Saturday, December 31, 2011

Standing in a store ...

while my dad was sitting on a bench outside, a song which I have heard so many times before began to play on the radio. Suddenly the lyrics just jumped out at me. Not a huge fan of Celine Dion but I swear, SWEAR, this was directed right to me.

I have been fumbling for the right words to describe the place Vic had in my life, what he meant to me, how I felt when I was with him ... our relationship had MORE than it's fair and unfair share of ups and downs. I am not waxing lyrical on a life of perfect bliss.

Not at all. There are not many people whose relationship went from the alpha to the omega of life ... million dollar lifestyle to crushing bankruptcy, repleven, repos, eviction, and the list keeps going.

However, through all of it, Vic did lift me up, he did give me hope (even through his illness) and he told me every single day that we were together that I was the highlight of his life ...

I am working so very hard to move on. I am not stuck in wishing him back - I am not that far gone. I just wish that I could be happy as he would have wished.

I was watching one of my/our favorite movies, "Something's gotta give.". Diane Keaton, mid-fifties, divorced ergo "single" and her sister makes the following remark:

"A man in his fifties who is (still) single, is called "elusive", "hard to get", a "catch". A single woman in the same demographic is about as fucked as it gets".

Oy vey.

Very encouraging!

Anyway, onward into 2012 I go, the past slipping gently into precious memories with a hope for the future.

"For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby
You're the one who held me up
And never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through, through it all

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
The light in the dark shining your love into my life
You've been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

I'm everything I am
Because you loved me."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On shopping & the real reason for the season ...

I'm done! Hooray!

This year, I made it easy.

"Tell me 3 (reasonable) things that you want. I will take it from there."

Whoop! Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza!!!"

This year, I finally learned. I shopped smarter. I let my fingers do the clicking. It was good. Now it's up to the assorted shipping companies to deliver ... holla!

Always at the back of my mind I remind myself that it is NOT about the presents, the knocking yourself out figuring out how to top last year's gifts, fighting the crowds, killing yourself.

To me, what this time of the years has a simple meaning ... it's about family, a time of gratitude, a time to reach out to others less fortunate.

Kaelin has a part time job as a hostess at a nice, beachside restaurant steak house. She came home the other day, sad. The pecking order of payment is such that the busboys get paid last. Apparently, one of them is very young with a 3 year old son. Times being tough, he told Kaelin how he was so low on money that he might not be able to get his son a gift, let alone gifts.

Kaelin was deeply saddened by this. She could not stand the idea of the little boy waking up to an empty holiday. How can you teach someone to have empathy? Kaelin feels pain for suffering in the world. She wants to make it better.

She wants the child to be happy. She wants the child to have a present to unwrap. She wants to make a difference.

Nothing anyone can give me is more meaningful than to have a child who cares from the bottom of her heart and feels deeply.

Kaelin is a beautiful, deep, old, old soul who has a mission on life ...

I will remember this as the year that Kaelin "got" it!

Now, THAT is a beautiful gift.

On partying the season away ...

Oh boy. How do you turn a homebody into a party animal? Ok, forget the animal bit. How do you turn a homebody into a party person?

It is very hard to change but I am trying.

Not working too well. I much prefer the company of a few friends. More intimate. Not comfortable in the crowd of many. Particularly strangers.

I went out for dinner with some friends last night. Nice, cozy, easy.

Then I went onto the annual open house of a very dear friend of mine. I adore her - a soul sister from many lifetimes. She is such an amazing human being, so talented, so generous, so compassionate. I love her & really wanted to make the effort to show up.

I went. Lots of peeps, the house was overflowing with representation of all ages. The house was magnificent. Glorious. Linda has such an incredible sense of style. The garden was all illuminated, totally magnificent. Totally rivaled our local botanical gardens on Christmas display.

I really wanted to "belong" and luckily I saw a couple of my close friends.

For a few minutes, I felt safe, ok. They had to leave and there I was. Alone. Alone in the crowd.

Couples everywhere. Holding hands. Laughing. Hugging. Kissing.

I miss Vic so much. Who holds my hand? Who hugs me? Who kisses me?

It's two years and somehow, it is not getting easier.

I never, ever expected that Vic's passing would push me deep, deep underground.

I am still there, surfacing every so often but the world looks very formidable from my vantage view ...

Still giving it a good shot, even if I did slip away from Linda & Ron's fest quietly into the dark night ...

Friday, December 16, 2011

On people past ...

It's that time of the year again. Time to open up the bureau that belonged to my grandfather & grandmother. Time to get out my aging address books. Time to find the aging annual holiday card lists.

Time to write the holiday cards.

Little did I know as I opened up at "A", the first name dropped off the list.

My grandmother, Cecilia "Mimi" Abraham.


That was the beginning.

Through "B", onto "C" - all the way through.

What a harsh realization it was. In some cases, both the husband & wife were gone.

I could not cross through the names. That seemed too harsh. I just left them all there, a timeline for the last 30 years of my life. People who live on in memories.

I shared this with a friend of mine. She said she did not cross out the names. Instead, she would simply write in the date they passed.

Maybe next year ...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Of showers that never were ...

A friend of mine was telling me about her niece's pending baby shower.

For some strange reason, I was totally taken aback by the realization that I had never had one.

Despite the fact that I delivered 3 good sized, healthy babies all by myself, Kaelin at home with a mid-wife, not one shower.

Not even the hint of one!

As my friend continued to tell me of the numerous showers she had attended over the course of her life, I started mourning the 3 showers that never were.

Yet another rite of passage that sailed right past me.

The games, the silliness.

I found myself lamenting until I realized.

I wouldn't have wanted one even if the opportunity had presented itself.

What a strange amble my mind went on today!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meno-rantings: an homage to bio identical hormones

OK, so I've been feeling like shit for a couple of weeks again.

Thwack! Right in the middle of my head. In mean, deep in the middle of my head. The 'blahs'. No, worse.

The pre-holiday angst. The day after Thanksgiving, I began crying as neighbor after neighbor began decorating their houses.

Everything was making me cry.

My poor kids. Poor mama, boo hoo.

And the funk just kept funking.

A huge battle of ego versus spirit.

Oy vey.

I needed this on top of taking care of my Dad?

I think not.

But how to mentally & physically drag myself out of this deep abyss of holiday seasonitis horibillis?

Nothing worked.

And then it happened. Between my handfuls of vitamins & prescriptions it seems that I forgot one non-descript vial.

The vial that delivers.

I had forgotten my hormones for over 2 weeks. Could that possibly have been what was fucking me over and over and over???

You bet your bippy it was!

From the first schmear, oy, such a difference.

So please, if I find myself slidding down my slippery slope, you have permission to ask if I've taken my hormones lately!


A schmear & a smile!

And I am out of here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

So glad October is going bye-bye!

I am very glad it is Halloween.

It is not a holiday to which I hold particular attachment, safe some very demented memories of Vic & I dressed in black, hiding on a darkened door step in Ft.Lauderdale back in the day ...

The rest of the month of October is chock full of traumatic memories, beginning with the first of the month, the middle being both Vic & my grandmother's anniversaries 2 days apart, culmination with Halloween, 2009, the day after Vic's memorial service, which coincided with what would have been his 65th birthday.

"Don't think about the bad things" my Mother loving profers.

"Don't have a choice. Like having events recreating inside my head, except I have the awareness of the observer. I find myself deep inside the experiences of Vic's slow death, unable as I was at the time to feel it, helping him fight off grim reaper who, unbeknownst to us, was already lurking around the corner".


Just waiting.

I wonder when all of this will end?

Does it end? Or does one just learn to adapt?

I am well beyond the stage of wishing Vic back to life. I quite accept what happened.

I think I am just still traumaticized by the denouement that is death & dying.

Vic's death & dying ...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2 years today ...

Victor Carl Mantell III
October 30, 1944 - October 19, 2009

"If I could have a lifetime wish
a dream that would come true
I'd pray to God with all my heart
for yesterday and you.
A thousand words can't bring you back
I know because I've tried
And neither will a million tears
I know because I've cried.
You left behind my broken heart
and happy memories too
I never wanted memories...
I only wanted you."

Always in our hearts ... love never dies ...


Monday, October 17, 2011

Culture in London

Well, I finally got internet connection. Hooray. I was beginning to have communication withdrawals. I searched and I fiddled and I hunted and finally found connection.

I spent my first day in London catching up on much needed sleep. I was not sleeping well prior to my departure and despite the fact that I had a real bed on the plane (major luxury complete with fluffy pillows and a cozy comforter), I slept no more than one hour!

At least I was able to rest laying down with eyes closed, even if I did not sleep.

This evening, Peter, Mummy and I went to see the actor Edward Fox reciting T.S. Elliot's "Four Quartets."

It was quite amazing as he declaimed all four lengthy tomes by heart, no reading from a book.

It is so funny how my sons think I am such a nerd for a) going to a poetry evening and b) actually enjoying it.

I have my first boyfriend, Martin Bergman, to thank for my appreciation of great literature. I wonder if he realizes just how much I learned from him and what a positive influence he was on me.

Now he does!

I shall close with my favorite quote from "Little Gidding".

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all out exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And to know the place for the first time

Friday, October 14, 2011

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go ...

... sort of. I've thrown everything I would like to take to London into my purple suitcase. Luckily, I still have 24 hours to un-'n'-repack which I shall do with the help of my extremely helpful & practical Kaelin.

I am returning for the first time in 2.5 years. Things were so different then. Vic knew deep inside that it would be his last London visit & saying goodbye to people like Peter & Steve would have a greater finality.

We were introduced to Shay's husband, who made everyone's skin crawl. Time would prove all our instincts all too accurate.

Lesson learned: always, ALWAYS listen to your instincts. Your heart knows what it knows.

We spend wonderful moments on favorite walks through Holland Park & Kensington Gardens.

We ate delicious polish & italian food. Vic & Peter toasted life with vodka & wine. Nicky, Steve, Vic & I all laughed & cherished a few rare, final times together.

Kaelin brought joy to everyone & had a blast window shopping in High Street Kensington just like I did at her age, all those decades ago.

Fast foward: October 14, 2011.

I am preparing for a lengthier trip, this time solo. We are approaching the 2nd anniversary of Vic's death & I will be acknowledging in an apartment that is so overflowing with memories that photos actually cover the entire fridge & freezer, lamp shades, doors, you name it. My mother is not what one would call "low key."

The good news is that 2 years on, I feel that I am finally coming out of the fog that has enshrouded me.

As a family, we have settled down into some kind of loose routine, if that makes sense. With so many different ages & stages living under one roof, we have all had to make serious adjustments & I feel that we have worked out all that pent up frustation, sadness & anger at our individual & communal loss of Vic.

So that's the good news.

The bad news is the shadow side to all the aforementioned.

Personally speaking, to have the realization that I am totally alone at 54, with a life that was completely enmeshed in being part of team, a couple, a partnership, well, it's a very bitter pill to swallow.

Being Vic's wife & mother to our children was my life. Outside of it - almost nothing.

I was happy with that, devoted to it, at times a little stifled but at the end of the day, life was all about Vic & "the kids, the kids, the kids ... "

As the dust settles, I find myself in the novel & overwhelming position of having to create a whole life for myself, myself as the individua.

I am no longer 50% of a team. Rather, I am 100% that is Team Karen.


Mulling what I enjoy, what gives me pleasure, what direction I would like to see myself is big & scary, to be honest.

I have thought about it & so I find myself on the eve of going to London, with a purpose.

For ages, nay decades, my Mother has asked me to commit to paper "her story". Many people have approached her over the years to write her story or make a film of her experiences. She has spent the past 20 years as a most vocal advocate for post-war reconciliation & forgiveness, giving interviews & speeches wherever there is a willingness to hear her experiences.

Steven Spielberg is reportedly rereleasing "Schinder's List" & when I heard this, I had a powerful realization.

Survivors of World War II are diminishing fast. Their voices will be silenced.

Who will help remind people of mans inhumanity to man, 60 years ago.

Can we learn from our past?

To that end, I decided to undertake the writing the story of a remarkable (small) group of ordinary people who, under extraordinary horrific circumstances did extraordinarily brave & humane things.

Armed with tape recorder & a copy of Dragon Speak on order, I hope to do this story the justice it deserves.

I am hoping to write my way through some of this grief, which still grips me like a vice.

I did not realize that I last checked in with the "Crone" in March but so many people have asked me what happened with her that I hope to bring her back with greater frequency.

Unless I can piggy back on someone's wi-fi in London, it is going to be hard to write from there but I will try. I'd really like to send a photo from my bedroom & kitchen - London laid out at my feet. Quite beautiful.

Until next time ... don't forget to share the love now while you can ...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

OMG quote ...

"I'll have a plate of alfalfa sprouts & some mashed yeast."

Those that know, know.

La di da ...

A limerick ...

A bitchy, ex-pat now in Birmingham
With a penchant for the lowliest of breeding men
Wrings her hands, prays & screams,
at her numerous offspring,
Look in the mirror, it's what's known as
"karma", ma'am.

Angel trumpets: beautiful but very nasty

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An Ode" " The Doobie Brothers" 1971 - 2011

"Take me in your arms, rock me, rock me a little while" all the way down to "China Grove" where "Jesus is alright with me."

Better not drink any "Black water" or we'll be "Takin' it to the streets", "Breaking down the Highway" while we "Listen to the music".

Oh well, "Minute by Minute" it's only "What a fool ...believes."

This "South City Midnight Lady" has a "Long train running" to catch ...

Me so funny! At least I amuse myself.

Rock 'n' roll!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

To Vic ...

I was going through some of my writings when I found this. I do not even remember writing it so it came as a complete surprise reading it, although it is so authentically me. It was written on his first anniversary, even though I absolutely hate that particular word in this context.

It’s been one year since you closed your eyes,
Deep in sleep from which there is no wake.
A crystal tear,
The faintest of kiss is how you said good bye,
Never did I love you more. Alone, just you & I.
When the time had come, your time to go, there were no words
Between us left unsaid. So you exhaled,
A final sigh. Still your spirit filled the room.
As it fills my heart when I miss you so it hurts.
To the southwestern sky, in the dark of the night,
My eyes remain ever fixed.
The place you told me Was your home.

Night after night, I sit & stare, waiting for a sign.
Yet it’s your voice rings loud & clear.
“I am with you right now, I am here, Babydoll,
You just close your eyes.
For everything you seek, you cannot see.
It’s what you feel that’s true. I am here, beside you now,
A part of the breeze that blows.
I am a part of each gnarly limb of our beautiful oak tree,
A sentinel at your door. I am the salts in your bath,
The hanky you clutch at night when you reach out for me.
I like to think I’m what helps make you feel
Calm when you have your nightly cuppa tea.
Most of all, I live on in memories created,
A full life well lived.

A great adventure that you & I shared.
My energy is always just the merest of thoughts away.
Lonely but never alone.
With love & gratitude, peace & joy
I urge you your life to live on.”

You left a space, not to be replaced,
We all miss you so very much.
Just want you to know, you were,
You remain
The heart of our life, our family,
Our home.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Enter my dreams ...

'The time has come,'
the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings.'

Like the walrus, I have decided that the time has indeed come to speak of other things. My whole life has & continues to change so much. A slow, constant shift has been taking place these past 16 months. I am not altogether familiar with the person who is emerging from my past but I am quite curious as to who she is & where she is going! I sense that "she" is just about to embark on the off-road journey of "our" life & I am simply trusting that this is how it is meant to be. It has always been through my writing that I learn to circumnavigate & articulate some of kaleidescopic phantasmagoria that makes up the labyrinth to which I occasionally refer as my "mind".

Sometimes, I might put up a "Dramamine alert". Other times, "Oxygen Zone." The trips through my head can be very fast, unpredictable, not for the faint of heart, narrow of mind or those with vertigo!

Who knows, after a spin inside my world, a mere splat in the blogosphere, an isolation tank might be the only antidote ...

The time has come for me to nudge the world a little more out of its comfort zone, proudly splatter vibrant hues as I joyfully color outside the lines, sing out loud, garden in the rain - naked!

Some say a prayer at the beginning of a new journey, asking for guidance & protection. Even as I write this, all I can stammer is "Higher Power. Protect me from committing, atrocities against the English language, misquoting sources, Miss Shadlock's hateful red-lining, taking self or life too seriously. Oh, one more thing, am I NUTS?"

A predictably ominous, theatrical voice responds, "Was that ever in question?

Enough! Time to "drink me" & tear off down the rabbit hole!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Welcome to February's full Hunger Moon ...

Although the moon won’t be full until tomorrow (Friday, February 18) at 8:36 Universal Time, it falls in the wee hours after midnight for much of North America. As seen from our part of the world, the moon will probably appear as full tonight as it will tomorrow night.

I am such a creature of the night, even though I have discovered the joys of sleep-escape therapy. If I am home & it is night, you can usually find me on the Peaceful Purple Patio which really is in it's glory at night.

Not that I subscribe to full-moon lunacy. Heck, anyone who knows me knows that I don't need a full moon or any other lunar activity to provoke questionable behavior. Last night's 98 percent full waxing moon found me in full-tilt night gardening mode.

"By the light, of the silvery moon ... " I clipped, raked, moved pots from here to there, all the while mindful of Vic's comments of yore: "each time the plants get comfortable, you move them. Then you hear them all screeching when they see you approaching them."

Probably! But last night, I stealthily skulked around trees & shrubs, nabbing the unsuspecting plants, relocating them hither or dither.

One year, a friend bought me one of those miner's forehead lights as a gag gift, a direct volley at my nocturnal horticultural antics! As it happened, I LOVED the light. Brilliant.

Just set my iAlarm for 6.55pm tonight. As a prelude to tonights Snow or Hunger Moon, the international space station will be doing a 3 minute fly by, south to east.

I am so out there!

Peace ...

Esperanza Spalding sparkles!

When I saw Esperanza covering Prince's "If I were your girlfriend" on the 2010 BET bespoke Lifetime Achievement Award, I knew this woman was S P E C I A L . His Royal Purple Prince of Funk was clearly appreciating the amazing talent honoring him.

Classically trained, Esperanza Spalding has played the White House & is diverse in both her vocal range as well as her musical abilities.

Not the best video but she is so hot & so cool at the same time that her talent transcends minutae ...

Enjoy ...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Going manic ...

In a small attempt to reenter the world of people, I became more aware than ever how very fatigued I still get.

It is remains confusing how, nearly 16 months later, I am still only just moving out of shock & numb, acceptance was never an issue. Now my eyes are beginning to open, even as my vision is still blurry.

I am starting some new experiences. I have added Qi Gong to my ever fluid exercise regime. I hate getting bored. I couldn't bring myself back to yoga as wonderful as it was for me in the past. A new & fun friend teaches two classes a week at 7.30 am which is a perfect time for me. Just after dropping off Kaelin, I go right to the gym. Somehow, within moments, the muted lights & gentle music serenely moves me & my body through space, shifting energy around, in & through me.

On the other hand, 180 degrees from that, I have started shooting lessons & I love it. Me & Mrs. Walter P22! I feel that we are going to become very close friends. I got such a huge rush when I was in the range. Headphone, feet grounded, knees slightly bent, locking, loading & shooting! 100 rounds, all in the "kill zone" of my Ronald Reagan lookalike, life size target. My furtherest shots were at 60 feet, all on target.

What a blast. I was totally buzzed. Very zen, albeit I was aiming for the dudes chest & his forehead! I was totally focused on the target, becoming one with the one, relaxing into it, feeling Mrs. WP22 becoming an extension of my own hand ...

I mentioned I was considering, only considering the possibility of flying lessons ... me, who is still terrified of heights ...

I began a 6 week class on Sunday which one of my dearest friends co-teachers. I had no idea that "Fearless Creating" would be precisely what I needed at this point in my life.

As a result of our first session, I have practically reduced my garden-of-dead-ferns to stumps, cleaned most of it out, prepped two canvases for painting, reorganized the inside patio ... 'fearlessly releasing my wildness. My creative ya yas!"

I am ending this day watching Watson, the computer, play Jeapardy against two humans. Watson has $36,000 & they hardly have a proverbial pot to pee in!

I do love quick fire games, ha, ha! Shooting, verbal, board ... la di da ... where might I be by the end of the course???

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

I was caught completely off guard as the children gave me individual bouquets of Valentine's Day flowers last night. Very simple & eloquent. I was incredibly, giggly & nicely surprised.

Moving forward. This morning, as I was driving Kaelin into school, I stumbled on an oldies station. In magna voce, I began serenading my unfortunate daughter with my mellifluously croaky tones, going word for word with, heaven help me, Olivia Newton-John singing "Hopelessly devoted to you". I never ever realized I knew all the lyrics. Olivia Neutron-Bomb, as we used to call her. Somewhere in the middle of the chorus, right there along side Nat King Cole (what's with the names in triplicate?) ... the flood gates burst open & by the time we got to ".... the only thing, you'll ever learn, is to love & be loved in return ... " I was done.

Kaels shut the radio off. "Why do you listen to this stuff?"

Flub, flub. "I don't know."

That was that.

As I sat, waiting to give a friend a ride to the gym, I looked up in the sun-emerging sky. There, flying above the trees, trailing a long, red ribbon, a shiny, ruby red heart-shaped balloon was travelling quickly in the brisk breeze.

My spirit Valentine send me my special Valentine's Day sign ... always in the sky ...

My evening reflection made me happy. Love is all over the radio, tv, newspaper, online, FB. It's all good.

Love is love is love is love ... I love our children, my parents, my dear, dear friends, my life ...

So what is my idea of a nice Valentine's evening?

Special tea in bed, of course!

I love my tea!

My tea loves me!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Interest workshop offered in the Keys ...

Somehow I missed this one, but clearly not from the local newspaper! I never really found out what it meant but the title was interesting for a rainy, Keys afternoon.

I suspect it might have been a Freudian-based program judging by the address ... too funny! I wonder how many other wierdos put the two together? I am a group of one.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Bridget Jones's Diary: The Senior Years"

Glorious Saturday morning. Following a glorious Friday night.

Both true. To both - NOT.

Daniel's in Orlando. Corey's at work. Kaelin's at a lacrosse retreat.

It's just Toby, Bubbles & me.

Ordinarily, I am used to it, so to speak.

Then, it happened. "Bridget Jones's Diary" is on for the umpteenth time. I am sporadically watching it, likewise, for the umpteenth time. My way of watching a movie usually involves me getting up, leaving the room, getting distracted several times, make tea, back to movie, go outside, go in to get forgotten tea, rearrange plants, go back in, back in bed, watch movie, repeat several times ... exhausting but eventually I do see the whole thing & it works for me ...

This morning, it was different. Something was different.

Oh yes, I took Toby out, freeze - it's 46 degrees this morning - made steamy-steamy tea, movie is on TV & yes, it is before 8am. Well, other than NPR, the tv makes voice sounds which I do miss at times. Even though Vic was quiet, he did speak ...

So back to Bridget & her diary.

There she is. Alone. Overweight. Pouring her heart out on paper. In her jammies. Cups of tea, all over the place. Questioning her life. Singing along to old songs from days of memories past.

Enter the very naughty, very bad boy Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).

Enter the oh-so British, emotionally repressed Mark Darcy (Colin Firth).

Who, oh who, will Bridget pick?

Exit body. Autoscan scene.

Here I am, alone, overweight, pouring my still slightly English-accented heart out to a fluffy dog & a laptop.

This week has been confusing to me. Many things are surfacing. At "Bereavement Group" the subject of how we feel as in (still) married, widowed, single. All of them?

How do other people see me? I have not given the "single" title to myself without laughing but now it is becoming a little more real.

People have been proffering unsolicited advice as to my "situation". Someone even went so far as to tell me that what I really needed (in his opinion) was a booty call!

Huh? Really? Does something show to which I am not oblivious?

So here I am.

"Bridget Jones's Diary. The Senior Years." Twice married. Once divorced. Once widowed. Has children who are growing too fast. Sat on the PTA. Room Mom. She sits alone, usually in her room, in pj's. Overweight. Drinking tea. Reading & watching bad yet distracting bad tv. Still singing along to the same, olde, familiar songs. Pondering her life. The then. The now. The tomorrow.

Is it really time for me to come out of my seclusion? Could I start to see myself gently moving forward, away from the past?

I am quite sure there are lots of Daniel Cleaver's out there. Naughty. Fun. Dangerous. It's the Mark Darcy's that I have always liked: Different. Deep. Distant.

Flip the tv channel to morning news. The uber-happy, morning anchors are discussing a current poll which stated that men do not pay any attention to women over 50 the minute a 20-year old walks in a room.

Wow! I have lived every one of my 53 years & wouldn't want to trade with the 20 year olds ever again.

On the other hand, the guys that do pay attention to the older women (according to the poll) are not the men the 50+ group are remotely interested in!

Why on earth would I want to right out into this new, Catch-22 world!

It would just be nice just to have someone with whom to dance with once in a while, have great laughs & amazing conversations. Oh, I think Anthony Bourdain ("No Reservations") is totally hot so I am not oblivious to appreciating a handsome man & I do like grey/greying/greyish hair so toy boys, stay home with your mama!

Is that asking so much???

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Elliot

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The Big "M"

When I think "migraine", I think "thank you, that I don't have one." Or "oh crap, here it comes ... can I head it off at the path? (no pun intended. Maybe a small one).

I do so envy those who do not suffer from it & empathize with other "migraineurs" as we are communally known.

My triggers tend to be hormones, weather changes but most frequent of all, S-T-R-E-S-S.

My body's knee jerk reaction to acute stress is that I can experience a panic/anxiety attack which includes bad stomach cramps & worst of all, can lead to ... migraines.

Thursday had me react to some difficult, unexpected news dealing culminating in a sudden, violent eruption - the Krakatoa of a lifetime of migraines. I should remember the date, it was that monumental. Any bodily movement results in nausea. Nausea can result in vomiting. Vomiting makes my head feel like the grey matter inside my skull wants to explode out, like a giant, cranial zit.

Blast off!

Sumavel Dose Pro to the rescue. My doctor gave Corey a needle-less shot of a new drug for severe migraine & cluster headaches. Straight out of Star Trek. Cool. Got to get me some stock in that company ...

Within half an hour, I was asleep. 3 hours later, I woke up, shaken & stirred yet better.

I really need to master my stress. Make that "mistress" my stress.

Either way, 3 days later & I no longer feel like wrung-out. Whew.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Harry Houdini finally drops-in

From Coast to Coast radio.

The Spirit World:

Professor at the University of Arizona, Dr. Gary Schwartz, discussed his latest research on quantifying the spirit world including contacting the dead in the laboratory, and expanding on the work of Harry Houdini. An advocate for science or evidence-based spirituality, he suggested that Spirit could be thought of like air or water, something that is all around us. Science is now creating technology to detect the tiniest amounts of energy-- such as single photons, and these new instruments have the promise to detect spirits on the Other Side, he declared.

He used such a device (a silicon photomultiplier) in an experiment making contact with the late Harry Houdini, and found that the number of photon detections measured much higher when he made a direct contact request from Houdini. Interestingly, he noted that one of his contacts, the deceased medium Suzy Smith, was the first to bring Houdini to one of his experiments, and that other spirits known as "drop-ins" started spontaneously showing up.

Schwartz recounted how a living medium received an accurate warning from Smith that he was about to be "ambushed" on a TV talk show, which helped him to prepare. He also talked about angels, and spirit guides, who can serve as messengers, and the role of Spirit in physical and emotional healing. He has set up a new site, Sacred Promise Universe, which will feature his free video lectures on various aspects of Spirit.The Spirit World:

On Tuesday's show, Professor at the University of Arizona, Dr. Gary Schwartz, discussed his latest research on quantifying the spirit world including contacting the dead in the laboratory, and expanding on the work of Harry Houdini. An advocate for science or evidence-based spirituality, he suggested that Spirit could be thought of like air or water, something that is all around us. Science is now creating technology to detect the tiniest amounts of energy-- such as single photons, and these new instruments have the promise to detect spirits on the Other Side, he declared.

He used such a device (a silicon photomultiplier) in an experiment making contact with the late Harry Houdini, and found that the number of photon detections measured much higher when he made a direct contact request from Houdini. Interestingly, he noted that one of his contacts, the deceased medium Suzy Smith, was the first to bring Houdini to one of his experiments, and that other spirits known as "drop-ins" started spontaneously showing up.

Schwartz recounted how a living medium received an accurate warning from Smith that he was about to be "ambushed" on a TV talk show, which helped him to prepare. He also talked about angels, and spirit guides, who can serve as messengers, and the role of Spirit in physical and emotional healing. He has set up a new site, Sacred Promise Universe, which will feature his free video lectures on various aspects of Spirit.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Larry David never leaves home without this!

Some people might think that perhaps I should follow suite. Consider the following scenario ...

I piss you off. You give me the look. I whip out one of these. You fill in alledged "infraction" box.

I will give your request due consideration. I fill in appropriate box & that's that.

What say you?

This little piggy went to Fresh Market ...

Big mistake!

I taught I saw a puddy cat ...

... nestled amongst the halyconias, prior to the great frost of 2010-11


A little bit closer now ...


"I did, I taw a puddy cat, as plain as it could be!"


Quite a beauty.
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Crystal clear

So beautiful ...

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Another Richard Gould original

I adore Richard's work. A friend of Corey's since 3rd grade, Richard has always had an incredible eye for proportion, clean lines & vibrant colors of innocence.

His work just makes me feel happy. So happy.

Monday, January 10, 2011