Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ah, Bruce Willis, Where Are Ye?

More on Fanny and Alexander

What my husband has against Fanny and Alexander, other than it’s three-and-a-half hours long without a single machine gun going off once: fantasy. He has nothing against Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf, the vampire movie, because he says it’s clear all the fantasy is happening in the character’s head. I'll have to take his word about Hour of the Wolf. We started it after dark, and Bergman toward bedtime puts me to sleep as surely as the violins in Ken Burns' The Civil War.

But here (spoiler ahead)…Fanny and Alexander are rescued by a magical Jew who lives in a magical house. The wicked stepfather is killed in a housefire. The children and the mother are reunited with their loving family. Alexander is walking down the hall, and the stepfather comes up behind him and strikes him down. “You’ll never escape me,” the man says before disappearing into a side room.

Oh, Ingmar, we are always haunted by the past.

It has been said Ingmar made this movie of the loving family because someone told him he never made happy movies.

My husband says Alexander never left the bishop’s austere house, that the happy scenes were in the boy’s head; that instead of being a slap-happy ghost, the bishop was the reality. Once my writer’s group talked about a short story, The Sorrowful Woman. On my way home that night, I wondered what would happen if I ever had a completely happy day (I tend to be rather intense). I would have to kill myself, I thought, because I would then know what happiness was and I would know it would never happen again. So I wrote The Joyful Woman, a story about a woman who realized what happiness was. At the end of the story she was driving up the mountain, and it was like she was driving into the face of the moon. (I wanted to put Elvis in there, but I couldn’t work it out.) Only I knew she was actually launching herself off the side of that mountain, though later a member of the group wrangled it out of me. “I’ll never ask you how you think of your ideas again,” she said, horrified between the disparity of the feeling of love the story conveyed, and what actually went on in my head. Oh, Ingmar, challenged to give us a happy movie, is my husband right, did you pull a Joyful Woman on us all?

So, I ask my husband (not Ingmar)…can not Ingmar be conveying that we have these factual incidents that happen, and then we use them to create the fantasy life we are living?

Don’t give me that psychological mumbledy-jumble, he told me.

No. Give him Die Hard. It’s got lots of machine guns.


A Course in Miracles says this world is a dream of judgment—judging is how we keep the dream going while we are asleep to our Reality. It also says the memory of God returns to the quiet mind, and that if we ever stop judging, we will awaken. Nice. But it hasn’t happened to me. Maybe because (and the following is the condensed version, believe me):

Today while I was walking the dogs, a man turned the corner. He carried an umbrella. A strange, anxious man talking to himself. I know who this man is, and I knew he would not look at me, we would not greet. I thought if I did not know him, I would be afraid of him, but I did know him. He is, in fact, a cousin to my cousin’s husband. I thought how strange that my cousin, who is not from here, married a man who is also not from here, and how I was not from here, but the husband’s cousin was from here, and now I am from here and how often I see the husband’s cousin, scurrying down the road and talking to himself. I thought how often in my family I feel as if I am from a foreign country and do not know the nuances of the language, and that this is not how I thought it would be when I was young, a pup in a tumbling litter, and how sometimes that makes me sad. I thought of my child who also knew the husband’s cousin, and how the husband’s cousin irritated my child, who once talked about it to my cousin and her husband, who seemed uncomfortable with my child's story, and how the cousin and her husband had never been around the husband’s cousin as much as my child had, so how would they know, but still you do not talk about people’s relatives, no matter how strange they are, and I wanted to protect my child and my cousin and her husband, and maybe even her husband's cousin. And then I thought my child was probably not coming home for Christmas again, and sometimes it seems as if everybody I know is from a foreign country, with an indecipherable language, which makes it me and not them, and….


For each one of those thoughts I gave a minus (-) to life. So,


And then I was simply on the street with my three dogs. A man was turning the corner. He had an umbrella. He was talking to himself. The sky was gray.

A huge silence. And a huge space.

Which might be the memory of God.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

At the Movies: Must See

Last night I watched Ingmar Bergman’s 1983 Fanny and Alexander for the third time. It’s been nine or ten years since I’ve seen it, and I wondered if the years and experience would have dulled my appreciation. No. It’s just as dreamy now as the first time I viewed it.

My husband, who is watching all Bergman’s films, some twice, played free cell while I once again fell under the spell of the Eckdahl family in 1907 Sweden. What problems do you have with it, I asked him. It’s three and a half hours long? he said. Which is shorter than the television version that I’ve never seen and now have on my must-watch-someday list. Either scene #1 is fantasy and scene #2 is fact, or scene #1 is fact and the other fantasy, or else it's just poor movie-making, he said. I now understand why there are no self-help books on his library shelves, and why he doesn't seem as confused by life as I sometimes am.

"It is very much, and in the best way, an old man's movie, the work of an artist resigned to life's mystery, full of wonder at the passage of time, full of forgiveness for past wrongs, and full of understanding, even of those people whose wrongs can never quite be forgiven," says Mick LaSalle.

The opening scenes make it the perfect Christmas movie, all pomp and gilt and velvet. It is Bergman; know that plenty of angst will follow. If you want to talk Bergman, we can discuss his take on men and their failings, and on how he regards women, even the girl children, to be strong enough to carry us past those failings. This movie was filmed after his last wife created a family for him, including the nine children he had with other women and was too disinterested to father. It is a movie where the interior life and exterior life intertwine. "Perhaps we're the same person, with no boundaries. Perhaps we flow through each other, stream through each other boundlessly and magnificently. You bear such terrible's almost painful to be near you," Ismael tells Alexander, while he shows him the murder we carry in our hearts. Yet murder is not the heart of this movie. Perhaps not even love is. Life is, as we flow through one another, with every moment too quickly lost, yet carried forth with us always.

By the end, I again understand life is filled with mystery and love, betrayal, and regeneration. I want to believe, along with Alexander and his grandmother Helena, Agustus Strindberg's words from the opening of The Dream Play:

Anything can happen, all is possible and probable. Time and space do not exist. On an insignificant foundation of reality, imagination spins out and weaves new patterns.…

Monday, December 17, 2007


We have been eating out one night a week at La Piñata for years…even before the waiters learned English, when we would be amused at what their translation of our order would bring us. Recently the Margarita Grill opened two blocks down the street from La Piñata. I stopped by for a menu which does not offer much more than La Piñata’s basic fare. My husband has elected not to try the new restaurant. While we could use a new restaurant in town, he thinks our town is too small for two restaurants serving the same kind of food, and he will be loyal to our restaurant, with our waiters.

Last night he asked Antonio if the new restaurant had cut into their business. Some, Antonio said, and asked if we had eaten there. No, I said, and asked if he had. Yes, he said.

That’s when it occurred to me…in Mexico, most of the restaurants are probably Mexican. Antonio may not feel the same sense of redundancy we do.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

magical world

Last night when I took the garbage out I heard the loon. I stopped and listened, sending out my wondering gratitude. If I had listened longer, would my attention have drawn it nearer? But the cats were hungry and my boyfriend was popping netflix in the player.

Wait….maybe it is all magic.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Do You Believe in Magic?

The night after my early morning bosom’s whistle awakening, I snugged into the covers, ready for the healing power of sleep. I confess….I was running the a.c. It has been the kind of hot muggy winter that has given Mississippi its reputation for being The Balmy South. I was trying to clear my mind of detritus of the day when I heard the a. c. compressor kick on, accompanied by a shrill, though not as loud and shrill as my morning wake-up call, whistle. It was the UPS that I had failed to turn off the night before. These two share an electrical line, but sometimes fight for control. The UPS squawk was my bosom’s whistle. I had heard it before, and I was hearing it now. Later my husband said he was surprised I didn’t hear it several times that morning…he could hear it all the way in the sun room.

You didn’t really think that I really thought my brain had somehow manifested my own personal alarm system, did you? Of course I didn’t. Not really. Not even though nine times out of ten, or at least a lot, I can tell myself what time to wake up and I do. So much so I forget how to set the alarm. Or that some people have seemed to read my thoughts, and I have had mind melding or at least thought sharing experiences, and a bit of the esp thing.

And if my will were going to control my passage through the physical universe, I would certainly direct it to do better things that manifest an ear-piercing system of alarm. Like forgiving those who hurt my feelings or those who are just ornery jerks. Or better yet, never getting my feelings hurt, and recognizing we are none of us in reality ornery jerks. I would heal the sick. I would heal my little dog. I would fly, without machines, of course. I would spontaneously awaken and also not eat junk food I think I crave and vacuum the floor on a regular basis and drive without fear through Houston, Texas. I would spontaneously awaken in eternity, not just physically wake up at 5:00 a.m., and still vacuum the floor.

Also, if that sound were going to manifest from another dimension, what else might enter through that portal? Both Stuart Wilde and Lynn Grabhorn think they saw other dimensional entities that weren’t necessarily there in their best interests. And my husband’s family dealt for several years with a poltergeist that could be downright annoying. And while I’ve never seen another dimensional entity, so what do I know, I do think you better be careful what you ask for, or at least that’s what my husband tells me, and he also says "they're other dimensions for a reason."

Still, for a brief while, it felt like those barriers were falling. And I do, I do believe this: our reality isn’t this fun house of mirrors I’ve chosen to explore. But I guess I must use my mind not to vilify my elderly ornery aunt, and to cherish my little dog rather than dread his mysterious and progressive disease, and to not view potato chips with interest. If I have to be sure to wake up, I best set the alarm.

Magic. I wonder if I am wishing life were magic, how entertaining, what stories to share, rather than accepting it for being what it is, forgetting What Is holds all the possibilities from which I choose what I want to see. And hear.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weird Universe

In this morning’s dream, I knew it wasn’t time to wake up, but I didn’t know what time it was. Set a dream alarm to wake up at 5:00, my dream mind said. I did this twice, and at some point, shrill and loud a bosom’s whistle blew. I woke up. I looked at the clock. It was 5:00. Neat, I said.

I got up and jumped into the downstairs bed so I could talk to my husband while he got ready for work. Did you leave clothes drying, he said. From last week?, I said—I had been gone through Sunday afternoon. No, last night, he said. Who did he think he was living with, like I was going to come in after a road trip and pop some dirty clothes in the washer…and then put them in the dryer. This was me, the lazy sister, we were talking about.

I heard an alarm, like the dryer going off, he said, I heard it two or three times, the last time it was real loud. A bosom’s whistle went off in my room at 5:00 this morning, I said. That’s what it was, he said.

We’d never heard this whistle before, and we didn’t hear it after I got up. We may never hear it again. And we’ll never know what it was. I hope my brain isn’t leaking.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Oblivion, Or How We Fail To See

When I left the house at 6:30 to walk to walk the dogs this morning, the sky in the east glowed rose, the breast of a bird hovering over an awakening world.

In succession I thought:

1. This is the most beautiful sunrise in the world. evalution
2. I wish I were at the field at the end of the road, so I could see it in all its glory. looking toward the future, where things will be even better
3. By the time I reach the field, it will have faded. regret
4. I wonder if I can be there in the morning, and would it be so lovely tomorrow as it is today? planning for a better future, evaluation

Then I began walking the dogs and forgot to look again. instant amnesia

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dharma, Karma or Reality--The Do-nut or the Hole?

Honest Abe opened a do-nut shop down the street and around the corner from my house. In the earliest morning the smell of that hot, sweet, frying goodness saturates the air. When I was a girl, I could eat ALL of the hot do-nuts, and still have begged for more. So light, so sweet, they will never fill you up. Luckily I was tall then and blessed with the supercharged metabolism of youth. A do-nut shop in my neighborhood…it would have been heaven.

Now, in addition to the Age-Defeats-Metabolism syndrome, I have discovered even one do-nut makes me nauseous. What mean tricks that old coyote Life holds in store for us.

The question: Who is luckier? The girl who loves do-nuts and lives next door to the do-nut shop, or the girl who loves do-nuts, lives next door to the do-nut shop, and cannot eat them?

An addendum: In my own interpretation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, after the death of the physical body, the consciousness floats around in different realms until something attracts its attention, then wham-o, back in life, and hope you didn’t land in a pig sty. Here’s my problem…even though do-nuts make me sick, when I smell them cooking in the early morning air, I want one. Or twenty. Every time. So if I’m floating around in some bardo and Honest Abe fires up his grease vats, whoever is trying to conceive, watch out…here comes your baby flying home.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Lest I forget:

Here, where I live, there are sloughs and bayous, rivers and lakes, catfish ponds like ropes of pearls. Over the years, the Delta has become a flyway for water birds. Last year there were few. I remember none. I wondered if the changing climate had altered their route.

Night before last my husband in his easy chair said: Puppies. I listened. High and away I heard them. I rushed outside, and there they were, points of light strung across the sky like Christmas itself. Wave after wave they flew south toward the river. I stood in the dark and welcomed them.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Beam Me Up, Scotty

Yesterday I pitched out the white bean soup, which wasn’t too tasty. I don’t know if the culprit was too much rosemary or the home-made broth I had labored over, trying to find a substitute for chicken broth. The cereal mix and nuts and crackery stuff we call Christmas trash…I think I overcooked it, perhaps because I have not set my kitchen wall clock back since the dratted time-change in November. This morning I burned the oatmeal. And cooking is my day job.

There’s only one conclusion to draw…after over a half-century of form life, I’m just not getting the hang of it. It’s time for spontaneous awakening.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Oh Lord won't you........

Last night was my favorite night of the year in my town—the night of the Christmas parade. My favorite part of the parade? That would be like trying to name your favorite ingredient in the world’s best cookie, but if I could choose future life-times, I know I would immediately live one as a cootchie dancer. To be able to wiggle my butt two inches from the ground? Can you imagine how it must feel to be that limber, to move all your body parts with such liquidity, to have every cell in your body surging to the flow of the music. It must feel like flying.

Last night the elegant women of the University of Arkansas dance squad regally posed in front of two blocks of band members cootchie dancing while they played wild Christmas music. The pep squad swooped and shimmied and laughed along with the band. They owned us.

This is not something you learn in dance class.

This is a force of nature.

I want it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Spring and Fall

to a young child

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

(Dis)Harmonies of the Universe

Cousin A and Cousin B play well with each other, as does Cousin A and Cousin C….but Cousin B and Cousin C in the same room together? Five minutes until the cat fight.

You love Friend B. You love Friend C. You love them so much, you just know an outing with Friend B and Friend C will increase the fun exponentially. After an afternoon of tap dancing between the two, you wonder what you saw in either one of them, and don’t even like yourself that much.

Today's True Story:

The socks, warm out of the dryer, are jumbled on the bed to be matched. They are fairly worn socks, and seem to have faded at different rates. Sock A doesn’t match Sock B, but Sock C looks like a perfect mate to either Sock A or B.

How does that (not) work?

Friday, November 16, 2007

City Life

17 years ago my husband took a job in Louisville, Kentucky. I planned to follow him in two months, thank goodness, because after a week he discovered Louisville (cars! people! traffic!) was not for him. He came home.

For years after that every time I had to wait briefly behind a car parked in the middle of a downtown street while its driver popped into the local bank to do a little business, I said thank you, Jesus.

Except for the UPS truck, I haven’t noticed any middle-of-the-road parking lately. Our little town has grown. Even so, traffic is rarely snarled. Still, even here, jams can happen, as noted by this report from the most recent Board of Supervisor’s meeting:

Representatives from the Browning Civic League asked for a progress report on the county's efforts to get rid of hogs in the streets of Browning. Board president Robert Moore said the county would try to eliminate the problem and would be able to give a report at the board's next meeting on Nov. 26.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Secret: The Dark Side

Ellie told me that when she was young, her mother and stepdad decided a pet would give her something to love and would also teach her responsibility. Without asking her, they bought her a hamster. Ellie hated the hamster. It smelled bad, wasn’t at all cuddly, and she had to clean the cage every day, which sometimes she forgot to do, and then she would get in trouble. Every night she wished that hamster would die. One night she went to bed, hating the hamster as usual. “I really wished the hamster would die,” she told me, “and I could feel it, here.” She was holding her stomach and laughing. The next morning: stone cold dead hamster.

Years later her friend Tandy was going though an unpleasant divorce that was dragging on. Each day Tandy came to work with a new injustice to complain about. The day came when Tandy ran through her litany of grievances and then said, “I wish he would just disappear.”

“Maybe," Ellie said, “but you're not feeling it.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The (Real) Secret

It's never to late to change your mind.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blind Belief

she: I haven't been able to find the digital camera. I decided to look in the cabinet for the umpteenth time before I took on the trashed-out room upstairs. I took out the box in the front. I took out the box. I. took. out. the. box.


she: the camera box. In the front of the cabinet. The camera wasn’t just chunked in the cabinet. It was in the box. The camera box. Where it’s been the whole time…

He: …violating your principles of organization.

Monday, November 12, 2007

LIFE: H6w Many T5mes Is It Just This Easy? EASY????

Today the dog ran across my key board. Don’t tell me this hasn’t happened to you. A couple of boxes opened on my screen and I did what my computer genius always tells me to do. I x-ed out of them. I didn’t even read them. When I began typing again, my o’s appeared as 6s on the screen. A gh6st had taken 6ver my computer. I carried the lapt6p t6 my c6mputer genius. Take my word that he is a very smart man. He discovered k’s were 2s and i’s were 5s. An evil, ev5l gh6st was in the machine. I finally understood my friend’s high-maintenance daughter. I wanted to run thr6ugh the house, screaming and pull5ng at my hair. Instead I hid out upstairs. My computer genius opened up a screen keyboard, and went exploring. After some length of time, he told me he had fixed my problem, though he was a bit chagrined about saving the day.

You already guessed it, didn’t you? The dog had pressed the Num Lk key.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Face Value

she: I don't know why dogs will eat food off the floor better than they'll eat the same food out of a bowl.

he: Nor will you ever.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Terms of Engagement

The dogs tie one on over the food bowl.

Me, legging my foot into the fray: We don't want any fighting around here.

The dogs separate.

He: The 1st Rule of Fight Club--make sure the referee isn't around.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Better Living Through Chemistry, Modern Angst, or I Think They Have Medication For This

Did you know you can use dishwasher detergent to take stains out of clothes? You have to be careful, because it can leave little white spots on your apparal. Bleach, I think.

So if you use liquid drain opener (who knows what is in that) in your drain, and later you open your dishwasher and there is a bit of fluid in the bottom of the dishwasher, and you know water from the drain can backflow into the dishwasher, if you decide to wash the dishes will the liquid drain opener and the dishwasher detergent combine to form a toxic gas THAT WILL KILL EVERY LIVING THING IN THE HOUSE?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Right Tool For The Job

My day job is cooking and cleaning the house...but let's not go there, too many historical discussions for today. Mr. K leaves for work at 6 a.m., and is home for lunch at 12:00 noon on the dot...unless it's five minutes earlier. Lunch is our big meal of the day.

Morning is my best (maybe the only) time for thinking, thus trying to write. Or doing anything else for that matter. So mostly I try to write. Wait a minute, I've gotta check my email.

Blasted internet.

Oh. At any rate, lunch is the onliest job I feel I have to do, and on a regular schedule, at that. Actually it is the only job I do on a regular schedule. You haven't read my startling and insightful first novel yet, have you? See what I mean?

When I try to write and cook at the same time, it doesn't always work out so well for the lunch part.

Today I am cooking peas in the crockpot. Now I am home and I can cook peas on the stove top in much less time. Why am I using the crockpot?


Now, please excuse me, those lucid morning hours are flying past.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


We recently swapped brands of dog food, and we got several cases where the cans were bent, which was bad enough, but what I really hated was when the can lid would not open all the way. These cans often had blips where the can opener skipped two places, on OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE LID. When that happened the lid would not detach, and you could destroy the tines on a whole set of forks futilely trying to pry one side loose. The lid would only open like it was hinged, half of it digging into the dog food, half of it up like a protruding, up-side-down guillotine blade. Then you had a space of say, oh, an inch and a half to wrestle out dog food that was four inches deep in the can, trying to avoid sharp, slicey edges that would slit your knuckles and remove ounces of your flesh from your hand, all the while flinging hunks of wet dog food everywhere. What should have taken three minutes could gobble up at least twenty minutes of your time, but only if you didn’t count scrubbing the kitchen walls or the trip to the emergency room.

When I complained to my vet, he made good on the bent cans of dog food. Even better, he showed me the safe-edge can opener he had just started using this year. He liked it so much, he got one for his house.

Folks, I know this is twentieth century technology, but I live in a small town and do not like to shop. Plus I just do most things like I did them yesterday, and so replaced a defunct opener with another just like it, but new. I had not tried this new fangled gadget. I immediately rushed out and bought this one:

The blade fits against the can and disconnects the whole top, rim and all. No sharp edges. It’s worked every time on every can, though I did have to have a little seminar to teach Mr. K how to use it.

And here’s the deal. Every time I use this can opener, I am solaced and coddled. I am happy. Really happy. Would every time I open a frigging can make me so happy now if it had not been so hard in the past?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Reality: 21st Century

Remember that great old 7th grade science conundrum? If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make any sound?

After plunging even more deeply into the Giant Forest of the Blogosphere during this NaBloPoMo month, I must wonder:

If you live your life and nobody snaps a picture and posts about it on the web, are you really alive?

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Stove, She Is Dead

Repair Guy says she is even older than he suspected.

A moment of silence.

Mrs. Scartissue's Diary of Housekeeping

Repair guy is coming today. I washed the stove down and mopped the floor. Then I remembered…there is a back-of-the-stove. Opps. We got this stove in 1994. I am sure in 13 years I’ve cleaned behind it, but if I did, it was so long ago, I had forgotten it could be done. If this were last week, I would have some really creepy Halloween decorations.

A'hem...Here Is My Great New Badge


Sunday, November 4, 2007


After the stove-top biscuits, I talked to my appliance repairman, making sure it’s in our best financial interest to have him make a service call for a gas stove that’s at least twenty-years-old. Try lighting the pilot with a match, he said. I tried. It worked, and so the non-lighting pilot is easily repairable and the stove still serviceable.

Here’s the deal. I could have made the biscuits in twenty minutes in the stove, after all, by lighting the pilot on my own. 45 minute biscuits on top of the stove: genius or lack of imagination?

At any rate, I do have the gas stove and apparently will have for a while. If the electricity goes out I can light my stove eyes with a match, but cannot light the pilot on the oven (the oven needs the click click click that only electric juice can provide)….so, if we have an ice storm or wind damage to the electrical lines, I CAN MAKE BISCUITS ON THE STOVE EYE.

So maybe the slow biscuits are merely experience, which often looks like genius to the uninitiated.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Will and Way

Saturday is Mexican Restaurant Day. I don’t cook lunch, and we dine in the late afternoon, so sometimes I like to cook breakfast. Today I was willing to make (and clean up after) biscuits. I got the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt out of the pantry. I took down my big blue bowl from its shelf. I turned the dial on the oven…click, click, click, click, oh yeah, I remember, something’s crinked with the pilot ignition on my twenty-year-old gas stove, click, click, click. No oven.

We do have McDonald’s and Burger King, but sometimes Mr. K gets massive indigestion if he eats their biscuits…we suspect a confluence of his allergy to anything with a brain stem and lard. Fast food was out, but I still wanted biscuits, so:

I stacked two of those little pan grates (you know, the ones over the gas stove eyes that pans sit on…do they have a name?) over a stove eye and greased an iron skillet. I made my biscuits thinking this could be one of those episodes that resulted in no food, a messy kitchen, and other horrors I had not imagined or I would not have even started this process…in other words, a genuine learning experience. But I WANTED BISCUITS. Actually, a biscuit, but you can never make just one.

I spent the next forty-five minutes stacking and unstacking skillets (I used a lid on the biscuit skillet) on the stacked grates. Cooking in the oven takes about 20 minutes. Eventually, voila, hot, fluffy biscuits. Only the center one had a burned bottom, and that was because I had gotten impatient and unstacked when I should have left stacked.

Biscuits, with a soysage and an egg, and we had happy Saturday breakfast.

“A cooking genius,” Mr. K crowed.

Sometimes what looks like genius to others is just a desire for something and the willingness to risk making a big fat mess in order to get it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

This Is So Not My Century: the credit card

Lucky for me, I have a few 20th Century survival skills. I’m not talking about canning my own food, writing with pen and paper or playing solitaire with actual cards…I’m talking about being proficient with the telephone.

Take for instance the saga of our credit cards. We have an old account that we’ve used since the company offered us a secure computer-use card that it later upgraded to an everywhere card, along with a cash-back program. Recently the same company came out with a card with an even better rewards program, and my husband, computer savvy since the mid-eighties, opened the new account on-line. Our cards never arrived, though on Saturday our pin number was in the mailbox.

Tell them we haven’t received our cards, he told me, interrupting me while I was engaged in serious computer pursuits, either exploring the wild blogosphere or racing through the 3,000s in Free Cell.

I’ll call, I said. I reached for the phone.

You just don’t want to admit you’re computer inept, he said, relieving me of my computer and the burden of business.

He sent them a note explaining the situation with the new card.

On Monday he discovered our old faithful credit card had been canceled ‘for security reasons,’ which makes life somewhat problematic since we’ve gone all computer and credit card to transact financial exchanges.

I called. I talked to Heather. She told me our card had been canceled for security reasons, and new ones would be issued soon. She didn’t know anything about a new account. I called again. I talked to Rachel. She told me what Heather told me. She did say I could have new cards expressed mailed. I called again. I talked to John. He explained the bank wasn’t changing our accounts, just the numbers, and he also changed the numbers on the new, missing cards, and said all of the newly numbered cards would be here in seven to ten days. He could indeed express mail my card from the old account with the new number, but Mr. K would have to request express mail for his card. Fat chance. Mr. K’s telephonically inept.

On Thursday, Mr. K discovered that charges on the closed account (or closed number) showed up after the account was closed, and that we were double charged for those items. Now I had the opportunity to make friends in India, who were very polite and called me m’am. If they had lived nearer to us, I might have invited them to supper, since I’ve also retained the 20th century skill of cooking at home.

With several strokes of the keyboard on Saturday, Mr. K had created chaos in our calm little household, and given me the opportunity to make new friends at our credit card bank through-out the next week. You might ask if Mr. K and the bank created this problem, why wouldn’t Mr. K be the one to fix it? How 21st century of you. If Mr. K learned to talk on the phone, he might expect me hone my computer skills, and I’m so busy preserving the past, frankly, my dear, I just don’t have time. Do you know they have a million games of Free Cell now? This just might be my century after all.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

This Is So Not My Century

so, I got this picture (is that an avatar?) on my profile...but my profile does not show up on my blog(s).

so, I signed up for NaBloPoMO, do I direct folks here, to my blog, and also get my cute button?

and I gotta wash the dishes.

this does, too, count for a post.

POSTDATE: I DID IT!!!! Now off to learn rocket sciencetry.
Hint for the day: My Learning Process
Try, fail, try, fail, call your friends, get them confused, try, fail, wring your hands, whine a lot, try again, call you friends again, get them more confused, try, succeed...Wait...that worked???!!!! oh, those dishes....
and stay tuned tomorrow for the credit card embraglio.
and why did my enter bar quit working in the middle of this post?

Hey...I fixed the double space deal by looking at the html. Imagine that. Rocket sciencetry here I comeeeeeeeeeeee

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Fallacy of Rewards

My friend is on a diet. She promised herself a ring if she loses some number of pounds, and she is close to her goal. I need to lose more than some number of pounds. My husband who rarely goes further than his comfy chair when he’s not at work agreed if I lose this gianormous amount of weight we could go to a cabin with a screened porch in the mountains on a lake with the dogs. I am told visualization helps in reaching goals, but I seem only to be losing the same two pounds over and over. Maybe why: when I am craving food I visualize my happy, happy, much thinner self on that porch on that mountain looking out on that lake. Then I realize that happy, happy thinner me looking out on that lake wants chocolate.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Yesterday I had a long-do list. I knew when I completed it I would be well on my way to completing every to-do list every day for the rest of my life. My life would be in order, I would be respectable, and my mother in heaven could smile down on me in pride.

Then Veronica Mars arrived in the mail from Netflix.

Sorry, Mom. Again.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

oh the pressure

I decided to do the NaNowhateverBlog Month, and I had fifteen snippets I wanted to post. Now I can't think of one of them.