Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Six Degrees of Davy Jones

When I heard the new today that Davy Jones was dead, I went numb. Some of my friends on FB posted that they always thought Peter Tork would be the first Monkee to "go".

Any of them "going" is inconceivable.

The Monkees were probably the first records (45s and LPs) that I purchased on my own with my saved-up babysitting money. They were definitely the first posters hanging in my bedroom, and the only time I ever purchased teen fan magazines.

My earliest forays into fiction writing was also Monkee-centric. It wasn't called fanfic back then. We called them "Monkee Stories." I remember my 6th grade teacher confiscating one, reading it, and telling that it was good, but I shouldn't pass it around during class.

TV Stevie saw Davy Jones on Broadway as the Artful Dodger in Oliver. He still has the playbill around here somewhere. Long before I ever met TV, he'd recorded all of The Monkees TV show off MTV. Later, when the Chromos were very young, they watched those tapes. So did I, lost in my memories.

TV had a chance to meet Davy several years ago, at the New York State Fair. It was TV's responsibility to escort Davy from the stage where he was performing to the news set of the television station for whom he worked. He said that Davy was less than gracious about it.

Here's a snippet of a chain of e-mails flying back and forth between TV and me this afternoon:

From: Molly
To: TV Stevie
How can you joke at a tragic time like this?
From: TV Stevie
To: Molly
I'm not joking. Besides he dissed me when I walked him to the W--- booth at the Fair. Acted like I wasn't there when I was talking to him.
So cheer up, Molly Jean.
Oh what can it mean?
No more Day Dream Believin' or Pleasant Valley Sundays
Here we come...walkin' to the Pearly Gates...get the funniest looks from...everyone we hate.
Then I saw his face. Now I'm a Believer.
(Yes, my middle name is Jean).
TV Stevie can always make me laugh, and today I need it.
Davy Jones is dead. Bits of my past keep slipping away.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Woman in the Mirror

I had a birthday this week. Not a huge milestone, but I'm creeping up there in age. I had the day off from work, so spent it writing and playing with my mp3 player, then took a late afternoon shower to get ready to go out to dinner with TV Stevie.

When I climbed out of the shower and looked in the bathroom mirror, I saw my grandmother.

It was a shock. I never thought I looked like her, yet there she was, staring back at me.

I would have been 10 years old when Gram was my current age (our birthdays are two days apart).

Gram was honest and a hard worker. She lived to age 98, well-loved by all. She had 80 great-grandchildren by then, and I'm not sure anyone knows how many other generations there were past that . . . rumor had it there were a total of 6 (including Gram) when she died. That's pretty impressive.

Back in the mid 1980's, when my generation was talking about a cousins reunion, Gram was pleased that her grandchildren wanted to do that. There are a lot of us. That's what makes getting together so much fun.

In her later years, she lived with my aunt, next door to my parents, so we all got to see her more often. X and Y Chromo knew her pretty well.

I guess if I'm going to look like someone not me, looking like Pearl Nancy Caples Compton isn't such a bad thing.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Car Crap: On Being a Spoiled American

I have a love-hate relationship with automobiles. I know they are evil. I know they are a huge cause of what is killing Mother Earth. I know that I am a Spoiled American for wanting my 'luxury sedan'.

Unfortunately, the Spoiled American wins.

Last week, the transmission in my Buick Regal went. Again. I could still go in reverse and 2nd gear so was able to park it until my amazing insurance company sent a tow truck. After searching through my messy office for hours this past weekend, I finally called the Transmission Repair Establishment that rebuilt the tranny the first time. My warranty (guarantee?) was for 24 months or 24K miles, whichever came first. Three years ago. Not even 10K miles, but 37, 38 months. Still cheaper than a car payment.

TV Stevie and I talked about where we could come up with the money to rebuild the tranny again. I asked a co-worker if she ever had problems with her Buick Regal (same year) and the tranny. Nope. We got to talking about vehicles, and she told me she was going to sell her Taurus and the dollar amount she mentioned was the same amount of money I would need to spend on a rebuilt tranny for the Regal. I talked to TV. I called my co-worker at home that evening and asked if I could have my mechanic look over her Taurus. We were definitely interested.

I dug out the title to the Buick. I found an empty box to take with me to the mechanic so I could clean out the Regal while he looked over the Taurus. Plus my co-worker told me of two problems with the vehicle and dropped the price even more. One of the problems was tires. I have three new ones on the Regal (unfortunately, not the same size).

The upshot: the price on the Taurus is really good (my mechanic's jaw dropped), but there are still too many issues that in the long run would cost more than having the Regal's tranny rebuilt. Plus the Taurus didn't feel like my car or that it could be my car. Weird, isn't it?

I called my dad and brother, both highly gifted in manly blue-collar arts, and explained everything to them. They each advised me to go with my gut. TV came home from work and said that he thought I would never be happy with the Taurus (he looked it over in the parking lot at DayJob, and thought it looked great), and he and Car Buddy at his DayJob crunched some numbers and repairing the Regal would be a better deal.

"Too bad one of the Chromos doesn't have their license," TV said last night while cutting up tomato for his salad. "We could buy the Taurus for them. Of course, we have no place to put it, but we could. Oh, and we don't have the money either, but it's a great car."

I still have to find money to pay for a rebuilt transmission.

I'm dependent on TV and co-workers for rides to-and-from work. Although I live 1.7 miles from DayJob, public transportation being what it is, I would need to take a bus downtown, then transfer to another line and it would take forever. While the concept of walking is very tempting, there are no sidewalks in the town of Salina -- at least the part in which I'd have to walk -- and traffic is too heavy and too fast for pedestrians to be safe on that particular street. Please note that I'm not even mentioning the likelihood of snow. This is Syracuse, and we're having a mild winter, but that could change with a breath of wind.

I need to renew my driver's license this month, and I want an enhanced license in case TV and I ever run away to Canada, so that requires a trip to the DMV.

I need to go to the bank.

I have books that need to be picked up at the library, and books, DVDs and CDs to return to the library.

I need to stop at the Supermarket in the strip mall for a couple of items Wegmans doesn't carry.

I am a Spoiled American.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Music & Me

Several years ago, I bought an mp3 player. Loved it. Loved the portability, loved having 4 gigs of audio in the palm of my hand. I listened not only to music on it, but also audio books downloaded from the library, and RWA workshops. I kept my favorite workshops on it so I'd have interesting listening when unexpected delays presented themselves (like standing in line for 5 hours to pay my respects to a new widow). Great for flying, too. I once lost my CD case in flying between LA and home, probably in Cincinnati. The mp3 made all of that moot.

Creative Zen
Then my computer began having issues. I lost access to the whatever that allowed me to make changes to the unit. Annoying, but still workable. I listened while exercising, I listened at DayJob. Life was still good.

Then the battery refused to hold a charge. I could plug it in at work if I stayed at my desk, but I'd lost my portability.

TV Stevie bought me a new, 8 gig mp3 for my birthday last year. I had to start rebuilding the library from scratch. The new mp3 is about a third of the size of the old one, but has twice the memory.

Sansa Clip

Then my computer crashed. As my nephew explained, "it sounded like a pinball machine tipping over." I lost everything that was on the D drive. All my music. Irreplacable photos of the Chromos.

And once again I lost the ability to manage my music. Grrrr. My nephew fixed my computer so that I could access the C drive again, which returned my ability to manage content on the new mp3.

One night, goofing around, I tried to sync the old mp3 to the computer, but learned the drivers were no longer supported. Fortunately, I was able to download new drivers, which then enabled me to reverse transfer music from the old mp3 player to my computer and then sync it with the new mp3 player.

Whoa! I have duplicate-triplicate-quadruplicate songs now. I need to go through and weed. Not exactly sure what happened, and I need to rebuild all my playlists (Workout #1, Country Workout #1, Dylan Says It Best, etc.) but I'm a very happy woman. Vivaldi's Flute Concertos in the morning, Jazz for a Rainy Afternoon after lunch.

Life is fabulous.