Once Upon a Time Category

I’ll Have the CAESAR

15 Mar 2009 In: Once Upon a Time

Just read these:

Evidently I was not careful last year. I was not on the qui vive. I didn’t keep my eyes open, peeled or out. I was not on my guard, lookout or alert.


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Haphazard Scraps

30 Nov 2007 In: Celebrate!, Once Upon a Time

Here are a few of the things about which I’ve been meaning to write and some I had no intention of covering. They are in no particular order.

Come to think of it, that’s a really inept expression. I may not list these things in chronological order, order of priority or order of preference, but they are in a particular order: The first I list is the FIRST in order, the second is SECOND and so forth.

  • Sarah turned nineteen on November Fourth. (Happy Birthday! Woo Woo!) I believe this gives her the privilege of BUYING cigarettes in Utah though she could have legally SMOKED them last year (at least that was the law at some point, I believe). She doesn’t smoke, so I cannot really say she partied hard over this entitlement.
    She has developed a penchant for wearing lots of black, which I find really amusing (and not just because she used to dress like “Rainbow Brite”), as I started the same preference around her age. Too bad I kept it up for the next…too many years. Then again, the musicians’ and the actors’ world doesn’t help you embrace vibrant colours.
  • I joined a gym (again). I have found, from past experience, that the act of belonging to the gym in and of itself does not make one fit. Go figure. I have concluded, therefore, that I must visit the gym other than to tour the facility and to come back and pay to join. Admittedly, I don’t FEEL more fit from these first two visits, so getting on a treadmill or in the lap pool might be a good idea.
  • Lovely Ms. Emma turned twelve on November twenty-second. She is ENTIRELY too grown up for my comfort. When did she become a “young lady?” It’s just untoward. I remember speaking and singing to her while she was in her mother’s womb (which, as far as I can tell, did not do any long-lasting damage).
  • I payed a visit to Emma, Zoe, Paige and Abby (and Maxwell, though he was really into his iPod while I was there – I did get to hear a recording of a band comprised of his friends – very impressive) the other evening. I have wrangled (successfully) groups of grade-school kids, hundreds of junior high school students as well as small intense groups doing Shakespeare, a bunch of peppy first-graders and Kindergarteners, large groups of even younger children, and I cannot keep the decibel level of any interaction with these wacky punsters much below slightly deafening. But I don’t have my own wacky, delightful brood, so I must borrow Jenny’s and Grettir’s sometimes despite the festival atmosphere I seem to unwittingly incite. I did try to leave a while before their actual bedtime so they could have time to chill, meditate and be Zen.
  • If you get your mammogram during Breast Cancer Awareness month, you get presents. As far as the actual process, I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as people make it out to be. To be frank (as we should be about these issues), I am not…well – I am not “perky” or “small.” I can see how that might make the process more painful. The most uncomfortable part of the mammogram, as I see it, is the fact that they try to get as much as possible of your CHEST WALL in each shot. I’m coming back to this topic, I assure you, so stop covering your ears, William. This is a MEDICAL procedure.
  • I think I should end with a confession. I thought that Grettir invented TinyUrl. Yup. It did say “Tiny” and I hadn’t seen them before he used them…

Take THAT Google! Part III – Revenge with LOVE

5 Aug 2007 In: Once Upon a Time

‘kay, just one more. For those so overcome by ennui and tedium in their lives – those who they need just ONE more thing to do, I’m going to link those pictures back to their original entries.

This is where my lack of technical prowess will be demonstrated at its fullest. You see, I don’t know how to add the url links to the entries AND make the thumbnails “expandable.” (If I’m showing my parents pictures of Paisley or one of my other niephews I’m often met with the request to, “Blow that one up.” The concept of the thumbnail is somewhat lost on them.)

Come to think of it, I rather like the look of the minuscule picture border. I ALMOST added an image or two just for the hell of it (Dear
Deborah, I have rated this site “PG” – NOT PG-13, as that would mean there would be lots more violence, the opportunity for partial or brief nudity, and the dropping of an “f-bomb” or two. Sorry, I’m just not G-rated except in deference to others). I thought better of sneaking in unauthorized [new] graphics since so few people deign to speak to me as it is. They are nice pictures, though. Ah, well – you’ll just have to take my word for it.

So there you have it. Now I’M filled with ennui.

Take THAT Google! Part II, More Revenge

4 Aug 2007 In: Once Upon a Time

I almost forgot the IMAGES. Maybe if I include the most downloaded images (from what I remember) I’ll foil the “heavy category page” bias more thoroughly.

It’s true. I don’t know what in the hell I’m doing.

I think I’ll stick to a collage-ish design so that each thumbnail (yes, if you click on them you can see the whole photo) is as WEE as can be. Ah – they are so itsy-bitsy!

NOTE: they are miles away from being in chronological order – or should that be years away?
vomitcarpet2sm.jpg forest floor green vomit carpet1stChemo.jpg first chemo infusionShirleen,_Kate,_and_Janet-1974.jpg 1971 Kate Shirleen Janet Three SistersSarahorientalecropped.jpg lady in red cheongsamAfterlocks.jpg pile of hair long hair cutCroppedSweater.jpg long hair long hair cut blondsarahbarefoot.jpg short hair bare foot bare feet girl in redJessicaTousled.jpg Jessica Biel who is Kate perhaps perfectly tousledGrandkids4.jpg grandkids niece nephew niephews part of fivekatebefore4.jpg long curly hair long hair cutFetus.jpg ultrasound fetus baby tiny dancerRamonaQuimby300.jpg original real Ramona Quimbyroundbelly34weeks.jpg pregant belly 34 weeks round belly green dogCroppedHeavy.jpg long hair cut long blond hair braidpeekaboo_radley_jr.jpg Peek-A-Boo Radley Junior BlobbyRosehair2002.jpg long curly red hair red rose pirate hairmyniephews20074.jpg grandkids niece nephew niephew part of fivelastchemo.jpg last chemo infusionvomitcarpetsm.jpg forest floor green carpet vomit carpet

Not art, perhaps, but my lil’ ego needs a boost. Ohhh! They are so TINY that they are practically sweetly, perfectly bite-sized.

Take THAT Google!

3 Aug 2007 In: Once Upon a Time

In early July I found that all of the sudden – just like that – my site hits had dropped by about two-thirds of my former total. It hurt my feelings. A lot.

I will grant, the searches that lead unsuspecting web surfers to my site are sometimes (perhaps often) misguided attempts to locate something in particular – something that isn’t actually on my website. I would imagine that it may be somewhat bewildering when they land in my pink/purple/mauve/lilac/periwinkle/deep-purple striped (please pronounce both syllables) circus wonderland.

A few have actually found it a serendipitous diversion; they have even told me so. If others have found it agitating, they have not passed their dismay along to me.

I thought perhaps the sudden paucity of visits could simply be a “Mint” error. It goes without saying, I immediately contacted The Guru. Moments later (or so it seemed), he sent me the answer.

It turns out that Google is BIGOTED against HEAVY PAGES. Indeed, fat prejudice is the last vestige of acceptable discrimination. The category page that brought in the bulk of my traffic had become too “overweight.” Therefore, in the blink of an eye, as far as Google is concerned, the page did not exist AT ALL.

I could make that category go on a “diet,” but as it is my FAMILY category, that just seems incongruous. That being so, I will find my way around this whole “lil’ weight problem.”

To begin with, I thought perhaps throwing about my most popular (or previously favoured) search terms. Yes, I am a novice at increasing my Google-iciousness or Googleekeness or Google-appeal -whatever it’s called -but I shall make a noble effort.

I’ll start with a little story:

Once upon a time, Frosti Karrason, King of Kvenland, walked about with his bare feet, badonkadonk butt jiggling across the forest floor. In the verdant grass, with the dew rising like a Gazillion bubbles, his foot tattoos were hardly noticeable.

He was in an agreeable mood; his lady in red, resplendent with her long hair flowing and beautiful Cheongsam hugging the curves of her body, had just announced to him, in the guise of a charmingly cheesy poem, that he was to be a father.

He couldn’t wait for the gentle swell of her pregnant belly to grow. They could get an ultrasound soon; he’d find if he should dream of Hot Wheels or a short hair girl. He’d always liked short hair – short hair cuts on little girls. “Musha ring dum a doo du a da,” he exclaimed in delight. He realized that his beloved girl in red should have roused from her lazy slumber by now.

He went into the bed chamber. She was still drowsy. “I’m gonna eat a lot of peaches, “ she murmured. He laughed with uproarious delight. At this din, she truly awoke. She smiled and said, “Actually, I’d rather have some lovely Fromage d’Affinois.” Nothing could quell their shared bliss, not even the idea of a crying baby who would keep them awake through long nights.

Time passed, as it does. The lady in red was 34 weeks pregnant. Friends and neighbors started bringing gifts and advice and suggestions for names. Alone, in their carefree bed, they privately laughed at some of these offerings.

Poor Mrs. Svidri, a “collector” of animals, who went on at length about the goopy eyes of one of her cats, wondering if it was cat eye herpes. True, the vivid descriptions of “cat eye goop” made the Lady in Red a little nauseated, but she didn’t mind. Mrs. Svidri, who was also an expert in many languages (as she believed her animals spoke the human languages of their countries of origin) went on to explain that many phrases sounded “indecent” in English, but were perfectly innocent. A case in point, she explained, was German “ass,” which was a conjugation of the word “essen,” meaning “to eat.”

Mrs. Anderssen had suggested that Ramona Quimby was a WONDERFUL name for a girl. This recommendation was accompanied by a cheese poem, as well as the elderly lady’s reminiscences of Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day. Mr. Jokull brought them a painting of a green dog (which they rather liked) and then shared a slew of verses by The Cheese Poet. Ten-year-old E. Pissmore Fishbind brought them a “snot a mug.” They expressed great appreciation to E. and then behind closed doors laughed until they cried. It was a joyful time.

Then, one bright morning, Frosti found The Lady in Red delirious and fevered in their bed. She was repeating over and over again a nonsensical tirade -it seemed to upset her greatly -about “car paint.” “Mr. Clean Magic Eraser -MAGIC ERASER -Oh -magic eraser burns.” She would sink momentarily back onto her pillows, drained and exhausted. But she’s begin the harangue again, “TIRE RUB -TIRE RUB!!!! We must remove tire marks…. We have to clean bumper paint -WE NEED MR. CLEAN -MUST HAVE MR. CLEAN!!!”

Frosti filled the room with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, but the Lady in Red seemed to find no comfort from them. Though the physicians found no problem with the baby, they were very concerned that the mother’s overwrought condition would eventually be detrimental to the health of the pregnancy.

One day, when Frosti had almost given up hope, he awoke from the chair beside the bed of his beloved wife to find that the fever was gone, as were all the strange exclamations. Still, a little weak, The Lady in Red asked, “Why is the room filled with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers?” Frosti simultaneously laughed and wept – tears of relief flowing down his cheeks soaking the silk sheets.

The miraculous infant was born a week later, any vestige of the pregnant belly soon melted away. They named her Google Mint Cheongsam. They hung the painting of the green dog over the cradle. And then they adopted a kitten (making certain it was free of cat eye goop – free of cat eye herpes). They named it Ramona Quimby.

And all was well.


Guru and other gurus, will this help? I certainly hope so, because it’s a CRAP story. And my Mint numbers and my Mint world map with the wee little “pins” bring me such gratification. Mindless gratification, I grant you, but I will take what I can get – especially until this whole Jessica Biel transmogrification is complete.

I almost forgot:
Blood is Thicker… Oh yes, BLOOD IS THICKER!

Holy Junior High, Batman!

9 May 2007 In: LIVESTRONG, Once Upon a Time

A few months ago I purchased these shorts from the Lance Armstrong Foundation Store:

I show them to you now, because they expose far more of my “legs” than ANYONE will see in public. And probably not even in private; they are my SECRET shorts. One may ask why I purchased them. Well, they were on sale.

Before the peanut gallery starts yapping about how just because it’s on sale it is still not FREE. Yes, yes, I KNOW. Blah, blah, BLAH. I had my reasons.

First of all, I only like to wear all natural fibers (cotton, silk, viscose made of renewable bamboo…) OR magically technological, wicking, UV-blocking, bug-repellent fabric that gives one the ability to fly. True, I’ve not found any garb with that last quality, but I certainly have a great admiration for the others. The shorts pictured above are made of super-duper wicking fabric. Huzzah! I’ll omit any mention of the way I sweat when I’m sleeping that makes such qualities vastly desirable. Except that one.

However, there was something that did bother me just a little when I donned the things (and it was not an audience – I’d assiduously avoided that). Last night it came to me in a flash of not-so-pleasant nostalgia.

Take off the logos, turn the black into an obnoxious shade of blue (a wretched version somewhere between royal blue and ultramarine), turn the fabric into double-knit polyester and you have AN EXACT REPLICA OF MY JUNIOR HIGH PHYSICAL EDUCATION SHORTS. Okay, make them SMALLER, too.

Oh, the memories that brings back. The humiliation of group showers, the minuscule “towels,” the bright yellow double-knit polyester top that went with the shorts, the LONG yellow socks (we had to purchase the whole ensemble at a local sporting goods store according to “school colours” – at least I didn’t have to suffer the humiliation of going shopping with my Mother for my first “cup” – HAH, David and Charles), the “fun runs” (something they probably wouldn’t put hardened criminals through during prison yard time), and the fact that throughout the two years of my junior high career we did little “survey” classes of about three billion different sports – yes, I’ve played field hockey – and I was consistently mediocre at EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY. Oh wow – we even bowled, did gymnastics (on that one I dipped down from mediocre into harrowing), and a veritable smörgåsbord of physical “recreation” entailing the hitting or throwing of some variety of ball. WAIT – I was an at least slightly better than mediocre swimmer (I’d had lessons).

I’m lost in a fog of reminiscence at this point that I cannot honestly describe as anywhere near enjoyable. In fact, it’s vaguely evocative of sulfur. I suppose that means that junior high was created by SATAN. And I’m only being slightly facetious.

I realize that after junior high (free of the ghastly fetters of the devil?) I played a little volleyball, basketball and softball and maybe improved a TAD, but if I were now to attempt any of the aforementioned activities I would – how shall I say it? – stink up the house. Every time I go bowling, for instance, though please cut me some slack in that I go very rarely, I get worse and worse. I’m downright DANGEROUS now, come to think of it. You have NO IDEA how relieved I am that Emma did not suffer any permanent brain damage from a particularly memorable bowling outing during with I laid her out FLAT with my back-swing. I’m not going to explain the whole thing now or I’ll weep (again). Just know that now, eight or so years later, in spite of my little “faux pas,” she’s exceedingly brilliant. Maybe I knocked something into place.

Well, I’m going to set aside the lasting traumas of my pre-teen years. And my teen years. And some years after that. Let me just inform you that the proceeds from EVERYTHING you buy from the Lance Armstrong Foundation Store directly benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation (and they are having a BIG sale at the moment). That is one of the reasons I have such a wide array of LIVESTRONG® paraphernalia, including the item I’ve pictured here, to be known henceforth as “my junior high LIVESTRONG® shorts.”

Yes, I am always behind – sometimes by five minutes, sometimes by a few months – sometimes by YEARS (my window for becoming a professional athlete is GONE, I tell you). But you know I try to make amends (whenever the hell I get around to it, anyway). I’m serious. I’m still planning an entry about the Christmas holidays.

First, I’ll go with the CUTE little baby picture that I should have posted two months ago:
Noelle Claire K.

Noelle Claire - SO BEAUTIFUL

Born January 17, 2007

Sorry, Pam. Oh – and I suppose I should apologize to EVERYONE for the fact that I never get permission to post pictures of them or their progeny or their pets – whatever tickles my fancy.

And here’s a whole BATCH of cuties! My cousin, John, had joked with me quite a while ago that ALL THREE of his sisters and his Mother AND his brother-in-law had been featured in my “On the Lee Side” link. I pointed out that whereas they all had blog(s) he did NOT. I did say, though, that he should send pictures of his cute boys and I would post those:
John & The Boys

Alex, Benjamin, John & Tucker

AND A Complete Stranger in the Background (He’s cute & also very nice, I’m sure)

So, if I’ve retained any of my Aunt Mary Ellen’s superb clarification of the “removed” versus “first and/or second” and so on when pertaining to relatives, John’s children are my first cousins once removed.

I must say, even though I have a somewhat better understanding of the concept, thanks to Mary Ellen, I must ask: Who came up with “removed?” And who or what takes them? And to where? I would say that from these same sibling cousins of mine that their offspring (I’m sorry, but the other side of the family is SO BIG – let me rephrase that – there are so many – that I cannot even keep track of my COUSINS let alone their children. THAT DOESN’T MEAN I DON’T LOVE YOU, B-side!) that perhaps they are “removed” because they all live rather far away.

BUT, that whole theory is RUINED because I did meet Harper, first cousin once-removed of lovely cousin Jennette and her most charming husband, Tom. Does that make her unremoved? Perhaps that’s how you become ‘TWICE removed – as they went home after visiting. That reminds me – I’ve got to figure out the whole tiny video thing from my phone because I have footage of Harper.

Ah ha! Plunder from Jennette’s website! Pictures of Harper and Elena – I guess they were visiting the West Coast from the East (Elena is the daughter of my cousin Heather, a distinguished barrister, and her husband Ammon, a distinguished professor – AND THEY ARE DISGUSTINGLY YOUNG AND I HATE THEM. In a nice way). Actually, j’deteste all four of you – you YOUNG SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE (yes, you too, Erica, even though you are too young to have a house and children – other than kitten children – and to be a barrister or the like). But in a NICE way:

Harper & ElenaHarper & Elena Prostrate
Harper & Elena Play

Elena - all cute for a party.

Elena & Pizza
Come on, Urbane Intellectuals-
Where’s the macrobiotic gruel?

Good Grief

10 Feb 2007 In: Celebrate!, Once Upon a Time

William – wait, I should jump on the “cool” bandwagon and say “Will” – is turning SWEET SIXTEEN. Pardon me, perhaps I should say MACHO/MANLY SIXTEEN (whatever that means). Whatever you call it, it’s not right. I saw him yanked from his Mother’s womb with the Ominous Salad Tongs (That’s the official medical term. Well, it SHOULD BE). In other words, since it’s all about me, that makes me VERY OLD. In fact, two days ago I became THIS old!!! That’s just crazy.

Once upon a time, this was a wee William:
Gotta love the tie.

William, Circa…Wee

Awwww – the glasses! I wish there was a shot of the eye patch somewhere… (That was all because he had amblyopiadouble amblyopia, if I remember correctly.) Although that would remind me of the time, right after he got the eye patch, that I took him to the amphitheatre where I was in many shows so he could see them working on the set (you know, with super-cool power tools) and I turned my back for one second and he walked right off the edge of the concrete stage. Luckily it wasn’t a long drop… You see, as I, myself, learned years later from donning on eye patch in a play, you have essentially no depth perception when you’re wearing the thing.

But now, his vision is corrected, he’s grown tall and has a basso profundo voice, and he’s…he’s…(can I say it?) A STRAPPING YOUNG MAN!

I offer as evidence the portrait of my niephews from January, 2007:
Party of Five Part II, THE REVENGE

Anders, Will, Leif, Sarah & Paisley

Compare this to LAST year’s “Party of Five”. A few notable differences are evident. Most importantly, I AM FREAKIN’ OLD! Secondly, Anders is crying because his fly is down. We were all thinking that it was because he was tired of the process (as he’d already spent good energy looking dashing for his own portrait – I’ll post that soon), but looking at a very large version of the picture today I realized that he is suffering from the abject humiliation that they are going to let his image – FOR ALL POSTERITY – be captured with his zipper undone. And they had the unmitigated GALL to try and pacify him with a BALL (see how he holds it pleadingly in the air). Worst of all, he is not quite dexterous enough to fix it himself and hasn’t yet the vocabulary to say, “Pardon me, could someone assist me in zipping up my pants?”

But back to Will. I’ve been known to give him a bad time (just once in a great while, right?), but it’s only because I want him to not talk with his mouth full, or speak in that voice that uses ALL THOSE EXTRANEOUS DECIBELS, or have questionable personal hygiene for when he goes on a hot dates. See, Will? I’ve only been thinking of you. And that’s because I love you! I nag you with love.
Happy, Happy Birthday, you Strapping Young Man!

Okay, I think that sufficient time has passed; I have recovered enough to talk about some of the experiences of what I’ll just call “chock-full Thursday,” August 10, 2006. I’m actually going to start with THE MOST BIZZARE CINEMA EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD, which took place later in the day, after so MUCH had happened (if you doubt me, let me, in one word, something that it included: DMV).

One background fact (it’s NECESSARY – I promise), when I was in Park City for the SHORT COURSE FROM HELL, I bought a watch (with myriad interchangeable wristbands) at the Fossil store at the Park City Outlet Mall. This was pretty much my only recreation for the week. I haven’t worn a watch for AGES. I haven’t worn one since I lived on what they considered the outskirts of Salt Lake City proper (an excuse to give you crap when you want services like recycling) although it wasn’t as far back as when I lived downtown or in the Avenues. And it was DEFINITELY not as far back as when I shaved my legs.

One more quirky background fact: I am a relatively intelligent woman (at least I used to be – I admit that for a while I’ve felt like my brain cells are melting and mixing in with my ear wax or my mucus – that would explain my surfeit of allergies and/or colds), but I CANNOT wear a watch that just has lines (where the number SHOULD BE) or even Roman numerals. I get confused on the fly. Oh yeah – I’m a GENIUS. So my new watch has numbers.

Back to the story. On Chock-Full Thursday I decided to see a film. I was at the Gateway, so I looked at my watch and decided that I could still catch a late matinee. I looked at the movie times and decided that I’d see Lady in the Water. I was close enough in time, I figured it was probably a pretty inoffensive choice (my expectations were not particularly high). I was running a little late for it, and I HATE missing the beginning a movie, but I was assured by the ticket seller that it had ten minutes of previews. So I thought if I really busted a move I could get my gallon of diet soda, go to the restroom, and make it in time.

Unfortunately, when I walked into the theater, the movie was obviously well underway. There were only two couples there, but they were in rapt attention. I tried VERY, VERY quietly to situate myself with my soda and my frozen Junior® Mints (ask at your local movie theater if they freeze some of their Junior® Mints – it’s a very refreshing treat AND believe it or not, Junior® Mints are “A Low Fat Candy” – like that really matters at the cinema ).

Then the deepest and most profound surreality of the day set it. I had calculated that I could only have BARELY missed the opening credits, but what was happening on the screen was WACKY INTENSE. I really am at a loss to describe it in a different manner. I sat literally with my mouth agape for the next five to ten minutes (it couldn’t have been longer). Then the end credits rolled. I kid you not. I saw the last FIVE MINUTES of an M. Night ShyamalamaDingDong movie.

This means that I caught the “big twist” – though without the set-up I’m at a slight loss to say WHAT IN THE HELL IT ACTUALLY WAS OR WHAT IT MEANT. Paul Giamatti, who I really like, was weeping (you’ve all had time to either see or ignore this movie, so I sincerely doubt I am spoiling anything here – besides, if you’ve SEEN the ENTIRE film, you know oh so much more than I do). M. Night ShyamalamaDingDong was there, and there was something important about the progeny of his sister (?) and then, of course, there was Bryce Dallas Howard, looking vaguely albino and mystical. Oh – and Freddy Rodríguez from Six Feet Under fighting giant, fearsome…armadillos(?) made of foliage.

WHAT IN THE HELL???? This is the only response that came to mind. I walked out of the theater in a daze, went up to the ticket seller and said, “I just saw the last five minutes of Lady in the Water.” I showed them my ticket. He then graciously pointed out that it was an HOUR earlier than I had thought. So much for my watch-reading skills. I had purchased a ticket for a show that hadn’t started yet and wandered in to the END of the previous showing. No one stopped me…

I asked if I could exchange the ticket for something else – I desperately needed to replace the surreality of that experience. Considering that time (the actual time) I opted for a ticket to World Trade Center. Yes, I realize this seems like a very strange choice, but time constraints being what they were and feeling the need to be pulled back into some sort of reality, I opted for Ìber reality.

I sat down in the next theater, still feeling more than a tad disorientated. I was not in a place to truly assess this movie (I still don’t think I should try to critique the film, itself, in any way). I will say this: It it my fortune in life, no matter how empty a theater is, to somehow be seated near by people who will really, truly annoy me to death. If I choose the seat, the people nearby will look innocuous until the previews roll (or worse, they lull me into a sense of false security during the previews and then let it all hang out once the film starts). If I am already seated, even in an EMPTY theater, the very most inconsiderate movie-goers in the wide World will somehow sense and target my over-sensitivity to the sins of movie viewing (chewing REALLY loudly, rattling papers and wrappings incessantly, talking, talking, talking – not a few quiet aside comments – HAVING CONVERSATIONS, taking phone calls, kicking your seat – you name it). I admit it, it would behoove me to tune them out better. But once I notice egregious film-viewing offenses, I have a hard time ignoring them.

Kitty-corner behind me a row (or was it two) were such people. Had I not just “gone through the looking glass,” so to speak, I probably could have been more tolerant. The movie starts, and I hear a noise that, I SWEAR, sound like folks are cracking nut shells with their teeth. Say what you want about this movie (I don’t feel qualified, like I have said, to make an objective assessment of it), I felt that no matter what the film was like, one should maintain a certain reverence for the subject matter. These people were being IRREVERANT. I looked back, convinced that they would have a big sack of Brazil nuts or something (hence the DIN), but it was JUST POPCORN. One woman, in particular, seemed to have a talent at slowly, steadily, eating kernel after kernel and somehow making it sound like she was eating un-popped popcorn. I swear she did this for an hour. I comforted myself with the idea that they’d run out of popcorn eventually. And glory be, they DID. BUT one of the men in the group LEFT WITH THE KEY CHARACTERS TRAPPED, SEVERELY INJURED, UNDER THE RUBBLE OF THE TWIN TOWERS to get a refill of popcorn. Bless his stinky little heart. They also were wrapper rustlers. And periodic talkers. My withering looks didn’t do any good, and I hadn’t the energy for anything else. THEN one of them TOOK A PHONE CALL. She gets the dubious credit for having her phone on vibrate. This, however, did not stop her from a full-on phone conversation (with a vague attempt to have it be a QUIET conversation). I had the impulse to turn around and berate them fierce
ly with a speech – something like, “People ARE DYING, thousands of people REALLY DID DIE, don’t you have a sense of respect and REVERENCE??? If you can’t muster that, don’t you have a sense of being considerate to your fellow movie-goers????”

When I think about this, I suppose that’s backwards. If you don’t have a sense of respect or reverence one of the great tragedies of the Centuries, then your fellow movie-goers are certainly of no concern to you. And yes, I should, myself, had the strength to be “big” enough to just ignore them. If I wanted to berate them about having deference for great calamity and heartbreak, I should have had the self-control to concentrate on what I was deeming worthy of sensitive regard.

One way or the other, I think I deserve a BREAK. I’d inadvertently seen the last five minutes of Lady in the Water and THEN it somehow, in my bewildered state, seemed like a good idea to see World Trade Center. Now that I am NOT as stupefied, flummoxed or befuddled, I would NOT recommend this, under any circumstance, as a cinematic experience that one would desire.

The Forest Floor

26 Nov 2005 In: Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, many, many years ago (more than twenty-five, I believe), my Father was on one of many business trips. This journey was special, though, because my Father purchased carpet from a woman on an airplane. Yup – only my Father would buy carpet from a STRANGER on an AIRPLANE. The woman showed him sample a few inches in size, probably buttered him up with effusive compliments about his necktie, and he ordered two rooms worth on the spot. I bet that lady STILL laughs about my Father during coffee breaks with her fellow sales people. My Mother thinks that he told her that carpeting was arriving, but she certainly did not see a sample ahead of time. It is, by far, some of the ugliest carpet EVER made. And this repulsive carpet ended up in the master bedroom and the other upstairs bedroom. Soon after the carpet was installed, my uncle was helping install one of those huge wallpaper scenes in the master bedroom – it was a vista of forest and a lake and such (my Mom says that it was the only way that she could convince my Father to give up the pictures of “Pughboy” and “Stinky” that hung above their bed for years (if you look for the originals at The Huntington Library it would be “The Blue Boy” and “Pinkie”), that he’d decoupaged and put in Mexican frames)). My uncle looked at the carpet, and said that perhaps we could pretend it was the forest floor. My Father has clung desperately to this idea ever since.

A few years ago, one room full of Forest Floor was transformed to beautiful blue ceramic tile (for my Mother’s upstairs laundry and sitting room – if you have two “bionic” knees and are facing the reality of every single major joint needing to eventually be replaced, an upstairs laundry/sitting room is great – one of the best ideas my Father ever had). But sadly, the Forest Floor languished in the master bedroom until yesterday. As of that auspicious day, with the expert help of my brother-in-law, Erik, my Father’s secretary, Erica (boy he’s lucky to have such multifaceted administrative help), and various family members (oh – also many thanks to Grettir for helping me put the furniture back into the bedroom with such manly style), a beautiful laminate floor now graces the master bedroom AND the hall. HURRAH!!! Before the carpet journeyed to the dump, I managed to snap a couple of somewhat detailed shots of The Forest Floor:

The Forest Floor

More detailed vomit.

The Forest Floor (More Detailed View)

I showed these images to my Parents. My Mother promptly exclaimed, “It looks like VOMIT!” My Father said, “I was tired of it, but now that I look at it objectively [?], it has all the beautiful colors [no “u” for THAT one] of the FOREST FLOOR.” My Mother responded, “I think this is the first time I’ve really seen how much it looks like VOMIT.” She and I both tried to impress upon my Dad that it was HIDEOUS – that is was ALWAYS hideous. He answered, “It looks like a modern painting with the beautiful colors of nature.” Such commentary went back and forth rather in the same vein. My Father rhapsodized, “What a lovely collage of natural color!” My Mother asked me, “What are you supposed to do with THAT [The Forest Floor]? How can you pick decor when you have THAT?” She would like, in fact, to pick out new paint and/or wallpaper for the room, but she’s having a horrible time making a decision about it. Today she asserted that perhaps it was because of psychological damage sustained from living with The Forest Floor for sooooo long. She’s probably right.

Cheese Wisdom

Apart from cheese and tulips, the main product of the country is advocaat, a drink made from lawyers.Alan Coren, on the Netherlands



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