Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
What’s your favorite part of the holiday season? Fudge? Greeting cards? Scotch tape? Personally, I’m a sucker for Christmas lights. Whether the light strings are dangled from the eaves, draped across the shrubs, or twisted around the trees – the colors, variety and wattage are just amazing.
My love of Christmas lights began way, way back when I was a kid. The whole famn damily would pile into the old Dodge station wagon for a drive around the neighborhoods to look at the lights. The snow diffused the colors into big pools of holiday Technicolor while the icicles magnified the lights’ brightness. Combine the sights with treacherously slick roads and no seat belt laws and there’s a ride to remember!
Dad was a sucker for Christmas lights, too, even though they almost killed him…
According to family legend, on one fine January clearance sale day, Dad found the best price EVER on Christmas lights. He bought every single box and stashed them away in anticipation of the best EVER light display. Months later, he opened all those boxes only to discover they were not the string-to-string variety. After considering the extension cord complications, Dad decided to splice all the lights together into one big, long, giant string. He worked along methodically, carefully splicing one string to another, holding the bare wire ends in his mouth as he went. It was at one such critical molar-clenching moment that one of my brothers (who shall remain anonymous) decided to plug in the lights.
Snap! Crackle! Pop! Not in the good cereal kind of way either. More like the electrocution kind of way. The current surged through Dad’s molars and knocked him off his feet. My guilty brother quickly unplugged the lights while the innocent brother checked to see if Dad was dead. After Dad was able to sit up again, both boys asked if he could do that again…
So two root canals later, it really was an awesome light display.
Enjoy all of your favorites this holiday season and please remember to plug in carefully!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
London, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Jerusalem-all just waiting for me.
Little did I know that the world would come to me instead.
Welcome to the Holey Land!
Holes everywhere up and down the street.
Big, deep ones! Covered with giant metal slabs!
This slab didn't entirely cover the hole.
Be careful -- this one goes all the way to China!
Yes, you can visit the Holey Land and have egg rolls at the same time.
Practically the entire town has become part of the Holey Land, thanks to stimulus dollars.
Thank you, Mister President, for the new sewer lines.
And thank you, dear reader, for touring the Holey Land.
Come again another time and tour the Repaired and Repaved Land.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Notice that bits and pieces are missing.
Notice the white paint smudges the perpetrator left behind.
I know it's only a tail light, but geez...
If you are the guilty party, please write me a heft check and wrap it nicely around a large chocolate bar.
Leave the check and the chocolate on my doorstep.
All will be forgiven.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
For many a published writer, Powell's is just another stop on just another book tour. However, for those of us who attend such events, it is a time to gather and enjoy bookworm esprit de corps. Tuesday evening was was another gathering for another author. My husband and I arrived early, staked out good seats, and began our people-watching vigil. After all, the next best thing to reading books is reading people.
As the chairs filled in, the parade of humanity did not disappoint. What wondrous variety! From my vantage point, these were the highlights:
- Lots and lots of tattoos. I want one. But I'm a chicken. So should I get a chicken tat?
- A cute couple with matching iPads. I want an iPad, too.
- A Hagrid look-alike with a Kindle. Sigh. I want a Kindle, too.
- A crazy cat guy wearing a sweater with kitties all over it. I do NOT want one, be it guy, kitty or sweater.
- A fabulous chunky pearl necklace on the crazy cat guy's date. Oh yeah! Want!
Wait a sec...who am I? Veruca Salt? Enough of the wish-list already. If I want that stuff, I'd better get my own book finished and sold!
Back to the author -- Lev Grossman is his name and The Magicians is his latest book. His presentation was humorous, articulate, and sincere -- all the things you want in an author. I should mention brave, too, because audience Q&A can be dangerous. Someone in the back asked the question I was too chicken (again) to ask about naming charactes. Personally, I was happy to hear him admit he has difficulty with this. Me, too! Honestly, it was easier naming my kids than my characters.
I've wandered enough. It's time to tie this up. So why in the heck is Powell's a magical place? Because for those few minutes, all of us who had gathered together put any and all of our differences aside for our common love of a well-told story. Between 7:30 and 8:30pm, none of us represented any particular demographic or tax bracket. We were all just children again -- listening and imagining and wondering. Magical, right?
Monday, April 19, 2010
This is the hooch bag. Mangled. Punctured. Emptied. It put up a valiant fight, but in the end, the kitties won. It's impossible to stop a hooch-frenzied cat herd.
Notice the eyeballs -- the glazed, unfocused, hypnotic stare. Hours later, Domino is still buzzing. Apparently, it was really good kitty hooch.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I'm rather fascinated with the whole protection-against-the-evil-eye thing. The way I understand it, the hamsa works kind of like Wonder Woman's gold bracelets. Ka-powie! The evil spell is deflected! Ka-bam! The bad luck is bounced! I can hardly wait to try out the little silver charm and send all the unsavory karma in my life back from whence it came. I'm not sure where to put the big hamsa to get the most bang for the superstitious buck. Do I hang it in the car to ward off idiot drivers and radar guns alike? Do I hang it on the fridge to ward off my late-night food forays? If you have any suggestions, send them my way -- but only do so with good intentions. Remember, the hamsa says I'm rubber, you're glue, and whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!
p.s. If hamsa hands ward off evil, what attracts good? Feet? The lucky rabbit kind? Well, not lucky for the rabbit anyway... Just curious.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
p.s. So somehow the finished product picture loaded first and I don't know how to un-do. Oh well. Enjoy it first. It's kinda like knowing who did it before the end of the book.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Being sick at home for the last several weeks has led me to ask one of the great questions of all time. How much daytime TV can one person watch? A lot. A better question might be how much daytime TV can one person watch safely? Not much. After a while, you can feel your brain getting mushy and your backside getting numb.
However, those risks certainly didn’t stop me from watching hours of TV dressed in my old green sweats, kicked back in the recliner, with a cat or two draped over my lap and the dog snuggled up under my chin. Comfy and cozy to be sure, but still sick and miserable.
After many hours and many channel changes, I have discovered there are only a couple of shows worthy of my remote control efforts. The funny thing is that both of them are re-runs. It’s a good thing I believe in recycling… Anyway, my two top favorites of daytime TV are Britain’s Antiques Road Show and Wife Swap. Go ahead, mock me if you must, but honestly they are the best of the worst.
You know, the British have way cooler junk that we Americans do. For example, one woman brought an authentic Roman helmet to the Road Show. No kidding! Her family has owned a pub for literally centuries and the helmet was found wedged into the ceiling joists in the oldest part of the building. How cool is that? Another woman brought in a simple golden ring with an ugly blue stone that, according to the expert, was made between 1300 and 1350. Again, how cool is that? A man brought in a little ceramic cookie jar that didn’t have really any monetary value to speak of. But it somehow survived the Blitz while the rest of the house was bombed into smithereens. He even had a photo of his mum standing in front of the rubble pile, with that very same cookie jar in her hands. And once again, how cool is that?
I’m not exactly sure what’s so appealing about Wife Swap. Maybe it’s my family’s polygamist heritage peeking out. After watching Wife Swap, I must say that my husband has nothing to complain about. Neither do the kids. Oh sure, he jokes about being on the show, but I know he’s not serious. He could never survive the rule changes that happen when the new “wife” takes over. And what about some of those husbands? Hen-pecked fraidy-cats, pig-headed chauvinists, and uber-control-freaks all get to show off what great husbands they are. Yikes!
Now, just so you don’t think I’m completely without viewing taste, I did watch other stuff, too. It simply wasn’t as entertaining and didn’t make me wish for a British accent or make me thankful for my husband.