Posted tagged ‘Superman’

“Food is the most primitive form of comfort.”

April 23, 2017

Weather is so relative that today’s 57˚ feels warm and springlike, a sit on the deck in the sun sort of day. I might even need sunglasses.

My sister in Colorado and I had our usual Sunday phone call. Today we found two hours worth of conversation ranging from potty training to Trump.

When I was a kid, I never spent much time on the phone. I remember the party line and Mrs. McGaffigan who shared the line. Sometimes I’d pick up the receiver and hear her voice and listen to her conversation: I’d eavesdrop. She caught me several times. I never said a word when she did. I just put the receiver down. My phone number started with ST 6. I used to love the sound of the rotary dial when it clicked back after I entered a number. The phone was black. I think all the phones back then were black.

I miss phone booths. Anytime I passed by one, I’d check the coin return. Once in a while, I’d be lucky enough to find a dime, big money back then. It never seemed strange to me that Clark Kent had room enough to change to Superman in a phone booth. I did wonder what he did with his clothes and why nobody noticed when he was changing. Maybe he was just too quick.

Back then, I didn’t know a single kid who was a skeptic. We accepted most things at face value. The movie monsters were scary. We never saw the strings propelling spacecraft. We accepted the odd looking aliens. We didn’t make fun of movies. We naturally suspended disbelief. I laugh now at those same movies, but I love them still.

Roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, and peas are my favorite meal. My mother cooked it for our last family dinner before I left for Peace Corps. She used to put slices of onion on top of the roast, and they were delicious. It is the best of all my comfort meals. I remember my mother peeling potatoes at the sink and my father carving the meat. I still count mashed potatoes and peas among my favorites. I don’t have roast beef all that much anymore. Roast chicken has replaced it and stuffing has been added as a side.

I don’t cook much for myself anymore. I’m into quick and easy, but I’ve found shortcuts for that chicken dinner. I buy rotisserie chicken, real, already mashed potatoes and frozen peas. I call that the modern interpretation of down home comfort food.

“Superman is, after all, an alien life form. He is simply the acceptable face of invading realities.”

June 26, 2016

Right now I’m watching Superman, the series from my childhood. I’d forgotten how high Superman’s boots are and how many places Clark Kent disrobes. I love the cars, the fedoras and Lois Lane’s many hats. She goes off to work in suits, matching hats, high heels, pearls, gloves and a leather bag. The operating table scenes were wonderful. I saw a worried doctor, a concerned nurse and a watchful Superman. I never did see the patient.

The end of this spectacular weather is tomorrow when the humidity will be back to join with the temperature to produce a hot, muggy day. I’m figuring it will the first day of air conditioning.

Fern is downstairs already. She even slept on my bed for a bit, and today is the first day she didn’t hide under the bed. It is still difficult to get her to eat the pills she needs so I’m going to try crushing them in food I’ll only give to her.

Today is tend to my deck plants day. I have been lax in getting out there, and the plants are screaming for water. I forgot to buy a new pot to replace the ones the spawns broke when they were running up and down the deck rail so I’ll have to find something to use as a planter. This morning I caught one standing on his hind legs grabbing seeds from the feeder. It was a grey spawn. They haven’t been around for a year or two. It was the red spawns who drove me crazy.

I have been watching a variety of stations, not the major networks. Most of the movies and programs have been old and fun to watch for that reason. Right now I am watching Decades and last night it was MeTv. The commercials are horrible with poor acting and weird products, and they tend to be repeated over and over. Pans and knives seem to be popular.

I have Chinese food in mind. I’m thinking about lo mein and chicken wings. Every now and then I get a craving for something. A week or two ago it was chocolate. I went to Nancy’s candies and bought six chocolates and a piece of fudge. They were delicious. I’ll just have to fit in Chinese food. I can already taste it, hot mustard and all.

 

“Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight?”

November 9, 2015

Today is a lovely fall day. It isn’t all that warm because of the cool breeze, but the sun is bright and sharp. My heat came on during the early morning so the house was comfortable when I came downstairs. It was my morning to sit and chat with my neighbor to help improve her English. She gets stuck on have or has. Usually she uses have for everything. She turns played and similar words into two syllables. We worked on that as well. She gives me the Portuguese word for what we’re talking about and helps me with the pronunciation. I guess that makes it a joint effort.

After Wednesday my dance card is empty. It is getting on to the time of the year when I tend to hibernate. I’ll see a movie now and then and play games with my friends on Sunday, but that’s about it, and I’m fine with that.

When I was a kid, my winters were about the same as now. We went to the Saturday Matinee a couple of times a month, but the rest of the week was pretty quiet. It got dark only a few hours after we’d get home from school, but most days we just stayed in the house as it was too cold to play outside. We’d watch television and we’d do our homework. Most afternoons we did both at once. I remember watching Superman and even back then I wondered how Lois and Jimmy didn’t recognize Clark. I guessed the glasses were a better disguise than we imagined.

Supper was usually around six. Most nights my father made it home in time. In my memory drawers I see him walking in the door wearing his overcoat and his fedora. He’d put them in the closet then change out of his suit. He always wore a suit to work. Supper was eaten around the kitchen table, but there was never enough room for all of us unless the table got pulled out and another seat was added at the end. I think that’s when my mother started eating at the counter as we never did pull out the table except for holidays. Much later, in a different house, the dining room table was big enough so the whole family and more could sit together and eat; however, we mostly did that only on holidays because by then we were scattered and it was only during the holidays we’d all together. My mother always joined us at the table.

“Plain food is quite good enough for me. “

October 8, 2013

More fall-like weather followed last night’s rainstorm. Today is in the 60’s and the rest of the week will be the same. I went back to my sweatshirt this morning. The day is a bit dark though no rain is predicted. Every day is closer to the end of deck time. That makes me melancholic.

This morning I had a library board meeting, the last entry on this week’s dance card. I thoroughly enjoyed last week’s empty card except I did have that cleaning frenzy, now gone thank God, so this week looks like a lie on the couch and read week. Maybe I’ll add a few bon-bons.

The sun has just decided to make an appearance. It has that sharpness that comes on a cool day when the sun is just light, not warmth.  I can see it glinting through the leaves. The bird feeders by the deck are in shadow now, a consequence of the changing angle of the sun. If I never went outside, I would still know the time of year by following the path of the sun.

When I was a little kid, I liked fall but I disliked the shorter days because we’d only have a little time to be playing outside after school before homework and dinner. In the summer we’d be outside until close to seven and even later. This time of year five was pushing it and four was more likely. We’d come in, plop down in the front of the TV and watch Superman and The Mickey Mouse Club while my mother cooked supper. We always had a vegetable, usually from a can, mashed potatoes and some sort of meat. My mother was a whiz with hamburger. Her meatloaf was spectacular with ketchup on the top and bacon over the ketchup. We used to fight to get the crispy bacon strips. She’d also make hamburger in gravy over mashed potatoes and American chop suey. One of our favorites was a pseudo-Chinese dish with bamboo shoots and hamburger. That one always seemed exotic. We’d also have chicken, but my mother always baked it. Roast beef was reserved for Sunday dinner. The only fresh vegetable I remember eating was carrots, and I didn’t like carrots until I was older. I wanted canned Le Seuer peas and could eat them every night. For my last family meal before leaving for Ghana, I chose roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy and Le Seuer peas. I chose comfort food.

“Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”

January 12, 2013

Today is a low-keyed day though I do have one triumph to report. A mouse now has a new residence. I caught my first one last night. It fell for the old cheese in the box routine. I noticed its capture around 10:30 last night so Gracie and I took the mouse for a ride and, in defiance of the law, relocated it a few blocks away. The mouse was a black one, and I think the same one the dog was chasing on Christmas Eve. I wish it well in its new home wherever that is.

The week has been a busy one for me, and I’m done with it. Today is a nothing day: no errands, no mice, no sun and no ambition. Maybe I’ll read, or maybe I won’t. I’m ambivalent. I’d watch the syfy channel, but today is destroy Earth day, and I’ve already seem most of them. I know the endings-the Earth is always saved.

When I was a kid, I don’t remember ever having nothing days. Monday to Friday was school, and it consumed most of my week. At this time of year, when I’d get home, the dark came too early, and it was usually too cold for playing outside in the afternoons. We’d play in the cellar instead or play a board game while lying on the living rug or watch television.

Superman was on TV every day at 4:30. It never occurred to me back then that Lois, Jimmy and Perry should have seen through Clark’s disguise and should have followed up the questions Lois always asked about Clark’s disappearance when Superman was on the scene. It looked like Superman was really flying though I knew he wasn’t. I can still remember the flying music and the sound of the wind as Superman jumped into the air then flew with arms outstretched. Clark always took off his tie first. That and the music were the sign Clark was soon to be Superman. I wondered about the suits he left in telephone booths and alleys. I figured he always went back to the storage room for the suits he left at work but what about the others.  Now I just can’t imagine his clothing allowance. I can still see in my mind’s eye the train and the shooting gun when Superman was described at the beginning of the program, “Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive.” It was stirring to see Superman, arms akimbo, with the flag waving behind him. The world was in good hands!

“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman!”

September 30, 2011

The day is lovely, and I’m glad I have a slew of errands to do to get me out and about. Last night it poured for a while and then it thundered adding a bit of drama to the evening.

I saw a picture of Superman the other day, my Superman, my faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound Superman. I was reminded of the living room at 37 Washington Ave. It was there, every afternoon, I watched Superman while my mother made dinner. The house was small; it was one side of a duplex. The kitchen table was against the window. The rest of the kitchen was longer than it was wide. Not far off the back door was a fence, and a big white house used to sit way back on the other side of that fence. The driveway to the house wasn’t paved but was rather two ruts worn in the grass by use. Pear trees were there, and we used to eat those pears, and all I remember is how hard they always were. The fence had a gate near the house and on the other side of the gate was the parking lot no one ever used except us kids to roller skate, ride bikes and play wild games like crack the whip. I used to climb the gate from Green Street where the house was. It was a short cut to my own house.

I remember lying on the floor in front of the small TV while I watched the flickering black and white screen as Superman saved the day. I knew that Clark and Superman were the same, and I wondered why Lois, Jimmy and Mr. White never figured it out. The glasses weren’t a great disguise.

Lois was a favorite of mine. She wasn’t afraid to investigate all sorts of nefarious schemes and people. Maybe it was because she knew Superman would always come or maybe it was because she was gutsy and getting the scoop was more important than anything else. I wanted to be Lois, curious and brave, but I never wanted to wear one of those hats, and the first thing I’d have done was ditch the suit.