Monday, April 30, 2007


This drug has made a difference. One month and there's something different in the way he reacts, in his repetitive questions. He is still forgetful, but he is more himself. At 89, having him as he was meant to be for even a short while is a gift. I am grateful, and still I think it is so unfair, this brilliant intellect diminished by dementia. Life is, I know. But still.

wanda sykes on gay marriage


In keeping with my (so far) steadfast no diet approach to The Obsession with weight and food and eating, I am focusing this week on stress reduction. There are times I find myself throughout the day so tightly coiled I feel like Jack crammed in the box desperately waiting for someone to turn my crank and set me free.

I don't handle stress well and my life is stress, but whose isn't? So I did what I always do when faced with a challenge and bought a book. This one is a collection of short essays on methods of stress management. Breathe. Who knew? Certainly not me. I once spent hundreds of $$ going through cardiac testing because I thought my heart was giving out. Only at the end of that month long ordeal, as I was sitting on the table talking to the still puzzled doc, did I find out my symptoms had been stress all along. I took a deep upper body breath and he said "is that it?? what you've been talking about?" Well, yes. I can't breathe, ergo congestive heart failure or some other dreadful affliction. He hugged me and almost shouted "that's stress! that's stress breathing!"

I stay out of touch with my body like the little crabs that take up residence in the empty snail shells. I'm just hanging out here, unconnected. I think this is the result of constantly, always, forever, eternally trying to change my outer shell. I've done it so long and with such fervor that it's hard to believe the shell is really me. How can I be connected to something that's different from week to week, month to month, year to year. It's like trying on coats and wearing one for a season, then sending it off to Goodwill because it's too baggy or too snug.

Part of this stress reduction plan is that I will have to pay attention to my body. The writers blithely suggest that one "notices" the tension here or there, the slight ache in this arm, the pain in the lower back. As if. I am making a huge black PAY ATTENTION sign to hang over my desk at the shop because I will not just "notice" these things. I will have to stop, close my eyes, and actually do an inventory: okay, there's my arm, I feel it; leg, check; tummy, yup; shoulders of steel, neck like a pipe, okay.

I think I can do this. I'm kind of excited about it. It almost feels like homecoming. Maybe I will become the little crab who at fif . . . fif . . . after five decades adrift finds herself home at last. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

who's your daddy?

My blog daddy is a gay man living in New York City. We are so not alike, it's almost laughable, but I found Joe.My.God. one cold winter weekend when I was (as usual) supposed to be working and was (as usual) fooling around.

Before I found Joe, I had no interest in bloggers and was especially contemptuous of the stupid name for the thing ~ blog. In a grumpy, smug old lady voice, I'd mutter to myself "if it's a web log, can't we call it that? Blog. Sounds so idiotic. Bloooogggggg. Stupid." My nephew, a hacking wizard, kept a blog wherein he attempted to share with others his methods, but as a techno-genius, it made sense for him. For the average ~ ahem ~ Joe, what would be the point?

Despite the fact that I was a chronic journal-keeping failure, it did not occur to me that this thing of a blog could be used to meet the same need. The laborious scratching of pen on paper could never accomplish what I was after, to make note of the days of my life and so make them just a bit richer, with more depth and insight than I get when I don't take the time to write.

And then I found Joe. I think the first story I read was Clouds and Miss America (or maybe it was the one about Terrance) and I was instantly hooked. I made a pot of coffee and got some tissues and returned to my computer to read and laugh and cry and to grieve with Joe and for my own sweet friends from Houston, now all dead of AIDS.

It was an epiphany and I have tears in my eyes just writing this because reading those stories gave me an outlet for experiences and sorrows I've kept inside for years. No one in my current life understands. It's not that they wouldn't care, but it's just not the same to share those experiences and those losses with people who are so removed.

I lost one group of friends; Joe lost a world. I can't compare what I experienced as a straight woman with much loved gay friends to what Joe went through as a gay man when it seemed everyone was dying or was going to. Nevertheless, he speaks to my heart and his words have soothed an ache long buried.

I read him every day and I comment too much, and through my blog daddy Joe, I've met so many others, such kindred spirits, such funny, creative, talented people. I think of it as Joe's version of the Algonquin Round Table, a daily gathering of folks who read and discuss and make funny and moving posts which never fail to inform me, to make me think, to piss me off, make me laugh or make me cry.

All of that to say that I love Joe and he was the inspiration for this web log and the previous one. He's been a daily treat in my life for over 18 months and I am really, really happy to have found him. I used to think blogs were silly but I've come to believe they are a way to connect with others in a society increasingly limited in opportunities for community.

So who's your blog daddy (or mama)? Who ~ or what ~ inspired you to record your thoughts, your rants, your hopes, your dreams?

no end to the hypocrisy

Official Caught Using Escort Service Demanded Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oaths. Why am I not surprised that this asshat promotes abstinence only? "Abstinence only for you. Me? I'm a powerful, married guy and have to take my pleasures where I can find them or, umm . . . buy them. Do as I say, not as I do."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

r.i.p. madame alfred carriere

Twelve years ago, a slender stick of a rose went in the ground on the southwest corner of my house. Because the lot slants to the west, this corner of the house rises nearly 18 feet before it meets the roof.

The stick was a Noisette rose, a bit tender for our zone 6B winters, but with the southwestern exposure I had hope she'd do well. In fact, Madame Alfred Carriere flourished beyond my greatest hope. She rose up six feet the first year, twelve the next, and then she exploded in all directions meeting the roof, covering it, reaching across the casement windows on the back of the house. The rose covered cottage I always wanted became a reality with this luxurious heirloom rose.

If her growth exceeded my hopes, her beauty, extravagant bloom and luscious scent were everything I'd dreamed of. I love old fashioned roses, and Madame is one of the finest I've grown. She was vigorous, lovely in bloom and out. Though she would bloom sporadically throughout the summer, her first flush was the best and we delighted in seeing the hundreds of blooms and the sprinkling of blush pink petals on the grass and the rock wall below.

I loved Madame Alfred and now she is dead. There was no indication she was ill, just sudden death. My heart is broken and I miss my spring shower of petals. I am sad, too, for her companion across the walk, the ailing Graham Thomas, who came to us with a deadly virus and who has been soldiering along for eight years now. I treat him with extra TLC and practice safe pruning to protect the others. Graham is looking good this year but I know he misses Madame.

All of the roses are looking well this year, covered with lush buds and blooms. My shade roses ~ Sally Holmes, Zephirine Drouhin, Gruss an Aachen, Darlow's Enigma and, surprisingly, New Dawn ~ are flourishing. A climbing rose I planted in hopes it would scamper up the pecan tree has overtaken the tree and may have to be whacked back. So many are doing so well and still I miss my beautiful old fashioned lady and the scent of her perfume filling the back garden.

Friday, April 27, 2007

something we can all do today

The will of one nation v. the stubbornness of one man. Maybe we can make a difference: Call GWB's White House Comment Line ~ (202) 456-1111. Tell this stubborn man to sign the bill and bring our troops home. From Americans United for Change:

i love jon stewart

Thursday, April 26, 2007

vagina tax

Just me and the fence guy: $3054
Mike and me and the fence guy: $2086

Just me and the gutter man: $963
Mike and me and the gutter man: $450.

2:30 pm addendum: Looks like we now have a penis credit:
Mike alone and the fence guy: $1842


When I met my friend Mike, he had an enormous basketball-sized lump under his shirt. A big man anyway, this immense bulge was riveting. It moved independently of his body and was a wild thing when he laughed.

As these things happen, Mike and I became great friends while working the 2 a.m. shift at Florafax. He is one of the funniest men I've ever known, incredibly smart, creative, talented. We were both hiding out from the real world of work suitable to our talents, and in those late nights alone together, we developed a fine friendship and an unusual intimacy.

Eventually I heard the story of the lump. Mike had been a happy go lucky guy, living and working, having a family. A little belly pain sent him to the doctor. Uh oh, diverticulosis. Dietary changes, watching it. Got worse.

Diverticulitis developed. I am trying to recall these medical terms from 18 years ago, the "itis" and "osis" may be inaccurate, but suffice to say he got big belly pain and ended up in the hospital. Surgery to remove the infected part of his small intestine which, it turned out, had big portions of dead tissue.

Cut it out, stitched it up, closed him up and he was no better. Massive infection ~ peritonitis? I think that was it. Opened him up again. The stitched together portions of small intestine were dead and the stitches broke apart, creating massive inflammation. A horror for my sweet friend.

Colostomy and ICU for months. Another three years healing from this disaster and during that time, he developed a small lump on his tummy over the incision. The lump grew as his health improved. He was able to have the colostomy reversed and the hernia repaired, but it broke free again.

As it grew larger and larger, Mike found he could not face another abdominal surgery. Just couldn't do it, thus the seemingly living entity beneath his shirt. As giant hernias will, this one eventually strangulated ~ is that the term? ~ and he had to have an emergency surgery to repair it. The subsequent huge piece of mesh secured the bulge and he has been flat-tummied ever since. Yay Mike.

What caused this disaster? Toothbrush bristles. Three of them which, according to the first surgeon, embedded themselves in his intestinal wall and created the infection which preceded the diagnosis of divertulosis. Toothbrush bristles.

I've related this cautionary tale just to ask this: What kind of toothbrush do you use? I haven't been able to find a good one now for a year. My teeth are white and shiny, but they don't feel right, not slick enough. I've bought bristly toothbrushes with rubber insides, oddly shaped brushes, hard ones, soft ones, medium. Nothing works. Obviously, I want one with bristles firmly affixed to the head (poor Mike), but where to go from here? Is it the toothpaste? The only thing that makes them feel right is baking soda ~ nasty. I just had them cleaned and do so every six months, but something's not right. I miss my slick teeth. Suggestions?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

what might save us, me and you?

This post from Angry Black Bitch has me in tears today as she reflected on the death of Yeltsin, the ancient history threat of the Soviet Union, and, of course, how that could relate to the state of our nation today.

". . . For some reason the words made me cry. I realized that I had never thought of Russians as people with children who lay upon the floor in front of the television.

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

It was the first time I contemplated ‘the other’ as human…that there are people over there who may think differently but who love the same.

Don’t they . . . didn’t they . . . didn’t history teach us that they love the same?"

Immensely talented, thought provoking writer. Angry Black Bitch, kickass woman.

will i ever

work again? I've discussed the no diet zone, man pee and the war. I've read the news and checked accounts. I've avoided certain of my blogging pals (girls, you know who you are) because I know they'll be writing brilliant things and I'll have to respond and I need to work. Sigh. Somebody kick my ass into gear.

worth watching

Bill Moyers on PBS tonight, 8:00 central time, an investigation into why the press bought the Iraq war. Even this tiny little clip is infuriating. I believe our lapdog press ~ not the Muslim horde ~ is the greatest danger to democracy today.

It makes me especially angry to read and hear my progressive brothers and sisters loudly proclaiming the stupidity of the American people in swallowing the runup to the war and supporting it for so long. It pisses me off because we were spoonfed the lies which justified this war from the beginning and for that I blame the press. The timing was perfect, coming on the heels of 9/11, because we were terrified, heartbroken, grieving.

Shame on the spineless pussies passing for journalists these days. And for the record, I was opposed from the beginning, thought it was all about oil, and took tremendous heat from my detective coworkers for being an unAmerican, traitorous socialist. There's no satisfaction in being right, just immense sadness as the death toll rises every single day.

man pee

I've written before about my absurd dainty sisters, so prissy that they squat over the toilet seat and tinkle all over it. The absurdity is that in protecting their own pristine behinds, they never think of the less tight-assed majority of us who plop our fannies down in their wet golden leavings. If you crouch to tinkle, wipe it up, girlz, please.

But men! What is it with y'all? I just went to the potty in my warehouse and, as usual, there's a veritable wreath of droplets around the toilet. It's not the first time ~ the combination of bodily fluids and dirty shoes makes a scuffy black ring around the throne from the repeat performance of this travesty. Happily, there's also a black marked little shuffle to the right in front of the sink, evidence that though y'all can't hit the big bowl, you at least wash up thereafter.


For months and months I've thought that little envelope at the bottom of each post was a way to send me email. Silly, silly goose. The real one is now over there >>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

no diet zone

In the interest of continuing to avoid work, something I've done to perfection since I got back Monday morning, I'll throw this out in response to Tony's question as to whether "no diet" means abandoning health and fitness.

The short answer is no, but I cannot, of course, stop there. The longer answer is this: I have lost and regained and lost and regained and lost and freakin' regained the same 10-12 pounds for the last I don't know how long. Five, six months, maybe longer. Up down on off over under out of bounds and I am sick of it. Sick. Of. It.

One meeting with the eating disorders counselor before I left was sufficient to remind me of things I know to be true. One of those truths is that there are times in life when it's best not to attempt to lose weight. That doesn't mean to start eating hell for leather, but just to back off and let it be for a while. I am reminded, too, that I've gained buckets of weight "starting tomorrow" (with the requisite feast the night before).

I've been beating my head against the wall of this 10 pounds and it's completely discouraging. I feel great about myself, I'm happy and content if not for this chronic frustration. In giving myself permission not to start a diet every morning, my whole attitude changes and I find myself more motivated to do the things I know will keep me healthy: eating right, working out, reducing stress. And, strangely, I eat less overall.

So there it is: I am not dieting, but I am eating healthy and working out. Oh, and I'm weighing every day. That's a mandatory task of maintenance for me. It keeps me accountable and on track and provides instant feedback to my behavior. The feedback so far is down a couple of pounds.

lesbians undercover

Having just come back from Padre, where I consumed significant quantities of abominable oysters and shrimp, I've got abominations on my mind.

At Faith of the Abomination, you can read "the story of two Evangelical lesbian women who were promised inclusion in the church, only to be thwarted at every turn. Feeling lonely and frustrated, they decided to change their outside package and joined an Evangelical church as man and woman. They were accepted immediately and soon became members of the church's inner circle. However, what they found there strayed far from the teachings of Jesus..."

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the fake christians who espouse hatred of others as a cause for action. Here's a taste of the upcoming documentary by these two Christian women:

I think this is important. To that end, I've just made a donation to help get this film into general circulation. Perhaps you will too?


My profound thanks for all of your kind words regarding my birthday and the post on my neighbor. What a treat to read your notes.

The trip was great, I have pix, insights, more on becoming the unspeakable age, all of which I'll get to after I straighten out the mess of work. Again, thank you, all of you, you are sweethearts of the first order. Oh, and there is the fact that I have abandoned dieting. There's a mile long post in itself.

hold my hand

On the measure of precious things, this video of otters is off the charts. When do otters hold hands? In rough seas. Rough seas is the perfect description of what's happening in our world these days. You hold my hand and I'll hold yours.

Monday, April 23, 2007

what to do in desperate times?

Iraq is a disaster. The most aggressive nation on the planet has Iran surrounded and is threatening further aggression. Our president is a moronic thug and occupies the white house still, while holding hostage men and women who are dying every day of senseless violence in a war based on lies, corporate greed and one man's ego. The congress is held by folks who surrendered their spines at the door. The media has abandoned its traditional role to inform the public and instead feeds at the trough of money and power.

So what can we do today? What could possibly make us feel better this morning, this desperate moment in time? Save the chocolate, folks. Take action by the 25th to prevent the FDA from taking cocoa butter off the list of ingredients required for making chocolate.

As one who is occasionally driven to seek relief from a grim world in the lusciousness of true chocolate, I find this corruption of my substance of abuse to be an abomination (a real one, unlike eating shellfish, wearing polyester, mixing wheat and barley and same sex love).

As you can surely imagine, Hershey's and other big fat chocolate companies are all for this. Let's thwart them. Act today, save our chocolate. It's one small thing we can all do for the world.

Friday, April 13, 2007

five oh, out

It is unfathomable, beyond belief, wholly unacceptable to the feisty wild child who lives within me, but tomorrow, April 14, I will reach the unspeakable age. Five oh. I can't even say fif. . . fif. . . no, it's too hard. Five oh is the best I can do. We're going to the beach for a week, South Padre Island, and unless I hurl myself into the Gulf in a fit of despond, I will see you all when I get back.

That just seems impossible, a half century. Just yesterday, I was a 3d grader at First Lutheran Elementary, I was watching the images of Vietnam in 10-year-old horror, I was a disco queen in Houston, was fighting for the ERA and equal rights for all. I was dancing all night in the bars with my sweet gay boys, now dead for so many years. I was a black-lipped, purple-haired punk, a cowgirl, I was skirting the fringes of EarthFirst! and contemplating acts of eco-terrorism. I was in college, breaking up with him, meeting up with him, falling in love, out of love, in love. I was miserable, I was happy, I was joyful, sad, heartbroken. I was content. I got drunk, sober, drunk, and finally truly sober. How does this happen? That many years of life and it seems like the blink of an eye.

It is just the blink of an eye, an eye only slightly touched with crow's feet and those from laughter. No wrinkles, yet. The hair is colored, but nothing new there. I think upon my return, I shall be 45 again. I'll try on this age for a week and see how it goes, but 45 is sounding pretty good today. Hugs to all of you from the ancient one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

piano music

I got home late last night and heard the piano from the house across the street. Wayne is a virtuoso and when he plays, he opens his front door and the music becomes his gift to anyone lucky enough to be outside. It was late, though, and he gets up at 4:00 a.m.

A check of the calendar and I realized why. Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of Ronnie's death. Big, goofy Ronnie, a sweet man, my gardening buddy, my friend. Ronnie had been a Detroit cop for 15 years, but once he met Wayne, he was hassled to the point he had to give up the job he loved. For the man he loved. We all make trade-offs but Ronnie loved his work and it was a huge loss. Only a fool will pass by love when it comes, though, and Ronnie was no fool. He was a good cop, a good neighbor, my friend.

We never talked about AIDS but I knew he was sick. I'd seen the purple spots before he started wearing long sleeves year round. He was losing weight and his vitality was draining away.

The police came one night, then an ambulance. I could hear him yelling from across the street. Though he came back home two weeks later, he was never the same. The dementia that comes with AIDS is a horror. Another two weeks and the ambulance again, late at night. No return this time, just a funeral four days later and a broken heart across the street and enormous sadness in my house.

After the funeral, Wayne played the piano. It was warmer that April and the doors and windows were open, his and ours. He played and played, around the clock. I don't know if he ate anything, though I took him food, checked on him. His grief was a physical presence in that house, a weight, something alive and unbearable. The only thing that helped at all, he said, was playing the piano.

He played the piano for Ronnie as he had done for years. Music to remind him of his love, music to speak of his loss when he had no words to do so. It was love and anguish and heartbreak and regret that kept his fingers moving over those keys night and day for weeks and weeks. When it finally stopped, it stopped for good. Now I hear it only on the anniversary and I wonder if he plays with his eyes closed, imagining for just a moment that Ronnie is still here, still the audience of one. If he turns around, he'll see him lounging on the sofa, looking at him with love. With love. Such loss. How do any of us go on in the face of such loss?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

no hope without action

Does anybody really believe that no-bid contracts for oil companies already raking in record profits were what the American people voted for in November? If they wanted a Senate that opens the Treasury to Big Oil and pleads helplessness when asked to exercise real oversight, voters could have left the Republicans in charge.

This story offers us a glimpse into the other side of political money. The one where the oil industry spills gobs of cash all around Washington -- including $72.5 million spent lobbying Congress last year -- and politicians return the favor with mega-billion dollar thank you notes, then have the gall to pretend that all that money doesn't make a whit of difference when it comes to decision-making time.

From the Huffington Post, "The Money Race: Politicians Win, You Lose." Read it and weep, then call your congressperson.

Monday, April 09, 2007

getting sober, california style

Wayne at BFD Blog provides a photo tour of California treatment facilities. They're absolutely lovely! I don't think there were places like this when I spent a couple of weeks locked in the decrept, crumbling psych ward at Ponca City Hospital. I used to lie in bed at night trying to pick out faces and animal shapes in the creeping mold that covered my ceiling. We did have access to the kitchen: I spent a week whipping up boxed cake mixes and eating them with a spoon.

The hardass AA in me wonders if this might be why so many of the celebrities who shriek "I'm an alcoholic!" and run into treatment don't make it? Maybe they're different, though, and require much more pampering and attention. I had to hit bottom, living in a nasty ass rooming house for women, taking my AA meetings at a run down downtown AA clubhouse where the mix included wet brains and zippers rusted shut, where the long time members laughed about the "jitter joint" in the hallway, a tiny closet with a bed where the desperate could sweat out those first few days. It was quite a comedown for this child of privilege and it was just what I needed, really. I'm grateful I found recovery that way.

As far as the opulent California treatment centers ~ looks like another vacation plan to me.

5 days

I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. This urge to travel is such a shocker. I think because I refused to fly before last November, I didn't even let myself think about it. Now the world is wide open and it's almost too exciting. Five more days.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

when silence is betrayal

Timeless truth from Martin Luther King.

poor bunny

Bunny with a conscience seeks relief in the bottle. Poor bunny. Poor, poor chickens. Free range eggs or none at all.

Friday, April 06, 2007


I look in the mirror and I see chipmunk cheeks and a moon face, the redness that comes with high blood pressure and having to work hard to get a really deep breath.

I look again and I see pretty eyes and delineated cheekbones with hollows beneath, a surprisingly smooth complexion in the palest tan, red lips and very white teeth.

I open the closet door and imagine that my gigantic self can't possibly fit in that little black sheath and what can I wear to auction tonight that will not make me look as if I weigh 800 pounds.

I slip on the black sheath and it is too big. I pull on a sweater that shouldn't fit and it does. I put on my boots and they fit perfectly.

This is insane. I have an appointment with an eating disorders therapist on Tuesday. It's been 10 years since I've been to a counselor for this. I hope in that time they've perfected a method of simply cutting out the part of my brain where this malignancy resides.


It is snowing. That is all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

act as if

In AA, OA, all of the anonymous programs, there is a concept called "act as if." In the early years of my sobriety, I was told to act as if I believed there actually was a power greater than myself that would help me to stay sober. In order to act as if, I had only to ask this power for help every day.

It was okay to ask when I was convinced there was no power, it was actually encouraged. Ask for help, ask for awareness. I did. I asked when I actively, aggressively, angrily didn't believe. I asked when I was more mildly only convinced there was no such thing. Amazingly, I stayed sober and that fact led me to a place where I no longer had to act as if, I no longer had to just believe, I actually knew. Knowing is vastly different from believing and it was the steps that got me there with many more experiences along the way to confirm this absolute knowledge. Today I know, absolutely, that there is a power. I no longer have to define it and I find inspiration in nature, in other people, in spiritual writing. But I know.

That being the case, I am participating in Holy Thursday, today, April 5. Perhaps if you are a praying person, you will too. But here's the challenge for those who are not: maybe you could consider just for today acting as if in the off chance that it could help. This world today needs peace and cooperation and fellowship more than another preemptive strike like the one predicted against Iran this Friday. We need a preemptive peace.

More on the why of it from OpEd News:

There have been news reports indicating possible air strikes on Iran beginning on Good Friday. Again, is this true? Not true? We don’t know. In any case, if we want to broadcast our intention that Good Friday not become Bad Friday, that leaves us with Holy Thursday ... April 5th. We are asking you and anyone else you forward this to to make April 5th the day we begin to hold our intention of preemptive peace and mutually assured survival.

So ... in keeping with Gregg’s notion of prayer, what is your vivid and joyous vision of peace? What does it look like? Sound like? Feel like? Does it have to do with opposing sides hugging? Planting olive trees together instead of land mines? Celebrating that a ruling majority in each land has adopted the “we’re all in it together” world view? Whatever this scenario is, feel it. Hold it for the entire day, whenever you think about it. Enroll others in doing the same. As Swami is fond of saying, “An enrolling stone gathers no remorse.”

If that all sounds a little witchy voodooey crazy old hippie-ish, consider this: what can it hurt to try? Just one day, just today. Let's try.

more on universal healthcare

Why we need single payer healthcare for everyone, and which candidates are actually paying attention. From Ellen Shaffer, Center for Policy Analysis, by way of Common Dreams.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

hair and vanity

Bea tells the incredibly funny and charming tale of her recent trip to the hair place (that is "hell" in my lexicon), discusses her encounter with one of those 13 year old hair hellions, and asks "whatever happened to Dippity Do and orange juice cans?"

These ashy blobs are doing nothing for you she said, fingering my blobs like they were contagious. Your base color is also the wrong tint for your skin. What color is it she asked? My own I squeaked. "Ahh" was all she said. This child then took me in hand.

. . . Did I mention I am not good with my hair. I had a hair cap for twenty years because I did not want to mess with it. This new "do", I was to find out, required more care than a newborn. I will begin with product. Not products, product. Product turns out to be glue. It is called mousse, root lifter, volumizing foam and spray adhesive. I needed a recipe card to tell me how and in what order to apply all this gunk to my hair.

sleep and eating

I'm not sure what sleep is anymore, at least the deep, uninterrupted variety I took for granted for so many years. I did figure out yesterday, though, that the crazy urge to eat and eat and eat after a filling lunch was my body's interpretation of tired. This must be an error in my wiring, though I know it's shared by a lot of problem eaters.

I was awakened at 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning with the alarm going off at the shop. Met the cops down there for a walk through, with the consensus being that the wind set off the alarm. Could. Not. Get. Back. To. Sleep.

I took a nap instead of eating down the house yesterday afternoon. After that, I was much improved and the awful craving starving feeling was gone. Hungry for sleep ~ crazy. Went to the gym. Got kicked out. Inappropriate footwear. This time of year, I can barely stand to wear enclosed shoes, but the sight of my tootsies in flip-flops among the weights and such caused the gym manager to hyperventilate. For a minute, I got riled up: Free the feet! Fight the power. But they're probably right. Poor little tootsies.

All y'all have a great day!!!! It's gorgeous and cool here. Flowers blooming everywhere, trees leafing out.

fun in the morning

San Francisco's Energy 92.7 FM has launched the first ever gay morning radio show. Fernando Ventura and Greg Sherrell ("Greg, the gay sportscaster") are the hosts. The announcement is here. So far I've missed Fernando and Greg, but the dance music I've streamed from the website is pretty kickass. Yay!

Update: Have been listening to Fernando and Greg while tidying up for the housekeeper's appearance and they're great. Hope this is a great success.

killing kids for profit

Kaiser Family Foundation contends that kids of this generation are bombarded with food advertising that may contribute to sky high obesity rates in youngsters.

The result is an alarming portrait of kids who are bombarded with precisely the opposite message about food and fitness than the one the government and the medical profession agree is needed for good health. Children between ages 2 and 7 see 12 food ads per day—that’s more than 4,000 per year. Those in the next age group—the pre-adolescent “tweens” between 8 and 12—see even more. They’re tuned in to 21 food ads every day, or more than 7,000 every year. Teenagers see somewhat fewer ads, but even they will view 17 food ads a day.

The foods that star in the ads aren’t broccoli or even bread. Kids are pitched a super-sized lineup of ads for candy and snack food, which account for 34 percent of food ads aimed at them. Another third of the ads are for cereal—and not the low-sugar kind.

I'm all about personal responsibility, as are most folks. But advertising works or the corporate world wouldn't indulge in billions of spending to bring their products to the public. There are surely a number of factors that contribute to the obesity epidemic, but it's hard to entirely discount advertising and the effect it has.

It took more than four decades from the time of the earliest government warnings about tobacco’s ill health effects to bring that industry under what is a minimal level of control—and even that came only after lawsuits, some of them still moving slowly through the courts. The food industry shouldn’t follow this contentious path. It must step up what are now only preliminary efforts to voluntarily change the content of the ads it produces for children.

Otherwise it too could stand accused of killing our kids for profit. There’s no way to sugarcoat that.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

late lunch

Had a late lunch, very filling. In fact, I'm pretty close to stuffed, though the quantity and calories were just right ~ lots of volume. What I will never ever understand as long as I live is how I can feel absolutely physically full and yet ravenous. Right this minute I feel as if I could eat everything in the house. What the fuck is that and why would it hit me now and how the hell do I make it go away? Taking a nap. Speak to me, wise ones.

watch this, throw up

and then call your congressional representatives to advocate for publicly funded elections. This 60 Minutes segment on the passage of the Medicare drug bill is revolting and should sicken every American taxpaying citizen, Republican or Democrat. I knew it was an outrage when it passed; this just confirms it.

happy day

Went with Mike to see his endocrinologist. Ha1C ~ the average blood sugar in the last three months ~ was 6.4, the lowest it's ever been. Blood pressure was normal. He's lost 12 pounds. Amazing what a little beach time, some time at the gym and a little less sugar can do for a man. Going to Mexico last December changed his whole attitude about life. He quit defining himself as a man who's sick and started looking at what he can do to improve his health. Quite a lot, it seems, and so I am happy this morning. Happy.

And only 11 more days until this:

familiarity, contempt

We took the mother-in-law out to eat Thai food for her 75th birthday. The music was incredible, enchanting, magnificent. The lead guitar player, Tommy Crook, is a true virtuoso. In his early years, he ran with Leon Russell, J.J. Cale and others who were originators of the "Tulsa Sound." He was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2004. He's semi-retired and plays here on Friday nights. Mike and I were early, so we sat near the stage, listening to the trio. Just watching Tommy's hands was mesmerizing.

So here's what I don't get: Tommy's my brother-in-law. He played at my wedding, he occasionally plays at our family gatherings. Experiencing his musical genius in an unfamiliar setting, it occurred to me that I often overlook the close-up wonders and treats of my life while searching for inspiration elsewhere. Tommy's underfoot, but I had to hear him in new surroundings to appreciate him again.

My life is so rich and full and wonderful if I only make an effort to take the time to appreciate it. Always striving, working toward, making plans, doing doing doing. At the risk of sounding like the old hippie I am, I think my plan for today is simply to be, to try to be fully present in the life I have, this day, this hour, this moment.

Do you do this? Overlook the obvious in a quest for something new and exciting? What do you think causes it?

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Fuck. What a nightmare: me and HTML. After all of that, please let me know if I missed you in the links.


Victor Gold writes about George Bush in his new book, Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP:

"For all the Rove-built facade of his being a 'strong' chief executive, George W. Bush has been, by comparison to even hapless Jimmy Carter, the weakest, most out of touch president in modern times. Think Dan Quayle in cowboy boots."

He refers to Dick Cheney as "a vice president out of control" who has a "touch of paranoia" and is a "megalomaniac."

So who's Victor Gold? Another Bush insider distancing himself from the debacle that is this administration. At the request of Lynn Cheney, Gold wrote glowing biographies for the inaugurations of these thugs in 2001. It occurs to me that dogs do this too. If one dog in the pack goes down, looks as if it's weakening or sick, the rest of the pack will turn on it. I pray every day that the appearance of vulnerability in the White House truly is that; that there's still hope that we'll get our country back and that the damage will not be irreparable.

The full story of Vic Gold's disillusionment in the Washington Post here.

Monday, April 02, 2007


I have put off updating links until I feel this guilty little cringey feeling when I come here. If you have linked here recently or have been visiting here regularly, please understand the depths of my technophobia and forgive my tardiness. I am fixing it today, though I may need drugs to recover from the anxiety of dithering about in the template. And thank you. Visits and comments are like crack (and aren't we focusing a lot on crack, of late? There's probably some sinister meaning in that) only socially acceptable and generally assumed to be nonfatal.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I love libraries. Some of my earliest memories are of summer afternoon trips to the library of my youth. My mother would lead my sister and me up the rather grand (for our tiny town) front steps, all of us decked out in proper afternoon wear including, in the earliest years, gloves and hats.

We'd spend hours choosing the week's reading material, always with recommendations from the librarian, who took a special interest in two tiny, voracious readers. My mother would vanish into the adult stacks where we were expressly forbidden to follow. Upon occasion, we'd steal around the corner just to gaze at the mysterious dark aisles where the grownups went, marveling at the towers of books crammed onto the shelves, wishing we could experience those wonders ourselves.

When I started skipping school in 8th grade, a smarty pants straight A ultra confident student run aground on the shoals of pre-algebra, I only skipped across the street from my junior high, straight up those grand steps and into the periodicals room of the library. There, I'd spend the rest of the school day reading everything I could get my hands on. I was particularly enthralled by news magazines and I read them all indiscriminately: US News & World Report, The Nation, Newsweek, Time, Life, Look, National Review, New Republic.

Within a few months, I discerned a difference and, baby Democrat that I was, focused on the more progressive of the news magazines, plus the New Yorker, Village Voice, Rolling Stone. When I found the New York Times and Washington Post, I was exhilarated and I began to crave those afternoons of reading as something delicious and separate from my wish to escape the trials of mathematics.

I dreamed of being somewhere else on those forays to the library. Much of the time I dreamed of being someone else, someone interesting and alive, living an exciting life vastly different from a Ponca City East Junior High School 8th grader's. In that sunny corner of the library, buried in periodicals of every kind, I became aware of the world in a completely new and inspiring way. I began to realize that my life was mine alone and I could live it any way I wanted to. There was much going on in the world that was not evident in that small town: I couldn't wait to grow up and get out in it. The library did that for me.

My grandsons have never been inside one. They buy the occasional book at Target, at Borders. But they're not big readers, the two older boys. They have an immense collection of DVDs: action movies, everything Disney, and a pile of games to play on their whatever-it's-called-this-year electronic game player. I think they're missing out on something important and in writing that I feel somewhat like a grouchy old fuck.

That brand of obsession with reading, with books, with a wish to know what's happening elsewhere, I think it's dying out. I don't wish my grandsons would skip school and head off to read, but I do wish they could develop some sense of a world larger than the one we inhabit in this community, this state, this country, and I don't want that world to be something that exists only in the software of a computer.

I go to a little branch library now, the one close to my house. I order my books online or go over for an evening to see what's on the shelves. I love my local place; it has the classic scent of old paper and binding materials and that exquisite hush that makes everything seem just a little more special. My library is furnished with grand antique mission oak furniture. I check out 5-6 books every week or two; the librarians love me and make recommendations of reading material they think I'll like. They're quick to reassure me when I ask every month or so if George Bush and his squad of thugs can access my list of reading material, and they laugh with me as I wonder aloud whether that paranoia is justified.

I often wish that I could skip out of my life for an entire day and sink into the luxury of having an excess of time and an endless supply of books. I'd head to the giant library downtown, sneak in my thermos of coffee and make piles of magazines and books and papers that strike my fancy. Then I'd binge on the dual treats of time and reading.

Do you go to your library? Do you think they're dying out? I can't imagine a world without them, but so many things have vanished just in the last 20 years or so. Could libraries also disappear?