Remarkable Women Bloggers

I have the great honor and pleasure of reading the blogs of women who really inspire me with their life experience, their courage and their strength. I just wanted to give a shout-out to these true heroines because, too often, they go unsung. Their blogs are witty, interesting, and/or inspiring, but sometimes it's easy to forget the challenges they face on a daily basis because, well, they don't always write about them. Please pay these bloggers a visit. You'll be glad you did! And now, here, in alphabetical order, are my favorite Remarkable Women Bloggers...


The Day I Met a Princess

Princess Margrethe II in Solvang.
It seems that the press has always found me. I don't know why, nor have I ever really sought that kind of attention (other kinds, yes, but not the journalistic kind). Apologies to my cyber-trolls, but any attention that I've gotten in the media has come out-of-the-blue with no machinations on my part.

Growing up in Solvang, California was a surreal experience. The people who lived there in the 50s and early 60s were first and second generation Danes who had moved from the Midwest. Some of them were from Denmark, too, so I grew up speaking and understanding a little Danish and really loving the food, as well as the oom-pa music, polkas especially. These things weren't that far removed from my own Austrian culture anyway, so none of it felt out of the ordinary at the time. But growing up surrounded by dirndls, knee breeches and wooden shoes—and not even noticing them—seems to me, now, to be kind of cool and different...

Thoughtful Links

From Going Like Sixty:
"The phones are recycled and the money is used to buy phone cards for troops. It’s a helluva a project started by a couple teenagers! The vast majority of phones in the United States are temporarily stashed in junk drawers and storage closets before ultimately being discarded – contributing a staggering 13,750 tons of unused cell phones to landfills every year. A mobile phone contains toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and beryllium, and hazardous chemicals, such as brominated flame retardants (BFR) which can cause birth defects. Not only will recycling help the environment, it will help the troops."...


Getting Up Close

A couple of years ago I did this and people seemed to enjoy it. Below are six photographs that were taken with an electron microscope. They are all rather ordinary things and none are bacteria, microbes, etc., although two are part of something living. Click to embiggify...



Yeah, I'm moody. I admit it. But I've learned how to keep things in check for the most part, unless I get hurt, or if someone is being unfair or unreasonable, or hardheaded for the sake of their ego.

What most people don't know about me is that although I'm strong, I'm not tough. I bleed easily, although only those who are closest to me know that. It's not something I particularly like people to know, because there have been so many who have exploited it in the past. In fact, my iron strength is what I've had to develop in order to keep people from getting to my soft center...

Where I'd Be Today

Sod the fact that I can't actually go there -- this is where I'd be today, if I could: a cottage in Donnegal, Ireland. What would I be doing? Nettl and I would be drinking pots of tea and stuffing ourselves on scones and Irish soda bread. Later, we'd take ourselves outside to sit by the stream, where we'd read, write and talk.

In the late afternoon we'd walk to the neighborhood pub, where I'd drink a couple of pints and she'd have a cider or two, and we'd order a dinner of pub grub. Then we'd walk back to the cottage and sit by the fire as the evening shadows grew long.

She'd fall asleep before me and I'd pull out my laptop and write, remembering all of the tales my Irish mother told me about the Sidhe and the wee folk.

Yeah, that's where I'd be today.


If It's a Small World After All, Why Can't I See It?

Do you ever wonder about living another place you've never visited? Sometimes I'll be watching the Travel Channel and I'll think, "I wonder, if I'd visited that place when I was younger and loved it, would I have been happier living there?" I mean, what if I went to, say, Helsinki and realized that it was the place I should have been living all these years?...


Misheard Lyrics

I think we all mishear song lyrics from time-to-time. Here are a few that I found at various sites online:

By the Police - Message In A Bottle:
Actual: "A year has passed since I wrote my note"
Misheard: "A year has passed since I broke my nose"

By the Beatles - Michelle:
Actual: "Michelle ma belle, sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble"
Misheard: "Michelle ma belle, some say monkeys play piano well, play piano well"

By the Beatles - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds:
Actual: "The girl with kaleidoscope eyes"
Misheard: "The girl with colitis goes by"

The Bee Gees – Stayin' Alive:
Actual: "It's alright, it's okay, you may look the other way"
Misheard: "It's alright, it's okay, you make love the other way"

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody:
Actual: "Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?"
Misheard: "Scallaboosh, Scallaboosh, will you do the banned tango?"

David Bowie – Changes:
Actual: "Strange fascination fascinating me"
Misheard: "Strange vaccinations are killing me"

Manfred Mann - Blinded By The Light:
Actual: "Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night"
Misheard: "Wrapped up like a douchbag in the middle of the night"

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon On The Rise:
Actual: "There's a bad moon on the rise"
Misheard: "There's a bathroom on the right"

Paul Young - Every Time You Go Away:
Actual: "Every time you go away you take a piece of me with you"
Misheard: "Every time you go away you take a piece of meat with you"

Herman's Hermits - Must To Avoid:
Actual: "She's a must to avoid"
Misheard: "She's a muscular boy"

Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes:
Actual: "She knows how to make a pro blush"
Misheard: "She knows how to make pub lunch"

Neil Diamond - Forever In Blue Jeans:
Actual: "Forever in blue jeans"
Misheard: "For Reverend Blue Jeans"

Bonnie Tyler - Heartache:
Actual: "It's a heartache, nothing but a heartache"
Misheard: "It's hard egg, nothing but a hard egg"

Paul Simon - Graceland:
Actual: "As if Id never noticed, the way she brushed her hair from her forehead"
Misheard: "As if I'd never noticed, the way she brushed her hair, and farted"

And probably the most famous misheard lyric of all time:
Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze:
Actual: "S'cuse me while I kiss the sky"
Misheard: "S'cuse me while I kiss this guy"

Here are my own:

Sam Cooke - Twisting The Night Away
Actual: "He's dancing with the chick in slacks"
Misheard: "He's dancing with the chicken slats"

Jimmy Buffet - Margaritaville:
Actual: "Wastin' away again in Margaritaville, searching for my lost shaker of salt"
Misheard: "Wasted away again in Margaritaville, searching for my outlaw shaker of salt"

What are some of your misheard lyrics?

Tragic Irony

I posted my previous entry not knowing that I was about to spend the time from 3 am to 4:30 am in the emergency room. My son, Joel, is receiving IV fluids and antibiotics for a severe kidney infection. If his fever comes down in an hour or two, they'll call and I can go get him. If not, he'll have to be admitted.

Poor guy. He thought he had the flu, and then we all thought it was a bladder infection. I'd planned to take him to the doctor tomorrow morning--well, this morning--but around 2:30 I heard him throwing up and I made the decision to take him to the ER. So here I sit, drinking coffee to stay awake, worrying, and waiting for the phone to ring.

I don't know when I'll get to bed because I have to take Nettl to work and Heather to school, then, if Joel can come home, I'll need to get groceries with special stuff for him. If he's not home, then I'll be at the hospital all day. Whatever happens, I'll keep you posted. Good and positive thoughts for Joel are much appreciated!

UPDATE - 7:15 am:
Joel's home! I'm going to take Nettl and Heather to their "ports o' call" and then I'm coming home and going to bed.

Thanks everyone!


Start The Week Laughing

In hope of starting your week out with a laugh, here are some true stories from medical doctors:

A man comes into the ER and yells, "My wife's going to have her baby in the cab!" I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress, and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs, and I was in the wrong one.
Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Antonio, TX

At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall. "Big breaths," I instructed. "Yes, they used to be," remorsefully replied the patient.
Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle, WA

One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a "massive internal fart".
Dr. Susan Steinberg, Manitoba, Canada

During a patient's two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications. "Which one?" I asked. "The patch. The nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running out of places to put it!" I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
Dr. Rebecca St. Clair, Norfolk, VA

While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, "How long have you been bed-ridden?" After a look of complete confusion she answered, "Why, not for about twenty years, when my husband was alive."
Dr. Steven Swanson, Corvallis, OR


I was caring for a woman from Kentucky and asked, "So, how's your breakfast this morning?" "It's very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste," the patient replied. I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled KY Jelly.
Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit, MI

A new, young MD doing his residency in OB was quite embarrassed performing female pelvic exams. To cover his embarrassment he had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly. The middle-aged lady upon whom he was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassed him. He looked up from his work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I tickling you?" She replied, "No doctor, but the song you were whistling was 'I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener."
Won't admit his name

Hat Tip to Fun Meme.


My Musical Roots: The Folkie Never Dies

Greenwich Village c. 1960.
When I was about 10 I discovered I absolutely loved folk music, and the song that triggered that was Walk Right I by the Rooftop Singers. Suddenly, I was consumed with an overwhelming desire to learn guitar, and watching Hootenanny on TV became a weekly tradition in our home. Born into a family of professional musicians, my obsession was of course indulged.

My 14 year-old foster sister, Ginger, had a friend who visited her from Texarkana for a weekend. Her name was Millie. She'd brought her guitar with her, and she let me play around with it, teaching me the song, Abilene. She also taught me Green Green by The New Christy Minstrels and my life was forever changed.


I'm Yearbooked!

Okay, so I found this cool little thing at Look At This, and then I saw it on Going Like 60, and I decided that I had to get in on the act.

Me in the 1960s

Me in the 1970s

Me in the 1980s

I SO didn't look like any of these...

Go Yearbook Yourself!

Let It Breathe

Over the past week the subject of friendship has come up over and over again. Not believing in coincidences, I've taken this as something I'm supposed to look into and examine.

Last night as I sat listening to the music of Simon and Garfunkel, Gordon Lightfoot, Peter, Paul and Mary, and other folk artists of the 60s, I enjoyed watching my memories of those years pass across my mind. That's when it occurred to me that this month marks the 40th anniversary of my and Deni's friendship. Forty years. Incredible. How does a friendship that started when we were only sixteen last that long? I think of everything we've been through, both individually and together, and it blows my mind. I think, as I commented on someone's blog the other day, that it comes down to letting it breathe. Many years ago Donovan recited the following poem:

When two lovers touch hands,
They touch the two of them touching hands,
They touch the one of them in the space between
As each the other's hands doth touch.

When two lovers kiss lips,
They kiss the two of them kissing lips,
They kiss the one of them in the space between
As each the other's lip doth kiss.

When two lovers hold each other,
They hold the two of them holding each other,
They hold the one of them in the space between
As each the other holds.

I've never been casual about friendship. In fact, I've always loved my friends more fiercely than I've befriended my lovers. Ville says, "I don't make friends, I fall in love" and that's true for me, too. (Our friendship is 21 years old now--old enough to drink!) Friendship is love, just as romance is love, except that friendship doesn't have all of the legal, social, and moral expectations and obligations attached to it. In some ways it's freer, with fewer strings attached. I'm not saying that one is better or higher than the other, I'm just saying that they're different, yet they're the same in that they go through very similar phases.

When I meet a new friend, I want to spend as much time as possible with them. We become inseparable. There's the "honeymoon" phase during which everything about them is delightful, funny, meaningful, and our conversations are punctuated with, "Me too!" and "I never thought anyone else felt that way!" Then a little time passes and you start to notice things that bug you. Reality steps in and you find ways that you are different. Sometimes there are disagreements and sometimes a falling-out can happen. And when you call it quits it's as painful as ending a romance. When one of my oldest friends and I broke up years ago, I dubbed it "Let it Be" because it was every bit as painful and bitter as what the Beatles went through (also, we were Beatle Peatles together since the age of twelve). It was a divorce and, because we'd been roommates for a few years, there was even community property. We never worked out our differences and over the years we grew so far apart in our interests and beliefs that there was no bridging the gap when she tried to woo me back a couple of years ago. We had nothing in common anymore.

But I think that if we allow the friendship to grow and evolve as if it were a separate entity--a child, if you like--then we will never lose that friendship. It has to breathe, and sometimes when it inhales, it pushes the two people apart. But then it exhales and we're brought back together. If we let it grow and venture outward, it will only be stronger when it returns to us. Of course, all I'm saying is that we need to allow our friends to be who and what they are. No strings, no conditions. Some friendships can be saved and some can't, though.

Kahlil Gibran said that we should have spaces in our togetherness. What breathes in there is the one "in the space between".

Happy 40th Deni. I cannot imagine my life without you in it and I can't imagine what I would have been had we never met.

You may read the story of our friendship here.


Famous Places No. 3

As if I haven't given you enough puzzler pain this week, here is another place for you to identify. You can Rot-13 your guesses, but it isn't necessary.

Hint #1: Looks like stone, but made of pine.


Action Verbs & Incessant Noise

The only thing worse than action verbs before I've had my first cup of coffee in the morning is action. I don't know why, but I woke up this morning knowing something was wrong. Maybe it was because I didn't get to sleep until after 5:00 am. Maybe it was Heather waking me up about an hour later by talking to her mom on the landing outside our bedroom door. Maybe it was the steady drone of the AC turbine out side, the one that never turns off, regardless of the temperature. See? I try to sleep one night without ear plugs and this is what happens. I finally just got up and went downstairs to make the coffee...


What a Dog

From my earliest memories there was always a dog in our family. My mother was a great animal lover and she passed that quality on down to me, a quality that wasn't particularly shared by the males in the family. That surprised me, too. My dad was the gentlest, warmest, most affectionate and lovable man I've ever known, but he didn't like animals -- something I've always had trouble figuring out. How can you not love animals? Here are the dogs I've known and loved.

I don't remember life before "Lady". In fact, I hardly even remember her. I don't know where she came from, or why my mom wanted a Dalmation, but I do remember playing with her in the back yard when I was about four years. One day she bit me and that was it. My dad found her a new home.

My uncle Wes (not really my uncle) was a beautiful, black-haired, blue-eyed dancer in Hollywood films in the 40s and 50s. Let's just say he was a bit flamboyant, which was no big deal with my show biz family. He was a member of our family, having even moved from Kansas to California with the family in 1948. I loved my uncle Wes. He was a lot of fun (probably only 22 or so at the time) and he babysat me in the afternoons when my mom had to work. He had a thing for little dogs and gave us a black American Cocker Spaniel when I was about five. He named her "Skibow". Don't ask because I don't know. She was a great dog, though not too smart, and she peed whenever she got excited. My dad called her "Knot Head". She eventually went deaf and died in her sleep when I was 16.

When I was about 10 a friend of my mom's was given a Miniature Poodle puppy as a housewarming gift. Great friend, huh? She didn't like dogs, so she kept him in the garage at night and on a rope in the back yard during the day. Whenever we went to her house I beat a track to visit "Pierre" (whose AKC name was "Joyful Jacques"). He was as smart as they come and always loved seeing me. Recognizing the mutual affection we held for each other, my mom's friend gave him to me. He and Skibow got along well, but Pierre and I were soul mates. He always amazed people with his intelligence. In the late 60s he got a kidney disease and had to be put down. It was very difficult for me.

Sometime after Pierre died, my dad brought home a forlorn little Cockapoo named "Shadow". She'd lost both of her elderly owners and needed a home. It took her a little while to get used to life without them, but once she made the transition she was a jewel of a dog. This was Joel's first dog, and they loved each other. She wasn't very bright, but she was sweet-natured and even won over my dad. Except when she peed on his new avocado green carpet. That's when he installed a pet door. Shadow grew deaf as she aged and her barks turned into hilarious siren-like yelps. And she got so ancient that she smelled. We called her the "Stink Pooch" or the "Choop Knits" (choop ka-nits) behind her back. She died one summer afternoon while napping in her favorite spot in our back yard: under the apple tree in the soft, green grass.

Somewhere in there Joel, Micah and I lived in a house on the east end of Ventura and I got the brilliant idea of getting an Old English Sheepdog. I count this as one of my life's dumbest ideas. A single mom of two little boys (2 and 6) has no business owning such a high-maintenance dog. We had him for about a year and then I gave him to a good family with little kids. His name was "Sebastian". The family called me frequently to tell me how happy he was with them and how much their kids loved him. That's a happy ending.

Then came "Cleo", or "The Lug" as we called her, because she was just a big old lug. I don't think there's a sweeter-natured, more patient dog than the black Labrador Retriever. In her mind the boys were her puppies and she happily let them maul her and roll all over her. She was never more in her glory than when she had kids all over her. Everyone loved The Lug, and she died after as long and happy a life as a Labby can hope for.

Last, but definitely not least, there was Fritz, a Yorkshire Terrier. I worked for a groomer one summer and fell in love with the little tea cup Yorkies that came in there. Later, when I told a girlfriend that I wanted to get a Yorkie, she bought me one that was 9 months old. But he wasn't the tea cup variety, he was larger. At first, I had trouble liking him. Don't ever buy a dog for someone! That's as stupid as an arranged marriage! In a little time, however, Fritz really grew on me. Soon, we were absolutely inseparable. Finally, he became my dearest friend and counsel while I was my dad's primary caretaker during the last year of his life. Fritz saw me through a lot of sadness and grief. And talk about smart! If dogs reincarnate, then he had to have been Pierre; he was even smarter though. Everyone who knew Fritz swore there was a little man living in him. When I moved here to Stillwater I left him in Denver with my mom, who adored him, and then when she had her stroke he stayed with my brother and sister-in-law who loved him, too. I lost track of Fritz, but I suppose he's gone now. I miss him every day of my life and I wish things would have turned out differently. And this is exactly what he looked like. He never suffered the indignity of little bows and barrettes. He wouldn't have it. The only groomer's accessory he liked was a bandanna tied around his neck. Hey, it was Denver and in his mind he was a man.

I haven't had a dog since 1999, and it's hard for me. When we can get a dog, Nettl and I have decided on a Miniature Schnauzer, but I'd also like to get another Yorkie. If I had a large property I could easily have several dogs and be perfectly happy. I love cats, but I really love dogs.


Monday Miscellanea

The house is suddenly quiet (except for the damned AC turbine), and it's going to get quieter. Today is Heather's first day of college. Last night she informed us that she would no longer be showering at home, because she and her friend will be working out at the campus gym every morning before class and so use the showers there. There are suddenly 57 or so fewer bottles of product on the shower shelf. Lauren will be moving into her first apartment near the OU campus on Friday morning. That means about 43 more bottles of product will be gone! Suddenly, the gridlock that was the space between our bedroom door and the master bathroom has disappeared. When I wake up on weekend mornings, I will no longer have to wait up to 1.5 hours just to take a morning pee. Everyone's off to college... unbelievable.
  • It seems that I might have a shot at working for Microsoft. Judging by one of their interview questions, that is. I got it right off the bat; not all that hard! I'll give you the answer if you want it, but it's not one of my quizzes or anything.

    "Imagine an analog clock set to 12 o’clock. Note that the hour and minute hands overlap. How many times each day do both the hour and minute hands overlap? How would you determine the exact times of the day that this occurs?"
  • I was a total geek all weekend. Nettl and I have web portal pages and I'd gotten tired of the old ones. Here are the new ones I made (click to embiggiate):
I also made one for Lauren.


"Who Am I?" No. 4

UPDATE: Monday Morning:
You guys got 'em! GOOD GOING! I know that one was kind of tough.
Here are the stats:

J.P. Deni: 6
B.E. Earl: 6
Blog Queen: 3
Ville: 1

So we have a tie... Go get your cookies!
Great game everyone.
Original Post (with the answers):

Actually, this one should be titled, "Who Are We?" Have fun working these out over your Sunday morning coffee! I'll reveal the answers in 24 hours. And don't forget, the one who correctly guesses the largest number of these famous men will win the cookie!

1. Eminem (identified by B.E. Earl)
2. George Clooney (identified by J.P. Deni & Blog Queen)

3. Jean Van Damme (identified by J.P. Deni)
4. Keanu Reeves (identified by J.P. Deni)5. Kurt Cobain (identified by B.E. Earl)
6. Leonardo Di Capprio (identified by B.E. Earl)
7. Marilyn Manson (identified by B.E. Earl)
8. Patrick Swayze (identified by J.P. Deni & Blog Queen)
9. Ricky Martin (identified by J.P. Deni
10. Robert DiNero (identified by B.E. Earl)
11. Tom Cruise (identified by B.E. Earl)
12. Tom Hanks (identified by J.P. Deni & Blog Queen)


Making a Not-So-Joyful Noise

Sometimes I wonder what life must have been like before the Industrial Revolution. I'm not talking about the lack of modern conveniences, I'm talking about the noise these things generate every day on a continual basis, some of which we don't even consciously hear anymore but only notice when we're removed from it. Like when we lie on a beach, or spend a few days in the country.

Yeah, like I ever get to do that. I thought that's what my hammock was for. Silly me...

Submitted For Your Approval


Is It Friday Already?

Seems like every week Friday comes a little sooner. I can't believe how time flies. And every year it flies a little faster. Cliché, but true.

A friend once told me that the rate at which time passes is relative to the heart rate. That time seems to pass more quickly as we age because our hearts slow down. This makes sense to me, and makes we wonder if it also means that an animal 's life, say a cat's life, seems as long to them as ours does to us. It's all relative anyway.

Speaking of the time and flying, did you ever stop to consider that flying somewhere on a commercial jet is really nothing more than sitting in a long, silver waiting room? Ever since an old friend of mine told me that, it comes back to me when I fly, and then I start getting bored. Now I've passed it on to you. Thanks a lot, huh? Can you imagine being stuck in a Social Security Office the size of an aisle at Walmart, with screaming kids for 12 hours? God, don't you just hate me now?

Have a great Friday. Hope you're not flying anywhere for the weekend.


Except I'm Not Bald

I am Jean-Luc Picard
A lover of Shakespeare and other fine literature. You have a decisive mind and a firm hand in dealing with others.

Jean-Luc Picard - 65%
Uhura - 60%
Beverly Crusher - 55%
Deanna Troi - 55%
Will Riker - 50%
Geordi LaForge - 50%
Chekov - 45%
Mr. Scott - 45%
Dr. McCoy - 45%
James T. Kirk - 45%
Spock - 37%
Worf - 30%
An expendable character (Redshirt) - 30%
Data - 29%
Mr. Sulu - 15%

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Hat tip to T Town Tommy

Glimpses of the Garden

I'm calling it an early night, but before I crawl off to bed I'd like to share these pictures with you. Good night all!...


The Hunt for the Perfect Manuscript

When Lynette and I were in Vienna last I said that I had to go to Musikhaus Doblinger in the Dorotheergasse. I'd discovered during my first stay in the city that only they carry the perfect manuscript. I've always been very particular where music paper is concerned. I prefer off-white 100g paper that has a smooth surface so that pencil or pen glide along it like skating on ice. I also prefer 12-staves printed front and back and I like it to be about 11.5 by 8 inches. Landscape only, please. And the lines must not be more than 1/16th of an inch apart. As usual, click the images to enbiggify.

I came home with only two booklets and now that I'm back to composing I need more. I used to buy my manuscript exclusively from Judy Green Music in Hollywood when I lived in California, but I find that it's just too heavy, too yellow, too big, and too expensive. A slightly comparable booklet from her would cost me nearly $20, where what I really want from Doblinger is only about 4 euro.

I went to the Doblinger website thinking that I could order two more booklets, only to find that they don't have any for sale online. Maybe they no longer have that booklet in stock, I don't know.

Can you believe that we live in a city with a university that boasts a better-than-average music department, yet there are no music stores here? Well, there's one, Daddy-O's, but it caters to the Rock crowd. There's no place to even buy sheet music here! Unbelievable.

So, I'm hoping I can find something online, but it's really impossible for me because manuscript is something that I must feel and weigh in my hands before I can commit to buying it.

That's it, really. Just thought I'd share.

Brain Exhaust

Because I woke up with a migraine yesterday, I slept away large portions of the day with several naps. Consequently, I'm awake now and probably won't get to sleep before dawn. What's new, right?

Although I was out of it, I thought a lot. What else can you do when you lock yourself in your bedroom, shut the blinds and avoid anything that's televised or broadcast, or otherwise louder than a pin drop?...


Was That YOU?

Every once in a while I just have to have a great big old glass of milk. The problem is, I'm lactose intolerant, and we all know what that means...

Because it's only 1%, I got some chocolate milk this afternoon and enjoyed. That was bad enough, but I think it was an even worse idea to have "Grillin' Beans" and watermelon with dinner. I apologize.


Going 1 Step Beyond

RW has created a pretty cool quiz for finding out who we are deep beneath the public bullshit and masks. You should take it. Here are my results:

White Knight
White Knight

Going 1 step beyond I would be rescuing damsels in distress, standing up as a champion for the underdog and/or righting every wrong you could possibly imagine. I am the incorruptible cop, the brave friend of little children, and the one who will constantly save your ass from your own repeated idiocies. When I die I don't need statues in my honor, just name your children and dogs after me. That would be pretty cool.

Take Your Secret Self 1 Step Beyond today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

I'm Going to Scream!

From Micah's webcam.
For the past week there has been a group of workmen putting in an AC for the building across the way. This is spitting distance from the windows on the south side of our house. I've been pretty patient, and I've tried to stay optimistic that the addition of yet another AC turbine won't add all that much to the noise level during summer. They have that going now, and it's really not that bad. Not that bad, considering it sounds like a wind tunnel out there. But they've been running a portable generator all frickin day that is about to make me go out there and start reaming me some ass. Of course, the men have to yell to communicate with each other above the noise. It's given me a pounding headache.

I'm quickly changing my mind about buying this house. We'll never have a summer day or night without the wind tunnel if we stay here. I mean, our house is now situated smack in the middle of two large turbines. The good points are 1) the old turbine doesn't stay on 24-7 like the new one does and, 2) at least they're in the same pitch. If they were the interval of a 2nd I'd be going seriously mad.


The Mic(ah)croCam

I just happened to visit Micah's webcam and saw this. That's our cat lounging on top of the storm cellar.

I just went out there so that I could get in the act, too.

Mosquito Magnet

I just want to take a moment to offer my services to you. If you're planning an outdoor event—a party or a back yard BBQ—invite me. I don't eat much and all I ask for in payment is access to your beer cooler or kegerator. Why? Because I'm a mosquito magnet. None of my guests get bitten because the little buggers all flock to me. I wear repellent bracelets on all four limbs, I wear white, loose-fitting clothing, I use herbal repellents, I don't put drip trays beneath my plants and I surround the patio with a multitude of citronella candles and smoking mosquito lanterns. Still, they find me and feast away.

It takes 24 hours for me to feel the full effect and to begin counting the bites. From last Friday night I have 6 on my right foot, 1 on my right ankle, 3 on my right leg, 4 on my right arm, 3 on my left foot, 2 on my left leg and 1 on my left arm. That's 20 bites. And due to my messed up, over-active immune system, they're as big as nickels and the itching is awful. Some are even bruised.

I love summer and I love my hammock, but I can't go out there at night anymore. I really don't want to get the West Nile Virus and something about coating my skin with insecticide completely turns me off.


Our Local on the 8s

As you no doubt know, today is the 8th day of the 8th month in the year 2008. It's supposed to be a big deal of some kind. For one thing, the Olympics begin in China today, and for another, in China the number 8 is supposed to be very auspicious. Apparently, couples are turning out in record numbers to be married on this day. What everyone keeps avoiding is that 2 in the year. 2008? Doesn't that kind of change the "purity" of the whole 8-8-8 thing?

While at the wine bar the other night we decided to have a little get-together here at our house tonight and call it "Our Local on the 8s" (you know, like on the Weather Channel?). It's just a BYOB affair, the start time being 8:08 pm. If you know where we live, you're invited!

Any excuse to drink with friends...


Born 250 Years Too Late

I think that if the world would leave me alone, if the Maestro's voice in my head would just shut up, and if the little critic in me would piss off, I could compose minuets until they flew out of my arse. I don't mean those tinkly little harpsichord dances that invoke images of towering powdered wigs and paniers that are 6-feet wide, I mean the symphonic movements that are such an intrinsic part of the music of the Classical period. They were never meant to be danced to, you see. They were just the dregs of the earlier period's dance suites that no one bothered to quit composing until, well, probably when young Beethoven walked into Papa Haydn's study and shouted, "Sod it! I don't need no stinking minuets!"...


A Wonderful Little Party

For Joel's Birthday we went to Zanotti's Wine Bar at 7:00 pm and ordered two meat and cheese plates. Joel, Nettl and I had pinot grigio and Micah had a shiraz.


Coffee Gremlins

What in hell happens between 1:00 in the afternoon when the coffeemaker switches off and 10:30 the next morning when I turn it back on? Do rival coffeemakers send their gremlins out during the night to break these contraptions?

My parents used the same Sunbeam percolator for over 25 years and it never -- I repeat, never-- broke down. They eventually retired it for a drip coffeemaker, but they kept it on hand in case they needed it...


Random, At Random, Randomly

Today I'm feeling, as the kids nowadays say, random. Ever since I began seeing that word used in that sense it's bothered me. "I'm random." "Are you random?" I don't care how they use it, it bugs me. Thoughts can be random, circumstances can be random, but can a person be random?...


Because JP Deni is Super Groovy

And because her link to this is hidden in the comments of my last post and you just have to see it! I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time.

Then & Now

Well, my "Who Am I?" No. 3 was guessed correctly by JP Deni. She got the cookie this time! Posting that entry got me busy Googling famous people, so here you go. Fair warning though.  This is definitely Boomer nostalgia...


"Who Am I?" No. 3

"My first job was for a tool company, but I got fired when they found out I was under-age. I next became a truck driver, but I didn't really drive anyone anyplace until I got famous and drove the girls crazy. Who am I?"

I Was a Lady of the Canyon

In other entries made in this category I've told you about when I lived in a famous house in Laurel Canyon, in L.A. Here's a recap for my newer readers:
I spent the last half of 1971 in an exclusive commune in the Hollywood Hills in a mansion 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. In fact, there were two rooms off of the pool that had been their rehearsal 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. The house had been originally built for 1940s band director Carmen Lombardo and was later bought by actor Wally Cox. Peter Tork bought it next, at the height of his Monkees fame. During my stint there, I met some of rock's greatest legends. Okay, that's out of the way...



I have a bad case of the wanderlust this week. Not really sure why, but I feel like I should be going somewhere; don't even know where. It's a restless feeling that serves up a heapin' helpin' slice of discontent with it. I don't like that. It's not about going somewhere, it's about going. It's something I've not felt in many years.

So where would you go for two weeks if time, money and responsibilities were non-issues?

I'd like two weeks in Merida, in a refurbished 200 year-old Colonial in El Centro, where I can drink beer and dance in the street in the evenings after laying in a hammock suspended over a pool in a shaded bower. Oh yeah. I'm there.