Enough Said

Enough Said
A sampling of my columns and why the hell is my picture SO big?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Comedy night; the joke was on us (orignal title)

Oh the embarrassment when comedian makes you his target

Published 01/30/2014 12:00 AM
Updated 01/28/2014 12:43 PM

My husband and I are not dynamic people. We don't frequent bars, although when we were younger, we closed a few. Now we barely make it through "Antiques Roadshow." So it was a pretty big deal when our neighbors gave us four tickets to comedy night at The Kate in Old Saybrook.
Over the years we have been to a few comedy nights and have enjoyed the laughs, although I always feel sorry for the poor schmoes who sit down front. We invited two of our closest friends to accompany us, a husband and wife we've known for years. We decided to make a night of it. We dined at a local restaurant and because we had some time to kill we drove around for a while; if we had been younger we would have spent the time in the bar but we wanted to stay awake.
Once we arrived at the theater, and were seated by the usher, I became a bit concerned. At The Kate, on comedy night, tables are arranged in the area directly in front of the stage. We were seated front and center. I could reach out and touch the stage.
"We're going to be targets you know," I said to our group. My husband looked a little nervous. I started to mentally list comedic comebacks.
It has always been a dream of mine (and one of my greatest fears) to do a 10-minute stand-up routine. I love to tell jokes. To get a laugh is to have a nice day. So as we were sitting there waiting for the show to begin I got ready. I prepared what I'd say if the comedian made mention of anything directly related to me.
The stage was almost entirely rimmed by senior citizens. Except for an old guy a table away I was the most mature looking. Have at me I thought when the funny man walked out. I'm ready with my zingers.
The comedian, Shaun Donnelly, was hysterical. After sizing up the front line, he went right for the table next to us. The old guy was no match for funny-man and we laughed at his duress; Donnelly's eyes swept across the rest of us. Pick me, pick me, I wanted to shout, I'm ready, I'll have your audience on their knees. Our eyes met, he zeroed in on ... my husband.
The man I have been married to for almost 34 years has two distinct traits: he hates to be the center of attention and he hates to be the center of attention. When Donnelly began to discuss, (how do I say this delicately), my husband's unmentionables, I almost fell off my chair.
The wife of the couple with us joined in a back and forth with the comedian regarding my husband and his anatomy. I was as mute as a laughing hyena with a sore throat. Donnelly expounded on the fact that the wife joining in the discussion was not my husband's. I had tears running down my cheeks. Just as I was ready to burst forth with exclamations that would have brought the house down, Donnelly was off to another table and another set of victims. Oh, he came back to us, and our eyes met again, but he never picked on me. I think he could tell I would have overshadowed his comedic talent or I look like his mother. He was really quite funny and I never got my chance.
Bookmark and Shareprint this articleDisappointed, sure, but I was relieved actually because when I think of what it takes to stand up there, in front of all those people and make them laugh - just thinking about it gives me a Metamucil moment. Enough said.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Old hard drive, like photos of forgotten faces (original title)

Old hard drive is like photos of forgotten faces

Published 01/16/2014 12:00 AM
Updated 01/16/2014 11:29 PM
A few days before Christmas, my youngest daughter and her husband took over our guest bedroom. Not to sleep in, as in we're staying for the holiday, but to assemble something. I heard them up there, building they said, something for you and dad.
The room was full of wedding leftovers from a year ago, and everything else we were too lazy to heft to the attic. Building anything in that room would be like trying to put together a picnic table in a microcar (they don't have back seats.) Intrigued, I left them to their task and did not peek.
Christmas morning the guestroom was the first gift all the kids wanted us to open. Taped to the door was a big red bow. When I opened that door what I saw was the stuff of my dreams. My daughter and son-in-law had built us an office.
With a double desk down the center of the room no longer would my writing projects be piled on the kitchen table and my husband's paperwork, (he is self employed), cover the big dining room table. We wouldn't have to balance plates in front of the TV in the living room with Diane Sawyer anymore. Like a real family we could eat at the kitchen table and watch her.
For one day the office was beautiful, clean, organized and artistically decorated. A week later, it looked lived in. It took me that long to cull through my things and make my half of the room my writing place. And when the last of what had been stored there went to the landfill, I realized what a step forward that special room is.
There had been an old computer in there, which I decided I would not designate to another corner of another room or up under the eaves in the attic. It was going to the town's transfer station. I wanted to retain the hard drive though, not because there was anything compromising on it, I wanted to hold close the bits and bytes of us as a family as we had traveled the beginnings of our digital path during the last century.
Saving the hard drive was like saving a box of brittle and faded photos of forgotten faces you never look at, but you know the moment was once important enough to snap a picture of it. That's what the hard drive was like for me, a snapshot of thoughts, ideas and dreams I will never research again but want to still hold on to. When I took it out of the housing the date on it said 1996. That was our second desk-top computer, I haven't a clue where the first one is, probably in the attic with the 8 Track and VCR.
I am amazed that I felt such affection for the heart of a gray Hewlett-Packard dust collector I haven't turned on in more than five years. I was one of those people who thought the personal home computer was an evil device out to empty your wallet and twist your mind. Now I consider my laptop an invaluable tool with science fiction-like qualities of communication and research. And it looks so nice in the office the kids built us.
print this articleBookmark and ShareFor me having an office is no different than a crafter having a workroom, an artist having a studio or a wood worker having a shop in the basement or garage. My office is organized, peaceful and beautiful. Did I mention half of it is my husbands? Let's not tell him. Enough said.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Die, downsize or decorate (original title)

Joy in giving new life to gently used appliances and furniture

Published 01/02/2014 12:00 AM
Updated 12/30/2013 03:04 PM

I have four refrigerators. Well, actually I have three since one is a humongous upright freezer we bought when Geraldine Ferraro ran for president.
After the power outages following Hurricane Gloria, an entire summer season of frozen tomato sauce succumbed to nothing more than dozens of bags of red water in that freezer. It stopped working shortly after Bush, the son, took office. We always meant to have it repaired and even moved it to our new home 10 years ago, but sadly it's become a repository of fix-it good intentions.
Next to the dead freezer is a 35-year-old beer-fridge we got when my sister-in-law's mother passed away. It's a side-by-side and the narrow freezer compartment has provided us the space we have occasionally needed after forays to BJ's to stockpile and save money. The fridge part has served us well during numerous family get-togethers, as a place to store platters and drinks. That behemoth still works but because we're down to a household of two, we often give it a rest and only use the brushed stainless trend-setter in our kitchen. Plugging in the old one would be like resuscitating prohibition, it's possible but cruel.
Recently, when my husband's sister purchased matching appliances for her beautiful new home in Waterford, we got her old fridge (which is actually quite new). It's stored at her house until we get rid of the well-insulated metal armoires we have in our basement. Just getting the two huge appliances out will be a chore left to son-in-laws with strong backs and an affinity for cold beer. I'm told it will cost us $20 to drop them off at the transfer station. It will be money well spent considering the space we gain for our new/old fridge which is now taking up a parking space in my sister-in-law's garage.
Not only do I have four fridges, I have four couches, too. Two new ones in our living room and a loveseat and a sleeper in a spare bedroom. The sleeper belonged to my daughter; she got our two old couches and the loveseat was part of a set which belonged to my mother.
I was with my mother, (may she rest in furniture showroom heaven), when she bought that set. The four pieces, together or apart, have resided in various dorm rooms and starter apartments until the chair and ottoman finally made it into a big green refuge bin at a local transfer station. The couch is alive and well somewhere in New Haven and the loveseat, dressed in a deep red Bed Bath and Beyond excuse for a slipcover resides in a spare upstairs bedroom. It will probably last forever since no one sits on it.
My kids have eyed my new couches and have stated that they like the color and style. I think they're waiting for the day my new stuff becomes old, I redecorate or downsize. They'll get to fill their own spare bedrooms.
I used to do that with my brother's living room furniture. He'd buy a new set every few years so when he got a delivery, I got his barely used old furniture with the understanding that a few years down the line, his old would be my new again. It's sort of like borrowing from someone else's past, you get to use and enjoy that which has enhanced the life of another.
Bookmark and Shareprint this articleThe kids already know if their fridges die we'll have a really nice spare in the basement they can use, if we can muster the strong backs to get it here. Die, downsize or decorate I like how our family sheds and shares. Enough said.