Friday, December 26, 2008

Soup Days

When the weather turns cold, I get out my biggest soup pot and have a marathon soup making day. I got to take home the leftover smoked ham from Christmas dinner last night so I am making my famous split pea soup. Think I'll make some nice homemade bread to go with it.

I love slow soup days like this.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


It's raining and storming here in sunny California. The air is crisp and cold, well, cold by California standards - it's about 52 but got down to 43 last night. Family scattered around the country - Oregon & Nevada - have been calling this morning to say Merry Christmas. I'll miss not seeing everyone this year . . .

My niece and her husband in Oregon are having their first "white" Christmas as snow is still falling in Portland and Seattle. My sister in Las Vegas is also having snow, although it's just raining this morning. Heard from husband's family in Sacramento, rain and fog in our State Capitol and Santa was good to everyone too.

My pumpkin pies are ready to transport to my youngest brother's for dessert tonight. We'll spend the night there also.

Merry Christmas to all of my blogger friends and hoping you're enjoying time with family and friends too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Teeth Whitening Strips

So, I tried those teeth whitening strips this morning. The last time I bought my gallon size bottle of Listerine, there were free samples attached, and I'm a sucker for anything that has free samples attached.

I read the instructions carefully 3 times as these are my only teeth I'm talking about here.
It starts off telling you to ask your Dentist before using if you have dental work as it will not whiten dental work. Well, my Dentist goes to Hawaii every year at this time to surf so that was out. I was on my own and I felt brave. And I have a mouthful of dental work.

I carefully opened the first little foil packet and immediately dropped it in the bathroom sink. It melted clean away in less than 3 seconds right before my eyes!

Swell. So I open packet number two (not over the sink this time) and successfully apply the clear strip to my lower teeth - it says to start with the lower teeth because of the saliva factor, I know, TMI.

Good so far. Next I apply a strip to my upper teeth, getting a bit on my gums. THEN I read "don't allow strip to adhere to gums," but I decide to live dangerously and chance it. No harm done, it's only hydrogen peroxide for crying out loud!

I stand there grinning at myself in the bathroom mirror as these strips start turning into gel. "Does Paris Hilton do this," I'm wondering? The instructions say the strips should melt away in about 10 minutes for most people. 30 minutes later I'm thinking, I'm not "most people."

I can't stand it anymore and decide to brush the gunky gel off my teeth, floss too. I don't see much of anything different but it does "take twice a day for two weeks" the instructions say and I don't need another gallon of Listerine at the moment.

I think I'll wait until my surfing Dentist comes back from Hawaii and ask how much a professional whitening job costs. Free whitening strips are not for me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Have Rolling Pin, Will Travel

How I am spending my Christmas vacation: I am having a blast!

Sleeping til 7:30 (three hours more sleep than usual), making my own coffee and drinking it by the light of my two Christmas trees. Having whatever I want for breakfast, sometimes going to my fave cafe for lunch and eating at a table all by myself.

Monday I took my rolling pin to bake with family in Santa Clara as we have been doing for the past two years - I guess this qualifies as a tradition. Yesterday, I baked 78 gingerbread boys and decorated them with my niece, ex-sil, and nephew's girlfriend - a five year tradition. This Sunday, I'm taking my rolling pin to Milpitas to make gingerbread boys with another branch of the family.

I could get used to this.

What's better than spending time, quality time, with family, especially the younger generation and building a legacy? My legacy is baking memories with the ones I love the most. It just doesn't get any better than that. It just doesn't.

P.S. I said Merry Christmas to the Salvation Army bell ringer and they said Merry Christmas back, not that crappy Happy Holidays . . . there's hope afterall.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Doctors as Friends

I have the best Doctor on the planet! Had my check-up this morning:

Heart = still beating
Lungs = still breathing
Blood Pressure = been worse (140/90 when the nurse took it, 128/92 when Dr took it) will stay on current medication
Blood Oxygen = normal (whatever that is)
Temperature = 99.8
Pulse = still have one
Weight = up a little (but I have lost 67 pounds in the past year)
Cholesterol = 160
All the Other Stuff = fine and dandy except I am overdue for a colonoscopy (she told me about hers and it still doesn't convince me) so I told her I'd make it a goal for 2009 - NOT!

The reason I bring this up is because at all my appts we have the most amazing conversations and I leave feeling really good about myself and that everything is as it should be. I always get a big hug too. This morning she remembered this was the first Christmas without my Mom and the second without my brother (sure, it's written in my chart) but it's nice she even mentions it.

I also always leave feeling a little sad because she is someone I could really have as a personal friend. She's about two years younger than me and has been through many of the same things I have. I left wanting to invite her and her husband over for dinner or something. But I don't know "the rules" about befriending or getting too chummy with your Doctor. I'll have to ponder this in my Happiness Project.

Speaking of, I told her about it and she thinks it's great and admires that I enjoy writing. She says she doesn't write because she's "too lazy." OK, so this woman went how many years to medical school, sees how many patients a year, has her own family to tend, and she thinks she's lazy???

Now I'm blathering . . . hope you're having a nice day (I'm on vacation until January 5th).

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Do You "Wordle" Yet?

Go here to make some "word clouds" (I'm beginnning work on My Happiness Project).

Tag, You're It!

I've never been tagged but I liked this from lemming's progress:

Where is your cell phone? Charging on my desk
Where is your significant other? At work
Your hair color? Blonde (natural too)
Your Mother? Did the best she could
Your Father? Did the best he could
Your favorite thing? The ocean
Your dream last night? Can't remember any
Your goal? To start my own Happiness Project (more later)
The room you're in? My office
Your hobby? Baking
Your fear? Too many to list here
Where do you to be in 6 years? Retired and travelling
Where were you last night? On the couch watching MSNBC
What you're not? An extrovert
One of your wish-list items? A closet organizer
Where you grew up? San Jose, CA (aka Silicon Valley)
The last thing you did? Checked my email
What are you wearing? My new Santa scarf (knitted by my SIL)
Your TV? Old
Your pet(s)? 3 cats: Phoebe G, Samantha, & Violet and 14 fish in a 100 gallon tank
Your computer? Dell
Your mood? Tomorrow is my first day of vacation until Jan 5th, so you tell me
Missing someone? Mom, Dad and Ed
Your car's name? Olive
Something you're not wearing? Earrings
Favorite store? Sur La Table
Your summer? I hate summer!
Love someone? I love lots of someones
Your favorite color? Green
When is the last time you laughed? On the drive into work this morning
Last time you cried? Last Sunday
Tagging? anyone

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008


It's a beautiful day here on the central coast of California, about 62 degrees, partly-cloudy - all the rain yesterday washed the sky blue again. GORGEOUS!

I've just pulled my homemade yeast rolls from the oven (my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner) and have the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV; I only watch because of the giant balloons and Santa's arrival. We're going to my Mother-in-Law's today and to my family's on Saturday, sorta Thanksgiving and my Brother's birthday celebrated together. I can't wait!

Thinking about my Mom a lot today. She passed away in January and this time of the year was her favorite, probably why it's my favorite time of the year too. I'm going to say Mom's prayer at dinner this afternoon: "Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Thanks for the Grub, Yay, God!"

Anyway, I wish you all a very happy day and hope it's spent with people you love . . . or at least who you really like. Take care.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Baby Brother Turns 50

We are all going to his house for a big party on Saturday the 29th. And since he doesn't read my blog (even tho I gave him the address), I will post the poem I wrote for the occasion:

On My Baby Brother Turning 50

Distinguished friends and family gathered here today,
please listen to me briefly as I have some words to say.

On this notable occasion we are here to celebrate
the birthday of my brother, who is fifty on this date.

We know him as a man of honor, honest and foursquare.
He is well-traveled, well liked, even somewhat debonair.

He’s now a half century old but still he looks fine,
more wrinkles will come, it will just take some time.

Yes, my brother is turning 50 and his hair is turning grey
but some of us remember him before he got this way.

Always a handsome lad who had been known to flirt,
but once he was a little boy known to me as Johnny Burt.

He’s laughed a lot and cried a little too, and of the hard times,
I'm sure there were a few!

He’s fallen and stood right back up on his feet,
and many good people he’s had the pleasure to meet.

He’s worked very hard and played a lot too, but John,
there's not too many who can do what you do.

There are so many people around him here that care,
and hope at his one hundredth, they will be there.

Turning Fifty's not such a terrible thing,
but I can't wait to see what the next fifty brings!!!!

All my love, Cissy

Monday, November 17, 2008

Worth repeating (from last year)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Did I mention that I love Fall?

Actually, I am addicted to Fall: crisp air, that “autumn blue” sky, raking leaves, freshly picked apples, dried corn stalks, and pumpkin patches. (Note: I could be genetically predisposed as my birthday falls on the first day of Autumn most years.) My house begins to fill with the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice. Around the end of July, I begin scouring my old magazines for Fall arts & crafts and decorating projects, comfort food ideas, and new baking recipes. I am a woman obsessed! I go down to the basement to begin sorting through my Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations, all carefully packed in plastic storage boxes (I’ll spare you my obsession with Christmas and how I put up 3 Christmas trees each year).

This past Sunday, in honor of my birthday, my husband took me out to breakfast, my favorite meal to have out and also to cook. As we drove south on Hwy 1, along the coast to Moss Landing, overlooking Monterey Bay, I spied my first pumpkin patch of the season. My husband of 30 years knows well my reaction to seeing the pumpkins for the first time and pulled over just in time (he’s really as bad as me) to take in the gorgeous sea of orange and white. Pumpkins of every size imaginable, as far as the eye can see, rolling down to the water’s edge.

Did I mention that I love Fall?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama Cabinet Picks (just thinking ahead)

I won't try and guess the biggies like Chief of Staff (I have read Rahm Emanuel has the job if he wants it), Attorney General (a woman would be nice) or Secretary of State (?)
how about these names:

Treasury Secretary: Michael Bloomberg (he's a party swinger, kinda like Lieberman)

Secretary of Energy: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Repub who's actually done well here in CA)

Secretary of Education: Caroline Kennedy (a Kennedy in the White House again - Camelot!)

Secretary of Defense: Colin Powell (I know but he was a soldier and knows his stuff)

Press Secretary: Jon Stewart or Keith Olberman (Stephen Colbert is Canadian)

OK, I'll keep thinking . . .

Oh yeah, and I dreamed Michelle Obama asked me to come decorate the White House for Christmas - ME, not Martha Stewart - lol - it could happen!

Open Letter to Obama from Alice Walker

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,
You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear.

And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done.

We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance.

A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on.

One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate.

One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise.

It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies.

And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker


Proud. Proud. Proud.
I am especially proud to be an American today.

The dark clouds over this nation are moving away;
Good bye to the old, make way for the new.

It's not going to be easy, let's roll up our sleeves
and get to work!

The page has been turned.

We've looked in the mirror and have finally become
the country we always knew we were.

(Party at my house January 24th, you're ALL invited!)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Dr. King had it Right

"I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions.

This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream-- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed;
a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few;
a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Yet ANOTHER reason to vote tomorrow

Free coffee at Starbucks

I voted Saturday, wonder if that counts?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween (from last year)

1) Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke.
2) Do not search the basement or attic when the power is out.
3) As a general rule, do not solve puzzles that open portals to Hell.
4) When it appears you have killed the monster, never check to see if it's really dead. It isn't.
5) Do not take anything from the dead. No matter how much you like it, it's bound to disagree with you sooner or later.
6) If you find a town that looks deserted, there's probably a good reason for it. Don't stop to look around.
7) Don't fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you know exactly what you're doing.
8) Never stand in, on, or above a grave, tomb, or crypt. This rule also applies to any other house of the dead.
9) If you're running from the monster, expect to trip or fall down at least twice--more if you're female.
10) Beware of strangers bearing strange tools like chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, combines, lawn mowers, butane torches, soldering irons, and ice picks.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Candies - Top 10 Worst

According to "Serious," the little beggars who come calling every October 31st have a preferred and despised list of Halloween candy. Just in case some of you'd like to avoid the "tricks" associated with the holiday, here's the despised list (and why):

1) Toothbrushes - apparently Dentists & Orthodontists should NOT bring their work home with them on this night.

2) Raisins - the little goblins want treats that will actually rot their teeth, not "wrinkled grapes."

3) Candy Corn - now this is just unAmerican. What is Halloween without candy corn? It's the "fruitcake" of Halloween.

4) Smarties & Necco wafers - I agree, who wants to eat chalk!

5) Dum-Dum lollipops - oh come on, who can resist a 3,000 count package of suckers for $1.99?

6) Apples - remember when bad peeps would hide razor blades in these . . . makes me shudder just remembering the days of ex-raying all candy at the local ER.

7) Tootsie Rolls - yeah, no chocolate in them at all anymore and a destroyer of dental work.

8) Miscellaneous, Hard wrapped candy - reserved for Senior Citizens? What about the bagged stuff they put in Pinatas?

9) Laffy Taffy - hey, it's their dental work NOT MINE!

10) Anything "Fun-Sized- " apparently anything "portion controlled" shouldn't apply to Halloween.

OK, so, that means the 3 Costco bags of 250 count tootsie rolls, tootsie pops, sweet tarts, and miscellaneous hard-wrapped candy I just bought have to be returned? Phhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttttt, beggars can't be choosers!!!!!!

“Donde esta la Cerveza?”

From drunken college frat boy to when he finally admitted there were no WMDs in Iraq, Oliver Stone’s “W” tries really hard to make us believe that all poor George W. Bush ever wanted to do was watch baseball and drink beer all day. Sounds like a reasonable request to me. Then again, this was the starting point to understanding how Bush got into office, why he got into office, and why he never should have gotten into office.

If you are a fan of George W. Bush, you're going to be more fond of him than ever. If you are not a fan of George W. Bush, you're going to be surprised at how sympathetic his character appears. Whatever your political beliefs, you won't find anything unexpected in "W."

I do wish the film would have explored the connection between Bush's alcoholism and his born-again Christianity with some depth or curiosity - what addicts and born-agains share is a terror of ambiguity, an absolute need for a belief system that removes all doubt- but at least the film lets us know the American people made a HUGE mistake.

It’s worth the price of admission just to see Richard Dreyfuss play Dick Cheney. One of the most chilling movie scenes ever is when Cheney is asked about his exit strategy from Iraq - “There is no exit. We stay.” I swear to god, it gave me goose bumps!

Josh Brolin's performance as “W” is really amazing; in fact, Brolin's so good, he almost makes you feel sorry for Bush. Almost. An equally stellar performance by James Cromwell as “Poppy,” George H.W. Bush, Sr., makes me understand why Daddy Bush would rather hang with Bill Clinton these days.

Still, leaving the theater, I had the sense that, really, it is too early for this movie to have been made.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sarah Palin Explains It All

"We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C.
We believe" -- here the audience interrupted Palin with applause and cheers --
"We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit,
and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America,
being here with all of you hard working very patriotic,
um, very, um, pro-America
areas of this great nation.
This is where we find the kindness
and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans.
Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids
and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us.
Those who are protecting us in uniform.
Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

yeah....she loves those small pockets of "pro-americans" a.k.a. small pockets of uneducated white republicans who actually like her. Or is that pro-America like Todd Palin is pro-America?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Final Debate

They say a picture is worth a thousand words . . .

Monday, October 06, 2008

New Candidate Alert!!!

OMG, I've never been so excited about a potential Presidential candidate in my life . . . view here:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Greed Is Good?

Little Boots’ New American Way: social welfare for the rich by giving $700 billion to Wall Street so that they can turn around and lend it back to us.

I had to giggle when I heard Republicans blaming Nancy Pelosi's scathing speech near the close of the debate — which attacked Bush's economic policies and a "right-wing ideology of anything goes, no supervision, no discipline, no regulation" of financial markets — for the vote's failure.

Thank you, Nancy Pelosi, for calling things as you see them. You (the Democrats & a few brave Republicans) made me proud today when you stood and refused to be bullied into signing on to this joke of a plan and insisting on more detail and oversight.

Socialism is not Patriotic: Don’t bail them out, Jail Them!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dow Jones Industrial Average - Then & Now

January 20th, 2001 = 10,588
September 17th, 2008 = 10,605

Bush says: "We must act now to protect our nation's economic health."

This is the same loser who's been telling us over and over for years that the economy is "strong."

Three months left in his miserable presidency and all of a sudden we need to "act now to protect our economic health."

Way to go Little Boots!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday To My Best Friend Karen!

We met in the middle of 6th grade. I was blonde and Anglo, she was olive and Mexican-American. What she saw in me that first day I’ll never know but she held out her hand in friendship to a very shy 11 year old that had been to three different schools that year.

I always thought Karen was lucky. She had a nice house full of older sisters who could do the most AMAZING things with their hair. And they had BOYFRIENDS! Her parents, especially her Dad, loved her to pieces (I can close my eyes right now and feel the love in that house).

Karen taught me to toast corn tortillas over an open flame on the gas stove in the kitchen. I’d sometimes sleep over and we’d sleep in middle of the same double bed, giggling, about boys, until we both fell asleep.

On weekends, we’d ride the city bus “K & C’s Excellent Adventures” to downtown San Jose to window shop at Woolworth’s, Macy’s, Hale’s & Hart’s, completely fearless about being MILES from home (no cell phones then). We’d go to movies in old theaters that had velvet curtains and ushers with flashlights. We’d play with Barbie’s at my house, devour my Mom’s homemade bread the second a loaf came out of the oven, and went (indoor) roller skating every Friday & Saturday night. We’d drink “suicides” almost until we were sick. Anyone else know what a “suicide” is?

And Karen had DOGS, a big white poodle named Cognac who had a litter of puppies with their black poodle Fluffy. It was one of the best days of my life when I was given first pick from the litter who I named “Mademoiselle Michelle Cognac La Fluff Reyes Parsons” (Mimi for short).

In High School we were on the Yearbook Staff together, in charge of Clubs. Karen was a beauty (looked EXACTLY like Marlow Thomas aka “That Girl!”) and became a song girl; I joined the Spirit Club and painted the banners the football team ran through at the beginning of every game. She was “front of the house,” I was “behind the scenes.”

Karen married right out of High School and after the birth of her first child, we lost touch. Last October, her husband found me on the website and we have been trying to catch up on the last 30-something years ever since.

I hope you have a very Happy Birthday Karen and I am so glad we found each other again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Bush Doctrine ("Caribou Barbie" Edition)

The Bush Doctrine is based on delusions of grandeur about America's ability to dominate the world and endorses the use of unilateral preemptive force & persuasion rather than honest multi-lateral cooperation.

Just remember these four words: “Preemption, rather than reaction.”

In order to justify the invasion of Afghanistan, Bush came up with the policy that the United States has the right to treat countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups as terrorists themselves. Later, in order to justify the invasion of Iraq, he added that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a supposed threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Obama was right about one thing, even if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 Years Later: Rememberng 9/11

Life-altering changes. I guess if you live long enough, it probably happens more than once. For me it was the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, Jr., and the Challenger explosion. I will always remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard about or witnessed these events.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 were different.

While I didn’t have any family or friends die that day, I did have a friend, a Nurse, working in Manhattan who lived through the whole nightmare. At the University, we were deeply saddened when we learned that Alumni Jason Dahl, a 1980 Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, was the Pilot and Captain of the crew of Flight 93, the plane that crashed in a field just outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The overwhelming majority of casualties were ordinary people like you and me, including nationals from over 90 different countries. Let’s never forget that excluding the 19 hijackers, 2,974 people died in the attacks. Another 24 are missing and presumed dead.

Now, seven years have come and gone. In those years we moved on, we put 9/11 aside with all our other memories. Very briefly, we came together as a nation to help and comfort each other when we were all just human beings on common ground.

I hope on this tragic 7th Anniversary, we remember what is still good about our country and the innocent men, women and children who lost their lives. Let’s also remember the Heroes who responded to the emergency and the people who continue to sacrifice every day to help stop conflict around the world.

Friday, September 05, 2008

McCain's Speech

Yes, I watched the speech, I watched the whole stinking RNC this week as a matter of fact. With a barf bag at the ready of course. Only used it once when the "Cindy Show" was aired. Even 3 glasses of wine did not help to dim the pain of watching THAT. Does the woman get it that spending over 300K on an outfit for that night alone vein in my neck is proturding so I better stop.

Unemployment is at a all time high in 5 years at 6.1. Did McShame say how he going to move this Country foward? Did he talk about: creating new jobs, improving economic fundamentals, shifting the tax burden from the lower pay classes back to the upper pay classes?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What the critics said:

Former Bush Speechwriter: "Pretty Disappointing"

National Review: "Flat, Forced"

David Gergen: "Mostly A Rerun Of A Lot Of Old Republican Ideas"

New Republic: "No Overarching Themes"

CNN'S Jeffrey Toobin: "Worst Speech By Nominee Since Jimmy Carter In 1980"

NY Times Blog: "Some Delegates Fell Asleep" (I think I heard the snoring...)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

TOM BROKAW: But the fact is, governor, that you have had eight years of a bush administration and a lot of Republicans in Congress for the last eight years, so why wouldn't the american people say, look they had their shot we're going to change?

TOM RIDGE: Because John Bush - because John McCain is very much his own man...

No Tom, you were right the first time.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Oh, and I know this is trivial, except when it applies to Obama, but where was McCain's flag pin?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin?


This is like GHWB picking Clarence Thomas and saying with a straight face: "He's the most qualified candidate in America for the Supreme Court."

Biden vs Palin will be like King Kong vs Bambi, I can't wait for the debates! She is wrong for all the right reasons!!!

Typical Republican Tokenism.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Steve Jobs' Obituary, Retracted

Apparently the Bloomberg financial newswire decided to update its Steve Jobs obituary - and accidently published it instead. Now I know it's fairly standard procedure for news organizations to prepare obituaries in advance - Mr. Jobs is fighting pancreatic cancer - but imagine waking up and reading about your own passing in The Wall Street Journal?

I guess the best part is getting to read your own obit . . . or is it? If it wasn't so creepy, it would be funny.

Heads are gonna roll over this one that's for sure.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why I'm Not Watching the Olympics

When people ask me if I’m watching the 2008 Summer Olympic Games I always answer with a question: “Would you have watched the 1936 Berlin Games?”

They always respond back “it’s not the same.”

They’re right, it’s not the same.

The Nazi's only killed about 6 million people.

Since 1949, the Chinese Communist Party has only killed about 60 million people.
(Wasn’t it Stalin who said “the death of one man is a tragedy, but the death of one million is merely a statistic?”)

Yes, the Olympics should be all about the athletes and not about politics -but always is- and since China is requiring gag orders of the athletes and most of the world press, restricting Internet access, lying about the ages of it’s gymnasts, displacing and making homeless thousands of people to build the Olympic venue (I could go on and on), it is China that is politicizing the games - all in the name of “putting on a good face to the world.”

Many of us are not fooled.

Growing up, I embraced the view that the Olympics promoted world peace and celebrated human accomplishment and dignity, but would it not be better to show our support of a country whose government actually shares the beliefs of the Olympic Charter?

I went to the same High School as Mark Spitz (graduated with one of his sisters - pardon my name-dropping) and cheering him on during the 1972 games were the most exciting ever. And yes, Michael Phelps is amazing and deserves his moment of glory, but even he should have thought of the sacrifices we sometimes have to make when we choose to do the right thing.

I am also convinced that the human rights abuses in Beijing, the atrocities in Darfur, Burma, and Tibet, as well as the myriad of horrific and sometimes macabre incidents that occur in China reach FAR beyond the restraints of politics. But surely the difference between war and peace, comfort and torture - even life and death - are enough to call a halt to any international celebratory event, no matter how good its intentions?

Friday, August 08, 2008


I asked a Chinese-born colleague yesterday why the big deal? She said that numerology is a BIG BUSINESS in China and that in Cantonese [the language of Southern China and Hong Kong], the word 'fah' means 'eight,' but it also sounds like the word for 'make a lot of fortune.' (Nevermind that China's official language is Mandarin, not Cantonese). But the tradition apparently gained national traction in the '80s "when the Cantonese speaking parts of China excelled economically.

She went on to tell me about other "lucky" numbers based on Chinese words that sound similar to other Chinese words:

One = good- means unity
Two= good- good things come in pairs; it also sounds like their word for 'easy'
Three= good- sounds like their word meaning 'life'
Four= good & not good, depends on the dialect- sounds like their word for 'business' or 'job'
Five= good- associated with the "Five Elements" (metal, wood, water, fire, earth). For example, the Tiananmen gate, being the main thoroughfare to the Forbidden City, has five arches.
Six= good- means "everything goes smoothly"
Seven= good & not good (unlucky in Northern China)- mostly symbolizes "togetherness"
Eight= good- the word for 'eight' in Mandarin sounds similar to the word that means "prosper"
Nine= very good-historically- associated with the Emperor; sounds like the word for "longlasting"

So now you've had your numerology lessson for the day and I really need to get some coffee!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What I'm Reading Right Now

Everyone who knows me knows that I like to talk about and think about food (I also like to cook but baking is my REAL passion and I consider cookbooks “recreational” reading) but a lot of the foods we think of as Chinese are actually more American and virtually unknown in China: General Tso’s chicken, chop suey, egg rolls, broccoli beef (broccoli is originally an Italian vegetable) and the origins of the ubiquitous fortune cookie (I won’t ruin the surprise) that is now exported to China as American fortune cookies. If you’re going to the Olympics this year, note “Made in the U.S.A.” on the label and tell me I'm wrong.

What I like about the book "Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food" by Jennifer 8. Lee (the 8 symbolizes prosperity to the Chinese) is that it is an entertaining and well written narrative of a world most of us are familiar with but none of us really know. One chapter is devoted to everything you need to know about the distinctive shape of Chinese take-out containers in the U.S. ; another one on the soy sauce trade war of 2005 (bet you never heard of that one); and my favorite chapter covers who it is who writes the fortunes found inside each cookie. You'll be surprised!

The book delves into the dark side as well, highlighting statistics on how many Chinese deliverymen, many of whom barely speak English, are murdered in New York City simply for the cash and takeout meal they carry. The racism and discrimination faced by Chinese immigrants in America is also noted, where many Asians are invisible, including the Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, etc., and treated as if they are all the same.

In the first chapter, the author challenges the perception of apple pie as the ultimate in “Americanness." If that is your benchmark, ask yourself, how often do you eat apple pie? Now how often do you eat Chinese food? Great food for thought.

See, I told you I like to think about food.

So go support your local public library and check this book out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Single Entry for July (I've been busy)

Three contractors are bidding to fix the White House fence, one from New York, another from Tennessee, and the third from Florida. They go with a White House official to examine the fence.

The Florida contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring,then works some figures with a pencil. Well, he says 'I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.

The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says,'I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.

The New York contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers: '$2,700.

The official, incredulous, says, 'You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?

$1,000 for me, $1,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sex and the City

This is a tad late but some female friends and co-workers have now seen the movie and are urging me to also. Other than being a great excuse to drink Cosmos, the movie was a short topic on another (hi bob!) amazing blog I read religiously, and this was my response there:

"I never really watched the show, mainly because I don’t have HBO at home, but I did watch a couple episodes while traveling (hotels ALWAYS have HBO). Sex and the City may have been a great study of female friendship but like Miranda pointed out in one episode I did watch, “How does it happen that four such smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends?”

I’m not saying it wasn’t a good show since it dealt with many important topics like infertility, bereavement, ageing, single motherhood, sexual discrimination and divorce, to name a few. And the way they spoke, and the things they talked about, were (supposedly) very revolutionary


If I had been a loyal fan of the show, I think I would have been disappointed at the end. Why do they (and most all other networks) always have to go back to the “traditional view” that the future for (most) women means marriage and children?"

- - - - - - - - - -

I would add: why is it that otherwise intelligent women are not seen as "fulfilled" in our society until they are married and have produced children? The one network program I did enjoy watching every week was "Mad About You." At last, an obviously in love couple enjoying life together without children - - - until the final episode when "Mable" came into the world and ruined it all. She was given a god-awful name that was proof positive (at least to me) that Jamie & Paul really did not want children in the first place, else why would they name their child Mable???????

OK, for a slow day, that's my two-cents on Sex and the City.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Letter to the Editor

I am modestly famous for my "Letters to the Editor" of my local newspaper. This latest was written in response to 2 rampaging pit bulls in and around my neighborhood. A neighbor's kitty cat I was particularly fond of was killed by these dogs and I've written a response to the article that appeared last Friday. It makes me even more glad my 3 kitties stay inside at all times.
- - - - - - - - -

To the Editor:

Four neighborhoods were terrorized by two rampaging dogs on Friday and beloved family pets slaughtered yet witnesses to the carnage “requested their names be withheld for fear of retribution from the dogs’ owners.” What is going on here? The fact that these witnesses are afraid to be identified speaks volumes about how these unfortunate dogs were used as tools of intimidation and will (hopefully) attract the police attention so badly needed.

The irresponsible and ignorant dog owners in this case obviously lack morals and have no respect for how their actions affect the rest of society. They should face felony charges for recklessly allowing their dangerous dogs to run at-large. I've also noticed how many owners of attacking dogs (of any breed) share so many commonalities: they are often known criminals and have not properly raised or trained their animals. They use their aggressive dogs solely to intimidate and are generally cowards. I am outraged that any thought of these animals being allowed back into our community is being entertained, they should be destroyed at their unremorseful owners’ expense.

I know it's very hip nowadays to have a potentially deadly dog as a fashion accessory and it just goes to show how few brain cells some of these morons have. We’ve all seen them around town, walking around with the crotch of their pants hanging down to their ankles, hat on sideways, tight “wife-beater” tee shirt clinging to their scrawny chest holding a leash attached to a vicious looking pit bull breed with a spiked collar. It’s a laughable sight to see since we all know what “inadequacy” they really suffer from.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Sabres are Rattling...Again

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Although entirely within the realm of possibility since the Bush regime has shown that it will tell any lie and orchestrate any event in order to “finish the job” in the Middle East.

“Finishing the job” means to destroy the ability of Iraq, Iran, and Syria to provide support for the Palestinians and for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon against Israeli aggression. With Iraq and Iran in turmoil, Syria might simply give up and become another American client state. With Iraq and Iran in turmoil, Israel can steal the rest of the West Bank along with the water resources in southern Lebanon. That is what “the war on terror” is really about.

I hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Saudis say No More Oil

Guess holding hands with King Abdullah didn't do any good, Dubya was told to go pack sand. Not to mention another ass-kissing trip to Saudi Arabia -at taxpayer's expense- shot to hell!

Maybe he should try flowers. Yeah, "Say it" with a dozen roses. Or chocolates, just not Godiva cuz she rode around neckid as a jay bird and we wouldn't want to add insult to injury by offending those camel molesters.

Hold on, I've got it: offer the hand of daughter Barbara Jr. in marriage to the King's son. WOW, what an alliance THAT would be. Instead of giving up golf (for the troops) Little Boots could sacrifice his own flesh & blood.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just got my "stimulus" refund


Money borrowed from CHINA so's we can all go out and spend it on CRAP made in CHINA to bolster the economy of CHINA (hope it's not in Yen).

Seriously, the only stimulus this will provide is additional income for the gas companies, as I continue to pay the gouging rates to go to my job to earn money for gas to go to my job to earn money for gas to go to my job to earn money for gas…

Thanks for nothing Uncle George, you shure is watchin out for us little guys.

See ya'll at WalMart!

Monday, April 07, 2008

The CSU is the Solution!

The California State University that is, but our illustrious Republican "No New Taxes" Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to cut $386 MILLION from the CSU budget. In a time of budget crisis there are MORE reasons to fund public higher education than not:

1) California's economy thrives on knowledge-based innovation; higher education is the key to a troubled economy; people with bachelor's degrees earn more and add more to the tax base

2) Every dollar the state invests in the CSU directly generates $4.41 in spending; add to this the higher earnings by CSU graduates, and the return increases to $17 for every dollar invested by the state

3) The CSU prepares the people who do exactly the type of work the Governor says we need - engineers, teachers, and nurses; of all degrees granted in CA, CSU awards 51% in engineering, 64% in nursing ad 65% in business. If too few Californians are earning four-year degrees, we will not be able to meet future trained workforce needs

In perspective, spending for the War in Iraq now costs $720 million per day, including deferred costs such as long-term care for the wounded and interest on our debt. According to the American Friends Services Committee, for just one day's funding for the war, we could provide health insurance for 424,000 children; put 35,000 students through a 4-year college; pay the annual salary of 12,500 new classroom teachers, or buy school lunches for 1.2 million needy kids.

And, imagine what $720 million would mean to the CSU?

(OK, off my soap-box)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Just What I Needed

This past weekend was a three-dayer for many of us here on the Left Coast thanks to Caesar Chavez, so my husband and I took a 4th day and went to visit my younger sister and her family in Las Vegas, Nevada. This being our second trip there, we knew to stay somewhere off "The Strip" for a little more peace and quiet. We don't gamble or smoke either so there's really nothing attractive about The Strip for us and having already walked up and down both sides TWICE our first trip, we didn't even go there this time.

Besides seeing my sis and her family, the highlight was driving through the Mojave Desert and seeing Red Rock Canyon. Even better was being overtaken by an unexpected cloudburst with whipping winds and big fat rain drops falling from the sky. We rolled down the windows to catch the wet, sharp freshness that touches the soul and literally takes your breath away. Being an artist, the colors of the desert are like nothing else I've seen after such a rainstorm and I've already begun a new painting in my mind's eye. The various shades of pink, red, brown and white are amazing as are the desert plants: lupine, Indian paintbrush, sand verbena, sages & Joshua trees. We also saw a few Hawks & falcons patrolling the canyons and cliffs.

This is just what I needed. Quiet. Solitude. Sanctuary.

Monday, March 24, 2008


The lives of 4,000 U.S. soldiers and 1,033,000 innocent Iraqi civilians have been wasted on Little Boots’ deceitful and failed war, not to mention the 5-6 million Iraqi’s internally and externally displaced.

$13,000,000,000,000 that could have satisfied immense humanitarian and social needs have been squandered on the reckless Iraq military fiasco.

What will Clinton or Obama REALLY do when elected?

Monday, March 17, 2008

In Honor of St. Paddy's Day

The Leprachaun
by Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830-83)

In a shady nook one moonlit night,
A leprachaun I spied
In scarlet coat and cap of green,
A cruiskeen by his side.

'Twas tick, tack, tick, his hammer went,
Upon a weeny shoe,
And I laughed to think of a purse of gold,
But the fairy was laughing too.

With tip-toe step and beating heart,
Quite softly I drew night.
There was mischief in his merry face,
A twinkle in his eye;

He hammered and sang with tiny voice,
And sipped the mountain dew;
Oh! I laughed to think he was caught at last,
But the fairy was laughing, too.

As quick as thought I grasped the elf,
"Your fairy purse," I cried,
"My purse?" said he, "'tis in her hand,
That lady by your side."

I turned to look, the elf was off,
And what was I to do?
Oh! I laughed to think what a fool I'd been,
And, the fairy was laughing too.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Life (right now) as a Methaphor

"Screensaver mode" which doesn't actually save energy, or at least significantly. It is just designed to protect your monitor from getting an image burned into it permanently.

I'm thinking, I'm thinking...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy "Hallmark" Holiday!

A quick story why I kinda, sorta dread Valentine's Day:

A few years ago, my husband was badgered by his female co-workers into getting me a Valentine's gift. None of these women could believe that I didn't want anything for Valentine's Day. He asked me one day if there was anything I wanted. "No, nothing," I said. He replied heatedly "You never want ANYTHING!" To which I replied "Oh, I'm sorry, perhaps you should find a wife who gets angry and pouts if you don't buy her diamonds, rubies, emeralds, or pearls. Poor you, you have a wife who doesn't think that love is measured by how much you spent on a Hallmark Holiday."

The female badgering at work won out however, and he presented me with a small diamond & ruby heart on a gold chain. It is beautiful (and thankfully not showy or flashy as I'm definitely not that kind of person) and I've worn it every Valentine's Day since but always with a stinging reminder of the brief argument.

This year we are going to the ballet to see Swan Lake and then out for dinner on Sunday, the 17th. Time spent together is better than any bouquet of roses or piece of jewelry. Whatever you do today, tell the people dearest to you that you love them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

About that "Stimulus" Nonsense

Article from the Wall Street Journal and a reader's comment:

The logical extension of the stimulus nonsense described in the article reminded me of the aphorism spoken in Eastblock Czechoslovakia:

"Everyone has a job.
Everyone has a job, but nothing is produced.
Nothing is produced, but quotas are met.
Quotas are met, but nothing is available in stores.
Nothing is available in stores, but everyone has a job."

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Why it’s called “Berzerkeley”

On January 30, 2008, as a result of organized anti-war demonstrations, the Berkeley, California, City Council voted to rid the city of the Marine’s recruiting office. They even went as far as drafting a letter calling them “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.

“By taking a stand against recruitment we are protecting the health and safety of our youth,” said Phoebe Sorgen, a member of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. “I see the protest as taking a proud and courageous stand.”

OF COURSE THE TOTAL IRONY IN THIS FASCIST STATEMENT is that without the military Ms. Sorgen, and "The People’s Republic of Berkeley" would not have the freedom of speech that is allowing them to be making such embarrassing asses of themselves!

Berkeley has always been known for its hyperbolic silliness but the sixties have long past, guys, and this schtick is really getting old.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Hillary - Obama Dilemma

The problem with Obama is that I am not allowed to dislike him simply because I don't agree with him. If I say I don't like him, I'm called a racist. Even sadder is that if he loses it will be because he's black, not because he's boring, anti-Semitic, uninformed and inexperienced.

Hillary doesn't have the same advantage. Over the years people have gotten so used to finding her so dislikeable that it's pretty hard to attribute those negative feelings to her sex, but rather to her personality.

In a nutshell: Obama’s melanin does not make him a better choice any more than Clinton’s hormones.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Mother Passed Away 1/3/08

My Mom passed away peacefully in her sleep after a lengthy battle with congestive heart failure. She was only 76 but she was tired and her body had worn out. I've spent the last couple weeks taking care of all the paperwork, i.e., notifying social security, Medicare, her pensions, her insurance, etc. All has gone fairly smoothly but is very time-consuming.

My family and I decided to have her cremated and will scatter her ashes here in the Monterey Bay when the weather gets better. Last Friday we had a beautiful Memorial Mass for her and it was comforting to have my entire family around me. I could even feel my late brother's presence and am convinced he and Mom are drinking margaritas every afternoon now that they are together again. I know she's in a much better place and that her suffering is over. I take comfort in knowing she was relatively happy and in no physical pain at the end of her life, just as she wished.

Still, it feels strange to have no living parents, I feel like an orphan.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Best Quote of 2007

"the right wine in the right amount with the right food and right folks is about as right as i ever care to get."

(stolen with the permission of the author, thanks bob!)

New Laws for California in 2008

To name just a few…

#1: The Mel Gibson law. It’s now a misdemeanor for a peace officer or law enforcement employee to leak confidential information for financial gain.
This is silly. When was the last time a cop earned a thousand dollars for passing on a photo? Besides, Paris Hilton needed the publicity...

#2: It is now an infraction punishable by a $100 fine to smoke with a child under 18 in the car - whether the vehicle is in motion or not. Note: Traffic officers would not be able to stop a driver for the smoking violation alone but could tack it on to another infraction such as speeding.
OK, call this “Nanny Government” but it’s about time we start protecting kids from smokers.

#3: July 1st, it will be illegal for any driver to use a handheld phone except during emergencies. It will also be illegal for a driver under the age of 18 to use a wireless phone - even if it's hands-free - as well as other mobile devices like PDAs, laptops and pagers.
Ever seen someone text-messaging while driving 85 mph on the highway? My sister does it in Las Vegas (sorry Pudd!)

#4: Increase in the minimum wage: $8.00 per hour ties us with Massachusetts.
If you live here, you know why this is important

#5: New rebates will be available for homeowners and businesses that install solar water heaters.
I’m going to take advantage of this one this year

#6: The state's presidential primary has been moved to earlier in the campaign season.
Got my primary election voting material in the mail this past Saturday – can’t wait for February 5th!

#7: Sperm washing: this allows women to have healthy babies with partners who are HIV-positive.
… who may not live to see the child grow into adulthood?????????????????????????????

And my personal favorite…

#8: We now have a law that prohibits a person from being forced to have a radio frequency identification device implanted in his/her body.
OK for library books and pets, but not for humans, ROFLMAO!