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Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring Fever Ramblings

Are the Olympics over yet? I don't know when I have been more bored. It seems like all the networks are assuming we are watching the Olympics so they are showing reruns and reality shows. I really hate reality shows. I mean whats so real about having a camera on you all day long.... oh wait, there's a camera on me all day long, you may have one on your job also, however, I doubt it could be called entertainment.
I don't even watch American Idol on the elimination nights. Seeing someone have their hopes and dreams crushed hits a little too close to home for me. Remember, I'm a Texas Rangers fan.
I have been to the movies quite a bit lately, but I don't think Ive really enjoyed anything since Sherlock Holmes, which was great by the way. I don't think I will see Shutter Island, though my husband really wants to. It looks like the kind of movie that could keep me awake nights for years. As much as I love DiCaprio, and I Luv DiCaprio, I need my sleep.
I saw the previews for Hot Tub Time Machine. This one may be over my head, but you intellectuals might enjoy it. I hear it's right up there with The Hangover and that great old classic Dumb And Dumber. I never made it past the first fifteen minutes of Dumb And Dumber, but I must admit, I laughed all the way through The Hangover.
Speaking of going to Hell, what about Russell Crow making another Robin Hood? Was the last one not violent enough? It looks more like The Gladiator meets Braveheart. I don't care for Russell Crow, he is a good actor, but he plays the jerk too well.
You know how some people are a bad influence? Maybe you had a friend growing up that you liked and had fun with until this other kid was around. Then your friend acted different or just treated you badly. That's how I feel about Johnny Depp making movies with Tim Burton. I don't like it. I probably wouldn't see his new Alice In Wonderland movie anyway, it's just a bad story. It's creepy, I didn't like it when I was a child. Shouldn't a fairy tale or children's story have a point, or some kind of meaning?
So, I guess I might be bored even if the Olympics weren't on. Things will get better, the signs are everywhere. I saw two different people wearing very cool new Texas Rangers shirts today, and I read in the Dallas Morning news, Chris Davis is looking good in spring training and ready to play after his time in the minors last season.
Yes, spring is in the air. Play Ball!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Bi-Polar Express

Recently my son told me his girlfriend reads this blog. She said she liked it but worried a little about me. She said sometimes I'm funny and other times I'm really sad. I said, "Yeah, I'm like that", and Eric said "Yeah, that's what I told her". My kids used to joke that all my best stories ended with, "and he died." Looking through my high school yearbook was like, "he's dead, she's dead, after high school she followed The Dead." All of this, sadly, is true.

I don't know why I'm this way, but I don't think I'm the only one, am I? The old cliche about life being a roller coaster is true. Most people start their lives just so happy to be the center of the universe, Mom and Dad's little joy. Then comes the cold stark reality of being replaced by a baby sister or brother or, in my case, a new puppy or color TV. But we adjust and learn to love the TV or baby as much as the rest of the family. And life is good, until we start to school. Here we meet another group of adults and kids who think they can boss us around. Eventually we are subdued until.......ADOLESCENCE! That's when all Hell breaks loose.

God gave us teenagers so we could understand what it's like to create someone in your own image only to have them deny your existence. I am not talking about my own children, they were so much better than I deserved. I am talking about the holy terror that was me. My parents should have killed me. Looking back, I try to remember conversations with my parents and all I can see is the shock and disbelief on their faces. But, as the villager in The Holy Grail says after accusing the witch of turning him into a newt, " I got better" (that was for my brother, Greg)

Though I am still a little crazy and off kilter with the mood swings, I usually can snap out of a funk pretty easily. I read recently, you don't drown from falling in the water but from staying there. And, you know, a little depression can be kind of fun if you have the right blues CD. Seriously, music always helps.

I have said before I would like to have my own satellite radio show, like Willy's Place, or Tom Petty's Vault. I think I could highlight my nasty mood swings and play great music at the same time. It would be called, appropriately, The Bi-Polar Express. I could go from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Roseanne Cash and back up to The Delfonics and you would think," what just happened? I don't know but I think I like it."

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Family Reserve

I think I'm gonna live. I have been suffering from what must surely be the black plague, but I'm on the mend. It was one of those times, like when I was a kid, and ran such a high fever it was hard to distinguish the dreams from hallucinations. But it doesn't matter when you get to visit with all those dead relatives.... Which reminds me of a song, which reminds me of my mother. It's by Lyle Lovett and it's called The Family Reserve. He sings about all his dead relatives and then in the chorus says, Momma, put down that camera and join in the family reserve.

You see my mother always had a camera in her hand. I'm glad she enjoyed taking pictures so much because now we have so many to enjoy. It was like we had our own personal paparazzi growing up. Even before we knew what paparazzi was. Here's a picture of me in my Girl Scout uniform and here's one on my bike. Oh and here is me washing my hair and brushing my teeth, and tying my shoe and watching television and so on......

Looking through her photo albums you can see she never threw away any pictures. Even if it was blurry or cut someones head off or had someones ex wife in it, it still went in the album. You could fill a whole photo album with the ex wives pictures.

We really regretted buying her the video camera. It was fun for a while and then everyone started walking around with their jacket pulled over their faces like they were walking into a court room ready to be indicted. None of us want to see ourselves in a video, eating or talking.

I guess Mom liked the way we looked, or maybe it was just a way for her to record our history. It's proof we were all here, you know, for the family reserve.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Life As A Girl

I have been around boys all my life. I have six brothers, a dad, a son and I married a boy. I haven't learned much about this strange species but I know they love to do dangerous things. That is what binds them. They can hang a rope from a tree and take turns swinging over a fifty foot pit and they are bound for life. An evening that starts with a bag full of firecrackers and ends with a trip to the emergency room is a tale told as a warning to their children, but sounds so much like bragging.

Girls don't do this. We make prank phone calls and occasionally wrap a house. My friends and I were wrapping a house once and a man came outside and started shooting at us. I was terrified. If I had been shot my mother would have killed me.

Once my friend, Ivy and I were making taffy from a recipe in the Tina In the Kitchen cookbook. Her mom had saved up labels from The Imperial Pure Cane sugar package and sent off for the cookbook. It was really cool. Tina was on the cover in her rolled up jeans and Bobbie socks, looking like a teen queen. Anyway, we were making this taffy and it started growing like the Blob in that sci fi movie, The Blob. We stirred and stirred but it just kept growing so one of us held the pan and the other kept stirring as we walked it out to the alley and put it in the trash. Then we ran in the house screaming like little girls. Well ,we were little girls. We thought that was pretty scary and exciting.
When our little neighborhood school closed down, Ivy and I thought it would be fun to break in and see the old place one more time before they tore it down. That was kind of an adventure, ya know, and I thought I had to tell someone. Unfortunately I chose to tell my brother, Joel. Today Joel is a very nice person, but in his pre-adolescent years, he was a self righteous, tattle-telling little blackmailer, and I did dishes for him for about a year, while he threatened to tell Mom about our little breaking and entering fun.

The thing is, most of the time our adventures were all in our heads. We could dream up a monster, like the Goatman, to keep us terrified for years. On backyard camp outs our brothers would have been all over the neighborhood getting into all kinds of trouble. We, the girls, stayed in the backyard and got scared imagining trouble coming to us.

My brothers have scars from this little explosion and that little dirt bike wreck. I have some pretty bad scars from learning to shave my legs. But hey, I never enjoyed getting dirty or using too much energy just to have fun so, I'm just sayin......

Our Town

I grew up in an area that, well you wouldn't call it the poor side of town, because it wasn't really a part of the town. But it wasn't the country either. There were no leash laws, but people took care of their pets. Some of those pets were goats and pigs. My next door neighbor had a little goat, named Billy, we played with everyday. One day we were having the strangest meat and Billy was no were to be found. I didn't eat that night.

We had chickens at one time. We made them pets also. That did not end well either.

One of our neighbors was an old maid lawyer and slum lord. We called her Miss Beulah. That was her first name. I thought she was a hundred years old but she was probably sixty or seventy. She always wore those bonnets with the stiff slats on the sides and looked just like the old hen in the Fog Horn Leg Horn cartoons. She was always saying our dogs were killing her chickens. So she would try to poison one of our dogs. Then Daddy would say her chickens were eating his garden and we would have chicken and dumplings. You just can't settle a score with a lawyer like that anymore.

I remember tall trees and picket fences in the neighborhood back then. Kind of like in the movie To Kill A Mocking Bird. We had bicycles and tire swings but no one had a trampoline like kids do now.

We had a little school that had been around for maybe a hundred years. It only went to third grade and we didn't have kindergarten. Back then you stayed at home with your mom until you were six. Anything you needed to know before then, she taught you.

Our little school was great. The third grade teacher was the principal, another old maid, or unmarried elderly woman, if I must be politically correct. She taught my sister, all my brothers, me and even one of my nieces. The poor thing taught some of my brothers twice, in the same grade. There was a piano in every classroom and we sang and said the pledge of allegiance and prayed. The library was also the lunch room. I never ate lunch at school, though. I walked home every day where my mother had made lunch for me. Sometimes I could smell it on my way home. Homemade rolls or chocolate fried pies were great on those cold days, and we certainly had cold days. But we still walked. It had to be a blizzard or tornado to get my mom out of the house.

I know it was not a wealthy neighborhood, I don't think it was even middle class, but I like to remember the good parts. The families that weren't crazy, the teachers that were sweet and the dogs that didn't bite. I think it was a good place to grow up.


About Me

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.

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