(not the teenage kind)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Shout Out To Burbank CA

I saw Al Gore's movie yesterday, "An Incovenient Truth." I knew he was smart but did you know he is funny? And a great teacher. He brings out all the charts and graphs and statistics and cartoons and goes about proving that global warming is a problem. A really big problem.

The reason for the title of this blog entry is that he talks about the Kyoto Treaty and that the United States and Australia are the only industrialized nations that have refused to sign it. Just a little background from the BBC website:
What is the Kyoto treaty?
The Kyoto Treaty commits industrialised nations to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, principally Carbon Dioxide, by around 5.2% below their 1990 levels over the next decade.

Drawn up in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, the agreement needs to be ratified by countries who were responsible for at least 55% of the world's carbon emissions in 1990 to come into force.

The agreement was dealt a severe blow in March 2001 when President George W Bush announced that the United States would never sign it.
Al Gore talked about how the states and cities of our country have found it necessary to adopt the Kyoto Protocol all on their own. And when the names of the cities were flashing I was excited to see Burbank, California right over Al's left, no right, shoulder. I later looked up the list of cities and it looks like pretty much all the cities in California and the state as a whole has signed up. Go, us!

It is all very confusing because we are thrown so much misinformation from the media. The key is to read the scientific journals. The morning I saw the movie there was an article in the L.A. Times about a climatologist. An old school climatologist - he predicts the number of hurricanes there will be in a year by studying history but he used charts and graphs and does not run anything on the computer. He says that there is no global warming. It is all cyclical.

But Al Gore is awesome with the technology. In fact, he does not seem to go anywhere without his Apple computer. And he is able to go way, way, way back in time and show the cycles that....really aren't very cyclical.

But don't take my word for it. Go see the movie. And visit the website www.climatecrisis.net. I heard that George Bush has said he will not go see Al Gore's movie. And that's the difference between Al Gore and George Bush. Al Gore would totally go see George Bush's movie because Al Gore is all about getting the information. And, finally, this is hopeful.

Monday, May 29, 2006

In Memory

I spent part of Memorial Day afternoon cleaning out one of my desk drawers. I found two letters written by my Grandfather. One of them he wrote just before he died in 1988. It is written to Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis:
My Dear Governor:
I am a retired Regular Army officer (85 years old) with a long service of over 26 years. I was a fomer Pentagon Branch Chief (1947-51) under Mr. Forrestall, the first Secretary of Defense, and I have been a Pentagon "watcher" since I left there. I think that Weinberger was a "disaster" as far as the military is concerned. I believe that you should confront Vice President Bush on a number of issues, including the MX and B-1 bombers, tax cuts for the wealthy and the situation in El Salvador.

I believe you must ask Mr. Bush whom he is trying to kid about the MX and B-1 (Don't kid the troops) because:
1. The MX is absolutely worthless without the guidance system and they have ben working on that unsuccessfully since 1975. Does the Vice President want to continue spending billions more on the MX which is worthless? Someone in the pentagon is worried about the continuous billing and sent the FBI to look. Mr. T.V. Jones, the president of Northrup, was more concerned with profits for the shareholders. The president, I read, is no longer with Northrup and its Board has held him responsbile for all the foul charges in connection with the MX.
2. The B-1 was not wanted by the Air Force in the first place. The Air Force still does not want it - it was never properly tested and cannot do what its proponents expected it to do. Does Mr. Bush want to force the Air Force to use the B-1 with all its faults?

President Reagan and Vice President Bush have been bragging about lowering taxes for everyone. I see both of them are saying nothing about the original 28% gift the wealthy received right away (in 1981) when the tax rate for the wealthy was reduced from 70% to 50% Sure the little guy got a 23% reduction, but the wealthy got a 51% cut or 28% more than the rest of us. Is Mr. Bush trying to get another break for the wealthy by lowering the capital gains tax?

I see Mr. Bush is claiming credit for his "success" in El Salvador. What success? It's worse there than is has been in the recent past, especially with its President dying of cancer.

I wish you the best - and success in the Presidency - on November 8.

Yours Truly,
M.N. Cizon
Colonel USA Retired
The second letter was postmarked February 22, 1944. It is written to his nephew and the envelope is stamped in red "opened by U.S. Censor."
My dear nephew:
Your father said that you wanted a picture and, as I have little I can say otherwise I am taking him up and sending you not only MY picture but prints of the whole family. You may as well get acquainted, for if you think you know me, you MUST know my whole family - for we are a closely knit corporation even at this distance.

In answer to your father's further query as to whether I remember you, the answer is a definite YES and I sincerely hope that the next meeting will reduce the emphasis, if you know what I mean- I speak, of course, MAN TO MAN.

Your uncle,

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Weekend With A Side Of Flag Etiquette

I have a confession to make. And I think this will come as a surprise to many people who know me. Maybe it comes from my close relationship with my grandfather who was an Army Colonel or maybe it comes from being part of so many Girl Scout flag ceremonies but I have a huge reverence and respect for the United States flag. I loved being in those flag ceremonies and, though I am not sure I know all the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, I know I can still be a caller or color guard or color bearer. In fact, I am almost itching to right now.

And, being that I have this revererence and respect, the misuse or improper etiquette around the United States flag is one of my pet peeve. I am not even going to get started on the flag decals after 9/11. Flag replicas are just not so cool. The flag code says: "The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use." In my book, decals are pretty much things that are discarded after temporary use. I choose to show my patriotism by NOT displaying a replica of the flag.

There are just two basics of flag etiquette that I notice people violating a lot and I think are really important. The first is that a flag should not be allowed to get tattered. Don't put it out in the rain for one. And when the condition gets bad, it should be mended or replaced. It's not just a violation of the rules. It's ugly. The other thing is that there should be a light shining on the flag at all times. The most proper thing to do is to put it out at sunrise and take it down at sunset (unless it is raining...). It is okay to keep the flag up for 24 hours but then please, please, please keep your porch light on.

We have already made our annual trip to the veteran's cemetary. Because we went this year on a Saturday instead of Sunday, the big flag display wasn't up yet so it was a bit of a disappointment for me. But we showed some pictures of Eva and Isaac to my grandparents' gravestones and ran into several other people who have just as much trouble as we do finding their loved ones graves every year.

And speaking of my grandparents and flags. My grandfather was buried with the U.S. flag. This means that there was a flag draped over his coffin which was then folded up and handed to the relatives. The flags are not lowered into the grave. At his funeral, the flag was folded (oh, I used to love folding the flag!) and given to my mother who then gave it to his oldest great-grandson, Sam, who lived in Texas and who was probably ten or so at the time. Sam had cried to his mother when she told him he could not come to the funeral saying "he was my Grandpa too" and she had relented. My mom made a very touching speech when she handed Sam the flag and it seemed like the right thing to do at the time but I really want to call Sam right now and ask for that flag.

One more rule for tomorrow (Memorial Day) - if you put your flag out, it should be flown at half staff until noon.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Stupid Dog Tricks

Here is how exciting my weekends are. I was sitting at home this Saturday evening remembering something I either read, heard on the radio, or totally made up about how, out of any species, dogs are the best at picking up cues from humans. This was discovered by way of an experiment where treats were hidden under a cup and the dogs were able to find the treats by little gestures and such from a human. They did the same experiment with monkeys and found that, as closely related as we are to them, they can not read our hints at all.

I decided to try the experiment on Rudy. I asked him to sit in the bedroom as I went into the kitchen and took out two cups, hiding a treat under one of them. I then called for Rudy to come find the treat and he came bolting towards me. I clearly pointed to the cup with the treat but instead of picking up on my clue he insisted on looking for the treat underneath his bed. I even tried lifting up the cup to show him the treat and it was then I realized that he was scared of the cups. And even with the treat right there in plain view he was not going to come near them because, you know, cups are very, very scary. I mean, really, they were big and plastic and scary.

I have sometmes wondered how much of Rudy's fears come from whatever happened to him before he was rescued and how much I have lovingly bestowed upon him. Although maybe the real take-away from the experiment is that Rudy is more monkey-like than most dogs.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Great Make Up

I was doing work on the computer yesterday morning and started an email conversation with a friend (I don't IM - I still can't figure out the difference between that and just emailing back and forth) about Laura Mercier make-up. In the middle of our make up conversation, she wrote and said "Enron verdict to be announced. Check out Court TV. The anchors have great make up too." They did. After the verdict I got back to my computer to do more work and there was a message waiting that said "guilty. It's about time. Now, on to BUSH." I love working at home.

And I did manage to slip out and go to the Nordstrom and have a complete make up lesson/makeover. While I was sitting there, a woman came in to exchange some make up. She liked an eye shadow color and it happened to be the one that Jessica, the Laura Mercier counter manager, had just put on my eyes. "Okay, honey, close your eyes and let me see," the woman said. I thought she looked familiar when she walked up. But when she spoke to me and the way she spoke to me, I recognized her voice. It was Joanna Cassidy who played Brenda's mother on my all time favorite, (still haven't gotten over it going off the air, still cry when I hear "Breathe Me") "Six Feet Under." She was wearing a white suit. She looked fabulous. She had great make up too.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Scary Popping Plant

Rudy has been acting strange, okay stranger than usual, for the past week or so. I was having trouble getting him to go out in the backyard and he was showing a limited interest in his beloved Frisbee. I thought it was signs of him slowing down and getting old.

Yesterday morning I tried once again to get him out for a mid-morning game of Frisbee. He came outside with me, stayed for a very short time and then stood at the door hoping to get back in. I thought maybe it was because don dokken was right inside the door sitting at the kitchen table so I asked him to come out as well. When he opened the door Rudy ran in and would not come back out.

I was hellbent on him getting some Vitamin D so don dokken actually carried him out into the yard, put him down and then started running dorkily (whoops, I mean hotly) around the yard. Rudy followed him for awhile and then bolted for the door. It was then we realized there was a noise coming from the bushes which we finally identified as this plant:

The plant was popping seeds and I think you almost have to see it and hear it to really understand how truly bizarre it was. I mean, seeds were flying and it sounded like popcorn popping and someone could have lost an eye. That dog is smart. And good with the self preservation.

The gardener happened to come by in the afternoon and I showed him the plant and explained that I needed him to cut the tops off of it. The gardener actually had to sit down on the ground, he was laughing so hard. "The dog? He scared? Of the plant?" By then, the plant had calmed down and was only popping one or two seeds every few minutes - not the fireworks of seeds that apparently happens in the late morning. I tried to explain to the gardener who again started laughing. "He hear? From the house? And he scared?" Well, anyway, he trimmed the plant.

What a relief because not only was I having trouble figuring out where to relocate Rudy's bathroom, I was getting really sad because I thought I had lost my favorite sunbathing buddy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Designated Donor

don dokken, my dad, and I have embarked on a little video project. We are videotaping my dad talking about his life so that his grandchildren, Isaac and Eva, will get to know him. The shooting has been going really well especially because my dad is in charge of craft services and we have had some excellent meals.

Last weekend he was talking about his career in mental health and about the homeless and as I was driving home I remembered a story about Isaac and Eva's mother that maybe should be put on a videotape someday.

When kruthless was in law school she invited me along with her on a trip to Washington D.C. where she was attending a conference. One night, before going out to dinner, she asked me for some change. I presumed she needed it for transportation the next day and gave her all I had which she put in her coat pocket. As we were walking to the restaurant a homeless man came up to us looking for money. She immediately pulled some of the change that I GAVE HER out of her pocket and handed it to him. He was all beaming at her and god blessing her and then looked at me like I was child of Satan when I shook my head and did not give him anything. When we encountered our next homeless person and she pulled out more of MY MONEY I said to him "She's our designated donor."

Her favorite story from that trip is how she got back from her day at the conference and I had already been to the White House, the Supreme Court, Congress, all the memorials, all the museums in the Smithsonian, the FBI, and the Ford Theatre. There was maybe a little side trip to Gettysburg, PA in there as well.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I Am Fickle

I watched American Idol for the first time ever last week. I had to. Katherine McPhee, one of the then three (now two) finalists, is from my city. I recently was in a meeting with the father of one of her best friends. She went the high school a few blocks away. And there are all these yellow "Catch The McPheever" signs around. So I was curious.

You either saw last week's show or totally don't care about last week's show but I am going to recap it anyway. Clive Davis picked each contestant's first song. For Katherine, he picked R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." Blech. I cringed. But she started singing and she has the most amazing voice and she totally made the song her own and by the end I was crying. (This could be a hormonal issue - I also started crying at the end of "Wheel of Fortune" when a college student won $100,000.) Her second song was the judge's pick and Simon Cowell chose "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." And again I cringed. Not that I don't like that song. But it's been so done. And Katherine McPhee sat on the floor with her legs crossed and her amazing voice and, once again, made me cry. There was one more song but, you know, same scenario.

The other two contestants were Elliott and Taylor and they both have good voices but I didn't think their renditions added anything new. When Taylor (who I keep wanting to call Travis) sang "Dancing in the Dark" he mimicked Bruce Springsteen down to a Courtney Cox dance imitation with Paula Abdul. Same deal when he did a very Joe Cockeresque "You Are So Beautiful." We don't need to talk about Elliott. He be gone.

But here's where my fickleness comes in. While Katherine McPhee was actually singing I would think she was the most wonderfully talented and beautiful human being on this earth. And then when she would finish and stand there looking all beaming and fakey, I would think she was the most plastic and boring and overly showy human being on this earth.

There is more news of my fickleness as well. This past week I am just loving Arnold Schwarzeneggar (did I actually spell that right? I have no idea but if I did I think I should get a prize) and the way he has been challenging the President's silly idea about sending the National Guard to the border. You go, Arnold!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

All Roads Lead To Rome

If I were a professional recruiter I think I would have written a hundred books by now. Let me just say that when I was recruiting for my replacement at my former part time job I ran into some characters and situations and some very funny and not at all applicable to the job resumes.
I am now helping a client recruit for an entry level marketing communication position. We have advertised on Craig's List and here is one of the responses we received:

Subject: In regards to the designer position
Hello my name is xxxx and I am an advertising graduate of Art Center College of Design. My background in Graphic Design, which I got the best education- from Type Nazis. Design theory I uphold is "All roads lead to Rome" and I believe in design that always has efficient execution.

I have tried to enclosed my resume and some samples but it seems that Craigslist only allows 150KB. Is there another email that I can send my stuff to?

I personally have made it a policy not to mention Nazis in my initial contact with potential employers but, you know, whatever works.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What Would You Do?

There's a nine year old child living in a group home. She's been in the foster care system since she was a baby. Her mother is 23 and has had six children. Her father is a drug user and a violent person. She should not have been allowed to lanquish in the system without permanency for this long but we are where we are.

There is a woman who is an on-call nurse at the group home. She has taken a liking to this child and is interested in adopting her. She has two teenage children and has been taking this child out twice a week including to church on Sundays. By a very strange coincidence (which turns out to be not as strange once you go back through the layers and years and years), this woman is the cousin of the woman who has adopted two of the child's younger siblings.

All of a sudden paternal grandmother appears. A notice about the child was sent to her father, this woman's son, and she opened it and realized that her granddaughter, who she hasn't seen in four years, could possibly be adopted. She calls the social worker and puts her name in the hat as a possible adoptive mother for the child. She explains her long absence by saying that the child did live with her when she was a little baby but was removed from her home because the baby had diaper rash and she just did not feel like fighting. The grandmother is allowed monitored phone calls with the child and, more recently, monitored visits. It is all going well. Grandma has custody of two of her daughter's children. Her daughter is in jail but scheduled to be released in 2008 at which time grandmother says the children will be returned to her.

A supervising social workers comes forward. He has known this family since the child's mother came into the system eleven years ago. He is the one who initially removed the child from the home when she was a baby. He has great concerns about the grandmother. He says she gets impatient with protocol, is very defensive and protective in regards to her son, and that the last time he saw her house - which four or five years ago - it was a mess. Plus, where has she been really? Plus, he gets a little angry when someone mentions that the daughter's children are going back to the daughter in 2008. "That's not how it works," he said. "This is exactly what I mean. Those children are wards of the court. She doesn't just get decide what will happen to them in 2008."

To be honest, I don't really want Grandmother to be considered. Everyone talks about how people turn their lives around and change and that maybe Grandmother is a different person than she was four or five years ago when this supervising social worker knew her. But here's the thing....she did not do a great job with her own children. And she still has connections with them. And her son, the child's father, is still using drugs and has committed acts of violence in front of his own children. And where has she been all these years while her granddaughter was living in a group home, missing her mother and not having many visitors?

So, it's clear, right? It should be the nurse. But it's not that simple. The court favors families though the Judge on this case has been dealing with this family for a long time so maybe there is a little bias against them, I don't know. No one has talked to the child about adoption and who she would want to live with yet but a lot of children want to be with people who they are related to, even if they barely know them, because that's what's normal, right?

My job is to just present the facts and make a recommendation. The Judge gets to decide.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Why I Won't Be Able To Sleep Tonight

Okay, I'm not going to ruin anything for the water cooler conversation killer Tivo people but I would suggest taking an ativan or two or ten before watching tonight's episode of Grey's Anatomy. It's part one of a two part series and it's the season finale and I wish someone had warned me. I think I would need way more ativan than any doctor would ever prescribe in order to watch part two.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Brave Thing I Did In La Jolla

Yesterday don dokken and I went to Del Mar so I could meet my new accountant. I got to ask her questions like "Since I'm an on-line travel agent, can I deduct every single expense for every single trip I take?" (The answer: "Just enjoy the travel agent discounts and stop trying to press your luck.")

We then went to La Jolla where we ate at a seafood restaurant with an ocean view and afterwards walked along the coast where we saw seals and really skinny squarrels.

On our way to San Diego, don dokken stopped for an appointment with a nutritionist where he was given vitamins and minerals and powders and told to drink 80 million gallons of water before he even got out of bed. We were driving back to his mom's house from La Jolla when he asked where his water bottle was. He was driving and the bottle was tucked in the furthest corner on the seat behind him. He asked me to grab it for him and I said no, he would have to pull over.

A little while later we hit a red light and I decided to seize the opportunity. I threw caution to the wind, unlatched my seat belt and reached over into the back seat to get the water bottle. don dokken, seeing the look of will and determination (combined with a little fear) on my face,started singing the theme to "Mission Impossible." I began laughing so hard that I could not move increasing the high danger of the situation.

Later when don dokken thanked me for getting the bottle I made sure he realized how much was at stake. "You know, that could have ended up tragically. What if we had been rear ended? I WAS NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT."

From now on whenever I hear the theme to "Mission Impossible" I will remember this day and how I risked my life so that don dokken could be properly hydrated.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

At The Internet Cafe

don dokken and I are sitting in an internet cafe in San Diego. We came here because we are staying with his mother who is still on dial-up. I thought I could quickly download some files for work and then we could go back home.

don dokken fired up his Mac and started doing his work. He actually finished his work before my Dell PC starting working to its full potential. Because he was finished working he started trying to show me things like the Apple commercial which shows how much greater the Mac is over the PC. And then he went on ebay to try and find me a new computer. Then he started complaining that the blog hasn't been updated in a while.

"I know you've been up and running for awhile now but I just got my groove going," I said.

But then I went to write this to give him something to do so I can get on with my business.

Monday, May 08, 2006


I am fortunate enough to be attending the annual convention for an organization in my field. I got this opportunity by agreeing to view and critique the software of an exhibitor at the conference. I did that last week and I really liked the product. I booked a hotel for $49 a night (usually $99 but with my on-line travel agent discount...). The hotel advertised that they were four blocks from the convention center, had wireless access, and a Mimi's Cafe across the street. The Mimi's Cafe will be the site of a meeting with a potential client that I was able to arrange last week. It's all good.

Except I checked into the hotel yesterday and went to walk the four blocks to the convention center and they were (in the words of someone I was talking to at the conference) long, f-ing blocks. I would estimate that the walk was well over a mile. When I went to talk to the front desk about shuttles or other forms of transportation, the desk woman looked at me and actually said, "Oh, the conference ended today." What the hell? She then told me some convaluted shuttle route that looked like it was almost as much walking just to get to the shuttle pick-up. Also, the room they gave me? Right off the freeway. I will be checking out today and going to stay with kruthless.

I was nervous going to the conference as I was worried that attending as "guest of exhibitor" would be different than attending for a large corporation. Luckily, almost immediately I ran into a friend from college, Kathy. Kathy and I coincidentally ended up in the same field and every couple of years run into each other at these types of events.

My dad had asked me to grab as many freebie pens as I could from the various exhibitors. Kathy gave me the legitimacy to do so as we would walk by a vendor and she would say "We've spent over 5 million with that one, let's go check out the giveaways." I would also do a swooping maneuver that looked like "Oh, that's a good thought. Let me just grab a pen here and write that down."

There was a bizarre moment when I went to talk to a vendor on behalf of a client and she looked at my name and said "I hope you don't get offended but are you Jewish?" She then went on to explain that she LOVED my name and that she was now using her married name but her maiden name was a very Jewish name that had been changed when her Grandfather or whoever came from the old country and that when she has kids she wants to name them strong biblical names like mine.

Kathy bought me a glass of wine (I guess the days of the no host bar at conferences are gone?), we grabbed some appetizers and went to sit down, passing a table where a woman sat with her baby. "Work life balance?" Kathy said. Just then, a man and woman walked by dressed in shorts. Even if they were at the park, they should not have been wearing shorts. "Boy the professionalism at this conference has sure changed since the days when we started out." I said to Kathy. "I feel old," she said. Then she drove me back to my hotel.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Kurt Vonnegut Update

Just found book #11....

Ten Things About A Stranger At The Hair Salon

I once took a writing class where we did an exercise where we had to write ten things about a person we know, the hope being that the list of ten would synthesis into an interesting short story. The other day I was at the beauty salon and here are ten things about a woman who was having her hair done at the same time. I will point out that we were not there together for very long and we were not sitting very close to each other either.

1. To start with the mundane - Beth is 32 years old. She is old, old, old (according to her.) She has been married for almost ten years. She has three children ages 7, 4, and 15 months.

2. One of the children was born vaginally but the other two were caesarean sections. Those two refused to make the trip through the birth canal. They just did not want to go. I totally respect their choice.

3. The two c-sections upset her greatly. So much so that she wrote a seven page paper about them for a class she was taking. There are women who are actually scheduling c-sections these days. Those women are just stupid. Did you know that they have to make four cuts, including one into the uterus, to perform a c-section?

4. She gave a copy of the paper to her doctor. "I didn't know you felt this way about your c-section," he said to her. Beth does not care that she might have upset her doctor. She feels he needs to know what he has done to probably thousands of women. Four cuts.

5. Beth's husband works at a large car dealership in the North Valley. He is the guy who approves you and the ultimate price you pay for your car. There are only two people in the whole, large car dealership who can do that - Beth's husband and Beth's husband's boss. He is an important man.

6. And successful, too. They live in a big house and people love to come sleep over. People even choose to sleep on the floor at their house. It is that comfortable. And they have just recently done the bathroom. The bathroom is now amazing. People come to sleep on their floor and use their amazing bathroom. Except for Beth's husband. Because of his important, busy job, he is never home. She hardly ever gets to see him. When Beth gets mad at him, she goes by her maiden name.

7. Her husband's mother's name is Shirley which is also the name of the woman doing her hair. What a coincidence! This is Beth's first time having Shirley cut and color her hair. She was referred to Shirley by her friend Mindy. She and Mindy had coffee that very morning at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

8. Beth is Jewish, fairly religious but not completely orthodox. She speaks a little Hebrew and spent some time living in Israel. She does not wear a wig and she does wear pants. Those wigs can sometimes cost as much as $5,000. Or maybe $3,000 or $2,000. Beth thinks that the wigs sometimes make the woman look better than her real hair which defeats the whole purpose of the wig which is to make sure she is only attractive to her husband and not to other men.

9. And since we are at the hair salon, let's talk about Beth's hair. She actually has great hair (another reason why she would not wear a wig). It is thick, shiny, and straight. The color is not so great, a dull kind of brown. She has had it highlighted before but never dyed. Shirley is going to dye and highlight. Beth is also tired of it being one boring length. She has great hair. It needs to be shagged and layered. Here is part of her running monologue with Shirley: "You're going to make me look good, right? I'm going to like it, right? I want it like shagged and layered, okay? But are you going to make it all spikey and crazy? Is my husband going to like it? Is he going to look at me and scream and run out of the house? I want it like shagged and layered, okay? I'm going to like it, right?"

10. Though I found Beth to be loud and annoying, the people at the hair salon found her quite entertaining. They flocked around her. One guy volunteered to help Shirley with the highlights. Beth passed her husband's card around and told them all that he would give them a great deal on their next car.

Friday, May 05, 2006


There are upsides and downsides to working independently. The biggest upside is that I have the flexibility to attend meetings about and visit my CASA kid. I love the group home where she lives because they have regularly scheduled progress meetings with all involved parties. And then they send out reports. It makes my work really easy.

There was a meeting about her this past week. In the meeting they talked about how she went from having no options to now having two people who want to adopt her. One of the people is her paternal grandmother who she will be seeing next week. She has not seen her since she was 1 1/2 years old. While we were talking about this I started thinking that the notion of people popping back into your life sounded familiar and then I remembered that morning I had read my horoscope from Crazy Aunt Purl and she said:
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
This is the month of long-lost-someones popping back into your life just like one of those annoying whack-a-mole games at Chuck E. Cheese (which has great pizza, by the way... mmm. cheese. pepperoni.) You can count on someone from the past popping up in an unexpected form in the next two weeks, and the trip down memory lane won’t end until mid-June. In fact, it may have already begun. I’m fuzzy on the timeline but I can tell you this: it will stir up some weird inner emotional stuff. (I prescribe cake! Stat!) Interestingly enough, the weird emotional stuff won't be all bad. In fact, it may have you looking back over the past little while with new eyes, and seeing all the good, and how far you've come. You may find yourself happily realizing how much you've changed. Come to think of it, I haven't been to Chuck E. Cheese in a while. Maybe we should meet there and you can give me a list of all the positives to have come into your life since you last saw your blast from the past. Or we could just have lunch. Because you know. Lunch!
I further remembered that my CASA kid's birthday is four days after mine and we share the same astrological sign.

The downside to working independently is that they have been repaving the streets in my neighborhood. Every day is a different block and it is a big puzzle figuring out how to get in and out of my little pocket. In fact, one day I got out and could not use the same route to get back in. And, one day, I just gave up and parked my car several blocks away and walked in. People who leave for work in the morning and come back at the end of the day avoid all this. Happily, I think today is the last day.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More Weird Dreams

I am completely off the pain medication but still having the weird dreams. Only now I can remember them more clearly. Last night I dreamt that I drove from my hotel to the conference I am actually attending next week and did not have any clothes on. When I got to the conference site parking lot there were no parking spaces because people were saving them - one person was saving the space by lying on it, a couple of people had put tires in the middle of the spaces. The manager of the conference site came to talk to me (I guess she knew me from the day before?) and told me I could not come in dressed like I was. I looked down and I was wearing pajamas.

I gestured to a pile of clothes next to me and told her that I was going to get dressed in my car if I could only find a parking space. It was then I realized that in the pile of clothes there was no undergarments and no shoes. In my mind, I started trying to figure out how I could go back to my hotel and get the missing items while at the same time try to get one of those parking spaces.
I wish I had one of those dream interpretation books.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Kurt Vonnegut

The pain meds have caused me to have lots of strange dreams most of which I don't really remember. I had one last night about Kurt Vonnegut. I don't remember much of that either except I believe I was arguing with someone about whether he is a good writer or not. I can't even remember which side I took.

I had no idea where that dream came from until I sat down at my desk this morning. When my mom brought me home from the dentist on Friday she stayed awhile and started working on the job she promised to do about hundred years ago when she allegedly retired - sorting out my bookshelves. I am not sure how far she got as I can't figure out her system but just to the left of my desk is a pile of Kurt Vonnegut books. I have nine books by Kurt Vonnegut including two copies of "Jailbird" (one paperback, one hardcover). Who knew I was such a Kurt Vonnegut fan? And I think it's interesting that they didn't actually register in my conscious brain until my subconscious brain (where they apparently did register) called them out.

Whoops, just noticed that mom missed a Kurt Vonnegut. I have ten books by Kurt Vonnegut. How many did he write anyway? I have eleven books by Joan Didion which I wouldn't have been able to tell you before. Thanks Mom!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Post Surgery

I am sorry I have not posted sooner. Everything went fine except that it hurts to eat and I had not counted on that part. I think I thought that because it would hurt to eat that I would not want to eat but the truth is that I was starving hungry the whole weekend. Today I felt good enough to go to Jamba Juice and then later for some chicken noodle soup. So things are looking up. Except I really want a pizza.

My favorite part of the surgery was when my mother and I walked out of the dentist office and she said to me "Oh my God, I feel horrible. I think I'm going to be sick." I had arranged for her to walk a half a mile to the Sav On drugstore to pick up my prescriptions while I was having the surgery. I thought it was perfect because the surgery was at lunch time and there is a Subway sandwich place in the strip mall with the Sav On and I know she likes Subway sandwiches. But it turned out she did not go to the Subway. Instead she bought a package of gummy bears at the Sav On and ate them all.

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