Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Now that we are well versed on the rules and he has accepted the fact that females get a 10-foot “scooch-up” advantage, we had nothing to argue about, not even whose shoe was closer to the stake. Very civil. I won Wednesday’s match, 22-20, and he won yesterday’s match by the same score. "Congratulations." "Good job." We have decided to keep a running scorecard throughout the rest of the extremely amateur autumn horseshoe season and we’ll declare a champion whenever snow arrives or our backs are thrown out of whack, whichever comes first.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
It’s sad to see the outdoor growing season come to an end. I’m definitely not ready to say goodbye to the annuals that are still hanging on outside, but soon we shall be digging them up and dumping them into the compost pile. “So long, ol’ chums. It was nice to have you around for a while.” :(
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
I’ve been a RHPS fan ever since hyper-innocent Brad and Janet entered Transylvania, about 35 years ago, and have been a card-carrying member of The Official Rocky Horror Fan Club for almost as long. I’ve seen it at movie theatres, on TV (not as much fun), and live (the absolute best!) I don’t pretend to know the entire dialogue like some crazed Rocky Horror experts, nor do I understand half of what's going on, but I can do a pretty mean “Time Warp.”
If I were to perform in a production of RHPS, I would want to be one of Dr. Frank-n-Furter’s lady friends--Magenta the maid or Columbia the groupie. There is something soooooo stylish about tap dancing in high heels and anklets. But since it’s unlikely that try-outs will be coming to Eureka any time soon, I’ll probably just join the Gleeks tomorrow night and shake up the living room for an hour---jumping to my left, stepping to my right, hands on my hips, doing that Time Warp again. Big Bore has been warned about the picture. I’m going to put on one rocking horrible show.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
When we were in Colorado, we came upon this rock formation that I immediately named "Old Grumpy-puss." See that large-chinned old man on the right, with his big frown, long nose, beady eye, and little skull cap? Of course, you do. And to his left is a benevolent man, hunch-shouldered, riding a camel. Right?
I tend to see creations in rocks, clouds, on my bedroom ceiling, anywhere my mind lets me wander. I'm not an artistic person--just imaginative, I guess. So, if you hear me carrying on a conversation with the cracks in the sidewalk, don't become alarmed.
Friday, October 22, 2010
“I read that book when I was a sophomore in high school. It’s short.”
“What’s it about?” someone asked.
“Oh, it tells about the lives of some people who fall to their deaths from the bridge when it breaks. If I read it when I was 15, it can’t be too difficult. Plus, it’s short.” (Did I say that before?)
Well, short and simple sounded fine with the others, so upon my recommendation The Bridge of San Luis Rey was chosen for discussion next month. Library Lady would order up a bunch o’ the books and we’d be set.
So, after a 46-year break, I once again read The Bridge of San Luis Rey this week, and I think I’m going to be in big trouble. Yes, the book is short, 176 pages, but I found myself reading passages a second and third time trying to understand what in the world was going on. Did I really read this when I was 15? I must have cheated with Cliffsnotes. Here’s a sample from page 110:
“Limeans were given to interpolating trivial songs into the most exquisite comedies and some lachrymose effects into the austerest music, but at least they never submitted to the boredom of misplaced veneration.”
What the hell does THAT mean? Practically every other paragraph is like that, plus some of the same characters have multiple names and keeping track of them isn’t easy since they are in Spanish, y mi no habla espanol muy bien. Now, I’m afraid the other FOL members are NEVER going to let me pick out a discussion book EVER again. I might even be blackballed from the group for being a lousy picker-outer. And, if it comes to that, I may just have to---throw myself off a bridge in despair from misplacing my veneration. Talk about a lachrymose effect!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
“Good grief, no!” I laughed. “I wasn’t cute enough or popular enough or petite enough.” Being a cerebral, glasses-wearing type with size 10 feet didn’t quite fit the bill in the world of queenly qualifications back in the 1960s.
But I take all that back. There WAS one queen contest we had that broke all the usual rules--Homecoming Queen. Any senior girl could try out; being pretty and popular didn’t really figure in the equation because the judges were from out of town. There was just one hitch--the contestants had to present a talent number. Oh, woe is me.
When the invitation letters from the sponsoring civic group were passed around to all the girls in my senior class in September, 1966, I thought, “Here’s my one and only chance to be a queen.” The problem was, I had no talent to speak of. Oh, I could sing second soprano okay in a girls trio, but going solo was out of the question. My stage-frightened voice would shake and crack like an earthquake. Not a little one, but one that was maybe an 8.8 on the Richter scale. Like the highest number ever recorded in geological history. Forget singing.
At one time in high school, I had played a hand-me-down flute in the band and even entered a solo at Spring Music Festival, but the instrument had crashed and burned my junior year and the funds to replace it were nil, so that was out. And although I’d once taken piano lessons in my pre-pubescent youth, I quit after I was told to start playing with both hands.
I could give a dramatic reading, like half the girls would do, but that meant having to work with our speech teacher, who totally disliked me for dropping out of debate my junior year after I fainted when delivering a rebuttal speech during a tournament because I had anorexia nervosa, although at the time the condition was just known as, “Why the hell aren’t you eating anything?” (My goodness, Flaming Bore, what long sentences you have today!) I figured she’d sabotage me by giving me something ridiculous to memorize, like, War and Peace.
I tried to brainstorm what other so-called talents I might have, and about all I came up with were spelling and ping-pong. Original, but not quite feasible for a solo performance, so, surprise, surprise,---I didn’t try out for Homecoming Queen. Let’s face it. I just wasn’t queen material. On the plus side, though, the girl who ended up winning had never before experienced the joys of high school royalty, so it was sort of a moral victory for all of us average gals. Her talent was twirling the baton dressed as an Indian princess, accompanied by some Indian-sounding song. This, of course, was long before the term “politically correct” came into fashion, so it was okay for a white girl to pretend to be an Indian. At least no one filed any formal protest.
So, that’s my queen story. No, Big Bore, sorry to disappoint you but I was never the queen of anything in high school. Nor have I ever been a queen of anything in the 40+ years since. Not every gal is meant to be a queen. But I did win a spelling bee and a ping pong tournament in junior high, and that should count for something. Not much, but something.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
“Did I hear you say you’d give me a free pear?” I smiled at the little girl, still in her night clothes, and two smaller boys. “I love pears, and I have a friend who loves them even more!” A nice grandpa-type stood nearby.
Well, they were so excited that someone had actually stopped, that they’d gladly give me lots more pears---they had a bag full of them. I told them we needed to make a deal. I had a five dollar bill I’d exchange for the pears. Oh, were they excited. Grandpa told them to pick some more, and by the time I left I had a bag that was almost too heavy for me to carry. I figured I could give a bunch to my Pittsburg relatives and still have plenty to take home to BB.
So, when I got to my niece’s house, ready to unload on her, was I ever surprised to hear her say, “Do you want some pears? We have about two hundred pounds of them out back.” Seems her in-laws have a farm north of town that also has a prolific pear tree.
I laughed, told her my pear story, and kindly declined to add anything more to my fruit bag. But she still had something for me: jars of pear jam, pear honey, pear apple butter, pear/peach salsa, etc. She is a resourceful kind of gal.
So, I brought home lots of good eats and treats from my little day trip. I suspect the next time we drive by a pear tree, BB is going to keep his big mouth shut because we now have enough pears and peary products to last a very loooooooong time.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
“Who doesn’t?” I responded. “Everybody remembers it.”
Now, I’d loved my kindly teachers from 1st through 4th grades, but Mrs. C. was an old sourpuss who nobody liked. She had this permanent facial expression that looked like she was smelling something rancid--like her teaching ability. Maybe it was her own personality that was stinking up the place. I don’t know.
Mrs. C. had zero tolerance of just about everybody, especially Jerry, a big lug of a kid who’d been held back a year in a country school before transferring to Mound. Their showdown occurred one day when he had a foot resting on the edge of the metal cubbyhole area below our desk seats. Sounds like nothing major, but to Mrs. C. not having both feet on the floor was a cardinal sin, I guess, so, in her pissy way, she told him to remove his foot from the desk edge.
And Jerry, gulp, refused. He didn’t say anything back to her, but the foot remained in its resting place. More than once, she repeated her instruction, and each time the foot remained motionless, as did the glare on his face. Part of me was thinking, “Good for you, Jerry.” But the other part thought, “Just put your foot down,” afraid of what she might do to him.
The disagreement at a stand-off, Mrs. C. got a yardstick and began whacking on Jerry’ s stubborn foot--so hard that pieces of it broke and flew across the room. The yardstick became three rulers.
Now, I was really getting scared, but Jerry obviously didn’t share my fear because the foot still didn’t budge. And she got the same response from him when she told him he was going to the principal’s office. Nothing. So, she summoned the principal to come to the classroom.
What happened next was even scarier. The entire class, except Jerry, of course, was escorted into an empty adjacent room. We sat on the floor, quiet, waiting to hear the execution that was sure to happen next door. I don’t know what Jerry got whacked with, probably a board, but it sounded like it hurt and I wanted nothing of it. Next thing we knew, the door flung open and there was Mrs. C., looking even angrier than ever before, pushing Jerry into the room by the back of his neck. His reddened face fought back tears as he stumbled into the room. Point made.
Looking back, I wish I’d stood up for Jerry or tried to calm down Mrs. C.--done something. It was mean, pure and simple, in my 11-year-old eyes, but there were no child abuse laws to protect kids back then. Sure, Jerry should just have removed his foot to avoid the scrape in the first place, but what was the big deal? She could have overlooked it. Weren’t there more important battles to conquer?
Sadly, I remember little else about 5th grade except this incident. The only lesson Mrs. C. taught me was to watch out for teachers with crappy attitudes and yardsticks. I shrank away in the back of the room and avoided making eye contact with her as much as possible. If I could just make it through May, 1960, then I could put my feet anywhere I damn well wanted. It was a long year.
Monday, October 18, 2010
“Who’s singing that?” asked BB.
Since then, whenever I don’t know the name of a singer on the radio, I always say, with serious certainty, “That’s Floyd Petty!” I think I’m going to become F.P.s fan club president and create an entire music history for him, Gold Records and all. And since I’m such a petty person, Big Bore is not going to live this one down for a LONG time.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Copeland Falls Trail in the Wild Basin area has the appearance of being one of those “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh, My”-type of places. Before entering tall, thick pines, hikers are warned to be on the lookout for mountain lions and bears--but all we experienced were, “Chipmunks and Squirrels, and Horse Droppings, Thank God.”
At the end of the trail, a series of falls cascade onto the forest floor. Big Bore wasn’t too keen on getting close to the water, but I, of course, had to test out my balance beam skills. When I later looked at this picture below, I thought, “What the hell was I thinking?” And, “Why didn’t BB stop me?” Oh, that’s right, he didn’t want to get close to the water.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Ghosts, I say? Yep, ghosts, but not the evil apparitions found in SK’s book. No twin sisters dripping out of elevators, and no maniacal hotel caretaker wielding an ax (or croquet mallet, if you’re more familiar with the book than the movie). No animal-shaped hedges in the front yard coming to life. Darn it. I love hedge animals.
The ghosts at The Stanley slam doors, run around the 4th floor hallways, and have cool auras floating up stairways. Word has it, however, that actor Jim Carrey once checked out of Room 217 in the middle of the night because he became so frightened. Maybe the toilet wouldn’t flush. I don’t know. While our tour group was on the second floor, a young couple suddenly emerged out of 217 with their suitcases and a few people in our little entourage about wet their pants, then laughed all over themselves.
As much as “I’m a Believer” (Monkees, 1966) of ghosts, I was really more interested in the opulent design of The Stanley and the old photos and paintings displayed. The winding staircases, expensive light fixtures, and beautiful woodwork were impressive. I thought about how lavish Mr. Stanley’s parties must have been in the grand hotel. Men shooting pool in the billiard parlor, dressed in suits and ties; women politely sashaying about in their long dresses.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Now, Big Bore and I were too tired at the end of each day to hang out in the park to listen to the bugle “concert,” nor did we really care to observe the results, but during one early morning drive to Hidden Valley, off the beaten RMNP path, we came upon the above party goers recovering from their big night. The exhausted bull, surrounded by six more-alert females (one not seen in the pic), rested close to the parking lot, maybe 10-15 yards, not about to move.
“He must be quite the charmer,” I said.
“Looks to me like he needs a cigarette,” BB added.
We saw other wildlife on our trip, including the blue jay and gray jay below, plus a goofy brown bear T-shirt from an Estes Park store window that BB thought was photo-worthy, but nothing was quite as amorous as that elk harem happily chilling out in plain sight at Hidden Valley.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Upon arriving at the national park, our first stop was to test out our lungs in the thin air by taking a short walk to Alluvial Fan Falls. We lowlanders immediately knew that we were in trouble. How were we going to be able to complete a 3.4 "medium difficulty" hike in two days if taking baby steps for a few hundred yards was making us huff and puff like the old folks that we are?
Next day, we walked around Bear Lake, higher altitude but flat terrain, so no sweat.
Time to try a half miler on up to Nymph Lake. I'm sure we were the slowest ones on the trail, but we still managed to haul our butts there without having to summon 9-1-1.
Plus, on the way down, I still had the strength to stop this boulder from flattening Big Bore--using just one hand! Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. But would we be ready the next day to conquer a trail that was longer and steeper?
Tomorrow's Blog: The quest to Gem Lake!