Showing 1 - 10 of 113 posts found matching keyword: mom

I think my mother might be trying to gaslight me.

She tells me that I eat too much white bread. Every day when I wake up and go to the refrigerator for milk, she warns me "you're almost out of bread." When I look, she's right. There are only a few pieces left.

How can that be? When last I went shopping, I bought a loaf of Sunbeam Giant, enough bread to choke a horse. I've had the occasional peanut butter and honey sandwich for dinner — most of you would call it a "midnight snack" — but that's only a couple of slices in the past week.

Where's my bread going? Am I sleep eating? Does bread evaporate overnight? Or, as I suspect, is my mother throwing the slices away one at a time in a devious plan to get me to eat multigrain?

I'm on to you, Mom. You'll not trick me. White bread for life!

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Walking through Oak Hill Cemetery last week with Mom and the girls, we passed the burial plot for J.W.A. and Zippora Rowland. As you can see, only one of them was buried there.

You'll note that there is no death date for Zippora, though the engraver presumed it would happen sometime in the 20th century. That marker visible on the bottom right isn't for her, it's J.W.A.'s. Why is his body on Zippora's side of the bed? That's just the tip of the iceberg of what I don't know about Zippora. Who was she, and why isn't she buried along with her name? Of course this made me curious, so I did a little Googling.

It seems J.W.A. Rowland lived most of his life not in Newnan but in Bowdon in neighboring Carroll County. I don't know what he did for a living, but the Carroll Free Press of the late 19th century reports that he was the initial vice president of the Carroll County Chorus Choir Association. (That meeting appears to have been in the Shiloh UMC building which still stands halfway between Carrollton and Bowdon.) Still in Bowdon in 1892, he was witness on a U.S. Patent application for Ocran D. Bunt's plow fender (patent #467853). "James W.A. Rowland" appears as a 72 year old man living in Newnan, GA by the time of the 1920 census. Nearer his death, he was a co-plaintiff in a 1921 lawsuit against the Central of Georgia Railway Company in which he won $250. (They were riding in a buggy "when the mule drawing it ran away and threw them out," causing injuries. It's not clear what role the railroad played, but the court said they were guilty.)

None of those references mention Zippora.

Zippora Rowland does show up in the 1930 census as a 62-year-old woman living in Newnan, GA. "Zippora" was never a popular name, but I don't find any reference to her in the local papers of the era.

So whatever happened to Zippora? Did she remarry? Did she die somewhere else, and no one knew to bring her back to Newnan where her marker was waiting for her? I like to think she's still alive somewhere, enjoying the good life on her sesquicentennial birthday. Here's to you, Zippora!

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No time like the present to get a jump on March movies watched, so let's get started!

39. (1268.) An American in Paris (1951)
Should I have seen this movie before now? Yes. Am I disappointed I waited so long? No. Music, set design, and choreography are great. But Gene Kelly plays his usual, self-centered asshole, and I just don't really like spending time with him.

40. (1269.) The Cisco Kid and the Lady (1939)
Not so long ago, Mom pointed out that the relationship between The Cisco Kid and his sidekick Pancho were the template for Hanna-Barbera's Quick Draw McGraw and his sidekick Baba Looey. That led me to this Caesar Romero western/comedy that was actually quite charming.

41. (1270.) Pixels (2015)
Frankly, it's not as bad as all the reviews make it out to be, but that could be partly because I wasted too much time (and too many quarters) in video arcades in the 1980s and am tolerant of many of the film's indulgences. Don't mistake that previous sentence as an endorsement. The editing is terrible and the movie-watching experience would be better if you walked out before the ridiculously stupid third act started. All I'm saying is it isn't The Worst Movie Ever™ as some critics have portrayed it. (I *still* say that's Armageddon.)

42. (1271.) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
I loved, loved, loved the first half of this movie. The pace congeals somewhat in the second half, adding Rihanna's character is a huge mistake, and it really should have been called Valerian and Lauraline (Cara Delevingne is actually the best part of the entire movie), but the action-packed sci-fi of the first half is alone worth the whole price of admission.

43. (1272.) Darkest Hour (2017)
Damn, can Gary Oldman act! I had to remind myself it wasn't actually Churchill appearing in this biography. Totally worth a watch.

More to come.

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The 2018 Winter Olympic Games may have come and gone, but they didn't stop the movie watching. Here's batch 2 for February.

26. (1255.) The Foot Fist Way (2006)
The movie that made Danny McBride a star! Actually, I think that may have been Pineapple Express, but this was earlier. It's exactly the sense of humor you've come to expect from McBride, so if you generally think his movies/TV shows are funny, here's some more. (Personally, I waffle. I think McBride's persona is entertaining in ensemble casts, but I can only take so much of his signature self-absorbed abrasiveness in one sitting.)

27. (1256.) Inside Out (2015)
Mom loved this movie, but I was only lukewarm. Too much touchy-feely for Walter, I suspect. The only time I was really captivated was when we got a look inside other people's heads at their control crews. To clarify: good movie well made, just not to my tastes.

28. (1257.) Congratulations, It's a Boy! (1971)
Bill Bixby plays the antithesis of his usual, responsible adult as a spoiled playboy discovering a grown son he didn't know he had. (Mom named the boy after Bixby's character, but told the son that dad was dead. That's some great parenting.) There is a subplot involving Bixby's overbearing parents' mistakenly thinking that their son and their grandson are in a homosexual relationship, but that's too little too late to save an otherwise dull affair.

29. (1258.) Rapture-Palooza (2013)
I don't usually like end-of-the-world movies, but this slapstick comedy wasn't so bad, perhaps because darling Anna Kendrick was there cushion the blow that everyone's living in Hell on Earth.

30. (1259.) The Ultimate Warrior (1975)
This is not about the WWF superstar wrestler but Yul Brynner's rather boring attempt to save Max von Sydow's post-apocalyptic commune. Yawn. (It could have used some Anna Kendrick.)

31. (1260.) Meet Wally Sparks (1997)
Golly, I remember this movie getting a lot of bad press on initial release. I can understand why, although if you're attending a Rodney Dangerfield comedy, you shouldn't be expecting Citizen Kane. It's not worse than any Chris Farley or Adam Sandler movie of the same era. Plus, in part because the movie spends most of its time lampooning the Southern manners of the citizens of the Great State of Georgia, it's got Coke!

Drink Coke! (Wally Sparks)
None of these kids is Wally Sparks.

More to come.

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As you may recall, I destroyed Mom's 2012 Kia Optima back at the beginning of August. Replacing it has turned out to be a bit of an uphill journey.

After a month of insurance negotiations and car shopping, Mom picked out a 2017 Nissan Murano the first weekend in September. (She was looking at a model with a heated steering wheel, and I talked her into saving $5000 by buying a slightly different car. As you will see, I should have kept my mouth shut.)

First try

The Murano had all the safety features she wanted plus luxury to spare. Unfortunately, it also had problems. We only had it for two weeks when I discovered rust under the dashboard (and under the driver's seat, and behind the rear seats, and around the spare tire . . .). It took Nissan another month to declare the problem a factory defect. Eventually, Mom negotiated a buyback under Georgia's Lemon Law. Goodbye, sweet Murano.

(On a related note, we're selling a set of black WeatherTech® floor mats for a 2017 Murano, if anyone is in the market.)

Mom started her car search over from the beginning. She still wanted safety features, but she never got used to driving such a large SUV. So she got something smaller instead. Introducing Mom's 2018 Ford Escape!

Try, try again

I promise you, I've been over the whole car with a magnifying glass. There's a scratch on the interior of the driver's side headlight cover, but I can't find anything else wrong with it. It certainly isn't rusted. (And it does have a heated steering wheel.)

The Escape only has a three-year warranty on the interior electronics, so if I'm going to ruin this one, I need to act fast. I'll keep you posted.

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This year Mom woke me up early (read: noon) because she was eager to open her Christmas presents. She actually shouted that I needed to wake up and see what Santa Claus brought me. Then she tossed a small bag of coal in my bed. Bah, humbug!

When did I become the parent in this relationship?

I gave Mom a coffee press. She gave me a VR headset that turned my smartphone into a migraine-inducing nightmare machine. Together, we had a great time. I can't wait to do it all again next year.

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For no good reason, I bought a Wilton gingerbread house kit from Michaels earlier this month with the plan that Mom and I would build it together. That plan was somewhat spoiled when my father interrupted our house raising. (He needed tech support for the Kindle I bought him last Christmas that he just now decided to activate for the first time.) Mom went to bed while I was on the phone, and I finished our house without her.

We went shopping for a do-over replacement kit, but Michaels was sold out. Rather than give up, I doubled down. I found a recipe and made enough gingerbread for two more houses, one for Mom to decorate and one for me. (No tech support call could defeat this plan!)

'Are you going to make a gingerbread house?' asked the cashier. 'I did that when I was a child.'
Click photo to embiggen.

In the photo above, the shared kit house is on the left with the rainbow roof. Mom's greenhouse is in the middle. My sloppy icicle house is on the right.

For my standalone house, I decided I was only going to use candy accessories that I would eat. Turns out, I don't like the taste of rainbows. Who knew?

Though I'm reasonably satisfied with the final results, the best part wasn't decorating but baking the gingerbread. (The house smelled so good!) Therefore, next year I think we'll just decorate homemade gingerbread men. And we'll turn off our cellphones, just in case.

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Today was a UGA home game. The Bulldogs played Samford in Sanford Stadium at 7:30pm. However, I wasn't there to see it. Instead, I had to spend the day on Tybee Island with Mom.

She seeks sea shells by the sea shore.

Don't get me wrong. I love Tybee. (And I love Mom.) Tybee is a charming coastal town with some fantastic scenery. (And Mom is Mom.) I'm happy to report that most of the island survived Hurricane Irma just fine, though plenty of scars from last week's storm were still visible everywhere. But it wasn't Tybee's beauty or Irma's wrath (or Mom's Momness) that brought us to the Georgia coast. No, we were here to attend friend Brian's beach wedding in the shadow of Tybee's historic lighthouse.

Mom is a big fan of former Secretary of State George Marshall

Mom rented a wonderful house at 117 Cedarwood Drive, and she, Audrey, July, and I used it as a base of operations for our weekend stay. Mom frequently visited the beach (just a few hundred yards to our north) to collect shells, each time leaving Audrey behind to rue Tybee's draconian "no pets on the beach" policy.

Bring me back a pizza!

Sadly, I somehow managed not to take any pictures of the groom or bride, Veronika. For that matter, I don't have any pictures of groomsmen friends Ken, Keith, or Michael, either. The wedding party didn't show up on the beach until after the wedding officiant warned the attendees not to take pictures because that was the wedding photographer's job. Instead, you'll just have to be satisfied with this screen grab from the lovebird's official wedding website.

You know it's true because it's on the Internet.

In fact, the only picture I have of the wedding was taken by friend James. (James was one of my few friends in attendance who wasn't actually in the wedding party. Matt was the other. Why was I not in the wedding party? I'm sure it had no small part to do with my vowing to Brian after Keith's wedding that I would never wear anything dressier than jeans to a wedding again. "Except mine?" Brian asked. "Even yours," I answered. That's what I like about Brian. He listens.) James couldn't resist disobeying the order not to take any pics, but he somehow still managed not to get the wedding party. (Reminder: "Never do what James does.")

My wedding photo

I haven't attended a lot of weddings. I don't like them. Yet I found this one left an especially bittersweet taste for many reasons, not the least of which was that Brian was the last of my single friends likely to get married. From this point forward, we're all more likely to reunite at a funeral than another wedding. That's an uncomfortable thought, though it's better than imagining the possibility that I may have to sit through yet another wedding ceremony.

Thanks to Irma, there is much less dune area to be fined in.

Good luck, Brian and Veronika. Do me a favor and be so happy together that we don't have to do this all over again, ok? Thanks.

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Today is the first day of the 12th Annual Batman and Football Month at Wriphe.com!

I started the celebration early by attending last night's inaugural Georgia State University game at Turner Field Petit Field at Georgia State Stadium. (Yeah, that name's not going to stick.)

TSU 17, GSU 10
This is an optical illusion. The stands were not this full.

Seven years ago Mom and I attended her alma mater's first ever football game, and we weren't going to miss the unveiling of their new home. Two games in seven years: that's better than I've managed for my old high school. And it might be the last GSU game I ever attend. If GSU and the city of Atlanta can't get their act together better than what I saw yesterday, I won't be back even in another seventy years.

It's not that the game was especially bad, although Georgia State was horribly outplayed by Tennessee State University. (The final score was 17-10 TSU, but it wasn't remotely that close.) Fittingly, the beer stands outnumbered concession stands three to one, which is a good ratio if your team sucks. Also disappointing was the pretzels. I never stood in the long lines to buy one, but I could see from a distance that they had ceased being twisted into "GSU" shapes. Pooh.

But what really, really sucked was the traffic. From the time I exited I-85 onto Fulton Street, it took an hour and ten minutes to drive two blocks to reach the Green Lot where I had prepaid for parking. While I'm no civil engineer, the problem appeared to be that there was absolutely no one directing traffic. Not a single policeman was seen until I was inside the stadium. Traffic was left to direct itself, and it went even more poorly than you might expect. I've been to a lot of football games, and this was the first time ever that it took longer to arrive than leave. (We left in the third quarter to avoid a second round of traffic jousting, and departure took all of 2 minutes.) If MLB games were anything like this, no wonder the Braves fled to the suburbs.

Ultimately, despite all obstacles, I had a good time because I'm just so glad that football season is back. (And the terrific TSU marching band helped, too.) Welcome back, football!

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This weekend, Mom and I (and Audrey and July) traveled north to Copperhill, TN, where we watched the Great American Eclipse of 2017 from the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church.

We had intended to watch from McCaysville, GA, where my grandfather once considered buying a grocery store. The GA/TN state line bisects the town into McCaysville and Copperhill. Both were in the path of totality, and since the sun didn't care which side we were on, we didn't either.

If you didn't see the eclipse in totality, know that the first thing that happens as the sun disappears is that the temperature of the light gets wrong, like a failing fluorescent light. Gradually it gets darker (and cooler), until it looks (and feels) like twilight. Then the sun disappears, and you can take off your sun glasses and see some of the brighter stars.

Here are some pics I took of the process about 5 minutes apart. The final pic is during the blackout. (Note that Mom is looking at me, not the sun. The steeple shadow will give you an idea where in the sky the sun was.)

August 21, 2017, 2:24:10

August 21, 2017, 2:31:57

August 21, 2017, 2:35:01

(Also note that the light on the right side of the building in the third pic came from the two streetlights which switched on just before totality. Mom's not in that last pic because she had moved over here.)

I do not have a picture of eclipse itself. My camera wasn't up to the task. You can see plenty of better pics elsewhere. It's not like true night. Despite what you see in photographs, the sky never really goes black. It turns a beautiful shade of royal blue, and the sun's corona is clearly visible as a white halo.

Some call it "unbelievable" or "miraculous." I wouldn't use either word. But it is pretty cool looking. And it's certainly worth a look in person if you get a chance.

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To be continued...

 

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