Thursday, January 22, 2015

Still Alive! Throwback Thursday Too!



I think things have finally settled down so I can get back to my semi-regular blog posting. CPA Boy is back at work again after a 5-week vacation. The Boy has started classes for the spring semester at the junior college. Grandma is doing much better so I am just visiting her every Tuesday afternoon to help her out, taking her to appointments or just chatting for a couple of hours.

I was trying to find a picture for Throwback Thursday. This is not a good picture but it has some interesting details. Well, maybe interesting to ME only!



I am pretty sure I was unaware my picture was being taken. In our family, when the camera was directed at you, you smiled. It was a well-honed reflex thanks to years of training by my parents. We took LOTS of pictures! Most people I know duck and cover when they see a camera. Not us!

And I would guess that my brother Everest actually took the picture. But it's at a lower angle than Ev would use (he was taller than me by this point) so maybe K2 took it. He was only 9 and this might be from a 9-year-old's point of view. I am positive it was a brother and not a parent who took it.

I am in my room in our house on Carroll Street in Mandeville, Louisiana, sitting at my desk. We must have just moved in (my mother would NEVER have left sheets on the windows for any longer than absolutely necessary!) so it's probably December 1979. I was a couple of months from turning 18.

Feathered Hair Di in 1981
So, apparently, I had (before-she-was-Princess) Diana hair at that point! (Except my "feathering" needed to be brushed back on a regular basis to maintain that perfect look.)

I remember my bed's headboard being against the window on the right so we must have rearranged the furniture early on as I have no memory of this configuration. I moved to California at the end of May 1980, right after high school graduation, so I only had this room for 6 months. The Carroll Street house had 3 bedrooms originally (I think) and the master bedroom was added on later. You needed to walk through the third bedroom to get to it. K2 had that room at first but got mine once I moved out so he had this bedroom a lot longer than I ever did. (I think I slept in his old room when I visited on school breaks.)

The double bed had been mine since I was about 7 or so. I don't know if K2 kept the same bed or got a different one. I had that green bedspread (and matching curtains which obviously didn't fit these windows) during my high school days. If you could see under the spread you would find my beloved Ziggy sheets. I still have them! There are Mardi Gras beads hanging on the left side of the headboard and my rosaries are on the right side (still a good Catholic girl in those days; now I am a good girl without the Catholicism!).

I don't know what's on the bed besides a sweater, maybe a scarf. It WAS December. My nightstand has a lamp I have no memory of but that alarm clock got me through high school! I got a clock-radio as a graduation gift so this clock has only a few months left of useful life. There is a necklace tree that I vaguely remember. It didn't make the trip to college with me so it will soon join the clock on Kelly's history junk heap. The plaque on the wall is a poem called "Desiderata" ("Go placidly amid the noise and haste...") by poet Max Ehrmann. I had that for a long time, until just last year when it probably went in the garage sale during our push for "less stuff".

My AM-FM radio is behind the clock. Before this one I only had an AM radio! I definitely took that to college! It had one flaw though: when you turned it on it let out a short, loud blast of static. I used to try to turn it on to listen after bedtime and I was always afraid the static would give me away! Now that I think about it I doubt my parents would have really minded as long as they couldn't hear it the music. I was probably trying to listen to Dr. Demento on Sunday nights between 10 pm to midnight. (I had to hear the Funny Five!) There is a stuffed gray seal on top of the radio. I have only one or two stuffed animals from my youth; this one was probably given away sometime in the early 1980s.

The watch I am wearing had several changeable straps and bezels (white, black, red, blue and green). I wore it for years. I am fairly sure that is a Kurt Vonnegut book but I can't tell which one. (Maybe Slapstick?) There's a purse, a paperback dictionary and what looks like a pile of school notebooks.

Thanks for going down Memory Lane with me. Keep a lookout for Mundane Mondays, coming soon!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Seven Books, Volume 10

I was hoping to get to 100 books read for 2014. Oh well. Reading 97 books in a year is still pretty good.

Here's the final list of books read:

NON-FICTION
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler
    • Cute and amusing, much like Ms. Poehler herself.
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story by Barbara Leaming
    • One point this book makes that I had never come across before is that Mrs. Onassis suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. This seems so plausible as she was RIGHT THERE when her first husband was murdered. Add in her first husband's propensity for extra-marital dalliances and you come away with so much sympathy for her.
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
    • There have been 5 major extinction events in our planet's history, the most famous being the demise of the dinosaurs. This book was fascinating, purporting that we are currently in the midst of the 6th extinction as animals and plants are disappearing at a phenomenal rate, even faster than ever before.
  • Tinsletown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann
    • In the 1980s I read a book called A Cast of Killers by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. It was about film director King Vidor who researched the murder of fellow director William Desmond Taylor, an unsolved crime from 1922. Vidor came to his own conclusion about the murderer but the case has never been officially solved.
    • This book covers much the same ground but has an added suspect, an actress who confessed before she died in 1964. A pretty good case is made that this actress and her confederates were involved in blackmailing Hollywood people and that Taylor was murdered by them. Quite interesting.
FICTION
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
    • I have read these two books before but decided to pick them up again since the TV series ended its season in September. There are some changes from book to TV series but overall the show is excellent and well cast. 
    • These are easy books to reread during busy times because I already know what happens and can put them down for days at a time with no problem.
    • The first books in this series are the best in my opinion. I had forgotten how much happens over the course of the first three or four books whereas the later volumes have so many characters and side plots that it seems that not as much happens overall.
  • Revival by Stephen King
    • I enjoyed this book as I was reading it but I don't really remember as much about it as I do with other Stephen King books. I counted how many books of his I've read and the total is over 35. The man writes a LOT.