Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Clemson...and the Unity Church of Practical Christianity

We just returned from Lorelai's orientation and are now official Tiger Fans. All except Legare...not that he particularly cares for the mighty chickens from rival school USC. As far as he is concerned football holds little charm...UNC basketball is the be all and end all. Hank and I will switch between seasons and become obnoxious Tar Heels as soon as football season is over. Anybody who knows us is going to think that this is BIGTIME funny...neither Hank, Legare nor I are known for exhibiting unbridled enthusiasm for sports. Things change, my friends, things change!

The orientation was very well organized. Lor got her schedule all worked out and found a roommate to boot. The most stressful part of the whole thing was her driving us back and forth. I had a minor meltdown on the way home when her cellphone beeped to indicate a text message and she picked it up to READ the darn thing. I launched into a BIG mama rage and lecture about the dangers/risks and how monumentally DUMB it is to text while driving. (She grabbed and looked all too quickly, indicating that she had much practice.) It is a long drive from here to Clemson and a scary one for parents whose kids are larking out on their own. Prayer...Everybody, please....we need much much prayer!!

Hank and I are pooped and I think I'm going to think about calling it a night. I just have to mention a little church we drove by right outside of Clemson. I wish I'd had my camera at the ready....The sign proclaimed this house of worship to be The Unity Church of Practical Christianity. (As opposed to impractical Christianity????) How does one define "practical?" Is it up to each person or does the "church" provide specific guidelines? I'm baffled!!

I surely do wish SOMEBODY out there would comment...any thoughts on The Unity Church of Practical Christianity?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Viva Las Vegas...Hail Caesar...Sad News

Thank goodness I'm home. I can hardly believe that I'm saying this but I'm TIRED of eating in restaurants. I had two meals at home between the graduations, cruise and heading out to Las Vegas. The saving grace the past week has been that the food in Vegas was beyond delicious and I HIGHLY recommend staying at Caesars Palace in the Palace Tower. I hear that the Augustus Tower is very nice also. Aside from the cigarette smoke in the casino area it was spotless....tacky in some areas....but spotless. Didn't get out on the strip much but I'd describe it as a cross between Disney World and, as the husband of a friend of mine at work says, "Myrtle Beach on steroids."

I saw the Las Vegas production of "Jersey Boys" which I loved, and Elton John's "Red Piano" concert which would have been great from a music perspective, but was very very odd from a visual perspective. First of all, he looks a lot like a weeble...you know..."weebles wobble but they don't fall down" combined with Penguin from Batman. Second of all, they showed very troubling videos behind the band as they played and sang some of his standard tunes...the nice ones that we all know the words to. When I say "troubling," I mean really weird. Somebody has an extremely dark side and likely despises women. I plain didn't get a lot of the video stuff and the giant inflatable bosom and various inflatable fruits...well...I just don't know what to say and neither did the little old ladies sitting around us. When the bleached blond with black eyes, huge lips, topless, wearing a wedding veil with blood trickling down from her nose (or was it her mouth?) sat down in electric chair and started to sizzle while a guy with wings (a cross between fairy wings, butterfly wings and angel wings) danced around with a life-sized blue (purple?) teddy bear as an actor playing Elton John knelt on the kitchen floor with his head in a gas oven....oh hell's bells...I just gave up on trying to figure it all out.

I'm glad to be home...I don't mind traveling as much when Hank can go with me, but when I have to be away on business and he can't go, I'm usually ready to come home after a couple of days. We're almost at the end of our busy season here at home. Next stop is Clemson for two nights early next week for Lorelai's freshman orientation. Time is flying!

On a sad note....I just saw on the news that Tim Russert, the Washington Bureau Chief for NBC news passed away suddenly this afternoon at the very young age of 58. We are big fans of MSNBC and "Meet the Press" and he was an exceptionally insightful and likely brilliant journalist. If you're a fan also, be sure to watch the broadcast on Sunday morning.

I'm working on trying to figure out how to post photographs to an album on slideshow on the blog so be on the lookout.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cruising Home...Hillary's Speech...Off to Vegas

Well, there's nothing quite like visiting the Walmart here in our little town to jerk you right back into reality after a week of cruising through the Caribbean. Although, Legare says that he doesn't think our Walmart is reality....it's some kind of warped parallel existance (or the seventh circle of hell)...I won't get started! (but you really should read the book "Nickled and Dimed"...you'll never want to shop in Walmart again unless you have no other choice, which we don't here in "the corner" unless we drive 20 miles or so to a Target. Walmart treats their employees HORRIBLY which is part of the reason that many of the employees have a bad attitude and the service is often so poor.)

The cruise was nice and our little band of four girls and six parents got along marvelously, as far as I know. We all settled into our own little daily routines of sleeping, eating, sunning (not me!), reading, touring, taking excursions, and drinking frothy frosty drinks with umbrellas and then meeting for dinner each night for more eating and drinking of frothy frosty drinks. I surprised everybody by taking the stage as the first Karaoke singer one evening wowing the crowd with my rendition of "Suds in the Bucket"...The last night I danced around our area of the dining room with the waiter after Lorelai was paraded around by another waiter waving her beauty queen wave. As I am the official picture taker, there are no pictures of me....just anecdotal data!

We were happy to get home to sleep in our own beds...(check my updated list of "things that never disappoint.")

Hank, Legare and I just watched Senator Clinton's concession and endorsement of Barak Obama. It may very well have been the most brilliant political speech ever given. If you missed it, log on to MSNBC. Truly truly amazing.

Time to repack the suitcase for my four days in Las Vegas with work. I've never been and am looking forward to 5:00 each afternoon when the conference is over and the fun begins.

Lor and friends preparing to encounter Dolphins

Sleepy Lor...staying out until 4AM is tiring!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Country Club of the South Puts On a Fine Commencement. How George W. Bush might have a future as a commencement speaker. Blogging from cruise!

Scott, Hank and Lorelai before the LONG sit... Scott, Hank and the happy graduate...

Legare is now a college graduate, cum laude with a double major in English and Political Science and is well on his way to making the mental transition from a Paladin to a Tarheel. His university hosted the President as its commencement speaker. Not a fan…I believe you know that already…BUT…I’ll give him this…his speechwriter did a wonderful job and the address was delivered well indeed. The ol’ boy said all the things parents want their children to hear as they prepare to fly a little further from the nest. It was interesting to watch the crowd. There were about 30 faculty members who were excused from attending and about 14 who removed their regalia during the approximately 20 minute speech and stood on the back faculty row in “We Object” shirts. There were also a small number of protesters as the motorcade made its way through town from the airport to campus but it was all very peaceful. Folks did what they had to do but they did it quietly and without disrespect to the Class of 2008. Now that it is all said and done, my only real complaint is that we had to be there two and a half hours early, which made for quite a few achy backs from the hard bleachers since the nearly three hour graduation had us sitting for a grand total of five and a half hours. Hank, Lorelai, good old Scott who attending both of our graduation events over the weekend (he was a real trooper) and I sat and sat and SAT, but the music was glorious, the words inspiring, and Hank figures that there was no less that a $7,000,000.00 investment sitting on that football field accepting diplomas. When Legare was baptized back when he was about eight years old, the pastor said, “This is Legare, my brother in Christ. He is going to do great things in this world.” It was a little unusual for him to say all of that as he usually just said, in a baptizing situation, “This is John (or Jane, or Sue, or Mike), my brother/sister in Christ” and would leave it at that. The “he is going to do great things in this world” was special, as is our smart, witty, and clever son. There is no doubt that he will indeed do great things in this world.

We arrived at Legare’s apartment early Sunday morning, packed him up and moved him out, making the three hour drive back to the lowcountry as fast as we could. After unloading we (Hank, Lor, and I) repacked and jumped back in the car to head as far as Brunswick to spend the night on our way to board a cruise in Port Canaveral on Monday morning. I’m blogging from the balcony of our stateroom as we make our way through beautiful blue waters toward the Bahamas. Lor, three friends and six parents are having a much needed vacation from the hustle and bustle of graduation activity. WE need it more than the others since we had TWO graduations. (If you haven’t figured it out by now, my situation is always the best/worse/happiest/most serious/funniest (pick one) because it’s all about ME).

I think I need a nap before lunch….final note on commencement speakers. One of our congressmen was the speaker at Lor’s graduation the other night…we’ll call him Jack Black (if you were there you’ll have to admit that giving him that name is FUNNNEEEE) and he was a TERRIBLE TERRIBLE speaker. When Legare was in Washington a couple of years ago doing an internship, he visited Congressman Black’s office. It was a requirement of the program that he interview several politicians from our state. He had appointments, but on three separate occasions when he arrived, he was told that Jack Black was unavailable. Legare, losing patience, went back to the office of the congresswoman for whom he was working and was advised to call Black’s office to complain as a constituent and the son of constituents. He did so and was given an apology and new appointment. It all worked out and he met with JB for 15 minutes or so very unimpressive minutes, took the obligatory photograph together and went on his way. A few weeks after he arrived back home from his two months in DC, he received an envelope from Congressman Black’s office which contained a lovely photograph of Black and some nice middle-aged woman who is unknown to any of us. I guess she has our photograph of Legare. Having said all of that (I don’t think anybody should be offended as every word is true), I know the congressman’s two sisters…they are delightful ladies and I have no doubt that JB is a sweet old guy…he just doesn’t need to accept invitations to speak at graduations (EVER) and should work on the efficiency of his office staff. Time for that nap...