Friday, April 25, 2008

New arrivals

It's crazy here in Missoula as the school year winds to a close. There are a few loose ends to tie up before the semester ends and oh yeah 4 finals to get ready for. My Math final should be no sweat but the others will be very challenging. I'll be so happy to be done with my Macroeconomics and Geology classes. The professors have been fine but the subject matter has been testing my attention span :-)

In the midst of all this chaos, two great things have happened during this past week. Theresa became a first time grandma and my cousin Jay and his wife Lisa also became the proud parents of twin girls!

Aleah Marie was born to Theresa's son David and his wife Sarah last Saturday. Theresa and Dustin were over in Helena for a meeting so the timing couldn't have been any better. Aleah is so cute and I couldn't be happier for her grandma and parents. It will be awesome to get to meet Aleah and watch her grow up. The first two pictures are of little Aleah in case your wondering.

My cousin Jay and his wife Lisa became first time parents on Wednesday. Sabrina and Summer are both healthy and doing great. My grandma is thrilled to be a first time great-grandma twice over and I'm so happy for her. It will be great to watch the twins grow up and it's exciting to see another cousin start a family. The last picture is of the twins with a very proud papa.

I'm in the process of making my plans for this upcoming summer. Summer school lasts until June 20th and that will give about an 8 week summer vacation. At the end of June, I'll be heading east back to North Dakota for a visit. I'll be home for about a week and I can't wait to see my family and friends. Hopefully they will all still recognize me HA HA The rest of my summer will consist of bumming around Missoula, attending a few Osprey games and of course taking in the Western MT Fair. Definetly not a bad way to spend summer in Big Sky country.


"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." --Truman Capote

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Return of the Rocket Man

It’s been a little while since an update but school has kept me well occupied. Two weeks to go until finals are here, and then I’ll have a short break before summer school begins. I’ll be taking Intro to Poetry to fulfill my humanities requirement. Hopefully it will be somewhat interesting.

On Friday April 11th Sir Elton John returned to Missoula for a much anticipated encore performance. We had been waiting for several months to see Elton and the wait sure was worth it. He rocked the house and treated the Garden City to an evening that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

We arrived at the arena about 90 minutes before the show and the line was already quite long. After what seemed like an eternity, we made it inside the arena to our seats which were amazingly close to the stage. The crowd was giddy with anticipation as they waited for this music legend to take the stage.

The house lights went dark and the crowd went absolutely crazy. The lights came back up and Elton started right into Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding which is a personal fave of mine. Elton’s piano mastery was something to behold and what a way to start things off. He then went right into the Bitch is Back before saying hi to the frenzied crowd. After almost every song Elton would pump his fist in the air or get up and interact with different sections of the crowd.

He played all the hits during his 2 ½ hour set and gave the audience all he had. I really thought these songs stood out: Take Me To The Pilot, Levon, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, Rocket Man, Philadelphia Freedom, Pinball Wizard, I'm Still Standing, and of course Your Song. It was unreal as Elton and his band kept playing song after song. Thought maybe he was planning on playing all through the night :-)

I’ve attended quite a few concerts in my life and this performance ranks right up there. This Missoula moment will be pretty hard to top that’s for sure. Enjoy the pictures/video clip and I’ll be back in a couple days with a few exciting bits of info.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A part of history

Anticipation flowed through my veins as I awoke early Saturday morning. Barack Obama was in Missoula and in a few short hours I would be listening to him speak! A moment like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Theresa, Dustin, and I made our way to the Adams Center about 9 a.m. Surprisingly traffic wasn’t bad as we drove through the campus but the line of people waiting outside the arena stretched for blocks. We made our way through the massive crowd and one of the Obama volunteers spotted us and helped us inside. There was a short delay while we waited for security to inspect our wheelchairs but soon we were on our way to our seats.

We sat up in the skybox level which was a long way from the floor but we could see the stage pretty well. You could feel the electricity build as the arena filled up to capacity with eager spectators. Cheers emanated through the crowd as the 10 o’clock hour approached. Things got kicked off with Missoula mayor John Engen and he was followed by several other campaign staff and volunteers.

At around 10 a.m. Barack was introduced and he made his way to the stage as the thunderous chords of U2’s City of Blinding Lights blared overhead. Missoula was on its feet and ready to hear the man and his message.

I was expecting Obama to be a wonderful orator and he didn’t disappoint. He’s been criticized as having little substance in his speeches but I didn’t find that to be true at all. He has many excellent ideas and thanks to Dubya’s 8 years in power, it may take some painful measures to turn things around. Healthcare is a big concern for Obama as is the need to cut taxes on those earning $75,000 or less. I also liked his idea of providing large tax credits to college students in exchange for community service work.

Barack left the stage after talking over 45 minutes and I don’t think anybody left the arena disappointed. Missoula made history last weekend with visits by two presidential contenders and I’m glad to have been a part of it. I’ve included some pics and video of the Missoula speech courtesy of


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Obama Time

After much speculation, Barack Obama’s campaign announced that the Senator will be making a stop in Missoula Saturday morning. He will be speaking at the University arena and they are estimating a crowd of 7,500 people.

Theresa, Dustin, and I got on Obama’s website last night and were able to secure three tickets before they were all gone. We are all so excited at the chance of seeing a historic candidate in an election year like no other. Obama’s optimism is something our country has been lacking for many years and I feel he is the man for the job. I will post some pictures if we’re close enough to take any.

My breathing is much improved since last weekend’s episode but I’m a little fatigued yet. The meds seem to be working good and I’m sure that I’ll be feeling 100% very soon. Theresa has been taking great care of me along with the assistance of our Nurse Ugga the Pug :-) I still marvel at how in tune animals can be when their humans aren’t feeling up to par.

That’s it for now but I’ll be back this weekend with an update of the rally. Peace…Mark

It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today. -- Barack Obama