November 15, 2005

America's Picasso



11-27-05
R.C. Gorman-We lost R.C. Gorman on the third of this month. It took me until now* to locate the photo of him above, taken at one of his shows in 1988 in Seattle. Sometimes called America’s Picasso, he left us with many beautiful, treasured reminders of his presence on this planet. I found him to be friendly and unexpectedly chatty. I was absolutely overwhelmed when he signed my $10 poster! *I’m a woman of many scrapbooks!
Vocabulary:- I was feeling so trendy because I knew what a metrosexual was—now I see we have “├╝bersexuals.” In case you didn’t know about them either, they are metrosexuals who are thoughtful and confident. Who knew?

On my bed table: I wish I knew! I dropped it and it went under my bed. I can’t remember the title, but it’s just as well—I wasn’t impressed! I dropped it over ten days ago and haven't felt compelled to go after it yet--maybe I'll just leave it for the dust bunnies...

Quote du jour:
"Do the thing and you shall have the power." Ralph Waldo Emerson, courtesy of Elizabeth Lyon, writer & editor

A fall photo by Dick Hooper
"Dissent is an act of faith." Senator Fulbright

November, 2005

A little Thanksgiving poetry...

Old Turkey Neck
by Janelle Meraz Hooper

Old turkey neck—
That’s what it is.
Wrinkled and bumpy—
And covered in frizz.

I look in the mirror—
and what do I see?
It isn’t the turkey—
Dear Gussy, it’s me!

And the silliness continues...why? Because I can! This is an editor-free zone! Happy Thanksgiving, all! JMH


The New Anything-But-Turkey-Diet
by Janelle Meraz Hooper


And now, from the chicken-wire pen behind a restaurant on Ruston Way, a few words about the season from one soon to be seasoned...

Not again! Every year we go through this...you guys start walking briskly up and down Ruston Way with your dogs, building up an appetite. I see you out there, and from where I sit, some of you could stand to miss a few meals. But, no, you’re starting to think about turkey (Yikes!) and dressing....aren’t you? Then, comes Christmas, and you want to eat a goose. Easter, it’s some poor lamb or pig. Can’t you guys ever eat a carrot? Or how about a nice bowl of Cheerios? This year, I’m introducing the New-Anything-But-Turkey-Diet...the idea is you eat anything but turkey. You won’t lose any weight, but neither will I (do ‘ya get it?).
Look over on the sidewalk. Do you believe it? Excuse me, I just can’t let this go by:

“Gobble, gob-gob-gobble, GOBBLE! GOB! GOB!”
(translation: “Hey, lady! Is that the way you want to start the next thousand years? In a gold metallic running suit? The gold purse is a nice touch, though...”)

I’m back. Come on, folks, work with me here! While you’re out on the street in those funny outfits, running and working up an appetite, I’m pacing up and down this enclosure trying to make that old cook at the restaurant here think I’m too crazy to eat, and all he worries about is that I’m making myself tough. “Rest,” he says. “Take it easy,” he says. He’s even offered me this nice oval pan to nap in...does he think I’m a dumb cluck? I’ve had one foot in the roaster before.
Look, if you won’t try this new un-turkey diet, then I gotta go somewhere where they don’t eat turkeys. I’m thinking maybe Hollywood. I hear they got all kinds of turkeys down there driving around in fancy cars and playing in swimming pools and none of them get eaten.
People down there eat sushi...maybe you guys should try it. A little green seaweed, a little pickled red plum...festive. Add some sticky rice and you’ll never miss me.
Excuse me one more time...look at this guy! He comes here every day with that big dog and never once does he clean up after him...

“Gobble, #%!*@!, gobble, gobble, gobble...”
(translation:“Hey you! You with the dog! You gonna scoop up after that elephant, or what?”)

Well, if I’m going to Hollywood, I’d better get movin’...figure I’ll get out of this pen, jump in the water here, and float to California...maybe just keep going, all the way to Mexico. Think about that seaweed and pickled red plum, now. Hmmm...wonder if I should leave a note?
(An excerpt from: Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories, by Janelle Meraz Hooper)

###


11-21-05

Amsterdam, Netherlands- I’m still trying to figure out what really happened over the weekend in the Netherlands—did the Domino Day organizers really succeed in “felling” 4,155,476 dominos or did the sparrow beat them to it? And when will we get the autopsy report on the mischievous bird? Surely they’re going to examine him to see if they can determine what compelled the little guy to execute such deviant behavior. By the way, just where was this event? Outside? Or, did the bird get into their building? Inquiring minds want to know!
Iraq-Of course, I'm avoiding the real news. Even those of us who were against the war from the start consoled ourselves by thinking that, okay, Bush will get his oil, but the people would be better off. At least that was something. But the people of Iraq aren't better off. Iraq has not been rebuilt. They often don't have water, much less food. I don't need to express what else has happened, we all know the score. At least, I expected our government to keep its promises.

Hoping for better news tomorrow...

Quote du jour
Courtesy of Elizabeth Lyon, writer and editor:
"If you help others, you will be helped. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in a hundred years, but you will be helped. Nature must pay off the debt. It is a mathematical law and all life is mathematical." Gurdjieff (Russian spiritual teacher)

11-20-05

Heidi Fleiss-What a riot that Heidi is! Now she is opening “Heidi’s Stud Farm” in Nevada. I’m real curious about this. Don’t young girls get all the sex they want for free? So is she marketing to older women? She says the price for a hunk is going to be $250. As men are historically unpredictable in their timing, it isn’t clear if this is for 60 minutes or 2! I suspect that the young women will continue to get their sex for free, and the rest of us will stay home, take the 2 minutes, and spend the rest of the hour—and money—at a shoe sale somewhere! Oh! I just got it! How dumb can I be? Heidi isn’t going to market her new business to women—she’s going to market to men! Brilliant, Heidi.

Billy Joel- In yesterday's paper he was quoted, "In this business (going to rehab) is like going to get your teeth cleaned." Why are you drinking, Billy? Because of the pressure? Build a bridge, and get over it! Everyone I know is juggling family and jobs (that's an intentional plural) and working 60-70 hours a week. Tough? You don't know what tough is!

Yesterday's news was much better...

Quote du jour:
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson, courtesy of the Wes Studi web site.

11-18-05
Alito-I’m not looking for trouble, but this guy worries me. He’s told everyone that the anti-abortion statement he made means nothing because he was just looking for a job. Well, isn’t he looking for a job this time?

Iraq-I see. We invaded a country on false premises, killed or maimed its people, leveled the land, and killed over 2,000 of our young men, and now Congress wants us to pull out? What? And leave all that mess!? Who’s gonna clean it up? I think we’d better knock off these Christian Crusades before somebody decides to hold one over here. Momma don’t want no stateside crusades—but she wouldn’t be opposed to a little impeachment party.

Breadbasket-Speaking of Bush, all those states in the breadbasket of this country that turned red on election night are going to get just what they deserve—lots of them are going to lose their cushy farm subsidies. If course, the rest of us will suffer too—at the grocery store—

Go, Mom! - All right, maybe the mother who was frustrated over her lazy, fun-loving student went overboard when she put her on a street and made her hold up that sign that said something about not doing her homework. But the “Will work for food” line at the bottom of the sign was a nice touch. I have no doubt that the mother had the best of intentions. I feel her pain! I’ve worked with young people and have had a devil of a time getting through to them that it was critical that they gave their studying first priority. I don’t think I ever got through. Maybe, I needed a sign….

Yesterday's news was much better...

Quotes du jour:

"At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you." Gerta (from a Barbra Streisand interview)

“Go big or go home.” Canadian Olympic Committee

11-16-2005-I've been filling out my profile and was surprised to see that the program designers have Blogspot programmed to calculate and report astrology signs. Ha! Didn't that go out with bell bottom pants and vans? But then, what do I know? Maybe it's coming back. I hope not--my sign was always dead on, and if you've ever read what it has to say about Pisces, you feel my pain. Although I've changed, I really have. I no longer have unfinished projects under my bed, and I meet all of my deadlines, thank you. Still, old ghosts always send a shiver, no?

Sports- I see the baseball players are going to have to give up their drugs--it didn't say anything about the people in the stands. Seriously, it's about time. We're trying to raise our kids here!

Yesterday's news was much better...

Quotes du jour:

"If at first you do succeed, try to hide your astonishment." Los Angeles Times Syndicate

"Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of the night." P.J. ORourke, AARP May/June/2002

11-15-05- Oh, good grief! Simon & Schuster is going to create a whole line of books for 50 Cent? Am I wrong to assume that his poetry on drug-dealing, street crime, and expensive cars will not positively influence our children or culture? Is it just me? Am I cranky? Maybe so...

In other news: I hear they caught the cell phone bandit. She was a looker on the surveillance tapes! No wonder she didn't want to wear a mask!

On my bedtable: Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik. What a fun book with a snappy main character!

Moms and Dads: Here, I want to salute good-parenting. Good-parenting doesn't mean "spend a lot of money." Now, here's what I'm talking about!:
On NPR radio, 94.9 KUOW, I heard a story about a Russian musician who was very poor as a child. His mother couldn't afford an instrument for him, so she bought him a violin case and he carried it around (at about age 5). He is now a recognized musician, and I'm sorry that I tuned into the story at the end, so I can't give proper credit. Go, Mom!

Quotes du jour:

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” Nelson Mandela, 1994 Inaugural speech

“Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.” Lily Tomlin

World news, 11-08-05
Tuesday in the USA- It's election day for a lot of us. It's always a great worry to me when I look at my ballot. It seems the choices are fewer every year. The quality of candidates is worsening. What to do? What to do? Somehow, we've got to do better at picking our representatives. A lot better.

Quotes du jour:

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” Nigeria web site, Books without borders page, 4-20-02

“Paris is always a good idea.” From the movie Sabrina

“if you don’t visit a bad neighborhood, it will visit you.” Thomas Friedman, 11-12-01 MNT

World news, 11-02-05
Our president-This blog would be a lot more fun if we had a better president. After reading about the secret prison camps in this morning's paper, my heart is broken. Why should other countries respect our captured soldiers, if we don't respect theirs?

Quotes du jour:

“By the time I learned the meaning of happiness it was too late…I was already married.” George Burns (on radio)

Alexis Sherman: February 7, 2001, Liberty Theatre “Native-Americans live on both sides of the hyphen.”

“I’m just a man, but I can change, If I have to...I guess” Red Green, Possum Lodge Oath, The Red Green Show (TV)

World news, 11-01-05
Pluto- Scientists say they now know that Pluto has three moons--not just one as they thought before. Ladies, if our menses are controlled by the moon (and they say they are), just think what a mess we'd be if we lived on Pluto!

Quotes du jour:

"Our weakness for temptation hasn't increased," the Rev. George Hall announced last Sunday, "but I think our ability to find it has." Burton Hillis, December 1987 Better Homes and Gardens

Sophie Tucker, 1884-1966 From birth to age eighteen a girl needs good parents, from eighteen to thirty-five she needs good looks, from thirty-five she needs good personality, from fifty-five on, she needs good cash. 1953 The Cynics Lexicon Jonathan Green, St. Martin's Press, New York 1984

October, 2005


World news, 10-31-05
Rosa Parks- The loss of this courageous woman last week makes everything else seem inconsequential. I think I have the image of that sweet lady sitting on the bus forever burned into my mind. As I look at her photos, I see a heavenly glow on her face, as if she was sent to earth to give us her special gift. Rest in peace, beautiful lady.

Snakes-The problem with exotic pets is that their owners love them so much, that when they have to get rid of them, they release them into nature. Of course they can't kill them, I understand that. I hope that they can understand our reticence to adopt them. Liberated (released) boa constrictors have become a real problem. We need laws now to make exotic pets illegal. Damaging our eco-system is bad enough, but it's only a matter of time before they start attacking people.

Whales-Isn't it a shame that, on one coast, the navy is killing whales with their sonar, and on the other coast, Indians want permission to go whale hunting? Isn't it too bad the Indians can't go to where the whales already are, lying on the beach ready to be carved up? I know, I know, it's not the same thing. However, I'm skeptical about how much of that whale meat is ever eaten. I can picture freezers full of rancid whale meat all over the rez. Rumor is, that whale meat is very difficult to digest. Moms may have a hard time getting their families to eat it.

I can remember when my grandmother tried to feed the grandkids pork entrails. It was a treat when she was a girl, but just the smell had us throwing up...times and stomachs change. I hope we're not killing those poor whales just to preserve cultural traditions--that's why we have powwows...

World news, 10-14-05
The Chinese have been up there for days trying to deliver that order of Mu Shu beef, but the Mir Space Station keeps moving...

World news, 10-12-05
China-I don't suppose those Chinese Astronauts are just in space to deliver some Mu Shu beef...? Seriously, we'd better find a way to better fund our space sprogram. 'Nuff said.

World news, 10-10-05
It's worse than we thought--and we thought it was pretty bad. I hear we've pledged $100,000 and a bottle of water--well, so much for being a super power.
And now, Guatamala too. We've all been praying for peace--well, maybe God has chosen this way to give it to us. By the time all these plagues are over, none of us will be able to afford anything more than a spitball!

World news, 10-09-05
When we had Katrina, the insurgents said it was Allah. What are they saying now that they have an earthquake disaster? I'll bet they're not saying it was Allah! I'm sure hoping no one in this country is dumb enough to say it was our God! They are disasters, folks, not works of God. Any God.
I hear President Bush has announced we're sending aid. I hope Pakistan and India aren't holding their breath! But speaking of aid, why can't we send some heavy-duty equipment? We've got enough of it right across the border in Afghanistan. Send it! Send it now!

World news, 10-07-05
Politics has gotten so boring and predictable. Maybe it's time for a change. Instead of the same old elephant and donkey, let's switch to alligators vs. boa constrictors...from the photo in the paper showing the boa who died so brutally after he attempted to swallow an alligator, I'm convinced a change of mascots would liven things up. Since the alligator in the photo didn't live either, I'm hopeful for a rivalry that's more exciting than what we've gotten from elephants and donkeys. You'll notice I said more exciting--I've given up on them ever being more truthful...

World news, 10-06-05
The above art was given to me, and reminds me that so much of our life is taken up by going from one celebration to another. How many of us are letting those magic moments pass us by?

Not my mother. She savored every holiday. I still laugh when I remember when she called me to tell me that a little trick-or-treater politely told her he liked her mask--and she wasn't wearing one! Another time, she raked all of the leaves in the yard to fill three large orange garbage bags that had Jack O'Lantern faces on them. She didn't think they looked plump enough, so she stuffed them the rest of the way with old newspapers. Satisfied that they looked as good as possible, she lined them up in her front yard--and somebody stole them! I told her they must have looked too good!

On the home front, I'm trying to make a dear friend a pumpkin, because she's so artistic and made me a beautiful fairy riding in a wheelchair pumpkin; it is so cute. I'm about as crafty as I imagine Nixon was, and it is looking B-A-D! Talk about scary! It'll probably never make it to her door. That's okay--at least, neither will Nixon! Now, that would be scary!

World news, 10-03-05
Hugh Hefner-I think Hugh Hefner must have been misquoted. I don't think he said he had Puritan roots. I think he said he had Puritan boots--no, wait--it was the Pilgrims who had buckles on their boots--maybe he was talking about roots--I'm so confused!

World news, 10-01-05
Is anyone sorry to see September go? I think not! Here's to a month of no hurricaines. I'd wish for no wars, too, but I'm not that naive. At least, maybe we can keep peace in our families, and in our communities--who knows? Maybe it'll spread!

September, 2005

World news, 9-23-05
Not another hurricaine! Now, if our scientists were any good, they'd figure out some way to send that storm somewhere else--maybe to Bin Laden's cave (LOL).
Seriously, we'd better study this problem some more. Is it really global warming, for instance? Didn't Bush say there was no such thing?
The Philippines-Speaking of scientists, on Yahoo! today it says the scientists in the Philippines are close to cloning a water buffalo...maybe they should have started with something smaller, although another water buffalo would probably be more useful than some of the stuff American scientists try to clone (did we really need a cloned Elvis? Don't answer that!) Most of the time, I wonder what we're thinking, the way we waste our dwindling natural resources and our seemingly endless mental potential. It reminds me of the story about the man on a desert island who has three wishes--and one of them is a peanut butter sandwich, the other a fancy car, and the last, a beautiful woman. Okay, I made that up, but you get the point...
Still waiting, Barbara.................

World news, 9-18-05
The 3 missing mice-The Public Health Institute in Newark has admitted that they have lost three mice infected with the bubonic plague. It took them two weeks to report the disappearance. They further admit that these mice might have been stolen, yet they aren't worried. What is it with scientists? This year they've already lost sensitive samples that were sent--by mail!--to some Arab country that's is undoubtedly way too close to Bin Laden (wherever he is), and now this. Okay, so I'm no angel. A lot of times, my office looks like it has been hit by the bubonic plague, but I expect scientists who are handling mice infected with bubonic plague to be more responsible. Is it just me? As a kid, The Three Blind Mice were bad enough. I was never even comfortable with that itsy, bitsy, spider...

World news, 9-17-05
Katrina-I heard that the taverns opened up in New Orleans last night. That's a great sign. Now, if they cold just do something about those pralines!
The president got one thing right on Thursday night. He said the rest of the nation couldn't imagine going forward without New Orleans (paraphrase). I'm still not sure about calling some of them homesteaders...maybe it'll grow on me.
........................................................................................
...........................................Still waiting, Barbara.......................

9-16-05
Katrina-Well, I said yesterday that we needed a more respectful name for those who have been displaced by Katrina. I would never have thought of "homesteaders"! According to our prez, that's what some of them will be! Who'da thunk?!

World news, 9-15-05
Katrina-Is anyone else bothered by hearing the people in the hurricaine area called "homeless" and "victims"? Can't we come up with a name that's more respectful? Maybe "survivers" ?

World news, 9-14-05
Barbara Bush-I didn't say anything about what Barbara Bush said in the Houston Dome last week. First, because I was in shock--she used to be one of my favorite First Ladies. Second, because I was sure she'd apologize and blame it on cramps or something. But I haven't heard an apology--has anyone else? I'm having some nasty thoughts here, but I'll keep them to myself. Besides, the First Lady deserves respect. And there have been enough hateful thoughts floating around lately.

New Orleans-We all know what will happen in the rebirth--poor people will sell their land to rich people, and New Orleans will end up looking like Kansas City. Don't get me wrong, Kansas City is great, but it belongs in Kansas, don't you think?
I'm pretty sure that when they rebuild that area, with homes that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, they'll find a way to fix the levies...

But wouldn't it be great if all of the creative architects and builders got together and redesigned New Orleans with the flavor it had before Katrina, only better?
Honey, we've got some great builders and carpenters in this country--not to mention the big one upstairs--we could do a bang-up job! Maybe we could even have contests among young architects just out of school and community planning done by visionaries...wouldn't it be great?! New Orleans could be even better than before! Just do me one favor: don't mess with the music! There's nothin' broken there!

I hope you all saw the photograph in your paper yesterday of the little table on the sidewalk outside a New Orleans restaurant. It was all dressed up with a white linen tablecloth, flowers, and a bottle of wine. The owner explained that he put it there to cheer people up--it worked! I'd love to see that table on a poster with the message: We'll be back!

Sports- We're losing Dan Wilson, the Mariner's best catcher ever, to retirement. The good news is he may stay on in another position. In our household, we call him Dan the Man! and baseball hasn't been the same without him this season.

World news, 9-12-05
Katrina-(Will there ever be any other news?) I just heard on NPR that a brigade of Canadian Mounties from Vancouver (Western Canada) arrived in New Orleans two days after Katrina. TWO DAYS! And I bet they were on horseback...
World news, 9-09-05
Katrina-Well, it's a new nightmare every night. One night, I dreamed that my (hobby) wood-worker husband was in charge of making the coffins for New Orlean's victims, and he decided it was taking too much wood, so he made the coffins half-size, and folded the people into them before nailing the top shut...I was one of the people he put in the coffins. Another night, I dreamed of those school buses, sitting in water--empty. I think that may be one of the saddest sights I've ever seen. Even sadder than the starving children of Niger, because the school buses were a symbol of lost opportunities to save thousands.
Ben Stein-While I'm at it, I've had enough of Ben Stein and his e-mail that is circulating around. And all of the rest of the smug, elitists who are feeling so superior too. "Get off his back?!!!" Ben Stein? Oh, go fish!

World news, 9-04-05
Katrina-I was out and about yesterday. One of the places I went to was a huge food warehouse for restaurants. Normally, an outing like this would have been much more fun. But as my wheelchair rolled up and down aisle after aisle of huge, super-sized containers of every food ever put into packaging, my eyes begain to tear up. When we got to the meat locker, stocked with huge prime ribs, turkey breast roasts, hams, ribs, and all the rest, I thought I'd lose it. So much food! I wanted to grab a couple of those giant pieces of meat and make a break for New Orleans.
I didn't. I've never clocked the speed of my wheelchair when I'm "crabbing" with my feet, but I was pretty sure it wouldn't be fast enough--especially if I were carrying a lapful of meat!
Oh, well, another day, perhaps. If I ever get a motorized wheelchair, look out!
By the way, is the ballet over yet, Condie?!

World news, 9-02-05
Katrina: "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself." Mark Twain

World news, 9-01-05
Katrina: It really sucks being a nobody! Whenever I have a good idea for helping someone in a disaster, no one will listen. This week, I thought we could use the wedding registries on the Internet to adopt families that are in need--the system is already set up! So many chains have them: Target, Macy's, G.I. Joe, and others. I thought it would be a great way to let the Katrina victims know we care. But, no one will even answer my e-mails! Oh, well! Maybe they've heard a better idea...I just liked the gift card idea because someone in the stricken area would know that someone cared about them. So much more personal.

August, 2005

World News 8-29-05
Weather- The first thing I did when I got up this morning was look to see if New Orleans was still there. I still don't know because the news crews can't even get in yet. I spent many happy hours in the Bourbon District in the seventies, people-watching and eating pralines. Even though there would still be jazz if the whole area were washed out to sea, it wouldn't be the same.

While I'm on the subject, isn't there a better way to evacuate people before a disaster? It must have been a terrifying night for those poor folks--they're comparing it to The Tsunami--you know which one I mean. God bless them all!

Around here, it's supposed to drizzle today. Hardly an event that warrants sympathy from the rest of the country. But, last night, I was thinking about Louisiana being washed away, and so much of other parts of our country engulfed in wildfires--it occured to me that we have it entirely too easy up here. Since I'm a writer, and have a bundle of emotional trauma ready to go at any moment, I'm hoping we don't have an earthquake up here to complete the disaster picture.

For right now, all I have to worry about is what color rain slicker I'm going to get for the year. I hear purple is the new red (Who makes up all these silly fashion rules?). And rhinestone pins are in, they say. Maybe I'll get a big, shiny one and put it on my new slicker. I wonder if I can find one that won't rust?

Quote du jour:

“The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.” Courtesy of Harold Bourne


World News 8-28-05
Weather-This does not apply to people who are facing severe, REAL weather problems--you know who you are--but the rest of you, quit whining! For weeks, you've whined because it was too hot. In two weeks, you'll be whining because it's too cold. Put something on or take something off and suck it up. Geez...

Quote du jour:

“I don’t know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.” Courtesy of Harold Bourne



World News 8-21-05
Anyone read the funny papers today? It's getting ugly out there. Something is wrong when the funnies have more bite than the front page...

Quote du jour:

“Oh, Lord, be good to me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small.” Nigerian prayer



World News 8-20-05
I’ve always hated this time of year. My blue mood begins when I see the first back to school ad in my Sunday paper, and worsens until I see the first Christmas ad—usually sometime in October.
I should have outgrown my September morose by now, as my nest is empty. But it gets worse and worse as I am forced to acknowledge over and over that summer is over every time I see a big yellow school bus go up the hill in front of my house.
Where did the time go? I still have Popsicles in my freezer! Did I buy too many? I don’t think so. I think that, every year, we are invaded by Rushin’s! That is, people Rushin’ to do this, and Rushin’ to do that. On their calendar, summer is over. Not so. I have proof: I have yet to see a ripe tomato in my garden, there is a new blue jay nest in my Maple tree, and my four o’clocks are so pitiful that I’ve taken to calling them “not todays.” Of course, I was warned not to try to plant a southern flower in the Northwest, but through the years I have planted peanuts, okra, and black-eyed peas, all of which turned into gigantic crop failures. I figure that maybe I could apply farm subsidies—and the government would pay me for not growing these pot gardens…


Quote du jour:

“The grass is greener where it’s watered...” Debbie McComber, March 17, 1999

World News 8-17-05
Vendors: According to my morning paper, the American Beverage Association as voted to have less sugary drinks in its vending machines. According to the article, up until now, vending machines in elementary schools have sold soda. Soda! What are we thinking? Or don't the parents have any controls? Maybe not. And they wonder why childnood obesity is a problem. Duh!

Quote du jour:

“A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is finished. No matter how brave its warriors or how strong their weapons.” Cheyenne proverb


World News 8-08-05
My backyard: What's going on? I live in an urban area near Puyallup, Washington and lately, it's been more like Wild Kingdom. Blue herons with their mouths full of fish are flying over my house, almost colliding with the eagles and hawks. A six-point deer has been rubbing his antlers on my cherry tree, and that same cherry tree has four raccoons in it this morning. Four! A coyote has cleaned out our wild rabbits that had lived contentedly under our garden shed for several years and doesn't seem to have any instinctive fear of Kodak film. I swear, he's posing...This is a heck of a lot of fun for us to watch, but I have to wonder why?! Are they out of space in the wild? And why are these nocturnal animals out in the daytime? Are they hungry? I have to admit, they all look well fed--possibly on the cats and dogs in the area. I suspect this because the amount of missing pet flyers on the stop sign at the corner is increasing. This has given me something to worry about besides global warming.

Remember Niger!

moccasin: Still waiting to hear if those poor people ever got that water moccasin out of their house...

Quote du jour:

“You can't sell an empty wagon...: shop owner of a cement garden ware store talking to a newsman


World News 8-08-05
Niger : Don't you just love it? On the news now, they're calling it Ni-geer--with a French pronunciation. I guess children aren't starving to death if they know they're living in Ni-geer. Please help! E-mail your donation to World Vision on msnbc.com. Just search Niger, you'll find it. Do it now! Imagine how it would be to be a mother with a child starving to death in a world that rushes to help Russian submarine sailors and just about everyone else. What's wrong with us? While you're at it, e-mail Bush: whitehouse.gov---don't tell me we can't do more to help!

Speaking of global warming: yes, I have an SUV. Well, not really, it's a Chevy wannabe. But even if were a bonifide SUV, so what? Over the last thirty years, I have taken deliberate actions to protect the environment: I have changed my doctors, hairdresser, and dentist to ones who are nearer my home. I have eliminated my commute to work, narrowing a 144 mile round trip commute to one that's a matter of feet--from my coffeepot to my back bedroom, where I write. The speedometer on my 1997 Blazer reads under 44,000 miles. My husband has moved his office and cut his commute by more than half. We recycle. Everytbing. We have switched from a charcoal grill to a gas grill. We use eco-friendly washing products. I was on the organic food bandwagon when a lot of people were still using toxic garden products that had to be kept under lock and key (and they eat those vegetables?).
My point is, don't judge or blame a person for global warming just because of the car they're driving. That's only one small part of the problem.

World News 8-08-05
Remember Niger!
moccasin: Still waiting to hear if those poor people ever got that water moccasin out of their house...

Quote du jour:

“He doesn't know if he's afoot or horseback...” Alfred E. Hooper

World News 8-08-05
Niger : Don't you just love it? On the news now, they're calling it Ni-geer--with a French pronunciation. I guess children aren't starving to death if they know they're living in Ni-geer. Please help! E-mail your donation to World Vision on msnbc.com. Just search Niger, you'll find it. Do it now! Imagine how it would be to be a mother with a child starving to death in a world that rushes to help Russian submarine sailors and just about everyone else. What's wrong with us? While you're at it, e-mail Bush: whitehouse.gov---don't tell me we can't do more to help!

Quote du jour:

“An artist is never poor.” Babette (Babette's Feast)


World News 8-03-05
Sports: Not another one! Ryan Franklin (a Mariner) has been tested positive for drugs--how dumb am I? I guess it's the mother in me that wants to believe my favorite players are innocent. Wake up and smell the protein drink, Mama!
Our President: God love him (because a lot of us don't!), but our president is vacationing in Crawford, Texas? Vacationing? That would be like my going to Tukwila. Please, someone send that man some travel brochures!

Quote du jour:

“We can do no great things...only small things with great love.” Mother Teresa


World News 8-01-05
Sports: The baseball news is bad today. Don't look (tests say Palmeiro is using steroids. I don't believe it.).
Space: Another foam problem on the shuttle! And after 11 million dollars in research! I don't even care about the money--I just don't want to see another "...giant tear moving across the sky..." (I wish I could give credit for this line, I don't know who said it, but he was a minister). Will somebody send those NASA guys a tube of Gorilla Glue?

Quote du jour:

"Joy is a net of love by which you catch souls." Mother Teresa
Woman's Day, December 19, 1989

World News 7-31-05
Sports: Have mercy! Bavasi (Mariner's General manager) has traded Randy Winn and others for some players who have a health record worse than mine! Lately, whenever a player does well, I think it's just a matter of time before we trade him! Does anyone else feel my pain?
Technology: Franklin has come out with a pocket prep for the SAT. I think I'll get one and take that darn test over...I'm over 60, do you think they'll let me?
The runaway bride: I didn't think much of it when the runaway bride hopped a bus to Las Vegas, but now I'm having second thoughts: A few people have disappeared lately, and not much is being done about it. Could it be that the authorities think the person will just turn ip sooner or later in Las Vegas? TRB may have done more damage than we know...

Quote du jour:

“God made the meat...the devil made the cooks!” Anonymous

World News 7-28-05 Last week was my week for news! Northwestern women wearing flip-flops to the White House (oh, dear!), water moccasins in people's toilets, Comanche Code Talkers--and where was I? Working on a deadline! Drat! note: to be fair, those Northwestern women were probably just confused--they probably thought they were going to that other White House in Nevada...
Well, it's all chuckles under the bridge...I'll do better next time!

Quote du jour:

“Save the planet! It’s the only one with chocolate!” Pam Rice Hahn, author

World news 7-15-05 I made some popcorn this afternoon and I noticed the nutritional label had two calorie counts--one before popping and one after. Is anyone out there eating this stuff raw?!

Quote du jour:

"Eagles soar, but if the wind is strong enough, even turkeys can fly." Anonymous


World News 7-4-05
On my bed table: Benjamin Franklin, An American Life by Walter Isaacson
Read the part about Franklin consoling Jefferson when his draft of the Declaration was being edited. What a treat!

I made some popcorn this afternoon and I noticed the nutritional label had two calorie counts--one before popping and one after. Is anyone out there eating this stuff raw?!

World News 6-16-05
The news reminds me of when John and Yoko were having a sleep-in for peace in Toronto during the Viet Nam War. They had billboards and posters of all sizes with the slogan:

The War Is Over!
(if you want it to be)

Now, for the life of me, I can't remember why we made fun of them...

Quote du jour:

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." Anonymous

World News 6-14-05
It's Flag Day! In the funny papers: The Family Circus. One of the children does the pledge of allegiance: " I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of a miracle..." Well said, Jeff and Bill Keane
And it's true. Sure we have problems, but this is still the greatest country in the world. What I can't understand is:
Why some of our parents and even grandparents are hurting our children.
Why do so many of our people seem to be missing their bootstraps (to pull themselves up with)?
WHY do we have hungry people in this nation of plenty?
When I started this blog, I never thought I'd be so discouraged that I wouldn't even care to comment on the news. There would always be something, I thought, to make a funny about. Not lately. Even Erma Bombeck couldn't do anything with the pages of my newspaper.
So let's focus on things we can control: Let's love our children, help our people find their bootstraps, and feed our hungry. Then, maybe, we can branch out to bigger problems.

Quote du jour:

"I'm as pure as the driven slush." Talluluh Bankhead



World News 5-13-05
Finger mystery solved! After weeks of my shaking hands with dozens of strangers--just so I could count their fingers--we know for sure the whole thing was a scam. Everybody, have lunch today at Wendy's! Do it for Dave Thomas, who worked so hard to make his dream of Wendy's come true. Business today is hard enough without everyone giving you their finger (did I say that?!).
In my e-mails: I had 56 spams this morning--most of them wanting to make some northern or southern part of me bigger. Come on, folks! I can't have both! Make up your minds which part of me needs to get larger. And Julie, whoever--and wherever you are--get a life!

Quote du jour:

"She was what we used to call a suicide blonde...dyed by her own hand." Saul Bellows

World News 5-13-05
On my bed table: I'm still slogging through Benjamin Franklin, but I did finish The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. If you haven't read it yet, let me know, because I'm sure the last person on earth to read one of the best books in America.
In my e-mails: My Nigerian spam is becoming outrageous! Now, somone has sent me a whole list of info they need, including a clear photo copy of my passport!Yeah, that'll happen!

Quote du jour:

River City Billiards: "She's the kind of gal who climbed the ladder of success...wrong by wrong..."

World news 5-08-05:

Children Save the Environment!
Have you noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to get rid of our old stuff? Gone are the days when we could put an old television set by the curb and the garbage man would take it away for free. Don’t even think about trying to offer it to him as a gift—his television at home is at least ten times better.
No, getting rid of large outdated appliances is going to cost you thirty-dollars or up. That is, unless you’ve planned ahead. Way ahead... about twenty-years or so. If you’ve planned carefully and raised at least four children, preferably two of each sex, your disposal problems will be solved. At least until they marry and raise their own children .
These children are an important link to in the disposal chain, gladly hauling away those items that are too good to give away but not good enough to sell. It’s a fact: Children may be an important part of God’s plan for keeping the planet clutter-free. A young adult setting up his first apartment will gladly take away your outdated television, replaced draperies, and that set of stainless silverware that doesn’t match your new dishes.
I have no where to go with this, except that it’s Mother’s Day, and I’m thinking about my daughter—and wondering if I can con her into taking away that old lamp in the den that my mother stuck me with years ago…

Quotes du jour:

“If we’re not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?”

Gregory Orr, Poet (from Concerning The Book That Is The Body Of The Beloved, Copper Canyon Press)

Sign: "No Tapping in Lobby" –Thoroughly Modern Millie (Broadway play)

World news 4-25-05:
The new Superman movie: I'm sure this movie was in the works way before Christopher Reeve died, but even so, it rankles me. What's wrong with the Superman movie Christopher Reeve made? It still looks great--besides, we know now that Christopher Reeve WAS Superman, in all ways. For one, I'm boycotting the new one. Have a little respect, Hollywood!

Quotes du jour:

”Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children." Old Indian proverb

“Oh my stars!.” (Kjel in Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik)

“The way to love something is to realize it might be lost.” Anonymous


World news 4-22-05:
Happy Earth Day!: I'm celebrating by staying inside. I'm notorious for a black thumb when it comes to growing flowers, and my roses and dahlias fear me. Now, when it comes to growing vegetables, I rock!

Carl Safina, an ocean advocate: In one of his books, Mr. Safina describes the Pacific Northwest as "the world's extinction epicenter for ocean fishes." Read the whole story in the Tacoma News Tribune, 4-22-05.
I can remember that years ago, nutritionists used to tell us to eat seafood because it couldn't be polluted by man (yes, I'm that old!).
As individuals, maybe we can't do a lot. Mother Teresa said once that "We can do no great things...only small things with great love." Let us all start by taking care of the small space we occupy. We can do better with the chemicals we put in our septic systems, yards, and bodies. Did you know that the chemicals we eat--for instance, nitrates and nitrates, end up in our ground water?

Quotes du jour:

“If the ladies don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.” Red Green, CBUT

"Remember: amateurs built the ark—professionals built the Titantic." Anonymous

“All it takes is money.” Hal Horton

“Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the survivor’s mind toward some resolution which it may never find.”
I Never Sang For My Father, film (Gene Hackman)

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