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November, 2010

Thank you to our Veterans

My father was a veteran and I remember when my sister and I were growing up, he used to tell us stories about the war and his time in a Russian prison camp, and I never really understood how much he gave up.  To be honest, I used to roll my eyes, thinking, “Here we go again.” But I was just a kid. Today, I’d give anything to hear those stories again – and to tell my dad how proud I am of his service to his country.  My stepmon’s husband was also a veteran, may he rest in peace. This is our day to honor and respect all of our veterans for the sacrifices they have made for their country.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Wait! Don’t tell me!

While in Vegas, Denis and I had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Summerlin. Our waitress (is that PC?  maybe it’s “server” but she didn’t serve the food, somebody else did…anyway…her name was Michelle) was very nice but she was looking at me kind of funny.  It wasn’t my first time being looked at funny but she finally said, “I don’t mean to stare but you look so familiar. Are you on TV?”  I said that I had been on TV and she jumped in and said, “Wait! Don’t tell me!  Are you on the news?” No. “Wait, wait! Don’t tell me, are you an actress?” No.  This went on until our soup got cold so I decided to give her a hint.  My hint was ‘daytime television.’ She stared even harder, trying hard to figure out who I was. “Don’t tell me, I know this,” she said.  My hair was in a pony tail so I told her I had shoulder length, blond hair. Our staring contest continued.  Finally I said, “I’ll just tell you I’m…”  “No, don’t tell me – give me another hint.”  Okay, I told her my first and last name start with the same letter – that should do it.  Nothing.  I was getting hungry so I told her those letters were ‘J.’  She had to get it now.  Still nothing. Desperation finally set in and she called the hostess over, saying, “Do you know who this is?” “Sure,” she said, “it’s Jenny Jones.” Michelle almost dropped her bread basket! She was so excited and said she was a huge fan and watched my show all the time. Have I changed that much? I’m waiting for the day I’m asked the same question: “Were you on TV?” “Yes, I was.  I’m Jenny Jones.” “No, you’re not.”

No bedbugs

Denis and I made two round trips to Las Vegas in two weeks and it’s about a 4-hour drive (5 if I’m driving!). But since Denis was driving, I entertained myself by looking for out-of-state license plates and I could not believe how many I saw just between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Here’s my list: New Mexico, New Jersey, Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, Maine, South Dakota, Florida, Mississippi, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Oklahoma, Utah, South Carolina, Kansas, North Carolina, and guess what? Alaska and Hawaii!  I saw TWO cars with Hawaii plates!  Wait, there’s more: Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Quebec! Oh, Canada… My peeps! 

I didn’t mind the drive but I still don’t like staying in hotels, even nice ones. Who knows what went on in that room before we got there? There was a stain on the floor looked suspicious but I guess a stain is better than a chalk outline of a body, huh? I wondered about bedbugs but opted not to look.  There were no bite marks in the morning so I guess they weren’t there… or else they were still full from the last guy.

Goodbye, Victor.

We are back home after Victor’s memorial service and burial in Las Vegas.  The service was held in the Greek Orthodox church with their ancient traditions including song, prayer, candles, and incense.  The incense is carried by the priest in a beautiful metal censer, which also contains charcoal, and is suspended by chains and twelve bells symbolizing the twelve apostles. The censer is swung by the priest during prayer.  

There will now be 40 days of mourning during which time his widow will wear black and then at 40 days, there is another memorial, and again in 6 months and one year. Victor had a lot of old friends who came and I heard many of them say, “I’ve know Victor for 48 years…. 29 years….,” etc. And Victor’s entire family was there, flying in from all over.  His sister from Pennsylvania, a daughter and granddaughter from Ohio, a daughter, her husband, and three grandchildren from Switzerland, and my stepmom, Roula’s family came too: her two brothers and sister-in-law came from Canada.  It was a beautiful sendoff for a man who was loved by many. Later, we all had dinner together at the home of a family friend. 

Sadness this weekend

My stepmom’s husband, Victor, passed away over the weekend. Denis and I are going back Wednesday for the funeral.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~Mahatma Gandhi