Monthly Archives: May 2008

BITTERSWEET

I’m not sure how much I shared here about the crappy week I just spent. It involved just about the entire gamut of Murphy’s Law and then some. Next time I schedule a week off work, well… never mind. Let’s just say that there are a few things worse than work stress.

Today I spent the day with an old dear friend whose mother passed away a few days ago. There was no service, just a quiet gathering of close friends and family invited to gather at the Family Home. This dear friend Tom, I met 19 years ago when I was in Art School. Sadly, I can count the times that we’ve managed to get together since then on one hand. The same can be said for the other friends I made during that time. But, by a strange twist of fate, Tom and two others from that part of my life, rekindled some of our old magic. Let me give a little background.

When I was 32 years old, my kids were both in school and my marriage was all but over. It became evident and necessary that I seek an education so that I would be able to provide for myself and them. I enrolled in Art School.

Picture me in a class of about 20 others, starting the same term, who ranged in age anywhere from 17-19 years old. If I remember correctly, only three others beside me were female. Let the games begin…

In the course of our time together, I forged 3 truly great, enduring friendships. How can that be? I was almost 15 years older, and they were, well… boys. Sometimes relationships transcend age and gender. And I have proof. Tom, Greg and John, I’m sure, will attest. I may have played more of a matriarchal role than a peer in the beginning, but that didn’t stop us from partying together or much else. We shared the sweating clear up to deadlines. We shared crazy photography projects (Don’t even ask me about things that transpired in the darkrooms.) We sat together, antsy and uncomfortable (at first) through nude figure-drawing classes. We blew off steam together on weekends and during lunch breaks. We shared and criticized each other’s music. Basically we became the bigger part of each other’s lives for the duration of our time in school. And it left a hella mark on each of us. I could cite so many of the experiences that bonded us, but it would have little meaning for anyone outside of our Circle.

Today is the first time that all four of us have been together since 3 of us graduated in 1989. Imagine an afternoon loosely based on The Big Chill, but set in 2008. (Please tell me you’ve seen it so I don’t have to explain.)

Being with those guys brought back so many memories and good feelings, despite the sad occasion. They’re all grown men now, in their thirties with lives and families and plans of their own. And a little part of me sits back, looking proudly on, knowing that we shared such a precious part of our lives and are all better people for it.

I love you guys and thanks for accepting me into a tight, small, exclusive, Forever Circle.

I’M A GROUPIE

Greek to Me – Confessions of an Altared Boy

By virtue of my tendencies toward obsessivity, it seems not out of the realm of possibility that I find myself, once again addicted to a certain behavior. (Not unlike my sister-of-another-mother, Piglet…) That behavior, of course, being the uncontrollable urge to scour YouTube for the sole purpose of enriching and embellishing my life and penchant for being entertained.

I think you will find this video, the first in a series of four, to be awesome. The actor’s name is Michael Raysses. His delivery and the quality of the material is as engrossing as it is humorous. Michael relates the story of how the role of altar boy during his Greek Orthodox up-bringing prepared him for later roles in the theater. His actual first role was that of a piglet in a barnyard production in Church/School. Give it a watch/listen.  Michael is a writer/actor/National Public Radio commentator who lives in Los Angeles. You can find some of his other work here. And here. He’s also a writer for Vision Magazine.

I’m a fan. But “Groupie” sounds so much more funner. 😉

(Posted with permission by Michael Raysses, “group-er” [as opposed to “group-ee“])

MIDWEEK *HIC* REPORT

First, I think an apology is in order for anyone who was grossed out by last night’s video presentation. Surprisingly, I didn’t regret either the posting or the decision to “tie one on” as much as I thought I might.

Where do you suppose the phrase “tie one on” originated?  Well, since I’m not pressed for time (wonder of all wonders) I looked it up.  The first explanation I found is this:

It’s a British saying from the 1950s, it is a way of saying someone’s getting severely drunk.  It comes from the expression “burn one on,” which pretty much means the same thing, but is an older expression (by about 20 years). Thank you, Mindless Crap.

Which sounded lame, (sorry, MC) so I kept looking until I found an explanation that suited me.

This, courtesy of  Modern Drunkard Magazine :

First recorded in 1951, this phrase for getting smashed begs the question, “Tie what on?” Why, a bun, of course. Until the 1950s, bun was commonly used in place of bender (it still is in the U.K.). Tie a bun on/get your drink on) predates tie one on by 50 years, but when bun fell out of favor, it fell out of the phrase as well. Bun, by the way, is most likely a corruption of bung, archaic Scottish slang for intoxicated.

Okay, so maybe that was more information than we needed. At any rate, I now have a good idea where to find anything on the Internet that has to do with getting smashed/snookered/bent/plastered/sloshed/soused or three sheets to the wind.  This has all been pretty much a waste of my time, however, as I do not intend to make it a habit.  I am kind of tickled though that I found out that “crapulous” is indeed a word.  It goes way back to the 18th Century, derived from the Greek word kraipale and means drunken headache or nausea.  So the next time someone tells you they feel crapulous, they are hung over.  Thanks again, Modern Drunkard Magazine.

Please, though, let me say this.  In no way do I condone ingesting mass quantities of alcohol.  And NEVER driving under the influence.  I’m just, well, having kind of a rough week and wanted to take a little of the edge off.  I stayed in my home and there was no animal or spousal abuse involved.  I made no harassing telephone calls, kept all my clothes on.  In fact I fell asleep on the couch in jeans and a hoodie and woke up there at 8:15 am.  None the worse for wear.  Well, except for the ridiculous video of the eyeball lady. And a mild leg cramp.

And I just might stay in again tonight.

#1 REASON*

*not to surf YouTube under the influence of alchoholic beverages. I’ll regret this tomorrow, I’m sure. (even more than I regret that silly quiz…)

Lady popping her eyes out

NUTTIN’ IN PARTICULAR

I just sat down here because I’m waiting for a phone call and don’t want to start anything and then have to quit when the phone rings.

I have not one thing in my head to write about. I’m going to wing it and see what comes to me.

*looking around the room, hoping something inspires me…*

I have too many books. I’ve read some of them and they must have some meaning for me or else I would get rid of them or pass them on. Some I haven’t read, but intend to one day. There are way too many, I will never get them all read. I have a definite problem in that I can’t not buy an interesting-looking book when I see one.

*Phone call* Excuse me, uno momento, por favor.

PD is watching National Treasures II-The Book of Secrets. I tried to watch the first one and the acting was so bad I couldn’t get very far. By the sound of it, I made a good choice to pass on this one too.

I have an antique sewing machine that needs a new belt. It’s an Italian-made model of excellent quality. I forget the name of it. I could care less if I ever use it again. That’s why I’ve not gotten it repaired. You can have it if you want it. ( I just remembered, it’s a Necchi, I think is how it’s spelled…)

I still have “the bar” set up from Christmas. By “set up” I mean that there are about 10 bottles of assorted liquor on the buffet. I dust them off from time to time. It’s not like I even have a drink very often. The reason the bottles are still there is that I can’t remember where I kept them before.

I’m having one now. (a drink, that is) Did I mention that I’ve had a very stressful day? Not exactly what I had in mind for my vacation. But that’s life. If it sounds like I have kinda of an “F*** it” attitude, well… I do. It’s what happens when too many things are wrong but there’s nothing you can do about any of them.

Gonna go drink that drink now. Mmmm… Amaretto over crushed ice, my favorite.

Nighty night 🙂

FEEL LIKE A QUIZ?

I was feeling crazy and this looked like fun. I give it a C-minus for accuracy… What do you think? I’m thinking that maybe this was me at one time, but sounds like too much work now!



NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Sometimes life has a way of gettin’ ahead of you and the best you can do is just hold on tight and go with it. Things happen that you have no control over. Other things pop up that you’re just not emotionally equipped to deal with, no matter how hard you try.

I’m, at least out of bed and suckin’ down coffee #2, starting Day Three of Ten Days Away From Work. Normally, with this much Time Off, I’d be looking forward to a trip North to spend time with the JuJus. But due to work schedules (Ju’s) and the price of gas and some medical tests scheduled smack in the middle of Time Off and the fact that I need to do some serious home maintenance so that I can enjoy the rest of the summer without worrying about it, we’ll not be traveling. Yes, it would have been great but… there will be other opportunities.

Day One, I started a list of everything I want to accomplish. Yes, it’s a mile long. I started with little projects so that I can complete a few small tasks and check them off and feel like something is getting done. My way of thinking is that, if I do that, I can keep the feeling of being overwhelmed at bay. So far, well, not so bad. Now if I could only keep the rest of Life from happening and interfering with my plan I would be ok.

Last week my mother took an unscheduled trip to the hospital. She’s home and fine now. Before she came home, a very good friend of mine did the same thing. Only she’s not home and fine and it looks like that may not happen. Ever. They are “managing her pain,” which is that dreaded phrase you hear that pretty much translates into “there’s nothing else we can do for her.” I refuse to believe that. She’s too young, has a family and I can’t talk about this anymore now.

I got a letter from Travis, the nephew. I would love to “show” it to you, but since “the move,” our printer/scanner is not set up yet so I will just tell you what it said…

Dear Aunt Linda

and uncle (PD’s First and last name),

Hi. Just me Tra-

vis. That I am

doing pretty good

At my house. I jus

t to wish your

guys a happy

Memorial Day.

Love,

Travis (Last name)

My Phone Number

is ***-***-****.

I followed up with a phone call, thanking him. His words of wisdom, which I wanted to share with you are as follows:

“You have to ride your bike, take long walks, cut the grass and eat lots of canned fruit.”

Amen, Travis.

PIANO MAN

Several months ago, I was engaging on one of my favorite pastimes which is cruising YouTube. I came across a video of a young man playing a piano. I clicked. I was mesmerized. I noticed he had about 30 other videos posted and I watched maybe 5 or 6 of them and left a couple of comments, encouraging words expressing how much I enjoyed his playing. I noticed that he replies to many of his comments and I was impressed by that, too.

A month or so ago I received an invitation from him to vote for one of his videos, giving him a chance at appearing on television (in his native Italy) and thus, I’m sure, furthering his career. I gladly complied. We have been in contact now and then and I had asked him for permission to write a short blogpost about him and share his music with my wonderful, loyal 🙂 readers. Below, please find a wonderful example of his talent and a message from him to you. Introducing Agostino Giglio. Show him some love. And take a few minutes to vote.

Ago and I thank you very much. Let me know what you think!

*********************************************************************************

Hysteria (Muse) – TUNED 🙂 piano version

(from Ago)

Oh, yeah, I’m very happy if you dedicate to me a post of your blog!!!:)
I attached you my favourite video:)

My message is this:

You can send me from Youtube to an italian TV talent-show, playing LIVE the song “Starlight” by MUSE!

How? It’s simple!!!

– Click on this link

– Under the green thumb image, select value 10
– on the right fill textbox typing letters you see
and press the red button “VOTA” !!

You can vote anytime you want, until June 15th !

IMPORTANT: Please, send this link to all of your friends!
SPREAD THE WORD! 😀

Thank you very much!

Ago

Hey Linda, THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!!
My best wishes for you dear!!!!
Ago 😉

MARK AND SONNY :-)

Mark Knopfler & Sonny Landreth – Cannibals (Night In London)

Two of my favorite guitarists of all time. Imagine how excited I was to find this vid of them playing Together!

ALWAYS BE AWARE

When I first met PD, he was way into martial arts, self-defense and all that.  He always stressed to me how important it is to be aware of your surroundings at all times.  To make mental notes of exit doors, dark areas where bad people could be lurking, alternate “escape” routes, things like that.  He presented me with a pocket-sized cannister of pepper spray which I carried on my key chain at all times.  He also taught (and drilled) me on a custom-made-for-me plan which utilized my strengths, limited as they are, me being a skinny woman and all.  But I learned some nifty moves that could possibly save my life, or at least gain me some valuable time if I were to ever be attacked in a dark parking lot, for instance.  I also surprised him with my skill shooting at (and hitting) targets with a 9mm Taurus. (In a controlled, safe environment, of course.)  But he always stressed to me to be aware of everything going on around me at all times.  With PD, it is more like a sixth sense, ever-present and making him ever-vigilant.

Well, I found out today that I may need a refresher course.  None of this came in handy at all in the video store when I said to PD with all the enthusiasm (and just a little sarcasm) I could muster, “Let’s rent Extreme Uncensored Chickfights?!”

All the training of my past kicked in AFTER I saw the gentleman standing on the other side of PD.

On the way to the check-out, I got the nerve to look over at PD and there he was with that look on his face that I’m oh-so-familiar with.  The one that says “Look at you now!”

I’ll let you know how The Savages is (are?) after I watch it…