a volcano for a Christmas gift


Image via Wikipedia

The first Christmas my soon-to-be husband spent together was in poverty.  Well, not really poverty but as adults living at home with minimum-wage jobs.  We understood that we didn’t have the money to spend on lavish gifts.

He came over one snowy night with a jigsaw puzzle of Beetlejuice, the movie starring Michael Keaton.  We met at The Brat Stop on Halloween night when he was dressed as Beetlejuice, and I in a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt.

He played lead guitar in a band called St. Helen’s (after the volcano in Washington).  For my gift to him, I used a promotional poster of his heavy metal band which boasted of four guys with big hair, spandex that would make Rod Stewart jealous and pirate-y shirts.

I drew his likeness with a background of a totally made-up music sheet:

I think that's Mozart in the background, not sure.

Perhaps this Christmas we’ll spend it the same way – in terms of love AND money.


from david soul to john mellencamp: my 80s celebrity crushes

Plinky wants me to name my celebrity crush. I have none because Shepard Smith won’t clean out his inbox.

dude, you're missing out on my witty e-mails!

Instead I’ll list my crushes from the past in chronological order:

sorry dude, I gave up on us

1. David Soul from Starsky & Hutch. Why did I crush on an old guy when I was in third grade? Maybe because he sang a sappy ballad called, “Don’t Give Up on Us Baby.” Sappy ballads were staples in the ’70s. Way too much saccharin. Sorry David, I gave up on you. Because there’s a new 16-year-old sheriff in town…

not leaving too much up to the imagination

2. Shaun Cassidy. Now there ya go, someone more my age. He had a baby face and long hair like a girl. He didn’t button his shirts so that put all transgender conspiracies to rest. After 5 minutes I da-doo-ran-ran to…

which one is jessie's girl?

3. Rick Springfield. He sang AND played guitar with parachute pants, Members Only jacket, and bags under his eyes. Remember fan mail? With an envelope and stamp? I did it up right: colored with rainbows and my heart so my letters stood out. I don’t know what I wrote, I got distracted when a dancer moonwalked into my life…

why I learned to dance

4. Michael Jackson. Back when he had only one or two cosmetic surgeries on the cover of Thriller. I moonwalked, memorized the Thriller and Beat It dances, wore one sparkled glove to school with white socks and penny loafers. Then the Boss knocked me over the head with his butt on the cover of Born in the USA


5. Bruce Springsteen. Finally! A manly man! With muscles! He danced like a white guy with Courteney Cox. He broke my heart when he married Julianne Phillips and again when he broke her heart for his back up singer. If he had two main squeezes so could I. I went pure rock-n-roll with…

look at me! I can be centerfield with a baseball bat!

6. John Fogerty and John Cougar Mellencamp. I bought Centerfield with ten bucks I won in a poetry contest. I saw Mellencamp in concert in Milwaukee when he twisted his ankle early on but kept on going. I knew all the lyrics to all the songs. Then he went all liberal on me. Sigh.  At least he doesn’t hate Sarah Palin with a vengeance.

from scarecrow to endorsing john edwards? why?

I graduated high school then college and married my own guitar-playing artist who serenaded me with Grieg’s “Hall of the Mountain King” on his classical guitar. Crushes be damned.

All images by Flickr.

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8 good things about facebook

Facebook has completely redefined the term “friend.”  It’s like the Greeks’ definition of love.  There are 4 types: Agape (brotherly love), Eros (passionate love), Philia (friendship), and Storge (familial love).  In the Facebook world, there are also 4 types:

1.  Old friends from high school and college.

2.  Family and friends of the family.

3.  Internet friends you’ve never met in person but you truly admire.

4.  People you don’t remember but you accepted their request because you had like, 30 mutual friends.

I’ve spent the last 16 years of my life on the internet.  It started when I found people on Prodigy who, like me,  adored Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek).  At times the internet consumed me.  Other times it bored me.   Sometimes it made me laugh so hard that if I tried to explain it to anyone in the real world, it made no sense.  Other times, it left me face down in the bed crying.

But I don’t have ups and downs with Facebook.  If necessary, I can do without it but it has enriched my life in ways I never thought possible. This is why:

1.  I learned about a high school friend named Kathleen diagnosed with breast cancer.  She updates her status with Vince Lombardi quotes like this one:

I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.

2.  Another friend named Jody whose daughter lost her friend when a car struck her as she walked along a road.

3.  I followed my cousin Kim’s relationship status which blossomed into a happy wedding in Mississippi (she also provided me info about my uncle who was a World War 2 hero).

4.  Found lots of pics of me and my family at my nephew Neil’s wedding.

5.  Saw an album my brother Charlie created of our brother Bruce who passed over 2 years ago.  There were pictures imprinted in my brain and some I’d never seen before.

6.  Whenever I write an entry here, it appears under my status so I get a few more clicks.

7.  I see pics of children of my high school and college friends to see how much their young’ns look like them.

8.  My friend Becky, who I haven’t seen in 20 years, lives fairly close to me.  Now we go to the beach together with our five kids total.

So whatever your reason for Facebook time, good or bad (in my case good because I stopped watching television), look at what happened with social networking.  I bet the good outweighs the bad.

UPDATE:  One more good thing about Facebook.  I found out my very funny friend Eric met Hunter Thompson twice.  Here’s what he wrote:

First meet was through a motorcycle racer/cycle magazine buddy and it was, “Hi, this is Eric,” and we said “Hello.” Second meet was Aspen on a motorcycle trip. I pulled into the Shell gas station and he rode in on a Ducati. He was doing an article for Cycle World magazine. We briefly talked about the Ducati and I mentioned we met before. He looked at me like I was an idiot eating paste from the jar.

ba-ba-ba-ba: dedicated to the one I love

Plinky‘s prompt for the day is to create a playlist for the one I love. You know who you are.

If Not For You by George Harrison

I found this gem while researching George Harrison last year when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bob Dylan wrote the lyrics, but it was this performance from 1992 that made me favorite it:

The mustache, the purple jacket, and 1992, the year we married. Definitely first choice.

Love Shack by B-52s

This song was around number one when my husband and I were dating. I first heard the B-52s do it on David Letterman, remembering them from the early eighties as the crazy “Rock Lobster” people. The next day at work I raved about it which was fortunate since I worked in a record store. This CD along with the BoDeans, Tom Petty and the Traveling Wilburys were on constant rotation.

This band was the original Lady GaGa. I heard that the reason they named themselves the B-52s was from the ladies’ hair that was fixed to look like bombs.

Happy Together by Turtles

Tim had this grand plan for me the night he proposed. He hid my ring in a piece of cake (he called it “Carat Cake”) and came over to the house. I had the worst cold and I was watching the Clarence Thomas sexual harassment trial. Romantic, I know.

We went out in the cold and drove around telling everyone the good news, though I was coughing and hacking up a storm. In the car, he played this song with the following lyrics:

Me and you and you and me

No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be

The only one for me is you, and you for me

So happy together

And these thoughtful words:

Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba

Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba

In sickness and in health, we’re still happy together.

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