Monday, March 23, 2009


Well, I have turned in a complete draft of the thesis. It's edits from here on out. Only one more month to go until the defense date and seven weeks until Yellowstone!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The End of the K Bar As We Know It

Thursday was a momentous day, a day for mourning, a day for hope. It was the last day the K Bar, in Gardiner, Montana, was open in the state it has been in for at least 20 years. All places need a face lift at some point, but the K Bar was such a classic Gardiner pizza parlor/bar that it is sad to think of it changing.

Its rustic, western decor of beer sign mirrors, low lighting, loud jukebox, and prominent pool table, bar, and pizza oven are going (or getting hidden). The K Bar is becoming tourist friendly, apparently. Does that mean no more river rats and interp rangers allowed to buy pitchers and pizza? I hope not. Does it mean brighter lighting, cleaner bathrooms, and lower jukebox music? Maybe. The cleaner bathroom would be nice. Does it mean the same rustic, comforting feel as the original bar? Probably not.

Supposedly there will still be pizza, and other "tourist friendly" food. Hopefully there will still be Alaskan on tap, pool to play, locals to talk to, and quarters to put in the jukebox. I've been waiting all winter to play "Chattahoochee" on the K Bar jukebox, darn it!

But, all this is speculation. Matthew worked on closing night when the lights went dim in the K Bar. Until the return to Yellowstone in May, we'll have to rely on his updates about the end of the K Bar as we know it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Binoculars and a 10X Zoom

This year we really got hooked up with the Jazz Fest. Kami gave us tickets to Latin Grooves on Wednesday, and Erik gave us 6th row tickets to the Big Band night on Saturday! Both shows were amazing and full of energy. It was great to have close seats and watch the musicians. They were so stoked to jam with each other and play awesome jazz!

Other people also liked watching the artists, namely Mr. Binoculars and Mr. 10x Zoom.

On Wednesday night, a "big band" Latin band played some pretty pumping salsa music. And, as a special treat for the audience (the theme was "everybody dance" for the Jazz Fest...), the band brought along two dancers to show us how to move it, move it, to the Latin Grooves. Out walked the dancers in full spangled glory! The male dancer was fully dressed in a gold shirt and beige pants. But the woman, oh my, she was dressed in tight, tight, gold hot pants and a gold spangled halter top with no back. She had gold leggings on and gold heels. WOW! As soon as those two got on stage and started shaking their booties, the crowd went wild.

Just in front of us sat an older couple. The woman looked very refined and professional. The man looked pretty refined and had a big, grey beard. But he had some powerful binoculars with him (even though we were in row 17 or something. As soon as that female dancer started shaking her gold spangled body, he slowly raised the binoculars up to his eyes. It was like slow motion but like he was thinking, "Oh my goodness, hot young babe shaking her booty, I gotta check this out!" And his wife just went on watching....

On Saturday night, Gretchen Parlato, an amazing, beautiful, etherial vocalist sang. She was really beautiful, dressed in an elegant, playful black dress and pumps - a look straight out of New York City. Well, she started singing, and Brian poked me in the side saying, "This guy doesn't have binoculars, but he has a 10x zoom on his camera!" And sure enough, another older couple sitting in front of us (row 6 this time) were watching the concert. The man was very excited about capturing shots of the whole show, but whenever Gretchen Parlato was on stage, that 10x zoom shot up in front of his eyes and he was snapping away.

I think Mr. Binocular and Mr. 10x Zoom really enjoyed Jazz Fest this year.