Friday, October 31, 2008
The Ghost of Halloween Past...
I've loved Halloween since I was 3 years old. My Mother dressed me up as the Easter Bunny (strange choice for a costume, huh?) and immediately left enroute to the hospital to give birth to my baby brother. My Aunt Jane took me trick-or-treating that year.
A few years later (1976ish), I went out trick-or-treating dressed as one of Charlie's Angels. I looked nothing like Jill, Sabrina or Kelly-- more like their ancient aunt. I had borrowed one of my mother's dresses and one of my grandmother's wigs. I thought I looked like one of the Angels-- my parents probably thought I looked like I needed a little therapy. Joel has a picture of me dressed in my costume. I had forgotten it until a few years ago-- we worked together at Rosenbluth, and he brought the picture to show to everyone. I wish I had a copy of it to post-- you'd flip!
Fast forward to the 1980's. I threw a big Halloween party every year. My party was the event of the year, or at least I thought of it that way. I always held it in the backyard-- I transformed the garden into a graveyard-- you can make a pretty realistic tombstone with poster board if you put your mind to it. I usually had an old cast-iron kettle filled with dry ice and water.... it gave the entire backyard an eerie mist floating just above the ground. One year a friend of mine donated a bunch of manacins (sp?) to the cause. None of them were complete bodies, but I had lots of arms, legs and faces and I buried them strategically amongst the headstones in the garden.
Fast forward a couple more decades and you'll find me sitting in my house tonight-- in the dark. I was invited to a couple of parties, but I declined. I'd prefer to sit here and hide from the trick-or-treaters. I have candy for the ones that are brave enough to approach a dark house filled with barking dogs... they deserve a couple of milkyways for that! I guess I am getting old!
Damn-- I have to go-- there are 2 witches and a clown approaching my front door!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Voice From the Past
I got a call from my old friend Chip today. Chip and I met in the Summer of '84. We were both attending orientation at UGA. From the minute we met, we became like brothers. After college, we became roommates. He worked at Upton's as a shoe salesman, and he got me a job there, too. We enjoyed partying a lot, and you could find us in the Atlanta hot spots pretty much every weekend. I was with him the night that he met his wife, Melanie. We became the Three Musketeers and did everything together. Chip and Melanie got married in May of 1989-- and I was the Best Man! A couple of years later, they moved to Knoxville. I visited them once, and they came back for a visit once or twice. Other than a few emails between Melanie and myself, we pretty much lost touch.
Chip heard through the grapevine that I had gotten married and called to congratulate me. He also reported the sad news that he and Melanie are in the process of getting a divorce. I was sorry to hear it, but not too surprised~~ they separated a few years ago, and then reconciled. Their marriage has been a rocky one, but it lasted almost 20 years.
Anyway, it was good to hear from him today, and we both promised to be better at keeping in touch. Hopefully I'll see him soon.
Patio Project Update
Nothing Like Finding a Sunspot on a Cold Day
Monday, October 27, 2008
World's Longest Drag Queen Chorus Line
Darcelle's of Portland, Oregon, organized the world's longest drag queen chorus line on July 22, 2007. Hmmm... I wonder what the record number of drag queen's in a chorus line was before this event?
Cleaning Out My Camera...
Just be glad this isn't the 70's... you'd have to come over and watch a slide show of our California pictures! This post, and the next few that follow, are pictures from this weekends trip to Hollywood. Enjoy!
I'll start off with pics from the Kodak Theater. The Academy Awards are broadcast from the Kodak. We didn't take the tour, but there was plenty to see outside!
The Kodak Theater is HUGE!!! It takes up an entire block. There is actually a full-sized mall inside the building that houses the theater. Outside of the theater is a winding walkway that is embedded with mosaic tiles. Amongst the tiles are quotes from anonymous actors/actresses. The walkway reminded me of the Yellow Brick Road-- it wasn't yellow, but it was winding and I was entranced to follow it to the end. I was rewarded when we got to the end-- first I noticed a huge statue of a casting couch... beside it was a mosaic message that read "The Road to Hollywood- how some of us got here".
Next door to the Kodak is the Graumann's Chinese Theater. In front of the theater is the walkway where every major celebrity had left their hand prints, feet prints and autograph in the wet cement. The first set of footprints belongs to actress Norma Talmadge-- she accidentally stepped in the wet cement while visiting the construction site of the Theater in 1927. In order to cover up her misstep, she signed her autograph and the tradition began.
Now that whole block is taken up by tourists and celeb impersonators. For a $1 tip, you can have your picture taken with the likes of Batman, Superman, the Joker, a Gladiator, Captain Jack Sparrow, the Hulk, Cat Woman, Tigger, the cast of "Nightmare Before Christmas", Marilyn Monroe, Zoro, Marilyn Monroe, Dora the Explorer or Captain America.
Our Room at the Roosevelt
This is the King Suite that we received as an upgrade. You can't tell from the pictures, but the room had a nice desk, CD player and a bathroom the size of my house! The bathroom had a shower and a tub! Plus, we had the view of the Chinese Theater, the Hollywood sign and the Kodak! Very swanky-- it was hard to come home to my bungalow!
Before any of you even ask... No, we did not steal the robes from the hotel. They were available for purchase ($150/each). We wore them a few times and left them behind. This picture was taken just before we got dressed for the wedding.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Say Goodbye to Hollywood...
We had a great time in LA-- we ended up staying in the Roosevelt like I had hoped. I booked a Junior Suite, but we were upgraded to a King Suite! Our room overlooked the Graumann's Chinese Theater, the Kodak Theater, the Hollywood sign and the "Walk of Fame" on Hollywood Boulevard.
The first night, we got together with my friend Christian. We had some drinks at his apartment and then he took us on a tour of some of the West Hollywood hot spots. We saw the Viper Room, but it looked like a hole in the wall joint so we didn't stop in.
The next day, I got up early and walked Hollywood Boulevard.. did a little shopping and had breakfast at McDonald's. We rested up a little and then headed to the city of Lomita where we visited the wedding chapel and got married!!! We've been planning this for months, so it wasn't a spur of the moment thing. We had a simple ceremony with just the two of us and Pastor Nixon in attendance. We had written our own vows, but the pastor apparently forgot that part and continued the service using his own pre-written vows. During the wedding, I saw that Michael was about to object. I know he wanted to say the vows that he had written. I stopped him and let the ceremony go on as the pastor had planned. It turns out that the pre-written vows were perfect and very touching. I had to go first and I hadn't gotten through the first two sentences before I was tearing up and unable to speak the words. Michael had the same problem when it came time for him to repeat the vows. After the ceremony, we were walking to the car and we decided to read the vows that we had written. We both teared up again. It was one of the sweetest moments of my life. I really had expected this wedding to be pretty cheesy-- the two of us in a wedding chapel and all. But it turned out to be the most moving wedding ceremony that I have ever attended.
From Lomita, we headed towards Redondo Beach. We took a sunset walk along the pier and stopped to have a drink in one of the seaside bars. We must've looked a little out of place wearing our suits and ties and trying to order champagne. The bartender didn't appear to know what champagne was, so we settled for a couple of $2 Bud Lites.
When we got back to the hotel (a 30 mile drive that took about 2 hours because of the LA traffic), we had dinner at the Dakota- an upscale restaurant in the lobby of the Roosevelt. The food and service was incredible, and the Maitre D even sent a couple of free glasses of champagne to our table when she found out that we had just gotten married that night.
Oh yeah.. to backtrack a little- we had our picture taken with a couple of Marilyn Monroe impersonators at the Chinese Theater enroute to the wedding! This is probably my favorite picture from the entire trip-- it totally encompasses our Hollywood wedding!
Everything was going so perfectly that I never fathomed that the trip home could be a disaster. We were flying on Buddy Passes, which means that our flights were not confirmed. We were flying standby and didn't even consider the idea that we wouldn't make it on our flights. The worst case scenario unfolded when we realized that we were numbers 16 and 17 on the standby list and there were only 14 seats available. Luckily there were a few no-shows and they confirmed us as the last two passengers. However, when we got to the plane door, they told us that there was a mistake and only room for one of us to take that flight. I let Michael go and waited a couple of hours for the next flight. I sat in the terminal and cried. No, I actually sobbed! The most horrific thoughts were going through my head-- what if Michael's plane crashes? What if my plane crashes? What if I don't get on the next flight? If I missed that one, I would be on a red-eye and wouldn't arrive in Atlanta until 5am the following morning. Michael had no car keys, no house keys. I had no cash. What would happen to us. How could I marry my best friend, and then be 3000 miles away from him half a day later?
I came very close to missing the next flight, too. I was confirmed at the last minute-- the last passenger on the standby list that got on the flight. So, it turns out that Michael and I spent our first wedding day an hour and a half apart, across the USA. Not a disaster-- but not the ideal honeymoon!
All in all, it was a great trip and one that I will remember til my dying day. We didn't bring home any souvenirs-- just the wedding rings, memories, and a love that got deeper the moment we said "I do".
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Hollywood... Here I Come!
(pictured below: my last trip to Hollywood in 1995)
Michael and I will be vacationing in Los Angeles this week. Here we are at the 12th hour and I still haven't reserved a hotel room. I'm hoping to stay at the Roosevelt. I stayed there once before and found it to be a great hotel-- very chic! The Roosevelt was the location of the first Academy Awards, and all of the rooms are decorated with celebrity memorabilia. The last time I stayed there, I was in the Judy Garland suite. For the rates that they charge, the ghost of Judy Garland herself should have at least come to visit to share a nightcap and to tuck me in each night!!!
We'll be home on Saturday and I'll share some pictures and details of the trip with you then. Now, I've got to get back to expedia.com to try to secure a reservation~~ I'd hate to be down and out in Beverly Hills!