Friday, August 30, 2013

Nice Ricky

My husband is a genuinely nice person. I’m not sure if he tries to be that way, or if it just comes naturally. You have to be total bastard for Rick to dislike you. He wants to like EVERYBODY. A good example of this happened in December 2009. Rick flew to Salt Lake City to attend his mother’s funeral. In planning for the service, he went to “borrow” a bible from the church. There was an usher in the back of the church who struck up a conversation. Rick was pretty sure he was busted for trying to steal a bible but that’s not how it turned out. This man was very friendly and they sat and conversed for a few minutes. He eventually asked Rick if he had any grandkids. Rick said “No”, and the man told Rick he didn’t know what he was missing. Then, he told Rick to put his foot in his lap and took off his shoe and sock. Then, the man proceeded to tickle the bottom of his foot. He told Rick “This is how you will feel when you have grandkids”. Ok, so how many people on the face of the planet would put their foot in a stranger’s lap??? That is soooo Rick! It’s kind of a challenge for me to live with such a pleasant person. I mean, I’m pretty agreeable myself, but he makes me look like Attila the Hun. Or possibly Attila’s wife. I don’t think there’s a catty bone in his body, whereas I definitely have to try to hold down the snark. I usually add a comedic touch, but it’s still snark. My dad was a super nice man. Everybody loved him. They say you marry your dad, and maybe I did. I seriously doubt my dad would have done the foot-in-the-stranger’s-lap thing, though. Rick is a people person, the more the merrier. Whenever I meet someone who knows Rick, I have to suffer through several minutes of raves about how lucky I am to be married to such a great guy. It’s really not a hardship... he is a great guy. I just wonder if anyone ever raves to him about me. Maybe I should work on that snark after all. Or at least get a pedicure in case I run into a foot tickler.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TV Crime Shows

I especially enjoy watching crime shows on TV. I like a good mystery, and relish trying to solve a murder. There are probably very few details in these crime shows that accurately reflect what happens in a real murder investigation. A few of these details cause me to talk back to the TV. The first one that comes to mind is the fact that nobody on cop shows seems to know what a light switch is. These cops and detectives go into a darkened room with big flashlights blazing, scanning the room for a body, a crazed killer, or forensic evidence. Um, hello... wouldn’t your life be easier, Law Enforcers, if you turned on the damn lights? I’d be willing to bet the search for shell casings would go way faster if not conducted in near darkness. It’s supposed to add to the drama, but only makes me roll my eyes. The second annoying practice on crime dramas are the wrist radios that undercover cops talk into. Do these things really exist other than on TV or in the old Dick Tracy cartoons? If I were a bad guy on the run, I’d steer clear of the guy talking to his wrist... a big tip off. The third silly thing I’ve noticed, is how easy it is to kick in a door. Everybody does it. Bad guys, good guys, little old ladies, babies... you name it. Is everybody’s door made out cardboard? I wonder how many nimrods have actually tried to kick in a front door, only to break an ankle or foot. I haven’t tried this, but assume I’d end up in the ER (while the door would remain mockingly intact). Real life crime investigations probably wouldn’t make good TV. Still, there must be an alternative to investigations in the dark, talking into one’s wrist, and busting down doors. That alternative is not turning on the TV, which doesn’t work for me. So, I guess I should just get over it. I’ll still roll my eyes, though.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cloning John Lennon

This morning I caught the tail end of a news story about a Canadian dentist who wants to clone a human being from John Lennon’s rotten molar. WTF??? Ok, I admit I thought the newscaster said “mole”, which would have been silly, right? But a rotten molar is pretty damn silly as well. In the 1960‘s, John Lennon gave the molar to his housekeeper. Who does that? I mean, is there ever someone so special that even their bad teeth are a treasure??? In 2011, a Canadian dentist named Zuk purchased the tooth at an auction for about $3,000. He is currently trying to have DNA extracted so John Lennon could be reborn. Did this guy not catch the movie “Jurassic Park”??? Cloning didn’t work out so well with the dinosaurs. Who knows how a cloned Beatle would turn out? Zuk must be some kind of a Beatle fanatic and obviously has money to burn. If I had unlimited funds, cloning a rock star from the 1960’s would not be at the top of my spending list... or anywhere on my list. I’d start with a new screen door for my back porch, and work my way up. If I were into cloning a person, I would not choose John Lennon. I have nothing against him, but think there are better candidates to bring back. I think I’d like to have a do-over with Leonardo Da Vinci. He was such a multifaceted genius. He was an amazing painter as well as an inventor. He designed a flying machine, parachute, machine gun, tank, underwater suit, and numerous items 500 years ahead of their time. Eleanor Roosevelt would be an interesting person to meet. I’d also love to spend time with Chuck Jones, creator of Bugs Bunny. I think I’m getting cloning mixed up with actually bringing the person back to life. I’m pretty sure that’s also what’s going on with Zuk the dentist. He’s probably planning on asking a baby cloned from John Lennon’s rotten molar whether Yoko Ono really broke up the Beatles. Dude, that’s not how it works. Just ask those deadly raptors terrorizing Jurassic Park.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Tidy Gene

I was born tidy. It was in my genes. My mom was neat, and threatened to nail coat hooks on our floor if we didn't hang things up. I don't doubt she would have done it. My dad was more of a neat freak. He would have the vacuum out and be moving furniture as company was just pulling out of the driveway. We didn't see this as a bad thing, but just a "Dad thing". I think I carried on the tidy tradition as a way of adding order to any chaos in my life. Rick came into our marriage as trainable. His only sloppiness manifests itself in piles of books everywhere he parks himself. If he were Hansel to my Gretel, he would be leaving books instead of breadcrumbs. I would be following behind, stacking the books neatly, by size of course, and get us hopelessly lost. I remember my third grade teacher allowing me, during class, to arrange the books in the bookcase by size. How bizarre. I have always wondered why she did that, but it made me immensely happy at the time. Ben inherited the neat gene, and reminds me of my dad when I see him organize his things for the next day. Molly, on the other hand, inherited some mutant sloppy gene. I thought I could force her to be tidy, but was told she was messy and liked it that way. Molly ran the hurdle event on her high school track team. This came in handy when getting into bed at night, as she had to get past the moat of clothes piled around her bed. When she moved into her first apartment, I wondered what we would find under the mountain of crap on the floor. I was amazed that only sixteen years' worth of dust bunnies were residing there. My vote would have been a family of Gypsies, a marching band, some scary spiders, and perhaps Amelia Ehrhart. Go figure.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sister Christian

One of my favorite movies growing up was “The Trouble With Angels”, starring Hayley Mills. It was the story of students at a Catholic girl’s school, doing battle with Mother Superior (played by Rosiland Russell). The girls pulled off some awesomely bad tricks on the nuns.The story moved along at a joyful romp, with mischief at every turn. Then, in the last few minutes, Hayley Mills’ character decided to become a nun after graduation. What a buzz kill. It devastated me. Way to ruin a perfectly good time! In real life, I attended a girl’s school for 9th and 10th grade. St. Mary of the Wasatch sat on a hill overlooking Salt Lake City. It was a foreboding presence - a large four-story brick building sitting on a huge parcel of land. There was a gym, tennis court, soft ball field, lots of manicured lawns, and a grotto where girls used to go to smoke (instead of pray). There was a rumor that a ghost had been spotted on the fourth floor. I had no problem believing it. St. Mary’s could be a pretty creepy place. The only teacher I actually goofed on was my 9th grade homeroom/Spanish teacher, Sister Christian. She was a large unpleasant woman who wore a brown habit. Kind of like a UPS truck with a veil. Getting to St. Mary’s when it snowed could be dicey. If a certain number of students stayed home, they would cancel school. One snowy day, we decided we would help the process along by hiding in a closet during roll call. This was a really bad idea, which we realized soon after Sister Christian started calling our names. There was no good way to get out of this sticky situation, so we made a bunch of noise on purpose. Sister Christian opened the door, and her beefy arm pointed to our seats. I don’t remember being punished, but am pretty sure steam was coming out of her ears. Her face turned really red and I thought she was going to bust a gasket. We didn’t mess with her after that. Even the time she got herself wedged in between a desk and a table, I somehow managed to stifle my snicker. Unlike my movie counterpart, I did not decide to become a nun. No buzz kill here. Plus, I look wretched in brown.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Back in the late 1960's, my sister Kathy was forced to drive a powder blue and navy 1954 Buick. I'm pretty sure it had those chrome bullet holes in the sides. Until Kathy was given the car to drive, "Lurch" had lived in a rented garage. My dad drove the car once a month to keep it in mint condition. This car had shiny acetate upholstery. The only safety feature in the entire car was a bungee cord on the back of the front seat. In lieu of seat belts, riders in the back could hold on for dear life while careening around corners. If you wanted to live on the edge, you could forget the bungee cord and slide across the 10 miles of backseat. It was a behemoth of a car. Adding insult to injury, Kathy was in college at the time, and had to drive a weird neighbor girl to school with her. Lurch got her from point A to point B, so Kathy put up with it. One day on her way home from school, she had to pull over because smoke was coming from under the hood. Then the horn jammed. A fire truck arrived to save the day, with sirens blaring. Kathy was humiliated enough driving Lurch, let alone being the center of a smoke-filled, noisy spectacle. Lurch's demise finally came late one night in September 1968. We had thrown a 25th wedding anniversary party for my parents. Lurch was parked on the street in front of our house. Sometime in the night, a drunk driver somehow hit Lurch broadside, and pushed it up onto the lawn. That must have been some cocktail, to T-bone the Queen Mary like that. A neighbor remarked how it must have been some party for my parents. Seriously??? Just how does someone park a car sideways up on the lawn like that with one side caved in? I can’t imagine what the other car looked like as it limped away. Couldn’t have been pretty. RIP, Lurch.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Childhood Envy

While I was doing the dishes tonight, I happened to notice the kitchen sink sprayer. We never had one of those in my childhood home, but my friend Deb did. I remember her telling me that only her family members could drink out of their kitchen sink sprayer. Then, just to prove it, she drank from it. I was left to watch, salivating. There were some other things I envied. People were always talking about eating TV dinners. We never had them, therefore, they must have been divine. I used to picture myself sitting in front on my beloved TV, eating a TV dinner on a TV tray (something else our house lacked). It was a whole TV theme, and I wanted it. At some point, I got to try a TV dinner. Man, what a disappointment. Maybe I thought a tiny TV would come with each entre. Who knows? Another item I coveted was Chinese takeout. You always see people on TV shows chatting while eating with chop sticks from takeout boxes. Like it was nothing. I assumed there must be something really special about eating food out of a box with sticks. Little did I know the sticks would be a challenge to use. One cool thing my family did get to experience was eating at a place called the Hot Shops. It was one of those drive-in establishments with car hops on roller skates. You ordered your food on a speaker, like at a drive-in movie. Pretty soon a girl would skate out to your car with a tray of food. My dad had a convertible at the time, so his sweet ride enhanced the ambiance even more. Maybe I was born with a desire for the simple things in life. Give me a meal on a summer night in the back seat of the family car any day. I thought it was truly elegant and wouldn’t have traded it for dinner at a five star restraurat. I wonder if there were any items my family had that other kids envied. If so, I probably would have been surprised. The grass is always greener... and all that.