Sunday, February 28, 2010

El Diablo

After I wrote the last post, I went into my living room. Apparently the cat has recovered from his tape-on-the-paw misadventure but it obviously exhausted him. Here is how I found him, on my new furniture, right before I gave him the heave ho:

He may be evil but he sure is cute.

The Lamp

Today is a beautiful day. The temperature is slightly above 60 degrees, the sun is shining and the sky a delightful blue. I had very little on my agenda today, but I did want to get a floor lamp.

When I got the new living room furniture I had to move a cherry occasional table with a lamp on it to the other side of the room. This left no light on one wall, so I decided to get a floor lamp today.

I found a very simple one. (I prefer simple design.) I was a little chagrined to find I had to get one that was not assembled. Instead of a nice floor lamp, standing upright and ready to be perched in front of the wall, I ended up with parts of a new floor lamp, in a big box, waiting for me to assemble it.

I got it home and opened the box. This in itself was a project; that box was super sealed. It took a knife (I used a steak knife from my kitchen because I do not own a pocket knife.) and about twenty minutes of pure muscle power to get the box open.

Once that was accomplished, I took all the pieces out of the box and laid them on the floor. Then I found two pages of directions, one in English, the other in Spanish.I read the directions, written next to a labelled diagram: put part A into part B, turning clockwise. Insert nickel plated ring (part C) on to part A and screw clockwise. Insert finial (part D) on to the harp (part E) and set down on shade. Attach harp bottom (part F) on to the vase cap (part G) after attaching to the pipe (Part H)..Set part H to lamp base (part I). set part A which is on top of part B making certain part C is straight. Tighten part D on to part E.

Hmm. Okay I read it and studied my alphabet directions.

"I can do this. I can." I was determined. (I also found the 800 help number on the directions ..just in case.)

I looked around the room. There were parts, A thru I, helter skelter around the floor, the big empty box lay on its side and all the cardboard innards that kept the parts from bumping into each other were tossed next to it. The clear wrap which protected all of this from getting scratched had been tossed (by me) all around. I decided to stop what I was doing and make some coffee.

While in the kitchen I noticed the dish washer was full and decided to run it. Then, after I put the coffee on to perk, I decided to look through the freezer to see what I should thaw for dinner. It didn't take long for the coffee to perk, so I poured myself a cup of coffee and took it outside to our back patio so I could watch the birds while I drank it.

I could hear the loud banging clear outside. I ran in to find the (evil) cat in the big box, his front feet stuck to a piece of tape I had removed from the box with the knife. The poor thing was thrashing about inside of that box as if the devil had taken hold of his little furry soul.

Great. I pulled him out and managed to remove the tape from his paw before he flew out of the room, scratching me only a little in the process. There was no more putting it off; the time to assemble the blasted floor lamp was on hand.

I knelt down and picked up parts D and E and managed to get those put together when John meandered into the room. One look from him and he, knowing my engineering capabilities are pretty limited, took over. Within maybe five minutes the entire lamp was assembled and sitting next to my new love seat.

He hadn't as much as GLANCED at the directions!! I was in awe!

"How did you do that??"

"Beej," he said over his shoulder as he walked out of the room, "It's just a lamp.."

That John is a smart guy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Italian Cuisine

There's an old saying that goes, "An Italian hugs everything that's alive

Me hugging Kelli:

and eats everything that's dead.

Dead baby lizard:

Okay, maybe we don't eat dead baby lizards. At least I never have but I bet there are plenty of Italians who have. I did, however, grow up eating some pretty strange things. Pigs feet and chicken kidneys are two of them that immediately come to mind. I thought everyone ate these and it wasn't until I got to my teens that I figured out we were odd man out with this cuisine. I haven't touched them since. don't get me wrong; I love pigs feet. They're good! And I still remember how wonderful it was to sink my teeth into a sandwich made with boiled chicken kidneys. How was I supposed to know mom boiled them to remove all the teetee still floating around in those kidneys?

One of my childhood friends was a neighbor girl named Lynn. She asked what my mom was going to cook for dinner that night.

"Chicken kidney sandwiches." I replied without much thought.

She was silent for a long time and i glanced over at her to see her face had turned green.

"You're kidding." was all she could say.

"No! They're wonderful!"

She ran away.

A few weeks later. mom made them again. I ate, made another sandwich and trotted down to Lynn's house.

"Hey, Lynn. try this."

"What is it?" she had obviously forgotten our previous conversation.

"Something good! Take a bite."

She did.

"Yummmm." she sighed. amid chews. "This is wonderful. What is it?"

"Chicken kidney samwich."

No kidding, no lie, Lynn threw up. That was my real first clue that other people simply did not eat certain things that we took for ordinary food.

Mom cooked some pretty strange stuff, among them pig stomach and calf brains.

calf brains

honeycomb tripe

My sister once told me that she remembers mom scooping up woodchuck roadkill with which to make a stew but I'm pretty sure she made that up. who knows tho?

I would not eat the stomach or the brains. In fact, if there's anything that smells worse than simmering stomach, it's simmering brains floating around a pot with some stewed tomatoes. I don't care how good your tomatoes are. It stinks. It will make you flee your house and cause bile to rise in your throat for hours after you've inhaled its aroma.

It could have been worse, I suppose; the Chinese restaurant in my sister's town got closed down because the health department discovered hamster meat in the dumplings. I can't decide if hamster meat is more disgusting than pig's feet, but I'm pretty sure hamster tastes worse.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jimmy Dean 1-800-Complaint

This is a complaint made to the Jimmy Dean 800 number. It contains some cussing but I sat and laughed for 10 minutes over this. Heck, I'm still laughing! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaa!!!

oh gosh..deep breath..
hahahaaaaa!!!!HAR HAR

(my simple mind is sooo easily amused..)

Not By The Hair Of My Chinny-Chin-Chin.

I enjoy reading other folks blogs. I'll spend hours hitting the 'next blog' button. I've run into a slew of different topics by doing that, including one from a mom of a heroin addicted daughter, to a recently widowed young woman who's a mom of four real young kids. "Course, there's a host of young married couples who travel to exotic places and use their blogs as travelling journals, and moms who proudly post photos of their babies. Then there are the crafters who show off their creations in hopes of selling them and making a few bucks.

Recently I ran into a blog that amazed me, not because the topic was outstanding; just the opposite. This lady..and I cant post a link because I'm sure I'll never stumble upon it again..wrote about the most mundane things imaginable but did it so well that the reader just could not stop reading.

The day I found it, this lady had written a wordy post about a hair chin, of all things. From her profile picture, she seemed to be an attractive woman, maybe in her early to mid 30's. she had just gotten out of the shower, was putting on her body lotion when she noticed an extremely long chin hair growing out of her face. She said it was exceptionally long and greatly resembled a wire. She went on and on about this repulsive long hair, and you know what? I COULD NOT STOP READING!

I am not obsessed with facial hair. Except maybe Brad Pitts'. But that's only because a hirsute Brad Pitt is incredibly powerful eye candy to me. But hair, even just one hair, growing out of a females face makes my stomach turn. I have a customer who buys books at my bookstore and I swear she has at least a dozen black wiry ugly things hanging fron her under chin. I can barely look at her. I would love to take her aside and hand her a razor and tell her to just shave them off, but I can't do that to a stranger. Plus she probably would never buy from us again.

In Europe, body hair is thought to be attractive, or so I've heard. But to me, there is nothing pretty about this:

I doubt however, that even the most savvy, sophisticated European would be attracted to a wiry hair sprouting from a females face.

But this blogger made it seem really interesting. Or a least her reaction to finding it was interesting.

I learned from her that it really doesn't matter WHAT you write, as much as it does HOW you write.

Not that I have facial hair to write about..

Not by the hair of MY chinny chin chin.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don't Worry Jenny, the Hypodermic Was A Ruse.

Yesterday morning I was in my car listening to the local radio. The DJ began to read letters sent to him via the station's Facebook page.

"We have this from Jenny. When will it be safe to eat Walmart's meat again without fear of finding a hypodermic needle in your mouth?" He said.

Huh? Okay, I know that every so often we will hear about various things in our food, things we would rather not have there, but a hypodermic needle? That's a new one on me.

"Jenny, " the DJ responds, "That was one isolated case in one store. You do not have to fear Walmart's meat."

This is the scoop: apparently a man in the Tampa Florida area stuck a hypodermic needle in a package of hamburger at the local Super Walmart.

Kyle Sumrall, 26.

Now, Mr. Sumrall did not do this to be mean or to harm anybody. He did it because his floors were dirty. See, Mr. Sumrall needed to vacuum his house. The only problem was, he did not have a vacuum and he had no money with which to purchase a vacuum. His only recourse was to go to Walmart and steal one.

Mr. Sumrall thought he had this well planned. After what must have taken great thought, he decided he needed to divert Walmart workers' attention while he made his escape with his newly stolen Hoover. So, he purchased some hypodermics, went to the meat counter, and inserted the needle into the package. Then he took the meat to the managers. He showed his outrage at finding this dangerous needle in his meat.

Apparently the upper echelon of this local Super Walmart went nuts. The store was up in arms. And while they were all focused on that, Mr. Sumrall (Dumbrall?) waltzed over to the small appliance section, grabbed a $329 Hoover, and trotted out of the store with it.

Now, Mr. Sumrall did not think this through as well as he should have because he forgot all about the security cameras. When the police arrived, they did their little investigation and saw film of this man not only pushing the hypodermic into the meat, but also strolling out with the Hoover.

Mr. Sumrall was arrested and now his carpets will never get least not for a very long time.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Carlos Santana / Los Lonely Boys (I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love)

This isn't for everybody but if you are a Carlos Santana fan or a Los Lonely Boys fan, or even better, if you are a Carlos Santana fan AND a Los Lonely Boys fan (I am definitely in that group) you'll love this, if for nothing else but to see them having such a great, great time.

Tenants of the Last Chance Hotel

You know how some people give their homes pretty names? The Knoll. Lake View. Terrace On The Bluff. Stuff like that. I have also given my home a new name.

Last Chance Hotel.

I have raised two children to young adulthood. I have done my best. I have provided them with love and shelter. I have supported them financially and emotionally, tried my damnest to instill in them decency and morality. Through their teen years I stuck to my guns, confronted their choices as the need arose, not allowing myself the easy way out of sitting back, saying "do what you will" to them in order to avoid confrontation. They both fully know what I do and do not deem as acceptable behavior. Nonetheless, being young adults they have both made errors in judgement and have had, at various times, to return home with their tails between their legs.

Such is the case now. At a time when I am ready to start enjoying my life, fairly foot loose and fancy free, my chicks have returned to the home-nest. My 20 year old son is attached at the hips (and probably at other various body parts) to his girl friend/fiancee, so they come together. My 23 year old daughter, recently out of a horrid relationship with a jerk of a guy, comes along with a little "min-pin," better known as a miniature pinscher, named Sophie.

So at this stage of my life I have a house full of young adults, two of my own and a constant in and out flow of their friends. I have my beloved, dear dog Abby, who is my most well behaved child, an evil minded cat named Marley (I call him 'Lee') left over from my daughter's last stay at home, now there's Sophie (the bat posing as a dog) and two large lizards, not to mention the crickets we feed to the lizards and who are escape artists and who also need to be fed.

And lets not forget John, even tho he does not like for me to write about him on the web. He's still around here somewhere, midst kids and critters.

I have told my kids that this is now to be known as The Last Chance Hotel. You had better prepare yourselves well, because it's time you stood on your own two feet instead of stepping on mama's dancing toes.



son's girlfriend/fiancee

evil cat, Lee

sweet Abby

my babies, the lizards

Last but not least,
batdog, Sophie

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Day In The Life..

Yesterday my daughter and went for a ride just to see what there was to see. We ended up at the alpaca farm that I wrote about a few months ago.

The owners weren't at home so we were unable to go into the pasture with the alpacas. None the less, we had fun visiting the animals.

On the way back, we passed a cotton field. It dawned on me that many of you may have never seen where your 100% cotton shirts...and your Q-tips... began:

We eventually got back home after running some errands. We had decided to try our hands at making dolmades (stuffed grape leaves.) In our previous state of Virginia, there was a wonderful Greek restaurant which served these and I have sorely missed them. There are no Greek restaurants in southern Alabama. So when one of my customers who happens to be Greek offered me her recipe, I was delighted. Its quite a process, but I followed her directions to a tee:

Now I can hear you ask, "Why isn't Beej including the recipe for these so we can make them too?"

The answer is, "because I like you."
You do not want to make these. after all that time and effort, they were horrible. But they were pretty.

Oh! I almost forgot! What happens if you let an Alabamian redneck loose with a can of yellow spray paint?? Well, you might get this:

It might have been quaint had they not spray painted the tires..

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No Photos Today

Well, well, daughter and I had a busy day, taking photos of alpacas, cotton plants, and more photos of us making dolmades, all for the purpose of showing them to all of y'all here. But, alas, 'it', meaning my add image function, is not allowing me to download photos for some reason.

As what usually is ths case, I'm sure by tomorrow this pain-in-the-hiney bumper glitch will be fixed by tomorrow and I will share them with you then.

And you just wait and see the one photo, that so totally shows what happens when you give an Alabamian a can of yellow spray paint! You will gasp in amazement. Trust me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Little Gift From Nature

This morning nature gave me a little gift. I poured myself a second cup of coffee and went out onto my patio, as I usually do each morning. There was a flurry of activity on my yard and I noticed approximately a dozen and a half robins foraging about in the grass. We all know that robins are the harbinger of Spring, and after the snow of last week, this was a delightful sight.

Suddenly, over the tops of the trees, came another robin. And then another. And then anotherandanotherandanotherandanother, on and on and on until my yard was a veritable sea of robins, plump and happy, gladly sharing their banquet of worms and bugs and whatnot that they enjoy eating, with each other.

What a wonderful thing for me to witness. I wished I had my camera with me because the sheer number of them was astounding. But I knew if I got up to get my camera, they would probably forget their feast and fly into a neighbor's yard. So you will just have to take my word for it, that it was an amazing 'gift' to me.

It also brought to mind an Easter Sunday, long ago, when I went out on a back deck and watched as dozens of little, bright yellow birds flew on to a small tree in front of me, as if decorating its branches in celebration of the holiest of holy days.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Love You ; Hoops and Yoyo


The Weather Outside Was Frightful

We ended up with maybe three or four inches of snow which made the roads a nightmare. I still jumped into my car and took off for the bookstore. I went slow and had no problem except when I got to our (empty) parking lot. Ohhh, I was sooo tempted to gun it and have fun sliding around but I figured it probably would not be a wise thing for me to do.

We did have customers but you would be surprised to know who the majority of them were. They were folks coming up from Florida who had never ever seen snow. They mostly bought Alabama maps because they wanted to find little obscure back roads from which to view the snow in pristine condition. (fools that they are..those roads were terribly unsafe.)

The video above shows one of the local car dealerships (Bondy's) which is on the busy circle surrounding our city. It was obviously taken not long after the snow began. It got really really bad for awhile.

Of course all the schools were closed and the kids built snowmen all over town. They were everywhere!

Keep in mind, this is the deepest of the Deep South. Land of cotton and plantations and magnolia trees..It was a neat event but it probably won't happen down here again for generations to come.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh No, Snow.

It might snow today. This is not a strange thing if you live in the north but I live in the southern most part of Alabama. In fact, if you face south and spit, your spit would land in Florida; turn east and you would hit the southern most part of Georgia.

I lived in New Hampshire for a stretch of time and I am not usually intimidated by snow. But it's different here. Most other folks haven't driven on snow or ice covered roads and they panic. On top of that, we have absolutely no machinery to clear the roads, much less salt or sand with which to treat them.

Any accumulation of snow will absolutely paralyze my city. And I do need to drive to the bookstore today. I am nervous.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bellisimo Buffalo Wings

My son and his girlfriend/fiancee came home this afternoon and I heard whispering. To a mom, that is a sign that she needs to investigate so I jumped up and ran downstairs before any 'evidence' could be hidden. (whispering can mean there is a house rule about to be broken and mothers need to quietly run in order to prevent this from happening or at least to catch sight of some evidence of the 'crime.')

I hear Kim quickly say, "Hurry! Here she comes!"

What the heck are they up to? I know I'm on to something now. I catch a blur run past the corner and into my kitchen and I know, I KNOW what is happening.

"You have buffalo wings, don't you?" I confront them.

"Ma!" my son looks exasperated. "I haven'y eaten today. Please!"

Ah ha! I should have known. Buffalo wings, indeed!


No joke. I am serious. I am not a huge eater. One slice of pizza, two at the most, and I am full. I rarely eat in between meals (unless you count those wonderful chocolate covered espresso beans that I sneak eat several mornings a week) but i can eat buffalo wings until I almost make myself sick.

The other day I sat here in front of my computer eating a pile of these things and trying not to get hot sauce all over my laptop. I ate...are you reaady?...fifteen of them! All by myself! Usually I'm a neat person. I really am. But when I am eating these things, i fall into an abyss and become almost feral. if you tied up my hair and put a bone in it, ala Pebbles Flinstone, stuck me by a fire in front of a cave, I would fit right in.

Messy?? Oh my goodness, I cannot even begin to tell how messy I become. I have hot sauce dripping from my chin, smeared across my cheeks, dripping on my clothes. My fingers do stay relatively clean because I lick them between each wing. From the neck up, I look like a big wing, swimming in hot sauce. In fact, I would probably be wise to strip down to nothing, climb into the bath and eat wings right there in the tub.

Do Europeans eat buffalo wings? I have no idea, but here's brief history: This is where it all began, In the Anchor Bar, Buffalo NY.

Legend has it that the owners, Teressa and Frank Bellisimo, were at the place, serving beer to the Catholic locals, on a Friday night. At midnight, the once obligatory Friday fast from meat ended and because of a miscalculation, the Bellisimo's had an abundance of wings left over from what they usually used for their sauce. The crowd was hungry, so the Bellisimo son, Dominic, says, "Ma! Throw those wings in some hot sauce and fry 'em up, ok?" So she did and they fed it to the by then starving patrons. The rest is history.

Btw I love the name, Bellisimo. In my mother's tongue it means, 'beautiful.'
And did I eat any of my son's wings? You bet I did.

And here they are, my fifteen buffalo wings:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Girl In A Blue Dress; Catherine Dickens

I spent a good many years reading mostly biographies. I wanted to find a common thread that would tell me what it was about the average joe or jane that gave them that 'umph,' that itch, that fortitude to stick with it, to push forward and gain fame (not necessarily fortune), to go down for all of history as the best of the best.

I'm not going to bother too much with the likes of such as Doris Duke because she and others like her received notoriety only because of the family into which they were born; I want to know more about the person who was born to a middle or lower class and who strove and who achieved greatness. Lets start with literary giants..Faulkner. Carson McCullers. Margaret Mitchell. And more modern writers..Updike. Styron. Capote. Garcia Marquez. And poets--Sexton. Plath. Ted Hughes. Millay. These are just some of the writers whose bios I have read.

Now I am just beginning to read a book called 'Girl in a Blue Dress' by Gaynor Arnold.

Over the last couple of years there has appeared on the scene a rather new genre, or at least one that is new to me, referred to as the 'true novel.' This strikes me as peculiar and I find it irritating because those two words are diametrically opposed. I first came across it when I read Jeannette Walls last book, 'Half Broke Horses,' amd now, here it is again. Ive determined what this means; it means conversations were included that are totally made up, tho the circumstances surrounding those conversations did, in all probability, exist. Now that I've straightened out that bit of business, lets get back to 'Girl in A Blue Dress.'

This is the loosely disguised story of Catherine Dickens, first wife to Charles. The book calls them Alfred and Dorothea Gibson. (As a little aside, I am not happy that Arnold has rechristened Catherine as Dorothea; Dorothea is the name of one of my favorite characters in all of literature, Dorothea Brooke, from George Eliot's 'Middlemarch.)
Dickens was not kind to Catherine; he scorned her for giving birth to each of his kids ..even tho he did have a part in that too.. and kicked her to the curb after she stuck with him through the lean years, only to be forgotten when he became famous and took up with this young actress named Ellen.

In short, Dickens was an ass.

But, boy, the man could write.

Catherine (Dorothea) had a special burden that only a few women have ever carried; she was deeply in love with a man who treated her badly but who was adored by most of the world.

Charles Dickens

Catherine Dickens

Ellen Ternan

'Girl in A Blue Dress' was longlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2008.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jeanne-A-Bean, the Computer Queen

I may not be the most computer savvy person in the world but I sure do better than my sister Jeanne. She purchased her first computer a few years ago and I did not get a straight night of uninterrupted sleep for weeks after. She would try to do the simplest things for hours and then, giving up after midnight, she would phone me.

"Hey Beej."

"Whaaa?" Being rousted out of a dead sleep by my sister's voice is not something I enjoy.

"What are you doing?"

"Huh?" I am not having a nightmare; it is really my sister phoning me at 1:30am asking me what I'm doing.

"Did I wake you up?"

(Nah..I sit up all night waiting for your stupid questions about your stupid computer!)

By now, I realize I am not going to be left alone until I help her.

"Ok, what don't you know how to do with your computer?" I quietly get out of bed, thinking I should put on the coffee because I know these calls can last a while.

"I can't shut it off."


"I know you told me how to do it and I did it fine but now it doesn't work."

"Shit, Jeanne! Shit shit shit! I need to get up with my kids early and you are waking me up to ask me how to turn off your friggin' computer??!"

"Why are you angry with me?"

I close my eyes and begin to count to ten.


"Jeanne, see that button on the bottom left of your screen?"



"Click there."


"Click here?"

"On the start button."

"but I don't want to start it."

"eight.. nine...

"Jean. click on that button."





"did you click there yet?"

"No. I was waiting for you."


"Jean throw the effin thing out your window and leave me alone!"

Now, that was a few years back and I swear it's the real deal, a true story. Well, a few weeks ago, my sister Jeanne got her first laptop.

"Hey Beej! I got a laptop!"

(oh oh great; I have a bad feeling..) "Good deal Jeanne!"

"How do I start it?"

I tell her to charge it up and call me back in a few hours. Sure as shootin, the phone rings. I am not sure why I answered it because I knew it was going to be a hassle.

"Okay! I charged the cord!"

"what do you mean, you charged the cord?"


"Well, I plugged the one end in the wall and let the other end dangle off the table."


Now I bet you re thinking, 'Beej is making this up.' I wish I could assure you that you are correct. But I'm not making any of this up. My beautiful sister Jeanne is dangling the other end of the cord over her table.

"Jeane, why didn't you plug it into the computer?"

"Why do I need to?"


"Because you need to charge your computer battery!!"

"I am! Isn't that the battery in the middle of my cord?"


"No! Its your power pack!"

"Nuh uh! Its the battery!!"


"Ok, Jeanne, I'll tell you what.. you go ahead and do it the way you think you should. You charge your cord or whatever you think you re doing and tell me how it works for you."

I hung up the phone and went about my day. Few hours later my sister calls me back.


"What." (we are so polite to one another..)

"I charged my cord and plugged it into my computer but it won't go on. Can you help me??"


Actually, I have the perfect, absolutely PERFECT solution:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I, Mushroom

This is the weirdest thing; I'm walking through the bookstore this morning and I hear a woman saying this to her companion:

"I feel like a mushroom."

I thought it was a strange thing to say but forgot about it. Then a few hours late I hear a young guy say to his mom:

"I feel like a mushroom."

Okay, twice in one day and I am beginning to think this means something. I decide to try it on my son when he got home from work tonight.

"Hi." I say as he walks in the door. "How'ya doing."

"Good, mom. How'd your day go?"

"Oh I guess it was okay..I kind of felt like a mushroom tho."

"Sorry to hear that mom." and out the door he goes.


I called after him..

"Hey! Get back here!"

He keeps on going and gets into his friend Kenny's truck. "Ma, I gotta go! What do you want? Is it important?"

"Yes! I want to know what it means to feel like a mushroom!"

Kenny starts the engine and off they go. I can hear my son yelling out an answer but I can't hear it because Kenny's muffler sounds like dual canons going off.


Okay, I must be the only person who doesn't know what that means. I phone my sister ,Jeanne, who is one of the few folks left in the world who knows less slang than I do.

"Hey, Beej. Whats up?" she asks.

Here comes my moment.

"Oh, I dunno, "I say. "I guess I kind of feel like a mushroom."

"I'm sorry." she answers. Now I feel real out of it.

"Um, you know what that means?" i ask.

"Of course. Thant's old. Hey, let me call you back. Someones at the door."
And she hangs up.


Okay now I'm on a mission to find out what the heck that means so I google it and I get my answer. It means, 'kept in the dark and fed bullshit.' Clever!

Np sooner to I discover this when the phone rings. It's my daughter.

"Hey honey."

"Hey mom."

"Honey do you know what it means to feel like a mushroom?"

"Sure! It means you're kept in the dark and.."

"How did you know that??" I interrupt.

"Everyone knows that mom. Its been around longer than you have."


"Well, how come I never heard it before today?"

"Well, mom, there's a good reason for that." I sense my kid snickering at me.

"It's because you're a mushroom!" She laughs so hard she is snorting, but I think she's telling the truth.

Great. Just great..

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Lesson From Lulu Bains

I once worked with this lady who was approaching middle age and whose boyfriend, for whom she felt deep affection, was in his early twenties. She really loved him. He was her life and her happiness. Right there, warning signals should have flashed in her brain. Nobody can be your happiness; happiness comes from within, not from someone else. Or at least that's the way it should be.
Anyways, the predictable happened and her boyfriend left her for someone his age. She did not cope well at all, attempted suicide and ended up in a state hospital.

She should have read Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis. There is a character from that book who could set a big lesson for women (maybe for men, too, but I think this applies to mostly woman.) Her name is Lulu Bains.

I don't think my telling you this will ruin the book for you if you haven't read it and plan on doing so. Elmer Gantry is a cad. He was the only child of a doting mother. I'm not sure what happened to his father but I suppose I could go to the book and see if he's mentioned in the beginning. Nonetheless, the father plays no role in this book so the elder Mr. Gantry's demise is of no consequence.

Elmer is totally, 100% self absorbed. He's the smoothest of talkers, a user, someone who loves only himself. Unfortunately, he can charm the birds from the trees, money out of wallets, and young maidens' hearts from their breast. He is an evangelistic preacher who is so glib tongued that he ends up going from a young, inconsequential playboy to a world famous man of God (not really, but he gets money by convincing other he's a man of god.)

Back to Lulu. when we first meet her, she is the young daughter of an elder from Elmer's very first church where he serves as the new preacher. Elmer is smitten with her 'kittenish' qualities, her fluffiness, her pinkness (Lewis likes to use these words to describe Lulu and he uses them a lot.) Elmer sets his eyes on this young virginal pink vision of fluffiness and he gets the girl. Once that happens, she begins to look pasty to him, unattractive, needy.

As time goes on, Elmer climbs the ladder of success, finds a few other young ladies who are more than willing to be seduced. But Lulu does not get over him. She runs into him a few years later, lets him know she never stopped loving him and Elmer sees her through 'refreshed' eyes and takes up with her again. Of course, Lulu means nothing to him. She isn't willing to see that, tho.

As time goes on, Elmer meets a new young thing and hires her as his personal secretary..yup, the good old, long used ruse of "My Personal Secretary." Now, Lulu also attends that church, and so does Mrs. Gantry, Cleo, who is a fine lady in everyone's eyes...except Elmer's. Elmer lies to Lulu and tells her Cleo has 'found them out' and not only must she (Lulu) leave him, she must leave his church.

Lulu is devastated, but not for herself; she is absolutely devastated because she caused her beloved Elmer pain. she stands at a trolley stop, crying over the pain she has caused her beloved and the problems he must face with his wife. 'Course we know that Elmer is lying.

As time goes on Elmer continues with his swindling and his womanizes. And what happened to Lulu? she ends up losing all concern about her well being, becomes slovenly in her appearance and her home, and begins to take up the bottle.

She has allowed a man to ruin her life. This makes me sick. To me, there is the real story. and there is a lesson for all (but especially for young virginal women; do not allow anyone to ever infiltrate your life so totally that they have the power to destroy you. Ever.

I wish I could spread lulu's story to all young people, every where. But the best I can do is post it here.

from the movie:

Burt Lancaster as Elmer Gantry

Shirley Jones as Lulu Bains

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Johnnie Cochran

If a city could have a beating heart, and if that beating heart could hold a special place within its walls, that city would be mine and its special place would hold one particular man; Johnnie Cochran.

If you are over the age of twenty and live in the USA, you know who this man is. And if you don't, you must live under a rock. Johnnie Cochran was one of the most loved, most respected lawyers of our land. He is best known for defending OJ Simpson during his trial for murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, back in the early nineties. His famous saying, "If it doesn't fit, (the glove) you must acquit." kept Simpson out of prison, at least for that crime.

Most of the lawyers who worked on the OJ case suffered professionally from this trial. We all knew the man was guilty and it didn't sit well for most of us when he walked out of the courtroom, immediately went to his mansion and held a huge garden party for the jurors. This was like a big slap in Lady Justice's face. And we all felt its sting.
But Cochran did not lose face because of this trial. He was just too well liked, and too respected by his fellow citizens.

Well, Johnnie had firms all over the country, including one here, in Dothan Alabama. It is commonly known as The Cochran Firm.

Johnnie was good to his employees. His gifts to them are legendary in these parts and he loved to take them and their families on cruises. Christmas time was especially noteworthy, from what I've heard, and large bonuses reportedly stretched into the tens of thousands of dollars. But more than that, he was a gentleman. He was a good man. He was kind and caring and folks around these parts have a deep affection for him. He had a home in Dothan and his wife became friends with quite a few folks here.

Not too long ago, I was talking with someone affiliated with the Cochran Firm, someone who knew the Cochran family quite well. For privacy reasons, I will refer to this person as, well, This Person. That's all the info I'll give. We were talking about Mr. Cochran and I hesitated before leaning forward and asking what I've always wanted to ask but never dared to do so until then:

"Did Johnnie Cochran believe OJ Simpson killed his wife?"

This Person began to hem and haw and looked rather uncomfortable.

"I'm not really at liberty to tell you anything about that, "answered This Person.

"I won't tell anyone."

There was a slight hesitation before This Person leaned closer to me and whispered:

"Johnnie KNEW Mr. Simpson killed Nicole Simpson."

A chill ran up my spine. It's there even now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Roxxxy The Sexxx Robot

Yesterday morning I was sitting here, innocently eating my cereal and watching Headline News and this story comes up about Roxxxy the Sex Doll. I kid you not. (Notice the triple x in her name?? Man, she should be ashamed of herself.)

Roxxxy can be bought for a mere $9000. You may think that's a bit pricey for a doll, but Roxxxy is more than that; she has a laptop connected to cables coming out of her back and touch sensors at strategic locations. (God I just realized with that laptop hooked up, you guys could twitter while you're, well, you know..) She also has a bunch of different personalities, five to be exact; Frigid Farrah, Wild Wendy, S&M Susan, Young (barely 18) and Mature Martha.

Prostitutes around the world are nervous. They might lose their livelihood if this Roxxxy catches on. I am definitely not a woman of the evening but I can tell you, I do not like this!

Men leave their wives every day, usually trading them in for another woman and occasionally, a man. But a sex robot? Oh please!

The only benefit I can see is that she would be good to take on a trip, no need for potty breaks. But try taking roxxxy into a restaurant. Try introducing her to your boss.

Tell the kids, "This is your new mommy, kids!" I dare you.

Or take this to church?

Introduce this to you mother?:

Even your dog would run and hide:

And to make her more 'perfect'..ROXXXY SNORES!!!

You think your teen son wants to borrow your car? OH HO! You just wait!

I guess I'm just an old fashioned lady but I think this is really freaky; it's like a Furby Gone Wild.
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