"My life has crept so long on a broken wing
Thro' cells of madness, haunts of horror and fear,
That I will come grateful at last for a little thing ..."

- - - - Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Perhaps he was looking for a Snickers or maybe a caramel apple.

Have a safe, fun and Happy Halloween.


I am sitting here watching the fire coverage in California.

It is breaking my heart.

While I often sit in wonder at the majesty that is the wind ...

... today I find nothing majestic in such a destructive force.

Wind+fire = devastation.

My prayers go with those of you that are affected by this tragic situation.


Everything old is new again.

You've heard it said time and time again and the older I get, the more I see the truth of the clichι revealed.

For example, the fun, retro look of the 60's, 70's and 80's is showing up in personal and commercial webpages. So many of them make me feel like I am walking onto the set of Holly Golightly's apartment in "Breakfast at Tiffany's".

Which, by the way, is a good thing. I like the fresh colors, the simple elegance of the lines, and the "swingin'" coolness of this retro art.

But the clothing styles ... for goodness sake ... the bell bottom pants, embroidered hip huggers, and fringe vests? I just received a catalog from an upscale clothier and everything in it reminded me of the "make love, not war, peace baby peace" celebrated at Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco in the 60's and 70's.

A fan of the Austin Powers ala Davy Jones & The Monkees ala Laugh-In genre of clothing ... I am not. It was gaudy and tasteless back then and well, today it simply looks silly. As I suppose it looked to the "adults" of my era who were scoffing at peace symbols hung around our necks, afros the size of Pluto, huge brightly colored flowers on everything (including vehicles) and the pungent smell of incense permeating the air.

VH1 is showing "I Love the 80's Strikes Back" and way more than half of the toys, gimmicks and ads ... and yes, even the music ... are all completely foreign to me.

Of course, much of the 80's is a complete blur to me anyway. And no, do not think it was because it was (a) before I was born or (b) that I had dropped too much acid to remember it.

I was very much an adult in the 80's and well on my way to establishing myself in my career. I was more feminist than hippie, more jet-setter than tree hugger.

Awhile back I had a boyfriend who was 13 years younger than me and he loved 80's music (because he related to it as part of his "formative years"). I had no clue who he was listening to most of the time. He gave me two, maybe three compilation CDs of 80's music and yes, I listened to them. But honestly, I cannot help but wonder what parallel universe I was living in during that time because very few of the songs are familiar to me at all.

Anyhow, I was looking through the aforementioned clothing catalog and thought to myself, "You will never catch me wearing those again." I was looking at hip hugger, faded, embroidered bell bottom pants with clunky shoes. Been there, done that.

What I find the most fascinating is that the young kids (pre-teens and such) are thinking they are the first to dress like that.

Yep. I felt that way too back in the 70's when I wore those clothes. Boy, I was a self-deluded trendsetter!

And I remember my Dad laughing at me ... as he recalled trends of his day that just kept resurfacing every 20 or so years. I thought he was full of potato salad!

Indeed, everything old is new again.

So, okay ... I am waiting. When do old, broken down, 40ish, blonde ladies come back into style?


I had tried three times to get a flu shot.

I went one day last week to the purported flu shot vendor and was pleased as punch to discover that there was a parking space close to the store.

Alas, no lines of senior citizens waiting to boost their immune systems.

Oh, I felt smug and oh-so-clever. Timing baby, it is all about timing.

I saunter over to a counter person and ask, "So, where are they doing the flu shot dance?"

He answered without looking up, "They left over an hour ago. They were here 7:am to 11:am."

I looked at my watch. 12:20pm. Dammit! I would have sworn the website said 9:am - 4:pm.

My smugness turned to bummed out resolve that I shall endure another attempt.

So yesterday, I arise before dawn to mellow jazz on the clock radio alarm ... perform my morning toilette and out the door at O-dark hundred to beat the huddling masses.

What? A parking space right up front. Land o' mercy ... I am so cool. No one wants to go out this early on a Saturday.

Yes, no one. Including the flu shot giver people! I replayed the scenario of asking and again, it was all about the timing:

"They will be here at 9:am. 9:am to noon."

Arrgh. Home I go.

I watched some TV, read mail and dozed. 8:32am and I'm out the door for attempt number three.

The parking lot is packed. Whoa Nellie ... a crowd indeed.

I find the flu shot stand behind the bakery department and see lines and lines and lines of silver-to-blue hair gentlefolk awaiting their shot.

No, no, no. This cannot be happening.

I went up to one of the nurses delivering the shots and asked if she could give me a hint as to when the best time (i.e. no freakin' lines) is to get the shots. She whispered, "Come back about 11:50am ... the lines will be gone and there will be no waiting."

I took my secret agent info with me and back home I went.

At 11:50am ... now I am into my fourth attempt at getting immunized against the flu and its associated maladies. No lines! Woot! I walked up ... filled out the form, handed them my $20.00 bill and got the shot by the nurse who told me "the secret" (and who winked at me when she gave me the injection). I was out of there in less than 10 minutes (No, I did not stay the requisite 10 minutes post immunization).

My prize?

Today I awoke with a 102.6Ί fever, the sorest throat I have ever had, a blinding headache, the chills, and my ear is aching beyond belief.

Weird coincidence? Hmmm.


Damn, the waiting is killing me!

I stupidly pre-ordered "Measure of a Man" (CD) by Clay Aiken through Amazon.com. The CD was released on October 14, 2003 ... and shipped to me on 10/15.

Arrrrgh. I could have gone to Best Buy or Circuit City and bought it on the release day ... but nooooo, I thought I was being smart pre-ordering it online.

Clay Aiken: Measure of a Man

I just watched sweet Clay sing two numbers on CBS's The Morning Show and he will now head over to ABC's The View.

Last week, Clay was on ABC's Primetime Thursday with Diane Sawyer. I learned a great deal about him on that interview.

The things I learned about him as a man ... made me respect him even more. He definitely marches to the beat of a different drummer.

And in today's current music scene, amongst the sexually explicit song lyrics, references to "hos" and "beetches" with the portrayal of violence against women, and the videos that fall just short of porn ...

... I find his style, the man he chooses to be, his choice of songs, and his voice ... a refreshing change.

Clay says he is a virgin. He says that he finds it humorous that folks think he is gay ... and says he realizes that he has feminine characteristics (like being clean and tidy) but asks what we would expect from a man who was raised by women. Clay said that he is not gay and is someday hoping to find the right woman.

I guess the one thing that I find the most endearing about him is that he has yet to "sell out" to the tide of cookie cutter artists who dress like pimps or gangstas, who sing odes to sex and getting off, who speak profanity in interviews, and who cannot form a complete sentence without sounding illiterate.

In addition, he is humble. And he treats people with respect. These are two characteristics overtly lacking in many of the current music artists.

Clay may never have the sales of a Justin Timberlake or a Britney Spears (although some reviews have been excellent) ... but I truly believe that he will have longevity. When time deems that it is no longer appropriate for Britney to take her clothes off or for Justin to dance and pop in their videos ... what will they do? Do they really have the "chops" to appeal to an older audience when they themselves will age?

Time eventually marches on.

The beat that Clay Aiken marches to, although different by today's standards, will still be beating strong 20 years from now.

Now, if only that damned UPS guy would show up!

-:[ Update: The CD has been delivered! ]:-


I have this friend .... CJ ... and she is one of the funniest women I know. Everytime I talk to her, she makes me laugh out loud.

We've known each other since we were undergrad students.

I am an old, old woman now ... so, logically ... that is a lot of laughing!

After A.S.U. and when we were living in Tucson, she and I would take every free moment (from studying) to go to an open area of Reid Park to lay in the sun. Because the park was located about a 1/2 mile from the end of the runway at Davis-Monthan AFB, we could lay there tanning and watch the fighter jets fly overhead at a low altitude.

Our free time spent in the park became less as our studies increased.

Our tans were fading.

CJ turned me on to tanning beds. I became addicted. The time spent tanning was so relaxing, so quiet and the warmth of the tanning lights would soothe my sore, overworked muscles.

I was in my 20's and felt like a million bucks! And my tan looked so good against the ugly green scrubs and stark white lab jackets.

Here I am ... twenty years later ... no tan and not missing it.

In fact, I regret every second I spent in the tanning beds ... laying in the sun at Reid Park ... and every intentional sunburn and tan I ever had.

After numerous surgeries to remove malignant melanomas and having a dermatologist tell me that tanning beds are seriously dangerous ...

... I have my regrets my regrets.

The phone rang today. CJ gave me the sad news that she has malignant melanoma. It has progressed to her lymph nodes. The outlook is bleak.

This time, we did not laugh out loud. Instead we shared a tear or two and I offered my best words of comfort. Words seem too frail for such a conversation.

Skin cancer is truly no laughing matter.


Since my back injury of July 2002, I have been unable to bend over and pick up anything off of the floor. At 6' tall, the floor is a long way down.

So, while still living at Mom's and re-learning to walk and such ... I bought one of those "as seen on TV" tools:

You know ... you've seen it ... it is called "The Gopher Reacher Tool".

While it may look cheesey, the doggoned thing actually works very well!

I dropped a teeny tiny "baby" earring back on thick carpet and voila! It picked it up with no problem.

Yes, you can even grasp average size cans from high shelves with no dropping.

Anyhow, the thing supposedly will pick up stuff weighing up to 5 lbs.

Uh, no. I tried. Um, don't do it.

I have been without my "reacher" for over a week and I was lost as to how to pick stuff up.

So, if it was not crucial ... it stayed on the floor.

My two new "reachers" arrived today and I spent some time picking up the floor. The loot:

Two bottles of nail polish (tightly capped), four pens of various brands, bobby pins, a gold chain, a white plastic bottle cap from designer water, an engagement ring, a tissue (clean) that fell outta my purse, a black small hoop earring, 47 cents in change and a key.

Now, I know it sounds like my home was trashed and littered. Nawwww. When something would drop, I would get the broom and "sweep" the object over to one corner ... and I did this in every room.

I had little treasure corners in each room.

So what did I do if something I needed right away would drop?

After the initial panic, I would improvise. If I could grab whatever fell with my toes, I would clasp the object and lift it to a low chair using my foot. If it was not 'toeable', like a book or proposal ... I would slide it over to the side of the bed. Then I would lay down on the bed on my tummy (laying on your stomach is very bad for a spinal injury and not something I liked doing) and reach down and get gravity's prize.

Alas, no more contortions for me.

So, if you have reaching up or reaching down problems, I recommend "The Gopher Reacher Tool" for the not-too-heavy items.

I give it two toes ... um, I mean, two thumbs up.


I took so much for granted.

Things I miss the most:

• Being able to jump in the car anytime and drive two-three hours for lunch in Jerome, Kohl's Ranch or the fun restaurants on Tanque Verde in Tucson.

• Feeling safe going out after dark to just about anywhere in Phoenix.

• Swimming alone.

• A spur of the moment drive to Sedona to see the changing leaves of Fall and then, the hike down to Oak Creek.

• The energy to decorate my home for Halloween. And then, put it all away.

• Hiking Squaw Peak.

• Going to Encanto Park to lay in the sunshine, feed the ducks, and row a canoe around the canals.

• Walking the "pink sidewalk" at The Biltmore at sunset.

• The annual trip to Casa Grande to the Native American Arts Festival.

• Arising very early, fending off the cold chill of dawn while watching the Thunderbird Balloon Classic.

• Golf.

• Dancing until 3:am at Mr. Lucky's.

• The ability to walk through the Tempe Arts or the Fountain Hills Festivals to smell the deep fried everything.

• The energy to venture out into my beloved desert to sketch, paint and photograph.

• Getting excited about the Arizona State Fair. Spending hours there watching people.

There was so much.

I took it all for granted.

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