Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31 Day 31

Today has been stay home day in California. I will not be swimming until the sun goes down because I am literally glow in the dark white from living in Seattle combined with sunscreen guilt.
Despite growing up in New Orleans and living outdoors for years and years as a child, none of my friends has had skin cancer (that I know of except for a college boyfriend). I  attribute it to the gradual exposure to the sun because we wore summer clothes probably 10 months out of the year and got gradual tans that helped protect us from burns. And if it is burns that lead to melanoma, then some part of me thinks those tans we got may have helped protect us. I've never burned as severely in my life as I have since I moved to Seattle 16 years ago. The long dreary winters and springs combined with the now necessary sunscreen has left me so vulnerable to sunlight that I can hardly believe it. If I miss one tiny patch of skin, it will burn to the point of blistering. That never, ever happened to me when I was a southern girl. I might get a little red, but not so burned that it could remove skin. So here I am, in sunny Claremont, staying out of the pool because even a waterproof SPF can't protect me totally. That sucks. But the pain of even a tiny sliver of burn is more than I am up for.

We drove around Claremont this afternoon looking at houses. It is pretty interesting. Lots of old houses and some nice new ones and some really ugly big houses that defy any sort of architectural categorization. I like the Santa Barbara one story Spanish design houses. Every area has its "what could happen" scenarios. In NOLA, flooding, hurricanes, an occasional tornado, etc. In Houston, hurricanes, floods, an occasional tornado. Seattle- earthquakes, mudslides, wind storms, volcanoes. But in Claremont, it is may be an earthquake, definitely fires, desert heat and mudslides when the rains come. So, some things you can't control but others you can hopefully buy or build to cope with.

Izzy the cat is getting use to me- she comes a little closer each day. She'll probably wave bye to me tomorrow.

Tonight Steve's parents are coming over for dinner- they are great people and we will have a lot of fun.

Happy Labor Day tomorrow! We are heading home on Labor Day. Getting to and from an airport is labor intensive, so I hope you have nice, quiet Labor Day with no TSA checks!

Pictures later.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August 30 Day 30

Back on the little pink keyboard on my Surface. Today we got up and drove to San Diego to go to a Plumeria  sale A big plumeria sale. Hollis had been wanting to go for a long time so we said "sure, we'll go". It was in Balboa Park, which is one of the most beautiful parks I've ever seen. I've been before but didn't go to the prettiest part of it -last time,  I went to the zoo. This time, despite Alex's request, I skipped the zoo. I am not a huge fan of enormous zoos. I like the Houston and New Orleans zoos much better. Hollis stood in the one hour long line and shopped without us and we went into what was called the Natural History Museum. Alex and I are all over Natural History Museums. Today's tip: this is 3 stories of offices, one floor of a few fossil remnants and skulls and currently, a pirate exhibit. We were crushed. Not a T-Rex in the bunch. Next time we'll do the trip to NYC and DC.

San Diego is much cooler than the inland empire. We left SD at 80 degrees and a cool breeze and got to Claremont where it was a dry 101. Alex is going in the pool right now. But it is fun to be with Hollis and Steve for a few days.

Ryan says the kitties are okay and he sends pictures to prove it. Thanks Ryan!!!

Time to go put on my swimsuit- see you tomorrow!

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29 Day 29


 I'm in Claremont,CA for some R&R with Hollis and Steve.  I'm writing this on my Surface- the original Surface, not the fancy Surface Pro 3. But I still think it is amazing to have all this power and a touchscreen. And a pink keyboard!  I have to keep it short while I am in California because BlogSpot doesn't like me being here for some reason. My bank wasn't too keen on it either having declined my debit card twice. I got to spend some quality time with the bank guy, who hilariously asked me for the answer to my verbal password. I said "I have a verbal password? That doesn't seem very secure to me. Tell me about it." I finally realized he wanted me to answer my security questions. When I pointed this out to him, he thought it was funny. We both ended on a high note. It is veryveryvery hot here. Tomorrow, we are going to San Diego to cool off and go to a plumeria show. I kid you not. Hollis grows plumeria and this is the big deal plumeria show for southern California.  Meanwhile, back in Seattle, fall has started without me.

I hope I can post every day while I am here. I'd hate to lose my 3 followers!

No pictures today because I haven't taken any! There are THREE cats in this house. A fourth wanders onto the patio outside because he knows where the food is. And somehow, a feral mother cat has gotten the message and brings her 2 kittens to eat the outdoor cat's food that stays in the garage. I hope I get to see her kittens and I hope she gets caught and joins the trap spay and return club really soon. For all I know, outdoor cat number 4 is the cat father. Hollis has been unable to trap her and her kittens. I'm sure she will do something about it.

 

I like this house- it is really a mid-century modern that Hollis and Steve have worked on rather extensively. New bathrooms, some walls removed, a beautiful yard and new pool decking. It looks great.  So, I am going to go enjoy sitting in it!

 

See you after San Diego!

Xo

 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28 Day 28

I was going to jot down something else today- but then I heard that Joan Rivers was just rushed to a hospital from what was probably an outpatient center. She was having endoscopic exam or procedure on her vocal cords (don't know why- and that could be wrong anyway) and had either a cardiac or respiratory arrest. I don't know if it is true or not, but it certainly made me think this entry was long overdue.  As a nurse, I can tell you that those situations are rare, but when they happen it is a very, very stressful event for everyone in the procedure room or office.  Most people don't realize that IF you arrest in an outpatient center, you have to be transported to a hospital by ambulance. It's a big disruption but probably pretty well done these days.

I was going to write about Joan Rivers at some point in these 99 days anyway.  I've read a couple of her books, and in general, she was honest. But she is one of the mean female comedians, and I'm not a big fan of them. Some of them have made me wince with the way they've gone after other women or even very young women- it isn't funny to me. Aside from Rivers, that includes Chelsea Handler, Tina Fey (the original mean girl- she even admits it), and Amy Poehler. And I think there is a reason they are mean comedians- they are fairly homely without makeup, have probably grown up being the sort of girl who uses spite as humor, and don't want to get involved in anything vaguely described as observational wit.  And they are not nice people because nicer people don't say that sort of stuff even if they think it. The way they went after Britney Spears, who was obviously mentally ill and having a mental break of some kind- well, it was disgusting. If  you want to see a very funny female comedian, see Kathleen Madigan.

But that isn't why I wrote this- this is more personal. I actually watched Celebrity Wife Swap for the episode where Bristol Palin changed places with Melissa Rivers. I don't normally watch it, but this sounded like something I ought to see. You ought to know that they both have boys, (Melissa's son Cooper is about 13 and Palin's son, Tripp, is about 5 1/2); they both lack the father of their child (Palin's father is a hands on surrogate father in the home, Rivers has no consistent male figure there); they both love their kids and family;  they are both reasonable women who are very different in their demeanor but both likeable. This is the difference: Bristol Palin was the much maligned pregnant daughter of a vice-presidential candidate who was considered to be fair game and treated like crap by the media while growing up in small town Alaska, and Melissa Rivers has also gotten to where she is because of her mother, went to private schools and Melissa was married to a horse trainer in a THREE MILLION dollar Russian royalty themed wedding at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. Melissa is worth $8 million and Bristol is broke.  Turns out it didn't matter that Bristol didn't wed since Melissa did not fare better.  Bristol made the mistake of love and sleeping with a guy who took a hike when she got pregnant. Evidently, Melissa Rivers must have been a virgin because her mother had labeled Bristol Palin a whore for having premarital sex. (Raise your hand if were a virgin when you got married. Higher, please, I can't see you.) I guess you are all whores - according to Joan. See my point?

Joan Rivers was known for making horrible, hateful statements about Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin, by the way, is nobody's fool. And she was treated with horrible disrespect, so much so that Geraldine Ferraro had to defend her. It was beyond misogyny and makes you wonder if any woman stands a chance, especially if she is attractive at all.  But I digress since this really isn't about Sarah Palin or politics. It is about what Joan Rivers can do to someone without a shred of regret.

So I watched the show, and Joan was polite to Bristol. Never once did she call her a whore to her face- just behind her back. She doesn't mention anything about Melissa's premarital sex life.
Melissa, on the other hand, brought a little order to Tripp's life and made him more manageable. Melissa enjoyed it and was a really kind mom to Tripp. Tripp was more like Mowgli and Cooper was more like a future wedding planner or accountant. It wasn't just the age that was different- Melissa is an organizer and planner, Bristol is not. Melissa's kid was given an intro to having fun without planning or regulations.  Kids are raised all kinds of ways- some brutally, some permissively, some rich, some poor, and some just rule the roost. Tripp is raised in tribal fashion with his young aunt treating him like a little brother. Cooper is raised to be very adult with his grandmother in tow. Both kids do fine. 

In the end, Joan kind of accepts that Bristol is a young woman just like her not-so-young daughter. I don't think that Joan has a moment of regret over the names she has called the Palins for the sake of "comedy". In the end, she references the whore word again despite liking Bristol. Bristol Palin is probably pretty confused as to how someone that has come to know her cannot get over the fact that she is a single mother, a lot poorer than Melissa and Joan.  I don't blame Bristol- she never said a word about how Rivers treated her and still does. But that is what happens to a girl when she gets involved in the life of a mean comedian, even if it wasn't her choice.

But not being a mean person myself, just opinionated, I'd like to say that I hope Joan Rivers comes through this and that her daughter does not lose her mother and her grandson does not  lose his grandmother.  Of all people, Joan Rivers should know how hard it is to be famous and have people follow your every move- especially if you've volunteered for it by choosing a career that demands it.  So we'll probably know every detail before this is over. Get well Joan.

Today's music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnzdEy9NWJU
(well done!)



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27 Day 27

Day 27.
Here's today's song-The Hymn of Acxiom and its another Vienna Teng original.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7P2ViCRObs

It is beautiful and reminds me of some sort of weird Arvo Pärt composition if he could slip into easy melody once in a while. But I'll just bet Vienna Teng (nee Cynthia Yih Shih) has warbled a little Arvo Pärt  in her 35 years. It shows. But Acxiom is actually one of those "steal your preferences" data collection people- and Teng would know all that because she not only majored in computer science, but worked for Cisco. Basically, Acxiom knows more about you than you do.

While I do love a Vienna Teng song, the song she sings called "In the 99" relates to some sort of dislike of 1 percenters. First of all, Ms Teng is THIRTY FIVE. She went to STANFORD. She majored in computer science. All of this could combine forces to place Ms Teng into the top 1 percent rather easily. She is from Saratoga, California that has a 2% unemployment rates, borders Silicon Valley, is the most expensive suburb in the state of California and 18th in the United States. Sooooooo, I'm thinking Ms Teng (aka Cynthia Sheh) is probably from a family of the 1 percent. Instead of being grateful, it appears she would rather act as if she is not a very, very privileged human being.  Why do people with money and education always act like they'd rather not have those things? But I'll listen to her songs anyway. I would encourage her to stop reducing the population to percentages. The 1% doesn't bother me. I know some of them and have found them to be generous to a fault.  I'll just ignore some of the lyrics.


Another beautiful day in Seattle- I cannot complain. The little hummingbird that loves to stare at the kitties and hovers about 1 inch from the window has come with great regularity. Somehow I cannot manage to have the camera ready for her. I'm saying it is a girl bird because she is so persistent.
The kitties don't even chitter at her anymore- they just return the favor and stare at her.

Today someone stole a SUV in Seattle that had a 10 month old in it. I'm guessing that guy thought , "Cool- a black SUV", jumped in and stole it, and then got a block or so and heard a noise. Then he said "Is that a BABY? I stole a BABY? Isn't kidnapping a federal offense?" Then he had a few blocks of panic, and finally had the common sense to park the van in the middle of the street and RUN. He didn't actually park the SUV- he just hopped out, engine running, car in neutral.  The police got him, but I'd have paid good money to have been able to watch him on a dash cam during that. Since NO ONE has mentioned carjacking, I am wondering if the parents, in the ongoing theme of "babies are accessories", left the kid in the car (and evidently they'll never live that down).

I don't have a picture today. I was at a DAR board meeting this morning and ran an errand out to Bothell this afternoon. No pictures. Just the above song.
Have a lovely evening.
I'm going to eat a sandwich for dinner because Alex is at work.
See you tomorrow.





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26 Day 26

Today's news is all about corporations (mostly Amazon) in Europe using Luxembourg as their base. Why? Because Luxembourg has a 30% corporate tax but also has conveniently slotted in a lot of loopholes so that businesses will come there and HIRE their citizens and pay their taxes there.  And, as usual, the UK is all over it as tax evasion. (Amazon pays all the taxes it owes to the UK- that is not the issue.) You heard me- corporations are in a perfectly legal country, using that country's perfectly legal laws, and the UK is demonizing them.  Here are two great subjects- the first is the UK and the second is corporate persecution.
The UK is in a sad state indeed. Their socialized medicine costs a lot. Their small but active military costs a lot. Their stupidity in going all over the world proclaiming people from other countries to be British citizens while stealing their country out from underneath them costs them a lot. They made them citizens- which, in retrospect comes under the category of "how stupid can you get".  You can conquer a country or steal it or whatever, but you should never, ever make them citizens. And frankly, you shouldn't go around grabbing nations that are all ready full of people. (don't even THINK of bringing up the USA on that- it was us or someone else, and you know it). Because then you have what is happening all over Europe- the complete change of citizenry. And, like the people who can cross our border, they come for the benefits, because the hard work of settlement and growth has all ready been done by someone else.  So the UK, and several other countries, are desperate for money. They tax their own citizens into the ground, tax their businesses into the ground, and then complain that a company like Amazon HURTS their own businesses and well- with the usual hubris of the UK and the EU, they want them to STOP. Hurting American businesses is, and has been, the new Marshall Plan over there.  Never mind that if the UK would have stopped their draconian and greedy laws, companies like Amazon could have brought them employment opportunities, etc. Here are the real amazon figures: Amazon has invested more than 1 billion pounds in the Uk, pays another billion to delivery companies, has 7,000 current employees there, makes very little profit to pay taxes on, runs European fulfillment networks throughout Europe, etc. But the UK is screaming at them. It is part and parcel of what has become of Europe in general--bullying American corporations that already pay vast amounts of money into their coffers. Corporations have to avoid France all together because of their work laws. Try getting people excited about working in France- they don't. Keep in mind, it is totally LEGAL for Amazon to be in Luxembourg. The UK is just mad that their country isn't getting the money from them. And this is where you get to if you run a socialized state. I'd suggest they get rid of the royals and allow more land ownership and tax Google. And I hope Amazon stays right where they are. They pay enough taxes.   Here is what is happening in the UK: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2620957/Ethnic-minorities-make-one-population-2050-Britains-melting-pot-continues-grow.html  And Britain will need lots of tax money as their country becomes a great, big, overcrowded mess. I don't blame Scotland- eventually they know they will pay into the mess that Britain has created for itself.  If Scotland becomes independent, they can control how businesses are treated in their own country. So I hope Scotland at least gives it a try.

So, just to prove how consistent my thinking has been for years, I bring myself back to the old, stolen, blog of alexandlynn.com . Here is my corporation essay that sums up how I feel about corporation persecution.

Big Business (4/28/04)

Here we again in election times- some people throwing about the words "big business" and "big corporations". They get everything! Why, they even get tax breaks! And according to these people, these corporations are screwing you every day. Well, I don't know what they mean by that. So I started wondering, what would happen to us WITHOUT big corporations? First of all, we wouldn't be in the 21st century in terms of progress, would we? We'd be on a horse and HOMEMADE buggy, because the damn buggy might have led to a corporation that MAKES buggies, so all buggies must be homemade. Guess you'd have to build an outhouse, because your bathroom fixtures and all the pipes that lead up to them are made by BIG BUSINESS. Oh, and start collecting leaves to wipe with. Better run out and get a cow- that milk is corporate, not to mention the huge meat processors. Pet food? Make your own- feed some of that cow to the dog. Throw out your computer and the incredibly cheap software you use on it. All from corporations- big successful ones. Throw away your shoes, golf clubs, car, ah hell, go live in a tent made from the skin of your cow. Because all the building materials and construction machines used to make your home came from big business. Like that cell phone? Too bad. Last time I looked a big corporation made that for you and runs the service for you. Would someone PLEASE explain to me what the big corporations and big businesses have done to hurt me? I am sick of hearing that. I love big businesses- they owe me nothing because they provide so well for me. I don't want to have to make my own sheets. I don't want to have to walk everywhere. I love living in a country where I can buy STOCK and partly OWN a big business, and I don't have to do anything but sit back and decide if they are doing a good enough job for me, their part owner. Someone has said that the biggest problem in this country is class envy. But I mostly notice that people who really want something find a way to use their drive and energy to get it- because this is not a country where anyone stops you from your dreams- unless enough legislation is passed to ruin your ambition. If you work at Starbucks, you work for "The Man". If you work at REI, you may get a rebate, but you are working for "The Man". Thank God for "The Man"- no matter what color he or she is!!!!!! People complain about jobs going off shore (except for Hollywood stars who slip away to Canada to make movies while complaining about other jobs going overseas)- well, stop bitching about big business and big corporations and get legislation passed that isn't punitive toward their success. Stop complaining about success that provides you with more convenience than has ever existed on the planet earth. Without it, you'd be making those candles out of cowfat to carry to your outhouse behind your tent off your dirt road that you walk down to get your news from the pony express agent.

PS Today's post is brought to you by Nautica (the towel under the cat bed), Macy's (the cat blanket),HP (my envy23), Corsair (my keyboard), Anderson windows (the entire house), Microsoft Corp (this software), McKinnon furniture (my table), Office Depot, Nokia (the phone picture), Sketchers (my shoes), Eddie Bauer (my sweatshirt), Chico's (my pants), Apple Corp (the cat imac bed shell); Overstock.com (my chairs at the table); Blue Wilderness (the cat food on the floor); Petco (cat tree behind me)....etc.

Today's video is keeping with today's theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_DJhEXmOmY
I love Jerry Lee Lewis. I think the UK should now use this as their anthem.

Today's photo:

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25 Day 25

I'm stepping out of my comfort zone today to roast a chicken the way Ina Garten does- at 425 for about 75-85 minutes for 6 pounds. Okeedokee- I'm game. We'll see. But I have  the EMMY award show on tv. Here's my Emmy winning son:
I normally post that on Facebook every year at Emmy time, but I'm not on facebook now, am I? It was a few years ago but he STILL won it. Some sort of category of digital media Xbox achievement or something. I don't know THAT part of it.

It always makes me wonder why we, as a nation, pay any attention at all to award shows. What professions do that? I'm sure people get nice recognition for what they do in regular jobs- or not. But why do we watch people reward themselves in the most narcissistic and self-congratulatory profession ever invented? I think the writing awards are okay but even at that, aren't they doing THEIR job? Aren't they paid to do it well? Aren't they happy enough with their compensation? It is just weird. I almost always watch award shows on the DVR so I don't have to listen to the speeches. I guess we'd all be pretty full of ourselves if we got an award for every time we did our job the best of anyone and got voted on. Most people settle for a little gold star sticker and a pay check. (oh okay, no sticker). Never in the history of mankind have we been so inundated with being entertained by others. So much for sitting around the fire singing "Jimmy Crack Corn". But really- enough is enough. (Stephen Colbert is on right now being an idiot. Not funny. His 20 writers must have left the building). And there should be a drinking game for every time they say "truth". 

The Emmy's are good for one thing- they keep Zoubi asleep. When the tv is on, and no animals are onscreen, Zoubi goes to sleep. See? Sometimes animals are definitely smarter.

I'm off to check on the chicken. I'm going to remove my crabby pants and put on my chicken eatin' pants.  :-)

Today's music: Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvD0_aeAf2E
because in 2 weeks, I'll bet our summer will be gone.






Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 24 Day 24

I am finally doing what I have said I was going to do for the past 10 years- get the old VHS tapes onto DVDs and onto a hard drive. You can get up off the floor now.  Yep. I bought a transfer machine about 8 years ago because it seemed like something I could do myself. Except I didn't. Then I got a newer one about 3 years ago because the first one was out of date. That also seemed to be full of hope. Except it wasn't.  So, I finally realized that without Facebook, I had some free time to procrastinate in new ways. Not to do the work myself though because that was a complete failure, but to send the tapes OFF. I went online and found the number one rated video transfer place, which is in California somewhere. The only thing I needed was some labels, so I ran and got those. I noticed most of the tapes are labeled with some nebulous wording- like "home" or "school play" or the famous "Ryan". It ought to cost me a lot of money for that crummy labeling job done way back when. I can blame my ex- its his handwriting not mine (end of comment). I am anticipating plenty of video of the ground, one particular dog in Wales, and possibly nothing on some. Did I mention I'm not very good with turning OFF the video camera?  I'd feel sorry for the tape transfer people, but they charge the same as a trip back to Wales, so I'll wait to see what comes up. I am sending off 22 VHS tapes of various and unknown lengths. If I were willing to check them all out, I would have copied them myself. But, on the optimistic side, the box is IN MY CAR ready to go to the FedEx place.  Ryan said that I should realize that once those tapes leave my hands, they are public material. They could show up anywhere at any time, and was I SURE nothing was capable of being used against me. I'm thinking "What does Ryan think I would put on video? These were from the 80s and 90s, NOT now!!!"  Jeez louise.

The earthquake in Napa has probably shaken up people all over the world of wine. I hope they all recover soon- the residents of Napa not necessarily the wine lovers. Priorities. Priorities.  I've been through a 7.0 up here and it was a terrible experience. I ran out of the house and then had to scream when it was over. You haven't lived until you've felt your house lift up and slam down and then watched the sidewalk roll.  But this is really about wine. I had a friend once tell me how sick and tired she was of the wine culture. I hadn't ever thought about it. Her point was that if you had a friend who hoarded bottles of vodka and whiskey and bragged about how well they aged, and then poured it into your glass until you were overserved, you'd pretty much think that person had an alcohol problem and was encouraging you to have one, too. But she'd go into people's houses and they'd show off their wine cellars and pour 12 ounces in a glass (several times) and think they were just enjoying fermented grapes. Not real alcohol.  What brought it up was my very polite refusal at a dinner table for a glass of wine- she asked me why I didn't want it and I said the truth- I don't like it and it burns my stomach. Now, if I'd been offered a White Russian or Brandy Alexander made with ice cream and sprinkles, I'd have downed that in a second. But no wine. But thanks.  I have watched a lot of people ruin lovely evenings being sloshed because they drank half a bottle or more. I've seen lovely dinner tabs jacked up to many times the price of the food by all that merriment. So I'm just saying I do have sympathy for my wine loving friends who worry about vineyards and wineries. I don't drink hardly at all, but if the drinks I like went away, I'd probably be a teensy sad.

On the sweet side, my friend Susan recognized my friend, Mary Ann, when they were at the same Mass. Susan just knew she knew that person, and she had the persistent thought that I was their common link. So Susan dashed up to Mary Ann and said Hi and compared notes. That is a sweet moment for me. Two of my great friends meeting up in Houston. I do have to say Susan has some sort of genius mind to have recognized Mary Ann and associated her with me.

The kitties are sleeping next to me and Alex is going to make spaghetti. All is well with the world.
xoxo

Today's music is a really cute little opening scene from My Best Friend's Wedding. Why? Because my husband, for some unknown reason, thinks it is fun to watch. I have no idea why. Excuse the ad.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c74BSImG4xM







Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 23 Day 23

Alex went into work today from 9 am to about 2 pm. So we went and ate lunch and then decided to drive into Seattle to see a quirky, sort of funny and clever movie called The One I Love starring Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass. It is sort of a comedy because we laughed a fair amount. But it is also a strange movie with an interesting premise filmed in my dream house. Then we ran over to eat the most wonderful meal at Luc. The heirloom tomatoes were the best ones I've ever had. Ever. The whole world has heard me rant about the lack of taste of tomatoes these days. I'll even BUY an heirloom tomato so that I can taste some semblance of a tomato. I guess the great tomato growers have incentives to sell to restaurants rather than Safeway.
 On the way back, the 520 bridge was opening to let one scrawny looking sailboat through. It was a great chance to get out of the car on the 520, over Lake Washington for you non-Seattle folks, and take some pictures. Alex, being 5 years old at heart, had to hop over the median and run up and down the other side. I sure hope he is keeping a bucket list.
Here's the video:


It isn't your imagination- someone got out of their car and played a bagpipe. People did laugh.
 

Today's topic of interest comes from the city of Santa Barbara, Ca. Seems they are on the lookout for a guy with multidrug resistant tuberculosis who refuses to take his medicine. So this brings me to a story about being a student nurse in college. When I was a student nurse, we had to work in the local TB hospital in Lafayette. A small, depressing, dark place full of people who were bored out of their minds. For the first time EVER in the history of the hospital, they decided the students didn't need to wear masks. Call it a PC thinking mistake. Why no mask in a ward of people who had a COMMUNICABLE disease spread through the AIR (the stuff we all breathe)? Seems that it made the patients feel isolated from us if we wore a mask. So off came the masks. I was paranoid as all get out because, to me, that was a pretty stupid idea. I still feel that way and should have refused to be their guinea pig. I survived (mostly by trying NOT to breathe)(it wasn't easy), but one of my classmates did NOT get through unscathed- well, she lived, but wound up being a PATIENT in the TB hospital. Story number 2 involves my senior year again. Same class in public health nursing and was assigned 4 home care patients: a diabetic- she lost her leg while under my care; a newborn- who died of failure to thrive while under my care; some post op patient who did okay because she was all ready well when I visited her, so we just chatted for a half hour every visit; AND a TB patient who lived far out in the Louisiana countryside. I hopped in my car and followed the directions to his house- things like go 0.2 miles and turn at the stump, go 1.1 miles and turn at the cow gate onto the other dirt road, etc. I pulled up into his yard where he met me with a double barreled shotgun pointed at my chest. Could have been my head, I'm short and was hoping his aim was bad.  So I got out, wearing my darling student nurse blue pinstripe dress, carrying my official "I have bottles for you to spit in" bag. And I yelled, "I'm your nurse from the public health division. You haven't come in for your spit test to see if you are doing okay. I will leave the jars here (sets down jar) and you can come spit in them, then go back inside and I'll drive them to the hospital".  Whereupon he leveled his shot gun at me and said "Get the fuck off of my property or I will blow your head off".  I yell "Can I pick up the bag with the bottles in it first? My grade really will suffer if I return empty handed". He says "Nope, I'm counting to 5". And I say "Okay- I am leaving. Don't shoot me, I was forced to come here by the nursing department at USL that doesn't seem to much care if I die here or not". He yells "ONE...." and I drove away hoping I could remember which fence post was the one I used for directions.  Needless to say, I would never, ever have gone into public health nursing.

So there you have it- a story about tuberculosis. None of it good.

Today's photos are from the 520 bridge at sunset while the bridge traffic is stopped.

heading east

Mt Rainier above the cloud layer

looking back at seattle
 
 
Today's music: The Shirelle's singing the original version of The One I Love.
 
See you tomorrow. 




Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22 Day 22

Today is a banner day- see this face? This is a monkey selfie. (Or ape or something simian. Or maybe a black macaque.) (which could be anything, you know?)
selfie_1.jpg.crop.promovarmediumlarge

Evidently, the owner of the camera lost possession of his camera to that monkey/ape/macaque/toolazytolookitup. The animal took a selfie- totally by accident. Then the camera owner wanted to own the selfie (as in the trademark). Because it is a pretty cool looking simian(or not) and it would be great to humiliate it with memes and tee shirts.   But the courts decided that since that animal couldn't OWN anything, let alone pay to register the trademark and deal with the trademark office (yes, I have), and if you are going to call it a "selfie" then it is totally the monkey's property  just by common reasoning that the person/animal taking the selfie owns it, then the camera owner cannot trademark it. It was evidently ALL SORTS OF LEGALLY CONFUSING- you heard me, legally confusing- redundant. So I wonder IF the guy hadn't said it was a selfie, could he have owned the image? Let's ask Sarah Palin: "Sarah, if I take a picture can I own the image?"  Sarah- "You betcha!"  He had to get all cute and stuff and call it a selfie so millions would look at it and maybe buy his tacky tee shirts.
See, that camera owner violated rule one of ownership- copyright YOUR work, don't call it your monkey's efforts.  The camera owner, David Slater, should have grabbed his camera back, given those grinning simians the finger and claimed full ownership. Then  he could have copyrighted it- even on flickr, for FREE,  for crissakes. Then there would be NO ISSUE whatsoever.

I have consulted animal expert, India Rose, on this. She has not only agreed that animals cannot own the pictures they take, but also agreed that this was a pretty stupid fight that resulted in my being able to decorate this post with a monkey/ape/macaque/whatever picture with no threat of retribution from violating copyright law. 
Even though I think that animal is REALLY Gary Busey in disguise. No?

So enjoy! btw, those macaques are very friendly and sort of small- they seem to like photographers and people- which has endangered them.

Today's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfwrZnippOQ

Today's music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmtnpXrUI_o   by Charlie McDonnell

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 21 Day 21

I spent this morning over at Evergreen Hospital outpatient surgery center getting Dr Baker to put some anesthetic in my lower spine. It was diagnostic to see if that was the spot where the nerve should be cut. It wasn't. :-(   I'll have to go in again and see if I can get some other area around there done. This is because insurance companies don't like this sort of stuff and they have to have proof you need your nerve cut. It is crazy because all these little visits add up for them, also.  Oh well.

I'm sort of sedated still- so to cop OUT , I will republish an essay from the old alexandlynn.com- you know, the blog 20,000 people saw and then someone in China or Japan stole it. It took a while to find it on the wayback machine- and then luckily I had copied some of those little essays that were so popular in their day. I left the date it was posted by the title.


The Tao of Me (8/19/03)

Ah, the great subject of ME!!!!!!! I am so excited to write about ME! Believe it or not, I am actually asked for advice once in a while. It goes to show you that you can fool some of the people some of the time- now, that doesn't make the people who ask me for advice foolish. Not at all. I am pretty good with advice and pretty good at calling a spade a spade. I don't make things up, and if I do, it's a real accident. But I do have a sort of basic philosophy about ME. I'm a little lazy, or I'd have a job right now instead of doing housework and gardening and grocery shopping and cooking dinner and combing the cats and washing the laundry- hey WAIT. But a job PAYS, so I must be a little stupid, too. I am also a little introspective lately. I am looking inward much more than I used to, and I wonder if that is a harbinger of bad things to come.  An omen about the future. I LIKED being shallow. It was so much easier. Maybe if I got a job, I wouldn't be thinking about anything. I know that I know how to do a lot of things- none of which are very useful. I can speak about 20 words of Italian that aren't from restaurants or musical scores because I believe knowing a foreign language is good for you. I can read and write music- and sight read rather effortlessly, so in a hostage situation, I hope they pass out sheet music.  I believe that music can keep you sane. I can roller skate better than anyone I know. I can tap dance almost better than anyone I know. But I see no solid reason to combine the two on any occasion. I can give all the proper responses in an Episcopalian mass, which gives my soul the highly touted balm. I can predict which kid in any kindergarten is going on to a career of crime, thus making me clairvoyant. I believe in love at first sight because it is thrilling, and in hate at first sight because that is instinctual. I believe that little kids are a lot more vulnerable than we know and that they hear everything that is said within a two mile radius, therefore we should be careful what we say unless we are plotting something we want revealed. I believe that love is more important than DNA, but harder to find. And I think that when cats and dogs shed, we should have a use for all that hair other than clogging up vacuums. I think that vanilla pudding is probably good for you, whereas liver and onions is not. You are what you eat. And I think that having a lot of family is a good thing unless they all run a meth lab together. And even then, the family that plays together, stays together.
Anyway, I think I wish that every one on the planet earth would start to recognize that it is okay for the whole world to be or look different from them. It's okay. In the Tao of Lynn, the most used expression would be CALM DOWN.  And it would apply to everyone- even me.  I do understand that I can become a licensed minister through some website- then I could write this web page off my taxes as long as I continued the Tao of Lynn. It could offset gambling losses or something like that. In the meantime, that is about all the Tao has to say. Calm down.
 
I am going to go lie down now, but part of this 99 day thing is to find something and stick to it. I'm sticking to the blog.
Xoxoxoxoxo
Today's cute video comes from the IBKC. Here is Midge Von Tussle of the famous Von Tussle family of Tacoma
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20 Day 20

Today I cleaned house and used the Roomba to help. I really entertain myself with that thing because I'll vacuum in the same room as the Roomba just to be sure. I washed sheets and cat beds and a few pillows. Why? Well, tomorrow I go to the outpatient place to have parts of my spine injected with anesthetic and cortisone. Don't worry, I do it routinely because I've been sort of rough with my spine over the years- I've even broken it in one spot. We never have figured out how I did that. I'm suspecting racket ball combined with some over zealous jumping.  Or falling off the curb on one of those "Whoa, I didn't see THAT coming" moments. That gem was at T11. I blew the disk out below and above it, too.  But they can't inject that spot. However, I've been in for L2 because it actually pressed on my spinal cord. And now I'm going in for L-5. In 4 places. My spine sucks. Full of actively growing arthritis, or so says the bone scan done by a kid who looked like a sixth grader to me.  Yikes. I may as well be honest about this though it sounds very personal. I'm not sure what the doc will do- he had told me last time that he might have to do a rhizotomy - cut the little nerves that go to the bone there. Fine by me. They'll grow back but maybe they'll grow differently.  Alex has fun giving me a "secret word" to see if I can remember it after I get back in recovery because they do give me Versed- which may stand for "very sedated" .  It robs you of your recent memory so you can't recall yelling at the doctor from under the drape "moses wept, that hurts". You did it, but you don't remember it. That, too, is fine by me.

So back to house cleaning. I cannot leave the house for any huge event like hospital, vacation, day trip, without making sure the house is clean. It's not the same as wearing clean undies in case you have to go to the emergency department or something. It's because I don't want to have to come back from something and see a mess. Or dust. Or cat hair on the floor. I think I have my own common thread going on in my head because I always make sure I look like I care when I go to the doctor. Maybe I'm just afraid he'll write "disheveled, didn't seem to know she was going to an appointment" in my file. (Which now EVERYONE can read- so that your eye doc can ask how your cough was doing from 2 months ago or worse.)  Sometimes I get so busy with the eyeliner that I look in the mirror and say "You can stop now, you aren't going to the prom".  Tomorrow morning at 5am, I will get up and still put on some makeup and a little blush. Because god forbid I would look like I just woke up or something.

The IBKC got news of the death of a one of the previous foster kittens. It just hurts everyone's heart that follows the IBKC. Hug your little pets a little extra today.

Today's song: The King's Singers "Down to the River to Pray"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C3G1mMJQUY

Good night.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19 Day 19

Today it has turned gray and that, combined with the fact that it is Taco Tuesday at our house, makes it a kind of boring day. India and Zoubi were very low key- the sun disappeared this afternoon and so did their ambition. I notice that they are about done with summer. This has been the sunniest and driest since I've been here- which is 16 years. We've had HOTTER ones (109 at our house for several days a few years ago). But none prettier. My writing spot is hummingbird, chipmunk, bunny, big birds, India Rose and deer central. India sticks it out because none of that bores her in the least.

Our local news is covering the story of a 19 year old girl who is up in a tree over on bucolic, but expanding, Bainbridge Island. She has been there in the tree for 24 hours or so, and she is starting to babel on and on about nature and what trees deserve. Etc. Its very Seattle to cover her condition every chance they get. Now, mind you, she is trespassing. But this, being Seattle, is okay and promoted. Because the trees are more important than someone's property rights, permits and construction plans. I have to say that when I was 19,  I might have had the same passion. But alas, my parents would have read me the riot act because, honestly, they believed other people had rights, too. Such a foreign idea up here in "better than you" land. I couldn't just up and decide to climb in a tree because I wanted to because the tree wasn't mine. They couldn't have stopped me from standing just off the property line to hold a sign to complain. But trespassing just to express my holier than thou opinion- well, that would be another thing. If this young woman believes in no development, she should have her parents sell THEIR house, tear it down and plant a small copse of trees there. But then again, this is a "do as I say not as I do" sort of town. The attention this causes makes other news people drive their carbon emission spewing vehicles from Seattle in order to cover the story.  Which might make some people turn on their electricity burning  television so they can watch it.  I was kind of hoping someone, somewhere would point out her stupidity. It isn't really the trees- those can be replanted and, in fact, the developer of the little shopping area has approved plans to do so. Turns out, little Ms Arborial is against the bank and a couple of other businesses that will go in there. She also wants everyone on Bainbridge to "shop local". And of course, she is arrogantly sure, at 19, that she knows best for everyone. Obviously, she isn't an economics major. She probably studies nothing but self-absorption in her parent's house.
Anyhoo, the media is on her side, some of her friends are there acting stoned and cheering her on.
Good luck with the rest of your life, Ms Arborial. You can go around demanding you get your way but at some point, you will have to come down out of that tree. OH- and shame on you for trespassing and giving the finger to all the law abiding people who choose to fight things in legal ways.

I'm done.

Here is sweet India. I know it seems that I am playing favorites between the girl cats, but Zuzu is always off somewhere looking out of other windows.


Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18 Day 18

Has it only been 18 days? Seems like a year. Last night I dreamed I just walked into a store and bought 2 packs of cigarettes- to smoke. That must mean something about withdrawal from Facebook finally hitting me!  It was sort of disgusting.

I just saw an ad on tv regarding this:

http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=1074184#.U_KAHO90yUk

You don't have to read it- the ad really just said "Keep TV free- write your congressional representative" or something close to it. It was the first funny thing I've heard today.

Why?  Well, the LAST thing television is or will ever be is FREE. First of all, televisions use electricity. Maybe it is only $40-$50 a year, but that is for one TV. If more than one tv is on, it can add up.  Next, you have to buy the television. Yep.  Some are cheap, some aren't. Some last for years but most won't because of changes in technology. And if you have more than one, it can add up.
Then there is the issue of transmission.  Most of us had to haul TV's to the recycling bin after the signal changes. Or whatever the hell that was.  Then there is the cable bill. Because most people have a cable bill.  Ahhh, the cable bill. Then there is the cost of producing television shows, news programs, etc and the maintenance of the local stations with all that staff and helicopters and magically inaccurate weather forecasting equipment. Corporations and smaller businesses pay to advertise in order to make profits for their companies (commonly called "The Man" by the slothful).

So if someone out there finds out what "Free TV" is, let me know.

Where do people get the idea that stuff is free? It is NEVER EVER free. Not even the smallest trinket you pick up as a promotional advertising gimmick. Nothing is free. I know there is a song with the lyrics being about the best things in life are free. Really? Maybe looking at the moon and stars is free but it ends there. If you go to a park to see them, someone has paid for the park. And the park/trail maintenance and the roads you took to get there. Sometimes, it isn't money that has paid but people's time and energy- that isn't free either. They have just chosen not to charge money for their services.

Therein lies the ludicrous idea that things should be free. If you aren't paying for it, someone else is.
That's the truth.

Today is bunny day in the back yard. I'm not sure why though- there isn't much clover and even fewer weeds, but its a buntacular world out there. India has control of the situation.

Today's song: The Best Things in Life are Free performed by the Broadway star, Robert Morse, as a tribute to his performance as Bert Cooper on Mad Men.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKgPTkIulEI
Or the original version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD5tyat_L68&list=RDHD5tyat_L68

Today's picture:




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 17 August 17

Having a little more free time without Facebook gives me time to have my own causes and opinions. Doesn't matter if no one cares. I am going to do 99 days and maybe forever- but  if I go back, it will certainly be a huge rearranging of what I want to see and hear online.

One thing I am really tired of is all the public apologizing we are dragged through. It is as if Americans have become sanctimonious twits demanding that everyone who acts like an idiot has to stand up and publicly do the "Walk of Shame: I'm so  sowwy" edition (the sowwy is on purpose). I personally  prefer to know what nimrod opinions the people I watch or know have. I think saying 'I am so very sorry, and I don't know what came over me' is a load of crap. Of COURSE they know what came over them- their own personal opinions did. They aren't sorry. And I sort of resent them for apologizing. A simple "yikes, I didn't mean it that way!" is enough.  You know what you apologize for? Well, you should apologize when you've hurt your good friends or your spouse or your kids by not thinking before you speak or act. You should apologize IF and ONLY IF you are really sorry.  And the rest of us shouldn't listen to or care about apologies that are done for publicity purposes. Or if it is some jerk who has done something for the third or fourth time and is apologizing for doing the same thing again- don't talk to me, talk to the counselor.  I don't care if a politician or commentator or sportscaster or minister or movie star says something stupid. It doesn't bother me. In fact, very few things are as entertaining as the stupid things that famous people say and do. And yet, the publicist encourages them to act as if they were stolen by the stupid fairy and forced to mumble out a rant now and then. They are who they are. What they say is sometimes hilarious, sometimes mean, sometimes really racist or sexist, and sometimes cruel- but it is, trust me, always what they meant to say, because it is what they think. I don't care. And I'd rather they felt free to do that so I could know who I'm dealing with here. Actually, forced apologies are really the worst kind of hypocrisy. It is done to trick everyone into believing such a wonderful person just couldn't have possibly believed what they said or did.  Here's something more amazing- I think they are entitled to be idiots. I don't think they should be expected to be anything they aren't. I don't even care how they think or feel. Talent and intelligence don't always go hand in hand.  And, sadly, the people who truly do owe us an apology won't do it anyway.

Unless you hurt me or my family deliberately, you don't owe me an apology. I don't want to live in a boring world where everyone has to think alike and apologize for every misstep that might bother other people. We don't live in Utopia. And in some ways, the people demanding those apologies are mean as snakes and more self-righteous than the pope. One thing I know- everyone has something to say that could offend someone else. Everyone. Repeat it, repost it, make fun of it, but stop with all the damn apologies!


Day 17- We finished season one of Orphan Black. Can't wait to see season two on demand. India sat with her face in my hand, sound asleep, throughout 3 epidsodes. I love that cat!

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 16 Day 16

Today's post really started out yesterday since the guys went to the Seahawks game and Betsy, little Lydia and I met up at the Seattle Center after they finished watching an IMAX film about lemurs. That would all make total sense if you knew that Lydia happened to like sloths so much that she carries one of the stuffed varieties of sloth around with her. I'm going to illustrate this post with pictures! (the sloth was not photographed)

As you can tell, it was a gray day, and we all brought jackets along just in case. But there's the space needle. You're welcome.  And no, I didn't buy a space needle lights up pink pen even though I have been known to do so prior to this.

We decided to go to the Chihuly glass museum right next to the needle. I wondered if little 6 year old Lydia would be bored, but she was really excited to know she could take 200 pictures of the glass stuff in the museum. Her mom took pictures of Lydia. and I took pictures of Betsy taking pictures of Lydia.   The museum is set up inside with black walls- it makes every picture look professional. So, using my nokia lumia 1020 with the 42 megapixel camera made it SO easy. So, I will post a few for you:






Nice, eh?

So, then it was getting dark, so we walked to eat at Crow then settled back in at the hotel while the guys sat in a parking garage trying to leave for 45 minutes!  We are really sad that our band of company had to leave this morning to catch a ferry to San Juan Island. I miss them all ready.
 
 
Evidently, I am getting old. We went to bed at 2 am and I didn't wake up until 11:30. Even the cats let me sleep in. I got to eat out 3 times in 24 hours. We ate lunch out, then we went to see Boyhood at a movie place in Seattle, then went to Bastille for dinner, drove around Green Lake, then came back across the bridge back home. 
 
 
I can hardly believe tomorrow is Sunday because we have done so much this weekend.  I am so glad Betsy and Bill and Will and Lydia made it all the way out here.  School starts for them when they get home to Ohio, and it is always a big trip to go out to Seattle- for anyone. We live in a very isolated place surrounded by mountains that use mountain pass highways to traverse. Canada is above us and a somewhat crappy 1-5 leads us down the west coast. Though it is unlike anywhere else in the USA, it is still so hard to come and go from here. There are many times during the year that hopping into your car to head east means you will be stranded somewhere by snow and ice. But I can totally see how people who visit will be entranced by the mountains and lakes and islands.
 
So, this post is a little late today and really is ending up at the end of the day. It is 10:36 pm here. I hope my Ohioans come back soon!
 

 

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15 Day 15

Our friends came over to the eastside yesterday and the guys played golf, and the kids and their mom spent the afternoon with me and the kitties, and  we also took a little trip to Snoqualmie to see the falls.

I don't have young children, so I am always at a loss as to what to do to keep them entertained. I don't have a playroom or a child who can offer sage advice.  I know a 30 minute drive to Snoqualmie seems like a 30 hour drive to the kids in the back seat. But they held up well. The cats expended a fair amount of energy hiding and wondering what the little thundering herd was that kept looking under the beds and using their toys. In fact, both kitties are sound asleep here at 10 am- they didn't get up this morning!

One thing women have trouble with is deciding what is, or isn't, gossip. I don't like gossip per se. I don't have friends who do that. There is such a fine line between a response to a question with an honest and reasonable reply and saying things that can cause harm. I feel my heart beat faster while I think about "what do I say here that is okay"? And it is always interesting when I'm with a friend and we are really simply sharing "let's catch up" stuff.  No one wants to be the one who is like Tamra on Real Housewives of Orange County (yes, I've seen every episode).  Tamra takes sensitive private information and repeats to whomever is sitting in front of her  just to show that she knows more than anyone. Nothing beneficial comes of any of that sharing. Tamra is the pot stirrer who suddenly becomes an innocent and wrongly accused friend when it comes time to defend herself.   I'd think it would be the goal of anyone to not be like Tamra.  The last thing you want to be in life is a trouble maker. The problem comes when you have to take a deep breath and decide "is what's about to come out of my mouth just a mean violation of a confidence I should never have known  to begin with?" or "this is safe to say because it is just an answer to how someone is doing?". It isn't a question of truth as much as it would be a question of trying to remain kind. I think only girls have that problem. We struggle with it. Maybe we are just more communal than men. Guys bond over sports and girls bond over sharing information.  We get flack for it, but most of us are not mean at all.

Tonight I'll be headed back over to Seattle to have an evening with just the girls- one of whom is 6 but acts much more mature than that. I think we will have some fun in downtown Seattle. I'll be wearing my walking shoes. The guys will go to the Seahawks preseason game. I hope the weather is great because it will be the first Seahawks game for their 10 year old devoted Ohio Seahawks fan. I spent most of last season boxing up the Seahawks game freebies to send to Ohio. I hope I get to do it again but I hear our little fan is now thinking of becoming a Bears fan. But he assured me at dinner that he will still be a Seahawks fan. I know the feeling with my loyalty to the Seahawks AND the Saints.

Today's picture is really from yesterday. I was taught how to play Spot It. I'm not that good at it.
 I was defeated by a short person with dimples. But it was fun to do.


 



Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14 Day 14

Two weeks without Facebook. It keeps sending me emails to tell me I need to check in because my friends have posted a jillion updates and I've been invited and I have friend requests. But I delete those emails. Who sends wine to a recovering alcoholic? (<--I'm not an alcoholic- that is a metaphor or something like it) (and it is rhetorical anyway).  Maybe they keep a list of everyone with a 99 days profile pic? Whatever....stop harassing me, Facebook. 

I just saw a picture of Simon Cowell holding his baby son. Very cute. But it reminded me of a great topic- grandparents. Or the upcoming lack thereof for a huge number of children being born today.

Cowell is 54. If his son graduates from college in a reasonable time, Cowell will attend his son's graduation at the age of 75 or 76. If his son marries at 30 (which kids do these days and even later), and has a baby 2 years into the marriage, Simon will be dead.  

I'm from a generation that had children without giving it too much thought. At 25, my doctor asked when I was going to have a baby. I said "well, it isn't a good time. We haven't got any money". And he said  "Every year that you get older, your fertility decreases and your risks of having a baby with Down's increases. And I can tell you, if people only looked at what they could afford or waited for the right time, the world wouldn't have a population problem. Think about it".  He was right.  (Especially since he was killed in a hydrofoil accident just before I delivered- but he lived long enough to have his own family know who he was and convince me to go ahead and have a baby. <-that's just an aside.)

But the generation after mine has made it almost to or into middle age- some without marrying and others delaying having a child. Probably for the same reasons I gave my doctor.  I did go ahead and have my kids when I was young and swore I would not have a baby after I was 30. I didn't want to be the mom who went to graduation looking like a grandma.  I never comment on a baby's relationship to the caretaker because I don't know if that is the baby's grandmother or mother! Now, I know some grandma's are taking care of their grandchildren. But many of my friends are empty handed and wondering if this is it for them.

Here is the end result- no grandmoms will be able to travel, babysit, have fun with their beloved grandchildren because they will be too old. Just do the math.

But here's the rub- those children will grow up to have  kids and if they wait, there won't ever have been a grandma in their lives. What a loss of a support system, and, for a lot of kids, a loss of great acceptance and tolerance and love and spoiling. Grandma will be a concept. A beloved ghost in their lives.

Maybe I am wrong- maybe the little kids of today will develop a sentimental sadness for the lack of grandmothers they have, and they will get to the business of having their children in their 20s again. And maybe they'll even lecture their kids on it. You don't need to be rich to have kids. People have children in grass huts still, and that baby's mother, grandmother, and probably great grandmother are all there for the love and support.

The day that grandmothers are no longer in children's lives, well, that will be a sad day indeed. Ironically, the girls and women  of the 60s who demonstrated and pushed for women's right to control their pregnancies by ending and preventing them, pushed to be free to not marry and have careers and not be a "housewife", pushed to have lives free of criticism- those are the girls who are today's potential grandmothers. I guess we believed that women would find a way to do it all.  But since career building is done in one's 20s and 30s, well, that explains it all. So we did, in the end, get what we wanted. 

Today's photo won't happen until later if I remember to take it! We have company coming- very, very soon.  So I better go dust!



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13 Day 13

Turns out that if you aren't on Facebook, it takes about an hour less to clean this house.  No stopping to take a break and play bejeweled. 

The cats must be bored with me- today I did not fulfill the role of human slave with the task of reaching over to scratch every little twitch. It's because of the housework. I do have to say the floors look fantastic. It's all because of this mop I bought. No kidding.  It has a little twirly thingamabob in a bucket that spins all the water out of it, so I can damp mop properly and fast. It is the best mop I've ever had! I no longer dread using a mop. Small pleasures, I tell ya.

The kitties don't love a clean house though. Last week, I wiped off all the marking the cats have done with their little faces. I've never SEEN them do it- but there are little sticky spots everywhere (at about 12 inches up)that there is a sharp corner. And they mark this house as THEIRS.  India marks it as "just passing by, thought I'd add a little scent of my own to this but you are so welcome to come pet me". Zoubisou marks it as "Did I say you could come in here. bitch? don't make me cut you".  Either way, I don't mind the marking, I mind the eventual smudge of cat face oil it leaves. So they think cleaning is a way I try to erase their territory. They'll have to learn to live with it. At least once in a while.

Today's picture is India up on her cat tree watching ELLEN.





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 12 Day 12

Well. thanks to no facebook, I didn't have to read a thousand posts about Robin Williams.  I've watched Robin Williams for most of my life. When you get older, you can actually use phrases like that and mean it. Not being on Facebook, I also don't have to pretend to be part of the big wave of shock and sadness. If you'd actually paid attention to Robin Williams in interviews, it was pretty obvious that he was a bright guy with some serious problems.  First, please realize this is my blog right now and I say what I think. It isn't going to be popular, but it is my opinion. I'm an incredible realist. I know that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. I'd think that would be an atheists biggest defense.  So I am going to spit it out right here. I never found Robin Williams funny. I don't think I laughed at one thing he ever did. The only times I thought his entertainment value was worth my time and money was when he did a dramatic role.  I thought Good Will Hunting was one of the hokiest movies ever made. Same for Dead Poets Society.   But Good Morning Viet Nam, Mrs Doubtfire, and One Hour Photo were really good- and he was really good in them. 

I have been blessed (and I sincerely mean that) with a brain that doesn't have an ounce of depression. It doesn't mean I don't get sad, or have times when I would rather stay home, or wonder about what the hell is wrong with people. What it means is that I don't understand not being able to cry, wipe away the tears, then go back out into the world. In fact, I think those moments are really good for me because when I get past them, I look out at the world and marvel at my good fortune. I recover. Quickly. Being brutally sad is a miserable way to live. And being so sad that the only way out is to feel that a self-imposed death sentence will fix it, well- I have no gene for that.  It is easy to feel that you'd be better off in another world or in nothing but an abyss- but a normal brain has, at its core, a survival instinct.  From the time we are conceived, there is a relentless drive to live and grow up to reproduce and then to stay alive to keep things safe for our offspring.  Depression seems to hit the pause button on most of that.    I am sorry for Robin Williams. I am sorry for his family. I am actually sorry for all of the people who identified with him. It is a dangerous time for other depressed people. They'd have to feel more hopeless knowing that a man with so much adulation and treatment modalities couldn't get enough help to save himself. Celebrity is an odd thing- people feel like they KNOW someone they've never met, and they are shocked when they find out they were only watching an image or a tightly crafted and controlled performance for the public. Watching him was nerve wracking- he appeared manic and unhappy, like a person who wanted to run but couldn't.  Even his smile was off. It wasn't an insincere smile as much as it made me feel that he was really trying to smile and not succeeding.  Maybe I saw him too many times when he was on cocaine or hammered. But the people around him even said 'I never really knew him'. That sounds about right. I never felt like I knew a thing about him.  When he got too close to being himself, he'd run into that manic part of his brain that everyone else thought was so funny and "genius".  It has to be a terrible way to live.

Though there are new drugs and treatments, it is obvious that Robin Williams did not have faith in that outcome. "Death by asphyxiation" covers everything from hanging to CO  poisoning and just plain taping a plastic bag over your head.  It is, in fact, very hard to kill yourself in those ways- because it involves time to change your mind, to let your instinct to live take over and fight. In order to do those things, it takes great determination. (update- they just announced it was hanging. What a terrible thing for your family to see.)

I believe I've mentioned this before that in my adoptive family, I have had two cousins commit suicide. The first was my cousin Daria, who shot herself in her twenties even knowing her younger sister would find her that way. I never heard why that  happened. I wish I had known she was that depressed. No one told me how she was until it was over. Daria was one of my favorite cousins- and now, I can barely remember her face.  My other cousin, Danny,(not Daria's brother but same side of the family)  jumped off the ferry into the Mississippi River. He'd tried a few times. One time I was  his ICU nurse when he was in the hospital. It was the most time I'd ever spent with him. (I doubt that is a breach of confidentiality since everyone in the family knew). He was so beautiful and feminine looking that the others nurses asked me if he was gay- he was in a coma with a breathing tube and about 3 iv's and a catheter, and they still could see enough of him to know that he was a beautiful, gay young man. He carried that inner turmoil (decades ago) with him- no gay pride parade for him.  He lived in a city that tolerated and in fact, generally thought nothing was that unusual about gay men. That wasn't enough. Maybe I'm wrong- maybe he had a broken heart. I'll never know now. Overdosing just isn't the best way. But I figured he, like everyone in New Orleans,  knew the Mississippi River never lets go, so he drove onto the ferry and then he disappeared.  Forever. When John Goodman's character in Treme did that, my poor husband had to watch me gasp and then cry. Beautiful Danny did his homework. The flow rate near the port of New Orleans is  the equivalent of 166 semi-trailers of water each second- you can't swim out of that.  There has never been a funeral. It's hard to bury someone you can't find and harder to let go of a person you didn't see die. At least Robin Williams left himself where he could be found.

So, here on Day 12, I am grateful not to be on Facebook and not to be using Twitter. If there is anything more obnoxious than reposting some naanoo naanoo crap as comic brilliance (remember, my opinion), it is summing up your feelings in 140 characters. It makes the famous and the rest of us as humans look trite and insincere and sometimes, arrogant and bossy.

So forgive me (or not) for not crying over someone who at least lived for 63 years (no matter how much he tortured himself with drugs and alcohol) and made money hand over fist for not being all that funny (to me). But since the internet has brought me into the world of a 6 year old Jenice Wright, whose little body was found in a WA state trailer park a couple of days ago- murdered by a 17 year old boy, and that a rescue helicopter went down in Iraq killing everyone on board, and that people died everywhere yesterday and today of everything from Ebola to falls off of a step ladder, well, that just doesn't give me a whole lot of emotion left to share with Robin Williams.  I'll bet most of those people would have traded anything to get to 63.  So I guess I'll put it where it needs to be for me- in perspective. 


Company is coming to see us. Our favorite little Ohio based Seahawk fan, his little Seahawk cheerleader sister and their fabulous parents will show up soon. Time to go concentrate on making our home look like less of a dorm room.

Instead of pictures today, since I know that most people have lost loved ones, I leave anyone reading this blog with a Bible verse that is my favorite because of its message of hope and love. And even if you don't care about religion- it is a lovely sentiment.

Numbers 6:24-26  King James Version

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.



Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11 Day 11

Today's song is the clever opening number from the Book of Mormon;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKIOqJns5N8

I'm on day 11- not much of a landmark. But today I woke up and was reminded right away of the habit of distraction that is Facebook. I've moved my computer to the "breakfast room" table though I never eat breakfast there. So every morning, I still automatically go to the kitchen island to where my computer used to be. It's like quitting smoking- there are no more cigarettes, and you might not miss them any more and even be proud of yourself, but you'll still look for them- for just a second- but you still will. 

Facebook taught me to be distracted. It trained me to stop what I am doing to go see what the newest notification is. Right there on my kitchen counter.  I am relieved for the 99 days because I no longer respond with Pavlovian enthusiasm to a machine telling me that other people are doing something I should know about.  I hear all those complaints about video games taking people away from their families and lives. Well, at least with a video game there is a purpose to it and, often, you are playing with other people whose looks, religion, politics and  race mean nothing. It is all about the camaraderie and competition. On facebook, you are literally watching other people live their lives and, a lot of the time, it shouldn't even be your business! And there is plenty of judgment- even if people don't actually write it on someone's page.  There is a big difference between being entertained (tv, video games, etc)  and/or living in a virtual world where nothing happens. You are still in your house- you didn't go anywhere and really achieved nothing. One is a way to relax and open your mind, but Facebook becomes a way to be involved in a world that doesn't exist. No one posts bad pictures or tells you how much they hate their life. It is an illusion for most people, and a source of envy and unhappiness for some, too.   I guess it isn't really that simple- in fact, it is almost inexplicably complex. That's why I'm doing such a crummy job here trying to explain it.  

I'm kind of unusual in that my adoptive parents were alive during the Great Depression. Not just alive, but almost adults.  Their lives consisted of paying attention. No computer programs did their addition and subtraction, no one carried a map and address book on a cell phone, nothing kept them entertained when they sat in a restaurant or dinner table- nothing but one another. They never had the cloak of anonymity and invisbility the internet provides. Real words were exchanged with real people. And not while they were wearing pajamas, either. There was a civility to their behavior- even if their anger simmered below. There was no freedom to just punch a neighbor out (physically or verbally) and then expect life to go on as  normal with a "how are your kids". As if nothing had happened. But there you have it with Facebook. And the results are the same- sometimes irreparable  and unforgettable.

The first time I heard the word Facebook was when my daughter went off to college. Princeton (yeah, I used the P word as opposed to saying 'a school in New Jersey') had a freshman Facebook.  It was simply a little book with pictures and hometowns (I think I remember that right) of all the freshmen.  It was a way for freshmen to feel more connected to their new environment. I'd never seen one before because I went to a plebian university where all the underperforming high school graduates were given at least one semester to give college a try.  My school didn't publish acceptance rates because they were one of the few in the nation to simply accept everyone. My college yearbook was done by "colleges". We majored in things our parents hoped would provide us employment.  The college of engineering was several hundred white guys with white shirts and black ties, and a couple of foreign girls. The college of nursing was a few hundred women and a couple of men freshman year- and by senior year, I'd guess 70% of them were gone. Dreams crushed by the reality of organic chemistry.  (damn near got me, too).  We didn't have a facebook- we just wrote down names and dorm room numbers in case we needed someone's notes. We weren't interested in someone's SAT's or valedictory status because we chose a school that wasn't very selective. But our faculty came from all over the world- and some of them came from very prestigious schools indeed. And it was cheap. And fun.  But we were expected to find our own way and learn names and hometowns on our own. It worked out just fine.   No Facebook. Just friends who introduced you to other friends. And roommates. So when I see "Facebook", that is what I think of- a little online book where I tuck all the people I've wondered about into a space where I can reach them.

I'm not sure Facebook really works out. Initially, it would have been nice to collect the names and faces and family stories of all the people in the world that I or my husband knew. But it probably should have stopped there- frozen in time as a reference you could check when you began to wonder how a friend is doing.  I assume that sociology and psychology majors have finally found something new to marvel about and research.  We, a nation that SCREAMS about its privacy, voluntarily go online and post everything from our birthdate (complete with the "steal my identity" feature of year of birth) to the fact that we are out of town on that vacation you'll never take. People I've never met know things about me that would never come up in casual conversation.  It is probably true that when this social experiment finally comes crumbling down (and it WILL because they all do) we will look back and say "What the hell were we thinking?"

Facebook ended Christmas letters, a lot of "catch up" phone calls and dropping in on a neighbor just to say hi. I sort of miss that. 

I had a Facebook discussion with an idea for a very hi-tech friend- I called it VennPage. You could collect friends and assign them a primary color or two. Say blue for "my favorite friends" and maybe yellow for "college friends" - some would overlap and those would be the favorite college friends.  You'd do that with all primary colors and have the overlaps. Then when you posted something, you'd use the color blocks to decide who could see it. The logo would be a Venn diagram of many colors. If you wanted ALL, you could click ALL. You would have the little color blocks or dots appear next to a friend's name, and you could simply unclick if you started to dislike them or they wouldn't shut up about politics you didn't want to hear! So I told my friend all about it, thinking this would be great if he'd pick up my idea and do it.  A week later, he left to go work for Facebook. :-(   Someone please make a VennPage for me. I'll pay to be on it. No ads, please. I think lots of people would pay to do that. Privacy guaranteed.  It'll make you a billionaire and make me rich when I sue you for stealing my intellectual property right off this page!! (let's not go back to how LAZY I am).


The view from the table today:
Zoubisou is wondering if India is on tv.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10 Day 10

I was up with the kitties today- they wake up about 2 hours before everyone else because they are influenced by dawn. In the winter, they sleep like, well, cats, because dawn comes very late and night comes very early. Of course, right now they are so tired by 10 am that they are laid out for about 4 hours. This morning, India was chirping (her little meeps are pretty cute) under the bed on my side. Normally, I do not encourage this by responding, and she'll stop. But thanks to a Sudafed extended release, I was wide awake and I stuck my head down and looked at her and said "be quiet Indy!" which scared her and she ran off. 

This brings us to the subject of Sudafed. If there is any place where you are more of a presumed criminal than at the airport, it is at the drug store. I've had 2 sinus surgeries and though I can breathe, I still have all the side effects of the allergies I have to the Pacific Northwest.  I've been taking all sorts of stuff- some prescription, some not. So I finally decided to go back to something I haven't had in years- pseudoephedrine.  Hmmmm. How to get some pseudoephedrine? I searched the shelves and found the little card that has to be taken to the pharmacy so I can sign for the REAL Sudafed (not the fake stuff on the shelves).  I get the pharmacy tech who either can't read or add- I'm not sure since she so totally confused me- and I asked for two boxes of Sudafed. So she informs me that the federal government, in their efforts to contain meth labs and evidently, in the state of Washington, convert them into highly explosive hash oil labs,  does not want me to have TWO boxes of Sudafed. I can only buy one. Now she says, my husband, standing behind me without a wallet since I was driving, could give them his ID and buy a second box. (Actually she called him "your friend over there"). Now I'm thinking, if I could just line up the neighborhood, my imaginery meth lab might get off the ground.   So I settled for one box- and that one pill has kept ME awake for a night.  I should have believed the box - "Does not cause drowsiness". I'll say. Next up on the list was the fact that she said I could return TOMORROW and buy another box.  Poor woman doing all that math of grams per day, etc.  To make it more nonsensical was that they sold a generic brand of it that far exceeded what she was saying- my hubby was waving around the paper from the shelf and saying "BUY THESE INSTEAD".  I didn't because I LOVE big pharma and want them to stay in  business.

But to get to the weirdness in all this- I'm getting older. I know it. The room service server at the hotel last Friday night was telling me a story about how she and her husband of 2 years don't mind "bickering" (her words, not mine- I'm not Lucy Ricardo).  I said, "oh you know, we've never had many arguments", at which point she looks at me and says "well, we're young". I was thinking, "yes dear, yes you are".  So, another teensy reminder that no one expects me, the non-young, to shoplift or make meth  EXCEPT for the feds and the regulation of pseudoephedrine.   Maybe our legal Maryjane will stop runny noses, or at the least, keep me from caring.

I have visions of meth labs using pseudoephedrine bought in drug stores.  Who gets the crap job of pushing all the tiny red tablets out of the blister pack? Do the kids come in, step around ma and pa's tobakky spit and stray teeth on the floor, get a feed bag and pop those little pills into it? Do they have to take the red dye off because that would be bad for you? Do they buy drug store ice pops to get that tacky blue color mixed in?  

When I was in college, we had a local doctor who judged me (at 5'3 and 112 pounds) to be "overweight" and he gave me Dexedrine tabs- which he did for every "overweight" college student who had forgotten exams were in a few days.  My legs turned purple, and when I finally went to sleep a week later, I woke up having forgotten everything I'd memorized.  Then I decided not to ever take something like that again. And I meant it, because I always do mean it when I quit something. Oh, the doctor was arrested a few years later and lost his license.

So, here on day 10, I might have to take a nap to see if I can get some sleep.  I'll probably limit that extended release sudafed to during the day.  But jeez louise- when does the nanny state end? My libertarian self is really annoyed.


This is  St Andrew's Bywell Church. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Andrew's_Church,_Bywell) Somewhere in that cemetery are some of my relatives from the 1500s and earlier probably.  I find it fascinating that in times when life was so hard, people got up, put on their best rags and got themselves to church. Probably by walking and carrying children in arms. Yet, I can't get up and put on "Seattle church clothes" (jeans and a tee shirt) and go to the local Anglican church in my really nice car.  God, I'll say it again, I'm lazy.

If the cats, who are now sleeping, come down, I'll post another view from the computer pictures.
Have a spectacular Sunday!!