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Posts Tagged ‘Obsessions’

Dear Dr. P:

It’s been a dozen years since I’ve been in a for-credit course. I really don’t know what I’m doing in your Explosives in Industry course. Or what I’m doing in the Explosives Technology graduate certificate program in general.

My background is journalism/mass communications and performing arts.

So why am I here?

I genuinely don’t know.

I guess it just seemed cool to learn about explosives.

And I guess I wanted to do something completely different.

Even though this certificate program is billed as being for non-engineers, there’s still a steep learning curve.

I mean. What is going on there? Those acronyms mean nothing to me!

However, I did enjoy your video tour of the experimental mine.

Also, EXPERIMENTAL MINE?! That’s DOPE!

Anyway, I’m Tracy Flick, so I will figure out what I don’t know. I plan to get an A in the class.

I’m on the right track.

Looking forward to learning more.

Sincerely,
Beth

*Always time for a Monty Python reference.

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Dear Bob Cassilly,

My guy, WHAT were you smoking when you created City Museum? Whatever it was, it was some good stuff. City Museum is like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life — in person or in movies/on TV. Not even “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” comes close to this crazy place.

When I moved to St. Louis, people kept telling me I needed to visit. However, I don’t like museums. (It’s true. I’m sorry. But I don’t think you do either.) Finally, my friend Kate said that it is not a museum in any traditional sense of the word. She tried to describe it, then basically gave up.

“You have to see it,” she said. “It’s … sensory overload.”

So I went. And she’s right.

City Museum is like a museum in the way that I am like Beyoncé: barely any resemblance in form or function.

It is a building that houses artifacts — artifacts presented in chaos. It’s a 10-story fever dream.

I’ve now been four times.

Why?

You created notable features such as:

• An actual school bus cantilevered on the top floor over the street

• A Ferris wheel on top of the building

• A 10-story slide

• A five-story slide (that has not been open any of the four times I’ve been)

• A cave system

• The world’s largest (maybe) pair of underpants

• Two airplanes

I can’t even begin to summarize what is there. And every time I go, I discover something new.

Dominic and Gideon were in town, and I said we were going. They, like me, are not into museums. I said, “Hold that thought.”

Neither of them could believe what you created. Dominic lamented that, at 6’2″, he is too big for some of the tunnels.

“I wish we had come here when I was a kid.”

I fully agree. This could have entertained them for HOURS, and they would have slept well. (Every parent knows a day that wears out the kids is a good day.)

Here is just a sample of what we got into at your creation.

A seagull disgorges Dominic.
Gideon finds a tunnel under the first floor. No, thank you.
Dominic goes where I won’t.
This is the entrance to a slide. Seriously.
The caged bird yells, “Take my picture!”
My hips don’t lie, nor do they fit in this opening.
Dominic makes it to the top of one of two castles.

Speaking of the castles:

I’m sorry, TWO WHAT NOW?

There were a few moments where I worried about their safety and mine. I was right to worry. From the actual City Museum website:

The do-it-yourself, trying-anything nature of the museum led, not surprisingly, to injuries and, also not surprisingly, to dozens of personal injury suits. Mr. Cassilly’s response was to post telephone numbers of lawyers at the door.

The kids and I developed the habit of them going first into some cave/tunnel/hole to do reconnaissance then reporting back about the viability for me.

This tunnel was not for me.
But this one was ok.

Yes, I used my own children as canaries in a coal mine.

I make no apologies. They were willing participants. And had a fabulous time.

I’m sorry you died an untimely death — a death that turns out not to have been a bulldozer accident. L’esclandre!

And I love that people who love City Museum can also live there.

It’s not for me (not enough windows or, you know, standard amenities), but I recognize the appeal.

So thanks, Bob, for never growing up. For creating a place so outlandish there is no equal.

Your fan,
Beth

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Dear Bio Family,

You’ve only known me a short while, but you KNOW me.

Do I want to go?

Does my Senator (Josh Hawley) run from chaos he helped create?

Yes. The answer is yes.

As some readers may remember, I went to this event in Atlanta. Alone. (I’m the “weird” one.)

But yesterday, it was a family affair.

Mom, sister, niece, nephew

Perhaps I’m jaded, but I felt like the offerings were not as varied as the prior event and were more expensive.

Here are some fresh things I saw but did not buy (because expensive).

A gumball machine filled with cow eyes
A creative use for vintage photos
Part of a giraffe
Fun (and horrifying) night lights
The worst item anyone could dream up for me: a clown doll. IT (the character and the doll) haunts me still.
Mothman (To be fair, he wasn’t for sale. Actually, he might have been. I don’t know.)
Whatever scene this is

But I did buy two things. Very cheap. Necessary, I felt.

A snakeskin pendant and a chicken foot. Everyone needs a preserved chicken foot. (Yes, everyone. 😄)

So thanks, Fam, for showing me once again that DNA is remarkable.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Gladys,

I enjoyed meeting you for five minutes outside the Greenville, S.C., airport as I adopted your cat son Leo. Thank you for posting him on a rescue site and choosing me as his new parent.

He’s not happy. At all.

You may have saved my sanity. Seriously.

As I mentioned, I’ve been living alone for a few months — visiting family when I can.

Those after-dinner hours (7-9 p.m.) are really quiet/lonely. I can only watch just so much “Ozark” and “Great British Baking Show.” And my house is VERY clean.

Isolation has breathed life into my workaholic side, for sure. Plus, I took on a freelance project and am taking courses online toward various credentials.

Still.

I found myself talking to — and responding to — myself. Out loud. Uh oh.

And I missed taking care of critters (i.e., Dominic and Gideon).

I haven’t had a pet in 11 years. It’s been 16 since I’ve had a cat. That’s weird in itself, as I had a cat or cats my whole life. At one point, Eddie and I had four dogs and four cats.

We had a temporary cat at the time of this Christmas card photo, and Maggie the Boxer hadn’t joined us yet. The photo gives you an idea of the craziness, though.

I’ve been wanting a Sphynx for more than five years — haunting rescue sites because I wasn’t about to spend more than $2K on a damn cat.

Luckily, you started to travel more and felt guilty about boarding him all the time.

So now he’s mine. Traumatized, but mine.

Things are going great.

He is aggressively cuddly. He gets right in my face. Breathing in my mouth to steal my soul.

And has to be ON ME at all times.

I mean. LOOK AT HIM.

Look at this FOOT!

I don’t know how you were able to give him up, but I’m so glad you did.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Beth, Leo’s new mom

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Dear Dominic,

I was so happy to see you and your brother this weekend. Gideon is pubescing HARD, so I didn’t see him much. You, though? Plenty of contact. The whole “Peacemaker” series so far, as one gauge of time.

(Five stars. Would recommend. Would recommend for the awkward dance routine intro alone.)

I loved spending time with you.

I do want to say I’m having a really hard time keeping my mouth shut about your hair.

It’s a tension as old as time: Parents disapproving of hairstyles. Or lack thereof.

But look:

What animal died on your head, Dominic? And can I taxidermy it instead?

I know, I know: A girl (or maybe two) said it looked good.

And here we are.

I don’t know why you care what a girl says. You clearly aren’t interested in dating at the moment.

I mean, you quickly shut one girl down about prom. Full stop.

Poor thing. You don’t even have her saved as a contact in your phone!

(Also, what the heck, Dominic?!?)

Are you sure you’re MY son?

But you know, I love that you and your friends are into something so wholesome. Spider-Man fandom is infinitely preferable to any typical teenage interest.

I’m a fan. (Not of Spider-Man — please* — but of you and your friends.)

I love you, and I’ll see you soon.
Mama

*Look. Listen. He’s one of my least favorite characters in the Marvel universe. Give me Tony Stark, Black Widow or Thor any day! Spider-Man is … fine.

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Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you know, I’ve been taking what I’ve termed “murder-prevention trips” during the pandemic. As I’ve mentioned, I’m an extrovert who likes to travel. The pandemic was hard for me for those reasons, as well as the fact that my children and I were all up on each other trying to work/study.

(First-world problems, I know. We did not have nearly the issues that many, many other people had. But this was my reality, and I’m acknowledging its difficulty.)

I’m not an indoor cat.

Look at what Dominic got me (on his own!) to commemorate my latest trip:

When he is good, he is very good indeed. (And when he is bad, he is horrid.)

Where did I go? England. Boris said I could.

Plus, my favorite band was playing their first gig in a billion years (i.e., 18 months).

I am such a huge Anglophile — constantly amused and/or impressed by the things I find. This jaunt was no exception.

An all-in-one station. You don’t even need to move your hands. Genius!
If it’s needless, why is it there?
Ew! No. That’s an assault on humanity.
I asked the waiter what this was on the saucer. He said, “Flake.” I said, “A flake of what?” It’s chocolate. We Americans don’t have that.
Brilliant!
I love that it’s a “Demand” button instead of the more polite “Call.”
I’ve never seen a toilet shaped like this.
Well, OF COURSE there will be nudity. It’s the UK and “naked” is in the title.

I’ve promised Gideon a birthday trip there in May, COVID willing. Maybe he’ll be as delighted as I am with the cultural differences.

Have a great week!
Beth

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Dear Plant Murderers:

You are complete bastards. I went out of town for TWO DAYS, and my beloved tomato plant went from this:

To this:

I didn’t even know why until I got close.

Hornworm.

I had never even heard of you. And then I had to Google how to get rid of you.

As per instructions, I plucked you off my plant and yeeted you into the sun. (Plucking was advised. Yeeting was not. Directions suggested killing you in soapy water.)

Look at this complete asshole. His name is Adolph.

I will be vigilant against your return, but I don’t know if my plant will rebound.

TWO DAYS!

I hate you all.

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear Rick Springfield,

Thanks for the chat this week. It was … surreal to talk to you on the phone. It was even more surreal to say this to my family:

I have to turn on the ringer on my phone; I’m waiting for a call from Rick Springfield.

But these are the perks of being a freelance reporter.

Granted, my angle — your seething hordes of rabid female fans — is a little unusual.

You were bemused by my questions, I could tell. But I made you laugh, so that’s good.

Thanks for being gracious and humble. And a 71-year-old heartthrob who’s clearly still got it.

Why do I know this? Because I saw your fans in action at Chastain Park in Atlanta in August 2018.

This is you braving the crowd. I was impressed.

See you Friday night at the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Block Party!

Your fan,
Beth

*Yes, I took liberties with the song.

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Dear Dominic,

Do not use the washer as a dirty-clothes hamper.

I have told you this no fewer than 10 times in the past couple of weeks.

Put your dirty clothes in your hamper until you decide to do your laundry.

I’m sick of wanting to do a load of clothes and finding it already full of yours — just hanging out in there. Not washed.

Last night, you looked at me while you threw in your uniform. You were smiling in a very evil way, so I know you know exactly what you were doing.

So I did this:

And I will do it again.

For the 11th time: Do not use the washer as a hamper.

Kthxbye,
Your mother

* Thanks, Don.

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Dear Judith,

Thank you for being my new Biddy BFF. I missed everyone so very much during the Lockdown Times.

I kept checking to see if the Boot Camp was up and running, but had no luck. But then one day, I got this message from Eddie:

I was OVERJOYED. I immediately checked all over the Y website, and finally found the classes listed.

The next day, I hauled my (slightly heftier) carcass back to the pool.

Me to Sandra, the M/W instructor: I was so excited these classes started up again.
Sandra to me: We’ve been back since July!
Me: Oh.

I realized I was a victim of poor website design.

Still, I’m back, and meeting new people like you!

I know I’m in for a few laughs when I see you. Here are some things you said just this week that made me cackle:

EXCHANGE 1
Sandra, on the edge of the pool: It’s hard to do this exercise from up here.
You: It’s even harder in here.

EXCHANGE 2
Sandra: Alright, switch it up. Cross country forward.
You: I only go backward.

EXCHANGE 3
You to me when I was drinking my water: That’s vodka isn’t it? I don’t know why you won’t share.

I never have any trouble getting out of bed to go to the gym. It’s not only because it’s good for me, and I feel great afterward, but because of you.

You are the best!

See you Thursday!
Beth

 

 

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