My schedule’s been all bollixed up these days, and I keep missing my 10 a.m. exercise class, Pumping Iron for Cougars and a Few Fat Girls Like Me. So last night I went to Pilates for the first time. Mat Pilates, aka the kind you do in a class, as opposed to the one you do on the special machine, which is called a Reformer.
“Despite the somewhat medieval name,” begins the About.com article about the Pilates Reformer, and that phrase says it all. Isn’t every exercise program an attempt at reform, as it was practiced in the medieval age? Pilates, I found, will reform you fast. Whether you will be aware of your reformation is another matter, however. It depends on whether you can see through the film of sweat pouring into your eyes as you observe your teacher holding herself in the shape of a V, balancing as lightly on her butt as a bird balances on a wire. “Hold it for a moment,” she purrs, holding it for several moments.
The teacher had a lilting accent that I suspect was Brazilian. Those Brazilian babes invented the naked bathing suit, and I guess this is how they stay in shape for it. All I know is, my ass was thoroughly kicked, and today I’m swallowing ibuprofen.
Yoga is like this, too. I used to think of yoga as a gussied-up form of stretching. Due to my freakish anatomy — I’m all torso, with an inseam of about 18 inches, a human basset hound — I can easily get into plow position, even without a warmup. About 10 minutes into my first yoga class, struggling to balance on one leg, a sheen of perspiration popping out all over my face, I thought, goddamn, so much for relaxation. I also lack the ability to do the things yoga teachers are always crooning about: Find your center and empty your mind. The only place I ever successfully emptied my mind while using my body was on horseback, and the feeling was so wonderful, and fleeting, that I’m still suspicious of it. (Nothing like jumping eight fences at a good clip and then having no memory of it to flip you out.) Find me a person who can empty their mind at will, in a darkened room with yoga music playing in the background, and I’ll show you a person who needs some more to think about.
The reaction to Ted Kennedy’s passing was about what you’d expect — and yes, Roy did the roundup — but for sheer amusement, yesterday was a good day to see why I keep Rod Dreher in the folder called Idiots.
At 7:14 a.m.: The tragic life of Ted Kennedy: All the potential for greatness he possessed he squandered because of his inability to transcend his own all too human weaknesses. Chappaquiddick was only the worst of it. He did, of course, achieve a kind of greatness, and one shouldn’t try to take that away from him. But it’s hard to think of him this morning without thinking about what might have been had he been able to bear the burden of history and his slain brothers’ legacies. He could have done so much more with what he had been given.
Commenters pile on, say, essentially, WTF? At 2:51 p.m., When Ted Kennedy redeemed himself: You never really know about people, do you? …I’m glad it’s up to God to judge the eternal fate of human souls, because only He can know the whole story.
At 6:28 p.m., Ted Kennedy as Don Draper. It’s the best of the lot: But given how accomplished Kennedy was as a legislator, I do wonder how much we have lost because a Ted Kennedy is not really possible today — meaning how many talented but deeply flawed men never go into public life because they couldn’t survive the moral judgment of the public regarding their personal sins and failings, and no longer have the protective veil of social hypocrisy to shield themselves.
Hours later, still more: On abortion, a once-Catholic Ted Kennedy. He used to oppose abortion, then “grew in office.” I guess he was right the first time then, eh?
For a much better take, I prefer Lance Mannion’s Ted and me. I excerpt, but just go read.
Off to cougar class. If I can still move.
brian stouder said on August 27, 2009 at 10:31 am
The ‘Pilate Reformer’ sounds a bit like that the ladies and you have been consigned to your fate; and your sweat (not to say blood!) is washed from his hands
Anyway, my plans are to definitely head to IPFW Friday, to see if I can get into Member of Congress Mark Souder’s “townhall meeting” on healthcare. (what better way to mark the passing of Teddy, then to step up to the current debate) ‘Course, if the place is full-up when I get there, then I can presumeably take a few humorous pictures of teabaggers and insurance salesmen, doing their thing out on the lawn.
I think I’ll skip the strap-on firearms that have become popular amongst certain ‘out from under the rock’ types, and wear one of my Obama tees there.
Full nn.c report pends
Sue said on August 27, 2009 at 11:13 am
Nancy, it’s called being “long-waisted”. Now don’t you feel so much sexier?
jeff borden said on August 27, 2009 at 11:17 am
Aw, c’mon, Brian. How can you prove you are a REAL man if you don’t strap on a pistol and a sling a rifle over your shoulder when you venture into public?
A couple of years ago, when my dad was still alive, I went with him to a glass shop in Medina, Ohio when he needed to replace part of his outdoor gas light. I was astonished to see a sign posted on the door requesting customers not to bring their firearms into the store. There was a similar sign on the doors of the public library there. I’d left Ohio for good in 1985 and had not followed the efforts there to allow gun owners to carry their penis substitutes around in public. I kind of understand the macho b.s. out west, where they still seem to think Billy the Kid and the Clanton Gang might come ridin’ into town, a-shootin’ and a-roarin’, but Ohio???? The sensible shoes state?
I’m certainly not opposed to owning guns. There was still enough of a rural/hunting vibe when I lived in Medina that most of my friends owned at least a .22-caliber rifle or a decent shotgun for hunting. But this desire to flaunt your Colt revolver or Glock automatic is something I don’t understand.
Danny said on August 27, 2009 at 11:24 am
Yeah, I don’t get it either. I’m not against gun ownership, but I’ve never owned one and probably never will.
EDIT: A good friend of mine asks every so often if I’d like to go shooting with him. My eyes always glaze over. I just can’t muster any interest.
jeff borden said on August 27, 2009 at 11:38 am
I inherited a 16-gauge bolt-action Mossberg shotgun when dad died, which originally had been owned by his father. It’s in a corner of the closet. I honestly don’t know exactly what to do with it because, like you Danny, shooting at targets doesn’t float my boat and I’m not an outdoorsy guy who would ever go hunting. Not sure I’d even want to try firing that sucker. I still remember my dad returning from hunting with one of his buddies. He hadn’t put the stock hard enough into his shoulder when he fired at something and it left a huge bruise on his right shoulder. God love him. . .we ate the rabbits he had bagged and cleaned, occasionally spitting out a piece of buckshot in the process. He was really more of a fisherman than a hunter and loved to sit alongside a body of water, casting his line and relaxing.
nancy said on August 27, 2009 at 11:43 am
Those “no handguns allowed” signs are all over the Twin Cities, too. It was explained to me it’s a provision of a concealed-carry law, so that certain businesses can opt out of having to allow guns in the joint. It’s crazy, but lately most of the gun owners I meet are just that.
Catherine said on August 27, 2009 at 11:45 am
Pilates is God’s gift. Throw in a teacher with an accent (my favorite is Swedish)and I’ll do anything they tell me. If you stick with it for a while, you’ll be amazed at the changes. It’s the only exercise I’ve ever done that really made a visible difference, beyond burning calories. And it fixed my back pain.
Jason T. said on August 27, 2009 at 11:47 am
Not to derail the thread, but I can’t think of Pilates without thinking of “Corner Gas.”
Catherine said on August 27, 2009 at 11:50 am
Can we distinguish between gun-owners and gun-toters?
I’m in the first camp, not by choice, but DH brought his .22 to the marriage. It’s stored safely and away from the ammo, and it’s never been so much as loaded in the 14 years we’ve been married. But you can go ahead and pry it out of his etc. etc. He grew up using it to hunt rabbits (and quail, and tin cans) out in the desert with his brothers. They rarely caught anything, but they learned a lot about 1) gun safety, and 2) what it’s really like to kill something… not on TV, not in a video game. I think there’s something to be said for that kind of visceral understanding.
nancy said on August 27, 2009 at 11:50 am
Thanks, Catherine. As sore as I am, I figure that’s evidence it’s reaching places that haven’t been reached in a while. I’ll be back.
jeff borden said on August 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm
That’s an excellent and elegantly stated distinction. As noted, I am not opposed to owning guns. Accidentally, I have become one, even though I have no shotgun shells. It’s just the mentality of the people who must reassure their sense of self by parading around like they’re part of the posse in “3:10 to Yuma” that eludes me.
brian stouder said on August 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm
Once again, Danny prevails
If only a tropical depression named ‘Brian’ could have blown into the Carolinas, just as their No Country for Old Men Governor announced that he wasn’t going to resign….
basset said on August 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm
Human bassets can be “short-waisted” too, Nance… combine that with a substantial bay window, and it means I wear a lot of extra-long shirts.
Emptying the mind while using the body usually happens for me behind the lawnmower.
coozledad said on August 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm
I haven’t tried Pilates, but yoga helped me a lot, and even seemed to partially correct my scoliosis. I think I had the best results when I was part of a mostly geriatric group that was never permitted to do much more than sun salutations. They always had Enya’s soundtrack for “The Celts” playing, and when the time came around for the recumbent meditation, at least three of the group would pass out and start snoring. We changed health clubs and the next yoga teacher was similarly disinclined to incur the liability for breaking someone’s neck. She was more philosophical and spiritual, however, and asked us to use our “third eye center” to seek clarity and purpose. My wife said “third eye center” sounded like a headshop/arcade on the outskirts of Cary.
The last yoga teacher was a practitioner of power yoga and a weightlifter. Her abs had inch deep furrows between the muscles, like an Albinus engraving. We had older people in the class, so I was encouraged. Then more people started to filter in. The girl who set out her custom mat beside mine was warming up by pulling her feet behind her ears. Definitely a harbinger.
I got through the first positions alright, trying to ignore the whimpering coming from the back of the room, where previously I’d noticed a man on crutches. Then the teacher started changing positions swiftly, and with some violence, I thought. Toward the end of the class, when she had us standing on our heads, she came over to me and said my legs weren’t straight, and proceeded to adjust them. There was an instant radiating pain that looped from my ass around my crotch and then back up my back to my left shoulder and arm. “Hold it there” she said.
I had a dream about the whole thing some months later, where I was looking for the appropriate yoga class through the glass partitions in the club. I saw hers, and walked on to the next room. The teacher came in, said hello, sat down in the lotus position and proceeded to levitate.
Judith said on August 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm
Great Brian–Maybe we’ll see you at the Mark Souder Town Hall! We’re going very early to be sure to get in. I’m really hoping many people can speak and listen to each other. The Town Halls I’ve been watching on C-Span and other cable stations have been civil with good exchanges between the participants!
Oh, a friend just called and asked if I’d explain how she could answer her friend’s concern that the proposed legislation includes killing old people when they are no longer useful! This friend of hers is around retirement age and he should be better informed. I read her the part of the Medicare revision act of 2003 in which 205 House Republicans and 42 Senate Republicans, along with Democrats, passed nearly identical language. The Allen County Democrats blog says Mark Souder was one of the “yea” votes. I know Sen. Grassley and Rep. Boehner were “yeas.”
Rana said on August 27, 2009 at 12:35 pm
I appreciate the gun-owner vs. gun-toter distinction too, given that my dad has a bunch of hunting rifles and a target pistol. They didn’t have that much role in my growing up, though, beyond having to help pluck a duck he shot once, living with a mounted javelina head in the living room, and spending one afternoon shooting at cans on top of a woodpile. (Turns out, I’m a pretty good shot.) It was the gun-toter mentality that led him to cancel his membership in the NRA; he was disgusted by the macho idiocy of the no-restrictions “gimme my semi-auto” crowd. Guns are serious; using them to prance about in public talking about how tough you are is a sign of a weak mind, not actual toughness.
If your yoga teachers were telling you to “find your center” and “empty your mind”, Nancy, they weren’t very good. The better ones will give you specific physical advice (“ground your feet” – ie, spread your toes and feel heavy, “extend your torso as you twist” etc.) and the more practical admonition to “focus on the breath” (which involves hauling your attention back to the flow of air through your nose every time your mind tries to think about groceries). As with many things in yoga, it’s more about being aware of what’s going on in body and mind at this specific moment than being bendy or empty. I like yoga, when I can remember to actually attend a class.
Pilates, though – that stuff is some mean shit, man. You can tell that it was invented by a ballet dancer – those people have some serious masochistic tendencies.
derwood said on August 27, 2009 at 12:37 pm
Corner Gas is a gem of a show.
DVDs are available at Netflix and Amazon. We have the first 5 seasons. They just wrapped the 6th and I don’t believe it is available yet. They usually run the show on WGN late at night.
Danny said on August 27, 2009 at 12:38 pm
Cooz, sounds like the second class was either going to be “walking the rice paper” or “lifting the hot-coal-filled cauldron to dragon-brand your forearms.” With a caning to encourage poor performers.
Sue said on August 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm
Second reference to “Corner Gas” I’ve heard today, even though I’ve never heard of the show before. Now I have to see if I can get it on DVD somewhere. Those Canadians continue their subversive takeover of the US – I didn’t hear a single “aboot” in the clip.
My very liberal brother in law loves guns but isn’t into the “cold dead hands” aspect of it. He just likes to research them, buy them and shoot them. When my sister and I spent the weekend at the family cabin last fall (“Doe Camp” instead of “Deer Camp”, ha ha), he insisted she take along a gun, because of the isolated location of the cabin. One of those long guns, or at least a gun with a long case, since we never took it out to look at it. What were we supposed to do, beat the intruder with it? He showed her how to get it ready once (load it, maybe?), but she wasn’t paying attention, because Hell No she wasn’t going to use it and somehow kill both of us while leaving the intruder intact but he didn’t need his peace of mind disturbed by being informed of that. We put it in the middle of the living room floor, in order to trip the intruder, who by the end of the weekend had a complete personality and physical description. We decided that our preferred method of handling the intruder was to be out shopping when he stopped by.
LAMary said on August 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm
When I used to draw for a few hours every day I achieved that mind emptying state. Alpha state. It’s the same concious dream state you hit right before you fall asleep. Some of the coolest things I ever produced were when I was in that state with no sense of time. I can get there with meditation too. I know a singer who swears she’s in that level of conciousness when she’s singing.
Cathy D. said on August 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm
Okay, I was kind of over-thinking everything but after reading this sentence I laughed so hard my mind emptied: “Find me a person who can empty their mind at will, in a darkened room with yoga music playing in the background, and I’ll show you a person who needs some more to think about.”
paddyo' said on August 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm
If they ever invent an actual time machine, can we send the first time traveler back to 1789 to carve that Second Amendment out of the Constitution?
Growing up in the ex-orange-grove ‘burbs of Southern California, I had no acquaintance with guns except in the way that most Boomer boys (and some girls) did in those days: Toys.
They ranged from a cap-popping Mattel “Fanner 50” (cowboy revolver) to the toy/fake bazookas, camouflage and leafy helmets of Remco’s “Monkey Division” line … and plenty of other play pistols and rifles in between.
Who on our block didn’t act out shoot-’em-ups, whether military or cowboy? We were only 15 years or so removed from WWII, fewer from Korea. One of the kids on our block had the wooden stock, but no steel barrel or other works, from his dad’s Army rifle.
Ironic, perhaps, that we didn’t call our fantasy war-and-showdown play “war” or “Army” or “D-Day.”
We simply called it “guns” … as in, “You wanna play guns?” We lived and died on the lawns of dead-end Alford Street, making the gun sounds (dow-dow-DOW-DOW-DOW-DOW!) with our mouths and sprawling in elaborate death throes (or “No, you didn’t get me!” for the death-averse) just like on TV (“Combat”) or movies.
What we didn’t do, at least among the five boys in my family, was grow up to own or use guns. About the only time I even fired one was with my ex-, when she got into trapshooting with a handsome shotgun (she grew up on a wildlife refuge in Delaware and had an altogether different acquaintance with firearms) and hoped to take our Chesapeake Bay retriever out to actually hunt. (Buzz had other ideas …)
I’ve never owned one, and never will. But I have nothing against the owners, particular those who are ethical, responsible hunters. The “toters” are something else, though — pistol peacocks in love with the macho myth, and the “self-defense” canard.
And handguns? Well, I know there are “sporting” target pistols and such, but the only thing your typical handgun was ever meant for is … well, let’s just say, NOT for hunting non-human critters.
Jeff Borden said on August 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm
I was a proud owner of a Monkey Division gun that shot orange plastic shells. Truly a cool looking toy. Since I loved cop shows, my folks gave me a wickedly realistic .38-caliber snub nose and shoulder holster from Mattel. Today, that gun would get you shot by a nervous police officer. It was that realistic. In fact, the toys guns I see in stores these days are all in bright orange or lime green, which is probably smart all around.
moe99 said on August 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm
Me, forget guns, I’ll get my rocks off singing, thank you very much. I knew that performing the Carmina Burana was close to orgasm, but now I know why:
Catherine said on August 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Friend’s son was hauled into the La Crescenta sheriff’s station for carrying an unloaded paint ball gun. Life lesson.
Snarkworth said on August 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm
paddyo’, which ex-orange-grove ‘burbs would those be? That’s where I grew up, too.
According to the rules of the time, girls didn’t play guns. We also, presumably because of biological limitations, were unable to make that grenade-lobbing explosion sound (“Kablooie,” but much more gutteral).
Scout said on August 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm
Sue has won this thread so far with her hilarious description of Doe Camp, although coozledad’s yoga class came in a close 2nd.
Yoga’s actual origins were in meditation. Hatha yoga came later and some of the more gymnastic incarnations of it stray quite far from the “mind, body, spirit” stuff of Gaiam ads. The breathing advice is the best. All yogis and elevated masters use breath control to enter into higher states of consciousness. Focusing on breathing definitely enhances any hatha yoga experience, especially if part of your goal is peace and relaxation.
alex said on August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm
Was just reminded of a police shooting here in the Fort a few years ago. The victim was a non-English speaker walking around with a power drill. Anyone remember?
Julie Robinson said on August 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm
I just finished rading Kristin Chenoweth’s autobiography and she says her voice instructor taught her that she had to sing from her vay-vay. (Wonder what she told the guys?) Our son had the great fortune of singing in Carmina Burana this last spring with our local orchestra and he was definitely enthused about the experience.
But how about being sung to by a great voice while clasped to the man’s chest? Talk about orgasmic! This all happened many years ago in a play, but it helped me understand the great frequency of infidelity among actors.
Danny said on August 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm
(Wonder what she told the guys?)
Make it ballsy?
brian stouder said on August 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm
The victim was a non-English speaker walking around with a power drill. Anyone remember?
I recall that. And another, more recent police shooting is on video tape – but the city won’t release the tape of the shooting. (Seems to me that they certainly must, at some point. I think their was a lawsuit involved – but that the suit has been resolved)
But today at lunch, I was watching the news from Massachusetts (the funeral cortege was preparing to leave Teddy’s home at Hyanis Port, and roll past various sites in Boston), and a noted civil rights leader was recounting the time when he was shot “in Fort Wayne, Indiana”, and how quickly the senator flew to “Fort Wayne, Indiana” (when he said it the second time, I winced) to be by his side in the hospital (President Carter came, too – but we digress) – so today’s “Violence perpetrated by deranged, gun toting loser/loners, in history” pop quizz is: name that civil rights leader. Fort Wayne, Indiana residents are not allowed to participate
Cosmo Panzini said on August 27, 2009 at 5:41 pm
Was it Vernon Jordan?
alex said on August 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm
Yay, Cosmo! Dead-on right!
Yay, Julie! That Carmina Burana was a wonderful performance, faithful to the LP my mother used to play as background music when I was a wee lad.
And now I forgot what I originally wanted to remark upon.
LAMary said on August 27, 2009 at 7:41 pm
The artsy fartsy charter school my son went to until June 08 did Carmina Burana as their end of year performance. It was great.
Deborah said on August 27, 2009 at 7:49 pm
I had a bad day today. My purse was stolen from the back of my chair while I was having a late business lunch on Michigan Ave, across from the Bean. A couple of hours earlier there was a shooting on State and Randolph, not at all far from my office. A cop was stabbed while trying to intervene during a robbery, then the cop shot the robber. The loop area was disaster in Chicago today. Bummer. I spent the rest of the afternoon blocking my credit cards and getting a temp bank card. The guy got my keys to my place and all my ID, with address etc. I was mostly upset the brand new sun glasses and wallet I got in Finland were in the purse. There was only about three bucks in cash, so I felt good about that. All kinds of people around me saw the guy and thought it was odd that he was walking past where I was sitting, but it didn’t register with anyone until I realized what had happened.
LAMary said on August 27, 2009 at 7:52 pm
This is all so tiresome.
Connie said on August 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm
This is a short video of my 10 month old miniature schnauzer.
Julie Robinson said on August 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm
Deborah, my sympathies–that really sucks. When we were in Chicago a couple of weeks ago our daughter borrowed our van and left it unlocked overnight. Of course someone rifled through it and took a couple of pairs of sunglasses and a dollar or two in change. Okay, irritating, but no biggie. What we didn’t realize until hours later was that she had also left her GPS unit in the van. It was a bad ending to the weekend. She is a penniless seminarian and the GPS was a gift, so obviously it can’t be replaced. Creeps abound.
Deborah said on August 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm
My daughter always says never hang your purse on the back of your chair. Advice I constantly ignored. I will never do it again. I had to go out and buy a new hairbrush to replace the stolen one. It was a hairbrush I loved and had for years and years. It’s the little things that count. My cell phone was cheesy and the loss of that doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s such a weird feeling when something like that happens, like you can somehow relive it and it will be OK.
deb said on August 27, 2009 at 8:28 pm
a quick teddy kennedy story. my son has a classmate who was being treated for brain cancer in boston last year and found himself in an elevator with the lion of the senate. the kid was bald and sporting stitches on his skull, so it was obvious they were in the same boat. he finally found the courage to say, “mr. kennedy, i think you’re an amazing man.” the senator replied, “thank you, but i think you’re even more amazing,” and went on to commend him for showing such courage in the face of a challenging illness. the senator got off at his floor, and the kid promptly burst into tears. he was so overcome he forgot to get off at his own floor and found himself in the basement.
i know the man had his flaws, but still — what a class act.
moe99 said on August 27, 2009 at 8:39 pm
Idaho gun toters now bragging about getting Obama tags.
LAMary said on August 27, 2009 at 8:40 pm
Connie, I feel the same way about ATT bills. Your dog has very discerning taste in what to shred. Very cute dog.
coozledad said on August 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm
moe99: Scroll down to twolf’s graphic.
nancy said on August 27, 2009 at 9:05 pm
deb, how’s the kid doing?
basset said on August 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm
In all seriousness… that empty-mind state comes to me when playing music or fishing. “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream…”
the Vernon Jordan situation in the Fort was also the first major story CNN covered live – and they had a hell of a time getting lines out of there because the switch operators were holding them for the networks and didn’t recognize what CNN was.
deb said on August 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm
he’s good — back at school and cancer-free.
a postscript: he had no further contact with the senator beyond that elevator encounter. but when he checked out of the hospital, one of the nurses handed him a package. in it, kennedy’s book “my senator and me: a dog’s eye view of washington, d.c.” autographed.
coozledad said on August 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm
basset: Check this out. The Kit-Kats.
derwood said on August 27, 2009 at 9:54 pm
Just watched Dan Quayle on Larry King talking about Kennedy. For the First time I didn’t want to throw something at my TV when Quayle was talking. He did a nice job talking about his relationship with Kennedy.
mcegg said on August 27, 2009 at 10:07 pm
I’m going to give Corner Gas another plug simply because Pilates Twist is my favorite episode. I own seasons 1-4 and any time I need a laugh, I throw in a DVD and watch an episode.
P.S. to derwood…thanks again to pointing me to this blog and to Corner Gas!
Dexter said on August 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm
Deborah, so sorry this happened to you. That is horrible. My nephew lives in the South Loop in a condo and someone just broke into his car as he was pumping gas into his car. Nephew chased him and saw to it the thief went to jail, and that was a hassle in itself, as you can imagine. I was pickpocketed on the Ryan el after a Sox game years ago. I saw the kids who did it and chased them and as I closed in he threw the shell of my wallet down and I got my drivers license and credit cards back but I lost my Amtrak ticket and $120, which I turned into homeowners insurance and got $100 back.
Two days ago I found my eighth purse or wallet, this time in a cart at a store, and the clerk ran it out to the woman as she pulled out of the park-spot. Why do I keep finding these things? I never got a reward but I would have declined that anyway, except the case of beer and jug of booze my buddy bought me when I found his wallet stuffed with a couple thousand bucks. he did cabinet making on the side and only accepted cash when the job was done, and I found all that dough laying atop the change machine in the coffee room at work. The radio show I listen to had this as a topic two days ago and all the young men said they would keep the cash and trash the wallet or purse…that is the mark of a goddam scumbag. Sometimes ya just gotsta do the right thing.
brian stouder said on August 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm
Well, about 8 years ago – Pam got my car stolen*. The thing was a 10 year old Olds 88 with about 180,000 miles on it**. She had (for some reason) used it to go on her annual meet-friends-Christmas-shop-someplace-nice, and it was in the parking lot of a hotel in Merrillville (near Chicago).
The parking lot there is better lit than an operating room in a hospital, and indeed – it was filled with very nice SUVs and sporty cars and so on…but the next morning, when Pam walked out of the hotel, she couldn’t find the car. Her incredulous friends said that surely she parked on the other side of the building – but no!, it was gone.
When she called me up with the news, I remember that we both laughed – at first. It was ridiculous – who would take that car? But then we got to thinking….what all was IN that car? What papers and receipts and other odds and ends were now in someone else’s criminal hands? Luckily the women had decided to bring all their purchases into their rooms, rather than leaving them in the vehicles.
The police told Pam that the car was stolen because it was the easiest one to take; the newer, nicer vehicles would have had more counter-measures to defeat, whereas (we were told) ours could be stolen with a butter knife.
I remember thinking that I had also just put a new set of tires on that car. Also, when my boss heard that I had full insurance coverage on the thing (rather than minimal liability insurance), and therefore got paid more than we had paid for the thing (it had been a company car before we bought it), he asked which river I had dumped it in!
A year later, the police found the remnants of it in East Chicago, and came to Fort Wayne with some pictures of suspects for Pam to look at; they actually made an arrest in the case.
But indeed, it was a very odd feeling, wondering what things we had lost
*I can always get Pam’s goat, by referring to “the time she got my car stolen”!
**I always seem to have a 10 year old Olds 88! Right now I have a 1998 Olds 88 with about 193,000 miles on it, which continues to be a good ol’ girl
Dexter said on August 27, 2009 at 11:52 pm
hey brian: the local chevy dealership here still has the cash for clunkers trade-ins lined up in a row . Across the street is a used car dealer. The clunkers , disabled with engines seized-up with liquid glass, are better looking vehicles than the ones ol’ HonestJohn has for sale across the street.
I suspect this is the case everywhere across this great country.
did you ever crawl into the wrong car cuz it looked just like yours? i used to drive a chevy caprice classic and i got into one just like mine and until i smelled the full ash tray’s cigarette remains i never would have known it until i had tried to start it. thank gawd nobody saw me…nothing is so embarrassing…well…i beat on our hotel room door once cuz my key card wouldn’t work…and a poor lady called security on me…wrong hotel floor…man…that was totally embarrassing.
moe99 said on August 28, 2009 at 1:34 am
Dexter, we had that hotel room mixup here in Seattle with tragic results. The resident of the room shot through the door killing a noted, local record producer. Another gun toter story.
basset said on August 28, 2009 at 8:29 am
Cooz, I would agree that Springsteen must have been a big Kit Kats fan…
meanwhile, one of our southwest Indiana local bands from about the same time:
Rana said on August 28, 2009 at 8:49 am
Deborah, you have my sympathies. You’re right, it’s not so much the credit cards as the personal, mean nothing to anyone but me things – the cards and such are a hassle, but that awful sinking feeling one gets each time some favorite lost thing is recalled – I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Dexter, something like that, only more embarassing, happened one Thanksgiving at my fiancé’s big annual family reunion. The family members in question were given the wrong keys by the parking attendant, and ended up driving what they thought was their rental car all the way out to the airport (luckily to drop someone else off, not to return the car). Meanwhile, the actual owners of the vehicle were freaking out back in the lot, wondering where on earth their car had gone!
coozledad said on August 28, 2009 at 9:33 am
Eat your bloody heart out Robert Plant:
mark said on August 28, 2009 at 10:08 am
I found it interesting that, two days ago, Nancy posted about TK and Ebert’s piece on AA in the same entry. My sense is that about twenty years ago Kennedy took a different approach to his drinking. I don’t know how accurate my impression may be, as I have seen little written about the issue and the Kennedys are fairly good at keeping the personal personal.
Keenedy had better reasons to drink than most. And it’s not my place to characterize his relationship with alcohol. It is true, though, that most of the more notable blemishes on his career involved alcohol. Ebert speculates that finding sobriety allowed him (Ebert) to achieve with career, family, health, etc. I wonder if Kennedy’s last decades, which were pretty much exemplary, were accompanied by a change in his relationship with cocktails.
LA mary said on August 28, 2009 at 11:33 am
Mark, I think he turned his life around when he married his second wife. I don’t know if he got sober before or after they were married, but she had a great influence on him. His first wife had serious issues with drinking. I don’t think they did each other any good on that front.
mark said on August 29, 2009 at 12:32 am
Thanks for reminding me of the timing of the second marriage, which does coincide with the change of path I think occurred. Whatever caused the change, I’m glad he put some demons to rest while he still had lots of good years ahead.