Friday, November 21, 2014

Some Things We Never Outgrow

            After Jenna learned to read, she was magnetized to Piggie and Gerald Books by Mo Willems. We read every single one.  We would take turns voicing Piggie and Gerald and we would act out their characters.  She enjoyed every minute.

            She reads chapter books now but will still spend time in the children’s section of the library and take a huge stack of books that Mo Willems has written and ask me to read with her. 

            She doesn’t check them out anymore.  We just read them at the library.  Last night we had plenty of time.  We had arrived at the library an hour and a half before the reading group would start.  She had at least two Piggie and Gerald books that we had never read before.  

            Reading group was short.  Ironically the book was long.  The Book of Legends –which I have mentioned here.    Part of the   “Ever After High” series that I doubt I will continue reading. 

            The book started off interesting enough.  It was fun. Clever language like “Castleteria” (cafeteria) and “hextbook” (textbook).  Initially I had checked it out for three weeks, but was unable to renew it before the group met in October.  So we went without for a couple of days before I could check it out again.

            Somewhere after 100 pages or so, the chapters seemed to drag.  I’m sure at least seven could have been cut out completely as they really had nothing to do with the story.  In addition to Apple White (Snow White’s daughter) and Raven Queen (Evil Queen’s daughter), other fairytale characters were introduced: Cedar Wood (Pinocchio’s daughter) Cerise Hood (Riding Hood’s daughter) Ashlynn Ella (Cinderella’s daughter) until the names became so overwhelming that unless the last name was attached to the character (which it usually was not) the names just sort of blended in and it was hard to remember who they all belonged to.

            I was on a mission to find out whether Raven would sign the book or not – hoping that she wouldn’t.  But both Jenna and I had become bored with getting there.  I wish I had skipped more chapters than I did.  It would have made it more enjoyable.  Last night we learned that there is also a cartoon and a line of dolls and an even bigger cast.  The whole thing is just a little compelling.

            The next book for us to read is Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke.  We won’t meet again until January – but as it’s a comic book, I would imagine we’ll be done before Thanksgiving. 

            I didn’t know it was a comic book.  I would have had Roland take it with him this morning when he took her to the dentist.  He LOVES comic books.  He knows comic books (or graphic novel, I guess)  I now know more about comic books than I had ever hoped for.

            Comics can be fun.  My favorite “comics” would be “Piggie and Gerald”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When Coolness Wears Off

The Sandy Starships Theater opened December 1980. It was a four-screen theater in a strip-mall in Sandy, Utah. The theater had a futuristic design, as if it were a spaceship, and even had a robot mascot. The Sandy 9 theatres became the dollar scene and patrons stood in line on the lit up “space station” floor waiting in line for the new releases that were shown at the Sandy Starships theater.

Starships closed after its 20-year lease expired in November 2000.  But long before it closed, the once hip full price theatre tapered off to dollar prices.  The coolness had worn off. The starship had lost its appeal before it was even a decade.  What was once prestige had earned “junkie”, “dirty” and “cheap”. The Starship failed though Sandy 9 remains.

There are several landmarks that seem aged and run down – either the land has shifted or our desires have.  We find something better, more satisfying, less costly – or perhaps it’s just the economy that rips us apart.

Recently Kayla posted to facebook the closing of Hollywood Connections – which I recently mentioned in this post.  Roland and Jenna had gone there to skate and then Jenna went upstairs to play the arcades.  The selection of prices was pathetic. 

When we left, Roland asked if I wanted to go miniature golfing.  It was almost 9:00 – I was getting tired.  Jenna had school in the morning.  I thought that we could return the following week.  Had I known that the facility would close in just four days, I would have gone ahead and played.

Kayla had expressed sadness over the loss.  She and Bill had gone there on their first date.  I am not surprised to see them close.  Their cliental has decreased drastically over the years – or so it appears.

The first couple of times we had taken Jenna, it was crowded.   We waited in line to get on the rides.  Even the theatres were doing better when we first moved to West Valley.  But over time, the crowds thinned out.  Not all of the rides were open.  The dragon coaster has been out of operation at least since September.  We know because it was Jenna’s favorite ride.  Vanished. 

Megaplex took away a lot, I would imagine.  It is the new hot thing - and I wonder if maybe one day it too will be a relic as people move on to another discovery, another coolness.  And all that we have will be memories.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rambeling thoughts

We have not ridden the bus this week as Roland has taken a use-it-or-lose-it vacation.  He has been driving Jenna to school each morning.

He had wanted to go see a movie on Monday.  We went to the 12:00 showing and sat through the previews.
  The projector (or whatever device they use now) was not working correctly. 
We had a choice to wait for the 1:00 or return at a later time.  We learned that it was a three-hour movie. 
Three hour movie!  I didn’t want to sit through a three-hour movie! 
We couldn’t wait for the 1:00 showing because Jenna gets out of school at 3:20. 
But Roland still wanted to see it.  So we returned the next day. 
He kept telling me that the movie was only 2 hours and 49 minutes.  That’s more than three hours when sitting through 20 minutes worth of ads and previews.

The movie is LOOOOONNNG – I think there is much that could have been edited. 
I also thought the film crew could have used better lighting. 
I really didn’t enjoy it overall.
I did enjoy the ending.  Well, near the end anyway.
When Murph and Cooper both make the discovery of what had taken place
and what the ghost/poltergeist – whatever-it-was represents. 
I didn’t make it to the very very end.
I just couldn’t hold my liquids anymore.

Tonight we had our Relief Society dinner.
I was supposedly in charge – but I am a flake and would be so lost without the presidency
or my committee
It will be the last activity this year.
My committee and I will be off in December.
We’ll meet back up in January to create an agenda.

It is cold now.  Unlike last week when it was cool, but nice.
It did get cold when sun dropped out of the sky – or at least started to.
About 3:30 – 4:00 the air went from cool to cold.
Now the entire day is cold.
It’s no longer just jacket weather.
It is heavy coat cold.

I took a Zyrtec – though cold medicine might have been better.
I’m certain I caught a cold in the theatre.  It was like sitting in a refrigerator
For three hours!
I had on my sweatshirt, my hat and Roland’s coat.
I’m wondering what in the world is wrong with me that I was colder than him.

I haven’t been out to my sister’s house for two weeks now.  It seems longer.
I feel like I haven’t seen her or my niece or nephews forever.
I am getting tired.

Monday, November 10, 2014

That’s Pretty Good for 42 years

         I notice as I age, parts of me don’t seem willing to move as well and my balance seems to be thrown off.  Actually has been for quite some time.  Sometimes it’s like when you have your arms spread out to either side from your shoulders and you lift one foot while trying to close your eyes.  Go ahead and try it.  I’ve not met anyone yet that can make it to a full minute.

Two years ago I had an MRI as I thought I’d been having stroke related symptoms.  Nothing was found.  But today I keep dad’s walker quite near the bed and have used it at night just to balance myself while getting up.  I have not yet used it to assist my walking.

As of now I don’t feel any different as far as balance goes. I do seem to be experiencing a little more pain in different places – like just behind my left knee – when I twisted it while exiting a bus.  The pain comes and goes. 

The other day Jenna was balancing on the wall and got off when she realized it led to a dead end.  I jokingly told her that I had expected her to leap from one wall to the next.

“Do you want me to?” she asked.

“No,” I panicked hoping she wouldn’t try.  If she missed, she would have gotten hurt. 

So with the next set of walls she said, “Look mom.  I’m leaping” and stepped down – which wasn’t a leap.

We crossed a set of tracks and I tried to demonstrate to her what a leap looks like.  Came out more like a Bernstein Bear teachable moment, as I lost balance and crashed to the ground – feeling pain on scraped knees and forehead.  I felt blessed that I wasn’t bleeding from the ungraceful land.

Tears rolled down my cheeks because I hurt.  I was foolish to try something I hadn’t attempted for several years. Jenna did her best to cheer me up – which was actually not cheering me, but annoyed me the more she tried to cheer me.  She sounded like a broken record.

The next day she asked if I was okay.  My knees were tender still.  She didn’t want to offend me by having me relive the moment I tried to leap but lost my balance.  She said my fall looked rather cool – like I had attempted an awesome ninja roll.  Really?  That’s what it looked like?  It certainly did not feel that way.

Saturday Roland said that he would take her skating.  He said he would skate with her.  Maybe we could do it for family home evening on Monday – tonight.  And so after dinner, we went to Hollywood Connections and Roland purchased wristbands for him and Jenna.  Both had invited me to skate, but after my ungraceful leap/graceful fall, I was not about to add wheels to my already unbalanced frame.
Jenna uses the walker as she can’t seem to get the hang of gliding.  She looks like she does when she is riding her scooter.  Using her left leg to move her around.  
Roland started out hugging the walls.  He fell his second time around.  I told him to move his feet outward instead of in front.   He got pretty good and went around just a bit faster and away from the walls.  It was a lot of work for his body.  Not bad for an out-of-shape and over sixty-year old.  I don’t know how many times he went around.  I would guess at least ten.  He said he hadn’t been on roller skates since 1972.  Holy Cow!  He was 19 and I was still in elementary school!

 I had fun watching them. My legs hurt as though I had been out there with them.

Roland thinks he’s going to be sore tomorrow.  He knows he needs the exercise.  I exercise with Jenna everyday when I walk her to and from school.  And the wheels we use are on the bus and not on our feet.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Riding the Blazing Furnace

I don’t mind the change in the weather.  I welcome the cool air.  Even if it means I need to bundle up or dress in layers.  The thing I don’t like is having bus drivers blare the heat as though it’s his or her sole responsibility of heating the entire universe.

When I lived with my mom and was working downtown, I would get on the bus and start stripping down.  It was a good 30-40 minute ride.  Just before we got to second south, I’d layer up again.  But the distances I have from West Valley to my destination are so much shorter. It seems senseless to strip down.  At the same time it seems I will suffocate if I don’t remove something.

I sit next to the door as often as I can – though the back door doesn’t always open.  I’m getting familiar with which drivers are able to deal with a minimum amonut of heat and which ones have to have the heat cranked up as though Roland is the driver.  I try to avoid their routes just so I can breathe.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Returned to Standard

It was nice to have light this morning as Jenna and I walked to the bus stop.  I usually don’t see it until after Jenna and I have parted ways and I start heading back to catch a return bus to West Valley.

We were supposed to set the clocks back on Saturday night – but forgot.  We got up at our usual time on Sunday – thinking we had slept in, but hadn’t.  Jenna asked me what happened to all the clocks.

Hopefully this will be the last time we have to adjust our clocks and the majority of voters who want to do away with daylight savings times will get our way.

I do enjoy seeing where I’m going in the morning.  In December it will be dark again.

I notice there are trees that still haven't turned and just as many that are bare now.  Perhaps that will make for a longer fall like we had last year.