Saturday, May 22, 2010

Auntie Em, it's a twister! It's a twister!

I was very fortunate to get to do something yesterday that not many people get to do in this whole world! I'm pretty sure I know why I got "the call" but was surprised nonetheless.

I was invited to, and jumped at the chance, to have lunch with a very special group of women. These women are truly amazing and getting to be in their presence really made me realize (not like I've been unclear about this ever in my life) what wonderful people there are out there and through the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon (wow! there I go again with him!) I'm attached to many of them.

These women have lived lives where they balanced a career with their families (and all their kids and grandkids turned out pretty fab) and showed me (in later life for sure) that it's not all wine and roses. They all dealt with "stuff" in their lives that was thrown at them. As one of their husband's said, "Life never goes as you plan it" (I'm aware that he probably didn't write that on his own, but you know I give props to these peeps).

Who are these women? They are my fabulous Aunts of course! I have three Aunties on my Mother's side and they are superb! I, myself, am the rockin' Auntie (I come with references if you'd like) and I must have learned that from them.

They are so terrific and I got an invite to a lunch on the beach that they were having. What a total treat for me! I felt super special and was very honored to be invited. Here are some things that make them fabulous (check this list, how do your Aunties stack up?):

1. They're all sisters - no matter who or how many "married in" they are all sisters. I love that.
2. They are supportive of each other - unconditionally - that's critical
3. They love me (I mean really, how far down did you think I was going to put that?)
4. They love hearing about my successes and love me even during my failures (of which there are MANY).
5. One lives out of state and I practically have my own key to her house (not actually, but the relationship is like that)
6. All three of them are available to listen to me and for me to bounce ideas and thoughts off of them and their experience.
7. I look like them (we don't have a gene pool, we have a gene petri dish) and that is sooooo cool!
8. They understand how much I loved their Mom, my Grandmother and how much I miss her, even to this very day (oh, M'Nell, you'd be so proud of your family, sniff).
9. They're all classy and have fun and that's fun to hear about.
10. They all had some pretty crazy youths and I love hearing about them. One lived in the Haight during the summer of love and one has a story - something about a fountain and her car in college, but the secret's safe with me. The third says she was a "good girl" but I know there are secrets hiding in there somewhere....; )

Being an Auntie my own self (to relatives and to our friend's kids as well) is one of the great joys of my life. Some of the nieces and nephews are our friend's kids and some of them are related to me either by marriage or from my brother and sister (some are kids of my cousins, but "first cousin once removed" is so complicated, so Auntie Dena works). There are two that look like me and I tell you, that's the best!!! Not having had children, the first time I saw that LB's oldest looked like me, I screamed a little and a HUGE smile came over my face. Awesome.

So that's it. My family rocks and I hope yours rocks HALF as much as mine does. Also, I hope you have Aunties like me and mine. If you do, that makes you very very lucky. If you don't, I'm available. You can't have mine though.

Why darling, I'm your Auntie Mame!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I never thought I'd have to give advice to protestors. Seriously, I am prepared to give advice to almost everyone - really, I'm not at a loss for an opinion. But I never predicted that I'd need to help out a group of protestors here in Los Angeles in front of the Federal Building this morning.

O.K. Pay attention, for here are some tips to effective protesting:

1. Make it really clear what you're protesting about. I mean, this feels like it should be obvious, but not for these folks. Not only could I not hear them a mile away (I drive a convertible, so there is no excuse for my not hearing them) BUT once I got close and drove through the protestors I had no idea what they were protesting. I saw one sign that said "Education". Turns out it was an immigration protest. So not clear, and so lame that it wasn't clear.

2. Get a permit. Seriously, you only annoy everyone around you. More importantly, you seriously annoy the police. I don't know about you, but I can't see any upside to irritating the police.

3. Don't put your KIDS next to where the cars drive. Really? Really? One false move and someone who is not disagreeing (or agreeing - see #1) might run them over. How is this helpful?

4. See #1 - this can not be emphasized enough.

I am a full supporter of our first amendment ("I hate Illinois Nazis" - Blues Brothers) but how was this productive? They were standing in the middle of the street. Who planned this???? One of the kids standing in the middle of the street?!? Seriously.

Also, speaking of productive. It didn't make the 5, 5:30 or 6 PM newscasts, so really how much of an impact could it have been?

Dreeeeeeaaam, Dream, Dream, Dream....

I'd really give a lot (not sure "eye teeth" a lot, but a lot) to know what the heck goes on in my brain that it delivers the dreams I get. In a post to be posted later (I've started it, but I lost steam in the middle - I guess that's postus-interruptus) I muse about my flying dream (the last one with Byonce' - really) - same dream, same location, same flight.

But these other ones, ugh, with a capital U-G-H!! What is it with the screaming? What is it with the strange locations (you know what that's like; looks like your childhood house, but doesn't exactly?) What is it with Kevin Bacon and you....

Um, sorry about that...didn't mean to share quite that much. : )

I guess I'm one of those people who hold onto all their stress inside their head and upper shoulders (and for someone who is 5'4" I have way more stress than height) and at night it all sneaks into my unconscious.

I don't need to (or care to) watch horror movies, I have a very active and creative imagination, I don't need to see how a filmmaker illustrates a Stephen King novel, I've already made "Carrie" a frightening image - though John Travolta does tempt me; not like Kevin Bacon, oh drat, I did it again!!!

Do our dreams mean anything? Do they predict the future? I simultaneously think, no way, and I hope so (In most cases I hope not, and in a few cases, I hope so).

There's no insight in this muse...just the thoughts of a post "holly-cow-what-the-heck-was-he (not Kevin Bacon...oh dang it!)-doing-in-my-dream".

Big day today for me. Send the good vibes. I feel a recipe/food post coming later.

Happy Birthday Trip Partner,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Paul Simon had something with Kodachrome.

I found myself alone with some extra time at my house of growing up yesterday and subsequently found myself looking for a document (my immunization records - more later on that) that I am CERTAIN is as that house. Mom couldn't find it, but that doesn't mean it's not hiding in a crevasse somewhere taunting me.

What brought me to that house alone with time on my hands ("too much time on my hands........too much time on my hands.....") was a favor I was doing for the parental units - something having to do with a stovetop. However, if I tell you, you'll have to a) become a member of this family for which there are no current openings; leading to removing one of the members in existence, which is simply out of the question or; b) go missing for a very very long time in which you'll have to get into a very uncomfortable position for, well, frankly, forever.

But back to the house. So, when the individual handling the stovetop issue left (e.g. the repair dude) I thought that I'd just look on my own. I went to the place it SHOULD BE, my baby book.


What's a baby book? Surely you jest ("I don't and don't call me Shirley" - Airplane - if you haven't seen it, you have violated the law of things you must do and you must go see it now.)? My baby book is pretty much everything about me from the minute I was born ("They named her Dena Rena? Really?" - anonymous relative comment when they read their house keeper's rendition of what I really was named...which will not be discussed - Dena is fine, or DenaRena, whichever you prefer.) until, well, about the time I was 4 or 5. What I ate (evidently, didn't like fruit at all at the beginning - didn't like sour cream - still don't), my illnesses (I noted that I had regular people colds, but one evidently was "annoying", hmmmm), when I walked, talked, etc.

They stopped around 4 or 5 because, when I was almost 3, my little brother (LB) was born. Poor guy - as it turns out, he got every single cold I brought home from pre-school which all turned into ear infections. Talk about annoying. I bet those parents were longing for my colds when LB was upset about his ears hurting.

While looking for my immunization records, I found myself looking through cabinets, drawers (no worries parents, no real snooping occurred), closets (no, parents, I didn't take home my wedding dress yet), and book cases.

While I never found my immunization records (d-r-a-t-!) I did find many many many envelopes, boxes, files, and drawers filled with pictures. Hundreds of pictures - many not in albums. I found a duplicate ("it's a duplicate", "yes, I know, a duplicate" - A Night at the Opera - Marx Brothers movie - maybe the best in existence) of my parents wedding album. This is evidently what happens, your parents pass on into the great beyond and what is to happen to their copy of your wedding album? YOU GET IT! Hoped you like the day - now you have two sets of all the same pictures. Spectacular.

I found pictures from as early as the thirties up through the last two years.

Here's my quandary - do I go through all these photos now, figure out where they go or wait until I'm forced to go through them all the while being upset that I've been left without parents? will be my job sometime.

But give this some thought, what do I do with these photos? These memories of family from the past? These family members that this generation won't even have known?

Here's what I can't do.

Throw them out.

Isn't that illegal? Can I be left to rot in jail because I let my family slip through my fingers into my trash can? Only to be carted off by a very stinky garbage truck and then dumped into a landfill where it will take eons to decompose and then it will be my fault that the ecosystem is filled with Kodachrome?

I can't handle it.

Good thing I don't have to ultimately worry about it for a long long time.

Oy, I'm already worried about an event that won't take place for hopefully three decades.

And, yes, I thought about this for hours yesterday - so much so that the thought went all the way into today.

Hmmmm, this topic will resurface in June, in Minneapolis as well. Sorry, folks, it's an invite only event and you have to be in the club "I married a, or am offspring of a (insert my mother's maiden name here)" club.

But don't worry, there will be much to talk about after that reunion, I tell you.

Don't get caught by a red light camera; very expensive,