Friday, May 23, 2008


The lumber yard is gone, and now there is a BP gasoline station there.

The Tri-Village Drive-In fast-food restaurant is gone, and now there is a Walgreen's.

The K-Mart is gone, and now there is a Menards, but the Menards is closing.

The Robert Hall is gone, replaced by a series of restaurants, replaced by a Blockbuster Video, recently torn down. Also torn down the entire strip-mall that used to have Dominics and Radio Shack and the cheap movie theater that was always playing Rocky Horror at midnite. They are building a ginormous Menards. *sigh*

The only upside to this is that the Washington Mutual office where the manager was a complete and utter anal orifice was part of what was torn down, so that CSMF has doubtless lost his job, which amuses me to no end.

I guess I can understand why the Blockbuster is gone - since it became rather useless since Netflix went online, and because DVD's are so cheap - but the building was one of those "Memory Palace" places for me. I remember being dragged along on a shopping trip to buy my kid brother a brown suit. Same thing with the cheap movie - except we never bought SPTLM a suit there.

If you go to the Museum of Science and Industry downtown, there are photographs of downtown Chicago from before the fire, photos from the Capone years, and the difference from the concrete canyons that engulf the lakeshore now is staggering. And now the same thing is happening to my home town(s). Places I grew up with have disappeared - Shirl's Drive-In is now a municipal parking lot.

I remember how Mom in her last months, wanted so badly to go "home" - back to Chicago, back to the house on Latrobe Avenue. A house that was in such a bad neighborhood and in such disrepair when my cousin "B" drove past it some years ago that I'm both afraid and far, far too sad to go see for myself. Even had she been able to get back north here, she would never have recognized her home. I know that I had some of that same feeling when I moved back from Colorado to Illinois - culture-shock, sort of, because I my mental image of my hometown had remained static during the years in Colorado, but the actual town had grown, matured and changed.

All this thinking comes from a couple of things - not the least of which was driving past the empty lot where the Blockbuster used to be. One of those other things was that Lea has made arrangements for her "final destination" on her Earthwalk. She's found this group called the "Neptune Society" that lets you prepay for final arrangements, and all you need do after is make a single phone call - no BS with your grief-stricken relatives being snookered by shady funeral directors. The only caveat is that they cremate you, and I don't want that. I wanna be planted. More on that later.

Another thing was reading yet another blog by someone who had to deal with the "That's Not Period" snarks from the SCA (Society for Creative Anacronism). These folks are anal-retentive to the extreme with regard to what they believe was, or was not, available or used, or constructed in some way - during their period of historical interest. Now, some things I can agree on - plastic Tupperware containers, for instance. What always, ALWAYS toasts my cookies, however, is statements like "There is NO emperical PROOF that any period garment contained a seam in that place.... " &etc.

These Ancients were people who built huge cathedrals, enormous palaces, grand monuments, many of which are still standing today. They were people who circumnavigated the globe in ships built strong enough to withstand long ocean voyages - but .... We are to believe they were Too Stupid to figure out that a diagonal seam would give a better "line"??????????

There are only a few remaining actual garments from these times, and yet these folks would have you believe that everyone and his sick Uncle Norm dressed identically, and had exactly the same style/cut of garments. Kind of like a "period piece" remake of Logan's Run. Walk down the street tonight and see if you can see any two people (not in uniform) who are dressed in exactly the same style and colors. Point.

"Serious" Historians crack me up. Especially the ones who "pronounce" something as given truth based on the scanty evidence available. (mind you, not all SCAdians are annoying snarks like this - in fact, MOST are not - but the ones online seem to be almost universally BAD)*


I want to be planted. I already have a "plantation" - 2, actually, an embarassment of riches, given to me by my Dad. Right next to Grandma and Grandpa, across the way from Uncle Ed and Aunt Lena and cousin Mildred. 2 rows over and about 6 spaces to the right from Uncle Walter and my great-grandparents. Some days when it is warm and sunny, I go have lunch with Grandma.

I want my DNA to be available. I actually WANT someone to find me in 2000 years. I hope they DO dig me back up and try to learn about life here and now from me. I want to be an archaeological discovery. I want MY shabby wardrobe to be considered "in Period".

To this end, I'm working on putting together a box of stuff I want to have planted along with me. And a letter, explaining that these "grave goods" are not supposed to help me in the "Afterlife" - but there to help others learn about me and mine - because something tells me that 2000 years from now there's going to be a lot of folks who think we all dressed and acted and --"thought"-- like Paris Hilton - and that is just too frightening to contemplate!!

Oh - and HUGE HUGE HUGE Congratulations to Croila and Kal on an engagement and an excellent graduation!

241 days

Monday, May 19, 2008

Call me Reverend - I have a holey office!

There is a hole in the ceiling behind my desk.

Actually, it's not a hole, as much as it is a vacancy where one of the drop-ceiling tiles has been shoved over to the side so the roofing guy can look at the roof above it and see if there is a leak. So, it's a hole, but it's not a hole hole. Just a opening-hole. Still and all, the raccoons will drop down on me and bite me on the head.

I have no idea why ...

WAIT!! Yes I do. I remember why open holes in drop ceilings make me think of raccoons! The church I used to attend back when Amanda was little and I was still mainstream lutheran christian had a raccoon get into the ceiling of the girls' bathroom down in the basement. He/she/it fell thru the ceiling tile and into the bathroom stall, hurt itself rather badly, as there was blood all over the place.

Stay away, raccoon. This is not a bathroom, this is my office.

I'm feeling like I've been terribly spendy this weekend. I bought some geraniums and some peas and my replacement peppers and a delphinium and some daylillies and really, I shouldn't have gotten so much but I do so love having flowers and the annuals help fill in while the perennials are working hard at being fruitful and multiplying. The peony, btw, now has 8 buds. I shall need an entire HILL of ants. Like a horror-movie in miniature.

Thank goodness the peony plant is like 15 feet from the house.

I also picked up a lot of groceries and had brunch at the Dysfunctional Dennys. All in all, I spent wayyyyy too much.

They're now fixing the roof over my desk. Scrape!! Scrape!! Scrape!!!!!
I think it is giving me a headache. You know it's annoying when I'd prefer to hear HEADERS to the sound of the scraping!!

245 days