Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We're brewing, and we know just what we're doing

Gather 'round, kiddies, for a little television Halloween trivia in honor of the day.

'Way back in 1980 during the hey-day of WTBS SuperStation FunTime, co-TBS-er Terry Turner (later of SNL, 3rd Rock From the Sun, That 70's Show, etc., but no relation to Ted) came to me and said he wanted to write a Halloween musical number for the kids' show. He, wife Bonnie, Jan Hooks, and other talented folk worked the more adult Bill Tush Show, but there was a lot of creative cross-over in those days. If we created something good but not suitable for kids, we'd peddle it to Tush, and they'd do the same if they had a kiddie idea.

OK, so anyway, Terry said he wants to do a Halloween bit. He rifled through TBS's music library and came up with this 40's swing cut and got to work. His premise was a comedy sketch with three witches that break into song a la the Andrews Sisters. Our witch-incarnations of Patty, Maxine, and Laverne were Susie Beck, Bonnie Turner, and Jan Hooks, who harmonized beautifully and boogied truckingly (or trucked boogiely).

Too bad you can't hear the music to this little ditty, but here are the words:

We're brewing,
And we know just what we're doing.
The trick to quality brewing
Is knowing what's in the pot.

And speaking
Of Halloween Trick or Treating,
Before you tear into eating,
Inspect the goodies you got.

Don't eat up while you're out.
Don't eat any on your route.
Take it home
And lay it all out
For Ma-ma
To have a look at it.

Be cautious.
It always pays to be cautious.
It always beats being nauseous.
Inspect the goodies -
Inspect the goodies you got!

We had to do about 15 takes because Bonnie kept messing up the line: "It always beats being nauseous." She'd sing: "It beats the hell outta nauseous." Face it, that's a better line, but it was a kids' show so we couldn't use words like "hell" in 'dem 'dere days. Still, I always sing it Bonnie's way, because cautious does beat the hell outta nauseous.

Wish I had a dub of that little FunTime bit, but - alas - no, I do not. (And JC Burns, if you're holding out on me, cough it up!) But every Halloween, I break into the witch-trio number, and remember a fun-time long past.

Now, don't forget to be cautious so's you won't be nauseous!


I have a desk piled high with things that must be written - chop-chop! Everything from a couple of press releases (usually something I can spit out in minutes), to web-copy for a site that needs attention, to a draft of a letter that will eventually be re-written by the Presiding Bishop, to brochure copy for a big event. I can't get into any of it. I'm writer-stuck.

Random thoughts are pouring out all over various Word documents, but nothing seems to come together. Now, why aren't the press releases generating themselves? Am I distracted or just out of "hook" ideas?

The web-copy - well, that's nothing but good old-fashioned slog-and-craft stuff, but it still needs some sparkle to it. Let's see, now where did I put my sparkle-wand?

The ++Katharine letter is actually something I've asked her to do in support of an upcoming mission event. Fine. But I have to give her a draft of what I want her to say, then she'll put her voice into it. Even knowing that the draft will go through one other person before reaching her, I'm finding it hard to write. Writing in someone else's voice is all very well and good in fiction, but something like this letter is hard for me.

And the brochure copy? Well, I'm sure I can finish it when I find that damned sparkle-wand!

I'm also stuck on two non-work-related stories that have been rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks. Aargh! So frustrating! Good ideas, both of them - but each begs an important question or two before I can really get something on paper. And those questions just aren't getting answered. Perhaps I can check into NYU Medical Center for an imagination drip.

Till then - I'm stuck.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Visit to Sleepy Hollow

Today was one of those perfect autumn days - cool, breezy, and crystal clear. The sky was stunningly blue. So I boarded the 9:02 Metro North heading to Poughkeepsie, and got off in Tarrytown. In "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Washington Irving explains how Tarrytown got its name:

"In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson . . . there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days."

Well, I didn't see that tavern Irving wrote about, but I did attend the 10am service at Christ Church, where the writer "tarried" as a warden back in his day. The wife of friend and co-worker David (my travel partner in Africa) is rector of Christ Church. The service was wonderful - just the right way to kick off my day in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, which is about a mile up the road.

Not in the Halloween spirit? A visit to Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow will get you in the mood. They decorate the streets and lamp-posts for Halloween like most towns used to decorate for Christmas. Scarecrows, pumpkins, witches, and ghosts are everywhere. The funniest sight I saw (and I'm sorry I didn't photograph it) was the ghost on the lamp-post in front of the funeral home. Ha! Was it intentional, I wonder, or just the luck of the alternating ghost/witch decorating draw? No matter. It got a chuckle outta me, I tell ya'.

Both Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow are lovely Hudson Valley villages. You have to work your way up to them, however, from the train station that's located next to the river. The towns sit on a ridge overlooking the Hudson and the views are just spectacular. I got a lot of exercise slogging up and down those hills today!

Two big disappointments on an otherwise perfect day-trip. One, no Headless Horseman. Not event a fake one. You could say that Sleepy Hollow is Headless Horseman-less. But, OK, I didn't really expect to see the Headless Horseman. But I did really want to see the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It's huge, I know, and I asked several people where it was and either got shrugs or misleading directions. I figured there'd be maps everywhere leading me there, but, no. I had a general notion of where it was, but I must've either walked too far in the wrong direction or not far enough in the right direction. Well, I'll just download my own map and make another trip up that way soon.

Even without HH and the cemetery, I had a great time roaming around these two old villages. It was a perfect pre-Halloween excursion. And it was worth it just to see the ghost decoration on the lamp-post in front of the funeral home.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Spook House, a Cake Walk, and a Pocket Lady

When I was growing up, October had two major events: Halloween (duh) and the Henry L. Barger school carnival. First, let me say a big thank you to all those parents who planned and worked the carnival and to all the teachers who suffered through it. Having planned and carried out several elementary school fall carnivals for daughter Kate's school, I certainly understand the work and love involved.

Each classroom sponsored a different event, and to save my life, I can't remember everything that used to be offered up for our autumnal pleasure. Let's see: I remember there was always a talent show, a cake walk (and those cakes were home-baked, I'm sure), a doll show (where you'd choose your favorite, put a few coins in a jar, and wait to see who the winner was at the end of the night), and the biggest, bestest event of all - the spook house. We had six grades and three classrooms per grade - so by my third-grade-Mrs.-Hinkle-math, that makes for 18 little events. Why can't I remember more? Help me out here, Barger alums!

But it was the spook house by which the success of the carnival was judged. One lucky classroom was turned into a dark, creepy, shivery place (not unlike the way it was on standardized testing day in the spring). Parents donned scary (but not too scary) costumes, spread fake spider webs around, blew cold air on the back of your neck, forced your hand into a bowl of eyeballs (peeled grapes) or brains (cold spaghetti) - in short, all the things that would probably get them arrested these days. But, man, we loved it! The line outside the spook house classroom was long, but you were banned from the "cool corner" for a year if you were too chicken to withstand the mind-bending anticipation.

And strolling throughout the school on carnival night was the Pocket Lady. Our principal, Mrs. McCafferty, had a special dress made for the occasion that had lots of little pockets stuffed with small toys. The dress looked like one of those full-skirted square-dancing dresses; I seem to remember it being a dark orange, but I could be wrong. Anyway, you'd give her a dime or a quarter and choose the cost-appropriate pocket for your surprise gift. Again, this sort of behavior is probably illegal today.

At the end of the October evening, you'd say goodbye to your friends and head home. Tummies full of candy apple and popcorn. Little paper bags fulls of cheap gizmos like Chinese handcuffs or ball-and-jacks. Fun and memorable (even 50 years later). It all seems a quite simple and naive now, I guess.

Still, few thrills in life come close to those childhood spook house shivers.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Monster Mash: A Little Heads-Up

To those of you who know (and love) me, this will come as no surprise. My monster-personality quiz revealed that (O, deary me!):

You Are a Witch (or Warlock)

You are deviously brilliant (true, very true) and a perfect manipulator (um, not so much).

You somehow always end up getting what you want (again, not so much) - without anyone knowing you're working behind the scenes.

Crafty and cunning (occasionally), you can work your way out of any jam (once in a while).

And it's easy for you to get people to do what you want (mwah-ha!), whether you're working for good or evil.

Your greatest power: Mind control (why, you're under my spell right now!).

Your greatest weakness: Making people your puppets (and don't forget who's holding the strings, bub).

You play well with: Ghosts (oh, goody!)

Curious to find out how you rate? What Kind of Monster Are You?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Repent! The end is near!

California's on fire. Georgia's drying up. A drug-resistant staph infection is rampant. Dumbledore's gay (quelle surprise!). Is this the end of the world as we know it?

Pro'ly not.

California's always on fire, isn't it? Or caught in a mud-slide? Or an earthquake? Nothing new there (though I'm more aware of this Land of Destruction now that Lil Sis is out there - she's fine, by the way).

Georgia's been drought-y for the past decade or so, hasn't it? Take shorter showers and stop building McMansions and massive condo complexes, Atlanta. Plus, give a little payola to the Corps of Engineers to "encourage" them to stop sending water to Florida and Alabama. Let 'em find their own water! (And let them eat cake.)

If it ain't a drug-resistant staph infection, it's the bubonic plague. In other words, something's always killing us off. Choose yer poison, friends!

Dumbledore. Please. He's headmaster of the toney British wizard "public" school. You honestly didn't think he was straight, did you? Oh. And McGonagall, Nurse Pomfrey, Quirrell, and Madame Hooch - yup, gay. . But not Snape. Or Hagrid. I'm sure Rowling has a huge amount of back-story on every character. I think her point in bringing it up (in response to a question) was that, hey! it doesn't matter! Gee. Just like real life, folks. Move on.

OK. Busy day ahead - two Anglican dignitaries, the BBC, Executive Council planning - so if the end is nigh, today would be a good day for it. Alas, I suspect we'll all have to slog though as usual.

Now, buck up and muddle through! (And repent if it makes you feel better.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

The smelly guy on the train

Ah, the joys of a subway commute in New York! I've gotten used to iPods blaring from the little ear-buds of multiple users and folks who like to take up a seat-and-a-half and the big dudes (or short women with baby strollers) who block the subways doors. But today I hit another wall.

At 96th Street a guy got on the ever-crowding subway car and stood right in front of me. He had evidently taken a bath in cheap cologne. Mmmmm! Several of us started coughing and I swear my eyes started watering. I mean this guy reaked. I found myself taking short, shallow breaths (and almost hyperventilated) to avoid the stench.

What is it with folks and their perfume and cologne? A teeny-tiny bit goes such a long way. As for me, give me the smell of good ol' soap and water any day.

And when Pepe le Pew got off the train, we all breathed a sigh of relief. Except that the scent still lingered.

How I Spent My Un-Birthday

Yesterday (October 21st) was my half-birthday, or as I like to call it, my un-birthday, as they say in Alice in Wonderland. It was a gorgeous day in New York. I did some indoor things and some outdoor things. A very merry un-birthday, it was.

While tidying the apartment yesterday morning, I managed to pack in a couple of Vincent Price goodies, The Abominable Dr. Phibes (really campy - a hoot of a "horror" film) and The House of Usher. The House of Usher brings back all sorts of scary memories, as I recall being terrified of the television ads for the movie when I was a kid. Anything to do with being buried alive has always scared me to death (well, not quite death).

I walked Bailey several times. The trees in Central Park are just going golden. Next weekend should be lovely.

Late in the afternoon, I attended a benefit concert for the Jubilee Youth Chorale from Church of Our Savior, a predominantly Chinese congregation on Henry Street. The concert was held at St. Mark's in the Bowery, which I mentioned last month in my S'mac and Ice Cream post. This was the fourth or fifth time I'd heard the chorale in concert, and they just get better and better, singing everything from Dvorak to spirituals to traditional Chinese songs. The group will be singing at the Vatican on December 30. Plus, they're cutie-pies.

After the concert I strolled down Stuyvesant Street on a lovely evening, then hopped the #6 toward home. A very merry un-birthday toooooooooo meeeeeeeee!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

41 - 17

Somewhere in Football Heaven,
there's a guy in a houndstooth hat walking on water.
Roll. Tide. Roll.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hey! Who you callin' a Poe?

It's rainy. It's Friday. It's October. Let's talk about scary writers. Er, writers who write scary things. Um, ghosty-story writers.

First up - Edgar Allan, EA, the Ravenator. This guy was a real piece of work, but he sure could tell a good story. Got a favorite? It's a toss up for me between "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Mask of the Red Death." Still, "The Murders of the Rue Morgue," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "The Pit and the Pendulum" are darn entertaining, as well.

How about Washington Irving? You gotta admit that the Headless Horseman in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" has a pretty high creep-factor. And while "Rip Van Winkle" doesn't appear on the surface to be a horror tale, just think about it. You settle down for a little nap and the next thing you know, 25 years have passed! Tell me that doesn't scare you out of your wits! I'll be visiting the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow area next weekend. I'll report back. In 25 years.

Stephen King - Certainly the head-honcho of the scary-genre for the last 20 years or so. It's sometimes hard for me to remember how scared I was reading The Shining or Salem's Lot, because the movies sort of overshadow the written word. Redrum. Pig blood. Zombie pets. 'Fess up - which King book scared you the most? Which movie of a book scared you most? Also, King's sometime-sidekick Peter Straub can be pretty frightening all on his own. I loved Ghost Story, Mystery, and Shadowland. Good scary stuff.

Anne Rice - Well, she's found Jesus (which is fine by me), but she's become a little harangue-y about the whole thing. Still, that doesn't negate her spooky vampire chronicles or (to my mind the better) Mayfair witch series of books. Love the books, but disappointed she moved from New Orleans to Southern California. Sorry - though lots of scary things come out of Southern California, good spine-tingling writing does not. One has to live in Maine or New Orleans or out on the Yorkshire moors.

I notice that all these writers are American, but certainly good ghost-story writers come from all over. Who else? Dickens. Conan Doyle. Mary Shelley, certainly. Clive Barker. Who else sends that shiver up (down?) your spine when your hunkered down in the deep of the night with one of their books?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Question of the Day

Ooh! Ooh! Teacher! I have a question!
Why do people blow their noses and then look at the results in the tissue or handkerchief?

I guess there's no good answer. Just like there's no explanation of why men have to spit on sidewalks.

Forget "Who killed JFK?" or "What really happened to the two princes in the tower?" When I get before God, I'm asking the "nose/handkerchief-viewing" and "men/sidewalk-spitting" questions.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Halloween Favorites: The Blog-Gifts That Keep on Giving

Seems most people hitting Shorty PJs these days are looking for her Halloween-themed posts of yesteryear, so I thought I'd save you all a lot of time and consolidate my Halloween Season's Greetings into one easily-accessible bundle. Here goes (oldest to newest):

"Movies to put you in that Halloweeny mood"

"Favorite Halloween read-aloud book"

"Great Halloween Songs"

"The DTs: Great halloween Songs, Part 2"

"Scary Men of the Silver Screen"

". . . And the ladies"

"Dentists, pea soup, showers, proms, and a too-good-to-be-true apartment in New York"

"All Hallow's Eve Eve"

"Homer and Roseanne - Keepin' It Real for Halloween"

There are actually a couple more, but this should whet the old Halloween appetite. I see I need to fill in some gaps, here - Best Halloween Cartoons, Edgar Allan Poe: Freak or Super-Freak?, Best Halloween Tricks Ever - so be on the look-out.

Pollyanna Monday

Remember Pollyanna's "Glad Game"? Well, I'm thinking of it as I get ready to face a Monday work-day.

  • I'm glad it's not last Monday, when I had to combine two storage units of life-stuff into a third unit. Done!
  • I'm glad I can wear a sweater to work today rather than sweatin' to work today.
  • I'm glad Alabama beat Ole Miss on Saturday.
  • I'm glad my office has a door.
  • I'm glad the new TV season has kicked in so that there aren't so many reruns.
  • I'm glad it's almost Halloween.
  • I'm glad the guy we elected president in 2000 won the Nobel Peace Prize. Anybody who can get the knickers of so many conservatives in a twist deserves it!
  • I'm glad that I can buy fresh fruit and flowers (not to mention a great gyro) on the sidewalks of New York.
  • I'm glad I got to grow up with Hayley Mills and Sally Field as our teen stars instead of Britney and Lindsey.
    • Glad about anything today?

      Sunday, October 14, 2007

      DVD-player Blues

      Yesterday, I pulled out my stack of Halloween/horror DVDs and started to settle in to a fright-fest as I cleaned the apartment. Alas, I have forgotten how to make the darn things show up on my TV screen! I just fired up the DVD player a month or so ago, so I know it works.

      My theory is that it's the old "Thinking-Too-Hard-About-It" syndrome. My petsitter left me a note a couple of weeks ago asking how to use the DVD player, and I meant to write down the process for her but never did. So yesterday when I tried to hit the right remote-control buttons, I was over-thinking it. (Kind of like when you go to an ATM and blank out on your access code because your thinking too hard about the numbers)

      I spent a good portion of the morning pushing every combination of buttons on the cable remote and the DVD remote. I tried switching the main channel on the TV from 3 to 4. I'm sure it's something blindingly obvious, but I'm totally missing it.

      So here I sit, staring at a stack of fabulous horror flicks with no way to watch them! How will I ever get the house clean? Aaargh!

      My Banter Buddy

      Last night I was at a cocktail-dinner 'do with friends (mostly from Atlanta) who had spent the week attending a Theatre and Theology course at General Seminary. The class is an annual event that involves seeing three Broadway plays/musicals, guest speakers (the year I went, Sam Waterston spent a couple of hours with our class), lectures/discussions, and slipping into rehearsal halls for question-answer sessions with cast members. A fabulous experience. After all, theatre-folk are very spiritual people, though not necessarily the church-going, mainline-religion kind.

      Anyway, amidst the Atlanta crowd at the party were a couple of New Yorkers, one of whom teaches the class with my friend Harry (who blessed my apartment a few months ago). Jay is a cynical New York arts-loving kind of guy who just brings out the best in me. Whenever we get together we engage in rapid-fire, hilarious (to us) conversation that leaves us both in stitches. He makes fun of me - I throw it back at him. Somewhere in the middle we switch sides of our "argument" and keep going.

      It's very satisfying to spend time with Jay. Don't know why we don't get together more often. We're both in New York, for goodness' sake. Still, I know if I ever need a dose of rip-roaring cynicism and witty (um, to us) banter, I can call on Jay. On the other hand, I'm sure a little goes a long way for both of us, and maybe we wouldn't be as funny together if we saw each other all the time.

      Saturday, October 13, 2007

      Ode to My Bed on a Crisp Autumn Morning

      O, Bed!
      Was there ever such a wondrously comfy place to be
      When crispy cool October breezes blow?
      Dawn breaks, and I think, Oh, damn!
      I must leave your warm embrace
      To face the work-day and make some dough.
      But wait! Can it be?
      It's not a crawl-out-of-bed day at all!
      'Tis Saturday, you fool! No need to arise.
      Burrowing deeper into the featherbed,
      I pull the sheets tighter 'round,
      Stretch my toes, say a prayer of thanks,
      And close my eyes.

      O, Bed! Was there ever such a wondrously comfy place to be
      When crispy cool October breezes blow?

      Friday, October 12, 2007

      Halloween D'ruthers

      OK. Forget work and travels and the other tedious stuff of life.

      It's October, for goodness' sake. Halloween is almost here. Time to write that Halloween candy wish list and get it off to Jack Skellington so that he'll know what to leave in your jack-o-lantern on All Hallows' Eve. Time to pull that old Ronald Reagan mask out of the closet for the office costume party. Time to start playing your favorite Halloween carols. Time to take stock of your seasonal preferences.

      Let me help get you started. I'll make it easy, since everyone's so stressed out. Here's a little preference quiz - only two choices per question. How hard could it be? And remember, your gut choice is usually the right one (for you, anyway).
      1. The Addams Family or The Munsters?
      2. Frankenstein or Dracula?
      3. Nightmare Before Christmas or The Corpse Bride?
      4. The Great Pumpkin: Real or not real?
      5. Alfred Hitchcock or Wes Craven?
      6. Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween or Sissy Spacek in Carrie?
      7. Candy apples or caramel apples?
      8. Home-made costume or store-bought?
      9. Joan Crawford or Bette Davis?
      10. Trick or Treat?
      You really can't move on with the rest of the month until you're clear in your own mind about these things. So, settle back with a pumpkin martini, make your choices, and get on with your life.

      Oh, and it's a good weekend to start your October Movie Fright Fest. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

      Thursday, October 11, 2007

      Just another day at work. . .

      Boss on a rampage.

      Graphic designer doesn't have time for me until next week.

      Online registration program I'm trying to set up is progressing at the speed of frozen molasses.

      No chocolate hidden in my desk.

      What's a girl to do?

      Example of a heat-seeker. Or maybe just a big ham.

      No, not the two folks in the center of the photo. They are adorable, self-effacing, non-heat-seekers. But look to the right of friend Ann's head. See the woman leaning into our picture? What was that about?

      Anyway, the heat-seeker behind us didn't spoil a wonderful dinner with Atlanta friends at the West 51st Street restaurant Vice Versa. More good conversation with lovely, gracious Southern folks, who were in town for friend Harry's Theatre and Theology Class. After dinner they were off to see Spring Awakening.

      Yes, that Spring Awakening - the very show where I made my Broadway stage debut last month! OK, yeah, I do have my own heat-seeking moments.

      Anyway, I think the photo is hilarious because of the woman behind us. Ha!

      Satellite Broadway, heat-seekers, and squeaky screen doors: Just another weekend at Kanuga

      Things are slowly getting back to normal after last week's trip to Atlanta and Kanuga. It was a busy time without a lot of down-time. We hit the bridal salons twice in search of THE dress. You can read about those adventures on The MoBster Diaries, because I don't want to bore the gentleman readers with the trials and tribulations of being the Mother of the Bride.

      The trip to Kanuga in North Carolina was a welcome retreat indeed, and a chance to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. Friend Barbara was gracious enough to do the driving. The experience was even more fun because she has satellite radio in her car, and we treated ourselves to those networks that play only Broadway and movie score selections. There are a lot of obscure Broadway show tunes out there, friends, let me tell you. Still, those tunes and good conversation made the 3+-hour road trip pass quickly.

      I learned a new term while I was in the mountains: "heat-seeker." As best I can surmise, it's a person who needs the spotlight, whatever the situtation. We were using it to refer to the children's choir director, who was leading the morning sing-a-long. She'd sing something through 14 times or so (solo), then let the group sing it through once and move on to the next song. It was all about her, not about us. We all know heat-seekers, who can't do a good deed or finish a project or whatever unless somebody knows about it. Sort of like those Pharisees in the Bible who had to make a big show of praying in public, or it just didn't count. Who's your favorite heat-seeker? (They're usually pretty laughable.)

      The mountains were too warm and there wasn't an apple crop, so no fresh apples to bring back (insert frowny-face here). But the sights (the lake, the beginning of a little fall color) and sounds (the noisy screen door of our cabin, conversation, laughter) made the trip worthwhile.

      Tuesday, October 09, 2007

      A different life

      I'm back in New York after 5 days down South. It was a full dance-card, my friends - from Thursday's foray into the world of wedding dresses and the weekend retreat in North Carolina, to Monday's much-needed consolidation of the two storage units that contain most of the stuff of my life and a return to one of the bridal salons.

      Since I was flying on my Delta Sky Miles, the flights to and from Atlanta were pre-7am, which is early, my friends. Sheesh! Lots of things happened on the visit, but sleep wasn't one of them.

      I didn't bring my laptop on this trip and had very sporadic chances to hop on the internet. It was quite freeing in a way. Until I pulled up all my emails when I got home this morning. Ah, well.

      My trip home was a reminder of how different my life in New York is from the one I had (and still have, to some extent) in Atlanta. It was easy to fall back into the old routine - family, friends, sights/smells/tastes - as though the New York side didn't really exist. Back in New York, it's easy to forget the Atlanta side for stretches of time. I straddle two lives, which is sometimes fun, and sometimes just plain tiring. But I'm here now and ready to get back to the turmoils of my job tomorrow morning. (Oh, yes. There are turmoils.)

      I'll fill you in on the Atlanta/North Carolina visit and catch up with your blogs over the next couple of days.

      Wednesday, October 03, 2007

      Zone 7

      Greetings from Zone 7.

      It doesn't matter whether I'm assigned to seat 12B or 34D, 8A (which would be never, since I don't do windows) or 28C, I am always in "Zone 7" when it comes to airline boarding assignments. You'd think with as much flying as I do that I'd be bumped up to Zones 4 or 5, but no. Lowly 7. Always. (And yes, I realize the zone number supposedly corresponds to where I'm sitting on the plane, if I'm not 1st Class or of that ilk.)

      Some airlines board from the back (which makes sense), and I like to sit toward the front, so I'm a consistent Zone 7 person on Delta. But a few airlines still board from the front (causing terrible bottlenecks - wonder why they haven't figured that out?), and even then I'm in Zone 7. Wonder if there's something on my permanent record that just drops me in Zone 7 whenever I make an airline reservation, regardless of the airline?

      It's a puzzlement.

      Anyway, I'm leaving for Atlanta tomorrow and won't be back until next Tuesday. Tomorrow, I get to follow my daughter around to a few of the local wedding salons to look at dresses. I'm not sure how I'll feel seeing Kate in a wedding dress just yet, but it should be fun otherwise.

      Then on Friday I'm traveling with good buddy Barbara up to dear Kanuga to relax and dance and party at All Saints' parish weekend. (It's great to be an Episcopalian!)

      I return Sunday ,and on Monday I'm set to finally consolidate the two storage units I've been financially supporting for the last year-and-a-half into one (much cheaper) unit. So things will be right busy for me over the next few days. I promise to do a better posting and blog-reading job when I get back next week.

      So long for now, from Zone 7.