Saturday, December 8, 2018

While Swimming Laps This Morning . . .

 . . . I noticed that the lanky lifeguard looked like he was maybe fourteen years old with shaggy brown hair that fell over his eyes.  Also, he was dancing around on the deck to strains of "Tequila," which was playing over the PA system, while also twirling his Baywatch-type lifesaving device like a southern beauty queen twirling her baton.

In other words, he was adorable.

BUT.  Wow.  He didn't exactly inspire confidence.  I wasn't sure if I started to sink to the bottom of the pool that he would even notice.  Also, could a skinny kid like him REALLY drag my old lady butt out of the water?

And then!


And then, actually, nothing happened.  If it had, I could have had an inspiring story to tell about how wrong we are to judge people by their appearances and so forth.  But I didn't drown and I don't have a tale to tell except to say I made it home alive and that there's a kid working at a pool here in Salt Lake who can seriously twirl a Baywatch-type lifesaving device with the best of them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Welp! (And also why you should tell your stories!)

It happens every year during the holidays when I'm doing more dishes than usual.  The skin around my fingernails starts to split, and while a sore thumb hurts less than, say, delivering a baby, it does hurt.  And also sore thumbs make  me think of my great-grandmother, who apparently was prone to the same condition during the Christmas season.  I know this because my mother always imitates her grandmother saying, "Ooooooo!  Patti Lou!  My thumbs are so sore!"

This great-grandmother used to say other things, too--like, "I'm going to get lined up today," as in "I'm going to get myself organized today."  (She never did.)  Or when something went missing around her home she'd say, "Dirty Marian must have stolen it."  Or if someone crossed the street when she was behind the wheel of her car, she'd say, "Get out of my way, you sonuvabitch."

You know.  Stuff like that.

And here's the thing.  I can practically hear her say those things because of all the stories I've been told.  She's a real and constant presence in my life, looking over my shoulder as I wash the dishes, telling me her thumbs used to hurt, too.

Yup.  Stories matter.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Why Does Everybody Have to Die at Christmastime?

Well, I am certainly feeling all the feelings tonight.

In this past week, we've been to three funerals, including my mother-in-law's a week ago today and a good friend's funeral today.  And then there's the fact that three of my four grandparents died this time of year.  So did my dad.

Mike, whose funeral we attended today, was our age--a child of the 60's and the early 70's and a full-on rock-and-roller.  He used to jam with our son Q.  They also played a few gigs together,  including one at a tombstone cutters' convention.  (Mike and his family own Salt Lake Monument.)  When I visited Mike a few days before he died, his wife, Angela, had the Beatles playing softly in the background.  Not a bad soundtrack.

The last line of his obituary said he was preceded in death by George Harrison and John Lennon.

Well done, Michael Ellerbeck.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Oh. I'm turning into THAT person.

As if having three dogs that I've essentially turned into my children wasn't bad enough . . .

This morning I left the house in my velour tracksuit (the midnight blue one).  When I looked down, I did notice some stain-ish going on--probably dog related.  Anyway, I told myself it wasn't that bad and who the crap cares anyway?  So then I just proceeded on my merry way.

By the time I made it to my car, I was second-guessing my decision to go as myself, i.e. someone who's comfortable wearing velour tracksuits with dog slobber on them in public.  Here were my thoughts.

1.  You should have gone back in the house and cleaned up.
2.  On the other hand, you've never been much of a natural groomer.
3.  Remember that time in Price's Ice Cream Parlor in Provo when your dad took you to get a sundae after watching "Island of the Blue Dolphins" and he took your hand and looked at it and asked you why you wrote stuff in blue ink all over yourself?
4.  Dad was a good personal groomer.
5.  Even when he was elderly he took pride in his personal appearance.
6.  So why didn't you get the damn pride gene?
7.  And you realize, of course, you'll only get sloppier as you age--showing up in public with dried egg yolk on your velour jackets, etc.
9.  You stage an intervention with yourself.
10. STAT.

Goal for 2019:  Give a crap about my appearance.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Questions I Have for Myself Tonight While Watching the Hallmark Channel

1.  Why is that woman who used to be a girl in "Full House" in all of these movies?
2.  Why are the women in these movies always more attractive than the supposedly attractive men?
3.  Why do all these people almost look like someone who's famous?
4.  Why does the light in these movies look like summer light instead of winter light?
5.  Why am I watching the Hallmark Channel instead of the Texans/Titans game on ESPN?
6.  Why don't I ever care about expansion teams like the Texans?
7.  Why am I watching the Hallmark Channel instead of writing an "Ask Ann Cannon" column?
8.  Why did I just eat another chocolate-covered caramel?
9.  Why weren't the four caramels I ate before that one enough?

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Little Things You Miss

I've lived long enough now to have more than a passing acquaintance with the experience of losing loved ones.  My 98 year-old mother-in-law died last week.  Her death, in the words of my friend Sally, was a sad blessing.  A blessing, because the past two years have been hard for her.  Sad, because she's no longer a physical presence in our lives.

We knew her death was coming, of course, but in the end it came faster than we expected once she went on hospice.  Meanwhile, the holidays--which Ruth loved mightily--have arrived.  And I realized yesterday that one of the things I missed most was picking up the phone and wishing her a Happy Thanksgiving.

This is what happens after a person passes.  You spend the next few years discovering all the ways there are to miss her.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In Search of a TV Boyfriend

For starters, let me make it VERY CLEAR that Ken Cannon and I are totally good, okay?  That's not what this post is about.  It's just that I've been thinking about a conversation my walking partners and I recently had at 6:00 in the morning when you feel like you can say any old thing you feel like saying because you're under the cover of darkness #circleoftrust.

Anyway!  One confessed she loves to watch Jeff Glor deliver the news every night.  The other said she clears her calendar for Tucker Carlson.  Okay.  Neither of those guys is my cup of tea.  But yeah.  It's kind of fun to have someone you look forward to seeing regularly on the small screen, right?

I have had TV boyfriends in the past.  Tom Selleck as Magnum P.I. was one.  I also liked Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett on "Miami Vice."  I even had a mild thing for that old British guy who played the original Equalizer.

As you can tell, I was fairly hormonal during the 1980s.

But it's been awhile since I've had a TV crush and I think it's time for me to find a new one.  I thought for a minute that I might enjoy watching the guy who plays the hardass cop on that new series "The Rookie."  So I looked him up online and discovered that he'd been a male model in a past life, and while some of my best friends are male models, I can't take them seriously as TV crushes.  As it turns out, male modeling = dealbreaker for me.

So.  I'm in the market for suggestions.  Please help.