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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in empresspatti's LiveJournal:

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Friday, February 15th, 2019
7:13 pm
HAPPY DEATH DAY 2
This past Wednesday Mr. Wonderful and I had a massively fun experience that has been YEARS in the making. We went to the premier of the Oscar worthy movie HAPPY DEATH DAY 2.

It should be noted that we have been happily anticipating this event since last November when we first heard of it, but really, we’ve been waiting almost five years for this.

You see, Dear Reader - Our SON was listed in the movie credits: Graphic Artist EVAN BENTZ. Here is a screen cap!
Behold:


To get this credit, my Son developed and rendered the special effect time machine which is a huge plot point in the movie. The time machine has almost as many scenes as the Blonde!
Behold:

It was so much fun to sit there with my hubby, cheering every time a computer, television, phone screen or the time machine appeared on screen. The other 6 people enjoying this EPIC were puzzled, but our Son had done all of those 200 shots and we were mighty damn excited. Number Only Son is happily adulting in California with a great job and MOVIE SCREEN CREDITS!! He's known what he wanted to do with his life by the time he was 14, and now he’s out there - happily working in his chosen field, having fun and making his Parents proud.

Its really fun to savor the wins. It seems like its been a long time since I felt like cheering.
Thursday, November 29th, 2018
6:01 pm
Fa la la la la - la la la la
We wish you a Muller Christmas
We wish you a Muller Christmas
We wish you a Muller Christmas
and Impeachment next year

Indictments we bring, to you and your kin. Indictments for Christmas and Impeachment next year.

We wish you a Muller Christmas
We wish you a Muller Christmas
We wish you a Muller Christmas
and Impeachment next year
Sunday, August 26th, 2018
8:30 pm
One last outing
I was dinking around in my email looking for Important Stuff and found this account of my last outing with my Dad. It was pretty funny....
++++++
Broke Dad out of rehab for a visit to the urologist. He's been scaned/diagnosed with retaining 400 (some measurement of urine in the bladder, very bad). The answer is to self catheter mornings and evenings. SO I sent Dad off (and Mom, because she would NEVER leave him alone to cope) with the nurse for his demonstration/training.

So there I was, flipping through People magazine, when suddenly the fire alarm started whoop whoop whooping and saying EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. I continued reading, figuring it would take a while for Dad to untube and get his pants up. A semi hysterical nurse shrieked at me to 'Get out immediately."

"Well," I told her, "I'm not going anywhere without my Dad and his walker and my Mom and her cane." SO that's how I ended up carrying a walker, cane, two raincoats and two purses down five flight of steps along with my Mom and Dad. A cute young teenager helped us, but boy howdy did we hold up traffic!

We were decanted out the building between two malodorous dumpsters in the hosing rain. I got rain coats on my seniors and managed to get them down 3 crumbling steps to street level. Then I held up the goddamn fire truck while my Parents putted across the road to the parking lot. THAT WAS ME, giving the firefighters the finger and saying BACK OFF, WE ARE MOVING AS FAST AS WE CAN, EVERYONE HAS PLACES TO BE.
Thursday, June 21st, 2018
7:43 am
Notes from a Life. I love my Dad
I knew things had taken a dire turn when I got an email from Mom and realized that she had figured out how to use the talk-to-text function on her mobile phone. I couldn't leave Decatur till the following day, because Mr. W had a pre surgical appt that we had already canceled once due to the fact that his Mom had died 10 days earlier. It was quite the month in Empresspattiland.

I called my Daughter at work and asked her to head to the hospital. I booked the earliest flight I could get post Dr visit. That night and the next morning were truly hellish. The pre surgical visit included imaging and a long wait at the pharmacy.

Then, Tom & I had a very tense drive through dense Atlanta traffic with the hope that I could catch an earlier flight to Maryland.

I was standing at a gate, begging to be allowed onto a flight, when the call came. Leslie spoke calmly and said, “I need you to sit down. Grandpa just died peacefully. Gma is with him and so are Aunt Fay, Uncle John and the the cousins.”

My Dad died surrounded by people that loved him best. Except me, who was torn between love of Mr. Wonderful and his surgical needs and love of my Dad and my desire to hold his hand as he went. I wanted to be there to comfort my Mom.

Life did not allow me that opportunity or privilege. I sat in the Atlanta airport with my head down, trying not to howl in public.

But Still: I had 63 years with a great Father. He died surrounded by people that loved and honored him. The last words I said to him were ‘I love you.” As my Dad used to say about just about everything - “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

It didn’t get any better than my Dad.

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018
7:31 am
Notes on a Life, from Leslie
My Dad and my Daughter took one look at each other 31 years ago and that was that. They were a mutual admiration society of two. At one point, during the long vigil she and my Mom shared that last night, she texted me and said "Gma just admitted that I'M THE FAVORITE." It made me laugh during the worst time of my life. Leslie was the last speaker at my Dads funeral and I thought her words were beautiful.

+++++++++++++++++



I’m Leslie, Harvey’s granddaughter.

But I would imagine everyone here knows that, because my entire life I’ve known what it’s like to be famous.

The dentist, the checkout woman at the pharmacy, everyone in church, all our neighbors – if you knew my Grandfather, you knew about me.

I always thought this was so sweet and a little embarrassing at times, but I also always thought it was totally normal until a few years ago, when I introduced a friend to my Grandfather at a party. Grandpa was so excited to meet them and launched into his usual speech - “I’m so happy to meet a friend of Leslie’s. You must be pretty great to be a friend of my granddaughter! She’s the love of my life; she’s so special!”

He gave a hug and walked away, and my friend turned to me in amazement and said “Wow, imagine what you can accomplish in life with someone telling you that you are that amazing all the time!” I was so surprised – doesn’t everyone have a Grandfather that hypes them up to total strangers?

Doesn’t every Grandpa tell the dentist his granddaughter Leslie probably is going to have the most perfect teeth you’ve ever seen in all your years of practice, so get ready to be really impressed? (My dentist, upon meeting me, said that yes I had very nice teeth . . . and a Grandfather that really loved me. But he didn’t know if they were the best EVER.)

I went through my entire life like this, in a protective bubble of love and support from Grandpa. My husband laments that Grandpa completely distorted my view of reality. Every time I ask Greg to do something he feels is particularly absurd he says “Do I look like your Grandpa? Absolutely not.”

I have a wonderful memory from when I was about 10 years old. I was in an opera on opening night, and it was the final curtain call. I stood on stage with the cast as people clapped and cheered in the Kennedy Center. I was so excited to be on stage while all the divas took their great bows.

The crowd was just a blur of dark shapes, but then as I looked out, I saw him. My Grandfather, on the first balcony, standing up and waiving his hands high in the air so I would see him (the people behind him were appalled). In a room of hundreds and hundreds of people, all clapping and cheering for the group, the most enthusiastic person in the room was the one clapping for me.

Everyone felt that special when they were with my Grandfather; he radiated kindness, love, and generosity. If he knew you, he loved you. And it was impossible not to love him back.

In the past few months, as his health became more tenuous, I’ve thought a lot about legacy. What kind of mark do you leave on the world that extends beyond your life?

Born in his Grandmother’s house in Wisconsin in 1929 at the start of the Great Depression, his own parents didn’t finish middle school. During his summers in Wisconsin as a child, he worked as a field hand for his uncles on their dairy farms, earning 25 cents a day. He was the first in his family to attend high school and college.

He was particularly proud that both of his children and all four of his grandchildren went on to graduate from college.

In his prime he fixed houses, remodeled kitchens, built bookshelves and cabinets, tables, benches. Old age was hard for him to accept. For most of his life he was such a strong man, when I would look at him as a child he seemed like a giant, with great big hands and a booming voice, fixing anything that needed it and occasionally “fixing” something so well that it never really worked again.

As he aged and was less able to physically provide for the people he loved, he made sure to provide in other ways.

What a legacy indeed, to work so hard for the sole purpose of giving the people you love more than you had. To constantly find new ways to look out for them. To accomplish with the sole purpose of providing for the people you love.

Everyone here knows I’m a bookworm. The poem Ulysses by Lord Tennyson is a particular favorite of mine, and in the past few months I’ve reread it several times, as it reminds me so much of my grandfather.

Tennyson wrote it during a period of grief in his own life, having lost dear friend. In the poem Ulysses is an old man and having returned home in his old age, finds himself restless. Towards the end of the poem he longs for the time when he was in his prime; having worked so hard to strike out on his own and see the world, he longs for one final adventure.

you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

The people gathered here today may have very different views of what happens after we die. I will leave theology to the experts, but one thing I know for certain on which we can all agree - the love and security provided by Harvey Kloehn to us, the people he loved, is in every one of us. His positive impact lives on in each of us, has made us all into better people, made us all feel loved and safe. It extends beyond his own life. Through his love and generosity, he lives on forever.
Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
6:51 am
Notes on a life, from Mr. Wonderful
Tom had College Professor Parents and two well behaved sisters. He married into the Loud and Tall Tribe. It is not for the faint of heart. All family gatherings are LOUD, with a lot of laughter and nonsense. Your ears will ring the day after.

I grew up with my Parents, and a younger brother. My Aunt, Uncle and 3 younger boy cousins lived right around the corner. I always say I was raised with two sets of parents and four younger brothers. Tom waded right in and never looked back. We'd host family gatherings and the mix of his short, well mannered tribe and my family of tall, loud jokers was always strange and wonderful. Tom's tribute to my Dad touched me greatly.

++++++++++
It is only fitting and proper that in the same Church which played such an large role in his life that we say goodbye to Harvey Glen Kloehn.

More than thirty three years ago in this very room, I forever joined the Kloehn Family.

He proudly wore many titles in his life time Devoted Husband, Encouraging Father, Doting Grandpa, supportive and Loyal Friend. His passing leaves countless gaps in our daily lives that will be hard to fill.

Who will say grace at the dinner table when the entire family is gathered round for a holiday?

Who will stand out above everyone else in a crowded airport to wave you a welcome home? Remember the people that had to dodge the cane he was waving?

Who will give you rib crushing hugs just to say good night?

Who will bait countless fish hooks for grandkids? 

Who will be the first to the emergency room to remove a fish hook from his calf? 

Who will repair anything that needs repairing with duck tape and super glue and a fear inducing “WHOOP”!

Who will repair our broken hearts?

Collectively, we will all have to help each other to do that. We must see past the sorrow and smile remembering all that he was, all that he taught us. We must honor his memory by striving to be as kind, generous, and loving a person that Harvey was every day of his life.
Monday, June 18th, 2018
8:37 am
Notes on a Life, from David
My Brother wrote a beautiful eulogy for our Dad.
++++++
Good morning everyone, thank you for coming to my Fathers memorial service

When I was young, my dad called me Big Dave, which was funny because I was a pretty small, runty kid. Sometimes people in the neighborhood would call me that to make fun of me, but my dad never meant it that way

But Dad was huge. He was so tall that when he picked me up and held me up over his head, it was like taking a high speed elevator.. I would go up and up... It made me dizzy

Dad was a big man, and I'd be tempted to say my Dad was a great man, but I think I'd be more accurate to say my dad was just a regular guy. My Dad did a lot of pretty impressive, even great things in his life I'm sure, but he didn't aspire to riches or greatness or have huge ambitions. He was just a normal guy, who above all valued family and friends.

Of course there were no strangers in my Dads life. Dad would always embarrass me by talking to absolutely everybody, and anybody, everywhere. He was definitely that guy. He would talk a strangers ear off if they let him.

And he was kind of a braggart, truth be told, he would certainly work his grandchildren into every conversation. But Dad seemed to make friends everywhere he went.

Dad set examples for me all my life. Dad always was working on things, and fixing things, and he showed me that you could figure out how things worked simply by looking at them carefully and thinking for awhile. I learned that the toilet, the garbage disposal, the water pump, all those things can be fixed, and it always takes at least two or three trips to the hardware store to do it.

But I learned from dad that you certainly shouldn't be intimidated by those things. An engineer could figure it out.

So frequently I learned by example.

Of course, I also sometimes learned what NOT to do by example. At the end of his career Dad was the technical director responsible for essentially everything that was powered by electricity in the US Navy, but that man did not seem to know what a torque wrench was.

Some of you know that every nut and bolt on an aircraft carrier or a car has a specification for how tight they should be. A torque wrench is a special tool that helps you set the tightness just right. I'm pretty sure dad knew this, but Dad would tighten every bolt to what could only be called 'Wisconsin tight'... It was always... Just a little.. tighter... Wham! Slipped wrench, round bolt heads, stripped threads, bloody knuckles... He never seemed to learn.

I have several torque wrenches. And a tap and die set. And some busted knuckles of my own

But the greater things that I learned from watching my Father were honesty, integrity, work ethic, friendship, devotion

My Dad really had great friends. I realized when I was young that people really liked my Dad. He had something in him that people liked, maybe even admired.

My mom notified Dads relatives in Wisconsin of his death and within hours got a call from Dick Olson, who has been friends with my Dad since kindergarten. They still kept in touch.

Dad kept in touch with his friends from Marshfield, and from Marquette, and from the Navy department all his life.

We used to joke about it, but when we used to travel on vacations back in my childhood we could literally be anywhere in the world, a national park, a train station in Europe, any airport, and we would inevitably hear someone shout "Hey Harv"

My Mom and Dad have been blessed with lifelong, devoted friendships with so many people from this church. This church had been the center of life for my Dad and my Mom, and I've always been so impressed with and envious of how strong these friendships have been. The Junghans, the Ryans, the Schnackenbergs, the Boehnes, the Davises. I can't list them all, but it was everyone.

I look back and frankly, I'm not that impressed by who I was when I was a teenager. But one thing I realized during those years, when I was thinking what a square, dud my dad was... He sure has a lot of really great, really devoted friends.

I realized back then that said a lot about what kind of a person my Dad really was. He certainly wasn't the coolest guy, or the funniest guy, but the funniest guys, and the coolest guys obviously liked him just fine.

Finally, my Dad certainly showed me the example of devotion.

35 plus years of service to the US Navy as an officer and then as a civil servant.

60 years of membership at Calvary Lutheran Church, including being an Elder, President of the School Board, President of the Congregation.

And my Dad loved the Wednesday morning Bible study.

And of course, the biggest thing in my Dad's life was 65 years of devotion to my Mother.

Dad showed me
how to be faithful,
how to serve,
how to be an employee,
how to be a friend,
how to be a son in law,
how to be a brother in law,
how to be a brother,
how to be a husband,
how to be a father,
how to be a man

I am certainly not saying that either of us have done all those things perfectly, not at all.

But i can say it's been a lot to live up to.

Dad was just a regular guy, but he was a extraordinary man

++++++++
Sunday, June 17th, 2018
9:14 am
Notes from a life, from Pat
My Dad died May 31st. He was an extraordinary man. We are a very close & loving family. I've always lived near my Parents and been able to share all my life with them. Tom and I, our kids and my folks have always been the core unit of a happy life. I'm so glad of all those years of holidays, birthdays, Mother & Fathers day and celebrations of every silly thing that happened.

For my Dad's 80th birthday, Mom and I threw a big party. This is my contribution to the book of letters his family & friends wrote to memorialize the occasion.

+++++++

When I was a little kid, I thought my Dad was Superman. He was tall and strong and he could do anything. No one was more fun than MY Dad. He read me the funny pages, dragged kids around by their big toes in the pool and wouldn't let the snowplow on the hill where we were sledding.

Dad was my protector. He always stayed with me when I was sick and had to go to the hospital. I remember him refusing to leave me when I had my tonsils out. He told a nun she had a "dirty mind" when she protested him staying my my hospital room at night. I also remember him throwing rocks at a barking, snarling dog in Canada so I could get to the bratwurst stand on the side of the road. We really wanted bratwurst. That dog was no match for my Dad protecting me.

Dad has always been the one who would go on the historical tour with me when everyone else was headed to the Christmas store. We've had great hikes - at Zion, Devils Tower, Arcadia. Our family cheerfully camped in the rain about a million times. My Dad always said "what a revolting development" as we folded up the fulboat or the camper in the lightening and driving rain.

No matter where we go, Dad knows someone. He worked with my neighbor's father, runs into friends around the world and always treated everyone like family. He has the original warm and generous heart.

Once, driving across the country when I was 12 and my brother was 6, Dad said to us "I love your Mother as much as I know how. I love you all as much as I know how." Those words have been my anchor and inspiration ever since. I love him as much as I know how.

My Dad sets the standard for how to treat people with consideration and respect. He listens with empathy and kindness. He laughs with me and shares my joys and sorrows. He lives right up the street and I see him every day. My greatest blessing is the family that we share.

Every once in a while, I see something I really do not want to see. Now might be the time to mention driving by his house and catching him walking across the roof carrying a fully extended ladder. It was the start of some really unpleasant conversations, also the start of some really unpleasant consequences. Only my Dad would insist that the ambulance turn off its siren as it went by our house because he knew he'd get in trouble with me.

Hopefully his ladder and roof dancing days are over.

My Dad is FUN. I'm talking big time FUN, howl with laughter fun, and end up in the emergency room fun. He was always the first one to water ski, sail a little boat, ride a tandem bike, sled down a dangerous hill, ride a moped or catch the lawn on fire. This has resulted in him leaving most of his butt on roadside gravel, getting fishing lures dug out of various body parts and cracking his ribs numerous times. I don't know where we were, but I have a vivid memory of going down a white water rapid with Dad, riding an air mattress.

We have chased tents through thunderstorms, camped for days in force gale winds, played in in the surf and gotten our bathing suits full of sand. Tom once watched him get oil in his ear while tuning up the lawnmower. Remember when he drove over Mom's nice ring? Its a brooch now!

He is still convinced that we turned Uncle Gordon's lawn sprinklers on him, but really, we were just sitting there crying with laughter at his bad timing. No one in my family will ever forget sitting on the metro in Milan when the safety pin holding his money belt to his underpants came undone and poked him for the entire ride. An nicer family would have felt sorry for him, but we just howled because who wears their money in their underwear, anyway?

His love of travel has deeply influenced me. By the time I was in high school we had camped just about everywhere in the US. He and Mom encouraged me to go backpacking through Europe after college using an Eurail pass. "Go everywhere," he told me, "you don't have to settle down yet." What great advice!

He saw me off that first European trip shouting, "Have fun! I'm only a collect call away anywhere in the world." I was embarrassed because everyone was looking at us and laughing, but I was reassured because I knew that if something happened, my Dad would come and get me. Mom says it gives us roots and wings. I've tried very hard to pass that love of adventure to my kids.

I can't even begin to list all the times Dad has had fun with a caulking gun, but suffice to say, the caulk explosion while standing on the roof of the camper might have been the best one ever. The very air turned blue with Dad's cussing. I have many fond memories of Dad and home improvement projects. He has drunk turpentine, drilled through exterior walls and glued phones to kitchen tile. He has a hat that says: "If it ain't broke, I haven't worked on it yet." Mike Fink has the regular rate and the Uncle Harvey rate.

We tease him, but no big project has ever been undertaken by anyone in the extended family that Dad hasn't helped out. I am the beneficiary of two beautiful kitchens myself.

When I look back at the course of my life, my Dad stands at the most loving center. He and Mom have been the central pillar and heart of a long and loving history of family, friends, faith and laughter.

Happy Birthday Dad. I love you very much. You are my hero.

++++++++++++++++++++

This Father's Day is going to be a heartbreaker for me, because its the first, after he's gone. I had 63 great years with my Dad and I'm the luckiest daughter ever. Happy Fathers Day Dad, you are missed.
Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
4:54 am
March to End Gun Violence
Other favorite signs




Monday, March 26th, 2018
3:12 pm
Signs from a MARCH
Epic Day. And today, as I was in Kaiser with an ear infection, the Doctor thanked me for Marching.



To anyone that is offended by my position on guns: Stop it. Your life won't be diminished because of gun control.

Its not just about schools. Its churches, movie theaters, workplaces, public places, army bases. No civilian needs a weapon who's only purpose is to kill people quicker.

BURN DOWN THE PATRIACHY. Men are responsible for this whole mess.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
9:43 am
Stan Hinden
It seems like a thousand years ago but was actually 2011. An old friend contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in having a conversation with Stan Hinden. He needed help with keeping record of his expenses for his tax returns.

So that is how I found myself sitting in the (very overheated) senior living apartment of one of my heroes. I had read every column he'd written for the Washington Post series "Retirement Journal."

I took one look at his envelope and shoe box filing system and kinda fell in love. He was just the sweetest, funniest guy. Yes I could help him, mostly by way of not making his CPA snivel at tax time. I organized his expenses, slapped together a few spreadsheets and enjoyed talking to Stan.

A few weeks later, he called me. He was about to revise his book "How To Retire Happy." Would I be interested in being his researcher and editor?

"Well," I said to him, "It sounds interesting, but I don't have much professional experience in that direction."

"I'm actually after your organizational skills," he told me.

It was the continuation of an unexpected friendship, a great work experience and the most fun job of my life. Stan was one of the best people I have ever known. He was brilliant, funny, compassionate and an all around MENSCH. By the time the book was finished, we were good friends. It was always a pleasure to spend time with Stan.

The years after the publication of the book rolled by. We met every month or so for lunch, or dinner or just a chat. I'd take Stan and his friend Joan out for lunch at the local deli and we'd talk politics, current event or nonsense. When I moved to Decatur, we started writing, which was a treat.

Stan died last week just short of his 91st birthday. If you haven't read his book on retirement, you are cheating yourself.

RIP Stan. You were an exceptional human and will be greatly missed. I love you.
Thursday, January 4th, 2018
3:56 pm
Whoo Boy
I'm in Maryland because my Dad has had several major health issues lately. This is the note I sent Mr. W last night. Proceed with caution!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I got home yesterday afternoon and this is a list of what happened while I did a few errands.

1) Dad had thrown a fit about waiting for my Mom to make an online appt for bloodwork. He put on his coat & flounced to the van. Instead of ignoring him and making the appt, Mom got in the van to drive him because apparently we reward bad behavior.

2) Mom managed to hit the drivers side rear view mirror on the garage door backing out. Tiny chip in the casing, huge drama from Dad

3) They got to the bloodwork place and Dad realized that he had forgotten his wallet, so they couldn't check in.

4) On the way back to the house for his wallet, Dad threw a huge fit about how he didn't have his wallet because Mom is in charge of his pants. Suddenly my Dad and Tom seem awfully similar. Not a happy comparison.

5) Back at bloodwork land, they had to wait forever because no appointment

6) Back at home, Mom was stripping beds & doing stuff upstairs when Dad decided it would be a good idea to find the tax returns in the basement.

Several reasons this was fucktard stoopid:
Mom had no idea.
Walking down basement stairs (he has a special lift for the upstairs!)
No walker or cane (he said he hung onto 'stuff in the basement' to get to the file cabinet)
Couldn't make it all the way up the stairs & had to bellow for Mom (she's hard of hearing and was upstairs) to come get him. Also, he had one of his hands full with tax returns, so it made a stupid unsafe thing to do even worse.

SO - I get home about 4p in the afternoon and the atmosphere in the 'Rents home was so bad that I called UBER and waited 2 hours in the cold, but blissfully peaceful Wheaton Firestone tire center for my car to be done. Once the car was ready, I took myself out for Viet food. I got home around 7:30p. Dad was sitting in his chair downstairs. Mom was upstairs reading her book.

I had the singular pleasure of telling Dad he'd acted like an asshole and then stomping upstairs to watch tv with Mom. Today, she has declined the honor of fixing his breakfast or generally fetcher stepping for him. Its kind of funny to watch. OTOH - He hasn't apologized so there is that. ANYWAY - he must be feeling much better to be acting like such an enormous tool. Yay?
Monday, December 11th, 2017
10:14 pm
Monster the Wonderbunny
Here in Empresspattiland, we’ve had a very sad day. I’m a mess.

At the venerable old age of 9, Monster the Wonderbunny has died. He was sweet and loving right up to his last day. My Daughter is inconsolable. Monster was her beloved companion.



I’m glad he had such a long and happy life. I loved being the bunny sitter. When I broke my femur and was recovering at my Daughter’s house, Monster kept me company every time I did my rehab exercises. The minute I got down on the floor, he’d come sit close and keep an eye on me.



I have always been amazed that a tiny creature (he was 3 1/2 pounds, tops) could convey so much personality. He was always affectionate and bossy. He was the ultimate floor monitor. He had strong opinions on dark socks (usually no), and even stronger options about sitting on his floor (NO). He was inquisitive, stubborn and bossy. He was filled with joy.



He chewed my Daughter and SIL out of house and home. This was his last afternoon, contemplating his life's work.



RIP Monster. I’ll carry you in my heart always. You were a good bunny.
Thursday, November 30th, 2017
5:55 pm
Apparently I have miles and miles of anger
How about we talk about the tsunami of sexual misconduct allegations currently engulfing the news cycle?

The sound you are hearing is my gleeful cackling. I love the daily bloodletting.

Personally, I think its Christmas morning every day, several times a day. I happily read the latest revelations and those lame-ass groveling apologies. I delight in the firings and resignations. I revel in their embarrassment. I don’t feel sorry for a single one of the badly behaved men who have made women’s lives miserable. I don’t care if it was one woman 100 years ago. I can hold a grudge, gladly.

BTW – lots of the revelations about to rock Our Nations Capital? Those settlements were often paid for with taxpayer dollars. How’s that for a fun revelation?

I wish them all the short brutal life of a kindergarten pet. I have a coffee mug with the label ‘Male Tears.” It makes my morning coffee delicious.

TBD if these revelations truly change anything. I’m delighted if men are afraid of angry women now. I’m glad that they are feeling uncertain and afraid of most encounters. Welcome to the female life. Just try and tell any of us that we are ‘hysterical” or "unreasonable.” I dare you.

I read once that for meaningful change, you need at least 20% representation. I guess I’m not going for change. I’m going for Revolution. BURN DOWN THE PATRIARCHY.

This was my Daughters take on one aspect of the current wave of revelations:

Warn young women; don’t fire old gross men- keep promoting them? EPIC BULLSHIT

It’s all sickening and shows its never just a silent abuser and no one knew. It’s a system that trained us to warn women how to manage men but doesn’t bother teaching men anything.

I was thinking how many people talk to their daughters about being safe, not drinking, no walking alone not wearing heels, not having open drinks at parties. How many people talk to their sons about not raping, not drinking too much, not ever having sex without explicit consent of your partner?


Well said Girlfriend!

AND AND AND: For every single stinking loser out there harassing women: You are personally responsible for their loss of career, incomes, retirement benefits. You made it harder for them to succeed, support their families. You took away their safety. Don’t ask for forgiveness. SHUT UP AND GO AWAY.

Also – for all you men that say “I’m not like that” and aren’t like that: So what? You don’t get a cookie, or even a mention, for hitting the minimum bar on basic human decency.

If you’ve lived your life unaware, or knew but didn’t say anything, or looked away when you saw it happening, or quietly offered support without making a rumpus at the offender, I think you are part of the problem. Too damn bad if this makes you uncomfortable. Why should I feel any sympathy?

When I think of the landscape of my life, all the women I know - every single one of them has been harassed, verbally denigrated or assaulted at least once in their lives. THINK ABOUT THAT.

For you guys that did take a stand back before it was cool: Now make your buddies do it too. It is the new minimum behavior bar.

WHEW

I’m hoping this is the last ranty rant rant in me. OH WAIT: PRESIDENT PUSSY GRABBER IS A PATHETIC IGNORANT LOSER.
Tuesday, November 21st, 2017
12:34 pm
Ranty Ranty Pants
Out to dinner with friends Sunday night and got embroiled in the whole ‘Take a knee/NFL Bullshit.”

For the record, I hate football. It’s a boring game played by a bunch of domestic abusers giving each other traumatic brain injuries. I'm paralyzed with the not caring. The fact that the NFL is classified as a non-profit, which allows for the stadiums to be built at taxpayer expense to enrich team owners, mystifies me.

SO – if someone uses their constitutionally protected right of free speech to make a point AND it makes racists mad enough to stop watching football on TV, then I see it as a win-win.

AND FINALLY – if you are ignorant of the legacy of institutionalized racism in this country, understanding of peoples of colors horrific experiences at the hands of police and white people in general, or current events, then you need to work on your stunning lack of education and empathy. YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

WoW!! It felt great to get that out of my system.
Sunday, October 15th, 2017
5:14 pm
Japan
I've spent the last 5 weeks in Japan. Its been awesome. I thought I'd write every day but NOPE. I've been too busy having fun. Miss Peg and Gary have (of course) been great hosts. I am so lucky to have them as my friends!

I've posted a ton of pictures on Instagram. Patkloehn

I'll get around to writing up specific adventures after I return to the US. Japan is lovely on every level. I've been living in the future.
Friday, September 15th, 2017
2:48 pm
First moments in Tokyo
I'm in Japan with my beloved Miss Peg (she and Gary have a diplomatic posting and Im mooching for all I'm worth)for the next 5 weeks. These first two weeks, Tom and Evan are here too. We all got in and met up about 18 hours ago. This is the email I sent to family and friends.
+++

Its 2am in Tokyo and I am WIDE AWAKE. Yeesh. So HI!

Holy Moley - that is one long ass 14 hour plane ride from Atlanta to Japan. I read a whole book, most of The Big Bang Theory's latest season and watched two bad movies. Film note: Unforgettable was krapastic crap. I so enjoyed its awfulness. BUT this is just to give you an idea of how long 14 hours in an airplane really is! I also spent a lot of time with the eye shade thingy on pretending to be asleep.

The hardest part of the whole trip was after the plane - getting through immigration, then finding the right transport from Norita to the right part of Tokyo. Evan came in to the airport much closer and figured out the metro in about 9 seconds. Tom and I had a 40 minute bus ride. LESSON LEARNED.

Miss Peg and Gary live in a two story, 6 bedroom 5 full bathroom penthouse in the American Embassy complex. When you come through immigration you have to tell them how long you are staying and where you are staying. Writing 'American Embassy' on the form made for extra grilling from the intake official. It was pretty funny.

Someone here made extra special gourmet mayonnaise and put Garys picture on the label. I giggled myself into hiccups when I saw the jar. Evan looks great and is really excited to be here. Tom managed to have a terrible calamity with his airline meal and wore most of it on his shirt for the trip. We looked like the Clampets by the time we got to the residence. I've never been so happy to take a shower!

Tokyo is beautiful and clean clean clean. I've yet to see so much as a cigarette butt on the ground.
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
10:17 am
Hades Chyyld
Excerpts from email about Tom's movie part! I CANNOT WAIT to see Mr. Wonderful in a wig, spandex and eye makeup! What a gift from the universe!

From: Robert Glenn Plotner
Date: July 17, 2017 at 3:54:31 PM EDT
Subject: Cherryville Band

Hi guys,

Welcome to the newly formed Cherryville band, Hades Chyyld.

I have several sets of lyrics (early stage songs) upon which we can build. Some of these have basic melodies attached to them, but I am thoroughly open to and encourage you to take these to their best. I encourage creativity and experimentation and want to add you to songwriting credits depending on your contributions. If you develop independent songs, I will be happy to review, though bear in mind, I have to balance what I see as the fictional band within the plot of the movie, who they are, and their motivations. There is a consistency that has to be objectively maintained. All of this we can work through and discuss.

Also, begin to think about the 'look' of your character, especially research some of the wilder hair metal bands from the period. Spandex, leather, accessories, make-up looks, and especially the hair (we will definitely have to look into wigs to make it happen). Take a look here, for instance: http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/1225/12702/Top-10-Worst-Hair-Metal-Bands.html.

Thank you so much. This is going to be a blast!
Robert

Show of hands: who thinks these boots (with black nail polish) are absolutely necessary?

Monday, July 17th, 2017
9:25 pm
Cherryville
In the Life is Sometimes TOO FUNNY FILE: I have another tale!

I’m in Maryland for the month, visiting family & taking care of business. Tom is in Atlanta, working and wishing his wife would come home and cook dinner. We have a nightly phone date.

Tom’s work at CNN Atlanta is very different from what it was in the DC Bureau. He is no longer (thank GWAD because: Trump) tied to the Political Cycle or Breaking News. He manages a huge project that intersects IT, engineering, broadcast technology and advertising data mining. He finds every aspect very interesting. Plus - since he doesn’t have to help cover the news, its acres less stressful. Win-Win. He’s had time to restart another favorite interest - music.

Tom has been a drummer since middle school. He loves playing in a band. He’s found fellow CNN nerds to play with. They stay after work & play at the Techwood studios.

One of the band guys sent Tom a notice he’d found on Craigslist. An indie film production is looking to cast a drummer. They were looking for “a pudgy guy from New Jersey.” Here is the casting call I found on Backpage.com.

Movie Premise: Aging 80’s metal hair band looking for work. They are Spinal Tap awful. Child of PBS executive hears them somehow, loves them & not knowing/understanding what the band really is, wants them to be the soundtrack of a developing children’s show.

To get this job, the band has to go in “look” from heavy metal hair rockers to Mr. Rodgers.

Tom thought it was funny because his co worker had sent it to him. We had a good laugh. I told him I wanted him to audition. He was doubtful. I pointed out that he had been in every film our Son made as a kid. We both agreed that he is a big ham.

Mostly to be irritating, I suggested several monologues from movies. Why not Ferris Bueller, Rock of Ages, Almost Famous? Tom basically told me to Get a Grip. The director said “You can read lines from the script.” Fine, don’t emote all over the place. What fun is that? He poo poo’ed my plea to do a headshot.

Off Tom went on Saturday night. “Be sure,” I told him, “to do that annoying thing where you rattle your drumsticks one handedly over every surface while you tap your foot. And don’t forget the incredibly irritating hug that you finish off with a drum roll on my back.”

After, he called me laughing. The group of musicians & actors ranged from a 40 year old that was driven there by his Mother “He’s been playing since he was 17” to a bass guitarist that walked in with his friend carrying a large cardboard box. He sat with the box on his lap the entire audition. I asked Tom “So what was in the box?” “I dunno,” Tom said, “I kind of think it was funnier not to know, but I’m guessing ferret.”

There was also an assortment of guys with “long hair, eyeliner, tattoos, studded pants and despite the fact that it was face melting hot, leather jackets and big boots.” There were a lot of girlfriends in “groupie” outfits. As near as I could tell, that was butt crack shorts and cowboy boots.

Of course Tom was wearing Classic Dad uniform - cargo shorts, a t shirt from K Mart and athletic shoes. What he would have been wearing on a Saturday with or without audition.

Apparently the director announced to the room that those with long hair would eventually “have to cut their hair for the part.” This caused a mini exodus. The 40 year old stormed out saying “That ain’t right, man” to his Mother, who apologized and drove him home. Cardboard box guy left too.

Tom said that he had come early enough to hear the other groups of musicians get sorted and play. He walked in and immediately re-arranged the drums for how he liked set up, while telling the director what he did (CNN) and joking about “being in shape for the part.”

We both agreed that it was a fun way to spend a Saturday night. I can’t believe he didn’t ask what was in the box.

THIS HAPPENED TODAY:

Tom,

Enjoyed having you to the audition Saturday and would like to offer you the role of drummer Tommy Silvi. All of the drummers were great, and it was a tough decision, but you not only had the chops, but you also read very well which I think is going to be important going forward.

The band is set, and once you confirm, I will begin follow up emails to put together a rehearsal schedule.

+++++
For the record, I am now married to a movie/rock star.
Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
4:18 pm
Wrangell
Wrangell Alaska has considerable charm. For one thing, it wasn’t the ferry. It was good to be back on dry land, with the possibility of non-fried food, beds that weren’t plastic lawn chairs and a glass of wine with dinner.

Amanda had a deadline, Tom wasn’t there for another day and I had all the time in the world to wander around and explore. First order of business was to donate a copy of one of Ed’s books, Under the Protection of the Cow Demon, to the Wrangell Library.

The librarian couldn’t have been nicer to a snively old lady. She also had no problem with me borrowing a book. “Well,” she told me, “You can leave your cellphone number if you want. Just bring the book back before you leave.” Ok then.

Along with three Hardware stores and a Marine Supply store, there were Pirates on Main Street.


Naturally I had a favorite Pirate


There were some beautiful Totem Poles


It took me a while to notice how quiet the place was. Huge Ravens were everywhere being noisy and sometimes making a noise that to me, sounded like an electronic car lock. Occasionally a car or boat or float plane would zip by, but mostly it was silent in a way I had never heard. No sirens, no traffic noise. I could hear the wind in the trees. All my life I’ve lived in densely populated urban landscapes. This was a completely different environment.

Everything was in bloom, including the walls.


My Mom’s birthday is in July. In Maryland, a flower called Queen Ann’s Lace was always blooming. In Wrangell, it looked a little different and was called Indian Celery.


Wrangell is a working town. Fishing season was about to start, so people were preping their nets.


I really liked this pile of fishing stuff.


Boat and Moose Antlers made me laugh.


Amanda and I met for dinner at The Hungry Beaver. It was THE (as in the only) place for pizza in Wrangell. We watched a really bad date happen. The waitress was friendly, so we asked: There seemed to be a lot more men than women in Wrangell?

“Yes,” she told us. “The odds are good but the goods are odd.”
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