Monday, October 29, 2012


I LOVE HALLOWEEN!  The older I get the more I love it.

I think the Mother Nature may "out scare" us all this year.  Unless you live in Outer Mongolia or under a rock, I assume you've seen the forecast.  YIKES!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like.....

Dear Santa,

For Christmas, I would like one of EVERYTHING in the Sundance Catalog please (especially this jacket).

I HAVE been a very, very, very, good girl.


Sundance Catalog of Amazingness


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Better Homes and...

One of my bestest friends is an interior designer.  (I think I got that right, I know "decorator" is incorrect)  HER home is LOVELY.  When we convene for dinner, we always do it there because she has one of those big houses on the hill, with the marble counter tops and the upholstered furniture and all the fancy stuff.

I would love to live in one of those houses, but I'm incapable of actually making that happen (for myriad reasons, which, if you've been paying attention to my ramblings over the years, you are probably able to piece together).  In any event, I think, if asked, I'd have to say that the style of my humble abode is, perhaps, Early American Kennel Club.

They're not dogs....they're just throw pillows (that shed).

Two discoveries

I was not going to read this book (though I don't remember, now, why not), but somehow the 5 hour flight delay in the Ottawa Airport (which is not much bigger, nor has any more to offer than, say, your thumb) convinced me otherwise.

Only having heard that "this is NOT like Harry Potter" and "this is NOT a children's book" I ventured forth unbiased and with little expectation.

Not a children's book indeed!  I'm sure there are scads of children out there who managed to procure this book without their parents' knowledge and are now left silently grappling with issues about which they, heretofore, were blissfully ignorant.
Child abuse, drug addiction, corruption, avarice, bullying, alcoholism, rape, did I mention child abuse, um....oh yes, and sex.  Lots of it.  Apparently, when asked if she realized that her book had been outsold by Fifty Shades of Grey, J.K. Rowling replied "Well.....there's sex in my book, too.  Lots of it.  Only no one really enjoys it."

The Casual Vacancy has many of the same fantastic elements as her previous series.  She is a Master (Mistress?) at character and plot development.  In my mind, she simply took a step to the left from her Harry characters, and focused her sharp attention on the "muggle" side of the street instead, but with all the same care and devotion.

A quarter of the way in I got frustrated because I couldn't keep all the characters straight and found the politics a bit tedious.  Half way through, however, I was hooked.  The story pokes, ambles, and then lopes along until suddenly you can't catch your breath as it climbs to its horrible and fantastic finish.  I loved it.

The second discovery is that thanks to the ipad, and it's clever ability to increase the type size to oh.... 72 that I can read without glasses, I can now read AND run on the treadmill.  This is a wonderful discovery as reading and running happen to be two of my favorite things.  (Chocolate in my peanut butter!  YUM!)  Because I get so lost in the reading, the fact that I've just run several more miles comes as a fantastic surprise! A delightful win-win!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Greetings from the lovely city of Ottawa!  More on these crazy Canadians later.  I LOVE traveling.  Having a whole evening or series thereof to myself in some shmancy hotel room is one of the best things ever.  I conducted a little business, did a little shopping, sightseeing, went for a run and am currently catching up on t.v.

Have discovered a little gem I couldn't wait to share. Not sure where it came out....HBO maybe?  But it is called The Big C, starring Laura Linney, and a host of other fun folks and I haven't related to ANYTHING on either the large or small screens like this in years.  Netflix. Run. Do not walk.  Funny stuff. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Teenage Economics 101

My two teenagers are polar opposites when it comes to their spending habits.

One will tell you they need lunch money, will pocket $3.00 of the $5.00 you gave them, and save it, and will then buy something in bulk with the remaining $2.00 which they will then spread out over the next two lunches.  This child is sitting on an impressive four figure piggy bank balance currently.

The second child will tell you they need $5.00 for lunch money, will repay $2.00 to the friend they borrowed from the day before, and will then spend $5.00 on lunch after they've managed to borrow another $2.00 from a different friend.  This child has dust in their piggy bank.

You can guess which child was the subject in this conversation that took place after play practice last night:

Him:  I'm STARVING, I couldn't buy dinner tonight because I don't have ANY money at ALL.

Me:  That's too bad.  I thought you had some cash?

Him:  Nope, nothing.

Me:  But we gave you a bunch of cash just the other day....

Him:  I already spent that!

Me:  Well, maybe when you have a surplus like that, you should plan ahead and think about saving it for later.

Him:  Yeah, well, later came a long time ago.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


My love for Paris is well documented in my blog.  I lived there, blah blah blah.....

I just returned home from a super fun week there with my mother, my sister and my daughter.  We are now,  collectively, sitting on more photos than we even know what to do with, so I know it will be a while before I get any uploaded anywhere.

Here is one to hold you over until we can get our acts together however.

My daughter, a fairly serious photographer (she is both serious, and serious about photography), agonized over which cameras to take on this trip and ultimately took three, including this small format camera which drew a lot of attention whenever she used it.  I suspect we will end up with a lot of shots of us photographing each other taking photographs. 

HH Dalai Lama

His Holiness was here last week for several private and one big public event.  I love him.  More than just being the leader of a major world faith, he's also got this super "awwww shucks, guy next door, relatable quality" that I find very endearing.

The two events were recorded and can be accessed here:

There was some discussion (with inconclusive can draw your own if you so choose) regarding his use of the F-word in the middle of the first talk.  He tells a funny story (not here, I don't believe) about his friend, the Bishop Desmond Tutu, who admonishes him repeatedly for not remembering that his is supposed to behave like a holy man.  And you can see why, because he has this kid-like mischeviousness that is not terribly world-leader-like.

The interpreter to the Dalai Lama is also a fascinating character.  Thupten Jinpa has been at his side for years, is a former monk and Buddhist scholar, well known in his own right, and this interview with him was fascinating:

What an amazing experience that must be.

So, we've had a lot of chat, around the dinner table about His Holiness lately. There is a part in his talk where he goes through the routine of his day.  He arises around 3 a.m. to meditate (on his life AND his death) for several hours.  Then he eats, does some work, has lunch, meetings, etc. and then he goes to bed at 7 p.m. (without dinner, because apparently Buddhist monks don't eat dinner) and then he sleeps "really, really well."  With the possible exception of when he is on the road (and he tells this funny story as well) about lying in bed in a hotel room somewhere, next to a night club and hearing "boom boom boom all night."  Hilarious.  It's good to know that this happens to everyone.  Even the Dalai Lama!

Last night my son said to me (as we roasted marshmallows on our deck in the crispy fall evening air) "Why can't we have a reality show about the Dalai Lama?  I'd watch that guy eat cereal!" 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Currently paralyzed the amount of things on my to-do list so I thought I would write a blog post (as a coping mechanism...natch!)

So, do you know this guy?

Probably not, unless you happen to specialize in under-the-radar-blues-guitarists.

He looks a little derpy in that picture with his whole "grad school meets longshoreman" get up.  (Which is SO unnecesary, as he's actually super cute  - though appears in need of a steak dinner - and he has fabulous hair hiding under that hat.)

Anyhoo.  I anticipate, in a few years, I will be able to say I knew him when.

His name is Eli Cook, and he's only about as old as he looks (still finishing college apparently), but he's a VERY talented musician and I anticipate big things in his future (potentially nutrition dependant though).

In all fairness, I'm not a huge fan of the blues.  I'm good for about three songs usually and then I wander off in search of alternative entertainment.

That being said, I LOVE this guy's voice, especially the way it is so completely NOT what you expect to come out of his skinny little kid body.

Check him out:

I have all his CDs, but the most recent one is the bestest!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Age Rage

I am 47.  I will be 48 this spring.  I'm happy to be 47.  I feel good.  There are a few minor complaints on the list, such as "can't read shit without my glasses" and "bikini days are probably over" but for the most part, as I told my OB at my annual visit this week I really feel like I'm in a pretty sweet spot in life.

It was quite a sucker punch, then, to hear her respond "enjoy it.....because the changes that happen between 50 and 60 suck."

I love her, but WHAT THE HELL? 

As the diligent daughter of a devout Christian Scientist my inner dialogue began immediately....."I will not accept that for myself, I will not accept that for myself, I will not...."

The realist in me, however,  (the one who gave up any hope of becoming a practicing Christian Scientist years ago) began to wrap my mind around that.

If that's true....or even partially true....and judging by the many friends with significant health challenges who surround me it certainly might be, I think it is time to get a little more diligent about sit ups, flossing and those 7 (yes!  5 doesn't cut it any more apparently) servings of veggies a day.

Food for thought.  Literally.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My daughter has her driver's license

It's official.  She passed the test, and she is now out there, driving my car, ALL BY HERSELF.

(insert moment of silence)

It is very disconcerting to come home and realize that she is gone, off somewhere, in the car.

I'm walking a fine line between being trusting and supportive and being a COMPLETE TOTAL FREAK SHOW.

I'm not sure how long I can get away with making her call me when she begins the drive and when she arrives at her destination.  It would probably make more sense to just enable the GPS locator on her phone, actually, because it's not that I care where she is.  I really, truly do not.  It's just that if I cannot find her, or she somehow disappears between the beginning and the end of a drive I would have some sort of starting point for issuing the APB.

I think she's probably an OK driver.  I'm quite certain she drives better when I am not in the car.  I made her super nervous when she was learning, which we've both acknowledged, and she has told me that she is better able to process information when she's not also having to factor what I might be thinking in the seat next to her.  This makes sense.  It is only a mild consolation, however.

I must figure out a way to manage the terror level (which is currently somewhere near "burnt umber" on the scale.)  Am open to suggestions.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hi honey, I'm home!

Temporarily, at least, I'm home.  It's been a very busy fall. 

To recap:

August - Pacific Northwest

September - Florida, Chicago, Paris

Am home for two weeks, before a trip to Ontario, and then, ultimately, a Caribbean vacation in December.

This all precedes two PacNW and a SanDiego trip this past spring.

I never, ever, EVER, want to get on a plane again.  I hate flying.  I now fly semi-sedated, and I swear it doesn't really help.  The only thing that even remotely seems to work is sedation + alcohol which renders me a plus/minus kind of a "seat mate."

I have all these impressions swimming around in my brain from my trip to Paris.  It's been 7 years since my last visit and a lot has changed.  Some better, some worse.  Paris has gotten much much more crowded which makes perambulating more of an effort.  Paris seems to be in the midst of multiple renovation projects on some of their major monuments, which, while rendering the perfect photo impossible, cannot possibly be a bad thing.  Paris is also in the midst of a "let's all be polite" campaign.  Literally.  There are all these funny signs on places like train station ticket windows that say "Saying Good Morning makes for a GOOD MORNING!"  Hilarious!  But, apparently it is working because everyone was quite pleasant.

Some things haven't changed a bit.  The whole city still smells slightly (or more than slightly) of pee.  One takes one's life into one's hands crossing any major thoroughfare (this is exacerbated by the increased number of motos).  Taxi drivers are still willing to swing the bat in my almost 50 year old direction, and Paris is by far the most beautiful, and my most favoritest city in the whole wide world. 

More later,