Sweet Success

My blogging has suffered during the past two months because of several new projects I had going. When I bought my iMac it came with a string of new programs, which I have promised to master. One of them is iMovie. Another goal was to convert a collection of forty-year old home movies to DVD. Right after Thanksgiving, I had the movies converted by Dave and Joe of Retired Fim Guys, and I  loaded them into iMovie.  Since then I have produced One Mile High, The Four Presidents of South Dakota, and The Tea Party Kids. These movies are a legacy of Busia Barb that I am leaving to my grandchildren. One Mile High won the First Award in 1970 from the South Side Cinema Club.

The fifteen minute long movies have a lively music background, and One Mile High has voice over narration. The super-eight movie quality is terrible compared to today’s video, but the story lines, music and narration make up for the lousy picture quality.

The second project, that consumed me involved publishing “Nightmares From Obama,” on Amazon Kindle as an eBook. Gladly, I can report that you can now buy and download the book to your computer, or to your Kindle reader from Amazon for $2.99. You may even get lucky and get it for free during the introduction period.

Publishing the eBook put a strain on the iMac. I learned that Amazon set up Kindle publishing on a Windows machine. In order to make my book happen, I switched back to using a PC. Most authors write books without graphics. Nightmares From Obama is a book of cartoons (47)and text. Learning how to format the manuscript to show the cartoons was a challenge to this aged brain.

Both projects have been on my list of goals for some time. The fact that I accomplished them both is what I consider a success. Success breeds desire to do more, and I now have plans for a dozen more movies, and a minimum of nine more eBooks.

Technology, Ain’t it Great?

My heart got an unexpected workout this week. This is a long story so, pull up your chair and relax with your favorite beverage in hand.

Wednesday, was the day of our Steppenwolf subscription. The play we saw is Penelope, written by Irish play right Enda Walsh. At first, I thought that name was mis-spelled and should have read Edna. It wasn’t, the guy has a weird name. His name may explain this weird play. The story is based on Homer’s “Odyssey”. Imagine four guys clad in Speedos having a conversation for ninety-minutes.

The evening began with a smooth uneventful fifty minute drive with our friends. Unlike the last time when we were locked in a one-hundred-fifty minute traffic jam and just made it in time for the curtain. That night we dined on Sweet Miss Givings chocolate chip cookies. This night the traffic was light and the sky was clear, although the prediction was for snow. I parked the Death Star in the valet spot in front of Gianni’s Ristorante on Halstead Street; one of our favorite restaurants. I asked the valet to keep the car close by, as we would be bringing out left-over food and I wanted to store it in the trunk rather than carry it into the theater. He was gracious and said he would.

We met a third couple inside the restaurant and had a lovely time over a liesurely dinner. We left Gianni’s a half hour before the curtain. I asked the valet to open the car which he had parked in front. He took the bag, and I watched as he fumbled trying to open the trunk. He kept pushing the button on the key fob but nothing happened. I went to his rescue. I said, watch this. I held the fob in my hand and pushed the tiny, well concealed, button on the right tail light lens. Nothing happened, nada. “That’s strange,” I exclaimed. I went to the car door, the same thing happened. The key fob which is the miraculous technological wand with which I play “Open Sesame,”  stopped functioning. Luckily, Toyota thought this might happen and provided a conventional “key” to open the driver’s door manually. I showed the valet what I did and instructed him on how to start the car with a dead key fob. We crossed Halstead Street to Steppenwolf and  forgot about the incident. Before I left the Valet, I asked him to move the car to the other side of the street so we would be positioned for a fast getaway at the end of the show. Again, he graciously agreed to do so. I left him knowing full well that he could have major problems locking, opening, and starting the car.

The six of us suffered through Penelope and had some lively discussion about what the heck we saw. The third couple, agreed to stick around until they saw us safely underway in the Death Star. The suspense of not knowing if the car would start was killing me. As I stepped out of the theater, I searched Halstead looking for the white car. At first my view was blocked by other patrons leaving, then I spotted it. The valet started the engine while we walked toward it. He reported the key worked again, but stopped the next time they tried to use it.

The drive home went as quickly as the drive there. Our conversation about the play continued. All agreed that we didn’t understand a damn thing. I commented that the last time we saw a play we were baffled by, it too was by an Irish playwright. His name was Thomas Beckett. It must be the effect of the Irish whiskey being swilled in Irish pubs.

A new light appeared on my dashboard. A yellow icon of a key with a line through it indicated that the car did not see a key anywhere within range of it’s wirelss signal. The light stayed on during the entire drive. I kept praying the Death Star would remain running until we arrived.

Once we were home, I found my extra key fob and tested it with the car. It worked fine. The next morning, I bought a new battery for the fob and now the Death Star  is happy again, and so am I. The doors work, the trunk opens, and the motor starts, all by pushing buttons, but we still don’t have a clue about the message of Penelope.