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Posts Tagged ‘born in the 1960s HELL YEAH!’

(I have been away from wordpress for long enough that there are some changes that I strongly dislike. I can’t, for instance, figure out how to get rid of the “bullets” on the following list so that I can customize my post. I hate the way these look and you know I’m particular about aesthetics. CRAP on the interwebs and wordpress. Bastards.)

  • a glut of coats in the mudroom
  • a frenzy of pajama-buying ensued
  • a strange numbness crept across her loins
  • the arugula waited flavorlessly in the produce drawer of the stainless steel, 3-door fridge, its California Fresh! package beckoning to the unsuspecting Frances Marie Mince-Morrison-McMurphy
  • a tinkly toy piano
  • “someone is always on someone else’s shit list around here,” said mother
  • an unresolved fight followed them around the house for weeks, hiding in kitchen cupboards and creeping into bedroom corners; vague, threatening, powerful

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My dad used to steam the stamps off of envelopes. I have the feeling that I have written about this here before.

I have a vague memory of a bathroom with a sink near the bottom of a flight of basement steps. If the stamps did not have a proper postmark and were thus reusable, my dad would bring the envelopes down and steam off the stamps so they could be used again. Back then it cost about 5¢ for a first-class letter to be sent in the mails (as they say in Britain). Until now, as I write this, it was one of my surest memories, embedded. I remember the stamps, my father, the idea of the steam. But now I think I am filling in the blanks about the details. Maybe it is a neighbor’s basement with a tinkly toy piano and mounds of games and toys we never had. Toys piled high on a ping-pong table.

I never had one of those little tinkly pianos. I never had an Easy-Bake Oven. We did not have the game Yatzee or Operation. We did not have a ping-pong table. My brother never had GI Joes.

I perceived these toys as so foreign and mysterious that I was afraid of them. Alternately, I coveted some of them, like the Easy Bake Oven. Other families knew things I was not privy to. I was deprived of small bits of the commercial American culture of my day. I attribute this to my parents being from Europe and for valuing toys that were more creative or educational or simply made of wood. Their sense of frugality. No gluts in our house, not much extra—only what was needed. I did not grow up with deprivation, but sometimes I experienced my lack of “normal” American toys as if I was deprived. 

I hated GI Joes. They had scratchy beards. Their limbs would twist and turn in ways Barbie’s thankfully never did.

My father had blond hair and never had a beard. Not like GI Joe who was bearded, uniformed, and war-like. Eww. So maybe Freud was right: all men, including GI Joes, were gauged against my image of my father. 

look, this guy is doing yoga, naked to boot, which probably gets one extra good-karma points:

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Judge other humans ye who enter my blog…judge away if they be pricks and douches….

  • one can’t pull off use of the word oevre in speech without sounding like a douche. Maybe you can get away with it in writing and admittedly, I use this word on occasion in speech; but I’m no douche, so maybe one can pull it off. I heard an interview with an overly-intellectual man on NPR and he used the word oevre and he sounded like an over-educated prick.

Perhaps we’ll meet again, ye who enter here.

Happy New Year! Ring it in, bring it on, get up in this hizzy!!!

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dog in yard, chewing on a beef bone

bones used to be free from the butcher, now I paid $2 for one

when I lived in Kent, Ohio, all those years (1981-2000), there was a free-standing butcher shop

it closed before I got a dog, so I never got bones there

it is hot outside, 95 degrees at least

this is another change since my youth

it seems my kids will never know what summers were really like

I sit inside in my air conditioning and it’s not that I didn’t do that before, it’s that the stretches of heat are longer and longer

I dreamed my ribs opened in the front, at my sternum

they became a boat in which I could lie down, the boat in the cool water and me cradled by my own bones, floating

I remember how little my children were, how fun, how fast the time goes, how it couldn’t go fast enough and how tired I was, how I barely slept

Now there are wrinkles and gullies, eyes pushed back into darker sockets, lashes shrinking. I am as vain as ever.

Hubby made this for me for my birthday. I love it. That’s John Hodgeman and Jeff Tweedy and my whole family in the crowd at Solid Sound 2013 singing Happy Birthday.

I love the one where I’m smoking because it seems like another lifetime. I almost forgot that I smoked.

I also love that I’m in a bikini piloting a boat because that only happened once.

I also love the one where I’m with my Oma. That was her little balcony off of her little apartment. I really loved my Oma but I didn’t get to see her very often, across an ocean.

I like the ones where my kids are babies and the one with my old dog Aggie.

My mother will be 80 in December. I never forget her age.

I will not be making TACO BALLS (a recipe I saw on pinterest) any time soon, not even since I’m fifty. You have to please yourself.

I had the BEST birthday ever! I got the best presents and the most Facebook wishes and nice people have come to lots of little events I’ve asked them to come to in honor of my birthday.

I’ve gotten to go singing sea shanties and Sacred Harp, to read poems, to listen to poems, to go out dancing, to hear amazing bands, to watch live theater outdoors. Going singing some more tomorrow.

More More More

sometimes I remember how blessed I am, sometimes I piss and moan

I got to go out dancing with my beautiful teenage daughters and my hubby and, you know, my girls LOVE to dance. What fun we had. How fortunate I am, what a happy night with cake.

CAKE!

I have never played a stringed instrument in my life. Just got my first ukelele and since I love Hawaii, maybe it will work out for me.

Here’s a new song that I love. I would never have known it if I hadn’t gone to a sweet little Open Mic at a co-housing complex in Northampton last week.

Maybe I’ll turn 50 again next July 15. It’s been so fun.

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Seventeen days to Fifty

IMG_1485I am a Queen Divine and I don’t give a flying fuck

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my trusty Kent black squirrel sticker, one of the best charms a girl pushing 50 can have on her mini-van’s backside

Long ago, after giving a friend of mine a massage, I asked how she felt and she said “Are you kidding? I feel like a million bucks!” This was the way she talked.

Feeling like a million bucks is not a phrase in my vernacular, but today I took my 2000 Toyota mini-van, all 163,000 miles of it, to get its state inspection. You know it failed inspection 2 years in-a-row, right?

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the “ass” of my car

My daughter fastened all the seat belts before I dropped her off at school, a good omen.

At 8:15 this morning, the second-to-the-last day of the month, I pulled into the Sunoco station on Route 9, handed over my registration and 29 dollars to the grizzled but friendly mechanic, and parked my ass in the dingy, fume-y, dusty “waiting room,” chatting up a plumber and the woman behind the cash register. With baited breath (at least mentally baited breath), I bided my time. The car passed inspection.

I usually don’t have to leave the house for whole days at a time. I don’t drive my kids to school but once or twice a season. But today, I actually got dressed. I pulled on my skinniest jeans, by which I mean, they are not skinny jeans, but they are the only pair that may make my ass appear with some semblance of youth and dignity, by which I mean, they are snug and tight with just the right amount of stretch to make sure all loose flesh is tautened into a neat package. It’s not like I’m going to turn heads, but I felt like I was turning heads as I slid on the icy lot walking away from the Sunoco waiting room back to my car. I am sure heads were turning because of my faux-skating and not my ass.

These days, the car is missing portions of its hubcaps. It has no handle on the rear passenger side door. One of the sliding doors no longer latches, making it slide closed when parked on a hill. The windows make a slow grinding sound on raising and lowering, in protest of having to work so hard. The inside backseat air vents are missing their louvered covers. Only half of the dashboard lights up. The heating makes a whistling sound when it’s on full blast. But Fucking A. My husband presented me with this car in July, 2000, just weeks before we relocated our entire life to Western Massachusetts.

It’s falling apart, it doesn’t get the best mileage. It’s beaten and banged and bruised. But it’s mine. I drove away from the Sunoco feeling like a million bucks.

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my min-van, not a metaphor for my bodily state or anything

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The sounds and songs of my childhood weren’t always on CKLW. Sometimes it was what the grown-ups listened to. Cocktails. James Bond. The 4 o’clock Movie on Channel 7 (Detroit).

Side burns, wide lapels, the dry look, Herb Alpert.

Bouffant hair-dos, platinum blond. Mini skirts, fringe, go go boots. String bikinis. Long breezy unkempt hair, parted down the middle. Playboy centerfolds, green, red, and yellow hues, a hazy patina on the pages. Penthouse, much dirtier.

I had no idea Dusty Springfield was English because, you know, people named “Dusty” come out of the Old West and “Springfield” is also decidedly American.

Guys, you want to get lucky tonight? Put on your cotton flannel pajamas, dim the lights, fire up a smoke (Lucky Strike? Winston?), and spin this on the turntable.

Okay, so smoking is no longer sexy. Do you think these are made of flame retardant fabric?

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If I work too hard at looking forward to my 50th Birthday, I’ll probably have a crash-and-burn depression like when I turned 40. I’ll try to let what comes, come, but I am SO EXCITED! And for all of you, too, my friends spread out all over the country, the world. Let us be full of joy for our 50ths. I know some of you are having your day this very month.

I’ve been thinking about this one for a few days now. I knew it when I was 7 years old. I believed the story my friend told me about the song being about her father, whose name was, of course, Frank Mills.

What a gull-a-bull. What a nin-cow-poop. What a maroon.

By high school, my friends and I learned the lyrics, again, by heart and sang it and sang it at the top of our lungs. The Milos Forman movie came out and I saw it at least twice in the theater.

In posting this, please know you are being spared my hammy self singing it for you on my mac.

Just him

So many more good songs. I am sure they’ll show up on my blog throughout the year. It all still feels so pertinent to me, being a kid in the consciousness-raising ’60s. The hippies, the environment, TV, Viet Nam, Walter Cronkite. Oh yeah.

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When I was a little girl in the ’70s, I did not have a scale like the one pictured above.

We seemed to have had the one same bathroom scale forever. It was green, rectangular, and the numbers sort of looked like the ones above, but their little window was rectangular, not ovoid (oval?). But maybe that is wrong. The scale was made of metal. I am sure it didn’t work with any accuracy for at least the last 20 years that my mother had it.

After my father died, my mother moved from a place they had in Toledo to a condo in a suburb of Detroit. After she lived there for about 8 years, she moved again to a condo near us in Stow, Ohio. All this time, she still had that crazy green scale. The mucilaged laminate-covering was starting to peel off at the edges.

It was completely wonky, but I would still get on it every time I used the upstairs bathroom in her condo. I loved the sound it made when I got on it, metal and weights, mechanical movement. I loved the way the numbers took their time going around and finally came to center and I loved the way it was completely wrong. I don’t remember what I weighed on it, but it was not correct. I weighed between 138 and 142 my whole adult life after college and before kids. That’s what I do remember. Maybe my mom’s scale read 135. Maybe it read 155. Who knows, who remembers these things, and why?

I know I had a scale in Kent because that is where I had my pregnancies and babies and I know I weighed myself a lot at that time. I just don’t know what scale we had. Did it break? Did we move it to Massachusetts with us? Did I throw it out, donate it?

Right now, we don’t own a scale. We had one that I really liked, a sort of minimalist glass thing with digital numbers. According to Paul, the thing never worked. I must have bought it at Target, but was it here in Massachusetts or back in Ohio?

it wasn’t this model, but you get the idea

I had to ask the company to send some part for it because it didn’t work right. I think I did that twice. It needed a little watch battery in order to function and I replaced it often, or as often as I thought I should according to the fact that Paul said it didn’t work.

The great thing about the scale not being accurate is that it measured low. So I always thought I weighed less than I really did. What a shock to get to the doctor’s office and weigh around 5 pounds more than I did at home. I always attributed this to being clothed, but we know clothes only weigh about 2 or 3 pounds, maybe 4 in the winter, at least for someone around 5′ 5″ like me.

In each of my pregnancies, I gained 25 pounds. Textbook. I noticed that the very tiniest women gained the most weight. I knew one gal who gained 80 pounds. But that stuff comes right off on those teeny gals.

I took all of my pregnancy weight off after Violet in one week. That is because I was very dehydrated. I slowly gained 8 pounds back and eventually took it off again.

After Annie, I gained a lot of new fat. So even though I eventually weighed 142 again, I had fat on my hips and thighs that remains today. I have never liked it.

Eventually, I got my flat belly back, even after Annie. Until I became anemic in 2006. That was the end of my youthful belly.

When I was anemic and I was seeing my old acupuncturist, she told me that the Chinese say a woman should gain 10 pounds after the age of 40. Is this something I wanted to hear or not? I think about it often. She also said you should never try to lose weight after the age of 40 because you need it as you age and start to waste. This is exactly what Susun Weed says. I saw it happen to my grandmother and I have seen it happen to my mother.

My acupuncturist at that time also told me that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, you don’t weigh yourself. Your weight is none of your business.

I think the point is to use food as medicine and to live a healthy life full of natural movement, warmth, and fresh air. Oh, and sex. I don’t think I’ve ever been to an acupuncturist who didn’t ask me if I was having regular sex.

I know it’s creepy to post this image after talking about sex. My job is not to keep you comfortable.

tres moderne, n’est-ce pas?

The thing that was creepiest about other people’s bathrooms when I was growing up was if their bathroom toilet had a semi-circle of shag carpet on the floor in front of it. Then, a matching toilet seat cover and a matching scale cover. Usually, these were a very dark green. You know of what I speak.

This was the same time that Harvest Gold, Avocado, and Burnt Orange were the most popular kitchen colors.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but since pee tends to splatter to some degree in any bathroom, weren’t those shag fibers simply pee-absorbers? And why wouldn’t you do the German thing and wash your bathroom once a week on your hands and knees with a bucket of soapy water and rags instead?

I don’t know why I am being so confessional and nostalgic, but all week, I have been thinking about that green scale.

This may be the scale that comes closest to the one in my memory. I probably would have killed for a pink one.

All the scales I find at Target in the last 6 years or so are crap. Made in China of crap, by crappy companies who don’t know anything about Traditional Chinese Medicine anyway. I know I’d have to order a doctor’s scale for about a hundred and fifty bucks if I wanted an accurate scale. But even the doctor’s office nowadays has given up the beauty of metal weights for digitized numbers. You even have to plug the thing in.

I found photos of a neon pink scale on google images. And I found lots of photos of naked pregnant women and let me tell you, that is a wild ride.

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After what I’ve been through today? OY!

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one cheers me up pretty good.

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(This Is Not My Fridge)

(this fridge costs 2700 smackaroos)

Something smells funny in my new fridge.

All of these not-made-to-last appliances are overpriced. Every one of them. Already, the handle to the freezer door won’t stay on and the freezer-light mechanism does not always properly activate.

But that smell. I have not yet put a box of baking soda in the fridge. Maybe that will help.

My friend back in Kent, Ohio said they had a bad smell in the house.

She was playing the Ouija (©) and it said something about kitchen sink or sponge and kitchen cabinet or sponge under sink (I’ve never played, so I don’t know how much it can spell out). Or maybe she asked a psychic what the smell was and the psychic told her remove the sponge that is under the kitchen sink.

Anyway, she removed a sponge (which she says was new and odorless) and the smell left the house.

Maybe my refrigerator is cursed or haunted. I had a weird haunted goat-walking-man dream last night. Maybe that is why my fridge smells.

This goat-man is scary, but also a bit debonair. My goat man was very evil and was trying to walk upright and not doing a very good job of it. He was wearing blue jeans. He really couldn’t pull off the human walk. He didn’t fool me, but the little goat he was abusing who followed obsequiously behind was under his evil power.

Why does fridge have a d but refrigerator doesn’t? Learning to spell in English is so trying!

I think I better get my facts straight on that smelly house story. It was told to me only once and at least 20 years ago. I’ve undoubtedly embellished.

If I had a pink 1950s fridge, I don’t think I’d have this problem. Then again, remember those ice cube trays that were such a pain-in-the-ass (these lasted up into the ’60s, maybe early ’70s even)? What a mess, all the ice shattered all over the counter and it tasted like metal. No wonder women wanted to stick their heads into their pink ovens with the gas on.

Still, one has nostalgia for these kinds of things.

It never occurred to me that Ouija is OUI and JA: YES YES. Not only that, but it seems to imply that the French and the Germans are very agreeable.

I thought the Ouija is always answering yes and no. A OUINON board would probably be too close to the French for onion (l’oignon). Or NEINJA would be too much like Ninja.

If anyone out there has any suggestions about my fridge smell, please leave a comment. I need all the help I can get. I don’t even have a job.

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