Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Used To Be Skinny

Where I used to be skinny

I’ve now put on weight

And that’s only one of the things

That I hate.

I hate that my taste buds

Seem to have died

My hearing has gone

And my bottom’s grown wide

My body, once supple

Seems stiff and unsure

It seems to have lost

All its leggy allure

I hate that I’m wrinkled

With freckles galore

In fact there are freckles

I’ve not seen before

My hair has grown thin

And refuses to shine

And how can those awful grey eyebrows

Be mine?

I drool in my sleep

And I scratch when I itch

I can’t stand loud noises

God! What a bitch!

My eyes will not focus

My brain will not think

The whole thing’s depressing

Enough that I drink

I hobble around on bad knee

And trick toe

Cursing the need

To get up and to go

I’d rather sit quietly

On my behind

Munching on bon-bons

And sipping red wine

Well, at least I’m not old

like that neighbor next door

It’s just that - I guess -

I’m not young anymore.

. AngelMay.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Certain Kind of Symmetry and Other Wanderings

It has occurred to me that there is a kind of symmetry to my life thus far. True, it's been interrupted many times and for various lengths of time. Yet it is still there, this imperfect symmetry.

I was born and grew up on a peninsula that pointed South and which was, itself, on yet another peninsula which also pointed South. Now I live about as far away from those initial peninsulas as I can get and still remain within the same country. Diagonally, from Southeast to Northwest, I have ended up (though the suggestion that this is somehow the "end" is rather depressing) on yet another peninsula. This peninsula points North and is, itself, located on yet another peninsula which also points North. How unusual is that? There is certainly a symmetry, of sorts, to be seen here.

Oddly, at times here when a corner is turned and certain scenery comes into view, I am reminded strongly of that other peninsula. I find that rather amazing, given the distance between the two.

The other evening I lay in bed with cool air pouring in through my windows and listened to the lighthouse fog-horn periodically whonking its warning to ships traversing the strait. And I was reminded of a time, when I was back there - diagonally across this country on that other peninsula - when I would lie in bed and hear that uniquely mournful wail of train whistles. I remember my uncle used to say that the sound of the train whistle took on a completely different timbre when autumn was in the air. I wonder if the fog-horn warning the ships will sound differently as this summer turns to autumn. I wonder if I will remember to notice.

I hope I can be forgiven for this little bit of personal mind-wandering. I'm sitting here at the moment looking at a soft layer of fog that is flopped impertinently across the bay, robbing me of my view, and trying not to think of the discomfort I'm experiencing from the first round of some minor surgery yesterday. So I'm thinking, instead, of everything and anything else. Like... whatever happened to really good books? You know, the kind that don't have the F-word in every paragraph. Not that I've never said the F-word, mind you. I can swear with the best of them when the occasion warrants. It just seems to be rather gratuitous these days more often than not - as though the author feels s/he must include it or be thought old-fashioned.

So I turned, last night, to Amazon - that marketplace of all marketplaces and the convenience of which I absolutely adore - to search for something to read. I finally found something and was reading it in less than a minute (bless the Kindle), but the search was marked by pitfalls and potholes in the form of "reviews." I'm not sure whose idea it was to allow just anyone to write a review, but I'm pretty sure there have been better ones. If you want to read a good book I would advise only glancing tentatively at the professional reviewer's blurb. Then go with your gut. Otherwise you will be wading, for hours, through the most inane - not to mention grammatically-challenged - chatter imaginable.

I picked something old-fashioned.

And now, I shall fluff up my pillows and settle in on my sleek, Scandinavian, anything-but-old-fashioned sofa, push my present discomfort aside, and lose myself in the troubles of some fictional someone else.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Medusa Morning

Magpie Tales: #24

Emerging, satisfied, from the warm, moist cocoon of her bed - and leaving him to watch her go, she peers into the mirror in the hall.

She: My God! Look at my hair! What a mess!

He: You look beautiful.

She (secretly smiling): When I look into my mirror I know you are lying.

He: I'm not lying. You are looking at yourself through the eyes of a beauty pageant judge. I'm looking at the real you.

She: Then the real me must be Medusa!

He: No doubt. You can certainly turn a man to stone.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Itty-Bitty Town Police Report - 21 July 2010

~ Having made a huge pile of his estranged wife's clothing and doused it with gasoline, a 29-year-old local man was arrested and charged with domestic violence shortly before 8:30 p.m. July 10. Officers said the missus, a 29-year-old local woman, claimed he'd kicked a dent in her vehicle as well. The man reportedly did not dispute anything.

( Well, there's a black cloud over that guy's head, isn't there? )

~ Apparently intending to beat up his ex's new boyfriend, a 27-year-old man from a nearby town was jailed for assault shortly after 9:30 p.m. July 2. Officers said the man approached his ex-girlfriend's parked car, slapped the 25-year-old new boyfriend as he was yanking him out of the passenger seat and then proceeded to get the worst of the ensuing fist-fight. Officers reported finding him "on the ground, crying and speaking in a high-pitched, excited voice" when they arrived.

( Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get up in the morning. )

~ A caller on a local road told the Sheriff's Office on June 25 that Jehovah's Witnesses had left literature at her door.

( I would love to have been a fly on the wall when that call came in. )

~ A passing motorist called the Sheriff's Office on June 26 to report a dead woman in a vehicle parked alongside a State road. A deputy arrived on scene and awakened the sleeping 39-year-old woman and determined she was fine.

~ A woman smelling of marijuana was contacted by a deputy in district court, June 30. The woman provided a deputy with a pipe that contained burnt residue that smelled of marijuana. The woman said she had a medical marijuana card, but did not have it with her. She said her doctor told her to keep the pipe on her person.

( Yeah. Uh huh. Riiiiiight. )

~ Deputies cited a local man for negligent driving on June 29 after the man collided with a tree in an attempt to evade a Sheriff's deputy.

( Well, now... see there? If they hadn't been after him, he never would have hit the tree! )

~ Stolen bamboo shoots from a local yard on July 15 led the homeowner to call the Sheriff's Office.

A used syringe was found June 10 during a local festival.

( Must've been some festival! )

~ A man playing a guitar in the middle of the road near a local beach on July 9 prompted a call to the Sheriff's office. Upon arriving at the scene, however, deputies were unable to locate the subject.

( He must have been playing "Travelin' Man" )

~ Deputies took a report of a shopping cart stolen from a local food bank on July 8.

~ Deputies responded to a dispute in a nearby town on July 5. Upon arrival, deputies discovered a male, at home alone, talking to himself.

( Believe me, you CAN'T make this stuff up! )


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Things I Sometimes Think About – 3

Turnabout is fair play.

So what’s with all these women who are drowning themselves in noxious fumes and then venturing forth into society silently assaulting the innocent and unsuspecting?

We were dining yesterday and immensely enjoying a salad that was richly adorned with gorgeous red tomatoes when, on the other side of a half-partition, a party of mostly young women were being seated.

Suddenly, my salad lost its taste. Or, that is, my ability to taste my salad was lost in the overpowering stench of the latest, and probably unjustifiably expensive, “fragrance” on the market. I attempted to cover my nose to avoid the gaggingly-offensive assault on my person, but it was too late. The molecules of stench were wafting in every direction from the young lovely who, I am sure, thought she smelled absolutely divine.

Whatever happened to the discreet dab of fragrance on the wrists, or the delicate touch at the throat and behind the ears that gave a woman that certain understated elegance and je ne sais quoi? At what point did women come to believe they must shower in the fragrance in order to be noticed? And do they never stop to think of the battles being fought in the air around them between their own fragrance and those, different fragrances, of their companions – not to mention the ambush of innocent bystanders in the vicinity? Wasn’t there a perfume at one time called “Ambush”? How apropos!

My personal fragrance is “Joy” which is quite expensive for a single ounce but it lasts for years, is worth the price, and comes in a lovely crystal bottle sans any spray mechanism whatsoever:

Even the professional perfumer’s description of this fragrance makes it alluring as they announce that it is “a classic, womanly, gorgeously balanced scent. It is the olfactory equivalent of a 1950s Dior dinner suit — flattering, adaptable, and luxurious down to its hand-basted seams.” Ooooooo! Yum!

So women everywhere! Stop it! Stop it at once! There is no need to knock the unsuspecting down left and right as you pass by. Refuse to purchase perfumes that come in spray bottles. Insist, instead, on quality fragrances and use them discretely. Have some mystery about you! Some elegance! Some class!

And just maybe you will end up with a nice guy who doesn’t spit.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Things I Sometimes Think About – 2

What’s with men and their spitting?

I mean, really! What is it about their salivary glands that require them to hawk up a big one and then spit it all over the sidewalk/road/grass?

And how come women don’t ever seem to suffer from this malady? Do we have under-developed salivary glands? Were none of us present the day hawking and spitting were being taught?

We were there for the scratching and belching part. I’m pretty sure of that. But somehow we must have had a shy instructor because we all manage to do the scratching discretely, depending on the location of the itch, of course. And the belching we often disguise as hiccoughs followed rapidly by an, “Excuse me!”

Men seem to think it’s a contest, especially the belching part. I think they secretly grade each other on the melodiousness and length of the belch. And we are not EVEN going to discuss flatulence because my eyes will roll over into the back of my head and might not roll back again.

And how come men find all these things so funny?

And while they are rolling on the floor with laughter why are we standing there trying to look serious – arms folded – and doing everything possible to keep from encouraging them by bursting into laughter ourselves?

I often think of things way more interesting (and intelligent) than this. But this is what I thought about today. Damned brain. There’s just no controlling it.

That’s my story….


Monday, July 12, 2010

Time... Relentless Time!

A couple of posts ago I wrote the following:

I have a photograph of her, at age, looking at a photo of herself when she was young and beautiful. It hits my heart every time I see it. It is a reminder of what time does to us all and what it did to her, in particular. She was not happy during her last years and I, personally, suffered greatly for it. But I prefer to remember her when she was young and laughing.

I was speaking, of course, of my mother.

At first I could not find the photograph I mentioned and I had to go digging through boxes in the storage room. This morning I finally found it. I post it here with some trepidation - as though I am being disrespectful, somehow, of her privacy even though she passed away some 10+ years ago. And yet I feel a strong urge to do it because everyone should know when they see an old woman who is losing most of her hair, or an old man struggling to get in or out of a car - or struggling just to walk and getting into the way of those of us who are not yet quite so infirm - that it is only a matter of time before we will find ourselves exactly where they are.

It seems like a long time to us when we are young. But it is not long at all. As the years go by they go by faster and faster until one day we wake up, look into the mirror, and wonder where it all went. Time is relentless and does not stop for us no matter how rich or important we are. No matter how poor we are. It just continues to march forward just as it did for those old people you see today. Just as it did for my mother.

Here is the photo of my mother studying a photograph of herself when she was young and beautiful:

I'm not sure what she is holding. She may have been going through some old papers when she came upon the photograph. The way she is holding her left hand to her lips and chin - as though in complete concentration as she studies that young woman in the photo - is very telling...and moving, I think.

She was getting quite thin of hair and she worried about it constantly. She was bent, now, with osteoporosis and experienced a lot of pain. She did not delude herself that she was young anymore, but she still cared. Perhaps the photo of when she was young will explain why:

This is the photo she is so intently examining. Frankly, I doubt there was a movie star living at that time who was more beautiful.

I was so lucky to have my camera at the ready on that day, in that room, at that minute. So very lucky. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments.

If I have learned nothing else in all my years of living I have learned that inside every old person is the same young person they used to be - at all the ages they used to be. The same yearnings. The same dreams -- unfulfilled, perhaps, but still there.

And we will all follow along behind them - because time doesn't stop for any of us.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Things I Sometimes Think About – 1

I love the play, “Inherit the Wind” by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee.

I love the witty lines and the lines that punch home hard with truth and challenge. One of my very favorite exchanges, you may remember, goes something like this:

The William Jennings Bryan character, "Matthew Harrison Brady" (played by Fredric March), is on the witness stand and replies to a question put by the Clarence Darrow character, "Henry Drummond" (played by Spencer Tracy):

"I don't think about things that I don't think about!"

Henry Drummond responds:

"Well, do you ever think about the things you do think about?"

These are truly unforgettable lines and there is so much grist in that exchange that you could write pages about it. But you can relax. I won’t. Instead, I will report that I sometimes wonder how many people actually take the time to really think about anything. How often do we sit quietly – and I mean quietly (no radio, no TV, no music…just blissful silence) – and ponder our world? Ourselves? Cabbages, and kings?

I sometimes find myself thinking of the weirdest things. Not that they are weird in and of themselves, mind you, but just weird that I, out of the blue and out of context with anything going on around me at that moment, happened to think of them at all. But then, I’ve always been one to ask questions. To wonder. To challenge. So I’ve decided to do a “mind wandering” series of posts (that could show up at any time) entitled “Things I Sometimes Think About” because…’s interesting to me….could possibly be interesting to others….And…

Because I can.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sepia Saturday: My Mother

This was my mother (on the right in the photo).

I found this photo amongst a pile of old photos in a box down in the storage room and I've been editing all the scratches from it as time permits. You can see that I haven't quite finished the job, however.

I'm not sure who the woman on the left is. It could be my late Aunt Tera, or it could just be a friend of my mother's at the time.

I always thought my mother had Jane Wyman looks, even if not her disposition. "Myrt", as she was called by friends - "Mutt", by family - "Mama", by me when I was a little thing and then, later, just "Mother," - was a real fire-cracker with a hair-trigger temper, hard-working, talented, and generous to a fault.

Never affluent, my parents had to work hard for the money and my mother did many things that would, if I had to do them today, make me wince. She was very talented and creative. She once sewed for other women - an extremely stressful and thankless task. Another time she worked for a fruit canning company; hard work in the Florida heat.

She designed and created baby layettes and then went door-to-door downtown to the various department stores where management agreed to sell them on commission. They sold, too.

I remember a time when I was pretty small that she made corsages of violets. She would drive out on the rural roads and pick the violets. Then she would bring them home and bunch them and dip them in a preserving wax and pretty them up with bows. Then she would drive the long distance to a well-known ballroom dancing hall and there, on the street outside, would sell the tiny bouquets to the gentlemen for their ladies. (She did not know it then, but many years later she would be one of those ladies.)

She could make fabulous chicken and dumplings. But her cornbread was a disaster. Every year at Christmas she would make ambrosia fit for the gods.

She made almost everything I ever wore until I was old enough to want "store-bought" - silly me. She made Halloween costumes for myself and my cousin - costumes that competed against each other and took both first and second prizes that year.

I have a photograph of her, at age, looking at a photo of herself when she was young and beautiful. It hits my heart every time I see it. It is a reminder of what time does to us all and what it did to her, in particular. She was not happy during her last years and I, personally, suffered greatly for it. But I prefer to remember her when she was young and laughing.

I can remember her taking me along roller skating when she went with a girlfriend. She and her girlfriend would joke and laugh until tears rolled down their faces and she had to cross her legs to keep from .... er.... losing it.

Those were the good memories. And I have so many more...


Thursday, July 8, 2010

On Poets (With Additional Comment)

I think I’ll never understand

Why poets po with words so grand

That no one else will ever know

Just what it was the poet poed.

What is this urge to render dark

Lines that might ignite a spark

If only poet would rephrase

Those purple flowery bouquets

And spare the reader of the stilt

That causes his desire to wilt

And never even want to know

Just what it was the poet poed?






I'd like to add that GOOD Poetry is to be prized like a rare jewel. It moves the spirit. It soothes. It jolts. It socks you in the stomach. It rubs your tummy. It is, in fact, utterly amazing.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

With a bang and a wave of the flag...

...we launch into the 4th of July

On the Menu:

Hot Dogs!

Potato Salad!


Baked Beans!

Apple Pie!

Watermelon! (Salted, of course!)

And for those brave souls who know good eatin' when they see it/taste it: Boiled Peanuts!

Now I ask you, is this an American Holiday... or what?

AngelSpouse and I will be enjoying this holiday (and celebrating our anniversary at the same time) by noshing on this yummy menu and then, later, sipping drinks on our deck and watching the fireworks which never fail to appear all around the bay. The reflections in the water are marvelous. Wish you could all join us!

Happy Fourth to you all! (Wherever you are!)