with the urologist, Dr. Wald.

After Kaye gave Dad his shot, Shelley checked in with us. I gave Shelley my papers from St. Luke’s that included my blood type, and she gave us the good news. As I wrote about here and here, the process is as follows: Dad goes through a bunch of tests, then Shelley presents his information to a panel of doctors. The doctors must approve him before we can move on with the procedure. We were told that this would happen after all the tests were complete. Shelley has already presented Dad, and assuming there is a good report from today’s urologist evaluation, he is approved. What does this mean?

As soon as Dr. Wald’s report is in, Shelley will call me. I will need to come in for a full day of appointments with many different doctors. Then within a couple of weeks, assuming I am approved, we will set a date for the transplant. This could be as soon as June. This is good news.

At lunch, after we ordered, I went to the restroom. When I came back Dad said…..

“How was your flow?”

We laughed….I bet he does get sick of that question!! And that is exactly my Dad’s sense of humor….here’s another for you….

On the way out to lunch after the appointments Dad said…..

“I tried really hard, but I just couldn’t make it happen.”

Mom and I of course asked what he was talking about…..and he replied….

“I tried to shit on that doctor for making us wait an hour, but I couldn’t do it.”

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

iowa weather

I snapped this picture in my classroom last week. This little man in my class just couldn't decide if he wanted shorts or it seemed only appropriate to do something between. What a peculiar, yet somehow cool invention. After last week, the "snow glories" are blooming, the magnolia tree in our courtyard at school is trying it's best to wake up, but yet this week it's going to get into the 20s at night. Isn't Iowa great?

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

girls night out

I'll admit that I wasn't real thrilled to go on this girls night out. Pretty much everything that we were doing sounded not so fun to me. But I have great friends, and I wanted to be with them, so I went. As usual, I am glad I did.

Amy's husband had the girls (with a neighbor girl to boot). Liz's husband had Brody. Julia was with the sitter. I'm not certain of Kari's husband's plans. Helen and I, the singles, are always ready to go (Hollyanne was with her boyfriend of course). The hail didn't deter us. We wouldn't hear of it. The six of us met at North Country Steak House. Obviously I didn't pick the restaurant -- sounds like a great place for a vegetarian to go, doesn't it? Never mind, I was able to find something -- salad and potato bar.

We enjoyed talking about families, work and our personal lives. Helen and I shared online dating mishaps with the four married women. We laughed a lot. When it came time to order Amy was her usual high maintenance ordering self. She's orders a little like Meg Ryan's character in When Harry Met Sally (but it's very cute, and always a highlight of the evening).

Amy, Helen and Jill picked out their meat. After seeing the choices, and the prices, Jill decided against the whole thing and had the salad and potato bar with me. :-)

Helen and Amy get their hands on the meat.

Team of Texas Toast Masters

Kari and Liz didn't grill their own meat. They watched.

After supper we drove across town to the bowling alley. Yes, I said bowling alley. Not my cup of tea really, but that's what the girls wanted to do. I found it fitting, however, that when we were getting our shoes, the song Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was playing.

When we got there I located this sign right away (Amy and I "Vanna it" for you below). Why are balls ALWAYS funny???

I am unable to go to a bowling alley without thinking of The Big Lebowski -- one of the funniest movies ever. So I spent much of the evening being very annoying and quoting lines from the"It really tied the room together." or "Shut the f$&k up, Donnie, you're outta your element." or..."Dieter doesn't care about anything. He's a nahilist." or " use the parlance of the times..." favorite...."Nobody f^&ks with The Jesus"

It was difficult for me to not begin singing Hotel California in Espanol (seriously, you need to click that link). One of the reasons that I appreciate the humor of The Big Lebowski is because of it's huge vocabulary range....take a listen....

Did you know that the f word or a derivative if it is used 251 times in this movie? Ok, enough Lebowski. However, I think I might have to watch it tonight, now. :-)

We had cool shoes....and they had the lights going. I had an orange ball, of course. And orange shoes. :-)

After bowling, we did laser tag. Yes, I said laser tag. Once again...not something a pacifist/anti-gun/hippie-wanna-be chooses...but it was ok. I don't have any pics of it though. The best could tell we were teachers. First of all, none of us were quiet. We would've all been killed instantly if it were real. The whole night (bowling and during laser tag) we were telling each other what a good job we were doing -- even the other team. The only thing we didn't do is give out stickers.

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