Wednesday, August 31, 2005

No connection

At 1:11 AM Niks and I were awaken by the loudest crack we had ever heard. Simultaneously with the crack was a lightening flash and thunder. The crack was a separate noise. Very scary. I got up and looked downstairs, and then in the basement, and also outside.

Nothing.

There were major storms moving through the area last night, and reportedly a tornado about four or five miles away at about 1:00 AM, but not even a limb down on our street. Still, I have no computer server today. I'm at dddragon's right now.

Not complaining, mind you. All I'm missing in my life is on-line connections. But notice that it's killing me...and I'm over here on 3D's PC.

LOL

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Support your not-so-local blogger

One of the bloggers that I read is a student who has entered a photo in a contest. Her name is Natasha, maybe, or maybe she just calls herself that. You know, like that.

You can go to this site and vote for your favorite photo. I voted for her photo. It's called Sky Blue , and is in the ninth row, second column.

'Course you should vote for the one you think is the best one. But if you don't have another one that you like better, you could vote for Nat's. Just sayin'. IF.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Pascal

Thanks to Doug, I decided to get interested in Blaise "Monsieur le Smart@$$" Pascal.
Monsieur le Smart@$$was his middle name according to Doug. Folks, I found out that Doug was just s**ting me on that. As far as I can discover, this Blaise Pascal fella didn't have a middle name.

I did read up a little on him though. Thought I'd educate myself just a tad. I read this:

Born at Clermont-Ferrand, 19 June 1623; died in Paris, 19 August 1662. He was the son of Etienne Pascal, advocate at the court of Aids of Clermont, and of Antoinette B├ęgon.

Then I just sort of wandered off in a daydream, so that's all I can tell you about Blaise Pascal. Oh, 'course I already knew about Pascal's Wager. Had to learn that in Philosophy 101. You know that one. It says that you might as well believe in God. Just in case there is one. Like that. I always thought that was chicken. I've got courage enough not to believe.

And I knew that one of his most famous works is the Pensees. I never read that, so I don't know if he was talkin' about the male anatomy and just couldn't spell. Probably not, seein' as how he was a prodigy and all.

The only other think I know about him, other than he was an important genius, is that he was ugly. There, I'm done I think. Don't know one other thing.

Except there's a quote site that has some quotes by him like, "I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man’s being unable to sit still in a room." Now, I kinda like this, 'cause it means that women can't be the cause of evil. Also, it refutes the notion that it's the love of money that is the root of all evil, so it's interesting on that front too.

He also said, "Since we cannot know all that there is to be know about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." I vote for that. Well, not for knowing a little bit about absolutely everything I guess, but the part about not knowing so much about anything. I've always been a skimmer myself. I just look at leaves from the top. Don't want to turn one over and see what's underneath. Usually a worm.

Another quote is "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread." Not sure what this means. There's never any silence around me. You can ask anyone.

And he said this: "The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of." I love that. I never knew that he was the one who said it. But I know that I've heard it and liked it. He was a genius mathematician and he said something like that. So I sort of like him I think. Just a little bit, me being a skimmer and all. Don't want to get into him that deep.


On another front, Happy Birthday to my first born: dddragon.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sense or probably not

Someone asked on the last post, if it was supposed to make sense. Well, not someone, Fred One, to be specific.
This is not a sense-making site. I shoulda put that right up front. Maybe I have to make some changes to the header thingie. Call it a boring, not-sense-making blog. Maybe some nonsense here, but no sense sense.

No common sense either. My common sense is so poor that I run a risk every time I use it. And really not any wit here. This is a serious place. 'Cause you can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty, or smart, or to have sense. So, I'm just tellin' ya. Don't be lookin' for sense here.

I sort of think that a preoccupation with sense and such shows an arrested intellectual development. Now, you're probably thinking, "That doesn't make any sense at all."
EXACTLY. See? Like that. No sense. Don't even think about it.

'Course there are other kinds of sense. There's moral sense, for example. There are folks who claim a strong moral sense, are actually heartless and cruel. Vindictive even. Like to tell others what to think and do. Some people. I don't want that kind of sense. I think I can distinguish between morality and moralizing though.

I guess a person can have a sense of values too. I don't know if there's any of that stuff on this site or not. Not on purpose anyway. I'm just breezing along, minding my business. And if I had a sense of pride, I wouldn't be publishing this crummy post.

Now a sense of humor would be nice on a blog. I sometimes try that, with minimal success. Naturally everyone claims to have a sense of humor. Even people who confess to murder won't own up to not having a sense of humor. Yet we all know folks who we would describe as lacking a sense of humor. Usually that means we played a joke on them and they didn't laugh. Like that.

William James, a Philosopher and Psychologist, said that, "Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."

MMmmmm….sorry Willie J., that doesn't make sense to me. I guess you have to have more sense than I have to understand this stuff.

Sorry that this got so long, but I don't have time to make it shorter.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Too Proud

I'm having a busy week. Nothing exciting of course. Excitement is not my middle name. Actually, I kinda, sorta, don't have a middle name really. Oh! Caught myself just in time. I was about to digress, which I hardly ever do as you all know. But, no, I stopped myself.

I'm not gonna tell you about how I hate my first name, and so I always used my middle name, but then after I married, I dropped the first name altogether and went with the middle name, which is now my first name, and then stuck my maiden name in where my middle name used to be, and so now, in a kinda, sorta way, I don't have a middle name.

Not going to go into that. Not at all. Didn't digress one tiny, itty-bitty bit.

I'm so proud.

I remind myself of a Shel Silverstein poem, called Smart:

"My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes – I guess he don't know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head –
Too proud of me to speak!"


Bet you all feel the very same way about me! Too proud of me to speak.
*bowing*

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Back on Track

After I attended the funeral for a sweet friend yesterday morning, I came home and took a six-hour power nap.

Good thing I decided to get up today. I had two phone calls before 8:30 AM.

One was someone telling me she "can't help at church tomorrow," because she got a chance to go sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. Who can blame her? Well, me, I can blame her, but really, I'm sure everyone else sees her side. Fine friends you all turned out to be. Harrumph.

I've told several other people that I had enough folks to help me with the task of cleaning the church kitchen top to bottom, so they don't need to bother themselves. Now, I have to think about whether or not to call one of them to see if they can still offer their services. Sometimes I think I'm better off doing these things by myself.

The other call was AT&T. My bill is automatically paid by being billed to my VISA. Something happened in the "auto" part starting in July. Well, not something. My card was "compromised". As in: some bank somewhere in the world had their system hacked into and my card number was one of thousands which was stolen. So new card, new number equals no payment to AT&T. I thought that the credit union was going to handle transferring any automatic payments to the new card number. Silly me. That's what guy told me when I went into the credit union. He had nice eyes though. That's all that counts. Look good, say anything. You'll get away with it.

Good news is that dddragon and I will be working together today at the church, painting the mural that she designed. That will be pure fun. For me. Probably just work for her.

You won't believe this, since I'm a Unitarian, but I have not had coffee yet. Unitarians worship the coffee god. I'm off to pay homage.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Nothing going on





I'm doing nothing today. I'm tired and I'm resting up for a very busy rest-of-the-week.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Not so syrupy-sweet



You know all those syrupy-sweet e-mails you get that say how wonderful you are and such? They’re like form letters, only in e-mail form.  Then they tell you to forward the e-mail to “all the other wonderful women you know” blah, blah, blah, or else your toes will drop off. Thosee-mails.  I guess some are written just for men. I don’t know what they are threatened with.  What could drop off there?  Think hard. Well, it might not be hard. What I meant was, it might not be difficult, could be hard, could be soft otherwise. Hard to say.  Seem to have stepped out on a slippery slope here.  Getting’ off track. Which is real unusual for me.

I was thinking that we could put our heads together and come up with a better one of those things. Then we could bother folks with it. Like that. Everyone did so well on my last post about daffy words. So it seems like we could write up a fine non-syrupy-sweet note that’s more on the realistic side.

Okay, then.  Everybody in?  I’ll start.  You go after me.

1. When you are sad - I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.


2. When you are blue - I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile - I will know you finally got laid. I’ll show interest in your life by hounding you until you confess all the details.

4. When you are scared - I will praise you. After all it is better to be scared than killed. If you aren’t scared of everything you might leave the house. It’s dangerous out there.

5. When you are worried - I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be so that you will quit whining.

6. When you are confused - I will use little words.


7. When you are sick - Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever it is that you have.

8. When you fall - I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.



9. When you feel ugly – I’ll…well, I can’t help you there.



I’ll do all this for you because you are
blah, blah, blah, we’ll let people insert anything they want to in this part.  You know, make it personal.  Like that.

We’ll end our e-mail form letter with a reminder that a good friend will help you move.  A reallygood friend will help you move a body.  
Let me know if I ever need to bring a shovel.  


We’ll tell them to send the e-mail to ten of their closest friends. Let’em get depressed because they can think only of nine. Is this fun or what?

Your turn.
    

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Just a buncha words

I love words. They're just plain fun. Doug has about the best site that exists for words.

But he's too smart for me. I'm just your regular, simple fool, who ain't so sofistedcated as some. So if you're lookin' for smart. Don't look here. It's pointless. Pointless is a rule of etiquette. It means it's considered rude to point. Or like sometimes, words have a second meaning, so then pointless means a football game that ends zero-zero.

I used to be an Accountant. That's a financial manager for ants. I suppose it could be a person who numbers ants as they come out of their little mounds, but that was beneath me. Later I was an Analyst. An Analyst is the keeper of a large index of buttocks. Butt, I retired. I was tired some days when I was still working, and now I'm tired all over again.

The only reason I am up in the computer room typing is because I was leaving a hindprint in the TV room. A hindprint is an indentation made by a couch potato. But you knew that.

Here's some words that I learned from the Washington Post. You all probably know these words, so you don't have to read them. In fact reading them may give you Deja Moo. You know, that feeling that you've heard this bull before.

I was going to begin the way you do when you eat cherries. You know, choose and eat the best ones first. Like that. But then I always end by eating them all anyway. So I'm just going to type. Eat one or two, or all, or none. I'll never know.

Hozone: the area around 6th street, maybe 3rd street in your town.
Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
Reintarnation: Coming back to life as Gomer Pyle.
Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it. I don't really understand that one, but I will keep trying.
Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. I'm afraid I may be catching this.
Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
Glibido: All talk and no action.
Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole. See George W. Bush.
Tatyr: a lecherous Mr. Potato Head.
Conratemps: the resentment permanent workers feel toward the fill-in workers.
Writer's tramp: a woman who practices poetic licentiousness.
Guillozine: a periodical for executioners.
Emasculathe: a tool for castration.
Burglesque: a poorly planned break-in. I think they mean like Watergate or something.
(Burglarize are what a crook sees with, and Polarize are what penguins see with, but that's got nothing to do with nothin'.)
Eunouch: the pain of castration. Emphasis is on the ouch I think.
Hindkerchief: really expensive toilet paper, like maybe toilet paper at Buckingham palace.
Nazigator: an overbearing member of your carpool.
Impotience: eager anticipation by men awaiting their Viagra prescription.
Adulatery: cheating on your wife with a much younger woman who holds you in awe. The young woman in this case has the kinda stupidity, against which, God Himself is helpless.
Antifun gal: a prude. Some of these gals may be plums in the beginning, but end up as prunes. Sad. Really sad.
Vaseball: a game of catch played by children in the living room.

Well, gotta get to bed. There's always tomorrow, which is one of the greatest labor savings devices of today.

I have this lullabuoy in my head. That's an idea that keeps floating into your head and prevents you from drifting off to sleep. I think that's Natasha's fault. She got me started on this song....

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Oh great!

Oh this is just great. Wonderful.

Blogger hasn't been letting me into post, or to edit, or to delete any comments that I leave on your site that don't turn out the way I meant.

NOW, I have absolutely nuttin' to say, and the darn thing is cooperating. Lettin' me in. Darn blogging thing.

Ha! Well, let's just see what it does when I try to add a picture. That'll get it. It will blow me off or something that that.

Wait, maybe I should try to think of something to say! Quick! Think girl.

No. Sorry. I can't do it. Arrrggggggh. Also *sigh*.

Ya wasted your time here, huh? Well, if you sneak off and don't comment, no one will ever know. Save yourself some embarrassment. And as Hoss would say, I always vote for saving myself embarrassment. Or, would he? Say that I mean. Why would anyone save embarrassment? What would you do with it? And how much of it would you need, if you thought up something to do with it? Ol' Hoss is purdy darn smart, so I guess he wouldn't say that.

So I take that back. In fact, I'll just delete that part. I'll leave it in for now, of course. Then I'll try to get back into edit. So, if it's still there when you read this -- but you'll be savin' yourself embarrassment and not commenting, remember? -- then you will know that I couldn't get back in. Actually you're probably not reading this, so you'll never know. Kinda makes me sad -- your not knowin' and all. Too bad.

People always want to ask other folks, "What's your most embarrassing moment?" Like you would tell the truth about that. Like a person would confess to the true most embarrassing moment. (Look at how many times I'm getting to type 'ass' without it being noticed. heheheh.)

Mark Twain said that compliments embarrassed him. Said, "There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me. I always feel that they have not said enough." That Twain.

Andy Warhol said that, "Dying is the most embarrassing thing that can ever happen to you, because someone's got to take care of all your details." Sorry Andy, I'm not buying that. Bet you had some embarrassing moments that you didn't share with us. I'm thinkin' that painting Campbell's Soup cans and pretending that it's art is a tad embarrassing.

Did you hear Michael Jackson say, "I embarrass easily" or "Me and Janet really are two different people."? How embarrassing.

And folks speak of an embarrassment of riches. What the heck is that? When it comes to riches, I don't think you could embarrass me enough.

You know, this got long, didn't it? Don't answer, you're just lurking here, remember? Funny. I started out with nothing to say, and I've still got most of what I didn't have to say left. Seems as if a person never runs out of nothing to say. But most say it anyway.
Some people.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Grrrr...



I think that maybe I'm in the prime of my senility. I wrote a post a little bit ago in "Word." (It's below this one.) Copied it and pasted it into "Hello." Published it. I knew that it would have question marks everywhere that I had used a quote mark or a ' mark. No problem. Publish, go into edit and correct them.

BUT NOooooooooo. Damn thing won't let me back in. Thinkin' about throwing the PC out the window. Ya know? Like in the cartoons?

EDIT: Okay. All is well. Sort of. Damn thing.
Double Edit: Or maybe it's Edit P.S. What's the etiquette on that?
Anyhoo, maybe Pentamento? Spell check ain't liking that.
I forgot where I was. Senile alright.
Double Dog Dare EDIT: Finally realized that of course, a double edit, or a second edit, is so obviously a Double Dog Dare Edit. I tell ya, this gettin' old is for the birds.
Now, if I could only remember what the heck I was going to say in the second edit....

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Nothing exciting




Havin' a bit of a bad-hair day here. Nothing special or amazing. Amazing? Ha! I should be so lucky. Lucky Lucy. That has a nice ring. But no. Nothing amazing going on.

Day started out with the Pest Control guy ringing the doorbell at 7:30 AM. Every three months I have the house sprayed for any kinda bug. Don't like bugs. Or spiders. Or millipedes. Nope, nothin' like that. More than two legs? Dead. No if's, and's, or but's. Butts of any nekked kind are not really allowed. 'Cept in the bathroom. Well, maybe the bedroom. Nowhere else.

Unless it's me in the laundry room. 'Cause if you are about to start the washing machine and you realize that what you are wearing could stand washing, well then, it's only natural to peel it all off and toss it in the machine. But that's only if it's me. In my laundry room. No other butts. Or bugs.

Of course, then you do have to dash up stairs to get dressed. So, in that case, there can be nekked butts in the laundry room, and the rooms you have to dash through, plus the staircase. And the halls involved. But nowhere else.

So. That's the laundry room, the kitchen, the dinette, the entry hall (dangerous and daring that), the stairs, the hall, and then the bedroom. But that's all. Nowhere else.

Where was I? I mean, where was I in my tale? Not where was my tail. I know where that was.
On the john.

It always sounds like a good idea to tell Terminix to come at 7:30 AM. That way it doesn't interfere with the rest of my day. Then, when you're still on the potty when the doorbell rings, you remember why it's not the best idea. My daughters and granddaughters are now rolling their eyes and yelling: "TOO MUCH INFORMATION." True. I'll take that part out before I hit enter.

Hope I didn't just make somebody choke on an ice cube or something. If you do ever choke on an ice cube, just pour a cup of boiling water down your throat. Presto. Just like that, the blockage will be just about instantly removed. No big deal.

Come to think of it, I know some other really pretty good home remedies. Things like, avoiding cutting yourself while slicing vegetables. Just get someone else to hold them while you chop. You'll never cut yourself again.

And you guys out there. Avoid arguments with your wife or mother about lifting the toilet seat. This can be achieved by simply using the sink. Never get yelled at again. About the seat, I'm sayin'. Some women will complain about the sink. Can't please everyone, all the time. Just do the best you can.

Are you one of those people who hit the snooze button and falls back to sleep? Makes you late for work. Put a mousetrap on top of the alarm clock. When you hit that snooze button, you will NOT go back to sleep. Works. Honest. Would I lie?

Now, I haven't tried this trick, but I think it will work: If you have high blood pressure and you hate putting chemicals in your body for that, just cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes. That should reduce the pressure in your veins. It's probably good to use a timer on this. Don't tell the paramedics where you got this idea. Might 'cause jealousy. Some people. You know?

I do know for sure that if you have a bad toothache, that smashing your thumb with a hammer will help you forget about the tooth. I helped a friend once using this trick. I should call her. Haven't heard from her in a while. We used to be close. Mmmm....

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Kidspeak

Dddragon was not that quick to talk. Said her first word at about twelve months. Said, "See? " That's "see" with a question mark. She was sitting in her walker – they call those things "walkers" but they're really "roller-arounders" if you ask me. Which you didn't. Just sayin'. Anyway. Where was I before I was so rudely interrupted? Oh, yeah. Dddragon was sitting in her walker, and she rolled (see what I'm sayin' about the rolling around part?) her little baby self right up to the television, pointed her little baby finger at something on the screen, and said, "See? "

Guess I'd overdone the "see? " on our little walks around the neighborhood. I would point at a flower, and say, "See? Flower." And " See? Doggie. " Trying to teach her things like flower and doggie, but instead she picked up on the "See? " part. You see what I had to work with.

By the time she was four, she was talking. A lot. A whole lot.

Once just the two of us were driving down the street from L.A. to a place in the San Gabriel Valley – actually I was driving, ddd was just riding – she was yakking away non-stop. This was a trip that was going to take about an hour. It wasn’t a trip that should have taken an hour, but it was a trip that was going to take an hour because my brother-in-law Gene was the one who told me how to make this trip, and he never used the freeway. Afterwards when I used the freeway it was a twenty-minute trip.
But I digress.
As usual.
Sidetracked again.

Anyhoo. Ddd is hanging half out the window – yeah, yeah, she was in the front seat, and we didn’t use seatbelts in those days either. Guess I was a neglectful mother. Ddd is talking, talking, talking, and I’m half listening, and she says, "Where are those letters ? "

"What letters? "

"Those letters on the street." What the…what is this kid talking about?

"There aren’t any letters on streets. Do you mean the words that tell you that people can walk across the street? Ped Xing? "

"No. Those letters. Those letters that are on the map and the globe."

Ah. She has seen us reading maps and had noticed that there are words on the lines that represent the streets. That kid. Had to laugh at that. She talked so much on that hour's trip that I remarked to Mama, "I thought she’d never talk. Now I’m afraid she’ll never shut up."

Not so far. Shut up, I mean. That’s why I learned to use the freeway system.

She had no clue that there was anything that normal folks didn’t shout right out loud either. Not sayin’ she was abnormal. A touch unusual maybe. Friendly. Like that.

About two years later a neighbor told me about seeing ddd walking to school. Emma, the neighbor, called out to ddd, saying, "How’s the new baby brother? "

Ddd shouts back, “He’s fine! He had some trouble with his penis, but it’s okay now."
Some kid, huh?.

Nivek’s circumcision had apparently made an impression. Emma 'bout fainted apparently. It’s possible that she herself had never said the word “penis” out loud. Her problem. Not ddd’s. Not mine either. As far as I was concerned ddd could tell the world. Actually she just might have done that. Talked a lot. Seriously. She was so cute.

Not sayin' she's not cute now of course. Just sayin' not as cute...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Howdy Stranger


Met my friend Chris for coffee this morning at Borders Books. We like to meet there because no one seems to care that we sit for hours and just talk. We usually end up buying books before we leave anyway.

Today we got our coffee and had just sat down to start our visit, when an old guy walked up. He asked us if we wanted a free ticket. "Sure!" Chris said. Then she cocked her head and said, "A free ticket to what?"

He handed her the ticket. It said (well, it didn't say anything you had to read it)
Free Ticket. It's not good for anything. It's just free.

We laughed, which encouraged the old gentleman to stand and talk to us a little. He said, "I'm Bill."

Chris said, "I'm Chris."

I said, "I'm TLP." ('Course I didn't say TLP, but you get the idea.)

Bill said, "My parents named me Bill because I came at the end of the month." It was all downhill from there. Bill was wearing a baseball-style cap with "U.S.S. Miami" written on it. He had served on this ship in 1943 and recently attended a reunion of the men who served with him in WWII. We heard all about that, plus a recently family reunion. Like that. Bill pulled up a chair. Uh oh.

Bill grew up in the soft coal regions of Clearfield County. Soft coal is bituminous coal. The hard coal is anthracite. He lived in Morris Township, and worked in Philipsburg. Philipsburg with one "L." There's a Phillipsburg VA, which has two "L's" according to Bill. You see the kind of interesting stuff we learned from Bill.

He had a car in the 1940's. Not so many folks had cars then. Gave rides to the girls who lived in Morris and also worked in Philipsburg. One girl that he called Willa - he called her Willa on accounta that was her name - one day Willa said to him, "Bill, there's three kinds of turds in this world. There's musturd, there's custurd, and there's you, ya dumb shit!" That Bill.

After an hour, yes, damnitall, an hour, of this, Chris and I both felt we had done our good deed for the day by letting this lonely 80-year-old man have someone to talk at. We're exchanging eye-rolls and meaningful face-twitches, trying to send each other telepathic messages as to how to get rid of this guy. Not to be unfriendly about it or anything. Tryin' to be nice. Tryin' to get the heck outta listenin' to more of sweet ol' Bill. It's a balancing act to be sure.

Chris spots a man bringing coffee to a table a ways behind me. Her face gets brighter. She gets a big shit-eatin' grin.

"I bet that fellow over there would like a 'Free Ticket,' Bill." Sure enough, Bill gets up and trots over to give this poor soul a free ticket. Tagged him! Chris moves faster than Chris can actually move and picks up Bill's coffee cup and bag of books and takes them over to where Bill is now standing. She smiles sweetly and says, "You don't want your coffee to get cold while you're over here talking to this gentleman!" That Chris.

Chris had told me on the phone that she had brought a bazillion jigsaw puzzles for me to distribute to the various places where I do volunteer work. The low-income senior center, etc. Like that. I'm going to confess to you that I never knew precisely what a bazillion is. Turns out to be exactly 72.

Seventy-two big jigsaw puzzles take up more room than you might think. My Honda is full. Didn't want to bother bringing them into the house just to take them back out to the car tomorrow, so I left them in there for tonight. Everything will be fine unless the husband has a heart attack or something like that during the night. Then he'll just have to call a cab. No room for him in the car. Or he could drive himself.

I'm flexible.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

My son, my son

August 1991. Hot. Very hot. It's been very hot for it seems like forever.

Son Kevin seems to have had a bad day at work. Had a fight with his supervisor.

After graduating from college he returned home to live. He could have lived on his own, but he liked things. He seems to want to start out where his father and I are leaving off financially. He expects to be able to afford stuff. Wants to be able to afford a nice place in a nice area. He has a little red Porsche in the driveway, a Gucci watch on his wrist, two-hundred-dollar shoes on his feet, but it's never enough.

I hear him argue on the phone with his girlfriend of seven years. Arguing about what they will do this coming weekend. It's only Tuesday, but he likes things nailed down. He's organized. Besides, she's living in Washington D.C. now and weekends take planning. Who's going where? He's going down? She's coming up? They argue a lot; it's nothing new.

My husband Niks leaves to go over to baby-sit dddragon's twin daughters, who have just turned one. Kevin is complaining to me about work, nothing new. He's frequently unhappy about the world in general. I'm in a hurry because I have to go to church to a Finance Committee meeting. He's still talking to me as I go out the kitchen door into the garage, leaning out the door to tell me one last thing. It's just another day.

Later, nine-fifteen, nine-thirty, something like that, Niks and I arrive back home at just about the same time. We enter the house together. Kevin comes down the stairs to greet us. He's tall and thin but comes bouncing down the steps like the little kid he still sometimes is. Niks is hungry and makes himself some little snack to eat. He asks Kevin if he had supper. Kevin is 26, but his father is still concerned about what the boy has for supper when we haven't all eaten together. I've always said that Kevin is an air-fern. You know, those little ferns that aren't even in soil, and you never have to water, yet they live anyway. Like that. The boy is a picky eater.

Kevin tells him what he had to eat. Must have gone out to a restaurant, because it sounded like a real meal. Niks said, "Was it any good?"

"Yeah. It was pretty good." High praise from the boy.

We all chatted about something. Can't remember now what. This and that. Kevin seems to be in a pretty good mood now. He goes up to his room. It's been his room since he was seven years old. It still is his room, for that matter.

We were watching TV. My husband Niks and I. POP. It sounded like a pop to me.

"What was that?" we asked each other. Both of us suspected. I suspected. Niks said later he knew. But we pretended for a second that we didn't.

"Kevin?" We called. But he usually had on headphones and wouldn't hear us calling.

He did have on headphones, and he didn't hear us calling. He was dead.

Well, not dead. His lungs breathed and his heart beat. But he was dead.

His father ran up the stairs to his room. I called 911 and my mouth went dry. Completely dry. I was telling someone on the phone that my son had shot himself, and I was aware that my mouth went dry. I marveled at that at the time. Not marveled that my mouth was dry. Marveled that I was aware of it. How could I think of it at a time like this? But I was doing all of those things at once. Giving my address, Kevin's age, my name, being aware of my dry mouth, and shocked that I noticed my dry mouth. It was so dry that it stuck to my teeth.

The paramedics arrive while I am still on the phone. Small town. The police keep my husband and me downstairs. Niks had already gone up while I was calling. He doesn't want me to see. I'm torn. But they're not letting me go.

They work on him for what seems like a long time. "Stabilizing" him. He's alive!
They have arranged for the Penn State Medical School hospital to send a helicopter for him. They bring him down on a stretcher and take him away in an ambulance to the park nearby, where the helicopter is waiting for them.

Niks and I follow in our car. Of course we can't keep up. The helicopter is probably in Hershey at the hospital before we've crossed the river only two miles away.

On the way to the hospital I convince myself that our son will be okay. He's alive. I tell my husband, "He's going to be okay. He'll be mad as hell when he wakes up tomorrow, but he's going to be okay!"

The boy's father says nothing. He's been in Kevin's room with him. He knows.

At the hospital they put us in a separate, private, waiting room in the emergency room area. I didn't know they had those. A chaplain comes and talks to us. Says that he's seen our son. "He's handsome. Athletic looking," he says. It doesn't occur to me to wonder why the chaplain has been in to see our son. I should have wondered why he would be in the room where they were trying to save a person's life.

We wait and wait. Seems like a very long time. Finally an entire group of doctors come in to see us. They explain that Kevin has had "no brain activity" since he entered the hospital. They aren't treating him. There is no treatment. His heart and lungs are strong, and continue on, but soon his brain will swell and those functions will stop. He is brain dead.

We aren't crying. Yet. We agree to donate his organs, but we, me really, want to see him. They stall me. They are pleased, excited even, but trying to hide their excitement, about the organ donation. A healthy twenty-six year old man. Man! He's only a boy. They want the organs. They need time to hook him up to lots of machines so that they can save the organs. I don't blame them; I just want to see him.

It suddenly hits me that maybe I don't want him on machines. Maybe that will cause him to be in pain. I ask. "No." they tell me. "He can't feel anything. The pain is all yours now." And so is was. And so it is.

It's past midnight by now. He is declared dead on August 7, 1991. My son, my son.

Friday, August 05, 2005

It's Acton Bell's Day



Happy Birthday Acton Bell!

You know the drill: After the usual Happy Birthday, we all break into the Volga (Maybe vulgar) Boat Song tune, " Oh happy birth day, oh happy birth day,(Shout out) PAIN, MISERY, AND DISPAIR, PEOPLE DYING EVERYWHERE,...BUT, ...Oh, happy birth day, happy birth day..


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Thursday, August 04, 2005

The girls



This is a photo of just the adult females in the family. I didn't ask any one of them for her permission. Oh, well, I can delete the post if someone objects.

Acton Bell is in front, in black. I'm the white-haired one on the right. Duh.

Dddragon is to the left, and Aral 3P is in the back, also mostly in black. This was taken two or three years ago, so if you ran into us on the street, you'd still recognize us. But please don't run into us on the street. There's a law against running into pedestrians in this state. I'm guessin' probably lots of places have a law like that.

I'm thinking a lot about family. Some milestones coming up. Tomorrow, for example, is Acton Bell's birthday. She's at the shore. I'm taking care of her cat. I'd rather be at the shore. But there you go.

'scuse me now. Gotta go inoculatte myself. I'm late for something.

Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Me and my teeth. Still together



This is me with my big white smile.

Okay, it's not me. But it looks just like me.

Except that I'm white. And, I'm a woman. And I'm not wearing sunglasses.

Maybe my smile doesn't look quite as white. But that's just because dark skin makes your teeth look whiter. Mine are just as white. Almost.

Anyway. Other than that, it's just like me. Well, I have more hair.

But other than those things - just like me. Uh, my hair is a little curly.

Looks a lot like me besides that.

And I don't have to see the dentist again until February 2006. Ray will never have to see the dentist again. But other than that we're just alike.

Except I don't sing so good.

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Pez Pity Party



I have to go to the dentist this afternoon. It's just a cleaning, for gosh sakes. No big deal. But I hate going to the dentist. Just hate it. I have good teeth. Can't remember the last time I had to have something done other than cleaning. Still hate going. Sigh.

Poor, poor, pitiful me. Emphasis on pitiful.

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Probing PA Troopers



I spent part of the day on Monday weeding out old stuff that I had in my filing cabinet. Try to do it once a year, but I'm bad about stopping in the middle of this project, and never getting all the way to the end. Today I did the entire two-drawer cabinet. Feeling mighty proud. I like things to be clean and neat.
If I were a flea, I'd live as far as possible from the dog's butt. That's the kind of person I am. Like that. Now I have a clean, as in pretty-darn-near-empty, filing cabinet. I like that in a filing cabinet.

In the old articles I had saved I found one that made me laugh again, as it had the first time. You have to laugh, 'else you'll cry. Or maybe you'll do both.

I saved this article to send to the male half of the couple who used to live across the street. I think I did send it, or that is to say, a copy of it. Apparently I couldn't bring myself to part with the original.

It's dated Saturday, September 8, 2001. You know, maybe September 11 made me forget about sending it. Huh! I wonder. Anyway. The article was in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, and written by Mike Crissey, of the Associated Press. What follows in quotes is copied straight from the newspaper. I swear to you that I can't make up anything this good.

Title: Cop sex rules to be revised Subtitle: Undercover troopers' case prompts stricter guidelines.

Pittsburgh-
"The Pennsylvania State Police are revising their policies to spell out when undercover officers go too far to get evidence after a pair of troopers accepted oral sex during a sting at a massage parlor.

"The two troopers, whose identities weren't released, paid a woman $60 each for oral sex on July 19 while undercover at a massage parlor in Duncannsville, about 75 miles east of Pittsburgh, according to court records.

"State police vice detectives statewide have been told that officials are writing a new policy, which would likely require undercover troopers to get permission from their superiors before having sex during an investigation,...."
Can you hear it now? Hey, Sergeant, can I get a blow job today? Using state funds? Huh, huh, can I? Please?

"...the new rules could go so far as to prohibit troopers from having sex during investigations except in life-and-death situations."
That's harsh. Geez, how 'bout....if I don't get laid today, I'll just die.? Reason enough? Life-or-death? Who are they kidding?

"To some extent you have to rely on your people to make the right decisions on the fly," (Maj. Ralph Parlandi speaking) "Their heart was in the right place." (sic)
Oh, those were their HEARTS coming out of their flies. That's okay then.

"Although troopers are trained that money changing hands is enough for a prostitution charge there is nothing that spells out what to do in this particular situation."
Well, if you don't tell the boys what to do, I guess they'll just make it up as they go along...Oh, I'm sure they made it UP all right.

The article goes on to say that "the troopers weren't criminally charged and weren't disciplined...." And "In terms of the extra steps that they took, we recommended against it" (but) "the troopers' actions were no worse than undercover officers buying drugs to acquire evidence."
OH! Right! I see no difference at all. Do you?

BTW, the article ends with a sentence about the woman "who touched them sexually," saying, "(name) pleaded guilty to two counts of prostitution, paid a $458 fine and reportedly left town." Can't say that I blame her. Who wants to hang around and pay taxes in a state like this? After all, she KNOWS where your tax dollar goes.
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My so-called life

Friday husband Niks and I went to a movie, You and Me and Everyone We Know. It's an offbeat, indie movie. We have this sweet little theater across the river that shows movies that don't ordinarily come to a small area such as the one where we live. Heck, many big cities just get the big movies. Most of the films shown at this alternative movie house are no completion to the big theaters around here, because the general public has no interest in them. In fact, the seats in this theater were donated to them from the bigger movie houses here. I still have to smile when I think of that.

Just the same, this little place has shown some movies that ended up being big successes. Things like My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Abd The Man Who Wasn't There, and In the Bedroom. Those movies were all nominated for Academy Awards, but weren't box office draws before they were nominated.

Well, this movie, You and Me, etc. isn't anything to write home about. Why, I wonder, am I boring you about it? Maybe I'm not boring you, 'cause you aren't even over here reading this blog. That's okay. The movie was nothin' so why should you be over here readin' about it? You shouldn't be.

Niks liked it. Some guys. I'm surprised he thought it was good, because after all it wasn't in a foreign language or subtitled or anything. He usually just likes strange, foreign movies. He volunteers at our local library one day a week, shelving the audio-visual stuff, you know, DVDs, like that. He brings home about four movies a week. Offbeat stuff generally. That's okay since I don't care that much about watching TV anyway, but then he gets hurt because I don't want to sit with him and watch these things. If he's trying to keep me off the PC, he oughta bring home better stuff.

Saturday I was a "Silent Witness" at the Gay Pride Festival In Harrisburg. Straight members of our church volunteered to be sort of a barrier between the fanatical "Christians" and the members of the gay community who were just trying to come to a festival and enjoy themselves in peace. Not askin' people to approve, just leave 'em alone.

I had fun. It was pretty hot, but not as bad as some years. I don't know why the festival always has to be in July, but it is. Anyway, the event is held in the park along the river. Beautiful site. The entryway where I was stationed was near the music, and the music was great. So I lucked out.

As luck would also have it, I was stationed near a young anti-gay man who paced with his Bible, yelling at the gay folks coming into the festival. He told them that they were going to hell, etc. That God hated them. Like that. Very Christian.

Then he decided to start in on me. Now, I was a SILENT witness. I was not supposed to engage these lunatics in conversation. And I didn't. I'm used to being yelled at, from my days as a volunteer escort at the clinic that provides abortions for women who need them.

I can keep my mouth shut. Teeth clinched. Smile frozen in place. I look cute that way.

This guy told me that of course I'm going to hell. Like I didn’t know that? He asked me if I thought that God loved whores. I think that Jesus loved Mary Magdalene. He asked me if God loved people who had sex with animals. He felt the need to go through the list of various animals. "Does God love people who have sex with a horse?" Huh? What the $%#^ is he talking about? He actually named about every perversion a person could think of. I'm worried about his sexual fantasies. Seems a tad unhealthy. Think maybe I should tell his mother. Maybe the one holding the sign about fags is his mother.

When I got a 30-minute break, I strolled through the festival itself. That's always fun. Most gays just look like anybody else, because they are just like anybody else. So no one paid attention to me. At first. Then I got a big, I mean really big, blue shaved ice. I say blue because I don't know what "blue" is supposed to taste like – maybe blueberry? But it just tastes blue. Anyway. People start smiling at me. What the heck? I'm cute. They should smile. Mmmmm... turns out my lips are blue, which someone finally mentions to me. I'm cute alright.

Then later after I've done another shift at the gate, and my lips are no longer blue, I'm at last leaving, walking down lovely Front Street, past the hecklers, and who should appear but the sex manic carrying his Bible? Whoooo... I'm no longer a silent witness. I could speak, if I care to. But instead I stick my tongue out and down, making it as long as I can, a la the singing group KISS, and show him my very, very, blue tongue. He actually jumped. Thought I was possessed I guess. I had checked out my tongue before I started walking to my car, just in case I was given this wonderful opportunity to amuse myself.

Before he could recover and say something evil to me, a police PADDY WAGON drove up. Seems the hecklers didn't have a permit for the bullhorn they had been using, and they were violating the area restrictions that they had been given in writing. They had been warned several times. Now a very scary-looking police sergeant was reading them the riot act, LOUDLY, and another policeman was filming the entire thing.

I whistled all the way to the car.