Archive for the ‘boom boom’ Category

Memorial Day

May 25, 2013

Today is supposed to be in memory of people who died in service to our country.

I don’t know any.

But I know a lot of people who were willing to.

I know that my grandmother (on my mom’s side) married my grampa immediately before he was shipped to Europe to fight in World War II as a member of the Army Air Corps. There was no communication for three years. She didn’t know, during all that time, if he was alive.

And I know that Granny (on my dad’s side) spent every night of the Vietnam War watching fish swim around her tank. My dad was in Da Nang. He had enlisted in the Air Force, and she couldn’t do anything but watch the fish and try to keep breathing.

And I know Boom Boom lost her job when her husband was sent to Afghanistan. She was unable to work nights and be a single mother of four girls. Her employer couldn’t accommodate her shift request. That only added to the stresses of having a husband at war.

Whether being at war was a wise move or a mistake, supported or protested, right or wrong, they volunteered to do whatever was asked of them. They and their families sacrificed comfort and safety so people like me could enjoy the life of freedom, comfort and safety this country has to offer.

Arthur Anderson, Tony Aulbach, William Badgely, Bob Barton, Fred Bauman, Sandy Beach, John Berry, Bill Buchanan, Ramon Cesneros, Howard Chapman, Stephen Chapman, Newton Cole, Neal Derry, Summer Duval, Jason Frey, Bill Garcia, John Guerrero Sr., Harold Houser Sr., Skip Howard, Sam Irwin, Jay Johnson, Albert Landeros, Dan Landeros Sr., Danny Landeros Jr., Eddie Landeros, Raul Landeros, Lee LeBlanc, David Lowy, Joseph Lucero, Tom Martin, Bill and Marie Elaine McClintock, Aaron Mello, Chris Miller, Edwin “Bill” Momberger, Chris Nicholoff, Donald Park Sr., Joseph Park Sr., William Park, Carlos Puma, Tim Radsick, Phil “Sonny” Romero, Alex Salmon, Rick Sforza, Kyle Siegel, Elbert “Smitty” Smith, Monte Stuck, Charles Wheeler, Vickie Wilson, and their families.
Not all of them are still with us, but they all came home.

Not all of them are still with us, but they all came home.

To those on my list and those I neglected to mention, thank you for your service.

How I came to work at the college

February 16, 2013

Here’s the story I promised last week.

After high school I worked as a stunt hula-hooper. I played a character — Chantilly Lace — at a ’50s-themed restaurant.

With hoops awhirl I danced, jumped, dropped to my knees and stood. I held a tray of beers over my head and crossed the room without going around a bench and table but over them.

I was a waitress, singer, jitterbugger and comedienne. My coworkers had names like Jughead, Moondoggie and Boom Boom.

Part of my job description was to be outrageous. For instance, I was once spraying whipped cream on a guy’s sundae, (the sundae was ‘female,’ which meant without nuts,) when he said something rude to his date. I turned the nozzle on his face and earned a $200 tip.

My customers would be mid-order and I would tell them to ‘cool their jets cuz my dogs were barking.’ I would nudge them to make room in their booth and prop my saddle shoes on their table. While I rested, I would refresh my lipstick in the reflection of their napkin holder. They ate it up, my rudeness.

A month after I got fired for giving my friends free food I was in a fast-food line behind an unfamiliar man.

“You’re Chantilly Lace!” I got that alot. “Remember me? I gave you a $100 tip.”

I had learned to pretend these people stood out. “Of course! You made my week.”

He was the officer manager at a local college. He couldn’t help himself. He beamed over his bag of chicken nuggets and offered me a job.

The answering machine message

January 29, 2013

I asked my daughter which story I should write about today, and she chose this one.

When I was 18 my girlfriend Boom Boom and I had an apartment, in which we would watch the Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs. We couldn’t get enough of the little alien who bursts from the guy’s belly, puts on a flat straw hat and sings “Hello My Baby” ragtime-style on a diner counter.

We wrote this outgoing message, which we sang into our answering machine:

Hello my baby,

Hello my honey,

Sorry we’re not at home….

Just leave your name and

Just leave your number.

We’ll call you on the phone! (big crescendo at the end, followed by our own applause.)

One night we came home to a message from Boom Boom’s father, who was never effusive with praise, “You damned crazy kids!” That was the whole message.

Boom Boom started to cry. “He liked it.”

The mansion

January 18, 2013

My goddaughter called me this afternoon. She’s planning her wedding and wanted to know the name of the mansion where I married. She was 3 then, and served as my flower girl.

I loved the opportunity to tell her the story of that mansion, because it stars her mother.

In the late ’70s Linda Blair and Vincent Van Patten filmed a movie at this mansion. It was called Hell Night. There wasn’t much story. College pledges had to spend the night in the mansion, where a family was rumored to have been massacred. They don’t survive. It’s a slasher film with generous impalings and decapitations.

My goddaughter’s mother and I shared an apartment when we were 18. We had this plan that we were going to watch the movie at night, then drive over to the mansion, get out of the car and walk around the grounds.

The mansion is technically in a park, but it’s not the kind of park with a lawn and swings; it’s a forest with walking paths and a clearing up a winding drive for the mansion and gardens.

It always went the same way. We rented the movie, (at some point the video clerk started rolling his eyes at us.)  We watched the movie. We put on our jackets. Even if it was warm, we put on our jackets. It was part of the ritual.

We drove to the park. At the entrance to the estate, we looked at each other and held hands. We drove up the winding drive. We parked in the deserted lot.

We never once got out of the car.

Finally one of us would suggest we weren’t going to get out of the car.

We went home and watched The Three Stooges.

My ex-boyfriends

October 3, 2012

I was adding a picture of The Smart Guy to Photos O’Mine when it occurred to me I should have put an update on the post, How I ended up in journalism, mentioning that he’s now running Yahoo!

Then it occurred to me I could write a post about Garth, who is also said to have risen to greatness.

Garth was my boyfriend when I was working as a hula hooper. At the time, he worked in a record store.

He was a good time. He sang, danced, joked and was up on his Broadway musicals. He appreciated that I was up on my Broadway musicals. Once I told him his hair was doing a Sweeney-Todd thing. He threw his arms around me and professed love.

His pick-up line to me was “Do you have any German in you?” No. “Want some?” I really liked this guy.

Many years after he threw me over I worked with a guy who said he was best friends with Garth’s father. I asked what he was up to.

He said Garth was in South America that day, touring on trombone and trumpet as an auxilary member of Green Day.

Finally my son said I was cool.

I really only bring this up to point out that not all my boyfriends ended up in prison.


August 10, 2012

I was on the phone with Boom Boom Saturday. I missed her daughter’s bridal shower last week because of a migraine.

She said, “You’ll never believe this.”

Let me give you some background first.

You may remember I worked at a ’50s dinner theater after high school, where I was the hula-hooping stunt singer, Chantilly Lace. I immediately became best friends and apartment mates with Boom Boom, and we hung out off-hours with Jughead, who was gay.

Moondoggie and Hot Lips were a couple, and Boom Boom was in love with Vinnie-Vinnie.

Hot Lips went to I-don’t-remember-where for like a month, and during that time Moondoggie and I became close.

We had to act regular when Hot Lips came back to town.

One night most of the cast was at Kitten’s apartment playing “I Never,” and I put my bottle to my lips at an imprudent time. The question had something to do with being with co-workers, and it was a small leap of logic for everyone to figure out I had intruded on Hot Lips’s territory.

She was a sweet girl and I should have been more ashamed at the time.

She dumped Moondoggie forthwith, and he and I were a couple publicly for a few months after that.

Meanwhile Boom Boom got pregnant with my goddaughter and Vinnie made scarce.

Saturday Boom Boom tells me her daughter tracked Vinnie down, and his ex-wife showed up to the bridal shower with her lesbian partner.

“We knew her once,” Boom Boom said. “Do you remember Hot Lips?

“Cuz she remembers you.”

She’ll be at the wedding. Nature is giving me an opportunity to apologize. I’m taking it.

Boom Boom cracks me up

April 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to Boom Boom.

One year, when my goddaughter was 6, I flew out from Colorado with the kids for Boom Boom’s birthday.

We showed up at my goddaughter’s school, pulled her out of class and went to Disneyland. My son was 4.

It was the perfect day — a drizzly weekday, just like today.

There were no lines. The children behaved.

I spent most of the day laughing, because Boom Boom cracks me up.

On the way home Boom Boom was looking out the window. Comet Hale-Bopp was supposed to be in the sky that night, and was hot news at the time. We wanted to catch a glimpse.

Suddenly Boom Boom yelled, “I see it. I see it.”

“What does it look like?”

“It’s really fast,” she described. “And it has red flashing lights.”