As a kid, my family (which meant me too since there was only one TV) watched “Mary Tyler Moore”, which ran from 1970-1977. Even though I was very young when I watched the show, I admired Mary’s character, especially her independence. Curiously enough, when the series began, Mary’s character was single, 30 and living alone. Guess who else was single and living alone when she was 30? Granted, 30 then is like 40 now, but still, she was a great role model. When someone once told me I reminded him of “Mary”, I was very flattered! Anyhoo, when I was trying to rest my bum ankle recently, I borrowed a DVD from the library of the first season. I was curious about what I would think now. Would the show seem dated and lame? After watching the pilot episode, I was shocked by how well this series has stood the test of time. I mean, it’s 41 years old, but many of the issues still come into play. For example, under false pretenses, Mary and Rhoda join a club for divorced people. I actually didn’t realize there would have been enough people divorced in 1970 to have a club! In another episode, Mary feels funny dating a man who’s much shorter than she is. As a tall woman, I could relate. I was also curious about how old the actors were in real life when they started filming, especially Ed Asner. Was I now the age he was then, I wondered? Well, if we arbitrarily pick a date of January 1, 1970 as when they started filming, Ted Knight would have been 46; Clorice Leachman, 43; Ed Asner, 40; Gavin McLeod, 38; Mary Tyler Moore, 33; and Valerie Harper, 29. The curious part is that Ed Asner’s character is supposed to be 45 (as explained in the last episode of the first season) his wife is supposed to be 43 AND in the first season the LAST of his three daughters gets married. Eek! His character is my age now with three grown kids all married off! Anyhoo, I ended up watching all but one show from the first season. Not every episode was perfect, but overall, it’s a great show — a real “classic”.
Archive for the ‘On My Mind’ Category
If you know the classic 1930s Gus Kahn song “Makin’ Whoopee” you’ll know the part where he says, “He doesn’t make much money
/Only a five-thousand per/Some judge, who thinks he’s funny/Told him he got to pay six to her.” Cyndi Lauper redid the song in 2003 with Tony Bennett and the lyrics were changed to “He doesn’t make much money/Yeah, five hundred thousand per” Since when is $500,000 a year not much money?? I don’t even know anyone personally who makes that much money!! I was curious, though, as to what $5,000 in the ’30s would be equivalent to in 2010. It’s about $85,000. Still not a salary I would consider “not making much money”!! What exactly does this guy do anyway?? (Besides makin’ whoopee, of course!)
A friend’s sister has a son and daughter; both children welcomed new babies into their lives last month. I asked my friend how long the moms were going to be staying home with the newborns. “Since they live in Canada, they have a year off,” my friend informed me. “And they can split it up between maternity and paternity leave.” What? A parental leave policy that allows a parent to stay home with a child for a year?? I was familiar with the U.S. policy of 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave, but never paid much attention to the policies in other countries since they didn’t affect me. I did a quick Internet search and ended up on Wikipedia, which is not infallible but accurate enough for my purposes. What I found was shocking!!! Maybe it isn’t as simple as comparing apples to apples, but when countries like Afganistan provide 90 days of maternity leave (paid 100%), Iraq (62 days 100%), or even Rwanda (12 weeks, 72%) — well one can’t help but scratch one’s head. Though the article mentions that some countries ignore the law, the point is the United States is the only Western country that does not mandate paid parental leave and that most countries offer 10 weeks or more of paid leave. I won’t go off on a political and moral rant about this, but I do find it puzzling and highly disturbing.
FYI, here’s the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave.
And BTW, the Canadian policy is 55% of the annual salary up to $447/week for 50 weeks (15 weeks maternity + 35 weeks parental leave shared with father).
By old-fashioned, I mean that we take the kids on road trips without electronic gadgets – games, music players, DVDs, etc. When I was a kid, we packed books (coloring, reading, puzzle) or just stared out the window at the passing scenery. Mile after mile after mile. I’m sure my three sisters and I drove my parents crazy from time to time, especially on the longer trips (but my parents had to be a bit crazy to begin with, for example, to drive four kids cross-country in a station wagon in the ’70s). But I think being forced to entertain yourself with your own imagination or by (annoying) your family is “good for character,” as they say. And now that I’ve grown up and have children of my own, I don’t see why they should travel any differently. Yes, it would probably make our lives easier if we relied on gadgets. And maybe we’re just plain crazy for not using them. But there’s something about seeing them all crammed together in the back seat, hearing my oldest daughter read a book to her sister, or listening to the girls oohing and aahing over the picture my son drew of a car, or watching them write stories and helping each other spell words, that makes me feel that I may be crazy, but that I’m also capturing some special moments in time.
… is a good idea? I surely don’t, and I’m a huge fan of holiday music. In fact, I play it almost constantly from the day after Thanksgiving until January 2 or so. If stores think that playing this music so early gets me in the mood to shop for presents, they’re wrong. It makes me just want to get the heck out of the store as soon as possible!
Gather a bunch of old magazines, some scissors, big pieces of construction paper and glue sticks. Sit yourself, your friends, your family, whoever around a table and set a timer for 5 minutes. Go through the magazines quickly and without really thinking about it, rip or cut out images that strike you. When the timer goes off, set it again for 5 more minutes. Have everyone arrange their images and glue them down. When the timer goes off again, look at your finished collage and think about what it says about you; do you see anything surprising? Describe your collage to the others. I learned about this the other night and tried it out. The results are very interesting.
Sorry my entries have been so Bruce Springsteen-heavy lately, but I always get that way before one of his concerts! So I downloaded the video for “Wrecking Ball”on Friday night. I had never heard the song before but after seeing a clip of the video and reading the reviews, buying it was a no-brainer (thanks to everyone who buys me iTunes gift cards to help support my love of music!). I love the song and video for a lot of reasons. But you know what it reminds me of? The Richfield Coliseum, where I saw my first rock concert (which was, coincidentally, Bruce Springsteen), and which has since been torn down, like Giants Stadium will be (that’s what “Wrecking Ball” is about). The Coliseum … now that was a great place to see a concert or a basketball game. The Q just isn’t the same. I don’t know what it is. I’m not a smoker, but I think a smoke haze is kind of necessary to set the mood. Also, it seems like before, all you could buy was beer or pop in big plastic cups. Now, you can have paninis, soup, organic food, bottled water – it just isn’t right! I mean, when I saw Bruce in January 1981, we literally sat so high that when we pumped our hands up in the air during “Born to Run”, my knuckles got bloody from hitting the plaster on the ceiling. Now it’s brightly lit and smoke-free and the fans are middle-aged, wearing Dockers, and carrying trays of gourmet food back to their $100 seats. It’s all so … so … sterile … the exact opposite of what a rock concert should be! (And speaking of wrecking balls knocking down places like the Coliseum, why do we have to tear down buildings after 25 or 50 years when people in Europe live, work and shop in buildings that are hundreds and hundreds of years old?)