Last Week’s Good Things

Nov 11

We are moving into the final weeks of the year. The temperatures we had to start the week made me realize that, but this weekend has been warm and pretty pleasant. More than a few good things happened this week as the days started to warm. Here are a few.

Courtney Barnett – It is true that almost every new music love of mine is introduced to me via NPR. I can’t think that is a bad thing. What’s the matter with letting the experts cull from so much new music, those bands and performers that pass their muster? It happened again this week that a single song played on the All Songs Considered podcast made me go home and and purchase an album. This week it was Austrailian singer, Courtney Barnett. Her music came up because she played the CMJ Music Festival back in October in NYC and everyone on the panel declared love. The song that they played was Avant Gardener, and I have literally had this song in my head since. It has droney guitars, lyrics that pull you into the story and make your own visuals, and a lazy delivery that reminds me sometimes of Lucinda Williams. Other songs on the album also build stories with humor and darkness – oftentimes both in the same song. She has some great syncopation and word choice. The double EP is titled A Sea of Split Peas. It made my week better!

I get adrenalin

Straight to the heart

I feel like Uma Thurman

Post-overdosing kick start

Reminds me of the time

When i was really sick and i

Had too much psuedoefedryn and i

Couldn’t sleep at night


Conversations – Friday was a really good day. I got to spend the day working on a chapter and made good progress on it. Late in the afternoon, I walked up to Bier Station and met Barb for a beer and some talk. When I left, the sun had set and the almost full moon really lit up the sky. After a very cold start of the week, it felt great strolling home on that warm, beautiful evening. When Dan got home, I made a Friday evening cocktail and we sat around talking a little before I made dinner. After finishing, we stayed at the table awhile – just chatting about people and things that were on our mind this week. Days can become so scheduled and full. Stresses can cloud the positive things that are out there. I loved the solitary time I had that day to focus on my writing, but then having time together with favorite people made a really good day, better.

 Sherwood Center – The movement of stuff in the world is extraordinary. I don’t think that a week goes by that at least one new non-perishable item doesn’t make its way into our house. Sometimes you need to purge, if only to make way for what you know will be coming – more stuff. In the past, we did try the garage sale route to perhaps get back some of the dollars sunk into the things that we no longer wanted. However, the time and effort to get 25 cents for some old t-shirts and books, no longer appeals to me. That is why I love the agencies that come around periodically and take away boxes and bags of our unwanted things. The Sherwood Center is my go to service. They come when they are supposed to and they leave a receipt so I can take the donation off on our taxes. The best!



Remembering the Sabres of the 70s – On Facebook a few days ago, the Buffalo Sabres posted a picture of #11, Gilbert Perreault wishing him a happy 63rd birthday. The photo posted (above) was from his glory days with the Sabres when he, Rene Robert, and Richard Martin skated together on the team. They were known as the French Connection and they made me into a hockey fan. One of the saddest days of my childhood that I remember (this makes me realize how good my childhood was) was when I won tickets to a Sabres game by guessing the correct score of the game in the weekly contest published in the Buffalo News. The day we were supposed to go to the game, there was a big snowstorm and my parents wouldn’t drive the 50 miles into Buffalo. I cried a lot. A few weeks later, my uncle got me tickets and took me to see my hockey heros. Seeing that picture this week brought back good memories!

holiday hero

The Holiday Hero Campaign and the Children’s Mercy Cancer Center Board – Doing good is easier for some than others. People with a lot of money can choose to distribute it to those projects that are important to them. That is relatively easy. But when people donate their time and their extended resources to support a project, it takes more effort. This week, the wonderful board of the Children’s Mercy Cancer Center hosted an event to kickoff the annual Holiday Hero Campaign. This campaign brings in dollars to the Cancer Center. The funds then support programming and research. Each year, a “hero” family is chosen. This year’s is one of the Spanish speaking families who have benefited from the Spanish Language cancer clinic now offered at the hospital. The event was so nice. There were board members, hospital staff, friends and family of everyone, and, of course, the Hero family. Through an interpreter, the father explained what thanks they had for the care their whole family got during their daughter’s treatment. Kicking off the holiday season amongst such good people was a good thing.

Last Week’s Good Stuff

  1. Nicoise Salad – Thursday, I got home from work early so I got to do something that I don’t often do. I made dinner (not that I don’t have dinner most nights. I just have a husband who takes on the responsibility). I made a Nicoise Salad with a great taragon-y vinaigrette and seared tuna on top. It tasted fresh and pretty healthy.
  2. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Friday night, Dan and I used the tickets we won to go see the Wagner opera, The Flying Dutchman. It was a fun experience, but the best part, was going for the first time to Kansas City’s Kauffman Center. It really is beautiful. Just stepping into the building made me feel cultured!IMG_20130308_215215
  3. NPR’s SXSW Sampler – I really love the music group at NPR. I have found so much good, new music via their podcasts, radio shows, and blog. South by Southwest is the mecca for new music introduction. For the last few years, they have offered a 100 song sampler that you can download for free. I have been listening to it on and off this week, and have already discovered some new musicians that I will need to listen to more.
  4. Gratitudes – One of the things that I have wanted to do this year is to take time every day to remember good things that happened the day before. For several weeks, I have thought that I would take time at work everyday to do that. That idea did not work out at all. When I was talking to Dan about my frustration with that, he asked why I didn’t do it in the morning before I went to work. This week I started doing just that. It is working beautifully.
  5. Monday at the Bier Station – Monday night, rather than doing dinner at home, Dan and I went to the Bier Station. We sat at the bar and had a meat and cheese board along with one of the Farm to Market pretzels. I had the Samuel Smith Chocolate Stout which is a fine chocolate beer. We got some samples of beer that had been pressed with fruits. We conversed with the bartenders and another woman from the neighborhood who was sitting next to us. Such a beautiful night in the neighborhood.