Posted in Let's Get Visual, Life, My Stuff

The Drawer

I am cleaning out The Drawer That Never Gets Cleaned Out. Some things I’ve found:

–My ex-husband’s address book from the early 80’s (and mine too)

–A certificate of congratulations from the Young American Bowling Alliance recognizing my then-7-year-old son on his high game (80) and high series (200) (November 11, 1991)

–At least twelve key chains (I quit counting), including one that is a brass replica of a ticket to Phantom of the Opera

–My TWA Frequent Flight Bonus Program Member card (Not Transferable)

–A tiny vial labeled Smoke Bomb Oil

–The instruction booklet for a pager

–The key to a car I haven’t had since 1997

–More return address labels than I’ll probably ever use

–A booklet from Pacific Bell that includes instructions for a rotary phone

–Four bookmarks with sayings on them: 1) Love is sharing your book. 2) This book very good, but this bookmark DELICIOUS! (with a picture of Cookie Monster). 3) When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. 4) I finally got it all together…but I forgot where I put it.

–A little plastic thingy that connects a cable to VHF/UHF thingys on a TV

–A Home Depot card with a receipt showing a store credit of $123.63 (12/10/03)

–Gummy bear earrings (discolored, disfigured)

–The key chain I used in junior high and high school, which has a green frog on one side and a mirror on the other

–Lip gloss, Dr. Pepper flavor

–A piece of 8.5 x 11 paper folded four times with a tiny pencil drawing of a stick figure on the outside and the word “INTEGUMENTARY” written twice on the inside

–Keys and locks—some actually go together

–A laminated picture of Katherine Harris on a chain that says: “Conspiracy Theory #359: W. is Katherine Harris in disguise. Think about it.”

–The broken off arm of a bowling trophy (the arm that has the ball in it)

Sifting through stuff = Sifting through memories = Sifting through places and stages of life and people = Sifting through ideas and identity.

I didn’t expect that cleaning out this drawer would lead to the Zombie Resurrection of Memories, but it did.  I was progressing nicely.  Several items were already in the garbage.  Then I got the urge to make a list, which I knew would become this blog post.  Then I had to take a photo, so I asked The Scout for the black velvet background and drafted him to assist with composition.  Then I dug through the trash and found the Smoke Bomb Oil.

Why the Smoke Bomb Oil?  Because I miss my boys.  They are men now, and I am fortunate enough to see them from time to time.  But I miss my boys, and I have dreams about them as little kids.  Can I blame this on hormones?

Some years back, my dad told me several times that he missed me as a little girl.  I didn’t appreciate him saying that to me.  I’m still here, Pop, right in front of you! But now I know what he means.

I parted with the Smoke Bomb Oil, but not with the button with the baseball kid, or the bowling certificate.  I regret to say I couldn’t throw out the bowling arm either…not until it is reunited with the rest of the trophy (which I still have).

One drawer down…the rest of the house to go.

Posted in England, My Stuff

Naming Names

How I Got My Name:  I am named after Ava Gardener.  She was in a film called “Mogambo” with Clark Gable.  Her character was “Honey Bear Kelly.”  Gable called her “Kelly” throughout the picture.  (Sadly, ‘Honey Bear’ was omitted by my parents.)

My dad was 22 years old when he saw the film.  He was an enlisted Air Force guy in England.  He was so enthralled with Ava he promised himself he would have a Kelly some day.  Many years later, he did.

How I Got My Middle Name:  I have two.  This is about the first one.  The “L” one.  The English hate the Irish, so my middle name is Laura.  My English Cornish great-grandmother was very upset when she heard that my parents planned to name me Kelly.  So to make her feel better, they named me Laura after her. 

They tell me it helped her.

How did you get your name?

Posted in Friends, My Stuff

Die Tuesday Morgan Blaus

The Tuesday morning after a three-day weekend is just a Tuesday hiding in Monday’s clothing. I don’t know about you, but all week long I’ll be confused about what day it is. I will be inconsistently incorrect—sometimes a day late, sometimes a day early. If you see me on Thursday, I will swear to you it is Friday. Thursday will feel like Friday when it should feel like Wednesday.

I’m losing a friend to France this week. Well, she is French, so they had her first. She’s moving back, and though we will keep in touch via e-mail it won’t be the same. Not only am I saying au revoir et bon chance, I’m picking her up from Redondo Beach, having ‘the last lunch’ with her and taking her to LAX. Yeah, I’m going whole-hog with the saying good-bye business.

N and friend

My friend N and l’objet de nature she found on the plage.

Sooo—my word for today is verklempt. It’s a lovely word, put to good use by Linda Richman on Saturday Night Live (that link is to Barbra Streisand’s surprise appearance on SNL). Linda would become verklempt on the show and need a moment to recover. She would then toss out a topic and say “Talk amongst yourselves.”

Here are some examples (thanks Wikipedia):

“The radical reconstruction of the South after the Civil War was neither radical nor a reconstruction. Discuss.”

“The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss.”

“Ralph Fiennes is spelled neither rafe nor fines. Discuss.”

“Rhode Island is neither a road nor is it an island. Discuss.”

“The Progressive Era was neither progressive nor an era. Discuss.”

“Did Truman drop the bomb on the Japanese to end the war or to scare the hell out of the Russians? Discuss.”

Linda Richman

I love you, Linda, but verklempt has a life of its own and must not rest with you in the annals of SNL history. Women the world over need this word. Lassen sie mein Wort!  (That’s just German, not Yiddish.)

In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves about AP’s term limits idea.

Oh, and while I’m on about things Yiddish: Did you hear Jon Stewart say (Linda Richman-style), “So who do you want? The schwarze oder shiksa?”

Finally, a Yiddish proverb: Besser ain alter freint vi a nei’eh svai. “One old friend is better than two new ones.”

Posted in My Stuff

People Leave & Kids Shed Kid Status

I’ve lived in Pasadena over two decades. I stay, other people go. Several times, I’ve had really good friends move to other parts of the country, leaving a big hole in my social circle. I’ve grieved and then moved on. Actually, I believe that some kinds of loss, like the loss of a friend through moving (or death), are permanent. One never really ‘gets over’ the loss. It is simply loss.

One of my good friends is moving back to France. She met a great guy, and the long-distance approach isn’t working. They want to be together. I’m going to miss her. Yes, we’ll e-mail, but it won’t be the same as getting together in person (at her cute beach-adjacent apartment in Redondo).

Kids also grow up. When mine were little, it seemed like 9 more years until high school graduation was an eternity. Now I’m counting the years AFTER high school graduation. Scary.

My son is going up to UC Berkeley today. He’s transferring in from Pasadena City College. Cal didn’t have room for him last fall, so he waited until now. The proud momma in me could not resist passing this on, even though he’s the one that did the work to get there. (Well, I did volunteer quite a bit.)

Since he spent part of his educational career in Pasadena Unified schools, and they will be so pleased that one of their own is matriculating at a UC school, I thought I’d recount a bit of his journey.

At this point, C plans to major in philosophy. Continue reading “People Leave & Kids Shed Kid Status”