Do proms always suck, or is it just me? – Flashback Friday

May 15, 2009



This Flashback Friday (a first here, but probably not the last) is brought to you via Papa (who was sadly promless) and organized by Blissfully Caffeinated and The Stiletto Mom.

Junior Year Prom – 1989

prom 1989

(Face obscured to protect the guilty? OK, I guess it’s not his fault) Wow! How happy do I look? I think we were only there long enough to have the picture taken. I don’t remember dancing much. The guy was my boyfriend at the time, and really the first long term boyfriend I kept around (for almost a year). Our plans were to leave prom early and go out to eat with another couple. Problem No. 1 – the only place to eat was over 30 miles away, which really is only a problem because of Problem No. 2 – The boyfriend – MY boyfriend, a senior, had a curfew of 11 p.m. 11 PM CURFEW ON PROM NIGHT? WTF? By the time we did leave it was later than planned (of course), we got half way there and I’m like “we aren’t going to have enough time to even get there and back before your 11 PM CURFEW, and we will definitely not have enough time to actually eat anything when we do get there.” Because we had planned to eat out, we didn’t eat anything at prom. I was HUNGRY. He took me home and just made it home before his 11 PM CURFEW. I had just turned 16 and didn’t yet have a driver’s license or I’d have been going back to prom. Better than sitting home on a Friday Night – a Friday Night Prom Night at that – just because your boyfriend had an 11 PM CURFEW. Karma? The whole 11 PM thing would continue to …


Senior Year Prom – 1990

prom 1990

(Face obscured to protect the innocent) The reason our attire doesn’t match as nicely as the attire in the top picture is because this nice guy wasn’t my boyfriend, just a friend, and it was a last minute date. My boyfriend went to a different high school and was out of town the weekend of my prom for a chess tournament (sounds geeky, right? I was way geekier than he was, which wasn’t hard to do because he was totally not a geek. That’s not a compliment for him). My friend didn’t have a date for the prom so we decided to go together. He already had his tux. I didn’t really care about prom so I just used the same dress from our winter formal. The dress was purchased during a long Thanksgiving weekend vacation in DC at a little boutique off the Metro in Crystal City, VA (I’m so amazed I remember all that). This was the first year that prom wasn’t at the high school. I never did understand why it wasn’t at the HS. This prom was at the local college, which really wasn’t all that local to most of the students (my date had to travel almost an hour and a half). It also meant that they had less time to decorate, less people could decorate because you had to either have a car or know someone who did, and we had less room than the gym where it was usually held. Whatever. Back to my story. As the night went on, we were having a good time, but I started feeling sicker and sicker. I think by the time my nice, understanding date took me home I was barely alert. Turns out that my boyfriend had given me a little going away present before his chess tournament – strep throat. Oh, and I was home before 11 PM.

How was your prom?


Daily(ish) Sighting 4/27/09

April 27, 2009


daily(ish) sighting 042709

I never played hopscotch as a kid, I’m not even sure of all the rules. I can never resist a chalk drawing though, or lots and lots of color. The rest of the board is over to the right, and over to the right and back, and behind where I’m standing. These 2 girls had a lot of fun with chalk this weekend. I hope the rain stays away for a few more days.

Daily(ish) Sighting 4/23/09

April 23, 2009

daily(ish) sighting 042309

I was fortunate to have company during my walk yesterday and today – and I happened to know both of them. I don’t care if I have someone to walk with everyday, but it’s a nice change.

Yesterday it was raining so much, as it has been most of the week, I didn’t even bring my camera. Today I did bring my camera, but all of the shots were before and after the walking track.

I don’t know what kind of tree this is. I’m sure if someone told me I would feel pretty stupid because I should know what kind of tree it is.

I love flowers. I’m allergic, but I love them. I used to live in the same landlord-owned complex – not an apartment complex, more of a random mix of buildings – as a florist. At least twice a month I would buy flowers for my desk at work. Sadly, I spent way more time at my desk at work than at home.

This is about the only place I’ve lived where I’ve really been able to plant flowers (and hopefully vegetables again this year). My mom had flower beds and vegetable gardens here when I was a kid (there are still a couple persistent plants that come up about 30 years later, no flowers on them, just the leaves).

Tulips are almost my favorite flower (Gerber daisies are my favorite). A few years ago I decided to plant my own flower bed. Our yards are a bit of a challenge. This land has been in our family for about 50 years. Not a long time, but through 3 generations. Before I was born some of the yard was filled in with fill dirt to try to level it out some (it is still not level). The tiny front yard used to be the gravel lot of an auto sales business, and there is still gravel down there. No one told me this before I started digging. Also with fill dirt you get things like ROCKS, and TOOLS, and TRASH, and I DON’T KNOW WHAT  THE HECK THAT IS. Also my brother used to bury his toy cars and little army men so no one else could have them. Let me just say – if you have some frustration to let out, do some digging with a mattock. That is like heaven. Except for the pain the next day. Totally worth it though. Plus I have about 10 different kinds of tulips that are almost ready to bloom.

Exploring – part 1

April 17, 2009



riverbank 28


When we had some nice weather last month I decided to take my camera out and do a little exploring in my backyard. I haven’t been in this part of the backyard in about 20 years. I’m sure that sounds odd, but there are many good reasons. First – this part of the backyard is a river bank so you have the whole RAGING FLOOD thing to deal with several times a year. Plus, after it floods it gets a little, well, MUCKY and YUCKY.  Also I have, thankfully, not lived here for more than 10 of those 20 years. And I’m allergic to practically everything so things like POISON IVY and GRASS and POLLEN and BEES and AIR aren’t all that pleasant. AND things that are also not pleasant – falling down a steep hill and BREAKING YOUR HEAD OPEN because the hill is STEEP and has RANDOM HOLES and LOOSE DIRT from the RAGING FLOODS and you have BAD KNEES. Plus I’m not really an outdoors-y person (although I am trying to get out more since the only time I really got out before was to smoke and THAT’S not happening anymore). Also, part of this little exploration is TECHNICALLY not OUR backyard, but a little TRESPASSING never hurt anyone. At least not me.

Whatever, on with the exploring.

Oh, and if you haven’t noticed – LOTS of pictures. At least I didn’t put all 58 here.


riverbank 1

Looking down the hill toward the river part (a little trespassing going on here). I didn’t notice until I had taken a couple of pics, but that thing that’s kinda left center in the pic? Dead deer. Thankfully, it wasn’t smelling yet. Be thankful that the close up shot isn’t posted here. Poor little guy. He might have broken his neck going down the hill (SEE?)


riverbank 14

I was trying to take a picture of the thing that was lodged between the trees, but I like this better. Almost creepy.


riverbank 18

This couch thing has been here in the same spot for over 4 years. Even though it is right next to the river’s natural edge, it has barely budged during any of the floods in that time.  Now it’s kinda wedged itself so it probably won’t be going anywhere for awhile.


riverbank 19

I love the terrain here, always changing. We spent many summer hours down here with the neighborhood kids. Building forts, tepees, just having fun.


riverbank 38

This little lace scrap looked so sad laying there by itself.


riverbank 41

I don’t know why, but I have always loved this bridge. It’s just a little one-lane bridge at the end of our street. It’s no longer in use, and is sadly now falling apart. The damage (on the left side) happened during a flood last June when the river flooded and covered this bridge and the edge of the street next to it. One of these days (soon) I’m going to get brave and cross it to do a little exploring before it’s completely gone. The neighborhood deer (and cats) use this bridge quite often.


riverbank 36

This is a sandbar that we spent a lot of time on when we were kids. Lots of great rocks and little river mussels. I’d like to come back down here when I get a rock tumbler.


riverbank 56

This little guy showed up as I was retracing my route. There was another one with him (or her – I didn’t get a chance to ask), but this was my last shot. I deleted a pic and got him swimming away down the river.

Go here to see all 58 photos.

I’m hoping to do more exploration posts in the future. I think it will be a good excuse to get outside, get exercise, and get inspired.

We love the drive-in

August 3, 2008

That’s from a Beach Boys song. There’s no actual “we” here that loves the drive-in, though I do really like it a lot.

We have a local drive-in that’s been around for a really long time, at least since I was a little kid, and that’s quite awhile. Growing up our family used to go to the drive-in pretty often in the summer, and then later I used to go there on dates. I moved away 14 years ago, moved back 10 years later, and had only been back to the local place once since then.

I love movies. I have a somewhat large DVD collection (yes, I’m sure there are several people who have a much bigger inventory than I do) and have all the premium channels that my cable company provides (which is less than any other cable company I’ve had provides). But our nearest regular movie theatre is about 40 miles away. They show 1 movie, 6 nights a week, with no matinees. The nearest multiplex is about 1-1/2 hours away which means going to see 1 movie can kill a whole day, and I don’t have that kind of time.

Have I mentioned I love movies? Before moving back to Tiny Town I lived less than a mile from the above-mentioned multiplex and usually saw a movie 2 or 3 times a week. Before that I lived about 5 miles from a multiplex and saw about 2-3 movies a week on the big screen. Before that I lived within walking distance of 3 theatres and saw an average of 4-5 movies a week (not counting the times when I sometimes watched the same movie twice). It’s very hard to go cold turkey from that much entertainment. And that much popcorn.

OK, I didn’t go cold turkey on popcorn but Orville Redenbacher’s finest isn’t as good as movie theatre popcorn. With extra butter-flavored topping.

Since I am always working, and since it is so damn inconvenient to go to the movies when you live in Tiny Town, I rarely have time to go to the theatre. I try to make it to about 2-3 movies a year, including taking the nephews to the latest Harry Potter movie (which aren’t yearly). When I didn’t think I would be able to see the X-Files anytime soon (I did see it at the multiplex on opening day, more about that later), I looked up the local drive-in’s website to see what was coming up, and it was The Dark Knight and Get Smart this weekend, with The X-Files and The Happening next weekend. I’m so there! Or I was this past Friday night at least.

I’m not going to give a review of the movies but I will say that yes, I did think TDK was awesome (even though I still don’t like Christian Bale, I do think he does this version of Batman well) and Get Smart was funnier than I expected – I actually thought this was a good role for Steve Carell (he’s not my favorite), and I like Anne Hathaway in everything I’ve seen her in.

Instead of a movie review, because who cares what I think?, I wanted to bring a drive-in review. Though not so much of a review, as an overview and a kind of comparison of drive-ins v. regular theatres. I’m sure there are a lot of people that have never been to a drive-in, or have never thought about going to one, or who have never cared if they ever went to one. Just like regular theatres have differences between them, I’m sure drive-ins are different from each other as well, but I think there are a lot of similarities. Of course I’ve only been to 3 different drive-ins.

To hopefully make this shorter, and probably more coherent, I’m doing this in bullet form. These may not be true of all drive-ins, but it probably is in general.


The good of the drive-in experience:

  • Double feature for the price of one (some may have 1 or 3 movies though)
  • Cheaper for adults (ours is $6.00 – yes, 6 bucks for 2 movies – that’s cheaper than a matinee)
  • Cheaper for kids (sometimes kids get in free, here 10 and under is free with paying adult)
  • Closer (for me anyway, it’s only 8 miles away v. 40 miles or more)
  • Comfortable seating, with leg room, and no one stepping on you because they sat in the middle of the row and feel the need to leave the theatre 4 times during the movie. If your car’s seats aren’t comfortable you can bring a lawn chair, or a blanket, or even an air mattress if that’s what you feel you need, or you can get all white trash and put a La-Z-Boy in the bed of your pickup (yes, I’ve seen that done many times).
  • Volume and temperature is controlled by you – no more worries about being too cold or not being able to hear the dialogue. Some drive-ins still have the speakers available that you put in your window, but most use a radio frequency now.
  • No annoying teenagers talking too loud or throwing food and drinks
  • No annoying cell phones ringing (at least here because there is no cell signal, although I was parked by the projection booth and a group of teenage boys, for some unknown reason, thought they could get a signal by standing next to the booth)
  • The Concession Stand – Ours has a wide selection on their fast food-type menu like burgers, hot dogs, french fries, onion rings, pizza, breaded chicken or fish, ice cream, shakes, and on and on, in addition to the usual popcorn-candy-nachos (which is cheaper than a regular theatre). They discourage it, but you could also bring your own food and drinks (like the half bottle of Mountain Dew I had in addition to 1 of their large fountain Dews. Oh and I also had a tub of popcorn with extra butter [flavor] and a peanut butter sundae. Hey, 6 hours is a long time).
  • Kid’s play area – Ours has a small play area with swings and 2 other things (I didn’t pay that much attention). It was better, and in better shape, when I was a kid, but I was more interested in the movie than playing then anyway.
  • Large screen + no worries about not being able to see over the person in front of you. I had an SUV parked in front of me and had no problems seeing the screen.
  • Intermission – You usually get a break between movies to get something (more) to eat, go the bathroom, or just stretch your legs. Or whatever.
  • Smoking? Here you can. Might come in handy (see below). Same for drinking, just make sure you have a designated driver. Some places probably prohibit alcohol.
  • Like sex in (semi) public? Sure, if that’s what you’re into. Or if you just can’t help yourself. Not that I would know anything about that. Just park in the back. Or in a dark corner. Not into voyeurism? Don’t park in the back. Or in a dark corner.


The bad:

  • There’s no exact start time – Usually around the time it gets dark, but that can be a broad period of time. I got there about 8 and it didn’t start until 9, but I read a book and talked to a friend and her family.
  • Double feature – you can see both movies or one (same price either way) but there’s no exact start time if you only want to see the 2nd movie.
  • Rain – We had thunder and lightning all night but thankfully only about 10 or 15 minutes of rain. You can roll your car windows up but if it gets too bad they’ll probably shut down and then that just sucks.
  • Seasonal – In warmer climates they may stay open most of the year but since we have 4 seasons ours is only open from about June to mid or early September.
  • Limited showings – Most are only open on the weekends, which is when they get most of their business, so if weekends aren’t an option for you then you’re out of luck.
  • It’ll be a late night – It was 2 a.m. when the movies were over. That’s not late for me, but for some people it is.
  • External noise – Like the assholes who decide to make their vehicles as noisy as possible when driving on the highway past the drive-in. And people who think that car horns are way fun! They are usually quick to be shut up or beaten to near death here though.

Next week I’ll try to take pictures. If I don’t forget my camera again.

‘Tis the (Summer) Season

July 20, 2008


I grew up on TV. My parents worked next door to our house at the family business, and while we had a myriad of babysitters, TV was basically our constant sitter-of-babies. We didn’t just sit in the front of the TV all of time, but we did watch quite a lot.

One of the good things about growing up in a small town is that kids could go around the neighborhood without anyone worrying, too much. Of course a lot of that was because it was the late 70s/early 80s, but here in Tiny Town it hasn’t changed much. Except for the meth. And the arsonist. And the speeders (yes, I’m talking about you – Senior Citizen Bus Driver). And, OK maybe it has changed, but we still have a decent neighborhood. My point is – even though we did grow up watching a lot of TV, we knew how to keep ourselves entertained. I started reading at 3 and I read everything I could get my hands on. We made up games if we didn’t have anything else to do. A lot of my childhood and adolescent years were spent playing basketball, “Kick the Can“, badminton (in the middle of the street), “Four Square“, Doctor. (OK, maybe that last one isn’t a great idea.) We also spent a lot of time at Tiny Town’s pool. My nephews go somewhere and within 5 minutes they’re all “I’m boooorrrrred”. Do kids not have any imagination past what games to buy for their PS3 or Xbox 360?

Holy crap. I’m really not that old yet!

If I’m awake I probably have my TV on. I’m not a couch potato though. More like a desk chair potato because I’m always working. And besides, my couch futon is too far from the TV. When I’m working I like to have some kind of background noise. Sometimes it’s music, but music = me singing, and no one wants to hear that. And when I say I’m always working I mean that I’ve been working from 10 am Saturday until I started this post Sunday (minus 1 hour for a nap). And when I’m finished here I’ll work some more and then go to bed. Right now it’s after 4 am almost 5 am. And when I get up in the morning, or later this morning, at about 9 or 10 am? I’ll be working until around this time tomorrow. Maybe with a nap (crossing my fingers), but right now that’s looking like a big ole NO.

Yes, I’m a workaholic and I have no life.

The one thing I remember from my youth about summer TV is that it was ALL RE-RUNS. All the FREAKING time. Then in the summer of ’91, FOX decided to do something new (at least new to me) and have a first-run (non-syndicated) season of Beverly Hills 90210. Yes, I am not ashamed to admit I watched.

Now there are new shows on all the time, so much so that you would probably never have to watch a re-run again. Unless you are like me and have to watch a show or movie 3 times until you get to see the whole thing because you can’t quit working long enough to pay attention the first time through.

Tomorrow I’ll share my favorite TV shows this summer. If you care.

Really, it’s OK if you don’t.

Oh, and the “Kick the Can” game? Don’t let your kid play that if they are going through puberty, or especially if they are a teenager. You really don’t want them playing like I did.