But goddammit, if someone takes my lamp again, I am going to be royaly pissed!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
But goddammit, if someone takes my lamp again, I am going to be royaly pissed!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The financial crisis world-wide has been kind of something in the background that I have been aware of, but haven't really paid any attention to.
But the economic crisis hit close to home yesterday.
In 2007, at the end of Cousins Day, I took a picture of Peach's "65" stash in comparison to mine.
It was delicious too. Then we played our last game of cards, watched Two and a Half Men and Peach decided she was ready for bed. My mother lasted through half opf another show and then she went to bed too. I stayed up to watch Smash but fell asleep before it ended, so we all were feeling the effects of our "flavored beer" last night I think!!
Monday, February 27, 2012
Cousins Day tomorrow. You know what that means....
Sunday, February 26, 2012
1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
Born and raised in San Francisco, now living in Davis, California, which is 80 miles east of San Francisco and 20 miles west of the capitol, Sacramento.
2. Favorite childhood story/book/film?
Hmmm...story? There was a short story about a Chinese family whose barn burned down and in poking around in the ashes where their pigs had been, they tasted roast pork for the first time (because it was forbidden to eat pork). I can't remember how it ended. Favorite book, The Island Stallion, by Walter Farley (who also wrote all the Black Stallion books). Favorite film? There were too many I loved as a kid, but just to name one, let's say Bambi.
3. If you could change gender for a day what would you do?
Pee standing up.
4. Do you feel your family is complete or would you like more/some children?
Well, since I just had my 69th birthday, I would say that having more children is a physical impossibility. I wouldn't mind having back the two that died, though.
5. What do you do/Where do you work and do you enjoy it?
I am a retired medical office manager, working part time as a theater critic and volunteering in a used book store. I love seeing all that theatre, and I love being around all those books.
6. Which three words do you think sum you up?
Compassionate, funny, fat
7. If you were a fairy what magical powers would you possess?
Nestle in a nutshell, dive into a dew drop, gambol upon gossamer
8. If you were invisible, where would you go and what would you do? Why?
Sit in the Oval office for a couple of days and find out the way government is REALLY run.
9. What song can’t you listen to without crying?
"In the Arms of the Angel," which was the song Marta and Paul's widow sang at his funeral.
10. Which book changed your life – or at least made you think a lot?
"East of Eden," especially when read in conjunction with "Journal of a Novel," which is a collection of the letters John Steinbeck wrote to his publisher while he was writing the book.
11. Why do you blog?
Because I can't NOT blog.
12. What is your top ‘me-time’ tip?
Always have a book with you.
13. What can’t you live without?
14. Which of all your blog posts are you most proud of and why?
This is my 4,353rd blog post. It's impossible to pick just one, but I am proud of the entries where I took a stand on something -- gay rights, the latest Catholic church scandal, child slavery in Ghana, animal abuse, etc.
15. Have you ever met a famous person? Who and where?
Judy Garland at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco in 1961; Carol Channing at the Ovation Awards in Los Angeles in 2000; Theodore Bikel at Sardi's, opening night of our friend Jim Brochu's play, Zero Hour.
16. When did you last have a full night's sleep?
April 23, 1966 (the day before our first child was born!)
17. What would you think is harder: Going to work or staying at home with children?
I've done both, and both are hard. Being at work when your children are at home is very difficult. Being home with the children is the most rewarding.
18. What are you doing for Easter?
Probably roasting a leg of lamb for my mother.
19. What is your favorite drink?
20. Do you play any sports?
Is Scrabble a sport?
21. What is your most embarrassing moment?
In grammar school when I tore the back seam of my pants and had to walk home about 5 city blocks with my backside hanging out--especially when I ran into a classmate en route.
22. How clever are you?
Depends on about what. I'm not crafty, but I can be clever about some things.
23. Name a new favorite TV show?
Once Upon a Time and Grimm. Love 'em both.
24. Any guilty pleasures?
Yes. Next question...?
25. If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?
Barbara, because when people can't remember my name 90% of the time they call me Barbara, so it would just be easier if that had been my name to begin with (and, in fact, it is what my parents almost called me)
26. Who do you most admire in life, and why?
My mother because she has lived to 92-1/2 with grace and dignity, has endured plenty of hardships, and still maintains her good humor and everybody loves her.
27. What is your most treasured possession?
28. Tell your favorite funny joke
It's much too long to write here, but the punch line is "why don't you write your mother?"
29. What is your biggest fear in life?
Losing more people that I love. Being helpless and dependent on others for everything.
30. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? What does it remind you of?
It depends on the day, but generally a vanilla base with something chocolatey and crunchy mixed in with it. I make a fabulous malted milk ice cream that you can't buy anywhere.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Babe and my godfather, Fred (my great uncle) at my First Communion
Friday, February 24, 2012
1/2 pint ale
vinegar (tarragon is excellent here)
nutmeg, lemon, parsley, seasoningFry the chops--well seasoned--in the ordinary way, and drain off the fat into a basin. Pour the ale into the frying pan, season again, and simmer gently until the chops are tender. When this has happened, take the chops out of the pan and put aside to keep hot.
Pour the liquor from the pan into a basin, add a little vinegar, some capers, the yolks of the eggs, a grate of nutmeg and a pinch of salt.
Beat this up well and add it to the fat that you drained off from the chops. Pour all back into the frying pan and stir until the sauce thickens, when you should pour it over the chops.
Serve the chops garnished with a slice of lemon and a spring of parsley.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
The ability to be friends, to laugh together, to face problems together, and (to quote Kwizgiver) accepting people for who they are.
77) How could someone win your heart?
Bring me world peace and a clean house.
78) In your world, what brings on more creativity?
For me, it's the example of others. I have learned a lot, for example, from all the mail art bloggers.
79) What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
Giving up wearing uncomfortable shoes.
80) Why did you break up with your last ex?
I had to choose between a date with Keith and a date with Walt and I chose Walt. Keith never asked me out again.
81) What would you want to be written on your tombstone?
It's all juice and crackers.
82) What is your favorite word?
83) Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: delusional.
84) What is a saying you use a lot?
It's all juice and crackers.
85) Are you watching Idol this season? If yes, how do you like it?
I gave up on Idol a few seasons ago.
86) Were you surprised that House got canceled?
This is the first I heard that it had been canceled. But I'm not surprised. I used to love it and just got tired of House's personality. Things went rapidly downhill when he got together with Cuddy. I haven't watched it in at least a year.
87) What is your current desktop picture?
This is on my desktop....
89) What would be a question where you'd not tell the truth?
"Do you floss daily?"
90) One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by WEEPING ANGELS. The Weeping Angles aren't really doing anything, they're just standing around your bed. What would you do?
Pass around a big box of Kleenex
91) You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What is that power?
The power to soften humans' hearts and eradicate hate in the world. Easy peasy, right?
92) You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again?
Any part of the Lawsuit concert behind Wellman Hall, at UCD's Whole Earth Festival.
93) You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
The death of David and that horrible, horrible night when we got "the call" in New York. If David hadn't died, I don't think that Paul would have died either.
94) You have the opportunity to sleep with the music-celebrity of your choice. (let's say that you are both single and available) Who might it be?
I can't give you the name of any music celebrity right now, let alone one I'd like to sleep with.
95) You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?
Africa. (Yes, I know Africa is a big continent, comprised of many countries, but I can't choose a specific place in Africa. It would have to be southern Africa, where the big game photo safaris are and perhaps Kenya or Uganda, where I have sponsored children. But you can surprise me and drop me off anywhere in Africa where there is a tour guide waiting.)
96) Do you have any relatives or friends in jail?
Not that I know of, but given the eccentricities of this very large, very diverse family, it wouldn't surprise me.
97) Who's winning the U.S. Republican presidential nomination? Why?
Good Lord, I don't know. The idea of any of them winning the presidency strikes fear and terror in my heart.
98) Who's winning the next U.S. Presidential election?
I hope Obama, but at this stage of the game, I don't have a clue.
99) If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say?
Wake up, people! We're all in this together--now is not the time to be hating one another!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Martha Dickman, Stephen Peithman, LuAnn Higgs and Joe Alkire)
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Must come a time...seventy.
When you're old, and it's cold
And who cares if you live or you die.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Why do Republicans hate women?
I have been beyond furious since yesterday, and my mood did not improve as I read news reports today.
If you don't watch Rachel Maddow, please look at this 10 minute video clip. It starts with a report about the Westminster Dog Show, but then moves into what is happening in Virginia right now. If you are impatient, move the slider forward to about 3:30 minutes into the piece.
This is a report about the abortion bill (SB 484) in Virginia which will require women seeking abortions in Virginia (abortion, a legal medical procedure) a medically unnecessary vaginal probe (a transvaginal ultrasound) to determine gestational age of the embryo.
A Chicago Tribune article makes excellent points about this barbaric governmental intervention which the party of "smaller government" is trying to inflict on the women of Virginia.
To quote Tobias Barrington Wolff, Professor of Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure at the University of Pennsylvania Law School,
Try to envision the mindset of a legislator who would enact a bill the sole purpose of which is to mandate the forcible, medically unnecessary invasion of a woman's vagina as the price -- the attempt at forced shame -- for terminating a pregnancy. Whatever a person's views on abortion might be, this is an assault of a different order. It is one thing to believe that abortion should be restricted; it is quite another to use the law to impose humiliation and invasion upon women who seek out the procedure. A person cannot enact such a law without embracing a willful disregard for the personhood and dignity of all women.
An article in the Virginian Pilot says,
The bill, among the most invasive ever passed in Virginia, is the result of frustration by lawmakers opposed to abortion. Unsuccessful in making abortion illegal and unwilling to be frank about their goals, they have tried by technicality and obfuscation to make it harder for a woman to terminate a pregnancy.
And now this. In addition to the ultrasound, the bill mandates a waiting period of at least 2 hours and as long as a day before a woman can have an abortion. That waiting period has no medical necessity at all.....
Seeing the bill as a fait accompli, Virginia Representative David Englin sought to add an amendment that which would at least require that a woman give her permission to that medically unnecessary, state-ordered vaginal probe. The amendment failed by a vote of 64-34.
There is a similar bill being discussed in Texas and an article in the Houston Chronicle observes, a close reading of the Texas Penal Code, Section 22.011, suggests that the new law may also constitute a sexual assault upon women, which is a second-degree felony. The code defines a sexual assault as an offense in which a person intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent. Furthermore, the law stipulates that one condition of nonconsent is met when the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate.
A transvaginal ultrasound may give a more clear picture of the embryo, but if there is no doubt that the woman is pregnant, what is the purpose of just seeing it more clearly, if not to make the whole procedure even more upsetting for the woman?
And then this morning there is a report on a contraceptive hearing where Republicans refuse to let women testify. Witnesses consisted of only male religious leaders, and a female college student was denied the right to voice her opinion because she was deemed not to have the appropriate credentials to testify.
These are the people who swept into office on the promise of creating jobs, reducing the deficit and bringing us smaller government. Yet there have been no jobs bills, and they are spending their time creating laws that will affect the very private lives of thousands of women across this country, without allowing the women to voice their opinion.I feel paralyzed with anger and frustration....and this doesn't even affect me at all. I can only imagine how women of child-bearing years are feeling, if they are even aware of what is going on.
to decide whether birth control should be fully covered by insurance plans.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
As I mentioned a few weeks back, my goal each time I'm at the book store is to choose a book that is short enough I can probably finish it in 4 hours. The idea was that I could read something I probably would never read otherwise. I've successfully done that during each of my afternoons there and am getting into the hang of it, and even starting to plan.
Since I was going to work on Valentine's day, I thought about what would be good and appropriate to read on that day. I decided I should pick out a Harlequin romance novel because a good bodice-ripper seemed to be appropriate for this holiday of romance, and I had never actually read a Harlequin romance because it just isn't my cuppa tea and this would be my chance to get a feel for them.
Well, I couldn't find a Harlequin romance (perhaps because owners, Susan and Peter, have better taste?) so that left me looking for something appropriate to read on Valentine's day.
Elizabeth Berg's "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" concerns a 30-something woman whose biological clock is ticking and who is madly in love with her gay ex-fiance and can't see herself with anyone else. My review is on my Books Read in 2012 page, so I won't repeat it here, but it did kinda fit into the whole Valentine's Day theme, being concerned with love and marriage and that sort of thing.
The problem with the book was that even though it was nearly 300 pages, it was a very fast read and I ended up with an hour and a half left of my time before I was going to be leaving, so I went to look for another very short book.
I ended up choosing a book I'd heard of for some time, Ilene Beckerman's "Love and Loss and What I Wore." It's a very short book and half of it is cartoonish drawings so I knew I could finish it in plenty of time. If you aren't familiar with the book, it is Beckerman's life as told through the clothes she wore at significant times in her life -- school dances, her wedding, the period of time after her divorce, job interviews, etc. One page explains the situation and the facing page is one of her cartoons, showing herself in that outfit.
Someone reviewing this book on Amazon wrote, "So much of our memories have an affiliation with an outfit...this is a celebration of being a woman."
This was a book I could not relate to at all. I started thinking about it today and tried to remember any clothes that I wore throughout that made such an impact on me that years later I could remember them.
Beckerman starts with her Brownie uniform and so far we were doing well together, she and I. I do remember my Brownie uniform, with its little beanie with the tag on the top of it. I even remember my green Girl Scout uniform and the sash that went across my chest, where my mother sewed on my merit badges.
I also remember my school uniforms, the white middyblouse with blue collar and cuffs and the navy blue pleated skirt that went with it for grammar school, and then the green plaid skirt and white blouse, with green sweater for high school.
It would be surprising if I didn't remember these uniforms, since I wore the grammar school uniform for eight years and the high school uniform for four years. I maybe losing my memory occasionally, but if I forget what those uniforms looked like, we can all start to worry.
But I sat here today and tried to remember "significant" clothes throughout my life. I remember the matching Easter outfits that Karen and I wore one year. They were grey tailored outfits made by a Russian seamstress named Olga Gayno (that last name may be spelled wrong...probably is!). I don't know why I remember that except maybe because having clothes specially tailored for me was a big deal. I don't know who Olga was or how my mother found her. Presumably through my grandmother.
The only other piece of clothing that I can remember during grammar school is a circle skirt that was black and quilted with a gold thread. I loved wearing skirts that "swirled" and this was a good swirling skirt. I usually wore it with a short-sleeved blouse or sweater and a neck scarf because I loved how Audrey Hepburn looked wearing a neck scarf. Somewhere there is a picture of me in that skirt in 8th grade (which is maybe why I remember it).
I've tried and tried and can't think of a thing I wore during my high school years except the yellow dress I wore to my junior prom and the green emerald satin dress I wore to my senior prom. There is a lovely picture of me in that emerald dress.
Of course I remember my wedding dress and the pink suit that was my going-away outfit, but when I think of all the significant events in my life I can't connect any of them to dresses. I don't remember what I wore to any of my job interviews, or what I wore to any of the kids' baptisms. I don't remember the clothes I wore to my children's funerals.
Oh, I can remember some clothes I owned, I remember photos of me in certain dresses or other outfits, but I could not, for the life of me, tell my story by the clothes that I wore.
Heck, I can hardly remember which t-shirt is under the sweatshirt I am wearing as I sit here.I have to face it -- clothing has never been a big deal in my life, at least not to remember how I felt at certain times by remembering clothes that I wore. Ilene Beckerman, you're a better (wo)man than I am!!!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
This being the season of chocolate, I thought I would do some research and see what interesting facts I can learn about chocolate.
1. People spend more than $7 billion a year on chocolate. The fact does not state if this is each or grouped together, but I figure that I have significantly helped to reach this total.
2. According to the fact sheet, the per capita consumption of chocolate indicates that each person consumes 12 lbs of chocolate a year. I want to know if this is my limit, like the monthly data usage for Verizon. If this is my limit, I am in big trouble--and it's only February.
3. David Gerrold consumes well over 12 lbs of chocolate a year.
4. In the movie Psycho, Hitchcock used chocolate syrup to simulate blood in the shower scene, which may be why Janet Leigh spent so much time in the shower--she wasn't screaming; she was opening her mouth to catch the chocolate!
It is a little known fact that she gained 5 lbs during the filming of that scene. (OK, I made that last part up.)
5. The first known use of chocolate was by the Mayans from about 250 to 900 A.D. They used cacao for many things, including money. 10 beans would buy you a rabbit, or a prostitute. Of course if you spent all your beans buying a prostitute, you would have no way to keep her happy because you couldn't offer her chocolate truffles.
6. The first recorded case of "Death by Chocolate" occurred in the 17th century when the Catholic church in Chiapas, Mexico issued a ban on chocolate. The townspeople refused to uphold it and the bishop was found dead from poison mixed in his own chocolate. (Even then the clergy were issuing "do as I say, not as I do orders".)
7. More than 60 million Hershey's kisses are made each day. My mother buys most of them.
8. More than twice as many women as men eat and crave chocolate (and this is a surprise to anybody?)
9. The biggest chocolate structure ever made was made in Belgium, using at least 50,000 chocolate bars.
10. People rarely buy chocolate for fat people.
So. Given #10, I have watched each year as Walt buys chocolates for the kids. We've never done gifts for Valentine's Day (such a silly custom), but sometimes a girl just wants to have an excuse for chocolate, you know.
So this year I set about deciding how I was going to treat myself. My first thoughts always turn to See's, the candy I grew up on, but I'm not sure you can actually buy See's in Davis and I certainly wasn't going to drive 20 miles to get myself a few pieces of chocolate. And besides, someone had brought a box to See's to my mother recently and I had had some there.
I thought about getting myself a candy bar, but that seemed too mundane.
I thought of going to the candy store in town but I get all flummoxed when presented with a number of choices behind a glass when someone is waiting for me to decide. And what if they weren't really good, or at least not the taste I was looking forward to.
I bought chocolate croissants for us for breakfast this morning, and served them with strawberry smoothies (Walt found two awesome cards, one from him and one from "the girls.").
I also went to the supermarket and bought a bag of Lindor truffles (which I love) to take with me to the book store.
(I wanted to read a Harlequin romance novel because I've never read one and I figured a good bodice-ripper might be just the thing to read on Valentine's day, but I couldn't find one, so I read this instead...I couldn't pass up the baby feet in the picture!)
There is one of the pen palling bloggers who has been touting her chocolate product. I keep seeing ads for it everywhere, and even sent some to Jeri and Phil for Valentine's Day.
I was recently in the supermarket and noted that it is not available on the store shelves, so I treated myself to a block of chocolate on a stick, which you immerse in a cup of hot milk and let melt for a hot chocolate treat to end the night.
I think I'm all chocolated, now, and able to go for another year before such a splurge! (But I'm dangerously close to my 12 lb limit for 2012.)