Saturday, June 16, 2012
When I was 9 years old, a boy in my class died of leukemia. His name was Billy Rivers. Because we were in a Catholic school, we all attended Billy's funeral mass and then followed the hearse to the cemetery. I remember being terribly sad about the death of the young boy, but oddly comforted at seeing where he would be laid to rest.
Plus, at that point, I was sure that Billy was now with the angels. He was fine and things were perfect for him. (Yes, I was a little brainwashed, but I was only 9 for heaven's sake.)
Whenever we travel, I take a trip to the local cemetery. I find them restful and beautiful places. There is a hush in the air and a feeling of energy. All those souls! (Don't misunderstand. I'm an atheist and this is strictly a physical impression I get.) I adore the strange cemeteries in New Orleans, and Paris, France and in London. I also love the cemeteries at the California Missions.
The photo shows the Chinese Cemetery in Daly City, a suburb of San Francisco. When I was in high school, a group of us loved going to this cemetery at night. We would park in the parking area and walk around for hours, sharing swigs of WPLJ (white port and lemon juice, actually lemonade), and try and scare each other by jumping out from behind the larger headstones.
I don't ever remember being actually scared but I do remember a boy statue standing on top of a particularly large headstone and having him come to life and jump at us. It was one of our friends being a jerk. The police patrolled the Chinese Cemetery and we would hide from them behind tombstones until they finally gave up and left.
One night, the guy I was dating and I hid together and saw the police car finally pull out of the cemetery. We laughed and whispered and finally stood up to see where our friends had hidden. Our friends had not hidden. Our friends had gotten in the car and left us.
Far from being upset over this, we both decided this would be a fantastic place to make out, just the two of us. We spent about an hour lying on top of a grave wrapped in each others arms and pressing against each other while we kissed and petted. It was bliss!
We saw some headlights in the distance and thought it was the police coming back in for another routine patrol, but it was actually our friends. They had run to the car when they saw the police car and thought we were with them. Ted and I tried to act traumatized and angry and I buttoned up my sweater and he made sure his zipper was zipped back up.
Our friend thought we had "done it" in a cemetery. Actually we had not.
But it gave us good street cred for them to think we had.
I love cemeteries!
Friday, June 15, 2012
In the first place, I never won one of these.
That made me feel kind of like a loser till I remembered I really haven't done much in the way of competing.
I don't do sports. I don't do beauty pageants, I don't do body building. I don't sing or dance in competition.
One thing I did was graduate from high school and get a job. I also moved out on my own at 17.
Today, a lot of people are graduating from college and going back home. They can't afford to move out, and they can't get a job. But maybe they won some "First Place" competitions.
I don't know.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
I realize I could have gone down the low road, but it's my story and I'm doing it my way.
I come from a long line of big haired women. My mom was from Oklahoma and her hair was always big and blonde and styled with a half a can of AquaNet hairspray. Mom had a lot of hair, and she teased it dramatically. That was some big damn hair!
Her sister, Berta, is now 90 years old. She came to see me last year and I was amazed that she to this day has big blonde hair. My cousin Kelly has big blonde hair too. Both of my other cousins in Oklahoma are men and somewhat hair challenged but they made up for it by marrying women with big blond hair.
I have 3 sisters and each and every one of them has big hair, 2 of them are blonde and one brunette. My nieces and my granddaughters as well as my daughter and my daughter-in-law have big hair. Any damn one of the aforementioned females would have hair perfect to be in the front line of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad, even my 90 year old aunt Berta.
I had semi-big hair myself until about the age of 40. When I was 40, I had a boyfriend, but I cheated on him. Getting out of bed at the No-Tell Motel with that big mess of hair to try and deal with was just too much pressure. I decided to have it all chopped off.
My family was horrified. My daughter started telling people she had a "bald-headed mama" and my mother just shook her head every time she saw me. My boyfriend (the one I cheated on) hated it. The guy I was cheating with liked it. (Don't judge. I had my reasons.) But I found the chopped off hair very liberating.
My cousins and my aunt told me insincerely "Oh I wish I could do that with my hair!" They were both lying through their pretty teeth. They hated it.
I was no longer a slave to electric rollers, curling irons, and blow dryers. This was truly a wash-and-wear (or "fire and forget" as Alex says) situation and I love it.
I don't go to the No-Tell Motel anymore, but if I did, nobody would be the wiser!
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I had a boyfriend who wanted to teach me about art.
We spent days in New York galleries looking at modern art,abstracts, and such. I could buy a lovely Jackson Pollock print and have it framed for not too much money. And it would exhibit the sophistication of my artistic taste.
The only problem is that I don't understand or like modern art. Abstracts leave me cold. Plus, I like my art to look like something that I recognize.
This is because I have unsophisticated taste in art, my boyfriend assured me. With a little education, I would catch on very quickly to what is good art and what is not.
My boyfriend generously offered to buy a Pollock print for me and get it framed. I knew this was very nice, but asked if we could just keep looking.
We wandered into another gallery where I saw a painting that was of dogs playing poker, smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey. I squealed with delight! Now here was a painting I could really enjoy. Absolutely not, my boyfriend exclaimed. That is not even art! That is ridiculous! I was getting a little annoyed. We came back to San Francisco without a piece of art.
About a week later, I went to a local place where they had some original art and some great prints. I saw a really nice signed and numbered Chagall lithograph and thought about it for a moment. I kept looking and found a huge framed print of the poker playing dogs with the cigarettes and booze.
I called my boyfriend that afternoon and told him what I had seen. He was a fan of Chagall, but when he found out the price of the lithograph, he said we should keep looking. I went back to the gallery before they closed and the owner offered to come by when he closed to hang my new painting for me.
The next morning, I called my boyfriend and invited him to dinner. I told him I had a surprise for him. When he came into my apartment and saw the large piece over my fireplace, he nearly fainted before exclaiming "Holy shit!"
Yes, I got the other one.
As a side note, after he and I broke up, I returned the dog painting (which actually was sort of hideous) and got the Chagall.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Now I'm all about being spontaneous and such, but I really question having sex on top of dirty dishes. It just seems wrong to me.
They (Michael and Glenn) were in her apartment and if memory serves, she had fixed him dinner first. (I guess that was a blessing since the dinner plates were probably untainted when they used them.)
I'm really not prudish, but I may be a little fastidious where it comes to my kitchen, particularly the sink. If they had done it on the stove it would have bothered me too. Actually, the kitchen table wouldn't have been that bad if there was a tablecloth and they pulled it off when they were through and threw it in the hamper.
Why didn't they just go do it in the bedroom? Or even on the sofa? Why do it in the kitchen?
Another question I have is why in the movies do the actors always have sex standing up. The woman is usually against a wall and the man grabs her and she jumps up and wraps her legs around his waist. Excuse me? Does that make a lick of sense to any of you? My poor husband would get a hernia if we ever tried such a thing.
Okay, just to let you know I'm as cool as the next girl, I have no such qualms about a laundry room or a car.
Monday, June 11, 2012
I went from an unmarried poverty-stricken high school graduate with two kids to a rich bitch. Okay, it took me a long time, I admit, but still!
"Rich bitch" is an exaggeration. But I went from being hungry to being over-fed. Get my drift?
What could be a better accomplishment than that?
I worked for many years dealing with deadlines and commitments. I never missed a deadline, even if it meant I worked until 3:00 AM to get a proposal or a presentation done. I worked for architects (the worst) and engineers (the best) and I was fairly successful in my area of expertise.
Architects are flaky. Engineers are meticulous. Architects want to dither around until the last possible moment before committing to anything. Engineers are generally much more likely to be on schedule.
When I started this blog, I tried to write a post daily for a while. Then I realized that I really didn't enjoy reading other bloggers daily posts. It took up too much time to go around to all the blogs I read and try and keep up. So I determined that twice a week would be a good compromise.
Keep in mind, it's not that I didn't enjoy reading other people's material because I did. But damn! I can't be chained to a computer for 12 hours a day every day.
When I saw that Nicky and Mike (We Work For Cheese) had decided to have a little writing competition for the month of June, I decided to participate. Part of the reason is because I love Nicky and Mike. But part of the reason is that I wanted to see if I could still meet a deadline if I tried. We are a third the way through with this little challenge and so far so good.
This is making me feel accomplished! I also feel accomplished when I go out into my lovely garden. In ten years it's changed from a nightmare to a dream. It's one of my favorite places. I have had success and failure in the garden, but in most ways, it's gorgeous.
Another accomplishment I think I have is that I have good happy pets. And a good happy husband. I would say that I accomplished raising two delightful kids, but they did a lot of it by themselves. Maybe I gave them some early tools,but they are both people I'm very proud of.
Damn! I'm impressed with me!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
We were keeping our grandson Cyrus and I had to go into the City. Since Alex was at work, I called my sister and asked her if she would keep Cyrus (age 3) for a couple of hours and she said sure.
Cyrus was very attached to me and Alex. He had to be bodily carried and put into my sister's car under his screaming protests of fury and horror at the prospect of going with this other person. No amount of my calm explanations would soothe his terror.
I felt awful sending him to someone's house, but it was necessary because I sure as hell could not take a baby to a job interview.
I went into the City and tried not to be haunted by the pitiful screams of my favorite boy in the world. I told myself firmly that he would be fine. My sister had a daughter who was only a couple of years older than Cyrus, and they would play. I hoped they would play. I couldn't imagine a worse situation than having a shrieking toddler for a few hours.
As soon as the interview was finished (they couldn't afford me although they loved me a lot - hey! I've had husbands tell me the same thing), I found a phone and telephoned my sister. Her first comment to me was "How did the interview go?" I distractedly said "fine, fine. Now how is Cyrus?"
My sister laughed. "Oh Cyrus is FINE!" "He stopped crying?" She responded that not only had he stopped crying, he might not want to leave ever! It seems my niece, sixteen year old Dani, had been instrumental in calming him down. They had arrived home to find Dani home from school and when they brought the hysterical little boy in the house, he took one look at Dani and calmed down.
Dani held Cyrus on her lap for the next 2 hours singing to him and listening to him babble to her. He snuggled against her perky bosoms and fell sound asleep. When I awakened him, he said "Grandma, you go. I'm staying here with this girl."
All I could think was "Men!"