Archive for August, 2011

The Squire and the Marvelous Mike

August 28, 2011

Today, August 28, 2011 is a RED letter day.  Mark it down in your diaries, history annals, love stories of all time, Facebook pages, Tweeter, Twitter, Titters and Titties.  We are being given yet one more chance of doing something right and long-lasting.  An extraordinary human being , Squiggidy the Squire (SS), is taking her marriage vows today.  The other half of the equation, the groom, is Marvelous Mike (MM).  I do not know MM very well.  However knowing what an intelligent, humane, guileless person SS is, I, in a heartbeat, know that MM is right up there with SS in terms being a worthy person.

The first time I met the bride and groom was at my Obama blowout party during the inauguration weekend.  Besides marking a historical occasion that might occur once in a century, this party, and a am totally bragging, was the best party I ever made.  I had only invited those people in my life whom I love and worked their tails off for President Obama’s election.

Anyway, SS and MM had just starting dating.  You know I am a people watcher and despite the magic of any new relationship, I saw that this match was going to be forever.  I have never seen anyone look so adoring at his significant other than MM did with SS.  It was sight to behold and treasure.   MM was always there right next to SS, a physical closeness.  But it wasn’t that type of attention where you want to scream, “Get a room!”.  It was unadulterated appreciation of having the honor in being in the presence of SS, who clearly deserved all the love and admiration that a decent, just, principled, totally altruistic person deserves.  SS does not embody one iota of nastiness, meanness, deceit or cunning.

Having had no intention whatsoever of getting on my soapbox for this post, some things just cannot be avoided.  My self-control is greatly lacking.  I apologize.  You all know that there is so much insanity, corruption and selfishness in this world, from global and national governments, to greed as one’s ultimate life accomplishment, to corporate, religious fraud and crime, theft and a blatant void of morality, personal honor and justice.  The only remedy is to bring babies into this world and from Day One, no matter how tedious, physically exhausting and constantly demanding it is to raise a child with values and standards, it must be done., and it must be done  constantly and repetitively.  Our children are the most basic building block to a decent life on this planet.  In fact, the proper rearing of children is the only hope for the continuance of our world.  Period.  Okay: off of my soapbox.

With every ounce of love and admiration I have in me for these two special people getting married today, they elate me even further because I am positive that they will raise new human beings to be on the side of angels and give us the opportunity to create the kind of world we all deserve.

To SS and MM, have a blast today and always take care of each other and your offspring because the world depends on that more than you can envision.  Much joy on this momentous day.

Friday Funnies

August 26, 2011

It’s Friday.  Same old, same old, is going on in the world, so how about some funnies?


Can Cold Water Clean Dishes? This is for all the germ conscious folks
that worry about using cold water to clean.

John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Saskatchewan.

 After spending a great evening chatting the night away, the next morning John’s grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.

However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking,

‘Are these plates clean?’

His grandfather replied,

“They’re as clean as cold water can get em.
Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!”

For lunch the old man-made hamburgers.

Again, John was concerned about the plates,
as his appeared to have tiny specks around
the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, 

“Are you sure these plates are clean?”

Without looking up the old man said,

“I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don’t you fret, I don’t want to hear another word about it!”

Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather’s dog  started to growl, and wouldn’t let him pass.

  John yelled and said, “Grandfather, your dog won’t let me get to my car.”
Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted:

“Coldwater, go lay down now, yah hear me!”

It is my honor to introduce you to Coldwater:


A woman who had been married three times walked into a bridal shop
one day.  She told the sales clerk that she was looking for a wedding gown
for her fourth wedding.

“Of course, madam,” replied the sales clerk, “exactly what type and color
dress are you looking for?”

The bride to be said, “A long frilly white dress with a veil.”  The sales
clerk hesitated a bit, then said, “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but
gowns of that nature are considered more appropriate for brides who are
being married the first time, for those who are a bit more innocent, if you know
what I mean?”

“Perhaps ivory or sky blue would be nice.”

“Well,” replied the customer, a little peeved at the clerk’s directness, “I
can assure you that a white gown would be quite appropriate.”  “Believe it
or not, despite all my marriages, I remain as innocent as a first-time
bride.”  “You see, my first husband was so excited about our wedding, that
he died as we were checking into our hotel.”  “My second husband and I got
into such a terrible fight in the limo on our way to our honeymoon that we
had the marriage annulled immediately and never saw each other again.”

“What about your third husband?” asked the sales clerk.

“That one was a Republican,” said the women, “and every night for four years,
he just sat on the edge of the bed and told me how good it was going to be,
but nothing ever happened!”


Have a wonderful weekend and stay in touch.

The Errant Meteor Theory

August 24, 2011

Over the last two years or so, I have become all too aware of the existence of criminal, immoral, corrupt, downright disgusting actions  in our highest to our lowest offices of government, corporations, non-profit operations, organized religious institutions (from the smallest, down home local place of prayer to the highest echelons of the mainstream Catholic church) that I find myself, even with some fight left in me just because of the fiery nature of my personality, unable to stop or counterbalance insanity, truthfully that I can do nothing to stop this insanity.  For the last six months, I have been planning a long, pedantic post on the overwhelming greed and corruption made worse by totally random events, but it hasn’t yet come to fruition.

You have noticed that during the last month, my postings have been few and totally off-subject of politics and all the other current hot-button issues of which I typically write.  Because of a mind-blowing, major life-altering personal event, all this other bullshit became even less worthy of the investment of my effort and time.

So that blog is not going to happen.  But I had to give this bit of information, the back story, so you will understand my “Errant Meteor Theory.”  In a nutshell, this theory is simply that “shit happens.”  Even if good things happen, with the world, its governments, private and public corporate entities, any and all events and people, there is always the chance that something or other, totally unexpected, will occur to turn the world upside down.  Some examples of this in recent years have been the terrorist attack on 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown in Japan.  Other events that could set the world reeling would be an assassination of a powerful, actually moral political leader, an environmental calamity such as the Gulf oil spill or a bio-terrorist event.  These possible actions are what I call the errant meteor theory, i.e. that at any time, any place, some rogue meteor could hit our earth and we would all be gone in the blink of an eye.  Kind of like the theory of a meteor hit that wiped out the dinosaurs and generally, the world.

So yesterday, after a momentous month in my own life, we had an earthquake measuring 5.9.  Thank heavens I was on the phone with my rational, calm and smart daughter Maribel.  All of a sudden I felt and saw the house moving.  I experienced two other quakes over the last twenty years here in Virgina.  Both were about 3.2 in magnitude and the motion was an even rumbling, like there were heavy construction vehicles just outside of my house.  It was not frightening at all.  But yesterday, I was petrified.  The action was sudden, but the motion was jagged and violent.  Granted, the strength of the tremor yesterday was of a much stronger magnitude than the other two I had felt.  But yesterday’s movement was totally different from the prior quakes.  I heard glass breaking and I thought because of the fierce movement, that my windows and skylights were crashing in on me.  I grabbed the dog and knew I had to get to my safe place —- the basement bathroom, the only interior room on the lowest level.  However, one wall of the bathroom is covered entirely with huge sheets of mirror.  Thank the heavens once again, we had a large closet within that bathroom.  So I dragged myself and the dog into that closet.  My years planning for a disaster like this actually paid off because I had thought it through years ago and there was no hesitation of where I needed to be.  I sat there, with the dog and Maribel staying on the line with me.  Maribel was trying to find some news of what had actually occurred.  Finally, she said, “Mom, the D.C. area just had a 5.9 earthquake.”  Realizing that my absolute terror and hysterical screaming  was actually due to a real event and not just my over-reactive personality or even some hallucination, I was relieved.

Maribel stayed on the phone with me as I inspected every single room and mechanical equipment in the house.  The breakage noises I had heard were not windows crashing in; they were from some chachkas that had fallen to the floor.  You wanna talk about sheer luck?  I did have minor breakage of decorative items, but not one of them was of any financial or sentimental value.  And I have to admit, even if I had damage to some really valuable breakables, I couldn’t have cared less.  Any other damage  involved clean-up, i.e. the cement/grout of the fireplace in the family room looked like a hail storm and a little plant fell to the floor and spread the dirt all around.  A few books and other chachkas fell.  While many wall hangings, art work, etc. were at a 180 degree angle to their original positions, none of them fell to the ground.

The only thing left to be of immediate concern was any damage to the 500 gallon propane tank and its lines buried in our backyard.  I had no intention of calling my husband about the quake; I knew he was safe where he was.  Nevertheless, my stubborn-as-a-mule daughter would not get off the damn phone unless I took a sworn oath to call him immediately about any possible danger with the propane tank and lines.  So I made that vow to her and kept that promise.

I know I tend to overreact and exaggerate.  However, the sheer terror that I experienced yesterday cannot be underestimated.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to live through an earthquake of magnitude 8 or 9.

The events in my own life these past four weeks could never have been imagined.  Then, adding to the mixture of the unexpected, yesterday’s  quake made the situation even more surreal.  For the two hours following the quake, I just laughed and laughed.  But then, I became exhausted, kind of like being in a car accident:  finding immediately that no one was hurt, the literal shaking and fear settling in two hours after the fact, a delayed reaction.

One reason I am going into great detail about yesterday’s events is that my precious family and friends are emailing and phoning me with genuine concern.  I am diligent about responding to emails.  Nevertheless, at this time, I cannot keep up with all of the questions about my well-being.  So in effect, I am using this post to make all the details available to them.  I hate the depersonalization of “mass mailings”, and I apologize for getting back to each and every one of them in this way.  It is just physically impossible for me to get to all of them individually.

Of course, the other reason for this post is that, with what little interest I have left in the absolute power of evil people and institutions in this world, there is still a small need in me to get on my soapbox.  I wanted to inform you of my errant meteor theory, despite not presenting it in real term paper form that I had originally intended.

So I had my errant meteor theory experience yesterday.  I wonder what Sunday will be like: we are expecting Hurricane Irene.


Listening to the local news last night, a reporter was interviewing people on the street, trying to present the local response to the earthquake.  Culpeper, Virginia had the most damage, situated only 36 miles from the quake’s epicenter.  The reporter approached two female high schoolers and asked them what the experience was like for them.  One young lady responded, “Everything was shooking.  I was shooking.”  All I could think of was that this young woman must stay in school.


A Magnetic Attraction for Quirkiness

August 23, 2011

In my post from April 3, 2011, “The Latest, the Greatest, It’s the Library”, one of the topics on which I touch is the quirky library regulars who, without failure, have the weirdest personal idiosyncracies.  I find it equally weird that I seem to be a magnet for attracting these characters.  My son Chuck and I giggle constantly about this state of affairs.

The other day, Chuck had to run me over to my doctor’s office.  In the waiting room, there was an elderly man asleep, clearly waiting for his wife to finish up her appointment.  We sat down, relaxed for a while, when all of a sudden this man lets out the loudest, ugliest snore you ever heard.  Chuck and I just looked at each other and promptly left the waiting room to go into the hall.  Once we were out of hearing distance, we absolutely lost it — on the floor hysterically laughing.   I said to Chuck that I bet he thought I was making up all of those stories about the characters I have observed regularly at the library.  I said, “What is it about me that I attract these people so frequently?”  We calmed ourselves down and went back into the waiting room, where the same process was repeated  two more times.  We managed to keep ourselves under control.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

August 20, 2011

See if you can figure out who owns this building and the significance of the landscape design.

It is Viagra‘s Head Office in Toronto ( Canada )

The Psychiatrist of Chris Wood Court

August 15, 2011

Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to Bob, the psychiatrist of Chris Wood Court.  Bob has cared for my property, the lawn, the trees, the bushes, those endless weeds, ever since the day we moved in almost 25 years ago.  He has given me a haven that can never be replicated.  There are six houses on the block and they are all under his wonderful care.  More importantly, Bob is one of those rare human beings that personify humanity, wisdom and decency.

Over the years, he and I have had so many conversations about life.  Our children are the same age and they all turned out so beautifully:  academically, productively and kindly.  This is not just due to fate or luck.  Rather, it resulted from relentless attention of the parents to constantly guide the kids to stay on the right path.  It is incredibly time-consuming.  Throughout his work for hundreds of families in the area, he has seen such problems and tragedies develop within families because of benign neglect in child rearing, parental enabling of unacceptable, even illegal actions and an absence of responsibility, almost as if after having these kids, nature would just take its course.  Doesn’t work that way.

One specific lesson he always taught his daughter was that he, his wife and all his familial generations that came before, worked damn hard to establish and maintain a sense of moral value and a reputable place in the community at large.  I am not talking of merely material benefits or career successes.  Much more important are the standards of honesty to yourself, decency to your fellow-man and a commitment to your community.  Parents must expect, with no leeway, the same respect from their children as they do from other people and society.  Bob and his wife have not toiled so long and hard over decades only to see their accomplishments flushed down the toilet by some irresponsible, fun-loving teenage prank or immediate gratification derived from a moment’s whim.  Thus, I in turn, communicated that lesson to my children.  No child should even contemplate any action that would impinge or destroy all that his parents have built over a lifetime.

Our world can be a vibrant, fun-loving, exciting place.  It can also be a cruel and destructive hell.  What we teach our children, not just from time to time, but incessantly, by our words and our examples, will determine what their world will be for them.  In the end, it is the ultimate purpose for living.

Bob is a gift to his family, his friends and the world which he inhabits.  We could do a lot worse than have a sit-down with this  man who has gotten it absolutely correct. I have been fortunate to have had his wisdom available to me for over twenty years.  My psychiatrist of Chris Wood Court is a Solomon of the street, our local enclave and a much larger sphere of influence than you could imagine.

In the very beginning of this website, I used Gloria Estefan’s song “Turn the Beat Around”, to set forth the purpose writing down my thoughts on life.  What held true almost three years ago, is even truer today.  We can change our world, but the most basic building block will be what we teach our children every day.  Love and adore your offspring, but accompany that with what you really owe them: what is right, what is wrong, praise when they act appropriately and a talking down to when they do not toe the line.  Once again, here’s Gloria, presenting us with a wonderful symmetry to my three years of observations: