Wednesday, December 25, 2013

You Say You Want Dragon.....OK, I'll Give You Dragon

I want you to know that I appreciate your suggestions to help me overcome my vision problems, especially in relation to the blog. I'm not going to chastise you for forgetting my very funny blog written about a year ago with the assistance (that's a joke) of the Dragon software.  I would repost it or refer you back to it if I had any idea when it was posted...but, never mind.  We can somehow proceed without it.

Listen you guys, if you haven't learned anything else about me you surely must know that I am a prodigious, fantastic problem solver. Why else would I have been the one out of the whole Information Services Dept. who they  called in the middle of the night to come in and fix computer programs that always broke down when everybody was asleep?   With my convoluted brain and some duct tape I can usually find a way to fix things or develop a useful substitue solution.....well, I said "USUALLY".

When I first heard about the Dragon program I was dancing on the ceiling with optimism. I wish you were not know that's not right…oooops,  Let's try that again. I was sure ........(that's better) that the   Dragon program would be my solution and I spent many, many Mary hours. No that Noto no no no… That should have been and that he on our why. note .........nope, we're still not there. Perhaps I had better give up trying to use Merry and say hilarious hours trying to dicta now the deer te a blog. Oh, dear.  See, the problem is that my vocabulary is a little larger and perhaps more obscene than that of the dragon's.  Also, my diction is not always perfect.  Some words it gets just fine, and others not so good.  But let us stagger on with this experiment. 

The Dragon program is quite remarkable.  You can actually teach it words it doesn't know.  Trouble is, like an Alzheimer's patient, it has very short, short term memory.  It forgets very quickly and you are back to square one.  I think I told you about the time I tried to teach it my favorite expletive…shitpissfuck… And after about 10 tries, by George H gooGod it wilts whoops… I think we are off the track again, all though I think we could use God's help about now,  Maybe right now.  I meant to say "by George, it's got it".  The next day, however, it had forgotten the lesson completely......very disheartening.  The problem is, I can barely see to place the cursor in the right spot to make corrections manually, either of Dragon or of my own errors, so it is a bit of  a struggle.

I do not plan to give up!  I do plan to go back to working with Dragon to see if I can learn how to teach it to remember words I have just taught it.  Hell, I may even spring for th most current version to see if they have improved the program since I bought it.  Meanwhile, pull on your girdles and buckle up your safety may be a bumpy ride.

Much love to all of you and happy holidays.  May we all have a   healthy, peaceful, shitpissfuck-free 2014.  (Last sentence written by a human..... with slight Dragon tendencies.)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Theory About That Light At The End of the Tunnel

 It occured to me just the other day that there is a grave danger (beside an approaching train) to seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  Lately I have been in a sort of deep hole and while scrabbling aaround and digging away at the bottom hoping to manage to tunnel out to a better place I had  better be damned careful if I see light ahead.......when I emerge I may see nothing but a lot of Chinese looking folks..........digging without checking with a level could be disastrous......A person might even end up in Iran.......horrors.

OK.  The good news first.  After a rather awful month or so battling sciatica and the Blues I think I have finally won the struggle with sciatica.......except for a few twinges now and then my back has healed pretty much........I can even do my back strengthening (?) exercises again.....on those days when I can force myself to do anything that requires any sort of action aside from lifting a fork to my mouth.  I would not call my condition ippsy-pippsy, but it certainly is better and I am accepting that gratefully. I find myself still doing the yoga pretel stretches mostly  because it amuses me that I can.  And it also feels good.  So what's wrong with that?  The fact is that after about 80 years, your body, which has served you faithfully despite your mistreatment of it, does begin to wear out in places.......places that are not renewable or replaceable, so the choice becomes very clear.  Either enlist some help in fastening a plastic baggy around your head or just keep on keeping on, just complaining a lot more and more loudly.  At this point I have chosen the latter, probably because I don't know anyone who isn't too chicken or too disinterested to twist the little twist tie for me.  Where are friends when you need them?

I haven't quite kicked the Blues  because my vision worsens daily and not only frustrates me and enrages me but scares the hell out of me.  I have no solution yet for the time when I can no longer see to fiddle around on the computer which is about the only visual thing I can still do thanks to a tiny window of working tissue in my right retina.  I can tell you one thing unequivicably..........having to read words letter by letter is really shitty, not to mention difficult, exhausting, etc.  Hell, with long words, I often forget what the beginning was by the time I get to the end,  Very bad for any kind of quality cognition, I'll tell you......but I am not is bettter than seeing no letters at all.

Another sad note.........the fabulous finches are on my shitlist right now.  I am calling them the ferocious, dysfunctiuonal family of finches.  I do not know whether it was one of them or 3 of them but they apparently ganged up on the littlest female and murdered, killed, slew her to death.  Sob.  I consulted with the finch expert and he said it happens.....reasons not specific.  I was worried that her fella would waste away and mourn himself into an early grave, but he laughed at me and said he didn't think that would happen and did not even encourage me to get him a replacement ladyfriend.  Since I anthropormorphize more than Joe does I may or may not follow that advice.....I envision Mickey alone in his little nest basket at night, cuddling among the dried lettuce leaves he insists on dragging up there as acceptable nest material.....(hell, maybe it is....what do I know?).  I plan to observe as carefully as possible and take action at the first sight of a wobegone expression.  SPF....critters......can't live with them and (I) can't live without em.  Sigh.

My moans are very subdued today, you may have noticed.......mostly because I read Manzanita's heartbreaking  blog last nite describing a series of disasters topped off by the pipes in her ceilihng ffreezing and bursting leaving her standing in her kitchen in 7 inches of water while my friend in Illinois had her furnace break down over the week end.  OY.   My troubles are misicule in comparison.  My heart goes out to everyone having to cope with that dreadful winter cold.  It may sound odd, but I have never really liked California even after living here for 72 years.........I just have stayed here because of the weather.   As good a reason as any, I guess, especially from the month of November thru the month of March.  
We did not have fur lined snow boots when I was a youngster in Philadelphia winters but, by god, I sure as hell remember what a pain in the ass galoshes were (and what  a failure come to think of it.

Stay warm y'all.

Love, Lo

Friday, November 29, 2013

Nu, Nu.....So Were You Expecting Pollyanna?

Oh, what a disgrace I  am.........the path behind me is strewn with broken promises.   I had every intention of writing cheerful little entries every few days but I don't know quite what happened except that I haven't done that atall, atall.  So sorry....... 2000 apologies interspersed with a few shitpissfucks.

Well,, I will get right to it........I am happy to report that my back problem is much improved and I can sleep without pain.  I can also sit on the hard chair at my computer without pain.  Other stuff still hurts but there is no doubt the situation is much better than it was.  Trouble is, I have to be very careful with each move and that is a bummer.  My patience with this is all used up and I still have not come up with a plan.  Well, I sort of have a plan which consists of executing a series of yoga stretches several times a day and that does seem to be helping so I am leaning toward booking a physical therapist with yoga training as my next step.  Meanwhile, my mood is dark and dour and I am no fun anymore.

I must admit that I did get a few giggles out of one of the yoga poses which left me amazed as hell that I was able to contort myself into it.  It really helped the sciatica.  It goes something like this.  

Sit on the floor with  legs crossed in front of you.  Arrange the right leg bent at  90 degree angle in front of your body.  Hoist the bod up onto left knee just enough to slide the left leg straight back and stretch it out straight behind you..  At this point the right leg is under your abdomen/ groin, the left leg is stretched out behind,  you are leaning on straigtened arms with head held high.  Now, if you can, stretch arms forward, bring torso forward and rest torso and arms on floor in front of you.

Of course,  the only thing left to do now is have someone sprinkle you lightly with kosher salt and bake till lightly browned all over.  (Spread with mustard and eat while still warm).

So that is what I have been up to about you?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Better and Better

Thrilled to be able to report that my back has improved a lot......most of the worst of the pain is gone......unless I try to stand up straight which makes for a very ugly sight as I meander from here to there bent over gazing at the floor but at least no screaming to speak of.  I am happily able to sleep thru the nite......getting the bod  hoisted out of the bed in the morning is something of a weird performance and I may never  be able to look anyone in the eye again unless they are willing to lie down on the floor and gaze up at me, but for now getting around Quasimodo style will do.

I have even dared to  venture into the kitchen again and cook up a batch of my incredible Tuscan Bean Soup and when I say a batch I mean monstger cauldrons (2) which enable me to give some away to my eager soup fans while still keeping enough to stuff my face and even freeze some.  I must say that, hunched over the bubbling caldrons stirring away I felt more like Macbeth's 3 witches than ever, but while I did mutter a chorus of "Double, double, toil and trouble" I managed to refrain from adding anything like a toad to the pots.  I really must give credit to Ree Drummond,
The Pioneer Woman Cooks, she sometimes offers up a real culinary winner.

As you have no doubt surmised, writhing on the floor in agony does not always completely kill my appetite though when the spasm of sciatica seizes my fnny and causes my leg to go into a permanent, monster  muscle cramp I do tend to forget about eating while the screams erupt.  Well, all I can say is that this wretched epsode has altered the normal boring tenor of my days.......and right now I am simply expressing gratitude every minute that I am not hurting.

Since my desperate attempt to make my last blog more entertaining by including a snippet of what I call REAL MUSIC was such a success I plan to continue the ploy,,,,,,perhaps is another fabulous Frank Melrose tune played by Ray Skjelbred.  I am determined to keep music with a melody from becoming completely obliterated duing my lifetime.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Just Checking In

Well, here I am, still kvetching and oy veying but not screaming as often nor as loudly.  We will call that progress.  fact that seems to be what I do the most

Happily, I have been able to  fact, that seems to be what I do the most of.  My next problem will be bed sores.  I have not figured out what steps I will take to get out of this mess......perhaps acupuncture, massage, rolfing, or hitting myself over the head with a club.  I have dragged my gravity lounge out of the corner of the sunroom and set it up in my bedroom.....if you do not know what that is, it is an adjustable lounge that goes back farther than most to let you end up with your head lower than your feet, or with your feet higher than your head....however you prefer to look at it   The theory is that, in that position the pressure is taken off of your vertebrae and should do good things for a person.  It does feel nice, but it has its limitations.....I mean, there is not a lot a person can do while in that position other than just breathe so I tend to get bored easily.

  I really crave one of those machines which lets you completely invert yourself so that you are hanging by your feet, but that gets complicated, expensive  and I think I heard that it may not be good for other parts of you, like your brain which I am very attached to and very protective of.  I am also considering having a chinning type bar installed in one of my doorways so I can hang by my hands and let gravity and my 1000 pounds of blubber extend my spine in a downward fashion and perhaps rearrange the errant vertebrae or disc back into their proper alignment.

That is pretty much as far as I have gotten in solving this problem......not very damned far, but I am grateful that things are better than they were a week or so ago.  All I can say is, I am working on it.  As soon as I find the key I will let you know.  Meanwhile, I feel bad that I cannot serve up some decent blog tidbits.  I may attempt to attach a delightful bit of ragtime piano to this wretched offering but I have little hope that I will succeed in being able to capture the right file  Let's see.

Incidentally, the tune is called "Whoopee Stomp" and was written by the fantastic painistabd composer Frank Melrose.  Frank was my husband, Pete's best friend and the father of my dearest friend, Ida Melrose Shoufler.  I love this and hope you enjoy it too.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Ray of Sunshine

Sorry to have kept you all in suspense over my continuing schlepp down the road of life.....for a while there I had no time for frivolities like blogging.....too preoccupied with screams and shrieks.

Do not want to jinx myself, but I am happy to report that I have had a couple of good days, relatively speaking and today I did not even need any pain meds.  Huzzah.   I have been able to get some good sleep in and that is a real blessing.  Hoping to continue climbing out of the torture chamber.  Will try to keep you updated.  Don't write me off.  I ain't done yet.

Had some interesting insights while struggling with pain.......realized how damned little everything else matters.

Love, Lo

Saturday, October 19, 2013

SPF and WTF or Perhaps WTF and SPF

Faithful reades will surely have no trouble translating my cryptic title and for all of you unfaithful readers....the hell with ya'.

I was hoping that by this time I would be back to my revoltingly cheerful self, but it ain't so.   I am still struggling with the damned sciatica and my failing vision and alternating between cursing, groaning, whining and kicking the furniture and the dog.  (no, there is no dog).  All of this has fiercely addled my brain so be unsuprised by whatever odd things come out of my mouth or, more precisely, dribble out of my fingertips.

I am only here because I promised you all I would utter a few noises from time to time to let you know that your earnest blogger was still alive and kicking......well.....kicking anyway.  So here I am.

There is no way to describe my mood.....not even this word fanatic can come up with the proper words so I will simply say that I am doing my damndest to cope.  Not very graciously, I am afraid......hence all the Shitpissfucks.  

Well, anyway, the good news is that, while I am unable to find a pain free position in a horizontal orientation like the bed, sitting upright on my  hard dining chair at my computer is relatively comfy (???).......I have seriously considered closing the Laptop, putting a pillow on the lid and trying to get a nite's sleep sitting right here....that would also save me from having to transport my ungainly self  from the bedroom to the computer each morn as I rise from my bed of nails lurching creepily like the Creature from the Black Lagoon and scaring the cat, so I guess I should think about taking the idea seriously.  If I could see better I could spend my upright hours blogging endlessly for your amusement or edification, but correcting all my typos is too laborious for that to work out well.  Sigh.  I guess we all simply have to keep slogging (or lurching) forward and see what happens.

Of course my mood was not improved in the slightest on Friday when I watched a phenomenon occur on Wall Street and missed profiting from it only because of pain, laziness and a weakened spirit.  On Thursday the Google we all know and sometimes love reported their quarterly earnings.  This act often makes the reporting company's stock go up or down mightily and I had intended to position myself to take advantage of any bounce that might occur if Google beat estimates, but failed to do so because the market closed before I was able to enter my transaction.  I could have bought a single call option giving me the right but not the obligation to buy 100 shares of Google at $900 or so per share  (yes  very pricey as they say in New England).....said option only costing me a couple of bucks.  Imagine my consternation when, upon arising and lurching in on Friday morn, I discovered that Google had jumped up 60 points at the market open and showed no signs of ceasing to rise even further as the day wore on.   In plain English, had I wisely invested the $200  on Thursday, I would have been more than $6000 (yes, thousand) richer on Friday.  Sob.  I think this may be the perfect moment for me to utter my last Shitpissfuck of the day.

Stay tuned for the next chapter, folks.  No one including me knows what will happen next, but when I find out I will be sure to let you in on it......should you really, really want that.........

Love, Lo

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

All the News That's Fit to Print ??!!

That means that this will be a short mutterings these days are mostly epithets of the unpublishable kind and lots of shitpissfucks which become ineffective with too much repitition.  I am checking in to reassure all you lovely people that I am still here.  The reason for my foul utterings is the damned sciatica which is stubbornly hanging on making it impossible for me to get my bod into a painfree position of the horizontal persuasion.......that means hardly any sleep for days on end.  

Actually,  "on end" is about the only way I have been at all comfortable but on a comfort scale of 1 to 10 that still only rates about 1/3 if not less.  Oy.  I have been lurching around here like an afflicted Quasimodo pausing only between "Ouch" and "Oy Veys" to intersperse a few SPF's.  Not only am I not a pretty sight, but offensive to the ears to boot.  I will cautiously venture a bit of optimism though because I only counted a half a dozen of said shrieks last nite and I think I may have actually gotten 60 consecutive minutes of sleep several times between dusk and dawn.

However, on the bright side, the weird sore throat I was experiencing for several weeks has finally  mostly abandoned its position and that is a Good thing.  I always used to say you can only feel one severe pain at a time.  Wrong.  I have discovered that one's throat and ones ass can both hurt excruciatingly at the same time, a bit of knowledge I really could have lived my life out without knowing.  

Since you all seem to be willing to have me cry on your shoulders, I must report that the death toll continues.......the husband of one of my dearest friends lost his battle and checked out a week after my cousin Lee......I never even I had a chance to rid the floor of all the soggy Kleenex before I started adding to the pile.  I cry not for him but for her.  His pain is ended, hers is not.......I can do nothing but send sympathy and love and I feel helpless as well as sad.  I did send some Lindt Chocolate Truffles  last week and she told me that he was able to eat one before the end and I am somewhat comforted by the idea that, if one must die,  doing so with the lingering taste of a Truffle on one's tongue may be the best way of all.  I hope you do not think me revoltingly insensitive.......the fact is, we all gotta go and, for myself, I would hope that I could depart licking the last heavenly crumb of Lindt from my lips.

Oh, yes, the Stock Market, which is my main entertainment these days (think of it as the snob's Las Vegas) has suddenly tanked and I am busily engaged in learning to play the short side of the down market.  As my sainted Mama used to say, "Never a dull moment"........she also used to say "It's always something....."

and with that I think I will quit my blubbering and go tease, tantalize and tickle a cat using a pink feather tied to a string.  That always makes both of us smile, and maybe tomorrow will be better.  My Puts on the NASDAQ could begin to pay off.

As my buddies and I used to say back in our youth, 
"See ya' later, Alligator !"  And "Twenty-three skidoo too".

Tuesday, October 1, 2013



 My beloved cousin, Lee, died on Thursday, a day after his 87th birthday.
He was a remarkable man, an amazing human being, a beautiful soul.

He was wise, warm, loving, compassionate, caring,  creative, brilliant, sensitive, funny..... with a heart so big he must have had an invisible sidecar because it could not possibly have fit into that lanky body.......and I am already missing him like crazy.

He was my only real first cousin, the son of my dad's wonderful sister, Esther whom I called Aunt Es and he called Nonnie.  My other precious cousins are really my first cousins once removed since they were my mom's first cousins and, since she was an only child there were no first cousins for me on that side of the family.

He was also my last relation who was a contemporary of mine.  Now there is no one left to reminisce with about childhood in the 1930's, about the great old songs, the Big Bands,  the real Movie Stars, about Grandma Lena, Grandpa Izzy and Uncle Willie who was so stingy he used to tell my father to not waste butter like that.....just put a little bit in the middle of the piece of bread and eat all around the slice so you get a taste of the butter with each bite.

I will no longer get to laugh at his jokes, even the ones he has told me a hundred times before.   No more salivating over the vivid memory of Grandma Lena's Sweet and Sour Cabbage Rolls, no more doubling up with laughter over the time my dad tried to unstick the glass stopper in Esther's 4 ounce bottle of Shalimar perfume. (he called Carnegie Tech Science Dept. and got their best advice about tying a string around the neck of the bottle, setting it on fire and being able to lift the top neatly off.  Yeah, sure.  What really happened was the bottle disintegrated dousing my dad's trousers in 4 ounces of Shalimar which was really a good thing because the  burning string fell on them and who knows what mighthave happened....and, I have hated that perfume ever since because, of course,he insisted on hanging those pants in the closet at home and we never were able to escape that scent no matter what.)
tNo more sighing over how we used to assemble his set of Original Lionel Trains and tracks all over the gold silk living room carpet when we went to visit.  No more remembering the times we climbed the funny stairway to the attic that happened to have been built into the closet in the guest room.  No more of a myriad of things that stretch back over 86 years because we were nearly the same age......he had about 8 months on me and had manged to last one day past his 87th bithday.


Bless you, Lee......I'll never forget you for whatever that is worth.  Don't worry about me.....I'll be OK and I hope to  hell you are having fun wherever you may be.

Love, Lo

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Holy Crap......Is That What I Said????

 Well folks, the time has finally come for me to try that damned Dragon program again whereby I dictate my thoughts and the computer prints them out… Hopefully.  And  pigs will someday fly.
I have no idea how this is all going to come out… I plan to leave any funny bits for your amusement… That is, if there are any funny bits. All we can do is hope.

Sadly, the damned program has forgotten all the dirty words I taught it last time. In fact, as I recall, one of the reasons I got disgusted and gave up on this Thing was because each time I taught it a naughty word and it finally got it right, it promptly forgot in the next session everything it had learned at the last lesson.  A person could lose faith in technology very quickly, I can tell you. After teaching it."SHITPISSFUCK" a dozen or more times and having it forget it A dozen or more times . My rent level… Whoops There it goes taking off on its own and making arbitrary decisions about what I said when it doesn't have a clue. What that should have been was rant level, but it's easy to understand why it thought I said rent. So I'll forgive it for now. I don't know why, incidentally, it keeps shoving in capital letters where they don't belong, but I'll figure that out later. OY.

I think what I was going to say a few sentences back was something about my getting ready to begin ranting at the least provocation. And heaven knows, there will be a lot of them no doubt......provocations, that is.... I must admit that it's doing pretty well so far. Of course, I have had to make a number of corrections along the way and I I had to type" ship this fall. Ships up up up up up up up… The whooPS… There it goes again… I did not, under any circumstances utter the words ." Ship this fall." And the up up up stuff is how it interprets my laugh. Whenever I try to get it to say ,"shitpissfuck" it insists on trying to ship something. I haven't tried yet today to go to the option of teaching it new words, I do not have the will or the energy to attempt that project right now.….Maybe later.

Just for spite. I notice that this infernal program is trying its best to frustrate me it in a different way today….When it does screw up, it isn't doing it in its usual laugh provoking manner… Oh you devious piece of software….I may just have to start uttering my handful of year dish phrases… No, no, no….That was supposed to be Yiddish phrases….Well, I think you get the idea. Anyway, I intend to persevere and get this thing whipped into shape or my name ain't…… Now what was my name…… It was right here on the tip of my tongue A minute ago.

Hell and dam no no no….Not that kind… Damn… Yes that's right… Hell and damn, I am sorry I couldn't provide you with some belly laughs. Perhaps next time I can make the thinygram no no not  him oh shipped up up up up up....... misbehave in a more entertaining fashion. There, that's better.  Today I am simply experimenting to see what I can get out of it. The truth is if I can get this working in a fairly acceptable manner it will make it so much easier for me to communicate via the computer. You guys will have to bear with me while I try to get it going properly. Wish me well.  Sigh!


....... ship  Ships up up up up up up up… The whooPS… There it goes again…   Sigh!  Oy.

Now if you were expecting any news, updates, revelations, or confessions you are just shit out of luck. I am totally overjoyed to report that there have been no new crises, disasters, or general fuck ups. (Of course, I typed in  that last word manuallyschooling forgods sake whaty    ooops, sorry…… This program does not know the word fuck ups…just the deed......Ha… Hopefully in time it will!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gripe, Gripe. Complain, Complain.....What Ever Happened to Pollyanna?

             Well, dammit, there is obviously no use waiting around for the day when I once again feel ippsy pippsy, when I am brimming over with mental health and goodwill toward men, when my vision is clear and my sciatic nerve is no longer sending zingers up and down  my leg and stabbing me in the fanny.......I figure I had better blog something or they will be sending the St. Bernard with the keg of brandy around his neck out to find me in the snowdrifts.  Hmmmm, now that I think of it, that is not such a bad idea........

My spirits are low and my heart is full of sadness......being besieged from all sides with bad news and poor prognoses.  Face it folks,  that is what happens when a person gets to be as old as Methuselah.......I was just talking to an old buddy of 89 and she agreed with me 100%.......feh...... who needs to be agreed with on something like that?  Sigh.  Anyway, I still possess a shred of decency and worry about my dear followers worrying about me, so here I am, all warts, prickles, snapping teeth and snarls and growls, popping up on your laptop screens to utter a cheery "Hi" and assure you that I am still alive and very much kicking.

No, goddammit, I have still not taken any photos of Paulie......wanna make something of it?  In my own defense I will mention that the digital camera is lying here on the table beckoning flirtatiously at me and the video camera has been unearthed, prepped with new batts and left within grabbing distance, but I am oddly resistant to accomplishing taking pictures or, for that matter, doing almost anything.  Didja ever have a day/week/month like that? 

Actually I blame it all on Apple, that damnable stock which has been giving me fits for a few years now, and if I had the brains God gave Ostriches (I hear their brains are smaller than their eyes)....I would just take my lumps and get out with my relationship with Apple can only be compared with an abusive marriage and I am the stupid, masochistic idiot wife without the gumption or good sense to pack up and leave.  (well, there was that one time when it was up about 200 points and I thought about taking my profits but I could not make myself push the button on the Sell ticket becaus I was sure it still had some Up left in it........oh, never mind.)

On the bright side, my precious Finches are still flitting back and forth happily, munching lettuce and Millet and laying eggs that never seem to hatch which is OK by me, splashing gaily in their swimming pool and sitting on their perches with eyes closed listening avidly while I sing old songs to them.  They obviously think I am the world's greatest vocalizer and I do not intend to tell them they could be mistaken.  I just have to make sure they never hear anyone else sing anything.

And my adorable Paulie Klibancat continues to fill me with joy whenever I give her the chance.  She is being spoiled rotten but not showing any signs of spoiledrottenness.  A true miracle cat.

Now, if I could only get these mashed potatoes out of my head and have someone reinstall my brain so I can think straight again things might be looking up.  Meanwhile, I will just settle into the recliner with the wonderful massaging chair cover and listen to some more Books on Tape.  If you wonder where I am you can look for me there.  Reclining chairs, massaging chair covers and Recorded Books are among the true blessings of this world.  I highly recommend them no matter what is wrong with you....or even if nothing is.  Oh, lordy, don't tell Miss Bruestle my 8th grade English teacher that I not only wrote but published that sentence.  She'll make me stand in the corner...........

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Newsflash to PETA,,,,,,,,Angels Sometimes Wear Fur

Just a few lines to update you on the situation with me and Precious. Incredible, Adorable Paulie KlibanCat.   It must be very few lines because I just do not have any spare time away from head petting, tummy rubbing, chin scratching and murmuring sweet nothings into those dear little ears......I mean, I have  big time commitments here and everything else is lower priority.  

It could be said that I am in love.  (sorry will just have to share me)

Ya' know, I have had cats.   I have had cats up the giggy for most of my life, and like lovers or husbands, no two are alike and some are, well, just better than others.  Not saying that I have not loved them all and done my best for each and every one of my darlings, but, face it, I would be lying if I said I did not find certain of them special.  This Paulie cat is beyond special.  In 7 days she has mended the hole, nay chasm,  in my heart and filled it up with milk and honey to overflowing.  

I will tell you more next time about what I know of her life before we found each other.   Call it kismet or karma or serendipity or whatever, but it certainly wasn't chance. I consider it one of my miracles that we have found each other.   Grateful?  For sure, but what a puny word that is.

I promise some photos soon.  Hell, I may even post a video of me singing to her.   I have been tuning up the voice and practicing one of my old favorites....."Just In Time"......    

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Oh, Joy, Oh Fulfillment........Lo Is No Longer Catless

Ahhhhh, that awful empty space in my heart is filling with warm, furry bliss..........a cat who will cuddle, play with my toes through the blanket, rub her chin against my hand,let me pet her incessantly and even purr a little.......what a difference a cat makes.

I went to meet Pauline The Cat as nervous as I used to  be when  going out on a blind date.  Go ahead, you can laugh at me.....I don't care, that is how I am.......I am not a hugely needy person, but God knows, I have learned that I need a cat. 

Actually the excursion was a double pleasure because Laurel, my  friend and Vet, had brought Winnie in to show off her new slimmer figure and I got to hug her and murmur sweet nothings in her ear.  It was sort of  bittersweet because Winnie hardly remembered me and preferred the safety of Laurel's arms to mine, but that was OK.....I was happy that she had bonded so well with Laurel.

Next Laurel reappeared clutching a precious tabby.....a true Kliban cat, black and grey stripes and an utterly beautiful face with white hightlights.  No messing around, plunk, right into my lap where Paulie settled and proceeded to alternate between peering up at me and hiding her face in the crook of my elbow.......totally like a cat.  Love at first sight for me...but would it be unrequited???  I would have to wait and see.

Home we went whereupon I let her into my bedroom (equipped with food, water and kitty box, kitty bed and a safe place to hide behind the bed, and, of course, that is where she headed and remained for the rest of the day, and, being a wise old cat lady, that is where I left her undisturbed.  I went to bed about 11 and was lying there trying to get drowsy when, wonder of wonders, I felt something (?) jump up on the bed near my feet.  There ensued   about 15 minutes of having her play with my toes (one of my talents is wiggling my toes enticingly under the quilt)  and then she bravely ventured withing head petting, tickling, neck scratching distance and we spent about an hour or two at this wonderful pastime of cuddling on top of and under the covers.  

Some of you may think I am a fickle wretch to be so willing and able to love a new critter so soon after losing my precious Gussie, but I think Gus would approve.........I can no longer do anything for Gussie, this is a cat who needs me and, heaven knows, I need her, so it is all a good thing.  

We are now into day 2 and she ate a bit this morning.......I am concerned about her eating  because she had been starving herself to death when Laurel rescued her and saved her by putting in a feeding tube.  She is now a big solid almost chubby fur ball, but, being a typical Jewish mother, all I can do is shriek, plead and murmur, "Eat, Eat, meinkindt."    (much hand wringing accompanies this scene).  I am forbidden to offer her tuna, chicken, grilled liver or baked ham and must suffer to sticking with the special kibble Laurel sent home with me, but I am hoping that some day that may change.  Meanwhile we will schlepp along as is and hope for the best.  

Right now Paulie is exploring the entire house......I have opened the bedroom door and am letting her have the run of the place and, oy, so much sniffing and creeping around with nose to the ground, sly opening of every cupboard door, a bit ofjumping up here and there to check out the coziness of the couch and a great deal of rubbing against Ann's ankles which pleases me because it tells me she is already feeling safe and unthreatened.  Sigh.  I am so grateful that this seems to be working out for both our sakes.
Needless to say.......there will be more on this subject, but for now, this little update will have to do.

Thank you all for your sweet sympathy and good meant a lot to me to know you were with me in spirit.  I promise to take some photos soon.

The Cat Lady of Califa St.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Furrry Comfort May Be Forthcoming

Just a quick one line update regarding my catless Vet who adopted Winnie called me last nite and told me I could certainly rent-a-cat......Winnie if I wanted her, but she also had a poor waif who had lost her person and was lurking under the sofa all of the time because she was shy and fearful around all the other cats that Laurel has.  Would I consider trying her?   Well, I considered it for about 15 minutes and called her  back and told her "yes".   Winnie is so happy with Laurel that I hate to disrupt her life even though I would love to get my hands on her again.  So I will try Pauline.  

I am ridiculously excited anticipating our meeting tomorrow.  Laurel will bring her in to the Animal Hospital when she comes to work and Ann and I will go over tomorrow afternoon, get introduced and bring her home for a test run.  She can get used to being an only cat here and get used to being petted, brushed and tickled under the chin  till she yells 'uncle'.  My fingers are twitching in anticipation of fur and purrs.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In Which Lo Surrenders to WhatThe HellCanHappenNext and Feels Somewhat Better

Urk!  Ugh! Aarrrgghhh!  and OY Gevalt!
also, Ouch, Oof, Yoicks and ShitPissFuck!
So here I sit in a puddle of[ tears and a pile of broken crockery.......the latter self inflicted in protest and childish petulance and to relieve some of the pressure
The sad fact is that I had to put my precious cat, Gussie down over the weekend and although I knew it was inevitable I had  been trying to postpone it as long as possible.  I finally realized that she was going downhill faster than I could stop it and, for both of our sakes,  I took her in to go across the Rainbow Bridge.    I am pretty good about such disasters but still I did weep and am still heartsore and craving some warm furry creature to hug and pet.   Saturday nite I actually took my TeddyBear to bed with me.........TB happens to be the only present my Father ever gave me.....I was Sixty(60) years old at the time and was still happy to get it, but that is another story.   I am considering asking Laurel, my Vet whom I got to adopt my tortoise shell kitty, Winnie, to rent her back to me for a while.  I am not sure I want to make another long term commitment right 86 what can I promise? 

So, I am wounded and fragile and shaken and all that on top of which the air conditioner in the bird room has chosen this very moment to croak, the ceiling fan/light in the garage, inspired  by the audacity of the AC, has done the same, one wheel on my garden cart decided to disintegrate,  my car battery, not to be outdone, just conked out....also the car AC is ailing and perhaps on its last legs, my precious reclining chair, without which I have no incentive to live, collapsed, the frame of my brand new glasses broke after only 3 days and had to be replaced by a more expensive pair,  and the market is out of stock on Twizzlers.........are my stars out of alignment or what?  There are even a few more serious disasters in process regarding the failing health of several of my nearest and dearest, but we will not go there today.

I am reporting all of the above mishigoss only to clue you in as to why I have been blogless for so long and also to let you know that I have not given up yet, but am still reeling and staggering around and putting one foot in front of the other occasionally.  Having had the recliner repaired (first things first) I have been spending a lot of time escaping into Books on Tape, meditation and just napping to shut it all out and remaining as motionless as possible to avoid causing any new disasters.

All of which reminds me of an old joke which I only partly remember.  About the guy who died and was being escorted to heaven by an Angel and as they were walking down a long hallway they passed a closed door from which issued dreadful groans, moans, wails and screams.    The man inquired about what was going on in there and the Angel said, "That's Hell" and opened the door to reveal an endless lake of shit, populated by an infinite crowd of people struggling to keep their heads above the shitline...... They were all pleading, "Don't make waves!"

Sunday, August 18, 2013

We All Make Odd Choices and Heaven Help Us For Some of Them

Well, dammit, you WOULD  be an animal lover, wouldn't you?  You could have chosen to be a Justin Bieber Groupie or a lifelong devotee of  Humphrey Bogart or a Film fanatic in general, but had to become a pushover for the pet population and beyond.  Serves you right that you are suffering for  your foolish choices now.      Gaaaaaahhhhrrrr.

For several days last week I watched my precious Cat, Gussie limp a bit and favor her left forepaw while I worried and wondered and felt the damned paw up and down as much as she would let me and I knew I would have to take her to the Vet or not sleep ever again.  
So Ann and I went thru the routine required for the job.  Close all outside doors.  Close all inside doors to the room in which Gus was at the moment reclining.  Quietly as possi'ble fetch one of the cat carriers and introduce it into the Room so she doesn't see it.   Fail.  Gallop after Gus and pin her in the corner when she immediately guesses what was up and attempts escape.  Snatch her up and into the carrier before she could put plan B into effect.  On our way to the Vet  I mused that the problem might be an ingrown toenail since I had not had her claws clipped lately since I was too old and feeble and blind and clumsy to do it myself any more.....(at what point did she become so much stronger than me?   I somehow missed that subtle transition point.)  And to my relief and abysmal shame, that is exactly what it was.  One long claw had curved into a paw pad and must have been hurting like hell when she walked.  What a rotten Mother I turned out to be.......this would cost me huge .....A trillion in kitty treats not to mention endless hours of painful  immobility while providing her with a reclining tummy to doze on and being unable to scratch any part of me that itched or any muscle that cramped without disturbing her.  She is still demanding apologies from me and there is no sign of her letting me forget my heartless neglect of her well being.  Sigh.  At least she is no longer limping piteously and breaking my heartless heart.   And the  vet bill, including antibiotic shot and  blood test, was under $1000.    
Tenks Gott.

Then, without having the chance to recover from this episode the Pet God decided to smite  me with another heart wrenching situation.  I went in to bid my Fabulous Finches goodnite on Friday and, as usual, I proceeded to count birds on perches and in nest boxes and came up one short.  Omigod......where was Judy the smallest female, Mickey;s beloved?   I immediately began examining he floor of the cage for signs of the dreaded Egg Bound Female Syndrome and there, in a corner was the pathetic little creature barely moving and seeming to pant ever so slightly.  Panic time.  This condition was usually fatal and I had no skills as an avain midwife.  Desperately I thrust my hand into the cage and seized the poor mite, brought her out into the light, examined her, petted her feathers, scratched her neck whispered sweet nothings and prayers into her ear and put her back hopefully.  Nothing.  Still seeming to be dazed, almost comatose she sat and sat and sat.  

I had already ruled out the idea of finding a Bird Vet, especially in the middle of the night so I called the breeder where I had gotten her and asked for advice.  I was told to grab her gently, check for a lumpy looking lump in her nether parts under her tail feathers and, if found, to squeeze it gently to break the egg and the impasse.  I did all that, found no lump and when I squeezed gently anyway all I got was some poop for my efforts.  Tearfully, I replaced her in the cage, spent 15 minutes meditating and sending good thoughts her way and finally staggered off to bed thinking my usual cop out thought.....'que sera, sera".   
Barely slept and upon rising went in to look for a corpse only to find all four birds sitting on the perches looking, as far as my untrained eye could tell, alive.  

When my caregiver arrived we both examined the creatures and she said that poor Judy seemed to have no feathers along her back  between her wings and she suspected some sort of family brawl.  (I had not seen this condition but had felt something strange in the texture of her back as I petted  her)  One or more of the other birds must have ganged up on her, plucked out some feathers and left her in a state of birdy shock and post traumatic distress    WTF???.   Apparently I have got myself a dysfunctional bird family.  Or perhaps just a normal bird family since, I suspect, all families are dysfunctional to one degree or another.  Careful scrutiny since has indicated that Judy is mostly OK if temporarily short some plumage and tempers seem to be calm along Finch Lane.  
Oy.  In fact, Oy Gevalt!

Excuse me while I go in and put cold cloths on my head.  I just had to go out and shut off the pool motor because water was pouring off my roof. I think the raccoons have once again chewed through the tubing on the solar panels which heat my pool water.  No one can come till Monday.   I think I should have opted to be a Justin Beiber groupie.

Friday, August 9, 2013

You Can't Fall Off the Floor So There's No Way to Go But Up

Aaaaarrrrgh!  And OY !   (No, no, not what you think.....this is good news).

I have digested all your comments and just realized that I seem to  have left you precious folk wringing your hands over Lo's pitiful plight and not only is that NOT what I intended ........(I was sort of creating an  excuse for  myself for not blogging) but it is also last week's news. 

Not that everything has suddenly turned fact I continue to  be deluged with sad reports from hither and yon, but my own bleak despondency seems to have lifted and I am just coping with whatever comes along pretty  well right now. 

I  have measured my own sack of troubles against those of some others and realize that I am really very damned lucky.  While I am dreadfully sad about  what my friends are having to go through,  my own spirits are actually OK and I have great hopes for me.  I promise I will blog again soon and may even say something funny.

Thanks, darlings for hangin' in with me.  Be of good cheer.  As I have said oft before.....more later.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

In Which Lo Decides She Might As Well Crawl Out From Under the Sofa

Grokkkk!   Auuuukkkkk!  Qweeeesgh!
Those are the sounds emanating from the throat of this unkempt, large, moulting bird struggling wildly while being slowly strangled by her own ineptitude and wondrous powers of procrastination and denial among other things.   I have just decided Enough Already.  I must put away my disappointment, disillusionment, distress and disgust at the machinations of the insane and unkind world and Murphy's Law and raise my bod up to keep on schlepping.

It's like this.

First,  I found to my great disappointment that I am not a candidate for the new wonder surgery to implant a telescopic lens in my macular degenerated eye.  I nearly qualified but it seems that they cannot do the procedure on anyone who has had cataract surgery.  Hells Bells, as my Daddy used to say.......I can hardly believe that there is a person over 75 (condition #1) who has NOT had cataract surgery.  Well, that took care of that dream.  But, the Doctor took pity on me and decided to refer me toyet another who prescribes glasses for low vision patients.  So how come he didn't think of this months ago?   Dun't esk.

So, after another  4 hour excruciating examination (they are all at least 4 hours)   complete with the brightest lamps known to man being shone into my eye and drilling holes into my brain and innumerable additional photographs of my decrepit  macula ( how many pictures of one's macula does a person really need, fercrissake?)  and being assigned a prescription for  some lenses that may actually make it possible for me to read AND having my bank account depleted in a horrific fashion, I finally staggered home to await the new glasses in a week or 10 days  equipped only with the most expensive lighted magnifying glass known to humankind to get m  e through the interim.  That's the disillusionment, distress  and disgusted part.

Now, do not for one moment think that I am not grateful as hell for what vision I do have.......believe me, I am.   But you know what greedy, ungrateful wretches we humans are.  We always want MORE.

And speaking of ungrateful.......I am still not recovered from the disillusionment I suffered when my usually trusty caregiver presented me with the results of weeks, or perhaps months, of her labors to carefully transcribe the illegible entries in my aged personal phone book onto stick on labels using a felt marking pen and paste them onto pages in a newly prepared loose leaf binder with alphabetic separators and everything.  You cannot imagine my perplexity, puzzlement and volcanic rage when I eagerly seized the new tome and opened it to look up a phone number only to find that,while I could actually read the entries I could not find anything I was looking for.  It was only after 3 or 4 minutes of mumbled oaths and groans that I figured out that she had organized the entire book by FIRST NAME.  Oy.

No, there was no bloodshed, nor even any harsh words.  I am a totally civilized (read hat as beaten down, defeated)  soul.  I simply asked her gently why she had chosen to do it like that and she was just as flabbergasted as I had been and had absolutely no answer.  I decided that the book, as it was, would be useful in case the dreaded Dementia struck and I forgot the last names of everyone I know.   In fact, it was particularly good when I needed to look up one of my multitudinous Doctors since they were all neatly gathered under D (though not in alphabetic order....but never mind).  We are now working on Version 2 in which I will alphabetize the labels before they get applied to the pages......sob.

And after all that I have decided to finally crawl out from under my rock and temporarily rejoin this meshugina world...........don't  ask me why....I have absolutely no answer.....God help us all!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Put Down That Damned Shovel and Stop Digging - I Am Still Here (Barely)

I can guess what some of you may have been word from me for word from Gussie...not a peep from the Fabulous Finches.........ominous.

Sorry if I have worried you or if you have felt deprived.  I have been showered and overwhelmed with various varieties of dung and have not yet dug myself out.  (toss me that shovel you were using to dig the grave.....I could use it.)

I do not believe this trial by shit is going to prove fatal, but it is taking all my focus and energy so don't give up on me...... I will be back.

Just do not want you to worry.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pome About a Few of the Blights of My Life

You know what I hate?  I hate Emoticons
I find them infantile
and puerile
 and ugly to boot
and that's the troot.
I consider them quite totally offensive
and reprehensive.

I think that the person who invented them
or first presented them
should be forced to have them tatooed over every inch of their epidermis, both exposed and hidden
and then they should be tied naked to the back of a horse and ridden
through the downtown of every city of 50,00 or more regardless of the weather
and people should be encouraged to get together
and throw overripe fruit and tomatoes
and hurl lewd remarks and insults and threats at them
and shame and scare the  bejesus out of them.

And as for the ones people make out of innocent punctuation
they are equally silly, irritating and require eradication.
Only difference is that while being equally deplorable and unadorable
They are at least a bit more ignorable.

So I say Faugh on all who use them.....those "pictures" are for the birds....
What in the hell is wrong with words?

And for my next number
I want to see the complete disappearance of the use of  "lol"
And may everyone who ignores my plea be sentenced to eternally trying to eat an ice cream cone
in Hell.

The grumpy, rhyming Lois has spoken.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Difficult Art of Seeing What Is In Front of You By Looking a Little to the Side

If you hang around this corner fairly often you probably know that I have been having terrible trouble with my vision for a long time.    I developed  a condition called wet macular degeneration I am not sure how many years ago and lost all central vision in my left eye in that initial attack.  I still have peripheral vision in that eye so I can find my way around a familiar room using it,  but it is not good for any kind of serious seeing    I can almost see everything I am not looking at  (if you can wrap your mind around that indigestible nugget).  A year of participating in the final FDA study of the drug Lucintas (which involved monthly visits to get a shot in my eyeball for a year......yes 12 pokes in the eye with a sharp stick) sadly though it stopped further damage it did not help my condition though many of the other people in the study had great improvement and the drug is now available.
At the time my right eye still had good vision though it showed signs of developing what they call dry macular degeneration....a less destructive variety but still a very bad thing.  Ever since, despite drinking gallons of fresh carrot juice and taking all the supplements known to be friendly to the eyes, my good  eye has gone steadily downhill.  Little by little the window of my clear vision shrank till,at this time, I can only see a single key on the keyboard or about 3 letters at a time in the word I have to read it mic.....ros.....oft and put the groups together in my mind and hope they make sense.  At the same time, the little window has developed a mist which gets foggier each day so seeing the important stuff clearly has become a huge struggle.....a real pain in the ass, you could, much worse.  Oy.  

I am not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me.  Sympathy is nice, but pity and suffering once removed is useless and a dreadful waste so please, don't feel my pain.    I have, of late, been living day to day, still able to  barely seee on the computer  because it is backlit, unable to locate the cursor unless I let my peripheral vision find a moving object,  and not sure even  how long that will last.  Have not figured out how I would live if I were to completely lose the central "seeing" vision in my good eye .......I am a fantastic problem solver,  but I have not figure that one out yet.   We just won't go there, OK?   BUT.....

A friend sent me an article announcing that the Hospital and Med Dept at UC Davis has developed  a telescopic implant which enables people with an impaired central macula to SEE by focusing the vision away from the bad spot in the center to the side where the macula is healthy.  It told of a success with an 89 year old lady, an artist, who had lost her vision and had it restored by this implanted lens.  "Holy bejeebers", I said, or words to that effect.  And of course, I proceeded to look into this immediastely, if  you will pardon my loose use of the word "look".

My plan was to somehow get on the top of the list up at UC Davis, even if I had to bribe/convince them of my worthiness by giving them all my money......(no use trying to sell my body anymore).   However, after ceasing to jump up and down and before starting the exhausting business of trying to get through to the right department and the right person at UC Davis, I decided to consult with my own high powered Retinologist to get his opinion about the procedure and, lo and  behold, I found that not only does he approve of the procedure, but that he actually is performing it right here in his clinics in Los Angeles.  Now if all that ain't a fucking miracle, I don't know what is.

I have an appointment at the end of July for a consult with him to see if I am a candidate.  The article stated that they were only performing the procedure on folks who were over 75.....I sure as hell qualify, and on the dry macular degeneration......right on again.  I even rushed to my Cardiologist to have him check me over to be sure I could undergo surgery and got a thumbs up.  To say I am excited would be ridiculous.  There is no word for the degree of hope and the degree of fear I am experiencing.  Fear only because I would hate to lose what little sight I still have if the operation should fail..... but I will find out the odds and then take my chances.

Meanwhile, if you know anyone with macular degeneration, please tell them about this new procedure.  I will post the website with the article at the bottom of this post.  After 10 years of saying "no" when people ask me,  "Can't anything  be done to help you?" it seems there is finally a YES - MAYBE answer to that question.

Do spread the word, please!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Oh, Hell.....Now There Is One More Thing I Just Don't Understand

Just a quickie today.......a plea for enlightenment.  I am confused, bemused, baffled, puzzled and perhaps even hornswaggled (if I knew what THAT meant)  and also pissed off.   I hate it when I feel like this.

After months of fuming, fretting and much wringing of the hands, mind  fraught with anxiety about the shutting down of Google Reader and agonizing over whether to try Feedly or Bloglovin and simply not understanding what mechanism had been providing me with access to all the blogs I read and follow, etcetera, etcetera, etcetra, July 1st has come and gone and I seem to still have access to my beloved blogs via  same as always. 


Needless to say, I am ecstatic over the fact that nothing has had to change for me......I do not need Feedly or Bloglovin or Whatever......tenks gott.   BUT.....
Can anyone explain to me where Google Reader impinges on my life if it does, indeed impinge?  Sigh.

Hell and damn.....I used to write these damned programs and used to understand how they linked together and how they could access stuff stored here and there......of course, that was  back in the dark ages so I am willing to admit ignorance and willing to learn.  This whole  brouhaha makes no sense to me and the perplexity is driving me bonkers. 

Please, someone......explain in simple terms how Google Reader fit into the blog world or any other world.  My gratitude will be  boundless......I might even offer a bribe.....I mean prize.

Eagerly waiting,
   Bonkersville, CA.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wipe That Look of Pity Off Your Face, Dammit.....So I Am Obesssed With the FastDiet....So??

Yeah, yeah, I is pretty effing pitiful when a person gets to the point where there is so little going on in a person's life that a new way of eating takes over a person's entire  being.     Well, that person is THIS person but I don't need your stinking pity.......I assure you that it ain't just because I am too old and feeble to have anything more interesting to obsess over that I am going bonkers over this amazing FastDiet way of eating.  It is my latest Miracle.

Unless you have lived a life of  unending deprivation fearing every morsel you put into your mouth, (except lettuce) , are engaged in a constant, exhausting wrestling match with your baser self's perpetual cravings and know the anguish of never having a moment's peace or relief from pangs run wild and are doomed to go unsatisfied forever you cannot  begin to understand my current near bliss.  Like an exhausted swimmer who has  been fighting the undertow trying to reach the shore and safety  for her entire lifetime and who finally manages, with the last ounce of strength, to drag herself into the shallows, out of reach of the deadly grasp of the current, I am lying gasping on the sand slowly being restored by the hope of never having to undergo that nightmarish struggle and endless agony again.

My earliest memory was of food and it is a monumental one and  an explanation of the blight I have suffered under for 86 years.  It is as clear to me now as it was all those many years ago ......a moment of total clarity then and now.   I believe I was about a year old....maybe less.  I was lying in a tiny, brightly striped canvas beach chair in the kitchen, filled with my normal  unease, fear and general sense of dread which was my way of life.  It stemmed from the fact that at any moment my father might appear and who knew what that might portend.  My mother was busy with some task at the stove behind me and then she placed into my little hands a glorious bottle which I recognized as being the source of a  heavenly substance.  I drank eagerly and a warm glow of peace and bliss spread through my body and calmed my mind and soul.  I was in heaven in the arms of angels and I was being filled with ambrosia.  For this moment I was safe, happy and fulfilled.  Needless to say, I lived for these moments and the magic never ceased until I was old enough to somehow understand that the sacred substances that I put into my mouth and which made life bearable had a terrible price.....they ended up making me FAT.

That old adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me" is a crock of shit.   Names hurt like hell.  Pudge, Fatso, Baby Elephant, Big Fat Cow all pierced me to the quick, drew invisible blood and created wounds  some of which took half a lifetime to heal.  Even before I ever heard of the word Diet, I was already suffering conflict with every crumb that I put in my mouth.  Food was not only a delicious pleasure but was my friend, comfort, sedative and pain killer and yet I knew that each crumb would only end up making me pudgier, fatter, clumsier, uglier of form and generally more despicable.  Not a happy predicament.  My only salvation was also  my enemy.

And even after discovering Diet and Exersize at age 11 and losing 35 or 40 lbs. life was just one long, unending struggle, either of constant deprivation or failure to maintain my diet and the hard won losses.....a wretched burden of despair, defeat and guilt.  I gained and lost the same 10 - 40 lbs. periodically for the next 60 years and each time it became harder to lose an ounce until the process just stopped working altogether.  Let's see now.....I figure I must have easily lost and regained more than 700 lbs during my lifetime..  Pretty damned impressive but all for naught.  Sob.

During most of my young and middle years I did manage to maintain an acceptable weight........between smoking and dieting when necessary I kept  an uneasy truce with the problem.  Then I went thru menopause and quit smoking at the same time and immediately gained the 40 lbs I had  been so laboriously holding at bay for most of my life.  When I reached the estimable age of 80 I just gave up the useless struggle and decided to eat whatever I wanted for whatever years were left to me and to just accept waddling as a means of locomotion.  Sadly, a broken hip and worn out knee joints just made everything more and more difficult, but I did not see that I had much choice.  Dieting did not work and I could no longer even exercise on the treadmill or stairclimber......I could just about make it tottering  to the potty and back a few hundred times a day (yes, that has become my my exercise.)  Fortunately, each time  I have reached the top weight my body had decided it wanted to be, I did not gain any more but I was still doomed to drag around, carry, raise and lower and live with  that damned 40 lbs. and the older I have gotten the harder it has become.  The operative word has  been  "hopeless".

And then, suddenly, an amazing ray of hope  appeared.  I read about the FastDiet or the 5:2 Diet in which you eat whatever you want for 5 days of the week and do a modified fast of 500 healthy calories on the other 2 days (not consecutive) and, aside from the possibility of perhaps losing weight, I liked the premises underlying it.  (  the studies show that it may not only make you lighter and healthier, but protect you from Alzheimers and dementia and increase your longevity as well)  Since I had nothing to lose (except for that damned 40 lbs) I decided to try it for one week and, by all  that is holy, at this moment (the beginning of week 7) I believe it may have changed my life. 

To mention just a few points, I seem to no longer fear food.  I no longer struggle against monstrous cravings.  (I really never experienced hunger.....just cravings).  Food, when I do eat it, actually tastes better. I have little to no trouble with hunger on my partial fast days or any physical discomfort.  I actually feel energized and at peace with what I am doing and it is an unbelievably lovely feeling.  Since I am not distracted by my food insanity, the fast days have enabled me to peer into dark  corners of myself and see clearly the process which has cursed my life and, in seeing it I seem to be able to change it.  Holy Moly, as they say.  I never expected to be able to solve this particular part of what I call my madness.  I still am not over the surprise and delight of it and, though of course I know too well that this may all be a dream and I may revert tomorrow to where I was, even this  brief respite has been a true  blessing and a fascinating experience.   After repeating the same  words to myself during my whole life....Give up the food  crutch, Face the fear, Accept Death from starvation, etc. etc. etc I seem to have finally been able to not just talk it  but DO it and after taking that deep breath and  stepping off the cliff I found I did not fall and crash. The edge of the cliff was an illusion to trick me into staying in the same old comfortable/uncomfortable place.   Like all the other difficult lessons I have been able to learn, this is one more case where intellectually knowing the solution and being able to incorporate it and put it in to practice are tantalizingly close yet far apart.

Just shows to go, folks....apparently we are never to old to learn.....sigh...oy vey, what next?
I want a sabbatical first.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ode to an Old Friend

Another blogger recently wrote a very touching  blog about the recent loss of a long time friend of 43 years.

It got me to thinking about my longest ( living) relationship......a friend I have known, loved, hung out with, laughed with, cried with, shared with, disagreed with,  traveled with, caroused with, grown up with, grown old with.....all of the above in spite of the fact that we have been separated by 3000 miles for all but the first 15 months of our relatinship ( not counting the many times we have traveled together and traveled to be with each other).  Some day I may tell you a lot more about this friendship, but I have just realized that my frugality,my refusal to part with any beloved thing I have collected over my lifetime and my tendency to hoard the good stuff and not let it go sort of slops over into my relationships.  I do try to hold on to the good ones.  Just 10 or 12 years ago I still had 5 or 6 friends whom I had known for more than 50 years.   I have lost all but 3 of them to death over recent years, but  it sort of shocks me when I realize that my newest close friendship was engendered about 35 or 40 years ago.  Oh, I do have some newer, younger friends, but they are not quite the same as those others that have been part of me  for 50, 60, 70 years.  Even some of my lovers remained friends long after the flames of passion died down......quality lasts after lust and passion have ridden off into the sunset. But, I digress.....I was intending to tell you about my Oldest Friendship...... Stel.

I remember like it was yesterday that morning in September of 1940 when Sylvia Shahinian (my then oldest friend since age 9) and I climbed the steps to Shaw Jr. High School in West Philadelphia and Syl suddenly stopped and hissed, "Be careful....there's that girl".  What girl, I asked.  That new girl who lives on our street.  Why should I be careful I asked.  "She wants to be friends with us", Syl said.
I did not see that as a problem so I disengaged my sleeve from Syl's grip and sauntered up the steps to the new girl.  "Hi", I said.  "Hi", she said. and so began my very long association with Stella.

That was  more than 73 years ago and I have just paraphrased Bob Hope's old song, "Thanks For The Memory", hitting some highlights of this rare friendship and I intend to sing it to her........yes I will. Since she adamantly refuses to have anything to do with a computer since she retired as head of the Reference Dept of  the New Hampshire State Library, I will have to make a CD and send it to her.  Only Stel and I will understand all the references. but I am really tickled with it and will share my lyrics with you below.
I hope she will get as big a kick out of it as I have gotten developing it.   I guess I had  better hurry....neither of us is getting any younger.  Where did I put my pitchpipe?

Some may consider it maudlin and sappy, but I stand by it  proudly.

Thanks for the memory
of Paris long ago, trips to Mexico,
Stomach pains and hurricanes
and sharing Guillermo
I thank you so much.

Thanks for the memory
My only Broadway show
was Kiss Me Kate, you know
The transit strike caused us to hike
Manhattan high and low
I thank you so much..

I loved your father and mother
And had a huge crush on your brother
And you were a friend like no other
I felt lucky to be
close to your family.

So thanks for the memory
Las Vegas was such fun
I taught you 21
T'was in the Golden Nugget
Can't remember if we won
But thank you so much.

Second chorus

Thanks for the memory
of cruising Norway's fjords
we've toured and dined like Lords
and Frisco was two inches, and my wagon was a Ford
I thank you so much.

Thanks for the memory
San Miguel was so hypnotic
Our villa was exotic
The trip to Guanajuato
Showed that Don was Don Quixotic
Oh, thank you so much.

Many's the times that we feasted
I don't think that we ever fasted
And look at how long we have lasted
We've had great fun, for more than 71 (years, that  is)

So thanks for the memory
of music near and far
Guillermo played guitar
and Pete and Joe swung sweet and low
and look, here we still are
I'm awfully glad I met you
Stella darling, you're my Star
I thank you so much.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Eureka.......In which Lo Finally Learns to Cheat Bigtime

    I just realized that I have been overlooking a fantastic blogging tool......that of re-publishing old blogs when one is unable to put one word after another in any intelligible fashion.  Lately I have  been preoccupied with some urgent matters and each time I have peered into my blogging brain I have seen nothing but a vast expanse of nutthin'.......except for a few wispy bits of ash from frazzled brain cells sacrificed to my efforts to gather up some info for the dreaded IRS.  

So, what I have done is go back to the very beginning  of my blogging life when I did not have a clue about blogging (not terribly different from my current clueless condition actually.)   At that time I had only a handful of followers....mostly loyal members of my family, and if I got a single comment I was euphoric.   And, not unlike today, when I got no comments I was grumpy, whiny and generally pissed off.  Some things change and some things remain the same.


Hold onto your we go.



Hold onto your we go.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Guess Who Is #1 in Guinness Book of Klutzes

It's no contest, really.  (You may THINK you are a bigger klutz than I am, but I don't really want to fight about it so please, just acknowledge my greatness in the klutz department and let's move on). 

I started honing my klutzy skills as a child, dropped out of the race for a number of middle years and now seem to be perfecting my technique in my decrepitude.  I am not bragging about this, you understand, just recognizing and accepting it.

As a child my claim to the title rested on simply falling down a lot,  often from standing on my own foot and then trying to pick up the bottom foot to walk, but also tripping over twigs, pebbles or cracks in the pavement.  When I grew  my great boobs my talents expanded to feats like catching my dress or shirt on the  protruding bolts  holding the ping pong table net in place, thereby rending asunder my garments with great regularity.    Until I learned to allow for the protrusions I hardly owned any clothing which had not been darned or otherwise mended from such encounters, much to my poor Mamma's grief and horror.   

Then when I lost 50 lbs. and stopped bumping into so many things the plague went into a state of remission, I guess.   I remained somewhat accident prone but things took on a much more sophisticated quality as I learned to use tools .......I think the epitome was reached when I managed to nail my finger to the picture frame I was building........lesson: never hold the piece of wood with your fingers behind the place where you are hitting the nail with the hammer.  

It is a small miracle that I survived all those years of using power tools and building stuff while still keeping all fingers and toes and minor limbs attached to my body.  God was good to me and my Guardian Angels must have worked overtime.  . However, after the past few days I think the plague is returning.  I have been behaving like my left foot is attached to my right leg and vice versa.  This is beyond klutzy.  A few days ago I was trying to put on a stretchy velcro knee brace and pulled so hard to stretch the flap that I pulled my foot off the chair it was resting on thereby knocking over the chair and myself in the process.  Only bruises, tenks gott, but very unsettling (no pun intended).

Before continuing I must explain that one of my many weird habits is to keep my purse (very large with 2 carrying straps) on the floor under the dining table where I live for a good part of the day since that is where the laptop resides.)  Consequently, I should at all times be very careful to ensure that it is tucked safely under the table without protruding enticingly to tempt disaster.  Well, of course, I don't, so there have been many awkward encounters, but none as great as last nite when I rose from my chair to let a cat in or out or fetch some delicacy from the kitchen or something and somehow managed to step into the jaws of the purse which then wrapped it's straps around my leg and anchored me to the floor on the left side.  Meanwhile, my right leg was still merrily making it's way to the other room.  Both dining chairs went over in this one and I found myself in my old familiar position of a shambles and general state of disarray on the floor with several cats peering down at me with puzzled expressions.  Careful counting elicited the info that I still had all my body parts attached, no one was bleeding and nothing seemed to be broken, sprained or otherwise mangled.  Sigh.  

This is obviously very dangerous and must be solved at once.....migawd I could have fallen on a cat and killed it.  I had better go into the rubber room to ponder..........I love to solve problems, but this one may not be so easy..............

P.S. On another subject entirely:

To my new follower, Shirley, who made me faint with joy when she said she went back and read every one of my blogs (wow) your comment yesterday has no ID so I do not know how to thank you privately......therefore you must endure this public gratitude and/or embarrassment and humiliation......Thank you!

And, while I am on the subject......., to all my dear followers whose affection and loyalty I appreciate and treasure.........thank you , dear ones from the bottom of my light up my life!


  Friday, December 4, 2009

The Loneliness of the Cyberspace Blogger

12/4/09 Less than a week at blogging and already I have a complaint. Hell, when I write an email I often get an email in return. When a writer's book sells the writer gets a royalty. What does an earnest blogger get ??.....bupkas. Only one brief comment so far ( though I must confess I have had several encouraging emails......)Oh, well, old blabby here doesn't really need a dialogue I guess. Sigh. I wonder how long it takes before one gets used to being naked in IS a very strange feeling. Oh, well......As I often say to my email correspondents....."more later". 

December, 2009      

Experiment gone wrong

Horrors !! In a desperate effort to learn how to upload an image from my pix files onto my blog I have committed an unpardonable sin at worst and an egregious error at best......I intended to try to post one of my cartoons as an experiment and after four or five failed attempts..( three of the drawings needed to be rotated 90 degrees, one somehow got enlarged beyond fitting the page and another one just disappeared amid my wild flailing around) I chose one set of pohotos I knew was right side up and, intending to only create a draft and delete, old fumble-fingers accidentally hit "publish". Since I do not know how to delete an item once it has been published I fear I will have to live with those images of someone who looks vaguely familiar but whom I have not seen in some time. The only saving grace I can think of is the fact that whenever any of you find yourself complacently and patronizingly thinking of me as a harmless old lady, just remember that I wasn't always so harmless........ Please forgive this transgression......I swear it wasn't intentional. Those of you who have seen me in my current decrepitude should take warning, however, that this sort of thing could happen to anyone after 80 odd years of wear and tear........


who is this Hottie









Oh, Misery

November, 2009