Gloriosky...I can't believe I'm creeping toward 70 (5 days and trying to not count...) - 67 is close to 70, but at least not as close as 68...
I'm grabbing every doorjamb and whatever else I can hang onto, but it doesn't seem to help. Then again, I'm crocheting, I'm getting to love the smell of lavender, and my house is even less cluttered than it usually is.

What's happening to me??? I used to use a pretty full palette of makeup... eyeliner and shadow, eyebrow pencil, dozens of shades of lipstick... Now I only use eyebrow pencil (due to missing outer-third of eyebrows, which I must mention to my MD since it is one of the indicators of hypothyroid problems) and lipstick (remembered only when I'm going out).

This must be some kind of 'winding down.' I have been thinking occasionally of what I'll leave behind. Not money, heaven knows.... not on my $650 per month budget... but STUFF. I think of thinning it all out, but as usual I think "maybe I'll need it" but with a twist...now it's "maybe someone will be able to use it." Now THERE's an interesting rationalization as I wait for the light. "Sorry folks, but don't look on it as a mess... think of it as potential..."


Puberty test...

Snowing lightly outside, nothing but crap on TV... I'm going to go do some needlework and watch a DVD of Dracula. Not the Lugosi version, or (god forbid) the George Hamilton version, but the Frank Langella version. This is the sexual/sensual R-rated version that makes the perfect test of whether your kid has reached puberty or not. If his/her jaw drops and a flushing of the face occurs, you know you're in for trouble.

Looking at Langella now (he played Nixon in the recent docudrama about Nixon and David Frost) you would not take him for a romantic leading man. He's aging well, but not in a 'beautiful' way. But when this movie was made, he was handsome enough to curl the toes of just about every 'straight' woman with a pulse. Redford was handsome in a wholesome way; Langella was 'bad-boy' handsome, the kind of guy who, if he took your daughter out for the evening, you weren't sure she'd come back quite the same.

It's almost a given that remakes are not nearly as good as the original. "Fun with Dick and Jane" was, in my opinion, way better in the original. Nothing can beat Nicholson in the low-budget b/w "Little Shop of Horrors" or Steve McQueen in "The Blob." Can you imagine anyone improving on the original cast of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?"

But now and then a remake comes along that is magic. "The Taking of Pelham 123" with Vincent D'Onofrio is one. (And hard to find...) Frank Langella's "Dracula" is another.

As pointed out in Langella's interview in the Bonus section of the DVD, it was somewhat eclipsed by "Love at First Bite," a parody with George Hamilton in the title role. But while the latter has faded, thankfully, Langella's version has become a cult classic. I'm not sure what earned it an "R" rating - maybe it's the very tasteful sensuality that, nonetheless, leaves no hormone untweaked. Maybe it's the not particularly explicit violence. Certainly not language... the Count was much too classy for that. Maybe the folks who do the ratings looked at it and thought, 'uh oh...here comes trouble...especially for the 17 year olds..."

Do rent it. Only this one...accept no substitutes. It's stunning.


Rhetorical questions needing thought....

Sometimes my horoscope (horrorscope?), biorhythms, and mood all line up and dump rhetorical questions into my rapidly shrinking brain. Maybe tossing them out will bring some answers. Or...maybe they will simply become 'brain-worms' enticing others to ponder and wonder right along with me. I'll add some throughout the day, probably, since every time I conclude one of these blogs I think of more things to add...

1) Often when I'm watching Sunday Morning (SM) I get trapped by the show following it, Meet the Press, which tends to make me think even as it neutralizes the Good Feelings SM leaves behind. Today they talked about the medical reform 'public option' and the items standing in the way of its implementation. Of course abortion is part of that - the anti-abortion folks are geniuses at tossing that into pretty much all the pending legislation it can. Why are the most outspoken 'anti' legislators old men? And why don't they provide an alternative to forcing women to have children they can neither provide for nor want? How about requiring every elected legislator who votes against a woman's right to chose be made to adopt at least one unwanted child? No? Really...

2) I was playing Scrabble with a friend and commented on using 'medfly.' That word always reminds me of the series of fly-over sprayings a lot of California was subjected to in the '80s in order to eliminate the threat to citrus and other crops which would otherwise be devastated by that nasty little bug. Ever the negativist, the first time I heard those 'copters fly low overhead I remember thinking "Oh, boy... I bet there's a whole lot of Viet Nam vets diving for cover." I've never read anything about the reactions felt by them as the spraying program went on. Not a peep. And I refuse to believe there weren't any reactions.

3) What's the big deal about 'regifting?' If someone regifts, it tells me that the person who GAVE the gift in the first place did not know the recipient well enough to know that person's likes and dislikes. So is it better to have that item set aside for awhile, then donated to a charity or rummage sale, Or to go to someone the recipient knows would like it? True, it would be awkward to get one's original gift BACK, but that can be ameliorated if the original gifter has chosen to give something they would want themselves. And isn't that the most basic rule of gifting??

4) Haven't the hard-core GOP eyeball-spinners learned anything yet? I see that they are criticizing President Obama now for using 'happy holidays' rather than "Merry Christmas" when doing seasonal well-wishing, smugly and subtly intimating that he is anti-Christian or worse. So... if he says "Merry Christmas' will they then rant and rave that he's anti-semitic, or anti-Native American, or perhaps anti-African American because he has 'ignored' Quanzaa? And if he mentions any one of those in a stand-alone manner, will the conservicants peck at him for that, like a band of demented ducks? To me, "Happy Holidays" is a thoughtful alternative to listing every single religion in the world whose philosophy is celebrated in some manner during the "holiday season." Do they think reasonable Americans (especially those who put Obama in office) aren't hearing and remembering this business-as-usual horse-hockey? In this period of joyfulness and happy celebrating, their bulbs are getting dimmer and dimmer.


I'm gradually adjusting to the fact that my car is never going to get fixed. Anyone want to donate one? No tax breaks -- does gratitude from a land-locked senior citizen count for anything?


...and I got Ds in American history when I was lucky...

To the right is an image of Ken Burns, one of my few TV idols. He does documentaries for PBS - mostly spellbinding 'before film' programs comprised of stunning photos, a few paintings, and riveting prose. I'd like to think that Matthew Brady is sitting on his shoulder. (Google Brady if you don't know who he is, please!)

The average soldier in the Civil War was amazingly brave, and uniformly noble. This is not to demean our current and 20th century warriors, but that was neighbor-to-neighbor, American against American. It must not have been an easy thing to do, to 'take up arms' against one's national peers. (Suggestion: rent "Friendly Persuasion" to understand a bit just how hard...)

I'm trying to figure out how to say something without angering people...I'm going to make an attempt...

When a country's military engage drone (pilotless) aircraft to bomb an enemy, it may be practical, it may be effective, and even warranted. However, to my mind it removes the term 'noble' from a description of the mission. No, I would not prefer that soldiers get killed...I would prefer the war and the reasons for it did not exist. But to my mind there is nothing noble about using computerized planes to fight without risk. It's fortuitous that we developed them first, we who are dedicated to the proposition that all people should be free, rather than some renegade country whose leaders believe that might makes right, or at least one's 'god' makes right. (I wonder which would make them madder - a person being of another faith, or those few who dare to be agnostic/atheistic...)

I've purposely declined to post before this about the current war. And what I do have to say has less to do with the cause or the warrior than it does the administration that sent them there. It took me until Bush landed on the carrier with his 'mission accomplished' horseshit (apologies to horses everywhere) that I 'chose sides,' so to speak, on the side of those who think there must have been a better way. But I'm no tactician, so I just sit and watch the news and try to keep my opinions to myself, except for two things:

1) Given that we have a volunteer military, at least for now, it really angers me that we keep 'redeploying' the same soldiers over and over again for tours (such a quaint word for cannon-fodder...) to the point that children born during their first trip are in elementary school before they can form any meaningful relationship with their dads (and occasionally their mothers). If I had my druthers, I would disallow consecutive deployments to combat areas. Allow them to breathe safely for alternate tours and I suspect we'd have a lot fewer shattered men in VA hospitals or psychiatrists' couches. Let them come home and be part of the family, or try to rebuild what is left of it, for a number of weeks, alternating with stateside duty nearby. Then, if necessary, send them back into combat reasonably refreshed. They might just have a heightened attitude toward the job at hand rather than being plunged into depression at the thought of a never-ending, hopeless cycle of consecutive battle redeployment.

2) On top of this, we insist on cutting every corner we can regarding armament and transportation. Tanks and vehicles should be impenetrable. While little can be done about those nasty buried roadbombs, we can at least make it so vehicles are reasonably safe from the kind of assault getting ever more common here at home - the drive-by shooting. Stop getting supplies and vehicles by lowest bid 'cause you're gonna get what you pay for.

That off my chest, I'm going back to what I was doing...crocheting a baby blanket like a good senior citizen.


Aw, c'mon....

I was doing some major selfish shopping today at W-mart, and got a bathroom scale (!) and an electric blanket (now called 'heated blanket' so as not to scare the horses, I guess).

One thing I *didn't* get - diaper pins (to hold the blanket control to the mattress so it wouldn't fall down between the bed and the wall). Couldn't find them **anywhere**. So I asked an 'associate.' She said, "what's that??"