Thursday, May 23, 2013
You know what? Every big, life-changing mistake I've made came about because I was passive, because I just let things happen even when my gut said "No!" or at least, "Hey, maybe we should give this a little more consideration." If I were to follow my active instincts at this point in my life, though, it would surprise some people. Even you.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
But it really is Cher's birthday, and the photo I posted is from the 1987 film, Moonstruck, because I didn't really want to post a Sonny-era pic or a photo of what she looks like now, which is plastic surgery to the extreme, and Moonstruck is my favorite movie and she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role. Anyway, Cher, a one-of-a-kind icon of sorts for my generation, turns 67 today. She has re-invented herself so many times in her singing/acting/celebrity career that you can't help but wonder if there are any more incarnations coming. Or maybe not, dude.
It's also Joe Cocker's birthday, his 69th, and I bet he hasn't had any plastic surgery, and I bet his voice still sounds just as rough and powerful as it always did. I hope.
My friend Kari has a birthday today too, now that I think of it, and she turns a much more reasonable age than the aforementioned duo, but I've never heard her sing. Yet.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I've decided to drop the defensiveness and embrace a guilty pleasure. Guilt is a wasted emotion anyway. It's the Vegas thing. We're going back this week. I can't help it, man. It seems to be the only place I can relax these days. Some people have their lake cabins. I have Las Vegas. And it doesn't help that I keep being tempted by free hotel stays at Bellagio or Aria or Mirage and other free stuff. Three days of Vegas and I'll be refreshed and ready to be out of there, but it won't be long til I want to go back. And I will.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Hang in there, Jon. Moving is one of life's most traumatic experiences, and I know your stress level is sky high. The cleaning will get done, the walls will get painted, you'll make the yard into another work of art. Thanks for introducing me to the Mongolian restaurant. I hope it helped.
Friday, May 17, 2013
I'm required for my profession to get 40 hours per year of continuing education per year, and I sat through 16 of them in the past two days -- some classes helpful, some mind-numbingly dull, some somewhere in between but unmemorable. The most interesting, but decidedly unhelpful, tidbit from a speaker today: a prediction by know-it-alls in the social media industry that Facebook will be mostly gone in 5 years, replaced by something else. Quick, sell your Facebook stock!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
I was just reading what the most popular names were for newborn babies in Minnesota last year: for girls, Emma; for boys, Mason. Yeah, Emma is a nice name, but where is the name Mason coming from? I realize that, for some reason, parents these days are prone to name kids last names for first names, but I wonder why Mason? Can anybody tell me?
(Having the last name Dixon, I'm glad that neither son of mine is named Mason)
(Having the last name Dixon, I'm glad that neither son of mine is named Mason)
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|photo by studio306.com|
The gay-marriage issue, for instance. 70% of millennials favor legalization of same-sex marriage, and it's the overwhelming support of this key voting bloc that made the difference in the November 2012 elections and referendums.
This photo is from the celebration in St. Paul last night of the signing into law of gay marriage being legal in Minnesota. Which states are next? Alert the millennials!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Last Thursday the Minnesota House of Representatives voted Yes, yesterday the Minnesota Senate voted Yes, and today Governor Mark Dayton signs the bill to make gay marriage legal in Minnesota. Minnesota becomes the 12th state to allow same-sex marriage.
We of course are heading over to St. Paul this afternoon to join the throngs witnessing the signing on the steps of the State Capitol Building followed by the celebration party in downtown St. Paul.
This is a big deal, and I feel good about it. My only misgiving: I have the feeling we are going to be invited to a bunch of weddings starting August 1st, and you know how I hate weddings. The bright side: They are going to be kick-ass weddings!
Monday, May 13, 2013
Wikipedia's definition of the term "primrose path": it refers to someone living a life of ease and pleasure.
The current play at the Guthrie Theater, The Primrose Path, based on a novel by Ivan Turgenev, brought us some ease and pleasure on a May Sunday evening. It takes place in 1845 Russia and is very funny, with characters still seeking that primrose path mostly without success. Don't be turned off by the 1845-Russia thing -- some searches confuse every era.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
I'm not sure what got into me that led me into this little Tennessee travelogue, but this is the finale and if I haven't talked you into a trip to Memphis sometime, then the heck with you.
Back to Memphis music..
You may know of Beale Street, which is sort of the home of Memphis blues as well as lots of BBQ ribs and the Memphis Grizzlies (NBA basketball team, currently in the playoffs). Beale Street, unless you are a heavy drinker, is a place you just stroll along and maybe listen to some blues now and then. It's sort of a carnival atmosphere, if you are in the mood for such a thing.
But then we ventured to a neighborhood south of that hubbub to visit the Stax Museum. You know I'm a big fan of '60s R & B music-- and, if you don't know that, you aren't paying attention -- and Stax Records was a major producer of big R & B hits, starting early '60s and into the early '70s. The recording studio then fell into disrepair but has now been restored into a museum, which for me was interesting because I knew all the artists and songs that the museum was celebrating.
Music, wonderful food, Memphis.... It was good to get out of town after a rough busy season and being reminded that other worlds exist beyond the immediate. Pick a place, get out of town, refresh....
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Even if you just went to Memphis for the food, you wouldn't be disappointed. I have a major weakness for Southern comfort food, and, if I lived there, I'd weigh 300 pounds.
But Memphis is a city with interesting history and individuality, unlike many U.S. cities which are all too often depressingly similar.
And the history of Memphis has good stuff and some horrid stuff.
Remember -- my sister Joan, the history buff, was with us, so we stopped at the former Lorraine Motel, which has now become a tourist site because it is where Martin Luther King was shot and killed. We peered into the motel room where he was staying and which has been preserved to be how it looked in April 1968. It was kind of eerie to be on the balcony on the spot where he was standing when shot.
Across the street from the motel, in the building which used to be the boarding house where James Earl Ray was staying when he fired that deadly rifle, is the National Civil Rights Museum, which we toured. The museum focuses on the history of the U.S. civil rights movement but also -- again, eerie -- has a restored mockup of what James Earl Ray's room looked like. You can even stand at the window from which he took aim. I don't know what I think about that. This museum might be too much about the assassin.
Then we got back in the car and headed to something more musical.
Friday, May 10, 2013
I had been in Memphis several years ago but didn't go to Graceland because I had promised my sister that I would take her there someday, so here we were. My expectations were low -- after all, this was Graceland -- but it turned out to be a lot of fun. The house itself, as everyone will tell you, is smaller than you might expect, but it still has the look and decor from 1977, the year Elvis died, and then there are all the gold records, the memorabilia, etc., that will draw you in even if you knew nothing about Elvis.
Afterward, we had Elvis CDs in the rental car (Joan's favorite Elvis song: "Burning Love"; mine: back and forth between "Surrender" and "The Wonder of You") and maintained our Elvis high for a little while as we set out to explore Memphis. Meanwhile, my Graceland pledge was fulfilled.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Most Tuesdays, I get an email from Delta Airlines, listing the fare specials for the next weekend -- from MSP, there are usually five choices -- so I decided that when the list came out on Tuesday April 16th, I'd pick the best of the choices and go that next weekend.
This is how the deal goes: You have to leave on Saturday, which was April 20, and come back either the next Monday or Tuesday.
I was a little worried that my choices were going to be places like Grand Forks, North Dakota or Omaha, Nebraska, but the April 16th choices were exceptionally good: San Francisco, Seattle, Memphis, Washington DC and one other that I now forget.
Memphis, Tennessee: a good option for several reasons. 1) It is the closest and, after all, it's just a long-weekend getaway. 2) The weather forecast for Memphis was perfect, while here in Minnesota it was still cold as hell. 3) Jerry and I could get free hotel nights at a casino just across the border in Mississippi. 4) I'd been in Memphis once before and liked it.
And then I had relatively inspired idea. I called my sister Joan to see if she might want to go with us. She has always wanted to go to Memphis to see Elvis' home, Graceland. She jumped at the chance.
So we booked it..... we were going to Graceland...