Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Night Out on the Town With My Best Gal

Our good friend Judy gave Geri and I free tickets to the BSO (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) concert at Oregon Ridge Park, a converted ski slope in Northern Baltimore County, summer home of the BSO. This is a beautiful bucolic setting amidst lush trees and an immense old-time ski slope where many of us broke our necks as kids.

I was really looking forward to this concert featuring the famous hits of John Williams, composer of such memorable tunes as Star Wars, Superman, Born on the 4th of July, etc. We pulled up into the parking lot and right away figured something was wrong. There were 20 cars parked and the only noticeable clientele were at the swing set enjoying the evening. We looked at our tickets again and realized that even though we like to be early for functions, a week in advance of the concert was a bit excessive.

So now I suggest going to the movies. With us we have bottled water and zucchini bread I made for dessert. So we arrive at the Mall to try to find a place for coffee. Everyone's out on a beautiful humidity-free night. We grab a couple of iced coffees and make our way to the movies where we decide on "The Hangover", one of the 100 choices in this multiplex theatre.

We sit in the lobby with our iced coffee and zucchini bread snacks while others pay $14 for a large popcorn and medium-sized Coke. We were looking mighty guilty, trying to keep things out of sight, when a big-mouth lady hollers over to us, "Hey, where did you get the iced coffee, I want to buy one too". We felt like felons. We were directed by an employee to a sign on the wall that said "Those bringing outside food into this theatre will be punished to the full extent of the law". We looked around for hidden security cameras and prayed they didn't film us finishing our snacks before we went into the show.

The movie was hilarious!

The night was still young after the movie which was preceded by 37 previews of coming attractions both on the Big Screen and the TV Screen, and three separate warnings to turn off our cell phones. So we decided to get a drink at the Bamboo House, a Chinese Restaurant which converts into a geriatric dance floor after dark. I'm not saying the crowd is old but there is a Baltimore County ambulance on call right outside the door... just in case. We are greeted by a guy in a black muscle shirt whose arms are presented so as to flex his biceps for everyone entering to see. He's about 65 with coal black "Just for Men" colored hair. There were others around the bar who were conversing in hushed tones while others were trying to maneuver around for the best hook-ups before returning to the Retirement Community's bus waiting outside. I swear there was a guy who was at least 80 who wore more polyester than I've seen since 1968. His natty white shoes set him apart from everyone.

Anyway, we had a drink and observed a delightful dance crew having a great time. Tommy Vann's Band was playing. Tommy must be about 76 years old by now. I remember him from the 60's. He had a portable microphone with him and in the middle of a song he headed to the bathroom. There were 14 straight cha-cha's played. It was getting a bit boring.

Nothing more to report on the evening. It was an excellent night out with my best gal. I just wonder why the faces change so much from week to week at the Bamboo House. Must be the short life expectancy of 80-year-olds trying to jitterbug!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meals on Wings

We are a WILDLIFE HABITAT. You are probably wondering how a home in Towson, just a hop, step, and jump from the Beltway (I-695) could be so designated. Well my wife Geri is an environmentalist and a few years ago she found out how we could become a WILDLIFE HABITAT. You see all you have to do is put up a few bird feeders, have a water source available, and treat the wildlife as if they were family. I tried to convince my wife that our dog Pepper qualified but she wouldn't hear of it, so we joined.

Anyway, here's how you send a $50.00 donation to the National Wildlife Federation and voila' you're in like Flynn. They even send you a neat plaque to hang on your fence alerting others (and the wildlife) that you now are one of the official "tree-huggers".

So each week or so I get in the car and go over to Walmart to purchase the Wildlife feed bag. This is a 40 lb bag (at $20 bucks) of wild bird seed for our winged friends that lasts 2 weeks. If you get specialty seeds its even more. We can't ask certain birds to eat just anything you know!! My wife also likes to see the Hummingbirds flit in and out, so once a week she cleans out the Hummingbird feeders and replaces sugar water for the lovely little teeny-weenies. I wish they'd stay around long enough to see what color they are but no such luck. They're in and out like your kids who come to dinner and leave 10 minutes after dessert!

Now on to the bird feeders. We have every imaginable variety of bird you could ask for, and even some you didn't ask for. For instance we now have a flock of Crows who visit frequently. Do you have any idea how ugly, large, and loud they are up close. They're black flying Turkeys! The Maryland Wildlife Bureau says you can't get rid of them until they're ready to leave. So I go outside and blow a whistle loud enough for them to look up for the moment and laugh at me. Problem is, the birds who land on the feeder don't necessarily like all the seeds on the menu, so they dump a lot of them on the ground for the crows, squirrels, and morning doves to eat.

Did I forget to tell you about Bambi and her friends. Would you like a temporary deer hunting license to come over here and "thin" the herd out? What about the "deer resistant" plants we spend so much money on? Don't the deer understand that they aren't supposed to like these plants that sell for $12.95 each??? Don't the deer understand that they're supposed to be afraid of humans and are not welcome up on our back porch to eat potted plants???

Doesn't this sound like fun? Get on your computer and go to to join in the frivolity. You too can be a part of nature's best. Be patient because the animals have to live too you know!