Monday, November 30, 2009

Post-Holiday Blahs

Too much food, too much drink, too much traveling, and too much fun makes me feel like this today. Hope your Thanksgiving was just as fillling.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have A Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

-John Greenleaf Whittier

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

Oh where, oh where can she be?

My husband lost Little Sally Pumpkinhead. He took both dogs hunting this morning and about a half hour after they got back called for her but she did not come. He walked around the house looking for her but could not find her. He went outside and called but no Little Sally Pumpkinhead appeared. He then walked around the outside of the house looking for her but still could not find her. He went back inside the house and looked under the beds, under the tables, in the closets and in the basement but, again, no Little Sally Pumpkinhead.

Now he was getting worried and decided to search the house one more time. As he walked through the living room and into the bedroom he happened to glance at the couch. There peering out from behind one of the big red couch pillows were Little Sally Pumpkinhead's big black eyes. My husband was was so happy to find her he did not even scold her for being on the couch. And being on the couch when she wasn't suppose to be is probably why she didn't come when he called in the first place.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm In A New York State Of Mind

My sister took this photo. As she points out, one train coming into the station while another pulls out rarely happens.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Pursuit Of Happiness

An unalienable right according to the Declaration of Independence. Note, it says that we as American citizens have an unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness not that we have an unalienable right to be happy. No guarantee stated there or in the US Constitution.

So, all you people who justify your selfish, obnoxious behavior by stating emphatically that you have the right to be happy (which you have misconstrued as meaning that you can do whatever you damn well please as long as it makes you happy) can shut the hell up.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mad Dogs And Englishmen Go Out In The Midday Sun

In tropical climes there are certain times of day
When all the citizens retire
To take their clothes off and perspire.

It's one of those rules that the greatest fools obey,
Because the sun is much too sultry
And one must avoid its ultri-violet ray.

The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts,
Because they're obviously definitely nuts!
Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun

The Japanese don't care to.
The Chinese wouldn't dare to,
Hindoos and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one.
But Englishmen detest a siesta.

In the Philippines
There are lovely screens
To protect you from the glare.

In the Malay States
There are hats like plates
Which the Britishers won't wear.

At twelve noon
The natives swoon
And no further work is done.
But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.

It's such a surprise for the Eastern eyes to see
That though the English are effete,
They're quite impervious to heat

When the white man rides every native hides in glee,
Because the simple creatures hope he
Will impale his solar topee on a tree.

It seems such a shame
When the English claim
The earth
That they give rise to such hilarity and mirth.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho,
He, he, he, he, he, he, he,
Hum, hum, hum, hum, hum, hum,

Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.
The toughest Burmese bandit
Can never understand it.

In Rangoon the heat of noon
Is just what the natives shun.
They put their Scotch or Rye down
And lie down.

In a jungle town
Where the sun beats down
To the rage of man and beast
The English garb
Of the English sahib
Merely gets a bit more creased.

In Bangkok at twelve o'clock
They foam at the mouth and run
But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.

Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.

The smallest Malay rabbit
Deplores this stupid habit.
In Hong Kong they strike a gong
And fire off a noonday gun
To reprimand each inmate
Who's in late.

In the mangrove swamps
Where the python romps
There is peace from twelve till two.
Even caribous lie around and snooze;
For there's nothing else to do.
In Bengal
To move at all
Is seldom, if ever done.

But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday sun!

-Noel Coward

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sometimes You Can Judge A Book By Its Cover

Nowhere on the cover of Sarah Palin's book is the name of her co-author, Lynn Vincent. We haven't even opened the book yet and we find a half-truth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Those Schoolgirl Days Of Telling Tales And Biting Nails Are Gone (part two)

It must have been in early Spring because I remember not having a coat on when I stepped on the playground during lunch period. I could see Sandy and Vicki standing under the huge elm tree that towered over the northeast corner of the blacktop near the teacher's parking lot. This was where we always hung out before school and after we finished our lunch. That day both girls had rushed out of the lunchroom before me and they stood under the tree with their heads close together taking intensely as I walked up to them. Sandy was facing the tree picking tiny pieces of bark off of it. Vicki was standing on the other side of her facing me with a look of triumph on her face. They had stopped talking when I approached and I looked at both of them in confusion, something was up.

Vicki did the talking, telling me that they weren't my friends anymore and that they didn't even like me. That they were transferring to Gove Junior High to get away from me. That...I don't remember what she said next, I could see her mouth moving and the hatred in her eyes as she spoke but I could not hear her words. I looked from her to Sandy who kept her eyes glued to the tree as she continued picking off small pieces of bark with her fingers. I heard her give a nervous giggle and wondered why I could hear that but not Vicki's words. I was frozen in place by the gleeful look on Vicki's face as she continued saying hateful things to me. Part of me was stunned by what was happening while another part of me wasn't surprised by it at all. I already knew what kind of person Vicki was and felt sorry for Sandy. Vicki was the type of person who could only could have one friend at a time and she had picked Sandy.

Sandy was my first real friend, I had moved around too much to make any close friends before, and her...I was going to write betrayal but that is not how I felt at the time. I felt disappointment and sadness but at the same time I knew you could not trust people and that if you let them get too close they only hurt you. I thought Sandy was my friend but she just stood there and let Vicki say all those horrible things.

I turned and walked away. I was freezing and every muscle in my body trembled. My mind was numb and I realize now that I had gone into shock. I also realize that this incident had been such a psychic blow partly because I was still traumatized after watching my father try to kill my mother a few months earlier and partly because my faith in other people had just been shattered beyond repair. I think if anyone looked closely at the time they would have noticed that I was leaving a silvery trail of liquid behind me as I walked away. My soul was bleeding and the wound seemed fatal.

I told my husband this story as we walked the dogs up at the cemetery. When I finished a feeling of great loss welled up inside me and burst out of my body in a wail of pain. I had not cried that day nor told anyone what had happened. Now I spat out the words, "How could they do that to me?," and broke down in tears. The next moment it hit me and I thought it would take me under; the loneliness I felt growing-up wrapped up inside the alone-ness that almost made it unbearable. Then, as quickly as the flame from a lit piece of flash paper disappears, the pain was gone leaving behind a greater sense of weariness and sadness.

As for missing out on high school, I see now that this is not what depressed me. It was seeing how close my husband and his classmates were and the numerous memories they shared. A lot of them had been in school together since kindergarten which means they had been together all of their school life and most of their childhood. Knowing this had brought to the surface of my subconscious a truth that I had kept suppressed, how as a child I felt utterly soul gutting alone in a dangerous world. By finally acknowledging this and experiencing the pain that this thought brought me I was free of it.

Note: If you would like to read about my sister's memories of our childhood she now has a blog called Yup, it was my life. You might want to check it out since she is almost as good a writer as I am. ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Those Schoolgirl Days Of Telling Tales And Biting Nails Are Gone

but in my mind I know they will still live on and on.
-To Sir With Love

As I am sure you have noticed I have been somewhat MIA blog wise the last six months. A number of things have contributed to this like work, illness and travel. Travel included a trip to Denver for my husband's 40th high school reunion back in September; something he was looking forward to with trepidation. It was scheduled to be a three day event but his plan was to go to only one as he knew that no more than three of his high school buddies would be there. We ended up going to all of the planned events since it turned out to be so much fun. Everyone was so happy to see everyone else since all the reasons for the social cliques back in high school had slowly evaporated as people aged and matured.

I myself had a great time too but days later I slipped into a funk that I could not shake. My husband volunteered to help the reunion committee find missing classmates for their next big event, the year they all turned 60, and with each classmate he found the deeper my depression got. Part of this was because his high school reunion make me see how much I had missed by not going to high school. The other reason for my depression struggled to the surface of my subconscious a few days later.

When I was in seventh grade the first time, my mother, siblings, and I moved back to Denver from Thornton where we had been living with my father. We moved because, once again, my father had deserted us. My mother found an old house on 23rd Avenue just off Federal Boulevard directly north of Bear Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos, soon to be know as Mile High Stadium. It was late Fall when we moved into the house and Spring when we moved out of it. My father was back and for reasons I don't remember but that probably had to do with non-payment of rent we moved to another old house on York Street between Colfax Avenue and 14th Avenue.

All of this would not have been so nerve racking for me if my mother had not left it to my father to enroll us in our new schools. Unfortunately for me but probably deliberately for her, she had neglected to tell my father before she left for work that she had never gotten around to enrolling us in school while we were living on 23rd Avenue. I expected anger when I told my father this but he just stood there looking at me with a mixture of sadness and resignation on his face. Then his face changed and he told me and my siblings to get in the car. He drove us to Stevens Elementary and herded us into the main office saying to the woman behind the counter, "My children haven't been in school and I'd like to register them here."

The school took us but put us behind a grade which meant I was back in the sixth grade for the remainder of the school year. When I got to my new classroom my teacher wondered out loud where she should seat me. A girl in the row next to where I was standing stuck her hand up and said I could sit next to her. We became good school friends and at the end of the year I thought I would never see her again but it turned out I was wrong.

That was the summer my father tried to kill himself, my siblings and I spent time in the foster home, and we moved to another old house on Elizabeth Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. That house was right across the alley from Stevens Elementary School. In the Fall I started seventh grade again at Morey Junior High School. I was very surprised to run into Sandy, my Stevens friend, on my first day there. It turned out that not only was she at Morey, she also lived right down the block from me on 12th Avenue. We became better friends as we walked to and from school each day and ate lunch together. At Morey we also became friends with another girl, Vicki, who walked part of the way home with us. She lived on the Morey side of Cheesman Park and she would walk with us until we reached Humboldt Street then turn south to her house while Sandy and I continued through the park and on to our neighborhood.

I considered Sandy and Vicki my best friends even though I knew Vicki wasn't happy with the fact that I was Sandy's friend first. I knew this by the sarcastic things she would say to me but I did not understand how deep her jealousy really was at the time. As the months passed things started to change. Vicki and Sandy were in a hurry to grow up while I was in no rush to do so. I already knew about the responsibilities of adulthood and had no illusions about the relationship between men and women. They thought I was a baby but I was the one older than my age, old enough to think most boys were immature jerks, old enough to know that dressing like an adult and doing the things that adults did, did not make you an adult. I knew one day they would "outgrow" me, it just happened sooner that I thought and in a brutal way.

(continued tomorrow)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When I Grow Up I Want To Be An Old Woman

I do too. My sister sent this to me and I thank her and Kaiser Permanente.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's Choice- Not Chance-

that determines your destiny.
-Jean Nidetch

The weather is getting to me, one day in the mid 70's the next in the low 50's. That kind of temperature roller coaster always makes me tired and sleepy. So tired, I went to bed early last night and woke up to an e-mail from my sister that read, "THE BEST EPISODE EVER???" My mind was blank, what was the best episode ever? Then it hit me, my brain has been in such a fog the last few days I forgot yesterday was Sunday. Which means I forgot to watch Mad Men Men last night! Luckily I had it set up to recorded so I watched it this morning.

(Warning- If you watch Mad Men and have not seen this episode stop reading, there are spoilers ahead.)

It was a very satisfying episode and a great end to the third season. My favorite scene was Peggy's Joan moment. Roger and Peggy are working at a table together and he asks her, no, he tells her to get him a cup of coffee. Without missing a beat Peggy says no and keeps on working. Roger looks at her in surprise. Peggy is not Roger's "girl" and she is letting him know it.

If you asked me what the theme of this episode was I would tell you it was about taking a leap of faith. Sterling-Cooper is being sold and Don Draper decides to start another agency. After Conrad Hilton tells Don he is disappointed in him for not being a man made in his (Conrad's) image, someone who does it all alone, Don flashes back to the outcome of his father's fatal decision to go his own way without the help of anyone else. He realizes that if he continues following in the footsteps of his father and of Hilton he will not be able to get back the one thing that is important to him in business-the freedom to do quality work and be his own man.

The man who kept his thoughts and feelings on a "need to know" basis with others takes his leap by being more open with the people he works with and needs to make his plan work. All the people he goes to, Burt Cooper, Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell, Peggy Olson, Harry Crane, and Lane Pryce, are hesitate at first but then take their own leap of faith and join him. Why do they all decide to do so?

As Don points our to Peggy, since the Kennedy assassination "the way people saw themselves is gone but nobody understands that." Well, except for her and all of the other people who take the leap. Until this episode everything had been moving at a glacial pace in some ways. People were just going though the motions and seemed to be trapped in their lives at work and at home but last night people were moving with more energy. The Kennedy assassination was a spiritual kick in the head for everyone. The ones who felt the kick the strongest were the ones willing to take charge of their own destiny and make that leap of faith.

One other person, Betty, took charge of her destiny and made the leap in this episode but I think she is the only one who did it with her eyes closed. In a dream Betty had in an earlier episode her father refers to her as "a house cat, very important. Little to do," and I don't think Betty is happy in the role. Since she is too busy blaming Don for all her problems she doesn't see that by going with Francis she is still going to be a house cat only in a different house. Poor Betty, poorer kids.

One last thing, when I first started watching the show I thought Peggy was based on Shirley Polykoff who at one time was the only female copywiter at Foote, Cone & Belding. Now, I'm so sure. Joan is more the Shirley Polykoff type since Polykoff once said that she was "a girl first and an advertising woman second."

One last, last thing. I am glad Joan is back, I missed her.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Cute Puppy Photo, What's The Caption?

I'll start,
"You talkin' to me?
You talkin' to me?
You talkin' to me

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Getting Stronger Everyday

But still not strong enough to get that chewy away from Duke.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Joy Of Books

We have finished cataloging the Juvenile Easy Fiction preschool section and I must say it has been a joy to hold in my hands books that gave me great pleasure as a small child. This week I was reunited with Harry the Dirty Dog, Dr Seuss, Ferdinand the Bull, Peter Rabbit, Madeline, and Harold and his purple crayon. I'm looking forward to rediscovering the books I read when I was older as we start working our way through Juvenile Fiction.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser

I have reached the point in the book cataloging process where I am letting my mind wander down paths it would never take if my brain was being stimulated more fully. Today I discovered a conspiracy of unimaginable cunning but...well, let me start at the beginning.

Today we started cataloging the R's in Juvenile Easy Fiction and when I reached Rey I of course started cataloging the Curious George books. If you do not know about Curious George then you either have not been the parent of a very young child or you did not grow-up in the United States.

Curious George is a monkey rescued by "the man in the yellow hat." The books are about George's adventures with "the man in the yellow hat" and include volumes that describe George's visits to a school, a library, a toy store, the beach, an ice cream shop, and the aquarium. All innocent carefree fun that somehow always ends up in chaos that is attributed to George but is George really to blame? I say no. I say it is all the work of "the man in the yellow hat."

Lets look at some other titles; there is the one where George is in a dump truck, there is the one where George is sent up in a hot air balloon, and there is the one where George is let loose on a train. All very dangerous situations for a young monkey and who is lurking there in the background acting all worried and concerned? "The man in the yellow hat."

What is really going on? I believe "The man in the yellow hat" is secretly trying to kill George. Why, you ask? Because he is jealous of George's fame. George is the most famous monkey in the world, even more famous that Cheetah. "The man in the yellow hat" thinks he should be just as famous as George since he is the one who found him. In addition to his plot to kill George and make it look like an accident there is evidence that "the man in the yellow hat" has also tried to get back the money he spent bringing George to America by making him work.

These things are shocking but I also suspect that "the man in the yellow hat" has, at least once, attempted to kill George himself! And there is evidence that "the man in the yellow hat" is using intimidation in an attempt to keep George under control by making him believe that the police will arrest him and put him in a zoo! Poor George.

Somebody, somebody please, get George away from "the man in the yellow hat" before something tragic happens!