Thursday, February 21, 2013

Now That I have Your Attention

A silly love story with moments of such intensity you will weep as it tears at the heart of your memories and your dreams.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thank you

My life as I pretend it is.

Cassie in the Snow

I want to thank every one who visits my blog.  I do not have a handle on this.  Posts get a ton of visits and it must be because they are showing up somewhere and I have no clue where.  Outside Plumbing, I know, is on some commercial plumbing site somewhere because the blog visits pour in.  But they do not buy or even read the book.  They post commercials for their own plumbing business or give us hints on how to winterize our faucets.

I get so down for other reasons than this blog (For sure--this is one of the parts of my life I completely enjoy.) and I don't post and my stats show a bunch of visits anyway which cheers me, so Thank You to all of you.

And Google Analytics?  I am signed up for it and get emails from them, but they don't show what I see.  I do not know where they get their info.  And the ad thing?  They tell me how much money I earned and the spaces for the ads are there, but no ads.  Maybe I just can't see them because it is my blog.  Can you see them?

Anyway, I am not in a good place now.  I get sad about stuff that happens to people across the globe from me, like I don't have enough to get sad about in my own neighborhood.  I just wish stuff was a little more fair.  I know, no one ever said life is fair, but some of these inequalities just suck. Nice stuff should happen to nice people and the suffering should go to the sleaze balls. Right?

So  I hope we have either a bucket full of sun or a ton of snow, both of which would cheer me immensely.

Attribution of painting:  Let me get back to you on that...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I noticed this work on Behance which is a wonderful site.  This guy is so amazing.  This is his original work and he said it is okay to reuse it if we give him credit, and I give him TONS of credit.

They always ask  if you could live your life over what would you choose.  I so would choose to be this person in this exact environment.


Let's Bunch Up Our Skivvies; Another WTF Moment

So it was on the Web and on Facebook and many many pub, Indie,  or author blogs and posts.  Amazon won the rights in court to a patent to RE SELL ebooks that had already been sold.  They want to open a used book store for digital files.

I am no computer whiz.  I usually write most of it off as Magic because I don't want to figure it out.  I have to keep myself contained.  A few weeks ago I was reading a beginner's guide to quantum physics and kind of getting into it.  I had to stop myself up short and give myself a good shaking.  But I do know a digital file is an endless resource.  I also know that putting DRM on a book is stupid because there are dozens of sites that will tell you how to go around it.  The only time I did it was because I pushed the wrong button and they wouldn't let me undo it. 

I am not sure what a Bit Torrent site is but I know it is like user to user and bypasses servers some where and it is shady if not illegal.  But certain people that advocate open sourcing and intellectual property freedoms will only use Bit Torrent for their readers (i.e.:  I kind of don't pay attention so tell me if something needs to be cleared up here.  Anyway, shortly after the big Shades of Gray debut, a reputable blogster in the Indie book area gave the addresses of the bit torrent sites where you could download all three volumes for free.  I am a little scared of doing that  because I have heard those sites are heavily monitored, and I am already logged in to Al-Jazeera and probably, hopefully, on someone's NSA list. but how many people did Apple sue when they caught kids downloading music without paying for it?  Or paying for it and giving it to thousands of people?  One I read about.  A kid in a dorm room that they went after for zillions and who knows if it was ever prosecuted.  Certainly, I feel sure, they never collected a cent.  And the pirating of 3 Shades didn't keep the author from making millions.  

There is this site called Quora (q.v.) that seems so nice.  I've posted some stuff and answered some questions and even gotten a thumbs up or two.  (Oh, Lord!  Only we lonely blogsters know the importance of a thumbs up!) So they had a forum about owning digital files and this one guy said he had a vast digital library and went to a lawyer to find out about willing the work to his heirs and the lawyer said there was no law yet, he would have to look into it.  So this guy was wondering what the current drift was.  Umm, want to let your son inherit your digital books?  Hand him your Kindle.  

So anyway, already purchased digital books are now probably going to have some code embedded in them saying how many people read it and how much someone will have to pay to read it again.  And it will take some hacker about four days to figure out the over ride for that.  And how much do we think Amazon spent on lawyers for this show?  

And, I guess journalists have to make a living, just like the lawyers do, but now there are dozens of articles in every sort of publication, Internationally, about how now that Amazon "owns" the digital used book stores, whatever are Kobo and Nook and Apple and everyone else going to do?  Why, shucks.  Amazon has just put the final pillow over the mouth of the suffocating publishing industry.  

Spare me.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


(If you actually read this, at the end google bandini.   There are so many restaurants with that word in the name it is to laugh.)

I never heard of Bandini until I met my husband.  It is the brand name of a then popular kind of fertilizer that was cow manure--bull shit, actually.  So "Bandini" was used euphemistically in some more proper circles when someone wanted to call someone out for bullshitting, figuratively speaking.

I get restless watching TV and I spend way too much time on the computer for one reason or another.  I had the habit of commenting on everything, inserting my two cents rather anonymously, although I never made a secret of who I was.  The truth is, I don't socialize much in real life.  My aggravation threshold is very low.  Step over it and I have to leave, right away usually.

So for one reason or another, I came across this blog and the admin said he had received this story on one of his confessional blogs and what was our take on it.  It was a story about a female that had five or six friends with benefits at the same time and then she moved away and she missed them and how good she felt when they emailed her and said they missed her also.  It did not comment on whether she felt victorious for functioning like this or felt guilt, or felt shame, or even felt shallow.  She just commented on that stage in her life and was not asking for judgement or advice.  The admin merely asked our take on it and I sounded off after several people roundly criticized her.  I mentioned that I could not imagine five or six guys going along with that but if even one of them felt he needed fidelity she either had to give him fidelity or leave him out of the loop and no one should judge.  It was up to her if she preferred to act that way if she was responsible and honest.

Okay?  Shit storm.  Several people said it would come back to bite her on the ass that when she wanted a serious relationship the paramour would judge her on her past behaviors and I mentioned briefly that he shouldn't, that levels of trust had to be equitable, etc.  One person said she was sorry for her reply.  I said there was no reason for that and she went on and on about why she offered the apology and the spirit it was offered in and how she felt I should respond to it.  So I said, "I am leaving this discussion.  Your remarks are self-serving and not part of what the conversation was about."  So she and the admin messaged me a few times and the admin said he hoped the two of us would kiss and make up and the atmosphere was supposed to be friendly.

She was a troll and she was trying to pick a fight so the discourse would continue.  It could have continued ad infinitum if the participants had kept the conversation relevant to the original proposition.  But she was intellectually incapable of that  (yeah I am a snob) and referred in her remarks that if her "presumed future boyfriend" was a "DJ" and talked to other girls, etc.  WTF.  Is she twelve?  Also I looked up his "other" blogs. He said he had been so busy because one got over 200 spams a day.  They did not/do not exist. 

When he said he hoped we would kiss and make up she said, "Awww.  When you said we should 'kiss and make up' I got all smiley and had little fits of giggles."  I though I might barf.  I cannot tell you how judgmental the thoughts in my mind were concerning every aspect of her biography.  And I venture now to say they were probably spot on.   I am surprised I actually did not say anything,  I am glad that my ability to tolerate this bullshit has improved so much that I stuck to my guns and did not comment any further. 

I feel like they let the air out of my balloon.  I am having so much trouble working on my WIP which I like so much I have even researched about it.  I feel like a spark is gone.  I feel that everyone is either a complete ninny or an insane anarchist. I feel like I finally have been completely smothered under a truckload of Bandini.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Joni Mitchell and Anna's Friendly Tap

When we were still in college, and I think maybe after we were married, Louie and I frequently went to Anna's Friendly Tap. It was of course on Wells Street. Anna was pretty hands on . One night we had a pizza, and at least one pitcher of beer. (Mind you. Two people. Pitchers? How did we survive? Talk about drinking right out of the garden hose. . . We were nuts.) Anyway, she kind of recognized us, or maybe we just thought that cuz she was, as stated, friendly. She brought us the check and it was for like $8.00. We were of that idealistic group, or at least we were still there at that glorious time of our life (I now pause briefly to weep) so we said we thought the check did not seem to be right. It was like maybe only for the beer or maybe just the pizza, but WAY too low. So she takes it back and returns with it and says, "does this seem okay?" and it was for about five dollars. We had to chuckle, probably a little drunkenly, and  said,"Sure. Thanks" and just left a huge tip.

One night we were sitting there all mooney and in love and listening to Barbra Streisand sing "People" which we played over and over. And you know those little glass candle holders that were kind of egg shaped and were usually red and were covered with plastic mesh in a lattice pattern?  Well, the couple next to us were having "words" and the candle flew past my ear so close I felt it brush my hair. He had pitched it at her and missed, maybe on purpose but he nearly took me out. We gaped and they just went on without an apology while the help is cleaning up the glass and still burning candle.

Every time I hear Joni Mitchell sing "The Last Time I Saw Richard" I think of that time and place. Even had the ice skater, the Richard and the dishwasher pass through my life as time went on.  Like I just said to my daughter yesterday, "Some parts of my life were fun." Strangely I was also telling a Richard story at that time. But that would be a different bar, watermelon shots, and Michael Jackson music.  Nostalgia weekend I guess.  I am almost afraid to look at the death notices tomorrow.

Sunday, February 03, 2013


I just read a blog written by one of my favorites, Waldo Tomosky.  He had a song from uTube linked in and I listened to it with tears running down my face.  Here's the kicker.  It was in a foreign language.  I have no clue what they said.  One of the singers was a redhead and there were a lot of redheads in the audience.  It could have been in South Africa for all I know, but I felt like I should have been there.

Lately, I feel like there is so much I should have learned.  There are still things I want to learn, but all the stuff I never knew existed?  I am just going to miss out on that.  And so what?

Suppose I die with this vast encyclopedic amount of knowledge stored in my brain.  Then what?  I guess it may mean I enjoyed my life a little more because of the learning experience. But what did it accomplish?  Why will my mark on the world differ from that left by the woman who raised ten kids without a dishwasher?  Maybe a scrap of my DNA will show up in someone who invents something or discovers something that makes the world a better place.   But should I even wonder about that or hope that it becomes so?  I don't.  I don't give it a thought.  Sometimes I wonder what can be going on inside someone's head that makes them believe something that I think is off the wall crazy, but basically, all I care about is the noise in my own head.  And the only reason I am glad there are people like Delaney to make me smile is because it makes the inside of my head feel good.  I could not be bothered to live if something or someone didn't have that effect on me or if I was incapable of feeling it.

I dare not consider what is in store for Delaney or Benjamin or even Cassie who should already be up and running.  Such thoughts would be fruitless and would not feel good to my brain.  So I don't think of them.  Well, sometimes they creep in

I get all in a swivet when I think of the futility of something like having a war or building a road in a country like Afghanistan.  But I shouldn't bother.  I shouldn't care.  It makes no difference if I do or not. I know for an absolute certainty that the women who was storing the stolen RPGs in her root cellar and then had her house and her kids and herself blown to bits because of it never gave a shit or probably ever even knew of the thousands of people and children affected by the bombing of the twin towers.  And I start to cry when I see a US General pour out a knapsack full of American dollars to some Afghani tribesman as "reparation".  Not because it is a waste of cash, which it is, but because it is a gesture that someone somewhere tries to put meaning to or hopes will have meaning and it doesn't.  And it can't. And no amount of knowledge or effort will ever make it be what it is not.

And the people that should be loved and honored and go unrecognized or ignored?  Maybe it is someone I know.  Maybe it is someone I should know.  Maybe they are sad because no one recognizes them or their needs or accomplishments. Or someone doesn't give them the love they want.  I am better off not knowing about it.  Does that mean the people who invest their lives in trying to correct wrongs to their fellow man are misguided?  No.  But, at least, every now and then,  their efforts bear fruit.  Actually, of the gazillion people that have walked this earth,  Jonas Salk is the only one  I can think of at the moment.  For the most part, their efforts or the few dollars an elderly widow puts in an envelope at personal sacrifice make no difference at all.  I really would love to go to Patna India and see if my grandma's name is really on that plaque on that baptismal font she funded.  As a matter of fact, one of her grand children was there, and I asked him to look  but he couldn't fit it into his itinerary.  He didn't care if it was there or not.

For me it is a constant battle that has many side effects and has an affect on many people and situations just to try and have perspective and get through the day doing what needs to be done and figuring out what I should do or must do.  God bless the people who don't need to do that, who walk through their day effortlessly following in the footsteps some Higher Power left for them, never questioning where those prints are leading them.  I had a friend, kind of still keep in touch, who was not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  She was medium looks, medium IQ, medium resources.  I could never figure out why she had the most successful marriage, the most interesting career, of any one I knew.  I think it is because she took life as it came.  My husband always says "Roll with the punches."  I am so fucking sick of hearing that.  And it is because I resent the fact that he can and he does do exactly that and lays down every night to sweet deep slumber and I cannot.

A lonely piece of paper
Blows down the road
Atop the glittering frozen snow.
It is not wrinkled. 

Saturday, February 02, 2013


Cute, huh?  Mom is wondering at her amazing child.  He has long arms.  He will be able to swing with those.  They will get so strong, she is thinking.  Making him stand upright.  No.  Perhaps he wanted to stand upright and was still a bit top heavy and tottery so she is holding his hand to give him support.

She hasn't read What To Expect In your Baby's First Year.  Do you think his chances of not surviving are greater because she did not read it?  Do you think she wonders if he will have that slightly flat chin like his daddy does?  Will he someday usurp his father's position of power and make poor old daddy cower back in the shadows of the gunite caves? Will she be thinking that, because he is  a male child,  maybe  he should hang around with dad more often to learn how to act more like a chest-pounding Silverback?

I think she feels an indeterminate sense of wonder at this tiny creature she feels so protective of.  She notices a sense of unease if he starts to toddle too far, as he is doing more and more often.  But she will get over that.  One day she will find his teeth at her breast a little too uncomfortable.  She will pause a few extra minutes before giving him access.  He might find a piece of fruit in the meanwhile and they will both become less and less interested in the bond of  nursing.  And, one day, as I have observed, he will be driving her bat-shit crazy with his demands for attention and she will turn her back to him and stare blankly at the fake concrete wall until she lapses into a sort of fugue state and doesn't notice his clamoring.  Kind of the equivalent of our martini before dinner, or a xanax before we brave the wilds of Wal-Mart.. And his clamors grow more short and more quiet as he starts to race and climb around with the other apes.

Three babies later, I wonder if she will see him getting to the top of the climbing rope before all the other apes and feel pride.  Maybe she will think,   "Oh, that's one of mine."  Or maybe she will be homing in on that head of lettuce the keeper just chucked in the pen.

I have seen, not first hand, the most amazing things that elephants and dogs can do.  You know they are guided by more than instinct.  Or is that what instinct does?  Teach us?  I don't think it could cover all the bases, like "I think I will help that other elephant over there get that baby out of the muck because she is having a heck of a time on her own. " Maybe our experiences refine our instincts.  (Once again, I drag this one out.  "Well, there is a lot we don't understand about neuro-biology.") Have you noticed there is a lot of discussion about whether animals can reason, and you will see a film clip here and there or you will watch your lab back out from behind the table when he realizes he can't go forward and there isn't enough room to turn around.  But I don't think anybody has drawn a line.  I don't think they can.  Maybe scientists are trying to.  They sure try enough other crazy stuff, so why not?  Sooner or later someone will want to put a giraffe in an MRI tube to watch the neurological stimulation in her brain during orgasm because they have tried all the other animals and the grant money hasn't run out yet.

But maybe they should be a little afraid of this kind of certainty.  I grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood. (Yeah, there was such a thing. The Whelans, the Duffys, the Mulryans, the O'Brians, the Cadogans, the Caseys, the Queenans.  I am kind of starting to think that those new DNA studies they are so entranced with are going to show we were perhaps more than neighbors.  Look at the picture of that cemetery in County Roscommon.  The feckin' Caseys are buried right next to the feckin' Queenans, and here we are next door to each other in St. Mel's Parish.) Anyway, to let me get back, we all received our First Communion when we were seven or eight-ish.  The official dogma of the time was that a child reached the age of reason at seven.  It is to laugh, right?  But I heard it.  Of course, I also heard you would go straight to Hell if you ate meat on Friday.  No kidding.  It was like that.  So if a scientist finds out exactly which animals are reasoning and when they start, Jesus H. Christ.  The Maryknolls are going to have to start a whole new outreach program.

As a way of stalling from doing what I should be doing, I read my email.  It is hardly ever a "Hi, how are you?' anymore.  It is this news service or that and on and on I link.  And comment.  Sometimes.  Well, actually I comment almost always but they don't all see the light of day.  But that was another post.  So today they were talking about how now we have a black president, and all that is left is to have a woman.  And it sure can't be Hilary because this Secretary of State gig knocked the stuffing out of her.

But the conversation segued into this and that and how only the Icelandics were a pure white race and someone had to come along and mention the Vikings stopping in for a visit. (Y'know?  Back not so long ago, the darling Irish were not allowed on the list of white people in America.  I saw that on the internet so it must be true.) And I had to bite my tongue way back when they said black president.  Is he a white guy with a black dad or a black guy with a white mom?  And, for crying out loud, how much longer are we going to beat this racism drum?  We are going to have enough trouble when they start assigning IQs to classes of apes.  We already have Ligers, don't we?  And someone already wrote the story of one of the earlier near human primates showing up (cloning, I think.  Not the over used frozen in the ice trope.)  And trying to blend in with the Southern California Public School system.  I think it was called Adam.

Well what was my point here?  That mom and baby gorilla are so charming. Can't you just almost feel her sense of wonder? And someone asked me to blog about the picture and this is what happens.  So mend your own fences.  I drank out of the garden hose and I am fine.  Sure I am, but I didn't know about earwhigs then.