Friday, October 29, 2010

It would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest forever. -King Henry IV. Part I. Act

We’re having a little Halloween celebration at work today—I am answering calls dressed as a Renaissance queen [cause in my mind that’s how I see myself].

My brothers and I LOVED Halloween as kids. I think we looked forward to it as much as Christmas. We planned our costumes for weeks, nothing simple for us. Not only did the look have to be just right, but the character as well [is it any wonder that 2 of us are involved in theatre in some capacity].

And we didn’t go for the usual ghosts and goblins either…..

If we did opt for a more conventional costume choice, our ghosts were ultra ghoulish, our goblins were uniquely “gobliny,” our bums were uber-detailed in make-up and body language and our witches were more on the order of Macbeth’s Weird sisters.

Our get-ups went more towards the esoteric…..

I remember one year we were a trio of gals that were precursors of Mike Myers’ “Coffee Talk” character—complete with appropriate accents. We did a 10 minute act at each house we visited. [This was in the days parents could let their kids go all over their particular suburban enclave alone and not worry] People were giving us extra candy for our entertaining them.

Our crowning achievement was the year we went as two side chairs and a stereo. We got a box that was about 4 ft. long by 3 ft. high and about 18 inches deep and decorated it to look like a stereo cabinet [complete with knobs and speaker cloth]. Then we glued a small ashtray [it was the 60s people!] and lamp onto the top. Voila—stereo!

Next we got two old slipcovers of our grandmother’s and cut small eye holes in them. We put coat hangers along the tops of them to simulate the chair back. My younger brother and I wore these and our older brother manned the “stereo.” We would ring the doorbell, and then R and I would crouch down and put our arms out to create the chairs. B would hunker down inside the box. The people would open their front doors to this odd tableau. We would then go inside the house and recreate our little vignette—never saying a word. Neighbors went nuts trying to figure out who it was.

Needless to say, I carried on the tradition with my own too. My husband was into Halloween big time as well, but I was the one who invented the kid’s costumes. I spent many hours at my sewing machine…..

Enjoy your candy corn everyone.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

someone's yanking our chain....

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Passion, I see, is catching."

There seems to be a trend emerging over the last year or so that kinda scares me [well, one of many trends that scare me].     It’s the many TV shows and magazine articles that sort of glamorize teen moms.

I know MTV has a “reality” series called Teen Mom—an offshoot of another series called 16 & Pregnant.     I have only seen snippets of the program, so I can’t truly judge it.       I think their intent was to show how difficult it is to be a parent in your teens—I think….

But when young ladies featured on the show are given cover stories in OK! magazine and the like, I feel that message is getting lost.      This trend—as well as the publicity surrounding Jamie Spears and Bristol Palin—is sending the wrong message to kids in my opinion.    As are the plotlines of a number of films and television dramas.     

The number of teen pregnancies had declined over the past 20 years, but now it seems to be rising again.    [Remember that pact between a group teens in Massachusetts? ]     The ever strident rhetoric of the religious right –and their burgeoning political power (another thing that scares me)—is pushing abstinence and no sex education, but it’s like trying to close the barn door after the horse has escaped.

I speak from experience here—my daughter was 15 and a half when she got pregnant with my grandson. He is now a year older than his father was when he was born and he seems to get it—be responsible and don’t get a girl pregnant in the first place.

I really wrestled with this issue as my kids hit puberty.    I had always been very forthright and open about discussing sex with them as they were growing up [I was the one who handled the sex talks, their dad freaked out when he realized some of the stuff they were asking and choked—men are such wimps].    But I really didn’t feel it was right to give my daughter the pill at 14 or so.     I felt it was like saying it was okay to engage in an activity that we didn’t feel she was emotionally ready for.     I mean would you hand them alcohol at that age?     [And by the way, I felt the same about my son—he wasn’t ready either.      No double standard here.]

I vividly remember the day my grandson was born—5 days after my 38th birthday.     I was with my daughter throughout the entire labor and delivery; it was the longest day of my life.     Watching someone who was clearly not physically and emotionally ready for what your body goes through to give birth was excruciating.     I wanted to say, “Getup, I’ll do it.”      [Not that I did much better at 20, mind you…..]

It was a big adjustment for all of us when she decided to keep her son.     We had explored open adoption, but she looked at him after going through about 12 hours of labor and couldn’t give him up.      I knew we were all in for challenges ahead, and I was right.       I mean I was completely unprepared at 21 to be a parent, no way is a 16 year old.
They lived with us until my grandson was 9, and we handled alot of the expenses.     Fortunately, his paternal grandparents provide a lot of love, toys and clothes as well.      But his dad was out of the picture completely before the kid was 2.      Which is pretty much the norm, by the way.      Young girls are such fools when they think the guy is going to step up to the plate, as it were.      The ones that do are few and far between.     And they can forget about days at the mall shopping, fun parties, dances and the like.   They have a child to care for.

My daughter struggled to finish high school [many teen moms don’t by the way] and went on to college at night.      She held down full and part-time jobs from the time she was 18 in order to help as much as she could.       But on the way she raised a wonderful young man who is an amazing athelete with many accomplishments.     He is also very bright, articulate and caring.    

Now my girl is 35 years old and trying to pay a mortgage, her own student loans and a few new ones to cover her son’s college.       [And he's got loans as well--it's a bitch peopel.]     I ache to watch her work so hard to make ends meet—and I can’t help her.       She loves her son dearly and he was a real motivator for her.      She has been an awesome parent, but I’m sure she would be the first to burst this little glamour bubble that seems to have formed of late.

So girls—to stay healthy and not become a statistic, DON’T GET PREGNANT!!!       Obviously, waiting until you’re in a real, adult relationship to have sex would be the ideal, but I know your hormones are raging as much as the boys are.       So please avail yourselves of the many contraceptives you can walk into any drug store and purchase no questions asked.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Friday, October 8, 2010

Friends, Romans, Countrymen—lend me your ears….

[WARNING: I’m getting on my political soapbox, so readers beware…..]

Friends, we have reached that dreaded time frame: the final days before an election. And we are all being bombarded with ads on TV, pamphlets in our doors, mail from the candidates and special calls from “famous Politician So-and-So” asking us to vote for Candidate A. [I got a voice mail from Bill Clinton in 2008!]

I have taken my vote very seriously in the almost 40 years I have had the honor and privilege. I read up on the candidates and the issues and really weigh my choices. Yes, I am registered Democrat, but I have never voted a straight ticket in my life. Many times I have picked a candidate from the Republican side of the ballot because I felt his experience was better, or his policies were more in tune with my way of thinking. Like I said, I DON’T TAKE THIS LIGHTLY.

But it has saddened me the way public apathy has permeated our society. Our national record on voter turnout is appalling. We should be ashamed of how we take this freedom for granted.

We should also be ashamed of how we squander this privilege. I remember doing work for my local Democratic party to get out the vote in 2004. It shocked me the number people that:

a) Stated they weren’t going to vote. ”What’s the point.”

b) supported Candidate A because he was pro issue X. “But what about issues Y and Z?” “I don’t know… but he’s for issue X.”

c) Blindly accept whatever some radio or TV pundit says about a candidate or an issue. Don’t they know how to think for themselves?

The escalating amount of spin and negative ads always appalls me too. “Don’t put Candidate A in office,” says Candidate B’s ad, “He voted to kill puppies!” What they fail to mention is that Candidate A was voting on a bill to fund education or something important like that, but Congressman C attached the killing puppies piece to the bill. We gotta stop that practice—each piece of legislation should only address one issue. Enough of piling all of the pork onto it, already.    I see this stuff on TV and my head spins.

I also think elected officials should put in a full work year like the rest of us poor slobs.    As it stands now, they spend most of their time trying to stay in office—or get elected to another office.    They only actually do the work we are paying them to do for about 6 months out of the year!     Ridiculous—no wonder nothing ever gets done in Washington.      Election season should only be about 8 weeks—if you can’t figure out who you think would do the best job in that time, then there is something wrong with you.

And the reality is that whoever has the most money to spend generally winds up winning. 

We should put an end to that NOW!!!!!      My idea is to give every candidate an equal amount of airtime on radio or TV, and an equal amount of ad space in local papers.       Everyone gets an 2 hours to use in whatever increments they wish.   

For free.
During that limited period of time I mentioned earlier.

That’s it. No more. That’s all she wrote when the pencil broke…..

                  Stepping down….
                                              From my soapbox….