I Don't Know

I'm the kind of person who tends to philosophize the things I don't understand, or in drastic situations those things that simply make no rational sense to me.

Like death. At my age I've finally come to terms with the death of loved ones. Let's face it, by the time you've reached my age, a fair amount of people have passed on—grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, mentors...


Ach du lieber Gott

Jump on this roller coaster
Ride along with me
Grab a seat in the car of life
Get ready to fly free

Take off slowly, climb that hill
Reach the very top
At the crest now barely moving
Not wanting life to stop

The car of life plunges down
Pulling at your soul
Scary but quite exciting
Fast out of your control

You speed around that hairpin curve
Gasping for your breath,
Hold on tight we are not done yet
That curve was just a test.

You'll climb back up once again
Weary days ahead
Reach the top of a high plateau
Before you plunge ahead

Up and down life always goes
As your day begins
Just when life is most exciting
You tumble down again

(Sherry Gibson)


Wednesday Weirdness

I was having a rather ordinary dream, something to do with being outside, walking. I passed two men who were talking and who didn't notice me. One had a dog with one of those white cone collars on it and I overheard him say to the other man, "She bit him with a chockle-chuck." The weirdness of the phrase woke me up.

Any ideas what that's supposed to mean?


The Holidays Have Arrived

The tree is trimmed...

The halls are decked...

And the stockings are hung on the mantle.

I can't take any credit for how beautiful our home looks because the kids did the tree and Nettl did all the decorating. Looks like I'll be the one to take it all down after the new year... But until then, the mood is festive around here and we're loving the holidays! All our best wishes to you, too!



After enjoying a dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers, we noticed that it had started to snow. The first snow! Then, turning around the channels we found that "White Christmas" was on, so we watched that while lying on the bed still keeping one eye on the snow outside.

It has been the perfect Thanksgiving. Nothing special, not formal and no big to-dos. Just cozy and homey and relaxed. Tomorrow evening we're decorating for the holidays, and with the promise of more snow, we can't wait to get to it!

Answer Me These Questions Eight

Because I'm fat, sated and lazy after the feast, I'm answering a meme I got from Kelly, who didn't specifically tag me but rather tossed out an open invitation. It's "Eight Things" of various sorts...


Stop Calling Me

There is a man I know who lives in California. He detests computers and has never had an email address. He's one of the sweetest people you'd ever want to meet and is incredibly spiritual, basically an old hippie, now 70 years of age. He somehow glommed onto me and now he calls me every single day of the week. And he'll talk on and on for one or two hours. The same things over and over again. And he's growing increasingly demanding. He asked me to build him a website to sell a CD he made, and I agreed and charged him a nominal fee. VERY nominal. Like, RIDICULOUSLY nominal. Nearly FREE...


Wowser Browser

One of my clients has a Mac and uses the Safari browser. Because he sees his site a bit differently than how I see it in Firefox and I.E., I decided to download Safari for Windows so I can better help him realize the look he wants.
First off, I have to say that I really like Safari's interface and overall look and functionality. The only drawback I can see at this point is that this blog has some visual issues, namely, the header graphic drops down over most of the nav bar and is situated a little off-center. The other problem is that the sidebar content is offset a bit too far to the right. Another issue is that pop-up photos (on the sites I've created) don't appear. The thumbnails are there, but the pop-up window remains blank.

These aren't horrendous problems, but some that I'm going to look into since I've had four clients that use Safari.

If any of you have some advice, I'd be more than grateful to hear from you!

Life as Idiom

Excuse my French, but, my so-called life! When it rains, it pours. It's either feast or famine with me. Just when I was about to give up the ghost because I was suddenly struck as poor as a church mouse and began beating the pavement to get a real job, I was hit up-side the head with a mountain of work. I've been as busy as a one-armed paperhanger with a number of paying jobs, for which I'm jumping for joy. Most of these have to do with web design, but one is musical, although I haven't had the time of day to dedicate myself to it. I spent the weekend working at a feverish pace on one site and I've burned the candle at both ends, setting in as soon as my feet hit the floor and working into the wee hours, say, 4:30am. Yesterday, I got out of the wrong side of the bed and was really grumpy because the phone rang off the hook all day. You all know how I love the phone...


All Tanked Up & Nowhere to Go

I can't remember the last time I sat here at my desk with a glass of wine, in the mood to blog. I've been going to bed earlier lately, and if I am at a computer at night, it's usually my laptop because I can surf both the web and the TV channels at the same time. Lazy sod...


Silence - The Purest Music

I've complained for nearly three years about the ongoing road construction by our house. They're now getting close to the end, I think, because they're paving it. That sounds nice, but the noise that has been invading our lives for the past week is finally driving me nuts.

The asphalt paving machinery emits a loud, low frequency that makes left ear flutter, and quite painfully.



If It Feels Good, Do It!

Nettl posted this to her blog last week and I just have to pass it along to you. We've been doing the Gratitude Dance all weekend and it really feels good. These are the people I'm thanking in advance:
  1. That kid at the bank who was only doing his job,
  2. Lynette, Lawrence and Mary,
  3. Charity,
  4. My lawyer,
  5. My mother, and
  6. My uncle.
This dance is for you!


My First Big Audience

Damn. Wish I hadn't cut up this
pic. Before, you could see the
Doobies standing off to the left.
How could I know they were
going to be famous??
Last week I told you some things about when I live in Laurel Canyon. Rick Strauss, the leader of the commune had a vision of his talented hippies as a troupe of entertainers, whom he wanted to spotlight in concerts, television shows, and neo-vaudeville variety concerts, and called us The Shady Oak Family. Our largest efforts were free weekend concerts on Venice Beach, for which we were interviewed by the L.A. Times for a cover spread of the entertainment section of the Sunday edition.

Up until this time I'd only performed in coffeehouses, so the idea of playing at an outdoor concert in this very public place was exciting. Rick wanted to promote me as a kind of Peter Pan of music, because I was really tiny and gamin-like, and his wife designed some outfits for me that were nothing more than tights, a turtleneck, and a suede, hand-painted deerskin tunic bound around the waist with an elven-styled belt. She'd also designed medieval shoes to complete the look...


Laptop Cafe

It might not be a big deal to some people, but it's one for me. Today, I'm doing something I've always wanted to do: I'm sitting in a cafe, drinking a cappuccino and writing this on my laptop (no, that picture isn't mine. I left my camera at home). While out doing some "special shopping", I decided to duck into the Hardback Cafe and fulfill a tiny ambition of mine. If I had access to the car in the day times (and a little more spending loot), I'd do this at least once a week.

And now that I'm here doing this, I can't think of anything worthwhile to write. Isn't that always the way?

On November 9, 1974

~ I was wakened a little after 8:30 with nausea and a mild backache.

~ The day before was your due date and I took Joel (in his stroller) for a long walk through the newly-opened Levitz showroom, hoping to speed things up a bit (your brother had been 2 weeks over-due and I didn't want that to happen again).

~ That day, your dad had to put my shoes on me because I couldn't reach my feet.

~ The night before I was up mopping the kitchen floor (nesting instincts in full "go" mode).

~ I called the doctor, who told me to go to the hospital. I argued with him, not thinking I was anywhere near labor.

~ We dropped Joel off at the home of some friends and drove to St. John's Hospital in Oxnard, a good 15 miles from home.

~ After getting settled in a labor room, your dad and I played cards (Rummy 500).

~ I still wasn't sure I was in labor and as they wheeled me into the delivery room, I asked if I was, and were they going to keep me. They assured me this was the real thing.

~ The doctor, thinking I had a long wait ahead of me, left to play tennis. The nurses ran after and caught him before the elevator took him downstairs.

~ Only a few minutes later, your dad appeared not fully gowned, and the doctor delivered you at 11:00 am, still in his tennis clothes. You were in a hurry!

~ The entire process, from the time I woke up to the time you were born, took only 45 minutes.

~ I jokingly asked the doctor if we could have our "Bradley Method" money back, since we didn't get to use any of what we'd learned in the classes.

~ You had a little round red mark on your "3rd eye" just like your brother had when he was born. Were you guys Hindu in a past life?

~ Afterward, I had lasagna for lunch, feeling great.

~ When we left the hospital two days later, I was back in my normal clothes and weighing 103lbs, only 3lbs heavier than when I got pregnant with you.

~ You had steel blue eyes and auburn hair, weighing 8lbs 12oz and measuring 18" tall.

~ You were an absolute joy then, just as you are now. I have always been madly in love with you, and that will never change.



Waller on Floyd

Why do I like this guy? His dishes don't always look that great, I'll probably never use one of his recipes, and he desperately needs a hairdresser. Still, whenever the Food Network runs his series, I watch. Maybe it's because he cooks on the streets and harbors of Mediterranean cities, drawing crowds that he never chases away. Or maybe it's because he doesn't give a damn about presentation and drinks wine while he cooks. Maybe it's because he seems to be suppressing a slightly irascible, alcoholic personality. Whatever it is, I like watching "Floyd on Food", not because of the food, but because of Keith Floyd.

Come on. Wouldn't you enjoy emptying a few bottles of chianti with him?


A Papa's Wisdom

My father (whose family hailed from the St. Wolfgangsee area of Austria) used to tell a little story about a boy named Hans. It seems Hans' father found his son outside every morning digging up piles of manure. Finally, he called out, "Hans! Why do you keep digging that manure every morning?"

To which Hans replied, "Well, with all this Scheisse, Papa, there has to be a pony somewhere!"

That pretty much sums me up in a nutshell.


OK at 100

A choir made of the Stillwater Honor Choir, Stillwater Junior High School Choir, Stillwater High School Pioneer Chorale and The Stillwater Chamber Choir sing “We are the Music Makers” on Monday evening at the "Oklahoma at 100 Gala Concert" at Stillwater High School’s Performing Arts Center. (That's Nettl, by the way; click to enlarge)

Read full story here...

Tuesdays With Mozart: "Playing by Ear"


Kicking and $creaming

I began working during the summer before my senior year, in 1968. After eight years in factories, department stores, and restaurants, I finally got a job in the financial department of a music company handwriting receipts for mail orders (yes, before computers, we actually used ballpoint pens). I stayed with that company for the next 14 years, moving through the ranks from Girl Friday (terrible term, that) to Financial Secretary to Data Entry, Accounts Receivable to Accounts Payable to Junior Accountant. I sometimes worked second jobs along the way slapping pizzas, pouring cappuccinos and, best of all, as Maestro Salazar's assistant with the symphony and his TA at the college. I was a single parent and did whatever it took...

When I Live in Vienna

When I live in Vienna and am bracing for my first Winter there:
I shall wear a long wool coat, leather gloves,

...a cashmere scarf,

...and a jaunty fedora.

And when I'm old I shall use a stylish walking stick,

...and carry a flask because one can always use a little fortification against the cold!

Option Se7en

Cafe Writing instructs:

"Give me seven of your favorite words. You don’t have to explain them, but it’s more fun for readers if you do."
  1. Gossamer: The first time I really took notice of this word was in a letter from Dee in 1970. She was describing her view of the mist that lay over her back yard.

  2. Lugubrious: I think I've only used this word twice in my life, but I'm always looking for a good reason to.

  3. Facetious: My mother, the daughter of a literature teacher, used this word frequently, so I was already using it before I got into middle school. I was also made fun of by other kids for my use of "big words". I still don't think this qualifies.

  4. Macabre: As much fun to say as it is to read.

  5. Level: Because it looks exactly like what it means.

  6. Absurd: In my private hours I often refer to my life as the Circus of the Absurd.

  7. Parsimonious: Something I know that I shall never be.


The First Time I Said the "F Word"

I spent the last half of 1971 in an exclusive commune in the Hollywood Hills in a mansion at 3615 Shady Oak Road (view vicinity & inset) that was owned by Peter Tork of the Monkees. This is a famous house in rock & roll history. It had been rented by Stephen Stills during the making of Crosby, Stills & Nash's greatest album, Déjà-Vu (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Dallas Taylor & Neil Young). In fact, there were two rooms off of the pool that had been their rehearsal and recording studios and it was easy to imagine the likes of Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins and the entire Laurel Canyon rock & roll enclave hanging out there...


They're Back!!!

You die-hards won't read anything I'd like to write about this because you'll be looking for the link, so I'll just give it to you to read for yourself:

MST3k (with the original cast in NEW episodes) is back!!!x

Coffee or Tea?

Okay, I tried. For the sake of health, all week I've had tea ("Earl Grey, very hot") in the morning instead of coffee. I really love both, but tea just doesn't do it for me when I first wake up. Drinking tea feels more civilized and gentle, but, due to the time I spent in England years ago, I suppose, I think of tea as an afternoon, not morning, drink. I decided to drink tea upon waking because my ulcer started to act up. The other reason was that I heard a woman on telly say that those afternoon naps are due to caffeine let-down. Nevertheless, I'm going back to coffee. It's not because of withdrawals, because I haven't experienced any symptoms (I only drink two cups a day), I just miss the morning clarity. I miss the aroma and the body of coffee. Tea comforts, coffee bolsters, and in the morning I need the latter...


Remembering to Remember

I force myself to believe that recent events are merely birth pangs that are opening the floodgates to the things I have asked of the universe.

I force myself to be strong so that I may continue to bolster the faith my family has in our dreams.

I force myself to see these "setbacks" as signs of promise, not harbingers of doom.

I will persevere.
I will draw goodness and bounty to me.
I will have the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical strength to do what I must.
I will believe.

"Without exception, every human being has the ability to transform
any weakness or suffering into strength, power,
perfect peace, health, and abundance."