The Daily 750









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All Dressed Up and . . .

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Right: Nowhere to go. On Wednesday I was shopping for the Ritual Birthday Tie and literally ran into artist Mariah Manners, who was scrounging around the bottom shelf of the size 9 clearance shoes at Ross Dress For Less, looking -- like all the other gals there -- for a pointy-toed shoe that costs 8 bucks but doesn't pinch too much. Surprise: No luck. Mariah invited me to an adult-themed puppet show at the AVA Gallery put on by herself, Jessica Schlief and some other local artists -- and I thought for sure she said it was Saturday, which was last night. But the gallery was dark at the stated time, 7 o'clock, as was pretty much everything else downtown, except for a shadowy crowd hanging out in front of the Elks that I was much too overdressed to join.

The husband was home enjoying a leisurely birthday weekend of watching oopy-goopy movies and dashing off his opinions about everything from the death penalty to slasher movies. His announced plan was to watch the Paul Schrader version of the prequel to The Exorcist while I enjoyed the puppet show.

I can't believe I typed the name of that movie. It burned like hellfire into my psyche. I was terrified of the dark for years after seeing it -- probably at the great Village Theater in Westwood, California, with an actual nurse in a white uniform standing at the top of each aisle, at the ready to attend to the fainters and the hurlers. I watched the entire movie minus the first five minutes through my hands. Even the guy I went with gagged a couple times -- and he was a sax player. Afterwards, if I thought someone was about to say the name of the movie, or talk about it at all, I'd put my hands up to my ears and intone "la-la-la-la-la-la-la" until the person got the message to stop talking about it. When I visited my parents for Christmas that year, I asked my mother if she'd "take that book that was made into a movie with Linda Blair, take it out of my room and please don't say the name or anything." If there'd been an earthquake in the middle of the night any time between 1973 and 1986 I would have died of fright, convinced not that the ceiling might fall in on me, but that I had been possessed. I blame my early years at Hickory Grove Baptist Church.

Around noon yesterday I had in mind to write about health care, beginning with some whining about a recent emergency room experience. Then I read Nancy Rommelmann's latest post, which directed me to the blog of a friend of hers, the writer Cathy Seipp, who had finally decided to tell the world that she has lung cancer -- never smoked, never was a bartender -- which has an 85% death rate.

Later, I got an email from a friend who'd just set up his laptop in his house in Bangalore, where he's on business for several weeks. "The fundamentals are so different here," he began. And then: "We take so much for granted, as we are continually told but never fully appreciate."

So no complaining for now, not even if it's funny. Have a lovely Sunday.