Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The background distraction

I got home from work last night and turned on the TV to watch President Obama.  I was really trying to pay attention to what he was saying, but I was so distracted by Nancy Pelosi that it was very difficult.  There she was sitting in her place of honor right behind the Prez and she just could not sit still.  If she was not pushing some stray hair off her face, she was chewing on her lip or adjusting her smile or scratching her face with her perfectly manicured hand or pushing herself up in her chair from her slouching position or blinking.  She blinks alot.

I stared wondering what the hell was going on.  Is her botox wearing off?  Is her face melting?  Did she have her hair trimmed right before air time and little pieces are on her face?  Did she have to pee?

Geez Nancy since you seem to have time in your busy day to be perfectly coiffed, take a little time to take some lessons is sitting still for a couple of minutes.  Yoga might help.  Just a thought.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Ritual

This weeks obits were full of some interesting lives.  What struck me this week was the number of WWII vets in the obits.  Today out of 43 obits 7 of them were of WWII vets.  I realize that it has been 60+ years since the end of that war and that the number of WWII vets in the obits will dwindle until there are none left.  That saddens me, once they are gone who will be their witness?

The witness word comes from a movie we watched last night called "Taking Chance".  It is the true story of a Marine Corps Lt. Colonel, who is at the end of his career and knows it.  He reads the rolls of the dead in the current war every night, thinking that maybe if he was there this Marine may still be alive.  One night he reads the name of a young Marine from his home town and volunteers to be his escort home.  He "meets" his Marine at the morgue in Virginia and takes him home.  He makes sure he is treated with respect at each juncture of the final trip home for this young Marine.  He double checks each time he is moved from a plane, into a hanger, sleeping next to him in the cargo hold rather than leave him alone.  He arrives at the final stop and that evening at the local VFW hall there is a gathering honoring Chance Phelps, PFC USMC.  His escort is left at the end of the night standing in the parking lot with a Korean war vet watching all Chance's friends drive away.  The Lt. Colonel voices his own demons choosing his cubical job over going to Iraq, he questions his decision to spend more time with his family, what kind of Marine is that, he is a warrior, his whole life has been worthless.  The Korean vet turns to him and lashes out, what do you mean that the choices you made were wrong?  You brought this young man home, you are his witness.  He will truely never be gone until you are gone, that is not worthless.

I guess that I hope we are all witnesses for someone, just sit a moment and remember someone, be their witness.  Hmm.. maybe this is why I read the obits to be a witness to a life?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Morning Ritual

Today's ritual is a little different than most Sunday's.  Rather than picking two or three out of 40 or so Sunday obits I am thinking about 14,000 people that went into a place called S-21 and never came back out, never had anyone write an obit for them, say nice things, talk about their lives, list the people that were going to miss them.  

In October of 2005 I met up with Travel Chick and we went to Cambodia, we spent four days exploring Ankor Wat fulfilling a dream of mine.  Then we went to Phenom Phen.  I had planned the trip so that we would explore the city for two days and on the third day, I would leave and Travel Chick would see the Killing Fields and visit S-21.    

I know that some things are very important and we all need to see them and do our best to help them not happen again.  But, I can be quite shallow (yeah, I know you are surprised) and have skipped the Anne Frank house everytime I am in Amsterdam, not cause I don't think it is important, but because I am afraid of how I will feel.  So imagine my surprise when our guide in Phenom Phen decided he was going to shake up our plans.  We were going to the Killing Fields and S-21 that afternoon.  His reasoning was that these two places are very important to his country's history and we had to see them, but he did not want our last memories of his country to be these things.  He wanted to show us the worst first and then show us the best.  My mind was screaming nooooooooooooooooo, but I bucked up and went.  I can honestly say now that I am so glad I did and that I won't be skipping Anne's house in the future.

So, off we went to the Killing Fields and S-21.  S-21 was an old school a u-shaped bulding with green and black tile floors (I think) we walked thru the rooms an old iron single bed in each room, no mattesses, just iron frames with chains hooked to the legs, blood stains still on the floor.  It was quiet, so quiet I could hear my own heart beating, my own breath slow and shallow and my thoughts wondering how people can be so awful to each other.  But these little rooms where people were tortured and killed was not the worst.   The room with the tiny little cells where people were chained in little tiny spaces, they could not lie down, they could not stand up, they could not put their legs together, even this was not the worst.  

The worst was the room with the pictures.  The Khumer Rouge was really big on records, they took pictures of every single person that came into S-21 and they were on big boards in a room.  I walked thru and looked at them.  They had no names, they had numbers and they had faces.  The people behind the faces knew, they knew what was going to happen to them.  Some of them looked scared, some of them looked sad and resigned, some dazed.  As I looked from face to face I wondered who they were, what happened to the rest of their families.  Tears started slowly at first, I blinked to keep them from escaping, but they had a mind of their own.  They ran down my face and dripped onto the floor, I cried for all of them and for the millions of other Cambodians that never came home.

Today's Chron had a story about U.N. trials starting this month for the Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia and maybe now they will finally get their obits, I sure hope so.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Crap on 580

So most of the time I blog about the crap I see on 580 every day on my way to work.  Shoes, broken ladders, car bumpers, broken glass among many other things.

Well Friday on my way to work I saw something beautiful!!  Not just a rainbow, but a double rainbow.  Traffic was slow so I could really look at it.  A rainbow is such a beautiful thing, I don't really understand how they work.  Sun, water, light refracting or something.  But no matter how often you see one or two, you are never not amazed.

I drove towards it, it seemed to arch right over the highway.  I was going to pass right under them, I got a little excited as I was driving towards it.  Then I got to it and drove right under it.  Then it was gone.  I did not realize that you only see the rainbow from one side.  I was a little sad to realize that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just another thing to keep up!

I have just created a shutterfly web page.  It is a really easy way to share pictures with family and friends.  Now it is just another thing I will have to try to keep up on.  My blog, my e-mail and now a new photo web site.  What am I thinking?  Who knows how long I'll keep any of them going, but check out the photos, before they disappear! 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How in the world?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I sure am getting alot more junk e-mail these days.  It seems that every "singles" site in the universe (well maybe not the "good bear for you") has gotten my e-mail address.  Most of them are quite funny, not just because I am not single, but for their content.  For instance:

Christian singles - meet other Christians in your area - uh, hello lesbian here.  Not that there are not lesbian Christians, I am sure there are, but I'm not sure this is the target group for this e-mail.

Black singles - meet other black singles in your area - uh, hello you don't get much more WASP than me.

JDate - meet other Jewish singles in your area - see above.

It all makes me wonder, where do they get my address from?  I know a little bit about e-mail and I know that my address that I have had for almost 13 years is out there everywhere.  Sold for pennies to anyone willing to buy it.  I don't want to get rid of this address, I want everyone I have ever known to know they can find me at this address for as long as I am around.  I have resorted to buying a domain name and using that as an e-mail address that I am slowly giving to family and friends, never using it for anything but e-mail with the people I share it with.  I know that to answer these junk e-mails asking them to remove me from the mailing list will just result in more damn mail.  So, I guess I am stuck.

For those of you that know me, that new e-mail address is....

If you know me well enough to know those to things, you can find me there too and maybe you won't get lost among the junk.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


You know what?  When a letter arrives from the IRS I usually get a little scared and take care of what they say.  Did Mr. Daschle just laugh?  Did he do a Leona Hemsley?  Taxes are for little people.  Makes you wonder.  Mr. Daschle did not think to report more than what an awful lot of people make in a year as income?

Oh, and to my friends out there, if you want to provide me with a car and driver I promise to report it as income to Uncle Sam.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I am looking for a couple of small bedside tables and was looking at Craigs list in search of said tables.  Perhaps I am just not up on the latest way to sell furniture.  For example:

I looked at this and I wondered, WTF?  You go thru all the trouble of dragging this dresser down to Crissy Field ?? and take a picture of it to sell it on Craigs list?  I mean how much effort did it take to shelp this down there?  This is San Francisco and I am sure there were probably stairs involved somewhere, then a car, then carry it to the perfect location, take the picture, put it back in the car, drive back to wherever, bring it back up the stairs.  Did they scout the location for the perfect backdrop?  Do they think this makes the dresser look better?  If they don't sell it will they just push it into the bay?  I would assume that if they just put a sign on it right there they could have avoided bringing it back home to put the add on Craigs list and have to deal with people that may be interested but don't want to pay what you want and want you to deliver, because after all, you took it out for a ride to take a picture of it, why not drive it over to my house.  God, I wish I had seen this in person.  If you think this is a one of a kind advertisement, think again:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Almost Puppy

Yesterday my beloved and I went to the Pleasanton Farmers Market with our friend Lil Lola.  And who knew that they sold puppies there?  Actually it was the ASPCA with little dogs that need to be adopted.  I fell in love with a little 3 year old dog that looked like a white Toto that had gotten into my hair gel.  He was sooooooooooooo cute.  Then we turned and spotted Sable.  A 12 week old puppy that just loved Lil Lola, not us.

We did not come home with a puppy, Marska would not be happy, but we came close.

So many puppies out there that need homes, if you don't have a Queen cat that might not like the new addition, go and get one.

Sunday Ritual

Today's blog is about the obits and it was very difficult to come up with a theme to rant or rave about.  My first was how many people have a connection to the east coast, born in Boston or Providence or Fall River.  

Then I hit upon the strange hobbies some of us have, not that they are strange in themselves, but in combination with our other hobbies.  For instance, Les who was an avid duck hunter, yet raised beautiful chrysanthemums.  Or Eleanore who was active in the Norcal Golden Retriever Club and the San Franciso Bonsi Club - how do you keep the little puppies out of the little trees?  

Then I was enamoured of the beautiful names of some of the dead, like:  Souraya - from what I can find is Farsi for Princess.  There was Frances Giovannetti - it just rolls off the tongue and if I knew him I would have called him that every time I spoke to him.

Then I came across one that made me smile and for some reason that is what makes me read the obits every week, looking for that special one.  

Al Shansky - He lived a long life student, Army officer, business owner, pilot, father, soul mate.  And I am sure he will be missed every day by many.  What made me smile at this obit?  The fact that they loved him enough to include a joke he would tell about himself.  He was born in Petaluma* and liked to joke that he was hatched there.  

*Petaluma for those of you that aren't from here, there are lots of chickens in Petaluma.