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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Disney Magic Moments


Scattered here and there......memories. I'm trying to get them all down before Chemo-Meno Brain forgets....I did keep a journal of sorts as well.
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I felt like a real jerk, getting all weepy about meeting Cinderella.  Seriously, I was practically bawling.

"Look, I know you're a beautiful girl dressed like Cinderella, but she's been my favorite Disney character since I was a tiny girl," I said, wiping tears from my eyes, trying not to ruin my Facial Spackle.  No damn hankie when you need one.  Shit.

(She kept in character. Of course.)

"Oh, look at the beautiful dress your fairy godmother made for you."

"My Fairy Godmother was Goodwill, honey.  But thank you."

Meeting Belle was nice as well but I think it was more wonderfully exciting for the lovely Egyptian woman I met in line.....she was so stoked I thought she'd pop out of her veil.  Small world department: her son has had heart work done at the Cleveland Clinic.

(Crikey, I look like my damn mother....)

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And so it began......
Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015
First Toast, Jan. 25th
You know you're on a different sort of trip (especially when you're not a big drinker, which I'm NOT) and you're sitting with the Deck Niners (great group of folks from all over the place), and you think to yourself,

"It's 10 a.m.  I've had breakfast.  I think I'll have a screwdriver.  It has orange juice in it, right?"

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Amy, Jamie, me, Gayle, Seth, Matt

The first we dined at Palo, the upgrade restaurant, and had great service.  My beef tenderloin was a little on the cooked side, but it was good.  The dessert was a rich chocolate mousse cake with to-die-for chocolate sauce.
Note the pinky!

Of course, I was keeping it classy on the Disney Magic....but that damn chocolate sauce was SO good. My cake was done and I just couldn't let it go to waste, now could I?

 Besides I've been thrown out of better places.

Just not at sea.


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Give 6 (pretend) adults feathers, stickers, pens, paper masks ---- and alcohol!!
The big challenge was they gave us glue sticks which stick very little.  I think we did very well!!! Fun at O'Gills Pub.

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Elke Is In her Own Movie

Poor Sportsmanship


For the last 4 years, my crazy Spousal Unit has ridden "Pedal to the Point", a 150 mile bike event from south of Cleveland to Sandusky, Ohio. The event raises money for MS, a very worthy cause. It's always in August which is why, I (having some grains of good sense left) won't ride it. It's going to be bloody hot. Or rainy. Or both. I don't like hot. I try to heat-train but not for that kind of distance. Not happening. Make it in October and I might consider it.

He's always ridden solo in an event dominated by teams. This has worried me because riding alone for that great a distance, even on a well-supported ride, is kind of creepy. But he's crazy and quite brave so it's never bothered him. Other than it being kind of lonely. Long stretches of road and no one to talk to. Or rather holler to. Road cycling is hardly a fire side chat!

This year, he joined a team, "Pedal for a Purpose." Great, I thought. He'll be with like-minded people and while the ability levels can be quite different, they can watch out for each other. That what a team does. Think Tour De France. Marty, having been in athletics and being a Marine (you're always a Marine, even if you're 90. Hoo-rah!) gets working as a team and sportsmanship.

I met some of these people at a fund raiser and I must say, I liked the women BUT I was underwhelmed with the men. I got an arrogant vibe off one of them, whom I believe was the Team Captain. He kind of looked askance at my SU. The SU is not this big strapping guy. What he has is Presence. I didn't say much to my SU about my feelings. Hey, I'm not riding with these folks. He is. However I did say to Mr. Snotty, "I am hoping you all will watch out for each other. You may have a nice bike and all but HE (the SU) knows HOW to ride in a group. He understands and executes the strategy of the peloton and drafting. He is a very good cyclist and he's tough."

For those of you reading this who don't know my SU, let me tell you a bit about his physical stuff. He is
Over 50 (not that that necessarily matters)
Has a rarer form of rheumatoid arthritis and is in constant pain all of the time.
Wears hearing aids, thanks to Hawk Missiles and Other Noisy Marine Things
Has a totally fused curved spine complete with rods and screws.
Cannot turn his head or lift it up at all.
Has 2 (not one but TWO) total knee replacements and an artificial lens in one eye.

This man goes out and rides a bike. 25 miles is a pretty easy ride for him. he's only been riding for 4 years, this time around. He is totally unimpressed with himself, which drives me nuts.

Day One, yesterday, August 4th, was horribly hot; mid 90s and high humidity (which is what gets me). "People were dropping like flies," he tells me. But he, brave little Grunt, pushes through and gets it done, mostly sticking (here and there) with one of his team-mates, a very determined young lady named Tonya and occasionally with another girl from the team, Samantha. Some guy clipped him in the back with the handlebars but other than that, the SU is unscathed. That guy didn't hit and run, which was nice and he was appropriately freaked out and apologetic.

When he's out on these crazy rides, I refer to him on Facebook as "Marine One."

This is my Day Two's Lunch Update Posting on Facebook:

Update from Marine One (The SU).
He's at lunch, about 38 miles in and soaking wet!
He is riding with Tonya S., (thank heavens) the rest of their team having DITCHED THEM.
WTF is that?
I am not pleased with this at all. I am pissed!
The whole idea of a TEAM is you are a TEAM. If you want to ride with the 25 mile-an-hour boys, get your own damn team. Oh and BTW, you ditching losers, Marty was your biggest fund raiser BY FAR on your Damn TEAM! He's older, tougher, wiser and has way more sportsmanship than the rest of you losers (except Tonya of course) on your team. If you would have all stuck together you would have had a peloton and everyone could have helped everyone else. Even the slower riders could have kept up and drafted in the back. Someday, you all are going to be 50+ years old, with health problems or a disability and you could only WISH that you are ONE-TENTH the bike rider my husband is.
F-------U, you LOSERS! I detest bad sportsmanship, it shows what amateurs you are, I don't care how many races you win or fast you got back to Brunswick, Ohio.

Not only did they dump Marty and Tonya, but now he'll have to take her home too. Nice. Really nice. Did you ASK, you jerk-offs? It's good thing my SU is a gentleman.

What I SHOULD have said to Mr. Snotty Bucket at this fund raiser was,

"He's a great sport but if you mess with him or me, one of us going to find your arrogant arse and beat the crap out of it. Clear? Are WE CLEAR?"

Pause.

"You answer, Mister, should be 'crystal'."


My Political Views

I hate politics. Boring stuff, for the most part. I'd much rather discuss sex or even religion! I rather talk about animals, food, play a good game, etc. etc. etc. than politics. I rarely get political humor. I do have opinions, very strong ones but they're usually only tied to politics on a very peripheral level.

I do vote.
I vote because it's a privilege.
I vote because it's my duty. Less than a hundred years ago I wouldn't have been allowed to vote because I have a vagina.
I vote because my dad said, "If you don't vote, don't bitch."
I definitely vote on issues, levies, etc.

In my opinion: Contemporary politics are based primarily on these ideas. I would even venture to call them Facts:

1) People, for the most part sadly, are herd animals, at their most basic level.

2) As such, people are driven by fear. Fox News broadcasts, for example, are all about fear mongering.

3) The most important thing to do to maintain control: Keep people stupid, slightly angry, very scared and fill them with mind-numbing, ideally soul-numbing entertainment and media.

4) Disregard your older ones and those who do not conform to "social norms," the weaker of the herd.

5) Appeal to the basest level of the younger ones who are more susceptible, who are easily coerced by rhetoric, mass appeal, appetites of all kinds. Appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Convince them that by subjugating the elders, the "weaker" ones and the different ones they become superior.

6) Blame all problems on "them," whoever/whatever they/it may be.

7) Slowly erode individual decisions and intrude on people's lives.

8) Become selfish and encourage selfishness. Your neighbor is a (fill in the blank), you must fear him.

9) Knowingly and systematically eradicate personal responsibility. "It's not my fault. It's society, my parents, I didn't have parents, the stars, work......(fill in the blank)"

10) Do not respect the land, its resources and its creatures.

Bread and circuses, my friends.
Ancient Rome.
Nazi Germany.
Know thy history, my dears.


Classes They Need To Teach

When I went to college, in the Dark Ages, (when we still had Women's Colleges, mens' hours, curfews and house rules), you had certain classes you had to take.  Requirements.

For example, every year you had to take a gym class.  It could be horseback riding, dance, archery, swimming.  Something to get your body moving.  Not a bad idea actually. Being a declared Fine Arts major, I still had to suffer through some English (play reading, Shakespeare etc) and one science class.  The Science Types HAD to take Fine Arts 101 taught (in my case) by the uber-dramatic Dr. Harold Fink (and you'd better call him DOCTOR Fink).  We also had to take 4 semesters of a foreign language.  Required.  This was the Liberal Arts Education.  Nothing wrong with it and tons of things right with it.

Nowadays, I pity the poor college freshman or AP High School student who has to take a plethora of money-making, stupid, bullsh*t classes.  Let's say you are a declared Freshman Fine Arts major.  You still have to take stupid crap like Psychology, 3 Math Classes, a Science (and a Lab) and a whole ton load of English.  Granted, most high school students can barely read more or less WRITE nowadays.

Why does a science major have to take Accounting 101, the bane of every student except for Accounting and Business Majors?  Does a Spanish Major really, truly NEED statstics??  Instead of 4 years, it's taking 5 to get your degree because of b.s. classes.  It's all about making money IMO.

But I digress. As usual.

Here are a list of Classes They Should Make You Take from elementary through AP all the way through to Grad School

Fourth Grade: Condoms: A Life Changer
Fourth Grade: Animals Have Feelings Too!

Seventh Grade: Sewing 101: Buttons Aren't Scary
AP: Kitchen Basics: Someday YOU Won't Have YOUR Mother Around.
AP Advanced: Kitchens For Men: Do Ya Think I'm Sexy In My Apron Baby?


Dog Training Snobbery

Why do you have to be a be boarded certified Veterinary Behaviorist to be a Behaviorist??  I think that is rather elitist and somewhat arrogant myself.

That's like saying you have to be a Dr. of Psychiatry to be a shrink?  What about Psychologists or Social Workers?  They go to school, grad school, some get their PhD too.

Horse people don't go through this "labeling" stuff....you either work well with horses (you have "horse sense") and treat them kindly, humanely and with compassion (you "gentle" them) or you break them. Period. I've worked with both kinds.

The really good dog "trainers" or "dog savvy" people I've worked with or spoken with over the years 99 times out of a hundred always know a sh*t-ton-load about behavior and they don't cost $500 for a consult. Who the hell can afford that? I can't!

$500 is going to be spend on classes, private sessions, a seminar or surgery or something like that!
Personally I think it is outrageous what those people charge!

And it's not like "oh, I can call up Dr. Whatshisname and yak about my weirdo dog all the time."

I realize that yes, people do need to do their homework when attending a class, or finding a trainer/behaviorist.  I realize that VB and VST is a speciality and they are highly trained and have to continue their training all the time.  I also realize it 's a new and needed field in companion animals.

Perhaps those people who only charge $50-100 a consult shouldn't call themselves "behaviorists" but they are a heck of lot more accessible to an Average Joe like me or anyone else I know. Don't diss or dismiss a great AP or no-correction/aversive trainer; don't dismiss someone who has vast experience with your breed or type ---  they can be your best source of info and REAL, hands on HELP.

I want to talk to the person who LIVES this life with a odd or scared or aggressive dog or cat or deals with them in a real life scenarios.

I can talk to an RH arthritis doc all I want about having it but I need to talk to someone who has it, lives with it and lives well with it.  Otherwise, It's All Theoretical.

50 Years Ago

Very good article about what happened after Kennedy was shot.
The Flight From Dallas from Esquire Magazine

I was nine years old and remember vividly the announcement our principal Mr. Will gave over the PA system.  "Boys and girls, the President, President Kennedy has been shot."  Some girl in my class burst into tears, sobbing loudly.  I think her name was Melody. I remember wondering why she was so emotional about the whole thing.  I guess my mind couldn't fathom it and I recall thinking, "Well, they didn't say 'dead' did they?"  I remember looking out the window of our eerily silent, second floor schoolroom (at Lincoln Elementary) and seeing just a few leaves stuck on tree branches waving in the wind and the sky was gray.  A few minutes, or so it seemed, Mr. Will came back on the PA and said that President Kennedy had died.

In retrospect, they didn't shield us kids from this hard, brutal fact.  And it was just the facts. There was no school counselor waiting outside the room to talk to you about your feelings.  Maybe it's because even the youngest teacher was probably born in the beginning of World War Two. We were sent home and I'm sure the school (rightly) felt that our parents would talk to us about this event.

I remember we were sent home from school And there was a bit of giddy joy that we got out for the rest of the day. Little did we know or thing about it; every channel on TV (we only had 3) had around the clock coverage.  So, in a kid's way, I remember feeling sorry for the kids of the president but I was bored beyond belief that there was nothing to watch on TV, stores were closed, etc.  If you ask anyone my age, that is something we all vividly recollect.  There was basically nothing to do.  You couldn't go play with your friends; that would have been disrespectful.  Joy wasn't an option.  A President had been killed.  Lakewood, Ohio, where I lived at the time, had pretty much shut down.

I remember watching the funeral on TV and seeing John-John saluting the coffin. I remember the riderless horse, Black Jack, with the boots turn backwards in the stirrups and thinking that was pretty cool.  I remember Walter Cronkite's voice.

I knew the whole thing was very big. Days later I figured out that this was an earmark for my generation: where were you when Kennedy was assassinated?
It was our generation's Pearl Harbor.

Now we have: where were you when 9/11 happened?

So think about this: if you or your living relatives are in their 80s, they've witnessed Pearl Harbor, a Word War, the assassination of a President, the moon landings, Challenger blowing up and 9/11.  Not to mention the technological advances, the good things and the bad things.

Those are some pretty intense memories and they should be recorded in some way for posterity. Interview your older relatives, from the 100 year old ones on down to us Baby Boomers. We have some stories to tell.

We are living history.