Friday, April 22, 2011


I received this email today. I hope it's a joke. My comments afterwards are heavily imbued with cynicism, sarcasm and humor. (This is a long one so go get a sandwich first. Good luck.)

Things That Will Disappear in Our Life Time

1. The Post Office. It's so deeply in financial trouble that there's no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Check. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This will help the death of the post office. If you didn't receive & pay your bills the post office would be gone.

3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. & certainly don't subscribe to home delivery. Reading the paper online, get ready to pay. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance with big computer and the major cell companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages? I said the same thing about downloading music. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I discovered I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less. It's also convenient! You'll forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. You're paying double charges for phone services if you have a cell phone. Already the cell phone companies are letting you call customers with the same provider and include long distance calls, unlike the land line companies.

6. Music. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading, but the greed and corruption. Record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with by older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit.

7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV what they want to watch online and streamed to their TV's and computers. They're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. On top of that cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

8. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. 24/7 "they" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something it's put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will be customized to you. Of course, "they'll also send ads to try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.
THAT'S ONE GUY'S OPINION. THIS IS MINE: These things won't become obsolete any time soon. (Except for # 8 which, I fear, is already true. How cheery.)

First of all there's too many people without computers. What about blind people? Paralyzed people? Those without fingers? Hire someone to describe the pictures?

Computers run on electricity. What about people that can't afford the higher electricity bills?

How are people who don't have enough food going to get computers and more electricity? Who's going to issue computers to every man, woman, and child in the world and teach them to use them--especially 80 to 90-year-olds and illiterate people?

This responsibility (and cost) will fall on government which is already understaffed and in debt up to the eyebrows.

Oh, I forgot, medicare and medicare will be out of money so all the old folks, poor folks and handicapped people will be dead. Or living in the woods foraging for food. (No more food stamps.)

Are they going to download the food via computer to refrigerators?

No, wait, the forests will all be gone. Maybe since paper is obsolete the trees can grow back. Oh, without trees there won't be any oxygen so we'll ALL be dead.

In the meantime what are we going to use for toilet paper?

The mail service is run by private companies already. You can bet the farm it makes a profit, mostly from the government who use the services.

Post Office being obsolete will "unemploy" all the postal workers.

A million employees who did all the manual work before computers took over will all be let-go too. These people will all want unemployment benefits and welfare. We can pay them with computers but they won't get these benefits because they won't we be able afford computers or electricity.

We'll all be screwed because our taxes are going to be so high we'll each need our own electronic bank to pay them.

With all this heavy computer use, we'll have to train people to run the computers. Computers can't program themselves, can they? Not yet anyway. We'll need programmers to do that. There'll be a lack of programmers because they won't be able to afford college. Whoa, colleges won't exist! They won't be able to afford all the electricity needed to run everything by computer.

Electric cars will have to be produced too since fuel will be gone by them. Yay, no fumes to poison the skies. But it won't matter because most of us will be dead from the pollution and insecticides we use right now and from bad guys killing & robbing us to pay for their computers and electricity. Oh, wait. They'll be killed off by pollution too. DUH.

If we can't afford to pay benefits for unemployed, poor, handicapped and old people, how will we afford to pay for wars and help poor countries who don't even know what computers are yet? I mean, where is a remote African in a village going to plug in their computers anyway?

We won't be able to kill off everyone without war, will we? We'll eventually have a shortage of military to do the killing and be available to be killed. They'll already be unemployed and dead. I guess computers could kill each other with on line war games.

What about land line phones? Not everyone has a cell phone. Remote areas can't get cell reception. It'll take more signal towers, so's who's going to build them? And pay for them? The government will still be broke, and people'll be poor or dead with no work/money because they couldn't afford computers or electricity.

Whoever builds signal towers would have to buy property to build them on or the government can take the land away from already poor people who still don't have computers and electricity.

But the government, being broke, won't have computers and electricity either.

Also, most wireless computer services go through land lines. So without a land line they won't have internet access. The question will be: will they have enough computers at the library?

Computers are not secure nor safe and it's getting worse. They "crash" and lose all saved material. So there goes, for instance, all the billing data. Nobody gets paid on either end. (I'd like to see rich guys like Donald Trump trust the internet totally to run their business.)

I think doing away with money is a good idea, though. I use my debit card for everything already. I don't like cash or checks. I pay most of my bills on the internet. Internet providers can't stop people from hacking into stuff now...what about when it's all bigger and more complex? No one's electronic money will be safe.

Add in the extra electronic load of billing and paying that will slow connections down even worse, and...oh, I forgot--all those unemployed people won't be paying bills. So never mind.

Terrorists will have a new target, an easy way to stop civilization as we know it--hacking and destroying electronic signals and the world-wide-web. Assuming they won't have to use computers or electricity which they won't be able to afford because they won't be getting rich on oil production anymore.

No oil, no gas, no cars, no jobs, no electricity, no land lines. It'll snowball in a chilly chain reaction. Stephen King would have a ball. But then no one could read his "books" without computers/electricity. Well, you get the idea.

There's nothing anyone can do to stop bands and orchestras from playing LIVE music. Even if there is no electricity they can use non-electric instruments. We could have one band on every street corner...heck, IN the street if there're no cars due to no oil. At least the bands can play til dark. With no street lights for the same reasons overstated several times above.

But what about no more sales from CD players? Won't manufacturers and stores be gone eventually? World economy won't just drop, it would fail completely without being able to sell stuff to everyone and his brother. I mean, China would go out of business.

Oh, of course! Silly me. Everyone will be unemployed, stuck at home in the dark with no food. Or dead. Problem solved.

People are publishing their own books and music more and more. How are we going to stop them? Door to door search to arrest people who write, publish, sell, and read paper books, or musicians and music fans?

We'd have to burn the books we already have. Oh. We tried that a couple three times, and it didn't work. Whew. (That also included burning up a lot of people. That's out of vogue now. Whew again.)

This all sounds like that stupid idea to make everyone use fluorescent bulbs. The little ones with toxic gases in them. So what if the broken ones kill a bunch of kids? They'd only grow up to be unemployed and starving at home with no computers and electricity anyway.

Of course there won't be any homes at all with all the repair people & builders who will all be unemployed as their tools run on unaffordable electricity. They couldn't get paid on computers they don't have. Not to mention being too weak from not having food. And/or dead of course.)

Who is going to take care of all this mess? The government? Not if taxpayers go the way of the dinosaurs and congress won't get paid.

What are the courts going to do with all the overload of people cited or arrested for reading paper books, listening to CD's, and using incandescent light bulbs? Of course Court will be convened on computers and closed circuit TV. What'll they do when someone fails to show up? Swear out a bench warrant for the computer?

I'm wondering when we're going get devices planted in our heads so we can receive signals directly into our brains. We can even include medical diagnoses and treatments with that. Then guess what? No hospitals just unemployed doctors and nurses.

I don't go by predictions much. The predictions from my childhood said we'd have hovercrafts by now instead of cars. But it wouldn't have mattered anyway because the new ice age would've been here by now, and I'd be frozen as stiff as a CD. If my teachers weren't all retired or dead by now, they could verify they mentioned it. But they'd have to have your email address and without any computers or electricity--forget it.

If you didn't have a computer or electricity you wouldn't be reading this anyway. So...have a good laugh. Turn off your computer right now and give your electricity a rest. Hopefully, computers'll become obsolete and we can get back to cooking over campfires and living in caves. Ah the good ole days.

None of this'll actually matter because people'll become obsolete. All the computers will be completely bored and commit electronic suicide. Assuming they have electricity.

As Anonymous said, "Life is short. Eat dessert first."


I watched an "old" (2004. Rated R) movie DVD I checked out of the library. I guess I can't complain since it was free. But...

Closer. I think it meant more close, not the meaning (or pronunciation) of Closer in Kyra Sedgwick's television cop series.

Close to what?

I was surprised to see these 30-something people acting more like teenagers or immature 20-somethings. Changing partners. Jealousy. Arguments. Throwing "fuck" into ever scene (verbally and implied.)

I was also surprised someone didn't off themselves or someone else.

This was definitely not a comedy unless you like to watch fools go 'round and 'round and never get anything except lots of action and self-created problems.

I didn't feel empathy for any of them. Is a comedy supposed to be focusing on sad pathetic people?

However, it IS worth watching if you want to see a younger Natalie Portman (nearly) nude. You can turn off the dialog to catch her scenes.

If you're single, lonely and want to get turned on (or turned off of seeking romance) try this movie. It would work for you either way.

And, oh--if you happen to like seeing grown men cry, Closer is for you.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Good lord and lady, it's raining here in the mountains! No wonder my joints were aching yesterday. (That and lifting the filled 20-pound (or is it 20-gallon?) propane tank. I can see I'm going to have to have some help with tanks when I live alone. A dolly or a serious cart. I doubt it would work to roll a full tank. I really don't want to blow up. If I do I'd rather die quick. I HATE going to the hospital for extended visits. And I really LOVE having skin.

On the other hand, I could get an electric hot water heater if I should hit the lottery. A hot water heater and taking a trip to Europe, I mean, and not necessarily in that order.

Hmmm, I could get propane delivered for $1000 a fill-up. It’d probably take me a two or three years to use up the propane needed for my hot water alone. But they make you order a fill-up now and again or they come and take the tank back. (Really.)

I suppose I could heat the damn water on the stove. I don’t need showers much. I have a hot tub to sanitize me, but I don't know if I really like that idea.

I'm going to have to get someone to teach me how to hook up the tank. Of course I can get a bigger tank that would last longer and have my lazy, grumpy, inconsiderate son (he says it's stress) to get it filled and hook it up for me. He told me that if I wanted him to help me, I should call him and say, "Get your ass over here and hook up the fucking propane tank, you lazy son-of-a-bitch asshole." And he added, "You don't know how to talk to people!"

Okay... And who's he kidding? I taught him to talk like that.

I wouldn't be using as much propane and hot water as he and his family do. Of course if I were rich I'd get an electric hot water heater and pay an electrician to hook it up. It couldn't cost much more than the damn electric stove. It was a $1400 stove, a last-year's-model, marked down to a mere $450. I got it home and found out that we didn't really have a 220-outlet behind the gas stove after all. So I only had to pay an electrician $1100 to have the line put in. Not bad considering he had to run the line along the outside roof overhang in a metal pipe all the way from the main electric box in the back of the house to the kitchen near the front. About fifty miles of it. So much for a good deal on the stove.

I guess the stove was worth it. It features what I wanted--ceramic top and self-cleaning oven and considerably cleaner than my old stove. It’s a small price to pay for cooked food the rest of my life, right?

Like I started to say, my son & his sweetie take showers everyday and wash their kids up very often in the over sized bathtub that leaks into my laundry room below (they deny their kids are splashing.) It's a big tub with “jacuzzi” jets that I never used after we got the hot tub.

I'd have the tub removed if I could. But it's non-removable. Probably weighs as much as a hundred 20-pound propane tanks.

Not to mention cemented-in.

BTW, I thought little boys are supposed to be dirty. When my kids were little I found out a lot of dirt rubs off on the sheets at night. That was Las Vegas NV desert dirt (modified sand that brushes off.) I loved it. Las Vegas I mean, not just the sand. The weather was so good that the kids could pay outside all year. It only rained 4 inches a year (mostly at the same time causing flash floods.) It only ever snowed once while we lived there and then only because one of my kids--never admitted who he was--prayed for snow. It melted about 20 minutes later.

The only thing about LV sand, you didn’t dare walk on it bare-footed in the summer. Super-Ouch. Though you could probably bake an egg on it. I think my kids tried it once. The dog ate it before we could tell.

Here in the East Mountains the dirt is what adobe bricks are made of. You have to wash your kids off quick or it sticks. There are some houses in old town with adobe bricks 300 years old. I wouldn't want my grandsons walking around looking like Horno Ovens. I've included a picture of an horno below for people who have never seen one. Those who thought NM was really in Mexico. And thought they needed a passport to visit here. (I met person who thought Las Vegas was in California. But at least CA’s in the United States.)

New Mexicans really use modern BBQ grills here. Most hornos are for decoration. Or in museums.

Oh the sun's trying to come out now. Partly cloudy must be weatherman code for intermittent overcast. I do hope the trees got enough water to keep them going a little while longer. Though I suppose the 100-foot Ponderosa Pines have roots a hundred feet deep into an underground river or something. Our well is only 199 feet deep so we aren't in competition with the trees for water. I hope. If we run out of water we can have it delivered. I saw the truck a couple months ago.

What did I want to say today? Oh yeah. I watched the movie The Social Network about the guy(s) that started Facebook. It was mostly talk -- very very fast talk. I did get the feel of what a college is like as well as seeing the horrific types of parties kids have now-a-days. Hell, I admit I might have been to some equally scary parties back in my college days and early marriedhood. But I didn’t shock as easily then and of course I was drunk so who can remember?

It hasn't rained here since...I don’t know when. It snowed precious little all winter. Mild winter except for the cold snaps of 35 below zero with warmer gusts of minus ten. Froze our water pipes twice.

I called the snowplow guy only once (for 75 fucking dollars) and bought some new all-season tires (for a mere 500 dollars plus tossing out the tires off my year-old car.)

Holy shit. I have a good excuse for throwing away money — "mania." Thank God and Goddess, there'er good meds for that now. I still have the habit of getting rid of money. I’m just not depressed about it like I used to be.

I was sure after getting all-weather tires installed that I wouldn't ever need them. It's like the reverse of washing your car and it rains. Like, umm, get car insurance so you won't have an accident. Or buy health insurance so you never get sick. Having life insurance so you don't die. Well, you will eventually. But you know what I mean. I guess getting new tires when you already have really new tires is better than wasting money on candy for instance.

At least I'm prepared in case the universe decides to put things back to normal, i.e., piles of snow and hubcap-deep mud. Driving on ice is tricky too. Since the road is paved now it makes the snow melt all day. When it freezes at night it's like ice hockey with a 3000-pound puck.

I had a little car when I first moved to Juan Tomas that could get up steep Juan Tomas hill only sliding down a few times getting to the top. At least I slid in a circle and faced downhill. Anyone coming along would think I’d planned to come and would know enough to get the hell out of the way so I wouldn't bounce off of them on the way to the bottom.

I'm too chicken to drive in snow or mud these days. Wisdom comes with age, you know.

I have experience with slippery mud, too. I took the top of unpaved Juan Tomas Road in the mud. Much to my surprise, I found out brakes don't work on slippery stuff! I slid onto a tree stump. I didn't notice the bumper was a bit crooked until later. I didn’t consider a slip off the road to be an accident and I'm pretty sure I wasn't at fault. I had a good excuse: MUD. So my insurance company never heard from me. At least it was a relief to know the stump couldn't sue.

Gravel is equally slippery. I found out the hard way when I took a turn a wee bit too fast. I made the turn on two wheels. I mean, literally. My son who was about eleven said, "Hey, cool. Let's do it again!" Recently, on his way to drop off his little boy at school on the snowy road, he gunned his “vintage” (dilapidated) Camero to take Juan Tomas hill and slid into a tree. Twice. Some people only learn by repetition. He didn't think THAT was cool. No one was hurt and the Camero was officially declared junk finally, so some good came out of it.

I hoped it would rain enough today even if it led to mud. I haven't ventured out to see for myself. It would be easy to let the dog in and watch for muddy footprints. I could actually walk outside to see how much mud clings to my shoes, but I don't dare do that. As I said, adobe mud is slippery and it’s vastly heavy when it dries on shoes. Adobe mud hardens into industrial strength cement.

Oh yeah. I have to record my dream before I forget the whole thing. I usually forget my dreams but find the mood they set lingers with me all day. I was with some guy that looked like a cross between two of Ed's friends Harold and Tim at a self-improvement conference lead by some jackass that wanted us to remove our pants and line up in our underwear so we would get over embarrassment. I refused to do it. I decided then and there I was a rebel. Finally I did get up and get in a line for woman's restroom. When I dream I'm waiting for a stall, it means I have to go in real life. So I usually wake up and go. Thankfully it's in that order.

I also had a dream about being back at my old job at the LVMPD standing at the counter trying to see over a bunch of old typewriters. I suggested to the boss that we move some of them, and she was the same bitch she was back then. No. They had to stay there. I still have nightmares about the records bureau.

Oh, I know what woke me up in the night. The electricity kept blinking off and on. I could hear the cordless phone bleeping when the electricity started back up again. It was out only a few seconds at a time. But I noticed instantly that it is so QUIET when the electricity was off. There is definitely a sound when electricity goes thorough wires, even when electrical devices “off.” It’s amazing (until I get an electric bill for $500.)

We're too far from Taos to hear the Taos Hum. But I could swear, now and then, that Juan Tomas has a hum too. Or maybe it's the Air Force base a few mountains over testing some sort flying craft they made with secret alien technology?

This IS New Mexico, home of the Roswell flying saucer crash sixty-five years ago. Yeah, right. LOL-doubled. That rumor didn't even start until 30 or 40 years later. I have heard rumors it was a weather balloon. True, those suckers are scary when you see your first one. But I'm sure I read somewhere it was a spy balloon that the American government put up to circle the earth to see what Russian war-mongers were up to in the cold-war era after WWII.

However, my theory is it was a leftover Japanese balloon that had a bomb attached that crashed in Roswell. The government DID have a cover-up on those things. There were hundreds (or at least dozens) of them) drifting across the Pacific long after the war was over. None of the others, of course, exploded.

Hey. I saw it on PBS so it's true. PBS doesn't lie.

I hope all these armed balloons are gone by now. You just never know.

I’ve got to go now. It's almost lunch time and I haven't eaten breakfast yet.

To my friends and relatives, come over and visit me in NM. You don’t need a passport. Honest.


Thursday, April 7, 2011South from Granada

I'm still thinking about that movie South from Granada I mentioned on my other blog Movie Opinions April 4, 2011. Since I don't do spoilers on that blog, merely give my opinion of a movie to let people know a bit about the movie so they can decide to watch it or not, I thought I go ahead and spoil it on here.

Does anyone read this anyway?

First of all, what foreign movie industries label "comedy" or "romantic comedy" is WAY different than what American movies mean by "romantic" and/or comedy. This movie, in my opinion, was far from a comedy. This was a drama. Few laughs except when Brenan calls after the girl who ran out of the room after the first time they made-love, "Was it that bad?"

I watched my way through Matthew Goode's movies, mostly newest to oldest, until I got to his first movie South from Granada (there's one earlier made-for-British-TV movie which no one's ever heard of, Ugliest Stepsister or something.)

I've liked all his movies (Leap Year is still my favorite even thought it's not his best.) All except Chasing Liberty, that is. Groan, Cough-cough. Icky-poo.

South From Granada, a Spanish movie, is based on a memoir of Gerald Brenan, a writer, who lived in Spain circa 1920.

Matthew Goode, in an attempt to make him look a little like Brenan, had his hair dyed golden blond. He has naturally curly hair so this made him look like a cute little English Moppet. Except for the fact he is long and lanky (over 6-feet tall and almost painfully slender) and has a glorious deeper than deep voice. He looked quite good with blond hair, just not as powerful or as mature as he looks with natural black hair.

Another scene, completely unbelievable at the end was supposed to be 20 years later. The daughter who would then be 23, still looked like a young teenager, while the Brenans looked about 70. I sure didn't like seeing Matthew mostly white-haired and bald with wrinkles and bags under his eyes. And you'd think he'd gain a little weight by then and not stay so string-beany.

I was amazed to read that Matthew Goode doesn't speak Spanish. (The Spanish in Spain is as different from New Mexican Spanish that they might have been speaking Martian. All all I caught was por favor a couple of times.) In reality, Matthew spoke his lines by phonetic imitation. It takes exceptional talent and intelligence to be able to do that.

I found it hard to read the subtitles AND keep my eyes on the characters and action at the same time. I had to keep backing the DVD up and replaying it to catch some of the dialog and/or look at Matthew's beautiful face.

In one delicious scene, that looked awkward as hell, Gerald and Juliana are learning to dance to the tune of a gramophone. The actor and actress were both completely naked. It was just a few delightful seconds, so don't blink or you'll miss it. But I must say, Matthew is definitely hung, if you know what that means. (You can see this scene on YouTube if you search a little.) He's also surprisingly muscular which isn't obvious when you see him clothed.

I feel a bit about this movie the way I felt about Imagine Me and You. In that movie, I was sad for the husband who was dumped by his new bride in favor of another woman. It was a comedy in the sense that it had a happy ending, I guess. But Matthew did such a convincing performance as a worried, hurt and sad man that he had me crying. At least it had a few more laughs in it than South from Granada.

In South from Grenada, Matthew's character Gerald Brenan has a child with his young lover who was a maid in his rented house, as was the custom at that time (and might still be for all I know.) He leaves her to go back to England, promising he'll be back. But he doesn't come back for three years and, in fact, get married in the space of that three years. (If I were writing this, I would bring him back to town to live with his lover joyfully forever. I guess real life is different. In this movie I'd prefer more fiction.

Not only that, the guy he returns three years later with mustache and his wife in tow and they get his little girl and leaves town again.

Granted, the mother did say yes. Actually she said, "If she stays here she'll be as poor as the rest of us," or words to that effect.

It's how I felt about Buddha Gautama when I first heard he left his wife and child (and palace) to go sit under a tree and contemplate. How spiritual is that, I ask you? I've forgiven him now. But hard on the kids, these broken families.

South from Granada is a little like Madame Butterfly the opera, without all the singing, in which the navy lieutenant leaves the Japanese "wife" there with their son. Then he returns with his wife to claim the boy. Of course the Japanese girl does what is expected of her...commits supuku or ritual suicide. In this movie, the Spanish senorita doesn't kill herself, she just goes on jumping into bed with other lovers and presumably having more children. But still...

It's time to put Leap Year on my DVD player and chase South from Granada out of my mind.

Matthew Goode as Declan. Leap Year 2010

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I used to be one of those people obsessed with eating/not eating. Not necessarily interested in food or preparing it, just woofing it down or preventing myself from woofing it down. But now that I've kicked the compulsive eating syndrome, I'm beginning to feel an appreciation for food and cooking.

I can see now why cooking is considered and art. It's creative. It's enjoyable to prepare meals that are both beautiful and delicious. (Ohmygod, I sound like Martha Stewart.)

The problems that discouraged me in the past were:

1) Never having all the ingredients in recipes in my kitchen, so I made them up with what I had,
2) Wanting something easy, simple and fast to feed a passel of kids,
3) Using packaged food,
4) Having at least one husband who didn't give a flying fig about food or eating with me,)
5) Recipes did work right or look like they were supposed to.

Then there were the times when we didn't have anything to eat in the house except macaroni (well, once.) Now when young people say, "We don't have anything to eat," they mean, "Everything is frozen and I don't have time to defrost it," or "We don't like anything we have, Or "We don't do leftovers so let's throw them away." Which means, in my eyes, "Let's waste food." Or, a new one, "My food stamps haven't come yet."

Sorry if I'm so cynical but I think I'm turning into my mother-in-law who used to freak out if her kids or her grandkids waste food or ate popcorn for dinner. Heck, we truly didn't want to eat everything on our plate because we really were full. And we were on the way to the movie theater so didn't really have time to eat a full, nutritious meal she always wanted to cook us.

Now to the point. I attend a book discussion group once a week with other single ladies. It's heavy reading and takes a lot of energy to plow through (like Tibetan Book of the Dead with editor commentary) so we began to alternate bringing something to eat afterwards so we could relax and enjoy conversation.

It's gone from a potluck fare to becoming a gourmet dinner party. There might even be a smidgen of "Can-you-top-this?" involved.

I'm not complaining. I LOVE IT. I'm becoming eager to my week to cook and shopping at the fancy-schmancy grocery stores, Sunflower or Trader Joe's, for tasty, fresh and/or organic items.

We began with sharing "main course." Gradually we added appetizers for when someone showed up hungry--snacks to nibble while we read and sipped herbal tea such as brie cheese and those small whole grain Wheat Thins.

Our next addition was a selection of bread, some of which homemade and sometimes rare and exotic. With nice, soft, creamy butter or warm garlic bread.

Then our hostess began making these amazing salads because she has a garden. The salads would make a full meal but we eat them with the main course. Lately I noticed she's also adding more and more amazing ingredients. Things that I love such as artichoke hearts or avocado. With homemade balsamic vinegar dressing also. Yum.

Then the lady that loves to bake started doing little breads and unusual cookies, so we advanced to another course--desert. One week it was fresh, sliced strawberries, out of season. Yum again.

Some of the wonderful things we've fixed and/or eaten are lasagna made from scratch. Ditto on spaghetti and meat balls. Bruschetta. Homemade green chile stew. Makes me hungry to even think about it. Steamed homegrown asparagus. Yum times three.

The week I fixed a green chile stew I had to say, "This is so good I can't believe I made it!"

We've also added sides to the main course.

This is magnificent!!! I'm so glad to be a part of it.

The week before last, in my fervor for Julie and Julia (and books the movie was based on)I made a creamed mushroom soup. I even chopped the mushrooms into little pieces rather than just slicing them, used the leeks instead of onions that were substitutes. It called for three cups of milk and a cup of sour cream. The sour cream from the health food store was thick and shiny and had a taste out of this world! (Is that an old cliche? Sorry. Now I sound like a Campbell's Soup can.)

I told another friend about this great dinner party/book discussion group and my mushroom soup and she gasped and said it was terribly "unhealthy." I stood by my Julia Child recipe and declare it was only milk like we drink anyway, and sour cream instead of heavy cream. (I didn't mention the butter I'd sauteed the leeks in.) I also told her since we weren't eating meat it wasn't overdoing it with "fat." So she knuckled under and said it was okay since we shared it among several people (And I had leftovers which I don't mind eating.)

If you'd like to join a book discussion groups with fabulous books, cooks and food, the next book on the reading list is Mysteries of the Kabbalah, call me, and I'll give you directions.

Friday, April 08, 2011


I thought I'd start blogging right away this morning because my head is full of words and some of them, the ones formed into actual sentences, are clamoring to get out.

I'm not exactly inspired or eager. I just have a lot to say and no one around to talk to.

Besides I have to put off vacuuming to the last minute. I do better with a deadline. And a friend I've known since mid-school is stopping by on her way from L.A., CA to someplace else. She has this really cool van with extra headroom and a queen sized bed and a warm feather comforter.

She's fearless of driving on freeways and around cities. I guess it's the training she's had on treacherous CA freeways. (I, on the other hand, live in the country far enough away from a SMALL city, so I don't need to drive on freeways.) On I-40 in Albuquerque people actually let you into traffic when your coming from an on-ramp. Except the people from out-of-state. Theey're most likely from CA. And trucks don't count being filled with crazy truck drivers apparently above the law.

My friend thinks nothing of driving three-thousand miles alone. She pulls over into parking lots at night to sleep. (Godforbid, is it a WalMart parking lot?)

I have two questions for her that I don't have the guts to ask. Is she armed? And does she have a port-a-potty in there?

Also this morning, I can see my reflection in the computer screen and my hair, from sleeping all night, is a mess. I look like a 1960's NY artist. I plan to take a shower and fix my hair after I vacuum, right after she calls and says she's nearly here.

I just can't tear myself away from writing sometimes. Especially when my brain keeps streaming me words like Netlix streams me movies.

I have to let the ideas out or my head might explode splattering words everywhere. Another thing I'd have to vacuum up.

I took my last two blog entries off this blog Advising Myself? And started a new one called Advising Myself Too (get it? too/two?) They had "adult" words and I have to post a "warning. I've always thought people who talked cuss words and dirty remarks were not "adult" but rather immature.

There you go.

I do love to cuss as much as I love to use big, intellectual words to show how smart I really am and not immature. I guess some people just think that's stupid.

You know the difference between dumb and stupid, don't you? My son told me this about 20 years ago (when he was 11.) Dumb is when you don't know anything. Stupid is when everything you know is wrong.

Perhaps you've heard that old joke. Sorry. I'm not dumb or stupid. The worst I can be chastised for is either trying to show I'm smarter than other people, or of dumbing myself down so people will think I'm normal like them. See? I use bad grammar to ingratiate myself to the masses.

I hope you check out my other blog Advising Myself Too. I think the entries (two so far) have more to offer than this silly blog; that is, if you can stand reading assorted "adult" words and the occasional f-word. (BTW, I think blogspot might have a computer that scans for dirty words. I can't imagine a real person reading these blogs.)

So, where was I?

Ah, words. This blog is for and about writers today. Specifically it's about breathing. Or writing about it. I know writers are looking for new and exciting words to say the same old thing over and over. But, come on, some of these things are just awful.

My pet peeve is the narrative containing "He took a deep breath and blew it out." It brings to mind an image of a guy pursing his lips and blowing like he's putting out this birthday cake.

The expression "He took a deep breath and let it out slowly," brings to mind one of those seminars where some guru is trying to teach an auditorium to visualize or meditate. He can even say, "Take a deep breath and blow it out." if it's for dramatic effect and emphasis.

Why can't the writers just say, "He took a deep breath." I mean, the exhale is a given, right? We all know you breathe out after you breathe in. Unless of course you want to set a mood and convey something like a victim dangling from a noose. "He took a deep breath and gasped for air." Now that would be descriptive enough to give you an inkling that you're reading something like Stephen King.

Well, that's it. That's my message today. (I'll bet some writers just cringe when I write "well" at the beginning of a sentence. But if I write like I talk, well, "well" is a good word to set a mood and let you know it's a blog and not horror novel.)

I have to go clean up the house. And then myself. Though, I've heard it said (Dear Abby?) that people come to you, not your house. It helps if they don't step in something sticky. Although, getting covered in cat hair from the waist down is a given, right?

Thanks for reading me!

Cat Clip Art