Sunday, July 24, 2011

TV Stevie & I went to Cooperstown today. Yes, the Baseball Hall of Fame induction was going on at the same time we sat in the Alice Bush Theater and watched Annie Get Your Gun. No amazing Baseball Hall of Fame stories this year. Of course, last year's story is enough to last a lifetime

Art Pierce, Kylie Pierce, TV Stevie
We hooked up with Art and Kylie Pierce from the Capitol Theater in Rome for a pre-show picnic. (BTW, TV Stevie heartily approved of this year's picnic menu by saying it was 'perfect'.) We talked about upcoming events at the Capitol, such as the annual Drive-In night, Aida (the Elton John/Tim Rice version), and Capitolfest. It was a lovely interlude on a lovely summer afternoon. We were very surprised that there weren't more picnickers. Usually we have a difficult time finding a table.

After the show, we stayed for the Q&A with the cast and the musical director, which was very informative and interesting. Then Art & Kylie left for home, and TV Stevie and I headed into Cooperstown proper. I found a bench and read a book I'd picked up in Oswego last week. TV Stevie wandered the stores. We debated having dinner in a restaurant recommended by one of my co-workers, but decided to grab a pizza on the way home. Cooperstown and its surrounds are very scenic; however, we are not fans of those twisty roads after dark.

Had we eaten in Cooperstown, we would have missed this:

A leg up
Once the kids in car realized I was taking photos, the leg began dancing on the roof of the car. It was one of those quirky moments

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rob Grill, R.I.P.

My Greek Fisherman's Hat
 An icon of my youth died last week. Rob Grill of one of my guilty pleasure bands, The Grass Roots, passed away at the young age of 67.

I always think of the band in the summer. At one point, in the 1980s, I had one of their "Greatest Hits" albums, and cranked it up while I drove. What is it about summer and sing-a-long music and driving that go together so well?

My friend Kris is totally into what her husband calls, That Band. She even went to see them live a year or two ago. She knows all kind of fabulous trivia, too.

I saw them live in the 1980s. It was one of those oldie tours, with lot of other singers/bands. My sister and I used to go to those concerts, which were held in the old MacArthur Stadium. I even had a brush with Rob Grill that day. It's one of those moments I will never forget. My sister and I were on line to get into the stadium. I was wearing a short denim skirt, a summery-white top and my Greek Fisherman's hat. The sun was shining, I was psyched about the concert.

"Hey!" I heard someone call. I looked off toward the side of the stadium, and there was Rob Grill and a couple of other band members leaning through a gap in the fence. "Come here!" they said. I looked around, trying to figure out to whom they were calling. "Pretty girl! In the hat! Come here!"

"You're the only one in a hat," my sister said.

I laughed and waved to them. I stayed in line.

Do I ever wonder what would have happened if I'd gone over? Sure, I'm only human.

Do I regret not going over? Depends on my mood.

This week, for example. Yeah, I regret not taking the time to talk to him and the band.

Rest in peace, Rob. And thanks for the music and the memories.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Glimmerglass: Opera & Picnics

Picnic grounds at Glimmerglass Opera
 It's nearly time for our annual trip to the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown. That means it's time to think about our annual picnic. One can  pre-order a picnic through the opera. They offer a nice selection. I, however, happen to like cooking. I enjoy planning menus.

The first year we went, I didn't know there were picnic grounds. The second year, I didn't think about the picnic grounds until the night before our trip, when I dreamed a picnic. That morning, I made the food of which I'd dreamed. I don't remember exactly what I packed, but I'm sure it included fresh fruit and cheese.

When we arrived Glimmerglass, we learned we couldn't drive up the hill to the picnic grounds because too much rain had made the ground too soggy. So TV Stevie and I had to haul a cooler and picnic basket up the hill.  He grumbled the whole time. Please remember that this is a man who won't eat on restaurant patios/decks/sidewalks. I love dining al fresco. He usually wins.

The Alice Busch Theater as seen from the picnic grounds at Glimmerglass
 Apparently, though, he enjoyed our Glimmerglass picnic.

The following year we went on our anniversary. I bought splits of sparkling wine, and surfed the net for food ideas. I found two that I thought looked good: Mediterranean Spinach Turkey Wraps and Mediterranean Hummus Turkey Wraps. It was a nice time.

TV Stevie didn't want the wraps the next year, so I went back to the Internet, where I found a pressed sandwich I thought sounded fabulous. I made them on ciabatta rolls and served with mixed fruit, iced tea, cheese and crackers, and an Estancia Meritage. Oh. My. Goodness. Except TV Stevie doesn't like ciabatta. Or goat cheese. Or olivada.

This year, TV asked if I minded if he asked another couple to join us. Wow. What a difference from the grumbling of the first picnic year! A few weeks ago, he was doing a guest stint on the radio, and he talked about the whole Glimmerglass experience, including our wonderful picnics. Double wow.

I hope I'm not expected to provide picnic food for four people. It's difficult to tell, because I didn't extend the invitation. Two guys . . . especially my guy . . . who knows?  I'm pretty sure TV said we'd provide the wine. 

I think I will not try anything fancy this year. Cold lemon-basil grilled chicken, fresh fruit-berry mix, cheese & crackers, and an icy sauvignon blanc. When I ran this idea by TV, he asked what kind of roll I was going to use for the chicken. Um, none?

Our annual opera/picnic excursion is only one reason I love summer.