Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Fashions on the Red Carpet



Okay folks, you asked for it!  Actually you didn't but I'm going to give it to you anyway.  Here is Ron's Take on the Oscar Fashions on the red carpet last night.
 
Cruella deVille has arrived! (aka Sharon Stone)


And the Charmin Bathroom Tissue award goes to the gorgeous as always Halle Berry!



Helena we know you're quirky but really....the Edward Scissorhands Award?


Count on Helena for the outrageous.  After all, she is married to Tim Burton. 


The best maternity dress of the night, classic understated elegance by Best Actress Oscar winner Natalie Portman:


Cool as an icicle, brrrrr!.....Michelle Williams, Best Actress nominee:


Hey, I may be gay but this outfit that Jennifer Lawrence has hugging her curves definitely does something for me!  WOW!


One of the most overrated actresses, ZZZZZZZZZ, the always boring Scarlett Johannsen:


Reese, I hardly knew ye!  Whatever happened to that adorable little girl?  Only Julia Roberts can do Julia Roberts:  


Christian Bale uglies it up with a red beard.  Christian takes over the Russell Crowe mantel of Full of Himself, Obnoxious Actor of non-American origin.  Bale will be even more odious now that he has won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.  God save us from these bores. Nice understated gown on wife Sibi though. Obviously only room for one MASSIVE EGO in this family.


By contrast with the previous actor, here is a class actor.  I loved his first line when he accepted his Oscar for Actor:  "I have a feeling my career has just peaked."  Love you Colin!


I swear this is the same gown that my date Jeanette wore to my 1959 Senior Prom. Looks good on the teenage Best Supporting Actress nominee Hailee Steinfield:


The WTF Award goes to Kate Blanchette for the "what was she thinking?" gown/ Princess Leia's Mother?


Gwynnie Paltrow's "Lost in Space" gown:

Nicole and Gwynnie - two fabulous actresses!


This is what a gown looks like when you can't make up your mind....wear both!  Best Supporting Actor Mark Ruffalo's date confuses everyone in  her Victor/Victoria gown:

Winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar Melissa Leo: so so gown but love the personality.  Hitting on 94 year old Kirk Douglas.  It doesn't get any better than that!  I'm looking forward to seeing Melissa in more movies in the future:


No one plays a lesbian better than the straight Annette Benning.  She was robbed of the Oscar for Best Actress but she will be back.  Love you Annette!  Whose the doofus with you?


Oscar co-host  Anne Hathaway, always spectacular in red:


I like this new slim look in pants with male actors.  The black hip-hop influence is dead (Thank God!) Andrew Garfield from "The Social Network" - sexy! Love that bow-legged look. Wuff!


Sandra Bullack (minus Jesse James) with her portable seat cushion:


Best Actor Nominee Jesse Eisenberg who aced the role of billionaire A-Hole Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network"  What's with that hair?  Just get out of the shower?  Go home Jesse.  Buy bye.  


Jennifer Hudson, winner Best Actress in a previous year.  Love your weight loss Jennifer but when are you going to move on from wailing singing in weight loss commercials and on to that next Oscar nominated role?


Celine Dion, Old Horse Face Herself, in a gown made out of white on white patterned wallpaper.  Go have another kid with Renee. Nobody cares.


Best Supporting Actress nominee Jackie Weaver.  I love it when Mom gets to go to the Oscars!


I also love it when hot, straight young men take their Mom to the Oscars.  Bravo Justin Timerlake!
And falling in the OH MY GOD category:
co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco cross dress:    Anne?  YES!
James?  He looks better in tights

I'll never look at Marilyn in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" in quite the same way again.










Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pop

The Beginning - 1942 - the First Born with Pop and Mom


As regular readers of this blog may or may not know, I never had a good relationship with my father.  That may sound harsh but it is the truth.  


My Pop at 18 years old - a Hank Williams wannabe

My father died August 22, 2000.  He was 80 years old.  He died of lung cancer.  His doctor warned him many times to stop smoking but he was a stubborn man.  He died in a hospital bed, hooked up to an oxygen machine, gasping for breath.  



The body language says it all in this picture of me and my two brothers with Pop

My youngest brother John is on the far left and obviously the light of my father's eye.
My poor second brother is literally 'in the middle' and overlooked.  I'm on the far right with my hand on my father's shoulder but he is obvious to my reaching out to him.  Pictures say so much.


Even though we all knew he was dying, when I got the phone call from my sister-in-law Barbara telling me he died overnight,  it was still a shock to my system because he had been so much a part of my life.  But I can honestly say I felt no sadness.  I didn't feel happiness either.  Maybe a sense of relief because no matter what I did I could never please this man.  All my life I sought approval, he never showed it to me.



Father and son 1-976 - again check out the body language
by this time his dog 'Pepper' was the light of his life


I was his first born son.  I have two brothers.  My second brother didn't fare too well either, even though he was my father's namesake.  However, my third brother, and youngest, was my father's favorite.  Growing up I resented that my youngest brother was his favorite.  I hated my brother.  Ironically now my brother and I are best friends.  It's funny how things turn out in life.



Me, Mom and Pop 1982 - again check out the body language

I'm leaning in towards him but my Mom touches my leg lest I get too close to him 


Occasionally I think about my father.  I think about how much my life perhaps would have been different if he had shown me some love.   But then maybe nothing would be different.  I do a lot of thinking about my past at this time of my life, I often wonder how my life would have turned out if I had a 'normal' childhood.  But then who does have a 'normal' childhood?


My Pop at 18 years old - yes, I do look like him


My father used to enjoy humiliating me.  I grew up thinking I had the biggest nose in the world.  He would call me "beak" as in a bird's beak.  Of course this did nothing for my self-esteem which was very fragile because not only did I know I was 'different' from the time I was four years old (a 'sissy') but I had the usual teenager anxieties about not being accepted by my friends. I remember how terribly embarrassed because my father was a hillbilly.  For real, he really was a 'hillbilly.'  His parents brought him and eight of his brothers form the hills of western North Carolina (some God forsaken place called "Pigeon Roost") to the Unionville area of south eastern Pennsylvania in the late 1920's.  Two more brothers were born in Pennsylvania thus making eleven hillbilly sons of the brood of Fieldon and Hester Tipton, my paternal grandparents.  Of course now I am proud of my "hillbilly" heritage, recognizing it as true Americana but when I was growing up?  I was mortified.  


The "new car" - a GMC pickup truck


Of the many time he used to belittle and humiliate me one episode is especially etched into my mind.  I was 12 years old and my Mom told me the news that "Pop" was getting a new car!  I was so excited.  Finally, our family would be like my friend's families and have a cool family car.  So what did he get?  A GMC pickup truck!  I was again mortified.  A pickup truck!  I asked "Where would me and my brothers sit when we went on one of our Sunday Rides?"  "Pop", with an self-satisfied smile on his face said "In the back where you belong!"



Me not wanting my brother to take my picture of me in the back of the pickup truck.  Pop made sure to drive through Downingtown so my friends could see me in the back of the truck.  He got a big kick out of this.


The day of the Sunday Ride came up.  Pop was going to take a trip down to Maryland and the Conowingo Dam.  The whole family was going.  I refused to go because I was too embarrassed to be seen riding in the back of a pickup truck!  I didn't have choice.  He told me I would have to go and sit in the back of the pickup truck.  So here are the pictures of me, 12 years old, full of insecurities, still in my "sissy" stage, trying to make like of my humiliation.  


Me trying to make light of my humiliation.  Sorry about the sissyness.  I hadn't outgrown it at this point in my life.


This was just one of many incidences of my father's cruel humor. I wasn't the only recipient of his cruelty, but I got most of it.  I think he was trying to 'break me.'  He didn't succeed.  


I guess some would rebel under such treatment or become defeated.  My reaction was to 'get through it'.  I didn't see where I had any other choice.  I did know that as soon as I could I wanted to get away from home.  That is one of the reasons I joined the Army right of high school.

Me and my friend Jim Harris on the rifle range at Ft. Meade, Maryland 1962

After my father died, my Mother cleaned out all his personal items including pictures in his wallet.  Much to my surprise she found this picture in his wallet.  I had forgotten about this picture.  I didn't have a print of it.  He had the only print.  I don't know how he got it but there it was.  He carried it in his wallet all those years. 


 My Mother then told me that he didn't expect me to even make it through basic training.  He had that little confidence in me that he thought I would fail.  I was shocked when I heard this revelation.  Not make it through basic training?  I never had a doubt.  Did I have problems in basic?  Yes, I had some big problems but never for a moment did I even entertain the idea of dropping out, never.  I remember one especially rough patch.  I was so determined to not fail that I thought to myself "I'm going to do this even if I die in the attempt (which I almost did)" but never, NEVER did I consider failure.


So who knows, perhaps beneath all that cruelty he really did have some love for his oldest son.  I wish I knew that when he was alive.  Maybe things would have been different.  


I know one thing, he used to love my homemade German Chocolate Cake which I made from scratch.  When I bought that cake over to him I saw one of his rare smiles towards me.  I haven't made that cake since he died.  I was thinking about making it again.  



My Pop at his most handsome - a real "Ladies'  Man"

Tall (6'5") blonde, blue eyes, muscular, 'big', and could charm the pants off any woman


My Pop in his 70's - still not a gray hair in his head

Still smoking which would eventually kill him
Stubborn Man

The last time I saw my father was on a Saturday night, two days before he died.  He was in his hospital bed with oxygen tubes going up his nose.  He wanted to get up to use the bathroom (pee in the bottle).  He was to proud to use the catheter.   He wanted me to help him get up.  I did.  He turned around and did his business.  As he was finishing I put my hand on his neck and said softly into his ear "I love you Pop."  He said nothing but paused for a second of two.  I think he understood.  I never told him I loved him before.  Even though we didn't have a traditional father-son relationship he was still my father.  I wanted him to know I appreciated him bringing me into the world and raising me.  Whatever our differences I wanted him to know I forgave him and that I was his son and I loved him.

That was the last time I saw him.  

Pop and me when he liked me - 1942







Saturday, February 26, 2011

Roof Repaired










As I type this my roof is being repaired by 'Bobby' and his blonde, ponytailed helper who is a grandfather to seven (as he told me earlier). I am very glad to provide employment for fellow members of my community here on the eastern shore of southern Delaware.  I am also glad that these two men were able to come over here this morning and repair my roof right away. 


The price quoted ($300) was reasonable and it saves us risking life and limb (and possible brain injury which happened to my uncle who was a roofer) to climb the roof and repair it ourselves.  I remember something one of my former bosses and still friend Bill P. told me a long time ago when he was remodeling his kitchen.  After several tries at cutting his own countertops and wasting a ton of money with his mistakes, he told me"Sometimes Ron it's best to have the professionals come in and do the job."  I agree with you 100% Bill!


Ooops!  I just heard a knock on my sun room door.  It was Bobby.  He finished.  Job completed in a little under an hour!  Terrific!



Friday, February 25, 2011

Call the Roofer





So here I am at 6:30 this evening, after a full day of unwinding in my home from the all day ferocious winds, ready to join my friends for our Friday Night Dine Out meeting in Milton.


As I go into the garage I hear this banging sound outside.  We get a lot of wind here on the open coastal plain of southern Delaware, this close to the Atlantic Ocean.  I usually hear this knocking sound which come from the bathroom vents opening and closing.  However, this knocking was a 'demanding' knock.  I ask Bill "Could you go upstairs and see that that noise is?"  He looks about the window and sees what the problem is.  A GOOD CHUNK OF OUR ROOF IS FLAPPING IN THE WIND!  


Bill went outside to see how serious the damage was and found PART OF OUR ROOF IN OUR NEIGHBOR'S FRONT YARD!  Isn't this just wonderful?  


I was just thinking today that I didn't have any emergencies for, say, maybe a WHOLE DAY.  


I look back up at the roof and about a dozen more roofing tiles blow off onto our front lawn and the road in front of the house.  Isn't this just jolly?  


So I go back in the house and rack the old brain.  Who to call?  Do any of my friends or neighbors know an HONEST ROOFER?  You know where I'm going with this one don't you?  


I called my friend Bob C.  No, he had a roofer but he still has leakage problems.  He did give me a name and phone number of a Brazilian.  A Brazilian?  I'm game.  I called and I get THE DOGFISH BREWERY!  Thinking that I got the wrong number I call again.  Again the got THE DOGFISH BREWERY!  Do I need this aggravation?  


I called my friends Jack and Judy.  They weren't in.


So I go to the Internet and put in Google Search 'Roofing contractor, Milton Delaware.'  


I get some service whose name I forget.  After  listening to their spiel I was finally connected to 'Bobby.' Yes, 'Bobby' fixes roofs.  He will be over tomorrow.  He will check out the damage and give me a bid.


Here we go.  The adventure continues.  Never a dull moment around these parts.  



Taking the Day Off





Do not be concerned friends, I'm taking the day off.  I have to get myself together.  There was way too much going on these past two weeks.  Don't misunderstand me, it's all good but I'm not used to this pace of working three nights a week (for the past three weeks) and then learning my new iPhone, iPad, and iMac and dealing (on the phone) with all the entities involved. 

I NEED TIME TO UNWIND 

Now do you see why I don't have kids?  They would drive me crazy (the little darlings.)