Sunday, May 27, 2012

I think I love you

Rolling Stone May 2012
David Cassidy. What a babe!

I never missed a Friday night watching The Partridge Family. The line-up was something like Nanny and the Professor, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, something else I think, and then Love American Style. It was a Friday night of heaven.

And nothing was more heavenly than Keith Partridge. I don't think that I even knew what a man could be, but, oh, I squirmed whenever the time would come to watch the show.

I wasn't a Jan or Marcia Brady girl. No, I wanted to be Laurie Partridge. I wanted to play the keyboards and sing back-up to Keith. I wanted to wear the cool velveteen jackets, and have the long swinging hair, and sort of be so cool that I was in the band with him. Of course, I imagine, that in my adolescent imaginings, I wasn't Keith's sister. I was the cool chick from next store, so that when he looked over at me with his twinkling eyes, I could, I would, know that later, after the show, we'd make out. Jeez, kind of like Paul and Linda McCartney ... never thought of that before. And she, Linda or Laurie, couldn't really play, and she definitely couldn't sing. I could do that for sure!

I was so ... dorky that I even had some of the girls from my Girl Scout troop perform a skit of the Partridge Family at a spaghetti dinner we hosted. Say what?! Oh yeah, I put the record on and we lip synced to "I Think I Love You.' Of course, I didn't get to play Keith or Laurie. I played dorky Danny ... I had the red hair and thought that it would be more authentic if I took the role. Of course my bass guitar was cut out of a cardboard box, but I had the red hair.

One of the worst things that ever happened to me, happened on a family vacation to Michigan. My grandfather had a cottage on a small resort lake, and we would go up to visit. Sometimes we would fish off of the end of the pier ... catch little sunfishes and the like. We rarely caught anything and we more or less just played at it. The boy who lived in the cottage next door was a little older, and very naughty. He had a rough edge to him that was sort of ... interesting. He must have been bored to be hanging around my sisters and I. He showed us a little pail of fish that he had caught from the lake. We were impressed. While we were showing interest in his catch, he tacked one of the fish up on his dart board that was hung on a tree near the cottages. He moved back and started throwing darts at the fish. You can imagine what that looked like. Yuck! But we all stood there and watched him. Then, liking the attention, and wanting more ... he grabbed one of my teen magazines, tore out a double page poster of my beloved David, tacked it on the dart board, threw another fish up there, and before I could stop him, he darted fish guts all over my man! It was agony! It was a big deal those magazines. I had to rub a lot of sheckles together to come up with the cash to buy them ... and he ruined it! Ah, but I got him. Later that day, he was standing on the end of the pier fully clothed. I mean, this guy had on Wranglers, and a shirt, and a belt with a big belt buckle, and boots. And what did I do? I ran down the pier as fast as I could and I pushed him into the water! That's what you get for defying my David Cassidy poster, dum ass.

A few years ago, my sister and I took my mom out for a Mother's Day adventure. We ended up at a new agey boutique, and they were offering palm readings. We paid for my mom to have her's read. We could hear everything that was going on, and because she's my mother, she wandered from the reading to a conversation. I could hear her say that maybe I wasn't married because I was stuck on handsome. I've thought a lot about that since then ... and I think that she may have been on to something. Or maybe it is that the first boy I had a crush on was David Cassidy. I bought every album that he ever made. And the thing about him, he could sing ... and he sang to me. I've not kept up with him. I don't dare. I want him frozen in that time. When I saw this in Rolling Stone, I thought perfect ... just as I remember him. And the excerpt from the interview? oh he was a bad boy. Ah. No wonder I loved him. I like a good looking man, who is a little bad.

Maybe that's why I wasn't so mad at the boy who darted fish guts all over my poster. And maybe I pushed him in the water because I just wanted to get my hands on him. And him I could. David was too far away from my world for me to do it to.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tree Bathing

Oprah May 2012
I wish that I had time to walk in the woods for 2-4 hours on two consecutive days. The idea of it is delightful, and I do love a good woods.

I can remember tramping through woods as a Girl Scout. I don't know what it was, but it always seemed to be raining. Of course, the trees always protected us from most of the wet. We'd walk and walk and walk. Pick up acorns. Giggle. And long for the hot chocolate at the end of the path. Every girl had brought some sort of chicken based soup ... chicken noodle, chicken and stars, chicken and rice. We'd mix it in a big pot to make a witch's brew. How exotic.

Once in college, I had a friend visiting for Thanksgiving. In the afternoon, before dinner, I thought that it would be a good idea to drive over to the local nature center for a woodsy stroll. Something made me think to park the car outside of the gate ... we were the only people there. Honestly, the paths couldn't have been more than a couple of miles. As we strolled through, it became dark. It may not have been such a good idea after all! We found our way, some how, back to the entrance; and naturally, the gate was locked. The caretaker's light was on, and when we knocked on the door, and he finally answered, he pretty much told us to buzz off. 

Did I intend to get locked into a nature center on Thanksgiving day? Oh, probably. I was always up to something and the idea of it seemed romantic ... but romance quickly transformed into panic. How the heck were we going to get out? My friend thought that we should climb the fence, carefully raise our legs over the barbed wire, and then jump down. You've got to be kidding! I was never much of a fence climber as a kid ... didn't think that had changed much since. He was kind enough to recognize this and moved along the fence to find if it lowered at some point .... and it did. Instead of having to climb six feet, circumvent barbed wire, and jump, we had only to climb three feet and .... jump down, and yes, free ourselves. When we walked in the front door once home, no one even thought to ask, oh, where have you two been! I'm not sure that my white blood cells increased in the wood bath!

I do love the woods and spend too little time in them. I like to stand up under trees and look up at the sky through limb and leaf. I've loved the notion that if cut, we count a tree's life by the number of rings its' trunk has. Imagine how many years that a forest holds. Hundreds of trees, hundreds of thousands of years. Thousands of trees, hundreds of thousands ... probably millions of years. No wonder that it has such an affect on a mere mortal who wanders through.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sherlock Holmes

Vogue May 2012

Sherlock is back! And I, for one, couldn't be happier. He's smart, intense, quick, and goooood-lookin'!

What makes this Sherlock different from the rest ... hmmmm ... well, I certainly like the Guy Ritchie - Robert Downey Jr. movies that have come out in the last few years. Downey is always some one to watch on the big screen. But he's ... old fashioned. And his tricks and the fast pacing of the films sort of gloss over ... any real connections between Sherlock and the other characters (uh, wasn't that was the problem in Ritchie's marriage with Madonna?). Oh sure, he's got his befuddled and endearing friend Watson, played by Jude Law in his typical strange stuttered delivery that sort of works. But other than that, the screen is awash in big bombs of action and chase. It's great stuff for a hot summer afternoon in the theater with a blanket of air conditioning and a tub of popcorn, but that's about what it is in total.

Relationships are front and center in the BBC's Sherlock Holmes. Oh, he's got his smart phone that always plays into the action somehow, but it's his interactions with others that is so compelling. Watson is a force to contend with in this version. He does not hesitate to be the decoy or go into the eye of the storm to uncover a clue. He's great ... like the Vogue review says, he gives it right back to Sherlock, he's definitely no Robin.

Mycroft Holmes giving his younger brother the stink eye.

One of my favorite characters is Sherlock's brother Mycroft. From my understanding, Mycroft is typically portrayed as someone of equal or greater intellect, but without the ambition that Sherlock has to use it to uncover truths. Not our Mycroft. He's certainly clever, and he's in step with his little brother, but in a more formal situation ... as a government worker. But he isn't any ordinary government worker, he is deep in the knickers of secrets and lies of the Crown. And he always knows exactly where Sherlock is! and Watson for that matter. He may be a little dorky, but I kind of think that he's one cool cat!

Moriarty ... kind of cute to be a nemesis

Moriarty is also faced. He is not invisible. His cat and mouse game with Sherlock is unpredictable. He seems so normal, and is so not. He has a boyish playfulness that is more ... charming than what I would expect from a diabolical nemesis. He and Sherlock have a genuine affection of sorts of one another. They each look over their shoulders and hope that the other is paying attention. It's a an enchanting dance these two have.

I don't know which mystery Sherlock will face from the canon of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle next, and it doesn't really even matter. Stick these characters in a room without any plot, and I think that they would manage nicely on their own in creating a drama worth viewing.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


being a flibbertigibbet as a girl ... not quite a missmoran yet
What's in a name? When I started this blog, I thought that I would call it flibbertigibbet. It's an odd word. Many don't know what the heck I'm talking about when I say it, but it is a word that comes from deep within the recesses of my mind and memory ... scary as that may be. I'm not really a flibbertigibbet ... a silly, flighty person. I am many things, but those two I am not.

Tonight, while talking to an old friend, he suggested that it, flibbertigibbet, was not a good 'brand' for me. Come to think of it, it isn't, and meanwhile my brand has been sitting right in front of me all this time ... missmoran... said as if it were one word, and always a 'miss.'

Yes, this is my brand. I should sign my own arm, and have it tattooed. Star and fan permanently marked.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


July 2011
Happy Birthday Bono!

I've been on a U2 diet. And with his birthday, I've dived right into the forbidden sweetness of my favorite band. Diet? How can one do that for their favorite band?! Well, it's been a ride since they released No Line on the Horizon a couple of years ago. First, I had the heady task of working through the record to find its groove. Then the tour. Then the second round ... oh, what's that? Bono hurt his back and postponed the tour? Oh dear, another tortuous year added to what was already an excruciating wait. Ah, but it was worth it, and as I see them each night that they are in my town, for the first time, I saw them in several towns. Oh, it was a wonderful summer of U2. Each crowd different than the next. The company I kept different too.

Surfing YouTube, I found the video of the boys when they released How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and rode through the streets of Manhattan on the back of a flat bed truck. The next day, a DJ here announced that they were doing the same in my town. I got calls from several people ... ahhhhhh, do you know that U2 is on a flat bed truck at the ball park?!  The ball park? Hey, that's right down the street from where I work ... oh shit, I have students! But being fan, I figured it out. I found the Bruce Springsteen fan in the building and appealed to just that ... baby, if you could go, wouldn't you?

She covered my class. And I raced my car the 5 or 6 blocks to the stadium, threw it against the curb, and nearly wet my pants when I heard what sounded like, the boys. I have never ran, cried, spazzed out quite like it as I found my way to the source of the music. And there was a band there on the other side, but it wasn't U2. It was a tribute band. I was punked. Punked bad.

But I didn't care. Because I made the effort. And if I hadn't, I would always wonder ... maybe it was them? Who knows?! Friends kid me, even mock me, that I love them so ... to distraction at times, but I don't mind. Bono, Larry, Adam, and the Edge have given me so many hours of blissful experience that I can take any ridicule.

Isn't that what a band is meant to do? I wrap U2 around me like a favorite blanket ... it's warm, snugly and sometimes, I even need to kick it off. But it's still there at the end of the piece furniture that I left it on. An old friend. Lover.  Brother.

Happy Birthday Bono. Fellow Taurean. I got you. And ... I'm off of the diet. You can come back. I've fasted long enough.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Taurus the Bull

Elle May 2012
I was so busy on my birthday this year that I forgot to check my horoscope. Not that I really believe in that celestial magic ... well, maybe a little bit. But here it is in my Sunday magread.

Let's see, the Universe is ready for  me to push forward (check). I may hear 'outstanding' news concerning home, family, or real estate (ok). And romantically, my month couldn't look better ... the full moon could bring plans for an engagement or wedding (really???).

On the year ahead ... new sources of income that could be in place for 10 years or more (hmmmm), I will have 'remarkable advantages in matters of the heart with Mars in your house of true love until July' (no comment), by October I will 'crave more stability and responsibility of my relationships' since Saturn will enter my marriage house for three years (note to self: find relationship), and the best, my job will be steady until December, and by February, I'll reach my 'most important moment of the year (ominous).

For some reason, this doesn't excite me as it once would have done. Perhaps ... the old bull has let me down too many times. Or maybe it's that celestial energy has the impossible task of reaching us through the glut of what life has become in 2012. Goodness knows that it is impossible to keep up with everything and everyone ... well, unless one has a FaceBook page. I'm always out of he conversation on that front ... I tell myself, well, if it's really important, they'll call, or write, or catch me on my phone-cans.

Not that I wouldn't like some of the predictions to come to pass. I usually always push forward ... that must be a Taurian trait that can't get lost in world-noise. I'm always happy to hear that someone in my family is doing well ... my sister is training for a marathon. I'll be there and I will report on what will hopefully be an 'outstanding' effort. And that 'most important moment' in my job house? I teach. February is the middle of the year ... what could that possibly mean? Maybe more than a handful of my students will have a break-through and know how to use commas, colons, and semi-colons correctly ... that would be a break-through!

And romance? Oh. I do crave the 'stability and responsibility' of a relationship, but does someone crave that of me? I told a student on trip yesterday when asked about living alone, 'what do you wish for?' It was an easy answer ... when I was young, I didn't have an alarm clock to wake up to, I had a mom. She wasn't much of a morning person, still isn't. She would come into our room, I shared with my two sisters, and she would tap us on the leg. One tap. No words. That's all it took. We are all sleepers, but we also all know how to get up. So yes, I would like to get rid of the alarm clock and find a man who is an early riser, who can, when it is time for me to get up, come into the room, and touch my leg. That's easy.

The other thing that I wish for is someone to greet me at the end of the day. My beloved cat Mister was good for that ... actually it is he who made me accustomed to it. Every day when I would walk into my apartment after a day of work, or play, he would be at the door to greet me. And he didn't fuss. He would look up at me, maybe rub against my leg, and then trot back to whichever comfy place he had come from and go back to sleep. It may be that I would want a chat at first, but I think that I would become easily as satisfied with a kiss, how's your day, and get on with whatever needs getting on.

Maybe I should write that up in an ad ... Wanted: man. alarm clock. greeter. Seems like such a simple request, but it is turning out to be very hard to find.

Oh Taurus. I am bullish. And I've found that there are other things in the universe that can as successfully predict what the year will be like for me. Last year, at 49, it was a Bulls' game. A playoff game. Down to the buzzer, the Bulls won. I put my year on it and won. And they won on 40% shooting no less! My year, my 49th year, was a winner. It wasn't perfect, but it was above 40%.

having a martini on my birthday!
This year, while I was busy making merry for 50, my brother called to tell me that Phil Humber had pitched a perfect game for the White Sox... no hits, no walks, no man on base. He was the 21st MLB pitcher to have done so, and on the 21st day of April. My brother said that he did it for me.

Second year in a row that a team could predict my year, and I think that this one is going to be really satisfying, no specifics, no predictions of romance, success, real estate ... all encompassing.

Hey! I am 50. And the Sox pitcher pitched a perfect game. The 21st to do so in the major leagues, and on the 21st, my birthday. It is going to be a good year.

A perfectly pitched year.