Happy Veteran’s Day

Doing my part to support our country and the men and women that protect it, I participated in the Indianapolis Veteran’s Day parade.  My company, OneAmerica, sponsors the Spirit of America flag.  This isn’t just any old flag.  It’s a big ole’ flag!  30 feet wide by 70 feet long to be exact.  It requires 45 people to manuever this thing through our downtown city streets.  And when I say “requires” I mean you wear the flag.  You are literally in the flag. They have cut out 45 tank top-like holes that you stand in and the flag rests on your shoulders.  I did this last year and had a blast waving at the crowd and hearing people think how cool the flag was.  So, I got to be a veteran at this years Veteran’s Day parade!

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Race Across The Sky

I think anyone that knows me, knows my love of Colorado. So I tried to drum up some fanfare for a movie tonight about a little city known as Leadville and the big races it produces. Kristin’s the only one that joined me probably because everyone else looked at the running time of 205 minutes!  Holy crap, but it is worth it.  This is an exclusive screening across the USA at once.  Pretty cool to think some people I’ve met in my travels out west will all be watching at the same time.

I took part in the Leadville Half Marathon this year while my Bro raced in the full marathon. In addition to those, Leadville hosts a 50 miler, a 100 miler and a 100 mile bike ride. Brandon is nuts enough to have competed in the 50 and will compete in the 100 next year. There are even crazier people that enter all 5 LT100 race events, Trail Marathon, Silver Rush 50, LT100 Mountain Bike, LT100 10K, and the LT100 Run, within a racing season and finish each within designated qualifying times and you’re get to call yourself a Leadman or Leadwoman and get a large belt buckle. 282.4 miles for that?  No thanks, I choose to live the bike race out on the big screen.

So, yes we are at a movie, but at the same time, it’s epic to be watching with others across the US.  I shed some tears, did some clapping.  Kristin looked at me in digust, “Are you crying?!”  Shut up!  I finished the evening with a loud “Ewe-ewe” responded by a single “ewe-ewe” and applauded.   This city doesn’t get what I need.  I was curious to know how many in attendence actually have been to Leadville.  We know Lance Armstrong has.  He was fresh off the tour, uniball and all, he achieved stellar competition.  And he finished on a flat tire. He’s just that awesome!

Pearls of Pink

How fantastic of an event!  I became affiliated with Pink Ribbon Connection 3 years ago as a volunteer.  I stepped up my commitment to the foundation this year and became a chairman of the Nordstrom Fashion Show, Pearls of Pink.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but I loved every minute of this role.  All of the models are breast cancer survivors or work in the medical profession of supporting breast cancer patients.  It is such a wonderful and moving event.  I held back tears quite a few time during the show.  Every single person that has a role in this experience is extraordinary. 

The Pink Ribbon Connection offers breast cancer support to survivors and families and, also, provides community awareness about this critical disease.  Nordstrom’s flew in representatives from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to put on this fundraiser.  I have very little real connection to this cause, but I do get my knack of volunteerism from my lovely mother Carole, who drove down from Fort Wayne with her best friend to support me and my charity.

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Thank you to my Mom and Betty for supporting this event.  A huge thanks to all the volunteers who help put the show on.  And a gigantic appreciation to all those that spent their hard earned money to attend this fashion show and keep raising awareness for breast cancer research.  I will gladly fill this role again next year and look forward to working with so many wonderful people and survivors.  Here’s video of the lovely fashion show and models.

If anyone needs a pink “Lance” type bracelet to support October’s cause, shoot me an email and I’ll get you one.

Boo Zoo

I woke up to blue skies on Labor Day, so I called my wingman K to see what was on our agenda for the day.  We decided an outdoor activity was needed, so we headed over to the zoo to see some animals.  The real attraction was WHO was at the zoo.  Holy shit we are an ugly city.  And we saw some canidates for indydouchebags.com. 

Anyway, we made our way through the zoo to find lots of animals sleeping.  Guess they are done for the season too and aren’t interested in entertaining us anymore.  There was one walrus that was hamming it up with the crowd.  He/She kept smashing it’s face and rubbing it’s body up against the glass as people would walk by.  Some kid yells “I see it’s hole.”  And on that note, the parents took the kid and left.  K touched a shark.  Probably the coolest part of the trip.

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We went over to the Plains section to see the Dragons of Komodo.  Well, they didn’t lie with their pluralization of dragons.  It was dragons, but only 2.  They marketed this as a big fancy exhibit and only had 2?!  Disappointing.  I was hoping the dolphin show would make the trip worth it.  Wrong.  It sucked too!  I think it was a total of 15 minutes with 2 cool high flying jumps.  The rest was boring.  Here’s some random animal shots.

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Our zoo entry allowed us into the gardens and butterfly exhibit.  Let’s go see what they have.  We saw about 10 butterflies total, checked out the gardens, grabbed a photo op and we were on our way home.  It wasn’t the most exciting or memorable time but at least I had good company to share it with.

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Here’s some video of an elephant taking a dump putting on a show, a monkey peeing and the awful dolphin show.

Michael Kelsey @ The Fair

After reviewing the 30 page Indiana State Fair program, I picked out a few things I wanted to attend if my schedule permitted.  Tonight was my first opportunity to go.  2 friends, Brew and CS went with.  I wanted to see a phenominal guitarist named Michael Kelsey.  I first met Michael at Purdue through my friend Bruce Barker.  They are both incredible musicians and always put on a good show.  Michael even opened up for the BoDeans when they were here in Indy 10 years ago.  His main venue in Indy is Birdy’s but he usually plays on Sunday nights, so it’s a bit hard to round up a crew to go.

If you are around when this guy is in town, go see him.  You are guaranteed a great show.  Even if you really don’t get into music or understanding that craft, you’ll like this guy.  He’s on-the-fly creative and sings about what he sees in the audience and even grabs things from the audience to play on his guitar.  Tonight he used a kid’s juice box and Pringles can.  It was great.  He was up on the tables and playing amongst the crowd.

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After the show, we walked around to take in the scene. We are a great looking city! We headed over to the “Shit under a tent sale” to see what kind of fun As-seen-on-TV stuff we could buy. None of us spent a dime on any products, but Tim spent some quarters feeding the goats and piglets. He even took some time for a photo op.

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Thanks for indulging my musical side, boys! I had a great time, and think they did too.

False Advertising

The Children’s Museum opened up a King Tut exhibit since K and I went 2 months ago.  It was free entry again, so we set off after work to check it out.  First thing I saw though… mascot.  Gotta get a pic.

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We got up to the 2nd floor only to find a ticket line.  I tracked down a worker to see what the story was.  $15 for adults?!  You’ve got to be kidding me!  Hang a damn sign on the giant 30 foot Egyptian cat out front!  Neither one of us were THAT into seeing the exhibit, so we opted for the gift shop and all the other exhibits that were closed when we were here before.  There was a small free Egypt section that we checked out.  We patiently waited our turn for some camera ops.  Here’s K and her Sphinx-ter.

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Here’s me trying to figure out where my ass is going.

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Then K let me touch her beaver.

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Check out our postcard memory of the event. Mama Carole is coming in town this weekend and mentioned seeing this exhibit. Yea, not so much.

Wicked Fun

My Mom found a bus trip down here that included shopping and tickets to the musical Wicked.  Count me in!  I met her and 2 bus fulls of Ft. Wayne-ers at Circle Center mall.  Everyone got a few hours to shop and enjoy downtown before the show.  Since I parked at my work and walked over, I hopped on the bus to get a shuttle to the Murat so I wouldn’t have to deal with parking.  Our seats were fantastic!  Balcony center about 9 rows up.  Here’s the set that welcomed us to our seats.

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This show was phenominal!!  If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a comedy about the Wizard of Oz that tells how Glinda got to be the good witch and how Elphaba became the bad witch.  It starts way back in time and shows the girls growing up and going to Witch school.  I’ll leave it at that for now, because you really want to see it live.  The cast was amazing and the songs the girls sang together were harmonized perfectly.  There was one scene in the show that Glinda cracked herself up so bad, so had to take 30 seconds to compose herself, then went right back into character.  The crowd loved it.  The only bad part of the show was the flying monkeys.  I have hated these things since childhood.  They creep me out.  I will not watch any part of the movie that has these things in it or the chatting stomps of the Oh-wee-oh dudes.  This show had these monkeys on wires and wings flying all over the stage.  I about wanted to vomit.  My mom just laughed at me.  The show could have went on for 4 more hours and I would have stayed glued to my seat.  I think musicals might be my new big thing to do.

After the show, I headed to the bus to grab my shopping bags and walk back to my car.  My Mom had commented on some tents and booths she saw on the way thru town.  I couldn’t figure out what it was for.  As I was walking to the car, a guy yells from his car window, “Hey honey, your shoes are flawless!”  Reminded me… it was gay pride day in Indy.  Thanks for the shout out dude!  Added the cherry to my already great day!  Thanks for the invitation Mom!  I had a great time with you!

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Birth Control at the Children’s Museum

Our Children’s Museum offers free entry on the first Thursday of the month during the summer.  K and I thought it sounded like good idea after work.  We knew there would be a ton of kids there, but didn’t expect what we actually ran into.  It was insane!  I love children on leashes.  I could watch them for hours!  Anyway, seemed like quite a few exhibits were being exchanged out or worked on, so K and I made our way through what was left open.  Here’s K and her beaver from the It’s Wild section.

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We checked out the Chihuly sculpture.  His work is will always be a favorite of mine and one of the reasons I love the Bellagio check-in lobby.

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At the Oceans exhibit, I learned a new hand signal for K when we are out at the bars and some douche-bag is hitting on her.

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Next we made our way to the Indy Car exhibit.  When we got there, there were about 3 kids in line so we thought we’d just sneak a seat real quick.  Well one kid took FOREVER steering the fake car and quite a crowd and line started to show up.  The kids apparently didn’t think WE wanted to get in the car too, so they all keep trying to cut.  I snagged someone else’s kid and was pushing him thru the line so I didn’t look ridiculous telling kids the line was behind me.  So it was my turn and this kid tried to go and I said “um, sorry.  I’m going next.”  Me, my capri pants and high heels climbed up those stairs and sat in the car.  When K took her turn, I was standing next to one parent and I said “Hey, adults want to have fun too!”

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Next was the Egyptian room.  I asked K if I make a mummy of me when I die, would she put my mummy coffin in her house.  She said no.  I thought we were friends?!  Here’s what I’d look like minus the coffin and bandages.

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We tried to pick up some men while we were there, but neither one of them would come home with us.  Here’s mine…

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Here’s K’s

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We finished up with the Dino exhibit and headed out.  Something fun and free to do.  Plus a sign on the way out showed why so many families took up this offer.  It would be $50 for a family of 4 to even enter that place normally.  It’s well worth it when everything is open and will be really great when they get the new expansion done.  See ya next time!

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Ft. Wayne Invades

My Mom and I attend the Broadripple Art Fair each year.  We decided to spice things up this year and invited some of her friends from Ft. Wayne to join us.  She’s involved with all kinds of clubs and activities (sound familiar??) so she was able to round up 4 of her friends from Rotary and the Art League to join her.  I’ve met a few of these women before when I’ve traveled home to help my Mom with her fundraising events, so it was nice to get to see them outside of the those and just hang out.  They even came up with some additional places here they wanted to visit so it was going to be a full day.  They arrived at my condo where I had a breakfast casserole, all kinds of fruit, and most importantly, Mimosas!  We ate and chatted for a bit, then piled into 2 cars and headed to the fair. 

Everyone traded cell phone numbers to make sure we didn’t lose anyone in the group, and headed out to find our artist treasures.  The weather wasn’t the greatest, so we hit the Student artist sale first.  You can find really nice pieces for very cheap here since these artists are just starting out.  The group, in total, got quite a few things throughout the day and met back at the cars to hit our next spot, a boutique and a bistro.   Earlier in the day, I overheard Sandy say the Bistro was right next to the boutique.  I knew the boutique was on Illinois.  My google search had shown the Canal Bistro off Guilford and that’s where our reservations were.  I figured we might as well hit the boutique and we’ll see if there is a bistro nearby.  If not, we’ll use Plan B with the reservations.  Good news bad news.  The OH YUMM bistro was next door, but not open.  So we spent some time shopping then everyone was definitely ready for some food!  Canal Bistro has a Mediterrian flare to the menu so I was a bit worried, but these women loved every bit of it.  Here’s our crew. 

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I’m so happy my Mom has the women to run around with up north, when she’s not running around down here with me!  Thank you Ruth, Betty, Sandy and Rodey for a great day!  I hope I have the same gusto for life like you all do at your age!  Mom, thanks for sharing me with your friends!  I might be calling in your group’s brain power on my next fundraiser!  Might as well use these smart women’s brains as a resource!