The massive catch up post

The problem with taking so many days away from Livejournal entries is that I don’t know where to begin when I finally sit down to update again.

How about this? The worst thing that happened to me this weekend: I took a sip of cold coffee a minute ago and something tickled my lip. I looked in the cup. A fly was doing the backstroke in my coffee. Ack.

I have spent the last ten minutes gargling.

Best thing that happened to me this weekend? Going to the Syracuse Farmer’s Market with my dad. We bought veggies and sunflowers and fish and doughnuts for my mom.

So here are the details about Operation Elder Caravan. Continue reading “The massive catch up post”

Operation Elder Caravan complete!

Just a quick note – I made it back with both of my parents and my Beloved Husband who shall be called Sainted Husband for a long time because of his actions way above and beyond the requirements detailed in our marriage vows.

I have a lot of mail to catch up on. Once that is done, I’ll respond to the questions that popped up about the SPEAK movie in comments last week.

I’ll write about the Elder Caravan adventure, too, but I’ll put it behind a LJ-cut so you won’t have to read it if you don’t want. I didn’t take many pictures (too crazy for that), however there is one photo from a gas station in Florida you have got to see.

Talk to youse tomorrow!

Operation Elder Caravan

OK, guys, hang on tight while I suddenly shift gears.

I’ll try to answer the questions many of you posted in the comments yesterday and the day before… but if I can’t get to them right away, I beg forgiveness. I leave at 6:30 tomorrow morning to fly to Florida to help my parents move back North. (Beloved Husband follows on Saturday. He’s the lucky guy who gets to drive the truck.)

I’m calling this Operation Elder Caravan.

My parents are …. well, there is no other way to say it – they’re old. Dad is 78 and in pretty good shape except for his knees don’t work so good and every once in a while he gets gout which hurts A LOT and makes simple things like standing up and walking almost impossible. He tries to keep his spirits up by repeating to himself that gout is a disease of kings (Henry VIII of England had it), but somehow that doesn’t quite take all the pain away. Mom is 74 and no one is sure why she is still alive. She has metastasized breast cancer, a damaged heart, coronary artery disease, and emphysema. If any of you need motivation to quit smoking, I would be happy to have you spend five minutes with my mom. Her last years have been very painful and depressing, and it’s due to her lifelong cigarette habit. She started smoking when she was 17, and smoked for four years after she was diagnosed with emphysema, and quit only when they put her on oxygen 24/7… and then only because they pointed out that an open flames near oxygen would blow up the trailer. (DON’T SMOKE! DON’T SMOKE!) My mom is as tough (and stubborn) as they come.

So this trip is sad in some ways. And scary – I am petrified by the thought that one or the other will have a heart attack when we’re stuck in traffic. (My rational brain knows the chances of that happening are very small, but my disaster-driven irrational brain is in charge these days.)

Some of you might be asking – why drive from Florida to NY with two ornery, sick, old people? Why not fly?

Because if you are on oxygen a) very few airlines will accommodate you and b) doctors only advise direct flights. The logistics just wouldn’t work.

Except for the part where I’m afraid they’re going to die on me, I’m looking forward to this. Heaven knows I’ve had a lot of issues with my parents. But I am who I am because of them, and I owe them both a great deal. They are the ones who taught me to laugh when things get tough, they taught me to put family and God first, and that a life of integrity is the only life worth leading. They still say and do things that make me want to roll my eyes, stomp out of a room, and slam a door like a thirteen-year-old, but I irritate them, too. It’s part of the package. Mostly, I’m grateful they have lived long enough to watch their grandchildren grow, and to give my sister and me the opportunity to take care of them.

Please remind of the above paragraph when I write an entry in this journal that is just “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! THEY’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!”

Parents are weird.

Well, that was fun!

Any more comments? What did you think?

I’ll try to answer the questions that cropped up in your comments a little later today. Overall I’m relieved that so many readers/viewers were willing to give the film a chance and not have to be a word-by-word retelling of the book.

Last night was the fourth time I’d seen the whole thing. The first time was with a roomful of librarians in Colorado. I couldn’t stop crying at the end. I still cry in the scene when she shows Mr. Freeman her closet. That’s my favorite part. You want to know what made me goofy excited last night? Seeing it listed in the cable guide. I thought “Wow, it is really real!” Dumb, I know, but amusing.

I hope you caught the Public Service Announcement at the end. Does anyone know how I can get a copy and post it on my website?

Thanks to all of you for supporting SPEAK and my other books. I consider myself blessed beyond reason. Now I will eat breakfast and get back to work to the next one!!!

Da-da-da-daaaah, da-da-da-daaaah

(That is a famous passage from Beethoven’s 5th symphony, BTW.)

Yep. It’s here. It’s tonight. And I am supposed to get a lot of writing done today. (insert hysterical giggling)

Games to play while watching SPEAK movie: (9pm EST on Showtime (which I can’t afford) & Lifetime (aka “The Estrogen Channel”) check local listings for Midwest and West coast)

1. count how many times Melinda speaks.
2. watch for lines that came from the book.
3. figure out what famous teen movie the director paid homage to in one of the cafeteria scenes.
4. if you live in Ohio and were one of the extras, look for yourself on screen.
5. throw popcorn at the TV whenever IT shows up.
6. figure out what scenes were NOT in the book.
7. speculate on why the director chose the ending she did.

I know some of you are not going to like the movie as much as the book. That’s cool. When you post here to complain, give me REASONS why you didn’t like it as much. Same with those of you who really like the movie – let me know your favorite scenes!!! Which characters looked like you imagined? Which didn’t seem to fit at all? Which actors deserve Oscars for their performances? Did anybody really stink?

My Menu Suggestions…. food with ties to SPEAK:
Mashed potatoes
Powdered doughnuts
Pop-Tarts (thank you for reminding me!)
Very bad turkey soup

If have read CATALYST in addition to SPEAK, award yourself five points and add these to your menu:
Jello salad

Did I forget anything? What are you eating at your party?

Here are a couple photos my daughter took while we were on the movie set.

If you really want to dissect the movie and you forgot/can’t tape or Tivo it, the DVD comes out at the end of September.

Roll tape!