Monday, May 26, 2008

Out East

It was time for the boyfriend to see the home town. That's part of what happened. More of what happened was the town saw the boyfriend. My Mom baked for days in preparation for the "March on Ron" and then they came. Thousands of them. Buffalo Jews with a box of chocolates and a purpose. Parading, viewing, chatting, assessing. Someone may have checked his teeth. We're not altogether certain.

He would not be thrown. Wave after wave stormed our Williamsville doorstep and still he stood, mingling, conversing and visiting with valour.

After surviving Boyfriend Interrogation Bootcamp, Ron was deployed to Niagra Falls. The thundering mountain of water forshadowed the team of relatives yet to come. He shipped out to Toronto where he was met with a ferocious flurry of Canadian family. Ron was steadfast and emerged unscathed.

Now back to Buffalo and onward to Washington D.C. where his family served to reinforce as Ron was hit with further scatterings of my relations.

We attended his nephew Zack's graduation from first The Elliot School and then George Washington University.

We saw great and moving sites and events, the monuments at night, XM Radio, The Capital Steps and Cousin Rick's new, yellow house! (please remove shoes before entering)

Then onward (in a rental car) To Newport, Rhode Island. This took 11 hours and proved more challenging than learning the names of a hundred cousins (easier with the awarness that a solid third are named Mike)

We arrived in Newport at 2am and awoke later that morning to search and explore in the rain. The streets of Newport are wonderful and richly seasoned with historically preserved buildings. We wandered about, traversed the cliff walk which takes you past the "Summer Homes" of the Astors, The Rockefellers and The Vanderbilts.

Then we headed inland and found The Touro Synagogue. The oldest standing temple in America.

We dined at Yesterdays where Ronnie ate what he called "the greatest burger of my life," we visited with Biggie Korn, former manager to The Cowsills and we realized that Ronnie had lost his cell phone. After spending a few hours in the pouring rain, retracing our steps, running a red light, getting pulled over and missing the season finale of American Idol, Ronnie used a flashlight to find the cell phone under his seat. (and regarding American Idol, I swear to this: my tivo cuts off directly after Ryan says the words, "And the winner of American Idol is..") Don't tell me who won.

Our next stop was New York City. Wait, our next stop was the middle of the highway/thruway/whatever they call a freeway that isn't free. (back east there are toll booths. Where are the toll booths? Wherever the traffic is finally good, there you will find the toll booth)

We were stopped cold mid commute. It was such a stark, sudden stop that drivers and passengers were getting out and strolling about in the search and the sharing of information.

We came to learn that traffic was stopped in deference to Dick Cheney who was making a commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy. Most likely we were stopped to keep us safe from Cheney. None of us were wearing an orange vest.

In NYC we met my brother (and another cousin. They're everywhere) and we saw Jersey Boys which was a treat and a highlight. Then my podcast partner Diane Dimond took us to her home with husband Michael where we stayed with Ron's colleague Steve and his wife Nancy. Much fun was enjoyed.

We saw Wicked, walked and walked and made an emotional journey through Ground Zero. The city has its own voice and much to say.

This visit offered a Jackson trial reunion of sorts and Diane invited her friend Stacy to join us for lunch. We were witnesses, a reporter, an investigator, a prosecutor. One event. Many viewpoints.
Along the cliff walk in Newport, we passed a spot where soft waves brush gently over pebbles and the sound is sweetly beautiful, as was this trip.

Waves On Pebbles from Louise Palanker on Vimeo.

More Photos

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Assorted Thoughts

I've been listening to Oprah and Friends on the XM Radio and soaking it in. Good stuff. I'm living my best life. Being my best Being. Typing my best font. (Ariel, with the occasional Webding)

p u e d f ' , n b

As I select my webdings, I am hearing the sound of Michael Buble wafting up from the Santa Barbara Bowl through my open window. (He is very far from where you are and he wants to go home.)

Our Tuesday night Stateside Stand Up Comedy show is going very well here in Santa Barbara. We've been posting photos of the comics with the folks on our Myspace page. Here is an example.

Andrew Norelli with local Tipsies.

Many by this point in the evening do not remember where they are. This serves as a reminder.

Suli McCullough meets and greets.

Kyle and Joel Dibiase, two of our L.A. Teen Comedy Club members star in our latest short film. We call it, "The Tae Bo Kid."

Three of our Santa Barbara Teen Comedy Club members performed at a recent Jewish Federation/JCC event.

I helped film an event for the Rock and Roll Academy of Santa Barbara. It's an after-school program for kids who would like to rock. The kids, in various bands, performed at SoHo. The place was packed, the crowd was happy. And the kids did, in fact, rock.

And thus, it has been a wonderful week. Praise Oprah.