## Friday, June 30, 2006

### Friday's Feast

It's Friday (except it's not! I cheat and backdate!) and it's time to feast (except I'm not hungry!). What's up today (besides one more hour until tomorrow)?

Appetizer: On average, how many times a day do you yawn?
Ok, seriously. I'd like to know who on earth could answer that question. Do people actually count these things? Next....

Soup: What was your most memorable school field trip?
I went to school in the olden days when we didn't really take field trips. Scanning my memory banks, I'd have to vote for three-season camping we did in middle school. I can't remember anything particularly memorable about it, except that it was fun. I doubt I yawned very much during those trips.

Salad: Fill in the blank: I was extremely (blank) this week.
I was extremely un-yawny this week as I tried to recall a memorable school field trip.

Main Course: What color do you think of when you hear the word "soothing"?
Blue. Dunno why. *Yawn*
Oops. One.

Dessert: What is something, that, if you had to, you could save up the money to buy within one month?
You know when you play Trivial Pursuit, and you get sentences that have to twist and turn themselves into a pretzel so they can form a question, and then you have to repeat the nonsensical question about 12 times until you can figure out what exactly the question really is? It's a lot like this question, which makes no sense. I hate those. *Yawn*

Two.

### Friday's Feast

It's Friday (except it's not! I cheat and backdate!) and it's time to feast (except I'm not hungry!). What's up today (besides one more hour until tomorrow)?

Appetizer: On average, how many times a day do you yawn?
Ok, seriously. I'd like to know who on earth could answer that question. Do people actually count these things? Next....

Soup: What was your most memorable school field trip?
I went to school in the olden days when we didn't really take field trips. Scanning my memory banks, I'd have to vote for three-season camping we did in middle school. I can't remember anything particularly memorable about it, except that it was fun. I doubt I yawned very much during those trips.

Salad: Fill in the blank: I was extremely (blank) this week.
I was extremely un-yawny this week as I tried to recall a memorable school field trip.

Main Course: What color do you think of when you hear the word "soothing"?
Blue. Dunno why. *Yawn*
Oops. One.

Dessert: What is something, that, if you had to, you could save up the money to buy within one month?
You know when you play Trivial Pursuit, and you get sentences that have to twist and turn themselves into a pretzel so they can form a question, and then you have to repeat the nonsensical question about 12 times until you can figure out what exactly the question really is? It's a lot like this question, which makes no sense. I hate those. *Yawn*

Two.

## Thursday, June 29, 2006

### Oceanside Resolutions

There are lots of reasons why I never make resolutions in January. One big one is my genetic disposition to not do what everybody else is doing. Examining my life because society tells me so is not my idea of fun, and besides, I hate being slave to a calendar.

Another reason is that January is simply an inconvenient time. After surviving December (and being a musician, let me tell you, December is a serious survival kind of month), the last thing I feel like doing is making a self-improvement wish list. Come January 1st, all I want is a long winter's nap. I don't need resolutions. I need recovery.

For me, recovery comes in June. It rolls in on salty waves, soaring low over the tide with the pelicans. It tickles me with that wonderful ooshy feeling of sand between my toes and then melts me into a puddle of relaxation as I settle into my beach chair with a good book and a cold drink.

It's no wonder that I spend fifty frantic weeks of the year waiting for beach time. No matter how stressed I am or how overbooked my life has become, the cure for what ails me waits at the end of Highway 12 in North Carolina. And it's here, with fishing boats, laughing gulls and the warm sun on my back, that I have both the time and the inclination to sit down, think, and take stock.

This year as I pondered my personal state of the union, it occurred to me that I spend a lot of non-vacation time thinking about vacation, waiting for vacation, and wishing everything would hurry up so it would be time for vacation. How dumb is that? Why do I think I have to travel six hundred miles to relax?

The answer, of course, is that I don't have to. Or maybe more accurately, I shouldn't have to. My oceanside resolution (less a to-do list and more an attitude adjustment) was to carve out those spaces in my life and in my house where I can relax, and think, and read, and just be. This isn't to say that I don't need to go on vacation anymore and sit next to the ocean and ponder. No, no, that's still very important, especially since oceans, sea turtles and slow southern drawls are in short supply here in Michigan. But if I can create spaces that aren't crammed full of commitments and possessions, maybe I can rediscover a little bit of me that gets lost along the way 50 weeks of the year.

### Oceanside Resolutions

There are lots of reasons why I never make resolutions in January. One big one is my genetic disposition to not do what everybody else is doing. Examining my life because society tells me so is not my idea of fun, and besides, I hate being slave to a calendar.

Another reason is that January is simply an inconvenient time. After surviving December (and being a musician, let me tell you, December is a serious survival kind of month), the last thing I feel like doing is making a self-improvement wish list. Come January 1st, all I want is a long winter's nap. I don't need resolutions. I need recovery.

For me, recovery comes in June. It rolls in on salty waves, soaring low over the tide with the pelicans. It tickles me with that wonderful ooshy feeling of sand between my toes and then melts me into a puddle of relaxation as I settle into my beach chair with a good book and a cold drink.

It's no wonder that I spend fifty frantic weeks of the year waiting for beach time. No matter how stressed I am or how overbooked my life has become, the cure for what ails me waits at the end of Highway 12 in North Carolina. And it's here, with fishing boats, laughing gulls and the warm sun on my back, that I have both the time and the inclination to sit down, think, and take stock.

This year as I pondered my personal state of the union, it occurred to me that I spend a lot of non-vacation time thinking about vacation, waiting for vacation, and wishing everything would hurry up so it would be time for vacation. How dumb is that? Why do I think I have to travel six hundred miles to relax?

The answer, of course, is that I don't have to. Or maybe more accurately, I shouldn't have to. My oceanside resolution (less a to-do list and more an attitude adjustment) was to carve out those spaces in my life and in my house where I can relax, and think, and read, and just be. This isn't to say that I don't need to go on vacation anymore and sit next to the ocean and ponder. No, no, that's still very important, especially since oceans, sea turtles and slow southern drawls are in short supply here in Michigan. But if I can create spaces that aren't crammed full of commitments and possessions, maybe I can rediscover a little bit of me that gets lost along the way 50 weeks of the year.

## Tuesday, June 27, 2006

### It's Raining, It's Pouring

We left the beach and its absolutely fabulous weather on Saturday. Our entire week was filled with blue skies, fluffy clouds, lovely breezes, and warm sunshine clocking in at a pleasant 82 degrees. It rained on occasion, but only at night when all we were tucked in our wee little beds with visions of sandy beach bums dancing in our wee little heads.

From our meteorological nirvana we traveled north to Maryland where, for the last four days we have enjoyed rain, heavy downpours, more rain, torrential rain, flash floods, real floods, more rain, and a generous forecast of rain for the next several days. Local weather personalities have broadcast tales of woe from mud pits formerly known as major highways, flooded parking garages, homeowner's backyards, closed intersections in downtown Washington DC, several non-functioning Metro stations, and various tourist attractions (National Zoo, National Archives, Natural history, American history) that are all closed.

It was noted by those in the know that this sudden fixation on the weather and the government's inability to handle the demands of Mother Nature seemed to have temporarily knocked out the neverending television reporting of the Technicolor terrorist network (Scaring the pants off you since 2002!). It seemed to me that if the terrorists were paying any attention whatsoever, all they need to do is show up with a bunch of hoses and our nation's capital is pretty well screwed.

### It's Raining, It's Pouring

We left the beach and its absolutely fabulous weather on Saturday. Our entire week was filled with blue skies, fluffy clouds, lovely breezes, and warm sunshine clocking in at a pleasant 82 degrees. It rained on occasion, but only at night when all we were tucked in our wee little beds with visions of sandy beach bums dancing in our wee little heads.

From our meteorological nirvana we traveled north to Maryland where, for the last four days we have enjoyed rain, heavy downpours, more rain, torrential rain, flash floods, real floods, more rain, and a generous forecast of rain for the next several days. Local weather personalities have broadcast tales of woe from mud pits formerly known as major highways, flooded parking garages, homeowner's backyards, closed intersections in downtown Washington DC, several non-functioning Metro stations, and various tourist attractions (National Zoo, National Archives, Natural history, American history) that are all closed.

It was noted by those in the know that this sudden fixation on the weather and the government's inability to handle the demands of Mother Nature seemed to have temporarily knocked out the neverending television reporting of the Technicolor terrorist network (Scaring the pants off you since 2002!). It seemed to me that if the terrorists were paying any attention whatsoever, all they need to do is show up with a bunch of hoses and our nation's capital is pretty well screwed.

## Sunday, June 25, 2006

### Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... And you think :

1. Newspaper :: Print

2. Crucify :: Destroy

3. Sausage :: Meat

4. Handy :: Man

5. Cloak :: And Dagger

6. Drunk :: Toasted

7. Fuel :: Gas

8. Caress :: Tender Touch

9. Itch :: Scratch

10. Vehicle :: Car

Sunday Mutterings
With Itch, Drunk and Cloak?

### Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... And you think :

1. Newspaper :: Print

2. Crucify :: Destroy

3. Sausage :: Meat

4. Handy :: Man

5. Cloak :: And Dagger

6. Drunk :: Toasted

7. Fuel :: Gas

8. Caress :: Tender Touch

9. Itch :: Scratch

10. Vehicle :: Car

Sunday Mutterings
With Itch, Drunk and Cloak?

### Sunny Day for Rafting!

Have you ever gone rafting? If you have, you know how much fun it is. If you haven't, prepare. You are about to be told by Tinytuna.

As you can tell, me and my fellow tunas went whitewater rafting on the 16th of June. We were on our way to this event when we realized that we wouldn't be there on time (we had to be there a half hour early). We called the office, and they said,

Office Lady: Just get here without getting a ticket.

So we did. We got there in time and we were relieved. I was afraid that it was one of those companies that if you aren't there on time, you don't go at all. But I was proven wrong. We were put into rafts, and given guides to help us.

We put the boat in the water, and got our places. Then we took a minute to learn some commands, (All forward, forward one, forward two, hit the deck, paddle right, paddle left, and take a break.) After this lesson, we were off. I was really nervous that we would all fall out of the boat, but we didn't.

There were six big rapids on this trip down the Ocoee River. The first rapid was very fun, and after that I started to have fun and not be scared anymore. At one point there was a gentle part of the water and we were allowed to jump in and swim if we wanted. As you could have guessed, I jumped in, and swam after the boat. When it was time to get back into the boat, we were pulled in by the top of our life jackets (hard, so that it hurt) and we went on.

Since we had one of the two major guides, sometimes we had to wait to see if other rafts needed help (like throwing out a rope if someone was caught in the rapid). So we waited, and when the raft had come through safely, we continued. We went on for a while, until we came to the last rapid.

Our Guide: ( Turns to me.) Will you get to the front of the raft, and hang on to that rope?

Tinytuna: (nod's, and hands paddle to mom, and goes to the front of the boat and grabs the rope with all her might.)

From then on, I had the time of my life. Wild rapids! I was riding them like a bucking horse. Only one took me by surprise because I was looking behind me at Greentuna. After we had gotten over the rapids, I heard the round of applause. When the ride was over, I turned to Greentuna.

Tinytuna: Okay! That was WICKED AWESOME!! I think that should be our tradition every year! WOO-HOO!!

Greentuna: We could try to do it.

So all's well that ends well. We found a new thing to do, and to have fun with it. Tune in the next few days for another blog by Tinytuna!

Cheers!

### Sunny Day for Rafting!

Have you ever gone rafting? If you have, you know how much fun it is. If you haven't, prepare. You are about to be told by Tinytuna.

As you can tell, me and my fellow tunas went whitewater rafting on the 16th of June. We were on our way to this event when we realized that we wouldn't be there on time (we had to be there a half hour early). We called the office, and they said,

Office Lady: Just get here without getting a ticket.

So we did. We got there in time and we were relieved. I was afraid that it was one of those companies that if you aren't there on time, you don't go at all. But I was proven wrong. We were put into rafts, and given guides to help us.

We put the boat in the water, and got our places. Then we took a minute to learn some commands, (All forward, forward one, forward two, hit the deck, paddle right, paddle left, and take a break.) After this lesson, we were off. I was really nervous that we would all fall out of the boat, but we didn't.

There were six big rapids on this trip down the Ocoee River. The first rapid was very fun, and after that I started to have fun and not be scared anymore. At one point there was a gentle part of the water and we were allowed to jump in and swim if we wanted. As you could have guessed, I jumped in, and swam after the boat. When it was time to get back into the boat, we were pulled in by the top of our life jackets (hard, so that it hurt) and we went on.

Since we had one of the two major guides, sometimes we had to wait to see if other rafts needed help (like throwing out a rope if someone was caught in the rapid). So we waited, and when the raft had come through safely, we continued. We went on for a while, until we came to the last rapid.

Our Guide: ( Turns to me.) Will you get to the front of the raft, and hang on to that rope?

Tinytuna: (nod's, and hands paddle to mom, and goes to the front of the boat and grabs the rope with all her might.)

From then on, I had the time of my life. Wild rapids! I was riding them like a bucking horse. Only one took me by surprise because I was looking behind me at Greentuna. After we had gotten over the rapids, I heard the round of applause. When the ride was over, I turned to Greentuna.

Tinytuna: Okay! That was WICKED AWESOME!! I think that should be our tradition every year! WOO-HOO!!

Greentuna: We could try to do it.

So all's well that ends well. We found a new thing to do, and to have fun with it. Tune in the next few days for another blog by Tinytuna!

Cheers!

### But Wait, There's More

And then yesterday we made a quick detour so we could get up, stretch our legs, and shoot a cannon.

Because we could, I guess.

### But Wait, There's More

And then yesterday we made a quick detour so we could get up, stretch our legs, and shoot a cannon.

Because we could, I guess.

## Saturday, June 24, 2006

### Great Things

As TinyTuna hurtles towards her teenage years, I find her challenging me on every word uttered and every decision made, as only a 12-year old expert on EVERYTHING can do. It's not a surprising turn of events, but it is both trying and tiring, to say the least.

By the same token, when she isn't being trying and tiring, we have had some very thoughtful conversations about choices and responsibility. I'm grateful for these moments, and try to remember them when I am so frustrated I want to sell her for gas money.

Middle school age is so volatile, it's hard to know what you might face from day to day and minute to minute. And perhaps because kids this age are so unpredictable, it seems nobody expects much of anything from them at all. To many, the goal of the middle school is survival, and if everybody comes out in one piece on the other side, it's a real victory.

Now don't get me wrong; when compared to the alternative, I'm all for survival. But I also believe that kids -- all kids -- are capable of so much more. Kids have the power to do great things. And it was for this reason that we took a (huge) side trip and started our vacation in a small town in rural Tennessee. We took TinyTuna to a middle school that did -- and is still doing -- great things.

Several years ago, eighth graders at Whitwell Middle School studied the holocaust as a way to learn about diversity, intolerance, cruelty and the power of the human spirit. As they discussed how six million lives were lost, one of the students asked what six million was -- because they had never seen six million of anything. From that simple question came the inspiration for The Paper Clip Project, whose success led to the Children's Holocaust Memorial, whose inspiration led to the award-winning documentary film.

Year after year the eighth graders picked up where the previous class had concluded. They learned. They worked. They inspired others. These kids from whom we often expect so little did great things.

This past year TinyTuna and her Grammy-Award winning MSU Children's Choir gave a world premiere of a large-scale choral work called Voices of a Vanished World. Through music and poetry the kids -- many of them middle-school aged -- learned about the people of the Holocaust. The work was a combination of traditional Yiddish and Hebrew folk-songs, as well as original compositions that explored complex themes: family, grief, loss, lives forever changed, and the eternal belief that in spite of all the destruction, goodness and humanity will prevail. Pretty heavy stuff for pre-teens. But they sang. They discussed. They learned. And in the end as they sang in concert, they sang with a sense of sympathy and intensity and understanding far beyond their years. It truly was a great thing.

TinyTuna had seen the Paper Clips documentary and decided she really wanted to go to Tennessee to see what the kids of Whitwell had done. So off we went. As we drove into town we recognized several places from the documentary, and were quite excited when we reached the school. We were given a tour by two Whitwell students, who shared with us everything they had learned. TinyTuna presented the students with a poster from her concert, along with a copy of the choir's Voices of a Vanished World CD that they recorded earlier this spring.

To watch this exchange between kids from whom we often expect so little was overwhelming. I saw new friendships being forged from the rural south and suburban north. I saw kids sharing stories and information about a time before their own, about people they never knew, and about injustices they never faced. And they did this with a deep respect and a sincere hope that through their respective projects, they would make a difference in this world.

On that hot afternoon in Whitwell, Tennessee, I had no doubt.
These were kids who, when given the opportunity, did what they do the best:

Great things.

### Great Things

As TinyTuna hurtles towards her teenage years, I find her challenging me on every word uttered and every decision made, as only a 12-year old expert on EVERYTHING can do. It's not a surprising turn of events, but it is both trying and tiring, to say the least.

By the same token, when she isn't being trying and tiring, we have had some very thoughtful conversations about choices and responsibility. I'm grateful for these moments, and try to remember them when I am so frustrated I want to sell her for gas money.

Middle school age is so volatile, it's hard to know what you might face from day to day and minute to minute. And perhaps because kids this age are so unpredictable, it seems nobody expects much of anything from them at all. To many, the goal of the middle school is survival, and if everybody comes out in one piece on the other side, it's a real victory.

Now don't get me wrong; when compared to the alternative, I'm all for survival. But I also believe that kids -- all kids -- are capable of so much more. Kids have the power to do great things. And it was for this reason that we took a (huge) side trip and started our vacation in a small town in rural Tennessee. We took TinyTuna to a middle school that did -- and is still doing -- great things.

Several years ago, eighth graders at Whitwell Middle School studied the holocaust as a way to learn about diversity, intolerance, cruelty and the power of the human spirit. As they discussed how six million lives were lost, one of the students asked what six million was -- because they had never seen six million of anything. From that simple question came the inspiration for The Paper Clip Project, whose success led to the Children's Holocaust Memorial, whose inspiration led to the award-winning documentary film.

Year after year the eighth graders picked up where the previous class had concluded. They learned. They worked. They inspired others. These kids from whom we often expect so little did great things.

This past year TinyTuna and her Grammy-Award winning MSU Children's Choir gave a world premiere of a large-scale choral work called Voices of a Vanished World. Through music and poetry the kids -- many of them middle-school aged -- learned about the people of the Holocaust. The work was a combination of traditional Yiddish and Hebrew folk-songs, as well as original compositions that explored complex themes: family, grief, loss, lives forever changed, and the eternal belief that in spite of all the destruction, goodness and humanity will prevail. Pretty heavy stuff for pre-teens. But they sang. They discussed. They learned. And in the end as they sang in concert, they sang with a sense of sympathy and intensity and understanding far beyond their years. It truly was a great thing.

TinyTuna had seen the Paper Clips documentary and decided she really wanted to go to Tennessee to see what the kids of Whitwell had done. So off we went. As we drove into town we recognized several places from the documentary, and were quite excited when we reached the school. We were given a tour by two Whitwell students, who shared with us everything they had learned. TinyTuna presented the students with a poster from her concert, along with a copy of the choir's Voices of a Vanished World CD that they recorded earlier this spring.

To watch this exchange between kids from whom we often expect so little was overwhelming. I saw new friendships being forged from the rural south and suburban north. I saw kids sharing stories and information about a time before their own, about people they never knew, and about injustices they never faced. And they did this with a deep respect and a sincere hope that through their respective projects, they would make a difference in this world.

On that hot afternoon in Whitwell, Tennessee, I had no doubt.
These were kids who, when given the opportunity, did what they do the best:

Great things.

### Friday's Feast

This Friday's Feast is made by the fabulous Tinytuna!

Appetizer:
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how much do you like your job?

Tinytuna: Can't answer! I don't have one. Except maybe school, but that's no job.

Soup:
When do you think was the last time you were lied to?

Tinytuna: **crickets**

Share some lyrics from your own favorite songs.

Tinytuna:
1. But everybody wants to put me down.
They say I'm going crazy.
Find me somebody to love!

2. If I could fly away, I'd see her today, and look into her blue eyes and say:
"Thank you for the lessons. Boy, you taught me well.
And thank you for the recipes, I'm cooking fairly well.
And thanks for all the happy times, with just you and me.
And when you see the Lord please thank him, for giving you to me."

3. Dark Lady, laughed and danced and lit the candles one by one,
Dance to her gypsy music, till the brew was done.
Dark Lady played black magic till the clock struck on the 12.
She told me more about me than I knew myself.

Main Course:
What do you do/take when you are in pain?

Tinytuna: Pills!

Dessert:
Fill in the blanks: "My (blank) is very (blank)."

Tinytuna: My mom is very special!

### Friday's Feast

This Friday's Feast is made by the fabulous Tinytuna!

Appetizer:
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how much do you like your job?

Tinytuna: Can't answer! I don't have one. Except maybe school, but that's no job.

Soup:
When do you think was the last time you were lied to?

Tinytuna: **crickets**

Share some lyrics from your own favorite songs.

Tinytuna:
1. But everybody wants to put me down.
They say I'm going crazy.
Find me somebody to love!

2. If I could fly away, I'd see her today, and look into her blue eyes and say:
"Thank you for the lessons. Boy, you taught me well.
And thank you for the recipes, I'm cooking fairly well.
And thanks for all the happy times, with just you and me.
And when you see the Lord please thank him, for giving you to me."

3. Dark Lady, laughed and danced and lit the candles one by one,
Dance to her gypsy music, till the brew was done.
Dark Lady played black magic till the clock struck on the 12.
She told me more about me than I knew myself.

Main Course:
What do you do/take when you are in pain?

Tinytuna: Pills!

Dessert:
Fill in the blanks: "My (blank) is very (blank)."

Tinytuna: My mom is very special!

## Friday, June 23, 2006

### Karma Pulls The Plug

Sadly, my mysterious wireless connection from the beach house is no more. Karma has pulled the virtual plug and has told me to go out and play, which I plan to do, right after I deal with work issues, check my email, wave hi to my blog and finish drinking my blackberry Italian Soda here at the Dancing Turtle while I forfeit my computer to TinyTuna and GramTuna so they can do the same.

Ahh, vacation!

(p.s.: Since we will be leaving the beach tomorrow (kicking and screaming and sobbing, not necessarily in that order) I'll be back to having a real connection tomorrow night. Just in case you were worried)

### Karma Pulls The Plug

Sadly, my mysterious wireless connection from the beach house is no more. Karma has pulled the virtual plug and has told me to go out and play, which I plan to do, right after I deal with work issues, check my email, wave hi to my blog and finish drinking my blackberry Italian Soda here at the Dancing Turtle while I forfeit my computer to TinyTuna and GramTuna so they can do the same.

Ahh, vacation!

(p.s.: Since we will be leaving the beach tomorrow (kicking and screaming and sobbing, not necessarily in that order) I'll be back to having a real connection tomorrow night. Just in case you were worried)

## Wednesday, June 21, 2006

### First Day of Summer?

Greentuna: The Dancing Turtle?

Tinytuna: Yes, The Dancing Turtle.

Greentuna: What is that place?

Tinytuna: The Coffee Shop! In North Carolina!

Greentuna: **crickets**
This small conversation, Tinytuna made up to impress her readers. The first day of summer and I am working? I should be at our beach house, taking a break from the BEACH! It is hard work to swim for a long time in the ocean.

Anyway, it is the first day of summer, (as you should know already!) The first day of summer, and it looks like it is about to pour on our heads. Some first day of summer, this has been.

It all began when I was down at the beach today. I was playing with some friends I had met the year before, and trying to catch some waves. One of my friends said, that she couldn't touch the bottom of the ocean. I knew this was a bad sign, and I told her to grab my boogie Board, and I would pull her closer, so she could stand up in the water.

unfortunately, we were caught in the undertow, and out in the ocean very far. I suddenly couldn't touch the bottom either. We fought the ocean, for about five minutes, and then, a family member of my friend came out and saved us, just in time.

This gave Greentuna a scare. Later today she told me,

Greentuna: Water is the most dangerous thing on the earth. More dangerous than fire, and wind. This is because, if you are far out in the ocean, and you have nobody to save you, or are caught in the undertow, you are gone. Even grown-ups do it, if they are not paying attention.

My water adventure, taught me a lesson. The saying, "A day saved is a day earned" which I got from "A penny saved is a penny earned", I found is entirely wrong. I hope to never again encounter that ever. I was scared and I still am now.

Greentuna was happy I was still here to type this blog, and I was happy to. What a great first day of summer, this turned out to be.

Good-night!!

### First Day of Summer?

Greentuna: The Dancing Turtle?

Tinytuna: Yes, The Dancing Turtle.

Greentuna: What is that place?

Tinytuna: The Coffee Shop! In North Carolina!

Greentuna: **crickets**
This small conversation, Tinytuna made up to impress her readers. The first day of summer and I am working? I should be at our beach house, taking a break from the BEACH! It is hard work to swim for a long time in the ocean.

Anyway, it is the first day of summer, (as you should know already!) The first day of summer, and it looks like it is about to pour on our heads. Some first day of summer, this has been.

It all began when I was down at the beach today. I was playing with some friends I had met the year before, and trying to catch some waves. One of my friends said, that she couldn't touch the bottom of the ocean. I knew this was a bad sign, and I told her to grab my boogie Board, and I would pull her closer, so she could stand up in the water.

unfortunately, we were caught in the undertow, and out in the ocean very far. I suddenly couldn't touch the bottom either. We fought the ocean, for about five minutes, and then, a family member of my friend came out and saved us, just in time.

This gave Greentuna a scare. Later today she told me,

Greentuna: Water is the most dangerous thing on the earth. More dangerous than fire, and wind. This is because, if you are far out in the ocean, and you have nobody to save you, or are caught in the undertow, you are gone. Even grown-ups do it, if they are not paying attention.

My water adventure, taught me a lesson. The saying, "A day saved is a day earned" which I got from "A penny saved is a penny earned", I found is entirely wrong. I hope to never again encounter that ever. I was scared and I still am now.

Greentuna was happy I was still here to type this blog, and I was happy to. What a great first day of summer, this turned out to be.

Good-night!!

## Monday, June 19, 2006

### Can You Hear Me Now?

Monday night we hopped into the car to drive North off-island to see a performance of The Lost Colony. We weren't Lost Colony newbies -- we tend to see the show every four or five years, and figured it was a good time to see it again. The last time TinyTuna went, she was 3rd grade-ish, and now that she lives for the theatah, we thought she'd enjoy it.

Perhaps even more fun than the show was the hour-long backstage tour. From watching the crew assemble the set to visiting the costume shop, rehearsal hall, and seeing lots of backstage wonders, it was a kick. We also learned that the show was very color-coded. Lots of color in the costumes meant happy, excited settlers ready to voyage to the New World. But drab browns and grays meant unhappy, depressed settlers wondering what the hell were they thinking?

The basic story has remained the same over the years, but we noticed some definite retooling of the script this time around. It seemed more historically based with a noticeable rise in the number of Elizabethan soliloquies, which was fine by me, but I thought a bit risky, considering the audience. There was less shtick and comic relief this time around, which was also fine, but made for a more "should we take notes?" kind of performance and less of a hambo gnawing the scenery show, complete with "Woohoo, check out those Indian babes" numbers.

One group of people I wanted to become permanent members of the Lost Colony were fellow theatre goers, whom I have lovingly nicknamed The Twizzler Eating Morons. The Twizzler Eating Morons sat directly in front of us and consisted of two people over the age of 40 (generously, I'll call them "adults") and two people under the age of 10 (kids). The kids were relatively well behaved, so let's just move right on to the adults.

Keep in mind that although the show is performed in an outdoor amphitheater, it has real seats as if it were a standard concert hall. There is a stage and lights and real live actors. The whole shebang. This is not a concert in the park deal where you yak about baseball stats or washing your car while somebody Blows in the Wind half a football field away.

In the midst of the First Act, while Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh were having a heated Elizabethan discussion about sending settlers to The New World, the mother of the group reached into her bag and whipped out the HUGEST bag of Twizzlers known to mankind. It was economy sized. It was super-economy sized. It was a bulk purchase enough to last several decades of Halloween. THAT HUGE. Sadly, of all the things it was, what it wasn't was open. Not to be deterred, the woman jonesing for Twizzlers took to the bag ... WITH HER TEETH as if she were a rabid rabbit (say that three times fast).

Gnaw Gnaw
Tear Tear Tear
Gnaw Gnaw Gnaw some more
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip
rattle rattle rattle rattle rattle.
Chomp chomp.

Not to be outdone, the father of the group reached into his COOLER and whipped out a beverage. With a SssssssHHHHWOOOP it cracked open. Although it was darkish in the audience, I'm absolutely positive that crack had the distinctive carbonated twang of cheap one-syllable summertime beer (Hamms, Pabst, Bud, etc.). He was hap with a capitol Pee.

The twizzlers got passed back and forth and forth and back again amongst the lot of them, pleasing The Twizzler Eating Morons no end. But then Queen Elizabeth was presented with a peace pipe, and a deadly cloud of loud confusion settled on top of The Twizzler Eating Morons.

Queen Elizabeth: Prithee Sir Walter, what shouldst I care for this?
Sir Walter Raleigh: I hear tis good for the vapors.
Queen Elizabeth: I HAVE NO VAPORS!

Child: (to her mother) What are the vapors?
Mom: Good God, DO NOT ASK ME. I don't know these things.
Dad: (halting beverage consumption and speaking to the mother as if she were a slow dull child) No! No! No! He gave her tobacco.
Mom: I KNOW he gave her tobacco. I'm not stupid you idiot.

GreenTuna: (Eyes rolling out of her sockets and down the aisle)
TinyTuna: (Smirks smirkingly.)
GramTuna: Shakes her head sadly, wondering what this world is coming to.

At intermission the sold-out house whipped out their cell phones as if they were a synchronized drill team. If only the Lost Colony could have borrowed a phone, maybe they wouldn't have been so lost afterall...

### Can You Hear Me Now?

Monday night we hopped into the car to drive North off-island to see a performance of The Lost Colony. We weren't Lost Colony newbies -- we tend to see the show every four or five years, and figured it was a good time to see it again. The last time TinyTuna went, she was 3rd grade-ish, and now that she lives for the theatah, we thought she'd enjoy it.

Perhaps even more fun than the show was the hour-long backstage tour. From watching the crew assemble the set to visiting the costume shop, rehearsal hall, and seeing lots of backstage wonders, it was a kick. We also learned that the show was very color-coded. Lots of color in the costumes meant happy, excited settlers ready to voyage to the New World. But drab browns and grays meant unhappy, depressed settlers wondering what the hell were they thinking?

The basic story has remained the same over the years, but we noticed some definite retooling of the script this time around. It seemed more historically based with a noticeable rise in the number of Elizabethan soliloquies, which was fine by me, but I thought a bit risky, considering the audience. There was less shtick and comic relief this time around, which was also fine, but made for a more "should we take notes?" kind of performance and less of a hambo gnawing the scenery show, complete with "Woohoo, check out those Indian babes" numbers.

One group of people I wanted to become permanent members of the Lost Colony were fellow theatre goers, whom I have lovingly nicknamed The Twizzler Eating Morons. The Twizzler Eating Morons sat directly in front of us and consisted of two people over the age of 40 (generously, I'll call them "adults") and two people under the age of 10 (kids). The kids were relatively well behaved, so let's just move right on to the adults.

Keep in mind that although the show is performed in an outdoor amphitheater, it has real seats as if it were a standard concert hall. There is a stage and lights and real live actors. The whole shebang. This is not a concert in the park deal where you yak about baseball stats or washing your car while somebody Blows in the Wind half a football field away.

In the midst of the First Act, while Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh were having a heated Elizabethan discussion about sending settlers to The New World, the mother of the group reached into her bag and whipped out the HUGEST bag of Twizzlers known to mankind. It was economy sized. It was super-economy sized. It was a bulk purchase enough to last several decades of Halloween. THAT HUGE. Sadly, of all the things it was, what it wasn't was open. Not to be deterred, the woman jonesing for Twizzlers took to the bag ... WITH HER TEETH as if she were a rabid rabbit (say that three times fast).

Gnaw Gnaw
Tear Tear Tear
Gnaw Gnaw Gnaw some more
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip
rattle rattle rattle rattle rattle.
Chomp chomp.

Not to be outdone, the father of the group reached into his COOLER and whipped out a beverage. With a SssssssHHHHWOOOP it cracked open. Although it was darkish in the audience, I'm absolutely positive that crack had the distinctive carbonated twang of cheap one-syllable summertime beer (Hamms, Pabst, Bud, etc.). He was hap with a capitol Pee.

The twizzlers got passed back and forth and forth and back again amongst the lot of them, pleasing The Twizzler Eating Morons no end. But then Queen Elizabeth was presented with a peace pipe, and a deadly cloud of loud confusion settled on top of The Twizzler Eating Morons.

Queen Elizabeth: Prithee Sir Walter, what shouldst I care for this?
Sir Walter Raleigh: I hear tis good for the vapors.
Queen Elizabeth: I HAVE NO VAPORS!

Child: (to her mother) What are the vapors?
Mom: Good God, DO NOT ASK ME. I don't know these things.
Dad: (halting beverage consumption and speaking to the mother as if she were a slow dull child) No! No! No! He gave her tobacco.
Mom: I KNOW he gave her tobacco. I'm not stupid you idiot.

GreenTuna: (Eyes rolling out of her sockets and down the aisle)
TinyTuna: (Smirks smirkingly.)
GramTuna: Shakes her head sadly, wondering what this world is coming to.

At intermission the sold-out house whipped out their cell phones as if they were a synchronized drill team. If only the Lost Colony could have borrowed a phone, maybe they wouldn't have been so lost afterall...

## Sunday, June 18, 2006

### Twofer

Friday's Feast

Appetizer: What is a word that you use that would not be considered common?
Assuming that a word that would "not be considered common" is longhand for a word you "made up" I might go for fantabulous.

Soup: What theme of a calendar do you have on the wall this year?
Theme? It would have to be the OH GOD WE HAVE TO DO HOW MANY THINGS calendar. No pretty pictures (that takes away from prime scheduling real estate). Just big squares waiting to be filled up.

Salad: Name three people you speak with by telephone on a regular basis.
Mensch, Mensch, and ... Mensch. As many people know, I tend not to use the phone all that much.

Main Course: If you could buy a new outfit for someone you know, who would it be, and what would you purchase for them?
Rule number one: GreenTuna generally doesn't purchase clothes for anybody, including relatives. Not because I don't like them, but because I am aware of my limited skill set, and purchasing clothes for others is NOT my strong point. However, TinyTuna is in dire need of shorts this year, so I suppose she would be a prime candidate. Sadly, "in" shorts this year are short shorts and sorry, but NO.

Dessert: What is the last beverage you drank?
Water. How dry I am. How boring too.

Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... And you think:

1. Voice :: Soprano

2. Us :: We

3. Passionately :: Emotionally

4. Humbly :: Politely

5. Love Songs :: Sometimes just too cheesy

6. Dim :: Stupid

7. Calendar :: TOO MUCH TO DO

8. Careless :: Reckless

9. Block :: Goal

10. Goal :: So much for the block

### Twofer

Friday's Feast

Appetizer: What is a word that you use that would not be considered common?
Assuming that a word that would "not be considered common" is longhand for a word you "made up" I might go for fantabulous.

Soup: What theme of a calendar do you have on the wall this year?
Theme? It would have to be the OH GOD WE HAVE TO DO HOW MANY THINGS calendar. No pretty pictures (that takes away from prime scheduling real estate). Just big squares waiting to be filled up.

Salad: Name three people you speak with by telephone on a regular basis.
Mensch, Mensch, and ... Mensch. As many people know, I tend not to use the phone all that much.

Main Course: If you could buy a new outfit for someone you know, who would it be, and what would you purchase for them?
Rule number one: GreenTuna generally doesn't purchase clothes for anybody, including relatives. Not because I don't like them, but because I am aware of my limited skill set, and purchasing clothes for others is NOT my strong point. However, TinyTuna is in dire need of shorts this year, so I suppose she would be a prime candidate. Sadly, "in" shorts this year are short shorts and sorry, but NO.

Dessert: What is the last beverage you drank?
Water. How dry I am. How boring too.

Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... And you think:

1. Voice :: Soprano

2. Us :: We

3. Passionately :: Emotionally

4. Humbly :: Politely

5. Love Songs :: Sometimes just too cheesy

6. Dim :: Stupid

7. Calendar :: TOO MUCH TO DO

8. Careless :: Reckless

9. Block :: Goal

10. Goal :: So much for the block

## Saturday, June 17, 2006

### Beach-ku

Ahh beach! We finally made it to Hatteras, North Carolina by the back door. What is the back door? Well, if I told you, I'd have to kill you, and that sounds messy. Suffice it to say the way we went was NOT the way most people go, and consequently the drive was much MUCH more civilized.

Bright yellow hovers,
then deepens to burnt orange
Beach Day Number One.

A true beach oxymoron.

Saturday Eighty
Sunday Eighty. Monday Too.
One guess for Tuesday.

Tragedy! Ten Books,
But once I get to the beach
I can't stay awake.

How grateful am I
leeching Internet hookup?
Magic wi-fi here.

Salt air. Sandy feet.
Pelicans soaring above.
This is real magic.

### Beach-ku

Ahh beach! We finally made it to Hatteras, North Carolina by the back door. What is the back door? Well, if I told you, I'd have to kill you, and that sounds messy. Suffice it to say the way we went was NOT the way most people go, and consequently the drive was much MUCH more civilized.

Bright yellow hovers,
then deepens to burnt orange
Beach Day Number One.

A true beach oxymoron.

Saturday Eighty
Sunday Eighty. Monday Too.
One guess for Tuesday.

Tragedy! Ten Books,
But once I get to the beach
I can't stay awake.

How grateful am I
leeching Internet hookup?
Magic wi-fi here.

Salt air. Sandy feet.
Pelicans soaring above.
This is real magic.

## Friday, June 16, 2006

### The Road Less Traveled By

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-- Robert Frost

On Friday the Tuna clan took the high road AND the low road, yet somehow never made it to Scotland afore anybody. Our day included a morning hike on a portion of the Appalachian trail, and an afternoon of whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River. HooBoy!

The Appalachian trail head was located inside The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. What we had planned that morning was a quiet drive winding through the quaint southern hamlets that lay nestled at the foot of the mountains. What we got was more traffic than Super Bowl Sunday swarming through towns stuffed to the gills with -- I cannot lie or mince words here -- CRAP. What kind? All kind. And I quote:

...Miniature golf, go-carts, bumper boats, water rides, laser games, indoor skydiving simulator, Police Museum, Dinosaur Walk Museum, Elvis Museum, Veterans Memorial Museum, Smoky Mountain Car Museum, All styles of music, high-energy dancing, magical illusions, amazing horsemanship, racing ostriches, mind-reading-pigs, fire-eaters, jugglers and the best Elvis impersonator this side of Graceland, and don't forget: Dollywood!

What this page didn't mention that I still have burned into my memory:

The "As Seen on TV" Superstore, helicopter rides for ONLY \$10 (I'm thinking this would NOT be the time to pinch pennies), Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum, THE MIRACLE THEATRE FEATURING THE JESUS IN A MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA, and a waffle joint whose billboard featured three spiral-eyed zombie bears (either that or they were stoned) walking Frankenstein-style towards a huge stack of waffles. Bears and waffles were a huge theme along this strip, and I can only assume that when the sun goes down they head off to one of ninety-seven thousand Cracker Barrel restaurants for dinner.

This time, getting there was not half the fun.

But once we finally made it to the mountains, things began to right themselves again. The weather was cool and crisp in the deep shade of the trees, and the drive was absolutely beautiful. We finally made it to the trail head and walked for a ways up the winding path to several lookout points before having to turn around. When we returned the number of people had grown exponentially, but somehow this didn't bother me. At least they were there. Outside. Experiencing on some level, a bit of the majesty and wonder and spectacle of the mountains and the forests. Maybe something would stick...

Due to time considerations, the drive to Ocoee ended up being equally stressful, due to the obscene amount of construction that brought traffic to a halt for extended periods of time. Praise the Lord for the invention of the cell phone, which enabled us to call the rafting company several times to apprise them of our location so they wouldn't leave without us. We made it (ticket-free, phew!) with a whopping 2 minutes to spare. Piece of cake!

The rafting adventure was 'wicked awesome' to quote TinyTuna. This declaration, uttered in turn with "we HAVE to do this again next year!" was a far cry from the white faced, scared to death, never birthed no white-water rafting trips before child who rode the school bus to the launching site looking like she was either going to pass out or barf up a pile, as she is so fond of saying. When push came to shove, or in this case, water came to raft, TinyTuna was, in fact, wicked awesome and never fell out once. Tour guide Todd was also (what else?) wicked awesome as he led us through six class-four rapids and several class three rapids with ease.

During the quieter moments of the trip I had the chance to take in everything laid out before me. What a day of opposites this had become. On the one hand, there was nature: an incredible, wonderful, perfect gift. And on the other hand, there was, well, everything else. The other hand was elbow-deep in what we, as caretakers, have chosen to do with this gift. Waffle eating zombie bears. Is this our legacy?

Rafting down the Ocoee river, everything was so alive. The river that rushed and rested in turn. The rocks along the riverbed. The enormous trees that shot straight up into the sky, wrapped in the deepest green imaginable. All alive. The same was true on the Appalachian trail. From birds and bugs to rocks and trees and wildflowers. All alive.

That morning we each gathered two stones -- one for family and one for friend -- and placed them on the trail head sign. Each one signified a life that respected and celebrated nature, and understood that it was a gift. We honored my Great Uncle Albert and PhotoTuna, who each taught us that the best way to look at nature was not through the eyes, but through the heart. We took a moment to pay our respects and honor the gifts they had given us. Then we celebrated their life by climbing in the moutains and rafting down the river.

I know that they were with us that day, and TinyTuna had it exactly right:

It was wicked awesome.

### The Road Less Traveled By

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-- Robert Frost

On Friday the Tuna clan took the high road AND the low road, yet somehow never made it to Scotland afore anybody. Our day included a morning hike on a portion of the Appalachian trail, and an afternoon of whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River. HooBoy!

The Appalachian trail head was located inside The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. What we had planned that morning was a quiet drive winding through the quaint southern hamlets that lay nestled at the foot of the mountains. What we got was more traffic than Super Bowl Sunday swarming through towns stuffed to the gills with -- I cannot lie or mince words here -- CRAP. What kind? All kind. And I quote:

...Miniature golf, go-carts, bumper boats, water rides, laser games, indoor skydiving simulator, Police Museum, Dinosaur Walk Museum, Elvis Museum, Veterans Memorial Museum, Smoky Mountain Car Museum, All styles of music, high-energy dancing, magical illusions, amazing horsemanship, racing ostriches, mind-reading-pigs, fire-eaters, jugglers and the best Elvis impersonator this side of Graceland, and don't forget: Dollywood!

What this page didn't mention that I still have burned into my memory:

The "As Seen on TV" Superstore, helicopter rides for ONLY \$10 (I'm thinking this would NOT be the time to pinch pennies), Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum, THE MIRACLE THEATRE FEATURING THE JESUS IN A MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA, and a waffle joint whose billboard featured three spiral-eyed zombie bears (either that or they were stoned) walking Frankenstein-style towards a huge stack of waffles. Bears and waffles were a huge theme along this strip, and I can only assume that when the sun goes down they head off to one of ninety-seven thousand Cracker Barrel restaurants for dinner.

This time, getting there was not half the fun.

But once we finally made it to the mountains, things began to right themselves again. The weather was cool and crisp in the deep shade of the trees, and the drive was absolutely beautiful. We finally made it to the trail head and walked for a ways up the winding path to several lookout points before having to turn around. When we returned the number of people had grown exponentially, but somehow this didn't bother me. At least they were there. Outside. Experiencing on some level, a bit of the majesty and wonder and spectacle of the mountains and the forests. Maybe something would stick...

Due to time considerations, the drive to Ocoee ended up being equally stressful, due to the obscene amount of construction that brought traffic to a halt for extended periods of time. Praise the Lord for the invention of the cell phone, which enabled us to call the rafting company several times to apprise them of our location so they wouldn't leave without us. We made it (ticket-free, phew!) with a whopping 2 minutes to spare. Piece of cake!

The rafting adventure was 'wicked awesome' to quote TinyTuna. This declaration, uttered in turn with "we HAVE to do this again next year!" was a far cry from the white faced, scared to death, never birthed no white-water rafting trips before child who rode the school bus to the launching site looking like she was either going to pass out or barf up a pile, as she is so fond of saying. When push came to shove, or in this case, water came to raft, TinyTuna was, in fact, wicked awesome and never fell out once. Tour guide Todd was also (what else?) wicked awesome as he led us through six class-four rapids and several class three rapids with ease.

During the quieter moments of the trip I had the chance to take in everything laid out before me. What a day of opposites this had become. On the one hand, there was nature: an incredible, wonderful, perfect gift. And on the other hand, there was, well, everything else. The other hand was elbow-deep in what we, as caretakers, have chosen to do with this gift. Waffle eating zombie bears. Is this our legacy?

Rafting down the Ocoee river, everything was so alive. The river that rushed and rested in turn. The rocks along the riverbed. The enormous trees that shot straight up into the sky, wrapped in the deepest green imaginable. All alive. The same was true on the Appalachian trail. From birds and bugs to rocks and trees and wildflowers. All alive.

That morning we each gathered two stones -- one for family and one for friend -- and placed them on the trail head sign. Each one signified a life that respected and celebrated nature, and understood that it was a gift. We honored my Great Uncle Albert and PhotoTuna, who each taught us that the best way to look at nature was not through the eyes, but through the heart. We took a moment to pay our respects and honor the gifts they had given us. Then we celebrated their life by climbing in the moutains and rafting down the river.

I know that they were with us that day, and TinyTuna had it exactly right:

It was wicked awesome.

## Thursday, June 15, 2006

### Birthplace of Shannen Doherty AND Davy Crockett

Greetings from somewhere in Tennessee. Many things to report:

Time in a Bottle
In case you thought I was being an ultra whiner about the time in Kentucky, when we stopped at some point (somewhere) to grab a carbonated beverage, the first thing a young man said to me was, "Hey, do you know what time it is?" I laughed and said, well, my watch says 11am, but it's really 10am because they are on Central Time." He apologized and said, "Well, I don't know WHAT time it is...I'm from New York." I told him I was from Michigan and I totally understand.

It's Cool Because it Rhymes with Scooby-Doo
Still in the midst of I don't know where I am Tennessee, but damn, I need food FAST, we drove past a pile of traffic traveling (or really just stopping and not moving at all) in the other direction. It was only later that I realized this was the famous Bonnaroo Music Festival, which, looking at the webpage, looks like a real blast. In the world of odd coincidences, my co-worker from TunaU was going to that festival and I most likely passed him on the road.

Boom!
Dear Tennessee: Do you do anything else here besides blow stuff up? Seriously, the vast number of enormous fireworks joints is only rivaled by Cracker Barrel Restaurants, which seem to pop up every two or three miles. That's a whole lotta rocking chairs and bacon grease, if you ask me.

I have to wonder what the connection is between psychological disorders and mass marketing. Today we drove past no less than three prime examples:

1. Sad Sam's Deli -- And the Sam in the picture was really crying!
2. Crazy Ed's Diner -- No picture of Ed, but I would have taken their word for it.
3. Nervous Charlie's Gas AND FIREWORKS -- My favorite of the day (since we really got gas there, but passed on the fireworks), it had a big cement gorilla by the entrance.

I wondered why on earth all the disturbed people were opening up shop, and then the answer came to me as I looked at my gas receipt. We were in the town of White House, Tennessee. Yeah, I'd be sad, crazy and nervous too. Not necessarily in that order.

### Birthplace of Shannen Doherty AND Davy Crockett

Greetings from somewhere in Tennessee. Many things to report:

Time in a Bottle
In case you thought I was being an ultra whiner about the time in Kentucky, when we stopped at some point (somewhere) to grab a carbonated beverage, the first thing a young man said to me was, "Hey, do you know what time it is?" I laughed and said, well, my watch says 11am, but it's really 10am because they are on Central Time." He apologized and said, "Well, I don't know WHAT time it is...I'm from New York." I told him I was from Michigan and I totally understand.

It's Cool Because it Rhymes with Scooby-Doo
Still in the midst of I don't know where I am Tennessee, but damn, I need food FAST, we drove past a pile of traffic traveling (or really just stopping and not moving at all) in the other direction. It was only later that I realized this was the famous Bonnaroo Music Festival, which, looking at the webpage, looks like a real blast. In the world of odd coincidences, my co-worker from TunaU was going to that festival and I most likely passed him on the road.

Boom!
Dear Tennessee: Do you do anything else here besides blow stuff up? Seriously, the vast number of enormous fireworks joints is only rivaled by Cracker Barrel Restaurants, which seem to pop up every two or three miles. That's a whole lotta rocking chairs and bacon grease, if you ask me.

I have to wonder what the connection is between psychological disorders and mass marketing. Today we drove past no less than three prime examples:

1. Sad Sam's Deli -- And the Sam in the picture was really crying!
2. Crazy Ed's Diner -- No picture of Ed, but I would have taken their word for it.
3. Nervous Charlie's Gas AND FIREWORKS -- My favorite of the day (since we really got gas there, but passed on the fireworks), it had a big cement gorilla by the entrance.

I wondered why on earth all the disturbed people were opening up shop, and then the answer came to me as I looked at my gas receipt. We were in the town of White House, Tennessee. Yeah, I'd be sad, crazy and nervous too. Not necessarily in that order.

## Wednesday, June 14, 2006

### Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Although I don't have much to say (never stopped me before), I feel an entry tonight is mandatory, if only as proof that I fought the Best Western Ethernet Connection and I won (after about a half-hour).

Greetings from Kentucky, where I can report that the time zone is the same as Michigan. At least the Best Western Clock matched my watch, so I am assuming as much. However, since this is the same Best Western whose reception desk is deeply steeped in Eau de Marlboro Man, yet proudly announces on several walls it is a Smoke Free Lobby, assumptions can be hazardous to ones health, meaning I'll just ask for the time at Denny's tomorrow morning and call it good.

The traveling shui is all mucked up this year since we are NOT DRIVING ON THE OHIO TURNPIKE THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Dear Ohio: Sorry, but I didn't miss you and all your oranged-barrel goodness. Dear Pennsylvania: Ditto. Yes, we'll meet again on the way home, but until then, the rolling hills of Kentucky are my new best friend. Dear Indiana: At one point we proclaimed you one step better than Ohio (GramTuna: It's almost as flat. GreenTuna: But not quite. GramTuna: Well yeah, it's not like we're driving in the Netherlands), but 20 minutes later we recanted. Still in all, we loved you 24 miles of construction that consisted of 6 barrels. Keep up the good work, Indiana, but for the love of Moses, pick a time zone and stick to it.

Tomorrow we are off to Tennessee. Everybody else is asleep, so I'm heading off to do the same. If the cats are reading this ... GET OFF THE COMPUTER NOW.

Tuna out.

### Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Although I don't have much to say (never stopped me before), I feel an entry tonight is mandatory, if only as proof that I fought the Best Western Ethernet Connection and I won (after about a half-hour).

Greetings from Kentucky, where I can report that the time zone is the same as Michigan. At least the Best Western Clock matched my watch, so I am assuming as much. However, since this is the same Best Western whose reception desk is deeply steeped in Eau de Marlboro Man, yet proudly announces on several walls it is a Smoke Free Lobby, assumptions can be hazardous to ones health, meaning I'll just ask for the time at Denny's tomorrow morning and call it good.

The traveling shui is all mucked up this year since we are NOT DRIVING ON THE OHIO TURNPIKE THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Dear Ohio: Sorry, but I didn't miss you and all your oranged-barrel goodness. Dear Pennsylvania: Ditto. Yes, we'll meet again on the way home, but until then, the rolling hills of Kentucky are my new best friend. Dear Indiana: At one point we proclaimed you one step better than Ohio (GramTuna: It's almost as flat. GreenTuna: But not quite. GramTuna: Well yeah, it's not like we're driving in the Netherlands), but 20 minutes later we recanted. Still in all, we loved you 24 miles of construction that consisted of 6 barrels. Keep up the good work, Indiana, but for the love of Moses, pick a time zone and stick to it.

Tomorrow we are off to Tennessee. Everybody else is asleep, so I'm heading off to do the same. If the cats are reading this ... GET OFF THE COMPUTER NOW.

Tuna out.

## Tuesday, June 13, 2006

### Haiku for the Fluffy Bunny

Who needs feet for luck?
All wishes are fulfilled by
giant fluffy threats.

With ears and feet that big
This rabbit won't even fit in
a standard sized Haiku.

Farmer McGregor
finally victorious.
Look! Dinner for twelve.

Yes, it's a real rabbit. Yes, they sometimes grow that big. But this guy makes Fabio look like a Scooby snack.

### Haiku for the Fluffy Bunny

Who needs feet for luck?
All wishes are fulfilled by
giant fluffy threats.

With ears and feet that big
This rabbit won't even fit in
a standard sized Haiku.

Farmer McGregor
finally victorious.
Look! Dinner for twelve.

Yes, it's a real rabbit. Yes, they sometimes grow that big. But this guy makes Fabio look like a Scooby snack.

I'm proud to announce that for the first time in many, many years the Tuna Clan will not be engaging in commando gardening prior to leaving for vacation. For the uninitiated, confused, or annoyingly organized, commando gardening is 11th hour gardening where you are faced with planting a huge pile of stuff. There is only one real rule to commando gardening: Find a place (anyplace) that is currently unoccupied and you can get a shovel into, dig a hole and shove the plant into the ground. There can be no consideration for fit or curb appeal. Commando gardening dictates that you get it in the ground and get it in the ground fast. Once the last plant is slapped in, the last suitcase is stuffed in the trunk, and an encouraging DON'T DIE is screamed while pulling out of the driveway, commando gardening is officially over.

It's not for the weak-hearted.

This year, in fact, we are relatively stress free as we prepare for vacation. I say relatively because I haven't lived through tonight yet. But with the dishes and laundry done, a bathroom that won't bite back, and a list in hand (egads!) of what I need to remember to bring, I am feeling a wee bit proud of myself. This isn't to say that there isn't potentially a whole boatload of things that could be done. But if I waited until those were completed, I'd never go anywhere.

The laptop is going with me, because I just can't trust those cats. The last thing I want to come home to is 2 tons of catnip mice and an Amazon box fortress constructed for optimal kitty pouncing. I had thought about leaving the Fabios (flat and fluffy) in charge, but neither of them will take out the trash or water the yard, so I enticed BSTuna with the promises of air conditioning, cable TV and a high-speed computer.

I know all is in good hands.

I'm proud to announce that for the first time in many, many years the Tuna Clan will not be engaging in commando gardening prior to leaving for vacation. For the uninitiated, confused, or annoyingly organized, commando gardening is 11th hour gardening where you are faced with planting a huge pile of stuff. There is only one real rule to commando gardening: Find a place (anyplace) that is currently unoccupied and you can get a shovel into, dig a hole and shove the plant into the ground. There can be no consideration for fit or curb appeal. Commando gardening dictates that you get it in the ground and get it in the ground fast. Once the last plant is slapped in, the last suitcase is stuffed in the trunk, and an encouraging DON'T DIE is screamed while pulling out of the driveway, commando gardening is officially over.

It's not for the weak-hearted.

This year, in fact, we are relatively stress free as we prepare for vacation. I say relatively because I haven't lived through tonight yet. But with the dishes and laundry done, a bathroom that won't bite back, and a list in hand (egads!) of what I need to remember to bring, I am feeling a wee bit proud of myself. This isn't to say that there isn't potentially a whole boatload of things that could be done. But if I waited until those were completed, I'd never go anywhere.

The laptop is going with me, because I just can't trust those cats. The last thing I want to come home to is 2 tons of catnip mice and an Amazon box fortress constructed for optimal kitty pouncing. I had thought about leaving the Fabios (flat and fluffy) in charge, but neither of them will take out the trash or water the yard, so I enticed BSTuna with the promises of air conditioning, cable TV and a high-speed computer.

I know all is in good hands.

## Sunday, June 11, 2006

### Things I Didn't Do Last Week

1. Eat Monkey Chow because I was tired of cooking.

2. Take a shower for the entire world wide web.

3. Write an anecdote and have it published by the Washington Post. Sure, it was all about the hair, but today it was all about the nose. Congrats Red Nose!

4. Get invited to Oprah's Legends ball.

5. Play Albatross or Not Albatross

6. Dress my pet squirrel in a sweater.

7. Play football against my alpaca.

### Things I Didn't Do Last Week

1. Eat Monkey Chow because I was tired of cooking.

2. Take a shower for the entire world wide web.

3. Write an anecdote and have it published by the Washington Post. Sure, it was all about the hair, but today it was all about the nose. Congrats Red Nose!

4. Get invited to Oprah's Legends ball.

5. Play Albatross or Not Albatross

6. Dress my pet squirrel in a sweater.

7. Play football against my alpaca.

### Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... And You Think:

1. Band :: Mariachi

2. Tan :: Brown

5. Customize :: Personalize

6. Hamburger :: I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday

7. Solid :: Foundation

8. Forbidden :: No-No

9. Deter :: Prevent

10. Torment :: Persecute

1. I've never seen (or heard) a mariachi band in my life, so yeah...don't know there.

4. Pinball Pete's is the original and now only arcade in town. A classic hole-in-the-wall establishment (technically it's a hole-in-the-basement establishment), It has been around since GreenTuna was a High School Tuna, which was a long, long time ago. Although I haven't ventured to Pete's in years, I will admit to dropping a few quarters there once upon a time.

6. I conferred with my boyfriend to see if there was any fun random trivia about Wimpy's classic line from the Popeye cartoon, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today!" I didn't see anything off the bat, but was more intrigued by a nearby listing in the Urban Dictionary which read: "I'll Funky Kentucky for what be groovy at!" Holy coincidence, Batman. I just uttered that phrase yesterday. Except, well, not.

10. Time to torment TinyTuna and make her get up and get ready for church. I bet she'll gladly pay me Tuesday for 15 more minutes of sleep.

### Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... And You Think:

1. Band :: Mariachi

2. Tan :: Brown

5. Customize :: Personalize

6. Hamburger :: I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday

7. Solid :: Foundation

8. Forbidden :: No-No

9. Deter :: Prevent

10. Torment :: Persecute

1. I've never seen (or heard) a mariachi band in my life, so yeah...don't know there.

4. Pinball Pete's is the original and now only arcade in town. A classic hole-in-the-wall establishment (technically it's a hole-in-the-basement establishment), It has been around since GreenTuna was a High School Tuna, which was a long, long time ago. Although I haven't ventured to Pete's in years, I will admit to dropping a few quarters there once upon a time.

6. I conferred with my boyfriend to see if there was any fun random trivia about Wimpy's classic line from the Popeye cartoon, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today!" I didn't see anything off the bat, but was more intrigued by a nearby listing in the Urban Dictionary which read: "I'll Funky Kentucky for what be groovy at!" Holy coincidence, Batman. I just uttered that phrase yesterday. Except, well, not.

10. Time to torment TinyTuna and make her get up and get ready for church. I bet she'll gladly pay me Tuesday for 15 more minutes of sleep.

## Tuesday, June 06, 2006

### *Scratch*

Complaining about mosquitoes in Michigan is as predictable as grumbling about snow in winter and construction zones in the summer. Seriously. These things happen. But after a week of early evening gardening, I've come to the conclusion that spraying myself with Off or Deet or Super Duper 'Squito Remover is as effective as dousing myself with Old Spice and walking into a cheap bar on Friday night with twenty-dollar bills falling out of my pockets. Far from being any sort of deterrent, now I'm just A LOT easier to find.

### *Scratch*

Complaining about mosquitoes in Michigan is as predictable as grumbling about snow in winter and construction zones in the summer. Seriously. These things happen. But after a week of early evening gardening, I've come to the conclusion that spraying myself with Off or Deet or Super Duper 'Squito Remover is as effective as dousing myself with Old Spice and walking into a cheap bar on Friday night with twenty-dollar bills falling out of my pockets. Far from being any sort of deterrent, now I'm just A LOT easier to find.

## Monday, June 05, 2006

### Haiku for the Singing Tomato Lady

Bone fertilizer.
Singing tomatoes in trees.
Cat thinks, what the hell?

I've taken down the poll because it was slowing down the page something fierce. The unsurprising result was that Aras sucks. Yes indeed, rocket science here at the news.

I'm going to attempt to post some photos instead. Some of which have popped up before, and others from my personal stockpile. I don't remember the origins of the singing tomato lady, but from her full-on yellow frock to her highly unusual anatomy (is that a whole bunch of extra material, or does she have backside that doesn't quit?), in an obviously odd way, I have to say I love her.

And what, do you suppose, does a tomato lady sing while sitting in a tree? Is it her life's dream to become catsup, or is she hoping for a kinder, gentler fate? And what about the cat?

It's all so mysterious. It's like she's the Roma Lisa.

### Haiku for the Singing Tomato Lady

Bone fertilizer.
Singing tomatoes in trees.
Cat thinks, what the hell?

I've taken down the poll because it was slowing down the page something fierce. The unsurprising result was that Aras sucks. Yes indeed, rocket science here at the news.

I'm going to attempt to post some photos instead. Some of which have popped up before, and others from my personal stockpile. I don't remember the origins of the singing tomato lady, but from her full-on yellow frock to her highly unusual anatomy (is that a whole bunch of extra material, or does she have backside that doesn't quit?), in an obviously odd way, I have to say I love her.

And what, do you suppose, does a tomato lady sing while sitting in a tree? Is it her life's dream to become catsup, or is she hoping for a kinder, gentler fate? And what about the cat?

It's all so mysterious. It's like she's the Roma Lisa.

## Sunday, June 04, 2006

### Culture Club

TinyTuna has always been a fairly savvy concert-goer. This is because she has been dragged here, there and everywhere since she was a much tinier TinyTuna. Be it plays, musicals, Broadway shows, professional GreenTuna gigs, student voice recitals or operas -- she loves them all and would love nothing more than to go to a concert on a daily basis.

On Friday I took TinyTuna to another first. Our good friend, PBSTuna was singing in a band. So off we went to lend moral support, be entertained, have a fabulous time, talk and dance.

Midway through the evening as TinyTuna was shaking her 12-year old groove thang on the dance floor with Mensch, she told her with breathless excitement, "I can't wait until Monday!!"

"What happens on Monday?"

"I can tell all my friends I went to a BAR!"

I'm wondering if I'll be getting a phone call from the guidance counselor...

Oh my, I think I need one of these.

### Culture Club

TinyTuna has always been a fairly savvy concert-goer. This is because she has been dragged here, there and everywhere since she was a much tinier TinyTuna. Be it plays, musicals, Broadway shows, professional GreenTuna gigs, student voice recitals or operas -- she loves them all and would love nothing more than to go to a concert on a daily basis.

On Friday I took TinyTuna to another first. Our good friend, PBSTuna was singing in a band. So off we went to lend moral support, be entertained, have a fabulous time, talk and dance.

Midway through the evening as TinyTuna was shaking her 12-year old groove thang on the dance floor with Mensch, she told her with breathless excitement, "I can't wait until Monday!!"

"What happens on Monday?"

"I can tell all my friends I went to a BAR!"

I'm wondering if I'll be getting a phone call from the guidance counselor...

Oh my, I think I need one of these.