Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Unclear?

Now I am not sure who is unclear on the concept, but...  Last Saturday on the way to dinner in the City and we pulled up behind a Prius.  A very ecological car right?  You care about the environment, right?  Always a good thing.  Then comes the unclear part.  Tied to the top of the car in a big plastic bag was a big old Christmas tree?  You will drive a car that gets a billion miles to the gallon to help the environment, but you will cut down a tree that took years to grow so you can put it in your living room for a couple of weeks, not to mention the plastic bag which will be in a landfill for who knows how many years.




Sunday, December 7, 2008

Memories

Today's paper provided me with two memories from my past.  Hmm... I guess that is where all memories come from, right?  Anyway...

Memory Number 1

Sunny Von Bulow finally died.  After being in a coma for almost 28 years she is finally at peace.  Well, maybe she has been at peace for 28 years and her body just finally gave out, we will probably never really know.  I remember this case.  I was working in Providence at the time at we would walk over to the court house at lunch time to see the goings on.  It was big news in Rhode Island.  I wonder if we will ever know the truth about that whole ugly thing.

Memory Number 2

Waffle mania!  There is a man named Alain DuPont who goes to the farmers market at Civic Center in a bus and sells Belgium Waffles!  He imports the dough cause he can't get it here.  Anyway, my memory has nothing to do with this man, but with another one.  On my first trip to Europe with my friends Michael, Dominic and Anne we stopped in Brussels on our way back to Amsterdam from Paris.  Within a few minutes we found a place that made waffels and Michael ate about 8 of them in a few minutes.  This waffle wrangling made him a little sick and he missed the Scottish hockey team in full dress kilts and my beer wrangling which lead to one marriage proposal, the switching of a kilt for my skirt (and yes, it is true) and Dominic wondering where I put all that beer.

Ah, memories.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Overheard

Yesterday sitting in the chair at my hairdressers (hi Sara) overheard the stylist at the next chair and his client talking about alcholics anonymous.

client:  You know at my first meeting when I spoke?
stylist:  Yeah.
client:  I was drunk
stylist:  I know.  We all knew
client:  You did?  How?  My breath?
stylist:  We could smell the booze on you the minute you walked in the door.
client:  I am so embarressed!

As I was listening to this conversation, I thought what happened to the anonymous part of all this?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crap

It has been awhile since I posted anything about 580 and my commute.  I think that is because I am now listening to books on CD as I drive.  This is good and bad.  Good cause I listening to one of my favorite series - The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon - hearing it is so much different from reading it - but no, you still can't borrow my books.  And bad cause I don't see as many things along the way.

But this week along 580:

  • A pair of sunglasses, sitting nicely on the side of the road next to the barrier.  Totally fine, they looked like they were waiting for someone to grab them off the table on the way out the door.
  • A shoe, a shirt, a pair of pants and the remaing shoe.  All in a row like someone had undressed in the car and just thrown them out the window.
  • Wild turkeys on the hills - not really crap, but I am sure they leave quite a bit of crap behind.  Yeah really bad, I know.
  • Grass growing in the cracks between the lanes.  I would think that there is so much traffic that this would not happen.
  • And biggest crap.  The guy driving next to me in traffic on Thursday night.  He had an older car that looked pretty well taken care of.  In the dark I could see the screen of his sound system in the car.  The sound was so loud that stuff in my car was ratteling.  Everytime the bass hit a certain vibration his rear license plate would lift up from the back of his bumper like a leaf being blown around by a leaf blower.  It was awful and I could not get away from him.  Traffic was really bad and he was behind me or next to me or in front of me for miles.  I wondered how he could sit in that car with it so loud.

The Love of a Mother

After my previous post I need to write something nice.  This post is about my mother.  It could not have been easy raising six children.  Our births spanned twenty years of her life.  My oldest brother was close to nineteen when our "baby" was born.  Oh the horror!  My mother believes that she raised us all the same and loves us all equally.  But I question that, since I am her favorite!  My mother has always said "I just want you to be happy".  That could not have been easy for her to say sometimes, but I know she means it.    My mother has also always said don't ask for my opinion if you don't want to hear what I have to say.

In my own pain over the passing of Prop 8 I sent an e-mail to just about everyone one I know about it and my Mommy Dearest was the only one who responded and here is some of what she had to say:

I just was not sure what to say to you so I just thought about it for a while.  Just think my child how far this has come in just a few short years.  Things are changing and you will be seeing it more and more and some day when you look back it will seem a short time.  It all depends where you are looking from. 
I just hope that like most things my mother has told me, that this will also prove to be true.

Broken

I am sometimes so heart broken over something I read.  There are many very sad stories in the newspapers or on line.  We all read them every day are horrified at the things our fellow humans can do.  Sometime I wonder what makes us different?  What makes some people do horrible things?  What separates us from them?  This week I have read two stories - one in England and one here in the Bay Area - they both deal with child abuse and the death of the children involved.

The first was Baby P.  From the picture I saw he was a beautiful 17 month old little boy who lived for so short a time in England.  His mother, her boyfriend and the boyfriends brother did things to him that were so awful that I will not go into them here.  Just think of this, when the poor baby died his back had been broken for at least a few days.  

Here in Antioch 15 year old Jazzmin Davis was so abused by her aunt that she died weighing 78 pounds!  In this story as well the abuse was so awful I find it hard to imagine.  What happens over the course of 15 years that the baby you took in dies with burns from an iron on her?  

In England the legal system protects the identity of the murderers, they can not be named in the press, but the internet population has been very vocal about who they are and what should be done to them.  The unnamed may get 7 years for this horror show.  Our legal system has no such protection and Shemeeka Davis faces murder charges that could send her to jail for life.  And poor Jazzmin's twin brother also faces a life sentence of dealing with abuse he received and the guilt he must feel for still being alive.

In both these cases there was a common element - child social services.  Both homes received visits.  In the Baby P case, he had actually been taken away from his mother but had been returned.  The police had stepped in and asked that he not be returned to the home, but had been over ruled by social services.  Jazzmin's Antioch home had been visited by her social worker who saw nothing amiss.  One could argue that Jazzmin was old enough to speak up, but I just imagine how afraid she must have been to not say a word.  Baby P was not old enough to even understand what was happening or to tell anyone, but I am sure he must have also been so afraid.

There must have been others that noticed.  That "thought" something was just not right in these homes who did nothing.  I want to hope the most of us would do something.  I am sure that we all think - of course I would do something.   You are outraged that I would even suggest you might not.  But it just all leads back to my first thoughts - what is the difference between those that can do things like this and us?


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prop H8 demonstration

On my way to the demonstration I sat with a mother.  She was also the Fremont president of PFLAG.  She was on her way to Oakland to join a demonstration there.  He son is 47 and lives in the City.  She told me the story of how he came out to her and her own struggle to accept and let him be him.  He told her that he was the same person he was before he told her he was gay, she just knew one more thing about him.

We stood in front of the beautiful San Francisco City Hall on a beautiful day.  Thousands of people.  Gay, Straight, young, old, babies.  They did not have a real good sound system and we had some trouble hearing some of the speakers.  But you could hear the crowd.  Mark Leno spoke, I always like hearing him speak, wish I could have heard him better.

There were lots of great signs.  Lots of t-shirts with great slogans.  

We stood for a couple of hours before leaving.  I actually felt good that I had come, but wondered what will happen next?



Overhead

On Bart, Saturday on the way to the march on Prop H8.

Father to daughter while watching a small child just learning to walk trying to walk around the train.

Dad:  I miss that stage of parenthood.  I can't wait until you kids have kids.  Of course, there is no hurry on that.

Daughter totally grossed out:  Dad!  I'm thirteen.  Stop talking like that.

A muni driver on his way to work got on at Castro Valley.  He carried a briefcase.  I wondered what did he carry in that case?  His lunch?  A book to read while at lunch?  A map, not a happy thought.  Anyway, about 10 minutes after he got on he and a woman noticed each other.  They seemed to have known each other in the past and had friends in common.  He said to her:  How is your sister?  She said:  Which one?  He said:  Tina.  She said:  Tina?  Tina is dead.

Oh crap is what went thru my head.

Sometimes you overhear things that you don't even understand.  

A woman sat next to me.  A friend of her's got on a couple stops after her and sat across from her.  When the person across from me got up the second woman moved over to her seat against the window.   The woman next to me said what I believe was:

first woman:  hey, I can see your underwear.  

Now, I know this because I could see her underwear.

second woman:  Are you sure?  What color are they?

first woman:  white.

second woman:  oh.

and closed her legs and put her jacket in her lap.

Now, they were not speaking English and I really do not know what they said, but that is what it sounded like to me.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Facebook

I don't get it.  I mean yeah, I get it, but I don't get it.  Why do I need a facebook page?  I write in this blog, if you want to know what is going on in my life, you can read it here.  Do I have to maintain another site?  What would I put there that I don't put here?  If you are interested in me, read and see it here.  I am going to stop my split personality, I am just going to blog and skip the facebook stuff.  It is all making me a little crazy anyway.  Too much pressure and not enough time.

Shut the Fuck Up!

Listening to Cake the other night, they have a song that says:

Just Shut the Fuck Up.  

And it just made me think about something I heard that supporters of Prop H8 have said.  We had an election.  The people of California have spoken.  They do not want gay marriage.  Let it go.

Shut the Fuck Up.

What about that damn Prop 4.  Trying to make young girls tell their parents before they can get an abortion.  This is the 4th time something along these lines has been on the ballot.  

I got news for you.  The people of California have spoken, we don't want this.  Let it go.

Stop using arguments against us that you don't pay attention to when you don't like the results.

Shut the Fuck Up.


Public Demonstration

I am going to my first demonstration tomorrow.  It is at City Hall in San Francisco and is part of a nation wide demonstration against prop H8.  They are hoping to have 1 million people across the country demonstrating in support of gay marriage.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Overhead

I don't even remember where I was when I overheard this.  It was someplace where I could not see who was talking.  Maybe at the movies, yeah, I think so.  Two women were sitting behind me discussing Thanksgiving plans.

One said her mother really wanted to visit her sisters and wanted the woman speaking and her sister along with their spouses to go as well.  I don't know where they were going but it would require a long drive.  Her sister had suggested that the woman speaking and her husband ride to t-day with she and her husband in their RV.  Sounds like a plan.  The woman speaking did not seem to thrilled:

"Imagine being stuck with my sister in a RV for a week.  Travel time up and back.  You know they had to buy a special re-inforced RV because my sister is so fat."

At that point I thought - imagine the poor sister being stuck with you.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Bittersweet

Well it has been three days since we made history in this country.  The first black president.  I am so glad that Obama will be sitting in the oval office.  I feel that he will do as much as he can to make this country better.  To return us to a country that people admire, rather than laugh at.  

But, I cannot participate fully in the joy lots of you feel.  My heart is saddened by the passing of Prop 8 in California.  I just do not understand how a state that could help elect the first black president could then on the same ballot vote to write discrimination INTO our state constitution.

Today at work they had a victory party for Obama, it was lovely to hear the stories of all the people in our office that went out and worked the election.  Some had been working the campaign for months, given so much of their time.  Then some went to other states to guarantee voting rights for people.  To help oversee places where they actually make it difficult for you to vote.  Imagine that.

While I enjoyed the stories, all I could think about was does any of this really matter to me?  I would guess that 99% of the people in my office of about 80 people voted no on prop 8 and I appreciate that.  Only six people have mentioned to me how angry they are that prop 8 passed.  That they just don't understand it.  Me either.

I mean that if I am not equal under the constitution of the state I live in, what am I?  I am sick and tired of hearing people say that as domestic partners we have all the same rights as married people do.  That is so not true, stop saying it!  We don't.  Until we are considered equal to all the rest of you, we are second class citizens and that makes me sad and mad.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pins and Needles

Sitting here watching election results and I am on pins and needles.  Well, not really because it already looks like Obama will be the winner.  I am on pins and needles waiting for info on Prop 8.  What will happen either way?

My beloved and I were at the polls at 6:30 this morning.  We wanted to be early so that we did not have to wait in a long line.  Well we were number 2 and 3 in line.  We found out something we never knew.  The first person in line when the polls open has to go in and check everything out.  They have to verify that the polling place opened on time, that the ballot box is empty, that the machines are running and who knows what else.  It was interesting.  My ballot was the first one in the machine!  I was number 001.  I walked in with my little cheat sheet and it took me about two minutes to vote.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hilter and Prop 8?

Reading this mornings Chronicle has made me physically sick.  The arguments from supporters of prop 8 have finally made me afraid.  At a recent "Yes on 8" rally a man named Brad Dacus of something called The Pacific Justice Institute (justice, for whom, I ask) told the crowd that the fight for prop 8 was like the battle against Hitler and urged the crowd not to stand quietly and accept what happened as the Germans did. 

What does that mean?  As far as I can tell the Germans and it seems most of the rest of the world stood by and in some instances participated in, by means of ignoring what what happening, the extermination of not just jews, but the mentally ill, the handicapped, Jevohovah's Witnesses, the Gypsies, the Polish and let us not forget the homosexual.

Nazi Germany started by taking away property, then rights, then dignity, then lives.  Is this what Mr. Dacus means?  Write into the constitution discrimination against one group?  Then lets carry that one step further and take away something else, cause "they" don't deserve to own a home, or have other property, or a job, or a bank account?  Is this what you mean Mr. Dacus?

Most gay men and women I know are out in some way.  Out to our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers.  Due to the internet, causes we give money to, organizations we belong to, places we go can all be easily found.  Would you like our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers to give you our names.  Will you make them afraid that if they don't turn on us that they will be next?  Will this make it easier for you, Mr. Dacus to track us down and slap pink triangles on us and take away our homes, our jobs, our children because you don't consider us "human" enough to have the same things you have and want? 

To those of you that support prop 8 keep in mind you could be next.  Take a good look at your own life and wonder what could happen in a future where rights are taken away because you don't fit someones idea of what is correct and good.  Do you take an anti-depressant?  Does your kid suffer from ADD and take medication?  Can you not have a child?    In Hitler's world all of these and so many more things could have gotten you a one way trip to a death camp and it all started with taking away a right!

I am no longer afraid, I am pissed off.  So Mr. Dacus tattoo a fucking pink triangle on my forehead and keep trying to make us citizens, but not equal under the law.  We won't stand quietly and accept what is happening.  We will go kicking and screaming into the future and in the end, in the perfect world we all long for, we will be able to love, honor and cherish whomever we want.




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Election - Vote

I don't know about you, but this election seems to have been going on forever!!!  How can you be undecided at this point?  I saw some people on TV this morning that had not decided how they were going to vote.  These two guys have been everywhere for the last 20 months - what is going to make up a mind? What could be left to find out?

Just get out and vote!  Oh and if you don't vote - do not complain about the state of the country for the next four years.  If you don't care enough to get out and vote I don't want to hear anything you have to say.


How do you know?

My friend door dyke informed me that she was not going to post on her blog until I posted on mine.  How was I too know?  She did not tell me, she was just going to wait until I posted.  DD what if I never posted again?  Now the challenge is on.  I told her for every post I make, she also had to make one.  Keep an eye open and let her know if she is falling behind.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No on Prop 8!

Remember to get out and Vote this election.  So many things to think about, put don't forget to vote No on Prop 8.  Equality under the law, that is all that is being asked.  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Most Haunted Place in the US.

No, not the White House!  We just returned from a week in Charleston, SC.  Not only is it the birthplace of moi, it is the location of air craft carrier The Yorktown - well actually it is across the river in Mt. Pleasant.  My beloveds father was a sailor in the mid 50's on the Yorktown and we brought him to a reunion of the men that served on her. 

It was very nice to be able to bring Pete back to a place that meant so much to him.  He enjoyed his time on the ship.  We walked that flight deck and he told us all about what he did and things that happened.  He really enjoyed his time on that ship.

While Charleston is the place of my birth, I have not been back since we moved away when I was about 1.  My Mom, the Colonel and his wife and kids drove down for the weekend.  It was great sharing Charleston with them.  We drove around North Charleston looking for the house we lived in.  We found it, we think and lets just say I would not be living there now.

We took a carriage ride around historical Charleston, heard great stories and saw such beautiful buildings.  We also took a couple of other tours - a ghost tour and a tour of the old jail.  They were both fun and a little spooky.

If you ever get a chance to go to Charlston - GO!!! 

 

The metal work in Charleston is just wonderful.  It is everywhere.  On gates, fences, windows.   This example is from the Slave Market.  Contrary to what I thought, Slaves were NOT bought or sold here.  It was run by Slaves - they could have booths here to sell products.



This is the Huguenot Cross.  It is in the French Huguenot Church in Charleston, SC.  This is the only remaining Huguenot Church left in the U.S.  Since French is not as widely spoken in Charleston anymore, they offer services in English - it was a big deal at the time.  Now once a year you can hear the service in French.  How lovely that must be.










Graveyards!  Charleston is full of graveyards.  I love graveyards.  Take a haunted tour if you ever go.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Going to the Chapel

Door Dyke and her beloved got married on Friday. I was honored to be a witness at the wonderful event. Who would have ever thought we would be celebrating a marriage between two woman that love each other. Spouse A & Spouse B (actually says that on the marriage license) have been together for 16 years and plan to spend the rest of their lives together. Standing in the beautiful rotunda of San Francisco city hall was really a treat.

Let's be real, where else in the entire world would you have seen the following:

Two men in kilt being married.
A young couple with a baby getting their marriage license.
A kinda weird guy giving out little stuffed bears to the couples being married.

And two women with love in their eyes exchanging rings surrounded by friends and family.

Happy Life J&P!!!

The Hills are alive!!!

I could not resist this! Who could? So for my next birthday....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bumper Stickers

OK, in addition to my daily

Jesus is Lord - All Saints Baptist Church

I saw perhaps the BEST bumper sticker today:

20 January 2009
The End of an Error

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Overheard

I overhear a lot of stuff, as I am sure you do. I am also surprised what people will say in the hearing of others. So I have decided to start a new segment, Overheard. I'll just post what I hear. If you hear anything crazy, send it to me. About the only rule is that it has to be a stranger that you overhear.

Here is my first entry:

Where: North Beach, San Francisco
What was I doing: Walking around waiting for a couple of friends to have dinner.

What I Overheard: I'm Irish - I have a short dick!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stupid is...

I don't have a problem with people that want to stick around in the event of a hurricane. You don't think the storm is going to be as bad as the weather people are saying, you don't want to leave your house or your stuff, ok fine stay and be stupid but for christs sake send your children away to safety.

Art? Soup?

I love art. I like looking at it. I like wondering about it. But art by Damien Hirst makes me say - huh? I don't get any of it. Perhaps you are not supposed to get it, but I like art that I look at to make me feel something other than YUCK!



This is a cow - a real cow - dipped in formaldehyde and then the hoofs and horns painted with real gold.





This is well, an ashtray of cigarettes.

Mr. Hirst is having a show right now, an auction of his work that is expected to bring in about $120 million - yes $120 million. Who will buy it? It does make me wonder, do people buy this art because they like it or do they buy it just to have it? Is it a case of the Emperor's New Clothes? Everyone thinks it is crap, but no one will say it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I wonder

I have been following the news story about Sarah Palin and censorship. The internet story is that she had an entire list of books that she wanted removed from the town library where she was mayor. The truth seems to be that when she became mayor she did call the town librarian in and ask what was the process for removing books from the library and she did fire the woman. The librarian was re-instated and she continued working in the town library for two more years. She left and has said it was just to difficult working for Palin as the mayor.

This hits very close to home, I love to read. I will read just about anything, but the things I don't want to read I can determine for myself that I don't want to read them, I do not need a mayor, governor or vice president telling me what I can't read or removing items they find offensive or don't want me to read.

When I was young we had a town library. It was small and it was a place I loved to go. It was also a place where the librarian knew me and knew my mother and knew what kind of books my mother and father felt were appropriate for me to read. The books I was allowed to read changed as I grew older, but there was always my mother's guiding hand on my library card and to me that is how it should be. I don't want someone else's mother telling me or anyone else (unless it is their kid) what they can or cannot read.

While I have not heard that she actually had books removed from her small town library, I wonder how thin the line is between inquiring what the process is for removing books from the library and actually burning them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

On the rocks

So, I called Mommy Dearest to ask if she ever made it out to Clingstone.  I knew she would come thru.  Of course, she said "we used to get into our row boats and go out there and rummage around".  

What does that mean?  Did you party out there - no they were a little young.  She told me that when she was about 12 she walked into the bar to get the oars to her rowboat and someone threw an apron on her to help out and that was the end of her wandering.

I asked "why do you think I never made it out there".  She said "well, a couple of reasons.  One, people lived there when you were young and two you did not have a row boat."

Hmm... good point. 

Yes, I do like cake

OK, for those of you who have seen my butt lately it is very apparent that I like cake.  My beloved bought me a pair of those MTB sneakers, the kind that roll back.  They are supposed to help your balance (yes, I could use that).  They are supposed to help your calfs.  I guess they are supposed to be good for you, but due to my center of gavity being so low and my ass so big, I just feel like a weeble when I wear them.  But I just had to post this, not cause it is going to help my ass get smaller, but because it is damn funny.

 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Learn something new every day!

My RI sister sent me a link today to something that we looked at just about every day while we grew up.  You all know I grew up on a little island in the middle of Narragansett Bay.  Well there was a smaller island, a rock really, not too far off shore, out by Wharton's shipyard, we called it the house on the rocks.  Its real name is Clingstone.  I never knew its story and I am really sorry that I didn't.  It makes me wonder did I live in a bubble.  Will I find out that members of my family knew all this?  Maybe have even been there?  But now that I know it can be rented during the summer, I just might get to know it better.  Ready for a trip my beloved?

Check it out and don't forget to check out the pictures.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Say it aint so!

I wrote the date today and was shocked that it was September! How can that be? It seems that just yesterday it was February and I was breaking a foot in Paris! Now begin the shorter days of fall which lead to the long nights of winter. How does time to by so quickly? Soon it will be 2009, I really did not think I would be alive to see the year 2000, so I guess every thing after that is just gravy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

580 Crap

Today driving down 580 among the usual crap I saw:

A canoe dented and sad looking next to the jersey barrier, when it flew off the top of the range rover did they think, damn - there goes the vacation.

A stainless steel travel coffee mug rolling between the lanes, lost and afraid of getting run over. Did someone throw it out a window in a rage after it spilled coffee on them or maybe they just decided they no longer liked it?

One of those little spare tires, you know the ones they put it your trunk instead of a full size tire. Made me wonder what will happen if they get a flat? Since they have no spare, hope they have triple A.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blog Surfing

While I was blog surfing recently I noticed quite a few blogs where there have been no postings in quite a while. It got me wondering (and we know where that can lead) where are those people? Did they just get bored? Are they sick and can't blog? Nothing happening in their lives? Are they dead?

I realized that if some of the blogs I look at frequently don't get updated on a regular basis, I not only start to fret that my "friends" may be sick or worse, I feel deprived of their company. I feel a little slighted, perhaps they no longer want to share thier life with me. Yes, me personally - not anyone else - just me.

Then I think - oh stop taking this so personally - they might just be busy with their real life - maybe they are on vacation (soup lady) or maybe they have just not found the flow that works for their blog yet (door dyke) or maybe they are soooooooooooo busy they will have a long interesting post when they have some time.

I guess it just leads me to remember something I should remember more often in my own life. When the phone does not ring, or I don't get an e-mail, or a letter in the snail mail for a while, in the time frame I think I should, it does not mean that my friends and family have stopped loving me or caring about me, it just means that they are living the lives that make them interesting and that I will enjoy hearing about it. No matter how long goes by, in the end I will hear from you and will enjoy each story and minute.

Have a desire to be president?

Vote for me!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A magazine in the hand.

I subscribe to a monthly newsletter called Paris Notes. Big surprise, huh? Well due to the price of postage, paper, and whatever else they have gone digital. OK, I know we live in a digital age. We have digital TV, digital music, digital pictures, digital newspapers.

I read digital newspapers all the time. I get most of my information from them, but I have to admit that I really enjoy holding a magazine or a book in my hands. I will miss the monthly newsletter. I always got so excited to open it and read what was happening in Paris. I realize that I will still be able to read it, I could even print it out if I wanted so I can hold it in my hands, but I will really miss finding that newsletter in my mailbox every month. I will miss opening it up and spreading it out and reading what is going on.

I work in technology. I have been on the bleeding edge of things for so long that I am tired of it all. I do realize that this is not the future it is the now and I can't help but mourn for the monthly excitement of receiving those little eight pages in the mail each month.

Blogging can be hard

Sometimes I see things or hear things and want to blog about them. Then I think, should I? Then I think why not?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

40 Million

So, they sat outside your favorite store and using an their laptop and the stores unsecured wireless network they stole your debit and credit card info. Maybe they got mine, not sure. We should all find out in the next couple of days. Then they sold that info to others on the internet, then those peeps shopped till they dropped.

I have a problem with this and you might be surprised what my problem is. My problem is not the creeps that sat out in the parking lots around the country and stole this information. My problem is not the people that bought and used this information. Well, actually I do have a problem with them, but my biggest problem, the ones I will be the maddest at are the retail outlets. Most of these seem to be pretty large retail outlets TJX Companies which include Marshalls, TJMaxx, Barnes and Nobel among others. It seems to me that an organization as large as TJX would have thought long and hard before implementing wireless at all, it looks like someone did not think enough if they actually implemented an UNSECURED wireless network. Who is in charge there? Did no one in their IT department think, hey this might not be a good idea? I would have - while I have a wireless network at home (secured of course) I would NEVER suggest one for my place of work. I see them all around me at work, in fact there is one unsecured that I jump on to to check wireless connectivity in new laptops.

If they have not already done so, TJX needs to fire anyone that did not raise a question about unsecured wireless in their stores. While I really regret saying that, I regret more the millions of people whose lives are going to be messed up for a long time to come.

And on a funny (not ha, ha) note about this story, when I went out to find an article on this story, I went to the CNN site and the story headline is Justice, Hackers steal 40 million credit card numbers!!! Then right next to it is an add for L.L. Bean - shop on line right now. Yeah! Don't think so.

What can we do about this? Not sure myself. But I might be going to the bank on Friday afternoon for some cash for my weekend and leave those credit cards in the wallet.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two Wheeled Memories

Ha, on the news tonight is a story about motorized bicycles. They are little things with an eletric engine and pedals. They remind me of two little Italian scooters that Bob Daddy bought one summer. You started them by peddling really hard and hoped that the motor kicked in. They were really cool or so we thought. Of course they were illegal, for Jolie and I since we were not of age to drive. Did we care? Not really, that is until we got caught be the police. We saw the car pull up behind us and we both started pedaling like we were riding bikes. We thought we were so smart. Well, the officer did not think so. He did let us off with warning (and I wish I could remember his name) and we knew that our motoring days were over since he knew our parents and where we lived and we knew that every other police officer in town would hear about this and be on the look out for those crazy motoring wild childs.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lost Little Girl

OK, I can understand the excitement of trying to make a flight to Paris, but this is just not right.

Seems an Israeli family was on its way to Paris, five children and 18 bags. They get all checked in and go to the duty free shop and get on their plane. The plane takes off and they don't even realize that their 3 year old is not on the plane! What? No one noticed that when they did a head count they only had 4 of 5? I can understand leaving your carry on baggage under your seat or forgetting your ipod in the security line or maybe your book someplace, but what I am assuming is a cute little needy three year old left behind? Didn't someone register the missing when they checked to make sure everyone was strapped in?

My mom had six of us and I don't think she left any of us behind, she might have wanted to at times, but I think she knew if she started with six, she really needed to end up with six.

Seven of Nine tells the story of her mom counting noses in the car after a trip to the grocery store and coming up with the right number of noses. Unfortunately, one of them was just visiting, she got a call from the store to come back and pick up Seven of Nine.

So, I guess it does happen. But I just gotta ask: You had all your duty free stuff with you on that plane, but left your baby behind?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday Ritual

Today I read the obits out by the pool, it was quite nice. As I looked at them I remembered a conversation with Door Dyke about the pictures that go along with some obits. When you or your loved one selects a picture to put in the paper what are the criteria? Do you pick a recent picture? Do you pick one of you in your favorite outfit? Your best hat? A great hair day? I personally would pick the best picture take of me, no matter how old it is. Hopefully I have awhile before this decision has to be made.

Mama Mia?

My Beloved and I went to see Mama Mia last night. It was entertaining I will say that. I did have a question: did the broadway show end the same way? We went to see it in the City, but can't remember the ending, can you?

Friday, August 1, 2008

580 - there is shit and there there is SHIT!!!!

On my way to work yesterday I saw a girl rear end a van and I thought shit.

Today on my way to work I saw a motorcyclist on the ground covered in a yellow tarp, only his boots peeking out from under it and I thought SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big difference, yes?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

How and Who?

How did Beijing get the Olympics? Oh, I know the Olympic Committee.., cities throw lavish parties to get attention on how wonderful they would be as hosts..., some people we don't know vote..., a decision is made a few years in advance.

I look at the pictures of Beijing and think, who in their right mind voted for them? At first I was outraged due to China's wonderful human rights record. Then I started to look at the pictures coming in from China. They have done a lot of construction in a very short period of time. The pictures of the main stadium show an awsome arena. This leads me to wonder how safe are things? They don't have a great record regarding building safe and secure buildings and in such a short period of time...

The other thing I keep seeing is SMOG. How can world class athletes compete in that? When I see people with masks on walking around to get to work I think how is someone going to run in that? How much damage is that air going to inflict on a runner?

When I found out the Olympics were going to be held in China I decided I was not going to watch them. Do my little part to show my displeasure, I know how big an impact that can make...

However, now as they draw closer I wonder who is this going to hurt? Not the giant government of China that is going to block internet access or the giant TV companies covering the event, or the advertisers of products that I don't buy anyway. Will it hurt the athletes that won't even know I did not watch? Will it only hurt me because I like watching the Olympics. I feel a pride when I see the opening ceremonies and the US team comes in in their usually ugly outfits made in Canada. But then, will I even be able to see them thru the SMOG?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

580 Update

I know that if I say these words I will regret it, my commute has not sucked - much - lately. Yesterday was a little slow on the way home, but I'm listening to a book on CD, so I was OK with it. While there has been a lot of crap along the highway, most of it has been very difficult to identify. Not a lot of great bumper stickers or crazy drivers. Kinda quite. I think maybe some people are on vacation, perhaps out of town and not driving on 580.

So stay tuned for major crap tomorrow.

One bumper sticker somewhere:

Maybe the Hokey Pokey IS what it is all about.

A question we should all ask ourselves.

Admit it

You watched The Secret Lives of Women last night, didn't you? You found the WE channel and invested an hour of your time looking at someone else's life. Door Dyke was most upset by the first cousins. What was yours???

Overhead today

I was walking by three men at lunch today and they were sitting on a wall talking. This is what I heard:

"95% of the time you will win the fight if you throw the first punch, instead of yapping your mouth"

I thought, there are statistics for this kind of thing? Had the speaker been in 100 bar fights, 95 of which he had thrown the first punch and won and lost the other 5 cause he was yapping his pie hole?

That led me to start thinking, is this just about bar fights or does it apply to officially sanctioned boxing matches as well. I could not really find any scientific data to back up this statement, but I did find out that there are a lot of boxers named Oscar.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Huh?

Just a quick post under the heading of WTF. I went to check my personal e-mail today. I have a rocketmail account (as most of you know) I have had this account for close to 12 years. Rocketmail was bought out by Yahoo a few years ago, but I was able to keep my rocketmail address. So now on the Yahoo Mail site they have posted the following:

NEW EMAIL ADDRESSES
Now Yahoo! Mail delivers two new ways to get your perfect email address: @ymail.com and @rocketmail.com.

New? New? New? I remember they kept trying to get me to change my mail to a yahoo address and I kept refusing. I want to keep my rocketmail address until I die and then I want to pass it on. Anyway, did they just think people would forget that rocketmail existed prior to today?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Busy Night in Blog Land

After telling my beloved about Uncyclopedia she said

"Hey what ever happened to that Peter Pan guy". For those of you that don't know about him, he is a guy that lives in Florida, that dresses up as a little fairy and lately he has proven the theory that there is someone for everyone. He designs and sews his own cloths and will be on TV on WE-TV on the 29th of July - a show called "The Secret Lives of Women" don't miss it. Just when you think your life is weird, check out this site. Peter Pan is alive and well and living with his Tinkerbell in Florida.

Holy shit, have you ever watched this show? "The Secret Lives of Women", my beloved just found it so we can record PP & Tink and right now they are highlighting a woman that is a prostitute as her "day" job. She actually just said that she loves her job because she does not have to be on her feet 24/7! Did she really just say that? Of course, what goes thru my mind is not on her feet, not on her feet, not on her feet????

OK, this might be my new favorite show. A married couple in an open relationship that met at Barnes & Nobel - what are the chances of that?

Now there is DeDe - the average housewife during the week and swingers on the weekend. She has been married to the same man for 22 years and at the altar she leaned over and told him that she was bi-sexual and brought her girlfriend home after they returned from their honeymoon. The girlfriend has moved out and now they have swingers parties in their home every Saturday night. Don't the neighbors notice?

Now there is the poloyamourous chick. She has four non primary partners and I am not sure how many primary partners. Primary partner is one you share finances, a home or children with. She has about 12 people that have keys to her apartment! My beloved just asked "how does she have time for all this".

This show is GREAT. Thanks my beloved! OMG!!! They are back to the prostitute, she was living with her father and stripping. He knew that she was probably doing more and told her she should just go and hook up with a brothel, since they are safe and clean. What a dad!!! And I am sure you will be glad to know that she enjoys her job!

Oh, I have to stop now cause I am just overwhelmed!

My People

I think I have found my people! Check out this site. The Uncyclopedia is CRAZY. Click on Random Page. I got to a page called the Language of Cows - I am not sure I understand it, but I think it is funny and since this my blog that is what counts. Type in the name of your home state and see what you get or the place you live now or someplace you have never been, you will learn things you never knew that you needed to know.

Only in Rhode Island

There are some people that are just stupid or drunk, Stanley Kobierowski seems to be both!

Rhode Island is known for some pretty crazy laws, for instance:

It is considered offensive to throw pickle juice on a trolly

or

the fact that it is illegal to wear transparent clothing, good to know.

or

Any marriage where either of the parties is an idiot and/or lunatic is considered null & void.

If Stanley Kobierowski is married I would say his wife might consider evoking this law.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Morning Ritual

Today I spent my morning as usual, drinking coffee and reading the obits. I had picked out the ones I was going to blog about and then I read the travel section of the local paper. I normally read the Chronicle and my beloved reads the local paper. Today she was reading and asked me where Bhutan was. Truthfully I was not sure, I thought somewhere in Asia, but was not certain. For those of you interested, it is north of India and south of Tibet. She thought it was someplace I would like to visit and she was right. After reading the article I definately want to go and my beloved said she would like to go with me. So, don't be surprised if you get a postcard from Bhutan. Well, the postcard would BE from Bhutan, but it would probably be written on the plane home and mailed from our local post office.

But the article that that went along with the travel article was by a man named Randy McMullen who went on the trip with the travel writer and his partner. Randy lost his wife Marilyn suddenly three years ago. They had always wanted to go to Bhutan, but had never made it and when his friends decided to go on this trip, he felt the time was right to take the journey. He speaks of the prayer flags that fly all over the place - you take a flag or banner and write a message or prayer or maybe just a name on it and place it in an spot where the wind catches it and sends a prayer up to the deities or the person they are directed at. He found the right spot for his flag with the help of a young monk who knew where the wind would blow and carry the prayer to the right place.

Three years ago when I went to Thailand, I had a similar experience. Passing thru wat after wat, seeing how beautiful each one was, being confused at which ones we had seen that day, thinking things could not get better. We were taken to Wat Phra That Lampang Luang


where you could write a prayer or a name on a big yellow banner that would be wrapped around the stupa and whispered to Buddha. It gave me great comfort to write Jolie's name on that banner and believe her name was whispered. This past week, was the fifth anniversary of her death and it still gives me comfort to know her name is being whispered to Buddha.

I am sure that Randy's prayer reached the right place.

Glass, glass and more glass

I love glass. I do not hide it. I like looking at it. I like touching it. I like making things with it, I like blowing, fusing and slumping it. So yesterday, my beloved, the door dyke and her beloved went to the De Young in Golden Gate Park. I was thrilled from the moment I first saw the new building, we had not been since the museum re-opened. The building is great, if you go don't miss the tower. The view is fantastic!



Anyway, they are having show of work by Dale Chihuly. A big part of his glass life has been spent at RISD, in Providence, Rhode Island. Small world. I can remember going to RISD on a school trip and seeing the big furnaces that contained molten glass. As the old saying goes, if I knew then what I knew now...Oh well.



The show is small, that does not mean there are not lots of pieces, there are hundreds. All shapes, sizes and colors, all just amazing! I think my favorite were the cylinders. Trying to figure out how they are made was fun and finding out that I was pretty much right was even more fun.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Last Blog

Forgive me blog-gods it has been two weeks since my last blog entry. I will make one every day for a week to atone for this sin. I just looked at my blog and realized it has been two weeks since I last wrote. I guess I got a little blog-blocked after being vitually smacked about my obit blogging. Well, I don't want to be one of those people that blogs on such an irregular basis, so here goes.



Last night my beloved and I went to see The Police and Elivs Costello. My beloved not being a big fan of The Police did quite well and we had a lovely time. Except for those baby boomers that don't understand they are well into their fifties now - not as young as they were the last time they saw Sting, Stuart and Andy - as blogged about by St. Scobie.



But that was not my point. I must get back to my roots and that means talking about 580 and my daily commute. So, I went a different way last night so that I could pick up my beloved in Walnut Creek. After picking her up the traffic report came on and they reported on a spill of plastic bottles and chairs from the back of a truck onto 580 East. She turned to me and said, "gee, right up your blog ally" and for a moment I was sad that I had missed it.

So, I will try to get back to my roots and look for more crap on 580.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

That smell

Last night while sitting in our house with the doors open my beloved and I looked at each other and said - do you smell that?

Smoke! The wind was blowing quite strongly and when standing outside I could tell the smell was coming from the north east. Shortly after we heard sirens.

We could only hope that it was only grass and trees that were burning.

Busted by the Obits

The internet is truely a crazy thing. One of the things I like about blogging is that except for the friends and family that know who "this" blogger is I am pretty much anonymous. It seems that shortly after someone dies someone sits down and google's the dead persons name and if I have blogged about them, my blog pops up front and center. If I have written something nice they don't seem to comment. If I say something they don't like, they let me know. I never willingly write to hurt, I just comment on what I read.

Having lost someone lately I do know for a fact that a funeral home has a big sheet you can fill out that helps you or them write the obit that gives as much or as little info as you want. So, perhaps to save the feelings of those left behind I'll stop using names in my Sunday Rituals, because I don't think the newly departed really care what I think, but they just might care what those they left behind feel.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth?

Yesterday I was leaving work and I was in my car with the windows down and stopped at the driveway of the parking lot. A car was coming down the road and I was waiting for it to get by me so I would not cut out in front of it. Well the car came towards me and then pulled into the parking lot - no blinker! A pet peeve of mine. So I looked at the driver and said "nice blinker"

She looked like a cartoon character - jawbone on, blond hair blowing in the wind, she turned and screamed at me "SHUT THE FUCK UP". I laughed and continued on my way. I thought about it for a while, how angry do you have to be at life in general to scream at a stranger like that?

Today I looked out a window at my office and there is her car. I am contemplating walking over to see if I can see where she works or maybe leaving her a note asking if she kisses her mother with that mouth.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Art

I got a wonderful birthday present - thanks beloved. It is a print called Adagio by Mackenzie Thorpe. It just called my name at the Studio 7, the gallery in our little town. His art makes me sad and happy at the same time. I wonder if the little person pulling this heart and trying to hold onto a love, trying not to let its own heart slip away or something totally different that I don't see. But here it is:




Sunday Ritual

I am sitting here drinking my coffee and reading the Sunday obits. It occurs to while reading that some people just have a full life. Some peoples obits are really long, they had so much going on in their lives. These are the kind I like to read. I don't really care about the contents so much, I like the fact that they had a life. Then there are the ones that are so short I wonder did they have no life?

For instance, Eva Borak (who I knew a million years ago) she spent nearly 50 years working at the same place (where I knew her from) - one might think there might be a short story here, but she has a long one.

There is Gisela Bigden-Fisher - she had a Life (yes, with a capital L) - full of danger and it seems the love of many.

There is Dario Genesio Carraro - the man had six children, 17 grandchildren and 28 great and great great grandchildren, yet that was all they could say about him. This I find sad.

Then the saddest (for me) this week. Michael, Matthew and Tony Bologna. I never met them, but I can't help but feel saddness at their lives being cut so short by some fucking asshole with a gun. Thanks Supreme Court, now maybe we can have more of these senseless killings.

Thanks again


Well it has been a little over a year since M's Birthday In Paris was a real event. I want to thank everyone who went to Paris to celebrate M's big birthday. I want to thank my beloved who made it all possible. Just thinking about it gives me a feeling of great joy.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Don't Let Them Bite

Do you remember the little saying your mom would say when you went to bed at night. I remember her tucking me in, kissing me on the head and saying "goodnight, don't let the bed bugs bite". I don't recall thinking that she was speaking literally. Not many things gross me out, but this just make me go ewwww! From now on when I travel you can bet that I'll be slapping mattresses and checking crevices, at least when I stay at high end places.

So when you are tucking your little bundles of joy into bed, come up with something else to send them off to sleep.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Smoke and Mirrors

I walked out my front door this morning into what looked like the start of a beautiful summer day. The sprinklers were on, there was a slight breeze and the sun was trying to break thru. Then I smelled it - smoke. While the fires that are burning throughout the state are nowhere near us, the smoke is reaching us on the wind. I started thinking that feeling safe is just an illusion. We are surrounded by hills, dry and crispy. We keep building on them and I guess hoping for the best. I look at homes up in the hills and think they are beautiful, but what would it take to just wipe them out. Fire moves fast and does not care if your home is a double wide or a multi million dollar castle, it burns you down if you are in the way.

Smoke and Mirrors

Monday, June 23, 2008

580 Brightens my day

Today I actually smiled on 580. The goats are back. A few hundred of them on the hills near the Oakland Zoo. I love them - at least from my car driving by - up close and personal I am not sure how cute hundreds of goats are.

In case you want your own goats to graze, check out Goats-R_Us, no really that is their name. The specially breed goats to wander up and down the hills of Northern California and when they retire they get to hang out locally.

The cost is about $700 per acre, which includes the shepards salary. I never really thought about it, but I guess they need someone to keep them in line. I wonder how much being a shepard pays? I am assuming it is a seasonal job. Hmm.... I have been looking for something new to do. Maybe I could take the goat hair and spin it into thread and weave during the winter months....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Ritual

Sometimes my Sunday ritual just hits closer to home than other times.

http://www.legacy.com/SFGate/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=112004517

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The passing of a gentleman

Howard was a friend I met thru another friend, Michael. Howard was for all intents a purposes Michaels father, so when the call came that he was at the hospital, we got in the car and went to give support for a night that would be long and hard.

Howard was a gentleman, he always had something nice to say to you. That does not mean he could not be snippy and catty, cause he could. That was part of his charm.

Howard was always happy to see me, he always made me feel good about the way I looked, even on a bad day he could make me feel special. I might only see him three times a year, maybe only at special occassions, but it was always made me smile to see him.

Rest in peace Howard.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mercedes = Money?

Today my beloved and I were having falafal wrap here in our little town. Parked outside was a brand new Mercedes CL550, I know it was new because it still had those carboard dealer plates on it. It was a lovely car and as I watched a young man went outside and opened the trunk. He moved a couple of things around and pulled something out of a bag as he turned I realized he had just pulled a big stack of money out of the trunk.

Damn, if I had known that Mercedes puts money in the trunks of new cars I would have bought one.

I guess the falafal biz is better than I thought.

Silence is Golden

Everyone that knows me knows I look at real estate. It is a genetic thing I think. I check out craigslist on a regular basis looking for real estate in Paris. You just never know when that lottery number is going to hit.

Anyway, I found this cute cozy 2 bedroom/2 bath in a very nice area. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that the apartment looks out over a silent street.

The sound of this or the lack of sound of it disturbs me, a silent street just sounds so, well quiet. I picture people walking along with no voices, no sound as their feet hit the pavement, no car horns, no early morning markets. A Twilight Zone Episode if I every heard one.

So, since the lotto ticket has not hit yet, I guess I have to pass this one up.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Somethings

Somethings just scream out to be blogged about and this is one of them. Fred Baur designed the Pringles can and some of his cremated remains were put into one and buried along with the rest of him that was placed in a urn.

I have thought about what to do with my mortal remains after I am gone. I do want to be cremated and I do want somebody to take me to Paris and wander the streets while dribbling me as they go. Who this might be will depend on timing.

I remember a conversation with my friend Mark a hundred years ago. Mark was in the hospital dying and we were talking about ways to remember people after they die. I said I think that we should take a snow globe and put a picture of the persons favorite place in the world and a little bit of their ashes in there. You could pass them out at the memorial service to friends and family, they in turn could put them up on the mantel or wherever you put that stuff and every time you walked by you could shake it up and think about your loved one in their favorite place in the world. We both thought this was a great idea and laughed. Then Mark died and his memorial was at the Columbarium in San Francisco. I think some of the people walking in thought I was out of my mind when I stood looking at the building and laughed until tears ran down my face. If they could only read my mind looking at that building - it is shaped like a big snow globe - sometimes things just work.

Bumper Stickers

Today in Sacramento I saw a bumber sticker that said

Earth First - We will destroy the other planets in due time.

How appropriate since we have polluted Mars with a rover that is digging into the planet. Searching for signs of life so that we can go there and mess that up too?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

GRRRR.............

I don't usually post about work because a couple of you work with me. Just let me say, I am NOT talking about you. I can't stand it when people are not prepared. Sign up for a webinar a month ago - HOW ABOUT MAKING SURE YOU HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION PRIOR TO TEN MINUTES BEFORE IT STARTS!!!

You need a projector? You need a laptop? You need your fucking sign in information? Instructions? A link to the damn thing?

OH, I don't need any of that, my IT people will take care of all that. I have a message for you: NOT IF WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT?

Then you have the nerve to be all pissy about it when it is not ready.

OK, rant over. I do feel a little better.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Please let us in

OK, I can understand how disconcerting having four US warships off your coast must be. I guess it could cause you to think invasion. But really, Myanmar (or government of Myanmar, I know you read my blog) we are not interest in your oil. You don't have enough to make it worth our while to take advantage of the situation in your country to invade. And if you think about it, we can't afford to invade your country, you might be able to come here and invade us with better results right now. You have nearly 80,000 people dead and another 60,000 missing, let us deliver supplies, I promise we will go away.

There is a little known government agency that coordinates the movement of things like 4 warships with supplies for an emergency. It is called the Military Sealift Command and I worked there after school, they were my very first job. I did not last long, but they are still going strong.

So come on Than Shwe, let us drop off whatever we have on those ships. And while you are in a good mood change the name of the country back to Burma.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Jackson Five

OK kids, put on your thinking caps and pay attention to this story.

Today Jermaine Jackson was granted a divorce from his wife. This started me thinking, I know that Jermaine was married to the ex-wife of his brother Randy, now will she marry Tito or maybe even Michael. Or now that I think of it since last Thursday's ruling maybe Janet or LaToya. I just had to research a little more into this strange family and in my usual non judgemental style, I am not making any judgements here, just observations.

I found out that Randy was married to the first Mrs. Jackson when the soon to be second Mrs. Jackson had a baby at about the same time as the 1st Mrs. Jackson. Now the good thing was both babies had the same daddy.

So the 2nd Mrs. Jackson then divorces Randy and becomes impregnated by his brother Jermaine and she then become the 3rd Mrs. Jackson for Jermaine. Well, actually would she be considered the 2nd Mrs. Jermaine, since the second marriage for Jermaine was a common law one. Hmmm...

Of course my in depth research led me to the names of the Jackson children.

For Jermaine with all the various Mrs.'s there is: Jermaine, Jr., Autumn, Jeremy, Jaimy, Jourdyn, Jaffar and Jermajesty. Yes, Jermajesty? Then there is Dawn, whose mother is unknown. What a little basket showed up on the doorstep with a note "I belong to Jermaine"?

For Tito only 1 ex missus:

Toriano Adaryll, Taryll Arden and Tito Joseph

For Randy:

Steveanna born the same year as her half sister Genevieve

Just as a side note: Randy escaped death twice and saved sister Latoya from her abusive husband. Then spent time in the pokey for spousal abuse.

Then there is Michael:

Paris Kathrine, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II

No wonder Latoya and Janet have not popped any out, who can compete with these names.

Bumper Sticker

On the way home yesterday I saw a bumper sticker that said:

I READ YOUR EMAIL

I thought how funny. But then part of my job is being an email administrator. In my shop this means I CAN read your email.

XXX-XXXXXX is always saying "don't put that in email" I just thought she was being a little paranoid. But now this was reported once again in the news this morning.

While I like to think that I never abuse my power and use it only for good, I know that is not behind the governments desire to get at our email, phone calls and internet searches. So the moral of this story kids? Never put anything in an email or phone call that you wouldn't want a stranger reading - it can all come back to haunt you. Think twice - speak once.

580 again

OK, yesterday on the way to work spread across four lanes of traffice were baby diapers! When I first came towards them, they looked like styrofoam being batted around by the cars. Then as I got closer and realized what they were. My first thought was "I hope they are clean". My second thought was "how sad, baby's with no diapers".

Sunday, May 18, 2008

580 again

Travelling to work last Thursday just as I rounded the corner heading to Castro Valley traffic came to a standstill. As we crept forward the cars in the two left lanes started to merge into the right lanes. I thought "oh dear an accident". I could see the CHP up ahead. When I finally got the area of trouble I found no crushed cars or broken people. If found the left two lanes of the highway littered with crushed cans and broken bottles. Like someones recycling had flown out of the back of their truck and landed on the highway and been run over by countless cars. The lone CHP officer had his car blocking two lanes of traffic and was scooping up debris with a shovel.

Next came the dead deer. Ugh! Poor thing. You would think there would be a universal deer code spoken or a sign left for them near highways. Don't cross here - those big things will kill you. Always so sad.

Then next was a broken and crushed walker up against the jersey barrier. I wondered how did the owner of said walker walk to where they needed to get to after they arrived at their destination?

It was a busy dirty day on 580.

Sunday Morning Ritual

Otherwise known as reading the obits. Somedays you feel like you just don't fit in anywhere. Imagine the life of Vera Wong, her picture shows a lovely woman born and raised in Shanghai, China and met her husband during WWII. After they married they relocated to Fargo, ND. Can you even imagine it, a young Chinese woman relocating to Fargo, ND in 1946?

Joseph Walter Castillo, a native San Franciscan rode his bike to work. It says he was an avid recycler and general packrat. I picture piles of newspapers piled up and little paths through his house, just enough to get his bike in and out. This does not sound like a good thing to me. Sorry Walt, but...

Then there was Mark Adams another native San Franciscan, he was a member of the Post Card Club. Who knew there was such a thing?

With the demise of Mark and Walt, how many native San Franciscan's can be left? Everyone you meet is from somewhere else.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wish I had my camera

OK, this was one of those crazy moments when you scream outloud - WHERE IS MY CAMERA.

We were on our way to the airport to come back to California. We were on route 40 West and it is a little two lane highway. It is about a three hour drive from the Raliegh/Durham airport from the beaches of North Carolina.

Anyway, we go to pass a truck that is carrying a wide load - half of a double wide trailer. We get up next to it and it looks like they have actually taken a chain saw and cut the thing length wise right down the middle to transport it. The best part? Why did I scream for my camera?

They had not removed any furniture! There was the couch in the living room, the dining table and chairs in the dining area. I wondered if all the dishes were still in the cabinets? Was there food in the fridge? Do you even have to remove your underwear from the underwear drawer?

Crazy!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

And baby makes 20!

I blogged about this family last year and I read about them again today and thought the same things.  WTF?  On August 2nd of last year Michelle Duggar gave birth to her 17th child.  She and her husband have just announced that they are expecting cute little bundle of joy number 18 sometime around January.  They say they will keep having puppies, I mean babies, as long as God wills it.

I just do not get it.  How do they afford it?  How do they remember all those names?  How do you make each and every one of them feel special?  How do you remember what their favorite color is or what they like to eat?  How do you feed them all?

We are currently visiting the Mommy Dearest and the Colonel & Co. in North Carolina.  We went to a carnival last night and I was struck by how many young and I mean YOUNG people were walking around with not only one baby, but some had multiple children.  Yes, I may be getting older and everyone seems young, but some of these were really young.  I wonder how they do it?  Why they do it?  I know that a young Marine does not make enough money to support a family that include 3 or 4 young little kids.  Do they plan to have so many children or is it just what happens if you don't know any better or do you believe as the Duggar's that you should keep having them as long as God gives them to you.  

Seems the search for God, the lack of God, questions of God or just God in general has been the topic of a few of my posts lately.  I guess a lot of it goes to what I search for in a god.  Guess I just have to keep looking for the one that tells me what I want to hear.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Wedding Day

Well, yesterday one of my favorite little girls in the whole world got married. She is the daughter of a friend, the niece of my oldest friend, the smartest person I have ever met! We could not make it to the wedding and I regret that, but our hearts were there. Katie, Katie, Katie, now a married lady. We call her a brainiac - she actually studies the brain. I am thinking of giving her mine as a wedding present - could be kind of fun in the right container. No??

I remember when her mother was pregnate with her. I remember looking at her as a baby and thinking how beautiful she was. She was a cute toddler. Then I moved away and did not see her again for a long time. When I did see her again she was all grown up, had graduated from college and was off to get her master's in something I did not understand.

When we met up again it was not under the best of times, my friend, her aunt was dying and I was amazed at this young woman. She was a protector of her two younger cousins, she seemed to try and shelter them as much as possible. It was both heart breaking and breath taking to watch. At this time she also became the babysitter for my brother's kids and it gave me great joy to see that our two family's would be connected for a bit more time.

When you move across the country there are many things you miss in person. Weddings, births, celebrations, funerals, but if people are truly a part of your heart you don't need to be there in person to be there.

Katie & Doug I hope you know we were with you yesterday.

Oh and that wedding present, look for it in the mail.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

Today is Beltane in Scotland, the celebration of the first day of summer. Yes, at one time the first day of summer was May 1st. It is International Workers Day, which began in the 1880's to celebrate the eight hour work day. It is also May Day - you know Maypole, May baskets or Lie Day in Hawaii.

At our house growing up it was Michael's birthday. Today it is a day that those of us that remember him, stop for a minute and wonder what could have been if things had been different.

Friday, April 25, 2008

580 Again

Driving 580 every day is such a crazy experience. I am always amazed at the craziest drivers of all - and those would be the soccer mom in the mini van or giant SUV. They are mulit tasking maniacs. Riding up on my ass with a car load full of kids, yaking on the phone, waving to me as she finally passes me at more than 80 miles an hour. I always wonder where do they have to be that they have to get there so fast? Can't they just try to leave a little earlier or maybe get there a little later.

All these thoughts were brought to a head on Wednesday on the way home from work. Big traffic jam, lots of police cars, multiple ambulances and fire trucks and traffice stopped. As we inched forward you always wonder what happened. When I finally got up next to the accident site it was a big mini van on its side and all crunched up. People being loaded into the ambulances others standing around looking dazed.

My first thought was don't let it be a soccer mom with that van loaded with kids.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trolling

I go back and forth between the terms blog browsing, blog trolling, blog stalking, blog gazing. I have written in the past about when you blog browse, you know just click the next blog button at the top of this page, you would hit a porn page within ten clicks. Well that seems to have changed. Now blog trolling seems to bring you to a born again Christian page within ten clicks. I find this quite a change. As you also know about me, I find peoples faith interesting. Why they have it. How they keep it. If they lose it where does it go and how do you find it? Hmm.. Well in my trolling yesterday I came across a site from a family. Mom, Dad and five grown kids, every one had their own page on the site. They all dedicate their lives to Christ and he is number one in their life. The parents page was what got me to write about them. They have been married for 25 years and had this quote on their page:

“I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them.” (Jer 32:39).

Can someone explain this to me? My take is that there is only one way, it is my way and I am going to scare the crap out of you, your kids, their kids forever, for your own good.

Not sure if the God saying this is the God I want to know. I want someone a little friendlier.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hmm....

Travel Chick just loves Jon Stewart - she can get his show on the internet - she has no TV in Paris. I know some of you are shaking your heads and wondering how can that be. Well it is true. Barrack Obama was on Jon Stewart last night (which reminded me of Travel Chick - follow the bouncing ball). Jon asked him if it was true, that if he was elected he would follow thru on his secret plan to enslave the white race.

Jon Stewart could barely get thru the question and I thought Obama was going to swallow his tongue, he was laughing so hard. He denied that he had a secret plan.

This lead me to thinking - how many people think that. I know for a fact that some people (who shall remain nameless) think that if he is elected we will immediately be plunged into a muslim terrorist nation. Everyone wearing a turban and strapping bombs to our waists and blowing up ??? I am not sure who our enimies would be under this scenario, but these unamed persons really believe this.

Of course they also believe that if Hillary wins, we will all be living under communisim. Well, you now with that healthcare for everyone thing - big ole commie Hillary - will have us living under the red flag in a heartbeat.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Questions of faith

The quest to find faith seems to be everywhere. You see it in bookstores, movies on TV. Just about everywhere there is someone telling you how to find it, how to keep it, how to let it into your life.

I found this blog in my blog browsing one day last week. I thought for a long time about whether to post about it or not. This blog is not about a quest to find faith, in this life it has been found and is without question.

It all makes me question even more. I am not sure I would have this courage, the courage to still believe in my god after he/she has given me this test. I am always amazed when I come across someone that has this type of faith and wonder how they just let go and let god, as the saying goes.

I will warn you that this blog made me cry, made me cring, made me wonder.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bumper Stickers

You see them every day, on all types of cars, bumper stickers. I often wonder what it is that makes a person put a bumper sticker on their car especially those that move them from their bumpers to the painted parts of their cars. But I like looking at them so I thought I would share them once in a while. The hard part is remembering them, you can't stop and write it down, I'm thinking of calling myself and leaving a message or maybe I'll just call those nice people at on-star tell them and ask them to e-mail it to me.

There is one I see at least twice a day - one each way to and from work. It is:

"Jesus is Lord" All Saints Baptist Church

In the parking lot at work this one is very popular:

The Labor Movement. You know the people that brought you the weekend.

Today I saw:

Jesus says love your neighbor. I'm pretty sure that means don't kill them.

So, I'll keep my eyes open and try to remember them cause some of them are really inspiring and reflective.

Somedays the world of blog calls to me

On the Today show yesterday was a story about a woman, married to a much, much older much much richer man. It seems said rich old man no longer wants to be married to this woman. Well she decided to jump onto the youtube bandwidth and hire a film crew to air her concerns. This in itself did not seem strange, however on the msnbc.com link that linked you to the story the add that they force you to watch before the video runs was for perfectmatch.com - a dating service. Crazy?

They are back!

The goats! Back on the hills of Oakland. I think I might just bring my camera to work on Monday, maybe leave a little early and stop and take some pictures. Probably won't happen, I am sure they will have moved on to hills in other places by then.

Oh well, the momentary happiness they bring me will have to be enough.

April 18th

On the 18th of April in 75....

Yes, Paul Revere rode today warning the people of the coming British in 1775. This little poem always reminded me of the coming of someone else.

In 1926 Edward Lee Fuquea was born someplace in Ohio. The youngest son, the baby, the one that went away.

My father was raised in the back woods of Georgia and he finally returned there many years ago. I think he was happy there, don't really know, never asked. Long story that most of you know. Now he is in a nursing home there where he turns 82 today, hope someone visits.

That's it.

How do they do that?

I have been watching the goings on in Texas with great interest. While on the surface I really don't have a problem with polygamy, I have a problem with the forced marriage of young girls. I mean if someone wants more than one wife (why does it not work backwards) let them. Me, not going to happen, I don't share well. Anyway, I won't talk about the children here except to say they need to be protected, whether that is from the people they live with or the people they don't live with.

My question is "what is up with that hair"? I kind of understand the idea that you never cut your hair, some kind of modesty (again just on the women's part) that keeps you covered even if you have nothing on. I just have to ask how do they get that sweeping roll on the front of their heads??? They all seem to have it, it just kind of swoops up over their foreheads and then back into some kind of braid. I have always blamed myself for the hole in the ozone. Remember the 80's hair??? Well I don't think I carry that burden all by myself anymore since it seems that Auqa net 10 - heavy duty hold - never move your hair again - hairspray must be alive and well in San Angelo, Texas.

Another thing that I wonder about is how the women keep that same sweet even keeled tone in their voice while they are talking, no matter what they are saying. I don't have one, but I tend to think that if someone (anyone) took my child, I might just raise my voice.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Travel Chick News

Got an e-mail today from Travel Chick and she is moving back to California! She will be leaving Paris in August to return to Marin and be closer to her daughter. She will be making Sausilito her base of travel now and I guess this means I can no longer say: My friend Beatrice (her Parisian name) that lives in Paris.

Will I be sad that she is no longer in Paris? Oh yeah!

But I think I will be happier that she is closer.

Maison bienvenue, mon ami!

Birthday

Today is April 11th and it is my friend Jolie's 51st birthday or it would have been if she had not died almost 5 years ago. We held hands the first time when we were five and we held hands for the last time when we were 46. Lots of life had happened in those intervening 40 plus years. So much time and yet some days it feels like I am that little girl still. Sometimes I was a good friend and sometimes I was not, but I can't change any of that now.

My last visit found Jolie very sick and wishing I could do something more than love her.

Today I will have flowers delivered to her grave and wish for more.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Funny? Not funny?

OK, before anyone points this out, I know from personal experience that cancer is NOT funny. But, it does have its funny moments. This morning while watching the news there was a commercial for a fund raiser for testicular cancer. It is a golf tournament called "Have a Ball". Come on, think about it. It is funny.

While looking this up I found a couple fund raisers for testicular cancer that use the "Have a Ball" name. The NY METs (booo) had a Have a Ball night to raise awareness - RAISE awareness!!! It just does not stop.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Torch Trail

In 1984 I experienced a fantastic once in a lifetime thrill. The Olympics were being held in Los Angeles and the torch actually ran across the country. It ran 24 hours a day and was running thru my neighborhood during the night. I don't remember the exact time, but it was very dark and cold, but their were lots of people lining the streets and cheering as the torch bearer ran by holding the torch high and proud.

Now I can't understand why the Olympic committee even considered granting China the right to hold the 2008 summer Olympics. I can't understand why we as a country are going to the Olympics this year. We are fighting a war on the one hand to bring democracy to Iraq? And yet we are going to an Olympics is a country that is one the worst violators of human rights in the world? A country that actually has a plan to wipe out the Tibetan race by breeding them out of existence?

I feel very sad that the torch run is so controversal. Seeing that torch run by during the cold night so many years ago is a memory I cherish and I am sorry that more people will never have a memory like that.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Clean out your ears

The TV is on and I swear I just heard "naked as a circus performer". What circus is that and do I really want to see naked cirus performers? Let's really think about this, naked on the high wire, naked on wheel of death, naked in the tiger cage. None of which I would really want ot see. Hmm, what was that commercial really about?

Naked in a tiger cage
Naked at minimum wage
Naked with an acrobat
Naked would show all my fat

Naked at the circus? Not me!
Not in a seat
Not with a beat
Not even just my feet!

OK, Dr. Seuss has nothing to worry about, but that was fun.

Another reason to move to Paris

I get a daily news letter from an ex-pat that has lived in Paris for quite a long time. She gives some helpful tips on surviving in the City of Lights. Today's newletter was about healthcare, I thought a couple of things while reading it - why didn't I know this before and how come we don't have this in the good ole USA? Here is what she says:

My daughter woke up Sunday morning with chills, fever, sore throat, a congested and runny nose and every symptom classic of "La Rhume." A search on the Net said that there are close to 200 types of virus that can cause it, usually lasting four or five days. Ugh...for a 22-year-old not used to sitting still for more than 15 minutes.

Thank goodness, in France, the doctor is always "in" -- at least, when you call "SOS Medicins."

SOS Medicins is a nationwide "house-call" service founded in 1966 by a doctor named Lascar who had a patient die of a heart attack because he couldn't find a doctor on a Saturday afternoon.

The way it works is simple. If you're in Paris, you dial either 01.47.07.77.77 or 08.20.33.24.24 and provide them with your address. Within one hour (usually about 30 minutes), a doctor knocks on your door. He's carrying a bag of goodies, just like doctors used to carry (am I revealing my age?) and he/she does what doctors do...examine you. Then the doc on house call prescribes -- medicine or ambulance or whatever is necessary.

He also filled out a "feuille de soin" (a form attesting to the visit) that allows the visit to be fully reimbursable by social security or private medical insurance. Before the doc leaves, you pay by check or cash -- usually a very reasonable fee. Yesterday's visit was the most I'd ever paid -- 70 'whopping' euros. The whole process took a total of one hour and we were left with a prescription for four drugs and instructions to keep 'miss antsy pants' in bed for three days.

Just to make you really jealous, private health care insurance for those without the French Social Security is so inexpensive it's going to shock you. The annual premium of the "Jefferson Health Care Plan" private insurance offered by "Adinas" insurance brokers for those my age (50 to 64) is the 'break-the-bank' sum of 1,692€ (141€ per month). Add dental coverage and it's a 'painful' 393€ more. Believe it or not, the policy reimburses 100% of billings up to 100% of the French Social Security tariffs, plus 80% of billings up to three times the cost of the French Social Security tariffs (20% co-insurance), plus 40% reimbursement of billings between up to six times the cost of the French Social Security tariffs (60% co-insurance). Uh oh. There's no reimbursement of billings above six times the cost of the French Social Security tariff! (Adinas Insurance, email advantage@adinas.net, 17 rue de Chateaudun, 75009 Paris, Tel: 01.44.63.53.82)


I trekked down to boulevard de S├ębastopol and within a few moments, the four items of medication were in a bag (paracetamol, antibiotics for 10 days, cough syrup and a prednisone), the pharmacist was explaining how to take the drugs and all for a total charge of 20€!
Okay, guess how much the same drugs would have been in the U.S.? My guess -- maybe more than 10 times that!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Still casted

Well I am still in a cast. Eight weeks and I am still not healed. According to my research (yes, the internet) most fractures (95-98%) heal in four to twelve weeks. Those that do not heal are known as nonunion fractures. If a fracture becomes nonunion intervention (surgery) is required. Geez, how come I can't just have some kind of election to become nonunion? So I go back to the doctor in 4 weeks to get x-rays to see if I have unionized yet. OK, that is an inside joke, I do work at a union law firm you know.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Who in their right mind?

Barbara Walters is doing a special tonight - Living to be 150! Who in their right mind would want to live to 150? One guy says life doesn't start until 80. For Peet's sake, I rather be run over by a Lark!

Three Sisters, Two Casts - So Far

Got a call from Mommy Dearest yesterday. You know how you can just tell something is wrong by the sound of a voice? So, I could tell something was wrong. It seems that RI sister was painting the ceiling of her kitchen and fell off the ladder. She seems to have broken her left tibia in two places and may have broken her knee cap. She is currently in a temporary restraining cast, that goes from hip to ankle with steel rods keeping her leg from bending and waiting to see the surgeon tomorrow.

So I called RI sister and she is hopped up on goof balls - she got some good drugs!

Then I called XXX-XXXXXX telling her to avoid ladders and bridges in Paris, in fact don't do anything. Sit in a chair away from windows and electrical outlets, since things like this seem to happen in threes.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Kingdom for a PEEP

Until today peeps were only good for putting them in the microwave and watching them mutate into big blobs of yellow (for traditionalists) marshmallow. And then I found this:

Oh my god! Have to start thinking right now for next year!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Memories

RI sister responded to my last post, sharing her memories of that X-files moment:

What a memory that brought back....wasn't that fun!!!! His name was Ralph Watkins. I remember his last name because, Grandma used to call Dad and say it was "Mama Watkins".....lol.....I think he married her only because he had electricty and a TV.....Remember we went up there to get the beagle puppies for David and Cece and one of them kept getting car sick and threw up all over me. Oh the memories........

Another thing I remember about this man was finding out he died. A few years after this eventful trip, we received a letter from Mama Watkins at Christmas time. My father read it outloud to us. It said something like:

Well, I hope this letter finds you all healthy and happy at Christmas. - then it went on for a few pages about family and just plain old life. The last line was: OH and by the way Ralph died last month!

I hear Johnny Mathis in the background (another reference to the X-files Peacock episode)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

WTF???

You just have to ask yourself - WTF?

Who in their right mind would keep this around? I would really be suspect of the family that took the pictures next to their own kid.

Although it does remind me of a story (but then what doesn't?). When I was about 12 my sister and I went to Georgia to visit my father's family. We met our grandmother for the first time and she was on the prowl for husband number 4. I think his name was Roy? Anyway, at his house, some crazy farm house in the backwoods, picture the house from The Peacock episode of X-Files. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but no electricity, no indoor plumbing, spooky. Roy was also in search of a new spouse, number 5 for him. And we kind of met the previous 4 Mrs. Roys, because he had pictures of them IN THEIR COFFINS lining the staircase. Lovely!