Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Angel

I have been looking for the perfect Christmas Tree Top Christmas Angel - in my book the perfect chick with wings has great clothes and big wings and a smile that is bringing tiding of great joy! I have been searching for years! And all I find are those angles that have that little smirk on their faces. They do not look like they are bringing tidings of great joy, in fact I sometimes think that they have that I just had sex smirk! So, if you find that angel buy it for me and I'll pay you back.

Friday, December 21, 2007

USNA Stalker strikes again

We sometimes get mail at our house for the unfriendly neighbors that live next door. They have three kids, a grandma, a new puppy and a sprinkler system that flooded our back yard. They rarely wave at you or smile when you pass by, but they do come for Halloween candy. Anyway, the stalking part. The beginning of the week we got a piece of mail for them. I really did not pay much attention to it. Then last night I actually looked at it and read the return address. The USNA Office of Admissions! So I got very excited and ran it right over there. The father opened the door and I handed it to him and said, gee if I had known, my brother was the deputy commandant. His eyes just popped out of his head. I said well, I hope it is good news. Sometimes the stalkee comes to you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Story to tell

Gee, won't Laura Montaro have a story to tell. Seems she was on a cruise ship when her appendix burst and she needed emergency surgery and she was transferred by helecopter to a nuclear air craft carrier. My story is very similar! I was 9, went to Dr. Ceppi's office cause my tummy hurt. I remember throwing up spaghetti all over his office. He called down to the ferry landing to get them to hold the last ferry cause I needed to get to the hospital. They wheeled me in to the operating room at a couple of minutes after midnight and the nurse whispered Happy Birthday! Yup, got my appendix out on my 10th birthday. See, just as exciting as Laura's story.

Whats in a name?

An Italian court has told a new mother and father that they cannot name their new baby boy the name they want. They named their new little bundle of joy Friday. Yes, that is right. They named him Friday. The reason? They like the way it sounds. This led me down the natural path of thinking of strange names I know. Knew a woman named Lucrecia - she had a daughter and she wanted their names to rhyme. So the kid goes thru life name Tunicia (not sure if the spelling is right, but I think you get the picture). Then there was the lovely girl I met long ago, she told me her name was DaMeter - I said like da parking meter? Yes. This train of thought led me, of course, to my favorite research tool - the internet. I did a search for unusual baby names, just the names of the sites excited me:

oddbaby.com - nothing like starting your life thinking you were odd - that comes soon enough.
babynameworld.com
babiesonline.com - can I get more than a name here? Can I actually get a baby? On line might be easier than the Macy's baby sale!

And my absolute favorite site: Alternative baby names. The categories crack me up. Like Cowboy, Wiccan, Hip Hop names are not weird enough, they have Uncommon and Odd baby names. What? Like a Cowboy Wiccan Hip Hop name is not odd enough? Clovis Hades Darshon - just a thought!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The French Rocketts

Please enjoy this little holiday dance.

PC Santa

The Surgeon General thinks Santa should trim down. Others think he should clean up his act by say HA, HA, HA instead of HO, HO, HO. WTF is up with that? A skinny Santa that says ha, ha, ha? Just not right! Stay away from Santa. What will be next? Replace Rudolfs nose so bright with an LED light? The sleigh with a hybrid?

Leave SANTA THE &*@# ALONE!!!

New Look

I got bored with my blog look. I guess this is the rearrange the furniture of the blog site. Let me know what you think. On Thursday I'll be changing something else I'm bored with. My hair. Yes, I know some of you realize that I can't do much about the length, except go even shorter, but the color....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Police work

It seems that the Iraqi police don't have enough weapons. What is the answer? Well to take the guns away from the female officers and give them to the male officers. Of course, that is the answer???? I guess since a woman's life is worth so much less than a man's this makes sense? I guess that in their culture when a man can't touch a woman this makes sense? I guess that when the US government has spent billions, lots of it trying to rebuild the police, this makes sense?

None of it makes sense. It seems that the more things change the more they stay the same. When all is said and done I believe women will be back under their burkas and things will be far worse for them then they were. I believe that after all is said and done democracy will not be the end result in Iraq. The end result will be the same struggle that has been going on in that part of the world for over a thousand years. The relative stability in Iraq during the time of Saddam was due to the fact that the people feared him more than they feared each other.

Me, the gunman and God

Jeanne Assam the security guard in Colorado that shot and killed the gunman in the Colorado church says when it came down to it, it was her the gunman and God. God stopped her hands from shaking and gave her the strength to pull the trigger. I give her a lot of credit, since it seems that that gunman was prepared to take a lot more people to heaven with him, but I can't help but wonder about things. God gave her the the strength to pull a trigger on another person? God gave her courage? Was this God's plan for her? What was God's plan for the gunman?

This all leads me to ask: When are people in this country going to connect the dots. We have more multiple killings then anywhere else in the world. Getting a weapon here is so easy, make it more difficult, perhaps then God won't have to make these kinds of decisions for people anymore.

Beach front property

I was out on Saturday night with my beloved and Chief-Matron-Mare-son. We went out to the movies and then over to IHOP for a late night - well, late night for us - around 11:00 pm - breakfast. Isn't it sad, late night now is 11? It used to be that I had only been out for and hour at this time. A late night breakfast was around 3 or 4 in the morning. But, that is not my story, so I will stop feeling sorry for myself now.

Anyway, we we sitting there waiting and as I am known to do I started people watching and evesdropping. Yes, I do that. I am not ashamed. If you are going to talk in a public place and people hear, well....

So there are these two women and first they are trying on hats and scarfs that I guess one of them knitted. Then they start talking about real estate. It seems like one of them invests and was considering some beach front property. It seems that with the current home crisis there are 5 million dollar homes that are now going for 4 million. Now that is a million dollar equity immediately! These homes are beach front homes - SOME PLACE IN ARKANSAS.

Arkansas? Beach front? When did that happen? What did I miss? And can you believe that I did not ask for investment advice from her?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rant - just a little one

OK, I like to look at other people's blogs. Some people I know, most I do not. I just click that little button at the top of the screen that says very nicely Next Blog. I cruise along looking at little bits of other people's lives. And then it happens. I click Next Blog and get this page that pops up with something like - Meet Naked Women in Hayward. Now first of all if I was looking to meet naked women, I'm pretty sure I would not start in Hayward and I certainly would not start with any of the women on the page! Why does this happen. Go ahead, I know you are going to do it anyway. Click Next Blog and see for yourself!

Sixty years ago

December 7, 1941 - the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. If you live anywhere in the Bay Area look toward Mt. Diablo tonight. Did you know that there is a lighthouse on top of it. The light was turned off after the Japanese attacked. It is now turned on twice a year. Once tonight - to light up the sky as a tribute to those that died on that day in that beautiful place. The other night you ask? September 11th. So look up tonight.

The Streets Where Bea Lives

We do Christmas lights in my burb. In fact, our neighbors have one of those houses that are in the tours and newspapers. Where in the world is this street?


Holiday Shopping

I have always wanted to work in the gift wrap department at Macy's during the holidays. I just think it would be fun. That seems to be the the reason why Beverly Flynn was working at Von Maur store at the mall in Omaha. In addition to being a gift wrapper she was a mother, a wife, a real estate agent and I am sure many other things that the newspapers fail to mention. And now she is dead because someone pulled a trigger and shot her and others. As old as I am, I do remember being a confused teenager even a confused adult thinking life was so awful at times. I am afraid that so many of us do not understand that all things will pass and that killing yourself or others is not an answer to the pain and hurt you are feeling right now. There are other ways to make the pain stop that do not include picking up a gun and changing the lives of everyone around you forever. Your pain has stopped, so many others is just beginning. I won't mention his name because I don't want to add to his desire to be important, but I will mention:

Gary Scharf, 48, a customer and resident of Lincoln; John McDonald, 65, a customer and resident of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Angella Schuster, 36, an employee; Maggie Webb, 24, an employee; Janet Jorgenson, 66, an employee; Dianne Trent, 53, an employee; Gary Joy, 56, an employee; and Beverly Flynn, 47, an employee.

As you wrap your gifts this holiday season just take a moment and vow to listen to your friends, your family, your kids, everyone around you, really listen cause you never know when you might be able to help them help themselves.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How Come?

How come all the millions of you that read my blog never comment. I am beginning to feel like the sad little red headed step child...

580

OK, I knew if I said my commute was not bothering me as much these days that there would be hell to pay. This morning it took me and hour and a half to get to the damn office. I just heard that there is an accident on the Bay Bridge and while I do not go anywhere near it it will have a domino effect on all traffic everywhere! From here in Alameda to Nova Scotia for pete's sake. As for junk on the highway today - a big sturdy chain in a pile between lanes. I was going slow enough to pick it up, but I thought what do I need a chain for? So there it sits.

Monday, December 3, 2007

580

I am not sure what is going on. My commute is not bothering me very much these days. I am not seeing as many dopes out driving on the 580. I still do see lots of crap out there. Today I saw some really nice ribbon. Thick and red - the kind of stuff that looks really good on a Christmas tree. I did think it strange - how do you lose some really nice ribbon? Was it wrapped around a tree in the back of a pickup? Was it in the back seat and flew out the window? Perhaps someone got a new car as a gift and didn't take off the big red bow?

Proud Auntie

Today I cried a little. My nephew is 15 and this past weekend he went forward with his Eagle Scout project. It is just amazing to me how this little tiny baby that I held in my arms is now about 6 feet tall, handsome and can put together something like this He did learn that some things no matter how well planned don't go as planned, but in the end it all got done. He sounded so excited when I asked him about it all. Now my beloved and I need to reward him with the pink high school musical hoody that we know he is anxiously looking forward to.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Top Ten

On This Week on abcnews.com Little Stevie from E-Street Band fame (among other things) was asked what his top ten albums of all time are. I started thinking about this and it is hard. I don't have a full list yet, but I will start with - this is a work in progress.

1. Greetings from Asbury Park - Springsteen
2. Born to Run - Springsteen
3. With a Twist - Todd Rundgren
4. Silk Degrees - Boz Scaggs
5. Greatest Hits - Stevie Ray Vaughan
6. Singles 45's and Under - Squeeze
7. Comfort Eagle - Cake
8. The Joker - Steve Miller
9.
10.


Current favorites - in my car right now:

Live from the archives 14 - KFOG (thanks my beloved)
Back to Black - Amy Winehouse (thanks Chip)
Indian Summer - Carbon Leaf (hello Richmond!)
Learn French with Michele Thomas - Michele Thomas (always learn)
Greatest Hits - James Taylor
Newest Blue October that I don't remember the name of.


So to steal from a commercial - What's in your Wallet?

Count Down

The count down is on! The Colonel has received his orders that he will be leaving Iraq on February 7th!!!!! He anticipates finally hitting home turf on February 15th. What better Valentines day present could the Mrs. Colonel and the little Colonel kids get? So, until then Colonel, keep your head down!

Speak the Language

We all walk by them every year. The barrels with the Toys for Tots signs on them. Sometimes we drop something in, sometimes it just seems like we have so many other things to do. I have always wondered about how the Marine Corps got involved in collecting toys for children. It seems that in 1947 a lovely Marine wife made a Raggedy Ann doll and asked her Marine Reservist husband, Major Bill Hendricks to deliver it to an organization that gave to needy children at Christmas. The Major discovered that there was not agency in existence, so he started one. That first year saw collection and delivery of over 5,000 toys in the LA area. The next year the Corps formally adopted the program and it became nationwide. It was not until 1995 that TFT became an offical activity of the Corps and the official mission of the reserves. Over 370 million toys to more than 173 million children have been given to needy children over the last 59 years.

So Marine up and donate a toy and maybe help bring a smile to a kid this season.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Endangered or Not?

How come the fact there are only 1600 Giant Panda's in the wild makes them endangered and the 1545 wolves that now roam Idaho, Montana and Wyoming is making the federal government think about removing them from the endangered species list? In fact they may open up a hunting season on them. Ranchers can already kill a wolf that they feel is a danger to their herd.

Does the fact that you are cute and seem cuddley from a distance make you more endangered and make people want to save you?

If a wolf was cute and did not eat your cattle would that make them more worthy of being saved?

Just a thought.

God Smack Moments

Last nights hugging mania (see previous post) started me thinking about what I call God Smack Moments. No matter what you think "God" is I believe we all have these on occassion. They can be as simple as the beauty of a smile or the agonizing pain of the loss of someone you love. We all have them, we might call them different things, but they are there for all of us. Thanksgiving weekend seems to be the right time to think of my own God Smack Moments. Why? Because whether they filled me with joy or brought me to my knees in agony they help me be me and I am thankful for that. I do have one that I will share with you.

It was my first trip to Paris and my life was a mess. Michael, Dominic, Ann and I were in Notre Dame. I can remember looking up at the stained glass and it just happened. I started to cry, tears running down my face, my shoulders shaking. My friends noticed and they gathered around me, put their arms around me and said nothing. But something in my head told me it would all be alright, things would get better, what was done was done and I would be OK. I truly felt a weight leave my heart, I felt blessed right at that moment.

The moment ended as quickly as it came. My friends let go and continued exploring and I think if you asked them today if they remembered that moment they would not. But, it is a God Smack Moment for me that I will never forget.

Thing Called Love

What redheaded rocker that lives in Marin kicked my beloved while looking for spiritual guidance on Friday night? My beloved expressed an interest in going to the San Ramon ashram of Amma the Hugging Saint this weekend. It seems that we (and said redheaded rocker) and so many others are seeking something. What is it? I am not sure. I just know that neither I nor my beloved has found "it" - we seem to be looking for something to believe in? I am not sure if that is correct, but something to give us comfort, to let us know things will be alright, that there is something out there that is more than "this". I will admit that I went because my beloved wanted to go, not because I had a great interest in going and being hugged by a stranger. The ashram is located in a beautiful spot in the rolling hills of San Ramon. Amma comes twice a year from India to inspire, I think that is what it is. She does not preach, in fact she does very little speaking. She sings, she sits, she laughs, she smiles at the children that come up and sit on the stage and she hugs. Upon arrival my first thought was that in America people seem to become caricatures of what they think they should look like. Women and men draped all in white because that is what Amma wears, rather cultish. Or the ones with every shawl or piece of tie die they own wrapped around their heads or the skinny dreadlocked chicks that appeared to not spend much time on how they looked but in reality seemed quite put together. My cynical self got my little token to be hugged, we were in the very first group since it was our first time, sat in my seat awating the arrival of Amma. People were everywhere (and just because they are looking for spiritual enlightenment does not make them any less rude then people waiting in line anywhere for anything) and I sat there thinking what am I doing here?

Then sometime during the bhajans I had a thought whiz thru my head that perhaps I needed to stop being so judgemental and selfish. Then I took a few minutes to look around, really look around to try and see more than just the caricatures I had been picking out. There was the woman sitting two seats to my left who was crying so hard that she was shaking. Or the small little black woman that looked like she should be at a Baptist church somewhere that knew all the words to all the songs. Or the man sitting on the floor right next to me, his head bowed, his hands clapping and every once in a while he would look up at his wife who was sitting a few people ahead of him and they would smile at each other. My beloved was sitting behind me so I could not see her, I wished I could have watched her.

Then the time came for the hugging. We got on our knees and were guided up the aisle to Amma. First she took my beloved in her arms, held her to her breast, then she took me into her arms. It was quite for a moment. Then she gathered both of us together and said something to us that we could not understand, we were given a rose petal and a hershey kiss and sent on our way. Was I immediately changed or made better in some way like some spoke of. No. Did I feel I had done something nice for my beloved? Yes. Will I go again? Yes, when Amma is not there and the ashram is not so full, we will go back and seek some guidence.

I will admit that there is something there that I want to learn more about. What it is I am not sure. Will it give me the "thing" I seek? I don't know. But there is something about a woman that thinks she can change the world with hug that makes me want to try and find out.

And my favorite moment from this night was not the redheaded rocker, it was not even the hug we had come for, it was something I could not see. During the silences I could hear a little baby hiccuping, that made me smile.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friends

Chief-Matron-Mare-son, Renie and I went to Chinatown yesterday. We had such a fun time. We walked into this store where a husband and wife sold lots of stuff in their little tiny store. We were just being ourselves, to most that is being stupid, to us it is a glue that has kept us friends for lots of years. The husband told us that he could tell we were good friends. That we needed to cherish our friendship and protect it. I do cherish it, I have my pointy hat on and will always wait for you in the garden.

Thank a Veteran.

Most Sunday mornings find me sitting on the couch, drinking far too much coffee and reading the paper. Today is no different, except that in the Parade magazine rather than the usual fluff of celebrity in James Brady's column In Step With was an interview with a young Marine, Corporal James Webb. Mr. Brady is promoting his new book "Why Marines Fight". On this Veteran's Day I find it appropriate that he ask this question. I ask it myself every single day, cause I would really like to know. This weekend is also the 232nd birthday of the Marine Corps, so again an appropriate column. Yesterday I ran into one of my favorite Marine's, Harry. Harry is not your stererotypical Marine we all see in the commercials, the tall, handsome, young man in the great uniform with a sword (official name: Mameluke). Harry is short, a voice that sounds like rocks in a tumbler, a face tanned by the sun from living life in Maui, lined like fine leather, a smile that lights up the room. Harry is also a Vietnam era POW, I don't know the details, not sure if I want to know, but what I do know is that I am grateful he came home and that I met him. So to Harry, the Col. and all the other veterans I know, I thank you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What?

The rotation of the world is off. You can feel it, we are hurtling thru space in a skewed orbit. The sun no longer rises in the east, the tides no longer change on any schedule, route 95 no longer runs all the way from Maine to Florida. What has caused this? Pat Robertson has endorsed a thrice married, pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-same sex civil unions. If I was Rudy Giuliani I am not sure I would think this is a good thing.

Popcorn has popped

My beloved told me today that POPCORN (767-2676) is no longer in service. ATT got rid of it in September. I am not usually taken by surprise, but this just threw me for a loop! What? No time lady? What is one to do when the time changes and all the clocks in your house are wrong. Well, I guess you can just look at your cable box, but I sure will miss the time lady. At the height of her fame she was heard around the world about 40 million times a day. 40 million!! I miss her.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

Did Jesus play football? That seems to be the question asked in this picture:



At least this is what I thought this ad said, so I asked my lovely assistant and he said, yes that is what it says. Did Jesus play football? We think so. Pietro Champions League is a football team somewhere south of the border. This of course, got me thinking - trouble. If Jesus did play football, what about those 12 other guys? Rather than spreading the word of Jesus were they just part of the team? Was Jesus the David Beckham of his day? Was Mary his Posh? Gosh why do I even start? Who played goalie? Who was on defense? Offense? Did he play as a child? Did Joseph run up and down the sidelines and scream at the coach?

Leads to so many other thoughts. Did Buddha play on a bowling league? How about Mohommed - baseball? St. Theresa maybe lacross? Do they all play up in heaven? Gives new meaning to the phrase inter-faith league.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tat On Tat Off

I am a lover of tattoos. I have liked them since I was very little. A friend of my Dad's, John Humphry was the first person I knew that had them. He had three little baby faces on his chest, they were his kids. Then he had a hula dancer on his right forearm that he could make dance. Man, I loved him and I loved his tats. It took me ten years to show my mom my first one and I never told her my inspiration until after John was dead, I figured he was safe then. Anyway, I have always made sure that anything I put on my body, I want forever. So I just do not understand this! So first you go on Miami Ink and get a tattoo and then you go to Dr. Tattoff and get rid of it?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Connect the dots

How does one connect these dots? That people are dying in Iraq because Amercia is too tolerant of queers? And that GOD is happy about it, that it is GOD's will? Now, I may be just like an awful lot of people out there that are not sure of what they believe, but I do know that whatever I believe in would not be happy about this. Where in the world do people like Fred Phelps and his flying monkeys come from? How do you convince people of crap like this? Do you just keep saying things over and over and over again until finally you believe that it is real? I say bring the flying monkeys to our parades, bring them to the Castro and spew your hate thru your megaphones, pick on people that can and will fight back. But leave the dead alone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Small world?

We grew up on a small island in the middle of Narragansett Bay. Our island was a mile wide by nine miles long. My mother grew up there, her father before her and back and back to the settling of the island. We moved back after a stint in the Navy moved us around for a few years. I was not yet five and the Colonel was just a tot. There were maybe 2000 full time residents, a ferry boat to get off the island on one side and a bridge on the other. I got an e-mail from the Colonel the other day and he had run into a distant cousin of ours in Baghdad - crazy! Reminds me of when I moved to California and went to my very first day at my very first job. Big high rise downtown, I press the elevator button, the elevator comes down and the doors open and I come face to face with a girl I grew up with.

Sometimes that damn Disney song just bounces around in my head - It's a small world after all.... Maybe we all need to remember that more often.

Friday, October 26, 2007

This weeks 5 things

This weeks 5 things - this gets harder every week.
  1. Bruce Springsteen is STILL a god.

  2. Some people just suck

  3. Some people do not

  4. Shopping on the internet is far to easy

  5. Pumpkins rot when you leave them on the grass in your front yard. But they are still cute.


Born to Run

Ha, thought I had taken up running? Nope! Went to see the Boss last night. For those of you that do not know who the Boss is, go away! Bruce Springsteen - poet, singer, voice. He just seems to get better with age. The guitars screamed and the crowd was on their feet. Me? I was on my feet, because as ususal the tallest person on the face of the planet was in front of me? How does that happen all the time? Why does this person follow me around and sit in front of me? Anyway, it is always a pleasure to watch Bruce and the E. Street band rock they are "Magic".

My first Bruce experience started on a bitter cold day in the mid 80's I heard on the radio that tickets were on sale at the Providence Civic Center, so I told my boss I was leaving, I put on my long down coat, gloves, scarf, hat and stood in line for four hours to get tickets. This time it was so much easier. On a Wednesday in 2007 I heard on the radio that there were tickets available for Thursday's concert. So I got on line and in about three minutes I had two tickets printed and in my pocket. And so continues my love/hate relationship with technology!

Tramps like us, baby we are born to run.......

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where do I find this stuff?

After my post about teacup pigs Spy Sister asked where do I find this stuff? And then she had to ask "what's next - Tennesee fainting goats?" What???? Fainting goats??? Now the game is on - out to the internet to search out new life and new civilizations - ok so I stole that line - get over it. So my search, you ask. It started out with fainting goats because I just had to find out about them. If you are interested in fainting goats, which were raised more or less to be bait, check out this link. Now, while I will be the first to admit that a fainting goat could be very funny, they do suffer from a herediatary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita it would be just mean to make fun of them, the thought did cross my mind about what it would have been like to have a brother or sister with this, now that would have been fun and funny. Anyway, it did start me thinking about other animals, specifically small animals.

Who knew there are minature donkeys and they are a commitment since they live 25 to 30 years.




There are also miniature cows, goats, horses, jack russell terriers, manx cats - like it is not bad enough that they have no tails - sheep and llamas/alpacas, horses too. I think most of these would be very cute in the miniature versions. My research - yes, Spy Sister, that is what I call it, brought me to a site where they breed miniature dwarf goats. Oxymoronish? Reading further I see that to be miniature the goat needs to be under 23 inches tall. These animal husbandry Dr. Mengeles aim for 17" to 20" goats. My question is what happens to the ones that don't cut the mustard? Spy Sister these are the things that keep me up late at night and when questioned about where I find "these things" it just drives me to find more.



My Mother Myself

Last week I was going to rant about how I am becoming my mother and got side-tracked by my commute. Well, I have a few minutes so I think I will complete my rant. Perhaps rant is too harsh, but here goes. The other day my beloved said something to me and I did something that my mother does, that drives me insane. I sighed! She said, don't do that. I said do what. She said that sighing thing. I thought did I really just do that? Then I realized I did just do that! I am reminded of a book I read a long time ago, called "My Mother My Self", in fact I am not even sure I read the whole thing, but I do remember something it said. That no matter how hard we try, we (women) all become our mothers. We look down at our hands on the steering wheel and see her hands. We speak and hear her words. We sigh and it bugs the crap out of our loved ones.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mother and I have come to realize her life has not always been easy and she has shown strength in situations I cannot imagine myself in. And while I used to be afraid to become my mother, I realize there is nothing I can do to stop it, so I might as well enjoy the ride. So now, when I see her hands on the steering wheel while I am driving or when I sigh for no reason, I can only hope that when I do turn into her I will have captured some of her strength.

Thanks Mommy Dearest and don't forget I am your favorite.

Fire Storm

Fire is eating Southern California. The flames fanned by 100 mile an hour winds, chasing people from their homes and forcing over 250,000 people to run. One of those is our friend, Chip. She left her home in Escondido last evening. Calling us from the road with progress reports, she set off for her parents home in Lake Havasu, Arizona. Normally a four hour drive for Chip, yesterday four hours got her to Palm Springs, where she spent the night.

Now most of you know that I make my living in IT and sometimes I really hate technology, but last night I was really happy to have it. Chip called us from the road (cell phone technology), we were able to use Google Earth (many technologies) to find a hotel close by. We were able to call them and get her a room for the night.

Say a prayer for everyone down there and if you know anybody down that way, find them, make sure they are alright.

M.

Guess who?

Sing this to yourself:

"the San Francisco treat" - go on you know it. The creator has died.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

5 Things

This weeks list:

1. mobile.southwest.com makes checking in for a flight really easy.
2. A good chiropractor is worth every penny you pay.
3. Rain is good - your car gets washed.
4. Historical movies do not neccessarily reflect history.
5. Teacup pigs are cute ugly.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Anniversary!

Where were you 18 years ago today at about 5:00 PM? Today is the 18th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Wow, how time flies. My story is:

I was just leaving work, I worked at Arthur Anderson on the 35th floor at One Market Plaza. I had just stepped off the elevators into the lobby. The lobby was an atrium with a glass ceiling that connected three buildings. There was a bar in the lobby and it had wine glasses that hung from a rack overhead. I heard a "thunder" coming from underneath me, I heard the rattle of those wine glasses and then I felt the floor move under my feet. I must have had this look of absolute terror on my face, because a stranger wrapped her arms around me and pulled me back near the elevators (no glass above our heads) and just kept saying "it will be alright honey". After what seemed like forever, it stopped, she let me go and I never saw her again.

I walked home past the rubble that fell from the buildings, the electric buses that could not go anywhere, the woman leaning out her window screaming "they bay bridge has fallen down". In the end I was lucky, everyone I knew and loved was safe. As I sat in my front room and watched the bright light from the fires in the Marina I thanked my lucky stars.

Of course, the worst was still to come. I did not realize that the world series was on tv and my entire family was watching and as they saw the picture go dark and news stories start to come in about how we had fallen off the the face of the planet and/or we were burning down that they would try to call. I was waiting to call until things calmed down, as we were being asked the leave lines open for emergencies. Let me just say, I would rather face another Loma Prieta than my worried mother anyday.

Where's the beef?

Yes, technology is everywhere. But not everyone has technology. It seems that the news industry does not know this. On the news this morning was a story about the recall of beef. The entire story was maybe 15 seconds. They told you the company name, the two name brands affected and the lot numbers of the beef. The only other information they gave was "you can find more information and a number to call on our website". Now, this is a good thing - more info on the website - I looked and it took me a little bit to find this information, but it was there.

The latest info I could find about internet access was from 2003 and that paper states that 24% of Americans do not have access to the internet, the reason for most of them is the cost of having an internet connection. It just made me think, that the person that can't afford internet access might just be the same person that has a lot of frozen ground beef that they bought on sale at Sams Club (one of the brands recalled) at home.

On the bright side, I do know from the same news broadcast that George Lucas is planning a TV show based on the Star Wars movies. The show won't have Luke Skywalker or Darth Varder, just minor characters.

Seemed crazy to me that both these stories got about the same coverage, that's all.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just Mean

That about says it all. Just Mean.

Grrr...

Today I was going to rant about how I have become my mother, but then I drove to work. So the mother rant will have to wait. My usual drive to work was compounded by a really bad situation on 880 and no matter how bad my commute was, somebodies was a lot worse. Anyway, while driving I was thinking about how awful we have become as drivers. We cut no one a break, we drive like we are the only one in the universe and manners no longer exist. When I learned to drive (yes, they did have cars back then) I was taught that someone backing out of parking space had the right of way. Makes sense, chances are they can't see you around that big old SUV and you should stop and let them back out. But in any parking lot I am in today, people do not even slow down when you are backing out. Then I came to an intersection where the traffic light was flashing red. To me this means a nice 4 way stop. Then everybody takes their turn. To the people at this light it was I am going, I do not care what anyone else does. Once I got thru that light I continued on my merry way. Then I became the victim of what I think is the worst traffic law ever invented. The Right Turn on Red. Now I like how this is supposed to work. At a red light, nobody coming, take a right. This works for me. However, I want to ram my car up the back of those that forget the most important part of this traffice rule, the yielding to the right of way part. After going different routes the same car did this to me twice this morning. I have the green light and they pull out right in front of me. How do I know it was the same exact car? Because how many Hummers does the American Red Cross have travelling the streets of Alameda on a Thursday morning?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Princess Di.

I am watching the news about the English inquest about the death of Princess Diana. They were just showing The Ritz at the Place Vendome. Brought back a memory of my trip to The Ritz, yes the same Ritz. I was visiting Travel Chick and we were exploring the Place Vendome and I pointed out The Ritz. The entrance is really quite understated, if you did not know it was there, you might just miss it. We decided to go in and take a look around and I guess it was apparent right off the bat that we did not really belong there. The head bell man approached us right away to ask us to leave - we were not guests of the hotel -well he was polite about it - but that was his request. Then Travel Chick did something that I had only read about - an urban myth I thought - until then. She turned to him and in French asked him if he would "make an exception" for us. We just wanted to look at the lobby, would that be alright? He smiled (who does not smile at Travel Chick) and said "Oui Madame" and a bunch of other stuff in French that I could not catch. So Travel Chick said merci, smiled back and we walked on. I looked at her with pride, she had just done something so totally French, something even Parisian's can't pull off all the time and I asked what he said. She told me we had 10 minutes to look around and not to sit on anything! We giggled and explored and when we left 10 minutes later the head guy smiled at us wished us a good day and thanked us for coming.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

New car



I need to get a new car in February. I want something economical and cute. I was thinking about a smart car, even if Chief Matron Mare-son thinks all I need is a clown suit to complete the picture. My beloved just thinks it is a bad choice totally.
But me, I was in love with them until I saw the new Nisson Pivo 2 - there is no reverse in this car. The tires move 90 degrees, you just pull up to a space and turn your wheels and in you go. How cool is that - Mona - your dreams come true. And the body turns 180 degrees so you just get in and point the car in the direction you want to go. Hmm... I don't know. They both make a Saturn seem so bland? A Prius so boring. A Ford Escape so big.

Could you?

Could you be a vampire?

http://www.blogthings.com/couldyoubeavampirequiz/

Find out if you need to invest better since you might live forever.

Somedays....

Yesterday was October 5th. To some just another day. To my family we wish it could be just another day. I got a note from Spy Sister last night, reminding me that it had been 20 years since our brother Michael died. I did not need reminding, I had been trying all day not to remember, but you just can't not remember some things. It was a beautiful fall day and I was visiting my friend Jolie, who was so radiant, her daughter Kelly would be born a few weeks later. The phone call late that night that I almost did not answer. The sound of Bobby's voice. The pain in my mother's eyes. A meeting at a funeral home. The burial chapel where I stared out the windows at the changing foliage wishing this was all a dream. The party afterwards where we all drank toasts to my alcoholic brother who had finally taken his own life because it had just gotten to be too much for him. Now, if that last part is not something you want to forget, nothing is.

5 Things

This week's 5 things:

  1. The Blue Angels ROCK!!!! But I did not learn that this week, I have known that for a long time.
  2. Monks do get mad.
  3. Life passes far to quickly.
  4. I swear far too much.
  5. Bruce Springsteen is a god!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Grrr....

I like to think that no one I know, or love or that reads this blog is stupid, but just in case I happen to be wrong about something, go to this web site. Just keep this in mind, if someone sends you a check in the mail and requests that you send some of back to them - don't.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Big Big Big

What in the world? Now, I have never had a baby, but I don't think that even having number 12 I would not want it to pop out at 17 pounds. Now 17 pounds of baby right out of the womb is not my idea of cute, I know year old cutie pies that don't weigh that much. One would think that after 12 the next one, no matter how big, is just going to walk out. That is having a baby Russian style.


And then we have having a baby West Virginia style. The dad wanted to a cup o'joe and said 9th child popped out on the brand new leather seats in dads SUV.


Then there is the freaky family in Arkansas, she just popped out number 17. Then add to the story that all the kids names start with J and that they want more! I just looked up the average cost to raise a child and it is a grand total of $178,000 per kid (that would be $3,026,000 for the Arkansas family and that does not include college.

There are more than 100,000 children in the US alone waiting to be adopted. Color me crazy, but in my judgemental opinion, wouldn't it make so much more sense to give a home to a needy child rather than stretch your uterus so much that babies just fall out of you?

5 Things

This weeks 5 things I have learned this week.

1. Always carry your camera.
2. Write your five things down as you think about them.
3. Having words mis-spelled in your obit is just bad.
4. Never stop being surprised at how awful people can be.
5. Always hope the world gets better.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hmmm...

It is funny how writing about something brings another memory of that moment. It was October, the end of the rainy season and it hot and sweaty, imagine hot and sweaty and then multiply it by 100 times. I was standing on that balcony in Thailand looking out over the Mekong River, thinking how beautiful it was and I thought of Michael. I had not thought of him in a long time and it seemed appropriate to think of him there. I cried a little that evening standing there, thinking about him in the jungles of Viet Nam, so many years before. How I was dripping wet after taking a shower and just standing there. How must he have felt, a pack on his back, scared, barely able to breath. I won't say Michael was a saint before he went to Viet Nam, he had problems before he went. But I did know that this place had changed him. He came back even more broken and he was never ever the same. How could someplace that was so beautiful from up on this balcony have been so ugly. But then looking from far away is usually much better than looking at it close up.

Burma

A couple of years ago I stood on a balcony of a great hotel over looking the golden triangle where Thailand, Laos and Burma meet at the Mekong River. It was hot and sweaty, really hot and sweaty. It was morning and their was a mist hanging over the river and the land. It was quite and it was beautiful. That day we went to the border of Thailand and "The Republic of Myanmar" - so the sign said. We stood there and debated if we wanted to cross that little bridge, walk past the guards with guns and grim looks on their faces so that we could get our passports stamped to show we had been there. Our guide said yes, we could do that. It would take us all day to walk across, get our passports signed and walk back and he would not go with us. As we wandered the border market we debated, we watched people cross that bridge. It really seemed like they crossed from the sunshine of Thailand across a little bridge covered in shadows into the dark. We ended up doing a little shopping and then riding away from that shadowy border. We were able to do this. The people that live there can't. They live in poverty and fear. Most monks I met in Asia radiate an inner peacefulness that seems to calm the air around them.

I can only imagine the power of thousands of them walking for change, for peace, for the people. Perhaps they will be able to help. I just hope they will not be killed.

Special Report

George Bush is addressing the United Nations right now. He is such an ass. Who writes his speeches? Is he calling Myanmar by its old name Burma. They changed their name in 1989 and while their goverment is horrible, I wonder if he calls it Burma because he can't pronouce Myanmar? Chastising the Sudan about human rights violations, for the hundreds of thousands that have been killed in Dafur, when we have done sooooooooooo much for that country. We have imposed sanctions - big deal - what do they really do? Do they stop the killing? We must take care of the health of the children of the world, when he is planning to veto extended health care for uninsured children of the United States, because people with money might take advantage of the plan. The Cuban delegation got up and walked out when he said their government was soon going to be over, a change is coming, the people want it. How does he know what the Cuban people want, he does not even know what the people of the US want. Wait, that is wrong, it is not that he does not know, he does not care!

Monday, September 24, 2007

WTF??

Who would do this? You may not agree with the war in Iraq, but why would you damage a memorial that might bring others some relief? I just don't get it, I really don't.

580 again

OK, I forgot about this until just now. I was on my way to work last week and in the emergency lane, you know the one next to the divider, there was a bike. A little girls pink bike, with tassels on the handlebars and a little white basket with flowers on it. Sounds nice, huh. Except for the fact that it was smashed flat! So sad. It made me think of Suzettesky & Annsky (nom de blogs), friends that strapped their bikes on the back of their car and took off for a weekend in the wine country. Well, if I remember correctly, they did make it across the bridge before the bikes fell off the back of the car and became a hood ornament on the car behind them. I am not sure who I would want to be less, them in the car and seeing the bikes drop off the back or the person in the car behind them seeing the bikes drop off.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Make me laugh!

Sometimes travelling 580 can be funny. Take for instance yesterday on the way home I was behind a truck from The Royal Restroom Company - A Regal Portable Restroom Experience! What? Yes, for your next event check out their web site I'm sure I will be.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sometimes...


Sometimes you just know. You just know that you are related. I had one of those moments recently. Standing in my brothers kitchen. My brother, his wife, his son, his daughter, my beloved and OUR mother. We were having a very casual dinner around the kitchen island and just yaking and having fun. All at once the Colonel stopped taking and his head started bouncing to one side. All conversation stopped as his body started to move in that jerking motion we call dancing. Then I heard the song and and my head started and then my arm and I joined in. Then the kids. The four of us dancing around the kitchen to Outkast - Hey Ya. You know it - the chorus is "Shake it, shake it, shake it like a poloroid picture". We danced and danced and danced. When it ended my beloved, his beloved and OUR mother all shook theirs heads and wondered out loud about our sanity, not to mention our dancing. While I shudder at having my picture taken these days, my bro has no such hang ups.




Mad Dog

I just love his name - Mad Dog! My friend Superstar and his lovely wife, Forrest, visted last weekend. They have a very close friend that lives out here and every time they visit we have the same discussion - When are we going to meet Mad Dog & Ann? Well, we still have not met them, but this is his blog and I like him already. Maybe next time?

5 Things

I am going to try this for awhile. Five new things I learned this week.

1. I do miss my beloved when she goes away on business.
2. I do not miss her tv viewing habits.
3. Do not leave your patio umbrella up when it is windy.
4. Summer is too short.
5. Toothpaste hurts when you get it in your eye.

I am also challenging you to share 5 things you learned this week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What to write about

Well, I don't know what I should write about. So many things to think about today. First of all tomorrow, September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. So, get on board matey and figure out your pirate name and the the name of yer ship. Or should I talk about Mother Teresa's 50 year struggle with her faith?

I read in Time magazine that Mother Teresa had a crisis of faith that lasted 50 years, while she never seemed to stop believing, she says she did not feel the presence of God around her. She says in some of her correspondence with her spiritual advisors "What do I labour for? If there be no God — there can be no soul — if there is no Soul then Jesus — You also are not true" She wrote this in 1959! Did she work so hard because she was hoping to feel God around her? Can you imagine being one of the most saintly people in the entire world, known to all, loved by so many and the whole time feeling you are a lie.

I seem to get some comfort in this story, the fact that this woman had the same questions and fears that many of us, myself included, have every day while we search for answers.

Grrr...

Blinkers or lack of. The fact that people do not use blinkers when they drive makes me crazy. Am I expected to know that you want to take a right turn if you don't put it on? I also am amazed that it is usually an expensive car that seems not to have selected blinkers as an optional equipment.

Healthcare. How come we as a country can spend trillions of dollars on a war, but can't provide healthcare to every person in the country? Giuliani and Romney feel that Clinton's plan is nothing more than a "European plan of socialized medicine" or "the Michael Moore and Hillary Clinton health plan" and I ask what is wrong with that? Why don't we have coverage for every American? The insurance industry in this country has to stop being in control of our medical industry.

Bathroom habits. New study out today that only 66% of men wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Now it has been quite awhile since I had any direct experience with man parts, but from what I recall they gotta touch things to pee. So, I think I might be holding off on shaking too many hands in the future.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Cool Aunt Contest

OK, so my beloved and I fly across the country. We buy an IPod shuffle for a cute little seven year old. We buy cake. We sing happy birthday. And what does the Spy Aunt do? She calls the Disney Florist and has a special "welcome" package sent to their room at Disney today. Two days late and now she has inched ahead in The Cool Aunt Contest! What more do I have to do? Will it ever end?

580

On the way home saw the thing I dread the most on the highway. Any highway. The horribile, the frightening, the horrible - mattress tied on top of the car. In this instance, it was a tied on top of a white van from Georgia. It did not seem very well tied, it kind of tilted to one side. All I could imagine was it flying off the top of that van into me. Made me crazy. I would get past it and then have to slow down and it would get in front of me. Like it had a mind of its own, the mattress was looking for me, getting ready to just fly off at me. Well, it didn't and I am still in one piece; however in case it did fly off and get someone else, the license plate was APH-2866 as I said from Georgia, Fayetville said the license plate surround.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Neighbors

We have some good neighbors and then we have the people next door. While we were gone it seems that the people next door had a problem with their sprinkler system. A break somewhere next to our fence. When we got home part of our back yard was really wet. Here I am thinking, damn it, what happened? Is it our pool? Something gone wrong with the pipes? But there are no pipes in this area. So this morning I'm out there trying to figure this out. Digging thru the rocks trying to see where it was wet and where it was not. It was just wet everywhere on one side of the yard. Hmm... I went to home depot to get a new hose to back wash the pool and when I left I saw that the people next door's sprinkler's were on. I get back and there is a huge puddle in the driveway - my driveway. I went into the back yard and sure enough big puddles appearing, water bubbling up from under the rocks. I turn off the pool to see if it would stop, NOPE! I can hear the water running from next door. So I go over and knock on the door, the wife comes to the door and I say "I think your sprinkler system might be having a problem. I can hear it running and my side yard is a big puddle." She looks at me like I am bothering her and says "I'll go turn it off". She did and it stopped, they better get it fixed or I won't be so nice next time. Grr.....

Back from North Carolina

We got back from North Carolina last night. The Colonel is home on leave and it was good to see him. If you have never been to the coast of North Carolina, you need to check it out. Whenever we go I am amazed at how I forget how beautiful it is. It was pretty hot and humid, just love that weather. We sat on the edge of a tropical storm and it gave us some fantasic waves at the beach. It seems that plane travel is just out to get me lately. Coming home my tray table had an issue. Every once in a while it would just plop down. Could not put anything on it cause it would have just slide off. Grr....

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sleeping Stupid

Do you ever wake up and open your eyes, only to find you can't focus? This is happening to me on a regular basis these days. The first couple of times I was very concerned, until I realized I left my contact lens in. Man, I hate that. Did it again last night and I still can't focus my right eye. Don't do this.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More 580

Ok, so now I am actively looking for crap on the highway. This morning was an interesting ride. Right before the Lakeshore Avenue exit was a man. Now this was not a place that seemed it would be easy to walk to. There was no car around. But there was this guy, he was a big guy. He had a bag - red and it looked quite full. There he was standing there talking on his cell phone. He was so casual, like it was not unusual for a person to just be standing on the side of the highway talking on his cell. I had a couple of questions:

How did he get there? Did he piss someone off and they just pulled over and said "get out"? A fantasy of many, I think.

Who is he talking to? Can you call AAA in this situation? No car, but I'm covered right? A friend, can you pick me up? The person that dumped him in the first place. "Ah, come on honey I was just kidding about the way you drive. Come back and get me?" A taxi?

580 Trash

Yesterday on 580

A big tan teddy bear. How sad.
Something that looked like a big red colander.
A big metal plate - right in the middle of a lane - yes I ran over it in my beloved's car with her brand new tires - sorry.
Half a ladder?

Sometimes I just want to pull over and grab some of this stuff. What does that say about me? Well, lets not go too deep on that question. Another question - trash or treasure?

Another homecoming

My brother is home on leave! I have spoken of the day to day fear that sits like a little black spot on the back of my brain every day that he is in Iraq. When I knew that he had actually left that hell hole I felt that spot pop! Knowing he was on his way to his family, safe and in one piece, felt like a rock had been removed from my heart. It is really weird, I worry every day about each and every person in Iraq, hoping things get better. But there is a difference when he is there, not sure if I can explain it any better than that.

Home again Home again

One of the people I admire most is returning "home" today. Travel Chick returns to Paris today, her new home - for now. She travelled the world looking for a place to land, Japan, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Austrialia (where she has found "BIG LIKE"), India, Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, Italy and finally ending up in Paris. Paris a place visited so many times called her "home". She is now living in a great apartment over by the habitrail, I mean the Pompidou, taking French lessons, painting lessons, walking thru a city that she loves. I admire her because she had a dream and she followed it. While some of us may not dream to live in Paris, we all dream something and we all should travel our worlds to follow it. Travel Chick you inspire me. Beauseant my friend!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

50 Billion More

GWB wants 50 billion more dollars to fund the "surge" in Iraq. Fifty Billion. Fifty Billion. Fifty Billion more! I don't even know how much we have spent in Iraq, but this site can tell me to the second. Are we any safer here at home because of this? I don't think so. I wonder how much better things could be here at home if this money was spent here. During the past few years national school test scores have gone down, more Americans are without healthcare than ever before, people still without homes two years after Katrina. Anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lottery Fever

Holy Moly - Mega Millions is estimated to be at about 325 Million Dollars on Saturday. Nobody won last night, so big money on Saturday. The odds of winning? Not really very good, but that does not stop anyone from buying at least a ticket or two. I will admit to buying some, I will admit to wanting to win, I will admit to day-dreaming about what would happen if I won. Well, if WE won - that would be my beloved and I. How life could change for us and everyone we care about. So I'll buy some tickets and I'll dream the dream. I will participate in the tax on the stupid, you just never know.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

580 Thoughts

Since I spend so much time on 580, I thought I would just share some of my wonderings while driving. Yes, I probably should be paying way more attention while driving, but my mind seems to have a mind of its own. Today I will talk about trash. If you spend enough time on the highways you will see just about anything on the side of the road, in the middle of the road and sometimes right in front of you. Over the past few days I have seen:

One shoe. How does one lose one shoe on the highway?
Two big trash cans. Sitting on the side of the road, like someone had taken the trash out and just left them sitting there.
Three hubcaps - very shiney.

OK, this is starting to sound like a song, so I will stop with the list and just ask these questions. Do you not notice the mattress that just flew off the top of your car? Or did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe you should tie down those big plastic kid toys in the back of your truck before you get on the highway? Hey, maybe it was not such a bright idea to put the gas grill in the back of the pickup. When you get to the other end of your journey, do you get out of the car and wonder where the mattress went? Do you feel stupid when the kids are crying cause you lost their play structures on the way to grandmas? Do you wonder what you are going to have for dinner cause you lost the grill on the way to the party?

Hmmm....

The ride home

I followed Jesus home last night. While on my way home a big white van came onto the highway and all over it was written Jesus is coming. And there he was right in my rear view mirror! How about that. The van also had things like:

Save yourself - Find Jesus
Do not spend eternity in Hell, it is unbearable, it is uncomfortable, it is too strong!
Stop the sin - Praise Jesus

Then the van passed me and I thought - Well, there goes Jesus.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hmm...

I wonder about people sometimes. You read every day of a child disappearing, never to be seen again. I read all the time of things you need to do to protect your children. I was behind a car yesterday that made me think about how easy some people make it to know too much about them.

The car had those little family stickers on the rear window, you know the dad, the mom and then a little stick figure for each child. This one had a dad named Tim, a mom named Kelly, one boy named Eli and a baby named Brian. How do I know this? Their names were written under their sticks. On the rear window was also a sticker in memory of the worlds best mom, her name was on there as well, but I don't remember it. The license plate said missnu

It crossed my mind that if I was a predator, I could follow this woman for probably not too long and find out where she lived, where her children went to school or child care, where or if she worked. At this point I know enough about her schedule and her life to approach one of her children call them by name, tell them I knew your grandmother or I'm a friend of your dad, Tim or any number of combinations to get close enough to snatch them.

I am very sad about this post. I am not sure what makes me sadder, the fact that I actually thought about this or the fact that parents have to worry so much about stuff like this or the fact that some people don't seem to think enough about it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Healthcare in America

Now this is a sad story. Why is it that in the "richest" country in the world healthcare is not available to everyone. I know I have blogged on this subject before, but it just really amazes me that people are making choices like this, here in America! It may very well be that there is a lot more behind this story than first meets the eye, but if this what things come down too....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Inspiration comes from strange places

Inspired by a blog - what kind of blog can it be? Check out my new friend Ryan, he is very inspiring. Those that read this blog that actually know me, know that I have struggled with my weight for my entire life. I was a skinny kid, a chubby teenager and I just kept getting bigger until I hit my late 30's. Then I became 40, fit and fabulous. Three hour a day work outs, giving up food and just general nuts got me to less than a size 0. At that point in my life, my self esteem was a little too low to be less than a zero, so I did come back up to a size 4. I maintained that for a few years. Well, I have stopped exercising, let food back into my life and now my size is well, we won't mention that. But Ryan has given me the desire to commit myself to losing weight. I have decided to commit to 1-2 pounds a week for the next year and to exercise at least 30 minutes a day three times a week. I may not post my measurements or weight on my blog, but I will let you know how it is going from time to time. I am saying this out loud so that perhaps I may inspire others to join me.

My Daemon

Thanks to Scobie Chick, you can help me find my true Daemon. I started as a snow leopard, lets see what I end up as. Was I true to myself?

Vanity Plates

Do you drive down the road and see cars with vanity plates? I always try and figure out what they are trying to say, I do not usually succeed, so I make up my own story. Today I was behind a car with the following plate LOVDOEXZ I don't know what they are saying. I went with that they are a recovering addict and were addicted to oxycontin. Any other takers?

Whatever happened?

Whatever happened to bathroom scales? We got a new one and I swear you need a degree in engineering to get it to tell you how fat you are! It used to be that you just stepped on and a little wheel moved inside and there it was in a little window. You are fat. Now, I have to press the power button once and it tells me how tall I am. Then again and it tells me my age. Then again and I have to wait for a beep. Then I can step on and wait for it to beep and then it shows me how fat I am.

I am sounding old. Back when I was young blah blah blah!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hmm....

Karl Rove leaving the White House. The reasons he is giving are "it is time" "more time with family". What are the real reasons that the man that GWB called the architect would leave now, so close to the end.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Garbage we make

We went to the dump prior to going to Kaspers this afternoon. We took a bunch of junk we no longer wanted. Our dump you drive into a big building and drop off all your stuff, where they go thru it for any thing that is recyclable. It made me think, we throw away far too much stuff. We buy to much stuff. How do you cut down on the stuff? How do we stop creating so much crap?

People face

Today I went to lunch at Kasper's Hotdogs with my beloved and Mare-demort. We walk in and country music is on the radio. For those that don't know, I am a closet country music fan. So, I started singing along to the music. The girl behind the counter gave me a high five and said "I love you!". From there she proceeded to tell me that she was raised in San Diego on country music, she is a country girl. She went to see some country star - I sing along to the songs, but for the most part I don't know who sings them. She got an autographed picture for her mother and her boyfriend got his head signed, he had shaved his head that day, just in case. Then she told me about the Kenny Chesney concert she went to. The second to the last song he sang was "There goes my life" and she cried because she had just found out she was pregnant. The last song he sang was "She thinks my tractor sexy". She is also a whiskey drinker, but she can't have any for another six months or so until the baby is born.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Chance Meeting

On TV last night was a special with Charlie Gibson about the Reverend Billy Graham. My friend Mare-demort asked "hey, didn't you meet him once?" Why yes, I did. And here is the story. Mom if you are reading this - sorry!

Quite a few years ago I had to go to Washington, DC on business. It was right around the time of Bill Clinton's second inauguration. It was cold that year, so cold that the threads holding my buttons on froze and broke and all the buttons on my coat fell off while crossing a street. The entire city was buzzing with preparations for the parade and big day. My personal life at this time was a mess, I had had my heart broken a few months earlier and was still a wreck. So, while I as in DC I decided I would go to Dupont Circle and go to a bar and get lucky! Well, that crazy thought started one of the weirdest nights of my life.

I was staying in a big hotel, I don't remember the name, but it had a shopping mall on the first two floors. So, I decided for this "big" night I needed some new underwear, just in case my plan actually worked. I go out and get into the elevator, thinking about how to accomplish my goal, since I am not very good at this sort of thing. I am the only one in the elevator for about two floors, when the doors open to let two men on. I look up and this old man with the most incredible eyes, looks at me and says "hello, how are you?". I'm standing there trying to figure out who he is, he looks familiar and he "feels" familiar. He says a few more things to me, when the doors open to let someone else on. This woman lights up and says "Oh, hello Reverend Graham". Then of course it hits me, Billy Graham! Holy crap, I am in the elevator with Billy Graham. Then I think - man, I wonder what he would think if he knew he was in an elevator with a lesbian on her way downstairs to buy new underwear in case she gets lucky tonight! I never got the chance to ask, the doors opened up and he turned and said to me "have a good evening". Hey, maybe he did know? So ended my meeting with Reverend Graham.

My evening got weirder after that, maybe someday I'll write about the rest my evening, being welcomed at an Italian restaurant that the gay guide said was gay, but wasn't anymore. Meeting their favorite customer, Willie Brown. Finding a postcard of a woman I know and she was naked. A crazy cab ride and chocolate heads.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Grrr!!!

I travel on the 580 every weekday to work. Most days it does not bother me, but today, oh today. Coming home I must have run into six drivers doing something I hate. Most days I will just say something to myself, but today I wanted to run right over the top of them. I am talking about those idiots that think the passing lane is for cruising down the highway, maybe doing the speed limit. I think I actually screamed "Move Over" five times as I drove east. Then I just love it, you are forced to get in the next right lane to pass them and they are just driving along doing 60 or so, like it was it was ok.

Alright, rant done.

Monday, August 6, 2007

File this under Creepy

Is the entire Jackson family creepy? It seems that Jermaine's ex-wife or soon to be ex-wife, is also the ex-wife of his brother Randy! And then she says she has concerns about their children when they visit their father. Seems dad, the kids and the new girlfriend all sleep in the same bedroom. I have concerns about her, who marries their husbands brother? Is this really common? I know that Henry the VIII married his brothers widow, which I also find creepy and which did not work out too well for Katherine of Aragon after awhile, but at least his brother was dead. Imagine the family parties, you've got Michael bringing his monkey, Latoya bringing that weird guy she was married to, Janet - wait a minute - did she attend any family parties? Then Tito - is Tito still around? Then you have Randy and Alejandra and then next Christmas you have Jermaine and Alejandra. How do you tell your brother that you are dating his ex-wife? Was she Randy's ex before she started dating Jermaine? Was she secretly in love with Jermaine while married to Randy? Did she compare them in the sack? Oh man, enough of this, it is giving me a headache.

Crazy stuff

I just went to look up a word on Websters Dictionary on line and they now include a medical dictionary. My first thought? GREAT! Now all those people that look up all their symptoms on the internet and are convinced they have a something really bad can look up the words they don't understand. More self diagnosis - just what the world needs. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much information.

People Face

Another instance of people face. Standing in line at a check out stand and the woman bagging my loot say's "Oh, I'm so glad it is the weekend". I being the polite person my mommy dearest raised me to be, say "Yes, I love the weekends". Now truthfully, I should have known better than to respond, because I had been here with her before. I already know that she married a man that her parents did not approve of, moved to Hawaii, raised a couple of kids, divorced the rat bastard, moved back to the bay area with her parents, but that did not last long and her parents must be ancient cause she is no spring chicken.

Now I find out that she likes the weekends because she is free of her radiation treatment for two days. Monday thru Friday she has treatments at 12:30, she leaves work at about 12:00 and then comes back after the treatments to work the rest of her shift.

What do you say to these kinds of revelations? Gee, I hope things work out? What are you being radiated for? Do you need a ride?

Just not sure.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Just when you think

Just when you think you have had a really bad day, you hear of some people that really did have a bad day. I am just watching the news and seeing the rescue/recovery effort in Minneapolis at the bridge that fell down. One man says he was speaking to his wife on the phone as she was driving over the bridge. Her last words were "I have had a really bad day". How sad that she found out so quickly it could get worse, much worse.

It all makes me think of how lucky most of us are. While we all have sadness, pain, death of loved ones in our lives, we are never going to be on a bridge that falls down. We all drive on the highways every day where people are just crazy, we get on planes, we don't think twice of the fact that we live in an area that shakes on a pretty routine basis, but the chances that we are going to be killed on the way home from work after a bad day are pretty slim. Next time you are thinking you've had a bad day, keep in mind how bad it can be and say a little prayer.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Back From Vacation?



I am technically back from vacation. While my body is here, my mind and my soul are still in France. In my head I am in my beloved Paris, walking down a street and looking in a window, cause you just never know what you might see. Paris has called to me since the first time I stepped off the train on my very first trip. I go back as often as I can. Sometimes my beloved goes with me, and because I am a very lucky girl, sometimes she does not mind if I go alone.


This last trip was a week in Paris with many friends and family to celebrate my birthday. It was wonderful and something I will remember for the rest of my life. After that week my beloved and 2 friends and I went to the Loire Valley. I returned to this beautiful area after a ten year gap. We returned to the same place I had been so many years before, Baulay outside the town of Sache. It was more beautfil than I remembered and our hosts Benny & Patrick were as friendly and helpful as before. This is a magical place and if you ever have the chance, take a trip, dream a dream, you will always remember it.




California Budget Crisis

Watching the news about our lovely government in Sacramento. We (the state of California) are in the middle of a budget crisis. This means the State's bills stop being paid, the State employees are not getting paid and as of tomorrow Medcal payments will stop to hospitals, day care centers and nursing homes. Medical? Stopping payments?? Again the poor, the elderly, the very people that need it most will lose coverage. And the State Assembly could pass an emergency bill to fund Medical, BUT THEY ARE ON VACATION!!!!!! Vacation? Vacation? How can some of the very people necessary to solve this crisis be allowed a break? Our elected officials should be in their seats every single day, every minute of every day until this is solved. Call me crazy, but WTF?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Seizure

It seems that the Supreme Court Justice Roberts has had a seizure. His second, the first happened fourteen years ago. I can't say the man is a high court official that I would have choosen, but I would not wish a seizure on anyone. I had one a little over seven years ago, sitting in my friend ML's kitchen and boom! Next thing I remember was waking up and looking into the lovely eyes of a very handsome paramedic asking me questions. Who is the president, what year is it, where do you live. Could not answer one of them. It was just crazy. I also remember the fear I felt, was this the start of something? One of the things that kept running thru my now short circuited brain was the fact that my grandfather died from a brain tumor. Could this be a symptom of that, could that be hereditary. I lived in fear for a while, but never had another - but now does that mean anything? After his last seizure, Justice Roberts took the bus to work, I kinda doubt that will be his mode of transport now.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Wondering

I have been wondering why our NEWS media brings us so much ENTERTAINMENT information. I can't call it entertainment news, it is not news. It seems that this has been happening for some time and came to a head for me when Anna Nicole Smith died. Now poor, poor, poor, stupid LL is in trouble again. How sad for her, really I mean that. But is it really mainstream news? I have nothing against entertainment news shows or sites, I go to them, but who decides that this something to discuss on the "real" news? Hmm... maybe there is no "real" news any more? Maybe the truth is that we are told just what "someone" wants us to hear? If we are busy wondering why young people that seem to have everything, keep doing such stupid things perhaps we don't think about why other people die or why millions in the "greatest" country in the world have no health care. Or that we have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. Just wondering.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Paris

A poem by Cesar Vallejo: Black Stone on Top of a White Stone

I shall die in Paris, in a rainstorm,
On a day I already remember.
I shall die in Pairs-- it does not bother me--
Doubtless on a Thursday, like today, in autumn.

It shall be a Thursday, because today, Thursday
As I put down these lines, I have set my shoulders
To the evil. Never like today have I turned,
And headed my whole journey to the ways where I am alone.

Cesar Vallejo is dead. They struck him,
All of them, though he did nothing to them,
They hit him hard with a sitck and hard also
With the end of a rope. Witnesses are: the Thursdays,
The shoulder bones, the loneliness, the rain, and the roads...

****
Someone at work was talking to me about Paris and told me that they had had to memorize a poem when they were in school, something about rain and Paris by Cesar Vallejo. So, of course, I had to find it. Gee he forgot to mention the death part of this poem. I also would like to die in Paris or at least have my ashes scattered around and a Thursday would be fine and even the rain would be ok. But not the loneliness.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just life

I am not sure I believe in coincidence, but I think I believe more in things that come together in your life to tell you something. Most times I am not sure what I am being told, so I do nothing. Other times, I understand and do what I think I understand what I am being told. Today two things came together in an odd way that I know means something.

I was given a book to read called "Gods and Generals" by Jeff Shaara. It is an historical novel based on real people and places. The four main characters are Robert E. Lee, Winfield Scott Hancock, Thomas Jonathan Jackson and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. All real people from the Civil War. Lee, being the most well known to me. I have just finished reading about his father-in-law dying and Lee being left to rebuild his estate, George Washington Parke Custis had built as a museum to his famous grandmother and grandfather. I guess it was in pretty sad shape when Lee came home from Texas before the Civil War broke out. So he built it back into a working plantation complete with slaves and cotton.

Just now at lunch, I picked up a National Geographic to read while eating. In it is an article about Arlington National Cemetary in this article I read that William Henry Christman, age 21 was the first to be buried here in 1864. Arlington had recently be designated a burial ground from land confiscated from the estate of Robert E. Lee. The same land Lee had come home to rebuild in 1858 was taken from his family as punishment for what many believed to be treason. By the end of the war the following year 16,000 soldiers would follow William to Arlington.

I learned that there are more than 300,000 buried at Arlington now. During the Vietnam war there were as many as 47 funerals a day. Section 27 houses the graves of slaves buried around the Freedman's Village that was gone by 1900, but the graves remain. Of the 184 victims killed at the Pentagon on September 11th, 64 are buried here. That there are 50 buglers to play Taps that one final time. That every day maps and time tables are posted to keep track of the funerals of the day, so maintenace workers can stay out of sight of the dead and their mourners.

White marble is the only type of headstone. It is 24 inches above ground, thirteen inches wide and four inches thick. You are limited to 12 lines, 15 charaters per line and a spiritual symbol. 180 characters to tell a life time.

But what I read that disturbs me most is that Arlington is running out of space. It is estimated that at the current rate, Arlington will be out of space by 2060. I do not mean that I want more space, it bothers me because we should be out of space because there are no more dead to put in the ground in Section 60 where 1 out of every 10 fallen troops from Iraq and Afghanistan are laid to rest.

I cried reading this article because how many more 180 character life times are we going to have to put on those white marble markers before we all stand up and say "No more. No more. No more".

Well, like I said, sometimes I am not sure what I am being told. Today I know what it means. Stand up and shout -- NO MORE!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Another one

Another people face story. Had a salesman come into my office yesterday and within 15 minutes, I knew he was married, he lives in Orinda where he purchased a home on a private road two years ago. His wife choose a wine cooler over a trash compactor. He gets along great with all his neighbors, except the ones across the street. They are not happy with him because their tree fell on his house and the neighber has a really high insurance deductible and he (the salesman) has had to sue them to get them to pay up. All the neighbors are in cahoot's to stop a developer from building a rental unit up by them, they are not going to grant easements on their private roads for the building of said unit. He is a drummer, he has two sets of drums, one at home and one in a studio space in Oakland that he rents for his band. He told me he would give me $1000 if I could guess his password. I took everything he told me into consideration and he revised his offer to $100 after my first guess cause it was so close.

Grrrrr....

Am I the only one in the world that heard this crap this morning? The lovely Tony Snow (Dubba's press mouth) answering a question about the Iraqi parliment's plan to take the month of August off. He said something to lilke this: "Hey, our congress takes time off and anyway, cut them some slack, it is 130 degrees over there."

I thought WTF! It is too hot for the natives of the country to work at getting their country back together and try and develop a government, but our troops can stay all summer and fight with 60 pounds of stuff on them?

What is up with a statement like that? And didn't half of them just come back from a protest that lasted a month or so?

Color me crazy, but isn't there something wrong with this thinking?

People Face?

I have come to the conclusion that I must have one of those faces that people just tell stuff to. I can be standing someplace and in less than five minutes I can have more information about someone than I care to know and I never even ask a question. The other day I was in the grocery store standing next to this woman at the deli counter. She started telling me that she could not believe that the only had one person working the counter. Within 5 minutes I knew that she had been married for 35 years to a man that liked his dinner on the table every night at a certain time and she was running late. She has two daughters, one was with her and she had been at the doctor with her since 4 that afternoon, the other, who has a baby, was at home sick. She was going to buy potato salad and if she buys the biggest size it is too much, but the next smaller size is not enough, oh well, she said. She would go with the smaller size and she would just not have any.

Posh in America

OK, I will admit right now that in our household we watch WAY too much TV. Last night we started watching Victoria Beckman comes to America. It was some kind of special that showed how hard it was for her to get her family moved to America so her ab-o-tastic husband can play soccer in LA for tons of money. Sure she has lots of money, crazy clothes, would rather die than wear a pair of ballet slippers, but the girl is funny! At one point she is looking at some multi, multi million dollar house and the realtor says "yes, the entire thing was re-built from the ground up" she looks at him and cocks her head to one side and says "well, isn't that how you build a house? From the ground up, how else would you do it?" Was way funnier than it sounds right now, but trust me. The bit where she confronts Perez Hilton is great, he offers her a cookie, which she refuses to eat cause someone might get a picture of her eating and ruin her image, funny stuff. She looks like this crazy skinny Barbie with really big boobs and maybe she really is, but this edited version of a day in the life of Posh Spice was kinda fun to peek in on.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blog Block

Last night my beloved asked what makes something blog worthy? That, of course, got me on the think train, which can just mess me up. So this morning at my usual blogging time I could think of nothing to write about. Been thinking about it all day actually and still can't come up with anything. Have I been cursed? When you start to worry if something blog worthy are you self censoring? Does every blogger face blog block at some point. Hmmm...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Days

There are days in my life that I should remember, days that I don't remember and then there are days that I cannot forget. Today is a day that I cannot forget. It is one of those days that creeps up on you, that you know is coming, but that always surprises you. I am not surprised that this day is here, I am surprised because it should not be one of those days at all and I am surprised at the time that has passed. Today is the 4th anniversary of the death of my oldest friend, Jolie. I think of her often, but today I think in a different way. While I was only on the fringes of her horrible journey, I remember every step today. When her mother called to tell me she was sick, we had not seen each other in a few years, but at that moment I knew two things, I needed to call my mother and I needed a plane ticket. Over the next 18 months we saw each other a lot. I went "home" every chance I got. We spoke on the phone more than we ever had, I learned more about her life than I ever knew before. One day she called me and asked if I could come and help her plan her funeral. When I asked why me, she told me that I was the only one that would be able to make her laugh while doing it and she needed that. I went for a week and we never got around to planning it, but I really don't think that is what she needed me for right then. I will never forget the last day I saw her. It was summer, mid June, it was hot and we were sitting outside and her hair sparkled, she had great hair. We spoke of many things that day, small whispers of what was to come and what was never to be. We spoke of heaven, I had just finished a book about a girl in heaven and that we all have our own heaven, we make it be what we want it to be. Jolie liked that idea, hers would be filled with the people she loved that were waiting for her and she would wait there for those she loved. When I had to go, I held her and told her I loved her and that she had been a true friend to me and that I would see her again and I did not mean here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Brother

Some of you have told me that you also join me in my worry about my brother, I thank you for that. I just guilted him into sending me some pictures. We did grow up Catholic without the guilt - otherwise known as Episcopalian - but sometimes things work out. So here he is


What?

I was just sitting in my bathroom. We just finished with a nice remodel, new sink, new floor, new walls. It looks really good, if I do say so myself. However, I as sitting there looking at the beautiful new towels that are hanging on the new polished chrome towel rack, they are beautiful, they still have the tags on them, which brings me to what? The tag says the recommended method of washing these towels is to DRY CLEAN THEM!!! What???? What??? Dry clean towels? What??? What??? What????

New words

My friend Evil sent me an e-mail last night telling me how much she is enjoying this blog. Then she asked if blog was a word - according to Webster's it is. That just started me down the path of thinking (bad path so early in the morning and one reason I refer to her as Evil) where do new words come from? I realize that since we could first speak words have been added to our vocabulary on a regular basis, but who first thinks up a word? Who decides that it is a word? Who concludes that it should be included every year in that list I see of new words added to the dictionary? Do words ever get dropped from the dictionary? I used to do a word of the day game with people I worked with. We would take this big old dictionary and hold it closed on its spine, close our eyes, let it drop open and point. Whatever word you pointed to was the word of the day. The only word I remember is tintinnabulation - the ringing of bells. Let me tell you, that is a word that has come in really handy - just the other day while walking down the streets of Paris I heard the tintinnabulation of Notre Dame. I think it is also one of those words that is spelled just like it sounds and I like those.

Anyway, back to my original thoughts, where do new words come from and when does one decide to become a lexicographer? What no link? Get your hands on a "real" dictionary and look it up, it will do your brain good.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday, the 13th!

Friday, October 13, 1307 was a really bad day if you were a Knight Templar. This is the day that Phillip the Fair (funny) and the pope decided the Templar's were a threat to them and had too much power and money and had them rounded up and tortured for years. Finally after about seven years the last known grand master of the Templars was burned alive at the stake on a little spit of land in the middle of the Seine in Paris. Today there is a little sign marking the spot. Jacques de Molay, last known Grand Master, Knights Templar. Jacques and his fellow knight Guy of Auvergn were kept imprisoned and tortured for seven years. At some point forged confessions were produced, while these would not have saved their lives, at least they may have been killed quickly. They both disavowed those confessions and were condemned to be burned alive. What kind of persons chooses burning alive over a quicker death. What do you believe in so strongly that you are able to withstand torture for seven years and then basically choose such a horrible way to die? I do not understand the willingness to die for something you believe in, is it because I have not found anything in my life that I believe enough in to die for? I admire those that are willing to die alone for their beliefs - burned at the stake, a hunger strike, standing in front of a tank - those are people that truely believe. Those that strap a bomb to their bodies and blow up other people, not so admirable to me.

Well, may your Friday the 13th be better than Jacques and Guy's.

BEAUSEANT!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sick on a plane

I have always been a good traveller, I don't get sick on planes. That is until this trip. I am sitting here typing with a lovely sore on my upper lip from blowing my nose so much. It hurts! Let me just say, I would not have wanted to be sitting next to me or my girlfriend on the plane coming home from Paris. We must have gone thru a box of tissue each! I should have realized that it was going to be a lousy trip when I got on the plane and my seat was held together with duct tape! Not kidding, blue duct tape in fact. So, they moved us to my most unfavorite seats on the entire plane. The first row in economy! Yuck! Hate them. No place to put my feet because I can't put my carry on bag under the seat in front of me, then you can't watch the movie cause the screen is so close it gives me a headache and then to add insult to injury you get to watch the people in business class sleep in those great seats. Gotta get me some miles so we can upgrade next time.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Off to Paris

Well, not sure how much I will be writing over the next couple of weeks, we are off to Paris this morning!!! There is always so much more to do than I think when preparing for a trip. Oh, well here we go....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dog Guy

Michael Keenan is the San Francisco man that ran back into a burning building to save a friends dog that he was dog sitting. The dog survived, he just died. This was not the first time Michael saved someone, a few years ago he jumped into the bay to save a stranger whose car ended up there. I never met Michael, but I think the world might need more people like him.