Pre-Reunion Required Viewing

 I turned on the television this morning and the movie on TBS was “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.”  I had seen parts of the movie before, but never the entire film, so I sat and watched it.  I think it should be required viewing for anyone going to a class reunion!  It is so funny!

                                                     ROMY

Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) are two ditzy blondes who find out that their 10th year class reunion from Sagebrush High in Tucson is going to take place.  They graduated in 1987. They are single and roommates, friends all their lives.  As they are filling out the reunion questionnaire, they decide that they can’t put down that Michele is unemployed and that Romy is a receptionist at an auto business.  Romy thinks they should lie or at least stretch the truth a bit.  She says, “What’s the point in going [to the reunion] if we can’t impress people?”  She adds, “All we need are better jobs and boyfriends.”  Michele replies, “If it is so easy, wouldn’t we already have jobs and boyfriends?”  Romy says they have never had a reunion to motivate them! So, they decide to lose weight, get jobs and boyfriends.  The reunion is in two weeks, so they have to really hustle to do these things.  After a week of searching, dieting and exercise, they give up.  Romy says, “We can go to the reunion and pretend to be successful!”

In the movie, they have flashbacks to their high school days.  Reminiscing brings back some painful memories, especially in connection with the “A Group” (four popular girls) and the crush Romy has on Billy Christenson, the jock.  Michele had to wear a back brace for scoliosis in high school and the leader of the A Group did cruel things like attach magnets to her back when Michele wasn’t looking.  Romy and Michele took things in stride and didn’t let the A Group get them down.  As they reminisce, they realize that it hurt to be teased, but they had each other, so it didn’t matter.

When they go to the reunion, they decide to tell people they are successful businesswomen and that they invented Post-Its.  They get into an argument on the way because Romy said she invented the Post-Its. Michele is sick of being second-best, so they break up their friendship.  At the reunion, the A Group is together, all three pregnant.  The leader of the group recognizes Romy and says, “You’re the chubby girl.”  Romy retorts that she hasn’t been chubby in a long time and points out their pregnancies, saying they must really feel tied down.  She tells them she invented Post-Its then another classmate (Heather Mooney, a “Goth” type person) comes along and says, “No, you didn’t.”  Romy is embarassed and Michele comes to her rescue.  They decide they are friends again. 

Romy says, “All I ever wanted was for people to think we are better than we were in high school.”  Michele answers very insightfully, “I never knew we weren’t that great until you told me.”  Instead of leaving the reunion, humiliated, they decide to make the best of things and have fun.  They shed their business suits and put on bright, shiny short dresses.  The A Group is surprised that they came back.

Anyway, Heather, the Goth girl who invented fast burning cigarette paper, told Romy and Michele, “I thought you had it made in high school.”  She says Michele made her life hell in high school because she had a crush on the Sandy Freek, the nerdy guy, and Sandy liked Michele who totally ignored him.  Michele answers, “I’ll bet, in high school, everyone made someone’s life Hell.”

The movie is full of cliques such as the nerdy guy turns out to the most successful guy in the class and he takes Michele and Romy home in his helicopter.  The popular jock turns out to be a drunk lech.  Several cliques like that. 

Even though it is silly and full of cliques (and is a “chick flick”) I still think it’s fun and has some thought-provoking moments.  It is “R” rated for language, but if you see it on TV all that is taken out.  But if you rent the DVD…

Anyway, I think it’s a fun movie to watch and think about before our reunion. 

 

Home Again

 We were in Chicago this past week, hence the late blog entry.  We drove out on the 9th and returned Friday.  We visited three colleges with Mike.  We stayed in the suburbs with Dave and Carlota.  They just bought a three bedroom townhouse in July.  It’s real nice, fairly new and the previous owner added a lot of neat features to it.  They still need to paint and get some pictures on the walls, etc., but they are coming along nicely.

On Monday, Dennis, Mike and I drove into downtown and to Hyde Park to visit the University of Chicago.  It is Mike’s first choice, but it is a fairly small private college so it may be hard to get in to.  I think they said they get 21,000 applicants and accept about 3,000 of those.  Last year 1200 freshmen enrolled at University of Chicago.  86% of the students were in the top 10% of their class.  Mike is in the top 10% (unless he blows it this year) and he has a high ACT score, but we also need to look at the kind of financial aid available because tuition runs close to $30,000 a year.  The average University of Chicago student has an ACT score between 32-34.

  CU Admin  CU ivy

After the tour, we headed back downtown to Navy Pier where we ate and spent the rest of the day.

Ferris wheel at NP Street performers at the pier Water gardens

On Tuesday we toured Loyola University on Lake Shore Drive.  They have a campus downtown at Water Tower Place as well.  It had a totally different “feel” than University of Chicago.  More modern.  At both colleges there was construction but U of Chicago they were renovating old buildings while Loyola was tearing down old buildings and putting up new.  Loyola has a beautiful campus with a fantastic view of Lake Michigan.

Loyola Loyola by lake

On Wednesday we drove to Northwestern University at Evanston, just north of downtown Chicago and a little further north than Loyola.  Mike really liked Evanston.  The first thing we did was stop to eat.  A couple blocks from campus is an Irish pub called the Celtic Knot.  It was one of the few places open for lunch nearby so we stopped there.  Mike said that was a positive in his eyes for Northwestern!  It was a great little place.  The tour of Northwestern was pretty boring, but they have a neat campus as well.  Northwestern was started by some Methodist ministers, but no longer has any religious affiliation, they said. 

DSC01321 DSC01315  

Mike is vacillating among all three campuses.  He may end up at UNL if he doesn’t get good scholarships, though, because all three places have high tuition, between $23,000-30,000 a year.  We will see who can give us the best deal, I guess.   

On Thursday, we took the Metra train downtown.  Carlota went with us.  (We were tired of driving.)  We did a little sightseeing, going from the Loop to Millennium Park to the Chicago River. We took a boat tour on the Chicago River.  I had done that years ago when I was in Chicago for a convention.  Dennis had never been on that tour.  We used to go out on Lake Michigan on boat tours a lot, but never the river.  Anyway, it’s a fun tour with looks of architectural information given. We had an extra treat on Thursday.  Both at Millennium Park and on the boat tour, we saw the Blue Angels flew over.  It was so cool!  They were practicing for the big air show this weekend.  I caught a couple brief pictures, but missed several times.  Once while we were on the boat, we saw them do a loop-dee-loop between two skyscrapers (or rather, it appeared they were between the two buildings.)  They left pinkish-purple smoke behind.  It almost looked like the pink ribbon you see for breast cancer awareness.  I wished I would’ve gotten a picture of that! 

Taking the Metra to downtown Chicago  Blue Angels flying over Chicago Faces at M Park The Bean Reflections

Retro Day

I feel SO YOUNG today!  After taking my son to band camp this morning, I headed to the gas station at HyVee.  I had a “gas buster” coupon that expired today so, if I was going to use it, I had to fill up today.  (HyVee gives gas coupons when you buy certain items.  Apparently, I bought some fresh peaches last week which generated a 20 cents a gallon coupon.) The tank was almost empty, so the timing was good.  Today was the first time in several months that it took less than $40 to fill my tank!  I paid $3.38 a gallon!  Wow!

Then, I went to Target to buy a baby gift and various sundries.  I saw a bottle of margaritas on sale (the mix with the tequila already in it.)  It sounded good, so I bought it.  At the checkout, the clerk asked for my ID!  It’s been about 30 years since I’ve been carded!  Apparently, Target has a policy now that they have to see the driver’s license of anyone buying alcohol.  I prefer to think it was my youthful appearance that prompted the request for my ID. 

So, I have a spring in my step and a youthful glow, at least for the next few hours until the arthritic knee kicks in.

Our middle son, Joe,  moved back home last week.  He is likely to be our boarder for the next several months.  I think we have most of his stuff hidden away for now.  I cleared out a closet that had some of David’s stuff in it and we will take it to Chicago with us when we visit next week.  I was able to move some of Joe’s stuff into that room since we sold the bunk beds and the closet had room.  For some reason, our boys seem to think they can just integrate their kitchen stuff in with mine.  I told Joe “I don’t need two George Foreman grills, two microwaves, two sets of silverware in the kitchen!”  After he had cluttered the already cluttered cupboards with his stuff, Dennis and I grabbed a box and put his stuff in the basement.  At least, Joe didn’t have any foodstuffs.  When Dave moved back in a few years ago, I ended up with extra chili powder, hot sauce, A-1, salad dressings, all kinds of seasonings and spices.  (Dave fancied himself a gourmet cook at the time.)  I still have extra spices and condiments packed in the cupboard from David.   

It will be nice to have Joe here, though.  He will housesit while we’re gone to Chicago.  The cats like having him here because they get more attention now. 

Another classmate has joined Xanga.  Jerry Coryell now joins us along with Dan Jacquot, Cheryl, Janice, Bill and Linda.  They don’t have much on their sites yet, but I am encouraging everyone to put a little bit in their profile section and maybe blog a line or two once or twice a week.  Those of you who haven’t tried it yet, consider setting up your own blog.  It’s free and it’s easy to do.  It may take a little time to set it up at first, but then it hardly takes any time at all after that.  It’s just like writing an email.

I hope you have a youthful spring in your step today!  Keep in touch!

Bloggers

We now have three classmates (that I know of) that have xanga blogs.  Bill Fann just subscribed to xanga and joined my “Circle.”  Cheryl and Janice also have blogs, but haven’t been real active on their sites yet.  It would be fun if we could get most of our class on xanga and communicate with each other.  So far, it has been pretty one-sided with me doing all the “talking.”  It’s easy to use the blog.  The most time-consuming part is setting it up.  You don’t need to be real elaborate, though.  It’s free, too.  I have kind of learned as I’ve gone along.  So, why not try it yourself?  Give it a shot.  You might enjoy it!

Last weekend I helped with the Junior Olympics at Burke High School. The Olympics started Tuesday and ran through Sunday (July 22-27).  It was the track and field Olympics for the younger kids (grade school through teens).  People were here from all over.  We saw cars in the parking lot from Texas, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Florida, California, Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, and Minnesota.  There were several out-of-state buses, too.  I couldn’t believe some people drove that far! Burke has a nice, new track and several athletes commented on how soft it was and great to run on.  The Burke band had a booth there along with several other local organizations.  It was like a little food court only outside in tents!  We sold frozen lemonade, Little King sandwiches and cotton candy at our booth.  By Sunday the cotton candy machine was broken, so I didn’t have to deal with that! It was a lot easier just selling frozen lemonade and pre-made sandwiches.  The lemonade was a big seller!  The parents and band kids worked in shifts.  Mike and Anna signed up for Sunday afternoon, so I did, too.  It was fun working with them.  I mainly manned the cash drawer and they took the orders.  It worked out well.  I enjoyed seeing all the athletes and their parents and coaches.  It was fun to think we might be serving frozen lemonade to a future Olympian.

Joe has been moving home this week.  His lease is up today (August 1st).  His roommate is taking over the lease and his girlfriend is moving in, so Joe is out.  He will stay with us until he can find a place of his own.  He is hoping to find a studio apartment he can afford.  I sold our bunk beds on Craig’s List the other day so we would have room for his stuff.  I told Dennis we could leave his bed unassembled since we have an extra bed here for him already.  I thought if we didn’t put it together, it would seem more temporary!  Well, the joke’s on me!  Joe is putting his bed from the apartment together because his friend, Nick, is coming down from Minnesota today and he will sleep in Joe’s bed.  I feel like I’m running a boarding house here!  I just went upstairs and I saw that Joe has already put up posters on the wall, so it looks like he plans to stay awhile.

Nick will be visiting for five days.  He and Joe have been friends since high school.  Nick was the first person he met after we moved back from Chicago.  Nick moved to Minnesota their Senior year, but the two guys have remained in contact and see each other every few months.  Nick is a good kid and we enjoy him.  I’m sure they will be busy this weekend!  We may not see much of either one of them while Nick is here.

Please consider signing on as a blogger.  It would be nice to have input from other classmates, especially as it gets closer to reunion time and planning our gatherings.  To Bill, Jan and Cheryl, I would encourage you to start posting on your blogs.  If you have any questions about how to do this, email me and I can help. 

Stay cool!