So I did complete 50 New Experiences in my 50th year. I want to be caught up with blogging as 2017 begins, so I’ve combined the last four experiences into this one blog.
This one is a cautionary tale. No photos, few words.
I visited with a nephrologist in October. Some numbers had come up while trying to solve another issue that indicated a potential kidney problem. Fortunately, after some additional poking and prodding (as in any medical visit), there was no conclusive diagnosis, just watch and wait.
I share this mostly as a warning to be careful what you put in your body. My history of running, cycling, and martial arts training means I’ve taken a lot of what we used to jokingly call “Vitamin I.” I’ve often been advised to treat all kinds of pain with NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and like many people, I used them thinking that they were pretty harmless. That is now in the past. One of the few conclusive results of the visit was that I would take no more NSAIDS.
So watch those maximums, both in dosage and duration, and read before you medicate.
In the quest to learn more about our town, and have new experiences, we decided to attend a concert at Brues Alehouse, one of our frequent haunts.
We were intrigued by the description of the all-female ensemble Spinphony–“a cutting edge classical pop fusion group.” So we called Brues and purchased two VIP tickets. In this case, VIP means you get a table and the attention of a server instead of a simple straight-backed chair. Though we ate before the concert, we were glad to be able to sit comfortably and have drinks and dessert.
The music was very high energy. I was a little taken aback by the strong recorded-music background. I’m usually not a fan of recorded backing to live music, but I got used to this after a couple pieces. It hard to describe, so if you’re interested, check out a video here.
A couple of details were intriguing. All of the musicians danced, which meant the cellist stood up throughout the concert. She had a strap to facilitate this, but I think it would still require some significant “getting used to.”
I was not at all surprised to hear that all the musicians were classically trained, you could see and hear that in the performance. I was surprised that there was no viola in the group. Instead one artists was playing a “five string (violin).” I did not know what this was and had to look it up. Apparently it is a viola alternative, with an added lower-pitch string and some popularity as a amplified instrument in country, swing, and jazz. It allows the musician to play parts intended for either a violin or a viola. OK then.
We also, as usual, met friendly Puebloans at the concert. The people sitting adjacent to us knew a lot about Pueblo real estate, development, and restoration, and they knew the whole table of Pueblo Symphony members sitting in the back of the room (who were playing a concert with Spinphony the next day).
It was a fun evening and a nice diversion.
#49: A Presidential Candidate
I’d never gone to a rally for a president or presidential candidate, so when I heard Hillary Rodham Clinton was coming to town, I took the day off for another new experience. Sadly, Maureen had a pre-existing commitment, so she couldn’t go with me. My main impression: there was a lot of waiting. I waited in line to get in (and it was windy and a bit chilly), then we saw a few local- and state-level politicians, and then we waited.
Eventually we did get to see the candidate. I was quite inspired by what she had to say, especially the part about wanting to be a “president for all Americans” (long before this was said by the president-elect).
I am sad that this wasn’t the “part of history in the making” that I’d hoped, but I’m glad I went, and I’ll continue to stand for the values I heard espoused.
#50: The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey
Fittingly, the people who brought me into this world got to be part of the 50th new experience. On my parents’ first visit to Pueblo, we decided to drive out to Cañon City to check out the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. We had a lovely picnic outside the tasting room, then went inside for a few sips. We liked the Riesling, did not care for Apple Blossom, and went home with a bottle of the Vineyard Sunset rosé, which we enjoyed later with dinner. The Abbey itself, which is now a privately-owned events center, was closed since it was Sunday. We did stroll around the grounds, which reminded us of many of the places we visited in Europe.