Sunday, April 29, 2018
Saturday, April 28, 2018
This is the Lynnfield Rapid Station in Shaker Heights, taken around 1927. Waiting for the rapid are what appears to be three or four males, all wearing caps - a hallmark of boys and young men into their twenties in that era. We are looking East-Northeast. The building is there - a bit of a community touchstone - but the wide open spaces are now full of four and five story luxo-apartments and mondo condos from the 1940s and 1950s.
In Shaker Heights, the light rail has always been called the "Rapid" because when it started, it was the fastest way to get downtown. There are two lines of Rapids serving Shaker, the Van Aken line, which is where the Lynnfield station is, and the Shaker Boulevard line which terminates at Green Road. I have no idea why it's called Green Road, it just is.
Beyond the Green Road terminus, is miles and miles of right away to the east that once served the Nickle Plate Rail Road. The Van Swearingen brothers, who founded Shaker Heights bought the Nickle Plate just to get the right away for Shaker commuters. Eventually, the line was to extend east, but the Depression, the death of one of the brothers - they were not twins, but they were everything to each other that if one didn't know better one would have thought they were Siamese Twins - the collapse of the Railway empire they built and then the death of the second brother ended that hope.
As I type this in, the Van Aken line has its own temporary "green" goal - the rebuilding of Van Aken Center is clad in green sheathing as the new building go up. Eventually, the new complex will try and meld offices, retail and condos together into the "New Urbanism" mold so popular today.
After seeing people bickering online with one and other over this mass of "green" materials, on an uncompleted build out, Cookie is simply annoyed with people who cannot see that the project is unfinished, and the holes for windows haven't yet been cut on the rapid side of the development.
Cookie really would like to kick some people's ass over their freak out on this project.
The city bent over backward to hold public forums to get input on what people wanted for the site, and the residents went.
The people who didn't go these meetings are the Shaker ex-pats, like Cookie, who don't live there any more, but boy ol' boy, are they the ones who are complaining the loudest.
Jesus H. Christ, the griping, bitching blame casting is grating on my nerves.
Grow the fuck up people.
Or, put another way, the Husband, always a bright and cheerful sort point out that Cookie is, in 2018, 5X and born in 196X. If we subtract my age today from the year of my birth, that puts me back to the 1905 to 1915 era. That's kind of scary* when you think about that as a scale of time when you play "what-if's" and "imagine that".
Look, for as much as I loved Shaker, a city cannot live on the memories of what once was. It has to progress. If things could be kept exactly as we remember it in our era, then the people who are standing in this picture would have wanted the area to remain as they remembered it - say in this picture.
Now you are asking, Cookie, what the fuck are you talking about?
Well, remember at the top of the post how I mentioned that this picture was taken about 1927. Remember what I said about taking your age, and subtracting it the year of your birth? Think about. The guys in the pictures are wearing caps, not hates, so they are young men. Say born about 1905ish. Would they expect all the brick apartments and luxo-units to be torn down just to accommodate their memories of this part of the city?
Change is going to happen. It's OK not to like it. It's OK to embrace it. But bitching about a half complete project in a town that you've left behind? Look, you either get with the program or you get left behind.
So sayeth Cookie.
*Cookie's mother was born in 1924 and died in 2010 at 86. If we take 86 from 1924, we get 1838. She would freak out over that.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
|Muscato is such a handsome man. And brilliant as well.|
So, WHO up and shows up at our door at Cookie Manor yesterday?
Mr. Muscato! Sort of like a visit by Mary Poppins, sans the umbrella and the carpet bag.
Well, he didn't show up uninvited. Cookie invited him. So it wasn't a surprise, but it was pure joy.
The reason was simple enough - its spring and in spring, well, you need to go out and see different people, places, and things.
And what better place to see "things" than Baltimore?
As we welcomed him into the bosom of our house, Kevin was having none of it. Yappy, yappy, yappy. But soon, he was giving our friend big love and snuggles.
And where does one take guests when they visit?
First stop was Divine's grave because one must pay tribute to Divine. As you can see, it hasn't been decorated for springtime, and it looks a bit mondo trasho, but Muscato was enchanted and entranced and as in life when he was living, Divine was embalmed.
From there, we hit a twofer. Lunch at Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Followed by viewing of art at the BMA.
Lunch at Gertrude's was, and always is, DIVINE.
However, Cookie kept getting attacked by an old woman in one of those walkers with handbrakes and a seat. Evidently, this is a woman who either has a bladder issue or never had a Sister Mary Immaculata in her life. ("Cookie, Control. Your. Body. Or. It. WILL. Control. You!") No sooner then I had a bit of my club sandwich then WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! as she tried to slink by me like a female cat in heat. Had the dear old Dowager said "excuse me" as she snuck up on my back, I would have gladly stood, moved my chair. No, she was a darling, yet passive aggressive Quaker woman intent on not bothering anyone by bothering anyone.
So what does one see at the BMA? We went to see the "Cone Collection", which is really rather fascinating. The two Cone sisters lived on the same apartment floor, in Baltimore, had a lot of money and were friends with Gertrude Stein. Stein had a lot of artist hanging around her place in Europe, trying to make ends meet so she brought the Cones and the artists together and the Cones bought the paintings.
The paintings were then donated to the BMA when the sisters left this world.
Which, if you think about it, is rather remarkable for a museum like the size of the BMA to have a collection with such a direct provenance. In this way, the BMA is like the Columbus Museum of Art with their Sirak Collection, but better focused. And the Cones knew the immortals whose works they were collecting.
The BMA also has one of Rodin's "Thinker" statues, and the last one I saw was the one at the Cleveland Museum of Art before it was blown up by an unhinged person 46 years ago.
We stayed as long as we could - but when I saw the Dowager with the equipment making a beeline for the Cone collection area, it was God's way of saying "time for today is up."
Thus, was our day.
In other news, I am struggling with allergies. The shots are working as far as sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes and stuffy noses, but I can feel my body at work trying to respond to the allergens but being unable to come up with a response. It's a bit like one's immune system sensing that something is afoot, but unable to figure out why it hasn't the energy to respond.
"Why," asks my immune system, "aren't you sneezing and itchy?" to which my body is saying "Dunno, but a nap sounds lovely."
On the books for tomorrow is an oral coronation ("Arise, Sir Molar!") and more work on this L.A. Project. Ugh, because I would rather be in L.A. than be in Baltimore.
Anyway, Spring has arrived as I sit in my office typing this, I am serenaded by birdsong from outside.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Found this on the Face of Books and it took me back - way back to my early, early childhood.
Cleveland had three major department stores that I can remember in my life. May Company. Higbee's. And The Halle Brother's Company, aka Halle's.
But The May Company's "May's on the Heights" store - quite possibly one of the largest standalone departments stores built outside of a downtown area was near our house by about 10 minutes.
While I am happy to report that Mr. Sneakers and I never made an acquaintance that I recall. the ad does feature the childhood tennis shoe brands of choice for those us born in the Eisenhower and Kennedy years, namely Converse, Red Ball Jets and PF Flyers.
I was a Red Ball Jets child until I graduated to PF Flyers. Converse was not the shoe for flat footed kids like myself.
By the way, the "PF" in the PF Flyers name? Stood for Posture Foundation.
I do not, however, remember "Little Abernathy".
|Angela Cartwright reminds us that Spring fashion is possible, just not on earth.|
Cookie is really feeling very vexed with Mother Nature and her minion, the groundhog, aka a Mr. Phil of Puxatauny, Pennsylvania.
So this year, Phil tells us it is going to be a short winter.
We have, however, seem to find ourselves stuck in Groundhog Day type weather. Grey, cold, and dank.
Even Easter this year was a stinker.
The dogs are so disgusted by it all that "going out" has become a Kabuki Theater effort.
They fritter about like they have to go out. I open the door. Out goes Rocky to the top of the deck stairs while Kevin remains at my feet. Rocky looks around determines that its just grey and "blah", turns around and comes in. Now, these are dogs that like to shoot down those deck steps and charge at anything in the yard, real or imagined under normal circumstances. But no. They just go and sit for their treat that they haven't earned.
"Don't blame us - the weather sucks." And it does.
Well, according to the Weather Channel THAT changes today, and in a BIG way.
Over the next week, we are going from the 50s to the 80s in as fast as time as we can. And it's going to stay like that for ten days or so.
And that means - no rest for the wicked. Cookie will be installing air conditioners in the windows downstairs. Ugh. I loathe window AC units.
But, beggars can't be choosers.
Feast or famine for us.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
"Some days you're the windshield, some days, you're the bug."
~ Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Cookie is having a low energy day.
It happens. It is most likely the "Ohio-lag" - that moment when the adrenaline of last week finally wears off and you realize that five days worth of a nine-hour drive, conferences, visits with old friends and pressure to be here, be there, be everywhere, and then another nine-hour drive, take their toll.
And we can't be perfect every day, every moment. If Cookie thought that he must be perfect every minute of every day, then you would most likely find half-full glasses of brown liquor hidden about the house. I would be ready for the rubber room. Curled in a fetal position. Or I would be Martha Stewart.
But no. I am hauling my lazy ass up and out of the house to do something productive. Unlike Forest Gump, who claims "life is like a box of (generic) chocolates," without a map in the box lid to keep you from eating the Dark Chocolate/Apricot Creme bonbon. Cookie sees the stuff of life as a series of dirty plates. You might as well get them done or they start to pile up.
For if I don't get this errand done, verily it's just going to be another dirty dish waiting to be washed, so to speak.
So please, NO comments wishing me well, or hoping I get better. I will. I am. I am not Bar Bush in palliative care. But when these moments occasionally happen, I am wise enough to know that you have to embrace them.
I am basking in the low energy knowing that it, like this lousy spring weather, shall to pass.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
The Ohio's (yes, plural, because there is no unified State of anything in Ohio) called my name and I harkened back that "YES! I'm coming..."
The Ohio Genealogical Society had its annual meeting in Columbus, and I will ALWAYS go to that event when it's in Columbus because it's on my home turf.
Cookie is now heading home to Baltimore. Leaving everything behind that I hold dear, with the exception of my husband, the dogs, and our house, which are in Baltimore.
I shall miss the grocery stores, the pizza, the manageable traffic and that feeling that it is safe to drive just about anywhere, at any time of the day. Menards, BD's Mongolian BBQ, Hell even Wendy's*. And the FRIENDS! ALL. BETTER. IN. OHIO.
The suitcases are loaded down with Ballreich's potato chips. I wish there were a real way to transport the pizzas and the subs that I ate.
I learned lots and lots about genealogy that I already knew, and remain totally bamboozled by the DNA aspect of it. I know enough to get through the basics, but the glory of the chromosome browser really escapes me.
But it also reminds me that Summer travel is already booked up! Trips back to Ohio, to one Chicago, and one, we hope back to Los Angeles.
*Wendy's in Maryland and northern Virginia are beyond disgusting. Run down, stark, ancient buildings. It's so bad that they sued the franchise holder, DavCo, for the region in 2015. DavCo claims that Wendy's business plans are unrealistic. Well, the outlets are still nasty, with "yellow" roofs - yes, YELLOW. Unfortunately, nothing has changed, here, while the rest of the country the outlets are, for fast food, fabu. That tells me it is still in litigation. So whenever we travel, we scope out a Wendy's for old time sake. You can read more here, here and here.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
I would like to introduce you to "DEBBIE in Different Moods". Debbie is not creative Photoshop. Debbie is or was the real thing from the late 1950s/1960s.
A Barbie knock-off fashion doll (Her clothes form her torso, so her knees are jointed to her skirt), you couldn't change her clothes, but you could change her moods.
Unlike Barbie who came with a wardrobe, Debbie came with four heads, each one conveying a different mood.
Debbie came with:
- A HAPPY face
- A SAD face
- A FURIOUS face - more like I AM GOING TO RIP YOUR FUCKING BALLS OFF Furious.
and a generic RESTING BITCH FACE.
ALL of these faces most striking detail are the Divinelike arched eyebrows and blue eyeshadow.
Each head has the same penis shaped ponytails on its top.
My question is WHY DID THEY STOP MAKING THESE?????
Can you imagine having one in your cube at the cube farm?
"Cookie has a smile on his face, but Debbie has a Furious face. I would stay away."
Anyway, if you have deep pockets, you can buy Debbie online through eBay every now and then, but she'll cost you a little more than sixty-nine cents. Debbie in package is listing north of $100 these days. And worth EVERY PENNY.
Sunday, April 8, 2018
The current book club selection is T.S. Eliot's classic, April is a Motherfucker. In it, we are lashed with the stinging whip of a winter that refuses to release us from its loins. We are beaten by March winds in the month following, drenched in its rains, taunted and teased before relief is finally delivered to us, a bit at a time, and a bit more each time.
And don't even get me started on the scourge of Bitter Wintercrest.
I picked it up this it was a tell-all on April Stevens, which would be some great escapism from this miserable weather. Thankfully it had nothing to do with April Stevens who is Goddess and very sweet woman.
But, it's really more like T.E. Lawrence, than T.S. Eliot if you ask me.
What are your feelings on this miserable April 2018?
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
|The rabbit with the thousand yard stare. The man inside did everything he could to remain calm.|
On Sunday, the *leader of the "free" world*, United States President Donald J. Trump, took to the stage to greet thousands of parents, children, and journalists, and standing next to a decorated veteran wearing an Easter Bunny costume, said the following:
“I want to thank the White House Historical Association and all of the people that work so hard with Melania, with everybody to keep this incredible house or building or whatever you want to call it because there really is no name for it,” the president said, referring to the White House.
“It is special. And we keep it in tip-top shape. We call it sometimes tippy top shape,” said Trump.
Let that sink in for a moment.
The leader of the free-world found himself without facts as he gave an off the Tippy Top of his head speech to thousands of children.
Now Linda Ellerbee once said, "Ideas off the top of one's head are a lot like dandruff, small and flakey." It was a cute quip of common sense, but now it has real meaning.
The man who knowingly ran for the office of the President of the United States cannot remember the following:
1) The building is the White House.
2) The building was built approximately 218 years ago to serve as the official residence of the President of the United States.
3) When it was finished it was named the Presidential Mansion.
4) When it was burned in the War of 1812 by the British, all that was left were the four outer walls.
5) AFTER it was rebuilt and its exterior walls were whitewashed to cover the scorched surfaces of the stone, and it was nicknamed the WHITE HOUSE.
6) It has an address - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and it is also known as such.
7) It is a building of State importance. And that is State as in it the universally recognized residence of the serving leader of this nation.
ALL of this is taught in schools across this country. It is on and in the news. This is not something that requires an advanced degree in anything. This is basic knowledge. It is fact.
But the dumb (as in silent) bunny in the picture's expression captures this all. The President is lost.
And it makes me wonder when Hope Hicks ordered this costume did the phone conversation go something like this:
"I'd like to place an order for an adult Easter Bunny suit for the White House Easter Egg Roll. Yes, the facial expression should be one of amazement, because the man wearing it will be standing with the President. And yes, the President will be saying any crazy-ass thing that comes to mind, so the look has to be "amazement", not shock or consternation..."
The President, the man in the bunny suit, the first lady, and their son are standing in the South Portico, so named because it faces the South. They are either standing under, or on, the Truman Balcony, so named because it was built by President Harry S. Truman - a man who was intellectually smarter than the President could ever be, and a man who was adult enough to understand that "THE BUCK STOPS HERE" means that he as the leader of the free world takes the blame when something goes wrong.
This type of responsibility eludes the current President who blames everyone else for everything and hoards accolades like a demented Daffy Duck's "It's mine! It's mine! I'm a greedy miser."
We can take this "no one knows what to call it" even further. The President is looking out over the South Lawn. Why? Because it faces the God Damned SOUTH.
As for "Tippy-Top", that sounds like a three-year-old who can not articulate that he wants a toy located on the more complexly structured "Very Top Shelf". Even Gloria Epson, the empty-headed debutant fiancee of Patrick Dennis in Aunti Mame would grasp "Top Shelf". But like Trump, Gloria found books very decorative. So, now we have "Tippy Top."
Amazingly, the President did not close the event by saying "All Gone," when it was time to chase the toddlers off the property.
God, I hope someone remembers the job that Hope Hicks had to do every morning after kissing Donald's ass. That would be hanging a tag around his neck with his name, address and a phone number that someone will answer. Because evidently, Donald doesn't know the basics of his name, his address or his phone number for the policeman who is his friend so they can bring him home. And we no longer have pictures of missing children on milk cartons, so that option is out. What a terrible tragedy that would be.
It used to be an aspirational goal for parents to tell their young child that one day they could grow up to be the President.
Now, parents can say to their five years old's, "you can be president right now. Who wants to go to Iowa and Caucas?"
The president is teaching us every day that adulthood and maturity mean nothing when it comes to his agenda. Even MAGA is dead. Now Donny "want to make America Tippy Top again," diddems.