Thursday, April 30, 2009

21st Century Cathedral and your church building

Today, Carol and I toured the building of the year or of many years, "The Cathedral of Christ the Light" in Oakland, California.   When most people think of touring a Cathedral, it produces a mental image of a giant cruciform stone building with much stained glass.  Grand but overdone.  Most of the famous ones are in Europe or maybe in old east coast cities.  Having been raised in a conservative Christian environment, I know that most people that I have met think that such buildings are unnecessary or at least a waste of money.  Well Well Well

The Cathedral of Christ the Light is one of the greatest examples of Architecture, I have witnessed.  I were in a tour group led by the design Architect and the diocese provost.  To say the least it is a far cry from the churches who say, "We want a Colonial church or we want one like the metal building one in Springdale.  You know lots of space and low cost so not any windows."  

This is not one of those.  The Catholic Diocese wanted to replace the cathedral damage in the 1989 earthquake.  They asked for  "Spiritual home" and a place that told the world about Jesus Christ.  The plan is in the shape a the fish, the walls bring in light, as in "the light of the world," the baptistery pool as you enter the building symbolizes the path to Jesus, the giant image of Christ a the altar is actually a large metal panel with are computer generated 94,000 perforations that create the photo of a famous statue in Chartres Cathedral in France, and I could go on and on.
It was built downtown between Office buildings and a park lake to show the church's relationship to the world and nature.  They wanted a building that spoke of the future and also have relics of the past.  They did not want a building of a style that had nothing to do with the people of Oakland (i.e Mission style, Romanesque, etc.)  The long ramp outside the entrance is the pilgrim's walk that comes toward the cross over the entrance (the alpha entry), then the baptistery and on to the altar and the photo (the omega).

I would challenge the most conservative, don't waste the Lord's money, Christian to enter this building and not be overwhelmed  by how God and Jesus is honored and glorified.  While our group was there another five tour groups were there and each was hearing the story of Christ. When has our buildings attracted people from all over the world just to hear and see the story of Jesus and his disciples.  This building proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Light of ALL Nations.

By the way:  At night it is a Light in the midst of the city becoming a lamp.  They say that this is to reflect Revelations 21:23,  "The glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb."!

Very Cool!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Idle thoughts and first impressions

San Francisco

This is a city of townhouses, row houses, high density living. If you put Muskogee's population into this density and the whole city could fit in about 12 square blocks!

We need a rapid transit system like this.  I would call it MART (Muskogee Area Rapid Transit).  Go to Tulsa for $10 bucks.  Go to Fort Gibson for $2.00.  Go to the Creek casino and get $5.oo in slot play for going.  Return home for 20 dollars!)

Our legislature would freak, out west!  English only! Please!  That is one of only 4 common languages around here and I'm not talking about Spanish either.  By the way in Vegas the shopping centers broadcast all information in two languages (English and Japanese).

If anyone wants to see what a great downtown looks like. Come here!  It is like the 50's.  Trolleys, large department stores, museums side by side, etc.

I haven't be here since the late 80's and it still Rocks!  The first time I was here for two days.  This time its 5 days.

Are we their yet?

This is our week to be in San Francisco for the American Institute of Architects convention.  To get there we had a connecting flight from Las Vegas! Our third time there in 60 days! Technically.
We were to leave Tulsa at 10:00am, but thunder storms in Dallas delayed the flight.  They announced that we would leave at 11:00 am.  Then 11:40! Then they announced that the plane meant for Tulsa had a defective toilet and they switched planes.  It got to Tulsa at noon.

I was paged to come to the counter (Usually not good). They saw that we would miss our connecting flight in San Fran and booked us on a later flight, a 1:50 departure.  Ok so far. 

 We get to the terminal in Vegas at 1:40 pm.  We literally ran from gate 9 to gate 21!

The good news is we made it.  The bad news: Nobody ran with our bags.

They tell us at the San Francisco airport that when the bags arrive, they will bring them to our hotel.  At this writing they have called to say that they have them and they will be at our hotel before midnight.  Yea!

We take the BART to our Hotel.  All is well. Right?

We check in at the Hilton and the credit card that we use on trips is declined!  It seems that yesterday Carol paid off our balance and Visa decided (in their words) that since we had paid off a large balance, they would put a hold on our card for 4 days!  We even used a bank draft to pay it!  Go figure.  

I will say that Southwest Airlines was very helpful during the trip and nothing like the American Airlines debacle of last year.

This is going to be a great trip in spite of the start. By the way, it is cold here and as you may know this area has the highest cost of living in the USA.  They remind you every time you want even a Coke.

Tomorrow is the Sonoma Wine Country tour.  Some one tell John Paul Gilliam that I am doing homework on his class from two weeks ago.

We are running loose in America!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Soloist

I have been looking forward to the soloist since the Holiday movie previews in December and was anxious to see it for myself.  Recently, one of the TV news magazines did a special about the characters in the movie.  You see this movie is based on a true story that is still being lived.  Robert Downey Jr. plays Steve Lopez, a feature writer for the LA Times, who happens upon Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless musician on the streets of L.A.  When he finds that Ayers was a student at Juilliard School of Music in New York, he starts writing a series of human interest stories about Ayers, his talent and his schizophrenia that led him to the streets  This is where the story starts.  The reviewers get their panties in a bunch when anyone makes a movie out of a true story or a non fiction book.  I saw the real guys interviewed and I have seen the movie. Ignore the critics!

I sat through the movie with a lump in my throat several times.  My emotions went from exhilaration, to sadness, to inspired, to guilt, happy, etc.  It IS what i go to the movie for.

One of my favorite lines in the movie was when Lopez is trying to describe Ayers' music to his ex-wife and says,  " Ayers is filled with something that that I don't have!"  She answers, "It's called Grace."  

The visuals and symbols in the movie and the camera work with the music is a real treat.

These actors do a great, great job.  This simply was not the same Jamie Foxx that I saw perform in Vegas two weeks ago.  He had been transformed.

Side Note:  The real Nathaniel Ayers was a classmate at Juilliard with Yo Yo Mah.

I give it ****stars.  Best so far this year.  A must see movie for movie fans.

Now I want to read the book.

I have attached photos of the real people and their movie counterparts.

2009 movie #25

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Later that night

When we left the Hospital last night about 11:00 pm, we headed to Coweta to pick up my Mother's car and take it to Haskell.  This is a Maxima that I have handed down to about everyone in the Family.  It has 385,000 miles on the odometer and runs great.  In case you are wondering the transmission went out at 250,000 and the engine lasted until 325,000 miles.  I digress.
I drove it to Haskell and put it in the garage.  Then as if I were still a kid, I hit the garage door opener and ran out before the door closed.  Almost didn't make it!  So I am outside and get in the truck and drive away.  It is now Midnight.  Then I think, "Yikes, I left my phone on the Maxima's console!"  We drive around the block and I take Mother's house key  and realize that she has locked the storm doors from the inside.  All doors.  I think about easy ways to break in but nothing works.  I have tools but useless.  At 12:30 we are staring at the door and Carol says, "Why don't we get something very limber to slip in the storm door crack and trip the switch?"  All I had was a business card, but guess what?  It worked!  

We finally got home at 1 am.

  However, we did not go to bed until we watched a fast version of American Idol to see who was voted off!

Paging George Clooney to ER

Yesterday afternoon I got a call that my mother was being taken by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital. She was at her doctor's office in Coweta and the Doctors seemed to think that she needed immediate tests. We did not know her condition though, but ambulance and please go to the hospital gets your attention. We arrived at St. Francis a little after 6:00pm and she was setting in the Emergency Waiting Room! Of Course, on the way there my imagination led me to expect something far different.

When she arrived she was told to take a seat. It was about 7:00pm when she was called back and we went with her. It was then that I realized they had never asked her any questions previously. They took some tests and she stayed in one cubicle for a while and then she was asked to set in a chair just outside this space. We shared the moment with a twenty something girl and her mom as she screamed and cried and asked for drugs. We wondered if Mother would be admitted or be released. While waiting we get a call from our son who tells us that they are in the emergency center across the street with Avery. Avery had collided with another kid at ball practice and has a giant swelled nose and two black eyes!

Based on my experience with ER on TV and in the Movies, I guessed that we would not know anything until 10:00pm. I missed it 20 minutes. At 10:20 they said that they would admit her and keep her for more tests. The speculation was Congestive Heart Failure, but who knows? She had only been there for 5 hours.

It is best to go to the emergency room with low expectations. We observed at least three families get mad and leave because of the wait. One guy back in the cubicles said he wanted to leave and the attendant said, "You have two choices stay here or I call the Police." Seems his problems were a little different than the average Joe.

It can be worse. On a trip last year to Florida last year, Carol fell and hit her head. I took her to a local hospital (much smaller than St. Francis) and entered a full waiting area with three times the one at St. Francis. We arrived at 8:00pm and the person at check-in said that it would probably be 12 hours before a doctor would see us!

The good news is that today should be a better day for Mother and Avery.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Loose Ends

I have another Las Vegas story to tell, but since I was raised in a conservative church and have very conservative church friends (who may read this) I have to do a long story before I can tell a short story.

I was raised in a town that did not believe in much.  No drinking.  No dances (There were no school sanctioned dances, proms, etc.), Smoking was frowned on but most guys did it. (No girls smoked, except sluts, sorry, just the writer)  There was a pool hall, but I was threatened within an inch of my life and did not enter until college days and then only to find a friend.  I never had the urge to smoke and never have (not one).  In high school I was offered beer, tried it did not like it and stayed with Pepsi.  This, of course, made me the designated driver for many a time.  I was glad because I was in control.  I was always ok in my skin and never felt pressure even though all my friends liked to drink beer and other things.  I was taught that drinking was wrong and the Bible said it was wrong and if you do, the next thing you know you will be dancing!  I kept that to myself, and kept my friends.  

Funny thing though, in my senior year I was elected class president, and later the Jaycees formed a Teen Club to help us manage our free time and asked me to be president of that too.  Here is the crazy part.  The only thing we did was host "a dance"  a couple of Saturday nights a month at the Community Building!  I took money at the door!  I learned how to do the "twist" in a lame way, but gave my all to the slow dancing where I just stepped on the girl's toes a lot .  Our local rock band "The Zebras" (two white guys/two black guys) played each dance. And for a brief moment I almost decided to take lessons to play the electric bass which is the cool instrument!

I made it through college the same way and I was 30 before I fell off the wagon (so to speak).
We were with some friends (from church no less) on a trip to Dallas and we went to a Chili's. Liquor by the Drink was not in Oklahoma so no Chili's.  They suggested a margarita.  I'm thinking, if its like beer I'm not interested.  By George, it wasn't!  It was then and there that I decided to consult my Bible when I got home for a loop hole!   This was good!

In the years since I have consulted my Bible and saw once and for all that the Bible does not talk against drinking, it is against being irresponsible. It is about not influencing kids or others to do something that they may not want, desire, or believe in.  It is about not abusing things and becoming a drunkard.  It is not about drinking a glass of wine, margarita or beer.  I say that but I have always been careful.  I did not want to broadcast my thoughts.  No drinking around the kids, my mother (Lord No!) or anyone who knows me.  The Fifty Mile rule!(and then I survey the room real close and go booth by booth to see if I know any one.  When I was an elder (100 mile rule!)  See no one knows. (FYI:  If you are hearing this for the first time, it isn't the truth and I would never do such a thing!  Who do you take me for?)

Ok, where was I?

I drink probably 4 or 6  or 8 margaritas a year.  So I am not exactly an alcoholic, though I am taking way more trips that are over 100 miles from home (if you get my drift).

This leads me back to Vegas and the short story.

After the ACM awards which stared at 7:00pm Oklahoma time but 5:00pm Vegas time, we decided to have dinner.  Since Toby Keith had performed live, I surmised that maybe he might show up at "I Love This Bar & Grille"  his restaurant in Harrah's.  So we took the monorail back to Harrah's where the car was parked and went in to Toby's.  Ordered  some TexMex and decided hey what the heck,  the waitress took our drink orders and I ordered a Diet Coke and a Margarita on the Rocks (Frozen ones give me brain freezes!).  She brings the diet coke first in a large Kerr Mason Jar (just like in the song).  It is about 24 ounces or more.  No need for many refills!  The later she brings the margarita in an identical jar filled to the brim!  I'm thinking wow that is probably watered down.  No one would make one that big!  I was wrong.  About half way through the meal I was having out of body experiences and by the time I stopped eating the shrimp (the glass was 7/8 finished), I'm thinking, I bet I can't walk!  I look at Carol and say, "I don't think we are leaving for a while."  She described my face as very, very red.  But I was happy!  I guess I'm a happy drunk!  I did have the sense to listen to the music for a while (not Toby, he came the night before!) but I didn't have the sense to only drink a little of the salted edge concoction.  We decided to leave and go down stairs and I asked her to walk real slow and I would follow.  Then I watched myself walk out.

I learned two good lessons. 1. Stick to one or the equivalent of one when out.  2. Toby charges $15.00 for those things.  So when Toby opens in Catoosa, it probably fits the 50 mile rule, but watch out for the jars!

I hope this story does not offend but if it does, you had better break out that Bible.

State of Play on a Sunday Afternoon

This afternoon I had an important meeting at church.  It had been planned for a couple weeks so i knew I would need a movie when it ended. We saved  "State of Play" for that purpose, which could have been the name of the meeting as well.  I love to play games.  Trying to figure out did they say what I just heard or is there another meaning,  If it isn't what I thought, where is this train of thought going?  But enough about the meeting.  "State of Play" is designed like most good stories to give you facts and slowing add to it leading you either toward the solution or coming to a dead end so you will go "Boy, did I get that wrong!" Wait that might have been the meeting!  Anyway, You watch and you listen and then at the end, someone says something that blows your mind and you go, "Didn't see that coming!"  But two hours goes fast!  For a movie or a meeting.  

I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it for an engaging story.  ***stars
I enjoyed the meeting.  It also was an engaging story but no popcorn, no hot tamales. Thus **1/2 stars


Friday, April 17, 2009

Less Traveled Roads

Events in my life are really taking "Less Traveled Roads". This fall, out of no where, I got a call from a client church. The Minister asked me if I would speak to his church on Sunday Night. I was surprised because they had only seen me in an Architect role and they did not want me to talk about the project, but any topic I chose. I must say it was very enjoyable.
Not too long ago, I was asked if I would like to speak at one of the sessions of the State School Board August conference in Ok. City. It will be a session about an education design case study.

Then out of no where I was asked to be one of the speakers at the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce Success Expo on May 12. This one is a stretch. It is in the block called Personal Development and my talk will be, "Paul Revere, Kevin Bacon & FaceBook." I will mix music & PowerPoint to try to make this fun, because these kinds of seminars can be dull and boring.

My most challenging offer came from Randy Willingham of Harding University. He holds what he calls "Prayer Calls" were he gathers three or four people to talk (by conference call) on a topic and people can dial in to listen and comment. It is a phone version of an Internet conference! Up to 1,000 people can connect. On May 5 I will be one of the presenters on the subject of dealing with personal loss. I will tell the story of the events surrounding my daughter's death and some of the things and people that I encountered afterword. Then Randy Willingham, Kevin Youngblood, and Brian Tarpley will go deeper into this area. It will be a unique experience to say the least. If any are interested I will make the phone information available on a later post.

These varied and different opportunities sure make life interesting and it brings to mind one of the points I am studying for my chamber talk. We are on this earth primarily to "connect".

Connect with God, Connect with family, Connect in business, Connect socially, musically, by story, by joke, by involvement, by whatever. When we die, they will only talk about our connections at our funeral.

I just got some new ways to connect!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You Too!

It has been a good week.  U2 tickets for the Norman concert in October go on sale tomorrow (Friday) and mine came in the mail today!  4 great seats! (presale).    See, I'm not JUST country.

Also arriving were my tickets to Darius Rucker who just so happens to be in Fayettville in May.  Concert Season is in full gear.

I'm not bragging.  I'm happy.

I (Sorta) Love You Man!

We have the grandsons tomorrow night, so we went to the movies for a popcorn fix.  Slim Pickings.  Russell Crowe doesn't arrive until Friday, but we won't see it until Sunday Night.  We chanced a PG50 movie, "I Love of Man".  I know I sound old, but remember when movies eventually mad it to network television and they were sanitized (edited for prime time)?  This is a great candidate.  It is a great PG13 movie loaded with F-bombs and oral sex talk.  The irony is in the story line that the guy is uncomfortable that the girl is talking bout her sex life with her girl friends! So was I!

Any who.  The movie had funny moments and many uncomfortable moments.  I don't think I will rate this.  You are on your own.



I am still reading The Blue Parakeet. Real reading is so slow. But it is still a great read whenever I can.  However, in my other reading room (the truck) I just finished a good book.  You see driving to places like Stillwater, Stilwell, Poteau, Twin Hills, and Tulsa gives me hours of reading (listening).  The book was "I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This (and Other Things That Strike Me as Funny) by Bob Newhart.  It is a memoir and auto-biographical glimpse of his life and career.  He tells great stories about his stand-up act, his TV shows and movies.  He started in the 50's and is still going. This is one time when I say again, you must get the audio.  He does many of his routines (voices and all).  He also does a good job doing the voices of some famous comedians.

His first album, "The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart" was also one of the first that a bought as a high school kid. I had forgotten that in 1960 it not only won the Grammy for the best Comedy album, it won best album of the year beating out Frank Sinatra and others AND was the top selling record in 1960 and 1961!

It has good memories for those of us that remember the 1960s.  Yikes!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Imaginary Friends

For most of my life I have heard of people with imaginary friends.  Never had any myself (not counting those who I thought were friends that proved not to be).  It seems that my youngest grandson, Addison, has many!  He has two and one is Swiper (after the fox in Dora).  He talks about them in a very casual way.  Recently, things have changed.  My grandson now says he has a grandson, Ghost!  More recently, talking to his mother about his new brother (who is residing in his mother's tummy), he informed her that he has "Emma" in his tummy.

I thought I had a good imagination!  I'm not even close.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stupid is as Stupid does

 I took my old laptop to the Apple store so that they could take some of its files and install them on my new Imac.  Ever since then, my old computer will not let me on the Internet.  Its wireless capability is haywire.  It would not work  with my router at home so I took it to the office and it didn't work there either.  I called our I.T. guy for some work in the office and then asked while he was there to check my laptop and see why the wireless doesn't work.  He was in my office when I returned from lunch and announced, "Fixed you problem.  Should work fine now."  

"What was the problem?"

"Well, see this button (pointing to the top center of my keyboard).  It is marked 'wireless'.  When you push it this blue light comes on and you have wireless capability!"

Who knew! 

I am waiting on that invoice. I deserve it.  Sorry, Apple store for all my foolish thoughts.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Video

See Video bar on the side. This is cool! Done by a group of sound engineers around the world.

Stand By Me

You will have to turn Paul Thorn down if you have your sound on. If you don't- shame on you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bad Friday Movie Night: I "Knowing" went!

It's Friday Night and we had just left our grandson, Avery's, T-ball game.  If you have not gone to one you are missing a treat.  What other game can the batter hit the ball, all the adults shout run, and the little girl playing third base runs in and touches home plate!  Where else when the ball is hit between first and second base, the fielders fall in a pile and wrestle for the ball.  But I digress. After the game we realize that we have time to make it to our Friday Night movie.  we check times and movies and realize we have seen all the good movies.  Never stopped us before!  Let's see, we have  Seth Rogen, Mall Cop (Observe and Report), Hannah Montana, or Fast and Furious 3 with tag line New Cars, Original Parts.   Mall Cop sounded gross even though the previews minus the crude stuff was funny.  Ms. Montana (We saw Miley in Vegas!).  Fast and Furious (stupid movie, cool cars).  Okay, so the cars won.  We head to the Cinemark only to find it Sold Out!   I look up on the board and see that "Knowing" is playing and about to start.  I did not want to see it when it came out. But there is popcorn and the weird Nicholas Cage who gets worked up about National Treasures  and the end of the world.  This movie was every bit as believable as watching Vin Diesel makes cars fly and stuff.   It to spoil the ending for you but it was suspenseful until about 2/3 through it and the writers said, "How do we end this thing?" 
Somebody else says, "Remember ET.  A spaceship can come at the end, but for fun lets burn up the earth."  I found some of the disaster scenes detestable, showing a graphic airline crash and other too graphic scenes.  I would say that it is not worth renting.  *star.   

The couple next to us got up and left (after an hour!).  I would have left too, but I still had Milk Duds!

The world comes to and end at 7:35 pm and again at 9:30!  This was close to Scientology!

mike, the promoter

I discovered the Paul Thorn Band last year and blogged about them. Paul Thorn is the ex-boxer, blues, gospel,rock artist from Tupelo. Well, I'm on the email list of Cain's Ballroom and they recently sent out a list of upcoming shows. I replied that they should book Paul Thorn and if they didn't know who he was they should go to YouTube. I them told Jim Risch, fellow Paul Thorn fan, what I had done and he did the same.

Got an e-mail this morning from Cain's that they booked his band for August 30th, a Sunday Night. This will be a great party. You all should come. Check him out on YouTube!

I love it when a plan comes together.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Music

I know I have been talking alot about Zac Brown Band. Actually, Nate introduced them to me when he loaned me a CD. At the bottom of this blog is a play list. The first five songs are Zac Brown band including my current theme, "where the boat leaves from."

Public Service Announcement

This is a public service announcement: If you are at a concert and have the urge to sing along---DON'T! You may or may not know the words, but we didn't pay to hear you.

I know there are times when everyone does it. At a Buffett concert the whole crowd sings along. I'm talking about the chosen ones that sit behind me and raise their voice so that they can be heard over the artist. I was blessed three nights in a row.

Saturday Night:

At the Zac Brown show we had two drunk couples behind us. The guys didn't want to be there, they didn't like concerts. they wanted to drink and loose their money. The girls, however, liked Zac Brown's song, "Chicken Fried" which is all over the radio. They like it so much, that every time there was a pause between songs, they would shout, "Chicken Fried". Mind you, these Georgia boys had much better songs than that. They sung one of their new songs, "Free" which they mixed with Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic". It was a magical moment except for, "Sing Chicken Fried!" which of course would be the last song since it the the crowd pleaser.

Sunday Night: ACM AWARDS

The lady behind us actually knew the words to every current country song and she could prove it. She did prove it! At every commercial she would say a version of, "This is absolutely the best night of my life." or "I can't believe I am seeing this!" Carol actually caught the brunt of this.

Monday Night: George Strait All Star Concert

We were blessed to be setting in front of a couple from Indiana (in their late 60's) who were self confessed, George's Biggest Fans. They must travel around to his concerts and named them all for us to be amazed. They had even gone to Houston to watch him rope! The guy this time had a baritone voice which he wanted to share. He did. He sung the Strait songs, but at one point Keith Urban sung a medley of Marty Robbins songs, (the first winner of artist of the decade). Guess what? Indiana guy likes Marty too! Oh the joy!

During an intermission they shared with all of us that their favorite concert was at Texas Stadium when George shared the stage with Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. They said,
"When Jimmy Buffett came on stage about 3/4 of the crowd left! It was the darndest thing. Nobody wanted to hear him." I wanted to turn around and tell him that we were there and that did not happen, but how do you talk to these people.

Monday, April 6, 2009

One More Thing

I may be the only Okie to say this but  Carrie Underwood won Entertainer of the year because it was an online vote  (similar to American Idol) and it favors the young.  Julianne Hough won best new artist for the same reason.  She has an audience from Dancing with the Stars where votes are necessary.  I think merit of  the entertainment and performing should be judged ahead of popularity.  I have seen Carrie in concert and it is not at the level of Chesney, Paisley or Strait and I've seen them too!

Mike goes Strait

Tonight we are attending the George Strait- Artist of the Decade All Star Concert.  The taping is for a show that will be on CBS on May 27.  George will be there and possibly perform, but the stars will honor him by performing his hit songs.  Here is who we will hear: Jamie Fox, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Brooks & Dunn, Jack Ingram, Alan Jackson, Jamey Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, John Rich, Leann Rimes, Blake Shelton and Lee Ann Womack.  

Should be an OK show!

So, I'm not sad I will miss Springsteen!

ACM Awards- Random Thoughts

Well, we survived the ACMs.  I say survived because it was massive sensory overload.  I have stated before that concerts get my creative juices going, but this time my eyes and ears were digesting so fast that I was numb at the end.  My first thought was: I need to do this again next year.  On TV it is a great show, I saw a great concert.  The commercials were also helpful.  By the way during commercials the stars get up and talk to each other; those drinking too much beer in the masses head to the toilets;  there is chaos and then the announcers starts the countdown everyone heads to there seats and then suddenly all is well.  Those that did not make it back in the arena before it goes live again are forced to wait until the next commercial to return.

As with the Zac Brown Concert Saturday night, we once again set in front of a lady who MUST sing along to every song!  This is why I still believe in capital punishment. 

This was the first concert that we travelled to by monorail.  The MJM Grand may have one of the largest parking garages in the world, but not great if everyone wants to leave at once.  We went to Harrahs and caught the monorail.  After the show MJM was a mess so we went to Harrahs and ate at Toby Keith's Grill.  He performed there the night before (While we were at Zac Brown).

There is a belief that  Kenny Chesney is gay!  It started when he was married to Rene Zellwenger  for two weeks.  She had it annulled and stated that things were not what they seemed!  Well he doesn't help things.  Last night he set on the front row with an attractive blonde model that he arrived with.  He never looked at her or talked to her.  When someone would approach him he stood up to talk to them and ignored her. he certainly did not introduce her.  He even left at one time and she set by her self.  No one ever talked to her. 

As far as what to wear at these things. The answer is:  "What are you doing after the show?"  Many were industry types and they were dressed like the stars and were going one of the many after parties.  There was every possible combination of dress last night!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Brushes with fame

Last night on Fremont Street I walked up to an expresso stand not far from the stage where the Zac Brown Band was performing.  it was an expresso/gelato stand but they sold Diet Pepsi so I stood in line behind three guys ordering expresso.  they were pleasant enough and even said hi. While they were waiting one says, "When do we go on?"   7:45   I think, woo.  I go back to where Carol is and when the band takes the stage, I realize that the 3 in front of me was the drummer, the fiddler, and the key board player.   I thought they stayed back stage!

Today we went to the Fashion Show Mall across from the Wynn Hotel.  It is like Woodland Hills on steroids and has a live fashion show (runway and all) every hour featuring one of the 200 stores.  I found a great men's store (Harris and Frank) and made a purchase or so.  Carol and I were at the check out and the computer crashed so we waited a while.  In walks Darius Rucker (Hootie and The Blowfish) and he buys a jacket.  we are the only customers in the store.  We talked to him for about 20 minutes.  I told him that we saw him in Tulsa with Brad Paisley. He said that he had a great time and that he would return this summer with Rascal Flatts.  He is presenting tonight.  he said he would have performed, but couldn't make it from South  Carolina for rehearsal.  I asked if the group was doing anything and he said the gig in South Carolina was Hootie with the South Carolina ballet for two nights!

It was cool!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

ACM Awards

Tomorrow, we are going to the ACM Awards at the MJM Grand Arena.  Being on the board of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, I have seen many awards shows in the making but not on a national scale.  This will be interesting to see what happens during commercials, do they ever have mess ups that the TV audience doesn't see, etc.  Of Course, the main thing is the music.  Reba will host the show and the performers are to be: Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flats, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Miley Cyrus, John Rich and more.

Tonight we are going to a concert at the Fremont Street Experience downtown.  The performers are the Zac Brown Band, Kellie Pickler, and LeAnn Rhimes.  This is going to be three nights of great music counting George Strait Special on Monday.  There are a few other things to do in this town as well.  This is about Country Music, but this ISN'T Branson!

By the way, The Zac Brown Band is worth checking out.  They are the next big thing!

Adventureland (Both of Them)

We arrived in Vegas today for a long weekend and after getting settled in, we headed out - To the Movies!  When Carol called the kids to say we had arrived,  Nate asked what we were going to do first and she said the movies.  "Can't you guys find anything to do there?"  Yes, we are are in Adventureland.  As a matter of fact, I am writing this at 2:15 am (Okie time) in the city that never sleeps.

We did go to the Rave Cinema and saw "Adventureland".  By current movie standards of movies for the young, this is fairly tame.  Yes, there was an abundant use of the F bomb, but it was almost okay use of the term!  The movie is set in 1989 and is about kids working in an amusement park (much like Bell's).  Bill Hader of SNL fame and a Tulsa product is the amusement park owner.  In the Tulsa paper today was an interview with him about his memories of Bell's and about is summer jobs.   The movie about the lives of each of these people and each will remind you of someone you knew in High School  (the good, the bad, the fakes, the nerds, and the rich kids).   It was a good pre-summer flick.  It is easy to connect with the main characters.  The guy is the smart kid who has no life experiences (especially with girls) and the girl is the type that has too much life experience (especially with guys) and is measurable.  Good humor and good story. Bad language!

I give it *** stars.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Headlines I love

I opened up my computer's homepage today and saw this headline: Oklahoma Cattlemen Oppose Cow Flatulence Fee. It is on "The EPA is planning to Crackdown on harmful gases emitted from factories, cars and possibly even cows. The EPA claims the gas emit is linked to global warming."