The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A little romance
Dan and I had a cozy night at home this past weekend, and things got a little steamy. We decided we were going to be spontaneous, but before we put on a show for the neighbors, Dan offered to pull the blinds down over the living room windows.

We have very tall ceilings - and very long pull down blinds. If you're not careful, and let go of the pull cord too quickly, the blind zips up to the top of the very tall window, where you will not be able to get it.

And, you guessed it, Dan let go of the blind - and ZIP! Up it flew with a familiar fluttering sound.

I started to laugh. Dan started to laugh. He had to climb on top of the back of our lounge to reach the cord and try again, all the while mimicking the sound of the blind re-winding itself around its spool.

I laughed even harder. My husband was dancing on the back of the lounge, trying to keep his balance. Unfortunately, that did not last long, and he made a futile grab at the pull cord and ripped the blind on his way down.

Both of us by now were completely useless in the romance department. Much like the nights we stay up, giggling, quoting lines from Young Frankenstein to each other. I don't know if laughter or sex is the secret to marital happiness, but I bet it's a pretty close race!
posted by Melanie O. at 5:24 PM - 3 comments
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Disappearing landscapes
Last night, Dan and I did something that we haven't done since we were kids.

We saw a movie at the local drive-in.

Drive-ins used to be the staple of Saturday night dates and family fare back in the '50's and '60's, but somewhere along the line, as towns expanded, the land that drive-ins sat on became too valuable. Most have been sold off and converted to strip malls or business parks. In some places, like Liverpool, NY where I grew up, only the neon sign remains of what used to be the community social gathering place in the summer.

I can remember as a kid, my mother popping a whole paper grocery bag full of buttered popcorn (in the days when you could only get paper). We'd bring our own softdrinks, and my sister and I would hunker down in the back seat under a blanket so that my parents wouldn't get charged for us, and we'd see Disney movies like The Absent-Minded Professor in black and white. It was exciting to hide from the ticket booth - we felt like co-conspirators with our parents, who didn't have a lot of money to spend on entertainment. There was always a double feature, and my sister and I would often nod off in the back seat before the end of the second feature.

There was a little play area near the screen that active children could play on until it got dark enough to show the film. And the concession was always advertised with cartoons. I wanted something from the concession stand, just because of the cartoons.

The drive-ins started to close during the recession of the early 80's, but if you look hard enough, you may find one that's still operating in a neighborhood near you. If you get a chance to go, you should. They're a part of life that is fast disappearing - and with the drive-ins, go those memories of lazy summer nights, necking with your girlfriend or boyfriend in the car and steaming up the windows, and feeling like the center of your own little world in your car.

Now... come with us to the drive-in ... just one more time.

posted by Melanie O. at 7:05 PM - 6 comments
Saturday, April 11, 2009
My evil twin
So, I decided that this year, with the change of the seasons, that I'd change my hair color. I've gone back to basics and it's now just about where my natural hair color should be - but I'm not sure if it's right for me any more. It brings out the green in my eyes, but now I have very piercing eyes and I'm worried that strange dogs will growl at me and attack me. (Don't laugh - this has happened before.)

It's not that I dislike dark hair - I love it - on other women.

Dan's says I am now my evil twin. I'm dark and mysterious. I don't know if I want to be dark and mysterious. It's taken this long to figure out who I am. I'm not sure I want to be a mystery any more. Besides - changing ones hair color is expensive - half my wardrobe and makeup doesn't work any more.

I'll give it a little more time and see if this grows on me. If not, I may go back to my blonde self. It's strange that I feel really out of my skin at the moment.
posted by Melanie O. at 3:28 PM - 7 comments
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Truckin' in the Land of Oz
I've got the week off from work, and this was great for the first day, Monday, when I spent the day preserving and repairing my vintage dolls. I cleaned them and sealed up their surface crazing and painted the areas with missing paint, taking care to duplicate the original configurations and colors. It looks very professional, if I do say so myself.

On Tuesday, I began to wonder what I was going to do with my day. It was overcast and a bit cool and I spent most of the day just amusing myself on eBay. I hemmed a couple pairs of pants and just relaxed. By Tuesday evening, I'd had enough of my "holiday," and told Dan that I was already bored and it was only Day 2 of my vacation.

That's when Dan suggested I get up at 5:30 am and go in the truck with him to make a pickup down the coast.

Five thirty A.M.! "But I'm on vacation!" I protested.

Nevertheless, I was up this morning at 5:30 am and in the truck, ready to go by 6:15. Dan was happy to have some company, and I was happy to get out of the house. The day turned out to be sunny and glorious, and we had an exciting time, going down Mount Ousley in a semi with the electric brakes on, winding through mountainous roads and squeezing through construction zones. You haven't lived until you can reach out your window and touch the concrete construction barriers - if only the truck sat low enough.

And you really haven't seen awe-inspiring countryside until you climb down a mountain and find yourself amongst rolling hills, farms, and winding creeks and rivers. The Shoalhaven area looks just like the John Rea Neill illustrations in my Oz series of books, and I have to wonder if Mr Neill ever made a trip Down Under in the days when you had to travel by steam ship.

We didn't encounter any wicked witches on our trip, although I have to say that finding decent toilets when you're on the road in a truck is a challenge. And you get to see all of the stupid things that drivers do, from a great vantage point.

We turned the radio up and sang along to E.L.O. ("don't bring me down, B-r-u-u-u-ce...") and ate Subway subs for lunch and ran three abreast with other trucks who were struggling to go back up Mount Ousley with full loads. (I am sure people behind us cussed us out, but we did manage to get past.)

Who would have thought riding in a truck could be so much fun?
posted by Melanie O. at 7:14 PM - 6 comments
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Angora sweaters
Winter is fast approaching Down Under. It annoys me that in April, instead of looking forward to sunshine and flowers, I have to prepare for cold weather. I'm not sure I will ever get used to this, as there is no national holiday to break up the monotony of the short days and cold temperatures.

Our house is basically an ice box with a veranda, built in the days when people apparently were much hardier then, than they are now. I decided that this year, I am going to concentrate on buying a wardrobe befitting the climate, so I purchased several angora sweaters.

I love angora. It's soft. It's warm, and it feels "rich." Every time I pick up an angora sweater, I am reminded of sweater girls from the 1950's, and Ed Woods' obsession with wearing his girlfriend Dolores Fuller's sweaters and stretching them out of shape (according to the Tim Burton film). It's sad that no one makes angora sweaters for men. They get stuck with cashmere, which, while also lovely and warm, doesn't have the fuzzy comfort factor of angora.

I have to confess, while I may look nice in angora, Johnny Depp looks better.
posted by Melanie O. at 2:35 PM - 4 comments

About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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