Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where Have I Been? Dun't Esk.......

No, no, no, I am simply not ready to blog tonite.  However, I have been getting unsettling email inquiries from friends who keep tabs on my blog as a method of determining whether or not I  am still alive and perambulating,  so I feel strongly that at least a non-blog is in order.

First, let me assure all and sundry that I am still both alive and schlepping around....in fact, perhaps a bit more than I would prefer , if I had my druthers.  It is a long, fercockta story invlving much moving of furniture and I will undoubtedly tell it to you in excruciating and revolting detail.....just not tonite, dollinks.  Do not despair....it will be sooner rather than later.

It might have  been tonite, but I am tired after a day requiring a trip to the Doctor (yes, yet another one) brought on by my incredible stupidity in allowing my kitty to bite thru my finger while I was attempting to give her some medicine.  Of COURSE I know better, but I was so damned close to getting the dose down her throat that my zeal overcame my sense of pain and sense in general.  Fortunately, no great damage was done but in viewing the glowing and swollen member I decided that I should have an expert opinion on how long I might have to live.  It turns out that washing a sink full of cat dishes in hot water last night was the best thing I could have done for my wound and I was dispatched to repeat the soaking in hot salt water throughout the day. Oy.  Sigh.   My Mother did not raise me to be quite this much of an idiot.  How did I possibly manage this all by myself?

More later.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

.Worked in Garden Today...Oy.....Very Short Blog

Hi, dear hearts.........I am a pitiful wreck to day.....tried to get the last few bedding plants I bought last week  into the ground and, even sitting on the wonderful gardeners' bench which is supposed to take all the pain out of gardening didn't save me....can't do planting when seated on your fanny I have found.

Tottered into the house, fell lumpily into my favorite recliner intending to watch some football....that's all it took to convince me I am losing what is left of my mind.  After sort of enjoying the pre-season game with the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders I flipped around the remote looking for the next game and all I could find was a repeat of the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders,  Since I already knew how that one came out I tried desperately to find another one and did succeed, finally, but, did not find it till almost halftime and  when that was over I looked for the highly touted Brett Favre season debut (us old folks gotta stick together) and what did I find?   You guessed it.......Bears and Raiders.  By the time I found the Minnesota game Brett had played his four plays and was reclining on the bench saving his very expensive bod for the beginning of the real season.  What I want to know is, do the networks think they can show us the same game 3 times during the day and fool us into thinking that we haven't seen it yet????  It's all too much for my tired brain to comprehend so I did what any well adjusted person would do....I fell asleep and didn't wake up until Sunday football was truly finished.(though I am sure if I really try I can still find the Chicago Bears vs the Oakland Raiders on SOME channel or other.)

But, that is not what I really intended to write about today.........I happened upon a little video among the news bits that really tickled the hell out of me.  It happens to deal with the superb Home Health Agency which has done so splendidly by me since I went splat on my arse last March.....it is called "Home Instead" and the video features one of their satisfied clients speaking at their annual Eat/Drink/and be very Merry/ Meeting.  If you enjoy really funny old ladies, (and, let's  face it.....who doesn't?.......what was that I heard you say....you in the 3rd row center?.....I'll deal with you later....)  don't miss this......I am practically emerald green with envy and jealous as hell besides.



I'll return when my back and knees forgive me for what I put them through today.  Joints are so unforgiving....dammit.......

Monday, August 16, 2010

Invitation to a Garden Called Paradise

Damn.....I seem to have overestimated my endurance and have used up all my energy and passion ranting and raving in comments on other folks' blogs.......said ranting and raving being all of the positive sort, by the way....mostly raving about their prodigious talents and the incredible beauty of their ideas and the way they have expressed them......you don't think I would utter an unkindly word to my fellow bloggers, now do you??

But, I certainly don't want you to think that I have abandoned or forgotten you (I speak to those of you to whom I have NOT ranted and raved) so I am going to treat you to another glimpse or two into my secret paradise....my blessed gardens and the incredible plants that make them a bloomin' heaven on earth.  (oh, hell, how could I resist that one?)

My bougainvilla and jasmine continue to delight me.......I can only believe that they recognize my neediness or, more probably, simply thrive on neglect.

Whatever, I am grateful and am taking advantage of their generosity.

What a delight to look out of one of my many windows and see such heavenly sights.

This batch is in my front mini-courtyard by the front gate and is what I see as I sit in crochet corner and do my afghan thing or just read and/or contemplate nature. 

Just to shift from flora to fauna for a moment, here is that good-for-nothin' ingrate of a cat, Baskin, lounging in the sun by the pool.  Six years, if it is day, and I still cannot approach within 3 feet of him without him relocating to the next county.  I have given up the idea of ever civilizing him and am resigned to simply letting him use me  mercilessly without ever being rewarded with the opportunity to scratch his chin.  Wretch!

Here is more glorious  bougainvilla overhanging the azure waters of the pool.  I seem to have more damned vines than might be considered healthy for an unarmed female.....especially now that I am not as nimble on my feet as I used to be.  Between the several bougainvilla, the wisteria, the red trumpet vines, the star jasmine, the pink jasmine, the honeysuckle, the bower vine, the multiple morning glories and the Scarlet Something-or-other whose name happens to elude me at the moment, I fear I may be the first person to appear in the headlines as "Elderly Victim  Appears to Have Been Strangled in Garden by Unknown Assailant. (Clever attempt to pin blame on garden foliage hints at very ingenious Killer).

Even MORE bougainvilla with just a hint of  Baskin on his rounds of doing pool patrol and looking for the pot that contains the catnip.

And one more of the indigenous fauna....it is easy to deduce who really gets to enjoy this garden of Eden the most.

And to finish off with a flourish....yet another spray of bougainvilla hanging over the pool.  My only comment at this point is, "Yum".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hall of Shame 3 - When Music Lost its Melody

I just realized I never finished exposing myself  (via likes and dislikes) in my Hall of Shame series.  I found these notes today tucked way in a draft and decided that I owed it to you to reveal the final depths of my depraved and/or disgustingly mundane and banal tastes.

It appears that the only subject on my list left to confess about is that of music.  That happens to be a very delicate subject for me. Oddly enough, I don't listen to as much music as I used to and probably not nearly as much as I should since I used to find it a great healer and source of joy.  From my earliest days music was like 97% of my life starting with classic jazz and blues, the wonderful Big Band years and the series of great vocalists (Sinatra, Nat Cole, June Christy and even Doris Day) of that era and later into the 50's.  In addition to pop music I was also  in love with much classical music and opera and I had some kind of music going most of the time during my waking hours.  I had a good sound system for playing my hundreds of records and, if that wasn't convenient there was always the radio.   No matter what station I turned on, some of my music came out.  And it was Good!

Then ghastly things started to happen.   Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the music that emerged from the radio ceased to soothe or excite  me and began to grate on my nerves and leave me unsatisfied..  The stuff called rock and roll wasn't bad, but next came.... well....... non-musical gibberish.    My favorites began to disappear, replaced by stuff that I did not consider to be music.........since this is confession time I must admit that music without a melody ain't music to me....I don't care how profound the lyrics may be or how politically correct,  how floor-vibrating the drum or ear splitting the volume, if there is no tune I can hum and no beat that I can sway to or tap my feet to and if the piece, in its entirety, consists of nothing but the same limited set of unrelated notes and words repeated ad nauseum from one end to the other, it is not music to me.   I don't care how loud it is or how piercingly the vocalist screeches.........it's NOT music.  So there went the radio as a useful piece of equipment.  My stuff could no longer be found there on any kind of regular basis. 

At the same time, technology blew up  in my face and demanded that instead of my  nice simple collection of records which revolved at 33 1/3 rpms and the older ones at 45 and 78 rpms (and could be played on a single machine) I now needed new machines of all sorts to play the new medium of  tapes of several different sizes whose labels were just plain too small and damned difficult to read and which seemed so impermanent besides  (witness the strange black coils I used to see discarded in frustration on every freeway I traveled....... I suspected these were once official music of some kind) ............well, I just buried my face in the pillow, sobbed heavily and gave up in defeat........particularly since it became heartbreaking to me to realize that the music that I adored  and responded to had  literally disappeared and no longer existed except for fragments which had been chosen to be preserved for posterity on the newest media called CD's but not really played or listened to (except for a few old codgers like me.)

Even Classical music is having a tough time surviving and maintaining any kind of any audience these days and I have occasional bad dreams in which Bach and Mozart and their ilk fade into anonymity and the gorgeous arias and orchestral passages of operas  disappear with the only parts  remaining  the occasional  brief  spoken "recicatives."  And,  I have so many different music playing devices and so many different kinds of media that it all seems simply too damned much trouble.  I do not understand what "music" has come to.

Of course it won't surprise you to find that my naive and unsophisticated tastes extend to Musical Theater as well...........-   not the  one trick pony of  Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera.....but rather Bernstein's infinitely  brilliant "Candide"(both music and lyrics) ......or Queen Letifah's - paean to  Reciprocity ("When You're Good to Mama, Mama's Good to You)" and John C. Reilly breath-taking performance of   "Mr. Cellophane" ....both in the musical triumph,  "Chicago".

Naturally Everything by Gilbert and Sullivan though I must admit that overindulging in too much of a good thing can make a person a bit sick and tired....... fortunately this wears off and in time I am ready again  for their tunes and their wit.

Classical music - nothing much later than Debussy......most everything  Baroque, .Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Schubert's "Death and the Maiden",   Bach's  Brandenbergs and Preludes and Fugues, anything by Mozart......Verde, Puccini .......gotta stop.

Jazz- anything by Louie especially West End Blues, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Teagarden, Red Nichols,  Goodman's soulful  liquid clarinet  on "Can't We Be Friends",...I could go on endlessly on this one but I will just add Billie Holliday and Ella, Johnny Mercer and maybe Nina Simone........ and of course anything by Pete Daily 
I did movies in chapter 2 of this expose but forgot a couple.....  The Hustler, Unforgiven, Chinatown and, while we are at it, why not Casablanca and Maltese Falcon.

OK.......that is as much of a fool  as I am willing to make of myself at one time.  However, I am sure I have many more shocking revelations to tantalize or horrify you with in the future, so do come back. 



fancy pantalons said...
It was a sad, sad day for me when the Oldies stations started playing '60s and '70s music...what happened to the '50s? So I gave up on normal radio and started listening to Satellite radio where there's an entire channel devoted to the '50s. I love the '30s and '40s channels, too; there's nothing quite like sitting down to a lazy breakfast Sunday morning/mid-afternoon with Ella Fitzgerald streaming through the house!
Intense Guy said...
Nothing is wrong with your musical tastes at all! I confess to enjoying one trick pony Andrew Lloyd Webber's music (I guess I'm a peasant). I wonder if each and every generation hates the next generation's "music"?
AngelMay said...
You have just completed a description of ME. How do you DO that? :)
AngelMay said...
Note to "Intense Guy" - Today's generation doesn't have music. It has noise. :)
messymimi said...
I find myself similarly horrified by what comes out of the radio that passes for "music" these days. I hoard my few CDs of decent music, and the only thing I would add to your list is some Cajun and Zydeco -- I can't help it, I love south Louisiana's musical heritage.
AngelMay said...
Pssst! Lo! There is something wrong with your blog this morning. You should check it out.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cleanliness.....is it really next to Godliness?

One of the things people accuse us old folks of is, of course, forgetting things (like the  the names of your children) and also of, let us call it, a lack of cleanliness like for instance forgetting to bathe.  Now I must admit that I have occasionally called one of my cats by the other cat's name in a fit of extreme frustration, but thank heaven I have never really forgotten which is which..  (Besides, I come from a family where one overburdened  Mother had so much of said frustration that my father thought his name was "JerryEstherFreddie" for many of his young years).

But, as far as forgetting to bathe is concerned.......nope.......if I fail to bathe it is a matter of choice.
For years I  have suspected that I am different  from some of my friends  who have been known to turn down an invitation to a free gourmet meal and a nite of frivolity  with a groan and the inexplicable utterance, "Oh, damn,......I can't.....I have to wash my hair."  Not even my most earnest protests that their hair was fine when I saw them  several hours earlier could ever prevail.  "No, no", they would intone,"I couldn't sleep if I didn't wash my hair......it is filthy."   Filthy?  How filthy can a person's hair get in one day unless their profession is, let's say, Mud Wrestling?  Obviously there is something going on here which I do not understand and must simply accept as normal behavior in everyone but me.  (Were I  invited out to a free Gourmet meal and were I the said professional Mud Wrestler, I would sooner simply turn the hose on myself fully dressed and go off with damp but clean face, hands and garments than miss an opportunity like that.... ..hmmmm, could that be why I have not had such a classy invitation for quite a while?)

I must admit that I sometimes do choose to not bathe regularly (i.e. every day or twice a day) .    I try to blame it on the  fact that feeding all  the critters,  cleaning kitty boxes, washing critter dishes,   cooking up batches of hummer nectar and  filling hummer feeders takes almost all of my time, except for that which is reserved for  eating and sleeping. But that would be a prevarication........the truth is I simply hate to waste time scrubbing my poor dry, saggy skin if I do not consider myself to be overly soiled, grungy or odoriferous and then have to cream, grease and oil it back into bearable, bendable  condition thereby immediately rendering me sort  of unclean again.

Because of my lack of the Clean Gene  I regularly  ask anyone forced to spend  time  in close proximity to me whether I smell bad or offend in any way and they always assure me that I do not.  Now, the idea  that anyone would lie about this is beyond me so I must assume that they are either aroma masochists or are telling me the truth.   So, I assume my slothful condition is not too obvious or too offputting and I can safely continue in my indecent ways..

And yet........I do not have any aversion to water..........take, for example, my wild cavorting in my pool, sans swimming garments  because I love the feel of water on my skin.   Further, witness the fact that I spent large amounts of capital on redoing my master bathroom in order to  install a deep, deep, deep soaking tub that not only enables me to cover my boobs with water, but could easily allow me to drown myself if I  were crazy enough to attempt suicide by piling my set of cast iron Wagner skillets on my tummy while soaking in said tub........ with the candles flickering and the incense wafting hither and yon.....(what a scene that would be for CSI - LA!)

I can only attribute these odd behavior deviations to the possible fact that the Pig is one of my favorite creatures and I adore watching them wallowing in their mud baths.....mud and dirt do not terrify me......I have no fear of contamination by nice clean dirt and have even been known to eat a morsel of food that has fallen on the floor AND SURVIVED!

Sometimes I look out my window and watch my neighbor driven to sweeping the Street because she has already beaten into submission every morsel of dirt in her house and on her property.   I recognize that there is a huge gulf between us..............as to whether either one of us is closer to heaven in our reaction to dirt I cannot say, being too close to the subject to be objective.  All I do know is ..............I'd rather be me.

Here Piggy, piggy, piggy.........

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Perils of Attending the Same Party Twice

Some time back I wallowed in the wonderful blogging of Alan Burnett of News From Nowhere  (http://newsfromnowhere1948.blogspot.com) in which he described a very funny incident at friend's World Cup TV Bash where  he managed to get himself locked into the bathroom. I was so smitten I even made  note to thank Alan for reminding me of a similar adventure of my own  and to tell my own Locked-in-the-Bathroom story on my own blog someday.

Now, I don't know whether or not this has happened to nearly everyone at some time or other and is so ordinary and boring as to be hardly worth mentioning, but I do know it happened to me about 60 or so years ago and (now that Alan has reminded me) I remember it like it was yesterday and it seemed anything but ordinary to me..  It all began innocently enough with a little party my friend, Stel's parents gave for her when, having finally realized that there was no place in the eating, carousing,  rent-paying Business world for a History Major,  she went back to school to get a MS in Library Science.  The festivities were to celebrate her being awarded the Degree and the house overflowed with old friends, relatives and endless amounts of booze and edibles.

Since she was one of my dearest friends and knowing that this would be the case, (not being such a big drinker but being a masterful nosher) I made it  point to arrive early.  No sooner had I set foot inside the door  than her Father gave me a hug and pressed a huge tumbler of some brown liquid into my hand.  "Here", he beamed, "this'll get you started........you'll like it."  and and off he wandered to attend to the next not-yet-intoxicated person.  It happens that at that time I was woefully naive and inexperienced for my age.  Having gone to college with the mistaken idea that I was supposed to get an education I spent 4 years working my ass off studying and hardly got any instruction or practice in the arts of boozing and carousing.   (I found out later that it was just as well, but that will be another blog)  So up to this point my most memorable toot had been achieved by guzzling Manischevitz wine one Passover when I was clearing the table and  found just a few inches left in the bottle.  Wheeeee....that was great! But the contents of the tumbler I was clutching  was a different color and different scent than Manischevitz....... I cautiously tasted it and found that it was pleasantly sweet and seemed almost harmlesss so how dangerous could it be?

This I found out a while later after I had guzzled the entire glassful and found myself reeling pleasantly around the room, feet  not quite touching the floor, but finding all of the furniture and most of the party-goers bumping into me most rudely.  But nothing could dampen my elated state and (forgive me) high spirits and I went in search of more of that wonderful stuff which it turned out was called Southern Comfort.   (Research reveals that the stuff is a fruit, spice and herb flavored whiskey which can be anywhere from 70  to 100 proof.  It absolutely did not taste lethal is all I can say.) 

By the time I had lapped a few glugs of the new portion I found that, through my dimmed senses, I was aware that I had to go to the potty and, knowing this house almost as well as my own, I knew that the line to the upstairs potty would be long (yes, folks, in those days a 4 BR, 1 Ba home was the norm and families did not complain  because they loved having inside plumbing) while most of the party people did not know that in the basement was a teeny little closet with a toilet where there was bound to be no line at all.  How I managed to stagger down the basement stairs without disaster I will never know, but obviously God was on my side that day.  I made it to the bottom and into the little cubbyhole safely, shot home the bolt that kept the door shut, took care of my business and attempted clumsily to unlatch the door and leave.  Nothin'.  I tried again and again without being able to budge that damned bolt but even tho I  was drunk as a skunk and my fingers were useless, my little grey cells were still working.  This closet had a tiny window up at ceiling height (which was only about 6 or 7 feet up)  and said window had a ledge which could be reached by standing on the toilet seat.  A simple hook latch held it shut and outside of the window was ground level freedom.  I  must admit I cannot recall what party dress I was wearing that day....I just hope that it did not have a white skirt because in a twinkling I was up on the ledge unhooking the window and squeezing my bod through the miniscule opening out onto the planting  bed at the side of the house falling into the petunias in a dusty, panting lump.  My exit did not do the petunias any good, nor did they do much for my party condition, but I managed to pull myself to my feet (only falling down two or three times) and composing myself as much as possible did the Pretending-you-are-not drunk Walk down the side of the house to the front and up the steps to ring the doorbell once again.  My friend's father peered at me in puzzlement for a moment as if being nudged by some far off memory, then shrugged at the impossibility of his thought, smiled broadly, hugged me and thrust a full tumbler into my hands with the words, "Dammit, honey, you are late and way behind.....this'll help you catch up"

As soon as his back was turned I poured the contents into a nearby Aspidistra plant and headed a bit unsteadily but purposefully for the Nosh table.  To this day not a drop of Southern Comfort has ever passed these ruby lips.

I DO wonder sometimes about how they got the basement potty door open or what convoluted thoughts they may have had about how it got locked  from the inside in the first place..........Only the Shadow and I know and I'll never tell.............

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Can Blogger and Follower Coexist in the Same Body?

As my dear pal  Dorothy used to say, "Oh, shit piss, fuck.......what have I done?"  What I have done seems to be that I have royally screwed  myself not to mention having done the same to my loyal followers.  Of course, it is actually their fault that I find myself in this Gordion Knot condition..........not that I can actually blame them for being so talented and inspired and disciplined and all of those admirable things while I, miserable wretch that I am, can only wallow in the snake pit of my insatiable greed, unable to stop  devouring blog after wonderful blog.

Well, in case you haven't figured it out, what began as a nicely balanced routine.....blog a bit, follow a bit.......
 enjoy other bloggers' brilliance with my morning cereal and give a bit back as I sip my coffee......has totally deteriorated into chaos as my insatiable appetite has led me to total ruin.  I have found so many marvelous bloggers out there in Bloggsville that it now takes me all of the morning and into the afternoon (and even evening)  to read and relish all the goodies on my list and by the time I have finished I am so overstuffed, not to mention  awed and intimidated,  that I cannot even consider making a contribution of my own.  What is even worse, I cannot restrain myself from commenting (I know how bloggers need comments and sometimes I actually have somethng to say) which also occupies time and some intellectual (?) effort which might be saved and hoarded for blogging purposes.  This is not good, folks.......I have painted myself into a corner of the room and the paint shows no sign of drying..........unless Jason  Bourne will drop down on a rope out of the heating grille in the ceiling and rescue me I fear I may be  lost forever in the conflict between reading and writing...........

I have not solved this conundrum, but I am working on it..........in the meantime I will welcome any suggestions.......I can't be the only one who has encountered this problem............hell, most of you have jobs and families and even chickens to care for beside bestowing goodies daily on your worshipful followers........I am deeply ashamed but hope somehow to learn to rise above it all....... with your help.  (hint, hint)