Monday, December 31

More tv tips


Anyone who reads this or knows me, knows that I love Jane Austen and I love PBS. The two are getting together for The Complete Jane Austen every Sunday night from January to March. What does this mean? It means I've apparently died and gone to heaven. Masterpiece Theater will air great interpretations of all six of Miss Austen's novels beginning January 13th with Persuasion. What a great kick off! Persuasion is a favorite because it's a quiet one that slowly builds. One of Austen's most famous lines comes from Persuasion: "You pierce my soul." Out of context, it sounds a bit over the top and flowery, but when hastily written by Captain Wentworth, in the greatest love letter EVER, and secretly given to Anne Elliot well ... swoon. It's all so good!

In the mean time they are airing Charlotte Bronte's gothic great Jane Eyre. The first half aired last night, and was wonderful, the second airs next Sunday night. If you're not a fan of Austen or Bronte I still encourage you to watch these, you may be converted. I got the DVD of the Masterpiece Theater version of Jane Eyre for Christmas and love it. I also own the famed BBC version of Pride & Prejudice, that will air in the series, and will be watching again because who can get enough of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy? Several of the film versions being shown in this series are new to me and I'm really looking forward to seeing them for the first time. (Here is the schedule.)


Oh, and in an apparent effort to extend an olive branch after their Thanksgiving day freak out, the SciFi Channel is airing a real marathon of The Twilight Zone today and tomorrow. I can only imagine the earful they got last month and assume this is an effort to create a New Year's Eve tradition. I'm still mad at them but I'll take what I can get. Tune in!

Saturday, December 29

Feeling better


Thanks for the support guys. It's nice to know I've got good friends willing to beat up insurers with me when necessary.

Turns out Mom is the most ok with the situation. Dad and I were more freaked than she was. We won't know anything for sure until we can talk to someone but, of course, it being a holiday weekend, that will be a few days. Nightmare!

In the mean time, Mom says she can wait. She was on Lipitor for a while but recently stopped because of the muscle pain side effects. Apparently, Lipitor can cause severe muscle aches and those, on top of her knee pain, was pretty miserable. Since she's stopped taking the Lipitor her pain is much better. The knee still hurts but at least the rest of her feels much better.

I didn't sleep much last night due to the worry, but I think we're all feeling better know. We'll see what happens.

In the mean time, I saw P.S. I Love You with my SIL. I was pleasantly surprised by it. I will say it had me crying about every 10 minutes but laughing just as often. I really liked this one. I realize this isn't saying much but it's one of the best chicks flicks I've seen in a while. I have no idea if others will feel the same way but I thinking it's worth checking out.

Did I mention I didn't go to Christmas dinner at my Aunt's because I had a stomach flu? So did my Mom, my SIL and my niece. The boys had to brave the dinner without us. Sounds like they had much fun without us but I guess it really freaked everyone out when they showed up without us. They quickly got over it and much Wii Bowling was played.

I'm now feeling better, but today is the first day I haven't had a terrible stomach cramp. I managed to catch a quick cold a couple of days ago too. I know... I'm a real overachiever, huh? The cold seems to have mostly cleared up. I therefore plan to watch comfort movies all day and crochet and make gift tags.

OH! Speaking of gift tags, I had a craft day with Tony yesterday. We sat around and recycled Christmas cards into gift tags. They look great and I love being able to repurpose them. I highly recommend trying this out. I don't have pictures of the Christmas card tags but here are some others I've recently made.


So there you have it, Granny needs to sit in her chair, and craft and watch lots of Baby Boom, Working Girl, Bob Newhart Show and Jane Eyre. I'm feeling better already.

Friday, December 28

...


I could just cry. My mother, the most thorough person I know, has been working for 6 months to switch her health insurance from HMO to POS so she could choose the doctor to do her knee replacement surgery. She needs this surgery so badly. Her knee is bone on bone and every doctor she's seen says they don't know how she stands it. She was all geared up to get the surgery in the new year and tonight realized there was one form she needed to send in by 12/15 that nobody told her about it. She's called Medicare and her insurance about 50 times in the past 6 months about what needs to happen at every step of this process and now it looks like a form sent in for my dad (because the POS is from his retirement insurance) should have also been completed for her but was never sent.

I'm not only upset for Mom, I'm upset for all of the seniors out there who get screwed over because no matter how thoughtful and careful they are they can slip up and not get the coverage they've told everybody they want. How would some poor, ill, 85 year-old handle all of this? My mom is a young, vibrant woman who happens to be "of age". If she gets tripped up, none of us stand a chance!

She's already resigned to the idea that she'll have to wait another year. I can't stand the thought of her waiting another year. I can't believe this is happening!

I could just cry. I'm so upset for her. This surgery would help her feel so much better. My parents are retired and should be traveling and enjoying life. They take many short trips up the coast but each trip gets more and more difficult for my mom. It's gotten hard for her to get around.

I hate this!!! I hate our insurance system. My mom is truly the best mom in the world. She deserves so much better than all of this. Both of my parents deserve better. Honest to God, if I could have chosen my parents, out of every set out there, I would have chosen mine. I can't believe they are being put through this bullshit.

We're one of the richest nations out there, when a person needs a new knee they should be able to get a new knee by which ever doctor they feel most comfortable with. Instead, my mom is expected to get a new knee from a doctor she can barely understand. The same doctor with a front office whose English is SO BAD previous miscommunications have fucked up some important paperwork and delayed a pain relief treatment for her for over a month. This is such bullshit!!!

Thursday, December 27

Tagged!


This is a bit late, but Trooperdog tagged me with a couple of questions. Here are my answers:

Question #1: What are you favorite Christmas CD's that you absolutely have to listen to every year?
Honestly, my favorite CDs are mixes that I've made in the past few years. The only favorite real CD I have to listen to is A Charlie Brown Christmas. That's the CD that always makes it feel like Christmas for me (that, and a trip to Stats). Otherwise, it comes down to some favorite songs. The past couple of Christmas' I've been obsessed with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's Mr. Heat Miser. I'm also partial to some traditional faves like Judy Garland's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song.

Question #2: What Christmas movies or TV shows are your favorites?
I pretty much have to see It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story every year or I'll have a fit. This year I discovered White Christmas (where have I been?). I also realized Elf is shooting to the top of my Christmas movie list. I like it because I can watch it with my niece and nephew and it genuinely makes me laugh. "Saaaaaantaaaaaaa!"

As for New Year's Eve, I've never been a fan. I'm not much of a drinker and driving alongside drunks down the 210 at 2:00 am is not my idea of a good time. My favorite part of New Year's Eve is really New Year's Day morning. I love to get up and watch the Rose Parade. I'm sure it's the Granny in me. Well, that and the fact that I live near Pasadena. New Year's Eve is all about the Parade in these neck of the woods. In fact, if I drove near the parade route right now I bet I'd already see the motor homes parked and waiting for the parade. Otherwise, the cynic in me believes New Year's Eve is all about the alcohol and diet industries making a ton of money.

With that I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 22

Experience


Did I ever tell you that I worked at Rolling Stone Magazine in the 90's? Really, the best thing about working at Rolling Stone is how much it helps in each interview I've had since leaving. I have a decent resume but when people see Rolling Stone listed they immediately want to know all about it. It's a great ice breaker that has helped me immensely. I don't remember the day-to-day stuff about the job but I have many flashes of memories.

I worked in the LA office of the magazine and one Editor would always be the first to hear news... especially deaths. I vividly remember seeing him pop his head out of his office and shout "Kurt Cobain is dead!" then rushing back in to get the whole story. If somebody died on a weekday, in the early 90's, I heard about it before anyone else I knew because it was shouted down that hallway.

I was in my early twenties during that job and I remember polling my office mates for their favorite movies, books and albums. I discovered The Women, The Fountainhead and Blue because of my polling. All perfect discoveries for a curious twenty-something.

I recall talking to friends in the NY office then hearing the voice on the other end of the line say in a hushed voice "Oh my God! John John just walked by!! Yes, he's as cute as you'd expect." or "Oh my God! Mick Jaggar just walked in! I gotta go!!". I answered the phone one day to transfer Bob Dylan to an Editor. He used his real name, Bob Zimmerman, and I didn't recognize his voice. Later, when friends asked how it's possible to not recognize Bob Dylan's voice on the line, I explained he doesn't sound anything like the Bob Dylan you'd expect to hear. Later, I spoke with Tom Petty and realized HE sounds exactly like the Bob Dylan you'd expect to hear on the phone.

It's strange but so many of my RS memories are related to things I read at the time. I remember laughing out loud at Hunter Thompson's obituary for Nixon. It's my all time favorite obituary. It is entirely unprofessional but mostly hilarious... it's great. It was Mr. Thompson's last kick to Nixon's nuts and I'm pretty sure the sentiment was shared by many Americans. I remember watching Nixon's funeral on tv in the office and doing an honest to God double take when I saw Eisnenhower's son sitting with the Presidents. I remember saying "Christ! They dug up Eisenhower?!" It looked so much like him. The image is still burned in my brain.

Because I was a big reader I spent many evenings reading first bound issues Rolling Stone and Men's Journal. We also published US magazine but that was less interesting to me. I read some great pieces in RS and MJ that later turned into good books. I remember reading Mikal Gilmore's extended article on the life and death of his brother Gary Gilmore. I'd never heard of the case until that article came out. (How my parents managed to keep that story out of my childhood I'll never know.) I didn't know Mikal Gilmore at all but he called our office from time to time. After that article appeared he called and I so wanted to congratulate him on the piece but how to you say "Great job!" about what must have been a terribly traumatic article to write? I did sputter out something like "I read your article and... wow... it's such great work." He thanked me but clearly just wanted the conversation to end as quickly as possible. Those articles later developed into an excellent book called Shot In the Heart that I highly recommend. I was particularly struck by how damn good his writing was. I still think he's a wonderful writer and marvel at how he managed to tell that story so well.

I also read some amazing pieces like the ones that turned into Fast Food Nation. I was obsessed with the Jon Krakauer pieces in Men's Journal that lead to Into Thin Air and Into the Wild. I was a journalism major and always appreciated the journalism I was exposed to in those days. You don't see much straight up journalism these days, I miss it. I imagine Rolling Stone still features some great writers but I haven't read it for years. I gave a lot of my life to those magazines and, to this day, I don't think I should have to pay for them. I think I've earned a lifetime "comp sub" (aka complimentary subscription) but nobody else seems to feel that way.

One of my favorite parts of that job was reading the random fan mail. I had an overflowing file labeled "Freaky Fan Mail" and I had some whoppers in there. Some of the freakiest came after Axl Rose appeared on the cover. We'd get all kinds of stuff from correctional and mental institutions for Axl. I especially loved the "illustrated" fan mail, now those were crazy. I always thought it would be a lot of fun to publish some of those letters but I'm sure that would have somehow been illegal. Trust me, if blogs existed back then I'd have featured them regularly. When I left Rolling Stone I threw that file away. What a mistake! I'd love to get a look at those now.

After the Northridge quake I found the storage room in a state. We had floor to ceiling metal shelves that held our back issues. The quake had bent the shelves in half dumping thousands of magazines all over the storage room. There were magazines about thigh high piled on the floor when we came in the next day. That sucked. I don't remember re-organizing the magazines but I'm sure I had a hand in it.

Another day, April 19, 1992, I remember thanking God for the presence of a visiting Senior Editor. All of our executives were at the marina for a lunch meeting when the LA riots broke out. There I was in an office full of young Assistants, trapped on Wilshire Blvd, wanting to go home, but not feeling I had the authority to do so. We could hear stores down the street being broken into and gunfire but we just sat there not knowing what to do. I can't be sure, but I believe that Senior (or was it Managing?) Editor was David Fricke. He had the presence of mind to call the NY office to say "I'm shutting down the LA office. It's crazy out there." I wish I could thank him for that phone call. God knows how long we would have sat in that building if he hadn't been there.

I've been thinking about that job lately because I've been watching a lot of Classic Albums and The Seven Ages of Rock on VH1 Classics. David Fricke is featured in some of those shows and I always think "Thanks Dave!" whenever I see him. Again, I'm not even certain he was the one who made that call in '92 but he's become a sort of hero to me because I still think of him being the grown up who let us get the hell out of dodge. I've always wanted to thank him for being a man of reason that day so "Thanks Dave!". I guess I should also say "Thanks Rolling Stone" for being a cool place to workplace in my twenties.

Friday, December 21

Love Machine


Tonight my family and I went to Islands for my niece's birthday. Her pick. At one point, while was sitting next to my bro, I made a list of CDs I need to borrow from him. I was recently horrified to find that I had no Led Zepplin or Who on my iPod. I need to correct that ASAP.

I may have mentioned this before, but one of the great disasters of my life arrived when my bro and I were no longer living under the same roof and had to split up a pretty spectacular record collection. CDs came out when I was in high school (maybe collage?) so we still had mostly vinyl. At the time, I was obsessed with Springsteen, REM, U2 and The Replacements (solid choices that I stand by to this day). Meanwhile, my bro was WAY into LA punk. Years later I went to a LA punk retrospective and pretty much saw my brother's old bedroom hanging on the walls of that gallery. I called to tell him about it a learned he had sold most of his punk records to help finance his spiffy new CD collection. That's probably the great disaster in his life.

I'm still recovering from the break up of our combined record collection. There are tons of CDs I don't have because I figure my bro has them. There are also lots of things I think I have on CD but actually have on vinyl somewhere around here which isn't terribly helpful nowadays. (BTW, I've kept most of my vinyl because it was such a big part of my life. The good, the bad and the ugly... it's all there in that record collection.) Bro is an admitted snob when it comes to music. He likes new stuff but he is especially likes discovering classic jems. For instance, tonight he told me he had finally acquired some incredibly rare Neil Young album that his neighbor got from some Russian website. Apparently Mr. Young hates that album so much that he's refused to re-release it for decades. Anyway, that's the sort of stuff he's into. He's introduced me to some good stuff. For instance, I'd have never considered The Flying Burrito Brothers but he insisted that I listen to them and he was right, I like them.

In the end I sent bro an email requesting some Who (somebody has my Who's Next CD and I need it back, pronto!), Zepplin (appalling inability to "get the Led out" made me demand some), Black Sabbath (I need Ironman!) and Bowie (how is it possible that I don't have Ziggy Stardust?!). We're getting old and can't be trusted to remember such lists thus the email. It may have been the first time I was pleased to have a Blackberry handy.

Later, when I got home, I saw Shandon's fun post. I tend to enjoy posts that involve the shuffle feature on my iPod, so here goes:

If someone says, "Is this OK?" you say:
C'est la Moindre des Choses - Edith Piaf

What would best describe your personality?
Butterfly - Corrine Bailey Rae

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Living in the City - Stevie Wonder

How do you feel today?
Moody's Mood for Love - Amy Winehouse

What is your life's purpose?
Have You Met Miss Jones? - Art Tatum

What is your motto?
Me and My Guitar - Freddie King

What do your friends think of you?
Me & Mr. Jones - Amy Winehouse

What do you think of your parents?
Levon - Elton John

What do you think about very often?
Takin' It To the Streets - The Doobie Brothers

What do you think of your best friend?
Reelin' In the Years - Steely Dan

What do you think of the person you like?
American Pie - Don McLean
What is your life story?
Round and Round - Bob Schneider

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Magic - Colbie Caillat
What do you think when you see the person you like?
Cabaret - Liza Minnelli

What do your parents think of you?
Untitled 1 - Keane

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Carrion - Fiona Apple

What will they play at your funeral?
Gentle Wind with Rain - Darwin Chambers

What is your hobby/interest?
Summer Nights - Olivia Newton John & John Travolta from Grease

What is your biggest secret?
Track 09 - ?

What do you think of your friends?
What I did for Love - Priscilla Lopez from A Chorus Line

What should you post this as?
Love Machine - Smokey Robinson

Wednesday, December 19

'Tis the season


I wasn't exactly tagged for this, but Shandon answered these on her blog. I liked the questions, so I thought I'd give it a try.


Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Both, but wrapping paper whenever possible.


Real tree or artificial?

Real. I'd miss the scent of pine too much to have a fake.


When do you put up the tree?

Right around Mom's b-day, mid-December.


When do take the tree down?

It's usually gone by January 2nd. We're pretty harsh about ending the season.


Do you like eggnog?

No. It may be the name but the texture also leaves a lot to be desired.


Favorite gift received as a child?

It's a toss up between my my yellow 10-speed bike (around age 9) or my blue beach cruiser (around age 14). I loved those bikes.


Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes. It belonged to my Grandparents when they were first married. Back when Grandma was happy. Mostly I like to set it up because it reminds my of my spazzy brother who broke the head off baby Jesus. I glued it back on but the crack is still there. It seems most little brother's have broken the head off poor baby Jesus at some time or another.


Hardest person to buy for?

Probably my Dad. He buys everything he wants when he wants and his interests are in things I know nothing about (wine & birding).


Easiest person to buy for?

Probably my niece and nephew. They're not easy but they tend to have an open book policy when it comes to gift receiving and that helps.


Worst Christmas gift ever received?

A felt and sequined horse head brooch from my step Grandma. She was such a sweet lady but gave dreadful gifts. Her gifts were so bad that opening the box from Olga eentually became a highlight for us each Christmas. Oh, the anticipation mixed with... the horror... the horror.


Mail or email Christmas cards?

Are we seriously considering emailing cards now? I'm afraid I have a problem with that. Not so much in the business world, but personally it's got to be mailed cards. I realize it's not the best thing for the environment but some traditions should not be messed with. Holiday card sending it one of those traditions.


Favorite Christmas movie?

It's a Wonderful Life. It still makes me cry and it reminds me of Christmas Eve because it's always airing somewhere on Christmas Eve. I also LOVE A Christmas Story. It never fails to make me laugh.


When do you start shopping for Christmas?

August or so. September is when birthday season starts in my family. Shopping in August is the smart way to go.


Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

See's candy. Come on... who are we kidding.


Clear lights or colored on the tree?

Clear, but I'm not married to the idea.


Favorite Christmas song?

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


Do you have an angel or a star on top?

Angel


Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Home


Can you name Santa's reindeer?

Yes


Most annoying thing about this time of year?

Most all humanity.


Favorite Christmas memory?

Sneaking into the darkened living room, super early Christmas morning, to see what Santa brought me. I recall a Chrissy doll and a tea set that year. I must have been about 4 or 5 years old. I went back to bed after seeing my haul. It was a good Christmas.


Favorite thing about this time of year?

Taking time off to relax and spend time with my family and friends.

Tuesday, December 18

OMG, OMG, OMG!

A couple of weeks ago I dropped two of my favorite things for framing. I agreed to pay a ridiculous amount of money to have them framed and immediately had buyer's remorse. I knew the nice lady at shop would do a great job, and that helped, but still, we're talking about a pretty penny. I've been such a miser lately, while saving, so this was out of (recent) character for me. In the end I decided it would be a nice gift to myself this Christmas.

Today I picked up my gifts and was practically jumping up and down with joy at how wonderful they came out. The framer lady seemed excited too. We both marveled at our amazing ability to choose the perfect frames for my favorite things.

Here is the first:
I stitched it myself with the intention of giving it away, but now I'm in love and can't part with it. It's tough to see but the frame is slightly distressed and a perfectly yummy shade of brown. I love it!

Here is the English poster I ordered from Barters Bookstore (my frame looks SO much better than theirs!):
It's a reproduction of a poster the Queen had plastered all over England during the war. I can't imagine these words helped much during The Blitz, but they're bound to help me get through morning traffic. Again, the picture doesn't do it justice. You probably can't see the beading at the inside of the frame that perfectly mirrors the dots at the top of the crown, but I can, and I love it so.

I'm so happy with my framing and I'm so glad I bit the bullet and did it. Trouble is, I'm now addicted. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Monday, December 17

Have I gone too far?


My niece is a sweet-angel-baby most of the time, but ever since the day she stepped foot in school, she's taken a turn for the worse. Most comments coming out of her are negative these days. We know it's from influences at school combined with her clumsy attempts at humor but it's become annoying and even hurtful. Today her Dad was her target and he told her how upset he was with her. She's only 6 years old so we doubt she really understands how much words can hurt people. She's never had a loved one say that they hate her but it's apparently all the rage at school. My bro thought a note from Santa might help, so I came up with a legit looking email from Santa (it even says "From: Santa Claus" in the heading... awesome!) the note said:

Dear A,

Because of the following incidents, you are on my Temporary Naughty List:
  • Saying hurtful words to your Grandma
  • Writing mean note to your Brother
  • Saying hurtful words to your Daddy
I know you are a nice young lady so I will make a deal with you, if you can be good from now until Christmas I will put you back on my Nice List.

Please be a good girl.

Love, Santa

I sent it to my brother's email address and instantly suffered from terrible guilt. I spoke with my bro and we agree that this is just a phase and that she's really a sweet kid. On the other hand he thinks she may have to finally learn a lesson. I have no idea if he'll be able to show her the email or not. I don't think I could. I can write 'em but I don't think I can deliver 'em.

Have I gone too far? Oh, the guilt!

Sunday, December 16

Memory Lane

Today, while killing time before a store opened, I drove by my first childhood home. I've looked for the street a few times in the past couple of decades but have never been able to find it. Today, I finally found it. Turns out I kept missing it because it was so much smaller than I recalled. Our old house is still sweet and remains the cutest on the street. I was happy to see it doing so well.

I then drove past my elementary school. It too was much smaller than I recalled. As I drove around the block I found myself following my old school bus route. I was shocked at how much I remembered. I drove by one house and recalled a now faceless, nameless friend who had lost one of her older brothers to a tractor accident. *shudder* I remember her telling me about the accident in gory detail. He had been "squished". I remember feeling terrible about it but now it's all I remember about her. That seems unfair but I was only 7 years old so I forgive myself.

As I continued to drive I remembered our school bus drivers. The regular driver's name was Annie. She was a rather sturdy woman with a long red braid falling down her back. (Think Wynonna Judd.) She didn't speak much but we knew not to mess with her. Mostly we felt safe with Annie, she kept the bus and the passengers under control. She played the radio and I always associate Top of the World, Play That Funky Music and Get Down Tonight to my rides on Annie's bus. Well, those songs and Proposition 13 campaign signs on lawns are what I remember most. When Annie was out sick, our substitute driver was Bob. Like Annie, Bob didn't have much to say but we loved him. Bob made every ride on the bus like that of a roller coaster. When we saw Bob pulling up at the corner bus stop we'd all cheer and scramble on the bus for our wild ride. Our route included a perilous stretch of mountain road and Bob didn't hold back. He drove VERY fast along his route and we loved it. The song I associate with Bob is S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night by the Bay City Rollers as we careened on those narrow, winding roads. Of course, I don't recall ever mentioning Bob's wild rides to my parents. Those rides were our bus stop's joy in the monotony of our little elementary school days. I think Bob may have also given us candy at 7:00 am, one more reason to love the guy. Looking back I realize Bob was probably on something, it was the 70's after all. It's a miracle he didn't kill us, still I remember Bob fondly.

After a rainy night, our bus stop group would get to the stop early to collect snails, pile them up on the street and wait for the school bus wheels to smoosh them. (I know... gross!) Oh the disappointment when Annie or Bob missed our hard earned pile. They hit it more often than not so there was a brown snail stain on that street corner year round. It's gone now.

As my little trip down memory lane continued I got to the street forever known as "The Shopping Cart Street". It was called "The Shopping Cart Street" because a family friend, Mr. Jergensen, swore that "the last time" he drove down that street his passing car was mysteriously attacked by a runaway shopping cart. He refused to drive that street after his harrowing experience. We always talked mom into taking that street on the off chance we'd finally see Mr. Jergensen's rogue shopping cart... we never did. Today, while driving down "The Shopping Cart Street" I was smiling to myself at the memory of that story when I saw this:


I swear to God, I circled the block to swing back around for this picture. I literally laughed out loud when I spotted it. I'm tempted to send the pic to Mr. Jergensen. Mr. Jergensen told lots of stories and we were never sure which were true. I'm not even sure he'd remember his old foe, but the whole recollection cracked me up.

Friday, December 14

MIA

I've been MIA lately. Sorry. I've just got lots on my mind and little time to jot any humorous anecdotes down. Here's a taste of the crap flying through my head these days:
  • Oh my God, I have a completely new job. Where do I start?
  • Oh my God, I'm so behind on Christmas shopping.
  • I'm so clueless on world events these days. How do I catch up?
  • Which Presidential candidate will screw me the least?
  • I can't wait to see Sweeney Todd.
  • Why does Sexyback still make me shake my tail feather at the office Holiday party?
  • Damn! 3 hours of dancing and my knees still ache.
  • I'm getting old.
  • I think I like Alicia Keys now... what changed?
  • I wanna crochet.
  • I wanna read.
  • How can I avoid going to a mall?
  • I saved 2 cents per gallon today by filling up my tank this morning.
  • How will I find time to get to the post office tomorrow?
  • Only one week 'til vacation! YEA!!
  • When will my favorite boss get promoted so I can work for her again?
  • Why am I so tired?
  • Oprah officially annoys me.
  • I miss The Daily Show
  • Where should I put all of the new wrapping paper?
  • I'm relieved that 9-5 meeting on Tuesday was cancelled but I'm pissed that I did all of that prep work for nothing.
  • He should have listened to us last week when we told him Tuesday was no good.
  • When will he go away so we can go back to being an efficient, decisive organization with direction and decent communication?
  • Am I becoming sexist because I prefer to work the women in my division?
  • Do I really prefer working with women or is it just a coincidence that the only people who bug me at work happen to be men?
  • Who was the weird guy at the Holiday party last night dancing all over the place?
  • Who was the tramp doing back bends on the dance floor?
  • I'm glad he said "Sorry, I'm out of dollar bills."
  • Was it inappropriate to mention all of the workplace theft to the big boss?
  • Did my hair get caught in that chair or did the big boss seriously pull my hair during the update?
  • Is it possible for a friend to be even too gay for me?
  • What should I get for mom, dad, bro, SIL for Christmas?
  • I'm so bummed that the CD case she gave me was empty. It's possible I might actually like Mary J. Blige.
  • Sweet Jesus, am I becoming an R&B/Hip Hop fan? *shudder*
  • I'm cold.
  • How late can I sleep in tomorrow?
  • How much can I pack into Sunday so the rest of the week is easier?
  • I have to figure out what I'm getting and when those stores open so I can be finished as early as possible.
  • Should I go to work on the 24th so I don't have to count it as a vacation day?
  • I really don't want to see my dumb Grandfather at Christmas. Maybe his sight is finally going and he won't notice me avoiding him.
  • What was with that weird Christmas card?
  • Should I keep the grey throw or exchange it for another color?
  • Are the Packers on TV this weekend?
  • I'm so disappointed in those moronic baseball players.
  • I have GOT to get my Christmas cards out this weekend.
  • Was it rude to mention what a great idea I thought it was to send gifts from Restoration Hardware to somebody who has finished his shopping for us?
  • What the hell am I supposed to buy for co-workers? Which ones do I buy for? Why didn't I mention the "no gifts" rule earlier?
  • When will I find time to pick up my newly framed stuff?
  • Why did I spend so much on them?
  • The tree smells nice.
  • I have to return those Netflix movies.
  • Why don't I have Showtime on Demand so I can watch Dexter?
  • What should I wear tomorrow?
  • I like this song.
  • I need to pick out a new calendar. It's probably too late to get one I like.
  • This Writer's Strike needs to settle. It's going to effect my '08. :(
  • I need to slow down and notice the pretty stuff.
  • Am I too negative?
  • I have to do my five-year-plan.
  • I have to review that contract on Monday.
  • I've got to do my expenses on Monday.
  • Should I book the January trip now?
  • How can I help her calm down?
  • It's too much.
  • I'm lucky to have such easy "problems".
  • I shouldn't complain.
  • This post is too long and boring for anyone to actually read through.
  • Oh well...
That's why I haven't been able to focus and come up with an interesting post. These thoughts won't leave me alone. Sorry to drag you into it.

Tuesday, December 11

Get a grip


Today I was introduced to the cute temp all the girls have been swooning over. I offered my hand for a hand shake and received the deal-breaker: this kid shook the first two digits of my fingers. For all I know, this is something men don't know about because they have never been offered this bullshit handshake but, as a woman, I can tell you I receive it about 20% of the time. It...drives...me...crazy. What is the intention behind this weak ass handshake? Is is because I'm a woman and some men fear their virile handshake might destroy me? Is it because they fear I might be contagious? I don't get it. Can somebody out there tell me why on earth a man would insult a woman with this lame handshake? Are there men out there actually teaching their little boys to shake hands this way? Do some men honestly believe this delicate handshake is at all appropriate? What the hell?!?

My Dad taught me how to give a firm handshake when I was a kid, back when kids knew to shake the hand of an adult they were meeting for the first time. He wanted me to be able to introduce me to adults in a polite manner but mostly, I think, he didn't want me to grow into a wimpy woman. He must have succeeded because that's one thing I've never been accused of. I've met some men who would rather not shake the hand of a woman for religious reasons but I've been fine with it because it was immediately explained to me. (Of course in my head I'm shouting "I'm having my period!!!! Is that a problem?!?!?!?" . I don't actually say that, I just like to think it and smile to myself.)

Anyway, the bottom line is that this temp may have been in line for a permanent position but when my boss asked me what I thought I told her the truth: a) I had not yet had any experience with his work and b) he gave me the finger handshake. I heard "Ewwww!" over the phone. Was that a mean detail for me to include in my analysis of this young man? Maybe, but first impressions mean a lot and I still can't understand why some men do this. Can somebody please enlighten me?

Sunday, December 9

Conversations with a five-year-old


Today was my niece's 6th birthday party. It had a High School Musical theme so I showed up early so she could open her High School Musical Sing It! Playstation 2 video game. Her mom and I figured we'd get it hooked up and ready to go for the girls as they arrived. It seemed to be a hit. It's amazing how much 5-11 year olds LOVE to sing. I was also impressed that my sis-in-law could sing-along while testing the game. Too funny!

Later, my college roommate showed up with her daughter, Meghan. I love Meghan because she has the temperament that I had as a five-year-old. She's sort of on the shy side and likes to know a few people in the room. Her mom was dropping her off so she brought Meghan over to me and said "Lucy will be here. If you want me to pick you up early, just tell Lucy and she'll call mommy." Meghan nodded and trotted off to the party. My sis-in-law and I have known Meghan since birth. She and my niece have been friend's their whole lives but there were around 15 girls singing and dancing so I kept an eye on Meghan. I could completely relate to what she must have been feeling.

Near the end of the party, the adults came in with the cake. Meghan rushed over to me and held my hand. We ate birthday cake together and chatted:

Meghan: Why aren't you married?
Lucy: Well, I just haven't met a nice boy yet.
Meghan: ...
Lucy: Do you know any?
Meghan: (Giving this question some careful thought) Well, there's Tanner.
Lucy: Tanner? That's a nice name. He sounds cute.
Meghan: ... but he's little.
Lucy: Would you marry him some day?
Meghan: Ewwwww! That would be GROSS!!!
Lucy: Well, then I'm not gonna marry him.
Meghan: Well, I'm not gonna marry him!

Poor Tanner. I'm sure he's a very nice young man but it seems he's not marrying me or Meghan any time soon.

Wednesday, December 5

Inappropriate?

A friend just emailed me and mentioned a mutual friend had a baby girl yesterday. Yea! She then said "... home birth and all is well and perfect."

I replied "Home birth?! WTF? What is she, Amish?! I hate that home birth crap. Get ye ass to thy hospital and keep thy child alive. Sheesh!"

Was that inappropriate?

Tuesday, December 4

You've got to be kidding!

As if I wasn't pissed off enough about the thief at work, I get home tonight and find this BS email in my personal email box. I've highlighted the fun stuff in red:

My Dear,
I want to inform you that the fee for your Cheque Draft has been Paid on Monday morning by 10:30 Pm afternoon because the manager of Eco Bank Benin told me that before the check will get to you it will expire. So itold him to cash the $900, 000.00, all the necessary arrangement of delivering of the $900,000.00 in cash was made with FEDEX COMPANY WORLDWILD.Here is the contact of the fedex Company World Wild bellow.
ATTN: Mr JOHNSON EZE.
EMAIL: fedex_service67@yahoo.dk
Please send them your contacts information to enable them locate youimmediately they arrived in your country with your BOX. This the information they need from in order to delivery your box to your address.
1.YOUR FULL NAME...
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS ....
3 YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.....
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.......
5.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE.........
Please make sure you send this needed info's to the Director general Fedex Company world wild in Benin Mr JOHNSON EZE. with the address given to you.Note. The fedex company here don't know the contents of the Box.I registered it as a dameges of jeans returning to the retaler. They don't know it contents money to avoid them delaying with the Box. Please don't let them to know that the contents of the Box is money to avoid them from delaying with the box. I am waiting for your urgent response. Meanwhile the only fee you have to pay them is $185 USD they will use to obtain insurance certificate and claims of affadvite that will prove that the box belongs to you. Be rest assure that all other fees have been paid by me.
I am waiting for your urgent response.
Thanks
Willy Joe


The entire email is, of course, ludicrous but do you think anyone is dumb enough to do business with someone name Willy Joe and who calls them "My Dear"?! Blechhhh! It's all so gross!!!!!!! As if I'd reply "Yes, by all means please send your thugs to my home with my box of $900k right away! I've been looking EVERYWHERE for it."

You'd think Willy Joe would invest in a fluent editor to shape up his correspondence. A little editing might go a long way in furthering is life as a scam artist.

And for the record, I can think of few circumstances when calling me "My Dear" wouldn't make me want to poke somebody's eyes out.

On the other hand, do you suppose this could be from a desperate first grader in need of a $185 bike?

Unbelieveable gall


I work in an office with lots of stuff. If you've been to a major retail chain in the past 10 years, you've seen what I work on. We tend to take our product for granted, because it's work to us and we're surrounded by it all the time, but most folks have to pay for it. When we're finished reviewing/showing it we donate it to the company charity distribution center or we have a sort of sample sale and use the proceeds for a holiday party at a school for underprivileged kids. Other times we practically throw it at people as they pass by because we just don't have room for it anymore.

Well, recently somebody has started using our building as their personal free-for-all shopping center. They are brazenly taking clothes of racks and walking off with it. Jewelery, toys and some personal items have disappeared. To the average observer it might seem that we'd never miss a lot of the product because we have so much of it lying around, but we actually need it to do our jobs, so yeah, we've noticed. It's especially obvious when you walk in, on a Monday morning, to find 30 bare hangars on the rack where your samples used to hang. It's particularly creepy because this person seems to be carefully studying our work spaces. For instance, a pair of earrings had been split up and placed on two different presentation boards. Our thief stole an earring off each board to take a matching pair. The woman sitting next to me said a box of watches had been stolen from the far reaches of her cubicle behind several other boxes. Another friend had four hats stolen. She printed out pictures of them and wrote "Shame on you!" and posted it to the outside of her cube.

This whole thing makes me CRAZY! I can not stand people who feel entitled to do as they please with no consideration of others. I despise people who take without asking first. I'm still mad at the ass that walked off with my lovely display of clementines last year. (I feel a person should be able to bring a nice display of healthy snacks and expect it to be there when they return the next day. I wouldn't mind somebody taking a few to enjoy but the whole bowl?!) What kind of asshole are we dealing with anyway?

I've heard about some weird items disappearing in the past (lotion, food, telephone headsets, etc.) but the theft has escalated and is now making it difficult to do our jobs. Today, in a staff meeting, I learned that following a particularly large loss our security team is finally on the case and have installed "nanny-cams" around the office. (Genius!) One co-worker had a camera in her cubicle. She was instructed to just leave stuff out as normal. When she came back on Monday, as expected, things were missing. She alerted Security but they're being annoyingly discreet so she didn't know what happened. She feels certain they got someone on camera but she just doesn't know who. I CAN'T WAIT to find out who the thief is. We'll probably never know. The one thing I do know is that if you've done something REALLY unethical you're promptly escorted out of the building. I call it "a professional hit" because that's how fast they disappear. One day you're setting up a meeting with someone and the next their office space is cleared out. It's weird. I suppose all we can do is wait for the next hit to guess who the thief is. And no, we don't think it's the cleaning crew. Everybody habitually blames the poor cleaning crew but they are rarely the culprits. This is someone that works with us during the day. Thousands of dollars of product has been stolen in recent months. I hope this person is not only caught but prosecuted.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, December 2

70's Sincerity




Ok, so I was going to take a few days off from blogging but...

First of all, I had a wonderful day with some great friends. Today was the After School Special- Craftpolooza day and it was a really good time. As suspected, After School Specials are far worse than we remembered. These shows are so bad that they're beyond hilarious, especially when viewed with people with great senses of humor. Crafts were so not the point of today's get together. The point was to eat kid snacks, chat and laugh at the crap we used to watch as kids. Oh, and for the record, there is just nothing like a grilled cheese sandwich made simply of butter, white bread and American cheese. It's something you probably haven't had for several decades but I highly recommend it. Come on, you know you want it.

But I'm not here to just talk about my super-fun day. I'm here to tell you about an incredibly funny show that capped my day perfectly. This evening I stumbled upon 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs on VH1 Classics and...I'm...dying! I've long enjoyed VH1's ability to mix video clips with funny commentary but this is hands down my favorite. You have got to check it out.

Here is a little taste of what you too can enjoy if you happen to catch this little slice of sarcastic heaven on VH1 Classics. Brace yourselves... Wow, is that one f'ed up song or what?! And of course, the all time filthiest soft rock song. Oh yeahhhhhh.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, November 30

Uuuuuugh...


As mentioned here before, I listen to a CD of rainfall every night as I fall asleep. I live in So. Cal, which is almost always in the middle of a drought, so the sound of rain is a rare event. Well, this morning I woke to rainfall. I can not express how difficult it was to climb out of bed to get ready for work. I had called in sick yesterday and it would have been SO easy to call in sick again today, sit in my pjs and crochet/read all day in my super comfy chair. It would have been heaven. Of course the rain will be long gone tomorrow so today was my one and only chance to enjoy a lazy rainy day for God knows how long. I was feeling better so I decided to suck it up and go to work. I had lots to catch up on and missed seeing my friends (who I've hardly seen since before Thanksgiving due to my ridiculous schedule). But still, I can't remember my bed ever feeling better.

Also, there was the traffic to consider. Yuck!! I mean, it's always annoying but being the first rain in a long time... it was gonna be ugly. We Southern Californians have a bad reputation when it comes to driving on wet roads. I'd like to explain this trouble. It's not that we're terribly lame drivers in the rain. The problem is that so many months pass without any rainfall that when it does hit it slicks up the roads that have months of grease and grime built up on them. That's why we have grooves in our freeways. It helps with traction. The first rain is always the worst. Today was no different. There were SigAlerts all over the place.

Which brings me to another bit of So Cal trivia. For years I assumed a SigAlert was short for Signal/Alert or some such variation. Most people are so accustomed to hearing about SigAlerts that they don't question the origin of the word. A few years ago I looked up the history of the SigAlert and learned it's actually named after a guy named Sigmond (aka "Sig") who used to alert Angelinos to terrible traffic problems in the 40's as more and more folks were buying cars resulting on more and more traffic. In the 50's Sig developed an electronic traffic alert system and these snarl-ups have been called SigAlerts ever since. For those interested, a SigAlert is defined as any "traffic incident" that will result in two or more closed lanes of traffic for more than two hours. This morning, not only did we have some terrible accidents but some yahoo decided to threatened to jump off an overpass into oncoming traffic on the Pasadena freeway which made things even worse. All I could think was "Dude! She's not worth it!!"

So there is your bit of So Cal trivia for the day.

That also makes for 30 days of posting. Yea!! I did it!!!! Unless something terrible interesting happens tomorrow I will likely take a few days off from the blogging.

Thanks for stoppin' by.

Thursday, November 29

Stalker Paul Pt. Deux (aka: A Little Honesty)


Just when I thought the rather bizarre exchange with Stalker Paul was over, it wasn't.

I wasn't going to mention it here because Paul was always a sneaky person and I have little doubt he's lurking here. Fortunately, I don't really care about a what a guy I dated a decade ago thinks. I, on the other hand, think it's bizarre that he continues to get in touch in one way or another every few years. I always resist and he always tries again. Franky, it's a bit sad at this point. He's apparently got a wife and baby, why on earth would he want to contact me? I don't really get it except that he must, assuming he has managed to not evolve, still prefer to look back in a melancholy, wistful sort of way... ALL THE TIME. That, or he's going through one 12-step program or another. Far be it from me to get between a guy and his 30-day chip but I frankly don't care to get into it.

He wrote, in part " ... I would really like to know how you're doing outside of these recaps. If you're up for it let me know. Ten years is a long time". I'm not sure what I was supposed to be "up for" but it didn't matter. I wasn't interested. The very best part about this email was Heidi's reaction to it. Yes, I forwarded it to the two people on earth who understood how annoying it was, Heidi and Kb. I sent it with "What do I say?". (For those interested I replied "I'd rather not... I don't see the point...blah, blah, blah.") Heidi has a wonderful way of inventing the perfect curse word for any occasion. She never fails to crack me up. To Paul's "Ten years is a long time" she said "Not long enough Fucktard!!!" When he later wrote "I do not wish to belabor this issue but I believe I may have done more harm than good in contacting you in such a flip manner." and I sent it to my girls, Kb also assumed that a 12-step program was in the works while Heidi wrote "Oh, Christ on a crutch. What does he want now?!"

To help illustrate why I'm not interested in reacquainting myself with this person, allow me to share a couple of memories. Paul once told me that my love of baseball "isn't very feminine". Can you imagine?! Apparently girls aren't supposed to enjoy cute boys in tight pants playing a game they learned to love from their Daddies and Vin Scully. Why I didn't reply "Sort of like your not liking baseball (football, basketball, hockey... you pick a sport) isn't very masculine?" I'll never know. In the end, more than anything, I resented the fact that throughout much of our relationship I mistook his occasional indifference to me to be due to my weight. I can only assume that because he was incredibly vain and insecure, he allowed me to feel inadequate when, in fact, his aloof nature was actually due to his lifelong denial of his attraction to men. I learned of this interesting development about a year after our breakup when he admitted his new fondness of receiving blow jobs from nameless men in darkened bookstore parking lots. This news was a surprise blessing in disguise. Any lingering feelings I may have had for Paul were immediately erased in that moment of confession. There was no anger, no sadness, just a complete and utter absence of feeling for the guy. It was all gone in an instant. It may have been the sudden realization that one of my best friends was actually a complete stranger. God knows I love the gay boys, I just don't enjoy dating them. Especially the promiscuous ones. Now, to be fair, I learned a lot from that relationship. I now steer clear of men who don't like sports and/or some sort of quality masculine music (Springsteen, Zappa, Clapton, Zeppelin... you get the picture) and prefer jazzercise and Donna Summer. I certainly don't enjoy men who begrudge my enjoyment of spectator sports and man bands from time to time.

But really, the reason I bring it up at all is that a) I stayed home sick today and don't have a lot of material and we're cruising into the last stretch of NaBloPoMo and b) it reinforces something I've known for a very long time. If a relationship is all drama I simply don't care to participate. I've carefully pruned the friendship branch of my life to include only those that are very high quality. I have friends I've known since middle school. I reconnected with some great people at my reunion and I make new friends at work all the time. I do have one friend I happily got custody of after Paul and I split. He warned me of the evils of Heidi and he couldn't have been more wrong. Come to think of it though, Heidi was critical to our breakup. Well, she didn't know it. I recall Paul wanting me to drive down to Dana Point to see him (again) for the weekend. Instead, I decided to go to Heidi's birthday party. He really freaked out on me. I could have done the same old thing that weekend: gone down to Dana Point, bought Paul some groceries (again) and been bored out of my mind watching him do laundry while listening to him lament one of his life's decisions or another (again). Instead, I did the difficult thing. I went to a party where I only knew one person. One person who was thrilled to see me and graciously introduced me to several of her friends. Friends that I would get to know much better in the next few years. I'm actually a closet shy person. Walking into a room of strangers is not my idea of a good time but forcing myself to do so was a turning point for me. It was one of the first independent, confident diva things I'd done in a long time. I was thrilled while, judging from his reaction, Paul seemed angry by this turn of events.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying my friends have to be perfect. I'm not saying they have to always agree with me and do and say what I want. That would be not only impossible but down right dull. I keep the friends that are supportive, have loads of integrity, who make me laugh, who are grown ups, who share common interests and who I trust.

I swear, if I called from Tijuana desperate for help, Tony would jump in his car at 3:00 am to pick me up. Kathleen would claw somebodies eyes out if they so much as looked at me wrong. Stacey would pull me into her clan as if I were a sister, and has. Shandon (and probably her protective posse) would provide a warm cup of tea and a comfy couch if ever I needed a place to have a nervous breakdown. Heidi would sit at my hospital bed for days if I, God forbid, were ever in that position. I'm not saying I expect all of these scenarios to play out, but it's nice to know I've got a good crew to back me up if ever needed.

So there you have it. That's why I'm in no way interested in cobbling together a friendship with somebody I never respected in the first place. That's the bottom line isn't it? Respect. You've got to respect your true friends and I do.

I'd now like to thank all of my friends for being mature and wonderful. I love you all! And thank you for being on my side, not matter what.

Wednesday, November 28

Artiste




I sometimes wish I could share full disclosure about my job here, but I can't. (Weirdos, ya know.) Today was one of those days. Today made me think "I wish everyone could experience this some time." I was in a conference about a movie, we were updated on new iterations and artwork and then brainstormed ideas. It's one thing to brainstorm with a bunch of executives but where I work, they throw in a few film creators, films you've most certainly enjoyed, to help with the process. I love it when animators are thrown into the mix. You just can't imagine the drawings on napkins that come out of these meetings. By the end of the day there are always dozens of drawings on product ideas and promotional events. Some end up happening while others remain big ideas that, due to some practicality, simply never get made. You should see the robotic sweatshirt concept I have tacked to my wall. Most of the drawings are jaw droppingly good. They're just sketches but they're drawn by the best animators in the world. I can't imagine being that talented. It must be great.

The only down side of these meetings is when you get seated next to an artist who loves to do caricatures. I work with one very talented but curmudgeonly artist who I flat out refuse to sit across from. If seated across from him he will certainly sketch you and you just don't want to know how he sees you. I'm serious. A caricature by him would make you cry, they're that upsetting. Luckily, I seem to be one of the few "suits" he can stand to sit by so I've thus far avoided being drawn by him. He tells me it would be an honor to be drawn by him but I insist it would be my horror. Like everything, I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

Tuesday, November 27

Tip of the day


This morning, I was talking to Mom and The Today Show was on. Mom and I both really dislike Ann Curry. I can't stand the way she tries to make here interviewees cry and is so incredibly insincere. Mom hates the way Ms. Curry constantly interrupts her interviewees. I muscle through the Ann Curry segments because I refuse to watch Good Morning America. GMA is the more tabloid-y of the two. The last straw came when OJ Simpson was recently arrested (again). The Today show mentioned it then went on to the presidential candidates and some International news. GMA, on the other hand, spent 20 breathless minutes on it in fond remembrance of ratings form the OJ trial. It made me sick.

So, this morning The Today Show announced this weeks theme"Today Gets Extreme". Meredith Viera's stab at extreme was to take a roll in one of those terrible Zorbs. They look like the worst idea in the world and I wouldn't be caught dead in one. Drop me in a Tower of Terror? No problem. Throw me in a Zorb? I'll hurt you. When the "Today Gets Extreme" idea was mentioned, Mom mumbled "What's Ann gonna do? Be quiet for five minutes?"

Ya just gotta love that kind of sarcasm that early in the morning. I recommend laughing that hard before work each day.

Monday, November 26

UPDATE


Ok, this is not becoming a vintage television blog, but I have a couple of updates.

I did a little research for our girls craft day. Kb, I totally remember that tv movie about the poor bedwetter but I learned it was not an After School Special. They must have aired it as a Saturday night special or something. It was called The Loneliest Runner. It was an autobiographical account written by Michael Landon. (Who knew?!) I remember really liking that movie but it was so sad. I tried to Netflix it but it's not available on DVD. Bummer!! I also, tried to Netflix Like Normal People (you know, "Rah-jaw, I want a baby Rah-jaw!"). Sadly, it too is not available on DVD. Curses!

I've officially Netflixed 2 After School Special discs instead. I can't wait! We'll be dining on Campbell's Tomato Soup and Grilled cheese sandwiches.

And here's a hint to what else I've got on tap for our screening. I'm a little freaked out that somebody took the time to make that little montage... Of course, I'm one to talk, I'm hosting a Cheesy 70's Made for Television/ Craft Day. *shrug* Next up: Ice Castles!

***Downer Alert***
In case you're wonder what ever happened to Lance Kerwin, star of The Loneliest Runner and so many other shows from the 70's, check this out. Poor Lance!

This account is more upbeat.

And speaking of "Where Are They Now", who's up for seeing this?

Sunday, November 25

My Mount Everest


I was just reading Shandon's blog. She was kind enough to invite me see Lawrence of Arabia with her and Norman but I passed. I admit, it was tempting though. I've never seen LOA on the big screen and I'm sure it makes for a much better experience. Still, I find the film to be a bit of a snoozefest. It's pretty, as is Peter O'Toole, and I'm almost always in favor of seeing Omar Sharif, but even good looking men and sweeping cinematography couldn't lure me away from my crafting this weekend.

Shandon went on the mention trying to tackle AFI's Top 100 Films of all time list. I too have considered this. I was curious to learn how many of those films I'd seen. I dutifully downloded the list and learned that I too need to see exactly 27 films to complete the list. Amazing! I bet we have a lot of overlapping "To See" films. I've placed some on that list deliberately. For instance, I have no desire to see Spartacus. I've seen most of North by Northwest but I can't confidently say I've seen the whole thing so it remains on the "To See" list. One I've never heard of, what the hell is The General? (I just looked it up. At least it's got Buster Keaton going for it.) Most of the films on my "To See" list are what I consider to be "Boy Films". I've never seen The Unforgiven and always meant to, so I look forward to that one. The Deer Hunter and Ben Hur are not so intriguing to me. Except the part about a rival playing mega-gay to a clueless Chuck Heston. The Director, William Wyler, apparenlty informed the actor of the gay undertones but warned "Don't tell Chuck." (Here is part of the back story that I couldn't love more if it were about my own lame grandfather.) I love that kind of behind the scenes drama! It could make viewing Ben Hur so much more palatable.

I just might join Shandon in her resolution. Who knows, I might enjoy The Wild Bunch.

Shandon, let's compare lists. Maybe we could knock a few off our lists over some crafts and tea. Maybe chicking the movies up a bit could help.

Saturday, November 24

Who's with me?


This morning, when I woke at 7:00, instead of the alarm, I reached for the remote and flipped on the tv and watched some old sit-coms. I can tell you Cheers holds up fairly well but other sitcoms from the 70's suffer with time.

All of that old tv got me to thinking about daytime television when I was a kid. Now a days, I've noticed day time tv is geared towards seniors. Back when I was a kid it was directed at homemakers.

Of course, I was at school most of the time, but remember sick days? Ah, sick days. My Mom was a teacher and both of my parents had strict work ethics. As a result, sick days were few and far between for me and my brother. They definitely required a fever or evidence of chicken pox. When I was sick I must have watched a lot of tv because the first things I think of, when I think of childhood sick days, besides flat ginger ale and crackers, are The Price is Right and I Love Lucy reruns. I remember going to the home of a neighbor with a blanket and a tube of Doodle Art on some sick days (I actually had that jungle poster shown above). I loved Doodle Art but I hated those sick days. I would have preferred to stay in my own bed but I suppose Mom had to work, and I couldn't stay at home alone, so off to a sitter I went. I recall lots of commercials from the 70's. Remember that KTTV jingle (Eleven, eleven, eleven...)?

Here are a few of the commercials I recall:
K-Tel (Um, I think I actually had this one.)
Chiffon
Calgon
Dr. Pepper
Wisk
Tootsie Roll
Keep America Beautiful
Cal Worthington
Palmolive

Mercifully, I don't recall this one:
Tab (Thank God women got into advertising.)

My brother and I were "latchkey" kids for about 30 minutes each week day. Instead of going straight home, and accidentally burning the place down, we were sent to a neighbors house until Mom got home. Really this meant Ginger Snaps and milk. (I know I should have been grateful but, Ginger Snaps?! Gross! Ginger Snaps are probably the weakest excuse of a cookie in existence. I hate them to this day.) Once home, I remember watching Match Game followed by Tattletales. Next up was The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show. Now those sitcoms hold up just fine. In fact I've got the first two seasons of Mary Tyler Moore on DVD and I'm bucking for some Bob Newhart for Christmas this year. For me, these are comfort shows at their best. I have to have them on DVD because cable television has retired them and replaced them with Fresh Prince and Full House episodes. A sure sign that the world is coming to an end. Well that and the lack of After School Specials (I'm still laughing at that clip!) I'm tellin' you, that's what's wrong with these kids today. It's just plain mean to expect today's youth to handle life's difficulties without so much as an After School Special to help them out. What's a kid to do?

One of these days I'm going to host a Craft Day/ After School Special Marathon!

HOLY CRAP! Look what I just found. God bless the internet!!! I'm not kidding. I hope all of my crafty friends are up for a marathon!! Who's in? After all, this can't be done alone. As Afternoon Specials taught us, it takes a village!