Sunday, January 25, 2015

Must Be Time For Another Road Trip... 2015 Edition

Lately I find that I just don't have the patience for much of anything aside from keeping my nose to the grind, as it were. I don't know if anyone else goes through phases like this, but I certainly do. I feel restless and the things I normally derive joy from doing on a day to day basis, are either boring me to the verge of tears or causing me a great deal of frustration. It's the same feeling that you would educe from taking one step forward and three steps back in a walking race. Uh-Huh.

I have no patience with long stoplights or people who seem to be asleep for the first few seconds after the light changes to green, because they are talking on their freaking cell phones. I have no patience with people who ring my doorbell unannounced. I have no patience for neighbor's dogs who bark for hours on end, nor do I have the patience to suffer through visits from Jehovah's Witnesses or anyone selling anything. The people who block grocery store aisles are now on my hit list. I'm beginning to scare even myself. And today, a neighbor child is blowing an industrial size whistle, seemingly non-stop and I'm envisioning ripping it from her mouth and tossing it to Kingdom Come. You know. Right after I ask the parents if they are deaf or something (like stupid).

I used to refer to this strange emotional phenomenon as PMS and later, I thus blamed menopause. I no longer have either *condition* among my repertoire of excuses for foul moods, so I'm fairly perplexed as to what I can blame this on. Am I really just a total bitch after all is said and done? Possibly, but hopefully not that uncomplicated. Perhaps it's just *crotchety old age syndrome*. Whatever. I think I'll go with Early Spring Fever.

Mr. Snoots, the poor dear, doesn't really understand but in an effort to prove his allegiance he feigns sympathy and understanding. I cannot say that I blame him for that ploy. Were I in his predicament I'd probably resort to the use of a sledge hammer, so I must praise him for his acumen.

Oh patience, where art thou?

Sensing this, Mr. Snoots, in his infinite wisdom, has suggested a road trip. I'm always game for a road trip! So, we're headed to our favorite little ski town. Ruidoso, New Mexico. We'll only be gone for 4 days but usually that's all I need to set me right with the world again. As I've said before, all work and no play makes Snooty a very cranky entity indeed. Very. Cranky.

Mr. Snooty plans to stay at the hotel and take care of business on the computer, which will keep him busy. Then, we can go to dinner in the evenings. Normally, when I go skiing alone, I have room service, watch a movie and go to sleep. So, this should be tons more fun! However, when the hotel removed my person from the casino for taking pictures, they completely squashed my pension for gambling. I wouldn't give them my money even if they begged me and rolled out the red carpet.

Of course, Mr. Snoots doesn't ski anymore but I don't care. I'm just thrilled to not be going alone. I went alone for so many years once the kids were gone and after a while, it just wasn't fun anymore. We humans need contact with other humans and he's my #1 choice, so it will be nice to have him along.

Did I mention that I'm now considered a senior and can ski for a discount price? When I turn 70, I can ski for free! That's my goal. So, I'll finally be getting a *deal* after skiing HERE all these years.

Anyway, I'm out of here as soon as I can gather all my ski things but that might take a while. I promise to try take lots of pictures but I'm more forgetful these days. Two full half days of skiing is probably more than I can handle in my out-of-shape condition. It might well kill me, but I doubt it. Only the good die young.... Most likely I'll be as sore as a two bit floosie on payday. Besides, I ski like an old lady now. You know. Because I'm an old lady now. I can only dream about how I used to ski but, I'm perfectly good with that. As always, I'll take my bottle of champagne, a jar of Icelandic caviar, cream cheese, chopped red onion and toast points to have for my afternoon snack. It became a ritual for me about 20 years ago and I'm not one to break tradition. Well, not this one anyway.

See you soon!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Is Almost Here... Are You Ready?

For me, the holiday season has already been full of parties and good cheer, decorating, and making Christmas gifts for friends and family. We threw away our old fake tree at the end of the last Christmas season because I was tired of trying to make all the lights work at once. Not that much to ask for, is it? Silly me. So, we ordered a new tree from an online outfit that is well known. Ten days later the tree arrived with the box seemingly intact and we I trusted that the tree was fine as well. I will admit that Mr. Snooty asked me if I'd checked the lights and I simply pooh-poohed him. The tree was brand new and retail price.

Fast forward a few weeks and I finally had Mr. Snooty bring in the tree for assembly time. Once the three pieces were out of the box and on the floor I realized that the last time we'd bought a tree was the DISPLAY tree at Lowe's, which was already assembled AND fluffed. Uh-Oh. Okay, so fine, it will be some work but it'll be fine.

Many hours and scratches to my arms & hands later, it seemed I'd barely made a dent. Only then did I deem it necessary to watch the instructional video. Yup. That's right. Another *faux pas* by Moi. So, I plodded on along and did the best I could, promising myself to do it right next year. (Uh-Huh. Like next year I'll be younger.) But, I'm actually pleased with the outcome.

Then came time to turn on the lights. All lights were working except one small section of the middle part. Swell.

I ended up taking it apart and fluffing from the bottom section up. It really does make sense to watch the tree tutorial. Who knew? After that process, this was my final product. Not bad, really.

I had to make a decision to either get the tree decorated or send it back while waiting another 10 days to receive a new tree. I opted to keep and decorate the tree so we could enjoy it for the holidays, and I added an additional strand of 100 lights to that section. The cycle of adding lights begins again. I must be crazy or old. Oh wait. I'm old.

Anyway, I've been trying to gather the energy to put up the outside garland/lights. So far, I have the front porch done, so enjoy. This might be all you get.

Last picture is of what little I've done on the outside. Maybe I'll put up the dining room and living room lighted garlands outside and maybe I won't, but it will still be festive. And at least I finished the front porch and the tree, if not much else.

Merry Christmas and Cheers to All! Here's our Christmas picture from 2013. Might as well add it, right?

Friday, July 11, 2014

So, I Guess I'm Not Done With Golf Just Yet...

Well, color me happy! I survived 36 holes of golf within two days and didn't do too badly for barely having even played last year at all. Predictably, I won the most dubious award called Ladies Shortest Tee Shot. Yup. I saved my big shot partner from receiving the male version of the same award, with my less than perfect tee shot.

Always a fun tournament, they seem to have weeded out all of the drama couples, making for a really enjoyable weekend. Everyone involved actually cares more about having fun than winning, which makes for very little drama, if any. We play a *SHAMBLE* format meaning each pair takes the best drive and you play your own ball to the hole. We also don't do sandtraps.

I also made my first eagle, with the expertise of my fine Scottish partner (actually he's a golf pro in Hawaii who was visiting) on the second day. On a 4 par he hit his tee shot 4 inches from the hole. I sank that sucker with fervor! I'm thinking I still love golf... for the moment. Best of all, I think that perhaps I'm not done yet.

There is a point at which you finally *get it* with golf... at least for some people. I do believe I think I'm there. Or not. It might be a sucker punch waiting in disguise, to knock me off of my high horse again. However, for now, I'm feeling quite full of myself and my golf game.

Since we returned home we've played once at the club and I shot a miraculous 100, which leaves me wondering... Who am I? I can hardly wait for Sunday, when we play again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Perhaps My Last Golf Tournament... So I'm Going To Have Fun!

This coming weekend we're participating in the same golf tournament we've played in for the last five years (except last year when I was just out of the hospital from having bacterial meningitis). It's always held at a golf course close to Abilene, so it's only a 2 hour drive.

I'm still trying to get myself back to normal physically, so this tournament is going to be a major challenge for me. I've only played a handful of times in the last year but that was due more to bad weather than my physical condition, although I'm still incredibly weak. We went out to the club to hit balls last week and I was sore for the following 4 days. Gah.

I'm tired of being weak and exhausted all the time but because of my blasted inflamed ankle, I am extremely limited as to what and how much I can do physically. So, I've been doing what exercises I can from the comfort of my desk chair. Mostly upper body exercises and leg lifts, which will never get me back to where I was once upon a time, but will hopefully get me to where I can eventually up my routine.

At first, we weren't even going to play in the tournament this year because we felt that it wouldn't be fair to whoever my partner might be. However, after speaking with the organizers of the tourney, we were encouraged to still come play. My high handicap appears quite enticing to the guys who are big hitters and my putting continues to be something short of miraculous. Since the tournament is a *shamble* this works quite well for me since I just don't have the strength to hit amazing tee shots. Well, I've never hit amazing tee shots, to tell the truth, but because of my handicap no one seems to hold it against me. That handicap actually makes me the popular girl for tournaments.

So, I am going into this tourney with the belief that I can still play golf because I'm pretty good at believing my own lies at times. Who knows? Perhaps I'll pull off another golf miracle and win something. It has happened before. Still, I'd appreciate as many good thoughts as people are willing to send my way. I think I'm gonna need it....

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Happy Father's Day?

My husband never really wants anything for birthdays or Father's Day. When he does want something he just goes out and buys it, which makes it difficult to buy him anything. Ever.

So, last year I decided I would wash the exterior and detail the inside of his car. You know, because he washes his car maybe five times per year... and never gets it detailed. Great idea, right? Obviously, it's something very important to him (or not).

The day before Father's Day I told him I needed his Lexus to go to a luncheon and that he needed to drive our old Suburban for the day. He couldn't take my Sequoia because (I told him) it was almost out of gas. Okay, white lies in place, he left for the office and I got started on my project.

I spent the entire day sweating like Miss Piggy as I vacuumed, scrubbed, polished and shined his lovely little Lexus. He has been known to call it his little *cream puff*. Once my job was done, I inspected my fine work and was satisfied that I had done as good a job as any professional could have. I was happily exhausted.

Then I remembered that I had a 3:00 PM appointment with the doctor and if I didn't hurry, I was going to miss that appointment. I quickly ran inside, changed clothes, grabbed my purse and raced back outside to my car (the Sequoia). I started my engine and backed out of the carport with time clearly the only thing on my mind as I swiftly backed into the driver's side of his Lexus. Oops!

After my doctor's appointment, I had the dubious honor of spending a great deal of time on the phone with the insurance company. As polite as they were, it wasn't in the least bit fun.

Needless to say, he wasn't thrilled with the final outcome. Gee honey, look what I did to your car! Oh. Well. Happy Father's Day anyway! I guess it will be the year he remembers most vividly... Argh.

I think that this year I shall give him the gift that keeps on giving (no, not another dent in his car)... A subscription to the Dollar Shave Club. He's going to love it! It's a new web site that offers men a monthly new razor at rock bottom prices, often saving the consumer up to $100.00 a year. What man doesn't love to save money? I just loved their promotional video. Funny, funny.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cabo San Lucas... The Dolphin Encounter

On the third day of our trip we were scheduled to go into town and have our *Dolphin Encounter* at Cabo Dolphins. Let me just say that I could be happy simply living with the dolphins, but since that's not possible, Cabo Dolphins is my closest chance. Such gentle, amazing creatures.

Transportation to and from the dolphin facility (in Mercedes vans no less) is included in the price and they were punctual both ways, proving to be an efficiently run attraction. After a 7 minute talk (from Mariu, our adorable Mexican trainer who spoke excellent English) on how to behave with the dolphins, we were in the pool and soon swimming with our 9 year old female dolphin named Tamarina. The dolphin was adorable even though she tried to French Kiss Mr. Snooty when it came time for his big photo op with her. What a hoot! I've never seen him laugh so hard, seriously. Anyway, we all got to take an individual ride with a choice of the dorsal fin on top or the pair of anterior pectoral fins (you hold on to two fins while the dolphin swims on its back). Mr. Snoots chose the dorsal ride so I opted for the pectoral ride. We also each got to dance with her, pose for pictures and kiss, of course. Tamarina was quite the ham and truly knew how to work the crowd. Before parting, we all had the opportunity to feed her some salted fish and the tour was finalized with a wonderful show from all the performing dolphins.

I'd give you more pictures but we haven't figured out how to get them off the CD yet. Same goes for the DVD video. We're ignorant about such things but I'm determined.

I don't know how other places with a Dolphin Encounter are rated, but Cabo Dolphins is a well run attraction and we enjoyed it more than anything else we've ever done. We were part of a small group of 7 people, which seemed perfect to me. There were also 2 other groups (in opposite corners of the large dolphin pool), one of which was all children, and we couldn't help but giggle when we heard them squeal in unison at the antics of the amicable dolphins. The adult trainers who work there take their care of the dolphins very seriously and you can tell how much they love their charges.

Our best friends flew into San Jose to join us in Cabo on day 4, which really made the trip fun. Since I had made all the reservations, I was totally relieved when they loved the resort. They, too, fell in love with the magic of Cabo San Lucas.

We dined at Alexander's one night (which was great), one night at the hotel's Steakhouse (which was horrible), and one night at Pan di Bacco (which was great), laid around the pool playing an occasional poolside game via the pool entertainment staff, with the masses, and had a total blast people watching. The marina in Cabo is also great for watching the masses.

Our friends left the day before us so we dined alone together at a lovely restaurant called Romeo y Julieta, located just off the Cabo Marina. It was totally wonderful and we'll definitely return on our next trip to Cabo. We were exhausted by this point so dinner was quick for us. The Caesar might have made me a bit queasy, made with too much mustard, but I still ate it. The next morning we left at the freaking crack of dawn, thanks to American Airlines and my inability to understand online reservations. Still, it was a wonderful vacation that I hope to someday repeat, although at a different resort. We always need new experiences, right?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cabo San Lucas.... A Hidden Mexican Gem!

After a ten year hiatus from going to Mexico (because of the raging drug wars), we just returned from Cabo San Lucas, Bahia, Mexico, vacationing there for 8 days. Having never ventured to the Baja, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was something very close to what I consider my own personal paradise. It was sheer Heaven On Earth. We felt incredibly safe the entire time... at the hotel and in town. Apparently, there isn't much cartel presence on the Baja. Other Mexican beach destinations are still considered to be unsafe, so we decided it was time to experience Cabo.

I researched the popular Baja, Mexico vacation destination for almost a month before we left because there is a lot to know before you go. I wondered if Cabo was better than San Jose' (where the airport is) and what exactly the differences might be. As it turns out, both places are fantastic but do offer different Baja experiences. Cabo is a party town, with their hotels offering mostly All-Inclusive options that often turn into parties. There are endless bachelor & bachelorette parties to set the mood and are often quite entertaining.

On the other hand, San Jose' offers nicer restaurants, culture galore, museums, art galleries, and higher end souvenirs. San Jose del Cabo tends to attract the older crowd, while Cabo San Lucas mostly caters to the younger generation. Who wants to sit around watching other old people? Certainly not us. There are fewer All-Inclusive hotels to choose from as well. Needless to say, we chose Cabo. We like to watch people and Cabo was the place for that. This was the morning view from our room.

The first day we arrived we merely settled in. We walked around the massive Riu Santa Fe property and marveled at how so many people could be attended to and fed, all at once? Later I made an appointment to get my hair trimmed and reserved time for a couple's massage on the beach the next day. We weren't disappointed in any way. Listening to the crashing waves while getting a massage was quite a treat. And, my haircut is so cute I might have to go back, just for that.

One of the first things we learned is that you can't really swim in the ocean, at any of the Cabo hotels that are on the beach. First of all, there is a deadly strong undercurrent that has taken many lives of those who didn't believe. It was fine with me. These toes don't go into the ocean under any circumstances anyway. Second, the waves break right up against the beach and their force is powerful and scary. They could pull you out and under in the blink of an eye. Especially an old fart.

At our hotel, the Riu Santa Fe, it was rather a drop off from the hotel beach to the water which meant there were only lounges on the upper hotel part of the beach. There was also a lifeguard to keep people out of the water. It looked like a full time job to me. Interestingly, I discovered that the beaches are made of ground up granite, which is plentiful all around Cabo. The famous Land's End mountains and The Arch are also made of granite. In the following picture you can just barely see the yellow flag out, which means you can swim that day in the ocean as well as take water taxis to town. After the first day, we only saw red flags, meaning no one was allowed into the ocean.

Did you know they legalized pot in Mexico? I had no idea. It is now legal to possess no more than 25 grams, which I assume is around two cigarettes worth. We saw them selling it down on the beach in front of the hotel, even though they appeared to be discreet about their business. Our friends had to point it out to us since we just thought they were with the other vendors selling Cuban cigars and silver jewelry. Ha. What a couple of old farts we are. From what I understand, this *decriminalization* of marijuana is Mexico's attempt to curb the cartel activity. Good luck with that.

As far as the All-Inclusive goes, we like it for the free liquor 24 hours per day (you never know when the urge to have a shot of tequila will strike, right? HA!), the breakfast and the lunch. We always find the a la carte restaurants (only open for dinner) to be below our culinary standards (yes, we're food snobs), so we opted to take a taxi into town for some really delicious meals. We liked Alexander's so much that we returned three nights in a row. Personally, I think all of the food in Mexico has a *funny* taste so a trip to the beach in Mexico is always akin to staying at a spa for me. I always lose a few pounds. Bonus. I'd probably lose more if they didn't have bottles of liquor in every room and a fridge full of cervesa to boot.

At the hotel I had lovely spinach/mushroom omelets, bacon, fresh fruit and homemade bread every day for breakfast, with guacamole, pico de gayo and chips for lunch. What else could anyone possibly want? Believe me, our hotel had it all. The buffets were stunning with their array of offerings. Like any buffet, it was wisest to arrive early for the freshest goodies. Breakfast was my favorite but not if it had been sitting under the heat lamps for any period of time. Oddly, Mexicans don't like spicy hot food so when I asked for jalapenos, I was given sliced, canned ones. Made me kind of laugh. No fresh peppers to be had anywhere! In Mexico. Go figure. I think it's a regional thing because my roommate at boarding school was from Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico and her parents used to send her cases of spicy hot goodies in different forms. That was where my pallet discovered an attraction to the provocative hot pepper (the hotter the better).

Stay tuned for the rest of the story in a few days....

Friday, February 21, 2014

Are The Olympics Becoming Diluted? 2014 In Review...

With concerns over housing not being finished, water that looked like urine, and terrorist threats to ruin the games, it looked like the Olympics were going to get off to a very rough start. However, once the games began, everything seemed to fall into place and has been flowing like a river, although often at just a trickle. Weather, physical conditions, injuries and other factors contributed to many ups and downs during the 2014 Olympic Games. The cost of hosting the whole shebang is astronomical with no guarantee of future revenue from same. I do hope that Putin is ready to accept that reality.

So there was that whole awful eye infection that has plagued Bob Costas. I've been there before and all I can say is I'd sure want to be home in my own bed, not in Russia. But if I were in Russia, I would do nothing but eat caviar and drink vodka. But, that's just me. Anyhoo, NBC has been scrambling to line up its best to fill in for Costas' absence, but his knowledge of the games is extensive and is hard to replace at the last minute. Although, you cannot beat the class act that is Meredith Viera. A great diplomat in her own right, due greatly to her basic kindness and understanding of human beings. I applaud her!

Since the night before the Opening Ceremony I have hardly been able to do anything else aside from watch or listen to the TV coverage. There have been so many new events added to almost every sport, it has become mind boggling to try and keep track of it all. I should have gotten all crafty and made a board to keep track of the events that are on but I was overwhelmed too quickly, getting too far behind. I just wasn't prepared for all the new additions to each category. Now I am totally lost.

Speaking of the Opening Ceremony... I thought it was fantastic. Well, until I saw the ugly Christmas sweaters the USA athletes were wearing. Ralph Lauren, what were you thinking? Wait. Was it a joke?

My old favorite athletes (from the 2010 Games) didn't seem to fare too well this year, if they even made it to Sochi, but new heroes have risen from the ranks of the unknown. As always, you are taken through every emotion possible, even when the skating star from an opposing country has to withdraw due to a hurt back. Your heart just aches for them. And once you know your country lost, you can cheer on a new star from Japan or wherever.

Bode Miller (my fave downhill skier) didn't seem to have fully healed from past injuries and surgeries. Lindsey Vonn was still healing from her latest injuries and surgeries, missing Sochi altogether. Skiing is truly one of the hardest sports on your body, mainly your joints but broken bones as well. Then time gets its hand in things and you know how that story goes. I think it's about even with football players. All that impact with the ground and such. As the games continued Bode's luck on the hill never really improved. Ted Ligety, however, shined like the star he really is. Can we spell YOUTHFUL and bullet proof?

In skiing, there is a point at which you realize that you are no longer bullet proof. When that happens, you're toast, baby.

Then, the major top dawg in snowboarding misses his flips on the half-pipe and even more new stars are born. But the US women swept snowboarding on that same half-pipe. Go figure. I'm not sure if that was the regular snowboarding events or the new ones. I'm so confused by it all. Too many new events for this old lady to keep up with.

How about the fact the US beat Russia in hockey after an overtime of 8 shoot-outs? The US finally prevailed. That felt pretty sweet and I'm not even a hockey fan. Our guy was really outstanding as he repeatedly shot the puck into the goal. SCORE!

One thing I've loved this year in alpine skiing, snowboarding and luge/bobsled/skeleton is the fact that they can visually track one skiers' run with another skier at the same time with something like a superimposed image on the screen. Pretty cool that, too. You can see exactly where the slower skier made their mistakes while the faster took the tighter lines down the hill. It fascinates me. What an amazing tool for development and improvement.

White and Davis wowed us all with a crowning gold medal, the first ever for the USA, in Ice Dancing. How perfectly lovely is that? It was a brilliant program. Solid and totally confidant.

Last of all, the US Olympics *powers that be* finally realized their athletes have more varied and specific dietary needs this year than ever, so they took their own chef and kitchen crew to Sochi. They shipped massive amounts of foods over to Russia along with products they knew they couldn't get there, all in an effort to keep the athletes healthy, as they are used to here at home. What a major production it must have been! Still, members of the team had to scramble to locate what they could locally, because most stores had already been sold out to the rest of the cooks for the Olympians. I can't even imagine what kind of craziness it all was.

All that said... I'm now growing weary of the Olympics. Time to move on and see what other wonders life has in store for us. Just another sign that I'm cresting the hill of never understanding anything about the Olympics from here on. The circle of life continues to turn...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Did You Have A Pet Chameleon As A Kid In The 1950's & 60's?

I'm pretty sure I don't know many people my own age who didn't win a chameleon as a prize at the traveling carnival as a kid. Especially in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Carnivals, Rodeos and Fairs would award us with these fantastic, gorgeous little creatures that we had no idea how to care for. Frankly, we were children and could barely take care of ourselves.

The little lizards came equipped with a tiny red string around their necks that were attached to a tiny little gold safety pin. This enabled us to pin it to our shirts and thus, thwart their otherwise inevitable escape. As I recall, they were only about 2" to 2-1/2" in length and maybe 1/2" wide. They were very sweet but hey, they were on a leash.

How were we to know we were actually torturing these delicate little guys that had no defense against us? As it turns out, the only defense mechanisms they had were the very reasons we all wanted to win one. We were told, as children, that chameleons would change colors when placed next to different colors.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't drastic change but we did see some. Or we just thought we did. They were really anole lizards but no kid wanted a prize named that, right? So, to us they were resplendent chameleons.

As soon as my brother & I would return home from the Fair, we'd be running all over the house holding our prizes up to different colors, with great, ghoulish glee as they performed their color change. Sooner or later, we'd become bored with them and go in to dinner, forgetting all about them. Days after, we'd find them in a physical state something short of fossilized, shrunken and dead. I do remember mourning the death of one or two, at least. Of course, we had funerals for them, but what little devils and heathens we were!

Oh, the misery it causes me now! Why? I just found out that those changing colors reflected their feelings of fear, anger and sheer confusion. They can't hurt you. I just read an article explaining this magical thing that chameleons do. I feel like such a serial killer because it also makes me realize that we undoubtedly must have tortured horney (horned) toads when we were children too, which are now almost an endangered species. They aren't nearly as beguiling as chameleons but we didn't have to wait around for the carnival or the circus to come to town to get them. If you just went out to your backyard where the dirt patch was and sat still for a while, they would come within catching distance. Yep, that's how we passed the long summers in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico as children.

Now, I'm worried about my own Karmic future. I hope they won't one day be sitting in judgement of my soul. If so, I'm in trouble.... deep. Don't even get me started on the crawdads (crawfish), goldfish and teensy turtles with painted shells. We unknowingly murdered them all....

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tony Bennett... Still A Class Act & A Cool Cat

Last night Mr. Snoots and I attended an incredibly delightful concert given by 87 year old Tony Bennett with our best friends in tow. We're all still totally giddy from the experience. Seriously. This talented singer wowed the crowd repeatedly with old standards such as "Fly Me to the Moon", "I Left My Heart In San Francisco",  "The Best Is Yet To Come", and a tear-jerking rendition of Charlie Chaplin's song "Smile". He continues to be what I think of as *A Cool Cat*.

Wikipedia says:

"Based upon a suggestion from a teacher at American Theatre Wing, he developed an unusual approach that involved imitating, as he sang, the style and phrasing of other musicians — such as that of Stan Getz's saxophone and Art Tatum's piano — helping him to improvise as he interpreted a song."

It was his own personal and unique style. Biddly bee bop de bop de bop... and so on.

Playing to a solidly full house for two hours, Mr. Bennett proved he can continue to belt out the songs with his still silky voice AND remember the words. For an 87 year old, that is quite some feat. His last number was performed *a capella* and with no microphone. There wasn't a dry eye in the place and when he was done, there wasn't a single person in their seat. I can't even count the standing ovations he received last night. We were duly mesmerized.

His show opens with none other than Tony's thirty-something daughter Antonia (also a jazz singer) who sang a handful of good old standards before she beckoned her father out onto the stage for his performance, which I considered a total treat. Clearly, she didn't inherit Tony's *pipes* but she's good and very professional in her delivery of said songs. Later in the show she returned to the stage to do a duet with her Dad and they even did a little *soft shoe* together. It was truly priceless.

Tony Bennett even graced us with 3 curtain calls and all four of us agreed that Mr. Bennett seemed hesitant to leave the stage, to our delight. He's just adorable! He might not be jumping around on stage like Mick Jagger at 70 years old but there is nothing about this man that represents his age of 87. He still has lots of bounce in his step and I can't help but wonder if we'll still be seeing him performing concerts in his 90's. This fan certainly hopes so.

I grew up on Tony Bennett's music... Along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and all the other great singers of the 1950's and 1960's. My mother had all his albums along with countless others. We were literally lulled to sleep at night with old standards being sung by velvety smooth voices emitting from our hi-fi. I still crave this stuff. I hope I always will.


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