Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #29 1956

(Thank you Chaotic Home for the great graphic!)

The Year 1956...It Was A Very Good Year

For my parents anyway -- they look happy (they have NO CLUE as to the headache I will be in about 13 years....) Anyway, I'm not too sure what I was thinking. Maybe I was worried my head would never pop out of that cone shape. But it did -- less than a year later! See?

The baby daughter of Frank and Rose appeared a month early in December of 1956. So without further baby pictures, here's 13 things about 1956!

#1. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon are President and Vice President.

#2. The minimum wage is $0.75/hour. Most Americans make about $1.00 per hour and the average yearly income hovers at $4,454.00.

#3. A new car will set you back about $2,100; a new home about $22,000.

#4. A gallon of milk is $0.97; a loaf of bread $0.18; a dozen eggs $.80.

#5. A first class postage stamp is $0.03 and a gallon of gas is (hold your breath here) $0.25.

#6. Zenith introduces the first wireless remote control for televisions and the first videotape recorder is demonstrated.

#7. Richard Doll, MD, 37, an Oxford physician presents research linking cigarette smoking with lung cancer. The London Times did not publish his research.

#8. The Andrea Doria, a luxurious Italian oceanliner, sinks off Nantucket Island, Massachusetts after colliding with the SS Stockholm. 52 lives are lost.

#9. Japan becomes a member of the United Nations.

#10. President Eisenhower signs the Joint Resolutions of the US Congress making "In God We Trust" the US National Motto. He also authorizes the phrase "One Nation Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

#11. Elvis Presley appears on Ed Sullivan on September 9, 1956 for the first time. His second album "Elvis Presley" goes gold.

#12 "The Wizard of Oz" is shown on TV for the first time. TV shows debuting in 1956 include: As the World Turns, Edge of Night, NFL on CBS, the Dinah Shore Show and the Steve Allen Show.

#13. John F. Kennedy publishes his Pulitizer Prize winning book, "Profiles in Courage", written the year before while he recuperates from an operation to repair a spinal problem. The book in part, is reportedly dictated to his wife, Jackie, who remained at his side.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #28

My 13 Favorite Classic Star Trek Episodes
(thank you to Goofy Girl for the great appropriate graphic!)

Oh sure, we could persue the usual loftier higher educational TT's....but why? I declare we need a mindless rundown of my favorite Classic Star Trek episodes.

As a preface, I was always a Kirk kind of gal. Spock was alien and distant, and Chekov was foreign with a bad wig, Sulu was just off in another universe, Scotty was always in the bowels of the ship and McCoy....well, he had his problems. But Kirk? Please. Overacted to perfection by hammy, campy, love him to death, Mr. William Shatner. (Shat to his friends). And you know, try as I might, I never got into the other Star Trek series. I saw a few of the Next Generation episodes and the characters were excellent, but I missed the campiness of 1960's experimental television! So without further ado, my fave 13 classics, not in any order.

#1 -- The Enemy Within. Oh, who could ask for more? Double the Shat as his personality is split into a "negative" dark, brutal, sexual side and a "positive" kind, reasonable, gentle side. The result? He couldn't be the great captain he is without his "negative" side, controlled by his "positive" side. Notable that Leonard Nimoy came up with the Vulcan Nerve Pinch to incapacitate his Captain, believing that the peace loving Vulvan would NEVER club his bud over the head.

#2 -- This Side of Paradise. The spotlight is on Spock in this episode. On a planet where the inhabitants are supposed to be dead from being bombarded by "Bertold Rays", they find a thriving community of LIVE people. The Secret? A plant that shoots spores over everyone, making everyone happy, happy, happy. Spock gets to kiss the girl this time after being spored upon....but everyone is brought down eventually to the baneness of reality by Kirk, who figures out how to "knock those spores right out of his hair".

#3 -- Turnabout Intruder. Notable as the last episode filmed in the series, #79, it is a real hoot! What a better way to end a show that would live in the hearts of millions for decades than by having Shat play Kirk whose body has been inhabited by a vengeful, spiteful ex-lover? Oh, a tour de force for Mr. Shatner!

#4 -- Amok Time. Spock hears the Vulcan mating call and Kirk breaks all kinds of rules from here to Sunday to get his First Officer back home and laid. Something he understands completely and deeply. In the ensuing drama, Kirk appears "killed" by Spock and when Spock realizes his beloved Captain is indeed still alive, we see a burst of grins from the somber Vulcan. Maybe he was just happy he didn't have to go to military prison.

#5 -- Elaan from Troyius. One of the all time best implied "they just had sex" scenes in 1960's television I didn't understand until I was older. But Kirk has been sort of drugged by this female Ruler Elaan whom he is supposed to be taking to another planet for her wedding to an enemy of her people. In effect, she is a live sacrificial olive branch. Anyway, as she as put a "spell" on him of sorts, there's a lot of hot passion. In one great scene, Uhura is trying to page Kirk. Over and over with no answer. Finally he gets on the speaker. He is sitting on the edge of Elaan's bed, putting his boots back on. Priceless.

#6 -- A Rose by Any Other Name. Kirk (and Shat) at their best. He's got to seduce this alien woman in order to distract her by messing with her unrealized emotions. The main crew must do this to all the aliens on board in order to get control back of the ship. However, Scotty has the primo line. He is trying to get one of the aliens drunk. He's tried Sorian Brandy and a bottle of his prized aged Scottish Whiskey and has kept up, drink for drink with the alien. The alien asks for more booze. Scotty pulls something out of a cabinet. The alien askes him what it is. Scotty looks at it and shrugs as he starts pouring. "It's green," he answers him.

#7 -- City on the Edge of Forever. Shat and Joan Collins fall in love when Kirk, Spock and McCoy are sent back in time to the 1920 - 1930's. Of course she dies. Any woman who falls in love with him either dies or is left in the lurch somehow. However, this episode has always been a major fave of most trekkers. It was written by sci-fi great Harlan Ellison, who won the Hugo Award for best writing for it.

#8 -- Paradise Syndrome. Kirk gets separated from his crew and that always spells trouble. He gets amnesia this time after being squirted by some rays and wakes up in the midst of a tribe of American Indians -- planted on another planet -- on another universe -- by somebody. He becomes their "god" of course, marries and his wife becomes pregnant with his child -- which has TV death written all over it. Yeah, his crew finds him, he snaps to after a Vulcan mind meld, the wife dies and he maintains his title of "god" as he returns to his ship. He looked good in the Indian head dress tho.

#9 -- The Man Trap. It's a good story, of course....but the crowning glory of this episode is the introduction of the Salt Vampire. It can take any form, man, woman, whomever you want it to be....and it kills you by sucking out all the salt in your body. McCoy imagines he sees his long lost love and falls in love with it -- which leads to my earlier notation that McCoy had "problems". Anyway, the Salt Vampire, "the last of it's kind", is killed on board. Just like all things that are not approved by Star Fleet's Human Board of Directors.

#10 -- Miri. Probably one of my very favorites about the main crew exploring a planet populated only by kids after a bad virus created by the adults killed them all off. They had been looking for anti-aging pills. The adults died quickly, but the kids remained and aged only a month for every 100 years of living. Eventually, Kirk and crew start getting the virus that killed the adults so it's race against time to save themselves and the kids. Great Shat line: He's trying to round up the kids, who have become like wild little animals. They are shouting nah-nah-nah-nah-nah and when he talks they all say blah, blah, blah. However, ever the Alpha Male, Kirk screams back at them: "NO BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!!!" A perfect moment in cimematic history.

#11 -- The Mark of Gideon. A planet has cured all disease but is overpopulated to the nth degree. They kidnap Kirk to steal his blood, which has a rare virus that they wish to introduce into their society to naturally select some people to die off. Anyway, the Main Cheese's daughter sacrifices herself and wants to die to give people hope that they too, can take a trip to the afterlife. But Kirk and she have fallen in love and he wants to save her by having McCoy inject her with the cure. Yes, she lives. Yes, they break up. It's Star Trek for heaven's sake, but not before The Main Cheese calls up Kirk to tell him to stop trying to save his daughter. That he KNOWS they had "fallen in love" (60's euphanism for 'had sex') to which Kirk replies that what had happened between the two of them was PRIVATE (even tho there is a possibility that due to overcrowding it was witnessed by a crowd of about 25,000). Notable that the daughter's costume (and some of those costumes were pretty flimsy), was part of the Star Trek exhibit at the Smithsonian.

#12 -- Mirror, Mirror. Oh, I love these. Twice the Shat as he and the other main crew members cross over into some parallel universe, where Bad Kirk, Bad McCoy and Bad other crew members were going about their lives until they got transported onto the Good Ship Enterprise at the same time. Oh, it all gets sorted out, but Good Kirk on the Bad ship meets one hot woman, who, of course has to stay behind. These are the STAR TREK RULES: #1 -- characters in red shirts die; and #2 -- no love interest of Kirk's lasts longer than 53 minutes.

#13 -- The Trouble with Tribbles. Little furry hairballs take over the Enterprise. They like humans and Vulcans, but NOT Klingons. One of the funniest episodes and a great Kirk quote (as he watches the Tribbles multiplying quicker than plankton and are laying about everywhere). Uhura tells Kirk that the tribbles only give us love (as he asks her to "get those things off the bridge"), "Yes, Lt., but too much of anything...even not necessarily a good thing."

There you have it. There are more great episodes and great lines of course, but I pulled these off the top of my head.

Now there's a scary thought.....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #27

13 Things About Belva Ann Lockwood

Who? You ask? Belva was a wonder. She ran for President twice when women weren't even allowed to vote; she fought to receive a degree in law when she was denied that right, she lobbied to argue in front of the Supreme Court. I just had to find out more about her. So here you go!

1. She was born Belva Ann Bennett on October 24, 1830 in Royalton, New York.

2. She was educated in the public school system and in 1844 she began teaching school for $5.00 a month plus board. This is half of what male teachers made.

3. She married at the age of 18 and had one daughter. Her husband died in 1854 and she left her daughter Lura with her parents and enrolled in Genesee College.

4. Belva graduated in 1857 from Genesee College and began teaching in Lockport, New York for the sum of $400 a year, while male teachers earned $600 per year.

5. In 1863, she operated the McNall Seminary in Oswego, NY, but after the Civil War sold the school and moved to Washington DC. There she opened the city's first co-educational school.

6. In 1868, she married a dentist and baptist minister, Dr. Ezekiel Lockwood, and they had one daugher. The daughter died at 20 months of age and Dr. Lockwood died in 1877.

7. At the age of 40, in 1870, Belva entered the National University of Law School and finished her courses 3 years later. She was refused her diploma because she was a woman. She petitioned President Grant for the right to practice and then was admitted to the Washington bar where she specialized in cases against the government.

8. In 1874, she was denied permission to practice before the U.S. Court of Claims because she was a woman. Belva said, "For the first time in my life I began to realize it's a crime to be a woman, but it was too late to put in a denial, so I pled guilty."

9. Due to her tireless campaigning, in 1879 a bill was passed through both houses of Congress and signed by President Rutherford B. Hayes, which allowed Belva to become the first woman to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.

10. One of Belva's first actions was to nominate a black Southern colleague for admission to the court. She also won a $5,000,000 settlement for the Cherokee Indians, which was an astronomical amount of money...both then and now!

11. In 1884, Belva was nominated for president of the United States by the National Equal Rights Party. She received 4,194 votes at a time when women were not even allowed to vote! She ran again in 1888.

12. Belva's professional life focused on women's rights. She promoted temperance, peace and arbitration. She was also on the nominating committee for the Nobel Peace Prize and any of her papers on peace were published.

13. Mrs. Lockwood served as president of the Women's National Press Association, and served on other committees such as: the International Peace Bureau, the American Women's League, the National Council for Women, and the National Arbitration Society of the District of Columbia. Belva died on May 19, 1917, and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1986.

Letting It All Hang Out... they used to say when an emotional airing was necessary. I know I haven't posted much lately. Life seems to have seriously gotten in the way. My hands are full with just getting through every hour at a time.

Previously, I sort of touched on the "darker" side of my life. Depression, anxiety, WAM...that stuff. I never really went into my relationships...or the things that I struggle with everyday. The stuff that makes me sit on a PhD's couch every Tuesday at 12:15pm.

First, my darling daughter Erin has ADHD. Now I believe she does have it, but I think the fires are fanned by the repression of the expression of anger. I'll explain in a minute.

Second, my wonderful son Sean is clinically depressed at 17. He's made some bad choices and is making more bad ones, and I think my terrific son is struggling partially because of the repression of the expression of anger. And the fact I leaned on him way, way too much post divorce. More than I ever realized until this came up.

Ok. The anger issue. My kids don't express anger well. Sean punches walls and has torn up his bedroom door. He doesn't like to be home and is like a caged animal when he is...just looking for a way out. The farther he pushes himself away from home, the worse choices he makes. In Erin's case, her ADHD kicks in. She bounces off the walls, pulls things out from everywhere without replacing them, makes a mess everywhere and just keeps on moving.

Why the anger issue? They have been exposed to extremes. With WAM (their dad), anger was an explosive outburst that no person I know of has ever been able to handle. You get mad at Dad? Oh, boy.....he can get lots louder and lots he's older and stronger and supposed to be a role model. Also, there was never a time when you felt you were going to make any headway. He just got angrier than you...and made sure that he would win under any and all circumstances.

With trying to keep a very low profile, calm house after WAM was out, I perpetuated that anger wasn't allowed. I thought I was doing what was best for the kids, but it backfired. And compounded with the fact that both kids are protective of me anyway because of my heart attack, well, no one can get anger out. comes out in other ways. Erin's ADHD, Sean's caged animal depression.

We are all in counseling now. And I realize I have alot of work to do if I'm going to be able to send my kids out into the world as whole human beings. I hope I'm not too late.