Thursday, February 23, 2012

1962...It was a very good year

Lots of interesting things happened in 1962. Such as...

Top Twelve Grossing Films
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. The Longest Day
  3. In Search of the Castaways (Hayley Mills)
  4. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
  5. The Music Man
  6. Dr. No
  7. That Touch of Mink
  8. Mutiny on the Bounty
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird
  10. Gypsy
  11. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  12. How the West Was Won
Wow, I have only seen 5 of these! (1, 4, 9, 10, 11)

Other Notables Films
  1. Birdman of Alcatraz
  2. Day of the Triffids
  3. Jules et Jim
  4. Lolita
  5. The Miracle Worker
  6. The Manchurian Candidate
  7. Premature Burial
  8. Sweet Bird of Youth
  9. Girls! Girls! Girls! (Elvis Presley)
  10. Days of Wine and Roses
And I have only seen 2 of these! (3, 5)

Notable Books
  1. Lilies of the Field by William Barrett
  2. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  3. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  4. The Mirror Crack'd by Agatha Christie
  5. The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming
  6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
  7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  8. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  9. Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
  10. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  11. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
  12. Day by Elie Wiesel
  13. Sex and the Single Girl by Helen Gurley Brown
  14. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  15. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck (he won the Nobel Prize for Lit this year too)
  16. Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
  17. The Thin Red Line by James Jones
  18. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
  19. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  20. The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
I have read only 3 of theses! (3, 7, 10) Most of the fiction titles have been made into movies.

I already did a list of some of those born in 1962. Here's a few who passed away:

Gone for 50 Years
  1. Clara Blandick ("Auntie Em")
  2. Ernie Kovacs
  3. Lucky Luciano (guess they won't be killing him off on "Boardwalk Empire" anytime soon)
  4. William Faulkner
  5. Herman Hesse
  6. e.e. cummings
  7. Eleanor Roosevelt
  8. Thomas Mitchell (Scarlett O'Hara's dad, among many other roles)
  9. Tod Browning (directed "Dracula" and "Freaks" and many others)
  10. Marilyn Monroe
#1 Songs
  1. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Tokens
  2. "The Twist" by Chubby Checker
  3. "Peppermint Twist" by Joey Dee & the Starliters
  4. "Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler
  5. "Hey! Baby" by Bruce Channel
  6. "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You" by Connie Francis
  7. "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares
  8. "Good Luck Charm" by Elvis Presley
  9. "Soldier Boy" by The Shirelles
  10. "Stranger on the Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk
  11. "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles
  12. "The Stripper" by David Rose
  13. "Roses are Red (My Love)" by Bobby Vinton
  14. "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" by Neil Sedaka
  15. "The Loco-Motion" by Little Eva
  16. "Sheila" by Tommy Roe
  17. "Sherry" by The Four Seasons
  18. "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett
  19. "He's a Rebel" by The Crystals
  20. "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons
  21. "Telstar" by The Tornados
"Duke of Earl" was the #1 song the week I was born. I used to hate it (my brother got "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles!) but now I am fond of it. And thus I know the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question: What can stop the Duke of Earl?

Just looking at a couple of the titles (5, 10, 16, 21) I can't place the songs but I went and listened on iTunes and they were all familiar when I heard a snippet, especially "Telstar".

Television Top Three Shows
1961-1962 Season
  1. "Wagon Train"
  2. "Bonanza"
  3. "Gunsmoke"
Obviously Westerns were very popular in those days! I only watched "Gunsmoke" but that's because it ran until 1975!

1962-1963 Season
  1. "The Beverly Hillbillies"
  2. "Candid Camera"
  3. "The Red Skelton Show"
And here comes the most famous rural comedy! All three of these shows were still on years later so I remember watching all of them and catching "Hillbillies" in syndication after school. I never really liked "Candid Camera" though.

Random 1962 Facts
  1. First K-Mart opened
  2. First Wal-Mart opened
  3. The term "personal computer" is used for the first time
  4. Cuban Missile Crisis
  5. John Glenn orbited Earth in Friendship 7
  6. Richard Nixon said, "You don't have Nixon to kick around any more."
  7. The Rolling Stones formed
  8. Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best in The Beatles
  9. The Incredible Hulk debuted
  10. Spider-Man debuted
  11. Johnny Carson began hosting the "Tonight Show"
  12. Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an NBA game
  13. Walter Cronkite began anchoring the "CBS Evening News"
  14. Countries granted independence
    1. Algeria
    2. Burundi
    3. Rwanda
    4. Uganda
    5. Jamaica
    6. Trinidad & Tobago
    7. Samoa
And CPA Boy would like to point out that we saw another concert a couple of years ago: Deborah Harry & Blondie, also at the Wells Fargo Center. I am missing ticket stubs! Grrr.

And this is my last post as a 40-something. Double grrr. :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Concerts and Other Events

I am not a big concert goer. But I have seen a handful of some favorite artists. Plus a few sporting events, some plays, and other performances. The best part is comparing prices! Here I go with another list!

  • Grad Night - Disney World, Florida - May 16, 1980
    • I got to see a concert by KC and the Sunshine Band and Kool and the Gang. 
    • I have absolutely NO memory of going on any rides. I was wearing a dress, mandated by the Disney dress code, and it probably wasn't too easy to get in and out of anything in a ladylike fashion. (No pun intended.) And it was so crowded! I only remember the Hall of Presidents and walking around a LOT. I don't even remember WHO I walked around with! I didn't really make friends that year so no doubt I latched on to some acquaintances.
    • As for cost, I found a website that said Grad Nite 1978 cost $9 and 1981 cost $11! I have to assume that in 1980 it cost about $10 although I think the trip cost about $50 total (including the bus ride from Louisiana to Florida and back, a couple of fast food meals and the hotel rooms in which we changed from casual to dressy clothes). General admission for an adult to Disney World that year was $8 and the famous A to E tickets had been retired.
    • So $10

  • Earth Wind and Fire - Oakland Coliseum Arena - December 30, 1981
    • Went with my friend Danny. He drove his brother's (?) fancy sports car (I want to say Lamborghini, maybe?).
    • I LOVE this group. I consider this to be my REAL first concert.
    • The next day I spent New Year's Eve in Chico with Lady Chardonnay and our friend Lisa. I think Danny took me to Lisa's house after the concert (he lived in Richmond and she lived in Pinole so it wasn't terribly far out of the way) and I spent the night with her and then we took the Greyhound bus to Chico the next day. Lady C and I went to a Chico State basketball game, not because we cared about basketball, but because they were playing the UCSC Slugs! UCSC was NOT known for its sports prowess so we sat and cheered under our breath for our school even though they lost!
    •  $12.50

  • Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus - Oakland Coliseum Arena - August 27, 1987
    • I had transferred to SFSU by this point so I took BART and met my UCSC friends Wendy and John (I've lost touch with both of them unfortunately).
    • I'm sure I went to the circus as a kid so this was probably my second time (and last so far). Somehow we never got around to taking The Boy to the circus although, because of some special promotion in 1993, I have two free tickets for any performance of this circus.
    • $8.50 (plus BART fare!)

  • Day on the Green - Oakland Coliseum - September 10, 1983
    • Met up with Kurt, Natalie and a couple of other acquaintances.
    • It was VERY warm, typical of September in the Bay Area, and crowded. While the early bands (which also included Oingo Boingo) played everyone was content to sit on their blankets and listen. When the Police started playing everyone stood up and moved closer to the stage.
    • After the concert I left with Kurt via BART. It took a really long time to get to the station platform, maybe an hour? The trains were PACKED.
    • $17.50 (plus BART fare!)
  • Elvis Costello - Greek Theater, Berkeley - September 23, 1983
    • Went with Kurt. 
    • I enjoyed this concert but didn't know much of the music at that time. NOW I do and wish I could see him again! I listen to Elvis Costello all the time now.
    • $12.50, very reasonable!

  • Louisiana World Exposition - New Orleans - August 15, 1984
    • My cousin Billie and her daughter Kimberly took me to the fair while I was in town on vacation.
    • The day we went was Australia Day so I got to see a performance by several Aussies: Andy Gibb, Peter Allen (entertainer once married to Liza Minnelli and played to great acclaim on Broadway by Hugh Jackman), and Rolf Harris (famous for "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport").
    • I bought a jar of vegemite but never opened it. I also got to see the Space Shuttle Enterprise which was on display.
    • We also went on a paddle wheel boat for a tour up the Mississippi River that evening. It was wonderfully refreshing in the hot August night. I have another picture of me in front of the boat but it's blurry so you get alligators instead!
    • $15

  • Mummenschanz - Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley - January 25, 1985
    • I went to this show with Danny who was a Cal student at the time. 
    • It was AMAZING! They are a pantomime troupe that does...I don't even know how to describe it! There was little or no music but their movements and props told the sweetest stories.
    • My ticket stub is torn in half so I have no idea how much it cost since they kept the piece with the price!

  • Neil Diamond - Cow Palace, San Francisco - March 13, 1985
    • My friends Terry and Mike took me as a birthday gift. (Hey! When will I get THIS year's gift?! Ha!)
    • This was the ONLY time I ever went to the Cow Palace. Weird since I've lived in the Bay Area all my adult life. It seems I should have gone more often somehow.
    • $17.50
  • Creation Convention - Holiday Inn, San Francisco - November 16, 1985
    • Went with my 15-year-old brother K2. The special guest was DeForest Kelley.
    • I used to see notices for these kind of conventions all the time, back when the main focus was Star Trek, Star Wars and comic books. Now conventions cover so much more.
    • Sometime in the early 90s ("Star Trek; The Next Generation" was in the midst of its run) CPA Boy and I went to a convention in Santa Rosa (at the El Rancho Tropicana, now a shopping center with a Costco) featuring Michael Dorn -- WORF! 
      • People asked such STUPID questions! 
      • Stupid questioner #1: When will we see Worf's son Alexander again?
      • Michael Dorn: I don't know. I'd love to see him come back but that's up to the writers.
      • SQ#2: When will Worf get his honor back?
      • MD: I don't know, that's up to the writers.
      • SQ#3: I have a 2-part question: will we see Alexander again and will Worf get his honor back?
      • Seriously people, do you NOT understand how TV shows work? Guh.
    • $12.50

  • A Chorus Line - Golden Gate Theatre, San Francisco - April 12, 1986
    • Went with Danny and a couple of his friends.
    • I did not know this at the time but the actor who played Zach, the director, was Scooter McTeague! Who is that, many of you are asking. (I bet Lady C knows!) He played Big Deal in "West Side Story" and Bud Frump in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (the movie versions of each). Sadly, he died of cancer at age 49, just a few years after I saw this play. 
    • Don't have the ticket stub or price!

  • Patrick Stewart, "A Christmas Carol" - Luther Burbank Center, Santa Rosa - November 27, 1992
    • The Luther Burbank Center, now called The Wells Fargo Center, is a great place to see things in Sonoma County. CPA Boy and I have seen a local production of "Brigadoon" here as well as just missing the wedding of a friend: they started on time and had a five-minute ceremony. We were late by five minutes. Whoops.
    • Patrick Stewart was absolutely wonderful in this. He acted out every role with very few props.
    • $32.50

  • Bob Newhart - Luther Burbank Center - September 17, 1994
    • One of CPA Boy's favorites, Mr. Newhart performed some of his classic telephone routines. He also has more of a potty mouth on stage!
    • $34.00
  • Weird Al Yankovic - Sonoma-Marin Fair, Petaluma - June 21, 1997
    • Al performed as part of the fair's entertainment. He was great which is why his name will come up again on this list later.
    • CPA Boy and I attended without our 3-year-old son. We made it up to him about 14 years later.
    • $7.00 (fair admission)

  • Carol Burnett - Luther Burbank Center - October 30, 1997
    • I went by myself. I've always admired Carol Burnett. She told many stories and then answered several questions. Luckily people weren't as stupid as at Star Trek conventions.
    • $40.00

  • The Mommies - Luther Burbank Center - July 11, 1998
    • I went with my sister-in-law Jill. We had gone to the book signing earlier that day too.
    • The Mommies were a comedy group that started here in Petaluma. They eventually had a sitcom, a talk show and several commercials. They no longer perform though, having moved on from Petaluma and comedy.
    • $19.50 (plus the cost of the book purchased earlier that day!)
  • Wayne Brady -  Luther Burbank Center - April 5, 2001
    • CPA Boy and I enjoyed Wayne Brady on "Whose Line is It Anyway?" so we decided to see his show. I don't know who the friends were but the show was funny and entertaining, like a live version of "Whose Line".
    • $30.00
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - Post Street Theatre, San Francisco - March 25, 2006
    • CPA Boy and I had fun driving in SF, where the GPS wanted us to take an alley in order to get to the parking lot. Luckily we did not fall for that.
    • The play was hilarious. I would go see it again if it ever plays in revival. We had spelling bee experience as parents so we could really relate to it in our way.
    • I seem to have no ticket stub (or price) which is hard to believe when I KEEP EVERY OTHER FRICKING THING!

  • The Police - Oakland Coliseum - June 13, 2007
    • Oh excuse me, the McAfee Coliseum. Who can keep these things straight anymore? (CPA Boy and The Boy can!)
    • Notice that the ticket is now a computer printed one.
    • I smelled more pot at this concert than at the one in 1983. I'm pretty sure everyone had a contact high.
    • $90.00 (the record high price 'cause I guess Sting isn't rich enough yet)

  • Barry Manilow - HP Pavilion, San Jose - February 15, 2008
    • An early birthday present from my hubby. I have been a fan (or "Fanilow" as they said on "Will & Grace") since I was a teenager.
    • I loved the show but I would be happier if Barry just sat at the piano and sang without the distraction of dancers and all that. I guess we need to get our money's worth....
    • $79.00 ('cause Barry ain't as rich as Sting yet)
  • Weird Al Yankovic - Wells Fargo Center, Santa Rosa - November 7, 2011
    • We took The Boy this time. Weird Al was great. I seriously think the man is a musical genius. He can sing ANY style.
    • $52.50
  • And now for some sporting events!
  •  Oakland A's vs Toronto Blue Jays - Oakland Coliseum - May 24, 1981
    • My very first professional baseball game! And it was a doubleheader!
      • There were SEVEN doubleheaders in 1981. After a quick look at the 2012 schedule I see...ZERO. Big overpaid babies.
      • The A's won both games: 6-5 and 5-0.
    • Danny, Kurt and I went to these games together, sitting in the bleachers. In those days the bleachers were just that: bleachers (now there are individual seats just like the rest of the park). It was kind of uncomfortable because there was no backrest and we were there for HOURS.
    • I have since now gone to many A's games as CPA Boy is a HUGE baseball fan.
    • $2.00! (CPA Boy's Oakland A's season tickets -- for better seats naturally -- are MUCH more expensive!)

  • San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers - Candlestick Park - April 24, 1985
    • I have no idea who I went with to this game! In any case, this was my first baseball game at Candlestick Park.
    • The final score: Giants 2, Dodgers 4
    • $5.00

  • Boston Red Sox vs Detroit Tigers - Fenway Park - September 13, 1992
    • While visiting Lady Chardonnay (her man was in Iceland at the time!) we made a point of going to Fenway Park, if only to say that I had been there. We did not stay for more than 3 innings and went to a bookstore instead.
    • $7.00

  • New Orleans Saints vs Los Angeles Rams - Superdome - October 7, 1979
    • My grandfather had season's tickets for the Saints starting in 1979 and probably through 1992, the year he died. He hardly ever went to the games in his later years.
      • The seats were great, in the back rows of the first section around the 30 yard line. There were two seats in one row and two seats directly behind.
    • He and my dad (and probably my uncles) went to Superbowl IV in 1970 although that one was at Tulane Stadium (the Superdome wasn't ready until 1975).
      • They were also at the game were Tom Dempsey kicked his record-setting field goal. My uncle had already left, disgusted that the Saints were going to lose. As he walked away from Tulane Stadium a huge cheer went up: he had missed it! My dad said that this was the only time he and his father-in-law ever hugged!
    • The Saints lost this game: 17-35
  • New Orleans Saints vs San Francisco 49ers - Candlestick Park - September 29, 1985
    •  My Uncle Owen brought my grandfather to California to visit my parents and he got tickets in the Saints' section at Candlestick. I got to go as my dad didn't want to and I was living in San Francisco. They were not good seats, being in the end zone.
    • The Saints won, 20-17, and the 49ers fans were PISSED. Haha!
    • $20.00
  • New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Superdome - October 19, 1986
    • Went with my cousin Willy, my Uncle Bill and his friend Perry.
    • Saints won, 38-7. Tampa was AWFUL in those days.
    • $16.00

  • New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons - Superdome - August 11, 1984
    • A preseason game that the Saints won, 31-21. Any win over Atlanta is good!
    • Went with my cousins.
    • $14.00

  • Tulane University vs Georgia Tech - Superdome - October 27, 1979
    • Went with my Uncle Owen and probably my dad and brother.
    • Georgia Tech had a terrible team that year. They lost, 12-7.
    • These seats were WAY up in the nosebleed area of the Superdome. Quite a change from my grandfather's great seats for the Saints.
    •  $???
There are a few things I'm missing but if I can't remember them then they don't matter!

Okay, thus wraps up another installment of "let's bore my family and friends"!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Are These Flowers Absorbitant?!

CPA Boy surprised me with flowers for Valentine's Day and my first thought was, "How sweet!" And my second was, "Dammit, now I'll need to make him dinner instead of making him bring some home!"

We don't generally pay attention to V Day. It comes on the heels of Christmas and his birthday and just 10 days before mine. I, practical (and CHEAP) in my nature, hate the idea of his spending money on premium-priced flowers when he can wait for 10 days for NON-premium-priced flowers!

That and I have always despised Valentine's Day. I think, with one exception, I have never even had a boyfriend over any V Day. By the time CPA Boy came along I was DONE with it. (I generally prefer attention on my birthday. And on our wedding anniversary but we sadly chose the end of September, right at the end of regular season baseball and the start of hockey season so now we mostly ignore that now too.) 

We watch a sitcom called "The Middle" and when the parents discuss Valentine's Day, it went something like this:

Wife: I don't want to go out.
Husband: We could stay home and watch TV and I'll get a bucket of chicken.
Wife: Perfect! Oh wait, you'll want to watch sports, right? I don't want to watch sports.
Husband: Okay, bucket of chicken, separate TVs in separate rooms.
Wife: Perfect!

This is usually us minus the chicken (I prefer something from Wendy's or one of local delis).

Although, since the San Jose Sharks didn't play on Tuesday, we watched television TOGETHER. So there. And I made one of his favorite dinners (an easy one, but still). Ah romance!

But the picture above are the flowers I got: roses, carnations and a third flower I don't know the name of. Mini mums? Dahlias? But they are pink and pretty. My hubby is good to me. Except during sports...

[Our Boy, meanwhile, took his girlfriend out to dinner to Outback. He was also borrowing some of my craft supplies so I think he made something for her too!]

Physical therapy is NOT fun but my therapist today was a nice young man named Jeff and we chatted about all sorts of interesting things while he tried to kill me with painful contortions of my arm. My regular physical therapist is a nice woman named Julie when Jeff goes back to his regular office (he was subbing for a therapist on medical leave). She and I discussed all things menopausal. Maybe this is why I like hanging out with guys more!

A trip to Costco yesterday also did not help my shoulder much and I foresee pain meds before bedtime tonight! Usually my arm hurts only when I move it or sleep on it; now it hurts at a low-grade level constantly. Julie told me it could take about 8 months to get my range of motion back! Bleah.

Oh, and here is the best misspelling of a word I've seen in a while, about the lines at See's Candy on Valentine's Day: "You have people standing in long lines to pay absorbitant money for .........candy."

CPA Boy's comment: "I think See's did soak it to them."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Boxes of Comic Books

When I was in college visiting my boyfriend one weekend, circa 1984, I delved into his pile of comic books while he was busy studying. He had several issues of "Daredevil" and "The Uncanny X-Men". I started with DD and quickly got bored with it. It seemed repetitive (this would have been less noticeable at the rate of one issue per month) and Matt Murdock wasn't the most cheery of characters. I'm sure it was a fine comic, just not my cup of tea.

Taking a step back, my history in comic books up to this point included the kiddie comics of our youth: Richie Rich, Little Lulu, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Archie, and also a handful of Spiderman books. My brothers and I were big fans of "Batman" on TV (the Adam West version) and we sought out the big compilations of Batman and Superman at our library. We checked those books out over and over. I can't remember how it felt to learn how DARK Batman was in the comics compared to the bright campiness of the TV show.

Back to the pile of comic books: I started reading through the handful of X-Men books and I was hooked! All sorts of characters with different powers and problems; it was like a superhero soap opera! With lots of battles!

I started buying the X-Men comics whenever I visited Berkeley. There was a comic book store on Telegraph Avenue, if I recall correctly. I started buying back issues as well as current and I was able to go back as far as issue 138 (pictured above). Which was funny because the BIG event of X-Men at the time was the death of Jean Grey in issue 136 or 137. Those issues were impossible to find. (My itemized list says I have #137 though so I must have found it eventually.)

Comic books readers would say that they bought them for the art. At first I thought that sounded pretty silly. Comic books? Art? But they were. After a while you can tell one artist from another quite easily. You can even tell the difference between the style of the people who lettered the issues!

I don't know if it's still done the same today but generally, one artist drew the pictures, another did the coloring and a third did the lettering.

When I moved back to Sonoma County I went to a comic book store in Santa Rosa and then one in Petaluma. I bought "The Uncanny X-Men" and most of the mini-series and spin-offs featuring mutants.

I was actually at a comic book store, standing in front of the display of the new ones, and a boy about 10 years old said to me, "Why are you buying comic books? You're a GIRL!"

But I was looking over my itemized list (dated 6/24/92!) and I have NO IDEA what some of the comics are about! There are 6 issues of "Comet Man", for example, 8 of "Fallen Angels", and 16 of "Nth Man, The Ultimate Ninja". Let's see what Wikipedia has to say!

Crazy! I just looked up Nth Man and yes, it does feature an American ninja. I have a complete set, apparently, as it only published 16 out of 24 planned issues. But looking at the plot I see nothing that would make me interested in reading it. It's a Marvel comic but not part of the Marvel world. About a ninja. Who's an American. NOTHING about this screams "I must read it!" I think I must have bought it because it was a new series and I just kept buying them. Dumb.

Now "Comet Man" is more interesting. It was a limited series created by Bill Mumy, Miguel Ferrer and Kelley Jones. I know the first two names: Bill is famous for "Lost in Space" where he played Will Robinson and Miguel is also an actor. He's the son of Rosemary Clooney and Jose Ferrer (and first cousin to George Clooney!) and he brightens up any acting project he's in. I bet at the time I didn't know who he was.

"Fallen Angels" turns out to be a miniseries related tangentially to "The New Mutants". It's just been too many years since I've read any of these!

My very favorite character was always Rogue. I have her first appearance in the "Avengers Annual #10", my greatest find in searching back issues boxes in various comic book stores. I also really liked a character named Karma who was a New Mutant. She was sometimes shown in the "Wolverine" series, which is why I bought that particular comic book, but I never found out what happened to her because I stopped collecting at that point. "Wolverine" comics were a little dark for my taste (more ninja-type stuff, probably, as much of it took place in Asia).

I've also read "The Watchmen" which is an amazing comic series. But I never really got into graphic novels nor have I ever been interested in underground or alternative comics. And manga does nothing for me.

In the early 90s it seemed that every comic book started having multiple covers ("Collect all 4!") or was wrapped in plastic with a "collector's card" and this really drove me nuts. Also? I got married in 1991 and got pregnant in 1992 and just had no time to hit comic book stores anymore. I think it all came to an end sometime in early 1993 because I remember being very pregnant at my comic book store. Which is no longer around by the way.

Now I am behind by over 20 years worth so I will never get back into comic book collecting. And my old spreadsheet list is out of date. (I made it on Lotus 1-2-3, NOT Excel!) And it's certainly time to weed out the ones I don't want anymore. The boxes, as I've mentioned in a previous post, sit next to my dresser, "decorating" my bedroom.

So my comic life only existed for a short while, about 1984 to 1993. RIP Comic Book Kelly!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Oh dear lord, another list.

This map is COLOR CODED! Neat, huh? I have LIVED in the green ones. Blue stands for states visited for a vacation length of time and orange are the states in which I've at LEAST slept overnight. Pink means I've been there mainly passing through on my way elsewhere. And white are unvisited (including the missing Alaska and Hawaii - never been to either).

I think I can come up with a reasonable chronological list for my 30 state total (going to Colorado this summer will add ZERO states to the list, dammit!). I count states as visited when I am on the ground (no flyovers!) so we have one airport layover and a few from train trips.

  • LOUISIANA - 1962
    • My home state! I only lived here a total of about 14 years, all during my childhood. It seems like such a short amount of time! I haven't been back since 1986. At this point I don't know if I'll ever go back.
    • Since it's currently Mardi Gras season I thought I'd mention that I went to many parades as a kid. I always wanted to be IN one, especially as one of the parade queens or princesses. I don't know how it is now but when I was a kid only the wealthy, connected people got to be on parade floats. My family was neither wealthy nor connected so no float ride for Kelly!
    • I don't have a Southern accent, never have. Part of this is due to the fact that my dad is a Californian and while my mom's accent was definitely Southern it wasn't as strong as some of my relatives, especially the Cajuns!
    • When I moved back in 1979 for my last year in high school, people asked me if I went surfing all the time. Conversely, when we first moved to California people asked if we had alligators everywhere. No and no. The Pacific Ocean is far too cold (I know people do surf but I ain't one of 'em) and alligators were in the zoo, not in New Orleans suburbs.
  • MISSISSIPPI - 1964
    • My baby book has an entry that's HYSTERICAL: "July 24, 1964, Pass Christian, Mississippi: Kelly was very bad - she wouldn't listen and received many whippings!" Um, I was TWO at the time. I am unclear if we spent the day or stayed overnight as it was reasonably close to New Orleans, where we were living at the time.
    • In case anyone cares, Pass Christian is pronounced "Pass Chris-chee-ann" like Biloxi is pronounced "Bill-UX-ee" not "Bill-ox-ee"! (A Southern pet peeve of mine, sorry!)
  • CALIFORNIA - 1966
    • In 1966, my mom took me and my brother Ev to visit my grandmother whom, I'm assuming, hadn't seen us in person yet. I have VERY vague memories of this trip.
    • I moved to California on June 1, 1980 right after high school graduation and lived with the very same grandmother. I have been here ever since.
  • TEXAS - 1974
    • Traveled across, from Houston to El Paso when we moved to California in June 1974. Later that summer we flew back to Louisiana and then drove out AGAIN, this time going from Houston to Dallas-Ft. Worth to Amarillo. When we moved back to Louisiana in 1979 we came through Texas again.
    • Everything in Texas is big. Seriously. It takes DAYS to get across. And it was sot and dry. Texas went on forever. I hope never to see Texas again.
  • NEW MEXICO - 1974
    • Same story as Texas. I have been across it three times. It only takes about a day to get across New Mexico.
  • ARIZONA - 1974
    • Same story as New Mexico, a three time visit.
    • After I went to college my family started taking vacations. They visited the Grand Canyon, Old Tucson, Tombstone, Sedona. I have seen NONE of these places. But I'm not bitter.
  • OREGON - 1978
    • Dad was interested in buying another CPA's practice in Ashland. Earlier in the summer he had taken Ev up to check out the area. When the Ashland opportunity came he took me.
    • We went in the Toyota pickup, which had no air conditioning. I chose to wear all black and I was so hot, especially as we went through the Red Bluff/Redding area. The truck kept overheating and at one point Dad pulled over. We saw a stream on the other side of the fence. Dad took a Pepsi can and climbed over several times to get water for the radiator.
    • Ashland was packed with people, it being Shakespeare Festival time. Dad chose not to pursue buying the practice and we ended up moving to Louisiana the following year instead.
    • I have been to Oregon a couple of other times now, once just last year, because my brother- and sister-in-law live there.
  • NEVADA - 1979
    • A brief overnight stay in 1979 occurred during the move back to Louisiana. Mom and K2 flew to LA and Dad, Ev and I drove (the Toyota pickup was towed behind the Plymouth). We stopped in South Lake Tahoe where my aunt lived. The adults went to the casinos and took us along. I was 17 and Ev was 15. We got signed into the arcade and were stuck there for hours (you weren't allowed to leave without a parent). Ugh. Plus I was so angry about moving between my junior and senior years of high school. Yes, I'm still bitter!
    • I have been to Reno many times since. We used to go at least once a year in the 90s. At some point gambling lost its charm. We are not poor enough to care about winning, nor are we rich enough to want to spend our money on gambling. (Or something like that. I read that in a book and I always forget EXACTLY how it goes.)
  • ALABAMA - 1980
    • Just rode through here on the bus on our way to Florida.
    • Also went through in 1986 during my train trip up the East Coast.
  • FLORIDA - 1980
    • Disney World Grad Nite!
    • Did any of you do this? Disney was open to high school seniors only from 11 pm to 5 am. We had to dress up: dresses for girls and sport coats for boys. For Louisiana seniors Disney World is much closer than Disneyland.
    • Two of the bands that played were KC & the Sunshine Band and Kool & the Gang. I took pictures but I was so far away that you can't see anything.
  • GEORGIA - 1986
    • I was visiting my grandparents in New Orleans for several weeks in the fall. I had one more semester of college left but I was burned out so I took the semester off. I had the opportunity to visit my cousin in North Carolina and my best friend Lady Chardonnay who had just moved to Massachusetts.
    • Amtrak had a plan then that separated the United States into 3 sections. For just $150 you could travel anywhere in one section and make up to three stopovers. New Orleans and Boston were both in the Eastern section so I could go cheaper by train than by air.
    • Georgia was the first new state I crossed, having already been through Mississippi and Alabama in previous years. The train stopped in Atlanta and I got to eat in the dining car while we were there. So I can say I've eaten dinner in Atlanta. It was expensive, crappy train food but still.
    • Went through it, saw nothing. It was nighttime so there was nothing to see. Coming back, same thing.
    • My cousin Eric was attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his masters degree. I stopped and stayed with him for three days. He had an apartment that was FILTHY. He drank a lot so I spent my time cleaning the kitchen. This is the last time I ever got together with him. He died a couple of years ago at 47. He had some other health issues but I don't think the years of drinking helped him.
    • In New Orleans the weather was the usual hot and humid: 95 during the day, 75 at night. In Chapel Hill it was 75 during the day and 55 at night.
    • I arrived in Raleigh about midnight and had to catch the train to Boston at midnight three days later. I took a cab to get to the train station. I forget the fare, maybe $7 or $8? I only had a $20 bill. The cab driver said he didn't have change. I said, "I don't have anything smaller." We had a standoff: I was a poor college kid; no way was I going to leave my $12 in change! So I kept sitting in the back of the cab, hiding my panic because I didn't want to miss the train (the next was 24 hours later!). Yes, he finally gave me my change. I can't recall for sure but I don't think he got a tip!
  • VIRGINIA - 1986
    • Just like South Carolina, all I remember is black. I'm sure I slept most of the way through it until we got to Washington DC where I changed trains.
  • MARYLAND - 1986
    • Daylight but went by fast. Absolutely no memory of any of it.
  • DELAWARE - 1986
    • Went by even faster than Maryland!
    • I think the train barely touched Pennsylvania because we stopped in Philadelphia which is on the southeast corner. It's not like the Liberty Bell is visible from the train. I saw nothing but scenery.
  • NEW JERSEY - 1986
    • Again, I saw nothing but the kind of scenery one sees from a train on the East Coast. In the West so many sections are sparsely populated and there is so much more actual scenery. In the EAST it's more densely populated. You see people's BACKYARDS and thank god you don't live right near train tracks!
  • NEW YORK - 1986
    • I was very excited to see New York City. The bustle, the city streets and all that. Nope. The train is UNDERGROUND in NYC. I saw NOTHING.
  • CONNECTICUT - 1986
    • It was very pretty. I was getting more and more excited to see Lady C though. One thing about East Coast states: they are small and they go by quickly!
  • RHODE ISLAND - 1986
    • Another pretty state but I saw nothing of importance. And I was ever closer to Boston!
    • First, the weather in Massachusetts, as I arrived in early October: Daytime temps were about 55 and nighttime temps were about 35. I was FREEZING the entire time I was there! All I really had were summer clothes: Louisiana in September/early October is still summer weather! Luckily Lady C lent me some things.
    • Lady C was working at that time as a nanny so I stayed with her at the home of her nanny family. Somehow I remember later trips to Massachusetts more clearly than this one. It was pretty short, about 3 or 4 days.
  • WASHINGTON - 1996 or 1997?
    • I went to Spokane for a work seminar on asset management. I'd need to look at the ole calendars to see when I went here. I can narrow it down to 1994 through 1999. I'll update it later.
    • The big thing about Spokane was my fall out of the shower. The floor was an inch or two lower than the level of the tub and when I stepped out I landed on one knee (think Al Jolson's "Mammy" pose). While naked, of course. Got to get some medical tests done care of workman's comp insurance but there was no major injury besides bruising.
  • NEBRASKA - 1996
    • The Bank was changing computer systems so they sent some of us to training in Lincoln for a week. I ordered room service breakfast every morning.
    • The Boy, who was only 3, stayed with my parents (CPA Boy was in his final semester at college, working full-time and a couple of weeks away from taking the CPA exam). When I called to talk to them I mentioned to my mom that football sure seemed to be a big deal around town. Mom's all, "Well, yeah, Nebraska's won the championship the last two years." I had no idea as I pay zero attention to college football. I did buy a Nebraska t-shirt though; it was red and said simply "Nebraska". I splashed bleach on it a couple of years later and ruined it.
  • COLORADO - 1996
    • On our way back from Lincoln we stopped for a layover in Denver's new (at that time) airport. It had lots of moving sidewalks and parts of it were like a shopping mall.
    • I got to spend actual quality time in Colorado in 2008 when we took the train to see K2. He moved to the Denver area for work. We are going again this summer.
  • MISSOURI - 1999
    • Airport layover on my way to visit Lady C. All I saw was the airport.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE - 1999
    • I flew Southwest Airlines because flights were pretty cheap ($199 round trip!) and it flew to Manchester. Lady C said it was easier to pick me up in New Hampshire than drive to Logan in Boston.
    • We also had lunch in Portsmouth one day.
  • MAINE - 1999
    • We drove just across from New Hampshire to Kittery, a place with a lot of outlet malls. But the big deal was having LOBSTER. In MAINE.
  • UTAH - 2008
    • We took Amtrak when we went to see K2. We stopped at Salt Lake City at about 1 am so we got to see people get on and off the train platform and not much else. We will be driving through in June so we will get to spend the night and see more of Utah then.
  • WYOMING - 2008
    • The train normally does not go through Wyoming but they were working on the usual route. They shunted us north to Wyoming. You could see Interstate 80 from the window. And it was snowing! In June! That was kind of cool. I do not want to live in Wyoming if it snows in June though.
Another pointless tour through my life! That leaves 20 unvisited states: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, Michigan and Wisconsin. It might be nice to see Hawaii but I really don't like the idea of flying so far over water. And I thought it might be nice to take an Alaskan cruise someday but cruise ships don't seem to be as safe as one might hope these days! I have no real interest in seeing any of the others so it's unlikely I will get to all 50. Oh well.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Memories and Cars

The last few days have been fun because I have recalled college days and it has been a LOT of fun looking at pictures I haven't looked at in years and then writing about dorm life. And oh my, I have so many more stories in my college scrapbooks! Plus it has been great to feel more connected to those dear friends who were so important in my life way back when.

I think....

[No, no, no, bad habit! I keep trying to start sentences with "I think". Which is dumb because I AM the one writing this blog. Of COURSE I am thinking all this. Duh.]

I don't want to live in the past but some days I do wish I could go back and do certain things differently. But even if I COULD change things I wouldn't be HERE at this exact spot in my life. It means I would never have met CPA Boy. Or had The Boy. Impossible to imagine so I have to assume all the decisions led me to this point. I am happy overall so it's truly hard to regret the past. I still want to kick my younger self for being so STUPID sometimes. But that's what being young is about: making stupid mistakes and learning the hard way!

These various lists and reminisces have mainly concentrated on the past. That doesn't mean my PRESENT isn't worth focusing on. I just find it a little TOO personal to write about my marriage just yet (for which CPA Boy is ever grateful). And now that The Boy is 18 I am really trying to go back to living MY life and letting go of "momming" the poor kid. Believe me, the last few years could have been a treasure trove of "my teen is driving me crazy!" posts. He still drives me crazy; I just ignore it better. 

But...since I turn 50 in a couple of weeks I suppose I am a BIT more fixated on HOW QUICKLY my life has seemed to go. You do the math: average life span is now about 78 years old. I have been an adult for 32 years. I have, on average, about 28 years left.

This is the kind of crap that keeps me up at nights!

I am not REALLY bothered about turning 50. I know it's just a number. And many people tell me I look younger than I am (they don't say HOW much younger though, hmmm...). My dad looks much younger than 77 and when we go out to lunch the servers usually assume we are married to each other! Which is weird.

Anyway, perhaps this turning 50 thing is why I am ready to lose weight. I am tired of being fat. I want to be healthy in the PRESENT and it's time to stop looking at pictures of my young and skinny self and wishing I looked like that again. And with an 18-year-old, I have not been able to use the "baby weight" excuse for QUITE some time! I'm down 24 pounds since August 29. Not too bad, eh? Still so far to go though. So I won't be thin by 50 but maybe by 51!

Physical therapy was painful, as I'd suspected, but it really made a difference after only one session. My shoulder is not frozen YET so my therapist thinks I should be able to regain complete use without surgery.

I have a few more lists to write up for the "overview of my life as I approach 50". Lists of what, you ask? How 'bout cars? I've had 5, not counting the cars CPA Boy drives, or the Volkswagen Beetle Lady C and I had the summer of 1982. I drove stick shift cars FOR YEARS. Now that I have had automatics I can't believe how long it took for me to switch! (I do still try to "shift" every once in a while!)
  • 1984 Toyota Tercel - brown ("The Gerbil"), stick shift, first car!
  • 1992 Toyota Tercel - metallic blue, stick shift, first car purchased with CPA Boy!
  • 1998 Toyota Corolla - dark blue, stick shift, first air conditioner!
  • 2005 Toyota Corolla - silver, first automatic transmission!
  • 2007 Toyota Prius - green, first personalized license plate!

Sense a theme? Yep, all Toyotas. The Boy now drives the silver Corolla. CPA Boy has a new dark blue Prius. We have also had a 2001 Celica and a leased 1998 Camry. Expensive cars aren't my thing; I am all about reliability and great gas mileage. My Prius gets about 46-48 on average; the new one gets about 51. CPA Boy is smug about this.

I really like writing this blog. Once I get past this "list" phase I will try to share more about my life in other ways. And to those of you who read it, please feel free to leave lots of comments. They make my day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dear Old College Days, Part Two

I transferred to San Francisco University in order to major in accounting. At that time UC Santa Cruz did not have a business school.

With a good background in math and some CPA genes in my system, accounting was a pretty easy major for me. Both my dad and my mom's dad were CPAs! (And, of course, I married a CPA so our Boy has a triple genetic dose!) The only class I struggled with was finance. It made no sense to me yet it was a requirement for business majors.

One thing really demoralized me from the start: In Intermediate Accounting I sat next to this guy who talked to me throughout class. I only spoke to him before class, never during, but the teacher decided we must have been connected. When the guy asked some stupid question the teacher started his reply with, "If you two would pay attention..." Whuh? How did you lump me in with that other guy?! I got the highest score on the exams so it's not like I was a bad student. Weird.

I lived in the dorms most of the time at SFSU. Originally I couldn't get on-campus housing so I rented a room from an older woman who had a condominium nearby. She nagged me about my eating: "You're eating a sandwich and soup?!" Um, yeah, that's what I can afford. And sandwiches and soups are perfectly good meal choice.

On the first day of school I went to the housing office to find out where I was on the waiting list. At the top! So I got my room assignment and moved out of the lady's place pronto.

San Francisco State University
  • Mary Ward Hall, Room 110, Fall Semester 1983
    • This was an all-female hall on the first floor. I had a freshman roommate named Kay (NOT her real name). She was always talking about how she was going to break up with her boyfriend after Christmas because he had promised to buy her a Gucci purse and she needed to hold out until then. Charming, no?
      • This particular collection of women was older and some were disabled. I have no idea why they placed a freshman there.
    • This is where I met Ruth, a woman in her mid-forties who had been through divorce and addiction, and had come out the other side to become a marriage/family counselor for drug addicts.
    • Next door was Carol. She was from New York State, a few years older than me and she was absolutely infatuated with one of her professors.
    • In November one Saturday night Kay's friends from home stopped by late (I was already in bed). I was annoyed when one of the friends started poking me through my blankets. They left and I went to sleep.
      • The next morning, VERY early around 6 am, Kay's boyfriend called. I said Kay wasn't there; she had gone out with friends. I tried to go back to sleep; these were the days when I liked to sleep as late as possible.
      • Not 10 minutes later, Kay's mother called. Again, I said she wasn't there; she had gone out with friends.
      • That night Kay came back around 8 pm. I said hello and she basically screamed at me, "You bitch!" She hated me from that day. I'm not sure what I could have done different. "Kay's not here. She's at, um, church," I guess I could have said but I was not totally awake when I answered the phone to think any of that through.
      • She had gotten into tons of trouble with her parents for being out overnight. The little purse ho was only 18 and I assume her parents were paying her tuition.
      • From that moment she made my life a living hell. Stupid stuff like turning up the volume of the TV or radio very loud. When I finally asked her to turn it down she turned it UP. It was nearing the end of the semester and it was impossible to sleep or study anymore.
      • I went to the front desk and they sent me to meet with, not an RA, but someone ranked higher (I forget the title) and told her my story. She called Kay in and she backed up everything I said and said she was going to keep it up. They moved her out THAT NIGHT and I never had to deal with Kay again.

  • Mary Ward Hall, Room 112, Spring Semester 1984
    • Carol's roommate had left and I was now without a roommate so I moved in with her.
      • Carol asked me if I wanted to rearrange the room. Not wanting to put her to any trouble I said I was fine with the way it was. Wrong answer!
        • It turns out SHE had wanted to rearrange the room and I inadvertently put the kibosh on it. I can't win!
    • I stayed at my parents' house in Petaluma over the summer of 1984.
  • Mary Park Hall, Room 318, Fall Semester 1984 to Summer 1985
    • Natalie, an acquaintance of mine from UC Santa Cruz had also transferred to SFSU and her roommate was leaving so she invited me to move in with her and I did.
      • This arrangement was advantageous for me because Natalie had a boyfriend at home in Contra Costa County and she went home from Thursdays to Sunday nights (they eventually got married the next summer).
    • While living here I got to know both Terry and Mike. Somehow, like I did with Danny and Kurt, I started hanging out regularly with these two guys. All I can think is, since I have two brothers, I find it easy to hang out with two guys.
      • Whatever the reason, the three of us hung out, went to movies (and one concert) and bonded over our geeky love for movies, comic books, and TV.
      • We used to go to El Torito on Monday nights because we could get appetizers and margaritas cheaper then (something to do with Monday Night Football but we got there after the game). Here we are at El Torito one night in December 1984: From left to right, me, Mitch, Terry, Mike and Madeline.

    • That summer I got a job as a member of the dorm cleaning crew. We cleaned the dorms after the students left and made up the rooms used by conferences who used the SFSU facilities during summer. 
      • The summer staff also included painters, food service and conference support people and we all lived on the 2nd and 3rd floor of Mary Park Hall. Since I already lived there I just stayed where I was.
      • Ruth was on the summer cleaning crew too and she moved in next door to me.
      • A guy named Bill was on the cleaning crew and became obsessed with me. His room was right across the hall from me so I know he watched what I was doing. (Ruth later told me he'd made a film about his infatuation with me; she saw it and said he cast a girl who looked a lot like me!)

  • Mary Park Hall, Room 201, Fall Semester 1985 to Summer 1986
    • At this point I splurged for a single room and got this one. It was the same size as a double room with half the furniture. I was able to keep my bike in my room rather than outside!
    • The room overlooked the main entrance to the building so I always had a view of who came and went.
    • By this time almost all my friends had graduated from SFSU or moved elsewhere so this was a pretty quiet year. Ruth was still in the dorms though and we go together quite often. I think this is the year they opened a cafe downstairs and we used to eat there all the time rather than the dining hall.
    • In my second year on cleaning crew I was an assistant supervisor. Plus Ruth and some of the people from the prior year were back and we had such fun.
      • My main group of friends and co-workers that summer were Ruth, Barbara and Cynthia. Fun facts:
        • Barbara and I went together to the Golden Gate Bridge Walk in 1987.
        • Cynthia's birthday is the same day as mine (different year though).
        • We all had nicknames: In order of the photo below, Ruth was Cassandra, Barbara was Victoria, I was Raven, and Cynthia was Rahne (pronounced "Rain").
      • I had a crush on a guy named Joey but he would ignore me when I paid attention to him and then do things to get my attention when I ignored him. He was cute and 21 (I was 24 at the time) and told me he was using the summer to just be into himself. Whatever, Joey, you lost your chance.
      • We moved a picnic table from the lounge and replaced it with a ping-pong table. We would dance to Beatles songs. We hung out on the roof of Verducci Hall. SO much fun!

  • Verducci Hall, 15th floor, Winter Break 1987
    •  I briefly had a job during the break as a janitor (I got paid about $12 an hour which was a fortune to me at that point!) so I took an empty room on the top floor. I was totally alone in the building except for the preceptor (or whatever they called themselves at SFSU) who lived in an apartment on the ground floor (2 floors were practically underground).
    • I had my sleeping bag and my black & white 13" TV. This is where I watched "2001: A Space Odyssey" for the first time. NOT that exciting in tiny B&W!
    • I had a view of the Pacific Ocean.
    • Verducci was damaged in the 1989 earthquake and demolished 10 years later. So sad. I had been in every room of it at some point.
    • Here's Verducci in the 1960s. It looked the same in the 1980s.
 Thus endeth the history of all the places I've lived.

My sad, sad footnote is that I lost touch with Ruth and all the others once I was married and had my son. I have connected with many people again via Facebook. All but Ruth. It turns out that she passed away in 2006 at age 69. I am so sorry that we didn't stay in touch. She was an amazing person. Coincidentally, her birthday is tomorrow. Happy Birthday Ruth!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dear Old College Days, Part One

Yep, that's right. It took me almost 7 years to get through college. The reasons? The sheer lack of sensible decisions due to lack of maturity. Indecision on my major (writing to math to economics to accounting). Switching from the University of California to the California State University system (I spent a lot of time taking general education classes at State University that weren't necessary for UC).

Anyway, I did come out of college with enough skills to get a job and support myself. It turned out that I was a really great bookkeeper (CPA Boy says I can't call myself an "accountant" --- he likes to hog all the accountant glory to himself) and I loved my jobs, if not the politics and backstabbing portions of work life.

When I was 18 I thought I wanted to be a writer. That's why, when I got the UC Santa Cruz brochure and College Five was the perfect place for writing majors, I chose to apply. In retrospect I should have stuck it out a bit longer or at least tried some more literature classes.

Oddly, when I was 14 I wanted to be a geologist so I could study volcanoes and earthquakes. I thought plate tectonics was the most amazing thing I had ever learned. I remember the epiphany moment in 9th grade earth science class: THIS is what I want to learn more about! I am not sure why I moved away from it. Probably because once 9th grade was over all we got was biology class and they never mention earth science again. That and all my English teachers told me I was a great writer. I was brainwashed!

I AM an adequate writer though but only an armchair geologist. Which is to say I read an occasional book about earthquakes and volcanoes.  And catch the occasional "Nova" special on PBS! But having read so much more history in the last 25 years, now I would major in English literature and history. I always thought that once my son was grown (check!) I would go back to college and do just that. But now it's too expensive and it's probably too late. So I will just continue to self-educate.

So here's a little history for you!

University of California at Santa Cruz
  • College Five, B-Dorm, Room 215, Fall Quarter 1980 to Spring Quarter 1981
    • Over the summer I received a letter telling me that my roommate was named Kim. I thought that was cute: Kim and Kelly would be roommates! When I got to my room I had the room to myself the first week. I'm not sure why that was!
      • Kim's room was on the other side of B-Dorm, which was still technically part of the girl's hall (I think our RA was responsible for them too) and she had a different roommate, but they were never a part of Chastity Castle and I never got to know her.
        • Our hall got the nickname Chastity Castle. I remember some guys upstairs on one of the balconies asking, "Who's your queen?" I think we all bleated in unison, "Jenny," which may have been Lady C's freshman year college alias.
      • I often wonder how things might have been different had Kim been my roommate like she was supposed to be. Let's ponder this...
    • Lady Chardonnay was in the room next door with her roommate, Tina. Lisa shared a room with Monica (I could be completely making this name up but that's what pops into my head) and Karen was with George (who was female and from New York). Lori was the RA who did not like Lady C or me (she was a terrible RA in that she was a non-entity to us). The other rooms were all singles with Adina, Lucia and other girls whose names are lost to me (Joanne?).
    • Ultimately Monica was replaced by Russelle and George was replaced by --- oh my goodness --- I have no idea! I just remember George was gone pretty quickly. Did Karen get a new roommate?

    • Lisa, Karen, Trish, Kelly, Jenny, and Russelle. Tina was never around much, unfortunately, and I have not a single photograph of her!
    • My roommate situation was brokered by Lady C. Somehow she and Trish met, facilitated perhaps by their red hair, and Lady C somehow invited her to be my roommate. Which seems like it would be weird but was totally fine. Trish and I got along fine and we were good roommates. We nicknamed our room the "Virgin Room".
      • Trish had many posters of the ilk including fuzzy kittens and sweet sayings like "Find a place that makes you happy and go there" and "Great joys are silent." I had pictures of Harrison Ford and brightly colored geometric designs.
      • We rearranged the furniture every quarter. During the last we made bunk beds and I took the top bunk.
    • Lady C and I became best friends pretty quickly (and remain so until this day, 31.5 years later!). I think Trish and Karen were best friends at that time too. Lisa was our other best friend (she was definitely closer to Lady C overall but she & I were good friends too).
    • My other good friends were Kurt and Danny, who did not live on the girls' hall of course. The three of us started hanging out together after a dining hall game of paper football bonded us (the ACTUAL paper football is in my college scrapbook --- yes, I am a dork!). Tina had known Danny at high school back home and Kurt had known Lady C briefly during their junior high days (I think).
      • There's a story involving "Young Frankenstein", Lady C, Danny and Kurt. During the very first week of school (before classes had started) the movie was shown across campus (outdoors somewhere) and I wanted to go since I hadn't seen it yet. But Dear Lady C had hoped to get some alone time with a guy named Aaron (?) and I graciously bowed out of going. Sadly for Lady C Aaron brought a bunch of people from his hall and this group somehow included Danny & Kurt. I could have gone and never so much as cramped her style. (Plus I would have met Danny & Kurt that much sooner.) AND I HAVE NEVER LET HER FORGET IT!
    • I remember this year as a halcyon one but there were LOTS of tears. And poison oak. And tears. Good times.
  • Porter College Five, A-Dorm, Room 123, Fall Quarter 1981
    • In sophomore year Lady Chardonnay and I decided on single rooms. She was placed in B-Dorm and I was placed in A-Dorm (another hindsight thing: we should have asked the housing office to put us on the same hall; the worst that could have happened was they'd say no). I was on the 1st floor and it was so dark because the room never got any light; the trees were too thick to let in any morning sun. I never liked living in A-Dorm; it felt wrong somehow!
    • Lady C and I both had phones in our rooms (a luxury for which we paid Pacific Bell) and we called each other every day, sometimes more than once, usually to coordinate our clothing. It seems shallow but we are BEST FRIENDS. Don't judge us!
    • When we came back to school after winter break (I came down from Chico with Lady C) the Big Storm started and the electricity went out. Eventually we were sent home for a couple of weeks. According to my calendar, we came back on January 12 and on the 13the I moved from this room to the same hall as Lady C in B-Dorm.
    • Someone had moved out of the room down the hall from Lady C and we rushed over to the housing office to beg for me to move. Since it was a swap from single to single they said yes.
    • Speaking of my calendar, there is an entry on December 15, 1981 that reads: "Spent night in Los Altos with Jane's future in-laws (the Olsens)."
      • Um, huh? First, I have no memory of this and second, Lady Jane, I assume this refers to you?! (I see your name all over my calendar so I really should mention that we knew you early on in the Chastity Castle year. Weren't you Kurt's (and Aaron's) RA on the 4th floor?

  • Porter College, B-Dorm, Room 365, Winter Quarter 1982 to Winter Quarter 1983
    • I lived here the longest during my years at UCSC. I LOVED this room even though my view was the roof of the lounge and dining hall. I think I loved it most when Lady C and I were seconds away from each other, at least during sophomore year. She moved up to 5th floor during junior year to be an RA. I really must have loved this room because I can't recall why the hell I didn't move up to her hall. I was obviously crazy in those days.
    • Pretty sure I lost my virginity in here too. Nope, wait, it was in HIS room on the 5th floor. Never mind! Nothing to see here!
    • I had a Harrison Ford shrine on the wall over my bed. I also made large letters spelling out my name on the walls too. (See photo above)
    • Another great 3rd floor memory: Lady C and I staged a "wedding" that turned into a surprise birthday party for me and our "minister" Mike. In the photo, standing, unknown, Kurt, Don, Wendy, Danny, Steve (barely visible in the sunglasses and bandanna), Tina (Jenny's friend from home), Ken and Chris; middle: Lisa and Lady Jane; sitting: Marcy, David, Trish and Mike; front: Kelly & Lady C (aka "Jenny").
  • Porter College, A-Dorm, 2nd floor, 2 weeks in Summer 1982
    • Lady C and I shared a room for the 2 weeks we were cleaning dorms (for our temporary summer jobs) and we had to wait for our Kresge apartment to be cleaned too.
    • My calendar says, "Moved from B-Dorm to A-Dorm, cleaned scuzzy kitchen." THAT sounds like fun but I guess we used the kitchen facility because there would have been no dining hall.
    • This is the dorm cleaning experience that led to the famous cache of crappy porn novels!
    • I ended up working cleaning Stevenson and Cowell Colleges; Lady C cleaned Porter.
  • Kresge College, Summer 1982, Bldg R-6 #403, Summer 1982
    • The best and worst summer in so many ways. Lady C and I had our only real falling out and it took us to the new year to completely make up. I blame my rampant immaturity (and maybe, just maybe, her overuse of the snooze alarm!!). I have no idea why I got so stubborn about not doing things that were so simple to do, like decorating my walls. 
      • We moved in on June 20 and I moved to an empty single on July 16 so we lived together for almost a month. The calendar indicates we weren't speaking at one point but we must have gotten over that pretty quickly because we did all sorts of stuff together that summer. The calendar says so!
    • We also got her friend Phil's car, a light blue Volkswagen Beetle we named Myrtle. (Phil called her George so sometimes we called her Myrtle-George.) Myrtle stopped working at random times due to a disconnected something-or-other. At the end of the summer I was rear-ended. Fun. Lady C taught me to drive stick-shift  in this car! LOVED Myrtle!
    • Lady C worked at the dining hall at Porter and I found employment at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. According to my calendar I was also doing cleaning shifts at Porter during those early weeks. If you say so, Calendar.
    • This was the summer of Edward, the really cute guy who lived downstairs. He liked me and asked if I was going to stay true to my boyfriend. I said yes and that was that. So dumb. I was only 20 and goodness knows my boyfriend was never true to ME. I should have gone for it. Oh well.
  • Porter College, B-Dorm, Room 550, Spring Quarter 1983
    • After Kresge, I went back to my 3rd floor room for a couple of more semesters. Then I got the chance to move to the 5th floor.
    • As much as I loved my room on the 3rd floor I REALLY loved this one. I had the balcony right outside (I could climb through the skinny windows to get to it) and big, high ceilings. Danny had had this room for a while before he transferred to Berkeley. Then Kurt had it for a while before HE transferred to Berkeley. Then some girl named Judy (she had a large bird whose poo I needed to clean up) had it for a quarter. Then I took it for my last quarter at UCSC.
    • This hall was the scene of much of my social life in those years: Lady Jane (still RA, right?), Don, Steve, Wendy, John, Bill, Kurt, Danny. All of them lived here, mainly because this was the College Eight hall. (I'm not sure how I got in; probably because it was only for one quarter.)
      • The core group included me, Kurt, Danny, Don, Steve, Wendy and John. We played games: Uno, Risk, Aggravation and several others. We had margarita parties. We danced to "Boogie Nights" and had so much fun.

    • In the photo, standing: John, Bill, Kelly, Kurt (behind Kelly), Danny, Paul. Sitting: Lady Jane, Don, Lady Chardonnay, Wendy
    • I can't believe I only lived here for a single quarter; it seems so much longer. I guess because I really spent so much time here during my last two years it seems like I lived there the whole time!
    •  Now these buildings have 2 extra stories on them! All I could find were pix of A-Dorm but they'll have to do!
Before:                                                                After:

If you know the names of any "unknown" folks, let me know and I will edit them in!

Tomorrow: San Francisco State! I hope!

And one more treat for my faithful readers (not you, CPA Boy, sorry!):
I don't know where this was taken. Lady C, is this your place in SJ? The date on the photo is 11/84 so I am assuming it is. We are so cute!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

One Inch Gone!

I remember reading about --- or perhaps someone told me--- how you should really pay more attention to your measurements when you try to lose weight rather than focus solely on pounds lost. (Was that you, Lady C?)

I took a preliminary measurement of my waist in August 2011 and there has been no change until today: ONE INCH SMALLER!!! I really feel motivated by this!

I only took my waist measurement because it is easy to find. The hips, bust, and other measurements rely on taking a reading at the "largest part" and I find that to be somewhat subjective. It's not always easy to get the tape in the same place each time. And anyway, if one measurement is getting smaller it follows that the others are too! Right?!

I took my 3/4 mile walks every day of the week. I took today off and will go back out tomorrow. I find myself thinking about future, such as longer routes, and get all panicky about them "Too long! Too tiring!"). I am keeping those thoughts away and focusing on my 15 minutes only! It seemed to get easier with every passing day. The longer routes will come.

It also might be fun to throw some dancing into the mix. I have made an exercise playlist on my iPod so I can start with that on Monday.

Monday is also my first physical therapy appointment for my shoulder. I am not looking forward to it per se but I will be glad if it ultimately makes the pain go away. And get full use of my arm back!

I have no interest whatsoever in watching the Superbowl tomorrow. So many commercials are already online and what's not yet will be on Monday.

I need to get caught up on "Downton Abbey" too but my Season 2 DVD copy arrives on Tuesday (I hope!) so I will wait until then and obsess all at once.

 My latest project is getting the vacation scrapbook mapped out. I have pictures and memorabilia that needs to be organized and whittled down. Once I have a basic road map of what goes where then the fun begins: putting pages together!

My brothers, Ev and K2, play "Words with Friends" and want me to play too. I would need to do it through Facebook since I don't have anything that uses apps but I am not really sure I want to do it. Pros: Playing with the bros would be fun; I am good at word games. Cons: I don't want to play with strangers (I'm not sure how you set limits); I don't need anyone on my Facebook friends list knowing I'm playing. I'm torn. So the easy answer for now is "no".

Real problems, eh?


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Hate Changes at My Old Schools!

Getting the "where I've lived" college edition is taking longer than planned because I have been busy tracking down pictures.

But first some background. I attended two colleges: The University of California at Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University. Both of them have made HUGE changes to the dorms.

Due to earthquake damage in 1989 one dorm was torn down at SFSU and a whole bunch of other buildings have taken its place (and I swear one of the new buildings looks like a big jukebox!).

At Porter College there are several new dorm/apartment buildings. And now there's an actual College Eight, and new Colleges Nine and Ten. Freaky.

College Eight dorm students used to live at Porter, which was still College Five in my day. A LOT of my friends were College Eight students.

But the biggest change was to A- and B-Dorms. Each of these U-shaped buildings formed the Quad. A-Dorm was 4 stories tall and B-Dorm was 5 stories but the 1st floor was below the level of the Quad so it only looked like a 4 story building.

Anyway, each of these dorms got a MAJOR facelift: 2 stories were added and the whole facade looks different.

When CPA Boy, The Boy and I went to Monterey in 2006 we stopped in Santa Cruz so I could show them around. I walked around saying, "This is DIFFERENT! That wasn't there!" The guys were like, "It looks nice to us." Because they didn't know better. For goodness sake, the ROAD had been moved!!!

Then Lady Chardonnay & I visited Santa Cruz a year later and we were able to share our indignation that the campus did not stay EXACTLY THE SAME as it was when we went there!

For example, she and I walked up to Kresge College, the site of our infamous Summer of '82 apartment (details coming soon!), and it turns out that those apartments had been torn down and replaced with new buildings! It's hard to be nostalgic around new buildings!

So of course it's SILLY to expect a place to remain the same after 30+ years. God knows our BODIES haven't! Oh well.