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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Kim Lumpkin's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, December 31st, 2017
12:31 pm
Bye-bye, 2017, don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!
No two ways about it, this was a really tough year. A year in which friends were lost and friends lost loved ones. And don’t get me started on politics (although I do think the tide is going to turn majorly next November).

I’m not going to say that 2018 can’t be any worse because, why tempt fate? But I will say I am pretty hopeful for the coming year. It’s already starting out with a bang with a TMBG show in Fort Lauderdale (!) and album, plus other fan club goodies. And I’m going to a wedding this summer – the first one I’ve ever been to!

One big thing I am hyped about is that the department of Vocational Rehabilitation has approved a generous voucher for new hearing aids that I’ve needed for a while. I’m pretty excited – hope the new ones can be red like the ones I have now!

Professionally, my goals are to keep working on being a better teacher, because my students deserve it. Creatively, I need to get my novel ready to be published. I know it will never be perfect, so I can’t let that stop me. I also have more outlets than ever before for both writing and drawing, so I’m going to work at doing that more. I really want to read more, too – if only there were a way to buy more time!

As far as my personal life, my parents are still my world. Mom’s having some pretty major eye surgery in just a few days, which we’re both excited and nervous about. I’m more nervous that she won’t be well enough to have it than I am about the surgery itself. Between her leg pain and her ulcer, it’s been very up and down lately, and this is like the fourth time the procedure has been rescheduled. We’re all hoping this time’s the charm.

And those are just some of the things I am looking forward to – I hope everyone has a great New Year’s Eve and that this year is good to you!



Current Mood: hopeful
Friday, July 8th, 2016
1:14 pm
Sweatin' to the Showstoppers
Whenever I see workout playlists, there's always something glaringly missing - show tunes! There are some show tunes that can get my blood pumping as fast as any good rock, pop, or R n B tune. I'm posting lyric videos for most of them, which may be boring, but they don't have the distractions of the scene. So, without further ado, here are my top favorite workout showtunes.

"Greased Lightning" from Grease

A bit obvious, but a real classic.

"You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray

This one's just really fun!

"One Jump Ahead" from Aladdin

Perfect for running. Warning: It can be hard not to act out the lyrics while working out!

"Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" from Little Shop of Horrors

One of my faves! "Some Fun Now" and the title song are also fun, but this one rocks hardest, thanks in large part to Levi Stubbs.

"My Shot" from "Hamilton"

The newest addition to my workout mix - really inspirational, motivational, patriotic, and smart - I've literally had it stuck in my head for days!

And that's it! Thanks for reading and let me know what you think (and if you work out to any showtunes, please share!)


Monday, December 28th, 2015
10:47 am
My 5 Favorite Running/Workout Songs of 2015
As 2015 draws to a close, I thought I'd reflect on a few of the tunes I added to my running mix (in no particular order). Yes, a few of them actually came out in 2014, but it took me time to fully appreciate/incorporate them into my workouts. Click the purple links and enjoy!

1. Pelvis Pusher by Vintage Trouble

I'm an avowed homebody, but Vintage Trouble are on my (very) short list of acts I'd make an effort to see live.

2. SOB by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

Starts out a bit slow, but wait until the chorus kicks in!

3. Word Crimes by Weird Al Yankovic

The only good thing to come of Robin Thick's "Blurred Lines." And who knew that grammar Nazis and workouts go so well together?

4. Shake it Off by Taylor Swift

Yes, I'm one of the people this Saturday Night Live sketch is about. It's just a fun song!

5. Aaa by They Might Be Giants

You didn't think I'd make it through the list without any TMBG did you? There were a few good workout tunes from their album Glean (and other songs they released this year), but this is probably the best one to run to. It helps that with this subject matter, it's easy to imagine someone chasing you!

I hope at least one or two of these songs are new to you and have inspired you to work out as well. If you have any favorite workout music, please share!



Current Mood: busy
Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
10:03 pm
My NYC Adventure (LOTS of pics)
It had been too long since I'd been to NY; I was craving a trip, and a TMBG show was a perfect excuse! On the day I left, I looked out the window of the plane and saw a rainbow (it's very faint, but if you look hard you can see it):

It was easy to tell when I got to NY - the difference in building density is always striking to me!

I arrived at 10 - good to see the Manhattan skyline again!

My hotel let me check in early - 23rd floor, nice view!

Also, cool elevator!

Next order of business - lunch! Shroom burger at shake shack :9

After some shopping, I was ready to turn in because I wanted to get up early the next day to go to the Statue of Liberty! Saw some cool statues on the way:

A beautiful morning in Manhattan:

Here comes the ferry!

Mandatory on the ferry selfie

Getting closer!

No matter how many images you've seen of the Statue of Liberty, there's something special about ones you take yourself

The "I'm going up in that??" moment...

The original torch

The scaffolding is pretty amazing to see!

My "I made it to the crown!" face

A kind fellow climber took pics of me looking out:

Feels like you can almost reach out and touch the arm

The spiraling narrow stairs are no joke even going down (my feet for scale):

After Liberty Island, the ferry stopped at Ellis Island; I didn't get off, but had to get a pic of the building:

Back to Brooklyn; this building was near my hotel. I love how in this city such modern buildings can coexist with buildings that look line something out of a Tennessee Williams play

After a brief rest at the hotel and some pizza for lunch, it was a long wait in line to get a good spot for They Might Be Giants! Sorry for the quality - sadly, I didn't choose the best spot as the keyboard blocked Flans for most of the show, but it was still awesome!

This one's actually kind of trippy...

Such a good show! The next morning, I walked over to Juniors and had an awesome breakfast...

Then took a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge ...

Uh oh, look what I came across as I was heading toward midtown - major time and money suck alert! (I was good and only bought one really cute sketchbook)

Passed the Flatiron building - look closely, the "4 of 2" clock is still there!

Inside the SNL exhibit - Land Shark!!

Laser Cats!

Obligatory Wayne's World couch selfie - excellent!

The rest of my day involved making my way back to Brooklyn via subway (surprisingly easy to figure out) and more pizza. Now I am home and soon will go to bed to cuddle with my kitties. I leave you with a picture of the Empire State Building taken with my camera's sepia effect setting - love the old timey feel it has.

Thank you for going through this whole long post, and I hope you enjoyed the pics. NYC is the best, and I hope to be back someday.


Saturday, April 11th, 2015
5:10 pm
Quarterly Report
Hey, hey, it's been awhile. I thought I'd have something to write every week, but life has gotten in the way. Seriously, this has been quite the busy year so far, and this past week, which was my school's Easter break, was quite busy thanks to my other jobs, writing, grading, and, admittedly, a lot of napping, too. And while I don't like the uncertainty of my work situation, I still love what I do and feel very lucky to have my jobs.

The big news for me is that after a lot of waffling, I finally reserved a flight and hotel for a trip to NYC this summer to see one of TMBG's Brooklyn shows! I knew it would either be the June or July show since those fall during my summer vacation, but I wanted to see what the themes of the shows will be (like most of the other fans, I'm really hoping for a John Henry show!). But since they're taking their sweet time announcing the themes, I decided not to wait any longer and went for the July show date. Sadly, my mom won't be going with me this time, but I'm going to try to get her to the beach as much as possible to make up for it. Speaking of the beach, I plan to visit Coney Island while in Brooklyn! I also have a ticket for access to the crown of the Statue of Liberty for the morning of the show, so I hope I'll have time for a nap afterwards and be able to bounce around at the show that night. I'm really excited about the visit to the Statue as it's something I've wanted to do since I was little. So, it's shaping up to be a pretty epic trip! Between that and VIP tickets to see Weird Al closer to home in August, I'm pretty anxious for the summer to begin.

It's had it's stressful moments, but so far, my year #50 has been pretty good :)



Current Mood: excited
Saturday, January 10th, 2015
7:05 am
Sad Start to the Year
I hate for only my second post of the year to be a sad one, but I feel a need to honor the memory of one of our beloved cats. It's taken me awhile to post this because of business but also because it hurts. My dad's cat of 16 years, Tux, somehow fell off of our 8th story balcony the other day. I was at work when my mom left me a message to call home as soon as I could. She told me they couldn't find Tux anywhere in the apartment, and my dad just happened to look over the balcony and saw him on the pavement below. We can't figure out why he did that. He'd never jumped up on the railing; one of his favorite things to do all day sit in a chair in the sun until my dad came home. He would then spend most of the evening in my dad's lap until my dad fell asleep on the couch watching TV. This was pretty much what I saw every night

Tux and Roy

Tux became very fond of me, too. All I had to do was sit on the couch and cross my legs, and he'd crawl right into my lap. Occasionally, I'd nap on the couch and he would join me:

kim and tux

Tux may have been 16, but he still had some of the energy of a kitten, often tearing around the living room in the morning, amusing us all. My dad, of course, is gutted. My mom and I will miss him, too, of course, but my heart breaks for my dad now. He was used to seeing Tux every day when he came home for 16 years, and they had a bond that even among cat lovers is rare.

RIP, Tux, you were literally one of the coolest cats I ever knew.

Thursday, January 1st, 2015
4:11 pm
Welcome, 2015!
My new year started out pleasantly enough with a four-mile run. I thought a lot about what kind of resolutions I should make that I can probably keep. So far, I have:
• Drink a bottle of water a day (should be easy with the pretty new water bottle I got for Christmas)
• Do my nails once a week (hopefully it will make them stronger so they don’t always start breaking as soon as they get to a length I like)
• Write a Livejournal entry at least once a week on some topic I am interested in (to keep my writing skills sharp)
And that’s about it, at least for now.
I am very much looking forward to two new TMBG albums as well as lots of fan club goodies from some other band ;) Aside from that, I am incredibly excited about the shows I will be seeing this year. For starters, I bought my mom, dad, and myself tickets to see Seinfeld (they watch reruns of the show every night)! Then I will be seeing TMBG live at least once. They’re doing a show on the last Sunday of the month in Brooklyn, so I’m going to try to make it to one of the Brooklyn shows this summer (and maybe hit Coney Island and some other NYC sites, too!). Of course if they do come to South Florida in the fall, I’ll go to that show as well. And as if that weren’t enough, Weird Al is announcing tour dates on January 20, so you know I’ll be hitting one of those shows.
But perhaps one of the biggest events for me this year will be turning 50. I remember as a kid thinking 50 was officially “old age.” Of course now that I am within striking distance, I don’t feel old at all. While I don’t quite believe “age is just a number,” I definitely think that attitude is a very big part of it.
In short, I am very excited for this year, and I wish good things for all of my friends, too. Always remember, we can’t control what life throws at us, but we can control how we react to it. Whatever happens this year, I think it’s gonna be a big one!



Sunday, November 30th, 2014
2:29 pm
Four Books, One Review, or Funny, Smart People I Love
Although I’m hardly a comedian myself, it seems like I’ve always been drawn to funny people, particularly comedy ensembles. Something about the camaraderie makes the humor even more appealing. I loved Laugh-In as a kid, even if I was a bit too young to get all the jokes, and Saturday Night Live was the first show I remember making an effort to stay up late enough to see. Around the same time, my parents and I discovered a little Canadian show by way of PBS called SCTV; I remember the first episode I saw was an extended sketch episode revolving around the horribly cheesy “Solid Gold Marathon.” But it wasn’t until I received Bob and Doug McKenzie’s hit comedy album for my birthday that I became a big fan of the show, even going so far as to make coffee for my sister and I so we could both watch the show when it was aired super late on NBC. And then in the late 80s/early 90s, I discovered another Canadian comedy troupe known as The Kids in the Hall.

So, as you can imagine, the past couple of months have been very exciting book-wise for me because not one, not two or three, but four comics whose work I have enjoyed for so many years have written books about their lives and careers: two from SCTV, one from the Kids in the Hall, and one from Saturday Night Live, although I didn’t really become a fan until I saw her in Parks and Recreation. As much as I admired my favorite comic actors, I never would have imagined as I watched them that I would have a chance to share their insights into their lives and thoughts. To honor this rare and welcome occasion, I have written up my thoughts about and impressions of each one.


I began my journey into comedian memoirs with Andrea Martin’s book, Lady Parts. Throughout the book, she jumps back and forth between time periods, which may sound a bit disorienting, but I never felt lost, and it doesn’t take away from either the humor or the pathos she relates. Unlike fellow cast mate Dave Thomas, whose own book basically chronicles the history of SCTV without much personal reflection, Martin includes a wealth of personal information about her life and career, saving her SCTV memories for last. Since that show was such an important part of my youth, I was highly interested in that section, but it was hardly the only thing I enjoyed in the book. It’s hard to find one-liners or short passages to represent her humor and style because most of it comes from the stories she tells. Her harrowing account of when her red Mustang was stolen at gunpoint hit home for me as a not-so-young red Mustang driver myself!

I was surprised at just how vulnerable she revealed herself to be, but after reading, it is easy to see how she channeled that neurosis and vulnerability into her characters, even ones as different as loudmouth no-filter Edith Prickly and uber self-conscious Libby Wolfson (who, we learn in a special – and funny – chapter in this book, does not take the news that she is going through menopause well). In fact, the chapters that highlight the nearly polar opposite characteristics of Edith and Libby show just what a multifaceted person Andrea is – how most women are. Anyone who knows how tough it is to be a working actress, and a single mom on top of that, knows that she must be very tough inside to have persevered (and she is still going strong).


Bruce McCulloch is such an engaging performer that his opening declaration “I am a writer,” came as a bit of a surprise to me. It’s easy to forget how much of comedy is the result of hours and days of careful, often laborious writing. Let’s Start a Riot is described as having “surprising moments of poignancy.” It’s true that those moments kind of sneak up on you, like when he describes how his young daughter helped him when he was bombing at an event at her school (and it sneaks up on you again when he later relates how he helped his own, less deserving dad). And while it is often said that when someone reads something a well-known actor or actress has written, the reader can hear the writer’s voice, this is especially true of McCulloch, whose distinctive speech patterns and cadence come through loud and clear for anyone who’s listened to his many memorable monologues. A taste of McCulloch’s comedy thought process in the book is his reaction to coming upon, and capturing a picture of, an open diaper, headphones, and a shot-sized bottle of SKYY vodka on the side of the road:

Wasn’t that a party? Clearly, it was the baby who was drinking. Look at the size of the bottle. I can’t figure out those headphones, though. What kind of music do babies listens to these days?
I think this picture tells a classic Hollywood story: baby drives home drunk from the Viper Room, blaring loud music, doesn’t hear the siren, and, when he finally notices the flashing lights, shits himself. See? Things never change in Hollywood.

Some have criticized McCulloch for referring to his wife only as “Pretty Wife,” which I find silly. Part of it is to give her a little bit of anonymity (and considering some of the private details he spills, it’s probably a good thing he did). More importantly, if she’s OK with it, I am, too.
He also confirms more than once how the Kids in the Hall were pretty much meant to come together. I had read stories that mentioned the animosity between them, particularly McCulloch and Scott Thompson, but after I read what McCulloch writes about “the Showman,” such ideas were smashed to bits. As an angry and misunderstood young man with a truly crappy family life, it was obviously a huge comfort for McCulloch to not only find a new family of kindred spirits with the other Kids in the Hall, but one that gave him an outlet to share his talents and attract many more like minded fans; and this book is a cranky but heartfelt thank you/love letter to all of us who also get him.


My days of being able to stay up late enough to actually watch Saturday Night Live while it is being aired are for the most part over. However, one of the few episodes I did manage to catch live was when Sarah Palin was the guest. I was pretty impressed by Amy Poehler’s iconic Sarah Palin rap, done right in front of Palin while Poehler was very pregnant. But after that, she sort of fell off my radar. Then I saw the movie Baby Mama, and greatly enjoyed the chemistry between her and Tina Fey. Then I decided on a whim to check out a show called Parks and Recreation that I’d been hearing good things about, and I basically fell for her Leslie Knope character. Of course what makes the show work is the terrific ensemble cast, but Leslie is at the heart and center of it all. Amy and Leslie may be quite different, but there is also a whole lot of Poehler that comes through. I think the producers knew that in order to make an annoyingly perky and Pollyanna character like Leslie palatable, they needed an actress with the spark and sincerity to make it work, and Poehler certainly does.

So I was pretty excited when I learned that Poehler had written a memoir. Not only is it funny, as expected, but it’s a pretty smart book, too. She manages to walk the fine line between giving empowering advice without sounding preachy. She also knows that making positive changes in society won’t always change the way people think, as when she writes:

The legacy of my generation will be that we have truly expanded the idea of what ‘family’ means. It is no longer unusual for people who choose surrogacy, gay adoption, IVF, international and domestic adoption, fostering, and childlessness to live side by side and quietly judge each other. We can all live in peace thinking our way is the best way and everything else is cuckoo.

And I love how she goes after mothers who attack each other over everything from breastfeeding to child care by pointing out that they should just worry about what works best for them:

Good for her! Not for me. That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again.

As a reflection of her generous team spirit, Poehler has Seth Meyers and even her parents contribute some pages, and after her parents give their impressions of the day she was born, there is a blank page for the reader to write about the day he or she was born. It may seem a bit unnecessary to some, but I thought it was a nice touch and clearly shows how important family is to her. The real fun is the career stuff, chronicling her rise in the comedy world ranks. Her apology story, is a highlight, as is her comparison of an apology from the brain and one from the heart. She and Tina Fey (whose own book Bossypants I also read and enjoyed) are a mutual admiration society who also share a hatred for those who judge them for being working mothers. It is definitely more advice-y than the other books, but she’s certainly entitled to it, since she’s pretty accomplished. And the ending made me smile, a lot.


I have to admit that when Martin Short joined the cast of SCTV, I felt a bit of resentment toward him, probably because I associate his coming on the show with the exit of Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Catherine O’Hara, and John Candy since they happened at about the same time (in fact, that was part of the reason Martin was brought on the show). But I quickly warmed to his characters, particularly Ed Grimly (I think it was “The Fella Who Couldn’t Wait for Christmas” that really won me over). And his Jerry Lewis impression? Perfect.

Like (Andrea) Martin's book, Short’s humor is not well captured in short quotes (with the exception of his characters’ catchphrases, of course). Short’s writing voice has a droll, quiet tone that is a sharp contrast both to that of the previous books and to his rambling, often manic characters. Each of them get an appearance in the book, and they are all fun to read and capture what makes each character so smart and memorable. He’s also gotten to meet pretty much every famous person in Hollywood, from old schoolers like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Phyllis Diller, and Buddy Hackett to some of the best known of his contemporaries. It is telling that he looks back on his SCTV days with the most fondness and personal satisfaction, although he’s lucky enough to have since become friends with greats such as Tom Hanks and Steve Martin (whose reaction to learning about Short’s wife’s cancer is sweet and heart wrenching).

Choosing the “best” out of these four books is both a pointless and impossible task, but I can group them into superlatives, high school style:

Most Inspiring – Martin Short: Along with a pretty amazing life, he has had some really tough breaks, but his good humor and imagination have kept him going.

The One I’d Most want to Hang Out With – Amy Poehler: I’m pretty boring, though, so we’d probably need a buffer to help bring me out (Bossypants reference).

Most Surprising – Bruce McCulloch: Who’d have thought the man who created Cabbage Head would turn out to be such a great dad, or write a tribute as touching (if still cynical) tribute as “Vigil”?

Most Fierce – Andrea Martin: She may come across as a bundle of neuroses at times, but that just makes her uninhibited Edith Prickly side and trapeze antics all the more impressive. No wonder Tina Fey wants to marry her.

As you may have discerned by now, I would recommend all of these books to anyone who is a fan of these people, or comedy in general. Each one, in his or her own way, reveals something about how powerful humor can be to get us through tough times and unleash our inner strength. I’m always a bit wary when it comes to finding out what people I admire are really like, but I can say that after reading these books, I admire and respect them even more. And, yeah, they’re pretty funny, too. So get reading!
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
4:17 am
Yes, it’s been awhile since I last posted. I feel I’ve been antisocial lately online when really I’ve just been super busy. Sometimes that leads to crashing and taking too many naps, too. While I do hate to see summer come to an end, I’m looking forward to fall and winter (as much winter as Florida gets, anyway). And, yes, I even enjoy getting back to work (I am an odd duck).
One not so pleasant thing that happened was one of my hearing aids died. Luckily I can have it repaired. It will cost $300, but that’s a lot better than the $1,300 it would cost to replace it. I’m managing ok with one, but it’ll be a lot easier when I have two again.
After dropping the hearing aid off at the office located in the University of Miami hospital (those of you familiar with it know how much fun it is to drive and park there – yes that’s sarcasm), I got gas and decided to get a machine car wash at the gas station. I later discovered that I’d left the gas cap off, oops. I looked it up to assure myself I’m not the only one to do that, and I didn’t have any problems driving after, so it should be ok.
This will truly be the fall of the comedian books. Bruce McCulloch, Martin Short, Amy Poehler, and Andrea Martin are all coming out with books, and I plan to get every one of them. I got notice today that Andrea’s book has shipped and I should be getting it next week – very excited! I loved her so much on SCTV, so it will be a real treat to read an actual book by her.

Breakfast of pesto and Red Bull is now consumed - time to get ready to run! Have a great day, everyone.


Thursday, June 19th, 2014
3:30 pm
Car Museum Day
The Dezer Collection is a really large museum of cars (some other vehicles, too, but mostly cars) that is literally a couple of blocks down the street from my apartment building. It's been there for about 4-5 years, but I'd never been. Besides classic cars, it has almost every famous car from the movies that you can think of. It's pretty expensive, but my mom and I found a coupon deal where we could get half price tickets, so I bought 3 and gave my dad his for Father's Day. We finally went today, and it was really fun! Here's just a tiny sampling of all the stuff they have.

First, some neat fiberglass car sculptures right on the wall of one of the two museum buildings:


A wood car (no idea why this one's upside down)!


This one is so cute...


And now, it's earworm time! See if you can get these TV and movie themes out of your head:


I'm not sure the Inspector Gadget theme is particularly catchy, but the dashboard console is awesome:

There were some cheap looking mannequins and displays, so we goofed around with them:


And now for a few non-car vehicles. First up, Indian bike!


My dad said his dad had one of these huge three-wheel bikes...I can't imagine riding one!


I have never ridden on a Vespa (probably for the best), but if I did, it would be this one:



Old cars had so much more style and personality...


So, yeah, we had a great time, and my dad loved it! Like I sad, this was just a tiny sampling of what they have. Hard to believe one person owns it all.

Back to writing!


Sunday, May 11th, 2014
7:20 pm
An Especially Meaningful Mother's Day
I feel so grateful this evening for having this Mother's Day with my mom. It's hard to believe it's been less than a year since she had surgery for tongue cancer. Then, just last night she took a shower before bed, and slipped in the tub. Luckily my dad was here to help me get her up, dressed, and into bed. She's been taking a lot of medications, so it's not surprising that it happened. She felt ok today, just sore. We didn't go out, just had a low-key day watching Parks and Recreation and Downton Abbey, and we got chicken and black beans and rice from La Granga, a really good Cuban fast food chain. Now she's sleeping, and it's still hitting me how lucky I am that she's still here and doing ok.



Current Mood: grateful
Sunday, April 27th, 2014
7:19 pm
Kim and Mom's Austin Adventure!
After a hairy few days when it seemed like my mom might be to sick to go on our planned trip to Austin to see the Kids in the Hall, she felt much, much better the day before, so early Friday morning we were on our way! I didn't take nearly enough pictures, but here are some of the things we did.

Mom and I enjoyed walking around Congress, seeing the statues and posing in front of the theater we would soon be going to:


Sixth street was insane, with more pubs and live music than I've ever seen in one place! We also had fun in a cheesy little place called Museum of the Weird


After meeting long, long time online friend themonkey and having a yummy veggie sandwich and sweet potato fries at Wholly Cow (yes, I like veggie sandwiches at burger places, I'm weird), it was time for:


and what an awesome show it was! It was great to see all 5 Kids in the Hall together on stage again, and they were definitely enjoying it, too. I admit I went a little nuts when I saw the setup for Pit of Penultimate Darkness! The show was a really good mix of new material, classic characters, and classic skits with a twist. I really hope this summer tour they are planning is a huge success for them.

Since my mom and I had another day in Austin, we went down to one of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters - I want some here! They are so cool. My mom and I each enjoyed a drink before the movie (which sadly caused lightweight me to pass out for part of it):


We then had lunch at a nearby Thai place with good food and pretty ceiling decorations:


On the cab ride back, we passed the Texas capitol building (what can I say, I'm a sucker for classic, impressive buildings):


That evening, as my mom rested, I decided to take a walk downtown from the hotel. I passed a lot of cool shops on South Congress, and took this picture from the "Bat Bridge" (sadly, no bats were to be seen):


And now I am home, getting ready for another work week. Thanks, Austin, for a great weekend, and for all the nice people there. Hope to return someday to experience some of the many things I didn't get to!



Current Mood: tired
Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
6:56 am
My Favorite Bromances
I've always been drawn to the idea of platonic love between two guys. I remember when I was little watching Abbot and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, even Kirk and Spock, and being moved whenever they would show how much they cared about each other. As I grew older, I realized that, like any relationship, bromances can be complex and not always sunshine and rainbows. But the best bromances involved a kind of chemistry and meeting of the minds that have resulted in some of the greatest creative work we have. So here's my little tribute to the duos whose work I have enjoyed the most; some are real and some fictional, but all of them have had made an impact on me in one way or another.

John and Paul
Only the Beatles can truly know what it was like to live with the level of fame they did in their heyday. As the main songwriters of the band, John and Paul were the most responsible for the many different roads the band took. While they certainly had their share of cruel remarks and hurt feelings between them, the fact that they balanced each other out to produce one of the greatest and most diverse catalogs in pop music in history is hard to deny.
john and paul

Keith and Mick
At times Mick and Keith's contempt for each other is palpable, but they both know that the Rolling Stones would not be the music empire it is without either one of them. It's tempting to be a cynic and think that is all that has kept them together for so long, like an old married couple staying together "for the kids," but considering that they could easily retire on the wealth they have acquired means there's some genuine caring in there somewhere.
keith and mick

Kevin and Dave
Whether in their live shows or on television, the members of the Kids in the Hall often pair up in different combinations, and they all work very well together. However, if I had to pick a pair that had the best chemistry, it would have to be hyper, emotional Kevin McDonald and cool, sarcastic Dave Foley. Whether in the Citizen Kane sketch, the liar and the gullible guy, or Simon and Hecubus, these two long time friends always play off each other perfectly.
kevin and dave

Nick and Gatsby
I'd file this one under "star-crossed bromance." What struck me when I read the book in high school was how Nick was the only one who cared about Gatsby as a person rather than as a rich guy who threw amazing parties. In the first movie version, Nick came across as rather dull, and while the TV movie version of Nick (the cute Paul Rudd) was an improvement, there was still no chemistry between him and Gatsby. I haven't seen the most recent version with Tobey Maguire as Nick, but I plan on it and hope they did a better job of capturing that aspect of the story.
nick and gatsby

Ren and Stimpy
Ok, this may seem like a rather unusual choice, as Ren seemed to pretty much hate the eeeediot Stimpy most of the time (nearly killing him on many occasions), but whenever there was an outside threat, they would always stick up for and take care of each other. And would Ren's psychotic rants be nearly as fun without the clueless Stimpy to play off of?
ren and stimpy

Dave and Rick
Dave is the one responsible for getting the more introverted Rick on SCTV and launching his career. From the start, they clearly had the best writing and performing chemistry in the cast (Rick was even quoted at the time as saying that he preferred working with Dave to the "politics" of working with all of the other cast members). Of course they are best known as Bob and Doug, but they did so many other great sketches together (Bob Hope and Woody Allen, Dr X -the man with the X-Ray eyes - and the invisible man, the guys with pig faces, Liberace and Elton John...). As an aside, I tried to find a picture of them that was not as Bob and Doug, but there were precious few of them out there, so I settled on my favorite Bob and Doug picture. It's always a treat to see them together and to know they are still friends even though they live on opposite coasts.
rick and dave

Tom and Peter
I liked both Tom and Peter on Bosom Buddies, but Peter was far and away my favorite. After the show ended, it appeared their careers took almost complete opposite trajectories, but fortunately, Peter has had pretty steady work in TV and on stage, and he seems to be happily married. When I read how touched Peter was when Tom gave him a toast at Peter's wedding, I knew this was still a bromance worth including on my list.
tom and peter

John and John
And of course I couldn't leave out my favorite Johns. While other musical partnerships are often fraught with sniping and backbiting, the relationship between these two couldn't appear to be more respectful and mutually admiring. They met in high school one grade apart, with the younger Flans looking up almost in awe to the older Linnell, a dynamic that still seems to be in play today.
john and john

And there you have it, my favorite bromances (although I have probably forgotten a few). What are yours?



Current Mood: calm
Friday, February 21st, 2014
4:48 am
Some modern car/insurance thoughts
I don't think I mentioned it here, but last month while I was waiting to make a left-hand turn, the front of my car was swiped by another car turning the opposite way that had just struck another car (that claim is in contention between the two insurance companies). No one was hurt and my car was still drive-able, as the only damage was exterior (fender, bumper, and hood). While it was in the repair shop, I rented a Ford Fusion, so I got to try out something quite different from my car. I love little sporty cars, so it pains me to admit I did enjoy being in a larger car (not too much larger, but enough). It also has a rear view camera that comes on when the driver is backing out, which is pretty cool. It also has a touch screen for the A/C, radio, and other things, which I am not a fan of. For one thing, in the light you can see all the fingerprints on it (and considering this is a rental, eww), so at the very least I'd have to have a screen cleaning solution and cloth handy pretty much all the time. I also prefer manual controls because you can manipulate them without looking at them, whereas with a touch screen you are forced to look at it, taking your eyes off of the road (which I wouldn't do, but I'm sure a lot of people do). But I guess touch screens are pretty standard in new cars now, so eventually I will have one. I'm glad to have my pretty Stang back; it just rolled over 50K miles, which is barely middle age in modern car terms, so I'll have a way to go before having to get something else. I will have to get the A/C fixed, which is a bummer, but an absolute necessity in Florida with summer coming in about...8 hours or so here :p

I also got a letter from my insurance company advising me that the claims from the accident may exceed my coverage limits, which is ridiculous because the limit is $25,000 for property damage, and my repairs weren't close to being that much. My favorite part of the letter is when they say if I have any money to contribute to the claim to let them know right away. I know it's just a form letter they sent to everyone involved in the accident, but I was just waiting to turn for crying out loud! Don't they make even a cursory check to see if the rather scary sounding letter is applicable before sending it out?

That's all for now; time to shower and get ready for work. Happy Friday, everyone!



Current Mood: busy
Sunday, February 16th, 2014
6:47 am
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday
I am very much enjoying this long weekend. The weather is gorgeous, and things are going well on both the work and home front.
About a month ago, I was waiting to turn when two cars collided in front of me, one of them going on to swipe the front of my car. Yesterday I finally took my car in to be fixed and got a Ford Fusion for a rental which I really like. It’s not much to look at from the outside, but it’s quiet, roomy, and comfortable, and it’s really made me think about getting a bigger car next time.

Apparently Miley Cyrus’s team hired John Kricfalusi to do some animation for her stage show (there’s a clip online where you can see some of it on the giant screen behind her and the dancers). I guess I’m glad John K. is probably being paid big bucks for it.

So the big news, as I mentioned yesterday on FB, I’m going to Austin to see the Kids in the Hall in April! I was really on the fence, but when my mom said she’d like to go, my mind was made up. Looking forward to seeing the weirdness of Austin and meeting long time online friend Eric!

Guess that’s all for now. My main goal for today is to finish or at least make significant progress on my “Another First Kiss” sketch. Hope you all have a good one, wherever you are!

Saturday, February 8th, 2014
6:06 pm
I really needed today
I wanted to get some stuff from Lush at Aventura Mall, and mom surprised me by saying she wanted to go with me. Then she surprised me even more and said that dad wanted to go. So we had a good time walking around the mall, having lunch (I had a chicken philly sub and they split a pizza - yes, mom ate pizza!), and I got my free piece of Godiva Chocolate. The guy even gave me a bonus for Valentine's Day month!

We came home and watched the final two episodes of Breaking Bad, which was pretty emotionally draining (mom had to go lie down after). But yeah, pretty awesome. Not sure what I'll get next for my Netflix queue as it has to be something we all agree on, which is rare.

In summary, shopping + mom and dad + Breaking Bad = excellent day



Current Mood: content
Sunday, January 19th, 2014
12:34 pm
Small Gains
I was a little disappointed in my run this morning as I didn't meet my goal pace, but when I compared my stats with last week's long run, it turns out I ran a little farther in a little less time at a slightly faster mph rate. Just a slight improvement, but I'll take it!

Mom, dad, and I are still working our way through the final episodes of Breaking Bad, and we most recently watched the episode "Confessions."

SPOILER ALERT: Don't scroll down if you haven't seen the episode!

Walt's "confession" was pure evil genius! And, as evil as it was for him (and Skyler) to do that to Hank and Marie, I can see how he might think it was in everyone's best interest (although I doubt he really cared about that). When he got to the part about them holding his kids hostage, my jaw dropped! I will say the ending of the episode was problematic for me, at least at first. When Jesse realized that Huell had taken his pot and then connected it with Huell stealing the ricin cigarette back when Brock was poisoned, I thought that was a stretch, especially considering that Brock had actually been poisoned by Lily of the Valley (which he didn't know Walt had grown in his yard). After reading some reviews and comments about it (turns out it's a pretty controversial twist), I remembered how Walt had to convince Jesse that Huell didn't steal the ricin from him, that Gus did. So even if it wasn't actually ricin that was used to poison the kid, I can see how knowing that Huell did take it and that it was yet another of Walt's lies to Jesse would set him off.

Ok, getting back to drawing - I'm trying hard to keep Sundays as sketching days. On tap for today: "Another First Kiss" sketch!

Have a good one!



Current Mood: artistic
Sunday, December 29th, 2013
7:56 pm
I hate how there are a lot of things I want to write about in here that I'm always sure I'll remember, but never do. Same goes for my dreams lately. I really need to jot them down as soon as I think of them. With dreams, though, if I write them down as soon as I wake up, I can't read my handwriting later, so I may try recording them into my phone if I can manage that.

So I've been pretty busy this break, not just helping my dad take care of mom, but also did some work on my writing, worked on my TMBG sketchbook and scrapbook, and got ahead on some of the paperwork I have to do before the break is over. My mom, dad, and I are also slooowly making our way through season 5 of Breaking Bad. I'm also reading The Fault in Our Stars, which is great so far, but pretty heartbreaking.

Marathon training is going "meh." I can't seem to put in long enough runs, so I may change my registration to the half marathon, and see if I can improve my speed on that before doing a full marathon again. I'll see how the next couple of weeks goes.

Thinking of resolutions for the new year. I like to at least try to make them as something to strive for.

So my mom ate some solid-ish food today (mashed potatoes and creamed spinach). I leave you now with a pic from today of her trache and nose tube free. She's one tough mother!


'Nite, everyone!



Current Mood: productive
Friday, December 27th, 2013
7:48 pm
Rainy Update
Yeah, it's been raining off and on for the past couple of days, which is kind of annoying and also unusual for Miami for this time of year. I need some dry, cool weather for my runs!

Anyhow, things could not be going much better with my mom's recovery. She had her first swallow test and was able to have the trache and the nose feeding tube taken out, so she can eat very soft foods. In about a week or so she'll be tested again to see when she can have solid foods. She can also talk much better, even though she has to be careful not to strain herself. The doctors are very impressed with how well she's doing, and my dad and I are really, really pleased. A big THANK YOU to all who sent positive thoughts, I'm sure they helped. I'm so happy!!

Now off to read before bed...have a good weekend everyone!



Current Mood: thankful
Saturday, December 14th, 2013
6:18 pm
Seeing my mom today (first time since her operation) was really hard. We both cried a lot at first, but things got a little better after awhile, and my dad and I even made her smile a few times. Her doctor said she's doing very well, and that she'll be released in a couple of days, but it just doesn't seem possible. One of the worst things to watch is when they have to suction the stuff that built up in her throat. She wrote on her notepad that when they release her they are going to teach her to do that for herself, which is a scary thought. I don't think I could do it.

Guess that's it for now. I'll be going back to see her again tomorrow, hopefully she'll be doing better. Thanks to all who sent good thoughts, please keep them coming!



Current Mood: emotional
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