Friday, October 12, 2012

It's That Time Again

Thought for the day:  Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.  [Ambrose Bierce]

Uh-oh. It's happening again. I recognize the symptoms.

Trembling. Sweaty hands. Twitching eyeballs. An uneasy fire in the belly...

Yep, no doubt about it. I'm in dire need of a fix, people, and I refuse to deny myself any longer.

It is time to see the grandchildren!!!

The laughter of a child is the light of a house.  [African proverb]

It's time to crawl on the floor, giggle, and play. Time to wipe runny noses, sing silly songs, and hear all about the mean math teacher and the cute boy in English class. Time to ooh and aah over artwork, cheerleader moves, and new playground skills. Time to be rejuvenated ... to feel young again.

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, you start to age quickly.  [Gene Perret]

In other words, I'm not gonna be hanging around the blogosphere for a while. I'll be too busy hanging around with some of  the grandchildren.

Meet our grandson Aaron. We'll actually be visiting with his cousins this time, but I couldn't resist sharing this picture with you. He plays really hard, and then just like that...  PLOP! He drops in place and goes to sleep.

Don't you wish you could do that?

Come to think of it, by the time we finish playing hard with all his cousins, we might very well be doing pretty much the same thing at the end of every day ...
                                                     But that a risk we're willing to take.

                                                        I mean ... wooden YOU?

Do you know why children are so full of energy? Because they suck it all out of their grandparents. [Gene Perret]

I'll catch y'all when we get back to normal. (Hmmm, maybe I could've worded that better...)

                             Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap.  [Doug Larsen]
                                                       (sigh) Life is good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hot Splashes

Thought for the day: I love being married. It's so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.  [Rita Rudner]

Remember waterbeds? Did you ever have one?

We did, and I thought it was absolutely fantastic.

Until it wasn't.

We first started considering a waterbed because I couldn't get a decent night's sleep on our old bed. Back and joint pain were keeping me awake and miserable, so my doctor suggested a waterbed. That was MY motivation, anyway. It's entirely possible my husband got HIS motivation from the sexy ads, stories, and innuendos being made about waterbeds at that time.

This is a picture of a generic waterbed. Ours was considerably larger and had a bookcase headboard and a bunch of storage drawers underneath, but the construction was essentially the same. A bladder to fill with water. A sturdy frame to support all that weight. A thick cover pad. And a heater.

And OHHHHHH, let me tell you, it was heaven to sleep on that mattress. Ours was "waveless", which meant there was slightly less danger of getting seasick on it. When you lay down on it, you sank down, and the warmth wrapped around you like a hug. Just wonderful.

Until something happened. I started to dabble in instantaneous combustion. Oh, I know that's not the proper name for it, but that's sure what it felt like. Power surges. Personal summers. Moments where enough heat radiated from me to warm a three-bedroom apartment.

So, why in the world would I want to sleep on a HEATED mattress, right? Right. So, I did what anybody in those circumstances would have done...

Every morning when I was making the bed, I'd nudge the thermostat down a smidgen. Y'know, just a little bit. But those little bits added up, and finally, finally, the bed started to feel WONDERFUL again.

To me.

Unfortunately, Smarticus wasn't impressed. I got my first clue when he dug out a pair of antique pajamas and started sleeping in them. (And he wasn't even SICK!)

Then, one morning, it happened.

He climbed out of bed and stood there beside it, glaring at me like a gorilla with a bad attitude. His back was slightly hunched with his head tilted toward me, and his arms were angled at his sides like a gunslinger preparing to draw. His pale blue lips were parted and ice crystals sparkled in his dark wavy hair.

Then his lips moved stiffly, and he spoke.


So I did what anybody in those circumstance would have done...

I laughed so hard I came precariously close to making the mattress wet on both sides.

But (sigh) we got rid of the bed.

How's about a funny waterbed video from Germany? This may not be the best prank ever, but it's pretty darned close. In case you can't read German, the sign is to warn people not to get on that bed. And I dunno, maybe they did what anybody in those circumstance would have done...

                                      Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Male menopause is a lot more fun than female menopause. With female menopause you gain weight and get hot flashes. Male menopause-- you get to date young girls and drive motorcycles.  [Rita Rudner]

Monday, October 8, 2012

Never Too Old to Play

Thought for the day:  It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.  [Margaret Mead]

We can never be young again, but doggone it, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy our second childhood. As many a psychiatrist has said, it's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to us.

Even the ol' pessimist Fredrich Nietzsche said, In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.

And Plato said, Life must be lived as play.

Jeez Louise, who are we to argue with those guys? I mean, they were two seriously smart dudes.

So play we must.

Let's investigate our capacity for fun, shall we? Do you have any toys left from your childhood? I only have a few.

It was pretty much the standard in our extended family to pass toys around. Whatever toys I received from my older cousins, I'd later pass on to the younger ones, so I was really surprised to come across this little china tea cup in my parents' house when we were cleaning it out after my father died. As far as I know, it's the only piece remaining from the tea set I played with as a little girl. I don't exactly play with it anymore, but it makes me smile every time I look at it.

This is the only original toy I've kept in my possession since childhood. My aunt made the pouch in about 1954 or so, and my ball and jacks have resided in it ever since. At one time, some of the jacks were brightly colored, others were shiny, and the ball actually bounced. (Now the ball kinda goes THUD.)

These little China dolls were sent to me in the late '50s by military friends who were stationed in Japan. The dolls sat on display  in my mother's china cabinet for years, and over time, the elastic bands holding the arms and legs gave up the ghost. About twenty-five years ago, my father replaced the bands, and my parents sent the dolls to me as a Christmas surprise.

Okay, second question: Since you've been an adult, have you ever bought a toy for yourself?

I did.

What can I say?

I fell in love with Alf.

Okay, here's another one for you. Have you ever bought a toy for your child or grandchild because you wanted to play with it? Boy, oh, boy, have I ever! I could hardly wait for my kids to be old enough to play Stratego, to build models, and to create magic with an erector set. Reading my favorite children's books to my kids and grandkids is even more enjoyable than it was when I read them for the first time as a child.

Does anybody still buy you toys?

Smarticus and I usually give each other fun little gadgets to play with, because we're both overgrown kids at heart. But my favorite... my absolute favorite toy he ever got me is this:

Can you believe it???? It's a genuine original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bubble Bomber!!! Woo HOO!

Every time I saw the commercial for this toy on TV, I went nuts for it. Kept telling my hubby how I wished our kids were younger so we could buy it for them. (Right.) And ta-DA, he gave it to me for my birthday! (Can that man take a hint, or what???)

It is the coolest thing ever! You put in soap solution and a little bit of cooking oil, which warms up, so when you release a bubble bomb, it's filled with smoke. The bubble hits the ground, goes POP, and out comes the smoke. It's probably been close to thirty years since he gave it to me, and I still love it. It is still the coolest toy ever. (One of these days, I suppose I should let the grandchildren play with it...)

                                                    Okay, one last one to show you.

Isn't he adorable? When you squeeze his belly, he wolf whistles, and says, "I go bananas over you."

                                              Your turn. Tell me about your toys.

A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn't play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.  [Pablo Neruda]


Oh yeah, I've got a really neat jump rope, too, and a couple hula hoops. Last time I jumped rope with some of the grandkids, I fell on my arse. I thought it was hysterical, but my son and husband were mortified. Said I couldn't play anymore.

Think that'll stop me from playing next time ...?

Oh, no, no, no. I'll just be more cautious.

                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

                                                I will not play tug o' war.
                                                I'd rather play hug o' war.
                                               Where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
                                               Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,
                                               Where everyone kisses and everyone grins,
                                               And everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.
                                                             [Shel Silverstein]

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Niche in Time

Thought for the day:  Time travel used to be thought of as just science fiction, but Einstein's general theory of relativity allows for the possibility that we could warp space-time so much that you could go off in a rocket and return before you set out.  [Stephen Hawking]

If you could step into a time machine and zip through time and space to anywhere you wanted to go, would you venture fearlessly  into the future... or would you blast into the past? Is there a moment in history you'd like to experience, an historical figure you'd like to meet... or would you rather have the unique opportunity of talking face-to-face with your great great great great grandchild?

I don't suppose I'm as fearless as I used to be, because I'm not too psyched at the idea of zipping into the unknown future. Lord knows, time is already zooming in that direction way too fast, so why rush it? I'll get there when I get there. And I don't want some buttinsky fortune teller telling me what to expect, either. That'd be like peeking at a book's last page before reading its first. Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather enjoy life's mystery as it unfolds.

On the other hand, going back... for a brief, a VERY brief visit...  might not be so bad. Just think: you could relive some of the greatest moments in history. Find your special niche. Where would you want to go?   Maybe you could meet your own grandparents and parents when they were children. Meet some of your heroes. Observe some of the brightest minds and greatest humanitarians of all time in action. That would be pretty darned exciting, don't you think?

 So, come on. Climb in. Where's it gonna be? Where would you like to go? Um, would you mind driving? I have a tendency to get lost.

Just kidding. Sorry.

Alas, I can't actually transport you through time, but this video comes pretty darned close. Better yet? This is a come-as-you-are trip. Whatever you have on right now is just dandy, and you don't have to worry about the silly flux capacitor going belly up and stranding you somewhere, either. So, ready? Grab your favorite beverage, and get good and comfy, because this virtual time machine is ready to take off, baby. Destination: the good old days. How well I remember them ... do you?

                                   Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Thought for the day:  Charlton Heston admitted he had a drinking problem, and I said to myself, "Thank God this guy doesn't own any guns!"  [David Letterman]  For those who don't know, in addition to being an actor, Heston was also a very outspoken gun enthusiast and president of the National Rifle Association.

In March, I told y'all about a feisty group of Georgia ladies whose weekly evening out means blasting targets at an indoor shooting range, followed by a book club meeting. (If you missed it, you can find it here )

Now I have a NEW endeavor to tell you about. How about a planned gun club in my fair state that just got a license to serve...  alcohol? Woo HOO, huh? I mean, what could go wrong?

                                                After all, what's a more natural go-together than


Right? Besides, I'm sure this new $3.5 million-dollar establishment will hang a sign similar to this one to remind members of the importance of clear thinking, and in engaging one's brain when handling a firearm of any kind.

So, what, I ask you, could go wrong? We all know most adults are mature responsible drinkers, and as such, are quite capable of intelligent and proper (Yee-HA!)  behavior after inhaling certain beverages.

                                                               Both men... and women.

The NRA says, "Guns don't kill people. People do." But I think the gun helps.  [Eddie Izzard]

Okay, you can relax now. The only thing that's actually gonna be loaded on this range are the weapons. There aren't going to be any poop-faced shooters waving a gun in one hand and a glass of bourbon in the other. In spite of some of the inflammatory remarks I've heard about this being a wild west concept,  according to the owners, the Governors Gun Club will be run like a members-only country club, only instead of playing golf or tennis, members of this club will shoot bullets or arrows. And the lounge isn't going to be a common barroom, either. No, sirree. It'll be a lounge. You know, a dignified place where Full Metal Jacket members (those with lounge privileges) can partake of food and adult libations.

In Georgia, where it's already legal to tote a firearm into restaurants and bars, is this concept that much different? In fact, the club is supposed to institute stringent rules. (Which may not be the case at the corner restaurant or watering hole.)  Here's the plan:

  • No boozing on the range. 
  • No going on the range after boozing, either. 
  • And weapons will be secured by a valet before going into the lounge.
Sounds sensible enough, right? Besides, what's wrong with the wild west? Think how boring the old oaters would be without shoot-outs, player pianos, and dance instructors ... you know, the helpful fellas in the saloon who used a six-shooter to teach other fellas how to dance.

                           Around these parts, gun control refers to a person's shooting skills, pardner.

                                       And so I ask you again ... what could possibly go wrong?

Let's see, we've talked about books & guns, and booze & guns... if you were to propose a fun combo of a couple of your hobbies, how would you do it? Let's see... I could combine amateur radio with folk music and guitar-playing, and call it ... (ta-DA!) Hamstrings.  Or how about a merger of gardening and poker? (Ants and antes, of course.) Or, maybe...

                                       Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Our Whee-Some Threesome

Thought for the day:  There's a reason it only takes two to tango. With three, someone's toes are bound to get stepped on.

It was his idea. My hubby mentioned her name as a possible Father's Day gift for him, and he said it all innocent-like, too, as if the idea weren't completely contrary to everything I thought I knew about him. But ya know, I got to thinking about it. Smarticus has certainly been around the block a time or two, and has always made his way through life on his own terms, forging his own path, and following his own instincts. Maybe it was time to shake things up a bit, no matter what my misgivings were. So I gave in to him. I did.

Yep. I brought the lovely Maggie home... his very own Magellan GPS unit. (She's actually kinda sweet, but I should've known he'd end up abusing her.)

My concern? I've never had a problem with him telling  me where to go, but how was he going to like Maggie  telling him where to go? He doesn't need anyone to tell him where to go, because, you see, the man has an uncanny sense of direction. I'm telling ya, he can read any map, (fold it, too!) and his dead reckoning skills are second to none.

Well, whattaya know? My concerns were groundless.

Bottom line, he enjoys toying with her... the same way he used to toy with me.

Before we were married, Smartacus amused himself by driving me to the middle of nowhere, and then letting me direct him back home. Gas was less than a quarter a gallon back then, so driving around and around in circles for hours on end was cheap and hilarious entertainment. You see, there's no gentle way to put it... my sense of direction stinks worse than an outhouse in July.

Now, he tries to get her lost. Yep, I recognize that laugh when Maggie tells him to turn right and he deliberately goes in the opposite direction, and when she lays out one route and he deliberately takes another. Oh yeah, it's the same laugh he used when he said, "Are you sure you want to go that way?" or "I do have to go to work on Monday."

But to tell the truth, I don't think Maggie's taking too kindly to his fun and games. To the sheer disrespect of it all. She hasn't started using inappropriate language yet, but she uses lots of meaningful pauses. Or I dunno, it may just be that she's being polite, and waiting for us to stop laughing before she speaks again. Frantically, she tells him, "Turn right! Turn right!" and after he zips past yet another turn-off, she's stunned into silence before sighing (honest!) and telling him in a long-suffering voice (honest!) to make a U-turn. (The word again is merely implied.) She hasn't called him a dirty bird yet, either, but we just know she's thinking it.

                                           This video reminds me of their rocky relationship:

Now, half the time, he doesn't even take the poor girl with us. Or if she does come, she isn't always allowed in the front seat with us.

No, Maggie's relegated to the back. And she can't even look out the window.

Poor thing's tossed onto the floor.

Plotting revenge.

               Thanks to GPS, I get lost with a much greater degree of accuracy now.

                          Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.