Archive for November, 2006

Wanna See Sumpin’ Funny?

Go here. I’ll wait. 

Coming Down Through The Line Strong As It Can Be….

I interrupt this, what’s inadvertently become a Christmas Blog, to post about something of a highly important nostalgic nature.

I’ve been renting season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy to catch up.  It’s dandy.  Love it.  I also rented something that arrived yesterday that takes me to a new, Memory Lane high…The Electric Company is in the house! 

Lots of you who read this are of my era (born between say, 1960 and 1975) and if you fall into that era, you will definitely remember Carmella, Winnie, Easy Reader, J. Arthur Crank, the Short Circus…the whole gang. If you do fall into this category, you’ve gotta see this.  Thanksgiving_2006_065

You’d think a show that is 35 years old (yikes) this year, that children of 2006 would not find it entertaining.  Heh.  Wrong.  #2 watched it over and over until he fell asleep last night.  He was highly impressed with my rendition of "Hey you guuuuuuuuuuuuuuys!"  Goes to show kids like simple stuff.  Funny though, how when that show first came out, those graphics were then state-of-the-art.

Most of these skits make me feel like I’m in my bedroom with the pink, shag carpet that I shared with Gastrica and I couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4. 

I can remember how "Julie" the cute little Asian girl, had the coolest bangs that would flop up and down when she’d dance.  I wanted floppy bangs like that but my hair was short and curly and could never be so fabulous.

Irene Cara was just a little chubby preteen when she was part of the "Short Circus."

Thanksgiving_2006_054 Remember the groovy graphics?

I always was very partial to Winnie, aka Judy Graubart.  Whatever happened to her and JJ, (whose real name was Skip Hinnant)?  I always thought they were married in real life.  That character he did, Fargo North, Decoder…call me crazy, but, I think that’s brilliant writing right there.

I always forget Bill Cosby was on there because he was only on the first couple seasons.  Morgan Freeman, even as the groovy disc jockey, you can see his amazing talent even then.

Anyway, you gotta watch this dvd and if you are younger than me and don’t remember it, get it anyway. For some groovy nostalgia, go listen to this.

Sista Strikes Again

I’ve done it again.  I’ve deleted some cool pitchyers by accident.  These were gems, too.

We (me, Daughter and Mista) went and got the Christmas tree today.  I had documented the choosing of the tree; Melvin, the Tree Guy from Michigan,(I never knew these people came from all over the place to sell trees in Middle Tennessee, but, apparently, that’s the way they do it) sawing the bottom off, putting it through the little net thingy, putting it in the Smiff Mobile, us getting it home and the best picture of them all, Mr. Smiff HUGGING the tree…before it was lit. 

You’ll have to trust me, they were fun pictures.  Your Sista has to learn that when it says "Delete This Image" or "Delete ALL Images" that it’s best to choose the "this" option unless I’ve done uploaded them.

It’s a nice little tree.  It’s smaller than I thought it would be and I’m having a devil of a time getting the lights like I like em. There is a preponderance of yellow in the lights. Who knew they put so many dang yellow lights in Christmas lights?  My Christmas tree resembles the Northside Vikings school colors and it’s driving me nuts.   What do you think?  Do you see mucho yellow?  That’s all I can see.  Man Lemony_christmas_tree Child says all he sees is green.  I barely even see the green for the yellow.  It’s like a Lemony Christmas Tree.

So, instead of seeing the journey to the Griswold Smiff Family Christmas tree, I give you the Smiff Cats sitting under said tree.  They have names, but, I bet they think they’re names are "Get outta my way, You Stupid Cat."  That’s the normal, endearing names I call them. Imgp0275

Is There Or ISN’T There?

"Mom", #2 asked as we were in the Coke aisle at Kroger a little bit ago…."Who is Santa…really?" (Funny how random things just come out of his mouth whenever.) Trevor_and_santa

The question of Santa Claus comes up every year.  We went through it with ManChild and the Drama Queen.  I’m wondering how much we’ll get away with with #2 this year.  He’s been satisfied in years past with "People who don’t believe in Santa are crazy and don’t get nothing" and it being left at that.  He is 8 years old and that’s the typical time that most kids start doubting.  There’s always that one brat in school that starts to spoil it as early as Kindergarten. 

I did not even question the existence of Santa until I was in the 4th Grade.  I will never forget it.  Sitting at the cafeteria table at Lipscomb School, my friends Kelly Yearout and Anne Gaines were discussing Christmas.  (Even now, I have to remind myself these were 9-10 year old girls.  At the time, they seemed much older and oh so wise.)  Kelly said to Anne, "I certainly hope this is the last year Julia believes in Santa Claus"  (Julia was Anne’s little sister-Kelly & Anne were next door neighbors) as though Julia’s belief in the Man With The Bag had just totally exasperated and worn poor Kelly out.  For heaven’s sake…she was the neighbor! Of course, at the time, that didn’t occur to me at all.

I can remember when Kelly uttered those words, my life changed.  No Santa?!?!  What???  What was wrong with this girl?  How could anybody say such blasphemy about Santa?  Stupid girl. 

I remember going home and questioning the parents. I can’t remember what they told me exactly.  Bobbie Jean probably just ignored me, as she often did when I asked such probing questions like where babies came from and if Santa was real.  I do remember asking Biff about it and knowing him, I’m sure he gave a philosophical dissertation on faith, belief and the spirit of Christmas. 

What I do remember was the whole thing of Santa being real or not eating me alive.  I remember going to McHenry Center that weekend and there was a really crappy Santa over there and since the store Santas were "Special Helpers" straight from up North, I thought I’d point-blank ask the Helper.

Interestingly enough, the "Helper" had a thick, southern accent, but, I will never forget him looking me in the eye and saying "If you believe, Santa is always in your heart." He never said "No, there is no Santa" (neither did my parents) but the way he explained believing and as long as you believe it’s real was perfect. Corny and cliched, yes, but, it was good enough for a 9 year old who wanted nothing more to believe that Santa WAS real. This guy was so sincere.  It makes me get all verklempt  now recollecting it.   There was a picture made with that Santa and I wish I had it handy to post. 

Frightening that that was nearly 30 years ago.  I’m now 37 years old and have been playing Santa for my own kids since 1992.  I know A_visit_with_st that Santa does not come to the house. I know this.  Yet, every Christmas Eve, I still look for him up in the sky and listen for him.  Still.

I hope I’m still doing that when I’m 90.

O Tannenbaum

The Living Room at the Casa de Smiff looks like a real room now.  I Charliebrownchristmastree forgot there was actually a floor in there. Amazing. I’ll do the After picture later.

#2 informs me this morning that he wishes for there to be a Christmas tree in place this afternoon when the bus deposits him back at the Casa.  "A Christmas tree…all decorated and lit up, huh?" said the Sista.  "Yes" the darling boy replied. I would actually much rather do it that way.  Get the tree put up today while the kids are at school and then it will be just like I like it. 

Like my mother before me, I am a bit anal about the tree.  I’ve had to relax the Christmas sphincter since my children were big enough to care about the tree, though.  They love to get it out, decorate, the whole bit, which is great.  I finally realized I can let them decorate the tree and I can always go behind them when they aren’t looking and fix it.

I came from the Bobbie Jean School of Christmas Tree Decorating.  Bobbie Jean Christmas Tree 101 plainly states that "Ornaments must be placed from the biggest on the bottom and work your way up."  It’s a rule.  That rule was ingrained in Gastrica and me from the time we were big enough to walk.  You were not allowed to help decorate the Collie Christmas tree unless you knew and understood that rule.  There were no discussions about Rule #1. It was the way of Yuletide life in growing up in our house. 

Because of Rule #1, I can fix a pretty Christmas tree.  I’ve said before, it’s not one of those color-coordinated trees and it contains ornaments that pre-date me.  Those old ornaments that are older than I aren’t rare antiques or nothing.  There are a few old timey Chrsitmas balls that have amazingly survived all of the Presidential administrations since at least President Johnson. 

This year, I really want a real tree.  I want to go to one of those places and cut one down, ala Griswolds.  Mr. Smiff has issews about real trees.  The liberal, tree hugger side of him feels it is wrong to cut down a tree just so we can sling our crap on it.  I say piss on that thought. Sista wants a real tree.  We don’t have carpet anymore to worry about needles becoming one with and even if we did, this is why the Good Lawd gave us vacumn cleaners.

I do love the ornaments and try to get a couple new ones every year.  Gastrica has already gifted us with a new ornament.  She was in a place on Charlotte the other day, and this ornament reminded Smitty_ornament her of her bass playing brother in law.  The resemblance is striking.


Funny how yesterday, I was talking about Spider and the subject of the Ralph Emery Show came up.  While I was writing that, I thought of all the different characters and performers who were on that show….Keith Bilbrey,Tom Grant, Maude & Dorothy, all of the band; Billy, Norm Ray, etc. It was certainly  not a show worthy of an Emmy, but, it was lots of fun. 

I thought of the little man that worked on the show, but, was not a "performer" per se, but, on camera a lot and part of the shenanigans, Norm "The Killer" Fraser.  Ironic that I got an email this morning from Hazel saying that The Killer had passed away night before last. 

I wish I had some of those shows taped.

The Month In Pictures

I had what I hope to be my last roll of film developed and had some gems on them.  November was a fun month. 

Img012 The first week of November brough Bunco at Kat’s.  Remember…we were supposed to play Bunco, but, never got around to it. 

Img014 We had such a fun time. Img016Can’t wait for the next one.


The Bloggers Without Borders Tour was another memorable day.  I’ll never forget being at the Patsy Cline Memorial in Camden….   Img019

Img020 Will also never forget spending the day with my two, favorite Gadgeteers….and going to the Commune in Dresden. Img021

Img023 I love this picture of my kids with the Elder Mr. Smiff.