Friday 28 August 2009

all roads lead from Saks fifth avenue

In strange city? Can’t figure out where to find shops and people? Head for Saks my friend, you can’t go wrong.

It is become obvious to me that Colorado does not get started until after ten a.m. A bit of a surprise I must say – cattle country and all that. Yet here I sit on a bench, having walked the 6.47km here from the B&B, outside the Cherry Creek Mall waiting for Saks to open its doors for me to go inside and find the bloody Starbucks. I’ve had my tea this morning, yes I did, but I fear that Paris and Houston have addicted me to the daily dose of Starbuck’s lattes. The air out here is crisp and cool (yes that is me you hear sighing in your ear), and the flowers out front are resplendent in reds, yellows, and purples. Not a lot of fountains about I noticed, but that could just be because Houston has so many.

The Denver Saks, for example – across the street is West Elm (more reminiscent of Morocco for me), just next to Chase Bank where dear husband picked up an ATM card for me before I left Houston (just in case). Alongside Restoration Hardware and across the street? Hermes! Oh Mama bring me home! All I need now is a Tiffany’s and Banks and Biddle to feel truly at home (and those I found inside!). The token Neiman Marcus is about, where Saks leads…
Yes I do believe this is the place to get my five pages written today and to get a look at Denver.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

safe in Denver

Another horrid flight on Continental. I’m going on another airline in the near future, any airline; it is a pattern I tell you. We arrived to a surprisingly (to me) small airport in Denver that was still difficult to maneuver with cat, essentials, and computer in hand, and find the baggage claim to recover my cases; but there was a lovely black Mercedes with an English driver waiting for me (oooh that takes me back), which began to make things much better. Angus took the trip in his normal calm stride, great traveler that one.

We are settled into our little writing home away from home. Angus has his tent, his food, and some rather unfortunate litter until Petco ships me his regular stuff (the World’s best cat Litter, and it is! I walked out a short while, very short, and found the local Starbucks. I’m taking a longer walk today to check out the local posh mall for writing sites.

My goal is five pages a day – that starts tomorrow, but I’m going to give today a shot. Keep your fingers crossed, bring out those four leaf clovers, get your rabbit’s foot, statues of Venus – anyone, any spirit that you think can help, I’m up for all positive flows.

Condolences to the Kennedy Clan.

Sunday 23 August 2009

When you have to run away from home and you really don’t want to do so - it is confusing.

I have been living my own fairy tale romance since August last, and all was going along splendidly – all right I could easily and happily live without the ex-wife who refers to me as “her”, and is far less than cordial? (I’m snickering here) Other than that – when my sweet love called me last August, as I sat writing in Morocco, I had no idea how my life would change; how I would return to the past and live out my future as the wife of my true love, and have two wonderful step-children added to my life and the joy my own child gives me.

Then Houston and the summer? Summer, really? Can you call this humid, constant, unrelenting, heat that actually makes you shorter when you walk out in it summer? Air so thick that when you attempt to breathe in it’s like taking wet cotton fibers through your trachea to your lungs and then pushing it back OUT again! I’m creating macramĂ©’ down there! Apparently for me it is more that little hideaway that Dante described for those less – nice. But hey, I’m nice! So what gives? Love my lovely readers, that’s what, love. I would live in the middle of the Gobi desert (been there done that) if that were the only way I could live my life in the arms of my love (yes, Q it’s sappy, but it’s true!).

However J. would like me to last longer than one season (it’s the cute and adorable factor I’m certain of it) and has thus decreed that I quit this city built on a swamp. Why people? Why build a city here? I’m sure they had their reasons… she said. But for my migraine-head, and me set to go off at anything over eighty degrees it has been hell. I’ve spent more days down with a h/a than up, and I cannot write long enough to get on the road – Ian and the rest of you writers know what I mean. It’s not writer’s block or any such thing, but that time you need in the world you are creating. The interaction you must have with your characters one on one. The mind set that you must inhabit in order to know what is going to come next, or as many times happens, just keep up with where your characters are going – even when you had no bloody idea that was the destination. And what’s the hero doing with THAT woman? Wait a minute that's not the hero and who is she? If you see my drift…

And so I am packing Angus and myself for a separation of six weeks. Albeit there will be conjugal visits; I have been promised. This is best I think, lest I begin to chew the furniture. I am, as you might imagine so conflicted. At first I was only sad to be leaving, but now I begin to feel the tingling in my fingers, and that stirring in the back of my head waiting to burst forth with the last part of the book, the articles promised, and yes – the next book as well. That, for a writer, is like a low-lying constant orgasmic state let me tell you. Granted we are looking at a great deal of blood on the keyboard here, but joyful nonetheless. I read something the other day, like you do, where Dorothy Parker (pithy extraordinaire’) when asked if she liked to write said, “I like having written.” Oh yes love, I hear that. We all love having written.

My aims are two fold: solitude and a drop in temperatures low enough to break this cycle of pain. Denver is the destination. While still warm there I understand the air is different in that you can’t actually wring the moisture out of it with your hands. I am staying in what looks to be a lovely old Victorian B&B. The cities’ most populated and busy areas are away, and yet close enough to walk, and in the case of heavy cat litter have a car to drive me, to everything I should need. I’m very pleased. And they have a TEA ROOM. Sold.

Expect to see the current excerpts edited and polished, and some new material making its way to the blog for you to read, and please feedback.

I must mention two of my lovely readers. Ian, upon whom you all know I have a cyber-crush, wrote me two inspiring and caring notes to speed me along. And my friend to the North, “Nobody Important” made an incredible offer to help out. So as in my Oscar speech (best original script based on a book of course) I would like to publically say thank you and reaffirming my belief that the world abounds with people of the most excellent joie de vivre and splendid character.

Finishing the cleaning off of my desk, a task worthy of Hercules, should be done this morning. Then to the packing – oh? Did I mention the a/c on the third floor died yesterday afternoon, it was Saturday, and while you can now fry eggs on the ironing board – they don’t come out on the weekend (I imagine him saying as he sits with the ribbons from the window a/c blowing his hair as he sips on his beer). Grrrr. WE all engaged in some of the most creative sleep positions last night and then they all got up with me at four a.m. – go figure.

The travails continue, as I must go to the third floor today to PACK! There’s no not doing that, and in Houston there IS no down time from the heat. I have been getting up at four a.m. hoping for it to be cool enough even for a walk with no joy; can you can only imagine how my packing will go. I’m thinking to use that old adage: whatever you forgot to pack is what credit cards are for my dear.” The large case will be taken up with the paraphernalia of Angus, like traveling with a toddler. I’m packing up a couple of boxes of things I shall need when the weather (soon please) begins to cool. I shall have them addressed and ready for J. to take to FedEx. With the way the airlines charge for airfares these days it’s the only logical way.

We’ve had me to the doctor, and Angus to the vet, so we are good to go. He has his tent, I have my laptop. He has his toys, I have my books. Wish us luck please. I shall be here. I’m taking my camera to show you some of the beauty of Colorado as it changes seasons.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Saw this on a talking shirt and giggled

• Wine her
• Dine her
• Call her
• Hug her
• Support her
• Hold her
• Surprise her
• Compliment her
• Smile at her
• Listen to her
• Laugh with her
• Cry with her
• Romance her
• Encourage her
• Believe in her
• Pray for her
• Cuddle with her
• Shop with her
• Give her gifts
• Send her flowers
• Hold her hand
• Write love letters
• Go to the end of the earth


Tuesday 18 August 2009

Yawn....excuse me.

0315hrs of a Tuesday morning…

So is the not sleeping soundly through the night an age thing in your fifties or a health thing, or the fact there is so much running through one’s mind at this age, so much to be done, that sleep in a nice chunk is elusive? I will admit that I slept more when I lived alone, but that was because staying up at all hours and sleeping at weird times affected no one but me. Now I have a husband, the housekeeper, the gardener, the children, the man who has to check the plumbing, the electrical guy, the continuing parade of cable/dsl people who can’t get me a decent internet signal…and the postman.

The waking at three and four a.m. to toss and turn or in my husband’s case pull out a book, and in my case try to find an old movie I’ve seen fifty times so that the dialogue can put me to sleep or pull out my laptop and see if inspiration is awake as well.

The problems with university fees and the more immediate problems of getting in (youngest daughter), the football career of the youngest son, the continuing evil machinations of the ex-wife, the book that needs finishing, the articles that must be written, the meeting with the lawyers, the appointment with the dermatologist to check out that pesky red spot…. The mind can drift and smash up against the rocks for hours. My methodology is to get up and be about it. My husband reads until he falls back into slumber. His way I think is better as by early afternoon my bum is dragging, my brain is mushy, and I don’t nap!

It’s an art – napping. Some of the great minds I’ve read - Churchill, Roosevelt, Hawkins, Wheeler, and the like were all nappers. I can’t do it. I’m always afraid that something will happen and someone will need me – hubris or that pesky rescue complex again? MY daughter’s grandfather, a champion napper, passed on the skill to her.

And at what age is the first news article you click on the front page of the New York TimesTests Begin on Drugs That May Slow Aging”?! I’m laughing at myself because boy that was a warp speed click for me! Apparently “testing” is the key word here, but at 59 years-of-age I’m optimistic! The big talk about aging slower has been severe calorie restriction, but you know if I can’t have my KIr Royals and my scones, I’ll give up a couple of years.
I’m amused that I can skip right over this comment, “Evolutionary biologists, the experts on the theory of aging, have strong reasons to suppose that human life span cannot be altered in any quick and easy way.
NO! I want an easy way. Crimey I’ve been looking for a way out of exercise for years – with no joy, but I’m still wating for THAT pill. Yes indeedy. Huzzah!

Now here’s my guy: “My rule of thumb is to ignore the evolutionary biologists — they’re constantly telling you what you can’t think,” Gary Ruvkun of the Massachusetts General Hospital remarked this June after making an unusual discovery about longevity.”

“The Food and Drug Administration does not approve drugs to delay aging, because aging in its view is not a disease.” Apparently the people at the FDA are all under thirty! But I’m with Indiana Jones on this one, “it’s not the years, it’s the milage.” I adhere to that philosophy that once you give the body up, you should have used it up for all it’s worth!

And so you have the views of my brain at three a.m. on a Tuesday. Um...over at Powder Room Graffiti I"ve been moved to the back page after one day but you can still find the article at this place (I hope!)/Please have a look and comment.


Monday 17 August 2009

My first article for Power Room Graffiti! I'm 'above the fold' and really quite excited. Please go over and comment on my article and check out this great website.


Saturday 15 August 2009

Like Henry at Agincourt...

Well sports fans I’m back at Starbuck’s at the Houston Galleria…
“Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more; 
Or close the wall up with our English dead!“

Act III, scene 1, lines 1-2 Henry V

Perhaps not quite so dramatic, albeit me out in the world, in this part of the world, two days in a week is an event worthy of mention.
First order: retail therapy works. I’m just saying.

Second mention: I’m loving, really loving my new verbal recognition software! Finally Mac came out with a program! And it’s fantastic. I’m in the process of teaching it the words “fuck”, “fucker”, “fucking”, “shit”, “C4”, and a few other words necessary to my creative works. At present I’m getting ‘flocking’, ‘stocking’ and ‘schlock’.

I came to the mall today to go to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store (they really have the best Apple store here) to have the battery checked on my new MacPro which should be lasting for SEVEN hours but is only giving me two to four, and my connector on the plug is overheating. So… but my appointment was misplaced, which could easily be my fault as I was jiggling around a lot of appointments this week. No problem, straight away to Borders, which has the best a/c in the mall and an even better (shhhh) latte than Starbucks, but no wireless. I actually escaped without buying a book! All right, all right I did buy a CD but it was Tina Turner!

Then I splurged on a gorgeous flowing silk summer blouse to try to make the heat feel better and took myself to Cole Haan hoping they were still having a sale as my stuff is overflowing my handbag at this point. I’m just not a shoes and bag person – you know that – too many years of travel have made me light in the wardrobe department; but the new laptop has a snug cover so I don’t need to carry a separate bag for it. Consequently I had stuff flowing over my handbag and was carrying the laptop. Fortunately, you knew this was coming, Cole Haan was selling off the last of their summer collection and I found a great bag ($250 dollars off) that holds all my stuff and the laptop! Joy and rapture. The very nice salesman had a good laugh as he watched my dependable red Furla bag (that I bought in Rabat on sale last year) deflate! I piled all my stuff out on the counter and refilled the new bag – you have to be sure – and when the laptop slid home – sold baby. Hehe. I’m very pleased

Yes, my mood is much improved and I thank all of you for your nice comments but it was merely a matter of making a choice, and all of them have a downside. I am leaving. I am going north, then perhaps further north to find cool and solitude to finish the book and hopefully give my head a break. It has been a desperately difficult decision to make; and never has a woman felt more loved or supported by her mate than do I. J thinks my writing is important enough for us to do this, we both know we will feel the separation keenly and one of us (that would be me) will REALLY MISS THE GREAT AND FREQUENT SEX. I’m sure J will miss it too, but my drought was longer – I’m not done making up for the “dry” years….

Gods I love being a redhead for many reasons but one just occurred. I had to quite desperately use the loo and had just volunteered a chair to a nice young woman (this place is soooo crowded you would not believe) so I had the two of them (she had a friend, which was why they needed the extra chair) stand watch over my bag and laptop while I skipped (literally) into the Johnston &Murphy store just here. This rather dapper young man with red hair himself (Scott) saw me coming and took me in hand escorting me to the loo, “We make special compensations to redheads.” See, the world is a wonderful place.

The people watching has been quite splendid but I must pack up my little office I have working here and make my way to the valet Parking site at Saks to meet my love. Young David has his first scrimmage tonight. This is TEXAS people and American football rules the day. I am taking my parasol, some narcotics, a syringe with Imetrex, and J is bringing me a cooler full of Pellegrino. I’m prepared, if I die it’s not from lack of forethought. Six p.m. here and it’s 96 degrees F and 55% humidity. Pray for me to whatever entity listens to you please.

Hopefully I shall see you anon.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

"it's the [heat] stupid"

It’s good to know that it’s still a world that can cheer me up. I’m not used to being depressed, not even a bad mood; and yet I find myself in strange and uncomfortable waters – I’m depressed. Depression = can’t decide what to do to resolve a bad situation; it’s that simple and that difficult. I'm stuck. If I move do I hurt someone I love? If I stay still will I melt mentally?

But I took myself out today, under duress, because (part of the problems to be resolved is that every time I stick my head outside here in Houston, Texas [built on a swamp with temperatures in the 100’s and humidity in the 90’s] why? Why? Would you do that? Build a city here?] I get a migraine. Nasty ones, the kind that lay me out for days and require IV and IM and by mouth and all other orifices (yes, yuk) medications. My liver is thinking of setting up it’s own blog site.

I can’t exercise. I’ve gained some nasty weight that makes me uncomfortable. I can’t go out for a walk – not even at 0400hrs Q,, I tried it – it is still so hot and humid I cannot abide it enough to get out the door. I can’t go shopping because the stores are cutting down on the a/c – it’s cool, but not that old fashioned (pre economic crisis, global warming) a/c where you need a jacket. I can’t shop anywhere that’s not in the mall and enclosed because my American driver’s license expired while I was in Africa (admittedly I was in no great straits to get it renewed, thinking I would never need it again – you know, cabs, donkeys, camels, elephants…); and you guessed it I can’t go down to the Licensing Bureau where there is even LESS a/c to sit for HOURS to wait to take a written test in the heated room and then go out (duh in the heat) to take the mobile driving test. Screwed. Yes, a word. Sigh.

See? Depressed. Arghh. And I hate that because I’ve been about the world and the block enough to know I have no good reason to be depressed; my life is about as good as a life can get right now. I have, literally, the man of my dreams. My child is well. My stepchildren are well. My husband is all about spoiling me rotten. I’m getting lots and lots of sex. ☺ OH yeah baby, there are compensations to the heat. I have a wonderful new cat that I adore and he’s sweeter than I could have imagined and great company.

We are talking about sending me “north”, just far enough to be cool enough so that I can work! There are still people in the world who are so generous as to say, “Oh come on up. We have a bedroom and bath for you and bring the cat.” Can you believe that?! Well it shocked me a bit. I won’t mention her name as I’m not sure she would want me to do so, but boy I’m getting all sniffy just thinking about such kindness and generosity from someone I think is so very special.

At the mall, several nice men told me what a great hat I’m wearing. I found that soft wear program I’ve been looking for for years at Apple and they are going to check out my new MAC Pro on Thursday to see why the battery is not living up to specs; and I got a new reader for my blog in the sales girl Chelsea, who was kind and helpful.

At the Starbucks the young salesman flirted with me and made me feel special, and I found a hilarious talking shirt for J. Normally, as he well knows I don’t ‘approve’ of talking clothes, but in this case I’m making an exception. I shall quote it for you tomorrow.

However as I sit here sharing the table with the nice Starbucks person who is reading her employee pack and just informed me that Starbucks has a coffee in which they put a shot of Jim Beam (yuk), it is heating up. The sun is coming down through the glass ceiling and I feel my head making uh oh noises.

But I feel better. I do. I just thought I’d let you know some of what is going on, and that made me feel better too my lovely readers. I’m off to find a taxi and go home to hide from the heat.


Friday 7 August 2009

a grand laugh

Pleeease go over to my place at FaceBook as I don't know how to get it to post here and see the turtle! Oh my! My sides are still hurting from laughing so hard. Have YOU been turtled today?


Tuesday 4 August 2009

Pisses me off!!!

August 4, 2009
Cabbies Stay on Their Phones Despite Ban

The ambulance arrived at the scene minutes after the cabs collided, one yellow taxi T-boned into another in a busy Manhattan intersection. Shattered glass covered the street as a woman, still in the back seat of one the cabs, clutched her neck in pain.

A cabby paced beside his wrecked car, an earpiece dangling from the side of his head. An emergency worker, Ralph Ortiz, asked him what had happened.

“I was on the phone,” the driver told Mr. Ortiz, who several months later said he was still stunned by the response. “I didn’t see the light turn red.”

New York City cabbies have been banned from using cellphones for a decade — even the hands-free type, putting the city a step ahead of state law. But the stringent rules remain almost entirely unenforced, even amid research that shows drivers who talk on cellphones are four times as likely to cause a crash.

And as the city struggles to find more effective ways to confront the problem — call it an epidemic of gab — much of the burden to report cellphone abuse falls on passengers, who can feel powerless or intimidated.

The authorities issued just 232 summonses for cellphone use in yellow cabs during the first six months of this year, or one ticket for every 517,241 cab rides during that period, based on the city’s estimated ridership.

For the same period in 2008, 411 summonses were issued, or about one for every 291,971 rides.

The head of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the city agency that regulates the industry, acknowledged that combating phone use by drivers remains “a constant battle.” But the commissioner, Matthew W. Daus, said the problem is not as bad as it used to be, citing a decline in summonses and consumer complaints from 2008 and this year.

Yet for many New Yorkers, the sight of a cabby using a cellphone while driving has become an indelible part of the urban milieu — the vehicular equivalent of jaywalking.

A reporter set out on a recent Saturday for an unscientific survey: On 20 taxi rides, taken at various times across Manhattan, more than a third of the drivers talked on the phone. (A few checked text messages as well.) Asked politely to cease their conversations, nearly all immediately complied, and one offered an emphatic apology.

One driver, however, was less contrite. After picking up a passenger in Greenwich Village, the driver chatted several minutes on a hands-free device before being asked to stop talking. Instead, he stopped the car. “I can’t take you,” the driver said as he pulled to the side of the road, pointing at the dashboard and mumbling about an engine stall.

New York’s rules about phone use in taxis, passed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission in 1999 over objections from the wireless industry, are among the strictest in the country. While similar restrictions exist in Boston and Chicago, hands-free devices in taxis are permitted in Los Angeles and Washington. In Denver and Miami, all drivers — cabbies included — can use cellphones.

Drivers in New York City who are convicted of violating the rule must pay a $200 fine. Yet caught-while-chatting cabbies have remained a rarity since the beginning of the decade, when cellphones first flourished. Fewer than 800 summonses were issued to yellow and livery cabs in 2007; at most, 2,285 citations were issued in 2004.

The city began a sting operation in 2008, called “Operation Secret Rider,” where inspectors posed as passengers to check on cabbies’ conduct. Mr. Daus called the program an effective deterrent, but much of the enforcement still ends up being left to riders. “Any passenger can be our eyes and ears,” Mr. Daus said, adding that the city has made it easier for passengers to call in complaints.

Research shows that the hands-free devices commonly used by cabbies, like Bluetooth headsets and lavalier microphones, are considered by researchers to be just as dangerous.

“They’re so absorbed in their phone call — even if they have the earplug in their ear,” said Niobe Way, a psychology professor at New York University . who often takes cabs with her son and daughter, ages 9 and 6. “It’s not only my own safety, it’s my children’s safety.”

For riders like Ms. Way, confronting a driver can be a fearsome prospect. Her heart often starts to race after stepping into a taxi and finding the cabby on the phone. Most drivers respond amicably when she requests they hang up, but about one in five do not take it as well. “One guy told me I was being mean,” she said. “Another guy told me I was acting like a drill sergeant.”

This delicate interchange — a polite admonishment, followed by an uncertain response — has become a near-daily ritual for Ms. Way, 45. “It’s a little stressful for me to say something; I’m not a very aggressive person,” she said. “You’re asking someone to do something that creates a negative atmosphere.”

Cabbies say that they do not mind hanging up if a passenger is bothered, unless there’s an emergency. Gino Augustino, a single parent from Brooklyn who has been driving cabs for five years, said he uses his phone only to talk with his son and two daughters. “I leave them at home with my mother, and when they call, I’ll pull over,” Mr. Augustino, 47, said, pointing to his headset. “You never know with kids. That’s why I have the phone, for them.”

Taxi drivers say their cellphones can be a lifeline in emergencies and a relief from the isolation of 12 hours on the streets. And they say that as professional drivers, they are less likely to be distracted.

“Private motorists don’t accumulate the kind of knowledge and experience that a professional yellow cab driver does,,” said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which says it represents 11,000 of the city’s cabbies.

It is difficult to gauge whether the use of phones in cabs has resulted in a riskier experience for taxi passengers. The Taxi and Limousine Commission does not keep track of any taxicab accidents, let alone those caused by the use of a cellphone.

The State Department of Motor Vehicles logs all accidents in the city, but while cellphone use is cited as a factor for some accidents, the numbers are unreliable because the reports are not handled uniformly.

This being New York, the most effective means of cutting off a conversation may be found not in the offices of city regulators, but in the customer’s wallet.

“When I talk all the time, the passengers get angry,” said Mohammad Forazi, 42, of the Bronx. “They don’t give tips.”

Matt Richtel contributed reporting.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
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Sunday 2 August 2009

Angus at play

-Angus basking in the sun

- on the lookout

- a little art history relaxation

Saturday 1 August 2009

No, I don’t watch "Teen Vogue"

But I do confess to the weekly peek at online People Magazinee,

and I saw this quote: "I'm an artist; I'm not going to use trigonometry." – 16-year-old Taylor Momsen, on why she is passing on the traditional college experience, to Teen Vogue.

I don't watch television except for CNN and Law and Order re-runs, (great for white noise writing back ground) so I don't know who she is, but where, I want to know, are her parents; and why are they not telling her that an artist, perhaps more than most professions, needs an education, especially one that includes math!?

I find this most disheartening. I understand dreams. I have had, and still have my own. If my child had come to me and said she wanted to be an artist, I would have given her all the support possible – but I would have also done everything I could to keep her in school as long as I could.

Yes, Tom Cruise make it without even a high school education but… well do I really need to elaborate? Whereas Meryl Streep attended Vassar and Dartmouth, and take a look at her life in comparison. Brooke Shields, Natalie Portman, Jodie Foster – and the others who put education on the top of their list of ‘things to do’ have benefited from it. A Harvard graduate, Tommy Lee Jones, does not seem to have suffered from a good education.

No matter what we choose to do in life there is no profession that cannot profit by education. Admittedly I am a perennial student; I was in class up unto 2005, and took online classes as long as I was able while in Morocco. After a while it became impossible to get the books I needed for class and I had to quit. Since coming to Houston, Texas I have been casting a longing eye over to Rice University and will most likely be in one of their classrooms by the end of the year. To stop learning would be to me a certain form of death, and so when I hear a 16-year-old cast aside her chance at a better life it makes my heart hurt. Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” I think to me, a life without constant curiosity and learning is not worth living.

How can you know whether or not you will need trigonometry if you don’t have a passing knowledge of the subject? One of the basic teaching and learning tools of enlightenment is science; not perhaps an area one would expect. But if you don’t read (in or out of a classroom) how will you know? I realize that formal education in the U.S. has many drawbacks, but there are home schooling, tutors, and the Internet has brought the great libraries of the world into our parlors. How can one not take advantage of that?

Yes there are many well-educated ne’er-do-wells, and some evil people who have had the benefits of a great education – but their negative examples do not change my opinion.

My darling husband said, “I can’t believe you look at People Magazine!”

“Only once a week, it’s a guilty indulgence,” I said ducking my head.

“More than that I can’t believe you're going to confess it to your blog readers. It will spoil your image.”

“A – I don’t have an “image”.
B- my blog readers will understand, and
C- that I am embarrassed but will tell them in spite of it, should tell you how much I feel the importance of this discussion."