Sunday, November 6, 2022

Blast from the past

 Who remembers the ads on the very back pages of magazines?

I no longer get lots of magazines...only Better Homes and Gardens which I never really read. It's all photos and recipes and the advertisements are all national brand stuff like Perdue and various medicines that might be of interest to old folks.

But way back when...I can't tell for sure, maybe a reader of this can help, there used to be ads stuck way in the back. Small ads, maybe an inch or so, usually with some photo, that went national in the smallest way.

For example: Learn to be a secretary from Katherine Gibbs schools. There were several of them. One was in Montclair. Two of my off campus roommates went there after having two years of a junior college somewhere. This was basically finishing school for them to be secretaries and marry some guy who worked at a great job in an office.

Ahh. 

Next, let's mention Baypath Junior college. Now, this was also regarded as a finishing school, somewhere in New England. Its purpose was to really finish you off, with the distinct advantage of being in New England where all the big male dominated universities were and still are located. I do not know if Baypath (possibly Bay Path) still exists. It existed, still may, but somehow I doubt it. It may or may not have provided a good well rounded two year education. Think Mona Lisa Smile. I'm not putting it down, I just knew that if it had to advertise in the back of monthly magazines, there was a little something fishy about it.

Oh, boy, next...let's remember Staunton Military Academy. This apparently was one of those all boy schools that parents sent their unruly sons to so they'd get military discipline. The famous wrestling promotor, Vince McMahon went there. There were lots of military schools for parents to send their sons to just to get them out of their hair or prevent them from landing in juvie. It no longer exists. We have seen the imposing building high on the hill looming over the lovely town of Staunton...its windows are boarded up, there is no life there. Now, things may have changed in a couple of years, but as far as I know, it is defunct.

Now, I and other young girls suffered from being overweight. Yeah, fat shamed until sophomore year. But there had been an answer back of the magazines. Send your daughter to Camp Stanley! She'll swim and play tennis and ride horses while being instructed in a fun way about proper nutrition. Yeah. Lose those pounds the fun way in the woods somewhere! Promises you'll be more acceptable to your slim peers...or maybe not. It cost money, to be sure. Not for Irene.

But one ad was for me. Can You Draw Me? Simply draw this pirate or woman with earring, send it to us and we'll evaluate your ability so you can sign up for our art course. I must confess, I did it. Before I was accepted at Montclair State, in a moment of despair, I drew the pirate and sent it to them. Of course, I showed great talent and was suitable for their art courses that would guarantee me entry to something where I could apply my newly developed talent. Sigh. I wrote back when I was accepted at college that I was not interested in their art courses, but thank you very much for considering me. For months after rejecting their offer, I continued getting mail from them. I guess they thought I'd flunk out and run to them as a consolation.

These ads just might still exist. I don't know. But something made me think of them and remember, fondly, how inspiring they might have been to people who needed a direction and were seduced by these inch high advertisements in the back of magazines.

Even I tried to find direction back there.

If there no longer are these helpful ads, what is there?

Ahh. The Internet!



Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Aging out

 Well, it is official.

I regard myself as old.

Pity, that.

After accumulating so many years on Earth, it suddenly hit me that I've lived quite a long time and accomplished very little.

I was thinking of all the things I have tried and finished up without obtaining great success.

Once, I thought I could be a star...have fans who worshipped me...in a dream I had once a long time ago, I was up on some pedestal with people standing below, crying out my name and adoring me.  Wow! What a dream. I don't remember much else of that dream, but I know I liked what was happening and that, for once, I was very, very cool in the minds of others.

Well, that never happened. It would have been something spectacular, for sure. And I probably would have loved it. For awhile.

Even Midas got tired of that turning things to gold business when he couldn't eat or drink. And he turned his beloved kid or wife into an Academy Award trophy....

I have tried lots of things. Nothing suited me other than mother, which I fought for, and being published, which took 10 years. But the other side hustles were mere experiences, none of which made me happy.

Was I a failure?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

All I know is that I fought long and hard. You could put that on my gravestone, except "She was right" is already there.




Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Disgruntlement

 I just wasted an hour filling out a medical form for my eye doctor.


I am pissed beyond belief.


Even my desktop; sucks.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Desktop hates me

 It has been a very long time since I've ventured to my blog.

The computer has objected to my use of it.  I don't know what I have ever done to make it hate me so.  The keys stick. It takes forever to warm up. I can't change the  size of font. Thus all my brilliance has faded away with my dreams.


WE were gifted with a new grand nephew.


Elyse got covid.


Karyn cleaned her room.


Herb is getting counseling.  Karyn found some counseling.


I've had too many terrible backaches but got my A1c down from 7.9 to 7.1 so I can get my gizzard taken out.

That's about it. All my brilliance is gone.




Sunday, June 26, 2022

Thanks to Madalyn O'Hair

In the middle of fourth grade, the teacher no longer read something from the King James bible to the class after the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Why was that?

Because of the self-proclaimed atheist, Madalyn Murray. She did not want God interfering with her son's disbelief and argued in court for the separation of church and state. She won. No longer did the teachers have to pick something out of the Old Testament to read to the kids. It was OT because there might be Jews in the class. Never mind Hindus or Buddhists

So the Bible was off limits

Being a Catholic kid, I still had two years of Catechism to go through. Even if the King James version wasn't the Catholic version, it was still what my Protestant classmates heard in their church. I felt a little Catholic guilt hearing those words, even  if they were OT.


In fifth grade, a Jewish kid came to our school, just so you know. That was the first thing we knew about him.


I find it particularly funny that Madalyn got her way and now, she seems to have lost again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Hearing is the last sense to go


 When husband's great aunt lay dying in hospital, one of the nurses told us to speak to her.  She was on her way out and the staff kept calling her "Elizabeth". We corrected them by saying she went by Lee. Perhaps that was why she didn't hear them.

The nurse said, "Hearing is the last to go."

We talked to her, calling her Aunt Lee. She did sort of rouse, but she had no freakin' idea who we were as we hadn't seen her in a few years. But, we went because it was our duty and our desire to see her while she still breathed, thinking she might recognize him at least. Me, I doubted, but I was there.

I remember she didn't like garlic and she was a spectacular baker.

Now...where is this going?

Perhaps, nowhere, but the other morning, our first spring morning with the bedroom windows open, I heard a familiar, yet unfamiliar sound. 

I distinctly heard the sound of an old fashioned wooden screen door closing.

That distinctive rickety  old sound that I hadn't heard in so many years.  Not since aluminum screen doors came along.  All the people on our street converted to aluminum doors.  Our front door had a C in some metal work for our last name.

Classy for late 1957.

So, where did this sound come from? Last time I think I heard a wooden screen shut was down the shore at one of the places we stayed at.  I'm thinking Jack was a sophomore in high school. The  summer he grew so tall.  


That was a very long time ago. Yet, that sound came back to me a few days ago. 

 Is hearing the last thing to go?

Is this a portent?





Sunday, May 8, 2022

 

 For
For mom


Back in the stone age, when women did not wear slacks or jeans or sweat pants...women who worked at home wore housedresses. While I could not find a picture of the housedress I remember., cotton, light printed plaid or wild florals, this came close enough. Probably from the 30s or 40s, but you get the idea.


They were for working. You wore an apron to cover it and the dress probably was to stay clean a couple of days. Even if you sweated or slopped dirty water on it while washing the floor or using your wringer washing machine.


My one grandmother, who never once wore slacks, wore housedresses. Only around the house or in her garden.

My other grandmother was a bit more savvy and did wear slacks. She was more trendy.  More American, even if she never once read a book in her life. The other, less trendy grandma, read romances by the stack!

Now, my mother didn't wear housedresses that I remember, but she did wear skirts and blouses and a girdle. Far from trendy, she did dress up nicely for very special occasions. Her make up consisted of powder and lipstick. Perfume, sometimes.. She said it made her feel like a French whore, which she pronounced hoor.


Well, that's it for dowdy housedresses. 

Did your mother wear them?


Friday, May 6, 2022

So many things happening, not all of them good

 Let's see.

Still no word about the prostate cancer.

Still no counselors for either family members who need them.

Sometimes I think I should be the one who needs a shrink, but then, I have all of you to listen to my shit.

It is raining. We have nothing new planted in the gardens yet.  Some of the perennials have poked through and look hearty, or hardy, but there are huge gaps in the garden.

Daughter #1 and her husband are coming up to make me dinner for mother's day. Daughter #2 is in upstate NY watching CATS for the second time.

My mother in law turned 100 and is still in pretty good shape!!!

My gallbladder needs to come out. My A1c is too high at 7.9.

Yeah, I know.


This is Dick. From my early reading days. He hasn't changed one bit.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Easter

 Spring today!


Supposed to be in the 80s. 

The house across the street  has a garden full of hyacinths. The maple trees sport red leaf buds.  Birds wake me up with their songs.


Today is actually Maundy Thursday.


What is the definition of Maundy?


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Thinking long and hard

 For days I have thought about writing here. Anything to relieve the ennui. Anything to keep my brain from working.

So, here I am without my brilliant thoughts.

They're all gone.

They went away with the wind. Or sleep. Or atrophy. Something. All the three great topics I wanted to write about. Vanished.

I think one was going to be about the end of life. Mine. Like how I realize that I am not going to last much longer...you know. Bones creaking. Getting forgetful. Aches and pains. Troubles in the world where I am not sure I want to see to the finish. Those kind of things.

I worry about dying. I worry about not waking up one morning and everything being black because I am not in my head or body any more.  I wonder if I will look at my body and wonder what was going on, or especially where I was going.

Yeah. That makes me think.

Where am I going?

I don't particularly like dirt.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Case of the Unsilent Schnozz

 Trouble falling asleep. Trouble staying asleep. Trouble worrying day after day, night after night.


Well, last night, I was kept awake by a whistle in my right nostril. Szzz, whistle, whistle, sznozz. In and out, whistling.

I tried blowing my nose. I tried inhaling. I tried pinching one nostril. I tried digging around to no avail.

Whistle, whistle, whistle.

Nose knows something is wrong, but nothing I can do fixes it.

If I blow too hard, I'm liable to blow out my brains. (This has happened before, don't  you know?) 

I get up. Go to bathroom. Sit for awhile, contemplating the sound coming through my head, in and out.

Dunno what happened, with me sitting there, tooting my honker. Maybe it was the sitting. Maybe it was shoving some decongestant up there. Maybe it was a supernatural being finally hearing my plea.

The whistling stopped. I went back to bed, wondering what happened and why I'd had the incessant noise for half the night. What did I do wrong?

But, I could breathe and not have to listen to that wheezeflutter booger making that godawful noise.

Happy New Year, everyone. Stay tuned. There's more idiocy to come.