Monday, February 28, 2011

Rejoice!



Rejoice!  For that which was lost has been found!

Rejoice, fellow technologically challenged friends!  The iPod, once lost in darkness and dust, has been found!  We have killed the fatted Jack-in-the-Box™ burger with two tacos (called, ‘The All American), danced around the living room, and rejoiced as much as two people our age care to rejoice.

The iPod (refer to “Electronic Books! Bah!) had been lost for several years, and this loss had become a great source of contention.  This iPod had joined many other things in the “Lost by John Kane” list.  On this list is an assortment of important and unimportant items, ranging from the passport to car keys to ATM card to socks and such. 

Having found the iPod, as well as the technical manual for the surround sound system, has made a new man of my husband, John.  Huzzah, and huzzah.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Fairy House



The fairy house was finally complete.  It was a magnum opus when it came to projects-done-with-small-children.  We started with grand plans; we had watched “TinkerBell and the Great Fairy Rescue”, and had a vision.  Unfortunately, the visions of young granddaughters and their ‘just a little bit old’ grandmother were not the same.

I knew immediately, after the dog-poop complication (refer to “Clap! Clap your hands!”), whatever aspirations I had of a cute fairy-style villa were just not going to happen.  The bits of paper on the floor confirmed that conclusion.  The fairy house was put aside for about two weeks, while I recovered from a bad cold, and deeply held aversion to the memory of the dog do-do.   When I put the house back on the kitchen table, it was with a determination that was akin to completing a black-ops mission. 

The girls were excited, and they got those scissors going, while I scouted through the house for anything, anything at all, that would make this house have some glamor to it.  I mean, aside from the Disney-cute box, all the work we had done looked for all the world like I had dotted the thing with glue and held it behind a wood chipper.  I came back to the table with some empty toilet paper rolls, a few bright ribbons left over from Christmas, and assorted broken barrettes.

It all came together in a rush.  The girls got distracted with a new educational game on the old Mac, Mommy came home, and I scooped up all the destruction on the floor.  It was raining buckets, so we couldn’t take it outside.  Mommy put the now-glamorized house back in its old resting spot until it was a drier day.

Well, today when I was with my girls, the house had been out in its fairy-enticing spot in a tube of the play structure for about a week.  Cautiously, we tiptoed out to the fairy house, whispering & hushing all the way. We looked the fairy house over, looking for clues—any clues—that fairies had been visiting.  Maybe they had slept in the bed?  Maybe they used the coffee table?  The girls searched my face for my grown-up assessment of the state of the house:  occupied or unoccupied.

Liar, I am such a liar.  God forgive me, please.  But, looking at those earnest faces, how could I not say, “Well, I do believe that the fairies have been here!  Yes, indeed.  It looks like they have moved some things around…”  The girls ran back into the house, whooping and hollering, “Grandpa!  Grandpa!  The fairies were there, in our house!...”

If any fairies had been around at that point, I am certain, without a shadow of a doubt, that they would spend tonight there on the bed made from some tissues and parts of a shoebox.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It IS all about...

It IS all about…

The expected word to finish that statement is “me”.  This is an unfortunate trend in society to be egocentric, even narcissistic.  Where does it come from?  What happened in our growth as social beings to stop developing at the age of three, when it is natural to be focused on one’s own existence?  Well, that sentence sucked.  Let me try again.

I guess it is the time of year when I get disgusted with all the celebrity award events that hit the TV prime time.  If it were just one award event, I would be fine with the ultra-beautiful, multi-talented celebrities getting together, sharing a few laughs, toasting with champagne, wearing glamorous clothing, and handing out golden naked-man statues.  But it is not.  No, there are many award events that carve out TV time, and rub their
magnificence, wealth, specialness in our faces. 
 Do I even know all the acronyms and labels?   Let’s see how many I actually do know. 
1.      SAG:  Screen Actor Guild
2.      Golden Globe
3.      Country Music Awards
4.      MTV awards:  music & television video
5.      Tony Awards:  for live stage performances
6.      Emmy Awards:  for television programs, HBO, television movies, mini-series, etc.
7.      Daytime Television Awards: for soap-operas, game shows, talk shows
8.      Grammy awards:  for recorded music awards
Some untelevised award events are the Cannes(spelling?)  Film Festival in Monaco and the Sundance Film Festival in Park City (I think), Utah,

You might think this comes from jealousy.  No.  It does not.  I look at these people, and most of them are stuck at the age of three.  “Look at me!  See my cleavage! (I have a problem with cleavage display) My butt is so hot!  This necklace costs $1.5 million!  I don’t have a wrinkle!  See what I did!  See what I can do!  You like me!  You really like me!...”  That is just the “Red Carpet” entry hour.  The acceptance speeches are another teeth grinder for me. 
Using a public platform to spout about political beliefs and criticize those whose opinions don’t match up with the ultra-beautiful is plain wrong.  Some of the acting profession are actually intelligent people, and don’t need a script to talk, but those people are few in number. 

The DVR is a technological wonder, and I will use it for the Oscar night.  That will cut the 3.5 hour self-adulation presentation to about 40 minutes, especially if I push the fast forward button 3 times.
                                           


Monday, February 21, 2011

Journey through the Mind Blogfest

Sheila looked at Eddie.

            Sheila was not pleased.  No, not pleased at all. 
            Her BFF Brenda said that flying down to Florida in October would be a real hoot, and all the gang would be there.  So Sheila, Brenda, Kimberly, and all the other damsels headed down to their winter spot in Florida.  “Eddie will be there!” Brenda had said. 
            So they went, and hit the water at high speed, skimming over the shimmering glassy pond, trying out new maneuvers, out-spinning the other.  It had all started so perfectly.  The dragons, including Eddie, were keeping all their eyes on the damsels as they made the first pass-by.  Brenda turned to give Eddie that coy look that said so much.
            That was her mistake.  Out from the depths of the quiet waters came a wide-mouth bass, and gulped her down in one smooth motion before sinking down into the waters.  Gone, just like that.  Brenda was gone.
            The tragedy hit them all like a strong wind, and the damsels headed to the shade of the cypress at the edge of the water.  “What happened to her?!  Didn’t she see that one coming?”  Kimberly spoke bitterly.  She was always that way, so quick to speak, to judge the other damsels.  The others hushed her, while Sheila came to terms with the loss of her friend.  Kimberly was right.  Brenda knew better, but dammit, Eddie caught her eyes, and that was all it took.
            This was to be their season, their time to connect with the dragons and leave some larvae in the quiet waters.  Brenda let that get in the way of survival, and see what happened to her.  Sheila shook out her gossamer wings, and turned to face Kimberly.  “Brenda was a fool.  We know that.  But, we have to watch out for each other, and we forgot that.”  All the lenses in her eyes scanned the water, the trees, the sky, the grass—looking for the predators that came so quietly.  “Now, let’s get out there, and do what we do best:  feast on mosquitoes and bugs, shake the air with our wings, and be the damsels we were born to be!”
            As if one, the damsels rose into the air, and skimmed down across the swamp grass, catching insects as their laughter rang behind them.
            Some dragons angled in to catch up with them.  Eddie grew level with Sheila, “Say, uh, Sheila,” he stammered.  “Awful sorry about Brenda.  She seemed a good sort.  Uhm, would you like to go over to the willow, and check out some lower branches with me?”  Eddie’s eyes glistened with deeper meaning.
Thank you for the award!
            Sheila kept her course and eyes searching around, but she devoted a few lenses to observe Eddie.  He was attractive in that bad-boy way, and she could see what made Brenda focus on him.    She gave the matter some thought, and then gave him the only answer she could.
Susan Kane  @thecontemplativecat.blogspot.com
http://ajourneythroughthemind.blogspot.com
Thank you, Haley Jo, for hosting the blogfest!

My Valentine Queen

Easter 1959

My 83 year-old mother was a beautiful young woman and is still a beautiful woman.  Oh, I know, you have to look beyond the aging, but the eyes still sparkle with the spirit and beauty that was and is my mom.

It is hard for a previously independent person to slowly discover  all that was is slipping away.  That came for my mother this past year, when she suffered three severe in-home accidents.  The last one nearly killed her, and it was like God was shouting to all of us, “Time to give up self-pride, and go where the precious person will be taken care of and kept safe!”
Mom, in the red sweater

It has been difficult for all of us, especially her.  Phone calls reveal her pain and frustration.  But, on Monday Feb. 14, she called me.  Her voice was my young mom’s voice, filled with laughter and clever thoughts.  “Well, Susie!  You’ll never guess what I am!  I am the ‘Valentine Queen’ of Eastside Care!...”  She went on and told me about the big party the staff put on, and how every resident and staff member voted, and she won the Valentine crown!  Not only that, everyone has been “…bowing and scraping, calling me ‘Your Majesty’ as I pass…”  And then she laughed, just like she used to when we were in her kitchen on the farm, listening to the radio. 
I miss you, Mom.

I will take and treasure all the laughter she can give me, my Valentine Queen.



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Boys Break Things



There is a simple truth in a girl’s life that we all have had to accept occasionally throughout the female life:  Boys break things.
I learned this repeatedly throughout my growing up years, since I had three brothers.  The first time was a minor breakage, but the breaking of my things grew in magnitude as my brothers grew.  I remember Christmas 1959—it was a wonderful Christmas, for Santa had gotten some extra money from the sale of hogs.  Pork prices must have been up for that time period.  When I opened my presents, I had received a bride doll.  She had luxurious black wavy hair like Elizabeth Taylor.  And I was given a two-piece set of pink metal refrigerator and range; the doors opened and closed; and, there were miniature boxes of cake mix, cans of peas, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.  It was amazing.  My oldest brother Don gave me a brush, comb, mirror, and talcum powder dresser set; I felt so grown up.  My older brother Robert gave me a make-up set for girls about my age (8).  Bill was four years old, and Mary was only 2, so I don’t remember what they gave.

I went back to school after break was over, taking my new doll.  I came home excited, for I was going to play with my new toys.  As I climbed the stairs to my room, I became apprehensive; there were white talc footprints heading down the stairs.  I ran to my room, and beheld the carnage. 

Everything was covered in talc powder.  My comb was broken, the mirror was cracked.  There was lipstick all over the face of my old doll.  The toy food boxes had been smashed, and there was a dent in the sides of the refrigerator and stove.  All my precious new toys had suffered a great assault. 

I ran down the stairs, “Mmmmooooommmmm!” all the way.  She was peeling potatoes for dinner, and didn’t even turn around.  “What’s the matter?” I poured out my heart, with all the frustration and pain an eight-year old girl can feel.  It was Bill mainly, but Mary did the lipstick, I knew this.  Bill broke my gifts.  “Well, go clean it up.”  She continued peeling.  I glanced into the living room, where the two miscreants sat innocently watching cartoons.  I wanted beatings, I wanted revenge, I wanted…something.

I went upstairs and cleaned up the mess, trying to clean off the lipstick, reshape the little cornflake box.  I never forgot:  Boys break things.

Recently, when I was visiting my daughter Erin, she asked the girls what they know about boys.  Without even looking up from their playing, they said in unison: “Boys break things.”  Another generation learns the hard truth.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Electronic Books! Bah!

My husband thinks he wants one of those electronic books.  The Kindle ™ started off a few years ago, and cost upwards of $300.  Now the knock-offs are between $100-150, and he thinks he would like one.

I know better.  I bought him an iPod for Christmas a few years back.  Our son loaded some songs on it, and my husband took it.  Somewhere.  He doesn’t really know where it is, and it has been two years since he last saw it.  It is a source of tension between us, since I spent about $290 on it, after hearing him wax on and on in praise of the iPod.  It was a cute turquoise, about the size of a miniature box of matches.  Maybe that was the problem; it was just too darn small.  He is in stage 3 of the search for the thing, which means I have asked him about it again, and he has initiated a third search for it.

The electronic book is bigger, though, and a ‘book cover’ can be purchased to make the device seem more like a book.  The problem is that my husband reads mainly in the bathroom, for looonnnnnggg stretches of time.  I know he is done when I hear the sound of the paper book hitting the tile floor, and then the flush.  He couldn’t do that with an electronic book.  Also, he likes to underline thoughts, words, ideas, etc. in the books.  It doesn’t matter what kind of book it is.  Fiction, nonfiction, science fiction—he underlines things.  It takes a little work to underline things in an electronic book, and seems to be a waste of time.  Finally, he likes to own books; he likes to take one off the shelf, and thumb through it.  It makes him feel almost rich, having shelves of books. 

No, I don’t see the purchase of any type of electronic book in the future, but then he may go behind my back and get one.  That would be unwise, very unwise on his part.  I would not be happy. 



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My secret love


There are very few TV programs I enjoy.  My husband is an-almost-indiscriminant watcher of TV.  He loves having a DVR, and records anything that might be about poker, the Universe, Black Holes, science fiction,  golf,  physics/math/chemistry, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis…well, you can see his mind bent.
 For me, TV viewing needs to have certain parameters:
  • No car chases
  • No  formulaic plot line
  • No gratuitous near-nudity
  • No thinly veiled political correctness
So far I have effectively eliminated almost every show on TV.  That leaves very few choices.
Fortunately there are the food related programs namely "Cake Boss".
Hoboken, New Jersey, here I come!  For there, I will find Carlos’ Bakery and meet the man of my dreams:  Buddy. 
Buddy, how I thrill at the thought of your Italian pastries!  Oh, I long to bite into the flaky, creamy custard filled ‘lobster tail’ that is made with obscene amounts of butter and cream.  I want to stand in front of the glass case that is filled with delightful creations, and hear your sister Mary yell out, “Well, are you gonna buy somethin’, or you wanta just drool?”
Oh, Buddy, I want to sit across the table from you and order the most incredible, impossible cake and see what you create.  You made the Zombie cake today, and my heart nearly stopped.  Your tribute to the circus world was pure artistry.