Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend 3-Way: Recycled Edition

Being the green, environmental bloggers that we are, today we're recycling an old Weekend 3-way, from August.

Answer the following using the first letter of your name your man's name, then use all the words in a paragraph.

Since Jacquie and I both have Bills, the first letter of any of his nicknames is acceptable.

Photos encouraged. Natch.

4 Letter Word: Sash
Vehicle: Subaru
Movie: Star Wars
City: Sacramento
Boy Name: Stan
Girl Name: Shirl
Occupation: Satellite Repairman
Something you wear: Specs
Food: Spaghetti
Something found in the bathroom: Saline
Reason for being late: Stubbed toe
Something you shout: Shit!

Shirl was trying to watch Star Wars, but something was wrong with her tv. She called Stan the Satellite Repairman, all the way out in Sacramento, who got in his Subaru and drove out to Shirl's. Shirl had a big crush on Stan, and wanted to take off her specs and put in her contacts, but she was out of saline. She figured she could get by without them, and went down to the kitchen to make a batch of spaghetti for her man, along with salad and garlic bread. Not being able to see, however, she stubbed her toe on the sash of the doorway and toppled down the stairs, yelling all the way down, "Shhhhhiiiiiitttttt!"

4 Letter Word: Time
Vehicle: Thunderbird
Movie: Titantic
City: Tijuana
Boy Name: Tito
Girl Name: Tanya
Occupation: Truck driver
Something you wear: Tuxedo
Food: Tacos
Something found in the bathroom: Towel
Reason for being late: Tornado
Something you shout: Taxi!

Tanya was never on time, it drove Tito crazy. She promised that this time, this day of their wedding, she would not be late. She would not. She pictured their wedding day like the bow scene in the movie Titantic. It would be perfect. Unfortunately, she was a truck driver and was headed right into a Tornado! It struck the truck. It flipped it over. But Tanya would not be deterred, she grabbed an old towel and wrapped it around her bleeding head. She staggered out to the highway and shouted "Taxi! Taxi!," but there were none to be found. A Thunderbird finally pulled over and agreed to take her to her to see Tito in his tuxedo in Tijuana. He happily agreed to be paid in tacos.


forgive me for being a day late and a dollar short, the blog goblins ate my story yesterday

4 Letter Word: Boob
Vehicle: Bug
Movie: Brian’s Song
City: Boston
Boy Name: Borris
Girl Name: Buela
Occupation: Bartender
Something you wear: Belt
Food: Borscht
Something found in the bathroom: Bathrobe
Reason for being late: Blogging
Something you shout: Bastard!

Buela was beside herself. She was somewhat surprised to find that she was still in her bathrobe, after having driven her bug to Boston to see her boyfriend Borris. He was a bartender, and was accustomed to having beautiful babes cry on his shoulder, but his patience for Buela was wearing thin. She sensed that he was not impressed by her woe about how blogging had caused her to be late for work one too many times, so she attributed her swollen eyes and puffy face to having just watched Brian’s Song. The bathrobe was harder to explain. As she finished up her restorative Borscht, the belt of her robe fell off , exposing her left boob. That was the last straw for Borris, he sent her packing. As she shuffled to the door on her way out of his life, she turned and shouted her goodbye: “BASTARD!”

Friday, February 27, 2009


On the morning of February 27, 1999, I was dead tired. It had been 36 hours since my water broke, and for the last two of those hours I'd been pushing so hard that I had to keep peeking down to make sure that I hadn’t accidentally ejected my ribcage. The baby wasn’t budging. It was sunny side up. Stuck. I was done. When my doctor dejectedly announced that we were going to have to do a c-section, I tried my best to jump up and shout hallelujah! But I was dead tired, so I just nodded. I giggled as he explained the possible perils of surgery. I cared not! Pull the thing out through my nostril if you must, just GET. IT. OUT.

A little while after that, I lay waiting for someone to tell me about this baby I had been so desperate to meet. My husband was the one to tell me: “It’s a boy!” Oh, it was a boy. It was my boy. All 9.8 pounds of him.

He’s a boy for the ages, this boy of mine.

He was my guinnea pig at this parenting gig.

Once he learned to talk, he pretty much never stopped

As long as he was conscious

He knows how to party.

This boy is a thinker, an observer, a passionately enthusiastic participant in the roller coaster of his life.

He is a constant source of amusement, amazement, and bewilderment for me.

He changes so much from year to year, and I don't just mean his hair.

Happy Birthday to my boy. Welcome to double digits, baby!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bible dip

I'm currently reading "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs. It's a strange little book, but I'm enjoying it.

One of things about the book that tickles me is the fact that the characters "bible-dip." A practice akin to using the bible as a crazy 8 ball.

The best bible-dip scenario is to have someone else open the bible up to a random page, then you, the person doing the "bible-dip," point your finger to a word on the open page. That word, whatever it is, is supposed to give you direction, put you on the right path, provide you with an answer.

Seeing as I fell asleep last night at 8:40 PM with this book on my chest and therefore did not get to my blog post, I’ve decided that I'll "bible-dip" this morning for today’s post's topic. The trouble is I don't have a bible, or if I do, it's still packed away in the garage somewhere, so instead I'm going to "book-dip." I'm going to dip into "Running with Scissors."

Here goes....drum roll please........."large enough." Huh, well that's not what I was hoping for, and I guess reveals a disadvantage of not using the bible, a book chock full of words like fortitude, awakening, and transgression.

No matter, I can make do with "large enough.” I'm looking at the phrase in the context of “expansive” and “abundance” (much more of a bible word, no?). Lately I've been in a funk. I've been cranky and somewhat negative and just not viewing my world as large enough to house all my needs and desires. I've been feeling as though certain activities are not conducive to certain others, like I have to get rid of certain things or change myself in some major way to make my world function and fit nicely together.

But it's not true, and “Running with Scissors” just told me so! Life is large enough. There is enough time, and space, and energy, and resources for me to get everything done that I want to do. If I feel it's worth doing, it can and will get done. I don't have to live in some small corner of life. It is large enough.

There. Not the best bible-dip ever, but I actually do feel better.

Why did I ever get rid of my Crazy 8 ball anyway? Or my mood ring?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


We went to the casino last night.

There are 2 casinos on Indian land in this part of Connecticut: the Mohegan Sun, run by the Mohegans, and Foxwoods, run by Mashantucket Pequots.

I’ve never been to Foxwoods, but the Mohegan Sun is an enormous, massive, rambling compound. It has a huge arena with big-name shows, it’s where the Connecticut Sun WNBA plays, it’s got the Wolf Den, a much smaller, free venue for less-huge music shows, 8 million restaurants, oh, and I guess, a bunch of casinos.

This was my fourth time there. The first time was years and years ago – before we started traveling. Bill and I came up to New London for Thanksgiving, and we went up to the casino for a couple of hours to get away from his family for something different to do. I think we spent $10. That’s the last time I ever gambled there.

About 5 years ago – not long after the kidney transplant – we were back in the area for a while, Bill was working nights at a bookstore, and I took myself to the Wolf Den to see The Mavericks, with Raul Malo, the world’s sexiest fat man.

A couple of years ago Bill and I went back to the Wolf Den to see Del Castillo, a Latin/Flamenco band from Austin with a couple of brothers with lightening-fast fingers on the guitar.

And last night, we went back again, to see Girls Guns and Glory.

The casino is a strange, strange place. First of all, smoking is allowed. I guess there are smoke-free parts of the casino, but the Wolf Den is not in that part. It’s bizarre – it seems impossible that smoking was ever allowed in bars, never mind for the person sitting next to you at the bar. You can drink for free you’re gambling, apparently, but it’s hard to pretend you’re gambling when you’re there to watch a show. But, man, the peeps are there gambling. Slot machines no longer have handles, and they no longer use money. You just put a card in, and hit a button over and over. And over and over. Who am I to judge slot machine players? I mean, what do I care? But it’s astounding to watch someone stare at that godawful machine, a few feet in front of her face, all night long. The machines are so ugly. At least at blackjack tables, there’s human interaction.

And there’s human interaction at the Wolf Den. We saw a great show. The guys are adorable, they were high-energy and rocking and played ‘til 11, their tunes are awesome, they did a Tom Petty cover better than Tom Petty ever sang it, and not only is Ward Hayden adorable and a sweetheart, but he’s got a voice that makes you absolutely swoon. The guy’s awesome. And they’re playing in New London again next Friday.

We had to put up with the smoke, the hugely annoying couple practicing their line-dance moves, completely ignorant of the uniqueness of the band, and the expensive drinks, but we saw a great free show, yakked with the boys, saw some friends, and, best of all, got to watch Mistah dance with Preston Franz.

If only I had my camera . . .

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

wardrobe malfunction

I sort of promised my kids that I would not post photos of them on this blog that are embarrassing, which presents a problem today because I want to write about their wardrobes. However, I think I can take some editorial license because I am certain that we have a vastly different interpretation of what is considered “embarrassing”, so I feel that I can ethically post photos of outfits in which they felt they looked good.

A couple of weekends ago, I asked my children to go through their drawers and remove any clothing that they considered unwearable for whatever reason. I had grown tired of the illogical difficulty we faced each morning in choosing an outfit. It should be easy, take something from the ‘bottoms’ drawer, another something from the ‘tops’ drawer, throw in some undies and socks, grab your shoes and call it a day. (for the sake of argument, let’s say that our clean laundry is folded and put away in said drawers). I was perplexed about how it came to be that most of us were so often standing at the door, backpacked and lunchboxed and coffeed up, while one of our family members stood naked in her bedroom, unable to find an acceptable item of clothing to put upon her delicate self. So I offered this rending of garments, a virtual spring cleaning in which all offensive items could be rejected without penalty. This would surely improve the probability of success in our morning dressing routine.

My boy tackled the task methodically, he knew what he had outgrown and quickly filled a laundry basket with his cast offs. There were a few items in there that were perfectly fine, but not enough to warrant negotiations. He was done in about ten minutes.

In those same ten minutes, my girl started the project by removing every single item from every single one of her drawers, creating a heap on her bed. She then tore through the heap, leaving the keepers on the bed and relegating the rejects to the floor. Honestly, I was simply too stunned to intervene, she has a way of making these things work sometimes. Like her Aunt Ellie, that girl loves a project. When she was ready to fold her whittled down wardrobe back into her drawers, I noticed that she had discarded all but about 4 pair each of underwear and socks. I was not surprised, for this was almost always the pea for our princess. Somehow, the underwear just didn’t often feel right. I am not opposed to her going commando, but she is concerned that some nasty boy will be able to peer up the leg of her pants and get an eyeful of her girly parts. I am, however, opposed to her wearing the same pair of underwear for more than a day, at least until she starts doing her own laundry and/or bathing more frequently.

So, we’ve been limping along with this inventory for a while now. I did repossess a few pair of new underwear from the giveaway pile, and now simply refuse to discuss the matter. If she’s naked when it’s time to go to school, she’s going to school naked.

You might think that with such a delicate fashion palette, my girl would emerge each day as a vision of successful wardrobe creation. And really, she’s not that bad. She does put together some cute layered ensembles that I would not have thought of as complimentary. But there are a few … issues… with her fashion sense, and that of her brother.

First, the highwaters. Call them what you will, but know this: if the river seeps above its banks in this neighborhood, my children will be unaffected.

My girl’s general position is that if your pants are short, you can just wear longer socks.

Another length issue involves the bottom of one’s skirt.

Or shirt

For the most part, all of this falls under the parenting category I like to call “choose your battles”. If they are dressed and happy with what they’ve got on, why sweat it? The day will come soon enough when they demand particular brands and styles, and when my girl’s issue with waistbands is no longer the complaint that they don’t come up high enough on her back. They’re kids; they’re supposed to be goofy.

This is exactly what I was thinking as they walked toward me at the beach on Sunday with Beth’s girl. Incidentally, Beth’s younger girl (not shown) has a true gift for assembling the most insane creative wardrobe combinations, and was also the lucky recipient of that giant heap from my girl’s floor. She will never be without underwear.

What’s most important is that my kids are clothed, and if they need help or advice to determine how to dress for the day’s weather forecast, I’m happy to step in.

As long as I don't embarrass them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Drown it out

Oh geez, did I win my own bet? You bet I did. I picked all 6 agreed upon Oscar categories, no mistakes -- not bad, if I do say so myself. Especially considering I saw the fewest of the nominated films. So I'm thinking a nice classic 6 pack of Sierra Nevada. I'm not exactly sure how we'll work that out....I guess 3 bottles each from both Jacquie and Ellie? Or maybe Jacquie just buys the whole 6 pack and then Ellie buys Jacquie 3 beers the next time she sees her? Or maybe Jacquie only owes me 1, since she supplied me with a couple of beers at the beach today.

Yes, we spent a lovely, chilly Sunday afternoon at Ocean Beach, our kids running crazy, climbing rocks, and sand mounds, and lifeguard towers (which really aren't towers, but I'm not sure what else to call them), then jumping off most of them.

And although the beach, especially in the winter when very few people are there, is a terrific place for the kids to get exercise and work off their excess energy, there's another compelling reason to take them there, as opposed to the park, or the playground, or the pool. It's the sound. The ocean is loud, as it's in constant motion, the waves continuously breaking, the tide always coming or going. The sound, the unceasing background cacophony at the beach, is so liberating, for both child and parent.

I don't feel the constant need for the volume control, as I do in my attached townhouse, or in the library, or a restaurant, or most all public spaces. Its one of the only places I go to that I don't feel the need to monitor my children's decibel level. Scream, shriek, howl, it's all allowed, it's all okay, and hardly anyone will hear you anyway. That's not to say that I haven't sent my kids away from me, shooing them off to yell somewhere closer to the tide line. But it works, they take their high-pitched yowls down to the breaking waves, and honestly, it's so loud they can hardly hear each other. Perfect.

I love the ocean for myriad reasons, in fact I'd have to say it's (not necessarily the Pacific Ocean, but oceans in general) probably my favorite of nature's amazing gifts, but one of those reasons, especially at this point in my life, is definitely its magnificent roaring sound.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weekend 3-way: Oscar edition

There are a few famous Oscars, think hotdogs:

or Sesame Street:
or playwrights:

but I’m pretty sure you know the Oscar(s) I’m talking about. Yes, these Oscars:

It’s Oscar weekend, and Ellie has been so kind as to provide informative Film Festival feedback this past week, which has got us all thinking about the pictures, hasn't it?

SO, which actors and films do you think will win? Notice I did not say which films and/or actors do you want to win. No, I want to know if you can pick them like the Academy does. This is a competition, people.

We won’t do ALL the categories, just these six: leading actor, supporting actor, leading actress, supporting actress, directing, and, of course, best picture.

Here’s The Oscars Official Ballot.

Comment on your picks if you’d like.

Oh, and whoever gets the most right is owed a six pack of their choosing.

Leading actor: Sean Penn
Supporting actor: Heath Ledger (the Academy loves a dead nominee)
Leading actress: Kate Winslet
Supporting actress: Penelope Cruz
Directing: Slumdog Millionaire
best picture: Slumdog Millionaire


For the record, I copied your category list and then erased your answers from my screen and from my memory before filling in mine. Plus, I'm resisting the urge to point out.. ahem.. certain OTHER oscars that Ellie will undoubtedly showcase.

Leading actor: Mickey Rourke (comment: major heebee jeebees and I'm already cringing about his acceptance speech)
Supporting actor: Heath Ledger (comment: for Jennie)
Leading actress: Kate Winslet (comment: love her)
Supporting actress: Amy Adams (comment: love her, too)
Directing: Slumdog Millionaire (ach)
Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire (really. ach)

Well, let's see.

There's the Fashion Designer Oscar . . .

the TV slob Oscar . . .

The, um, boxer Oscar . . .

Ah, of course, THE Oscars. In all their glory.

And as for my slate, I never get these things right. I care too much, and know too little. But here are my guesses, for what they're worth. I guess I'll be online first thing Monday to see who won what. Since I'm a tv-less plebeian.

Leading Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger (consensus lock), “The Batman”
Leading Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader” (she’s overdue, although so is Meryl Streep)
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, “Doubt” (Heard she was great. Didn’t see it yet, sigh.)
Directing: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire (and, yes, I *am* on that particular bandwagon)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nine Days, Nine Movies

Conversation overheard at The Tavern last week:

Peter: Hey, Bill, where’s Ellie?
Bill: She dumped me for Jennie.
Peter: Well, can you blame her?
Bill: No.

It’s been quite a run with my friend Sweet Jennie. We had ourselves a time at the Film Festival. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do tonight, without my backpack full of wine, pita chips and baba ghanoush, waiting for the red Honda F-I-T Fit to come pick me up . . .
Now that it's over, let's have a look back at what we saw, shall we?

The Duchess
Here's what I said about The Duchess last week, when we'd seen only one movie:

It was an odd little movie, strangely devoid of affectation. But Keira Knightley was adorable, as per. Great face. And her co-star Hayley Atwell, who the entire time I thought was Kate Beckinsale from Laurel Canyon, which I loved, was good, too.

Having seen the great slate of other movies since then, though, I'd say that was the weakest one of the bunch.

Rachel Getting Married
This movie was filled with comfortingly flawed characters. Kym was a flawed, flawed person, and Anne Hathaway nailed her. Rosemarie DeWitt was great as Rachel, too, and Debra Winger played a mother I can’t stop thinking about. Good movie that sticks with you, and just a fabulous rendition of the Neil Young tune Unknown Legend. Oh! And one rocking wedding.

The Dark Knight
Hated it. Hated the violence. Hated the people shooting eachother and cars crashing into eachother and buildings exploding. Hated that is was about 6 hours long. Hated that it was the country’s top-grossing movie and what people think of when then think of American filmmaking. Hated The Batman and hated his voice.

I did, though, like that Batman is now called The Batman. Nice touch. I’m thinking about adding a “The” to my name. “The Ellie”. I think it works.

I also like that, unlike what I feared, I was unaffected by Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker. Thankfully, he will continue to always be my poor gay cowpoke boyfriend, Ennis Del Mar.
And Jennie? Sweet Jennie my wee little vegan all-god’s-furry-creatures-loving pacifist friend? Jennie loved the movie. Jennie loved The Batman, and Jennie loved The Joker. Jennie wants to take The Joker home and nurture him. Jennie thinks The Joker just needs some Sweet Jennie Love to snap him out of his nihilism.
Vicky Christina Barcelona
Tragically, I missed this one. I had no choice: my rat friend Matt came down for a long-planned visit. And I really do want to see it. Not least because I love Barcelona. I spent 5 or 6 days there on a business trip the week before I got married. I love that city. And I love those Spanish hot potatoes Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. Jennie made it to the movie. How many movies did Jennie miss? Jennie missed zero movies.

The Changeling
Pretty good one. The first half was good, as was the last quarter. The third quarter slowed down too much, with a non-compelling courtroom scene. Angelina Jolie was good, and she had great dresses and hats – Jennie and I loved her lids – but there were about 17 too many of the exact same close-up of her lips face. I liked the movie, though, and I was really happy to miss The Drama of The Bed.

The Visitor
The Visitor. Jennie and I thought it was going to be a happy, drumming movie, and it was much more somber and serious, but it was really good. I loved Richard Jenkins, and I loved Hiam Abbass, and I loved my smiley smiley beautiful boyfriend Haaz Sleiman. Lots of themes to think about like entitlement and loyalty and loneliness. Kind of heart-breaking, really, but I never ever wanted it to end.

Frozen River
I think this was my favorite one. I love a movie that lifts me out of the moment, and this one did . . . This movie was good. Melissa Leo – she of the academy award nomination – was awesome, as was her co-star, Misty Upham. As were the kids. I loved the connection between the two women, and the bleak New York State atmosphere, and the tight, compelling story. Just a brilliant little fil-um. Ellie Jury Prize Winner.

I’ve Loved You So Long
We had a lot to talk about after this movie. Interesting one. They all were, really. Which is why we chose to film fest in the first place, if I may use that as a verb. Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein, who played her sister, both had white, white skin and green, green eyes, and square jaws. (Neither Jennie nor I have a square jaw.) You couldn't take your eyes off either one. But there was one crucial plot assumption that didn't work at all, which is strange, and too bad, because it really hurt the movie. But I still liked it, and I loved the French. Oh. And the girl who played the daughter – named P'tit Lys (isn’t that excellent?) – was almost unbearably, adorably brilliant.
Ach. Poppy. I miss Poppy. I love Poppy. I use the word love a lot, I know. But I do love the movies. And I do love the specifically character-driven movies on the back side of the Film Fest. Walter, Ray, Juliette, and Poppy – our four heroes this week. And each one had a side kick (Mouna, Lila, Lea and Zoe, if you must know).
I don't know where I got my expectations, but I had this silly expectation that Poppy was annoyingly optimistic and a do-gooder. She was, in fact, optimistic, but also sarcastic and fun. We heard that our friends Dave and Jill walked out of the movie. They hated it. Which I find curious, because, well, I loved it. I wanted to bring Poppy right home with me. Not like Jennie and her creepy Joker, but just because Poppy seems like great fun to have around. When she's not trying to save the world.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And that's it. The New London 2009 Winter Film Festival has drawn to a close. Now I can get back to my book and my lonely husband. It was a fabulous stretch of movies, I had a great time with my girl Jennie, and it was about the very best way to while away part of a cold February in Connecticut.
And now, I've got to check the papers. What's playing this weekend?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

in the den

I can’t look at this photo without smiling. It’s been propped in a vertical file on my desk for ages, ever since it fell off of some silly identity poster that I had to make for one reason or another many years ago. It was a very fitting entry for that poster, it expresses the roots of my identity pretty well, I think.

I love the photograph itself – the square shape and white border easily distinguish it as an archive from the 70s. And if you needed more proof of that, well hello wall-to-wall orange shag carpet!

I love the girl, I love being the girl. The unbearable cuteness, the messy braids, that grin, and Lord help me, that outfit! Oh, what I would give to have those clothes in my girl’s drawers.

I love the room, the den. Those built in shelves with the albatross of a tv that you had to actually touch to change channels. Those shelves that held so many treasures.. that Japanese tea set that you see up there above the funky angled desk lamp was set up out of reach in 1973, but in later years it was banged around with abandon by the next generation. I wish we could see Beethoven’s bust or that weird three-faced golden dog. The cabinet by the tv that first housed a reel to reel tape recorder, which eventually retired to make room for the CD player.

I love the house that enfolded that den. The house of my memories, the house I visit in my dreams, the house of my childhood. I wish we could have our upcoming family reunion old-school style, with Dad hauling kids down Jackson in his lawn mower trailer contraption. But I think the one we are planning will be great – how can we miss, all inhabiting the same acre or so of land? The Poconos are not going to know what hit them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Red alert

I was going through my web links at work today, weeding through them, trying to delete non-work related links when possible. It is my work computer, after all.

While doing so I came across a link to a press release I read a few months back, a link to a psychological study that I found interesting enough to bookmark. When I re-read it today, I thought that maybe other people would find it interesting too.

Can color affect behavior? This was the question the study aimed to answer, and believe it or not, the study found that at least in some situations, it can. The study found that the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women, and that this effect is not one that men are consciously aware of. (And that this effect is not so for women's feelings for men.)

University of Rochester psychologists performed five experiments in which they showed photos of women to men. The thing that changed in these photos was the color -- the color of the border surrounding the photo of the women in some cases, and the color of what the women were wearing in other photos. Everything else remained the same.

"Under all of the conditions, the women shown framed by or wearing red were rated significantly more attractive and sexually desirable by men than the exact same women shown with other colors."

Who knew? Are you a woman looking for lust love? Perhaps you should trade in your little black dress for little red one. And maybe you'll really get some mileage from wearing that firetruck red lipstick, or nail polish, or pair of shoes, and probably definitely from wearing that scarlet negligee. Maybe it's not just Maybelline and Victoria's Secret marketing dollars at work, maybe there is some substance there.

Even more intriguing, it turns out that this predilection for red is one shared by nonhuman male primates. They, like human males, are also attracted to females displaying red. Andrew Elliot, a University of Rochester psychology professor, explained that their study discovered definite parallels between the two, and that "In doing so, our findings confirm what many women have long suspected and claimed – that men act like animals in the sexual realm. As much as men might like to think that they respond to women in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner, it appears that at least to some degree, their preferences and predilections are, in a word, primitive."

Men? No, not men. I don't believe it. Okay, well maybe just a wee little tiny bit.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bed Bugs

Billy bought us a bed on Saturday.

When we got to New London in the summer and moved into our house, we had no bed, so Bill’s mom – The Mumsie – generously gave us the double mattress and box spring that was in the spare bedroom in her house for the last 20 years or so. Bill’s never been comfy on it, though, and has been threatening to go out and buy us a bed when they went on sale, and that’s what he did on Saturday. A queen-size mattress and box spring from Sleepy’s, for a pretty good price.

Sleepy’s, however, charges $89 to deliver, which we could not abide by. We asked our friends Peter and Martha if we could borrow their old pick-up truck on Sunday. P&M said yes, but it was really tricky to drive, and one of them would accompany us on our rounds.

We hated to have to involve P or M, especially since we had to pick up the mattress at the Sleepy’s in Groton, and the boxspring at the Sleey’s in Waterford, but we needed a truck, so we said yes, thank you.

In the meantime, our friend Matt came down from Boston to hang with us on Saturday night, and Matt is a man who needs a big breakfast on Sunday morning. So even though my movie with Jennie was at 3, and we had to go to Groton and Waterford with Peter or Martha before that, off we went to brekkies at noon.

At 1:30 I talked to Peter, who said Martha would be our superstar truck’s driver, and that she’d be over after she filled the truck with gas. I was fretting. I did not see how I’d have time to drive all over tarnation hunting mattresses, and still get to the movie on time.

I was standing on the sunny front porch, doing just that fretting, when our friend Owen stopped by after feeding a friend’s dog in our 'hood. I told him of my plight, and like the rock star he is, Owen volunteered to drive to Groton and Waterford with Billy and Martha.

And off they went. Into the horizon. Billy with an angel from heaven on one side, and a knight in shining armor on the other, in the old blue pick-up truck.

Meanwhile, back at the house, the weight of the world having been lifted from my shoulders, Jennie arrived, we concocted batches of pure joy (as my brother-in-law Bill calls making bloody marys), and set off to The Pictures.

In the meantime, our heroic threesome found the correct Groton Sleepy’s (after first landing at the incorrect Groton Sleepy's), made their way to the Waterford Sleepy’s . . .

. . . and arrived home with mattress and boxspring in tow.

It was a beautiful day, and things were going well.

Billy and Owen got the mattress off the truck . . .

. . . up the front porch stairs . . .

. . . into the house . . .

. . . and right up the stairs..

And then it was time to get the boxspring up the stairs.
Oh dear.
As much as they heaved, as much as they hoed, they could not get that badboy to fit. Peter, who is apparently some kind of Angle Guru, was called to the scene.
Oh, Peter checked out the angles all right. But even he couldn't get that boxspring to fit up the stairs.
None of them could.

And so back down the stairs it came.

Down the stairs . . .

. . . out the door . . .

. . . and back down the porch stairs . . . (that's Owen in his car in the background, getting the hell out of there)

. . . and back into the truck. And, accompanied by Martha and Billy, right back to Sleepy's #2. Or was it Sleepy's #3?? .

And Jennie and I? We were happily oblivious to the day's drama, drinking bloody marys and snacking on hummus and pistachios at the movies.
Can you believe our friends? They rock.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Bill ordered us a split queen-sized box spring, which cost $100 more, which will arrive later this week. And which will fit in the Westy.
Which is unfortunate, really. Because we won't get to borrow the old truck again. The other hero of the day. Here's what Martha said about that yeoman, when I asked her details about the pick-up, which I mistakenly called a Ford:
That's no Ford!! That is a 1981 Chevy C-10 with ~87,000 miles on it. That works out to a little over 3,000 miles per year... not evenly distributed, though. It used to drive my dad to Millstone, then it got to carry band equipment sometimes, when it still had a cap. It's always available when the Subaru goes to Quaker Hill for a rest cure. But alas, now its regular gig is going to the transfer station a few times per summer, and the rare and wonderfully exciting help-someone-move-something-big adventure like yesterday.
That truck was beaming with self-importance.