Wednesday, 29 July 2009

THIS never happens…

My mobile rings today and it’s the lovely office person in Dr. Richman’s office calling, the very nice (really nice) cardiologist I saw in January – just for the old look under the bonnet to check that all is well. And it mostly was – apparently my vales are a bit leaky, but that happens; and my blood pressure tends to go up when I see people in white coats (it definitely goes up when the doctor who lives in my house comes in the door, and while not wearing his while coat just blue scrubs it… – but that’s off topic. Fun, but off the topic).

She runs through the normal disquisition that you hear expect to hear - ’first we ran your primary insurance and then your secondary…’ and somewhere along there I stop listening, waiting for the punch line of ‘and here is what you still owe after the insurance’. Instead I hear, “And so we owe you $25.00 and I need to know which credit card you would like to be credited.”

“Excuse me?” I started to laugh. “You want to give me money? Wait a minute and let me get used to this. Boy I bet you don’t get to make this call very often.”

Now she’s laughing, “No I don’t and I really enjoy it when I get to do it.”

That’s my idea of a New Health Plan!


Monday, 27 July 2009

THis just in...

Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture..

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP , meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP ! ; the house and some guys fix UP the old car . At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give
UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP .

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so......... time to shut UP! more thing:

What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U-P

Thursday, 23 July 2009

and now the good news

In keeping with my philosophy that if one writes letters complaining, by that same dictate, one must write when the error has been corrected.

I have received an email from Petco stating they will be refunding the full price of the litter and the shipping charges that I ordered to arrive for our trip in D.C. I'm very pleased as I did not wish to have to find a new place to shop!

And so thank you Petco, and well done.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Monday, 20 July 2009

Do you have your rabbit's foot, lucky penny, turquoise, etc?

Solar eclipse pits superstition against science

by Phil Hazlewood
Sun Jul 19, 10:23 pm ET

MUMBAI (AFP) – Indian astrologers are predicting violence and turmoil across the world as a result of this week's total solar eclipse, which the superstitious and religious view as a sign of potential doom.
But astronomers, scientists and secularists are trying to play down claims of evil portent in connection with Wednesday's natural spectacle, when the moon will come between the Earth and the sun, completely obscuring the sun.
In Hindu mythology, the two demons Rahu and Ketu are said to "swallow" the sun during eclipses, snuffing out its life-giving light and causing food to become inedible and water undrinkable.
Pregnant women are advised to stay indoors to prevent their babies developing birth defects, while prayers, fasting and ritual bathing, particularly in holy rivers, are encouraged.
Shivani Sachdev Gour, a gynaecologist at the Fortis Hospital in New Delhi, said a number of expectant mothers scheduled for caesarian deliveries on July 22 had asked to change the date.
"This is a belief deeply rooted in Indian society. Couples are willing to do anything to ensure that the baby is not born on that day," Gour said.
Astrologers have predicted a rise in communal and regional violence in the days following the eclipse, particularly in India, China and other Southeast Asian nations where it can be seen on Wednesday morning.
Mumbai astrologer Raj Kumar Sharma predicted "some sort of attack by (Kashmiri separatists) Jaish-e-Mohammad or Al-Qaeda on Indian soil" and a devastating natural disaster in Southeast Asia.
An Indian political leader could be killed, he said, and tension between the West and Iran is likely to increase, escalating into possible US military action after September 9, when fiery Saturn moves from Leo into Virgo.
"The last 200 years, whenever Saturn has gone into Virgo there has been either a world war or a mini world war," he told AFP.
It is not just in India that some are uneasy about what will transpire because of the eclipse.
In ancient China they were often associated with disasters, the death of an emperor or other dark events, and similar superstitions persist.
"The probability for unrest or war to take place in years when a solar eclipse happens is 95 percent," announced an article that attracted a lot of hits on the popular Chinese web portal
Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, dismissed such doomsday predictions.
"Primarily, what we see with all these soothsayers and astrologers is that they're looking for opportunities to enhance their business with predictions of danger and calamity," he told AFP.
"They have been very powerful in India but over the last decade they have been in systematic decline."
Astronomers and scientists are also working to educate the public about the eclipse.
Travel firm Cox and Kings has chartered a Boeing 737-700 aircraft to give people the chance to see the eclipse from 41,000 feet (12,500 metres).
Experts will be on board to explain it to passengers, some of whom have paid 79,000 rupees (1,600 dollars) for a "sun-side" seat on the three-hour flight from New Delhi.
The eclipse's shadow is expected to pass over the aircraft at 15 times the speed of sound (Mach 15), said Ajay Talwar, president of the SPACE Group of companies that promotes science and astronomy.
"It's coming in the middle of the monsoon season. On the ground, there's a 40 percent chance of seeing it in India. On the aircraft you have almost a 90 percent chance of seeing the eclipse," he added.
Siva Prasad Tata, who runs the Astro Jyoti website, straddles the two worlds.
"There's no need to get too alarmed about the eclipse, they are a natural phenomenon," the astrologer told AFP.
But he added: "During the period of the eclipse, the opposite attracting forces are very, very powerful. From a spiritual point of view, this is a wonderful time to do any type of worship.
"It will bring about good results, much more than on an ordinary day."
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This is so cool! Go look.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

so I was just standing there and...

I don’t have to be a Drama Queen – my life just works out that way! I go to a conference and the airplane breaks thirty miles out from the airport and has to return and they give us another one; the hotel has a fire; I wash my hair and somehow a water main below the hotel breaks. I try to tidy the room and I scrape the skin off my thumb – all right in fairness, when I attempt any domestic chore I injure myself – there is the scar on my finger where I tried to cook a turkey and nearly sliced off my finger, or the time I fell off the kitchen ladder when attempting to retrieve a pot to cook pasta and sprained my ankle, or the time I burned the top of my left breast when frying chicken…. So I learned one needs to be dressed when cooking.

What I’m saying is that I really have no need to go looking for trouble or even excitement or a change-up – it pretty much comes to me.

I have to rest now so that I can pack and return to Texas, that country of heat and sexy husband doctor chaps. Yummy.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


So much for being so very clever - not.

I brought fuzzy-butt, aka Angus, with me on the trip to the conference in Washington D.C., and he has been brilliant company and verrry well behaved I must say - I used 68% of my luggage space (and paid the HUGE amount of money that Continental charged me for checking a single bag AND having it two bloody ounces over whatever alien weight limit they are using) to pack his food (wet and dry), toys, tent, harness, health papers, leash (oh stop laughing), sleeping fuzzy, and litter scoop and pans with enough litter to get us through the plane trip and a day or so.

Thinking I was being so clever - I ordered, from Petco, the wicked bad people (them, not you), a bag of his litter, World's Best Cat Litter, which it really is - to be delivered to the hotel rather than add even more weight to my bag, to get us through the rest of the trip and the flight home. Clever eh? I thought so.

Today, I received an email saying, "Oops, we don't have any." They may have said "backordered" but it means the same thing. When I called them explaining that in addition to the cost of the litter, I had also paid for overnight delivery, and would be gone now before the litter arrived; the nice boy explained that apparently "we don't have it" or "backordered" can also mean - "We don't have it here, so we are sending it from somewhere else and it will be late, but we will charge you the same amount for shipping.

After carefully explaining my situation (being here not there and the hotel not having a lot of use for cat litter, even exceptional cat litter, and therefore are unlikely to take the cost off my bill and keep the litter in exchange; I was told, "Oh no worries we can have it there by Tuesday."


"Yes," in a voice that said "isn't that grand?"

I explained I'm going back to Texas on SUNDAY and the aforementioned hotel will have the aforementioned no use for the litter! I will be out the cost of shipping and litter and still have no place for Angus to um… well ..uh…expel his waste (whew).

Nathan, the nice boy, said he would “try” to have FedEx reroute it to my house in Texas.

“But”, said I, “if they haven’t shipped it yet, which apparently (duh) they haven’t, why can’t you cancel the order.”

“I don’t know. Well I will try to have them ship it to your house in Texas because I can’t cancel it because it is being shipped.”

“But Nathan, it’s not being shipped – yet; remember that was why Petco sent me the email to tell me it was coming late.”

“The computer won’t let me.”

Ah, that certainly explains everything. Even worse, I couldn’t yell or be upset because he was such a nice young boy and it really isn’t his fault – he’s not running the company or making policy. But whoever you are out there – you persons who are running the company and making policy – consider yourselves yelled at with extreme prejudice.

Oh but did I mention what a posh room I have at the Omni Hotel where I managed such a great deal through Travelocity along with the airline ticket on the terrible flight from hell? Did I not tell you about the flight? Oh that’s right, you will have to read about it over at Powder Room Graffiti as soon as I can get it over to Drunken Mummy. I was really pissed which was great as I hammered out a 700 word article while still on the plane – you have time for that when a three hour flight turns into a six hour flight and you are stuck in a seat that won’t recline and you aren’t allowed up because… – umm hmmmm.

I’m very tired now. I must rest.


first time jitters

All right sports fans, I'm off to my first day of the RWA (romantic writers of America) Conference. I have to say I feel a bit out of place - I don't really think of myself as a "romance writer", but I'm coming around to it. It's not your Harlequin romance days any more (not that there's anything wrong with that!). someone ask me what my book was about, and I said - "sex and guns" - so I guess I qualify eh?

I'll let you know... I'm a bit nervous as to fitting in...

Angus is all set in his tent in the hotel and prepared for a day of eat, sleep, and having the maid no doubt bring in others to admire him!


Monday, 13 July 2009

Photographs from the rehearsal dinner

Rehearsal Dinner

click on the photograph to take you to the album...

5 June 2009

Flip videos by Sherri (our film maker, hostess, friend extraordinaire will be coming when I figure out how to import them from the email... of the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.

Friday, 10 July 2009

There I was...

Dr. Kaku

You tube of Dr. Kaku ( one of my most favourite scientist guys) on multiverses.

Premonitions: a strong feeling that something is about to happen, esp. something unpleasant; foreboding, presentiment, intuition, (funny) feeling, hunch, suspicion, feeling in one's bones; misgiving, apprehension, fear; archaic presage.

Have you ever had one? Do you think they happen? Is it real? Just a con-man/woman’s trick? A coincidence? “That woman’s thing”? Magic? Evil? Your imagination? So what?

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: “The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa. 
--Heisenberg, uncertainty paper, 1927” - This bit of science would seem to rule out the possibility of anyone or anything (computer data at quantum speeds) being able to take anything other than a guess, or a well informed guess, or a wild hair up your bum guess at the future - however (you knew that was coming right?) if we extrapolate the known scientific data and expand our thinking to include String Theory and a multiverse view(s) of reality – then the possibility of premonitions becomes more likely.

But again, so what? Can you change the flow of reality? You think the truck is going to hit the dog at ten a.m. If there are multiple dimensions then what you have done if you save the dog, is divert the path you were taking in this reality to an alternate path? The dog continues to live here, but your other self has to lose him? In the theory of multi-dimensional universes, there is no ‘path not taken’. Did you float ( well I can’t think of a scientific term!) over to another universe briefly and see the future that will unfold in this reality?

The one commonality that exists (that we know so far) between multiverses is gravity – that weak but ubiquitous force that permeates all space-time, as we know it, and affects all that we see and cannot see. It is in some way intertwined with dark matter – that other mysterious but none the less real force that has a concrete, continuous, and yet unknown impact on our galaxy, our planet, and our reality. So – does gravity have some impact on premonitions? (That’s where I started remember?)

The reason this is on my mind is because I am ‘one of those people’ who have premonitions. That said, they are, in my case, useless. I get a feeling of dread, or of something about to happen… What? To whom? Where? No bloody idea! The only thing that happens with certainty and a time I can pinpoint is when it is over; when the thing, whatever it is, has happened. Sometimes it is something in my family, sometimes it is some event on the other side of the bloody world that has nothing to do with me but that I am a fellow human! And that’s the other indefinable, but certain thing that happens, I know what it is when I see it on the news, or read it in the paper, or hear about it from someone. “Ah, that’s what that was.” Useless and bloody annoying I tell you.

The day before Katherine Hepburn died, I was a wreck. I didn’t know the woman! Like her movies? Yes, but did not know her. The morning of the eruption of that little volcano in Washington State? I was in India and didn’t know why I was upset for a week until I got down to civilization and heard the news!

Yesterday for about three hours, black cloud sitting on my chest, I called my child, my stepchildren, my husband, and anyone else I thought I should be concerned about – everyone was fine. Then three hours later, I’m getting out of the automobile at Barnes & Noble (of course J. took me to a bookstore to cheer me up! What? You thought a jewellery store? No, that’s Dulwichmum!) and bam, I knew whatever it was had happened and was over. The weight that had been on my chest all morning was gone, and I was as chipper as ever, albeit still confused.

Last night I received a call from a friend that a friend of his friend (how far removed? Well not as far as Kate Hepburn!) had been killed in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. A nice young American boy, a Marine.

See what I mean? Useless! I mean, even say I could have pinpointed the whom or the where, what the bloody hell could I have done? Arghhhhh.

Have you ever had a premonition? What did you do? Do you think it is some subconscious knowledge of a critical mass of facts that we just have not consciously acknowledged? Or a gift of some sort of special sensitivity? There is much to-do about this and other mysteries of the mind I know – during the Cold War it was greatly researched (?) by both sides for a useful end to use in warfare with no great result.

Your thoughts oh brilliant readers?

Monday, 6 July 2009


We brought the kitten home from the airport and in short order he informed us of his 'true' name - Angus MacLeod H*****. Then he explored my desk, did some reading, read the instruction manual for my new laptop and was pooped! What a charmer he is!

He's home and told us his name is


Thursday, 2 July 2009

This is the first of my new desk buddies - I'm still waiting for the kitty and the new laptop. Albert Einstein is an old joke with J. and I. When we were young and together, he didn't think I was terribly bright – ‘hot’ yes, smart? Not so much.

One day in my apartment he noticed a book about/by Albert Einstein and thought to himself – “Now what could that be doing here? Someone must have given it to her… or it’s a doorstop, that’s it, she uses it for a doorstop.”

In our second time around, he has come to the conclusion that perhaps I’m not so very dumb – but still hot! ☺ He brought this action figure (I do so love that there is an action figure of Albert) home for me last week. Is that romantic or what? Isn’t life grand?


Wednesday, 1 July 2009

I so want to grow up and be able to write like Maureen Dowd!

July 1, 2009
Rules of the Wronged


Stay focused, ladies. Here is The Practical Guide to Help Spurned Political Wives Survive Old Problems in the Era of New Technology.

1. Skip the press conference, especially when your husband is copping to call girls, gay pickups in airport bathrooms or “tragic” and “forbidden” telenovela-style love stories. Stoicism at the skunk’s side is overrated and, as Larry Craig’s wife learned, sunglasses don’t help.

2. When there’s an Associated Press bulletin quoting your husband saying that he has found his soul mate but he’s going to try to fall back in love with you, change the locks. (At your second home, too.)

3. If you can’t maintain a dignified Silda Spitzer silence; if you can’t find a girlfriend, a shrink, a personal trainer, a hairdresser or a yoga teacher to confide in; if you must unburden yourself of your fury about your loser husband, go to Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or even Deepak Chopra before crying to The A.P. A news wire is not a spiritual adviser.

4. When your husband turns into a Harlequin romance, babbling to The A.P. — yes, even The A.P. thought it was T.M.I. — about a magical encounter on an open-air dance floor in Uruguay, “a soul that touches yours in a way that no one’s ever has,” and the “left brain and right brain” compartmentalization of “the world of ideas that impact this country and state” and “the pursuit of happiness, whatever that is,” just beat it.

5. If you think the worst is over, it’s probably only beginning. On Tuesday, after you thought Mark Sanford had already emoted and burbled more than any man in history, he volunteered to The A.P. (again!) that he had “crossed lines” with a handful of women on trips out of the country, but only “crossed the ultimate line” with his enchanting Maria. And just when you thought John Edwards could not sink any lower, there is news of a sex tape, in which Rielle Hunter shows off her skills not only in videography but pornography.

6. No matter how revolting your husband’s behavior is, don’t be passive-aggressive in public. Refrain from making any remarks that have a veneer of dignity but derogatory subtexts that sound like: “We’re trying to reconcile but it’s going to be tough because he has irreparably damaged my children” or “He has no integrity and I want my kids to have integrity” and “Sure, I’d like to give him a chance if he weren’t such a sleazeball.”

7. Don’t bring the children into it. They suffer enough being the kids of politicians. In the era of Facebook, texting, Google and iPhones, calling him out as a bad father will just go viral in the kids’ circles. Don’t trot out the family on “Oprah,” as Elizabeth Edwards did, or weepily show The A.P. the report cards of your two oldest sons from their elite private school in Columbia, S.C., as Jenny Sanford did.

8. Even if you’re a clever, competent woman, you risk sounding like a stereotypical harridan if you use the kids as a bludgeon and tell the press, as Jenny did: “You would think that a father who didn’t have contact with his children, if he wanted those children, he would toe the line a little bit.” When kids are involved, it’s best to chill when dishing out revenge.

9. Don’t slam his girlfriend for lying when you know she’s telling the truth. Don’t refer to the baby your rival had with your husband as “it.” Don’t trash a mistress, as Hillary and Elizabeth did, as a wacky stalker. No one — except the wife — blames the girlfriend as much as they blame the husband. Besides, you invite The Other Woman’s retaliation, as when Rielle decided — after watching Elizabeth spill to Oprah — that she might want that DNA test after all.

10. High-powered women like Hillary, Elizabeth and Jenny who give up their careers to focus on their husbands’ ambitions feel doubly betrayed. But it’s not your husband’s fault if you sacrifice more for the relationship than he does. Like an investor in a down market, you took a risk without a guarantee it would pay off. If you make your husband your career and you lose your husband, you lose your career, too.

11. Cut your losses and keep going. Don’t let yourself get dragged into his drama or your reputation may follow his down the well. Hillary refused to let that happen. She salvaged her long investment in Bill Clinton and turned a profit when she became a senator.

12. As you stay out of the spotlight that singes your husband, listen to whatever messages he is sending you through the press. When your husband says that is a world-class love story, ask him what this is. Just don’t do it through The A.P.

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Happiness aside, the news is bothering me today!

First up – the Cap n’ Trade Bill that passed the house in the shadow of Michael Jackson-news-all-the-time-all-the-networks. If one reads the sneaky fine print, I don’t think this is a good idea. I tried to find the bill online to actually read it, but could only find sites to read about it. As you can see on the link above the Energy Czar hasn’t bothered to read the entire thing. What?
A couple of opposing view points:
Mr. Beck (whom I really dislike as he is fast and loose at times, but not always, with his “facts” and unlike Fox’s Mr. O’Reilly is NOT charming). I’m a CNN girl, but you can’t argue with the opposition unless you know what they are saying; and sometimes they are correct.
The International Herald Tribune (which in the interest of disclosure has been purchased by the New York Times)
From The Economist ( the one that put the scare in me and had me up this morning writing letters to U.S. senators)

Then I hear about this – the FDA (the same people who passed Viagra in six months but took six years to pass a sunscreen that protects against both kinds of harmful rays from the sun) has decided that (and yes this is a personal issue for me) those who suffer from chronic pain should just suck it up. They are proposing to eliminate Vicodin, Percocet, and to lower the dosages of acetaminophen in the over the counter drugs that people use for arthritis, acute injuries, muscle pain, etc. This site is apparently (I’m still reading) a place one can go to protest this proposal- unfortunately I see by 30 June 2009. I’m looking to see who else can be contacted. Pain medication makes the lives of many chronic pain sufferers bearable, for those like me it increases significantly the quality of life on a day-to-day basis. Doctors (trust me) are skittish enough about prescribing pain medication even when clearly indicated.

What do you think?