(not the teenage kind)

Friday, December 31, 2004

RIP - Sontag, Ohrbach, Shaw

Susan Sontag. Jerry Ohrbach. Artie Shaw. They say celebrity deaths come in three so there you go. Here's a quote from Susan Sontag's "Illness as a Metaphor:"

"Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of the other place."

Though on the face depressing, the book is actually liberating as she argued that we need as a culture to take away the stigma associated with disease and that thinking of diease as a metaphor only adds to the problem. She REALLY hated military metaphors. She wrote about that in "AIDS and its Metaphors:"

"We are not being invaded. The body is not a battlefield. The ill are neither unavoidable casualties nor the enemy. We - medicine, society - are not authorized to fight back by any means whatever...About that metaphor, the military one, I would say, if I may paraphrase Lucretius: Give it back to the war-makers."

Susan Sontag was very esoteric.

I never watched "Law and Order" but Jerry Ohrbach was in the classic film "Dirty Dancing." You know the famous line "No one puts Baby in the corner?" Well, Jerry Ohrbach (I mean, his character) is the one who put Baby in the corner! Also, I always thought he was the guy who played Humphrey Bogart in "Play it Again, Sam" but I think I'm wrong. (Sidebar: the mom in "Dirty Dancing" - Kelly Bishop - is now playing Emily Gilmore on "The Gilmore Girls." She rocks.)

Artie Shaw, I wish I had more to say. I do not know much about the big band era except that Artie Shaw worked with Billie Holiday and wasn't he married to Lana Turner?

I'll be back before the old year ends....

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tsunami Relief

I recieved a request to update the link in my post below. The correct link to donate to the International Red Cross is:


I warn the link is slow but maybe because lots and lots of people are donating? I read something interesting yesterday in Steve Lopez' column in the L.A. Times. He talks about how when there's a disaster people start sending things like teddy bears for the kids and even medicine. But the teddy bears just clog up the system, disallowing the more necessary things to get through. And sometimes the medicine is not exactly what's needed. So, even though we all probably sighed and thought "how sweet" and "what a great idea" and "those people who did that are awesome" when we read about the teddy bears being sent, money is king - boring but best to let the people who are there figure out what is most important.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Movie Help Please

When did movies get so bad? Last night I was watching "Collateral" and first I had to call people to find out if there was a happy ending because otherwise I thought it would be unbearable but then halfway through it was unbearable anyway and who cared if there was a happy ending? Not me. I was so uncaptivated I went to take a shower, answered some e-mails, and then watched the last half an hour on fast forward. And I guarantee it was better that way. Stephanie said, "Collateral is a movie you only watch if you want something to talk about with your co-workers." And Tom Cruise was kind of funny but he was not very cute or likeable and he was why I rented the movie because I saw him a few years ago on The Rosie O'Donnell show and he was sooooo sexy. Even when he was talking about scientology.

So, my Netflix queue list is getting scary low so someone, please, please tell me some good films to see....and, if you don't have Netflix, you should really sign up (not that I have stock in it or anything.)

(Oh, but wait, there was something redeeming about "Collateral." Downtown L.A. looks spectacular and, if you know Los Angeles, you get to hear all these freeway and street names that are really real and you know where they are. Oh, that reminds me, I'm going to add "Blade Runner" to my Netflix list.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Time for the 4th Resolution

Here it is ....the promised 4th resolution:

  • Make the government help where they should be helping. I don't get it. I thought we had a policy of helping countries that are living under brutal, evil-doing dictatorships by bombing and occupying them. And then firing their Army so they go and join the insurgents and then there's no real Army to fight the insurgents but wait, I digress, focus....focus. Why aren't we helping in Darfur? Human Rights Watch calls the situation there "this year's greatest human right's disaster." I mean, just because they don't have any oil, whoops, that was a typo - I, of course, meant weapons of mass destruction. Yeesh, it's like this computer has a mind of its own. During my weekly phone call to the White House on the firing of Rummy, I'm also going to tell them to get the "coalition of the willing" around the situation in Sudan. And no bombs, please. And I'll bet there will be a lot more willing.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Construction Men Cometh

Gotta give a shout out to Mom. She came over yesterday to help me clean out my garage to get ready for construction...nothing exciting, just fixing the crack in the floor that I might fall into at any moment. We got rid of ten boxes full of stuff. Mom's motivating line? "11,000 people died today in a tidal wave - get over yourself." But there were some precious finds. Like a one dollar bill. And my old diaries were fascinating with entries like "Mother went to the dentist today. She left us alone" and "Here is a picture of what my sister is going to look like when she grows up." Oh, and then killer lines like "J.L. says that J.S. is now prettier than S.R." The code being the actual initials of the people being discussed. The CIA probably couldn't have even cracked that one (actually, really). Well, anyway, I guess you had to be there.

The only teary-eyed moment was when I came to the box I had been saving since the 1994 earthquake of the sentimental or valuable things that had broken. Even though it was basically a box of shards, I could barely bring myself to describe what was in it much less throw it away. Mom acted properly reverential but, bottom line, it is now gone.

Watch for resolution #4, coming soon...

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Water Water Everywhere

Oh, so scary about the tidal wave in Southeast Asia. When I was in elementary school, the scuttlebutt was that there was going to be a big earthquake and California was going to fall into the ocean. We even had the exact date and we were all going to meet under the pergola, not so we could all drown together but because it was going to save our lives. The pergola was just this covered area in the middle of the playground, it wasn't on a mountain or anything but, oh well, elementary school, Los Angeles, what can I say? But, anyway, I had just decided it was all fantasy and now this...

Then there's one of my very favorite films, The Last Wave. Richard Chamberlain plays this lawyer who gets involved with the Australian aborigines and things turn wacky. He starts having weird dreams and then dreams start merging with reality and there is a lot of water involved even inside his house. And that is bad feng shui because in feng shui water going out means money going out. That is why I have a leaky faucet in my bathroom and now I'm paying big bucks to get my garage fixed. And always keep the toilet seat down because it's prettier but also bad feng shui for the same money reason. Anyway, the water in the movie gets more and more and the dreams become the reality more and more and at the very end the event mentioned in the title happens. But I'm not going to give anything away.

So, let's all call or donate to the Red Cross and see what we can do to help and then meet me under the pergola, okay?

Saturday, December 25, 2004


So I got this new laptop and I'm loving it and I'm feeling soooo technically proficient because I loaded in MicroSoft Office and Quicken all by myself. And not just Quicken but my files from the old computer too. See, technically proficient. That is me.

Except that I went to log on this morning and I got the scariest, scariest message ever. It looked like it was saying my computer was dead, go bury it right now. It also said to turn the computer off and on again but I couldn't. Frozen, frozen, frozen. Everything frozen. So, I called Dell technical support and I got some guy named Arthur in Canada. I guess I had the wrong number because Arthur said that it was against the law for him to help people calling from the United States. Hmmm....did so many Americans move there after the election that they decided to pass a law about not helping us anymore?

I called the "United States" number and got George, who clearly wasn't really a George but whatever the Indian equivalent to George is. He could not say my name right but in training they must have told him that Americans like hearing their names over and over and over because every sentence ended with my wrong name and not every paragraph, every single sentence. He asked me a bazillion questions because he was confused because the name that popped up on the computer was not the same name that he kept calling me and even though I said it was me, he still kept calling me the wrong name.

Then he told me to hold the power button down for five seconds. That turned the computer off. Then he told me to hold the power button down for five seconds again. That turned the computer on. And everything was working just fine. George is a genius. He can say my name any way he wants. I'm going to go load some more songs into itunes now...

Friday, December 24, 2004


What a weird afternoon yesterday. I got home from work and found a huge gash on the pup's left side. We went to the emergency vet where they put three staples in him, gave us some Christmas colored antibiotics and, yeeesh, put one of those cones on him. Before the cone, I told the young guy technician that I was worried the doggy would pull the staples and would it be possible to put a bandage on the wound. The young guy technician said that the problem is that he's a boy and the bandage would have to cover his penis and with "us guys" when you gotta go, you gotta go. Hey, young guy technician, I said "bandage," not "diaper." Makes no sense but whatever.

So, the reason I'm rambling is because when we were at the vet and when we got home the dog was acting fine. And then some time during the evening he started to go a little loopy where he wanted someone near him at all times and then he just sort of fell asleep. None of his energetic energy....it was sad. I was thinking he was either in pain or they gave him some sort of medication when they put the staples in. Or he was just freaked out because he had these staples in his side, I would be. And, also, they shaved him so maybe he itches or misses that patch of hair or something.

At midnight, he stood right up on the bed and just hovered at the edge. Then he was walking in circles on the bed. Then he jumped off the bed and walked in circles around the house. And then I knew it was going to be a long night. But I learned some stuff because BBC Radio was on:

  • It isn't necessarily that anti-depressants work. In some study they found that sometimes it is merely the act of caring by the doctor writing the prescription (because the doctor is clearly demonstrating he/she cares during the prescription writing process.)
  • The Grinch tried to steal Christmas but it didn't work out for him.
  • Tony Blair rocks because he's going to put together some meeting about the Middle East. Go Tony!

Okay, so it's morning now and the dog ate his breakfast and tried to take the staples out so things are a little normal again. But not really because he just sat down in front of my book shelf and was gazing up lovingly at a picture of John Kerry and John Edwards. Sorry, dude, I hate to tell you, that is alllll over. And now as I'm writing this he is leaning against my leg and now he just put his head in my lap and looked in my eyes and what is he trying to say? Is he in pain? Is he just trying to make nice so I won't yell at him when he next tries to pull the staples? Me need a dog psychic pronto...Or a doctor to pretend they like me by writing an anti-depressant prescription. Either one will work.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Not Resolution

Well, resolution #3 was going to be all about how Robert Novak should go to jail or at least be hung for "outing" Valerie Plame as a CIA operative. But then I started doing all this research and I found a Slate article that spoke to me and said "Robert Novak is but a piece of the puzzle. You must look at the big picture." And then I realized I was spending way too much time thinking about Robert Novak and I really, really don't like him so just forget about it. Although, many years ago I had a terrible boss and there were three of us working for her and we would each get up every morning and look in the mirror and say three times "God Bless (her name) but please send her far away from us." And it worked because it's now ten years later and none of us work for her! So, let's all do it, let's send Robert Novak away. We can even forget the God Bless part. I was a lot nicer back then because, as we all know, now I'm just cranky (I really need to get that evening primrose or evening nightshade, right NOW....)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Why I'm Cranky

I went to google and did a search on "sugar is evil" and here is what I found (oh, warning, there are some four letter words at the beginning.) I think it's everything you need to know (well, also, why do people insist on baking and sending baskets and blah, blah, blah at the holiday times when they know everyone else is doing the same thing and plus there isn't a person on earth who isn't on a diet?????) . Oh, warning, I'm REALLY cranky. And while I'm at it...let's modify resolution number two - legalize medical marijuana, criminalize sugar, sugar (hey, remember that song by the Archies? - "you are my candy girl and you got me wanting you.") And, also, I once told my doctor that eating too much sugar gives me a fever and he said "I've never heard that before and I'm a fever specialist." But, just read that link, it's true, it's true.

Revolution Part 2 (whoops, sorry, that's RESOLUTION)

I promised there would be more.....#2:

  • Legalize Medical Marijuana. I would like this to really say legalize ALL marijuana but you gotta be practical. And this actually wouldn't be SO high up on the list but listening to the stories of the women in the Supreme Court Case broke my heart. One of the women says that if she doesn't smoke marijuana, she can not eat. If she can not eat, she will die. Simple. This is not for kicks. Plus it turns out that what we're really talking about is interstate commerce. Huh? The bottom line is this...I do not like hypocrisy. So it has to go one way or the other - legalize marijuana (for medicinal purposes if nothing else) or criminalize tobacco and alcohol (I would really miss my wine but principle is principle). I'm not even going to go into any more detail. It's that clear. And we're all that smart.

P.S. I am getting to be quite the little expert with these links....

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

It's Been a Weird Day

Not for me. I just woke up. That's actually a quote I heard when the alarm went off. It was some official in an NPR interview talking about how Celebrex has gone from being a pain killer to being, well, just a killer. But the one I'm all upset about is my very favorite over-the-counter drug, Aleve. It is just the best for lower back pain. Plus, the time I was walking the dog and I fell for no reason and it turns out I fractured my foot but the doctor thought it was just swollen and she prescribed naproxen and it was just the best for that too. Oh and yeah, ouch! (By the way, the dog was a mere pup at the time and he did not run off all Lassie-like to get help. No, he just stood over me barking like "hey, crazy lady, stop fooling around and continue on this walk of fun." Oh, and the same dog decided this morning at 4 am that he needed to throw up. So the house is totally hardwood floors except for one area rug. One. Area rug. And I'll bet you've guessed where he threw up....he's so cute.)

Okay, I got some recall notice on my car so I gotta go to the vet, I mean, mechanic now.

New Year's Resolutions

I know it's still a little early to come out with New Year's Resolutions but I developed these a couple of weeks ago (they might be more accurately called "Goals for 2005") and I've found just throwing them out to the universe has already effected change.

Here's to start:

  • Fire Donald Rumsfeld: Right after I began talking about this John McCain, Trent Lott, and a bunch of others started dissing him. Coincidence? I think not. By the way, I actually called the White House on this very subject some time ago (really, really, I'm not making it up, the number is even programmed into my cell phone. Come on over and check.) So well, anyway, I told the operator that I thought Donald Rumsfeld should be fired. She asked if there was anything else I wanted the President to know and I said that if the President was really interested in what we, the people, think he should get us a toll free number to call. Listen to me, W, not everyone has free long distance minutes. Comprende? But back to Mr. Rumsfeld - mark my words, read my lips, whatever - he be gone after the Iraqi elections.

I'm going to get someone to help me figure out how to put in fancy links and stuff so you will not have to just take my word on it. There will be proof, babies. Oh, and I'll be back with the rest of those goals/resolutions soon too.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Evening Primrose Oil

But does it help the crazy part?????

The Teenage Kind

Okay, I wasn't going to get into it but something happened the other day that I have to share.

I had dinner at Dennys with some friends, four of whom were little kids. To protect the kiddies, I will change all names so let's call one of the little girls Emma. Emma is 10 years old and has a friend named Alex. I have been hearing about him since they were in kindergarten together. Alex was adopted from Russia and he used to like to dress like a girl. I saw Alex at a couple of their school's talent shows. In one of them, he did indeed dress like a girl (and a fine one at that) but, most recently, he was in male attire, and kind of the spirit over the whole show.

So, Alex' name comes up at dinner at Dennys and Emma's younger sister calls him a "he-she" and then she says he's gay. Then she says he's Emma's boyfriend. And the mom says she doesn't think he's gay because he's just like a guy she used to work with who was married and had children. I wasn't sure if she meant the cross dressing or what? and I was going to go through the list of gay people I know who are or were married and have or don't have children but no point in that, right? And sooooo not the point of this story either.

So, then, Emma tells me she has a secret that she'll whisper to me in the parking lot. I expect that it's going to be that Alex is her boyfriend, or he's a hermaphrodite or something but, no....apparently, Alex has a 14 year old girlfriend who is pregnant with twins from a previous boyfriend. But one of the twins has died.

"Wait a minute," I ask, so confused. "Where is the baby?"

"In her tummy," Emma says. "One dead baby and one alive baby."

People, people, just please tell me, where HAVE all the flowers gone?

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Even Brooke Shields has 'em

You read about these women who kill their babies and you can't understand what kind of monster would do that. But then you have a baby, or you get to a certain age, or you're any age and your PMS is just out of control. And you realize there's not much you can do about it. Brooke Shields just wrote a book. It's big. Really. The only people who could possibly believe this is psychological are men. That's it.

So, Julie and I talk about the alternatives. There are three: my doctor suggests birth control pills, Stephanie says anti-depressants, and I say herbs. Julie adds acupuncture. And then I think of something else which I forget (a symptom...) No to birth control pills and herbs - too dangerous. When we started fearing herbs, I don't know..... No to acupuncture because of the scary needles. That leaves anti-depressants or the thing I can't remember.

Anyway, I'm reading a biography about Winston Churchill (a depressive who accomplished many great things) by William Manchester. There is a line that says "the depressive knows what Dante knew: that hell is an endless, hopeless, conversation with oneself." Aha!

Future posts may be more cheerful. The hormones only rage for five or so days a month. And there will be little reference to Winston Churchill, I think. But I'll leave you with a tidbit. His father died of syphilis and his mother had, according to one biographer, over 200 lovers (but this is unverifiable). Those Victorians sure knew how to party.

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