Category Archives: Baby You Can Drive My Car

Sometimes, it’s just too easy

Really, I know that it’s a long way till November.

And I know that we are all realizing that we laughed at Donald Dfrumpf to our peril.

And I also know that with this video, I am acknowledging that he is a terrible threat to the GOP, the United States, and the world.

But I’m not laughing at Donald Dfrumpf.  I’m laughing at Chris Christie.

http://crooksandliars.com/cltv/2016/03/curb-your-enthusiam-chris-christie

//embed.crooksandliars.com/embed/9oNpcXVv

OK.  So it wasn’t really that easy since I can’t actually embed the video (even though the link says “EMBED”.

It’s the first clear sign of how difficult life will be with a Drumpf presidency.

 

 

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Oscar and Me. And Oscar.

As a young woman, I dreamed of being an actress.  So today/tonight, it is only fitting that I tell you this story.

You know how they say that life is what happens when you’re making other plans.  It’s true.  I’m living proof.

I had everything it takes to be a fine, award winning actress.  I was talented, pretty, had good comedic timing, and a voice that could be heard in the cheap seats.

What I didn’t have was guts.  Good guts.  My GI tract erupted in high school leaving my future in the hands of jobs that offered health insurance instead of fame and glory.  Damn.

Oh, and I lacked the guts to go for it anyway.  Once I made a wrong exit and  my acting career died in a broom closet, that is.

But even after leaving my dream in tatters with the mops and brooms, I continued to pipe-dream.  That’s different than the real thing, and you don’t have to remember lines, or stage directions or what to do with props.  It’s actually much easier.  You get to keep your privacy, too, which is nice.

Most of my friends are aware of this fantasy of mine, and of my need to, from time to time, stand on a table (instead of a stage) and tell a story.  It often involves alcoholic beverages.  The table standing, not necessarily the story.

Right now I’m going to tell you about the night I received my Oscars.  [Feel free to stop here if you’ve heard this one.]

It was an incredibly special night for me.  An honor really.  Well, actually, two honors.  Two Oscars.  Two Awards.  But I only got to make one speech.

It was 1983, and some really fun people worked in my office that summer, one of whom, Jon, was from the area.  Carol, Mike, Jon and I all went to Jon’s house one night.  You see, 1983 was still in the Bronze Age, and Jon’s parents were on the cutting age of technology, because they had a VCR.  And Risky Business had just come out on video.

In the middle of the movie, we took a beer/bathroom break.  And guess what I spotted, casually stuck on the bookshelf in the TV room of Rob’s house.

Oscar 

And Oscar

It turned out that Jon’s father was a filmmaker.  Documentary films.  My pals presented me with two Oscars for Documentary Filmmaking.  Sadly, not one of us had a camera.  Probably just as well, because not many stars accept wearing blue jeans.

Receiving Oscar, and his twin, Oscar, was a special honor to me, since I had neither made, nor been in any documentary films, nor even fetched donuts and coffee for the real filmmakers.  Regardless,  I got to hold Oscar and Oscar, and I got to make a speech accepting my Academy Awards.  So I am in an unusual club of people who have never actually acted or contributed in any way, shape or form to a movie, who has been presented an Academy Award.

Yes, I’m that good.

[Yeah, it’s a repeat.  But one can never have too many Academy Award stories.  Amirite?]

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The Evoluion of a WorryWart

You probably wouldn’t believe it, but I used to worry.  A lot.

It’s true.

My  husband traveled frequently, and from the time he left the house until he was back again, I was positive that his plane would crash, his train derail, or he would be hit by a mode of transportation I couldn’t even name in a foreign country I might or might not be able to locate on a map.

News junkie that I am, I didn’t listen or read or google while he was away.  Nope.  I was not going to hear the inevitable on CNN.

And then, seemingly out of the blue, my sister Judy died.  I hadn’t been worried about her at all.  Not a bit (although I should have — she had a heart condition for goodness sake!)

A lightbulb went off in my head:  The person I worried about was fine, the one I wasn’t worrying about, well, wasn’t.

I decided that worrying didn’t help.  Not one little bit.

So I stopped. I took Alfred E Newman’s motto for my own.

Alfred E Newman

Strangely, Alfred and I look alike.  My hair is longer and curlier, though.  Google image.  Duh!

Let me tell you, being a non-worry-er is great.

You have room in your life for, ummmm, a life.  You get to go about your business and assume that bad news will find you if it needs to.  You get to sleep when your husband is traveling.  Or when your adolescent-teen-young adult son is out.  Or when the weather is bad and any one of the 3,427 people you know might just have gotten into their car.  And started moving … and might just …

Sadly, though, I have gone full circle.  I am not happy to say that I am once again a Worrywart.  I have evolved.  Or devolved.  Or regressed.  Or been bitch-slapped out of M.A.D. Magazine.

You see, my son Jacob had a car accident.

Most importantly, he was unhurt.  He should, however, do a Subaru ad, because his Sub saved his life.  It was crunched, front and back.  Totaled. But Jacob only got a scratch when he reached in through the back window to retrieve stuff.

So now I worry.  But I won’t for long, thank God.  Or thank J.K. Rowling and Potterheads.

Because I just learned that somebody has finally invented a Weasley clock.  You know, that special clock at the Burrow in the Harry Potter books.  The clock that Molly Weasley looks at to find out how her family members are doin’.

The clock that lets her know whether a family member is in mortal peril.

Weasley clock 1

 

Yup.  Someone has invented a real-life Weasley clock that can let parents know when family members are at  “Home,” at “Work,”  “On the Way,” or in “Mortal Peril.”

After the inventor’s family, I’d like to be first in line to get one of these clocks.  Because I know that if I get one of these I will be able to sleep again when Jacob is out.  And that is worth whatever I have to pay  to get one of these.  I’ll even pay for shipping.

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Well done, Your Majesty. Well done.

This piece isn’t that old, but it makes me smile.  So I’m reposting it on the day when Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-serving monarch in British history.  Well done, your Majesty.  Well done.

One Badass Broad

In 1973, I went on a field trip with my high school acting group.  To London.  To a week of plays in London’s West End.

Because I was far too cool to be a tourist, I did almost none of the typical tourist things while I was there.  (I was an idiot.  There is a reason folks want to visit the Tower of London, etc.).  There was one exception, though.  I went to Madame Tussaud’s — the famous Wax Museum.  While there, I was still too cool to be impressed by how realistic the wax figures were.  Well, until something happened to really make me smile.

My friends and I had just about finished touring the museum, when we entered the exhibit for The Royals.  From behind me I heard the sweetest voice.

“Mummy!  That’s Our Queen!

A little English boy, no more than four had entered the exhibit.  He wore navy blue shorts and suspenders, and his cheeks were as rosy as a young English boy’s should be.  He lit up the room with his pride.   In his Queen.

“Yes, Darling,” replied his Mum.  “That’s our Queen.”

From Madame Tussaud's Website

From Madame Tussaud’s Website

At that time, Richard Nixon was President of the U.S.  I was quite sure that there was no little boy in my country who would speak with similar pride about Nixon.

The image of that boy comes to mind every time I see Queen Elizabeth.  And I always smile.

Today I read something about the Queen, though, that makes me smile even wider.

The Huffington Post reported a delightful anecdote about a visit from the newly-late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to the Queen’s Scottish castle, Balmoral.  The story was recounted by Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, who was the British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.  He’d been told the story by both the Queen and the King, and relayed it.

“After lunch, the Queen had asked her royal guest whether he would like a tour of the estate,” wrote Cowper-Coles, who is said to have heard the tale from both Elizabeth and Abdullah themselves. “Prompted by his foreign minister the urbane Prince Saud, an initially hesitant Abdullah had agreed. The royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, his interpreter in the seat behind.”

Queen Elizabeth and King Abdullah. Photo Credit, Associated Press (but I got it from the Huff Post)

Queen Elizabeth and King Abdullah. Photo Credit, Associated Press (but I got it from the Huff Post)

Little did Abdullah know, however, that his driver for the day would be none other than Elizabeth herself.

“To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off,” Cowper-Coles wrote. “Women are not — yet — allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen.”

Not to mention a queen who can drive like the wind. According to Cowper-Coles, Elizabeth didn’t just drive the SUV, but rapidly whizzed along the estate’s roads as she chatted, prompting Abdullah to become increasingly anxious.

“Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead,” the diplomat said.

Queen Elizabeth II is one badass broad.  On behalf of drivers of my gender, as well as men far more enlightened than King Abdullah, I bow to you.  I’d curtsey but I’m not that kind of girl.

***

Quick thank you to Peg for correcting my typo!  Next time, lady, please read my post before everyone else does.

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Fathers and Daughters

The father-daughter relationship is fraught with all the possibilities a therapist could wish for.  Even in my family.

Well, except for my relationship with my father.

You go ask Dad …” was one of the enduring sounds of my childhood.I only asked “why me” once:

It was a hot summer day when I was about four.  I was happily cooling off in the puddles on the sidewalk.  I didn’t even really want to go to the beach.  My brothers and sister did, though.

“Go ask Dad if he’ll take us to the beach,” Judy commanded.

That summer, Dad, already working two jobs to support his wife and five kids was studying to take his insurance licensing test.

“Why me?” I whined.  “I always have to ask Dad.”

“‘Cause when you ask him, he always says yes” Bob responded.  Judy and Fred agreed.

So I went in and asked him.

Sure enough, he packed up his books, loaded the four of us up into the car, and headed off to Beardsley Park, where there was a delightful stream that formed the most wonderful pools of different depths, where we would each be happy and cool.   I can still see Dad sitting on a rock ledge in the shade, his pants legs rolled up, his feet in the water and a large black binder on his lap.

I never again asked “Why me” when it came to getting Dad to do anything. Because I realized that my brothers and sisters were right.  Dad always said yes to me.

Somehow, the fact that I was the clear favorite in Dad’s eyes was rarely held against me by my brothers and sisters who all had far more complicated relationships with Dad.  It was pretty much accepted by everybody.  That’s just how it was.

Dad and Me in Geneva, June 1998.  You have to guess which is me.

Dad and Me in Geneva, June 1998. You have to guess which is me.

I don’t have any recordings of his voice, which was deep and scary (to everybody but me) when we were kids, and became deep and comforting when we were grown. But this song, while he never heard it, always makes me feel close to Dad, who died in 2000. Today would have been his 98th birthday.

I love you, Dad.

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