Today is a special friend’s birthday. She’s Another Blonde, also known among our posse as TrailMistress Z. We are hiking pals and best buddies. Take my word for it: she’s terrific. I told her as much on the phone this morning. I’m in Colorado Springs for a few days and she is at home in northern California, so I couldn’t affirm her wonderfulness in person. My praise for her may have been a tad heavy: she offered up the idea that she could be Jesus’ Sister. Maybe it’s the altitude or the location — “Mecca” for Serious Christians, home of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family empire, with evangelical churches heavily interspersed with local strip malls — but her self-proclaimed status seemed reasonable. Continue reading Jesus Has a Sister
A somewhat scary thing happened to me recently. As I slid into the passenger seat of my friend’s car one evening, micro-tiny, super-bright, golden-colored lightning bolts suddenly started flashing at the edge of my field of vision. At first, I figured that her car was doing something slick and fancy.
“Do your car’s lights have a kind of strobe-y thing that they do at night?”
She assured me they didn’t. The flashing became persistent, about every ten seconds or so. Being a concerned friend, she suggested that I call the ophthalmologist right away. I caught him just as he was leaving his office.
“Come in at nine tomorrow morning,” he said. “If your vision gets bad, go straight to the emergency room.”
We promptly added martinis to our plans for the Continue reading Five Easy Clues That You’re Growing Up, and Up
January 9, 2011
I first posted “Cursing Mommy” on December 17, 2010, promising to link you to Ian Frazier’s “Cursing Mommy” story as soon as it became available as a New Yorker archive. It remains unavailable for linking. I think The New Yorker is trying to drive business to their digital edition. So sad! This Post-Holiday Season needs a good antidote. “The Cursing Mommy’s Serenity Prayer” is just the thing.
Still working on connecting you with this stress-buster.
It rained like mad all day today, and we’re in for a weekend-full of water. Having spent 25 winters in Chicago, I am in no position to complain about “bad weather” in the Bay Area. Comparatively, though, a good snowstorm does have a special allure. It’s beautiful to watch and walk in. Falling snow makes everything quieter and slower. And snowflakes look so magical on whatever they touch. Unlike relentless rain, snow doesn’t soak your skin and hair, or drench through your clothes and shoes. Every year at about this time, as I chain-drink hot tea to offset the chilly dampness, I need an extra shot of humor to get through the long, dark, soggy day.
The latest issue of The New Yorker arrived a few hours ago. Thumbing through the pages, I found a new addition to Ian Frazier’s riotously funny “Cursing Mommy” series. I read it and laughed my head off. Brilliant humor brightened up an otherwise dismal, midwinter day. (Sorry friends. I cannot link you to the riot-fest; it’s protected for subscribers-only. I’ll check back in a few weeks and will connect you with the whole thing. In the meantime, buy, borrow or steal the December 20 & 27 issue.)
I love Christmas. It’s just that over the decades, a few things that come with the holiday are now taxing my tolerance and spirit. I’m trying hard, really hard, to focus on what still works for me.
Here are 7 things I like, in no significant order:
1. Carols, hymns, the religious story and celebration. (OK, that’s four things in point #1. I’m cheating.)
2. Christmas trees – fresh ones
3. Fresh, fluffy snow, but not blizzard-level
4. Sweet indulgences: cookies, etc.
5. Small parties featuring memorable people, food and wine
6. Gifts that surprise and delight the recipient (i.e., me)
7. Clever, amusing holiday cards (Thanks, Inky! You made my Christmas with your “normal family” photo.)
This list is nice, predictable, traditional and therefore not worth discussing here.
The other list, the scrooge-y one, is a different story.
Here are the top 5 things that make me want to file my teeth into points and indulge in lots of X-rated language. XXX words always improve my mood. Continue reading How to Keep Your “Bah Humbug” Humming
If the United States devolves into a theocracy, Thanksgiving would surely be its central rite.
It’s a few days after the holiday. Reading this morning’s newspapers (I prefer to dribble my coffee and spew muffin crumbs on the papers instead of on my wireless keyboard), I couldn’t help but notice the hand-wringing over two topics that are also part of our national liturgy: overeating and football. Continue reading One Last Thanksgiving Burp