Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Friday Letter - 12/14/10

The past week has been a busy one in the middle of several busy ones, but more than anything, it has been an opportunity to celbrate Tracy. Last Saturday, in San Antonio, she was hooded with her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, and I am so proud of her.

On Wednesday, we drove to Tulsa (a drive we made for Thanksgiving, and will make again for Christmas) and spent the night with Win and Rob. On Thursday, we picked up Tracy's Dad and drove to San Antonio. On Friday, we were joined by Win and Rob, Vita (Tracy's Dad's wife), Tracy's Mom and her husband. So, there were 4 couples total. On Saturday, we all attended the graduation ceremony (not counting Tracy, who was involved) and had a wondrful meal at a Belgian restaurant to celebrate. On Sunday, we drove back home, dropping off Oklahoma family on the way, finally falling into bed exhausted (after watching The Amazing Race finale -- thank you very much, DVR). The next day I drove 10 hours to Kentucky. Blech.

I am extremely proud of Tracy for her degree. Mom always said that education and experiences are things that can never be taken away from us. On the other hand, not to go all Wizard of Oz, but the degree really is just a symbol of the inherent intelligence that Tracy has. It's also a symbol of the significant persistence that she showed in pursuing it. She was the first person to finish this program entirely online, and I think she faced additional challenges as the faculty figured out how to handle her situation.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Friday Letter - 9/19/10

Well, it's been a good weekend. Yesterday was the Rocheport Wine Stroll. This annual event offers folks the opportunity to pay a flat fee, get a wine glass, then wander around from store to store (mostly antique stores) trying wines from different wineries. It is The Event in town.

However, we have sort turned it into The Anti-Event at our house. Most locals choose to do one of two things during the weekend -- help local merchants sell things, pour wine and distribute snacks, or leave town altogether. Although it is just one Saturday evening, it gets VERY crowded. Tracy and I, however take a third option -- we sit on our balcony, have some drinks and watch everyone walking around town. People check in right next to our house, and folks in line will talk to us, or ask us where to go, and we try to be as charming as possible. This year, we were joined by our friends Candy and Alan, who were perhaps more charming yet.

The Stroll was interrupted this year by a lot of rain, but folks still seemed to have a really good time. A local friend stopped by as the evening was slowing down and we went inside the house for a bit. Then, after Alan and Candy had returned home to their kids, Tracy and I went down the the General Store which had more dancing than I had ever seen in that small place. The band was great, including a young man who played the electric violin beautifully, including plucked like a guitar. It was great fun.

If you're free next year, come join us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Friday Letter - 9/14/10

Some quick thoughts:

It was really great. Tracy and I had a wonderful time. The zoo was too crazycrazycrazy crowdedbusy to go on Sunday, so we postponed it for a day. We visited some other Omaha civic space on Sunday, including the pedestrian bridge across the Missouri. I'm sure Tracy will tell you about the otter. Sunday's zoo visit was terrific. We got there early, and saw lots of active animals, including Hoho, the world's neediest sun bear:

Thanks again to the very friendly people of Omaha.
Ah, the season is upon us, and it makes me very happy. Sam Bradford acquitted himself nicely. Oklahoma and Missouri won. Central Methodist lost. SOUNDLY. Marshfield High School is 1-2, but that just makes my iffy seasons look better. I'm just glad that we are back in the season!
Tracy surprised me today with a Roomba robot vacuum and robot mop. I have wanted a Roomba since I saw my friend Dan's some years ago. And, we are in a really good house for it with all wood floors. So, she got some cheap and I am really excited. Mr. Cogswell would be so proud.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday Letter - Omaha Edition

Tracy and I are in Omaha this weekend. It was a trip we had planned to take for Memorial Day, but Mom's memorial service wound up being that weekend. So, now we have finally made it. I don't think either of us has ever been here (I know we haven't as adults) and we are really impressed. We are staying downtown, and have really enjoyed the area.

Yesterday (Saturday) we went to the "Old Market" area -- old downtown with lots of new shops and restaurants -- where there was a farmer's market. It was the sort of farmer's market with fewer people who brought produce they have grown, and more people who brought in jewelry they have made. It was crazy crowded, and my occasional claustrophobia kicked in, but I survived and I think Tracy had a nice time. Then we walked through some of the shops, and wound up having lunch at a nice brew pub.

In the afternoon, we visited the Durham Museum, which is the old Union Station from downtown. It was a little unfocused -- sort of a combination of train museum, science museum, local history museum, etc., -- but everything was really well crafted, and I was quite charm. There was an installation designed by the Field Museum in Chicago about naturna disasters that was really neat. But I think my favorite display was about the history of football in Omaha. It included one of the three Heisman trophies won by Omaha natives. Throughout the museum, the exhibits were clearly geared toward engaging the patron in different and effective ways. I highly recommend it if you get the chance.

Last night we had a whole lot of fancy sushi for a lot less than we expected to pay (always a nice surprise) and a crab-based appetizer that Tracy really enjoyed -- it has been a long time since I have seen her got so excited by a new taste. We followed that up with tasty ice cream. Today we plan on going to the zoo.

I think the real uniting theme for our time here so far has been the very friendly people. We have probably encountered two dozen-plus people in retail- or service- based exchanges, and each of them has been extremely friendly and gracious. Some you would expect -- the lady in the fancy art gallery gave us good suggestions for a lunch place, and the guy at the candy store in the museum threw in a couple of extra caramels. But others have been less likely -- our hotel is totally crazy with little kids here with their families running rampant, but the staff has been good-natured and welcoming. Even at the too-hip-to-be-cool sushi place (where one might expect good but quiet service) the waitress engaged us in a good football conversation. Nice job, Omaha.

On a side note, I had to replace my phone this week. It turns out my smart phone doesn't do well being totally submerged in water. So, through the insurance plan, I got the same model, an HTC Touch Pro. I have to say, I still like it -- it does what I want, and it has the slide-out keyboard which I prefer, and which the new HTC products are moving away from. And, I have been able to set it up as a wifi-router while we are in a hotel that charges for Internet access. Very nice.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday Letter 2 - 8/28/10 (Not Actually a Friday)

Thoughts on the week:

A very good friend of mine has started a fashion blog. As I noted on Twitter, we should all be surprised that I have a friend who started a fashion blog. Check it out at fashionrehabbed.blogspot.com. Running a Twitter search on "Rocheport," I came across this photographer and her blog. This post features loves of pretty Rocheport shots and one of our house in particular.

One of the nice things for both Tracy and me about working a places that employ college kids is getting to see the cycle of the school year. I think we both enjoy the start of the year (even though it also marks the start of Tracy's busy season). It also means that football season is almost here. So, old friends come back into town, as well as new classes with new friends to be made. As part of the return to school, the Eyrie players of CMU are performing "I'm Not Rappaport" as a benefit for Mom's memorial fund tonight (Saturday). It was a great production this summer and I'm sure will be excellent tonight. Many thanks go to the students and to Mark Kelty for their love and support for Mom and our family.

The River Rats have beed the driving force behind Gumbo Bottoms, an original production with which I've been involved for over a year. They have announced that Gumbo Bottoms will be mounted in Columbia this October, and I'm excited that it's going up again. It will have a slightly modified cast, and it will be a lot of fun. The Rats have also announced that they will produce a 3-minute play in a few months. I had the pleasure of helping pick and perform in those plays last year, and I think it is one of the most enjoyable projects I've been involved with -- and that's saying a lot.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Letter

Well, taking a page from my Uncle Richard and from his dad before him, I now come to you with a Friday Letter -- what's in my life and my brain at the end of the week . . .

In the interest of limiting my rambling, today I limit myself to 3 things that have been on my mind recently:

1) Bev is in town with her daughter, Kiriana. They are here for a lot of reasons, and are basically on their way to their new home of Portland, Oregon. I'm excited for them, and glad to have spent some time with them. Last night they and Tracy went through a lot of mom's clothes. There was much to sort. As Bev said, "you'd think that Dad would have wanted one of these dresser drawers."

2) I am ready to be moving on to the next part of my life. By which I only mean that there is some stuff I've been going through that I'm ready to be beyond -- I'd like to get the house clean, I'd like to move past Mom's death, I'd like to be in a better place at work (but not at a different place), I'd like for Wesley to be recovered from his recent surgery, blah, blah, blah. And all of this stuff is set to happen, it just isn't yet. So for now, I am just looking forward to 2011 being here.

3) Locust Day -- Locust Day is the holiday Tracy created when she was 10. It is on August 17, but we will be celebrating Locust Day (observed) with a party tomorrow, and I'm glad we will be able to have people at the house. Certain rooms are cleaner than they have been for a long time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mom is Sick

For anyone who might stumble across this blog and not be aware, my Mom is very ill, and we are appreciative of any prayers that you have to share. Information is available at www.caringbridge.org/visit/nancyjonescomo.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Doubt: A Parable

Hello. folks. I know it's been a long time since I've posted, and I am blatantly using this post for self-promotion.

This weekend, I am appearing in Doubt with the Fayette Area Community Theatre on the campus of CMU. It's at 7:30 on Friday and Saturday and at 2:00 on Sunday. It will be an excellent production, which I do not write lightly. Joe Geist is directing, and the cast is great. It's 5 bucks for adults and worth so much more.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.