Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween?

It's October 31st, Halloween day! And although the 5 lb bag of candy that I bought may not be enough to appease the neighborhood kids' demands for treats, the 100 Christmas cards and holiday stamps already sitting in my home office surely are plenty.

Organized or obsessive? (This is a rhetorical question.)

Either way:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend 3-way: Fore!

Need a lift?

eyes on the road, kids

Florida Fun, 2006. John (at the wheel) famously asked at this moment, "How much does this not suck?"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Game 7, Baby.

Can you believe that game last night?

And tonight? Game Seven, baby. Last game seven of the World Series was 2002. That's nine years ago.

St. Lous and Texas in the last game of the baseball season, tonight.

Almost makes me want to break into song:

(Instead of the Jets and the Sharks, just pretend they're the Cardinals and the Rangers.)

Play Ball!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Have you checked the children?

Plans had been in the works for weeks, ever since they discovered that an opportunity would soon present itself. Horror movies are not allowed anywhere within my girl’s zone of consciousness, and any fool who breaks that rule will be the one summoned to respond to the inevitable 4am shriek of terror from her bedroom. So as she busied herself packing for an innocent camping trip to the woods with no image of Jason to sully her snow white sensibility, he plotted the night of pure evil and terror that he and his best friend had so long been deprived. 

He had planned ahead and recorded Candyman, the one must-see on their agenda ever since they’d both become mildly obsessed with learning the theme music on the piano, preferably at drum-bursting volume on organ pipe mode.  They were so eager, in fact,  that they watched it before it even got dark out. Rookies.  

When night finally fell, they searched the anthology of On Demand, Hulu, and Crackle (but not Netflix because I’m mad at them) for their next screening.

They browsed through the myriad options for modern horror, each title eliciting a shudder from me as I recalled the trailer. Movies like The Grudge, The Ring, Saw, and others that stand out not in name but in the promise of sheer unadulterated horror… movies that I can’t even imagine finding cause or courage to watch.  

My sisters remind me that I used to love scary movies, and frequently planned my own viewing parties with girlfriends when I was not much older than my boy is now. The difference, though, is that the horror of scary movies from back in the day was suspense! We crouched huddling and peered through holes in the afghan as she looked upstairs after the caller once again asked: “Have you checked the children?”  We froze until nothing moved but the pounding of our flat chests as Jamie Lee Curtis crept silently down the hall with a flashlight. We screamed when Carrie’s clawlike hand burst through the solemn earth of her grave.

I remember one night watching that canoe on the quiet lake, knowing what was coming because it wasn’t my first time at this particular rodeo. Unbeknownst to me and my unfortunate companion, my dad* was watching from the doorway behind us. Of course he screamed when Jason burst through the surface of that water, who wouldn’t? I was/am scarred for life.  

*Dad/horror movie trivia: He pierced Linda Blair’s ears! Swear. 

Anyway, my point is that the scary movies of my adolescence were vastly superior to the high def digital effects 3D shit that they’re churning out now.  Never mind that I haven’t watched a horror flick in a decade or two except for the Blair Witch Project, which scared me so badly that I can’t even talk about it. No, never mind that, because even the commercials for new horror movies are damaging to the soul. If I had to choose between watching Paranormal Activity and sticking hot pokers in my eye, I’d be shopping for a sassy patch. 

I managed to get the boys pretty pumped up about the fact that they should look for a classic scary movie to round out their scream fest that night. Together we scrolled through the movie menu and decided to watch the previews from a few before choosing one.  I insisted on Halloween and Friday the 13th, and even volunteered to watch the preview for Nightmare on Elm Street, although I’d never quite had the balls to sit through that particular selection.  I made the boys sit close to me on the couch and told them to prepare to have the poop scared right out of them.  

You guys, they laughed! Giggled, even. Those little shits were not affected in the slightest by the demons from my youth. Okay, so maybe special effects and big budgets do add a little something to the sensory experience. And yeah, maybe those old movies did look a little cheesy by comparison. And I guess the hair and clothes were really bad. But still! Freddy Kroeger? Jason? Michael fucking Myers? Come ON. 

I pulled rank and pressed play on the Shining.

Today, he texted me this image:

clearly, this classic got to him

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless wednesday

Okay, sorry, I cannot stay wordless.

1. I was going to post a photo of a dog in a golf cart (stay tuned for Saturday). But I didn't when I noticed what was on the display on my camera as I looked for it on my phone -- the shot above. And it is actually better, as it's the reason for the need for a wordless wednesday -- work.

2. If you click on this photo and look at it more closely, it is ghastly. Simply gross and revolting. But I bet if you take a close look your key board it might qualify as Halloween material too.

3. This shot makes me feel a little Mistah-like. (The perspective, not the gross hair and crumbs.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flash? What Flash?

We got a new flash for our camera and getting used to it has been a big learning curve. A big steep, dangerous-when-wet learning curve.

Mistah had to use it on the fly the first time, but finally found a moment to read the manual and practice using it in the privacy of our own home the other day, while I was reading.

Have you ever seen photos of yourself reading? I hadn't. I make quite an excellent subject, because I never move an inch or a muscle, the whole time the camera is trained on me.

But I also never knew -- never had an idea -- that I hold my hand on my face in a weird manner every moment.

I mean, frankly?

This is all new to me.

I *do* this?

I guess I do this.

I should, of course, be focusing on the new flash and how awesome it is . . .

. . . and how awesomely long my feet look . . .

. . . but all I can see is the hand on the face.

Oh wait!

I must have been turning a page or something.

I was, afterall, reading the best novel of the year . . .

Hey, Ellie! Look up!

Hey! Hii! Whaddya reading?! Hi! Love your new flash! How are you? Hi!


Monday, October 24, 2011

work it

We have entered a delightful new phase in family photo taking! Gone are the scowls and the stinkeye. Gone are the squirms of protest and admonishing glares. My kids are suddenly supermodels, eager and anxious to pose for my wandering eye.

We found ourselves in a picturesque place on Sunday, and I said so. They did not mock! They did not protest! They offered themselves to the camera gods.


Okay, so she is double checking to make sure that they really are going with it 

A moment of doubt? Reckoning? Acquiescence?

All in, baby.

Work it

Oh dear, are we losing focus?


wait.....where'd they go?

Oh, okay! We're working it and working out

Nice form, girlfriend

Moving along, to the other side of the lake and an impromptu staging opportunity

Opportunity to...

Work it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

weekend photos: Carnage

It doesn't mean they are definitely axe murders in training, right? RIGHT????

Probably not. But I may have a better chance. This, so far is our only Halloween decoration. What can I say? We're friendly.

Carnage? I'll give you carnage.

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 20

Yesterday would have been my dad's 94th birthday. He died years ago, though, so there was no birthday celebration, just the thought in my head, the telling of the fact to my kids, and the answering of a couple of questions about him. I miss my dad sometimes, but not in the visceral way that the Corey girls miss theirs.

My father died in the summer of 1988. That was quite a while ago, and as the platitude goes, time heals. Or rubs smooth the rough edges anyway. I've lived more of my life without my dad than with, so it's in no way new, or raw. But I do firmly believe that no man will ever love you as much as your father, even the best of husbands, which does bring on a selfish sense of loss. And of course I wish my girls would have known him. He was a gentle soul who thought sugar sandwiches before bed were a good idea, and leaned out the back door, yelling, "caw, caw, caw" to the crows while throwing scraps of bread for them. (Who does that?)

He was also a product of the depression era, a WWII vet, and quite old (50) when he had his first child -- me. Although the norm now, it was unusual at the time, and more than once people mistook him for my grandfather.

My college admission essay about my dad's influence on me, written in a senior high school English class and submitted anonymously, earned me an A+ (the only one I got from that teacher). And it probably did help me get into 4 of the 5 schools I applied to. (I really didn't want to go to Wake Forest anyway, thankyouverymuch.)

It examined how having an older father, who was born in 1917 and a whole generation older than almost all of my friends' fathers, shaped my own views and gave me a natural interest in history.

Although I changed my major from history to anthropology my junior year, much of my dad's teachings have stuck with me.

I'm thrifty. There is no way around it. Although I do spend much more lavishly than he ever would have, and do sometimes find myself getting caught up in 'the material world,' I can't stand overpaying for things. I adore thrift stores, and hand-me-downs. At times I wonder if I should be embarrassed by the amount of people who drop off bags of their used stuff to me and my kids. But I don't. I just feel lucky. It feels like Christmas.

The depression hit my dad's generation hard. It left marks and habits that lasted a lifetime. My dad would use the same napkin all week to set his coffee on, the brown rings creating a Ven diagram by Wednesday or Thursday. He saved aluminium cans long before it was convenient to do so. He stashed hundred dollar bills in cook books, which we found when we cleaning out his house after he died. Poverty was a real thing to my dad. He was (consequently) obsessive about money. Don't even try talking during reports about the Dow Jones' daily performance. That information was vital. He required my mom submit all her receipts to him. It must have been oppressive.

But I do not have any debt, and know the value of a dollar, and that it's important to have some savings. I can't fathom the mortgage payments of some of my friends. It's simply too risky. But of course that is just my view, shaped by his.

I have an appreciation for veterans, helping my dad, as I did, place miniature flags on the graves of dead ex-soldiers on memorial day in the Catholic graveyard of our home town. But I also know, deep down, on some never really discussed level, that war is hell, and not for humans, and can be so altering that you can't even talk about it or ever again get on a plane. Even if it means driving from New York to California and back to get married. Nope, you call it your honeymoon instead, because those flying memories are just too painful to face.

Yep, I miss my dad, his generosity of spirit, his thrift of dollar. I miss his unconditional love; his view that I am the most special of all daugthers; his humility, his humor. But he passed a lot on to me, as all parents do. And now it's my turn to pass the right things down to my very own daughters.

Happy belated, Dad! I love you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's All A Blur To Me

You know how sometimes you know you had a great time, but some of the details are blurry?

Well, that happened to me last weekend.

I know we got together with old friends . . .

. . . and I know we yakked and laughed and basked around the fire for hours . . .

. . . and I know our illustrious host was as charming and gracious as ever . . .

. . . and look! Even Mistah was there!

But the details? Blurry.

It's as if the whole night was rolled in a sheet of gauze . . .

. . . then wrapped in a blanket of fog . . .

. . . with only moments of almost-clarity.

But hey, it sure looks like we had a great time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

princess hodgepodge

I wanted to share a few really bad photos with you today, because I am shifty and unlikeable. Plus, I think you're worth it. I was all set to crop this photo just to showcase the masterpiece that is my girl's spelling prowess, but then I noticed several inconsequential  uninteresting riveting details in the would-be cropped areas, and I would never intentionally deprive you of such rich blog fodder.

The list in all its glory, but also blogworthy: the Joe Cal notepad and a peek at my oh-so-blue shoes

The grocery list is sublime, though. She's 1 for 9!

smash bars (this is technically spelled correctly... but
what is it?)
wiped cream

I've rarely felt such glee as I did with each glance at that list while shopping. Ain't life grand?


Next up is a moment I captured during one of our tragically routine mornings of chaos. We are always, always, always late and on the verge of fury. The low on gas light is always illuminated. The traffic lights are always red.  The glass is always half empty. My boy had retired to his room to brush his hair and grab his shoes, yet in I walked on this spectacle:

Of particular interest: his hair! I die. Also, note the empty glass on his desk. He has a loathsome new habit of carrying around a glass full of ice cubes to crunch on. The sound track of his adolescence is the open mouthed gnawing of molars on ice cubes.  dislike.

Finally, a couple of moments from the scene of a recent get together with my lovely co-blogger Beth, and our gaggle of sisters-of-the-hair

Calling Nonnie (sp?) for her birthday from a downtown street.

Then heading to lunch at the only restaurant our girls would hear of: Beer Co
They have very fond memories of an afternoon spent haunting the deserted upstairs party room there, and of the pasta on the kids' menu. Beth and I needed alot of convincing. Turns out we should have kept our fond memories intact, because the kids' menu is now defunct and they got booted out of the party space.

That didn't stop us from having a great time, though. We had just seen a hip hop/ballet production of Alice in Wonderland. It was an unusual and highly entertaining show, made more interesting because I had watched Black Swan the previous night, and I felt that I had an uncanny insight into the certain psychosis of those ballerinas. I was on high alert for destructive scratchy nutbars. 

And that is all that I have to tell you!


Wednesday Princess

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lumineria labyrinth

I got an email the other day with the photo below

Sat. October 15, Law St. Beach 5:30 – 7:30 pm (sunset 6:21).

I read the email quickly, but knew I wanted to go, and wanted the whole family to check it out with me. We decided that arriving at 6 pm, to see the labyrinth before, during, and after the sunset would be ideal.

By some miracle, we got there right about 6 pm. But the beach seemed surprisingly empty. Where exactly was the labyrinth? Where were the all the peeps? Turns out that my quick skimming of the email details did not allow me to  pick up on the fact that the project would not get started until 5:30. So, our venture changed from labyrinth walkers to labyrinth makers.

Yes, we jumped in and started a kick ass family assembly line: I was the official bag opener, while the older two girls scooped sand into said open bags, then handed them off to Tommy to fold.

She pretty much just got in the way...

After we amassed quite a collection, I dropped in the tea lights,

and some other helpful folks carried them on down to the labyrinth, which was finally (almost) complete.

We probably put together a third of the lumineria needed to light the labyrinth.

Yep, we rock

Tommy got a hold of one of the lighters and was busy working on lighting bags until past dark.

Pretty cool, right?

The rest of us checked out the tribute to Steve Jobs area, enjoyed the setting sun and each other, and partook in some essential sand art.

Merrell especially, she was so into her creation that she had to be cajoled to walk the labyrinth.

But the sun was down, the labyrinth was alight, and it was time to walk it -- with all the folks just arriving. And although it would have been cool to simply show up and walk the illuminated labyrinth, it was all the more cool to help in its creation. Not sure what the message is....sometimes it's good to speed read your emails?

What is a labyrinth?
Labyrinths have been around for at least 3500 years, in countries all over the world, including China, India, Israel, Ireland, Southern Europe, Scandinavia, Pre-Columbian North America, and England. They have been found all over the world in different historic periods: at Neolithic and Sardinian and Hopi rock art sites, in Hindu temples and Taoist shrines, bordering Minoan frescoes and in Roman mosaics. They have been carved into rocks, turf and wood; engraved in metal; laid out in stones; woven; set in tile, painted and drawn.

The labyrinth is a nearly universal form and comes as close as we can to an archetype. An archetype is a symbol that appeals to us at an unconscious level. We don’t have to struggle with its meaning intellectually. Its symbolic meaning is somehow ingrained in us, part of our very nature. It is a symbol of our journey through life, the unity of our life path and the center that awaits wherever we are on the path. Because of its lack of complexity, it can be used as a meditative, relaxing, calming, centering path to walk and clear your mind.