dual personalities

Month: November, 2011

New Wallpaper!

I finally got my downstairs bathroom wallpapered. And by ‘got’ I mean I found someone else to do it for me. I’m not that handy and if the husband and I tried to do it together the marital consequences would probably be dire. After this long together, we know our limits. We can paint. I do the details, he fills in. We’re a great team for basic jobs, but we don’t like to get fancy. I leave it up to you to decide whether that’s some sort of metaphor for our marriage….I tend to think it just means we’re tired and not that into DYI.

Since the bathroom is so tiny, it’s practically impossible to take a good picture, but you can sort of get the idea. There’s white bead board wainscoting on the bottom half of the wall, white fixtures, and a light faux stone tile floor. The photos don’t quite capture the color of the paper because of the light coming in the window and the flash.

I bought this watercolor in an antique store in Devon a couple of years ago and when I get it framed, I’ll probably hang it in the bathroom. I really like this watercolor, don’t you?

I wish I had taken a ‘before’ picture so you could see the enormous improvement the wallpaper makes. The bathroom used to be bright yellow. It was pretty awful. Now I just have to re-paint the wainscoting and put up pics.

Goodbye, Cornelius. I hope you find lots of tinsel.

First aired on December 6, 1964 when I was a 3rd grader, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was an instant classic! The story of misfits among misfits aired again last night for almost the 50th time. What would Christmas be without Hermey, Rudolph, Clarise, Sam the Snowman, Santa, and, of course, Yukon Cornelius?

Yukon Cornelius: We’ll have to outwit the fiend with our superior intelligence.
Rudolph: How?
Yukon Cornelius: Douse your nose and run like crazy!

My hero!

You can’t judge a book by its cover

Yesterday the boy turned 25. A quarter century. I gave him this:

…because ever since he was a little guy he has taken his attire very seriously. When he was three he wore a Batman cape (a kerchief tied around his shoulders) every day to preschool.

Here he is dressed up as a fireman–and it wasn’t Halloween.

His favorite Christmas present when he was in first grade was a double breasted blue blazer. And for awhile he wore a beret to church, because, well, it was really cool. And, of course, he was the only 8th grader to wear a kilt to graduation.

In high school he was a bit too cool for his clothes. (He could rock those shades like Gregory Peck.)

These days it’s all about gingham shirts.

Well, you may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but everybody does love a sharp dressed man, right?

Clean shirt, new shoes
And I don’t know where I am goin’ to
Silk suit, black tie
I don’t need a reason why

–ZZ Top

Why I love Raymond Chandler

Quotes like this!

“The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.”

–The Lady in the Lake

Leftovers, anyone?

Well, the long holiday weekend is over, the kids have packed up and gone back to school. Sigh. We now return to our usual, familiar empty-nester routine.

We did get a few things accomplished this weekend. The boy put up the outside Christmas lights!

And I decorated my mantel.

Clearly, Christmas is just around the corner. Meanwhile, the petunias are still hanging in there.

Christmas lights/spring annuals–go figure. They say this balmy weather is going to change tonight, but who really knows?

A family tradition or “If they told you wolverines would make good house pets, would you believe them?”

I think I have probably seen this movie at least 25 times, i.e. every year since it was released in 1987. We even let our children watch it at impressionably young ages, long before they knew what the f-word was. (Okay, a black mark on my parenting record, but they survived.) We watch it every Thanksgiving and that is why Planes, Trains and Automobiles, directed by John Hughes and starring Steve Martin and John Candy in their greatest roles, is my Friday movie pick.

It is the story of two mis-matched guys, both apparently trying to get home for Thanksgiving. Steve Martin is the uptight ad man Neal Page who becomes burdened with Del Griffith (John Candy), an “annoying blabbermouth”, as his traveling companion. Everything that can go wrong, does. In our house we know the entire script and (annoyingly to any outsider watching with us) say the lines along with the actors. Many of the lines have entered the family parlance, and just a few words can set off the recitation of a scene:

Neal: Del… Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where’s your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows…
Neal: Those aren’t pillows!


Del: You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you… but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I’m not changing. I like… I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.


Gus: Del Griffith! How the hell are ya?
Del: Well, I’m still a million bucks shy of bein’ a millionaire.


Hotel Clerk: Do you have seventeen dollars and a good watch?
Del: No I don’t. I have uh… two dollars… and a Casio.


Neal: You know everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You’re a miracle! Your stories have NONE of that. They’re not even amusing ACCIDENTALLY! “Honey, I’d like you to meet Del Griffith, he’s got some amusing anecdotes for you. Oh and here’s a gun so you can blow your brains out. You’ll thank me for it.” I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days I could sit there and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face. They’d say, “How can you stand it?” I’d say, “‘Cause I’ve been with Del Griffith. I can take ANYTHING.” You know what they’d say? They’d say, “I know what you mean. The shower curtain ring guy. Woah.” It’s like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll. I expect you have a little string on your chest, you know, that I pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn’t pull it out and snap it back – you would. Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! And by the way, you know, when you’re telling these little stories? Here’s a good idea – have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!

Well, I could go on and on (and I already have), so let’s just watch the movie!

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Daughter #2 and I watched the Full House Thanksgiving episode from season one yesterday in preparation for the big day. The Joey gets a bottle stuck on his tongue scene never fails to amuse. I was hoping to find a youtube video of said scene or another from this heart-warming episode, but none seem to be available. Oh well, c’est la vie.

So here’s a picture of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade from years gone by…

Time to dust off that old chestnut from 1947 with Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwen and Natalie Wood, Miracle on 34th Street.

Have a blessed and thankful day!

Gobble, gobble

This morning daughter #2 (home from college) and I made the annual trek to Schnuck’s Market to pick up the already-prepared and cooked turkey and cart-full of holiday food. Cheesy potatoes, anyone?

P.S. I almost hit a (giant) wild turkey on Lindbergh Blvd yesterday on the way to work. What kind of omen is that? Really, the turkey was as big as an ostrich. Clearly on the lam.

Every gleam of beauty

There are a hundred touches of kindness that come to us every day to tell us that we are not orphans or outcasts upon the earth. Every trace of order, every gleam of beauty, every provision of bounty in the natural world, is evidence that it is God’s house.

Henry Van Dyke (from The Story of the Psalms)

Where has November gone? I had great plans for being consciously grateful this month and making lists of blessings and all that. As usual, I got too “busy”. Well, old Henry Van Dyke had it right (see above). And apropos of that, traveling, although ghastly, reminds us of the kindness of strangers. No less than four different young men (of varying races and creeds) helped me get my luggage down from the overhead bins on the four different legs of my trip. The camaraderie of equally afflicted travelers is heartening. I am thankful for that.

San Francisco — the gritty reality

My sister made the idealistic post. I give you the true, sometimes madcap (read incompetent) reality.

self portrait

self portrait #2

Well, at least we’re both in the frame this time.

the bridge

The view was very cool.

dual personalities

Kind people offered to take our picture, but despite appearances, we had not been drinking. That came later…

for medicinal purposes only...

It was a long (cold) day…