Category Archives: Baby You Can Drive My Car

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.


Filed under 'Merica, ; Don't Make Me Feel Perky Tonigh, Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, Baby You Can Drive My Car, Crazy family members, Family, Good Deed Doers, Harry Potter, History, Huh?, Humor, Oh shit, Peace, Poop, Shit, Shit happens

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.


Filed under Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, Awards, Baby You Can Drive My Car, Europe, History, Huh?, Humor, Oh shit, Rerun, Seriously funny, Travel Stories

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.


Filed under Baby You Can Drive My Car, Birthday, Crazy family members, Dad, Family, Father-Daughter Relationships, Geneva Stories, Holidays, Humor, Love, Missing Folks, Taking Care of Each Other, Why the hell do I tell you these stories?, Writing

The Flip Side

As I mentioned last night, after I rudely posted a link to one of my old blog posts in a comment on Art’s blog, Pouring My Art Out, I started chatting with my blogging buddy Trend, of about that piece.  I told him that in an exercise for my memoir writing class, I had to write the same story from two different points of view.  The link I posted was to the first version of that story.  Trend and I figured it would be fun for me to post both pieces.

Here is Part 1.

This is Part 2, The Flip Side


Filed under Acting, Adult Traumas, Baby You Can Drive My Car, Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Childhood Traumas, Conspicuous consumption, Crazy Folks Running, Dreams, Dying Dreams, Theatre, WTF?