laurie kendrick

Unique (& Mostly) Homemade Halloween Costumes/2017

I haven’t done this in a while, but I felt it was time for a new version.   Besides, it’s now early October and I love the fall and Halloween kind of kicks off the official Fall party season.

But I’m now 58.     Lord knows a lot  has changed since I last posted anything about funny costume.  .     It was maybe six or seven years ago.

But my knowledge of pop culture pretty much stops around 1995, plus I don’t watch   that much major  network TV.    So, as I perused this here Internet nonsense looking for funny, weird, different, unique, mostly homemade Halloween costumes,  and honestly, there were some costumes I simply didn’t get.

For example—-Saturday Night Live?     I’ve been a devoted fan since the show’s inception in 1976, but the past couple of years, it’s been like trying to understand someone speaking Farsi to me backwards with a thick Serbian  accent.    I get all the show’s anti-Trump jokes and some of the bits are repetitive and formulaic, they simply riff on game shows, but when I still up until a few yesrs ago, I had no idea who the hosts or musical guests were.   I haven’t watched SNL in years.   So, some of the costumes I looked at went right over my head—the breeze this created,  gently moved my recently shorn bangs.

These costumes  might have been cool, hilarious as hell, but since I’m oblivious to their hipness,  I can only give you what I’m familiar with.

Deal with it.

My first offering:     a chick magnet.    Look closely.     Those little yellow things on the black magnet ends are ( I think) yellow Peeps.    Chicks.

IMG_0229

I might be 58, but I certainly relate to this next costume.   .  I too have traumatic memories of wanting to get out of my nine  month lease to THEE single most cramped apartment in which I’ve ever lived.

IMG_0252

Crown and Coke

IMG_0251

Forrest Gump and Lt. Dan

IMG_0250

Head in a freezer with a child’s drawing head in place with magnetic letters and numbers and an old school ice tray.    Biceps required.   Remember these??     Freezer burn city.

IMG_0249

She is a bowl of Fruit Loops .

IMG_0248

I’ve stared at the couple’s costume for.about 30 minutes.    All I can think of is he’s in black sweats with a bunch of Dollar Store Barbie knock- offs attached to him with an hatchet stuck in his head and she’s either wearing red horns and dropped a large pancake on her stomach or she’s pregnant with translucent skin and her her unborn child which is jaundiced.         I don’t  get this one….AT ALL!

IMG_0247

He’s a one man aircraft carrier.   Is it just me or does the plane look like it’s made of  waffles???

IMG_0245

A one night stand.   Nothing sexual….just a single night stand.

The 10th Annual Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball

I’ve always wanted to know  what God’s gift to women looked like.    I just never thought he would resemble a younger Vanilla Ice.

IMG_0243

Here’s a costume…..’bout a family named Brady.     My, my…Alice in the middle has obviously had a out of work done.    (RIP Ann B. Davis, Florence Henderson, Robert Reed  and each of the Brady kids acting careers).

IMG_0242

Your spice rack or major McCormick stockholders.

IMG_0241

Two ladies all amped up about going as Portuguese men o’ war for Halloween.

IMG_0240

When a guy survives a plane crash at sea, washes on a deserted island and his only friend is volleyball named Wilson with spiked hair and a horrendous case of rosacea.    Ta da!!!    Costume!!

IMG_0237

Interesting,    A kid dressed up like Hannibal Lecter.    Really?     Mom and Dad might not get much candy, but there’s definitely a lecture from Child Protective Services in their future.

IMG_0235

Paula Deen ya’ll and BUTTER!!

IMG_0234

Sherwin Williams’ displays his 50 Shades of Gray.

IMG_0233

Walk in’ in the wind  with littered knees, appropriate wind blown hair and an umbrella blown backwards.

IMG_0232

The Gordon’s Fisherman as a dwarf???      I don’t get it.

IMG_0230

Thought this was a costume, then peered closer……

IMG_0253

And sans my glasses, it looked like just another photo of  LaToya Jackson.

And with that, I bid each and everyone of you a very…..

IMG_0254.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 16th Anniversary of 9/11

It’ been up 16 years since that fateful day and on yodsyb, many will reflect  fact back on that morning.   Many will cry for loved ones lost, others will cry for innocence lost and others will mock them, because they feel,they know what really happened that day.     They NEED to feel that they know what others don’t.

I’m no behaviorist and I know the government covertly stirs the shit pot all over the globe,  but I’m pretty good at spotting misplaced narcissism and recognizing someone dealing with a form of paranoia.    If anyone in my small reading audience happens to be people of  scholastic letters, please, correct me or at the very least, share your thoughts via the comments section.

Here’s reason behind this rant—-I won’t call it heated, but I will call it an awkwardly tepid conversation  with a man who believes EVERYTHING that happens….from 9/11 to Sandy Hook , to the Oklahoma  City bombing, aliens, AIDS, to The Boston Marathon bombing, the moon landing, are all False Flag events.

Whats a Fslse Flag event?    Everything, according to the Sluggo I just “conversed” with, but here’s what WIkipedia  says about False Flags:

“The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them?  Now, the key to a good ,false flag” must make the attack to to appear to be perpetrated by enemy nations or terrorists., thus giving the nation that was supposedly attacked a pretext for domestic repression and foreign military aggression”

And according to my earlier verbal tussle, I learned that any and all False Flag, incidents are  produced and choreographed by the architects of the New World Order.   And the NWO is apparently a wildly held belief to be an emerging clandestine totalitarian world government manufactured by…….guess what??   Conspiracy theorists.

The common theme in conspiracy theories about a NWO  is that a secretive power group condisting  of the richest, most elite people in the world, each with a globalist agenda.    AND might I add, they’re conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, which will replace sovereign nation-states.  The end result will include an all-encompassing propaganda with an ideology that hails the establishment of the New World Order as the culmination of history’s progress.       Many influential historical and contemporary figures have therefore been purported to be part of a cabal that operates through many front organizations.   Queen Elizabeth, the Rockefellars, the Rothschilds, Bill gates maybe….the entire Bush family except Billy,    Their purpose is to orchestrate  political and financial events, ranging from causing systemic financial crises to pushing through controversial policies, at both national and international levels, as steps in an ongoing plot to achieve world domination.   In other words they control everything.   They can make tornadoes, steer at Category 5  hurricane or trim North Korea’s Kim Junk Mail chili bowl haircut through a device called HAARP, The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program was an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.    Conspiracy theorists believe HAARP can  “weaponize” weather.

And hair.

So, we basically know what a conspiracy theorist thinks, BUT we still need to learn why they think what they think.

It’s psychological, mental, emotional and a prime thought process for anyone insecure and needy.  Conspiracy theories often crop up during times of uncertainty and fear and right now the situation is prime for this skewed mindset:  we have a civilian president,  unlike any other  single member of the OCCUPY THE OVAL OFFICE movement, there are supposed efforts to start race and culture conflicts, there’s Russia, China,  North Korea and Hillary’s  unyielding mansized pout over losing the election.    There are hate groups like the Klan, Neo Nazis, Antifa and Black Lives Matter might qualify  had it  they any real cohesion or power.

Terrotist strikes, financial crises, gas shoertags, high-profile deaths and natural disasters are triggers for them too,    Past research suggests that if people feel they don’t have control over a situation, they’ll try to make sense of it and find out what happened, even if the reasoning in nonsensical.    It’s an honest attempt to fraudulently  connect the dots.   Plus, it makes them feel superior…as if they “know” something other people don’t know or refuse to believe.

Like President George. W.  Bush disguised four bombs to look like 767’s, pre-recorded calls from the passengers to their loved ones on the ground , prerecorded the ruckus of the intrusion into the cockpits, then  these disguised missiles were slammed into  the twin towers which were loaded  with thermite at stratetigic points in order to bring down two 110 story buildings in what looked like a controlled demolition.    Don’t even get me started on the collapse of WTC Building 7,     Then, there was united Flight 93 that theorists claim was shot down by our own jets in a field in rural Pennsylvania  and the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, which doesn’t seem to excite that many,  There’s parking lot camera theythat captured the crash and it was no plane they say——–it was a missile.

Physical science, gravity, mass…none of that matters.   This was either done because Bush wanted  avenge his father for Mishandling Desert Storm, or for oil, or to establish the Patriot Act to legally spy on American citizens or just to something for the  Bilderberg’s  to flex a little New World Order muscle on a boring Tuesday morning 16 years ago.

Whatever the reason why the towers fell (real or imagined), why  the pentagon was hit, what made that United 767 crash near Shanksville, PA, well over three thousand people have died since that fateful, day 16 years ago.     People who worked on ‘the pile’ at Ground  Zero, those who survived the attack and barely escaped with their lives are dying in droves.     God knows what they  breathed or swelled over the year or so thev they literally slaved atop The Pile at ground zero.

So, all you Mr. and Ms. Know It Alls living in your parents’ basements’ worshipping at the thrones of all the David Icke’s in the world, keep thinking whatever you want, what ever makes your sad little, go-nowhere lives  easier thinking you know something exclusive,  but don’t you dare share your nonsense with 9/11 family members…even those  who were  lucky enough yeah, lucky enough, to experience a semblance of closure by finally burying a portion of a toenail of a loved one a year and a half  after the attack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rflect

A Conversation With My Mother

8:23 AM Saturday

(the phone rings; I know who it is)

LK: Hello Mother

Mother: Well, three cheers for caller ID!

LK: Nope, I knew it was you.

Mother: How?

LK: The phone started weeping.

Mother: Oh my, my! Now, that’s cute AND funny. Score one for my youngest daughter.

LK: How are you?

Mother: Concerned.

LK: About what?

Mother: You, mostly.

LK: And to what do I owe this maternal display?

Mother: You’ve got a birthday coming up soon and I’m a little worried about your current situation.

LK: Mother, I’m fine. You have nothing to worry about.

Mother: But you’re not working!

LK: Yes I am. I’ve got about three separate and very steady free lance writing gigs!

Mother: Those aren’t real jobs.

LK: Mother, they are real jobs and they pay me well. Your problem is that you don’t understand the concept of freelance. Just because you don’t understand what I do, does not negate the legitimacy of what I do.

Mother: You work from home; you have no interaction with co-workers, no benefits and I know for a fact there are time when you work wearing a T-shirt with no bra and shorts.

LK: That’s on a good day!

Mother: That shows you have no self-respect.

LK: But I’M WORKING IN THE PRIVACY OF MY OWN HOME!!!!!!!!!

Mother: That doesn’t matter. You should live graciously. I bet you eat straight off the stove.

LK: When I cook, yeah..I do, sometimes.

Mother:    That’s absolutely barbaric. And I bet when you order out or have something delivered you probably eat on your bed or on the sofa in front of the TV?

LK: Yep.

Mother: Well, I don’t. I prepare myself three square meals a day and when I eat, I sit down at the dining room table and I use my good china and a linen place mat and napkin. After I walked out on that sperm donor I call your father….

LK: He left you.

Mother: That’s always been just  a rumor. Anyway, when I left him, and again….when I did,  I made a vow that single life wouldn’t prevent me from living a good life. You should do the same.

LK: Our lives are completely different, Mother.

Mother: Yes–in that I have one and you don’t!

LK: Funny, but I see that in reverse. At least I’m trying to do something with my life.

Mother: I resent that.

LK: And I resent that you’re implying that I’m a lesser human because I do  things differently. .

Mother: But well, itscobvious in some ways you’re obviously not happy.

LK: No I’m not! I don’t even know where you’re getting this. I’m perfectly okay.  I just don’t live conventionally–but that’s according to you….

Mother:   You just said okay.    Not happy and  that’s what concerns me. You’re going to be ____ years old. And you’re not married and…

LK: And Mother, do not finish that sentence.

Mother: Yes I will. I WILL finish this sentence and many others before we end this conversation. You have to face certain realities, Laurie. Thirty years ago you’d either be considered a closeted lesbian or an old maid. Both if you lived in New York.

LK:  What?   Why New York?

Mother:  Don’t  interrupt.   You’re not as young as you used to be. In fact, the odds are stacked against you. As it is, I read recently  that a woman like stands a better chance of being strangled by red-headed Lithuanian terrorists at a Latvian tampon factory on. Thursday afternoon during a hail storm as opposed to  than finding a suitable companion, much less a man to marry.

LK: That sounds oddly specific.

Mother: Well, it’s true. And I’m getting older too and I’d like to exit this earthly plane knowing you’re fine and will be in good hands after I’m gone.

LK: I am fine, Mother.   I’ve bought a car, a house…I’ve even travelled to that  opinionated, anti-single woman place called New York you speak of.   And I’ve been there alone…many times.

Mother:   You just answered you’re own question.    You went there alone.    Look, just aim higher.  Get  a real job with  an office and a security badge and benefits.

(I frantically shove a bite sized mini-Baby Ruth in my mouth.    A minor substitute with no-Xanax in the house)

LK: (chewing) Again, I’m fine. I don’t want to work ( swallow) in a corporate environment any more. The thought of doing a nine-five gig on some nondescript floor of some nondescript hi-rise downtown makes me ill. And I’m making money.

Mother: But it can’t be that much. And what progress are you making?

LK: Progress? I’m making great progress. Important people are seeing a different side of me. I’m making headway in the area of writing. I’m getting published. That’s what I want to do with my life. I want to be a writer, Mother.

Mother: But that’s not a real profession!

LK: What are you talking about? You read books all the time and magazines, too. You watch sitcoms and TV news…the content of each of those books…the magazines and those shows you love so much are ALL the handiwork of writers, Mother.

Mother:   Well, I don’t see your name on any closing credits.

(I’m seething by now and trying to maintain control without shouting, “There’s a rest home in your future!!!”)

I take a deep breath.

LK: So?

Mother:     Make me feel better by making an income with  a real job.

LK: I should make you feel better? That’s what I live for, Mom. And if I were to do that…for you…what kind of job would you recommend?

Mother: Any old job.

LK: You, of all people, are telling me to get any old job? Then, would a fast food gig be good enough? You wouldn’t care if I worked at a McDonald’s?

Mother: Just as long as you were the manager.

LK: That’s just so typical. I’d have to be the manager, wouldn’t I? I couldn’t just be a shift worker. God forbid! How would that look to your friends?   How could you justify being the Mother of a fast food worker?

Mother: We’re not talking about me.

LK: Aren’t we? You’re actually quite proud of me and who I am. You know it’s true. You loved it when I was on TV and radio. You also love that I’m a writer. An award winning writer, too.    That bothers you too..  thatvIm damn good at.    Butbyourvoridecfir me only exists when you convey it’s to your friends. But somehow all of that gets lost when it comes to telling me anything to mynface. You can’t tell me you’re proud of me. You couldn’t if you tried.   Instead , you have some distorted need to let me know that you don’t think I’m quite good enough…for anything.

Mother: I never wanted you to get a big hard.   Besides, it’s called humility, Laurie. Something I’ve always stressed with you.

LK: No, its called being a torpedo parent and THAT’s about the ONLY thing you’ve ever been consistent with and that’s  a form of control and it’s all you’ve got left. My sisters and I are three adult women that you can no longer manipulate. So, you’re relegated to ego-punches. That’s all you’ve got left in your arsenal.

Mother: We’re not talking about me and quit trying to blame your inadequacies on everyone else. You’re accountable for your own happiness.

LK: And that would be accurate if I was unhappy. I’m not but you can’t seem to get that through your head. Who are you trying to convince here- me or you?

Mother: I have nothing to do with this. I’m merely holding up a mirror of truth to your face.

LK: We’ve always had different versions of “the truth”, Mother.

Mother: Yes, in that I’ve always known it and you haven’t.

LK: If I’m good at denial Mother, I learned it from you.

Mother: That is such a lie!! I have NEVER denied anything in my life. I just choose to ignore certain things. That makes life easier. Like when I divorced that cheating bastard I call your father….

LK: He divorced you.

Mother: No, I divorced him. The court got it wrong.

LK: Why do you talk about him like that to me?

Mother: I speak the truth.

LK: But he’s still my father. I’m half him.  You diminish me as a person by saying those things about him.

Mother: No I don’t and that’s that psycho nonsense from that crazy old TV coot, Dr. Bill…

LK: Dr. Phil

Mother: Whatever and don’t you defend your father, either. Have you forgotten that he walked on you when he walked on me?

LK:  I’m aware of his departure from my life everyday.   But that was 40 years ago, That’s almost half of my life.  .    You make me crazy, Mother!!

Mother: And you make me tired.

LK: OK, enough about Daddy.

Mother: I should say so.   Anyway,  I still think you should try to get out of that tiny and probably filthy apartment and get a job that requires getting out.  You need the interaction. I know what’s right for you. I always have and you never have.

LK: You don’t know me at all, do you?

Mother: I know you perfectly well. And you’re a…..

  • LK: No, you don’t know me. You’ve never known me. I want to write…I need to write. If you knew me you’d know my need to explore the many facets of my creative side and you’d support instead of putting me down because God forbid I should ever be better than you at anything, but I am and that kills you.

Mother: Now you wait one minute, Missy. I ‘m creative. I decorated a six bedroom home.

LK: That’s not the same thing. Besides, if you really knew me, you’d know how much you hurt me with the things you say to me. You’d know how much conversations like this take a chunk out of my soul.

Mother: I tell you these things for your on good. And one more thing, your insolence hurts me.

LK: My insolence?

Mother: You’re insolence. And you’re ungrateful.

LK: Why couldn’t I have been an orphan?

Mother: I can arrange it.

LK: ENOUGH!!! Stop it….Now!

For a few seconds, we say nothing, caught up in the deafening silence of recoil.

LK: Look Mother, I don’t want to fight.

Mother: Who’s fighting?

LK: We are.

Mother: I don’t see it as fighting. I’m just trying to give you motherly advice.

LK:  Then we will most definitely have huge fight if you continue “advising” me, alright? My life is different from yours. You’re lucky. Very lucky. You live a very comfortable life. You don’t have to work. You’ve never have had to work, but I do. I’m tired of broadcasting and as I continue to evolve, so do my hopes and dreams and desires. And right now, I want and need to try my hand at something different.

Mother: But it’s awfully late in the game for a single woman to be trying “something different”. Is that a gamble a woman like you should to take?

LK: What do you mean by “a woman like me”?

Mother: Well, you’re not getting any younger, either and frankly, you’re losing your looks.

LK: What?

Mother: I agree there’s nothing wrong with brings self-sufficient, but at what price? There’s no honor in being 60 and single or 40 and single for that matter.   And in your case, you’ve never married. You need to be married. You need to get your life in order.

LK: For one thing, marriage will not get my life in order. You should know. You’re divorced.

Mother: We’re not talking about me.

LK: This is exasperating, Mother! You’re  exasperating! My life is fine. My life is—–(I don’t complete the sentence. I’m getting very angry, something that happens a lot when I talk to my mother. But I try a different tack this time. I take a deep breath .  In doing so, I allow myself to regain composure) OK, if you want me to be self-sufficient and you think my trying to be a writer at this stage of my life is silly then you could eliminate that pesky working part and just give me my inheritance now.

Mother: (silence)

(Mercifully, The Sound of “Call Waiting” beep can be heard on both lines)

LK: Well, Mother, someone is calling in..

Mother: And I’m still mulling over that orphan crack. You really need to think long and hard about what you said. You should apologize with some flowers. You know I’m getting up there and won’t be around much longer.

LK: Can I get that in writing?

Mother: That can also be arranged.

LK: I have to go, Mother.

Mother: Have you talked to you sisters lately? What was that story you were writing for that magazine?

(She won’t hang up. She actually wants to talk!!!  What to do? What to do? “Call Waiting” clicks again)

LK: Mother I have to go (I think fast) It’s uh…it’s…uh….it’s Daddy calling.

Mother: Good lord, what does he want!!! Then I definitely want off the line. Besides, I need to go to my lawyer’s officer.

LK: For what.

Mother: After this conversation, I’m amending my will.

LK: You do that, Mom. And later on, I’ll be calling Information to get a particular phone number.

Mother: Whose?

LK: Dr. Kervorkian’s

Mother:    Very funny.   Give that worthless son of a bitch I call your father, my deepest indifference.

LK: Already done. Goodbye mother.

Mother: Think about what I said, Laurie. I mean it. Listen to me. Remember, I’m your mother.

As if I could ever forget THAT detail.

I hang up and once the line is clear, the phone rings immediately. It’s not my father. We haven’t spoken in years. I don’t recognize the number calling in, but it doesn’t matter. It mercifully got me off the phone with my mother.

LK: Hello?

Phone Solicitor: Hello, Miss Kendrick? I’m assuming it’s Miss Kendrick based on the fact that I have no information indicating you are married or…..

I say nothing and just hang up on the guy in mid-sentence. That was the last thing I needed to hear.

I sit there for a few minutes; a million thoughts swirl in my head.

I then pick up the phone and start dialing a number I know so very, very well.

First ring….

Second ring…

LK: Hi Cindy.   Laurie Kendrick here.     Does Dr. Brandson have any time to  possibly squeeze me in for an emergency session today?  ,I’m really feeling the need to talk.    I…I just really need my shrink.

Cindy:   What happened?

LK: My mother called me.

Cindy:  Oh my!    Well, in that case, can you be here in ten minutes?

 

 

 

 

.

We Need Help

As a country.    Would that we could find a psychiatrist’s couch big enough.

I’m watching the scat about to hit the  fan in Boston and there’s a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.   It sickens me because there IS a moral equivalency on both sides of hate fueled racism, regardless of who threw the first punch.   If this is difficult to understand, you’re either delusional or not evolved enough as a human.   I almost envy you.    It’s gut wrenching, to watch a hate- stitched blanket of our making.      Here’s the reality:   If you’re a Democrat and you see in these ridiculous riots an Antifav member hit a pro Trump protestor over the head and you feel the slightest bit of satisfaction, that he deserved it whether you vocalize it or not, then you prove even on the slightest Level that what the Democrats deny–that moral equivalency exists. I guess that’s my biggest gripe in all of this. There’s so much hypocrisy coming from protestors who hate Robert E Lee without knowing why. They have no concept of history. This is just means for violent sociopaths on both sides, to exercise their pathologies. And before this gets adversarial, and threatens relationships of all kinds, I read some thing that resonated with me personally. There are ways to combat the abject idiocy the alt left and the alt right—-just think for yourself.

But no., that can’t happen.     So, this country is about to implode.      I saw something different in Charlottesville.   There’s a lot of anger coming from people who used to protest with their wallets. I’m talking about the white flighters and various people of ethnic persuasions who have for years, been abandoning urban areas in droves.    They moved because of fear and  there’s no right or wrong reason for wanting to leave.     Fear is real.

Hate is real and what we we have to admit is that as errant humans, hate exists in everyone’s heart and even in the texture of their souls. The only difference is that most sane, civilized people don’t act on it.

I hate slavery….slavery of all kinds. I hate what happened in the Antebellum South. I hate that Jews have been enslaved and murdered en mass for millenia. I despise how early American in NYC and other cities in the Northeast treated newly emigrated Italians and The Irish. I hate that our forefathers forced the Chinese to do the grueling work it took to build this country’s first railway system. I’m sorry that almost 70 years ago, our leaders felt it necessary to inter Japanese Americans in camps after we entered the Pacific Theater in WWII. And we can’t forget how Latinos were treated, especially along Mexican border states. Not to mention the Portuguese, Puerto Rican’s…….

And women. Even Rosa Parks acknowledged this part of the prejudicial equation.

Yes, it was horrible and unfair and inhumane but it also happened, and it happened so long ago. We cannot be revisionist historians. Sadly, what happened, happened and if we forget the past, we’re doomed to repeat it and if we don’t let go of certain aspects of the past, we’ll never get ahead. Why can’t these sociopaths on both sides of the issue see this???      And we can’t spend our lives being perpetual apologists or career victims. or race baiters of all colors, but there’s money and political gain in feeling this way. All completely reprehensible based in its greed and insincerity.

This has been made into a political battle.     Left vs right.    Racists Republicans vs Racist Democrats.   This is really only about right and wrong.    Hate of any kind is wrong.    But that’s not enough for race baiters on both sides.      It’s just an excuse to garner votes, to incite violence, to prove your mental shortcomings.

Personal Admission : As a chubby woman, I don’t like going to museums and seeing Rueben’s portraits of zaftig women being one myself…BUT…I’m not going to throw paint on them or demand they be taken down because they’re oppressive or offensive to overweight post menopausal broads. And the reason why? Because during Ruebens time, chubby women were highly sought after by men because that meant their families were wealthy enough to feed them. They would have substantial dowaries as brides. So, if you learn the truth, the facts, the history behind all things, it can make all the difference in the world.

I don’t think any historical statue should ever  be removed.   Malcolm X was a hate monger and wantedvti eradicate people like me from the face of the earth, but he was a hero to some.   Put up a statue, make it a shrine.   I’d ignore it.   He meant nothing to me.    So, keep all historical  statues intact and fortified  with fact based plaques stating who they are what they did and why they did what the did at that particular point  in history.     And then we learn from history as opposed to trying to destroy it because its contra to the narrstive we need kept alive.

Our ignorance is no excuse for violence.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I know what it isn’t. Tearing down statues of Confederate generals isn’t the answer…it’s just vandalism that’s fanning angry flames;,the very angry, disenfranchised flames which got Trump elected. Think about it. Trump’s win was as much a revolt as it was an election.  Things will only worse…MUCH worse as the the color of the tide of anger and resentment changes.

 

Something For Walter

walter1.jpg

I must request that you indulge me in something.

I need to take a break from the madness; my madness and remember someone who was very close to me.  Someone I miss a great deal.

Walter Minter Tarpley was my best friend.

We had a strangely initmate love/hate relationship that only a gay man and a straight woman can have.  Our disagreements could divide a nation; our good times often bordered on criminal, but life with Walter was so much fun.    My life with him was amazing.

He didn’t believe in much, except that a good time was had by all .    His circle was small and I always felt quite honored to have stood at one of the corners.   Circle in a square; square in a circle and somehow, it…we always fit.     He could be extremely cavalier at times and his carelessness bothered me, but then again, he made me realize that I wasn’t really the hip, happenin’ chick I thought I was.   He was liberall;  Tim Robbins liberal.   I was Conservative and becoming more so as each year passed.  It had gotten to the point that I was inching toward being politically on par with Elizabeth Dole, save for the fuel injected Southern hair.

We argued about the ever growing abyss between the two parties, but we learned to sway the topic if politics reared its head.   And despite our differences, we cared a great deal for each other.   Our first outing together was  Halloween in 2005.  We made a vow that we would always spend Halloween together.   We had a wonderful time that night and the next day, I had a tough time working because I kept laughing at the things we’d done..said…felt.  I remember thinking that day that we’d be friends forever; but forever only lasted two years.

He died on July 4th 2007, a mere nine days after being diagnosed with AIDS-related pneumocystis pneumonia.

We used to go out and make merry every Halloween and frankly, I can’t let another one go by without honoring my best friend and remembering how his life cand death, altered the course of mine.

I wrote this post exactly ten years ago years ago.     I republish it today.

For Walter.

Twenty years ago, I dreamed of meeting one  special man that I could be friends with for the rest of my life…one man to laugh with, cry with….share my most intimate thoughts with.

He was given to me on a warm and sunny August day in 2005.

Walter came into my life quite by surprise, but hardly by accident. He sent me an e-mail at the radio station where I worked. It took no time at all for us to become friends and when we did, I found that I adored Walter.  He was devilishly handsome, brilliant, crass but polished, opinionated, fearless, acerbic, openly gay and hilarious.

To me, he was Perfection.

He was also a tortured soul. As was I, when we met. One would think that two fractured people would just create a pile of emotional shards. But that wasn’t the case with us. We seemed to provide the bonding needed to keep each other together. I think it was laughter that served as the consummate adhesive. We became best friends.

My relationship with Walter was rather cloistered. Few people understood our connection. I’m not sure even we understood the degree of our closeness. That was fine with us; we preferred it that way. When other people listened to us speak, it was as if we were speaking Esperanto. We jokingly said we spoke “TarKen”; our own language which was interspersed with many expletives and the requisite “Filthy” and “Dirty”, all spoken in a feigned British accent we used.

Few “got us” and that was OK.  We held on to each other, only letting go only when the other stepped free, but even so, the bond was never completely broken.   We were content  knowing that we’d found each other. We were happy to have found a certain “punctuation” to the paragraph of our lives.

We just clicked; my cup to his saucer—mismatched, chipped and crazing down the center, but still beautiful, even in it’s damaged state. Perfectly flawed.

Walter entered my life at a time I needed him most. He brought joy and laughter where there was none. He helped me learn to live again.   In fact, he was best time I’ve ever had. He felt like home. Comfortable, safe and secure. Like a hug, accented with the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, wrapped in a soft, familiar blanket.   He never dismissed me or made me feel anything less than extraordinary.

He was never aloof, nor did he ever exist passively in my life. He was a willing participate–fully involved, concerned and more importantly, he was there when I needed him. We were good about being there for each other. Walter understood that Life is inconvenient. So is Love. Neither will ask for permission and both can be obtrusive.   Still, he was never too busy for me, even when I was.  He was kind in the sense that he never decreed me as anything other than one of his very best friends. What an incredible honor!

Make no mistake, we had issues.  We had our disagreements which were legendary. And vicious!! Imagine a film recording of Joan Crawford telling off the board of Pepsico on a continuous loop that plays at painful decibels.We never stayed mad at each other;  at least, not that long.

Ultimately with Walter, I always felt loved. Unconditionally so. I could be thin, pudgy, hair perfect or teased up to a dizzying Elsa Lancaster’s Bride of Frankenstein height. I could be sans make-up or with a full compliment and wearing something that fashion-wise, would’ve have been considered only luke-warm from five seasons earlier. That didn’t matter.

To Walter, I was always just Laurie. No pretense.

To me, he was always Walter. No pretense.

One night he asked me why I couldn’t have been born a gay man. On that particular day, I had to fire six members of my staff. I was crying in his arms. I was wearing this silk blouse with, pink feather scuffs. I looked up at him, mascara streaming down my face and said, “Take one look at me, Walter. Look at what I’m wearing then take a gander at my make-up! I have to ask you, what makes you so sure I’m not?”

Our friendship was enduring and so incredibly special.  We had this idea that we’d grow old together. That we’d live long enough to comb gray hair, use our AARP discounts at dinner, complain about arthritis and those damn kids and their crazy music. We thought surely one day, I’d be Blanche to his Baby Jane. Aging wouldn’t matter as long as we could view the process through each other’s eyes. Together.

But the Universe had other plans. It gave me Walter, but the one thing it couldn’t give me was a relationship with him that could be measured in years. He was only in my life for a mere 23 months. That was all. Even though I have many brilliant memories that could rival the most dazzling, star-filled constellations, I felt this was and still is so incredibly unfair.   I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I’m still not. My first hello to him–seemingly uttered just yesterday– still resonates on my lips!!

I wanted more time.  No, I needed more time for one last look at his wonderfully handsome face; one more chance to absorb the warmth of his smile; to hear that wicked, wicked laugh; to read his soulful eyes; to feel the touch of his hand.

I grapple with the Divine more than I care to admit and when Walter got sick, I felt angry.  When he died, I felt cheated.  I’m told that people are put in our paths for special reasons.  Sometimes,  it’s to force us to give of ourselves and sometimes it’s for us to receive.   If so, then that means sadly, tragically, these beautiful, divine human gifts must also leave our lives for special reasons.     Why Walter left mine is something I’ll never, ever understand,  but I know why he came into my life. And that was to save my life  and as a result, I’m a much wiser and richer woman for my all too brief experience with this angel.

I love Walter and always will.

His death cannot negate my feelings or the relationship I’ll continue to have with him. The love lives on because I do. And I live on because this precious man gave me a reason to do so.   His friendship in many, many ways gave my life back to me.

I went to his memorial service and saw his ravaged body lying in the coffin.   He would’ve hated that.   He would’ve loathed how his make-up had been applied and how badly he looked.   I made myself look at him,  I needed to see him one last time.   I fought the urge to cry as I touched his withered and drawn face.   I stood there and actually mustered a smile for a few fleeting moments as I thought about the strange, cyclical nature of life and how for every mortal journey, death is the final destination.

This was Walter’s time to die, but unlike so many people, Walter also knew how to live.  And for an all too brief moment in time, his beautiful life intersected mine.

And I am so incredibly grateful.

Twenty years from now, I’ll dream of how I met that one  special man who I wanted to be friends with for the rest of my life…one man I laughed with, cried with…shared my most intimate thoughts with.

And I’ll remember how he was taken from me on a warm and rainy July day in 2007.

.

Dear Much Younger Self

My darling younger Laurie,

What I am doing is nothing new.  In fact, writing letters to one’s younger self is downright hackneyed.   Everyone does it.   Oprah did it a few years ago and the world went ape shit,  she then wrote her own eulogy and all  of Alpha Centauri had a brown out.    Ah, the infinite power of The Oprah.

I guess I could take it one step further and  write my  own epitaph while I’m at it.

IMG_2144

First, we’ll address us when we were 20.     Nice time.    We are/were was young and thin.    Still living in Austin before the severe leftist intrusion the late 80’s.    College was fun, like high school with ash trays.   It was a raucous time to be alive.   Back then, no one tried so hard to be different.   Uniqueness just was– not a lifestyle pursuit.

You’ll look back one day and laugh at how during your college years, you moved every time the rent went up.  Silly.  Don’t do it.  it’ll only cost more in the long run.   The $72.00 a  week you’ll make at that retail store will be tough to live on, but it’ll be one of your greatest teachers.   Yes, a paycheck such as it,  will be a wonderful learning tool……you’ll learn to go without.  But that’s important.     You’ll learn how to moderate moderation.

It’ll be a hassle to be a  full-time student working at a crappy job that introduced itself to you as a crappy job.   We knew it when you said “Yes to the stress”.    But you’ll  do just fine.   You’ll learn to live within your means and you already know about talking in a higher octave to buy a cheaper Happy Meal without the guilt.

Never forget get those insidious roach infested apartments we lived in.   They were and for some time, will be, tiny and cramped.  They will, be lean to’s with a few shingles, some with indoor plumbing.   But you’ll appreciate that you have a roof over your head.   . But never forget, the DNA of a hundred previous tenants will always be swirling on every surface.   Avoid the petri dish that will be your kitchens.   Look into healthy ways of employing anorexia in your life, if possible.   You won’t want to place food, much less eat it, anywhere near most of your kitchen counters.

For a time in your  early twenties to age 30 or so, the only letters you’ll receive will be returned check notices from your bank.   You’ll learn to hate that distinctive shade of pink paper that shouts  “welcher…..loser” from behind the envelope’s cellophane window.   But I beg you, don’t beat yourself up about this. Why?  Because you will survive the “student experience”.  And bouncing checks..on purpose, .with intent, is part of that survival experience. I didnt say ethical but it woo bevomecan necessary evil.  In fact, it’s survival  101.   You’ll make those particular sacrifices several times  while still young in life.    And I promise there’s, an end to what seems like an impossible student loan payback process.

You’ll live in neighborhoods that were shady because like your neighbors, you didn’t have a choice.    At least not in the fiscal sense.   And yes, the chasm between you and “the haves” will exist, especially while still in college, You’ll look enviously at those rich, indulged sorority types who were subsidized  by parent-ships, mummy and daddy paid for everything,     You used to think their only goal for four years was to pledge the right sorority, date the right guy from the proper Texas zip code and study, in between winters in Cabo and spring breaks in Gstaad.   But I want you to let go of any resentment ASAP.   It’s beneath your humanity   and besides, everyone has a veneer, a lovely candy coating…..and consequently, everyone has a price they must pay for everything.   The Big Mental Get Even comes later, I promise.    You’ll be amazed how once you’re in the real world, the playing field will be leveled.     Not completely, but more so than it was during your college days.  You’ll grow up, mature and see the error in your thinking.    You’ll eventually right your listing ship with emotional ballast you never thought possible.

Oh and while I’m at it, don’t date a jock at while at The University of  Texas.   It won’t end well.     For him, as it turned out.   Avoid pilots at all costs.  There’s a shoe salesman, a smart yet immature and confused engineer and an selfish actor wanna be in the mix.    Avoid them all.   Run from them…head west, head west!!!

You’ll have a kickass career, especially at the very beginning and while the money isn’t flooding in, your star is rising and you will be heralded in ways you envidioned at age six.     On air, you are loved unconditionally and disliked with as much passion.   Learn to edit criticism from viewers and listeners and for God’s sake, run like hell from broadcast consultants.     All they know is resentment from on-air careers  that went to hell or worse, never went anywhere.   They’re Satan’s spawn on a salad plate filled with nettles.     General Managers with few exceptions are generally full of hot air too, their hands still aching from all the knives they plunged into other people’s backs.    They will eventually stumble and fall as well.   You’ll learn that failure and disappointment are viable and unavoidable  facts of life.    Embrace them.  They are lessons indeed, but not necessarily pass/fail courses.    You can choose your mode of testing.

In order to do that, I urge you to ignore the tall, handsome Canadian.   Avoid the lessservrelationshipscthstbtook morevthsnnthry’ll hive.     Stay clear of the lure of fame even if regional, even if it’s on lowest rung on the show biz latter.  Try to abstain from all the stuff that feels good and either sounds like, or actually includes the letter “x” anywhere its title.   Imbibe less.  Learn that Love is more, much more than having a a few commonalities,    A mutual love of chicken coop welding will bring  you together, but it’s not enough to keep you together.   Love is complicated, regardless of how easy and effortless  it might feel.   Use common sense, don’t be a doormat.   Reinforce your spine constantly.

Please let go of that precious little lion cub by 1975.    Trust me, your life will be easier.    Adolescent first loves are too often idealized and never a reason to seek a vacuum cleaner hose to attach to the exhaust pipe before shutting the garage door.  Not that you’d ever do that,.   But this break up will feel like the absolute end of the world.  It’s actually just the end of a phase….that just feels like forever.   .But please let go early.   There’s power in release.    He never loved you like you loved him.     Seek emotional parity and let him go in the process.  He’s  nothing more than a greasy  kid stuff  memory .

Learn that donuts aren’t sweet bagels, don’t date co-workers.   Madonna will always be thinner than you AND might I add, always a year older.    Calibrate the mania in your life, keep stress on low and battle the inertia, where possible.  And please know this—it’s perfectly fine to be vulnerable, just not to the point of exploitation.

So, be kind  to yourself.   More than I was.   I’m sorry for some of the decisions I made….not so much what I did, but who I did.   Had I been wiser, the tone of this letter would be far less cautionary.  But in spite of all the warnings, there will be good times in your life and yes, you will know joy, but understand that (unless you did an unscripted  180 and became a cloistered nun), it’s not a constant.    It should be, but it can’t be, no matter what bill of goods someone  is trying to sell you.   You’re an errant human and you’ll know joy’s varying degrees throughout your life.    Revel in its presence.     Use time wisely, it never seems to stop until it has passed.   Oy.   Enjoy your memories but stay focused on  your dreams and goals.      And uh….being the first female broadcaster in space, isn’t one of them.

Marriage and motherhood can be in the picture should you choose to form a civil union or procreate….but it’s not an all or nothing scenario.   Don’t let anyone tell you you’re selfish because you don’t want kids…..if, you decide you don’t want kids.  My ability  was compromised after the wreck we had in 1992′.   It’s quite different to not want kids, yet still have it be an option..    It’s quite another thing  to be told you can’t.    But  you’ll  survive that, too.   Welcome menopause and be okay with aging, as long as you don’t attach anything numerical to the process.  Stay away from fun house mirrors and laugh, loudly and often.  Walk tall, learn to accept and respect your gifts. You have more than you have allowed yourself to realize.  Avoid complex carbohydrates and refuse the urge to celebrate your birthday during Fiesta in San Antonio, 1991. As we discussed earlier,  the trip there will literally wreck your life.

You wil lose your best friend to AIDS in 2007 and another very dear friend will be taken by a massive heart attack ten years later.    You’ll lose many colleagues and very close broadcast mentors between  2000 and 2017.   These things will happen in rapid succession and it will eviscerate you emotionally.  Cry all you want, and trust me, you will.   Don’t even bother wearing mascara.   But you’ll recover.   A few will even serve as guides from the other side.   And even if they aren’t really, , it’ll make me good to think so.

Jettison  from your life negative,  needy people, the poseurs , the petty narcissists  and general assholes who are mean spirited and cruel,     This will be easy since station  closures help with attrition.

Invest heavily in Big Pharma and BioMed in 2017.  Oh and something called Alphabet….Google it.

Lastly and perhaps the most important thing Older Me can impart to Younger Me would be this:  your mother wasn’t Kreskin, or Einstein.     She was wrong about a lot of things.

Huzzah!!

Hugz,

Me at 58.

As The Writer Writes

I watched the movie, “The Outsiders” a few days ago, from the comfort of my uncomfortable old couch.   If memory serves and it really hasn’t been lately, I the book was assigned reading in High School.    At the time the book has already been on your friendly neighborhood bookstore shelves for about 12- years.   I remember finding it rather dated even then.     Move ahead many years and I saw the movie when it premiered,

So no, I really didn’t like the book or the movie and watching it recently only made the whole premise seem even more ludicrous.

I kept the book which I had to buy whilein HS.   I kept it for years.   I remember reading SE Hinton’s name on the paperback’s spine.

I had no idea who she was, whether this  was a person with a nether region that included  either a PROtrustion or INtrusion, but whatever the gender was, I thought he or she had a weak grasp of how a 60’s era Greaser would think, talk and act.  Not that I would know myself.   I was  six years old in 1965 when this schmalz was to have occurred and I was also living in South Texas about seven hundred miles or so south of Oklahoma City or Tulsa or Enid or where ever the hell this story took place.

To me, the word “Greaser” was someone covered in Crisco or at least, a fry cook.

But…

The dialog drove me crazy.   Unfunny.

 I hear they stamp your face to make gorilla cookies-– Keith “Two Bit” Matthews

And speaking of names, I always thought the names Hinton chose were so silly.  Her Wikipedia entry says she based most of them on real people; namely her boyfriend at the time and her brother-in-law.  Names like  Ponyboy Curtis and his brother, Sodapop and elder brother, Darry which I think is short for Darrel.    Then, add Dallas (Dally) Winston to the mix, along with Two Bit and you have a juvenile salad with a toss of effeminate dressing.

I fell on my knees and  thanked obscure gods I don’t believe in when I read the wonderfully normal character name of “Tim Shepherd” mentioned in the book.  Johnny Cade was an acceptable name as well.   Call me foolish,  but shortly after I began reading the book, I started thinking–even as a young, concave titted sapling auteur– that this was a book written by a chick who thinks she writes as a dude would think while writing.     Based on guys I knew at the time this book was published, which included cousins and neighbors–hell, even my own father–I found it nearly impossible to believe that these rough and tumble male children from the wrong side of the tracks could be that caring, that loving and that compassionate while styling their hair with 30-weight Pennzoil.

I give props to Hinton (which in Laurie-ese means I “forgive” her) for the areas where I think her book lacked.   She was just 15 when she started writing the book. Very admirable.  It was published during her Freshman year in college, several years later.  Even more admirable.    My Freshman year in college the most I dared to attempt from a literary standpoint was to write my name, the date and my college ID number on my tests–which at times were the only things I knew for sure on the whole damn exam.

But here’s where I have an issue…

As an aspiring writer myself, I’ve  been told time and time again that one must write what one knows.   This book was based on two rival gangs at  Barry Switzer High School (not sure of the exact name of the institution OTHER than it was in Oklahoma)  where she attended.   The were the Greasers–named as such because they slicked back their hair with enough grease to make an axle jealous) and Socs (which until the movie came out, I thought was pronounced like ‘socks’, which I NEVER understood I realized later that term was created for the kids from higher socio-economic classes)  The Greasers  lived on the north side, next to (one would assume) a sea of loan sharks, pawn shops, bars, pool halls and every train track known to man while the Socs (pronounced Soash-long ‘o’) lived in the well-to-do part of town…the Southside  in palatial homes with manicured lawns; where residents were well healed and well wheeled.

And the jargon!!!!

Man, that was one tough car.  Mustangs, they’re tough.-Johnny Cade

I know times change.  The bee’s knees was a phrase that was all the rage in the 20’s, Hubba-Hubba served its purpose in the late 40’s and early 50’d.      Hollywood and Ralph Malph revived ‘ sit on it’ from the late 50.     Cool, groovy, far out, solid and right on, took us through about 1975.

Of course there are more, but my point is I get it—hip phrases change with the times, but something about terms Hinton used unnerved me.  Annoyed me.   Like fingernails on a chalkboard.   The torturous sound of cats mating.    Like any music made, sung, produced or hummed by Justin Bieber.

As for  SE Hinton the girl/woman, as best I can tell, she was neither a Soc or a Greaser.   She was probably somewhere in between; a good girl who dreamed of being bad; who had perfectly normal impure thoughts of Paul Peterson on “The Donna Reed Show” and Bandstand appearances by  Gary Puckkett   and Mark Lindsay–especially when he wore his very tight, religious-revealing Paul Revere and The Raiders pants.

Maybe even Donovan,too.

An additional  “Outsider” condemnation, the lovely Cherry Valance was actually named Sherry but in keeping up with Hinton’s penchant for crazy ass nicknames, Ponyboy et. al., readers would come to know her  as “Cherry” because of her red hair.   In later years, I envisioned her looking a lot like Diane Lane.

And wouldn’t you know it,  Frances Ford Coppola thought so too.

Johnny Cade is a little runt of a guy with abusive, alcoholic parents who don’t  ‘give a gosh darn”about him.   Dallas “Dally” Winston ( played by that Dillon  guy) is a hood, also shaped by parental neglect and glorified (by other Greasers as an  enviable rap sheet that reads like a scroll.  His character is hackneyed– a rebellious, angry young man with a huge chip on his shoulder–portrayed  in similar roles by tough guys actors such as Marlon Brando, Robert Blake, Judd Nelson, Johnny Depp and last but not least, Jodie Foster.

I’ve read several of Ms. Hinton’s other works, and dare I say  “The Outsiders” is by far her magnum opus.  One other book  she wrote is entitled, “That Was Then; This Is Now” and personally, I think it pales in comparison.  This book focuses on the late Sixties drug culture and acid-dropping with a long-haired, soft spoken, gray-eyed  character named M&M or Hershey or Zagnut–I can’t remember, it had something to to do with candy.  But based on this and other literary efforts, I think “Outsiders” is the best.   It was/is a very successful  manuscript which over the years, won a plethora of awards.   It was critically acclaimed at a time when young women weren’t writing books.   Hinton, Anne Frank and Laura Ingalls Wilder pretty much summed up the short list.   With Hinton being more contemporary,  I can say she broke an acrylic ceiling and for that, I admire her.    Someday, I hope to join her on the successful author dais.   So, with all sincerity, I say mozel to her for her gumption, her success.   She’s probably a lovely woman.

I just didn’t like this particular book.

However, because I respect and admire Hinton’s tenacity at such a young age, I’m thinking about naming my next  dog, “Bronco Bottle Cap Scranton Two Rubles”  as an homage to the book and movie.