Friday, May 15, 2015


About a month ago, my mom and we (local) sibs went to her 60th class reunion.  She had a tiny class and went to a tiny, little school.*  They make a big deal out of milestone class reunions, and family members are invited.  At one point in the program, she and her classmates introduced their guests and made little speeches.  Hers was super cute.  Of course, the evening was a little bittersweet, because the memorial portion of the program included my dad.  It was interesting to see my two eldest siblings (sisters) get really emotional and start to tear up.  My brother and I, who are usually more emotional, didn't cry.  We felt the moments deeply, but I realize during times like these that my older sisters knew my dad longer, and maybe have more to mourn about his being gone.  I don't know.  It's just something to think about. 
I really enjoyed that night, and the high school where it took place was really old-timey.  I honestly think it might have been in the movie Hoosiers. It had the same feel as some scenes in it.  I guess I should look it up.  My folks' actual high school is long gone, but a nearby one holds the reunions of its own classes and those of high schools that have lived and died.  It's a nice tradition. 
There were some funny things about that night, and here is just one of them.  My mom had told us that the high school had photos in the hallways, and that if we explored enough, we would see our dad playing basketball, and her parents in their class pictures, as well as an aunt and uncle or two.  Early in the evening, my brother and I told Mom that we were going off to look for the photos.  She said, "Okay.  Don't get lost!"  We smiled and said that we wouldn't, and that we'd be right back.  As we walked away, I turned to my big brother, and in my usual deadpan fashion remarked, "I went to London by myself."  He threw back his head and laughed.  I smiled.  My brother is moving to Florida, and I will miss him so much.  We're birds of a feather.  I'm so glad that we live in this era, when keeping in touch is so ridiculously easy.
Here are some pictures from that night.
Mom.  She will turn 78 in June.  The
theme of the night was western; hence, the
plaid.  The corsage was my brother's idea. :)

Mom and a salad. 

The gym floor.  Cute.  :)

Mom and my Aunt Judy looking
at relatives' photos.

My mother's mother.  She died when my
mom was very little.  When Mom was
in first grade, her father married her teacher
who I later knew as Grandma.  All of my
biological grandparents died before I was

My niece Ava, one of the little ones that night.  She loved
the little toy horses and wagons that made up the centerpieces.
She'll look at old pictures of me and my siblings on the internet
instead of in hallways, I guess!
*Her senior class went on a trip to Washington two cars.  There were ten of them.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quotes of the Week--Patton

I curse the humiliation and bless the annihilation, and even more valuable than the impulse toward art, I gained an inner radar for dark, hidden places where the strange ones go.

With zero malice on their part, the adults who organized the afternoon showed F. W. Murnau's 1922 film Nosferatu.  They closed the blinds on the windows and projected it against a bare wall.  Eight-millimeter film, clattering projector, that faint burning smell as the projector bulb ignited the microscopic dust particles.  Dust particles are mostly flakes of dead human skin.  So, when I was five, I watched Nosferatu with the atavistic, pagan odor of simmering flesh corkscrewing itself into my memory.  The optics are dream-logic, ratman vampire imagery.  The perfume is cannibal cookout.  That little square light took over that darkened room, and while I and the other kids around me screamed and cried, I wanted onto the other side of that screen. 

I walked away from you, Four Star, but not before seeing a print of Gone with the Wind so perfect it felt like a massive hallucination from another dimension, were humans more operatic than us found a way to make the South's defeat in the Civil War the sexiest calamity that ever crashed into history.

I wanted to be lunar, not solar.

--All from Silver Screen Fiend: Learning about Life from an Addiction to Film, by Patton Oswalt