Monday, August 31, 2009

Friendship is a fire that keeps on burning

This weekend brought together a group of people who've known each other the span of 39 years. Some of us didn't meet until middle school or junior high, but collectively, we have known each nearly our entire lifetimes. That's quite a feat. We're not related, but there's that special something that makes us feel like we are.

It dawned on me that during our formative years, we all had struggles. Some of us lost a parent. Some fought to maintain identity. A couple rebelled and couldn't escape the stigma. In spite of what we experienced in our domiciles, we have all learned that our lives weren't perfection, but we unknowingly leaned on each other to find a semblance of structure. We were a bonded family. The camaraderie that existed in the class of '83 can't be denied. In fact, it's still percolating to this day.

On August 29 a small group of us gathered around a fire pit in the backyard of a classmate. Through the smoke, we laughed, ate, drank and laughed. Oh, I already said that. Intermingled in the laughter came the stories of struggles and fears, and how we managed to overcome them. Many friends were missed dearly, but they'll get another chance to partake. Rest assured this isn't the last of such a party. The class of '83 has staked out a time and place for next year rather than waiting for our 30 th reunion. Since our group never seemed to hold to the stereo types that are mostly requisite in high school, it is perfectly fitting that we not follow them post high school.

And heck! If the mood strikes we might very well find an excuse to have a mid-year shindig. The non-family non-reunion reunions don't really require an excuse to celebrate. Good old fashioned friendship is reason enough.

The photo of the fire is complements of Keith Collins. He won't know I stole err borrowed it until he sees this post. Thanks Keith!! That is the authentic fire pit which provided us warmth and black lung.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The verdict is in ... and on my head

I want to thank those of you who voted on my hair color poll. I was kind of relieved to find that a resounding 73.7 % of you wanted to see me with dark brown hair. Fiery red came in second, but trailing the winner significantly at 15.8 %.

After staring at the wall of color, I grabbed a box. Put it back. Grabbed another. Returned it. You get the idea. I chose the make and model with intense color! If you're going to change, you might as well do it with gusto, right?

Here it is, boys and girls.

Even if the poll said otherwise, I probably would have selected the color that is most like my natural hue. With comments like these, who am I to argue?

"you look positively sultry with dark brown" -- yoonamaniac

"I have to say that the dark brown is the most flattering to your skin tones. It also makes your green eyes more intense, doncha think??" -- anonymous

Ain't no sunshine

In a quest to give the gloomy skies a shove off, I turned to music. Sometimes doing a happy dance in ones underpants can rid the soul of mental gray matter. While I don't have the powers of Mother Nature, my 'rain, rain go away!' dance has been known to work wonders. My dance recently saved a friend's garage sale from impending doom due to severe rain. When the Relay For Life was being threatened by a dismal day, I turned it around to complete blue sky and sunshine. For that one I put out a distress call online. So, I can't take all the credit for that one.

The area weather has been overcast, rainy and thunderous (at times) for three days. Enough is enough! I can't take it. Sunshine is needed.

Youtube is often a great resource because of the other suggestions given. I've discovered a lot of artists with this process. This morning I sought out the tunage of GO WEST. You remember those guys, right? Cute lead singer (Peter Cox) with short hair and guitarist (Richard Drummie) with the fluffy 'do so popular in the '80s. I had the cassette with the hits "We Close Our Eyes," "Call Me," "Don't Look Down." Later, one of their songs would be used in the movie, "Pretty Woman." For what it's worth, they are back and touring. Still looking good! Maybe I'll get to see them if they make to this side of the pond and devote an entire blog post to my concert experience.

Anyway, watching their videos put me in a happier mood and I shared it on Facebook.

Listening to Go West led me to INXS which, somehow in the mix, brought me to a link to the band you see and hear in the video below. Heaven! JACKPOT! Happy-happy-joy-joy! Why hadn't anyone told me about the Noisettes before? They aren't stuck in one type of sound. I listened to other tracks on their youtube channel. First they were a danceable disco like band. *click* something more ethereal and folksy. And then, the retro pop girl group funkiness of the song I chose to post. There's something totally radical about the track Sister Rosetta. I know I've heard that one before somewhere. I can't recall. Probably a commercial for a product totally unrelated to music. Surely some of my music aficionado readers can shed light for me. I'm definitely adding them to my collection of hot new groups to take up residence on my iPod.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My parenting may be suspect

"As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well."
As any parent can tell you, it's not an easy job raising the next generation. It's often thankless and frustrating. Finding a medium to which you can bond with your oft times hormonal teen is challenging. No one ever said it was easy. Yeah. I know.

Raising a boy without a man in the house or in our lives is tricky. I won't break my arm patting myself on the back, but I think I've done fairly well. My son may not know how to throw a spiral or a curve ball. I rely upon his physical education teacher to help out in that area.

Mancub and I have managed to bond over movies, music and television programs. That's not to say I sit and watch TV non-stop. I threaten to leave the house when the Disney Channel is on. Wizards of Waverly Place and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody push me to the brink of insanity. I thank God that That's So Raven doesn't seem to be on anymore. I now understand why shows like The Brady Bunch would drive my dad from the house.

I've introduced Mancub to many movies from my teen years. John Hughes classics like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Uncle Buck have given him insight to music and fashions of my youth. We've laughed plenty and sung along to oldies like Willy Wonka and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But nothing has given us more opportunity to laugh until our stomaches ache like the sci-fi goofiness of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Joel (Mike in later episodes) and his robot friends, Cam-bot, Gypsy, Tom Servo and Crooooooow are forced to watch really awful ... really cheesy terrible, bottom of the barrel movies as Dr. F monitors their reactions. What results is hilarious riffing. It really must be experienced to fully understand. Often, they are given film shorts prior to being tortured with the feature length film.

On a whim, I put one of the episodes on my Netflix queue. When it arrived, I explained the premise by reminding him how we often make jokes about a program we're watching. They call it riffing. Some people call it annoying. I call it awesome!

Ever since that initiation to MST3K, Mancub looks forward to a new arrival from Netflix. I look forward to it because it's 1.5 hrs that we have uninterrupted riotous laughter.

*gigglesnort* Enjoy the film short above -- and feel free to join in! To go beyond MST3K, visit RiffTrax! You'll thank me for helping you work your core without breaking a sweat or falling prey to late night infomercial gadgets.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thursday Think Tank

I wanted to post something amusing, but I wasn't feeling ultra creative. Like so many bloggers who hit the proverbial brick wall, I went in search of something pre-fab, but probably not FAB in the sense of fabulous. It's just OK.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This dedication goes out to ... you

Lost touch with my soul
I had no where to turn
I had no where to go
Lost sight of my dream,
Thought it would be the end of me
I thought I’d never make it through
I had no hope to hold on to,
I thought I would break

I didn’t know my own strength
And I crashed down, and I tumbled
But I did not crumble
I got through all the pain
I didn’t know my own strength
Survived my darkest hour
My faith kept me alive
I picked myself back up
Hold my head up high
I was not built to break
I didn’t know my own strength

Found hope in my heart,
I found the light to life
My way out of the dark
Found all that I need
Here inside of me
I thought I’d never find my way
I thought I’d never lift that weight
I thought I would break

I didn’t know my own strength
And I crashed down, and I tumbled
But I did not crumble
I got through all the pain
I didn’t know my own strength
Survived my darkest hour
My faith kept me alive
I picked myself back up
Hold my head up high
I was not built to break
I didn’t know my own strength

There were so many times I
Wondered how I’d get through the night I
Thought took all I could take

I didn’t know my own strength
And I crashed down, and I tumbled
But I did not crumble
I got through all the pain
I didn’t know my own strength
Survived my darkest hour
My faith kept me alive
I picked myself back up
Hold my head up high
I was not built to break
I didn’t know my own strength

Special thanks to Sean Daly of the St. Petersburg Times for his pre-release review of Whitney Houston's new cd. Without his link I wouldn't have heard this song. I think it fits

Horoscopes, roadtrips and pebbles

Leo (7/23-8/22)

You wrote the book on loyalty -- and that applies to anyone you care about, whether they're family, friends, or someone you met on the bus who asked for your advice. You may need to exhibit that quality on the spur of the moment today, and you'll rise to the occasion beautifully. Does this mean that you'll get overly involved? Maybe, but isn't that just how you do business? All or nothing, right?

Though I typically dismiss horoscopes as frivolous bru-ha-ha, I do find this to be quite true. It's a general statement about who I am. Is every Leo this way? I don't have a clue. The other day my horoscope overview was "Reminiscing about the past is a great way to determine where to go in your future."

And I have been doing a lot of that. It's such a glorious thing to be able to share the past with someone who was there. On Sunday I went in search of one photo and ended up finding several I had all but forgotten. I've taken great delight in sharing the photos on Facebook and laughing at the reactions of my friends and acquaintances.

There was a time in my life when I didn't know how to laugh at myself. Through my shortcomings, I am able to take it all in stride. No, it's more than that. I laugh heartily.

Take this picture, for instance:

Ten years ago I might not have been able to exhibit the fact that I had huge pit-stains. Click on it to get the full effect of my sweatiness. Oxford cloth in August? This is also proof that my boobs weren't always ginormous!! Those things are tiny! Manageable! No underwire required. Could my shorts be hiked up any higher? Thank goodness I wore full-0n bloomers back then. What's really sad is that I thought I was fat! HUGE, even. Long time friend Tom took this picture and added the captions. He was the official photographer for our group.

I think the day after this picture was taken, Tommy and I loaded up his green Datsun B-210 wagon and hit the highway. ROADTRIP!! Two teens driving from Illinois to California in a car without a/c in mid-August. Talk about the experience of a lifetime! His car was a stick shift which I had never driven. He taught me how to drive a 5 speed the night before departing. What a hoot!

Tom was moving to attend Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara. His mom wasn't keen on him driving alone. So, I pulled out money I'd saved from working at Monical's Pizza and bought return a ticket from LA to Chicago.

I experienced the flatness of Nebraska; the vast Rockies; glorious rock formations of New Mexico; the relentless heat of Arizona's desert. We arrived just after the '84 Olympic Games came to a close. We watched the closing ceremonies from a low budget motel we ended up staying in when we got off course. We didn't really sleep because Tom feared his belongings would be extracted from his vehicle. So, I snoozed while he kept watch. Early in the morning we hit the road. I probably attempted to drive while he got some shut eye.

When we finally arrived in California and I set first glance on the ocean, I understood why so many people went there with so many dreams ready to be unveiled and baggage of the past neatly tucked away.

Those were such simpler times. Little did we realize the challenges we'd encounter into adulthood. We had the world by the cajones! But ya know, I'm not complaining. Each moment of my life has brought me to this point in time. Every second a pebble in the foundation. To remove one of those pebbles could cause calamity. So, while I look back and walk down the cobblestone of memory lane with my friend, I stand firmly where I am knowing I have done the best I can with what I've been given.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A hairy ordeal

I make no secret that I color my hair. It all started back in '83 when I used a temporary dye to make my already dark brown hair jet black. Why would I do that, you ask? Because when it comes to my love of the theater, I will make sacrifices. Our theater arts program put on "Flower Drum Song" as our Spring Musical. I was cast as seamstress Helen Chow. How odd that I play the role of a woman who was the object of unrequited love. For the record, I had a moment on the stage where I stood alone singing about how love needed to leave me be. "Love Look Away" also served as the song I would later sing in the Miss Kankakee Pageant.

But I digress, as usual. This is not about my lonely hearts club or retro rewind to days of glory in high school. This is all about my 'do. The lioness's mane. My crowning glory; my hair.

After looking at all the photos from the Rick Springfield concert, I am questioning my current choice of hair color. While I enjoy pretending to be a fiery red head, I am unsure if it is the most ideal hue.

My hair styles have varied from super short to ultra long. I've gone from golden light brown to nearly black. But what best suits me at the age of 44?

Red is the most difficult color to maintain. It fades quickly. If it's too intense it casts a purple haze in the sunlight. I don't want to achieve a "not found in nature" density.

With fall quickly approaching, I think a warmer tone is in order. Here are photos of varied shades and colors. Going with my current natural hair is not an option. Gray is not becoming on me. The last photo is most recent.

The downside of where I live is hard water. By the time my gray roots begin to show, my hair becomes brassy. Maybe I'll just shave my head and start from scratch. Let nature have its way with my noggin. No, I can't do that. My skull has a dent in it from when I got clobbered at an early age by the merry-go-round at a park. I fell off the thing and lifted my head. BAM!

... yes, that does explain a lot!

Now, feel free to express your thoughts on my hair color. And, if you're so inclined, take a moment to vote on the blog on the right.

Dark Brown

Fiery Red

Light Brownish Red

Golden Brownish Blond

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rick Springfield equals spontaneous combustion

Hot-cha-cha! I thought I was going to burst (some areas burst-ier than others). That man exudes such dynamic sexuality, I could swear by the time the concert ended I'd been impregnated by osmosis. Good giggily! He's white hot! Please allow me to objectify and testify! Woohoo girl fully engaged!!

I had such an incredible night attending the Rick Springfield concert in Peoria, IL. The venue, Paradice Casino and Hotel, left little to be desired as far as its accommodations. They called it a ballroom, but it looked more like a conference room that had been converted.

I complained to the security officer who seemed to take a keen interest in us. I noticed the first two sections had comfy, cushioned chairs where as our section had plastic folding chairs. As if we were an afterthought. How rude! I have no idea how those chicks got tickets in the first two sections. My companions, Timi and Kelly were on the phone the second the lines opened and we only had the rear section to purchase. Then, I was consoled by the fact that we wouldn't be sitting down once Sir Hotness hit the stage. My girls were right.

While we held our seats and waited for the show to begin, we sipped some adult beverages. We seemed to be the only ones remaining in our seats while other women had placed concert t-shirts or other belongings on their chairs. A group of 5 women whose items occupied the seats next to me finally came running in moments before Rick took to the stage. The woman closest to me said errr slurred, "we were getting our drink on out in the lobby!!!" See photo for my reaction to my newfound friends.

When Rick first hit the stage and sang a couple of songs (I can't believe I have no recollection of which songs he opened with) he commented that the light fixtures were so f'ing ugly that he'd do them the favor of smashing his guitar into them. He wasn't being rude. It was honest. Everyone laughed in agreement.

I can't remember the order in which songs were played. I think his newest hit off Venus in Overdrive, "Victoria's Secret" was played 3rd or 4th. When he started to play the title song from the cd, it hit me that my peanut sized bladder couldn't wait. Since it's not my favorite tune, I bolted and rushed back. While in the bathroom there were three women attempting to keep another very intoxicated friend from hitting the floor. The show had just begun and she was too drunk to enjoy the hottest 60 year old man since Tom Jones.

Sunday, August 23rd is Rick's actual 60th birthday, but the crowd of 800 or so celebrated by singing Happy Birthday. Then, Rick invited a sing-a-long to the Beatles Love Me Do. The harmonica he played during the song was thrown out into the audience. It was such a blast! Naturally, I caterwauled my way through which is evident on the video. Already sweating through the t-shirt and vest he wore, he ripped them off to bare his chest. Day to the yummm!! He put another shirt on. He was sweaty. A dry shirt was needed and he didn't want to leave the stage. Psh! Such a wasted step when we were all more than happy to see his partial nudity. He knows what the ladies like after all these years of performing.

I managed to snap a few photos, but learned the zoom on my camera leaves little to be desired when trying to capture a moving, sweaty, smoking hot target. I'm just delighted I was able to document the awesomeness of the night even if my photo and videography skills leave little to be desired.

I've Done Everything For You also initiated a crowd participation sequence. The crowd went into a total frenzy at the first notes of Jessie's Girl. I was hopping and bopping when Human Touch and Working Class Dog were played. Oh, who am I kidding? I never stopped jumping, dancing and flailing my arms in the air.

I found amusement in the number of women who seemed to be in a non-stop state of primping. I guess they assumed he'd pluck them from the audience and they needed to be Rick ready. Also very bewildering were the number of people who didn't seem to quite fit the model Rick Springfield fan.

Of course I took photos! The older couple seemed utterly confused. They sat there looking around as if they'd been mysteriously plucked from the slots and placed in the middle of the concert. They departed by the time I got back from the bathroom.

Rick left the ballads out of his set. I think he did that as a favor to those of us with hard, plastic, unstable folding chairs.

Once he finished his last song we all knew it wasn't really the end. A concert with no encore? Get serious! There was a build up of chanting and amplified music. Then, it happened. He came back out without his shirt on but wearing his black specs. I felt a cosmic connection through our eyeglasses. Totally awesome!

Then, it was over. The lights came on and fans started feeding out the doors. With hopes he might grace us with a meet and greet after wards, we headed toward the stage. That's when I heard my name being called out. I turned and it was fellow Stuck in the '80s fan Carla!! It was her 40th birthday and her boyfriend surprised her with tickets to the show. They drove from Davenport, IA! It was an unexpected meeting. I was enthralled to finally get to meet her. What's kind of ironic about meeting her at the RS concert was that a couple years ago STUCK IN THE '80s blogged live from one of his concerts in Tampa. Carla and I were both simultaneously commenting on the blog. That's my first real recollection of her. It was apparent we shared a lust in Mr. Springfield. So, it was quite serendipitous that we met this way.

The security chicks up on the stage were clearly less than enthused that we were ... enthusiastic about meeting our favorite 60 year old. Searching for a token of the birthday boy, Timi grabbed a clump of confetti strands and rose petals and handed them to me. The rose petals were damp which led me to insist it was Rick sweat. I didn't want to jam it into my pants pocket so I put the souvenirs some place safe: My cleavage.

This was one of the best birthday presents I could have given myself. I got to meet some great girls. Have a grand old time with someone I've known since 3rd grade, Timi. I need to thank her for getting the tickets and providing Mancub with an invitation to be entertained by her sons. Also, she gave us a place to rest our heads until morning. I was too hyped to sleep, but I managed to relax my weary legs. Hopping around like a kid on a pogo stick for an hour and half takes a lot out of a 44 year old woman.

To see the rest of the videos I bouncingly shot, click this link and you'll be taken to Facebook For more images, click this link. Again, you'll go to Facebook.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Random; yet, purposeful blathering

I sat at this computer struggling to decide which Riss I wanted to share with you today.
"Which Riss? How many are there?" you ask. There are many facets to my persona. Duh! You knew that.

You'll get what I give you and like it. Color me scatter brained.

I've been talking to an old friend I'm joyful to have reconnected with recently. There's a huge gaping hole in our lives that we're filling in. It's one of those "moments of grace" as my friend put it. Good fortune. Happenstance. Serendipity-doo-dah! Kismet. OK, I'm over dramatizing, but I think there's purpose for our reunion. I have stopped (almost) analyzing it and I'm just rolling with it. That's not something I do often. So, please take a moment to mark your calendar. Do a touchy doo hicky tappity tap on your fancy iPhone or high-tech gadgetry. I expect a card next year.

Right, "shut up Marissa and get to the point of this post so I don't log off and find something more interesting to do ... like, watch ice melt."

There really isn't a point. My brain is tapped out. It's a good brain drain, mind you. Tomorrow I'm hitting the highway with Mancub. I'll be going to see RICK SPRINGFIELD in concert while the boy hangs out with my friend's sons and hubby.

To be honest, I'm a little surprised that I'm leaving the confines of Kankakee to go into the unknown. This is HUGE, people. My anti-social self is doing battle with my inner WOOHOO! girl. I've done stuff but it has involved family or a serious twisting of the arm from my friends. I nearly had to be dragged out of my house in order to attend my 25th high school reunion last summer. Remember when my sister gave me tickets to see WICKED in Chicago? I had anxiety attacks for days prior to that. I drove myself and Mancub to Chi-town and didn't get lost or die. Amazing!

I avoid things out of fear and it seems to have gotten worse since I moved to Illinois. When I lived in Georgia I felt fearless. The question now is, WHAT THE HELL!? Oh, and WHY!?

Three days without having to deal with the drudgery of work. No dopey dudes saying, "Sup!?" to me every time he sees me. No one saying, "I'm not trying to be funny, but ..." No one commenting on how cold, warm or stuffy it is in the lab. No one complaining or inquiring about the smell emitting from said lab. No one expecting me to utilize my super powers. **click that link and read, seriously**

So, come this time tomorrow night I'll be screaming my head off and squealing like a 14 year old hyped up on Jolt Cola and Pop Rocks!

Neener! Neener!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday? Hardly

It's a rare occasion when I find myself wordless.

Speechless and awe stricken? Most definitely.

There are times when I find it's best to just let someone else do the talking. Or in this case, singing. One of my favorite songs by Queen.

Words and music by queen

Sometimes I get to feeling
I was back in the old days - long ago
When we were kids when we were young
Thing seemed so perfect - you know
The days were endless we were crazy we were young
The sun was always shining - we just lived for fun
Sometimes it seems like lately - I just don't know
The rest of my life's been just a show

Those were the days of our lives
Align CenterThe bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one thing is true
When I look and I find I still love you

You cant turn back the clock you cant turn back the tide
Ain't that a shame
I'd like to go back one time on a roller coaster ride
When life was just a game
No use in sitting and thinking on what you did
When you can lay back and enjoy it through your kids
Sometimes it seems like lately - I just don't know
Better sit back and go with the flow

Cos these are the days of our lives
They've flown in the swiftness of time
These days are all gone now but some things remain
When I look and I find no change

Those were the days of our lives - yeah
The bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one things still true
When I look and I find
I still love you

I still love you

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Getting to know you -- actually, me. ME ME ME!

I got tagged for this on Facebook from fellow Stuck in the '80s and wicked cool Steve Perry fan-girl Carla. Now, I'm sharing the inane with my devoted and beloved readers. Aren't you lucky!

If you've been tagged or you are reading this, you have the honor of copying all these goofy questions, writing your own response, and tagging 25 other victims. You have to tag me so really you just need 24 more people. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your title as "Getting to know each other!", tag 25 people including me (tagging is done in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
4:30 -- I planned on 6:00.

2. How do you like your steak?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Land of the Lost

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Forensic Files and The Investigators

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Where warm weather is the standard and snow is the rare exception

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Pancake breakfast sandwich

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
Yes, please.

8. What foods do you dislike?
Anything snotty or slimy in consistency

9.Favorite Place to Eat?
I really don't crave any place specific. Just feed me, Seymour.

10. Favorite dressing?
Cornbread not Stove Top *wink*

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive?
2003 Saturn L300

12. What are your favorite clothes?
loose, cotton pjs

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
Too many places to mention -- where my friends and family are

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
What was it I was drinking to get it 1/2 way?

15. Where would you want to retire?
Retire? Highly unlikely

16. Favorite time of day?
End of the workday

17. Where were you born?
Kankakee, IL -- St. Mary's Hospital

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?
It's anybody's guess

20. Person you expect to tag you back first:
Everybody if they know what's good for them

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?

22. Bird watcher?
Only of the flipping variety

23. Are you a morning person or Night Person ?
Depends on what you want me to do

24. Do you have any pets?
2 cats

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?
I'm not pregnant!.

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
A mom or check out clerk at the Thrif-T Mart

27. What is one of your best childhood memories?
Getting my first pair of ice skates

28. Are you a cat or dog person?
Neither, really, but I've only had cats

29. Are you married?
Nope. Got a friend or brother you think would suit me?

30. Always wear your seat belt?
Most certainly!

31. Been in a car accident?
Yep, but nothing horrible

32. Any pet peeves?
People who make unnecessary noises when chewing -- gum cracking --

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings?
Prefer veggies

34. Favorite Flower?

35. Favorite ice cream?
Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?
I don't really *like* fast food, but Arby's is tasty

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?

38. From whom did you get your last email?

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
wherever I can find bras that fit. I'd buy every style, color and brand that fit (matching undies!)

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
I did the "Stuart Dance" (MadTv) in the lab to recharge my battery.

41. Like your job?
Hmmm I'm happy to be employed

42. Broccoli?
It's the most consumed veggie in our house.

43. What was your favorite vacation?
It's been a long, long time ... visiting Tommy in Cali

44. Last person you went out to dinner with ?
Not including Spen for a quick bite? Hmmmm cripes! I can't remember!!

45. What are you listening to right now?
Mystery Science Theater 3000 --"I Accuse My Parents"

46. What is your favorite color?
I mostly wear black or pink, but periwinkle is my favorite.

47. How many tattoos do you have?

48. Who are you tagging for this quiz?
It's a secret

49. What time did you finish this quiz?
8:40 pm

50. Coffee Drinker?
Yes. but only in the morning.

So, there you have it. Don't you feel enriched? After learning that do you feel we're besties? Let's share stories and brush each others hair!

Where have you gone, my little one?

As Mancub stepped off the porch this morning I no longer saw the tot too afraid to go to school. I said goodbye and wished him a wonderful first day of high school as all 6'2" 220 pounds of him lumbered toward the bus stop. With his wavy, floppy hair damp and facial hair fuzzily outgrown, he took one more step towards manhood.

Over the years I have stood at the front window waiting for his bus to pass the house. From the front seat of the bus he always waved; signaling that all was well. Today I felt he might think that too immature or embarrassing. Per habit, I stood at the window. This time veiled behind the sheers. From the front seat of the bus I saw a glimmer of my little boy. He raised his hand just slightly above the base of the window ... a casual wave goodbye.

... and the tears began to flow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hi. I'm a freshman. Please don't hurt me.

I've been in a mental time warp lately. It's amazing how neatly tucked away emotions bubble to the surface when a most unexpected person makes a re-entry into the present. Sure, it's only via this magical land of the Internet. For this gal, it doesn't matter. I'm delighted to have made this connection. Hopefully, current events will slip into the place of the past.

I should mention that I have made an addition to the right margin list of goodies. You can now email ( me if you're not comfortable leaving comments in the open. The blog items that I write are also fed to Facebook. So, if you're on FB you can drop me a note there, too. Consider it a one-stop shop!

My present and past have managed to intermingle, as of late. With Mancub starting high school (which is where my mind has been stuck in reply), I have been trying to consider how I felt as I embarked upon a new chapter in my young life. He doesn't seem bothered or nervous. Unlike Mancub, I had a big brother already attending high school. But I was still unsure about being a freshman. My seven older siblings had all graduated from the same school. I was pulling up the rear of the Rapier legacy.

I remember what I wore that first day of school. I woke up extra early to make certain my hair would be curled to perfection. Shiny and bouncy. I wished I had contacts rather than having to wear my dorky, plastic frame glasses. Those wouldn't be shed until I was a junior.

With pep in my step, I strode to the bus stop (bus 21) way ahead of my older brother. He usually waited until the last moment to get up and make a mad dash to the bus. I sat in the front of the bus. My long legs were crammed in the seat. No worries. I simply turned slightly sideways. This wasn't only more comfortable, but it allowed me to look inconspicuous as I scanned the bus for cute boys. Then, it dawned on me that all the boys were neighborhood guys. I'd grown up with them ... they grew up with my brother. No sense in crushing on a local who only saw me as Rick's dorky little sister.

The bus let us off in the circle drive of Eastridge High School. With my purse slung over my shoulder and a notepad cradled against my (much smaller than now) bosom, I set out to find my friends from junior high. Me in my gray, corduroy overalls and dusty rose silk blouse -- yes, it was late August and I must have been insane to wear that ensemble since our schools are not air conditioned. Strolling along, my friends and I scanned the halls for more familiar faces. Oh, who am I kidding? We were searching for the cutest guys. Though it was understood, by me, that I was not allowed to date until I was 16, I still hoped that if a boy wanted to take me to homecoming that my parents would allow it. I didn't have to worry about that, though. While it was apparent that one particular sophomore boy did have a crush on me, he ended up dating someone else and the rest is history. Oh! The woes of high school.

School is more demanding than it used to be. I had it easy in comparison to what my kiddo faces. His classes are harder. He's not girl crazy like I was boy crazy. So, at least he has that going for him. It appears that my his only concern is whether or not the idiots he had to contend with on a daily basis in junior high school will be in his classes. He's keeping a positive attitude. He and his buddy K do not have any classes together. I'm rather relieved because K tends to attract unwanted attention.

Tomorrow is the big day. Like a dork, I will insist on taking a photo of my high school student. He'll protest and I'll beg him to do me the favor. Unlike when I was in school, the kids only have 1/2 days for the first 2 days. Also unlike his mother, Mancub won't be wearing corduroy! Though, his feet might suffer since he's only worn flip flops since school let out in late May. They'll be bound and gagged in athletic shoes and socks. Oh! The woes of high school

.... more to follow as details unfold.

Sunday Sharing

This song has been in my head the last few days. I decided it was time to share.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'll take frosting; hold the cake

I look forward to birthdays not for the presents or the joyful singing in various keys. Those are undoubtedly perks of aging. No. It's the cake, but not technically the cake. Give me the frosting. I always ask for the corner piece that's thick with butter cream. If there's a frosting floral arrangement it's even better! When all the pieces are cut and the ribbon of icing remains on the cake plate you can bet I'll be taking a fork, spoon or hell, skip the utensil! I'll just slide my finger along the rim of the plate and plop that glob on my plate.

I dream of cupcakes piled high with frosting. The wax paper wrapped cake part is merely a vessel in which to deliver the creamy, sugary goodness to my pie-hole.

Yeah, I know. I'm gross. I wouldn't do that finger picker-upper around anyone but family. It's not like I lick the plate. mmmm mmmm mmmm. I eat the cake simply because it's attached to the frosting.

Today we celebrated all the summer birthdays in our family. Well, for those who could attend the party. A good time was had by all. Mom put all of our birth dates on the cake and inserted a candle. She told us to find our candle and blow it out. Talk about an interesting means of extinguishing the flame. It's a good thing a little spit never killed anybody. At least we're all related.

For lunch, lots of pork goodies were grilled. Pulled pork BBQ was in the crock pot. Deeeelicious! Next to the frosting, I am there for the good eats. The boneless pork ribs were so tender they nearly melted in my mouth just like the butter cream frosting.

I enjoy my family very much. I snapped a ton of photos of my adorable nieces and nephews. It's clear by the vast number of photos that I needed to chronicle their development. Plus, they are so doggone cute! Kids are much easier to photograph. Adults resist the shutter and flash. Though, I did manage to get a picture of them here and there.

I would post photos of the kidlettes, but without parental approval I can only show my niece's squishy foot. In general I' m not a fan of feet. Ironically, baby tootsies are amongst some of my favorite things ... and frosting.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Behind these horn-rimmed glasses ...

...are the eyes of a sword wielding, bodacious heroine!! Be wary if you're a heartbreaking baffoon! Look over your shoulder, asshats! The Rapier is ready to slice and dice you down to size.
I received this as a birthday gift. It's absolutely kick-ass, don't you think? Gifts have been given to me in the past that were touching, thoughtful, pricey, etc... This artistic rendering of my alter ego instantly made me weep. With the exception of presents Mancub has made, I can't recall a time when someone put such a personal touch on a gift. For me. Exclusively. Not another one of its kind. It's all me; just for me. Me me memememememeeeeeeeeeeee!

It's uncanny how spot on the body is in this drawing. Amazing! Yeah, my ass is so firm you could bounce Buicks off my butt. Mmmhmm. And that tiny waist. Yup. Me to a 't'. It's so close to the real thing that one might swear I posed for it.


What has me even more thrilled is that I now have an avatar that is ideal for my blog. I've been longing for a header that suited my blog name and sub-title. Check out the flowing locks! The bustier fits like a glove and appears to be supportive. It's everything I want and more.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How I started my 44th year

It all started with taking Mancub and his friend, K, to their freshman orientation. Once I dropped the boys off I head to the luxuriousness of the laundromat. Awww I see you turning green over there. Envy doesn't look pretty on you.

The place was packed with dames gray with age, which reminded me that my roots were in severe need of attention. One of the ladies was a snappy dresser in her fashionable jeans and tailored blue and white striped shirt. The old girl even had her collar popped! She curses like a sailor which caused me to giggle to myself as I filled the top load washer with my dirty duds. Her companion is hunched over and requires a cane, but the rapport between them is a hoot to overhear. She shuffles about much like Sophia on The Golden Girls. While I'm far from being as old as those gals in the laundromat, I was reminded that aging doesn't require you to lose your pep or give up the spunkiness of youth. You just have to be careful how high you kick up your heels (so not to break a hip).

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old" ~ George Burns

I finished up the fluffing and folding just in time to go back to the high school to pick up the boys. When Mancub emerged from the building, I nearly burst into tears. It's not that he physically grew while in the confines of the brick fortress of education, but he seemed older and some how a little farther away from my enveloping arms.

He had a lilt in his voice as he talked about looking forward to the school year. He'd met his teachers and said they all seemed quite nice and "cool." With excitement, he spoke about the kids he liked from junior high being in his lunch slot or one class or another. He's really pleased that his lunch is the first slot of the day.

We dropped K off at his house even though he'd hoped to spend the day hanging out at our house. I told a white lie that since it was my birthday we had a ton of things on the agenda. To be honest, I didn't want to spend my birthday enforcing our house rules to a boy who seems to either enjoy challenging and questioning me or he's just plain oblivious. Regardless, it's my day; my choice. No K.

This is one occasion when I'm really happy to have the Internet with particular attention to Facebook. I'd say go check out my wall of birthday greetings, but I believe my settings are private. It's a shame because I have witty friends who sent me wonderful wishes for happiness in the coming year. I even decreed that, to honor my birthday, I wanted everyone to interject the word SNAZZY into their conversation. Special honor and appreciation goes to friend Angie Bailey who wished me a day filled with all things fantastical and snazzy. Thus far, no one has disappointed me.

With little to no moolah in my pocket, our choices for amusement were limited to hanging out at home. The big ticket item of the day was a drive-thru jaunt at McDonald's. Thank God for the Dollar Menu. I realize that it's totally sucktacular on all counts to eat there, but it made Mancub happy and it seemed oddly auspicious since we rarely go there for dining. Bonus was feeding both of us for under $8.00. Yeah, yeah. I could have gone to the grocery store and purchased much healthier eats, but I didn't want to lift a finger to cook.

Get off me! It's my birthday. Besides, I'll make chicken and broccoli for dinner. It all balances out in the end. Sort of.

We eased into the afternoon by watching John Hughes' The Great Outdoors starring John Candy and Dan Akroyd. Crazy, silly, good fun.

Toward the end of the movie I recalled the gray matter on my head. With a box of Clairol Perfect Ten-Honey Berry at the ready, I set off to age a little more gracefully. I love this formula. It's not stinky, drippy gross like the other 30-45 minute coloring versions I've tried in the past. OK, it does sting the nostrils a bit, but it's not as pungent as a lot of others I've tried. Plus, it has this groovy comb attachment so you get the best distribution possible with an at home hair coloring kit. Ten minutes and a shower later, I don't look a day over 39.

At the request of Mancub, I made brownies and tossed in a few M&Ms. Rather than baking them in a normal cake pan, I poured the batter on to a fairly deep cookie sheet. The method to this madness was so the brownies would be flat. Thereby, providing a friendlier environment to make a brownie ice cream cake. Mmm mmm mmm. Yes, I made my own birthday cake.

The rest of the day will probably be far less eventful. I didn't want to work today because I wanted to have a pleasant day. I would be remiss to fail to mention that I was given a chocolate fudge fantasy cake yesterday (August 10) by my co-workers. Yum! The fantasy part was a tad deceitful as I didn't experience anything remotely like a fantasy. Psh! No candles. That must have been the missing component.

This Saturday we'll venture up to Grandma's for an all-in-one family Summer Birthday Bash! We have so many summer babies that this works out ideally. Plus, it seems a perfect means of ending the summer and ushering in a new school year for the kids. The bash started in '06. Mancub wanted to spend his birthday with family, but particularly Grandma. Since her ability to travel here is often difficult, I put in the request for her to host a combo party and a tradition began. Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


First I must say that I love birthdays. I think it's a shame when someone wants their day of birth to go unnoticed. Everyone deserves to be celebrated for being a part of someone's life. Seriously, while it isn't necessary (for some) to go all out and raise hell, it's still nice to be recognized.

With that being said, I am making some blog hoopla about my own birthday. Yeah. Go me! I go girl!! Hell to the yeah! Can I hear a Woot! WOOT!?

It's August 11, 2009. I am officially a forty-four year old woman. A single mother of one son. It's just a number when I say it out loud. But I wanted to find more significance to the twin number. There's something fetching about the numeral. If I stare at it long enough it takes on a Picasso-esque image. A woman standing at an angle, perhaps.

* Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States.

* Forty Four (44) even has its own entry in Wikipedia! According to that page, it says 44 is a happy number! Oooh, I'm already a bit more joyful about my age.

* 44 is the atomic number for ruthenium.

* Take me out to the ball game!! 44 is considered "the hitters number" having belonged to Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson and Willie McCovey.

* The number is officially retired at Syracuse University (hear that Sean Daly?) It is considered a number of legend having belonged to football greats Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, and Jim Brown.

* One of the most famous cough suppressants has 44 in its brand: Vicks Formula 44.

* "Dirty" Harry Callahan carries a .44 Magnum. "I know what you're thinking — "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But, being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?"

* There's a band called +44.

* Songs with 44 in the title:

88 Lines about 44 Women by The Nails
Forty Four Blues by Eric Clapton and a host of other blues musicians
44 Down by The High Violets
44 Calibre Love Letter by Alexisonfire

* Shakespeare's Sonnet 44

In my search to find significance and importance about the number 44; therefore, attempting to make my age feel seem more vital, I realized by living I am important. I don't have to see my name in the phone book and dance around like Navin Johnson to feel like I have a purpose ... though not a "special purpose" because that's, well, never mind.

I might not achieve greatness in the eyes of the nation. It's highly unlikely you'll see my name in bright lights. But I am confident that in the eyes of a 15 year old boy I am equal to Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre. To him I'm funnier than Weird Al; prettier than Megan Fox; and smarter than Einstein. For me it's all about perspective.

I know in this great big world my personal impact may not be clear. One thing I have clarity about is that my fingerprint is being left in the form of that special 15 year old young man.

Fingerprints - Steven Curtis Chapman

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before

Today's quote of the day comes from Anna Sewell. You know, the author of Black Beauty. I can't honestly say where exactly this quote comes from. All I know is that it's credited to her. Here goes: "I am never afraid of what I know." -- Anna Sewell

While that's incredibly profound and I'm sure in its true context it is absolutely brilliant and truthful. However, I can say with complete confidence that I am often afraid of what I know. In fact, there are things that are told to me that I wish I could bleach out of my memory.

There are some instances when a person has to get some secret out of their consciousness. In some cases, they give you the pre-emptive shpeel about how under no circumstances are you to share the information with anyone. Even if you are tortured with fire ants after honey is ladled on your flesh are you repeat what they are about to tell you.


Really, if it's that crucial, I believe that person needs to go to a priest or pastor or just keep it to themselves. In most cases, the information isn't that vital, but could cause the teller of the secret a great deal of embarrassment.

If you resist listening, the person is somehow offended. Worry not, they'll find another unsuspecting soul to dump their woes upon. At least they did you the favor of giving you warning that what you're about to hear is top secret.

Then, there are those times when you aren't given warning. There's no consideration for what you may or may not be interested in hearing. You're sitting at your desk just going about your business. You know someone has entered your 'space' and you choose not to acknowledge him. Refusal to make eye contact is your best defense since they know you're 'in'. The task at hand requires your utmost concentration. Not really, but the doofus standing there doesn't know that.

Then it happens. Completely disregarding that you're working diligently, he speaks. No introduction with, "Hey! Do you want to hear what happened to me this weekend?" No. This vile humanoid has the audacity to just jump right into the story that will haunt your mind for eternity. Only a blow to the head that causes amnesia will wipe it from your memory. But with your luck, this dreadful tale is the one thing you will recall. The fact that this dude is sharing this information has you so perplexed that you thump yourself in the head to see if you're having a surreal dream.

"So, it turns out my neighbor and I made out with the same person. Turned out to be a guy, but boy! He had nice boobies."

He chuckles in his redneckian manner and you sit there frozen wishing a comet would thunder into the building and strike you down. Better yet, strike him down before he continues.

"I didn't discover little junior. My neighbor did. Apparently the she-it came looking for me and knocked on the wrong door. Neighbor let her in and went a lot farther than I did. *chuckledork* Yeah, what a shame. Nice boobs for a guy."

This is when you attempt to pick your jaw up off the desk. No reply from you. Silence until he finally walks away. It's then that you can't decide whether or not to report it to human resources or just pray it was a waking nightmare (or look for that comet). You, being kind and thoughtful, warn your co-workers that this moron will want to share a story with them. "Stop him! Heed my warning! Avoiding eye contact is futile. He'll get you, man. Just don't let him continue. Trust me and thank me later." You know this is true because that's how the guy works. He tells each and every person his stories. No consideration. Just BLAM! In your face stupidity.

Eventually doofus attempts to share the same (word for word) story with your mates. Initially, they stop him, but in time he manages to blindside them and dumps the whole ugly mess to their unwitting ears. Now you all share in the heinous imagery. Collectively you seek for comfort and therapy.

Now when Goober approaches, I literally cover my ears and, like a defiant child, "LALALALALALALALALALALALALAA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALALALALALALA"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"The idle lips that should have kissed ..."

Last night when I got home from work and settled in, I checked my email. Amongst the newsletters and impersonal advertisements was notification of a comment left on my blog for a post I wrote on May 1. "Sometimes I wonder..." was a primer on how I became musically involved at school. The comment I speak of was left by my one and only date from high school. He took me to the Junior Prom. I wore a pink, tea-length gown fashioned after Princess Diana's wedding dress. My sister Maureen made it for me. My date wore white tails. I wish I had a photo to share, but alas those are tucked away in a box at my sister's house.

As I was saying, in the comment (you can click the post link above and see for yourself) he said he Googled me for the ... of it. And in doing so he found my blog. I have to say I was flabbergasted and flattered that he thought of me and was curious enough about me to turn to Google. I've heard through the 25th reunion grapevine that he's happily married and living in Germany. So, the peanut gallery can refrain from making the obvious remarks.

I must admit that of all the people from my high school class that I always hope will be at reunions it is the man in question. I was a complete dork regarding the opposite sex in high school. I still possess that knack of awkwardness toward men, but I manage to fake it a lot better now. When I confess that I really, really, reaaaaaaaaaally liked this boy back then, I am sincere. Unfortunately, my lack of experience in dating had me running in fear that I wouldn't know what to do beyond giggling, dancing and holding hands. Having a boy lace his fingers in mine had me turning crimson. So, per the norm, I probably missed out on some kind of wonderful due to my naivete.


I'm still reeling from the sudden death of '80s master John Hughes. Earlier this evening I was searching for tunes on One of the featured playlists is one comprised of songs from John Hughes films. So, I clicked on it to listen. Naturally, the obvious ones are there by Simple Minds, Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, Psychedelic Furs. Also included is The Dream Academy's cover of the Smith's song "Please, please, please let me get what I want." It's featured in Ferris Bueller's Day Off when Cameron, Sloan and Ferris are visiting the Art Institute of Chicago. You know the scene. The music artfully entwines itself in the visions on the screen. As the song played on youtube, tears streamed from my eyes while the instrumental version poured over me.

Prior to that I had taken a silly quiz to find out which John Hughes movie character I am. My result was Watts from Some Kind of Wonderful. Though, the creator of the quiz chose to write a lesbian description of Mary Stuart Masterson's tomboyish character. They went so far as calling her butch. ACK! From that I thought of one of my favorite scenes from the film also starring Lea Thompson and Eric Stoltz.

Watts does her best friend Keith a favor by letting him know if he had the chops to satisfy Miss Amanda Jones:

Friday, August 7, 2009

John Hughes: He got us

Today is a solemn day for an entire nation of people who loved the decade that brought us the age of John Hughes films. By now it's no secret that an icon of a generation passed away at the young age of 59.

I'm not going to prattle on about the intricacies of his screen writing process or directing ability. What I know is that he managed to put on screen what many of us felt as teens or adults. His amazing ability to portray the human spirit wasn't limited to teen angst.

In "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" Mr. Hughes manages to capture the adult side of human angst, loss, fear and longing to just be ... loved. The following youtube clips exemplify how easily one can go from riotous laughter to tear jerking confrontation.

Like no one else, at the end of the film Hughes is able to encapsulate what's important in life. Though considered predictable for a happy ending, isn't that what we all want anyway? Don't you want the good guy to get what he wants -- deserves -- in the end?

Thank you, Mr. Hughes, for giving us so many films that enveloped us and gave us hope to dream and believe in who we are as we are. Because through you we felt comfortable being The Rebel, The Princess, The Basket Case, The Athlete and The Brain.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where did my baby go?

I write this with tears welling in my green eyes. I try not to let him see; blaming my sniffles on allergies.

Monday's Child

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
Mancub was born on a Friday evening 15 years ago (August 5). He most certainly epitomizes Friday's Child's description. As readers of this blog know, I am abundantly proud of the young man my son has turned out to be.

Tuesday evening I returned from work and, with bags in my hands, I made a bee-line toward the kitchen. I said my hellos to my leggy lad while passing through. With some urgency, I pit-stopped at the restroom before throwing on my relaxing yoga stretch pants and making myself comfortable in front of the computer.

It was then that Mancub peeked around the corner with a surprise, "I shaved!" Beaming with pride he rubbed his face. What a handsome mug.

He'll register for high school on his 15th birthday. How can that be? It's not that I dread this event, but it seemed so far away only days ago.

While many parents count down the days until their children return to school, I approach it with a heavy heart. I can't quite explain why, but my life is less chaotic and far more relaxing without the stresses of school. His life is far more simple not having to face each day not knowing whether a classmate will act foolish and strike against my mild mannered giant.

Where has my little boy gone?

It's hard to believe the young man who is devouring chocolate ice cream in my living room is the same child in this photo. I know deep down that little boy still exists ... deep in my memories and in my heart.

With family surrounding him, he'll look upon his Dairy Queen cake custom made by his cousin Aubrey. He'll smirk and anxiously await the completion of his loved ones singing Happy Birthday in every key and every style imaginable. The cacophony will likely cause him to cover his ears in jest.

I'm overwhelmed at the creature too big for his bed. It's hard for me to grasp the idea that I gave birth to such an incredible human being and I get to spend every day basking in delight in his accomplishments and help him pick up the pieces of disappointment.

When I feel like hell and I just want to shut out the world, he knows without asking and offers a snuggly hug. How odd it is that I rest my head on his shoulder when that embrace is offered without plea.

It seemed not long ago that his little head was nestled in the crook of my neck as I walked the floor bobbing and rocking praying for him to sleep soundly through the night. Now, I can't expect him to be awake before noon on any given summer day. Long gone are the night time squeals of hunger or need for a diaper change.

He's already started talking about what happens at age 16: Driving. I beg him to not rush things as I don't think my heart can handle it. While I secretly pray the driving age will change to 18, he's sending up hope that it won't happen. Even though he doesn't share his dad's passion for what goes on under the hood of the car, he seems to love the idea of the independence that comes with possessing a driver's license. He's always had curiosity about the rules of the road. Ever since he started sitting in the front seat he's inquired about road signs, yellow solid lines on the pavement. He's acutely aware of the speed limit signs and doesn't hesitate to inform me when it appears that I might be exceeding that which is posted on the roadside. He means well and I'm glad that I've managed to teach him as we've driven the highways and byways from here to Atlanta, GA. He's always been a fantastic traveling buddy and navigator. His sense of direction is impeccable.

So, as my son turns toward manhood, I have no fears that he'll have the drive to succeed no matter which direction his life may take him ... I'm just along for the ride (of my life).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The 10 second interview that's lasted months

Facebook is a time suck There! I said it! I admit it. But it keeps me off the stripper pole.

About 8 months ago someone sent me an invite to do a 10 second interview. I figured I had that much time to spare, right? How many questions could there be? Hundreds! Unless you're John Moschitta, it's unlikely you can answer numerous questions in under 10 seconds ... with exception to that rapid fire questioning in Uncle Buck.

Wait ... that clip is 25 seconds long, but isn't it precious?

So, for my own amusement (and maybe your's) I have extracted 20 gems from Q & A with Miss Riss --

1. What's the sexiest thing the opposite sex can wear? Me
2. Nothing beats ... ? A new pair of underpants
3. In 20 years I will be ...? Still answering these stupid assed questions
4. I don't get mad, I get ...? Psycho
5. When they write my obituary, I hope they mention ... ? I don't care. I'll be dead
6. What flavor are you glad they didn't include in Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans? ASS
7. What kind of pet would you like to have? A kinkaju
8. When you get stressed what are you likely to toss out the window? The person who made me stressed
9. If you were pregnant you'd most likely crave ...? Not being pregnant
10. Pardon my ... ? Tig ol'bitties
11. Blonde, brunette or red head?? Yes, I've been all three. Ask me about the carpet and I'll beat you with your own fist.
12. What would be your theme song? I'll find the app quiz for it and get back to you
13. One in the hand is worth ...? Two in the cash register
14. The O.C. or Dawson's Creek? Eww how dare you sully my head with such garbage
15. Please tell my butler that for breakfast I shall require ...? him to be hot, handsome, tall and ready.
16. If you owned a restaurant what would you call it? Slurping Tatas
17. What will JT bring back now that sexy is back? Parachute pants
18. I'll wait until nobody is looking then I'll ... ? finally pick the underwear out of my crack
19. Do you play any instruments? I don't suppose the skin flute counts, eh?
20. Quick! Write the last sentence of your autobiography: "And she and Thelma and Louise lived happily ever after in comfort ... at last."

One big man puddle

I just finished listening to the 173rd Stuck in the '80s podcast. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to familiarize yourself with it. STAT! Seriously, next to peanut butter and jelly on squishy white bread, this concept is da bomb! Basically, I really enjoy it.

This episode focuses on musicians who became actors in the '80s. I won't reveal the top 10, but I can say that by the end of the podcast, I had tears streaming down my face. No, the hosts aren't directly responsible for my outburst of waterworks.

Host Steve Spears ends this most enjoyable episode with the very song I chose to dance with my Father to at my wedding reception. While the marriage didn't last, the memory of dancing with my Dad goes on forever. I chose "Wind Beneath My Wings" based on my Father's reaction to hearing it one summer day while visiting my sister Karen in Arizona.

I was to wed in September 1990. My Dad felt it a good idea to take me on a vacation prior to my nuptials. To be honest, in retrospect, I think he had hoped to convince me on this father/daughter trip that I had a lot more living to do as a single girl. I'm certain now that it was his keen attempt to make me see the light and possibly move far away from the man who wasn't quite my ideal match.

During our visit to Arizona, we were fortunate to tag along with sister Karen to her son Nathan's school year end concert. At the time, Nathan was in grade school. He and his classmates sang a variety of songs to pre-taped accompaniment. While children's concerts can often be painful to one's sensibilities, they are also mighty endearing. The kids are singing from their hearts. These boys and girls appeared to be soaring with such pride.

The beginning strains of "Wind Beneath My Wings" cued up and the children began to hum. While I tried to stifle my giggles, I turned to my Dad to see if his reaction was similar. On the contrary. The man's eyes were filled with tears. Always with a handkerchief, he had pulled it from his pocket as the welled up eyes were accompanied with a trembling lip. His face was drenched with emotion spilling from his somber, hazel eyes. I leaned in to my father's sturdy frame as his comforting, strong arm wrapped around my shoulder. I fell into him and sobbed along with the man who I had rarely seen weep.

Upon completion of the song, he could only express how beautiful it was. He was so delighted to have been there to see Nathan sing his heart out with his classmates and to share the moment with two of his daughters. The song struck a chord. I don't' think up to that time Dad had ever heard the tune.

It was at that moment I knew I would have that song played during our father/daughter glide across the dance floor.