Friday, November 28, 2008

Hot Pocket!

Today I had my first ever Hot Pocket. It didn't suck, so that's a bright spot. It's not something I'd want to look forward to every day - but it didn't suck. I said that already. And it's funny, that on a day after Thanksgiving, I'd have a freakin' Hot Pocket to begin with. With all this food in the house, we have no food, to like - eat. Sure, there's some leftover pie. And the yummy mini-quiches. And some crabmeat and artichoke parmesean dip. Another yumm-o.

But, I had 3 mini quiches for breakfast. And later a mini cinnamon roll. And then later on a lemon poppy seed muffin. And I wanted something normal for lunch. But I realized the deli meat was dicey, same with the leftover chicken from the great Call of Duty 5 lost weekend. I had made a chicken casserole when our friend Dave (AKA known as "Captain Awesome") stayed over. But, umm, that was *cough* a couple weeks ago. I had planned to make chicken salad with the left over cubed up chicken, but never managed to do it. But the poor cubes still sit in their little plastic storage thingie - sick with the knowledge that they are doomed for the Top Secret penicillin experiments (covertly engineered by Massive Dynamics).

So, I peeked in the freezer. The other day I picked up some frozen/junk food type items. Taquitos. Burritos. French Bread pizzas. Yuk - nothing appealed, but then I found the breakfast Hot Pocket - and well, it didn't suck!

But the funny thing about the little HP. It comes with a special 'sleeve' for crisping. Or browning. Or both. But one must do some folding and tearing with these little 'sleeves'. It's very odd. I'm not a stupid person, but it took me a minute to get it.

It's nuts though, because the Pocket itself, is not that's nearly pointless to take the time to build this sleeve contraption, just so someone can 'eat it on the go'. Eat what? It'd be gone before you start your car, or put on your backpack.

So, after I started eating mine in its little sleeve (I can see why they don't call the sleeves "pockets"), I realized why it had the sleeve.

It's HOT!

I suppose some dumb kid (sorry..but they are dumb sometimes - I have two, I know) burned himself on the pastry, and now they are putting these swell sleeves in the packages. Too bad they don't keep you from burning the inside of your mouth. I guess I'm still a dumb kid too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Love, Like a River.

She wonders:

Why does all the sadness, the frustration,

and the deep longing not seep out of my pores

like water from an overflowing basin?

How can it be that this quiet, secret love

does not drip and drip and form streams

and puddles flowing from me along the floor,

out the door, down this street and through

that grove and cover miles until

it reaches the very heel of his foot?

Would he look down and say,

“Ah, here she is.

Do I lift my foot to avoid getting wet?

Do I bend down and drink from this stream?”

"Or do I just collect the liquid love,

bottle it and keep it where I can see it

– just in case.”

(from Long Ago)
- Photo from New Zealand Hot Pools

Friday, November 21, 2008

Over Saturation on a Thursday Night

ER, last quarter hour or so. Simon has had a major freak-down and punched out a patient. Went to town on the man. The patient was nearly blinded. It was a mess of out-of-control bone on bone bloodletting.

And the staff seems to be less concerned about that, and more concerned that later he throws around some equipment. Well, sure now they have to be sterilized -- but --

OK, the thing is, he punched out the smoke inhalation guy. (The man who was an accused of and later found innocent of pedophilia). Wild stuff.

Then when the ER quiets down, Archie talks to Simon about the repercussions of his actions. And slowly, Simon starts to tell his story.

"I was ten, the first time."

Wrenching. Simon is crying, Morris tears up as he listens. The story is nauseating.

And then when we've really had enough, a scene is being played out in a recovery room down the hall. A young girl comforts an older man. They hug. He tells her, "We'll be special friends. Don't tell anyone."

And then the news...

It is NOT a damn party!

You know, I understand that TV execs, from network, or cable, to local branches are concerned about viewership. Especially the news, because it's all so available right here - on the Internet. So, viewers drift away from conventional news sources.

Got it. They want to bring viewers back; they want to keep viewers after the previous drama or comedy just ended. So, they do the following:

1) The anchors jump right in before the commercial break with a relentless couple of minutes of 'headlines.' These promo bits grab the viewer, who is probably a bit comatose from either the late hour, or the previous show (in my case, a riveting ER).

2) The female anchors and reporters dress like they are at a party. Shiny clothes, sparkly accessories, low cut tops, lots of leg. Sure they look pretty, but to me, it's pretty tacky. Big freakin' whoop that they are on TV. It's fucking NEWS, not a cocktail party. Even if every story ended in rainbows and kittens, the attire is totally inappropriate.

3) The men look a little too shiny as well. It's not a funeral, but it's not a party either. I mean shit, they might as well be hoisting martini shakers and clinking glasses.

4) A little too much glee when reporting stories. Some joker from News 7 Night Team was launching into a breaking news story last night, and the dude looked a little too happy.

Yeah, I know this trend has been around for a long time. "Dirty Laundry", written by Don Henley was released in 1982.

It's just getting worse.

I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I dont have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre up
Kick em all around

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
Comes on at five
She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
Its interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation?
Is the head dead yet?
You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
Running bet
Get the widow on the set!
We need dirty laundry

You dont really need to find out whats going on
You dont really want to know just how far its gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry

Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down

Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre stiff
Kick em all around

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybodys pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do the innuendo
We can dance and sing
When its said and done we havent told you a thing
We all know that crap is king
Give us dirty laundry!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

His Name is Sal

Something was hinted at earlier this season, and tonight was the night that we learned Turtle's first name. Entourage's Jerry Ferrara's alter ego is Sal.

And not just Sal.

Sal from Queens' who answered a booty call from a miss Jamie-Lynn Sigler, and who is now looking a lot like a girlfriend.

That Sal.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wisdom from the 80's

Got to pull out a Ferris Bueller here:

" Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it"

Life DOES move too fast, and you know what? WE LET IT HAPPEN!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Spin, the Sizzle, the Story

When I watch a movie, read a book or invest myself anything involving a story; I find myself increasingly absorbed by the telling of the story while the plot, climax and denouement become secondary interests. I know that storytelling has been around since figures were carved on cave walls or symbols scratched onto papyrus. Were there favorites among these artists and scribes?

And when histories and fables were passed on by oral tradition, surely some performed better than others? I do know of this Jewish guy, before the glory days of the Borscht Belt Catskill comedians, who excelled at stand up. (Although he often sat down among his audience.) He could craft a story that had crowds enthralled, asking questions, wanting more. He'd perform tricks too, well not really tricks - no Houdini stuff. He caused a bit of a stir at a wedding once - switching jugs of water with wine - something like that.

But the thing is, the basic theme of his stories was not so unusual, it was his delivery that impressed folks back then. Even today, he's quoted often. Good stuff from that carpenter/story teller. Good stuff.

And still, it's the process that intrigues. Why will one filmmaker use lots of bridging shots, and another favors the slash cut? CGI? Animation? Gritty urban dialogue or drawing room monologue?

This all goes to my frustration towards the average consumer and/or critic. When someone dismisses an effort, let's say a film - for example M. Night Shyamalan's apocalyptic The Happening - they might say, "goofy plot", "not enough gore", "woeful clunker of a paranoid thriller*". OK, fair enough. To each his own and all that. Personally I hesitated after hearing all this panning. So, I ended up seeing The Happening on the small screen. Well it was amped up a little bit. Surround Sound and a 40" flat screen.

But here's the point. Shyamalan's work is fascinating. The story itself was flimsy. That didn't bother me. Flimsy has it's place. But it had so much going for it. Zooey Deschanel's eyes. (Yeah, her big sister Emily is the title character on Fox's Bones.) Anyway, Zooey's got a crazy kind of flat-affect delivery, but I find it charming. Her eyes though, they were really sooo - appealing in The Happening. She could express so much with just her huge eyes. Also - the falling bodies. Amazing shot, that. Chilling in a -- straightforward way. Hey, I could go on and on. But I'm trying to keep to a point, as hazy as that's starting to become.

There is an old adage among the admen. "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." So does that imply that the message is better recieved in a slick package? It just could be so.

*This from The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern

Friday, October 17, 2008

Been Too Long, My Dear.

It's not that I don't need to catch up on these pages. It's not that I don't like to write. It's not that I don't have plenty - I mean plenty to say.

I'd just rather be sleeping is all.

But here I am in the very, very early morning hours, trying not to be pissed off at insomnia, trying instead - to seek the sun. Not that big orangey-yellow star that I do love. No, I'm trying to see the goodness in all things. I'm trying to be accepting of what is in front of me.

Although I love the concept of acceptance, and I freely advice, cajole, or lecture those around me that "it is...what it is", I have an ultra-hard time following this myself.

But I try.

And yes, it's been too long.

Oh, and another thing I work on. Or is it the same? Anyway, lately or maybe it was just the last painful 24 hours, I have been a swirling vortex of negativity. And I know it's wrong. I think being positive is the bee's knees. But my own knees are crap, and bees annoy me, so although I try to think happy shiny stuff - it's not happening so much.

Stuart Smalley would not be so proud of me. Some daily affirmations typically include: "ya big dufus, why did you sleep so late?" Or, "yer a bloody eejit who spent too long Googling shit instead of writing shit!"

I don't want to be in denial about my real failings, but I don't suppose these hateful messages are healthy either.

So, this was my round-about way of saying that I am aggravated that I haven't posted that much.

But it's funny that I looked in my 'draft' sections here, and I have some juicy stuff started. I just wish I knew where my mind was going - so I could have finished the posts.

Hey, just for fun, I'm going to go ahead and put up my Olympics post and see how it looks. Why not?

OK I did it. You'll have to scroll a bit to find it. Not very far though.

Next is something I wrote, or started to write about the...I don't know...smugness?...of the U.S. Unfortunately, I can't remember my initial intent, so I have no idea how to end the piece. I guess I will keep it in 'draft' for a while longer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Landscape of Grief

Writing has always been a cathartic exercise, and a look around bookstore shelves or right here on the blogosphere will testify to that.

So, on this day of September 11, the gorgeous weather gives us the same incongruity as it did seven years ago, how can we reconcile such beauty with such horror? Many years ago, I attended the funeral one of my husband's best friends. He had killed himself, so this was such an uneasy tragedy. I also remember the sunny day felt like a slap in the face. How can nature dare be pleasant, when so many were in pain?

Of course, there is no answer to that. But I'd like to think that when the sun is shining so beautifully, it'll give comfort, and guide us through the murky grief landscape we all must travel.

I wrote the following piece, which was published yesterday at Blogcritics Magazine.

A Wednesday Afternoon Listen
Dropkick Murphys – The Meanest of Times

With respect and homage of sorts to my friend Mark Saleski – I am borrowing his well-done column idea for my own today. It just seemed the right thing to do.

Tomorrow being September 11, my thoughts naturally drift back in time. I was talking to my older son, discussing why 9/11 was not a national holiday. I said that we need to send a message that we are not cowering, not whimpering. Memorializing and praying, yes. But we are surviving. Maybe even business as usual. We are defiant in the face of terror, however muted with time it might be.

It’s that quiet, somber reflective feeling that gives me the strength to feel that defiance. Seven years of healing helps. But on this same day, my husband prepares to help and support his friend and colleague Jim, by attending the wake of his son Joseph.

Joey Larracey, 16, collapsed after a football scrimmage last Friday night, Sept 5th and died later that evening. And his parents, family, and the whole community are lost on the most treacherous grief terrain. They don’t have the sedating comfort of time that smoothes the rough footing of this savage landscape.

The Dropkick Murphys have felt all of that. I don’t even have to know them personally to know that they suffered. It’s in their songs. You hear it in their adaptation of “Green Fields of France” (Warrior’s Code), a poignant anti war song. You can’t miss it “Last Letter Home” (also from Warrior’s Code), a collection of real letters to and from Andrew Farrar, a Marine who died in Fallujah in 2005. DKM sounded absolutely pissed off in that song. Damn straight.

But today as I drive through the beautiful September sunshine, I listen to “Never Forget” from Meanest of Times. And I play it full blast.

“When you got love and we got family
Keep 'em close and don't forget
To hold them right there in your heart
When you got love and family”

May all the strength of God, friends, family and Love support the Larracey family in these very meanest of times.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Random Olympic Thoughts - Opening Ceremony


Intriguing culture.

(Photo: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

Although I care about human rights, and cannot let China off the hook for whatever their government(s) have done or not done in the name of human suffering, I could never boycott these events. The Olympics will never be entirely free of some taint. Hello, humans running the show here.

But this is about patriotism. And not just for one's own country, not just honoring the host country's magnificent efforts, these Olympics are about world patriotism. Or if you don't like that phrase, something more simple - something that every Boy Scout or Miss Universe hopes for:

World Peace.

And even now, fresh fighting has erupted in South Ossetia, and there's turmoil in Pakistan.

Even knowing that the Chinese have some skilz with fireworks - their pyrotechnic display at the end of the ceremony was really jaw-dropping. And the last torch, the lighting of the Olympic cauldron - couldn't get any better.

*Note - this never got posted during the actual Olympics. But I don't want to rob the world of my unique take on those days, right? (stop laughing)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

God Greed

“The God I believe in isn’t short of cash, Mister!”

- “Bullet the Blue Sky”, U2, The Joshua Tree.

I know I’m not alone in loving those words, that line spoken by Bono with a nice bit of snarl. It’s sickening what man does in the name of God. We can expect our good U2 frontman to address this, in the same way he does the shout out for other social causes, with conviction and often -humor.

Now, I have nothing against tithing. I believe that everyone can scrape a bit of money to help their church/clergy/temple/ashram/guru do some good work. You know how you watch those feel good movies were some kind benefactor steps in at the last moment and saves the orphanage? Or how community teamwork helps get that church built? Lilies of the Field anyone? (another Sidney Poitier gem).

Charity is a wonderful thing and it works. It really does take a village. Have faith, share, make Stone Soup, think loaves and fishes, and work together Yaddah, freakin’ yaddah. Y’all know the drill.

But some know it all too well. Them shysters, those flim-flam men – con men. Slick and smart and masquerading as The Lord’s workers. These men and women will convince you that you can only find the way if you pave it in a lil’ gold first.

Speaking of that, back in my college days (read, still young and stupid) I joined up with this group of nice happy shiny kids and decided I was going to temporarily throw off my Catholic shackles and really, really learn the Bible. I went to meetings on and off campus, and it was all nice. I had been introduced to the group by a fellow alumnus of my high school, and he was a decent guy, so – it’s all good, right?

Wrong. (You knew I was going to say that, right?)

More next time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Some Interesting Shit

Seriously --

There's an organization that investigates consumer services - and they take the complaints, and whittle them down NCAA style with brackets and seeding - and they decide on a coveted (not-so-much) award called The Golden Poo. Read More.

The Times had an interesting piece on consumer friendly people and the sites they run. Check that out too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Random Tuesday in July

The following is I came across it this evening, totally looking for something else - but thought it was interesting.

The Haves and the Have-Nots

Now, I'm not espousing one party or government over another. But this - well you certainly can't call it a 'newsflash' - piece has merit because we can't forget that the extreme economic disparity that exists in the U.S., it's...what - shameful? Unnecessary? Just throwing in a little conscience.

And, the Wants and the Needs-

But all that lovely Socialist chat aside - let's talk about me.

I want to:

Take Sir Brewster's advice and go rent The Seven Samurai (or Shichinin no samurai) by that Kurosawa gent they always rave about.

Justify the coolest shite I bought at Marine Specialties in Provincetown, by finding a home for it. I tell you, I had to have that Czech medicine bottle, and that pillow, and those couple of cobalt pieces - Don't you Just Love a Bargain? (Ha, wrong store!).

Write about my vacation. (Well, you know where I shopped at least), write about the upcoming television season, write about the environment, about the most sublime oatmeal-walnut-raisin cookie, share the experience that is guitarist Dan Byrnes...delve deep into the lake of love, the subtle currents, the cold shocks, and all the sunny goodness that make up that emotion.

Set more time aside to play Lego Indiana Jones on the XBox with the boys. They love watching me f*ck up. I always jump too far and land in the water with the crocs or in the mine shaft or I accidentally whack Indy with my saber/wrench/shovel. (and then he whips me). Good times.

I need to:

Get the Young Prince motivated for summer reading/book reports

Buy new pillows for the trailer. Some of them have been around since the Carter Administration. Ok, maybe just one. And maybe it's only since the Sr. Bush's time -- but's old!

Ditto the pillowcases

Sort out those damn pesky hospital bills

Call Bryan for some network help

Write those reviews.
Write those emails
Write anything.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Reading Luxury

Yes, it is a luxury to just sit and read, and read, and -- well it's a luxury to be able to just sit and do anything pleasurable for more than a half hour. And reading is the topic currently.

I just finished tonight, Armistead Maupin's The Night Listener. I have a vague recollection of this coming out as a film, but never saw it. Anyway, the story is incredible. Actually that adjective that I meant to use for "great, awesome, compelling", actually is more apt then I realized. You have to read this to see what I mean, but just remember the word, incredible and it hits home. Definite recommend.

Previously, I enjoyed the sad satisfaction of finishing Brother Odd by Dean Koontz. I actually started a separate piece on authors that surprise me, and Koontz is in that category. But let me just touch on the story. There's this dude - a sort of a wise-ass but kind - young man who lives in a small desert Southern California town. He lives simply and works as a fry-cook at a nearby diner. He has a swell girlfriend, a great boss, and some other dear friends, and he sees dead people. Yep, just like that twerp in The Sixth Sense. Luckily the sheriff understands Odd Thomas's secret, and even recruits Odd for various freaky-deeky cases.

Anyway, Koontz ended up liking this character of Odd Thomas enough to create a sequel or two, or series...and so that brings me to Brother Odd, which places Odd at a monastery/convent/school. The dead and other creepies follow him, of course - and the story is well told. But this telling, it's something special. Something beyond just spinning a good yarn. There are pieces in the pages that make your heart do funny things. Not in the sense of stopping while turning a page, but more in the fashion of "how can he possibly be able to convey this much hope and love without resorting to quoting from Shakespeare's sonnets or at the very least, a tear-jerker Hallmark Card." But really, I shouldn't be so surprised at the texture of Koontz's writing, I've seen this from him before, but certain passages from Odd are extra-amazing. I was struck deeply while reading this last installment, and I'm hoping that when I get around to my little piece on surprising authors, that I can dig up the proper words to explain what the fuck he's capable of.

And there's been some non-fiction too. A nice treat was Truth and Beauty by Anne Patchett. This is the story of the friendship between Patchett and the poet Lucy Grealy. Fantastic writing, even with a somewhat depressing subject matter.

Lastly is James Rollins' Black Order. I had not heard of him when my brother-in-law lent me Amazonia, which was a very good read. Very good up till the part where I inexplicably stopped and still have not finished. I have not heard Rollins mentioned anywhere, but he's got at least two hits on his hands. Black Order is tense mystery thriller type, mixing sci-fi with ethics and morals, and I so would love to see this made into a movie.

And what's funny, but I don't have the energy to start a whole 'thing', is that several of these books touched, even rather deeply, on quantum physics. Whodathunk?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Control Theory

I started to think about commercials. Mostly I tend to see a TV ad as a time-out so I can run and finish loading the dishwasher for the night, go to the bathroom, or email a friend. A radio commercial is just a damn interruption from some good tunes. Print ads continue to do their good job of making me feel all inferior-like. (Skinny models and well decorated homes – don’t take no rocket scientist does it?) And everyone knows that the Super Bowl is just a mish-mash of clanking helmets and grass stained uniforms that appear in-between some of the finest efforts that Madison Avenue has put forth since – last year.

And it’s this effort that I applaud. For a long time I’ve harbored a secret desire to work in advertising. I don’t know much about story-boards and branding, and the industry is not exactly stress-free. Yet it fascinates me. The concept of creating a situation or series of imagined controls that will sway the behavior of a demographic. Of course, this is all around us. It’s not just on our TVs or radios. It’s in the way I plan dinner. (If I make something they like, they might take out the trash with less fuss.) It’s in education. Religion. Politics. (Duh!) And the Wachowski Brothers made a cool couple of bucks messing around with this concept of control.

Yesterday a local radio station was having issues with the Oprah show. They played a tape of Oprah announcing she was NOT doing some sort of long anticipated give-away on that day (for whatever reasons, they are not important). But the crowd went wild anyway. The DJs were laughing over this phenomenon, and played the tape of the cheering audience over and over.

Now, they didn’t exactly use the term ‘sheeple’, but it was implied. People get in a mindset of behaviors and seem to revel in doing what is expected of them. Again and again. Though I think this is not always such a good thing, I am still struck by the process. I think back on folks like Charles Manson and Adolph Hitler, or for that matter the Rev. King. What kind of charisma, or cojones did they have for getting their disciples to follow them? In the case of the former two, I have long wondered, ‘what if they used their powers for good?’

But with advertising, there is no wondering. There is no hidden agenda. Experts in manipulation and persuasion work in all fields, but in advertising their work is celebrated. These brainiacs can come out of the control closet with their heads held high; their blatant application of influential techniques is out there for all to see. It is what it is.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Post from Hell

Not sure how much better I’m feeling, but I might as well continue my adventures.

By Sunday, frustrated with the no-sleep situation, and feeling still lousy, we decided I should go get seen. On Sundays though, the only places to go are hospital ERs. I’ll tell you, when you are feeling pretty crappy, strange (and decidedly un-Christian) thoughts go through your head.

Hmm, that guy has ice on his foot. I think I can see the swelling from here. But he’s laughing with his dad, I’m sure I can go ahead of him.

Oh, great – someone pregnant. Damn. They’ll probably take her before me. She does look like she’s ready to pop any time now – but she’s not grimacing, nor clutching her swollen mid-section. Hey, come to think of it, I see no overnight bag. Yay!

I did not just see a bleeding man come up to the desk. Just my bloody luck (no pun intended). ‘If it bleeds, it leads’. No – wait, that’s journalism.

Finally, they call my name. This is the real call, not the “see the nurse in triage” call. Not the, “meet me at Window 1 to discuss your insurance” call. This was it. We’re going to the show.

My husband (with his precious ‘let the spouse come too’ label slapped on his chest) and I gather up our things and follow the nurse. Unfortunately we have to share our moment of glory with another patient and their entourage. But with an examining room in sight, I could afford to be a little more gracious.

After another good long stretch of waiting, a young man of sweet smile and Hispanic accent enters the room and announces that he’s (forget the name), the nurse practitioner. He asks me the same questions as the triage nurse, with the exception of asking me if I had a fever when I came in.

“Well, she took my temperature, but never mentioned the result”

“Did she give you any Tylenol?”

“Then you probably didn’t have a fever”

He then proceeded to mash my face with his fingers in an attempt to get to know my sinus cavities better. Then it was off for a chest x-ray.

This wasn’t too bad, but there was a moment of clumsy discomfort trying to wrangle undergarments with the stupid johnny tied behind my back. Also there was no concern for a woman’s privacy in these matters as a couple of x-ray techs stayed in the room during the wrangling. I gave up.

Then back to another long siege in a different waiting area. The only excitement was when my NP informed me that indeed, I had registered a fever when I first came in, (well over an hour ago) and they’d give me some Tylenol. So, another 15 minutes go by and here come the precious pills. Three of them! I popped them down, and waiting some more.

Finally the NP comes over and says that I have both bronchitis and a sinus infection. Probably not pneumonia. They give me scrips for some antibiotics, and other fun stuff to break up the congestions, and off we go.

The best part of the day (except for the bizarre thrill of getting picked before the bleeding man) was the nice shrimp Pad Thai that my husband got for us later on. Very yum.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Post from Hell?

For lack of a better title –

So, here we go. Just riffing on all that’s good and all that sucks in my little world. No order, not much rhyme or reason either.

Here’s one for the ‘Good Excuse for Not Blogging’ category.

I’ve been quite sick. If you’re so inclined to check dates and all – well don’t bother. I haven’t been sick since my last post. Perhaps just sick-at-heart. Or just freakin’ busy.

So, right – about this sick thing. On Monday 3/31 I woke up feeling not so great. I felt worse during the day and realized I’d need to cancel my afternoon karate class. I’d been teaching some wee ones the fine art of self-defense in an after-school program. Mostly just teaching them different ways to say “Timothy* – stop doing that.” “Timothy – you cannot practice blocks sitting down.” “Timothy, you’ll have to head over to the office now.” Yeah, little Tim (*not his real name) has been a bit of a hand-full. Don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind that I can legally whack the boy, this being a martial arts class and all – but it would serve no purpose, really.

So, Tim and friends had to do without me for the afternoon. And things got worse. The next few days were a weary blend of fevers, chills, coughs – that sort of deal. I’ve missed all kinds of rehearsals (five so far), and have contributed zero to the family concern. Well I take that back. I managed to drive the Crown Prince to a few classes, and help the Young Prince with his paper route here and there, and drive both Royals to a mall at one point.

On Friday night I felt OK enough to go see my Goddaughter in a local dance competition. This was a real treat. She and family (one of my bestest friends Mary-Margaret, her husband and kids) live about an hour north of us in New Hampshire. So to see Mallorie locally was pretty cool. Gosh she looked so pretty, like a real ballerina. She made that whole pointe business look easy too.

So anyway, I was talking about being sick. And realizing I’m leaving out some details. But y’all don’t need to hear about my new electronic thermometer, or the way my phlegm rattled in my chest like a tired ole 1930s Airstream window shade a-quiverin’ and a-vibratin’ on the dust bowl plains of Kansas.

Or do you need to hear about coughing fits so – vigorous – that dinner was, shall we say, revisited?

Yeah, a while back I mentioned rehearsals. I’d do the whole drum roll thing, but I’m mighty tired. I’m in Lil’ Abner – shows are the first weekend in May. So, here’s the all important link for now.

I really want to add some other good stuff in. I had a big party for my 50th. It was swell. I got some swell gifts. Have not done thank – you’s yet. But my friend Judy wrote a great post on her site. Speaking of friends and sites, another friend, Dave has started up his own blog. He’s quite a fine writer too.

I think I’m at an end here.

Friday, February 08, 2008


It’s not been a real gas around here lately – I haven’t stopped to look, but is like…Mercury in retrograde or something?

Let me preface this fine whine with the fact that more or less, our health is OK. Not fantastic, but OK. OK ain’t bad! (We will learn more about the Young Prince’s liver situation next week too)

Anyway, the house and other things…pretty crappy.

Last week – I think? – The Tahoe needed some work. Who knew an oxygen sensor would cost so much? Hey, I can do it for free…see, watch me breathe. See that? There’s oxygen, I have not dropped dead. I mean…really.

The following day the Toyota needed a check up at the dealer. However, that only cost $45.00! But I did have to bring it to the dealer, not in the same town. That was more of an expense of time – but I did bring the lap top, so some work was done while waiting for my $45.00 to be spent...

And it also led to a somewhat impromptu lunch with Sir Saleski. He works about an exit away as the crow flies. It was lovely, but I did secretly covet his chicken curry soup, or whatever it was. It smelled so good! My apple squash soup was ok, but it lacked something.

Then the same day…my mobile broke. I was on my way to pick up the Crown Prince after his last class, and I had short words with him on the phone. I snapped the flip top shut in a bit of angry haste. A minute later I picked it up again, and saw that the flippy top was – well excuse the expression, like a limp dick. No, that’s not right. But it wasn’t tight, taught, and seated correctly. I tried to open the phone but I was afraid to force it as I saw exposed wiring. That’s never a good thing.

And there is the lovely new phone. No flippy top here. (that's not to say that I am not capable of breaking it, but at least the poor thing's got a sporting chance.)

And then Gentle Reader there’s the story of - the oven. See, over the last while, we had noticed much tension in the oven knob control. I mean. like all of a sudden it was nearly a Herculean effort to turn the knob to the desired heat setting. And then the oven itself started burning everything. So, we couldn't use it without much trepidation, (timing really is everything) We’d have to pop stuff in while it pre-heated. Of course if you were only going to bake things at 500ยบ, then it’s all good, right?

Behold, the new Maytag Performa Range above.

So, over the next few days I gained one new mobile, one new oven and one new water heater.

Oh yes…there’s that too. The water heater was due to be replaced – we had caught wind of a neato cool indirect system. We used Nana Williams’ plumber and phone calls went back for months, finally the date was set for this past Wednesday.


Of course, nearly all day we had no running water whilst the work was being done, but that’s no biggie. (Well, it is, but I was trying to be rather brave about it all).

So, yesterday, on Thurs. as the day went on, we realized that either the temperature had significantly dropped outdoors, or we had no heat.

We had no heat.

And as of this morning, no hot water.

Damn and Fuck. Double that while you’re at it.

But I do, honestly and sincerely try to see the positives.

Shelter – check
Electricity – check
Water – check
Cable TV – check
Internet – check

A sense of humor?


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love - Repeat.

I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and I am not only fascinated with her story, I’m compelled to be a better writer. Rather, I wish I could write better, now, instantly. That compelling feeling is more of a knee-jerk reaction, nearly a jealousy, but not quite.

Her words are lyrical, yet earthy. She makes you want to befriend her instantly. She makes you want to travel to those wonderful countries – seeking out gurus and chefs and old men and young children who cannot speak English, but what does it matter?

Gilbert also makes me not want to have a divorce, nor a sad messy love affair. Her anguish over those lost loves is conveyed with a visceral despondence.

Oh, and she makes us hunger, mostly for that glorious pasta and pizza, but steadily a desire takes hold for enlightenment, self-actualization and contentment.

And I'm not even finished yet.

Bravo Liz - Bravo.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Random New Year Entry

If we give into temptation Tricky Transitions would be turning us over and over like a tornado – twisting, turning, churning…

Change is good.

But not at the risk of severing limbs or sanity.
So far, these kinds of changes I can handle

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Yes, coming back here to write of things that need to be written about. Poorly - mostly likely.

Ack -- can't believe I haven't written here for several weeks. But then, that's me lately, isn't it? I haven't been a regular blogger in some time, have I. Much to say, but too much guilt and not enough time for a proper post. Excuses, really, but that's what I'm offering up for the moment.

So, spurts and squirts --

Christmas - beautiful roast beef from Lowell Provision, pricey but real damn tasty. Stayed up too late on Christmas Eve - but we had fun. Family all arriving for either brunch or dinner on the big day, and it was good.

Beloved presents of note: Master Chief Helmet for Tom. It does nothing whatsoever but look bloody cool. The Godfather, Animal House, and other neat DVDs for Mike. Some time to relax for me. (plus some nice perfume, books, movies and REI socks for me). Eddie Bauer sweaters and jeans for Dave.

And...a Cuisninart DC 1200 for the whole family! OK, it's really for me. : )