Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Movies, meme, and more

It’s been years since I have been to a theater to see a movie. It was just too hard for Tilly to get in and out. The last time we went, she took her scooter and we sat in the handicap section. I sat in the seat right next to her, we held hands and shared buttery popcorn. I can’t tell you what movie we saw, but we had a great time.

I got tagged by the Prof, or I wouldn’t be doing this. But you young readers can always use an old fart’s opinion.

Popcorn or Candy? I like both. If I am going to spend the big bucks to get into a theater, I want the whole enchalada. Junior Mints, JuJu’s and Popcorn, with a Large drink.

Name a movie you’ve been meaning to see forever. I sometimes want to see all the James Bond movies.

Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Rhett Butler had a real flair for the clothes. Of course Cheech and Chong did too.

Your favorite film franchise is…I liked the Rambo movies. Indiana Jones movies were good, too.

Invite five movie characters over for dinner. Who are they? Why’d you invite them? What do you feed them?
1. Maggie the Cat (on a Hot Tin Roof) the original. Liz was so hot in that movie. Lots of boob and her voice was so sexy.
2. Rhett Butler just cause he had class.
3. Shemanitutonka Owashi because he was who he was and why he was.
4. Rambo. Table manners probably weren’t for shit,but he was my hero.
5. Melanie Wilkes. She was a lady, had a lot of class, and would keep Rambo from drinking out of the finger bowls. Oh, and I would serve grilled salmon with mango salsa, brown rice, and asparagus. And a light raisin tart with a brandy sauce (on the side.)

What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater? Met outside the theater by the irate rest of the crowd and made to run a gauntlet of stomping on their text messaging fingers. Then destroy their cell phones.

Choose a female bodyguard: Bridget Nielson. Have you ever seen the bicepts on that ugly broad?

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen in a movie? Silence of the Lambs totally freaked me out.

Your favorite genre (excluding “comedy” and “drama” ): I like screwball comedies like Cheech and Chong, Raising Arizona and Animal House or Porky’s. I also like Dances With Wolves, An American President, Witness, Sleepless in Seatle, and Field of Dreams. So you can see I really don’t have a favorite genre. I also liked Coyote Ugly. So if has “tits and ass” it’s not all bad.

You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. I like movies that make you think a little, (ignore what I said about Cheech and Chong) but are still entertaining. I like some romance but not where the couples are sucking the faces off each other. I like suggestion of sex, but close the door, or at least turn the lights off. I want to see Kevin Costner and Julia Roberts together in a romantic comedy with a happy ending. I want to see Michael Douglas and Anne Archer together again. I long for the days of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, who, even tho their personal lives were a mess, really lit up the silver screen with their talent. If you have never seen “The Sandpipers” rent it some time. Good flix and a fantastically sexy music score.

Bonnie or Clyde? I thought this movie sucked. Those two were really insane It’s hard to believe that the sick f--ks really existed..

Well there it is . My 2 cents worth of trivia. For what it’s worth. But it was fun.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Leave the Driving to Them!!! Are You Kidding???

Recently I had the misfortune or privilege to travel by Greyhound from Dallas TX to Area 52, which is located somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line and south of Detroit. Bear in mind that I have never traveled by bus before, but because of circumstances of low financial resources at the time, it seemed like a good idea.

Well, I arrived at the Dallas Greyhound bus station an hour before departure as instructed. I expected that my luggage would be scanned or something since it seemed so important to be there early. WRONG! They weighed my suitcase. That's all. Then I was told to go stand in line at gate 1. So off we went. Oh, did I mention that my brother was standing beside me all this time? We got in a line, that wasn't marked, but after asking someone ahead of us who could actually see what gate it was, we determined that we were in the right line at the right gate.

When they called my bus, big brother and I slowly progressed towards gate 1. Then across the tarmac to where the big blue and white chariot was parked. After a few hugs and well wishes, and tears, I must admit, I boarded the bus. No assigned seats! After all this wasn't American Airways, so I progressed down the aisle looking for an empty seat. Finally, about midway back, I found an empty one. I asked the guy in the seat by the window if "this seat was taken." He said,"it is now." So I sat. Soon we started rolling. The first thing I noticed was that the seats on a bus are "one size fits most." The thing was just as wide as I was. No wiggle room. The armrest between passengers cut into my left side, but it was lightly padded, so I could live with that if I didn't put the armrest towards the aisle in place. Well, I settled in and tried to relax. It was interesting to look around and see the diverse cultural backgrounds of the people on board. No small children except for the cute little girl (whom I found out later was only 2) and a great deal of women traveling alone. There didn't seem to be many people traveling together. I tried talking to the guy next to me, but got a lot of "yeps" and "nopes" so I finally gave up. He spent most of his time on the bus talking on his cell phone.

We stopped in every little berg and town in the northern part of Texas. Sometimes we weren't allowed to get off, sometimes we were. I didn't move out of my seat until we made a 45 minute stop at a convenience store/gas station. I had to use the facilities, and from what I had heard about the bathroom on the bus, I opted to go inside the station. That wasn't too much better, but I had to go!

At one stop, this young gal, about 7 months pregnant and toting the little gal mentioned above, got on . Now this gal had all their worldly goods in Target bags. No luggage to stash under the bus. My heart went out to her, traveling alone, but she had everything she seemed to need to make their trip comfortable. I only heard that little gal cry one time clear to Memphis. I commented to the mom on how well behaved the little one was. That's when I learned she was only 2.

Memphis! Bright lights, bars and lots of ads for Graceland. We pulled in on time. Were told to collect a boarding pass as we got off the bus so we could retain our seats. We had a 30 minute stop there. I made my way into the station and headed for the head. Then I bought a candy bar and found a seat near the right gate for reentry. I didn't want to get left behind. Here, let me let you in on a secret. Greyhound buses are kept pretty clean. This is surprising seeing how every bus I was on was filled to the total capacity of 57 passengers. BUT, the bus stations in every location are in the seediest, most run down parts of town. They are filthy, and their restrooms are the dirtiest I have ever been in. Men definately have the advantage of standing up. We were called back to board, and then we waited, and waited, and waited. The gal with the 2 year old finally got back on the bus, and griped and complained about how she was treated by the new driver when she tried to board. Then we waited and waited some more. After about 35 minutes, a gentleman in a shirt and tie boarded and asked the gal and her 2 year old to bring their belongings and come with him. They did as asked, and we never saw them again. The new driver, a little gal, I swear I wonder how she saw over the steering wheel, got on with another Greyhound employee. I think he was her bodyguard!! Monique was our new driver. She announced that since we were about 40 minutes behind schedule, that our trip from Memphis to Nashville would be "expressed" and there would be no stops. That gal really put the pedal to the metal and we booked it right down the Interstate. Only thing wrong was that Monique and her bodyguard (who turned out to be a luggage handler riding home to Nashville) never shut up. They carried on about the gal who got put off the bus. It seems that, from what I could gather from the conversation, that she had gotten hold of a boarding pass and had no ticket and had "freeloaded" from somewhere in Texas to Memphis. When she tried to get back on in Memphis, the driver, Monique asked to see her ticket. She said she lost it. Then proceded to cuss and rant and rave at the driver. The driver refused to let her board, and when she called for help, gal slipped by and boarded anyway. What a mess. But, did we have to hear a replay for 4 friggin' hours? By this time, the guy beside me had gotten off, and another guy was sitting there. He happened to be going the same way I was, so we sorta teamed up and became friends. His name was Pete, and he was headed to Area 52 to visit his daughters, who lived there with an ex wife. He had never traveled Greyhound either, and was a bit nervous about transfers and so on. I assured him that we could make it if we worked at it together, so he relaxed and we visited some. He said that the express trip to Nashville was the fastest that we had traveled all day. He had been on there all day, too. We arrived in Nashville 4 minutes ahead of schedule, thanks to Monique's heavy but safe foot on the gas.

In Nashville, another seedy station like in Memphis, (who designs these things, anyway). This time we had to transfer to another bus. So, we disembarked and grabbed our luggage as it was set out of the bowels of the underbus. At least, I did. Pete's suitcase was nowhere to be found. We looked all over, but it wasn't there. He seemed to take it in stride, said it would surely show up eventually, so we reboarded, this time after all the other people who had already been on this bus had boarded. New seats. Two rows from the back. Right outside the restroom door. How convenient! Now I could be privvy to the privvy. The seats we were in previously had lots of leg room because we were in the middle of the bus right across the aisle from the emergency door. Just for the record, if you can sit there, there's lots of leg room. Otherwise, just hope that the person in front of you is careful when lowering his seat back, or you will have no kneecaps left. Next stop: Louisville, KY. There were some truckers across the aisle from me who were riding to pick up new "rigs" and they talked non stop for hours. Loudly! Not really being rude, but to be heard over the tire noise and exhaust of the bus. Pete and I had now been in transit for about 16 hours and were trying to get some sleep. Not going to happen!

Louisville is another seedy station in another seedy part of town. Do you see a theme erupting here? A 45 minute layover and then off again. Nothing of any consequence happened there, but I was really tired and still wishing that the motor mouths across the aisle would just "shut the f--k up." Only 3 hours to Area 52 and then I would board another bus for the last 50 miles home. We arrived at the next seedy station at 6:45 am, only 23 hours since boarding in Dallas. I staggered into the station, luggage in tow, only to find that I had a 2 and 3/4 hour layover. I coffeed up, grabbed a seat in front of a big screen t.v. tuned to "Hour of Power." How fitting, after all it was Sunday morning.

Finally, they called our bus and Pete and I once again boarded the dreaded beast. We had our pick of seats, there were only 20 people going our way. It was a beautiful morning and watching the sun rise in the east was great. I was almost home. Do you know that it takes over 2 hours for Greyhound to travel 55 miles? Of course, we had to stop in another town before my stop, and the passengers had 15 minutes to smoke. No rest rooms, but a place to smoke outside the bus.

At long last, we arrived at my stop. When we stopped, I shook hands with Pete, wished him well, and grabbed my carry-on and began to head down the steps of the bus. I was looking to see if Lil Bro and Sistah were there to pick me up and low and behold, I missed the last step of the bus and dumped my ass onto the tarmac. My carry-on went flying, I went ass over appetite, and skinned my left knee, wrenched my shoulder, and severely bruised my ego. Not one soul came to my rescue, not even the driver of the bus. I grabbed my luggage, and hobbled to a picnic table where I proceded to pick the stones out of my knee cap and salve my ego a bit. In about 5 minutes, my kids arrived. I hugged them both, threw my suitcases in the trunk of their car and we booked it out of there. They treated me to a meal at Cracker Barrel on the way home. What a treat. Good food, good company. At last, my feet on Area 52 soil! Next time, Amtrak...here I come!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The decorating saga continues

Well, the living room is painted. Lil Bro and Sistah came over yesterday morning, we all worked our butts off and in 5 hours we were done. Today, I hung the curtains back up after laundering them, and now am readying the rest of the house to move the living room furniture into other rooms to get ready for the carpet layers. That is taking place on Wednesday. On Wed or Thurs evening then we will move all the furniture back into place. Sistah says she is taking step by step pictures, and every time I turned around yesterday, there she was snapping away on her digital. It was a lot of work but it was fun, and boy does it look nice.
Tonight I must get the laundry put away and my room straightened up. It's a mess and my suitcases from Texas trip are still half packed. The dirty clothes are all washed, tho, I just need to put them away. Tomorrow is another school day, and it's back to the grind. New grading period starts tomorrow and grade cards come out on Wednesday. That always calls for lots of drama and pathos.
I went to church this morning for the first time since Tilly passed away. That wasn't easy, but I was surrounded by the love of my church family and Lil Bro and Sistah were there with me. We made it through. These firsts are the hardest.
Well, gotta get on that laundry.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Making Changes

This gets really complicated, so hang on.
While my brother and sister-in-law were home for Tilly's funeral and etc, they noticed the dire state of my livingroom carpeting. We had a dog. Dog was not well trained. I wasn't home much, working two jobs, and Tilly, of course, who wanted the dumb dog in the first place, wasn't always able to catch the dog in time, so of course, Dog would pee on the carpet. Then when we did find a wet spot, I would try to clean it up. Well, you get the picture. Soooo, being the generous people they are, my big brother said they would take me to the carpet store and let me pick new and would pay for new carpeting. Of course, this called for carpeting up the open stairs, too, so that is going to happen as well.
Now, son Lil Bro and Sistah decide that, since Dad is getting new carpeting, he needs to have the living room painted. So they took me to the paint store, carpet samples in hand, and helped me pick new paint for my living room. Besides that, they are coming and putting it on the walls for me. I got up early this morning and started cutting in the wood trim and ceiling. Then, I decided to stop and wait. Son does painting for other people part time, and has all kinds of equipment, so maybe he will have a tool to make edging easier than a brush.
I took down the curtains at 1 am this morning and washed them all. I ran the sweeper over the woodwork and dusted the ledges of the windows. I have pulled all the furniture away from the walls that I can move by myself, and I have made coffee. I am ready!
Oh, and did I mention that since all the furniture is in country blues, mauves, and ivory, that the ugly GREEN chair which was a gift from my in-laws is on it's way out. Why did they pick green, anyhow? Anyway, I gave it to the first band of gypsys that came by, (not really, I just love that expression), I really gave it to a friend who was here and really liked the chair. It's a nice recliner, but it is too green, too big and besides it hurts my back if I sit in it too long.
Oh, and I had to pick some material to have new cushions made for my "orthopedic" rocker. The old ones were red, and just didn't cut it in the "new" living room.
This decorating business is hard work. I know what I like, and I think I am headed in the right direction. Now, if the kids would just get here! I am getting anxious to get started.
More later, when it's all done. Aren't families wonderful?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Go Greyhound??? What was I thinking?

When the dust clears, and I have a chance to get back on line at home instead of taking precious school time, I will blog about my "exciting" bus trip back to Area 52 from Texas. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, but what a ride. Stay tuned. Should be back on line by the end of the week, if I am lucky.
Otherwise, I am well, well rested, and well fed. I am making some minor changes in the house arrangement to make it more "mine." I will survive!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Right now I feel like all I am doing is surviving day to day. I am now what is called the "surviving spouse." Well, that is right. I survived. I was able to get up the next day after Tilly's death, draw a breath, and go on. Is that fair? I wasn't the one who was sick. I wasn't the one who was on total life support. Why was she gone and me still here? As I ask myself that question, I realize that one of us had to go first. Only, this wasn't in the time frame either of us had in mind. We were going to grow old together, wear purple, and be an old, fun couple.

Now, I won't have the chance to know what Tilly would have looked like at 80, with beautiful silver hair. I know she would have still worn her favorite color, red, and lots of bangled jewelry. These are the things I think about as I sit here in Texas at my brother's house. They offered to bring me here for a week to rest and recoup, so I took them up on it. I go back to Area 52 on Saturday. That house is going to seem so large and empty. My computer is on the "blink" thanks to an inept cable guy, who, quite frankly, doesn't know his internet from a hair net, so I wont have that connection to you all. After a couple days handling the legal death stuff, which I left there waiting, I will go back to the classroom.

My family has taken me under their wing, like a wounded bird. Prof calls me from MT daily, and Little Bro has called me from Area 52 every day, both just to say 'hi' and chat me up about whatever comes to mind. What wonderful kids I have!!

I have a lot of friends. I found that out last week, and they are still calling me, even here in TX. I know that they will be what sustains me in the time to come. My school family has been fantastic, and it is with all these people's help that I will survive. It is with these people, both family and friends, that I will find reason to get up tomorrow after tomorrow, and survive.


Monday, October 01, 2007

My World Has Stopped

Yes, my world has stopped. It's too painful to go into right now, but I have lost the wonderful spouse of 38 years. Tilly passed away. When the pain lessens, and I can once again feel some way besides numb, I will blog about the entire experience. Until then, remember me and mine in your thoughts. I will return!