April 5, 2017 -- Five Things No One Warned Me About
- At eighteen, having a job, having money in my pocket, hanging out with friends, and meeting boys was great fun. However, staying in college and getting a degree really is more important.
- After a (very) brief stint working retail in the late 1970's, I learned that some people are animals. If there are no witnesses to hold them accountable, people do things in stores that can make you vomit.
- When I went to work on the night shift at a hospital, I quickly learned that stuff... weird stuff happens. The night tribe is a completely different breed, and they are beacons, if you will, to the other things/beings that come out after the sun goes down.
- Working with the night tribe is addictive. I met people and learned things about myself that I really like.
- Don't get too comfortable where you are in life or you'll stop taking chances.
The First Memory I Have Is:
A little background first - the house my parents owned until I was four, sat on ten acres. The house was at the front, with a detached garage, and a barn. The rest of the property was fenced, and my dad bought a calf each year to raise for beef in our freezer, and he boarded horses for a couple of guys who competed in the rodeo circuits in and around Misery.
One memory is really clear, I believe it is a true memory, rather than just hearing family tell the story over the years.
Cathy and I may have been four, but were probably still three. Our older brother, who was twelve or thirteen, convinced us that we could get pillowcases from our bedroom, and if we jumped out of the barn loft, the pillow cases would work exactly like parachutes and we'd float slowly to the ground.
I distinctly remember standing beside Cathy in the loft, looking down at my brother shouting encouragements up to us. Then, I remember my Dad coming out of the back door at a dead run, my brother taking off around the side of the house and continuing on down the road, never looking back. We climbed down the ladder and out of the barn, much to my Dad's relief. He told us that the next time Steve hatched a plan, one or both of us should run it by him or our mom first.
While it was actually happening, I do not remember being scared until our dad came outside and started yelling. Now, that I'm older, with kids and grandkids, I realize just how frightened he was.
When our brother finally made his way home, he was banished to his room the rest of the night, and again the next evening, after school.
Thankfully, it's only a story of what could have been, with a really funny ending.
Sunday was a lazy day.
Other than running the dishwasher and doing a couple loads of laundry, my behind has been sitting or reclining.
- The Walking Dead is finally gearing up to the uprising and (hopefully) end of The Saviors. Since the season premier, I've wanted to see Negan's brains splattered all over the pavement, just like he did to Glenn and Abraham. Yeah...
- The Feud with Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange gives me the feels. It is definitely not what I expected, but I couldn't possibly enjoy it any more than I already do. My parents didn't go to the theater as they were notoriously cheap, and had no problem waiting a year or two for a movie to play on television. We watched it as a family and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Whenever it plays on television, I still watch. Honestly, I had no idea that both Bette and Jane had such horrible lives, and I can definitely understand how that shaped them into the mean, jealous, competitive, and amoral women portrayed in The Feud.
- Hap and Leonard -- I found this on Netflix yesterday, and it's awesome. A Sundance original, Netflix only has the first season. The second is currently playing, but I don't have the channel. Hopefully I can find it streaming on one of the pirate sites, rather than wait a year for Netflix to get season two.
That's all I've got - I was a complete slug today.
March 1, 2017 Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality - or lack of - for the first time.
Warning: this is an ugly story and you may want to skip it.
In 1972, when Cathy and I were 13, our father was diagnosed with a meningioma, which is a tumor that forms on the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord just inside the skull. These tumors are often slow-growing and as many as 90% are benign. However, some grow quickly, cause serious problems, and are fatal.
Unfortunately, Daddy-o had the latter.
My family - maternal and paternal - were of the Pentecostal denomination. There was a revival at the church my dad's people attended, and on the third night, the headliner was a faith healer. My grandmother asked for an article of my dad's clothing, and my mom gave her one of his linen handkerchiefs.
The night of the main event arrived, my grandmother, and my dad's two brothers showed up at the house, grabbed Cathy and me, and dragged us along. The speaker gave his sermon, then asked if anyone wished to be healed. Our grandmother forced the handkerchief into my hand, then pushed and shoved Cathy and me into the aisle and all the way to the front of the church. She spoke to the healer, told him my dad's story.
The man took my hand in his, put the handkerchief in my palm, placed Cathy's hand on top, then put his other hand on top of hers and prayed. It seemed to go on for hours, though truthfully, it was probably less than a minute. He finally released us and we stumbled back to our seats.
My dad died a couple of weeks later.
After we got home from the hospital, people were showing up by carloads. When my grandmother got there, she was overwhelmed, which is perfectly understandable. But... she stood in front of Cathy and me, pointed her finger, and announced to the house that our daddy died because we didn't have enough faith and pray hard enough.
Yeah... that fucked us up for a long time.
February 10, 2017 Things My Parents Told Me That Are True
- "There are more things in heaven and earth, Connie, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Granted, it's a quote from Hamlet, but my beloved Daddy-o was the first person I heard recite it. It was his go-to when telling us to keep an open mind.
- "Things don't come easy to us, we have to work hard for everything we have. So, find something you're good at and like doing. Then, when you do get something nice, you know you earned it."
My Dad teaching us work ethic.
- "Quit gossiping! When you're standing at the pearly gates, no one is going to judge you for what someone else did!"
My Momma, and she was absolutely correct.
- "As long as both have passed the age of consent, no one is being forced to do anything they don't want to do, and you're not a participant, it's none of your business who loves who!
Again, my sweet Momma.
Both parents. Whenever they would sing a song to us, sing along with the radio or television, every song ended with "cha-cha-cha!" Honestly, when you think about it, that really does make any song better...
Both my grandfathers died when I was still a baby, so I only knew my grandmothers. They taught me stuff that didn't make any sense at the time, but the older I get...
- If your period is late, cut fresh ginger root into thin slices and boil them for 10 minutes. Strain into a cup and add lemon and sugar. Drink 3 cups a day and it will make your period come.
- If your nose itches, expect company with holes in their britches. When they arrive, do your best to supply whatever it is they need -- food, a few bucks, a place to stay for the night with a giving spirit.
- Whatever you send out comes back to you x3. Make sure you only send out good thoughts, words, and deeds.
- Don't speak it into existence.
- Trust your gut. You have those instincts for a reason. If someone, something, or someplace doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
That's enough for now, I could go on all night...
February 1, 2017 - The Transporter: tell us about a sensation - a taste, fragrance, a piece of music that transports you back to your childhood.
Both of my parents loved strawberries, but my mother loved them all the way to her soul. I'm totally serious, strawberries were a spiritual experience for her.
During the summer months, we had them for dessert most every evening. She'd serve them with yellow cake and whipped cream, or she would make homemade ice cream with them. Cathy, Steven, and I had to crank the freezer, because we didn't have the electric version. She would be laughing and happy all afternoon, just thinking about her sweet treat later that evening.
Whenever we were invited to a wedding or baby shower, she would make an angel food cake, pour macerated, sweetened strawberries into the into the middle, then frost it with Cool Whip.
I love strawberries, but I believe it is due to her elan and gusto. She's been gone seven years now, but my sister Linda and I always make sure we prepare some fluffy strawberry concoction on her birthday and wedding annivesary, so she knows we remember.
January 31, 2017 - First Light - what was the first thought you had upon waking this morning?
Stacy's Mom - I woke this morning with it playing in my head.
The original song by Fountains of Wayne was released in 2003. Sean loved it, as well as the video. Whenever it came on, we all had to come watch and/or listen along with him. I didn't think that much of the song, it was catchy... but Sean loved it so much it holds a special place in my heart.
Then, in early 2016, I discovered Postmodern Jukebox over to the YouTube. Scott and his crew re-did it in a 1930's jazz style with Casey Abrams (a contestant on American Idol) singing.
I love it. It makes me happy, makes me laugh, and feel silly.
January 30, 2017 - Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, on the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?
In 1992, I was recently divorced. Cathy, Sean, Leslie and I lived in a very nice little house just a block from a gas station/convenience store, two blocks from our older sister, and a mile from our mother. Sean and Leslie were still in elementary school, I worked for Herr Doktor as his transcriptionist/insurance clerk, and Cathy worked nights in the ER at the main hospital, as a radiologic technologist (she took xrays).
The songs that I loved that year were: Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Under the Bridge by The Chili Peppers, Jump Around by House of Pain, and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
The movies I loved that year were: Wayne's World, Howard's End, Twin Peaks-Fire Walk With Me, Glengary Glen Ross, Reservoir Dogs, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The big concerts Cathy and I attended were: Ozzy (Zakk Wylde on lead guitar) with Alice in Chains at Lampe, and Aerosmith with Collective Soul at Kansas City.
January 28, 2017 - Describe a car accident you were in.
I can't remember the exact date, just that it was in the summer of 1988. Jeff, my husband, Darwin, my brother-in-law, and Steve, my brother, were putting a new roof on my mother's house. They didn't purchase enough shingles and needed more. My mother gave me a check and asked me to drive to the bank so the menfolk would have cash to by more.
Everything went off without a hitch, the woman at the bank knew me and my mother, so there wasn't an issue with cashing the check. I was driving home and the car in front of me hit their brakes. I wasn't going above the speed limit but I knew I didn't have time to stop, so I switched lanes. The car in front of me did the same thing, and I hit her anyway.
I was wearing my seatbelt, but was still hurled into the windshield. My forehead made a beautiful spiderweb in the glass on impact. The steering wheel impacted with my ribs beneath my breasts and the seatbelt scraped the skin on my neck deep enough to make it bleed.
I got out of the car and a woman got out of the car I'd hit. She hugged me and cried with me. She said that the car in front of her stopped suddenly, and when we changed lanes and I hit her, the car drove away. She got the license plate number.
When the policeman arrived, she begged him not to give me a ticket, and explained what happened. He was a real jerk and said, "Ladies, I'll take the license plate number, but you need to know this isn't Miami. We don't solve crimes in forty minutes."
I turned my head and whispered under my breath, "Son of a bitch!"
He gave me a Careless and Imprudent citation, as well as another for following too closely.
When I went to court, the prosecuting attorney had a diagram. He asked me to look and tell him what happened. He asked if the judge dismissed the C&I, would I plead guilty for folowing too closely, and, if I would agree to going to driving school, he'd ask the judge not to charge court costs or take any points off my license.
I agreed and left much happier than I'd arrived.
January 27, 2017 Describe the best concert you ever attended.
Pink Floyd, June 20, 1994, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri.
The local radio station that everyone listened to is US-97. They offered a "party package" which included lunch and free drinks at Cartoons, a local restaurant and bar, tickets to the concert, and a bus ride to and from the venue for $97. Cathy and I tried to enlist all our friends to go, but they said they didn't have the money, couldn't get off work, whatever. A woman I worked with at Herr Doktor's office told me that a group of her friends were going - Cathy and I were more than welcome to hang with them.
This was a band Cathy and I had loved for twenty years; we were freshmen in high school, 14 years old, when Dark Side of the Moon was released. We were beyond excited, and created a count down calendar. I told Cindy, my coworker, and we made another one for the office. It was given a place of honor in the front office reception area and we had a little ceremony each morning when we marked off a day.
The day tickets went on sale, Herr Doktor called me into his office and asked me to close the door. He said he loved the band as much as I did and my excitement was beyond entertaining. He handed me a bank envelope and said it would be his honor and privilege to buy my and Cathy's tickets.
The day finally arrived, we met our party at Cartoons, found a bank of seats at the back of the bus and generally made a nuisance of ourselves for the entire drive to KC. We'd smuggled alcohol in our purses, and several of the guys had pre-rolled joints in cigarette packages. At one point, the bus driver, Gordo, pulled over to the side of the road and yelled at us. It felt just like when we were in high school on a field trip...
Arrowhead Stadium: The Floyd took the stage, opening with Astronomy Domine. They played for two hours straight, took a thirty minute break, came back out and played another two hours, plus two encores, finishing with Run Like Hell.
It was everything I had imagined, I couldn't have asked for more, unless Cathy and I had been allowed on stage.
That was the prompt, that one word. Immediately I heard:
Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And everything you do
Yeah they were all yellow
Yellow -- I loved and still love this song. Sean and Leslie would always laugh at me because when it came on the radio or television, I'd make everyone be quiet so I could listen. They would tilt their head to the side and bob to the music, I guess imitating me.
The lyrics don't make a lot of sense, it isn't touchingly romantic; however, the melody and Chris Martin's vocals inspire a dreamy, warm feeling. Truthfully, I can't say it invokes a specific memory, I can't associate it with a person or time period. It just makes me feel sentimental and happy...
Miss Katharine Hepburn . . . there just aren't enough words to describe how much I enjoy her. In my opinion, she was never really beautiful, at least in Hollywood's definition of beauty, but that's part of her appeal.
And? Every time I see her on screen, I expect her to say, "We saw the Encantadas, but on the Encantadas, we saw something Melville hadn't written about."
That is all, you're excused. :-D