Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge—on Thursday and 2 Weeks Late

I’m behind on everything, including my blog reading and especially on my blog writing.  I have some good excuses:  I have a new job (and I love it, and it’s exciting and fun), we’ve been right in the middle of one of the most exciting Razorback football seasons in decades, and I’ve been busy keeping up with old friends and making new ones. 

But, it’s Thanksgiving, the very first one I’ve ever spent totally alone.  Other than watching the Cowboys lose (sigh), It’s seemed a lot like a regular Saturday; I’ve sat on my posterior all day and done nothing but eat, drink, and alternate between football and James Bond movies (SyFy has a Bond marathon on Thanksgiving).  It’s actually been relaxing, truth be told.


So, I went over to my friend Kathy’s blog, Life in the Slow Lane, and discovered that she’d lifted an idea from our mutual friend Joyce at From This Side of the Pond, and I liked the idea.  Kathy missed the first week; I missed the first two.  Unlike Kathy, I’ve decided to just do both of them together and then try to keep up.  So, (in the immortal words of the immortal Jackie Gleason), “…and aWAY we GO!”

Week 1 Questions:

1. Do you think you're more like your mom or your dad?

Oh, hell, this is an easy one.  There are traces of Dad in there (the reading; the tending to things like classical music and literature; believe it or not, the practicality (“Why is every light in this house on?”  “You don’t need a new one, the old one’s not worn out yet.”).

But ask anybody who knew us both, and you’ll get an immediate answer:  I’m Mother made over as a man (and she was a clone of her Mama).  I frequently open my mouth and her voice comes out.  The genes didn’t lie…

1974 GrannieMP Wedding 061a[4] (1)IMG_9891a

Yeah, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree….

2. Do you like roller coasters?

No, I do not “like” roller coasters.  I LOVE roller coasters.  I think they are among the coolest inventions of man.  From my earliest coaster days (The Comet at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas; The Monster Mouse at Playland Park in San Antonio) to present, I love ‘em all.  Current favourite:  Rockin’ Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World, although I’m tempted to make a trip to Ohio specifically to ride the coasters at Cedar Point.

3. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you'd thought about it maybe another five minutes before you hit publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? (French makes everything sound a little nicer doesn't it?)

I couldn’t think of anything better.  I wanted “Malvie” in it since that’s been my nickname since Razorbacking days (short for “MalvernHog”).  I wanted an alliterative name; ergo, “Malvie’s Musings”.  And yes, I’d change it if I could think of something better AND it wasn’t so much darn work…

4. What is the best wedding gift you received? Not married? Didn't get any gifts? Then what is the best wedding gift you've given?

Hands down:  When I lived in Little Rock, I sang for years in the Cathedral Choir at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.  We (the Choir) were available for rent for weddings (we did funerals for free, although donations were accepted and appreciated).  We used the wedding income for things like new music and vestments. 


Truly beautiful, isn’t it?

We did this wedding at Christmas.  The bride (who was no stranger to Hostess Twinkies; in fact, I daresay the entire Hostess line) was marrying a young man whose father was a member of the Canadian Parliament.  The young lady’s family lived on Edgehill Rd., the swankiest address in Arkansas.  Her father (probably relieved to give her feed bill expenses to someone else) threw a lavish wedding---the dress was from Paris; all 1,500 seats at the Cathedral were full; the groom’s family and friends flew in from Canada on a chartered 737; the 3-tent reception at the bride’s family estate featured us in one tent, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber group in another, and the Arkansas Opera Company in another; the florist (a friend/competitor of a choir member) told us the flowers alone were $15,000; the families were whisked from the estate to the church and back to the estate by a fleet of Rolls-Royce’s imported from Dallas for the occasion.  It was quite the spectacle.

Of course, making it even MORE spectacular were the bride’s mother dramatically “fainting” during the service, the groom and all his groomsmen being so plastered they literally could barely stand (I guess due to the width of the bride as she waddled down the aisle), and of course, there was the FIRE which occurred when one of the candelabra, festooned with real greenery, caught fire during the service (my friend Scott, ever the proper Episcopalian, took the burning thing to the sacristy, stopping of course to genuflect at the altar while holding the burning candelabra….)

What does this have to do with gifts?  The same day (it was a morning wedding), the maid of a friend of mine was getting married.  This extremely sweet young African-American lady (already mother of two) had finally met “Mr. Right”.  She thoughtfully invited both her employer (“Miss Anne”) and me, in person (handed us the invitations, hand-written on notebook paper).  She knew of my interest in photography, having admired some of my photos, and shyly asked me what I would charge her to take pictures at her wedding.  I replied that the photography would be my gift.

So, after Anne and I extracted ourselves from the “extravaganza” on Edgehill, we drove north of the city to the tiny crossroads community where the maid’s wedding was to be held.  The church was a white-clapboard A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) church, with a low-slung, concrete-block “fellowship hall” next door. 

The bride’s wedding dress was handmade by her sisters.  She was radiant walking down the aisle, accompanied by her two adorable children.  Her handsome young man, standing at the altar with HIS two adorable children, was obviously head-over-heels in love with her.  After a lovely wedding, we adjourned to the Fellowship Hall, which to our surprise featured packed-dirt floors and naked light bulbs hanging from wires stapled to the ceiling.  The wedding cake, home made jointly by the mothers of the bride and groom, was the single most delicious cake I’ve ever eaten.  I snapped about 400 pictures, had them developed, and put them in albums for the couple, who were ecstatic—and very much in love.

And that was the best wedding present I’ve ever given. 

Oh, and the walrus rich young lady and the MP’s son remained married exactly two months.  So far as I know, ‘Cille and Tom are still married after all these years.

5. What is the one bill you most hate to pay?

All of them.

6. Is the glass half full or half empty?

Half full, always.

7. What is your favorite word? Okay okay. Calm down. How about one of your favorite words?


8. Now, this is where you insert one random thought of your own...maybe something that struck you as funny, something that recently had you scratching your head in confusion, something that annoyed you a teensy bit, something on your to do list, something you are looking forward to, whatever. As long as it is in keeping with the friendly tone we've all come to know and love on Wednesdays then we're good. Don't make me get out my wooden spoon.

I don’t know which I like better, pot roast or chili.  But I have both available to eat this weekend.

Week 2 Questions:

1. What is the most amazing weather you've ever seen?

I have had the unmitigated displeasure to have lived through 3 hurricanes and 3 tornadoes.  The hurricanes were Carla, Allen and Ike.  The tornadoes were the Dallas tornado of 1960, wherein downtown was torn up as we watched; a tornado in Little Rock in 1982 wherein I had to get out of the car and into the ditch (in a 3-piece suit) and felt the tornado lift me up (slightly) and set me back down; and the one in Dallas wherein my friend and I had been to the bars, got back to our apartments (she lived upstairs from me and was a friend girl, not a girl friend), fell into an alcoholic stupor deep sleep, and awoke to discover that the roof had been torn off our building while we slumbered on (the Fire Department pounded on the door and took us out).

I’d just as soon pass on any more severe weather, thanks.

2. What is a sound or noise you love?

Here you go.

3. Do you like seafood? What's your favorite seafood dish?

I love seafood.  Unfortunately, crustaceans concentrate iodine in their delicious little bodies.  Ingestion of iodine for me induces anaphylactic shock, and I have to be hospitalized.  Accordingly, I have to eat SCROD while everybody else is enjoying lobster.  My favourite pre-anaphylaxis seafood?  Tie:  Oysters Rockefeller and gulf shrimp.

4. What part of your day requires the most patience?

Houston traffic.  Twice a day.  Every day.

Here’s another example.

And here’s some GREAT humor about it (you have to laugh; glass half full, remember?)

5. What's your favorite shade of blue?

Columbia blue, when paired with Old Gold (note the colours of this blog.  It’s not that way by accident.  Columbia blue and Old Gold for Sigma Chi.

Sigma Chi

6. Do people underestimate you?

I don’t know about now, but they certainly did in the past.  Fat people Gentlemen of Stature are usually considered to be stupid for some reason.  Additionally, you can walk down the street in New York and hear 50 different languages, but let a southern accent roll out and it’s like the old EF Hutton commercials:  everybody stops and stares.  They figure anyone from the south is automatically stupid.

7. When was the last time you had butterflies in your stomach?

Two weeks ago, when I started my new job.

8. Insert your own random thought here, and remember...I have a wooden spoon and I'm not afraid to use it.

Goldfinger is my favourite James Bond movie.


The week 3 questions were all about Thanksgiving, and since that’s a rather tender subject at the moment, I’ll decline those.

Rocky Horror Picture Show dinner.jpeg

“That’s a rather tender subject at the moment.  Another slice anyone?”

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What Border Collies Seldom Understand…

…is that the mere fact that the refrigerator door is opened is not necessarily an indicator that treats for them are forthcoming....

…is that a queen-sized bed will only hold so many large creatures…

…is that armrests on chairs are for resting arms upon; when an arm is thusly placed, it is not necessarily there because it needs a border collie nose on it…

…is that leather recliners are for people, not border collies…

…is that the dogs in the next yard will be there tomorrow, too…

…is that vacuum cleaners, in and of themselves, are not fatal to border collies…

…is that a 60 pound border collie, when applied suddenly, unexpectedly, and exuberantly to the midsection of a middle-aged man snoozing in a recliner can cause spillage of drink, breakage of computer and a sudden change from baritone to soprano…

…is that yelling because your team scored a touchdown is not the same as yelling because your border collie pottied on the carpet…

…is that loud, raucous, welcoming barking, tail-wagging, and running around upon the entry of “Dad” never fails to bring a smile to Dad’s face, no matter how tough his day has been.