Monday, August 31, 2009

Seeing Topol on Broaday. . . Amazing Show! Amazing Man!

I was SUPER ECSTATIC to be able to score 'Fiddler On The Roof' tickets when the Broadway Production starring Chaim Topol came to my city just in time for my 31st wedding anniversary! (How thoughtful of them)

'Fiddler' is one of my favorite musicals. . . and NO ONE ON THE PLANET performs the part of Reb Tevye better than Topol, who starred in the 1971 film version of the Broadway Show.

The show was FANTASTIC and Topol (who is in his early 70's now) was INCREDIBLE! His voice, his presence, his acting were simply stellar. . . and the guy must be taking the same multi vitamins as Dick Clark did--because he just doesn't seem to age!

Dear hubby and dear daughter and her husband and I all went to the show and were thoroughly uplifted as well as entertained.

I wish I had some sort of recording of a just a snippet of the show so that my blogger friends could see how wonderful this guy still is. . . (but there aren't any to be found--for obvious reasons)

So I will just settle for the original 1971 film version of one of my favorite songs from the show that I found on Youtube. It is the famous "If I Were A Rich Man" and Topol's performance of this on Saturday, when we went to see it, was just as good, if not better than the film.

Now I can't get this song out of my head! Oh well! It was so WORTH IT!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Never trust a guy who's name is Eric

I don't know what it is, but lately I've had dealings with the most scary, disturbed, and just plain weird guys who have all gone by the name of Eric (or Erik, if you prefer).

The latest experience my own dear hubby is responsible for. He calls some car mechanic (whose name of course is Eric) to come to my house and look at one of our cars which was having some 'issues'. The automatic door locks wouldn't work, the horn wouldn't work, the sun roof wouldn't work, the indoor light and trunk lights wouldn't work--and one of the back up lights on the rear of the car wouldn't work.

Of course he schedules the guy to come while he's at work and I'm the one at home to deal with the monster guy.

So 'Eric' shows up at my house and he looks about as inviting as that photo I've posted. . . except without the goggles. He was missing his teeth, two fingers on his left hand, AND his underwear--as he had a huge hole in the back pocket of his jeans where one of his lower cheeks was shining through.

After I point out the car in the driveway and drop the key into his hand, he says to me:

Eric: So your horn, lights, automatic door locks, and sun roof don't work?

Me: That's right.

Eric: What do you think the problem is?

Me: I'm guessing electrical?

Eric: Sounds good. We'll start with that.

Sheesh! Isn't HE the one supposed to tell ME the problem? I go back into the house and leave him to his devices. After a while he taps on my front door and motions for me to follow him out to the driveway.

Eric: Take a look at this! (He's bending over the hood of the car so far that not only is his 'right cheek' about to pop out of his pants--he is displaying a crack the size of the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

He kept screaming for me to "Look. . LOOK!" But all I could do was desperately try to avert my eyes so as not to have that image forever etched in my memory bank. I had no idea what he was showing me or trying to tell me, but after a few appropriate 'uh huhs' and 'hmmmmmms' I discovered he really hadn't done anything to the car yet--so I went back inside the house.

After about 40 minutes or so, I'm thinking he might have at least diagnosed the problem, so I hopefully go back outside to see if he's made any progress. Eric was sitting on the bed of his own truck talking on his cell phone, but flashes a gummy smile my way and shouts:

Eric: You got someone horny in this house?

Me: Excuse me?

Eric: There's been someone very horny with this car.

Me: Well, we bought it used and I'm not sure what the original owners were up to when they were using it but. . .

Eric: (cutting me off) I'm telling ya--someone was very heavy handed with the horn and the horn doesn't work now.

Me: I told you the horn doesn't work. It didn't work right after we bought it.

Eric: Well, that's a darn shame.

Me: Can't it be fixed?

Eric: I'm not sure.

Me: Are you telling me there are only a certain number of times you can use the horn in a car?

Eric: Doesn't sound right, does it?

Me: No, it doesn't.

Eric: Well, I'll get to work on it then.

I fled to the house before he could ask me another embarrassing question.

So ANOTHER 40 minutes goes by--and now I'm thinking, how much is this going to cost me? Is he purposely trying to stall and take his sweet time so he can charge me a goodly sum?

Once again I mentally prepare myself to go outside and encounter this man. And once again, he's sitting on the bed of his truck--this time, gumming down some kind of sandwich and swinging his legs like he doesn't have a care in the world.

That's when I decided to just wrap this up and throw some money his way so he would just get out of my driveway and go.

Eric: (hopping down from the truck and spitting whatever he was eating all over the driveway) Hey! If you just let me finish my lunch here I'll get right to work on your sun roof.

Me: That's quite all right. The sun roof is not a priority. Can you at least tell me the problem? (I'm thinking even if I have to pay this man to leave and he tells me the problem, I can take it to a REAL mechanic at some point and then get it fixed)

Eric: Well, there's good news and bad news.

Me: There's GOOD news? (I was somewhat disbelieving)

Eric: Yep! Your horn now works. The indoor lights and back up lights work. And your automatic door locks work now.

Me: (pretty happy and surprised) Really?

Eric: Really. (and he demonstrates everything for me)

Me: What was the problem?

Eric: Well, it turned out to be electrical, like you thought.

Me: O.K. What's the bad news?

Eric: Your air conditioner doesn't work now. I hope it wasn't important.

Me: (dumbfounded--but wanting to get this man out of my driveway) Can you show me what you did to get this stuff working again and the air conditioner to not work?

So he shows me a relay switch under the hood of the car that he switched out. He didn't have another one--so he just switched the air conditioner one with the 'bad one' and apparently that took care of the problem. (after an hour and a half of 'labor')

Eric: I can go get you another switch and bring it back here and put it in for you--and that should only take me about 2 hours or so.

Me: No thanks. Really. You've done enough.

I pay his extortion fee, take the key to my car and go back inside. Then, after another hour of him doing Heaven knows WHAT in my driveway he finally pulls out and leaves.

Meanwhile I call dear hubby and 'thank him' for my play date with Eric. AND I remind him that if he wants to live with all his fingers, teeth and both rear cheeks to never set me up with a guy named Eric again.

Dear hubby managed to get the needed switch himself and replace it and now the air conditioning works again (for now). His comment to me was, 'That Eric's a genius.'

I'm still debating whether I need to take a 'switch' to dear hubby. . .

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting away to Vancouver, B.C. (Oh! and Seattle too!)

I'm so glad I have my 'partner in crime' who likes to do completely unexpected, random, makes no sense whatsoever stuff with me. . . (and we do it quite often, much to the chagrin of our respective families)

This summer was no exception as we decided to take off in said partner's new car (not even a week old) and get away to Vancouver, Canada.

The car (a Toyota Avalon) came complete with all the bells and whistles (including seat air conditioners!) For the love of Pete--there is nothing like getting a cool blast of air up your bum when you are hot, sweaty, and sticking to the leather seats. But I digress. . .

The most 'interesting' aspect of this car (besides the owner's manual--which read like the 1800 page bill on health care) was the built in GPS system. We lovingly dubbed the car 'Christine'. . . since she was about as possessed as the automobile written about in Stephen King's novel by that name.

No matter WHAT location we typed in for Christine to find--she wanted to take us to either Canby or Kelso Oregon--OR Nampa, Idaho. . . and a myriad of other points in between. (Canby and Nampa were her favorites) We suspected that she had made many secret trysts there with another vehicle (possibly a Lexus) and wanted to get back in the worst way.

We ended up thwarting her attempts to drive us off a bridge in Seattle--as well as take us off road through a corn field in Battle Ground. . . and let's just say that once we GOT safely to Vancouver--she was having a FIELD DAY trying to get us to travel the wrong way down one way streets and up on sidewalks. She was quite feisty--but by the end of the trip, we tamed the beast.

First stop. . . SEATTLE!

We had an absolute blast in Seattle--meeting up with my gal pal's old friends and doing some sight-seeing, dining, touring the underground, kayaking Lake Union, and touring the grounds of the Seattle, Temple:

Smith Corona Building

Looking UP from underground tunnels at the sidewalk on one of Seattle's streets. (It became a skylight for the underground walkways. There were quite a few of them)

This was a lovely toilet and sink facility we found in the 'underground'

The tub looked SO INVITING--we decided to dive right in!

Getting ready to kayak

When you do as much sightseeing, shopping, and dining as we do--you have to carry your own crosswalk sign.

The next photos are of the Seattle Temple, grounds and flowers, as well as some of the monuments. . .

It was truly beautiful and we had such a FABULOUS time. . . but alas! All good things must come to an end and it was time to board Christine and try to navigate our way to our next stop. . . VANCOUVER!

Overlooking Lion's Gate Bridge

There's always time to make room for gelato!

The open air markets with flowers, fresh fish, and produce were lots of fun to visit.

Here's a little salad I threw together for gal pal and I as we went off to eat, read, and lounge in Stanley Park.

One of the highlights of the trip was being able to see the 'Celebration Of Light' during our stay there. The Celebration Of Light is an annual pyro-musical fireworks competition that takes place over English Bay. And we were there to see the U.K. compete. It was AWESOME!

One of the more relaxing things we did was pack up some good reading material and snacks and head out to Granville Island. . . where we roamed and shopped and rested at a park and then took in a local production of Macbeth in the outdoor theater.

It was very fun--although we had a near death experience as we were waylaid by some testy Canadian geese:

And oh, the SHOPPING! Why there was shopping, shopping, and even MORE shopping. We couldn't put a price on the shopping. . . well perhaps we SHOULDN'T put a price on the shopping:

Oh! And THE place to shop was on Robson Street:

After we had our fill of the beaches and city, we decided to do some 'nature stuff'. So we spent a day at Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park. . . and had quite the time among the tree tops.

For an idea and overview of Capilano--click on this LINK and see for yourself. Or look at my pictures that I managed to take when I wasn't screaming or holding on to the handrails:

Now even though I'm kinda skeered of heights, it was refreshing to know that my gal pal was even MORE skeered than I was!

This is looking UP from the ground at one of the big ole' trees in the park. He was so big they decided to give him a worthy name to set him apart from the rest of the trees. They named him 'Doug'. (That should show all those lesser trees!)

And HEY! Wouldn't you know it! Dr. Woods had a weather station right there up in the tree tops! Who is Dr. Woods? you might be asking. I have no idea--and I also have no idea how they even used this 'weather station'. . .

They had all these really cool totems all over the park too:

But trying to get my gal pal to concentrate for just a second, so we could take a photo with some of the natives was nearly impossible. . .

Last, but certainly not least, we were able to take in the Broadway Show 'Les Mis' on our last day there.

Then we cautiously got back in Christine and made our way back to home and hearth--and managed to avoid stops in Boise, Sacramento and Quebec!

The party's over for now. . . but the next one is already in the works. . . Yes indeed, there will be more adventures to follow. . .