Saturday, December 20, 2014

                         BEST SPORT OF THE  YEAR 2014

     There are few people who would allow someone they love to make fun of them in public. For over a year, I have been writing blogs using my beloved husband, Mr. Wonderful, as the scapegoat and target of my humorous rantings. It is time to give credit where much is due. In front of my loyal facebook friends, my crazy relatives, my professional acquaintances, my therapist from 1973 and my fabulous students of the past 35 years, here it is:

Owed to Mr. Wonderful

Who cleans up the dishes and runs the dishwasher every night? Mr. W.

Who washes the Queen’s car and keeps the oil changed and the tires pumped? Mr. W.

Who does the laundry? Mr. W.

Who fixes anything that breaks, leaks, tears, shatters?  Mr. W.

Who calls the people in India and listens for hours while they walk him through the technological bullshit? Mr. W.

Who springs for anything Victoria Secret? Mr. W.

Who cleans up after himself everywhere he goes?  Mr. W.

Who has the cleanest, neatest garage in the county? Mr. W.

Who picks up thousands of pine cones, trims the hedges, fertilizes the flowers, cleans the gutters, sprays the Deer-Off? Mr. W.

Who gets up to check when something goes bump in the night?

Who turns on my blanket before he goes to bed?

Who waits patiently in the car while the Queen does her errands?

Who reads her books, listens to her piano music and laughs at her silly antics? Mr.W.

Who tells the Queen that she is the love of his life? Mr. W.

Who brags about the Queen? Mr. W.

Who makes her laugh on a regular basis? Mr. W.

Who eats everything on his plate no matter how awful it turns out? Mr. W.

Who holds her hand and walks the beach with her? Mr. W.

Who loves her grand-kids like his own? Mr. W.

Who takes care of himself and stays fit so the Queen is proud? Mr. W.

Who drives the whole way no matter where we travel? Mr. W.

Who always shares his food with the Queen? Mr. W.

Who reads all the fine print? Mr. W.

Who supports the Queen no matter what crazy project she embraces?  Mr. W.

Thank you, Mr. Wonderful. You are the absolute best, and I love you with all my heart.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

     After a long day of wracking my brain to come up with a creative blog topic, I settle down for an evening of relaxation. Remote in hand, I gather my blanky onto my lap, turn the light down low and settle in for a few hours of escape. Now that I’ve finally discovered what happened to the TV Guide (it’s on channel 16.2), I scroll up and down the list attempting to find something to watch. Are you effen kiddin’ me? Here are my choices for Thursday, December 18, 2014:

Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce (I could have written and directed this)
Fat Guys in the Woods (That is a frightening thought)
Extreme Cheapskate (My Dad could have written and directed this)
Redneck Island (Is this close to Coney?)
Slednecks (Whaat??)
Tiny House Hunters (I think this is called ambiguous antecedent)
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (yeah, right. This must be a Celtic code)
DUI ????
Bubble Guppies (Can’t wait)

     If those don’t set me on fire, I can always watch Prince of Tides when Barbara Streisand tried to be a shrink. Fortunately, she stuck to her day job.

     Anyone got some weed?

The hedgehogs
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.The hedgehogs, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm.This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

     I have noticed recently that Mr. Wonderful’s attention span is shortening. It seems to be in direct relation to my enthusiasm on any given topic. If I’m passionate about it, he seems to tune out sooner. wtf. I have taken empathy training, have endured weeks of therapy over the years, have read all I can about ADD and how men think (or don’t), and I’ll be damned if I can figure out why his eyes are wandering and his body seems to go limp when I speak. I am not one of those long-winded people who goes into every detail, so I can’t understand why he’s not hanging on my every word. I have learned, however, that with this man one must never try talking to him:

  1. about anything when he’s hungry
  2. about anything when he’s tired
  3. after any meal (he goes immediately into food coma)
  4. when he’s reading the paper
  5. when he’s doing his bills
  6. when he’s surfing the net
  7. when he’s deep in thought
  8. when he’s planning his tennis schedule
  9. when he’s reading the book club book
  10. when he’s driving
  11. when he’s bloated

     I am an award-winning public speaker. My friends think I’m amusing, and my students liked me. My children even like me certain days, and my grandchildren think I’m hilarious. So what’s with Mr. Wonderful and this attitude? It definitely needs an adjustment, but just thinking about it makes me tired. Don’t talk to me.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

     I’ve been invited to an ugly holiday sweater party. UGH. How on earth am I going to find an ugly sweater when everywhere I turn, someone is wearing one. And who decides what’s ugly? Is ugly the same is inappropriate? If so, no problem. I got that one covered. Is ugly the same as revealing too much? No issue here. Is ugly something that fits too tight? Got an entire wardrobe of that. But ugly like too much chatch all over the front and back? Hmm. Ain’t got that one. I saw some walking into Walmart today, but I wasn’t about to go up to some old lady and say, “Excuse me, that is the ugliest sweater I have ever seen. Could I borrow it for a couple of hours tomorrow night?” My friend who invited me to this party said, “Oh, Sandy, just go buy some ugly buttons and ornaments and sew them all over an old sweater.” Yeah, right. First of all, I don’t own a needle or thread, and secondly I don’t wear sweaters. Furthermore, I don’t have three hours to sit around sewing shiny buttons on shit. I’ve got eggs to nog and pudding to fig, for heavens sake.

     At church this morning, the pastor asked us all the question of the day: Are you made for joy? I answered politely from my poo, oops pew, “You betcha.” I guess it was supposed to be one of those "oratorical" questions, but alas, I answered it anyway. The lady next to me gave me a dirty look, but what can one expect from someone wearing a sweater with dear hooves and Santa faces? I muttered under my breath,”Let it go, lady. Jesus is watching.” 

     Then the pastor asked if we had all decorated our homes for the holiday. She told of George Goebel comparing his home’s outdoor decor to his neighbor, Lou Costello’s, years ago. Apparently Lou really got into it every year, and had everything from snowmen to flashing lights to tinsel covered oak trees. George put up a sign on his front lawn that read, “See our Christmas display across the street.” Good thinking, George. I can just picture him in a cashmere V-neck with elves all over it.

   Tonight we went to a Christmas concert where I saw at least a dozen ugly holiday sweaters. As the concert was in a local church, I didn’t think Jesus would look favorably on my accosting some old lady and begging for her sweater, so I restrained myself. My friend told me at the concert that some of the women were not even going to wear an ugly sweater to the ugly sweater party. “What?” I asked. “That’s not fair. If I have to suffer so does everyone else.” I guess that was kind of catty. Oh, btw, I found this on the internet, and I’m contemplating a creative tee-shirt that might work.I thought I'd pair it with a black garter belt, a sequined mini skirt and four-inch stilettos. What do you think?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

                                                   A BLESSING and a CURSE

     People tell me frequently how amazed they are at my talent. I am always very flattered, but being “somewhat” talented is not always easy. I have many talents that God has generously bestowed on me, and for that I am grateful. The issue; however, is that none of these talents provide a living or offer me fame or a spot on a talk show. They are blessings that I am apparently to use either for my own enjoyment or to share with others. Being very modest about my capabilities, I am happy to perform when asked, but people rarely ask, as they don’t want to put me on the spot. Well, where is that spot? and how will they know if I want to be put there if they never ask?

     I am a writer, a pianist, a public speaker, a poet, an actress and a perfectionist. I list the latter because I am really really good at that one. Perfectionism is certainly not a talent; it’s a disease. This disease is part of the reason that the above talents remain hidden from most of the world, and the reason for this discussion.

     I am not trying to be one of those fake modest people who says, “Oh, no, that’s not true” just to get attention. I want the attention, and I’m not afraid to admit it (at least on this paper). The issue is getting it without asking for it, and promoting myself without being bold, presumptive and egotistical. 

     This topic has surfaced as a result of my talent as a “dilettante” pianist. My tyrannical piano teacher told me at age 16 that if I wasn’t willing to sacrifice most of everything I valued in life to practice at least 6-8 hours a day in a practice room then I was destined to be a “dilettante.” That is a person who has talent but doesn’t want to work at it, so they just do their thing half-assed. All right, I admit it. I am a dilettante. Just give me the 12-step program on how to enjoy my label, and I’ll shut up.

     The current issue is that I have targeted ten pieces I would love to be able to play such as Adinsell’s Warsaw Concerto and Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G. Can I play the notes? Of course. Can I play them technically accurately? Nope. Can I get the nuance correct? Yes. Can I use the correct fingering? Yes. Can I play them for anyone? No. The pieces have to be played like Rubinstein or Lang Lang would perform them. That ain’t ever going to happen. So where does that leave little ole moi? Frustrated and confused.
If friends and family don’t ask to hear me play, and if I will never be concert stage material, do I just learn them and take a nap? I usually learn them and then perform them at a professional recording studio so I have proof of my long hours at the keyboard. Who hears the disc? No one. Who even knows I have discs? No one. Who cares? No one, but me. If I were 30 or 40, the answer would be simple: decide if I want to pursue this talent and do something with it. At age 70+, it’s a bit late, I fear.




Friday, December 12, 2014

                                The Cable Guy

     The cable guy was supposed to show up at 6:00. At 6:48, the robot voice call came  saying that the cable company was confirming our appointment for 6:00 the following evening. 

     FLASHBACK: It all started when we were getting ready to watch a sex and violence flick last night. Now many don’t indulge in such luxury during the week, but sometimes you just have to go with it. So we got all ready to settle in with the fire roaring, the lights out and the suspense mounting. Mr. Wonderful clicks the button, and the little circle goes round and round and round and . . . 

     “Are you effen kiddin’ me?” he yells. I sit calmly, being mature for my age, and I say nothing. In my head, I’m saying, “Oh no, not again.” He clicks a few more times, and the circle continues to spin. Finally, after numerous attempts and expletives, he unplugs everything and prepares to reboot. I  head to to my woman cave to wait, not wanting to have my virgin ears filled with flying f-bombs.

     A half hour later, I descend the stairs on tippy toe to see what might be happening. He is not in front of the television; he is on the phone with that scrunched-up face. . . again.I retreat to my cave.

     An hour later, I come downstairs to get the verdict. “They are so screwed! They don’t know what they’re doing,” he says. “They’re coming tomorrow at 6:00 to give us a new
cable box.” “Yeah, right,” I say. 

     Fast forward, night #2 as per paragraph #1 after call # 6 from various departments of the cable company. “I think it may work, so let’s try it. The guy better show up tomorrow night, or I’m really going to be .. . . . . “ 

     We turn on the cable, find the movie (still there, surprisingly). We settle in and start identifying with the protagonist when, suddenly, a screen comes up that says, “Do you want to purchase this film?” “WTF?” he shouts. “What should I do?” “I don’t know. If you click “yes,” they will charge us twice for the same movie.” “Oh, what the hell,” he says clicking the “yes.” The screen now goes back to the beginning of the film, and the little circle starts spinning again. Nothing. 

     At this point, I am saying to myself, “In the grand scheme of things, this is rather amusing. It’s like a bad commercial for cable tv. I can write about this.” I am thinking maybe we should invite the nice cable guy to dinner tomorrow night. Maybe a good meal will guarantee no more spinning, and we can finally find out if the writer in the movie kills himself or his mother. Or maybe Mr. Wonderful will deck the cable guy. Can’t wait.