Friday, October 31, 2008

#346 Halloween Review

Halloween has been a lot of fun through the years. 1980 in Bartlesville as a tea bag with my friend Bruce the pirate 1981
in Bartlesville as Joe Miner - the Missouri University of Science and Technology mascot
1994 in Overland Park as MisSpell along with MisConduct (Tonya Harding) and MisAdventure
2006 on board the MV Explorer as each other
No costumes for us in 2008 - your Halloween will be spooky enough without it!

Yours in sharing scary photos,

Monday, October 27, 2008

#345 Great Big Sea

I've loved the music of Great Big Sea ever since I visited Newfoundland and long before I sailed across the great big sea. So when the Canadian celtic-rock band came close to home, we planned a road trip to the other city named for Queen Charlotte (Charlotte, North Carolina.)

Driving past the Dana Auditorium about 4 hours before showtime, we spotted Alan (the lead singer) standing outside the Great Big Sea bus. (He must have thought he'd be safe from the likes of me at this hour - but not so.) Coolly, I rolled down my window and yelled, "Hey Alan! We're looking forward to the concert tonight." Even more coolly, he replied, "Yeah. Me too. Thanks!"
As Kelly predicted, they opened with Donkey Riding - his favorite. Then they sang a lot of our old traditional Newfoundland favorites mixed with the new ones.
We especially liked Captain Wedderburn, Consequence Free, General Taylor, Helmethead, Jack Hinks, The Night Patty Murphy Died, and River Driver. Two hours later (with nary any sitting), the band closed with the rousing, audience sing-along The Old Black Rum and the a capella version of Old Brown's Daughter. Sweet. Many thanks to Liz for introducing me to Alan and the boys.
Yours in appreciation of the aligning musical planets which bring me Elton and Great Big Sea on two consecutive weekends,

Saturday, October 25, 2008

#344 Thanks for reading!

Thanks to you, our Yours In blog is #4,699,554. According to Technorati, their blog ranking "relates to the number of sources that point to a particular weblog relative to other weblogs. The more sources referencing a weblog, the higher the Technorati ranking." So what is the world's #1 blog? When last I checked, it was Boing Boing. Be sure to check it out because their most recent post tells how to make a purse out of a stack of old books. We've been blogging for more than two years and we like it.
Thanks for making us what we are today.

Yours in expecting to someday break the 4,000,000 mark,

Friday, October 24, 2008

#343 JVP vs 36 Hours in Charlottesville

Did you see today's NY Times article, 36 Hours in Charlottesville? It looks amazingly similar to the Johnston Visitor Plan. Could the NY Times be mining our blog for material?
Seriously, Charlottesville has a lot to offer and the NY Times does a good job of promoting our new hometown. Maybe even better than we do. If you're convinced now that a trip to Charlottesville is in order, let us know. We'll happily merge 36 Hours in Charlottesville with the Johnston Visitor Plan. Just don't expect us to do those acrobatics on the front lawn of Monticello!

Yours in appreciating our new hometown,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

#342 Elton: His Gift is His Song

I've been in love with Sir Elton John since about 1970. Of course, he wasn't a knight back then. But that's the year he wrote Your Song - just for me.
Elton has played in all 50 states in the US and last night we were lucky to see Elton in his first-ever appearance in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Elton started with Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding then kept it going with The Bitch is Back. It was crazy. He was crazy good.
Our friend Melinda used her amazing ticket karma to provide us with 3rd row seats - from where I never took my eyes off Elton. (I didn't really need that chair, though.)
He played and sang for 2.5 hours and was able to fit in a lot of the classics (Bennie and the Jets, Crocodile Rock, Daniel, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues, I'm Still Standing, Levon, Pinball Wizard, Rocket Man, Saturday Night). Elton would have to sing for weeks to get them all in. He saved the best for last and closed the show with my song, Your Song.

Yours in appreciating the genius of Elton,

Sunday, October 12, 2008

#341 The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday

Here we are in 1996 on Johnston Terrace, a lovely street near the castle in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Johnston Terrace (and UVA) are both referenced in The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith, the 5th in his Isabel Dalhousie series.

I love Isabel, so I had to get a copy just as soon as it hit the bookstores. Isabel is an Edinburgh philosopher who does a little sleuthing, but mostly she's trying to live a meaningful, judgment-free, conscientious, help-your-neighbor lifestyle. Isabel refers to her moral neighbors, those she comes in contact with and does what she can to help them.

There are many comforts on a muddy Saturday or even on a sunny Saturday - and an Isabel Dalhousie novel is one.

Yours in waiting for the next installment,

Saturday, October 11, 2008

#340 Movie Watching

Here we are watching Mamma Mia in a gold class theater in Greece - the most comfortable movie-watching experience of all time!
And here we are at home watching a movie the way we usually do.
And here's a list of the movies we typically watch. (I'll let you guess who is in charge of movie selection.) These are my top 12 from the last 5 years.
Around the Bend
Danny Deckchair
Dear Frankie
The Girl in the Café
An Ideal Husband
Lars and the Real Girl
Love Actually
Miss Potter
Pride and Prejudice - the Colin Firth version, of course
Stranger than Fiction
Yours in wondering why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has never asked for my vote, Mary

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

#339 Visit from Joyce

When Joyce came to town last year, we tried out the newly created Johnston Visitor Plan - Appalachian Trail, Monticello, UVA. When Joyce came to town this time, we threw the Johnston Visitor Plan out the window.

With no particular plans for day 1, we found ourselves touring the emotional exhibits and enjoying the spectacular views at the Newseum in Washington DC.
With no particular plans for day 2, we found ourselves lounging on the deck all day in our pajamas and playing the how-many-countries-can-you-name game.
Yours in revising the JVP,

Friday, October 03, 2008

#338 Walking to work

Kelly and I are lucky enough to get to walk to work. We became addicted to walking to work in Indianapolis - one of the most walkable downtowns in the world. Here, though, the route is less urban. Our path through the woods is usually covered with leaves.
The Halloween decorations are up on Shamrock Road.
Each day, when we "walk across the country", we make sure to stop in Kansas City and Indianapolis on our way.

 And what's this? Rock Chalk? Are we really not in Kansas anymore?
Yours in enjoying the sights on the walk in,