You've entered Melodyland, where perception is slightly skewed, potential is limitless and imaginary people live happily ever after

Friday, March 30, 2012

My blog for 3/30/2012 Elvis Presley.

Thinking about my friend, MJ as I wandered through Barnes & Noble a couple day ago, I saw a book entitled "Baby, Let's Play House, Elvis Presley and The Women Who Loved Him" by Alanna Nash. Since I never really paid a lot of attention to Elvis the Phenom, I picked it up and flipped through the thing.  It's a large book (609 pages) and I figured it would be a smarmy hero-worship tabloid type thing.  However, it looked kind of interesting, so with it being on sale I figured I'd buy it for MJ and verify it was good before I gave it to her.

It's really a super biography of the guy.  The behind the scenes history of his family and what caused him to become one of the strangest, most beloved, charismatic and tragic characters of our age.  It's fascinating and full of info I had never heard, even after his death so long ago.  A couple of outstanding points it made is, Elvis toddled up to the choir at his church when he was two years old and started acting like he belonged at the Pentacostal podium.  Everybody thought it was cute he was acting like he belonged there, so every Sunday he'd do the same thing FOR YEARS.

Also, he was one of those dorky kids in school who everybody got tired of listening to, because he teased girls to death, sang at every school function, and dressed strangely.  He took his guitar with him to school, sang and played out under the trees before he could play and sing.  He wore out "Old Shep" which he'd honed to a fine point to have something to fall back on at the drop of a hat.  He sang it for five years before he moved on to something else.  When his family moved to Memphis, he was so intimidated by the music he heard coming from the honky tonks and porches of the sad part of town that he turned off the lights and practiced in a whisper inside his own house.

His mental age was 14 and he never outgrew it, which is one of the reasons all the girls he loved were 14.  It's also one of the reasons he was so loveable.  I'd thought he was a bit of a pedophile until now. One more thing: All of the girls he "loved" looked just like his mother would have looked at 14.

If you're like me and curious about the way famous people have fought their way to the top, it's a really good read.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

My blog for 3/29/2012 Easter Bunnies

Paradise comes complete with bunnies everywhere.  Probably has something to do with the plethora of coyotes we hear at night--I never know what they're squabbling about, but they fight all the time.
Anyway, as you can see by this first picture, the bunny trail runs through some orange trees where bunnies can be found in groups of five or six every morning and most evenings.  Last evening the little family showed up and scampered their white tails all over the trail rooting for tender grass and flower petals.  Then they played chase for awhile and got into a game of "jump."  I hadn't seen this before.  One would run up to another and jump about six inches into the air like its legs were spring loaded, which of course they are.  Sometimes that one would jump three or four times before running around some more.  Then another one would do the same thing.  My mother told me once she'd seen night "dance" that rabbits performed in the moonlight.  My mother didn't tease very much, so I stashed that information in the back of my mind.  It makes me wonder if the bunny "jump" I witnessed has anything to do with the other.  One baby bunny lives under the rock outside the kitchen window (just to the left of the house behind the orange tree in this picture).  He comes out and hops through the flowers just like the pictures of Easter you see on greeting cards.  His hiding place is excellent because since we moved in with Abby, the coyotes avoid coming through the yard.  Abby is not ferocious, she just has planted her signature around the house three or four times a day.  I've found canines respect each others' territory.
 The second picture is a stairway which actually runs down to the grapefruit trees.  Bunnies don't seem to use it very much, probably because it has no shelter from the overhead predators, red tailed hawks, which patrol the area about ten hours each day.  There are also black hawks doing the same thing but not quite so often.  Anyway, the bunnies avoid the stairs.  Lizards seem to like it though.  A pair of them frequent this stairway--I know it's the same pair because it's a mixed marriage of a charcoal one and a rock colored one.  I've tried to follow them to see if they change color on different surfaces, but they're elusive little devils and disappear frequently so I haven't determined that yet.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My blog for 3/22/2012 Monkey Men

Walking Abby yesterday, we happened upon some monkey men--those dudes who climb trees carrying little bitty chainsaws so they can take tall trees down.  We watched with our mouths open because if you haven't seen this process you're missing some awe.  They strap on gravity-defying spikes attached like stirrups to their boots and legs, carry their chainsaws in one hand and start up a tree by stabbing the leg-spikes into its bark.  To the first limb they go, and chain saw it down so they can get to the next limb. It falls like a giant feather/umbrella, then on to the next, chainsaw whining.  A more refined approach employs pullies and ropes to lower the branches.

I first saw a monkey man about 35 years ago, when we moved to Georgia.  California had been about using cranes--expensive ones--at the time and I'd never seen this before.  So I'm driving down Hiway 369--at the time in the middle of nowhere in the spring time, and I see a guy start up a fifty-foot  utility pole like a squirrel.  There were none of the pole rungs I've noticed in the past.  There were no ropes or pullies or cranes in sight--just a guy in a hardhat, shorts, boots, toolbelt with a big "EMC" shirt, running up to heaven.  I almost ran off the road before I pulled over to see how he did that.

I'm here to tell you I've been half in love with EMC guys ever since.

It came to pass we had to have a dead tree removed from our property in Cumming.  The tree removal guy showed up with pullies clipped to his shorts, wearing boots and no shirt, chainsaw whining as he scampered up to the first limb.  I'd always thought it was uniforms on men that captured my attention.
I even found myself eyeballing drum majors from time to time, which are a little over the top in my opinion.  But this episode of guy at home in a tree where he could fall and  break something important, not to mention the possibility of accidentally sawing a couple of fingers off is absolutely fascinating.

It's one of those items, like cliff diving, like hang gliding, like cusp skiing, like rodeo riding that means more in person than on TV.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My blog for 3/21/2012 Canned Salmon

After three days of being canned salmon here in our little clam on top of the hill due to ice?! falling and then snow (in southern California?!) we gathered up our change and went to the Indian casinos.  We found five of them within a thirty mile range, down in the valley of the Laguna mountains.  Harrah's even had a casino out there, which we skirted.  If I'm going to lose money, I'd like a little ambiance while I'm doing it.  Anyway, we found Triple Diamond machines with cherries--cherries are a gambling must--a whole bank of them on the Pala Reservation Casino.  Then we tippy-toed past the beautiful pastry bar, hoping none of the pastries would jump on us, and settled in to lose $40.  Since I went home with $50, I consider the day a roaring success.

Only two scenes to edit for Chattahoochee Dead and the thing is finished.  Then I've got to get some readers for feedback.  It's not a fun job for them because it can't be a straight read to analyze scenes and discuss some of them.  Maybe I'll take my $10 and go celebrate when it's done.

Meanwhile I'm going to try PickleBall tomorrow.  Don't know what that is, but came across a woman who is quickly becoming a friend, who plays this game every Thursday, and who invited me to try it.
I'm as athletic as not wanting to watch football, so I hope I don't embarrass her.  PickleBall seems to be a cross between tennis and ping pong?  At least it's held in a senior center, so maybe I won't fall down.  In the past I've tried many sports, actually played on a softball team when I was a kid, even if I was the last kid chosen when teams were drawn up.

The only thing I was ever any good at was modern dance, but after one graduates from school, that goes away or becomes a profession.  More recently I tried jogging, aerobics, pilates, yoga, tap dancing and even line dancing and now I'm down to basically walking my dog for a couple of miles a few times a week.

PickleBall may or may not be something I'm comfortable doing.  Exertion isn't the problem with me--it's about coordination and strength, neither of which I seem to have any more.  I can only handle so much of feeling like a fool.  So pray for me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My blog for March 14, 2012 ------ Pots Of Gold

On this St. Patrick's Day, I've been thinking about pots of gold.  About what people live with every day and how all of them are heros.  Every day, every battle for normalcy takes place in everybody's lives.  Of course, "normalcy" really is what we aspire to instead of what we should expect.  But if we don't aspire to our version of normalcy, we drown and give up.

I have a friend who lost her husband, only to inherit taking care of her mother who is incapable of being left alone.  I have a friend whose son has spinal bifida.  His life has been a series of setbacks punctuated by hope for 40 some years.  I have a friend who worked her entire life to retire with her husband.  The day her husband retired he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  None of their "retirement" plans was realized.  I have a friend who had four children, two of whom died of health issues along with their father before the woman was sixty.  I have a friend who lived with an extremely painful disease for twelve years before being killed in a carwreck alone on an icy road in the middle of nowhere.
Her copious family continues to be devastated.  I have a friend whose husband fights for "normalcy" every day in a frustrating war for balance.  I have a friend whose husband abandoned her when she had his child born with extreme birth defects and for twenty eight years has be unable to function.  That friend recently inherited her mother to care for as well.  She has a job to support the three of them.  In fact every one of these people have supported themselves--none of them have expected the government to do it for them.  I have many other friends who are in similar situations. 

My sympathy is not finite.  I'm not sure about empathy.  As I dwell on my friends' battles and realize the depth of the shoes they wear, I'm touched. I love them.  There is so little I can do for their hearts.  I understand sympathy is part of being glad these things have not happened to me.  That, I'm grateful to say, has not entered my mind. But helplessness is not hopelessness. 

Acceptance of what is may be in looking two minutes ahead, like a child, like an animal really.  In understanding that flower bloomed for me today, with no thought of tomorrow.  Maybe that's what God meant when he said to come to him as a child, without expectation.

Maybe what he meant was to not have expectations of other people, of life in general.  Surely it didn't include having no expectations of oneself.  If I had no expectations of myself then I would not think of other people would I?  I would have no motivation for myself or to do what I can for my people. 

My favorite word as always been "potential."  This means to find the best possible way to develop what we come across in life.  And is the single shining star about children.  A child's gift is a slate of opportunity to be filled in his/her unique way.

Potential is a goal of sorts.  But it's so solitary!  Unfortunately I don't fit well into my friends' shoes with them.  I can't truly be with them when they need more fuel.  Such inadequacy!  I feel like a band aid that will fall off in the shower in a couple of days.  And what I really want is to fix things for them.

The pot of gold is deceiving.  Money? Love? Heaven? Peace? Acceptance? Potential?  All conjecture.  Whatever it is for a person, the road to that pot of gold is a lonely one.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

AURARIA DEAD: My blog for March 9, 2012 Adventure in Flying

AURARIA DEAD: My blog for March 9, 2012 Adventure in Flying: I have no idea how many people were on the plane from Atlanta to San Diego yesterday.  It took seven hours to get here through Phoenix, wher...

Friday, March 9, 2012

My blog for March 9, 2012 Adventure in Flying

I have no idea how many people were on the plane from Atlanta to San Diego yesterday.  It took seven hours to get here through Phoenix, where I had a layover of 1.5 hours.  I remember that we flew for 7 hours to get to London several years ago.  The actual domestic direct flight is 4 hours, but most air carriers don't do direct flights for some reason.  Usually I can sit still for four hours without too much squirming, even being afflicted with ADD.  Seven hours push my limit.  It has to do with my rear end being somewhat larger than it used to be, I think.  On this particular flight, with my back against the seat and my knees actually touching the seat in front of me, I wondered if I had grown overnight--if I, like Alice, somehow managed to drink a magic potion making my femurs six inches longer than they used to be.  I must remember to measure myself before my next flight.  I also seem to be wider through my shoulders.  With a big guy sitting on my right as I lucked into an aisle seat, I tried to keep my elbow off the arm rest so he could have somewhere to let his arms fall from his shoulders.  But I nearly lost my left arm when a stewardess careened her cart up the aisle and locked her brake next to my seat where she stayed for a half hour.  The stewardess cart rose to my eyebrow level on my left, forming a wall of slick steel. I had nowhere to put my arm!  I considered holding it up over my head, but instead held my breath and slumped my shoulders forward with my elbows on my tray table.  She stayed a remarkably long time for not serving anybody food.   That's when the man in the seat in front of me decided to relax and lean his seat back.  The tray table jammed into my ribs and tilted upward due to my legs being under it.  In fact, I'm not really sure why tray tables exist any longer.  Anyway, the man in front of me stretched his arms up to the ceiling and hit me on the head when he brought his hands back down.  I remember having more room in my motorcycle helmet than I had when his seat was no longer in its upright position.   Then the man on the window seat of my row decided he needed to use the restroom.  The stewardess was forced to move her cart backward but I had to tell her to move further up the aisle so I and the guy next to me could have standing room for the window seat guy to pass by us on his way the other direction to the two restrooms toward the back of the cabin allocated for the three hundred or so people trapped in there with us.

Sardines have no arms or legs, but are shaped like a green bean.  Their fins retract, though their tails I think are perhaps more stationary than my feet, which can be pointed like a toe dancer's.  I really don't think a sardine of comparable weight to myself would fit on an airplane.  It was not possible for me to lean over enough to get my pen out of my purse which was on the floor, because my feet were entirely too large to move them anywhere.  A sardine tin is not square like an airline seat space.  Maybe if people were not so round they could be inserted into planes like crackers in a stack.  But I have no idea where they'd put their feet.