Monday, March 24, 2008

Quick Trip Down South

After holding tightly to my Queen of Procrastination title, I used it to it's fullest it with the concert Ryan and I had planned on going to this past weekend. We were planning on seeing 311 in Fort Wayne, but by the time I got around to ordering tickets, they were sold out.......bummer.

I was bound and determined to do something this weekend, dang it!!! Ekoostik Hookah was playing in Colorado, so that wasn't happening. Although, I did look up some last minute flights to Denver...just incase:-)

We decided at the last minute to head down to Southern Indiana and go to a little town east of Madison called Vevay (pronounced vee vee.) There's a casino called Belterra only seven miles away, so we spent some time down there. But, most of the time, we just hung out in our awesome riverview suite that I found. We stayed in a German Hotel called The Ogle Haus Inn. It was sweet!!!

We also found a small winery on the river called the Ridge Winery. That was only a couple miles from the hotel as well. We stopped there and did some sampling and found a couple different wines that we liked. Then, after the guy that gave us our samples finished the list, and had us a little saucy, he pulled out a big mason jar...filled to the top with crystal clear moonshine.

OMG!!! Have any of you ever had moonshine? I have had something that someone called moonshine before, but it sure didn't taste like this stuff. This stuff was the real doubt about it!!! My throat felt like there was a hole melting through the outside of my neck after a couple shots. That's all I took. I don't normally take shots anyway, so hammering down 15 samples of wine and two shots of moonshine jostled my head into party mode!!! It was a lot of fun. The guy at the winery was excited that we wanted to try some. He said we were "his first takers," so he was happy. He even took a shot with us.This is in the living room of the suite. I thought it was kinda funny that they didn't have a fireplace anymore. In fact, I need to write that in my review, because it was advertised that we would have a fireplace. Don't get me wrong, the flatscreen above the mantle kept our attention just fine.Here's another view of the living room. Even though we had a huge lush bed, we pulled the hide a bed out of the couch for awhile so we could lay down and watch the big screen. Plus, we found some change in the couch, so that was an extra bonus!!!!This was the view looking straight out from our balcony. Too bad it wasn't a little warmer to enjoy the pool.This is at the top of the stairs by our room. The curved part on the left is the back side of the bar.My sweet baby and I getting ready to go out to Mo's Steakhouse for dinner. It was delicious!!!OK, so Ryan's a little younger than me, but I didn't think I'd ever see him so happy about jumping on a bed. But, you know what, it was a lot of fun after I quit laughing at him and actually joined him. That was the biggest, softest bed I have EVER slept in.....or jumped on for that matter :-)

Our hotel offered a free shuttle to and from the Belterra Casino, so we took advantage of that and went down there for a few hours. The casino was beautiful. It just seemed really out of place because it is this enourmous building with a casino, resort, spa, a couple parking garages, neon lights....everything.......and, it's in the middle of nowhere.
Leaving the casino, we decided to stop in the lobby for a couple of pictures. We left with no more money than we started with, but we also left smiling. That's the most important thing!!!

Madison, IN is the closest town, and even it's not very big. I really like Madison. I discovered it about ten years ago when my mom was in the state hospital down there for a few months. It has so many old beautiful buildings, lots of antique shops, and a few really good places to get some home cookin'!!!
This is along a walkway in Madison right on the river.This boat actually has a small restaurant inside, but is temporarily closed due to the flooding. The water was nice and brown from all the floods too.I love this picture of Ryan. He looks so handsome :-) The weather was gorgeous that day. It was actually about fifteen degrees warmer down there than it was when we got home.

And, finally, we headed home. Since we were right on the Ohio River, I wanted to cross over into Kentucky just so we could say we left the state. So, we crossed over in Madison and did a little country driving in Kentucky. We decided it would be easiest to drive to Louisville and just come home from there.

It was a great little getaway, and not as fast paced as some of the other trips we take, so even though we were only gone for one night, it was very relaxing. I love spending time on the road, and I love spending time with my what more could I have asked for? :-)

Livin' it up at The Himark!!!

After being stuck in this awful season people like to call winter, a few friends and I decided it was time to get fired up with some karaoke. Of course, we went to our favorite dive bar in Kokomo, The Himark.
Ryan sang us a little Johnny Cash, as he always does. I sang some Beatles, Blondie, and Steppenwolf. I also ATTEMPTED to sing The Joker with Caitlin after I had a few too many glasses of wine :-0

Cindy and Caitlin both threw in some country favorites with These Boots are made for Walkin' by Nancy Sinatra and She's in Love With the Boy by Trisha Yearwood. The crowd at the Himark loves their country we have to throw a little in to keep them happy. Never wanna tick off the regulars in a bar like that ;-)

Thought I'd share just a few photos of us acting like fools!!!!That's the attempt at The Joker I told you about....he he heIf you can't tell, Alli-gal had a few glasses of wine by this point in time!!!!

This is our good friend and neighbor, Marcus and his date for the night, Brandy.

Me, Caitlin and Ryan
End of the night.....................Time to go.

I Know it's officially Spring, but..............

Somebody's proud of her new winter coat :-)
And the best part is: we got it on clearance!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

40,000 People Possibly Infected in Las Vegas

I came across an article today that caught my attention. Apparently, this endoscopy clinic in Las Vegas was re-using syringes and vials for anesthesia on patients. They clearly stated that needles were NOT re-used, but these other things could still be extremely dangerous in the fact that they have contained bodily fluids that can carry hepatitis and HIV, meaning that the recipients of anything contained in these could have been infected.

I just don't understand how those things can happen in these times when there is such a huge focus on sterile procedures and the prevention of transmitting disease in medical facilities. It makes it really scary for people to put trust in the medical system when you hear about these kinds of things happening.

I'm very curious to find out who was responsible for causing this. Obviously someone knew this was happening. They are saying that it occurred between March of 2004 and January 11th, 2008. I hope that they have taken care of dismissing the person or people who knew about this. I also hope that these people will be put on trial for putting other people's lives at risk.

Here's a link to the article:;_ylt=Aksaj34jodQzTseWpF4pqOus0NUE

Let me know if anyone hears any updates on this story.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Steve Sweney Just Hangin' Out in my Living Room

Our friend Bobby Blue is a fantastic artist and musician, so when I approached him about painting our favorite guitarist, he jumped at the chance.

Bobby is our friend who lives in the old school house in West Middleton. His whole upstairs is filled with paintings, mostly of musicians.

Ryan had a photo that he took of Steve Sweney from Ekoostik Hookah in Atlanta last year that turned out really bizarre. It was blurred in a lot of areas around the guitar, but perfectly clear around Sweney's face. I know that the motion of the guitar and the lighting had a lot to do with that, but it was still crazy to look at. It almost looked as if Sweney's guitar was on fire and you couldn't actually see the flames, but the smoke was rolling up over Sweney's hands and the neck of his guitar in this red, orange and yellow hue.

So, around Halloween, when Bobby and I were planning the big Halloween party, we started making some other plans to surprise Ryan with a painting. Bobby is always painting. Never will you walk into his home and NOT see unfinished projects everywhere. His passion with his art is music. He paints musicians, musical instruments, images he imagines from song lyrics....the list goes on. So, when I inquired about doing a painting of Sweney for us, Bobby was extatic. He has seen Hookah with us a couple of times, and as a guitarist himself, was blown away. So, the fact that he had seen Sweney, and felt the energy the man can produce with his guitar, he was anxious to see how well he could transfer that into an image.

I think he did and excellent job!! I wish I had the original picture that he used as a reference, but it wasn't taken on a digital camera, so I posted a picture of Sweney in his favorite hat, so you could see the resmblance. I hope sometime all of you can see the original next to the is astounding.

And now, we say "HI" to Steve Sweney every morning when we walk past him in the living room. It's great to have a star living with us.......and he doesn't make a peep!!!

Not bad, huh?
Maybe I need to start a collection and get one of each of the band members.....hhhmmmmm.........
I think I might already know what I want for Christmas :-)
Oh birthday is sooner!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!

Sunday March 9th was my Mom's 58th birthday. Will got her a cake and a new necklace, and I got her some earrings, a book about why daughters love their mothers, a photo album, a Sonny and Cher CD, and some note cards for writing to Germany.
I felt really bad because I had to work at 3:00, so I didn't have much time to spend with her. I think she was still happy with her day though. She was grinning from ear to ear the whole time I was there.
Here's Mom with her book. She said it was her favorite gift. She is absolutely precious. I am so happy that we have eachother.

Thank you to those of you who remembered my mom and sent her birthday cards. She was very surprised and happy. She said "I guess they really do consider me family, don't they?"
I said, "of course they do."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ekoostik Hookah Sticks it to Toledo.....and I was There!!!!

It was cold on the way, but it didn't take too long to get warmed up as Ryan and I headed north to Toledo to see Hookah again. This week was my turn to play rich chick since I just got my tax check back. So, we got a nice little room at The Comfort Inn about a mile and a half from Headliner's where Hookah was playing.
The pictures don't do the sun justice, but after all this crappy weather we've had, I thought it was way worthy of a few pictures!!!! Even with the snow on the ground, it felt nice and toasty in the truck.
We drove along the Maumee river for quite awhile. It was beautiful.

After enjoying an awesome drive up there, Ryan and I got into Toledo early enough to go out for dinner. We ran into a couple of our friends from Indy, Kegan and Julie, while we were eating, so we stayed there with them for awhile and discussed all the fun stuff we missed the night before at the show in Chicago.

I wanted to go to that Chicago show so bad, but I was so sick last week that it was kind of pushing it to even make this show. So, I just lapped up all the details and lived vicariously for a few minutes through my friends who were lucky enough to be there. It was a sold out Chicago.......Im really happy for the guys. The band is getting a lot of recognition now that they have deserved for a lot longer than I've been around their scene.

After dinner, Ryan and I had a little extra time, so we just went back to the hotel and watched some cable ( we don't have that at that's a real luxury to us!!!!!) until it was time to leave for the show.

This show in particular was really imprtant for us to be a part of because first of all, it was free...WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Second of all, an aquaintance of ours, ( I think it's safe to call him our friend now) who we met at Hookahville was actually throwing this big free party!! He was promoting his music/head shop that he runs in Toledo, as well as the Ohio music scene. It was really awesome to see how many people showed up.

There were a couple other bands that played before Hookah came on, but the only one we were really interested in was The Macpodz. They rocked!!!! The lead singer was a little too present on the stage....he kinda got on my nerves, but the trumpet player made up for everything the crazy lead guy did by far.

I really enjoyed their music. It was very different from the run of the mill opening band that I've seen so often. They had songs with a lot of meaning to them, and were trying to spread good positive messages through their music. Not like so many other band that are looking for a good hook to catch the ear of the next sixteen year old that comes across their Myspace page...........

What can I say? I really appreciate a band with some background to their music, and with members willing to lay their feelings out in words, on stage no less, for other people to share, interpret, and feel.

Speaking of feeling the music........I know these pictures aren't great, but I think you can tell that ol' Mr. Sweney was feelin' his guitar that night. Check out that face :-) I'm really surprised his guitar isn't smoking in this picture....I thought he was gonna spontaneously combust a few times that night. Sweney is truly MY rock God. At least out of this generation of music. Past generations: I would compare the feelings I get from him to what I think it would have been like to see David Gilmour play when he was my age....amazing.
Like I said, this was basically a big what kind of party would it be without balloons?!?!? They dropped from the ceiling a little off queue, but no one seemed to care. As you can tell, everyone had fun with them....... Amazing how little it takes to entertain me :-)
Cliffy on bass. I like calling him Cliffy, because that's what I call Uncle Cliff. it makes it seem more like family :-) Yeah......Ryan had fun with the ballons too. Hey Bitzky....that practice at making balloon animals at your house came in really handy last weekend :-)
We hung out by the mike stands most of the night because our friend Kegan was taping and we wanted to hang with him. Plus, it's always nice to have an extra person looking out for your equipment with a bunch of drunk asses dancing all around it. And, in this case, a huge net of balloons dropping on top of your stuff when you're not expecting it. There wasn't a seperate area for tapers like there is at a lot of these shows we go to. So, we tried to look out for our buddy. We obviously lost the battle to the balloons...................

Here's a rarity......Sweney singing. Once again...crappy picture, but so worth it to me to have a pic of Sweney with his lips to the mike. It doesn't happen often, and it was weird it happened this night..........he's chiming in on a spontaneous "I've Been Working on the Railroad" that came from who knows where......................Yeah Cliffy is wearing a zebra striped scarf....what?
Me and my baby......has anyone ever noticed Ryan has a "show shirt?" He wears the same thing to every show we go to. I sneak it away and wash it when I can. But he doesn't like it when I do that.........guys...........
The boyfriends meet...............
This is Ryan and my friend Steph's boyfriend Joel. Steph and I have beend fellow Hookahheads on their website for a long time. We talk almost every day that I'm at a computer. I finally got to meet her in real life last weekend, and her man too!!! Ryan had no idea who any of these people are because he's never on Hookahheads. But he hears me talk about them all the time.
This is me and Steph. She's always all decked out with glitter, tails, etc...................She had sequins glued to her eyes.....crazy girl!!!!

Dave was on fire in Toledo. His vocals were flawless all night long. And he jammed out quite a few songs on the acoustic guitar. I love it when he hops up from the keys for awhile. All the songs he plays guitar on are tons of fun!!!!
AAWWWWWWW.....I got my sweet little smile from John Mullins again. I swear I have about fifteen of these pictures that look exactly that same. I'm in the same spot, he's in the same spot, he's got the same shirt on (must be a man thing), and I always catch his attention for a sweet smile and a pic of those sweet eyes. I actually wrote a poem about his eyes once.....I wonder what I did with that....huh? Sorry....thinking out loud right now.........Ryan wanted a picture of me in my hippie jeans since I always wear a skirt to the shows, but I was sick, so the jeans were the warmer choice. I thought that was the smart thing to do. Got 'em at Goodwill Yo!!!

This was right before bed at about 5:00 AM. Ryan was three sheets to the wind if you can't tell. I was just full of cough medicine....oh and just a little wine after we got back to the hotel :-)

So........Ryan and I made it back to our hotel with no problems this time. No hoofing half the way like in Columbus a couple weeks ago. We were staying at the same hotel as most of the people in from out of town for this show, so it was one huge party until about 6:00 AM.
Check out time was 11:00. At 11:01, we recevied a phone call asking if we would be checking out today, or if they could go ahead and charge us for another night.
I think they were ready to get rid of all of us, but dang, give us a minute...literally!!!!

One thing that is just kind of an unwritten rule as a Hookahhead is: you ALWAYS tip your housekeeper if you leave them with a mess. Ryan and I are typically pretty tidy when we leave the rooms, but a lot of people aren't. So, to make up for it, and to make sure the Hookahheads will always be welcomed back with open arms, we always leave good tips. If we come across a room that a housekeeper is complaining about....or if you can see in and you know there was part of your crowd there last night, you just automatically grab some ones out of your pocket and hand them over as you walk by. It's actually turned into a big deal to all the Hookahheads who party together. I like the way we all kind of look out for eachother. It all works out in the end.
At about 11:03, ryan and I made it up front to check out and get headed home. I would have liked to have stopped at the Toledo Zoo just because it looked really cool, but we were worn out, and a little skeptical of the winter display, so we just kept driving.
This crosswalk was painted really cool with a bunch of animals all over I could do in a moving vehicle :-)
Well, that's about the end of that little story. Nothing to exciting to tell. Only the same mind blowing experience I have every time I see Ekoostik Hookah :-)

Still "Standing on the Moon" after this past Weekend

One small detail I actually have time for about the Ekoostik Hookah show in Toledo this past weekend........

They covered "Standing on the Moon" by the Grateful Dead.

Take the time to read the lyrics. Without the music they may not bring you to tears, but with Cliff singing, my eyes were a flowing river...............

Standing on the Moon Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia
Standing on the moon, I got no cobweb on my shoe
Standing on the moon, I'm feeling so alone and blue
I see the Gulf of Mexico as tiny as a tear
The coast of California must be somewhere over here
Over here

Standing on the moon, I see the battle rage below
Standing on the moon, I see the soldiers come and go
There's a metal flag beside me someone planted long ago
Old glory standing stiffly, crimson, white and indigo
Old glory standing stiffly, crimson, white and indigo

I see all of South East Asia; I can see El Salvador
I hear the cries of children and the other songs of war
It's like a mighty melody that rings down from the sky
Standing here upon the moon I watch it all roll by
All roll by
All roll by
All roll by

Standing on the moon, I see a shadow on the sun
Standing on the moon, the stars go fading one by one
I hear a cry of victory, another of defeat
A scrap of age-old lullaby down some forgotten street

Standing on the moon, where talk is cheap and vision true
Standing on the moon, but I would rather be with you
Somewhere in San Francisco on a back porch in July
Just looking up to heaven at this crescent in the sky
In the sky

Standing on the moon with nothing left to do
A lovely view of heaven but I'd rather be with you
A lovely view of heaven but I'd rather be with you
Be with you
I'd rather be with you

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ekoostik Hookah Rocks my World.....Again!!!!

Woooooooo Hoooooooo!!!!!! The concert season has officially begun!!!

Got to go see the boys again in Columbus, Ohio February 23rd at The Newport. It's an old venue in downtown Columbus, but it's one of the guys' favorite venues to play according to Steve Sweney, anyway. He says he has to concentrate harder because of the acoustics in the place. Apparently the man loves a challenge. Like his job isn't hard enough the way it is!!

So, Ryan, my friend from work, Caitlin, and I all took off Saturday at about late past two, and headed to Ohio. We stopped at Matt and TeShannah's on the way through Indy to try to talk them into a last minute trip with luck. But it's their loss!!

We rented a room a mile and a half from the venue, so the cab fare was cheap, and I didn't have to play designated driver for a it!!!!

Also, my good friend Kelly Jo from Michigan was there, and it was her birthday, so I was happy happy happy to see her!!!! I haven't seen her since we saw Hookah in Cincinnatti back in November.

After only being inside the venue for maybe fifteen minutes, our friend from Bloomington, Andrew wanders up......CRAZY....we had no idea he was gonna be there!! ( You might remember him from the glow sticks in the BIG whitey tighties from Hookahville photos) So, we ended up having him stay with us after the show. Thank goodness, 'cause by the time we tried to hail a cab after the show, all the cabs were pretty much long gone. Andrew had luckily parked nearby at a parking garage, so we all hoofed it a few blocks to Andrew's car and he got us safely back to our hotel.

So, anyway before the show,our cab got to the hotel so fast after we called them that I didn't have the chance to get myself together.......therefore....I forgot the batteries for my camera. The only pictures I have are after the show when we got back to the hotel where the batteries were waiting for me :-) I was disappointed because you all know how much I love to get right up front to snap pictures of my boys!!!!
There was an opening band called Greenlief that I thought rocked!! I even bought a little demo CD they had for a couple bucks. I thought it was cool because it actually looks like little record. That band was full of energy and had a lot of talent to offer. There's a woman named Jenean Grantham who sings for them that I am familiar with through Hookah. She has sung backup for them at a couple Hookahvilles in the past. That little woman can sing her heart out. I always love seeing Jenean. I'm hoping Greenleif will be addded to the lineup for Hookahville this year. I wanna support this band big time....I think they have a lot of life and fun ahead of them with this band.

My baby let his hair down for this show...literally!!!Caitlin is quickly becoming an addict to the Hookah boys too :-) It's all my fault...he he he heRemember....these are all "after" pictures....we were all a little tipsy!!!!Kelly Jo made this awesome skirt for me with a couple Dead Bears on it out of material I sent back to Michigan with her back in November. She was wearing a pair of pants she made with a bear made from the same brown, flowered material. So we have matching bears's special. I felt kinda bad because it was Kelly Jo's birthday, and she came bearing gifts for me. It should have been the other way around....oops......Bad friend, Bad friend!!!!

Caitlin and I were happy campers once we got back to the room and were able to eat our Taco Bell!!! First of all, I was so broke, so this was all Ryan's treat, except for that last five bucks I spent on Taco Bell......OMG it was so good. I never realized how close to gourmet Taco Bell can taste until I had way too many glasses of wine, and no food in my belly for several hours. The drive through was rediculously slow, and all I wanted to do was spend my five dollars!!! (reminder: tipsy) Yeah....I just kept yelling "I got five dollas!!!! I got five dollas!!! Gimme my food!! I got five dollas!!!!" It was hysterically funny at the time.

Andrew and Ryan had eachother cracking up all night long!!! I think we might have gotten back from the show around 4:00 AM and ended up in bed by about 5:30. Check out time was 11:00 which came way too fast. Surprisingly, I felt fantastic when I woke up!!! I know it was all the Taco Bell that saved me!!!

This was it for the night. After visiting with Kelly Jo's husband (Kelly Jo was back in their room sleeping) and their friend Livia for a couple hours, we decided 5:30 meant bedtime. This is how we all looked at about that time.

Another great Hookah show down......lots, lots more to go!!! I can't wait to tell you all about them!!!! In fact, I've got one more story on the burner as we speak....hopefully I'll be back tomorrow to catch you up with this past weekends' adventures!!!!!

Until then!!!!!

Happy Hookah!!!!!!!!!