Friday, November 30, 2007

Lost in the Sixties

YouTube - Del Shannon - Runaway (1965)

I hear this song and I'm in the back seat of a car, at the tail end of a double date. We're on our way to the Greater Pittsburgh Airport, just to walk around, hang out, see whatever there was to see. I don't remember who my date was. No one important, then or later. It's winter, cold, and was it really raining or is it that song puts rain into my mind? I don't know. Memory is a funny thing, isn't it. The boy I'm wondering about has dumped me, that I know. Alan. My first short blond. My first kiss. My first makeout. My first breakup.

CUT -- This is just not working. I'm trying to get myself back in the moment to write an amazingly evocative trip back in time and it simply isn't happening. Sorta like the orgasm that just won't roll over...or the sneeze that dies before it's out.

Part of it, I know, is the the bevy of prancing girls circling Del Shannon. Are they doing The Pony? Or just making like a carousel. And if so, to what end? And isn't their hair bouncy? As if they're refugees from a Breck commercial.

That's what we looked like in the Sixties. Exactly. Friends today see the photos of me back then and gush, "You were so good-looking. The boys must have just loved you." Well, no, they didn't. The boys loved the blondes; we brunettes were always consigned to the second banana role. Think Betty and Veronica. Or Sandra Dee and Susan Kohner.

Besides, I was too "ethnic". Read, Jewish. Not WASP. The Other.

And also, too smart. Smart was not in then. Smart came about five years later.

I always was ahead of my time...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wired for another year....

I just bit the bullet and pushed the WIRED renewal card through the mail slot. I caved, I did, and signed up for another 12 months.

Why, you might ask. Because, I might say, as you my faithful readers well know, I'm a magazine junkie. This year, however, due to the absolute dearth of income coming into my house, I've decided I must, absolutely must cut down. So I let this one lapse
because really, now that I don't live in West Hollywood anymore, it's just not the same. Then it was my neighborhood rag and I would check it out just to see who and what was around the corner at Fred Segal's or Revolution....
and this one
because really, although I'm still a makeup and face care aficionado, there just isn't enough new stuff out there to catch my interest. I have read so many articles over so many years about face care, wrinkles, botox, plastic surgery that I could write them (hey, that's an idea: magazine me!). What I could really write is any of the features about the Sixties, because, guys, I was there! I actually walked the streets of London with Twiggies drawn down my cheeks, and trust me, reading about it just ain't the same.

These decisions to bail on the subscriptions are, I realize, a recognition of my having passed out of the demographic pool of their readers. I feel as if that passed out should be accompanied by a dirge because it really says something significant to me. What, I'm not quite sure, but I am certain it's significant. And sad. But also truthful. [Trust me to make a really big deal about magazine subscriptions....!]

And I had decided to let my sub to Wired go because, I dunno, there's just so much cool stuff in it, and it gets the geek in me all jazzed up, but then I fall flat to the earth knowing I can never catch up with the knowledge base enough to really be a player. Then last night I started reading the December issue, the one that arrived with a big THIS IS YOUR LAST ISSUE card attached. It's got such a pretty cover
but when I opened it and started paging through, I was struck by how this has become a guy's magazine. The Dillard's ads are all for men's clothing and the Garmin ad features a hot babe. Okay, that's fine. I've subscribed to other men's magazines, not for the ads, but for the articles. Here, though, is what I got at Wired this month: The "What's Inside" feature deconstructs athlete's foot cream and the How To section shows me four cool ways to lace my shoes. What's next, Fifty Ways to Blow A Fart? There's an article on aging, in which 20 is over the hill because only teenage thumbs are adept enough to win text-messaging competitions. Um, guys, who's your audience here or, as my college roommate might say, "who's editing this shit?"

So, why, you're still wanting to know, did I sign on again for another year. For "Jargon Watch" and "Alpha Geek". For "Wired/Tired/Expired". For the "Wish List"--and, oh yeah, the articles that I might get around to reading now that my time isn't taken up with the likes of InStyle and Allure.

Maybe not good enough reasons. But maybe I'm just not ready yet to hang up my geek-credentials, such as they are.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Song for All Ages

Have I mentioned before how much I love music? How evocative it is for me, an aural Proustian madeleine. Yes, I believe I have, in a prior post, somewhere. But I'm aging, people, and we tend to repeat ourselves as we go, so forgive me.

I was listening to the TV the other day. Literally. PBS was running one of their interminable pledge drives which feature a bar here and a chord there of songs from yesteryear. They have the original groups on, or what is left of them, to sing the full version of the hit, and the station splices that in between the pitches. I love the music. What I don't love is that the singers have aged so, so, ungracefully. By which I mean: they've gotten old. Lined, wrinkled, puffy, gray. Can I tell you how depressing it is to see the heart throb of your youth looking just like someone's grandpa? The only thing worse is the frequent cuts to the audience who are all bopping along to the song the same as they did the year it came out. Except they are really lined, wrinkled, puffy, gray. Probably, one must conclude, as is one, a thought which instantly stops one's own bopping on one's sofa.

So it is that I listen to these programs, but I don't watch. And thus am I able to preserve a modicum of self-delusion. That self-delusion enabled me to focus on the songs. It occurred to me as I was listening to the television that every major decade in my life has been marked by a specific genre of music. Wouldn't that be a cool frame for a memoir? A memoir! Shit, I'm not old enough--. Oh, I guess I am.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Flotsam & Jetsam & Metaphors Galore

Last night I dreamt I got stuck in a steep ravine. I started to climb out and then stopped because I remembered how old I am. Too old to be climbing out of ravines, it would seem. In my dream, I found another way out, but when I awoke--now--I'm wondering if "too old" is a fact of life to be dealt with (as I did in the dream) or an excuse.

The brined chicken was not successful. Despite being all nicely browned, crispy even, on the outside, it was still pink--oh, yuck!--on the inside. I had to zap it in the microwave which, of course, left it dry. I'm wondering if brining does something to poultry that affects cooking time and temp. I find myself, in this current bout of cooking mania, very interested in the chemistry involved. It's as if--no, it is!--that I've suddenly discovered that cooking is really a chain of chemical reactions. Unfortunately chemistry was my worst, absolute worst subject in school...

The product of my weeding on Sunday: I chopped and trimmed and cut and eventually pulled out a dead bush . It was the sister to the bush below on the left. Why did one live and prosper while the other died? I'm not sure. Maybe it was the incredibly invasive vining weed that had wrapped itself around and through the bush. Or maybe it was just Its Time.

This is the clear space that's left, and now I get to decide what I want to put there. I'm thinking bulbs--I love hyacinths. And maybe herbs. I'm not sure.

When I typed that first sentence above, it came out as , "The product of my wedding on Sunday..." Today, actually, is the anniversary of my wedding nineteen years ago. Do I regret it? No. Do I regret its ending? In some ways, yes and in some ways, no. It is what it is and I am what I am, and today I'm happy with that.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

United We Stand

I'm a writer. Watch this. Laugh. And support us.

Edited: I saw this first--and laughed my ass off--at Mrs. Mogul.

How's About Some Cabbage & Apples?

It's Sunday and I'm in the kitchen with the Food Channel again. But yesterday I was there as well...and here's what I made
I'm calling it, in a streak of originality, Cabbage & Apple Side Dish. I made it to eat on it's own, but it would be terrific as a Thanksgiving dish. And it's cheap. And easy. And I made it up.

Here's what to do:
  1. Chop 1 purple onion (nice color, doncha think?) and a couple of cloves garlic and brown them in some oil (I used walnut, but olive would do as well). I got them quite brown, some were actually crispy, but you don't have to do that. You can just saute them till they're limp or golden or however you like your onion/garlic mixture.
  2. Add 2-3 T of butter (sweet, please, is there any other kind to cook with? d'oh?)
  3. Cut up half a cabbage into chunks or slivers or however you want to slice 'em. Add to skillet (I did tell you to do this in a large skillet or dutch oven, didn't I). You can use any kind of cabbage. Mine was the frilly kind because--it just was.
  4. Peel, core and slice a tart apple and mix it in with the whole thing. Do some salt and peppering, if you like. Cover the pot and stir occasionally. Oh, did I mention this should be on a medium fire?
  5. Cook until the cabbage and the apples are limp. Serve. Eat.
  6. This is an expandable recipe. Just add more of everything to feed more people. Mine provided a side dish for four (me and three more of me.).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

News of the Day...

...whatever. I just wanted a subject line that was remotely...I dunno, remote? I have started writing a/this/any blog post three or four times over the past couple of days. I get a couple of words, maybe a couple of lines in and then I totally lose interest. Or I start doing weird, obfuscating stuff like remotely/remote. Obfuscating, I say, because I think my mind is turning and twisting because it doesn't want to run in a linear manner. Which might--oh, horrors!--reveal a thing or two. I know this; you know this; and we're all just gonna have to wait it out.

In the meantime....I retired, as you realize, from NaBloPoMo the other day. The sheer and utter tedium of coming up with blog posts that weren't pathtetically tedious was too much for me. And besides, I never win anything. And besides, my stats were/are down and I can blame that on NaBloPoMo, which has moved from a cool, cute, sorta in-thing to do to a huge Ning event enlisting thousands of people.

Too, all the time I was spending on fripperies for my blog to entertain all three of you who are out there (and thank you so much for your comments, you three) is time that I am not spending on my own writing. My own writing: is the blog not my own writing? Well, yes, but to what end? It has lately seemed the equivalent of tossing down yogurt-covered peanuts: yeah, there's protein there; yeah, it's yogurt and not chocolate; but when all is said and done, has it really been worth the peristaltic action entailed? Nah....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blog Mojo Missing...

What exactly might that mean?


Whatever happened to NaBloPoMo?


Doya miss me, babee?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wild Card - Day 9

So--how closely are you reading me, class? Not close enough, it seems. Did no one realize that I had two Gs? G for gratitude and G for garden. I wonder what other sneaky little errors I'm deliberately planting this month. I you?????

Thursday, November 08, 2007

G is for Garden...

This will not be a touchy feely post. I am not one of those souls who wanders 'round her garden being nurtured by the nurturing nature of things green and growing. For one, there are also things brown and gray and wiggly being nurtured. I once wrote an article about harvesting snails from one's garden. It was a how-to, written in the days when I took any writing gig that paid (okay, so those days have not ended). I researched the thing and as with my articles about things sexual, my readers benefited only from my research and not from my experience. So when I tell you that harvesting snails is no big deal as long as you put them in corn meal to eat and shit for some amount of time (which you can probably find out by googling, or I could dig up the article) before you actually eat the suckers. And I use that last word advisedly.

But back to my garden....self-analysis is a 24/7 thing with me, so over the years, I've learned this about myself via my garden.

1. I am a process person. I love the planning, the digging, the planting, the weeding. To actually harvest whatever, eh, not really. I no longer grow green beans because they get so big so fast that I could never keep up with them. One year I actually made green bean pesto, which was no small feat. And people ate it. Which just proves that garlic, basil, and a good olive oil will make a decent dish of any old thing.

2. I don't believe in watering. If those fuckers, whatever they are, can't grow on their own, they don't deserve to, is my motto. Consequently I have more and better and bigger tomatoes than anyone around. Because tomatoes don't like a lot of water. Which means they deserve to grow in my garden. Other vegetables, not so much, I confess. Like cucumbers. But chard--I once grew a magic potion of rainbow chard. Of course, at the time I didn't know what to do with it, so it just kinda bolted out in the ground, a blessing of red and yellow and green, until it became brown and moldy.

3. I am an organic gardener. Mainly because those chemicals scare me and I'm always sure I'll shoot them in my face--or in Molly's. So if there are pests in my garden, I take care of them naturally. I spray whiteflies with soapy water. I get whoever I can to pluck the tomato worms off the vines. I tried drowning snails in beer, but frankly, my heart broke for the poor unwitting snail, inching his way into that good smelling stuff, working so hard, covering so little ground in so long a time and then--splat, he falls into beer and can't swim and drowns and leaves all his poor snail children alone in the dark. The same with snails and salt. I couldn't bear to watch them writhe. Why not just crucify them? You'd only need one nail.

4. I love weeding. I may save this for W is for... because really, what I would reveal deserves its own post.

5. I rarely if ever sit in my garden. My excuse is that it's too hot, too cold, too wah wah wah, but really, I think it's a character issue. What I like about my garden is the making of it. It's the process, I tell you, not the product. My garden here in Elk Grove is beautiful. As well it should be since I paid Hugo some $10K (okay, that may be a bit high) to put it in. It's got a stone waterfall and a gazebo. Actually, the electronics on the waterfall have frozen, so this summer particularly it has threatened to be a little den of mosquito inequity. And the gazebo--well, it's not fastened down and on windy days, it walks. But the rest of the garden is gorgeous: rose bushes and Meyer lemons, peaches and sweet peas, and them there tomatoes that I mentioned above. And, oh, the grape vines. These were D's special request. I think he plucked one grape, and I got stuck with the rest. Typical. I cut them off the vine and thought I'd make wine, or jelly, but, eh! they ended up rotting. So now I've got huge vines and what the fuck am I supposed to do with them. I look at them and think--grape vine wreathes, esty--I should cut and twirl or twist them and then sell them. I should. I should. I should.

But I won't. Maybe I'll get Bob, who is the Fijian replacement for the Mexican Hugo, to cut them down. Maybe I will.

But probably I won't.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

G is for Gratitude... in, thank you for whatever shit you're giving me.

Gratitude is a culturally-specific expression. Here in America, we used to say "you're welcome," in response to someone's thanks. I'm not sure what that means, the etymology as it were. It just is. Or was.

Now, when someone says 'thank you', people say 'no problem.' Huh?

Thanks for the memories. No problem.
Thanks for nuthin'. No problem.
Thanks a bunch. No problem.

Unless you're affected with Spanglish, in which case you would say, "no problemo."

In Britain, they don't say you're welcome or no problem. They say, 'thank you' back again. Sometimes this results in a kind of parody.
Brit 1: Ta ever so for that whatever it was.
Brit 2: Thank you.
Brit 1: Thank you.
Brit 2: No, thank you.
Yank: No problem.

I can see using No Problem if someone is thanking you for bringing in the mail. Or taking out the garbage. Then you really do mean "it was no problem for me to do this small (or large) act of kindness for you." But when the guy on NPR is thanking the Minister of Diddlysquat for appearing on the show, especially at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m., the correct response is not No Problem.

No problem is not a gracious way of acknowledging that a fellow human has marked some action of yours as positive. No problem is just another way of saying, what the fuck, and as we learned from yesterday's post, dropping the F bomb ain't cool.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

F is for the F-bomb...

Did you think I was going to put That Word in my title? The Word I consider such an integral part of my vocabulary. Although I'm beginning to wonder if I'm too old to use it. As in, too old to have long hair. Too old to wear today's fashions. Too old to have a life.

But fuck, no. I'm not too old to use it. It is a wonderfully eloquent word, sometimes the only one that will actually do the job. But one must use it wisely and well. Some people overuse it. One fellow I used to know used it as an all-purpose adjective, adverb, and gerund. He talked something like this: "Hey, whassup, motherfucker? How the fuck are you? And what the fuck's with those fucking 49-ers. Can they not fucking throw a fucking ball, or what. Hey, how about another fucking cocktail to wash down those fucking peanuts you've been fucking eating...." etc etc etc

His use of the word was too, too much. It lost it's meaning. People with small children avoided him. I've lost touch with him, told him, basically, to fuck off.

The judicious use of the word fuck, on the other hand, can rouse a crowd. Or convince someone that you really, really mean something. Or be exactly the right turn-on-one's-heel mutter.

Some people are very much against the use of fuck and other such words in blogs and other public places. I think I read the other day a post and many comments on just such a topic. I think I read it because I can't really remember because I was skimming posts and--what the fuck!--if one is writing that using the f-bomb is not good, right, or just then obviously one is not writing to me. Fuck no.

Monday, November 05, 2007

E is for--hope I know by the time this post is finished

Every day when I face the letter of the day, I draw a blank. A--can't think of anything, and we know what a problem I had with B, and then C, what a lame post that was, and D, does anyone need to know the state and fate of my floors? And everyday when I face the letter of the day, all I can think of are wonderful topics for the day before. But then, of course, it's too late.

All I can think of today that begins with an E is--Ego. As in, mine is wanting lots of readers with lots of comments. But that means Effort. So E is for effort. I can toss these puppies off in a very short time (oh, you can tell?), but the really good posts, they take a while to write. At least for me. Of course I'm sure that everyone else whose writing I admire just tosses their puppies off, which is why I try to do it too, because--hey, hey, hey, we're back to E for Ego.

I just leaned over my desk and saw this written on a piece of paper: Eco Arts and Crafts. Oh, yeah, that. How did I not think of that as an E? This topic that has been of such great interest to me in the past month? I could answer that question, but E for Ego won't allow me to.

It's amazing what a stern fellow E for Ego is. He runs a tight ship, he does, allowing only certain minuscule pieces of himself to slip out and by and into the public domain. At least he thinks that only minuscule pieces slip out, but maybe whole chunks of him are obvious from even five miles away. You might wonder why, considering that I'm female, he's not. I dunno. Interesting, that. Is this a gender issue, I wonder? Was I too much my father's son, and not enough Daddy's little girl? Maybe.

It is true that I have what is considered a masculine approach to a lot of things in life. That is, I hone right in on the problem, analyze it, and come up with viable solutions. This is not exactly what you want in a touchyfeely therapist, is it? Here's your problem, here's how to solve it, go home and don't come back until you've done it.

So E is for Ego, and Effort, and Eco-Art. And for the last, look at this:

This is a real working radio. You can find it and buy it here. That's the site for African Wire Arts; check it out.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

D is for Dirt in, my house is getting away from me. As in, how the hell do people keep up with all this cleaning that needs to be done?

When the house was really dirty, my mother used to say, "The Board of Health is going to come over." I think this was not merely metaphoric for her, as she grew up on the Lower East Side where dirt and vermin and the Board of Health were probably a real part of people's lives. Not that my Grandmother's house was dirty. Not that my Grandmother had a house, actually. My mother, her parents and her six siblings all lived in an apartment, a flat I supposed you'd call it, although why is not really clear to me. It was on Houston Street, which is pronounced House-ton, as any decent New Yorker knows. I don't remember much about my Grandparents flat, but I'm sure it was very clean. Even though the one time I went into the bathroom that I can recall, there was schmutz in the tub. I was probably six at the time and I can still see that schmutz. And I'm still shocked.

Today I looked at my own house and immediately thought, "The Board of Health is going to come over." So I washed the floor. Or at least, part of it.

Here's the thing about my floors: they are a tile that is meant to replicate stone. Here, have a look:

Now the nice thing about these floors is that they don't show dirt. Mainly because they are already the color of dirt, in all its various shades. But the not nice thing is that they have nooks and crannies, and somehow I don't feel as if I'm able to really get them clean. The other not nice thing about these floors is that they are a two-step job to "do". First, one must somehow remove all extraneous debris and then one must apply the washing stuff to the floors. This is exhausting. When D was still an active member of this household, he would vacuum the floors from time to time. Which was about as often as I was prepared to mop them. But now I must do both steps myself and--I'm back hurts...I don't wanna.

I was reading some blogs the other day and the writers were bragging about how they got down on their hands and knees to scrub their floors. But then they said, oh so modestly, but my kitchen is just a little bitty postage stamp, so it's not a hardship. Well, my kitchen is not a postage stamp. My house is over 2000 square feet and of that, only the three bedrooms are carpeted. That's a shit load of tile to take care of and frankly, my dear, I often don't give a damn.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

C is for Clients

...and yes, that's what we actually call them. Or you, as the case may be. Unless we have the magic Doctor in front of our name when we might also call them (or you) patients. Often we just refer to them by time, as in "My ten o'clock." But never by diagnosis, since that is verboten, not to mention forbidden, by the rules of the various boards that license us.

...and yes, I'm seeing them again.

...and yes, I'm questioning myself again.

The clients that I thought I wanted to treat when I was in school--the poor, the needy, the really fucked-up--well, maybe I was wrong. Maybe when I insisted that the one kind of client I never wanted was the Middle Class Woman Who Whined, maybe anyone with an ounce of understanding about things psychodynamic could see that this was a huge case of countertransference. Which none of my instructors thought to mention to me.

Basically what it means is that I didn't want to treat myself. Or people like me. Who I seem to think are weak, sniveling people with weak, sniveling issues to deal with. Like wobbly self-esteem and shitty mates and tedious workplace traumas. No, I wanted the real thing: Bring me your psychotic, your medicated, your traumatized, personality-disordered huddled masses--and I will wave my torch of empathy and grant them instant calm, if not bliss.

Well, ha! And ha! again. The huddled masses--they are so incredibly complicated, not to mention relatively hopeless, and sometimes scarey. They live in neighborhoods that are alien, in houses that are so tiny and ramshackle as to be barely there. If they live in houses at all, because remember, my very first client was a schizophrenic homeless woman.

I loved her. Not literally, but all the parts of her that were middle class, and dealing with a overbearing mother. But not so much when she started getting into the groups of martyred soldiers who were following her down the street, beckoning to her from doorways, trying to entice her into a life of sin. I knew delusions when I heard them. But from a middle class woman? Was it possible--? Nah, it was just me, middle class me, having a major countertransference issue.

Countertransference is a good thing and a bad thing. It's part of what enables psychotherapy at all, but damn, I'd rather not have my shit forced in my face where I can't ignore it. But my choices, it seems, are either to face it--or find an excellent excuse when I don't want to be a therapist after all.

Friday, November 02, 2007

B is for...

...what? what is B for? I can't believe I'm stymied already! !!!!

B is for -- Bacon. Should a Jew eat bacon? No, tis an absolute prohibition against eating the meat of things whose hoofs aren't cloved...or is it those that are? Whatever, bacon is from the pig and the pig is the animal that, according to the Torah, has the wrong kind of hoofs...or is it hooves? Thus, Jews are forbidden to have any meat that was at one time a part of a pig. That means bacon. And ham. And pork chops. And pork roast. And also, I think, head cheese.

Now, let me tell you a little secret about Jews and pigs. We love 'em. Particularly bacon. And ham. Perhaps we don't consider that once the meat is cured, that is salted and brined and whatever, it is still of a pig. Pork itself? Not so much. I must confess that my stomach does a mini-heave at pork. Like my grandfather is maybe playing with my kishkes. But that's just me.

Pork is a big deal, I hear, in Israel, where they call it White Steak. As in (and this was told to me as a truly true fact), the bar mitzvah boy wanted only white steak at his reception. Pork is also a big deal at Chinese restaurants, which are the restaurants of choice for Jews looking for a night away from the kitchen. Look at Jerry Seinfeld, how often you saw him picking and poking with chopsticks. And the Rosses across the street when I was growing up: Thursday night was the cook's night off, and they had Chinese. Sweet 'n Sour Pork. Yum. In a gelatinous sauce that is comprised mostly of cornstarch and red dye #2. You don't even have to be particularly adept with chopsticks to jam one into a piece of fried pork and bring it successfully to your mouth.

But this isn't about P for pork; it's a treatise on B for bacon. Which only happens tangentially to be a function of the pig animal. Those of you who are not British or Canadian, you will be surprised to learn that the Brits have a panoply of bacon cuts. Bacon is a really big deal to them. And they don't cook it very well. In fact, they barely cook it at all, so what you get most often is a hunk of ham with some fat attached to it. Not bacon at all, as in American bacon, which is crisp, the fat being cooked away to perfection. I would say that this is just another thing that we do better than they (and, hey, I just said it), but then my friends who are British will come back at me with a harsh comment or two. And they are a snarky lot...

So forget I cast any aspersions on our friends across the pond...can't we all just get along??????????

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bonus Post: Miss Molly the Orange-haired Harlot

This is just gratis and, also, gratuitous. Molly in her Halloween costume. You may find it similar to last years, but trust me, there is a difference. This year she has a jingly cloth clown's neckthingie to go with her witches hat and hair. These photos, which may or may not be self-explanatory, are of wig as beard and wig on head. Also, just because I can (I think), I'm posting the short video I took of Molly in her costume. I, the director, am giving her multiple commands in the background. She, as you can see, is doing it her way.

NaBloPoMo - Day One - The Alphabet

I know you've been staring at that badge on the right ever since I put it up there last week. The marker that I too, along with some 3,000 other bloggers, have vowed to post once a day for the month of November. NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month. Or is it, November Blog Posting Month? I dunno; you'll have to ask Fussy, whose brainchild this is. Whatever, I've committed myself to dribbling on this page daily. And to make it more challenging, I've decided to play a little game with myself. I'm going to follow the alphabet (which I keep typing as alphabetH, as if some superior person named Beth). That is, each day's post will be brought to you by another letter of the alphabet.

When I was a kid, we played a game called, "A My Name is Alice...." Sometimes it was jumping a rope, sometimes bouncing a ball--but the object was to make your way through the alphabet singing the following ditty:
"A my name is Alice
And my husband's name is Albert.
We come from Atlanta,
Where we sell Apples."

It got really hard when you got to X: X my name is Xena and my husband's name is Xerxes....except as young as we were, I don't think our vocabulary ran to Xena's and Xerxes'. More likely we collapsed in a giggling heap at some made-up quasi-syllabic name, like Xerpituitous.

Now I know that you're wondering how this is going to work, considering that there are 30 days in November and 26 letters in the alphabet. My studied solution: there will be four Wild Card days. They will come somewhere along the way, at my discretion and my disposal.

So--what's in it for you? Other than the sheer pleasure, nay, joy of knowing you will have a fresh ByJane to read every single day. I've been thinking about some sort of contest, but I'm not sure what it would be.

Hey! The contest is: you come up with the contest. I give the prizes. This can be a really interactive event, with extremely cooooooool, desirable prizes (not your usual shit). The competition begins now! On your marks.......GO!

Oh, and by the way -- A is, today, for Alphabet...of course.