I’ve mentioned before how I only have a roof antenna on my rig.  I crank it up when I get to camp, search for channels, swirl it around until I get the best reception on the greatest number, then enjoy.  Or not.  Sometimes absolutely nothing comes in.  Sometimes, like now, I only get a small handful of stations.

This isn’t a big deal if I am in travel mode and will be moving along in a day or so.  But I may be in this location for almost two more months.  That’s a long time to be at the mercy of limited local programming.

I am lucky that the Movie Channel is one of the channels I get.  Some of their best flicks are shown in the wee hours of the morning.  That’s when I caught the 1967 black and white film “In Cold Blood.”  Yikes!  It is based on Truman Capote’s book about a real-life case of two killers on the run after brutally murdering four members of a family in their home in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959.  Robert Blake played one of the killers.  Absolutely stupendous performance and a really well done film, even though parts were hard to watch (thankfully the TV reception broke up and I saw very little at that point).  One of these days I’ll have to pick up the book.

Speaking of books, Harper Lee of “To Kill a Mockingbird” fame accompanied Capote to Holcomb to help him research and gather material for his book.  Turns out they were childhood friends back in Monroeville, Alabama.  In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Scout and Jem’s friend, Dill, was based on Truman Capote.  Talk about a small world with big people!

Yesterday I saw bits and pieces of the 1935 film version of Jack London’s book, “The Call of the Wild.”  Clark Gable and Loretta Young starred in it, along with some unnamed St. Bernard who played the role of the star of London’s book, but his poor tale was clipped by Hollywood’s romantic priorities.  The movie-version dog was lucky to get a howl in edgewise.

Did you know Clark Gable and Loretta Young made a baby out of wedlock during the filming of that flick?  Gable was married at the time.  Major scandal for that day and age, or it would have been had it not been kept tightly under wraps.  Loretta went to Europe where she had the child (a daughter) in secret, put her into an orphanage, and then adopted her.  Ah, yes, it was a different world indeed.  You could never keep something like that under wraps nowadays with paparazzi swarming over every minor celebrity, cameras on every smart phone and under every dumb blanket, and YouTube a bare click away.

Returning to today’s world, to supplement my paltry channel choices (when my one major network station just won’t come in and John Wayne is on the movie channel… yes, I know… he’s a classic… just not my type), I’ve decided to learn Spanish.  Immersion style.  MundoFox has all-Spanish language programming and is a rip to watch.  Everything seems to be a soap opera–heaving bosoms, manly men, and colorful sets… love scenes, fight scenes, and intrigue behind the scenes… female eyes brimming with tears and manly men bulging with machismo.  Most of the dialogue is shouted, even when whispered.  Loads of drama, loads of fun.  And occasionally I catch a word or a phrase that I can actually understand, such as  “Esta muy loca….”

You know who’s crazy?  The Three Stooges.  I usually feel the same way about them as I do John Wayne, but a few months ago I caught them on the Movie Channel in one of their earliest short films (1935), “Restless Knights.”  Set in medieval times, they discover from their dying father (Walter Brennan!) that they are of royal blood.  They set out for the Kingdom of Anesthesia to–but of course!–save the queen.

All sorts of slapstick silliness ensues but there were a few great lines that had me rolling on the floor.  (Please be kind.  I was sleep deprived at the time.)

“What were you doing in Paris?” … “Looking over the parasites!”

Later, while waiting in front of an execution squad armed with crossbows, Larry exclaims, “Maybe they’ll miss us.”  To which Curly responds, “That’ll be an arrow escape!”  (Cue two-finger eye poke.)

Yup, it’s a crazy world.  Then.  Now.  Looking on down the road.  I suppose it’s best to just smile and enjoy the ride.  And try to pick and choose where I want to bury my head, especially when the choices are limited.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll add Harper Lee’s new novel, “Go Set a Watchman” to my book list.  It will provide a nice counterbalance (along with many other wonderful reading suggestions from friends and family) to the TV fare and, if I actually read it, may resuscitate a few of those brain cells that have drowned in the tube!

(Re photo:  This is what I look like at 4:00 a.m. when I can’t sleep and I’m watching the Movie Channel.)

When I Grow Up . . .

When I grow up, I wanna be this little girl.

If you haven’t already seen it in its entirety, look up the YouTube video “Johanna Channeling Aretha Franklin.”

I would link it, but am unsure of copyright laws and other such boring matters.  It’s just a little more than two minutes long and is guaranteed to put a smile on your day!

Side Trips and Tangents

Sometimes I really wonder about me.  A few days ago I looked at my calendar entry for today and saw “Debbie Orlando.”  I thought,  Whaaaat?  I don’t know any Debbie Orlando.  Is she related somehow to Tony and Dawn?  Seriously, those are the thoughts that drifted through my silly old head.

Then it dawned on me:  Oh yeah!  My good friend Debbie and her husband are visiting Florida this week and I’m going to drive to Orlando to spend the day with her!

It must be the full moon, because the day before our trip, out of the blue, I got a phone call and a text from two different friends who rarely get in touch with me.  That ignited another crazy thought:  Oh no!  Maybe they are extra sensitive souls and they subconsciously sense some horrible tragedy is about to befall me and that has triggered them to reach out…  Sheesh, what a weenie…  Just to be safe, though, I better drive really carefully tomorrow…

Good news.  I survived my trip to Orlando in one piece and, in fact, had a great time with Debbie-whose-last-name-is-not-Orlando.  Dawny and I spent last night at a KOA campground on Lake Whippoorwill.  It’s our first time at a KOA since they are pretty expensive, but it’s been a really nice treat.  They even upgraded me at no extra charge to a beautiful pull-through site built for someone three times longer than I am, simply because it was available.  It’s been like a vacation from a vacation!

My only complaint about Orlando is that it is really hard to get around without getting on a toll road.  The place is literally strangled by them.  Don’t they make enough money on all the tourist traps surrounding Disney World without pilfering more from our cars?  I am ideologically opposed to paying for a toll unless there is no way around it (like when heading from Ohio towards York, PA–the Pennsylvania Turnpike is a nearly unavoidable necessity).

Making things even more confusing, some of Florida’s toll roads don’t even accept cash.  You’re supposed to somehow sign up ahead of time with a special pass that is electronically detected when you fly through the toll booth, except when it isn’t, in which case you probably get a $100 ticket in the mail when you get back home (along with a few more damaged cells from the radiation or whatever it is the toll booth shoots at your car looking for that electronic pass).

Speaking of home, that’s where we are heading today.  Our winter home.  Less than 70 miles away, and still over a two hour drive at my pace, navigating through Orlando so as to avoid patronizing an inch of tolled pavement.  Heading back to our sweet, crowded little RV park full of awesome people.  And their doggies.

By the way, I’ve really been pondering this one and am at a loss for an answer:  Why does Bruce Jenner want to become an old woman?  It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, trust me Bruce!  Most women I know are jealous of how well men tend to age in comparison to us.  Men get more distinguished, seasoned, rugged even (at least to a point, but it is a point well beyond a typical woman’s turning point).  It is no accident that a good looking, older woman is often called handsome, rarely called pretty.  I noticed my own turning point when I started looking more like my Daddy than my Mom.  Nope, I say stick with the gender you were born with and count yourself lucky if you aren’t transformed against your will.

Enough of that tangent.  Back to the road for Dawny and me.  Feeling warm and fuzzy from a visit with a dear, old friend.  Happy to be traveling on the last tank of less-than-$2.00-per-gallon gas, purchased before it began its inevitable rise.  Eagerly anticipating arriving home in time for the Friday night Jam session.  We sure are a couple of lucky, handsome ole girls!

(Photo is of Lake Whippoorwill, southeast of Orlando, Florida.)