The memorial park seen here is the final resting place for mom and grandmother. Both passed away suddenly. No time for good-byes. Here one day, gone the next.
Each Memorial Day the park is lined with flags with one planted on the grave of each veteran. It's quite the sight.
Mom's "place" is to the left and close to the crest of the small hill. She has a nice view.
It's quite a drive from here to there so there's not often an opporunity to visit mom or grandmother and tidy up their places. It has to be at least three if not four years since the last visit to the park. That's why my remains are going to be scattered in three places. Damn it, I want visitors! If my so called loved ones can't make it to one of the three once in a while. . . . .well, let's just say I'll be talking to the Lord and he'll take care of that!
If you'll ever want to look me up here's where:
A little bit along the Cowtown Riveria.
A couple of chunks in the waters of Hawaii.
What's left: Cowtown Veteran's Cemetary.
Now don't get all anxious here . . . worried that I'm crappin' out on everyone .. . .here today and not here tomorrow . . .. or that you're going to get your inheritance loot sooner than thought. Hell no, not the case. Ain't gonna happen. I'm the picture of health. I got a good 40 plus years left and then some. As a matter of fact I'm going to outlive everyone. Any money that's left is going to the Old Hooter's Home. Old hooters need all the support they can get.
The phone rings Sunday. It's our niece who's driving from Nevada to visit. She's on her way to Anchorage where she will enter the University of Alaska to complete her studies to earn a Bachelor's of Arts degree.
The niece says it might take a while for her to arrive in Cowtown. Her mid eighties, 140 thousand mile Mercury Cougar keeps over heating and she has to stop frequently to cool it down. And to boot the car's transmission keeps slipping out of gear into neutral. Hmmmm, sounds like trouble all the way around.
The niece finally arrives in Cowtown. Over dinner we talk about the very long drive to Anchorage, what she'll study and the type of work that she'll want once the degree is earned. All the while we're talking in the back of my mind I'm thinking of the distance ahead of her in a car that's apt not to keep running.
Next morning Wifey and I talk. We cannot let the niece leave us driving a car that will likely put her in harms way. You know. I know. We all know there's predators just lying in wait for an all alone young 20 year old woman with a broke down car to come their way. Wifey and I, in all due conscience, had to intervene.
After a lot of talk (the Cougar seems to have some sentimental value) our young niece gets it that what she's driving needs to be replaced. The repairs to the Cougar would far outweigh its value. The offer to replace the Cougar with something small, a car reasonable in price was accepted.
So we shop. And shop. And talk. And talk. And go back and forth as to what car would be best for the climate of Alaska.
Long story short, a small Nissan was purchased that probably uses 25 bucks of gas to the 100 the Cougar would have used for the same distance. The niece takes delivery Wednesday and will be on her way north.
The photo posted here shows our niece with her really sweet salesman, sawed-off short stature Scott. Whatta nice guy. Can't often say that about car salesmen, can you?
The niece is blown away, forever thankful for reliable transportation. As thanks or in appreciation, Wifey and I say we only want two things from her: Study hard, graduate from college and one day return the act of kindness to someone else in need. The niece is a great kid. There isn't any doubt that what we've asked for will be accomplished.
"Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's latest thriller, "The Skin I Live In," had filmgoers fleeing the theater Thursday night (5/19/2011) at its gala premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, due to some aggressively violent and disturbing content.
The film, which stars Antonio Banderas and budding actress Spanish actress Elena Anaya, focuses on a mad but brilliant surgeon (Banderas) who kidnaps a man who raped his daughter.
The doctor's daughter killed herself from the grief and it drives him to take very drastic measures. This is where it gets complicated and disturbing.
Banderas then gives the rapist a sex change and transplants his deceased daughter's face onto his body.
He later has sex with the man he has brutally experimented on and turned into a woman.
The movie also contained several disturbing rape scenes and nudity.
Guests, among them a group of sweepstakes winners flown specially to Cannes by Stella Artois from the U.S. to enjoy a once in a lifetime movie premiere were horrified by the experience. That group of Americans left and did not come back to the theater following a partiularly violent rape scene in the middle of the film.
A second exodus occurred when Banderas' character had relations with his victim at the end of the film, when even some of the French, who have a reputation for a higher tolerance for disturbing themes than Americans, had had enough.
"It was the fact that the victim was supposed to look like the doctor's daughter. I couldn't stop picturing the girl in the beginning of the movie when he was in bed with her, with him, later," said filmgoer Marie-Elise Martin who left three-quarters of the way through the picture.
The latest from the Spanish director is based on a French novel, "Tarantula," and the hometown crowd for the most part (the ones who stayed in the theater) did give Almodovar a five minute standing ovation for the adaptation.
Critics have also fallen in love with the upsetting film and are placing it in contention for the highest Cannes honor, the Palme d'or."
Who thinks up this shit, anyway?
You're kidding? Critics have fallen in love with this film Where do they think we're all living? On the Planet of the Apes?
Me? I'm just a dumb sailor. I don't like to think about things serious such as whether we're living on the Planet of the Apes or not (but I know we are and would rather not think about it). Sometimes I drink too much. Sailors do that. That's when Wifey dances around the house singing this tune and waving a rusty razor. That's what sailor's wives do.
Can you say, yeeeee haw?
Sail with me and we'll wave cups of grog as Sparkle Plenty cuts through the waves of Lake Cowtown (also known as the Cowtown Riviera). Come later in the day Wifey will sing to us . . .. and you know the name of that tune, don't you?
Sparkle Plenty seen here. She's moored next to the patio boat with the burgundy top. I think there's some grog on the camera lens. Gotta fix that.
Thursday Sparkle Plenty will get wet. 'Bout time, don't ya think? Enough talking. Time for sailing.
Here's a photo of SP (and Wifey's backside) just before it was launched in June 2009. It takes a lot of lake to float this boat.
The man-made lake we sail on was open officialy and dedicated on September 28th, 1963 by then President John Kennedy. Scads of local yokels turned out for the occasion.
Kennedy's speech can still be heard via an audio device memorial located close to where he's standing here.
Who would have thought that two months later he would be dead.
The President is pointing to the "glory hole". During the winter it serves to drain the lake of excess water.
A map of the lake shows where our marina lies: Oak Bottom. 10 minutes from home. For a guy who sails 2-3 times a week it doesn't get any better than that.
This afternoon is the last symphony in a series of five for the season. It's raining today. A perfect excuse to listen to fine music to tame the savage beast in Bob. This last symphony performance promises to be the best. To be performed this afternoon:
Rachmaninoff is my all time favorite composer. It was in college that I learned to appreciate his music thanks to a close friend, a professor of Humanities.
The symphony begins at the Cascade at 2. Go an hour earlier for a lecture on the history of the music and what to listen for.
At the very end of the first row of red seats, the very last two: These have been ours for the past five years. Ours is a wonderful, unobstructed view. Picture Bob rubbing elbows with the Cowtown movers and shakers. Doesn't fit, does it?
Next season's tickets have already been purchased. The first in the series is in September. What's being played has me anxious for the next season to arrive. One of the pieces is by Richard Rodgers. Rodgers is well known for the score he wrote for Victory At Sea: A film saga about the water battles of WWII, which will be played by the symphony in September. The music. Not the war.
Here's part of what's being play today:
And here's Rodger's musical intro to the television series, Victory at Sea:
Come Thursday the good ship Sparkle Plenty will be in her home turf. I'll sink the trailer in 6 feet of water (stern to bow). That's what it takes to float my boat.
Then I'll motor across the lake to the marina where SP will be moored for the season. Once there the mainsail boom will be attached to the mast, the mainsail fitted to the boom and the furling jib wound tightly around the headstay. All Greek to you?
Top photo: Newly purchased Nissan outboard. To the right and above the OB is what's called a "catbird" seat. There are two (one portside and one starboard). They're right in between where the skipper stands while driving the sailboat. The Catbird seat affords a wonderful view of the lake and the operation of the boat. Note the drink holder attached to the rail alongside the catbird seat. Pretty handy.
This photo: Teak/Holly flooring installed inside the cabin several weeks ago. It takes the place of carpet.
I've missed sailing and look forward to many hours tacking to and fro, back and forth on the lake. SP has been out of the water since October. That's far too long for a sailor to be on dry land.
Several weeks ago a friend of Gracie's was over for a "playdate". Her father came along and remained for the length of the visit (what had been planned as being a two hour playdate ended up lasting from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.......grrrrrrr, the guy just wouldn't leave). The father seemed impressed with SP and with what it took to sail her. I've sailed since I was 9. Many boats and hundreds of hours on the water later skippering most any size boat is no big deal. Elementary, my dear Watson. . . .as the saying goes.
If you're not afraid of water, like wind in your face and don't mind the boat tipping side to side, the rest is easy. To make the boat move just pay attention to the wind and how much of it the sails catch.
Gracie hears music coming from my office and comes in to sit and listen. It's a good way for her to get to know the many types of music I listen to. You name it, I listen to it.
Last week a particular song was playing:
Grace: They're singing about making love. That's not very nice to play music like that.
Me: No they're not. The song is not about making love.
Grace: That's what the words are about.
Me: Nope. Not about love at all. The group that sings this song can't pronounce the letter G correctly. They're from Outer Frank-furtier. People from Fran-furtier have problems with their sounds. Instead of making the G ...g g g g sound it comes out sounding like an L. This song I'm listening to is about a guy who makes gloves and thinks of his girl friend while he's making gloves. He feels like making gloves when he thinks about her.
Grace starts looking at my legs.
Me: You're looking at my legs. Why?
Grace: I'm trying to figure out whether or not you have a leg to stand on.
San Francisco. Fillmore West. Jefferson Airplane. Was there, sat there, grooved with it, wanted to run away with Grace Slick. Unfortunately Grace had other ideas. Damn it all.
Last week the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Grace Slick. It brought back memories of another time, another attitude/a way of thinking, another way of life.
"How do you spend your days now?
By painting and drawing. I clean house, shop for groceries and hang out with my daughter and her husband. They both live with me and help care for the house.
Which female rock singers today do you admire? Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara. She has a strong, urgent sound.
Would you consider a Jefferson Airplane reunion?
No. Due to health problems, I can't stand for longer than eight minutes at a time.
A solo comeback?
Nope. Anyone who's 71 years old would look ridiculous singing rock.
Yes. That I didn't have sex with Jimi Hendrix, that I've never been to the Middle East and that I never learned to ride a horse. That's about it."
No sex with Jimi? That makes two of us. You didn't either? Come age71 what will be your regrets? Not having sex with Jimi will not make my list. . . . but a little hanky-panky with Grace Slick back in the day? That's on it.
As we age we morph. Understand that. It will happen to you.
Grand daughter Grace loves to sing. This girl is always singing or humming. Well, most always. Grace had a minor part in her school's musical production, Beauty and the Beast. For three months it was humming, singing, whistling music from Beauty and the Beast.
Last month her mother took Grace to see the Sound of Music. Since then Grace hums, sings, whistles songs from the Song of Music. The girl can't help herself.
This weekend Grace will see the local high school's production of Music Man. And Grace will . . . .you get the point.
Today I'm checking out YouTube and found an old Eric Clapton tune. It's a catchy tune. Clapton did his thing as did several guests (Mark Knopfler and Elton John). But I noticed two backup singers and thought Gracie might enjoy watching the video and seeing that even lead singers need help via their backup singer.
I thought again. Grace watches the video and hums, sings, whistles it here, there and at her mom's house.
I can see Grace dancing, bopping, fist raised. . . about the house singing, SHE DON'T LIE, SHE DON'T LIE. . .. and she would.....now knowing the least bit what the lyrics meant.
The video I'm referrding to. . . . vintage 1988 sees Clapton on his game as were the rest of those enjoying this era (including yours truly).
DISCLAIMER: Sorry. I gotta be me. No racial, sexual, douche bag, fucking idiot, pervert, sex offender , . . . .etc. . . etc....overtones intended.
I'm buying four of these. Yeah, these . . . these dolls.
You're thinking, So Bob buys four blow up dolls, then what?
"Then what" is about filling them with air. Three dolls seat belted in the back seat, one in the front. Each have t-shirts and shorts on. Can't upset John Law or violate any indecency regulation.
Truck windows rolled down. Me and my four buds cruise Cowtown. While we ride the "Goddesses" have their mouths wide open (is that the title of a film or is it Eyes Wide Open?). Those checking us out have mouths and eyes wide open.
My therapist says I crave attention. That's my story. And I'm a stickin' to it.