Monday, October 30, 2006

We Are Responsible For Our Own Reputations

Tomorrow is my wife's last day of work at Humana. She was never really happy there. All of her working life she has worked for smaller companies in much smaller offices. It was quite an adjustment for her to work here where there are thousands of people. She wasn't happy being another brick in the wall. A couple of weeks ago a job at another company literally fell into her lap. A former co-worker of hers, now at another company in a position of influence, had a need and thought of my wife. He called her and within a week she had interviewed and been offered a position with a substantial pay increase. It's an example of how the way you influence and impress others now can come back to you in good and bad ways in your future. In her case the hard work and dedication she showed a previous employer paid off. All of us, in our personal and professional lives, are responsible for the reputations we create. Everything we do, as well as the things we don't do, are noticed by others and opinions are formed. Do you ever wonder what impression others have of you? How do your bosses, co-workers, subordinates, and friends see you? What impression do you make? How hard do you work to create a positive impression? Do you care what others think? If you always do only what you want, and don't care what others think, don't be surprised when others don't think highly of you. Admittedly, it's a fine line to walk sometimes. I want to be liked and respected and there is a part of me that likes to please others. However, at the same time I don't live my entire life to meet the expectations of every person around me. It's impossible to satisfy all the expectations of parents, spouses, children, family, friends or employers. I can only adapt so much. Hopefully, there's enough good about me that most can also accept my weaknesses. I know I am not everyone's favorite cup of tea but hopefully nothing about me is a bitter drink to anyone either. How about you?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Christmas Is Right Around The Corner

I do not want to alarm anyone but Christmas is less than two months away. That's eight weeks, or to use my wife's method of tracking time, it's four paychecks away. It always seems that once Halloween is here (next Tuesday) the days really accelerate and the holidaze is upon us in no time. Four Thursdays from tomorrow, most of us will be sitting down to a wonderful meal surrounded by family. The next morning, credit cards in hand, Christmas shoppers will descend on the malls in a spirit of joy and panic. In spite of the panic and frenzy and financial concerns, most of us love the holidaze. In my family Christmas is a lot more fun now that we have Chloe. It's a lot more fun to watch her rip open a present than to watch her 28 year old father do the same. Somehow, in the midst of the secular observation of these holidaze, I always strive, and sometimes fail, to be mindful of the deeper significance behind these days. On some levels it's always Thanksgiving and Christmas for me as I strive to live with a grateful heart for all the blessings in my life as well as trying to be aware of all the ways God is present in the day to day experiences in my life. In the days and weeks ahead, if we all just remain calm, we will survive.

A Day With Chloe And A Night With The Old Folks

I stayed home today to take care of my sick granddaughter. No one else could do it so I volunteered. Her father dropped her off very early and she crawled into my bed. She looked at me at said, "Pa Paw" before lying on my pillow. She quickly feel asleep and both of us stayed in bed till around 10:00 AM. After we got up, and when I wasn't giving her medicine, trying to get her to eat or drink, or changing her diaper, we sat in my chair together most of the day and watched the Disney Channel. We had conversations all day long and she must have said "Pa Paw" 500+ times as she pointed to objects and told me their name or color. Occasionally, she would act like Cleopatra, the Queen of the Nile, and I felt like one of her servants, but, in spite of her sickness, she behaved well and we had a great day of bonding.

After Chloe went home with her mother, my wife and I went to see my mother in law. It was Octoberfest at the old folks home. The beer and wine was flowing. There was a buffett of German food and a couple of old guys were playing polka music. I hadn't been to a party this wild since the Rolling Stones concert a few weeks ago. One old lady hit on me. I was sitting on a couch with my hat in my lap. She was looking for a place to sit so I offered her my seat. She said, "Sonny, if you move that hat, I can sit on your lap". When we left, the party was still going strong. They'll be talking about this at the breakfast table for weeks. While I was there I kept humming a song in my head called "Old Folks Boogie" by Little Feat. Wait till the Woodstock generation ends up in the retirement homes. We'll have some old guys playing music, too, but it won't be polka music. We'll be line dancing to "Jumping Jack Flash"! Our children will say, "Mom, Dad" are you doing OK? We'll reply, you bet! Life's a gas gas gas"!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pumpkins And The Meaning Of Life

Today I did the family thing. My wife, son, and I met Chloe and her parents at Huber's Orchard and Pumpkin Patch in southern Indiana. We went a little earlier than usual and the crowd was sparse. Of course, the temperature was in the mid forties, it was overcast, and a brisk wind was whipping through the place. In other words, it was cold! Chloe didn't seem to mind. When a gust of wind blew across our faces, she would exclaim, "Whoa!". She also seemed enthralled with all the pumpkins, scarecrows, and witches, although a few of the scarier exhibits seemed to frighten her. Chloe is becoming quite the little person. She is now self aware. Chloe knows that she is Chloe. This is significant. I am 55 years old and I still don't know who I am. I think I am Michael but who is Michael?

My Saturday was very quiet and I had lots of time to stare out the window and just think. I like to think even though sometimes I think too much. In my weekend thinking I came to the realization that everything I have written and shared in my daily thoughts all boils down to one thing. It all about the search for meaning in my life. The meaning of life, often a subject for jokes and ridicule, is really what most of us are seeking, isn't it? Don't most of us wonder why we are here? Why we do the things we do or fail to do other things? Why do we believe...or doubt...the things we do? Of course, I often find the meaning of life overwelming. I can't even figure out my own behavior most of the time. I have spent years studying psychology, the Myers-Briggs, and the Enneagram, just trying to understand my own patterns of behavior, especially the parts of me that are dysfunctional. If I don't understand my own behavior, how can I understand the meaning of life. What if Kramer was right when he looked at Jerry in a recent Seinfeld episode and said, "You think there's more to life, don't you? Well, there's not!" The truth is that I don't know the meaning of life. Much of the time life makes no sense to me. I don't understand myself or most other people. However, if life does have meaning, I think it has something to do with love. No one has to explain love. When you feel it, you know what it is. Maybe if I concentrate on understanding what love is, the rest of life will explain itself. Maybe Chloe has been trying to explain the meaning of life to me in those moments when I can't understand her.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Being Patient With Life

It is a cold and rainy night as I sit here in my room. The work week has gone by quickly and I am glad. The weekend is always a welcome sight. I was thinking today that I'm disappointed with the fall colors so far. Is it because of all the rain? Am I being impatient with nature? Has its time not yet arrived? Do we need more sun and dry days? Nature will move along at its own pace and it's not subject to my whims or desires. This reminds me of how impatient I can be at times. I advise everyone else to live in the moment and to practice mindfulness yet I am often impatience with the moment and eager for the next one. I want to fast forward the transformation of the leaves. Yet, if I were able to do that, autumn, my favorite time of the year, would pass quickly and I would soon find myself in the cold and sometimes bleak days of winter. Of course, there are other times and experiences where I wish I could slow down time or even stop it. When I am in one of those perfect moments that often come along unexpectedly, I want it to last forever. Thank God for variety in life. If life were always perfect, we would eventually loose our appreciation of its goodness. If life was always bad, we would probably despair. I think most of us are blessed with enough balance in our lives so we are not overwhelmed with the bad or annoying but don't have so much of the great and wonderful and beautiful that we forget what's it's like to hunger for good days. If we look more closely at our days, we would probably discover that each has this balance within it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sharing Our Journeys

Tonight I was reading the blog of a friend. In it he was wondering how much of his personal life he should share publicly. It's a good question. Originally the daily thoughts I share via email were just a collection of quotes. I didn't share personal experiences or feelings. It was really just on a whim that I shared a personal story. I wrote a few sentences about the first time my wife and I kept our granddaughter, Chloe, for the entire night. At the time Chloe was three weeks old and we were in our fifties. It was quite a night. The response to this personal story was great so I began sharing more of my personal journey. In my stories I try to be open and honest about the ups and downs of my life without using this forum as a dumping ground for all my inner turmoil. Yes, it's true. Sometimes I do have inner turmoil. I have often found that when I share something that caused me the greatest pause before I hit the send button, I got the greatest response. The responses are always affirmative because other people identified with whatever I was talking about. At other times, what I may have been hesitant to share was exactly what someone else needed to read that day. My more joyful experiences, such as going to a concert, sometimes prompted people to get out and live. The reality is that we may not always have the same experiences, but as human being we do share the same kinds of feelings in our lives. We all love and desire to be loved. We all want to be happy. We all are sometimes afraid and fearful. We are all sometimes lonely and sad. We are all sometimes bored and dull of mind. So, I think it is a good thing to share our journeys with one another as long as we don't use other people as trash bins. Whether your experience is good or bad, use it to enlighten others. As others may have been a light for your path, be a light for others. Lets help one another down the road.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

Life is never smooth sailing all of the time. Although I believe that life in general is a wonderful thing, there are always bumps in the road and the occasional crisis. Forrest Gump's mother was right. Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. Of course, if life is like a box of chocolates, there's always the possibility of it being sweet and rich. Most days, if you pay attention, you are likely to find the chocolate of your choice waiting for you to savor it's delicacy. Periodically in my daily thoughts I will share one of my life's sweet moments. It may be the joy of an musical experience, the quiet peace of a solitary moment at the monastery, or hanging out with my young granddaughter. The moments I share are only a few of my "Greatest Hits". It is a rare day where I don't have special moments where I savor the sweet taste of whatever chocolate that day has to offer. I'll take a life that is like a box of chocolates any day. The worst chocolate in the box tastes better than brussel sprouts!

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Night In The Emergency Room

It has been a hectic couple of days. Late Saturday night my wife and I took our youngest son the the emergency room. Apparenantly he had a severe allergic reaction to some penicillen. It was serious enough that the doctor decided to admit him overnight for continued observation. As I was walking to my car to go home , I reallized it was 3:15 AM. The monks at the monastery were gathering for their night prayer! By the next day he appeared well enough to come home home. Shortly after he was back home, We received a call from my other son telling us that my granddaughter Chloe had a 104 degree temperature and they were taking her to the emergency room. Chloe has never been really sick in two years but now she is in a daycare. It makes all the difference in the world. Fortunately, Chloe wasn't seriously ill and she was released within a few hours. All seemed well until Monday morning. Shortly after I arrived at work, my youngest son called and told me he was having another reaction. Since I had a commitment at work, my wife left work to go home and check it out. She had to take him back to the emergency room and now he's back in the hospital. He appears to be stable now but I am not sure how long he must stay in the hospital. Like the cold and wet commute on Monday evening, some days just rain down problems.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Poetry and Friendship

A package full of poetry books arrived in the mail today. It was a gift from Katie. Who is Katie? Way back in the summer of 1970, Katie was my girlfriend. In those days we were young hippies, carefree, and living out the end of the sixties. During most of whatever happened that summer, we were together. It was Katie who went with me to the Atlanta Pop Festival, along with 400,000 other people, to see Jimi Hendrix play the Star Spangled Banner on the 4th of July. Thinking back through the mists of time I don't really remember meeting Katie or of us parting. I think we drifted apart because we went to different colleges. Although I thought about her from time to time, we had no contact for over thirty years. Then, a few years ago, another friend ran into Katie. I obtained her email address and sent her a note. We have been in contact ever since. She has a family now, too, and lives in another state. We exchange notes about our current lives and old memories. Once again an old friend has re-entered my life. This is a great experience. I can quickly think of several people who have re-entered my life in recent years and now I wonder how I lived so many years without them. These are the kinds of friends where, once we got back together, the years melted away and it was like no time had passed at all. Friendship is a great and wonderful thing and something to be cherished.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My Favorite Time of the Year

Winter is knocking at the door. This morning's temperatures were in the mid thirties and the heat is on at home. It was difficult to leave the warm comfort of my house to enter the morning darkness and cold. There was a light frost where I live. In spite of the cold, I was feeling pretty good today after a week of feeling bad. It's expected to be a great weekend so I hope to seal the deal on restoring my health. Later tonight my granddaughter will be making a visit and she is always a breath of fresh air. Next weekend I will go with her and the family to Huber's Orchard a k a pumpkin land. Last year the pumpkins were bigger than Chloe. This year I think she is ready to ride the farm wagon out into the fields to help us pick the perfect pumpkin. I love all things related to this time of year, i.e. pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter, Halloween, autumn, harvest time, leaves changing, cooler temperatures, going to the mountains, Thanksgiving, etc. Ironically, in this season when nature seems to die, I feel more alive than ever.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Under The Weather

It is an overcast and rainy day. I am at home and under the weather. I began getting sick sometime on Saturday. In spite of that, I went to the monastery on Sunday because I was committed to several activities there. By the time I left the monastery I was feeling worse and the drive home seemed much longer than normal. When I finally arrived home, I crashed on my couch for several hours. Since I was just ending a week of vacation it didn't seem right to call in sick on Monday so I forced myself to work on Monday. That was a mistake. I felt terrible all day and ended up leaving early. I have been home ever since. This is a somewhat humbling experience. Just before getting sick I was bragging about how I never get sick and that I couldn't remember the last sick day I had taken from work. Humility arrived on schedule soon after I made these statements. Even though I have a number of medical issues that must be managed, I am blessed with good health most of the time. I manage my issues as best I can (most days), try to walk with my friend Chris three or four times a week during our lunch break, and I usually eat healthier now than I did several years ago. Of course, even the healthiest get taken down occasionally by a germ or virus. The occasional illness makes us more grateful for all the healthy days of our lives when we feel good. It's usually nice when I don't have to work but I would rather be at work feeling good than at home feeling bad. After being on vacation last week and missing two days this week, I am falling behind. Assuming I get back on the horse tomorrow, I will have a very busy Thursday and Friday.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Vacation Is Over...Back to work!

My week of vacation has come to an end. It began with singing in the rain with the Rolling Stones at Churchill Downs. It ended with an Interfaith Prayer Celebration at the Abbey of Gethsemani. The prayer celebration was an interesting experience and it included members of Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, The Quakers, and Native Americans. In between these events I had some carefree days and a couple of Chloe visits. She spent the night on Saturday and we spent a lot of time discussing the meaning of life and our places within the order of the universe. She now talks non stop. When we went to bed and turned off the lights, she kept calling out, "Pa Paw"? I would respond "I'm right here"! She did this about ten times. Finally, there was a pause so I said "Chloe"? Her little voice responded "I'm right here"! Isn't this what we all want? Don't we just want to know that someone is there? Now that my vacation is over and I am back to work, I have a cold. It came over me about two days ago. Is it from standing in the rain like a fool, albeit a happy fool, at the Rolling Stone concert last week or the nearly 50% drop in temperature over a period of just a few days?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Reality Is Right Around The Corner

When I woke up yesterday it was 46 degrees, a nearly 50% drop in temperature from earlier in the week. Is this the reason my throat hurts this morning? I went to a movie yesterday afternoon. It was the first real activity of the week. In the evening Chloe and her parents came for a visit. We went for what might be one of our last visits to the ice cream shop. Moo’ latté’s lose their appeal in the middle of winter. While sitting there enjoying Chloe’s antics as well as my ice cream, my cell phone rang. It was my friends Tom and John out in Los Angeles. They were sitting in the Hollywood Bowl waiting for the start of Roger Water’s concert. This is the same concert I saw last Saturday in Indianapolis with Tom and others. Tom, John, and I went to high school together and have known one another since we were fifteen years old. We are all old hippies riding out the last waves of the musical history of our generation.

Today is an absolutely beautiful autumn day. It is bright, sunny, and cool. Downtown thousands of people are enjoying the annual St James Art Fair. I sit here in my room listening to Eric Clapton play the blues while the aroma of my coffee tickles my nose. Later, Chloe will be back for the night. That’s always interesting and exhausting. Now that she talks so much, it’s a never ending conversation when she is around. I love it that she can now communicate with me and me with her. She seems to understand me more than I understand her but I am quickly catching up with her.

The reality that my vacation is nearly over weighs heavy. I will be on the road and at the monastery most of tomorrow and then it’s back to the reality of work on Monday. Admittedly, in some ways, it will be nice to get back to a routine.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Vacation Time Is Running Out!

Today is the first day this week I have actually slept in. I stayed in bed until 10:00 AM. It was overcast outside and the blinds were pulled so 10:00 AM looked like 10:00 PM. I felt rested but some quality morning time was wasted. We are finally back to fall like temperatures. It is 57 degrees at the moment and the A/C is off again, thank God! Yesterday it was 87 degrees and felt like the middle of summer.

I had a quiet day. My mood is good, at least better than it has been the last few days. My feelings this week make me think a lot about how I would feel with extended time off or retirement. I am normally quite content with having nothing to do and with being alone. This week I have often felt down and bored. I need some activity but have nothing to do. Yes, there are chores that could be done at home but I am not motivated to do any of them. I find myself missing people. It is a good thing that I am going to the monastery on Sunday. The drive will be enjoyable and perhaps being in the presence of Buddhist monks will renew and refresh me.

Another day has passed. The highlight of this day was going to the grocery store. That should give you some sense of my day. In spite of the boredom, it has been a wonderful autumn day. It was cool all day and is now cold at this late hour. The leaves are beginning to change color. In a couple of weeks the fall foliage will be at its peak. Unfortunately by the time I get to Gatlinburg over the Thanksgiving weekend, the best of the leaf colors will be gone.

My vacation week is nearly over. It started out great and will likely end on a high note with my trip to the monastery on Sunday. The days in the middle have left something to be desired. I have done little that was really enjoyable and, in fact, have rarely left the house. I can’t remember when a week off from work was less enjoyable. This feeling is more in my own mind than in the actual reality. There are a few things in my life troubling me and my mind has been pre-occupied with these thoughts all week. I am also somewhat dreading a return to work. Right before I started my vacation I was assigned a new job with all new responsibilities. I know I can handle them but for what seems like the hundredth time I must change and adapt.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Better Day

Today is the feast day of St Francis of Assisi. He lived in the 12th century. Of all the Christian holy men who have lived through the ages, he is my favorite. His followers, the Franciscans, are still living his spirit in the world today. Several of my friends are members of the Franciscan order.

It is autumn but the temperature today is expected to be 87 degrees! I am very disappointed that we haven’t had cool, autumn weather during this week of vacation.

Soon I will leave to go visit my friend who is a silversmith. After that I will go get Chloe. I am very excited about seeing her.

When my wife and I got to Chloe’s daycare, the lady in the office checked us out to make sure we were really the grandparents. For once in my life I was happy to be checked out. We had arrived at the daycare during the afternoon nap period. When we got to Chloe’s room, she was asleep on her little cot, beautiful as ever. We leaned over her and gently spoke her name. She opened her eyes and was immediately excited. She raised her arms and called our names. Even though she has adapted well to daycare, she was very happy to see us. As soon as we got out of the daycare she began talking and rarely stopped the rest of the afternoon. She has really taken a quantum leap forward in her ability to talk. She can repeat anything you say and her vocabulary is extensive. If you say it once, she will remember it.

I had a great visit with my old friend, Joe, who now works as an artist and silversmith. We talked about our past lives as monks and some of our mutual friends in that life. Eventually we also talked about possible designs for a ring. I need to do some further research to determine a possible symbol that could be part of the ring.

I feel a little “lighter” today. Certainly Chloe’s visit was a bright spot. I hope that the mood I have experienced so far this week is not a sign of impending illness. Quite out of the blue my son wrote up this morning feeling bad. A trip to the doctor diagnosed him with strep throat. It would be my luck to get sick just as it’s time to go back to work.

I am scheduled to go to the monastery on Sunday for one of my regular monthly gatherings. I emailed my friend, Fr Dennis, to let him know I would be heading his way and stopping at his house for coffee. He informed me of an interfaith prayer service to be held at the monastery on Sunday afternoon. It will include Buddhists and Hindus among others. I have made plans to attend. It sounds like a great way to end my week of vacation.

I have a headache. Is it my blood sugar? I guess I shouldn’t have ordered the orange swirl milkshake earlier today when I was at McDonald’s with Chloe. She barely ate her Happy Meal. She was too distracted with the Little Mermaid figurine that came with it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tuesday Has No Feel

According to the character “Newman” on the old Seinfeld show, Tuesday has no feel. So far I am in agreement with him. I stayed up till 1:30 AM last night and was actually enjoying the time. I would have stayed up longer but I got tired. When I woke up around 8:00 AM I was feeling pretty good so I got out of bed. I enjoy late nights and early morning. Both are peaceful times of day. Last night I listened to some new music and occupied myself with simple activities. This morning I went outside and walked to the end of the drive for my morning paper while coffee brewed in the kitchen. After a simple breakfast I settled into my chair and read the news. I am upset about all the senseless violence in the world. The tragedy that occurred yesterday with the Amish children is further proof that none of us are truly safe in today’s world. At some point around mid morning, I felt a little sleepy so I reclined on my couch. Big mistake! The next thing I know it was noon. Now I am awake once again, showered, and knee deep in laundry.

Once again it is late night. I couldn’t go to bed without cleaning up the kitchen and loading the dishwasher. It has been a non descript day. I feel like I napped all afternoon. Occasionally the buzzer on the dryer would wake me up and I would start a new cycle of washing and drying. Tomorrow will be a better day. I am going to Chloe’s daycare to pick her up so she can spend the afternoon at my house. Later we’ll have dinner somewhere before taking her home. Before I pick up Chloe I am going to visit the silversmith/jewelry shop of a friend of mine who is also a former monk. Like many people I have always been on a search for the perfect ring. Since my friend is also an artist, I am hoping he can take some of my ideas and create something for me.

After the weekend I had, this has been a boring couple of days. Normally I would enjoy the leisure and “nothingness” but for some reason I have been restless and very lethargic. My mind is going in a lot of places these days so perhaps that is the root of my discontent. I haven’t felt like this in quite a while. I am not troubled by mood swings. I have been through enough of them in my life to know they come and they go. I believe my mood will be lightened by Chloe’s visit. When she is around I am not so self absorbed. Another downer this week has been the summer like weather. We have the A/C on because of it. The weatherman says that fall like weather will return on Thursday but he also said it wouldn’t rain at the Rolling Stones concert.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Post Concert Weekend Anti Climax Stress Syndrome

I am on vacation this week. After spending most of the weekend with approximately 75,000 people, it is good to have some alone time. It was nice to wake up this morning to the sounds of a typical Monday morning and to be able to ignore them. First I heard the sound of the paper boy throwing my morning paper on the driveway. Soon that was followed by the trash collector emptying my trash container into his truck. After things quieted back down I simply laid in bed for a few additional moments savoring the joy of not having to get up and go to work. Soon, however, I got out of bed so I could enjoy my leisurely morning. I made some coffee, and read the morning paper with some Moody Blues music quietly playing in the background. I love such moments.

Around midday I went out for a while and visited a fellow music lover at his music store. He was at the same concerts I attended so we shared our experiences. Before leaving I did some wheeling and dealing and trading, bringing home some new CD's and a DVD of a Roger Waters concert that is very close to replicating the show I saw over the weekend.

It is early evening now. Dinner is finished and the dreadful evening news is over for now. The airwaves are full of a new tragedy. A deranged man walked into an Amish school and killed some young children. What is up with this kind of senseless violence? If you absolutely want to kill yourself, go ahead and do it, but do you have to take other innocent people, especially children, with you?

This day is about over. I am not sure why but I feel a little down. Maybe it's Post Concert Weekend Anti Climax Stress Syndrome (PCWACSS). Even thought I am on vacation for the rest of the week, I have nothing to look forward to except sleeping in and hanging out in my room. That's not all bad. I will certainly have a lot of time for listening to music but sitting alone listening to CD's isn't quite the same experience as being with friends in a live setting. There you not only experience the sound of music being played in the moment, you can't help but get caught up in the adrenaline rush of being surrounded by other people sharing your enthusiasm. I am happy not to be at work but I face the prospect of a boring week ahead.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Roger Waters at Deer Creek Music Center

I have been going to concerts at the Deer Creek Music Center outside of Indianapolis since 1990. A few years ago a bad corporate decision was made to rename this venue and many more like it. It's now officially called the Verizon Wireless Music Center but in the hearts of the people who go there to attend concerts, it will forever be the Deer Creek Music Center. I was there last night with some of my musical friends. The day and night was not without challenges. I was driving up with a friend and his son. We got on the road a little later than expected. We didn't realized that I-65 North was closed and so it was a additional delay and hassle just to get out of Louisville. I was also going to meet up with another group of friends to pass on an extra ticket. Connecting with another group of people in a crowd estimated at 30,000 was a challenge. Thank God for cell phones! My group had made it to the venue in time but my other friends got stuck in traffic trying to get into the venue. As fate would have it, I was waiting in the front of the venue and my stuck in the traffic friends ended up in the back of the venue. We made a cell phone connection and arranged a meeting spot. By this time the show was just about to start. I got through the security check and headed for the lawn. When I got there it was a sea of humanity and darkness had fallen. I jumped in and found my way to the top of the hill/lawn where thousands of people were sitting. In the process I lost one group of friends but found another. I decided to stay with the found group and to seek out the lost group after the show. The show itself was excellent. Most of the songs in the show were classic Pink Floyd songs and the cast of musicians backing Roger Waters perfectly recreated the Pink Floyd sound. The crowd was totally into the experience. My friends and I were all happy and the hassles of the day melted away as we grooved on the music. When the concert was over a new challenge presented itself. I easily found my lost friends. As we headed to the parking lot, it started to rain. We didn't care because the show was over. The traffic to get out of the venue was as bad, if not worse, than the traffic getting in. We sat in our car for an hour before starting the engine. After that, it took us an hour and a half to get to our hotel which couldn't have been more than seven or eight miles away. When we got to our hotel, it was 1:30 AM. Did I have a great weekend?

Rolling Stones ticket....$99.00

Roger Water's ticket...$47.50

Room at the Marriott with breakfast...$148.00

Being with my friends and hearing great music....Priceless!