Man, I'm tired. Why is the night before I have to get up early the night when nothing will let me sleep? It wasn't that I couldn't sleep, because I had no trouble falling into it. It's all the noises that got to me, waking me up after 10 or 15 minutes. Well, and the damned cat. I seriously wanted to stick my foot up her arse.

I'm at Ville's today. She's still asleep and I'm working on my second big-ass bullet of coffee. I'm also sitting in her ass-eater (chaise) because it appears that she's spending her days on the sofa now.

That's it. I don't have the energy for any more than that.


Minor Irritations

Minor Irritation #1:
Have you ever wondered why microwave ovens, range hood lights, and coffeemakers have to "beep" with every button-push? What does it accomplish? Is there any rational explanation for putting that feature on every button in the kitchen? Setting the clocks is especially irritating because every press of the button is accompanied by that constant beep-beep-beep-beep. Why is it there? I KNOW that I'm setting the clock, damn it. Does everyone in the house need to know? The same applies to setting the microwave timer, taking the hood fan through its different settings, setting the oven temperature and timer, and turning the hood light to medium, high and off. Why? What purpose does it serve?


Armchair Circumnavigator: Remote Places

Here's your mission, should you decide to accept it:

You have elected to spend one year in a remote place of your choosing. The only condition is that you will be alone. The only time you'll have contact with someone will be when supplies are delivered once a month. You can have a computer, but there is no internet connection. There is no TV. If you choose the last remote location (see below), you will have all the human contact you want, but only with the people in your "neighborhood". Here are your options. Which one do you choose, and why?

Station in Antarctica

Satellite in orbit

Fire outlook in the mountains

Tent in Death Valley

Beach hut on a volcanic island

Third world shanty


The Secrets of Aging

Judging from some blog entries this week, a couple of other people (here and here) have getting old on their minds. I can empathize. Getting old is no fun until you learn the secret, which I'm going to reveal in the course of this entry...


I'm NOT Going Extinct!

I have natural red hair. In the wide spectrum of color that is red hair, mine in now a light auburn. I say now, because red hair changes its shade throughout the course of a lifetime. When I was a child, it was fiery orange, then it changed to just light orange, then dark strawberry, and now it has darkened to what it is. I think this is the color it is now. I say think, because I've never really been able to peg the color, visually. I don't know why...


At Ville's Today

I'm now at Ville's house, only about three miles from home. She's still asleep and I'm on the couch in the living room. Before he left for work, Beau told me that Ville usually comes out here when she wakes up.

Wow! Last night we had a series of nasty thunderstorms roll through. At one point the wind was so fierce that it woke us up and I turned on the news to make sure we weren't in the midst of a tornado. In my semi-comatose state, it didn't occur to me that the sirens weren't sounding. Earlier, the hail was so loud that it sounded like boulders were falling from the sky. We survived though, and today it's sunny and the birds are singing. Go figure.

As I did last Friday, if I have any new observations or ideas today, I'll add them to this entry.

11:58 am: I finally got Ville to sit the fook down. From the moment she got out of bed to just now (about 1.5 hours), she has been walking around, pacing, showering, walking--she's basically restless. Ville is a Gemini, you see, and isn't one for sitting around. She's finally in her big-ass chaise-chair thingy, playing on her Nintendo DS. For how long, I don't know. I'll be making her lunch in about an hour, so if I can keep her down that long, it'll be a feat!

2:31 pm: Here's Ville in her big-ass chaise-chair thingy. (Click pix to embiggify)

An accidental photo.

Buddy, the best cat in the world. His nickname is Bud Face, but I call him Butt Face.

Nettl stopped by, bringing Mickey-D!


Tomorrow's Gameplan

Tomorrow I will be at Ville's. Nettl will drop me off on her way to work and pick me up on her way home. I'm looking forward to spending the day over there; of course, I'll take my laptop. I would expect more of "the weirds", if I were you. It's what we do best. What are those things in the picture, anyway? Boxes of wine?


Six unimportant things about me, as requested by Little P. Bear with me, I'm not really awake yet (I don't know why I'm sleeping so hard and so long, lately -- not that I'm complaining, understand), and I haven't had my coffee.

But first, the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Include the rules.
3) List 6 things or habits of no real importance about yourself.

1. When I was a baby, I teethed on green onions (scallions). My mother told me I loved them. I still love them. Hot and sour soup isn't complete without them.

2. I have small feet. Until about 2001, I wore a size 5 with an AAAA width. Now I wear a 6.5, with an AA width. I ginherited my feet from my Irish Grandmother who, at 4'9" tall and 95 lbs., wore a size 3. I swear she was of the Faery folk.

3. Have I ever mentioned that I hate wind... Well, as much as I hate wind, I love rain or snow. I love weather that other people think of as depressing, unless I've planned a back yard party or a picnic! I especially love thunder storms, as long as we're not in a tornado watch!

4. I lived in Brighton, England for a while in the late 70s and I loved it. I miss my old pub, the Newmarket Arms, and walking everywhere. I loved it there. Wish I could locate my old friend, Liz.

5. I really enjoy accounting and I keep meticulous records of my clients' accounts in Quick Books. I love setting up sales journals and GL codes... all that. Must come from the 20 years I spent in the accounting departments of various companies and corporations. I hated the corporate world, but I loved my work.

6. When I compose, I don't use a computer until the piece is done and I want to convert it to midi so that I can hear it. I prefer to sit at the piano with all of my Black Wing pencils and Marvy felt tip pens, rulers, and manuscript. I enjoy the craft of writing all of those notes and stems. I don't like scoring the paper, though. I wish I had someone to do it for me, but I like the pages to look uniform, entirely in my own hand.

If you want to use this on your blog, feel free!


What a Night!

Last Night I dreamed that I was on stage with Art Garfunkel. We started our concert with "April, Come She Will" and it was incredible listening to our two voices harmonize with each other. I'll never forget it.

I must remember to eat BBQ potato chips before going to bed more often...

P.S. Has anyone seen John Denver? I'd like to sing with him next.


Saturday Rituals

I claim the right to have my coffee in bed on Saturday morning. This is an indulgence I look forward to all week. Sure, I could do this every morning of my life if I wanted to, but I reserve it for days when it's too cold to get out of bed immediately upon waking, and for Saturday. Today it's both and, until I warm up and wake up, here is where I stay. Have a good Saturday!


DeVille is Ill

In a few hours Ville will be undergoing major surgery. I'll be at the hospital all morning and possibly through most of the afternoon. If the place is set up for wifi, I'll be online at least part of the time. Because she's like a kid sister to me, I just have to be there. Otherwise, I'll just sit here biting my nails and waiting for her husband to call me.

8:34 am: Lynette and I went through the Starbucks drive-thru on the way to her office and now here I am at the hospital. Beau (Ville's husband) called before I left the house to say that she's in surgery now and that he had an errand to run. He'll be here soon. Meanwhile, I'll be doing my thing online, just as I do at home. Between the coffee at home and the cappuccino grande, I should be buzzing right along soon.

9:39 am: Beau got here about thirty minutes ago and sat in the chair across from me (I'm by the wall outlet). He's on his laptop, too. Nothing happening; people talking, news on the TV, sun's trying to come out. I did some work for a client and am waiting to hear back from him before I can do any more. Meantime, we wait. That's why they call it a waiting room. If it were moving, we'd be on a jet. I told the nurse that I'm Ville's sister. Like we look anything alike! LOL.

That reminds me of a night many years ago in California, when Ville and I went into a bar for some beers. After a little while, two dudes came over and tried to pick us up, asking if we were related. We said that we were sisters, with different fathers. The other dude said, "I really see the family resemblance," and Ville laughed, "You're so full of crap! We look nothing alike!"

Ville can get away with that kind of thing and get a laugh out of her "victim". I'd just be called a bitch if I tried it. Not that I would.

9:55 am: I just wrote a limerick:

There once was a girl named Ville,
Who suddenly got very ill;
She went to the doc,
Who gave her a smock,
Saying, "Bend over and I'll give you the bill."

10:00 am: Just heard word. Everything's going well!

10:50 am: Beau just spoke with the doctor. Ville's out of surgery and is doing well. Beau showed me a photo of Ville's guts (I love surgical things). That fibroid she had was the size of a football--no exaggeration! Ville will be very proud of the photo, she loves things like that. The doctor said we won't be able to see her for 45 minutes to an hour. Nettl and I are meeting for lunch at noon and Beau wants to go home and nap after Ville's in her room, so after lunch, I'll come back here and sit with her while she sleeps. Poor Beau's been popping Rolaids; now he's making the phone calls to family members.

11:12 am: Of course, there's a "she-who-will-not-stop-talking" here. I swear, she hasn't inserted a comma or a period in her monologue for the past hour and a half. And of course, she's the loudest person in the room.

1:30 pm: I'm now in Ville's room (#310). Beau left and I'm standing--or sitting--vigil. I just read all of your comments to her and she was really happy that you are thinking of her. When I first got here I had to sit on the "potty chair" in the corner, but now I'm in the hospital version of a Laz-E-Boy (you know the ones). She's really very alert, for someone who's on morphine...

Nettl and I went to Panera, where we had French onion soup and a baguette.

Looks like Ville will be here until Sunday afternoon. She's complaining about all of the tubes and monitors, and says she feels like a Borg. Yeah, she's just fine.

Flashing a peace sign

Me: "Eat your Jell-o, Ville."
Ville: "What flavor is it?"
Me: "Red."

5:51 pm: Okay, I'm home now and about to go down to the kitchen to make dinner. Then I'm taking a siesta. It was good to see Ville feeling so well. I'll say one thing about her: she's not a baby!

Have a good night, oh Villacious One, and get
some sleep (if those nurses will let you!).
Heather and I will see you tomorrow afternoon.
P.S. If there's anything you want me to bring
let me know.


I Took a Walk Today!

Standing sentry over
the mailboxes
While that might not sound like a big deal, it was out of the ordinary for me. I realized that if I have to spend any time at all getting ready to go out for a walk, I won't. I don't want to have to make sure my hair is right, or that I'm wearing the right clothes for walking, or that I'm garbed up with all the walking entertainment paraphernalia. I just want to put on my Crocs and go. So that's what I did. I also took the camera, and while I will never consider myself anything but a snapshot-taker, I think some of these turned out pretty well...

Two Farewells

Sad news this morning of the death of actress Natasha Richardson, who suffered traumatic head injuries in a skiing accident in Canada on Monday. My heartfelt sympathies are extended to her husband, Liam Neeson, and their two sons, and her mother, Vanessa Redgrave.



Theta Pond

If I had a way to get there, I'd spend some time today at Theta Pond, at the university. It's a beautiful day!

In the near decade that we've been here, Lynette and I have a couple of favorite places where we go to get away from everything, our favorite being Theta Pond. It was created by students in 1895 as a reservoir to solve an on-campus water shortage. Today, it's a popular spot for photographers and bird watchers.


Oldie, Coldie Me

I know it's unflattering, but tough. Here I am in my hammock. I have a really crappy cold, which the wind isn't helping, but again, tough. Don't bug my bliss, mate...

Pre-Summer Boogaloo

I figure the perfect outdoor temperature, for me, is between 80 and 85 degrees. Today, it's supposed to be about 84 and tomorrow, 81. You know what that means...

First one to the hammock gets to have a Bass Ale for lunch!

The Irish Seven-Course Meal

Photo by Jough Dempsey


The Small Things

I knew something was up last night when I couldn't stop sneezing. Then I couldn't sleep because my nose kept running. And the allergy tabs didn't do anything but turn my tinnitus up to 11 ("Yeh, but it goes to eleven..."). I have a cold, and a really nasty one at that. And after such a great weekend, too.

Saturday night Joel, Heather and I went to Ville's, where we just sat around talking and laughing, playing with my new laptop webcam and watching her silly cats. That was easy and effortless and we had a really nice time.

Yesterday I served up an old-fashioned English pork roast dinner, complete with potatoes and carrots, Brussels sprouts, dinner rolls and Bisto gravy. We all sat at the table, enjoying being together (Lauren is home for a few days during Spring Break).

At one point last evening, as I sat digesting, a feeling of total contentment and belonging washed over me. Our family was under one roof again. The girls were in their bedroom, from where I could hear the slight sound of their laughter. The guys were at their computers, Nettl was working on her book and I was in my chair feeling very homespun and at one. It dawned on me that this is it. This is the family I always dreamed of having. This is the homelife I always craved, and that othing at that moment, not money, not success, not anything could have made it one hair's bredth better. I was totally in the moment and in a state of bliss. It's the small things that matter. I have all I need; what can a cold do to me? Nothing.



Pop! Goes the Weasel

When I was a kid, the song, Pop! Goes the Weasel terrified me. I didn't like Jack-in-the-Boxes either and even today I can't bear to open a biscuit can. Tuning the 6th string on my 12-string guitar can give me a heart attack because being an E and having to be cranked up to G often results in it breaking. I'm skittish that way. Added to this is the fact that in my mind I've always mixed up Three Blind Mice with the Weasel song, leaving me with mental images of a monkey with a carving knife, and that would terrify anyone. Poor weasel, popping open and spurting blood everywhere... No wonder I had nightmares of it as a child. Yesterday, I decided to look up the history of the song and I of course have to share with you what I discovered...


My Horny Little Mouse

I don't think I told you last weekend that we figured out the issue with my new cordless mouse. It only acts up when Nettl and I are doing our individual computer stuff sitting together on the bed.

We have the same make o' mouse and if they can see each other, mine goes all schitzo and starts running around in circles with his tail up. We've thus decided that mine is a boy mouse and hers is a girl, and as long as we don't let them know the other is nearby, mine behaves quite respectably.

Good Morning, Good MORning!*

*To be sung in your best Ethel Merman voice.

Judging from the past week, I think it's safe to say that I haven't really slept in about seventeen years. All of a sudden, I'm sleeping well and deeply, without waking up every hour on the hour. I'm waking up feeling refreshed and recharged, and those awful upon-waking panic attacks are gone. The feeling of waking up without a sense of impending dread and gloom is wonderful!...

I'm Outta Here

Okay, in the past 39.75 hours I've gotten only 1.5 hours of sleep. It's time.


Pear Blossom Time

Bradford Pear trees sure are pretty, aren't they? Yeah. And this town is full of them. For about two weeks every Spring they blossom and put on quite a show. And Kleenex sales shoot up, as well as the sale of various and diverse allergy medications.

Poor Lynette is having a hell of a time this year because the pollen not only affects her allergies, it also plays dangerously with her asthma. She stayed home yesterday and today she's still too sick to go to work, but she has to. I really worry about her since that night several years ago when I nearly took her to the hospital. I would have, but she wouldn't let me. Anyway, I get scared when she can't breathe. Silly me...


A Night in Dad's Heaven

This entry won't be very interesting to those who don't believe in an afterlife, but I have to write about it. I spent most of last night with my dad in his "heaven". Or maybe it's just one of his places, I don't know...


Ten Things I've learned via Sitemeter

1  Every spring, students flock to my entry about Fragonard's painting, The Swing.

2  Flying Monkeys from the Netherlands think that cloaking devices actually work.

3  There's a Yahoo Group or two who like to talk shit about me and link to my entries on a regular basis...


Geek Break: Logitech mini optical (cordless) mouse & Vista

One of the things you have to go through when you get a new computer is working through all of the little issues. Just like getting a new car, or a new pair of shoes, or even adapting to a new relationship, you're faced with breaking it in and getting to know its quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. This weekend was spent fighting with my mouse...


Figaro: Evolve or Die

Too many opera lovers go to the theater wanting the same interpretation over and over. They have forgotten that opera is theater after all, that evolved from the ancient commedia dell'arte tradition, where improvisation is the key ingredient. Take Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, which we saw last night at the University of Oklahoma...


Figaro Tonight!

Adultery, drunkenness, intrigue, gender-bending, voyeurism, masked identities, raging adolescent hormones, deflowered maidens, and love conquering all.

"Because I want to do a piece about real people! And I want to set it in a real place! A boudoir! — because that to me is the most exciting place on earth. Underclothes on the floor! Sheets still warm from a woman’s body! A piss pot brimming under the bed!"

(Mozart, in Amadeus, the original play by Peter Shaffer)

Who said opera isn't hot?


Friday Night at Our House

Worn Out

If you don't hear from me much over the weekend it's because I'm worn out and have no ideas, and I refuse to write an I have nothing to write about so I'm writing about having nothing to write about entry.

We'll be going to OKC to see The Marriage of Figaro tomorrow evening and then we have a birthday barbecue to attend on Sunday. Somewhere in there I need some personal defrag and decompress time.

If I could be anywhere this weekend, you'd find me on a chaise overlooking the Amalfi Coast knocking back Limoncello with nothing but the sounds of the sea and gulls, and the breeze blowing in the palms. Sigh. Have a great weekend everyone!


Be-Attitude: Shame On Me

Shame on me for whining tonight about feeling housebound and under appreciated around here. Shame on me for feeling sorry for myself in general tonight.

Today, as I worked on a client's site, did laundry and housework, grumbling to myself all the while, the daughter and family of one of Nettl's co-workers lost everything they own in a house fire. Tonight, they're sleeping under someone else's roof and in the morning they'll waken to that feeling of lead in the gut when they remember today and that it isn't just a bad dream, but their new reality. God, help that family find peace of mind, heal the trauma that their kids and pets are suffering, and let me never forget that none of us is immune to sudden and unexpected tragedy.


Rite of Passage, Ma Non Troppo

I knew it would happen someday, but I certainly didn't expect it so soon. I've used my first senior discount. This weekend, Nettl and I and our girls are going to see Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at OU in OKC. I'm over 55, so I qualify for the senior discount, and with money being what it is these days, I can't see not using it. But damn! How can I be a senior when I'm only 30? When did this happen? Oh well, at least I'm not using it for some crap at IHOP.


First Album Meme

Now here's a meme for those of us who like creating graphics. I found it at Willow Manor. Go see her cover -- it's absolutely groovy!

My band's name is Fly540 and my album title is "Two Weeks To Live".

Here's how to do it:

BAND NAME: Click here. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

ALBUM TITLE: Click here. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the
title of your first album.

COVER ART: Click here. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

So, there it is. Give it a go and see what you come up with!

And just in case mine has any prophetic quality, I'll plan not to travel anywhere in two weeks...

Micro-Networking Bites

Why is nearly every service-oriented site turning into its own social network? I just went to Plaxo. Remember them? Remember the place that you linked with your Outlook Express so that you and your contacts could keep up with your changing email addresses and phone numbers, and where you could create a neat little email business card for the footer of your emails? It's gone. Now it's just a Facebook clone. And then there's Photobucket and Flickr. Damn it, all I want is a place to store my photos. I don't want to share them with Suzie Creamchesse and her clicque...


Sunday Linkage 3-1-09

"What’s the difference between sleeping pills and a vodka lemonade anyway except the fun part? The mouthal thing. The taste. Sleeping pills are like the opening of the universe without the flavor. What’s the point?" - Tourette's Cat

"There’s so much to strip out of our garden. But on a positive note, there will equally be as much to plant and nurture and nurse to maturity." - Authorblog

"(Now, if I ever found myself in Tunisia, surely I wouldn't be tempted to find the location of the Skywalker farm...nope, not me.)" - Byzantium's Shores

"It's sad that so many people raked the movie over the coals simply because there were scenes in the movie where men were kissing. How in the hell do you portray the life of a homosexual man without kissing/intimate scenes....SCREW them!!! The movie was great." - Admissible Banter