Big giant head


In Other News

Buh-bye, Bubbe

Grandma Cyndie, Bubbe, is even now winging her way home, east, to the land of sunshine and retirement villages: Florida. I won't say it's not a day too soon, because she wasn't as annoying as I'd expected, but it's certainly not a day too late.

She and Zoe got reacquainted and even got along for the most part, which is something we were a little worried about. It would have been horribly uncomfortable if she'd come all this way to see her granddaughter and Zoe had spent the entire 10 days running from her screaming in terror.

So all things considered I think we should mark the visit down as a success. Bubbe was happy playing with her granddaughter, Zoe was happy to make her happy, Beth was glad to spend the time with her mom, and I wasn't climbing the walls at the end of each day.

I did get a tad worried today, though, when Beth commented that Cyndie could see Zoe more if she lived closer. Cyndie expressed some reservations about moving to L.A., so I pointed out that the Florida panhandle is closer, which got a laugh.

I was only half-joking.


Saturday - 8/29/98
Playing Catch-up

In idly going back over old entries here in recent days, I've come across several instances where I've left you hanging by not wrapping up a situation or following through on a "next time" tease. Whoops, sorry about that. Well, I have no idea what to write about tonight, so I think I'll write about that. It's catch-up time at the 'stake, kids. Enjoy.

First, my dad. When last you heard, he'd had the angioplasty and seemed to be recovering well when things suddenly started going south. I think my last mention of his situation was a grim pronouncement that I didn't expect him to make it. I'm happy to tell you that, boy, was I wrong. He feels fine now, better than he has in a long time; so fine, in fact, that he's coming out for a visit in the next few weeks. He's got his strength back, he's been off the oxygen for months, and most surprisingly of all, he's still off the cigarettes. This man had a two or three pack a day cigarette jones for longer than I've been alive, and he managed to turn it off like that. Of course it took a heart attack to make him do it, but the fact remains that he did do it. I gotta respect that. And so, as I take a hit off my own cigarette, I salute his willpower in putting down his. You're a better man than I, Gunga Dad.

And then there are the celebrity sightings from our New York trip last year. Now, for those of you who don't live in L.A. and think that we who do probably see celebrities around every corner, allow me to disabuse you of that notion. We see them around every other corner. Well, okay, not even that much. But yes, we do see celebs around town occasionally. But after spending 10 days in Manhattan, let me tell you, that's the place to go to see 'em. I swear, they were coming out of the woodwork. Now, the fact that we were staying at the Four Seasons probably played a hand in that, but still, it was remarkable how many we came across. I think maybe Hollywood was empty that week.

We started out with Sylvester Stallone, who was having lunch a few tables away in the hotel lounge as we waiting for our room to be ready. I didn't see him, probably because I was concentrating on feeding Zoe, but the women in our group got appropriately dewy. Next up was Joel Shumacher, director of the last two Batman movies. He was at the front desk, checking out as we were checking in, and I regret to report that I did not bitch-slap him for fucking up what should have been dark, entertaining films. Later on we nearly ran over Brad Pitt getting off an elevator, and I would have asked for his autograph for you but I was too busy performing CPR on Beth and her two Pitt-struck sisters. We saw Mel Gibson strolling down Madison -- at least Beth and her sister did; I was too busy ogling his female companion (his wife?) to notice him, and Beth tells me I nearly hip-checked him into a tree. And there was Jon Lovitz late one night in the hotel lobby, who I refrained from asking, "Hey, didn't you used to be funny?" My one-time favorite sport announcer, Pat O'Brien, stepped out of his limo at the hotel while ours was pulling up, and finally, later that night at dinner we saw Steve Guttenberg and I resisted the urge to remind him that I'd met him years before when my brothers did a movie with him. Grand total? Seven celebs in 10 days, a better ratio than you normally get out here in La-La Land.

And isn't it about time to close the books on the time I was stalked by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani? It happened during the same trip I outlined above. I stepped out to buy a... I don't know what the hell you call it -- it's the rubber covering for the mid-keyboard mouse pointer on a laptop. Anway, I stepped out to buy one for my father-in-law at a computer store around the corner from the Four Seasons. So I'm in the store, checking out the digital cameras, when I become aware that someone's standing right behind me, looking over my shoulder at the same camera I'm looking at, and that the atmosphere in the store has changed; the air has become charged with some odd kind of tension. I glance around and see that it's Rudy, apparently on a campaign walking tour of Manhattan, along with a contingent of security detail and yes-men. I glanced around to see if his caricature of a son was with him (he wasn't, thankfully), and proceeded to ignore him. A few minutes later I paid for my mouse pointer thingie, and hit the bricks.

On the way back to the hotel I decided to stop in at a watch store around the corner to drool over a vintage watch I'd seen there earlier. But wait, what's this? It's Rudy and the gang, shaking hands and blocking the sidewalk ahead of me. I detour around them, and as I walk by Rudy looks up sharply and makes eye contact with me. I'm not sure, but I think we "shared a moment," and as I dropped my eyes and kept walking I remember thinking, "Freak."

A few minutes later I'm on the second level in the watch store, fogging the display case over the beautiful you-should-buy-me-one-for-my-birthday-anyone-who's-reading-this Rolex Daytona, when, again, the atmosphere changes. I look down to see my nemesis, Mayor Rudy, stalking the floor (and me). Again I ignore him and continue window-shopping. A few minutes later I'm down on the main level and I pause to watch the Rudy circus from a discreet distance. There's a woman standing a few feet away from me, also watching, and I turn to her and cleverly say, "Mayor Rudy, huh?" She replies, "Uh huh." I sidle a few steps closer to her and whisper jokingly, quasi-confidentially, "He's stalking me, you know. Following me all over New York." She just looks at me and something in her eyes changes. Then I notice the little badge on her lapel and the earplug in her ear. She's part of his security detail and I just qualified as a weirdo worth watching. I hightailed it out of there quick and never saw Rudy again. But if I ever do see him again, I'm going to take great care to make sure both my hands are clearly visible...and empty.

And most recently, there was the gay couple in my dog training class. Okay, I'll come clean: It's Steve Kmetko and Greg Louganis. Nice guys both, but I think Beth and I both agree Steve's more approachable. Between them I think they have something like 97 dogs -- they each bring a few on-leash and a few more in little dog carriers and switch between them as the class goes on. And they're all little dogs, ankle-biters, the type that's more apt to pee on your foot than... well, pee on your knee. Greg apparently has a Great Dane at home, and I've wondered on occasion if perhaps the small dogs in the carriers are just snacks for it. The instructor does recommend that we give our dogs treats when they carry out a command; what better treat could there be for a Great Dane than fresh, obedient Chihuaha? "Good boy, here's a yapper."

Well, I think that's it. I'm sure I've left other issues hanging, but I can't remember them right now. Feel free to remind me via email if there's anything else you'd like me to wrap up (besides this journal in general, ha ha). In the meantime, be sure to check back for the next entry where I'll ... forget to talk about whatever I was about to tease you with.


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Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins