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Lion King & More
2006-03-24, 1:17 p.m.

Day 578 No Word

Still up in the air about the need for our attendance at the closing. The Realtor has not responded. Cindy has left her messages, but no word. Aggravating.

The Lion King is in town. The traveling version of the show, at the Auditorium Theater here in beautiful downtown Rochester. This is the second week of a 6 week run. 2500+ seat auditorium sold out. Splurged and bought tickets for as close to the stage as we could get back in October. Got row ďOĒ, right in the center.

To open both acts, the ensemble characters enter the stage from the rear of the auditorium. Walk right up the aisles, close enough to touch even, then climb stairs to the stage itself. The ensemble includes an elephant, a couple of giraffes, antelope, grass, (yes, grass as a character) and trees.

Iím not big on dance, be it modern, ballet, disco, hip-hop, ballroom, what ever. But I still have to say, this show is absolutely fantastic. The costuming is done such that you are aware that the actors are all in costumes or operating puppets, but it doesnít seem like an obstacle. Biggest example was the character Zazu Ė some sort of egret or ibis or flamingo (some sort of mostly white bird) that is Mumbasaís (Simbaís father) sort of court page. Zazu is a puppet, held, operated and voiced by an actor dressed in a dark blue tux with curled tails, done up in blue face paint too. You hardly notice the actor, who is easily 10 times the size of the puppet he is holding.

There are also numerous wise cracks and references to modern culture made in the script. One even referred to how ďit wasnít like this in the cartoonĒ when the young Simba & Nala were headed to the elephant graveyard.

Besides Zazu, I think the most memorable character in the cast was Raifiki, apparently an African medicine woman or some such thing. Great character. The vast majority of her singing was done in an African tongue, but it really didnít matter. Even though you couldnít understand the words she was using, she was still able to convey the feelings and thoughts being described in the song. Her voice was also indescribably delicious. Turns out she was also a native South African. Donít recall her entire name, but I do believe Phindile was her surname. May have to go Google her.

Day 579 Still

Again, no update from the Realtor. I will be spending the weekend on the phone, with her number stored in the autodial based in my right hand. (Our main house phone has no speed dial memory. Quaint, no?!)

Knew bowling was going to be rough after my first shot of warm ups. Itís always that way when the first shot out of the blocks is a strike. Matter of fact, 5 of my first 6 shots were strikes. That sucks because the old body is still tight, arm swing isnít all nice & fluid, speed isnít up to par, really not much of anything is Ďnormalí.

Ended up being tantalizingly close all night, hit the pocket every shot, just couldnít consistently get the angle and energy right. Consequently, didnít have a high percentage of strikes, left some untimely splits (but converted 3 of the 5 splits I left) and had a whole lot of Ď9 spareí frames. Ended up missing my average by 14 pins for the night. So Ė no prize money for me in the singles tournament. Brother Dave had a 715 scratch, 733 with his handicap and only finished 16th. Took a 703 to cash, and the top score was 795 or so. Me? Had a whopping 668.

Team did well for the season. Finished 2nd overall, netted $122 per man in prize money. I also managed to win the last 50/50 raffle of the year and pocket an additional $41. Round of Guinesses for the team took a fair chunk of that ($4 a can!!), but they were sooooo worth it.

Think Iíll scrap the new bowling ball idea, maybe get some new bowling shoes instead and also update the old wardrobe a bit. Most of my pants fit so poorly Ė all baggy in the ass and bunched up around the waist. Those are old the 38ís. 40ís I canít even consider wearing (especially since I sent them all off to Good Will). I have two pairs of 36ís that fit nicely right now, but I was wanting to hold off a bit longer on getting anything newer. By the time Iím done I think I could easily fit into 34ís and Iíd hate to spend the money to buy pants that will end up not fitting properly. Suppose Iíll just have to bite the bullet and get a couple pair just to keep from looking like a bum. Maybe update the shirt collection too. I mean, for $120 I ought to be able to get 3 pairs of pants and 3 shirts, easy. New belt would be nice too. Old one has 7Ē of excess (yes, I measured) beyond the little keeper loop. Kinda gets in the way a bit. Maybe on my way home tonight . . .

Made a command decision this morning. Got home from the show Wednesday night about 10:30, finally into bed a little after 11. Still dragged my ass to the gym at 6am Thursday. Very unspectacular work out. Plus I got stuck on evil machine #9. Didnít get home from the bowling banquet till almost 10:00 last night, made it to bed near 11 again and slept like crap. Didnít think Iíd have the gas to make a decent run on the elliptical, so I opted for an extra hour of bed rest this morning. First Friday Iíve missed in months and I feel guilty (and Iím not even catholic).

Tomorrow is my usual 4 set day plus an hour of step aerobics. Thatíll help. Might sneak in a 5K on the treadmill too. Sunday is a normal off day, but thereís an 11:00 step class that maybe Iíll try, along with another 4 sets on the weight machines. Add in a typical Monday work out and Iíll be back on track just in time to leave for Florida. Should be able to get in some running down there at least. Thatíll be nice, jogging about 6:30/7:00 in the morning. Ought to be perfect temperature then Ė low to mid 60ís, no breeze Ė ideal.

Well, off to work. Probably sneak in one more update before the trip south. FIL has only dial-up access at best, and thatís through Juno, so I donít expect to be updating while there. I will take some notes in a paper journal, just in case anything really interesting comes along. But think about it. 5 days in close contact with someone that has middle stage Alzheimerís. Two of those days trapped in a car on the interstates. What interesting thing could possibly come up? Unless of course, I totally lose my mind and go on a rampage through West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. Could happen.

Son # 1 is unexpectedly in town for a bit this weekend. The Chase-Pitkin he was working at in Dewitt closed down, and he hasnít started at the neighboring Wegmans yet, so he had an open weekend for a change. His girlfriend has an interview for a summer internship at a local dental office today (Friday), so the two of them are spending some quality time with the folks. Nice kids, huh? Oh yeah Ė theyíre also doing about 400 lbs of laundry and eating anything thatís not able to outrun them, but itíll be a nice visit regardless. Weíre kind of used to that sort of behavior from college students around here.

Son #2 is due in next week for his spring break. Heís spending the first half of it at his girlfriends house in Liverpool, then the two of them will spend the last half of their break here in Rochester. Unfortunately, Iíll kinda be in transit to/from Florida the whole time and may only get to see them briefly Sunday. All depends on that damn incommunicative realtor in Ft. Myers. Argh!

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 199.25 on 3/18/06 (next weigh in 3/25, but there was a bowling banquet, dinner out before a show, kids home on break, lots of bad stuff)
Target: 180 by 7/1/06 (looking harder & harder to hit)
Next weigh in: 3/25/06

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marnís Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 3/24/06: 223.91
Miles with cooldown: 246.71
Target for 2006: 1000 miles

Might have to add a little something for the 5K training too.

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old habits - new tricks