Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yay, spring bloggers

I am, as I mentioned last week, completely enamored of a bunch of Knoxville blogs/bloggers. I wish I could claim that I belong in that group of cool people, but I don't. I'm not young. I'm not hip. I do not have the new taste of the blissful urbanite. I do love downtown/historic Knoxville, but from the distance provided me in my totally rural locale.

Thank goodness no one has to rely on me to be their taste monger.

My favorite Knoxville blog, bar none, is "The Sunsphere is not a wig shop." I wish it were a wig shop. When the Tennessee Stage Company was centered in the Candy Factory, we could get chocolate-covered Rice Krispie treats at the drop of a hat. I miss those 2003 days.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hesitant? Why?

I have been very hesitant to post, and I'm not sure why. I mean, after all, I've been reviewing plays in various places for ages.

The truth is -- we saw "Guy & Dolls" at the Clarence Brown Theater. It was the next-to-last performance of that show. Anything we might have to say about it could not possibly affect the box office receipts of the theatre itself. Yet I'm still hesitant to be brutally honest.

So I'll be glossily honest. It was an OK production of "Guys & Dolls." The director absolutely did indulge in type-casting the same tired graduate students in the same tired sorts of roles we've all seen all season.

However, the imported guy as Sky Masterson, and the under-the-radar 3rd-year MFA guy as Nathan Detroit were both totally bearable in their roles.

The male chorus absolutely out-performed the all-female Hot Box Dancers and such.

But -- dang it, I've seen community theatres kick Clarence Brown butt on "Rockin' the Boat." (Chattanooga Theatre Centre, take a bow -- they completely killed the Clarence Brown on sincere gospel singing.)

I didn't really want to post this snark. I would love to be nicer about productions at the University of Tennessee. I'm not holding my breath about the 2008-09 season, which sounds dull. Yes, I said dull. As in boring. Yawn. Wake me when it's over. I can't believe they're doing "A Christmas Carol" again. Yes, this last December's offering was good - that doesn't mean it should be reprised. So soon.

It's times like these that I wish I had more influence and power... and then I remember that with power comes responsibilities. What? Oh, my! Look! It's a free burrito stand! Gotta go...........

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Twitcher (a.k.a. "evil genius)

See? I said I had lots of cute cards to sell.

Anyway, my left eyelid has been twitching all day. It's driving me crazy. I keep having to hold it shut to make it stop twitching. Since I'm legally blind in my left eye, not being able to see out of it is not at all bothersome. I don't see out of it, anyway. That makes the muscle issues *really* annoying. I don't even need that eye. So why the twitching?

My sister Amy writes this promising explanation, though:
"The uncontrollable eye twitch is a classic sign of evil genius. I knew you were a genius, but the evil part is a surprise."

Oh! That makes me feel so much better. I always wanted to be an evil genius. Instead I turned out to be a cute, poetic, greenthumbed, bird-watching, Thanksgiving-dinner-cooking sweetheart. Dang it. All my plans are going awry.

Wesley and I are going to the theatre at UT tomorrow night, and I am almost sure that they're going to disappoint me. We saw "Major Barbara" last fall. Then the cast of Major Barbara pulled out the very same characterizations for the party scene in "A Christmas Carol." I'm willing to bet my last dollar that the very same graduate students will be cast in the very same corresponding roles for "Guys & Dolls." I haven't read any reviews. I'm waiting to write my own rant.

And yes, that might actually make me a genuine evil genius.

P.S. -- To those who wrote -- and Sara wasn't the only one! -- about the hummingbird nectar and whether or not I changed it. Yes! I did! I have left out nectar too long in years past. I always feel guilty when we go on vacation, too. Will my neighbors change my nectar for me? No? Well, could they just take down the feeder after two or three days? Poor little hummingbirds. I've been getting them inadvertently drunk for years!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I can't get a good shot of this year's first humming- bird!

According to the Humming- bird Mig- ration Maps, the ruby- throated hummingbirds returned to my area on March 22nd.

Hmph. Not at my house. I have had nectar out for weeks and weeks, and it wasn't until Saturday that the level started dipping.

I guess my hummingbirds were having too much of a good time in Mexico, huh? They certainly picked up pointers in zipping away from a camera like Speedy Gonzolez.

[It just occurred to me that I don't know how to spell that character name. This wouldn't happen if it were a Disney character.]

Aside from the hummingbird activity, it was hot here in East Tennessee today. When I left my dentist's office in Lenoir City, the temperature gauge in my beautiful Prius said it was 91 degrees. Ow. No wonder I've already turned my air conditioning on again. I desperately need to plant more shade trees around my house to keep it cooler.

At least the weather forecast calls for more rain. Goodness knows we're luckier this year than last, but I'm glad it's supposed to rain this weekend. C'mon, precipitation!

Besides -- maybe a little water would slow down that blasted hummingbird so I could get a good look at him.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Selfish Bay; or, It's Always Something

I have finally made so many cards that I can't possibly use them all or give them away to family members for Christmas.

So I thought I would sell a few.

I considered the methods. Flea market, mail-order website, yard sale, or standing in traffic and hawking my cards'n'books like a turn-of-the-21st-century paperboy.

Then I saw an item on the Knoxville News-Sentinel's website touting cake at the opening of the Market Square Farmer's Market. That led to a number of thoughts --

I love Market Square. I've loved it for years. When I was an ad agency copywriter working in downtown Knoxville, I loved going to lunch at the Soup Kitchen. Yet it was depressing because dang it, those beautiful old buildings deserved to be saved.

Later, I did a play with a small theatre company in the dilapidated and crumbling old Watson's building. Terrifying. And I loved it. So many ghosts.

I was a volunteer for the Tennessee Stage Company the first year they produced free professional Shakespeare in the middle of the Market Square construction madness. Again -- terrifying. But totally encouraging.

Since then, of course, the construction has been completed. I go to the Preservation Pub to see my far-flung friends come back to Knoxville to play there. Wesley loves to dine at the Tomato Head. I still like to walk through and just see what's on tap at Vagabondia.

(The prettiest scarf I own was purchased at that darling boutique, and I still feel like it was a decadent splurge -- but man, I love that store.)

So, I guess what I'm saying is -- I really love Market Square. And I thought, "Oh, hey, that would be a cool place to sell my paper wares." So I called the phone number for more info, and the nice Charlotte directed me to the Market Square Farmer's Market website, where the vendor applications and regulations are posted.

Dang it.

The regulations point out a couple of things that make it difficult for me to commit to selling my card in the Market Square Farmer's Market. For one thing, they don't provide tables. I don't mind that they don't provide chairs, umbrellas, fans, air conditioning, or any particular paper-specific displays. I mean -- that's just common sense. It's a Farmer's Market, not an art show.

But not only do they not provide tables? They charge $15 per space. Per Wednesday.


How is anyone supposed to make any money?

OK, I know that is just me being seriously whiny. I can't cram any kind of table into my beloved Prius. I don't have any money, so I don't know how anyone scrounges up the moolah for gasoline, the truck rental, the table rental, and the booth fee. I just wanted to display some pretty cards and hang out on Market Square once a week.

Oh, well, there's a side-of-the-road flea market south of Sweetwater. I'll call there tomorrow to see how much their tables cost.

But man, I wish I had an investor -- or a sugar daddy. Hmmmm. Note to self: Dress more scantily and abandon all scruples.

Back to Blog, back to semi-reality

All right. Let's face it. Despite the name of this blog (Bay's Travel Blog), I genuinely suck at travel blogging. I just can't finish a trip report to save my life. And truth be told, I'm not very smooth at the whole blogging thing in general. I mean, other bloggers are able to set aside entire sections for things that have been blogged all in the same thing, or things that have been blogged out of order, or things that are blogged about and linked to at other blogs.

I haven't figure that stuff out yet.

Maybe I will in 2008. I mean, now is as good a time as any. Right?


So it's springtime, and I'm happy about that. Winter was short and mild, but the lack of rain throughout 2007 was worrisome. I'm happy that 2008 is going better.

And I've been enjoying reading the Knoxville and East Tennessee blogs. I'll be linking to my favorites in the next few days. I started reading them because I wish I could publish my own East Tennessee arts-and-entertainment podcast. But I can't figure out how to podcast by myself any more than I can figure out "Technorati" tags. Whatever those are.

I need a Learning Annex course. Or two.