Revelations – and What I Learned This Week 8/20

Here it is, in no particular order:

  • There is much power in the written word.  I have found a way to exercise it without coming off as a bitch… and the impact of my recent words will be far reaching.  Now, if only I could be a fly on the wall….

  • And speaking of words….I am pretty good at Words With Friends.  It was difficult to imagine in the beginning since Todd was kicking my ass in every single match we did… and he wasn’t just kicking it, he was slaughtering it.  I have a degree in English, dammit, and if that makes me professionally prepared for virtually nothing, I was sure I could at least hold my own in a game of words.  Nevertheless, I am finally, mercilessly kicking his butt in multiple games as I unscrupulously giggle my marbles off with each touch of the “play” button.  

  • I still have favor in the universe,  as the angels  have returned yet another wonderful old soul – aka family friend – with whom I lost touch soon after the Dark Years began.  I’ve finally met his better half too – a woman he’s shared his life with for nearly ten years.  What is more amazing is that I have this unusual ability to somehow think of someone I haven’t seen in a while – whether it is internal or verbalized – and they suddenly turn up.  I think this means I have supernatural powers, so if you suddenly find yourself in my living room and have no idea how you got there – you can be sure it’s because you’ve crossed my mind.  Hopefully it doesn’t happen while you’re in the shower.  That would be awkward.

  • BOTH of my grandmothers were younger than ME when my mom and dad got married.  We were looking at the old wedding album last night, and mom says to me, “do you realize mom-mom was 42 in this picture?”  This album is such a treat to look at, both hilarious – mom and dad toasting with root beer because they were under 21 – and bittersweet – seeing photos of my grandparents, both gone now, who I would give the world to talk to again.  And noting my dad’s now striking resemblance to his father, and my brother’s striking resemblance – never really noticed – to our dad.

  • My dog is now a “real dog.”  This is a direct quote from his current “caretaker.”  There was also an underhanded remark about the dog’s abandonment and neglect, which reminds me how blood is still thicker than water – and families, even those who don’t want anything to do with each other, will stick together.  No matter that they know their relative is a liar and a bunghole.  It was also during this brief and unwanted reunion where I finally realized that Rosco will never be mine again.  The “caretaker” will not relinquish him even if I asked, and so I have finally made peace with letting go and knowing he is at least well-cared for and happy – and that the children will still have access to him.

  • My children are still – sadly – being manipulated by their father, insomuch that both of them virtually ignored me at my daughter’s cheerleading practice – because I was there with Todd.  Both of them looked at me and I could see the discomfort in their faces as the forces of love and loyalty did battle within them, and complete disregard eventually won out.  And I realized once again how much I hate that man, not because of what he’s done to me – but because of the emotional distress he continues to cause them.  He continues to disregard the majority of my emails unless or until it’s convenient for him to respond, and if he responds at all it is usually after my second email to his attention.  And to think he was dumb enough to expect anyone – a judge, a psychologist, any one – to grant him 50/50 custody when it is clear he cannot or will not work effectively with me.

  • Speaking of Cheerleading – my daughter is about as coordinated as her cheerleader momma.  It always took me quite a while to get the steps down to our various cheers, and it is almost painful to watch my little girl working through her routines with flailing arms and awkward feet. Of course, she’s 7… but seeing as her dad can’t carry a tune or move his feet in time to any type of music, she’s doubly doomed.  I decided to pay careful attention to their practices so I can hopefully practice with her at home.  Of course, at this point – I only have one cheer down too.

  • The Hunger Games  was well worth the 1 am drive after work, standing outside a locked Walmart in the pouring rain until one lone employee admitted us on the condition we bought nothing but the DVD (not even a bag of chips!).  The movie did not disappoint.  I loved it.  There were parts that were necessarily deleted and/or shifted for filming but –unlike so many other screenplay adaptations – it was very well done.  The only disappointment was knowing I’ve got a long wait until Catching Fire (and Mockingjay, which is isn’t even in production yet, for that matter) is released.  While I hadn’t imagined Haymitch to look like that, Woody Harrelson was an excellent casting choice.   I actually forgot he was Woody for the whole 2 hours and 40 minutes.  I also have to agree with the  PG-13 rating; Owen will not be seeing this movie for a long time, if I have any control over it.  This is not quite the same type of violence I agonized over in Revenge of the Sith, my young Padawan desperate to see it, which is far less “real” than teenagers bludgeoning each other to death. 

  • If you’ve ever wondered, as I have, where all the smokers in the U.S. are these days, you can now rest assured that they are all alive and well in a casino near you.  A recent visit to The Sands casino left me considering the probability of heart failure as my vision became suddenly cloudy and my breathing shallow… until a smoker suddenly lit up next to the slot machine we were playing.  What’s worse – it never occurred to either one of us to walk to the other side of the casino, which is designated non-smoking.

  • Todd and I have been married for 2 months. It is wonderful!  Yet, the shadow of unwritten thank you cards has been growing larger each day and I recently went online to Emily Post for her Etipedia  on weddings… and learned that I have less than 1 month before I fall out of grace for properly thanking everyone who participated in our wedding Joy.  The site says, “ideally, a response should be written on the day you receive a wedding gift.”   Well, since our wedding day began at 8am and didn’t end for us until well after we arrived home at 10pm, and we were both somewhat intoxicated (by love, what else?) – I don’t imagine any thank you’s we might have been inclined to write would’ve been sensible – or legible.  In any case, the aforementioned English degree is absolutely of no advantage when it comes to writing individual and heartfelt gratitude – particularly when, in my opinion, it seems a bit hokey to say “thank you for your gift of money, we will be using it to buy towels, a new toilet and a handful of honeymoons.”   I hate writing thank you notes.  More than doing laundry.  I hate them because the proper etiquette seems to supercede the essence of true emotion – I’d much rather visit each and every person and hug them again and thank them for coming and sharing our joy… and giving a thoughtful gift.  The written word to me, in this case, feels “fake.”  However, Emily Post says otherwise.  Suffice it to say, if your thank you note did not sufficiently convey our sincere gratitude that you were there, and properly acknowledge your specific gift of eighty-seven dollars and twenty-nine cents – well, too bad.  We will more than make it up to you at our first anniversary celebration where we will feed you and sauce you until you no longer remember the note at all – invitations forthcoming in proper form to a mailbox near you, in June 2013.

Cool trivia:

It took my dad and brother 22 hours to drive a UHaul from Southeastern PA to Rice University in Texas.  It took my brother 6 months to drive to the DMV to renew his expired driver’s license, and exactly 3 hours to renew it once he got there.  It took dad 14 hours, one flat tire, a missed flight, a connection in Raleigh, an impromptu happy hour/dinner at my mom’s restaurant and reunion with aforementioned old family friend, to get to his front door.

Cheech and Chong’s first movie, Up In Smoke, was released on August 11, 1978.  Cheech’s character drove a car with MUF DVR on the license plate.  Tom Skerrit played his cousin, Strawberry.

Did you know that Woody Harrelson appeared on postage stamps in 2011 as PETA’s 20 famous vegetarians?  He was also named PETA’s sexiest vegetarian in 2012.

And speaking of PETA… the Peeta of the Hunger Games is played by Josh Hutcherson, who also appeared in Zathura as young Walter and Bridge to Teribithia.  He was born the year I graduated NYU… which also means I’m old enough to be his mother.  
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