Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Friday, March 28, 2003
Friday Five

1. What was your most memorable moment from the last week?

I can't remember. :-) Seriously, after February 25, I'm seeking weeks without memorable moments, thank you.

2. What one person touched your life this week?

Sorry, nothing really profound: the nice gentleman who's coming over tonight to cut and trim the lawn. He makes some money, I don't get a backache and an allergy attack.

3. How have you helped someone this week?

Helping the lawn guy earn more money.

4. What one thing do you need to get done by this time next week?

Return my library books. :-)

5. What one thing will you do over the next seven days to make your world a better place?

Um, it's not a running gag, just the truth...get the grass cut! The lawn is up to the dog's shoulders.


» Thursday, March 27, 2003
Thursday Threesome

Onesome: Lights- Did you watch the lights of Hollywood at the Academy Awards the other night?...and were you surprised by any of the winners...or did you spend the evening doing something else?

Awards? There was an awards show the other night? Seriously, we changed channels just in time to hear Steve Martin joke about the Teamsters stuffing Michael Moore into the trunk of his car (And good riddance had it been true. Michael Moore has a right to his opinion about the War in Iraq. But let him shell out his own cash for his own forum rather than being that worst form of slime, a User of someone else’s event.) and then went on. I was disappointed that Lilo & Stitch didn’t win; Spirited Away sounds downright depressing despite the good reviews. But otherwise I really didn’t care.

Twosome: Camera- Do you enjoy photography? ...and do you take pictures for your web site if you have one? Hmmm... Digital or film? Inquiring minds and all that...

All the time. Have albums of pictures and a CD-R full as well. Bought a digital camera after I messed up the main (30-70) lens on my Pentax and realized no one sold regular lenses anymore (at least at the stores I could afford). The Pentax still wasn’t working correctly anyway; I’d had the shutter fixed several months earlier and it was boggling at the fastest shutter speeds again (half the picture would be shaded because the shutter wasn’t opening properly). Love the digital camera. Miss my telephoto lens, though. Have many photos up on the website--check ‘em out.

Threesome: Action- For some, March Madness has begun. Have you succumbed to the action of the basketball tournament, or are you immune to the madness and just waiting for regular programming to resume?

Let me be succinct about this. I hate, hate, hate team sports, especially professional team sports, okay? Baseball is boring except on the radio. In the summer baseball on the radio is vaguely comforting; it reminds me of my dad and my godfather. Football is okay only on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, not because I’m interested in it, but because it brings back warm memories of uncles at family gatherings. Hockey is slightly watchable. But basketball...God, I loathe basketball. I can’t remember how many episodes of Get Smart I missed because of those stupid Saturday night Providence College basketball games. (My parents went bowling on Saturday nights and I had to ask the guys behind the counter if I could watch their TV. They were usually nice about it...except when those nasty games were on.) And all the episodes of Dr. Simon Locke that were pre-empted that spring of 1973 due to the wretched playoffs. Not to mention joined-in-progress (after fifty million commercials, of course) episodes of Star Trek: the Next Generation and Babylon 5 and...

The thought of basketball makes me very, very mean.


» Tuesday, March 25, 2003
One of the most beautiful parts of spring here in Atlanta is also one of the most annoying: the spring blooming of the flowering shrubs and trees. For those of us allergic to plants, it’s a yearly nightmare. The air gets thick and gritty. We have one particular form of pollen which is visible and which the allergists say is "too big" granularly to bother people's allergies. Well, while it might be "too big" from an allergy point of view, it's still a bugaboo: for several weeks the pine "dust," as it were, coats everything with a fine film of yellow. Everything it strikes turns yellow, including grazing animals, flowerpots, and especially our white truck. At its worst, the pine dust forms little yellow swirls in the street which eddy and convolute in the breeze, and coats every bit of furniture in a room if you so much dare to leave a curtain open, leaving throats and noses raw.

The color is another thing all together. Usually the hardy forsythia leads the pack. Even in New England this gallant little yellow flower peeks out its earliest, sometimes even when people shiver and blow smoke in the morning air. There's another tree that blooms early, with blossoms of a brilliant lavender color, and soon another species of tree shows itself to the world with not flowers, but the red buds of leaves.

The peak of spring is when the Bradford pears bloom. These decorative trees attract attention because, without pruning, they naturally grow in an egg shape, and during the mid-weeks of March burst into a brilliant white bloom that resembles an eggshell color as well. Roads lined with Bradford pears look as if someone had planted giant snowballs instead, and when the first shoots of pale green leaves appear, the Bradfords send down drifts of tiny petals to cover the ground with a floral snow.

In the meantime, yet more lavender-colored trees appear, the jonquils with their pale yellow trumpet faces bloom, and then the world becomes pink for a while when the flowering cherries present their gorgeous blossoms to the sun. About this time yet another type of tree bursts into bloom: one with pale flowers that are a delicate shell pink with just a touch of blue in the color to make them look pale violet in certain lights. Unlike the egglike Bradford pears, these trees send undisciplined branches everywhere. The ephermal magnolias also appear, creamy white petals with dark pink edges, sturdy for a few days, then drooping and dropping to form a milky carpet on the grass or red clay below.

Last to flower are the azaleas--in riots of large and small blooms in myriad colors of white, pale pink, dark pink, and magenta--and finally the dogwoods, with their big four-petaled flowers notched at the tip. In moonlight the dogwood petals take on the moonshine, forming glowing patches above a dark trunk, like spirits floating in yards and at roadsides.

In the meantime, the birds run riot with song. Robins overrun the lawns and shriek "Cheerily! cheerily! cheerily!" from the treetops. The scurrying chickadees who weeks earlier congregated at the bird feeder now flitter about frantically; when they stop big tufts of hair or branches can be seen in their beaks. Nest building is in full swing.

Our work building is close to a marsh and every morning the dark, elongated bodies of Canada geese can be seen rising above it, beating wings as they head north. But probably the most beautiful thing I'd seen in a long time happened just this morning, as I walked up to the building. Somewhere a bird was shrieking "Sweet! Sweet! Sweet!" as if magnified by some man-made megaphone, but no, it was his natural, joyful voice alone, proclaiming his territory among the office buildings and parked cards. There he was, perched at the edge of the roof of our white building, brilliant in the sun, a bright red cardinal clear against the light blue sky. In the morning sun he looked as if he were afire, a scarlet sprite dancing up and down as he sang his song. I stood mesmerized at the color, at the song.

Only when he finally flew away was I, regretfully, able to come back to the real world and go inside...


» Friday, March 21, 2003
Friday Five

1. If you had the chance to meet someone you've never met, from the past or present, who would it be?

Madeleine L'Engle.

2. If you had to live in a different century, past or future, which would it be?

I'd rather live in the future. The past would be fun to visit, but I wouldn't want to have to live with the substandard plumbing and healthcare, and I wouldn't be able to stomach the racism. I'd like to go back in the past as a tourist, like in the Timeshare books, just to see what things really looked like: George Washington, Christopher Columbus, the library at Alexandria, medieval London, etc. but live back then? Ugh. No way.

3. If you had to move anywhere else on Earth, where would it be?

New Hampshire.

4. If you had to be a fictional character, who would it be?

Betty Roberts of Remember WENN. Yeah, she's gonna have to live through WWII and McCarthyism...but...writing for radio. Sigh...what a great job. (Of course it doesn't hurt that she also has two good-looking and intelligent guys after her...LOL.)

5. If you had to live with having someone else's face as your own for the rest of your life, whose would it be?

Gosh, I've never wanted anyone's face. I look like my mom and my dad and I love them both. I could do without this silly lump on my nose that I inherited from my paternal grandfather, though. All right...if I had to...Christine McKenna as she appeared in Flambards.


» Thursday, March 20, 2003
Hmn. Daniel Taylor mentions in his blog that some folks in California are upset that the "fun" has gone out of Oscar night, or some such twaddle. Oscars? That again already? I had to go look on the Academy Award website to see who and what was nominated. We only saw five movies in the theatre last year: Spider-Man, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Spirit, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and The Two Towers. I might be interested in the effects awards if Two Towers or Potter wins them. And I guess it wouldn't be so bad if Lilo & Stitch edged out Spirit to win the Best Animated Film category (although the winner will probably either be something cleverly computerized--Ice Age--or what sounds downright depressing--Spirited Away).

About the others--who cares?


Thursday Threesome

Mountain: Hey, summer's on the way! If you can get away, is it to the mountains or to the beaches? ...and even if you cannot: if you could, which would you go for?

I love the ocean and miss being near it, and on hot summer days really miss getting an ocean breeze. However, if we’re going to define being near the ocean as "going to the beach" I will have to pick the mountains. I hate "going to the beach" if by that you mean walking on dirty sand crowded by tourists, having to listen to yowling radios, and braving the jellyfish. I think I like oceans best off-season, and at rocky shorelines unsuited for the swim crowd where you can just walk and listen to the surf and feel the nice cool wind through your hair and clothes.

Spring: Enough is enough! Are you ready for Spring yet? ...or are you one of the lucky ones who are already smelling the roses?

Smelling them? Sneezing at them is more like it. Yep, spring is truly here...and the "yellow snow" of Atlanta pine pollen hasn't even begun yet.

Water: Domestic or bottled? Are you one of those who just cannot drink tap water and absolutely has to have bottled? ...or does any source that has some chlorine in it to okay with you?

Why should I spend over $1 for a bottle of water when perfectly good stuff comes out of the faucet? Most bottled water tastes terrible anyway.


» Wednesday, March 19, 2003
This Ya Gotta See

(or as they used to say in the old neighborhood--"wicked cool!")


(Thanks to Jerry Lawson for the link!)

This is almost as good as The Bookworm Game


» Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Fanfiction and Changing Times

Fanfiction, that practice of writing stories about a favorite television series, movie, or even sometimes real persons and places (there's a thriving Prince William fanfiction base, for instance), is applauded by some, decried by others (including series franchise publishers who want readers reading their tediously repetitive published material, not amateur writing). Like anything else in life, it ranges from horrendously bad--stories that are so badly spelled and formatted that even if a decent story lurked there you wouldn't know, or those that twist the characters to their own agenda, or others that have the characters down pat, but who have plotting or anachronism problems--to stunningly good--I have a Connie Faddis "Faces of Time" novella that makes most of the professional Dr. Who novels look like wet slop.

So I enjoy fanfiction, but I do so like it best when it's done well, especially period fanfic.

Which of course is why I was amused when I came upon a collection of stories based on NBC's American Dreams. Most of them appeared to be written by beginners--whatever faults they have, it's still wonderful to know something will inspire people to actually write! However, I came upon a fairly promising story from its description and formatting--until I got to the third or fourth line where Jack inquires where youngest son Will is.

Helen responds that he's on a "play date" with a friend.

I laughed until I cried. "Play dates" in the 1960s, I ask you. "Play dates" are a 1990s thing, forced by kids' and parents' increasingly chock-full work schedules and regulated activities nowadays. In 1960, unless you were in some extramural sport or activity at school, you came home and played with your friends. You didn't have to make appointments like some silly-ass business executive. The conversation would go something like this:

Kid: "Mom, can I go play over Jamie's house?"
Mom: "'May I go play over Jamie's house?'"
Kid: "May I go play over Jamie's house?"
Mom: "Yes, but be back by suppertime."

Whereupon kid hopped on his bike or walked to his friend's house and played at whatever the kids wanted to play at. No interfering grownup made up rules, bought uniforms, made a game into a competition for trophies. You went and had a good time.

The 1960s weren't a perfect time: the problems of American Dreams' African-American Walker family vividly illustrates that. But "play dates" certainly weren't one of the problems. Ugh!


» Monday, March 17, 2003
A Few Recent e-Books

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Although I knew the basic premise I had not read this classic mainly because the characters sounded so unpleasant. I was right. They are, however, very creepily intriguing, which kept me reading through the end although my hatred of the Lord Henry character and his despoilment of initially innocent Dorian (although to me he sounds "wet" right from the beginning) made it pretty hard. It got easier once Dorian started having pangs of conscience about the horrible things he was doing in the name of hedonism and I actively cheered when he finally stabbed the corrupt portrait and died.

Ruth Fielding of the Red Mill by Alice Emerson
First in a series of girls' stories started in the nine-teens following the adventures of young orphan Ruth Fielding, who goes to live with her unfriendly and miserly uncle Jabez at the Red Mill in your stereotypical series novel small town. Uncle Jabez is such a humorless old wretch Ruth would not have survived save for the friendship of brother and sister Tom and Helen Hamilton, the friendly housekeeper, and an handicapped girl named Mercy who initially is as unpleasant as her name is sweet. Unlike most of these novels, Uncle Jabez never really "reforms," but he does mellow enough to allow for a happy ending. Also by Alice Emerson, Ruth Fielding at Snow Camp, third in the series, wherein Ruth, Tom, Helen, and other assorted classmates go up to a mountain cabin for their winter school vacation, accompanied by a runaway boy Ruth found trapped near the Red Mill. The mystery of "Fred" is only part of the adventure, which includes a blizzard, the girls lost in the woods, and a marauding panther. Really non-PC for the modern set: the boys {gasp} hunt and Ruth is forced to use a gun! All good fun.

Betty Gordon in Washington by Alice Emerson
Ms. Emerson must have specialized in orphans in unhappy homes. In the first volume of the series (not read yet), Betty's guardian, kindly Uncle Dick, unwittingly leaves her with the Peabodys on rundown Bramble Farm while he finishes business, not knowing not-so-kindly owner Mr. Peabody is an absent-minded, selfish martinet (his wife is pleasant, at least) who taunts Betty and verbally and physically abuses his poorhouse farmhand, Bob. In this outing, Bob finally calls it quits and follows a clue in finding his family to get away from the farmer, while Betty lights out for Washington DC to join her Uncle Dick, where she accidentally makes friends with a fun-loving family due to a misunderstanding at the depot. Betty's life gets a bit exciting in the last half of the book with all sorts of improbable accidents, but at least the reprehensible Peabody is gone from her life.

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
One of those boys' books I never read as a child. Kipling's parable about a spoiled rich boy who learns to be a man after he falls off a cruise liner and is picked up by a working fishing boat vividly brings to life the hard life of the commercial fisherman and survival upon the ocean. I've never seen the movie, which I understand beefed up the Manuel character due to Spencer Tracy's portrayal. The book is a character vehicle rather than a star vehicle and you are truly happy when Harvey returns to his parents, not a brat but a self-sufficient young man.


Spent a delightful hour on Friday wandering the Cobb Antique Mall next door to Office Depot where I’d gone on an errand, and was immersed in another world. This is a former furniture store that has been converted into rows of different little booths with commission sales at a central desk. The merchandise varied in quality and age. There were “antique books” I could find cheaper online that were from the 70s and not antique at all. There were fancy pieces of furniture--rococo, French provincial, other types with scroll work--that I wouldn’t have in my home on a bet they were so ugly and others that were so worn out that I couldn’t imagine anyone paying the price for them. Some of the old china cupboards were so aged the wood in them had split and cracked in the drawers, the latches had fallen off, you could see many layers of paint. But one could imagine when they were new and freshly painted and used by a brisk housewife in a bustling family kitchen.

It really “came home” to you walking around how times have changed. For instance, there was a large art-deco dressing table of the kind where the drawers are set very low, amber tortoiseshell finish, with a long, curved mirror in the center. The mirror was set at about 5'6", since most women were about that height in the past, and you could see all the way down to your feet. Yes, we have “full length” mirrors today, but this fancy, very feminine dresser made you think about the days when a lady always checked how she looked, head to toe, from the top of her smart hat to her polished pumps and the seams on her stockings. I could imagine June Allyson or Joan Crawford looking at herself in this mirror.

With most of the armoires there you wondered how a woman had room for her dresses with all those full skirts back then--perhaps some of them were mens’ armoires. But not one. It made the Wardrobe in Beauty and the Beast look like a doll’s trunk. It was a rounded art-deco type design and had a big central area, then two smaller “closets” on each side. It was massive, probably six or seven feet wide and eight feet high. We couldn’t have even have fit it through our bedroom door.

I also tried on some hats at a hat booth—I’ve never considered myself good looking in hats but about half of them were straw spring hats and I tried one after the other on in memory of those childhood days when I always got a new spring hat for Easter. They were pastel shades and held on with a rubber band under the chin. How I hated those nasty elastic bands that irritated the soft skin down there!

The other thing I noticed was all the old-fashioned kitchen storage. We’ve grown up for so many years with fitted kitchen cabinets and counters that it’s hard to remember the kitchen was once just another big bare room with one place set with a chimney vent for the cookstove and a freestanding sink. You put the icebox as close to the door as you could to keep from slopping the drip pan too much on the floor when you emptied it (no wonder lots of families kept their icebox on the porch!), then bought furniture like china cabinets or Welsh dressers to hold the dishes, a kitchen table and chairs (the table which would bear the brunt of food preparation, such as baking pies, kneading bread etc.), and what we’d call today a “workstation” for other food prep. They had several of the latter, the oldest in wood and more modern ones in enameled metal. They consisted of a hutch above filled with cabinet doors—several came with a door which hid a flour bin from which you could fill once, then sift flour for your baking from a hole in the bottom. Then a counter jutted out on which you could prepare vegetables, do smaller baking tasks and prep meat dishes, and finally there were more storage cupboards/drawers below. (Several had a bin for potatoes below.) I don’t know what the proper name for these pieces of furniture are, but several were labeled “housiers,” a term I’d never heard before. Again, you could just see a country mom or the family servant working at one of these.

It was a nice vacation from the present and yet reminded me how wonderful the inventions of today are...


» Friday, March 14, 2003
Friday Five

1. Do you like talking on the phone? Why or why not?

I don't think about it all that often. Sometimes it's nice, and sometimes it's not because if I'm on the phone it's usually because a bill got messed up or I'm making some type of appointment or I have to complain about it. It's definitely nicer to talk now that we have (a) a cordless phone and (b) a headphone for it. I can do other things while I talk. Really, unless someone calls us or we call someone to arrange to get together, the only extended pleasure talking I do is with my mom: she calls on Thursday and I call her on Monday. I really don't understand people who have phones attached to their ears all the time.

2. Who is the last person you talked to on the phone?

My mother.

3. About how many telephones do you have at home?

Six house phones and the two cell phones we almost never use.

4. Have you encountered anyone who has really bad phone manners? What happened?

Sure. They're called telemarketers. :-) We finally quit answering the phone. That's why the Good Lord made answering machines.

5. Would you rather pick up the phone and call someone or write them an e-mail or a letter? Why or why not?

It depends on the time frame. If I need to contact them immediately I will call. If there's some detail to the message--I write much better than I speak--or if there's a longer time frame, I will send an e-mail. Gosh, I haven't sent a letter in ages, which is silly since I have a computer and a printer and can dash out a letter in no time at all.

I have, unfortunately, written out too many sympathy cards in the past month...


» Thursday, March 13, 2003
Thursday Threesome

Onesome: Blue- Mac brought color into the scheme of computer things. What color would your computer be if they offered custom colors for PC or Mac?

If I had to pick a color, sky blue...unless they did wood tones, then I’d have it as cherrywood. But why "color" a computer? It's like choosing a color for your toaster or your TV...

Twosome: Screen- Hey how about a quick survey? What type of screen are you running, CRT or LCD? ...and what size screen would that be? Uh-huh, and that would be at what resolution? Designing minds want to know...

I have an Acer flat screen 15" LCD monitor. I don’t know what the dot pitch is.

Threesome: of Death- Have you ever had a catastrophic computer crash? Could it be revived or did you have to pronounce it dead?

Close. We did have some upgrade boggles and a monitor that died at an inopportune time. And on the laptop the CD-ROM drive scratches the disks and the floppy disk drive no longer works.


» Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Usually don't do these little quizzes, but I'm very fond of this particular series.

And the result was exactly what I figured it would be...LOL.

Click here to take the M*A*S*H quiz!

(For folks who have AdSubtract like we do, or another type of blocker, and don't get an image, it says "I have taken the lame M*A*S*H quiz to discover I am most like Father John Mulcahy")


» Monday, March 10, 2003
I ambushed the dog yesterday.

I was giving the master bath tub a good scrub and when I got done had scattered water around the tub area. It struck me that since the bathroom was already a mess I might as well wash Willow. We've done it in the kitchen sink since she was a puppy, but only in the last few months has she attained her full growth and that sturdy little terrier body is no longer fitting properly in those dinky little shallow 1970s sinks that live in our kitchen. (I'd dearly like what's called a "Belfast" or "Irish" sink in the Brit decorating magazines I read.) So instead of drenching the kitchen as well, I plumped her into the bathtub and washed her. She kept trying to scramble out with this look in her eyes saying "You didn't really mean to do this to me, did you?" Yes, indeed, little girl. I kept telling her if I didn't wash her Anne Marie Lucas of Animal Precinct was going to take her away because I was a bad dog mommy. :-)

Later when she was fluffy and dry again we took both her and Bandit to Petsmart. Bandit rides in his carry box with aplomb. Willow whines the entire way there. I'm afraid we'll never get her comfortable there. She's terrified of the other dogs and was so hyper she wouldn't go sniff at the cats up for adoption. On the other hand, Bandit communed with two conures and seemed to want me to buy him a goldfish.

To calm Willow down, we stopped at Brusters, which is an ice cream place you don't have to go inside to order. I don't know how they make their ice cream, but it is the creamiest I have ever tasted. Even Haagen Dazs doesn't live up to it (and it's certainly better than Gorin's, which is grainy and full of ice crystals). It was a pretty day, in the 60s with a brilliant blue sky and a nice breeze, and we sat on the tailgate of the truck eating ice cream. Willow quit hyperventilating, took bits of sugar cone as offered, and was eventually relaxed enough to look like she was going to check out the people in the car next to us. Bandit's more like me--in fresh air he starts to fall asleep!


Different Strokes...

I was amused to notice in the list of Screen Actors Guild award members that the two supporting actors in the TV series Will & Grace--I don't know the two actors' names; I believe the characters are Megan and Jack--had both won yet another award for their performances on this series.

It always strikes me as funny because when Will & Grace premiered I watched the first few episodes and then quit. Why? Because I couldn't stand the characters of Megan and Jack...

[Later: Ooops. Shows you how impressed I am with these two characters that I had the names thoroughly mixed. It's Karen and Jack. Played by Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes according to the IMDb. If I remember the Karen character correctly, talk about someone whose voice makes you long to listen to Fran Drescher at her "Nanny-est" instead.]


» Friday, March 07, 2003
Cool. Apparently The Court Jester, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Journey to the Center of the Earth are all on their way.

I'm hyped about Journey; I hope it's a good transfer. This is one of my favorite movies and, although it was made in Cinemascope, I've never seen it widescreen (I think Fox Movie Channel showed it that way once, but I missed it--now a.k.a. Add More Commercials...apparently owns it; ugh).

I saw it the first time in school, actually; our junior high used to show a movie on the last day of school and on the last day before Christmas vacation. Journey was the Christmas 1969 offering. I particularly remember it because they had underestimated the length of the film and, to get the kids out to their school buses on time, had to stop the movie and run it forward to the conclusion to finish up on time. So we missed what happened to Gertrude the duck and the whole Atlantis sequence. I had to wait until one of the Boston stations showed it several years later to see those scenes.


Friday Five

1. What was the last song you heard?

With or without lyrics? I'm listening to soundtracks this morning, so the last song I heard was "New York" from Little Women. The last song I heard with lyrics was "We're Getting a New Deal for Christmas" from Annie.

2. What were the last two movies you saw?

In or out of the theatre? In: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. At home: The Rocketeer and Strategic Air Command. (This week we've been mostly watching the Babylon 5 first season collection.)

3. What were the last three things you purchased?

Hershey's Special Dark bars, and two bound issues of St. Nicholas magazine off e-Bay (Nov. 1928-Apr. 1929 and May-Oct 1929).

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?

Buy milk. Buy bread. Buy Ibuprofin or Naproxen (can't remember which). Give the dog a bath.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to?

Lessee, I let Elaine in the door this morning and said good morning to Linda, so: two co-workers, my husband, Bandit, and Willow (hey! they're people to me–besides, otherwise I have to remember yesterday and that's too much work).


» Thursday, March 06, 2003
Thursday Threesome

Onesome: Cold Are you a cold weather person and just deal with it or do you prefer temperatures closer to the century mark?

I prefer cold weather. I have a hard time dealing with heat, partially because I find it hard to breathe when it’s too warm, partially because...well, there are just so many things you can take off before you start "scaring the horses," as it were. I also like cold-weather fabrics best: flannel and fleece. I like the way they feel against my skin. I like sleeping with the blankets tucked around me. It makes me feel secure.

Plus when it's warm the wretched bugs come out. I'm a natural mosquito magnet.

I hate those weather reporters who chirp on summer days "It's going to be beautiful today, in the high 80s!" That's not beautiful, it's Hell...

Twosome: and Misty What makes you misty-eyed? Do you cry at Hallmark commercials or get all sentimental when you hear a specific song? You can tell us, we won't laugh ;)

Hallmark commercials, happy endings in movies, you name it. I cry at the end of Rupert Holmes' "The Old School," Streisand's "The Way We Were," and several other ditties I can't recall now. I fall apart at "Taps" and get a lump in my throat when they show the American flag over some memorial to the dead.

My favorite thing to cry at is "Lassie's Odyssey." (For those who don't know, this is a three-part story with Timmy wherein Lassie gets locked in a produce truck and escapes 600 miles later, making her way home on foot. Timmy has just given up on her return and is burying her toys at their special meeting place when she appears at the top of the hill and boy and dog run to meet each other.) I've seen this story 50-60...maybe more...times and dissolve in tears every time.

Threesome: Morning Mornings? ...or evenings? Which is your time of the day? Are you up with the sun or do you help the moon keep the night lit?

Definitely a night person. I don't really wake up until 10 a.m--everything up until then is done on autopilot. I'm most awake late afternoons and evenings and definitely prefer sunsets to sunrises.