Monday, July 30, 2007


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.