Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Nature teaches beasts to know their friends" --Corialanus

My older brother sent me this photo of the cat we had when we were teens—“Puddy.” As in “I tought I saw a puddytat.

Puddy was the first real pet we ever had….

My folks weren’t really animal people. Oh, we’d tried the goldfish thing: each of us would get a turn to have the bowl of fish in our room for a week. By the time they got to me, they’d ALWAYS die. Which, of course, was totally my fault according to my brothers [my girl germs]; we didn’t realize goldfish have a life span of about 20 minutes….

We briefly had a bird. My dad took care of this elderly lady in West Philly; when she finally had to go to a nursing home, he brought home her pet parakeet for us. Unfortunately, each of us thought the others were feeding the poor thing—we came down one morning and the birdie was belly up on the bottom of the cage.

BUT—we gave that thing the best damned funeral EVER! 21-GUN SALUTE AND ALL.

Okay, so flash forward to our late teen years… One Sunday evening my mom walks in the house with this little furball in her purse—it was Puddy. Our cousin’s cat had given birth to a litter of six and Puddy had taken a shine to my mom [curling up on her lap and purring like mad]. When she heard that they’d probably be destroyed if homes couldn’t be found for them, she brought the kitten home. We were shocked—

a) Mom was not usually a softie like that


b) like I said, my folks were not pet people.

Puddy went with me when I got married, but eventually went on to that great cat heaven in the sky.

Now, my husband’s family were all dog people—everyone had dogs. I had A LOT of adjusting to do—I had always been kind of afraid of dogs. But these animals changed my mind. There was his grandparent’s dachshund Greta, who knew I was pregnant before I did. There was Maude—a senior citizen German Shepard who protected our daughter’s crib when she was an infant. There was King—a stray husky that my husband’s uncle found—he liked to follow my son around in his baby walker. And, finally, Ginger. She was a mix of Shelty [miniature collie] and terrier that my mother-in-law had bought for my husband’s niece and nephew, whom she was raising. But the kids preferred the larger dogs and Ginger had taken an instant liking to my husband, so she came with us. She was about 9 months old and our son was 6 months old—they grew up together. We were all devastated when we had to put her to sleep—she was the sweetest dog in the world.

But about 4 years before Ginger left us, my daughter started begging for a kitten—and would NOT relent. So, we adopted one from a litter that a friend’s cat had just given birth to. I told my daughter that it was all contingent on whether Ginger was okay with it or not, since she’d been there first. Well Ging was totally cool with it—it was the palm-sized kitten who went all crazy. Her back went up, her tail puffed out and she started hissing and spitting. It took 3 days to get her to be in the same room with the dog without freaking out, but they eventually became fast friends.

The funny thing was how the cat got her name: my son and daughter could not agree on what to call her, so they kept saying “The kitty this…” and “the kitty that…”—and she started answering to “Kitty.” A few months ago we were reminiscing about her and my son actually said “Whoever gave her such a stupid name?” Hello!

Now my daughter has brother and sister long-haired white Persians—she’s spitting out fur at her place. The boy cat [pictured at left] sucks at caring for his coat, so she tends to get him shaved down on a regular basis. I lost the photo she sent me of his most recent clip—it was hilarious, he looked like a weird shrunken lion…..

I can’t have a pet in my apartment, so I guess I’ll have to settle for a virtual one….

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

in action, how like an angel....

I've been watching some of the Olympics

I'm totally in awe (and jealous of) these atheletes. I can barely walk these days.....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What's done cannot be undone. — Macbeth, Act V, sc. i

Things I’m glad I found out about AFTER the fact…..

My son’s surfing at a spot in Costa Rica where you have to keep one eye peeled for alligators.

My grandson’s second concussion

What they do during a colonoscopy

My best friend getting a piercing in a small Venezuelan town

That a dentist we used to go to was a raging alcoholic

My daughter having a huge tree and power lines come crashing down INCHES from her car.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thou art the Mars of malcontents. -The Merry Wives of Windsor. Act i. Sc. 3.


Have you noticed that people complain a lot these days? [Hell, that seems to be why Fox News is in existence] They complain about their jobs, their kids, their significant others….

The In-laws

Cars [Hope none of you own a Toyota—you get a free pass these days]

The government

The weather….. [well, if you live in the Mid- Atlantic, right now that’s okay]
I won't get into the people who take it to epic proportions and go all Rambo on things--that's a whole other issue.

We’ve become a bunch of whiners. And I include myself in this—I’m guilty too. Sometimes when I'm home alone, I find myself acting like a cranky 2 year old. It annoys me; I don't like when I get like that. But I think I generally have a pretty positive attitude. Because so many of my jobs have entailed dealing with the public, I have learned to “put on a happy face.” I remember getting home from a very busy 6 hours at a retail job and telling my then 6 year old son to give me a few cause “Mommy’s run out of nice for now.”
Life has handed me a lot of lemons over the years—but I try very hard to make lemonade out of them. It ain’t always easy, but I’m try. So give me some props peeps.

Some people thrive on whining, though. It’s a lifestyle for them. They’re not happy unless they’re bitching about something. They approach strangers on the street and moan about how their life sucks. It’s scary. I hope you never get cornered by one of these folks. If you work in some kind of service job, it’s unavoidable though.

Why do you think this is? This general devolving into a bunch of crybabies…. Are we under more pressure than our ancestors were? Anyone have a clue as to what’s going on?

Monday, February 15, 2010

O, call back yesterday, bid time return! -King Richard II. Act iii. Sc. 2.

you'll never guess what it's doing outside right now.......
So, to take my mind off yet more white stuff, I'll blog.
Yesterday was more than just Valentine's Day in our family' it was my beautiful daughter's 35th birthday. And I am still fascinated that I had something to do with creating this wonderful human being. I was barely 21 years old and married a little over a year when M joined us. Granted I was scared to death when they induced my labor.
And. It. Hurt. Like. A. Mo-Fo.......
but it only took about 9 hours from start to finish. I was lucky--I can't imagine being in labor for almost an entire day. I don't even want to do something that feels good for more than a few hours at a time.
I thought I knew what being a mom was all about, but boy did my generation grow up with clueless fantasies. Yes, being a mom is very rewarding, but it's also really hard. And no one really prepares you for it either. M was a beautiful, healthy 7 pounds, 3 ounces who had a mind of her own from the get-go. Of course, she instantly had daddy wrapped around her little finger; I was just along for the ride.
But she entranced both of us. We could not believe we had such a perfect baby. Even if she did have her days and nights mixed up for many months. 4AM, there she'd be wanting to see what was going on. "Absolutely nothing kid. Now please let mommy get some sleep." She continued to be a night owl well into her 20s.
Today she is a mom herself. And a business woman. And a great daughter. Love you tons M.
# # # #
Speaking of youth........ While I was working from home last week, I started cleaning out drawers in my desk. And, I found 3 poems I wrote when I was in high school. I was a hippie chick trapped in a Catholic school uniform. I thought I'd share one with you:
The man's camera goes click;
I realize he's taking our pic.
That does the trick,
I start feeling slick.
I give him the sign;
I'm feelin' so fine.
The sailors hand us a line;
Sorry-won't work this time.
The man starts away, Claud after him;
We follow her on a whim.
Says she's gonna photograph him.
"With what?" I ask, feeling grim.
She pretends to take a picture of the gent.
He says "She must be pseudo art student."
"I'm an art student, but I'm not pseudo." I went.
And that was how our evening was spent.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowmageddon 2010

I'm taking a one-time break from Shakespearean quotes for my post titles to show what Philly was hit with today....

Road crews are exhausted trying to stay on top of this second "Nor'easter in 5 days. [a shout out to my friend "Murph"--thanks to you and your crew for doing what you do.]

At around 2ish, they closed every major road in the area except I-95. Unheard of in my lifetime.

Of course the kids were loving it--no school and sledding. [what do they know from a blizzard]

Thank God my company hooked everyonne up to work from home today, so I didn't have to venture out onto the roadways---though some crazy folks did. I won't be able to dig my car out for awhile, so I've gotten permission to work from home at least for tomorrow as well. And I'm sure many others will do so too. The guy to the left seemed to think it was August or something....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

now is the winter of our [increasing] discontent....

Snowmageddon 2010 continues. Forecasters are saying we will get anywhere from 18 to 24 inches. ON TOP OF THE 29 we already got on Saturday.
as long as I have chocolate I'm good.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

now is the winter of our discontent

28 and a half inches this time--and another storm coming on Wednesday!

Enough already. It started at around 6pm on Friday night and kept going non-stop til about 3pm on Saturday. OY!
I lost power for about an hour and a half, but fortunately my mother's building didn't.

Poor mom hasn't had to deal with snow for over 3 decades--and she had to come back to one of the worst winters we've had in years. Her temporary digs are 5 blocks from me, but it might as well have been 500 miles--neither one of us was going outside.

Today was the great dig out--phase one: find my car.

That took a few minutes. Then I had to start digging it out.

That wasn't as bad as I thought it would be--for once I did something right. I parked up next to the back of my building. The way the wind was blowing the snow sideways during the storm caused the snow to drift in such a way that I only had to dig about 2 feet from the back of my car to get to the plowed area of the lot.....

Parking spaces are at a premium at my building under normal circumstances--snow like this really screws things up--and they do a lousy job of plowing too, which doesn't help. Because of my knee, I can't go traipsing through the snow, so I will have to resort to putting a lawn chair in the spot I've dug out when I go to work tomorrow. Yeah.

A pox on Punxatawny Phil and his frickin' shadow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The strain of man's bred out Into baboon and monkey.

Okay—so I was thinking about plays I’d like to direct… mostly works that I feel need to be seen on a regular basis because their message needs to be remembered: The Laramie Project, Twelve Angry Men, The Diary of Anne Frank, Our Town, The Crucible and, finally, Inherit the Wind.

I had been thinking for awhile that Inherit the Wind was ripe for revival in light of the recent debates over teaching evolution vs. “intelligent design.” We’d swung over to only teaching Darwinism and the religious right was up in arms. Well, it all seems silly to me—both concepts are just theories.

We have no idea what actually happened—and never will. Why not teach all of it. I mean, the more enlightened you are, the better. We sure act like apes. Actually, we act more like asses—our having descended from them seems much more likely…..

What do you all think?

[Interesting sidebar….. in conversing with some fellow directors, I learned an amazing fact about the events that inspired Inherit the Wind, the “Scopes Monkey Trial.” The whole thing was planned! And John Scopes, who was a high school football coach and had substituted for Principal Ferguson in a science class, volunteered to stand trial!! You see, the ACLU wanted to challenge the newly passed Butler Act in Tennessee.

On March 21, 1925, Tennessee governor Austin Peay signed into law a statute outlawing the teaching of "any theory that denies the divine creation of man and teaches instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." The ACLU placed ads in local papers looking for someone willing to be their test case. The deal was brokered at a drugstore in Dayton, TN.

Okay—that’s weird enough. But what’s really crazy about the whole thing is that businessmen in Dayton sought out the ACLU cause they wanted to get publicity for the town in hopes of attracting visitors to the area. George Rappleyea, who managed several local mines, convinced the group that the controversy of such a trial would give Dayton much needed publicity.
Adding to the irony of all of this is the fact that the state required teachers to use a textbook, which explicitly described and endorsed the theory of evolution, and that teachers were therefore effectively required to break the law. Truth is stranger than fiction.]

Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

Yeah—like upgrading a phone system to one that doesn’t have some of the features that your receptionists and admins use the most…….

just sayin'