"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time Flies When You're Snarfing Cheesecake in A Jar


Has it really been just a week?

Seems like a year since I arrived in Rockford with the Boeke Bunch, even longer since Sherri arrived and I greeted her with a big hug and wearing my "surprise" garage sale outfit -- I know, I know -- the polyester salt-and-pepper shaker blouse was to die for...

Vicki and Sherri and I cruised about Rockford for a bit...saw Swedish American Hospital where I was born...Calvin Park South where we lived when I was but a toddler before we moved to Melrose Park...

Then Vicki treated us to cosmos at the nearby Fridays...and then it was off to Wisconsin to Sherri's...

Sherri's husband, Dave - I have since dubbed him The Martini Maestro -- prepared a delicious meal and accompanying martinis as we gabbed and laughed...

I am sure at some point poor Dave was wondering "What in the world was I thinking when I agreed to this?" Especially when we called Beth in Dayton, OH (at 11 p.m. OH time) and were laughing and yelling into the phone, sure that Beth would be absolutely THRILLED to find out that indeed, her two old pals were actually together in Wisconsin. I mean, WE were thrilled...wasn't everybody?

Sunday was  SO much fun -- mimosas at breakfast, drinks at Lake Geneva...and whoever created Cheesecake In A Jar!  My hat is off to you! We sample tasted our way through The Global Gourmet...which is where I discovered Margaritas in a Box...

Then another scrumptious meal prepared by Dave -- yes, Sherri set the table and made an exquisite tomato dish, to go along with the grilled salmon and asparagus...

Oh, wait!  I forgot to mention that we watched the movie Office Space -- OMG!  How hilarious! So THAT'S where "pieces of flair" came from!  I am, apparently, the last person on earth to have seen this movie...

Well, what do you expect for someone who lives in town that does not support the freaking technology that is required to operate a Trac phone with picture-taking capabilities?  I know!  Whodathunk!  But I digress...

The Rockford Reunion was everything that we could have expected and more!  

Of course, parting is always such sweet sorrow...

But the good news is, we have made a solemn vow to not allow another 34 years to pass before we see each other again! Like we have that many years at our disposal to begin with!

Facebook....it's just full of surprises!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Facebook Kismet: Christmas in May

I can't stop giggling!

In just a few days, my old/new friend Sherri Frank Zimmerman  and I will meet each other again/for the first time. We haven't seen each other for, oh, at least 34 years since I graduated from high school.

 I live in Iowa, she lives in Wisconsin, yet we have "seen" each other practically every day for the past two months.

And it's all thanks to a little thing I like to call Facebook Kismet.

What?

OK, so the term "Facebook Kismet" doesn't exactly roll off one's tongue. But what better way to describe the totally-random-yet-seemingly-predestined reunion of two old high school acquaintances on Facebook, that wacky electronic friendship generator to which so many of us aging Boomers are now addicted...

I mean, two months ago, Sherri and I were just two 50-something former Cincinnati Kids, both dying from boredom and the emotionally crippling effects of enduring one too many soul-killing winters in our respective, charming-but-out-in-the-middle-of-freaking-nowhere small towns, located in always-rousing cheese-and-corn country. 

Then, apparently, sometime in early to mid-March, both of us -- each horribly desperate for human connection and conversation --  discovered Facebook. We each decided to give it a whirl. We each stalked, er, searched for old high school friends. 

Sherri, a graduate of  Madeira High School Class of 1976, and I, a graduate of  Madeira High School Class of 1975, had socialized somewhat within the same high school circles. Both of us were members of that clique, er, clandestine high school sorority Sigma Tau Omega. But we were never what today one would call "peeps." We didn't really hang out together...

Until now.

Sherri and I, as it turned out, began with  two mutual friends on FB -- Nancy and Beth. Sherri saw my name and picture, remembered me -- vaguely -- and she decided, what the heck, to friend me.  I remembered Sherri -- vaguely -- and confirmed her as a friend.

And the rest is  Facebook Kismet history!

We started chatting daily on FB, commiserating, laughing, crying -- basically picked right up where we never left off -- as if we had been close pals back at good ol' Madeira High. Twins separated at birth. Mary and Rhoda.

I know exactly what she means by "life behind the cheese curtain." It can be equally as spirit squelching as "life in the tall corn state". And she gets that. We both know all too well why the caged tiger paces. 

Oddly enough, we can't remember clearly one social event that we attended together back in high school. We can't even say for sure that we remember ever being in the same room...

Nevertheless, talking and laughing together felt so warmly familiar. Immediately. Kindred Facebook spirits.

It is so weird...

Two totally separate lives, yet our common thread-- self-inflicted social isolation (hey, no one forced us to trade Cincinnati for Green Acres)  seems to have sewn a tight seam.

One Saturday, after chatting for an hour on FB, we dared to take it to the next level - we actually talked on the landline! I'd recognize her voice anywhere! And she, mine. Yet we don't recall any one-on-one gabfests back in high school...

And come this weekend, we will actually, finally  see each other. Again. And yet, in some ways, for the first time.

We can't wait!

I will be riding along with my friend, Jess, as she and her family haul a trailer of goods for a giant neighborhood garage sale at Jess' grandmother's in Rockford -- the town were Jess' mom, Vicki, and I were both born (and on the same day, no less -- but that is fodder for another kismet post). Sherri lives less than an hour from Rockford, and will meet me there.

It's all good!  And serendipitous! It's spontaneous! Just what the psychiatrist ordered.  

So to those who think FB is just a waste of time and energy, or who are too busy to stay connected via the electronic friendship generator, I say, Bah! Humbug!  I have found it to be quite a blessing...and I know Sherri concurs.

"A friend is a present you give yourself," the old saying goes.

And this weekend, thanks to Facebook Kismet, it's going to be Christmas in May. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pomp, Circumstance, and Sheep Lice

The very first thing writer Anne Lamott tells her new students on the first day of a workshop is this:

"Good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason they write so very little." 

I am beginning to fear I may be part sheep lice.

While I long to understand who I really am, and what THE TRUTH really is, I've been writing very little. There is no way I will ever fully understand who I am and what THE TRUTH really is unless I write more. I know that. But, like with everything else in my life right now, I feel totally overwhelmed. I don't know where to start...

I suppose I could write about high school graduation parties, and how I think they have gone beyond practicality and reason...that no one really wants to look at 18 years' worth of someone else's child's memorabilia and pictures...that less is probably more, especially when it comes to potato salad, cake and mints...

But come time for DJ's graduation two years from now, I, too, will feel compelled to adorn every available wall space with HIS stuff...from that lock of hair from his first haircut at three months to his final track meet medal his senior year...

That's what parents DO nowadays come graduation time. I surmise that come May 2011, I will get all wacked out over Daniel's graduation, not just because my one and only son -- the freaking apple of my eye -- will be graduating from high school, but because my mother died when I was in junior high and my  father, who lived in Michigan ( I lived in Ohio) barely made it to my graduation ceremony. In fact, he may not have made it at all...I truly don't remember...

Or maybe he made it to my high school graduation, albeit late, but he didn't make it to my wedding...

Whatever.

The truth is, I will, no doubt, be going beyond  practicality and reason, doing whatever it takes, to give Daniel everything I didn't have when I graduated from high school...and that most likely will include a blow-out party with too many pictures, too much potato salad, and far too many mints. And I will fret over how the table cloth is hanging on the main table, and if his track medals are  displayed properly...and if there is enough butter, or too much butter on the sandwich buns...

I am also certain I will have a Valium drip going during the graduation ceremony itself...Pomp and Circumstance...just the words bring tears to my eyes...

And therein lies THE TRUTH about high school graduation...

No matter one's circumstances, ya gotta have pomp. Ya just gotta.

Sheep lice do not understand this concept, which is one reason their graduation parties are so lame. 

Congratulations to the CR-B Class of 2009!

Friday, May 08, 2009

My Latest Brush With Fame -- Lady Antebellum at The Well!








I know.

My friend Leesa could have scribbled that mess on my Kenny Chesney concert ticket... cannot make heads nor tails of that handwriting....

But trust me, those really are Lady A autographs!

I stood in line for some time, and was just about to hand them my ticket stub to sign only to have Lady A leave their autograph table as  Kenny was beginning his descent into Wells Fargo Arena via ski lift, or whatever...

WHAT? Just where do they think they're going?

Never one to take rejection by the famous lightly, however, I thought fast and  tagged along with two young women who had caught the eye of that adorable Lady A lead singer, Charles Kelley -- he had beckoned them in to where the group was signing a few last autographs for the security staff.   Security had other ideas, however, and they wouldn't let us get near Lady A., but one of them graciously took my ticket and a couple of Lady A pics those other two gals had, and handed them to the group, and I watched as Hillary Scott , Charles and Dave Haywood all signed my ticket...

And then, Hillary came over to us and handed us our autographs and smiled...and thanked us...

I thanked her and said, "Thanks so much!  I love you guys!"

LOL. I can be such an autograph geek...

Kenny Chesney was AWESOME! Loved all the KC wannabes in the crowd...you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a cowboy hat, of course.

Note to self:   Learn more KC songs before the next KC concert...apparently he has sung many a great song since "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy". 

Leesa and I  rode in perfect Thelma and Louise style to the concert (in Des Moines) in her convertible, top down, tunes blaring...And we enjoyed a lovely meal at Spaghetti Works before the concert, I might add.  Later, we split a small  bag of  Strawberry Peanut Butter M&Ms on the way home while grooving to -- what else but -- Lady A -- and a little bit of Rascal and Toby...

What a great night!

Woo-Hoo!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

May Day! May Day!


May Day has always been a bit of a mystery to me.

Growing up in Madeira, OH, we never had May baskets. I do not recall one time when someone showed up at my door with a Styrofoam cup full of popcorn and candy on May 1.

When we first lived in Iowa, however, my friends and their little darlings blessed Daniel and me with many a treat on May 1...

Today, my office co-workers gave me a cup full of popcorn, sprinkled with blue M&Ms only, and on the cup it said, "Not a blue martini, but this will due for now."

LOLOLOLOLOLOL

NEW rocks!