1/29/18 Chronicles



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  Monday 1/22/18

These are just the highlights...I didn't do a very good job of keeping track of things last week! I'm doing better now...being pro-active in future weeks. Mark my words!

Prince PharmacyAfter my terrible night trying to sleep, and being in pain, I had no sleep, and I was still in pain today, so I skipped school and went to Urgent Care instead. Thankfully, David was able to take me and pick me up (He is always so busy at work and has a lot of meetings!)  The doctor gave me a cortizone shot in my right shoulder, near the neck, which is what was hurting the most. Then I got a muscle relaxer shot in my hip, for the leg pain. That one was painful! It burned. Yikes. At least the spasming stopped, and most of the pain went away.

I slept for most of the day after that. I was still very tired and went to bed pretty early. I think my spine problems were exacerbated by too much time on the computer, too much time on my phone, and too much caffeine. I had cut back on caffeine last Spring, but I've been drinking too much again...So, it was my own fault!

  Tuesday 1/23/18

I woke up around 5:30am. I had to go in around 6:45 with David to school. Even with plenty of sleep, it was too early! I had time for breakfast (just barely!), so I didn't bother to have it at school. I hung out at the library for a while. Then I went to the music practice room with plenty of time to warm-up. My lesson was burgers and friesfine.... I had lunch after that at the GrilleWorks. I tested their burgers, bacon and fries. I can't eat the fries, but the rest tested as gluten free. I did have a little trouble ordering...I made sure to tell the cashier that I wanted the plain shoestring fries, not the curly fries (they're usually coated with flour). When I got my food, it had curly fries all over it! So I had to wait for them to re-do everything.

The voice teachers had a meeting with all of us in the choir room...it was fun being around all these music and theater students. They are so fun and have a lot of energy...more so than most of the students I see elsewhere on campus. I miss that...It was fun when I used to be in the music department years ago. I sure wish they'd had a good theater department on campus the last time I was going to college, and that it had interaction with the music Brandy looking updepartment. They were two separate entities at Stony Brook. I loved being in musicals in high school. I would have loved to do that in college, too. Well, I did work full time, so I probably wouldn't have had time for that. Anyway.... my voice teacher just gave us a copy of the syllabus and we went over it. Nothing too exciting.

It was a long day! We grabbed dinner from Chick-Fil-A and didn't get home until 6:30. Normal time for him, but very late for me. David had to walk Brandy for me, since it was too dark for me to go. He walks every night, 2 or 3 times around the neighborhood. I can barely make one! I'm lazy, though ;)

They came out with the Oscar nominations today, but I haven't seen most of the films, so...I can't say as I care. The only movies I saw last year were "WonderWonder Woman Woman," "Spider-Man Homecoming," "Home Again" and "The Last Jedi." I think "Logan" was from last year, too. I saw it on DVD. I have a couple of DVD's of movies I haven't watched yet, like the second "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie.  Most of those movies don't get any major nominations.

"Shape of Water" sounds like a fantasy movie, but it doesn't sound like something I'd like. No way I would watch "Dunkirk."  "Three billboards" sounds good. I don't know much about the others.

  Wednesday 1/24/18

In the evening, I did my taxes for my site. UGH. Not too difficult but just depressing, since it doesn't make much money (less every year).

I spent most of the afternoon and evening doing laundry, dishes, and things like that, to get ready for our trip tomorrow. I was very busy.

I'm very sad to learn that one of my favorite online karaoke sites has shut down, thisiskaraoke.com aka TIK.  Similar to Singer's Showcase, those of us who like This Is Karaoke screen shotto sing would record our singing with karaoke tracks and then upload it for others to hear and comment on. In many ways, though, it was better than SS/KS.  For one thing, many people have left SS and gone to TIK, and it seemed like no matter whether I commented on other people's songs or not, I would always get 5-10 people commenting on mine. Whereas SS has gotten pretty bad in the last few years... Sometimes I've posted a song and gotten not one comment, even if I post comments on other people's songs. They had a section for videos, which SS doesn't have. People were all encouraged to be nice rather than say anything critical.  Also, I had unlimited songs on there, whereas I only have 75 on SS. I had a few hundred, and now they're all gone, comments and all. Too bad. They had a live chat as well, and some other fun stuff. A lot of people have either gone back to SS or moved on to KSK (kantstopkaraoke.com), which is a site that was gone for a while but is now back. I haven't yet signed up for that one. I don't know if I really have time for two sites like that any more.  SS is part of KaraokeScene, so that's probably what keeps them going.

TIK had technical problems for the past year or so, with people having trouble uploading songs, and the site was down a lot, and then there were spammers in the live chat.  I guess they just gave up. That's very sad.

  Thursday 1/25/18

view of the riverWe left after my classes today. David picked up Brandy and our luggage. He packed the car and took her to the vet for the weekend.

We headed to Little Rock, which is about 2 1/2 hours away. After we got to our hotel, the Marriott, we had dinner at Cache. Our waitress was kind of annoying (too energetic and trying to be cute). I had some good wine, and it was cheaper because I asked for the pinot grigio listed on the menu, and the sommelier came over to explain that it wasn't cold, but he had these two other types that were similar, and he would bring them down to the price of the otherCache dinner one. I chose the one he recommended, and it was pretty good (a little dry for me, but not too much so). I like Cache because they have a lot of gluten-free items. I had their steak medallions and lobster tails with hollandaise, broccoli, and potatoes. They weren't sure about the hollandaise sauce, so I took a chance. I never heard of putting wheat in hollandaise, but you never know. Anyway, it was all very good. We also went to the Irish Pub, and I had some hot chocolate there. They have a great store next door that has many great gourmet foods, many of them gluten free, so I bought some stuff there as well. We didn't stay out too late but had a nice evening. I stayed up in the hotel working a bit.

  Friday 1/26/18

Dizzy's BistroDavid had his work meeting during the day (the reason we came here), and I slept during that. He was done by lunch time, though, so we had lunch at Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro, one of the places we like. I just had their brie salad, which is very good. It's a salad with brie, chicken, some other kind of cheese, tomatoes, apples, walnuts...I forget all that it has, but it's very good. We just took it easy during the day. I was sick, but I don't know if it was from something I ate during the week, or from Cache.

Later on, we went to dinner at the sushi place. I tested everything I ate, but the problem is that soy sauce and other fermented foods don't show up on the NIMA gluten sensor, so I can't be sure. It was very good, regardless. I had their filet mignon, hibachi style, with some rice and veggies. They have the Yum Yum sauce to go on top of it, which is always delicious.

We went to some other places and then went to karaoke at the usual place, Damgoode Pies. It wasn't very crowded, but there were enough people there. They weren't very enthusiastic, though. They got there, eventually. More people showed up. I got to sing 3 songs. A fourth would have been nice, but it was taking too long. The KJ there is nice, but he's just not very good at his job.great steak dinner For one thing, he has zero personality (Which is a shame because he has a nice singing voice). He doesn't do much to get the crowd into it or anything, other than just asking everyone to clap for you. He plays too much filler music between every song, even when it's crowded. Also, he puts in all the new people at once, which is crazy. It's best to stagger the new ones with the old ones. That way, no one has to wait very long. I went to ask him when my song was up, and he just shrugged. He had no clue. So, obviously he's not very organized. Oh, and pet peeve, he always mispronounces my name. That rarely happens in karaoke. First he called me Susan, then he said Su-ZAHN. He does this often.  Weird!

Anyway, I wanted to try some new songs. First I did "Back in the USA" by Linda Ronstadt. Usually the crowd likes that one, but these guys were pretty dead at that point (the link there is to my home recording of the song a few years back; not the live one from karaoke). No one was doing much besides just tepid clapping. Then for my second song I did "Cruel Summer" by Ace of Base (I think that was also new). This is a pretty well-known song, since it was a hit in the 80's by Bananarama and then a hit again in the late 90's. The table near us loved it and sang along, so that was fun! (the link there is to the live version, recorded on my phone. Here's the version I recorded at home.) Then I did "Thank You For the Music" by Abba, which I just learned last year. It was fun. (This is not the live version, either). It was a weird version of the song, where the chorus suddenly sped up, but I did fine on it. The crowd was great by then. I was planning to do "Different Drum" for my last song, but I never got a chance. Ah, well.  One thing that the KJ has going for him is a really good song selection. Also, the regulars there are very nice, and enthusiastic. He just needs to tighten up his act and be a little more outgoing and fun.

I don't drink much any more, since I take a lot of medication, but I still have a few when I go to karaoke. I either have diet soda with Captain Morgan, or I have a Tom Collins (regular or sugar free). I only have 2 or 3 because it's not good otherwise...

It was pretty chilly today. Brrr! Thursday we had nice weather. I know it sounds like all we do is eat, but we also spend time walking around, stopping in other places, shopping, and relaxing. That's just too boring to talk about!

  Saturday 1/27/18

treats from Dempsey bakeryWe left in the morning and stopped at Dempsey Bakery, which is gluten free. They also had some sugar free stuff that I ordered. Our sorta-vacation was over too quickly, but we had fun. It was very nice. I love staying at the Marriott. It's a fairly nice hotel with a great view of the river, and they have a Starbucks, a bar and a good restaurant. It was chilly today, too, plus foggy and rainy.

After we got home, I put away the bakery stuff. I usually cut everything in half and then freeze it. I had a cheese danish from there for breakfast, so that was great. I love that I can buy gluten free things occasionally, like cheese danish and cinnamon rolls. They had my favorites, too, macarons. I didn't get enough of them, though. I should have ordered more. There were only about 6 and they were tiny. They're usually made with ground almonds, but they make them with sunflower seeds instead. You can't tell, though, by tasting it. I wish they had more sugar-free items. I called ahead and asked them to make me some sugar-free stuff, but they lost their supplier of whatever sugar substitute they were using, so they only had sugar free cookies (which they make with fruit). Too bad. I tried to talk her into using Splenda, but she doesn't like the taste of it.

I did quite a lot of unpacking and other stuff after we got home. I made some more pizza and it was very good.

  Sunday 1/28/18

David got his hair cut. We had lunch at Antigua's and then went to Brookshire's for groceries. He likes to go by there for this one frozen dinner he enjoys. They were out of my chicken nuggets again! I'll have to wait until next weekend to get it, I guess, since we didn't go to Wal-Mart. I was going to stop and get a soda, but I decided not to, since I'm cutting back on caffeine.

Although I missed Brandy, it was nice to have some peace and quiet without her! :)

I don't think I did anything too interesting...just worked on my site, did the laundry, and picked up around the house. I did wash the dog's toys as well because they were pretty grungy, especially the ones she left outside.

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