Mar 12
I love this man: 

Mar 13
Some days I miss hanging out with my characters so much it hurts. Some of them were running though my mind a lot today. Maybe I’ll be able to use all this to write a really profound book one day. Either that, or croak early.

Mar 16
Always glad to see Jenny McCarthy slammed for her unscientific and harmful beliefs on vaccines. Can we start on Gwyneth Paltrow now? Oh wait, she’s just criminally elitist and stupid, not a murderer.

Mar 23
I feel bad that you feel badly. Perhaps your doctor should examine your hands.

Mar 24
The dream factory isn’t dead: it keeps supplying me with good ideas I haven’t got time to write.

Mar 25
I like the idea (from The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah) that the Jinns decide whether or not we’re going to believe in them.

Mar 28
A working mom’s open letter to Gwyneth 

Could this woman be any more blinkered and entitled? Yeah. I don’t think she’s bottomed out yet.

Mar 28
My cat is sad because she wanted to seek enlightenment but all the other cats cared for was tuna.

Mar 29
Louis CK: “I got a white noise machine. You know what that is? It’s a machine that allows white people to sleep.”

Apr 3
Pro-tip: Don’t ask an animal activist the old joke question, “Do you know how to get down off a duck?” You’ll never get to the punchline.

Pro-tip2: Use a ladder.

Apr 3
Duty vs. personal aspirations, that’s my conflict. Most days sublimated, some days excruciating.

ETA: Love is also in the mix, making things more confused.

Apr 4
Walmart’s false argument: RT If Walmart Paid Employees a Living Wage, How Much Would Prices Go Up? …

Apr 4
I believe in science and I believe in spirit. This doesn’t have to be a dichotomy or a contradiction. It just is.

Apr 4
While eating chips I read, “Every bite of food you eat alters your daily metabolism, electrolyte balance, and proportion of fat to muscle.”

Apr 7
And my mother turned 93 today. Happy birthday, Mam!

Apr 8
Dear Nekkid Girl Posing In An Abandoned Warehouse: it isn’t arty. You’re still just a nekkid girl.

Apr 10
Penn & Teller decimating the anti-vaccination brigade in under two minutes. 

Apr 10
When did “alone” become synonymous with “lonely”? The two are quite distinct.

Apr 11
The transport company that takes Mom to dialysis two days a week just called to say that in May they’ll charge $70 a ride not $30. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We can’t afford that, and the alternative is me missing a lot more work.

Apr 13
Potentially hopeful news from the social worker yesterday about transportation for Mom to dialysis. Don’t want to say much for fear of jinxing.

No, I never engage in magical thinking, why do you ask?

Apr 14
Let go and let the Universe. I now have three possible solutions to my mother’s dialysis transportation problems.

Apr 15
I’m so old I remember having to get up and walk over to the TV to change channels.

Apr 18
Me at the cafeteria: This morning I need a whisky muffin. Hold the muffin.

Apr 23
A hornet’s nest found in an abandoned shed. The head is a part of a wooden statue it fused with. [Warning: may cause the wiggins.]

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Apr 24
3 judges sided with Verizon and decided to let ISPs censor the internet. Tell the FCC to restore net neutrality! 

Apr 24
Maybe I should do as my spam suggests and get myself a Russian Bride. Of course, I might not be able to fulfill all her expectations. Too bad they don’t have a green card program for “domestic assistants.”

Apr 25
What Hitchens got wrong: Abolishing religion won’t fix anything …

Apr 29
Avoidance seems to be the chief management style of many organizations.

Apr 30
I’m thinking of starting a company called Clusterf*cks R Us. Probably wouldn’t get much business, though.

Apr 30
Okay, maybe I’m a little panicky over how much I have to do before my surgery in two weeks. And maybe the surgery, too. And the recovery.

A little.

Verging on a lot.

May 1
My spam keeps sending me a “Notice to Appear.” I think I’ll send my Russian Bride instead.

May 1
The night air is full of jasmine crushed into luscious fragrance by the first heatwave of the year.

May 2
Even the most shining hero is a human being with feet of clay. If we’d just remember this, there would be less anger in this society.

May 3
The same government agency which made us prove my mom was married to my dad and that he had died needs us to prove it all over again 20 years later. Different department, you see. Apparently they’re unable to communicate with one another. Dealing with government agencies is a big component of caregiver fatigue. It wouldn’t be so bad except my dad’s death certificate has gone missing and L.A. County takes 4 weeks to get a new one.

May 3
Or maybe I won’t have surgery in 2 weeks. If I put it off this time, it will be 2 times.

May 4
Mom is home from the hospital. She’s doing okay.

May 6
I wonder if the superbuff guy on the cover of so many romance novels who’s face disappears past the top of the cover has a really ugly mug?

Or if, yanno, it’s supposed to be some artistic sh*t.

Or if, yanno, it’s so women can fantasize any man they want?

May 6
Abandoned mill from 1866 in Sorrento, Italy: Oh, the stories this conjures up!

May 6
I think “narcissistic loony toon” sums M. Lewinsky up quite nicely. She has wedged her way back into the public eye just like that string was wedged between her cheeks.

[Fortunately, it was a brief appearance and quickly faded from the public’s notice.

May 7
The Red Queen still rages. “The trick is not becoming a writer. The trick is staying a writer.” —Harlan Ellison

May 9
My surgery has been officially postponed. Mom had some minor setbacks that were major enough to warrant postponement.

I’m deeply ambivalent. I don’t fancy being a cripple for the rest of my life, however.

I think I’ll change my middle name to Ambivala.

May 11
THIS. Roz Chast on people wanting to live to be 120: “I feel like these are people who don’t really know anybody over 95.” 

“The reality of old age,” she says, is that “people are not in good shape, and everything is falling apart.”

Everyone says, “It’ll be different for me. I’ve taken good care of myself.” But you NEVER know what life will throw at you.

That’s life’s sweet and cursed mystery.

“When you’re young you look at old people & just think they’re old people. It’s only later that you properly realise they’re ex-young people.” —Tom Cox, Twitterfeed 5/10/14

Everyone thinks they will be 30 until they’re 75. Until they hit 40, I guess.

May 15
RIP Lady Mary Stewart. You filled my Young Adulthood with many happy hours.

May 15
Ironic Twitter Juxtaposition: 

May 17
Ironic or psychosomatic? I wrenched my knee on the very day my surgery would have taken place. Not the one that would have been operated on, either. My other knee which has as many problems and will need its own surgery someday.

May 21
Ironic Twitter Juxtaposition: 

May 21
I’m at the bargaining with the Universe stage. That can’t be good.

May 22
My friend and I were just saying that the next Survivor should feature an all-geriatric group of contestants.

“If your team all successfully completes your challenge, you will be given your meds as usual. If not…”

And complaint marathons to see who lasts the longest. That competition is expected to go on for days.

May 22
I can hear a train whistle every once in awhile late at night. It’s always wonderful. I don’t know where it comes from. There are no trains closer than five miles, but I guess that sound carries. Either that, or it’s the ghost of a train which once ran just down the hill from where I live.

When I was a kid I used to follow those tracks from Venice, once all the way into Culver City. The trains only ran once a month late at night to keep the access rights. Eventually, they gave those up but the rails remained for years afterwards, partially covered in blacktop in some places. They’re all gone now, alas.

There is so much that is gone. Venice is a highly urban place now but once was full of open fields, trains, horse stables. I’ve seen them all go in such a short span of time. A lifetime. Palimpsests. They’re everywhere I look, all over Venice.

Here’s one of my palimpsests: 

May 28
“It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman

Maya Angelou seemed immortal, but it was her glowing humanity that made her seem that way. Alas, if only. RIP.

May 30 This picture reminded me to send a b-day card to a friend. I may inhabit this skull but I don’t always understand it.

Jun 3
Sexism kills (maybe): 

Jun 3
It’s such a pain reading academic books on the Kindle that I’m going to order a paper copy and be done with it.

What to do with aged photos when you’re cleaning out an old person’s home and none of the faces are familiar?

There’s a market for them in flea markets and online, of course. Probably other places as well, but that’s what I’m familiar with. I admit to being conflicted by the idea. There are buckets of photos my mother has held onto for years, ranging from the 1920s to near-present.  A lot of them are from World War II when my mother worked as a riveter at Douglas Aircraft. Periodically we go through some of them so she can tell me who the people are and I can pencil it in on the back, but some of the faces are beyond even her at this point. And even if I know their names…they have no context for me. They’re just names.

Eventually, someone will have to deal with these—if not me, then whoever cleans out my place when I’m gone. It seems disrespectful to sell them, yet that’s probably less disrespectful than consigning them to the trash. Which happens. A coworker told me of that very thing occurring when her friend cleaned out her parents’ home. I explained about the market for old photos and she was amazed.

“If only my friend had known!”

If only.

If only other people’s memories could be held as sacred as our own. But that’s the nature of time and change. We hold what we have inside our hearts and when our hearts fade, so do the memories.  As the African proverb says, “Every time an old person dies, a library burns to the ground.”


Rock Hudson seems to be enjoying this “bout” rather a lot. Now I know how he wound up with the name Rock.


Here’s my mother, Donna (left), and Aunt Earlda just after they came out to Los Angeles in 1942 to work as riveters for McDonald-Douglas in Santa Monica. I thought it a fitting picture to post on Labor Day as those gals labored mightily to help the war effort. Also, they’re just so damned cute!

donna and earlda3_sm

Do you know a woman who worked on the home front during World War II, even if it was volunteer work? They, or their daughters and other family, may be eligible to join the American Rosie the Riveter Association. Mom and I are members.

Rudolph Valentino at the shore. Pass me my fan.


…but I’d rather starling.

My mother’s 90th birthday is coming up soon (April 7) so I wanted to do something special for her. Her surrogate sons and daughters and I are giving her a little party on April 9, but I wanted a nice surprise for her, too. For her 80th birthday, I made her a book, and I didn’t want to repeat myself. So I found some pictures, wrote some captions, and our own hominysnark of F-bod Studios took them and turned them into lovely wearable art (Mom loves her some sweatshirts). I’m so happy with them I wanted to share—but shhh! Mom doesn’t know, so don’t tell her.


Mom making kissy face with a starling


Mom riding the range (or, rather, the marshes that are now Marina del Rey)


Baby, the starling Mom is fond of kissing


Yep, that’s Mom jumping that horse bareback

Some of the first peach blossoms of the year:

peach blossoms_sm

The first baby peaches of the year:

baby peaches_sm

I realized that I never did finish posting my pictures from England, 2004. I hadn’t scanned them all, you see. I bought a nice scanner with the idea of gradually converting my vast library of photographs taken with my Canon AE-1, but it’s been a little (a lot) more gradual than I’d visualized.

So here’s my pictures of our visit to Avebury.  You can view the entire mindbogglingly big set here.

lynn and avebury ghosts

I didn’t get many pictures of Avebury this trip. In fact, the three on this page are it. I took a couple of rolls on a previous trip, but this day the rain poured down (ah, spring in England)—hence the “ghosts” surrounding Lynn. We spent a lot of time in various gift shops, the museum, and the cafeteria, where I had a wonderful vegetable hash and hot tea that took the chill off. That meal was the highlight of the day and I still remember how good it tasted after being so thoroughly drenched and chilled to the bone.

At least we didn’t have to pay for parking. A gentleman who had purchased an all-day parking ticket decided it was too rainy to be worth it and gave it to us instead.  Bonny gentleman!

Ann, who had gone off for a few days to visit a friend elsewhere, didn’t say so but I’m sure she thought our drenching was no better than we deserved for sneaking off to Avebury without her.

the sheltering of the lambs

The spring lambs sheltering against one of the great stones. They were smarter than we were, but poor Lynn had never been to Avebury so we gave it a game try. She didn’t get to see much and almost got ran over by a git in a speeding roadster.

me, avebury

I’m glad I chose such a wide stone to rest against. In case you can’t tell, my jeans from the coat hem down are absolutely saturated.

I’ve always enjoined taking pictures of shadows, loved watching their changing dynamic as the day progresses. I have quite a lot of shadow plays in my collection. I just came across these. Click on the individual picture for a larger view.

Bright sun:

shadow chimes1

Late sun:

shadow chimes2

The gloaming:

shadow chimes3

Maybe the picture behind the cut will give you a better clue.


Next Page »