Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day


Image courtesy

Friday, May 28, 2010

Daily Affirmations

Edna: This young lady is truly adorable, and you surely do have to admire her self-esteem. Goodness, I hope I don't have to climb up on the bathroom counter for this to work for me!

Many thanks to Miss Amy Vernon for originally bringing this to my attention. Thank you, Miss Amy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The musical stylings of Miss Rosa Rio


Rosa Rio, Tampa Theatre, May 2006

Edna: Have any of you ever heard of Miss Rosa Rio? She was one of the last of the silent-film organists; back before the "talkies," movies would have musical accompaniment from someone playing a piano or organ, depending on how grand the theater was. When I was a girl I thought that would be a fun profession, until I realized that all my attention would have to be on the music and not on the movie. That changed my mind right quick.

Miss Rio's musical career spanned 97 years. My lands, can you imagine that? She started out as a child musician, then went on to become a theater organist before eventually working in radio and television (including playing the background music on soap operas like As The World Turns). She was also a music teacher, but by 1993 she was living in Tampa, Florida and was once again playing the organ for silent film screenings at the Tampa Theatre.

Sadly, she died not too long ago at the age of 107. Her last performance at the Tampa Theatre was in August of 2009. Below, you can watch a clip from 2005 of one of Rosa's concerts. How wonderful it must have been to hear her play in person! If I'm lucky enough to be that spry at 103 years old, then I will count my blessings.

The Washington Post

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Firefighter Appreciation Week

Edna: My floozy sister claims this week is Firefighter Appreciation Week, but I think she really just wants me to put up a picture of some beefcake dressed up like a fireman. Well, tough luck, sister.


Many thanks to the brave firefighters who keep us all safe from harm every day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cousin T and the bird


Cousin T: I hit a little bird with my truck the other day. I was driving along down one of them paved back roads and I thought it was a piece of trash all still there in the road. That is, until I was on top of ‘em and the little fellow turned his head and looked right up at me.
He tried to fly at the last minute but I knew that would do him no good. The thump made me sick and sad. I made up a story about this little bird losing the love of his life and then deciding to die himself. The story made sense because why else would a little bird sit all still like that in the middle of the road? It was a good story but it didn’t really help.

Friday, May 21, 2010

LOST, for the last time


Beth: You can't go anywhere on the Internet this week without stumbling over a blog post about the end of LOST. I guess I don't really need to contribute to the hype, but I'd like to at least share a few of my thoughts about the show's ending.

In 2004, when LOST premiered, it was unlike any other television show I'd ever seen. I didn't start watching right from the beginning; if I remember correctly, it was on at the same time as another show I watched regularly, although for the life of me I can't recall now what it was. But I was hooked as soon as I saw that group of survivors on that beautiful beach, as soon as I saw Sawyer shoot that polar bear, as soon as I saw Locke with that somehow sinister orange slice in his mouth. There are people who say that the magic of LOST is in its mythology, but I disagree. The real magic of LOST, for me, has always been in the complexity of its characters. On LOST, as in life, no one is ever all good or all bad. Rather, there are an infinite number of shades of gray. That's what kept me coming back week after week, and what has kept me hanging on to the very, final end.

It's been a 6-year journey to get to this point. LOST has had its ups and downs, and to my mind it never quite regained its footing after the giddy excitement of the first couple of seasons. I think the show suffered after JJ Abrams left, although it's still likely one of the best shows on television. Even when I've been annoyed with the show this season (for reasons I won't start to list here or I'll never stop), I've stuck around because I have been in this for the long haul. LOST has been more than just a show, it's been the medium through which I've made some wonderful friends, truly some of the most fabulous people I know. It's been the medium through which I learned something new with almost every episode; this show requires more concentration than anything I've ever watched outside of a documentary. It's been the medium through which I became part of a larger entity: the LOST nation. This is a group of fans whose attention to detail would put even the most anal retentive person to shame. And I have been proud to be one of their number since the fall of 2004.

It's been equal parts thrilling, frustrating, exhilarating, and exhausting to be a LOST fan. And by Sunday night, it will all be over. But oh, what a ride it's been.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The facts about Multiple Sclerosis


"Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially debilitating disease in which your body's immune system eats away at the protective sheath that covers your nerves. This interferes with the communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Ultimately, this may result in deterioration of the nerves themselves, a process that's not reversible.

Symptoms vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and which particular nerves are affected. People with severe cases of multiple sclerosis may lose the ability to walk or speak. Multiple sclerosis can be difficult to diagnose early in the course of the disease, because symptoms often come and go — sometimes disappearing for months.

Although multiple sclerosis can occur at any age, it most often begins in people between the ages of 20 and 40. Women are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis than are men."

"Although there is still no cure for MS, effective strategies are available to modify the disease course, treat exacerbations (also called attacks, relapses, or flare-ups), manage symptoms, improve function and safety, and provide emotional support. In combination, these treatments enhance the quality of life for people living with MS."

For more information, or to donate to fund research and treatment education, click here.

All information courtesy of and The National MS Society website. The National MS Society has been approved as a charity by the Better Business Bureau.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

For Chris


With you a part of me hath passed away;
For in the peopled forest of my mind
A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
Shall never don again its green array.
Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,
Have something of their friendliness resigned;
Another, if I would, I could not find,
And I am grown much older in a day.
But yet I treasure in my memory
Your gift of charity, and young hearts ease,
And the dear honour of your amity;
For these once mine, my life is rich with these.
And I scarce know which part may greater be,--
What I keep of you, or you rob from me.

"In Memoriam"
George Santayana

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dear Friends...

Dear Friends,

We've had some sadness come to the Basement recently. Jane's beloved nephew has been very sick for a while now, and this weekend he took a turn for the worse. It's going to be rough sailing for a bit, and I'll be taking over the blogging duties on my own for the foreseeable future. Jane and I both appreciate your patience, and I know she'd like it if you'd send positive thoughts her way for her nephew and his children.

Thank you all for your support, and please, keep dropping by. I will post updates as I have them, and I'll be doing my best to keep up some kind of posting schedule on my own until Jane feels that she's able to be "Margie" again.

Beth (aka "Edna")

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fillion Friday: Captain Tightpants

Edna: All right folks, I promise this will be the last Fillion Friday. I just couldn't let them go completely without one more installment.

You know, I'd heard people talking for years about Captain Tightpants and the TV show Firefly, but I've never watched it before until recently. NOW I see what all the fuss was about! This was the show whose fans rallied after its cancellation to get closure for the series, ultimately resulting in the movie Serenity (and giving hope to Jericho fans everywhere). From now on, you can call me Edna "Browncoat" Callahan.

Quite frankly, I'm surprised Margie hasn't stolen my Firefly dvds yet, considering it has Nathan Fillion and cowboys (two of her favorite things). Granted, they're
space cowboys, but still. Take a gander at this fan-made video below and enjoy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

There ought to be a law...


Edna: Margie, put down that dustmop and come sit down here with me for a minute. I'm writing a letter to our congresswoman and I need your help.

Margie: No way. You never want me around unless you want to pick my brain for one of your dumb letters. What's wrong now? Your hair spray cost too much?

Edna: You'd best stop making your snippy comments and just sit down because this concerns you too! I'm petitioning Congress to put an end to these silly TV show hiatuses. The season finale of Supernatural is tonight, and I am not looking forward to a long summer of wondering what happens next. Are you?

Margie: You're finally writing a letter I can agree with, sister. I want new episodes all summer. Old Kripke can use some of his money and pay for them.

Edna: That works for me. And you know, if you think about it, TV shows going on hiatus is a form of age discrimination. Time is short for us old folks, and it's expecting a lot that we'll survive to see our shows come back in the fall. We just don't have the time to wait around to see what happens next.

Sister, I'm going to finish this letter. You go call that Gloria Allred, maybe she'll take our case. I say we sue the networks and set up our own show schedules!

Margie: Amen, sister. I don't want to die before seeing my Jensen again. Gloria Allred will scare Kripke so bad that he may add her to the cast.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tin Can Tourists


Margie: Edna, I have a new adventure for you, me, and Cousin T. See this trailer? It was on the TV and I love it. We're going to be Tin Can Tourists. Do you know what that means, sister?

Edna: I hope it doesn't mean that you're going to expect to use my credit card to buy what looks like a bunch of very fancy camping equipment.

"Tin Can Tourist" doesn't sound very classy. You'd best explain it to me before I decide whether I want to do this or not.

Margie: Nobody needs your money, dingbat. Cousin T has a trailer that he'll fix up for us. I'll even let you put 2 flamingos out when we park.

The Tin Can Tourists is an organization who celebrates classic trailers and motor coaches. People are very creative when they fix these things up. We can travel all over the country and meet other tourists.

Edna: See, here's the problem with this plan. As delightful as it sounds in theory, you do realize that there will be three grown people trying to live in one of those cute little trailers? You and I don't get along as it is, and we have this big house to avoid each other in.

I don't know about this, sister...

Margie: Never fear, Margie has a plan. Cousin T will pitch his own tent and you and I will put a room divider up so we each get half a trailer. We can travel three months every year.

Edna, let's do it. Me, you, T, and a dog named Boo. Traveling and living off the land.

Edna: Well, okay. But only if you promise to stay on your half of the trailer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sassy Miss Betty

Edna: So Margie, what did you think of Betty White on SNL? You were kind of hard to read during the show, I couldn't tell what you were thinking. Which is a change from the rest of the time, when the cut-off switch between your brain and mouth is permanently in the "on" position.

Margie: I shouldn't even answer that question, nitwit. I love Betty White but she has caused me to hurt myself. Yes, folks, Betty made me fall off the couch with her "Wizard of A--" routine.

I bet the ratings were out the roof on that episode. I wonder if Betty would like to blog with me. She's sure funnier than you, sister.

Edna: And here I thought you fell off the couch because of your inner ear problem. You know, it figures that you enjoyed her potty mouth. I swan, she said things I never thought I'd hear a woman our age utter. And on live television, too! I thought she was more refined than that, but clearly you and she are two peas in a pod.

Miss Betty, I love you, but please remember: you don't have to be off-color to be funny. Case in point was the CSI: Sarasota sketch, which was a hoot, and no foul language anywhere! Using profanity as humor is just lazy writing, in my humble opinion.

Still, she did a good job with what she was given, and she's a wonderful sport for hosting when the fans wanted her to. She said at the end of the show that she was a "scared host," so I give her much credit for facing her fears. And it seemed to me like the audience and the cast were just tickled pink to have her there, which I thought was very touching.

Here folks, take a look at what my loopy sister thought was so funny....

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fantasy Friday

Margie: Here's a little something for you ladies and gentlemen so you can get your pulse to racing. I have loved this video since it was first released.

I find this video especially good for us old folks as we don't have much energy anymore.

Watch and drool.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The lovely Betty White


Edna: Margie, why don't you sit down and watch this rerun of "Golden Girls" with me? I always love watching Betty White, she's so amusing. Did you know she started out on the radio and on TV in the 1940s? That's a long time to be entertaining folks.

Margie: I love Golden Girls and Betty too. Of course I was more like Blanche. Remember when Betty was on Password? I loved that show and her husband was a hottie.

Edna: It figures you'd remember that. You know, she's going to be hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, thanks to a successful fan campaign on facebook. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does, she's made some funny commercials for the show so far.

Margie: All of that is well and good, sister, but do you know what I most admire about Betty? She is an animal lover and she does wonderful things to help them. You know how I love animals so I appreciate what she does for them.

Edna: I do like to see someone using their celebrity status for good. I think that says a lot about her character.

We'd best take naps on Saturday afternoon if we want to stay awake to watch her on Saturday Night Live.

Margie: A nap is a good idea, sister, but I hope somebody reminds Betty to take one too. She's no spring chicken.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 1970: Innocence Lost

May 4 Memorial, Kent State University
The May 4 Memorial is surrounded by 58,175 daffodils
to symbolize those U.S. servicemen and servicewomen
who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

Edna: Margie, today is the 40-year anniversary of those awful shootings at Kent State University in Ohio. Do you remember when that happened?

Margie: Edna, it seems like only yesterday that this happened. I wasn't alone in feeling shock, sadness, and a shift in the world as we'd known it. Many illusions were shattered that day and this country felt connected by the purest form of grief.

Edna: You're so right. You know, a news story the other day related to the May 4th protests caught my attention. It talked about how so many of the 1970 senior classes at Ohio universities were denied a commencement ceremony because the campuses were shut down after the demonstrations and the shootings. But there is something nice coming out of it: to mark the 40-year anniversary, many of them are being invited to walk with the 2010 graduating classes, to make up for the graduation they missed. Isn't that lovely? I think it helps to bring those events full circle; from something horrible to something good.

Margie: That's wonderful, Edna. I hope that will bring some good feelings to shine on that sad time. I'm sure it hasn't been easy for the families of those National Guardsmen either.

Edna: I imagine not. It would be good if today folks could reflect on everyone who lost their innocence that day, on what was sacrificed, and on what we could still learn about peace and understanding.

Margie: I agree, Edna. We're all brothers and sisters beneath it all.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lost and found


Edna: Oh my stars! Margie, quick, get in here!

Margie: Edna, have you started another fire on the stove?

Edna: Margie, shut up and listen! You know that purse I got at the Goodwill yesterday? Well, just look what I found inside of it!

Margie: Edna, do you see my spectacles on my face? No, you don't, so tell me what it is.

Edna: It's going to make you sorry you were ever mean to me, that's what it is. My lands, it's a fancy necklace! Go get your glasses so you can see these diamonds. And they're not rhinestones either, I used your bureau mirror to do the glass-cutting test. Get your magnifying glass too, I do believe this is a Cartier mark on the clasp. Oh, I'm going to be rich!

Margie: Edna, you'll have a stroke if you don't calm down. Let me see that. You say it cuts glass? My mirror isn't real glass, idjit.

You'd best take this to the jeweler's before you go spending any money.

Edna: Oh, good idea. You go call Cousin T while I make a list of things I'm going to buy when I sell this. It's a good thing I bought this purse, you tried to talk me out of it.

Margie: Call him yourself. I've got my own list to make.

Edna: Hold on there, sister! What makes you think you'd be buying anything with my necklace money?

Margie: All this information I have on you that you don't want me to tell.

Edna: I truly hope you're not suggesting blackmail, because that's a two-way street you harpy. However, it does occur to me in all this excitement that maybe the decent thing to do is try and find out who really owns this necklace and give it back to them. Surely they didn't mean for it to end up at the Goodwill.

It sure is pretty, though....

Margie: Deputy Jimmy says anything that's thrown or given away belongs to the finder and her sister.

Edna: You're making that up. That's it, I've decided; I paid for this purse so the purse and its contents are my responsibility. I'm going down to see Deputy Jimmy right now and get him to help me find the rightful owner. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I kept this necklace. It just wouldn't be right.

Margie: That's fine, Edna. Do the right thing and give up your vacation this year. You already said you can't afford it. You can just stay here with me and we'll do housework, clean carpets, and... Edna?

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