Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bug Me Once

There is a serious issue in my bathtub. That's right more bugs. A spider this morning and Tuesday another centipede or millipede.

What is that about? It's not a weather change because they were here in the heat and now it's cooling off. So that theory is null.

Whatever it is I am no longer amused.

Dear Insect and Arachnid Kingdom Leaders,

Please move on to someone else's bathtub or drain. I don't have time, especially in the mornings to enforce policies that you have been well aware of for so long.

Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Insect City

So, yesterday morning my bathtub had yet another resident make its way to the surface streets. A very large brown spider was at the very popular non-drain end just hanging out. His furlough didn't last long. That's right; the shoe. There is no photo this time (see artist's rendering left), but trust me he was big.

This is a short post that will end with the following music recommendations; Pink's latest Funhouse is a good record. Snow Patrol also released a new one yesterday as well, but it's marginal at best. I am totally digging Matt Nathanson. He's my new John Mayer.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

I was challenged to pen a blog on hope and I am struggling to complete the task.

So, let's start with the definition of hope. Our friends at Wikipedia say this...
Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. To hope is to wish for something with the expectation of the wish being fulfilled, a key condition in unrequited love. Hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude.

People are hoping all the time. They hope for political change, emotional change, physical change (outward and inward); they are really hoping for difference. And yet, different things cause fear and loathing. Change also is fear inducing and full of anxiety. No one likes it and yet these are the things we HOPE for. So, really we are looking for FEAR. I think that is irony. Whose definition I'm much more clear on than I used to be.

I don't know what to say about hope. I know that I have hoped for hopeless things. I know that I have felt hopeless. I know that I have hoped for others more than for myself. I know that if I type or read the word hope one more time I'll...

It's a funny little word and it really gets us into trouble most of the time.

It's really not a real thing. It's like 'try' and we know what Yoda said about that.

I think it causes inaction. It traps us into non-movement. It keeps us stuck and immobilized. And let me assure you, inaction is still a choice and rarely the best one. I guess that is the coma of hope; inaction. After all, that's what a coma is, immobilization and non-movement and those around your bedside are hoping for movement, action, mobilization and their hope keeps them from those very things.

Getting out of a coma is no easy task, as coma patients will surely tell you. But we are all in our own little comas daily. We are trapped and immobilized by the things we refuse to take action on for as many reasons as there are therapists.

I don't like to be trapped and that takes work. That takes unlocking the cages we've put ourselves in. Sometimes they're really gilded and it's harder to leave but I believe it's worth it.

I think that if your heart is truly open and you are willing to be vulnerable, foolish even, you are already in possession of the key to that cage. It may hurt more if your wings are damaged and you don't have a safe place to land when you start to fly out. But every minute of freedom will heal those broken feathers faster.

So there it is, hope; a definition, an analysis and my off-the-cuff theory. Take from it what you will. I am hopeful that you find some truth and resonate on some level and maybe make a phone call that you had hoped the other person would have made first.
You get the idea. Just remember that nothing really changes with hope, it changes with activity in one direction or another.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"The Haunted Blue Tub" or "The Bugs"

I think the crickets read my last post and are planning a revolt with all of their insect friends.

This morning I awoke and wandered into the bathroom later than I'd have liked. So, there was no time to waste whatsoever. I did not have time for insect policy enforcement.

At the same end of the tub as cricket was a centipede. This is much scarier than a cricket or two. These can be poisonous.

I can absolutely, positively NOT have these in my house.

And Why I ask, do these critters keep shimmying out of my bathtub drain? I am disturbed.

I brought out the shoe for round number two and the corpse still sits in my tub for removal by the coroner.

Unless of course it gets carried off by his friends before I return home tonight. Grrrr.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Cricket in Valley Glen Square

I am not a fan of repetitive noises. The incessant drone of an air conditioner under my window or a siren or a clicking of any kind sends me over the edge. So, you can imagine that the sound of cricket chirping wouldn't last long in my house.

I don't have anything against crickets at all. In fact one of my all-time favorite books is George Selden's lovely little story about a boy and his cricket in Times Square. Everyone should read it. It's wonderful.

However, when I came home the other night to a very loud, non-outdoor chirping I had to investigate its whereabouts as I have a strict no-insect-in-MY-natural-habitat policy.

I found it. In my bathtub. In the drain. I couldn't see the little guy but I could certainly hear him. I ran the water but the song returned a few minutes later. I let it be but knew that that cricket would eventually want to come out of the drain and into my house. The policy is very strict and as the sole enforcer, I cannot rest until the menace is eradicated.

So, right before I went to bed, I decided that scalding HOT water would surely make the cricket meet its demise. I ran a lot of hot water and it stopped for the night.

It was not to be. Apparently, crickets are hot water resistant as the sound returned in full force tonight. Stronger methods would need to be employed.

I took out the bleach and started to pour and the sound stopped. I returned to my living room for a few minutes and continued my telephone conversation. I decided to go back in and check on things and to my shock and dismay the cricket (seen in the picture below post mortem) and his other tiny cricket son had scurried up the drain and into the other end of my tub to make their escape.

Serious violators they had now become and I retrieved the proper equipment for insect-in-the-home removal; a shoe. I got the big one on the first whack but the little guy was a lot more resilient than I expected.

The moral of this story is that crickets won't be killed with bleach but they can be chased with it.

Now all is well again in the Square and the policy is upheld.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Celebrate the COW!

Welcome to Cow Appreciation Day 2008!

We missed it last year but all is not lost! Sing a song, dance a dance, write a sonnet, but celebrate the cow!

Here are some links to help you along....
(Just click on the pictures)

Happy Cow Appreciation DAY!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I had to search for some documents recently and I ended up uncovering a few extra things.

I didn't find the thing that I needed, having put it in a place for safe keeping. It's safe alright. Safe from me and everyone else.

But there were other items I found during this gumshoe activity that made me smile, laugh and remember old friends.

I found notes from my mother. They were mostly utilitarian; "I'm sending you this clipping that I thought was interesting" or 'here's some stickers I thought you'd like'. A few years ago I went through a similar search mission and found a lot of these notes. I decided at that time that I would keep them all, because when my mother passes on, I will still get to have her with me.

I will have all the things she wrote to me at my fingertips and that will bring me comfort when I miss her and she is no longer writing me notes about the clipping from the local newspaper. Some of them may end up being out of context, removed from whatever they were attached to but that will make me laugh. And laughter always brings healing.

I came across a card from a co-worker and friend from many years ago. She sent me flowers because I was inconsolable in my broken heart and her note told me that she was my true friend when things were seemingly bleak. It made me smile and I wrote to her and told her so.

I found old letters from high school friends and college friends. That was before email and cell phones and text messaging and online blogging*.

We had to write to each other, putting pens to paper, to recount what had been happening since the last letter. The ones with multiple pages on college rule were the ones you cherished. Because that took time and that was special! Even boys wrote letters and sent them!!

As I was uncovering this treasure trove of memories of my little life, I thought how hurried and un-special our lives and relationships can become. We no longer have time to write letters; we're too busy with our blackberries to even spell properly. We lose interest so quickly and there is no more sentiment. I won’t discount the efficiency of email but for some of the really important stuff I wish we still cared enough to send our very best instead of coping out with text messaging.

Aren't we always gasping in awe about how, could we have possibly let so much time go by without spending time or communicating with those that we have connected deeply with?

Those are the times, the notes, and the moments when we feel belonging and alive.

Facebook, Friendster, MySpace all have claimed to be tools to connect with people. But it's not a real connection. It's a substitute. Connection is listening to a guy play a song he wrote and having it move you to tears. Connection is feeling like you've known someone your whole life and telling them so. Connection is reveling in the excitement of a shared idea and a meeting of the minds. These things have to be done in person or at the very least, over the telephone.

Connection is not an email of carefully crafted words. Connection is not a text message or a web page or a voicemail. This is what we've devised and created so we can avoid true connection. Why are we so scared? Why are we so scarred?

We all want the same things. We want our lives, our existence, to matter to someone else.

We don't want to feel alone or lonely. We don't want to feel empty or cold on the inside. We don't want to be left behind or left out. We want magic and love and we want love to be magic. We don't want to be discarded or forgotten. And we don't want to be hurt for believing and giving love.

I think about these things a lot because it is usually my undoing when a connection fades or ceases to be. As a little girl, a teenager even, I would cry to see visitors leave or when I left someone I adored.

I want to hang on, I want to cling and it’s because my heart wants so much to give out its love and devotion. It feels unnatural to have to stop that flow from one heart to another.

It’s quite a conundrum really. We crave understanding and union with other souls. We long to be intimately known and yet we tend to run away when someone comes too close. This, I believe, is what is known as the human condition. I just don’t really understand it.

I only know that I want more of those moments that are authentic. The moments when I hear a song lyric and am found in it even though I didn’t write the words. The moments when I am singing to a crowd of people and smile at the person in the front row and they smile back. The moments when I am sitting in peaceful silence watching a butterfly with my sister. I want more of those.

So, my search for that document led me here. Where instead of finding a piece of paper, I uncovered parts of the past that helped me find another piece of my soul to share.

*(Yes, I realize that I am posting this in an online blog. Isn't irony fun?)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flag Day Fun

It's here! June 14th.

The BEST holiday of all time, well except for Cow Appreciation day. So, it's the 2nd best holiday of all time.

Wave it loud and wave it proud people, today is Flag Day.

I know everyone says Christmas or Halloween but really Flag Day is better. You know it is.

Who cares if you're patriotic or not? You don't have to send cards or get gifts and there aren't large department store displays urging you to depart with your disposable income.

So, embrace it. Live it. Love it.

Get the new Weezer album to celebrate. It's awesome. But not the New Kids on the Block. It is not awesome. It's ridiculous.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On Approach...Birthday

So, in three days I'll be another year older. I have always liked my birthday; I like everyone's birthday. I relish celebrating the people I love. But I don't have much to say about it this year. I feel a bit 'blah' about it this year.

I don't have much to say about anything really. I don't have any ranting to do or news to tell or adventures to report.

Time seems to go more quickly as the age climbs higher. I guess that's why it becomes increasingly more important to live fully and completely and to love deeply and courageously.

I hope to do that more this year.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Capers in the Comstock

Rich in history and full of interesting characters, Virginia City, Nevada is a place I haven't visited since I lived in Reno seven years ago.

But this weekend I traveled to Sacramento to see friends and was swooped up for an adventure back to the brown Sierra of my discontent and up the Geiger Grade to the home of the Comstock Lode to listen to a band of a friend.

This strange trip back in time had the memories flooding back of places and people I used to know. It was weird and fun at the same time.

The four of us made our way to the historic Gold Hill Hotel and after dumping our bags headed directly to the bar for our first drinks of the night. It was after all 4PM.

We then headed in to town to the Silver Dollar Saloon located down a set of steep stairs, where
we were greeted by the sounds of a local man singing "El Paso" among others. He changed the words frequently to add color and interest.

We also met the barkeep, her daughter Cat and Cat's husband Stone. Yep, that's right his name was Stone. Apparently, his mother wanted to name him Rocky, but his dad didn't, so she settled on Stone. Cat and Stone had returned to Nevada from an undisclosed location in Texas where their six children were taken away from them because of Cat's meth problem. She's now sober three months and working in her mom's bar trying to get her kids back. (Insert the irony here.)

All of this story telling made us hungry and we went to dinner at the only restaurant in town.

Having nourished ourselves with tasty TexMex for the night ahead, it was time to go to the Old Washoe Club to see the band. Tony G and the boys were good and the local characters of Virginia City were shakin' it on the dance floor. It's really true that white men can't really dance. The people watching was spectacular. After two sets and what I think was four gin and tonics, it was time to call it a night. Or so I thought.

As you might imagine, there's a lot of talk of ghosts in this old western mining town.
So, as the four of us exit the bar, the guys become intrigued by a dark stairway and some commotion about ghosts and head up the dark stairwell. They disappear for a good length of time and us girls decide that we no longer want to wait out in the cold, cold night. So, we get in the truck and 'cruise' up and down the main street a couple times for no particular reason other than to kill time. We call the boys and they promise to be waiting on the sidewalk when we return. This is of course not the case.

So, we go back into the bar where it's warm and have another drink. We are then approached by a dude, Don, who asks us if we like magic and could he and his friend, Mike, show us a trick. Ugh. That's all I have to say. I give all the credit to my friend who makes it difficult for these dorks but she eventually plays along.
So, we chat with these clowns and my friend helps them with their little magic trick. Then things start to get sketchy when Don tells us that they had been watching us and were disappointed when we left but were glad to see we had returned. Then he asks me why we are in Virginia City. To which I reply that I'm visiting my friend and her husband. He's disappointed by this news and then asks me if I am married. I tell him no but the tone has changed in his demeanor and I can't wait for the guys to return from ghost hunting so we can get out of there!

And then my friend abandons me for the bathroom just as the guys come in. So, there I am talking to these clowns trying to figure out how to get away. I eventually escape but not before Don starts saying some inappropriate things that force me to tell a little white lie about our tall friend being my boyfriend. Which works like a charm, thank god.

Then the four of us make our getaway back to the Gold Hill bar, where we started, for one more cocktail to settle our nerves.

In the morning, we all feel fine and have one last hurrah in town at the Bucket of Blood saloon for the traditional bloody mary.

And back down the five mile road back to Reno and on to Sacramento we went, another adventure completed.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Progression Not Regression

I'm happy to report that the numbness in my foot is dissolving steadily.
I believe that this is due to the electric stim being administered in physical therapy and I am so very glad. It apparently works like acupuncture and reduces inflammation.

I am also glad for the time to be able to heal properly as I feel more delicate than before. I can think of nothing worse than having that pain return. Although I still have a good arsenal of pain relievers waiting in the wings.

This also means that I am going to have to get a maid. I simply cannot clean the way I used to. And forget running the vacuum. That CAUSED a back problem once a few years ago.

In other news, I met Johnny V from the Scott Baio show on VH1. He's a nice guy despite his antics on the show.

In music news, I'm recommending Feist, Sara Bareilles, and A Fine Frenzy. I'm getting back out there myself now that I can walk upright again.

There's not much else to muse about. I am returning to my life and that's a good thing. As several people have said to me recently "you look happy" and I guess I am, I really can say that I am.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One of These Scars is Not Like the Other

I don't really have anything interesting to post about.

I had surgery, I'm recovering. I'm going to have to go back to work. Which of course depends on some things. We won't get into that, it's not even remotely interesting.

My mind is mostly empty and devoid of cleverness. I apologize. I blame the insomnia which probably has to do with the lack of pain medicine coursing through my bloodstream which is why I can't find a comfortable position that doesn't involve twisting my surgically altered spine, plus my still numb foot is very troublesome. Hence, insomnia.

I should probably just keep taking the pills but I would probably need to visit with Dr. Drew if I did that. I saw Jeff Conaway detoxing and it wasn't something I want to sign up for, ever.

Anyway, that's it. I have two more weeks of watching bad TV and then, well, who knows. I just remembered that Tuesday is a huge primary election day and that will surely be exciting! Don't forget to vote!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Lumbar Surgery Will Be Fun: Day 29

9:30 AM - Roused from sleep by telephone call. It was excellent news so I didn't mind

10AM - Watch the View

11AM - Watch Bobby Flay grill some stuff, contemplate whether or not I'll get dressed today

11:30AM - Start writing this blog, while some guy on the Food Network uses gray salt

12:00PM - Still on the Food Network. It's my favorite show with Ina Garten

12:30PM - Sandra Dee is way too perky and excited about her semi-homemade goodies and tablescapes. I change the channel and get out of bed

1:00PM - On the couch now, still not dressed. Decide to watch Fletch and Dazed and Confused brought to me by a good friend. This takes us to...

5:00PM - Time for Seinfeld

6:00PM - Hobble down the stairs to get the mail. I throw on a sweater because it's windy

6:30PM - Burn time in some fashion while icing back. Decide it's time to crawl back into bed

7:00PM - Log back in to finish this really boring entry while watching Animal House

7:30PM - Concluding this boring entry now to do something else. Maybe writing or reading (gasp!) and will try to go to sleep earlier as pre-op appointment is in the morning although the consistent insomnia will probably win again. Oh yeah, I never got dressed. That's the beauty of pajama pants

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Flaxey's Scalpel Countdown: Day 25

All there is to do when you can't really move without it being painful is numb your mind with television and the internet.

I am, of course, completely fed up with this but what else can be done? Nothing, nothing at all.

It's 'teen best friend week' on Wheel of Fortune. I only watched it once because well, teens are annoying on game shows. I thought it careless at best that the prize wranglers thought it was wise to give away a trip to Amsterdam. To teenagers? Really? Amsterdam? Yeah, it must have been someone's day off when that was approved.

The View is truly irritating. I've watched it everyday religiously, except when I slept through it. Whoopi and Joy always look at each other like they are in a special club that the others will never be able to join because they are just too silly. I hardly blame them; after all Sherri Shepard is worthless and not that bright. (Today she thought John McCain's last name was McCann and upon being corrected said 'that's right McCann's is shoes.' Way to go Sherri.) And Elizabeth Hasselbeck is annoyance in a jar. Honestly, this show has given us the best it could years ago and they should just shut it down.

Paula Deen repeats are slowly chipping away at my sanity.

American Idol is back. This hasn't helped things much either, except to kill time before I take a pain pill. It's better to watch it with others.

Election coverage continues to be exciting. I can't believe that Edwards dropped out before super Tuesday. Hils and Barak battled it out last night. I bet we see them stop agreeing with each other this time. At least I hope so, but they are in Hollywood, so they might feel the need to act phony in order to fit in. I taped it so I don't know what happened yet.

Oprah hasn't taken up much of my time. I forget it's on. It's better to watch it when you can skip the commercials anyway. She barely lets her guests speak and that's difficult to tolerate even if the show is called 'Oprah'.

I also am not that interested in Ellen's show. It really just kills the hour before I can watch Seinfeld.

Do we need anymore movies about how inner-city, underprivileged youths dance their way to freedom and a better life? Is that really how it happens? With hip-hop dancing? I really don't recall 'Step Up' being the massive hit the trailer for 'Step Up 2: The Streets' is claiming it was. And 'How She Move'? Huh? Haven't these movies been made already?

Yep, this is how I've been passing the time. I suppose I could read but the level ten-plus-plus-plus bouts of blinding pain sort of ruin the concentration required for absorbing intellectual material.

Only twelve more days to go....