Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shameless Begging

Hey, guess what! I did an interview on BlogInterviewer.com. If anyone wants to read it, here is the link.

Today I got a letter from them suggesting that I link to their website, which I am happy to do. And it seems they offer prizes for the blogs that get the most votes every month.

My daughter, Ellen, is involved with Animalkind, a cat rescue service in Hudson, New York, which always needs money, so that is how I would spend my glorious winnings, if any.

One of the questions in the interview asked for urls of other blogs I visit. I gave them several of yours, so you may be hearing from them soon, too.

Thanks, everybody!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Waste of a Hottie

We went to the supermarket this evening. On our way out, we passed a young woman in a most striking dress, thin black fabric with only the tiniest strips covering her nipples, and also exceedingly short. Stiletto heels. I stared for a moment, and then remembered that it was rude. As we exited the store, the man behind us said, loudly, "Halloween

Flip professed not to have seen her. I professed not to believe him.

"If you didn't see her, you shouldn't be driving. Give me the keys."

He waffled. Maybe he really did see her. Or maybe he didn't. He seemed to be testing the waters.

I am not insecure. I was worried about his eyesight.

He insisted he had no idea what the other man and I were laughing about.

"You have a very good husband," the man told me as he got into his car.

"It's okay for you to look at other women," I said. "It's not even a male DNA thing. I noticed her, and I'm not attracted to women." He asked me to describe her. I'm sure I got every detail right. Any woman could do the same.

"Nope, I didn't see her," he said. "You're the only woman I ever look at."

I need to schedule him for an eye exam as soon as I clean up all the bovine excrement around here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It Makes Me Proud

I feel silly. I have been known to rant about the skewed values I perceive in our society, children dressed as hookers, schools closing so that we can build more weaponry with which to bring our messages of mass freedom (MMF's) to other countries. I have even remarked that the U.S. will soon slip, giggling, into the sea.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope for us and for the future of mankind. We will not dwell in the valley of the shadow of death forever.

There is now the butt-cam.

A Scottsdale, Arizona store has eliminated the need to ask ones trusted friends or significant other, "Does my butt look fat in these?"

The cameras are set up to capture an image of ones rear end so women can see how those jeans really look without twisting their necks.

And I. am. speechless.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


The most lovely and charming Odat of Odat Mumbles has given me a Recommended Read award!

Thank you so much, Odat! You and I have been blog buddies for a very long time, and your sense of fun never fails to delight me. I visit your blog like a child going to the playground, but underneath all the laughs you provide is a strong current of helping and caring for others.

You're the best!

Here is the new award. It will go perfectly with my favorite silver jewelry.

Now I am to give it to Only Two other blogs. This will not be easy as I strongly recommend every one on my list, and others, too, that I haven't gotten around to adding yet.

Meno at Meno's Blog is a great source of wisdom and compassion with a strong overlay of quirky commentary on life, whose many ironies are never lost on her. She seems like a woman who can do anything, although she would probably deny it.

Josie at All In Good Time is an independent spirit whose life has required that she be strong. She writes beautifully about life in Vancouver, art and sometimes shares a real treasure about her childhood. She is also a most talented artist.

I highly recommend these two bloggers who always strike the right chord and please me so much.

Read their words and enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

I feel like a dinosaur, or maybe a carryover from a time when, at least in literature, people were more polite than they are now.

In the supermarket, something caught my eye and I turned away from my shopping cart and ran headlong into the cart of a man who thought he was competing in the Indy 500. Knee first.

I didn't say anything but my expression must have betrayed that I was in pain because he said, belligerently, "Don't look at me! You ran into me."

I didn't answer because (a) I was hurting and (b) I was shocked at his outburst.

It seems to me that the appropriate response on his part would have been, "I'm sorry." Or at least, "Are you all right?"

What difference did it make that I ran into his cart (which was going much too fast?) Steel trumps flesh any day. He should have expressed concern.

Instead, he turned around and yelled, "What are you looking at? You ran into me, bitch."

I have my limits. I muttered, "Asshole" under my breath.

Flip said, "Great. Get me into a fight." He suddenly remembered an important errand involving chocolate-covered donuts, and hurried off. Flip is a peaceable person.

The guy made a 180 and rammed my cart. Better than my knee, but still...

I said, "Do that again and I'll have you arrested."

He let loose a stream of profanity and kept going. He probably needed some donuts, too.

We are devolving as a race. Long ago, way before my time or yours, people actually cared about one another. They lived in communities and looked out for their neighbors.

When I was growing up, this attitude didn't exist in most places anymore, but still, people pretended that they cared. It was better than nothing. They had manners, which smoothed over all the tricky areas of life that crop up wherever people share space.

It seems as if even that is gone now. We no longer pretend, and we certainly don't care about each other the way we should. We have become as hostile as cavemen fighting over territory, ripping raw meat from each other's teeth. We inflict physical and emotional pain on one another because. we. can.

Instead of nourishing ourselves with the warmth of good relations with loved ones, friends and even strangers, we have a starvation mentality and compete for the very air we breathe. The fact that there are far too many of us in the world fosters the worst behaviors instead of encouraging us to be even more considerate of others so that we can coexist peacefully.

This makes me very sad.

Today, I want to go and live with dogs.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ten Things

Chani at Thailand Gal has tagged me to tell ten things I like about myself.

In her words: "You are such a clear-thinker and such a faithful friend. There is no way in the world I will ever be able to really thank you for that. With your quick wit and obvious intelligence, you are a teacher for me. All the time. I would also like to hear ten things you like about yourself. I want to know if they match the things I like about you. :)"

Thank you, Chani. What you've said about me is so very generous and kind. I really appreciate it, and also that I am now forced to consider myself in a more positive way than usual. Normally, I chastise myself for my failings, as I was taught that blowing ones own horn was immodest. Perhaps some balance is needed after all.

1. I like my sense of humor, which is often quirky. I probably enjoy it more than anyone else, which doesn't bother me in the least. I have a great capacity to entertain myself, although sometimes I do so in inappropriate places.

2. I like that I have no prejudices. My life would be considerably smaller and poorer if all my friends came from similar backgrounds and were just like me. It would be unimaginably stagnant and boring, and none of us would ever learn anything new. I could not live like that.

3. I have always defended underdogs, and I am generally compassionate (with a few notable exceptions.)

4. I understand and relate to animals well, perhaps because I am not caught up in the human dominance and superiority fallacy.

5. I like that I have a great deal of intellectual curiosity about nearly everything.

6. I appreciate my creative ability. I am artistic, I cook well, and am able to make a charming home out of anyplace I live.

7. I am comfortable with people from all walks of life. I feel eye to eye with everyone, regardless of our respective status, and I look for qualities of spirit in those I like and love.

8. I am loyal, supportive and nurturing. Plants, animals and children grow magnificently for me.

9. I have an excellent memory which is both photographic and phonographic. I can remember nearly every moment of my life, entire conversations, everything. This extremely fortunate party trick was most helpful in school and enabled me to get by with little effort.

10. I am strong. I have had a lot of trauma in my life but I am still here, and not diminished by it. I have come to believe that adversity has made me even stronger, and I know it has given me more confidence in myself.

Bonus: I like that I'm tall. Also deluded.

Now it's my turn to choose five of my blog friends to tell ten things they like about themselves.

1. Liz at Los Angelista's Guide to The Pursuit Of Happiness

I love her fine mind and great honesty, her personal beauty.

2. Maht at The Moon Topples

I love his creativity and generosity, the way he supports other writers.

3. Kevin at Kevin Charnas

I love his impish sense of humor, which cannot hide his intellect and decency.

4. Voyager at Spindrift and Dreams

I love her indomitable spirit, her personal strength and dignity.

5. Odat at Odat's Mumblings

I love her sense of fun and her quirky charm which brightens the blogosphere for so many.

The torch is passed. You're all amazing, and I eagerly await reading your lists.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Advice from a Master

"Keep away from people who try
to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
but the really great make you
feel that you, too, can become great."

Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Joy of Tourette's

Downtown, while waiting for the light so I could walk across an intersection, a deranged man was screaming obscenities and waving his arms around. "Where I come from, they wouldn't stand for this!" he yelled over and over, interspersed with every four-letter word known to man. He made me a little nervous as he was clearly looking for a fight, but apparently, that is his corner of the world. The light changed, I crossed the street, and he stayed on the sidewalk, screaming in rage at new people entering his zone.

Everyone avoided him. I'm thinking that maybe I could do a remarkable simulation of a person with Tourette's. I've had some training as an actor. Surely I can pull this off. Since nothing else works, maybe I can scare my next-door neighbor into leaving, although in her line of work, she's probably used to weirdos. She clatters about incessantly in dominatrix heels on the hardwood floors, just like her predecessor, and slams doors. Last night she had a party. There must have been two dozen people crammed into her small apartment, including the one who left a bicycle in the hall, blocking the door to the backyard and garbage cans. The malevolent odors of greasy fast food from her apartment permeate the hallway, seeping into our space. Spraying her door with Ozium hasn't helped much, although it did afford me a slight amount of momentary pleasure. Semi-automatic fire would have been considerably more satisfying.

Complaints to management have been ineffective, even though tenants are guaranteed "peaceful enjoyment of the premises" under the law.

What a crock.

We shouldn't have to be the ones to move. Where is the justice in that? So I'm thinking that if I can lurch around yelling obscenities outside her door, maybe she will fear for her life and go somewhere else. More likely, I'll be locked up in a cell with all the lowlifes and hookers who don't already live next door to me.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Maht at The Moon Topples has given me the Creative Blogger Award. This means a lot to me as I value creativity tremendously, and would love to think that I have some. It is especially complimentary coming from one whose own writing I very much admire. Thank you so much, Maht.

I would like to offer it to my husband, Flip, whose unique creativity I enjoy on a regular basis. His fledgling blog, The Flip Side, hasn't been around very long, but he is the most universally creative person I know, a marvelous musician, artist, and photographer. He also has the uncanny ability to make anything work, and is a master at spinning straw into gold.

I also received the Thoughtful Blogger Award from Scarlett at From the Shores of Introspect and Retrospect along with everyone else on her blogroll. I hope I'm thoughtful. I try to be. Sometimes, I'm not sure, but thank you, Scarlett.

I would like to select a specific recipient for this one, even though I hold everyone on my blogroll in the highest regard or they wouldn't be there.

Claudia at On a Limb with Claudia is always supportive of others, and makes them feel appreciated and cared for. She is sensitive and kind, and her posts are always interesting or fun to read. I admire the fact that she never allows herself to be clever at the expense of others, but uses her delightful wit to heal her own corner of the world whenever possible.

So that's it, folks. My work is done here.

Enough, Already

Yay, Barry! He did it, as no one doubted he would. He's the man.

The morning paper is full of disclaimers, reasons why he does not deserve the accolades. With every great achievement come the detractors. I know we could do better than to snipe at the accomplishments of others.

For the first time, I am going to republish an old post from July 6, 2006.

I'm sick of hearing people talk stink about Barry Bonds' alleged use of anabolic steroids. He says if he took them, he was unaware of it at the time. Whether or not this is true, it seems as if these detractors are more interested in discrediting his record than in watching one of the greatest athletes of all time at the top of his game.

Sure, they're illegal. I get that. But how does taking steroids really differ from taking vitamins, energy drinks, and other performance aids? It's just a matter of degree. His phenomenal success is far more a matter of speed, accuracy, timing, coordination and talent than sheer muscle mass anyway. If anabolic steroids could actually make that much difference, we'd be seeing countless athletes performing at Bonds' level, as it would be absurd to think he was the only ballplayer in the world to use them. But fame comes with its own magnifying glass.

Incensed that he presumed to challenge Babe Ruth's record, people conveniently forget that athletes ALWAYS try to surpass the best in their sport. It's what keeps them going, season after season. It's what people in every endeavor try to do. If nobody lusted to be better than their predecessors, what would be the point in society continuing to breed new humans?

Babe Ruth had a glorious career and inspired millions of athletes. Of course he HAD to hit like he did - being built like a water buffalo didn't make him much of a runner. He was a great athlete, but he wasn't a sacrosanct saint. His record was not off-limits. He was the one to emulate and to trump.

Barry Bonds worked his ass off to measure up to the Babe. And then he passed him. We are lucky to witness in our time one of the best athletes of all time performing his magic on a playing field.

I have to be honest here: I'm not a big fan of athletic events in general. I really don't care who wins the pennant most of the time. But I do admire a superlative athlete in top form, however he got that way, as much as a person who excels in any other field through hard work, sacrifice, dedication and immense talent. And I think everyone else should, too.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Love Books, Will Travel

Today was the reopening of the San Francisco Public Library branch in my neighborhood. It has been closed for renovations for two years. That's a long time to do weekly walk-bys, nose pressed to the glass, cold turkey.

We went to the ribbon cutting and listened to the Mayor and other dignitaries speak about how important literacy is while clowns milled about, terrifying children. A troupe of Chinese dancers performed a lion dance to purify the building, after which we toured the premises, which has been doubled in size. The book collection looks about the same as before, but more spread out. This seems optimistic.

At the buffet table on the patio, I stood behind an old man who yelled four times, "I've been standing here for ten minutes and the line hasn't moved." I glanced at the food and decided to pass. Cold mini-pizza does nothing for me. There were some pawed-over crackers and cheese with a few flaccid grapes, and the "lemonade" turned out to be water that sprayed all over the woman behind me. There was also soda, which I do not drink, ever. I thought of Dick Gregory, who quipped after the lunch counter sit-ins of 1960 that when they were finally integrated, they didn't have anything he wanted.

The whole surreal day had the flavor of a small-town ice cream social, or a Fellini movie. The Mayor's blond girlfriend wore a red dress both short and tight. It must have been hard for him to keep his mind on the festivities. People posed for pictures with the Mayor, who is a handsome young man. Flip snapped some for various people, but had run out of film himself.

One teenager complained that his library card had been revoked because he owed so many fines. The Mayor had his slate wiped clean and got him a new card. The kid isn't old enough to vote, but already has friends in high places. I think that everyone should get library amnesty at least once a year. I could open my own branch with the money I've paid in fines.

It turned out that my library card was inactive because it was over two years old. That can happen when the library is closed for two years.

Still, I was surprised as I really thought the Black-eyed Susan garden had been planted in my honor. There is the not inconsiderable matter of loyalty and the fact that I can carry more books at a time than most people. A woman pushed ahead of me, demanding to be helped first because she had a child.

"Children have short attention spans," she rebuked everyone within earshot. Her little girl didn't look incendiary, but the mother had probably drunk several lattes to wash down her diet pills.

I hope I'll remember not to wear heels the next time I have to walk more than a mile. My feet are mutinous, but on the other hand, I was so tall today.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

At 6:10 this morning, Flip pried Truffle out of my hair and fed her so she would leave me alone. At 6:24, we learned that barfing on guitar effects pedals does not have the same effect as pissing on the third rail of a train track. Bulimicat had struck again.

I opened one eye and saw Flip kneeling under his recording table, naked and muttering "Dickhead" as he swiped at a large gooey chicken-smelling puddle that oozed over his chromatic tuner, tube screamer and onto the digital delay pedal.

"What is she trying to say?" he asked me. "It's a hell of a statement."

I had no idea. It's hard to know with a cat. By this time, she had crawled miserably back into my hair, seeking comfort because she sensed that Flip might be annoyed with her. I stroked her little head and she began to purr.


We both turned our attention back to Flip, who had just discovered that his noise suppressor and compression sustainer were also tainted with liquid chicken mixed with cat hair.

"No more feeding her in the early morning," he announced. He seemed to be speaking through clenched teeth.

"It's not a matter of when she eats," I said. "It's how much. We should give her less." I reminded him that it could have been worse. She could have yakked inside the Martin, the Les Paul Goldtop, or one of his other guitars. That would have been much worse, trying to scoop it out with Q-tips through the sound holes.

He would have had to kill her.

It was easy for me to be a cheery Pollyanna because I was still in a nice warm bed with a purring cat snuggled beside me while Flip was ass out in the cold morning air, swabbing. A musician's life is fraught with peril.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Filthy Lucre

The public library has planted Black-Eyed Susans, three large gardens of them, in front of the building. They spoke to me, even though I don't have brown eyes or yellow hair. I like the idea that this flower has my name. There are far more beautiful flowers, but I am loyal to this one that made me feel special when I was a child.

I picked one, but wasn't carrying a bag so I pushed it up the sleeve of my sweater, stem first with the flower dangling in my palm, itching.

"I'll probably get a rash," I complained.

Flip said, "Well, if you're going to embrace a life of crime..."

He said this without missing a beat as he bounced his yellow tennis ball along the sidewalk. I suggested he carry it in his mouth, like a Labrador. Walks with him are beginning to feel like outings with a very tall four-year old.

I have always wondered what I would do if I saw money in the street, but it was coated in excrement. It's this kind of idle thought that has inspired Flip to remark that my brain just doesn't work like other people's. There is superstition involved. I believe that if I do not pick up money, the gods will decide that I don't really need any, and I will not have enough to survive. This does not apply to pennies or other coins, but I usually make an exception for quarters. I like quarters. They feed parking meters and all sorts of other machines. Quarters are useful.

A few months ago, while walking with my daughter in the rain, I saw a dollar bill lying on the sidewalk.

"Oh, a dollar," I said as I scooped it up.

My daughter replied, 'I saw it, too, but it's wet. I thought I'd leave it for someone who needs it more."

"And that person just found it," I said.

Today, someone had placed a bill right on the doorstep of this building. It was covered in poop. I didn't even want to pick it up to redirect it to the street, or the garbage. Flip got his camera and took a picture of it.

So now I have my answer. I will pick up wet bills, but not befouled ones. Of course, that only goes for ones, fives, tens and probably, twenties. I'm not sure what I would do if I saw a hundred lying there, or a thousand. I might pour a kettle of scalding water over it and pick it up with rubber gloves, disinfect it and then deposit it in my bank account. Probably not, though, because it wouldn't be fair to the bank teller. So I might just ignore it. I think it would depend on my mood, my finances at the moment, my germ phobia health consciousness, and how large a denomination the bill was. When I checked later, the bill was gone. Somebody needed it more than I did. I feel really bad for that person.