Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness with Ellen Degeneres

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Wickedness. We are like other memes in that we will ask you ten questions each and every Wednesday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a famous person and pick ten of their quotes. Each of our questions will be based on the quotes. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!

Today we picked Ellen Degeneres. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. "I was coming home from kindergarten--well they told me it was kindergarten. I found out later I had been working in a factory for ten years. It's good for a kid to know how to make gloves." How old were you when you started working and what was your first job?

I started working unofficially (like not filing taxes) when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. My grandmother had a ceramic shop called Midnight Ceramics where she'd prepare items for a decorator's supply warehouse. My cousin, Laura, and I were paid $7 an hour. It was awesome!

2. "My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is." Tell us about your grandparents.

My maternal grandmother was Billie Jean Eastis Tear. She was a number whiz. She didn't smile a great deal. She was a hoarder. Her house wasn't like those homes on the TV shows you see but her detached garage was. She could cook anything and made this amazing plain cake that we just loved to eat right out of the pan with no frosting. She used to worry about hairs on her chin and would pluck them in the living room under one of those lit magnifying mirrors but then she'd go to the store in house shoes and a housecoat. She had curly black hair that was very salt/pepper. She was a gossip and would get on the phone to her friends that she had on speed dial to tell them any bit of news she had on anyone. Seriously, she'd go number to number to number just regurgitating the same thing to everyone. She took gobs of pills. She was a diabetic, had had back surgery and would moan, "Oh Lord... oh Lord... oh Lord..." when she was in pain. She lost a child, one grandchild and her husband before she passed. She didn't go to funerals because of ... well, I don't know the whole story. It's something to the effect of the fact that she was forced to throw the first handful of dirt in on her daddy's grave when he died and she didn't want to. She could knit, sew, crochet and quilt like nobody's business. At one point, she did pyschic readings on a radio show. She did "numerology." I honestly, still have no idea what it is, nor do I care. To the grandkids, she was Meme. To her seven children, she was "Mom" and they all were named with an "R" name: Roy Ray, Jr., Randy, Roberta, Rebecca, Rosanna, Robert, Richard (not in that order). She loved to read and would exchange those stupid Harlequin romance novels with my paternal grandmother on a routine basis. I would go to her house at 9414 Rustown in Dallas each summer for a week or so and had several Easter egg hunts over there. My sister was her favorite grandchild. No one seemed to care (except for my sister) when she wasn't the favorite everywhere else. Honestly, I don't know what ultimately killed her... cancer or what.

My paternal grandmother was Nanlee Evelyn Wesson. My grandmother was my best friend. If I talk about MY grandmother, THIS is the one. She was fun and wonderful and loving and hilarious. She could cook an entire Thanksgiving feast in a kitchen smaller than my bathroom. She owned her own business, Midnight Ceramics and I learned the trade from her. She was addicted to mail-order shopping and all the "prizes" she could get for ordering from them. United States Purchasing Exchange was one of them. (I consider them crooks.) 1717 Briarwood in Irving is where I spent MANY days and nights. Anytime I was sick, I wanted my "Mawmaw." I used to clean her house for her for fun! (Sick, I know.) She was SO proud of her two boys (Uncle Norman and my dad). She was a bit of a pack rat too. I can remember so many things about her house after having spent so much time there. She actually had a little niche in the hallway with a place just to put a telephone on it. It was black, rotary and the only one in the house. I remember watching Perry Mason with her... and the Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy. Vita-meta-vegimin! She and my grandpa were on a bowling league called the Buzzard Club with chapters all over the state and I loved to go to their annual Christmas party. I would get to dance with my grandpa and it was awesome. She never got to meet any of her grandchildren and for that, I'm really sad. She was my biggest fan and strongest supporter. I'm sure I was her favorite, but she was mine too. She loved Diet Coke and Winston 100's. She was devoted to her family. I know that as a youth, her mother died of typhoid fever and had been quarantined at her house. She wasn't allowed to go in the room. On my grandmother's deathbed she was calling for her own mother. She succumb to lung cancer I think two days after I left her bedside (I was living in Colorado at the time.) She has several great friends: Doris Bradley, Emma Petty and a woman she used to do ceramics with named Marianne. She only had an 8th grade education and would routinely mispronounce words (although she knew what they meant from her voracious reading). One of these words was compromise. She called it com-promise. I loved her cursive handwriting. She used to sew and crochet. Many of my outfits I wore as a child were crafted by her hands. All my doll clothes were wearing the greatest fashions crafted by her. She was quite overweight and hated it but loved making her good old Southern food. She, Laura (my cousin) and I would always go on a "diet" in the summer and ate lots of salads... we would frequent the farmer's market too. She had a HUGE garden in her back yard for many years. I remember picking okra and strawberries right off the vine. I know she worked in a bakery once and also for Bekins (with my grandfather, who was a truck driver). She was of the days where you just had a big chest deep freeze outside under the carport and never worried about anyone stealing food from it. In the later years (after someone DID steal food from her) she started locking it with a chain and padlock. I remember saving Green Stamps with her and filling those books. She loved those ugly house shoes sold at the grocery store and Gibsons. I remember swinging on a simple swing set in her back yard for hours at a time. I'd go swimming next door where I learned to swim at Tubby Toombs house. She taught me in Pre-K. She was an Elvis FREAK and had all his record albums. I remember the huge console turntable she had where we'd play Oak Ridge Boys records too and dance in the living room. She could grow ANYTHING and always had lots of houseplants in the living room. I remember as a kiddo her HUGE Oldsmobile Tornado and I'd sit on the armrest in the middle of the front seat. Yeah, there weren't car seat requirements back then. She made the BEST biscuits and gravy on the planet! And, although she was a great cook, we loved going to Braum's for hamburgers and the BEST krinkle french fries ever! I remember going through her jewelry box and just marveling over all the pieces she had of costume jewelry. I thought she was the richest woman on the planet. She would always take me to see Dr. Powell and then Faye, the receptionist, would let me put on some of her lip stick to feel all grown up. That's when your doctor was like family and it wasn't all just business and money -- they were trusted family friends that you kept for years and years. My grandmother had a beautiful dining room table that she kept covered with those vinyl table cloths that she'd change out based on the season. I remember her always being happy when it had flowers on it. You'd have thought that the whole room got a makeover just because of that new table cloth. She and my grandfather had lots of friends and they had nights where they'd get together to play cards. I remember a table full of people at her house playing penny ante poker. We'd play Skip-Bo and Uno in the summers with my cousin Laura. She taught me how to play spades and we partnered up a lot against "the men." She went in and got perms... you know the "granny fros" routinely. You knew she was dressed up when she broke out the pearls or perfume. She became a diabetic later in life and was a hypochondriac. When people would cut her off in traffic, she wouldn't honk. She'd just curse under her breath at them, "You old bastard!" Ha ha. It still cracks me up to this day. Honestly, I'm glad she went before my grandfather because I don't think she'd have made it without him. She needed someone to take care of. I lived with her my Senior year of high school after ..?? I don't even remember what stupid, insignificant episode with my mom. I remember wanting a dog and we went to the Irving Animal Shelter and I found this adorable little puppy and when I picked her up and held her she almost immediately fell asleep in my arms. I named her "Punkin" and she became my grandparents' best friend.

My maternal grandfather was Roy Ray Tear. I don't remember a great deal about him as he passed when I was quite young. I know he was in the service. He was extremely sick with emphysema (from smoking). I remember him getting mad at my grandmother once and yelling, "Damnit Jean" and throwing a box of Kleenex (probably the heaviest thing he could pick up) at her. He was on oxygen 24/7 and couldn't leave the house. I think he used to be quite tall but when he died, he was like half the man he was. I don't really know much about him at all... or remember it, for that matter. I think I need to go to talk to my uncles and aunts (and mom) to get some stories of him...

My paternal grandfather was JC Wesson. My Pawpaw was a truck driver by trade. He had driven for International Paper Company and Bekins and I think North American, too. Once he retired from that (I think he had to due to nervous breakdowns -- whatever those are), he tinkered with lots of things. He mowed yards and could take apart a lawnmower and put it back together. I'd go with him sometimes in the summer and mow lawns for him. He would do it for older women (widows usually) that couldn't mow their lawns themselves. He wasn't a real affectionate man which is probably why my dad isn't either. When my grandmother died, he really just quit living. He didn't know how to do laundry, shop for a week's worth of groceries... make a meal... nothing. My Uncle Norman converted his garage into a little apartment for him. He ultimately, however, wound up in a nursing home. I would go there and cut his hair and trim his nails. I hated seeing him like that and remember, still, how the bathroom in that place smelled of urine. I felt like he was living in a hellhole and hoped to God that I'd never wind up in a place like that. My Pawpaw was a proud man and I remember when Uncle Leon (his brother-in-law) got remarried after my Aunt Ruth (my grandfather's sister) died, he was honestly jealous because he had someone to take care of him. It really was a different era that they lived in.

3. "Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off." Do you procrastinate or are you on top of the situations?

I procrastinate as much as the next person on things that really don't matter but I really am someone that likes to get things done NOW and TODAY. BUT when you're married to a procrastinator it's really hard to get things done b/c sometimes they need financial means or muscle... you just make a list and work on it slowly.

4. "Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others." What would others say about you?

I don't know. I'd hope they'd say that I was a loyal friend, a devoted mother, an honest woman, in love with my husband...a believer... a great cook... a skinny chick with amazing fashion sense. HA HA

5. "The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren't any space aliens. We can't be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we're not all there is. If so, we're in big trouble" Do you believe in life on other planets?

I am not so arrogant to think we are all there is BUT I don't know so...

6. "I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that." Do you have a godchild?


7. "I don't understand the sizes anymore. There's a size zero, which I didn't even know that they had. It must stand for: 'Ohhh my God, you're thin.'" When was the last time that you were called too thin?

You're freakin kidding, right?

8. "I have the worst memory ever so no matter who comes up to me - they're just, like, 'I can't believe you don't remember me!" I'm like, 'Oh Dad I'm sorry!'" Who was the last person that you should have recognized but didn't?

????? it seems to happen quite a bit on Facebook.

9. "I gotta work out. I keep saying it all the time. I keep saying I gotta start working out. It's been about two months since I've worked out. And I just don't have the time. Which odd. Because I have the time to go out to dinner. And uh..and watch TV. And get a bone density test. And uh.. try to figure out what my phone number spells in words." Do you work out? Have you ever joined a gym and quit almost immediately?


10. 'We use 10 percent of our brains. Imagine how much we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent." Do you feel that you utilize all your intelligence in every situation?

Of course just said we only use ten percent. Duh!

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