Thursday, May 26, 2016

Flashback Friday: 1996 Indy 500!

May 1996
The spouse went back to work, but informed me he'd changed his mind on filing for divorce:)  Our relationship was still rocky, however.

My upstairs neighbor, WS was preparing for her June wedding, and invited me to her bridal shower.  I took her some fancy bath soaps and a small bottle of body glitter.  I enjoyed meeting her other friends, and got slightly tipsy on margaritas.  So much, I drunk-dialed T and spoke to him!After opening her presents, W announced, "So apparently my friends don't think I shower often enough..."  Since I didn't trust myself to drive, I stuck around for the 'Pin The Dick On The Hunk' game.  I didn't win, lol!

The 500 that year was somber.  Scotty Brayton, after clinching the pole position, died in a crash on one of the practice days, and rookie Tony Stewart became the pole sitter.

This was also the year the Indy Racing Lights (IRL) was formed, and CART decided to boycott the 500 and put on their own race up in Michigan.  I was secretly pleased Team Penske wouldn't be dominating the race anymore (sorry Al Unser Jr!), and began rooting for Team Menard, Tony Stewart.

We privately called Eliseo Salazar 'Salad Bar', and I think this was the year he played 'bumper cars' with the field (Wikipedia says not everything was his fault, so this was my own in-person perception!), causing a tremendous wreck at the end, when he slid under Allessandro Zampedri's car, causing Zampedri severe injuries to his feet.

Danny Ongais (affectionately known as 'On-the-gas', lol!) went on to drive Brayton's car, starting in the 33rd position.  At the 500 parade, a car covered in black represented Brayton's death, and the crowd grew quiet as it passed.  My stepdaughter was in the parade that year, so we went down and filmed some of it, standing on both sides of Monument Circle to catch a glimpse of J.

After the race, I don't remember if I walked home, or if Dad drove me as close as he could.  One year, he wasn't allowed near 10th and Beachway, and I ended up going all the way to Lafayette for an hour's rest before bringing me home, lol!

T and I were also having a dispute over my decision to stay married, and the fact that earlier in the month, I'd driven BJG to Evansville for her dad's retirement party, and since T hadn't been available for a quick chat, I'd stopped in to see my ex-AF officer.  T's response..."After what he did back in January, you STILL went to see him?  Incredible."  I realized then and there how valuable I treasured T's friendship, and tried to tell him the meeting with S had been uneventful; it showed I was definitely 'over' him, but it still pissed him off.  Which was a shame; since my family was gone until Monday, T and I had planned to watch the recap of the race together and talk for several hours.  But since he was pissed at me, I watched it alone, drank wine, and enjoyed my 'alone' time.

I'll post the 2006 race next week, since my 1976 post will be short.

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Present Day:
It's my Tween's final day of school! He has a final assessment in History, then he'll be an official 6th grader:)  I also have  to finish the paperwork to enroll him in Clark Middle School.

Today, I'm headed up to Nashville with my colleague Floyd Root.  We're going to spend the night at his brother's house (Floyd doesn't want to be on the road waaaay early on Sat), then attending the Edinburgh Author's Fair at the Outlet Mall from 10-5pm.  My dad is driving down to get me at 5, then I'll spend the evening with the parents making sandwiches and watching the parade.  My daughter and her boyfriend Mike will arrive around 9pm, then we'll head to the 500 and meet up with my Uncle Bill and cousin Will, who are flying in from Naples, Fla.  I don't think S has ever met W, and she was only 9 the last time she saw UB.  She and Mike will head home after the race, but I'm going to spend a relaxing week with my parents, to unwind from the school year and hopefully get my muse back!

Tonight's Karaoke Line Up:
Kind and Generous-Natalie Merchant  Not too bad!
You Should Hear How She Talks About You-Melissa Manchester  Think it sounded okay....
You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth-Meatloaf  Voice cracked on fourth line, so scrapped it...
I Got The Boy-Jana Kramer  Did well:)

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Friday, May 20, 2016

Flashback Friday: 1986 Indy 500!

May 1986
I spent last Friday in Nashville, TN, and forgot to pre-post this.  I'll post '96 and '06 next week.

On Armed Forces Day, Dad took my sister, friend K, and I to the track for the final day of Indy 500 qualifications.  We sat in Tower Terrace for a while, then Dad took me to the pre-arranged meeting place so I could meet up with JD, and we agreed to meet back at the car before the track closed.

I spent an enjoyable afternoon with JD and his friends, and we even found his dad's firetruck and climbed up on top for a wonderful view of Turn #2.  I had trouble climbing down, but eventually did it.  I don't think I'll ever do it again, though!

We even managed some private time under his tool box, with a blanket pulled down for privacy.  Yes, that's my lone 'snake pit' experience.  By the time we met up with my family, my father remarked, "Why is it when you're with your family, your shirt is tucked in, but when you're with him, it's knotted up to show off your mid-section?"

I opted not to answer that!

(Reprinted from May 2008):
The race itself was a downpour. We huddled miserably under our rain gear, eating our sandwiches and watching the futile efforts to get the track dry. Everytime progress would be made, Mother Nature opened up the floodgates and the process would start all over again. The next day, it was still raining. We didn't make the trip to Indianapolis; we watched the progress on live TV. Dad said if things looked better by noon, we'd go. But once again, Mother Nature decreed no.

A week later, the weather was bright and sunny. We made fresh sandwiches, repacked the coolers, and off we set again. This time, everything went off without a hitch. Well, okay. Almost without a hitch! We parked in a different place than last time, and my sister and I set our own 'track record' by setting off in the opposite direction of our seats! We walked around the entire OUTSIDE of the track in 45 minutes...and did not beat our parents to the seats:) We did, however, see some interesting sights...we witnessed the Celebrity Caravan taking off; we joked about stealing an unmanned Pace Car (yellow Corvette! My favorite car!) and driving to our seats; and we pretended not to notice the drunk guy who offered to carry our heavy coolers for us.

And the race was awesome! My guy led several laps, and when an accident ocurred late in the race, I was jumping up and down with excitement, wondering if Kevin was going to win under the yellow light, or if the Safety Crew would get the track cleared in time to go green for the final lap or two. And since Dad's favorite driver, Bobby Rahal was in second place, we had a friendly rivalry between us.

With 195 laps down, the green flag waved. The crowd roared; we all got to our feet and cheered as the pace car pulled into the pits and the drivers hit their accellorators. The race was on! Kevin managed to hold off Bobby for lap 196, but the distance between them closed. Going into to 3rd turn, Bobby edged closer, and by turn 4, saw his chance and took it. He passed Kevin going into the home stretch, and even though Kevin continued to chase him for the final 3 laps, it was all over. Dad was jumping up and down and yelling; I was yelling at Kevin for not taking his spot back; Mom and my sister were also cheering for Rahal. But my sister very nicely said, "It almost happened...there's always next year!" Dad looked at me and said, "Experience wins every time!" and popped open another beer to celebrate.

Next Month:  Florida!

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Present Day:
This is the only weekend this month we don't have any commitments.  The Tween has only one week of school left, so we're working diligently on Lit and History (he's caught up on the others).  After a week of rainy, cold weather, I think we're supposed to have temps in the upper 70s the next two days.  Which is good; we cleared out the basement on Monday, and now want to rearrange (attack??) the storage unit.

Survivor Winner:
Michelle beat out Aubry and Tai, though the true winner was Mark the Chicken!  There was a twist this year; the winner of the final individual challenge (Michelle) won the right to vote off a JURY member!  She voted for Neil.

Tomorrow's Karaoke songs:
Listen To The Flower People-Spinal Tap
La Isla Bonita-Madonna
Lady-Styx
Lady Madonna-Beatles
Land of Confusion-Genesis

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Flashback Friday: My 4th Grade 'Award'

May 1976
To Recap:  I was at the bottom of the social pecking order, and my teacher and I clearly did not get along.

At the beginning of the month, all fourth graders were invited to perform magic tricks, tell stories, or present art items.  I decided to perform a magic trick from the set I'd gotten at Christmas, and practiced it several times, so I had it down.

Until my turn came.  It failed, because the person I'd selected as my 'victim' didn't follow directions, further sinking me into the pit of humiliation.

Then came the awards.  I was beginning to think I wasn't going to win anything, but the last award was given to me:  "Miss Neat Hair".  I was so happy I wasn't left out, and was very happy to learn I was headed for 5th grade.

Also, I was selected to participate in our Girl Scout Flag Ceremony for the 6th graders who were moving on.

We attended the 500 Festival Parade.

Next Month:  Enjoying the nice weather!

*********
Present Day:
Our bi-polar weather continues!  We began the week in the 70's; dropped into the chilly 60's, and I guess it's going to be 80 degrees tomorrow!  Wish Mother Nature would make up her damn mind....

We did have an enjoyable 25th anniversary, and tomorrow we're headed up to Indy for my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary surprise party (they never check FB or read this blog, so it's okay to say this here!), and going out to dinner with my parents.  At press time, it's unclear if any of the kids are going with us.  My spouse isn't happy, and apparently neither is my dad, so Mom and I concocted the 'going out to dinner' part, to appease the men!  Here's a few pictures of what's happened this week:


At Schnitzelbank Restaurant, Jasper, In, a German-style place that's veeeerry yummy!



What we looked like in 1991....



......and now!



Our cake that the kids decorated



Flowers from my parents....





My mother's Day flowers:)

Not sure if I'll make it to karaoke or not; depends on what time we return from Indpls.

Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

25 Years.....

When the spouse and I began dating in December 1990, I was just getting out of a very damaging relationship.  The Idiot had done everything in  his power to tear me down, isolate me from friends and family, and destroy my self-esteem.

He did not succeed.

I had known D since the fall of 1987, and looked up to him as a 'big brother' type.  In fact, sometime in the summer of 1990, I actually left The Idiot and sought D's support in this decision.  He and a friend had taken me to dinner and let me ramble on about the issues I'd been having.  D was staying in a motel while he worked, and offered to let me stay with him. I spent a platonic night with him, then gathered my courage and returned to my apartment in Arcadia.  I learned The Idiot had also decided we needed some time apart, and hadn't even noticed my failure to come home.

Anyway, by November, I had decided the only way I was ever going to rid myself of him was to sneak out of town in the middle of the night.  But after receiving D's letter, and going to see him, everything changed.

He was glad to see me, and we didn't really have much time to chat, for he'd been drinking when my friend BJG and I arrived.  He wanted us to stay over, but BJG had to be at work early the next day, and I had driven.  He decided to come up and take me to lunch.  Eighteen hours later, I spent the night with him, and we decided to only see each other on  the weekends.  A month later, after one final fight with The Idiot, I gave up my beloved apartment and moved to Indianapolis.  Five months later, we were married.

What have I learned in the past 25 years?
-This charming man, who promised me the moon, proved to be worse than The Idiot.
-His favorite game is 'woulda coulda shoulda'.
-All the plans we made, pre-marital, suddenly went out the window.
-He's all talk and no action.
-His bark is way worse than the Idiot's ever was.
-When he has  the $$ to do things we'd planned, he has no TIME.  When he has the time, there's no $$.
-I have to pick my battles.  This usually means losing my temper and bursting into tears when I can't take it anymore, and this usually calms him down.  BUT, I can't use this tactic all the time.
-He has destroyed my word. When I make a promise, he reneges on it.
-If he gets interested in something,  that's fine.  But if I get involved, I'll usually end up surpassing him, so he shuts down.
-He's very jealous and resentful of the fact I have a college degree while he only finished high school.
-He was both physically and emotionally abused as a child, both by grandparents and his uncles.
-He talks a good game, but is usually wrong, esp when it comes to one-upmanship.
-He likes to repeat the same stories over and over and over.....
-His voice is loud, esp when he thinks he's being challenged.
-He tells me he supports my writing, but gripes about spending any money.
-I made one tiny mistake over 15 years ago, and he's holding it over my head, refusing to let me have access to the checkbook. I have to ask him for cash, which I will then hear about for the next several weeks.
-We've been on the verge of divorce at least 6 times.
-I often wonder if he's destroyed my capacity to love. I love my kids,my parents, my close friends, but not him. He destroyed any respect I ever felt for him.
-He's a control freak (but then again, so am I!
-My libido peaked at 30, but was dead by age 40 (at least, with him. It really died at age 25!)

The good parts?
-I've been able to stay home and raise our kids, and work on my writing.
-I have three wonderful kids
-I have a roof over my head, steady flow of income (until his pension or SS runs out), and plenty of food to eat.
-My cooking skills have increased.
-While the self-esteem has wavered a bit, it's still fully intact.


Monday, May 2, 2016

May Reading Schedule

April turned out to be a fairly productive month, even though I didn't really do a whole lot:
-Work on Heart Song  Not even close....
-Work on Whispers story  Finished it!  WOW does that feel GOOD!  Haven't finished anything since June 30th, 2015....
-Do well at Madison Author's Fair  Sold 2....
-Do well at Lincoln Heritage Library in Dale, In  Sold 4, but was also told of 3 sales directly from Amazon, so technically 7:)
-Send Kira off to editor Not yet....
-Fill out Kira cover art request sheet  Check, though I still need to double-check a few things before sending it off.
-Attend E'ville writer's meeting  Postponed until May
-Catch up the Tween in Spelling, Lit, and Grammar  Almost there!
I did manage to write a short (4656 word) fairy story for our Whispers anthology arriving next year:)  Yay....proof my creativity is returning!!

Books Read:  5
Print:  3
E-book:  2
CNF:  1Songs Added to Karaoke Good List:  12
Thurs:  3 (Brower was sick two weeks in a row)
Sat:  9

May Goals:
-Work on Heart Song
-Send Kira to editor,along  with 1st payment
-Send cover request to artist, along with 1st payment
-Make 1st payment to B, cover artist for AU print books  Check:)
-Have a good 25th anniversary celebration  Check:)
-Spend an enjoyable day in Nashville, TN and also sight-see  Check:)
-Edit fairy story
-Do well at Washington Main St craft fair  Sold 2, despite the cold (50s) weather
-Get the Tween to pass 5th grade
-Enroll Tween in CMS
-Attend either Edinburgh Author's Fair or Farmer's Market (depends on transportation issues)
-Have a good time at Indy 500 (100th running this year!)
-Walk more
-Lose 5+pounds


May Reading List:
Print:
Bed, Breakfast, and You-Maddie James  Good story, but format was 'off' in places
Mountain of Deception-Carol Preflatish
Sage's Eyes-VC Andrews  Enjoyed it, though I'd figured it out early, but was wrong about the twist!

E-book:
Everly-SM Shade Finished it last night and really enjoyed it:)
The Tumor-John Grisham  It was good, despite the present-tense POV
A New Beginning For Nanci-Vikki McCombie
Stowaway-Susanne Matthews  Think this was a sample.....enjoyed it!
The Fall of Sky-Alexia Purl  Interesting story
Forever and Always-SM  Loved this!  DRR!
Winning You-Emily Silva  Very good:)
Curve My Song- Sarah Gal  Interesting; got tired of all the 'curvie' references, though.  I would like to read the next one!
Come Love A Cowboy-Kathleen Ball  Enjoyed most of the stories:)  RR
Letters To Daniel-Amy McCorkle  Enjoyed this, despite repetitious facts, typos, and aspects of her life....still, I'm awed and amazed at her marketing skills and the way she refuses to use her disorder as a 'crutch'.
Beginnings-Lori King  Loved this book!  DRR!
Weekend Surrender-L King
There's Always Tomorrow-SM  LOVED it!  DRR!
Hers To Bear-Tamara Hoffa

Karaoke(Thurs)
I'll Fall In Love Again-Sammy Hagar  DNH
You May Be Right-Billy Joel  Too low....
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-Dick Van Dyke  A bit fast, but not that bad.
You Might Think-Cars  Okay....
Colors of the Wind-Vanessa Williams  Nailed it:)  Crowd pleaser!
You Oughta Know-Alanis Morrisette  Not sure I had enough 'tude', and kept tripping over my tongue.
Come Back To Me-David Cook  DNH
You Needed Me-Anne Murray Good, though slighly low in places
You Should Hear How She Talks About You-Melissa Manchester  Think it sounded okay:)
Kind and Generous-Natalie Merchant  Not too bad!
You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth-Meatloaf  Voice cracked, so stopped KJ and sang I Got The Boy instead.  That's what I get for not drinking enough water.....

Karaoke Songs (Sat):
Knock Three Times-Tony Orlando  Nailed it:)

Knowing Me, Knowing You-Abba  Very good:)
Kyie-Mister Mister  Pretty good:)  
La Isla Bonita-Madonna  Pretty good:)  I rushed the lyrics in a few places though...
Lady-Styx  Crowd pleaser!
Lady Madonna-Beatles  Not too bad:)
Land of Confusion-Genesis  Did well, but camera batteries quit right before the last stanza.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Flashback Friday: Harsh Reality

April 2006:
After the spouse's heart surgery and declaring bankruptcy, we had struggled to hold onto our house.  Even after receiving a map showing our home was in the north-bound lane of the proposed 1-69 expansion,we'd held out for an  offer.  But when the planners decided to make SR 37 the official site, the bank refused to work with us.  My uncle even called Chase and tried to buy our mortgage, but Chase refused.  With all avenues exhausted, we consulted a lawyer, who advised us to simply get out.  I began house hunting.

Next Month:  Last month of school and Indy 500!

********
Present Day:
My fairy story is complete and undergoing beta-reading:)  So far, reviews have been good.

We spent the morning in Princeton, while the Tween took his final ISTEP tests of the year.

Last night at 'roke, it was the Jerry/Molly/Gary show!  I was able to sing 5 songs:
You Lie Slightly rough,but okaay
Bohemian Rhapsody  Good:)  Brower helped out!
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye  Gary sang it with me; I've not listened to the video yet
Spilled Perfume  Good!
Take Me Home Country Road  I sang harmony and we did it well! Jerry even sang with us:)

Tomorrow, we prepare to celebrate our silver anniversary.  The kids are taking us out to dinner, to probably the Schnitzelbaum in Jasper.  Then I'll be heading out to karaoke.  I'll post my May goals on Monday, so have a great weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Flashback Friday

April 1996:
Grandma's house sold, and I soon settled into the routine of visiting her every week with the kids, bringing her strawberry ice cream,  raisin bread, grapefruit, and about once a month, her favorite laxative.

D and I were still not on speaking terms, other than when it came to household matters.  He was anxiously awaiting a phone call from the union, sending him back to work; I began bracing for the day when our marriage would be dissolved.

The weather turned nice; I began spending time out in our courtyard with the kids, and keeping an eye on K, who would run down to the other end of the common area and play with the kids down there.

Next Month:  I Get A Reprieve, Plus The Indy 500!

*****************
Present Day:

Last night at Karaoke:
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around-S. Nicks/T. Petty Good:)
Superfreak-Rick James  Bleh! Remind me to NEVER sing this again!
You Light Up My Life-Debbie Boone  Nailed it:)
Hate Me-Blue October  Did well:)


Tomorrow's Line Up:
Kiss Me Deadly-Lita Ford  Nailed it!
Close Your Eyes-L. Ford/Ozzy  Mark and I enjoy singing this!
Kiss On My List-Hall and Oats  Did well....
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye-Luke Bryan  DNH
Kiss The Rain-Billie Myers Little rough in spots, but otherwise good!
Kiss You All Over-Exile  Not bad:)

RIP Prince, who passed away yesterday at the age of 57.  You will be missed.