The Lone Ranger, but no Beto T-shirt

Unless one lives outside of the U.S., I’d be willing to bet that they’ve seen a “Beto for Congress” t-shirt. Beto is a junior state congressman from El Paso, Texas, who’s running for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent, Ted Cruz. And while I live in Florida, I’m a huge Beto supporter. I really want, nay, need a Beto t-shirt.

On Sunday afternoon my son, grandson, and I attended a concert/rally for Democratic candidates in downtown Dallas. I just knew I’d be able to buy a Beto t-shirt during the event.

The rally began at 2 p.m., but the three of us figured that Beto wouldn’t speak until near the end of the night. We spent the morning going to estate sales, went out for brunch, and then took a short siesta before driving to the concert around 4:30. Finding a parking place wasn’t difficult, but we had quite a hike from our “$10 a day” parking lot to the park where the concert was in full swing.

Jason had loaded a backpack with a blanket to sit on and we all took umbrellas since there was rain in the forecast. Unfortunately after we walked all the way from the parking spot we encountered a sign telling us that backpacks weren’t allowed. Grandson Jackson and I went to the end of a long line of concert goers while Jason ran back to the car with the backpack.

As Jackson and I waited in line a guy came by asking if anyone had extra tickets. The folks in front of us happened to have a pair and he bought them.

My brain said, “Huh.”

“Is the event sold out?” My mouth asked.

“Yep. Right as we arrived they put the signs up.”

“Well crap,” said my brain.

I instructed Jackson to hold our place in line while I went in search of spare tickets. I only needed two since kids’ admissions were free. I tried my luck behind us first since the guy who scored the tickets in front of us had already tried that direction. Nothing. So I went to the front of the line hoping the guy had been mistaken. Nope. The event was indeed sold out.

I texted Jason, and went back for Jackson who was nearing the front of the line. We stood near the press line figuratively beating ourselves up for not purchasing tickets in advance. Then, just as I noticed Jason crossing the street to join us, a young man came around the press barrier.

“Here,” he said. “I heard you needed a couple of tickets.”

When I tried to pay him, he refused to take the money and disappeared back into the press area with a wink and a smile. He was like our knight in shining armor, or the Lone Ranger. Hi ho, Silver!

Jason, having just read my text about the concert being sold out wasn’t expecting to see Jackson and me smiling from ear to to respective ear as he approached.

“He just gave the tickets to you? What did he look like?”

“Like the Lone Ranger, my son. Like the Lone Ranger.”

Our little group then made the rounds of all the booths in search of Beto merchandise. Unfortunately, though, like the event tickets, the Beto t-shirts were all sold out. And this time, no Lone Ranger to help out. I managed to buy this one at a booth promoting the band, Polyphonic Spree:

But I was in search of one like this:

Finally I gave up, had a Shiner (a wonderful Texas beer), a gourmet slider, and enjoyed the rally. And what a rally it was! Beto was the main event, though, and he did not disappoint. He’s running a positive grassroots campaign, never once mentioning his opponent by name, and refusing to accept money from political action committees (PAC’s).

Beto has visited every county in the sizable Lone Star State at least once and several multiple times, speaking sometimes to a handful of people and other times to groups of thousands. Texas has long been a “red” state, but Beto has a chance to upset that apple cart.

I will wear my alternative shirt proudly back in Florida. My only regret is not being able to cast a ballot for this young man in November.

Peace, and hi ho Silver, people.

The Lady Wore Heels

Studly Doright and our son, Jason, spent the past three days playing in a member/guest golf tournament at Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas, Texas, while I did some shopping and spent time with the Texas grandkids. After the first day of the tournament my guys were third in their flight. On day two they took the lead, and on the third day, Jason sunk a six-foot putt to win their flight in the tournament on the first hole of a playoff. Exciting stuff!

The tournament culminated in a dinner for players and their guests at the club. Since my daughter-in-law was out of town for the weekend, I was on my own with these two chumps, er, champs for the event.

Studly had his eyes closed, but I still love this photo of these two.

Those who read my posts know I’m not a dressy kind of girl. It’s almost impossible to get me out of flips flops, but guess who wore heels on Saturday?

Yep, these are my actual feet.

We had a lovely time at the dinner. The menfolk received a great many pats on their respective backs and I basked in their reflected glory. It’s good to be queen.

Studly will leave Dallas on Sunday morning, but I’m hanging around for a few more days of fun with Jason and his family. I’ll miss this guy, though.

Peace, people!

Poop Duty

Toby, my adorable coffee table sized grand dog, is an elderly Golden Retriever/Something Else mix. He is sweet and handsome, stubborn and manipulative. Taking him for a walk is an adventure played out in slow motion.

I have almost no experience in getting a dog to go poop. I have two cats, neither of whom needs to be taken for a walk in order to do her business. Set up a nice litter pan and the cats are good to go. Number one or number two. Sometimes both.

Dogs are not cats. They have to give one a signal indicating that going potty is on their agenda. People who live with dogs get in sync with their respective canines’ signals, but someone who has only cats (like me, for instance) often err, either on the side of being hyper vigilant about watching for signals or on the side of being too lax. I’m on the hyper vigilant end of the spectrum.

Left alone with Toby for the better part of two days I worried almost constantly that I wasn’t catching his signals, He’d whine, I’d grab his leash. He’d stand up, I’d coax him to the door. He’d lift his leg, I’d panic. Thanks to my vigilance, we didn’t have a single accident; although, I might’ve worn poor Toby out.

I’ll bet he’s careful what signals he sends out tomorrow.

Peace, people!

Birthday Morning in Dallas

The first day of my 62nd year on earth started off in the best way possible–with me sleeping in until 6:30 a.m. Of course it helps that I’m in the central time zone here in Dallas, but I’ll claim a victory over sleeplessness any way I can get it.

My daughter-in-law made me feel special with a banner and card.

Then my son took us to breakfast at a funky place called the All Good Cafe in the Deep Ellum district.

I had an amazing omelet!

Across the street from All Good:

On the ride back to our son’s home we got a glimpse of the Texas State Fair:

The men are playing golf this afternoon and I’m going to pick the grandkids up at school. There might be time for a birthday nap before then, though. That’d be great.

Peace, people!

Hanging with Toby

I forgot to write a post for today.

But just look who I get to hang out with on this beautiful Thursday!

That’s Toby, my grand dog. He’s the size of a coffee table, hard of hearing, a tad forgetful, and a factory for dog hair. He’s also a real sweetheart who loves his Nana.

We’re supposed to go for a walk this morning, just the two of us. The last time I came for a visit and took him for a walk I found myself being hoodwinked by Toby into walking into what I later learned was “cat territory.” Toby hates cats. So, if you don’t hear from me again you might conclude that I didn’t survive the walk. Wish me luck.

Peace, people.

Comedic Timing

We were shopping for Studly Doright a sports jacket at Dillard’s a couple of nights ago. He found one fairly quickly and as we were leaving the men’s department he said, “Well, now I need you to help me find a gift for a girl I used to date.”

I did a double take, and my mind quickly scrolled through all the girls he’d ever dated. Before I could express outrage he said, “She’s kind of hard to buy for, and her birthday’s on the 5th.”

Only then did I realize he was talking about me. I slugged him. Gently.

Peace, people.

October, My Kind of Month

There’s so much to love about October: Cooling temperatures, changing leaves, pumpkin everything, and best of all, my birthday!

Yes, October is most likely the best month of all, and even though my date of birth comes early (Oct. 5), I celebrate all month long. I’m like a little kid in an old lady’s body. Fortunately, my dance card for the month is pretty full, so even though I’m too old to be the belle of the ball, I’ll at least have an invitation to the party.

Studly and I are going to Dallas for a few days. He’s going to play in a member/guest golf tournament with our son. I’ll hang out with my grandkids while the men play golf. Long distance grand parenting stinks sometimes because we don’t get to be there for every sporting event and music performance, but while in Dallas I’ll get to watch our eldest grandchild, Dominique, play in a varsity tennis tournament and Jackson, our youngest grandson, play baseball. Yay me!

The golf tournament concludes with a dinner for golfers and their dates on Saturday evening. As far as I know, I’m Studly’s date. I found a dress for the soirée, and I’m actually trading my flip flops for heels for one night and one night only. I’ll try to remember to take a picture; otherwise, no one who knows me will believe it happened. I practiced walking in the heels this afternoon. No one was injured in the process. The cats were wide-eyed and leery.

While Studly has to head home on Sunday, I’m planning on staying on for a few days. I’m going to a rally for Beto O’Rourke in Dallas on Sunday afternoon and attending a Bishop Briggs concert with my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter on Thursday. I’ll fly home on the 12th. Whew!

Then one of my very best friends is set to visit on the 26th of October. She is traveling through Florida on a leisurely solo trip, and I am so looking forward to having her spend some time with us at Doright Manor.

Oh, my daughter’s birthday is the 27th of October. She was and remains by far the best gift I ever received during my birthday month. I’ll even share my birthday month with her. That’s love.

Peace, people!

Beetles and Spiders and Wasps. Oh My!

Studly Doright is tired of hearing me talk about the series of books I just finished reading, but I’m not through talking about them. That’s bad news for my readers, so feel free to tune out any time. If you enjoy the sci-fi/fantasy genres, though, you might want to stick around for just a minute or two.

The series in question is Adrian Tchaikovsky’s epic “Shadows of the Apt” told in ten novels and followed up in three, soon to be four, companion books of short stories.

The first book in the series, Empire in Black and Gold, introduces readers to a world in which humans have evolved not from apes, but from various insects, arachnids, mollusks, and other species. Their evolutionary process is relatively young, and some species are more evolved than others. Indeed, some humans, such as those evolved from beetles and wasps, are apt, in this case meaning that they understand mechanical processes and have developed machines similar to our automobiles and airplanes.

Other humans, or kinden, in this world cannot operate a simple doorknob. These species are inapt. Spider-kinden, moth-kinden, and butterfly-kinden fall into this category.

Individual members of each kinden develop arts inherited from their species. For example, wasp, bee, fly, and moth kinden can all fly. Some kinden have excellent night vision. Spider-kinden are adept at deception, and scorpion-kinden are fierce warriors.

I must admit that at the beginning I was somewhat put off by the kinden tag, but soon it seemed natural as the story and characters developed. And Tchaikovsky is a master at developing a universe of characters and juggling multiple story lines.

Without giving too much away, the wasp-kinden have grand plans to dominate the world, and it falls to a loose coalition of other kinden to attempt to prevent this from happening with varying degrees of success and failure. As one might imagine there are barriers to peaceful coexistence between the varied kinden. Prejudices against, and preconceived notions about different kinden make for delicate negotiations. There are traitors and spies, turncoats and heroes among all the kinden.

Tchaikovsky writes battle scenes that make one feel as if they are right there in the middle of the action, too. I’m not a particularly violence-prone person, but the author made me believe that I might be able to go toe to toe with a wasp, as long as I stayed beyond the range of his vicious sting.

I came to care about so many of these characters: Cheerwell Maker, a young beetle-kinden, and her uncle Stenwold,; Thalric, a conflicted wasp-kinden; and Taki, an amazing fly-kinden. My only complaint is that there aren’t more books in the series.

As I read “Shadows of the Apt” I couldn’t help but wonder which kinden I’d be. A purposeful beetle? Maybe. A sensual spider? Hardly. A graceful butterfly? Hahaha! A war-like wasp? Could be. Chances are, I’d be a slug; although, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll have to read the series to discover why.

Peace, and happy reading, people.