I'm almost positive you have to train the Ficus to have the twisty trunks, though. They are beautiful like that! You could consider a Sheffelaria (spelling?) - they're leafy and pretty. I don't think they need LOTS of light.
Ghys - it was pretty quiet here yesterday. I got caught up with Leslie's spamming!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADY!
Well - today is a big one. This is something I never posted in the 10 Things You Don't Know About Me thread. But Gary and his Dad don't talk. Rather - they go in cycles. And Gary's dad is rich. Really, really rich. But he's also psycho, and Gary was abused as a kid - both psychologically and physically. When Gary was first born, his parents couldn't deal with it and left him in the care of a nanny while they headed to Europe for nine months. And Gary wasn't beaten senselessly - just - like in a snowstorm, heading up to the country house in Wisconsin from Chicago, Gary's Dad would send him out in front of the car (on a HIGHWAY) with a flashlight and a rope tied from Gary to the car and Gary would have to walk for miles, "guiding the way" (at age 7). Punishment for being bad was with a belt. That kind of thing. Dad wanted to teach him early that life isn't fair and life is tough. His Dad taught him to play chess at the age of four, and never "let" Gary win. They played Chess until the first time Gary beat his Dad (age 9).
Anyway - Gary left home at 15. It took his Dad two years with a private detective to find him. Then he escaped by emigrating to Israel after working with Dad for two years. His dad disowned him for that. But when Gary was being awarded a very high honor (close to the equivalent of a Congressional Medal of Honor) (Gary was three times decorated during the Lebanon war: 1983 - 1985 1/2), the Army contacted his Dad and invited him to Israel to the ceremony - without Gary knowing. That's when they started talking again. Until 1990, when Gary moved back to the US and went to work for "the competition." (In the box industry). That only lasted one year though - until Gary's Dad "forbade" him from getting divorced from his first wife. Despite the fact that Gary was miserable, a drunk, and a gun-toting nut at the time. So he quit the business, and bolted. We got together after that - when he'd already quit drugs and alocohol. We started our own business together via my relationships on "Wall Street." And we worked really hard for a lot of years. When we started appearing on TV and in the papers, his Dad called. So now they've spoken on the phone once a year for maybe the past three years. Four years? Anyway, despite his family ties to Wall Street (his Uncle ran one of the large brokerage firms for many, many years, and now manages the Pritzker's estate (Hilton Hotels)), we worked our way to where we are COMPLETELY on our own. And we've just been offered a position where Gary would be the #4 (the Chief Investment Officer) at a firm with close to 1000 employees. Anyway, there are SO MANY unresolved issues with his Dad. Gary has dealt with the war and has healed from those things. But this Dad thing is a big one. And several months ago his cousin entered the business, in the footsteps of Gary's Uncle. Gary's Dad called and asked Gary to help his little cousin along. So they've been talking (kind of) for a couple of months. It is very painful and awkward for Gary. Gary's Dad abandonded Gary's sister when she needed help, and we've been paying for her cancer treatments - despite the fact that we now have nothing, and his Dad has millions. And Gary's mom divorced his Dad when he was just five - and she got nothing, and has had to work her whole life, and just got fired, and doesn't have enough money to retire. His Dad never compliments him and always puts him down. And though Gary has debated and stewed for weeks about this, he agreed to meet him. To see him. We don't know what he wants, but Gary believes, that like always, there's some ulterior motive here. His dad has always used money to "motivate" people around him, and Gary always refused to play that game. And I agree with Gary. We'd rather be poor and happy than "rich" and miserable, with his Dad's side of the family with their hooks in us. (Gary's Dad literally stole the company through legal wrangling from Gary's grandpa. The first thing Dad did was fire all the family employees, buy the mortgage on his brother's home, called the mortgage, and when Uncle George couldn't come up with the money, Dad had the family evicted from their home - and took Gary (age 11) to watch the Sheriff kicking them out!)
His Dad flies in tonight, and has invited us to drive out to his hotel and join him for dinner. His Dad would like to meet Gary's "new bride." (We just celebrated our ninth anniversary on Dec. 26). So I don't know if we're actually going to end up going tonight. But that's what we're supposed to do today. It'll be a shock to Gary's Dad. We don't smoke cigarettes, we don't drink, Gary is very grey already (just turned 40), and is all hunched over after back surgeries. Not the same spry, slim guy who ran 8 miles a day and could do 100 "push ups" standing on his hands (despite being drunk most of the time!) the last time Gary's dad saw him.
If we actually go - it should be interesting!