Sunday, February 26, 2006
For instance she was telling me about an elderly gentleman she knows, who is 86, "But you wouldn't know he was a day over 75." She says these things with perfect sincerity and never misses a beat. I just fall out laughing it strikes me as so funny.
On her trip they went past so many signs for this place that they just HAD to stop. "Mile High Shoo Fly Pie, the signs said, over and over! We just kept seeing these signs so we knew we had to go there. Oh, maybe it was Foot High Merangue Pie, maybe. Well, anyway when we got there the piece we had was only about 8 inches tall."
They also went to Home of the Thrown Roll, which apparently is a restaurant where they throw your food at you and you have to catch it. Ah, America!
Here's the Obligatory Cat Shot. It looks just like he is having a cup of tea and a muse.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
This is my maternal Grandmother, who still made her own jams, jellies and preserves right up to the end.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
And now my work schedule has also gone Kablooie, and I've got some grueling 11 hour shifts coming up. Will I be able to blog? I was just getting into the groove.
I will say this. All this hoopla about not having a qualified medical person who is willing to administer a lethal dose of sodium pentathol for that rapist/murderer on death row at San Quentin? Where's Doctor Kevorkian when we need him? HE'd do the job!
My opinion is this: If the Federal Goverment intervenes in the execution of a death row inmate, then the families of the victims of that criminal should be given TAX EXEMPT status for the rest of that criminal's natural life behind bars. Because I can't think of a more OFFAL (pun intended) thing to do to the families of a murder victim than to ask them to cheerfully pay to house, clothe, feed, medicate, entertain, educate and supply a decent burial to the person who took the life of their loved one. Or, let THEM administer the lethal injection. A bullet to the side of the head is not cruel and unusual, not in the least.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Blue on blue, heartache on heartache. Other than running to the store for water, that was the only thing I did all dirabongdiddleydamn day long. And don't I just look all happy about that?
Since changing the decor used all my creative juices, I'm a little short on verbal content. It will have to be pics for today. Here is Mack, sitting on my lap, and looking at me with those blue eyes like I am possibly the most beloved of his possessions, after the new donut, the catnip muslin beanbag, the mini-faux-mice, his hairbrush and my drinking straws.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Even though I know my cat gives new meaning to the term "hedonistic layabout" I far, far and away prefer him to the little dirtbag doggies I have to care for at my new clients' house. These little darlings are total con artists and food moochers. Last night I took my homemade foccacia bread and some sundried tomato basil pesto along to make grilled panini sandwiches for dinner, along with some steamed asparagus and an avocado saladine* in champagne dressing. These folks have a professional Wolf range with the Griddle in the Middle, so how happy am I? If they only had UTENSILS. I scoured that kitchen for a vegetable/potato peeler. None was to be found. Although they eat ice cream every night of their lives, there is no evidence that they posses an ice cream scooper. My guess is the Lhasa Apsos ate it. These little guys ignored me for the first few days I worked there, until finally it dawned on them I was another source for a potential handout. From then on out it was 'hairy-footstools-underfoot' in the kitchen!
*foo-foo talk for wee salad
Last night, as I was slicing and dicing, mixing and fixing, I would toss little bits of deli ham, paper-thin swiss, and bread crusts into their greasy gaping maws. If a crumb actually made it to the floor, it was instantly Hoovered up by a wet snout. When I actually had to start grilling the panini, I was given such looks of utter disbelief you cannot imagine! Shock and Fear of Starvation were written upon their little furrowed brows. If they could have manifested bloating and edema around the ankles in a bid for more food, they would have. As I served their Human Hosts this delicious gourmet meal, I noticed an absence of dog snurfles around my feet and then saw that they had already taken up their position by their masters' chairs! I stood in the kitchen, helpless to intervene, as Mrs. Humanhost tossed giant bites of grilled-to-perfection homemade foccacia bread swiss and ham and sundried tomato pesto panini into greedy little dog faces. As I was redding** up the table I had the mini-moochers in attendance once again. I fed them every scrap that was left, including letting them lick the ice cream dishes. Obviously they were still hungry! Probably hadn't had a bite to eat in 15 or 16 seconds. As I was loading the dishwasher I heard the unmistakable sounds of crunching and munching dog kibble, and turned around to see the dear little beasties chowing down a REAL dinner from their food bowls. They definitely know how to clean up their plates!
**Hoosier for 'readying' or clearing up the table
The reason these little beggars are not obese is because in the course of their nightly walk, which I have to take them on, they poop out 47 times their weight in excess snacks. Is it any wonder I just love my darling litter box trained, self-cleaning, non-mooching, wont-touch-human-food-if-you-paid-him-in-catnip cat?
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Finish the sentence:
My ex was...
Maybe I should...
…beat around the bush more often. Procrastinate. Put things Off.
…to laugh. Hands down, I’d rather laugh than fall in love.
I don't understand...
…why things cannot go better for me. Not easier, just better.
I left my...
…heart in San Francisco. Above a Blue and windy Sea. Assuming the seagulls haven’t devoured it, could you mail it back to me if you find it?
People would say that I'm ...
…utterly charming when I’m not annoying them with the strength of my opinions.
...a many splendoured thing. No, wait. Love…Sucks. Yeah, that’s it!
Somewhere, someone is...
…worried about their rice paddies, and completely oblivious to the petty concerns and cares of this individual known as me. I don’t know why, but that thought gives me great comfort.
I will always...
…be enamored of cats.
…Waaaaaay too long to be promising something for.
I never wanted to...
…be this po and downtrodden.
When I wake up in the morning...
…I rise up singing. It’s just later when it all goes sour, along about 15 minutes later.
Life is full of...
…false hopes and unattainable dreams. And not nearly enough Lilt.
My past is incredibly...
…colorful! If only I could remember it!
I get annoyed when...
…things are too noisy. Car horns, cell phones, neighbors.
Parties are for...
…fun and enjoyment and sharing blessings with loved ones, oh, and getting presents and sipping tea in congenial company, of course!
…I could eat lobster and king crab legs and oysters and shrimp every single day. And chocolate for dessert. And I wish I could wake up (singing, of course) in a Posh Hotel in a Foreign Country. With room service and a mint on the pillow. I wish my heart would lift and lilt like it used to over simple things. I wish just a single wish would come true.
My cat is...
…an incredible being who endlessly fascinates me with his personality, his actions and his very presence. He is also very, very good company.
Kisses are the worst when...
...he tries to swab out your tonsils with his tongue and has gingivitis breath, and when you open your eyes you can see UP HIS NOSTRILS. (what did you expect I’d say?)
Tomorrow I'm going to...
…rise up singing and then make the bed.
I really want...
…answers. TRUE answers. I want to know everything. Life fascinates me.
I have low tolerance for people who...
…are dull bores with closed minds and repressive personalities and overbearing religious convictions.
If I had a million dollars...
…I’d be blissfully happy forever and ever. And I’d buy real estate for all my friends and family.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
On the day it happened, I remember feeling like my body chemistry was racing, racing really fast and hyper. It was bothering me, I’d never felt anything like that before. It was as if my mind had been pumped full of speed to the breaking point. No matter what I tried, I could not slow my mind down or stop the racing.
I was standing at the foot of the bed when it felt like someone had pulled the handle on a slot machine and sent my mind into such a spinning reel of motion that the external world didn’t exist for many long moments. When the slot machine stopped whirling, I felt my mind set back into itself with a physical thump, as if someone had flipped my brain over like a pancake and slopped it back onto the griddle with a squishy plop. My mouth felt funny; the right side of my body felt tingly and asleep. I remember groping for my mouth and thinking, “Am I having a stroke? Is this what a stroke feels like?” And then I waited to fall down dead, but I didn’t. So I didn’t know what to do next. I wasn’t sure if I should call 911 or perhaps fall down first and then crawl to the phone? This was what I was thinking!
And then I have no clear memory of the passage of time. Somehow, my life went on in a kind of strobe-light world of snap shot impressions, for days and days. My next clear memory is sitting at the kitchen table and being slightly surprised that my head still felt so odd. I thought, “Should I just sit here a while and see if it clears up? I think I’m having a stroke. Should I go to the hospital? How will I get there?”
I remember laying down in bed to sleep in the afternoon at one point, and thinking, “If I fall asleep will I slip into a coma?”
There was no continuum of time, no string of moments all tied together with clear thought like in the normal way of things. I remember thinking I was blind in my right eye. I simply could not see anything out of it but hazy, blurry shadows. Later, I discovered that my right eye worsened by almost two whole powers. I’d been a 7.5 in that eye, and am now a 9.
I knew who I was. I knew where I was. But I had no idea how much time had passed. Was it a day? A few minutes? Or had weeks flown by, with me just standing or sitting or sleeping in suspended animation while the world went on around me, oblivious?
Much later, a neighbor said he had seen me standing outside in the alley by the dumpsters, just standing and swaying. When he told me that, I remembered that I had gone to take out the garbage and had thought the sky looked nice and the night was still, and I just never went back inside again. I don’t know how long I stood out there. I don’t know why my neighbor, normally so damn nosy and intrusive and judgmental, did not come over to investigate why I was swaying and standing at midnight in a darkened alley when normally I don’t even go outside once the sun sets.
My next memory is on a Friday, when my friend Patrick came for tea and told me he was taking me to the hospital. Something seemed very wrong with me, he said. I kept tipping over. I was disoriented. Although I remember talking to him, and him saying I was speaking normally, to me the conversation came out of my mouth in slow motion. Listening to his words took almost unbearable concentration, and all the while there was this growing terror in me that I would lose all touch with comprehension.
And I do mean terror. Something as simple as getting into the shower set me sweating and trembling. I was terrified to think I might get into the shower and it would feel so soothing that I would simply never get out. That all time would run out in the world and I’d still be standing in there, not knowing if I’d soaped up and rinsed already or had just gotten wet moments ago. None of my moments attached to any other moments. I remember standing at the sink and having a feeling of ‘waking up’ and becoming suddenly lucid. It was the strangest feeling. A normal person on any given day feels lucid all the hours he or she is awake. I remember how frightening it felt to realize I had no idea how long I’d been standing with my toothbrush poised in the air. Had I brushed my teeth already or hadn’t I begun? I had to feel the brush, feel the inside of my mouth with my tongue and try to taste toothpaste to see.
My life became a science project, a puzzle needing constant scrutinizing and heroic efforts to grasp reality. I went to work, to care for my Alzheimer client, my regular two hour shift. She looked at me with her penetrating eyes at one point and asked accusingly, “Did you have a stroke?” I remember just looking at her. Looking at her and saying, “I think so. I think so.” And when I left, it took every fiber of energy that I possessed to remember how to stop for a stop sign; how to turn into traffic, how to get home. I knew where I lived, I knew my name, but I could not figure out how I could possibly get home. Sitting at an intersection, I felt nauseous and sticky with sweaty fear. How long had I been sitting at this traffic light? Had I simply ‘gone away’ for hours or had it only been a moment?
And all the time, the deepest pits of terror I had ever known. Any sharp movement sent a heat wave of fierce fright coursing through my bloodstream. Just a gentle breeze stirring the trees gave me the same reaction. Later it was explained to me that when the brain is damaged, and all it’s resources are going for vital repairs, the basic functions like discernment of known objects versus deadly foes do not work. My brain, sensing danger in anything and everything it perceived, sent primal ‘fight or flight’ impulses through my body, just to keep me safe. Home was the only place I could bear to be. The world outside had become, literally one giant Danger-Death-Fear-Flee Zone.
I slept for 18 hours at a time, woke up to eat, shower, move around, and then would go back and sleep for another 12.
Somehow I continued to work, continued to have conversations, buy groceries, put gas in the car. But I don’t remember any of it. I could not remember yesterday and I could not remember 30 seconds ago. Memory was a foggy blank space, filled with potentially poisoned, sharpened sticks and staves that I might fall on or stumble into. Forcing myself to concentrate on something I’d already done was futile and agonizing. So was trying to anticipate the future. Looking at my planner, noting the date or realizing I had to pay a bill or write a check for the rent, also caused a painful harsh sensation in my head. My brains couldn’t handle the stimuli.
There were moments of simple childlike innocence, but they were few. I remember thinking that I had known people, post-stroke, who were sweet when before they had been rude or bitter. Like the slate had been wiped clean, and they were starting out fresh. I never felt fresh. Fear is a rotting thing, a hellish thing. For every moment of quiet blankness in which I could rest, there were thousands of moments of the deepest dread. When I was not engulfed in pounding, survival based terror, I was in a no-man’s land of utter despair.
You don’t want to go through this. Get your cholesterol levels checked. You cannot FEEL cholesterol. The long road back to normalcy is not worth the blissful ignorance of thinking you don’t need to get checked because you feel just fine! So did I.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Now, there is no vocabulary. Now, my brain is a cauliflower. It may LOOK like a brain, but it is essentially functionless. Not even spongey like a proper brain, just white and ossified and crunchy. All travel has ceased, the vista is flat, stagnant and non-lilting. It's a hidious place in which to be stuck.
So, assuming I cannot fool the masses, I make a Full Confession! I fill up this Blog with PHOTOS because otherwise it would have no content at all. None whatsoever.
This is what you do when given a charming, adorable teapot that has lost it's lid. Like me. Fill it with flowers and make a vase out of it. Exchange function for something decorative, and beautiful.
And some creatures just get to sleep all day long.
Mackie started to stretch and then fell back asleep in that position. Obviously all this napping is just wearing him out!
Thursday, February 16, 2006
And, as a matter of fact, I used this very ink in my Dad's office to re-ink all his stamp pads.
And this is the very brand of 'baccy that I used to chaw when I was sitting around shooting the bull with the boys.
Ah, the good old days!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
He yowled, he pounced, he loudly galloped across the floor like a herd of hairy mammoths upon frozen tundra, he licked my fingers stealthfully which always scares the beejees out of me, besides being a decidedly unpleasant way to be roused out of sleep, and generally badgered me umercifully until I had no option but to get up and cater to his every whim.
And then he was soooo happy! He purred, he rubbed my legs, he cavorted in glee. I glumpishly filled his food and water dishes, brushed his little furry body, carted him around like a baby playing his favorite game of "What is that object?"*
Normally he just goes outside and hangs out with his hoodlum friends but he would have no part of it this morning. I opened the door for him at least 5 times and he'd sniff to his hearts content but would not budge. I simply could not figure out what got into him. He's not even that much of a night owl, preferring to sleep butted up against me or between my legs so that I am pinned and trapped in one position all night long. I honestly think he just thought I needed a treat. You know, like he was entertaining me as a Valentine's Day present.
*This is where I toss him over my shoulders like a sack of potatoes and tote him from room to room and let him sniff at high-up objects he can't normally reach, like the curtain rods, the upper shelves in the linen closet, the many plates mounted on the walls, etc.
Speaking of Valentine's presents, does anybody know what kind of plant this is, and more importantly, how do I care for it? It is not a geranium nor is it a carnation, but it looks like some kind of hybrid of those two.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Jeff was looking at my wallpaper on my computer, which is currently this:
And he said, "that looks like Amoeba's to me."
I scathingly told him it's called P-A-I-S-L-E-Y, but he said, "Nope. Rose Amoeba's." This is Jeff, who can trace his ancestry all the way back to Cleveland. But no further.
I thought I was offering myself such a treat today by taking in the Sunday Matinee over at the Geary Theater. I love live theater, but I do not love theater seating. Those narrow, teensy seats were designed for an earlier time, when the homo sapien theaterati only achieved the full adult stature of about 5'2" tall. My legs do NOT fit in between the end of my seat and the back of the seat in front of it, causing me to spend endless agonizing minutes squirming and crossing and uncrossing them and trying to find someplace to tuck them until they fall asleep on me and have to be shifted again.
I am about to confess a story the likes of which rivals only the true tale in which I turned to my boss' visiting brother, after having chatted with him for fully five minutes, and asked him if he spoke English. Because, Gentle Readers, I made a mistake in my choice of Plays. I THOUGHT I was going to see "Six Women With Brain Death," a ribald and silly comedy that has been highly recommended to me for years, but actually what I sat through for two grueling hours was "The *female-body-part* Monologues. With skits like "If your *female-body-part* could talk, what would it say? and "300 Slang Names for your *female-body-part*. I even had to sit through a 15 minute sketch of an actress dressed like a dominatrix imitating fourteen or fifteen different kinds of sexual moans that your *female-body-part* makes. But the lowlight was being required to SCREAM OUT *FEMALE-BODY-PART! FEMALE-BODY-PART!* over and over like a Rolffing Mantra before the end of the show. It was supposed to be liberating and enlightening, but it just felt cheap and tawdry.
And my friend Sharon spent the day at a Victorian Tea party and got to make paper dolls out of antique pink crepe paper.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
And I made mini-pizza's for everyone to eat and a salad and some dry kibble for Mrs. Q and myself, since we are on code Red for lowering our cholesterol levels. Actually, it wasn't really dry kibble, it was lean turkey patties, very tasty.
I met the Q's about 5 years ago when we all joined the same Civil War Reenacting Unit. We've been fast friends every since and it's a rare thing when you are friends with an Entire Family to find that you like everyone in the family. You know how if you are friends with the wife, you can't stand the husband, or if you like the couple, you think their kids are brats. So it is just a delight to have these folks come for a visit because each person is a treat all on their own! And of course they seem to love me unconditionally, and how cool is that? I don't even love myself unconditionally!
Even though it was Mrs. Q's birthday, she came bearing gifts, and I made a haul with some teacup socks, a cup and saucer set, a darling new teapot and a ton of stuff like canned salmon and canned chicken breasts. It was like Christmas all over again.
They had never seen Out of Africa so we sat and watched that rather long movie, and of course we all like the costumes, the time period, the rifles and general war paraphalia and we all decided that we'd really be quite all right if we had a major domo like Farah.
The really silly part is, that although I have a brand new digital camera that I am chomping at the bit to use, I did not remember to take a single picture!
HOWEVER, this evening, Soiree Number Two, I did take the camera along and I even had a good time. Tonight was 'Second Saturday' which is a monthly event in midtown Sacramento with an art walk and open galleries. In the summer it is quite the scene. It's a little early for it yet; but the moon was full and there were a lot of people about. I attended a buffet to benefit the homeless at the dance studio where I just started taking the belly dancing lessons. Everyone just gets up and dances and it was a lot of fun. I refrained from dancing because I don't know how, yet, but it was neat to watch. One of the teachers is a dead ringer for Marla Maples. She is quite thin to be a traditional belly dancer but she is so amazingly good at it, I forgive her!
I also had my picture taken with the teacher, who is like 70 something and just an amazingly smooth dancer.
NOT the most flattering picture of me; whither, whither has my waist gone? But look how cute Jodette is! I chowed down in Middle-Eastern food, focusing on the stuffed grape leaves and the hummus and the veggies and avoided the falafels and the stuffed meat pita breads. I talked to a bunch of new people.
For the most part the women who are taking this class are full figured, middle-aged and just wanting some exercise, with no intention of becoming performers. I did, of course, WOW my friends' the Q's with my one-step non-belly dance with the complete lack of foot-hand coordination that is my unique signature! I can work the finger cymbals, or I can take a step forward, but not both. Never both! That way lies danger!
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Now, Patrick is my ex-landlord, and still a great buddy of mine. I used to rent a shabby trailer from him and we were rather an item for about 2 years but he drove me nuts. He is the sweetest man in the world, but a total slob, and one of those clutter-collectors, and he is really stubborn about the way he thinks. Like, he refused to get the air conditioning fixed in his car because it would cost about a thousand dollars, but he was forever spending 5000 dollars on stuff like scrap metal that he could resell in 10 years or so if it didn’t rust to a pile of dust in the back 40, which is what always happened. I finally got so mad about the air conditioning thing that I went places in my own car and met him there. I also wouldn’t let him ride in MY car because I said I was not providing him with free air conditioning because it would take him even LONGER to get his fixed.
He even bought a newer car and it didn’t have air conditioning, and he installed this elaborate fan on the dashboard, it was totally asinine! ANYWAY, when Patrick say’s he’s bringing a present that will only fit in his truck, a fella gets a little worried. I kept thinking, what the HECK did he drag out of the back of some auction dumpster that he is bringing over here for me to deal with? It’s a guarantee it will be junk or rubbish. Like he brought me that bike that time with the 40 lbs of newspaper delivery boy baskets mounted all over it, I couldn’t even pedal it much less get it up the stairs to my apartment every time.
I love him dearly, he shows up here like clockwork every Friday morning for coffee and breakfast, when he chugs upriver in his scurvy houseboat. I kid you not, that boat was GORGEOUS when he first acquired it. It was factory-brand-new. It took him ten years to get it into the river, and by that time it was so loaded down with crap like a wood burning stove, a stationary bicycle, and several of those toxic propane heater things because he’s too cheap to hook up the electric heater in the thing, that it just looked like a junk trawler or one of those garbage barges on the Ohio.
So, imagine my surprise when, instead of a broken electric treadmill rewired to be a generator, or a used refrigerator casing retrofitted to be bookshelves, he showed up with a perfectly delightful, brand spanking new Security Screen Door!! I’ve wanted one forever, and I was so thrilled and excited.
Of course it weighs about 100 lbs and he doesn’t plan on installing it until mid-March. I have no idea what the hurry was in bringing it over here, but I’d better not look a gift door in the mouth!
I do have some issues with it. It means that the downstairs neighbor, the lurker, will have free access to all my conversations in the summer and the incessant second-hand smoke from his caregiver’s cigs will be wafting into my apartment through the windows AND door, now, but there may be a lovely summer night or two in which I can have the storm door open, the cross-breeze flowing, and feel like I am part of the Sacramento Summer Nights. Sounds like heaven to me…
I also felt better when I told my mailman all about how creepy my downstairs neighbor is getting to be, and he suggested I just drop a brick on his head. It was like having the 'insider' scoop on how to go Postal!!!
Monday, February 06, 2006
Since taking myself off Zoloft (after only 5 days on it) 3 days ago, I feel like a new person! Or like my same, old self, without the vibration, headache, anxiety and distress. I think that is not the pill for me.
Today I had a dental appointment over at the dental college. That is such a cool place! Of course they take 2 hours to clean only one quarter of your mouth and you leave there feeling like perhaps you could have done it yourself a bit quicker with a pick-axe, a garden hose and a sledgehammer. But it's worth it for 18 dollars!
Now, around here, what with governmental offices opening at 8 or 9, 6 in the morning is still pretty early for anybody to be out and about, so that's when I like to shop. The stores are empty, the trip is quick and painless. This morning on the way to the dental thingee I stopped at the grocery. There was one woman at the cash register, then me, then two people behind me. The salesclerk was this PERKY, loud, jabbering little frizzy haired pudgy girl. She was really quite cute and nice, but she was just BLATHERING on and on with WAY too much energy. I said, just as a conversation opener, “Honey, you are WAY too perky for this time of the morning!” The woman who was having her purchases rung up turned around and in a bleary, tired voice, fervently said, “I AGREE!!!” I could see that this salesgirls manner had been getting on her last nerve. She was wearing a very lovely business suit, her hair was coiffed, and she had not got a stick of make-up on yet.
The guy behind me piped in and said, “Yeah, No KIDDING!” (so, I guess I wasn’t the only one who noticed). The salesgirl didn’t miss a beat, she told us that she had been at work since 4 in the morning and that along about five she had a SIX SHOT MOCHA to wake her up. Yes, six shots of espresso. The guy behind me shook his head and the lady at the counter turned right around and Raised her Eyebrows at me as she grabbed her bags and left. I paid for my purchase, with that girl jabbering 9000 miles per hour the entire time. My parting shot was, “I’m getting out of here before you crash!” The guy behind me laughed and I wished I’d asked for his phone number, if I could have gotten in a word edgewise.
The most shots I’ve ever had at once was Three, and that is just courting complete nerval breakdown! Of course this little chippy was all of 4 feet tall and 18 years old, and she could handle it. I wouldn't want her brains, either.
Friday, February 03, 2006
What I want to know is, why do they put fake grill marks on food? Is it to make you think it's been actually grilled over some fire on a fancy barbeque? And what are those fancy grill marks made out of? Discarded 10W40 from Jiffy Lube? Do little Keebler elves paint those stripes individually with a brush dipped in 'grill juice'? Or is it as I imagine, just some greasy-greasy conveyer belt down by the quay, leaving it's filthy footprint upon my food?
Here's Mackie having a rare snooze. He's cute, but don't touch the pads of his rhythmical feet. CHOMP!
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Anyway, we spoke briefly about his tartan pants, as I moved on and came on home.