Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Beach - Day 5

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Love You Inside and Out

Don't try to tell me it's all over
I can't hear a word, I can't hear a line
No man could love you more
and that's what I'm crying for
You can't change the way I feel, inside

I left off here:

I took out my notepad and started writing about the day. I offered up a few brief prayers that the kids would make it back without incident.

And I fell asleep.

That's where I last left off. Soundly asleep after a lovely day having spent time with my kids.

Time Stamp: 2:36 am, Wednesday August 15, 2007

My phone rings. "Mom. The car broke down."

"Where are you?" six and a half hours later, he was nowhere close.

"Just south of Washington DC. It's totally broken down Mom, I don't know what to do."

I was up and out of bed immediately. It eventually turned out alright. Fortunately, one of the kids had AAA. They got towed to a commuter lot where they slept in the car. When the woke up in the morning, they walked to a rental car agency, rented a car and got home. Old car junked, new car purchased. No one was hurt. Not getting back home in time for certain commitments caused a bit of a headache, but again, no one was hurt. They'll have a great road story to tell one day.

Point is, no parent wants to get that call. Nothing good comes out of a 2:30 am call from anyone. I've had three calls like that; the first was the worst. A 6am call from my mom saying that my dad was dead. No good. Second call was literally days after my ex had moved out of the state. 12:30 am, "Hello, Ma'am? This is the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office." I could feel the blood drain out of my body instantly. "EVERYTHING IS OK, but I have your 14 year old son here. He was loitering with some friends..." Nooooooo good at all. And then this 2:30 am. call. Had the kids been a little closer, I would have immediately gotten in the car and picked them up. My Uncle, who lived a half hour away from the kids offered to do that, bless him.

After that, the day was a relaxed one. I napped later in the morning, sat out on the deck slogging through "Wicked". The kids made it back to New York safely, which was a relief. I worked on a crossword with my cousin and then we all went out to dinner. The younger contingent were whisked off to an arcade and miniature golfing, I went back and had an early night. Ahhh, for the joys of vacation.

When one didn't have a knot in one's stomach with anxiety.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

K-Drama: Jumong

More to come on the beach saga next week.

But today is video Friday and I have been very wistful for Jumong. I loved this series. No, let me amend; I loved these characters. I became invested in their successes and failures. I wanted Jumong to grab and plant a hot heavy kiss on Soseono, I wanted him to hold his baby in his arms. I wanted to see Hyeppobo and Sayong together. I loved, hated and pitied Gemwa, almost all at the same time. I was choky when Jumong kowtowed to his mother and Song Il Guk squeezed his 6' frame into a tiny little ball. I wanted to see Daeso's b*tch of a wife get her due. I ached for Haemosu and the years lost, I wept with Jumong when he realized Haemosu was dead. I wanted Yesoya happy. I wanted Oyi to find Buyeong and marry her.

It is a credit to the writers, the actors, and well, to everyone iwho worked on the series that they made me love the characters to the point that I miss them still.

This first clip is the end credits. It was moving to me to see the still shots of the actors either fully in character, cracking up together or mugging for the camera.

The next clip is one of my favorites from the series. A tiny little lead up; Jumong was the whiny younger brother. The older brothers hated him and actually tried to kill him on more than one occasion. After being trained secretly by Haemosu, Jumong enters the archery contest against his brothers. Older brother (in blue) does well, quite fully sighted, middle brother (in green), not so much, also able to see the targets, then Jumong comes in and blindfolds himself. It's all much more complex than that, but I just wanna watch the video.

BTW, Song Il Guk admitted in an interview that he accidentally hit the bullseye while blindfolded.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Beach - Days 3 and 4

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Melody Fair

Who is the girl with the crying face, looking at millions of signs?
She knows that life is a running race.
Her face shouldn't show any lines.
Slept in on day three; until 7am. Looking back on my notes it seemed like an extraordinarily boring day. I walked Buddy, helped with breakfast, no doubt made a bit more progress on the dreadfully Winkie political “Wicked”. I believe I did go in the water and was wrestled mercilessly by my son. I executed the “Jewel of the Nile” move and the boy did not harass me again.

I also made note in my journal that there was sand everywhere. In places sand had no business being.

The notable quote of the day came from one of the college kids. They had stocked up fully on beer and one of the youths had obviously made a significant dent in the case by 5pm. A little louder than usual, a little more emboldened by the alcohol. As resident mother to these young adults, I felt it was my duty to see the young man rest up a bit before continuing on his path toward total physical and mental annihilation. I brought him upstairs and required that he lay down for a period of time; before we started more games. He complained that my edict was unfair. I tried to explain that we should all try to pace ourselves.

“I have been pacing myself. I’ve been pacing myself ALL DAY.”

An engaging political discussion followed dinner, heated at times, but full of fascinating thoughts and insights. I enjoyed that very much. Games followed. Much fun was had by all.

Apparently, my time near the Atlantic had made me occasionally reflective. I had been a great letter writer in my youth, but I now live in an age where I can type faster than I can think and thoughts can be set to paper and erased just as immediately. And so day four of my journal found me lamenting the art of the handwritten letter. I noted that today, everything was an email, or an instant message. All abbreviated thoughts on an electronic canvas.

I might expand on that. I might wax poetic on our collective loss in the art writing. How we have compressed our thoughts into, “oic. Lv u 2 brb” I might. But I won’t.

Day four was a bad beach day for me. I started out wanting to fly a kite and twisted my ankle. (Anyone who knows me knows that my ankles sprain themselves with malice aforethought while I’m in my sleep, so this was not a shocker). Because I felt like throwing up, I decided to walk it off by going into the waves. The gods of the ocean were having their way with me that day because I then smashed my thumb on a boogie board and jammed it. My children laughed at me. As I eventually attempted to get out of the water, Neptune toyed with me still more by knocking me off my feet. My right ankle hurt and my left thumb throbbed, making it hard for me to get up. Adam, the little bastard, never one to let opportunity pass, noted that I was in a weakened state, reached over to help and knocked me in again, forcing more f*cking sand into places that wept over the indignity. No doubt to punish me over yesterday’s slick “Jewel of the Nile” move I executed with accuracy.

I gathered my things about me and limped away.

Lunch with the kids; it was their last day at the beach and their intended departure time was 8pm. I took them out to dinner to “The Lucky Fisherman”; a very good seafood buffet on the island. When I came back, I found that someone had locked the door to the beach house and my keys were inside. Nothing I could do there, so I helped the kids clean up their cabin “Down Under”. They enjoyed one last walk on the beach, and then they took off, right on schedule. I choked back some emotion, Meg and I walked out on the dock and talked a while. We then proceeded to go back to the locked beach house and broke in by methods better left between us. We got in. All was well.

I took out my notepad and started writing about the day. I offered up a few brief prayers that the kids would make it back without incident.

And I fell asleep.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Beach - Day 2

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Alone

I could hear you breathing
With a sigh of the wind

I remember how your body started trembling

Oh, what a night it's been

And for the state I'm in

I'm still alone
Day two was a little more non-descript. My body was still on work time and I woke up at 5:00 am. It was dark out, a quiet reminder that summer is almost at an end and that I should enjoy it now. I walked Buddy. He hated the water and the waves; they made him very nervous. He stayed with the dried up sea-fodder that had washed up on the beach and nosed around in that.

I kept trying to get into the book I had brought with me; "Wicked". Well written, but I wasn't feeling the love. After a morning on the beach, Meg and I had lunch with the Adam and the kids at their house. They made hot dogs and bratwursts, all washed down with beer. Naps for all.

Things got more interesting in the evening. Kathryn's beach house became Irish Car Bomb Central just prior to dinner. I'm not a fan of the car bomb. The Baileys curdles and it's an effing big glass o' beer. And somehow, whenever I consume one I never get tipsy, I just get a belly ache. Colleen, on the other hand, is Northern Virginia's Irish Car Bomb Chugging Amateur Champion and her always gregarious demeanor expands still more after a competition. She is the queen. But as happens with champs, young upstarts are forever swaggering into town, aiming to shove you off of your throne, attempting to claim the title.

Tommy had been practicing.

The boys lined up; Adam, Tom, Bill, and Chris all stood toe to toe with Colleen at the counter. Guinness was poured, shot glasses were at the ready. 1, 2, 3 – BAM. Colleen's glass hit the counter. The champ retained the belt. Tommy came in a respectable second.

The women in the room were encouraged to take the champ on; surely she couldn't win twice in a row. Crap. OK, Guinness was poured, shot glasses were at the ready. 1, 2, 3 – BAM. Colleen's glass hit the counter. The champ retained the belt. I came in a respectable second.

With a belly ache as my friend for the rest of the night.

Kathryn attempted to soothe the pain later in the evening by concocting a lemon drop for me with the ingredients at hand. I tried to be game, I really did. The shot went down fine, but the monster in my gut assimilated it and it became one with the belly ache.

After dinner, we all decided it was time to play games. Guesstures, Cranium, Pictionary, Scene It!, were our choices. The play of the night came early during Guesstures when one team member, who I will not identify here, (but it was NOT me!) attempting to extract the word "Bovine" from the team, in a strange and horrible para-onanistic act, simulated a cow being milked.

Pictures were taken. It was not pretty.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Beach - Day 1

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Monday's Rain

In this my life , I walk in light
You are my love so baby I'm all right
Don't let me down , baby
Don't let me down

I have divested my orifices of most of the sand that offended. My clothes are washed and put away. My toiletries are back in my, well, toilet. Buddy is back in his crate. The color I so carefully cultivated on the beach is already fading.

Back from the beach. Back to work. Back to life in real time.


We headed out Saturday morning at 5am. My daughter, never an early riser by choice, was only moderately bitter. She craved Dunkin' Donuts. Our little slice of northern Virginia suburbia has a half dozen Starbucks but no Dunkin Donuts. I had awakened at 3:30 am and walked Bud-Man. Since I am not a night person, I packed the bag, made the bed, washed the dishes, turned off the main water valve, unplugged the computer, shut off the air conditioning, brought in the lawn furniture and packed food. And was ready dead on at 5am. I was already sweaty.

The beach train left at roughly 5:15 am when my cousin Colleen and her children pulled up in their van. Meg and I turned on the Sirius radio and, as tradition dictates, we turned on Radio Classics. After finding a Dunkin' Donuts to satisfy Meg's craving, we shoved off for real.

Meg and I were vastly entertained by "The Shadow"; one of the most popular shows in radio history. Titled "Spider Boy", this particular episode centered on a lonely fella who liked to sew. Having no friends he keenly laments his bad luck. He befriends a spider who is weaving her silken web of death in the corner. Spider Boy later preys on the one hapless female who enters his field of vision and further haplessly makes eye contact with him. He wants her to become his girlfriend, and he loves her. She continues to be hapless.

After having haplessly killed his arachnid-lady-friend, our girl escapes Spider Boy's clutches of peril, but lands in a hospital bruised and catatonic. The Shadow (wealthy man about town, Lamont Cranston) eventually finds out where Spider Boy lives and tells him he's insane. Completely mad and in an effort to "Show them!" Spider Boy grabs some yarn, spins it out the window believing it is the iron yarn of victory and falls haplessly to his death.

Best line of the program was when Lamont Cranston and his gal pal Margo Lane go to talk to the catatonic girl's father. It is apparent by his sleazy Bronx accent that Dad has smacked is daughter around in the past, just as a matter of course, and is rather braggadocios about it:

"Your daughter is the hospital, sir, and it looks like she has been beaten to death!"

"Oh yeah? Well maybe she needed a beatin'."

Meg and I are still repeating that line. And we laugh every time.

It was probably the best part of the trip down. No air conditioning makes for swell mileage, but a very long 7 ½ hours. We all stopped to fuel up (I was only at half a tank, but what the hey) and utilize the facilities in some section of the country that I'm pretty certain is called South Bumf*ck. Practically in the middle of a pasture just off the highway, this little convenience store was obviously not being visited by secret shoppers. There were a couple of large men towing a trailer standing by the ladies' room door, causing my daughter's paranoia radar to ping. I went to the ladies' room first. I was not raped, but my other senses were violently assaulted.

Now I grew up on a farm. I actually love the smell of cow manure; it reminds me of my dad (so does freshly mown and baled grass). We had pigs on that farm and "Nothin' smells worse than a pig," to quote my cousin John. My point is, I can tolerate bad smells. The rank stench hovering at the level of my mouth inside that hot bricked up excuse for an outhouse was vile and seconded only by the filth covering the toilet seat. I stood up to use the facilities and warned others of the restroom of menace. I wanted to vomit. I walked Buddy while the rest of the crew utilized the stink-barns and we were back on our way.

My son Adam was bringing down three friends as sort of a last fling before their senior year of college started. We were in close contact as they had started the long journey from upstate New York at 11pm the evening before. Yeah, no, don't ask. I don't want to talk about their decisions. I just kept telling myself that they are young and it was an adventure for them. They had virtually no issues on the trip down.

We arrived at the beach houses at about 12:30 pm. We eventually checked in and unpacked. My version of unpacking is opening up my suitcase. It keeps it simple.

The evening turned out fabulously; Colleen had made several gallons of her famed sangria and she was partnered with Billy. Red wine was uncorked and the Bud Light flowed pretty freely. We played cards; Pitch to be precise. I am really a very poor card player, probably because of the math that is involved. But I lucked out with my partner Tommy. I learned a few things from my ex-husband; one of them was to always bet two when you have an ace, and the other was if you have more than 2 cards in the same suit, bet three. No matter what. I made a couple of great plays, Tommy made a bad decision when he outbid my three, and we lost four, but we eventually came back to win the game.

Having drained the sangria, the crew feasted on "Booze Fruit" and Colleen declared Billy her b*tch.

It was a wonderful start to the week.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

K-Drama: Thank You

Really good. It’s a little hard for me to be glib about this drama since I just finished it and was very touched. I can say overwhelmingly that Jang Hyuk as our male protagonist was incredible.

I was not immediately captivated by JH. But as the series continued, I got lost in the character of Min Ki Seo. The change from cold, hard and embittered gradually melted into warm, giving and beautiful.

Quite briefly, it’s the story of a whole village of flawed individuals primarily motivated by fear. Fear of AIDS, of being alone, of loss, of life, of death, and love. While the finale was left open ended, I like to imagine that it ended happily ever after. Just like I like ‘em.

Repeating themes: People who sleep in cars, eat chocopies, and run away. Every other day.

Now that I’ve moved a little away from some of the emotion, let’s get to the review, shall we?

Ponder Angst – 15. We had ponder angst. By the ocean, in their cars, during the ferry ride (when they weren’t vomiting something white), after the ferry ride. But it did not annoy me this time. Had I not been forced to ffwd through some of the angst, it would have gotten a 20.

Love “ – “ Angles – 12 – A triangle. Choi Suk Hyun doesn’t know he’s little Bom-ah’s Dad. Figures it out, wants back in, just in time for our hero MinI will never practice medicine againKi Seo to enter the picture sewing people up. They both fall in love with little Bom-ah as well as her mom Lee Young Shin. Young Shin is conflicted and pulled in like 7 different directions. It’s messy for just the triangle.

Sizzle – 15 - You know, the leads had some chemistry, but not a lot of sizzle. All the heat goes to JH for being so darn achy and beautiful. I was impressed and loved it when he was on the screen. When he wasn’t on the screen, I wanted him back. Oh, ummmmm, Jang Hyuk in the shower? Six pack? Szszszszszszszl baby!

Physical Intimacy – 10 – we had actual kissing (no tongue), inferred sex and hugs.

Tragic Heartwrenching Disease and/or Character Death from Same – 20 - Holy cow! This series started off with cardiac arrhythmia, graduated to pancreatic cancer, AIDS, and a severed femoral artery which led to amputation. We had Alzheimers, depression, fainting spells, pneumonia, near-death internal bleeding, blood transfusions, physical and emotional breakdowns. Had they included constipation and anorexia they just would have been showing off.

Going to the Beach – I gotta give 10 in the bonus round. There was a suicide attempt, ”at the beach”. Depression wanted out of this mortal coil. Alzheimer tried to stop Depression by offering to kill himself, also via ocean. Depression pushes Alzheimer down in an effort to complete her task, rendering Alzheimer an immediate floater. Depression starts screaming, someone saves Alzheimers, however, he dies in his sleep the next night after delivering chocopies around town to make everyone happy. Depression lives, much to her chagrin.

Annoying tics? Well, we had another Dr. Whiny Crybaby, a la White Tower, which was tolerable, but the effing nurse! Not a patient walked into their clinic that she didn’t throw herself across their prone chest and scream “What are we going to do?” Just slap her already. I also thought someone should have just chained little eight year old Bom to a wall. She ran away countless times, once causing her mother to collapse from exhaustion and pneumonia. Another time, a limb or something fell on Momma causing internal bleeding that nearly killed her. AND THEN THE BRAT RAN AWAY AGAIN. Nail the kid’s shoes to the floor. Someone. Please.

I was also disappointed in the subs. I’ll say up front that I have nothing but respect and gratitude toward those who take their precious free time to translate these shows so dopey anglos like me can watch kdrama. And up to about episode 8, I thought the subs were fantastic. After that, I think names were spelled with a Chinese flair and the translations were quite poor. Toward the end, I was certain I was missing significant aspects of the program. My friend dramaok’s name was mentioned as having translated a song. That made me happy.

A score of 82 just isn’t enough for this series. I’m giving it another 10 points for the emotional impact (What? It's my review. I can add points if I want.). I found “Thank You” to be well written and well acted. JH expressed more with his eyes than words could have transmitted. When her neighbors stopped YS from moving to Seoul, I cried. When JH looked at YS near the end, his face full of love and yearning, willing to accept what she was able to give, I wanted someone to look at me like that.

So “Thank You” gets a 92 on the E-score. I don’t think I’ll watch it again in full just because it took so long to get to happy. I was captivated though and was sorry when it was over. I won’t look at chocopies the same way (the Korean brand for Moon Pies ) and I think I might say thank you a whole lot more.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Going to the Beach

NOT a euphemism for suicide this time!

I'm going to the beach and have no plans to drown or otherwise off myself for the week. Long walks with Buddy the Dog, sipping something long and cool, ("Georg". I'll be impressed if you can identify the quote.) reading, playing board games, and perhaps a martini or two in the evening.

I bought "Wicked" and will bring "Book of Fates" and "YaYa Sisterhood". Will also bring the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in case all those others are krep.

Will think of you while I'm gone. Leave me notes in my guestbook; something for me to enjoy on my return.

God Bless!


Bee Gees Song of the Day: Technicolour Dreams

Sometimes, I'd like to send the world away Some sunlight on some silver beams So I'll give you Panavision pictures 'Cause you give me Technicolour dreams Technicolour dreams
I may not be quite this colorful, but I'm pretty damn colorful.

You swim like you're on fire
live like your last day
drink like its water
there's no tomorrow
And you think no one can hear you
Raise your hands to be called on
you know all the answers

Your the most colourful thing that i've seen
Your the most colourful thing that i've seen
Your the most colourful thing that i've seen

You dance like no one's watching
Sing 'til the song ends
then you sing some more
And we can hardly believe it
words that flow from your mouth,
Drink like its water

Your the most colourful thing that i've seen
Your the most beautiful thing that i've seen
Your the most colourful thing that i've seen

You are an enigma walking
make no excuses for the way that you carry on
and we can hardly believe it
words that flow from your mouth
Drink like its water girl
Drink like its water girl

Your the most colourful thing that i've seen
Your the most beautiful thing that i've seen
Your the most colourful thing that i've seen
You are so colourful

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Bee Gees Song of the Day: Man in the Middle

I'm just the man in the middle of a complicated plan
No one to show me the signs
I'm just a creature of habit in a complicated world
Nowhere to run to
Nowhere to hide

Got a visit from my landlord the other day.

About a month ago, a pipe burst in my daughter’s bedroom closet. My no-math brain thought it was gushing about 5 gallons a minute. You should take that with a grain of salt.

After some frenzied scrambling and the help of a long-armed neighbor who showed me how to break into my utility shed, I was able to shut off the main water valve, move everything out of the closet, contact a plumber, locate the offending pipe, get it replaced and begin the long slow process of drying out. Fortunately, I was able to do so without the dreaded moulde (olde English sounds so nice, doesn't it?) taking up residence. I had no idea that wall to wall carpeting was so easy to pull up!

On the life crises meter of 10, it was a 1. No one was hurt, I caught it early, damage was minimal and I made friends with my neighbors. It took some time to get the wall fixed and my landlord came over last week to paint the closet so we could get back to good.

My current landlord, by the way, is one of the best of my experience. And I’ve had some bad ones. There was the little Indian fella who never followed up on anything and whose wife, obviously no longer entranced by this aspect of his character, was always in the background barking orders. Then there was the couple who owned the house and lived in the apartment adjacent to mine. His pick up truck proudly bore the name of his manly alter-ego – “Wolfman”. One day, Wolfman fell down the stairs in his house. My daughter was home at the time and could audibly follow his progress all the way down. Not critically injured, Wolfman spewed a torrent of profanity so twisted and vile that my baby can still hear it, quote it, and imitate his dance of pain four years later.

My current landlord is thoughtful, responsive, does not live right next door and promises never to raise my rent. If he curses, I am not aware of it, nor is my daughter. I still haven’t found a flaw, not that I’m looking, but sometimes colorful characteristics just sort of bubble up at you immediately, a la Wolfman.

On his way to my place to paint the closet last week, coming right from work, Current Landlord asked if I would mind if he used my bathroom to change. Very reasonable, very thoughtful and of course I consented. How could I not? The work was done quickly; though I have to wonder what poor Buddy was thinking. "Pant pant pant. Big man, big man tramping around my people's house. Must save my people. Can't escape my dreaded crate-prison!" Poor senile Buddy.

When I got home, there was barely any sign that Current Landlord had been there. Certainly there was the smell of paint emanating from the closet but there was something else. Something that reminded me a man had been in the house.

He left the toilet seat up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Feasting on Asphalt

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Jive Talkin’

And if there’s somebody
You’ll love till you die
Then all that jive talkin’
Just gets in your eye
The last few nights, I’ve been watching repeats of “Feasting on Asphalt” on the Food TV Network. I’m a big fan of Alton Brown and “Good Eats”. He’s adorable and entertaining.

Traveling via motorcycle from the east coast in South Carolina to the west coast in California, Brown hit a few hot spots – the first Harvey House and where Colonel Sanders fried up his first commercially prepared chicken to name a few. He also didn’t shy away from trying local specialties; the pickled pig’s foot amused, but the deep fried brain sandwich disturbed (pork brain, btw; can’t serve beef brain anymore apparently due to mad cow disease). I don’t know that he’d eat fried brain again, but he had more than one bite – if he threw it back up, that part didn’t make the broadcast.

Brown also took a spill off of his motorcycle swerving to avoid a rabbit on a gravel road. Broke his collarbone or his shoulder or something.

What I find most enduring in the show are the people. From the kids serving up ice cream to the two septuagenarian waitresses (74 and 76) who had raised their children single handedly on a server’s salary. These are real people, living real every day life, making real biscuits and red bean gravy and serving it to real folk. Where the menus are posted on the wall and the portions slop over the plate.

That’s the genius of the show, I think. Yeah, I enjoy learning the history of waffle cones and soda fountains, but I loved listening to the myriad characters met along the way. And Brown did them proud – he doesn’t come off as a television personality. He presents as a guy documenting his love for food and the people that make it.

It has made me want to take a vacation and travel the back roads of our great nation and sample some of these great people. Well, after my true dream of a storm chasing vacation. Gotta do that first.

“Only he who has traveled the road, knows where the holes are deep." - Chinese Proverb

Monday, August 6, 2007


Bee Gees Song of the Day: How Deep is Your Love

I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
You're the light in my deepest darkest hour
You're my saviour when I fall

I have been in a foul, hateful mood for two days. It’s not even emo. Emo is a lot of things, but this is not emo. Beyond a bad mood, this is vile, foul, salt and grease craving, wanna kick a puppy pugnacity.

Fortunately, my daughter is acquainted with this person and takes no offense. She’ll kiss me on the cheek and cheerfully go into whatever room I am not in. This of course, just p*sses me off (I didn’t say I was rational) but I don't tell her that. We both acknowledge that it's not her, it's me.

She knows that chattering this week will only make matters worse. In fact, I exercised my brutish behavior yesterday and told her to clean the refrigerator. She did a great job.

I shared my vileness with a work colleague, who commiserated completely. This helped. She suggested naming this person. This amused me and I felt a little glimmer. She pondered a little too long. OK, she was losing me because this pondering just p*ssed me off. She came up with name Murgatroyd. Well, that sealed it, hatefulness settled back into the little black hammock of my soul. Note to self: stay in corner for the rest of the week.

Remember the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine is trapped on a subway that isn’t moving? A running dialogue inside her head is heard; at first trying to rationalize the situation, trying to calm herself down, only to eventually start screaming obscenities over and over and over in her mind?

That’s me.

It will pass.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I'm Still Here

Bee Gees Song of the Day: A Lonely Violin

One time long ago,
I tried so hard to reach you,
A song I tried to teach you,
But you were never there.
Despite all my big talk last week about changing my walking habits because of Scary Patrick The Face of Evil, I pretty much get up at the same time and walk the same route every day. Sometimes I’ll change it up on the weekends because there is not the rush to get back and get ready for work. Mostly, I keep it the same because Buddy needs the consistency – mess up anything in his routine and he’s crazy dog for the rest of the day.

I’ve been contemplating this tree on my walk. Like an old whore sitting in her favorite spot of the bar, dressed in what was her finery from the Eisenhower administration. She thinks she still looks fetching, waiting for Mack Daddy to come in and make it all good again. The trappings once used to allure have decayed, as she has, and she’s a sad shell of herself. She’s trying to be dignified and witty with the young hipsters crowding around, (she could show them a thing or two!) but after a nod of acknowledgement, they turn away and try not to make eye contact again. She picks up her green wrap and hugs it a little more closely to her thinning frame.

Bleeping kids.

I'm reminded of a really wonderful song I hear occasionally on the Broadway Channel on my Sirius radio.

Yvonne DeCarlo singing "I'm Still Here". Best lines:

"First you're another sloe-eyed vamp! Then someone's you're camp! Then you career from career to career. I'm almost through with my memoirs ~ and I'm here."

And here she is. You know Yvonne DeCarlo. She played Lily Munster. I think she's beautiful. She passed away January 8, 2007.

(Ignore the blip 2 minutes in, but please please at least watch 3 minutes in to the end.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Bee Gees Song of the Day: New York Mining Disaster 194

...or have they given up and all gone home to bed,
thinking those who once existed must be dead.
A recent incident with my nephew reminded me of a time long long ago with my own son. Briefly, we had just moved into a new apartment and I was tending to all the issues that are inherent in that process. Getting phone service, putting up curtains, unpacking boxes. We’ve all been through it. My son, then three years old, wanted some candy. It was 10am and giving him candy felt a little like taking a shot of tequila at noon. Just didn’t seem right. He pressed me with all the slickness of a three year old, but I was unmoved. He gave me a hateful look that amused me and walked slowly away.

The doorbell rang and I promptly forgot the incident. I let in the cable man to hook up our cable. As I was showing him where we wanted the television, my second-born came holding the toy gun he had begged me for the previous Christmas in his hand. His face was as emotionless as a rock as he pointed the gun at my head and quietly went “Pewhhhhhh.” He dropped the gun to his side, still emotionless, and walked silently away.

I looked at the cable man with an apology on my lips. He had stopped in his tracks watching the boy walk away. He didn’t look at me or speak at me again, he hooked up the cable and left without saying a word. The story has become legend as my son works toward a doctorate.

So as I say, as I was visiting my nephew this weekend, I was reminded of that incident.

I was doing a crossword with his Mom and he is never appreciative of the time and attention I’m stealing in that hour and a half that I spend. The phone rang and little Stevie took advantage of a few moments.

Stevie, by the way, is the most attractive, charismatic and engaging little three year old you want to meet.

"Erica. Erica. I'm going to kill your ass." I was pretty sure I heard him correctly, but being very familiar with the attempts at button pushing (I've been pushed by the best), I ignored the statement.

"Erica. I'm going to kill your ass." Yep, I heard it right. I turned around.

"Did you hear me?" with a grin on his face, "I'm going to kill you."

"I heard you, Stevie. Is that a nice thing to say?"


Thinking that I might learn that his mother was really a monster parent, and that once I left the house, she'd pinch and threaten to beat him senseless, I gently asked him, "Who said that to YOU Stevie?"

"My..." he began. Wonderful! He was going to tell me! I was going to get to the bottom of this horrible tale!


Well then. I’ll wait for him to light fires and disembowel small animals. OR, he’ll become an astrophysicist. It’s early yet.

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