My “life” movie

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Some Baby Boomers define their lives by the music they’ve loved.  Some Boomers look to  look to the Golden Age of television and beloved classic shows like I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners or The Ed Sullivan Shew (really big shew!)  Some BBs identify with a movie that has had a lasting impact on their life.

AGMA is in the last category.

It hit me this past week that my life has been profoundly and deeply influnced by one movie.  My entire view of the world and adulthood is inextricably linked to this masterpiece of the big screen.  The themes have been woven into my life to the point where I don’t know where the movie ends and my life begins.

That move is, of course…

(wait for it…)

White Christmas!

The picture was to throw you off track.

AGMA needs to set the stage for you (pun intended)…

Last week we went to the Atlanta Fabulous Fox Theater to see White Christmas, the musical.   Although it’s been making the rounds since 2004, I’d never had the chance to see it and was pretty darned excited to go.

I gotta tell you, I had high exceptions.  AGMA’s seen WC the movie so many times that I pretty much can recite the most of the dialogue.  Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen are like family that I visit once a year and it’s always a glorious reunion.

Sadly, I was pretty disappointed in the stage adaptation.  I’m sure it’s difficult to take a classic movie and remake it for the stage, but it’s even more challenging if it’s an iconic movie adored by literally billions of people around the globe.  And on Mars.

That may be an exaggeration…

The stage musical was choppy, disjointed and sorta kinda followed the basic plot of the movie, but not really.   There were glaring omissions, unnecessary additions and sh*t that was just plain wrong.

It was all AGMA could do to not walk out.

It starts out like the movie in 1944 with Bob singing White Christmas and General Waverly leaving his troops.  Then the next scene is Phil and Bob doing a nightclub act in 1954.  WTF?  No building falls on Phil so Bob doesn’t get to save him?  How did they become a duo?  Gone from the play is Phils “injured” arm that was a running gag thought the movie.

And there’s no Novello’s in the play.  Phil and Bob meet Judy and Betty at a club in NYC not Florida.  And in the play, Bob and Phil were going to be heading to Florida after the girl’s show. Holy crap, my head was spinning…

Once they got to Vermont, things went from bad to worse.  Emma, the busybody, but lovable, housekeeper in the movie is replaced by Martha, the busybody, not that lovable, former vaudeville star who belts out songs like a wannabe Ethel Merman and wants a part in the show.   Is nothing sacred?

Oh, and the General’s niece, Susan (her name in the play as well), is also a singing and dancing showbiz wannabe who really should have been cast as a snarky orphan in Annie rather than WC.  Evidently it’s a hard knock life in Vermont.

Ed Harrison is gone, and The Ed Harrison Show is replaced with the Ed Sullivan Show Huh? And there’s a farm hand (ski lodge hand?) named Ezekiel who was cute but totally superfluous.

There were extra Irving Berlin songs thrown in that didn’t seem to fit the theme and pretty much wasted time that could have been used for backstory.  And movie songs were left out – Mandy, Choreography, Gee I Wish I was Back in the Army.  WTF?

And in the play, when the Army rejects the General’s request to be put on active duty, he writes to President Eisenhower.  And the President pulls some strings to get him back in and assigned to a post in Europe.  But at the end, he turns it down.  WTF?

Oh, and Bob was taller than Phil.  And Betty was not nearly as snarky in the play as she was in the movie and the stage Judy tried really hard, but her dancing paled in comparison to Vera Ellen.  Oh the humanity!

After being traumatized by the play, AGMA HAD to watch the movie again to set the universe right.

So Hubs and I settled in on Sunday evening to drink some ‘nog (the stuff you buy at the liquor store) and watch White Christmas.  I felt my anxiety easing and the earth started turning on its axis again.

Then it hit me. Like a Robert Mueller subpoena slap across the face.

White Christmas is my “life” movie.

It was made in 1954.  I was made in 1954. We have experienced childhood, puberty,  middle age and now, the beginning of our golden years together.  And I’m pretty sure the movie is aging more gracefully than AGMA.

I realized that a lot of my ideas of adulthood came from WC.  As a teenager, I wanted to be one of those very lovely, sophisticated women, all dressed up to the nines in the final scene, drinking a martini with my brave ex-soldier husband at my side in a ski lodge in Vermont.  In the snow.  On Christmas Eve. With Bing, Rosie, Danny and Vera entertaining me.

I still do.

AGMA loves the themes of the movie – self sacrifice, bravery, loyalty, friendship, love, the importance of family, honoring those who served in the armed forces…

Noble stuff.

Stuff that the stage musical tripped over terribly.

I can hear you ask, ‘Did you like ANYTHING about the musical, AGMA?”

Fair question and yes.

I liked the tap dancing scenes.  And that General Waverly was played by John Schuck.  You remember John Schuck right?  He’s best know for playing dentist Capt. Walter “Painless” Waldowski in the 1970 move M.A.S.H.

Remembering that mock burial scene with him in the coffin made me smile.

Don’t judge me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Close up time?

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In 2014, within a few months of starting AGMA, one of my posts got “Freshly Pressed”.

To be honest, I was so wet behind the ears with this blogging stuff on WP that I really didn’t know what that meant.

But it didn’t take long to figure it out.

AGMA went from something like 25 followers to over 2000 in a matter of weeks.  And I was overwhelmed by the volume of comments.

I handled it with my normal cool aplomb….  I turned red, panicked at the thought of more than 15 people reading my posts, and started hyperventilating.  

It seemed like there might be some lofty expectations from AGMA going forward.  I wasn’t sure I could handle the pressure.  

But I managed to hold my AGMA sh*t together and boldly went forward writing whatever the hell I wanted.  Screw ‘em if they didn’t like it….

That post (No Close Ups!) is still my all time high post for likes and comments.

And it was about lightbulbs.

Go figure.

But get ready faithful readers…. 

Get ready WP Freshly Pressed folks…

Get ready world…

Lightning is about to strike twice.

AGMA went lightbulb shopping again!

It all started when I was perusing the Black Friday ads in the newspaper on Thanksgiving Day. 

“A newspaper, AGMA?  How quaint and retro…”, I can hear you say.

Thanksgiving Day is the one day of the year I ever buy a real live newspaper.   And I know why.  Other than the ads, the rest of the paper was dismal.  I think there were 4 sections that were 6 tiny pages each.  

I don’t know about you but AGMA misses old school newspapers.  A computer screen just doesn’t have the same tactile or visual stimulation.  And you can’t wrap a set of cups and saucers with it when you’re moving.

So in one of the super mega hardware store Black Friday ads, I saw something called a wireless lightbulb.

Wireless lightbulb. Seems like an oxymoron.  Like the phrase “Presidential integrity” (specifically applied to Trumputin.)  Maybe not so much the oxy, but the moron part definately applies…

Upon further research, I realized that the lightbulb still needed to be in a wired socket (whew!)  It’s the control of the bulb that’s wireless.  

This is getting interesting.

No more fumbling around in the dark to find a light switch.  Or using old school mechanical timers. 

These “smart” lightbulbs somehow (does anybody really know how?) connect to your WiFI network and are controlled by an app on your smart phone.  Or a hub. Or Alexa. Or Google Assistant. Or Facebook Portal (never in a million years Zuckerberg, you arrogant snot!)  (OMG – did I say that out loud?) 

Or other demonic devices meant to listen into and/or watch your most intimate moments and plant earwigs in your brain.  

Not surprisingly, AGMA does not own one of these wicked devices, born from the depths of Hell, so I’d have to use the app.  Just sayin’… 

And not only can you control them wirelessly via either a hub or app or evil device, but you can control the color and choose from like 1000 different color choices.  

Seriously.

Always in search for the perfect Christmas gift for tech savvy Son#2, AGMA ventured out on Black Friday to said super mega hardware store.  

And I ended up just staring at the hundreds of lightbulb choices.  Again.  It was overwhelming.  Again.  Just like 4 years ago.

Incandescent bulbs are still around, but in short supply.  Thomas Edison and I are still sad about this.

To AGMA’s surprise, those twisty fluorescent “not really a bulb” bulbs were no where to be seen.  No loss there – I was definitely NOT ready for my close-up when those babies were lit up.    

LED rules the lightbulb aisle now. 

But even on sale, the super mega hardware store price was still pretty high for one of those smart bulbs.

So AGMA ordered one from Amazon on Cyber Monday at like $10 off the super mega hardware store sale price.

I got it a few days ago.  And my curiosity is getting the better of me.  

How does it connect to WiFi?  How does the app work?  Will one of those 1000 colors be THE perfect color for me?  Will I FINALLY be ready for my close-up?  Could one of the 1000s of colors not make the Grand Cheeto look so very orange?

Inquiring AGMA minds may need an answer soon.

Very soon.

I’m sure Son#2 wouldn’t mind getting a nice bottle of Aqua Velva.

Windmills

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It’s AGMA….

You remember me don’t you?  Short and stocky 60 something with the salt n peppa hair, and the obsession with her lazy girls and men’s cycling?

Sure you do!

I’ve been MIA for a spell.

Once again I’ve over committed myself and my beloved AGMA has gotten swept to the side.  Just like leaves on a Finnish forest floor…

15 years ago, I had a friend who only needed 4 hours sleep a night.  Talk about being productive…  She worked full time and raised 3 children as a single parent.  She was a Girl Scout troop leader, involved in her church, took care of her aging parents and had a small business on the side.

Clearly she needed to only need 4 hours sleep a night!

This is not AGMA.

I like to blame my autoimmune disorders for my pooping out so fast during the day, but I honestly think that I’m getting a bit lazy as I get older.

Like, I think, Cadet Bone Spurs.

tRump’s WH schedule for yesterday (11/19/18) consisted of two items.  He and the squinty lady he’s married to at the moment participated in the White House Christmas Tree delivery at 1 PM.  I wonder what that entailed?   Then he ate lunch at 1:30 PM.

Now THAT’S what AGMA’s talking about…

How do I get a piece of this Presidential gig?  I like his hours…

Being civically involved (me, not the Great Cheeto who is clearly NOT civically involved….) has it’s downside.  You actually have to carve time out of your day to actually be involved.  WTF??

And AGMA didn’t have a lot of excess time or energy to begin with…

But it’s that civic “stuff” that’s keeping me from the keyboard.  I’m still registering new Americans to vote at naturalization ceremonies.  And we still have some undecided races here in Georgia.  There’s a run-off election on 12/4 that will decide the next Secretary of State and Public Service Commissioner.

That’s a really short timeline with a major holiday – Thanksgiving – thrown in.

There probably isn’t anybody out there who hasn’t heard about the rampant voter suppression in Georgia leading up to and during the mid-terms.  I had a friend from Australia tell me it was on their news.

It really was worse than you heard.

The person in charge of Georgia’s elections, the Secretary of State, just happened to be running for governor.  And despite calls for him to step down during the campaign, he continued in his role as Secretary of State and Grand Poobah of elections.

No conflict there, right?  Very tRumpian….

It was a shit show of subtle and not so subtle voter suppressions tactics with the end result of him stealing the election from Stacey Abrams and the good people of Georgia.

OMG – AGMA is still so pissed!

Those of us who believe in open and fair elections are channeling our anger toward the 12/4 run-offs.  We are doing whatever needs to be done to support the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, John Barrow.  He’s Georgia’s best hope for returning integrity to the election process.

Here’s his website in case you feel moved to donate to the cause…  barrowforgeorgia.com

All the above is to say that I’m sooooooo very sorry for ignoring AGMA these past few weeks and (probably) in the coming weeks.  I LOVE this sweet little blog, but I feel like I need to be in this fight right now for every voter who got illegally purged from voter rolls, or who had to fill out a provisional ballot for bogus reasons, or who never received their absentee ballot or got their ballot trashed because they didn’t follow the confusing instructions for submitting them, or who couldn’t stand in a 4 hour line to vote.

Don Quixote and AGMA – always fighting windmills.

Oh yeah – and after the election, then the Christmas crazy starts.

**sigh**

If I only needed only 4 hours of sleep a night…

P.S.   In this season of thankfulness, please know that I am so VERY THANKFUL for all of you and your affection for this quirky little blog.  Gratitude is indeed an underrated attitude…  So THANK YOU and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

 

 

 

 

 

BUBBLES!!

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If I made a movie about our recent trip to Istanbul, Rotten Tomatoes would describe it: “The adventurous AGMA and her humorous sidekick Hubs sing and dance their way to Istanbul while encountering wacky blondes, many naked people, and never ending samples of Turkish Delight.” 

Turkey has been on my “list” for a long time now.

A few months ago, after having just read a travel post of one of my favorite bloggers, Life in the Boomer Lane (or LBL), describing her latest trip to Istanbul, AGMA perked up.

Turkish Airlines started flying direct to Istanbul from Atlanta several years ago and offered dirt cheap promotional pricing for a while. But it was right after the terrorist attack on the Araturk Airport and the coup attempt. 

Timing…not so good.

But two years later, LBL’s post about Istanbul got me thinking again…

A couple weeks later, a sale to Istanbul popped into my inbox from one of the travel sites I follow.

It was a sign!

Not only did we book the trip, but two friends of mine from my former life in Ohio decided to join us!  P-A-R-T-A-Y!

AGMA has to say that this was one of the best (albeit shortest) international trips I’ve ever taken.

Sadly for the Turkish people, their currency, the Turkish lira, is at one of the lowest levels against the dollar and Euro it’s ever been.  For Hubs and AGMA, it meant a $3.77 twenty minute Uber ride and lunch for two for at a local place for less than $6.  We left big tips.

Prices for tours, authentic name brand clothes/accessories and “experiences” (think a Turkish Bath) are in Euros because of the unstable lira.  

Did somebody mention Turkish Bath?

Yeah we did!  

We went to the Cagaloglu Hamam. They’ve been scrubbing and bathing the good people of Istanbul since 1741.

Reservations (done via email) are a must because it is a relatively famous Bath in Istanbul.  They have a “Wall of Famous Clients” (pictured above.)

AGMA’s picture will be added beside Oprah’s next week, I feel certain.

We opted for the 50 Euro “Istanbul Experience” – sort of the basic Turkish bath.  

The check-in area in the lobby was serene and peaceful, with a flute player playing mellow melodies. There was a fountain in the middle, and low table and stools for post-bath tea.

Serenity now…

 A lovely woman who spoke wonderful English whisked me off to the “Ladies Only” section.  I said bye to Hubs, praying that he wouldn’t bolt as soon as I left. 

She escorted me to a courtyard area surrounded by dressings rooms. I got my own personal room complete with a lounging couch, a side table, lamp and mirror.  On the couch was a towel and sandals wrapped in plastic.  And some “undies”.

This was getting interesting

I changed out of my clothes, wrapped the lovely towel (called a peshtemal) around me and slipped on my “underwear”.

Turns out, it was a disposable thong.  A thong??  AGMA, for reasons that would be totally clear if you knew me in person, has never worn a thong in her life.  But when in Rome… (or Istanbul!)

When my attendant Eaja came to fetch me, she told to leave my glasses in the dressing room.  AGMA is blind without her glasses.  

In hindsight, it was a good thing.

Eaja lead me to the sauna area first.  The idea was to literally sweat the crap out of your pores.  Turned out, I had a lot of crap in my pores.

After about 15 minutes, Eaja lead me to the large bath area and one of the many sinks that surrounded the large central marble slab.  Sans my towel (oh-la-la) Eaja dumped small bucket full of water on me.  Cool water.  

WTF?

She also washed and rinsed my hair.  With cool water.

Eaja then lead me to the central raised marble slab, laid my towel out and had me lay on my back.  

Mind you, AGMA is only clothed in her “thong”.  YIKES!  But my fuzzy vision could tell that everybody else was going almost commando.

It took me about a minute to get over it.  I guess that answers my question about going to a nudist camp!

Then Eaja started scrubbing me with a kese (a exfoliating mitt).  And baby, she scrubbed me from head to toe.  On both sides.

No soap; just the kese.  From the looks of the kese afterwards, I was pretty grubby.

But the next part…OMG…was the best!

BUBBLES!!!

More bubbles than I’ve ever seen in my life!  They covered me like a blanket.

Then a massage.  A bubble massage.  For about 10 minutes.

I flopped over onto my tummy, and got bubbled and massaged again.

AGMA was sooooo relaxed and little fuzzy on what happened next… 

Somehow, I got rinsed, wrapped in a dry towel and was lying down on a lounger back in the dressing room courtyard with a cup of tea, small glass of sharbat and some pieces of Turkish delight beside me.  

After 15 minutes of lounging and sort of getting my wits back, I changed in my dressing room (sadly leaving my “thong” behind.)  I dried my hair, gave Eaja a nice tip and was off in search of Hubs.

I found him in a robe, with his hair in a towel, drinking tea on a lounger in one of the rooms off the lobby.  Smiling.

He LOVED it!  Whew…

The wacky blonde was my friend who almost spent $500 (but didn’t) on saffron for “stocking stuffers” in the Grand Bazaar.  Long story…   

And Turkish Delight was EVERYWHERE and everybody wants to give you a sample!  

It was a quick hit trip – we were only gone for 5 days.  But it was a truly amazing 5 days. 

We found the Turkish people incredibly friendly and so very helpful.  Somebody was always willing to help Hubs and I when we needed to lift up his mobility scooter on a curb or up some stairs.

AGMA signed up for Turkish Airlines deal emails as soon as we got home!

I can’t wait to go back to get scrubbed and bubbled again!  Naked (nearly…)

Don’t judge me.

 

Tape me!

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So last week turned out to be every bit as cray cray as AGMA thought it would.

Readers Digest version…  We went to Naples, Florida on Thursday for a weekend wedding.  Son #1 was Best Man so he rented a 5 bedroom condo and brought the wife and kids.  And my DIL’s parents came as well.  And Son #2.

And we celebrated my sweet grandaughter’s 2nd birthday.  And got together with my Belle Mare’s (DIL’s mom) newly discovered siblings (thanks to Hubs brilliant genealogy research – that’s going to be a whole other post!)

And got together with my old boss who I haven’t seen in 5 years.  And entertained a few friends who came down for the wedding.  And went to the beach.

Besides the wedding, we went to the “out of towners” cocktail reception the night before.  And all the guests were invited to breakfast on Sunday.

Busy.

The groom is my Son #1’s BFF and was Best Man in my son’s wedding eight years ago.  They grew up together in Cincinnati, a lovely, but very conservative town in southwestern Ohio.

I used to be very good friends with Groom’s mom.  And all of the other moms of the kids Son #1 hung around with in Junior and Senior High.

But something ugly and orange happened on November 8, 2016.

And we are no longer good friends.  Some of the moms defriended me on Facebook because of my rather “spirited” comments on Cadet Bone Spurs and his Nazi posse.  Others, I’m sure, are following my posts closely and report them to the Bolton Gestapo.

AGMA won’t be going into any US Embassies on my travels.

So what’s the best passive aggressive way to show these GOP right wing Ohio mom’s that AGMA denounces all the hate the Massive Cheeto stands for, and is pro-humanity, pro-decency, pro-diversity, pro-equality, and pro-compassion?

I needed to show up at that wedding looking absolutely fabulous.  Of course.

This proved to be a challenge.  AGMA is a no make-up, comfy jeans, and Birkenstocks (generic of course…) kinda gal.

But I had a plan:

Step 1.  Get a “blow-out”.  It’s not what it sounds like…  It’s where you go to a hair salon looking place, but they don’t do haircuts.  They only wash, blow-dry and style your hair.  I spent $44 bucks (ouch) and the “do” lasted for about 8 hours.  But it was long enough.

Step 2.  Wear make-up.  The “blow-out” place also does make-up, but AGMA felt that would be over kill.  So for what I would have spent on them smearing stuff on my face, I went out and bought a whole slew of make-up and brushes.  Evidently you need a separate brush for everything. Seems like a bit of a racket…

Step 3.  Wear a fabulous dress.  AGMA doesn’t like wearing dresses.  So I really needed it to be very comfy.  But chic.  I found a winner on a visit to Nordstrom’s Rack,.  And better yet, it was on sale for – I kid you not – $13.50.

Crazy considering it was a great brand, lined and really good quality.

And it has a little strip of rhinestones in back.  At the top before the back plunges down almost to my waist.

What??

A plunging back?  With my barcalounger lazy girls that require severe trussing up on a daily basis?

If you didn’t already, you can read about them on a post I wrote not too long ago here.

Ever the optimist, AGMA felt confident that I could find some way to hold them in place.  Somehow.

There are these things called “sticky” bras.  They are supposed to hold you up and allow you to wear backless, strapless stuff.  AGMA found out they are mostly made for 34AA types.

I need support.  Lots and lots and lots of support.  There were a few who made that promise…  I bought a “sticky” bra at a store and ordered another one online to have options.

Then I found this hysterical post about a woman in a similar situation.  Her conclusion, “Stick-on bras are not made for women with a lotta boob, full stop.”

Her solution?

Tape.

The magic answer was to tape the ladies into submission.

Not scotch tape or duct tape or electrical tape, but Gaffer Tape.

I did a practice taping at home to make sure that it would work.  AGMA wanted to give the girls the help they needed, but also wanted to make sure the damn stuff would really stick.  Disaster could ensure if it let loose at the wrong time.

Oh the humanity!

To make a long story that NOBODY wants to hear short, it worked!

My hair looked fantastic. I did a decent job of putting on makeup (AGMA practiced that too!) and wore lipstick.  And the dress was lovely and chic in front but oh so sexy in back.

Take that you GOPers!

There was one point in the evening, after I had been dancing up a storm and sweating a bit, that I felt a few of the “anchor” pieces sort of peel off.  Uh oh…  But it lasted a few more dances until we left the reception.

Sweet.

It was a beautiful wedding.  The bride was stunning and the groom dashingly handsome.  Son #1’s toast went over very well.  And we all, blue, red, and purple, behaved ourselves and nobody talked politics.

We got home late Monday afternoon.  AGMA’s still exhausted.

But that’s okay…   I can sleep on the plane tonight.

Yup – AGMA’s hitting the road yet again.

This time it’s a short trip to Istanbul (or is it Constantinople?)

And AGMA and Hubs are going to go to a Turkish Bath.

I sense a really funny blog post in a week or so…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

 

 

 

 

Diversions

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AGMA thought October was going to be a crazy month…

Two weeks ago, on 10/3, I flew to Chicago.  At O’Hare, I met my friend who had been flying for over 30 hours to get to the Windy City from her home in Australia.

She looked amazingly perky.  AGMA would have been bleary eyed, grouchy and hangry.

But then she is 20 years younger than me…  Bitch.

We spent the next few days hanging out with TMAGITW (the most adorable grandchildren in the world) and seeing the sights in a rainy, cloudy Chicago.

Then on Sunday, 10/7, we both ran in the Chicago Marathon.

What???

AGMA finished.  But I was very sloooooow.  Let me put it this way…  You could have flown from Chicago to Dublin, Ireland in the time it took me to run/walk the marathon.

Where’s my Guinness?

And, against all odds (medical issues and under-training), my friend finished as well.  It was a show of true grit and determination on her part.   She wanted to give up at the 30K mark, but, because she was running in the 2nd largest marathon in the world, she pushed on.  This was her first marathon.

AGMA was incredibly proud of her.

I’m convinced that the main reason we both finished was because we had:

THE.BEST. CHEER. SQUAD. EVER.  

My sweet B (almost 4 years old) and my darling V (almost 2 years old) were at mile 9 and then again at the finish holding their sign, GO NANA RUN   

The picture my DIL took of me, B, V and my son with the sign will be one of the photos that will go in the the “pictures for the photo montage at AGMA’s memorial service” box.

I honestly can’t even begin to describe how special that run was because they were there watching and cheering.

Crusty ol’ AGMA got a tear or two in her eyes.

Then, on Monday the 8th (still very sore from the marathon), my Aussie friend and I flew back to Altanta.  AGMA began her 7 day stint as the Atlanta hostess with the mostess.

I can even begin to list the  “stuff” we did while she was visiting.  We spent 7 days on the run.  She’s a very laid back, easy going guest (I mean, she’s Australian…), but AGMA still felt pressure to make sure she had a memorable visit by doing and seeing as much as we could.

Hence no WP post last week.  Sorry!

She jetted off to NYC this past Tuesday.  I wonder if she was as tired as I was?

Probably not.  Bitch.

But no rest for a wicked AGMA…

This week has been hectic with playing catch up from the previous two weeks, working a job, seeing School of Rock (so cute!), helping new citizens register to vote, 2 physical therapy appointments, a haircut, and and and…

The rest of the month isn’t going to be any better.

Warning: posts may be few and far between for the next few weeks.

But the busyness of the past 2 weeks has been a wonderful diversion; a much needed break from Cadet Bonespur’s unhinged insanity, social media bad news, and the Georgia election frenzy.

I was touring Chicago when sexual predator Brett “I like beer” Kava-NOT was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

I missed the first reports of Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal and savage dismemberment death at the hands of the Saudi’s in Istanbul because we were in the North Georgia mountains.

And I missed the initial report that the Georgia Secretary of State and elections czar, Brian Kemp, who happens to also be running for governor against a very popular African American woman, Stacey Abrams, was not processing 53,000 new voter registrations (mostly minority voters) because of a 2017 enacted “exact match” requirement.  This, of course, was passed to suppress minority voters.

You can read about it here.

Of course, civil right groups are suing claiming that the “exact match” requirement violates the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

And they would be right.  But it probably won’t matter in Georgia, a state where the GOP has elevated voter suppression, election tampering and gerrymandering to fine art.

So AGMA’s two weeks of sightseeing, running and tour guiding were lovely diversions from the relentless sh*t that Americans have to face everyday when they look at social media or watch the news or read the newspaper (do people still do that?)

Can we go back to having a President who causes a scandal because he sports a tan suit or his wife wears a sleeveless dress?

Life was so much simpler in the “good old days”!

 

 

 

What’s your number?

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Back in March 2015, I wrote about the trauma of Hubs and AGMA buying a new mattress in “My last __________ (fill in the blank)”

Hubs thought this was going to be our “last” mattress.

Not even close.

After 3 1/2 years, we went mattress shopping again.

Turns out the “high quality” POSM (piece o’ sh*t mattress) that the salesperson assured us would last for 20 years (hence Hub’s “last” comment) was…a piece of sh*t.

There’s a special place in Hell for dishonest mattress salespersons.  Right next to dishonest used car salespersons.  And dishonest Federal Appeals Court judges who like beer. And reality stars turned treasonous politicians who think Nazi’s and white supremacists are “good people”.

Did AGMA say that out loud?

After 3 1/2 years, we each had a huge divot in our respective sides of the mattress.  It was so bad that, if either one of our cats tried to lie in the middle while we were in bed, they would roll into whatever black hole divot sucked them in.

We always found them, but AGMA couldn’t escape the nagging suspicion that they had journeyed to an alternate universe briefly though our mattress wormhole.

My side was approaching National Park status in terms of depth and width.  Okay, realistically maybe only Georgia State Park designation.

AGMA Canyon Recreational Area.

The mattress death knell sounded when  I went to an Orthopedist.  After an X-ray of my spine, I found out that it could be used as the letter “C” on a Sesame Street episode.

Perhaps this is why AGMA has been having chronic hip & leg pain after every run since February?

My doc referred me to a spinal physical therapist.  AGMA recently chronicled the subsequent encounters with dry needling in the rear from said physical therapist in “A day in the life…”

The first thing my great PT suggested was that AGMA change the way I sit in the evening when watching TV and working on my laptop.  Instead of slouching on the couch which is sooooo very comfy,  I was to sit in a straight backed chair with a bolster at my lower back.  This would help put the natural curve back in my back and relieve a bit of the pressure on the spinal discs that have been smooshed by my wonky vertebrae.

Noooooooo!!

But AGMA was a good patient and did as instructed, although I initially pined for my uber-comfy spot on the couch.  Pined AND whined.  But, happily now, 2 months later, I love sitting on my straight backed chair and NEVER sit on the couch anymore.  It’s too uncomfortable.

This is good.

The second thing my saintly PT suggested was to get a new mattress.

This was not a tough sell to AGMA.  I hated the POS mattress. But I was a bit worried how Hubs would take it.  I mean, this was going to be his “last” mattress right?

Thankfully, he also recognized that our POSM was a POSM.

We talked about trying to get a prorated refund from the POS mattress salesperson, but ultimately decided that the return probably wouldn’t be worth the effort.  AGMA felt confident that he wouldn’t give up without a fight.  And he’d probably want us to buy another mattress from him.

NEVER!

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on AGMA!

In 2015, I thought there was a seemly unlimited number of mattress choices.

In 2018, there really is an unlimited number of mattress choices.

Beside traditional mattresses that you can buy in department stores, or POS and non-POS mattress stores, there is now a plethora of foam mattresses!  Memory foam, cooling foam, therapeutic pressure relief foam, countering support foam, firm foam, smooshy foam, and more!

You can order the foam ones on the internet.  Your mattress is delivered to your door in a box.  You “simply” unroll it, give it some time to “plump up” and put it on your bed.

Voila!

But who wants to do all that work?  Do you have any clue how heavy a foam king sized mattress is?  And what are we supposed to do with our POSM?

And what firmness foam do you get?  They are rated soft, medium-soft, medium, medium-firm, firm, extra firm.  WTF??  And layers…how many layers of foam do you get?

They all come with a trial period so if you totally get the firmness level wrong or you just don’t like it, they send somebody to pick it up and you get a refund (sometimes minus delivery fees – gotcha!)  Then what, since you’ve already gotten rid of your old POS mattress?  And, if you order another one of a different firmness, how do you know you’re going to like that one?

Too many unanswerable questions for AGMA…

So we ended up buying the most expensive air mattress in the world…a Sleep Number bed!  But it was on sale…

No worries about delivery – they deliver it (for $199 that is…) And they cart away your old POSM.  And they have a 20 year guarantee (pro-rated after the first 2 years that is…)

And you get a 100 trial period.  If you don’t like it, they will pick it up and give you a full refund (minus the $199 pick up fee that is…)

But what sold AGMA was the ability for Hubs and I to adjust the firmness to our individual preferences.  Insane!

This might be TMI, but I’m a 40 and Hubs is a 45.  Yeah – I said it…

And guess what?

AGMA’s back and hip have been feeling a whole hell of a lot better…

So between the dry needling and sitting differently and sleeping on a better, more supportive mattress and doing some exercises, AGMA just might be ready to run that marathon on Sunday.

Sunday????

Holy sh*t!

So if you’re in Chicago on Sunday and want to catch a glimpse of AGMA in the flesh, come down and watch the marathon.

I’ll be the one in the white hat, blue shirt and running shoes.

Aging gracefully my ass!

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Ibelieveyou

don'tcare

While AGMA has never been sexually assaulted or raped, I grieve along with the tens of thousands of women who have had that horrific, life altering experience.

I grieve that so many of them have felt too terrified to tell their stories and their attackers have gone unpunished.

I grieve for the women who have summoned the strength to tell their stories at great personal risk, but have been summarily dismissed as ‘troublemakers’.  Like Dr. Ford.  And their attackers have gone unpunished.

I grieve for the women whose rape kits are sitting in law enforcement labs gathering dust.

I grieve for the women who have been so damaged by sexual assault/rape that they could not function after their assault/rape.  Some have not been able to finish their education, hold down a job, have a healthy physical/emotional relationship with a partner and and and…

I grieve that the unaddressed, unacknowleded, unresolved pain becomes a generational pain.

I grieve for the women who felt they had not other choice to escape the pain but suicide.

I grieve for my cousin’s daughter who was raped at 16 by her 23 year cousin.  And who died in her sleep at 26 due to her alcoholism that started after her rape.

I grieve for my cousin who lost her precious daughter.

I grieve that I didn’t do more to support/help my college roommate when she told me her sister’s husband (her brother-in-law) came into her bedroom when she was visiting and sexually assaulted her.  I am so very, very sorry Joy…

I grieve that people entrusted with enforcing laws for the well being of their constituents just don’t care.

I grieve that the GOP is sending the message to young women through their refusal of an FBI investigation, that, for the sake of the entitlement of the rich and powerful, the claim of an assault on their bodies is of no consequence and not worthy of being taken seriously.

I grieve for a country that would appoint a possible sexual predator with a history of alcohol abuse who demonstrates vicious, unhinged and mentally unstable behavior to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

I grieve for the women who think that it’s no big deal for men to sexually assault/rape women saying “Boys will be boys.”

I grieve that more good men aren’t more involved in changing a culture that marginalizes women who have been sexually assaulted/raped.

I grieve.

 

Nec-ked and unafraid

 

Part-PAR-Par8140055-1-1-0

CAUTION:  This may be a TMI post to some.  Especially some of you gentle testosterone laden souls.  You’ve been warned… 

A friend I hadn’t talked to for a while called me the other day.  Her husband was out of town and she had just finished up a very busy month of travel and obligations at home. 

She was in bed planning to take a nap after our call.

But during the conversation, her brother decided to pop in for a visit and just strolled unannounced into her bedroom.  AGMA’s pretty sure he has boundary issues…

She whispered, “I gotta go.  I’m naked under the covers and need to shoo him out so I can get dressed.”

She took all her clothes off for a nap?  And her husband was 100’s of miles away?   She was naked just for the fun of it?  WTF?

AGMA was taken aback.

I’ve never been very fond of prancing in my birthday suit and it kind of surprises me when people are.

When I was young – 5 maybe – my mother, sister and I went on vacation with my aunt, uncle and cousin.  We shared a rented cottage on…wait for it…

Lake Erie!

And this was back in the day when it was spontaneously combusting because there was so much industrial waste/toxic chemicals in it.  Okay, maybe the fire was a little bit later – 1969 – but you know that sh*t had to have been building up for years!

But hey, the cottage rental was probably cheap and we could drive there. And we weren’t going to spend that much time submerged in the sludge so it was all good.

I remember getting ready to go to the beach and running out of the cottage without my bathing suit on because I was so excited.  

AGMA was evidently fine going commando back in the day.

I don’t remember anything else about that vacation other than running out of the cottage naked, and getting yelled at by everybody to go back in and put some clothes on.

And the body shaming begins… 

Like most young women, when I hit puberty, things started changing and looking “different”.

My step-mother took me to the lingerie section of the local department store to get fitted for my first bra.  I remember lots and lots of wooden drawers with bras and panties in them, and the whole place smelled like my grandmothers parlor.

It was the shopping trip from hell

It was bad enough that I had to take my shirt off, but then this “old” lady (probably the age I am now…) had to actually touch me when she measured me in various places. While my step-mother and the rest of the store staff looked on.

Okay, maybe not the whole staff, but it felt like a lot of folks were staring at my “buds”.

Once the measuring was done, the torture was to continue…

After rifling through multiple wooden drawers, the sales lady came back to the fitting room with several bras in my size (probably 26AAAAA).

The trying on process involved pulling and pushing and strap adjusting and lots of clinical touching trying to make everything fit the way it should.

AGMA understands that this was normal protocol for the Are You Being Served crew, but to a 12 year old, it was totally humiliating.  

As I got older and the “girls” blossomed, it became evident to AGMA that something wasn’t quite right.

I’d seen my older sister without her bra and her girls were happy, perky and at attention.  She could totally get away without wearing a bra underneath her shirts and look great. 

I mean, this was the 60’s and bra burning was a thing right? 

My girls, on the other hand, appeared as if they’d just run a half-marathon without carb loading the night before.  They looked exhausted, sad, and were definitely unperky-ish.   

AGMA realized it was a bad case of saggy boobs.

No bra burning in my future.  I needed all the help I could get.

As a matter of fact, as I got older, I started having to buy steel reinforced bras (underwires) with wide straps and backs to help winch the ladies up to at least appear to act like they were trying to pay attention.

Sometimes it works.

But once the bra is off, they’re off to the barcalounger to watch Oprah reruns.

AGMA’s pretty sure that my lazy ladies are a big part of the reason I never liked going commando as an adult.  

All that flipping and flopping just isn’t comfortable. 

But one of my best friend is YUGELY BIG up top.  I mean so big she has to custom order her bras.  Massive, to the point where she gets backaches at times.  

And she prances around her house naked all the time.

WTF?

Maybe AGMA has other issues besides the flipping and flopping?

The times I tried to sleep naked, I’d have the “cafeteria” bad dream.  You know, the one where you are either behind the counter serving or you are in line getting food, and you’re naked.  But nobody else seems to notice or care but you.

It’s quite unsettling.

So yeah, maybe something else is going on.  But at this stage of my life, AGMA thinks it’s probably a moot point.

Although I’ve often thought that maybe a trip to a nudist beach or resort might help.  

I’m pretty sure that, years ago, I bought into that perfect body image lie that our culture promotes with such vigor.  The unspoken notion that we should be ashamed of our bodies and need to “fix” them if they aren’t happy, perky and attentive.

Maybe seeing other imperfect people might help.

Doubtful.

But if I do go, anybody else interested?  It could be a vacation of a lifetime.  One you’ll never forget.

No matter how many pharmaceuticals you take.

Let a smile be your umbrella blah blah blah

hedghog

Source: hedgehog_azuki Source:Instagram

It’s time to lighten this joint up!

AGMA’s last three posts have been of a somewhat somber nature.  My apologies for the barrage of Debbie Downer posts.

To be totally honest, life still seems to be a bit more on the old, dirty shoe leather side than the rainbows and unicorns side.  And it’s so easy to settle into a comfy seat and start chewing away at it.

Like I’ve been doing for the last 3 weeks.

It’s really hard to write a light, funny, fluffy post when you’re just not feeling it.  At least for AGMA it is.

I was never a very good liar.

So my go to in the ‘I need to write something that will make folks smile, but have no clue what to write’ department is my AGMA spam folder in WP.  It’s usually full of potential for humor.  Here’s one of my spam themed posts… Love is Love

But it was not to be.  I guess WP automatically purges spam folders on a regular basis.  The last time I looked at it there were 12 spammies in it.  Today, there are 2.

And one was in Russian:

“Добрый день. Предлагаем Вам наши услуги в области международных перевозок грузов.
Работаем международных грузоперевозок по основным направлениям: Россия (Челябинск, Екатеринбург, Пермь, Новосибирск, Красноярск, Омск, Тюмень, Томск) – Беларусь – Казахстан.
Но можем выполнить перевозку грузов по любым иным маршрутам.
Более подробно можете почитать на сайте компании “МиТур” ”

According to Google translate, it says:

“Good day.  We offer you our services in the field of international cargo transportation.  We work international cargo transportation in key areas.  Russia (Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Novosibirst, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Tyumen, Tomsk – Belarus – Kazakhstan, but we can carry out the transportation of cargoes on any other routes,  You can read more on the website of the company “MiTour”. ”

ZZZZZzzzzz…

So AGMA might have to consider the nuclear option.

I might have to go all Julie Andrews on everybody.   “Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens…”

Noooooooo!!!

Yup.

So here’s a partial list (in no particular order) of what makes AGMA smile:

  • Hedgehogs in lawn chairs
  • Minions (the yellow, cartoon kind, not the tRump kind)
  • Champagne bubbles in Epernay
  • The name of the country Djibouti
  • The thought of a Blue Tsunami in November
  • The Tour de France
  • The Crones of Anarchy Facebook page
  • The idea that there is really a pee tape
  • Hearing my grandkids call me Nana
  • Memories of “Hulking out” for my kids when they were young
  • German chocolate cake
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Hearing an Al Green song.  Any Al Green song.
  • Cappuccinos in Rome
  • The opening number of Hamilton
  • The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia
  • The possibility of a US Senator Beto O’Rourke
  • Meerkats
  • Reading your blogs (some of you make me LOL!)
  • Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Happy by Pharrell Williams
  • Hubs and 1 year old granddaughter watching the Five Little Ducks video
  • Any trip requiring a passport
  • Grandson and DIL dancing to We Know The Way from Moana
  • Any meme with Cadet Bonespurs and family/friends in orange jumpsuits
  • Hugs from either one of my sons
  • Roadrunner cartoons
  • Wonder Woman
  • Hitting that Publish button!

Whew.

So…I feel better.

What about you?

What makes you smile?  Laugh?  A funny story that made you belly laugh (so much so that maybe a little pee pee leaked out?)

Tell all.