Annual photo day

Every year, around her birthday, Steffie has a picture taken, which Helaine and I then hang in the hallway leading to our bedroom. Over the past few years we have started going to the mall photographer, with pretty good results.

Over the past few years we’ve also started bringing Ivy along, which causes some logistics problems. Malls aren’t exactly dog friendly.

Helaine made the appointment and we brought Ivy and Steffie in just before the mall opened and before the photographer was jammed with screaming little kids.

Once again, it’s a really nice photo.

Rick Springfield at Foxwoods (photos by Stefanie Fox)

I’m not sure how Helaine and Steffie could do this… I’m certainly not sure why they’re so motivated… but I know they are. In fact, they are one step short of ‘cult like’ when it comes to Rick Springfield.

Helaine first got hooked over 30 years ago during the “Speak to the Sky” era and kept her affection during General Hospital, Jessie’s Girl, Hard to Hold and beyond. Now, Steffie is right there with her.

I was able to get tickets, through a friend at Foxwoods, and Helaine made reservations so we wouldn’t have to schlep back after the show. We arrived mid-afternoon and checked in. Then, we headed to the box office to pick up their tickets (none for me, thanks).

Unreal as it seemed to me, there was already a sizable contingent of women, mostly sitting on the floor, in line, hoping to be first in. For most shows, Foxwoods Fox Theater has general admission with maitre’d seating up front and reserved in back.

We ate at Foxwoods’ buffet. It’s not Vegas. What can I say.

Helaine and Steffie headed to the show around 8:00 (Steffie taking my digital camera for more photos) while I headed to the poker room. Unfortunately for me, the wait was so long I knew I’d never play before the show was over. So, I played some slots and lost $40.

Too early to meet the girls, I hung out in front of the theater finding my friend Vinnie and his wife Jacqueline. After they went in I started talking with Mike, who was running the merchandising.

After a while, three women walked out, recognized me, told me they had an extra ticket, and gave it to me. So, I walked in.

Rick was mid-audience, on a seat, singing and playing. To say the crowd was going nuts was an oversimplification. This was an audience made up of adoring fans… and he was eating it up.

I watched Helaine and Steffie, standing in their front row seats, looking at Rick. It was actually pretty cool to be spying on them because they were having such a good time together.

Being a lone male in this sea of women gave me the ability to move at will through the theater. I went to see Steffie and Helaine and tell them I was there. I saw Vinnie and Jacqueline. I said hi to a few theater staffers I knew.

After the show, I had arranged for Steffie and Helaine to go backstage (actually downstairs, under the stage, in a stairwell) to meet and greet.

Rick and his road manager “Bucky” looked at some photos Stefanie had shot the night before in Westbury. Bucky thought it might be nice to have her ‘rose explosion’ photo sent to the office. Helaine will try and make that happen… if she finds out where the office is.

Both girls had their photos taken with Rick, as he held them. Then, they took a surprise photo, to be held for a later time (and, of which I can’t speak).

There’s no way for me to put myself in their shoes. I’m not sure who in my life would be a comparable ‘get.’ But, I do know they were amazingly affected, and that this was a wonderful time for both of them that they’ll never forget.

Steffie’s photos from both nights are posted in my photo gallery.

Steffie was scheduled to work Saturday afternoon, so while she went to bed, Helaine and I went downstairs to play. I found a $5/10 Texas Hold’em, with a kill (meaning the bets are $5 or $10 except after a pot of $100 when they are doubled). After a few hours, I walked away up $52. I really enjoy poker, and hopefully, am getting better.

Rick Springfield on Long Island (photos by Stefanie Fox)

Helaine and Steffie went to Long Island this afternoon to see Rick Springfield at Westbury Music Fair. I remember Westbury from, I would guess, 40 years ago (and, as I heard, Steffie felt it looked old).

Because the trip could have taken anywhere from 1:30 to 5 hours, they left early. Luckily for Steffie, there’s a very nice, upscale mall nearby. Roosevelt Field is built on the grounds of the airfield where Lindbergh took off to fly solo across the Atlantic.

They said the concert was excellent. I lent Steffie my Fuji S602z digital camera and she took around 100 shots before the battery gave out. The camera was dead, its lens extended from the body. Steffie freaked. But, it was just the battery.

I posted some of her finer shots (and they’re really great) in a photo gallery.

Later today, we’re going to Foxwoods, and Steffie and Helaine will see Rick again. And, Steffie will get fresh batteries for the camera.

He’s back

Just when we thought it was over, “Elden” returned, tapping, smearing, touching up. I have no idea what’s going on on my steps.

Meanwhile, Helaine and Steffie are leaving in a few minutes to see the first of two Rick Springfield concerts, this one in Westbury, NY. They are taking my Fuji S602z camera. I gave Helaine and Steffie some very brief lessons, but we’ll see. With a camera like this, it’s possible to take incredibly great shots… or touch a button and prevent you from shooting anything usable.

My friend Steve told me his DSL installation kit has arrived. I’ll probably help getting everything running. I’ve been tech support to most of the people I know, except the others I know who also do tech support. Helaine figures when I retire I’ll go door-to-door fixing computers and support myself that way. Why not? I enjoy doing it.

I forecast increasing clouds today… which have not yet arrived. I hate waiting. It’s weird having to have the limited perspective of hoping for deteriorating conditions just because I forecast them.

Front steps revisited

Yesterday, when “Elden” left, the stairs were draped with a tarp. So, we left it there and avoided all step contact. During the day, the tarp blew paritally off… guess what? The steps were complete! Oops.

He didn’t come back tonight (it’s his tarp).

Now all we need is the painter and paver to come back and finish the small parts of their jobs that didn’t go right the first time.

My front steps

A few months ago we refinanced the house and then used the proceeds to do some house repair. Nothing major… painting, new kitchen counter tops, more painting, a little roof work.

As it was ending, I noticed some cracks in the mortar on our front steps. We called in a man who had done some work for a neighbor. so far, it has taken as long as painting the inside of the house and it’s quickly approaching the length of the outside painting too.

Remember Elden from Murphy Brown!

Here’s what my beautiful, little, brick steps and landing look like today.