Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Strange Days and Who Shot J.R.....Again?

Have you ever hit Wednesday and already felt as if you had lived several weeks since Monday? That is me this week. In fact this is just a very strange week. I guess the only way to top a strange week is to share my train of thought with an even stranger blog.

My week started with my gallbladder surgery. As surgeries go....this was by far the easiest I have ever had. I was at the hospital by 2 p.m. and although the surgery was suppose to be at 4, it was pushed back until 5:30, and yet I was still home by 9 p.m. I went into surgery telling myself that I was going to be out of recovery in record time. Apparently I was. I was dressed before they could even take my final vitals. It went well and all I have to show for it is a small glued together incision in my belly button. Thank you Thiry for the ride!

Yesterday I started out feeling only mild discomfort. I decided to fight the discomfort and go about my life doing my usual...minus any lifting. I can't lift more than 20 lbs for two weeks. By late morning I was starting to feel more than discomfort. YES! I over did. I went immediately home to the comfort of my bed which actually held no comfort at all. Meanwhile I get a call from Z telling me that he needs a doctor appointment. He has been lifting weights with his brother in the last week and yesterday about mid morning....he couldn't lift his arms. Then he started getting charlie horses or muscle cramping in his biceps. I thought he had just overworked them but he said he hurt enough that he was afraid he had done something bad to them. Apparently he had. He had overworked his muscles to the point that he had caused keatones (think that is what they are called) to explode in is system. The norm is 35 to 250. His were 16,000. This can cause kidney problems or complete renal failure. I had no idea this could happen. He cannot lift anything (especially not his brother...which puts us in a pickle right now) until his muscles have healed. He also has to drink tons of water to help bring down the levels in his system. He then has to go back in on Friday to have it all rechecked again. REALLY?????

Then last night was Z's spring music program. It is the first one I have ever had to miss. By the time evening rolled around...I  knew even walking from the parking lot into the school would have been impossible. Add to that sitting for a couple of hours and I am not sure I would have survived. Luckily his vocal music teacher allowed him to get a copy of the video tape made so that I could watch it when he got home. It wasn't the same as being there...but it sure was better than missing it all.

This morning before my eyes were even opened....Z was standing by my bed telling me he was running fever. He was/is. Right at 102 now. It is accompanied by sneezing, scratchy throat and stuffed nose. Could it possibly be that spring is here? And then finally.....I was able to get in touch with the IRS!

It has done me absolutely no good to be one of the first filers this year. I finally got a letter last Saturday telling me that I needed to call the IRS because they had some questions on my return. I finally got a hold of them yesterday after waiting 2 hours on hold Monday with no results. They quizzed me about both my 2011 and my 2012 return and then said that my account was verified but that I would have to contact another number today to find out the status of my return. Today I found that my return had been put on hold the minute they received it (almost a month ago) because apparently they suspected that someone else was trying to use my social security number. It might have been nice if they hadn't waited all this time to let me know that. Anyway that is why the letter and the need for verification. Now that it has been verified and taken off will be another six weeks before I receive it. I decided this morning that the next time I owe the IRS......I am going to wait about a month and then call them and ask them a bunch of questions telling them that I am just trying to verify that they actually ARE the IRS. Then I am going to tell them that now that I am satisfied that they are who they say they are.....they "should" get a check from me in the next six weeks provided I don't find anymore discrepancies. This would however become null and void if I find that they are federally delinquent in anyway. I think this would work....don't you? you has been a lot for such a short period of time. Today I do actually feel better but so as not to feel like I did yesterday afternoon....I think I will just relax and not overdue today. Tomorrow I should be fine!!!

So....about thirty years ago...on Friday night at 8 p.m. I was usually in front of the tv. Actually me, my family and millions of others. What was the draw? From 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. whether you were country or city, rich or poor.....we all spent an hour in front of the tv...watching...DALLAS! It was a time when oil wells across the country were busy working around the clock and oil was black gold for many. Wealth across the board was rising as oil was being discovered all over Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas...and you could scarcely drive a country mile without seeing the landscape dotted with dereks and often full on crews working to pull that oil from inside the earth. The 80's were a prosperous time for many in this country and the show Dallas was as much a part of the decade as big hair and Madonna.

Every week the country tuned in to watch the Ewing family and see what money and power was driving them to do this week. We loved the delightfully evil J.R. who ran Ewing Oil with a firm hand and the morality and ethics of satan himself, Bobby (J.R.'s younger brother) who was the polar opposite of J.R. in both ethics and personality, Sue Ellen (J.R.'s long suffering wife) who went from beauty queen to wife of an oil man...was cheated on, cheated, became an alcoholic, went on the wagon, suffered depressions, had a child she wasn't sure who the daddy was and finally became an independent business woman who left J.R. and was able to step outside his shadow. Last but not least there was Pam (Bobby's wife) who was as good as she was beautiful and because she came from the family of the Ewings arch enemy.... she never stood a chance with J.R. at the helm of the family. Of course over the more than a decade that Dallas ran....there were many more characters who came and went an added great story lines and even series spinoffs, but no storyline in history ever had the impact of WHO SHOT J.R.?

J.R. Ewing's conniving, back stabbing, cheating ways finally caught up with him on March 21, 1980 when "someone" shot J.R. at the end of the season. America was left on the edge of their seat wondering who had shot him and if he would be back the following season. What had been a good show up until then....catapulted it to the status of great and history making....leaving the entire country wondering and trying to figure out WHO SHOT J.R.? That spring and summer it was the question on everyones mind and being that good ol' J.R. had made an enemy out of just about everyone he had ever known.....the list to pick from was endless. Even the cast did not know who shot him. In a stroke of genius by the writer/director/powers that be......several characters were given scenes and taped as the killer. Only in November 1980 did we and the cast learn that Sue Ellen's little sister Kirsten had been the culprit. From that moment on until Dallas's last episode in 1991....dishes went undone, phone calls went unmade and people around the country were glued to their tvs on Friday night. We simply couldn't get enough Dallas. When it ended....Friday nights fizzled on tv as nothing could replace J.R. and the Ewings. I was literally sad.

In the mid to late 90's, cable tv station TNN picked up  Dallas and once more I was able to watch Dallas from beginning to end and see every dirty trick J.R. ever pulled. I loved being able to watch the Ewings all over again and see both fashion and characters change from 1978 to 1991. It really was history in the making. The oil boom was all but over and many who had ridden high on it for years had ended up going bust, some losing everything. The glitz and glam of the 80's was gone and the reality of the 90's held no such mesmerizing history or tv programing. Thus the reruns were welcome. I watched them until they were replaced by the Waltons. I loved the Waltons too....but John Boy was no J.R.

You can imagine my surprise and sheer joy when I saw a couple of years ago that Dallas was coming back. Not reruns mind you....but a whole new show. It was to have many of the old core characters (yes...J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen) along with their grown children John Ross Jr. and Christopher. It was in someways to take off where Dallas left us in 1991 but at the same time.....take the Ewings and Southfork ranch and make a whole new chapter of Dallas...all its own. The old characters were interviewed over and over and their excitement to be brought together again and resurrect the roles they made famous decades before was evident. The magic was back and I couldn't wait to see it.

I admit that I watched the new Dallas for several weeks and the acting by the new characters especially John Ross Jr. and Christoper was amazing. They were the J.R. and Bobby of this generation and yet they each held their own uniqueness. And the old characters kept enough of who we remembered and added enough of who we expected them to be now, to make the show as comfortable as a familiar old chair to watch. For some reason though....after several weeks...I just quit watching. Not sure why.

A few weeks ago the totally unthinkable and yet the totally expected happened. After years of fighting health issues, alcoholism and a liver Larry Hagman who made J.R. famous.....died. I don't cry over the death of actors.....but I did shed a few tears when I heard he was gone. Hagman outside J.R. was a larger than life character whose acting skills were far more enormous than I think even he knew. Just as he had made each of us wish we had been the one who had pulled the trigger on that fateful day in 1980.....he had also made us laugh when he had played the lovable Major Nelson on I Dream of Jennie. He had great comic timing along with the ability to do pratfalls with the best of them. He was an actor of great much so....that when he died, we mourned not only for Larry Hagman, but also for J.R. Ewing and for Tony Nelson. Now THAT is an actor.

It crossed my mind when he passed that perhaps Dallas would no longer hold the attention of the public without the glue that had held it together all these years. Then the other day I saw that the next episode would be his funeral and believe it or not I heard the question posed once again.....WHO SHOT J.R.? Yeah...I hadn't watched in a year or so....but I simply couldn't miss this. I was glad that I didn't. Many of the original cast who had come and gone over the years were back to mourn/celebrate J.R.'s passing. It was all dependent on how badly he had screwed (for lack of a better word) them. I can't be positive but I have a feeling that some of the tears shed in this episode were more than acting. As I watched....I was reminded of what a really good show this still is and how wonderfully acted it is. It is as if the old formula from the original show has been taken and maybe even improved upon. The show actually had me in tears. Perhaps these actors were at the top of their game in this episode. Maybe this was their farewell tribute to the man who without his ability to play scoundrel the way he did.....Dallas might possibly never have made it to this point. OR...maybe this show is just this good and I should start watching it again. Whatever the case....I am sure both J.R. and Larry Hagman are smiling down as this was written in just the way J.R. would have wanted it. Even dead....J.R. will be a major part of the story line for sometime to come. He went out shrouded in several mysteries that will take at least a season...maybe even uncover, and once again......he left enough enemies behind to post the question....WHO SHOT J.R.? Yes...I have no doubt J.R. is in heaven with a bourbon and branch just waiting to see who did him in this time.

Strange blog today? Strange few days! 


Anonymous said...

I agree. Very strange blog, but then again, I loved it. Glad your surgery is over and you are feeling better. LOVED the Dallas part. I have never watched the new one because I was afraid it would not live up to the old one. The network should pay you for this blog because it has made me want to tune in. I wonder if the other seasons are on netflix?

Anonymous said...

This blog made me smile. You brought up some great memories of the past watching Dallas. I haven't seen the new one either. I guess I will have to tune in and see what is going on. RIP Larry Hagman!

J'nelle said...

That is strange about your son. I have never heard of that before. Hope he is okay. I always loved to hate J.R. He was my weekly guilty pleasure. Nice blog.