Category Archives: Stories

It’s Movie Time

Photo Credit:  Wikimedia Commons

One of my close friends, Pat, is an Oscars fan. As soon as the list of nominees comes out every year, she works hard to make sure she has seen all the nominees (in the best picture category – not every category) before the Oscars.  I’ve been getting updates since the list came out of what she’s seen.  She has a pretty good track record; most years she manages to see them all by the time of the ceremony.

I’m the opposite, since I rarely go to the movies. In fact, this year, I have only seen one nominee – Klaus, an animated Christmas film which I didn’t have to leave the house to see as it was a Netflix release (it was very good).  Reviews are not usually worth my notice; if I want to see something, I see it, not matter what the reviewers say.  I can’t ever recall a time when I left a movie screening saying “gosh, I should have listened to the reviews.”

Every now and then I do look, including the Doctor Doolittle reviews this month.  There is always a certain amount of trepidation on my part when Hollywood decides to tackle a beloved book, especially a beloved children’s book.  I’ve seen the trailers and I know that the movie bears very little resemblance to the book.  While I can’t stomach this in, say, Wrinkle in Time (one of my favorite books of all time), it may not be a deal breaker for Doctor Doolittle or even Little Women.  Both have been made into movies multiples times so I feel like the water is already completely muddied.  The newest Doolittle venture has not gotten great reviews but I don’t think that will stop me.  Dare I admit that Robert Downey Jr. is the main reason I will probably go see this movie this weekend?

Do you have an actor/actress who will entice you to see a film? Or one who will keep you out of the movie theatre?

Space Discovery

Photo credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech

For all space geeks, the news this week is that a high school student, on his third day of interning at NASA, discovered a planet. For all Star Wars geeks, it turns out that it’s not just your ordinary planet, but a very rare circumbinary planet with two suns, like Tatooine, the planet where Luke Skywalker grew up.

He made the discovered this past July at the very beginning of his internship; he and other astronomers have spent the last six months confirming the find. The planet is now called TOI 1338b and looks to be almost 7 times bigger than Earth.

Apparently not only are circumbinary planets rare, they are even rarer to find since the way that most planets are confirmed don’t work due to timing of the planet passing in front of its stars.   So this is quite an auspicious start for the high-schooler who has said that he does intend to continue his studies in astronomy and astrophysics.

If you could be known as the discoverer of something, what would it be?

Abundance of Socks

When I was getting dressed yesterday, I pulled open my sock drawer (although it’s a huge bin actually) and found a new pair of socks laying on top of the others.

Now I know for a fact that these socks belonged to YA: when she was laid up with her broken foot, I did all her laundry, including sock sorting. I really liked them and I may even have said that if she ever gets tired of them, I would take them.

I have way too many socks. Socks are like cookie cutters and flip flops in my view… as long as you don’t have a anything exactly the same, why not add to your collection.  I have enough socks that I have them sorted out, with the holiday red/green socks in a separate section.  This is why my sock drawer is the same size as my t-shirt drawer.

This overabundance of socks is something I recognize, in fact I told YA NOT to get me socks for Solstice this year. I really just don’t need more.

So why am I happily wearing the adopted socks today? They are comfy and warm and I love the pattern.  Do I need any other reason?

What do you have too many of?

Weddings and Rice

As I was walking out of the co-op the other day, I looked down to see a large splotch of rice in the parking lot. The kind of splotch that can only be achieved by having your bag of rice break open while you’re carrying it to the car (you can guess why I know this).  My first thought was that the local birds would be happy but then I remembered that supposedly uncooked rice is bad for birds, which is why they throw birdseed now at weddings.

Then when I got home, I discovered that YA had received TWO “save-the-date” cards.

Wedding reminder #3 was when I was watching Cake Boss that night and one of the bakers (sorry I don’t watch this enough to know any of their names) was celebrating a milestone anniversary with a big party and a wedding cake. When the couple began to cut the cake and feed each other, I cringed, hoping they wouldn’t smash the cake into each other’s faces.  I detest that.

So all these wedding reminders in one day made me think about weddings how the traditions have changed over the years. My first wedding, which was completely orchestrated by my mother, was fairly traditional.  Church, gown, reception, cake (unsmashed), lots of people I didn’t know.  My second wedding was the exact opposite, we met the judge at  Good Earth restaurant and were married at the table with our server, Philip and the server from the next section, Sarah, as our witnesses.  Honeymoon at Day tons that afternoon.  I am much more fond of my Good Earth wedding memories than my traditional ones so it makes me wonder why so many brides and bridegrooms adhere so stickily to all the “musts” when getting married.  Why not do something different, stretch their boundaries, find things that are meaningful instead of just traditional. Those of you with psychology degrees, any ideas?

If you were planning your wedding today, how would you like it to go? (Like all good fantasies, money is no object.)

Tissue Time

I went over to Tom and Lori’s last night to help them with some last-minute packing. When I got there, Lori handed me a small bag with my name on it.  “We got this for you at the State Fair.”  What you need to know is that Lori and Tom love the State Fair as much as I do.  We usually meet up once or twice a year, although we don’t spend long periods of time together, as we like different things.  They love to shop in the Grandstand and Lori loves to sit through lots of radio shows.  Oh and she loves Math on a Stick.

When I started to open the little bag, I said “this isn’t going to make me cry, is it”? They both said no but as you can guess, it did make me cry.  A little rock with the Chinese character for friends.  It’s exactly the kind of item that I would never acquire for myself but will now keep forever.

So we cried a little last night and I’ll go home mid-day today to wave goodbye as they depart the neighborhood – so probably some more tears at that point too. Remind me to take tissues.

What can make you tear up?

Hole in My Heart

Although I think of myself as flexible and resilient most of the time, there are some changes that I just don’t like. My friends and loved ones moving away is right up there in the “I hate this” stratosphere.

Lori and Tom live 2 doors up from me. I knew right away when I moved onto the block 29 years ago that they would be good friends.  They championed me when I was divorcing wasband #2, supported me during the adoption process.  Lori is a rubber stamping buddy of mine, we share reading as a passion and I’ve been drawn into one of her favorite charities, Mission Haiti.  Tom more often than not does my snowblowing and now that they are moving to an apartment in Chicago, he is even giving me the snowblower.  YA had a ton of hand-me-downs from their 2 daughters (which really helped my finances back then) and we did a lot of activities together when the kids were all younger, including Supper with Santa, trick-or-treating and many backyard neighborhood get-togethers.  They are two of the kindest, most generous people I know.

This move to Chicago has been coming for a while. They actually rented the apartment a year ago but a health crisis kept them here until now.  Their oldest is in Cincinnati with the only grandchild, Lori’s work has offices in Chicago and Tom does programming work from home, so the Windy City seemed like a good next step for them.

But it doesn’t make me happy, even if it’s good for them. I know how to use e-mail and texting and even skype, but it isn’t the same as just running a couple of houses up.  So on Friday I have a chunk of time blocked on my calendar that says “cry on the sidewalk” as I fully intend to go home to wave them off as they depart Minneapolis.

Who would you have move closer (or back)?

No Longer Rapunzel

I am not a fashionista. Not a clothes horse.  Not stylish, chic, swanky, hip or trendy.  If I really thought I could get away with it I would probably don sweatpants and a t-shirt every day (shorts and t-shirt in summer).  Mind you, I can dress up if the occasion calls for it, but I have arranged my life over the years so that the occasion doesn’t come knocking too often.

This is a problem for YA. She is stylish, chic, swanky, hip and trendy and she cares a great deal about her clothing and her make-up.  She once changed an outfit after looking in the full length mirror (in my room) because her black top and black pants didn’t “match”.  I’m not making this up.  This means that my schlumpy outfits offend her and she has more than once refused to leave the house with me until I change.  She often has opinions about what I should wear to a function she is attending with me; she’s still young enough that she thinks other people really give a hoot and that they will somehow think less of HER if I am not dressed to the nines.

So in a weak moment on New Year’s Eve, I let her cut my hair. I hadn’t had a trim in well over a year and she had commented on this fact more than once in the last couple of weeks. I had taken a long look in the mirror earlier that day and decided that it was getting a little scraggly but I’m still not sure why I didn’t just trot myself off to Cost Cutters or Great Clips.  Instead, she armed herself with two pairs of scissors, a comb and a brush and asked how much I wanted trimmed off.  I told her a couple of inches and I’m sure that the new math has something to do with how much she trimmed.  My “couple of inches” translated into about five inches in her world!

If I had known she would chop off that much I might not have let her do it, but I guess I trusted her a little more than I should have when discussing what a “couple of inches” means. Luckily, it’s just hair and it will grow out; I’m not seriously unhappy but it is the shortest I’ve had my hair in years.

Has your trust ever been misplaced? Or stretched to its limit?