So for 2008 I'm going to attempt to adopt my husband's Code for Living....works for him. Then again, he doesn't have that pesky "X" chromosome which controls "worrying".
Rule #1 Don't sweat the small stuff.
Rule #2 Everything is small stuff.
While in the eternal hell waiting room we know as “HOLD”, do you ever feel like a business is trying to suck the life out of you? To make it worse, they bombard you with music not fit to be heard in an elevator. As today’s cheerful Customer Service Rep chirped, ”If you’ll just hold for a moment, I’ll check that for you”, I reminded myself that patience is a virtue. And it keeps your blood pressure down. Miss Cheerful’s voice disappeared, replaced by music. My ears and brain sort of whispered, “What the…?”
Remember the movie “Nosferatu”? One of the first vampire movies ever filmed, it features a scene where the Vampire is playing an organ. During it’s most ear grating and spine tingling musical moment, he whirls around to fiendishly glare at a woman who has just discovered her date isn’t Prince Charming.
Well, the fanged one was playing his song…while I sat captive on “HOLD”.
After the initial surprise of not being musically assaulted by The Captain and Tennille, I laughed. Which was really confusing to Miss Cheerful when she came back on the line and heard me giggling.
Hey, let her wonder. I always wonder what they’re doing while I’m staring at the phone. Now we’re even.
“Go Look It Up” it yells.
A sound I cannot silence.
My brain demands to be fed
more than three times a day.
I try to vary its intellectual intake
utilizing an array of information.
A cacophony of ideas for brain cells
which like to have its ears tickled as well.
I love the sound of words.
The way they dance and play.
How a slip of the tongue one day
might find its proper place the next.
Reader Me tries to literally hear an author speak.
Screamer, Storyteller, Whispering confidant.
The emotional dialect lies between the lines.
My job is to discover who is at play.
For me, words are a playground which I
climb around until I understand them all.
And when I’m stumped, I ask for help.
So Shug, dear poet, what the hell is “smurry”?
Last night hubby and I were watching t.v. when a commercial came on pleading we return Friday night for the fall premiere of a program we watched last season. I now understand the meaning of “harrumphed”. It’s the sound I made while muttering, “I still can’t believe they killed off the doctor on that show.” Hubby pointed out the man wasn’t a major character. I shot back,“Yeah, but he was the only normal one. Besides, he was so pleasant.” As hubby raised an eyebrow, I swallowed the rest of my sentence.
…to listen to.
Suddenly I realized it was the doctor’s accent I’d miss. Said actor doctor is a native of
Accents have always intrigued and delighted me. I’m pretty sure I was the only little girl who sighed when Ricardo Montalban did Chrysler commercials about “Corinthian Leather”. Okay so there’s no such leather, which Montalban admitted, but his speech had such a musical rhythm, it was almost hypnotic.
Television has done wonders in spreading information and educating, yet it has homogenized our unique verbal signatures. As t.v.’s popularity rose, regionalized accents declined. Born in the midlands of
My husband finds it amusing that when watching a documentary, I’m not happy until my ears identify the Narrator. But I can’t help it. It’s like I have a dial in my head which easily switches from Southern/Bostonian/Jersey/Midwest/Californian to British, Scottish, Irish [yes, there’s a difference] to Hispanic, Indian, Australian and on and on. The sound of people’s words are just as fascinating to me as what they’re saying. I’d sit and listen to James Earl Jones read a phone book just to hear that lush voice. Ironically, he stuttered as a child. I’m glad he didn’t give up.
And I won’t give up the fight to keep my ears happy.
Amongst my senior citizens is a group of women we call the British Wives. Ranging from their mid 20s to mid 80s, they’re English girls who married American GIs. The sound of them talking brings back childhood memories of the boy across the street whose Mum was British. Her parents also lived there. Although I was sad when my friend moved, I missed his Grandfather more because he always entertained us with stories. After talking to the British Wives, I find myself using words like “lovely” and “brilliant!”. I’m not mocking them, my brain sees it as an auditory tribute. They hold a Christmas Tea for my group annually and a few years ago, one of their fathers attended. He was Welsh and as his daughter chided him to stop talking my ears off, I kept egging him on and waving her off. I hope he comes back this year.
I may quietly mourn the demise of the Scottish actor doctor, but I’ve discovered a website of Scottish poets like Hugh MacMillan and Rab Wilson reading their own poetry. It brings new meaning to the phrase, “grinning from ear to ear.” And when British Wife Jean, a
Maybe my fascination is a good thing. Occasionally while watching a program with an international cast my hubby will sigh,”What did he say?”
Just call me the In-House translator.
We all know the date’s importance to Americans. The media runs as many specials as possible, newspapers are filled with commemoration pages and everyone who has a flag remembers to fly it. The only bit of this “
Now don’t think I don’t appreciate what happened that day. I do. It was horrible and our safe little world cracked wide open. Land of the Free got smacked in the face when we’ve always believed we were invincible. After all that stupidity between the North and the South, we learned fighting on home soil was not progressive or productive. The old saying about learn from history or be doomed to repeat it is still important.
But so is living in the present. And hoping for the future.
I did two “pro-active” things yesterday that will make me think of 9/11 in a different vein. There are people in our lives we cherish and those we…tolerate. Often the ones on the Try-to-be-nice-to List aren’t lovable or have many redeeming qualities visible to the naked eye. I’ve discovered two folks with 9/11 birthdays: one is a lovely lady named Ruthella who attends my senior center and the other is the maintenance guy at the bowling alley we visit each week. Ruthella comes from a generation, the “greatest generation” and would feel wrong about bemoaning the fact that “her day” is now a dark day in American history. We’ve told her that her ability to make us smile, not to mention she’s made each member who attends lunch a handmade quilt, makes her a good reason to celebrate the day.
For the past couple of years, we’ve mailed the Maintenance Guy at the bowling alley a birthday card. After all, the seniors have been bowling there for 8 years now and they’re treated like family, not customers. Maintenance Guy has the kind of personality that you wait to see which way the wind is blowing before you speak, unless you like having your head handed to you during one of his off days. He is tolerant of the seniors but finds me, the junior member of the group, his target for terror. It’s like being in 3rd grade again and having pigtails that he likes to pull. In fact one summer, as I approached the line to bowl while sporting a ponytail, he actually snuck up behind me and tugged on it. If I didn’t have good reflexes, he would’ve been the proud possessor of three balls as I was at the point of my swing where the ball goes back before being launched.
I tolerate this guy only because there is the occasional, if small, spark of human decency that comes out at the oddest times. Sometimes I think it’s sparked by jealously, because the group loves the Asst. Manager. Literally. They almost hug him to death each week as he holds the door open for them. On days hugs are abounding, Maintenance Guy seems kinder, as if wanting the same, but that razor sharp tongue keeps everyone at arm’s length.
Yesterday, we turned the tables on him.
We called during our weekly lunch and sang Happy Birthday to him. When I got back on the line he was speechless. Oh, it was only momentary and followed with an appreciative, “Oh shit. You people are nuts.” This guy, who has an answer for everything, proceeded to stumbled all over himself for the next couple of minutes. We sang to Ruthella next. We may have sounded better the second time, but I think somehow the first chorus was more heartfelt because we knew we'd touched the heart of a man we were sure didn’t possess one. I do wonder what he’ll do to us on Friday when we come to bowl, but I’m guessing we might actually see a smile before he starts to verbally berate me.
The second unusual marking of 9/11 came from a friend concerning e-mailing a marine. I don’t know what Marine, just one whose commander is sick and tired of believing Americans want the
So I did. I hope it helped. If nothing else, it came from my heart.
Something simple for a person I know and one I don’t. Doesn’t matter. We’re all Americans right?