My niece Rebecca turns 31 tomorrow. Since my sister Leslie was kind enough to share some photos of Becky’s 1st year, when they lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC, NY, this seems like an appropriate time to post them here:
I was the eldest of the three Green children. Leslie was the middle child, and Marcia the “baby”. However, more than a few people who have assumed that SHE is the eldest because she’s much more outgoing, while I have always been bookish, keeping to a far fewer number of friends and associates than she has.
She really enjoyed being the only girl/the younger for the four years that she was, until she wasn’t. This led to all sorts of odd sisterly stuff that I tried to stay out of but would inevitably get sucked into. (One date in particular: March 12, 1995). I got along with both sisters most of the time, especially Leslie, with whom I sang with our father. Yet about once a year she’d goad me so much that I’d get really angry and some unfortunate outcome would take place. (When she was about 12, and I was 13, she and her friend Bonnie kept opening the bathroom door while I was sitting on the toilet – there was no lock – and I was trying to keep the door shut with my arm or leg; the end result was a broken bathroom mirror.)
I realized long ago that if I don’t have a strong opinion about something Leslie cares about, I tended to cede to her position. That was not the case, though, when she wanted to bury our father in a casket but the rest of us preferred cremation. The tension over that lasted a couple years.
Meanwhile, Leslie seems to have drawn closer to Marcia, as they both deal with my mother. (I do too, but Marcia lives with my Mom and Leslie is currently looking for a job, having been laid off after 18 years working for Long’s Drug Store after it got bought out by CVS.)
One of the good things about the last trip to Charlotte was, frankly, listening to Leslie kvetch about the CD that her church put out – she is on its music Praise and Worship team. Her name was misspelled as Lesley – thrice. I was going to plug the CD but can’t find the particulars. Did, though, find this YouTube video about the church.
Another highlight, oddly, came from watching TV. Lydia, my five-year-old, is watching Wonder Pets, which I admit to liking myself (Just saw “The Wonder Pets Save the Beetles”, which was full of Liverpudlian puns.) Turns out that Alex, Marcia’s 18-year-old, remembers Wonder Pets fondly. Then Rebecca, Leslie’s 30-year-old calls (or is called by her mother); come to find out, much to Leslie’s surprise and chagrin, that Rebecca and her husband Rico ALSO are big fans of Wonder Pets. Leslie watched and actually sussed out its charms.
So, it’s Leslie’s birthday, and even though she occasionally makes me crazy (and you don’t know the half of it), I still love her very much.
For all you folks in the San Diego area, here our the upcoming dates for Rebecca’s group, Siren’s Crush.
July 24th-Valley View Casino
July 31st-Valley View Casino
Aug 7th-Valley View Casino
Aug 8th-Viejas Dreamcatcher
Aug 21st-Viejas V-Lounge
Aug 28-Valley View Casino
Also, they have been asked to perform at a “VERY exciting event coming up on Sept 26th” in which they will be “opening up for Teena Marie, Lisa Lisa and some other favorite Old School artists for Magic 92.5 and Viejas Casino! This event is free and for the whole family!”
Click on this link for more information.
One of the things I came across in my sojourn through old journals was how much I adored my eldest niece, Becky, practically from the moment I saw her. I wrote about her ad nauseum. She was the first person I could just love without the complications that being the child or sibling or lover tend to engender.
Becky was born five days shy of her parents’ third anniversary, which was our first linkage since I was born five days shy of MY parents’ third anniversary. She and her family were living in NYC and I in the Albany area at the time, so I recall seeing her about a month after she was born and being entranced. I made it to her first and second birthdays before her parents moved south.
But Becky and I always had a bond. I came across pictures of my grandmother’s funeral in 1982 and I’m the one tending to her while she’s coloring or needing to go for a walk. Other pictures show me always carrying her around. In some way, she helped train me to be a good uncle for four more nieces and maybe even a good dad to Lydia.
Much more recently, she got married on my birthday, as it turns out, to a decent guy named Rico.
Happy 30th birthday, Rebecca. I love you.
I got an e-mail from my eldest niece Rebecca this week: I just finished reading your blog from today and from this past week… I enjoy watching movies, too, like you do, and I was wondering if you have seen “Six Degrees of Separation” with Donald Sutherland, Stockard Channing, and a young Will Smith. If so, I was curious as to what you thought of it… I just watched it last night and to me, it took a while to get started, but then it became a bit more interesting. However, after the movie, I was left to think about the whole story, and I just don’t know really what to make of it and wanted to know what you thought about it, if you’ve even seen it. Among other things, most of the acting by the “children” in the movie seemed so forced, I wasn’t sure if that was meant to be that way or not…
She clarified later: About the “children”, I put the word in parentheses because even though they were young adults in college, they over-acted like they were spoiled 10 year olds. It was kinda weird…
Also, I had hoped to have a guess at one of your movie quotes, but no such luck… Not even a poor guess! Well, I did know the “Shawshank Redemption” one, but it was already figured out…
Well, Rebecca, I DID see this 1993 film, probably at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany (as opposed to on video, which, I believe, makes a difference in the viewing experience). I recall that I liked it, I was absorbed by the story. And while I remember the adults and young Will, I have no particular recollection of the acting abilities of the younger characters – which included Heather Graham and Anthony Michael Hall. I do recall at the time that I thought the whole thing was a bit stagy, and just a bit preachy.
That’s what happens when you see a lot of movies, I was reminded, when I was looking at Buffalo blogger Jaquandor’s list of his top 100 movies. There at #64 was Eating Raoul (1982) which I most certainly saw at the Spectrum’s predecessor, The 3rd Street Cinema in Troy. I probably even know who I saw it with. But the details of the movie, beyond the broad premise of whacking people with frying pans, has gone hazy. I recall laughing a LOT at the time, in part because I had a friend named Raoul, but also because I thought it was a real hoot, the juxtaposition of this uptight couple with their entrepreneurial ways. Seems that I should probably watch it again.
And it doesn’t have to be older films that can slip away. In preparing to watch the Oscars, I was trying to recall all the films of Tilda Swinton I had seen. There was that bizarro-worlds trip Orlando (1992) and Adaptation (2002) and Broken Flowers (2005). But what was that movie, you know, it had a lot of water in it? Oh, yeah, 2001’s The Deep End. I remember being engaged in the movie, but until I read the plot synopsis, the story line had all but abandoned me.
So here’s the question for you all: what movies have you seen in the past that you liked well enough at the time, but that are slipping from your particular memories?
Oh, if you look at last Saturday’s post, you’ll find the answers to the movie quotes quiz.
Thanks, Rebecca, for the posting idea.
I’ve been looking through a particular photo album a lot recently; I have a couple dozen books, but this one seems to get the most play recently. The pictures are from 1980 to 1982. It contains pictures from my early FantaCo days, the “royal wedding“, and my old friend Deborah. It also has pictures of my niece Becky, the daughter of my sister Leslie:
These are rather tiny – though clicking on them should help – but the pose of her holding her doll is unmistakably familiar to me. I knew Lydia looked quite a bit like her at that age, but seeing these pictures was still a bit of a shock to the system.
Becky got married last year to Rico. She’s been busy with her singing career; among other gigs, she is the vocalist with with house band for Anthology, the new jazz club in the Little Italy section of San Diego. Plus, she’s going to school and dealing with real estate. She appeared on the cover of a San Diego-area magazine in the last month:
Her birthday is tomorrow. Happy birthday, eldest niece.
Love, Uncle Roger
Not so incidentally, Becky and Leslie appear to be safe from the raging California fires.
I called my niece Becky last night. She and her husband Rico were over at my sister Leslie’s house in San Diego County, California, gathering materials in case they need to evacuate their homes because of the wildfires. Last year, the fires were close enough that Leslie could see, and taste, the smoke from the fires, but this year, the flames are much closer, and depending on the direction of the quirky Santa Ana winds, they may be required to leave at any time. So far, in the county, 500 homes and 100 businesses have already been destroyed by fire.
To that end, they are packing up their cars with necessary items. After the call, I found this site, which includes a list that would be useful in case of most any evacuation:
* A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil.
* One change of clothing and footwear per person and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
* A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications.
* Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries.
* An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash, or traveler’s checks.
* Sanitation supplies.
* Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
* An extra pair of eyeglasses.
* Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Assemble a smaller version of your kit to keep in the trunk of your car.
In the latter category, we were talking about passports, driver’s licenses, and Social Security cards. I also suggested a deck of cards and a couple paperback books, to stave off possible boredom.
I discovered that, while she has my phone numbers programmed into her cell phone, she, probably like many others, don’t have my phone numbers or e-mail in an accessible place if the cell service is down (or the cell phone runs out of juice) and she doesn’t have access to a computer. (That’s probably true of me and phone numbers/e-mail addresses as well.)
So, keep a good thought.