Thursday, May 19, 2016
Sorry for the lack of new posts — Mom has been here, Mimosa is graduating, much going on!!
And this will be a short post, too — sorry. I had planned to sub in grade 4 today, but when I got there, the teacher (sitting at her desk, blinking at me in surprise) said, "Ohhhh, right — I meant to cancel that." So now a surprise free day stretches before me, and I decided that the thing that would make me feel happiest and most productive was to eradicate the giant "to do" pile on my dining room table.
And one item in that pile is the DVD of Sisters starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, which Brunie purchased for our big movie weekend and then planned to leave in the hotel trash bin — that is how much we disliked it.
But one person's trash is another person's treasure, that's my motto (as witnessed by the very nice fruit-and-butter cake I just made, using up all the soft grapes that no one would eat). Would you like this DVD for your personal collection – or to watch once and decide if our judgment was in any way faulty? Just leave a comment expressing your interest. If more than one person wants it, I'll do a drawing.
You have one week to claim this dubious gem! Don't let it slip away!
And I will write a real post soon. Probably. For sure. Highly likely.
Back to pile eradication!
love to all,
p.s. By the way, I am loving my deep water class! I missed three due to Mom's visit but returned on Tuesday — and either I got very out of shape in a week and a half, or our teacher worked us harder than ever, because my core was whimpering like a kindergartner whose mother is late to pick-up. OW OWIE OW, in other words. But it was good.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
(This is how every conversation went:
- Brunie: What's our theme again?
- Me: Superlatives. You know, like Sexiest Movie, Scariest Movie . . .
- Brunie (panicking, she is easily scared): Wait, what are you bringing for your Scariest Movie?
- Me: And Then There Were None. You can handle it.
- Brunie: Oh, okay. Okay.
Here was our working list:
- All-time favorite movie: All About Eve (Lady) and Enchanted April (Brunie)
- Scariest movie: And Then There Were None (Lady) and Dial M for Murder (Brunie — except she hasn't actually seen it)
- Sexiest movie: Coming Home, A Tale of Paraplegic Love (Lady) and Don't Look Now (Brunie — ditto)
- Biggest tearjerker: Brian's Sweet Sweet Song of Death (Lady) and Beaches (Brunie)
- Funniest movie: Noises Off (Lady) and Groundhog Day or The Full Monty (Brunie)
- Favorite movie romance: Calamity Jane (Lady) and Holiday (Brunie)
- Favorite movie marriage: Undercover Blues (Lady) and The Thin Man (Brunie)
- Most iconic film that I’ve never seen: The Big Lebowski (both of us)
- Favorite movie starring my favorite actress: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Lady) and Heavenly Creatures (Brunie)
Note: My favorite movie starring my favorite actress is actually Silkwood, but we’ve already done Meryl.
- Favorite movie starring my favorite actor: Nobody’s Fool (Lady) and Infinitely Polar Bear (Brunie – which – wait for it – she hasn't seen. Also, she thinks it's called Infinity Polar Bear)
- Most “classic” movie that I’ve never seen: The Women (Lady) and The Best Years of Our Lives (Brunie)
- Movie that inspires me to be a better person: Separate Tables (Lady) and Pillow Talk (Brunie — don't ask)
- Best sports movie: Bull Durham (Brunie did not have a nominee)
- Favorite food-focused movie: Lone Star (Lady — the filmmakers might be surprised by this characterization, but people are eating good Mexican food through this whole movie, I am RAVENOUS afterward!) and Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (says Brunie, "Okay, I don't know if there is food, but there is a table. It's round.")
- Brunie: Are you the person I love who has the Jennifer Jason Leigh disorder?
- Me: Yeah, she bugs me; she always looks glum and seems the same in every part. But I love Dorothy Parker. And I am nothing if not open-minded.[moment of consideration]
- Me: Well, actually, no, I’m a little close-minded and judgy. But get enough wine in me, I can pass for open-minded. Open container, open mind, that’s my motto.
- Best movie with a color in the title: Pretty in Pink (we concurred. Brunie's comment: "Never saw it sober. I don't suppose this weekend will break that streak . . .")
Brunie created a spreadsheet, but I think she was smoking the reefer or something because Dial M for Murder ended up in a new category:
- Me: Dial M for Murder makes you want to be a better person???
- Brunie: I want to be less Murder-y. That's my dream.
- Me: Free breakfast? I bet it’s AMAZING.
- Brunie: I doubt it will include Cheetos, so I am out.
3:00 check in! We unpack our stuff, which takes us, like, HOURS. Mind you, we are here for all of one whole day and two partial days.
I excitedly filled the refrigerator but got ice too, it's good to have options. The ice cubes are tiny. They are like little ice pearls.
As I washed our fruit (strawberries! apples! grapes! We are so healthy in our old age), Brunie did mysterious things with the TV and her computer and many many cords.
- Brunie: I was so excited about the HDMI, but then it didn't work, so we have to use stupid RGB.
- Me: Hmm.
- Brunie: Do you know what any of that means?
We decided to start with Sisters, but it didn't seem like a movie that required our full attention. I leafed through a People magazine and drank cold white wine from the refrigerator, as God intended.
- Me: I think we would be girlfriends with Adele.
- Brunie: We would be girlfriends with Adele's mother.
5:20 Coming Home
The MGM lion roars and Brunie shrieks.
- Me: My God, you're just like that first audience who saw the train coming at them.
Jon Voight plays a marine.
- Me: Semper fine.
- Brunie: Like Jon Voight's penis, our ice is less than hard.
8:50 The Best Years of Our Lives
I fix us Bohemian Coolers, a recipe I got from Writer Jenny: fresh lemon, elderflower liqueur, rye, and ginger beer. And they go down goooooood.
I'd also made salsa and guac to eat while we watched Lone Star, but we decided they'd go great with returning war vets. Salsa, guac, and Bohemian Coolers, we are hap-hap-happy girls!!
- Fredric March: I plan to meet this situation by getting well-plastered.
- Daughter Peggy: And I'm going to break up that marriage. Someone needs to!
- Me: Me, God, and Eleanor Roosevelt!
- Fredric March: Who are you, God?
- Me and Brunie: No, Eleanor Roosevelt!
- Me: But we weren't funny during Sisters either.
- Brunie: It sucked the funny right out of us.
I had a dream that some bad guys told us that we were watching the movies wrong.
- Me: How would you watch a movie wrong?
We finish watching Bull Durham, and Brunie is now in love with Kevin Costner and insists that we watch the first 20 minutes of Dances with Wolves. It's not on either list! Respect the plan, Brunie!!! She bows to my logic and wisdom.
7:56 a.m. Separate Tables
To our great joy, it has a theme song!!! which we promptly begin warbling. We muse on the movie's cast. Burt Lancaster, hunky alcoholic lead, will ultimately hook up with Deborah Kerr (shy neurotic virgin in this movie) in From Here to Eternity. Burt basically shags every chick in Separate Tables. Impressive!
We decide to break for breakfast and get dressed. I give Brunie a bra that doesn't quite work for me, and she is very enamored of it:
- Brunie: Hello, girls!
Back to Separate Tables. David Niven breaks our heart. That Oscar was well-deserved. We are both weepy.
Hot tub time! And then showers, we are filthy girls. Brunie comes into the bathroom as I am washing pumice scrub off my feet in the sink.
- Brunie: Um, you can use the whole shower.
|Thrilling reading!!! And note my well-pumiced feet.|
In this little-known gem, Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner play Jeff and Jane Blue, semi-retired spies.
- Brunie: They're adorable.
- Me: It's how marriage should be.
- Brunie: With all the shooting? I couldn't do that.
- Me: It's something to aspire to.
- Brunie: I aspire to Kathleen Turner's legs.
1:08 p.m. Noises Off!
This movie has the greatest cast, including the late Christopher Reeve and the late John Ritter, and as their names go by in the credits, we both moan a little. Later, Christopher Reeve attempts to climb the stairs with his pants around his ankles, and he goes hop! hop! hop! up the stairs in the most adorable way, and we are simply dissolved. Oh, Christopher Reeve. Rest in peace, you super man.
Such a fun movie! (once you're past the first 10 minutes and Carol Burnett's terrible Cockney accent, which is extremely off-putting) We are happy girls. Also a little drunky, I am downing Chardonnay and Brunie is enjoying Moscow Mules.
3:24 p.m. I take my rollers out and shake my hair.
3:45 p.m. We give up. Ugh.
- Brunie: You know what that movie could've used a few of?
- Grace Kelly: One day, he told me that he was simply through with tennis and was taking a job. Well, I couldn't believe it!
- Me: Who would give up tennis?
- Officer: I'm Chief Inspector Hubbard.
- Brunie: Perhaps you've heard of my old mother.
Brunie is awestruck at my ability to pour into a tiny wine bottle neck. My ability to preserve alcohol, it is prodigious. And Bratslavian Coolers, by the way, are DA BOMB. Vashe zdorovie!
Neither of us had seen Dial M, and it is awesome. Highly recommended!
- Me: So now we've watched the two movies that make us want to be better people. Have we learned any life lessons?
- Brunie: "Don't murder people."
- Me: "Be kind to sex perverts, because you just never know."
- Brunie: How about the first 10 minutes of Cimarron?
- Me: How about the first four or five hours of The Great Ziegfeld?
- Movie guy: Instead of a disease, we give the kid a dog!
- Me: Now that's how life should work.
6:49 p.m. Brian's Song
- Brunie: This better have a happy ending!
- Me: Yeah . . . maybe we should stop right now.
- Me: Are we . . .
- Brunie: Beautiful?
- Me: . . . not men? Are we Devo? Are we there, God . . . ? NO. Are we still drinking?
More Bratslavian Coolers! We's in luv.
9 p.m. And Then There Were None
- Emily Brent: You cannot lock out the devil.
Brunie falls asleep immediately and I've seen this movie a million times, so I go back to The Majestic.
- Brunie: What time did you go to sleep?
- Me: Hmm. Wait, what superlative was The Majestic?
- Brunie: Most majestic. Ha! No. My favorite musical scene from a non-musical movie.
(Note: I barely got up from the bed the entire weekend. I am exhausted. Many blessings to Brunie, who loves to step 'n' fetch for me!)
- Brunie: Why do you want to see this movie?
- Me: I don't! But it's so culty.
- John Goodman: You want a toe? I can get you a toe by 3:00.
- Me: I like that follow-through.
- Police chief: I don't like your jerk-off name. I don't like your jerk-off face. I don't like your jerk-off behavior, and I don't like you, jerk-off. Do I make myself clear?
- Brunie: I think he has a real problem with masturbation.
- Me: Yes, but he can conjugate it correctly.
We decide breakfast, then buffalo (aka Ruffalo, our shared boyfriend). Over waffles and "sausage," we discuss the weekend thus far.
- Brunie: I feel like we're not as funny this year.
- Me: It's the quality of the films.
- Brunie: Next year's theme should be movies that we can MST3K the shit out of.
- Me: But I can't spend three days watching crap just so we can be funny about it.
- Brunie: This is our gift to the world!
- Me: Hmm.
- Brunie: I think I love waffles.
- Me: Waffles bore me.
- Brunie: Write that down! That's funny.
- Me: Yeah, you're welcome, world.
- Brunie (points to TV): That's Michael Shannon! And you said you didn't know who that is.
- Me: Which I continue to exhibit.
- Me: So far, we have been funnier at this breakfast than we've been all weekend.
- Brunie: Are you having a time out?
Really so sad. Maybe not the best last-day movie...
Brunie goes for one last hot tub dip, I listen to her Hamilton CD (loved!!!) and drink wine. Yes, at 11 a.m. Dude, I am dealing with some serious shit, me and the Bull Durham guys.
- Larry: Excuse me, but what the hell's going on out here?
- Crash: Well, Nuke's scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man's here. We need a live . . . is it a live rooster?
- Crash: We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose's glove, and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present. Is that about right?
[the players nod]
- Crash: We're dealing with a lot of shit.
- Larry: Okay, well, uh . . . candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she's registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let's go get 'em!
- Me: I am ashamed of how hot I find horrible James Spader.
- Brunie: Hello, every gay boy I ever dated.
It went too fast, as always, and I'm sad about the movies we didn't watch together (Lone Star!!) — but all in all, a perfectly grand and glorious weekend with my great and wonderful friend!
p.s. Now taking suggestions for next year's theme . . .
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Last week was not a fun one. Li'l Martini brought home a cold and kindly shared it with all of us, so all through Emerson Day and Hello, Dolly! and OWL teaching, I slowly sank deeper and deeper into sickness. I also had a migraine for most of the week. I skipped Tuesday's Deep Water class and did little but work, cough, pee a little each time I coughed, clutch ice packs to my head, and wallow.
I'm ready to wheel and deal and pour on the charm, but it takes two to tango, my friends. I've left two phone messages now and sent an e-mail to "Ian," Mel's phantom FinAid guy — nada. If I haven't heard anything by Tuesday, I may just take up residency in their office until I get someone to talk to me. Squatter power!
So frustrating. I want to have this resolved. As marvelous as The New School appears to be, I don't love the idea of my sometimes-emotionally-fragile daughter three and a half hours away in a city that is unknown to her, with no family or friends nearby. I may feel differently after she visits on Friday — maybe she'll fall in love with the place, who knows. But I don't know yet, and in the meantime I am forced to cozy up to uncertainty and angst — and they are not pleasant bedfellows, let me tell you.
One way or the other, a decision will be made on May 1. I am living for that day.
In the meantime, Brunie and I are off for our annual film festival — three days of movies, fun food, and cocktails.
Now I must go concoct a healthy dinner to leave for my family, who otherwise will forage on tumbleweeds and jelly beans while I'm gone. OK, not really, Husband is a perfectly good cook; I just want to do this for them.
Movie report to come! Stay tuned.
— Lady C
Saturday, April 9, 2016
My hot goal for the week was four pounds of lost weight. Alas, I only lost about half that — which isn't nothing, I'll take it, but still. I was very motivated, mostly ate very lightly, and went to Deep Water twice — why am I not thin yet??
Well. I never not once did the weight lifting I'd planned to do, my week included a HUGE party to celebrate Writer Jenny's book, with lots of yummy food and cocktails, I also downed about 500 glasses of stress-soothing wine, and I'm not sleeping very well (hello, anxiety, my old friend . . .), which I know affects my metabolism.
|Read me! I'm awesome!!!!!!|
I like Deep Water okay. The teacher's great, and my classmates are very amiable. Especially if I concentrate, it's a good workout, especially for my core. My knees and back have been okay afterward, and it's nice to be back in a routine of Tuesday- and Thursday-night exercise and light dinners. But it's not as high-intensity as zumba; I will definitely need to supplement it with weights and my bike.
This too shall pass.
It would be nice if some pounds passed on as well.
— Lady C
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
On Monday night, I curled up in bed after a day of eating lightly, and thought, OK, I just need to do this 729 more times.* No problem!
Yesterday . . . was intense.
First I called the driving school, to rail (politely). If my daughter wasn't ready for her test, why didn't a single one of her instructors ever give us a heads up? A driving test is eighty-five dollars, for God's sake — not money I throw around lightly.
The woman I spoke to didn't budge. "OK, then, do you want to schedule another test?" "Is it still $85?" I asked. She said it was. "Then NO," I said, as witheringly as I could. "We will go to the RMV."
How I would like to report that this wounded her deeply.
"OK, then!" she chirped. "You're all set!"
Perhaps she was chirping to hide her pain.
I did fire off an angry letter, which assuaged my feelings a bit, but still.
For the next task on my plate o' fun, I sat down with my daughter to go over all her college acceptances and financial aid offers. Yes, I do realize this is a first-world problem, but still. It is incredibly stressful!
We thought we had a solid plan: scrape together enough for a year at her dream college, then reassess. But we made a Pro/Con list, and things weren't so clear. Emerson, the dream college in question, has the greatest Pros but also the greatest Cons. In the meantime, her second choice — Eugene Lang College: The New School for Liberal Arts in Greenwich Village — has emerged as a real contender.
We are attending Accepted Student Day at Emerson this Saturday, and I will make an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid, turn on my most charming charm, and wheel and deal and plead and wheedle my socks off — but I also signed up Husband and Mimosa for a tour of The New School and a night at a hotel in New York City, the Friday of April vacation week. Whee!
The evening concluded with the first session of Deep Water Challenge. We didn't know what to expect, but from the description I thought it would be something like this:
OK, I'm exaggerating a little. It was in fact a good workout; every muscle hurt afterward; I came home and took Aleve and soaked in Epsom salts. It is going to be very good for my knees, shoulders, and core, I think — all my parts that need help.
But we are basically taking my mom's Aqua Aerobics class, which Mimosa has a particular horror of. She was especially scarred by watching old ladies change in the locker room after class. Today I must call the school, wheedle and plead and charm again, and see if I can get her tuition refunded. (We will then sign her up for yoga, which I'd asked her to do all along.)
I can do all this. Negotiation and confrontation are not my favorite things, but I can do it.
In the meantime, though, my daughter gets up this morning, I ask her how she's doing, and she says, "I'm a big ball of stress." I asked why, and she said, "Oh . . . the swim class, having to transfer to a new college my second year, all that stuff."
And I'm all — OK. I get that she's stressed; it is a stressful time.
But I am doing all the heavy lifting!! I am doing the hard work!! All she has to do is sit back and be taken care of!!!
I would like to say that I didn't say any of this out loud.
. . . . . .
I might have said some of this out loud.
But mostly I encouraged her to let go of what she could. I would handle the exercise class, the college stuff would all work out, one way or another, her dad and I have her back, there is nothing in front of us that is insurmountable. And mostly, I reminded her of one of my mantras, which comes from the exciting and challenging world of restaurant service:
"Sorry, that's not my table."
In other words: There are some problems that are ours to solve, there are some problems that are other people's to solve, and there are some problems that are out of our control entirely. Do not waste good mental space and energy worrying about the latter two! Focus on your own table.
(I am especially gifted at seeing what other people should be doing.)
In other news, today, I took a good look at my son — my calm, easy son — who is performing in a play this weekend:
But this, I can handle.
Off to stockpile some charm and get ready for a day of high-level negotiation. Onward!
— Lady C
p.s. I also ate lightly yesterday. 728 more days to go!
* I estimate that it will take at least two years to lose all the weight I'd like to lose, at a realistic rate.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
My intentions are rosy, my follow-through is mush. This is the story of my weight-loss journey. Making healthier choices — for me, anyway — takes mindfulness, and I had an extremely short supply of extra mind last week.
Life is slowly easing back into "normal," but with a graduating senior in the house, every day is a new normal.
Good news: She got into five colleges!!
Bad news: Her dream college is the least affordable!! The most affordable college is the one she has the least interest in!!
Bad news: She failed her driving test!!
Good news: Well, maybe not good news, exactly, but my kind friends are coming out of the woodwork to assure Mimosa that they too failed not one, not two, but four times!! And honestly, I don't think she practiced enough (says me, Miss Over-Prepare). The real good news is that this is neither permanent nor a reflection on her character. We will practice, practice and try, try again.
Good news: She's a Madrigal again!
Bad news: She missed 100 days of music, is having a hard time catching up, and this is just one more thing stressing her out and making her feel like a failure!!
The wild ups and downs have been, shall we say, interesting.
And as I'm thinking about how to pay for Expensive Dream College, I'm saying yes to every job that comes my way, and I'm once again Queen of the Editing Prom, juggling five different documents next week. Money, money. Work, work. Crazy, crazy.
The two things I tried hard to do were to eat a lot fresh produce and to include protein at every meal. Greek yogurt! Sardines! Almonds! These were my friends.
But I didn't exercise at all, my knees are really killing me, and last night, after a tense day of the driving test and finishing the sample first chapter of a hard math editing job and having the vacuum crap out after just one room (the rubber belt thingy broke — not a big deal, but I didn't have a back-up, so I can't vacuum my house until the new belts come)*, all I wanted to do was to shove pizza and wine in my face as fast as I could.
And it was gooooooood.
|I will never give up Chardonnay!!!|
|This is what we envision. I do plan to wear a bouffant.|
In other news:
It snowed last night! Yes, on April 3. Springtime in New England — it's not for sissies.
And now I must dress for church.
Happy April 3! Which, I just learned is not only National Chocolate Mousse Day (none for me, thank you! she says mindfully), it is also National Tweed Day in Scotland. Now that, I will celebrate.
* Miss Over-Prepare just ordered 10 BELTS from eBay.
Friday, March 25, 2016
But today I had a solid plan: I would substitute-teach in the morning (the Arlington schools are closed for Good Friday, but our neighboring town of Belmont is only half as holy, and they were open for half a day), come home and do all my dinner prep (the Chardonnays are rarely all home for dinner at the same time any more, but tonight we would be, and I had a lovely meal planned of ham steak and colcannon ["bubble and squeak"] and fresh fruit), and then work out, eat lightly at dinner, and take a long hot bath.
INSTEAD, I had a classroom full of hellion thugs. Frankly, fifth-graders are not the most fun to teach. They've lost all desire to please the teacher (the hallmark of second- and third-graders, my favorite), and they don't have the basic social skills of older students. And these kids were especially wound up because it was a half day before a long weekend and there was a sub. Plus, the teacher left very spotty lesson plans, which is always annoying. I got through it, but by the time I got home, I was exhausted.
And also in a lot of pain. For some reason, subbing is extremely hard on my knees. I think because I'm standing more than I realize and I expend so much energy starting from the soles of my feet. It takes a lot of effort to keep a classroom engaged and under control!
In any event, after running two errands, I came home, collapsed in my comfy chair with my exciting new library book, and indulged in two of my secret weapons:
We did have the lovely dinner and completed our Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon, which started last June, and that was great fun.
I'll do chores all morning, and then Husband and I are attending many, many hours of live theater. Our pal Handsome D is starring in a trilogy; we've seen Part 1, and tomorrow we see Parts 2 and 3. He is marvelous, and we are looking forward to it. I can still eat small meals, but it won't be a day of much movement.
Maybe Easter, the day of rebirth, renewal, and miracles, will be a workout day for me. Who knows?
— Lady C