Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hoods Up.



I'm pretty careful to not reveal my school, but it's a little hard to avoid this week because we've been all over the news. Our theme for the year relates to remembering the fight to end segregation in our schools. But with the developments in the Trayvon Martin case, our faculty and students are reminded that's it is still tough to be young and black, or Hispanic or for my Virginia students, an Arab American. Our students were talking about the incident, and they expressed a need for us to address it as a school.

So the students marched this week. On Tuesday, 150 8th grade students made a big loop around the property. On Wednesday, 186 7th graders made the same walk. I almost cried watching the seventh graders marching because they were so quiet and took it very seriously. Not everyone had their hoods up, but they were all willing participants. (Teachers made sure students could opt out without pressure from their peers.)

When they finished marching, students formed a big circle in the gym. Our vice-principal asked a series of questions, and they responded by stepping quietly forward. We asked if they had discriminated, been discriminated against, stood up to a bully and lost someone to violence. Far too many students stepped forward with that last question - it is incredibly sobering to see the effects of violence on our young students.

Addressing issues of race, class and injustice are never ever easy. Thankfully I work with a staff and a leadership team that is willing to unpack tough issues and to help students have difficult conversations.

Here's the links to the news stories.
Channel 41
Channel 4
Channel 9

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photoshop Magic.

This is probably only funny to me, Lindsay and Rachel. But it makes me giggle, and I decided to share anyways.

Here's the back story. One time my sister cropped me out of a photo and then used it as her profile pic on Facebook. In all fairness, I was looking RIDICULOUS in the photo and without me it was a pretty cute picture of her with her boyfriend. But Lindsay, Rach and I all got a really big kick out of adding ourselves back into the photo of Lauren and Mark. Here's another round of this very funny game.

Photo #1 - Setting the Stage at the KU v. MU game. (Richard is a good sport!)



Photo #2 - BFF Rachel makes her debut. (This photo should look familiar.)



Photo #3 - Little Lauren probably didn't want to be left out. She goes to KU after all! She's a little overdressed, but we're so glad she's there too! (Photo from here!)



Thanks for humoring me. Or shaking your head at my nonsense.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Graffiato in DC.

After we played for a bit at the National Building Museum, we were hungry. So Emily, Rachel, the boys and I started walking through downtown aiming for Clyde's. But we turned the corner and there was Graffiato, Mike Isabella's new DC restaurant.

Now normally Top Chef type restaurants (besides We, the Pizza and Good Stuff Eatery) are not super kid friendly establishments. And I'm not sure Graffiato fits the bill either, but it was really quiet for a Tuesday at lunch time, so they accommodated us. They did make a poor choice in seating us directly next to the only other people on the first floor. We would have been fine in the corner and then Finley's monkey wouldn't have gone flying under their booth that one time.

In the mad dash that is eating with two little boys, we chose small plates very quickly and consumed them as soon as they arrived. The flat bread pizza was good and the lobster risotto delicious. The waiter refilled our diet cokes three times. Yum!

During the rush to eat all the deliciousness, I got pretty distracted. Then I looked up to see Mike Isabella sitting at the counter in the back! This was my second time sharing a restaurant with the chef. (Here's the first time - embarrassing picture included.)

I skipped the photo op for me and snuck him into this photo of Rachel and the boys instead.



Perfect photo: shows a squirmy Braden, a dancing Finley, a monkey wearing his "church jacket," Rach making the best of it and a FAMOUS CHEF.



This is a totally normal Rach photo. Also, I don't know what happened to her kids. They are suddenly not in the camera frame. 



Emily was there too. Yeah! Whirlwind low light photos to match our quick and famous lunchtime meal.

Monday, March 26, 2012

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor.



Like so many other Americans this weekend, we saw The Hunger Games. And it was AWESOME. I wasn't worried about being disappointed because preliminary reviews were good, and I did really really love it. I was so impressed with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) from start to finish. It did get a little nauseating sometimes (whoa hand held camera!), but that also allowed some of the pretty violent stuff to be less intense. Four stars. Two thumbs up. Go see it!



Some other notes about the Hunger Games:
  • AMC movie theaters around the country show our downtown KC movie theater in the opening credits. AMC Mainstreet is classy inside and out. I love the cheap theater by my house, but this theater definitely has an awesome feel smack in the middle of downtown.
  • Nine of us saw the matinee together, those above and out of camera range Jon, Kate and Tara. Erica is squatting in the front, and we're laughing at how that doesn't make any sense because she is the shortest one in the photo.
  • If you are really pregnant, like Tara is, the motion in the movie is a little too much.
  • I have terrible movie anxiety. I hate getting there late and not getting choice seats, so the reserved seats helped a little. This arriving early anxiety doesn't transfer to anything logical as I am frequently late to the airport. 
  • While reserved seats are nice, I learned a little about how close we should sit in the theater. We needed to be a couple rows back when I reserved the seats.
  • I feel like I can claim responsibility for the excitement about Hunger Games, at least with people I know. Here's a post where I take credit for it at my old middle school. 
  • Another advantage of AMC Mainstreet? That $4.50 soda my sister is holding is called a small but because it is help yourself, you can get refills!
  • Read the book and see the movie. In either order. You'll thank me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

St. Patrick's Day!



I have this t-shirt that I wear every single year on St. Patrick's Day. Here is the post from 2010 where I explained this t-shirt. This post includes the picture of me wearing it in 2010 and there is no photo from 2011 but apparently I was wearing it while writing this post. Thankfully there are plenty of photos of me in my lucky shirt from 2012!



After Rachel ran the Rock and Roll half marathon, we went to Ted's Bulletin for brunch/lunch. Almost all of us had been before, but it was super close to Eastern Market and the end of the race. The food was good, the milkshake incredible but the service was just so-so. It was the last time I ate there and also when my friend Vicki went. So that's not great news.



But the milkshake really was incredible. I'm not entirely proud to say this, but I ate the whole thing in about 5 minutes. Flat. Finley loved his homemade pop tart, obviously.



I think in retrospect Rachel's burger with pineapple on it would have been a better choice because I was so full I didn't eat anything until the next day.

Has anyone else developed motion sickness lately? Only some days and only some modes of transportation. The airplane ride home with a belly full of burger was a little rough. I've been a tough traveler all my life so I find this development a little annoying.

Also, to be fair to my digestion, it wasn't just an ordinary burger. It was a burger on an English muffin with a fried egg, a piece of country ham, hash browns and slightly spicy ketchup. Whoops.



Even baby Braden was in on the green action. But just like his big brother, he's too cool for the camera. Silly BTown. I love him so much - look at those sweet little curls that curled up after his nap in his car seat. There was another picture of me with Braden, but I picked this one because I'm not making the ridiculous face I make whenever I take pics with Rachel's kids. Maybe I'm trying to make them smile? Maybe I'm crazy? Tough to say.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crumbs Bake Shop.


Without question, I am a Baked & Wired diehard. I keep trying other cupcake companies, and they are all good, but Baked & Wired in Georgetown remains my absolute favorite. I served them at my graduation party. I carried them home on the airplane for my mom. Their hippie cupcakes with the crazy names (my favorite: The Smurfette - lemon & blueberry!) are my absolute favorite cupcake ever. This is not an exaggeration.

That doesn't stop me from trying new cupcakes every now and then. Emily and I shopped and explored downtown DC for a little while last week, but then we needed a break. It was 80 degrees in the city, and we were hot! So we went into Crumbs Bake Shop and tried the milkshake cupcake. It was definitely yummy! There was a delicious filling and a very inventive "crumb" topping. We split one and it was plenty for both of us. I definitely liked it, but not enough to buy another cupcake to take home and eat later. I couldn't cheat on Baked & Wired like that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What Are You Writing Down?



I'm about to get very very bossy. But this is pretty important stuff.

The generations ahead of us were careful to document their life. There are photo albums in my family filled with my grandparents as young people. Same for my parents. I know about the places they went, the fashions they wore and can identify many of my family relatives in these vintage and heirloom photos.

My generation, this digital camera and Facebook generation, stinks at this.

Think about your actions for a second. Are you writing down or keeping the photos from your life right now? Will your children know the things you did before them? Or with them when they are babies? What about when they are squirmy middle schoolers? Are you keeping track of the places you go? The people you meet? The things you accomplish?



The internet doesn't count. Facebook doesn't count. Your children won't access the digital files on your computer and marvel. Those people will be strangers and your adventures forgotten.

You have to write it down. You need to put pictures with words and label what is important. I take this pretty seriously. I scrapbooked everything from my freshman year of high school until about 2008. And then I started recording things on the blog, stories which I love even more. They are current with a greater focus on my photos and words and less on the stickers and layouts. Also, it's way cheaper.

While I'd love to read your blog, I think this can be accomplished in many different ways. You could buy one of those acid free albums and put 4 x 6 photos in them and label them. Genius. Exactly as our grandparents did it.



You could download a very simple program from Blurb and put your photos and words in there. My very thick book full of posts from 2010 cost about $90 for 300 pages. (And Blurb downloaded all my posts for me into the program!) It's so full of memories it might explode. I also created one for our trip to Europe in 2010 and 2009 blog posts. 2011 is in the works.

Try Shutterfly. Or MPix, my new favorite Kansas based company. Or that photo book from WalMart. Just put something together.

I hope you feel a little guilty. But you are responsible for keeping track of your life.*

*If you are frequently appear on this blog, and you would like copies of anything I've written or photographed, just let me know. I'm happy to help you remember. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bar Crawl in Mankato.

Thanks so much for your sweet comments on yesterday's post. It was neat to hear about people that could relate, and good to hear that I'm not alone. It's amazing how places and new and old homes pull on our hearts. But before I spent that bittersweet time in Virginia, I spent time in my mom's home town.

On a bar crawl.

Yes, all my cousin's friends were in town for her shower so my uncle planned a night out on the town. Mankato is home to two bars, and neither one was left behind on our bar crawl. We walked from my aunt and uncle's house to our first stop, Critter's.



Uncle Keith was our charming host and bought some delicious pitchers of cold brew. And for all who wonder about my height - it really comes from both sides of the family. Uncle Keith is plenty tall as well.



Even though we only had two bars to get to, Keith kept us on schedule. After Critter's, we headed just a block north to Bob's Inn. More beers and pizza ordered to go!



Lauren, Sasha and I all remember the old Bob's Inn with really greasy hamburgers and swirling stools. The updated version is still charming. As are my grown-up sister and cousin. WAH! Where did the years go?



It didn't get too crazy, but we were noisy strolling home down the middle of Main Street. Because that's how you bar crawl in Mankato, Kansas on a Saturday night.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Real Talk.



Since I moved back to Kansas City, I've been to Virginia once to visit everyone. That weekend was packed full with a wedding, visits with babies and friends that I didn't really have time to stop and think about what it meant that I no longer lived there.

This trip I was in Virginia for longer with less to-do. So I had more time for thinking and reflecting. Friday night, I was the last one to bed. This happened commonly when I lived with Rachel's family for over two years. I picked up a little bit around the house because I didn't want Rach to worry in the morning (another half marathon for her!), and it all hit me. I sobbed as I wiped down the counters and picked up the books.

The pile on the top of the stairs wasn't for me to carry down to my place.
Finley doesn't say "Tori!" whenever I walk up the stairs.
Rachel and I don't sit on the couch next to each other problem solving photoshop for hours each week.
We don't share meals at the big brown table. Sol's not bringing something in off the grill.
I won't see Braden learn how to walk.
The nursery that Rachel, Sol and I painted in March 2009 is an office again.
Sol and I aren't planning the spring planting for our garden.
Someone else sleeps in my room. Other people use my green kitchen. 
I still confuse which drawer in Rachel's kitchen has the dishtowels and which one has the baggies.
Rachel and I aren't carpooling to work again on Monday.
I will miss Finley's birthday party for the first time. I won't help decorate and photograph.
Belle wasn't in the backyard scratching to come in.

I struggled not just with the memories in the house. I saw some of my other friends in the area and was sad for those memories too. I drove through the city and missed the stupid, annoying traffic and my natural instincts for getting around so easily on the Metro and by car. Beyond our house, I cried because

Jill D. doesn't say "You're a doll!" whenever I help her with something at school.
I don't get to go to the movies with Emily.
Kate P. and I can't lament how much we miss the Midwest because I live there again and she doesn't.
I can't try new restaurants I read about on the blogs.
On Sunday I won't go to church in Vienna and Whole Foods.
The Fitzgibbons and I aren't going to play Bananagrams any time soon.
I won't see Adrienne again next Wednesday for our grad school meeting. 
Vicki's not coming back from her trip abroad so we can go to brunch.

I'm so happy in Kansas City. I love my job, volunteering, my church. I'm beyond thrilled to be home with so many friends, close to my family and to have met Richard. But it was really important for me to sit and miss my Virginia life. It was the best blessing for two years, and I do miss it. I know it is super cliche, but I can't think of a better way of describing it - the people and places in Virginia have a permanent spot in my heart. It's not budging. It's far too valuable and stuffed to overflowing with the happiest of memories.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Friday.



A trip to the farm wouldn't be complete without the obligatory photo of a cat. This is one of the furry beasts that lives right by the farmhouse. The day we left was overcast, but the cats don't seem to mind.

According to my uncle, there will be new groups of kittens on the farm soon. Farm kittens are almost impossible to tame, usually because they are hidden away in hay bales by their mothers. When we were little, we named many of them after horses in the Kentucky Derby. One time my friends visited the farm and tried to name all the kittens after food. Little peanut butter. Sweet marshmallow.

Those names didn't really stick. Not like Pippen, Princess, and Fancy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sasha, Getting Married.



Our cousin Sasha is getting married in May, and there was a great family and friends shower for her last weekend in Nebraska. There's a beautiful winery in the town near my grandparents' farm, and it's the perfect location for a shower. Bonus: wine in the afternoon!



While we could sample any of the wines, we drank the "Tornado" series of wines at the shower. I love a crisp white chardonnay, but the raspberry Tornado wine tore straight through to my heart. Pun intended. 



There were sugar cookies, friends and really cool presents. And family! Three generations from my family, plus assorted cousins of the first and second varieties. It was the kind of shower where we passed around the presents and got to see all the sweet gifts Sasha received. And only one glass of wine was spilled! That's pretty successful!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lucky Cookies.



Hello from Northern Virginia! There is very little Irish about our plans for the week. Well, probably an appearance by this t-shirt. And hopefully a green beer. I kicked off the holiday with these cookies last week and delivered them to all my friends. I was like a little cookie delivering leprechaun.

I didn't mess with the recipe of the frosting or the cookie, and they were still very yummy. The black and gold cookies are supposed to be pots of gold. I started with a cauldron and ended up with too much black compared to the bright happy green!



A little luck already on my trip: I got to ride in Frontier's "stretch seating" for free and no one was sitting next to me. A lovely bonus because I was in pretty bad need of a nap. It was a good first day on Tuesday with Rachel, BTown, Finn, and Emily! (More later...)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pup Pup.



Wouldn't you know as soon as I wrote about Belle running away that she would make an escape? It was totally my fault because I left the gate open to the backyard yesterday. The first time I let her out in the backyard, she didn't notice that I left the gate open. The second time, she didn't come back very quickly. I said to Richard, "Do you see Belle?" and realized with a sinking stomach, I left the gate open.

As we prepared to go search the neighborhood for her, I was pretty mad at myself. But here's the really weird thing: as we walked out the door to look for her, Belle came right back up to Richard. All he did was call her name, and she came back.

Apparently, my dog has grown up and laps through the neighborhood in the dark are no longer her idea of a good time. We didn't even have to drag her back inside. She just walked back to her cozy bed. So weird.

Spring break starts at the end of the day. We're excited. Here's my favorite seventh grade story for you from the week.

Teacher: Steven, why don't you turn in your homework? It will help you in class and to make you a better reader and writer.
Steven: You take up enough of my time during the day.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pillows with Personality and Pattern.


After the purchase of the yellow bird chair (#put.a.bird.on.it), I could have gone two ways with other design accessories. I could have been a little bit boring, and chosen neutrals so that the bird chair really shined in the living room. Because I'm rarely boring, I went the other way and made very few decisions that were safe.

Now the living room is full of VERY bright patterns and colors, and I'm happy about that. The latest addition is the red and white chevron pillow from a sweet etsy shop, Modernality. It has a hidden zipper on the bottom and stuffed very nicely with a 16" pillow from Hobby Lobby. If you've forgotten, the bird pillow was a Pottery Barn clearance steal ($12.99 including the insert because it is an outdoor pillow). The red pillow with a button closure is also PB, and definitely a classic.

I'm not sure what a classically trained interior designer would say about all this, but spread out around the chairs in the room, the pillows add a lot of personality to the little house.

P.S. A photographer's note about these photos. I took them with the natural light from the front door. But I was too close to the chair with my 50mm for the photo to be in focus. So I opened and held the front door, held Belle by her collar, and shot (on manual) with my free hand. Surprisingly, the shots turned out and she didn't run away! If you like to laugh at Belle running away, read this or that. You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wabash CannonBALL!



On Thursday my mom emailed that she had just been offered last minute tickets to the Wabash CannonBall on Friday night. Who wants to go? It was an email race between Lauren and me, but of course we both responded lightning fast. We both wanted to go! Thankfully the sweet host made room for all three of us, and my mom got to avoid making a choice like Sophie.

For the record, I've never seen the movie. People reference it all the time. Rachel and I ordered it from Netflix, and it was at our house for several months. No exaggeration. We could not bring ourselves to watch it (we heard it was sad). We're still not entirely sure what the plot is about, but we're pretty sure that a mother has to make a choice. Maybe we'll get around to it one of these days...



We threw together some party clothes and had a great time visiting with all our old pals. There were less young couples around than the last time we went, but we still knew so many people. Especially my mom! No dancing for us, just a fabulous meal and lots of hanging out in pretty dresses. The evening raised over $400,000 for K-State scholarships, something I can totally get behind. Go State!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blanc Burger and Brunch at Succotash.



These meals have two things in common: they were eaten with friends and they involve EGGS! I made a maiden voyage to Blanc (hello beautiful burgers!), and my camera made it's first trip to Succotash.

Blanc: Burger + Bottles has a really modern vibe. And fried cheese curds. Wisconsin born Richard says he never ate fried cheese curds until he lived in the KC area, but he always appreciates cheese curds. Who can resist them? They serve them with a dipping sauce which you really don't need.

All the sides come a la carte and really in a CART. What a funny pun. A la carte? Shopping CART? Hilarious. The side dishes were just okay (besides the cheese curds). This is the only category where I would give a slight advantage to BRGR where they have truffle tater tots. Yes, please and thank you.



But the burgers were really beautiful. My friend Ashley believes in eggs on burgers, something I wholeheartedly support. Here's his Kobe burger with an added egg. My bison burger came with an egg on it and was perfect. Whenever I write about burgers, I want another one. I might need one today in fact.

Their beer selection also deserves a shout out - we tried probably over ten different beers in our group. It's fun to go with brew expert Ashley because he's always full of helpful beer tips and gets way excited. Richard's chocolate stout was so so good - and Ashley says it is PERFECT when served with my mom's favorite New Glarus (Wisconsin!) fruit beers. We'll be looking into that!



In a significantly less modern space, we had brunch at Succotash on Sunday. It's a total hipster joint, staffed by hipsters, and it's small and funky enough to exist in Brooklyn. For the second time, we tried one of their fresh squeezed juices, and the Cubano was delicious. It's so frothy from the juicer, but the flavors were perfectly balanced with pineapple, cucumber, lime, mint, and a little orange. We liked it more than the limeade we tried last time.



Jon's biscuits and gravy was good, but he said not as good as RJ's Bob-be-que. I'm going to trust him on this because I don't love B & G.


Richard's pigs in a blanket were fantastic. Thin, crepe like pancakes with sausage inside. I maybe asked for more than one bite. I had a healthy egg white and smoked salmon omelet, and Erica had a really pretty pancake. I do not love going to early church (9 am) instead of the late service (10:45). But I do LOVE brunch so I can be easily persuaded to get the day started earlier. Sometimes.

The things I do for syrup. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Two Teams Played Basketball. I Watched.



If you're going to be offended that I wanted KU to beat MU (traitors), then you should stop reading. Because after watching the K-State game a week ago, I definitely changed into a vintage Kansas t-shirt to support my birth state and my friends who love their school. It's not a KU shirt but my favorite Kansas design - What do you mean "Where's Kansas?" - in baby blue.

Abbey is marrying a KU man, so she's even sporting some red and blue. And everyone's favorite Jayhawk, "Sexy Legs Jayhawk." We watched the game on the very full second floor of the Cashew. Abbey and I are drinking the "Jayhawk" Martini - half price during the KU game. See how it looks kind of like a Jayhawk? Squint a little.



KU won in the last official gathering of the Border War. Lauren and Mark were in Allen Field House - and so was John Brown! Just kidding, it was just a guy from law school that my sister knows. I told the students who just finished that part of Kansas history, and they thought it was hilarious.

I was glad to watch it with these women - all former Village employees and good friends from our time working together at the church. Lindsay was in town from Texas, and I was super thankful to spend the game day with her. I also wanted to be sure and post these pictures today since it's her birthday! Happy birthday Linds!


Richard was there too and sported his K-State shirt all day. All of our bar tabs were labeled K-State so they could remember who we were. So pretty much it was like we were all K-Staters anyways.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Six Books of February.


I overcompensated for the one book of January by reading six books in February. Thank goodness for Leap Day or Devil On My Heels would have been in March. Here they are in order that I read them.

Reaching Out The third book by Fransisco Jimenez, I still love this story of his life. Teachers, family, faith and true love. Also, spoiler alert, Cesar Chavez! I read the first two books last year when I taught about immigration, and we've passed this one around at school this year. Read it if you read the other two. Or start with Breaking Through.

A Whole New Mind made me panic, quite a bit. It's a nonfiction book by Daniel Pink about how to survive in the 21st century you have to take all those left brain tech skills and use your right brain skills to make it. Left brain is not enough. It's about connections and creativity. He writes like Malcolm Gladwell, so if you like that type of book then you will like Pink's book. As always, it made me worry about what we teach in the public schools. Some days it feels like we're creating testing robots, not learners. It is not an education book, so there are applications in whatever field you work in!

Scent of Rain and Lightning was our book club book, and it was easily the longest discussion we have had about a book in a long time. I was practically begging Tara to ask another question. I read the entire thing the day I went to Arkansas with Tara, and I really did like it. Super thankful that it wasn't predictable, and that the Kansas author embraced so many Kansas things we loved. The weather, small rural town and cowboys were pretty close to perfect.

Still Alice was highly recommended time and time again by Candi, as well as my friend Sarra. It's a tough read and should come with a fair warning: I cried several times. It's also beautifully told. I don't want to tell you too much except that it is the story of Alice, a Harvard professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in her early 50s, and the story is told through her eyes. I'm a sucker for books set in Boston, so I loved how the setting ties throughout the entire story.

Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America is a satire based on the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. A gift from Richard, it's a pretty clever collection of silly stories from all the fictional residents of Pawnee written by the greatest bureaucrat there ever was, Leslie Knope. I didn't read it all in one setting but off and on over the month. I really really love Parks & Rec, so I liked the stories in the book too.

Devil on My Heels takes place in Florida in 1959 during the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. It's a young adult story, but wraps together a coming of age story with a storyline similar to The Help and To Kill a Mockingbird. Basically: a white girl realizes life isn't totally fair and that actually people she interacts with all the time are racist. A few parts of it were a little slow, but it's a good book to add to the library in my head. It's nice to say to a student, "OH! You liked that book? Cool - try this book next!"

If I could be really bossy and tell you what to read, I'd pick Still Alice and Scent of Rain and Lightening. Happy reading!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kansas City Skyline, Two Views.



Without a doubt, you know how much I love all things Kansas City. But I had never been to the World War I Museum or up in the Liberty Memorial. Richard, a non-native Kansas Citian, has been many many times so he set out to fix that a couple weekends ago. And it was such a beautiful day for the view! You can see everywhere from the Kauffman Center to the Sprint Center, with my church nestled right next to the Sprint Center in an old music venue.



It really is pretty high up in the Liberty Memorial (top photo) but you can still see plenty at the base as well (bottom photo). As I referenced in a ridiculously long post last week, it was a great World War I filled day. I really liked the museum, though there is more I still want to watch and read. The top of the Liberty Memorial is getting added to my "Kansas City Visitors List."

The play/musical, Billy Bishop Goes to War, was an excellent World War I fighter pilot story. We couldn't decide if it was a musical or not because while they sang, it was more just period music than the story. A tough call really. "Billy Bishop" reminded me of my extensive time at air shows as a kid. And at musicals. Thanks Dad and Mom for preparing me for Billy Bishop. I'm sure that is exactly what you had in mind.