Sunday, May 31, 2009


Why are foreign accents so adorable?

British, especially. Probably because I can understand what they are actually saying...

Well, most of the time.

But everything with a French accent sounds romantic - everything Spanish sounds rapid-fire and immensely important like disaster bulletins - Indian (east Indian - the original India) is so... Indian.

I like Japanese because I can imagine subtitles running below whatever is being spoken. Russian sounds cold - I know, I know, it's just a matter of association. And anything spoken in Chinese makes me hungry.

I didn't completely understand other pople finding American accents 'cute' until I lived in a British community, and found my neighbors hanging on my every word. It was extrememly embarrasing at first, but then it was sort of fun.

Because someone from London sounds completely different from a Yorkshire native - or a person from Wales is highly insulted if you mistake them for someone from Bristol.

After a while you pick it up.

But to them, a southern drawl and New Yorker... well, it's all American, right?

I just love it.

Friday, May 29, 2009


This seems to happen to all of us at different times in our lives

You notice, just out of the corner of your eye a shopping cart beginning to run down the slope... and then you realize it is YOUR shopping cart full of $235 worth of your family's meals.

You see a group of kids climbing to a dangerous height in the local oak tree... and then you recognize that the child serving as the ringleader and highest climber is YOURS.

Your nose wrinkles as you smell something disgusting... and then become conscious that it is emanating from YOUR baby like evil death rays from an alien's weapon.

Tonight I had one of those experience.

I saw a beautiful black and white horse galloping wild and free across an open field.

Unfortunately, it was MY horse, completely out of control, racing about a half mile away in the opposite direction.

Both horses have been reasonably well-behaved walking a ways down the road with me and then grazing for a half hour on the sparse growth that exploded out of our sand from the latest 0.000035 inch downpour of moisture (in other words, completely symbolic rain that still encourages what plant-life we have to germinate - it's an Arizonan thing).

So I felt comfortable about taking them out right after sunset in the falling light to munch a little bit of greenery.

Silly me.

My horse, Najale, suddenly decided about half-way to our regular grazing point, that he needed to go on a little field trip.

All by himself.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with horses, control of a 800+ lb. animal is 98% mental.

You have to convince them that:

1) you are smarter,

2) you are the one who makes all decisions in the relationship, and

3) you are in control of every single situation.

(Hmm... sounds depressingly like the husband-role in the 50's)

Unfortunately, my horse occasionally doesn't think my controlling decisions are very smart, and once he jerks control out of my hand (the lead rope attached to his halter), there really isn't much I can do.

Thankfully, he has always come back... eventually.

And he did tonight... after galloping around two neighbors' houses, getting one other local horse into hysterics trying to join him, and driving the mare (who I was now somewhat desperately holding onto) into a whinnying frenzy trying to join him.

At least my neighbors got a nice show to watch this evening.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Problems expand to take up any available space they are allowed.

If you have a huge amount of problems, they will take up as much as your life as you let them.

If you have very few problems, those few things can become enormous, and will infect as much as you as possible.

I live in a house. I have food in my cupboard. I have heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. I have electricity. I have a microwave. I have a refrigerator. I can walk on my property without fear (well, occasionally with a bit of anticipation if it's 11:30 p.m., pitch black with no moonlight, and there have been two groups of illegals rounded up by the Border Patrol since sunset).

So when I have a "horrible" day, I need to sit back and realize how just a few things have been inflated by my little fragile ego and blown up to become completely unmanageable.

Today, I allowed myself to get irritated about time, traffic, and a movie theatre. I got frustrated with having to provide a meal for someone who had had back surgery - a meal that I had volunteered to take in. I was bothered by my husband following me around this evening - following me around because he wanted some company.

I was not in danger. I was not homeless. I was not hungry. I was not hiding for my life.

But I have allowed multiple inconsequential things to blow up and become important when they in reality were actually incredibly meaningless events.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I love the movie "Shakespeare in Love."

Not just because of Joseph Fiennes (although I think he is simply adorable) - not because of the recurring "I don't know - it's a mystery" line by Geoffrey Rush (who I think is hysterical).

Not even Gwyneth Paltrow (who is perfect) and Colin Firth (as the bad guy, for once).

I love that it makes Shakespeare comprehensible to the unwashed, illiterate American masses.

Wait a minute, that wasn't very nice, was it?

Shakespeare intimidates people. Especially high school students with old-lady English teachers who diagrammed irregular past participles sentences on the blackboard and made the class read Richard II instead of Romeo and Juliet.

And reading Shakespeare by yourself can be... well, it can be daunting. And even dull at times.

So movies like "In Love" and "Rosencrantz and Guildestein Are Dead" (another movie I adore - one of the same writers, also - Tom Stoppard - and a very, very young Gary Oldman), can sneak in with the dialogue and the action the wording, the phrasing, that on print scares the crap out of us.

And withOUT cheapening it - I'm thinking Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes here.

I was fortunate to be introduced to serious Shakespearean from (drum roll here) the drama coach at Kansas State University.

While I was pregnant.

Extremely pregnant.

The class was original in that we were looking at Shakespeare from the play director's point of view - how to set up the scene, how the actors delivered their lines, movement on stage....

It was a great deal of fun.

However, 85% of the class was in a panic that somehow, that in the middle of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act V, Scene II, I would go into labor and have the baby right there while we were all on stage.

Think that's why I got an "A" in the class?

Friday, May 22, 2009


I had a fourth grade teacher who encouraged my creative writing, so (imagine the Groucho Marx tone and cigar), "I got more and more creative as time went on (wag cigar and huge eyebrows)."

Once the concept of a diary registered completely on my pre-adolescent brain, I immediately began to commandeer every possible journal, old calendar log and spiral notebook that came anywhere near me and began to stockpile.

That may have been where my (bordering on criminal) obsessive relationship with office supplies.

Some people dream of being locked up overnight in the Louvre - winning a million dollars in the lottery - having 3 minutes to grab all the diamonds they can at Tiffany's.

I fantasy about being let loose in an Office Depot - Staples - Office Max.

Even aisles B-4 through B-7 in Target.

But I digress (which is why I have a blog - I can digress as much as I want - so there).

Proportionately to my fixation on office supplies, my writing steadily increased over the years to the point where the Bic Corporation petitioned me to at least allow ink production to catch up to my use.

When I joined the LDS church in 1976, and was introduced to the church counsel of keeping a journal, I already had nine years of recording completely random events, observations, mood elevations (this was before antidepressants were commonly prescribed), and catty remarks about people I didn't like.

Oh, wait, a journal is supposed to be uplifting, spiritual records of your mortal progress?

Hell, NO.

My journal/diary/scribbles are where I gripe, complain, whine and belly-ache.

However, tomorrow I am responsible to teaching a class of twelve-year olds about record keeping... which I can loosely translate into journal keeping... and hopefully turn into an actual journal -entry session.

Let's see how this goes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Us baby boomers are getting old.

Well, l'll be polite and say we are getting oldER.

If you notice, there is increasing "aging" attitude is in a great big bunch of things. We are a huge demographic population, and not the easiest one to target .

So a lot of dancing around in the advertising is going on as they work on telling us what we what to hear, celebrate our age, and oh-by-the-way spend what we have not already lost on our retirement stocks, 401k and/or IRAs.

They are trying their best, poor things. But some of the ads - really.

Pepsi "Throwback" - going back to 60's flower-power flashbacks?

The hybrid ads with all the 60's and 70's tunes? But I guess classic rock and roll will be around forever - we have raised our children on it, and they are raising their children on it.

Commercials regarding erectile dysfunction? I am still shaking my head in disbelief that these things actually air - although I must admit I love the "Smiling Bob" ads.

The ads about Alzheimer's medications... I don't think that's aimed at my parents' generation, I think it is aimed at me.

Especially after the past two days.

Last night, one of the 12 year olds at church was taking about her grandfather who died in the Vietnam War. Her grandfather.

Translation - her grandfather was my age - I could be her grandmother...

...if I had married young and immediately had a child, and if my child then had married young and had a baby right away - thank goodness neither one of those occurred.

And today?

I painted a bedroom door, and then the door frame, very nicely coordinating shades of green which I had carefully selected for contrast.

And I felt pretty proud of my handiwork.

Until I hung the door back in place.

And realized I had painted the door and the frame the exact same color.

Okay, so where's that medication?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Memories are what you choose to remember.

Some parts of my childhood are blank. Not blurred, or fuzzy, but like erased. I don't think I had horrible experiences that needed to be expunged - maybe just not enough RAM.

But certain parts are extremely clear.

For one, the relationship between myself, my father, and the Los Angeles Times.

It may be difficult for those of you younger than 50 to comprehend, but the daily newspaper used to be the main source of news. There was no Internet or Twitter or email - CNN didn't exist - for years there weren't any morning news shows.

But the morning paper, traditionally thrown in the bushes in front of your house by a young boy on a bicycle, would turn your fingers inky black while over breakfast you read about what the Russians were saying, what Washington was saying back, and the latest serial murderer being hunted in some metropolitan area.

The comics were only one sheet, but worth fighting with your older brother over who got to read first. "Dear Abby" was for grown-ups - horoscopes also.

And I would daily turn to the classifieds in the consistent (albeit irrational) delusion that someday under "Horses," the following advertisement would appear:

"Free beautiful, healthy 8 year old gelding to be given to 12 year old over 5'9" tall, as well as all tack and grooming supplies in addition to first seven years free boarding and feeding costs at local S.P. stable. Call 213-555-1212 immediately to arrange for transportation."

And something my dad and I also shared was the weekly column by Jack Smith.

It was always succinct, direct and usually droll. My dad just loved it, and since I loved my dad so much, of course I did also.

So why am I rambling on about this, and is this going anywhere?

Our book club is meeting at my house next week, which means I suggested the book for discussion.

It was "God and Mr. Gomez" by Jack Smith.

Reading the book for probably the 57th time, I am continually warmed by Smith's phrasing, descriptions and drollity (is that a word? should it be?).

And you know why?

It reminds me of my dad.

I miss him.