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


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.


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


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 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.


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?


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


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!!!