Friday, September 26, 2008

Breakfast With Tom

When I posted four days ago about the debates, I had no idea what would happen this morning. I was joking about meeting Tom Brokaw, and even mentioned his name four different times in that post. But that's not even where this story began.

I heard through Casey, who heard through our friend Deborah (the one who was on Wheel of Fortune back in January), that The Early Show would be taping on our university's campus this morning. They were welcoming all community members to be in the audience, and Deborah and a few other women had decided they wanted to go. I thought it would be fun, but the only catch was that we had to be there by 5:30 a.m. I am no morning person, but I still dragged myself up at 4:15 to go to the taping, because hey, you never know what can happen, right? You never know.

Turns out that other people are willing to get up even earlier than the three of us who turned up, because the place was absolutely packed when we arrived shortly after 5 a.m. Not only would we get no on-camera time, the only way we would even see any part of the taping was to stand on some chairs, and we found the last few that were left. So, there we were, off to the side, watching Harry Smith do his thing and cheering along with the crowd. Deborah, Monica and I stayed for about two hours -- and it still wasn't over! -- until we decided to go. It was fun, we got our pictures of the crowds and of Harry (and one of the local papers actually took our picture and took our names...I think because we were wearing matching shirts from the campus ministry so we looked kind of 'group-ish'). Making the long trek back to our cars, we talked about all of it, and how we were glad that we had gone, even if we didn't have our five seconds on the air. It was still an interesting time.

Neither Deborah nor I had eaten any breakfast, so by 7 a.m. we were back to our cars and talking about food. Monica had to go home and couldn't join us, but Deborah suggested going to Bottletree Bakery. You may not be aware (I wasn't, anyway), but apparently Oprah featured one of Bottletree's pastries on her 'favorite things' show. Deborah's mindset was, "Maybe Oprah will be having breakfast at Bottletree!" A friend of ours who is helping with all this debate craziness gave us the inside scoop to the fact that not only Oprah, but Arnold Schwarzenegger as well, are in town. I honestly did not think that we would see or meet Oprah at breakfast, but I was hungry enough to agree on going.

Before you make the assumption, no...we did not see or meet Oprah. But the story is not over.

Deborah and I arrived at Bottletree Bakery and it was running at its usual hectic pace -- it is an extremely popular, but small, establishment near the town square. We walked in and stood in line, not yet knowing that if we wanted to eat there we should have seated ourselves and waited to be served. We were in the 'to go' line. But while we were standing there, Deborah whispered to me, "Tom Brokaw is here!" and of course my response was, "No way!" but as I glanced around I saw him sitting along the counter like any other customer. Tom Brokaw.

When we made it to the front of the register and were told that we should be seated and wait to be served if we'd like to stay, two seats at the counter just happened to be free, so we grabbed them. And where were those seats? Only a handful of seats down from Tom Brokaw himself. Deborah immediately went into fan mode, pulling out first her phone and then her camera and surreptitiously placing them on the counter at an angle to capture Mr. Brokaw eating his breakfast (some kind of granola cereal) while he talked with a university person who had brought him to Bottletree. I went into please-don't-let-him-catch-us mode, suddenly pretending that I didn't know who Deborah was. Don't get me wrong -- this was all extremely amusing to me, especially when Deborah would dial a number on her cell and have the following conversation with several different people:

"Hey...I can only talk for a minute, but guess who is sitting just four seats down from me? Tom Brokaw. Yeah...okay, I have to go." Meanwhile, I would be both laughing at these whispered calls and trying to decide what to eat for breakfast. Should I eat what Tom is eating? No, don't want to look too obvious...although who doesn't want to say, "I'll have what Tom's having"?

By the time we had ordered, we knew that he would probably be leaving soon. Deborah was again in fan mode: "When he walks by us, I'm going to ask for a picture with us." I was mortified. "No, Deborah!" as she asked the woman next to her if she would take the picture. But then he was walking by, but only to pay for his food at the register, then walk back by to leave a tip at his seat. Deborah once again decided she was going to go for it. I couldn't watch.

As Tom walked past our seats at the counter to leave, Deborah stood right up and asked for a picture. What he was saying in reply I could not quite understand, but I was sure it was a rejection. Suddenly Deborah was telling me to "C'mon!" and we put our purses on our seats and I followed her towards the door.

"Where are we going, Deborah?" I asked in a still-mortified voice.

"Outside!" she shot back over her shoulder. Well...obviously.

When we were outside the door, I saw that about four or five other women stood there with their cameras and picture-takers, everyone ready for their turn to smile with Tom Brokaw. But in that very familiar voice of his he announced, "Okay, we're just going to do one big group picture. Everybody ready?"

I was barely ready, and as I just happened to be standing right next to him, Tom Brokaw put his arm around me! And before I knew it, my arm was around him! I think it was at that moment that I thought to myself, "You know, Tom Brokaw is not a bad-looking man!" Deborah was next to me, and everyone else was on the other side of Tom. As there were five or so camera-holders, we stood there for a bit of time, longer than I would have ever imagined I would have my arm around a journalism giant.

And then it was over. I turned as we all let go and sort of patted his shoulder as I said thank you. I don't think he noticed. Did I care? No...although I do hope I get a mention on his next broadcast. Hey, you can laugh all you want, but just four days ago I was joking about meeting him and today the man had his arm around me!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just Bubbles

How could this not make you feel like a kid again?

Also, Happy Birthday Jonathan!

Monday, September 22, 2008

John, Sarah, Barack and Joe

Happy First Official Day of Autumn! Or rather, Happy Fall! Although that sounds more like I am about to trip you as you walk past, and I'm really not...I promise. Even if it would look kind of funny when you stumble and I might be stifling a laugh as I ask, "Are you okay?" and then our friendship (or blogship, as the case may be) might be on thin ice, and then who knows what would happen? So I'll just stick with that first greeting.

I'm really not one to be giving out info about my last name, where I live, how often I clean my bathroom, etc. but...I just have to share this bit of news: the very first 2008 Presidential Debate will be held this coming Friday, as I'm sure you are aware. But that's not the interesting part. It is being held in the very town where we live! Is that not totally crazy? It's not like I'm all that into the debates, although I do watch what I can, but the fact that the candidates plus, oh, about every media person will be here this week is so weird to me. And Tom Brokaw will be speaking on the university's campus the day before the debate...Tom Brokaw.

Now, we won't nor have we ever had a chance at seeing the debates in the building where they'll be held, because as far as I have heard they only made the tickets available to university students. The neat thing is, there will be an all-day festival held just a short walk away where MTV's Rock the Vote will be doing...something, and I'm sure there will be tons of interesting things to see and lots of good food to eat, so we'll be at least visiting all of that. And maybe trying to see if we can spot Mr. Brokaw playing in the Guitar Hero Tournament. Yes, you heard me, the festival will contain a Guitar Hero Tournament! And no, there is no way I am partaking -- although after borrowing a friend's Wii version I am quite good on the medium level (I really like 'La Grange,' 'Barracuda' and 'Lay Down').

So that's our latest little excitement. And also, you will now know where I live, but don't expect me to go mentioning it by name. It's just a weird thing I have about giving out that info -- and yes, I'm aware of the irony and I don't care. Especially if I get to meet Tom Brokaw.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sick Update...And Yet Another Anniversary

Miles is thankfully doing much better. We have cut the breathing treatments in half, which is wonderful because that medicine makes him a little hyper. And he is not really the hyper type -- he will sit for long periods of time, just reading or playing. But lately,'s really worn us out! Anyway, we have a better plan of action now for the next time he becomes congested. We're going to (as Barney Fife would say) nip this thing in the bud!

Yesterday was another anniversary -- mine and Casey's seventh dating anniversary. Awww. Yeah, I know, who keeps up with that stuff anyway? I do. I am hopelessly sentimental, and somehow I retain every little date in history in my head that holds even a little significance. I also retain useless pieces of information, but that is neither here nor there.

I know I've posted before on mine and Casey's first time out, that day being 9/11, but five days later was when we made things official, so that is the date we remember for the anniversary. We don't tend to do many special things or get gifts, but yesterday we did exchange small gifts. I had told Casey I wanted to get him something small, and that he didn't have to get anything for me...but he did, and got me one of my favorite things of all: a gift card to my coffee place!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Not-so-well and Naturalization

For the past few days, we've been dealing with a semi-sick child. While I was seeing my internist for my usual six-month checkup, Casey had to take Miles to a nearby office to see his pediatrician, who just happens to be my internist's brother. Strange, yes? They are both incredibly nice doctors, and as I'd been seeing the one for a while when I was pregnant with Miles, it made sense to me to choose his brother as my child's doctor. Anyway, turns out Miles has bronchitis. Thankfully it didn't get to the stage it was in February, but it's bad enough that he's needing breathing treatments four times a day plus antibiotics. He's much better now, just a bit cranky with that congestion. I don't blame him!

In other news, today is the 19-year anniversary of my family's becoming naturalized American citizens. I really can't believe it's been that long. Last night I was telling Casey that it was nine years and then thought about it and was shocked to realize I'd left off ten whole years! So, today is a special day for me, not that I really do anything to celebrate...just remember and am thankful for the sacrifices my parents made.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm running out of material. Deal with it.

I realize I am behind on posting, and I know you may not believe it, but I've written some brilliant posts in my head over the past week. There was something Olympic-related (maybe I'll still get to that later), then something about my issue with people entering their children into pageants to win cash and cars...what else? Oh, probably something about the environment. Okay, not really. Just trying to sound in the know.

What I do have for you is another story about -- you guessed it -- Miles. Do I care if you're tired of reading stories about my kid? Maybe, maybe not. Okay, maybe I do.

But I'm still going to tell the story.

I had put Miles down for bed the other night -- Casey was out later than usual doing campus minister things -- only Miles wasn't going to sleep. For some reason he was awake, and he was alert. He was also talking loud enough for me to hear him down the hall, and eventually I just had to sneak down there to listen through the door. Now, Miles has some special friends he keeps in bed with him, and I believe they are all Winnie-the-Pooh characters. There is more than one Winnie-the-Pooh in there for sure, but I think there is also a Piglet, an Eeyore (Miles used to call him 'Orey') and a Tigger.

So I tiptoed up to the door and leaned in, trying to listen to what Miles was saying -- and who he was saying it to. I quickly gathered that he was making conversation with these friends of his, and some of it went like this:

"Hi Pooh! How doin'?"

"Wanna bwush teef? Yes, we did it! We bwushed teef!"

There was some other stuff in there, but it got a little garbled and went on for a while, but I held on to that part of it so I could share with Casey when he got home. I told him that it's just so funny, but I guess when you're two years old you only have so much going on in your life that you can reenact or share with your friends, whether imaginary or stuffed.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Miles and 'Peek'

Last week was quite the whirlwind of activity...and yes, I did take part in the Guitar Hero Tournament. No, I did not win (weren't you reading the last post?), but I did enjoy the double elimination that took place in front of everyone. Oh yes...losing is always such a pleasure.

This week has been more about being as inviting as we can and going to the students -- that included giving away free coffee from our coffeehouse yesterday morning near one of the dorms. I love the excitement in the campus ministry, especially at the start of every new school year, and I am so proud of Casey and Lendy and our student leaders -- all of our students, really -- for what they put into everything they do and the attitude they have in doing that work.

Miles and I are joining in on most of the activities, and I am always grateful that the students don't mind us being 'in the way' at times. It is really sweet when Miles starts recognizing students and calling them by name. Last night we continued our weekly ultimate frisbee-ing (yes, even in the rain, that's how much we enjoy it!), and I was cheering on my team from the sidelines (Casey and I were trading out every goal so one of us could watch Miles). One of our students, Jonathan, was doing well and so I was yelling and clapping for him but most of us call him by his last name, which I was doing at the time. And if you haven't noticed, I make a point to not give out last names on my blog -- just my own personal preference. Anyway, Miles heard me saying Jonathan's last name as I was yelling and cheering and clapping, and he joins in clapping as well, but instead of calling out the name says, "Yay, Peek! Good job!"

Now, 'Peep' happens to be a morning show I tape for Miles. It's the cutest show about a little bird, duck and chicken. I don't know why, but no matter how many times I've pronounced the word, Miles calls it 'Peek.' And Jonathan's last name has
two syllables in it, but I guess part of it sounds like 'peep' and so that's what he was his own way, of course.

Another thing that just cracks me up about Miles these days -- well, it more touches my heart than cracks me up, but I do laugh -- is that he encourages Casey and I because he has heard us encouraging him. When we finish a task, even something as simple as throwing a piece of trash away, Miles will tell us, "Good job, Mama!" or "Good job, Daddy! We did it!" And he tells us 'thanks' for just about everything. Now, I am still working on him telling other people 'thank you' without my prompting -- that still needs to be learned in him -- but for the simplest things he will almost always say, "Thanks, Mama!" But he says it in such a matter-of-fact, grown-up way that it is just too funny.

It certainly can light up any part of my day, just to hear my two-year-old thank me for unbuckling him from his car seat.
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