Sunday, November 14, 2010

Take Me To The River

"Gayle, I do not get out much, and I certainly don't get out to sandwich stores." 
--Oprah, to Gayle, on why she kept mispronouncing Panera on their big Yosemite adventure 

I am not a roughing it kind of girl. I did it when I was a kid: real camping, in the Smoky Mountains, with tents, sleeping bags, and inner-tubing down the river. (I should admit, however, there was indoor plumbing... geezus, we weren't animals.) I did my time. That was enough.

Once in a while though, I do like to get out of town and see some trees. Luckily, I have friends who live in The Woods and The Country. Some live on Farms. And another has a cabin down by the River, which is where we all went today for an all girls chili "campout." Meaning we "camped out" in the upstairs ski-lodge style great room, with our feet propped up in front of a big fireplace (it is possible the air conditioning was on to facilitate the apres-ski effect, because we hadn't expected it to be 78 degrees in November -- I would not, of course, post that on facebook for fear that crazy anti-air-conditioning lady will pop back up on there and accuse me of blowing the tops off mountains). After we ate for awhile and drank some good red wine, we "hiked" down to the River and observed some "Nature."

As usual, I refused to get too close to the water because everybody knows about my Jessica Savitch phobia of drowning in three feet of water (I don't want to drown in any amount of water, but it seems especially cruel to be afraid of water and then drown in a ditch, to say nothing of the fact that her dog died with her).

It was a tremendous day, with half a dozen highly interesting and entertaining women from all over the world, catching up on art and politics and our jobs and boys (nearly everyone had a new one to report).

I don't like Oprah. I think she's smug.

But this was a little like Oprah and Gayle's big Yosemite adventure, which I watched last week, so I could text the BFF all about it in real time, along with my plan to try fly fishing -- including the fact that Gayle managed to catch her shoe on fire.

If I were going on a trip, I would take my BFF, and she pointed out, it's because "we are united in the fact that we go to four star lodge or excellent three star lodge because, Hell, you won't fly. And we just forego the actual nature." She then clarified, "Nature = the lodge in that Wyoming/Montana-ish movie with Brad Pitt... but with wi fi. And paths through the pines. Definitely paths. I am not saying we get Brad Pitt. I am saying that we get the lodge."

I concurred, pointing out, "you know I don't like Brad Pitt. He's smug."

I said we are a lot like Oprah and Gayle, only straight.


Harriette's Kitchen
Last Day of Summer
Best of Oprah? Hardly.
Martha Stewart says Dispatch the Cock

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dad's Estate Planning

"Do you need a set of buggy springs?" my Dad asked when he called last night.

Hmmm. I know from previous queries this summer ("do you have any use for an anvil?") that this is partially another adventure in estate planning,  and partially a segue into a meditation on the state of health care reform.

"I can't imagine that I do," was my answer, as I pictured the looks on the neighbors' faces if I just parked a skeleton of rusty wagon wheels in the driveway.

"They're probably at least 150 years old," he added by way of modification - slash - persuasion. 

"Nope," I said, refusing to elaborate, knowing that otherwise this could turn into a fairly lengthy debate on their merits (which I'm sure are substantial).  Then I asked an open-ended question, certain that the full story would come out, uninterrupted. (According to the audiology tests after he punctured his eardrum last year, his hearing is about 70 percent gone... but to be fair, he never listened. His preferred conversational format has always been The Monologue.)

So his latest brush with death -- precipitating the necessary dispensation of the buggy -- involved some sort of injury incurred while feeding the catfish in the pond. Possibly, something was broken tripping over a bucket. Did he go to the doctor? Don't be absurd. Why not?

"Do you know what it cost me last time I went to the doctor?" he asked indignantly.  "A hundred and ninety bucks just to rub some salve on my belly!"

"You mean the ultrasound?"

"Yeah, I guess. But what I am saying is that was just MY PART of it. It COST more than THAT. A lot more than that." 

"Is that the one where they found out about those last couple heart attacks?" I asked.

"I got a new haircut," was the answer. "You know my barber retired. And every time I went in there I had to wait and wait and wait. And you know all those men in there don't have but seven hairs on their head all together," and this was followed by a long list of the virtues of Myra, the new barber, and how he found her.

So, what about this injury?

"What about it?" he responded. "Oh, I cussed more than I probably have in the last six months," he added.

Was that the entirety of the treatment? "Nahhhhhh. I found these two old pills from the Dentist. So I took them, and then I laid on the sofa and watched Gunsmoke."

Anything else?

"Yeah. Midnight Cowboy." 


"Oh you've seen Midnight Cowboy. Jon Voight?  Dustin Hoffman?"

I must have paused too long there. "You knoooooow, Ratso Rizzo." 

I wondered aloud if maybe an X-Ray or something was called for... something more restorative than the powers of say, AMC or TNT.

"Did I tell you about my new phone?" was the answer.


 The Family Estate 
 Six Feet Under
 Ease Up Florence Nightingale