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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close up time?

aqua velva

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.

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!!

 

 

 

 

A day in the life…

clock

I know that ya’ll have been wondering what my ‘typical’ day might look like.  “How does AGMA pass the time?” is a question you probably ask yourself on a daily basis.

Understandable.

Let’s use today as an example of a typical, dysfunctional day in my life.

While my day usually starts around 6:30 AM or 7:00 AM, I slept in a bit.  What??  But I had good reason.  Last night Hubs and I went to see….

…wait for it…

Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle!  Yeah – THAT Jon Stewart and THAT Dave Chappelle.

With special guests Michelle Wolfe of the 2018 White House Correspondence Dinner fame and Chris Tucker of the Rush Hour movie franchise fame.

AGMA stayed up way too late gaffawing the night away.  But it was epic!

At 7:20 this morning, our cats, Gux and Max, made it known that they were over this sleeping nonsense, and that I needed to get up chop chop and feed them.  I went back to bed after depositing kibble in their bowls.

I got up again at 8:00 to clean up some food that Max puked up.  On our bedspread.

Delightful.

Hubs and I discovered about 20 minutes later that the REST of the food expelled by Max was in a huge pile on our bed sheet in between our pillows.  Glad I didn’t try to shimmy over to snuggle Hubs.

Double delightful.

With the washing machine now swishing in the background, AGMA got ready for the day.  This required I look in the mirror which is always a shocking proposition in the morning.

Washed, brushed, curled and flossed, it was time to take care of some work stuff.

My little Ebay business is picking up again so I needed to get a package ready to ship.  4 English china teacups and saucers.  Scary.  I know I used too much bubble wrap.  AGMA’s  anal in that way.

With the package sealed and labeled, now I needed to figure out if I had enough time to go to the USPO before my physical therapy appointment.

My appointment was in 40 minutes.  I still hadn’t had breakfast, the post office is 15 minutes away, then another 25 to my PT appt.

Just enough time if I grab a banana, put in a mobile order at Starbucks for a mocha, and get all green lights.

Unknown…how long of a line there would be at the Post Office.

AGMA’s always willing to roll the dice.

All green lights?  Not nearly, but there was no line in the USPO and I managed to avoid some accident brouhaha near Starbucks.

I got to my 11:00 AM appointment at precisely 10:59 AM.

It’s a charmed life!

My PT specializes in spine issues.  This is good since I recently found out I have a nasty case of scoliosis in my lumbar spine.  Really nasty.

Bummer.

But it explains a lot.  Since February, running has caused me a lot of hip pain and, later at night, radiating pain down my entire right leg.  Really ouchy stuff.  Difficult to get comfortable.  And I was limping like Chester on Gunsmoke (not everybody’s going to get that reference…)

This has been cause for concern.  I’m supposed to run 26.2 miles in early October as a charity runner.  Friends and family have donated over $2100 to the cause.

AGMA. Must. Run.

Exercises over the course of several weeks proved unsuccessful, so last week my PT tried “dry needling”.  Yeah – it’s just like it sounds…

He exposed my cellulite infested right buttock and proceeded to poke needles into my hindquarters.  It’s sort of like acupuncture, but the needles go deeper and into muscle tissue.

AGMA only yelped twice.

THEN he hooked some of the needles up to an electrical current.  He let my rear end pulsate for 15 minutes.  It felt like simmering butt stew.

But it helped immensely.  There are still some sensations down my leg, but no hip pain during my runs.  And my limp is still there, but it’s much reduced.

So AGMA showed up to my PT appointment today and said, “Bring it on!”

Because there’s been a bit of numbness in my right foot the past few days, he put even MORE needles in this week.  And he turned the current up so that, every now and then, one of my lateral rotator muscles in my rear would start to jiggle.  Like jello.  Cellulite jello.

AGMA kinda wanted a cigarette afterwards.

I’d love to have a picture of the whole set-up, but couldn’t figure out how to ask him without him thinking I was a bit of a freak.

Maybe next week I’ll try a selfie.  Of my butt with needles sticking out and little electrodes hooked up to them.

I am a freak.

And now I’m at Dancing Goats reading blogs, making comments, answering comments and writing this post.

Cats puking on the bed, speeding to the Post Office, shoving a banana down at a stoplight for sustenance, getting electrified needles stuck in my rear, blogging….

Pretty much a typical day for AGMA.

Aging Gracefully My Ass (literally…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old friends

washer

When Son#2 was around 4, our dishwasher died. Feeling rather panicked at the idea of…OMG no…hand washing all of our dishes, AMGA and Hubs went out to purchase a new one immediately. When the delivery/installation people pulled out the dead dishwasher and hauled it away, Son#2 started wailing.

Evidently he and the dishwasher had a ‘special relationship’. Like Putin and Cheeto Man.

Only the passage of time and M&M’s managed to calm him down. It took about 15 minutes. I think he liked the look of the new dishwasher.

4 year olds tend to be a bit fickle.

Once upon at time, AMGA laughed at what’s become known as “the dishwasher incident”.

Not anymore… I get it now.

Some of AGMA’s best friends are machines.

Take Goldie for example.

Goldie is my 2008 Toyota Prius. I bought her in September of 2007 after I was T-boned in my 2006 Prius – Bluie – on I-75 at about 50mph.

The good news was that AGMA was basically unharmed from the accident. The bad news is that Bluie was totaled.

(Can you guess the colors my last two cars? AGMA’s creativity is simply astounding and can’t be contained… I’m like an American Dali.)

So I’ve had Goldie for nearly 11 years. That is the longest I’ve ever owned a car. It’s 25% of my car owning life.

I feel old.

AGMA tends to take my cars for granted. I get Goldie regular oil changes and check-ups, but other than that, I basically ignore her.

My interior looks like I am homeless, and live in my car. On any given day you can find a treasure trove of banana peels, energy bars, half empty coffee cups, a plethora of napkins from Starbucks, mail, a variety of plastic utensils, salt and pepper packets, 15 reusable shoppings, empty soda cans and used dental floss (ewww…) in her interior.

There’s a large chocolate spot in the rear hatch back carpet area (spilled mocha), the carpet under the gas pedal is thread bare. Her glove compartment is stuffed with oil change receipts that date back to 2008.

But despite my treatment of her, Goldie has been very, very good to me. She’s been the most dependable mode of transport I’ve ever had. And she hasn’t been fussy at all.

Plus, she gets killer gas mileage – 48mpg. Her hybrid battery, that was supposed to last only 7 years, has far exceeded expectations.

Which is exactly why AGMA is thinking that it might be time to start looking around for a late model used car.

Shhhh – don’t tell Goldie.

Truth be told, I’d love to have a car with all that hands free stuff and blue tooth and the internet and the loud alarms that let you know you’re too close to the mailbox when you’re backing up.

My son and DIL have a car that parallel parks itself! WHAT?? Yeah it does!

But then I look at Goldie. And I realize that she’s a lot like me. Not fancy, not flashy, not a lot of bells and whistles. But sturdy, dependable, cute in a 2008 way and wears her mileage well.

I’m pretty attached to her. I’m real attached to her actually.

I think it might be love.

And then there’s AGMA’s washing machine and dryer.

We bought them waaaayyy back in 1995. Well before the advent of high efficiency (HE) front loading washers.

There’s something about those front loaders that I don’t trust.

My son and DIL have one, and I watch it sometimes when I’m visiting.

Seriously.

It just sort of tosses the clothes around in what looks like 1/2 cup of water and a tablespoon of detergent. I guess it’s fine for now while their kids are little. But there’s nothing like a full tub of soapy water and a violent agitator to knock the crap out of the clothes to get the the grime out of a 10 year old’s play shorts and shirt.

AGMA’s going to be sad when they need replacing. Which may be soon. Actually, at this point, every load they do is a gift.

I’ll be sad not only from a “Holy sh*t…a new washer is how much???” perspective, but from a ‘tug on my heartstrings’ one as well.

I washed/dried innumerable soccer, baseball, football and track uniforms in them. I washed/dried the last couple of years of little boy play clothes before they turned into teenage angst clothes. I washed/dried pants & shirts that were worn to junior and senior high school dances. And I washed/dried massive loads of clothes brought home from college on breaks.

Call AGMA crazy, but I kinda miss those days…

I washed/dried throw rugs that were ‘messed on’ by our dog, KC, and our cats, Wart, Willie, Caesar, Gus and Max. Okay – maybe not such a fond memories of the messes, but 4 out of the 6 critters have gone over the rainbow bridge. I still miss them…

I washed/dried my sweet step-mother’s clothes in them weekly while she was in the Alzheimer’s unit of a local nursing home. And AGMA was very grateful for the long soak cycle at the beginning, the extra wash cycle and the extra rinse cycle. If you catch my drift. She’s now been gone for 17 years. I will always miss her…

Yeah…AGMA is just one big sentimental blob about my washer and dryer.

And Goldie.

I’ll probably cry like Son#2 did so many years ago when they reach the end of the road.

Anybody have any M&M’s?

 

Tarzan vs Indiana Jones

Tarzan and Jane

When AGMA’s issue, Son#1 & Son#2, were young, I mean really young (3 & 4 maybe), Hubs let them watch “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”.

If you saw this movie, aside from the usual “Indiana Jones gets out of impossible situations and cracks a few jokes in the process”, there are some pretty dark themes in it. Child slavery, human sacrifice, chilled monkey brains & eyeball soup, etc…

Definitely NOT for the milk and cookie pre-school crowd.

I was unaware that Hubs allowed them to watch this movie. That is, of course, of until Son#2 put his hand on his brother’s, Son#1, chest and said, “I’m gonna rip your harrrrt out.”

Kali Ma Shakti de

AGMA was not happy. Not happy at all. And Hubs heard all about it.

However, in subsequent years, the process of trying to rip each others hearts out became a staple on long car trips. One son would pin the other in the back seat, hover his hand over his brothers heart, and chant, “Kali Ma Shakti de.”

And then we’d all laugh. How twisted is that?

It became one of those unexpected family traditions.

And traditions die hard in AGMA’s family. I think they did this to each other as recently as a few years ago (both in their early 30s)

But holy sh*t, the Temple of Doom doesn’t hold a candle to old Tarzan movies.

I’m talking about Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan movies of the 1930’s and 40’s.

As a child, AGMA watched every Tarzan movie that was broadcast on our little black and white TV. The African jungle and the native tribes and Cheeta and the elephants and Tarzan always saving the day…it seemed to be otherworldly and so very exotic.

Compared to Pittsburgh, PA that is.

But good Lord…even in black and white, those things were terrifying!

A few weeks ago, “Tarzan and his Mate”, vintage 1934, came on TV. It was the sequel to the 1932 Tarzan the Ape Man, and starred Maureen O’Sullivan as Jane.

Since we hadn’t seen a Tarzan movie probably in 40 years, we thought it would be fun to watch it.

Sure – it’s all fun and games until the giant crocodiles start attacking.

As AGMA watched the movie, my palms started to sweat. I was breathing a little to fast, my heart started to thump, and the hairs on the back of my neck started to stand up.

The childhood memories of Tarzan terror came storming back.

Some of the “highlights” in the Tarzan movies I saw…

  • Crocodiles, hippos, lions, snakes, etc attacking and ripping people apart
  • Tarzan stabbing or otherwise killing said crocodiles, hippos, lions, snakes, etc…
  • People getting devoured to the bone by piranha in a river
  • Cannibalism
  • Human sacrifice
  • Natives getting killed for sport by the white hunters
  • White hunters boiled in oil
  • Throats/chests slit open on a regular basis
  • People being tied to a tree then eaten by various wild animals
  • Huge snakes (I mean YUGE!) squeezing people to death – slowly, painfully
  • People getting trampled to death by stampeding animals (mostly elephants)
  • People literally getting ripped in half after being tied to two criss crossed trees that were cut apart.

That last one REALLY made an impression on me. Gristly.

Kinda makes ripping somebody’s heart out seem a bit subdued. A little.

Baby Boomers watching Tarzan movies when they were young might explain a lot about what’s going on now a days. Just sayin’…

And, to quote Gomer Pyle, surprise, surprise, surprise…”Tarzan and his Mate” is incredibly sexually charged too.

What?? In 1934??

Yup!

Let’s just say, it’s made obvious that Jane is not staying in the jungle with Tarzan because he is a great conversationalist.

If you get my drift.

In one scene, Tarzan rips Jane’s clothes off and there’s an extended nude swimming scene (Maureen O’Hara had a body double) with them cozying up in the water.

In another scene, Jane tries on a silk frock brought to the jungle by a former suitor who is trying to lure her away from Tarzan. AGMA doesn’t believe that a silk frock can even begin to compete with what Tarzan brings to the table.

If you get my drift.

Anyway, Tarzan swings by, feels up the silk frock, feels up Jane, then picks here up and carries into the trees for a night of cavorting. The next morning, Jane naked and covered only by animals skins starts canoodling AGAIN with Tarzan.

Hey – get a room you two!

Oh, and did I mention that Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Hare were wearing nothing, nada, zilch, under their oh so skimpy loin clothes. Oh la la!

So I suppose that AGMA shouldn’t have gotten that upset with Hubs for the “Temple of Doom” incident ‘cause, seriously,  Indiana Jones ain’t got nutin’ on Tarzan.

Ungawa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randy virus’ and men in spandex

cold

So AGMA has a great idea for a post. It’s gonna be good – starts out with a quote from Shakespeare.

High brow stuff, ya know?

But then I just stared at the quote for 5 minutes trying to figure out how to cleverly ease into my topic as I am wont to do. Ya know?

And nothing. Zip. Nada. Blank. Like the Orange One’s cerebral cortex.

But it’s not writers block.

AGMA’s sick.

‘member how, last week, I was in Chicago helping my son and DIL move into a house? And ‘member how I wasn’t really sure I was looking forward to it?  And ‘member how I wasn’t sure I would even survive the week?

The good news is that AGMA did indeed survive. The bad new is that the whole Chicago crew was sick.

Son and DIL had horrible hacking coughs. Cutest Grandson In The World had an ear infection. And 7 month old Wonder Woman Jr. had a cold. A bad one.

Poor critter. She was coughing, sneezing and runny nosing most of the week. But surprisingly, she was in a delightful mood, babbling sweetly away at me. Most of the time.

I won’t bore you with AGMA’s obsession with her oh so cute and oh so delightful grand daughter. Just know about the only thing I didn’t catch on video was when fluids and solids were flung out of various orifices.  Her’s not mine.

And the gal can fling…

Every piece of clothing I wore during the day received their fair share of baby spit up. My shoes too. Even though most of the time she wore a bib the size of a Mexican serape. I’m not really sure how that happened.

Because she didn’t feel well, she need a lot of attention and holding. I mean a lot of holding. Every nap. And she takes 4 naps a day.

The first nap of the first day, Nana AGMA held her until she fell asleep. But she was having none of it when I tried putting her in her crib. She screamed. I picked her up and rocked her. This little scene played out four…count ‘em…..four times.

I gave up. She slept on me for an hour.

Then I had an epiphany. I only get to see her once every couple of months. I didn’t want to be known as the Nana AGMA who let her precious grand daughter cry herself to sleep. Oh, of course it was all fine and good for my kids to do that when they were babies, but not my sweet V. Funny how that works.

She took her naps on my shoulder for the rest of my visit.

Her mom put her down in her crib at night. I figured my DIL could deal with the “Nana effect”.

At one point last Wednesday, Wonder Woman Jr. sneezed directly in my face.

Bullseye.

It all happened so fast. There was no time for protection or deflection.

Even though I washed my face a few minutes after being doused, AGMA knew it was just a matter of time. I could feel the cold virus‘, who beat a hasty retreat up into my nasal passages, marching relentlessly toward my adenoid area. They were positively giddy at the thought of reproducing in my nose.

Gross.

Actually, I probably was already a goner before she sneezed.

According to the Mayo Clinic, colds spread by:

  • Skin-to-skin contact (there were plenty of hugs)
  • Saliva (lots of kissing a drool covered face)
  • Touching contaminated surfaces (bib’s, burp clothes, toys, you name it…)
  • Airborne respiratory droplets (sneezes and coughs)

See…goner.

I got home Saturday evening. Coughing. But I though I had dodged the bullet because I felt okay.

Until this morning.

AGMA has fuzzy brain, a sore throat, coughs, muscle aches and is sleepy.

So.very.sleepy.

But even though I feel like crap now, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about last week. AGMA, as it turns out, was very happy to help out. And get all of those hugs, snuggles and kisses.

Priceless, even if they were virus infected.

So for the next few days, AGMA’s going to be laying low. I’ve got to get better.

Fast.

I’m running 15 miles on Saturday with my marathon group. And another 6.2 on Tuesday, July 4th. With 59,999 of my close friends. In AJC Peachtree Road Race, the largest 10K in the world. Yes – the world.

Running in Altanta in July. Heat, hills and humidity.

It’s gonna be great!

So, Happy 4th of July USA friends! AGMA wants you to take hope, courage and inspiration from our founding mothers and fathers in that we the people can successfully defeat an oppressive regime.

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…”

Thomas Jefferson. Very smart man.

#resisthate

And OMG, OMG, OMG – don’t forget – the TOUR DE FRANCE starts on Saturday, July 1!!!!!!

Three glorious weeks of the men in spandex. And ya’ll know how AGMA feels about the men in spandex.

I’m starting to feel better already…

 

 

Next to Godliness…really?

funny-pictures-history-instead-of-cleaning-the-house-i-just-turn-off-the-lights

If you’ve been hanging with AGMA for a spell, you realize that I have a number of dirty little secrets. My thin mint addiction, my obsession with professional male cyclists in spandex, my desire for a tramp tat…

All are things I wouldn’t want to share with a child under ten. Or my husband.

And I have one more. Not really dirty. Just a secret. It better not be dirty for what I shell out…

I actually pay somebody to clean my house every two weeks.

I’m so ashamed. I feel like an elitist 1%er. What would Bernie say? What would my stern, frugal father say? What would my step-mother say?

Actually, she would probably say, “Atta girl!” Louise hated doing domestic stuff. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect she probably had a housekeeper/cook when she was working full time and married to her first husband.

After she married my father, he persuaded her to quit her job. It was important that he be her first priority. Not surprising. So she went from business woman to full time domestic goddess. It wasn’t her dream job.

However, she dutifully executed her work. She was after all, from a good German family where all the walls got wiped down every spring, floors were scrubbed until they shone and sheets were ironed to make them “crisp”. I never really wanted crispy sheets, but I didn’t have a choice. She made all of the sheets “crisp”.

But she really didn’t like any of it. And, for better or worse, she passed on an extreme dislike of domestic duties to me. I nearly flunked Home Ec.

But like Louise, I was a trooper the while my kids were grown up.

I made dinner every night. The cuisine was mostly Midwestern post-modern – meatloaf with ketchup and onion soup mix, a variety of Hamburger Helper “flavors”, frozen chicken nuggets, and whatever would cook in a crock pot and still remain edible.  Fruit and vegetables were from cans.

Hey…they survived.

My 32 year old son, who now eats raw kale, chard and other woody, stemmy, barely chewable vegetables, mentions how unhealthy my dinners were when he was growing up. Quite frequently.

The last time, I shot back, “When you work part-time, take care of aging parents, drive in multiple carpools, hate to cook and are married to your father, then talk to me. We’ll see what YOU make for dinner.”

That shut him up.

But really, nothing compares to the battles fought over the years trying to keep our house from disintegrating into a scene from some post-apocalyptic world. AGMA turned from caring, understanding, encouraging, loving wife and mother into loud bitchy shrew. I wasn’t about to clean up their mess.

I realize we’ve found out that Bill Cosby is a sexual predator and has left many victims in his wake over the years. His immoral acts and attempted cover-ups are reprehensible. But I have to admit (sheepishly) that I still consider some of his family themed comedy classically brilliant.

On his comedy album, Bill Cosby Himself (1983), in describing his angry wife, he uncannily describes AGMA on housecleaning day…

I’ve always heard about people having a conniption, but I’ve never seen one. You don’t want to see ’em! My wife’s face… split! The skin and hair split and came off of her face so that there was nothing except the skull! And orange light came out of her hair and it lit all around! And fire shot from her eye sockets and began to burn my stomach!

Despite my head splitting open with dizzying frequency, I really was sad when both of my son’s went off to college. On the other hand, I was finally going to get to the bottom of many household mysteries related to moldy food stuffs  and sour smells discovered in unlikely places.

Of course, when they were all at home, none of them was ever the guilty one. It was always somebody else who left toast crumbs all over the couch or spilled the juice on the floor.

But as they flew from the nest, things began to change. This list of the usual suspects got much smaller.

Then it was just hubs and myself. And there was nobody left to point a finger at when toast crumbs littered the hardwoods or milk soured in a puddle on the counter. The house slowly started not looking so post-apocalyptic.

But it still wasn’t good.

Coming from a long line of lackadaisical individuals, my husband was not raised in an environment that believed, as my mostly German father and step-mother did, that “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Hubs pretty much wouldn’t notice if our house was featured on the reality show, Hoarders.

And while AGMA never fully committed to the “next to Godliness” thing, I do like having a semi-clean and tidy home. This however, does not seem to extend to my car.

As it turns out, recruiting outside house cleaning help was a marriage survival strategy.

Now I don’t have to feel like Cinderella, cleaning the whole house by myself and missing the ball. And he doesn’t have to take time away from….ah….whatever it is he does when he isn’t working. Most of it appears to revolve around his smartphone, his laptop and the TV.

But hey – I’m busy too. I have my part-time massage therapy practice, the New York Marathon to train for, an eBay business to build and, most importantly, a blog to write…

So for the near future, it looks like we’ll continue to be 1%ers. Sort of.

We’ll probably revisit this line item in our budget after he retires. I’m sure he’ll be much more engaged on the domestic front after that. And he’ll be happy to dust and scrub sinks.

And Donald Trump is a really nice man who’s just being picked on by the RNC and Megan Kelly.

Fuzzy butts as far as the eye could see

fuzzybutts

Here’s a running joke…

How can you tell if someone ran a marathon?  Don’t worry; they’ll tell you!  (Rimshot)

But now that we’re on the subject and since you’re virtually twisting my arm, I give up. I’ll tell you.  I ran a marathon.  My first.  Last weekend.  A marathon.  26.2 miles.

Holy crap…  What the hell is wrong with me?  Why would a sane 61 year old person do this?

I think the answer is obvious.  I’m just a little bit crazy.

It’s one thing if your running style resembles the hare.  If you’re fast and have a chance to qualify for Boston.  Or have the chance to win your “age group”.  Or want to be the fastest marathoner in your hometown. You know, those people who run 26.2 miles in three hours.  Freaks.

It’s an entirely different matter if your more “mature” and have telltale tortoise tendencies.  You know, the “little engine that could” syndrome…  I think I can, I think I can; I know I can, I know I can.  Slow and steady.  So slow and steady that it takes you almost six and a half hours to run 26.2 miles.  Not that I’m referring to anybody specifically…

Yeah, okay – that was me.

But as slow as I was, I did finish.  I’d heard that many people break down when they cross the finish line of their first marathon.   It’s an overwhelming accomplishment. Being half German, I felt as if it would be genetically impossible for me to display emotion like that in public.  Part of that whole German stoic work ethic, you know?  You run 26.2 miles, then wash the car, vacuum the house, paint the garage floor then it’s off to pole dancing class.  No big deal.  Just a normal day.

I was wrong.

While I didn’t break down blubbering like Tammy Faye Bakker at a 1985 PTL fundraiser, I did get very verklempt as I crossed the finish.  I was literally fighting back the tears.  I guess my “feeling” brain knew it was a bigger deal than my “thinking” brain wanted to admit.  I guess I was proud of myself.  I’m not used to that feeling.

I’ll tell you…when you’re on your feet for six and a half hours, all sorts of interesting and potentially disturbing thoughts go through your mind.  I discovered all kinds of things about myself and running in general last weekend.  So here’s my brain dump – in no particular order – from my very first “AGMA’s burnin’ off the crazy 26.2 miles”:

  1. The tutu isn’t just for little girls taking ballet lessons any more.  I saw more fuzzy butts last weekend than at my 4th grade ballet recital.  I danced as a stalk of celery in that particular event by the way…  Just go online and search for “running tutu’s” and prepare to scratch your head in bewilderment.  It’s a thing.
  2. Slow runners get minimal love.  At the beginning, there’s great crowd support and music from live bands all along the course.  Yippee!  But as the day wears on, most of the bands playing music shut down.  And the crowds drift away. Instead of wildly cheering crowds at the finish, there a few hardy souls, waiting for “their” runner.  Crickets.  Instead of all of the wonderful treats and give-a-ways at the finish for the runners, there are empty tents with empty tables. More crickets.  I managed to scrounge up a banana and a beer so I was happy.
  3. Suffering in a group is much more fun than suffering alone.  Seriously.  Unless you’re a Kenyan, it’s all about the peer support.  I was mentored by a runner 25 years my junior who helped me get to the finish with a smile on my face. Actually it was more of a crooked grimace.
  4. Just like in life, you have to run your own race.  Most of the time, it means you have to let the hares pass you and not worry about it.  You have a different goal than they do.  I think I can, I think I can; I know I can, I know I can.  Go the distance.  No Rosie Ruiz shortcuts.
  5. A shot of single malt Irish whiskey the night before your run is extremely helpful.  Come to think of it, a shot of single malt Irish whiskey in any situation is extremely helpful.
  6. No matter how svelt and gazelle-like you feel when you’re running, you still have little, squat fireplug legs, a large chest, a short waist and a hefty midsection in the official photographs.  Damn.
  7. A week after you run 26.2 miles, you rear-end will still be sore

I know, seven is a weird number.

Would I do it again?  Oh yeah.

I already have my name in the New York Marathon lottery.  And if I don’t get picked for New York, I’m going to go for the Chicago and Marine Corps Marathon lotteries when they open.  And if I don’t get into those, I’ll probably try Philadelphia.

Because I’m just a little bit crazy.

Aging gracefully my ass!

In Search of a 15 Hour Energy Drink…

batmanmasseuse

Life has been crazy these past few months.  Good crazy.  Mostly.

One casualty of the busy has been that I haven’t been posting on AGMA very much.  The other is that I haven’t had time to read all of your wonderful blogs.  I hate that.

I went on two wonderful trips to Europe.  Did I mention I love to travel?   My question now is, why did I come home from the first one?

Looking back, it made no sense to fly over and back twice, endure jet lag twice, do all that packing and unpacking twice.  The trips were five weeks apart.   It would have been so much more practical for me to have hung out in Europe for those extra five weeks.  Duh.  So common sense, right?  My husband, who is the founder of my travel feasts, might not agree.  He’s such a buzzkill…

So at the same time I’m packing and unpacking, getting over jet lag and trying to find somebody to feed the cats, I was also in the middle of learning a complicated new clinical soft tissue manual therapy technique.

What the hell?

Oh, haven’t I ever mentioned that I’m a clinical soft tissue manual therapist (CSTMT)?  Let me use another term that you might be more familiar with as long as you promise to respect me in the morning…

Massage therapist.

That first word carries soooo much baggage – I cringe when I have to use it to describe what I do.  Now honestly, didn’t your eyebrows go up just a little bit?  See…

My journey of becoming a massage therapist at 55 is a long story. It’s all part of the plan NOT to age gracefully.  But that’s another blog post.

So to be clear, I’m not the type of massage therapist who advertises in the classified section in the back of The Riverfront Times or Creative Loafing, or on Craigslist.  And whatever you do, never, EVER call me a masseuse.  My eyes glaze over, roll up into their sockets, and I lose all bladder and bowel control.  It’s not a pretty sight.

Anyway, I took a five day class to learn this fabulous new technique. It’ll help me help my clients resolve issues like frozen shoulder, carpel tunnel syndrome, runners knee, planter fasciitis, IT band issues and more, all without expensive unnecessary surgical intervention.  This is the stuff dreams are made of for this AGMA CSTMT!

The class is just the beginning.  To become proficient, I’m spending hours and hours studying the technique, complementary techniques and working on “guinea pig” clients.  Hey – I give them a big price break…

Plus, now I’m studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT).  Good Lord…  I’m doing it because I need to be able to “legally” give corrective exercises to my clients as part of this new technique.  In most states, giving exercises to clients is out of the scope of practice for a massage therapist.  Translation – I can lose my license and/or get my ass sued off if a client hurts themselves doing one of the exercises.  I can’t even guesstimate how many hours getting my CPT certification will take.

The icing on the “Is AGMA going crazy and why hasn’t she been posting much or been reading my blog?” cake is that I threw a big, elaborate baby shower for my daughter-in-law last weekend in Ohio. I live in Georgia.  I literally couldn’t move on Monday and Tuesday. I was one tuckered puppy.

Oh yeah – the holidays are coming, the grandson is due to arrive in December and I’m training to run my first marathon in February.

I figure I can sleep in my 70’s…