Archive for October, 2010

The Plot Thickens

October 29, 2010

What a game last night, huh? Ooof! 9-0, SF!

And can anybody really believe it’s the 29th of October?

The Lou Crew.2 was here yesterday, including Lou, in his wheelchair directing his sons with what to do. They got the heat fixed; drained the entire system, bled it all out so that heat would flow all over the place. The doorways are opened up now- the old baseboards have been removed, the floodlight outside, which apparently we need is connected. So, there are a few more finishing touches having to do with the addition itself and according to Lou, he still plans on having the patio done.

As far as Lou, I don’t want to get into his troubles, out of respect to him, but I will say he’s looking positively forward to getting back on his feet, and soon.

Then, another shock. The Radio Chick is gone. Yesterday was her last show. I have her last two episodes to watch from the OnDemand section on Shovio, which hadn’t been updated until this morning so maybe I’ll learn the reason why and what she’ll be up to next. I have to admit, much as I enjoyed her show and have been following her for over 10 years, the changed time slot of her current show was difficult for me to watch “live” and luckily the shows were archived and available for viewing at a later time.

Today’s AMAZING synonym is WONDROUS , in describing this morning’s sunrise. In describing the shot I got of it, MEDIOCRE, but it’s the best of the bunch I took.

And so, now, I have just a few hours left for this week and then I’ll spend some time working some more on my rewrites. The plot thickens……

Here Comes The Bride (and some cash)

October 28, 2010

It was a small wedding really, only 30 guests. The bride, aged 30, with her career in good standing, and having been uninspired by the men she’d been meeting, decided it was time to get married so she plunked down close to $6000 to hire a wedding planner, to rent a banquet hall and to buy a flowing white dress. Her wedding, much publicized online, has been met with mostly sympathetic comments. Chen Wei-yih, of Taipei, Taiwan married….herself. She’s also going on a solo honeymoon to Australia. Even though her mother was against this groomless ceremony, she got on board with it. Wei-yih knows that she cannot register a marriage to herself but if she finds a man later on, she will wed again. Will she wear white? And I wonder what will happen in the meantime if she starts to leave the cap off the toothpaste.

Speaking of wacky, we all remember Constance McMillen, don’t we? She was the lesbian who wasn’t allowed to go to the prom with her girlfriend. Well, her ship finally came in; the school district in Mississippi where the infraction took place, has been ordered to fork over $81,000 in legal fees in the civil rights case. Yup, I need to think real hard about something I wasn’t permitted to, or something somebody said to me that might have been off color and initiate a lawsuit over it. I need some money. I have a house addition that would be great to pay for with some found money. But, I guess I’m too stupid and do things the hard way; I take life’s lumps as they come. Too bad Wei-yih’s story only just came out now, McMillen could have taken a cue and gone by herself to the prom.

Speaking of addition, I got word yesterday that Lou will be getting out of the hospital on Friday, but will have to be in a wheelchair. His one son called to say he and his brother will be here today and I will try to find out the particulars as to how long he is to be wheelchair bound and of course what impact that has on the completion of the work.

No walk this morning. We both slept almost until the time we would have been returning. It was a late night watching Game 1 of the World Series. The Giants won, so, in a way, it was worth it.

What else? Okay, here, I’ve had this for a long time, maybe you’ve seen it also. So then, here it is again. How many people do you see? How about now?

Lucky Is The..

October 27, 2010

Or is that ‘happy is the’…? Nope, I’m thinking of bride–happy is the bride that rain falls on, so maybe this doesn’t apply. I’m no bride, I’ll admit that, and I thought it was lucky. Well, let’s pretend it is, and let’s make it pertain to me. After all……

We walked again this morning; that’s 3 days in a row and it was raining. Not a heavy rain, but an in between a mist and a drizzle sort of rain. The temperature was an unbelievable 70, or thereabouts and at first, we considered not venturing further than the back door, but we persevered and as we closed in on the halfway mark, the rain came a little harder. But on we marched and the rain let up and within a short time, it had stopped altogether. But, oh, I think someone is moving that 2 mile mark further and further when we’re not looking. If yesterday was a laborious walk, today was a near impossibility. For some reason my feet felt like they weren’t cooperating, almost like I was wearing clown shoes. And you know how hard it is to walk in clown shoes…in the rain! Well, the long and short of it, through all the drudgery, we managed, I’d say, about 50 extra yards (that’s half a football field, maybe it was more like inches) before the timer went off.

But I wasn’t so lucky after I got home. I burned my tongue with my first swig of coffee. Who knew my Keurig would get that hot?

No Lou Crew.2 yesterday. Maybe today. Ho hum!

I got a note from Lucille this morning saying her team for the walk this past Sunday raised over $1,600. That’s fantastic news! And make a note, next year, I’ll be at you again for another donation!

Tonight begins the World Series in San Francisco. Let’s Go Giants!

Now, if I have a few minutes, I’ll get into some of those rewrites again, now that I’ve figured out those repetitious few pages.

A Step Ahead, A Day Behind

October 26, 2010

By the time you read this, I’m hoping I will be in from my second 4 mile walk of the week; yesterday being the first. I would have mentioned it, but I had written yesterday’s blog Sunday night and then I didn’t even think to make the update. Likewise, I’m writing this last night. I think we walked a little further than we should have because either I mistakenly turned off the stopwatch app on my Droid as I was putting into my pocket or the volume was turned down and we didn’t hear it. The reason I’m suspicious that we walked more is because we were both dragging, try as we might to keep in step with the music we had playing, but it was just such a laborious walk, and a painful one, and it seemed impossible that we could have reached that 2 mile mark before the time went off and when I looked, it was all at zero’s. But then we reached the finish line in 30 minutes, so maybe the volume was low and we really did reach our spot.

“There’s a name for you ladies, but it isn’t used in high society–outside of a kennel”. That’s Crystal Allen’s last line in 1939’s “The Women”, admitting defeat to the equally scheming women she set out to defeat in pursuit of love and social status. I don’t know why I watched it again, but I did, I watched the current remake on TV yesterday. Yes, some of the classic lines are in there, like the one above, but so misplaced, and so languidly delivered, they make no sense, and have no impact. The Nobel prize given out in Sweden alluded to in the original was pared down to a reference of one of the main character’s maids being from Sweden and Lucy, the proprietress of the ranch in Reno where women awaited divorces from their spouses, was reduced to a golden retriever. Note to Diane English…say you’re sorry for desecrating a Hollywood Classic.

We heard from Lou yesterday. He called Ariel from his hospital bed. Still in the hospital and able walk with the aid of a walker. His sons will be here either today or tomorrow to continue where they left off when they were last here.

And now we may have another Lou in our midst. This one will be known as UpholsterLou. We have two chairs that were Grandma B’s we finally are trying to have reupholstered so we can use once the house construction is done. At least one of them will go in the old dining room and one possibly in my office. We’re hoping to find something close to a distressed leather in a hunter green, or comparable green. Grandma always wanted them recovered in green, and that’s the color scheme we’re going with in the addition, the old dining room which will become a sitting room/first floor guest room, sort of extension of the addtion, the kitchen and antekitchen–it’s a word, because I want it to be.

Here’s another update.  It’s Tuesday morning and we did get outside for our walk. When we got in, I sat here at the computer and did some more work on those rewrites. Apparently, at some point, I must have rewritten a scene and tucked it into place because as I was reading through the printed out pages with all my notes on them, the spot I was working on repeated and then I couldn’t find where either the original or the new scene left off, so I had to wing it. But I got back on track.

And here, here is where the “scratch me” came from. Watch until the end.

The Power Of Chocolate

October 25, 2010

It worked, it worked! The double layer here’s to making sure the Yankees lose chocolate chocolate chocolate cake did the trick Friday night when they lost to the Tigers. Alas, my elation was short-lived when the Phillies lost on Saturday night and that was a sore moment. The bar we were in went quiet as a tomb at that last out. So, now, out of allegiance to the National League, I’ll be routing for San Francisco. Let’s go Mets! ( I believe in doing my baseball routing early)

Is there anything more confusing than shopping in IKEA? The answer is yes, getting there. Good Lord, we drove around Elizabeth and the adjacent area for nearly 40 minutes trying to find the right road to get on. Even Ingrid was goofing up, but that seems to happen in that vicinity. Try getting her onto the Pulaski Skyway and see what happens. Maybe it’s the airport shorting her out. But we found what we needed, shelving for the pantry, only to find out yesterday we mistakenly picked up a wine rack set (the item numbers were this close), so yesterday we went for the shelving unit we needed (there was only one left), plus another section for the wine rack.

On Saturday, we went for a hour-long wine and cheese train ride on the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad and afterward, went to dinner, also in town. It was hard to hear the conductor on the overhead speakers because the car was so loud from rattling, but one thing I did hear was that back in 1914, Pearl White, who was filming The Perils of Pauline, shot a scene there in New Hope on the bridge we were riding over. So, because we really couldn’t hear the rest of the narration we kept ourselves otherwise occupied making sure our wine glasses didn’t fly off the table from the intense rocking back and forth. But I love a train ride and it was a fun thing to do. They also have a dinner ride every so often which, due to unexpected circumstances, I missed out on. Long story, but that I saw the dawn of a new day is a miracle. And my dinner made me sick. Not that the food was bad, but it was very salty and instead of saying something or ordering a different dish, I ate it, which didn’t do my blood pressure any good and it’s been forever since I had short ribs. When will I ever learn? But after about 2 hours I was nearly human again.

Did someone just scratch me?

Big news! Yesterday, I sat and began the rewrites of the first 258 pages of my second novel as I work myself up into the frenzy of getting the last chapters written. It’s been long enough for it to sit, while I wallow in disappointment after disappointment from each rejection I receive. So, I will devote my time and attention to finally getting my sequel completed before I start shopping it or them around again. Well, unless something comes my way that sounds like I should risk another rejection letter.

The Muse Speaks

October 22, 2010

I took a chance and watched the Phillies game last night and they won! So, now they’re back in Philadelphia tomorrow night for game 6. There’s still hope, but they need a 3-game winning streak to make the Series. And I watched the Yankees so intently last night that they didn’t even show up to the game. No, they didn’t play, that was a lame attempt at way to early in the morning, before my coffee has had a chance to kick in humor.

I just read the outcome of a court hearing for Londoner Mary Bale, who shocked animal lovers the world over when the video tape of her dumping Lola, the four year old tabby into a garbage can surfaced, was fined 265 pounds (that’s $420 if you’re keeping up) for animal cruelty. No harm came to the crying kitty who was in the container for about 15 hours. Bale was tracked down by the cat’s owner, who had installed a closed circuit security camera outside his home after his car had been vandalized. They’re not having any luck in that neighborhood, maybe they should move–just sayin’. The judge accepted the fact that Bales was under a great deal of stress at the time–her father was seriously ill and has since died–but was unmoved that she had no answer as to why she acted in such an “impulsive and irrational” way.

I see wine and cheese in my future.

And maybe some whine and sheesh. Going back to the word amazing for a moment… I don’t know if I ever said this to you or not, but at the beginning of this television season, I declared that any show that used that word more than twice in a single episode was going to be stricken from my viewing schedule. Well, that hasn’t happened, even though it’s bandied about like a tennis ball sometimes. And really, as much as I love her, Ellen DeGeneres is the worst offender. Every guest is amazing in his or her own way, from appearance, to singing, to dancing. It also describes the latest movie and the taste of a dish a visiting celebrity chef might prepare on stage. I’ve decided it’s time to start offering alternatives to describe certain things, otherwise, the taste of a tofu and veggie non-egg omelette would have the same importance as the diamond encrusted collar on Paris Hilton’s purse-sized pooch.

In the name of dance, to start the proceedings, I offer, rather than say “That was amazing!” (oh, thank you, I dance like a plate of tofu…)perhaps the dance routine could be described thusly: “It was as if you were touched by the hand of Terpsichore”. (Silence from the audience).

And lastly, once again, I thank you all on Lucille’s behalf for your donations. The walk is this Sunday and I’m leaving you with one last reminder. It’s not too late. Donate! 

Wake Me When It’s Over

October 21, 2010

I’m kind of dragging this morning, I was up late watching the Phillies/Giants game last night and the Phillies lost. Before that, I was watching the Yankees/Rangers game and the Yankees won. It was a bad night all around. The last games I watched, (I would never ordinarily watch a Yankee game) I came in near the final innings and then the Rangers rallied and won. Last night I saw pretty much from the start of the game, and that’s probably what happened. And maybe I should stop watching the Phillies.

Being a Mets fan, even though they nearly obliterate themselves at every turn, I have to stay true to the National League during the World Series and if the Mets aren’t involved, and now since the team from one of my favorite cities has a chance of getting into the Series, I have to route for the Phillies. Any other year, it’s just a crap shoot, a 50/50 shot, I just pick a team and route for them. I’m not a baseball savant, I don’t know every stat of every player, down to the brand of jockstrap a player might be wearing; I guess I’d be considered a casual fan. Although, believe it or not, I actually know two other people who are also Mets fans! They ARE out there.

Anyway, I wanted to give you an update from the current ongoing review of my book.  Here is part of the email:

I am on Page 173, almost done with Chapter 17. I was going to save some more of my comments until the end, but I thought I would go ahead and share now before I forget!! Then I’ll give a wrap-up when I’m finished with the book. That is, if you WANT me to! ? You know, reading this book was something that I have been nervous about for a long time. I mean, it’s kind of like the pressure of opening a gift that someone gave you. What if you don’t like it?? But, I’m relieved and happy to report that, so far, I have been genuinely enjoying the book!

I have to say, I was nervous myself when I saw the email come in, but seeing how well it’s going thus far was also a relief, but there still is the rest of the story to get through!

Forging Ahead

October 20, 2010

It’s official, the fan, which you haven’t seen yet, the light fixtures, which you have, the light in the pantry, which I only saw for the first time yesterday and the jelly jar porch light are all working. The heat, as of this morning is another issue which will have to be addressed. By just after 8 yesterday morning, Lou’s sons, sans the usual crew and Lou, who is still in the hospital, arrived to work on the electric and the plumbing. But because they each have their own careers, they can only be available on a limited schedule to fill in until either the entire job is done, which, as it turns out, still includes the patio, etc, or until Lou is able to get back to work with his regular crew, which is down by one, the “foreman”, if you will, his right hand man. But according to his one son, that return, if he had his way, would be  next Tuesday to “get back to the boys’ place and get working”.

The shot in the arm to which I alluded yesterday was that, while still on the heels of that rejection, I got an email from someone who is reading my book. I’m not gonna say who it is, unless this person reads this and comments, but it’s someone who’s opinion I value a great deal. Anyway, knowing that my book is being read and so far, as of the writing of  the email, it is being enjoyed, kind of gave me a renewed sense of accomplishment and hope and I made the decision right then to get serious about finishing my sequel. Though I really don’t need much of a review of what’s been written thus far, I will need a refresher of where I’m going with it and I am going over my notes and outline and will be getting down to business with it. All I know for sure is that I left off in a very sensitive spot. So, maybe out of bad will come good, I’ll at least get my second book finished.

I know it’s fall now and the long hot days of summer, especially this past one, at least around here, are ones for the books, I still remember how everything was so laborious, from just stepping outside (I still don’t know how the Lou Crew didn’t fry up crispier than overdone bacon during those weeks) to walking through the city on the way to my dermatologist when my clothes got so heavy with sweat making mobility a chore or even eating ice cream. If only I had known then that I wouldn’t have had to exert so much energy licking that ice cream cone, I could have saved my strength to lift a cold refreshing beer to my lips. Yes, if only I’d had a motorized ice cream cone…. I kid you not!

Isn’t that a dandy? You just either need a long tongue or a perhaps a motorized spoon to get what you can’t reach. Otherwise, just have a milkshake.

Getting On With It All

October 19, 2010

This is it everyone, all my blog readers, all my Facebook friends, the last reminder before Lucille’s walk against cancer coming up this Sunday. All she and her sister need to meet their combined goal of $1,000 is another $69.00. Come on, a few bucks and a few seconds of your time to make a few clicks through the pink ribbon link at the bottom of today’s post is a small favor to ask. After all, it will be Lucille and Nancy who will be walking, they are the ones who will be giving cancer such a look! I know some of you already have made a donation and one more time I say thanks on their behalf. Maybe make it an even 70 and we’ll have one for good measure.

The way I understand it is, work is to resume on the house today. The Sons (I have to think of a catchy term to use for them) are scheduled to arrive around 8 this morning to “tie things up”. If you think about it, that almost sounds like they expect to have the room in move in-able condition by the time they leave, but the list of what’s left to do is as long as my arm. I really don’t know yet if they are picking up the job in its proposed entirety (patio, fountain plus a few sundry tasks) or just completing this particular project, but that question will be answered when they get here.

The update from publisher lady number (pick any number at random starting above 110-agent and publisher counts combined) is that as I suspected, I have not heard back from asking why they changed their minds. I know they’re not under any obligation to be in further contact with me, but for once I would like a complete communication from someone to tell me perhaps what is missing, what I need to fix, where else I can look, who else I can romance with a proposal.

I have to admit, I’m still in a little funk about that whole episode. I think what made it worse for me was announcing to you guys and my personal circle what looked like a sure thing only to have to recount all that. It really looked like this was finally going to be it after so many years of trying.

But as a result, I began to question whether it was really worth all this anguish. Part of me says yes, to keep going and the other part, the part that needed it the most, got a shot in arm recently and gave me a new perspective on it all. I’ll tell you more about that next time.

Take Us The Foxes

October 18, 2010

Here I am, in the flesh. Well, you know what I mean, and it’s time for some more B.S., which, are my initials, too, not just what I’m full of.

I’ve been around and about, licking the wounds of failure, as many of you already know–I was rejected once again by yet another publisher, but I’ll get more into that another time. While I’ve taken a few days off from blogging, I’ve been keeping busy with lots of things going on in my head and lots of things going on in real life like my normal day to day, wondering when and if the Lou crew in whatever form will ever reappear, we’ve been to a wedding and we’ve been to a play and that’s what I’m focusing on today because nothing gets my blood pumping like a critique of a Broadway show.

On Saturday afternoon, we saw the New York Theater Workshop production of Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes“. Right off the bat, I’ll tell you, I gave it an 8, as did Ariel, and on the way to find some dinner afterwards, Ariel and I picked it apart and surprisingly, we maintained our scores.

The main thing I had to wrap myself around was the dichotomy between original dialogue, set in the turn of  the 20th century and the current day sets and costumes–think Wall Street business attire. I have to admit, even though it was written with a certain sensibility, the flagrant volleying of the “N” word had me a little uncomfortable, realizing there were people “of color” in the audience, and I thank the constant reminders of political correctness for that, (not that I go around using that word) and I cringed each time it was used, wondering what was going through the heads of those audience members. The minimalist set was a plush purple carpeted floor and staircase leading nowhere behind a partition, and 3 walls (the ceiling was white, not carpeted). From the ceiling hung 4 electric light fixtures and off on stage right was a small organ or other keyboard type instrument. This was director Ivo van Hove reimagined production of the savagely brutal story of greed and the self induced destruction of the Hubbard Family. 

But the cast, every one of them, gave their all for that 2 hour, intermissionless performance to the point where Elizabeth Marvel, who played Regina Giddens tasted the blood from a cut on her knee, a result from having been violently knocked to the floor. The production was rather violent and aggressively manic, a curious difference from the causticly understated and brilliantly effective “less is more” performance I’m accustomed to seeing from Bette Davis in the 1941 film version. Marvel continued her scene in spite of the cryptic indications from fellow cast members about the wound on her knee and when she finally realized it and before she was quickly handed a tissue, she swiped at it and licked it from her finger. I doubt it was part of the script, but it was a rather fitting move as at this point in the show; Regina’s claws were unretractable as she badgered her sickly husband to team up with her scheming brothers in the name of unrivaled wealth.

Not only did the modern costuming and electric lighting feel incongruos, it also seemed disjointed how Cal, the butler/houseman still spoke in that stereotypical “black”  jargon of that period amid the modern setting, or how a horse drawn carriage was used to transport the visiting investor to the train, or how Alexandra, who left her just widowed and money hungry mother via airplane, as evidenced by the video monitor which was used to describe off stage activities.

But then as we found things to pick apart, we decided this juxtaposition of two eras was indicative of the timelessness of the story. So, kudos to the production, to the cast and to Elizabeth Marvel for delivering the one line we were both anticipating, “I hope you die, I hope you die soon. I’ll be waiting for you to die,”  in a manner that fit how she played the part. She meant it.

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vine: for our vines have tender grapes. ~ Song of Solomon 2:15