Wednesday, December 9, 2009


So, the year is over . . .

and I came no where near to finishing my list. Some things were out of the running in September when I found out I was pregnant (like getting another tattoo), some were out for financial reasons (going to New York) and most I just never got to for various reasons. Time goes far too fast the older we get, and that is just bloody unfair.

But I do not regret making this list. I did do several things I'd been wanting to do for many years but never did - like visiting the Toy and Miniature Museum and seeing a show at the MET.

I'd also always wanted to go see a Kansas City Actors Theatre show and never had. The only show I could go to of theirs this year was "Glengarry Glen Ross". The night the show came around, I didn't really feel like going out, but I wanted to cross it off my list. So I went and not only was it wonderful, it starred Victor Raider-Wexler (who was on Seinfeld!). That led to me meeting him to me asking him to host FFC's sketch comedy show and he was so wonderful and incredible. If it wasn't my for my list, that probably never would have happened. I am quite grateful for that.

I do regret that I didn't get to perform with Trish Berrong and that I didn't surprise Terri Babbitt. Maybe next year.

I do plan on making a list every year. Probably not such a long list - maybe just 12 things. And some things from this list that I didn't get to will carry over and some won't. But I enjoy having a list and I really enjoy exploring my own city and discovering new things to do right here in Kansas City.


Number 19 - Reconnect with an old friend - Completed on various dates

Thanks to Facebook, I have reconnected with lots of old friends. Friends from high school, friends from when I used to follow Rick Springfield around the country (shut up), etc. I even chatted with someone who I had a bad falling out with many years ago.


Number 16 - Make homemade strawberry preserves - Completed November 30, 2009

Whenever we go to Wichita to visit Joel's family, his mom has homemade strawberry preserves that I LOVE. They are so good. So I wanted to try to make them myself and I got the recipe.

She said it was easy, but it takes multiple bowls and lots of measuring, so right there, that is complicated for me. Abby was my little helper. I think they came out okay. We mashed the strawberries more than we should. I like bits of fruit in mine and this was pretty smooth.

I put them in small jars so that if anyone didn't like them, it wouldn't be a big deal. But my mom, sister Jean, and Joel all say that they like it. I think it is just okay. Joel's mom's are better.


Number 40 - Something private between me and Joel - Completed November 27, 2009

. . . and it was amazing.


Number 1 - Attend a lecture - Completed Nov. 12, 2009
Joel and I went and saw John Irving. Simply put, he was amazing. "A Prayer for Owen Meany" is my favorite book of all time. I was so excited and giddy like a school girl.

We arrived at Unity Temple on the Plaza - a place I swore I'd never enter again after my blowout with the Reverend Duke Tufty over my wedding vows - at 6:00. This was a full hour before Mr. Irving was to speak. I'm glad we did - the first four or six rows were already full. We got our book, our tickets, and took a seat as close as we could on the aisle. The place was full by 6:30 with a long line.

He spoke for nearly two hours. He was witty, charming, intelligent, funny, and in my opinion, handsome. (Joel thinks he looks too much like John Laroquette.) He also cusses, which I always like.

Here are some highlights:

1. He described himself as a 19th century writer, except with lots of explicit sex.

2. He described his writing process - how he always writes the last sentence first and never changes it; not even the punctuation.

3. He writes his first draft in longhand. He has terrible arthritis and his orthopedic doctor told him to stop writing longhand. He won't, but that is why he can't sign books. He was apologetic about it.

4. He read passages from his new book, "Last Night in Twisted River". He read the tragic accident that occurs, and when he read it aloud, it was very funny.

5. Before the talk, the audience could write down questions and put them in a box. He and his assistant look at them before he speaks and picks some out. I think this is a very smart way to handle it - he can avoid stupid people, or dopey girls like me who stare at him like I'm still 19 and he's the brilliant college professor that I have a huge crush on.

6. He was asked how he feels about his critics. He said it is like "being condescended to by inferiors."

7. He was asked the question: "Why hasn't he won the Nobel Prize in literature?" He responded that are three reasons: One - he's American. Two - "You may have noticed, I'm funny. They don't like funny." and Three - "Explicit sex."

8. He did Owen Meany's voice for us and told us about the inspiration for the character. I had never heard this story and loved it: He was in college and had gone home to New England over Christmas break. He was hanging with a lot of his friends and they were talking about mutual friends that had gone to and/or died in Vietnam. Someone mentioned a kid from the neighborhood and John Irving couldn't remember him. He said he must not have known him. His best friend said, "yes you do, you used to turn him upside down and hold him by his feet to make his change fall out so that you could hear him yell in his funny little voice. He moved away from here when he was about seven." John Irving said, "THAT kid? He couldn't have gone to Vietnam. He was too small." To which his best friend replied, "Irving, you moron, he probably grew!" John Irving went home that night and wrote in his journal, "what if he never grew?"

The most incredulous part of the night came during the introduction. The lady from Rainy Day Books was pushing their upcoming events, especially the one featuring LAUREN CONRAD. Yes, the vapid chick from "The Hills". I was laughing out loud. She went from talking about Lauren Conrad's new "book" (really? she wrote a book? has she read a book?) to saying, "Ladies and gentleman, John Iriving."

Side note: Joel and I ate at the Classic Cup before the lecture. That is a place we used to go to a lot when we lived on the plaza. They've changed their menu and I had the stuffed salmon which is to die for! I highly recommend it. It is quite yummy.


Number 4 - Drink a scotch sitting at a bar - completed September 24, 2009
(not really a bar, but that's just a technicality)

Okay, I only kind of did this one. I was doing the FFC sketch show with Victor Raider-Wexler, an avid scotch drinker. Trust me, the man knows his scotch. I had told him about my list and how I wanted to try a scotch, as I never had. So, at our final dress rehearsal, he brought several different types of scotch to the theater (which the boys all enjoyed heartily in the dressing room). At the end of the night during notes, Victor brought them all out and lined them up on the table with shot glasses for me to try.

Here is the kicker - that was the DAY that I found out that I was pregnant. It was very early in my pregnancy so I didn't want to tell anyone yet. But I needed some help so I told Joyce. I would barely take a sip, then Joyce would grab the glass and say, "let me have some." God love her.

It smelled great, but I think it is too strong for my blood. I'm a beer type of girl. I also was in the throes of morning sickness (which lasted round the clock for me during my first trimester) so I didn't really get to enjoy the moment as much as I'd wish.

I do want to thank Victor and I hope my faces didn't offend him. Victor is a wonderful, generous man. I wanted to tell him I was pregnant, but Joel and I both thought we should wait to announce it.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Number 21 - Ride on a motorcycle - completed September 7, 2009

My friend, Ken Schmidt, took me for a ride on his motorcycle today. It was very fun. I felt very safe. For those who know Ken, it should come as no surprise that he is a safety nut. This made Joel very happy. We took the back roads and rode through Shawnee Mission Park. It was perfect weather and an awesome ride. Thanks, Ken!