Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I MUST Have a Guardian Angel......

Gotta continue reciting the high points of my 84th BD not out of arrogance, but out of awe, wonder and great humility.

But first, a few words.....(you know how dangerous that can be....)

For many years I have honestly felt like I have a Guardian Angel......I have had so many little "miracles" and some not so small.  When I look back at how my life has evolved and developed (sometimes actually in spite of me) I cannot help but think that I have had some mysterious help along the way.  And, what the hell.....it does no harm for me to think that (unless I take to stepping off cliffs and expecting my GA to catch me before I hit the ground) and so I go blissfully on my lonely way feeling that I am not quite alone.

I also must go on record  saying that I do not really believe in coincidences....I do, however,  believe in serendipity.......sometimes amazing and wonderful things just happen and you can't figure out how or why....you must just accept, enjoy and be grateful.......

So, there I was yesterday, waiting for my old friend, Nina, to arrive and take me out for yet another Birthday Lunch.   I was dressed (bra, jeans, shirt and even shoes.......teeth brushed, hair combed, perfume (Bellodgia, one of my favorites) dabbed here and there.....and as I sat at the computer reading a last blog or two I had a sudden thought.  Why not take my camera....for what reason I do not know.....( I rarely take my camera with me unless I have a real reason)..........but the voice in my head was so strong and insistent that I dug it out of the pile of stuff next to me on the dining room table and shoved it in my purse.

Nina arrived and off we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Studio City and, since it was a holiday (No, no....not my birthday....Memorial Day) the dining room was nearly empty and we felt like we owned the place.  As we nibbled and gabbled away Nina suddenly said, " Who is that huge, black man standing out there on the terrace?".  Of course, my vision leaves a lot to be desired anymore so I peered out and all I could see was a large dark shape so I told her I did not know and we went back to our chatting and chomfing.

When we were finished I looked wistfully at the several pieces of wonderful garlic herb bread that we had been unable to consume and thought how grand they would be as a mid evening snack and, before I knew what I was doing, I wrapped them in the napkin they were nestling in and shoved them in my purse while explaining to Nina how very much I hated waste.  (Having known me for at least 50 years and never seen me able to leave a morsel behind on a restaurant table, she already knew how much I hated waste.)   As we shlepped ourselves up to leave, she asked the waiter, "Do you know who that huge black man on the terrace is?" and he replied, "It's Magic Johnson!"   (In my head I heard  !!!**////^##@ !!!)  I do believe I screamed, gabbled incoherently, hugged the waiter and Nina and dragged her to the door with terrible panting noises emerging from my mouth.

As we exited, my feet automatically pointed themselves toward this tall, oh my, very tall dark shape seated at a table nearby and found myself standing next to his table peering avidly into his eyes.  A strange voice choked out, "Excuse me, but are you Magic Johnson?"  The dark face suddenly blazed forth with that incomparable smile that even I could see and said, "Yes, Ma'am, I am."   I lost it totally at this point and remember shrieking something restrained like, "OhmyGod....you are my Idol, you are my Hero, I love you madly....I think I have seen every game you ever played and I worship you not only for your skill on the court but for all you have done for your community and mankind....Holy Moly, this is my 84th birthday and you have just given me the greatest gift.oh, thank you, thank you...blah, blah and blah........"  I think I stopped for breath because he stood  up laughing and managed to thank me, wished me a happy birthday and said, "Do you have a camera with you?.....we can take a picture."  I was just about to wring my hands and say, "No" when I realized that, for some inexplicable reason, I DID have a camera with me, and while I was digging madly in my purse for it, praying all the while that I did not come forth and put a piece of garlic bread into his outstretched hand by mistake, I found it and before you could say "Slam Dunk" we were captured digitally by his sister and could be seen staggering away with me still in a fog still gabbling unintelligibly, but not quite as loudly.

To be honest, I am still not quite recovered from the shock of it all.  Actually every word I uttered was the truth.......I had followed basketball since I worked at UCLA in 1963 -66 and got to see a rising star there named Lou Alcindor who then morphed into a Laker Legend named Kareem Abdul Jabaar.   When Magic joined the Lakers in the 80's  I was a constant fan and I really adored the way Magic moved, played, scored, smiled, enjoyed and Won.  It hasn't been the same for me since those fabulous days of "Showtime" and I could never express how much joy he and the other teammates brought me for so many years.  Well, obviously, I still can't properly express it, but danged if I didn't try my damndest.

And, now, for those of you who may not believe in miracles......you may want to rethink that....

And, by the way.....no, I am not sitting down.....I am that short and he is that tall !

Monday, May 30, 2011

Everything But Fingerprints and DNA

Well, my dears, the BD celebration continues.......another old friend took me out today for a birthday lunch and that is another blog altogether.  I am still in a whirl over yesterday's delights.
Meanwhile, here is a bit of frou-frou from yesterday.

Here is yours truly ( the one with the triple double chins) with beloved friends Don and Valerie.  I have known Don for nearly 60 years and Val for quite a many.  Since Val's BD and mine are just a day apart we have taken to celebrating them together for the past few years and it is always a joy.  I don't think Don will mind if I tell you that he is quite a talented and acclaimed actor, wonderful face, gorgeous singing and speaking voice,  (having appeared on Broadway in the original production of  Kurt Weill's "Threepenny Opera", in a number of movies, Tv films and shows and many, many commercials.  He confessed humbly that he had won the equivalent of an Oscar for his starring role in a Texaco commercial years back.  His wife, Val, is also very talented, a wonderful writer, and quite an actress...she informed me she has about a hundred videos on You Tube by now among other appearances.  Anyway, When I bragged about being 84, Don topped me by telling me he was 88, and we all agreed to have some kind of blast on his 90th.

Above, you are looking at three sated souls, having just devoured  platefuls of mussels in garlic, herbs and butter, fresh baked sourdough bread for dunking in broth and split a huge Mediterranean salad, and who were gluttonously preparing to attack the most outrageous dessert...(to be seen on the table in front of me) ...the menu called it profiteroles  (sp?), but all I know is it was a sort of cream puff stuffed with ice cream, bananas, strawberries, doused with caramel and chocolate sauces....I think there were a few nuts tossed in there for good measure.  By the way....we shared it, but as you can see it was quite a generous offering.

One of the highlights of the day aside from the food and the company was the waitress who served us. She bustled up to the table clutching 3 huge bowls containing mussels and broth and gave us each our dish along with a knife and fork.  When I gently summoned her back to the table motioning at the implements she rushed off and returned with 3 mussel forks.  One of us suggested that we really needed spoons, so off she went returning with 3 teaspoons.......!   I think we had to call her supervisor and make it perfectly clear that, dolts that we were, we required soup spoons.  Poor thing....she had probably never realized that the broth from the mussels hidden below all those shells was really the best part.

All in all, a lovely afternoon with updates, giggles, reminiscences and a warm aura of  memories and much love.  Thanks, dear old buddies.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Here I Still Am....And They Say The Good Die Young.........

Today is my 84th Birthday folks.......I can barely imagine it........WTF.....how could this have happened?

To celebrate I just played and watched 2 old Mark Harmon movies (what a beautiful creature) and I have even forced my bod into Jeans and a Turtleneck Tee in order to be able to leave the house with 2 of my oldest (in every way) old friends who are coming by to take me to lunch. 

When I return I will watch 2 more Mark Harmon movies, especially the one which shows him in full rear nakedness......and what an adorable ass he has......and I may pig out on Lindt  Chocolate Truffles.  (On some days I allow myself two of the blessed confections....that is really enough for me).  After that I'll be damned if I know what I will do.....probably watch some old Sid Caesar TV shows which I was wise enough to get a few years ago followed by a season of Monty Python.  I have also been smart enough to have kept 2 dvd and vcr players).

Then, after a bit of petting the cats till they can't stand it anymore and reading a few blogs that I missed earlier, I will probably take my handful of PM medications and go to bed for my usual 9 or 10 hour snooze.

Don't feel sorry for me.....except for the part about donning clothing, that is my idea of a perfect day....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Which Way Is Up ? - or You Can't Fall Off The Floor

Everyone better duck or some flying fragments of some ineffable substance are liable to hit you.  Not that I've sunk to the point of throwing stuff, nor are things exploding all around me.....it's just that I am in a very strange mood and am juggling a multitude of disparate thoughts and feelings.....I keep dropping some of the balls and more than a few end up bonking me on the head..........it's OK.......I'm  entitled, and it's not like I haven't been here before.   It's just that the older you get (and God knows, you can't get a helluva lot older than me) the more complicated some things become.  You think life is complicated when you are 44?.........wait till you hit....gasp.....84.

For instance, for most of you birthdays are a cause for celebration, inebriation and gourmandizing........maybe even an Orgy or two.    For someone who is ancient, decrepit and, more importantly, half blind it is a time of agony known in these parts as the Department of Motor Vehicles Annual Inquisition and Exquisite TortureTests.  At advanced ages they no longer renew your Drivers' License automatically by mail every 4 or 5 years.......you have to start calling for an appointment weeks ahead to be sure you get the process started  before your License actually expires (in Calif. on your birthday, by the way).  Once you have the appointment you must tear the bookshelves apart to find the old copy of the Driving Rules and begin the worrying, fretting and hand-wringing process.

Then at some point you actually must open the book and begin studying and trying to memorize those stupid rules like how many feet from railroad tracks are you allowed to park and when or if  it is ever legitimate to enter the Bike Lane with your car.  And with each pass through the book it becomes more and more likely that you will never remember those idiotic facts and figures and will surely flunk the written test.  Even though you have gotten 100 on the last 5 or 6 times you have taken it, this time you will surely get the one test that has all the impossible to remember facts and you will FAIL.  Oh, shame,  oh ignominy, oh shit.

And even if you pass the written test there is still the eye test which, of course you can only pass with one eye, leading to the need to go home clutching a form for your Opthamologist to fill out, stipulating that even though you have one eye that cannot see anything that is straight in front of you, that eye is able to see the periphery of things giving you just a bit of depth perception, while the other eye, God Bless and Keep It, sees everything like a champ and can also leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Staggering away from this department one  must next go to the Appointment Desk to make an appointment to take the Dreaded Driving Test ASAP (administered by the most disgustingly adept team of sadists and Obsessive Compulsive Picky-Pickies in both the civilized and uncivilized worlds.)

At this point there is very little left of you as you schlepp the remnants of this once able and admirable person to the Last Straw Department where it says "Camera" ......a euphemism for a machine that is programmed to take the worst possible picture of you....one you must live with (averting your eyes whenever possible) for the next year .....of course all depending on whether you pass the  Dreaded Driving test in 10 days.

I'll  tell you it is more than a poor wretch  like me can bear.  And you would think, wouldn't you,  that after having driven all sorts of cars under all sorts of conditions for the past 65 or 70 years, that I would have finally gotten the knack of how to drive?    But noooooooooo.....you still have to prove it to them, dammit.

So now you should understand why I have mixed feelings about my birthday rolling around and why I rarely celebrate till AFTER the Driving Test. 

Now, on the happier side of things, I am tickled pink to report that my Secret Passion, (shared by many of you of the female persuasion) the delectable Mark Harmon, has been voted the most popular person on television, surpassing Oprah Winfrey. believe it or not, and his TV show, "NCIS"  was voted the most popular TV series.   Ain't that grand?  Except that now, the line of besotted fools (like Me)  lined up waiting to wash his feet will be so damned long, heaven knows how many more Drivers'  Inquisitions I will have to go through before I finally get my turn...........I'll  be so old and ugly by then I will have to wear a burka...........sigh.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Promises, Promises

Oh, Shit !  

The Rapture or whatever doesn't seem to have happened.

I guess I'd better go clean the kitty boxes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?.......One (Crazy) Woman's Opinion

  • The serious ab workout for people who don't have the time or energy to workout
  • 150 perfect contractions per session
  • Contour Does Your Ab Workout for You
  • New Moms - Strengthen and tone your abs
  • Improve your posture with stronger core muscles
And that's just the teaser.

Those of you who really follow me faithfully may remember that  a few  blogs ago I promised to tell you about the wonderful, weird gift I bought myself?   Well,  here I am to fulfill that promise, as a benevolent service to my fellow bloggers.......no, no, don't thank me yet........having found what I consider to be a little  electric miracle machine I am glad to share the magic with anyone who might feel the need for such.  (I am not an official spokesman for the product nor do I receive any remuneration.)  I am really doing this out of love for the product and the desire to give you the opportunity to be as charmed as I am.)

    But as usual with my long winded blogs, we must backtrack 20 or more years for the preface.  Through most of my young and middle and approaching my sort-of-oldish years, I valiantly fought the battle of the bulges.  Not only did I diet unmercifully, but I exercised (before it became fahionable) did Yoga, walked,  rode bicycles, let those rubber-belted torture machines agitate my hips and love handles, roller skated, swam and danced (my Mom taught me the Charleston and it was better than Jane Fonda's workout tapes)......anything to work off a bit of excess blubber.  Very few of the above exertions did me much good at all as far a getting skinny, but it did, I suppose do some good as far as keeping my body in a toned state.  At that time I did not give a fig for a toned state........NON-FAT was what I wanted to be......and  like a water-starved wretch crawling across the desert toward a mythical oasis, I kept on crawling toward the dream.
      My eye was always peeled for any new methodology and one day I saw an ad for a salon in Pasadena that had a newfangled machine that was supposed to attack fat with electrical vibrations and exercise your muscles while you lounged on a couch and imbibed lime coolers.  Sounds too good to be true?  Yeh, yeh, I know, but the desperate fall for almost anything, so I hied me off to Pasadena and signed up for a series of treatments with the new gadget......at great expense, incidentally.
      The first treatment was a bit offputting as they connected me up to the magic machine with various little pads and electrodes across my middle expanse, flipped the "ON" switch and subjected me to an hour of funny ticklings, pricklings and odd tuggings.  After I got used to it, I found it rather pleasant and because it was so utterly different than anything I had ever felt, I had high hopes that some fat cells might succumb.  Little fool that I was, ten or so sessions later I emerged from this snazzy salon, considerably poorer, sated with lime coolers, tingling around the tummy, but with at least the same number of fat cells as I had when I started, but boy, were those underlying muscles toned to a fare-thee-well.

      Fast forward 20 or 30 years and we find dear, old Lo with considerably more fat cells than before, no longer aspiring to "skinny" but merely to be  "mobile" and, worse yet, with muscles un-toned and in such decrepit physical condition as to make it nearly impossible to tone them with regular exercise.  Then lo and behold, (no pun intended) there appears on the laptop computer screen a bit of spam that promises those things you read  at the beginning of this blog.  And it tantalizes me by offering a trial for 30 days at the paltry price of $14.95.  How could I resist.

      Incidentally, the device has FDA approval and both my internist and my Cardiologist were delighted to hear I was trying it and encouraged me to continue since they both considered it a very theraputic workout for a battered old soul such as myself.

      So here I am about a week after receiving the magic machine which happens to be a little belt sort of like a fanny-pack with 4 sticky patches which you place on your abs when donning the belt.  
      Then you activate the brain of this incredible device and tell it how long you want it to tickle you and how strongly you want it to prickle and tug you and then you go about your business for 45 minutes blogging, or watching TV or working in the garden or whipping up a blueberry fruit bread for breakfast or just lying there sipping a lime cooler.

      After a week of try-out I was so .....you should excuse the expression,,,,,.tickled that I called to make my full payment and I was even more pleased to find that, by paying for it in a single payment I would get a $20 discount, so instead of it being $199.95 it was only $179.95.  Now that may sound like a huge amount of money to some of you....it sounded like huge amount of money to ME....but when I considered how much better I felt after using it for just a week I decided it was cheap at twice the price.  Not only does it feel good while it is potching and tickling me, but it has really strengthened my core muscles and invigorated me.

      Not only can I schlepp my bod out of a chair more easily, but I can fix the kitty plates without having to lean on the sink and I have even been able to go out into the garden and dig a bit.  For me a real dose of magic if not quite a miracle.

      If anyone is interested in how to reach Contour's website, just ask and I will post the address here as a comment.  If this helps even one more soul I will be content.

      And, if any of you are wondering.......I must confess that I think I have exactly the same number of fat cells as I had last week....the only difference is that it is much easier to schlepp them around.

          Friday, May 13, 2011

          What's Worse to Be Cut Off From Than Sex, Booze and Cigarettes?

          Damn, damn, damn!  I have found myself in the clutches of yet another addiction.  The sneakiest, most insidious one yet.  Sob.

          Yesterday was a bloody nightmare from about 11 am right through to 11 am this morning.  There I was placidly munching my morning bran flakes like one of Carnation's contented cows  and clicking on the Blogger Dashboard icon when, suddenly appears the ominous message....."Blogger is not Available".  Gasp.  Surely this cannot be. What can this mean?   Seventy or eighty hysterical clicks later all achieving the same result and I had to face the fact that Blogger was not Available.

          I refuse to confess all the things that went through my mind at that final moment of truth.  Furthermore, I refuse to admit the things that went through my mind all day and evening and night as I futilely kept attempting to make the connection.   By bedtime I had to accept the fact that my Bloggy addiction is nearly life- threatening.

          With shaking fingers I tapped gingerly  at the keyboard this morning with fear and apprehension clutching at my heart...........tenks gott it didn't tell me that Blogger Was Unavailable............24 hours of deprivation  is over my limit I have found.........sigh.  Now I must go lie down and put cold cloths on my forehead.  I cannot blog today.

          More later.


          Sunday, May 8, 2011

          Why DoWe Blog For Free.... What Kind of Cockamamie Question Is That?

           I did not intend to do anything as rash a hit "Publish" today.......this is one of the days when I prefer to use my time to catch up on your blogs and leave comments for as many of you as my gnarled, arthritic  fingers can manage, BUT
          Today, the Empress at    "gooddayregularpeople.com"  asked:  
                                                      Why do we blog  for free?
          and I just Had to answer.      Hell, there are a million reasons....
          Because it is our chance to touch our friends in Blogville, share laughs and tears over our morning coffee, give love and feel love from wonderful people whom we may not have met but whom we know better than some of our friends in the real world. And besides all that, except for the time when I had to get up in front of the class and debate some foolishness about Railroads, it is the only time in my long life when a bunch of folks really listen to what I have to say.
          No, I mean that.  In normal every day conditions we can have a conversation with a friend or relative or even a stranger, but rarely does one get the chance to utter a thousand words without being interrupted or turned off.  Conversation outside of Blogville consists of little bits of give and take which can be wonderful  (or not) but you never get a chance in such circumstances to let your brain develop an idea to its fullest.  I love my friends and relatives, but most of the time....or 4 times out of 5, if truth be told, most people cannot help but interrupt and put in their own 2 cents worth.  And that is mostly OK .....because I do it too...I do believe it is not in our nature to listen endlessly before we simply MUST respond.

          Of late, I have noticed that the intervals in which I am allowed to speak get shorter and shorter before someone interrupts and I DO get pissed off sometimes at not being allowed to finish a sentence.  I had begun to think that it was simply because I was too boring to be tolerated, but you dear people out there have proven to me that it ain't true....Godblessand keepyouall.  So I just accept that short exchanges are all that a body can stand when in normal conversation.    I used to ache for a world where I would be allowed to put 4 sentences together  and, praise be, I have found it in the Blogworld.  

          Sigh.  All I can say is, not only will I do it for free....I do believe I would even gladly pay for the privilege.

          To Maybelline........just kidding.

          Saturday, May 7, 2011

          I Was Only Kidding

          Of course, you MUST know that I didn't really mean it when I said I would sit down and shut up.......if you took me seriously, what a ridiculous assumption.

          However, having blogged myself hoarse for the past few days I am going to rest my voice for a bit and do some serious stuff around the house here.  For instance, I just discovered a Baggie in the cupboard of various seeds I have bought, collected  and saved for I don't know how many years........in it were about 30 or 40 Sweet Pea seeds (I adore Sweet Peas.....oh, that scent, that color.....yum)  and also 3 zucchini seeds.  ( I love zucchini...I got put off planting them a few years ago when I left a developing plant in the back yard while I went to Italy on vacation and came home to find a monster threatening to eat my house and pussy cats......I mean....how much zucchini bread, zucchini casseroles, zucchini fritters can a person make???...and all out of a single zucchini.)  Anyway, the fright has dissipated somewhat and I decided to try again since I will be here to monitor the size development and pick when judiciously ripe.  So I have these here seeds soaking overnight and I had better go plant 'em....I think I may have missed planting season altogether, but that is one nice thing about California.....you can break a lot of gardening rules.  If my crop exceeds my abilities I may have to secretly ship a few to each of you....you know me....can't stand waste.

          I must go now and get dirty, but I promise to return and blog you senseless very soon......a teaser .......I will tell you about the amazing, weird present I have just bought myself and all of the fun I am having with it.  Furthermore, I am willing to bet that at least one of you may not even know of its existence.  You are in for atreat....maybe.

          And now.....as I have been know to say........

          Love you all.

          More Later.

          Friday, May 6, 2011

          In Which Lo Sits Down and Shuts Up.....After a Few Well Chosen Words

          Holy Moly.......I am still ruminating and vibrating over Betsy's comment (and her post yesterday) responding to my scathing rant of May3 about unruly children and  their parents' methodologies, using the religions of the world as part of my argument.

          I am trying to decide if I am just irreparably batshit crazy or the bravest damned  idiot on the face of.  After digesting  Betsy's rebuttal to my rant,  I realized that I not only managed to attack Motherhood and God in one swell foop.......but,  had I only thrown in a few comments about what I think of the MFs in Congress, I could have been able to claim an attack on the Flag too.   Thank heaven I didn't mention Apple Pie or Baseball ......(I happen to approve of both of those for the time being.......though sometimes I do wish that Baseball would move along a bit faster.)

          First, let me say that I have no intention of trying to rebut Betsy's rebuttal.  I think she and I should just agree to disagree slightly   I am glad  the world can relax in the fact that at least several children are being raised in a calm, logical, respectful home and will obviously escape growing up with warped psyches because of punishments or the fear thereof.

          Next, it has become obvious to me that I had better try to clarify my position on the subject of God.  I do not embrace any of the Gods of the major religions.  I am not an Atheist.  I have a huge reverence for everything that exists.  I have a "God" of my own invention.......a force of sublime intelligence which keeps the universe from flying to pieces (even faster than it is ) and I believe that each of us and all things in the universe have a spark of that force within us.  But when living in a world that is God oriented, what are we, the Godless, to do when we have to talk about that inexplicable force or about other people's Gods?  It is for this reason that you will often find the word "god" in my writings.  So sue me. Take the word at it's meaning for you or, better yet, at what you presume is its meaning to me.   Without occasionally using that word to express that concept I cannot write sensibly (or frugally......can you imagine what my blog would be like if I had to say "that-sublime-force-which-dwells-in-all-of-us and keeps-the-universe-from-flying-apart" instead of  just saying  "God") ? Yuk.  It's enough to make a person give up blogging altogether.

          Also, please try to recognize in my ramblings and rantings that I am a great believer in Irony and Sarcasm to create a bit of humor.  I am very guilty, I fear, of doing this badly and  blurring the line between those and just plain straight, serious babbling.  I will try to get better at this.....meanwhile, you must occasionally stop and ask yourself, "Does she really mean THAT? or is she just fuckin' with me?".

          Now....Fear.   I firmly believe that rampant fear is the basis for everything bad in the world.   I will defend that position to my death.  But, I feel that a little bit of fear is a necessary and good thing.  It keeps us from stepping out into traffic and dancing on the Freeway, from jumping off buildings and trying to fly and from lots of things that would be very deleterious to our well being.  As long as it doesn't reach paranoia proportions, a little bit of fear saves out lives a gazillion times a day.  (you may choose to call it "wisdom".......that's OK......however, I see fear as more powerful than wisdom.......sadly.

          Finally, in order to explain  some of the thoughts I expressed in my rant ...... I was really just trying too express my bafflement at children's lack of respect and .....well......of love of their parents when they misbehave remorselessly and inflict pain and torture on those who love them.  I was blessed with a near Saint for a Mother.  As far back as the age of 2,  I remember vividly being upset when something I did caused her pain.  (and it was obvious to me when this happened..........I did not need the threat of any punishment nor did I  fear that she would no longer love me.......I knew her love was unconditional.  As was mine for her.  I loved her hugely and did not want to be the cause of any unhappiness to her so I tried very hard to behave as she wanted me to.  This did not, I believe, scar me for life.  That habit has expanded a bit over the years to include tempering my behavior with everyone I love and even with some that I don't.   Call me crazy.....I can't help it.  Since I personally have felt that way for at least 82 or 83 years it puzzles me mightily why  the current crop of children seem to have or show so little love or respect for their parents.

          Because that is how I interpret the behavior of the current generation.  And don't tell me that the idea is too sophisticated or difficult for children to understand because I don't buy that.  Why is it OK to "Always Hurt the One You Love??"

          Oh,hell.....what do I know?  I hardly know anything.

          Wednesday, May 4, 2011

          Skinny Dipping - Yum Yum and Ho Boy!


          I just had my first absolutely delicious swim of the 2011 season.   Laughingly, I used to call this my $500 swim explaining that I applied all of the costs of having and maintaining a pool to the first swim and then all the rest were FREE.   Uhhuh.  That was back when pool service was $25 per month and water and power was much cheaper and all the equipment lasted for a few years at least..

          Considering that I have recently spent thousands to replace my filter and pool motor, more hundreds in expanding my Electrical system  to better power the pool motor, more thousands  installing a salt to chlorine system to replace plain old chlorine (system broke down this year and needs replacing again),   and I don't know how many thousands installing solar heating to warm the pool  water, God only knows how many bucks  to apply to this swim....it ain't cheap I'll tell you........I could probably buy a small Third World Country for less...... but it is still worth it.  (what would I do with a small Third World Country anyway?)

          The fact is that exactly 39 years ago I was looking for a house to buy and there was this one on Califa St..  I really remember very little about the house itself as I walked through except that it had some rooms  and did have indoor plumbing.   Then I stepped out the back door and saw this huge, gorgeous aquamarine pool gleaming and rippling in the sunshine and without further ado, I bought a swimming pool which happened to have a house along with it.  And I have never for a minute regretted it.  (well, maybe for a minute or two when  the filter and the motor and the salt-chlorine system all went out this year).

          Fortunately, although I have neighbors on each side and aft, I have cleverly managed to plant shrubs and trees and vines, and allow them to become so overgrown and rampant that I have a private little enclosed park/forest of my own which provides 99% privacy so I can skinny dip at will ........which is the only way I like to swim any more.   Oh my.....the feel of the water on totally bare skin is indescribably wondrous and can cure a basketful of ailments, I'll tell you. (If you are wondering about that wayward 1% of non-privacy, I say fuck 'em.....anyone who wants to climb up and peer through a tree to see a zoftig old lady potching around in the pool is welcome to do so).  Right now my solar heating system has the water up to about 85 the dial says...I think it is closer to 80) and when you stand in the shallows where one input vent is located  and let that warm water jet  massage your back, it can't get much better than that, except maybe when you grab the foam kick board, do a few lengths and then just float around as the current takes you in lazy circles with your head resting on your arms on the board and the warm water gently lapping at your dimpled, cellulite thighs.

          Before you all end up hating me  I will rush to explain and that, prior to this indulgence today, I did a bunch of potting up, weeding and pruning and clearing of dead stuff in the flower beds, repaired parts of the drip system which I put in a few years ago to water the pots of flowers around the pool,  and hand watered all of the pots just for good measure because it has  been mighty hot here this week and I will have to reprogram the drip system to run for a longer amount of time as summer approaches.  I  was a hot, sweaty, sticky  mess when I realized that I could, after all, take a swim today.......It used to be that I would start in April by poking one foot into the water to test it and if I managed to get away with only one scream I pronounced it fit for swimming.    That meant the temp was about 72.  No, no, no....now it has to be around 80 and no screams if possible.

          And so,  in California at least, it has morphed into swimming season and I feel so damned lucky not only to have  a pool, but to still be physically  able to get into it and swim a bit, and, even more important, to still be able to climb up out of it when the dip is over  (getting in is relatively easy because the water supports your weight.....getting out is something else entirely )    ........funny.......39 years ago I would never have even  been able to imagine that being a problem.......next year I will probably have to invent a pulley and hoist system, but this year I will make hay, as they say, while the sun shines.

          Tuesday, May 3, 2011

          Oy, Am I Sticking My Neck Out Here......

          Lately I have been inspired to go off into wild rants just from reading certain confounding and amazing (?) things in other people's blogs.  Not incendiary, inflammatory  kinds of things....just innocuous, ordinary every day matter-of-fact statements about their lives.

          It is a given that my life has been very different from many of the bloggers who live in this wonderful cyberworld and that other so-called "real" world,  but still, so many things that others seem to take for granted as incontrovertible truths are .....well.....baffling and unacceptable to me as such. 

          Granted, one reason for this is undoubtedly the fact that I chose not to have children....not the two legged kind anyway.  I can not contradict anyone who says, "Easy for you to say such and such....you have no kids so you don;t know".  I agree completely and in one way I am almost ashamed to be expressing publicly some of the thoughts which will slop over onto you if you choose to continue messing up your minds and your nice clean clothes with my wild ramblings.

          I quote below an excerpt from a blog whose writer I admire and adore.  Singling this phrase out in this way is not meant to be nasty or any kind of punishment and I will not identify my source because the idea expressed is universal....it could be from any one of you out there.  I chose it because it represents perfectly one of the gazillion things I don't understand in this world.

          "I cooked a delicious ........for dinner tonight. Well... when I say delicious I mean delicious to me. My boys picked their way through it in the way only children can. I had chopped squeezed and blended herbs, lemon zest and juice to within an inch of oblivion. The chicken was covered in a zingy marinade and still they pondered it in the same way you and I might ponder road kill."

          When and under what strange circumstance did children from the ages of 1 to about 16 (or 28)  receive the right to start making the rules about everything?  I find it intolerable enough that my television fare is created to suit the taste and whims of that  underdeveloped sub- adult group and foisted upon me to eat whether I like it or not.........(and sadly, eat it I often do if I cannot find anything better on the tube to distract me.)  I will not expand this theme to include all the other areas of life in which these children are dictating the form, the taste and the sound of everything.  If I got started I would probably still be here feebly tapping or with gnarled fingers poised on the keys at the moment they come to take me off to the boneyard.

          What I need to know and beg all of you out there who have the answers to tell me.......do parents and adults have no power whatsoever anymore?    Are parents nothing more than willing and eager providers and subservient slaves to their offspring from birth until the little darlings move out, start their own lives and dump the grandchildren on the old folks to be babysat?  Is there no weapon in a parent's arsenal that will cause even a modicum of the fear of retribution in a child these days?   That is the word I wish to blog about....FEAR.

          I ask in all seriousness and humility, ......What the fuck is going on?  What in the hell is wrong with raising a child to fear a certain punishment under certain circumstances and thereby to avoid bad behavior and aggravating their parents beyond the bounds of sanity?   It is not as if fear is an unknown quantity to the young....they fear all sorts of rational and irrational things like not having the newest $120 jogging shoes or  not having the latest iphone gadget or, worse yet,  not getting invited to the prom.  But fear of punishment for misbehaving seems to be an absolute No-No.

          I know that 99% of you out there are either laughing your asses off at me or girding your loins and donning your armor and weapons for attack, but I think I can safely say without fear that, at no time before in recorded history did the children run things like they do today.  I know that within my blessedly long lifetime there has never been a time before where parents apparently had no means of exerting parental control over something as simple as what food their children would or would not eat.  (Oh, I am not talking about a single phobic resistance to brussels sprouts here.....everyone should  be allowed some food fetishes....I, for instance, have about 4 foods on a list that I will not willingly eat.....brains, tripe, cooked or chocolate covered insects and slimy okra........oh yes, and I think I would not want to eat haggis which I understand is a stuffed sheep's belly,  but it is years since I have been offered or have had to hurt anyone's feelings by  refusing any of the above.)

          When I was a child back in the dark ages I (and all of the children I knew, encountered briefly or read about in  books)  were always in fear of certain dire punishment, rarely imposed, but always hovering there behind the drapes, keeping me from pushing my plate of lovely meat and vegetables rudely away and demanding pizza.  By enduring this cruel and dreadful inhuman and inhumane treatment I managed to grow up adoring food in all its myriad forms and literally never fearing to try something new or even outlandish.   Without that fear I acquired a WorldBook Encyclopedia of possible dishes to delight my palate....so tell me, .is that so terrible?

          We seem to be a people who fear to instill any respectful,sensible fear of any kind into our children, not even for their own good. (Thank heaven we are still allowed to teach them to fear the hot stove and running with scissors.)   And yet as adults we are riddled with a million identifiable and nameless fears.  Let us look at only one example...........the fears generated by most of the established Religions.  The fear of punishment by God (our Father, by the way) permeates every morsel of all the Religions (except, perhaps, Zen Buddhism)   Most of us live in fear of some kind of hell and its endless horrible torments.  We behave in a more or less civilized way because our Religions have strict rules and  punishments for disobeying which are frightening enough to keep us somewhat in line.  And, when we stray, the pain and torture of guilt self-punishes us far beyond the extent of the crime or the sin.  And still we worship the Father (and the Mother) who impose these rules and this pain and fear upon us.  Go figure.

          By living within  these constraints of our fears, most of humanity behaves fairly decently at least part of the time, has managed to accomplish some great and good deeds and has not yet succeeded in destroying everything God has created.   So if it is good enough for us as adults, please tell me why isn't it good enough for our children?