Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blast From The Past

We watched South Pacific Tuesday night. For some reason neither of us had seen it before. We were both surprised by it. For some reason we were both under the impression that it was going to be a light frothy musical like On the Town. Well, it's not. Oh it has it's fun moments, especially the scenes with Ray Walston, but it has a serious racial acceptance theme. And it was very well done. I imagine that was tough stuff to get out there in 1958. I hope everyone involved with the play and the movie took some pride in what they were doing. But as I always say, this post is not about that.


What this post is about was my surprise in the opening scene of the movie. The setting is a WWII fighter jet bringing a marine on special assignment to "the island." As soon as I saw the pilot, I leaned forward and practically yelled, "Oh my god! That's Billy Jack!" Does anyone else remember Billy Jack?:

Seeing him brought back a lot of old memories. When we moved to Durham from Goldsboro in 1973 we moved to a nice brand new townhouse apartment in a mixed subdivision with houses and our large apartment complex. The whole area was fronted at the highway by a strip shopping center. I was in heaven. I was from a rural area where we had one small country store. I thought I was all "in the city." Of course after I became best friends with a guy from Manhattan, he set me straight. He complained all the time about us having "No place to walk to." Perspectives are funny like that.

The strip mall had a large store called "Murphy's." I guess it was a sort of modern dime store. It had a bunch of cheap things and a cool little diner area. I was addicted to their apple spice cake, which was fine, because I walked all the time all over the place. As you can see in the above pic, our apartment was nestled down by the river. Everything was uphill from there. Closest to my house was the movie theater. It, along with the steakhouse/pizza tavern were named "Riverview." Which is funny, because you obviously could not see the river from any of those places. The steak/pizza place was interesting. The front door opened into a steak/seafood place and there was a little side door at the back which housed the pizza tavern. When the pool (the white block above the Murphy's arrow line) wasn't open, we practically lived in that pizza place. We'd order a pitcher of cider with mugs and imagine we were all grown up drinking a pitcher of beer. We'd even stir our mugs to try to get a froth. Was that foreshadowing or what? (and I bet they hated us.)
My friend from Manhattan, Art, had a Polish last name that was crazy to spell and he had a THICK yankee accent. And of course I was from rural eastern North Carolina so he thought I had a crazy thick accent. We must have seemed like total opposites but we got along like gangbusters. Once a month we were all excited and made the trek all the way down to the 7-11 for the latest Mad Magazine. And we'd get an Icee and some fun candy. It was a ritual that we both loved.
The Riverview Movie Theater was really a piece of work. As you can see by that pic up there, it doesn't even exist anymore. It kinda looks like a softball field or something. It was a funky dirty smelly place. It played B movies that were a few years old and a lot of blacksploitation films. Those "Foxy Brown" movies and stuff like that. Well they ran Billy Jack and we all found it fascinating and went back to see it over and over and the audience grew and grew. It got to where this funky little theater would be actually packed. And we'd boo and cheer and well, I guess that's how cult movies happen.
It's so funny how we booed the "dirty evil authority" and rooted for the hippies. I watched the movie maybe 20 years later and the hippies were just as annoying as the "bad guys." I remember thinking, "Well, pretty much everyone in this movie is an asshole." I felt like I had been duped in my youth. Perspectives are funny like that.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fitting Together

I have a friend who's in a terrible marriage. She always says things to me like, "You're so lucky. I wish [My Sweetie] had a brother." And "Are you sure there's not another [My Sweetie] out there?" The thing is, just because My Sweetie is so great for me does not mean he would be great for her. I really do believe that people are like puzzle pieces. When you connect with people it's like fitting interlocking puzzle pieces together. And in another way it's like music.
One old friend and I reconnected on facebook and I care about him alot. When I was in N.C. when my father died, I called him in Florida and he drove straight up and seemed just as shocked and sad as I was. He and Dad had gotten very close after he returned to N.C. after being in the army. But it's so odd when we talk on the phone. It's like I'm playing classical clarinet and he's playing heavy metal bass. There's no natural flow and it's always jarring. We have awkward pauses or step on each other's sentences. That's really weird to me.
I think when you have a really good fit with someone, whether it's your mate, child, parent or friend, everything flows in a natural way. I guess that's why the word "harmony" is used for both relationships and music.
You always hear people say things like, "We can go ten years without seeing each other and when we get together it's like we've never been apart." Now, that's flow. My husband I and have a "good flow." We are very different and yet seem to think of the same things at the same time. I have that with several people. We "get" each other and seem to be playing complimentary instruments in a well written duet.
I like that. I also like my friend that seems to be in a completely different orchestra. I wonder what's going on there? Oh well, I do like a mystery.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weather or not....

I've said many times that Texans love to talk about the weather. I guess it's because we get such odd and extreme weather here. Whether it's the historic snowfall or hail stones crashing through our skylights or the fact that it reaches 9000 degrees in July, we really do love to talk about the weather. And people love to complain when those poor weather people on TV mess up. But I realized something on Friday: No one ever complains when the TV weather people get it wrong in a good way.

All week last week they were forecasting rain and thunderstorms for Friday. These were supposed to clear up by mid-afternoon. But Friday was beautiful all day long. And no one complained.

At most of my Meals on Wheels stops, the clients usually ask me, "How are you today?" or something like that. On Friday I kept saying, "I'm great! I thought I'd be sloshing around in the rain and it's gorgeous out here!" But I certainly wasn't complaining about the TV weather people being wrong. Nobody was.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My 49th Birthday

Except for the giant dead possum under the deck and Barney going missing for 12 hours, I had a great birthday.
I had originally planned to attend a volunteer appreciation event called "Night at the Museum." All MOW volunteers got free admission and it happened to be on my birthday so I had thought it would be fun to do that and then meet my daughter and her fiance at a Mexican restaurant after they finished class. But what happened was, as I was shopping for groceries on Monday evening, my fifth OUT day in a row, I knew I was done. Except when I am at the beach cottage, I very rarely go out five days in a row and it had worn down my soul or my psyche or something and I knew I wanted nothing more than to stay home. Not only for my birthday but until Friday morning for MOW. I bought the food I needed to make my very favorite comfort food meal as well as the rest of the groceries and went home and I am still here for the next 10 hours. And I have loved every minute of it.
I had to get up early on my birthday to catch the Fed ex guy. I got an awesome package from Lo - a Duke National Championship T-shirt and a cool Duke rock. Damn! I should have taken a pic of the rock. Anyway, later in the afternoon Carole came by. We walked out onto the deck so she could see all of my flowers and that's when we smelled the giant dead possum. Except, we didn't know that's what we were smelling and then I realized that I had not seen Barney all day and my mind went to a bad place. It was easy to pinpoint the spot where the dead animal was by the flies, but I was afraid to look. Carole was brave and said she would look, so we got a flashlight and she got down and looked and told me it looked like a "white-faced possum." Well Barney has a white face. Carole handed me the flashlight and I looked under there and because it was not a great flashlight, I at first imagined I was seeing the pointy tip of Barney's chin as if he was upside down. Then finally my eyes made out the possum's eyes and I realized that "Barney's chin" was in fact the tip of the possum's nose. I tried to convince myself of that anyway, but I was still wondering where Barney was, he never left the yard. Barney has always been in the backyard or the garage.
Anyway we came back in the house and Carole gave me these gorgoeous Asian windchimes:
It's a shame you can't see all the details. The weight at the bottom has symbols and even the little bells have something going on. And the sound is lovely. I cant wait to get that hung up this weekend. When My Sweetie came home, after dealing with the giant dead possum, he gave me two Duke National Championship T-shirts. So now I have three! Three Duke NCAA National Championship T-shirts. woot woot!! The one in the middle is the one from Lo:

I can't wait to wear those. I also got some lovely tulips from My Sweetie:

Although it took me forever, I finally finished cooking my Birthday Meal of barbecued chicken thighs, mac and cheese and asparagus. After dinner, My Sweetie went out to the garage and Barney was there! We were so happy. We had been out calling him off and on all evening. After that, my daughter and her fiance came by and her gift was my favorite bath and Bodyworks lotions. Yum. It ended up being a great birthday.
I have a theory of where Barney was and why, but I'm just glad he's back and he was alright. I took this picture this (Thursday) afternoon:

So now I'm 49, I got some great gifts, Barney's fine and all's right with the world.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Age and Numbers and Whatnot

I'll be 49 on Tuesday and I haven't put a lot of thought into it. To me, this birthday begins the one year countdown to being 50, and it's not because I'll be 50, but because I have big plans. On my 50th birthday I'm going to wake up in New York City, hopefully in a nice hotel near The Met, and I'm going to drink two or three rum and orange juices and maybe drink a shot of some goofy something and catch a cab to Rockefeller Plaza. I'm going to stand outside of "The Today Show" with a big sign that says, "I'm 50 Today From Texas." And being a graphic artist, my "Today" will be the Today show logo and I will include the local Dallas/Fort Worth NBC affiliate logo and I will be on TV and it will be goofy and funny. (My Sweetie will probably stand about 20 feet away from me.) And then I will go back to my NYC favorite plan of hanging out at the Met. Although I should probably stop somewhere and eat first.


But as I always say, this post isn't really about that. (I'm probably the only blogger that starts out with a digression and then gets to the subject at hand.) Saturday we had the three-way shrimp boil birthday party for my brother-in-law, my husband and myself. It was my BIL's 40th birthday and apparently turning 40 has totally freaked him out. And I do not mean that lightly. That guy is seriously freaked out about being 40. Most people think these round numbers are a girl thing, but I did not make a big deal about 40. And he is. I never imagined a man would freak about turning 40. Is that normal?


I was a little bit weird about 29 and 30, which cracks me up now, but 40? Not so much. I do remember hating 37 and 43 and I think that was more about the actual numbers being ugly in my head. I remember how happy I was when I turned 38 and also 44. Yeah, none of that makes any sense. The only reason I remember my 40th birthday is because we have pictures. It also happened to fall on the Friday night of the Main Street Arts Festival.

That picture was taken at The Worthington because we stopped by there on our way out for birthday champagne. I still have that denim jumper because everything comes back in style eventually, right?

I just wonder why my BIL is freaking about turning 40. I wish I still looked like my 40 year old self. But it's all good. Turning 49 just starts the countdown to crazy day.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Photo Leftovers

If you think that because I live in Texas my truck is a big truck, you are mistaken. I call it "my little truck" for a reason. This is my truck in a parking lot. Often I have trouble finding it because it is usually well hidden between the giant SUVs.:
After that big snowstorm where a huge part of one of our trees fell off, one of my MOW ladies also had a terrible mishap:
That fat tree is split on both sides. The people she hired filled it with some big weird foam. I need to take another picture to see how it is doing.
Several Friday nights ago I picked out some of our Halloween pictures and put them in a frame and decorated it it with some Wizard of Oz stickers. I showed it to My Sweetie the next day and he called me a "13 year old girl.":
I will leave you with what I thought was a great line that I left on Facebook in response to a political post:
Freedom is freedom. You can't just pick out the parts you like.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some Things You Just Can't Take Back

Have you ever left a phone message and wish you could somehow take it back? That's one of those things you can't take back.
I stayed up way too late Tuesday night. Way too late. I didn't wake up on Wednesday until 1:30. My hair appointment was for 3:00. At 1:45 I was trying to figure out how I was going to have lunch, shower, get dressed, etc. and get there on time. I thought, "Maybe we can push it back by half an hour." So I walked into the kitchen to read the phone number from the business card on a cork board. I dialed the number and got his voice mail and said, "Hey Tyler, I'm stupid and slept really late. I didn't wake up until 1:30 and I don't think I can make it in by 3:00, how about....." And at that moment I glanced at the calendar and right there, plain as day, is written, Tyler 3:00. But it's written on the square for Thursday, April 15th. So I continued, "Uhm, oh wait, I'm looking at the calendar and it's tomorrow, oh, okay, uhm I'm retarded, oh so okay it's tomorrow, so I'll be there on time, sorry."
I was very relieved that I could stay home and finish with my flowers, and not rush around and all that, but I felt so stupid. I really wanted to be able to just erase that phone call from existence. Then again, he's been my hair dressser for about 21 years, so he probably thought nothing of it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Strange Dates Indeed

Today was flowers day. I wasn't going to do flowers this year until we got back from the beach, but I got to the point where I couldn't stand sitting out on the deck in the nice weather with all the empty pots. The reason I was going to wait was because I didn't want to ask Carole to water all those flowers every day while we were at the beach. (She feeds Barney for us and I figure that's enough to ask.) But I came up with a simple way around this. We bought a soaker hose and a timer and we will line up all the pots on the deck and set the timer. It's all good.
I had a nice day out. I had lunch at Chili's and then did quick hits on the German deli and a grocery store before coming back around to Lowe's for my flowers. (The picture was taken after I took the flowers off of my cart. After that I got up on my truck and moved the flowers up by the cab for the drive. I'm not as dumb as I look.)
When I got home I saw that Carole's daughter's car was there and ran down to see the baby. I was doing my impression of the gross Irish guy from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me but I don't think they got it. I was all "Where's tha bebee?" Maybe they did get it and chose to ignore me. Who would blame them? I love their little guy. He's a cutie.
I came back and put out my little radio and started arranging all my pots into groups and trying to figure out which flower went where, and then started planting. My Sweetie got home and helped me with some stuff and it was all good. Then he lit the grill and I started cooking the brats and I was looking at the sky. Everything felt so good. I stepped back into the house and said to him, "This is really what people call the 'American Dream' isn't it?" I had planted pretty flowers, I was grilling brats on the grill, it was one of those moments where everything just feels so lovely and you're so thankful.
Later I was talking to Carole on the phone and she brought up the giant horrible hail storm. I looked it up on my blog here (which is my blog's whole purpose to me) and sure enough it was the exact same date. So three years ago My Sweetie and I were huddled in the coat closet, listening to the civil alert sirens while giant hailstones were crashing through our skylights into our living room and tonight, three years later, we were planting flowers and grilling brats. Dates are strange like that.
(Happy Birthday Granny Pauline! I sure miss you.
You were the best grandmother ever.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Movie Memories

This post is not so much about the particular movies that I will mention but about the surrounding circumstances. And if you are a law enforcement agent scanning the internet for drug use, let me just say that the drug use mentioned in this post was in 1979 and I stopped buying pot less than a year later when the price went from $40 an ounce to $45 an ounce because I'm stubborn (and cheap) like that, so dear Mr. Law Dude, you are wasting your time here. Okay, on to the movies:

The Exorcist (1973): This was a fun experience because 2 or 3 carloads of us went to see this. It was my parents, my brother, myself and a whole bunch of my parents' younger friends as well as some of my brothers friends. We took up two rows. I had never been to a movie with a group before so it was exciting. The second big part about this was I had never been to a movie with Dad before. (Movie going had started out with my brother, sometimes Mom and my brother, and then later with friends.) The third standout memory was this one guy in our group that was maybe 22 or so leaning forward and asking Dad, "Are you sure she should be here? She's only 12." Dad responded, "Hell, she read the book when she was 10!"

Hitler: The Last 10 Days (1973): This was the first time I went to the movies with just Mom and Dad. It was also how I discovered that Hitler and I have the same birthday.
Jaws (1975): This was my first real car date. I was 14 and Otto was 16 and drove a little yellow MG convertible. I thought I had posted about this but couldn't find it on the blogger search, so I'll post about it in the future and I'll use my 1975 diary explanation of it.
Taxi Driver (1976): This was the second and last movie that I saw with just Mom and Dad. They split up maybe two months after that. I don't remember much about the movie except how creepy Robert DeNiro was, but I always think about it being the last thing I did with my parents. I never watched it again. I don't know why.
Alien (1979): The summer of 1979 was one long crazy party. I had lived in Texas from mid January until early June and had come home to a boyfriend that missed me like crazy, Dad who had missed me like crazy and Dad's new girlfriend (my future step-mom) who now lived with us and was terrified of me (she told me that years later) because all these people missing me had caused me to become a big mythical celebrity in her mind. Somehow the four of us decided to go see this movie that everyone was talking about. High School Boyfriend was driving and as he took off, he reached into his pocket and handed everyone their own joint. We were all like "What?" because pot smoking had always been about passing a joint around, but he decided we should all have our own for this movie. So we all giggled and smoked our own joint. I remember trying to "maintain" as we stood in line for tickets and then getting our seats. And then this happened:
We all screamed like 7 year old girls and probably came out of our seats for a minute. I think we all held hands after that for about 10 minutes because after smoking a whole joint, it was really just TOO MUCH. Even after watching the whole movie, on the drive home all we talked about was that one scene. It was a crazy way to see it.
Wholly Moses (1980): This movie is only worth mentioning because it is the only movie I ever got up and walked out on. I thought it was going to be like a good fun Mel Brooks movie. It had some of the same players like Dom DeLuise and Madeline Kahn. Hell it even had Richard Pryor! But it was awful. Maybe if I hadn't quit smoking pot, it would have been okay.
Body Heat (1981): I really love this movie and can quote lines from it, but this post is not about that. The two things I remember from that night are 1) I got carded. I had never been carded for an R-rated movie in my life and I was twenty when I went to see this. That was really weird. and 2) My date was, without a doubt, the dumbest guy I ever dated and he tried to convince me on the way home that he knew what was going on the whole time. Yeah right.
My last big movie memory is kind of gross. I don't remember the movie, just that it was some sort of scary movie. It was after my car accident. My left humerus was broken in half and I had a big cast from my underarm to my wrist. All I remember is when the first scary thing happened and I "jumped" I felt the little wing of my upper broken arm move out from the lower part of the bone. It was way creepier than the movie. I was with several people and didn't want to ruin their fun, so I just closed my eyes and thought about other stuff for the rest of the movie. So, don't go to a scary movie if you have a broken bone.
Those are my weird movie memories and I would love to hear yours.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Lake Tahoe

My daughter is taking Spanish in college and has to make a presentation about family and has to have a PowerPoint presentation, so she asked me for alot of pictures. While I was flipping through a bunch of old photos I found this 1997 picture of Dad and me at Lake Tahoe.
I didn't even remember this picture and I love it! We had already been to Vegas (in 1987) and wanted to do something like that but different. We thought maybe Atlantic City, but then Dad came up with the idea of Tahoe. We took a limo tour around the lake and really lucked out. Our driver was fantastic: Old school yankee dude with lots of stories. He pointed out past houses of classic celebs like Frank Sinatra and had stories to go with. Later we wondered if he really knew all that stuff, but decided it didn't matter. It was great fun. At some point he pulled into this scenic overlook and told us it was a great photo place and he took this picture of us. And if you think Dad doesn't look happy, it's not that. He didn't like his teeth. We were having a blast.
It was really great to find that old picture that I had forgotten about. And for those of you that I have defended having plastic surgery to, please click to enlarge the picture and notice my left eye. The whole upper lid is falling down over my eye and this was the summer of 1997. I didn't have the upper eye work done until March 1999. I could actually see that skin and it was like always having someone holding a finger in your eye.
Anyway I really love that picture and can't wait to show it to all my old friends that loved Dad too. And if you ever go to Lake Tahoe, take a limo tour around the lake and I hope you get a great driver like we did.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Speaking of Wind

Last week I got a lot of sun. I was able to sit outside Saturday through Wednesday and then my skin let me know it needed a break. After a few days of giving my skin a break I was just too busy to get back outside. Today (Wednesday) I thought, well, my tan is fading and it's nice out, I should sit outside and get some color. But then I was too busy doing stuff. Late in the day I went out to water some plants and EVERYTHING was covered with bright yellow pollen. I wondered if I had sat out for a couple of hours if I would have been covered with bright yellow pollen. I would have gotten some color alright, just not the right color.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wind, Wind, Go Away

I think I've metioned before about how straight-line winds blow things through our skylights. It's very weird, because they do not leak water, but when we have those crazy strong winds, tiny little leaf bits blow in. The worst skylight is the one over the kitchen table. I had to vacuum it today. Who vacuums their kitchen table? It was ridiculous. I realized while I was vaccuming it that it looked like someone had torn up two cigarettes and blown the leaves out of their hand all over the table. It's very irritating and I want this wind to CEASE!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

What a Long Strange Weekend It's Been

I had a crazy long crazy weekend. I stayed up way too late Thursday night and then early Friday morning my friend called from Vegas. She was drunk and crying in a cab because her "boyfriend" had told her to "GO HOME." So I was up for a while trying to figure out what to do and then my phones kept ringing and waking me up. I always imagine that's what cult indoctrination is like because by the last time the phone rang at 2:00 pm and I knew I HAD to get up, I felt really floogy and weird.
I took My Sweetie's car to a brake repair place and walked down to my bar by the grocery store. That part was pleasant. My Sweetie showed up after he got off of work to pick me up. We came home and watched our pre-recorded "Jeopardy!" episodes and had a nice evening. I had a good run of "And One!"s** during one of the episodes and that was great fun.
Saturday, I paced around the house like a panther in a cage. Duke was going to play that night in a Final Four Game. The game finally came around and Duke won! Boom. Just like that, not only was Duke going to the final game but I had won on our brackets. ($)
On Sunday, we went to visit My Sweetie's parents. My FIL who was in the hospital for most of the last half of 2008 is not doing so well. It was all sort of sad. I thought about not posting that because he used to check in here from time to time, but when my MIL called to ask if we could download and bring some IRS forms because "[he] couldn't figure out how to do it." I figured my blog was probably safe. We did have a nice dinner and some nice long talks and good reminisces about Sweet Rita - she was My Sweetie's grandmother that died in January (and my MIL's mother).
Today (Monday) was My Sweetie's Birthday.
It was also the day of the NCAA Championship game. I ran around and shopped for My Sweetie. No, it's not like I procrastinated. Last week My Sweetie used my little truck all week because his brakes had gone bad. Thus the Friday trip to the brake repair shop. Anyway we had a nice birthday night and everything ended well. Duke won!

**If you missed the "And One!" story, it's what we say we when get the "Jeopardy!" answer right and none of the contestants did.

p.s. yes, Jazz, that is a "Survivor" T-shirt and it was my lucky Duke T-shirt. After all it says, "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast" and what better way to win at basketball? Oh, and that was from "Survivor: Outback"

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter, 22 Years Ago

Twenty-two years ago, Mom agreed to keep my then 3 1/2 year old daughter over Easter weekend so that my husband and I could go on a beach trip. (I use the word "beach" loosely because we went to the Texas gulf coast, which is really a poor excuse for a beach. But it's all they have here.)
Mom went all out and bought Kate a complete Easter outfit:
They did not attend any church or anything, Mom just always thought you should dress for Easter. They dressed Kate up and hid the eggs and had the hunt and took lots of pictures. I'm sure Kate was very confused by the whole thing.
And speaking of confused, on this crazy group beach trip, which included both my 1st (and current at the time) husband and my future second husband, I picked door #2. I'll never forget that weekend.

(I'm the one in green)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

On Laughter

Today I read this article from The Associated Press on the science of laughing. I liked this line:
"It's joy, it's positive engagement with life,"
But I was a little concerned by this line:
"The requirement for laughter is another person."
Because I laugh by myself all the time. Yesterday I was cleaning the kitchen with the news on TV in the other room and a woman said "George and Barbara Bush have been married 65 years." I immediately said to myself, "65 YEARS?!? Well that makes them entitled to a letter from the president." And this struck me as hilarious and I laughed out loud.
In case you didn't know, if you reach the age of 80 or reach a wedding anniversary of 50 years, you can send for a letter from the president. My first husband's grandmother had a framed letter hanging on her wall from Reagan congratulating her husband and her on their 67th wedding anniversary. And the thought of the Bushes sending off for a 65th anniversary letter from Obama was just way too funny.
So why did the scientists say, "The requirement for laughter is another person."? Did the news announcer count as the other person? Or do I have two persons in my head? That can't be good. But it's kinda funny.