Monday, September 26, 2005

A whirl wind weekend

I am sitting at work near the end of a long day that caps off a longer weekend. Kate and I went to Santa Barbara to attend the wedding of Troy and Jen and in the process catch up with 20 to 30 of our closest friends. I now know that if I am ever feeling like I don't have many friends all I need to do is scrounge up some money for a plane ticket to SB and prepare for the onslaught of hugs.

The weekend Started with a 7 PM flight out of Indy that took us through Denver to LA where Mark and Bing were waiting for us. I knocked out the third Harry Potter on the way and arrived tired but happy. We drove up the coast to the Bowman's house and were in bed by 1:30 AM with talk of a 7 AM B-Ball game.

Luckily there was no early morning game and I woke up at 8 AM to chat with my mom and dad over coffee. A number of friends and family stopped by and we soon had a party going. We went to a Bar-b-que for Troy and Jen and met up with some friends from my previous job, though work friends does not do them justice. They are friends free of qualifiers, people who have left their mark on my life and have enriched my story more then they will ever know.

The B-Ball game that was meant to be at 7 now took place at 5 PM and even with my badly hurting back I had fun. It was the Lompoc crew plus a couple of others we had collected over the years. No one got hurt, no one fought, and we all had a great time, I guess we really are mellowing with age. B-Ball led to Pizza and then to sitting around telling stories sipping tea.

Sunday we lounged around the Bowman's house until it was time for the wedding. I got to read a little poem and was practicing through out the day so I didn't sound like a tool up there trying to pronounce "Propinquity". At the Wedding and the reception afterwards I got to hug and talk to so many old friends that by the time we got home on Monday morning I had lost my voice completely. We left the wedding at 8 PM and left LAX at 12 AM to arrive back in the Circle City at 6 AM.

It was less then 48 hours but it had the effect of 3 weeks on my soul. Thank you all so much for making me feel so loved.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


A friend of ours in Fountain square was coming up with slogans for the neighborhood with another guy and here is my favorite so far:

Fountain Square, looks like Squirrel, tastes like chicken!

Around the corner from our house there are two fried chicken joints, two funeral homes, and place with a sign outside that say Cigarettes and Nascar Inside

I love my neighborhood!


So to celebrate the tests Kate and I went to the Greek joint around the corner on Tuesday night. This was not the first choice, or the second for that matter.

We were feeling a bit poor but we still wanted to mark the occasion so we set out for Decadent by Design for their tasty crab cakes. As we were walking over there there was a German polka duo outside of Deano's Vino and 40 something crowd in lawn chairs enjoying the warm night. We headed around the corner but found that DbD was closed at 2:30 PM on Tuesday. They actually don't start dinner service until Wednesday nights. Odd but ok.

We headed back past the omph omph omph of the portly German gentlemen on the stage to make our way to the Shelbi Street Cafe and maybe enjoy some dinner on the roof. Not open for dinner on Tuesday nights either. That is crazy talk, why aren't they open on Tuesday nights?

Our options dwindling fast we were forced to decide between Peppy's ( a hole in the wall 24 hour joint that served the best sober-you-up food in town) or one of the two fast food chicken shops. We remembered the Greek restaurant and headed East on Prospect to see if they were open. On the way we ran into some friends shopping at Value Village. Both their daughters were crying so we knew they were pinching them again and made our way out of there quickly. The Greek place was open and we went in and had some tasty things that I can't remember the name of now. It was a scene to behold and the food was great and we walked there. I love my neighborhood and the fact that I have neighbors that I get to chat with when I walk to get Greek food on a Tuesday night.

One Smart Cookie

Yesterday Kate finished the last of three tests for certification in the crazy world of Insurance and Investing. She is now licensed to talk to you about investment options and she is not afraid to do so. Well maybe she is, but she fakes it really well.

Now I know I am somewhat biased in that I think Kate is the most wonderful, smart, beautiful, and funny person in the world but even so you gotta appreciate how cool this is. Kate is an English major not a finance Major. I mean those worlds couldn't be farther apart and yet she read and retained complicated compliance codes and now knows the difference between a 401k and a 403b. I am continually amazed at what that girl can do.

Well done Beautiful!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Come on, all the cool kids are doing it

They did not accept interpretive dance in the MIAD event this year so I was unable to participate. Instead I unpacked more of our stuff and moved rugs and furniture from one room to the next as Kate's whim lead. We now have 5 out of the 8 rooms all but done with the Library, Kitchen, and bathroom still waiting on major projects. I know a lot of you want to come out and be a part of this historic process and I want to encourage that strongly. Don't wait until it is all down and miss out on the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with being a part of a project bigger then your selves. October is the best month for plan tickets and it is lovely in Indy as well. Leaves changing, Aunts getting older, anniversaries celebrated all in warm afternoons and mild evening of the circle city. Don't be left out, book you trips now!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New Friends, same insecurities

So Kate and I have been getting out and about more now that we are for sure staying in Indianapolis and so far we have met wonderful people. There is this couple, John and Tonya, that we hung out with on Tuesday that we both like quite a bit, though I must say I am fighting an intimidation complex that I always seem get. See they are smart and artistic, witty and well read and they both write and make cool things and so I compare and contrast. The thing is, they are super nice and would be horrified to know that I am at all intimidated by them. I am getting better and better each time we hang out.

I guess I thought it would be easier for me to make friends as I got older but part of me is still that little boy trying to laugh along with all the other kids making fun of me on the playground. We are in such an artistic and expressive community here that I love but I feel like I snuck in the side door and any minute some heavy set German woman in a tight uniform is going to ask me for my papers. I must get over this I know, and I am working on it. Until then I will keep my head low and make semi interesting comments about the use of space and then run away when someone turns to look at what I am talking about.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


This weekend in fountain Square we are having Masterpiece in a Day. The gist is that you have one day to create something be it painting, poetry, song, or what ever. You have to do it in the time permitted and you can't leave Fountain Square. I was thinking about what I would do to be a part of this and I keep coming up blank.

A song is a bad idea because there would come a point when I would actually have to sing it and we all know that isn't gonna work. Also, you get paired with another person for a duet and I don't know that my art translates well with other people. So horrible voice and inablity to share precludes the song.

Painting? Well I might be able to pull of a Jackson Pollock rip off with all the excess paint we have at our house. Kate hasn't quite got the judging paint thing down when planning the room colors at Lowes. The trouble with painting is that I would then need to explain it and I don't know if I could verbally express what these seeming random splashes of paint mean to the philistines in the audience. I'm not going to cheapen my art by catering to the mass consumption, fast food society that demands a sign and the correct change! (well that and I can't paint)

Writing, now there is something that I enjoy doing. What would I write about though. My sister in law just finished a book that she has been writing on the side and having read a note or two of hers I feel vastly under-qualified to write. Kate recently wrote a piece in response to our Pastor's request for her to tell her story at church and when she was up there reading it I fell in love with her all over again. She has such a way of weaving words in and out of each other that when she is finished you are warmed by the blanket they wrapped around you. I can't write something because I would be thinking of Heather and Kate and be paralyzed with awe.

I can't take pictures like Mark and I don't have any where to develop them in Fountain Square so that is right out.

Really interpretive dance is all that is left for me to do. I will dance a piece that I create on Saturday. It will be a spontaneous expression of the day and creative air will fill my lungs and quicken my step. The dance will not be about winning the money but about living the day. Ah yes I will dance cause Kate always says that it is about the dance.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

You got Peanut butter no jelly

I was at the Marsh that Kevin Mitchell manages over on 116th and I noticed something strange on my way out. You can drop your dry cleaning off there. What? When did this start. It seems you can go into Marsh and take care of all of your errands in one fell swoop. What is the deal with this cross over business. I don't want to skip over Andy Rooney and go straight to a Dennis Miller but it's getting out of hand.

I went into Starbucks the other day to pick up the new Alanis Morsette CD (yeah right) when I noticed that they were doing something with coffee behind the counter there. Who knew? Next thing you know they are gonna have one of those on every corner.

Now I'm all for things that make sense but groceries and starched shirts don't make sense. Coffee and CD don't make sense, Chicken and Waffles now that makes sense! But as my uncle Beaver say "opinions are like @$$holes, everyone's got one but that doesn't mean we need to hear about it"

Bet you wished you had an uncle Beaver too.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sleep while you can monkey boy for tomorrow you die!

Now that we are done with the floors there is a real lull in motivation for home renovation for me. Kate on the other hand has kicked into a new gear. She has said that she doesn't expect me to help for a while, knowing that I am a little worn out, but I'm waiting for that moment when she is painting some room and gets mad that I am reading about gamblers and God. (By the way "One of a Kind : The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player" is a great book about an amazing and jacked up man)

Kate has purchased paint for two rooms and is looking for rugs to cover the floors. Now why would we go through all that freaking work to restore the floors only to cover them with rugs? It don't make no kinda sense a'tall! She is planning on widening the walk in the back yard, pouring concrete for space between the street and the garage and painting half the house. She is a whirl wind of activity and fear my break will be short lived.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Koran For Dummies

At work we have a number of books, a large number as a matter of fact and I have off to read some of those books while waiting for the phone to ring. For the past couple of weeks the phone has been quiet and I have done a lot of reading but this week we are in the midst of busy season and the phone does not stop ringing from 7 AM when I arrive to 5 PM when I leave. One of the books I have been reading though was the Koran for Dummies. This has been an interesting read for me as a Christian. Here is are a couple of observations that I had while reading:

* Muslims, Jews, and Christians all believe in the same God. I knew this but some how it was striking to me while reading it. We all trace our past back to Adam and Moses and Abraham. We all love David, but for different reasons, and we all have a basic code of conduct that has been passed down. We are like a family that has had a fight somewhere in the past and we starting branching away as we all choose sides. The farther we go back the closer we are and sadly the farther we move ahead the farther we are going to be apart.

* The Koran does not recognize the failings of the major characters in the story. David never slept with Bathsheba, Lot never pimped his daughters, Moses never killed a guy, and so on. The prophets and messengers were free of any major sin according to the Koran. One of the things that I relate so much with in Christianity is God's use of normal, broken people to do extraordinary things. It was never about man's strength but rather God's strength through man and I can see that is not about me measuring up to this crazy standard but rather God's love for me where ever I am at.

* The story in the Koran is not chronological or even really concerned with historically accuracy. It is about the story and moral of the story, not about the details. I love this bit. Kate is always correcting me about the details of a story when I tell it. There is this Ayat (Verse or verses) in the Koran that make fun of these teachers who are debating about how many people were in this cave hiding. The important part is not how many, but that they were hiding in the cave. As one who likes to tell stories I liked this part quite a bit.

* The Koran has been wildly mis-interpreted by the fundamentalist wackos that are using it to defend their actions but it is easy to see why they would use the Ayat that they do to defend their actions. I had a teacher that used to say of the Pharasies in Jesus time that they were "sincere people who thought they right. They were sincere, but sincerely wrong" I think that applies to the above group as well.

I enjoyed reading this book and I know that it is in no way a comprehensive look at the Koran. It is a book for Dummies and that is what I am. I found that I enjoyed it much more when I wasn't looking for ways to disagree but rather finding the similarities.

Has anyone read any good books lately?

Guess who's back, back again...

Back home, back to the floors and odd smelling house, back to work, back to long busy days with slow commutes, back to lawns that need mowing and neighbors that need chatting. Kate and I are back after what turned out to be a great vacation. I got to see New york City and ride the Subway. I got to go to the Jersey Shore and ride the roller coaster on the pier. I got to see where Kate grew up and meet the people that still call her Little Katie. I also got a healthy dose of in-laws and in-fighting.

My parents in-law are great. They took care of us from the beginning of the trip by letting us use their car, through week in Jersey by feeding and housing us, through the end. I have come to the point where they are not in-laws but friends that I genuinely enjoy hanging out with. Tom and I golfed on Thursday and Kris and I tanned on Wednesday. The fighting was not with the parents, it was with the kids. I would love to tell you about it but I won't. Suffice to say I am glad to be home where work, home life, and any other problems make sense to me and I can reason how to work them out.