Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lucky Star

When I was a freshman in high school, ever-so-long-ago, I took typing. I had a really mean teacher, Mrs. Groskopf (and, yes, that is her real name). She was really old, like 50. Many years before, she had had a stroke, which affected the right side of her body, which was apparently the side of her body that she used for writing and such. Okay. I just took out my yearbook and it doesn't look like she was as old as she looked in ninth grade.

She was a very strict teacher and had a rule for everything.

1. No talking.
2. No borrowing supplies. (And this was in the days of carbon paper.).
3. No using White-Out. She only allowed correction tape.
4. No getting out of your seat.
5. No doing anything but typing.

And no--it wasn't known as "keyboarding." It was typing. With a typewriter. An IBM typewriter with one of those letter balls. We had a "Return" button instead of "Enter." And "F4" was two characters you typed, not a "Function."

If you failed to follow a rule, and I honestly think there were about one-hundred of them, you had to type that rule ten times. The next time you broke the same rule, you had to type the rule twenty times. Get the picture?

So imagine everyone's surprise when she announced that she believed (and science supported) that listening to music aided in learning to type! And, because she wasn't the ogre everyone thought she was, we could bring in our favorite audio cassette tape (the thing that was used before CDs, which was what everyone used before IPods--back in the almost-Pioneer-days). All we had to do is sign up and bring in our music.

It seems she didn't really care what music it was. If you signed up, brought it in, and pushed "Play" before the tardy-bell rang, we could listen to it. The person who was playing DJ for the day could even get out of their seat to turn over the tape. (If you don't understand that, ask your Grandparents-they might be old enough to explain it.).

I don't really remember much of the music people brought in. It was the second half of 1984, so it must have been fabulous music.

Lori Stevens was in my class. Now, don't think we were great friends or anything. I looked her up in the yearbook just now, too. She loved Madonna. No she didn't. She L.O.V.E.D. Madonna.

So I learned to type to Borderline, Lucky Star, Holiday, and Everybody.

Whenever I hear any of the songs on that album, I am instantly transformed to Mrs. Groskopf's typing class.

If you don't believe me, play one of the songs. I sit upright, looking forward, with the look of a scared deer, and assume the asdfjkl; position.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stream of Consciousness, or Wow! I didn't know I was so weird!

My friend, Diana, posted on her blog that it was Free Posting Day.

Here's my comment on her blog:

The word verification: dencer.

This sounds like dancer to me.

Or denser.

Maybe it's a fat dance.

Which reminds me of fat chance.

Which reminds me that I really need to eat better.

And work out.

Or maybe just get a serious amount of lipo.

But I don't think they like to suck out the equivalent of a five year old.

So. I'm off to make the crusts for the two pies I am baking for Thanksgiving.

That I will be the only one to eat.

I guess the diet starts after the pies are gone.

But then there's Christmas.

Maybe in the Celestial Kingdom, Heavenly Father will just let me be skinny.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Flash from the Past

This afternoon, as I was shaving my legs with a new shaving cream, I was immediately transported back to when I was about nine years old. Why? Is it because I shaved at an early age? Actually no. It was because the shaving cream smelled exactly like this:



Yep! That's Love's Baby Soft perfume, lotion, and powder. I had them all.

So, after I got out of the shower, I took a walk down memory lane.

Here are some of the things I remember from 1973 to about 1976:

We got a white, wood-paneled Ford Gran Torino Squire in 1972.



It had dark blue, vinyl seats. We seldom, if ever, got to sit in the back-back (that's what we called the area behind the back seat), facing backwards. My parents did make cushions for the back-back so that we wouldn't have to sit on the hot metal. We liked to lay down long-wise, and roll around when the driver took the curves. The black stuff that held the windows in place never "set," so it was something fun to play in. It reacted to being played in much the same tar would. You couldn't wash it off--it had to wear off. My mom would always catch us after we played in it. We would always lie and say we weren't playing in it. She never believed us. It probably was due to the black fingers we had.

A few day before my fifth birthday (in fact, I think it was the day before), my mom asked me to put the vacuum away.



I know this will sound difficult to believe, but I wasn't the most obedient child. I guess for those who only know me because of this post, it would be difficult to believe I was obedient at all--with the black finger story above. So I procrastinated putting the vacuum away. My mom told me if I didn't put the vacuum away right now, she would cancel my birthday party. Yeah, right! No one in the history of the world has ever been that mean! So I didn't put away the vacuum. Guess who didn't have a fifth birthday party? I still remember crying as I said to my mom, "But look, I'm putting it away. I promise to be better!" Still, no birthday. I just realized....I think I actually inherited that very vacuum. I really should kick it or something. Ok, I don't clean the bag as often as I should--that'll teach it a lesson!

We were a one-car family until 1976. That was the year we bought a Datsun B210. For those of you too young, or naive, to know, a Datsun was a Nissan, but Nissan didn't want Americans to think it was such a Japanese car. Because Datsun sounds SO American!



Ours was dark brown. A couple of years after we bought it, it developed a dandruff-like condition. The clear coat was peeling and nothing we did made it stop. Maybe we should have tried Head and Shoulders.

About this time, I got my second Barbie-like doll. My first was Skipper:



My second was PJ:



She was sporty. She came with a tennis racket, golf club and really squishy tennis shoes. I think I chewed on them. I remember at some point I tried to make her do the splits--the wrong way--and her leg popped off. Poor PJ was an amputee! It made doing sports difficult for her. I still played with her since I didn't have a "real" Barbie for a couple of years.

My mom was really good at making meals for us. Somehow I didn't learn well enough since Darrell is lucky to get one a week that I prepare. My mom made my lunch and put it in my Raggedy Ann and Andy lunchbox. I had this one in first grade:



I remember the school had a wall low enough that a first grader could hold her lunchbox on top of the low wall and scoot her lunchbox along the wall on her way to the cafeteria. I don't know who that first grader could be, but I remember the sound so clearly.

It's amazing all that you can remember about your childhood. And all that you can remember from just one sniff of a familiar scent.

What are some of your early memories? Memories from when you were six or younger?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanks

At the risk of sounding uber-cheesy and also embarrassing him, I thought I'd post an early Thanksgiving Thank You about Darrell.

I'm going to explain some of the reasons I am oh-so-thankful to have him in my life.

He tolerates my need for stuff and piles of stuff. Until it gets too crazy. And then he helps me get it under control.

He takes care of the car and all the technical stuff around the house. I honestly don't know how I did all that stuff myself. I think I just didn't do it.

He unloads the dishwasher. And after I have washed the dishes, he dries and puts them away (my least favorite part of that job.).

He does most of the laundry. And knows which items go to the dry cleaners, which are line-dried, and which are stuff-into-the-machine-and-wash.

He lets me come into bed late. But he doesn't sleep well until I'm there. But he lets me come into bed late anyway.

He makes dinner about half of the nights in the week. In most weeks, we go out the other half.

He has all the faith and confidence in me that I will ever need.

He realizes that I am a social butterfly and need time with the girls way more than he needs time with the boys. He doesn't even complain when I am out more than I am in.

He is patient with my dinner-indecisiveness. I need to be "in the mood" for the "right food" for me to eat it. We have to go through a dozen or so choices each night before I can figure out what we will eat.

He makes me laugh. Especially when he freaks out when I pull scary food out of the depths of the fridge on "food-throw-away-night." Seriously. Last week, I almost peed my pants I laughed so hard.

He genuinely cares about our families and their needs. He's a good brother and son to both his family and mine.

I could go on and on, but I know he has died of embarrassment already.

The good news for him is that there is no photo posted. I love him enough to know that the photo on the blog would kill him, so I'll keep him around for awhile longer.

Thanks for letting me write a little about Darrell.

He's a good seed.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's all about the ring tone

At the beginning of last month, I became eligible to get a new cell phone with a pretty hefty discount. Darrell and I went to Best Buy (the BEST place to get a cell phone) and I picked out a Palm Treo.



It is a smart phone. Perhaps too smart. Like no-fun-smart. I tried to download a fun ring tone, but couldn't. You see, the Palm Treo is a serious phone. Not a fun phone. I was really disappointed.

But, then I remembered Best Buy has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee policy.

So I went to Best Buy (on election day, so I wouldn't have to watch the incessant TV coverage) and traded it in for an Instinct.



It, too, is a smart phone. But the fun-kind of smart. Even its picture makes it look fun! I now have the Charlie's Angels theme song as my general ring tone. And the Casino Royale James Bond theme song dedicated to Darrell.

Yep. It's all about the ring tone.