Monday, January 31, 2011


The start of a new plant.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jessica Kane

Another WFMU segue. I listed to Irwin's show on WFMU. He plays a certain genre of music, I'd say, but has a few quirky things he throws in. Like Amanda. Like Jessica Kane.

Jessica Kane does spoken word, at least on that album, and her storytelling is fascinating. I think so at least. I'm her friend on FB, and one thing was very appropriate today, and the other was just really good too. Which was appropriate do you think?


Advice from my mother after someone hurt my feelings:
Mother: Jessica, how many times must I tell you, other people cannot hurt your feelings. Are you just a giant vagina that can be f**ked by everyone?
Me: No.
Mother: Well, then. You're going through a sensitive time. You're alone in the woods, your dog just died, and you’re not thinking clearly. Why else would you go and look for approval for what you're doing in life from someone who is never going to give it to you.
Me: I guess I just don’t like that he thinks that way about me.
Mother: Well, guess what? You can't control what other people think of you. Can he control what you think of him?
Me: No.
Mother: That’s right. So stop looking for standing ovations from other people and look in the mirror. That’s the person you want approval from. And next time you see him, don't tell him anything about you, just talk about things he’s interested in. Talk about Jesus, talk about the mob, talk about some f**king thing, other than you. And give him that aloofness that I know you know how to do so well, after all, you are my daughter
Me: Thank you, Mother.

I went into sephora to get a brush for this foundation that my sister got me to make me look prettier. But when I was in there, I didn’t want to be prettier.
I went into jr music world to buy an itouch.
But once I was there, I didn’t want to buy an itouch.
Then I went into borders books to look at books.
But when I was in there, I didn’t care about books.
But I used their ladies room.
And in there, I saw that I had this black thing in my teeth.
So I took it out.
And left.
And I was going to take the ferry back to staten island.
But when I got here,
I didn’t feel like getting on the ferry yet.
So I sat on a bench and listened to these two snot-nosed children stomping on these bell things they have embedded in the ground. And it sounds beautiful. Like music you’d hear in china 300 years ago. And I’m staring across the water at the statue of liberty. And I’m thinking about french people. And I’m thinking about my grandfather’s father who probably had lice on ellis island. And all of it makes me happy.
I am glad I am here.
Moments from now, I will want to be elsewhere, but right now, I’m happy to be here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shame on U (sa)

I doubt all of these are accurate, but still interesting anyway...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brusha brusha brusha

Seems like almost every morning when I brush my teeth these days I think of my old friend J. She and I were best friends in grammar school. One of her defining traits was how vigorously she brushed her teeth. I think she'd go through a toothbrush every month or something (an exaggeration, I know).

She also was a big Beatles fan. We would sit in her basement and listen to the Beatles, on record albums I believe, for hours. When I moved to NJ, I would visit her frequently when we went back to RI to visit relatives, which basically was every month. She came to NJ to visit several times. And of course we wrote lots of letters.

As time went by, of course, the connection grew weaker. However, when she got married I was invited to her wedding. I was sad at the time she had as her maid of honor another friend from grammar school. But it was a fact of life - I had moved away. She married a guy she had met in an unlikely place - a bar! At least unlikely for her. She was so happy to be with him (and him with her) and knew he was the one and had plans to have lots and lots of kids and parties in her yard as her parents had done. [I must note that I was an idiot - I took photos at her wedding and gave them to her as a present, but just in a stack, not placed in a nice book. Ok, that's a regret I have.]

When I returned from Zimbabwe I went to make a presentation to her class (she was a grammar school teacher). The kids loved it and I received lots of thank you notes. But after that, I lost touch. I think she moved and I have no idea where she is now. I would love to find her and touch base. The problem is, her name is fairly common, so it's hard to find her. I do wonder though, and hope she's having a happy life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Everything I didn't say

As some of you may know, I have a small obsession with WFMU. It's gotten better since I moved across the country, but I still of course care. One show I listen to regularly is Seven Second Delay. I listened for years before getting up the nerve to call in. And I've done so several times since then.

Right before I moved they had a repeat theme - I'm blanking now on what it was called. But basically the two radio guys didn't say anything on air. You would just call up and talk. It was confusing so the first 10 minutes there was just this background stall music. And when you did call and get through you wouldn't really know it was you on the air until 7 or 15 seconds later when you'd hear your voice.

So, I got on and started talking. It was mostly nonsense. It was weird to sort of be the show. After what seemed like forever but was likely just 60 seconds I bowed out. And of course, I thought about all the things I could have said. Because people like to listen to what other people have to say. DJ's talk in between music and half of it is nonsense, but many people are interested despite that. Connecting to another human being? Only half listening? Not sure of the reason.

But what I wanted to talk about was which of the bugs I had in my house I hated the most, and what the listeners would think was the worst.

Here are (were) the choices:
- slugs
- roaches
- ants
- spider crickets

The problem is, each one is creepy and disgusting. But I guess my order of nastiness is this (from not so bad to the worst)
- ants
- slugs
- roaches
- spider crickets

Now, I'm not taking into account how easy it is to get rid of them. OK, well, on second thought, maybe I am.

A line of ants you can get rid of easily with a paper towel, and you can spray insecticide to get the ones in the corners, and leave out that sugar evil stuff so they bring it back home to kill. Slugs are gross and nasty and squishy and so killing them is gross and nasty. Yuck. Roaches laugh at you with their antennae and say 'ha, you can't kill me, and even if you can, I have 5,000 babies in your house that will carry on my legacy, and we'll show up in places and at times you least expect.' Shudder, but SMACK with a newspaper. But boy o boy, I cannot go after spider crickets. The problem is you don't know which way they're going to jump - it could be away from you or towards you. Roaches run away. Slugs can't run. Ants have tiny legs but they still run away. Spider crickets MAY jump towards you. And that makes them the worst.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Thinker

Are all his ideas going down the toilet?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This is that number post. Amazing. My life on a blog. Or at least the last couple years. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts - nothing that yoga couldn't cure but I'm feeling stretched for time (no pun intended, but it's actually a decent pun) so won't go. But it's for a good reason - taking Friday off and going skiing, so I need to do my normal hours this week before Friday. And yet here I sit writing a post.

Just got back from the place I had been paid to do work. They had asked me to do another project, and despite my hesitation and my straightforwardness to them about my abilities, they wanted me to help anyway. I guess partly because it's free. Yet, I'm not excited anymore - just kinda feeling like I'm the nearest port in a storm and they'll take what they can get. Not sure how I feel about the organization either. Nor about my projected career path - I mean continuing on that path.

I thought about applying for a job that uses skills I have but not in an industry I've worked for at all. I still might, but I think it's likely pretty low level relatively, and in the end I might not care about it after a year or so. I feel like I've moved to this land of excellent people - intelligent, motivated, entrepreneurial, etc. And I'm a small percentage of any of those. Bleh... I'll get over it.

It's funny that I've stopped wondering if the moods are PMS, bipolar, or just life. I guess that's a first step towards not having them exist?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Arizona, and an Amazing Song

The Glen Jones Radio Show played a 2 hour set in response to /related to the shootings in Arizona. The song below was the first song in the set. I would highly recommend going and listening to it. Did you know that Boomtown Rats' song "I don't like Mondays" is based on shootings by a 16 year old girl which killed 2 adults and injured 8 children? I didn't. That is also in the set. I haven't listened to all the other songs, but am listening to the archive again just to see.

Elton John's song is 37 years old?? Wow. Listen to the lyrics. Listen to the piano playing behind the singing. Amazing.

Elton John, Striking

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Road

I finished reading The Road earlier this week. What a book. As I was reading it, I wondered why I continued reading it because it was so bleak. I was hoping for, in fact expecting, some sort of resolution. But the author did not provide it, in part because the theme of the book was survival. Continuing on despite the odds. So, looking back, I understand it, and actually found it to be very good. Though I'm known to persevere, I'm not sure if I would have continued. So bleak.

This is part of my new routine. I have a book that I only read while riding the stationary bike at the gym. And I go every morning, except on weekends. And I can only read that book at that time.

Currently working on The Dive from Clauson's Pier, but I have this sneaky feeling I've read it before. Alas.

Any recommendations for me??

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fun with Food

Someone on Facebook had posted a link to a photo of hot dog pasta. It looked so weird that I had to try it for a pot luck, which I went to last night.

You start by poking the pasta through the hot dog pieces.

Then you cook until al dente.

I made a simple sauce (onions, oregano, parsley and stewed tomatoes) and threw it on before going to the party. The pasta was actually a bit undercooked (because I was worried that the hot dog pieces were going to split up too much), but by adding the semi-watery sauce, it finished cooking in the container.

People thought it was cool. So did I. And actually, it tasted quite good! Try it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lymphadema Sleeves

From Why Mommy's site:

Are you or do you know a breast cancer survivor? Please read today’s post and pass it on. If you can’t afford to purchase a lymphedema sleeve, gauntlet, and/or glove, and you can’t manage your post-mastectomy swelling, Crickett’s Answer and LympheDIVAs want to help.

Today, I am pleased to announce a NEW opportunity for breast cancer survivors who have had a mastectomy and/or axillary dissection of the lymph nodes due to breast cancer and have swelling of one or both arms but cannot afford the $200-$500+ cost for two sets of the compression sleeves and gauntlets that survivors with lymphedema must wear every day to keep the swelling in check.

Although lymphedema sleeves are medically necessary, they are not covered by Medicare OR most insurance plans under current law, and thousands of survivors go without the sleeves, needlessly suffering congestion, swelling, and pain that interferes with their normal activities.

Crickett’s Answer, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in memory of Crickett Julius, has just joined forces with LympheDIVAs to help other breast cancer survivors who fight not just the beast that is breast cancer but also the fallout of side effects that includes lymphedema, which may limit survivors’ activities. By working together, they are now able to provide needed lymphedema sleeves and gauntlets to women who need them but cannot afford them out-of-pocket or convince their insurance companies to pay for them. They do this in honor and memory of their loved ones.

Crickett Julius survived breast cancer only four months, but her mother and cousin are dedicated to helping other women enjoy their life post-diagnosis through Crickett’s Answer, a 501(c)3 organization that provides wigs, mastectomy products, oncology/mastectomy/ lymphedema massage, facials, and other pampering services as a way to help women feel feminine and beautiful after losing their hair and/or breasts.

LympheDIVAs was founded by Rachel Troxell and Robin Miller, friends and breast cancer survivors who wanted to create a more elegant and comfortable compression sleeve. Rachel continued to build the company during her later recurrence. Even though she died two years ago, at the age of 37, her father, mother, and brother continue to grow the company in her honor and in the hope that LympheDIVAs’ compression apparel will continue to inspire breast cancer survivors everywhere to feel as beautiful, strong, and confident as Rachel was.

To ask for help, please download and complete the forms at Crickett’s Answer, writing in “lymphedema sleeve and gauntlet” on page 2 of the application.

To help someone else, please copy and paste this post on your blog or email it to a friend (or your local cancer center!).

To donate, go here.

To help change the law so that this medical garment is covered by cancer survivors’ insurance, stay tuned for more about the Lymphedema Treatment Act when it is reintroduced in the 2011 Congress.

Because of these women, these three thirty-something women who didn’t ask to get breast cancer, and the men and women who love them, there is now help for women who can’t afford lymphedema sleeves, a medically necessary garment not typically covered by insurance. Their legacy lives on.

Note: Cancer patients who are members of the National Lymphedema Network and who are treated by an NLN therapist can also apply to the NLN garment fund, set up in honor of Marilyn Westerbrook.

Monday, January 10, 2011


M and I arrived home last night. We had to go up and down the stairs to empty the car. Going down outside, it looked like a reenactment of Zombies Attack. Teeter-tottering with arms out due to sore calves and in my case a sore hip.

Scenes from the weekend:

Driving by lush green rolling hills, cattle grazing... One cattle standing on the top most ridge, silhouetted against the setting sun. "I'm on top of the world!!!"

Beautiful Lake Tahoe and the snowy mountains surrounding it, at sunset. So spectacular it doesn't seem real.

The same surreal postcard feeling with the watercolor sunset on the way back with the Golden Gate bridge far in the distance.

Delicious splurge dinner at a small log cabin in the fireplace room, complete with great glass of 2008 Raymond Chardonnay Monterrey. [Soule Domain] It was actually almost a date!

Getting into the skiing groove for at least 1/4 of one run.

Taking full advantage of the singles line on the second day, when M did not join me.

Yay! But ouch.

Friday, January 7, 2011


So, what do YOU do when you are faced with someone who thinks way too fast and cuts you off when you try and explain something because they think they know what you are saying even though they aren't taking the time to really listen even though you are trying really hard to make them understand?

I ultimately get frustrated and cave and give up trying to explain. Well, after trying once to stop them by saying 'can I finish what I was saying'. And the hackles go up on their end and the conversation is complete.

Thank god I don't work for her. Was just trying to help out my old job.

Going skiing this weekend! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Let sleeping cats lie
As they are not meowing.
Food! Play! Treats! Petting!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Composer is Dead

So, what we did on New Year's Day was go see Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead. It didn't get the best write ups, but we only saw them after we had bought tickets. Which in the end was a good thing. It was really interesting in a multi-media sort of way. He/They really did a great job teaching about classical music as well as plays (who is the director, etc). Given the amount of repetition within the piece, I was reminded of Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. And the puppets were pretty freaky (Phantom Limb puppeteers) but fascinating. The orchestra was comprised of puppets; the woodwinds had reed heads, the horns had horn heads, etc. Freaky.

Here's a discussion by the author and someone else (?) about the play.

It was nice to have a special event for the New Year...

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year

So, it's 2011. We have already finished the first decade of the century. Where did the time go??? My temptation is to look backwards at all the crap that made the decade disappear, starting really with September 2001. Blink, and it's gone.

But, it's time to look forward.
- look to skiing out here on the west coast
- look to finding a new job
- look to enjoying the half time work I have at the moment, allowing me freedom during the week
- look to meeting new people
- look to taking nice photos (my big gift from my family was a new camera. of course, my brother made the mistake of saying it's exchangeable, so now I have to figure out what really I want/need. they got me a 'life proof' camera - shock/water/cold resistant. thing is, that means somewhat lesser photo quality. so, I have a few weeks to figure it out. I am excited though to even have a camera now that will have a big screen so I can see whether the close up shots of flowers, et al, are in focus! Any recommendations on small cameras? They gave me a Panasonic Lumix - so in that vein.)

M and I exchanged gifts New Year's Eve. He liked the ones I gave him, which is always wonderful. I love finding the perfect gift, even more than getting the perfect gift (Laura, that could be a Wed choose and defend!). Among other things, he got me a cooking class to learn how to cook fish - something I'm always scared to do. I'm excited by it.

I'll talk more about New Year's day later - I'll just say that yesterday was a day of getting stuff done around the house and I so enjoyed it. Vacuuming! Yay! Making a chicken pot pie! Figuring out my estimated tax for 2010! Watching an episode of Serenity! Eating sourdough french toast! Going for a walk! Making a photo calendar for my mom! (I highly recommend Shutterfly for that.)

OK, work calls. Happy day to you.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken/Turkey Pot Pie

Chicken/Turkey Pot Pie

3 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, diced (1 baking potato – medium – with skin)
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
1 c potato water
1 c milk
1 t sage
1 t herbs de provence
1/2 t salt
2 c diced, cooked chicken
1/2 c frozen peas (I use at least 3/4 c to 1 c)

1 egg yolk

1. cook carrot and potatoes (separately) until soft (I microwave carrots in some water and boil the potato cubes)
2. meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and cook over medium heat 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add seasonings and stir, then add potato water, & milk and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring until thickened.
3. Stir in chicken, peas, carrot and potatoes. Pour into a 10 in. pie pan.
4. Lay crust over top of chicken ingredients in pie pan. Cut several slits for steam and flute edge. Brush top of crust with egg yolk. Place pie pan onto another baking pan in case it runs over when baking.
5. Bake at 450 for 20 min.

Pastry: [I use Pillsbury pre-made dough -it's fine and dandy]
1 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/3 c soft butter
3-5 T water
To prepare pastry, mix flour and salt in small bowl. cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with water and toss with a fork until moist. Press into a ball. Roll onto well floured surface