Friday, August 25, 2006

Want to feel really old???

Members of Beloit College's class of 2010, entering college this fall, were mostly born in 1988. For them: Billy Carter, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, Billy Martin, Andy Gibb, and Secretariat have always been dead.

Ouch! When I saw the headline announcing the mindset list for those entering college this fall, my heart raced because I always look forward to reading the results AND because I knew I would feel older, very older. I have copied them below, because, well, misery loves company.

Let me know what you think. Maybe we can meet over an early senior citizen discount dinner to discuss your favorites...

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary
as the student union.
2. They have known only two presidents.
3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
4. Manuel Noriega has always been in jail in the U.S.
5. They have grown up getting lost in "big boxes."
6. There has always been only one Germany.
7. They have never heard anyone actually "ring it up"
on a cash register.
8. They are wireless, yet always connected.
9. A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a
third-rate burglary was to their parents'.
10. Thanks to pervasive headphones in the back seat, parents have
always been able to speak freely in the front.
11. A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.
12. Smoking has never been permitted on U.S. airlines.
13. Faux fur has always been a necessary element of style.
14. The Moral Majority has never needed an organization.
15. They have never had to distinguish between the St. Louis Cardinals
baseball and football teams.
16. DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.
17. They grew up pushing their own miniature shopping carts in
the supermarket.
18. They grew up with and have outgrown faxing as a means
of communication.
19. "Google" has always been a verb.
20. Text messaging is their email.
21. Milli Vanilli has never had anything to say.
22. Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most
trusted man in America.
23. Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards
and snail mail to retail items.
24. Madden has always been a game, not a Superbowl-winning coach.
25. Phantom of the Opera has always been on Broadway.
26. "Boogers" candy has always been a favorite for grossing out parents.
27. There has never been a "skyhook" in the NBA.
28. Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents' attics.
29. Computerized player pianos have always been tinkling in the lobby.
30. Non-denominational mega-churches have always been the fastest
growing religious organizations in the U.S.
31. They grew up in mini-vans.
32. Reality shows have always been on television.
33. They have no idea why we needed to ask "...can we all get along?"
34. They have always known that "In the criminal justice system the
people have been represented by two separate yet equally
important groups."
35. Young women's fashions have never been concerned with where
the waist is.
36. They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
37. Brides have always worn white for a first, second, or third wedding.
38. Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
39. "So" as in "Sooooo New York," has always been a drawn-out
adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies
something else
40. Affluent troubled teens in Southern California have always been
the subjects of television series.
41. They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live
on television.
42. Ken Burns has always been producing very long documentaries on PBS.
43. They are not aware that "flock of seagulls hair" has nothing to
do with birds flying into it.
44. Retin-A has always made America look less wrinkled.
45. Green tea has always been marketed for health purposes.
46. Public school officials have always had the right to censor
school newspapers.
47. Small white holiday lights have always been in style.
48. Most of them never had the chance to eat bad airline food.
49. They have always been searching for "Waldo."
50. The really rich have regularly expressed exuberance with
outlandish birthday parties.
51. Michael Moore has always been showing up uninvited.
52. They never played the game of state license plates in the car.
53. They have always preferred going out in groups as opposed to dating.
54. There have always been live organ donors.
55. They have always had access to their own credit cards.
56. They have never put their money in a "Savings & Loan."
57. Sara Lee has always made underwear.
58. Bad behavior has always been getting captured on amateur videos.
59. Disneyland has always been in Europe and Asia.
60. They never saw Bernard Shaw on CNN.
61. Beach volleyball has always been a recognized sport.
62. Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti have always been luxury cars of choice.
63. Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with
the national anthem.
64. LoJack transmitters have always been finding lost cars.
65. Diane Sawyer has always been live in Prime Time.
66. Dolphin-free canned tuna has always been on sale.
67. Disposable contact lenses have always been available.
68. "Outing" has always been a threat.
69. Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss has always been the
perfect graduation gift.
70. They have always "dissed" what they don't like.
71. The U.S. has always been studying global warming to confirm
its existence.
72. Richard M. Daley has always been the Mayor of Chicago.
73. They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games
with, lest they die.
74. Ringo Starr has always been clean and sober.
75. Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Going Home

2:25 pm – LaGuardia

They just took my anti-bacterial hand cleaner and Shari’s toothpaste and Aveda foot cream. I feel so much safer – especially since Shari had no idea I swiped her stuff! The evidence is gone. Truth be told, I think the cats put her stuff in my bags. I know I didn’t. Those cats ended up taking several of my items (Shari warned me when I arrived they might). Funny thing is, I always found the items returned in my stuff. So they are nice thieves. Once they were done playing with my contact case and my head scarf, they put them away. You can’t beat that for manners.

So I am here in the airport, shoes off – no I am not in the security line! I am avoiding contact with the blisters on the bottom of my feet. I earned every one of them over the last four and a half days. Call it the start of an added regime to my diet – which, btw, I blew on TWO pieces of Red Velvet cake and a dream bar. I had to compare bakeries – so my pusher said as she returned yesterday with my bagel and lox and the second piece from the renowned Magnolia Bakery. I had caved the night before in utter exhaustion – where else on earth can one purchase a piece of Red Velvet cake??? After filling me with sugar and carbs, Shari had the utter nerve to suggest I keep walking blisters on my feet since we got such a good start over the last couple of days. Yeah, sure.

Among the things I don’t understand about New York: why are there so many shoe stores offering straps and high heels? How in the world do all those women who pass me on the street in spiked heels keep from transitioning to Birks or Nikes – hey, wait a minute – perhaps that is the key! We were wearing the wrong kind of shoes!! If I had been in spiked heels, I might be better off right now.

Hard to imagine, especially after seeing woman after woman walking on the bricks of the meat packing district last night. Reminded me of, “don’t step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back.”

We schlepped over to Lotus at about 11:30 pm, hoping to be among the elite (in our Birks and Nikes!) Shari made her way past the coifed and asked the doorman about the dress code and cover. With perfect droll, he responded that there was a dress code and that the cover is determined at the door. She had to see the “door person.” So PC! However, his icy cold glare pretty much gave a clue to the cost for us – there isn’t enough money in New York to cover our presence. After all, Paris might be in there! If she was, we missed her.

We schlepped over to a couple other places – Pastise of Sex and the City fame included. No dice. No longer serving food.

Schlep, schlep, schlep … We finally found a place that would take our money, next to the renowned club pm. Best darn Italian food I have ever had! Green ravioli with mushrooms. Melted in my mouth as we watched two yellow Ferraris float by and the line grow longer and longer. Russell Simmons passed by with a friend. Right in front of our sidewalk table! More of a gawker than we, a tall dude with a tail rushed over to tell him he watches his brother’s show all the time. We found out this morning that his brother is part of Run DMC. Whatever.

Please understand, by that time, we had our fill of star sightings. Afterall, we were in the audience of the world premiere of Usher as Billy Flynn! Main floor, last row, so we saw every single star who snuck in or out. In fact, we teamed with those beside us and in front of us for an all out search of the faces. The Italian couple next to us were absolutely lost as I tried explaining who Felicia Rashad is – Bill Cosby? Head shakes no. Cosby Show? No. Any English at all? No. The German women in front of us gave us the latest gossip on who is doing what on the German gossip pages. Despite their objections, we spotted Penelope Cruz to our left, talking on the phone despite the repeated requests to turn phones off. Gail King did not look gay at all, I might add. She was there, also to our left. I could have reached out and touched Ben Vareen – he was wearing a suit with red converse tennis shoes! Our kind of schlepping!! And there was Rosie Perez, Mario (we didn’t know him but the other teammates did). I think we counted 10 stars in all, just feet from our seats…

Afterwards, we stood among the throngs of people (throngs = a lot) waiting for Usher to appear as well as the others. Cameras were absolutely everywhere. When he appeared, people shrieked! Police were everywhere. Cars couldn’t move. It was truly a New York red carpet premiere – and we were there. Shari and I, there, in the crowd, craning our necks, standing on things to be able to peer over the persons in front of us. My Mom’s digital camera in hand. In our Birks and in our Nikes!

Just thinking about it hurts my feet!

A few other closing thoughts: the cats and I never did become friends even after I cleaned their litter box, played with them with their toys, laid on floor hoping to appear vulnerable and safe. Nada. Didn’t happen. I miss Kit Kat!

And, I miss David, and Colton and Isabella. I miss home. It will be good to be able to wake up now from this unforgettable dream.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

10 am The West Village!

I don't close the door on the shower door! There isn't one! And the "spray" comes down from the ceiling! I think the floor is granite! And this place has one of those Stephenson sinks, a modernistic bowl with these fancy water tuners. Both beds are this wonderfully hip low-to-the-floor mattresses. Shari's has a great light wood frame that matches the wood throughout the room. And did I mention the large screened mini Mac that is complete with wireless keyboard and mouse. Outside the windows in front of me is sunshine (it has been here everyday) and two fabulous trees. Shari said they are Magnolias and that when she was here last they were in full bloom: white and pink. How absolutely beautiful it must be!

The star map, as if we looked at one, says Holly Hunter lives just down the block and David Blaine could be looking in at me right now! He lives behind us ... somewhere ... if the map can be trusted. History also states that Kahil Graban died in the hospital just steps away.

And did I mention that I fell in front of the woman from Sex and the City? What is her name? Sarah Jessica Parker? Ah yes, strolling down a street in Soho, I look behind me (looking for Kelly Ripa actually, because I heard she lived near there) and spot Sara. I whisper to Shari that she is behind us, then, as I trip over the curb, I decide I am going to try and play it off to Shari that I did it on purpose just to see how humane Sara is - aren't you wondering what Sara did?? Well, she actually crossed the street, took her glasses off and asked if I was ok - very humane - I like that. I reassured her and Shari that I was fine when I realized that I don't think it was Sara afterall - of if it was, she looks a bit older without all the glam (which maybe she does, how old would she be anyway?) As she passed by, asking another time if I was ok, I whispered to Shari that I did it on purpose. She believed me for a minute and thought I was very cagey in my sacrifices to meet a star. God only knows what I would have done if it was David Cassidy or Bobby Sherman.

But I now have seen several stars - Biff, recognize the name?? He is David Letterman's assistant! Yes I know, very impressive. I didn't fall. But I felt like I was going to when WE WERE ON LETTERMAN!!!! Well, ok, we weren't guests on Letterman, but we were audience members! Main floor, about 7 rows from the stage!! What a dream is that?? It was absolutely fantastic. Dave is awesome, very friendly with the audience - and the stage is truly far more impressive than the cameras reveal.

After the show, like the rest of the groupies, we stood in line to see Maggie Gyllenhaal (I didn't know how to spell her name! In fact, I didn't really know her. I didn't fall!) come out from the show.

Soooooo, I have to say, I refuse to wake up from this dream! Tonight, we are going to the opening of Usher does Chicago - I better take some body armor, eh??

Sunday, August 20, 2006

10:12 pm NYC

I swear Shari is trying to kill me!

Well, let me start over. After all, we are staying in a place that is beyond imagination. Wonderful brownstone, recently remodeled to look EXACTLY like all those magazines. Beautifully restored hardwood floors, brick northern wall, contemporary
minimalistic interiors. I just had to sit there in the cab when he pulled up to this place - and I had not even seen the inside!. History along this street alone is remarkable - lots of writers - Around the World in 80 Days was composed just a few doors down.

So why am I watching the Flavor of Love on this plasma tv?????

And there are two cats - that continue to elude us despite our gentle cooing. DANG cats! I swear we will be friends by the time I wake up from this dream...

I wish I wouldn't have told you about the Flavor of Love! It's kind of how I felt last night when we were at this improv, front seats, and the comic asked me where I was from. Michigan, I said with a big smile, hoping, just hoping that she would be content with the answer. She was - the next comic wasn't. He was from Lansing! He made a few comments about Michael Moore and his movies and then continues with his act. THEN, the next one was from Michigan also - Birmingham to be more specific. She asked that we not judge her because of her hometown. I asked that she do the same. She and I knew what we meant. Shari did too. I think it flew past the others.

Don't judge me.

I was thinking of how we judge - how I judge - today after watching The History Boys, a Tony Award winning show that depicted from the stage many things including judging, I guess. Funny how much homosexuality comes up anymore, or is less judgmental to say gay? Today's show certainly had it as an undercurrent theme. What show doesn't any more? The awareness is of gays in our society has blossomed. I'm not sure there is a living soul who is not more aware than ever of gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Not that it matters that much because there is still sooo much homophobia out there - well not here - but out there. It's as easy to find as well, gays.

Except in Flint. Our bluecollar town wouldn't do well with The History Boys - not that it doesn't exist in Flint - we just don't talk about it. We turn our gaze in another direction - say, to Blacks or whites, to what we don't have, to crime, to job security. The truth is, despite our averted eyes, we all probably know someone who is gay, someone who is out or in. We just don't talk about it.

In New York - in Hollywood - they talk about it. They write about it. They perform it. Gays acts straight in our favorite shows. Straights even act gay.

I am beginning to think that we are making too big of a deal about all of this gayness. Today's show seem to imply that perhaps its more about sex than homosexuality. Men who "experience" a man are simply seeking to experience another form of sex. It's not a preference as much as another experience. I watched an episode of Cops one night where a man "experienced" the drain of a pool! On national television, he thought it might feel good to experience a pool!

I hate to sound so cynical, or judgmental. However, I must say, I don't hear too often of females seeking the same experiences. Today's show seemed to reflect that as well. Is there a time in an adolescent male where such diversions are ok and free from the judgment of others? Do such desires truly pass?

I just tried to pet the cat again. She ran. Do you think she is judging me????

So I am expecially exhausted tonight and my feet hurt, because as I said earlier, Shari is trying to kill me. She is older, but she is in far better shape. The truth is in the pudding. We walked and we walked and we walked - and then walked some more. We went to the Magnolia Bakery where I passed on Red Velvet Cake (dang diet), we hit the meatpacking district where we lunched on French cuisine, we subwayed to Times Square, and checked out the webcam on Christopher Street. I wish someone could have seen us! And then we walked some more. If I had a dime for every time Shari said, "It's right up here," and we walked well beyond. What is up with that??? Does she never get tired???

We finally came home well after 9. I worry about tomorrow.

On second thought, I want to turn over and keep dreaming this unbelievable dream...