imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Just because I get people looking for her picture.
BLUE-BOOSTER RED OVER BUST
COULD this be the end for voluptuous New York Giant mascot Sondra Fortunato - otherwise known as "Miss Big Blue" - who has been supporting the NFL for 26 years with "upbeat signs" and messages written across her "giant breasts," as she describes them? She called PAGE SIX yesterday to express her outrage at the fact that she was recently arrested when trying to get into a game and told she couldn't wave her placards to support the team. Fortunato, who said she'll be filing papers claiming false arrest, is the sister-in-law of Viacom chief Sumner Redstone, who married Sondra's younger sister, schoolteacher Paula Fortunato. The top-heavy temptress has won at least 40 beauty contests, including Miss Twin Peaks, Miss Knockout and Miss Body Beautiful, over the years. Her most recent incarnations include the role of Miss Liberty USA, in which guise she raises cash for the charity Help U.S. Troops.
WORDS TO REMEMBER ME BY
In the comments on my cola miners' post below, blogger Ron Franscell linked to his excellent post inspired by the notes the miners left for their loved ones. You can read mine there.
Your own dying words: So imagine this: You're a mile below ground, huddled in the dark, cut off from rescue and all you can do is wait to die. You have a pencil and a piece of paper the size of a pay stub. What will you write?
THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE WRITER
Some people become writers for the fame'n'acclaim, but I've always wanted to write so I wouldn't have to wait on people. I pictured myself cooped up in a room -- a turret, actually, with a commanding view -- my own boss, writing what I wanted to write, with a big ol' scribbled sign on the door warning others to KEEP THE "F" AWAY! ('cept I'd spell it out:). Lonely? More like solitude; I'd socialize when I damned well pleased. However, there was always that niggling thing about living expen$e$ ... $iiiiiigh
A novel in a year
The acclaimed novelist Louise Doughty here introduces a unique new column teaching the art of fiction
For those of us who come from decidedly non-literary backgrounds, there is something wonderful about being a writer - all the shallow stuff we are supposed to despise; the café talk, the book launches, the scanning of literary pages feeling guiltily gratified when a friend gets a bad review. Forget for a moment the loneliness, paranoia and financial insecurity, Being a Writer is great fun.
But there is a catch. You have to write.
[I]f you follow the column, and do the exercises I set (yes, exercises) what you will end up with will not be a novel, it won't even be the first draft of a novel, it will be a body of work, the raw material, which you may one day be able to shape and work on until it becomes a book.
Your novel will take you as long as it takes you - but I'm going to stick my neck out and say that if you haven't written a book before and are really serious about it and have a job or a family or - heaven forbid - both, then you are looking at around three years from start to finish.
This first year is just the taster, the generating-material-and-having-a-go year. At the end of it, you will have a huge amount of work remaining. Still interested?
Friday, January 06, 2006
IT'S NOT CANCER!
My mother had a needle biopsy this morning on the silver dollar-sized lesion in her lung. The doctors were fairly certain that it was lung cancer, even though she is not a smoker. The doctors were prepared to perform radio frequency ablation if the tissue tested positive for cancer, so boy were they surprised when the tests were negative! The samples will still have to go through pathology, but the doctors are now 95% certain that it's not cancer. With 3 blockages she still has a serious heart condition, but this is a huge relief.
If all goes well, she might be going back to her home Sunday or Monday. I told her I'd be happy to spend those first few days with her.
Thank you to everyone who kept her in your prayers.
COME THE REVOLUTION
This picture is a scene from the movie The Garden of the Finzi-Continis: Two wealthy Jewish families fall victim to Fascist reactionaries as terror grips the country during World War II. One family patriarch is a noted attorney, and the son of the other family joins the Italian Army. Because he is Jewish, he is sent to the Russian front and dies in battle. The others meet their fate in concentration camps at the hands of Nazis. Whatever side the families decide to join to save themselves fails because of their Jewish ancestry in this wartime tragedy.
The movie and this picture remind me of a scene in Dr. Zhivago in which Yury returns to the once-magnificent mansion to find that during his absence it had been confiscated and divided into living quarters for numerous families and, as a result, has become a hovel for the masses. He replies to the angry-looking residents that it was good since the rich had too many rooms anyway.
Before the Revolution, most of the wealthy Russians probably thought they were immune from the proletariat's fate primarily because of their money. The same can be said for the arrogant political asses today. They vote and talk as though they will somehow be spared should the terrorists win this war. They're not impervious; their heads will roll as easily as everyone else's.
Shrinkwrapped has written a great piece on the subject in
Do We Now Return to the Garden of the Finzi-Continis?
I have written before (in "Good Muslims" and "Good Germans" and again, in A Ticking Clock) that in our war on Islamic fascism, we are in the late 1930's. We can stop Hitler/al Qaeda/Islamic fascism/Iran now at some indeterminate, possibly terrible cost, or stop them later, at horrific cost.
Of The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Roger Ebert describes the family and its reaction to the approaching storm:
Giorgio's father says of the Finzi-Continis: "They're different. They don't even seem to be Jewish." They're different because wealth and privilege and generations of intellectual and social position have bred them into a family as proud as it is vulnerable. The other Jews in the town react to Mussolini's edicts in various ways: Giorgio is enraged; his father is philosophical. But the Finzi-Continis hardly seem to know, or care, what is happening. They are above mere edicts; they chose to live behind their walls long before the Fascists said they must.
The Finzi-Continis were insulated by their wealth from the realities of the world that was crashing down around them; it seems today that our liberal elites, equally insulated from the world by their wealth and success, believe if they continue to behave as if time has stopped, then they need do nothing to prevent the coming disaster. However, we are clearly approaching a pivotal moment.
The Palestinians have only slowed their genocidal attacks in order to turn their rage on themselves, for now, yet once the Iranians have their bomb, Israel's existence will be at risk both from the air (Iranian missiles) and from the land (Palestinian suicide bombers). Al Qaeda has taken up residence in Gaza to facilitate the mass death and destruction they hope to rain upon the hated Jews.
"I JUST WENT TO SLEEP"
FINAL NOTE FROM TRAGIC MINER
At least they didn't suffer.
In notes found in a West Virginia coal mine, the trapped and dying miners assured their loved ones that their final hours were not spent in any pain as they succumbed to apparent carbon-monoxide poisoning.
"Tell all I['ll] see them on the other side," read the note written by 51-year-old mine foreman Martin Toler Jr.
"It wasn't bad. I just went to sleep. I love you."
He signed it "Jr."
The only surviving miner, Randal McCloy Jr., 26, slipped into a coma yesterday and may have suffered brain damage, officials said.
He was moved yesterday to a Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh to undergo hyperbaric oxygen treatment in an effort to help get oxygen to the brain.
NEW AOL LOVE COACH
Hmmmmm, I could repeat the crass conventional wisdom about Star's hubby's manhood, but I won't.
[T]hings are heating up for Miss [Star] Jones Reynolds, who starting Monday is also going to be the new "love coach" for AOL, where she will dispense advice about a range of sexy subject matter that contributes to her shining lifestyle.
"I'm not an advice columnist. I'm not a diet specialist," she says. "I'm pretty good at love and romance because my husband and I have that down to a science, which is probably why I'm the new AOL love coach. Isn't that hot?"
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
This one's for you, Chris :~)
ACCIDENTAL TOURIST IN MY OWN LIFE
This is a picture my father, JFG, took at Bresee's Department Store in 1947. It's a cropped version of this picture.
The store has since closed, permanently. When I googled to find some info on its closing, I came across this ad:
Looking for information about MARY ELIZABETH "BETTY" SHANNON (died Mar 12 1993, Oneonta). Betty was known as Mrs. Santa Claus. She and her second husband, Clark Robert Chaplayne, portrayed Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at Bresee's Department Store during the period 1946-1959.
Although the ad was placed 3 years ago, I e-mailed "Glenn" telling him that my father had taken a photo of Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus and that I would send him a copy if he'd like. Lo and behold, he answered two days later saying they would love one. I drove to the Post Office yesterday to mail the picture to Glenn and found the parking lot nearly full. I pulled into the one empty space, and as I was about to turn off the engine, the truck next to me scraped my car's back side panel. There's a dent and the paint is scratched, but nothing too bad. I felt badly for him ... but that's just me. I called the police, and while we waited we chatted. As in most small towns, if you don't know a person you'll probably find a mutual connection somewhere. Turns out his uncle was the princpal of the middle school which Zappa and Nurse G attended. The policeman arrived, we told him what happened, he took down the info and left. We were about to go our separate ways when I realized that I had forgotten the picture for Glenn. I turned to the Nice Man and said, "You'll probably hate me for this, but I forgot the envelope I originally came here to mail." I believe things happen for a reason, but damned if I know what yesterday's incident has to do with the greater scheme of things.
I feel like a tourist in my own life these days, ever since my mother had her heart attack. My brother P and his wife Nurse M say she looks really good, which belies the fact that she has 3 blocked arteries in her heart (and another to her kidneys) and a silver dollar sized lesion in her right lung (she's not a smoker). She's on nitro drip and can't tolerate any stress without bringing on a "spell" (angina). Because she's almost 88, she's not a good candidate for surgery. Now what? No one knows, not even the doctors.
I'm relieved that Rush is back from vacation. I've been a dittohead since April of '92, and listening to his show gives me a sense of badly needed stability. Yet I have little stamina for reading about politics right now.
I'm focusing on the trivial and mundane, instead ...
8 Grumpy Old Bookman has some Delayed holiday fun(?) for you.
8 The Literary Deaths Quiz I guessed at almost every single one and got 6 correct!
8 Mr. Snitch has the answer: Why do Pixar's animated features become must-haves, while competitors such as Dreamworks produce also-rans? Lean in close, here's the secret of Pixar's magic.
8 What Is The Sonoma Diet? It's, like, totally about enjoyment.
8 No more kiss-and-make-it-all-better; the boo-boo center is closed. BLOODY PURGE: THEY'RE cutting back on TLC at the New York Times. To cut costs, the Times has closed its nurse's office. "No more free Band-Aids and Tylenol," a Times staffer griped to PAGE SIX. "It was like going to the nurse's office in high school. They always took your blood pressure, and you could sleep off a big night there." Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis confirmed the staff nurse is gone and, "we will work with a vendor for select medical services."
8 Don't let the door hit you on the ass as you leave. Reflections and Ruminations: T-Minus 3 Days: I'm not exactly a patriot. Those of you who know me well are already chortling. I would not say that I love my country, and it certainly deserves a lot of the negative press it gets throughout the rest of the world. The U.S. needs to stop molesting the earth and its people and operating as though it's the only country whose interests matter. However, when it comes down to it, the United States is a nice place to live, provided certain conditions are met …
Sunday, January 01, 2006
DR. NAYLOR'S UDDER BALM
Click HERE to enlarge. A full screen picture will allow you to read the labels.
I grew up in the village of Morris, NY. The only industry I can ever recall in Morris was Dr. Naylor's veterinary products (pdf), which is still located on Main Street.
Everyone, but especially the farmers, used Dr. Naylor's Udder Balm to keep their hands from chapping in the cold weather.
Click HERE to enlarge.
This is how I remember Gramp. He's working at his shop, which really was more of a hobby than a business. My brother would tell me how Gramp could sucker city slickers out of their money by being totally honest with them.
Slickers usually had certain criteria when looking for "steals." They thought that any old piece of furniture with several layers of paint must be valuable, because after all, the hicks didn't know antiques like they did. So Gramp would have my brother slather on several coats of garish paint on the worst old furniture. When the paint was dry, he and my brother would place the furniture way in the back of the shop, which was nothing more than a dusty old barn, and then they'd pile a ton of stuff on top. The slickers would paw through the stacks of old stuff until they spied the hidden painted furniture.
Then the bickering would commence.
City Slicker (thinking they had found a valuable antique): "I want that table back there."
Gramp (knowing he had hooked a sucker): "You don't want that. I only paid $0.50 for it."
CS: "Okay, then I'll give you a $1."
G: "But it isn't worth a dollar."
CS: "I'll give you $1.50."
G: "It's got a lot of paint on it. Take you a long time to strip it down and refinish."
CS: "I'll give you $2."
G: "$2? But it's not worth two bucks!"
This would continue until the slickers had talked themselves out of $50. Worked every time. Of course I'm not saying that Gramp wasn't above pounding a few dents into a piece of junk using a hammer and a wooden peg -- he called it antiquing -- and he never corrected the slickers when they excitedly referred to the dents as worm holes. Gramp had quite a few truly beautiful pieces, too, many of which he kept. It was the worthless stuff the slickers begged him to sell. They knew best ;~)
ON THE BOARDWALK IN JANUARY
Click HERE to enlarge.
The man in the middle is my paternal grandfather in Atlantic City, 1930. I don't know what he was doing there, since he lived in upstate NY, and I don't know the other two men.
Notice their clothing and the fact that two men are using walking sticks. I have my grandfather's engraved gold topped walking stick.
I knew him as Gramp and almost never saw him dressed like this. Most of the time he was dressed in work clothes. He was an antiques dealer who operated an antiques shop in New Lisbon, NY, which was nothing more than a crossroads in the boondocks when I was a kid. I was jealous of my brother because Gramp would take him to the shop on Saturdays.
Gramp was primarily a buisnessman. He was invested in the stock market and survived the '29 Crash, and he was a partner in various enterprises. And, like all of the other men in our family, he was a Democrat, while the women have all been Republicans.
WAKE ME WHEN IT'S 2006
For the first time in my entire adult life, I missed watching the ball drop in Times Square. Slept right through it. DogMan was awake but completely forgot about it. I had to read about it in the paper:
'EVE' A WORLD REVEL-UTION
The champagne and the confetti flowed freely last night as the city bid goodbye to 2005 and hello to 2006 with a New Year's Eve celebration that drew revelers from all over the globe to Times Square.
Nearly a million came to count down the final seconds and watch the 1,000-pound Waterford Crystal ball drop into next year.
I missed Dick Clark Returns to TV to Mark New Year :
Clark, sitting behind a desk with the street scene in the background, sounded hoarse and occasionally was hard to understand, but he said, "I wouldn't have missed this for the world."
"Last year I had a stroke," he explained. "It left me in bad shape. I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It's been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I'm getting there."
In the meantime ...
8 New York's new laws take effect: Measures include minimum wage hike, tax cuts, reforms.
8 Snow in Europe ... in WINTER? Who woulda thunk? Snow blankets many areas of Europe, frigid temps cause 4 deaths
8 Rik, the American blogger in Italy, says Global Warming, my Ass: This morning I got outside to find it snowing pretty hard and we already had about 3 inches. And it snows so little here that the locals do not know how to drive in it. Either they drive crazy and out of control - it's common to see cars overturned in ditches or plowed into trees when it snows bad - or they drive entirely too slow.
8 Did George Clooney reunite with Lucy Liu? Maybe. However, he supposedly doodled this, so maybe not ;~)
Happy New Year, y'all!