Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What Color Crayon Are You?

Somehow, I'm not the least bit surprised by this...........

You Are a Purple Crayon

Your world is colored in dreamy, divine, and classy colors.
You hold yourself to a sky high standard, and you are always graceful.
People envy, idolize, and copy you without realizing it. You are an icon for those who know you.
And while it is hard to be a perfectionist, rest assured it's paying off!

Your color wheel opposite is yellow. While yellow people may be wise, they lack the manners and class needed to impress you.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The reunion was over, and my friends were right...

Just got back from my 20th reunion - it was pretty good after all!!!!

I walked in and a few people were like "Oh my God! Look at you!!!" One of my classmates whom I see in town fairly often said, "Hey! I didn't recognize you without your dog!" The ones who still live here and see me out and about were still in awe at how much I'd lost -- some of them hadn't seen me in a few weeks (except the regulars). Even my cousin was like, "Dang girl!!!!"

There were several people I hadn't seen in 20 years who were there -- and it was fantastic to see them! A good many of us still live right in the area ... the ones who are parents tend to see each other more often than those of us who aren't parents, but it's all pretty cool.

They had a memorial table with four pictures -- including Tee's. That part made me sad and yet proud that someone had remembered her. And the classmate that I wasn't sure earlier this summer if he had died or if it was just someone with the same name ... well, it was him. That made me very sad to know that my fears were confirmed. Chris was a nice guy and it's awful that he left us too soon.

The truly "Pretty Cool" moment of the night: Right after the blessing of the food, George (one of my classmates) came up and hugged me and said, "You look good!" I said, "Aw, thanks George." Well, later that evening, he sat next to me and said, "You look good!" I relayed my thanks again and began to explain that I'd lost all this weight..... He stopped me and said, "I don't give a damn about that. What I'm saying is that YOU. LOOK. GOOD. You look happy. It's not the clothes or their size or any of that. Being happy makes you look good."

I nearly cried. And I'd had a similar conversation about an hour before with the classmate who became an attorney -- with a practice here in our hometown. He said, almost apologetically, "I know I'm never going to make a ton of money, but it turns out that's not what I wanted after all." This is the guy who thought Alex P. Keaton was a great role model ....... and his buddy, the developer/businessmen/politician -- same thing.

When I got home, I talked to a girl who I thought the world of in high school.... she wasn't able to make the reunion ... but is planning to come to the picnic tomorrow. I'm going to stop by for a few minutes before going to Stacey's house because I've not seen her in 15 years, and would dearly love to see her.

We're all better people than we were in high school. We're all better people than we were ten years ago. My friends were right all along. And I'm actually looking forward to #25 (which they're already talking about).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Is The Universe trying to tell me something?

Okay, so this is the weekend of my high school reunion. As regular readers and friends are aware, I always have ambivalent feelings about my high school days. Had I known then what I know now, there's so much I would want to change. But there's no way to go back, so ......

I honestly haven't stayed in touch with too many of my high school classmates and friends. It's partly due to my self-imposed isolation. I had a new life after high school, and I felt that to have stayed close to all but a few was somehow bad for the new me. Over the years, I have stayed in touch with very few.

Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago, one of my friends e-mailed me on the Classmates site. I was glad to hear from her; I'd lost touch with her after she and her husband moved to Texas. Then (as I mentioned earlier), my new next-door neighbor is a classmate. Tonight, on my walk, I ran into someone else from my class, whom I probably hadn't seen since graduation (if memory serves).

So .... just what is the Great Vast Universe trying to say to me?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Strange things happening every day....

(with apologies to Sister Rosetta Tharpe for that title).

Speaking of Rosetta, you must check out the new Robert Plant/Alison Kraus CD. No, that's not a typo. I've been listening to a preview of it for days on end (online subscription service), and it's phenomenal!!! If you're a fan of either, then it's interesting. If you love both, it's a slice of heaven. Favorite tracks so far are "Killing the Blues," "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us," "Gone Gone Gone," and "Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson." I'm telling you, you're gonna want this CD.

Other strange happenings: my next-door neighbor is one of my high school classmates. I had no idea. She and my mom were talking today, and she asked my mom, "What's your last name?" Mom told her and she said, "Do you have a daughter Annette?" Mom again replied yes, and she said, "Oh wow! She and I graduated together." I hadn't seen this classmate in well over 20 years (since graduation) and she's now my next door neighbor.

Speaking of 20 years, the reunion is this weekend. I have a snazzy hairdo, and I appreciate the girl who's become my sub stylist. She is very nice, and very gentle with my hair. I also had my eyebrows shaped for the first time ever. It only hurt a teensy bit. She waxed here and there, and plucked a few. YOW!!! The plucking was no fun. Beauty knows no price but tears, my ass...... There's got to be a better way.

And for a final thought: Ulta is the DEBBIL!!! At least to my debit card. Damn them!!! (I can't imagine how much more the damage might be with a Sephora in the neighborhood)........

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sleepy Sunday mornings....

I took Maddox for a walk on our usual jaunt through town. Sunday mornings are my favorite walk times with him. During the week, and sometimes on Saturdays, we walk at evening/night. It's pretty much either that or walk him in the dark in the mornings. Summers, yes, but not in the other 3 seasons.

I like the Sunday morning walks because the town is still asleep. The traffic is almost non-existent. It's peaceful. Saturday mornings are busy with people getting breakfast and running errands. On Sundays, they're all at home, getting ready for church (not that this is a bad thing).

Sunday is nice. It's just me, my dog, my thoughts, and me talking to Maddox ("good boy!"). It's good.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Vote for Colbert!!!

If only Jon Stewart were also running on the ticket -- homina homina!!!!
Colbert is trying to run in SC (his home state). Frankly, we could do worse. We already have!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Speaking of grannies and church....

Kate/Susan's latest blog entry prompted our pal Seraphim Gleck to ask me to tell the tale of the Caterwauling Grannies...... and so I shall.

For most of my life, my paternal grandmother went to a small Pentecostal church within walking distance of her apartment. In fact, she remained a member there, even after she moved to another county because she wanted to be buried out of that church; and, she was. At any rate, one of my clearest memories of going to church with Granny (whenever we would visit her on Sundays) was their choir.

In the Pentecostal tradition in which I grew up, there was no such thing as a choir as I know it now. The choir consisted not of the same 20 people, week in and week out. Instead, anyone who wished to join in during any given service was welcomed to go up front and sit in the choir area. There was no formal choir practice or anything like that. Now granted, most of the time, it was the same old people, but not necessarily. I might sing in the choir on Sunday morning, and skip it on Sunday night.

Anyway, at Granny's little church, the choir was almost exclusively women. So was the church, for that matter. There were men, but they did not sing tenor or bass harmony parts. They merely sang the melody, an octave or so lower. No biggie -- same as my church. But there was one big difference between our church and Granny's: we had altos. My mother was one of them, as was I in my earliest years. I only became a soprano after 9th grade and moving to mezzo-soprano in concert choir at school.

And the women in Granny's choir were ..... how shall I say this? Um..... mature! Yeah. That's it. They were "mature" women, a few men, and all singing melody. These were also more or less "country" people (although the church was in town). Any by country, I mean people with thick Southern accents, even when they sang. They were all sopranos -- meaning, they sang the melody no matter what the range was. In short, they all sounded like cats caught in a lawnmower. Shrill, high-pitched, and slightly off-key. Hmm, a lot like Celine or Mariah (sorry, K/S). Now, don't get me wrong -- these were sweet people who were always very kind to me, and I love them still. But they can't sing their way out of a paper bag.

The last time I heard the Caterwauling Grannies was at my grandmother's funeral. Granny had long had her funeral planned to a tee, right down to the music and whom she wanted to do the singing and piano playing. You guessed it, some of the caterwaulers. I knew the music. I'd known it since the 70s, and frankly, I was dreading the whole thing.

They did the first song, which if memory serves, was Squire Parsons' "Beulah Land." Oh, how I hate that song. I grew to dislike it intensely over the years, and this particular usage was no exception. At one point, my mother wished that for her own funeral. She will not be listening to the music, so that is one wish that will go unheeded. She can haunt me for all I care. Anyway, back to Granny's funeral ..... I bowed my head, and shook it. I was about to crack up laughing at the Caterwauling Grannies and yet try so hard not to cry. Or scream.

After the 2nd preacher, they got up again and did another song .... another country/Southern gospel from the 70s. At this point, I'm not laughing anymore, and not yet crying. I'm more on the lines of "Dammitall, this funeral is going on waaaaaaay too long and I want to stand up and stretch and do something. I need a liturgy. I need a funeral liturgy like I know them as a Catholic. Not this crap."

By the time they did the 3rd song, I was just numb and wanting the whole thing to be over. The Caterwauling Grannies ... um, caterwauled on. Le sigh. Was it EVER going to end?

It did, and mercifully, I haven't heard the sound for real in 11 years now. Nor do I want to hear it again, ever. They were and are sweet people, but I can't take the mewing, the rowww-rowww-rowwwww sound again. Oy vey.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dr. Hook, Granny, and the evils of the flesh...

I honestly could have sworn I'd written about this one before, but it appears that I haven't. So if you'll indulge me........

My paternal grandmother was many things: mother of seven; a hard worker; a Bible-thumper in the extreme; a real piece of work at times. This particular time, she was our summer visitor for a couple of weeks. Now normally, when grandparents come to visit, a joyful time is had by all. As you well know, there's nothing normal in the least in my family.

You see, I'd more or less already figured out that I needed to turn a deaf ear to my grandmother's preachings. Ministers would have told me I had a rebellious heart, and quite honestly, it would have been music to my ears. I was hardly a rebel in anything else. I was so squeaky-clean it was sickening. The worst thing I did (at least in my strict church's eyes)? I listened to rock and roll.....

Yep. The devil's music. Satan himself dragging us all to hell by the ears. And my grandmother thought so as well. Never mind that she listened to country on occasion -- and this was back when country was all cheatin', drinkin', honky-tonkin', etc. But mostly, she listened to gospel. Fine, whatever. We listened to it too. But I preferred to listen to it on Sundays, at church, and leave it out of the rest of my week (horrid little sunbeam for Jesus that I was).

So ..... Granny was visiting. And I had my collection of K-Tel records out, and listening to them. Yes, vinyl. One such collection was called "Together" and it was love songs of the late 70s. "Reunited" was on there, as the opening song. Anyhow, somewhere on side 2, if memory serves, was Dr. Hook's "Sharing the Night Together."

Okay, I was around 9, and while I was a bit sheltered from stark reality, I wasn't completely naive either. I easily got that he wasn't asking her to stay up all night to play Scrabble, ya know? But it wasn't something that I gave a whole lot of thought too, either. It was simply a song I enjoyed.

About 2 minutes into it, Granny decided she'd had enough of just idly sitting by and having her granddaughter corrupted. So into a sermon she launched about rock and roll's evils, and how the radio was full of nothing but raunchy trash like this song, blah blah blah, wah-wah-wah-wah-wah, yadda yadda.

Hell if I remember the rest of it. Shortly into her tirade, I tuned her out until she stopped the chatter several minutes later. But there, I made my colossal mistake: I more or less rolled my eyes, sighed heavily as if I were explaining things to a younger child, and said, "Granny. It's JUST a song."


There went a few more minutes of sermonizing, and my own internal dialogue. Did my mama and daddy know I listened to this trash? (I sure hope so. They bought it for me last Christmas.) Did I have any clue that this wasn't an entirely innocent conversation? (I'm not THAT stupid, Granny. Hell, YOU had seven kids. If you don't know how it happened, I'm certainly not going to explain it all to you.)

Eventually, she saw she wasn't going to make headway. By that point, she'd already talked through at least two other songs, and it was time to flip the record back over.

Things I learned that day:
1) Granny was an old fart.
2) My parents were cooler than I thought.
3) It was only rock and roll, but I liked it.........

Oh, and Granny: I know it's been 11 years yesterday since we buried you. We're all still laughing and shaking our heads about the grief you gave us all for our rock music. God only knows the sermons you preached to Ray, Danny, Mark & Scott about AC/DC, if you were giving me this much hell over Dr. Hook. Anyway, from your vantage point, I hope you realize that your grandchildren turned out pretty damn decent, in spite of your fears that we'd all end up as delinquents or addicts or whatever because of our lenient parents....... Chew on that a while.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

After 3 days....

both fish and relatives start to stink. Or so they say. I have an online friend dealing with this situation for far longer than a mere 3 days. It's about to drive her nuts, and I can totally sympathize.

My grandmother once stayed with us 4 months. We were all ready to kill each other by the end of that time. This is the same grandmother who (when I was around age 9 or 10) gave the noted sermon on the evils of Dr. Hook's "Sharing the Night Together." Whatever, Granny. I swear I posted about that once, but I haven't found it. I'll have to share the story......

Anyway, I honestly hope and pray that somehow, my friend is able to find a solution to her dilemma. I can't imagine how grating it must be to deal with it day in and day out for this long.