Lazy days of vacation

The first full day of vacation wasn’t too bad if I do say so myself.  Nice, relaxed and lazy!  Just as vacation should be, right?

Yup, and I am going to enjoy it and nothing will give me a problem!!  Did you just hear screeching brakes?  You should have because that was Mother Nature and with a flash of light and an evil Muwhahahahaha, I was saddled with Nature’s Curse.  I am a bit miffed about this as it always seems to happen to me when I am least prepared.  I am just thankful that Mac1949 reminded me to pack essentials in the event this should happen.  But why now?  Why couldn’t you wait until after Monday and we get back from the Catskills?  *Pout*

My mom and I had a very pleasant evening.  She was able to get out of work a little early and spent some time talking before we left for supper.  I learned a ton about shelties.  My mom loves shelties and is very active with NVSR – the Northern Virginia Sheltie Rescue.  They are having a picnic at the end of September and my mom organizes the bake sale.  So if you are in Northern Virginia next month, check it out and pick up some yummy stuff for you and your dog!!  Anyway, she just

Sammy

adopted Sammy at the beginning of the year after she had lost her previous one, Jasmine, to old age.  I have no idea what Sammy’s previous owners did to him but he is a bowl of quivering jelly!  Even after 8 full months of living with my mom who pampers the heck out of him, he is still timid with almost everyone.  No worries though, I am slowly wearing him down!!

While we were driving to Manassas for supper – with my seatbelt stuck on “decapitate” – we saw a deer along the way!  (I mentally kicked myself because I had planned on bringing my camera and didn’t.)  It was both a good and a bad thing.  It was amazing to see a wild deer very close but it was obvious that she was struggling and probably sick.  She was amazingly thin and you could see her ribs.

When my mom moved to Aldie, her development was pretty much the only fish in town – or at least it seemed that way to me.  The area was not developed and was surrounded by tree groves and tiny winding roads.  Now it is being ripped up for more development, which is a shame.  The area was beautiful and it was wonderful to go through.  And I imagine all this encroaching construction has compounded that poor deer’s problems – as well as other herds.

I am not likely to post until we return from the Catskills.  So keep an eye out next week for more adventures while being out of Florida!!

kissy, kissy, snog, snog

Ah, joyous vacation . . . I hope

Well, let’s just say it hasn’t started out that way.  Here is what happened so far.

Due to car issues, I arranged to get to the airport via the airport shuttle.  Aside from arriving a bit earlier than scheduled to pick me up – it wasn’t a bad experience.  However, that may be because I lucked out.  There was only one other passenger, whom along with the driver, were very pleasant to talk to.

So I arrive at Tampa International Airport in plenty of time for my flight.  Already armed with my boarding pass (ah, online check-in!!) I decide to head directly to airside.  Even security was uneventful.

Now, having successfully jumped through all the hoops, I still have roughly two hours to kill.  And correct me if I am wrong but this now leaves only two things to attend to: FOOD and ALCOHOL!!!  Sadly, there wasn’t anything of the former that struck my fancy so I decide to settle for Chili’s.  And I do like Chili’s but I just wasn’t in the mood for it, but I am a trooper, so I can make do.

So I sit down, order and await my caloric suicide.  After all, I did order something called chicken crispers with fries, a Coke, and a double Kahlua and cream for good measure.  Actually, the waitress asked if I would like to have the double and I felt so pressured I eagerly bubbled over with “YES!!”  Once the food arrived I was a little perturbed.  You see, I thought I was ordering your typical chicken tenders.  What I got were very thickly battered chicken tenders, similar to what you get in a Chinese restaurant – only bigger.  Just looking at them I could hear my mental calorie counter clicking away in overtime.

My bill arrives and it is pretty much what I expected at $27.27.  The thing that threw me off is when I looked at the itemization.  My drink cost more than my meal!  Yes, that lovely and still very small double Kahlua was $11.59 while my meal cost me $10.89!  Maybe it is because I only drink alcohol on rare occasions – and even then make them at home – that I am so out of touch with how much they cost in a restaurant setting.  But there you go.

Now, with only 45 minutes to kill, I make my way to my gate – a whole ten feet – and perch myself in an empty chair.  Now the people watching begins.  I can fully appreciate why so many people have this as a hobby.  I saw a little girl, blonde hair in pigtails decked out all in pink.  But it is what she was carrying that caught my attention.  It was a dinosaur – – also decked out all in pink!  Then a saw a lady walk by with long yoga-type pants that said “I LOVE PINK” all down one leg.  And what color were the pants?  Yup, dark blue.  I suppose this could be homage to the singer but I think she would have better merchandise than that.  But what do I know, right?

The gate is beginning to fill more and more and it was about this time that I knew I was in for a rough flight.  This is because a lady sat across from me and pulled out a kindle.  Shortly after she sat down, she noticed another lady that she knew.  They began talking and the first lady was talking about how excited she was to see Ann Romney and Trey Adkins – in that order!!  Seriously??  I mean I like to know the garbage guy is arriving but I rarely pay attention to him.  So, yup, I was screwed.  I had a flight inundate with Republicans!!!

Boarding begins and I am one of the last zones to board.  Not usually a big deal.  However, this time, by the time I had reached the gate the cabin overhead bins were reaching capacity and I was forced to check my small rolling luggage.  Now, I normally pack very light when going on a trip for the simple fact that I despise checking my luggage and then having to wait at the baggage claim carousel of death.  Plus you never know when they will go through your luggage or break something!!  On one trip many, many moons ago, I open my bag when I got home to find a letter inside stating that my bag had been randomly rummaged.  Lucky me.

can you guess what airline took me to DC?

As more bad luck would have it, I was wedged between two strangers.  “Ok, it is only a two hour flight, I can manage,” my inner trooper spoke up again.  And it wasn’t until about 15 minutes into the flight that I noticed it – silence.  No one was talking.  Even the family sitting in front of me was not talking.  It truly was a flight of Republicans – where everyone was treating everyone else as a leper who didn’t deserve to make eye contact, let alone speak to you.

While the cockpit crew did an excellent job, the cabin crew underwhelmed me.  They were unsmiling, unfriendly women who looked as if they would pull a wooden ruler from their back pocket at the first sign of unacceptable behavior.  The only good thing I knew I could look forward to was the Sky Mall catalog.  I love these things!  I am too poor to purchase much of it but I sure do love to look at all the fun toys!!  Ah, the beverage trolley slowly makes it way toward me.  I get another Coke and expectantly await my peanuts.  But no peanuts!!!!!  What kind of a flight in the year 2012 does not have peanuts????  So needless to say, I was pleased when the captain came on to announce our initial decent into Washington, DC.  You can finally see scenery again out the window and you can hear the landing gear being lowered.  The wing flaps were extended and they must have been doing too good of a job because all of a sudden the plane sped up while approaching the runway.  My brain immediately goes, “Dive, dive, dive!!!” Ah, I love the silent games I play in my head.  Sometimes it’s the only entertainment I get!

After deboarding and spending 20 minutes waiting for my luggage, I was off in search of the Metro, which is now – due to all the delay – right in the middle of rush hour!  What could be better?  Once I get to the Metro, as usual I can’t figure out how much money I needed to get to my destination.  So I get a card with $5 thinking that should be plenty.  While I am trying to figure out if I need the platform on the right or the left, my mechanic calls.  So getting distracted I go to the platform on the left without being certain that was the one I needed.  Shit, now what?  So I look for a map to check and I did not see one.  So I go back down the stairs to double check, found out I was right in the first place, grumble to myself and head back up the stairs.

Now, don’t forget, I am standing around with luggage and a camera case.  To me this would scream “Tourist!” but apparently not in DC.  I must have looked like a Metro guru because I had a lady come up to me to ask if she was on the right platform.  So I shrug and look dumb.  But she had a map!!  So I was able to help her and she was fine.  Then along comes another guy and asks if this is the right platform to get to Vienna.  Since I was now an old hat at this Metro game I was able to confirm he was in the right place.

I love the Metro.  I think it is a great idea and I wish more places had a similar thing.  The bad thing about it is the ride itself.  If you have a bad back, you will feel worse when you get off.  And with all the creaking, groaning and grinding noises it made the ride far more frightening than any flight I have been on.  Once I get to Vienna, I go to put my ticket in the slot to go out.  It spits it back out at me and proceeds not to open.  So I do it again and try to read the little display window.  It says nothing helpful.  Ok, so third times the charm, right?  Nope.  So I go to the window and she tells me I owe an exit fare.  How long was she going to watch me before helping out?  When will they change the display readout to say, “You owe money moron!”?  At least that way, I would have known right away.  Grumble, grumble, grumble!!

But now the vacation truly starts and I am expecting it to be far less bumpy than the journey.

Until next time – kissy, kissy, snog, snog

Fear vs. Phobia

I have been fascinated by this topic for some time now.  So I thought I would get some feedback from readers.

Let’s start with the basics.  What makes a fear a phobia?  The technical difference between a fear and a phobia is that a fear has a legitimate or rational basis while a phobia is irrational.  So someone who has a fear of ax wielding madmen has just that – a fear – as it is perfectly rational to be afraid.  But someone who has a fear of ladybugs (also known as ladybirds) has a phobia – Coccinellidaephobia, as a matter of fact.  And the reason it is a phobia – or irrational fear – is that ladybugs are actually considered a very beneficial beetle, especially to gardeners and rarely cause problems for humans.  Another example I have heard is that a fear of flying (Pteromerhanophobia) is irrational but a fear of crashing is rational.

But then why are some phobias not fears?  For example, there are some phobias that I believe to be completely rational.  For example: fear of rape (Virginitiphobia), fear of sharks (Selachophobia – I’m guilty of this one), fear of pain (Agliophobia), fear of nuclear weapons (Nucleomituphobia) and the fear of disease (Pathophobia).  These all seem like legitimate reasons for fear.  Or are they considered phobias because the likelihood of experiencing or encountering these events is sufficiently rare that they are no longer rational?  And if this is the case, what system – if any – do they base it on?

Then there are the natural phenomenon that have the potential for death and destruction.  There is the fear of tornadoes and hurricanes (Lilapsophobia), fear of water (Hydrophobia – another one of mine – *sigh*), fear of floods (Antlophobia) and fear of fire (Pyrophobia).

If anyone is interested there are many sites devoted to phobias.  However, my personal favorite is List Of Phobias.  It seems to have a good list and an in depth page when you click on the phobia.

I would like to share a few more that I thought were interesting and/or unusual.  There are fears of books (Bibliophobia), ugliness (Cacophobia), knees and chins (Genuphobia and Geniophobia), step-mother/father (Novercaphobia and Vitricophobia) and beautiful women (Venuatraphobia).

Sadly, I do not have answers to any of the questions I posed.  So I would like to ask my readers to tell me their opinions.

And as a final note, I find this just plain mean (in a funny sort of way): Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – a fear of long words.

Review: ‘Some Like It Hot’

Billy Wilder’s 1959 classic comedy Some Like It Hot
starts out with a typical in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time scenario.  His story follows two musicians as they struggle to find work in 1929 Chicago.

Trying to pick up a borrowed car to make it to a gig, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) witness an incident parallel to the St Valentine’s Day Massacre, this time committed by Spats Colombo (George Raft) as opposed to Al Capone.  The Massacre involved a gang war spilling over into a parking garage, with seven people lined up against a wall and shot.  The central comedy of ‘Some Like It Hot’ is a stark contrast to this serious event in American history.

So what would you do if you were on the run from the mob?  You pretend to be a member of the opposite sex and get an all expenses paid trip to Florida in an all girl Jazz band, of course, complete with heels and wigs.

Lemmon and Curtis turn in Oscar worthy performances (Lemmon was nominated) as Joe and Jerry and then as “Josephine” and “Daphne”.  Once they meet Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), the band’s singer and ukulele player, Curtis creates yet another persona, the billionaire “Junior”, to woo her.

One of the greatest comedic moments in cinema is when Curtis returns to the hotel room after his date with Sugar.  He finds Lemmon euphoric and dancing with maracas after his “date” with Joe E. Brown’s character, Osgood Fielding III.  Lemmon and Brown spent hours learning how to tango for their date scene, but they had an excellent teacher – none other than Spats Colombo himself – George Raft!

There are two major flaws, in my opinion.  The first is Joe’s treatment of Jerry throughout the film.  The character of Joe seems to walk all over Jerry and undermine him whenever possible, from losing his overcoat on a bet at the dog track, to taking “Daphne’s” bracelet and giving it away.  It can be difficult watching such things and tends to impart ill feeling towards a main character.  The second flaw comes in the form of musical numbers.  It appears that one or two could have been cut with no ill effect on the movie itself.  As it is, all action – but most importantly, comedy – comes to a stand still for these numbers.

There is no doubt in my mind how this film came to be a classic.  It has elements of comedy, romance and suspense.  It keeps the viewer engaged.  What of my objections?  Well, I borrow my reply from Osgood – “nobody’s perfect.”

‘Your Highness’ Isn’t

Since I have been semi-working as a movie reviewer lately, naturally upon completion of any film my companions immediately ask what I thought.  This is exactly my reply when Your Highness ended.  “It was nothing like I thought, I can’t believe it was ever made, and I’m horrified that they left it open for a sequel.”

To say that the trailers are misleading is a devastating understatement.  I can imagine the stricken parents silly enough to bring their children and teens to this movie.  If they were expecting an unrealistic farce and romp through the forest – well, they sure got that in spades.  But it was far from innocent.

I would like to say – in my own defense – that I am not a prude.  I don’t object to watching porn but I at least like to know it is porn before it starts.  And I think that is what – pardon the phrase – rubbed me the wrong way here.  The trailer(s) gave the impression of an adventure movie – although with no basis in reality – one in which an inept person has to try to save the world.  However, in this case that inept person happens to be Pee-Wee Herman.

I would also like to point out that “Your Highness” is in the same vain as ‘Cheech and Chong’ and if you are not a “pot-head” the majority of the “humor” will be lost on you.  The few giggles I was able to get paled in comparison to the number of times I uttered, “Oh hell no.”

I felt a bit queasy when leaving.  Some might say it was the yellow grease I put on my popcorn.  But I say, “No, sir.”

I feel sorry not only for everyone involved in this film – but also their families – to have their name permanently marred by this abomination.  But I also feel bad for my scarred retinas that now require a healthy dose of Winnie The Pooh to recover.

I found it distressing to see someone of Natalie Portman’s caliber involved.  She is beautiful and an accomplished actress winning an Academy Award as well as having 23 other awards and 45 total nominations.  Why is she slumming it here?  And not to mention speaking of a beaver as anything other than a woodland creature.

The final item I would like to point out is this: A penis is not the most aesthetically pleasing item to begin with but then to have a giant half-mast Minotaur penis displayed prominently for the last twenty-plus minutes is also. . . um. . .

All I can say is, “Oh, for fuck’s sake.  Really?”