Saturday, November 01, 2014

Saturday 9: Welcome to My Nightmare

Saturday 9: Welcome to My Nightmare (1975)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Tell us about a bad dream you've had.

A. I dreamed the other night that I was at a government meeting, and a cult group came in to "demonstrate" something and they lopped off a child's head. Everyone thought it was fake, but my spidey sense told me otherwise, so I went back after the meeting to check things out. They were cleaning up their mess, and this one fellow came over and asked me to help him. He said they'd really killed a child in front of us. He said he needed to get out of there, but he couldn't leave. I called 911 and asked for help, but the sheriff's office said they couldn't respond, so I asked for an ambulance. However, no sirens were forthcoming, and I called my husband. He finally showed up driving our Kawasaki Mule (a utility vehicle that goes about 30 mph) and carrying a shotgun. Meanwhile, I was busily trying to convince these crazy killers not to leave until help arrived.

When I was younger, I used to dream about a bathtub full of blood. I have always had night terrors and occasionally sleep walk. I frequently wake both my husband and myself up with screams.

2) Sam is not crazy about spiders. What frightens you, or gives you "the creeps?"

A. I'm definitely not into snakes. I'm not a fan of spiders, either, but I will take care of them if I must. Also, I don't like live mice. Yuck. I do like mice dressed up like Santa Claus, though.

3) This week's featured artist, Alice Cooper, has always liked to dress up. Performing as Alice, he wears garish eye makeup. In his first group, he and his bandmates dressed as the Beatles. Will you be wearing a costume this weekend?

A. I will be my usual self, as far as I know.

4) Alice says his makeup was inspired by Bette Davis in his favorite horror movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? This Halloween weekend, will you seek out horror movies and scary TV shows, or will you avoid them?

A. I will mostly avoid them, although the plan for tonight is a Murder Mystery dinner.

5) Born Vincent Furnier, Alice used to tell reporters that he and his band got the name Alice Cooper from a Oujia board. Have you ever tried a Oujia board?

A. When I was much younger we had an Oujia board. I would like to get my hands on one now as an adult. I think it would be a different experience.

6) Alice and his band (also called Alice Cooper) were discovered by music manager Shep Gordon while playing in Venice, California. Have you ever visited Venice, California or Venice, Italy?

A. Not to my knowledge, no. No Venices for me.

7) In 1970s England, a morality campaigner named Mary Whitehouse persuaded the BBC to ban Alice Cooper. The ensuing publicity resulted in such a bump in record sales that Alice sent Ms. Whitehouse flowers. Do you believe in censorship? Or should adults be able to choose to see/hear whatever they wish?

A. I do not believe in censorship generally; however, there are limits. Pornography, for example, that blatantly shows the abuse of any human being or animal. Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Commonsense, which long left the building, should rule. Given that it is no longer with us, I suppose we must have somebody out there thumping the pumpkin to see what is ripe.

8) Today Alice has a popular syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. Listeners all over the United States, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, and the UK hear him introduced as, "a man for whom even Dr. Phil has no cure." Do you watch Dr. Phil?

A. No. I rarely watch TV, and certainly not Dr. Phil.

9) Did you get many trick or treaters this year? What candy did you give them?

A. I live in a rural community and far off the road. I've never had a trick or treater. However, I always buy some Smarties to keep on hand in case someone shows up. I end up eating them. At least they aren't chocolate.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! - SPOOKY EYES


Last Year's Trick

A year ago today, I learned that I had multiple ulcers in my belly. On the digital picture I brought home, I counted more than 50. About 10 of them were large and "oozing blood," according to the doctor.

I was quite sick.

The medication for the ulcers raised my cholesterol levels and who knows what else it has done. I lost some weight (which I unfortunately gained back as I began to feel better), and wasn't exercising much.

Tremendous pain in my tummy continued. I had two CT scans, which showed nothing. In August of this year, doctors at UNC Hospital for Women diagnosed me with pelvic floor tension myalgia. This appears to be the result of numerous surgeries, topped off by the removal of my gallbladder in June 2013. Scar tissue and adhesions have subsequently knotted my abdominal muscles, causing pain with movement, and pulling my pelvis out of alignment. This causes me to walk oddly on my foot, and so I have damaged tendons in my ankle.

Or at least that is the physical therapist's explanation.

Last Christmas I could barely get around and was, and still am, using a cane to get about. My doctor in March filled out the paperwork for me to get a temporary disability tag. I can't tell you how much I hated having to get that. Unfortunately I just renewed it.

I have been in physical therapy nearly weekly (except for a month off when my husband was injured in a farming accident) since April.

This Halloween, while I am feeling better, I still have issues with my belly. An endoscopy in September showed the ulcers mostly healed but I still have lots of redness and inflammation. I don't know when or if the knots in my stomach will ease up. Cold laser therapy on my ankle has helped with swelling and I am walking a little better so long as I keep an elastic bandage tight on that foot.

I try not to complain. I don't go on Facebook and whine about how much things hurt or how little I can get around. But every now and then I wish someone would pat me on the head and say "there, there, it'll be okay." That's when I know I'm feeling sorry for myself and need to buck up, as they say.

So on this anniversary of my ulcers, let me wish you Happy Health, not Happy Halloween, though I hope you have that as well. People who have good health don't know how lucky they are. A healthy body is something to be cherished and cared for. I wish I'd learned that lesson about 30 years ago.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

Happy Halloween! BOO!

Scary songs (sort of) -

1. Ghost Busters

2. Flying Purple People Eater

3. Theme from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4. Thriller! (If you've never seen this video all the way through, you should watch it.)

5. Monster Mash

6. Witchy Woman

7. Love Potion #9

8. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

9. Black Magic Woman

10. In a Gadda Da vida

11. I Put a Spell on You

12. Midnight Margaritas from Practical Magic

13. Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac)

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 367th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Own Personal Zoo

Monday, October 27, 2014

Losing Our Identity

Recently I started receiving notices from "The Berglund Center" in my inbox. The Roanoke Civic Center, the place where I saw Linda Ronstadt, Styx, the Commodores, Neil Diamond, and a great number of ice skating shows, is now called "The Berglund Center" because the city sold naming rights.

Never again will I make another purchase from Berglund Automotive. I haven't in many years anyway, but I guarantee you I won't ever again.

I understand they're also considering doing similar things with parts of Elmwood Park. Maybe they will sell the right to name the newly remodeled downtown library. Maybe Microsoft will buy that and call it the Microsoft Reader (that's me being snarky), since Microsoft doesn't have an e-reader that I am aware of.

Earlier, Roanoke changed the name of the Roanoke Regional Airport to the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, even though the airport is in Roanoke City. Blacksburg is 40 minutes away, and I really don't care if Virginia Tech calls it home. They can build their own airport.

I don't live in the city, but I live in the Roanoke Valley, and as such, in the environs of Roanoke City. Botetourt County is part of that - in fact, the mother of that. Botetourt County ultimately spawned Roanoke City, formerly called Big Lick.

Botetourt has for years had an image problem - it doesn't know if it's rural or suburban, an industrial designation, a tourism designation, or just a bedroom community of neighboring jurisdictions.

Apparently that image problem extends to the entire valley and encompasses a number of counties, several towns, and the city proper. And now it's been made even more complex by the lack of financial support from the state and poor political choices on the part of local representatives.

As a citizen of the Roanoke Valley, I take pride in Roanoke and its environs. I love the area's history, I enjoy the viewshed, and I find the whole region to be delightful. It offers something for everyone if one wants to take advantage of the many activities available. We have educational facilities, museums, festivals, movie theaters, shopping, and other attractions. The whole valley is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and while we may be a little on the Appalachian side of things, on the whole we're a happy community. It may not be for everyone, but it's been my family's home for at least seven generations.

I resent the corporate takeover of things that citizens hold dear and take pride in - and paid for with taxpayer dollars and donations. I don't want to attend The Berglund Center. I want to take pride in ROANOKE CITY. I don't want to fly out of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Airport. I want to fly out of the Roanoke Regional Airport.

Soon we will all be sporting advertising on our forehead. It's already on the backs of ball fields, splattered over hats and T-shirts, and forcing name changes of things that make my head spin. I stopped watching NASCAR when the Winston Cup became something else. To me, it will always be the Winston Cup.

So for heavens sake, don't make me go pay my taxes at the Altec Courthouse, or watch kids play ball at the Titan Cement All-America Field. Don't make me check out books from the HomeTrust Bank Library. And I absolutely will not under any circumstances attend the Fralin-Waldron YMCA. I don't care how much money they donated to the project. I don't want to be owned.

We need to keep our image as a unique and congruous community, not drive wedges down the middle with oligarchical and political stupidity.

If I had the money, I'd have paid for those naming rights to the Roanoke Civic Center - and then left the name alone. Good corporate citizens should pony up money to support things the citizenry wants, and they should do it not to advertise and make more money for themselves. They should do it because, guess what? They live here, too, and they should have some civic pride in their community.