Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Danish Food Network — Cooking with James!

My younger brother hamming it up in a community parade this weekend. Here's what his wife (my SIL Deb) wrote to us about it:

"I thought you might get a kick out of seeing these pictures of James in our Tivoli Fest Parade this weekend. (Notice his chef hat and apron - he borrowed it from my step dad Virgil). He was featured on the float by Marne Elk Horn Telephone Company. The theme of Tivoli Fest this year was A Taste of Denmark. Their float was entitled Cooking with James. ... James had rigged up a lap top computer on the float and it was playing music by James Brown, I Feel Good!

"He did great! And the rest of the Marne Elk Horn Tele. crew was walking alongside handing out bags of muffins to the crowd, which from what people said, was a hit. They didn't win first place but they were still great. The girls at the office always come up with something cute. James said he thinks he'll be safe for another 8 years now and can go back to driving the pickup again pulling the float like he's done in years past.

"It was raining hard early in the morning and James was sure hoping the parade would be canceled. We lucked out though and the weather turned out great by 11:00 and it was perfect for both Sat. and Sun. We had pretty good crowds too. ... I'm hoping I can get my new Danish chef to cook more at home now. This morning he even cooked me eggs for breakfast!"

Friday, May 25, 2007

15th Anniversary

My DH and I celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary last night with some folks. The actual date of the anniversary was Wednesday, but the pastor couldn't make it until last night so we held it then.

My DH cooked up a feast: cheese puffs and two cheesecakes (one chocolate, one plain); in addition we had cheese and crackers and some veggie dip. There were fresh veggies and fresh fruit, as well as wine and soft drinks.

Sorry, but we didn't have the wherewithall to remember to get everyone together when all of us were in the same room. (Blame it on the wine. Or the cheesecake. Not sure.)

Anyway, seated: Lorna (knitting friend, on left) and Richard (walking pal, on right)
Standing (from left): Me, James (massage therapist par excellance), and Miriam (knitting friend). And that's Charka dog on the floor.

Behind the camera: Ed.

Not pictured: Helen (who used to work with me at Bozell advertising), Winston (the pastor), Louise and Wayne (Village Stationery owners), and a whole lot of people who just couldn't make it.

We'd originally invited a lot of people who'd been at our wedding 15 years ago, plus a few dear friends we've made since then. As it turned out, only one friend from 15 years ago could make it! We'd have done better to have held the party over at Sit and Knit at my favorite yarn shop so that more friends could have participated!

Well, that's just how it goes.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Silly Dream

I don't know where I come up with these dreams I have, but they are kind of funny. And most of the time they seem like stories I'm trying to write while I'm asleep.

So, in the dream I had before I woke this morning, I had stumbled into the filiming of a television commercial. I believe it was for a specific brand of cycling shorts. Honest.

Somehow I'd gotten myself into this commercial that featured (brace yourself) Arnold Schwarzenegger and some other actress (whose name and face were unrecognizable in the dream). Arnold was supposed to be some sort of great bicyclist, but he didn't have the right shorts to wear. I was the character who was to point out that didn't didn't have the right shorts. Then this other actress was supposed to come in (like some sort of rescuing angel) to give him the shorts he needed.

And it was all done in a quasi-opera style.

(Note: Do you remember when there was a cereal commercial that was done in opera style? I'll never forget the actor singing ruefully, "No more Rice Krispies!" to the tune of "Vesta la giubba" -- the well-known aria from Pagliacci.)

But it was being sung in Spanish, not Italian.

When it came to my cue to sing something like, "He has the wrong shorts," I decided to ad lib by adding that, in having the wrong shorts, Arnold also looked very ugly and foolish.

Cut to the end of shooting the commercial. The people who are with me (presumably an agent of some sort) are scared because they think I've upset everyone, but they just want to get me out of there before anyone starts screaming at me.

We are walking down a street and talking about it. I'm defending myself saying that it just came into my head and seemed to be the right thing to do. They're still shaking their heads. (My agent and some guy who I think was my publicist, and some gal who was a kind of friend or hanger-on.)

Next, we stop into a little cafe. The agent comes in grudgingly. This is the sort of cafe where only the stars hang out. They are getting manicures and facials along with their salads. Honest! So, we are standing in the doorway not being noticed until the guy who was my publicist says something to the maitre d' that I'm the person who made this latest commercial very famous.

Oh, all of a sudden we're being seated and the chef is offering me all sorts of amazing food (lobster this and linguini that). I tell him that I just like some soup, but that my friends might like something to eat. This chef goes off in a huff because none of us want his rich food.

While we're sitting there and eating, the actress who was to have been the rescuing angel of that commercial sort of slinks in. Apparently her career is on a downhill slide and my upstaging of her has sealed the deal. She is practically persona non grata at this point.

And then it gets weirder: A kind of wall comes up from the floor to partition off the restaurant so that some actors can attend some kind of anonymous self-help/therapy group. It's a therapy group for actors who are having problems with their careers and/or their self-image and whatever else. And Arnold is one of those attending.

Then I woke up.

I have no idea what it means (if anything at all), but it was fun!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Only in the U.S.

...do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can uy cigarettes at the front.

...do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

...do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

...do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

...do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

...do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.

...do we have drive-up ATMs with Braille lettering.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Perhaps You Should Adjust Your Television (by tuning into a different program)

From an article in the The New York Times:

"...it is troubling that even in escapist fantasies, today’s heroines have to be weak, needy and oversexed to be liked by women and desired by men."

While is article is mainly about the television program Grey's Anatomy (a show I don't watch), it is also about the image of women in prime-time. I'm sorely depressed that this show is so popular if, indeed, it portrays women as it does.

I struggle so much with my own self-image. Now I understand some of what I'm struggling against.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

StoryCorps for Mother's Day

The StoryCorps booth is in Omaha until the beginning of June. We took my mother-in-law, Anne, today to do an interview about her life growing up in Brooklyn and about living in Nurnberg after WWII. This is a picture of Anne with her son (my DH) Ed.

And this is Lena (left), the recording technician with StoryCorps, talking with Anne before we started. It turned out that Lena, too, had grown up in Brooklyn, so they had a lot to talk about.

It was a very positive experience, and I encourage everyone to check out the StoryCorps site to see whether it will be in your neighborhood any time soon. They were great to deal with, and we have a wonderful CD of the interview, about 30 minutes in all.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Low Self Esteem among Paris Hilton Fans

From a news item on the USA Today web site about Paris Hilton appealing the judge's ruling that she go to prison. Apparently about 900 people have signed a petition that contains, among other things, the justification for a pardon on the grounds that Miss Hilton provides

". . . beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives."

Had I known beauty and excitement are the new terms for "slutty and wreckless," I'd have hired my own publicist long ago! Of course, I'd have had to work at the "slutty" part.

Good grief, for the first time in her life someone says "No" to this child and she throws a hissy fit. And her fans are behind her on this one!

Did anyone read the article about her sentencing? My heavens, even this girl's mother was in la-la land! Here's a quote from that story:

As a city prosecutor said during closing arguments that Hilton deserved jail time, Hilton's mother, Kathy, laughed. When the judge ruled, Kathy Hilton then blurted out: "May I have your autograph?"

The mother then went on to say of the sentence (45 days in county jail):

"... This is pathetic and disgusting, a waste of taxpayer money with all this nonsense. This is a joke."

I shudder to think what this says about parenting in our society, to say nothing of proper self-esteem and the cult of celebrity. God, save me from this nonsense!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Still Fighting

OK, I still have this crud. I'm feeling better, but I'm not quite 100% yet. I think that the recent spate of rain has brought out the pollen (flowers and trees are blooming left and right), so my allergies are getting mixed in with the crud. But I'm hanging in there.