The Beautiful Mrs. H

Somewhere in the muddled mind of youth, where I meandered from day to day clutching a withered hand-me-down school bag and wore white Oxford shoes that I carelessly painted in all directions with drying white polish, my perfect friend Grace would run ahead in her long pigtails and beautiful book bags.

I loved her book bag, a handmade piece created from her mother’s thriving imagination.

Grace always had something that I admired. Her mother made all the nice things she had, which were intricately sewn dolls or little patches, cute little faces on clothing and bags so lovingly stitched together, completed with a silky lining so that books could find a gentle place to lay.
Mrs. H’s mind seemed to be an animated universe of fascinating skies and mezmerizing creatures, and she was adept at bringing it to life. This was a gift she passed onto Grace, now an artist, who once drew Snoopy pictures with precision and spunk, and he took on animated poses that went beyond the scope of Schulz’s pen.

You could fall in love with such beauty and colors. This was pre-anime universe, where Disney and Mr. Hashimoto dominated. Most images were familiar and came with a jingle or product, but Mrs. H stepped ahead of this. Hers was a world she shared with her children, and then with me.

It was on my 7th birthday when Grace gave me a handmade book bag made by her mother. It was scarlet red and had beautiful miniature dolls sewn into the fabric, while the inside lining was white or pink. I held the bag up to the light and looked at every tiny stitch, caressed the character faces that were on the front of the bag and marveled at a singular beauty that could never be replicated. It was an overwhelming gesture that I could hardly interpret, but that bag would stay with me, sometimes hidden away from my mother so it would never enter that “too old to keep so throw it away” category.

This was all so long ago, and I have never forgotten each fine detail.

There are so many things for which I must say thank you, as Mrs. H’s generosity and kindness extended far beyond that little bag and a childhood BFF.

For today, thank you obasan.

Monster great: Killdozer


A construction crew of Americans doing a project in Africa run into problems when its bulldozer encounters an immoveable object.  The crew attempt to move the object, releasing a Pazuzu type wayward demonic entity.  Instead of possessing the living soul of a human, the entity decides to invade the bulldozer.  No one believes in the Killdozer because they believe it is being operated by remote control by some yet identified wicked human.

There is plenty of doubting Thomas characters in this film, all of whom meet their untimely ending when they are unable to steer clear of the Killdozer that moves as if it is hauling 100000 lbs. of muck.  What Killdozer lacks in speed is made up in relative smarts.  Killdozer sends one man to his death by the simple impact of its shocking existence.  Killdozer pushes hundreds of rocks onto a group of men.  Killdozer, with its beaming headlamps, causes men to run around in a circle while in the throes of panic.  They are all prime targets for the evil of Killdozer, whose power is emphatically proclaimed by the arcade-like sounds emanating that announce its attack.

Killdozer is finally emptied of its power in its death by electrocution.

To be honest, the film’s fascinating concept has been dulled by plodding pacing that only makes a joke of Killdozer’s capacity to kill.  The script is also sketchy, although my favorite observation in the film is when one of the workers utters the phrase, “…green as a fire truck…”

There is no enemy like math

mathThe recent weekend George Washington High School reunion picnic brought out memories of my own time wandering those dark and cold class hallways, where I snuck away from my last class to sit on the football bleachers.  Continue reading “There is no enemy like math”

Kicking the habit

(Nice nuns from the film “The Sound of Music”)

I suppose there are some teachers out there who realize that, in the throes of their venomous behavior, there might be a student or two who might grow up to write about them.  I do not think this occurred to Miss C,  who was my grammar and junior high school instructor. Continue reading “Kicking the habit”