Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wishful Thinking

People who know me are rarely surprised to find out that I believed in Santa Claus until I was, I don't know, seventeen, perhaps.  What they may not know, however, is that I also believed in Wishful Thinking.
Wishful Thinking was a glittery little fairy who hung out on my pillow at night taking dictation of my deepest desires and whimsical fantasies.  She would relay this information to the proper recipient .... God, Santa, Cher .... whoever needed to know, Wishful Thinking gave them the message.  I trusted her with all my important information.
I did not write a lot of letters directly to Santa because I did not, on the other hand, trust my mother.  Not because I thought she was Santa, but because I knew she would read my very detailed letters and make fun of me.  And I doubted she would even mail them if I did actually put pen to paper.  If we couldn't afford a Band-Aid, I doubted we could afford a stamp.  If I ever did write a letter, it was a phony.  Yeah, right.  I want a dolly.  Sure, Santa, bring me that.  Wishful Thinking had the real list!
I cannot fully explain the disconnect, however.  Wishful Thinking had the list along with supporting evidence but Santa never did bring me what I wanted.
I don't blame Wishful Thinking, though.  I mean, I know she's a dingbat.  People can't even say her name without rolling their eyes, "Oh, that's just Wishful Thinking!"  They say it all sarcastic like the Tin Man to the Scarecrow, "Oh, that's you all over!"
Wishful Thinking!  You really gotta roll your eyes right up to Heaven when you say it.
But I still trust her.  It's not her fault stupid, fake Santa wouldn't listen!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Vacation

In December of 1989, I was broke.  Broker than broke.  I was working at NutriSystem and living, literally, on prepackaged diet food.  This made for a svelte figure and a lot of canker sores, but I was too penniless to enjoy those benefits. Occasionally, my roommate and I would happen upon a coupon for Taco John's.  Two Taco Bravos for $1.29.  We would dig through pockets, sofa cushions .... gutters ..... until we had enough to get the Taco Bravos.  Those were the best days!
One cold evening, my roommie got his hands on a couple of free movie passes.  He invited me to join him and his buddies and I was thrilled to accept!!
We saw National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  I had never seen the other Vacation movies and had absolutely no idea what to expect.  And it was awesome!!
I have never laughed so hard in my whole life.  I think I desperately needed to laugh and was craving it so deeply.  This movie was custom made for me!  I believe it!  They say laughter is the best medicine and I completely agree!
I guffawed at the increasingly insane situations Clark encountered and teared with him as he remembered Christmases Past.  I fully understood his intense desire to create the perfect Christmas for his family and sympathized that it never turned out quite right for him.
I know every line in the film.  I adore every character.  I watch it at least once every year and enjoy it just as much each and every time.  For me, it brings back memories of when this movie was the greatest gift a skinny little broke girl could have ever received.  The gift of A Griswold Family Christmas.
The gift of laughter.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Elf on the Shelf

For the past couple of years, I've been seeing this little Elf on the Shelf turning up in folks' homes.  I mean, I'm not in their homes, but I see the pictures they post on Facebook and that's almost the same thing.  The funny thing is that I had that elf when I was little!  And, unbelievably, I have photographic evidence for once!!  See him in the upper left corner?  Perched on our contact papered faux mantlepiece?  My elf had horse hair and wires sticking out of his appendages and a Becca-induced bobble head, but he was always there.  Every Christmas for as long as I can remember.  I liked him.  He didn't hide all over our house.  He just came out during the holidays to play with me and sometimes scratch or cut me.  I didn't mind, though.  It was Christmas and it's all good at Christmas!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013


It's the third anniversary of Puzzle's Homecoming!  Three years ago we brought home a little scaredy dog who spent most of her time in hiding.  Today she is the boss of our whole family .... and we wouldn't have it any other way!  So happy she found her forever home with us!!
My beautiful happy girl!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Maybe We'll Have You Back by Fred Stoller

Sometimes I worry about myself.  I worry too much, for one thing.  I am also plagued with more anxieties and quirks than I can count on all my fingers and toes.  It's not like I don't want to be normal.  I most certainly do.  I never asked the good Lord to make me so weird.  My conversations with LBJ have more to do with me asking Him to please make Santa listen to me than me asking Him to make me a little left of center.
And then I read books like this and I think I may actually be halfway normal, after all!
I think Fred Stoller is funny.  Without even planning it, I believe I have seen every bit of his twenty years' experience on television.  I no longer believe he is acting, however.  I think he is just showing up and saying the appropriate lines.  They just sound funny because he is such a strange person.
"Maybe We'll Have You Back" is a series of essays written by Fred Stoller about his life as a perennial guest star.  I am actually impressed by his career, however the stories were a bit matter-of-fact for my taste.  I think I would have enjoyed them more if Fred had actually read them to me.  I liked reading about his experiences with auditioning, the stars he worked with, and the sets of the various shows.  I liked hearing about his anxieties and quirks, as well.  I just wish the book had been a tad more funny.  I mean, I'm a person who can make herself laugh out loud while commuting alone on a crowded train, so I don't honestly think my expectations are out of line.
It's okay, though.  I still like Fred.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Five Finger Death Hug

I had the opportunity to see Rob Zombie last night, for free, so I seized it!  I love Rob Zombie and he put on a great show!  However, the real rush came from heavy metal rockers Five Finger Death Punch. 
Front man, Ivan Moody, asked the audience to raise their hands if they are currently serving or have ever served in the armed forces.  I raised my hand. 
"Keep 'em up!", he said!
Then he encouraged the rest of the audience to shake those raised hands.  A line of young metal heads lined up ... to hug me!!  They all wrapped their tattooed little arms around me and thanked me for my service!
I cannot explain how moved I was!  Tears filled my eyes and an incredible warmth filled my heart.
So, thank you Ivan!  And thank you to all who have served this great country ~ you are deeply appreciated!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Silver Star

Jeannette Walls quickly won a place in my heart with The Glass Castle and secured it with Half Broke Horses.  When I unexpectedly saw her latest book while shopping for something else, I grabbed it for a trip I was taking.  I didn't read the book jacket, in fact, I took it off when I threw the book in my travel bag and never looked at it again.
The Silver Star is fiction, but it begins much like the previous books, a biography and autobiography.  The author has a delightful way of taking me back.  Sometimes she takes me back to a place I don't believe I would ever want to revisit, but she does it with humor and tenderness.  She makes me feel like I have a story of my own.
While this book isn't brilliant, in my opinion, I loved it for it various reasons.  Sometimes when you are going back in time and connecting with a fictional version of yourself it may just be a simple little story that you need.  I think a 12-year-old me would have adored this book.  I like that a much older me can appreciate that.
This story is written through the eyes of little Bean who is twelve years old and wants nothing more than to enjoy normalcy in her very abnormal world.  She wants happiness for herself and the people around her.  She wants justice and correctness. 
If the story lines are thin .... so what?  For a few hours on a couple of planes, I was 12 again.  Everyday was a barefoot adventure.  For a few hours, I was able to chuckle out loud, weep openly, skin my knees a little bit, and remember with a touch of fondness a time I thought I didn't want to remember.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kissing the Beehive by Jonathan Carroll

I needed a book to read.  Strangely, I noticed an old paperback under the radiator in my upstairs bathroom.  There's no real need to get into how I happened to be looking under the radiator in my upstairs bathroom.  I was just happy to find a book.
It was an oldie (1998) in tattered condition, but it was new to me!
While I wouldn't say this book is particularly well-written, and the character sketches leave something to be desired, and I found the many typos irritating considering the main character was a best selling author, overall it was not a bad story.
A successful novelist experiencing writer's block decides to stop by his childhood hometown and is flooded with memories that inspire his next novel.
It is murder, intrigue, passion.  I mean, coupled with some Advil PM, it was a nice story to help me get to sleep each night for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Big Winner

Once upon a time I worked at a radio station.  One of my many tasks was to hand out prizes to the winners from our listening audience.  One day, an on-the-mature-side gentleman entered the building to claim his prize.
My friend, (we'll call him) Bob, walked by my desk.  Bob is gay, which is relevant to the story.
As Bob passed, the "winner" said, "He looks like a funny guy."  Immediately on the defense, I said, "Oh yeah!  He has a great sense of humor!"  Winner said, in a most offensively effeminate voice, "That's not what I meant."
I gave him my best Lassie quizzical tilt of the head.
"What about you?" he asked.  "You look like an outdoorsy kind of girl."
I'm sure I had no idea what that meant.  It probably wasn't a compliment.  But I stuck to my I'm-just-a-dumb-receptionist routine and said, "Well, I like archery."
Sometimes I think the Weisenheimers in the back of my head just throw the new guy out front and make him spit something so ridiculous out of my mouth even I have no choice but to chuckle at it.  Archery?  I know absolutely nothing about archery!  Why did I say that?  My mind and my mouth are not jumping out of the plane in tandem, that's for sure!
Winner said, "Oh, Merlin or Oxford?"
"Well, it's not like I won a gold medal or anything .... I just said I like it."  That was my brilliant retort!
Sure as God makes little green apples, Winner opened his wallet and pulled out a laminated calling card of sorts to prove that he did, in fact, win a gold medal in the 1972 (or some damn year) Olympics in the great outdoorsy sport of archery.
Well of course he did!
Touche', good man, you are correct!  Bob is funny.  I am rather outdoorsy, and you won an Olympic gold medal in archery AND a Spice Girls cd.  Please enjoy the rest of your day.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blurred Lines

The Voices in My Head have been singing Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines for approximately 5 days in a row.  The problem is, The Voices really only know Pharrell's part.  The rest they make up as they go.  So it comes out something like this:
          The dogs are jumping - Hey Hey Hey
          You wanna eat breakfast? - Hey Hey Hey
           Should I iron blue jeans? - Hey Hey Hey
           My hair is funky - Hey Hey Hey
           That's cuz it's raining - Hey Hey Hey
And that goes on and on and on chronicling every thought and move I make.  When they run out of things to say, they just say, "Blurred Lines!"  But sometimes, they even forget the Blurred Lines part and they accidentally sing, "BATMAN!"

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sweet Tooth: A Novel

I have absolutely no problem walking away from a bad movie.  I feel no remorse or sense of loyalty for lousy films.  Books, however, I cannot seem to toss aside no matter how disengaged I am with them.  Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth, the story of espionage and intrigue set during the Cold War,  was the perfect example of this.  I could not get into this story at all, but I stuck with it for weeks simply to avoid having to call myself a quitter. I was not intrigued, in fact, I found most of it quite boring, to be honest.  There were a couple of short stories within the story that gave me some pleasure, but overall, I found the book rather trite and a dull. 

What Happened?!

I'm sure I do not know what happened to every single post between the loss of my sweet Wednesday and now?  Where did they go?!?!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy Anniversary iTunes

I'm watching a Sunday morning news program on tv.  Today is, apparently, the ten year anniversary of iTunes.  Well, happy anniversary!  The reporters are interviewing young adults on the street to prove how iTunes has changed the world as we know it.  Some of the "kids" being interviewed acted as if they barely knew what a CD was, and an LP?!  "What's an LP?!"
Now, the gramophone was clearly way before my time, but I have always known what it was!  And we always had a television in our home, but I knew about a time when the average family gathered around a radio instead.
I don't understand how people don't know their recent history.  How did I know about things that happened "before my time"? 
I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was little.  They talked to me.  I listened.
Don't kids listen to adults anymore?  Don't adults take the time to talk to kids anymore? 
I know. I know .... the world is different now (I'm not that old, by the way) ....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Fun Day!

                                           My beautiful border collies, Puzzle and Prozac!!