Thursday, September 16, 2010
My neighbor, the conspiracy theory guy, approached me yesterday.
I was outside to bring in the recycle garbage cans when my neighbor rode up on his bike and beckoned to me. I walked over to him and he said, "Linda, I just wanted to warn you, there have been a lot of break-ins in the last couple of weeks."
I thanked him and started to walk off with my rolling cans. He stopped me again and said "If I were you, I'd have my guns where I could reach them." I laughed. Uh huh.
I pondered this advise for a moment and replied "I have organic security" while gesturing at the 80 and 90 pound beasts at my gate watching this little encounter intently, lest someone reach for their mistress. My neighbor foolishly did exactly that, reaching over to pat my shoulder. The dogs set off on a terrible frenzy of barking, lunging, and trying to jump the 7 foot iron gate.
Honestly, they were magnificent in their fury. Their teeth were bared, mouths frothing, fur stuck up all down their backs in their outrage.
What my conspiracy theory guy neighbor does not understand, and what any evil doer will tell you is that he'd rather face a home owner with a gun than a big dog any day of the week.
People hesitate. Dogs don't.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In fact, it could really be just me. Most of the "gorgeous Hollywood stars" have very big heads.
I don't mean their heads are swollen with pride. I mean they have large craniums. I saw Farrah Fawcett in person once in the early 1990's when she was filming a movie in San Francisco.
Her head was huge and her body was tiny. I also saw Clint Eastwood at his "Hog's Breath Inn" restaurant in Carmel. Mr. Eastwood's head was way big for his tall skinny body, (in fact he had a huge forehead that never showed up in "Dirty Harry"). His big head did not keep my earrings from flying off when I first saw him and landing on the table next to ours, however.)
My daughter's earrings flew off when she encountered Roger Moore filming in Marin County. And my mother's earrings flew off when she rode an elevator with Clark Gable at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in LA in the early 1940's. Obviously, earrings flying off ears runs in the family. Or maybe everyone who wears earrings sees something sort of amazing and their earrings fly off. I really don't know.
If you look at Megan Fox in this photo, notice that she has a normal sized head, but a tiny body. She has little toothpick legs along with her regular sized head.
I'm not picking on Megan in particular. She's beautiful. It's just that I can't help but wonder if big heads and tiny bodies photograph better than normal bodies and small heads. I have never seen a star who had a small head and a somewhat bigger body.
Another thing is that almost all of the Hollywood actors and actresses popular today have "Chicklet" teeth. They have bright white. very big, completely perfect teeth. They don't look like normal teeth at all, and they look too big for the people's mouths.
So if you have a kid with a big head and a little body and huge bright white teeth, get them in drama class and find them an agent. You'll probably get money out of it if you act as the kid's manager. Then you can pay for your other pinhead kids private school with all the money you make.
In the summer of 2001, I was being sent to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. At the time, I was attached to an Air National Guard Combat Communication squadron and was part of group that supported the “no-fly” zone aka Operation Southern Watch. The trip from home in Alameda, CA to Saudi involved a one night stay over in Baltimore.
Normally, if you have a flight out of Baltimore Washington International (BWI), you stay locally so as to not miss that all important military flight (missing your scheduled military flight will definitely cost you a stripe). Therefore, all military folks do the right thing and stay close to airport.
During my short stay, I wanted to make my way down to the Baltimore downtown area and have seafood for lunch. So, I tried to enlist other folks in my team go with me but they had rented a car and were heading to Washington DC. There was one lonely guy in the hotel lobby who didn’t have plans.
He was an active duty Air Force guy from Columbus Ohio named Jessie. He introduced himself as a Christian and told me that he was flying to Saudi Arabia for a short 3 month deployment. That’s cool, I’m Alex and I’m Pagan. Would you like to head into town and get lunch? He said that he would and asked how would we get there. I said that we would take the train. It’s cheap and shouldn’t take us too long. He agreed and we were on our way.
What I didn’t know is that the train from BWI to downtown Baltimore proper takes you through some of the hardest neighborhoods in Baltimore. And of course, a lot of the locals use the train to get to work.
Well, Jessie and I made our way to the train station and boarded the train that heads to downtown Baltimore. When we got aboard, we were the only two passengers. I’m talking to Jessie about home and family and he is doing the same. As we hit the first stop, 3 men get aboard. These dudes were hard looking but I can tell they were just working stiffs making their way to work. Jessie started to go quiet. His body language changed and started to look a bit worried. I continued to tell him about home and his responses were much shorter and volume much lower.
As we rode through a neighborhood called "Linthicum Heights", the train really started to fill up. Most (if not all) were African Americans and some looked pretty “hard”. We had guys in front of us, in back and our one side. No one spoke except me (and in a lower volume). The new passengers didn’t appear friendly. My new friend Jessie was getting extremely worried. He stopped talking. His face turned red and looked away as to not face any of the new passengers. I saw this as sign that things might turn sour. I did do a quick survey of the other passengers and they appeared to be talking to each about us. I wasn’t absolutely sure but it seemed that way.
Bottom line is, if we stayed on, death was likely. If we got off, we definitely would be dead because we were making our way through some tough neighborhoods.
So, I said to Jessie, “Do you know that Baltimore has one of the best NFL teams in the league? Shit these guys stomped on the New York Giants during the Super Bowl. They are simply awesome. And, they have an awesome stadium and an awesome fan base. People here love their Ravens”.
Jessie whispered an acknowledgment. I went on to say how awesome it was to watch the Raven defense get sacks and turnovers. Well I noticed that a few “ears” went up and expressions change. Then, one guy at front of the train says, “And did you see that one play where Duane Starks intercepted that ball and returned for a touchdown. Shit, we had Kerry Collins’ number”. And another guy said, “Shit, man that wasn’t the baddest play, it was the one where Jermaine Lewis returned the kickoff, that’s what got us started!!!”
Before too long the whole train was talking about the Ravens. Lots of laughs and memories of a kick-ass Super Bowl where the Ravens stuck it to the New York Giants and took XXXV championship.
As were making our way to our final destination, one of the passengers says, “Where you from?” I have a rule, if I need to look hard, I say Oakland!!! (with emphasis I might add). If I need to appear sophisticated, I say San Francisco. Well this was one of those moments. I said, “Oakland”. The guy says, “Oakland is my second favorite city and so are the Raiders. Where are you guys going anyhow?” I said were in search of that wonderful Baltimore seafood. Well we had 20 plus Baltimore visitor consultants all debating their favorite seafood restaurant (some of which they just heard of but never been to).
As we exited the train, hands were shaken, pats on the back and instructions on how to get to our destination and above all, places to avoid (else, you might end up dead, robbed or raped and not in order either).
We enjoyed our lunch and toasted our beers to the Baltimore Ravens.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I reached the stunning realization two days ago, that I am in fact not sweet at all. I am a control freak.
There! I've said it! It's like, "It's my way or the highway!" with me and always has been.
Toilet paper is supposed to be placed so it rolls forward, not backward. Why? Because I say it's wrong to do it the other way!
Parties are supposed to be planned and menus, flowers, and wines decided two days before the event at a minimum! Why? Because I say so.
The perfect "dinner party" includes no more than 8 people. Any more and it gets chaotic. Outdoor lunch with a bbq is fine for up to 10 people. Why ten? Because that is the correct number to have. Using paper plates, cups, or plastic utensils is wrong. Why? Because I say so that's why.
If I entertain, I pull out the linen cloths and napkins, the sterling flatware, and the good china and crystal. It's just how I roll. If I like you enough to invite you, I want it to be a perfect and aesthetic experience for you. I choose the music to play. Nothing is left to chance.
Everyone is not like me. When people are not like me and they do things "their way", I have trouble adjusting to it. My son in law wanted to have a birthday party for his wife at my house yesterday. I said fine, but because Alex is away, I told him that I would need his help. He said, "Don't worry, I'll take care of everything."
I was full of trepidation because my son in law and my daughter are people who do not plan. They like to say "we fly by the seat of our pants". I am a planner and an arranger, and as I mentioned, a control freak.
But this time I decided to just "let go". He and I spoke once and he told me there would be a total of about 16 people that he had invited for 1 PM on Sunday, September 12. I panicked and said to change it to 3 PM because I knew we would never have enough time to get things set up by noon or so. He agreed and told me he would be over by noon on Sunday to do whatever was needed.
The yard was sort of a mess with leaves, and tables needed to be hauled out and set, and grocery shopping done. I thought that my daughter had married a crazy man if he thought this would all come together in 3 hours. But I bit my tongue and said fine. (Relax. It's HIS party, not my party.)
He arrived with Cyrus, my 17 year old strapping grandson, and Arianna, my beautiful 14 year old grand daughter. They got brooms, swept the back yard, hosed down the bricks, pulled out and set up the tables and chairs, went to the grocery store and got everything done. They were late in showering and getting dressed (about 3:15) but most people weren't here until 3:30 anyway.
Wonder of wonders, it was a lovely party and everyone had a great time. And I can honestly say it was not "my way" at all.