Thursday, December 30, 2010

Never Say Never

I never expected to have a daughter.

I had a son. I figured if I had another baby, it would be another boy.

I was so sure of that, that I never even thought of names for a girl. I was figuring I was carry little Luke, Mark or Michael, or Mathew, since I already had John.

My daughter came on the scene on September 12th. Her brother had taken me about 60 hours to deliver. Sheila took about 5 hours. I remember sending my husband John home to check in on our son.

Then all hell broke loose. Not really. My baby was just ready to join the party. After about a half an hour, the baby was born. And it was a girl. Damn! Not what I expected at all!

Until I took one look a that gorgeous face. Then I realized a girl is what I had wanted all along.

"A son is a son till he takes a wife. A daughter's a daughter for the rest of your life."

True dat!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's All About The Toys

The Armani sports coat? Eh.

The Ferragamo shoes? Whatever.

The down rain jacket? Uh, okay.

The Burbury plaid scarf? Yeah, uh, it's nice.

Alex is sitting here with his new CB radio. Now he can listen to truckers, you know. That's something that might really come in handy. CB radios? I didn't know that truckers even used these any more.

Alex is listening to his solar powered radio, that features weather stations, or at least he's been talking a lot about weather stations. You can also charge your iPhone with this radio. It has a hand crank to power it if you don't use the solar power.

Alex also got a little plastic doodad to put his iPhone on in the dash of the car. What a great present!

I am so relieved that Alex does not buy toys for me. I don't like plastic stuff. I don't have any desire to hand crank a radio or listen to truckers on a CB radio.

I am very easy to shop for. I like white gold jewelry, cashmere sweaters, Prada pumps, fur jackets, Gucci bags, and Coco by Chanel perfume.

See how easy I am? Alex is so lucky I'm me!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Kids!

I wish all of you joy, shock and awe, secrets, surprises, and great health, love, and tranquility as your Christmas gifts.

I don't do Christmas exactly. I do the tree, the ornaments, and the exchange of gifts and that's great. But the real excuse for Christmas or any other day to me is to give, receive, and express love to those around me who have enriched my life.

There are too many of you to name personally, but I do feel such privilege and joy in getting to know each and every one of you.

Thank you all so much for reading things I have to say and making me feel like it was worthwhile that I wrote it! You are the best.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I was flying from San Francisco to New York via Chicago for a meeting.

I had a seat mate who was a very nice guy. He told me his name was Josh, (it was) and I told him my name was Lorraine (it wasn't). I was flying on to New York the next morning because I liked to break up flights to the East Coast.

Josh was flying on to Italy the next morning. We talked during the almost 5 hour flight and told each other some truths and some lies. I told him I was married. (I wasn't.) He told me he wasn't. (He was.) It really didn't matter to me.

We arrived in Chicago about 9:00 PM. We took a cab to the hotel where he had reservations. It was one night. And it was lovely. I awoke when the sun started to come up. I dressed and quietly left Josh sleeping peacefully. I went downstairs with my bag and got a cab back to O'Hare.

I thought about him for a long time after that night. He may have also thought about me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Personalized Fetish Bags for Christmas

I'm making fetish bags this year for Christmas presents.

Mine won't look exactly like this one because I'm not artistic. Still, this is the perfect solution for the man, woman, or child who has everything.

I'm going to make the bags out of cloth, rather than rawhide. And I'm not adding jewels or decorations to them. The important thing is what I put inside them. I'm going to start with teeth, either human or animal. I can probably get some old cat teeth or dog teeth from my vet. My dentist might have some human teeth laying around that he would not be sorry to part with.

If this gets to be too difficult, I have Alex, the dogs, and the cat and a good pair of pliers.

Next I'm going to add some hair, human and animal. It just seems like a good fetish bag should have some hair in it. Nail clippings are good too. Cat nails clippings add a nice touch I think, but any old nail clippings will do.

I have some nice small rocks and I'm going to put a pretty little rock in the bags as well, and maybe some corn pollen. Sage is good too and I have a lot of it growing outside my house. I may toss in a clove or two for scent.

Now, some of my friends might wonder about my choice of a gift to them. But I figure if I act mysterious I can pull it off. Here is a rough idea of what my bags will look like.

I will tell them to open the bags if they wish, or just tie them on a leather strip around their neck, wrist or belt.

Keep in mind, this is just what I had handy. I will use higher quality material for the actual bags. Still, I think the rubber band is a nice touch. Kind of homey, you know.

We have a new girl on the block. I've been seeing Madge's comments for a couple of weeks now and she has started her own blog. I love this woman and she's hysterical. Check her out!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Scare Eye!

Okay, this poor unfortunate woman is not me.

But her eyes look very much like mine do today. I caught a nasty virus from my husband. Alex was home sick for 3 day last week.

He went around the whole house, coughing and sneezing and touching things with his germy hands. Efforts to quarantine Alex were futile. He moved from room to room and touched things no matter what I said.

(We have a very nice room that he could go to and stay when he is sick where he would be far away from me. Will he go there? Of course not.)

I awoke Sunday morning with a blaring headache and a cough and a runny nose and runny eyes. Really attractive, right? As the day progressed, I was feeling worse rather than better. Something tells me I caught my husband's crud.

We went to bed about 10. Because I could not lie down and breathe at the same time because of congestion, I decided to get up and stay up until I could no longer hold my eyes open. Then and only then would I take my chances of dying from not breathing after falling asleep. I also (considerately, I might add) decided to sleep in one of the downstairs bedrooms so as not to disturb Alex's beauty rest.

I had been dosing myself for hours with aspirin, sudafed, and cough syrup. (I never take those things but I was trying to get a leg up on this virus. I also drank about a quart of orange juice.) About 3 AM, I finally went into one of the bedrooms and found Harry, our 90 pound dog sleeping there. I figured, it was a cold night, so what the hell and climbed into bed with Harry.

When I woke up, I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. Even my hair hurt. I took more pills and grabbed my coffee. For the next two hours, I sat in a semi-coma and read emails and blogs. I finally thought perhaps bathing would not be a bad thing.

That's when it happened. I looked in the bathroom mirror. Oh dear God in heaven, what happened to my eyes? When I was a child, I had a pet frog. My frog got sick and his eyes swelled up just like mine looked this morning. Then he died.

Now, I'm not saying I'm going to die, but it looks to me like I have some kind of allergic reaction to aspirin? sudafed? cough medicine? orange juice? Harry?

It's not a look I really like.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

“It always looks darkest just before it gets totally black.”

That is a quote from Charlie Brown.

I think it kind of says it all. I passed a house in my little island town today that had a little Charlie Brown display outside of it.

I made Alex pull over so I could take a photo. That tree, that sad little ornament, that little piece of blue cloth at the tree's base was so wonderful it took my breath away.

There's a little bit of Charlie in all of us even if we don't like to admit it. Whether we are taking the cork out of a lovely 2006 Paraduxx from the Napa Valley, or opening a box of wine from the bargain section at the supermarket, we are more the same than we are different.

We went to a little Christmas party this evening. Because my neighbor was having the party, I felt a little obligated to attend although I knew that my neighbor had invited mostly people from her church. Because Alex and I are devout pagans, I thought we would feel a little out of place with the Bible people.

Although the conversation never really turned to religion, I found that most of the people were actually very nice. In fact, surprisingly, it wasn't even difficult for me to keep four-letter words out of my conversation.

I was so fucking happy when two hours had passed and we could come back home.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

But What Do I Do With It?

I like dogs.

Anyone who knows me, knows I like dogs. I have two at the present time. I love them both.

A friend came over and gave me a gift for Christmas. She knows I like dogs so she gave me a dog plate.

This is not just any old dog plate. It's a plate made by developmentally disabled people which I think is a great thing. It is sort of a goofy looking dog, but then a lot of dogs are sort of goofy looking. Still, I'm just not sure exactly what to do with a dog plate.

If I tried to use it to feed the dogs on, it wouldn't work out very well. In the first place, both Harry and Honey are accustomed to eating out of dog bowls. I think bowls are neater for dogs than plates. Also, if one dog got to eat off the plate, the other dog would get pissy about it.

My husband said I should use it for Christmas cookies. I would hesitate to eat a cookie off a dog plate because I would wonder if they were actually dog cookies. I just don't see it.

Several years ago, a friend gave me a coffee table book called "Dick Art". (No, that's not like Dear Dick, who art in heaven.) Now, I like dicks as well as the next girl, but this was something I just couldn't figure out what to do with either. I admired it for a few minutes and then put it away in a box. (Yes, we all have "those" boxes, don't we?)

Maybe I'm seeing a trend here. Since I'm known to like dogs, (and dicks for that matter), maybe people think it's an appropriate gift for me.

Personally, I have to wonder what ever happened to just a set of kitchen towels? I know exactly what to do with kitchen towels. Keep in mind, they don't have to have a dog or a dick imprinted on them either. But I'd probably use them even if they did.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There's A First Time For Everything

I have never before had Christmas lights on my house.

I've never even thought about having Christmas lights on my house. It just seemed too big a task. Putting up Christmas lights is daunting enough, but then you have to take them down too.

If you leave your Christmas lights up after March 1st, everyone will know that you are an alcoholic. Your neighbors will listen for the recycle truck and listen to the tinkle of the wine bottles you forgot to wrap in paper so they wouldn't know how many there were.

You will be fodder for community gossip. And I hate it when that happens. People already chatter about me and my high heel shoes for heaven's sake.

Okay, yesterday I walked out to get my mail. I have a next door neighbor named Mary who has a fabulous Italianate house. She had two men working on putting up Christmas lights. In the ten years I have lived here, Mary has never had Christmas lights. Her recently departed husband did not want them.

One of the men was very tall, maybe 6 foot 17 inches tall. He was also black and good looking. I am never a woman who will not speak to a great looking guy in the yard next to mine. I went over and introduced myself and shook his hand. I exclaimed over how wonderful it was that Mary was getting lights.

I told this great looking man that I too would just love to have lights on my house! Ramon said unfortunately, they were too busy to schedule any more lighting projects this year.

I gave him my "there might be something really nice in it for you if you'd reconsider" look, and said sorrowfully, "Would you please just take a look at my modest little house and give me a ballpark idea of what it would cost for me to have Christmas lights?" He walked over in front of my house with me clinging to his arm.

He smiled and said, "Oh this would not take much time at all! I could do it for you for $150." I squealed and said, "Oh I wish you could take on this little job!"

Ramon succumbed to my feminine charms and said "I'll do it for you this very afternoon, Linda". I hugged him and said "muchas gracias" since he's from South America and speaks Spanish.

My house looks very cool with my first Christmas lights ever. Ramon will come back in early January and take down the lights. I look forward to seeing him again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Martin, Cloe, and Me

In a perfect world, I would be spending Christmas with Martin and Cloe.

Martin (not his real name) looks like a pretty nice guy. I like his holiday sweater. There is something very special about his relationship with his cat, Cloe (not her real name).

They both look calm and content. I am nervous and discontent. I think Martin and Cloe are planning a little dinner at home on Christmas Eve. Maybe just a couple of friends will come over to Martin's magnificent condo and enjoy an elegant repast.

Martin and his friends will drink Pouilly-Fuissé and enjoy crab legs in mustard sauce. They will listen to Georg Friedrich Handel's Messiah on CD.

About midnight, his friends, after finishing their coffee and almond torte, they will embrace and depart. Martin and Cloe will lie down on the dark green leather couch and turn on the television and cover themselves with a cashmere throw. Cloe will lie on top of Martin's chest and purr contentedly.

My Christmas will not be like Martin's and Cloe's. It will be noisy and nerve wracking. I have not yet started to Christmas shop. I have not yet thought about Christmas cards.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Orient Express

I have always loved trains.

My mother used to take us to Oklahoma City every year on the train. We always had a compartment which may sound like a luxury, but with 3 (and later 4) children, it really wasn't.

I remember the dining cars, which in the early 1950's were actually very elegant. White linens on the tables along with gleaming real silver and crystal. We would usually have dinner and lunch in the dining cars. Breakfast was brought to us by an attendant. I thought it was very "posh", or as my 7 year old self would have said, "fancy".

Later, as an adult, I was married for a time to an oil company executive who was in charge of transportation for the company. We were hosted by the Santa Fe railroad to take a trip from Oakland to Reno in the private car of the railroad's president. It was an amazing trip. I was very surprised at the luxury of it. Pressing a buzzer when I wanted something (a drink, a glass of water, ) from the serving person was something very foreign to me and not entirely compatible with my middle class upbringing.

A wonderful sumptuous luncheon was served in the dining area. How just two people turned out such a lovely meal out of such a small place boggled my mind.

Ever since I was young, I had always wanted to take a trip on the Orient Express. I was sure that would happen one day and I would be going from Istanbul to Paris on that train. Alas, it did not happen and now it's too late.

But at least I got to see the movie "Murder on the Orient Express". That was better than nothing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fix The Flaws - Not So Fast

We all seem to see what we consider our "flaws" very clearly.

Whether it's a bump on the nose, or small breasts, or crooked teeth, or cowlicks, we are all very well aware of them. I think women may feel a little more self conscious about perceived flaws but I don't really know for sure. Men seem to be less pushed toward perfection than women.

I have a bump on my nose and slightly crooked teeth. But then I'm so arrogant, I think I look fine even with my flaws. I've always been inclined to give greater credence to my assets than my flaws. Oh, except one thing.

When I was a child, I had about two years in bed because of illness. I had rheumatic fever followed by mumps encephalitis. I had a home teacher during the period that I was laid up and frankly, life was fine. Sure I missed playing outside, but I was able to spend my time reading and everyone treated me like a little princess. Yeah, a sick princess, but still, it wasn't bad.

The only thing that I had as a lasting effect after the illnesses was a bad stutter. The doctors thought it could be related to the encephalitis but they weren't sure. My mother was horrified and took me to speech classes immediately. Unfortunately, that didn't "cure" me. Mom also talked about taking me to Lourdes to see if I could be cured, but it really wasn't in her budget. (And I was really hesitant about getting in dirty water so it was really just as well.)

So I went to the third grade and realized that answering questions in the classroom was not to my liking because it invited ridicule. At that point I began just playing stupid about answers, by shaking my head to indicate that I just didn't know. I'd rather have the nuns and kids think I was a dummy than to advertise my "impairment".

I did fine in school except for my lack of communication skills in the classroom. Fortunately, my written skills were good enough that I still got very good grades.

I can honestly say that as a child I did feel "handicapped" by stuttering, (well, until I reached about 13, anyway). By the time I was in my teens, I realized that the boys really didn't care if I stuttered at all. They were too busy being charmed with my boobs and legs.

I still stutter but not much. Many years ago, I overheard a boss talking about me to someone. He was telling the person that I was very smart, very capable, and that I had the "most charming little stutter". That cemented it for me. I was just fine as is. No fixes required.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No

I find many things hard to resist.

I have purchased a complete Encyclopedia, a Kirby vacuum cleaner, and even almost signed up to become Mormon.

All somebody has to do is to come to my door and if I'm home, I'll probably buy what they are selling.

The Kirby vacuum was a major deal. I was 19 and just married and the guy came to shampoo one room of our apartment "free of charge" just to let us see the Kirby vacuum. I think the Kirby weighed more than I did at that point. You could use it as a vacuum, but you could also flock your Christmas tree with it, and paint too if you wished. The Kirby handle was shaped like a dildo and had a very strong vibration too. (The salesman didn't point that out to me, I figured that out on my own.)

The fact that the Kirby cost about $1,000 did not phase me in the slightest. What's money compared to having a really clean apartment to live in! Plus, flocking a Christmas tree could be really fun.

My husband John was not so much delighted with our new vacuum as I though he would be. To say he nearly shit is putting it mildly. (Never mind, we weren't going to be married that long anyway. Plus, I got to keep the vacuum.)

When my son was born I bought a family album plan. We got one ugly professional photo per month for the first 12 months of my son's life. Then we got an ugly photo of all of us once every three months for the next year. After that, we got a semi-annual photo, all for a very reasonable price. Yeah, right. Of course, we got maybe two ugly photos and decided to cut our losses, but we were on a contract. Damn!

When those two adorable young men, all dressed up in their suits and ties knocked at my door, I took one look at their fresh handsome faces and thought "This is my lucky day!" Seems they were missionaries for the Latter Day Saints. Of course I invited them in and offered them refreshments. We talked all afternoon and they wanted to come back the following week. Oh they were cute! I just didn't have the heart to tell them that I was a pagan. So it took about 3 visits before they realized I was not being converted after all. Pity! I liked having them visit me.

I also had a milkman named Joe that I ordered our dairy products from. I loved Joe and gave him coffee twice a week when he filled my huge order. I loved ordering things from him even if we didn't need them.

The Fuller Brush man was another frequent visitor, as was the Avon Lady. Thank goodness I got past all that. Now I just don't open the door. It's safer that way.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Suspiciously Stained Socks

Alex took the coupe in to the tire shop to get new tires put on early this morning.

I stayed home drinking coffee and looking at email and news for the hour or so he was gone. The dogs napped and the house was unusually quiet for a Saturday.

When Alex got home, he took the pups for a walk while I got ready for the day. We decided we would go to lunch and then to the movies on this cold and rainy Saturday afternoon.

When Alex opened the car door for me on the passenger side, I saw a pair of stained white socks laying on the floor of the car. Alex said "Are those your socks?" Uh, no, Alex. We have been married for 21 years and I have never had a pair of socks like that in all that time, now have I? I kicked at the socks and saw they had some weird stains on them. I reacted with a "Ewww!".

Alex asked me "Where did they come from?". Now, keep in mind, he took this car out this morning to get new tires put on. The last time I rode in this car, there were no stained socks on the floor. I would have noticed.

I pointed out to my husband that he had taken the car out this very morning and gone to Big O Tires. The socks must have appeared while the workers were taking off the old tires and putting on the new ones.

Alex said "That doesn't make any sense." Okay, let's just say that Mario who works at Big O Tires has padded his crotch area to enhance his "bulge" to impress the ladies with his equipment. The sock bundle could have slipped out of his boxer briefs and fallen to the ground. Before anyone else noticed, Mario may have tossed the socks into the car.

My explanation seemed to cause Alex to both snort and have a gag reflex. I think it might be a reasonable hypothesis that this is exactly what transpired.

Since there were 5 men working on our tires this morning, it's unlikely that a local housewife was walking home from the laundromat and noticed that her husband's white socks were still stained with something unseemly which would enrage her husband. So she decided to just toss his white socks in our car. In the first place, it was raining, so the car window was up. In the second place, the door was locked.

We did manage to toss the socks in a garbage can, or rather Alex managed to. I didn't want to touch those socks without a hazmat suit. He just picked them up with a piece of paper. I hope he didn't "catch" anything.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Got The Drama From My Mama

This is a very old photo of my mother in one of her costumes. She was a dancer and a showgirl.

Mom also performed in movies and was under contract with MGM where she appeared in numerous musicals.

My mother was 16 and just ending an unfortunate marriage when she left Oklahoma City with a dance troupe. She traveled cross country and into Canada during WWII to entertain the troops.

Along the way, she had a chance to dance on Broadway opening night for the musical "Oklahoma". Once she arrived on the West Coast, she danced in several popular nightclubs.

Mom's roommate in Los Angeles was Yvonne De Carlo who appeared in many films and later became fairly famous as "Lily Munster" in the hit television show, "The Munsters".

My mother moved to San Francisco when she was 20 years old and worked at a popular San Francisco nightclub called Bimbo's 365. During this time, she met a good looking young police officer and she married him.

A year and a half later, I was born, followed two years later by another sister, and three years after that a third sister. I guess my parents thought it would make sense to give it one more try (for the elusive boy child) and that's how I got my youngest and 4th sister.

To say that my parents had a "volatile" marriage really doesn't cover it at all. As far back as I can remember, there were moments of horror followed by moments of hilarity. My parents were magnificently beautiful people and magnificently flawed as well.

Mom taught me to "faint dead away" by the time I was 9. After a terrible screaming match with my father, Mom would grab her daughters and we would leave him forever. The only problem was, we were on foot with no money and nowhere to go.

That's when I would be called upon to "faint dead away" on the sidewalk. I got to be really good at it too, even ignoring the ridicule of my sisters saying I looked like the witch in the Wizard of Oz who melted. Mom would hurry off to call my dad to come and pick us up while I continued to lie on the sidewalk with my eyelids fluttering.

Of course, my dad would hurry to come and pick us up and then my parents could have a reconciliation. I know it sounds awful, but it was actually kind of funny.

My ability to faint on short notice has served me well as an adult too. When the shit is about to hit the fan, I can still drop to the floor "fainted dead away". Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Navajo Tomahawk

My husband Alex has a weapon that has been handed down in his family for a few generations.

The rather deadly looking tomahawk is hanging in the office along with some of his commendations and awards for military service.

(Alex has a lot of those and a ton of medals from 25 years of being in the military.)

The tomahawk is one of his prized possessions right along with his handmade Kachina dolls, Indian pottery, baseball card collection and black cars. Alex also collects bobble head dolls from Giant's ballgames. Oh, and then there is also a foreign coin collection that Alex has acquired in his travels. Wait! I'm forgetting about the guns! Alex has a gun safe that is jam packed full with rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

We have a curio cabinet full of his "stuff", as well as a display case for his medals. We have unfortunately run out of room for much more.

For example, Alex's three black cars take up all the room on our long driveway. Alex's commendations take up a full wall in our house. The Native American paraphernalia is spread out all over the house. We also have tons of "tech toys" everyplace you look. There are laptops, gps units, portable dvd players, ipods, ear phones, calculators, along with things that are tech toys but I have no idea what they are.

I am frankly something of a minimalist. I love the "less is more" approach to things. Alex is a "more is better" kind of guy. When I look on the bright side, I realize he never complains about my fat ass.

Still, do any of you know how I can contact the tv series "Hoarders"? I think we need an intervention.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ghosts of Dead Bikers

The sky filled with black crows this morning.

There were hundreds of them in my oak tree alone, cursing and swearing loudly. I watched them out the window and thought about what I've been told.

I have a good friend who is a biker woman and quite extraordinary. She is talented, beautiful, wild, brave and much more free than most people I know. Her name is Jay.

Jay says that black crows are the spirits of dead bikers. I looked out the window at the gathering crows and I could imagine them slumped over their gleaming Harleys, dressed in traditional leathers, and scowling at each other.

Bikers are unusual people. A lot of what they do is "theater". There are bikers I would trust with my life and bikers who I would never trust with anything.

I watched the conference for about an hour and then by some mutual agreement, they took to the skies and roared off to another location in unison. Theater, indeed! I sat transfixed at the window for another half an hour wondering if they would return, but they didn't.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Aftermath

Honey's bed is in the dining room, right next to the floor heater.

She has a teddy bear blanket that she loves to sleep on. We've been watching her very closely since yesterday afternoon. In fact, I slept on the floor by her side last night.

Friday, yesterday, we took Honey and Harry to their park and they had a good time. Everything seemed normal. Honey was in good spirits as was Harry. We had a full house on Thanksgiving and both dogs love company, particularly if it includes kids.

Now they don't love kids for the obvious reasons, they love them because they drop food. If you follow a kid long enough, you'll get a snack. Works every time.

About 4 in the afternoon yesterday, Honey had been napping in a spot of sunlight in the office. Harry barked at her because he wanted to come in and she was blocking his way. Alex said, "Boy! She's really sound asleep!" I walked over to look and she opened her eyes.

I nearly had a heart attack when I saw that her eyes were completely rolled up in her head. I then noticed that her legs were at a very odd angle. She tried to get up and she couldn't.

I called the vet and we rushed her right in. They kept asking about toxic substances that she could have gotten into. To our knowledge, there's nothing like that around.

To me it looked like she had a stroke. The vet said that was possible, but toxins weren't out of the question either. Honey is about 11 years old. She's had very bad hips and arthritis since we got her nearly 6 years ago.

Honey has had a good life. She's a great dog and is truly my "forever" girl. I have hired an acupuncturist for her. She gets massages. She eats better than a lot of people. But she's getting old and there really is no cure for that.

The vet told me to take her to the hospital and they could put Honey on an iv to get fluids into her and monitor her overnight. I asked if they could give her some fluids along with doing the blood and urine work-ups and she said yes. I said I would bring Honey home and we would monitor her.

Honey was incontinent during the night so I gently cleaned her and replaced her bedding a few times. At 7 this morning, she couldn't even let me give her sips of water out of my hand. I told Alex I was going to call the "house call" vet to come and euthanize her. We both shook our heads but thought it would be the best thing we could do for her. I planned to call at 9 AM.

About ten minutes before 9, Honey stood and got out of her bed. She walked to the kitchen door on wobbly legs and Alex carried her downstairs so she could "do her business". She walked up the stairs by herself and she wanted breakfast.

I spoke with the vet earlier today. She said that Honey's lab work looked fine and that the probable problem was a stroke or some other neurological event. Further, the vet said that older dogs do have them but sometimes they recover and are just fine. (Of course, the vet also added that sometimes they have more strokes after the first one.) For today, we've cheated death for Honey.

Right now, I remind myself of a frog I had when I was a kid. The frog got sick and his eyes swelled up almost shut and then he died. My eyes look like that today. I hope I don't have what he did.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sex Scenes

One of my favorite sex scenes of all time (besides my own) was between Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani in a very dark 1960 film called "The Fugitive Kind".

I really don't remember that much about the movie, but I remember the scene. Marlon Brando played a drifter who comes to work at a store owned by Magnani and her somewhat sadistic, invalid husband. Magnani clears out a storeroom and puts a bed in it, saying something to Brando like "You might as well sleep here since you don't have a place."

Brando walked up behind Magnani as she was showing him the storeroom. From behind, he pushed her into the wall with his body and then kissed her neck. They were both fully dressed at the time. I know I moaned out loud right in the movie theater.

This was a film adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play. Williams' stories are always set someplace in the hot and sweaty South. He really is not one of my favorite writers. But this scene made me feel something on an emotional level.

Over the years, I've seen a lot of very "raw" sex scenes in movies. Some have worked better than others, for example, "9 1/2 Weeks" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and "The Piano". But none of those films have one particular scene that ever actually become embedded in my mind like the scene with Brando and Magnani.

There was a rawness and an honesty to the scene which was done by two very skilled actors who both "brought it" that day for that scene.

Perky breasts and bottoms don't make a scene sexy. Neither do graphic scenes without any emotion. Now, I like porn for porn's sake just as well as the next girl, but it's not really sexy. It's athletic, (usually kind of funny too!), but it's not particularly sexy.

Many years ago, Alex and I saw an amazing Japanese film called "Realm of the Senses". The movie featured mainstream Japanese actors and was a love story between a prostitute and a man. What distinguished this film from any other I've ever seen was that perhaps a full three minutes of the film actually showed graphic sexual penetration.

It was probably the most honest portrayal of sex in a relationship I've even seen on film. I found it somewhat surprising, but not nearly as stimulating as the sex scene in "The Fugitive Kind". My imagination provides much hotter sex than graphic portrayals on screen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Going To The Nudie Bar

What a difference 17 years makes!

In the photo, my first grandchild, Cyrus, is shown at about a year old. I was at the hospital when he was born and spent every possible hour with him from that time forward.

Cyrus will turn 18 early next month. I sometimes wonder how that is possible. He and I have been "best friends" since he was born.

He still calls me about 3 times a week and spends the night at "G-ma's" house at least once a month. Cyrus has told me "secrets" from the time he could talk and I hold those secrets deep in my heart.

When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday this year, he was a little cagey. I suggested that we could probably arrange to get him a hooker and he said he had one last year. Then he corrected himself and said, "Actually, it was a couple of weeks ago, but it sure seems like a year!" That Cyrus! His mom promptly covered her ears and started saying "No! No! No!" until he walked out of the room. He was joking (probably).

His dad has promised to take him to a nudie bar for his birthday. I guess they let 18 year old's in these places if they don't serve alcohol.

I still don't know what to give him, but I want it to be something wonderful. For almost 18 years, he's given me something wonderful.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Navajo Shortcuts

My husband Alex is Navajo.

The Navajo Nation is the largest Indian Reservation in the United States. It is also a very beautiful place. Alex has about 200 relatives who live there and we go to visit some of them at least every couple of years.

We usually make Gallup, New Mexico our "base" for the Rez trips. There is a hotel in Gallup that we love called the "El Rancho". It was built during the time that Hollywood was making a string of Westerns and it has a lot of history. We usually get the "Presidential Suite" (named that because Ronald Reagan stayed there when he was acting in Westerns). The hotel's lobby is gorgeous, but the rooms are a little run down. It's owned and run by Navajos.

The El Rancho is a pet friendly hotel. The Navajo hotel manager did comment "Those aren't dogs, those are wolves!" when we walked in with Harry and Honey. It's especially nice because we can eat our meals at a big wooden table in the lobby and let the dogs curl under our chairs while we have dinner. Or we can enjoy cocktails in front of a big fireplace while the dogs snooze.

We always rent a big Hummer because Alex insists we need an off-road vehicle for the Reservation. (And we like to show off; Navajos love Hummers!) Sometimes we pick up a bunch of Navajos going back to the Rez after a night in town and pile them in back with the dogs. These guys are funny and appreciate not having to take the long, long hike back home. They are all very amused at the Navajo guy with the blond wife.

Every time we go, Alex wants to take the unpaved "Indian Roads" and we always get hopelessly lost. It's a very big area and one can get very lost when one insists on taking "Navajo shortcuts". We've run out of road, been stuck in the mud, nearly turned our vehicle over, and pretty much abandoned all thought of ever getting back to civilization while we are visiting the Rez. It's all high adventure!

Sometimes we find Alex's aunts, uncles, cousins, and sometimes we don't. This trip is never really about the destination but about the journey. When we are somewhere else, I am much more inclined to be nervous when Alex starts talking about a "Navajo shortcut". God knows where we might end up. When we are on the Rez, I feel like we can never truly be lost.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is That A Gun In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

This is what shows on a TSA screening x-ray.

I don't think I want an x-ray like that. Oh, I think it's probably not that intrusive, but I still don't like being exposed to any radiation as I doubt it's good for me.

I don't like being hijacked or killed either, so I'm not knocking the use of extreme measures. Still, I'd rather be patted down.

I've been patted down by a female police officer while assuming "the position" on the hood of a car. It really wasn't that traumatic in itself. The part that was a little traumatic was being on the side of the freeway when it happened.

Short story. Guy I was carpooling with was black. We were in an area where Driving While Black is suspect. Got pulled over for expired tags. The car was impounded. We were both searched for contraband and weapons, but the Highway Patrolman who pulled us over had to call for a female cop to pat me down. It was a queer experience actually.

My husband had been deployed for a year to the Middle East at the start of the Iraq War. I was not in the mood to put up with this kind of nonsense. Eventually, after filing a formal complaint, I got an apology. Well, no harm, no foul.

Still, being patted down in private would be okay with me, particularly if she's cute. But, on the side of the road, not so much.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Walk On The Wild Side

When I was nineteen, I was married and living in an apartment complex in Mountain View, California. I met a girl at the swimming pool one day, and we became friends. Cathy wasn’t married, but she and I had a lot in common. We were the same age and we both loved to read. We both worked in sales, and were both from San Francisco.

Cathy told me she was going up to the City to see a friend the next day and asked me if I wanted to come along. It was about an hour’s drive from Mountain View to San Francisco, and she said she’d love to have company for the ride. I quickly agreed to go along. My husband worked long hours and I was usually bored if I was home alone. Cathy told me her friend was a girl she knew from high school who was now working as a prostitute. I absorbed that information slowly and then thought, “Wow! How cool is this?”

I decided that I wouldn’t mention the details to my husband John. I was fascinated and intrigued and really looking forward to meeting this amazing person. My only ideas of prostitutes were from movies—Belle De Jour with Catherine Deneuve, or Irma LaDouce with Shirley Maclain came to mind. I really wasn’t sure exactly what prostitutes did exactly. I mean, yeah, they had sex for money, but was it just normal sex like my husband and I had? Or for that matter, did we have normal sex? There was just so much information that could come from this nineteen-year-old girl named Melissa who was working in the absurdly adult field of prostitution!

I dressed very carefully the next morning and applied my make up with an expert hand. I wanted to look my best! I wanted to make a good impression on the mysterious and glamorous Melissa. On the ride to the City, Cathy told me that Melissa had a black pimp named Joe. (Oh my God! This just gets better and better!) I was buzzing with anticipation over the whole escapade!

We pulled up in front of a run-down looking apartment building in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. This was not a nice neighborhood. When we went up to the front door, it was open and various people were loitering in the lobby. They were not people I wanted for neighbors. As I followed Cathy up the two flights of stairs, I began to wonder if coming here was the best idea I ever had! The place was so run down and dirty and the people all looked like the dregs of society. What in the hell were we doing here looking a little like a team of Jehovahs Witnesses?

Cathy knocked at the door of Melissa’s apartment. A fairly heavy-set blond girl in a dirty babydoll nightgown opened the door to us and said to come on in. She had apparently been sleeping when we arrived and had smeared mascara around her eyes, and her face was puffy with sleep. I was having trouble getting my mind around the fact that she was nineteen. She looked a bruised forty, literally and figuratively. Her arm was badly bruised as was her leg. Cathy asked her what happened to her and Melissa told us that a cop had raped her and beat her up the night before. I was looking at her dirty feet with the chipped polish and thought that no cop in his right mind would touch this girl. (Yeah, I was naive all right.)

We stayed about an hour and then Cathy asked Melissa to get dressed and we’d take her out to lunch. I am embarrassed to admit how much I did not want to be seen in public with this person. I was so relieved when Melissa declined and said she just wanted to get back in bed. I was somewhat taken aback when she said to me, “If Joe saw you, he’d snatch you up in a minute!” Oh God! Get me out of here! I no longer wanted to meet Joe the pimp. I didn’t want to be “snatched up”. I wanted to go home!

What I expected to be a fascinating adventure was nothing but a terribly depressing and sad situation. It’s nothing like the movies.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Playing Dress Up - Part 1

Honestly, is anything more fun?

A couple of years ago, my sister and I dressed up like hookers to go over to a drug dealer park and look for the drug "Oww".

(Yes, it's a made up drug. And yes, it is a made up park.)

We donned fishnet tights, stiletto heels, and hot pants along with a pink wig for me and a green wig for her. I had completely forgotten that we were having a furniture delivery that day. The delivery men with the couch might remember us.

I have kimono's and sari's for different occasions. But I also have police (don't ask) and military uniforms, nurses uniforms, as well as a nun's habit. I also have a maternity top and a foam rubber pregnant belly complete with the protruding navel.

I used to play dress up when my kids were small. They would join in the fun too. Then grandkids care along. My grandson Cyrus was fixated on Batman when he was little. I would dress Cyrus up as Batman when he was about 3.

I of course accompanied him as Cat Woman. (We went out that way too, much to the horror of my daughter.) I would tie a pillowcase to serve as Cyrus's cape and let him wear a watch cap of my husband's. Cyrus was very pleased to be seen as Batman by all of our neighbors! And I made a darned good Cat Woman if I do say so myself.

I have always loved dressing up. I probably will not stop doing it either.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Lady,The Stolen Dog,The Recovery

Helen is 80 years old. On October 30, she was walking her dog, a six-year old, six pound Yorkie named Deuce, at two in the afternoon near her home in Alameda.

Two young men approached her and one simulated having a gun. They grabbed her purse, and then to add insult to injury, they grabbed her dog. Helen had been quiet until they grabbed Deuce and then she started screaming "Don't take my dog!" Her hand was cut trying to hold on to his leash.

Neighbors heard her cries and ran out and chased the two purse and dog snatchers to their car about a block away. The thieves escaped, but one bystander did get the make and model of the car along with the license plate number.

One of the perpetrators was caught the next day. He said he had let the dog out in a park in the City of Stockton, about 40 miles away. The other thief has not yet been caught yet.

Alameda is an island community and relatively small with a population of about 70,000. We have an unusually large police force though. And we have very little crime. This incident was publicized all over Northern California.

On Tuesday, November 9th, a woman in Stockton was approached by a homeless couple and offered a beautiful little Yorkshire Terrier for $20. She gave the couple a $20 and took the dog home. That night on the local news, she saw the story of Helen and Deuce and put two and two together. She called the police.

Deuce had fortunately been "chipped" and was positively identified as the kidnapped dog. He was returned to his owner and his home the next day. Alex and I both had tears in our eyes when we saw Helen and Deuce on television last evening being interviewed. Helen's relief and joy were so touching. And Deuce looked very happy to be back with his person.

I saw a white haired lady at the shopping center today with a Yorkie. I ran after her and asked her pup's name. It was Deuce. I hugged her and said how glad we are all that he is back home. She was smiling from ear to ear. I petted Deuce and he was smiling too.

When you are older, your dogs become like your kids. I am so relieved this lovely woman got her best friend back. I told her I had two dogs, and don't know what I would do if one of them was taken.

I didn't add that this would be most unlikely. They are both big dogs and only friendly if I tell them to be friendly. They are both very well trained with hand signals. They even know how to show their teeth on command.

I would probably tell punk-ass kids to go ahead, take my purse, just reach for it! Oh, and grab the leash while you're at it. Come on, just a little bit closer! You can do it! Oh, relax, they are just smiling at you! Relax! Just a little bit closer.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dining Dilemma

My husband Alex and I go out to dinner a couple of times a week. I like it when he calls and says "Don't start dinner. Let's go out."

We have a wide variety of dining choices in our relatively small town. We have Thai, Cambodian, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Afghan, Korean, Vietnamese, as well as the usual Italian, Mediterranean, and California cuisine offerings.

We have a favorite restaurant called Pappo's. It would probably be considered California cuisine, with a French influence. Pappo's opened about 3 years ago and we have been eating there about twice a month since it opened. The place features all organic, locally grown produce and vegetables, high quality meats, quality affordable wines, and a nice varied menu, as well as sleek surrounds and a very polished staff. Although Pappo's is a little more expensive than other restaurants in Alameda, I have always felt it was worth the extra expense.

When I go to a restaurant for the first time, I never complain or criticize the food or send anything back. I figure if I don't like it, I won't go back, but you give a place a try. When I go to a restaurant where we eat all the time, I will send something back to the kitchen that is not prepared to my liking.

I am always quiet in my conversation with the wait person. I explain why I don't like the meal, and they either replace it or if I say "never mind", they take it off our bill. My husband Alex cringes when I do this. Now, to be clear, this has occurred at Pappo's twice in 3 years. So I am not a chronic "take it back" syndrome person. Also, keep in mind, I am never unpleasant about asking to have something returned.

Still, I feel you are doing a restaurant that you frequent a disservice not to return a piece of chicken that is overcooked and stringy, or a soup that has way too much salt. I would much rather let a restaurant "make it right" for me and continue going there, than to have to find a new "favorite" place.

Alex disagrees. He feels like you eat it or don't, but you never complain about it, no matter what. I've seen him request a "well done" hamburger that is brought to him bloody. He eats it. I've seen Alex order a glass of red wine, but he will drink the white wine they bring him and never say a word.

At home, he has no such problem because I cook everything to perfection. (Or I toss it in the trash and call for a pizza.) I think Alex worries that restaurant staff might do something unpleasant to his food if he complains. At home, I might do something unpleasant to his head with a cast iron frying pan if he complains so he never does.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Men Never Make Passes At Girls Who Wear Glasses. Oh Really?

My almost 18 year old grandson went to a prom last year with a very cute girl who rocked a pair of glasses even in their formal prom picture.

I think I was a little surprised that the girl left them on for their photo. I asked my grandson, Cyrus, about that and he replied "I love girls in glasses!". When I asked him why he loves girls in glasses, he said "...because they look so sexy, and smart too. And there's just something about eyes behind a pair of glasses that are intriguing."

I guess this doesn't really surprise me that much. This is not the first time I've heard a guy express his preference for girls who wear glasses. My husband wears glasses. I think he looks great in them.

I think the thing with glasses may be that moment when someone takes them off. That act in itself can sometimes can be very sexy. In fact, I think I've always kind of liked guys in glasses. (But that could also be because if they wear glasses, they do not have perfect eyesight, therefore, I'm going to look better to them when it counts!)

Maybe it's because when someone takes off their glasses they are showing you a vulnerable side of themselves. I don't think I'd have the same reaction to someone taking off a wig or a toupee though, or someone pulling out a set of dentures.

The thing with taking off glasses is sort of like seeing someone undress in a way. It has an intimate feeling to it. I love watching men take off ties and unbuttoning shirt sleeves to roll them up. Why I find that sexy, I don't know, but it is.

I am a total make up whore. I never leave the house without it. In fact, since I was about 15, putting on my face was something I just "do" every day. Oddly, I've had men I've known who liked to watch me take off my make up and found it very sexy to see me with none.

(Weird, huh? But there are men who find it sexy to see a woman cut up a turnip or plunge a sink, so go figure!) With the no make up thing, since I always wear it, I guess it's sort of an intimate thing to see me without.

And don't we all like seeing something a little "intimate" once in a while!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The "Ho Bus"

My husband, Alex, and I went to a ballgame in San Francisco a few weeks ago with my daughter Sheila, her husband, and their 2 kids.

About 10 PM, we were walking back to the car after the game when I saw something that had not been on the radar when I lived in the City a few years ago.

There was a bus with a plexi-glass window going down the street right in front of us. In the bus window, there were two young ladies in g-strings gyrating their butts against the glass. Loud music came from the bus sound system.

I was somewhat amazed when the two girls moved aside and there was a third young woman working a stripper pole in between them. I asked my daughter, "What is that all about?" and she replied that it was the "Stripper Mobile" from Larry Flynt's Hustler Club up on Broadway. and the girls are "Hustler Honeys". Uh huh.

A lot of men ran out into traffic to get behind the bus. Cars swerved, and people (men mostly) catcalled out of car windows.

Arianna, my 14 year old granddaughter quickly corrected her mother by saying "Oh Mom, that's just the "Ho Bus"! We see it all the time."

The performers certainly had a crowd of people watching and trying to follow them. Now, since we have outlawed hand-held cell phone conversations and texting while driving, I guess that legislators feel these g-string clad strippers are not that much of a distraction.

I suppose that because it was at ten in the evening, I thought the "Ho Bus" was fine. But apparently they drive around during the day too which I think is a little strange. (It's kind of like the 7:30 AM hookers out trying to drum up some business before guys go to the office). I'm not interested in much of anything at 7:30 AM myself. In fact, nobody is supposed to talk to me or touch me until after 9 AM.

I think the "Stripper Mobile" sounds pretty cool, but so does the "Ho Bus". Call it what you will, I thought it was just amazing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's So Not My Season

I hate Fall.

I've always hated Fall. People can talk all they want about the leaves turning and "oh how beautiful", but people, those leaves are dying. They fall off the trees and at first they are red and gold, and then they turn into dead and decayed.

Leaves are falling like hookers on an icy slick sidewalk after too many tequila shots at a used car salesman's convention in Reno. But at least the hookers can usually get up again. Leaves can't.

Stupid squirrels are grabbing everything they can lay their grimy little rodent paws on and running everywhere leaving nuts and shells and acorns in their wake.

Also, the light is weird. It can be sunny, but it's a watery sunny. The skies can be blue, but it's a watery blue. Oh, and before long, it's dark when you get up, and it's dark way before you go to bed. There is only that puny watery light in between.

I had flowers and magnificent roses. What do I have now? Ugly bushes with no flowers, that's what I've got. The only thing I can count on is my oak tree. It never loses its leaves. Everything else gets brown and dead. What is pretty about everything dying in front of you? Or if not dying, going into a coma until next April.

Winter vegetables are coming! So what's so great about brussels sprouts and squash and apples? Okay, they are pretty good but still. I like strawberries and peaches! I like corn on the cob. I like summer vegetables and fruits.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If there is anything nastier than a big old dead naked turkey I don't know what it is! Ugh!

My daughter says Fall is her favorite time of the year. Uh huh. Look at all the wonderful turtleneck sweaters and patterned tights, wool trousers and boots you can wear. Great! Frankly, I hate turtleneck sweaters and I hate wool trousers and I don't like boots either. I like strappy high heel sandals, silk blouses, tank tops and skirts and capris.

I should have been born a bear. I could eat huge quantities of food and then hibernate until the world comes alive again in the Spring.

Winter bothers me less than Fall. Winter at least is honest about what it is. And the light improves a bit in Winter too. It's not as watery. Plus, Winter has Christmas and my birthday so I get presents. That makes it worth staying up for.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This Guy Walks Into A Bar

Alex and I went to dinner last night in Oakland at a pretty upscale place.

I pulled out a black and white Diane Von Furstenberg dress to wear and figured why not go all the way? I got a pair of sheer black nylons that have a silver anklet around one ankle. Very jazzy! I put on the 4" stilettos too since I knew I would not be walking that much.

Yeah, okay, I looked pretty good. We had a lovely dinner and decided to extend the evening with an after dinner drink at "Z's" in Alameda, about 6 blocks from home. Z's is a vampire bar but hey! You only live once, right?

I spotted two white haired men and avoided any eye contact with them because I knew they were vampires. Alex and I walked to the end of the bar and I took a seat. Alex said "I'll be right back. I have to go to the bathroom." What is it with my husband that he has to go to the bathroom every place we go? I never go to the bathroom anyplace but home, except if we are traveling. Then I go, of course, but only in our hotel room.

Anyway, I'm sitting there minding my own business and this guy walks into the bar. He spots me sitting alone at the end and comes over and takes a seat one stool away. He vaguely smiles in my direction and I vaguely smiled back at him. He seemed to be working up the courage to say something to me. About then, Alex walked back and took a seat next to me.

The guy got up and stretched and shook his head. The bartender took our orders. The guy stood walked up and down a few times while he waited for his drink. Alex looked at me with a quizzical expression on his face. I shrugged. (I'm cool like that.) Our drinks came and the guy drank his pretty fast and walked out. Alex asked me "What was that all about?" and I replied "Hell if I know." (Yeah, right.)

A few minutes later, the guy walked back into the bar and headed right for me. He mumbled something like "I know you from somewhere" and I shrugged a little. He handed me a piece of paper and said "please read this." I smiled (vaguely again) and put the paper in my bag.

Alex said "He just gave you his number!" and I said "I don't know what he gave me." (I told you I was cool.) Alex said "I can't believe you put that guy's phone number in your bag." I shrugged. (Damn I'm good.)

I waited until the vampires had left the bar and for anyone close enough to see what had transpired to move on. I opened my bag and took out the paper. I tore it into small pieces and wrapped it in a cocktail napkin and asked the bartender to throw it away for me.

It was time to go home.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why I Won't Have A Face Lift

This is an example of what I think would be a good face lift.

This woman looks years younger, don't you think? Of course the hair is different too. And the glasses are gone.

Yeah, she looks pretty good. Still, I will never go "under the knife". Why?

If you started at my face, you'd have to go on to my neck. My boobs would also have to be "lifted" along with my butt. Hell, I think my arms would have to be lifted (particularly the little jiggly bits), and even my hands. I would need a thigh lift, a knee lift, and a tummy tuck while we are at it. Plus my ankles could be made tighter as well. We won't even go into the vaginal rejuvenation although it's also an option. I understand I can even be made a virgin again, if that's of interest to me. Imagine giving your husband an anniversary surprise like that!

I don't knock anyone who feels it would make them feel better to look younger. But frankly, I don't mind my outside matching my inside. I am in an age group where a lot of my friends have opted for "little cosmetic enhancements". Bless their hearts, that's great if it makes them feel good.

I don't mind being my age. I don't mind looking my age. I do mind the idea of someone cutting off my skin or giving me a chemical peel, or sucking out my fat! Ouch! If I have imperfections, (and I guess we all do), I don't mind them. In fact, I like them just fine. If my boobs are not as high because of the sag of maturity, I think that can be kind of sexy. If I've gotten a little "squishy" that's fine with me. I have all the markings of a woman who has lived life.

Frankly, I'd rather be who I am now than who I was when I was 30. I don't even mind the supposed ravages of age and gravity. You'll never "be" 20 years younger than you are. Getting older is not a curse. Fearing getting older is.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Things You Do For Love

Today was the San Francisco Giant's Parade.

The Giants won the world series in San Francisco for the first time ever. The City of San Francisco hosted a major victory parade for the team and the fans.

Although I've been hobbling around for the last 4 days or so, (or lying flat on my back) there was no way I was going to miss this once in a lifetime event.

Did any of you see the movie "Frida" starring Salma Hayek? If you saw it, you may remember the opening scene that showed Frida being carried in her four poster bed to get to an show that was exhibiting her work. I think I may have pictured myself in somewhat the same situation. Frieda's art show was important for her. The Giant's parade was important for me. Frida was on her deathbed when she was carried to her show. I was merely suffering from a sprained lower back. No contest. I was going.

My husband took off work to go. My son took off work to go. The kids were allowed to miss school for the day. My daughter and her husband closed their company for the day. Their kids also missed school. It was that important.

I did my version of orange and black to emulate the Giant's uniforms. And put on my face, my platform shoes, and my lucky earrings. I was ready to go!

The first time I thought this was maybe not the best idea I've ever had was when I got out of bed this morning. My back spasm hit immediately and made me yelp. Not an auspicious beginning to my day. Getting into the car was somewhat painful, sort of like childbirth. And taking the train with people packed so tightly that at least you couldn't fall down if you had to, proved to not be the most soothing thing I've ever done.

Once off the train, we began the 1/2 mile walk to where we would view the parade. Challenging when you keep getting knives stuck in your back. Never mind. I can do this. We got to the pre-agreed upon spot and met up with the kids and the grandkids. Everybody was in very high spirits. We pushed ourselves into the crowd and got as close to the front as we could. It was splendid so far. The energy of the crowd, (estimated as 500,000 to over 1,000,000 people) was really very energizing.

I looked at my watch, and it was 10 AM, straight up. The parade was due to start at 11. Okay, now I stand here in one place for an hour. No room to move around. Close enough to a couple of people that I could have gotten pregnant by them right there and then. It was wonderful.

Standing there on my spot of concrete, I began to realize this romantic notion of love for my team might have been a dreadful mistake. I kept shifting from foot to foot and trying not to lock my legs. I did not want to lose my vantage point, so wandering any place to sit for a moment was not going to happen.

What was I thinking? Well, I tend to be a touch claustrophobic in the first place. Also, my back was not feeling all that great either. Nor were my legs. Nor were my feet for that matter. Still, I smiled and waved when the parade finally started! I cheered for my team while I considered what an idiot I am!

After the end of the parade, we walked another 1/2 mile (uphill this time) to find a pub for lunch. I really almost gave in to my grandson's offer to carry me. (Don't worry, he's big and strong.) Still, I soldiered on myself. Lunch was nice. Getting back home and into my nightgown and robe and lying flat on my back again was even nicer.

The things I've done for love are a lot worse than the things I've done for money.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Hitchhiker

Looking out the windshield, we saw what looked like a leaf on the glass.

We were at a stop light and the light turned green about the time the "leaf" climbed up a little higher and grabbed on to the wiper blade. Since we were getting on to the freeway, stopping was not an option.

I saw a pair of bulging red eyes looking directly at me and I said "Oh my God, Alex! Look!" Thinking it was a leaf, Alex reached for the wiper blades and I screamed "No!".

We were going about 70 miles per hour on the freeway and pulling over was not an option, nor was slowing down much. The critter held on for dear life. I was imploring that Alex "do something" but there really was nothing to be done. We continued on down about 5 miles to our turn-off, and got off the freeway.

At least now we were going at a much more reasonable rate of speed for some poor critter holding on to the windshield wiper. I insisted that Alex pull over. We really couldn't expect this guy to hold on much longer. (If he had been blown off, he would have probably gotten hit by a car!)

We pulled over and Alex found a paper cup and got the critter into it. We named him James and he rode in the cup with me holding it all the way home. James was looking up at me in relief.

We got home and placed James on the hood of the car. He stayed there for a couple of hours because I kept checking on him. In the morning when I went to see if James was still there, he was gone. I hope he's okay. I think he was a cricket, but how would I know!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh My Aching Back!

I look nothing like this woman.

This woman has back pain but she's wearing clothes and lipstick and she has brushed her hair. Plus, this woman is skinny and I am not.

This woman is also sitting in what looks to be a neat and tidy room.

When my back goes "whap" I cannot put on clothes. I cannot walk. I cannot even breathe without pain.

It doesn't happen often, but when it happens, I am unable to move my legs without gasping in pain. I have these episodes about 3 or 4 times a year.

I'm very lucky to have a husband who understands this and does everything possible to make me more comfortable. Oh wait! I have a husband who travels all the frigging time so he's not here to make me comfortable. What was I thinking?

Did I expect someone to bring me water once in a while? Did I expect someone to feed me? Next thing, I'd be expecting someone to bring me hot wash cloths to wash my face or my dirty butt for that matter.

My house is in shambles. I cannot pick up stuff off the floor. The pizza box from last night is still on the kitchen table. Harry will probably pull it off to chew the cardboard before long. I can't load dishes in the dishwasher because that would involve standing and bending and I can do neither.

The cat has loaded up his kitty litter box and I can do nothing about it. The dogs are hungry and I can't get down to pick up their bowls to feed them. I'm eating crackers and cheese and sharing with the dogs for now. And the toilet lid is up so they are okay for water.

Hopefully, this will get better before we run out of cheese, crackers and toilet water. If not, you may not hear from me again as the dogs will have decided to eat me.

You could send me morphine if you have some laying around.

Friday, October 29, 2010

San Francisco and the Undead

I went to San Francisco this afternoon with my daughter in law Kate and the "Littles", (Abbey age 6, and Aidan age 9).

We stopped in to grab lunch before heading up to the shopping district to buy a shirt for my son. Sitting at the table next to ours was a trio of what had to be zombies.

I respectfully requested that I be allowed to take a photo of them, and they were very gracious, considering that they are zombies and all.

I am not really a big fan of zombies, but a lot of my friends are. For example, the beautiful and charming Nicky loves zombies. She really loves zombies. Mike also professes a love of zombies. Since they are from Canada, I doubt they get to experience them as often as I do living near San Francisco.

The thing is, I thought zombies only came out at night. Apparently, I was wrong. It's vampires who only come out at night. Zombies can be out there any hour of the day or night.

I also learned that some zombies like hamburgers and iced tea. That surprised me somewhat. I figured they would drink vodka and eat fish for some reason. Maybe I thought that because of Ziva, the Finnish goddess.

My girl, Quirky, also expresses a deep affection for zombies. When I think about it, that surprises me a little, but it probably shouldn't. Quirky is a little quirky if you get my drift.

Mo's mom, Carol, says that Mo really loves zombies as well. What is it about zombies that makes them lovable?

Hell if I know! I'll take a vampire over a zombie any day of the week!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Fan In the Too Tight Shirt

This jersey is an extra large.

Harry is a furry mammoth. He is listening to the World Series pre-game show on KNBR Radio because he hates Joe Buck and Tim McCarver so much. These guys are Fox broadcasters.

I hate them too.

I don't know why Fox is broadcasting the World Series. They completely cut out 84 year old Tony Bennett singing "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" at the beginning of the game. Give me a break!

Then to add insult to injury, Fox cut out the part where Willie Mays was supposed to throw out the first pitch of the World Series. Willie Mays is my idol. All baseball fans like to see Willie. Unfortunately, Willie was not there last evening because of illness. But there was a line up of Giants' royalty from yesteryear on the field, including Orlando Cepeda, Monte Irvin, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry. I really wish I could have seen those guys.

What was on the Fox programming while the first pitch was being thrown? Joe and Tim making stupid comments is what was shown, then a cut to commercial break. Thanks Fox.

It's like a religion that never mentions God but talks about Tupperware instead. Fox is not doing a good job on the Series. But am I really surprised at that? No. I'm not. These are the same people who bring us those newscasters like Glenn Beck.

Go Giants!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Slutty Is The New Black!

I have three teenage granddaughters.

Hannah is 16; Emma is almost 15; and Arianna is 14. One of my biggest pleasures is taking these girls shopping.

I tend to want to take them to more conservative stores like Nordstroms or Macys, rather than the trendy little stores that carry popular styles at very low prices for teen girls. While I have no aversion to saving money, I do sort of hate the cheap clothes that can best be described as "slutty.

I really dislike that see-through lace tops over garishly colored bras are being shown as the height of fashion for young teens. Low rise jeans to show off a thong are not appropriate for public wear for anybody, let alone for teenagers.

The clothes are too revealing; they are also made of cheap materials and poorly constructed. I can only think in terms of "a poor man's" Miley, Britney, Rhianna, or Katie when I see them.

I'm not knocking performers who make money by wearing revealing clothes. I'm knocking stores that promote this crap to kids. Teenagers who are not performers do not have expert tailors to make sure things look good and fit flawlessly. Nor do they have professionals to care for their stage wardrobes. The cheap clothing shreds, fades, frays, and falls apart after a washing machine session.

I guess that means it wasn't really cheap after all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

So I Met This Guy From Turkey...

I was looking for a Turkish Hereke rug on the internet.

What I found was a new nephew named Saltuk. He and I became pen pals and fast friends. Saltuk guided me through all the steps I needed to know to acquire just the perfect silk Hereke rug.

That he was in Istanbul and I was in Alameda was not really an issue. I invited him to come and visit me. When I met him at the airport, we were both already old friends. I love it when that happens. Saltuk calls me and Alex a few times over the year just to check in on us.

He got married two years ago and now has a little boy. I can't wait to meet his wife and baby. Saltuk has invited us to come and visit him and his family and we may do that.

Several years ago, I was taking the train from San Jose back to San Francisco on a Friday after attending a conference. My seatmate on the train was a very nice young man from India named Deepak. He was in the US for a Microsoft function. Deepak asked me if I could recommend a nice hotel that was safe and not too expensive. He was going to spend the weekend in San Francisco and do some shopping for his family back in India before leaving on Monday.

Without giving it a second thought, I told him to come on home with me. He did. Alex was surprised when he found we had a house guest, and he privately asked me if I was sure they guy was not a serial killer. (He was joking.) We took Deepak on a sightseeing tour of the City and he was really thrilled. He was able to spend his money on gifts for his family rather than on expensive hotel rooms. Deepak and his wife wrote us lovely letters thanking us and we've kept in touch.

Not long after Deepak's visit, a friend of mine went to India and stayed with Deepak and his wife for a week. She said they were lovely people and really went out of their way to make her feel at home.

I guess I could be putting myself in danger, but I have never had a bad experience. And I love meeting new people. My friend have told me I'm being foolish to do this, but they don't have invitations to Istanbul or Bombay either. I'll keep taking my chances. I think my odds are pretty good.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Celebrating the Orange and Black

Since our Giant's won the Pennant and will be playing in the World Series against the Rangers this coming Wednesday, I found just the thing to wear to the game.

Now, unfortunately, I do not have a ticket for the game. But since I have the perfect ensemble, maybe one of you would like to give me one. That would be nice.

I gather there are tickets for sale, but I was hearing prices like $8,000 and that's a bit out of reach for me. Still, if you happen to have an extra ticket, I would make a nice addition to your ballgame experience.

There are things I would do for a ticket, but they can't be discussed here. Or, they can, actually. I would be your love slave. (Just kidding.) I would cook your meals for week or clean your house. I would also do your laundry. Oh wait! I do that for Alex already and he's not giving me a ticket. Cheap bastard!

Oh well, we'll think of something.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Early on Thursday evening, we went into Harry's apartment to watch the ballgame while we waited for our pizza delivery.

Harry was on his loveseat, Alex on his chair, and I was situated on the sofa. Six eyes were glued to the television screen. The Giant's scored first and we were jubilant! Harry even got into the "High Five" action! Damn, he's a smart dog!

For those of you who aren't sports minded, our San Francisco Giants are one win away from going to the World Series for the first time since 2002.

In 2002, Alex was in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia so I watched the Giant's lose the World Series alone. I was very sad to see them lose.

I was even sadder because I knew Alex would be watching the game and it would depress him too. It was bad enough that he was in the Middle East for a year's deployment but to have his beloved Giants lose a game they should have won was just a heart breaker!

Fast forward 8 years. The Giants are in the playoffs and one game away from winning the Pennant. We had the champagne chilling, the crystal flutes on the table, and our ace pitcher on the mound. Things were good until the 3rd inning. Then things turned not so good with a couple of hits and sloppy defense in the infield.

The unthinkable happened. The Phillies won the game 4 to 2.

Now the Giants must travel to the hostile territory of Philadelphia to try and win one of the next two games. Not an impossible task, but one that worries us.

Still, this torture is better when Alex is at home and not in the Saudi desert. And the champagne will just have to keep chilling. Bring me a beer, Alex.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Annual Zombie Pub Crawl

Last Saturday was the 2nd Annual Zombie Pub Crawl in my town.

My husband and I did errands in the late afternoon that included going over to check out the new "Ross" store that has come to our local shopping center.

The "Ross - Dress For Less" store is exactly like all of the others. Still, I was curious to see what it was like, expecting to be charmed or impressed or something. I was neither charmed nor impressed with the store. It was packed with people and had a line for the cashiers that stretched all the way to the back of the store.

Looking at the long lines, I couldn't help but notice that there were some very garishly made up people among the clientele. Black rings and smudges around eyes, lipstick smeared onto chins and necks, etc. I thought to myself "Queer!", and did the smart thing and got out of there.

When we were walking out, we passed a buxom young lady, dressed in black who was downright ghoulish in appearance. She had a horrid scar painted on her ample cleavage. I did a quick calendar check in my head and realized it was not Halloween yet.

It was not until the next day that a friend told me that she and her friends had attended the "2nd Annual Zombie Pub Crawl" the previous night. I've known for years that Alameda has a Vampire Bar called "Z's", but this zombie stuff is new to me. No wonder I don't go out at night.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Matters of Life and Death

Two weeks ago, it was a different world than it is today.

My friend Michael at Too Many Mornings knows that all too well. He was working and had all the stresses that ordinary life has to offer. On Friday of last week, his wife Kerry was fighting for her life for the second time in a year.

Michael and Kerry have been together since they were 18 years old. They are 50 now. Kerry has a problem with her heart and underwent heart surgery for the second time on Monday. From what I understand, she came through the surgery and now faces the recovery time after this brutal and invasive surgery.

I know that life can change in a moment, and I'm so sorry that Michael and Kerry and their family are going through this nightmare. Still, I am confident that Kerry will be fine. Why do I say this? I say this because it is unimaginable that she would not be.

When I was very young, 25 years old, my 14 month old daughter got very sick. She was diagnosed with meningitis and hospitalized. The doctors could not tell me if she would live or not. If she lived, they said she might be severely retarded or handicapped in some other ways. I did not care if she was impaired; I merely cared that she was alive.

All other concerns were a thing of the past. My daughter was my only concern. I sat in the hospital day and night and spent every moment by her crib. I saw her in that horrible "arch" where her back was bowed for days. She had tubes sticking out of her, and an IV. I was terrified.

I was unable to leave her side. The doctor finally gave me some pills and told me to go home and take them. I had not slept or rested in a full week. I went home and took the pills, and then walked back to the hospital to sit with my daughter.

I put on the face mask and the protective gown and went back into her isolation room. A man I didn't know walked in. He looked at her and told me my daughter was going to be fine. A nurse later told me that he was an eye surgeon from Switzerland and the best eye surgeon in the world.

I believed him. And he was right. My daughter was fine.

Kerry will be fine too.