Friday, August 27, 2010

eighties greaties

Love the movie love the song. Even owned the cassette tape version of the soundtrack. Huge, huge crush on Andrew McCarthy! Twenty-four years later I offer my best advice for high school girls in Andie's situation: GO WITH DUCKIE! 

P.S. James Spader plays the most excellent sleazy rich boy preppie!

Friday, August 20, 2010

eighties greaties

Shamelelss plug for the concert the kids & I are gonna see tonight. Trekking up to Santa Cruz to see 80s alt band They Might be Giants at the Rio Theater. This band reached its peak a little after my early 80s musical glory days — but are nevertheless very much vintage 80s. The best part, my son's really into them. Sure, the bulk of their audience sports thick rimmed glasses and pocket protectors and the songs are just plain silly. But listen to the lyrics. Deep poetic content here. Ahead of their time? Major understatement.

"I don't want the world, I just want your half"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

dad's letter

My American dad and German mother met in 1957 on a Europe-bound cruise ship. When dad arrived in Germany with his California buddies, he visited her, and they wrote letters back and forth for two years before she came to the States and they were married. Dad passed away five years ago this week, and my mother is now remarried and very happy. But I am lucky enough to have received all of those glorious letters. If my home were on fire and I was only able to grab a few items, these letters would be among them, for without them I wouldn't be. I hold on to them as proof positive of my parent's love for each other. Their relationship turned out to be rocky to say the least, but they remained married until dad died. What kept it together? Lord only knows. Maybe deep down they both believed in fairy tales, at least their own. You'd think after my divorce and a couple of failed relationships I'd put that kind of nonsense aside. But like my dreamer-of-a-father, I still believe. Here's his letter to my mother's parents dated August 20, 1959, where he asks for their blessing. I love it. I love my dad. And I miss him dearly...

Dear Capt. and Mrs. Jeschonnek,

This will no doubt be one of the most difficult letters that I will ever have to write, although everything I want to say is very clear and organized within me. I hope you will bear with me while I stumble through it on paper.

Let me begin by thanking both of you for making it possible for Inge's and my dream of two years to come true this summer. Every minute of her stay was very much worthwhile. As you know, it turned out to be a story that one finds only in fairy tales.

Nevertheless we found ourselves very clearly in love and positive that our "fairy tale" is genuine. We both feel that it always will be.

As you may realize, for the past two years I have been in love with Inge's image — which has represented a sort of refuge from everything unhappy and unpleasant to me. I  was overwhelmed when she stepped of the plane as the girl I thought she would eventually develop into, not already be. It wasn't long after that we began talking about going through life together.  Believe me, we talked very seriously and objectively, although there were several times when we wanted to believe in only the moment.

I must admit, however, that one of my biggest weaknesses is that often I'm inclined to let my emotions and emotional desires run away from my intellect. But I feel that because I was obsessed with the importance of such a huge step, I was able to stop, think, and control my emotions.  I often thought that love alone could provide fuel for a while — but more realistically, our future security will depend on the foundations I am building now. Since it is solely up to me to establish a financial and material future, I don't think it would be wise to waste the first of our most productive and progressive years toward our eventual goals, on an extended honeymoon.

Although in two years I still won't have financial security, I feel that this won't depend on money as much as being in a position to bargain for it. Today in America this position can only be attained by having a college degree.

This is the basic reason for our decision to wait until we both finish  our education, although there are others as well. I feel that I owe it to Inge, both you and my parents, as well as myself. My parents think that it is best we wait and I'm confident you will agree — if you approve at all. I realize that it isn't fair to ask for your sanction as you don't even know me, let alone my parents. I would, though, like to know your reaction, thoughts and opinions.

After talking the situation over with Inge and my parents, we decided to have the wedding in Europe— France or Germany. This would be the only fair and proper way, where you would have an opportunity to judge me and my family for yourself. My parents said that they would do everything they could to make the trip. Don't you agree that this is best?

This letter must sound to you like I'm trying to "railroad" something through (another reason for waiting), but it's only because I love Inge so very much. I often wonder why I had to go to the other side of the world to find my heart. I realize that this does and will create many problems. But still the fact remains that we are honestly in love and there could never be anybody else.

I hope that I haven't confused you as to my actual feelings with my plebeian ways of expressing myself. I've never been in a situation such as this before and I want to do what is right for everybody concerned. Could both of you give me your feelings and advice?

Thank you mille fois for everything.

Very sincerely,

Friday, August 13, 2010

eighties greaties

It's Friday — time for a whirl back to yesteryear. I've spent more than an acceptable amount of time this week perusing youtube for my next selection from the new wave treasure trove. Ended up with this one. Think of it as a tribute to the end of Summer '10. (Where did those 3 months go?) Corny? Hell, yes! Also concrete evidence that it was once cool to wear cropped overalls (extra cool = one strap open), baggy pleated pants, bobby socks w/loafers, and permed bleached hair wrapped in a scarf. Gag me with a spoon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Not a “hate my ex” letter

January 7, 2010

I don’t hate ate my ex-husband. He’s done the best he’s able to do with the tools he’s been given in life. His kids adore him and he says he loves them every chance he gets. What could be better?
But (you knew there’d be a but!) why would a dad who only sees his kids one night a week and every other weekend want to REDUCE that amount of time? I mean, I can’t imagine not being with these guys on a daily basis — we’re a family for godsakes! My educated guess: It’s a long, 45-minute drive to Cambria from Paso Robles. But that’s what the man’s chosen to do — despite our “parenting agreement.” Tonight would’ve been his night with them. My one responsibility-free night has turned into just another meal I have to prepare after a long workday. Damn him! 
So I prayed. Asked God to take the anger and turn it into something meaningful. Next thing I know I’m at Cookie Crock market buying pork chops and applesauce (a favorite) for tonight’s meal.Home at 5:30 from an uninspiring day at work — last thing I want to do is cook — but I throw it all together. We break into the routine: Melissa, set the table. (We ARE eating at the dinner table). Cliffie, pour the milk and put on some dinner music. Plates on the table. Prayer. Plus a little one to myself: “just let me listen.” 

Melissa first. She’s frustrated with certain teachers at school — so am I. Hang in there, I say. If I were to go back in time, the last place I’d want to visit is junior high as an 8th grader. But she’s handling it all with such grace, style, and levelheadedness — secure with who she is and kind to everyone — with a maturity beyond her years. Miles ahead of her mom at that age. Funny thing is, she’s very much like her (gulp) father — in a good way!

We get to talking about Cliffie’s Mock Trial. And deadlne for SATs is tomorrow — better sign up. I’ve been encouraging him to sign up for a college tour that many of the students from his class will be attending. One of the schools is UC Davis, the one he’s most excited about. “Why aren’t you more interested in this tour?” I ask. He says, “the kids that are going will just want to party.” “Like, drink?” I say. “Probably,” he says. How on God’s earth was I lucky enough to end up with a kid who’s anti-party? I’m thinking this as I begin planning our own personal college tour in my head.

I stopped listening for a while to tell him that, even though we’re in “financial need,” not to rule out beginning at a four-year college. Any college would be lucky to have you, I say — not the other way around. You'll receive scholarships. We’ll get loans. We’ll make it work. He seemed to be listening.

Well, that was certainly a quality evening. And to think we would have missed out on all of it had their dad trekked into town. But I was the lucky one tonight. You get what you pray for —and then some. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

eighties greaties

Happy weekend! I have decided this shall be a regular feature here. Don't know about you but not much makes me happier than delving back into the archives of my musical youth, specifically for me '82-'83. Back when music was fun. And cool. And there was a corny MTV video for each catchy tune. Anyone out there grow up in LA/Orange county and listen to KROQ? That station was on permanent play at high volume in my sky blue vw bug. Love it love it!

Selection 1: LA band The Plimsouls. Saw them in '82 at Cal State Fullerton and have been a Peter Case fan ever since. This band was featured in the quintessential 80s film "Valley Girl." Delighted to find this HQ video of "A Million Miles Away," complete w/pool party, big hair girl in leopard skin dress, and road trip to Mexico!  Enjoy!

 The Plimsouls: A Million Miles Away

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

garden gives back

A few months ago I made a couple of investments to further my creative side: purchased a nice digital camera and sowed a few seeds in our backyard 'o dirt. Small scale, really. But tonight, after yet another long workday, garden gave back. It's like getting a big hug from mother nature, I swear. Not to mention the congratulatory voice inside bellowing: "YOU did this. Awesome!"