Tag Archives: retro

Time Pieces

My mother had some old watches and pocket watches she picked up here and there at estate sales and such, and now I have them. I tried to sell them once and was told they had no value, so I keep them tucked away. I’m glad I didn’t get rid of them after all. They’ve grown on me.

This is a plain pocket watch with no cover. It says “Waltham” on the face. This piece is two inches in diameter and feels heavy in my hand.

Time4

This is the back. It has a cool geometrical pattern/logo, but no words.

Time5

This piece is smaller and lighter, about an inch and a half in diameter, but it’s thicker and more complex, as you’ll see. This is the front.

Time6

It flips open to reveal the clock’s face sideways. “Elgin” is printed on the face. The back of the cover says “Keystone” and has a serial number (1194946).

Time10

This is supercool ~ the back opens to show gears and stuff!

Time9

Next up is a ladies’ bracelet watch. It’s very delicate and pretty. It says “Victoria” on the face and nothing on the back. The clasp says “Hadley” with a patent number.

Time1

The last is another bracelet watch, a Bulova. I like it a lot, though its face is scratched up. I might get it cleaned up and working someday so I can wear it for real. I used to wear it anyway, just for fun, but then I decided it was bad luck and stopped.

Time2

The reason this watch is so special is because it’s engraved on the back. I imagine a husband gave it to his wife for Christmas in 1947. I’ve decided he fought in WW2 and she waited for him.

Time3

My mother died today, nine years ago. I love her and miss her every day. Her voice and presence are both still right here, almost, as if she just left the room a few minutes ago. Nothing has changed in all this time.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Timely

Date with a Vet

Kevin was
Too old for me, but
He knew where to get good drugs.
Guys my age
Don’t like to smoke pot anymore–
They’re too busy making money.
Kevin discussed
His failed relationships
And growth experiences;
He said,
“There’s nothing I’ve done
That Jackson Browne hasn’t
Sung about.”
Later we walked by the lake
On slippery stones
And cold night sand;
The stars had
Someplace better to go.
I asked Kevin if he,
You know,
Ever killed anybody over there,
And he said,
“You bet I did, baby.
I shot ’em dead.”
Kevin called
A few months later–
Said he was having trouble
Meeting people
(He meant women)
Here in the Windy City–
Thought he’d join Club Med.
I wished him luck, but
Today I read
That Jackson Browne has been
With the same woman for
Several years
And they might even get married.
So, I don’t know
Who’s going to record our culture now.

[originally written in 1989]

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Later

Blurry

blurry

This is one of my early cell phone camera photos, taken with my Moto. I loved that phone because it was so easy to deal with. It had internet access, but I couldn’t do “too much” internetting on it, or it would get overwhelmed and shut down. That was fine though. There was certainly enough time to stalk people and rabbit-hole down links from my laptop at home; I didn’t need to be doing that when I was out and about. But I can now with my Samsung Galaxy 5. Great.

The G5 also takes much better photos. Well, sort of. If I get everything right, then I end up with a perfect photo. But since I don’t understand 90% of the feechurs, and can’t be bothered trying to figure them out because there are people to stalk, links to follow into rabbit holes, books to read, pomes to write, socks to alphabetize, etc., I end up clicking away stupidly and getting pretty much the same variable quality photos as before on the Moto. Lots of blurry kitty faces half-turned away, basically.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m much happier with the Samsung now and wouldn’t go back. Once you have more technology you don’t want to settle for less. I have multiple ways to get in touch with my kids, for one thing. Actually, that’s the main thing.

But this pic is still a fave. I like the colors and the composition; it reminds me of the hectic pace here in SoCal. Most of us are not “laid-back” as people elsewhere think we are, lazing around on beaches, not working, chilled out. We are forever rushing somewhere, usually in our cars, and totes stressed. I used this pic as the cover photo for Gatsby’s Facebook page. Because of course I have a page for my cat. ^..^

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Blur

Crafty

crafty

 

I’m trying to remember the first handmade thing I created, in response to today’s “craft” prompt (which could be interpreted as boat or beer, but I’m not going in those directions). It was probably one of those ridiculous summer camp pencil holders made out of a frozen OJ can with glued-on popsicle sticks and covered with paint and glitter. Did anyone ever use these things, or just dump them right in the trash? This would have been when I was 6 or 7 years old, when we lived in Sleepy Hollow,  NY. We were there two years and both my parents worked full-time. One summer I went to camp with mean girls and the other I stayed with a grumpy old lady and her idiot grandsons. Both were horrible experiences. But I digress.

When we moved to Longuyland my new friends were into beads, so I made a ton of beady necklaces and bracelets. My mom saved some of them and possibly one of my daughters kept a few for sentimental value. This would have been when I was 8-9.

When we moved to New Jersey my mom made a giant house for my Barbies out of moving boxes and wallpapered it to match my room. We shopped for accessories to make rooms for the dolls, and she taught me how to knit and crochet so I could make teensy blankets and rugs for them. Later I turned it into a harem, but that’s beside the point. Well, there’s like one Ken for every 20 Barbies ~ Mattel must have foreseen this. Anyway, creating little dollhouse items was my crafty obsession around age 10.

In Jersey, my mom got very into DIY and sewing, so I tagged along and ended up learning some too. I embroidered a denim shirt for home ec and put together an outfit to model at the end of the semester (that I secretly took home at night for my mom to fix up on her sewing machine). I enjoyed that a lot and continued doing needlework after the class ended, buying kits and learning new stitches, making pillows and pictures. Mom and I made candles for a while too.

I stuck with the sewing type crafts for many years. When my girls were little I painted tee shirts. That was a lot of fun and the shirts came out great… I was thinking of starting a biz, until I overdid it and could no longer move my thumb without excruciating pain. Nixed my cake decorating career also. I switched to creating fancy photo scrapbooks, which became my obsession for the next several years. All along I still did the needlework, but as I aged I found I had less patience for it and nowadays have no interest in the detailed “art” type pictures, though I still would like to learn to knit and crochet (I’ve forgotten how). I know there are a million vids ~ maybe I’m not motivated enough yet.

One of the main problem with crafts is that they’re expensive. I priced out how much it would cost to knit a poncho (my ultimate goal)… and depending on the style it might be about 3x more than just buying one! I may do it anyway. And going down the bead path again (occasionally tempting)… yikes! I spent a ton of money back in my scrapbook days… and my tee shirt biz would no doubt have been a tax write-off. 🙂

Yesterday I wanted to go to an antique crafty show near my apt, but there was nowhere to park and I was trapped in the lot for few minutes, which was super stressful. ACK DRIVING ISSUES AGAIN. Anyway, I was happy to escape with my life and car intact. Will try again another time, another place.

*
The Daily Prompt: Craft

My Creative Mommy

When I was a kid, I didn’t think it was anything special that my mom single-handedly remodeled our homes. No, I don’t mean she went shopping and had furniture delivered, hired men to paint, and found contractors to install new flooring. I mean she stripped wallpaper, put up new paper, painted walls, redid floors herself, built shelves, planted gardens with fences, created fancy dollhouses for me out of moving boxes, etc. Didn’t all mothers do these things?

I spent a lot of time walking with her through hardware stores, yet for whatever reason she seemed to avoid teaching me to help her. I’m not sure why this is, but I suspect she didn’t want to impose her interests on me because she wanted me to find my own. While she was busy with her DIY stuffs, I would be reading or drawing doggies or making bead necklaces or embroidering a denim shirt… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In New Jersey, she experimented quite a bit with recipes. We had a large garden and the typical zucchini megacrop. That was fun. She also went through a homemade soup phase and a Jell-O mold phase and a DIY ice cream phase… and of course a breadmaking phase. We also had a summer of candlemaking. I wish I had photos. See, if I’d made candles with my kids, that would definitely have generated a scrapbook spread, but my mom didn’t do scrapbooks, and photos were mostly taken on vacations. I have no tangible evidence of our candle phase, except the memory that it was fun. I know I made a few colorful mushrooms that could have festooned a set of Alice in Wonderland. There was also at least one frog and possibly other woodland flora and fauna.

Later on, whenever I was interested in something, my mom found a way to help me with it, if she could (or if I would let her). I didn’t appreciate this so much at the time, but isn’t it a nice quality of someone who cares about you? I appreciate that now, when a friend offers the gift of their time unexpectedly. It’s such a generous thing to do. I’m trying to be more that way myself, remembering Mom and what a kind, caring, generous person she was.

I will always miss her.

10 Years After

Exactly 10 years ago today I flew to Maui with my husband and children. I still have the children, though they are adults now ~ two beautiful daughters, smart, kind, good people, successful college grads, and fully employed. I no longer have the husband.

Sometimes I think about an event and say to myself aha this is the moment my marriage really ended, even if it hobbled along for years after that. Hindsight is so awesome, right? There are times I believe my marriage collapsed in in 2001, 0r 2004, or on this trip to Maui in 2006. But who knows.

I’ve visited Maui twice (and the Big Island on another vacay) and loved it so much. What a gorgeous piece of paradise. But as my regular readers know, I don’t enjoy extensive traveling, and so I probably won’t go back again. It’s a long plane flight (for me) and it’s expensive. Takes a lot of planning. Etc. I don’t like to leave Gatsby either. It’s important to me to spend at least a little time with him every day. I feel something’s missing when I don’t.

As I age, a new feeling has begun to coalesce: I can like things, even love them, and not ever have to own them or experience them again. Forex, a house. Sometimes I think, oh gosh, I’ll never be able to afford another house and I “should be” sad about that because isn’t that the American dream, to own a house? But I ponder that more and realize, no, I actually don’t want the burden of home ownership again and I’m happy I’ve had it a few times, when I was younger and had more energy (and when my mother was around to help)… that’s enough. Living in an apartment is easier.

The couple times I did stand-up comedy were fun and I’m glad one of my friends highly encouraged me to try it initially. People seemed to be a bit puzzled that I wasn’t going to do a third routine, but all I wanted to do was prove (to myself) that (1) I had the confidence to go up there in front of a live audience and (2) I possessed a bit of talent to get a few laughs. I accomplished these objectives. I had no need to continue.

A serious destination vacation, such as a trip to a beautiful island, is also something that shall have a happy place in my memory box and not be an item on my “bucket list” (such as it is). What lurks on that mysterious list anyway? When I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know. 😉

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Click Me

It’s been so long
Since I
Felt that click
Of desire,
That quick flush
Of blood, the rush
Of fire, the thrum
Of need, the craving
To feed
On lust and love
In an ouroboros spiral—
Sating only creating
More of the same
Hunger in me and
You in me over again
Never to end, only sleep
And feed and touch
And breathe deep—
Desire rush and
Flush and thrum
With need so strong
And
It’s been
Too long.

~*~

This was written for another prompt long ago and is included in my poetry collection Depth Perception.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Craving

IDOJ Trivia Quiz

My good friend LHD made a trivia quiz just for me! It’s not just any old trivia quiz either ~ it’s a very special one, all about I Dream of Jeannie. The reason for this, I think, is because when we go to a pub quiz I often grumble when the questions are about sports, or obscure history facts, or anything really, and say I’d do great on a quiz limited to IDOJ questions.

Ha ha ha ha!

I don’t think I did that well. First, the questions were not limited to trivia about episodes themselves, but silly logistical things about the show, and some cartoon I’ve never seen, bla bla bla. But even so, I was stumped on a few obscure questions regarding the eps. Fair enough. I printed out the quiz yesterday and answered in pen, but then I had to prepare for a beach day… yes! I went to the beach. I know, right? But it is true. I have photos. Well, one anyway. And I put my feets in the ocean and ate a s’more, so I’m good for the year as far as the beach goes.

When I got home from the beach it was late and I was tired from all that sitting and staring and thinking about nothing. Plus I had to shake the sand out of my shoes. So, this poast had to wait. Today, things happened and poasting became unavoidably delayed. But here we are. I think the best thing would be for me to link you to the quiz, so you can take it yourself if you want to, and then I will poast my scanned answer sheets in a day or two, at which time the quizmaster himself can weigh in.

If you take the IDOJ quiz, please keep your answers to yourself, until we discuss them in comments after I poast mine. Thanks muchly!

IDOJ

************ MY ANSWERS ARE BELOW ************

Well, poo. I took a photo of my answer sheets and emailed to self, but they won’t biggify when I poast them, so there’s no point because you can’t see anything. I’ll just transcribe the answers. Bummer! (Had to re-edit because I forgot one. Grrrr!)

Part 1 – General

  1. The Brass Bottle.
  2. Movie genie was male.
  3. Jeannie’s belly button!
  4. Ugh! Cupcake. No wait – BRUCE! (inside joke)
  5. 1965?
  6. 200 (wild guess – 40/year x 5 years?)
  7. Djinn. (Another wild guess. Never watched the cartoon.)

Part 2 – Jeannie and other Genies

  1. Persian, like the cat.
  2. When Tony said, “I wish you could speak English!”
  3. Jeannie Jeannie.
  4. Sister.
  5. Barbara Eden.
  6. They can’t be photographed.

Part 3 – Major Nelson and other mortals

  1. Captain.
  2. Cocoa Beach, FL.
  3. Two.
  4. Because he was in the Army.
  5. Amanda Bellows.

A Different Don

My dad would have been 86 today. He died a little over three years ago, without too much suffering, all things considered. I don’t miss the person he was at the end and rarely think of that person these days. It’s hard to connect the end-person with the man I knew my whole life as my father. Alzheimer’s is such a horrible disease, shredding the person you know bit by bit into thin strips of nothingness. Even when you can occasionally have a somewhat normal conversation with them you know they aren’t really processing it and won’t remember it. And they might not even remember who you are. But we did have a nice visit around Christmas 2012 with the girls, and he seemed to know them then, so hopefully that was a shining jewel he kept in a locked treasurebox somewhere in his tangled mind.

My father was a smart guy. He loved words and crossword puzzles. And he loved the New York Times. When we moved to California in 1983 he gave the LA Times a go for several years, but he eventually returned to the NYT because he missed it so much. Sometimes we attempted to do the toughie Sunday puzzle together, but we were rarely able to finish. He was no slouch at math either ~ he was a numbers guy, an insurance underwriter, manager, VP, and finally EVP. But his greatest strength was his love for people. People liked him and he liked them. They trusted him, and he was trustworthy. He was also a little innocent in some ways, believing that most people were good, and would do good if given the chance.

Dad had a sweet tooth ~ how he loved his desserts! Brownies, ice cream, cookies, cake. I definitely inherited that (as opposed to people who dislike sweets, right). He enjoyed trying new cuisines and new restaurants, but he was totally fine with a burger too. After my mom passed away in 2008 he learned to cook simple things and was very proud of his signature dish ~ shrimp with pasta. We’d usually meet for dinner once a week when he was living on his own.

While Dad loved (loved!) to read, he was not an introvert. He liked to socialize and mingle. He also loved to travel and take long drives to nowhere in particular. Dad was great at reading maps, but he was also fine without a map and didn’t stress about getting lost. He just figured everything would sort itself out in due time, no biggie, and he’d see a new town or three in the meantime. Dad was a planner, but definitely not OCD. A big picture guy ~ someone else could sort out the deets. He would go with the flow. Mellow dude. I’m glad he got to go to the UK, his dream trip.

My father was liberal, Jewish, agnostic. He liked the Doors and Jefferson Airplane and Bette Midler. He’d periodically nag me to read Ulysses and I still haven’t ever finished more than a third because ugh. He taught me to play chess. (I wish we’d played more chess.) He taught me to love poetry by reading aloud and quoting the greats. He always had a book open somewhere,  and usually more than one. Dad had an intense interest in history and politics. He followed the news religiously. But never sports! He hated sports. We went to a lot of museums. Dad had an eye for art. He was a good photographer, a professional at one point early on while he was thinking about a career in journalism.

He was a good man. He took care of his family. And he was funny.

Dad

Dad and me, probably around 1994, Huntington Beach. Yes, he smoked. Yes, I am a vampire.

 

Ziggy Stardust and Coconut Cake

My first exposure to David Bowie happened when I was 14, babysitting for the neighbors. I’d been sick for a while… I was sick a lot. I put the kids to bed and turned on the TV. Got a piece of homemade coconut cake that the mom had made. There was a concert on… weird guy, dressed so crazy, singing such awesome stuff. I didn’t know then that I was watching the Ziggy persona… all I knew was that this was sofa king cool. The music, the hair, the eyes, the makeup, the costume! It took me the whole concert to finish the piece of cake in miniscule bites because I hadn’t eaten in so long, even though it was incredibly delicious. From then on, whenever I hear a Bowie tune the taste/smell memory of coconut cake flashes in my head. Maybe that’s why I love him so much.

Plus he’s just so damn great. Hard to pick a fave. Space Oddity. Young Americans. Let’s Dance. Modern Love. China Girl. Changes. Rebel Rebel. Jean Genie. All The Young Dudes. The Man Who Sold The World. The music he wrote for LabyrinthAnd of course Under Pressure with Freddie Mercury (another R&R giant whom I adore). I think maybe that one is my favorite.

I just ordered Bowie’s last album Blackstar, which won’t be in stock until the 17th. Can’t wait to listen. I vowed not to buy things I don’t need this year, but I do need this.

RIP David Bowie.

Ziggy