PS... A Column
By Paul E. Schindler Jr.
Some things are impossible to know, but it is impossible to know these things.
April 3, 2000
Surprise: A Column By My Mother
I have a day job, so I need to make it clear to anyone who comes here that the opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent those of my employer, my family, or your great-aunt Mathilda. Offer not valid in Wisconsin. You must enter to win.
Table of Contents:
All Mom, All The Time
After reading that I would be skipping two columns, my mother volunteered to write one to fill in for me. And for you Larry King fans, next week, he'll be sitting in for me with a letter from Europe. Here's my mom's column:
By Mari Schindler
[you can send your comments to me at the usual address below, or to my mother at email@example.com]
This week's guest columnist: Mari Schindler, retired columnist for a local Portland paper, wrote "From Grandma's Laptop" for three years.
I am currently working on a compilation of the columns and associated essays for a book that Ed Diamond encouraged me to write. More importantly to my filling in for Paul is the fact that I am his mother and offered to work free!
I would like to begin by saying hello to some of the wonderful youngsters among Paul's readers that I have enjoyed knowing through Paul - so hello Barb, John H. and John T. Norm, Peter, Neal, and Caden, Bruce, Harrison and Randolph. I would also like to remember a wonderful young man who left us much too early, Richard Parker.
Being of a certain age (64) I feel entitled to pass on what I have learned in certain areas, but seldom find anyone willing to catch the pass! With the opportunity to write this column comes the fun of trying yet again! The most important thing I have learned is that high school sucks, college is great for learning people skills, and the rest of life is a marvelous roller coaster ride (or a trip through a fun house at a carnival) and the best is always yet to come! Now, what you may do with this pearl of wisdom is what I have always done with such information, file it and get on the web for more current information. But when you occasionally hit one of the downers on the ride, do remember that it almost always ends before you crash, and the trip back up is refreshing! (and if it doesn't end before the crash, it won't matter anyway.
There is an old worn-out saying among the old stale generation that "they don't make them like they used to." and when it comes to movies, I have to agree that this is true. Where are the Cheech and Chong of today? Who ever could take the place of any of the Stooges?
And what movie in recent years has come close to the original "Little Shop of Horrors" (not the horrid musical version, I'm talking here about Jack Nicholson's first film appearance as the masochist dental patient - among his finest works). My all time favorite serious comedy is Harold and Maude, the best movies ever made as far as I am concerned.
There is one that now comes close, and that is Smoke Signals, a native American written film that is a beautiful, comical and affirming examination of the human condition, set on the Cour d'Alene reservation. With a nod to Monty Python, I will include one of the better attempts at humor of late, the South Park TV show and especially the South Park movie. Paul's father and I enjoyed that film in a pub theater, where we were the only old timers in a pub full of 25 year old men, they with their pitcher's of beer, and us with our pitcher of diet cola. We laughed as hard as the young men, just not as often as we couldn't hear a lot of the high pitched voices, but will certainly read the book when it comes out to catch what we missed.
The Joys Of Portland
(and why you all should phone us if you are ever passing through) Speaking of pubs, we have some of the most exciting brewery pubs in the country. The one I mentioned in the movie section is a remodeled elementary school in our neighborhood, the first one story urban school built in the US. It now holds several bars (like the Detention Room and the Honors Bar) and a really good pub restaurant with the absolute best old fashioned french fries in the world. The pub theater shows first run movies, and there are overnight guestrooms, as well as live music and special events all week long.
We also have the owners of this establishment, the McMenamin brothers, to thank for an exquisite remodel of the old county poor farm into an exciting collection of pubs, restaurants, brewery, winery, distillery, 18 hole 3par gold course, dance hall, and all day free wine tastings. This is Edgefield Inn on the outskirts of Portland, and along with guest rooms, they offer a fine collection of local art, Shakespeare on the lawn, a pub theater, a variety of musical events, and the finest gardens in the area. The McMenamins make great beers, and the finest off dry Reisling I've ever tasted, (at only $9 a bottle) They have renovated many historical sites in the area, Paul's father and I have tried several of them, and hope to live long enough to try them all. If any of you are ever in Portland and would like guides to any of these fine establishments, please get out number from Paul and phone us.
No column of mine would be complete without mention of the four finest grandchildren in the world. You are already familiar with Marlow and Rae, and have heard of Stephanie, that one time. These three fine young intelligent, beautiful, charming, gracious, loving women are joined by the most handsome, charming, intelligent 13-year-old grandson imaginable.
Both of my sons, Paul and his younger brother Steve, came through and gave us what I had been looking forward to for so many years, grandchildren. (Actually, the main reason I wanted children of my own was so that I could be a grandmother. I had the greatest grandmother in the world, and wanted to be what she was, and have the kind of love I gave her - and joy of joys! it worked out that way.
I would like to mention another young woman, Kimberly Drake. She is a niece of Vicki and Paul's and is about to graduate from law school. She is not only intelligent and caring, but the kind of woman I would want at my side whenever I had a problem.
You know all about Rae and Marlow, Rae's brilliance in public speaking and fencing and Marlow's exciting life at Columbia, where she made the dean's list - a real scholar, unlike her father at college! Their cousin Stephanie is carving a brilliant career for herself at WSU in Pullman, Wash. She is attending on scholorships she earned at Oak Harbor High School, one of which was from the Governor of Washington. What you may not know is that these girls, spent all their summers for many years here in Portland with us. They would come when school was out and stay till it started again in September.
We traveled with them, and simply enjoyed every minute of our time together. I can only hope that in about another fifteen years, there will be yet another generation for me to be a great- grandmother to. And the point of all this is to remind you of what I said at the beginning of these ramblings - always remember the best is yet to come!
The Road To El Dorado
You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.
Both Rae and I were surprised that Elton John and Tim Rice could write such flat music. Tagline: They came for the gold... they stayed for the adventure. Plot Outline: Two swindlers get their hands on a map to the fabled city of gold, El Dorado.
And even with the voice talents of Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Edward James Olmos, Armand Assante and Rosie Perez, they still couldn't make an entertaining film out of this mish-mash. Is it possible that, without the Disney organization to support him, Jeffrey Katzenberg (Dreamworks animation guru) is not a genius after all? Shocking! If any song from this film is nominated for a best song Oscar, the pickings will be thinner than I can imagine.
You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.
I like Michael Douglas, and I was really looking forward to this film. Alas, the New Yorker was right when its critic wrote, "a companionable but distinctly minor affair. Nothing in it makes much sense, or really matters, but time passes, as they say, pleasantly enough." I hope Tobey Maguire's fledgling movie career survives his appearance here.
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