Thursday, January 31, 2008

Of shoes and ships

Where did the idea arise that when I was older and retired I would
embark on all those projects and skills I'd delayed doing? Quilting.
Doll and stuffed toy making. Painting. Playing the guitar. Writing.
For many years those activities were touched upon but lightly as my
family, and then my job, took precedence. I'll get to them someday, I
thought, and acquired books, fabric, brushes, and paper for when
there would be more time.

Retirement has brought the time but the inclination is missing. Where
did it go? And was it ever really with me? So many things catch my
interest and I'm clever enough to do any of them decently but as one
traipses up another lopes into view. Do I lack attention span or are
there just too many nifty things available on the You-Could-Do-That
table? Am I destined to be a dabbler (spell that "Renaissance Woman")
and Jill of All Trades?

I envy the experts who spend enough time with a one skill to master
it. That sort of single-mindedness eludes me. I admire the folks who
can make a choice and stick to it while I flit from a project half
done to another dreamed. The time may have come, but like the walrus
said, the talk is of many things.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I'm suffering from a severe case of politic avoidance brought on by a
miserable and prolonged period of candidate saturation. Please, can't
somebody come up with a vaccine to protect the American public from
interminable news-bites and endless oratory? I'm allergic!

I need a pill to inure me to the volumes of rhetoric spewing into the
air from a variety of self-aggrandizing, ambitious contestants who
are scheming to win a seat in the Oval Office. I'm doing my best to
sidestep exposure. My hand is quick to hit the mute button on the
remote when Barack or Mitt or one of the other Tom, Dick or Harriets
manages to finagle a few seconds of air time but it is like trying to
avade the flu bug in winter.

Can't the pharmaceutical giants provide us with a remedy? An anti-
rhetoric antidote? A congressional decongestant? A cure for caucuses?
A panacea for primaries?

Wait! Perhaps it what is needed is a candidate physic! Imagine what
the build up to the presidential election would be if the runners for
office had to first be inoculated for truth? Ah, the silence.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Federal Communications Commission

(From Yahoo News 1/26)

WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a
$1.4 million fine against 52 ABC Television Network stations over a
2003 broadcast of cop drama NYPD Blue.

The fine is for a scene where a boy surprises a woman as she prepares
to take a shower. The scene depicted "multiple, close-up views" of
the woman's "nude buttocks" according to an agency order issued late

ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Co. The fines were issued against 52
stations either owned by or affiliated with the network.

FCC's definition of indecent content requires that the broadcast
"depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities" in a "patently
offensive way" and is aired between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

HOO BOY! I don't know about you but I feel ever so much safer in a
world where the government protects me and my grandchildren from nude
buttocks. Patently offensive nude buttocks too. Wow. Car chases,
shootings, gang violence, and other cop show staples are okay though.
No harm there.

Seems like I should choose what images are shown in my living room.
Seems like I did while my daughter was growing up. But maybe my
memory is failing? And, of course, there is the choice my daughter
makes in her home today. No television at all.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Start of the internet day

How my morning began:

I won the UK lottery. Again. I'm thinking of using the money to "Make
it grow" since I obviously "Want it longer." Maybe I'll also use some
to redeem that $11.8 million dollars for the gentleman from GARMANY
though I will have to be careful not to Expose This Massage To Anybody.

Or maybe I'll just apply for that $5 million dollar personal loan.
All they need is my SS# and bank info.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Public Bathrooms

What fiend from hell is put in charge of designing the stalls in
public rest rooms for women? The engineer in point must be dyslexic,
spatially challenged, and... male.

Granted, I'm more than average large from side to side and thus prone
to notice the lack of horizontal distance between the walls. I've
been in stalls where the sides seem eager to meet and trap the
occupant in the middle like the creme filling in an Oreo sandwich.
But the minimal width is then compromised by the addition of a paper
dispenser the size of a suburban house. This monster is stuck on the
wall so as to reduce the total space by a critical 7 inches right
about at hip level where a woman needs the space most.

And the door. You women know exactly where I'm going, right? That
blasted door opens inward, barely clearing the front of the toilet
seat. Look! It swings freely! The design works! Of course the person
entering has nowhere to stand while closing said door since the space
inside is so compact. There is hardly room on either side of the seat
so one attempts to straddle the chair, juggling purse, parcels, and
in my case a cane, while groping behind to close the door. If you get
the door closed there is the complicated variety of fastening
mechanisms that, after the first week of use, seldom line up to lock
without a struggle. Now that you are inside try to find a spot to
hang purse, bags, cane, coat. The hook, if there was one, succumbed
to gravity long ago and left a forlorn hole in the wall.

If you have accomplished entry and closure of the door and managed
the task for which you came, you get to decode the means of flushing
the toilet. Handle? Foot pedal? Floor button? Or those automatics
whose red eye watches as you escape your cell, then flush just as the
next person enters? She not only gets to view what you have done but
gets scared to death when the toilet gushes in greeting.

Now that you're out of the stall another adventure awaits you as you
negotiate the sink architecture and choices of hand drying
apparatuses. Yes, nowhere to hang or perch your purse as you wash. No
wonder women require so much time in the rest room while men
impatiently pace about outside. We've had to juggle, to contort, and
to decipher complex engineering riddles. By the time we leave we are
almost in need of going back.

My husband says I've written about this before but then he's heard
repeated diatribes on the subject. Like every time I require use of a
ladies public bathroom. He says it's great being a guy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Good Cry

I sat down this morning and had a Good Cry.

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Crying usually indicates pain or
sadness. It happens when you are hurt, whether from a skinned knee or
a broken heart. There ARE tears of joy, but those aren't the ones
that come with a Good Cry. The Good Cry is a release of emotion, a
relaxation of tension, a letting go. It takes you from a place of
holding in to one of flowing out. It is not precipitated by big
things like deaths, fractures, or disasters. It arrives from an
accumulation of smaller things, sometimes a mix of good and bad.
Money anxiety. High blood pressure. Joint pain. To-Do lists. A
grandchild's laugh. A welcome phone call. Suddenly the emotional well
bubbles over. Crying begins and if someone sees and asks what is
wrong you're not sure anything is, or even what started the tears.

The Good Cry mixes a bit of sadness, a touch of happiness, a pinch of
worry, a tad of envy, maybe a hint of frustration, and a sprinkle of
thankfulness into a soup of another flavor. It is a bowl that soothes
and settles. It should be consumed, not daily, but on special
occasions. Savored and appreciated. Have one today. I did.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Me, Me, Me!

I just read the New Year's resolution blog written by my daughter:

All the projects she has listed are for other people and I applaud
her craftiness and enthusiasm. My personal current sewing projects,
an embroidered shirt and a crocheted shawl are PERSONAL, intended for
my eventual (should they ever be completed) use. After many years of
diligently stitching and laboring over clothes, toys, and gadgets for
family and friends I decided to direct some of those creative urges
toward myself and in the past few years have enjoyed wearing examples
of my embroidery. I still do a project here and there for others but
my name is now at the head of the To-Do-For list. And about time, too!