Thursday, December 31, 2009

Too Blue To Blog

It is the final day of 2009 and, as usual, I am a bit depressed.  I hate the ends of things..........with  the exception of awful  things, of course........those  I can hardly wait to see the last of.   But lovely things I have trouble letting go war cry is always, "MORE".........just your normal,everyday glutton, I guess.

I first noticed this tendency while sitting in a theater watching breathlessly as  the musical,  'My Fair Lady', dazzled me into a puddle of joy.  As intermission approached I remember groaning inwardly at the idea that this fantastic experience was almost half over.  Ever since then I have this odd feeling of finality and loss when something comes to an obvious end, particularly the last week of the year, and more significantly on the last day of same.

Not that 2009 was such a great year  but it was a year of my life and each one of those is infinitely precious.
I guess all I can do now is to let go of 2009 with thanks for blessings received and lessons learned and look forward with anticipation to 2010.  As my beloved cousin, Steve, has reminded me, when all else fails, curiosity may get you through.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Score: Silly Girl - 1000 - Wise Hermit of Califa Street - 7

I have just discovered that the foolish young 'un whom I chastised yesterday on her Facebook wall for her facetious attitude about quitting smoking has managed to attract 1000 followers to cheer her on......she just might make her goal of 5000 yet, by golly.

On the other hand, all of my rants, ruminations and self-revelations have garnered just one comment -  from my loyal pal, Ida....(bless her heart).  I am wondering...should I be depressed?

However,  I did notice that, when I wasn't looking, I did acquire 2 new fans in the persons of my brilliant and creative  friend Valerie (bless her heart) and my beloved and incomparable cousin, Steve (bless his heart) , so now I can proudly refer to my fan base of SEVEN (7).  Actually, I am NOT depressed because it is very obvious to me, upon reading the comments of some of those 1000, that I definitely have quality in my corner.  Bless you all!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ruthless I May Be, But Not Heartless

This is, I hope, the last chapter on my knock-down drag-out catfight with a poor girl whose posting on Facebook caused me to lose my temper and behave badly.  I am, I hope, never too proud, or too arrogant to say I am sorry and, after thinking over the situation I decided that an apology might be the right thing to offer someone who was expressing a back-assed effort to quit smoking.  I still deplore her smarmy attitude and approach to the subject, and I am still rankling just a wee bit  from being called a "shrivelling prune", (who, ME????) but I am way above and beyond letting insults which I may have provoked bring me down and I am, as much as possible, always gung ho to reach across the line and do the right thing.  Consequently, it may please and relieve my fans to note the following apology I just submitted.

" Dear Selena : I apologize for what may have seemed like my harsh words earlier. I am a "saved" 4 pack a day ex-smoker myself. Additionally, I nursed my husband thru a crippling stroke (partially caused by his smoking) and lost him to lung cancer from his smoking so I do have the credentials to be down on taking smoking lightly. If I hurt you, please forgive. I wish you good luck in your struggle. "

It is interesting to me that it took 3 blogs to actually complete this verbal adventure.  I also want to stress that the lesson in all of this, (if anyone cares to know what I have learned and relearned during my life ) is simply that a person, even one who may consider themselves absolutely in the right on a position, should always review the circumstances objectively and honestly and, given any case where a person may have hurt another person unintentionally (or even more to the point  - intentionally ), it is vital that a person simply say "I'm sorry".    As far as I am concerned those are the two 2nd most important words in the English (and every other) language............. after "I love you".

Nuff said.

My Comeuppance

(Before reading this you  MUST read my preceding entry of earlier today)

Well, here I lie bloody and bruised, having been given a good poke in the snoot by the childish person I unceremoniously spanked on Facebook for her facetious approach to stopping smoking..  Undaunted, I say I would not take back a single word, but I am finding this exchange so fascinating, bizarre and so funny that I feel it warrants a bit of blogging.  Without further ado, I include below the Facebook response my chiding elicited.......I am not quite sure how I feel about being called a "shrivelling prune".......heaven knows I cannot deny being one, but it is practically unavoidable when one gets to be 82 or so.........I AM vibrating with irritation at having my pithy words called "ignorant comments".....(they were anything but ignorant)  ........and have ambivalent feelings about being called a "moronic character"........I think she could have done better, but, after all, she is young and  has a lot to learn..........and, to be fair, she did not receive my complete comment but had to make do with an edited version that, perhaps, did not include (because of Facebooks word limitations) my confessions of my own weaknesses.


Selena Leoni Dearest lois,

Please refrain from using insults. Your words are nothing to me due to the fact I do not know who you are nor care to after your ignorant comments. I encourage you to LAY OFF. I am doing this for my mother not the approving opinions of moronic characters like yourself. Thanks for your life changing words of encouragement you shriveling prune. Good day."


I do want you to know that I have sent an email of abject apology to the friend who sent me the referral to the Facebook entry......after all I realize that the person whom I apparently insulted and wounded could possibly be someone dear to them.  What a waste........

Ranting and Raving - Was I Too Harsh?

I just finished leaving an entry on a wall in Facebook and I am not sure whether I should feel proud or ashamed.  My sin was to have totally chewed out a perfect stranger whom a friend encouraged me to encourage to quit smoking. 

In the first place the entry enraged me with it's smug silliness.  This young woman posted an appeal for 5000 people to leave messages for her  in order to urge and/or coerce her into giving her parents a Christmas present.....the gift of her stopping smoking.  I will only quote the few words that sent me over the top........

                  .....I can, but I don't want to".......

Yeah, sure......and pigs can fly.   Having been the worst kind of Niccotine Addict I can say that any smoker with half a brain would definitely want's the "I can" part that rouses my suspicions...... everyone lies to themselves about some things and any addiction brings out the lies in large numbers.  Anyway, I found myself actually participating in this charade by leaving a comment (if you can call frothing at the mouth in a definitely unladylike fashion a comment).  This is when I discovered that Facebook is not for the wordy or long winded.......I had hardly completed my diatribe and attempted to post it when I was rebuked by the damned software because I was apparently over the word  limit.  (One of the things I hate about Facebook is its shallowness......all of those people attempting to "reach out and touch somebody" and, as far as I am concerned, failing miserably.)  At this point annoyance had triumped over reason and I spent 15 precious minutes of my life editing my offering down to the bare bones so that it would be accepted but still deliver the message I wanted to get across. 

However, I have found, since I started this damned blogging, that a character flaw that used to be reserved for tangibles (like being unable to throw things out and unable to resist taking in and restoring things that my neighbors threw out) had spread to my being unable to even waste WORDS.  (Oh, God, what IS to become of me???.....)  So, I carefully collected all of the discarded words, phrases, sentences and assorted epithets and deposited them in my blog basket for use herein.  Without further ado, below is the full, unexpurgated version of my comment.......

"You silly, shallow, spoiled, self-absorbed, nay, I might even go so far as to say stupid infant. I fervently recommend that you develop a modicum of sense and a morsel of character before you bother to try to quit smoking.

You have been given the gift of life and parents who apparently care about you and you are wasting those precious assets with this infantile game to see how many fools you can recruit to give you "rah rahs". I suggest you save the outrageous money wasted on cigarettes for your old age when you can use it for oxygen tanks or other such equipment to help you breathe..

Dammit, I am 83 years old and know whereof I speak. I was once a 4 pack-a day smoker....a total addict....smoked every waking moment. Smoked in the shower, in the swimming pool, not quite during sex but immediately after it and even woke up during the night in order to satisfy my need for another puff. I got off lucky......managed to quit 25 years ago and, so far, I am still breathing on my own, but not a day goes by that I don't give thanks for my good fortune.

If you can, as you say "do it" then, for crissakes, DO it already !"


Do you think I overreacted???  I would be enormously grateful if 5000 of you responded to my query.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Loneliness As A Blessing

It is Christmas Day and even though it isn't a "Jewish Holiday" it is a  holiday of some massive proportions.  I couldn't help musing on some of my early Christmases  ........yes, I used to get Christmas presents....Mamma would leave a neat pile of presents in the corner of my bedroom which I would fall upon when I woke up before dawn and spend hours playing with or fondling quietly so as not to wake the grownups.  I remember the year I got  the game Chinese Checkers with all of those beautiful colored little balls.......great fun..........and a wonderful white rabbit collar and muff set....( Bunnies of the world forgive me, the age of 5 I didn't think about the rabbit part...)  so I certainly can't claim deprivation but all holidays had a strange unsettling and ominous undercurrent of danger......

As I washed kitty dishes today and pondered Christmases Past, I noticed  that I WAS feeling a bit's just me and the cats plus a resident  hummingbird (more on that later).  However, no self pity here......I accept loneliness gratefully.  I have always contended that I would rather be lonely than stuck, even for the moment,  with someone I didn't like and/or trapped in  some situation I loathed.   There is something clean and pure about unfulfilled yearning, wanting, craving, desiring that is totally absent  in wretched situations where your wish may be granted but the reality turns out to be not really what you wanted after all and the only thing you really want is to be back where you were before you wished the wish.  When I was very young and didn't know any better I would occasionally peer at a pleasant, peaceful, looking house across the street and wonder what it would be like to eavesdrop on some other family celebrating a holiday.  That was long before I found out that all families are to some degree dysfunctional and before I realized what a bonanza I had been granted in being a part of the fantastic family I belonged to.

I developed a strange  philosphy about holidays very early because of my mishuginna father.....a brilliant but crazy, tortured and fragmented soul who, for some unknown reason, imagined himself to have been kidnapped as a baby from Royalty somewhere and forced to live his young life in shameful bondage with a nice, ordinary, dysfunctional middle class Jewish Family in Pittsburgh yet,  of all places.  Since I don't know of any Jewish royalty, this meant that he had to reject his Jewishness and his simple Stern and Wimmer ancestry and morph from being Fred Stern to being that exalted personage, Frederick Wainwright Stearns.  Lest you think I am exagerating even the teeniest bit, let me assure you that I am NOT.   The details are so sad they could break your heart or so monstrous as to make you very angry.  As soon as he could he went about changing his name and, while he did not totally reject his family, he only acknowledged them as being in any way related to him on our infrequent visits to the Grandparents and sister Esther in Pittsburgh.  (Brother Jerry was already on the shitlist for some misdeed before I was born.....I do not think I ever met him.)  The rest of the time Pappy was literally somebody else.  He did enormous research on the various Stearns families  around the country.  (After his death I found file folders stuffed with volumes of information about several Stearns families, one of which at one time owned a good part of California), and he adopted himself into one which, if not Royal, was at least rich and WASPy.  Furthermore he managed to not only meet them but insinuate himself into their midst convincing them that he was a third cousin twice removed or something of one of their patriarchs.  He proudly reported to me near the end of his life that, while attending some soiree at their mansion his hostess hugged him and said ,"My goodness, Rick (oh, I forgot, in his other world he ceased being Freddie and became Rick)......"My goodness, Rick", she murmured, "So glad you could join us, but, I must say, I would never have recognized you...... you surely don't look anything like your father."   As he reported this to me his face positively glowed and he cast a look at me that combined both vast triumph and only one tiny crumb of shame.

Anyway, to return to the point of my story, all of the holidays somehow exacerbated his discontent as he realized that, instead of celebrating royally in a mansion, he was forced to submit to having a delicious but common meal with cousin Ruth and Al  (Ruth being the grandchild of the oldest Blumenthal son, Jake)......and this situation stoked the furnace of his rage to the point that he would ignite and explode without even needing a spark to kindle rampant disaster.  Living with a combustible father was not easy, I can tell holidays approached my dread increased exponentally because a vile and violent scene was best, he would refuse to participate or even take us to the site of the holiday meal (My Mother and I  would somehow make our way ourselves with difficulty but secretly grateful)  and at worst he WOULD  take  us.....gritting his teeth, reluctant, simmering nay already bubbling with fury so all one could do was pray that the explosion, when it came, would be a survivable one and no one would be killed or permanently maimed from being in the same room with flying turkey parts.  Holidays were fraught with it any wonder that I luxuriate in peace and quiet and give fervent thanks for a day when the cranberry sauce and the giblet gravy does not fly around the room and festoon the walls, but stay placidly in their  bowls until eaten with the rest of the holiday bounty.  Sigh.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Animal, Vegetable or Mineral.....The Difficulty of Relationships of the Non Human Variety

Those of you who lead more or less normal lives and have friends, buddies, mates and/ or lovers of the human persuasion will have no idea what the hell I am talking about when I say that there is an entire subculture of folk whose Significant Others (in terms of whom their hearts belong to) may be Pet Rocks, Fiddle Leaf Ficuses or members of the Animal Kingdom.  I am not necessarily proud of the fact, but it happens that I am one of this strange breed and, what is even worse,  it appears that many of the friends who inhabit my world either have long had the same proclivities or have been seduced by me into developing them.  (After all, how long can the average person be bombarded, teased and tempted constantly with my tales of massive Hummingbird Wars outside of my kitchen window or streams of night visitors to the Buffet on the porch in the guise of feral kitties, Possums and entire Raccoon families before they weaken and make a non-human connection, just to see what it might be like?)  (You MUST know that I am NOT referring to any sort of uncouth weaknesses of the flesh here, but of pure, unsullied love for another living creature)

Those who know me well have accepted the fact that I seem to have developed into some kind of a hermit in my old age.  I often refer to my sweet abode as my cave, and it is only the assiduous application of a kind of marvelous battery driven tweezer to the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin that keeps me from sporting a real hermit-like beard and moustache.  Being an only child of an only child prepares one for solitude early on in life and, while I used to be much more of a social being, I notice I have drifted more and more into the solitary life as I have gotten older and,  more pertinently, sicker and tireder of gritting my teeth and suffering so many of the world's fools gladly. However, the need for some kind of companionship does pluck at the hem of one's hermit's robe and, since I have always been a fool for anything 4 legged and furry, I have found myself catering to the needs of my pets in a shamefully indulgent fashion usually reserved, when I was younger, for a Prince Charming or, at the very least, a Sugar Daddy.

One morning as I was running the blender turning a can of Friskies Salmon into a lump-free silky porridge for Gussie, my Senior Cat, who prefers her breakfast Smoothie style and preferably served as Breakfast in bed......(I carry it on a small tray into the bedroom where she is still sleeping in and gently deposit it near her where she reclines on her fake fur pillow so she can imbibe Roman style without really getting up from the reclining position.) I was saying, one morning I actually wondered if I was carying these indulgences too far, but I have decided that any creature who gives me so much pleasure by permitting me to scratch her chin and rub her tummy whenever she feels like letting me do so deserves any pampering I am up to.

And lest you think that my benevolence is only showered on fuzzy creatures, I must confess that I have been known to murmur sweetly to some of my rose bushes and indeed, once caught myself tenderly pinching the leaves of my Fiddle leaf Ficus (yes there really is such a plant and I once had a gorgeous specimen that was about 6 feet tall and very macho, come to think of it).

I could go on for pages revealing idiotic and yea, even embarrassing episodes of demonstrative behavior between me and my non-human buddies, but I will save some of it for future blogs and zero in on the item that inspired this effusion of silliness.  I received an email today from my incomparable
 British pal, Anne, whom I have previously mentioned in an earlier blog ( who writes even more magnificently than I do, incidentally) and who shares my insanity for things furry  and feathered.   She has taken up with, of all things, a seagull whom she feeds on her windowsill  with goodies like hand made cheese balls and whom she has christened with the manly name of Spud.....that is before she discovered that Spud might possibly be female because the bird began to bring a clumsy baby seagull along to their social encounters.  However, Spud it has remained, and the bird has become a permanent camper on the windowsill, tapping on the window ungraciously and imperiously if food is not provided in a timely and properly sumptuous fashion.  Anyway, today she confessed to me that she had been into Torquay on the bus and upon returning home found, to her amazement and possibly horror, that Spud was waiting for her at the Bus Stop !!  I told her that I was absolutely outdone by her relationship with Spud....she wins hands down......after all, how many people can claim to be met at the Bus Stop by a devoted if somewhat impatient Seagull ??   I am sure there is not another resident in all of Devon who can make such a claim and I feel  humbled but also extremely proud to know her and possibly to have inspired her to such magnificence.    A true case of the pupil outdoing the teacher......big time!

How Low can a Blogger Sink....Stick With Me and You May Find Out

Today I received an unexpected glowing comment on my blogs from my dear cousin, Ken, (the husband of Lonni who is the cousin who is responsible for my attempting this blog in the first place)  and I was in the process of writing him an email thanking him for the feedback when I suddenly realized (after I got into the second or 3rd paragraph) that I was wasting decent blog material on a one-on-one letter and I really should plunk my thoughts onto my blog so that anyone who wants to eavesdrop on my exposed, naked  thought processes would be able to get another dose of same. 

I have the terrible feeling that this is cheating of the worst kind, but what do I care??????  I never professed to be 100% a paragon of virtue, so here, without further ado, are  the words I was going to send to Ken for anyone who cares to read it.   I really have concocted a good excuse for this loathesome behavior.....  The thoughts expressed therein are valid for anyone who has been enjoying reading my mind so I don't feel totally rotten about doing this.  And if I get a lot of complaints about this that will be fine with me......I will rub my hands in glee.....oh, boy.....some comments....!!!


Ken. my darling:

Oh, thank you for leaving a comment, and such a glowing one. I am blown away by your confession that you check my blog several times a day to see if there are any new entries. That is just the sort of encouragement I need.....(sometime I check my blog several times a day too......first to see if I have made any new entries ( well, I could have performed some magic while my back was turned.....after all I am an ancient person and also a Gemini which means I have an evil twin ) and secondly to see if any of my vast fan base has left any seems that feedback is more important to me than it should be.......I guess I am more needy and more susceptible to sweet talk than I ought to be......sob.....sorry about that.......another vile character flaw exposed)

I am sorry too that I have slowed down a bit in writing, but some days it just ain't there..........this bloggin has ramifications that I did not think about when I first plunged in so blithely........there are hidden responsibilities it seems.  I guess what I will have to do is what newspaper columnists or cartoon strip artists do......get a few dozen items ahead so as not to disappoint my panting public....yes, all 5 of you.    I promise that I will continue to leave deposits of my random thoughts as often as possible. I really do enjoy it and now that I have started incorporating pictures once in a while I find it even more interesting (though I am having a very devil of a time getting them placed where I want them and making the page agreeable. Dunno why I am finding the tools for this process to be cumbersome or entirely lacking.  However, I will keep struggling till I get it more or less right.)

Thanks again for your encouragement and give my love to Noa and Lonni.


The Blogging Fool

Sunday, December 20, 2009

P.S to My Musings on Nice, France

This is a sort add-on to my previous entry where I reminisce about a trip to Nice, France and show some pics of the apartment we rented and the views from same.    I was searching my wretchedly disorganized files for some of the photos of the views and could not find I came upon several of them and figured that I had better grab them while I had the chance.   God knows if I would be lucky enough to find them of these days I MUST get organized.....

These 2 shots were simply views from the balcony and living room windows of the buildings around the square where our apartment was located in the section called Olde Towne.  Delightful in every way.

Friday, December 18, 2009

No, I Have Not Crossed Over the Rainbow Bridge....It's Bloggers' Block

After getting off to a flying start and getting everyone accustomed to nearly daily blogs, I have encountered a really stubborn dry patch......I didn't give much thought to it (after all, I never signed a contract or anything) till a friend wrote and anxiously but delicately asked if I was OK. Hell, I forgot that at my advanced age an interruption in the flow could be interpreted as a dismal sign so I figured I had better get back on the keyboard and assure everyone (all 5 of you) that I am still alive and kicking....just totally uninspired for the moment. I have discovered that one cannot blog without least I can't. When the Muse is with me I can drivel on interminably, but when she is off inspiring other bloggers I might as well be just another illiterate.

Since I take this here blogging very seriously I decided that, perhaps during my "duh" spells I should simply upload a few family photos or some of my scribble drawings to fill the void.

The photo above was taken in Paris a few years ago.....I was on the stairway that leads DOWN from Sacre Coeur (sp?) in Montmarte.   (top photo )   I say "down" because for me the only way to go UP is on the tram....I can barely totter my way down the endless flights but it is a wonderful view as one totters.

I am struggling a bit finding photos which more or less go together and placing them where I want them on the page.  I am still a blooming idiot at using the blogging tools but I shall keep trying.

This is my marvelous British friend, Anne Briscoe, who met me in Nice, France and shared a fantastic apartment which we rented in the Old Town section.  It is my favorite way of travelling......makes you feel as though you actually live in the place, and indeed you do for the week or two that you have made the arrangement.  Heaven !  This apartment was fabulous....the only trouble was that Anne, rather than occupy  one of the twin beds in bedroom #2 with my other friend, Judy, chose to opt for the sleeper couch in the living room and we learned that it wasn't till the final days of our stay that she learned how to unfold it to sleep on it properly.  Sigh.

At the right is a shot I took from our apartment balcony of the buildings across the square........I found the TV antennas almost a work of art.  We had gorgeous views of the Square below in Olde Town........I hope I can find some of them to include them in this entry. 

The photo below is not the one I was looking for, but it was a view from our balcony and shows the wonderful wrought iron balcony railings which drove me mad with pleasure.  I often sat on the little balcony with my morning coffee and croissant wondering what I had ever done to be so damned lucky.

I am going to take a break now from  these reminiscences but I will finish up with a photo of one of Anne's odd meals.  At the time she was on a diet of mostly raw vegetables and, while Judy and I sat and gorged ourselves on Pate and Brie cheese, Anne dutifully munched her way through mountains of colorful but rather boring veggies.  Oh, the pity of it.

Ah, yes....there they are.............We generally made breakfast in the apartment and sometimes had lunch there as well after browsing our way through the local markets.

If I could work some magic and do it again just as it was I would do it in a twinkling.....of course, I haven't mentioned that our apartment was on the 3rd...or was it the 4th floor of a non-elevator building......I might possibly opt to change that part if I could........

Sunday, December 13, 2009

19 Million Limes and Not a Drop of Tequila or The Curse of The Green Thumb

Oh, is Lime Season again. If that sounds ungracious and ungrateful, wait till you know the entire story before judging me.

Forty years ago when I lived in an apartment I bought a Dwarf Lime tree to jazz up my Balcony. It was a sweet little thing about 2 1/2 feet tall and lived happily in a terra cotta planter till 1972 when I bought my present house. I figured at the time that it would surely find a proper home on the front porch or possibly at the side of the swimming pool om the garden and so it did, producing lots of shiny green leaves but nary a lime nor an inch of growth beyond its potted Dwarf stage. Then, its fate and mine changed significantly when a wonderful lemon tree in my garden succumbed to some unfortunate overwatering (sob) and, in a foolish moment, I planted the Dwarf Lime in its place thinking that perhaps being in the ground like a real tree would encourage it to produce at least one or two fruit or at least a few fragrant lime blossoms. You know the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for".....Had I but known........

After the prior 3 or 4 years of potted stagnation, suddenly within 6 months the Dwarf Lime had grown at least three feet and was ominously threatening to cast shade over the sunloving roses surrounding it, so I did what any thoughtful but ruthless gardener would do.....I dug it up (with many apologies and promises of a better life to come) and moved it to the back corner of the lot where it would not shade anything that wanted sun and where, remembering the sad fate of the lemon tree, it would be watered very sparsely since the sprinkler system barely extended its farthest flung drops to that corner.

And so it was, with much amazement the following summer, that I trotted out one morning to feed the birds and squirrels at their feeding ground in the far eastern corner of the north 40 and stumbled over an incredible pile of greenish fruit cluttering up the ground around the feeding station. Gazing upward in disbelief I realized that the Dwarf Lime was dwarf no more....nay it had become, when I wasn't looking, the incredible Gigantic Green Monster that threatened to take over North Hollywood and, rather than producing a few blossoms or several fruit, it appeared to be laden with about 6 gazillion limes.....give or take a couple. Obviously a serious labelling error at best and possibly a major garden threat at worst.

Being cursed with the inability to waste ANYTHING and the lack of imagination to figure out what to do with more than a dozen or so of the 6 gazillion limes, I made a deal with a young woman I worked with at Disney whom I knew raised veggies and sold them at a farmers' market..... to go to my house, harvest the lime crop and sell them for a profit which would be all hers and, having pulled off what I felt was a brilliant maneuver, wiped the beads of perspiration from my brow thinking I had solved the problem.

Little did I know that this lime tree, once known as Dwarf Lime and now emerging (like the Incredible Hulk) as The Lime Tree that Ate Lois, produced not one but 3 or 4 crops a year......Oy Gott.......what have I done to deserve this???? To make a ridiculously long story just a bit shorter, the girl at work soon decided that it was too time consuming to harvest 3 or 4 crops a year so she abandoned me to my fate which then consisted of gathering what seemed like thousands of fallen limes daily in the hem of my bathrobe, schlepping them into the kitchen and packing them into old grocery bags to be trundled up and down the street and thrust on all the unwary neighbors who made the mistake of opening their doors to me. And, since I had, by this time in my life, collected a sizeable stable of doctors who kept the various parts of me functioning, I never left the house to go to an appointment without the requisite bag of limes to contribute to the staff and whoever I encountered in the elevator. Then, by freezing about 20 or 30 (they freeze well and can be used beautifully in cooking when thawed) and putting the remaining numbers at the curb in a huge cardboard box with a sign reading "FREE LIMES" I found I could pretty well get rid of each crop without having to let them rot (a sight which offended my Waste-Not-Want-Not mentality and broke my skinflint heart).

And so it has continued fairly successfully until this year when a weird brainstorm overcame me and created a new menace. The whole business of unloading on the neighbors had palled reminding me painfully of the year when I was 5 or 6 and my Father forced me to go up and down the street in West Philly selling Liberty Magazine to the neighbors (it was the Depression and my father was a ruthless and unscrupulous exploiter of Child Labor....especially when the Child was Me)......I always hated the look of pity on their faces mixed with resentment at having to take the damned magazine or be considered unkind and ungenerous.......somewhat akin to the expression on my neighbors faces after the 20th or 30th time I appeared on their doorstep with my saddlebags of I came up with the idea of making Lime Marmalade !! After all, didn't I have a recipe given to me by a member of the Marvelous Blumenthal Family......Little Jenny (called that to distinguish her from Big Aunt Jenny who actually was little but had seniority).....Little Jenny had sent it to me when I remembered the wonderful candied orange peel she used to make when I was a child. Incidentally, Little Jenny was actually not at all little ....must have weighed about 250 pounds and had a definte moustache on her upper lip, but she was a good soul and she certainly made marvelous candied orange peel. Anyway I was sure I could use up hundreds of surplus limes that way so I went to my recipe box and found the card labelled "Pomerantzen". (dun't esk) It was then that I remembered why I had never used the recipe. It started out, "Take some orange peel and some sugar" and went swiftly downhill after that.......

Undaunted I figured I could do just that and add "some water" and go from there by taste and seat-of-my-pants to a happy conclusion. Sigh. After burning up not one but 2 perfectly good soup pots full of some limes, some sugar and some water by failing to properly monitor the final hour of this3 or 4 hour project I finally got the hang of it and have found that 2,983 limes plus some sugar and some water will produce about 2 ...maybe 3 pint jars of lime marmalade or candied limes........actually an utterly brilliant solution to my excess lime the only trouble is, I haven'tbeen able to justify to myself the expense of replacing the pots nor the cost of the damned sugar.......sigh. I was right......It's Always Something.

What Is Ephemeral and Only Skin Deep????

Sadly, during the first 50 or 60 years of my life I never considered myself beautiful, good looking, attractive or anything but "funny-looking". I remember once during my 20's when was shopping in a little jewelry store I glanced to my right and observed a person who appeared to be standing there next to me. My first reaction was, "Oh, my..... now isn't that a funny looking lady....too bad she wasn't given more chin and less boobs.......bad posture too...." It took at least 10 or 20 seconds of this merciless critique before I gasped in horror at the realization that this pitiful specimen I was looking at was actually ME in one of the stores' many mirrors. I have never forgotten the dejected, sinking feeling that took hold of me when I realized that the fairly decent looking person I saw in the mirror when I brushed my teeth each morn was not the same person that other people observed from various other angles..... "Oh, well", I finally consoled myself....."at least I am somewhat clever, have a good heart and am definitely kind to animals....and after doesn't last". So I patched up my tattered self worth as best I could and went about cultivating talents that didn't depend on knocking 'em dead in a bikini.

Fast-forward about 60 years to a time when I was downloading some old family photos ( I mean REALLY old.....I mean photos of my Mom and Grandma and Aunts and Uncles from the early 1900's and I came upon a later page in the album from the mid 1950's featuring a cutie whom I swear I didn't recognize for the same 10 or 20 seconds. "Holy crap", I exclaimed.......that was ME!" And I realized that, in all honesty, I was not really all that funny fact, I was.....well....... downright adorable !

Damn, damn, damn........had I but known........all those years of slinking down alleys and slithering into rooms silently without attracting any attention (or as little as possible being that my boobs always entered the room a few seconds before I even got there) I could have actually enjoyed 10 or 20 years of being.....well.....if not beautiful at least sort of cute.

.....That's why I encourage any readers of this blog who scan the first few entries without calling up some of the earlier ones to scroll down or upload the earlier entries that display a few early photos of me that might make you think of me as something other than a fat little old lady.......Imagine that Once Upon a Time all the fat little old ladies of this world may have once been what they used to call "heartthrobs".......all of this , by the way, offered with no arrogance...much humility....just calling attention to the utter foolishness of the young in never appreciating the glories of youth. All young people are gorgeous.....what a pity that they don't know it.....

Sigh. That time of my life was fun, but, to be honest, I am glad I have moved on to other things. For one thing.....the boobs were always a big problem. Those of you who pine for a D cup should only know how fervently I longed to fit into an A or B and be just one of the girls.

One of the major problems was Dirty Old Men. For instance once, coming home from the grocery store with my arms full of shopping bags I was trapped, helpless, in an elevator with the lascivious landlord of my building and had to beat him off with the only weapon I could summon..... a stalk of celery (which I happened to have in my one of the bags) keep him from ......let's say....measuring my boobs.......oh, the horror of it.. I told my Psychiatrist later......I wouldn't have minded so much if it had been Harold Ziebelman, the boy I had a crush on in the 6th grade (and who never gave me a glance, dammit), but all those ancient, wizened grabbers and feelers were loathesome.......really....what IS a poor well endowed girl to do???

Sigh.As I have said many times, life is fraught with dangers and challenges.......but, the bottom line to all of this ruminating is that it is hugely satisfying and great fun, even though in retrospect, to know now that I WAS once beautiful.

(A pox on you, Harold Ziebelman.....if you had only raised your gaze from my boobs to my face you might have noticed.....)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The real Golden Girls

The photo on the right was taken a week ago at Otis Art Institute here in LA.  We were honoring a dear friend, Annette Robyns Elson, whose paintings are partially visible behind us.  Sadly, Annette is no longer with us in the flesh but she sure as hell was there without a doubt.  She was one of the most talented, alive, joyful people I ever knew and I feel privileged to have known her.  I think everyone who knew her felt that way and, needless to say, we all miss her.  She left us in her 80's and, amazingly, the gallery where we gathered was bursting at the seams with many folk who were in their 80's and even 90's.  And what's more....most of us had all or nearly all of their marbles and a few even were able to navigate without a cane or walker.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Has the Rarest Malady of All

When I was a little girl I used to crawl in between the legs of the kitchen table and sit there listening to my Grandma and my Aunts who were gathered around the table gossiping away. I always hoped that I would be able to eavesdrop on some fascinating transgression of the family black sheep or perhaps a shared confidence about their sex lives or even the neighbors' sex lives ...but did I ever get lucky enough to hear a morsel of salacious or forbidden gossip??? Hell no.

No such luck!! All I ever managed to overhear was an endless discussion of their aches and pains, their excruciating sufferings of the "female kind" (whatever they were...) and the dire pronouncements of their Doctors about their assorted conditions. I used to wonder to myself in desperation if it were possible that old people (anyone over 30) had nothing else to talk about or think about than bunions, burping or billiousness. My God, I would think to myself. How many different antacid tablets could there be and could they really be so different and if so, how could they all fail so miserably to cure even a small case of seemingly Universal Bloat? Sigh. (undaunted by this failure all of my aunts always had a residue of strange white powder in the corners of their mouths from endlessly chompfing on mysterious white tablets).

I know now that they were not cleaning up their act because they were protecting the tender ears of the interloper hiding under the table that I have reached, nay far exceeded, the ancient age of 30 I know the awful truth........the simple fact is that when old ladies get together the thing they seem to get the most glee out of sharing is an endless discussion of their ailments. I remember I used to detect a subtle note of one-upsmanship on the part of the seemed to me that each one gloomily vied to be the one who was in the worst shape. What a strange competition I thought at the time. I'll NEVER be like that when I grow up ! Oh yeah? Fast forward 60 or 70 years.....

I watch in fascinated horror when my friends and I get together how books, TV, social engagements, the state of the world and even discussions of the neighbors sex lives are given just token recognition and dismissed in favor of the only really interesting and important subject.......our decrepit and ever deteriorating physical state. Naturally, my friends and I are much too educated, sophisticated, advanced,liberated and enlightened to compete in the sordid fashion of the Blumenthal sisters.......HOWEVER, I could not help but gloat a bit recently when I was diagnosed with the most esoteric ailment I had ever heard of and realized with horror that I could hardly wait to casually drop the term "Blepharitis" during our next get-together. In case you were wondering (and how could you not?), Blepharitis is a an actual disease of the....are you ready for this??? ......the is a kind of dandruff of the Eyelashes which causes itchy eyes, gummy eyes and generally pain-in-the-ass-uncomfortable eyes.

I was told by the Opthomologist that I had to wash my eyelashes daily with Baby Shampoo and I do so dutifully each morning with a little cotton swab feeling like the world's biggest nut and hypochondriac. Fortunately, this seems to be working and, feeling a little bit sheepish about exploiting this strange condition, I think I am almost ready to give the baby shampoo to my neighbors, who have just had a baby, and put the title of Owning the Most Esoteric Disease up for grabs. Oh, Grandma, Aunt Jenny, Aunt Mary......forgive me for making fun of you......little did I know I would be stricken with Blepharitis as my punishment.....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Truth in the News ...Better Find Your Captain Midnight Decoder Ring

The following is an excerpt from an AOL news story.....I am green with envy. I struggle to write something funny and then scrupulously correct as many of my spelling and grammatical errors as I can (not punctuation...I have my own rules about that) but I can see I have been wasting my time and energy...all I need to do is shift my fingers on the keys one character to the right.....check this out.....I love it......

"The report did not say who the witness was but added it was the same person who pulled Woods from the vehicle after the accident. Woods' wife has told police that she used a golf club to smash the back windows of the Cadillac Escalade to help her husan ot.Hi njris er mno.

Te iserofa eihbr ho caled the emergency number after the crash told troopers that Holmberg and Woods' mother were also at the scene, but the AP has not been able to confirm that."

still struggling to create spacing

OK.....managed to center the lines and probably would be able to justify right, but that doesn't solve the problem of controlling spacing and creating paragraphs. Sob.

Reading some items in the "help" stuff indicates that one can create paragraphs using "p" bracketed by the left and right carats.
I shall see if this works. Also, suggests that one use the Enter key to space down. Could it all be that simple??

By George.......some of this seems to be working......could this be a "eureka" moment? Tenks gott.

Holy moly......I have also learned that one CAN correct errors in a previously published entry. Oh frabjous day ! Oh my.....if one could only correct ones's Life Blunders" by hitting a key labelled "Edit Post".
.......dunno.....perhaps it is just as well that no such key exists. Some of what we call blunders are possibly our most shining moments.....or, at the very least, our most important lessons.....

The Blog That Ate Lois

How absolutely peculiar.  These blogs threaten to take over my life.  I find myself waking up in the morning with some odd bits and pieces of ideas that I want to blog about.  Why, on some days that is enough to get me out of bed by 10:30 am instead of my usual sleep-till-noon-and-rise-protesting.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys OR Artists

(That's funny......between the ages of about 6 and 11 my most fervent wish was that I would grow up to be a Cowboy....I was madly in love with Tom Mix....and while I knew I would become an artist because that is what my Mother and Father wanted and expected, I can't recall wishing passionately for that outcome.) < I was just thinking about a comment my beloved cousin,Deb, made to an earlier blog in which I bemoaned the fact that blogging was a lonely and sort of thankless undertaking....... (What Deb (an incredibly talented and absolutely fantastic Painter) said was that blogging and painting have a lot in common and she is so right.) < I remember saying something about the fact that a person often gets a reply to one's email efforts and a writer may get an advance or a royalty on a book he has written, but a blogger mostly gets bubkas.... unless someone deigns to leave a comment. That is just a continuation of a contention that I have been making since my 40's when I gave up being a starving artist for the luxury of being a well fed and well paid computer programmer and I have been harranguing my adored family members ever since (whenever I could corner one of them) to avoid like the plague the thankless curse of becoming any kind of artist (And did anyone listen???? hell no......A total of Four of them not only ignored me but actually disobeyed me and are now suffering for their failure to heed my warnings....but that is another story.) < pathetic that the very people who GIVE something to the world that would not exist were it not for their creativity......a bit of their souls, their ingenuity, their very essence......are the least appreciated or compensated people on earth. Doesn't that seem upside down and backward somehow???? No wonder the world doesn't make any sense whatsoever.....People who create beauty are condemned to starvation and rejection but I just read that the techno-geek who created an App for the Iphone called the "IFart" is making a bloody fortune.....what more can I say.... < Incidentally, when I use the term Artist I mean all of the creative arts.....literature, music, dance, drama etc. as well as drawing, painting and sculpture. Oddly enough, it occurs to me that two of those arts have a unique problem of their own. While a painter or a composer or a writer can practice their art all by themselves if they must, both dance and drama really require an audience......does that mean that those folk are luckier or more damned?? At least being a member of the performing arts means that, if you are lucky enough to get an audience, you at least stand the chance of receiving applause, or flowers tossed upon the stage (or perhaps having your dinner flung at IS fraught with peril). All the Jewish Mothers of the world are obviously absolutely right.....the only sensible thing to grow up to be is either a Doctor or a Lawyer......and, of course, needless to say, a Good Son or Daughter......don't forget to call your mother.....

P.S to Public Indecency

Once again I must apologize for my blogging shortcomings......I wish I understood what happens to my spacing once I publish the blog......Paragraphs disappear, spaces after periods are is as though cyberspace gobbled up one's entire properly spaced words and regurgitated them in a large lump, so to speak. I will have to learn to solve this problem because even rereading my own un-paused sentences leaves me panting breathlessly. Very strange indeed. Will the paragraph I have just created be incinerated in cyberspace??? I won't know till I hit "publish"....sob. Forced every day into a new learning rest for the wicked.

Public Indecency

I am still finding it quite strange and a bit off-putting to be baring my soul in this somewhat public arena. (I don't know why it is so different from doing the same strip tease in an email letter.) This got me to thinking about my early life as the world's most excruciatingly Shy Person and of my subsequent blessed transformation into.....I dunno.....a run-of-the-mill Brazen Hussy. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had been able to kick the shyness much earlier, but I must be content with no longer suffering those awful pangs of fear and shame. Which brings me to my current blog subject...... A dear friend of mine enrolled recently in a Singing Class. When she first told me about this venture I assumed it was a choral group of some kind and I was smitten with admiration and envy.......I have long wanted to do something of the same sort because I love to sing (I have no voice, but that doesn't stop me....I can mostly sing on key in either a squeaky falsetto or a surprising baritone).....I entertain myself and my cats often by crooning the wonderful old songs of the 40's and 50's, most of which I can recall perfectly (whereas on other matters like finding where I put my glasses or the cup of coffee I was drinking a moment ago or that precious receipt from a recent purchase gone wrong which I MUST find in order to be able to return the item or remembering what the hell I came into this room for, I am a total failure) I was saying I have long pined wistfully for a venue where I could sing with other folk, sing harmony actually, but am not sure where to find this group who would allow me to sing along with them. (My ambition as a child was to be the fourth member of the Andrews Sisters....a marvelous singing group from the dark ages for those of you who were born more or less yesterday). When I discovered that my friend's Singing Class was not a chorus but a solo performance I nearly fainted in empathetic terror. My friend, brave initially, (or totally foolhardy) is now facing her solo performance a week from now and is deteriorating into a basket case now that she realizes with horror what she has actually let herself in for. Anyway, in trying to send her a few words of email comfort I was reminded of an episode in my distant past which had me immersed in a similar swamp of fear and trembling and which enabled me to sympathize so well. Below is an excerpt from my letter. "I am down on my knees as I write (no small involves having to take the keyboard down under the desk) but that is the only way I will be able to pray for you incessantly till your ordeal is over .... I can empathize more than you would ever believe. No, I have never had to sing a solo in public, but when I was young I was so shy and had such a monstrous lack of self confidence that I used to walk down alleys to get to where I was going so that I did not have to risk encountering any human who might look at me with curiosity, contempt and/or loathing. (the stray cats and dogs which I did encounter, trotting purposefully about their business, did not judge me and only made me feel not so alone) My worst moment, I think, was in High School English class........ I knew from my first yearin High School that in the 3rd Year I would have to face the Horror of the Great order to pass 3rd year English one had to debate with another student on some pre assigned subject.... standing up in front of the whole class of course. (If it had been in front of the whole school I know I would have had to drop out and become one of the Lost Children, probably ending up as a Lady of the Night). I swear to you that as my 3rd year arrived I was unable to sleep peacefully one single night....the terror consumed me 24 hours a day....and this was early in the semester even before the week of the debate lesson arrived. By the time I was assigned a partner/opponent and a subject (it was something about the railroads but I have mercifully blocked the actual subject from my mind) I was a total pitiful wreck, even unable to eat much less sleep. (you KNOW things are bad when I can't eat). I painfully assembled a few facts for the body of my presentation but the content was dreadful, I know. The actual moment of the nightmare is also mostly a blank, thank heaven, but I do recall that I managed to mutter, stammer and falter through my material in the main part of the "debate", hardly speaking above a whisper, was so traumatized that I did not recall a word my opponent said in his piece and when it came to the Rebuttal, instead of doing a masterful summing up, I was unable to do more than croak out one sentence before tottering ignominiously to my seat and sinking into a pit of shame. Oh, the horror of it !! That was almost 70 years ago and I can still break out into a sweat just thinking of it. The only difference between your situation and mine is that yours is Self Inflicted. You must be a Class A Masochist and therefore will enjoy this mightily on some level so just hang in there and when it is over you will be able to revisit and reexperience the episode whenever you need a Pain fix. (this does not mean that I am any less sympathetic......suffering is suffering even when it is one's own fault. Poor heart goes out to you. Just keep your strength up for a bit longer. The way time and our lives whiz by this will be over in a twinkling.....the performance I mean....." Sigh. That same abominable shyness was also responsible for my emerging from about seven years of studying Spanish in High School and College able to read the language fairly proficiently but being totally unable to utter a Spanish word other than "Si". (very dangerous when you are unable to say anything but "yes") Fortunately in my late adulthood dotage, actually, I have lost the shyness and now will speak Spanish at the drop of a sombrero, as long as whatever I want to say can be expressed in present tense and with florid gestures and bits of English thown in to fill in where my vocabulary fails me.......) Thank heaven I became fearless in time to be able to travel the world with only the most meager of language......I have found that being able to utter "please, thank you, where is and how much" will pretty nearly get you through almost anyplace in the world.......

Sunday, December 6, 2009

text for "Oh Misery"

Ah, after several hours of struggling I finally got a drawing uploaded......this one is fairly representative of my scribbles and of my condition on my bad days...... Now I must see if I can find a way to combine text and illustrations in the same posting. What EVER possessed me to get involved with blogging for crissakes??? I must have been out of my mind.....

Oh Misery

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

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. As I often say to my email correspondents....."more later".

Thursday, December 3, 2009

the mystery of "labels"/titles

What is the difference between a Title and a Label??? The next 27 entries may be devoted to trying to figure out how to get a caption tacked on to the head of my daily musings. Sob. Ah, I think I may have figured it out.....perhaps only a title gets plunked at the top while a label gets tacked at the bottom is teensy letters.
this addendum is just so I can affix what was supposed to be the title of my last entry onto one of these here so-called blogs. I don't know what happened to it when I published the blurb about my trip to Irvine....I am finding it very cumbersome to execute these entries...I sure hope it gets easier as I go along.......Just in case my Label gets lost again, let it hereby be known that the previous enty should have been titled "Blumenthal Luck Vanquishes Murphy's Law".

Blumenthal Luck Vanquishes Murphy's Law

I am still recovering from my wild excursion to Irvine, but I feel I MUST make a brief comment on that amazing day.......amazing because, on a sojurn fraught with possible perils at every turn, I seem to have emerged not only unscathed but almost rejuvenated. For years I have been the decripit pin-up girl for Murphy's Law but tuesday's jaunt via subway and train made me blush with shame at my......well, I am not sure if I should call it outright pessimism but I guess I could call it resigned stoicism. Starting with my desperate attempt to find a parking space in a full Metro lot everything went (*can you believe?) perfectly ! My first 2 tours of the lot were a disaster but at the last moment before going home in defeat I spotted a gap in a handicapped parking section and crammed my car in there hoping that my handicapped placard would prevent me from getting a ticket in case it wasn't a true parking space. (you would be amazed at how many spaces in that lot are not actually intended for cars.....I am not quite sure what the hell they are for since the messages painted between the lines are nearly worn off......oh well.) With much trepidation I hung my handicapped placard and dashed out to find the elevator only 3 steps away. ( How could this be?) Once inside I grappled with the machine that dispenses tickets and had another spell of panic when I could not figure out which buttons to push. Being partially blind does not help a person when the person is confronted with a new electronic gadget I can tell you, especially since I had come unequipped with my usual indispensible tools....a flashlight in one hand and the magnifying glass in the other. "How does a person accomplish anything when one has both hands full of tools?"........ you may well ask......the answer, of course is, "not very damned well". Anyway, in lieu of tools, a living, breathing Metro Worker appeared at my side and pushed a few buttons revealing a screen that offered me a ride as a Senior Citizen for the handsome sum of 25 cents. Holy lucky can an ancient person be? I even had a quarter in my wallet..... Tottering along toward the platform, I hardly had a moment to fret about whether I would be in time for my Amtrak train when the gorgeous, gliding subway appeared and whisked me to Union Station. I am NOT going to draw this out agonizingly.....suffice it to say, I encountered my next miracle when I inserted my prepaid computer receipt into another infernal machine, stabbed at a button or two and watched it spit out my ticket and return ticket without eating either of them. AND instead of having to schlepp down the long corridor to Track #9 (....Boy, you can give me a shine.....) a little shuttle car appeared and scooped me up and drove me right to the platform in a twinkling, whereupon the train to Irvine appeared instantly as if someone had waved a magic wand. If you suspect that I have bruises all along one side from my pinching myself to be sure I wasn't dreaming you would be right. In fact I actually suspected that I must have died somewhere along the way and that this was heaven. Anyway, we arrived in Irvine absolutely on time, my friends were actually waiting there for me and even recognized me (How could they not....I had warned them I would be wearing a bright blue velour jogging suit many fat little old ladies could there be on the same train in that raucous outfit???) We had a lovely lunch during which I did NOT dribble down the front of my ample bosom, cofee and a long chat at Murie's house and, apart from the small social blunder of boring my hostess to the point where she dozed off in the middle of one of my sentences I don't think I disgraced myself too much. Funny......this was my first experience at boring someone into unconsciousness and I had to stop blabbing briefly to decide on the proper thing to do. I you keep talking as if nothing happened or stop in mid- utterance and wait for the eyelids to flicker open before continuing???? I could not recall ever reading in Emily Post what the proper behavior would be in such a case so I just gabbled on and figured she would not even notice that she had missed a few sentences.....sigh. (Besides, Cy was still awake though I think he had turned his hearing aid off somewhere after my first few utterances.....I dunno.....) All in all it was wonderful to spend those few hours with Murie and Cy from the Good Old grand that we are all still alive and able to communicate......does it count as communication when one person is talking, one is sleeping and the other is ruminating in self-inflicted hard-of hearing-ness?) To cut to the conclusion, the day continued in that incredible unblemished manner....return trip was on time,uneventful and pleasant and I even found my car with NO ticket on it. I figure I have used up all of my good luck for the rest of the year if not the rest of my life......Of course, I now have some trepidation about venturing out of the house for fear that Murphy has taken control again, but it was great while it lasted. Needless to say I needed 12 hours rest and sleep to recuperate.....Not only did I not get to lie down for more than 14 hours, but I walked, climbed stairs and performed numerous other incredible feats. It was, to put it mildly a very good Day. Sigh.
Holy crap ! I was just in the middle of writing a few words about my trip to Irvine and I seem to have lost the ability to edit my words........that will never do since my dyslexic fingers are not to be trusted to type entries without the ability to fix the mistakes. I do not know what happened to that entry, but if it got published it is still in its raw state. I am going to try to find the thing and fix it, but if I fail, please forgive my errors and I will attempt to finish the story when I regain control over this infernal machine. My worst fears are being realized......damn blogging !!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

a blunder already

oops......screwed up already.......yesterday was my first timid entry and I notice that I dated it "October".....NOT....... Should have been November. Oh's like geting the first scratch on your new I have goofed perhaps I can stop worrying that I will. I have something else to worry about anyway......tomorrow I must get up at the crack of dawn take the subway down to Union Station and the Amtrak to Irvine to meet with Vera's husband, Cy and her sister Murie. Haven't seen Murie for almost 70 years (will we recognize each other????) and only met Cy once in 1994 at the 50th reunion of West Philly High's class of '44. I keep vacilating between being excited and hitting myself on the head for committing to this excursion. Fortunately, I enjoy both the subway and the train. If you had told me a few years ago that I would become a fan of that ridiculously expensive hole in the ground known as the Los Angeles Subway I would have considered you sadly demented. I could not believe that it was worth the effort to go to all that trouble for just a few miles worth of track, but since they somehow had the foresight to have it start a few blocks from my house in North Hollywood and end at downtown in Union Station I have had to apologize abjectly. It really makes it relatively easy for me to take the train and I have done so a number of times always very successfully. I used to love the subway/elevated in Philly and have loved subways all over the world.......the London tube...great, Paris Metro ... fantastic and so are the subways in Budapest and Prague. Having this abbreviated one here makes Los Angeles almost a first class city instead of a loose collection of suburbs looking for a hub. I guess I have gotten to the "glass is half full" stage....I am feeling that what we have is actually better than nothing and tomorrow it will prove its worth one more time. Must be careful not to get mugged and definitely careful not to fall onto the tracks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday October 29, 2009

Hmmmmm.....momentous day. Or not. They all keep telling me I should write a book.....I suspect that this is as close as I am going to get. I shall probably be stricken instantly with Blog-fright and remain wordless from this day forward. Sob.