Monday, February 28, 2011

See You At The Movies

After our fourth movie in four nights, and our fourth visit to the Dutch after four movies in four nights, Jennie and I were discussing the intensity of meeting for a drink at my house, going to the movie, then going to the Dutch for a drink and to deconstruct. Jennie said, “It’s like we’re on assignment!”

Well, now it's the end of the second week and the end of eight movies. The ninth and tenth (How To Train Your Dragon and Inception) were Saturday, but I had to miss them.

And, of course, the Oscars were last night, so this is all moot. But I worked this Film Festival, dammit -- I was on assignment. And I didn't go out every night and drink all that wine for nothing. So the Academy Awards having already been awarded notwithstanding, here is my Film Festival lowdown:

The Illusionist
This was a sad, sweet movie, and the perfect beginning to the Film Festival. Because, frankly, I probably would not go to see a cartoon movie – as I so sophisticatedly call it –  in French, if it wasn’t in the Film Festival.

It was lovely. And was illustrated by Jacques Tati, which gets a lot of people excited, apparently. The movie looked beautiful, with his illustrations of Edinburgh, London and Paris. And the tall, tall Illusionist himself, with his sad eyes and droopy face, ach, he killed me.

Sigh. If only Magic existed.

Inside Job
This was the most depressing movie of the Film Festival, and possibly of all time. It’s a documentary about the 2008 financial collapse, and the men who let made it happen.

I felt like the tiniest bug on the tiniest plant after seeing this – like there is nothing – nothing – someone like me could do to make any difference in the world these guys create. Well, except pay taxes with which to bail them out. Really, it’s disgusting what these guys got away with.

And the scariest thing? This group of men move from the financial sector, to government, to the universities, and back again. They are creating the policy, and then they are writing the Economics textbooks, teaching the corruptness they create. And they’ve never been punished. It’s mind-boggling, and absolutely disheartening.

Animal Kingdom
Loved it. This movie about some baaad brothers in Australia and their terrifying mother – oh man was she scary, and awesome – was full of broad themes – innocence, loyalty, family, revenge – but focused on a tight, almost claustrophobic moment in time for one hell of a screwed up family.

We had a lot to talk about after this movie, if no other reason than the sound was too low, and it was easy to miss dialogue, which was Australian-accented and mumbly to begin with. Bill even got yelled at for eating his popcorn too loudly. At least he was restrained enough not to dump it on the sarcastic complainer’s head in front of him.

Barney’s Version
Oh, poor Barney. He sure was a lovable ol’ schmuck, even though he couldn’t get anything right. Paul Giamatti was brilliant, as always, and was in almost every scene of this movie that covers over 30 years of Barney’s life. Rosamund Pike, who played Miriam, was wonderful, too. She was the wonderfully vacuous Helen in An Education.

Loved the Montreal-Jewish background, loved Scott Speedman and Minnie Driver, and Mistah and I both loved the fact that in every scene, someone was throwing back a shot of whiskey.

The Kids Are Alright
Bill and I saw this movie together in the movie theater when it came out and I loved it. But Tuesday night I loved it even more. I loved the complicatedness of the characters – they were all flawed, all imperfect, all so human – and I loved the unusual family that's really not unusual at all: the fact that the parents are both women is not what the movie’s about; it’s just the existing reality.

The acting was phenomenal – Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo (swoon) and the two kids were just perfect. Bill found the Annette Bening character annoying. I answered, “Act-ing!”

I loved the attention to and analysis of a 20-year marriage, too, creeping up on that number myself. Well, not myself – with the full cooperation of Mistah. Lots goes on in 20 years – sometimes it's hard, but there's tons of good stuff too.

This is an excellent little movie.

Winter’s Bone
Talk about phenomenal acting. Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly was brilliant. Brilliant. I’ve read the Daniel Woodrell novel – twice – so I knew exactly what to expect and the movie was just as good as that spare, almost-poetic, intense novel which cuts you like a knife. Actually, stabs you like a dagger. The lighting in the movie – white and harsh and wintery and bright – was so awesome it was almost distracting.

Bad things can happen when you live among loosely-related folks in the Ozarks and you go snooping around, but Ree Dolly – like her across-the-centuries-in-movieland-colleague-Mattie Ross – has True Grit, and a big heart, and is intrepid and tenacious and, as she said, a Dolly bread-and-buttered, and despite what a lot of those in my little movie-attending group felt, I found this movie uplifting and hopeful.

And absolutely phenomenal. My personal Film Festival favorite.

The Social Network
Meh. I’d seen this one once before too, but unlike The Kids Are Alright, I liked this one less the second time. The acting was good, sure it was, but that doesn’t mean I liked spending all that time with the characters those actors played – unlike Ree Dolly I just got tired of Mark Zuckerberg after a while. After a short while, really. The whole movie played out like a long (looong) TV show for me, and I found it more tedious than compelling. Although I really loved Eduardo.

One good thing about seeing it a second time: it’s a dialogue-rich movie, and I picked up lines the second time I’d missed the first time. Yeah, I know: lah-dee-dah.

I Am Love
Oh, love. I mean, oh, amor. I have to admit I didn’t quite know what exactly was going on at the beginning of this movie, but I didn’t care: it was so gorgeous and so beautiful, and Tilda Swinton is so alluring and so captivating, that I just wanted to watch forever. But then the story emerged, as did Tilda Swinton’s character, and it just got better and better. She kind of looks like a cross between a beautiful woman and a space alien. Which is a very cool look.

More themes of family and loyalty and survival. And sex and food and lust and Italy, too. What’s not to like?

And I really loved this Edoardo too.


So that's it. Congrats to all the winners. And to all the losers too. Because, after all, there would be no winners without losers.

And kids? We'll see you at The Movies.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekend 3-Way: The Big 1-2

Jacquie's boy turns 12 on Sunday! Where does the time go??

In honor of this momentous occasion I've asked my lovely co-bloggers to post a photo of our young friend, with an accompanying comment or anecdote, celebrating our fearless hero.


A Boy and His Dog, June 2004

My favorite comment, and one quite famous in our family: my young nephew to his Lebanese, and quite hairy grandfather: “Jidoo, why is your fur so black??”

Awwww, my baby! I thought it would be hard to restrict myself to just one photo for this post, but upon reflection I knew just the one:

This photo was the header image on the blog I kept during a very scary few months that began shortly after his 11th birthday.

Happy Birthday to the artist formerly known as Wobble Boy. Now enough with the drama, okay?


I just love this photo, so chock full of brotherly love...
"You may be able to dress me like her, but I will NOT let her into this car with me!"

Happy Birthday to a great Big Brother, among other things ;-)

Happy 12th, Buddy-Boy! We love you!

Friday, February 25, 2011

let them eat....what?

One time when Ellie was here and helping me sort through some crap in my garage, she asked if we could throw out the giant tupperware cake caddy. "No way!" I replied, "I have to transport cake at least twice a year!"

I was referring to birthday cakes, of course. Between parties and school treats, a tupperware cake caddy is a staple for every family with children under age 12.

My son turns 12 this weekend, and I will not be using  the cake caddy.  

Let's take a quick look back before I explain. What follows is a random study in our family's birthday cakes, selections highlighted purely on the basis of the fact that I happened to label the online photo albums that year so I found them quickly.   

Here's a good example of a classic family birthday cake for us. Baked, frosted and served in pyrex; tasty and festooned with something special, in this case fresh strawberries. In most other cases, some class of candy or crushed cookie substance.

nice headband

 The fifth birthdays were particularly good, I must have been compensating for some other failure on those years:


and hers
My cakes were usually otherwise teetering right on the brink of disaster. But if there's one lesson I've learned in my dozen years of parenting, it is this: if you have enough frosting, you can fix anything

Just call it a giant oreo and pretend that you meant to do it all along

 Then there were the years of pie.


Okay, so they weren't always home cooked, but we did always try to give the people what they wanted. Here's an example of someone wanting a restaurant cake, with the bonus element of turning out to be the world's most adorable birthday photograph:

No, no. Wait. This is the world's cutest birthday photo:

Pink handprints on her bald head. I die. For the record, that one was homemade.
We did have our share of $15 Costco cakes over the years as well. Don't you judge!

Which brings us to today, and the revelation of exactly what he desired to bring in to share with his classmates to mark the anniversary of his birth: 

cake caddy not required.
Happy Birthday, baby!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chew on this

This post may be painful to read. I know it was painful in person. But the whole time I was in the chair, I just kept thinking about how much was going on, how rich for explanation the experience was. How many sensations were happening all at once: smells, sounds, and flying debris. It was disgusting through and through, and did give me some perspective into why dentists can charge upwards of $500 an hour.

Yes, this is the tale of a tooth. Or partial tooth, as the case may be.

It was last Thursday night when I was flossing my teeth (I kid you not), when I heard as a slight "pop" and had the sensation that something had broken, then exited my mouth. It happened quickly, and was a complete surprise, so I was not sure exactly what had transpired. I searched the sink vanity, even the basket of shells that sits atop it, but I could not find the mystery shard anywhere obvious. I found nothing, not even in the inside chambers of the faded green urchins. Did I simply imagine it?

I tried to blow it off, I really did.

But lack of physical proof was unable to convince me that something monumental had not occurred. You simply can't ignore the wisdom of your tongue. You know what I mean. As soon as there is the most minuscule change in your mouth it is constantly seeking out the difference. Exploring what, exactly, has changed, shifted, or twisted.

My tongue was feeling a new sharpness on the outside corner of a bottom left molar, and a new tenderness in the gum below.

But honestly, flossing? How could that, the standard of good dental hygiene, create such a shift?

It seemed impossible.

I went to bed.

Friday things were no better. My tongue continued its relentless pursuit, and lunch time proved irritating. Was there actually food getting under the tooth? My thumb nail was now in the game, gingerly removing debris that my tongue was too think to dislodge. Ew. I know.

I called my dentist; he doesn't work on Fridays. I left a semi-desperate message.

The weekend proved to be more of the same. But with more pain. Flossing became quite adventurous. I could get that string halfway under my molar. Some of the morsels that were dislodged? Not choice, let's just leave it at that. My jaw line under the tooth was growing ever more tender and my gums increasingly scratched from my constant meddling.

Monday finally arrived, no appointments were available; Tuesday at 2 was the best I could do.

Upon arrival I was asked to explain the situation. I tried to impart that something was very wrong, something more sinister than the need for a new filling. But my chart history and last round of x-rays led Dr. Jones to believe this was the solution. He simply thought he'd numb me up and re-work the filling.

Dr. Jones underestimated the work at hand.

After the dratted and freakishly long q-tip dunked in local numbing goo was pressed against my inner jaw for what seemed like forever, the scary needle was introduced to the very same, hopefully by now numb, spot. "You might feel a twinge," Dr. Jones uttered just seconds before the pain descended. It was minor though, and short-lived, and so worth not feeling the true pain of a metal drill bit on my naked nerve root, that I did not really mind.

I sat there by myself for a few minutes waiting for the numbness to spread, wondering, not for the first time, why Novocaine makes you feel as though the whole side of your mouth is disproportionately large. Giant, in fact. It's as though you have sprouted a grotesque half lip in mere minutes.

Dr. Jones set into work. It was not long before things went awry. I can't recall his exact words of surprise. But surprised he was. My tooth, apparently, had half crumbled right then and there. His assistant was impressed as well.

"We're going to have to change course, here," he said.

Whatchagonna do? I was numbed up and drooling, leaned all the way back in the mechanical chair, with that annoying little napkin-like pad resting on my chest, secured with those silly silver clips.

"Okay then," I replied, although I almost felt like saying, "I told you so."

My tooth was so damaged at this point that it needed to be "built up," but not until it was thoroughly cleaned out. This involved drilling. I sat there while pieces of tooth and old filling broke off into my mouth, while the smells of rotting food and later, burning enamel, wafted by, and a delicate fine mist of my own spit and the water they spritz in your mouth to keep things clean settled on my face. I could literally see the fine fountain spray. It was disgusting, but oddly pretty. The odors were nothing but gross. As were the chunks of debris I was asked to try to dislodge when I "rinsed out" (an aside here, when they say sit up and rinse, who the hell waits for the chair to be lifted? it takes forever. And if they then see that you're already sitting up drinking from that ridiculously small Dixie cup, why do then THEN raise the seat, forcing you to then wait for it to again descend before they move on. Most of us have enough core strength to sit up and rinse, right?)

The torture went on and on, at one point I heard Dr. Jones say to his assistant, "No not that one, not in this case; this isn't normal."

The abnormal was time consuming. After the drilling and cleaning, they built the tooth up with god knows what. He'd ask for the material, dab it on, then they'd "cure" it with some magic light saber they'd  press against said molar. Dab, cure, dab, cure, dab, cure. Repeat.

Finally they present me with a gooey plate to bite into. It was oozing with what looked like melting silly putty, and took me right back to my orthodontist's office on Joppa Road. How long did I sit there with the silly putty dripping under my tongue? I don't know. Long enough.

Sadly, that impression was for the permanent crown I'll be getting. So a similar impression still had to be taken for my temporary tooth topper, which when you peer into my mouth now, looks like a small piece of chewed Original Trident stuck there, reminiscent of the flattened gum "retainers" we all used to make and stick to the roof of our mouths in grade school.

But this Trident tidbit was not from a pack of 20 that cost 60 cents. No, this temporary was part of a bill that set me back $977.00, which was after the $200 patient discount.

That's right, after 1 hour and 20 minutes in the chair, I walked out to nothing but a credit card beating. And the best part? I get to go back on March 10th and do half of it again.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Me and The Mums

Monday was a ridiculous day for The Mumsie and Me.

On Monday morning Mistah's sister Kelly called us at 8. “Hello?” “Did I wake you up?” “Yes”. What’s the use of lying, really? “Mumsie’s not feeling well at all and I’m hoping Billy can come over her house and stay with her.” “Of course he can.”

So Mistah was headed to Mumsie's, and I was heading out for my usual Monday morning routine of swimming and grocery shopping; we both needed a car.

We’ve had Mumsie’s car to drive around all these many months, which is great: it's nice to give ol' Westy a break during the winter. Plus I hardly ever drive: I walk downtown everyday, and put myself in other people’s hands if I have to do anything like go to a Film Festival movie . . .

Westy's a superstar, a rockstar, an awesome rig, but she’s an old girl, and it had been at least 10 days or so, with some frigid weather, since either of us had driven her -- and on Monday morning, well, she wouldn't start.

No worries, though: we jumped the Westy with Mumsie’s car -- she turned over on the first start, natch -- and I drove out to East Lyme to swim at the high school pool. I slogged through town instead of getting on the interstate, and I *did* wonder if I was doing the wrong thing, if Westy was getting enough of a workout just driving on backroads.

I got to the pool, I talked to the lovely high schooler who was at the desk -- it’s school vacation week! We’re open until 1 instead of 11:15! she exclaimed -- then I went into the locker room where I promptly stripped -- as one does in a women’s locker room -- went to put on my suit . . . and it wasn’t there. My dob kit was, with its shampoo and conditioner and soap and razor and assorted shower accoutrement, and my towel was, but my suit and cap and goggles? Not so much. And the thing about swimming? You really do need a suit, cap and goggles; you really can't wing it. At least I can't.

I commiserated with all the women in the locker room, they all asked where I had driven from, and I decided right there and then I was going to drive back to New London, get my suit cap and goggles, and drive right back to East Lyme. Why not? The pool's open until 1!

I told the lovely girl at the desk I’d be back, and I went out to the Westy. . . and it wouldn’t start.


I called Bill, told him my tales of woe, but was matched with woe by his tale of being in the ER with Mumsie, who was just not feeling well at all. Poor Mumsie.

I said to Schleck, “Oh wait! I see someone in a car! I’m going to go knock on her window.”

I walked over. I got closer. And said, “Deidre??” “Ellie?” Yep, I was saved from sure death by an old friend of Kelly’s. “How are you doing?!” “Great! Well, except I forgot my suit and my rig won’t start and my mother-in-law's in the ER. But great!”

After a(nother) successful jump start I got right on the interstate to give Westy the long drive she deserved, then drove back home to New London to get that feisty suit cap and goggles. I figured if the Westy didn’t start then, well, grocery shopping -- and swimming -- would have to wait yet another day.

But she started up. Right up. And back to East Lyme I went. And after my inglorious swim I got to the grocery store. And the package store. And CVS. And, it turns out, the hospital. Because while *I* was having a ridiculous day, Mumsie was having an even more ridiculous one. She lolled about in the ER all the live long day until she finally got committed admitted to the hospital for a night or two, to make sure her poor little ol' self continues to persevere through this ridiculous winter.

Doctor to Mumsie: “Well, your CT scan show you have the healthy brain of an elderly lady.”
Kelly: “You mean like a bird brain?”
Doc: “Well, I wasn’t going to say it . . . .”

Mumsie got hooked up to an IV to juice up her dehydrated self, and I hooked myself up with a bowl of tomato soup and a glass of chardonnay to juice up my dehydrated self, and, well, we both felt happier. And more contented. And less absurd about that ridiculous day.

And Tuesday? She told me I look tired. And I told her she looked short.

We're back, baby.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

baby got back

When last we checked in, my wee baby boy was all packed up and ready to head off to the wilderness known as sixth grade camp.

We thought for sure that his would be the biggest bag packed for this four night adventure

It wasn't.

He and the man tossed his baggage onto the back of the bus

And then they were off, on a five star tour. Bye bye, baby!

It was so weird to see him off, but I knew he'd have the time of his life. We parents had been told that the camp would take photos of the kids and post them on their webpage each night. Knowing that I'd miss having constant contact, I gave my boy strict instructions to put himself in front of any camera he saw so I could visit his lovely mug whenever I missed him.

I kept a close eye on the webpage all that first night, but photos never showed up! Fortunately, my boy's wonderful teacher was on the job, taking and posting photos to their classroom blog.  

Here's the first photo I saw of my boy. Looks like a great time, right? The problem is that I know that boy too well.  I know that body language. He's not so sure about this (is he nervous about being away, or about whatever he is harnessed up to climb?)  And he looks so cold!

All week long, our shrunken family gathered 'round the computer each night to enjoy a glimpse of our boy's antics.

The Leap of Faith - climb up to the top of this 40 ft pole and then........jump!

CSI class, learning about fingerprints and flashing our prearranged "hi mom" sign

Dissecting a squid

They had one morning of really bad weather, which did not stop them from launching rockets in the rain during aerodynamics class. There weren't a lot of photos that day, but this one sums it up pretty well:

hi mom

But the good thing about a frigid drop in temperature is that it turned the rain to snow!

And then almost before we knew it, the time had come to go meet the returning bus! That poor driver, you could practically see the green lines of stench wafting out of the bus after their three hour drive. They piled out like war weary soldiers from battle. It was hard to tell who had won. But suddenly, my baby boy was back in my arms car!

hi mom!

With a few notably new wardrobe elements

He had a great time, it was such a change of pace from the rushing around that we're always doing, perpetually late for our next obligation. He said he didn't miss electronics at all, but I couldn't help but notice that very shortly after we arrived at home, he slipped off to resume the text-a-palooza that seems to define his very existence.

He was out of sorts all weekend, snappy and inpatient and so very quickly making us all forget the emotional evening photo-watching that had sustained us in his absence. Even though Monday was a holiday, he started whining about going back to school on Tuesday, and initiated the most loathed and ever punishing ritual of trying to fake sick. That whole thing is positively crazy making, I'm going to write a whole thing about it someday. But not today:               

Today I've got to go take care of my baby

Monday, February 21, 2011


Happy Presidents' day to one and all!

What could be more American day than Presidents' day, right? The fourth of July? Well, maybe. Apple pie? Perhaps. Baseball? Hot dogs? Peanuts and crackerjacks? Um, I think some would make those arguments as well.

So  that's the ode-to-American angle I'll take this fine morning, as I find myself sitting here at work, like every other Monday morning, instead of at home getting ready to go out and spend the day undertaking some uber-American pursuit, worthy of the respect our current and past Presidents deserve.

I'm taking the baseball angle, hot dogs included. Even if it did occur last night and not on Presidents' day proper.

Remeber these guys?

Well, they invited our family over for dinner last night. They're currently adding a second story to their lovely home, so have had to suck it up and move themselves and their three beautiful daughters into a very small downtown condo.  (Just so you get a mental picture of "small," their toddler sleeps in the bathroom.)

But, this is the view from the living room

and this is the view from the 7th floor deck with barbecue area

 where you can grill your own American dogs

 then mosey over to these seats

and watch the game.

Beacuse really? Who needs the crowd. (Thanks J&J!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekend 3-way: still life

Counter Top Still Life

Park Not so Still Life

Staff of Life Still Life

Friday, February 18, 2011

Out Of My Hands

Last weekend Mistah and I were invited to our friend Steven's 50th Birthday party. We made a plan to drive to our friend Nancy and Jon's house, dump the car, and go to the party with them -- Jonny could be our DD, and we'd kick my godson out of his bed and into the basement and sleep in his room that night.

When we arrived I said to Nancy, "Now that we're here, we're officially in your hands." She said, "Well, dude, you're not in my hands." I said, "I don't care whose hands I'm in, as long as they're not my own."

I make it my business to put myself in other people's hands. Take for instance the current Winter Film Festival. Jennie picked me up on the first night after collecting Carlos. I got in the back seat and when asked, "Where should we go for a drink?" I replied, "I'm in your hands."

I love being in other people's hands. Other people's back seats are comfortable, and I never have to worry about anything. As long as I remember the wine.

You know that old song "We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands"?  Sure you do. I've even blogged about it.

Well, I'm happy to report I do not have the whole world in my hands.

In fact, I do all I can to have no world in my hands.

I work a little, I walk around town, I go to the Film Festival movie every day. I'd do more, really, if I could.

But I can't.

It's out of my hands.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

public broadcasting and life and mom and doggies and jeopardy: a day in the life of a Corey (updated)

We stay in touch in my family. It’s a phenomenon we commonly refer to as “constant contact”. No one wants to miss anything, ever. It’s one of the many gifts that our mom passed down to us. It probably began when we all lived under one roof, and there were so many comings and goings that it was hard to keep track of who was where and what was next, so we defaulted to the easiest method of keeping tabs on one another: leaving a note.  There was always a slip of paper on the kitchen table for easy reference, and we were all in the habit of documenting any changes to the status quo. 

These days, our notes are shared via email, and there are days when the stream of conversation is so rich and entertaining, you just want to publish it. Tuesday was one of those days. It started with what we call a “newsy note” from Julie. Newsy notes are the emails someone writes that include more than a couple of lines of continuing dialogue, providing a window into the writer’s life at that moment. Julie shared a newsy note on Tuesday with the subject line: "Public Broadcasting and Life".  Of course you want to learn more about both Julie’s work in support of Public Broadcasting and her life, but what I really want to explore here are the many directions that this particular newsy note took over the course of the next 24 hours.

Julie made a comment about having to deal with the “dirty work” in life, and how nice it would be to have a person designated to handle all the unpleasant crap like taking out the trash and confronting neighbors.  There were laughs about the idea of a proposal that went something like: 'i don't love you, but I really love the shit I don't have to do when I'm with you'

Mom chimed in with her perspective about no longer having Dad around to deal with unpleasant shit, and then in giving her girls more credit than we deserve for helping her out, said: “somehow I wound up with strong take -charge daughters and for that I'm thankful every day.”

Jane: Mom, you may not have taken care of the logistical stuff in the family, but you were a totally strong role model, let's not forget.  You modeled a relationship built on total mutual respect in an era when that was not the norm.  You were and are a strong woman;  athletic, independent, and you balanced home and a career.  It's no accident that you produced six strong women!   

MB: Ach, Mom. It seems to me you didn't take Dad or his chores/the things he took care of for granted -- you each had your own things you did. It was a partnership. It must be so hard to have to do everything after sharing everything for so long. You ARE doing so great!

Jacquie: Mom, you're doing a bang-up job and dad would indeed be proud. Bastid.
Julie: I think the thing mom taught us best, by example, is how to love and give, selflessly. My daughters laugh at me when they compliment a sweater or belt or whatever, and I take it off and give it to them. That trait was directly handed down from mom. Literally and figuratively :). And I think about this here, our conversations, how we all respect each other and communicate, always with a basis of love in play. Most people don't have that, you know. Mom = love.

Ellie: re: Public Broadcasting and Life and Mom: Mom, you make it sound like you were in the corner, eating bon bons and smoking butts while Dad was slaving over the bills. You were the Supreme Ruler of the household, and made it all flow -- we all got where we had to go, clothed and bathed and, most importantly, fed. Dad was completely clueless about where we were supposed to be or what time or with whom. Which is fine -- that wasn't his job. You did it with grace and aplomb and even *you* are forgetting how hard it is to run such a big household.

Julie: well said, and so right on, el. love this day of family love. dad would have loved this, the old sap.

Ann: Hi everyone.  Loved all the messages, y'all said it beautifully, we are an amazing family.  I have a 4x6 picture at my workstation of Pocmont and people always alk me about y'all.  Mom you are amazing, we all learned, and are still learning so much from you and Dad.
There is a song on the Oh Brother Where Art Thou cd  called keep on the sunny side, I always think of the song when something comes up. Have gret evenings all I love you all Ann

Julie: that's the song we sang in the kitchen at Jane's house at Christmas. love.

Ann: no we sang Ill fly away another awesome tune at Christmas

Julie: we sang both! or at least i did. while i was cooking something. what was i cooking?

Ann: gravy

Julie: ah yes, that was some damn fine gravy, too.

Mom: the best ever

Julie: hi mommy! smooch!

Mom: smooches to you too,  I'm really going to bed now  - woke up at 5:45 this morning.  anyone watching the dog show at Madison Square Garden  - such wild and crazy specimens!   xoxo  mom

So at this point the conversation is going in two distinct directions: strong Corey women and the dog show. Ellie is usually very helpful about changing the subject line as needed. These messages are seldom read and responded to in order from coast to coast, so it can be tricky to sort out what anyone is talking about.  

Ellie:Re: Public Broadcasting and Life and Doggies
Oh I love that dog show. I love reading about it in the Times -- they have a great reporter covering it. They'll give me highlights on ESPN at the Dutch tomorrow...................

MB: The dog show is one "sporting event" I have zero interest in -- can't watch OR read the stories, lol.

Meanwhile, back in the strong Corey women thread: 

Mom, to Jane:  I remember so well at our Christmas visit  -  "mom, the toilet is overflowing",   "mom, Hubble's bleeding " and who put the air hockey table together? -   where DID you come from...    I love you    mom

Ellie: Mom kept telling me to call for Doug when Hubba-Bubba was bleeding in the kitchen but I was like, "Mom! Do you *see* the way Jane and that doggie gaze at eachother?! I think Jane will want to know!!"
(And *never* let a non-Corey put an airhockey table together; I wouldn't.)

Jane: that's what I told mom, too, about the air hockey table. I'm my fadda's daughda.

Ellie: Me too. I think it's so funny that mom thinks it's a man thing that makes peeps good at that stuff -- actually it's a *Corey* thing!  Bill (and his Dad before him) would shove the screw into the hole with a hammer to make it fit or something. And get frustrated and leave it. And not clean up after himself.

Jacquie: LOL all the day. You can tell a Corey from a non-Corey by her (or his, formerly) reaction to a set of assembly directions. Wringing hands = spouse; rubbing hands in glee = Corey.

Julie: oh my God, it's true. We're little mini dads. he lives on!

Ellie: I know -- I get *so* excited. I still make peeps look inside my toilet tank when they come over.

(updated note from Jacquie: although I didn't chime in on this stream of consciousness at the time, I have to admit that I have both Corey and Mom-ish/spouse genetics. I swoon over assembly projects and git'er done, but have also been known to hammer in a screw and go running into the night. I'm sort of famous for doing, quickly in my house, and sometimes I don't even read the directions, and so what if some stuff is crooked?)

Mom: Oh my God,  I am such a non-Corey  - I see assembly directions and I go running into the night.   Dad would get a new anything and would sit for hours reading the friggin manual - with a big smile on his face.   I loved the dialogue that happened today  -  I was at work stressing about my paper work and you all jumped to my defense  - thank you dollies,  I know I can do it, but I don't have to like it, right?  It got me thinking back to "the day" , and how Ellie said I wasn't sitting around eating bon bons, as it were.  When  I think back to the years of dinner for eight every night, Sunday dinners  - often with Sittoo and Lill and Babe  - not to mention the every day school, work, games, orthodontist,  etc.  it's mind blowing.  I've been trying to figure out,  for  the record,  when I was on Jeopardy.  I have a letter from them thanking me being on it, but no date.  Aunt Kitty thought it was early 70's,  but one thing I remember clearly about the show was that I wanted to talk about my 6 daughters, but Art Fleming zeroed in on the fact that Jacquie and I were taking guitar lessons!  from one of the nuns !  Sister Christoff, maybe?  Do you remember Jacq?  So it certainly wasn't early 70's, unless Jacquie was a protege....  okay,  I'm rambling...  later loves..   mamas an

Ellie: No, it was me! Me!
We got to watch in the convent. I was in 3rd grade. Possibly second, but I thought 3rd was when you and *I* took gee-tar lessons together. So 1970 or 1971.

Jacquie: What? I have no earthly recollection of such an event. I've always told my kids that you ere on jeopardy before I was born! They're going to be pissed that I don't quite remember that OR the guitar lessons. 

Ellie: It was me. I'm shaking my fist at the heavens (but only kidding, Mom) -- I got airtime on Jeopardy! I was so excited!. It was after you were born, Jacquie, when we were back from Korea, but before you had memories.

Ellie: Mom, to this day, when I hear The 59th St. Bridge Song ("Feeling Groovy"), which we learned from Sister Christoff, with little pieces of different-colored tape on the neck to show us where our fingers should go to play the chords, I still sing, "D, A, E, A, da da da da da da da da da, Feeling Groovy, D, A, E, A".

Julie:  well, there's your proof. you can't make that shit up.

Mom: You're so right Ellie,  it's all coming back.  Lol that I thought it was Jacquie,  oops.   Didn't we also learn Leaving on a Jet Plane?  Jeez, if we stuck with it we might've  been on the Grammys....  nite nite  loves...  mamasan

Ellie: YAY! You remember! Yes, we sang Jet Plane, too, although I don't sing those chords when I sing that song..........

MB: I so remember going to the STAS convent (with the Cronins) to watch Mom on Jeopardy! at noon. No idea what year, though...

Julie: have I said today how much I love you people? I love you.

Mom: re: Wednesday Morning all,  leavin on a jet plane is singing away in my brain all the night long, lol..

Speaking of Jeopardy:

Mom: Does anyone else think Watson on Jeopardy is ridiculous?

MB: YES! I find it unwatchable. Although I did tune into Final Jep last night and found it hysterical that the category was US Cities and Watson's answer was Toronto, lolol

Jacquie: I can't watch it either, I just can't. Maybe there's some explanation for why the competition even exists is this format, but I can't watch long enough to figure that out. I miss the days when game shows sent typed, undated letters to thank contestants for their participation!

Julie: I do. I watched the first night, but had a board meeting last night and missed it. when I realized, I was glad. I already know computers are smart, it's smart PEOPLE that impress me. and poor Ken, getting his ass handed to him. 

to be continued... always and every day, thankfully. Aren't we lucky?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just Like The Good Ol' Days of 2009 . . .

The winter of 2009 was bearable for two reasons. One was the weekly high school swim meets with My Girl Nancy, and one was the New London Winter Film Festival with My Girl Jennie.

The winter of 2010 was bearable because Mistah and I spent six weeks away from Connecticut on our Vitamin D tour. The only two bad things about last winter were missing all those swim meets with Nancy, and missing the Film Festival with Jennie.

And now it's the Winter of 2011, and it's just like the good ol' days of 2009 again. Because even though this crazy winter weather has cancelled so much school that the swim meet schedule has been completely screwed up, Nancy and I have been able to go to a few meets together, including two in the last week.

And tomorrow? Tomorrow is the beginning of the 2011 Winter Film Festival at New London's stunning Garde Arts Center. This year's Festival features these movies:

The Illusionist

Inside Job

Animal Kingdom

Barney's Version

The Kids Are Alright

Winter's Bone

The Social Network

I Am Love

How To Train Your Dragon


Isn't this exciting? Although I've seen The Kids Are Alright and The Social Network, and although I'm disappointed that 127 Hours, Black Swan and Blue Valentine aren't included, and although I can't make it to the double feature on the last day to see last two movies, I'm just pleased as punch at the thought of being there in that gorgeous theater, night after night with my girl Jennie, totally immersed in the fabulous, make-believe, spectacular world of the movies.

Why yes! There will be wine.