Thursday, July 31, 2003

My Life is Fiction

"He said. She said." He said.
"What?" I ask.
"He said. She said." She said.
"Okay, I give up, what are you two talking about?" I looked them in the eye. The ones who keep saying "He said. She said."
She said, "well we know you write everything you do and see. You write about us don't you? so, when one of us forgets and says or does something, we remind each other with "He said. She said."
I said, "I only write fiction."
"Is that so?" she said. She seemed relieved at that comment.
With that in mind, perhaps I'll start yet another blog. Complete fiction. Honest. And guess what? It probably won't be believable. But then our life isn't believable either. If I wrote the truth, you would think it is fiction.

Other than that, it was an umbrella kind of day. Has been that way for two days now. I missed the thunderstorms a couple of nights ago. Sound asleep, totally oblivious. Tomorrow the sun will come out. Our summer storm will have happened. No more rain until Halloween... if we are so fortunate.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Chocolate Anyone?

Milk Chocolate
Nice and Sweet and not too overbearing, you are
Milk Chocolate. Everyone likes you to some
extent, and a lot of people love you more than
they love their cat.

What Kind of Chocolate are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

What Cat I Am

If I were a cat, I would be a… Lynx!

Lynxes (Lynx lynx) are compact, agile cats found in great numbers worldwide. Their coats are brownish gray and are covered with irregular spots. They have unique tufted ears and fluffy cheeks.

Being a Lynx, you are a very quiet person. You have many talents yet prefer to keep them quiet rather than flaunting them boldly. Many admire you – and for good reason!

- - Take the Quiz -

The MRI Experience

Got up extra early today. Didn't want to chance missing my appointment for the MRI that has finally been approved after a two year battle with my HMO. "There is no preparation required," the receptionist assured me yesterday when I made the appointment. Yeah right I think. I've heard about those MRIs. The discomfort. The noises. The claustrophobia. 30 minutes of not moving. So I prepared.

I woke up extra early. I showered, shaved my armpits, applied deodorant, lotion and makeup. I dressed in clothes easy to remove and replace because I am always afraid someone will open the door to the dressing room and catch me half naked. I ate my bowl of Kashi Good Friends Cereal with raspberries and non-fat milk a bit slower than usual not wanting to risk gas or indigestion. I skipped the coffee so I wouldn't have the jitters. Truth is I skipped the coffee because I was afraid I would have to go to the ladies room in the middle of the procedure. I removed all the extra jewelry (one necklace and two rings). I left early because I was sure there would be a traffic jam. I got there half an hour early.

After completing the 3 pages of paperwork, I was ushered to the dressing room, handed a gown, given a key to the locker for all my valuables and told to take everything off but my undies and sandals and tie the gown in the back. I was also told the restroom was right down the hall. I figured I didn't need to use that. After placing my stuff in the locker and fiddling with the key (I always have trouble with locks) I decided I better use the ladies room anyway, just in case. The receptionist seemed a bit taken aback when I exited the dressing room in my gown asking where the restroom was. Of course I didn't really have to go.

Just as I picked up a year old copy of Oprah magazine so I could look at the fuzzy pictures (I had stashed away my reading glasses), the technician knocked on the door. She led me back to the MRI room, "you took everything off but your undies right?"

"Yes," I said looking around to see if anybody heard that.

"Are you claustrophobic?"

"I don't think so." I don't think she was listening to my responses anyway.

She handed me earplugs. "There will be loud noises." I hate earplugs but I softened them up as instructed and molded them into my ears. Then she started to explain the procedure. More through her motions than her muffled voice, I figured out I had to lie on the table with my head in the cradle.

The table inched in. The chatter starts in my head. I am not claustrophobic. There is plenty of room in here. Even Eric fit in one of these and he's twice my size.

What's that click click? Doesn't seem too noisy to me. I hear a voice. "This one will take one minute." I don't move. I hear loud popping noises then machine gun sounds. I try to count to 60. Breathe in breathe out. Don't move. The noise tops.

The voice comes back, "how are you doing?"

I answer "fine."

"This one will take two minutes." I breathe in and out. Tell myself I will have a caffe latte reward when this is over. I made it through one minute, I can make it through two. The pops, the clicks, the machine gun. I wonder if I am being sliced and diced. I picture the woman in the magic show being sliced in two.

The procedure is repeated for 4 1/2 minutes, then another 4 1/2 minutes, then 4 minutes, and then finally the last one only 3 minutes. Same noises. Same thoughts running through my head. I'm conscious of my breathing. Once in a while I can't help it, I have to gasp. I wonder what happens when I do that. I try to breathe slowly, rhythmically. I don't want to have to do this again. My back aches. My neck is stiff. I want to move.

At last the table moves out to the brightly lighted room. I blink. It's over. The technician tells me to get up. I look at her blankly. You mean I'm supposed to just jump off this table as if there is nothing wrong? I'm here because I can't do those sorts of things. I need help. Finally she gets the message and offers me her hand.

On the way out the door she asks, "you did remove your bra didn't you?"

I want to rip my gown off and prove it to her but I just nod my head.

"Well I detected some sort of metal artifact. Are you sure you don't have some sort device in there?"

I think about it. No I don't know of any devices. Maybe I was abducted by aliens one night and implanted with a chip of some sort. Maybe they are studying me. Maybe there is some tool in there from a previous surgery. Maybe I can sue someone and get rich. I look her straight in the eye. "no I have no metal artifacts."

Next stop, Starbucks. Reward - caffe latte and maple oatnut scone.

Monday, July 28, 2003

My Sister Turns 45

Little sister has been having a difficult time dealing with the aging process. Yesterday at her birthday party, the trauma team came to her rescue.

Mutterings, Funerals, Etc

Yesterdays funeral for the other grandma was a completely new experience for us. First of all it was at a church located at the worst possible intersection in East Oakland. It was rather difficult to be inconspicuous on this particular occasion. We were the palest people in the neighborhood.

We settled in the back row not wanting to cause any consternation with the rest of the congregation. The church was sparse. There was not a hymnal in sight, no need here, they all know their gospel songs. No air conditioning. just square cardboard fans supplied from the local funeral parlors. The walls were bare except for a couple of faded Jesus pictures. There was no organist or pianist. They didn't need either.

The mother of our grandson has tried to explain to us that they have a different way of addressing funerals than we do. This is based on her attendance at two of our family "funerals" that we experienced a few months ago. These were not necessarily official "white" funerals. They were both celebrations of life done in the style the deceased requested, not characteristic of most white people funerals or memorials.

The service was a lengthy affair, almost 3 hours. While I never knew the other grandma well as her health was failing by the time I met her, I learned that she was a dearly loved woman with a heart that touched all of her four sisters and brother as well as the children and grandchildren of each. She was a loving mother and did the best she could. She had a hard life.

I was very impressed with the preacher. His message was lengthy but relevant to the situation. Here was a person who had survivied the the gutters of the streets, emerging with a purpose in life. A purpose to help others keep from straying into those paths. He had a powerful message, the kind only possible by one who has "been there and done that." My comment to my family when it was over, "you know that one sermon had a more profound effect on me than any that my own father ever preached." Strange that I would find this in a place that I would never have dared to visit.

One other thing, I have never felt as welcomed by a family as I was yesterday. There were no boundaries of prejudice here. It's just one more example how our experience of a mixed race grandson has brought us new understanding and a new level of compassion.

  1. Partner:: ship
  2. Goddess:: green
  3. Village:: idiot
  4. Relationships:: couples
  5. Irrational:: insane
  6. Volcano: erupts
  7. Fabulous:: Fifties
  8. Unencumbered:: free
  9. Coyotes:: howls
  10. Fulfilled:: happy

Saturday, July 26, 2003

I called the radio station

I dialed the number. There was a busy signal. I was not surprised. I dialed again expecting another busy signal. It rang. I panicked. Could I do this? I get so nervous. How could I speak on the radio? "Just get a grip," I told myself.

The young lady who answered was kind. "What kind of case are you calling about?"

"Guardianship," I said. She tells me to hold on.

Next voice is a man. "Tell me about the situation."

I gave him a brief synopsis. He said, "hold on you are next."

I panicked, wondered if I should hang up. Than I panicked more because I realized that I had divulged my real first name and city. Oh well. There could be lots of MZ's in this small town. But I doubt it. I am sure everyone I know will here this and they will know who I am and what is happening in my life.

Len Tillem (KGO810) picks up the phone. "We have MZ from L.... on the line. MZ tell me why do ya need a lawya."

I freeze. My throat closes up. No No I tell myself. I got this far. I will ask. So I asked about guardianship. I told him only the surface of the issue. He said I don't have enough to go on. I want to tell him more but I realize that I can't do that. Someone might hear me. Someone might know me. And so I let it go. I listen. He tells me, "Forget the guardianship. Help your son get custody. Then help him raise the kid."

After I hang up I realize there were certain details that I omitted that I really should have brought to his attention. Details that would probably have swayed his opinion. I never told him that I care for the kid every time the wind changes direction. In this area, the wind changes direction at least once a week.

Oh well, I did the best I could.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Purple Bears Etc

So now there is a Purple Polar Bear. I'm not kidding. Well, this is Friday, perhaps I am seeing things. You tell me.

No time to write this week. At least no time to write on my weblog. I have a notebook full of this weeks events. None of them are publishable here. Let's just say it's been one of those exhausting family crisis kind of weeks. Now for those of you who are totally curious about this situation, you can rest assured that everyone is still alive and reasonably well. It will get better...It will get better...It will get better.....

The best thing about the week of course is the company of Baby J for the last five days and nights. Who can resist the robust giggles of a 5 month old as he swings the "cat fishing" pole (with the help of Grandma of course) and gleefully watches Rusty trying his best to catch those feathers. It really was a riot. Baby J is just the cutest baby ever. I can say that because wherever we go with him there are always lots of comments to that effect. I insisted to my husband that this is because we are old people and everyone takes a second look at old people who are carrying a baby around. He insists it is not true. Baby J is the bestest.

I could use the baby as an excuse for all I did not accomplish this week. I didn't go to the gym and am now wondering why I paid them all that money. I get a much better workout playing flying baby with a 17 pound kid and pushing the stroller up and down the hills. I didn't do any of my side job work - the clients didn't bring it yet so guess what I'll be doing this week. I have not stuck to my diet and must weigh in tomorrow. The Ben & Jerry's habit has to stop ---except for the Oatmeal Cookie flavor - it is truly to die for (and I hate that expression). I didn't visit Uncle M in the nursing in because he insists he is coming home and I told him he is not ready so he's mad at me.

But tonight my husband and I got a brief reprieve. Baby J's parents decided they would be capable of babysitting their kid so we could go out to dinner. Is something amiss here?

Okay enough baby talk - did you check out the purple polar bear yet?

Monday, July 21, 2003

Mutterings Etc

Another super deoderant failure day. I'm suffering from heat exhaustion. And baby exhaustion. Baby J is lots of fun but what a handful. Even though he is the most perfect, best mannered, quiet, calm baby ever, I get exhausted just watching him. He slept all night last night. I slept half the night and watched him sleep the other half of the night.

Said goodbye to my physical therapist today. Seems our adventure is over. The insurance granted me six appointments. The pain is still there. Once again I go back and ask for an MRI (knowing that will not be a cure-all but I still want to know what those discs look like so I know it's not in my head). To top that off our company is probably going to change insurance plans... that's all I need.

In spite of the back pain, I am back at the gym. I must take care of those triceps and biceps by October 4th - you know, the day I must wear a flapper dress.

My sister is working hard at her sewing lessons. She took my scissors in to get them sharpened. Seems they are beyond repair and she was beyond consoling from the embarassment of showing up with those 35 year old paper cutting shears. Well, I know what I'm going to buy with that Joann's gift certificate now. Still looking for the perfect purple flapper material. Still waiting for the pattern to arrive.

Mystery Theatre last night was good for the attire. Flapper attire. Perfect. Now I have more details for my dress. And beads. And hat decor. What was the plot anyway... heck I don't even know what the mystery was.

A bit of mutterings, then I will hit the pool for the old ladies swim hour...Promise, we won't bark and howl tonight while doing the doggy paddle.

  1. Wizard of Oz:: Dorothy
  2. Ford:: my first car
  3. Wrinkles:: yes I have them
  4. Extravagant:: fancy
  5. Conventional:: normal
  6. Stewart:: Martha
  7. Offensive:: defensive
  8. Heartbeat:: in a
  9. Chaos:: my life
  10. Jiffy:: Pop

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Saturday Stuff

After frantically collecting all the proper red hat stuff, I did enjoy the RHS Molls picnic today.

It has been a busy week and also a sad week. Baby J's other grandma died on Friday. Baby J is handling it okay and gets to sample some solid foods.

The circulating journal has been dispatched to Hestia in Texas.

We are all suffering from the heat wave and waiting for a break. Felt as though we were back east last night with all the humidity. At least we have a bit of a breeze today.

Monday, July 14, 2003

More Fish Story

July 9th I said the fish disappeared. They didn't really. It got hot. They got too warm. They are at the bottom of the pool. The pond lady and my husband are going fishing tomorrow. I can see it now... Fishnets, rubber wadders, goggles, splashing in the dark green algae. "I just know they are there..."

Other stuff:
I found a pattern for the flapper dress at Went shopping for purple fabric for the dress. No luck today. Just not inspired. However, I did find all sorts of other things to do. No, not yet, I have a trunk full of projects not even started.

I'm off to the gym for visit with my personal trainer. Gonna see if she can turn these wimpy arms into something worth showing in my flapper dress. But, my back is killing me from babysitting the last two days. Baby J is 17 pounds heavy.

Thursday, July 10, 2003


Ben Franklin used this word in his list of 227 terms for the word Drunk


Hello to my fans Dick & Ann

Red Hat Murder Mystery Dinner

I have big ideas for the Murder Mystery Dinner I will attend in October. First of all, I must go as an official RHS Moll. Not a gun moll, More of a 20’s flapper moll. I already found the perfect red flapper hat complete with purple feather.

Next on the list is the flapper dress. I checked out all the Butterwick, Vogue, McCalls, and Simplicity patterns at my local fabric store and can’t find one that I like. Now doing some research on the internet. If anyone has a good pattern, I sure could use it. Thanks to my big brother I now have the funds to select the perfect purple fabric. Now all I need to do is oil the old Kenmore sewing machine, sharpen my high school home economics sewing scissors that have been used for the last 30 years for paper cutting, stock up on straight pins, and find out if I still know how to sew (I could ask my sister for help since she is taking lessons).

Then comes the body. Will use sun block the rest of the summer to get rid of farmer arms. If this fails, I’ll have to part with $30 and place my naked body in one of those tiny cubicles for a fake all over mist tan. I’ll have to spend extra time at the gym to get rid of upper arm flab and fallen knees.

I’m looking for the following items: fishnet stockings, cigarette holder, purple boa, red/purple bead necklaces, fur coat.

I have 3 months to do all this. I will not procrastinate. I will not procrastinate...

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Where did all the fish go?

We had a swimming pool for 30 years. We got tired of it. A couple years ago we drained it with a plan to have it buried or removed. Meanwhile things got a bit unsettled in our household and the pool was quickly forgotten. Over the first winter the rains filled it up. Last spring my oldest son threw in a catfish and several goldfish. The goldfish thrived in the swampy green water, sucking up algae and cleaning the surface of mosquito larva... a good thing. A couple of weeks ago I gave up counting over 200 baby fish.

A friend of ours built a fish pond just for these prize fish. She was eager and ready for transfer a couple of days ago. We went out and bought the appropriate fishing gear, a simple net. The pool was too quiet when we approached the edge the next night. Not one fish could be seen. So we figured it was too late in the evening; they must all be asleep at the bottom.

The next morning we returned. Still no fish to be seen. We stirred up the water. Not even a glimpse of gold. We waited for the afternoon sunshine. They always surfaced to bask in the shallow end near the steps on hot sunny days. Not this time.

There are raccoons in the neighborhood. There are six cats residing in the back yard. But these furry friends are all unlikely suspects. The cats are well fed, seem to only hunt an occasional bird or mouse, and are terrified of the pool. The raccoons eat the cat food and haven't been near the pool since one of their buddies drowned in it a few years back (that's another story).

Perhaps the Canadian geese spotted them on the way to the reservoir and stopped off for a quick picnic. Maybe there was a hungry egret. Maybe there was a rubber booted biped lurking about.

While we are sad that the fish didn't get to live in their new pond, we are even sadder that we missed the show.

Of course we will be draining the pool again soon but we will watch out for that catfish lurking at the bottom. He must be three feet long by now... to be continued.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Circulating Journal

I'm making a blog for the Circulating Journal. Bookmark it and follow it's progress.

Circulating Journal... again

See my entry from Monday about the Circulating Journal. I changed my mind. This might work better.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Relative Notes

Uncle M has been moved to a skilled nursing facility. It is within walking distance of my place. He thinks he will only be there for 3 or 4 days. We will see... I haven't seen him walk yet.


== BlogFodder ==

Ways your weblog is different.

1. I am here, there and everywhere with no stated purpose
2. You never know what to expect
3. All the cat pictures are my cats
4. I have the link to Baby J, the most perfect grandson
5. I don't think I am always self-centered
6. I probably say conflicting things at different times
7. I use consistently bad grammar on purpose (it is my blog)
8. I probably have fewer readers than you do
9. I don't search for and post links everyday
10. I don't make political statements
11. I never once mentioned the war
12. Most bloggers seem to be younger than I but older than Baby J

Circulating Journal

On 7/7 I wrote: I am so disappointed. I got the latest issue of Personal Journaling and there was an article about the 1000 Journal Project. I checked out the website and found that they no longer accept new contributors. Some people have been on their waiting list for months. If I can't join them I thought maybe I could just start my own Circulating Journal.

7/8 UPDATE: I changed my mind. I don't want to do this in a blog. I want to start a journal for webloggers and circulate it in the mail hoping that it will come back to me someday. Thought maybe I could buy a journal, send it to a weblogger who might be interested - any ideas? Anyone want to be the first recipient? If so, let me know, and I'll send it to the first person who responds. You can then forward it to another weblogger, and so on. Let's see what happens!

Writing and Mutterings

Last day of a four day weekend. Where did the time go? Well yesterday I spent most of the day catching up on Email, Red Hat Event planning, and checking out this website about Linda Joy Myers. She has a lot of great information. Since I live in the bay area, I have a call in to her to join one of her classes. I need some inspiration to get back into writing more than just this weblog.

  1. Fashion show:: models
  2. Boundaries:: limits
  3. Roadkill:: possum
  4. Narcissistic:: stuckup
  5. Authority:: figure
  6. Martini:: olive
  7. Personality:: plus
  8. Comfortable:: cozy
  9. Symptom:: disease
  10. Dating:: no more

Saturday, July 05, 2003

There is absolutely nothing worthwhile to watch on TV tonight. I just finished reading "Dive from Clausen's Pier" and am not ready to start another book just yet. So of course I took this opportunity to check out a few blogs.

Susan had some interesting links today.

I checked out the ten worse cars of the millenium. As I checked through the pages I was feeling pretty good that I never owned any of these cars. Then I found the one in 3rd place. I'll admit it. I owned one of those. Even worse than that... I bought a second one. And I did get rearended and didn't blow up. Just call me stupid... putt putt putt. But wait, I got even stupider and bought a used Jag... can you say "$$$$$pit"? I've learned me lesson. I now drive a Saturn (my 2nd one). It's economical, good on gas, and gets me where I am going.

Now about being a middle child. I think this suits my brother better than me. We are both the middle ones.


We took Baby J to see the Fireworks last night. A grand time was had by all.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Happy 4th

May your 4th of July be filled with the pleasures of indepence day whether it be hot dogs, hamburgers, picnics, baseball, or fireworks, etc. I'm off to the city to see fireworks on the bay and spend the night at Fisherman's Wharf.

I had a good excuse not to make my bed this morning:

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Hey You. Yes You. You who has lied to me. If you read this web log you need to know that I have had enough. Friends don’t lie to friends. I can tolerate this no more.

Yes, you did lie. You looked me straight in the eye and lied. Not just once. You told me so many lies I couldn’t even begin to fit them all in a warehouse full of fortune cookies.

I confronted you last night and you sat there and flat out lied again. The evidence was there, sitting in your truck next to you. How could you be so blatant?

I tried to value your friendship. I tried to overlook the little white lies. But they got bigger. Big enough to boomerang through my life one too many times. I can’t trust you anymore. You have exceeded my boundaries for tolerance.

So there. I have written it. I have published it. You know who you are. You need help and I hope you get it.

Okay, enough ranting. You get the picture. I’m off to make amends to those I may have hurt as a consequence of your lies.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Red Hat Alert

Red Hatter Alert: In The Costco Connection this month it is noted that according to a random telephone survey for Pilot Pen Corporation, "pen users of the purple persuasion make the best workers." It is also stated that "most men who use purple pens are likely to accidentally take pens home. Size doesn't seem to matter..." This is good news for the red hat ladies who covet everything and anything purple. Of course we all know that we are good workers. But chances are if our husband/boyfriend is a hard worker, we will find purple pens in his pockets!