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Saturday, May 30, 2009

right - handshake, left - diploma

Those words are a graduate's mantra from graduation practice until they walk away with the diploma in their hands. The teachers drill it into their heads.

We arrived early to get good seats, and seats that I could tolerate (ie not the top row of the bleachers). First row, across from the stage. Perfect! (Ex-husband and his girlfriend had 2nd row from the top of the bleachers.) Graduates had to wait in the gym. 2 teachers were posted as "gatekeepers" blocking the way to the gym and the area was roped off. I waited until they were occupied and snuck past and kept walking. "Look like you know where you're going and keep walking", that's my motto. I found our son kind of pacing in the group of kids...girls squealing, wearing hoochie mama dresses and boys ineptly putting on their gowns and tassels. None of his friends were there yet. I think he was happy to see me.
Son: "That's 'so and so' walking in."
Me: "Well if you're friends with him, say hi." (Isn't that just like a Mom?)
Son: "Nooo, I just know who he is."
Me: "Oh, ok."
He's pacing, and I'm shuffling and stretching because of my back.
Son: "??????" "??????" "??????" (mumbling).
Me.: "What are you saying?"
Son: "I'm just trying to remember."
Me: "Remember what?"
Son: "Right - handshake, left - diploma."
Me: "What?"
Son: "Right - handshake, left - diploma." (It was so hard not to laugh!)
Me: "Don't over think it! R E L A X! You'll do fine."! The poor kid! He was repeating it like a mantra and he wasn't the only one. He was also stressing, wondering if his dad would make it back from dinner to see him graduate. We chatted for awhile and I taught him an old yiddish word, "mah nishtana", 'why should things be any different?' (I'm not Jewish, I just know a number of yiddish words. I used them to impress my ex-mother-in-law.) After awhile I asked if he wanted me to leave, since I was one of only a couple of parents in the gym. He told me he could see I was in pain and I could go if I wanted. I said no, 'I want to know, do you want me to stay until a friend comes?' He said stay, so I did. About 30 minutes later one of his friends showed up, I snapped a photo and went back to sit with Anastasia. I think I did the right thing. I may have made him uncool because his mommy was standing with him, but that may have been slightly less uncool than the pacing. I don't think I've ever seen him so nervous.

There were 3 Valedictorians, 3 nearly identical speeches, with the words in just a slightly different order. They had awards for Reading, English, Math, Science, History, Art, Athletics, Band, Phys Ed, Chorus and Spanish. then there were 2 awards named after old mucky mucks.

Here is our son after graduation. Doesn't he look so much more relaxed?
Lola's Diner

Friday, May 29, 2009


Happy VGNO! Congratulations to the Graduates! We'll be at my son's 8th grade graduation tonight, so I thought I'd get an early start.
Time For A Party Game!

From Ann Again...and again: As I look around my house I see a LOT of Barbie's. There's the Barbie in her scuba suit and the Barbie who's a Vet. These Barbie's are outside on the swing-set and in the garden too. But, these dolls don't represent the way I think they should. If I were a Barbie I would be "Sunscreen Barbie". Follow the chart below to see which Barbie you would be.
"Modern Barbie"
Use the chart to find which Barbie you are. Use the letter of your first name.
A - D = Sunscreen Barbie
E - H = Lactose Intolerate Barbie
I - L = Migraine Barbie
M - P = Blogger Barbie
Q - T = Mini Van Barbie
U - Z = Bi-Polar Barbie
Now, which Barbie are you? If you need to tweak this a bit, have fun!

I'm Migraine Barbie. That fits!

School's Out!

Lola's Diner

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Drummer Boy's Party

This is a brief window into what our Memorial Day evening was. (Turn up your volume.) I was on my porch, it was pitch dark out, so sadly, no visual of this performance. This was the end of the last song. Fortunately for us, there was no encore.

The weekend is coming, perhaps now that I've learned how to upload video I can catch a drum solo. It'll be such a treat. You'll thank me later I'm sure.


Lola's Diner

End of the school year business

My son will be graduating 8th grade on Friday. Who the heck picks a Friday for a graduation day? Traffic on Fridays is horrible. Not that I have to worry about it, but others do and it could affect their ability to arrive in a timely fashion, thereby possibly causing a delay in what is always an interminably long event. I'm all for anything that will keep the event starting on time and progressing quickly. So, how about Tuesday? Tuesdays are good. Wednesdays or Thursdays are good even.

Because graduation is approaching some teachers have taken to creative means to get children to comply with their final work. I understand the homework issues and the need to be timely. My son, however has other ideas. He firmly believes that a homework due date is merely a suggestion. He has habitually turned in homework late, even though his special ed teachers sent letters home before winter break announcing that they would follow the high school's rules for homework. Meaning, late, no credit. Apparently they were kidding? I dunno. Heaven help me when high school starts.

Also, the librarian, who I imagine to be somewhere between the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz (1939) or Uma Thurman's character in Kill Bill (2003) or perhaps Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley in Alien (1979) has told my son that if he doesn't cough up a $0.70 library fine that my son insists he paid already, he will not be allowed to participate in the end of year dance Thursday or the yearbook signing on Friday. My son insists he already paid it. I've told him to just pay it again, I'll give him the money. Nope! My son is standing on principle. He says he paid, he's not paying twice. So Wednesday I called the school right after he got home and the receptionist transferred me to the librarian. She didn't answer, I left a message. If I don't get a call back before I leave for errands Thursday, guess where I'm stopping first?

This turned out to be kind of a rant, but I'm not even going to mention the ex-husband nonsense related to graduation weekend. Aren't I nice?

Update: The librarian called and apologized for shaking down my son for the $0.70 and said that he was right, it was paid. Isn't that nice that he's been stressing about this for days and that it took a parent calling for her to actually double-check the records?

Lola's Diner

If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays - Drive-In Movie Theaters

Come join me for a very special edition of If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays! We'll be taking time out to share some memories. We'll Blog Back Time with possible ways to right past wrongs or about how times have changed. We'll share childhood memories, school/work memories, family and friend memories.
Today's topic is: Drive-In Movie Theaters
When I was a kid in the 60's and a teen in the 70's the Drive-In movies were the place to be to save a few bucks and see several movies. And when I was younger, it was my first experience in staying up past bedtime.
We had a Drive-In near our house, the 41 Twin Drive-In, in Franklin, WI, which later expanded to 4 screens. (They had 2 entrances, this was the South Entrance.) The first movies I saw were 101 Dalmations (1961) (which for some reason I always remembered as 1001) and Swiss Family Robinson (1960). Of course we went in my Dad's huge station wagon (with the wood on the side of course) and we wore our jammies. My parents were frugal and brought us treats so we wouldn't ask for the nasty snack bar stuff, but we still asked. They still said no. Lol! The lines to use the Ladies Room were forever for a kid. Photo from the 41 Twin Drive-In Snack Bar.
Later on in my teens I used to drive my friends to the shows on the weekends. When I turned 18 (18 was the legal drinking age back then) we would smuggle a case of Bohemian Club beer which cost us a whole $3.99. FOR THE CASE! It was nasty stuff, but surprisingly better than Hamm's or Old Milwaukee. And besides, we felt all cool because of the name. In the summer we'd go to the drive-in nearly every day. We never snuck anyone in the trunk, but we did sneak in beer and munchies. Our neighbor down the street was one of the money takers when you drove in and he was charged with using a flashlight to find hiden beer and people. I always looked too goody-two-shoes for him to even suspect. He would always do a cursory wave of his flashlight and let me pass. I wasn't at all friends with him, it's just that he never suspected I would have beer hiden.

The drive-in would have annual scary movie fests and, annual Russ Meyer Film Festivals. I would always make sure I'd go back to see the Russ Meyer's Film Fests more than once. And oddly enough, not for the obvious reason. REALLY! (I didn't know I was a lesbian at the time.) I watched them for the pure enjoyment of how ridiculous they were. And the plots were ridiculous! I would watch them and laugh my ass off. Movies like Wild Gals of the Naked West (1962), Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), Vixen! (1968), Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970), Supervixens (1975), and of course Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra-Vixens (1979). Back then people thought they were dirty movies. I don't recall any nudity. I do recall that all the women were busty, VERY busty and basically dressed like Daisy Duke all the time.

I did manage to take my kids to the same drive-in in 2001 when they were ages 4 and 6. We watched Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001). That was the main movie, no one seems to recall the other movie, though I do recall the kids fell asleep shortly after the movie started.

The 41 Twin Drive-In is no more. Several years ago it was torn down and replaced by an office building. Sad to see it go. It was such good times.

So, what's your 'Drive-In Movie Theater story? Come on! I'm sure if you're my age or older, or even a bit younger, I'm sure you have your drive-in tales. Now it's your turn. Please post your Drive-In Movie Theater Memory on your blog. Then come back to Lola's Diner and leave the actual post link here. Please grab the html code for If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays! Badge HERE. Please note these links are STRICTLY for If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays! participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!


Lola's Diner

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Seventh Conversation 10 Months - 10 Lives Challenge

Some of you may recall my previous posts on the 10 Month - 10 Lives Challenge.
Join The Impact says “Join us in a challenge over the next 10 months that will make an IMPACT. 10 months - 10 lives changed. Everyone in this movement must help keep the conversation going.
"We are asking each and every one of you to engage in 10 conversations with someone who does not understand our struggle and help them to see our point of view. We are not asking that you try to infringe on or disrespect their beliefs. Change can not occur with insult, it will only occur with respect. If all of us work hard to positively affect 10 lives, we can change this entire nation!"
If you missed my original posts, be sure to click on each to view them:
My 5th Conversation 10 Months - 10 Lives Challenge.
My 6th Conversation 10 Months - 10 Lives Challenge.
It's time for my Seventh Conversation of the 10 Month - 10 Lives Challenge. For this 7th conversation I thought I would take the time to point out how far we have come in terms of our rights and visibility.
Obama Ushers in "Revolution of Gay Rights".
Prop. 8 Decision Coming Tuesday. Prop 8 was overturned, however the 18,000 marriages will stand.
Illinois Poised to Approve Civil Unions - Washington Blade
Who would have thought an out Lesbian, Wanda Sykes, would have performed at the White House Correspondent's Dinner?
Who would have thought President Obama would have 2 out lesbians on his short list for the Supreme Court?
Who would have thought that President Obama would have over 30 gay men and women in senior posts?
I think what this really all means is that we are all more alike than we realize. We can perform any job all the way up to senior posts for the President of the United States. Some of us do our jobs in silence, denying who we are, defending our country because of DADT. Some of us give up our lives defending a country that not only denies us the right to be open and "out", but also denies us certain civil rights.

Our country is making great strides, state by state legalizing Gay Marriage or Civil Unions. I celebrate each victory, no matter how small. Nothing happens overnight.

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

woo hoo! I hit 300 posts, actually now 304!

304 posts and over 36,000 hits!

Who would have thought?

Lola's Diner

CA Upholds Gay Ban But Does Not Invalid 18,000 Marriages

California High Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban.
Melissa Etheridge Reacts - The Advocate.
Margaret Cho Reacts - The Advocate.
Schwarzenegger on Prop. 8 - The Advocate. Yeah Ahhnold!

I was at doctor's appointments with my daughter's when the decision was announced, so I didn't hear until just minutes ago. I'm sure we can count on that Marriage Equality Groups are already working on a plan to re-amend the California Constitution to remove the language of Prop. 8 and get Gay Marriage passed. Prop 8: The Next Move - The Advocate.

I guess I can see how the court ruled the way that they did, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing. They ruled on the process that was followed, rather than the substance of what Prop. 8 is.

What's really puzzling is how those 18,000 marriages will be treated. They were not invalidated, yet how does a state just give 18,000 couples those very specific rights?

Lola's Diner

CA Prop. 8 Decision Day/IL Civil Union Bill Set to Today or Wednesday

Prop. 8 Decision Coming Tuesday - The Advocate. Tuesday is today. I'll be anxiously awaiting the announcement of the decision.

Personally, I can't see how California can avoid overturning Prop. 8. I mean, if Iowa can do Marriage Equality, how can California not? Five European countries have legalized Marriage Equality nationally - Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Norway. How can California not?

Illinois Poised to approve Civil Unions - Washington Blade.
"Rick Garcia, political director for Equality Illinois, said Thursday he's "absolutely" expecting the full state House and the Senate to pass a civil union measure either Tuesday or Wednesday. The bill has support from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D)."
"Should the measure become law, both gay and straight couples could enter into civil unions. As there's no explicit language regarding an effective date, couples could start entering into civil unions 30 days after the bill is signed into law, Garcia said."
"The measure contains language noting that the establishment of civil unions would not interfere with the practices of any religious group and that any religious institution could decide for itself whether or not to solemnize or officiate a civil union."
I will be anxiously waiting announcements on both these measures.

What do you think California will decide?

Do you think Civil Unions will pass this week in Illinois?

Lola's Diner

Monday, May 25, 2009

Communication Breakdown

I'm saddened and a bit angry. My sister has always been my window to the old neighborhood. Terry, who always knew the latest word on everyone from the old neighborhood, would always call my sister, not only to give her the latest scoop, but also to get the latest scoop from my sister. Then my sister would call me to let me know the knews of the old neighborhood. It was our long distance version of the old tin can and string and it worked. That is until several years ago when I wasn't hearing much of anything from my sister about the old neighborhood, or for that matter, family in Wisconsin that she was still in touch with.

There is something about Wisconsinites (or at least all the Wisconsinites I know) that makes them:
a. not want to cross the Illinois/Wisconsin border to go into Illinois. (Especially if the destination is Chicago, because of Al Capone, who by the way is long dead. Hello!)
b. not want to make long distance calls because of the expense. (Which is silly now, what with the calling plans available and cell phones.)
Awhile back my bff Joey's sister, Cathie found me on Facebook. We've exchanged very little information since she found me and I've often wondered if her Mother was still living. I looked through her photographs on Facebook and didn't really recognize anyone in the photos, other than Cathie. (Joey passed away, I think, in 1989 from a brain tumor. See Six Random Things About Me.)

My sister actually crossed the Illinois/Wisconsin border this weekend, although not traveling all the way to our fair city. Her and her husband booked a weekend getaway about an hour and a half away from where we live. My sister invited our kids to go swimming at the hotel they were staying at, without first consulting me. Wasn't that nice of her? If I didn't drive the kids up there, I'm the bad Mom. Oh, I'm not even going to go there.

Anyway, I asked my sister if she'd seen or heard from Terry lately. Her reply was no, she didn't think Terry had her cell phone number. To which I responded, 'but you still have your house phone, don't you have an answering machine'? Her reply was 'no, we only use the house phone for the computer'. So that effectively cut the string in our long distance version of the old tin can and string. This made me realize that I likely was missing out on a lot of information.

When I got home Sunday night I googled the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and clicked on the obituarys (because I'm all tech savvy like that) and entered Joey and Cathie's Mother's name. Sadly, it came up. She passed away in September 2007. Even though I could not read the full obituary without paying a fee (what's up with that?), the fact that it listed her late husband's name, I'm pretty sure it's her, since it's not a common last name, nor was his first name common. I feel like total shit. I would have dropped everything to go to that funeral. Honestly, I would have. Now I feel terrible and wonder if this could have something to do with the sort of stilted communication we've had via Facebook. Of course it certainly could just be the passage of time, busy lives, etc.

As I write this post in the wee hours of Memorial Day I wonder, should I contact Cathie on Facebook about her Mother's passing? I'm just wondering how I should bring it up. Any thoughts?

Thank you for all your suggestions. I don't have Cathie's phone number, but have made contact via Facebook with private messages, the only way I have of contacting her other than snail mail. I'll do a post to update when I hear back from her and I will have information about my other efforts to cut the tin can and string method of communication through my sister.

Lola's Diner
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