Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Am I Blue?

I am, as the French say, "a woman of a certain age" but I certainly don't feel old. So it constantly surprises me when other people treat me like I am. It happened the other night in St. Louis. And it's sort of a bad news/good news kind of thing. Fearless leader and hostess extraordinaire Mary Hendron took me and two other writers to a blues club -- Beale on Broadway. I must admit that 10:30 is usually my bed time so it did feel a bit odd to be heading out at that time of night (must be an old lady thing). The club was packed and Miss Kim Massie was ruling. The room was not large and we headed toward the back since there were no seats. As you can see, I had a pretty good view -- until the next wave of blues-lovers came in. I always hope for a convention of "little people" because, otherwise, I'm not going to be able to see over anybody. So I squeezed through the crowd and found a spot up by the front door. I stood there quite a while, totally enjoying myself, when the manager saw me, brought a chair and put it at a table (already occupied by another party!) right up in front. Now I was comfortable, happy and I could see. But it also bothered me -- did she do it because I look old? Nah! I'm sure she was just being polite -- nevermind that there were a lot of other women standing up -- and I'll continue to believe that until the next boy scout tries to help me across the street!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Big Hit in St. Louis

My SATW Traveling Teddy and I made a nostalgic return to the city of his birth! Teddy was born in the Build-a-Bear Workshop -- headquarters, St. Louis. Though we didn't go to the factory, we did go to the BABW in Busch Stadium -- the first ballpark location for the company. Teddy watched while I made a Fredbird (the Cardinals' mascot) and other writers (Bob made a bear and Phil made a big Clydesdale named Clyde and a little one named Dale) and Mary Hendron made their little friends.
Teddy's becoming my alter ego and does things I wouldn't have nerve enough to do -- like asking Albert Pujoles and Mike Shannon to pose for pictures with him. Since he was so bold, I got in the pictures, too.
Teddy also got a new outfit -- a Cardinals' uniform. And he modeled an All-Star shirt. What a little ham. He thinks he's a real celebrity now!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Georgia on my Mind

Oh, man, life is going way too fast. And I'm traveling way too much. And I'm writing way too little. But enough about me. Oh, I forgot, it IS all about me. So here's what I did last week -- went to Atlanta for the SATW Central States Chapter meeting. Was it fun? You bet.
I'm leaving tomorrow morning for St. Louis -- think baseball, beer and botanic garden -- so this is a quickie with just a couple of the many highlights of the Atlanta trip.

The first full day of the meeting -- with professional development in the a.m. and city tours in the p.m. -- it was drizzly and rainy. And sometimes it just flat poured. We toured the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site and Birthplace and the Carter Presidential Museum. I was so looking forward to that -- only to be told not to bother with notes because they were about to redo everything but the replica Oval Office! The grounds were lovely, though too wet to get out in. Still, you can see from the picture that the azaleas and dogwoods were in full bloom.
The next morning -- 6 a.m. and 53 degrees to be precise -- we took a Segway tour of downtown -- went around the capitol and through the Georgia State campus. I was brilliant -- I wore long underwear under my clothes, put my knit bandeau (which Margo Lakin says looks like I have a maxipad tied on my head) under my bicycle helmet, pulled on my gloves and I was comfortable -- could have gone for hours. Some of my companions got a little cool. That's me -- just look for the lowest helmet in the group!

That night Zoe's and my friend, Jana Keeler, (who used to live in OKC but has moved back to her hometown of Atlanta) had a short visit before our Dine-Around. She suggested picking me up at my hotel and taking me to the restaurant early -- she could eat dinner and I could have a Diet Coke while I waited for the group. We had a great visit and the restaurant -- One Midtown Kitchen -- was a delight. I'm not a calamari fan -- but if I'd had theirs first, I would be and just realize nobody else fixes it as good. So I guess I'm a One Midtown Kitchen calamari fan.

Saturday was a really beautiful day. That was the day we went to Oakland Cemetery where Margaret Mitchell is buried. The photos might have been more effective if it had been rainy that day but still, the blue sky and the gorgeous flowers were awfully pretty. This lion statue, reminiscent of the Lion of Lucerne, represents the dying Confederacy and commemorates the unknown soldiers who are buried in this section of the cemetery.

Sunday I came home. I miss the great bed at the Marriott Marquis. I loved the hotel, loved my room on the 36th floor, but it's good to be home. Now I have to go pack!