Monday, June 30, 2008

The Big Buildup to BlogHer'08

Tomorrow is July 1st--Holy Shit! just seventeen days to get ready for the big event. Some of us are going on extreme diets and some of us are having our hair cut, colored and what-evered. The boys are moaning about the dumb luck of Mommybloggers and a dozen or so contests have sprouted all over the blogosphere. The air, she is palpable, as is the excitement. What shall I wear? Who will talk to me? What if no one does? What if I end up sitting in a corner all weekend like a crumpled ball of Kleenex. There is no way that the event could ever match the anticipation, but every year we hope it will. Is this the eternal hopefulness of the damned? (And what does that mean? It just slipped out).

This year I have high hopes for BlogHer'08. Mostly because I am working hard to have no hopes at all. No expectations. Not for me. Expectations, as Pip could tell you, are a trap. I will not be going out the day before I leave to get a Really Cool Haircut that was a REALLY BAD MISTAKE, requiring that I have it immediately amended at Supercuts. I will not be staying by myself, because, damn, that's lonely, even if I don't have an extra bed for all my schwag. I will not try and make of my blogs anything, anything at all. They are what they are and--are you ready for this incredible insight?--they will be what they will be without any grandiose efforts from me. My goal this year is simple: to have fun.

Yes, indeedy. After the year I've just had, I think fun has to be at the top of the agenda. And laughing. Lots of LOLing. And maybe a serious conversation or two. And meeting people I know on-line but not in person. And people I don't know on-line. And just hanging out. And laughing--did I mention that?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Is The Food Channel Dumbing Down?

I think so. I just watched the latest episode of The Next Food Channel Network Star (or whatever it's called). Between the episode itself and the commercials, it seems clear that The Food Channel is looking to appeal to the common mom cook without much time (or talent?) in the kitchen. I don't mean to be snobby, but when I watch a cooking program, it's to be taken to a higher level in the kitchen. Rachel Ray doesn't cut it with me. Bobby Flay--eh, he's cute, albeit somewhat damp looking, but he doesn't inspire me to new culinary heights. Thinking about it, the only Food Channel programs I really enjoy are the ones with professional chefs doing high concept cooking. The other stuff--the easy, peasy in the kitchen stuff--nah, I can do that myself without the laugh track.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Post Up at http://midlifebloggers.com

Morning Pages, the Canine Version

Molly and I have just gotten back from our Morning Walk. This is the doggie version of Morning Pages, and her daily output may be more meaningful than mine. Molly likes some dogs, is disinterested in others, and some she seems to be extremely wary of. Generally the strong, silent ones; the little yappers she figures she can bat out of the park. Every once in a while, though, she seems to be struck from afar with the beauty, the very charisma of another canine on another leash who is some distance away. This morning it was a dog who looked like this:

Molly was stopped in her tracks--and I, not knowing that, continued to walk until our full sixteen feet of leash had played out. I had been deep in thought (cogitating, as it were), so I didn't realize what was happened until the leash jerked me to a halt. Then I saw the dog and then I looked at my dog, and what I saw was: I am in love.

Even now, she is dreaming of him.

Friday, June 27, 2008

It's 11:46 p.m.

...which gives me about fourteen minutes to fulfill my Blog 365 responsibilities. There--consider them fulfilled.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Hard Part of Deciding...

...is not making the decision, or even setting out the options. The hard part of deciding is being able to wait until the time to make the decision is right.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Witnessing for the Lord

I am such a sucker for these people. Because I'm nice and my mother raised me right and when someone comes to my door, I may not let them in, but I at least give them the courtesy of listening to their spiel. But they're not satisfied with my courtesy; they want nothing less than my soul. When they find out that it's a Jewish soul, oh my my my, do their evangelizing hearts beat faster. They whip out their Bibles and start quoting Isaiah to me and take me point by point through this verse and that to prove that the Prophesy is true, and I could be saved if only I'd listen. And read the literature which they left me the last time (which I threw out, but not without some guilt that I was tossing someone's Word of God). I stand in my doorway and nod and smile and give the same mindless comments I'd trucked out in high school when a date would start talking about his car.

The irony of that does not escape me, that I'm still putting on a happy face so a male should not know how pitifully boring I found him. But it is my choice; I could cut them off at the pass (which is what my mother would have done, without a second thought). I don't because they care so much. I find that kind of intense good will a rare quality in today's world; therefore, in the spirit of tikkun olam (to heal the world), I listen.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Wayward Wind

PhatMommy has writer's block. Me two...or rather, too. All of the wonderful things, the pithiest of my normally pithy comments, have gone the way of the wind...and it's a restless wind, that's born to wander......

Ahem--in today's mail I got a Xeroxed notice from the Family Life Center. At first, I thought it was one of the many varieties of Christian churches that have come to minister to Elk Grove's needs. But no, t'was an Employment Opportunity, two of them actually. The first was for a "mature couple" willing to minister in a "highly respected residential treatment program" for adolescents in "the beautiful countryside of Petaluma." Indeed, Petaluma is quite lovely, and since the job came with "Housing in a beautifully furnished country home including utilities, food and household expenses," I was enticed. Alas, I am not part of a couple, so that job could not be mine. But wait, wait, on the other side of the marigold sheet was another Employment Opportunity, and this one was for a mature, caring MFT Intern. Doesn't that just sound like me. I'm mature. I'm caring. I'm definitely an MFT Intern.

I got quite excited--was the universe offering me something new? I've been of a mind to move to the Bay Area and, hey, I think Petaluma qualifies. Or near enough. Plus this position offered the same beautifully furnished country home and a "competitive salary." In return, I would provide a "nurturing, stable home environment for four male students." Yes, I would, because I was mature and caring AND an MFT-Intern AND I like boys (I actually prefer them to girls, who I find to be rather MEAN). My imagination took of like a tumbleweed along the Texarkana border.

Yes, yes, I would apply for this job. I'm good with kids. Particularly wayward male kids. I would move to Petaluma and and and---.

I'd have to get up early, wouldn't I? And probably prepare three meals a day. And would I be keeping that beautifully furnished country home tidy? Oh no no no, that is so not me.

For I'm a wayward wind.....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Now I'm Up--Now I'm Not

It amazes me how quickly my sense of self can teeter off the board. Today was a good day. I got MidLifeBloggers accepted for BlogHer Ads and I wrote a Belated Intro to the site to post on BlogHer.

Maybe the teetering started when I couldn't download the second part of the BlogHer Ads app. Maybe it got a little worse when I couldn't get the intro uploaded without some strange code attached to it, despite trying twice, and so I deleted it, twice. Frustrating, yes, but ultimately fixable.

Then I read Dooce and her friend Carol's twin posts about the diet they're doing together, and I thought I want to go on that diet too. But I immediately realized that it wasn't the diet I envied, but their friendship. It's been a while since I've had that kind of closeness with another woman where you can absolutely trust that she wants what is good for you--and cares enough to say so.

The coup de grace happened when I sat down to dinner. I had a plate full of food, chicken arriabiata and basil pasta and fresh green beans that I was enjoying, I thought, when suddenly my perspective changed. It was as if I had an out-of-body experience, and I looked down and I saw myself as I was, sitting alone, working my silent way through the chicken and green beans. The thought flashed through my mind: is it worse to always be sitting alone, eating alone these nutritious meals. Or would I feel less pathetic if I was eating on the fly, just grabbing whatever, like I did when I was in my twenties?

That's a rhetorical question, by the way; no need to answer with encouraging words about respecting oneself and caring for one's body. I know all that. Hell, you don't get to this stage of midlife without having internalized a whole heap of magazine articles and books about How To Live Successfully Alone. I'm really just registering that instant of altered perspective and then only to say how it was as if the lights went out.

I know what my problem is, and I know how to solve it. It just takes time, but patience has never been my strong suit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm a D-list Blogger with a Dilemna

...and I need to know what you think. Every once in a while I get sent something to review, a book or a film usually. I don't pretend to think it's because I have such salient wit. I know I'm just a D-list blogger and I've gotten on the rolls of some similarly-situated PR people who are hoping for that Viral Thingie to happen for their client. My problem is this: D-list PR people tend to get D-list writers for clients. That means that the works that I am sent are not so much without merit as flawed, in some cases fatally so.

Now if you know anything about me, it's that I have a rather skewed view at times. And I like to laugh. And I tend to see juxtapositions that other people don't, until I point them out. Add all that up, pour it into a flawed novel or film and you get me ripping off a series of cogent comments that are pretty darn funny. And while I'd love to write them in a review post because they are often just too, too good to go unsaid, I don't. Because I know that at the other end of that book or film is a writer. A writer who has pinned a lot of hopes and plans and ambition on the particular work. In short, someone like me.

Maybe that's why those who can do and those who can't write about it. It's not too hard to be upfront honest when you have no stake in the races yourself.

But the horns of my dilemna are these: am I faithful to my integrity as a reader or am I faithful to my loyalty to other writers? In the past, I've managed to walk a narrow path. I squelched my better bon mots, focused on what was good about the work, and alluded to some of the Problems with the text. But now I'm reading a review copy where I'm falling off the path. The intention of the writer was with merit; the realization was without. My choices, then, are:
  1. Lose the book. Forget I got it. Pretend to myself that it was lost in the mail.
  2. Write the truth, even though it hurts me to think of the writer reading it.
  3. Do one of those la-di-dah reviews where you basically just summarize the plot.
The problem with the first is that it's a lie and believe it or not, I do have issues with lying. The problem with the second is that I end up feeling really, really bad. The problem with the third is that I sneer at critics who through ignorance or laziness end up copping out with a summary.

What would you do? What do you do?

New post up at MidLifeBloggers.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Death and Insomnia

If I only included Orgasm, I could have titled this Les Petit Morts (and forgive me if I'm off on the gender of my French...you say la, I say le...whatever).

I've been slow on the uptake and off on the posting since this weekend. First, there was Tim Russert dying on Friday. Then a local man was killed by a sheriff's deputy when he wouldn't stop beating his kid to death. The kid was a baby. The local man was his father. He took the baby out of his carseat (this was a responsible parent!) and just stomped him to death on a country road. One man who was unsuccessful in trying to stop him said that his eyes were empty and you could see all the way to the back of his head. And Monday, on my way to the gym, just around the corner from my house, I passed a blanket-covered body oozing blood. Just his paws were showing. The German shepherd from down the street. The kids in the car that was, to judge by the skid marks, going too fast when it hit him looked chastened. His owner was inconsolable. And now I have to avoid that corner.

Edited to add: New post up at MidLifeBloggers

Is it any wonder that I have a hard time falling asleep? And that I'm groggier than hell now, and probably making little sense?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I'm reposting an entry from several years ago when I blogged on Live Journal. I've written some about my father before, and when I do, I almost always end up in tears and being incredibly mushy (or as he would have said with an eyebrow raised, Tender). So I guess I never venture too far into what I feel about loving him and missing him because, well, because I'm afraid I might never get out. The last paragraph of this, the last sentences--that says it all. I'm sharing it with you today because I can't with him.


The World Cup--and Harold darling...

It's a draw--1::1, USA and Italy. {Sound of cheers}!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sure a computer saavy person could actually give you a link to that sound, but it ain't me.

I can't believe I actually watched the game. I didn't intend to. I turned the TV on to just hang out for a while, and there the game was. And I never moved throughout. I'm amazed at myself.

I've never been a sports fan particularly. My father, from whom I would have gotten the bug, wasn't a a sports fan either. He was a star fullback, first for Cornell, and then for one of the early league teams, the Long Island Bulldogs--or maybe it was the BlueBells. He played in the days when the helmets were leather caps and the only padding they had was Kotex. He considered contemporary players, with their complicated underlay of plastic and metal, to be (his word) sissies. So I never learned to love games by sitting on his knee. I learned to love reading by sitting on his knee. And arguing any topic at any time whatsoever....

...it's a funny thing about this blog. I started out to write about watching the soccer and how I couldn't believe how absorbed I was in it and how it took me back to that time long ago and far away, when I loved a footballer in England and spent many a Saturday watching him play...

...but then my thoughts took a right hand turn to my father--and I suddenly realized that tomorrow is Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. You would love all the new stuff computers can do. You would cheer my blog on and write Anonymous comments and maybe you'd have your own blog. I miss you. I miss your mind and your wit. And I miss the way you loved me. And liked me. Especially that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert: Some thoughts

I wasn't going to watch NBC's special "Remembering Tim Russert." It seemed like too much, another time when the news goes into entertainment mode, hyping a sad occasion into a three-ring orgy produced to wring tears and ratings.

I heard the news where I hear most news these days, on-line, from Twitter posts actually. I watched CNNs pathetically maudlin coverage this afternoon while I rode the bike at the gym and then turned to NBC, figuring they would do something more dignified, something that didn't smack of having to fill the 24 hour news cycle. But NBC was showing Tiger Woods playing golf. I tuned in later to NBC's Evening News, assuming they would give Russert the kind of dignified, two-minute send off that they have done for other collegues who have died. Instead, the entire half hour program was devoted to talking heads, one journalist or politician after another after another, each with a minute or so with some memory of Tim Russert. Nothing else happened in the world today, according the NBC News. No fires in California or floods in the MidWest. There were no demonstrations in Pakistan and although the Nightly News originated tonight in the Middle East, nothing of note happened there either. Tim Russert died today, and that was, it seemed, all the news fit to broadcast. So I wasn't going to watch another hour from NBC. What for? What more could be said? And, more important I thought, why was NBC doing this?

But I did watch it, and from it I got some, not answers so much as elaborations on my questions. I'm putting them out here because I want to know what you think. To answer the last first, I think that NBC did it because the individual journalists involved were so full of grief and shock that they were collectively taking us, the viewing public, by the collar and saying, "Look, this is who this man was. You didn't know him like we did and we cannot let him go without you seeing his full measure."


In that, for me, they succeeded. I liked Tim Russert when I thought about him, which wasn't often and rarely on Meet the Press. I hated that he was so sure--and so right--about the Democratic nomination. I was annoyed by that gleam in his eye when he was doing political analysis. I saw it as a knowing smirk. Now I think that it was simply his enthusiasm for his subject, for politics, that created that gleam. But I didn't know him, or really care about him, and mostly what shocked me was how young he was. Now, however, after watching an hours worth of clips and interviews and lots of tape of Tim himself, now his death feels personal. Now I really will miss him, and in some ways that makes me mad at NBC, because to feel little is so much easier than to actually mourn.

I don't have a clever conclusion to this post. Mostly I'm wondering--what do you think?

New Post Up at http://midlifebloggers.com

Lawsy mercy where are my glasses? or why aren't my arms longer...



It may not help your vision, but it will make you laugh...MidLifeBloggers.com

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How I Keep My House Clean, byJane

Simple answer: I don't particularly. I am not one of those women who is deeply houseproud (much to the chagrin of a former SO of mine who thought this was a sure sign of my degredation). I was not raised by a mother who fostered family cleaning events, such as my friend G, whose entire family devoted Saturday mornings to cleaning the house. Typically, my mother devoted some portion of her budget to paying a cleaning woman to devote one day to cleaning our house. I don't know what the going rate was but I do know that it included carfare and lunch. I didn't pay much attention, I must confess. Consequently, not only did I never really learn the how-tos of cleaning, I didn't learn how to manage those who cleaned for you. That, added to the fact that my sense of justice and fair play is such that I cannot ask someone to do for me what I won't do for myself, means that on the odd occasions when I have had a cleaning woman, I have generally hovered tying her shoelaces and make sure she was sufficiently hydrated.

This comes to mind today because I have just spent as little time possible getting ready for a meeting at my house. I have shut all the doors to every room except the guest bathroom. I have Swiffled, in a manner of speaking, the visible parts of the floor. I have cleaned off all tables, etc. by transferring the Stuff on them to my desk--and closing the office door.

I am ready for company, in a manner of speaking, and I dare anyone to judge me. Please don't.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From the files of: Here's What It's Like To Live Without A Man Around The House

I wish I had taken photos, but really, I was too shocked to even think of it. This morning, just after I brushed my teeth (in all innocence), I spied through the corner of my eye: my brand new outdoor umbrella go sailing across the yard.

I ran. I flung open (or should that be shoved, considering it's a slider?) the back door and raced to the Good Neighbor fence off to the left. There tottering teetering precariously about to pitch itself head first into my neighbor's yard was my unfurled umbrella. I grabbed it, hoping that I would not pull a Mary Poppins. The umbrella and I did the Texas Two Step for a couple of beats before I brought it to heel (aren't you excited by the wild mixing of my metaphors here?). I managed to find the crank and turned it as fast as I could. The umbrella furled. The crisis was averted.

Until I looked at the redwood table. Here it is. The umbrella fits into a hole in the center of the table and then extends down to a cast iron umbrella stand. I repeat, cast iron. I paid almost as much for the stand as I did for the umbrella because I'm smart and I know that these umbrellas require steady footing of some sort. Clever, aren't I.

So back to the table. It wasn't there. Not there at all. The chairs were there, but the table, she had gone elsewhere. Perhaps to Oz.

Ah, shit, I said, because I'm eloquent and articulate that way. I did a three eighty of my backyard and, oh yes, I see it now. The table has been tumbled this way and that and is now on its head over by the fountain. Because I'm clever, I got immediately what had happened: the Mary Poppins scenario had happened to my table.

Since I live alone, there's no one to share this mighty feat of nature with. But then my gardener, Bob arrives and despite the fact that I know this will extend his time doing my yard work from 5 minutes to 7, I take him around back and show him my table. He is most appreciative. And helpful. He gets down on the ground and shows me that there's this screw thingie on the cast iron umbrella stand. One is meant, he tells me, to put the umbrella in the stand and then tighten the screw thingie. That, he assures me, is what is necessary to keep the umbrella where it belongs.

He was right. The wind blew like a bitch all afternoon, but my umbrella, she stayed put and my outdoor scene is restored to normalcy. Except for the vinyl tablecloth. Which is probably in someone's yard a house or two down.

Monday, June 09, 2008

New Post Up at http://midlifebloggers.com

The Duchess of Duchess Omnium writes:

How can you tell the difference between a midlife crisis and shaking the dust from your feet?

Go read it at MidLifeBloggers...and comment!!!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Third Rail

For me, that third rail is proving to be the 2008 Election. I cannot read or hear or watch a piece of coverage without shorting out. Smoke comes out of my ears; my hair stands on end; and I'm sure my blood pressure must soar to the Jackpot mark. And that's a shame, because this was supposed to be the election cycle where I finally got my oar in. I covered politics in the past, but with the end of my journalism career, I've had no viable outlet. Until ByJane, that is, and the legitimization of political bloggers. At the beginning of the primary season, I was set to go. I had my credentials from the Huffington Post and I planned a season of thoughtful, considered impartial posts which would focus on a meta-analysis of political coverage. By so doing, I thought, I would enable people to make those Informed Decisions that are supposed to guide us, rather than the ones solely derived from Emotional Appeals. A worthy cause, don't you think?

Well, ha! And ha! again.

I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it because from the gitgo, I was overwhelmed by the overwhelming amount of opinion that was passing for news. I was overwhelmed by the myriad of ways in which different reporters would by virtue of an introductory statement or a closing one signal their emotional attachment to That Which Is Supposed To Be Unsaid, their preference for one candidate or another. Staci Schoff of A Mommy With An Attitude talks of that in her post today, and I'm going to quote a good bit of it just because, because I want to:
All of that is to say nothing of how irritating it is that every time the media's beloved Obama eeeks out a win in a state, the media cheers at the top of its lungs that he's pretty much won the nomination nee the election in November. And every time Clinton takes a state by a landslide the media headlines say, "Clinton wins -- why won't she just quit?" And if that doesn't work they just ignore the fact that it's fine to point out that the demographic group we refer to as "black" is overwhelmingly supporting Obama (and certainly it doesn't make them "racist"), but if the (much larger) demographic group we refer to as "white working class" is supporting Clinton then that's racist. I like it even better when journalists go out of their way to point out that those people didn't have the privilege of going to college, as if democracy should only be for the people who are smart enough and rich enough to not have to flip our burgers and pump our gas.
And yes, I realize that Staci's own political preference is obvious here, but then, she's not passing herself off as a journalist, is she?

So I've managed to avoid another aneurysm by just not paying too close attention--when I could avoid it. I managed to ignore the so-called legitimate press, but I couldn't really forego BlogHer for the entire primary season. And BlogHer has its own punditry, doesn't it? I'm proud that our coverage was so, so fulsome. Way to go, everyone, for making BlogHer's political coverage viable. But did it have to be so, so pundit-ridden? My sense on reading the coverage on the site is that if I'm not for Obama, then I'm a blithering idiot who should turn in my Girl Credentials.

And now that Mr. Obama is the presumptive Democratic candidate, this tone continues. Two posts from yesterday snared me and I couldn't resist touching that Third Rail. Catherine Morgan wrote a post stating that given John McCain's positions, no woman could possibly find a reason to vote for him. Go read it, as well as the on-going comments (including the lone guy who so eloquently advised Clinton supporters considering voting for McCain, that "if you cut off your nose to spite your face, it makes it easier to stick your head up your butt." Nice going, James. I always love when the men add their little soupcon of wisdom and wit to BlogHer.)

The other post that got me was from our very own Pundit Mom, who actually wrote a rather, sort of, lovely essay about Hillary leaving the race. She raises the dreaded spectre of sexist coverage which I then countered with my theory of the Death Kill of Pundits. She agreed with me (lovely lovely Pundit Mom) and then she asked, "Do you think pundits pushing their own agenda was because more were men trying to view Clinton through a male lens?" To which I answered all that you have read above as well as this:

No, I don't think the problem was a preponderance of male pundits viewing Clinton through a male lens. The problem was gender-neutral; it came from the women as well as the men. I think the problem is rather more complicated. Let me see if I can boil it down a bit:
  • We are in an age where everyone can and does have their fifteen minutes of fame. Thus, those who are already legitimate must outdo the hoi polloi in order to get attention.
  • We seem to have recovered from the so-called civilizing effects of the Enlightenment. We're now just as nasty, just as vile, just as insulting as The Tatler, et al.
These two things (and some others that are tangential) combine to create SuperPundit: he or she who is clever and educated and thus has the background (or at least the research skills) to come up with The Perfect Putdown or The Especially Effective Encomium. Such remarks are money in the self-esteem bank for SuperPundit; they are, in fact, the Supreme Validation. And given the breadth of the social network these days, SuperPundit has an audience that is limitless (not to mention always up for a chuckle or a fight).

So here I am, lolling about on the Third Rail. I'm considering closing the comments because, well because this is my blog. I get to say whatever I want and you don't. That begs the question of why, after all this time, I'm throwing myself back on the Third Rail. Because, of course, I'm a former SuperPundit myself--and therefore, I know of what I speak.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hello! Hello! Hello!

I'm back, on-line, WiFied with Excellent signal strength. For the first time in weeks, I can write my post with aplomb and acumen, knowing that I will not be dropped in the middle. I will not narrate the various and sundry vagaries that my Comcast modem put me through in the past three weeks. Suffice to say, IT WAS HELL AND BACK. Okay, maybe I should reserve that for something a tad more dire. But still--.

The Comcast person was set to arrive this morning between 8 and 10. These are not, normally, hours that I'm spry--or even, often, up. But I lurched out of bed at 7-something, stuck my contacts in my eyes, combed my hair and wondered what the hell I was going to do for the next couple of hours. At 8 sharp, a lovely lady from Comcast called to ask if I was still wanting my visit between 8 and 10. Yes indeedy, I said. See you soon, she replied. At 9:55 the doorbell rang.

Molly and I answered the door together and there before us was the Comcast person. It was a kid. A kid that looked to be twelve at most. I opened my mouth and in true Jane fashion, the following flew out: "Are you old enough to be doing this?" Evidently the Comcast person was not unfamiliar with that response and was generous enough not to spit on me or otherwise show intensely masculine displeasure. As he worked away fiddling with the wires and such, I studied him.

He had a small face, sweet really, and very pale. His hair was red, cut very short and his head was dwarfed by a too large Comcast cap. He wore jeans, which couldn't mask the fact that his ass was the size of a 52" big screen TV, and his sports shirt hung limply from shoulders that were half of that. He had all the requisite paraphernalia hanging from his belt and steel-toed work boots, but still, something wasn't right. He was mushy, soft and I wondered for a moment if he suffered from one of those endocrine issues that make you age prematurely, or maybe not at all. Then I looked some more, did the whole up and down check, and saw that he seemed to have breasts. Were these man-titties? I have several relatives who have man-titties and they're not so, so There, present over a great expanse of chest. Suddenly it hit me: strapped- down girl-boobs of a generous size, say C cup or better, would spread out in just such a way. And I wondered if the lovely lady who called to confirm the appointment was not a secretary back at the office, but the tech himself.

Still, he diagnosed and fixed my Comcast problem, which was the router, router, router being old and broken and bad. Now I have a new router, and I'm absolutely good to go. At last. Computer consistency, thou art mine again.

Friday, June 06, 2008

It's the witching hour....

...and I have no brain. My Comcast has been in and out all day. I am, to say the least, pissed beyond belief. What little money I earn comes from my work on the internet. So Comcast, you shit heads, are costing me money! BLECH!!!!!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

MIA but not AWOL


So here's where I was yesterday: watching Miss Kaitlyn Rose perform Little Mermaid at her dance recital in Mountainview. It was, I must say, terrific. Not just Kaitlyn and the nine other five-year olds in the number, but the entire evening.

I am an old hand at dancing school recitals, having tapped to "First You Put Your Two Knees" when I was just five as well. I did ballet every year until I was fifteen when it became obvious that I was growing TOO TALL to be a dancer, and thus I decided that my calves were TOO MUSCULAR to attract boys. At the end of almost every one of those years, there was a production of some sort. Well, except for the year that Miss Maddy decided we hadn't progressed enough to show our stuff off. She was a stickler like that. Last year I didn't go to Kaitlyn's recital and I heard from other family members how INCREDIBLY BORING IT WAS. Bullshit! They just don't know how to enjoy dance.

There is nothing so heartwarming as watching a group of little kids posturing and prancing to music. And this particular recital from the Harmony Dance Center was one of the best I have seen. Maybe The Best, barring one or two where I was part of the pas de deux and en pointe. The choreography and staging was top notch (not to mention top drawer and hat), the costumes were fantastic (with nary a Jon-Benet lookalike among them), and the dancers--well, they danced their hearts out (trite but true--albeit not literally).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Post Up at http://midlifebloggers.com

Check it out, as Randy would say. MidLifeBloggers is gonna be at BlogHer'08.
You can be too. Go to MidLifeBloggers and learn what you have to do to get some BlogHer'08 bling for yourself!
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Monday, June 02, 2008

Los Angeles, San Jose, or Elk Grove - Take Three

So back to our regularly scheduled programming. I'm so sorry to have interrupted it and with such NASTINESS. I can tell by the abundance of comments that you all were just quivering over the MMA Championships. But now you must stopped shaking and come along with me again to The Grand Decision: Should I stay in Elk Grove? move to San Jose? return to LA?

Thus far, we've covered the pros of staying in Elk Grove. Please, as you're considering this, do not make the mistake of thinking this is a choice to stay in Sacramento. That--moving to Sacramento--is a whole other option, but I think we're overloaded enough as it is.

So--what I like about the idea of moving back to LA:
1. I still have friends there, people who do not [necessarily] think I'm weird or too much.
2. I've made some new blogging friends there, which is more than I can say for here (sorry Margaret, but you moved, remember...sorry Steph, but we only communicate on the computer).
3. My family is there. This, however, is not totally positive. All of you who have wonderful, best friend relationships with your sister can go dunk your heads. Mine is fraught with angst, trauma, and drama. In fact, the first time I left LA, it was to move away from her, and I didn't return until I felt relatively certain that I could maintain some boundaries. She is, one might say, a lot of work. But my niece and her family are there too, and I've built good relationships with her kids.
4. I know the city, can scoot around on the surface streets, up and down the canyons like the wind (yes, I realize that scoot and wind are not exactly compatible, but whatever...)
5. I did my MA in Psych there, so all of my internship/job contacts are in SoCal. That's been a real problem for me up here.
6. LaLa Land is, as we all know, home to the greatest density of shrinks and shrinkees and in country. Thus, the opportunities for an internship position down there are considerable. And this, remember people, is what I must do to make money.
7. I feel like LA is My City in a way that it would take [how much, too much] time for me to feel about another place.
8. My doctors, dentists, and hair stylist are there. Not to mention my synagogue, Temple Israel of Hollywood, where I can worship with Leonard Nimoy in the sanctuary where Eddie Fisher and Liz Taylor were married. And my hospital, Cedars Sinai, which I love because every door has a mezzuzah on it and the gift shop sells Seder plates and menorahs.
9. I could go back to California Graduate Institute and work on my PhD, which is--yes--something I vowed I wouldn't do, but that was only when D was breathing down my neck. The fact is that I like being in school. There's an order to it that I need, I guess. I like the rhythms of the term, the excitement at the beginning, the slogging through the middle, and the push to the glory of the end. At which time I get a grade and that's like a little gold star to me.

Tomorrow I'll do Why I Would Even Consider San Jose as well as The Problems with Elk Grove and LA. Please do say tuned. And don't be so silent....

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The MMA Championship Fights

I just watched them. Can you believe that? If I didn't know that it was me in front of the television, I wouldn't believe it either. BLOOD SPORTS! Bah! Nasty!

But I got curious because:
  • My stepson had aspirations to be an MMA fighter at one time, so I wanted to see what attracted him and what I could have expected if I was to be ringside (cageside?) cheering him on. Thankfully, he's moved on to fly fishing, where only the fish feel pain and then only until he throws them back. Which he always does. And then if wants to eat fish, he has to go to the market and buy it like the rest of us non-fisherpersons. Go figure.
  • The defending champion was billed as The Sacramento Kid, which seemed to fit nicely into my own on-and-off aspirations to be a part of this town.

So I watched. The champion kept his belt, but not before five or was it six grueling rounds. There seem to be no holds barred in MMA fighting. The challenger got knocked in the nuts and both fighters had ears that were beyond cauliflower. In boxing , the ref breaks up the clinches. In MMA fights, he doesn't and the two guys just hold on, twisted in on each other like pretzels, so that who knows who's arms or legs are flailing in the air or whaling away. It was quite shocking, actually. Like street-fighting legitimized.

And yet, there was an odd tone of civility about it. Everyone said and then resaid and then emphasized again that these guys RESPECT each other. NO TRASH TALKING. Many hugs and you're wonderfuls at the end. The challenger introduced his fiance when it was over. The champion rehugged the challenger. This was very confusing, especially since my experience watching fights is Friday Night Boxing, which for a time was the date night of choice for D and me. Watching boxing, I'm always hyper-aware of the class issues involved. How else can these poor schlubs crawl out of the underclass? What other talents could they possibly be encouraged to develop?

I suffered no such angst tonight because I don't know if it's true for all MMA fighters, but these boys tonight? They're college graduates. As is my stepson. As are some other MMA aficionados I know. What's that about, huh? Is this Fight Club come to life?

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