Monday, February 29, 2016

Math and the Cosmos Made Sexy

Maybe it's just Neil deGrasse Tyson. I could listen to him all day long. Hmmm. I think I just figured out how I'm going to use my extra day this year.

John Oliver, I Love You

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why I Can't Answer The Phone

I hear the muffled sound of the landline ringing from my office downstairs. It stops. I apprehensively glance at my cell and it lights up and plays Fur Elise. It's my father. He's persistent tonight. I get up and carry my dinner plate over to the sink. The tinny music stops abruptly and the three shrill beeps announcing a missed call sound out. I've avoided him before for various reasons. I'm just not up to talking about nothing or I'm on my way out or I don't care. Tonight it's different. I can thank Donald Trump for that. As if it weren't enough that this man is a rude, egotistical, narcissistic, mysogynistic blowhard who knows nothing of public policy, government, the military, or foreign policy, he thinks he'd make a great President!  Even though his lack of presidential credentials doesn't seem to put off the rabid hordes that support him, maybe his unabashed mention that he would "date" his daughter if she wasn't, well, his daughter, might. Because she's so beautiful and has such a great body. Trump doesn't come right out and say it, but what he does say is dangerously close to suggesting that incest is a perfectly fine thing to do. As disgusted as I have been with Donald Trump, both the human being and the presidential candidate, last week this video from a couple of years ago surfaced. And I am even more disgusted. How does this have anything to do with me not answering my phone? Three years ago our father said something in a similar vein to my sister that Trump says in this video clip. She was horrified and it took her nearly a year to tell me about it. So. My dad and the Donald. They both think their daughters are attractive and don't mind if people think they are dating. Two peas in a pod. I feel sick. And I don't think I can ever speak to my father again

Well, One Room is Ready

Behold my clean, repainted, ridiculously clean office!

Closeup on photobombing Newton.

My computer, my Sharpies, my neatly organized writing reference books.

My chair, my blankie, my printer/scanner.

There's that silly cat again. A work table so uncluttered you can, well, work on it. And my overworked shredder.

Crazy clean closet number one.

Crazy clean closet number two.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

For the Nerds

Please click on the image. That is, if you really want to be able to read it.

Evidence exists of the crude technology used during the Stone Age! I found this document while cleaning my office, which truly has been something of an archaeological expedition. Or expotition, as Pooh would say. These are the system specs for the very first computer we owned, circa 1994. Yes, it was another century. No, we no longer have it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ladies and Germs, Mr. Shel Silverstein

From Where The Sidewalk Ends. Also from the same irrepressible mind that brought us A Boy Named Sue. The song is running through your head, now, isn't it? My work here is done.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Snarky Me

When my husband and I had made the decision to split, in a very civilized manner we went through all the rooms in the house and took inventory of our accumulated possessions. Yours, mine, yours before we were married/mine before we were married, personal yours or mine. He got the camera equipment, I got the sewing machine. He graciously allowed me to keep the oak library table that had been his because I had put so much toil into refinishing it. He took the antique secretary desk that had been in his grandparents' home. When we got to the master (now the queen) suite we found ourselves standing in front of the black wicker clothes hamper. He wanted it. I didn't and was more than willing to let it go but first I had to say this...Why? So you'll know where to locate the pile of laundry on the floor? As in, right in front of the hamper! As his habit had been for twenty years. He was not amused. Totally true story.

Monday, February 22, 2016


* I need my glasses to find my glasses.

* I need scissors to get the packaging open on the scissors.

* I need a vacuum to clean the HEPA filter on my vacuum.

Friday, February 19, 2016


I have learned something today. Please be patient while I organize my thoughts. Imagine the Final Jeopardy theme music playing. Okay. In the ten years since my divorce I have not had a serious relationship with a man, nor have I had a lengthy casual thing of any kind. I have had a riotously unsuccessful plunge into the internet dating pool. I have had long intervals between hopeful starts that don't pan out. I have experienced the hanging out and hooking up scenario. Which means casual. And I don't do this very well. I have known for a very long time that becoming intimate with a man means I get attached, so to avoid attachment when my hormones are raging I developed what I thought was a very clever work-around. Three basic rules. Rule #1. Choose someone I don't like. In fact it helps if I dislike him. That way I can be pretty certain no attachment will develop. Rule #2. Choose someone outside of my regular group of social contacts. Minimizes the possibility of awkward future contact after using him for my own gratification and casting him aside. Doesn't work so well because this is a pretty small town. Rule #3. Always, always, always use a condom. Because it's the smart thing to do. There are corollary guidelines that apply, such as never at my home, that are helpful. Despite these rules, not that they resulted in a great number of partners, maybe three tops, I was left with a lingering shitty feeling after an encounter.  I may have circumvented an attachment, but I had to face the fact that one of the things I really enjoy about sex is the depth of feeling and, yes, the attachment I feel with a partner. The sex is better, more satisfying, and feels good the next day, even a week later. When I like him, have taken the time to get to know and appreciate him, and have developed a level of trust with him everything works. But then I have to deal with the attachment and the possible expectations that may arise from it. So this is what I have learned. I would rather have terrific sex with a man I like and care about and deal with the repercussions that result from it in a sane and rational manner than have unsatisfying casual hookups that wind up being empty and pointless. Work-arounds don't work, they just prolong the agony of getting down to the truth. That truth being it's just how I'm wired and it's about time I got around to accepting and embracing this fact. I can't wait to try out this revolutionary new theory! I feel like such a grownup.

Most Eggcellent!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Thirty years ago about this time in the afternoon, I had been a married lady for a couple of hours. And as I remember, well into the first of a few bottles of champagne. A deluge of water has passed over the dam and under the bridge since then. Things are quite different than how I was imagining them that day. For one, my taste in champagne has become more refined. I am happy to say I have tasted Dom Perignon and found it most lovely. I'm still a teensy bit surprised to find myself single at this point in my life. For ten years now. That sure as shooting little green apples off Wilhelm Tell's head wasn't considered as a future possibility. Ten years ago I would speak in very clear terms about the failure of my marriage. But I don't anymore. Over time my thinking has moved down the judgment scale to a kinder description. Due to the fact that my marriage ended in divorce, I suppose if you think in black and white it did fail. But among all those shades in between, there were many, many successes. Bearing and raising two wonderful sons. Remodeling a home. Family gatherings held for holidays and birthdays and graduations and weddings. Vacations and weekend trips. And in between those marked events were the everyday meals and waking up together and movie dates on the couch that are ordinary. Ordinary yet form relationship bonds and etch a history on our hearts and minds. In the end we grew apart rather than together. But for twenty years things worked well more often than not. So if you ask me now, I'd call that pretty darn successful.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Happy Birthday, Little Bro

You would have been 52 today. Scribbled on the back of this photo in Mom's distinct, pointy hand it says 13 days. Amazing to me is Mom in a skinny skirt less than two weeks after giving birth! 

Giving his all to both of those candles. I recognize the living room in the background from this house.

Before and during with five candles.

Cullen and Pam in 2006. They were a most gorgeous couple.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

About Time

I've been mostly in the basement this last week. First it was office cleaning. Then office cleaning could progress no more until a certain task I have been avoiding successfully for nearly two years was undertaken. The dreaded photos project has begun. And is proceeding quite nicely, thank you. The sorting, identifying, categorizing, and packing away will be complete by the end of the day tomorrow. After two years of moving the boxes and albums from one location to another, employing the old out-of-sight-out-of-mind method of self-deception, it was clear I could put it off no longer. This sense of accomplishment has me feeling almost like a grownup. Sometimes I amaze myself. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I Heart Blade Runner

The One That Got Away

There's always that one Christmas ornament that does the different drummer thing.

Hiding out in a corner hoping to escape and, I don't know, maybe hang out with the Halloween stuff. 

Little Arrows

Cupid Disarmed by Guillaume Seignac

C'mon Cupid! Try a little harder to wrest that bow of amoure from your mom! I know she's the all-powerful Venus, but please, today is your day to let those arrows fly! Venus will approve if you promise to shoot potential lovers with wisdom. And accuracy. Always accuracy. Let's avoid cross-species entanglements this year. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Yes, Their Mother Sews

My beamish boys. On a tour boat in Canada. Wearing matching shirts.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bractal Beauty

Once again, in flagrant defiance of my self-proclaimed brown-thumbedness, my three year old poinsettia is blooming. If you ask me, it's a bloomin' miracle. If only the hoya would take a hint.

If The Key Fits

This Yes Together

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Embarrassed & Ashamed

As an American citizen, I apologize to the entire world. We are not all like this. He does not represent most of us.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Nothing Stays the Same

Sometimes you get a second chance at something you thought had passed you by forever. It's coming around again. Let's play.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Not Good Doctor

Hmmmm. A doctor who is also a state legislator is being "scrutinized" for possible conflict of interest. This doesn't surprise me a bit. An orthopedic surgeon who examined me, a work comp patient, in a deliberately rough manner to ensure that I actually had issues with pain, isn't the sort of guy who would first do no harm. He informed me that I had carpal tunnel syndrome and that I needed to face that fact, and that he was going to cut me now or cut me later, so it didn't matter what I thought. If the emails that mention him turn out to provide evidence that he has a conflict of interest and has used his office as a state senator to gain personal wealth in his business dealings, I do hope he is punished to fullest extent that is allowed. I know that I have a biased opinion of the guy, but if a doctor is willing to make an inaccurate as well as questionable diagnosis so he can perform surgery for which he will be paid, it's not a far stretch to think he would behave unethically under other circumstances.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Conversation With Myself

I am already under the influence of a glass of chardonnay. That reminds me, I need to find out the name of that pinot noir I had at Minerva's, it was beyond delish. Ballmer Peak achieved means I am typing faster than a speeding bullet. Well, it's five o'clock somewhere. Wait! It's five o'clock here! Boys are stupid. With the exception of the two to whom I gave birth. They are brilliant and wonderful. I really should go upstairs and see how the beginnings of soup are coming along. Creamy chicken mushroom to be precise. But I'm waiting for the dryer to finish so I can go fold and hang stuff before it gets all wrinkly. All this up and down the stairs is tiresome when you have stuff going on in the kitchen and the laundry room. How is office cleaning/organizing/decluttering going? Thanks for asking! Six boxes packed, one closet totally organized, shredding continues. That's why I'm drinking at such an early hour. Hands are cranky from all the fine motor with the hands the last couple of days. As soon as the dryer buzzes I'm upstairs where the rest of the wine is. This tipsy tirade comes your way courtesy of Bellona of Avalon. In the Vixen, Xanthippe, Virago tradition. Naturally.

29 Degrees, Cloudy

...are the local conditions on the other side of that window. Inside we have a bloomin' begonia. And a flowering New Guinea impatiens. Outside, winter. Inside, spring. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Sometimes you use all the letters.

Document Management

Sometimes I'm brilliant and environmentally conscious at the same time. The first room to be addressed in my February cleaning/organizing/decluttering blitz is my office. It seemed reasonable to start with document management. Which entails shredding ancient bank statements, investment stuff, and anything with personal information that could lead to identity theft. In the midst of shredding, which consisted more of unclogging the shredder than actual shredding, it occurred to me that this shredded paper could be used for packing material! And then recycled once I'm moved! See how I did that? It's brilliant and environmentally conscious! Also contributing to my environmental high and mightiness is the fact that most of these paper documents have been replaced by electronic docs whenever reasonable and possible. I feel like such a grownup today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


1. Amazon has sent me an email informing me of terrific savings on baby clothing and associated gear.

2. In reference to Item 1, I expect they think I am expecting because a couple of months ago I purchased a baby gate.

3. In reference to Item 2, I bought the gate to confine Newton to a certain area of the house.

4. In reference to Item 3, Newton is a cat, not a baby.

5. In reference to Item 4, Newton would resist in ball-of-knives fashion to being dressed up in baby clothes.*

6. In reference to Item 5, I am not likely to purchase baby clothes for Newton because I would like to avoid a trip to the ER.

7. Newton might, however, enjoy toys or other baby equipment, like a swing, if I were to purchase them for him.

8. In reference to Item 7, Newton has demonstrated high resistance to playing with things that were purchased specifically for that application.

9. In reference to Item 8, I have considered when bringing home, for instance, a new scratching post for Newton that I instruct him to not touch it, this is a very expensive decorative item that is for my enjoyment, not his.

10. Doesn't Amazon realize that I returned the gate over a month ago?

*Any sort of clothing, actually.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Choice Is Clear

Yes, It Is

I love this movie. It has snappy dialogue, appealing characters, and best of all, depicts a believable and entertaining romantic involvement between people in their fifties. I had never taken notice before that it carries an R rating, and I have watched it probably five times. I puzzled over why it would be rated R. No f-bombs dropped, no violence, no nudity, no blood, no drug use. Oh, wait. There is a scene, a totally hilarious one, mind you, where adults, adults, meaning not children, get stoned. There are no awful consequences after getting stoned, maybe that's where the R rating comes in. The potheads must be punished! Interestingly, near the beginning of the movie Ms. Streep's character overimbibes on alcohol and later is found, first barfing into a nightstand drawer and soon after hugging the toilet. Clear consequences for combining martinis and wine and I believe an after dinner brandy. Oh, I forgot, booze is legal. Marijuana isn't. But please! How can a joint between friends earn a movie an R? After all, partaking of weed has been depicted in a number of network television sitcoms as well as late night tv's Saturday Night Live. Even Parenthood's adult siblings were shown toking up in a schoolyard in the drama's first season. None of this programming would have been deemed suitable for network broadcast unless it had a PG rating. People can certainly get offended about whatever they choose, but pot smoking among adults in a film created for theatrical release? Puh-leez! But then, I'm one of those oddballs who thinks it's healthier to view some naked bodies than it is to watch people shoot each other up. Watch It's Complicated and see if you think it deserves the R rating. If you ask me, you'll probably get so caught up in how entertaining it is you'll forget to look for R-worthy content.

PS: It has just occurred to me that in 9 to 5, office pals played by Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton get stoned together and chow down on leftover barbeque. It was rated PG. Maybe my theory is total crap.