Friday, April 23, 2010

Then and Now

Ok, this is the view from my front yard circa 1954 when my grandparents bought the house:

This is the same view taken yesterday:
 I had found the original photo mixed in with a bunch of old pictures and I thought it was fascinating to see what our neighborhood looked like before the 405 Freeway, aka "San Diego Freeway" cut right down the middle of the neighborhood.

I'm going to have the original photo enlarged and framed and hung in my entryway so I can be reminded of What Used to Be. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Goin' to the Chapel

21 years ago today I was sitting in a small room here:
It was hot and stuffy and I was impatiently waiting for my cue to go and appear at the door of the chapel on the arm of my dad who would lead me up the aisle to my density destiny to become Mrs. TheManTheMyth.  But the clock was ticking and I sat there waiting, waiting, waiting.  Which is pretty unusual when you think about it.  Aren't brides always supposed to be late?  Not me.  I had done my own hair and makeup at home and all I had to do when I got to the chapel was change into my dress and put on my veil and await my cue.

But no wedding can come off without a hitch (get it?) and mine was no exception.  I'm sitting in that hot and stuffy room on that beautiful April day, waiting, waiting, waiting.  And wondering what the heck was taking so long.  Finally, the minister comes in and says, "We have a bit of a problem."  Problem?  We have a problem?  What kind of problem do we have, I ask, wondering if TheManTheMyth had bailed on me (he didn't...but probably has wished more than once that he did).

Turns out our best man was in a bit of a fender bender in the parking lot and  an ambulance had been called (not for him) and he had to give a police report so it would be about a half hour before he would be done and would I like some water or something while I waited?

No, what I wanted was to walk down the aisle and get married!  What I did not want was to sit in that hot and stuffy room any longer.  So, in an unusual twist, TheManTheMyth was brought in from mingling with the guests outside the chapel and he was kept hidden from me and I went to say howdy to all my guests who were hanging outside the chapel until it was time to go in and get the show on the road.
After about 45 minutes, our Best Man finally appeared and it was Show Time!  My Daddy proudly walked me down the aisle to hand me off to TheManTheMyth.
I defied ANYONE to stand up and claim I had no business wearing a veil over my face.  Don't you judge me.

So the minister pronounced us Husband and Wife and off we headed to our reception where we entered to great fanfare as Mr. and Mrs. TheManTheMyth:
It was time to Par-Tay!
My Gramma, in the purple dress was a dancing fool!  We couldn't get her off the dance floor.

During the "pay to dance with the happy couple" portion, I was dancing with this guy and as he was unfamiliar to me, I asked him his name, which was Chuck, and asked if he was a friend of TheManTheMyth's.  He wasn't.  I asked if he was a friend of either family.  He wasn't.  I asked him if he was the date of any of our friends.  He wasn't.  Ok, I give up.  He was a Wedding Crasher!  He happened to stop by the house of one of our groomsmen the morning of the wedding and decided he had nothing better to do that day so he rounded up a group of friends and they all came and crashed our wedding.  I found out later that Chuck bummed a couple of bucks from my sister so he could dance with me.  We still see Chuck every so often and we always laugh about how we met when he crashed our wedding.

TheManTheMyth and I didn't get a honeymoon because I had just started a new job and was lucky to get the Friday and Monday of that weekend off.  But we spent a very memorable wedding night.  Memorable for the wrong reasons.

After the reception, TheManTheMyth's Uncle Bob invited everyone over to his house to wind down and relax, which we did for a couple of hours.  TheManTheMyth changed out of his wedding attire and put on a pair of shorts and a Hawaiian shirt and some flip-flops.  Then my new husband and I headed off to our hotel where we had dinner reservations at the fancy French restaurant at the hotel which was good because I was STARVING.  We get to the hotel, check in at the desk and then can't find the building where our room is located.  We drove around and around and I was getting pretty irritable as I hadn't really eaten all day and when my blood sugar drops, I get, well, bitchy.  

So we finally find our room (no, I wasn't carried over the threshold) and start to get ready for dinner.  TheManTheMyth opens his suitcase and I hear him say, "uh oh."  He was looking into an empty suitcase.  This was not good.  There was no way we could go down to the fancy French restaurant with him in shorts and flip flops.  We got into our first fight over what happened to his clothes that *I* had packed myself to make sure he didn't forget them.  What the hell happened to his clothes?  What were we supposed to do for dinner?  I called room service and was told it would be well over an hour before they could deliver anything.  I was so hungry and angry and hungry that I just wanted to cry.  But instead, I picked up the phonebook, picked up the phone and called Dominos because they deliver.  And they did, in less than 30 minutes.  I pretty much blocked everything out around me and inhaled that pizza.  And when I was done, I turned to look at TheManTheMyth with a smile on my face that faded when I saw that he was passed out sound asleep.  Goody.

We found out the next day that while we were at Uncle Bob's after the wedding, my BIL needed a change of clothing for some reason and asked TheManTheMyth if he had any spare clothes in the car.  TheManTheMyth told him there should be something in the car not realizing that his brother helped himself to the clothes in the suitcase.  I think alcohol was a factor in this decision as it never occurred to BIL that there was a reason there were clothes in a suitcase in our car on our wedding day.

So that was what was happening in my life 21 years ago.  And every day I tell TheManTheMyth how much he loves me and he just nods his head and says, "yes dear."

Ahhh, wedded bliss!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Clowns to the left of me

So yesterday I decided to make my annual trek to the Antique Swap Meet held at Long Beach's Veteran's Stadium on the 3rd Sunday of each month.  I used to go about 4 times a year, quarterly I guess you'd call it but nowadays once, maybe twice a year is sufficient.  One of these days I will make it to the Grandaddy (Grand Daddy?) of Antique swap meets at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  But yesterday wasn't the day.

Whenever I attend this thing, no matter what month or season it is, it's always hot.  It could be raining in other parts of the city but at Vets Stadium, it's always sunny and hot.  Dunno why.  So I dressed accordingly in capris, a white t-shirt, a visor to keep the sun out of my eyes and I wore my well-cushioned Sketchers Shape Up shoes so that I could kill two birds with one stone:  a lovely day of shopping AND get some fitness walking in.  

I never have anything in particular in mind to buy when I go, mostly I go for the people watching and to see what kind of crap people are hawking as "collectibles."  And I'm never disappointed.  This time, there seemed to be 2 "themes" that were well represented, clowns and religious stuff.  Is anyone seeing the irony and/or joke here?  I know I am.

Now let me say right now that I don't like clowns.  They scare the bejeezus out of me.  I do not find them cute or humorous or amusing in any way, shape or form.  Maybe it's because when I was a kid, there was a bit of hysteria in our neighborhood because of rumors of a child molester who dressed up as a clown to entice children or maybe it's just the makeup.  Bozo the Clown and Ronald McDonald are both uber-creepy and lets not talk about the clown in Stephen King's "It."

Anyhoo, it seemed I couldn't go down a row without seeing these portraits:
Doesn't it look like someone took a Magic Marker and drew in the eyebrows?  A couple of rows later I saw this:
Ewww!  I didn't get close enough to see if they were by the same "artist" because I just didn't want to get any closer than I already did to take the photos because, well, ewww (shudders).

So I'm traipsing along, just glancing at the displays on either side of the aisles when THIS catches my eye:
I think it's supposed to be a "lamp" but I think it's actually some sort of freakish sex toy disguised as a lamp but I could be wrong although I really don't think so.  Feel free to add your opinions.

I continue on my merry way and I see many sellers of religious artifacts.  I couldn't always take a photo because the vendors would kind of give me the stink-eye when I held up my BlackBerry in an obvious manner.  I saw vendors selling hundreds of rosaries which made me wonder of some of my Gramma's rosary collection was mixed in there.  When my Gramma died and we were going through her things, I found dozens and dozens of rosaries, which were snatched up at the estate sale.  I had no idea they were such a hot commodity!  I saw this on a table.  If I remember my saints, and I really don't to be honest, I think this is the Infant Child/Jesus of Prague:
Very fluffy and ruffly with a cool crown.  I love crowns so that's what initially caught me eye.  

Several aisles later I see a whole bunch of statues and icons and and because they were quite colorful, I had to take a look.
You have to click on the picture to really see just how BAD these are.  They looked like they were made in an "Occupational Therapy" class by someone who was still detoxing.  Or by the person who painted those clown portraits.

I continue my walk and on a table I see the largest pair of shoes I've ever seen:
You can't even tell just how big these shoes were/are.  I should have put one next to my foot just for comparison.  I wear a Ladies size 8 and these were easily twice as big.  Thing 1 has a crony who wears a size 13 and these were WAY bigger and I thought to myself, "Damn."

By now I was getting pretty tired but I was bound and determined I would go up and down EVERY aisle because you just never know what's there.  At one point I spotted a 1968 wall map of Disneyland with a price tag of $75 and I felt more than a bit smug because a couple of years ago while at the swap meet, I found the same map tucked into a pile of old technical manuals and I snatched it up for $18.  One of these days I will have it framed and hung on the wall above my desk because it's pretty cool.

I saw a really cool Art Deco radio that members of my family who read my blog will recognize as the one that until recently had been the property of my sister and brother-in-law:
It had matched their Art Deco Storytone piano, which wasn't at the swap meet:

Heading out to the exit I saw one last thing:
This chair was easily 5 feet across and the reason it looks so shiny is that not only was it upholstered in a silver crushed velvet brocade type of fabric but also had a custom (obviously) clear plastic slipcover to protect the upholstery.  It would definitely make a statement in your living room but I'm not sure what kind of statement you want to make with that chair.

I did make 2 purchases, a skirt:
that I put on as soon as I got home and a book to add to my Laura Ingalls Wilder/Little House collection:
I had no idea this book even existed!  I though I had all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and biographies out there so this was quite a find.  And it was only $5!

Thus ended my annual jaunt to the Antiques Swap Meet.