Monday, February 24, 2014

Celebrity Sighting

Let me tell you a story about my friend, we’ll call him “Mr. Celebrity-Man”.

No, I’m not talking about Max Maven. If I talk about Max, as you all know I have, you can search the archives if you want to bother, anyhow, if I talk about Max, then I say that’s who I mean.

This isn’t about Max.

This is about “Mr. Celebrity-Man”, who isn’t going to get identified beyond that to spare you having to say “Huh, yeah, I think I heard of that show or movie but I didn’t see it” which would be half true and I like you all too much to make you lie to be polite…

… because this is really about being polite.

You see, “Mr. Celebrity-Man” was just in town. He was busy the whole time, performing and filming and such. This is a good and happy thing. My friends should all be busy like that, knock on wood.

But as Melva says, “It’s not what you do. It’s how you do it.”

See, “Mr. Celebrity-Man” is enough of a celebrity that he got tagged on Facebook the day he arrived.

(I didn’t see it, but I was told soon after it appeared.)

So we all found out he was here, but he didn’t contact anybody. Eventually I did text him, mostly as a good-natured gotcha, and we had a lovely meal at BeaBea’s right before he left, but the question is, as Melva asked me last night,

“Well, how would you have handled it?”

Auntie is not a celebrity of any kind, but I do recognize the unavoidability and ubiquity of the Internet. I’m also really big on the principle “What you can’t fix, feature.”

Ergo, I would have posted on Facebook something like:

“Dear friends, I’m in L.A. and I wish I could see you all but I’m afraid that work will take up my time this trip. If you can, please come by one of my performances, and if you can’t, I look forward to seeing you during a future visit.”

The take-away from all this, an un-asked Ask Auntie if you will, that may come in handy someday, is that if you state the truth with courtesy, sincerity and, most of all, respect, then you can get out of a lot of stuff – or at least postpone it.

Well, that’s a message which “Mr. Celebrity-Man” may or may not ever see depending on if he still reads this blog. I’ll let you know.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Encore, Encore!

People bitch about growing old. Yes, yes, I know, I’m one of the worst. Although this time I’m not. This time I bring good news.

There’s an up side to aging. Indeedy do.

It started when I wanted to sit down and read a book. I have a great system for choosing a new one: I wander around my own stacks until I find something I’ve forgotten, or at least one where I don’t remember the ending.

See? It’s free, it’s easy, and I already know I’ll like whatever it is since I don’t keep books I don’t like. (Well, except three. One for the title, and two each for a single line.)

This is what just happened: I picked up “The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars” by Steven Brust. Partway through it, I started to think that this would be a good book for Melva.

Four pages later there was a note in the margin. Yes, in Melva’s handwriting.

The coda is that I’m still going to bring her the book as soon as I finish it. She won’t remember it any better than I did, and she’ll enjoy it all over again.

If not, I’ll have to put a note in it for the next time I forget and read it again.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Art For Fart's Sake

You want to do something new, something worthwhile, something fun. Ideally, you want to do something that’s all three and then some.

A painter’s gotta paint. A sculptor’s gotta sculpt. When you have to fart, you’ve got to let it out.

(Okay, that takes care of the title. Check.)

That’s how I ended up starting Scarycookies in the first place. I had things I wanted to say, so I said them. And yes, I know I’m putting that dangerously close to a fart analogy. Be kind.

But I digress.

What do you want to do that you’re not doing?

I bet your first thought was about the reasons why you’re not doing whatever-it-is. Work, time, opportunity, lack of skill – all the negatives.

Don’t make that face. Auntie knows you better than you think. Besides, I do it too. Everyone does. It’s whatchacall human nature.

The trick, and it is indeed a magic trick, is to get past all that, or at least to get off of our asses and do something.

Auntie is still working on that last bit. I’m not sure if writing a blog post counts, since it conveniently doubles as an avoidance mechanism.

Let’s take a lesson from Improvisational Comedy and “yes and” the situation.

It’s a cold dreary Thursday afternoon. Responsibilities and obligations make tidy heaps on your schedule. The weekend is still ages away. The suggested word is “fun”.

What do you do?

Ahem. I really hope your coworkers didn’t see you flip off the monitor. However, Auntie agrees with your sentiment, and I have to admit, you made me smile.

Then again, it could just be gas.

Monday, February 3, 2014

R.I.P. Mr. Pribble

Jack Kerouac would have been proud. Our reaction to the looming Super Bowl, given the history of our Loud Neighbors and their obsession with football in all its variety, was to get the hell out of town.

We hit the road at a leisurely hour and pace, with no particular destination in mind except that I wanted to have trout & eggs at the legendary Farm House restaurant where Rollie, the ten foot tall fiberglass rooster, lives.

Of course I wasn’t paying attention and I took the wrong freeway but getting lost (although we weren’t) is all in the spirit of the archetypical road trip.

So there we were, on the Frank M. Pribble Memorial Highway, which we hadn’t been on since it was just I-60.

It’s a lesson, it’s a metaphor! You can be where you weren’t planning on being, but still get where you’re going --- and you can enjoy it.

When we finally approached the Farm House, it was obscured by a brand new Denny’s. How could that be? Who would want bland food coated in tasteless oil when they could have the hearty grease and genu-wine Americana of the Farm House next door?

Answer: Not us, but anybody else who was hungry. The Farm House is closed for business, and Rollie (with his fresh coat of patriotic feathers) guards an empty building. Please turn on the sound.


So we went a ways further to Gramma’s House (sic) and had trout & eggs there, amid the exact same kind of plastic Americana that used to grace the Farm House walls. So exactly the same that I’m tempted to Google it and see if someone sells Americana by the yard.

The waitresses at Gramma’s (still sic) all wore football jerseys. And there were TV sets, turned to a sports channel. I was afraid that the Super Bowl had followed us until I saw that they were all showing women’s basketball.

I now love Gramma’s, despite the mediocrity of the food.

Next, instead of a pointless venture into Outlet Mall Hell, we decided to take a trip (way) back in time to my adolescence. We dropped south and started to climb the San Jacinto mountains, banking vertiginous drops through the blackened skeletal detritus of fire and drought, up and up and up six thousand feet past what used to be hippie communes but are now Christian retreats, until we got to Idyllwild.

I went through the arts program there (dance and drama) as a tween and teen. I had formative experiences and forgettable performances. I haven’t been back since the 70s.

It was fun. It wasn’t quite like I remembered it, but never mind that. Time passes, etc.

I found only one person who looked older than me, and asked if the Red Kettle restaurant used to be called the Koffee Kup. (I love-love-loved the Koffee Kup.) Mrs. Santa Claus looked at me strangely and said, “I don’t know. I’ve only been here since 2004.”

On the way down the mountain, we stopped by the side of the road so that I could photograph the sunset for @insightofaseed who takes lovely landscape photos on Twitter.

Robert disappeared off the path for a bit, then came back smiling, waved both arms in the air, and yelled “I’m a boy!”

Luckily I had gone back in town, so the rest of the drive was peaceful and comfortable.

It was a lovely day and I hope your team won.