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The penalty for getting older

It's a sad truth that the older you get, the more funerals you go to. My sister-in-law's uncle passed away last week. Uncle Armand was so loved he was just known as "Unckie", and everyone knew who you meant. He was my favorite of her uncles, too. Many years ago, after my brother was hit head-on by a drunk driver and broke both of his arms, Unckie went over his house every day to help him do whatever needed to be done, from preparing his food for him to helping him in the bathroom. You can't ask for better family than that. So when I got the news, I told them to call me for whatever. I was asked to stay with the kids and babysit yesterday while the family went to the wake. So I did, and about a half hour or so before they were due to come home, my sister-in-law asked me to put on some pots of water to boil for the pasta and make a salad, and then when they got home, I figured they'd been through enough so I didn't let them do a whole heck of a lot. I did much of the cooking that was left for them, set up the food and plates and flatware and whatever else, and basically tried to be cook, server, waitress and busgirl while the family just relaxed. And surprisingly, I felt quite cheerful about it.

Today, after the funeral, I declined to go to the cemetery and headed to the house instead, where I refilled the cooler with soft drinks and sliced the rolls for easier consumption later, and then I received a call from my sis-in-law again, who asked me to cancel the timer on the oven and start cooking everything earlier, plus do a few other things, so there was much less to do when the family arrived at the house. And I felt even better today.

And the root of my cheerfulness is simple. Di and her mother kept thanking me for all my help. It was nice to be appreciated, and nicer still to feel needed. I think after the bullshit last weekend, and being unemployed all these weeks, it helped to be able to do things for people and be acknowledged for it.

But that isn't why I did it. Like I told her mother as I was leaving: They're family.--MAY



The end of friends


It's gone.




Fractured Fairy Tales

Okay. Last night, while visiting my out-of-town friend at her best friend's home, I got to see "A Knight's Tale" (don't ask how, just go with me here). I had had no intention of watching it when it came out in the theater, but hey, it was there, we were tired and didn't feel up to watching anything that required thinking. And ho, boy, did this film not require thinking.

It occurred to me that they might be playing fast and loose with medieval history when, during the first tournament scene, the entire crowd was clapping and singing along to Freddie Mercury and Queen's "We Will Rock You". And it went downhill from there. So as we realized how incredibly stupid this film was probably going to be, we spent the next hour and half picking out the many anachronisms and enjoying them rather than trying to make sense of what wasn't going to make sense. We particularly liked watching the heroine's hair and wardrobe change from scene to scene. Once she was dressed like a medieval Audrey Hepburn, replete with hat, and once she was in a spiked hairdo with red streaks and face paint on one side. And the length of her hair changed during the film, as well, and not in the normal way. Of course, the penultimate scene had to be the Travolta dance moves done by Heath Ledger to Bowie's "Golden Years".

I'd have to reread my Chaucer, but I believe the film was loosely--very loosely--based on "The Knight's Tale" of the Canterbury Tales. And as much as I would like to pretend to the contrary, once I got my Middle English requirements out of the way, I never again read my Chaucer, nor do I have any real intention of doing so unless required by law.

Anyway, when "A Knight's Tale" comes out on video, I recommend it highly for an evening of pure fluff, stupidity, and amusement. Watch it with friends and you'll enjoy it as much as we did.

Oh, the horror!

If you like horror, then check out buddy from Clarion, Ed Rosick, has a story (Cold Air) on a new CD called "Bloodtype: A Hardcore Anthology". I can say truthfully that his stories always creeped me out. Which is a problem--I may never read his novels because I don't read horror. (I get nightmares if I do.) But he is a good writer. Give him a looksee.

The search engines are coming

I've almost got enough material in the logs to write a blog about the search phrases that have led users to this site. So far, only one obscene one, thankfully. The others range from impressive to quite amusing. But it's kinda neat to see people coming here via a search engine, and to all of you I say, welcome! Y'all come back now, hear?--MAY



Laughing at the moon

Well, I am back from Virginia, and tired, and should be sleeping, but I have to write this because an incredibly amusing thing happened on the way home tonight.

The Virginia trip was, as always, quite wonderful. The trip back, as usual, was not so wonderful. It isn't that I don't like a six-hour drive--it isn't that long, and the drive is rather nice. What bothers me is all the other drivers, most of whom appear to be assholes, and especially the assholes who drive slowly in the fast lane. Add to that an accident on the Turnpike today, traffic around D.C. (as per usual) and idiots in northern Virginia, and the drive was just frustrating. I wound up arriving at a party an hour later than I'd intended. But I did get to meet little Ashlee Renee (who has too many e's in her name!), a darling little three-and-a-half-month-old. She's so cute. Much cuter than her mother. (Don't hit me, J.)

Anyway, here's the funny thing: I left Ashlee and mom around 10:30 tonight, and I'm driving east on 280, and I notice the moon is rising behind a cloud cover. As I'm driving, the cloud cover disappears, all but for a few wisps around the moon. But the wisps were--and I'm not making this up--two straight wisps near the top of the moon, and one long, curved wisp near the bottom. It looked like the moon had a smiley face, with eyes closed, of clouds on it. I just started laughing and laughing. I'd never seen that before, and may never see that again. But it was vastly amusing.

Oh. And Ukrops donut holes are the best I've ever tasted. They should move the chain north. Oh, wait. Never mind. I'll just move south.--MAY