Monday, August 25, 2008

Random Photo Monday: Shore Leave

This week’s Random Photo Monday is posted on my other blog (Joy’s Blog). It would love to have some visitors.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #86

Seems like these Fridays are coming around faster and faster. It's already time for another Fill-In.

1. Dancing to the soundtrack of “A Chorus Line” while nobody watches makes me feel like a Rockette (now if only I could find something that would make me look like one).

2. The last time I saw Paris I nearly decided to settle down there and never leave. Hmmm. I know that’s lame, but I just can’t get beyond “The last time I saw Paris . . . ” Damn you, Oscar Hammerstein!

3. When I drive I always hope I won’t have to do any parallel parking.

4. “I Saw Her Standing There” is one of the two Beatles tunes that made me fall in love with the man I married.

5. Give me time, give me freedom, give me a platinum American Express Card and drop me off at Tiffany’s.

6. Next week I am looking forward to lazing around in the sand, playing in the ocean, and shopping at the outlet malls around Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching the Dallas/Houston pre-season game (and more Olympics, of course), tomorrow my plans include shopping and maybe getting my hair cut, and Sunday, I want to get some reading done and start packing for our beach trek!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Random Photo Monday: At the Seaside

Today's photo is a snap of my great-grandmother, Maud Beatrice Palmer (or Beatrice Maud – nobody’s really sure which name was supposed to be first or middle), circa 1903. She’s the short young woman on the right, and would have been about 19 or 20 at the time. The photo was passed on to me by my mother who didn’t really know anything about the other women in the picture. But it’s likely the woman on the left is Maud’s younger sister Annie.

The photograph was probably taken somewhere along the Texas coast – possibly Corpus Christi. The ladies seem to be having trouble keeping their hats on, don’t they? Of course, their outfits aren’t exactly what I’d think of as beach wear. All that clothing on a summer day in Texas must have been unbelievably oppressive, even in a strong breeze. Well, those old girls came from hardy stock.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #85

Somehow I missed last week's Fill-Ins. Here's this week's:

1. The last meal I had at a restaurant was eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti and a small house salad at the Casa Restaurant in Foxchase Center on Duke Street. Last weekend.

2. Being hurried is something I intensely dislike. Well, along with war, disease, famine, crime, rudeness, cheating, and cockroaches. Oh, and most politicians.

3. The full moon makes me want to go outdoors and dance in it.

4. __________ is one of my favorite local expressions. Hmmmm. I don't think we have any local expressions here in Alexandria. Maybe:
"The traffic on the Beltway is really brutal today"?
Or: "When the hell are they gonna finish the Wilson Bridge project?"
Or: "Don't look at me – I didn't vote for him."

5. Sometimes it's best to admit you have no will power whatsoever and grab that last éclair before somebody else gets it.

6. __________ is the best movie I've seen so far this year! OK, this is complicated. We don't really go out to movies much anymore – we watch them on DVD. So generally, we don't see a film until it's been out for a while. The only 2008 film I've seen so far is the new "X-Files" movie ("I Want to Believe"). But it was only so-so. The best films I've seen this year are all from last year or earlier. So from the 2007 films I've seen, I think my favorite was either "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" (I'm a serious Nicolas Cage fan), or "American Pastime" (about baseball and the Japanese internment camps during WWII), or "My Best Friend" (a French comedy with Daniel Auteuil).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching more Olympics or maybe the DVD of "Ghost Rider" we just got from Netflix (did I mention I'm a serious Nicolas Cage fan?), tomorrow my plans include the usual shopping and errands and Sunday, I want to get some reading done!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings (Week 289)

I'm a little late getting these up this week. Maybe I was more unconscious than usual over the weekend.

LunaNiña says :: and I think . . .
  1. Month to month :: calendar / paycheck / period

  2. Adjusted :: what you are after a visit to the psychiatrist or chiropractor

  3. Prank :: The time we filled a friend's apartment with balloons while he was away on vacation. Well, actually, we only filled up the living room, but it took him quite a while to clear it out. Funny, he wasn't nearly as amused as we expected him to be.

  4. Mop :: something I don't use unless I'm forced to

  5. Clarity :: my crystal pattern

  6. Parenting :: what people do today instead of raising children

  7. Glenn :: Ballroom dancing lessons, 1962 – Bette and Glenn's dance studio, Wonderland Mall, San Antonio TX. Most of the boys were shorter than I was.

  8. Fingerprint :: Sherlock Holmes / FBI

  9. Pineapple :: palm trees / welcome symbol / the laxative I had to drink before my colonoscopy (ooh, that was awful - let's make that my mother-in-law's pineapple upside-down cake)

  10. Attorney :: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." (Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene II)

Random Photo Monday: Events in August

Two photos this week – family photos, both connected with the month of August.

The first is a portrait of my husband's grandfather, Milton Horn. He was born 9 August 1898, and looks to be about two or three years old in the shot, so I'm guessing it was taken circa 1900. He died in 1989 at the age of 91. His grandfather's family emigrated from Alsace Lorraine in the mid-1850s and settled in Bexar County TX. M always jokes about the fact that his family started out owning a huge chunk of San Antonio, but over the years managed to give most of it away. But even though he might not have had much of a head for business, Grandpa Horn always lived pretty much just as he pleased, and always seemed to be having a great time doing it. I think this is the only time I've ever seen him looking sad.

The second photo is a shot of my mother and her sisters, taken sometime during the early or mid-1940s. My mother is on the right, her sister Bette is on the left, and in the middle is the baby of the family, my Aunt Linnie (or Lynn, as she liked to be called) who would have been about 15 or 16 at the time. She died 13 August 1988, of cancer, at age 59. My cousin (Bette's daughter) and I both look a lot like her.

The relationship among the sisters was always prickly but close. My Uncle Pat, Bette's husband, used to say that in high school, they were famous for being difficult to handle. He said whenever anyone saw the sisters coming, they'd say "Here come those awful Davis girls"! Of course, he said it mainly to tease them, and my mother and Aunt Bette claimed not to believe him and vehemently denied it. But I believe it was true. And I think secretly they were sort of proud of being "those awful Davis girls."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

TV Musings: Olympics Watch

So I'm wondering – did anybody else find the Summer Olympics opening ceremony just a wee bit terrifying? Don't know why, but even though it was certainly spectacular and unique, and parts of it were decidedly gorgeous, it really kind of scared the heck out of me.

It was – well, massive is the word that comes readily to mind. That and overwhelming. And smoky.

But what's with all those drums? And why no female drummers? Especially since they all seemed to be wearing dresses anyway. And I'm afraid the number with everybody dressed up in green lighted space alien costumes had me looking around for the mothership.

But there was plenty to admire, too. I especially liked the flying Apsaras – Buddhist spirits akin to nymphs or muses. They were lovely. Apparently they're also supposed to have something to do with guiding the luck of gamblers. And I imagine there's going to be lots of that going on during the games.

And, of course, the parade of nations is always stirring and fun to watch. It's always so interesting to see what everyone's wearing. I thought the U.S. team looked very snazzy in their Ralph Lauren duds, although white pants aren't really something that every body type can get away with. But the caps were very cute.

I kept hearing bagpipes off in the distance, but never saw any pipers. Well, we tuned away for a while at 9 and watched the new episode of Monk, so we didn't see every minute of the ceremonies. Too bad because I love bagpipes. And kilts. And Scotland. So I guess I'll have to start looking around on the internet and see if I can find the videos.

A Very Weird Meme That I Found on My Cousin's Blog

My cousin MLB has started a new blog on WordPress (Brinkley's Place), and I've been doing some checking up on her tonight. That's where I found this meme (although I think a version has been around for a while, I've never tried it before). And even though my answers aren't as funny as hers, I couldn't resist trying it myself.

The idea is this: Google your name plus the word "needs," see what results you get, and then pick ten. So here goes.
  1. Joy needs tragedy. I am not making this up – it was the very first thing that popped up.
  2. Joy needs to make bail and get out of jail. Okey dokey. I guess Joy got some of that tragedy she supposedly needed, huh?
  3. Joy needs a better understanding of the nature of evil. Not so. Joy has worked for tax accountants and research economists and therefore Joy knows all about the subject.
  4. Joy needs training and experience. Sounds like we're getting a little kinky here, doesn't it?
  5. Joy needs to take a lesson and step to the back of the line. Sheesh – and after all that training and experience, I still have to step to the back of the line? What a rip off! I wanna talk to my Union rep.
  6. Joy needs to be near the heartbeat of our happiness in a delivery room. OK, this is getting really scary. Joy does NOT need to be in a delivery room in any way, shape, or form – with or without the heartbeat of our happiness.
  7. Joy needs to delete files on error due to stuff. Say what?
  8. Joy needs a foster home. Yes, please – preferably with maid service and its own private beach.
  9. Joy needs a dream man. Joy already has a dream man – she's married to him.
  10. Joy needs to shut her big mouth! Amen, brother!
But my favorite didn't really exactly adhere to the requirements. It was this : Does the world need another Joy? And the answer is obviously NO. I'm quite enough Joy all by myself.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Random Photo Monday: TV Musings

Well, this is a not terribly good snap of me, taken sometime in the mid-1950s. I'm not exactly sure where I'm doing my TV watching in this photo. Possibly at my Aunt B's house. Or possibly at my grandparents' – they all had much bigger sets than we did at the time, and they let me get much nearer the screen than my mother did. She was convinced that sitting any closer than halfway across the room was guaranteed to make me go blind overnight. I guess that's why she never really approved of Winky Dink.

This past weekend was a big TV weekend around here for some reason. Lately I've been trying to wrench myself away from the tube, and doing a pretty good job of it, so far. But Friday evening there were new episodes of Monk and Doctor Who! Two of my favorite shows. Then late Friday night on the Sci-Fi channel there were re-runs of two episodes of Stargate SG-1 I hadn't seen. And Saturday night was Charlie Chaplin night on the Turner Classics movie channel. And even though M and I both really don't care for Chaplin, they were showing Monsieur Verdoux, which neither of us had seen before – so, of course, we had to watch.

I wasn't terribly impressed with "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever." Although Captain Stotlemeyer had some nice scenes – especially the one where he thinks he's the winner of the multi-million dollar Lotto jackpot. ("The next time you call me 'Captain,' you'll be on my boat!") I love Captain Stotlemeyer and Randy. But I'm a little bothered by the way the Natalie character seems to be taking over the show. Traylor Howard is extremely cute and I like her in the role, but she can be a little grating when she's given too much to do. I'm happier when the show keeps the focus on Mr. M. and his crime solving escapades.

In the same way, I really preferred the "old" Doctor Who formula – when the companions really were sidekicks and not guest stars. Goodness knows, David Tennant is talented enough to carry the show on his own – I'm not sure why the BBC thinks he needs such a ton of backup. But at least last Friday's episode ("Journey's End") seems to have provided a final farewell to the dreaded Rose Tyler and her annoying family and friends. Unfortunately, it was also apparently the last of Donna Noble, a character I had really gotten to like – even though I was only ever able to understand about every fourth word Catherine Tate uttered. And when she got really wound up, I was doing good just to pick up a few intelligible parts of speech here and there.

Of course, "my" Doctor was Tom Baker – he's the first Doctor I watched, back in the 1970s and he's still my favorite, the one I think of as THE Doctor ("The definite article," as he once said). I also liked the pace of those older shows. They were exciting and held your interest without being so frenetic and action-packed that you needed a hit of oxygen when they were over.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings (Week 288)

LunaNiña says :: and I think . . .
  1. Crankiness :: me on a Monday
  2. Backpack :: the hubby trekking off to work in the A.M. (he ditched the briefcase years ago)
  3. Clone :: copy / science fiction / that weird Spielberg movie about artificial intelligence
  4. High ground :: where you hope to be in a flood or a political argument
  5. Dreams :: never come true if they're pleasant; always come true if they're not (Whoa! Can you say "pessimist"?)
  6. Lovingly :: Hmmmm. An adverb. I don't do well with adverbs. All I can really think of is "done with love." See. Not good. Let's move on.
  7. Mistake :: something I've made many times
  8. Carson :: Kit / Johnny / Rachel / McCullers / Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago
  9. Errand :: fool's / of mercy / something Sundays were made for
  10. Dozen :: Dirty / eggs / cheaper by the / baker's / months in a year (Isn't it odd how dozen and frozen don't rhyme, but dozen and cousin do?)
I'm really gonna have to stop doing these at 3 A.M.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #83

The first of August is here and it's bringing a brand new Friday Fill-Ins!

1. If I could travel back in time, I'd go to pre-WWI Paris and buy up as much Post-Impressionist art as I could get my hands on.

2. Give me chocolate or give me ________. Hmmmm. Just hand over the chocolate and you can forget the other stuff.

3. I am listening to the sound of the fridge going off and on – wow, it's really quiet in here right now.

4. Somewhere, someone is thinking up a new reality TV show. If you know where they are, lock them up and throw away the key. (I was going to say hunt them down and kill them, but I guess that could be interpreted as a tad extreme.)

5. I'll always be shorter than I was really supposed to be.

6. My idea of a good time includes me not cooking.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to dinner at the local Red Lobster, tomorrow my plans include exploring a new used-book store I've found and Sunday, I want to get some reading done (and try to do a Sunday Salon post)!