Friday, May 21, 2010


Summer is coming and I could not be more excited. It’s supposed to be in the eighties around these parts this weekend and I cannot wait to sit on the patio with my book and bask in the sunshine. The pool opens next weekend and I am eager to blow up all of the pool toys and get to some floating. Bobaloo has offered to provide me with some swimming lessons this summer and I think I am going to take him up on it despite my wariness of being a difficult student. I will have to check the attitude at the door. I don’t like to learn things that don’t come easy to me. Ouch, that kind of hurt to admit.

A big part of why I love summer is because there are a ton of free or cheap things to do like fishing, gold panning, camping, festivals, basking, etc. I am thinking about doing some patio gardening although even with my efforts, plants seem to die on me. I try not to take it too personally. Do you plant anything on your patio that is a success year after year?

I have a couple of big plans for June which I am psyched about. A week ago, I booked a plane ticket to the Twin Cities to go to my little brother’s high school graduation party. It’ll be the perfect time of year to visit and I am glad to be able to celebrate his big day. I don’t know about you, but high school graduation was one of the best days of my life. I cannot believe the kid is eighteen and will be heading to college in the fall. It seems like it was not long ago that I was announcing to my third grade classroom that I now had a little brother. My, how time flies. I am already thinking about fun and interesting things I can send to him to adorn his dorm room with. I didn’t do the whole college thing for more than a week so I am not really sure what the essentials are these days. Any ideas of items you can’t live without as a freshman in a dorm?

The other big event is of course, Widespread Panic. They didn’t play Red Rocks last summer and it felt like I was missing something. I am pretty stoked to be amongst all sorts of people having all sorts of fun.

I now work at a job where I get holidays off again. Bring it on summer, with all of your paid holidays. I can’t wait!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Panic on the Rocks

On Saturday I was able to get Widespread Panic tickets for Red Rocks. To me, Red Rocks is heaven on Earth. Who knew such a wonder was in Morrison, Colorado? Who knew a heap of very old rocks could move and inspire people from all over the world? Nestled in the green hills of Morrison, you come upon gigantic rocks of red jutting out of the land and it is hard not to be dazzled by the terrain in this tiny community.

I had heard of Red Rocks for a few years from Bobaloo, who raved about this geological marvel. He kept telling me that words couldn’t do the park justice and it was something I would just have to see for myself. He described Red Rocks as his personal Mecca. The first time I visited Colorado we were seeing if the state was somewhere we wanted to move.

I was afraid to fly back then, so we packed up the old Ford Taurus and headed West from Minnesota. It is a fourteen hour trip and we drove straight through the night taking turns at the wheel and sleeping in the passenger street. The long stretch of Nebraska made for a rough drive. We made into Colorado just in time for morning rush hour and the hotel was not ready for another four hours. We were tired, hungry, and hopeful.

With time on our hands, Bobaloo suggested we drive up to Red Rocks so I could finally grasp it and he could visit the place he had come to for so many summers. I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was go back in the car and traipse around town, but I sucked it up and grudgingly got into the car. You cannot see Red Rocks from afar, as we started on the winding roads the landscape started to change and the rocks became bigger and bigger.

We parked in the upper lot and the day was beautiful. My stomach fluttered when we entered the amphitheater, it was brilliant. I had never seen anything like it. The pictures Bobaloo showed me did not show the scale of how colossal the rocks that surrounded the seats were. I was astonished. The sunbeams reached the rocks and the different hues of red shimmered. I will never forget the heat of the sunshine on my face and the breath knocked out of me from climbing the stairs. Without delay the camera was out and I was trying to acquire the beauty of this magical place for my own recollection.

We checked out the geological exhibits and the gift shop and the rock’n’roll museum. There is a wall with a list of every performer who has played on the rocks throughout the years. I looked at the wall of entertainers in amazement and was eager to see a show there. When we left, I was revitalized and indescribably felt better about everything. Red Rocks was not a reason to move to Colorado but it certainly was something I wanted to be near.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The End of an A-Ha Era

I read some troubling news on Friday. A-Ha is breaking up after one last tour. I am devastated and overcome with both grief and uncertainty. Now don’t get me wrong, I cannot name any of their songs besides “Take on me,” but I feel that song helped shape me as a person in some way.

When I was a child I was transfixed by the music video longing to live in a world where morphing into a comic book character in a world of illustration was possible. Their catchy chorus was easy enough for my youthful brain to wrap around. The happy beat infected the heart of my soul and I would dance.

As I got older, “Take on me” became, well, kind of a guilty pleasure. If I was in the car alone, I would rock out while singing the lyrics without inhibition. There's just something about the tune that gives me absolute joy. If I was amongst my friends, I might have just hummed along calmly.

These days I sing it loud and proud. I car-dance to the melody if I need to. The song is in my iPod putting a skip in my step when it comes on and I am walking home from the bus stop. I can say it goes down as one of my top ten favorite songs in pop history.

So A-Ha, as you retire to enter the next stage of your lives please know you have been in the background for every stage in mine.