Friday, April 28, 2006

Civil War Hair

To Pomade or Not to Pomade? That is the question! I'm going on a little Civil War Reenactment Jaunt tomorrow, the first one in ages that I've felt well enough to attend and is close enough to home not to have exhausted myself with the drive before I even get there, and I am quite excited about it.

I've had to modify my garments quite a bit, and there is always a lot of ironing to do, buttons to be anchored, seams checked for signs of weakness. And of course my beloved corset refitted properly as I've gained and lost weight since last wearing it.

My hair is actually a great length for a really good Civil War hair look, and one of the reasons I don't wear bangs, layers or short flippy doos is because they look so crummy when it comes time to don the garb and head into the past. But I've never really gotten that authentic look. It is quite hard to do! We just don't see ourselves as attractive with hair that is designed to widen our faces and make us look plump! And we definitely do not find it appealing to grease our hair down flat and shiny! Yet, that is the look that was desired and sought after and worked for, back in the day!

This morning I was practicing with different pinning configurations, and I finally hit upon one that does not weigh my head down, look tacky with too many combs and hair pins sticking all over the place, and yet will stay in place for a rigorous day of walking demurely around under a sun hat sipping sasparilla through a paper straw. Now I worry that it will never look this good again!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Let yourself Go!

Yesterday, along with finding that Little Red Cosco chair and dooming myself to sing "Little Red Corvette" by Prince for the rest of the day and night, I also had a fun conversation with Whatsername* , my cute neighbor from the end of the building. *not her real name

I had not been home long from Target when there was a knock on the door and she was standing there needing to use my powder room and phone. That newly arrived-from-school-in-Uganda boyfriend of hers had her keys and her cell phone and had taken off to a sports bar to watch the World Cup Race.

Poor Whatsername! Living in the same zip code with this guy is going to be a challenge, but I hope they make it. I told her I'd rather have a Brazilian Wax than ever share my abode with a man again. So naturally we got on the subject of body maintenance. She told me she always gets a Brazilian Wax because anything else is just cruel and unsanitary. Since I can barely bring myself to shave my legs these days and think the next time I wax something will be when my mustache starts to grow in, which at this rate will be very soon since it's been 2 months since my last period but only 2 minutes since my last hot flash, I can only shake my head in wonder at this metrosexual generation before me. They all appear to be anti-pube for some reason.

She and Eliza * ** *not her real name **my other hip young neighbor both spend a good deal of their spare time and spare income at various spas and salons. They get their eyebrows waxed, facials, honey dips (WHAT is a honey dip?) mud scrubs and of course hair cuts and color.

And I feel bad about myself.These girls look like they are fresh, well-maintained and pretty all the time. There is no doubt that I've just let myself go, and not in a Freedom kind of way. I just look like someone who sloughs off a skin layer once a year by way of flaking during the dry season.

But there is no use crying over spilled wax. I couldn't afford that salon lifestyle! I can barely afford the "Keep a roof over your head and food on the table" lifestyle.

And besides, if it comes down to buying things like a red reproduction retro kitchen step stool by Cosco or having my body hair yanked out by the roots, I will glady remain one of the Great Unwaxed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Little Red Cosco

Little Red Cosco
Baby, you are much too fast!
Little Red Cosco
I need a chair that’s gonna last!

I guess I should have closed my eyes when I drove past the aisle
Where Target features new stuff
Cuz I felt a little ill when I saw the perfect replica
Of the chair that was there before me
Believe it or not, I started to worry
I wondered if I had enough cash
But I was shopping all night, I guess that makes it all right
And you say, “take me home because I won’t last!”

Oh Yeah!
Little Red Cosco
Baby, you are much too fast!
Little Red Cosco
I need a chair that’s gonna last!

A design like yours oughta be in jail
Cos it’s on the verge of being obsolete
Move over, baby, gimme the deal
I’m gonna have to own your little red love machine!

Oh Yeah!

Little Red Cosco
Baby, you are much too fast!
Little Red Cosco
I need a chair that’s gonna last!
You don't know how long I've wanted one of these old Cosco Kitchen step-stools of my very own! Just like the one that dear old Mom had. When I saw them for sale at Target today, well...I just had to buy one and set it to music.

Thank You Notes

Very few people realize the importance of a properly written 'Thank You' note these days. Especially since emails make it so quick and easy to keep in contact without all the bother of finding a stamp and a mailbox somewhere out in the real world.

Nevertheless, I always send a hard-copy thank you note anytime I recieve a tangible, material-world gift. I would like to include a template or two here for general knowledge and enjoyment. Thank you!

Miss Pink Ponsonby
225 Garden Haven Place Sacramento, CA 95816

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My Dear Herb Border:

Just a quick note to acknowledge
the wonderful time I had at your delightful, impromptu Tea Gathering

You bring together a lovely mix of people
and provide
such a warm environment with
incredible food!
I was especially delighted
to be called upon to cletter all the dishes
for your 299 other guests.

Please get a serviceable hot water heater A.S.A.P.

Many Warm Thanks
Miss Pink Ponsonby
Please notice that a proper Thank You note is center-spaced and includes both a 'thank you' and acknowledgements of the event or treats offered. Such a note is sure to get you invited back again!
And yes, Gentle Reader, I actually DID send this note to my host after his party. He has one of those 'hot water saver' hot water heaters that saves the hot water rather than lets you use any of it, ever.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cemetery Stroll

Today I bought two new tires for my car. The last time I had gone to BigO tires to get a slow leak fixed, the guy told me I needed new ones, and soon, and he could fix me right up for $149 apiece. I told him I thought tires were around 75 dollars each. He said, Not anymore! At the time I didn't have the money so I told him no thanks. But it's been preying on my mind that those tires were ready to blow so I got the new ones today. However, this time I told the guy that I wasn't going to be keeping the car forever so I didn't need top of the line tires that would last 10 years. So he very reasonably priced some at $85 each. Much better!

While they were assembling the tires, or installing them or whatever jargon you use with tires, I walked over to the drug store and the grocery and even treated myself at Taco Bell. I picked up the car and headed out for my real excursion of the day: The Sacramento Cemetery.

I happen to love old cemeteries. My home town has the most beautiful one I've ever seen. Lots of shade trees, meandering paths and old stone benches. The Victorians thought that a person's final resting place should be like a pleasure garden, and they built them accordingly. New cemeteries are so drab and cold! Flat stones for easy mowing, no shade anywhere in sight, and strict guidelines about what kinds of flower containers you can use for memorials. Not really the kind of place you would want to visit more than once, if you know what I mean.

I'm not really interested in how many famous people or old politicians and founding fathers are buried in these places. I like the lesser folk. The women who died in their early 20's buried next to the baby they died giving birth to. Entire families laid to rest around large stones marked Mother and Father. I love the mausoleums, too. So grandiose to erect a stone house for the dead!

And of course the statues of cherubs holding lambs, giant urns with stone draperies, I love those.

Today I saw an inscription I had never seen before. It said, "William who was knit to the soul of David."

How odd! I assume the stonecarver was referring to 1 Samual 18:1 (the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David.) but there is no one left alive to ask! The person buried there was not named William. I think I'll ask one of the docent's when I go back.

The Sacramento cemetery is rather famous for it's old rose garden. Alas, most of the roses were done for, that I saw. But there were plenty of other very beautiful garden plots full of color to enjoy. This place is maintained almost entirely by volunteers. You can even 'adopt a plot' and plant what you think is beautiful. What a neat idea!

As soon as I parked and started to meander and take photos, I realized I should have changed the batteries in my camera! On a whim I popped into the docent house where they sell tee-shirts and have the pamphlets for the self-guided tours. There were 3 elderly ladies in there, awash in paperwork. They told me they had batteries on hand if they could just find them. They weren't at all sure how much to charge for them, so they decided on one dollar for two of them. What a bargain! Alas, I had only 60 cents in my pocket because I'd locked my purse in the car so I didn't have to bother with it, but they said that was fine and to drop it into the donation box.

As I left with my new batteries, one of the ladies quipped, "We expect great things of you, now!"

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Death Sofa

In honor of reaching the 1000 visitors mark on my blog, I've decided to treat you all with a picture of the Sofa of Death. It may look innocent and comfy, kind of like the sofa your Gramma has, but I assure you it wields an awesome power to torture, maim and even kill anyone who dares to sit upon it. Don't mess with the cushions!

This little love seat was originally part of a pretty floral duo that I found in one of the local estate liquidator stores. It cost more than a brand new Ethan Allen Furniture Gallery Custom sofa and loveseat, but I was blinded by love of the floral upholstery. I knew nothing, then, about quality construction and the tensile strength of sofa springs.

When the sofas were first delivered and arranged in my living room, I began to notice an odd smell emanating from them. After a weekend of puffs of pork wafting up as I passed by, I did a thorough upholstery shampoo and vacuum. It was then that the cockroaches came out.

I fought hard and eventually won the cockroach battle, but the sofas had a "Burned Bacon ala DDT" scent to them forever after.

A few years passed. The full sized sofa died a saggy and threadbare death and had to be removed without a funeral. This may have triggered the love seat to take it's revenge on me for splitting them up, because one day...

One day I was lounging on the love seat talking on the phone when from the back of the sofa I heard a sharp, metallic Ping rather like a projectile bullet or the twang of an arrow as it flies, followed by a gush of blood and my own terrible screams. The sofa had sprung a spring!

Yes, gentle readers, it actually pierced my ankle with the end of the shattered spring. From then until this day, I have lived in awesome fear of the Sofa of Death. I know of what it is capable. I keep it shrouded in a quilt and extra pillows, the spring mended and battened with thick cotton padding, but I know that one false move and someone--myself or a friend--could meet their doom should that sofa decide to pierce their heart with another broken spring.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Last night my friend Jeff called around 9:00 to come over with popcorn, a movie and the new Parcheesi game board he got at a yard sale for only a buck. Since this was a rare treat for me, I decided to say a resounding YES! rather than my usual "Are you kidding me? I go to bed at 9:30 on Saturday nights!" and I'm so glad I did!

Parcheesi is a game I never played before in my life! It looked complicated and adult. It reminds me of ancient Moraccan tea tents and flea-bitten nomads lounging on hassocks and playing board games in the Casbah. I shouldn't avoid a game that reminds me of those things, because backgammon reminds me of those things and it's my favorite game, ever! Except for maybe Aggravation, which was invented by a friend of my family. I remember when he brought over a wooden prototype, carefully drilled and painted, and gave it to us. We played that game for decades, using REAL glass marbles and old, heavy dice. The precise clickety-clack of the marbles counting their way around the board was such a pleasant sound! I wonder if my Mom still has that old board tucked away somewhere?

A few years ago, I ran across a game of Aggravation and was just sickened to find that the marbles were light-weight plastic and the board was merely cardboard. It was such a dissapointment!

But I love board games in general and so Jeff and I set up the board and I read through the instructions on the lid. It was really easy and a lot of fun! But then Mackie decided that it was also fun....more fun than we should be having by ourselves! He pounced on the open box that held the rest of the game pieces and the dice, and proceeded to fish them out of their slot, dancing gleefully on all fours on the box as he did so. Then, just because it felt so good, he decided to add a little claw action to the play, and the next thing we knew, he had SHREDDED that box to Kingdom Come. It happened so fast that Jeff and I barely had time to have a conversation about it. Fortunately, Jeff thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen so he didn't mind a bit about the box being ruined! When Mackie decided to jump up onto the table to mess with our game pieces, though, that was the end of it.

I wish I had taken a picture! Sorry! I've just got to pin him down one of these days soon and trim those claws. They are beyond deadly!

The movie Jeff brought was: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds, or something like that. It was the best movie I've seen in ages and I can't wait to get my hands on more anime! Wow! How did this movie genre escape me all this time? Granted, I hate the way the big bug-eyed characters are drawn, but the backgrounds! And the plot lines! And the dialogue! And the complexities of the personalities! I cannot believe that a CARTOON character can have more dimensions, scope, motives, depths and emotions than a real live human actor! What is WRONG with Hollywood these days? Formula film after formula film. And all so one-dimensional. This film was so colorful and had so many unexpected surprises, it was anything but one-dimensional!

Jeff was soon snoring in my only comfortable chair, and I was left with the Danger Sofa, but I didn't mind! I was riveted by the movie and I highly reccomend it to anyone who is bored and wants to be really entertained by a film.

Oh, I forgot to mention that right before Jeff called, I had painstakingly wound my hair into pin-curls to sleep for the night. I thought I had to do something since the guy who did my hair at some local Vietnamese nail chop-shop slightly over-processed my color. I am now slightly pink around the scalp. It's okay, because I have so much gray it will turn ashy in about 5 days anyway, but in the Mopsy.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Yesterday, I moseyed down to the end of the building to see if my neighbor, Whatsername*, had gotten the little goodie-bag I left her from the Easter Bunny. She is a pharmacist, and about, oh, 32-ish, and she is just hanging out in this dump apartment complex while her fiance finishes his year of school in Africa. He is coming home this week but he contracted Malaria right at the last minute while on safari, so her plans of meeting him halfway in London for a vacation had to be curtailed and downright cancelled. Everyone leads such interesting lives! Everyone but me, that is!
*not her real name. I can never remember her real name!

Anyway, Whatsername is brilliant and brilliantly funny, and she reminds me of me at that age only thinner, better educated, and more likely to succeed at life. In other words, absolutely nothing like me at any age whatsoever!

I had put together a little selection of cosmetics -- stuff my brother sends me, and put it all into a cute purse and hung it on her doorknob. She was quite delighted with it and shared some of it with Eliza* who is the other girl at the end of the building who is also young, hip, pretty, well-maintained and brilliant. Eliza is a school teacher. *Not her real name.

Anyway, as we were yakking away, Eliza went by and saw us in the window so she popped in and for about 30 minutes we all had a fun time with girl talk. Eliza was saying that during one of her classes, a student had received a text message that a relative had died, so she had to excuse him from the class. She said she felt so bad for him and he looked so forlorn, she gave him a spontaneous hug. Then she had to go and report herself to the Politically Correct Officer. It is absolutely forbidden these days to hug a student. She was told she wouldn't be written up for it this time but never to do it again.

Naturally we got onto the subject of teachers hugging students, and I told them that in my day, it would have been unheard of to hug a teacher! They were all sorry that kids cannot hug their teachers anymore, because of the way the world has turned, but I told them that I like the idea of a handshake to convey concern and welcome and friendliness and all that. They stared at me as if I had said we should go back to bowing and curtseying to our elders. Kowtowing and scraping.

But we had a fun and interesting talk about it. I mean, think back! You would no more hug a teacher than hug the principal! You didn't hug a total stranger just because they were standing in a group of your acquaintances. You didn't hug the lifeguard, the nurse, your doctor, most if not all of your great-aunts and other elders--they would have been offended to the core--and you would absolutely positively never have hugged the preacher or the preacher's wife! Now, at the end of the service, people line up in front of the hugging machines and cannot leave the sanctuary until they have been given the obligatory hug.

I do not know when we became this 'hug-first, get acquainted later' society, but it hasn't done us any real good! It's not like we are a friendlier, warmer nation because we run around hugging people all over the place. I prefer to wait until it MEANS something before I hug the world or a chance met stranger.

Oh, and before I forget, what is up with kids having text messaging while in class? Isn't that just bizarre? In my day we weren't even allowed to pass notes in study hall!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tiny little Suri with the Fringe on Top

Oh, PLEASE! If I see one more annoying press release about little baby Suri I'm going to barf all over my surrey. FIRST of all, people, it's Suri HOLMES, not Suri Cruise. Unless of course Cruise is the baby's middle name. In which case when the baby-daddy marries the baby-momma and stops all the drama, then the illegitimate babe will be named Suri Cruise Cruise...AFTER he adopts her. Or do I have my parenting/paternity laws mixed up? I feel sorry for those poor, conservative Catholic parents of Katie Holmes, that is for sure. All this time they thought they raised her better than that.

If only Katie and Tom had popped into a wedding chapel at any point between 12 months ago and now instead of doing all that pregnant shoe shopping and sailing around the Caribbean on yachts. The only thing more nauseating than this stupid hoopla over the birth of a baby between two unwed adults is the fact that NEXT we will be required to make a big fuss over their wedding nuptials. How much does anyone want to bet that the bride will wear white?

Still dizzy after...what? 5 days? So I didn't have a lot of energy to plan a new kitchen table centerpiece. I just knew it was time to take down the Easter Egg Tree.

Oh, and frabjous joy! They Aced Ace on American Idolatry! I was worried for little Kelly Pickler! But she made it to another round. By next week I'll have to stop watching entirely because when it gets this close to the finish, everyone that is left is REALLY good!

Here's Mackie, hogging my chair for his nap. It was the only warm place in the house, the last couple of days.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

what ails me

Is anybody sick of hearing about the avian bird flu yet? I promise I'll quit it! But I did want to mention that I've been 4 days now with the most severe dizzy spells of my life. The last I heard, the bird flu had not jumped into humans yet and was still just killing chickens and the odd Cornish Hen. Now however I see that there are about 300 dead people from several different countries, all diagnosed with Avian Bird Flu. We don't KNOW that this will be a pandemic. Humans usually mutate right out of those deadly flu's after they kill off a few dozen foreigners. I just hope it doesn't mutate into killing off other bird or animal life. I hope it doesn't kill off the crows. I'm awfully fond of crows.

I went to Thai Basil for lunch with my friend Robin yesterday. I actually hate it when reality breaks into my fog like that. Naturally, with my case of the spinsy-whopsies, I didn't want to drive, so she picked me up. Does anybody remember me mentioning that for Christmas this same person gave me a small bag of rotting vegetables as a gift? Well, yesterday she brought me another one. A head of leaf lettuce with about 5 leaves left on it. 5 or so Roma tomatoes with black mold. One slimy purple onion. A loaf of half-grain bread.* And some tofu. Yum!

*half grain bread as opposed to 5 grain bread.

After Lunch, we walked over to the Tree of Life store, which is right behind the restaurant, but it was closed. In fact I think the lady that runs it was sitting next to us having her lunch on theThai Basil patio! Anyway, we went into her little side garden, and was it ever funky! People sure do decorate funny! Every conceivable nook and cranny was crammed full of little animal statuettes! Mostly monkeys. She had monkey's carved out of coconut hulls all over the place; running up the trees, peeking out of the date palm fronds. All along the fencing cross-beams she had lined hundreds of little frogs, monkeys, chickens...and in a tub by the back door, there were half a dozen reclining porcelain pig figurines. It was this totally quirky and amusing little corner of the world, totally unexpected for midtown Sacramento. Robin said, "I think I better get another look at this woman!" when we walked past the restaurant again.

Somebody, PLEASE stop voting for Ace McGreaseball so he can be eliminated as a choice for American Idol. I want my Idols to have a personality other than 'blushing stoner'.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ayn Stein's Pandemic

The thing is, I think we could use a really good pandemic. Like Ebineezer Scrooge, I'd like to see a decrease in the surplus population.

Imagine being able to go to the mall and get what you want because there is nobody left to fight you for the last tacky designer-brand object! Think what it would be like to just move on up to the big mansion on the hill without the bother and expense of paying for it or finding a good realtor!

There will be no shortage of gas, clean air or pecans when there is a shortage of people!

Alas, we've learned from the natural disasters--the big ones--like Katrina and the Asian Tsunami of 2004, that nature is no respecter of persons. A really big wave wipes out the deserving and the undeserving alike. And leaves behind a terrible mess.

So all this talk of Avian bird flu pandemics has me thinking that what we chiefly need is a designer pandemic! One that specifically targets the stupid and cruel, for instance. And anyone with a drop of Fundamentalist Muslimism combined with a need to kill anyone who isn't. And perhaps it could clear out anyone who continues to breed after having two or three children when they clearly cannot feed or provide for their offspring. I'd like a wholesale wiping-out of people who drive recklessly with a latte in one hand and a cell phone in the other using their elbows to steer. Anyone exhibiting tendencies towards violence while lacking compassion. People who breed pit bulls. Pit bulls themselves, they can go.

This pandemic will need to be very organized. It can self-dissolve within 24 hours of the death of the bodies it inhabits. You know, like Poof! No messy clean up and no after-odor! Just miles of real estate and no traffic jams.

If we don't learn to self-regulate, I fear that nature will do it for us. So far she has just twitched a few times, like a dog with a flea. But if nature really decides that the Human Population is the one variable which is constant in the destruction of the ecosystem...then Hello Avian Bird Flu! Hello Pandemic! Goodbye ME!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dizzy and broad

Ho-hum! I went to bed dizzy with total vertigo last night and thought I would wake up all better but instead I am even dizzier. Is it the avian flu?

Skyrocketing cholesterol and triglyceride levels?

I had big plans to run out and get a new pair of blue jeans in a smaller size because the ones I've been wearing this winter are starting to sag in odd places. Which is a good thing! But now I think I will stick close to home in case I keel over, I don't want to do it in public!

By the way, why do they call it the Avian Bird Flu? Is that not an oxymoron? Are not all birds Avian? Isn't that like saying "Arachnid Spider bite"? Or...."Leavened Yeast Bread". Or..."Dizzy Vertigo Head?"

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Post Passover

I had a little private Passover Seder for myself on Thursday evening. I gathered up the things I needed: the lamb shank, the horseradish and parsley and saltwater and the roasted egg and the matzo, of course, the 'mortar' made of apples and cinnamon and almonds into a paste, the candles and the wine.

Since I'm not Jewish, I was thinking of this as more of a quiet, personal "Last Supper" with my own personal meanings attached to the ceremonial questions, etc. It was really neat and all was going well when suddenly I realized I had charred the Sacramental Lamb to the point where the smoke it created caused my fire alarm to go off! Now, my smoke detector is a cheapy one, and the only way to get it to shut off is to knock the battery out of it. But of course it's piercing shrieks make it REALLY hard to approach it, so over the years I've gotten good at throwing my shoe at the thing and knocking the cover off.

Alas, the first thing that came to hand was the box of Matzo. Hurling unleavened bread which is significant of the hasty departure out of Egypt by the Israelites at a claxon designed to train me like Pavlov's Dogs not to burn the Paschal Lamb under the broiler somehow made it all seem silly, if you know what I mean.

Fortunately the 4 glasses of wine required for the seder made it all a dim memory, and the feast portion, --lamb chops and potatoes and matzo ball soup--was so delicious I was happy to be a well-fed, safe, and non-enslaved child of G_d.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Tsunami Tstory

This is the second half of the letter from my friend Kirsten from Denmark:

I heard some strange water sounds and turned around and saw the water flooding, coming against us taking trees, cars, people with it and rising very quickly. Shock came up in me and a question: What is that? Nobody told me about such things could happen here. So I shouted, “What the hell is that?” No answer! My next thought, “What can we do in case the building floods or breaks and when will the water stop?” Hundreds of questions rushed through, but there was nothing to do, just stay. Wait and help the coming people. The surviving people. And receive the dying people and cry and shake together.

Pray to God and find the inner peace. No panic! A lot of the locals panicked but I knew I could only lose my personal suitcase stuff and then go home again. Well, that thought would come later. First to save my life.

Find and stay in the center of the wave and find peace. I was in shock, shaking, but I never panicked. The water stopped as tall as me on the first floor and the house stayed stable. I waited until the water became low again to go down to the ground floor with the German in my hand to help me.

We could only guess what the hell was going on. No electricity and gossip started about a new, even taller wave will come and warnings to escape to the mountains. Was this a world wide catastrophe or what? My mind was asking, asking. Very busy mind. Keep me alive. How could I escape? My body became so weak, but my mind was very strong, listening very carefully to myself. I didn’t really trust all the people who panicked and their voices about more waves.
I suffered by all the victims who were looking for their beloved and I had to keep my own mind strong about my friends who lived on the beach. I hooked up with 3 tall strong American surfers and we went to a safe house. In the evening I got the message: my friends were alive and would sleep in the mountains this night.

I could not sleep. We were the only people back in the village and I was sharp listening to the sound of the ocean, the tide, etc. I never slept until I came back to Denmark, 4 days later. It took 3 days to get rescued. We had plenty of food including drinking water but no washing water, no electricity. It was a 9 hours drive through the jungle. The first two hours were like a war-zone. Damaged, endless shock. Dead people. People in the streets, standing in line for food or news.
Arriving in the airport in the middle of the night, chaos. I could not handle anymore now. I could get no help no emergency place to sleep, except the floor with a traumatized 10 year old Anders. He had survived by hanging in a tree during the first wave. The second wave he had lost the power to hang on and Lisbeth pulled him back by his long black hair.

At the airport, I could not control myself anymore, and so Anders and I went ‘creative dreaming’ around—dirty, smelling, ugly looking. And suddenly my brain started working again. Italian Embassy people stood there in front of me and I started talking with them and got the message: EVERYBODY could go NOW to Rome for free. 2 seconds after, Anders and I signed up time would show us to get from Rome to Denmark. We also got a shower each for $2.00 and went clean on the plane. But Anders was not easy for me (shock reactions on the plane.) His mum stayed in Sri Lanka.

I was going home to my ‘exclusive’ and ‘organized’ life in Denmark.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Moses throws some tantrums

Well, I watched Part Two of the Ten Commandments and it was worse than the first, if that is even possible.

Somehow watching those people struggle out across the desert without a pillar of dust or fire to guide them was just sad. I guess that was a special effect that would be too hard to create so they just left it out.

And the creepy little rings of sawdust? THOSE were the manna from heaven? Of course we don't have a description of the manna, but somehow I didn't ever picture it as being like shallow piles of couscous scattered all over the ground.

Maybe they were over budget? For the entire film?

The Bible does tell us that Joshua, although reluctant at first, after much instruction and learning became a GREAT leader of men; in fact he is the one who led the People into the Promised Land. But in the "New and Improved" Ten Commandments, he arrives at being a great leader by way of a severe beating from Moses and having a knife held to his throat. Way to go Moses!

And although I know that Miriam was a doubter and a scoffer at times, did she really shag that man in the jacuzzi? I looked for reference to that last night in my Bible but couldn't find it. In fact I'm not sure who that big hulking guy is supposed to be. I thought Aaron was Moses brother and right hand man.

But the real deal killer for me was when Moses had his hissy fit and just threw his staff away. Watching it bounce and roll away on the desert was so comical I just had to turn the tv off and go to bed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Moses, Moses, Moses!

Well, did anybody else besides me think the New Ten Commandments was the lamest production to come out of tvland since the gamut of Reality Show TV began? I thought this 'updated' version of the old classic was so paltry and pathetic!

Moses came across as some kind of sulky and verbally repressed psychopath who hears voices in his head and thinks it's God! He had no command of presence whatsoever! Never once did I think he was Divinely Inspired. I got the impression they didn't want to take liberties and put words in his mouth that he never really said, but then why did they constantly put him in situations where he was asked questions and he had to stand there like a brooding bumpkin? Like when his brother asked him Why God had killed his son, too. And when Moses was approached by that Princess person just trying to get a little closure on her love. None of that was Biblical to begin with, so why bother if you aren't going to make it help further the plot line along?

The special effects were SAD! In this new age of amazing technology, you'd think they could have done better on the Passover scene than that silly puff of smoke in the alleyways! I thought someone was standing off-camera toking on a Lucky Strike!

And the plague of frogs? Hello? I think I counted 3 of them sitting on a windowsill! Kermit has more fear-power than those cute little critters. And the locusts? A close up of some grasshoppers is what it looked like to me!

And Pharoah! Did he have alopecia AND vitiligo? And what was with him dragging his 4 year old son Seti around in his arms like he was a baby mummy? That kid could walk. Set him down!

Okay, they made the crossing of the Red Sea (or was it the Dead Sea? I forget) seem really intense and cool, but when they cut to the top of the ridge where Moses was standing there waving his staff in the air, waving like he just didn't care...well, that was when I started to laugh so hard.

Since there were so many commercial breaks I couldn't keep my attention span on the story, I simply went to bed while everyone was stumbling over rocks and getting their legs all bloody on the seabed. I'm guessing they made it okay.

I'm sorry they gave The Ten Commandments such short shrift. I'm sorry they left out the part where Aaron threw down the staff and ate the snakes of the Pharoah's gods.

Who can forget the imposing and grey haired Charlton Heston standing before Ramses and proclaiming, "Let My People Go!" ? So much of the majesty and power of the original movie was just dwindled down to "Moses has the Vapors"

Monday, April 10, 2006

Kirsten's Tale

I met a lovely lady from Denmark through the local co-op in Sacramento about 10 years ago. She was visiting here taking a chef's class and we spent a lot of time together palling around before she had to go back to Denmark. We lost touch for about 10 years, and at the first of this year I sent a letter to her old address hoping to find out what had become of her.

I wanted to transcribe the contents of her letter to me, here for you all to read. I did not change her use of English or alter her story in any way. I thought it would be more powerful. Here is part one of Kirsten's Tale:
I send you my last US dollars from my trip to Sri Lanka Christmas of 2004. I have never been in the far east before and some years before I got to know a woman who had 2 adopted children and a house in Sri Lanka. She got divorced and started up a business there, building a house by the beach with her young lover 20 years younger than her.

So at the time my housing situation had collapsed and I ended up staying with my Dad for a while.. I had gone through a strong depression and 1 ½ years before had a strange dream about a huge tall killer wave freezing right in front of my house. I got through my depression and since my work situation is stable I decided to take a vacation far away to Sri Lanka.

I had strange thoughts about death before the trip, doing crazy things like giving away my clothes, organizing life for my cat in case my Dad died, copying my passport, drawing exactly where I was, and thoughts about my own death.

I left Denmark on 6th of December with my friend’s adopted son, Anders, who was ten years old. The monsoon rains had not stopped and I was stressed from that because Denmark had been so rainy. It influenced my mood so much. A very new, strange continent and culture for me.

I had lived in a hotel at the beach very cheap and Lisbeth I visited was not an easy person. Very charismatic and dramatic. Anders was a lovely, intelligent boy. Vipolas her boyfriend was rarely able to talk to me unless he got drunk. A young immature boy/man, so, I was by myself again. I planned a trip up to the mountains where I had strange dreams and started to feel so uncomfortable for many days. Like a snake that had to change it’s skin. It was a feeling in my spine. I forgot about that again and life and holiday went on. We experienced scrubbing elephants, bathing in a river, 2 hours riding in a jungle on an elephants’ back and watching wild elephants from a jeep. Fantastic! It was so great! I was like the most happy kid on the planet. At this moment I was not thinking about killer waves or death I was so much alive with the elephants and the wilderness. Past times, and future, money, a place to live were so much out of my mind.

We came back from the mountains a couple of days before Christmas and Anders and I were set to fly back on the 29th. I was happy. Skinny, sunburned, with the spirit of elephants in me. I was feeling safe, even in this strange country and in spite of my disturbing dreams. I could not change my dreams. I experienced later that I could in fact influence how I reacted to them. Which became life-important for me! It saved my life! I know how to live on the edge of: “Do I want to Live or Die?” And you do, too! It is not easy to be that kind of person.

On Christmas I went with Lisbeth and Anders to a big house owned by a British man. We spent time on the beach until 11:00pm. It was beautiful with fire, lights, candles and relaxed, happy people. I went to bed and woke up early on the 26th and took an early swim as the only one in the beautiful Indian Ocean. I stayed on the beach for a long time, watching nature and life, and had major discussions with myself about that morning, that day, my future. I decided that going along the beach to Lisbeth’s house was not what I wanted; always some drama there. I needed my space so I went along to the room and took a shower, neatly packing my bag before I left to go have lunch at a vegetarian restaurant. I was on the ground floor, and had several impulses to move up but was too lazy to organize it. To speak with one man you need 3 men, nothing is rational there! I left with my handbag and the blue dress I had on.

This restaurant was in a little laguna with jungle all around. I met a man there from Germany who had been at the Christmas party. We sat outside and had just ordered breakfast on the first floor. It was the closest I should come to paradise. Not so many tourists and a private beach where Anders and I had played in the wonderful waves for hours until he just wore me out!

I still get to cry from it even though the memories and deep fear finally left me in the last two months, one and a half years after the tsunami arrived.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Almost Heaven

I overheard some folks talking about free concerts and the best gig they ever saw, and my mind flashed on a memory from 1976, before you were born.

I was spending the summer in Aspen, Colorado, attending a Tai Chi summer camp at the same time there was a summer session of Opera Singers in town. Everywhere I went, I heard lovely voices singing warm-up scales and arias, or whatever it is that beautiful singers sing to stretch their cords. It was so magical.

You know, Aspen is a winter town, made for skiing. But in the summer it has it's own draw. Rocky Mountain High with columbines and aspen trees and a light rain shower every day once the clouds had crossed over the mountains. Everyone there was so cool. They seemed so bright and healthy and rugged and rustic and wealthy all the same time. I was punctured with the need to live there forever and die in some ghost town grave. I loved it.

That morning, I was standing in a parking lot up on some ridge. It was the parking lot of a little strip mall with things like Realtor's headquarters and Business Solutions, Inc. type offices. I was watching the clouds reel past and some hawks, way up high, when I heard this singing. Some guy was singing in pure joy, at the top of his lungs, as he walked out of a travel agent's office and crossed my path and climbed into his jeep. When he saw me he stopped, braced himself for attack, and then kind of shrugged it off and kept on walking. And singing.

I had this slowed-time feeling, and the same kind of excited thrill you feel when you realize you are mere feet away from a very wild deer. I had a sense that I didn't want to startle him, along with the giant desire to run right up and try to pet him.

It was this guy:

Friday, April 07, 2006

Vomit Blog!

I once said this would not be a weight loss blog, nor would it be a poopy diaper blog, but now I must mention that I never said it wouldn't be a VOMIT blog!

Yesterday, when I found out that I was looking at more money than I EARN just to pay for the two meds that I need to keep myself ALIVE on this planet, I remember clenching my jaw. Normally I'm not one of those teeth-grinder people. I hold my stress in my neck and between my shoulder blades where it is easier for it to jump up into my occipital lobe for an easy-access major migraine.

So I just thought it was really odd that my whole left side of my face was aching and sore all day long. But I didn't make the connection that I should batten down the hatches and load up on migraine meds because I was in for a doozy.

Well, anyway, I woke up sometime in the night feeling extremely nauseous and I spent the rest of the night and most of this morning finding creative ways to toss my cookies without letting my head move.

Duties of a Migraine:
puke up guts.
purge bowels.
puke and purge in harmony.
quiver like a blancmange and attempt to get the body comfortable upon the bed
attempt to get the head comfortable without actually MOVING the head because the head is separate from the body at this point and anything that is a comfortable position for the body is screamingly painful for the head.

Sacramento, meanwhile, is in the midst of some levee breaks and we are brewing up a storm! I just heard from a friend in Kentucky who spent the day barracaded in the closet of a model home with sofa pillows all around her while tornadoes touched down all around the area! April showers, indeed!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The heart of the matter

Well! I went to get my prescriptions filled this morning because I realized I have less than a week left on all the free samples....and guess what? I was told that the zetia, which lowers the cholesterol, is $95.00 for 30 pills...that's a one-month supply. WHEW! Then he told me to brace myself because the Triglide is even MORE...$159.00 for a 30 day supply. That means that every month I need to come up with another $254.00 just for two prescriptions. Every month! No matter what! Since I don't have that kind of money, and don't make that kind of money, I will have to see about some kind of patient assistant program. Of course these take weeks and weeks to apply and get approved for. Guess I just get to hang on for dear life until all this gets figured out and settled.

In the meantime I bought my heart some roses. Here they are:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mullets in Arkansas

My cousin and her husband are traveling the US on a fishing tournament circuit. They get to go to backwater lakes and stay in a variety of backwater towns with sometimes 'iffy' accommodations and eating establishments. Sometimes, they get to stay in wonderful places and have a variety of eating options, but apparently in Arkansas, that is not the case.

They recently checked into their tournament quarters for the week, and were told that the town had only two restaurants...there was a pause and the deskclerk added, "One of them is non-smoking." My cousin said it was said in an ominous tone, as if the guy had announced, "One of them is a leprosy-lice-maggot-bubonic plague-disease vector." It's true. The rest of the US doesn't see having a smoke-free environment as anything but suspiciously foreign.

When it came time to eat, much to their dismay, they discovered that the non-smoking restaurant was closed, and were forced to eat in a place that quickly filled their pores and lungs with deadly second hand smoke. The food was grease-on-a-plate, but they were served the best grits they ever had in their lives.

As they looked around, it dawned on them that every single person in the restaurant was wearing a mullet. I've been complaining about that haircut still being in existance and the preferred choice for rednecks everywhere since the 80's! And here it is, 20 years later and people are STILL lining up in droves at "Hack a Mullet" discount haircut stores everywhere! Eventually, it must die out! I don't think they still teach that haircut in beauty schools, so eventually, the people who know how to do it will pass on, right? Leaving a world full of hair dressers who only know how to cut the Jennifer Aniston haircut, right? And this is how we progress and evolve in history. Via a slow progression of ever-changing 20 year old haircuts.

Anyway, as they were sitting there enjoying the ambiance, a nice fellow came in and sat behind them and was hailed by his neighbors in the other booth with cries of joy! Apparently, they hadn't seen him around in a coon's age. Someone asked him, "Hey, there, Bubba! Do you still live in that trailer out on that dirt road?"

Bubba leaned back, stroked his chin and thought for a minute before replying, "Nope, I believed I've moved since then. I live on the paved road, now."

Monday, April 03, 2006

Who SAYS that?

Okay, I saw on television some talking head guy say, "And so on and so forth" and I thought...who really TALKS like that? In the course of a normal conversation, who really speaks that way? "Yes, Ma'am, the yellow bell peppers are right over here, next to the green ones, and so on and so forth..."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Saving Daylight

Well, has anybody saved any daylight yet? I am pretty sure I lost a couple of hours of it, somewhere along the way. I overslept AND I lost an hour in the night. I just wish I knew one person that benefited from all this clock-swapping and I'd send that person a BILL. For my inconvenience and...well, something. I'd think of something.

Since I didn't get up early enough to snag a position at the washing machine, I decided to work on one little table runner I've had in the 'to do' bin of quilt projects for about 7 years. Back when ebay was fun and quilts were something not very many people wanted, I used to buy up cool cutter quilts or unfinished quilt tops for dirt cheap. Most of them got turned into neat things like sewing machine covers, pillows, baby blankets, tea clothes, tea cozies, tablecloths or table runners, etc. I just had this one left, that is really neat but had been in a fire and so it has holes throughout it and although it is a big quilt top, very little of it was useable. I finally figured out that I could make several small table runners and a table cloth out of it if I cut it very carefully. This is the small runner I made today.

Then for fun and not for profit, I finally bought myself a meat masher. I'm sure that's not the official name, but it's one of those meat hammer things. No, that's not what they are called either. Now that I am home all the time I get to watch the New Martha Stewart show, and although I don't like it nearly as much as her old one, I do find that there are plenty of things that interest me in the show. This week they showed how to pound chicken out dead flat with a meat masher so you could then grill it or roll stuff up in it like for making chicken cordon bleu.

So here it is! Meet the Meat Mallet!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


While waiting around to drop dead of a heart attack, I decided to finish up some projects. Here is a good start on a baby quilt for my new cousin Dawson. The parents wanted non-traditional colors for their baby. This has a flannel back so will be very cozy! And of course Mackie has to help.