Getting Ready for Christmas, Round 2!!

Today, I will endeavor to summon the necessary energy to finish decorating that darn tree!

I cannot believe how exhausted I was yesterday. By the time I opened all the boxes to see all the Christmas stuff I had packed away 3 years ago… I sat on the floor of the dining room, I looked up at my mom and said really breathlessly & overwhelmed-ly, “Where am I going to put all this stuff?”

She just looked at me non-committal-ly and said nothing.

Yes, I know — I’m making up words today. But sometimes only non-words will suffice!

Well, it was really cool to see all that stuff and to suddenly remember that I owned it, but truly, I have no room for most of it. For any of it that doesn’t actually go onto the tree. So it’ll be interesting. and the only thing that was broken in all those boxes that had been stored and moved and stored and moved again, and then stored here in the new house — the only thing that was broken was, of course,  my very favorite Christmas coffee mug that I bought at Macy’s in NYC, at Christmas 1981.

Absolutely everything else survived unscathed, including a lot of little highly breakable things that only cost me maybe a dollar and held no sentimental value at all. So that was a little disheartening. My mom said to just glue the cup back together and set it out as a little keepsake/reminder. But I wonder if it just means I need to move on? I just don’t know. Do I really need a practically 40-year-old broken Christmas coffee mug? My memories from those years are in good working order; not sure I need some sort of reminder

Well, for now, it’s sitting on the kitchen counter, until I can figure it out for sure.

In keeping with the coffee theme — my mom made me open one of my Christmas gifts yesterday because it was a can of my very favorite coffee of all time:

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So I am in heaven this morning. I haven’t bought Chock Full o’ Nuts in months because I have to go to a particular store to get it — they don’t sell it at the market where I normally shop. And at the local dollar store here in Crazeysburg, they sell the original Maxwell House, which was Tom Petty’s favorite coffee. So, god knows, it’s preferable to drink his favorite coffee over my own actual favorite…

Anyway, really what I am is overworked as well as lazy, so I haven’t bought my favorite coffee since the summertime. I was really thrilled when my mom made me open that present…

And my sister — thinking back to September when I got lost in all those cornfields and it took my mom and my brother an hour of driving around, trying to find me — my sister bought me a GPS for Christmas…

I haven’t opened any of my other gifts, though. I want to wait until at least the tree is up.

For lunch today, we are heading to my veritable home-away-from home, the Granville Inn!

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The Granville Inn, Granville Ohio. Next to my actual home, it’s kind of my favorite place in the world.

Then its back here, to finish the tree (I hope!). And then, once the sun goes down, if it’s not too cold, we want to walk over to 3rd Street and look at all the Christmas lights on the houses over there. That’s the main road through Crazeysburg, so all the houses over there are done up with a ton of lights.

All righty! I’m gonna scoot! Gonna get more coffee and hang out with my mom at the kitchen table. Have a terrific Tuesday! Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya.

Christmas is beginning to arrive!

Well, it’s been a busy day around here! I’m already exhausted and the tree is only part way done.

But cookies got baked, the laundry got done, I finished cleaning the house, washed my hair (!!), and then when my mom arrived, we drove to town to get the groceries and came back and started dealing with all the tree stuff…

I hope your Monday has been a nice one, wherever you are in the world. Sorry this is so short! Having pizza right now with my mom, listening to Christmas music with Johnny Mathis. Then it’s back to the tree. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya!

Trees in process…

 

A Day In The (Other) Life

So today marks the 39th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. I won’t say that it feels like yesterday, because it does indeed feel like forever ago, but the day is still vividly clear in my memory.

Up until then, any of the well-known people who’d been killed in my lifetime were political figures in some way. Lennon was, for me, the first cultural icon that was murdered and he was one of my absolute heroes.

To be honest, I look back on my girlhood and I’m not entirely sure why he mattered so much to me, but he did. I think because he was always someone who struggled with existential truths and seemed to be brutally honest about it.

I know that right when I first moved to NYC, his new album, Double Fantasy, came out and it was really such a great album. I was so excited. And it was such a NYC type of album, too, and so I was doubly excited to finally be living in New York.  I lived there 3 weeks and then he got murdered.  I’ll just say that the word “devastated” doesn’t come close to describing the shock and grief I felt.

I don’t really want to go into all the details from back then, or the memories I have of those first few weeks in NYC because they were momentous on too many levels — meeting Nick the Mafia hit man guy, getting pregnant by him. Having to get away from him. Lennon getting killed. Meeting the man who became my first husband. All of that stuff happened literally within a few weeks of moving to NYC when I was 20.

So I really don’t want to think too much about any of that stuff today. My life is in such a good place right now, I really don’t want to look back. I’ll never forget this date on the calendar, but the details— I don’t know; I don’t want to dwell on it.

Well, on a much brighter note — even though you’re seriously not supposed to do it, someone posted some footage on Instagram today of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s event with the symphony in Sydney, Australia from last night and it looks like it was just stunning. Just from what little I saw on Instagram. Wow, gang. I really wish I could have been there. I think there are 2 more shows for Monday (which I think is already today over in Australia). I just— well, I don’t know. I just wish I could have gone. It looks like it was so beautiful.

There was something else on Instagram— not positive if I read it right, but it seems that Nick Cave was the Artist of the Decade on Spotify. Yes, that same music platform that I can never get to work correctly, so clearly, this Nick Cave development had nothing to do with me!!! But if it’s indeed true, I think that is just so fucking cool!!

Okay, one other exciting though wildly unrelated thing: I went to fill my gas tank this morning because I know that once my mom gets here tomorrow, I’m gonna have to drive with her to a couple of places in town, and the gas was only $2.39 a gallon!!! I thought that was amazingly awesome!! I don’t remember the last time it was that cheap. Several years, for sure.

So sometime around noon tomorrow, my sister will be dropping off my mom and I’m so excited. My sister texted earlier to say that my mom was really excited about seeing me and that just makes me feel so great. You have no idea.

I guess that’s it for now. I imagine that over the next 3 days while my mom is visiting, my blog posts will he brief. Hope you have a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with the song that was just barely becoming a hit when Lennon was murdered. I still think it’s just a wonderful, upbeat song. Okay. I love you guys! See ya!

I’m Super Excited!

Okay, gang! Another scientific paper weighing in on the James Ossuary as likely belonging to the Jesus family Talpiot Tomb has been published!

You can read more in depth about the latest chemical findings at Dr. James Tabor’s site, at JamesTabor.com.

If you are keeping track at all, or even only mildly curious— the James Ossuary, several years ago, was declared to NOT be a hoax or a fake. It is a 1st Century C.E. Ossuary that held the bones of James the Just, Jesus’ brother, who was the man who carried on the Jesus Movement after his brother was crucified. He himself was also murdered by the High Priests in 62 C.E. — the son-in-law of Caiaphas is also thought to have been behind condemning James to death. (Primarily by stoning.)

The Talpiot Tomb is considered by many historians now to have been the tomb of Jesus, his wife the revered Mariamne (thought by many to be Mary of Magdala), their child, several of Jesus’ brothers, including James, and an uncle and perhaps Jesus’ mother, Mary.

I find all of this extremely exciting.

Many historians who specialize in the era of Ancient Christianity believe now that Jesus was married.  And DNA testing of the bone fragments found in the Talpiot Tomb conclude that Mariamne, whoever she actually was, was the wife of the man whose ossuary calls him Jesus son of Joseph.

Some historians also believe that the wife, Mariamne, was Mary of Magdala, a wealthy woman who was a supporter of Jesus Movement.

One of the (many) non-scientific reasons why I believe that Mariamne was Mary of Magdala is based on the fact that one of the MANY very early Near Eastern Christian faiths that was eventually declared heretical by followers of Pauline Christianity, worshipped both Jesus and Mary Magdalene together as equals and that the two  were considered married. Why ancient people would  believe that for no reason whatsoever makes little sense to me. And other documents that have been declared authentic at least to their time period, refer to Jesus as having a wife.

To understand the possibilities of any of this, though, you first need to understand that the mythology surrounding Jesus and his Movement (which very closely resembles pagan mythology) seems to have been added to what became Christianity well after Jesus of Nazareth was crucified.  Followers of Paul became what we now think of as Christianity, whereas  followers of James and Jesus’ other brothers — who were also systematically murdered — were eventually wiped clean from History. It is next to impossible, these centuries later, to know what Jesus actually taught or believed, or what the Jesus Movement was actually about. The Letter of James comes closest, probably, to giving us any real clues. This is because early Christian fathers erased all history of the Movement since it was a Jewish Movement and Paul’s teachings, and beliefs, eventually took him very far from his own Jewish background and from  allowing any Jewish traditions to be connected to the man named Jesus who became the Christ.

The main thing that seems to have been determined by some historians is that Jesus’ Movement was based on healing, teaching, and communal meals. Nothing else seems to be left of his Movement. One reason why the Talpiot Tomb discovery— along with additional scientific papers that sustain the discoveries about the tomb and the ossuaries discovered in it — are so exciting to me, is that it brings us ever closer to understanding the actual Jesus, who I believe was extraordinary. To me, it doesn’t diminish him in any way. It only points to something extraordinary that happened connected to Jesus.

Okay! Well, I hope you’ve had a great Saturday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Where Would I be Without the Telephone??

Today has been all about phone conferences, gang, and now I am all talked out.

I think I’m gonna collapse on the bed for awhile, just to be in a different posture from sitting at my desk.

In between conference calls, Peitor had needed me to watch the film, This Beautiful Fantastic, which I absolutely loved. The 2nd call was me and Peitor working on our micro-script, so I needed to fit the movie in between the two phone calls — before I talked to him — and so I watched it at my desk, as well. And now I am seriously tired of sitting at my tiny cramped little desk. I’ve got that crimp in my neck thing going on.

But I loved that movie. It was so charming and the dialogue was just quirky and wonderful.

And then our work on the script was intense because we suddenly went in this whole other direction from where our notes indicated we had originally wanted to go with the story. So that threw me and it meant a lot of fast typing as I tried to type all the notes as Peitor was sort of re-thinking aloud and I was re-thinking his re-thinking. And even though it seems like the script is going in a more profound direction, now I’m really just tired.

My first call, though, was with the director in NYC and, because of all of our schedules with projects for 2020, we have tentatively come to the decision to do the first table read in NYC in mid-February. I’m super excited about the prospects of being in NYC in mid-February, but the upshot is that plane fares and hotel rooms are a lot cheaper during February than any other month of the year because no traveler in their right mind wants to be in NYC in February…

But honestly, I’m excited because I can’t wait for the first table read, regardless of the weather.

I have to say that everything in my life right at this particular moment is really just incredibly splendid. Except for my neck! So I’m gonna close this for now, collapse on the bed and study my Italian lesson for the day. Maybe even take a nap after that!!

I hope that Friday is great for you, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with the official trailer for the film, This Beautiful Fantastic, in the event you haven’t yet seen it. Perhaps I will write more later. We’ll see. Okay. I love you guys! See ya!

All Was Revealed, As I’d Hoped!

Now that enough time of trial & error has passed, it turns out that my friend who has advanced cancer — the longtime friend who usually likes to sort of be left alone a lot, and I was angsting like crazy over how not to hover over him like a mother hen now that he’s quite sick…

Well, it turns out that one extremely brief text per week from me is what he seems willing to respond to.  So at least now I know and I can sort of relax into that rhythm. And now we can sort of just move forward.

To me, it feels like there’s a really fine line between letting someone just have their autonomy in life and, you know, causing them to feel alone or ignored.  But I guess when someone has chosen to remain friends with you for over 40 years, there’s evidently a particular quality within you that they respond to and they probably don’t want that to change. And I’m guessing that my ability to really, really care about him all these years but also be completely willing to leave him alone for as long as he wants to be left alone really matters to him.

This is sort of apropos of nothing, but I recall one time, back when I was renting a room in a boarding house on the Ohio State University campus (after high school, I went briefly away to college, hated it, dropped out and went to California to live with this girl I loved who promptly told me, the moment I got there, that it was over between us and so I moved back to Ohio and for a short time before moving to NYC, I lived in a boarding house and worked in a factory). Anyway, this friend of mine who is now so sick, dropped over to visit me at the boarding house and was hanging out with me in my room and he found  it just incredibly funny that I had a copy of Emily Post’s famous book on Etiquette.

I’d actually read it, too, which astounded him even more. I was astounded that he was astounded. I’d been sent to charm school when I was young and then finishing school when I was a little bit older — you know, I was expected to land a rich husband. This was actually, literally, expected of me by my adoptive family, which is why what I actually did with my life completely appalled them. But I grew up believing that I had to know how to set a table correctly, when to serve what during a dinner party, how to address an envelope — I mean, all this stuff. I knew all this stuff about how to run a rich man’s house.

And I remember that at this particular juncture, when I was living in the boarding house, my adoptive mom bought me all these beautiful suits. You know — skirts and matching blazers. Just gorgeous. And I looked really good in them back then because I was tall and slim.  And the suits were for me to wear while attending expensive political functions. Which I did. Alone. Looking stunning and knowing which fork to use… And at one of those functions, the Lt. Governor of the State came on to me. Like, for real. There was only one man in the entire State more powerful than he was, and I was utterly appalled by this predicament that he was placing before me because he was a married man.

I was just so extremely naive. I knew my various forks and spoons, but I had no clue how to respond in that situation. I had just assumed that political men, in power, would not dream of coming onto a girl if they were married men. I was very “experienced” in a lot of ways, yet hopelessly naive about life.

It was an interesting evening. I never attended another political function again, ever. I was so thrown by that whole thing. I had voted for that man, plus he was actually very handsome, too. I thought he was this all-around wonderful, morally upright sort of pillar of the State.

I probably got rid of my Emily Post book on Etiquette around that time.  You know, I was starting to see that the ceremony of  life was sort of a sham. I knew how to set a really beautiful table, I really did — all through my adult life. But I also knew what was really going on at the table most of the time. I got jaded pretty quickly, especially after moving to New York.

I don’t like to blog about politics, at all. But I do remember thinking, back when Trump became President and all these women were seething over his wife perhaps having been a professional escort of some type when the two had met.  I thought these women were probably just angry because it didn’t occur to them that getting a job as a “professional escort” could ever lead to the job of being First Lady at the White House. You know, like they were just mad that they didn’t think of it while living their lives of hopeless political naivete… (Oh, I’ll tell you that the politician who came on to me was a Democrat and the fundraiser was for some Social Justice judiciary thing. So there are no party lines drawn when it comes to any of that stuff.)

Anyway. Life indeed goes on. And now it’s been 40 years since I’ve owned & discarded the Emily Post book!

Okay, I’m gonna get to work on Thug Luckless here. Tomorrow, I have another phone meeting with the director of Tell My Bones, followed closely by a phone conference with Peitor in West Hollywood to work on our micro-short script and he needs me to watch an entire film before that phone meeting occurs. So I seriously gotta scoot!

Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Me, dreaming about place-settings and fine china….

The Sky Just Now

The sunset was amazing, gang.

I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating my dinner, and I saw a far corner of the sky peaking through one of the windows and the sky was just so red — “red sky at night, sailor’s delight!”

So I dashed upstairs to get my phone to take a picture. The sun had already sunk considerably when I got back, but it was still beautiful. You can even see my new grown-up person’s car there in the photo, too!

The sunset tonight from outside my backdoor.

Now, if only my dinner had been as exciting as the sky… (tomatoes, arugula, an orange and cocoanut water. What I would have rather had: anything with pasta, cheese, olives, garlic; a French Cabernet, something triple-chocolate for dessert; a demi-tasse, a cognac, a filterless cigarette, someone to hang on my every word…Heavy sigh.)

Hope yours is a wonderful evening, gang, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with tonight’s dinner music. P.P. Arnold, “Baby Blue.” See ya!

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis