Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dramatic Cat

...and the cat was watching his favorite nature show when he had this strange feeling that he was being..... watched.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Sunday Morning Muse, July 27, 2008

I was watching a drug commercial when a TV show kept interrupting.
That's what it feels like anymore. Drug commercials are a fact of life in this day and age, but it doesn't mean they get any less irritating. How do they recruit these men with Erectile Dysfunction--- or men willing to pretend they do--- to spout these goofy lines like "now I can respond to Sally when I want to, because the pill lasts up to 36 hours."
Heck, in that time he can do Sally, Betty, Wilma and the rest of the neighborhood, and still make it home in time to sit in separate bathtubs outside and watch the sunset with his wife. By the way....who does that?
Or..."now I can stay in the game..."
As long as the game doesn't go on for four hours....we all know by now what that means. All I'm saying is.... I'd be happy if we can just quit with these commercials already.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Eric Hoffer Said...

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.
-Eric Hoffer (July 25,1902 - May 21,1983)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Remembering the Sopranos...

I really miss Paulie Walnuts. This episode was one of the best. Pine Barrens.

My Life as a Low Attention Voter. . .

It was so nice taking a vacation from the news broadcasts last week that I decided to do it again. (reference: Sunday Morning Muse, July 13, 2008.)
So here is another week of my life as a "low attention voter." This is what "filtered" into this busy brain of mine.... just by random chance, as I went along this week:

Barack Obama went to Iraq and still thinks we can get out of there but I don't know if he really meant 16 months. 2010?
Barack Obama was in Germany as part of his overseas tour and McCain was in Germantown, Ohio eating Bratwurst. I don't know why.
McCain still mentions Czechoslovakia, but it doesn't exist anymore. You'd think he would get it right by now, because this happened before. Someone should tell him.

McCain met with the Dalai Lama. But the Dalai won't endorse him. Oh well.... maybe in the next life.
No one is picking VP's yet.
Arnold doesn't want drilling off of Calli-fornya.
Gas prices are going down... a tiny bit.
I don't really care about the Olympics, but I understand the smog in China is dreadful and they are trying to do something about it. Weird stuff..... seeding clouds? What is that anyway?
It sounds like something out of the X-files.
I heard the X-files movie sucks, and that's too bad. I liked the show a lot when it was on Television.

Well, you are up to date, but only if you happen to be a low attention voter this week too!

Marilyn Said. . .

Ever notice that what the hell is always the right decision?
--Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Groundhog Part 3-- Another One Bites the Dust

I know picking this song for the occasion of the last groundhog's death is trite as Hell... but I don't care.It's hard to find happy songs about death. Neighbor Al is using the former Mother of all Groundhogs(in this yard, anyway)for fertilizer in the garden. Poetic Justice.

I'm Your Man

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Imagine Whirled Peace

No better way to cool off than eating my new favorite ice cream....
Caramel and sweet cream ice creams...swirled with fudge Peace signs and Toffee Cookie pieces!
Give Peace a Chance.


Doing anything different these days to cut costs? I read this today. It talks about how people are buying more fuel efficient cars... cutting back on groceries.. fixing shoes even.... instead of buying new ones, etc.
As I sit and think about it.... my big change is that I say NO to myself a lot more. You see, I've got it easy. I answer to no one, so if I want to buy something I buy it. I want a new computer. But... I never did spend my "stimulus" check on it as planned. I'm sure there will be a tipping point... like when this computer scares me enough with it's slowness.... or gets a virus or something.... and I'll have to open the wallet. But... not just yet.
I tried to "eat off the land," a bit. It's not working out. I picked lettuce from the garden.... blueberries, and greenbeans. The timing is all wrong for a really great salad. The celery didn't come up.... and peppers are still weeks away from being ready. How did people eat a decent salad way back when? So I bought peppers. And borrowed some carrots. It's a start. Spent three dollars on my favorite salad dressing. :(

I've also tried to "live off the pantry" a bit more. There's always a forgotten box of rice or can of soup to eat. Frozen veges are always in my freezer, thoughI should put dates on them. I remember these old friends of mine had a world war two era top-lift-type freezer in their basement. They were quick to use the stuff frozen on top.... but to DIG TO THE BOTTOM just didn't happen. When they finally cleaned out the thing... I believe they found elderberries from like 1983.

One other thing I did was take over 90 dollars in coins to the Coin Machine thing at the grocery store. What a ripoff.... they take like 8.9 cents on a dollar for a "fee." So I was out 8 bucks! I justified it by not having to count it all myself. I'm worth 8 bucks. Easy. And I now have over 80 dollars that was previously on my closet floor in a bag, in my pocket.

The Sunday Morning Muse, July 20, 2008

This is one of those rainy days. Nice rumbling thunderstorms.... a breeze through the window screens. I don't feel like I have to "do" anything.
Why is it that society puts so much pressure on people..... (expecially kids) to "DO SOMETHING" all the time?


Give yourself a gift.
Don't DO anything right now.
Just let it all go.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Frigging Ground Hog, Part 2

I gotta hand it to Sweet Pea. She’s a good watch cat. I was in the bathroom drying my hair and she jumped up on the toilet seat and started to meow at me. Usually she is just after some attention, or wants to go outside, so I ignored her at first. Then she got this look. This urgent look. And meowed harder. I know it sounds odd, but if you are a cat lover, your radar goes up and you wonder what is in that little head of hers.
I picked her up off the toilet seat and set her on the floor and she looked up at me and immediately started walking toward the living room. I followed. Usually at the livingroom there is a choice. Either hang a left to the kitchen…. FOOD… or a right to the front door…. OUT.
The cat went straight…… Wha…? to the diningroom window overlooking the garden.
Then turned and meowed at me. COME SEE…. she was saying.
I went to the window…and there she was. That mother of all groundhogs from the Mexican standoff. RIGHT NEXT TO MY GARDEN. Al the neighbor, who also has a garden at stake, has killed three so far this year between our two yards. The babies. But this one is the prize he can’t get for some reason. The one that wouldn't back down from me on the path. The scary one.
I flew outside… grabbed the garden hose, turned it full blast and starting blasting from the top step. BIG MISTAKE. I have a cheap 10 dollar Walmart hose with a hole in it…and with the intense water pressure I have.. the damn thing got away from me…. and with the hole, now much bigger…. spraying at me from two angles! MOTHER. I got soaked! And started yelling at the frigging thing out of frustration..... and it took off.
I HATE THIS FRIGGING GROUNDHOG. Now it is gone. Back in the hole. Cat watching from the window.
And now I’m drying my hair…. again.

A Whole Nother Way of Talking

I've been outside a lot lately so the blog posts have dropped off a bit. Chatting with my neighbor, Al, (the neighborhood groundhog killer) made me laugh today. After a long, hot day outside, he went inside to wrinch off. (no... that's not a typo... wrinch.) This is the same neighbor who said that my mom probably sprang her wrist. "It's worse to sprang your wrist than it is to break it," he says. I agree.... I sprang my ankle falling off a dance floor long ago... It's a Western PA thing. He went on to tell me that his friend Abie went to the "Choir-practor" for his bad back.

There is something so "home" about all this. It's how people talk here. The Pittsburghese site does include wrinch as a verb, but I haven't found sprang yet. Glancing over the list I found I could relate to so many of them. How many times were we told as kids to get out of the dirt because our good clothes would get "roont?"
I still think Gall-avant is a word. I just haven't spelled it right. "Don't go gall-avantin' all over God's Creation. I want you home by dark," I'd hear all the time. It means to just ride around for no good reason. I do a lot less gall-avantin' now that gas is four bucks a gallon.

If we stayed close to home we were usually told to watch out for the jaggerbushes when we picked blackberries. I've just assumed everyone everywhere has jaggerbushes. If we did get scratched... every mom had "mecuro-chrome" to put on it.

And there were plenty of Studda-bubbas around back then. The word is derivative of a Polish name for "Old Woman." (Stara Baba) It congers up images of grandmothers in babooshkas with long house dresses and sensible shoes, 'worshing' porches, or hanging clothes on the line. Most of them had a "fridge-adaire" in the house, and grew "tuhmaytuhs" in the back yard.

And .... for as many times Mom said "your gonna drive me to Dixmont," (translation: You are making me crazy) it never happened. Dixmont was a state mental hospital. It's closed now, so these days she just says "you are going to drive me to an early grave."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Keep Good Company- Queen

I went looking for Queen's Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon,(so suitable to my mood today)when I found Good Company instead. Love This. Just do. Such a creative effort.

I flourished in my humble trade, my reputation grew, the work devoured my waking hours and when my time was through...reward of all my efforts--my own limited company.

The Sunday Morning Muse, July 13, 2008

Low attention voters. That's my muse today. You see these people all day, everyday. They are out there working. Not reading every political site on the internet, not a CNN junkie, certainly not paying attention to what is going on outside of their own immediate set of problems.

This is a very attractive group of people to the political operatives. This week I purposely was a low attention voter. I gave myself a news vacation of sorts. Stayed off my usual political blog sites, didn't watch the evening news or listen to the radio intentionally. Just scanned the local paper for obits... not much more. (Heaven forbid someone die I know and I miss it.) Very little information got into my brain... but here is how it looks from the inside:

Jesse Jackson wants to cut Obama's nuts off. It has something to do with speaking down to black people.
John McCain either doesn't know the difference between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers or else he lied when he said he named the Steelers lineup to his captors when asked the names of his crew back in the late 1960s. I don't know which is worse. I'm just glad it wasn't Hillary who said it. (fair and balanced.... right.)
Oh yeah, McCain didn't vote to give the doctor's money in a bill that was so important that Ted Kennedy actually made it to the floor for the vote. But I don't understand how the bill did this.
One more thing... The Attorney General of Alabama is Gay.

Now, if a pollster right now said who are you going to vote for, and I had to base it on all this, you can see why America get's the government it deserves.

Wake Up People.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm Okay, I'm With Gandhi and Nicole Kidman

Remember back in high school when you took those personality tests in the Guidance Counselor's Office to see what profession you should go into? Well, you can relive that experience all over again and see if you took the right path by taking one of these Personality Tests. It's a Jungian thing.
If you take this one... you get a list of well known people who line up with you in the categories tested. I've got some interesting company...
Suki turned me on to these tests. There are other ones, this one and this one that you can compare to see if they agree with each other...mine came up the same every time, so three independent surveys agree: I'm an INFJ!!
(Just like the Toothpaste commercials... 3 out of 4 dentists agree.... okay. Corny. But I always wondered about that 4th Dentist...)

If you out there reading this take these tests and find them revealing or helpful, let me know. I enjoyed taking them, and I'd love to get your comments on this and see how close of match the test was to your true self. Comments can be anonymous, (just check the box) and you don't have to be a member of the blog to make a comment.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Standoff with a Groundhog, Part I

Original post here was accidentally deleted.
I'm sure it is the curse of the damn ground hog.
It was an interesting tale about the Mexican standoff I had with her on the path.
Brazen thing, she is. Lived to see another day.
For Now.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Stray Cat Strut

This one's for Boom-Boom, the Stray Cat out there in Chi-Town.

The Sunday Morning Muse, July 6, 2008

Staycation. It's the new Buzz word. Stay-ing home... or at least nearby, in lieu of the big summer V-A-C-A-T-I-0-N. Turn on any TV news cast this week, and it's the replacement story for the tired old 'Pain at the Pump' stories I complained here about before. The new twist at least gives the news reporter a change of scenery from the highway and the gas pump complainers. (my particular favorite gas story was about the station owner who put up a carnival "dunk tank" so customers can take out their frustrations in a healthy way by throwing soft balls at employees dressed in Exxon shirts.)

Staycation stories are pretty much what you expect: The young couple walking hand in hand on the Mall in Washington, DC. They plan to visit free museums and just enjoy the sights at the Nation's Capitol. The family with their 2.5 children at a local amusement park. Interviews with people saying they don't have the money to travel because of the high cost of plane tickets, and they can't drive too far because of the gas prices.
Even Las Vegas.... always a bargain when it comes to vacation dollars, is in a slump. 99 Cent shrimp cocktails are double in price! Yikes. Buffet prices are high. I even heard that the legal brothels in Nevada are offering gas coupons to try to get more customers. $50 dollars in free gas for every $300 you spend on their 'services.' Hmmmm. That'll rev your engine.
This one is even better... a double your stimulus promotion, whereas if you use your government stimulus check you get twice the service for the price! Wow... can you handle it? It may be just the thing to keep your mind off the fact you couldn't afford a "real" vacation this year.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Laziest Cat in the World

Another Saturday Night. . . .

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Celebrate. Celebrate everything you can. Baseball, Hotdogs, Apple pie, fireworks, your friends, your family.... and hug your cat, too. It's true, this country has serious problems right now with the price of gas, the price of food, bad housing and job markets, etc. but it's still a pretty good place to be. Hopefully next election we'll get this big old ship turned around and start heading in a better direction.

We Can't Make It Here Anymore

Live Acoustic performance at KFOG. James McMurtry

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wake Up People

"We have found the weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. It is oil. As long as the oil companies control our government Americans will continue to pay and pay, with our lives, our fortunes our sacred honor."

Can We Really Rid Ourselves of Attachments?

You are what you have chosen today, not what you have chosen before. Wayne Dyer introduced me to this concept years ago, and I still come back to it. I struggle sometimes with letting go of who I was before, to become what I am meant to be. It's all about letting go of attachments, some say. I would agree with that. Attachments have a way of dragging you down, holding you back. It was true when I learned to paint, it was true when I played music, and it was especially true whenever I've made attempts to write.
My Painting teacher made me get beyond pretty little Amish paintings and experience the freedom of abstract expression. The only painting he ever really liked enough of mine to keep was a painting of garbage that was lying on the floor, painted with house paint on cardboard, in Green, Orange and Black. (He made me wipe down the Amish painting.) You'd have to see both to really understand. Trust me. The Amish painting was BAD.

In music, it was getting beyond three chords and a rhyme, and going for something that mattered to me, instead of trying to please someone else. There was a breakthrough when I went beyond my comfort zone and picked music that just felt right for me, not because I felt I could sing it JUST LIKE THE RECORD. I recorded some nice stuff, I think, and I stretched myself when I did it, to make the song my own.
Writing is the ongoing thing. I'm still learning. But I know for sure I can rely on advice Stephen
King gave in his book "On Writing." It's hard to kill your babies. When you write something you certainly have an attachment to it...and it is HARD to delete pages, paragraphs, sentences....You have to just walk away from it and pick it up three months from now, and then, only then do you see the blemishes, the problems, the STUFF THAT NEEDS TAKEN OUT. And then you re-write.
It occurs to me that I am the sum of my experiences and to a degree a product of the people around me. Perhaps, a re-invention of self is simply a reshuffling of aspects of that. Yes, I like that. It's not like getting rid of your "old"self at all. Just different choices. Different intent.
Getting rid of attachments seems harsh, but acknowledging them as attachments, and letting them go back into the deck for a reshuffle sounds nicer. Or am I really trying to justify my attachment to attachments? Hmmm.