Tag Archives: retro

Color Wheel

The first color I remember having a decided preference for is turquoise. When I was in third grade I had a plaid jumper I adored because it had turquoise in it and I could wear a turquoise shirt underneath and also turquoise socks. It was my most favorite outfit in the world. Also I loved turquoise jewelry in any form (real or beads).

Two years later my favorite color was purple and my mom did my room all in violet with flowered wallpaper when we moved to New Jersey in 1970. It was gorgeous! I also had a purple leotard I wore with a lavender skirt and white go-go boots, and this was really cute, around 1973. That’s about the time we departed for Illinois, where the official color is forty below zero.

When I was 20 a Chicago coworker remarked that I wore a lot of blue and brown. I did. I’d just gone from being a college student to a full-time office worker and had a limited budget for shopping. Blues and browns seemed practical to mix-match and they all went with my sensible brown shoes and boots. Obviously I would layer over that with parkas and scarves and leg warmers, mittens, hats, yada. Still have two coats from my Chicago years because they were very well made and come in handy occasionally. One is blue, one a brownish pink.

Decades later my wardrobe expanded to all colors of the rainbow. I went through phases: sunflower yellow, lime green, candy pink, violet, and always turquoise with everything. I could wear any outrageous color combo when I was a young mom. I painted my own tee shirts and had tie-dyed leggings.

Then I returned to full-time office work and gradually began to ditch the crazy colors in favor of blues and browns again. Also, like most women, I discovered a love of black, which goes surprisingly well with some of my bright stuff, toning it down enough to be acceptable in an office. One of my favorite combos is black pants with a turquoise shirt and an ivory or beige sweater. Browns and pinks work nicely together too. I don’t wear much lime green or sunflower yellow these days. Still adore lavender and violet.

As I’ve mentioned I am simplifying my wardrobe as time goes by. New purchases are in solid colors for ease of matching. I shop more sensibly now rather than grabbing what catches my eye. Shopping online is good for this method, since you search for what you need (blue pants, forex) rather than wandering into a store and allowing yourself to be seduced by a sequined kitty sweatshirt.

One thing that’s funny though ~ through all this my cars were blue, brown, blue, brown, blue, brown. In order, just like that. The first car I owned was blue and the car I have now is brown. Yes, a constant in my life since my move to California has been my love for the colors of the earth and the sky, the sand and the ocean, from biscuit to chocolate, from ice to navy. I’ve moved from one coast to another, liked many things about Chicago, but never felt “at home” there and have never gone back to the midwest for even a visit. Although I don’t hang out at the beach much, I like knowing it’s nearby (wouldn’t want to live super close because of earthquake/tsunami, which is a win because of the price of oceanfront real estate).

Though I must say I recently heard of a writerly town in Montana that’s totally piqued my curiosity…

20160430_152927

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Constant

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Creature Features & Jigsaw Puzzles

pexels-photo-269399.jpeg

I have a clear memory of watching Creature Features with my mom in the basement of our townhouse in Illinois, which she had turned into a rec room with a ping-pong table, TV, stereo, etc. It was Illinois, if you missed that in the preceding sentence, 40 miles north of Lake Michigan, where it got so cold that if you dropped a record on the floor it would shatter like a dinner plate. (This actually happened.)

I’ve always said I remember putting giant jigsaw puzzles together with my mom while we watched scary movies, and generally, but I was trying to call up a specific memory of this and it’s not working. It actually doesn’t even make sense. The only table we had in the basement large enough for a 1000-2000 piece puzzle was on the side of the room that didn’t have the TV. The stairs were in the middle. Right in front of the stairs was a little storage type room my dad used as a darkroom for photography. On the right side was a TV, sofa, coffee table, etc. On the left side was an old dining room table, another sofa, and the stereo system. We would have had to use the old dining table for the puzzles. So how would we have been watching Creature Features at the same time? Memory fail.

Even though I enjoyed these campy horror movies at the time (because mommy was there), I’ve disliked horror since. Pretty much the entire horror film genre falls into the dislike pile, but I do reserve some exceptions for books, Stephen King in particular. It’s not because the movies themselves are all terrible; it’s because I don’t enjoy having my emotions manipulated to that extent. Now you’ll say I don’t mind the same thing when it happens in the romcoms. And I’ll just shrug. Because people are inconsistent, and I’m a people too. Shockeroo!

The two Creature Features that stayed with me all these years I dub “Coconut Sea Monster” and “Alpine Beheader.” The first was about guys on a military submarine who kept getting murdered brutally cuz one of them had morphed into a monster due to radiation exposure. We didn’t see the murderer until the end and he looked like he was covered in coconut. It was really freaky! The otter one was about peeps trapped in a ski resort during a blizzard and some snow vampire kept grabbing one at a time and ripping off their head. Icky!

You know, this could very well be why I dislike both sailing and skiing. A-ha!

Still love coconut though. Nothing comes between me and a coconut donut.

As far as jigsaw puzzles, still love doing those, but don’t have room for them in my current place, can’t isolate one from the kitty anyway, and they seem sort of time-wastey when I have so many otter projects I want to finish as far as writing and needlework and staring at the walls. Someday though… when I retire maybe, bring on the jigsaw puzzles again! Hey, I wonder if they have Creature Feature puzzles? That could be a thing.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Creature

Study Notes

test

I was a smart kid, but I attribute my great grades not to flashes of genius but to boringly steady work habits. I trudged home from school, literally a mile+ in the snow, and did my homework. Every day. I spent a lot of time studying and overstudying for tests. Though I had some fun times, I didn’t really goof off that much, not in high school and certainly not in college.

In college, I had a Psych class and got 100% on a test. The professor congratulated me when he handed back the results, which was a little embarrassing. After class, a few students came up to me to ask how I did it. I said I read the assigned chapters, twice, and studied the lecture notes several times. That’s not what they wanted to hear, I could tell. They thought I had a special trick. I did not. I just spent a lot of time doing the boring, boring studying.

It is true when I was very young I had a bit of eidetic memory, but that faded fast and didn’t help me much by the time high school rolled around. I was better than most at remembering phone numbers, which has become an unnecessary skill these days. Who even needs to know their friends’ numbers any longer?

More recently I took the Notary Public exam and did well. I was a bit worried about it, even though I’ve taken it several times before (in California you have to retake it every four years). It’s easy to forget many of the details between tests if you only notarize once in a while as I do. But I overstudied like a maniac. Turns out I do have some good habits!

In my opinion, doing well in school is mostly about good habits, not brilliance. Could this be true about most things in life?

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Study

Prophetic, More or Less

My dear friend Peggy joked on the Book of Face that she had just seen a poast of mine from 1989 (FB newsfeeds have been weird lately), and I asked her if it was a pome about my hair. She said it was. The reason I asked is because I wanted an excuse to remind myself to share another blast from the past. I wrote this when I thought everything would last forever, in the Spring of 1989…

the day my hair went flat

permanents aren’t permanent:
they fall out in six months. i had one
the week before my wedding–got married
with hair as full as miss america’s,
skinny blonde highlights dancing up and down my head.
but soon i noticed
my head was getting smaller,
which made my body look too fat,
and after that
the color went.
i screamed at my reflection,
but that Golden Glow
just disappeared.
and so did
my husband–
the day
my hair went flat.

Regarding Social Media

Typewriter

I like Twitter. There I said it, not that I’m getting paid (or am opposed to getting paid, hey). Since I’ve always had my finger on the pulse, more or less, I had a Twitter account straightaway, along with my Usenutters, where we tweeped what we ate for lunch and such. That was when you got 140 chars, no pics, no fancies. Boring! We quickly moved on to blogging and I eventually closed that account.

Years passed and Twitter seemed to turn into a wasteland of pr0n and politics, so I had no interest in it. But then one of my friends said there were poetry corners with lots of cool poets hanging out and doing flash stuffs, so I poked my head in again. And it was true ~ not just poetry, but prompts and wordgames and art and kitties and otters and all sorts of neato things. I made a new account.

Then I learned you were supposed to promote your writing via Twitter, so I created additional accounts for my ‘nyms, each dedicated to ginning up interest in my books, and x-tweeted with the other ‘nyms… ugh, exhausting. Not to mention, it didn’t help anything. My tweets immediately sank into the tweepy abyss, never to be seen again. Didn’t help if I “hearted” and retweeted other writers’ promos ~ everyone does that. Writing is hugely incestuous and it’s hard to break out of that cycle. Writers who achieve any meaningful success immediately lose their motivation to help lesser writers, and why not? They need to focus on writing their next successful book or else they’ll die. And they’ll probably die anyway. That’s just how it is. Note how successful people have zillions of followers but only follow a few, and this is true across all social media.

Anyway, this isn’t a whine about how I’m not going to write any more so there wah wah. I’ll always write because I’m a writer. But I’ll still bitch about various things, since I’m a bitch. Hehe. I came here to say that I like Twitter and I love blogging, which I plan to do more of, in lieu of so much st00pid, pointless Facebooking. Gah. What a waste of time and energy. Reading Twitter poetry is inspiring; writing on FB gets me warmed up to write in general. FB should be an afterthought, not something I reflexively look at before anything else.

I see so many friends complain about FB, on FB itself, which couldn’t care less, and I have to say… blogs are free. Get over here on WordPress (who isn’t paying me, but again I’m not opposed), get a blog, and choose your own design. It’s so nice to write a whole essay, post pics, control comments, know who visits, easily search for past stuff, etc. I highly recommend it. And if you don’t feel like writing? You can post a silly meme or Hallmark platitude on your blog same as anywhere else.

Think about it. Why gripe about FB and do nothing when there’s a solution right here?

Oh, Instagram. It’s become irritating as well, now that they’ve screwed it up and made it non-chronological so the paid accounts get priority. I haven’t been checking in as much and may unfollow everyone but my actual friends. That’s probably a good idea. I’ve also simply lost interest in photos somewhat. There are so many and okay gorgeous flowers adorable kitties oh looook OTTER and awww a baby and a puppy ooh hot fireman and some cupcakes yummm now more kitties okay… can I be done NO THERE ARE 72 million moar you have not seen omg.

Just get a blog, people, FFS. It’s not that hard.

Speaking of Unfinished Projects…

It’s not only my 2017 NaNoWriMo (and other) writing projects that have been set aside, hopefully temporarily, but also some craft projects too. A while back, actually years ago now, I began making a super special secret item for my Cal daughter, in blue and gold. Took a class and everything. And it’s sitting right here in the bag, unfinished. Technically, it is officially unstarted now, since I ripped out the entire thing due to its being imperfect. I don’t remember how to do it from way back when… sort of a beginner crochet stitch, I guess. Oh look, there are instructions, yippee! Only six steps in total, so how hard can it be? LOL

Next is a scarf for myself I began knitting with circular needles at my other daughter’s two Thanksgivings ago ~ really lovely colors in a variegated yarn. I actually got pretty far on this, maybe over halfway done. Need to figure out how to blend in the next skein of yarn because I used up the first skein, and then end the scarf after that. It’s soooo soft and cozy. Blues and browns, like the sand and sea. I can’t wait to wear it!

I got a craving this weekend to do needlepoint again and began searching Amazon and eBay for kits I might like to make. Found one ~ a trio of beautiful red poppies for a pillow or picture. Yes, I bought that even though I still need to finish the two otter yarny things and all the writing ever. I consider this rather restrained because I almost bought a gorgeous kit of purple pansies too and the only reason I didn’t is because it wasn’t as versatile for picture or pillow. It would have to be a picture when finished and I’m not sure I want a purple picture. I have no problem with a purple pillow.

But what I really want to do is design my own cross stitch pattern. I did a simple one ages ago, and the one I have in mind will be a little more complicated. It’s very mathy and time-consuming, but when has that ever stopped me? Right. I started one yesterday with an online template, but when you use the online ones they either let you do a photo or text and naturally I want a combination of both.

Here’s a weird thing: when I was poking around eBay I found the very first needlework kit project I ever did! No lie, when I was 14 years old, I did this crewel design, brought it with me to babysitting jobs and did it at home while watching TV also. I can’t believe they made so many kits that some are still around in their original packaging 40+ years later. I grabbed a Google image to put here because I think the eBay link might disappear.

Crewel bouquet

Look how beautiful this is! My God, I am tempted to buy it again and remake it, for old times’ sake. You really can go home again. I wonder what happened to mine? It wasn’t this well done, of course. My first project. I didn’t even use stretcher bars. What a n00b.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Knit

Twelve Years Gone By

Please excuse my lack of bloggery… I was busy attending my daughter’s wedding. ❤

I seem to be out of writing mode, which will change shortly as I’ve rejoined a great prompt group that meets weekly, plus September always motivates me. I’m a student at heart. New school year, crisp notebook, let’s go!

But in the meantime, I wanted to say something, so I decided to turn to my trusty old Ultrablog archives. Apparently I said nothing 10 years ago (hard to believe), so I went back 12 (I don’t like elevens). Twelve years ago I was married, had two children living with me, and for some bizarre reason went to see the Dukes of Hazzard movie.

Now, if you had asked me point-blank an hour ago, Paula, did you ever see the Dukes of Hazzard movie? I would have said no and I would have probably even denied knowing there existed a Dukes of Hazzard movie. But archives do not lie! And if Google Drive says I saw a movie, then I saw it. I suppose in the scheme of things that forgetting the Dukes is no great loss. I hope I don’t forget anything important however, such as a subthread from Game of Thrones.

I said I liked the movie except for Burt Reynolds being miscast as Boss Hogg. I also said the TV Roscoe was funnier and I was disappointed that “Boots” played over the credits at the end and we didn’t get to see the sexy car wash scene. I have no idea what I meant by that. The Nancy Sinatra song? Wha? I suppose I could look all that up, but someone will know, so I’m not going to bother.

I really miss when my online writing friends blogged instead of blopped on Facebook. FB is junk food for writers ~ and not even the good junk food like tacos or Oreos, but the worst junk food like those skinny yucky pretzels. You can sit there for hours and eat a million of them and you’ll never be satisfied, only thirstier and thirstier.

Pretzels

More Than This

The first time I heard Roxy Music was at Stacey’s apartment in downtown Chicago, in the spring of 1983. I was a classic rock girl and Bryan Ferry was club music. I didn’t go to clubs; I listened to the Beatles and Stones alone at home. Actually, nothing has changed… but that’s beside the point. I don’t remember why we went to Stacey’s either. We were both taking a computer class and broke for lunch or something. She lived nearby. What I do remember is that she turned on the stereo and fired up her bong. It was the first time I’d seen a bong too. I lived a very sheltered life, in the middle of Chicago. I declined her offer of smoke, but I did get intoxicated with Roxy Music and bought an album soon after.

The only reason I’m even bringing this up is because I was listening to RM’s greatest hits the otter day in my car and I thought, holy shit, I’ve been telling peeps the wrong thing all these years. I always say I moved to California because my parents said they’d buy me a car, which they did say, but that’s not why I left ~ I left because my heart was broken.

Stacey and I were talking about men that day, of course, and I confessed I had a crush on Mark, who was also in our class. Mark and I regularly created outrageous fictions about adventures we had together and no one really knew what was going on between us (nothing), and the rest of the class thought we were very entertaining. Sometimes I would create my own individual stories for Mark, so he wouldn’t think I was such a boring boring. He had his own individual stories for me as well that I didn’t know what to make of ~ they were wild and crazy, occasionally verging on the sad.

Eventually we became lovers, in the summer, though I knew it wouldn’t last. My heart broke the first time we were together, as it always does when I know something will fail, and I floated off into that strange limbo of soaring dreams mixed with crushing despair. It’s a potent drug. I never turn something like that down; I simply wait for it to disappear because I know it will. Each time might be the last, so each time is incredibly wonderful, like I imagine it might feel to be on X, though I never have been. What writer would turn this down? How many chances do you have to experience this in your life? You wouldn’t be able to describe it otherwise. I might have only had the once… but as luck would have it, it’s happened a few more times.

Our relationship ended mundanely ~ I had to work, and Mark wanted to go camping. He asked me to go with him, and I couldn’t, so he took another girl. That was in August and I kept working as my parents planned their move out West. I vaguely said I might stay and find a place with a friend, but I made no plans. My job consisted of formatting disks, all day long. I sat at a reception desk and did that, crying silently.

In September, my mother said, you’re not really staying in Chicago, are you? My father said he’d buy me a car if I moved with them. It sounds amusing to say I left for a car, but I would have left in any case. Chicago is nothing but a big frozen heartbreak; that’s why I’ve never gone back, not once. I like to leave places that remind me of bad times; I like to throw everything away. If I can’t, I gather it all together for an emotional bonfire and a story is born. Sometimes the story lies dormant for several decades, apparently.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Dormant

Windsong

I can’t seem to forget you…
Your Windsong stays on my mind.

Remember that commercial for the Prince Matchabelli perfume from 1980? I thought about it tonight when I unexpectedly ran across someone online from years ago and remembered him, but he had no memory of me at all. It was so vivid for me too, that connection we had during a time that was intense and painful for both of us, about a decade ago, and yet… it clearly meant nothing to him. Nothing at all. He apologized for failing to remember me, but it’s happened before, many times.

When I messaged this man, I was so… buoyant. I think that’s a good word for the emotion I felt earlier today. I had to shop at Target, and the whole time I was a bit floaty, thinking to myself how wonderful it would be to chat with someone who knew me from the time before… before the divorce, before my mother was gone. Why this is important to me, I don’t know. But it is. And so for a couple hours I felt light and happy, certain that my life would take a new direction as the man and I renewed our friendship.

I came home, put my stuff away, fed my kitty, fed the feral kitties (all three were around tonight!), got a snack, logged back on, and after a little while a message arrived. The man did not remember me. Oh well. Then that old commercial jingle popped into my head and I wondered if it would be possible to find it on YouTube. Of course… first hit.

The Opposite of Bird

What’s the opposite of bird, she says. What color is five?

She radiates light and energy, and her questions loop about my head like an undulating jump-rope. I revel in her discoveries; she numbs my pain with a fistful of coffee-paper butterflies.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Radiate