I Have Learned Category

Now Comes the Night

5 Apr 2012 In: I Have Learned THE HARD WAY, In Memory..., LIVESTRONG

Yes. It was “all about me” in the first place. It was one of those deliciously selfish, “Why can’t I have this?” songs. My wallowing in it – my interpretation – was a lovely version of “But WHAT ABOUT ME????”

Then came that endless week – not even a week – when my Grandma was slipping away. And, no, she was not leaving gently and romantically, but struggling for breath and crying out in the night. I’m sorry, but I will never “pretty it up.” I cannot.

They forced me to go home at some point each day so that I could try and sleep without one eye open and listening intently all the while. This was the song I listened to as I drove back and forth to her condominium. And the very first time I heard it during that time, it became HER song. It was my promise that I was there all night, every night, even if I didn’t know how I could truly ease a journey like that. I don’t know if my words and my singing were irksome or soothing. And at this point I most certainly must not second guess it any more.

I thought about you a lot this week, Grandma, and I told the story of being with you when you left this world. I tried to explain what a privilege it was, yet how I struggled with the idea that ANYONE, especially someone who’d been so patient and lived through the most unimaginable tragedies and joys, had to die that way.

I stood in the LIVESTRONG Headquarters in front of the manifesto and looked at your beautiful ring that I only take off to shower and I cried again for you and for all the collective loss suffered by that amazing group of people. Then, because there was ALWAYS someone to put their arm around you in such remarkable company, I cried for the beauty of a singleness of purpose in which we try to make the world better.

And since that first week of January, 2009, it has remained your song:

When the hour is upon us
And our beauty surely gone
No you will not be forgotten
No you will not be alone

And when the day has all but ended
And our echo starts to fade
No you will not be alone then
And you will not be afraid
No you will not be afraid

When the fog has finally lifted
From my cold and tired brow
No I will not leave you crying
And I will not let you down
No I will not let you down
I will not let you down

Now comes the night
Feel it fading away
And the soul underneath
Is it all that remains
So just slide over here
Leave your fear in the fray
Let us hold to each other
Until the end of our days

When the hour is upon us
And our beauty surely gone
No you will not be forgotten
No you will not be alone
No you will not be alone

Oh, Grandma, I think I need it back – just for a bit. I know the danger of self-pity and wallowing (yes, I know – WHAT???). But I need to find the hope; I need to find it in myself and then believe that I have enough value that someone will make this promise to ME at some point in my life. I promise it will be about you again. Or perhaps someone else who needs, in the dark, to know that someone is there to hear them when they cry out.

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“Stocking Stuffer” Product Review

25 Dec 2010 In: I Have Learned THE HARD WAY

I received a lovely selection of gifts and candies in my Christmas stocking (which is a freakin’ awesome homemade concoction, but that’s a story for another time). I also received this item (Oh, yes! As SEEN ON TV):

Bottle Top AS SEEN ON TV
Bottle Tops

What a fantabulous idea! Save your soda for LATER without loss all that invigorating carbonation! Oh – here is great propaganda description straight from a very educational website: AsSeenOnTVGuys.com:

Bottle Top As Seen On TV Features:

– Keeps the fizz<
– Helps avoid spills
– Just wash and re-use
– Fits most beverage cans
– Keeps carbonation longer
– Assorted colors – Avoid drink mix-ups

Bottle Tops is the new product that turns your ordinary soda pop or beer can into a soda pop or beer bottle. Bottle Top turns your can into a spill-proof bottle. One size fits all cans. Just snap onto the top and enjoy your favorite beverage without spills. Keep unfinished drinks full of carbonation with the snap-on top sealing in freshness. Reusable and great for travel. Set of twelve in six different colors.

Bottle Top is a great invention that everyone’s got to have. Imagine turning your favorite drink can into your favorite bottle drink. It’s easy to do, just snap on Bottle Top and your done. Bottle Top keeps your soda carbonated because it has a tight leak proof seal. So now you can travel with your canned drink without the fear of spilling. It’s especially great for children. Bottle Top’s lid top prevents bugs from crawling into your drink at picnics. Finally there’s a way to enjoy economical canned drinks with the benefits and convenience of a re-sealable bottle. So get your Bottle Top now!

Ooooh! How handy! How useful! What a crock!

Ostensibly, you just “snap it on.” I of course thought I needed to try this out. I was having a little difficulty, I admit. I thought I could finesse it, and all was going well, I was using my left hand, mainly (I am NOT left-handed nor unreasonably strong, I should add) and whilst attempting to “snap” the “Bottle Top” onto my soda can I managed to literally COLLAPSE the thing and EXPLODE its contents over a surprisingly wide area. SURPRISE!

After cleaning diet soda with a touch of lemon juice of myself and the floor and a variety of kitchen surfaces, I was determined not to be defeated by a STOCKING STUFFER and thought I’d have another go.

I VERY, very gently tried to “snap” the “Bottle Top” onto a new can of soda. Let’s just say I am, at this moment, drinking an extraordinarily banged up and dented can of soda, SANS “Bottle Top.”

My assessment in a nutshell: The “Bottle Top” should be called the “Bottle Crusher and Exploder of DOOM.” I’ll get my people on it.

POSTSCRIPT: So later Christmas day my brother walks into the room with the “Bottle Crusher and Exploder of DOOM” successfully placed ON a soda. He bandied words such as “finesse” and “instructions” about. When I protested he and my mother both came back at me with the phrase, “Man Hands.” Whatever. Pfft.

POSTSCRIPT II: THE REVENGE (December 30, 2010) I have now sustained an injury from the “Bottle Crusher and Exploder of Doom.” Yet I still have not successfully ensconced one on a can.


8 Oct 2007 In: A Little HELP HERE?, I fell down, I Have Learned THE HARD WAY

My Powerbook is sick – VERY ill. It happened last night so suddenly; one minute my baby was perfect (as usual) and then – BLACK SCREEN. A spontaneously black screen on any computer is very disconcerting, needless to say. I won’t go elaborate on all the things I attempted to get it going again (switching batteries and power sources, etc., etc.).

I will say that Kate Logic™ (remember – like standard logic but with half the fat) dictated that since the screen was black (I could still hear a slight noise when I booted up that indicated SOME sort of processing – but no comforting boot-up “bong” – like that has anything to do with the keyboard), I removed all the keys and cleaned out as much cat hair and as many lint balls as I could. I got several bloody wounds in the course of this endeavor (what a surprise). This did not fix it. Even my life-blood did not fix it. The LIFE-BLOOD from MY VERY BODY.
Come on - IT'S SO COOL.

It looks like the image above, incidentally, except with a few lil’ dings and scars and such. Oh – and it doesn’t have the posh Intel Core 2 Duo processor in it like the newer models. This does not mean I love it any less.

And just so you know, I have NOT dropped it recently. The Guru’s reply the that statement was, “Recently??”

Speaking of the Guru, he has taken my precious baby home with him to try and fix it (because I cannot imagine that he has anything better to do). Bless him (again and again).

When I ponder this serious problem, I wonder if it has something to do with Murphy’s Law or Karma or wretched irony. Why? Because just the other day I was thinking, “I haven’t backed up my computer in a long time!” See?

Please, people around the World who may read this blog (even if it’s just two or five or nine of you), pray or meditate or send positive energy to my beloved Mac (whichever method floats you boat). I love it so (too much, no doubt – though I DO love my Kitten Children more)!

This entry was typed with much resentment towards Windows on a wretched PC.

Never Mind.

16 Sep 2007 In: I Have Learned

Span, Schman.

I’m stickin’ with my good ol’ paragraphs.

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This is riveting stuff, I assure you:

I was carrying my laptop under one arm, my cell phone under the other, and my big cup of water with the lid and the super-cool straw (all Tupperware®, of course) in my left hand (Janet would call that “my BaBa” – evidently you’re never too old).

I did not fall down the stairs. I did not fall up the stairs.

I reached the end of the downstairs hall (in a hurry?) where there are two doors – one to the right and one to the left. Then I did a fantastically spectacular gymnastic maneuver towards the floor -perhaps the ceiling? (well, the wall, really). Let us say I tripped over something. It’s possible – the Kitten Childrens’ scratching post is to the left. Their food mat is there, too. Air? VERY HEAVY AIR???

I hit my right knee on one edge of the right-hand door frame on my way down, flung everything up in the air -WHEEEEE – (including, remember, a large cup of water, which, despite having a lid, has a VERY LARGE HOLE FOR THE SUPER-COOL STRAW). Then I hit the right side of my head on the other side of the right-handed doorway. This bent the right ear-piece of my glasses (and hurt my ginormous head, I must say).

I spent one split second thinking, “WHAT THE…????” Didn’t even have time for proper sailor language. Then I RAN to get towels from the right-handed bedroom closet to dry off my two most beloved (well, I’d put my iPod in that ranking, too, but that was safely ensconced elsewhere) pieces of electronic equipment.

My phone still seems to work; that’s good. I shut down my laptop as fast as possible, dried it off and took the battery out (luckily it wasn’t wet inside there…). Now it is sitting on a very soft pillow in a dim, quiet room with the door closed while it is recuperating. I’m hoping for the best. It didn’t smoke or sparkle and still had normal screen images as I shut it down; I’m taking that as a good sign. Everyone please think healing thoughts for my beloved PowerBook.

In – what – two or three years Grettir managed to only put the tiniest dent on one side (which I couldn’t find for two weeks after I had the thing and then I had to wonder if I’d done it myself). I’ve made a lovely scratchy mark on the right side top already (yes, I’m right-handed – talk about your dominant sides) and another not far from that one.

I suppose what I’m saying is I’M TALENTED LIKE THAT.

Oh – and I did some sort of damage turning off the main water source to the house, but you mustn’t tell my Dad. First of all, I turned the water off (I’m so happy to have the valve IN MY ROOM) being snotty (for a good cause?). Secondly, my Dad takes that joke about engineers being “glorified plumbers” seriously. SERIOUSLY. He should not plumb, for the most part, I assure you. Secretly I will blame him for that faucet being in bad shape because he has turned it soooo hard that part of the knob has actually broken off.

Being a brilliant scientist he does not think the water in the house is off if you can turn on a faucet and ANY water comes out. My Mom and Shirleen and I have all tried to explain the logic of BLEED OFF – the idea that there is still water in the pipes that HAS TO COME OUT even AFTER you’ve turned the main valve off. He has never believed us. A MAN told him that one day and I swear he shouted, “EUREKA – what a brilliant thought? It never, EVER, EVER would have occurred to me!!! Why didn’t someone tell me that before?” As though he’d never heard such an amazing concept before. Argh.

I did learn something very important because of Labor Day. Well, I suppose it’s completely coincidental that I got “schooled” because of Labor Day (which I’m feeling too pissy to spell the cool “Labour” way), but then I can pretend it was part of a celebration.

As I need to take my glasses to be bent back into shape (I learned the lesson about trying to do that yourself a LONG time ago – during an era when every single time I set my glasses on the bad I assured myself I’d remember they were there and then I sat on them about forty-seven percent of the time – maybe even forty-nine percent. It’s the early-onset senility…) I took them off and had a nap. After taking some ibuprofen. I’m tellin’ you, that’s what you do.

And when I awoke, the magical shoemaker elves, as they didn’t have their normal duties today – it being Labor Day and all, had FIXED MY GLASSES. And as it was a holiday, they stuck around (instead of following their normal proclivities to mysteriously disappear leaving being many gorgeous pairs of Italian shoes in MY SIZE) to play some board games (they cheat, but they are so cute it’s just funny). I made some great hummus and we all had a snack and it was just the BEST TIME EVER.

And then I woke up with Kitten Child clear under the covers near my RIGHT FOOT – sooo very cute, but not an expensive Italian, custom-made shoe. Oh, leave me alone; I can dream (I wish I dreamt such nice things).

I went to put my contacts in. This is still a slightly tenuous process, as I’ve mentioned. Let me preface my next adventure by explaining that a day or so after I first got the contacts, they were bugging me a little (because of STICKING MY FINGER IN MY EYE ONE TOO MANY TIMES) and I called the optometrist to ask how I could tell if I’d put a contact in wrong-side out. The reply was a slightly impatient, “Well, can you SEE?” to which I answered in the affirmative (good thing, too, as I was driving at the time – conscientiously using my Bluetooth® headset). “Then they are in right.” I felt like I’d called and basically been told, “Duh, duh, duh – DUH DUH DUH, Dummy! Have a nice day.”

My eyes were a little sleepy/irritated, so I wasn’t entirely surprised when the right contact bothered me after I put it in. I put the left one in, and it was a little better. I took the right one out, my eye was still a little buggy, so I just put the contact back in. After five or ten minutes of blinking and wandering around closing one eye and then the other evaluating whether or not I could see (I could) I thought I’d better check the damn thing again.

Okay – BRILLIANT PEOPLE FROM THE OPTOMETRIST’S OFFICE – it was inside-out and I could still see (when I wasn’t blinking tears away or just blinking for FUN).
Happy Labor Day. Phhht.

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Who’s My Thirteenth-Great-Grand Baby Daddy?

27 Aug 2007 In: I Have Learned

William Shakespeare NOT. And as I don’t have a baby, per se (my dearest Kitten Children, please cover your wee little ears – you know I love you much more than one with a full deck would define as seemly), the question was never germane.

Here’s the situation: For three entire days now I was under the mistaken impression that William “Yo – THE BARD” Shakespeare was my twelfth great-grandfather (ah – Twelfth Night, twelfth grandfather). I was CHUFFED, as those Northern Brits like to say; I was thrilled right down to my little pink toes. I LOVE Shakespeare – I’ve taught Shakespeare, I’ve performed Shakespeare, I’ve read Shakespeare since I was in grade school, and YES – I thought I knew a thing or two about Shakespeare.

NOT my
Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather

Damn computer genealogical tools. They appended “John Hall” as son to “John Hall” – who just happened to be the physician spouse of no other than Susanna Shakespeare. I knew Shakespeare’s oldest surviving child was Susanna. I knew his son Hamnet had died. The time period was correct, the name made sense, I just didn’t notice that the “son” John Hall (my actual kin) was born in Connecticut. Oops.

Now I know that Shakespeare’s children failed miserably at providing him with bouncing baby grandchildren – even unbouncy ones for that matter. Hamnet had a twin named Judith. She and her spouse had three children, none of whom married. Susanna and John had a daughter named Elizabeth (born, I believe, AFTER Shakespeare died). She was married twice and never had a child. So that’s that for William Shakespeare’s lineage. Dead and gone.

I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. If there had been a documented bloodline you know that people would have been shouting about it from the rooftops and trying to get a piece of the merchandising action.

I would have certainly prattled on excitedly all about it (hold your tongues). I could still name drop, I suppose, but I don’t feel like it now. I’m filled with a serious case of “bardic ennui.” Royalty-Scmoyalty. Like I’ve always joked, I have a passel of ancestors of “high” birth who no doubt oppressed and or killed or dispossessed the throng of the ancestors of “low” position. It’s a laugh riot.

I located my important founding Mennonites in Pennsylvania and a direct relation from the Mayflower (my tenth great-grandfather – evidently he and his brother were Governors of Plymouth Colony at different times). I guess I could ponder the ramifications of that influx of these settlers on the Native population. Huzzah!

Oh well. Back to figuring out who perished of the Black Death and who survived it. Pretty festive.

I Am Still Learning

15 Jul 2007 In: I fell down, I Have Learned THE HARD WAY

I believe it was the great Michelangelo – or perhaps one of the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (not to be confused with Teenage Mutant Kitten Children) – who said something about you should learn all your life or there is always something to learn in and/or from your life or life = LEARN, LEARN LEARN. Who knows, as it was originally penned in Italian (possibly Latin, if he was trying to be posh).

Okay. Truth? I’ve seen so many resin-cast-to-look-like-old-engraved-stone replicas sporting this motto in my Mother’s vast catalog collection that I would be unfair of me to say that I could not find the quote:
Ancora Imparo

Yeah – he was being grandiloquent. And if you’d like to know what it means, please refer to the title of this post. I was very clever and put it right out there so that people might think that I was writing about a substantive topic. I’m guessing everyone knew better.

Ah – so what is it that I’m still learning? Apparently EVERYTHING. Indeed, is it not the life aspiration of most people to try all new things when they are in their late thirties? Come on!!! There may be some of you who would forewarn me that this is leading me down a slippery slope and that I am in great danger of pitching headlong into danger and/or oblivion. I would answer, “That’s immaterial.” (Why am I quoting myself while writing in the first person? Why am I asking myself rhetorical questions?) As most people know, I am perfectly capable of toppling over, stumbling, falling on my substantial ASSets and/or taking a header WITHOUT any sort of impediment in sight. What’s more, I mean ON THE FLAT, DRY GROUND.

  • I decide that my underwear doesn’t have to be white, black or beige/nude, and I end up with a very large hole in my pants strategically displaying my choice that very day to wear the knickers that say, “Wish on This!” across that back. You think I’m kidding?
  • I decide to dye my hair for the very first time… just search through my blog an you find five thousand entries about what that started (like this one).
  • Then we have my eyebrows. Never had I plucked them or waxed them. Having started, I have yet one more thing to “maintain.” (Here’s one of THOSE entries.)

I believe it was dear Pamela who suggested perhaps I go back and embrace my “hippy” proclivities (something to that effect). Unfortunately, it’s simply TOO LATE. Vanity is involved, now; jeopardy has been attached (who watches too many re-runs of Law and Order (all flavours)? Pas moi!). How else would I end up with major chemical burns because of INVISIBLE PEACH FUZZ?

By the way, just because it takes me more than 450 words to get to my point does not indicate that I do not have one. To get down to the heart of the matter – the crux, the pitch, the gist, the nitty-gritty (dirt band – sorry), the thrust, the substance – the purpose of this entry is to discuss my eyes.

My eyes are hazel, incidentally. That is neither here nor there, but I’ve always described them as “khaki with an amber ring around the iris.” No, it’s not poetic (especially if you pronounce “khaki” the British and/or Canadian way – that is to say, “CAR-KEY”). Also, they seem different colours depending on what hue I’ve donned. I have “mood” eyes.

ALRIGHT! The point is I had taken my “mood eyes” for a long-overdue eye appointment. Luckily my prescription has not changed THAT much in the interim (and it’s long – embarrassingly long) because the last time I changed prescriptions I had also waited too long and I got new glasses RIGHT before a big trip, and the glasses made me dizzy for two or three days. This truly enhanced my motion sickness plight.

I do have a slight astigmatism now. It makes me feel more urbane (grant me these tiny delusions, please – I ask for so little). Wow. I just realized I’d have to look at my prescription to realize in which eye it is…

SOOO, in the spirit of Ancora Imparo I also was fitted with my very first contact lenses. I was excited at the prospect of seeing my eyes looking all deceptively naked and such. And I dreamt oh-so-fancifully about a ridiculously handsome stranger being able to now “fall INTO” my eyes – unimpeded by anti-glare lenses for the myopic. To be sure, I am not rich, but my fantasy life can be.

Sometimes I feel self-conscious because I am a neophyte at certain things at the ripe old age of – well, any state of “maturity” that can be prefaced with “the ripe old age” should be self-explanatory. In other words, I figured that I’d have a little difficulty putting the lenses in and when you see thirteen-year-olds pop them in and out blind and lubricate them with saliva (at least I know THAT’S stupid) and all that, I thought I’d feel “impaired.”

Impaired ended up being an understatement. A VAST, GINORMOUS (just recently made it into the dictionary – so there!) understatement. The doctor was extremely kind and helpful, but I was unquestionably handicapped at successfully getting contact lenses ONTO MY EYEBALLS. He finally had to do it for me, taught me how to remove them, and then let me try again. Seventeen hours later (SLIGHT exaggeration), I was successful. Of course my eyes were practically swollen shut and so blood-shot that it looked like I’d been on a three-day (maybe week-long) bender.

Here’s my problem: I blink. Excessively. This is why many a photograph (for which I deign to pose) catches me with my eyes closed. Also, I’m fairly light-sensitive, therefore I blink to excess in the sun. My eyes are vulnerable, delicate…creatures.

Don’t mistake me, some people have difficulty touching their eyes; this is indubitably not my problem. You know that expression, “It’s better than a poke in the eye?” I often disagree. A poke in the eye is NUTHIN’. Given the choice, I’d oft choose a poke in the eye over the alternative. Yes, I can touch my eyes – I’ll poke myself in the eye right now if someone asked. There are those who claim I have ELBOWED others in the eye (for the record, I was ASLEEP – and that whole incident is the definition of the phrase “alleged assault” – no cooberating witnesses, no physical evidence).

No, I’m just Blinky McBlinkster. Sometimes I get the lense in right off the bat, sometimes I practically push my eyeball clear back into my skull, pull my finger back, and see that the contact is still ON MY HAND. That’s when the sailor language comes in.

This made it rather difficult on the occasion that three of the four children we were babysitting watched me put my lenses in one day – fascinated by the process despite the fact that BOTH their parents wear contacts – perhaps it’s because I let them touch them (the CONTACTS – not my eyes – though they’d have probably done less damage) – never fear, I re-sterilized the things. But I had to keep it CLEAN – my “potty” mouth, that is.

I AM learning. But if you see me with bloodshot eyes it’s no doubt my doing – DIRECTLY AND PHYSICIALLY.

There is also an “eye-opening” aspect to this whole affair. (ugh.) Most of it has to do with luggage. I like to joke th
at I always carry too much luggage (and that’s not just when I travel, that’s a day-to-day crack I like to make because I embarrass myself by carrying fifty-two or three bags everywhere I go (yeah, yeah – but it’s no fun if I don’t embellish a LITTLE)).

This little quip hit me very profoundly yesterday (I’d started to notice, but OH, THE DENIAL) as I sat down to have my stylist trim my hair. See, when you TAKE OFF YOUR GLASSES for this procedure you are granted a fortuitous amount of “airbrushed” effect on your reflection. With contacts, you must STARE IN THE LOOKING GLASS WITH CORRECTED SIGHT. That’s when you know, deep down in your heart, that the “luggage” joke can rightly be applied to the immense bags under your eyes.

Having been blissfully unaware of and not requiring (I THOUGHT) “under-eye concealer” all these years, it’s disturbing that I’m contemplating it now. Maintenance is a bitch.

A wise man once said:

ASSUMPTION makes an “ASS” out of you and “UMPTION.”

Insightful words, indeed.

I haven’t been “back East” since I chopped off my hair. I ASSUMED that the humidity would make it more curly and frizzy. I was prepared to tame the wild curl, I was ready to battle wanton frizziness. I was an idiot.

The first time I washed my hair and utilized my various products was on LIVESTRONG® Day – the day that we were to go visit the legislators and have a press conference and all that.

It was not long before, “OH, the horror, THE HORROR!” And that wasn’t just because I hadn’t realized until it was too late that someone had “lightened” my luggage by removing my antiperspirant/deodorant. MY HAIR HAD TAKEN ON A LIFE OF ITS OWN. Now, as many of you may know, this isn’t the first time that has happened. But this was EXTREME. It wasn’t super curly. It wasn’t even exactly frizzy. It simply had taken on, root to tip, an unimaginable VOLUME defying every law of gravity old and new. I was speechless (imagine that) and awestruck.

But doesn’t everyone DREAM of having a bunch of very important meetings and being part of a press conference when they look and smell their very worst? I thought not.

Throughout the wretchedly hot/humid day, I kept trying to calm my tresses (I spoke gently to them, touched them softly – I was the “hair whisperer”). I continuously tucked and re-tucked the whole lively shebang behind my ears. The gallons of sweat seemed to weigh it down – don’t think I’m going to pretend for one moment that I was merely “glowing” and not drenched in my own wretched FUNK and FETOR.

At our rest building – WHERE I WOULD REMOVE MY JACKET AND LET PEOPLE SEE MY ARMS IN A SLEEVELESS BLOUSE – THAT’S HOW HOT I WAS – I had a couple of moments here and there in which, from the front, my coif still looked really horrible, but it seemed I had domesticated it just a little – smushing and sweat soothe the savage beast?

Then the “official” pictures, taken by the professional photographers, were released. Here’s the one that let me know that truth – the entire, awful reality:
We looked like bees and were accordingly dive-bombed by them.
Delegates Mill About Prior to the Press Conference

Perhaps you don’t see it? Get a little closer. I’ve blurred the unessential parts:
I really want you to focus on the frightening part.
Kermit & Kate Confer
(I somehow blurred off my own nose. I’m talented like that.)

Still can’t see it? I doubt this very much. But just in case, let me REALLY focus in on the ghastly part:
Good grief

I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but I made it even more grotesque. Now EVERYTHING is blurry, even the sections I did intentionally “soften,” and I somehow made it look like I’m bleeding from the ear and that I have a mole on my jaw the size of a quarter (American).

I thought I’d “tamed” it, while it had just HIDDEN from me. I look like I’ve affixed a wild animal to the back of my head. Dead? Alive?! You decide. But WHAT IN THE HELL IS THAT THING?

I’d have loved to say which animal, but I honestly couldn’t think of a genus and species that repelled me so much that wasn’t in the arachnid family; this is quite obviously a mammal. I’m open to suggestions.

On a more positive note, my skin, for the most part, liked the humidity. My knees have never been so very soft. My hands were spotted and irritated on and off (I never did figure out why – perhaps an acute case of temporary leprosy), and I was bitten by several DOZEN anonymous creatures (of the insect variety*, no doubt), but for the most part it was pleasant not to have the flaky dry places – ‘specially under my nose, because MY ALLERGIES DID NOT COME WITH ME – rather a miraculous thing. In fact, I just laid in bed sometimes, luxuriating in the fact that I could BREATHE THROUGH MY NOSE completely unencumbered and giggled with delight.

As for the *insects, David, in his über-unflustered way, almost SIGHED one day because of the fifty-third time I’d cried out, “I don’t know what it is, BUT IT IS GOING TO EAT ME!” or something else along those lines. He calmly said, “Kate, it’s like being in National Geographic.”

He lived in Brazil for two years. I had never thought of Maryland as that…mysterious. Perhaps all the nature film crews should now quietly crawl through the gardens and bathrooms and attics and guestrooms of houses there whispering, “I have NEVER seen anything with so many legs that moves so FAST.”

Now I’m finding a certain logic to the idea of moving LIGHTENING-fast if you have three million legs. You think I exaggerate? Ha!

What’s Green and Smooooooth?

1 Jul 2007 In: Blood is Thicker..., I Have Learned

Every morning at David and Julianne’s house Green Smoothie® is the breakfast preference du jour. When they’d visited at holidays I had looked askance at Green Smoothie®. Then I tried it. It’s downright scrum-diddly-umptious. Not to mention it’s full of vegetable and fruit and flax seed goodness sans sugar -and it’s so GREEN.

To successfully make Green Smoothie® it’s best to own the super extraordinary blender (like David’s and Julianne’s – they have connections) that can, evidently, pulverize an iPod. It takes raw power.

This is where I must take a moment to express my dismay at the heartless mistreatment of ANY fine Apple product. I’m sorry, but it is cold-hearted and brutal. If I hear that this demonstration is to take place again I shall have to bodily hurl myself in front of the salesperson who is about to push the button (this begs the question: How does one UN-bodily fling or throw themselves anywhere?) screaming, “Nooooooooooooooooo!” I would then offer up to be sacrificed a Walkman (from the 1980’s, you know, which is evidently an historical era ALREADY – a while back I had a sixteen-year-old voice student who told me they were studying the 1980’s in HISTORY CLASS as the 1960’s and 1970’s were SO overdone) and I would even load the Walkman with Air Supply’s Greatest Hits. Don’t ask where I could get that…

Aside from the iPod controversy, this blender is AMAZING. It grinds the fruits and the vegetables and the flax seeds like NUTHIN’. I smoked out a blender once (literally) just trying to make hummus. After seeing Green Smoothie® made a number of times, I offered to do it. I was given instructions, which included the detail that since spinach shrinks down so much you can really pack it to the top of the container. I unfortunately translated this “packing” method to the fruit container as well. Have you heard the expression, “Shrinking peaches?” Right. That’s because IT DOESN’T EXIST. Here are the results of my poor fruit eye-balling skills:
Infamous Green Smoothie®

Luckily David and Julianne were dressing upstairs so that I could clean up the evidence. Now, one may ask why there is a container full of PINK smoothie that is somehow part of the Green Smoothie®. You see, both containers are dumped into the pitcher with the magic-mixing plunger, and once everything is fully incorporated, the green overwhelms everything (go CLOROPHYLL!!!). Then you have enough Green Smoothie® for several days.

But when my Father was in Maryland last week he MOCKED THE GREEN SMOOTHIE®. Openly. He showed disdain for it and “choked it down.” He’s lucky I still gave him the Trader Joes fruit spreads I’d purchased for him…


16 Apr 2007 In: I fell down, I Have Learned THE HARD WAY

Just because one determines they have designed a medical strategy that incorporates Universal Precautions and therefore have designated it as a “sterile surgical” procedure does not mean that it should be performed.

In my bathroom.

By me.

On my own face.

I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever played a physician on stage either – a man, a pirate, severally mentally insane individuals (type-casting), and a myriad of other lively characters – but no doctor.

I did have a Fisher-Price® doctor’s kit, but I don’t know where it is, and the one they sell now looks like cheap knock-off crap.

Cheese Wisdom

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.Willie Nelson



In Memorium