Random quote of the day:

“Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house.”

—Alfred Hitchcock, New York Journal-American, 25 August 1965


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.


Random quote of the day:

“Our idea of relaxing is all too often to plop down in front of the television set and let its pandering idiocy liquefy our brains. Shutting off the thought process is not rejuvenating; the mind is like a car battery—it recharges by running.”

—Bill Watterson, “Some Thoughts On the Real World By One Who Glimpsed It and Fled,” Kenyon College Commencement, May 20, 1990


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

30 Oct
Get out your hankies. The 20 year old toddler: 

31 Oct
SHAME: We got home from the doctor late and I’m so exhausted I’m sitting in the house with the lights out hiding from the trick or treating kids. I usually love having them but it’s been a very stressful few weeks.

1 Nov
The Sears robot is still calling to say I need to reschedule the repair appointment for the dishwasher. I’ve called the Repair Desk several times. After complaining again to them that I don’t need repair I got yet another call from the repair scheduling robot and a tweet from SearsCares. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that SearsCares breaks down to Sear Scares. It’s been my experience with them lately.

2 Nov
Compassion fatigue.

3 Nov
The Amazon Prime goodie bag went into the dumpster along with a box of other clutter. The need to purge the Room of Doom is strong.

3 Nov
Having posted about my virtuous purging of junk I then opened a box of crap I ordered from American Science & Surplus:   They’re sort of a depository for unwanted but interesting junk. Kind of like my house. Left hand, right hand.

6 Nov
Color outside the lines, but read between them.

6 Nov
I shall rename myself The Great Phlegmingo. I’d really like to stop coughing now, weeks after getting the cold.

11 Nov
Another epic starring Bird, this time whistling Blue Danube and imitating my mother and I coughing: 

11 Nov
Every once in awhile, after not reading one of your novels for a long time, you surprise yourself with how much you like it. Mostly it’s cringing, though.

16 Nov
Why do people adopt children only to abuse them or “give them back” when things get challenging? It sickens me.

17 Nov
The only thing worse than watching jury orientation online is watching it at the court house.

17 Nov
Sears now claims they never got the plumbing invoices I sent October 29. I think sarcasm is in order, don’t you?

18 Nov
I postponed jury duty because my legs are not up to the hilly walking conditions in downtown L.A.

18 Nov
In other science news: You are what you eat may not be just another outmoded hippy slogan: …

19 Nov
You know what I don’t need? Someone who doesn’t know a thing about the day to day of my life giving me advice about what I “should” do.

19 Nov
I stayed home from work today because my knee was in such bad shape I needed to sit with ice on it for as many hours as I could stand. It’s somewhat better.

20 Nov
Some days Mom is victorious over the microwave. Other days it is beyond her and I get these phone calls asking me to diagnose over the phone. On those days, I wish to be shot in the head. But not really, Universe! I’ve got too much to do.

20 Nov
I just bought a mystery solely because the detective is named Pamela Thompson.

21 Nov
Well, I’ve had my Christmas miracle. My mother apologized to me.

21 Nov
The only thing certain in this world are death, taxes, and Kardashians.

22 Nov
Dear PJ: you cannot hide the similes by using “as if” instead of “like.” We can still see them.

23 Nov
Apparently I needed to be punished more. My knee was just starting to get better and I fell at Ralphs and wrenched it worse.

26 Nov
Mom went back in the hospital this morning. She either has an infection or a persistent virus. Either way she’s spending the night for tests and evaluation. Thanksgiving seems cursed as something happens every year. But she seemed better tonight.  I hope that direction continues. (She came home November 27 and has been strong and doing well since.)

28 Nov
Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was great. Carl cooked the entire meal and brought it over. Delish–and a wonderful surprise. I have the best friends in the world.

29 Nov
Mom remembers her dad going for supplies by horse and buckboard wagon to Watson UT when she was a kid. It’s now a ghost town.

30 Nov
My fantasy of buying a small smart TV lasted all of 24 hours before I got real. Too much other important stuff to spend the money on and we don’t need fripperies. Got caught up in Black Friday madness without even shopping. But sometimes being a responsible grown up sucks. 🙂

2 Dec
The guy in the Pinocchio suit stares into the abyss of his existence and despairs. Disneyland, 1961:

2 Dec
This article encapsulates the caregiver situation quite well:

The loneliness of the long distance carer. May I just add, **** you Amy F. Grant and Katie F. Couric, and anyone else who talks about the “privilege” without understanding the facts of working class people having to deal with this.

4 Dec
RIP Willis Ware, brilliant engineer and lovely, lovely man.

5 Dec
The resolution to a plot point that has been hanging unsolved for years finally came to me in the shower this morning. Unfortunately, I was in the shower, couldn’t write it down, and I was so busy after the shower I forgot, and now I can’t remember what it was or even which novel.

5 Dec
Adorably awesome! Lea Salonga and Darren Criss sang A Whole New World together at a bar:

6 Dec
RIP Irreplaceable Nelson Mandela.,34755/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=Default:1:Default …

6 Dec
I put on an episode of Finding Bigfoot last night. Mom fell asleep just after it started and woke just as it finished.

Mom: What happened?
Me: They didn’t find him.
Mom: Oh, okay then.

8 Dec
I keep buying books I haven’t got time to read.

8 Dec
And after two years of living as if this is a temporary situation it’s finally setting in that this is probably a long haul. I’m okay with that, but it’s a necessary shift in perspective that may allow me to handle things better.

8 Dec
“It’s not the Calvary coming to save us, ” said the sportscaster. Which is a whole different save than Kobe returning to the Lakers.

8 Dec
I read so slowly these days that I can go from comfort read to comfort read. No more waiting for release days. *sigh*

9 Dec
People and ghosts in rooms talking. *sigh*

11 Dec
Hurray for heated mattress pads!! My poor mom has been freezing, but she’s snug now. 🙂

11 Dec
Is the big reveal ever worth playing the reader? Does that answer ever have a yes? Why is there air?

12 Dec
Baby Pygmy Marmosets

And now for something completely different… The Marmoset Song: 

12 Dec
When Mom gets really down she threatens to stop dialysis and I have to josh her out of it. Today would be one of those days.

13 Dec
I love it when people driving Smart cars make a really big dick traffic maneuvers. I originally said “really idiotic traffic maneuvers” but VRS decided to go with big dick and I left it that way.

13 Dec
Dear Sir: Most sentences should not be a paragraph long. Less is more. A tortured use of punctuation does not remedy this problem.

15 Dec
RIP to the great Peter O’ Toole.

16 Dec
Sears finally kept their promise. They’ve sent me a check to cover my plumbing costs for the Abominable Dishwasher Incident. Thanks, Sears.

14 Jul
Life: it’s kind of like being nibbled at by ants.

15 Jul
Huh. Because I’m a member of Amazon Prime I just received a tote of free samples from Amazon Fresh, including a one cup coffee maker.

16 Jul
I ain’t greedy. A half a mill would do me nicely.

17 Jul
I love you, Jennifer Crusie, with great heaping <3 <3 <3 ‘s: …

22 Jul
I bet making love to the Geico Made of Money guy would be kind of scratchy.

23 Jul
Medicare is planning to cut coverage to dialysis patients. Help protect access to dialysis. Tell Congress to stop Medicare cuts before they start. We need your help: 

This disproportionately affects poor, sick people. Through no fault of her own my mother has kidney failure. She did everything right: ate healthy, kept active, took all her BP meds, but they could never control her high BP and eventually it destroyed her kidneys. Diabetes can do it, a severe e-coli infection can do it, many diseases can do it. This is not about people abusing their bodies. This is often just about bad luck, and the cost of the treatment is staggeringly high.

August 1 Addendum: This is basically a dispute between the drug manufacturer who charges exorbitant rates for anti-anemia drugs, the dialysis centers who make money off of kidney patients, and Medicare.  My mother’s kidney doctor says she does not need the drug that they are fighting over at this point. So that’s good news for us personally, but still potentially devastating news for other old, poor sick people. It makes me ashamed to be an American, frankly.

25 Jul
Worry and guilt are useless emotions. You have to learn to let them go. Fear is sometimes a life saver, but you’ve got to let that go, too.

26 Jul
The world is an illusion that we have to take very, very seriously.

28 Jul
The kind of day where I’m too tired to even get up for aspirin for a headache. Mom, cat and I dozing in our chairs watching the Dodgers. Bottom of the 9th and a 0-0 score.

29 Jul
Whenever I run into a really fussy person I want to tell them, “You haven’t got time for that. Whatever you do, you’re still going to die.”

29 Jul
Middle Class Problems: I hate it when the foliage is at the apex of its summer glory and the gardener decides to trim it back to a stub.

29 Jul
The Universe is so strange. Help comes from the most unexpected places.

31 Jul
Protip: When someone is frustrated and angry, don’t laugh at them. You won’t josh them out of it you’ll just make them more pissed. My glasses are held together with a paper clip. Hilarious this morning. Last night at the end of a trying evening, not so much.

31 Jul
There seems to be an unpleasant theme in anagrams of my name from the anagram server: Aha Moments Plop, Shaman Melt Poop, Anal Moppet Mosh, Ample Phat Moons. Hmmm. I had to stop reading after awhile. Aha Moments Plop is a lot how my creative process happens, so I have a certain fondness for it. The anagram server found zero anagrams for PJ Thompson so I had to use my Real Girl Name.

1 Aug
Hilarious and horrifying—one star reviews on Amazon of classic novels: 

2 Aug
CBS and Time Warner are both corporate Aholes for holding their customers hostage in their negotiations. Get off the dime, jerks

4 Aug
Channel 9 carries some of the Dodger games here in L.A. They are owned by CBS. They are blacked out. You know what’s really fun? Explaining to a 92-year-old with short term memory problems why she can’t watch her Dodgers (ad nauseam).

6 Aug
The Onion: I’m Only Really Happy When I’m Writing… 

8 Aug
Who needs bifocals?

bifocals photo smallishbifocals_zpsdf01c6c8.jpg

14 Aug
My latest Etsy admired whimsy: 

16 Aug
It’s amazing how busy some peoples’ desks suddenly get when there’s shitwork to be done.

It is done, and I am not merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.

17 Aug
I just spent $180 at the pet store. Not all of it was bird seed but a big chunk was. This is part of my expensive trip to the pet store. 

In my defense, I waited until it was 20% off. Min had a great time with it and can once again look out a favored window.

19 Aug
I want a house the color of orange sherbet with white trim: a Creamsicle house. I’ve been obsessing about it for weeks now. A neighbor down the block has burnt orange with mustard trim. Not as horrible as you’d imagine. Alas, my dreams of color will not be realized soon. No money and a “roommate” who does not appreciate…beauty.

23 Aug
I’ve decided, all things considered, that I am not going to knuckle under to blackmail. Do your worst, sir. I will persevere. Ultimatums are really not a way to persuade anyone to do what you want them to.

23 Aug
Seems like morning show hosts are irritating nerds all around the world.

 The Russian Army Choir doing Adele’s “Skyfall” on a Moscow morning show: 

23 Aug
Middle Class Problems: The cleaning woman threw out a brand new unopened large container of cottage cheese with a pull date in October.

26 Aug
A nice summer evening gathering around the fire pit last night. We had enough food for 25 people. Five were in attendance. I wanted to be sure no one left hungry. They’ll probably be dining on the leftovers for days. I know we will.

28 Aug
The irritating neighbor just turned scary. If you don’t hear from me for a week, assume the worst. My mother did the one unforgivable thing, apparently. She told the truth as she sees it. He couldn’t handle the truth. Why is it that bigots never recognize that they are bigots? Or maybe they do, they just don’t want to be called out on it. I shall be providing my mother’s transportation to and from dialysis from now on.

29 Aug
omg I must still be a writer. I just got a gobsmacking idea for my next novel. That I have neither time nor energy to write. I guess I’ll let it simmer for an ice age or two. I’m wondering if you can still be a writer without a consistent or predictable time to do your writing.

30 Aug
I’ve got so much to do today: reading, sitting on my butt, dictating into the phone and seeing what VOS comes up with. Oh wait, I meant VRS. Or as VRS wrote, “to be our ass.” (Don’t ask me.)

30 Aug
Mom: “How do I tell if WiFi is on?”
Me: “I’ve told you 100 times.”
Mom: “But I can’t remember the other 99 times.”

30 Aug
Watching an H2 mockumentary on the zombie apocalypse and Mom is all “Wuh?”

31 Aug
It’s too hot for lap time so Min is making do with pillow and towel.   She has such a tough life.

31 Aug
Only 1.8 days left on my initial backup to a cloud service. Damn, I’ve got a lot of junk on my Mac. My internet service is decent most times but not for stuff like this—and there’s a lot of junk on my harddrive. This is a one time upload, though.

2 Sep
Backup complete at 78262 files, 21.6 GB.

2 Sep
Min had a pretty good day yesterday: people tuna for dinner, fresh catnip on her carpeted kitty stairs, steak for table scraps, lots of lap time…All in honor of her 12th birthday. Live long and prosper, baby girl.

All is right with the world. 

3 Sep
The news was not all bad at the doctor’s office. In fact, there’s a glimmer of hope. I may be able to have knee surgery after, all but there are too many variables yet to be determined.

6 Sep
My hair’s been on fire all week at work, and I’ve also been dealing with Los Angeles County Department of Social Services. OMG. So ready for the weekend.

But Putting It Out There works in mysterious and unexpected ways. I end the week in more hope then I began it. Praise the Universe!

Random quote of the day:

“There is plenty of justice on television, but not so much in the real world. Maybe that’s why so many of us like television so much.”

—Charlaine Harris, Grave Secret



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.


Random quote of the day:

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first give TV.”

—Arthur C. Clarke, Voices from the Sky



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.


Feb 15
And then there’s my shredded Achilles tendon…People grimace when they see me limping down the hall.

Feb 15
“Seek simplicity and distrust it.” —Alfred North Whitehead said. Simplicity is sounding real good right about now. Mom’s escalating pain issues have led to a rush MRI this afternoon, maybe a bone scan.

Feb 15
New favorite indie bookstore name: Libros Schmibros

Feb 16
Back in the ER with Mom. I think I’ll start bonking my head now.

Feb 16
They admitted her. Not life threatening, I don’t think.

Feb 17
Is life anything more than a series of disappointed hopes?

Feb 17
I turn on the TV to distract myself and the first thing I hear is Sally Kirkland saying, “She died at 97.” The opening to Paper Hearts.

Feb 18
Medicare not seizing our asset vibes would be nice, too. I’d rather not be homeless.

(Note: I got this wrong. It’s MediCal/Medicaid that seizes your assets.)

Feb 19
Mom is going back to the rehab today, perhaps permanently. They finally found that her terrible pain is from severe spinal stenosis. They may try to do an epidural nerve block if nothing else helps. Her spirit is good, her fighting spirit undiminished, so we’ll see how things go.

Feb 21
I’ve been sitting here all afternoon saying “Oh my God” over and over to myself. Rollercoasters suck.

(Note: I learned that my house might be protected after all.)

Feb 24
It may be a measure of my worry that I was seriously listening to Joel Osteen this morning. Not any crazier than my previous money making scheme: buying Lotto tickets. Both Lotto and Osteen require unfettered faith, something I sometimes have in microbursts.

Feb 25
No matter how bad it gets, my life is not as bad as Fantine’s…or millions of other people around the world. Everything is relative.

Feb 28
Heard Jimmy Cliff driving to work so “The harder they come, the harder they fall, one and all” is the theme of the day.

Feb 28
There’s a difference between taking off your shirt while running to show off your manly chestal pulchritude and taking off your shirt while running and having manly chestal pulchritude. We can tell the difference, guys. And not just cynical old broads like me.

Mar 1
I am so tired of grown up stuff.  Can I run away now?

Mar 2
At home nursing a strained back. Life is good.

Mar 2
Why is it in movies and on TV when a scientist sees something unbelievable he removes his glasses? It’s become a total visual cliché.

Mar 3
The strain has progressed to spasms. I’m at urgent care.

Mar 3
Back still very unhappy and so am I. Two muscle relaxers at least make things bearable.

Mar 4
Back doing better but I’m still spending the day with my heating pad and my drugs. What part of driving with a strained back is not good did I not get? Pass more muscle relaxers.

Mar 5
I’m beginning to think the main job requirement for weather “girls” is “Must wear at least a C cup and adore tight clothing.”

I’m definitely watching too much TV since the back injury.

5 Mar
OMG the political phone calls the last week!  Once or twice an hour sometimes on two phones and me a couch prisoner! Just got another an hour before the polls close. Argh! Very hotly contested mayoral campaign.

8 Mar
Since hurting my back and unable to reach the floor without pain I’ve turned into a ham-handed bumbler constantly dropping things on the floor.

11 Mar
*sigh* I’m sitting at my desk at work with a pillow and a heating pad tucked behind my still-spasming back.

12 Mar
My new favorite bumper sticker: “What would Scooby do?”

12 Mar
I don’t want to be a grown up anymore. Can I crawl into a hole instead?

13 Mar
White smoke… Bring on the papas and beer.  Always thought it amusing that in Spanish and Italian pope/potatoes are the same, with only the article differentiating. Las papas de El Papa.

13 Mar
The Queen of Clueless Privilege strikes again:   Yes, Amy F. Grant and Katie F. Couric are also queens of clueless privilege, but Gwyneth Paltrow is the original Clueless F. Queen.

14 Mar
Mom called twice this morning to check the time of her doctor’s appointment and once for me to tell her how to fold boxes from paper. Both equally important.

15 Mar
They found the violin that Wallace Hartley played as the Titanic sank: 

15 Mar
Some good news yesterday: Mom is responding so well to therapy she won’t need an epidural and may be coming home soon.

Also, my back is slowly getting unstrained. Driving still remains a painful challenge, but I can sit at my desk with only occasional spasms.

With all the drugs I’ve been taking for the back my Achilles tendon isn’t hurting at all anymore.

1. I finally got around to watching the taped season finale of Castle and the fourth season premiere. This is what I hate about episodic TV and why I stopped watching it: every season, no matter how dramatic or world-changing the finale, by the end of the premiere episode everything has been reset to square one. There’s no regard for character growth, the hard left turns in the script give you whiplash, but everything goes back to the way things have always been. Even on Castle, which is a better written show than most episodic TV. Yeah, there are hints that things will continue in a slightly altered vein, but the premiere really had to do some unlikely contortions to achieve their reset.

2. We’ve got summer weather this October, as often happens in L.A. in October. I wore short sleeves today, forgetting the fall/stress rash on my forearm which is now on display for all to see. Oh well. It had mostly simmered down so it isn’t too humiliating. Driving back from taking Mom to the clinic, everything was sunny and bright until I got to Santa Monica. Then the fog seeped down the highway and I wished that I’d brought my sweater.

3. Driving to the clinic, my mother and I discussed the weird perception of waking up and not knowing where you are, thinking maybe you’re in some place you lived in two or three moves ago, or whatever. These days that sensation has gone a step further for Mom: she wakes up and although she knows where everything is and everything looks the same, the neighborhood is familiar, she feels as if the house isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Somehow it’s moved, she knows not where. I said, “Maybe we’ve slipped into an alternate reality and you’re the only one who realizes it.” She laughed. “Maybe so.”

4. I sometimes have moments of hope these days—and that scares me. So much is beyond my control. I can concentrate only on the here and now. I have to let go of the rest. Whenever I get caught up in anger or frustration or trying to will my will in situations where my will has no effect, I tell myself, “You haven’t got time for this. Let it go. Save your energy for fights you can win.” This is a very difficult lesson to learn, not just for me, but it’s one the Universe has been trying to teach me for many long years: live this moment, and this moment, and this moment, and this . . .

5. My creative life is stretching taut over my bones, but it’s swimming in my blood. I thought it was dead for a time, but it isn’t dead. It is not dead.

1. I accidentally locked Min out of the house last night. For two hours! And after dark! She was scared and pretty glad to get back inside. I felt terrible. She probably thought she’d been abandoned/lost again. I’ll be extra careful from now on.

2. I finally finished Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris. I liked it okay, but you can sure tell the series is winding down. And this one seemed to peeter out just like the last one. I love Ms. Harris dearly but she can’t write action scenes worth beans. I’ve had a pathetic reading year this year. I think I’ve only managed to finished 17 books.

3. We’ve started calling the hummingbirds who frequent our yard “Nazi Buzz Bombs.” They are quite insistent when you’ve let their feeders go dry. They buzz around in the kitchen window giving out malevolent stares until they’re filled, and buzz your head when you go outside.

4. I still love reading Post Secrets, even when it makes me cry.

5. I actually find myself liking Pan Am. It’s not the T&A show I feared it would be. It’s actually about the nascent “New Woman” of the early sixties who rejected the idea that marriage and 2.5 kids were the only options for a woman’s life. There were painfully few career options for women back then: nurse, teacher, homemaker, dental hygienist, secretary/clerk, stewardess. The stewardesses were always considered the more adventurous women.

1. Can anyone tell me why I wake up in the middle of the night with old TV show themes running through my head? Last night it was Who’s the Boss? I can sort of understand why that might be lurking in my subconscious. Late last week I heard a story on NPR regarding Tony Danza’s new reality show, Teach. At the end of the story they played a snippet of the Who’s the Boss? theme. But why did it wait a week to trigger? Last week, when it would have been more natural to trigger, I woke up with the theme song to The Brady Bunch. I guess I can sort of understand that because Florence Henderson has been on Dancing with the Stars and, well, it never seems to take much to trigger The Brady Bunch theme. But this is not a new pattern. I have woken up in the middle night with other old TV show themes—and even some commercials—playing through the head, though I am never dreaming about these shows or commercials when this happens. Clearly, something quite sinister is going on in my subconscious.

2. This morning as I was driving to work I stopped at a light about a block away from the Canal Club in Venice. Five skinny, tragically hip young men were standing around in front of the club on Pacific. A couple of them had pieces of paper in their hands. I thought, “Are they applying for a job as the club band? And however did the management get five musicians out of bed and on the sidewalk by 8:45?” As the light changed and I drove forward I saw the answer: on the side street beside the club (North Venice Blvd.) sat all the accoutrements of a film shoot with the lights and reflectors, et al., grouped around the actual entrance to the place. The five young bravos on Pacific were waiting for their cue to shoot a scene—probably to walk around the corner and enter. As I passed them, I couldn’t help noticing that besides being skinny and tragically hip, they were all rather short. The tallest of them was barely average height. I concluded he must be the star of the show and the others were probably hired to make him look less short. Oh, and for their talent, I’m sure. Hollywood is big on talent. A short actor acquaintance of mine—who really is talented—has often been hired for his talent of being shorter than the star of the TV show/movie.

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