Thursday, September 19, 2019

#2254 24 hours: from the ER to Jason Isbell

Tonight MT and I saw Jason Isbell in concert at Red Butte Garden. I am not familiar with his music, but my sister Lizzie said he was good and she rarely steers me wrong. She sure gave good advice on this show. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit were fantastic! His was certainly in the top five shows I have seen this summer, and probably even top three when I think about it.  MT liked him too. We both plan to listen to more of Isbell's music and we will be happy to see him in concert again.

If you are interested in hearing his music, check out Alabama Pines or If We Were Vampires (it made me weep).

We had a great time tonight, but 24 hours ago was a different story.

24 hours ago we were sitting in the emergency room at St. Marks Hospital, waiting for a second round of testing on MT's heart. He had been having chest pains all day yesterday. He refused to go to the doctor in the morning, so when he was still having pain when I got home from work, I insisted that we go to the doctor. The urgent care doctor advised us to go to the ER, so we did. The hospital staff did not mess around. Almost before he finished saying his name and that he was having chest pains, we were whisked into a room. An EKG machine immediately appeared along with two nurses and a doctor.

The bad part was that after that initial flurry of activity, not much happened for the next three hours. The good part is that he did not have a heart attack and there are no blood clots in his lungs. The doctor thinks the pains might be caused by acid reflux, but to be sure nothing is wrong with his heart, he will see a cardiologist tomorrow and take a stress test.  I was relieved when the ER doctor said he had not had a heart attack and that his lungs looked clear. I feel confident that he is healthy and will be fine. Better to get all checked out to make sure all is well.

I'll take going to a concert over sitting in the emergency room any time, thank you very much.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

#2253 cold and scared: a night at the Garden

Tonight I volunteered for the gate at a corporate event at RBG. I was scheduled to get there at 7:00, but was asked to come early since they were short-handed, so I got there at 5:30. It was chilly today, only in the 60s, but at least it wasn't raining. I was prepared for cool weather, though. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt layered over a t-shirt, jeans, and shoes and socks. I also brought a beanie, a scarf, gloves, a long raincoat (just in case) and my puffy jacket.

I slowly added layers as the sun started to go down along with the temperature. By the end of the night I was wearing everything except the raincoat and I was still cold. I was probably warmer than a lot of the guests at the event, though. As they left, I saw them eyeing my coat and hat with envy. I waved good-bye with my gloved fingers. I assured them that I only looked warm and that I was actually very cold. I had been standing around out there for a few hours, after all.

As JoAnn the tram driver and I were waiting for everyone to leave, we had an unexpected and unwelcome guest: a mouse. It took shelter under the tram. Maybe it was warm under there. Every time it peeked out from behind the tire, JoAnn and I would shriek. The mouse would take a few steps past the tram, probably trying to get to the safety of the geraniums, and JoAnn and I would squeal and stomp our feet. JoAnn eventually climbed up on a chair, yep, just like in a cartoon.
I was standing over by the gate where I could keep an eye on the situation. JoAnn thinks there might have been two mice; for my sanity, I'm going with the thought that there was just the one creature and that it was just as scared of us as we were of it.

JoAnn got a radio call to go to the Rose House to pick up the last guests. She didn't want to leave me alone with the mice, so I rode along. I was thankful that I wasn't out there alone with the mice. Another thing to think about out there!

We picked up the last guests and then we got to leave. I have to tell you, I had the heater cranked up in my car and the seat warmer on high. I did finally start to warm up as I got closer to home. My feet are still cold though. Also, I was paranoid that a mouse had somehow climbed into my bag and I kept expecting one to climb out on the seat and scamper around. My imagination is active. I turned up the radio and sang really loud, which I'm sure would scare a mouse. You better believe I emptied my bag outside just in case. It was fine, and I felt a little better.

Time for bed now. Hope I don't have mice dreams and that I can get my feet warmed up.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

#2252 weekend wrap-up

This morning when I woke up I was sure it was Monday, so you better believe I was totally stoked when I realized it was Sunday!

I might have mentioned I got off work a bit early on Friday afternoon. What a treat! I came home and flopped on my bed, did some reading, played with my phone and looked at my planner. I was thinking about what Lizzie might be doing, then my phone rang and guess who? It was Lizzie! We talked for a little while about this and that. She had some fun plans with friends in San Diego on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday afternoon at work I listened to the local program on NPR called RadioWest. The subject of the show was a book written by Jeff Sharlet about the Family, a Christian group that is influential in U.S. politics. Netflix made a docuseries from the book and on Friday night I watched the first episode of the series, which is called The Family. There's not a lot of action, but it is interesting to see how far-reaching this group's influence is. I watched one episode on Friday and two more on Saturday. There are just five episodes, so I'll probably watch the last two just to finish it. I had no idea there were groups like this in existence, but that's mostly just because I am naive. Almost nothing is as straightforward as you would want it to be, especially politics.

Saturday was pretty mellow. First WW, then to RBG to record blooms and then to hang out in the Courtyard. It was a lovely day: warm but not too hot. The Garden wasn't too busy in the afternoon. There was a Utah football game happening just down the hill. The Utes were playing my alma mater, Idaho State University. It really isn't a fair fight. ISU is several divisions below a Power 5 conference team and they were beaten soundly, 31 -0. Why would a program like Idaho State play a program like Utah? It's all about the Benjamins - $$$. ISU gets a big fat check from Utah that will finance their football program for a two to three years. For Utah, it is basically a preseason game, a warm-up to the PAC12 conference games that start next weekend.

I got home in time to watch the entire second half of the game, but it wasn't much fun to watch, to be honest. I flipped back and forth between the Utah game and the BYU game. I know it's hard to believe, that I would willingly watch BYU, but they were playing USC, Utah's opponent next week. I had to see what would happen. BYU wound up beating USC in overtime. It was pretty spectacular, actually.

Today's big thing was that I went to the spa to get my eyebrows tamed and a pedicure. A new lady that I didn't know did the work. She was nice and did a good job. She was very good at the massage part. I love to get a pedicure.

Yesterday I finished two books. They were both good. One was a YA book called First & Then. The other was a book Lizzie recommended called The Music Shop. I finished that book while I was at RBG. It made my eyes leak and caused me to have a big goofy smile on my face. Good thing there weren't many people around. I'll be writing about them on the Reading page soon, but probably not tonight.

Other than the spa visit, today I have been doing chores at home. I made zucchini bread. (It's delicious!)  I started reading a new book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. It has been in my To Be Read (TBR) pile for several years, so I decided to read it. I'm also reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I bought the ebook earlier in the year after #EkpesBookClub read it while we were on vacation in Thailand. I didn't participate in the discussions, but I read some of the tweets and decided to get it. Nothing light and fluffy for me the next couple of weeks!

Next week is busy. I've got a volunteer gig on Tuesday night. I think it is some corporate event thing. It's supposed to rain on Tuesday, so that might be kind of awful. On Thursday night I have my last concert of the season at the Garden, Jason Isbell. I will be doing clean up, so I bought a ticket for MT to come to the show. Neither of us know his music, but Lizzie said he's good, so I'm looking forward to hearing someone new. Friday is the Utah/USC game. Saturday during the day will be business as usual, then T and I will fly out to southern California to spend a few days with Mom and Lizzie. I'm looking forward to that!

Friday, September 13, 2019

#2251 I want all the food

I have been struggling lately. Maybe I need more vitamins. Maybe I need more exercise or self-control or discipline. I have wanted to eat everything in sight for the past few weeks and it shows, both in my face and on the scale.

It seems I go through cycles. Sometimes I am motivated and focused on my weight loss. I eat well, make good choices, get good sleep, and break a sweat regularly. Then there is the cycle I am currently in where I eating whatever I want or whatever is convenient (fast food and bread), don't get enough sleep, and find excuses not to be active.

I sit in my WW workshop on Saturday and I listen to people talking about eating carrots and finding substitutes for cheesecake or brownies and all I can think about is getting over to Starbucks for a mocha Frappuccino and whether I'll have time to stop at Crumbl for a big ol' cookie.

This cycle will pass. There will come a time when I will get back on track with planning my meals and sticking to my plan. I need to be patient and kind with myself, but I do wish I would hurry up and get back to taking care of myself!

A friend at work has a white board on which she writes uplifting or funny or snarky quotes. She wrote this one months ago and I totally love it. Turns out it is attributed to the actress Sophia Bush. I don't know her, but I like her words:

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

#2250 Mark Knopfler

This morning when I was driving to work it was raining. There was thunder and lightning and lots of rain all morning long. At noon it was still raining and kept on raining into the afternoon.

Normally I would be glad for the rain. It's been a hot summer and the cooler temperatures that come with the water are very nice.

Tonight, though, I had a concert at Red Butte Garden. It was MT's pick for the concert this summer, An Evening with Mark Knopfler, and though the RBG concerts go on rain or shine, I much prefer shine.

Finally the rain went away and the sky turned blue around 3:30 this afternoon. I knew the ground would still be wet, and the temperature was still on the cool side, but I wasn't going to get wet at or after the show and I was happy.

We packed up our picnic and our chairs. We grabbed jackets. We put on long pants and long sleeve shirts. We felt good about our choices.

Let me tell you, we were not dressed warmly enough. I wish I had brought a beanie, gloves, my puffy coat and a blanket. It was cold out there! I'm sure the temperature was in the low 60s to upper 50s and the breeze was chilly! Mark Knopfler was onstage making jokes about icicles forming on the microphone and wondering if he could play the guitar while wearing gloves. Of course the man is 70, and it was even chillier down at the stage. The breeze blows down the canyon and off the creek and it gets cool.

Other than being cold, how was the show, you ask. Well, it's like this: I thought I knew Mark Knopfler's music, but I really only know a few songs from the Dire Straits classic LP Brothers in Arms, which includes the song Money for Nothing, an iconic '80s song. Who can forget Sting singing in his falsetto "I want my MTV"? The opening guitar riff from Money for Nothing is epic. I also know parts of the song Romeo and Juliet, Sultans of Swing, Walk of Life (a joyful, bouncy tune) and So Far Away. Knopfler's solo work I am unfamiliar with, but willing to listen to. I've seen many bands this summer who I was completely unfamiliar with, so I figured Knopfler would do the songs I listed plus solo stuff.


He did Romeo and Juliet, then many, many songs I didn't know that were in MT's words "elevator music". He mentioned how cold it was many, many times. He took a break, came back out and did Money for Nothing and another song I didn't know, then he waved good-bye and was gone. He was done before 10:00, which is quite unusual. It felt unfinished and ended abruptly. My gut feeling is that he was really cold and just didn't want to play anymore. No Sultans of Swing. No Walk of Life. Bummer.

The amount of garbage I picked up tonight was in direct proportion to how cold it was. The show was sold out and there were 3,000 people there. When the show was over, a percentage of them abandoned their garbage and left. I picked up a LOT of trash tonight. Still, it went pretty fast because there are several people who do cleanup and the place is not huge. When I got to the car, MT had it all warmed up for me, so that was nice. We got home pretty early, so also good.

MT says he probably would have liked the show more if he had been appropriately dressed. I agree that more clothes would have been better, but the show was just all right for me. I was disappointed not to hear some of those Dire Straits hits. BUT, I was just looking at some set lists from recent shows and his set list tonight was exactly what the previous shows were. He doesn't do many Dire Straits songs. Oh well. Guess it is what it is.

Monday, September 9, 2019

#2249 marvelous Monday memory

I think I  have found a theme for Monday...memories!

Tonight let's go back in time to August 2009. My mom and dad came to visit and we went out to the Gardens at Thanksgiving Point. This was before I knew that Red Butte Garden even existed! Thanksgiving Point is gorgeous. It differs from RBG in that TP is much more structured. There are definite different gardens there that feature structures. RBG is more natural and free-flowing. Both are beautiful and different from each other.

Thanksgiving Point is large. You can rent golf carts there to drive around. I haven't been there in several years and I'm sure the price has gone up quite a bit. We rented a golf cart for the afternoon and I drove Mom, Dad and T around. I hear you can rent segways there now too. I don't remember much from the day except that it was nice and we had fun. It was 10 years ago! Look how little T is.

August 2009 is also when this sweet pupper became one of our family.

Awwww.  She looks about the same, except bigger and her face has a lot more white hairs. She's always been kind of bad at sitting.

T was excited to get a puppy. They became pals in a hurry. He liked to take her for walks.

She got tired out pretty quick though.

When Osi was a puppy, she had to sleep in a kennel, but I would let her snuggle with T when he went to sleep.

I hope these photos made you smile. :)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

#2248 Friday night and Saturday afternoon

Today is note-worthy because it has not followed my regular schedule. First, though, let me tell you about last night.

MT and I went to see Gary Clark Jr. at Red Butte Garden. This is our third time seeing him, each time at RBG. I'm not exactly sure when/how/what circumstances led me to his music and to that first show, but I'm thankful to whatever fates brought us together. He is great. His style, his guitar playing, his vocals, his lyrics...he's fantastic. MT likes him too. Last night's show was terrific. Check out this review from the Salt Lake Tribune. The writer nails it.

Side note fun fact: By volunteering a minimum of 100 hours at RBG, I am given a pair of tickets to a show of my choice. I gave them three shows that I was interested in seeing, and the tickets I received were these Gary Clark Jr tickets. A bonus that I didn't realize last year is that the tickets are donor level meaning that we got to sit in the terrace section. We were able to get a nice high top table with a great view and a comfortable picnic space.

I hesitate to share the pic because I do not look good. Bad angle! Also, MT doesn't look amused, but he really was entertained. This was before Gary Clark Jr. started playing.

Another side note fun fact: While we were having our picnic, a man and a woman sat down in some chairs about 10 feet in front of us. The man was Nick Rimando, the goalkeeper of Real Salt Lake. LEGEND! I did not take his photo or bother him in any way; I was pretty chill, if you can believe it. Just as Gary Clark Jr started to play, Nick and the woman (his wife - I just googled them) got up to stretch their legs or take a restroom break or whatever causing Nick Rimando to effectively block my view of Gary Clark Jr causing me to say (to myself) a sentence I never thought I would say, "Please sit down Nick Rimando. You're blocking my view of Gary Clark Jr.".

Today, Saturday, started out like other Saturdays. I went to WW and then instead of heading right up to RBG, I had a hair appointment. I got to the salon very early, so I sat out in my car and listened to the Utah football game. They had an early start today at 11 AM. The thing is that I was listening on my car radio and my headlights were on and my battery drained completely and entirely. It was dead, dead, dead. I called MT and being the good man that he is, he said he would come to rescue me. He was working at the flip house. He got there just as Lanna was finishing up my 'do. (Just a trim!)

MT did the jumper cable thing and got the car started. He pretty much insisted that I take the car to the shop to get a new battery if necessary. I didn't make it to the Garden for my Saturday volunteer gig. The good news is that the car is fine. I did not need a new battery. I just drained it with my dumbness. The good news also is that Utah won the football game and I was able to see a few minutes of it at home after we took the car to the shop and got some Thai food. I sure did feel like a dummy though. I do know better!

Happy rest of the weekend!