Tuesday, July 23, 2013

One day.

One day I will begin to write posts to this blog on much more than a yearly basis.  I can't believe I am approaching the one year mark since I last made an entry.  It is not that I do not have ideas to write about.  No.  That is far from the truth.  The truth is I have many ideas to write about.  The problem arises when they begin in my head when I am not in the proximity of a computer when they strike.  Then, when I am in front of a computer they can't be found.  Just like an annual fourth of July fireworks display.  They arrive with a burst of energy and fizzle out right before my eyes.  However.  One day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Woodward Cruise

Well, the calendar turned over a new page revealing it is now the month of August.  It is the time when my kids start to realize the end of the summer is approaching.  They count the days left and reassure themselves they still have time.  Time for lounging.  Time for fun.  Time for nothing.  Except when they enter the age of high school.  If you are a student in our district with the ability to learn from an advance class of math, science, history or English, then there is summer homework.  Yes.  Summer homework.  So, now that my kids are of high school age, they count the days of back to school by how much of this work they still need to complete.  Talk about Sunday night anxiety that now is spread through the entire amount of last free days of summer vacation.

Two weeks ago it was time for the annual Woodward Cruise.  It was a gorgeous Saturday for the event.  There were a lot of people enjoying the day along the Cruise route.  Along with the cruise is the fast approaching end of summer vacation.
This dire thought leads me into my reason why the Woodward Cruise originated.  Certainly, this is only my view on why this cruise takes place when it does.  It is usually the third Saturday in August.  Of course, over the span of its existence, the one day evolved to the entire week before.  Now, I am told the classic cars have been out and about all summer on any given night, provided the weather is good.

Of course, we have two classic cars to call our own.  With one child being able to drive now, they can be in one and I can be a passenger in the other, taking pictures as we cruise.  This photo shows the kids in the Corvette.  Adam is in there, turned away from the photographer.  He does that a lot lately.
My Mister and I were in the Camaro.  A bright yellow one.  Like Bumble Bee in the Transformers movie.  You have to trust me on this.  I can't seem to find the picture of it right now.  As I go to post this, the Cruise is just another memory.  I am lamenting the fact next year Erica will be thinking of going off to college and not wanting to drive the Corvette.  No worries.  Adam will be there to take the wheel.  Unless, she won't let him.  Good-bye Woodward.  Until next year.  Classic cars are a thing of beauty.  There will never be anymore like them.  Ever. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What are the chances?

There are events, occurrences, encounters, which most times, are just random, insignificant, trivial,  or at best unnoticed.  I have a perfect example of one such random occurrence that happened to me yesterday.  I took notice of it immediately and it made me pause to take in just why it morphed into a occurrence that, for the moment, is a profound one.

Let me continue with the boring or interesting details or something that is defined somewhere in between boring and interesting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mid-century Milestone

Well, it is obvious by the dating of these posts I have not created anything in over a month.  Actually, nearly two.    It it always the time of year when one has children that are still somewhat under your control and you under theirs, the year is packed with non-stop "things" to do.  This post is not about this.  No, the subject gives me material and the excuse to sit, type and try to make this worth my time to compose.   I really should be tidying the house and pack before we venture to the eastern portion of this land of the United States.  We will head out  early to trek  on our visit my to my in- laws in Connecticut , brother in Vermont and get in a few college tours  at Cornell and Brown for Erica while Adam is tortured while enduring the "same stuff" these colleges have to tell us.
 Yes, it is my very own mid-century milestone, also known as my 50th birthday, that gives subject and rise to this post.  It did not hit me until this morning as I made my delicious, bold roast, pour over cup of coffee:  I am fifty.  Sure, I had been expecting it for some time, but the thought did not hit until then.  Even when a few of my yogini friends took me out for brunch after class a few days ago and asked me "SO, how does it feel to be turning 50?"  And I said, "Well, 40 seemed more milestone building than this".  I had to give them some sort of answer, for I was not even thinking about it.  Until I watched the water flow through the aromatic grind of the beans as it seeped into the white cup below.
Now, you may think this mid-century milestone is all of a sudden causing some flotsam for my psyche and its residents known to fire uncountable numbers of neurons in between all the synapses the experts say I have.  No.  No flotsam here.  Just the occasion to sit, type and mark this mid-century milestone on this neglected blog.
Here is to the next half of my mid-century.  May it be as uneventful as the first half, causing me no flotsam, only treasures.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ozzie Nelson

I have a fascination turned obsession with vintage Kodak cameras. Brownies, Starlights, Instamatics, and 8mm movie cameras. I own and display a few on my shelves in the living room. To most individuals these days, they are items that no longer are of any value related to what they were first invented and created to accomplish: Take photographs. Oh sure, there are many in the world today that use these cameras with actual film for their profession or hobby. However, these individuals are far outnumbered by the multitude of mega-pixelated point and shoots, smart phones and modernized 35 mm offspring. Now, the Brownie box and insta-matics are delegated to be display icons of a bygone era. Oh, how they made profit for Kodak and others that found their own niche and accompanying loyalists. Oh, how they captured Suzy toddling by the pool, Johnny swinging a baseball bat, Grandpa Joe and Grandma Gloria dancing at their 50th anniversary party, and Buster the family dog eating Baby Gina's hot dog. Of course, any proof of their past glories are left to faded images on paper and silent motion on film, left unappreciated today by our technological improvements and high quality standards of the day. Yet, Kodak still remains a bastion of a time when it was King.
This fascination lead me to the internet and all its glorious treasure to uncover information related to my little Kodaks. Youtube lead me directly to black and white television commercials starring non other than a well known family man in his day, Mr. Ozzie Nelson. He was very handsome in his pre-dad, younger years. Very handsome indeed. Plus, he was an Eagle Scout and graduate of Rutgers University and played football. So, he had the brains, talent and the looks.
He was a spokes person for many of the Kodak products invented to capture your families memories and events too. Here he is in a commercial. Now, the next logical step in my thought process is how in the world did the television executives give Ozzie Nelson and his wife Harriet a prime time show of their own? What made him so popular? Sure, his sons were very handsome, but what propelled Mr. and Mrs. Nelson into TV land? Well, low and behold, Ozzie was once a Big Band leader. This little gem was apparently a film short played at the movie theaters for extra added entertainment value. Entertainment value I must say! Well, maybe it is not up to the standards and caliber of Glenn Miller nor Tommy Dorsey. Mr. Nelson apparently he had his day and was well known enough to be marketed not only to his own generation but to that of his young, handsome sons. Here is a wonderful little movie theater short film using some of his songs during the WWII years. This family makes me take a moment to realize they were once very, very popular. None of the four family members are alive today. The two sons David and Rickie were teen idols catering to the young females before Frankie Avalon and all his zany friends took their antics to the beach and ski slopes. Before Elvis and his pelvis mesmerized the country. Before the Beatles donned their suits and ties to board a plane to cross the pond. I was taken aback when a few weeks ago the movie "Peyton Place" was aired on TCM. I was surprised to see David Nelson had a very small role as a hometown beau and quickly exclaimed his name with great expression. My dear teen age daughter simply and dryly asked "Who?" This once iconic family is now one generation removed from their hint of fame. Two generations away from their exalted fame. Sad. Time moves us all along whether or not we enjoy the journey. Thank you Ozzie, Harriet, David and Rickie for sharing you today.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Simon and Garfunkel Timeless Duo

I love to mostly read biographies and non-fiction. Occasionally I read a fiction selection, but most times I feel the author lets me down with the abrupt ending. Thus leaving me miffed, feeling I wasted my time with their creation and saying "I could have written that!" Hence, give me a biography or non-fictional facts, I can't say it was time wasted on truth. So, I picked up this copy of a Paul Simon biography by Marc Eliot at a local Friends of the Library sale. I liked the simplistic white color of the book jacket with a simple photo of Paul Simon adorning it. Well. Let me allow to bring attention to my disagreement with the star system "amazon" has in place. This site rates this book only two stars. TWO STARS! Come on! I disagree. It was an easy read. It cited many sources. Gave a side of Paul perhaps that showed he was not a perfect individual in some of his choices and beliefs. I ask, who is? He is a very talented, emotional, human with a capacity to create songs that have lasted far longer than any Rap song will ever last. The songs and harmonies he and Art Garfunkel created are brilliant, touching, and had crossed many a generational boundary since the pair were in their early years. I found this book very interesting and recommendable. I always give an author of a non-fiction piece respect by reading their sources and thanks to all the people inspiring the author. This particular author praised the documentary film, Songs of America in 1969. It was made for a prime time audience. It aired against a ice skating show starring Peggy Flemming. The ice skater beat them in the ratings battle. The funding for the project was provided by Bell Telephone. The company wanted to associate themselves with a younger generation. Charles Grodin was asked to write and produce the film. Bell executives trusted them completely. Bell wanted to appeal to a younger generation and by attaching their name with Simon and Garfunkel, Bell would get what they wanted. Until the screening. Bell pulled their endorsement. They believed it showed too much political controversy for the times and wanted nothing to do with it. They were afraid of alienating their broadcast constituents in markets in the southern portion of the continent. So, Alberto VO5 stepped in to an already funded program and became the sponsor. Youtube has a clip of the opening credits of the film. I immediately was taken in by the song "America" and the faded color quality of the late 1960's. Today it would be referred to being filmed in Instagram. Amazing. I was mesmerized by this film. It is a time capsule to the year and to a generation. Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., funeral trains, Farm Workers strike, poverty in America, violence, riots, racism, civil rights, Vietnam. Wow. Such a turbulent era. How did the country survive? Some would say we are still reeling from all of it. Some would say we learned a great deal. Some would say we are still trying to figure everything out. The Take Back Wall Streeters could use this as reference and inspiration. Somehow, everything works out in the end, one way or another. Or we just listen to music. The music of Simon and Garfunkel. The music of the duo and their on stage, live harmonies are pleasant to the ears, then and now. I particularly love a scene where Art Garfunkel is going over and over and over the song list they are about to perform. Like he would ever forget the mix! Also, a scene where they are in a hotel room jamming and the creative process is clearly visible. INGENIUS CREATIVITY. The DVD came with a bonus disk with interviews with the stars, their song producers and Mr. Grodin in the current day. They give answers and clues into what they were thinking at the time and how certain ideas came into being. WONDERFUL addition to an already WONDERFUL, nostalgic film. If I were a history teacher, I would make this a mandatory film to watch and follow it with a discussion. Hmm. Is it too late for me to become one at this point in my life? Probably, but one can dream, can't one?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

An Observation of Panty Hose

There was a day not too long ago when I wore pantyhose to work. I would color coordinate them with my outfit. They could be black, off-black, sheer, nude, suntan, brown, bone, navy, and even sometimes red or bright blue. I would never have been caught wearing a suit nor dress without them. I would even wear them under pants in the winter time for a extra layering of warmth. I would feel naked exposing my legs and feel underdressed and sloppy if they were not part of my ensemble. Just like jewelry. The pantyhose were part of the finish you needed to make it look like you care about coiffure. That was 1991. Fast forward to today. Okay, it was a long time ago. That is besides the point. This does lead me to last Wednesday when I was contemplating what to wear for my daughter's Jazz Band Dinner Dance. The event was to take place the next day. I had a choice of wearing dress slacks or a fun "swing style" skirt with my rhinestone button, red taffeta jacket. Either would work. Then the pantyhose dilemma set in. I did not have any off-black in my possession. Did they even still make pantyhose and if so what retailer still sold them. I have not worn them in, oh my, I can't remember the last time I did wear them. It must have been to my daughter's dance recital ten years ago. TEN YEARS AGO! I have noticed that no one really wears panty hose anymore anyway. Most women wear pants, capris, short and dresses and skirts without hosiery. They even wear dress shoes without hosiery! My feet sting just thinking about this. I am not sure if retailers carry these items anymore yet I do know they have entire sections filled with doodads to put into your shoes and sandals so as not to get blisters from going without hose. This knowledge added to my lack of knowing if retailers had hosiery in their inventory mix! I wore the pants in the end to end my dilemma and put it all aside until the evening of the Dance. I was seated at the dinner table when all of a sudden my eyes were drawn to the young, teen aged girls all wearing short, tight dresses, high heeled shoes and no hosiery. I remembered my time of not being caught dead in a social setting such as it was without the ensemble finish the hose gave to my outfit. Okay. The girls are young and it is the style. There may come the day again in their lives when it will not be the style to go without the ensemble finish. They may be nostalgic for their days gone by. I then started observing other women in my age category. The moms and aunts of my daughter's peers. Low and behold, some were still in pantyhose and while the majority were not! My next obvious observation was the hose less individuals looked sheik and current, while the hose laden were out dated and somewhat dowdy. How could this be? How did this happen? Most importantly, WHEN did this happen? In all my love of reading and scouring anything from WWII, I always am astounded by the fact that silk stockings and nylon hose were rationed to the point they were more or less banned during the war years. How many times did the fact make its way into being what women dreamed of? Or how hose were used as bribery or black market morsels? The hose were coveted so much women would draw lines on the back of their legs to make it look as if they were in fact wearing hosiery! I can assure you no teen age girl the other night would think of drawing a line on the back of their legs. They would find it laughable or worse, incomprehensible.
From this thought I can offer only one conclusive explanation of perhaps why this all happened. It is easy. It boils down to the general idea we all want what we can not have and do not want what we can. During the war, women were told you can't have the hose due to the sacrifice they needed to give for the good of the men in service fighting for our freedom. Today, our society has endless means to have whatever your wish with no sacrifice to no one person, place or thing. Perhaps this is an over generalization. My hosiery dilemma made my brain go into hyper drive, once again, and allow myself to be amused.