Sunday, November 25, 2007

They call us The People of the Ding Dong

They say that when the world was new, there were sugar crashes and food spoilage in our ancestral homeland of Hyperinsulinemia. And the people cried out to The Great Refiner, for The Food of Eternity that never rots. The Great Refiner gave our ancestors the formula for the Ding Dong, and gave them the white flour and the sugar and the BHT. In visions he told them, a Land Bridge will form when the Great Sugar Rationing falls upon the land. Take the Food of Eternity and go forth and carry it to all corners of the earth. And they did so, and their civilization was built upon the Foods of Eternity, the Ding Dong, the Twinkie, the Moon Pie and the Convenience Store Honey Bun.

But we are forgetting the Old Ways. Our Traditions are being lost. We eat natural, even whole, foods.

Still, in each generation there is a One Who Remembers the Old Ways. One who eats the foods of our ancestors and Keeps the Traditions. As families gather to give thanks to the Great Refiner, and the holiday embers dwindle down to a warm glow, circles are formed around the fireplace.

And tales of The Old Days are told; and rituals are observed, of sharing the foods of our ancestors. And to the little children some is given, that they may know their place in the Great Chain of Being, and that they may bounce off the walls in their own Sucrose Vision Quests, and that they may someday in turn teach their own children The Old Ways.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

November in SC

It really is not endless summer here. In fact we had some nights in the high 30's (fahrenheit) and cold coat-weather days just last week.

What happens here is that weather comes more in spells than in seasons. Single digit nights occur in winter, and days in the 70's are not uncommon any month of the year.

The past couple of days have been in the 70's.

Tomatoes are ripening on our vine. There could be a frost any night now and we have to watch out and go ahead and harvest them, green or not, if frost is due. These 4 (you can't really see the 4th one) will make a nice one-meal batch of fried green tomatoes.

But today, bees were still hanging out in
a sunflower.

Nights are chilly. A housefly takes refuge in a still-blooming rose, and another bud is ready to open. Scooter is more interested in the mice that rustle in the underbrush back there.

We're still seeing butterflies.

AND some fall color. Fall, like everything else southern, ambles slowly through the weeks. No big burst of color, but a flare here and there. This year's drought has affected it too, and has seriously dampened the color, but it's appearing.

All photos taken today, November 20th.

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Unillustrated Robert Goulet Post

One of these days I will blog about life as an unmedicated ADD. It's not self-deprecating humor, it's a real medical diagnosis. I hated the meds I was on and quit them several years ago. They didn't help much anyway, so life is only a little more chaotic without them, but I lose things. I have piles of unsorted junk mail and paper scattered everywhere. I leave tasks unfinished, and I often take something out of its logical location, walk toward another place where I plan to use it, and somewhere along the way get distracted by the inevitable Something Shiny, drop the item randomly and find it years later. An expired check stuck in a pile of magazines. Old photos among recyclable paper on top of the printer.

Every single object I had planned to photograph, to illustrate this post, is missing in action. Photos of myself and my cousin. The Game. The Autograph. Days go by. The news about which I plan to blog gets old. I search the house but no luck yet.

Meanwhile maybe the Wash Your Car And It Rains Law will work for me here. If I give up and post this without them, then they'll show up and I can update it.

This is my very own Robert Goulet story.

In 1968, when we were 14, my mom took my cousin Emily (the same cousin whose dad took us emerald mining) and me to New York City for a wowzer of a week. To give us the full NY experience, she took us by train and we began the the trip by disembarking in Penn Station.

Charlotte, NC, home, was no backwater, and my mom had seen to it that I experienced live theatre by age 8 (a tour company of The Music Man), and good professional stock companies at that. Betty Grable came to town in Hello Dolly. (Dad was in charge of my music education and took me to concerts by Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman.)

But real New York theater was still pretty impressive. We saw You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Fantastiks, Hal Holbrook in Man of La Mancha, and Robert Goulet in a little musical called The Happy Time.

Daytime was a wowzer, too. In the Metropolitan Museum I stood right in front of paintings I'd only seen in books. And we saw Central Park, the Automat, Times Square, Lincoln Center! Familiar to Emily and me from our favorite TV shows (That Girl! He and She!).

When I talk about my cousin Emily, it's closer to the truth if you think "sister." Our dads are brothers. She and I were the first members of our generation, were due together. She was a tad early and I was late so she beat me by a month. A few little brothers came along later, but Emily and I remained the only girls. The extended family, and most others with social ties to our grandmother, treated us like twins.

Our other favorite TV show was The Patty Duke Show. Emily and I look nothing alike. We are nothing alike, but we related, partly to Patty and Cathy's radically different personalities. Only a couple years ago she found The Patty Duke (Board) Game for me in an antique shop.

She's quick thinking, scientific (she's now a chemistry professor) and assertive. She walked into Big Name College and told them: "You need the courses I can teach," and they hired her. I'm timid and reclusive. She led, I followed, even in NYC which should have intimidated even her. But not much did.

We never considered getting autographs from the actors in the other musicals that week, but Goulet was Big Time Celebrity to anyone raised as I was, on Broadway musical cast albums, by a theater-buff mom.

To me, Julie Andrews was a star before she ever made a movie. I ran outside one day circa 1963, after reading the showbiz gossip in the Charlotte News and announced to my friend Sally: "Guess what! Julie Andrews is gonna be Mary Poppins in the movie!" Sally gave me a blank look.

And Goulet had been Julie's Lancelot in Camelot!!

So here we are, filing out of the theater after The Happy Time. Emily's got an idea: "Let's go around to the stage door and get his autograph!"

How she even knew this was possible, I can't imagine. To me, celebrities exited their performances by special Celebrity Portals to their Home Worlds and did not exist in ours. But my cousin, at 14, knew where to go and knew autograph hounds hung out there.

The stage door crowd was small. We waited ages. Then actors started wandering out. Lord help me, I ignored Charles Durning and David Wayne (!) I didn't know who they were (Our Finian's Rainbow recording was from a later revival, not the original that won Wayne a Tony). People lined up for signatures from Goulet. Emily was ahead of me. Then I stepped up to him and handed him my program. Overwhelmed. This was the guy in the Camelot record standing right in front of me.

He asked my name. I answered and stared at the ground. He signed my program, handed it back and said,

"Let me see your eyes." He put his hand under my chin and lifted my face and looked me in the eyes with a big smile. If he said anything else, it was lost in the buzzing in my ears. My memory ends at that point.

Did he know how to charm a shy 14-year-old, or what?

The picture stayed on my bulletin board for years. It's still here somewhere. Really.

So is my brain, but that's another story.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Back to church

Oh, like a night in this %&$*ing trap isn't bad enough, now you get flash in my eyes?!
Come the revolution, your species? Servitude City. Count on it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Another discovery everybody else knew about already

At this time of year, when the garage is neither too hot nor too cold to work in, I have a burst of activity, clearing clutter, weeding out, assembling sets of books to sell.

But I thought I'd take time out to share yet another of my Amazing Discoveries Actually Discovered Long Ago By Others: if you've got a yen for curried chicken salad and you don't have raisins on hand, dried apricots in it are yummo! In fact, I like it better this way.