Archive for June, 2014

Plow cows

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014


Here are some ancient Egyptian cows doing a bit of plowing. They seem a bit ineffective up there on a platform above all the plants and weeds, but who am I to criticize ancient Egyptian farming methods? Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the Luxor hotel and casino in fabulous Las Vegas, and part of my famous Las Vegas and Machinery series.

I think we can all agree that an ancient Egyptian plow is machinery, no?

Had a good few days since I last posted. Let’s see if we can remember what’s been going on, shall we? Joanne and I went over to the Luxor yesterday afternoon, hung around their pool (which was freezing) and their jacuzzi (which was about the temperature their pool should have been) and had a delicious sushi dinner at one of their restaurants. We walked around their shops, did some browsing in one or two stores, made our way to Mandalay Bay and back, and generally had a nice time.

Monday, Joanne came over and I acted as sous chef for her creation of her family’s traditional spaghetti dinner. It was excellent! We added a very fancy tossed salad, Italian bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and Italian blood orange soda. She had earlier helped me cut up a little watermelon with the intention of eating it with dinner. We forgot it, so there’s a lot of cut-up watermelon in the fridge right now. Help me, Mark!

On Sunday, Mark and I went to Laura’s house for a combination Melanie’s birthday/my birthday/Father’s Day dinner. It was delicious and the company was excellent. We had a very nice time. Thanks, Laura and Tyson! Thanks, everybody else who contributed! Which didn’t necessarily include me.

Saturday, Joanne and I went with the Dining and Vining meetup group to a Japanese restaurant for their hibachi dinner. The food was excellent and the chef was very entertaining. The only fly in the ointment was that it took a total of about four hours to eat the meal. The service was so ludicrously slow that it came fairly close to ruining the experience for several people. However, the company was great and we managed to have a fun time anyway.

And that brings us to today. I need to go to bed right away because Mark and I are heading to Park City tomorrow morning! I’m looking forward to the beginning of my epic trip. I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet that I’ve changed from driving the whole way to flying. I looked at the cost and it appears that flying and renting a car in Michigan will be slightly cheaper than driving, so that’s what I’m doing. Mark and I will take the Taurus to Park City for the reunion, as planned. He’ll drive it home and I’ll hitch a ride to Denver with Andy and Heather. After a two-day stay, during which I expect to see Katy, Cliff, and Mia, I’ll take the Super Shuttle over to the Denver airport and fly to Detroit. At the end, I’ll fly home, where Joanne will pick me up and spend the day with me. While I was kind of looking forward to the road trip (and, indeed, that was originally the whole point of the trip!), I’m happy with the way it’s turning out. I’ll enjoy being with family and Mark and I will have tomorrow’s drive together. Wish me luck, Loyal Readers!

Not a whole lot more to tell tonight and, as mentioned previously, I need to get to sleep before my long, long drive tomorrow, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: 76,000 pounds of beef ribs burn in Ludlow big rig fire!

See you tomorrow.

Statue wavers

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014


Here are Joanne and me holding up the statue of Eiler Larsen in downtown Laguna Beach, California. The guy was the unofficial town greeter and now his statue has taken over. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken by our tour guide, and part of my famous Joanne, Statue, and Vacation series.

Pretty good day today. I sent a PhotoDoc registration code to our first customer today! He paid for the program on Sunday. So I made my first sale on my birthday! Cool!

Mark and I dropped the Taurus off at the Ford dealer this morning. It needed an oil change and I had been saving up a few other things to have them look at, so it ought to be there for a couple days. I miss it. The garage looks so empty!

Joanne and I went to dinner with her friend Maria at Gordon Biersch this evening. They were having a bratwurst special. It made for a pretty good meal. Stopped at Rubio’s on the way home and picked up a shrimp burrito for Mark.

I was listening to some music this afternoon and had a moment of grief. Mark heard me trying not to cry and came into the office and put his arms around me. The tears came and lasted for a few minutes. I’m so grateful for Mark. He’s really there when I need him.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: accountant-catching crocodile!

See you tomorrow.

Mexico ship

Monday, June 9th, 2014


Here’s the cruise ship I took on my March 2014 trip to Mexico. Note the threatening weather. It was pretty rugged that day, but it didn’t last long. By the first night, we were out of the cloud cover and the rain had stopped for the duration. Weather in Mexico was sunny, warm, and beuatiful. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the cruise ship terminal while I boarded the ship, and part of my famous Cruise, Machinery, and Vacation series.

No post on Friday. Can’t remember why not. But I’m posting tonight!

Had a great weekend! We went to Laguna Beach, California to celebrate my 57th birthday. That age seems younger every year, doesn’t it? We ate at a lot of very nice restaurants, took a harbor cruise in Newport Beach to look at the homes of rich people (where I got a sunburn on the tops of my knees), did a little scavenger hunt thing around town, got a Thai massage, and went on a food tasting tour of the little beach town there. I had a great time!

The Thai massage was a very interesting thing. The masseuse was a small (fortunately) Thai lady. They had me lie down on a comfortable but firm mat on the floor and the masseuse spent a pretty good part of the time kneeling on me, except when she was leaning on me with her elbows. At one point she was both kneeling on the backs of my thighs and bearing down on my back with her elbows. I came out of there extremely relaxed but with my muscles quite thoroughly stretched. Final verdict: it was a bit more rugged than a Swedish massage, but I would definitely do it again.

The place we stayed was right on the beach and was beautiful. Highly recommended. Laguna Beach is quite crowded on weekends, making getting around a bit of a challenge, but we managed. It was much less crowded today.

The drive there and the return home were uneventful and relaxing. I love road trips.

And that’s about it for today. I’m healthy, happy, and doing well. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: fugitive Chinese chicken! (Warning: autoplaying video. Yuck!)

See you tomorrow.

New reader

Thursday, June 5th, 2014


Here’s Joanne, my newest Loyal Reader! Loyal Reader Number Thirty-Eight, to be specific. I took this Great Art at the Palazzo a few weeks ago when we attended Joanne’s friend’s birthday party. Had a great time at the party and we also had a great time together. Welcome, new Loyal Reader! Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken on May 9, 2014 at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino, and part of my famous Architecture, Event, Joanne, and Las Vegas series.

Had a pleasant day again. I got no work done, but I had a pleasant day anyway. Or maybe because. Who knows?

Well, I actually did get a bit of work done; just not paying work. I got some grocery shopping done, got my haircut, put gas in the Taurus, and exchanged a large pile of change for about $17 of groceries. Doesn’t look like much now that it’s written down. Hmm.

No post yesterday, so I’ll fill in a bit of info. The golf game with Bob and Diane was lots of fun. The fourth person was a guy named Larry, who is also a lot of fun. I want to golf with those guys again. Also, Bob and Larry have quadcopters they like to fly. I happen to have a quadcopter too and they’ve invited me to go to the park and play with them soon. Fun! I love having friends. I really do.

Joanne and I went to the meatball place for dinner and the Zombie Burlesque show afterwards last night. The meatballs were passable, but I don’t think I’d go there again. It was essentially a fast-food place that served average meatballs with sauce in a cup, along with lukewarm slices of pizza that they tried to class up by calling it flatbread. Too harsh of a review, Loyal Readers? The show was cute and fun and certainly didn’t take itself seriously. It may have been a bit juvenile, but that’s okay. Definitely not for the young or faint of heart, though. We’re going back to Planet Hollywood tomorrow night to go to the Spice Market Buffet. Hopes are high.

Mark got home last night! It’s great to see him again. He appears to have had a great time, but he says he was definitely ready to come home. I’m glad he got to take the trip. Feel free to travel when you want, Mark!

And that’s it for tonight. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: flatulent, fire-starting German cows!

See you tomorrow.

Hi there

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014


Here’s a friendly-looking statue on display at the Bellagio conservatory during their Chinese New Year celebration this past February. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the Bellagio hotel/casino conservatory in February 2014 during a visit with my Mom, and part of my famous Event, Garden, Las Vegas and Statue series.

Yeah, I know you can’t see much garden there, but it was there. Trust me. I know what I’m doing.

No post yesterday. I was in Tucson helping Chris and Jack get stuff packed and sent to Florida. Chris didn’t want to move enough stuff to hire a moving company or even rent a truck, so he packed up 12 boxes and shipped it all to himself. He’s loading up his car with a bunch of other things and driving it to Florida on Thursday, as I recall. It was nice being there to help. I hadn’t seen Jack in quite a while. He’s certainly a pleasant young man. Very impressive.

I’m sorry I didn’t get to post yesterday because it was a very important day. Shannon died four months ago yesterday. So much has happened since she’s been gone. For the first while, I pretty much just stopped living. Or at least I stopped living in the present. I spent my time immersing myself in my wonderful memories of the past. It was such a recent past that I think it did a pretty good job of masquerading itself as the present. It was so comforting to spend entire days looking at pictures of Shannon with our family, with me, or just by herself. I found old voice messages she had sent me and played them over and over again. I’m so grateful to have those; they help me remember her beautiful voice. In one of them, she told me she loved me. It was just a casual “I love you” thrown in at the end of a mundane message, but it’s priceless. I slept with the pillow she had used in the hospital to keep her knees from hurting in bed as she got thinner and thinner. I even put some of her perfume on the pillow and kind of felt like I could smell her at night. I talked to her at various times, hoping maybe she could hear me. I don’t know if she could, but it comforted me to at least keep up half of the kind of conversations we had so unthinkingly for so many years. I’m not ashamed to admit any of that.

But things have already started to change. I still treasure my memories of Shannon, the influence she had for good in my life, the wonderful children she gave me, the way she dedicated her entire life to my happiness, the beautiful home she made for me, the way she taught me how to be self-sufficient without either of us knowing she was doing it, and so much more. My life was so intertwined with hers that I don’t know how to separate them.

But they have been separated and I’m moving forward. I know it’s healthy. I have to do it. The past is distancing itself. I’ve started working a little. It’s still hard to concentrate on that, but it’s getting better. My relationship with Joanne has been a great way to help me focus on the present – not just going places and doing things with her, which has been great fun and very emotionally fulfilling, but also being introduced into a new circle of friends with interests that are new to me. Put it all together and I have a life again, for which I’m deeply grateful.

But even though the past has started to become the past, my love for Shannon continues undimmed. Even though Joanne has become so dear to me. Even though I no longer spend large portions of every day reminiscing. Even though I sometimes go for days without crying. Please don’t think, Loyal Readers, that I’ve forgotten my dear, wonderful wife. Her soul is still entwined with mine and always will be. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but just as I discovered that my love for Katie was undiminished when Paul came along and captured my heart, and then the whole thing repeated again for Andy and Mark, so too have I learned that there’s room in my heart for Joanne without making Shannon’s place there even the least bit smaller. That’s the miracle of love.

How I miss Shannon! How I love her!

And how I now love Joanne too!

Mark comes home from San Francisco tomorrow. He’s been at Katie’s house for a couple days. I’m excited for his return. Joanne and I will be at Planet Hollywood for dinner and a late show, so I might not actually see him until he next day. But I’m still excited! Drive safely, Mark!

And it’s time for bed. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this rare toilet news: toilet seat lid assault!

See you tomorrow.