Monday, July 21, 2008

It Was A Hot and Steamy Night


I never forgot, all those years living away from Louisville, about the summer Catholic Festivals. They are the absolute best and more fun than one would think. First of all, there is the cake booth. How can it get any better than winning a delicious confection made by a church lady covered in colored coconut. Yum yum. And what if it cost $10 to finally win? It goes for a good cause. And it's tax deducible...maybe, that is if you do creative tax reporting. Next there is the beer booth. Thank God Almighty, because it was 96 degrees during the day and not much relief at night. The beer went down easy.

And last of all, the gambling. This is not your Grandmothers gambling of yesteryear. No longer are there long lean tables of bingo cards and hard corn markers scattered about under the glow of dangling yellow lights. No, now it is "Beat the Dealer" (which I kind of still do not understand) and it is a form of craps played with over sized dice that somehow are fixed in favor of the house! I played with $10 and it was up and down for about 45 minutes and I left with one measly dollar still in my hot hand.

Or not so hot hand

Truly amazing was the wheel that had different colored horses, 1 through 10, that you could bet on up to $1.00 by choosing the winning number horse. If per chance your horse came in, the odds were paid by the number designated by the lip thingee. (can you tell I am not a gambler?) much like baseball cards we once attached to our bicycle wheels to get that sweet summer sound.

It was very hot and we sweated a lot. After dropping a lot of money, drinking several beers, and not winning a cake we dragged our sorry selves back to the car and headed to a pizza joint.

Because we were hungry.

Every week end there is a similar summer festival. But, lurking somewhere in the not too far away future, in the month of August is the grand daddy of them all The St. Joseph Orphan's Picnic.

I'm saving up my money right now, because you never know, $10 chance could win you a Mustang.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Things I hate about AOL

There was a really good reason I added the sitemeter counter on my AOL Journal. It works. Unlike the AOL counter. As I near five years in the AOL community I am proud it  includes a stint as the Editors Pick of the Week, a Guest Editor of the Week, a winner of a ViVi Award, a highlighted journal several times on various communities and my photographs appearing on the Journal Page numerous times when the Journal Page was interesting. Sadly, the hit counter barely has me cracking the 1000 mark.

That stupid counter has reset so many times, I have lost count. Unlike the Sitemeter, which is constant and delivers a realm of information. Such as, where the "visitors" are coming from and how they arrive. It is entertainment actually. You have no idea how many people type in "hippie gypsy" (my non AOL journal), bimbo-gypsies, TbarV, Hungry Bear, etc. etc. etc.

So, I take offensive that sitemeter has been eliminated as an Approved site from the AOL list.

I should not be works.

**** After thoughts........ I failed to establish the fact that sitemeter still works as a tracking device. It will not work as a hit counter not appear on my blog/journal in HTML code (i.e. a site meter visual). Though I see it appears on the journals of others in the, it is just me.

**** Even later. As I have checked my sitemeter tracking this blog is no longer being tracked as of around 10am this morning. I am perplexed. Why is it working for others and not for me?


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Place #3

A Movie House! Any Movie House!

I remember the first movie I attended in my small home town. (Didn't everyone have a small movie theater in their home towns back in the 50's and 60's?) Our movie house, called The Bacon was located on the street that entered the heart of downtown. At the time we lived on Broadway which was only a quick walk away. It must have been the week-end, and the movie was Tom Sawyer (or some adaptation of the movie). One particular part of the movie scared me to death! I was only five years old and mortified that my four and three year old brothers were unaffected by the horror of scary life on a raft! My father walked me home. The walk of shame. That quick walk, a mere two block became the longest walk of my short life.

The Bacon is an icon for all of us who grew up in Smalltown, KY. Saturday afternoon all of us kids, and I mean all of us, would flock to the theater and plunk down our 25 cents for the matinee, a double feature with a cartoon. A bag of popcorn and a small coke, add another 15 cents. Being the era of segregation, the black kids sat in the balcony, which I though was so unfair! I wanted to sit up there with a driving passion!

At times we had to go into into the Big City for our Saturday afternoon fixes. There were three movie houses in the downtown area of Lexington! (only one remains today). It was our great joy that Dad loved going to the movies with us. Talking him into driving us the 12 miles into Lexington and then enduring a movie was easy.

It was, I think (researching in IMDb) The Magic Sword, (1962). There is this one scene where the guy comes out of the cave and the sun hits his skin and his skin begins to turn into ulcers and sores and I leave the theater....again. There was no walking home this time, and I waited outside the theater.....with Dad, while my blood thirsty brothers, which may have included my three year old bro too(!), finished watching the atrocity on the screen. (which is really funny when I read the only review and understand how hokey it really was).

Can you tell I have never been a fan of the horror genre?

During the 1980's when Bridget was little, every Saturday afternoon we went to the Dollar Theater in J-town. They carried on the tradition of having family friendly films showing weekly. I love the memory of Bridget climbing into my lap and watching the films.

Can you believe there is aDollar Movie within a mile of our house right now? Such a lovely place to escape the heat, settle down in the well worn seats, the tiny thrill when the lights fade to dark and then....and then, a movie! Nothing compares to seeing a film on the big screen in the dark, with a bag of popcorn.

I find myself seeking the comfort of films to cure most everything, at least for a short time. Loneliness, sadness, frustration, boredom......

Good therapy for just one buck.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

As you may know, I have to get back into the working world. It is no longer possible for me to stay a Kept Woman. The jig is up! It is time. This morning I began in ernest picking up the telephone to campaign  an interview with my Old Company in a new position. A position that has been posted since March. Why? Not certain but it seems no one wants it. It's too hard. Shoot, I'll give it a shot, just give me an interview!

So, I'm on the phone calling everyone I know zooming in on someone and giving him a chance to contact me before I have to go to the Big Guns, my first boss who is now some sort of major player this side of the Mississippi.

Gosh, I hate having to go back to work, but that is life. While reading the Career Search section of the newspaper today I gobbled up the article about being thrown into the job market "at at certain age" and competing with all those young whipper snappers just graduated from college, all dewy eyed and full of vim and vigor. All your experience and wisdom does not add up to a hill of beans sometimes if you appear "out of date".

So, I went and had all my hair cut off!! What I have wanted to do for years. And I do mean years! I went to my friend, the Internet, and asked it (Mirror mirror on the wall....) "Louisville Best Of...." and sure enough I found last years list which included  hair salons. That is how I found him. He could fit me in at 230pm today. The place was on the hip Bardstown road and I was taken back when I entered and the place was empty. He made his entrance about five minutes later and I just loved him right away! He did not sing me Herman Hermits like my hairdresser in FW (the name that must be whispered) but he said something that convinced me I was in the right place. When I mentioned this fabulous hair dresser I had in the 1980's whose middle name is Magic I was pleased to hear that many of Mr. Magic's customers were now Mr. New Guy's customers. I closed my eyes and let him work.

When I openemy eyes, my hair was magnificent! Stunning! And I love it!

The visitation and funeral was totally overwhelming. I can not imagine the turn out if it had not been a Holiday Week-end.

Funny story. My SIL lives way out in the country in a gorgeous house, very secluded and vulnerable if anyone got ideas to "visit" while she was in town. So, her sister house sat that evening.

As SIL was preparing to leave she went back and pulled out a small 22 gun and tried to hand it to "Sissy". Sissy refused it and waved it away.

"Sis, you may need it. You never know." and she thrust it at her again and once again she shook her head no and pushed the gun away.

"I would feel so much better if you took it!" my SIL pleaded.

Sis reaches into her purse and pulls out a 38 and lays it  on the table, close at hand.

Sis was packing.



Friday, July 4, 2008

"Ones Past is what one is.

It is the only way by which people should be judged."   Oscar Wilde

My brother in law passed away several days ago. He was 57 years young. He was in the hospital for 70 days and those 70 days were a roller coaster ride. He told a friend who visited him during the first few days, before modern medicine took hold of him and ....well, when he was still coherent that he was dying. I felt very strongly at the beginning that he would survive, get better and resume his life.

But, it did not work out according to plan. He was too ill, past saving and if he has survived, I am certain would have been a semi-invalid at best. He is my husbands brother. We visited him the day before Fathers Day and for the first time in nearly six weeks he was not in a coma like state and actually communicated with us despite his trac with facial expressions and a raspy hoarse whisper. Except for closing his eyes to rest, he never took his eyes off my husband. They were to move him to a room on another floor (he had been in the ICU units for most the duration except for a brief stay at a rehabilitation hospital, but he suffered another set back and returned to the ICU unit) and that seemed encouraging.

Then he took a turn for the worst and because of a living will at 730 Monday night they took him off life support.

No one knew how long. A few hours, a few days. My husband drove the 400 miles from Memphis in record breaking time. He arrived in time.

The heart rate was very elevated. It was explained that the heart was in over drive compensating for the decreased intake of oxygen. Around 1am (I'm guessing, time was a blur) his heart rate plummeted. I was alone in the room with him, holding his hand and rubbing his arm because I am certain when we are in this state of leaving this plane and preparing to enter another, we are aware of those around us, when the nurse entered the room. She began to take off the many tubes still connecting him. Morphine drip and the such. She deflated the pressure bags on his legs. I have little understanding of medicine, but I suppose it was helping to keep his blood circulating.

She told me he was nearing the end and it would not be long.

Then they decided to move him out of ICU because they needed the cubicle/room and we were being transferred to a larger and much more comfortable room on another floor.

The transfer was horrendous. The bed from ICU would not go through the smaller entry door and they tried every which way to get him in, finally shuffling us off into a room and closing the door while they moved him into a smaller bed.

Several minutes later they took us into the room and one look at him we knew he was gone. He had two more heart beats over several minutes and then he left us.

A doctor has to sign the death certificate. We waited for 45 minutes for his arrival. He looked to be 16 years old. He stood over the bed and asked us, "Do you understand what has happened?"

We were stunned. What do you say? How do you answer such a question?

I don't know why I decided to write about this here in this public forum. I have dealt with medical facilities, doctors and hospital staff for many years now. The majority are dedicated caregivers who are answering a special calling to aid our sick and dying.

Yet, sometimes you wonder about it all. The bigger picture.

When Doogie Howser was paged from the room several moments later we all looked at each other and shook our heads.

"I wanted to say, "Doc I don't understand why he won't get up!", his son blurted out and we had a much need snicker about that.

"He went fast" my SIL said.

"Who? that doctor, he was kinda young wasn't he?" my husband responded and then we all snorted. It had been a long night.

We loved him very much.