Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Best Trip Ever

Growing up in my little-bitty home town in south Texas, I pretty much wanted nothing more than to get out of the state.

Of course, a town in south Texas was pretty much a hillion-jillion miles from the state border, so getting out of Texas was just something people didn’t do where I grew up.

I had been across the border to Mexico a few times. There was church camp in Oklahoma. Once, we drove to pick up my step-sister in Alabama after she visited her grandparents. But other than that, I hadn’t been anywhere.

That’s why I was so excited to learn about a theatre tour to New York City for high school students sponsored by the American Thespian Society. I was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school and desperately wanted to go.

The tour would take place in the summer after school let out. It consisted of three days in Washington D.C., five days in New York City and two days at the Shakespear Festival in Stratford Ontario. It also included hotels, theatre tickets every night including five Broadway shows and travel (by Greyhound bus). We’d have to pay for our own meals and spending money.
The price? A whopping three hundred dollars!

My mom said I could go if I could raise the money myself. (She and Dad would help some, of course, but not much).

I had a job after school and weekends at the local Dairy Queen making a staggering wage of $1.80 an hour. I worked as many hours as I could. I flipped an awful lot of Hung-r-busters.

I finally made enough money to go and off I went with about twenty high school students from various high schools in south Texas. I was one excited kid, let me tell you.

The first night we were in Washington, we went to see Death of a Salesman at a small theatre-in-the-round. Guess who was playing the lead of Willie Lohman? It was George C. Scott. That was my first exposure to the “theatah” and it was a stunning experience, needless to say.

Since this theatre tour was sponsored by the American Thespian Society, it was not a school-sponsored tour. Even though we were all teenagers, we weren’t under any restrictions that a school-sponsored tour might have imposed.

For example, we saw Equus on Broadway. (Leonard Nimoy played the psychiatrist). That was pretty heavy stuff for a 16 year-old country bumpkin to be exposed to and I’ll admit that I didn’t understand a lot of it. But I felt so grown-up and sophisticated, seeing actual nudity on stage and all.

We also saw Bette Midler in The Divine Miss M as well as Grease, Chicago, and Pippin.

In New York City back in 1975, the drinking age was (are you ready for this?) sixteen for beer and wine. It wasn’t school sponsored, so we could drink with the caveat that if any of us got drunk, we’d be flown home at our parents’ expense. We behaved for the most part.

I had my first Heineken beer and loved it, mainly because it was something different than Lone Star Beer. (I had lots of Heineken beer on that trip, by the way).

Oh, and this was 1975 Manhattan; back in the day before Times Square was all sterile and Disney-fied. It was gritty, grungy, full of sleaze, and XXX-this-n-that, just like God intended.

I remember that the subway was 55 cents in New York back then. The subway in D.C. wasn’t even built yet.

One high school girl from a nearby school (Port Lavaca) had sort of crush on me and kept wanting to do naughty things with me on the bus. Like kissing, for crying out loud!

Aside from Jackie-from-Port-Lavaca-with-the-crowbar tongue, it was an incredible experience. That trip definitely had to be the best time I’ve ever had.

Upon arriving back to my little-bitty home town, I went back to work, slaving away at the Dairy Queen.

Only this time, I was saving up to go again the next year. . .

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Autumn has finally arrived.

It was late getting here, but it finally made it.

This morning was overcast and there was a definite chill in the air. People on their way to work had donned overcoats for the first time. I call it “pumpkin weather.”

You may recall that there’s a farmers market every Tuesday in the plaza where I work. The recent change from summer to autumn was reflected in the produce today.

Gone were the ears of fresh corn. Acorn squash had replaced the zucchini. A few remnants of late-harvest tomatoes had managed to limp their way in.

That may sound a little sad, but during autumn comes the glories of fresh apples Lots of them.

Apples. Manzanas. Pommes. Äpfel. яблоки

Having grown up in South Texas, I had never been around apples fresh from the orchard. If you’ve never had, say, a Cortland apple fresh off the tree, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Eve definitely knew a good thing when she disobeyed God’s command.

With the arrival of autumn, various squashes are happy to make an appearance.

Along with the cruciferous Brussels sprouts and cabbage sprouts (a favorite of mine)

And a variety of sweet potatoes (I’ll pass, thank you)

The peppers and eggplants are still around, looking ever so tasty.

Apparently, we are blessed with an abundance of apple orchards in nearby Indiana and Michigan which produce an amazing variety of apples. Most of these are not cultivated for mass transport, so you’ll never see them in your average mega-market thousands of miles away.

This morning, I counted 34 different varieties of apples.

Amazing. Simply amazing. . . .

. . . . I want pie.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Palin-Putin Air Space

"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. . . . "

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Pretty Pictures of Food

One of the many things I love about Chicago is that you can find just about any type of food you want. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve enjoyed foods from different places. A lot.

I think that’s because there was no foreign food available in my little-bitty hometown in Texas; that is, unless you count a “parfait” at the local Dairy Queen as French cuisine. There was one Chinese restaurant in the next little-bit-bigger town, but that was about it.

In Chicago, there’s an Indian section of town chocked full of Indian, Pakistani and Kashmiri restaurants. Even the main street through that section of town (Devon Ave.) is somehow always clogged with traffic, reminiscent of inner-Calcutta.

So, on Saturday morning, my friend Jack called and woke me up at the crack of dawn (9:00 am) asking if I wanted to join him and Steve at one of our favorite Indian places, a restaurant called Tiffin.

Tiffin features a gorgeous lunch buffet on weekends. I’d never pass that up. The idea of going there for lunch roused me pretty easily.

And, of course, I took photos:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Crop Circles in America

It looks like those UFOs that make the crop circles are into American politics now.



I love shopping online. I really do.

You just click-click-click and they send stuff to you. That’s great for us urban dwellers who don’t own cars.

Whenever I have to pay shipping fees, like $9.95, I just chalk that up to transportation expense. After all, how does $9.95 compare to a car payment, insurance, and gasoline? Parking, alone, where I live is over $200 a month.

Woot.com is really fun. Every day, they have one nifty electronic product on sale. Only one. Sometimes, it’s a really good buy; other days, not so much. The great thing about Woot is that you can read the buyers’ comments right there on the home page.

The other day, Woot had these 16-GB flash drives on sale for $19.99. The comments were great. Everyone loved them.

Unfortunately, it was such a good buy that Woot was sold out of them by 10 am that day. If it's a really hot product, you have to act fast.

Today’s product is a “Scooba” floor-cleaning robot. It’s like a Roomba robot-vacuum, only the Scooba washes, scrubs, and dries your floor.

I thought this little robot-slave would be a great thing for me to have. I have marble floors in my trapezoid-shaped hallway and kitchen. They look really nice but I constantly have to clean them to keep them looking that way.

A robot would be great. Besides, it was cute.

Fortunately, I read the comments. They went something like, “It kept leaving puddles and I had to chase it around with a towel.” . . .

And, “It died after only six months.”

And, “It died after only six months.”

And, “It died after only six months.”

Sometimes, I open the door to my balcony to get some fresh air. I could just see the Scooba scooting out the door and hurdling itself 500 feet down in a kamikaze dive to the pedestrians below.

So, I did not order a Scooba even though it was blue and pretty cute (My main criteria for item selections).


Thursday, September 25, 2008

These Kids Nowadays

Here’s a story about an eighth-grade boy who was told by school officials that he couldn’t wear make-up to school.

The kid’s mom is crying ‘discrimination’ and vows to fight the ruling.


These kids nowadays. Good lord. . .

When I was his age, boys couldn’t even wear hair on their heads where I went to school. Well, just a little, but it couldn’t touch the ears or the collar - - and this was in the 70s!

Girls couldn’t even wear jeans to school until my sophomore year. Can you believe that? Polyester pant-suits, but not jeans.

God, we were ugly back then.

As far as the case with this boy, I don’t see it as a discrimination case at all.
Because if I had a daughter in the 8th grade, and she wore makeup like this to school, she'd be grounded until she was 28, maybe 29 years old.

Girls this age should not be wearing make-up to school.

Well, maybe a little blush and some lip gloss on a special occasion, but that’s as far as it should go.

The Monetary Crisis

As I watched the president give his speech last night regarding the monetary crisis, a very keen insight came to me.

I thought, “Hey, I’ve got six ears of corn from the farmer’s market in the fridge that need to get used. I’m going to make a big pot of corn chowder.”

I also had four red bell peppers and some leeks, also from the farmer’s market.

I’m so glad that the president’s speech made me think of that. So very often, I buy all these healthy, organic veggies and they end up turning to goo in the vegetable bin.

So, I put a big pot of water on to cook the corn. This wasn’t any old corn, either. It was a special Japanese variety that is noted for its sweetness and the ears are huge. Meanwhile, I chopped the red peppers, the leeks and began sautéing them in oil in a Dutch oven.

In another pot, I brought a quart of chicken stock to boil (thanks to Knorr’s chicken bullion).

When the leeks and peppers were softened, I drained the corn and sliced it off the cobs. I added cumin, garlic and red pepper flakes to the onions along with some flour to make a roux.

I whisked in the chicken stock, added the corn, and some half-and-half.

By that time, the president and commentaries were over with. I had a big bowl of corn chowder while I watched Judge Judy that my Tivo had recorded for me. It was utterly delicious.

By the way, if Judge Judy ran for president, I would so totally vote for her.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Smart Cards

Recently, I was heading into the subway station, whipped out my wallet where I keep my CTA smart-card, waved it across the panel, headed through the turnstile and . . . BAM!

The turnstile wouldn’t let me through.

So, I waved the card again, and still nothing.

It said my card was expired.

What??? I’ve had this card for about four years. It automatically charges my credit card and re-loads itself whenever it gets low on funds. But the thing said my card was expired.

Rats. I was a bit flummoxed because I’ve been so used to just waving the card across the panel and scooting right through. I even keep the card in just the right place in my wallet so that the panel can read it through the leather and I don't have to remove it.

I felt like I had been banned from the subway.

I had to go to one of the machines and use cash - - - like an animal! It was horrible.

I made a mental note to check it out when I got home.

And, of course, I forgot to do that. I realized that when, a few days later, I went BAM against the turnstile.


I went online to update my information, thinking that the expiration date on my credit card had expired at some point.

A few days later I went BAM against the turnstile again.

So, I had to call CTA’s quick and efficient customer service line. You can imagine how long the ‘hold’ time was to a public transportation system. There were probably people using telegraphs ahead of me trying to reach a CTA representative.

Finally, I got through. Are you ready for this? It turns out that the smart-cards expire after four years. Prior to their expiration, CTA mails a form for you to fill out which I never got because I had moved three years ago.

So, now I’m waiting for my new smart-card.

And waiting for the bruises across my waist to heal.


I was flipping around on TV the other day and came across a fashion show.

As I watched the models slink and skulk down the runway in these really strange outfits, the creative side of my brain thought for a split second, “Oh, that’s . . . creative.”

Then the Main Part of my brain took over and thought, “That’s just . . . stupid.”

First of all, why do these models look so pissed off? You never see any of them smile one bit. It’s as if their teacher in modeling school told them, “Always look like you were just forced to eat weasel droppings and you’ll do fine."

But my biggest question is, “Do people actually wear this stuff?” Most of these high-fashion outfits are just the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.

I’ve never seen anyone wearing these monstrosities. Sure, it’s not like I continually hang out in model-ey type of places in New York, but while living there I never saw anyone sporting these things.

You never see any movie stars wearing these ludicrous dresses on the red carpet during the Academy Awards. Can you see Meryl Streep wearing something like this?

If she did, the press would have a field day.

Here’s what I propose. . .

If any designer wants his or her creations to appear in a fashion show, that outfit must first be worn by their mothers - - - out to dinner.

And I’m not talking about a five-star restaurant in Milan or Paris.

I’m talking Applebee’s.

In Peoria.

After their moms do that, then, and only then, will their creation be revealed to the exciting world of fashion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wild Saturday Nights

Today, I saw that one of my favorite comedians, Mike Birbiglia, is coming to Chicago.
I really like his stuff and was excited over the possibility of seeing him live, in person.

(A link to his blog is down on the right, titled “Mike Birbiglia’s Secret Public Journal).

Now, my days of going out on a Saturday night to a comedy club are few and far between these days. Quite frankly, my days of going anywhere in general are getting pretty sporadic.

Grocery shopping seems to be a major effort. I keep fighting the temptation to just have Pea Pod deliver everything.

But when I saw that one of my favorite comedians was coming to town, you’d think that the first thing I’d do would be to leap online and buy tickets. . .

. . . But no. . . The first thing I did was to leap online to see if the theatre was conveniently located. The location would be the deciding factor.

Oh, that is so sad!

It didn’t matter anyway. He’s only going to be here on October 4, and I’ll be jaunting off to Seattle to see Lorraine and family that weekend.

Maybe I’m not over the hill after all. . .


Coney Island, R.I.P

On Sunday, September 21, Coney Island’s amusement park closed down forever. The rides stopped, the lights dimmed and the music died.

To me, that’s a really sad event. Just about the only amusement parks left are the glitzy Six Flags conglomerate parks that cost an arm-and-a-leg to attend.

Really, I don’t know how a family of four can afford those places. The Six Flags near Chicago is now a whopping $54.95 for a one-day admittance. You’d need to be a Wall Street CEO with a golden umbrella to get in there these days.

Also, the Six Flags parks are so far out of town to get to. The one near Chicago is forty miles away from the city. If you’re taking public transportation, that would involve a bus, a subway, a commuter train, and another bus to get to. By that time, the park is closed.

If you drive, parking is twenty bucks.

Then there are the lines! Oh my gosh, the lines! Get in line for a major ride and you’ll notice Cro-Magnons near the front of it. On a crowded day, you’ll be lucky to get on five attractions during a day. You’ll also spend at least thirty bucks on food and drink.

Adding all that up, you’re plunking down about twenty bucks per ride. Not to mention the emergency room fee for dehydration, sunburn and a requisite Valium drip.

It wasn’t like this at Coney Island. (I sound like an old fuddy-duddy)

From anywhere in Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, or Brooklyn, you could hop on the subway (the D, F, or Q lines) and they all ended up at Coney Island. There was no entrance fee.

You could pay three bucks and ride the world famous Cyclone roller coaster.

Constructed in 1926 before insurance companies mandated lots of superfluous “safety features”, it had these incredibly steep drops and wild turns that you just don’t see on coasters these days. It didn't have these over-the-shoulder harnesses; just a simple lap bar with the padding held in place by lots of duct tape.

If you wanted to ride again, you simply held out two bucks to the guy operating the ride and he’d just let you stay on for another round. It was all very “New York”.

Afterward, if your tummy was up to it, you could munch down on an honest-to-goodness Coney Island hot dog from the original Nathan’s. I doubt that the grill had been cleaned since 1905 and that’s probably what made them taste so good.

When I lived in New York, I’d often just hop on the subway, take a few spins on the Cyclone, walk along the boardwalk and head home.

See how happy I was?

A more enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon, I cannot imagine.

Even if I didn’t spend an afternoon that way, it was always nice to know it was just a grungy subway ride away.

Now it will all be closed down. The Cyclone roller coaster will still be there, thanks to the fact that it’s been made into a national landmark.

But all the other attractions like the freak shows, the other old rides they don’t make anymore and Nathan’s hot dog stand will all be developed into condominiums.

The nearest Six Flags is in New Jersey.

Shame on them.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

"A heck of a job, Brownie. . . '

Oh, get this.

Today, President Bush advised that the $700 billion bailout be passed quickly and NOT include any caps on executive compensation. According to ABC news:

President Bush added his voice to the urgency of the legislation today and urged Congress to quickly pass the measure and to drop its plans for amendments, saying their demands would "undermine the effectiveness of the plan."

"Indeed, the whole world is watching to see if we can act quickly to shore up our markets," Bush said.

The White House later issued a statement urging Congress to not insist on a cap for executive compensation.

"We need these firms to participate in the program and sell us this debt. Having punitive measures would provide a disincentive for firms to participate, and that would make the program much less likely to succeed," the White House said.

No caps on executive compensation??? These executives are ultimately responsible for the debacle. This fiasco is the epitome of corporate greed and Bush says there should be no limit on their compensation?

Most of these CEOs will get a nifty multi-million dollar severance package and a pat on the back reminiscent of “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie.”

If anything, the profits that these executives have earned for the past eight years should be taken away and placed toward that $700 billion dollar balance. Real-estate included.

Then, they should be forced to live in public housing for the next eight years.

Oh wait. There are no funds for social programs. I forgot about that.

Smart Car

This little guy has been parked near my workplace for the past couple of afternoons.

These little Smart Cars have got to be the cutest things ever.

When I see it, I just want to give it a hug.


My Crazy Neighbor

In my previous post, I posted a picture of my screaming yellow kitchen. That photo was taken after I had removed everything from the countertops, drawers, cabinets, scrubbed it down and replaced everything.

Normally, I’m not that fastidious with cleaning my apartment, but in this case, I had to remove everything from the countertops, drawers, and cabinets because I had some major repair work done in the kitchen.

For the past few months, I kept smelling cigarette smoke in my apartment. Sometimes, it would be so bad that my eyes would itch and it would make me nauseous.

I began keeping a log of it and notifying the maintenance department in the building. Strangely enough, it would only occur during most of the weekends.

It turns out that my neighbor is this crazy, middle-aged woman who goes on these smoking binges during the weekends. I can honestly make that claim because I’ve had maintenance up to my apartment and they determined that the smoke is coming through our common wall where the plumbing connects.

In turn, the maintenance department contacted the condo association who wrote to the my crazy, middle aged neighbor and requested that she do something about sealing her wall where our plumbing connects.

She got mad at me and has knocked on my door three times in the past few months, ranting and raving.

First, she wanted to know why I was blaming her for the cigarette smoke.

“I’m not,” replied I. “The maintenance guys said it was coming from your apartment.”

Then she wanted to know why I didn’t call maintenance when her ex-boyfriend was trying to break down her door late one night.

(“What the hell?” I thought)

I replied, “Why are you associating with people who have a proclivity for breaking down doors?”

However, I don’t think this woman has the capacity to understand words like “proclivity.”
Or “people” for that matter.

Anyway, each time she has lit into me, I end up saying, “Listen, if you have a problem with me, take it up with management.”

During our last encounter when she cornered me in the elevator, I finally had to say, “Look! I don’t want you talking to me! Do you understand? That’s it!”

I’ve been documenting these encounters in writing with the building management. They’ve told me that they’ve had problems with her for years.

If any of you could see this woman, you’d know what I mean. She looks like she had been a waitress on an offshore oil rig - - one that was fired years ago for being crazy and irrational.

Anyway, I finally got my landlord to have the counters and cabinets removed so that the wall can be sealed off.

He had previously bought and expensive air purifier for me but that didn’t work.
Lots of citations to my crazy neighbor worked for a little while, but she’s started up again.

So, here is my little yellow kitchen last week. They plugged up four big holes with that sealant foam stuff and so far, so good.
Oh, and the crazy neighbor has left me alone for over a month now. I won't say her name because that would be indescreet.

It's Joanne.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Kitchen

Here is a photo of my kitchen.

Yes, it's yellow.

I love to cook and I really love my kitchen.

Yes, it is tiny.

And, you're vision is not deceiving you;
It has yellow metal cabinets.

But I love my kitchen.

See that harvest gold Trimline phone hanging on the wall?

It’s 46 years old, has a rotary dial and it still works perfectly. Whenever my radar-operated, push-button, Vonage-phone-thing- dies, that old rotary Trimline is always there and ready to let me holler on a line when I need to.

Whenever I REALLY want to call Miss Healthypants, I know I can 'crank that number' when necessary.

Can't you just hear that dial?

It’s also connected to the doorman downstairs.

See those yellow metal cabinets?

Why would you ever need to replace them?

Yes, they’re ugly;
yes, they’re horrible;
but, my god, they are entertaining!

Every time I walk into that kitchen, I am struck with what “The Modern 60s” tried to do.

I love knowing that those designers failed so horribly to make kitchens colorful and functional back when I watched Mary Tyler Moore make a life for herself in Minneapolis on TV.

Every time I walk into my little kitchen, I'm reminded of that.

Whenever I prepare a meal in this screaming yellow kitchen, I connect with some obscure Scandinavian designer who has probably long since passed; perhaps it was some interior decorator from Mölndal who was a failure back in 1955.

My kitchen connects with them. I like knowing that!

The other thing I like about my kitchen is that it sits 49 floors above the Chicago River; five hundred feed above prime real estate.

My dinky apartment may be only 560 square feet (plus a 160 square foot circular balcony); However, I locked into a long-term lease four years ago.

The Trump Tower just opened up across the street with condos averaging $1,200 per square foot.. . . . That’s forty-rectillion Euros per square liter to foreign investors!

. . . I’d love to think what a sublet on this place would bring . . .

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my little yellow kitchen.

I also like my living room. One whole wall is glass.

Here’s a happy snap of the view.

That’s my big honkin' foot at the end of the sofa.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Adam & Steve

Christian World Rocked by Archaeological Discovery

TEL AVIV – Conservative Christian groups around the world have been thrown into a state of disarray after texts from the newly-discovered “Apocrypha of Genesis” were released to the religious press today.

Rabbi Emmanuel Weinberg of the Biblical Archaeological Museum in Tel Aviv explained that the texts comprising 107 papyrus scrolls were accidentally located in an ancient sewage drain near the Sea of Galilee.

“This discovery probably constitutes the most significant archaeological find in all of recorded history," reported Dr. Weinberg.

The texts were reportedly stumbled across by a wayward member of a Holy Land tour group led by the Christian evangelist, Kirk Cameron.

Weinberg explained that the texts are a first-person account of the Genesis story, apparently authored by Enoch, the son of Cain and grandson of Adam.

“Radiocarbon dating of the texts confirms that they were written around 700 BCE which completely coincides with the date in which the Genesis texts were written,” said Weinberg. “It is truly a miraculous find, especially since the age of these texts confirms their authenticity.”

According to Enoch, the first person God created was not his grandfather, Adam, but was actually a lesser-known figure listed as “Stephan” סטפן. For some reason that is unclear, Stephan would have nothing to do with Eve once she was created as his companion. The texts read:

“And God saw that Stephan was lonely, and thus, created a woman with whom he could populate God’s good earth. But Stephan reviled the woman and longed to tend the garden and make it beautiful.”

Weinberg explained: “The word in the Hebrew text that was use to indicate 'beautiful' נפלא
is really difficult to translate. Since it indicates something with a bit of panache, the best English translation would be to use the word 'fabulous.'"

Enoch’s text continues the account which describes how Yahweh then created Adam for Eve and subsequently left Stephan to watch over the Garden of Eden.

“However, we find Adam continually preferring the company of Stephan ‘the Gardener’ which is often a source of great frustration to Eve,” explained Weinberg. “It is then that Eve confides in the serpent which is obviously a metaphor for the absence of Adam’s . . . um. . . affection.”

“What is most interesting is that as Adam and Stephan develop a close friendship, Adam soon begins using a shortened name for his friend, sort of a term of endearment. This name is written as סטיב which literally translates as ‘Steve.’”

Weinberg continues: “I hate to admit it, but I think many fundamentalist Christians owe a big apology to members of the gay community for their repeated slogans that “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.'"

“Our earliest and most authentic written records definitely indicate something quite different altogether.”

Reaction from conservative Christian organizations was immediate.

Dr. James Dobson of the right-wing evangelical organization, Focus on the Family, reported that the new Biblical revelations will be financially devastating to their organization:

“We have dozens of warehouses stocked full of bumper-stickers, buttons, and protest materials that read ‘God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.’ Ninety-five percent of our revenue was allocated toward the production of these materials, all of which has been rendered worthless by this revelation.”

Pat Robertson, founder of The 700 Club and the Christian Coalition was equally dismayed: “The Adam-and-Steve phrase has been the cornerstone of my ministry for decades and our primary justification against same-sex marriage! My followers are fervently praying to God the Almighty for another phrase to replace it as we speak.”

Dr. Daniel Henderson, a prominent sociologist with the University of Illinois in Chicago offered his insight.

“These rhyming slogans are typically utilized by segments of the population with impaired cognitive abilities and who are often unable to verbalize rational arguments by any other means. Frankly, I feel a little sorry for them now. It’s as if their entire identity has been removed in one fell swoop.”

Meanwhile, emergency room staff across the nation have reported a sudden increase in hand and wrist injuries resulting from thousands of gay men excessively high-fiving each other.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yellow Mountains

Yesterday, I was attending a work-related event and while I was supposed to be “networking”, I was captivated by this piece of artwork in the lobby.

I noted the artist's name and called my voice mail at work from my cell phone. That’s my mode of making notes of things. Otherwise, I’d completely forget. About everything.

So, I googled the artist and found her work online.


The work that caught my attention when I should have been “networking” is called Ripening Field and the artist is Sandi Dahl. Isn’t it pretty?

It reminded me of an event that occurred on the first day of school when I was in the 4th grade. I had just transferred to a different school and was the "new kid." The teacher, Mrs. Ullmann, instructed us to draw a picture of what we did over the summer break.

I got out my new pack of Crayola crayons and went to work on my masterpiece.

By the way, is there anything that smells more inviting than a new pack of Crayolas? I think not.

During that summer, my family had gone to the Hill Country of Texas to our favorite campground type place. I had climbed up to this hilltop and could see the undulating hills (which were sort-of mountains) for miles and miles. It was so pretty, especially compared to the flat coastal plains of my little-bitty home town.

I just sat there by myself for a long time and took it all in. To me, the mountains looked colorful.

So, for my assignment, I drew a picture showing lots of mountains and made each one a different color. And I threw in a big rainbow for added dramatic effect.

Mrs. Ullmann hung each of our works along the top of the blackboard when we were done. There were depictions of a kid fishing, a kid playing baseball, a kid eating watermelon and the like.

Well, she just poo-poo’d my piece of art, saying that mountains weren’t orange or red or blue or yellow. She also added that the assignment was to show what we did over the summer, not what we saw.

I felt my face burning with embarrassment. I was in a new school and now the teacher was dissing my work in front of the whole class.

I knew that mountains weren’t actually orange or blue or yellow, but that’s what my experience had evoked in me. Had I been a little older and smarter, I would have responded with, “Haven’t you heard of Impressionism, you cow??”

But I just sat there and tried not to cry in front of all the strange, new kids.

So, that’s why I was captivated by this piece of art yesterday. I knew exactly where this artist was coming from. I’ve known that since I was nine years old.

I’d really like to buy this work, but a print of it is seven hundred bucks. That’s a pretty good chunk of money to spend on myself.

However, I think that nine-year old kid who was humiliated on the first day of school for drawing yellow mountains would just love it.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This is Brilliant

You've got to watch this "news report" from my favorite news source, The Onion.

It is absolutely brilliant.

Click here.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Don't Want to Live Here

OOOoooo. Here’s a strange new condo building going up in Manhattan, designed by the Swiss firm that built the Olympic stadium in Beijing.

Each of these condos are all glass and some even have glass floors like the CN Tower in Toronto.

Here’s the glass floor on the CN Tower in Toronto. It’s very scary. I’ve been on it and I didn’t like it. (See how small that school bus is down there just to the right of the foot?)

This building reminds me of that game we used to play as kids. You know the one I’m talking about; where you build the wooden tower out of pegs and pull them out one by one.

What was that called?

Oh yeah! It's called Jenga! By Hasbro.

Anyway, that’s what this building reminds me of.

And who is going to clean all the bird poop off all this glass?


My brother is an engineering manager with a large cell phone company in Texas. He and lots of staff and big 18-wheelers were called out to provide emergency services in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

He sent these photos yesterday of damaged cell towers.

Boats being hurled into cell phone towers are not good for them.
Hurricane-force winds are not conducive to cell phone towers remaining upright.

Remember when we all got our first cell phone “for emergency purposes only?”

Now, we cannot imagine living without them. I sure feel for all the folks in southeast Texas. It’s really horrible down there.


Monday, September 15, 2008

News from the Elevator

The high-tech elevators in the building where I work have these small TV screens that display interesting little news blurbs. It gives you something to do while you’re ascending to the 83rd floor, thus alleviating that horrible quandary of where to look while you’re in a crowded elevator.

Today’s blurb was about a 33 year old mother who posed as her 15 year old daughter. Apparently, the mother stole the daughter’s identity so that she could capture her lost childhood and be a high school cheerleader.

"The defendant stated she wanted to get her high school degree and be a cheerleader because she had no childhood and was trying to regain a part of her life she missed," according to the complaint. She allegedly attended cheerleading practices before school started, received a cheerleader's locker and went to a pool party at the cheerleading coach's house.

Now, isn’t that just the saddest thing you’ve ever heard? What’s really pathetic is that high school cheerleading has been elevated to such a level that a 33 year old mom would commit felonious activities in order be a cheerleader.

That tells you a lot about what’s wrong with our public school system and where priorities lie.

I doubt you’d ever hear about someone doing this in order to be on the honor roll.

I, too, have regrets over things I didn't do in high school. I have often regretted that I never learned to play the cello. If I had the chance to return to high school, it would be to play the cello.

Now, that’s really pathetic.

I Love This. . .

Whatever your views are regarding Sarah Palin, you've gotta admire Tina Fey's impersonation of her on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. I thought for a moment that it actually WAS Sarah Palin.

She nailed it.

I did have a Youtube video, but it looks like NBC took it away from Youtube. (Thanks to Barb for noticing)

So, click here instead

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike

I just got up at 6:00 am on Saturday morning to check on Hurricane Ike and its impact on my folks in Texas.

It looks like they have been spared any nasty bits of this storm. Here is the Houston radar right now. It looks like Ike is smashing into Houston awfully hard. I would SO not want to be in downtown Houston right now.
See Victoria down there to the southwest? That's where my folks are.
They really were spared the brunt of the storm even though it looked pretty bad for them a couple of days ago.

I remained in constant phone contact with Mom and Dad. They are probably relieved that Ike bypassed them just so I would stop bugging them:

Bottom line: I'm really glad the hurricane bypassed my loved ones and that none of them had to deal with the ordeal of evacuating. Two days ago, it looked like they were facing a direct hit.

Evacuating for a hurricane is traumatic in itself.
All the highways are inundated and you never know when you're going to be faced with a five-hour roadblock, or worse.

You never know when or if you'll be able to fill up your car with gas.

I cannot imagine the trauma of doing this with little ones and/or pets.

Here's what really makes me angry. . .

These news reporters who plant themselves on beaches just before the hurricane arrives. They stand there in hurricane-force winds with torrential seas billowing against them and scream into the microphone to Anderson Cooper:

"Anderson, there are still residents who refuse to leave Galveston even though authorities have issued mandatory evacuation warnings!! These residents are taking their lives into their own hands!!! Anderson? Can you hear me??

And I want to scream: "Why the hell don't you set an example, you stupid idiot?"
Wouldn't they be a better reporter and set an example by reporting this from a safe distance?

Wouldn't it be more beneficial if they were in, say, Abilene Texas?

But no. They all want to get that "money shot" of reporting in the midst of a category 5 hurricane. . . All for money. . .

I'd much rather hear a reporter say,

"Anderson, the Texas coast is about to be totally annihilated so we heeded local warnings and remained an incredibly safe distance from certain disaster. . .All is well here. . . Back to you from Des Moines South Dakota! "

That's the kind of hurricane weather reporting we ought to be hearing!

In the meantime, send lots of emails to Anderson Cooper telling him to put a stop to all this nonsense.

Tell him I said so.

He can call me to verify that.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

A Very Sweet Story About a Reunion

When I was a freshman in college in the late 70s, I answered an ad on the bulletin board in the music department for a songwriter to put music to poetry. I called and met the young woman who was also a freshman and majoring in journalism. (The story continues below)

She wanted me to write some music to her poetry and we started in on the project, convinced we were on our way to being hit songwriters. She was also president of Helen Reddy’s fan club, so we were convinced that we had an ‘in’ on The Industry.

We were both newbies in the “coming out” process and quickly became close friends. We also wrote a really horrible song about it:

“Sit back, relax, take you shoes off for a while
Make yourself as comfy as you can
I want you to know just exactly how I feel
I want you to see me as I am. . .”

Okay, I’ll stop. I told you it was horrible.

Anyway, our friendship survived the Horrible Song and we became ‘soulmates’ which was a very late-70s sort of thing to do. She met my family, we went out to lesbian bars together and she tried to get me to like Helen Reddy. (I feigned some admiration).

Anyway, over the summer of ‘79, Eileen went to Alaska to visit her brother and didn’t return for the Fall semester. She ended up transferring to the university up there and we lost touch somehow.

I had heard that she enrolled in the University of Alaska which I assumed was in Anchorage. I tried hunting her down there to no avail.

Then, one night as I was delivering pizza for Domino’s in my little-bitty 1976 Honda Civic, I just happened to be listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 radio program.

Remember that program?

During that weekly program, he always did this segment where one person would give a long-distance dedication to another. Kasem would relay the story about how they met, how they moved apart and then he’d announce, “So this dedication is from so-and-so to so-and-so” . . . and he’d play the song that so-and-so dedicated to so-and-so.”

You know where this is headed, right?

I was driving around campus in my little-bitty car, dressed in my dorky polyester Domino’s shirt and baseball cap when Kasem began to relay a pretty familiar story. . . . I was a little stunned; downshifted into second gear, and pulled over.

I remember it so well. It was raining really hard that night and I had a backseat full of pizza. He said, “. . . So this is from Eileen in Fairbanks Alaska to Buck in San Marcos Texas.

The song that was dedicated was Helen Reddy’s You and Me Against the World. It was right then that I knew it was my Eileen.

What was better was that Kasem mentioned that Eileen was in Fairbanks, (not Anchorage). I got on the phone that night and found her dorm on campus way up there in Fairbanks.

She was so surprised to hear from me because the radio show was always broadcast a week later in Alaska and didn’t even know it had already run in the “lower 48”.

We made our connection because of that radio show. We’re still in touch to this day. She moved back to Texas and we became roommates in a really crappy apartment during our senior year. Whenever we visit, we often talk about that night we were reunited on national radio.

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News Bombshell

Remember how I like to sleep with CNN on all night? And remember how I enjoy the dreams it produces all night long?

You don’t remember that? Well, I just told you about it a couple of days ago.

Anyway! Last night was a real doozy.

Wait, let me backtrack thirty years. . . .

Remember my previous story about meeting Eileen in college and writing the Horrible Folk Song about coming out?

“Sit back, relax, take you shoes off for a while
Make yourself as comfy as you can . . . "

Okay, you remember the rest. Please see above for details.

Anyway, Eileen and I became really close friends for a couple of years and then she transferred to the University of Alaska in Fairbanks because that’s where her brother lived.

We stayed in touch, wrote lots of letters, made lots of very expensive phone calls at 40 cents per minute that my dad paid for, and we’re still in touch to this day.

We email now. And complain about how messed we were in the 70s.
It's cheaper.

I was recalling all this in my dreams last night as Anderson Cooper was lulling me in and out of sleep. There was, no doubt, some coverage about Sarah Palin caused me to dream about Eileen in Alaska.

Then, in my semi-conscious state, I remembered a particular detail that Eileen had told me about way back then when she was in Alaska. You know how when you’re half asleep, you can remember details long forgotten? Like how nutmeg smells like your grandmother's violin case when you were nine?

I remembered that when Eileen was a senior, she fell head-over-heels over this freshman on the women’s basketball team whose name was Sarah. I got SO tired about hearing about Sarah. Sarah this, and Sarah that. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. Eileen could never stop talking about this “baby-dyke” who was so cute and who was just coming out, etc.

Then I remembered that they both joined the gay & lesbian organization which had just formed on campus. I also remembered that I had kept most of Eileen’s letters from her sojourn in Alaska.

Well, I got up to pee and couldn’t go back to sleep.

I kept thinking about those years that Eileen was in Alaska so I retrieved the box where I kept those letters and began going through them. (It smelled like a mixture of 1982 cardboard and Ralph Lauren Polo cologne for some reason - - God, who couldn't but love that smell!)

I got quite a few laughs as I read through those letters from so many years ago. There was the record-breaking winter of '79 when it got down to minus 56 in Fairbanks.
She had a Dodge Dart that exploded one winter when she forgot to plug in the space heater.
I wired her $200 bucks for a plane fare to come to Texas. And then I showed up at the Austin airport so high on . . .something.

God, we were young!

I came across one of particular interest. Eileen and Sarah had just joined the gay & lesbian organization on campus and Eileen had sent the program to me. It was dated September of 1982.

There at the bottom of the program was the list of four names of those who were new members. There was Eileen and at the bottom of the list was Sarah.

Here's a closer look at the list of new members:

Sarah Heath.

Sarah Heath.



I hopped on to Wikipedia.

Holy cow!! That’s Sarah Palin’s maiden name!!

Let me see, Sarah Palin is 44 years old, so that would have made her eighteen years old in 1982. A freshman. In Alaska. On the women’s basketball team. And a baby-dyke.

A cold chill ran down my spine. Have I got a ticking time bomb here in my hands? Could I be holding the evidence in my hands that would cause McCain’s sure defeat?

Most of all, would I become famous??

I was SO excited. I was going to be famous. Who should I notify about this? How does one go about notifying the press?

Most of all, would I get to meet Anderson Cooper?

Then, as always, that’s right when you wake up from a really good dream.

See? Sleeping to CNN not only causes entertaining dreams, but it causes you to dream about dreaming and waking up from entertaining dreams as well.

And I was SO looking forward to meeting Anderson.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The AIDS Marathon

Quite often, when I’m on the subway I’ll notice the advertisements that line the inside of the passenger compartments. Some can be entertaining to read, others not so much.

Lately, there has been an advertisement for an AIDS Marathon, invoking riders to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This year, it’s being held in Hawaii.

When I saw that, I thought, “An AIDS marathon. They still do that?”

I noticed the photo on the advertisement, showing a young woman running in ecstasy across the beautiful Hawaiian landscape.
I was bored on the train, so my mind got to playing a scenario about this photo.

I pictured a couple of guys, monitoring the marathon. They’re up on a mountain top where they can see most of the route and they’re looking through binoculars.

Here’s their dialogue:

“Okay, I finally see a runner.”

“Where? I don’t see anything.”

“Down there. Just coming around the bend.”

“There’s only one?”

“Ummmm. Yeah. I don’t see any others.”

“I’m surprised anyone actually entered this thing. An AIDS marathon is so Last Century.”

“You got that right. But this chick seems to be having a good time.”

“What’s she doing?”

“Just running and smiling really big. Every once and a while she throws her arms up in the air.”

“Doesn’t she know she’s the only runner?”

“I guess not. She’s really into this thing.”

[sips the last of his Starbuck’s mochaccino through a straw]

“You see any other runners?”

“Nope. Just the one.”

“What’s she doing now?”

“Still smiling and throwing her arms up in the air.”

“Let’s call it a day. I'm sure she'll be okay."

“Sounds good to me.”


Yeah, I know that’s tacky, but that’s how my mind works when I’m bored.


Here’s a nifty website for you that my dad turned me on to.

It’s called woot.com. Each day, Woot has one electronic item for sale at a really low price. Their advertising for this item is especially clever and entertaining enough to read on its own.

Some items are a really good buy. My dad recently got a nifty mp3 player for about nineteen bucks and he says it works really well.

Another nice thing is that purchasers of this product can leave their reviews which are readily available on the home page under "discuss this product."

Sometimes, a product will be a piece of crap and, quite often, the reviewers will say so. (You'll often read, “This is a piece of carp.” I don’t know why many things are compared to a fish, but there you go.)

If the product is really nifty and a good buy, Woot will be sold out of it later in the day.

I look at it every day. Like I said, the site itself is entertaining enough.

You never know when you’ll need a piece of carp.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Obsession With Phones

I have found the ULTIMATE in a retro telephone.

This one is called the Ericofon and it was designed by a Swedish guy named Ericsson. It was initially produced in 1954 and was the first phone to have an all-in-on design; a dial in the handset.

I found one in aqua on eBay. Doesn’t it look like the ultimate in 1950s modern-Scandinavian design? I’ve just gotta have it. It will be an incredible addition to my retro phone collection.

Here’s how it works. See that red button in the middle of the dial. That’s what connects the call and hangs it up. When it rings, you pick it up and you’re connected. When you set it down, the red button disconnects the call. Boink.

Those Swedes; Ever so clever.

I remember when I got obsessed with phones similar to this one. Growing up in my little-bitty home town in Texas, we only had your standard desk model dial phones. Touch-tone phones were available in big cities, but not where we lived.

As a matter of fact, I can recall dialing only three numbers for a local call. They changed that to five numbers in the mid 60s.

One day when I was about 13 years old, I was at a friend’s house whose mother used a wheelchair. It tutrned out that they had a Trimline wall phone which was more accessible for her to use; the one with the dial in the receiver. It was beige.

I was amazed! I had no idea such things existed. It looked so sleek and modern.

I had to have one!

Back then, you couldn’t buy phones like you do nowadays. They could only be supplied by the local phone company.

I called the phone company to find out how much it would be. It turned out that the phone company charged you one dollar a month for a standard desk phone, $1.50 for a Princess phone (yuck!) and a whopping $1.75 per month for a Trimline. There was also an installation fee.

Mom said it was silly to pay extra for a phone. I begged and pleaded to have our extension phone changed to a Trimline. I was completely obsessed with that phone!

I offered to pay for it myself out of my piddly earnings. (I earned a dollar a day for working after school at my grandmother’s dry cleaning shop).

Finally, after months of begging and pestering and being a major pain in the ass, mom gave in. I felt so triumphant when I got to call the phone company and order a Trimline phone. I ordered a red one for the wall.

I remember the day the phone man was to come and install the phone. He was scheduled to install it while I was at school that day. I remember it like it was yesterday. I couldn't wait to get home!

I rushed home from school, tore through the house and burst into the room where the extension phone was.

And there it was!

I remember a flash of heat going down my spine the instant I saw it. Choirs of angels could be heard in the distance. My knees felt weak. . .

. . . And I began to cry.

I was just so happy and excited over this phone that my 14-year-old self just couldn’t handle it.

I studied every detail of that phone: The mechanism of the dial; the way the dial would light up; even the way it sounded when you hung it up. I cradled it and breathed in the smell of new plastic. I had my Trimline phone at last!

It wasn’t until 1983 that my little-bitty home town got touch-tone phone service. We got one for my grandmother’s bedroom as an extension phone. Upon pressing the buttons to make a call, she laughed and said, “I just don’t feel like I’m doing enough!”

Today, I have two Trimline rotary dial phones in my apartment; a yellow one on the wall in my kitchen and a blue one on my coffee table.

To this day, whenever I use them I still get a thrill, remembering what it was like as a 14 year old boy who lost it and cried over a phone.

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Big Red Ball

This morning on the way to work, I noticed something very strange.

There was this big red inflatable ball wedged up under the canopy of the Christian Science church. It looked like one of those exercise balls, only this one was huge.

I’m glad I keep my camera in my back pack, because you never know when you’re going to come across big red balls wedged up under Christian Science churches.

I began to wonder how it got there. Was it some errant ball that got away and jammed itself there? After all, a Christian Science church would seem to be a very strange place to deliberately place a big red ball. It even goes against their doctrine of “spirit having true reality and physical matter being ‘error’”.

It really perplexed me. So, I did some highly investigative research on the subject - - I googled “Seventeenth Church of Christ Scientist Chicago” and clicked on “news”.

Lo and behold, the big red ball was placed there on purpose.

It’s a public art project called the Red Ball Project and it’s supposed to cause pedestrians to stop and think. (Pretty effective, I’d say. I rarely do that.) It will be traveling from city to city and will be in about ten different locations in Chicago.

Target is the corporate sponsor of the Red Ball Project in Chicago.

Still, I don’t think the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, would be pleased that Target sponsored a big red ball being wedged up under one of her churches.

They'll burn for it, mark my words.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Cone of Uncertainty

I’m watching Hurricane Ike very closely because it seems to be headed right to where my folks live in Texas.

NOAA provides updates on the “cone of uncertainty” every two hours.

My mom lives about 30 miles inland from the Texas gulf coast; my dad and stepmother, about 60 miles inland.

Yesterday’s prediction showed Ike slamming the Gulf Coast right where my mom lives. See that entry point on the coastline? That’s where she lives.

Earlier today, it looked like Ike was going for the border between Texas and Mexico. Then, they changed it. Now it’s back on course for where my family lives.

Hurricanes are really scary events for those of you who’ve yet to experience one. The actual event lasts so long, there’s so much rain, they often contain tornadoes, and there’s flooding. If you get through all that, then you’re faced with no electricity for days or even weeks.

My mom is the Queen of Hurricane Preparedness. She lives for this stuff. I imagine right now, she’s procured most of the batteries in town, getting prescriptions refilled, planning at least four escape routes, and has at least three weather-band radios squawking in the background.

It’s what she does. I grew up with it.

The worst was Hurricane Carla in 1961. It was a Category 5, the most destructive one God makes. My little bitty home town experienced 110 mph winds and lots of damage, although we had not moved there yet. My grandmother and other relatives were there, though.

I remember Hurricane Beulah in 1967 very well. The flooding was the worst part of that one. It flooded our garage where my beagle, Snoopy, was trapped. She ended up jumping through a window and severed a tendon in her leg, resulting in a lengthy stay at the doggy hospital away from me. It was heartbreaking.

Corpus Christi was pummeled with 180 mph winds by Hurricane Celia in 1970. We drove down there afterward to check on my great aunt, Bonnie, and had difficulty finding her. All the street signs and traffic lights were blown away. She was fine.
Houston received lots of damage from Hurricane Alicia in 1983. I was living near there at the time and we had a hurricane party.

Hurricane Claudette’s eye went right over my little bitty home town in 2003. My mom didn’t have electricity for two weeks. And it was only a Category 1.

So, I’m keeping a close eye on this one. The Texan in me still does that.

As Seen On TV. . .

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a strange way of sleeping at night. For years now, I’ve slept on the sofa, clothed, with the lights and TV on. Having suffered from insomnia in years past, finding a means of sleeping that works for me is quite a relief.

It may be unusual, but it works. I actually enjoy sleeping this way.

I usually leave the TV on to CNN for the night. Quite often, the news stories will work their way into my dreams which can be pretty entertaining.

Last night, my Tivo recorded something on a channel that had infomercials playing the rest of the night. If you’ve seen any of those infomercials, they’re highly influential. I have an automatic egg peeler to prove it, which by the way, was a total piece of crap.

So, the first infomercial was by this guy named Dave Espino who promised that if you buy his instructional material, you would make hundreds of thousands of dollars on eBay. Of course, you would make tons of money within the first day, you’d move into a mansion, everyone would love you and you’d end up with a sexy model on your arm as you gave lots of thumbs-up signs.

That infomercial really did a number on me as a drifted in and out of consciousness. I dreamt that I got all my friends to buy things on eBay, we all got huge checks in the mail and ended up living in a utopian society.

Get this. I almost ordered this stuff! I came so close to picking up the phone. (I wrote down the info instead and then went to pee).

I did some highly investigative research on this product this morning. (That is, I googled it along with the word “reviews”).

Are you ready for this?

It’s a huge rip-off! Imagine that. The material they send you is basically “eBay for Dummies.” Then a "coach" calls you and pressures you into becoming a super-buyer for $6,000 bucks. Several of the reviews were from people who actually fell for it and spent six thousand dollars. Plus shipping and handling.

I still wanted to buy and sell things on eBay, so I found a book on Amazon.com called "How to Buy, Sell and Profit on eBay."

Then I bought it on eBay for three bucks. Ha!

The next gizmo was a phone device called Magic Jack. It plugs into your USB port and allows you to plug a phone into that; your basic phone-by-internet, like Vonage. Only this one is so simple to use and only costs $19.95 per year for unlimited long distance. Again, you'd end up with a sexy model on your arm as well.

Again, I really wanted it while I was in my sleep stupor. What’s really bad is that I’ve had Vonage for a couple of years and hated it.

Again, I came close to ordering it, but wrote it down instead. And then I went to pee.

Are you ready for this?

It’s a huge rip-off! Imagine that. The phone only works if your computer is on. It only works if you don’t have any audio recording software on your computer. It only works if you hold your left foot six inches off the floor and if your moon is in your seventh house.

Also, the folks that ordered it were awfully pissed off that they were charged $137.95 for shipping and miscellaneous fees.

Bottom line. Don’t order anything from an infomercial. Like Judge Judy says, if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is.

The next infomercial was for a colon cleanser. . .

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Post

I'm posting on a Sunday!

Alert the media.

I think I'm getting old. I went to bed last night, on a Saturday, at 9:30 and woke up this morning at 6:15. Next thing you know, I'll be eating Metamucil before retiring to bed.

However, I got SO MUCH done today. Who knew Sundays were so long?

I got some music recorded and downloaded for a friend (you know who you are).

I checked out a hotel for my staff to stay in during a staff meeting next month. It checked out and I made reservations.

I returned a really bad wall hanging to Bed, Bath, and Beyond My Budget.

I got groceries.

I went to church. God was very surprised to see me there. (It was a Christian Science church, so it wasn't "god" God who saw me there. It was Mary Baker Eddy God).

And look at this lunch I made. I got all healthy and did a whole "raw food" meal.

Here are my stuffed peppers. You soak split peas in water, puree them with lime juice, a little sugar, and salt. Then stuff them inside sweet peppers. I had both red and yellow ones from the farmer's market. I also had some shredded carrots and shredded beets.
Isn't it pretty?

Then I made a slaw with cabbage, honey crisp apples, carrots and beets. The dressing was orange olive oil and tangerine balsamic vinegar.Now I'm watching Psycho on TV. Not the Anne Heche version, but the Alfred Hitchcock version like God intended.

And I want a cheeseburger, onion rings and a milkshake for dinner.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Palin's Catching On!

I’ve noticed a trend in politicians’ behavior during the conventions. When they walk out in front of a crowd, they smile really big and begin pointing at people in the crowd like they suddenly recognize someone they know and are overjoyed at seeing them.

I doubt seriously if they’re really pointing at anyone in particular. I think this is a gesture to show that they’re connecting with the crowd or it’s to show a really friendly familiarity with their constituents.

Whatever the case, this gesture has definitely caught on. I don’t know who started it, but these folks really love doing it.

Hillary seems to be the best at it.
Here she is, apparently ecstatic over seeing a friend in the balcony:
Oh, there's someone off to the side she knows:
Barack's got the point-and-smile thing down pretty well:
McCain's picked up on it too:McCain adds a twist: The double-point. He definitely looks presidentular. .
Clinton is about to explode, she's so excited.

And lookie here. Palin's learned to do it too. She's not up to Clinton's standards yet, but she's definitely one of the gang now.

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