Thursday, August 25, 2005

2037 does not seem that far away!

I took this test and, based on my answers, I will probably die of cancer at the age of 84 in 2037. Age 84 seems reasonable to me but funny how 2037 seems too soon. Maybe it is because we are already into the 21st century and I recognize how quickly the days of my life are passing.

I am mentally taking stock of all the things I still want to accomplish and I better get on the stick! (Where did that phrase come from??) I still want to write my script for a Movie of the Week although they do not have Movies of the Week anymore so I guess it will be on the cable channel Lifetime Movie Network. Or, perhaps because of the theme it might be picked up by WE - Women's Entertainment. Who knows? There may be a bidding war over who gets the rights to bring my-life-so-far to the screen with all its wit and pathos and delightfully interesting characters! I certainly know one or two people that would pay to keep it out of public viewing!

In addition to the Movie of the Week, my list is long of things I still want to accomplish.

1. Learn to program the clock on the VCR before it becomes completely obsolete.
2. Visit the remaining United States I have not yet seen. There are only 8 more to go but that includes Alaska and Hawaii.
3. Take an Alaskan cruise.
4. Stay in a chalet overlooking the Swiss Alps.
5. Visit Branson, MO and meet at least three headliners.
6. Kiss John Travolta.
7. Attend the air ballon festival in Albuquerque, NM
8. Plant a garden that does not burn up before it produces.
9. Be able to afford fresh flowers in my house every day.
10. Meet Meryl Streep.
11. Learn to scuba dive.
12. See the fall leaves at their best in Vermont.
13. Take a photography class.
14. Find a hair style I actually like on myself.
15. Get my masters degree in Psychology.
16. Plant an English garden.
17. Get back to my weight in 1992.
18. Learn to design web pages.
19. Take a gondola ride in Venice.
20. See the Sutherland Falls on the Milford Track in New Zealand.
21. See an active volcano.
22. Go to a Yo-Yo Ma concert.
23. Buy another house.
24. Own a Maltese.
25. Ride in a horse-drawn sleigh in the snow. (It is the Currier Ives in me.)
26. Finish all my craft projects.
27. Learn to sculpt.
28. Own a convertible.
29. Take a road trip on a motorcycle.
30. Spoil my grandchildren - when I get some.
31. Win a poker tournament.
32. Follow the Monarch butterfly migration and/or visit El Rosario the Monarch sanctuary in Mexico.
33. Make salt water taffy.
34. Learn to play the harp.
35. Attend a movie premier.

I better get busy!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mr. Picassohead

I have not felt this artsy since I learned how to use an Etch-A-Sketch. If you have never been to this website you must check it out. The intent is to enable you to create your very own Picasso-like portrait. I got carried away and created three works of art (using that term verrry loosely) in the last two days and learned something about myself in the process. My desire for perfection is in conflict with my inner-Picasso. Each time I would start off great ... adding misshapen forms and oversized features but I could not stop. I wanted my art to resemble reality so I painstakenly reworked each feature. Not that the end result was reminiscent of Michanagelo or DaVinci but I felt better. My palms weren't sweaty, my heart was back to a normal rhythm, my facial tic had subsided but then, we all suffer for our art, right?

I was thrilled when I had company last evening and they commented on the pictures taped on my refrigerator. (wink) I think I'll go to Home Depot today and check on some track lighting for the kitchen.

My three masterpieces are #407466 (My Bad Hair Day), 407485 (Presenting: Successful Surgery), and 407517 (Surprised!)

[Original entry 8/21/05)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Crazy Drivers!!

I live in a large, metropolitan city and the drivers here are crazy at times! I was driving to the store earlier today and somebody in a white sports vehicle was right on my bumper. This always frustrates me and I typically tap on my brake to give the driver the idea to back off but today I didn't because it had recently rained and I was afraid the street might be wet. I was the third car back when we stopped at a traffic light and the very second the light turned green, this jerk behind me tapped on his horn. I couldn't believe it!

I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw the guy's hand on the steering wheel kind of flip up as if to say, "Go!" I flipped my hand in the air in reply with my palm open as if to reply, "What do you want me to do, Butthead? There are cars in front of me!!" As we proceeded down the road, he was still riding way too close on my bumper and I was getting ticked off! But, I behaved myself and did not give him a single digit wave even though I felt he deserved one. The traffic was too heavy to speed up and get out of his way and my turn was coming up anyway. I just muttered under my breath how people were just too impatient and that I was not going to let this single incident get to me.

As I pulled into the turning lane, I looked over my shoulder to try and get a good look at the idiot, and, yes, do some profiling. You know how you have certain mental perceptions of certain drivers? Well, I wanted to see what this guy looked like but I could not get a good view. I was just glad I was turning and he was moving on.

Just then my cell phone rang and as I flipped it open, still steamed by the inconsiderate driver, I hear a voice ask, "Don't you know when you are being followed by your son?!" Aargh! I couldn't believe it! The idiot driver was my own 25 year old! He thought he was just too funny and I had to admit it really was. He said, "I saw you talking to me with your hands!" I told him that I was just glad I had not "said" what I was thinking!!

And, I have got to learn to recognize his new car.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Remembering the power of one cent

Gas was 35 cents a gallon when I started driving. It just does not seem possible that it is now averaging $2.50 a gallon and still on the rise. I won't mention the "I" word but I have been reminiscing about what a single penny could purchase when I was a kid. Today, if a penny is spotted on the ground, many feel it is hardly worth the effort to bend over and retrieve it. I still get excited when I find any amount of money!

I can remember when I could buy three Tootsie Rolls for 1 cent. Or I could get five sugar coated lemon drops, not that I wanted those but that was a lot for one penny. Licorice came in red or black rolls for a penny. There was also the Pixy Stix straw filled with tart flavored sugar for a single cent. (I read somewhere that many of us are probably suffering from Pixy Stix lung because it was so easy to accidently inhale the contents of those straws!) There were little wax bottles filled with a sweet liquid, barrel shaped hard candies that tasted like root beer, or the Atomic Fire Ball - each for only one cent!

But the best bargain of all, for me, was Bazooka Bubble Gum.

For one penny, I could enjoy a piece of delicious gum (scored in the middle in the event I wanted to share or save half til later) wrapped in a comic and my very own fortune! Talk about your market bundling! And, the little tiny print told you how to send off for prizes when you had saved enough comics. Wow!

I never did save enough comics to be worth while but it would have been fun to send off for the prize catalog. Of course, for that, I would have had to justify the use of a five cent stamp.

The Penny

You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story. I'm not sure who wrote this originally but it gives you something to think about.

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She causally mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

"Look at it." He said. "Read what it says."

She read the words "United States of America."

"No, not that; read further."

"One cent?"

"No, keep reading."

"In God we Trust?"



"And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!"

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful!

And, God is patient...Have a blessed day!!

Wish I'd Said That


The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
-Helen Hayes (at 73)-

I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows.
-Janette Barber-

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

A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who never owned a car.
-Carrie Snow-

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry with your girlfriends.
-Laurie Kuslansky-

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
-Erma Bombeck-

Old age ain't no place for sissies.
-Bette Davis-

Inside every older lady is a younger lady wondering what the hell happened.
-Cora Harvey Armstrong-

A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't.
-Rhonda Hansome-

The phrase "working mother" is redundant.
-Jane Sellman-

Every time I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows.
-Jennifer Unlimited-

Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.
-Charlotte Whitton-

Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.
-Caryn Leschen-

I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.
-Jennifer Unlimited-

If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

When I was young, I was put in a school for retarded kids for two years before they realized I actually had a hearing loss. And they called ME slow!
-Kathy Buckley-

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb -- and I'm also not blonde.
-Dolly Parton-

If high heels were so wonderful, men would still be wearing them.
-Sue Grafton-

I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on.
-Roseanne Barr-

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. -Elayne Boosler-

Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.
-Maryon Pearson-

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.
-Margaret Thatcher-

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriageand a career.
-Gloria Steinem-

I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.
-Zsa Gabor-

Nobody can make you feel inferior withoutyour permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-Anais Nin-

Monday, August 08, 2005

Remember test patterns in the middle of the night?

After reading a recent email that took me down Memory Lane, I couldn’t help but recall other bits of nostalgia from my own childhood. My earliest memories are from the black and white television era of the late 50s. Our first television was housed in a large wooden console and, in those days, when you wanted to change to any of the five channels that were offered at the time you had to actually get out of your chair and manually turn the channel selector knob. But our television was more high tech. The channel changer was a rotary dial and you pressed the button of the desired channel and it started to automatically change to each channel until it reached the one you had depressed. Ooo – ahhhh. We kids almost wore it out, pressing buttons and enjoying the wonders of automation. You still had to get off your duff to go press the button but it was worth the effort!
There wasn’t as much programmed viewing in those days and each evening the stations eventually signed off with the recital of the Television Code, the playing of the national anthem and the screen went to an Indian head test pattern with an annoying test tone. I’ve read up a little on this (I love Google!) and learned that the purpose of the test pattern design was to help you adjust your vertical and horizontal linearity. Duh! Who knew? We always did that in the middle of a program.


I am not sure who should get the credit for this wonderful walk down memory lane, but I thank my friend Benny for sharing it with me.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!! First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cellphones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chatrooms.......... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good and while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the housewith scissors, doesn't it?!?

Because I will never be a standup comedian - that's why!

My daughter came by this evening and I shared both of my new blogs with her. She doesn't get it. She read some of my entries .... put her hands over her face and said something to the effect of , "You have got to get a life!" I have a life and journaling in a blog is now part of it! I may not be very good and I may not be as humorous as I think I am but it is one way of expressing myself that I enjoy. I wish I had kept up with the blog I started 8 months ago. Oh, the stories I would have told! But, having no time for regret, I will move forward with this public blog and the other blog in private. She is too busy with her career and new marriage to have time to stop and read. I enjoy reading - always have. As a child I read the back AND sides of the cereal boxes. I read the instructions that come with appliances. I pause the TIVO and read the vanity card that Chuck Lorrie adds at the end of every episode of Two and A Half Men. (Looks like a Blog entry to me!!) I read the little tiny print of the labels slapped on prescription bottles. (Of course, I have to look over the top of my glasses to read anything that small!) I read the acknowledgements on CD dust covers. (When they were albums they were dust covers. What are they called now when a disc comes in a plastic shell?) I subscribe to several magazines and read them all. I read the news on the internet. And, of course, I read books. I have five bookcases full and am considering cataloging them like the library. [wink] I have loaned too many books that were never returned - usually to former co-workers. By now the book has sat on their shelf long enough they think of it as their own. But one day, when they dust it off and open the cover, they will see my address label and tada! I will be rejoined with my long lost friend. And, it will be nice to hear from the co-worker, too!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I am directionally challenged - even on Memory Lane

Why is it, when I have a 50 - 50 chance of getting it right, I consistently turn the wrong way? Was I born with an internal compass chip missing? Before I started to drive I never noticed but from the first time I sat behind the wheel, I have never been certain - left or right? Don't even try to tell me something is North or South, East or West!
My dad still shakes his head when we talk about how confused I would get backing out of the driveway. During the time I had my learner's permit, I was allowed to drive the family to church. Now, I had been to the same church building multiple times a week ever since we had moved to this town, but as I put the car in reverse and slowly backed out the driveway, I had to step on the brake, turn to my dad and ask, "Which way?" For a man who traveled for a living, he was not amused.
Luckily, I did not move often after I started to drive so eventually I paid enough attention to be able to get myself back home after a trip to the store. And, since I have lived in larger communities all of my adult life, I can eventually find anything I want in every direction. Yes, I meant to go this way!!
There is a major street near me and, if I can find my way to Josey Lane, I can survive! I have checked and in addition to the police station, the post office, a fire station, a public library, a hospital, dentists, eyecare and every imaginable type of medical doctor, I have access to multiple pharmacies, banks, gas stations, dry cleaners, department stores, and 17 varieties of drive through fast food all on this very special street. It gives me a peaceful feeling that I will not have to make any turns until I have reached my destination.
On Josey, you have your choice of places to live - houses, condos and plenty of apartment complexes. There are several real estate agents to sell you a house, or if you already have one, there are plenty of specialty stores to help you with paint, wallpaper, interior decorating or pool supplies.
Within a seven mile strip there is also a bakery, tailor, florist, locksmith, travel agent, humidor, and vet. I can get my shoes repaired, shop antiques, put my old clothes on consignment, arrange for insurance, get financial counseling, receive check cashing assistance, or put things in storage. I can shop for groceries in at least three different languages. I can enjoy multiple buffets or sit down dining. To meet my personal needs, I can have my hair done, get a manicure, pedicure, facial, tan, exercise, or be tattooed. I can be tutored, take karate lessons, learn to dance, indulge my hobbies or find all my party supplies.
Without turning a corner I can hire a maid or temporarily staff my office, get my vacuum cleaner repaired, upgrade my computer, play pool, sing karaoke, rent videos, or receive physical therapy. I can go to rehab or buy discount shoes, cigarettes, tires and beauty supplies. My car will not lack for attention on Josey Lane since there I can purchase it gas, auto parts, have the oil changed, the brakes checked, as well as have it lubed or inspected. If I am ready for a change I can even replace it with a used car. Yes, I have found nirvana and her name is Josey. But one thing is missing. There is no funeral home on Josey. But then, I do not have to worry about getting lost while trying to find it - someone else will be driving.

I have to write it down before I forget

Blogs are still an internet novelty but from the time I was introduced to my first one (Thank you, Mike Cope), I have been intrigued with the possibilities. I started my own blog several months ago and wrote a couple of test journal entries. Before I got the courage to share the site name with anyone, I was side-tracked and, much to my chagrin, realized later I could not "find myself." How lame is that? This time I am more resolved to stick with it. I keep a spiral notebook handy now and wrote down the name of this Blog. So, if I can just keep track of the spiral, I am all set!