Saturday, March 26, 2011

3204 Hair - Again....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Want to live a calm and happy life? Simple. Never do or say anything that could be misinterpreted or taken out of context.

Good luck with that….


My hair is now super short. Too short.

I figure if you want to find the right length and shape, starting long and nibbling it down, the way I've been doing the past three months, isn't the way to go. Better to go too short, and let it grow into something that works.

I already know I'd like it a little longer on the top back crown and at the bottom behind the earlobe. More feminine. It'll get there. I think I like the back of the head, though. At least it's willing to lie down at this length.

3203 Acting

Saturday, March 26, 2011

You get what you settle for.


Lots of praise for Ms. Taylor the past few days. This is a very good article on why she was special:

Yes, I loved and appreciated her. I have a soft spot for her. There are many good things to say about her, and all of those good things were simply her, not put on just for public approval.


I am now going to bring down the wrath of the world. I am going to speak ill of the dead. I'm sorry, but all this praise of her acting skills annoys me. I, personally, don't think she could act worth beans.

Maybe it's just what I expect of acting.

In everything I'd ever seen her in, I was always conscious that it was her up there, not the character she played. It seemed obvious to me that she was quoting a script. That she was "performing".

Contrast the way she comes across on screen to, say, Dustin Hoffman (in his serious roles, like in "Midnight Cowboy", not stuff like the Fockers.) You forget that's Dustin on the screen. You aren't aware there's a script. Now contrast Dustin Hoffman to Robin Williams. Robin Williams is always Robin Williams, no matter who he's playing. He "performs" the character.

Ms. Taylor's acting was in the same class as that of Mr. Williams. A performance, of a script, to direction.

The article linked above mentions "Sophia Loren, who has the same combination of qualities" as Ms. Taylor. Well, Sophia could ACT!

3202 HOTW - The "Lemond Bishop" character

Saturday, March 26, 2011

We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders.
-- Walter Cronkite --


I don't regularly watch "The Good Wife". If it's on and I happen to notice, then I do watch it.

I watched it the other night.

There's a recurring character, Lemond Bishop (that's how the show spells it, but I wonder if it should be pronounced LeMond?), a drug kingpin. A very impressive character. Apparently he has been in many episodes, but I'd never seen him before.

I was stunned. My stomach went hollow and dropped.

I don't know why he fascinated me so much. It probably had a lot to do with the similarities to The Man. Similar skin tone, same head shape, similar eyes. They both fill space the same way. They move the same way, that leopard prowl. Emotionally vulnerable when it fits, impenetrable when it doesn't, and very still and observant in between.

I know you can't assign attributes of a character to the actor playing him, so I suspect, having seen him only once, only in this role, and only in the "Ham Sandwich" episode, it's the character that fascinates me, not necessarily the actor. (On the other hand, if the things that grabbed me are not already a part of the actor, then he's one damn good actor!)

I carefully watched the end credits, to see who he was. He was not credited. I went online and searched a few zillion articles on and reviews of "The Good Wife". The character is mentioned often, but not the actor.

I finally resorted to a "The Good Wife" fan forum, and asked. I did get the answer, and the fans were surprised that not only was he not credited on the show, when they went to the actor's own publicity sites, including things like IMDb and Wikipedia, "The Good Wife" is not listed for him. There was a lot of speculation as to why.

Now that I know his name, I have found him a few places linked to "The Good Wife". Very few.

I present the Honey of the Week, Mike Colter:

Of course, Lemond Bishop was all spiffed up in suit and tie. But I kinda like thinking about a little fresh sweat on him, as opposed to talc.

Friday, March 25, 2011

3201 Dear Diary (skip this post)

Friday, March 25, 2011

We generate the results we think we deserve.


Ignore this entry. Skip. Back button. (Except for the green up there. Read that.)

Just noting a few things I did that may require followup,
or at least that I need to remember,
and a few things I have to do, in a place I won't lose it.
A place I look at often.
Otherwise I'll forget.
Lists on paper get lost.

3/23 Copied old photos, took most of day.
""""" Printed list of in-network doctors etc.
3/24 Canceled phone at old house.
""""" Went through photos w Daughter.
""""" Cut hair to basic shape/length.
3/25 Wrote letter to Dr. K. re history. Not yet mailed.
""""" Called McAfee and applied for refund. Check in 10 days.
""""" Called xfer agent re xfer of old joint stock, "Can sigs be separate?" Ans: yes.
""""" Wrote instruction letter to Ex#2 re xfer, mailed letter and form to him.
""""" Picked up box to mail photos. Verified address.
""""" To hairdresser to get back smoothed and shaped.
""""" Bought rake/dustpan-type pooper scooper for gum balls.

To do:
- Find warranty for microwave.
- Find procedures for getting house problems fixed.
- Do so^.
- Make appointment w. doctor, get mammo & bone scan
- Write cover letter, pack & mail photos.
- Unpack latest load from north.
- Pull tog tax docs!!!!
- Locate joint certificates.
- Letter to Nancy M.
- Letter to Bob P.
- Call Colette re FJK Jr. estate - closed.
- Clean attic, take stuff up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3200 Some photos

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.


This is the view north from my back windows. That's a portion of a small lake in the foreground, then a strip of land beyond that that separates the lake and the neighborhood from Raritan Bay, which contains a walkway along the bay to a beach up the way a bit. After that, the bit of dark gray is the bay. Off in the distance you can see a pale strip - that's Brooklyn. It's barely visible during the day, but at night it's a blaze of light and looks a lot closer.

This is as seen from the side window in my bedroom:

My grandbaby, due in perhaps five weeks. I keep saying Daughter is huge. She doesn't look that large in this photo (taken yesterday), but actually she's normally extremely slender and willowy in the middle. She's now at least three times as deep as usual in the belly and behind region. The tummy is perfectly round, like a basketball. (Looks "boy" to me.)

I've spent much of today searching the internet for hints on how to clean up the sweet gum balls in my yard. They are downright dangerous to bare or sandaled feet, and I've heard they are very hard and can kill a lawnmower, so I have to clean them up before the first spring mowing. My neighbor George said the only way is to pick them up by hand, rake them, or use a vacuum.

I've got a zillion of the darn things in my yard. These photos are through the sliding glass doors with the sun shining on the glass, so they're not clear, but you can see all those dark brown balls, mixed in the grass and the straw from last fall's seeding.

They're all in MY yard, not in either side neighbors' yards.

I don't understand.

I looked at "rolling nut picker-uppers", and they don't work on gum balls because of the stems. (Of course they SAY they do, but the reviewers say differently.) I looked at lawn sweepers, and they don't work because they can't get down low enough. (Of course they SAY they do, but the reviewers say differently.)

I looked at lawn vacuums, and those things are huge and expensive (like $800 minimum for the smallest).

I can't rake - I know my back won't stand for that, especially with the straw woven into the grass. I can't bend over and pick them up without destroying my back, unless I use something like a pooper-scooper.

'Bout the only thing I can think of is to put a sign on the front yard offering to pay kids $2 a bucket for picking them up. Or buy a pooper-scooper.

One good thing - a website recommended using them as top mulch on garden beds, since unlike bark or other covers they're easy to pull off to work the soil and push back on, they take decades to rot, they don't block watering, and animals don't like to walk on or dig in them. Plus when your neighbors see it, they think you're amazingly inventive.

Um, anyone want a bucket or two of sweet gum balls?


Update: There's some woman selling bags of the damn things on Etsy, for craftwork! I can do that!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3199 Knut

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

You can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.


I guess everyone has heard by now that Knut, the polar bear at the Berlin zoo, has died unexpectedly, reason unknown. (If you don't know about Knut, Google him, or check here:

Knut was not exactly an orphan. He had been rejected by his zoo mother, and had been raised by humans at the zoo. He was cute and playful, and quite the sensation. But as he got bigger, he had to be separated from his adoptive human parents. He was four years old, an adolescent, when he died.

Animal rights folks are all up in arms, claiming that he was obviously depressed at the lack of the human contact he'd been used to, and that's what caused his death. The zoo officials disagree, saying that he was perfectly happy and playful.

Me? I'm not at all surprised he died, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with his having being inappropriately raised by humans.

Nature loves babies. It's built into animal mothers that they will care for their babies. That his mother abandoned him at birth is highly significant.

Nature will abandon babies only if the babies cannot be raised to the point where they themselves can have babies. Nature is realistic and won't spend energy and resources on a cause doomed to failure. The reasons can be that the environmental conditions aren't right, in that there is danger, famine, stress of confinement, whatever makes it difficult to raise the young, or there is something inherently wrong with the baby itself such that it will be unlikely to live to reproductive age. Animal mothers can sense something wrong, wrongness that may not even show up in medical tests.

Knut's mother rejected him. To me, this means there was a good chance there was something wrong with Knut.

And that's why I'm not surprised he did not live to reproduce.

Nature is very stern about stuff like that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

3198 Tea Parties Are for Toddlers

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's not what happens that's important. It's what you do about it.


Wondering what the country might be like if the Tea Party had total control?

Read this: (then watch the movie Idiocracy).

2505 is HERE! We have already reached the age of idiocracy.

(Hey, really, read it. You'll laugh between the tears.)
(Um, and you don't perk tea. That's coffee.)
(And if you haven't seen Idiocracy, you should.)


While driving north and south over the weekend, I listened to some right-wing talk radio. The hosts were all freaking out about perceived indecisiveness on the part of the administration regarding Libya.


I don't claim to be on top of the news and the world situation, but even I was aware of the danger of too quick a military response. All over the Muslim world, people antagonistic to the West are putting forth the theory that all these revolts were not simply popular internal uprisings, but were carefully orchestrated by US and European agents. Even groups friendly to us are wondering if there might not be some truth to the stories. (Wikileaks didn't help us there.)

So to jump in too quickly against Moammar Gadhafi could be very dangerous to our position in the Middle East. We don't want to confirm the rumor monger's "Aha! See? We TOLD you so!" among those who would otherwise be willing to give us the benefit of the doubt and work with us.

Secondly, we are already running an unbearable financial deficit due to two wars started by the previous administration, neither of which were necessary for our safety. (Want a terrorist? Offer a few million for his head on a platter, then sit back. The glory of war that dubya wanted wasn't worth it.) So we simply cannot afford to get involved in a third war that, frankly, when you come right down to it, is none of our business.

That's why we were slow to react - not from indecisiveness, but because of diplomacy. It was necessary that the UN take the lead, and necessary that the Arab League condemn Gadhafi first. And we are offering tactical support only because - hey, in case you hadn't noticed, we're BROKE! And our military is already stretched too thin.

But hey again, truth and diplomacy and the economy be damned - any excuse to trash the president will do, and the American public (for whom, by the way, those talk show hosts have nothing but scorn, the masses whom they whip up and entertain and thereby get rich) will believe them.

Because it's more interesting to listen and bluster and and parrot than to think. Especially to think ahead and consider the real world facts. That's really hard.

(I never understood why anyone would call themselves a "dittohead" with pride. Have they no more pride than that?)


Oh, yeah, and now that Obama has acted, they're pissed because he didn't get the approval of Congress. Well, a) technically, he didn't declare war, and b) didn't dubya already decide that presidents don't have to involve Congress in declarations of war anyway?

Or was that only for him....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3197 Paintings

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best you can do.


I have a lot of stuff on the walls in the old house. Decorators say that pictures, prints, photos, whatever you frame and/or hang on the walls of a room should match the colors in the room, and groupings should have something in common. "Anything hung together should hang together."

I ignore the rules. The only thing all my wall stuff has in common is that I like each and every piece. I'm not going to not hang something just because it's the wrong color, and I'm not going to go out and buy "eh" stuff just because it picks up the color of the pillows. Or whatever. If I love it and it fits in that space, it goes there.

Yesterday I brought back two of my favorite paintings. This one
will go in the living room. (The light is hitting badly behind her head. Ignore that. Looks better in real life. And the frame isn't bent. The camera did that.)

I bought her at an estate auction a few years ago. She's an 18th century oil on canvas, 22"x28" not including frame, signed "Kolberg C". She must have hung over a fireplace, because she was so covered with oily black soot that you couldn't actually see much of her beyond the blouse, which looked gray. She was so dirty that as I was cleaning her I was surprised to find flowers in her left hand and the butterfly on the right. There were very few bids on her because the auction was held during a snowstorm, the artist seems to be unknown, she's pretty crackled, and there's a puncture wound, so I got her pretty cheaply - cheaply enough that I didn't feel bad about cleaning her myself with onions. I think she came out beautiful. I love her skin, and the puncture is in the lower fold of her sleeve, so you can barely see it.

This one is completely different, but also loved:
I think it'll enlarge if you click on it. The colors are much brighter than the photo shows. It's a little larger than the lady above. Also oil on canvas, bold brushstrokes and heavy paint in the background, very fine delicate strokes for the vixen and kits. Date unknown, unsigned (or I just haven't found the signature yet). The frame is definitely very old, and probably easily worth three times what I paid for the painting. The bidding was fierce for this one, probably because of the frame, but I won it because I loved it.

I think the foxes will go into the second bedroom, probably over the headboard.

3196 Radiation Dose Chart

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you'd better know something.


3195 Janice's box

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.


I went north to the old house Friday. For once, I remembered to both set the trip odometer and look at it when I arrived. 130 miles.

My goal was not so much to pack up stuff to bring back, but to fill big black garbage bags. My minimum goal was five garbage bags, and five recycle bags. I took the recycle bags to the center (open only on Saturday morning), and put the garbage bags out for pickup. Saturday morning I had filled the sixth garbage bag and was starting on the seventh (I'm being tough! Haven't used in a year? Haven't missed? Not valuable? OUT!), when I unburied a box I didn't recognize in a corner of the bedroom.

I opened it. Big mistake.

My youngest sister Janice died in April of 1999. She was one of the most beautiful women you'd ever see, with skin that reflected light, huge dark eyes, clear unambiguous smile, fluffy dark hair, and amazing eyebrows. She was also sweet, gentle, and forgiving. She never had a chance in life, because our father got worse as he got older, so the last two, Janice and Baby Brother, well, it's a long sad story but they both ended up deep in addictions.

Janice and her husband were both alcoholics. They met in AA, and at the time they married, they had both been dry for a few years. But the husband (a handsome and very talented cabinetmaker) had low self-esteem also, and I guess he was afraid he couldn't hold such a beautiful wife --- unless he kept her too drunk to leave. His jealousy wouldn't even let her go to AA for fear she'd meet someone else.

I sent her money to save their house when they'd lost another job. I sent her money when they didn't have grocery money, even though I knew they'd probably buy alcohol instead of food. Every once in a while she'd be involuntarily committed to dry out, but he'd pull her out as soon as she was allowed to leave.

I kept waiting for her to hit bottom and agree to stay in rehab regardless of what he wanted, and I offered to pay for any clinic, for both of them if necessary, but it had to be separately, and she'd have to commit to the full time. She'd have to agree to be away from his influence for the duration. She never got to that point.

They went on a weekend binge, and she died sometime during the weekend, and he was too drunk to notice. They figure she'd been dead three days before he figured it out.

They buried her immediately, so I couldn't go to the funeral. Jay'd just been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, had surgery, and we were starting the clinical trials. I didn't have the energy to morn both Janice and Jay. There was a brief period of shock and regret for Janice, guilt that I didn't know how bad it was and didn't do more, and then I had to turn to Jay and more immediate matters.

Early in 2001, Janice's husband died. His mother, going through his stuff, found a lot of photos and papers that she said was Janice's family stuff, and she sent it to me. I'm not sure why me, when I believe our other sister had been more involved with them, but maybe because I had paid for Janice's funeral. But at that time, Jay was blind, bedridden, hemi-paralyzed, on a gazillion medications, and I was his fulltime and sole caretaker. We were in the end stretch, and again, I couldn't yet face what might be in the box. So I didn't go through it. Then Jay died, I went into a 3.5 year depression, became somewhat of a hoarder (I guess because I had lost so much, I bought bought bought anything and everything I wanted and didn't want to give anything up), I lost control of the house, and the box got buried.

I rediscovered it yesterday, and opened it.

Suddenly all the mourning for my sister that I had suppressed back then came flooding in. I cried and cried over the life she should have had, the life she could have had if our father hadn't beaten her into thinking she didn't deserve anything ... and then it got worse.

Her death certificate was in the box. Under cause of death it said "Alcoholism", and listed as a secondary cause was "Hepatitis C". I didn't know she actually had hepatitis. If I had known, I'd have taken more drastic measures to stop her drinking. I'd have gone down there and physically kidnapped her. If I had to, I'd have provoked her husband into beating me up so I could have him arrested so he'd go to jail, and then as soon as I could walk again I'd have a few days to convince her to get help, or failing that, I'd kidnap her.

I think. I don't know if I could have. Kidnapping her would be one thing. Keeping her would be another. But the point is, I didn't do anything. And so the guilt hit, and it hit hard.

I had planned to work on the old house until about 7 or 8 pm last night, but I ended up leaving at 2, because I knew I wasn't going to get anything else done, and if I were driving I could stop the crying.

I think I'm ok now. I'm able to think back to that time and what I was already dealing with, and it's easier to accept my inaction. Sometimes things are just fate.

But the green quote at the top of the page (random! honest!) will make it easier to fill more garbage bags.