Really busy, frenetic day, but the highlight was Michael and I got to see a stage show called Memphis at the fabulous Fox Theater. Wow, what a fun show! (You can see a sneak peek of it here.) I am writing a review of it, hopefully sometime tomorrow. Stay tuned for more...
I am trying to be more aware of the news these day, so I wanted to just take a few moments and share with you a couple of things that have caught my eye recently.
I attended the University of Georgia in Athens, and I love UGA. I'm not a big football person. However, I so admire Anna Watson, one of the school's current cheerleaders, who obviously has a good attitude about her sport and her life, and what's important. She turned down a lucrative career as a model. Why? "A modeling agent wanted her to use Anavar, a legal anabolic steroid to help her gain up to 50 pounds of muscle. Worried about the effects on her body when she decides to have kids, Watson passed."
One of my all-time favorite movies is Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was the first videotape I got in 1986 after I got my first VCR. I can watch it and quote the lines. I was very amused to see that Matthew Broderick is shilling for Honda in a Ferris Bueller spoof ad that will air during the Super Bowl. I don't even know who's playing in the Super Bowl, nor do I care. Matthew is messing with a legend though, and that makes me a tad uncomfortable.
You remember my post about Anthony, the young man who was walking across America, from Charleston to San Diego? Well, he did it. Good for him. Anthony is a remarkable young man, and I wish him well on his adventures.
Years ago, I worked with Judge C.J. Becker at Chambers Mabry law firm here in Atlanta. I liked CJ. She started as a legal secretary, then became a paralegal, then went to law school and became a lawyer. However I hate this story about a credit card scammer who won't do any jail time. If you do the crime you need to do some time, first offender or not.
I did something very unusual yesterday afternoon. I went to a movie with a friend. I can count on one hand the number of outings I've had with just my friends in the last, oh, 7 years. I reserve the weekends to spend time with my children. However, I am trying to get to see at least some of the Oscar-nominated movies before the Academy Awards, so I need to get busy.
The film I went to with my friend Dana was Albert Nobbs. It was set in 19th century Dublin, which was a drawing card for me, since I've always wanted to visit Ireland. I also love period films. The makers of the movie were meticulous in the details. It was like stepping back in time.
If you want to see the film and don't like spoilers, don't read more.
In the film, Glenn Close plays a butler in a hotel, Albert Nobbs, a woman posing as a man. She is obviously a tortured soul, but the ability to look and act like a man is amazing. Janet McTeer plays a similar character, but her attitude is much different. She has a "wife." Akbert is obviously far less sure of her orientation. As you can see from the photos below, the transformation of the two actresses was extraordinary.
The one thing that marred the film for me was a young actress named Mia Wasikowski. Albert decides to court one of the parlor maids at the hotel, Helen, played by Mia. She reminds me very much of Alesia. So much so, it made me uncomfortable and sad whenever I saw Mia onscreen.
Anyway, it's a terrific film, although sad. I urge you to go see it.
I sometimes wonder how I can keep blogging, day after day, when so many other blogs are neglected and die. There are no less than three blogs I used to read daily, and all three women have pretty much stopped writing because they've faced some huge tragedies in their lives. I don't begrudge them their choice not to write, but I find it puzzling.
The irony is that when I am upset I want to write. I want to spew out all the sadness, anger, just plain negativity that boils up. Just like talking to a therapist helps a lot of folks, the simple act of writing things down helps me get a grip.
I decided back in 2005 I wasn't going to fret over this blog being literary or profound in any way. If I just blogged once a week that would be different. I'd polish up my essays and go for an entirely different tone.But I blog daily, or close to it. So it is what it is.
I read an explanation of what makes an artist that went something like "a true artist creates because he has to, not because he's inspired." I wouldn't call myself an artist, more a craftsman, but there are times when I grab a piece of paper and a pencil, if there's no computer handy, and I just write. Usually that comes in the form of a poem, but not always.
I was finally able to send off the complete package of stuff to the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame, for my grandfather's "enshrinement" in April. I love that word "enshrinement." I picture some elaborate ceremony involving thousands of priests and tons of flowers and solemn music. Something cinematic and mystical. The reality will be quite different of course, but that's OK. He has long been enshrined in the hearts of those of us who remember him well. My mother is helping me write the speech about him. It's still uncertain who will give the speech, but we will figure it out.
That's a huge load off my mind.
Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities. - C. S. Lewis
Michael spent the evening at Colton's house last night, talking with Colton, Matthew, and Bart, a tight little group of friends. I am so glad he has them, these boys who come from nice families, who are polite and articulate, and make good grades in school. Even though Bart and Mat are already in high school, I hope he will keep this little group close as long as he can.
I think friends can save a person. I don't know where I'd be without my friends. Mine sustain me, in so many ways. They also annoy the crap out of me sometimes, though, I must admit. I have unfriended several folks on Facebook recently because they are so far to the left politically I can't read their political postings without my blood pressure boiling up and I don't need that.
Well, I've jumped around all over the map with this little post here. I need to get Michael up so we can run get him a haircut. He's been grousing about it for a week. Then there are a thousand other things to do this weekend. The fun never stops around here.
I can't remember if I've posted this or not but I think it's hysterical:
Every once in a great while, something really nice happens to me, and I wanted to share it with all y'all. Last year I wrote a blog for a website called Adoption Under One Roof and, much to my shock, I recently learned it was one of their Top Ten Blogs in 2011. The blog featured my mother's famous salad recipe, which is truly an amazingly good salad, and very versatile. Most folks like it. [my guest blogs for the site mostly focused on food. Adoptive families have to eat too..]
I reprinted the recipe below.
Elva’s Fabulous Salad
2-4 cloves fresh garlic
2 small heads of Boston lettuce
Juice of one lime or enough to make a tart dressing.Taste and add more if needed.
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cups fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced.
½ cup Olive oil
½ cup good feta cheese, crumbled
Chop the garlic cloves fine, or use a garlic press. In a glass dish, place the mashed garlic; sprinkle with salt; mash the salt into the garlic using a fork or back of a spoon. (This releases the good flavor). Add the olive oil and lime juice. Beat with a fork or whisk. Add sliced mushrooms. Put it aside for an hour or so if you have time. Don't chill it. Meantime, wash the lettuce and put it in the fridge, or spin it and refrigerate it.
When you are almost ready to eat, tear the lettuce into bite size pieces, add the lettuce leaves and the mushrooms to the dressing. Toss everything well, from the bottom. Sprinkle the feta over the top. Don’t put any other dressing on it.
OPTIONAL: Can add : sliced scallions or cherry tomatoes.
Learning what motivates kids is the biggest challenge a parent faces. My son is highly intelligent and sensitive but he has to be managed carefully, or he will just shut down. I learned that the hard way. He also has a stubborn streak a mile wide.
He decided a while back that he wanted a Game Cube. Now, this method of playing videogames on the TV is not that popular any more, replaced by Wii and X-Box years ago. However, the controls are easy for him to work with one hand. He used one at a friend's house a few years ago. I am generally anti videogames of all kinds, but I finally broke down and allowed him to get one of these - with his own money.
Last night Michael finished his homework and played it for about 30 minutes. He had picked up some games when we were running errands. I had a hard time getting him to turn the game off, though, and come on to dinner. So I said to him, in a matter-of-fact way, not yelling, that if I notice his grades going down, the Game Cube will disappear until the grades come back up. Michael was NOT happy about that. When Mother came in the room he angrily repeated it, like I was THE MEANEST MOM IN THE WORLD. Mom just laughed.
I have been having to tell Michael about 4-6 times every morning to get out of bed and get in the shower. Mother said quit doing that. She's right. So this morning I went in there, flipped on the light and said "Michael, you need to get up and get a shower. I am not going to tell you again. If you go back to sleep and oversleep, you will have to go to school without a shower and without breakfast. Your choice."
I had just finished my workout and was sweaty, so I took a quick shower. When I got out a few minutes ago, Michael had gotten up, taken out his retainer, and was in the shower. YAY!!
My friend Cindy posted on Facebook a link to an article in the Huffington Post, Kazakh Filmmakers Take Control of National Image. I was so happy to see that. That awful "Borat" film of a few years ago just biased everyone to think Kazakhstan people are stupid and backwards, which is unfair and ridiculous. Mike watched 5 minutes of it in a hotel room with me a few years ago and we agreed to turn it off. Hopefully now there are some positive films that can give him some pride in his heritage. It struck me as I looked at the video preview how much he resembles the Kazakh and Mongol men. He is a good mixture of both Russian and Kazakh.
OK, well, today was a much better day than yesterday. I am not drinking beer in the afternoon like a nitwit. I am not a big beer drinker, but wine gives me headaches and hot flashes.
Being menopausal makes all alcohol consumption risky. Anyone who thinks drinking wine is sexy or sophisticated should see me sweating like a pig after a few sips.
I had one margarita about 5 months ago and was slightly tipsy, for a short time. I did not drive home. Fortunately my friend who was with me was cold sober. That was the first mixed drink I'd had in..... about 7 years?
After work I raced home to try and get some errands done before the rain started. The forecast is awful for tonight. HUGE black clouds everywhere.
It was 68 degrees today. No coat needed. We have had NO winter. It's weird. Even for Hot-Lanta...
I need to help Mike with homework but I will add something more to this later...
Wow, it was sure a day from hell. All day long I got criticized, by not one, not two, but let's see, oh yeah FOUR different people, all of whom did "sneak attacks" - I was totally off guard.
I held it together until after work, then I cried all the way home; about 20 minutes. I didn't have any kleenex in the car. As soon as I walked in the door I grabbed an entire box and stood in the kitchen for a few minutes blowing my nose.
I checked my horoscope this morning and NOTHING was said about being in a shitstorm without an umbrella but that was my day, until I got home at least.. [I can't blog about any of it, BTW]
Mother listened to my tales of woe while I drank an entire beer - something I never do, normally. Never, ever. I finally got calmed down and helped Michael with his homework and then made a frittata for dinner.
I saw this image on Facebook not long ago and I've pondered it all day. Reminds me a lot of someone I used to like, but now, not so much...
Saw this posted and thought I would share it: "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Just let it go." - Felice Dunas
I don't know Felice Dunas, but she is right on the money.
I am trying not be angry because somebody called my house this morning with a fax machine. The phone kept ringing and ringing. Freaked Mother out. I don't blame her. I redialed and realized it's a fax machine, and explained to her how those things are programmed to redial every 5 minutes for a while before giving up.
I am trying not to be angry at my daughter for making such poor life choices. It's hard. It's hard to stay calm when I speak to her on the phone. It's hard not to yell and scream and want to pull out my hair, because she is living with an awful man. The good thing is, now I just feel sad more than I feel angry. I am sad that she couldn't stay away from drugs and away from the wrong people. I am sad she continues to make poor choices. I am still praying hard for her.
I am trying not to be angry at some folks about funding for Michael's prosthetic. He has outgrown the current one. He got so frustrated and upset in the car this afternoon because the arm isn't working right. He has simply outgrown it.Poor kid has enough to deal with, between the acne and being short and not being a native English speaker. His English is nearly perfect, but he still gets the words "itch" and "scratch" mixed up, and a few other oddities pop up now and then.
I am trying not to be angry at myself for eating too much today. I didn't eat junk food. I have simply been hungry all.day.long. The normal amount of food isn't cutting it. I think it's hormonal.
I probably have a lot of anger in my body. It's never served me well.
Years ago in Knoxville, I worked with a young woman about my own age who was a legal secretary. She would get spitting mad about 3 times a day. She was smart and funny and we were friends, but her anger was scary. I watched in horror one night at a restaurant as she keyed someone's car because they parked too close to her car, in her estimation. She later became addicted to prescription drugs and her family turned away from her. Of course, that made her extremely angry at them. The last time we spoke, years ago, she sounded beat down by life and depressed. I don't know whatever happened to her.
I currently have a good friend who is very successful in life, but he holds onto his anger in a very unhealthy way. I've listened to him rant and rave for years. He scares me sometimes how angry and bitter he is, and how he can't let it go.
Anger is toxic. It truly is. If you are holding on to anger, please try and let it go. Your body will thank you for it.
It was a rainy day and a Monday all day. Only people my age or older will remember that classic song. I loved singing along with Karen Carpenter when I was a kid. I don't care if that makes me UNCOOL. I have always been uncool.
I also liked John Denver and Glen Campbell and I've watched Hee Haw more times than I can count.
When I was in high school the cool girls all had blazers and their hair flipped back perfectly and they carried Aigner purses. I eventually got a blazer that Mother found drastically on sale somewhere. My attempts at making my hair flip back perfectly were a disaster. I have naturally curly hair and the curling iron just made it go into a demented uncurling pop art shape from hell. I never bothered to even ask my parents for an Aigner purse. Or Aigner shoes.
Once, in middle school, my mother wasn't feeling well and Dad took me to buy school shoes. I came home with platform shoes in chocolate suede. I wore them to school. For an hour or so I was COOL. Then I sprained my ankle, and those shoes were never worn again.
Finally, when I got to college, I realized I didn't care if I was cool or not. Nobody I knew was cool.
We were all drama majors and we didn't give a flip about being cool. We wore shabby chic clothing long before it was fashionable. We had great parties. We'd walk to our classes singing. Drama majors know how to party. Once, after a performance of The Mikado, a bunch of us went to a bar in Athens carrying "bricks" made of styrofoam and threw them at other patrons, giggling at their looks of horror as realistic-appearing bricks came hurtling towards their heads. I was still wearing my white pancake makeup. I think I had a few beers and started singing "Three Little Maids from School." I am surprised we didn't get thrown out.
I spent some time recently looking at my old high school annuals. I don't appear often. I was a nerd. Some of my fellow nerds now have Ph.D.'s. Some make a lot of money.
Not me. I never went "full nerd." That would've been too much work. I was lazy.
Took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin. I had gray hair before that happened. If I have one prayer for Michael, it's this: EMBRACE THE INNER NERD. Don't worry about being cool. Next year he will be in high school. He will either love it or hate it. I loved it, despite all my insecurities.