Am I Losing My Best Friend?

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This  photo and a plaque I sent her a few years back, is what we were about.  The pic is real, when she and I were at daddy’s, “working the farm”.  The words on the plaque defined us and were a reminder, that no matter what, she was stuck with me. I think this wall display shows me she was okay with that.  It was apropos too, because in times past, it wasn’t unusual for me to embarrass the heck out of my little sister in one way or another, after all, I’m generally inclined to let it all hang out, so she never knew what to expect.  In my defense, on one occasion, I did so naively,  like when I called her a dildo in public not knowing what the word meant.  I can still see the look on her face, distancing herself from me, hiding behind a clothes rack, and trying to pretend not to know me,  hence the laugh.  She loved me anyway.

Seeing her in the state she was in,  wasn’t what I expected when I flew to Florida to visit her. Actually, I don’t know what I expected, but it didn’t take long for me to realize how badly she’d declined.  A part of me may have suspected some semblance of mom, but not really.

Aside from being greeted by a creepy critter…

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and the overwhelming smell of a litterbox  in dire need of cleaning when I walked in,  her apartment was nice.  She even had a corner that celebrates a part of our ancestry.

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These apartments are designed for businesses.  The two floors allow a tenant to live upstairs while conducting business below. She used the bottom as her massage room and office. There was everything from accountants, hair weavers, acupuncturists to well, you name it.

When I was told she had a brain tumor, I cried.  I wasn’t ready to lose my sister.  Like a parent, I’m thinking that birth order would dictate departure date and “certainly not any of my kids should go before me” or in this case not a younger sibling.

Well, she’s not going anywhere, at least not physically, but it is a tumor on the pituitary gland and it is having it’s affects. Not cancerous. She kept thinking it was Wednesday or Friday, but could never get the days right.  She repeated the same questions over and over again and it was exhausting.  She did, however, know who I was.  She thought we lived together, so when I said I’d be going home, or mentioned that my hubby, R was in California, she asked “Why, what’s he doing there?” On occasion, she seemed perfectly normal and then seconds later, she would ask an “out of the blue” question as though whatever went on previously had never occurred.

We talked about the tumor and surgery, which got postponed once again. She would promptly forget, but then hours later recall some semblance of our conversation. I talked about it further with her son who had observed the same thing.

Apparently, the kind of tumor she has, is not cancerous, so no one seems to be in a big hurry to operate, which is infuriating.  The doctors at Shand’s keep putting it off as if it is nothing. I guess in their world it isn’t an emergency but in Di’s, it is. She has no sense of time and her ability to function is getting progressively worse.  The neurosurgeon’s at this university hospital are supposedly to be the best. However, it’s the ENT,  that seem’s to be holding up the “show”.

My brother, “M” shows up a few days later and is devastated by the change in her.

Before he arrived, one of her son’s and I took her to the eye doctor, because as I mentioned earlier, what clued us there was something wrong, is that she is losing her sight and it came on suddenly.di22

The eye doctor is great.  We were there a very long time, but he was thorough.  The good thing, and this is important to the surgery, is that the tumor is not impinging upon the optic nerve, not that it isn’t affecting the loss of sight.  However, it lets the surgeons know where to go to remove it or better yet, where they don’t need to go.  The ophthalmologist believes some of her sight will return and what doesn’t, he believes, he can remedy, at least in part.  So, the good news is she won’t be completely blind.

A question her son had for me was, could Nonie (our mom) have had the same thing?! As I observe my sister’s symptoms, I begin to wonder too. This tumor causes depression, affects hormones and can display itself in many ways. The first diagnosis told us it was genetic.  Then one of the links her son sent  with information on Craniopharyngioma, does not indicate that. I’m not sure I have the right one because this link does not mention it as hereditary. The original doctor had said it was, which is why we wondered about mom.

The procedure is called an endoscopic pituitary surgery, transphenoidal …  anyway, I’ve included the technical but interesting information.  Again, this is info sent by the sons.  Since some of this information differs from what I was originally told, I guess we will wait and see.  Supposedly, she should be fine once the procedure is done.

Right now, she is tired and sleeps a great deal.  She has all the symptoms of dementia and the Alzheimer’s mother was diagnosed with, with the exception of the tiredness.  Mother was constantly mobile, but again, according to the initial information sent, each person develops unique symptoms.

My sister is craving mostly Coke  and hamburgers, but this can include any carbonated drink . . . when she’s not sleeping.  She was never a big meat eater, so this is unique to her.   She gets tired easily and gets cranky when she’s at that point.

Di did not remember any of her doctor visits, so present time events are easily forgotten, but then surprisingly surfaces later as an event that took place long ago.

One of the first things I did when I arrived was liven up the place with Halloween decorations, which she got excited about.  When we lived together, we would always dress up for the kids, like I still do, so you can imagine her disappointment when I said I wouldn’t be there, but. . . that was quickly forgotten moments later.  The upstairs windows were decorated with fall leaves only.di23

ROAD TRIP

“M”, having arrived a few days later, and I decide to take her to visit family in Alabama, especially our other sister “S”,  who does not have the resources to travel.  Both sisters liked that.  I think “S” was on the verge of auctioning off her firstborn to get the funds to come down. She was understandably concerned, so you can imagine her delight when she learned we were coming to her.  That, was an adventure in of itself.  When we arrived, the GPS screen showed us this and announces, “you are there”, and that was pretty much what we saw initially,  we laughed.  Actually, there was a two story barn to our left and further up, also on the left was a nice modular.di18

Di walked some of the property (but not all 18 acres) with us as my brother marveled at how nice it was, but after about an hour or two she asked to lie down. She slept the remainder of the visit. Fortunately, she was awake long enough for us to get a nice photo of us girls and “S”s two twin grandkids.

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On our way to see “S”,  we stopped off  in Atlanta to visit my daughter, the actor.  Di, surprisingly was awake for a good part of that leg of the trip, but dosed a little before we arrived.

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From big city to the country.

After leaving “S” we stayed the night in our home town of Attalla and had a nice dinner. Mine was the catfish, Di had the “hamburger” and steak was “M’s.  Of course, another must have while in the south and what you don’t see with our meals is the plate of fried pickles on the right, which as you can see were gone by the time our food arrived.

 

 

Since our trip was going to be very short,  I posted to our family and church friends that we were passing through and those that got the message in time came out to meet us at a Noccolula Falls Park.  We knew Di could never handle stopping off at more than one place, so we had them come to us. I picked the Falls because I knew, that was a landmark that despite our being away so long, would not move.  More friends arrived but unfortunately we got to talking and socializing so much, I forgot to keep taking pictures. We got countless texts later from those who had not seen my post in time.  Again after about two hours, she had to retire to the truck, but all in all, she did fairly well. We stopped at a “Jack’s” for a hamburger and she then slept all the way home. di14di13

The trip had tired her and the next day she shooed us off. We had suggested heading to St. Augustine, but she said she was too tired.  “M” and I,  went ahead and went, had lunch and walked on the beach for awhile then headed back home.

 

 

 

 

We had wanted to visit the Alligator Farm but didn’t want to stay away too long.  We were gone a little over 3 hours which is her normal nap time length. When we arrived, she was still asleep, but awoke a little later, saying she was looking forward to going to the beach tomorrow. OMG!   “M” and I looked at each other and chuckled.  Instead, we told her that would be a great idea and asked her if she’d ever been to the Alligator Farm… so we went.

 

 

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We would have lunch with her at Sweetberries back in Gainesville and then a dinner with her son and his family on our last day.

 

 

We convinced “M” to take one of her cats, which she’d not had for long, especially since her son is making room to move her into his home with his family.  They have never had pets due to allergies and they are making the concession for Thomas.

Thomas is going nowhere but with her, since she’d found him starving 10 years agodi21

as a kitten hiding under our house. He had helped her get through helping me care for mother, so there’s a lot of history with those two.  In the meantime, Priscilla has settled nicely with “M” in San Antonio.di25

Pre-op is due on the 20th of November, so hopefully soon, we will get our sister back.

I took my flight back home on Alaska, and happened to end up in premium class, which was phenomenal. 

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Flash Movie Review: The Lighthouse

I’m re-blogging this because I think quality films need to be seen.

moviejoltz

IT WAS A HARD LESSON TO LEARN but it made my life much easier. I have worked with a variety of individuals, some would say characters, throughout my work history. For years, I was quick to react to their actions. If I did not like an individual, they would know it without me having to tell them. There was this one salesman who walked around the place like a male peacock looking to mate. One day I counted how many times he had stopped in front of any type of reflective surface to check on his appearance; it was 23 times. It could be a reflection in a window, microwave oven door, mirror; it made no difference to him where he was or what he was doing at the time. He would see himself and stop to check the condition of his hair, face and tie. I did not like…

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Girl asks notorious photoshopper to make her look ‘skinny’ and ‘pretty.’ His response goes viral

What a boost to my day!

phicklephilly

Photoshop wizard James Fridman is known for using his incredible graphic design talents to brilliantly troll the people who request his services. It’s not that he doesn’t follow their directions—in fact, he often follows them quite literally. But the end result is rarely exactly what the requester had in mind.

Exhibit A:

James Fridman

Exhibit B:

James Fridman

Exhibit C:

James Fridman

But though Fridman’s end results are often hilarious, he ultimately likes to use his powers for good and to teach people a lesson about a larger social issue. Recently, he received a request from a girl who has struggled with her weight for years. The request reads:

Hey James! Love your work! Your hilarious! And knowing you, you probably won’t do this and I know you get this message A LOT but here goes. Ok. So I’ve struggled with my weight ever since I was like…what 7? I’ve…

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My Sister – I love You

diana at the Art at the Barn faire

My sister was found to have a mass on her brain, (yesterday). She goes back in today for an MRI with contrast.

I am so sick about it.

She’d been losing her sight and it all came on within the past few months. I suspected something wrong because she was tired a lot.  More so of late. picnic

She is my baby sister.  She was the one who left her job and came out to Alabama to help me take care of our parents.  It was hard at first and we at times fought.  If you can picture 50-60 year old’s fighting.

She is/was a massage therapist and into natural remedies which is why she only went to her acupuncturist and chiropractor, seeking a “natural”solution to whatever was ailing her.  Now, that I think back on it, she has complained for some time that she had not been feeling well. She thought it was a mold issue. (She lives in Florida) She complained and yes, there was mold in her air conditioning and her landlord took care of it.Yellow Mushrooms

Even so, she’d been complaining about an overall not feeling well and we’d make jokes about how it sucks getting old.  I still kept insisting she see a doctor.  I told her that I understood her wanting to go natural, but sometimes it’s valuable to find out what is for sure going on and if there’s a natural course of attack, then she can make that decision.  She “said” she agreed with my reasoning, but she kept putting it off.

What was interesting and I mentioned this to her, if her cats got sick she’d take them to the doctor and spend whatever necessary.  She always came second.Closet Diva (1)

For a time, I talked to her less out of sheer frustration.  I didn’t want to hear about the acupuncturist and chiropractor.  Please understand, I have nothing against them, but I just suspected more.  I wonder too, if they had not recommended the same, because many do and will, but she wouldn’t say.

She finally said she had gone to the doctor.  I discover yesterday that she went to a Lenscrafter optician. When she told me about her visit, she made a joke about, “Hey, you know the big letters on the eye chart?  Well, I can’t even see those!  My eyes are really bad.”  He did recommend she see a specialist but then she said well, I haven’t heard back from him with the referral he would recommend.  I suggest she call him.  She never did. She said, no $$. She is on Medicare, but had not gotten the supplemental insurance and she was no longer working.  If you know anything about massage therapists, they are independent contractors with no benefits whatsoever, so of course no retirement income.  She said she had put some money away, but says, she doesn’t know where it went to. She wanted me to come out.  She asked me often. I wanted to but wouldn’t go.

These are my reasons.  If I’d gone out, it might have resulted in a vacation and that would have been her reasoning. Excuses. I’m not an awful sister, but… I knew if I did, my time would be limited and I knew I’d be spinning my wheels, not knowing the area and trying to find what was available. I don’t know people, services or doctors there and at the end of the day, nothing would have been accomplished.

The Tree Tea Party

I kept insisting she call her “boys” and let them know what was going on but she wanted me to come out.  I dug in my heels.  She kept saying they had busy lives and her daughter in law had just lost her dad and a few years before, her mother.  No, she didn’t want to put that on them.  Her boys are busy, with sports and raising kids.  One, has a girl in college on a sports scholarship, I think she said,  another in high school.  The college student would come on occasion and help her with things. The other son has little ones.  Both “boys” are busy.  Well guess what?  She broke down and told them and they aren’t too busy to help their mom and they are the reason she is getting help.  They know the right doctors. They got the referrals and are taking care of business… and in short order.

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Because she couldn’t see, she had possibly mismanaged her bank accounts and they’ve had to step in to help with that. Everyone is getting involved.

The daughter in law said they’d seen her not that long ago but she behaved “normally” so they were unaware. She is not a complainer, so she never said a word to them. Even when she spoke to me, she didn’t actually complain. So when she finally did let them know the extent of her vision loss, they immediately got her help. Their doctor, did not order the tests right away because she had been taking so many herbs and potions, he said they would cloud the tests and he wanted to wait until they were out of her system before doing blood work. Now, I wait for more.

Before the MRI, the “kids” asked for our family history.  I sent that to them. Before the MRI, they said the doctor had indicated she was depressed and they thought she had begun to be forgetful.  Depression can do that too.  Just in the last couple of weeks, I had noticed a turn.  She was sleeping more and I reasoned that perhaps that was why she was losing time. She would forget things. She kept talking about how I was going to be there in a few days after I had explained I would come in October. She forgot.  THAT IS NOT HER. She was once a bookkeeper at Disney World.  She knows computation.

The doctor gave her simple equations and she could not compute them. She got angry with him for asking her to “think”. Multi Color Pots

I am writing this because for the last few days I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster and I don’t know what to do.

I lashed out at hubby. I hugged hubby. So glad I have hubby.

I feel ANGER. I am so angry. Angry at her for not going to the doctor when I suggested and how so like dad that was.  Stubborn and rebellious. How could she do that to us?  I am the eldest and yes, I can be so bossy! I know that, but it doesn’t make me wrong.  Why didn’t you go?  I CAN’T LOSE MY BABY SISTER!!!!

Then there’s the GUILT.  Why didn’t I just go over her head and enlist her boys whether she liked it or not?  I know why.  I just never guessed it was that bad and I  am feeling guilty for not having known. I want to scream!!!

And, SAD.  I am so sad.  What if it’s not a slam dunk remedy?

PAIN.  It hurts so bad. My emotions are all over the board.

Flying Carpet

Last night, I kept remembering all the good times she and I shared in our misery taking care of our parents.  Our parents had been difficult our whole lives. We marveled at how well we had all turned out despite the abuses.  She is a beautiful person and an artist and I know she’s not dead, but with the my back log of clues, the evidence may have been there longer than we knew… I don’t know.  I know as we grow older, it is inevitable we lose people we love. It’s all part of life.

I call the family on this side of the country to let them know.  I called my son in Texas only to learn he lost one of his best friends this past week of a brain tumor.  He was 38.  I guess age doesn’t matter.

Can I be royally pissed? Certainly, but I forgive her. She is sweet and loving and probably never imagined it was that bad. I sometimes wonder if children of a hypochondriac parent put off things for fear they may be parroting them?

Spread throughout this blog are pictures my sister has drawn, using crayon.  It is Crayon Art which she has won awards for. I love them.

Shooting The Short

I just finished filming a “short”, (an under 30 minute film).

What a challenge.  The worst of it was seeing me from all angles.  Ugh! I thought I looked ginormous.

Because I did the camera set up and would have to run and take my place, I saw,  a view of my backside, way too often.  I felt like the girl in the new film, Brittany Runs a Marathon . Not huge, but she thought so. Help! fix me!!!

Still in the editing “room” ( my son’s iMac), it (the caliber of the film) appears to be less than I’d hoped for. I don’t know why I thought I could turn out a Steven Spielberg or Tarantino my first time out but… Seriously, no I knew better, but one can only  hope… hehe.  It was my first film wearing all hats. It was so much harder than I expected than when you have a pro film crew.  My camera of choice was my iPhone mounted on a Moza Mini MI Gimbal stabilizer and a standard tripod. The Moza Mini has features I thought would be great for a one man show, but for some reason, I was doing good to get it to “stabilize”.  I watched several YouTube videos to learn it’s application, then discovered that it worked best on my son’s iPhone 6 than it did on my iPhone 7Plus.  On his phone, he was able to get it to follow the subject.  The only downside is that when we used the clapper, after setting it to our subject, it got confused and the camera decided to follow the clapper instead. So, that obviously wasn’t working, so for expediency sake, we called out the scenes and takes.

My son was instrumental in figuring some of it out, but since he didn’t have time to really work the bugs out, we did what we could.

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Any professional reading this is probably saying to him/herself, humorously of course, “Idiots”.  I’m not ashamed.  Everyone has to start somewhere. (If anyone reading this knows what I may have done wrong, please tell me.)

To say the least it was a bit rough going. Then as an added bonus, my phone’s storage filled up and we lost a good deal of footage that we had to re-shoot.   Sometimes, it was at the cost of losing an exceptional take.  After that and before resuming, we of course, transferred what we had to the iMac editing program.  We are using Final Cut Pro. I have friends in the business who have all the skills, but I was determined to do this on my own, so I didn’t call them. I may rethink that in the future.  After all, why have friends in the business you can’t call?  Plus, they have all the good pro equipment, not a measly iPhone.  I know films have been shot using various phone camera’s, that’s why I wanted to try it.  Plus, I figured, it would be less gear for me to haul up to SLC, where most of it was shot.   Other obstacles were weather. The weather did not cooperate, as we got thunderstorms and high winds, which made shooting trialsome. What’s more, they were not in the forecast when I looked. I did check.

Then there were the microphones.  I didn’t have booms, but I got some lavalieres for clearer sound, but didn’t remember to use them until the end.  Duh.  I’m not sure they made that big of a difference when I used them for close in dialogue.  My actor daughter, in GA, said she had a small mic and boom for iPhone, which she used for audition tapes, but we didn’t find it until the last day. I wasn’t gonna start all over for that.  Most of the sound was decent anyway.

My crew was made up of family, who all had day jobs.  That was tough. The “actors were also family plus my actor daughter’s boyfriend.  We used his law office as one of our sets. He stood in for my daughter who had a full schedule as an RN and couldn’t do the part I’d written for her.  Here we grownups are goofing off.

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My little grand daughter and grandson were absolutely amazing.   When I directed my grand daughter to play dead, she did.  She is only 7 and no matter how I shook and called out to her she kept in character and didn’t break, lying there all distorted like a wet noodle. Of course, that was on the second take, because on the first take, she did get the giggles, until I clarified her part. When I yelled “cut” and praised her, she was exhilarated and I was so proud.

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Something I need to say on this account.  When you talk to a child, especially one on an autistic spectrum, remember to tell them it is only pretend.  When I first arrived, I made the mistake of telling her we were making a movie and she would die.  The first couple of days after my arrival, she stayed clear of me and was terribly moody. Generally, this little bit of sunshine is all over me, so I suspected something was up. Then it dawned on me why, so we had “the talk”. She was great after that.

It brought back memories of my daughter, Tina, at age 4.  My husband had decided he wanted to adopt her.  At the time, we were unable to locate her birth father and I knew those two had bonded beautifully and he’d been a part of her life since she was two. When we asked her how she felt about that, she sounded very agreeable. Two weeks later,  she broke down and cried and told us she didn’t want to be adopted.  She cried and said she adamantly told us she didn’t want to live with anyone else but us.  We cried with her and tearfully explained to her what we meant and reassured her she was going nowhere else to live, but would stay with us forever. How could we be so stupid?  What’s worse is she stewed about it internally for two weeks!!

So my advice, is when you work with little ones, please be sure they totally understand what is going on.  As I said, once Ally understood, she was great and did her part.

My 9 year old grandson, on the other hand, took to the whole thing like a pro.

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When we got done shooting a scene, he wanted to see what it looked like, then he would say, “No, no, let’s do that again”.  “I (him) need to be doing …” this or that or put the camera here or there. He already has plans to do his own YouTube videos.  I think he’ll do well. These kids are so clever.

All in all, we had to do more retakes for me,  than anyone else. Acting is something I haven’t done in a long time and I couldn’t believe how stilted I’d become.

You may ask why I did this. Two reasons.

One: I have a friend in the business, who a couple of years ago, told me, the best way to test out my writing, is to film it, so I did. My friend was so spot on correct.  I’ve got a long way to go yet and seeing what I crafted on video was eye opening.  It really taught me a great deal. I found myself re-writing so much of what I’d originally written for something that would sound more natural, more believable.  You can see the scribbles on my script!  Is that normal?thumbnail_IMG_4216

Two: I need a reel, both for myself as an actor and as a writer. I have friends that are always wanting me to submit for parts and I have nothing. I thought I’d aged out, but from what they say, older women parts are being created and well, we could all work together.  Ya think?  They might think otherwise after seeing this. lol

Finally we will need music. Oyvey!

In the end, I’ve decided to ask my friend if I can hang out with his film crew and see how they do get the shots I so sorrily attempted to do.

As film viewers and armchair critics, it’s not as easy as you’d think. Trust me.

Oh yeah, while I was there we did the SLC FanX Com.  Here’s some pictures from that.

Ah yes and for ally’s birthday I did a repeat of my Grandma Tala, which the kids absolutely loved.

teamLab Borderless

This is so visually stimulating, I can’t resist sharing.

kirilson photography

Venue: Odaiba, Tokyo

Lens: Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4 & Samsung S10 camera & Huawei P20 camera

Music: Kraftwerk – Electric café (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBjhHq6qp-k)

Earlier the same day when we visited Mr. Kikuchi and his Kaiseki restaurant from my previous post, we also went to the artificial island of Odaiba to visit teamLab Borderless. Probably it can be most correctly described as a collection of immersive interactive digital art installations flowing freely from one to another. But I think in this case the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words fits perfectly, and I’ll let you explore the place via the pictures instead of trying to explain it.

20190320-DSC_0261 The first installation we ended up in (there are several paths that randomly lead to different places, so literally we happened to end up at this place, while other visitors might start elsewhere) had many many moving flowers and butterflies and relaxing…

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Comic-Con’s 50 years, Grandma Tala and the thought of growing old!

Well, what can I say?  I did it again,  I went to Comic-Con for another year, but it was their 50th, so how could I pass it up?.  I guess we are all getting old and this time, I was half naked.

What?  Well, not exactly, but I felt like it!.

If you recall, in times past, I explained how often my sister would wear the skimpiest outfits she could manage to muster up.  Me?  Not so much.  I’m too self conscious of my middle and age, but I’ve trimmed down a bit, so I thought that for the 50th anniversary I’d see what I could do and this is what I got.  But…. Before I show you what I did, let’s quickly review my past ventures.  In general, I try to pick characters that are age appropriate though there aren’t many.

So here is the chronology of past Comic-Con’s

My first was in 2015 or was it 2014?  No, it was 2015.

Comicon 2015-3 - Copy

I went as Rosita of “The Walking Dead” and believe it or not there are critics!   One guy told me my hair wasn’t dark enough,  and I shoulda’ been wearing short shorts. Well, dag nabbit, she wore long pants too!  My sister was the green lady, better known as an Orion Slave Girl from Star Trek and her son was a character from some video game. And… it took me over a couple of hours to paint her green.  Aren’t I a nice sister?

 

2017 – Year Two:  I went as The Queen of Hearts – my grand daughter was Alice and I don’t recall what my sister did.  Oh yeah, she was a minuscule clad Spider Woman.  For some reason, I didn’t get that pic.  ooops!Comicon 2016-1 - CopyComicon 2016-2 - Copy

 

2017 Year Three:  I went as Queen Hippolyta of Wonder Woman – my sister was Wonder Woman and my grand daughter made a beautiful Storm (see below)- I made all their costumes, which my sis revamped to suit her. Even though Queen Hippolyta,  looks young,  she is Wonder Woman’s mother, so I went with that.

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2018 Year four:  I went as Edna Mode from The Incredibles, my daughter wore my Queen Hippolyta costume and made it look great!  My grand daughter did some steampunk thing, and my grandson did a Dastraquil thing.  We never met up with my sister that year, because I was beat and we couldn’t find each other.Comicon 2018-3 - Copy

I was fortunate to meet up  with The Incredible clan for the above picture.

 

2019 – Year Five was this year.  Ugh!  Talk about feeling old.  I went as several things and I had energy to spare on the first day, but for the next two days I lacked the heart to do all I had hoped.

My second and third day I went as Jasmine or some facsimile from Aladdin. At least this young man called me Jasmine to his Aladdin.  Comicon 2019-12

It was my compromise to my sister, but as you can see, I added a veil across my tummy in the above photo. My idea was to accommodate my sister’s known desire to be provocative. She thought it would be fun.   I thought I’d be bold enough to do so, but as you can see,  I chickened out. Comicon 2019-9 - Copy

Since, I make all my costumes, this was a good compromise.  I didn’t feel like making hers again and or another as detailed as my previous three. As I may have mentioned on other posts, taking up belly dancing was something my other sister, Di and I had done many years earlier in order to relieve stress from caring for mother.

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My sister Di is on the back left and I on the back right.  Well hidden. However, it is obvious my sisters like to dance and I go along for the ride.

Sherene, as you all know from my burlesque post is a dancer and loves to show skin.  She also belly dances and she’s dang good at it.  She’s considerably younger than I.  The point is,  between the two of us, we already had a slew of costumes to fit the bill, so it relieved me from making costumes to from scratch.

So for two days I was a harem girl, which there were plenty of in Aladdin, but surprisingly enough not many at Comic-Con and no one seemed to care.  Generally, people are lined up to take pictures of her in her scanty attire, but not this year.  I guess we’re all getting old.

Photo of Day three:  Not sure who the dudes are, but someone thought we should get our pictures taken together.

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Okay, so I’m not half naked, but did you notice, I skipped Day One ?

For good reason.

Because of Day one, I felt so insecure about Days two and three.

Things that clouded my brain were, why in the hell am I doing this?

Act your age!  Stop trying to look young! Your time has passed. I – AM – OLD.  I should act my age!  All because of … my Day One.

MY DAY ONE:

I was Grandma Tala of the film Moana. Comicon2019-3

It was absolutely amazing.  I looked and felt my age. The only reason I felt my age was that Grandma Tala is slightly bent and carries a cane and… aside from me tripping people up with it, which I did several times, it was hard work. It hurts to be hunched over. I normally stand extremely erect. Otherwise, it was gratifying playing this lovely old lady.

BUT,  what got me is how people love her.  I actually couldn’t figure out if people love old people or was it just because Grandma Tala who is so beloved and all their love for her was transferred over to me?  Day two and three were so anti-climactic because I wanted to stay her.  I almost forfeited my plans for Jasmine to be her again.

Initially, when I looked in the mirror after making myself old, I questioned my sanity wondering, Why would I even go there?  I didn’t and don’t like seeing me old, but I couldn’t help it. I enjoyed being this free, loving spirit that her character embodied.   I was through most of the day before I thought to take pictures of those taking pictures of me, so the pictures that follow don’t come close to what there was. One young couple from the Netherlands were the most excited, so I had to get one of them as well but then a beautiful young lady dressed as Moana came running toward me shouting “Grandma Tala”. Here are a series of pictures of some of these folks and their photos taken with me

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As Grandma Tala, the public loved me!!  What surprised me was how many young men from teens through thirties got excited at Grandma Tala!   My costume was complete with the temporary tattoo that Grandma Tala was noted for, a manta ray! I even memorized her lines from the movie, but never got to use them.

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And, even though I’m somewhat tawny, the splotchy-ness comes from  hubby slathering on my “tan”.  Covergirl came out with a makeup that doesn’t wash off, but it is hard to smooth on evenly and especially so if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Unfortunately, or maybe I should say fortunately, hubby isn’t in the habit of putting makeup on and I don’t think he was much into getting his hands into it.  LOL

It was amazing, but I couldn’t walk more than a couple of feet and people were stopping me, taking pictures and praising me. Telling me I was the best Grandma Tala they’d ever seen and I’m guessing I was the only Grandma Tala out there.

 

People from across the way were mouthing, “You are beautiful”. Thumbs up and shouting “You are amazing!” and it went on like that all day!

So what was it?  I kept asking myself rhetorical questions as to the why she or I was so popular, posing several questions to myself about what it means.

Is it that there are few grandma’s that even look like grandma’s?  I was looking at a scene the other day, of a friend doing a part opposite Jane Fonda and well, look at Jane Fonda. She’s still gorgeous and absolutely doesn’t look like a cuddly grandma, regardless of her 80 plus years and her grandma state of being.

I don’t look like a cuddly grandma, even though I’m not as old, though you’d be hard pressed to believe that from the above photos.  If you ask my grand daughter, I am her cuddly grandma and she has on occasion complained that her mom isn’t and my daughter would admit to that as well, even though she loves her grand kids immensely.  Funny how that works, looks don’t impair cuddles. Are there not enough grandma’s that look like grandma’s and possibly part of why everyone fell in love with Grandma Tala?

My ex, posted a comment that he liked my hair. What did he mean?  Did he like seeing me grey and looking old or just grey? He’s not mean spirited, so I’m guessing he just meant grey.

My mom had beautiful gray hair, so if I had more of it maybe I’d feel differently about having it.  The reality is, I have very little gray hair, but aside from that, even pretending to be old made me feel old.   I was hurting in places that generally don’t hurt and my mind wanted to fog up.  I loved it and hated it all at the same time.  How does one grow old gracefully?

For me, part of my energy level comes from NOT looking old or catering to my age, but then there is this thing that tells me “why not??” Yes, sometimes I wish to give in to it.

For me, I look young because I think young.  I eat right and exercise.  I do not have a cupboard full of medication.  I take a few herbals. I do puzzles, read and write to keep the mind alert.  I’ve seen too many people give into aging and yes, a part of me wishes she could resign herself to looking her age, but I can’t and won’t.  To give in means to give up and because of that,  I want you to know I will fight, kicking and screaming to my grave.   Age is a crown of glory or so Grandma Tala has proven, but Grandma Tala died way too soon, leaving her beloved Moana without her.  There is so much telling in age, but I soak up what I’ve learned and hope I will live long enough to share my Grandma Tala wisdom to those younger than I and for years to come.

However, when I do get old, I won’t look half bad, huh?Comicon 2019 - 13

BTW, that paint was hard to get out of my hair and I think my tan rubbed off onto my PJ’s for days. What if I’d been green?  The tat is almost completely gone now.

More pictures from Comic-Con:

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