Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Going Home

Today would have been my Dad's 86th birthday, and tomorrow is the 4 month anniversary of his death.  Both dates are hard to believe.

I am lucky in one thing; I can go home to their house every day, to what was my grandparent's house.  I can eat lunch or make coffee, lie down in my old room, listen to my old records.  Eventually, it will be my home again.  There is a particular peace there, and comfort.  As long as I can be there, they aren't really gone.

We all need a place of peace, a room of our own, as Woolf wrote.  It's good to look at the photos that trigger memories, and to drink coffee out of cups that my mother bought when I was still in high school.

It's nice to see t he light switch plate that says "Ellen's' Room" and to remember where it came from. What triggers memories for you--it can be a smell, or making a recipe, or maybe it's the time of year.  We did our share for St. Pat's, and my mother loved all holidays.  We always had a shamrock or two around, we made it to a parade once in a while, whatever it took.

Now, I'm in the autumn of my life, and while it's hard to fathom that I'm this old, I go back to that house, where the TV is in the same place it's been for over 60 years, where my birthday parties were held, where my heart broke and healed, and where my mother planted flowers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Leprechauns and Dolls in Green - Ruby Lane Blog

Leprechauns and Dolls in Green - Ruby Lane Blog: 1909 German St. Patrick’s Day Embossed Postcard Irish Lady in Green Dress St Patrick’s Irish Boudoir Bed Doll Red Hair Shamrock Dress It’s almost that time for all things green. Leprechauns all over are gearing up to wear the green and toast the emerald isle!  Dolls in green look wonderful displayed around shamrocks and other... Read more »

Saturday, February 3, 2018

You Might Be Child of the 90s If …You Played With These Dolls and Bears! - Ruby Lane Blog

You Might Be Child of the 90s If …You Played With These Dolls and Bears! - Ruby Lane Blog: 1.    1990s Holiday Barbie in her pink poinsettia dress.  The Holiday Barbies debuted in 1988 and were still hot tickets in 1990.  Other Barbies were noting included an unusual Bowling Champ Barbie and Stars N Stripes Barbie wearing a smart Sailor’s Uniform with a skirt. 2.    Wendy Lawton Dolls.  Lawton made her first... Read more »

Monday, January 29, 2018

October Doll Club 2017

Review: Memories of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon

Review: Memories of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
Sing me no songs of daylight,
Fro the son is the enemy of lovers.
Sing instead of shadows and darkness,
And memories of midnight.
I was stunned that Sheldon, who also created TV shows like Hart to Hart and I Dream of Jeannie, got the title for his sequel to The Other Side of Midnight from Sappho.  I love Sappho; I titled my poetry chapbook, Sappho, I should have Listened, and my mother loved her and did research for her.  I loved her for the dedication she wrote to Artemis when she left her doll at the goddesses’ altar, “Despise not my dolls little purple cloak”, and I loved her courage and her passion. I even suffered for our art, hers and mine, when a fool who thought he spoke Greek publically tried to correct me at a poetry reading.  I was invited there to read from my book; he hasn’t published anything.  Dear Misha, how I wanted to call him a “Malakas,” and give him a good Greek tongue lashing, for I am a speaker of Greek first, and English second, but I didn’t do it.  I’m too polite. 
One can’t call Costa Demeris, the evil Greek Tycoon antagonist of both of Sheldon’s novels set in Greece polite. In fact, it’s hard to like anyone in this book, even sweet Catharine Alexander Douglas, who constantly plays mouse to Demeris’ cat.
In The Other Side of Midnight, Demeris gets even big time when his mistress Noelle Page and his pilot, Larry Douglas, husband of Catherine, betray him by falling in love, and well, doing the big nasty.  Catharine is meant to be a victim in the first book, but her book of victimology dictates she become a drunken shrew.  The sneaky lovers try to kill her of, but fail.  Only Demeris figures that out, and sequesters Catharine, who has amnesia after Larry and Noelle try to do her in.  Noelle and Larry pay with their lives before a Greek firing squad. 
Fast forward to Memories of Midnight.  Costa is stunned to discover Catharine is regaining her memory.  She’s a little stupid to boot.  It’s hard to feel sorry for her.  It’s also hard to feel sorry for Melina, Demeris’ long suffering wife, who is supposed to be smart and chic, yet takes insult after insult from him, and even though she knows he is a monster, stays because she “loves him!”  Seriously!  Not even in the 50s-60s atmosphere of the novel, the height of the Feminine Mystique, would real women put up with this!  Times up, Melina!  Her only way to get even is, spoiler alert, is to destroy herself, but she still fails.
Costa double crosses everyone, till he meets a Thelma and Louise ending with his lawyer, who must have influenced the villain in Stieg Larsson’s books beginning with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Also, I’d like to know what happened to the museum curator caught up in the Demeris’ smuggling caper.  His character is dropped like a hot potato.  Other interesting villains are introduced, but their character development is dropped.
Yet, this is a page turner, for all its flaws.  Sheldon understands plot twists, even if he uses too many of them, and he is that rare character, a male author who can create believable women, albeit, sometimes women that are a little stupid.  Catharine reminds me of the heroin of Valley of the Dolls for her naïveté. .
His Greek phonetics are very good; I wonder at how good he is with the language and Greek culture. 
I liked listening to his books on tape, but when I heard him read his own Sands of Time, it reminded me of Booboo bear reading to Yogi; Sheldon didn’t have the greatest reading voice.
He could write the” sweeping” novel as few could today, maybe Dan Brown is a close contender.
Meanwhile, I hope he is somewhere with Sappho, and my parents discussing literature in another dimension, somewhere on the other side of midnight.

Sunday, December 31, 2017