Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Silly Rabbit, Tricks Are For Cats

Most cats I know run around the house backwards trying to scrape off any costume you might've wrongly put them in. This cat, puts on his own bunny ears. No, seriously...he seems to like it. And he does look adorable. He must have a mirror in his back pocket.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Flash Mob Me!

What I would really like for Christmas this year is to have a flash mob break out at the mall while I'm shopping...or maybe someone could invite me to be a part of a flash mob...or something unexpected and exciting. I could really use a holiday pick-me-up. How 'bout you?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Christmas Kitten

It's raining in sunny Southern California. A cold, dreary rain that just spits in your face and dampens your spirits. We avoided the shopping mall today and ordered some gifts online. Then we came home and put a fire in the fireplace and the lights on the tree. Very soon there was a cat curled up on the sofa. There's hockey on the television and Christmas cookies in the oven. Hard to complain about the rain with all the joys of the holiday season gathered close to the fire inside.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Have A Holly Jolly Christmas!

It's videos like this that make me feel better about the stuff that I do with my cat around the house -- watch the television on the sofa and make Christmas cookies in the kitchen. I do most of the hard work during both of these activities. She mostly takes up as much room as possible on the sofa and creates havoc in the kitchen. It's that time of year when it's good to give. And I 'd like to take this moment to remind you not to forget the animals at Christmas. You'll be my superhero.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

I don't know what I'm going to do when the month of December is over. I've had the best time ever watching some of the worst made-for-television movies ever. They're on the Hallmark channel 24/7 -- and they're more sickeningly sweet than a plate of frosted sugar cookies...but they don't have any calories so I've quickly become addicted. I'm going to have to start watching one of the many CSI shows so that I don't become a diabetic. No worries. When there's something I've already seen on the Hallmark channel, I switch it over to the BBC America where the lovely Andrew Lloyd Webber is auditioning singers for a new production of Oliver! Too bad I can't sing...not even in the shower.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Do Not Try This At Home

You might get your eye poked out! Don't believe me? Check out the terrified Santa taking cover in number 6 for all the proof you might need. There's a reason they call them house cats. It's because they should be left at home where they can be in charge of every little thing. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Antidote For A Seriously Bad Day

Having a bad day? Look no further. The world can't be a completely dark place when there's a French Bulldog puppy with a doorstop that needs to be tamed. A couple of months ago, I came home from work to find the one in my house had been knocked off the wall and was laying in the middle of the bathroom floor. I wondered how long the doorstop had held out...and if Roxy had tried to reattach it after it popped off.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Just Had It Stuffed

We lost a comic genius yesterday. RIP Leslie Nielsen. The world will have fewer laughs without you.

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Johnson

I had been hearing the buzz for some time now. I read an article in September that said we should just cancel the 2011 Oscar telecast and give the awards out to the cast and crew of "The King's Speech." And so when I discovered that the film was playing within 100 miles of my home, I had to go. And I was not disappointed. The look of the film -- fantabulous. The script -- sublime. The performances -- amazing. The script is based on true events -- so I had to do a little research online about the players when I came home. And I was glad to see that other (more important) filmmakers and film buffs were also praising this remarkable movie. Of course, it should be noted that Tim Burton is Mr. Helena Bonham Carter. Still, I agree with him.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And Now For A Little Holiday Spirit...

I can't imagine how exciting it could be to be involved in a flash mob. I'm very hopeful...My favorite flash mob was on "Modern Family." Cam makes me laugh.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you enjoy the company of friends and family...and don't forget to loosen your eating pants before you leave the table for your after dinner nap!

Save The Date

The date for the royal wedding is April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey. I'll be checking my mailbox for my invitation. (Kidding! I'm not COMPLETELY delusional...but I might window shop for a nice hat.) Can hardly wait to watch it from the privacy of my own home in the middle of the night...

Friday, November 19, 2010

A List Of Things To Do...

Find prince. Check. Date prince. Check. Get engaged to prince. Check. Plan the 'Wedding Of The Century.' That's gonna take a little longer. As a devoted viewer of 'Say Yes To the Dress' and 'Four Weddings' I can tell you that the dress is the key to the whole affair. So you can bet that I've been scouring the Internet for any clues about who might be the 'choosen one' to design the future Queen Catherine's wedding gown. I think the front-runner has to be Issa London -- A Brazilian-born designer who is Kate's favorite and did the dress she wore to her engagement. But now the rumors are that there is another London-based contender in the running. Have you ever seen such gorgeous dresses? Me neither.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just When I Needed A Little Christmas

There are two things I can count on during my morning commute: unbelievable traffic, and me beating my radio station pre-sets into submission. This morning I was given a little treat when a double axel truck full of Christmas trees from the North Pole (let me have this one, okay?) was stuck in the lane next to me. Visions of sugar plums immediately started dancing through my head and I reminded myself that I had already updated my Christmas music playlist on my iPod -- and am all set for the holidays. I know there are those among you who will cry about killing beautiful living trees for a commercial holiday. To those people I say, at least once a week I'm stuck in traffic next to a truck full of little piggies on a trip to be made into bacon. It's the ultimate upset for me -- I love bacon -- I just want to believe that it too comes from the North Pole.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Save The Date For A Royal Wedding

Finally! Will and Kate have announced their engagement. I can't think of anything more fun to look forward to in 2011 then a royal wedding. After you watch Fred Astaire dance in a completely unrelated "Royal Wedding," you can catch up on all the latest news about the engagement from British Royal Wedding. If that website leaves any stone unturned -- then might I direct your attention to the London Dail Mail and UK Telegragh.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chance Of Snow

I don't think I have much of a chance for seeing snow this Christmas, but when I do dream about a white Christmas, this is what it looks like...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Thanksgiving Without Stuffing

I've been thinking about Thanksgiving a lot. When your dieting, most of your fantasies seem to involve food. I keep remembering all the delicious steaks I've had that were cooked in butter. Or the crabmeat cocktail I always order when I'm in Las Vegas. This year, Thanksgiving is going to have to be different for me. I don't think I'll be able to build one of those plates. You know the kind that involves you loosening the waistband of your pants after you finish. This year, I think Thanksgiving will be about some turkey and some sauted vegetables. Maybe a little cranberry relish. But that's it. So you can imagine how disappointed I was to find Marilyn Monroe's stuffing recipe online. The book it's in sounds delicious too, doesn't it?

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Want This Dog!

My cat knows how to open the bedroom door. Kill the paper towel roll. Unspool all of the toilet paper onto the floor of the bathroom...and jump onto the top of the fridge. Despite the fact that I think she has the sweetest face of any cat in the world, I don't find any of these tricks to be useful. I think I'll start with talking to her about the coffee maker trick. I'm sure she'll be happy to oblige.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Waiting For the Great Pumpkin...

...Or Fancy Feast in the bowl in the kitchen. Which ever comes first, it doesn't matter. Roxy enjoys Halloween. Hope your bag was filled with more treats than tricks. And you had a very happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cat In A Bag

Makes me want to go out and buy a Happy Meal at McDonald's. No wait, that's the diet. But if they're handing out adorable 'live' toys in the Happy Meals in Japan, I'm on the next plane to Tokyo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Queen Of The Frigidaire

Roxy's got a new trick. She likes to hang out on top of the refrigerator. There are so many reasons why she loves being up there. First of all, cats love to be up high. And that's where I hide the paper towel roll because she rips it apart whenever she gets her paws on it. So she can hang out up there and tear paper towel to her heart's content. She won't even get down when the freezer door is opened. I had to take a photo of her and send it out to my nearest and dearest. I told the Handsomest Man Alive that she looked regal atop her major kitchen appliance. "Yes," he replied. "Surveying her tiny kingdom while cold freezer air blows up her kitty a**."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Cake, No Candles

I don't know if you've noticed, but I haven't been around for a few days. I was off celebrating the fact that I got a little older. I haven't actually said my real age out-loud yet. And I'm going to try to postpone saying it out-loud and having to deal with the reality of my true age for as long as I possibly can.

There was no cake for my birthday this year. I think in the future this birthday will go on record as 'The Year Without The Birthday Cake.' It will be followed closely by 'The Thanksgiving Without Stuffing,' and 'The Christmas Sans Cookies.' That's what happens when you're dieting. You become very frugal about the calories you expend every day and what you're using them up on. Last week I was eating stale cereal every day for breakfast. And I finally said, Feh! Ugh! I went out and bought a brand new box of very fresh Cheerios. They're tasty! When you're dieting, stale food is just not acceptable.

I did have a glass of wine on my birthday. It was a lovely Chardonnay served at a little bistro in Ojai that I've wanted to try for some time. I hadn't had a glass of wine for six weeks and I wanted to gulp it down and ask for seconds. I had to force myself to savor the sweet and crisp flavor. After lunch, all I wanted was to wander down to the end of the  Main Street Arcade to the ice cream store for a double dipper, but instead I crossed the street to the coffee shop and got a nice herbal tea. It's not the same, but it's nice to have less of me around.

Did you know that there's a new study that says drinking a glass of wine everyday will keep you thin? I'd like to volunteer to participate in that study. And I thought this was very intriguing too. I also read this excerpt from a book about old dogs. Should I get the book? Hmmmm...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Please Don't Feed The Bears

I may have failed to mention it here, but the Handsomest Man Alive and I have been on diets for five weeks. So far, we've been very successful. But I must say that I'd commit some acts of mayhem for a full picnic basket. Ah, well. Who wouldn't?

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Walk In The Woods

This time of year I often romanticize being in the northwoods of Michigan. I love fall. It's my favorite time of year. I love candy corn. I love apples. I love haystacks. I love hayrides. I love pumpkins and gourds and squash. I love Halloween. But sometimes I forget that Southern California is doing its best to put on a show for fall. It's just a lot more subtle than the Maple leaves of the north. Can you believe this photo was taken a mile from my house? I can. I'll be walking up that path tomorrow morning. Yay! And did I mention that there's a gourmet food truck festival in Valencia this weekend? Double yay!

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Raining Balls Of Yarn

I honestly didn't think I'd have time to post today. It's Monday and it's been a doozy. And then I saw this video. I know it's just a television commercial (but it's from New Zealand.) Some of my favorite videos lately have been commercials. I fell in love with the little piggy who goes 'Wheeeee' all the way home in a Geico ad. And then there was there's the new Honest Abe Geico commercial. But this commercial really hit home, it's probably because I live with a kitten who truly believes that every day is Christmas morning.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Bright Light In The Darkness

Balloon Fiesta from Michael Salisbury on Vimeo.

Sometimes all you need is a little bit of hope.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Keep Your Eye On The Bird

There was 24 hours last week when Roxy was ready to move along and find another lady to live with. On Friday, an inspector was due to come in and inspect the furnace (yes, I do have one in hotter-than-H-E-double hockey sticks LA) and replace the smoke detector. In order to prepare for the visit, I decided to prevent Roxy from inadvertantly running away from home should the front door be left open by the inspector by putting her in the bathroom before I left for work. Unfortunately, Roxy knows how to open the bathroom door. Or so she thinks...in her jumping attempts to open the door, she locked the door.

I called the HMA on the way to work and he had to come over and find Juan (the lovely maintenance man) and get him to break Roxy out of the slammer. The HMA has a soft spot for Roxy. He called me on the phone and told me that she was quivering when she was released from her confinement. I could read-between-the lines enough to understand that they were both none too happy with me. And then on Saturday, the nice ladies who clean my place showed up with a vacuum cleaner. Roxy hid out between the pillows on the bed until the coast was clear. While she was in hiding, I washed her red sofa blanket. It's no wonder that she spent all day Sunday stretched out in the middle of the living room sleeping in relaxed comfort on her blanket. It's cold, wet and cloudy here in LA...and I've been looking forward to a fire in the fireplace all day. I wonder what Roxy will think of that? I wonder if she'll share her blanket?

Meanwhile, we've been watching a cop show on the A&E network called "The Glades." The main character is very blithe and breezy. At first, I didn't like it -- but the show has grown on me and I'm completely obsessed. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the guy playing a Chicago cop who moves to Florida -- is actually Australian. Say what?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's Like A Whole Different Sex

R.I.P. Tony Curtis -- aka Josephine. I remember seeing him at an appearance before a screening of "Some Like It Hot" at a theatre in downtown Los Angeles. He so enjoyed being a movie star. They started the movie and he wouldn't leave the stage. He was still standing there when his credit came up on the screen at the beginning of the movie. The crowd gave him a standing "O." I've never seen anyone enjoy it more.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Betty!

We're sending out best wishes from the west coast to the northwoods. I hope that you're better about sharing your toys than Roxy...but then you know what an only child is like. Hey! Where's the bird?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady & International Super Spy

Would you believe that the nice little old lady little living alone with her cats in a little flat in a small seaside village in England turns out to be an international war hero and WWII superspy? I would. She probably learned all her secret stuff from her cats.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It's happened again. Fall has begun and I've been too busy too notice. It's my favorite season. I love apples, and gourds and pumpkins and mums. And then there's the candy corn. I love candy corn. I've had my little nose to the grindstone so I haven't been enjoying the wonders of the season as much as I should. The weather has turned cool here in SoCal. It really is like autumn. Although the forecasters are already predicting the arrival of the blistering hot Santa Ana winds this weekend...and with those winds the brush fires arrive. In the mean time, I've been enjoying brief moments to read short articles online. I found this one about a little squirrel who was adopted by a cat. And then there was this delightful story about a horse farm in Maryland that is mending the souls of more than just horses. And finally, despite my overwhelming better judgement, I watched a feature news story about the dogs who were found alive on Michael Vick's property when the police raided his dog fighting ring. Everything about this story makes me want to look the other way...but I watched it and was touched. I'm even thinking about buying the book. And making a donation to Johnny Justice -- the newest member of the world of therapy dogs. How far you've come, Johnny! You little tail wagger.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Only 99 Cats To Go...

This is what I fear happens when I'm at work. Roxy has a few friends over and the next thing you know...there's a party going on. It's actually a new commercial for Ikea. They let 100 house cats loose in a store in England....but how did they ever get them all to come back?

Friday, September 10, 2010

And Heaven and Nature Sing...

Are you watching The Choir on BBC America? I'm completely addicted.  It's no Real Housewives of New Jersey, but it has it's moments. There's this guy -- his name is Gareth. He looks a lot like the American Idol contestant Clay Aiken. Only this guy may be an even better singer. There is one thing for sure, Gareth's true passion is to travel around the UK spreading the word of the gospel. And his gospel is a song. He loves to sing and he aims to turn everyone he meets into a choir member. Over the past few weeks I have watched him assemble a rag-tag bunch of middle school hooligans. Turn them into a choir. And then transport them to Royal Albert Hall for a concert. What joy it is to share the world with people like Gareth! You go, young man! You go!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Taking The A-List Train

I got involved in reading an article about Prince Charles taking a train trip to try to increase the knowlege about green tourism. It's an expensive trip! But all that mattered to me was getting to see the interior space of HRH's royal accomodations. The train is lovely but not as lavish as I expected. It doesn't give the Orient Express any competition. Me? I'd be excited to spend some time aboard the Napa County wine train. All aboard!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Think I'm Suffering From Kitty Vertigo

This is what is going on at my house...only it involves a tunnel.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Toons For Grown Ups

It's that time of year...when I get care packages from home that are full of apples and molasses cookies. It's that time of year when I wish that I could be enjoying the change of seasons. I love fall. And Halloween. And most of all...candy corn. It's also the time of year when the movie industry decides to change things up and release movies that could actually take home awards. It's the time of year when it's nice to stay home and read a book in front of a cozy fire. But not in California...here it's the time of year when the hills are alive with flames. So I'll be watching the television for the new season. Watching the New York Times for movies that I'll have to put on my Netflix list. And I'll be dreaming of going places where you can notice the fall leaves on the trees.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

I was having a day today -- and then I found this photo that I snapped last week. I'm not sure what kind of trouble Roxy gets into during the day while I'm gone, but I do know that when her people are home in the evening, she knows how to have a good time. She likes to monitor all activity in the kitchen, followed by running through her tunnel. Finally, she finds a good soft cozy place to settle in and nap while her people stare at the television. This also cheered me up. And these were so much fun to look at. Hmmm...things are looking up already.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dog Days Of Summer

It's just one of those days. The kind that makes you look for the silver lining. The kind that forces you to count your many blessings. The kind that makes you start to hum the song, "My Favorite Things." And that not necessarily a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Scooby-Doo Mystery Van Heads North

Last night the Handsomest Man Alive looked at me and asked, 'what are you doing for Labor Day?" I didn't know what to say. "What are YOU doing?" I responded. The whole thing dissolved into a flurry of Internet searches and tentative plans to go somewhere for the three-day holiday weekend. Only we usually only go one of the days. Maybe -- if we can decide on a plan and a place to go.

One of the places that I'd like to stop is called "Bellosguardo." It's an ocean-front multi-million dollar mansion in Santa Barbara that's been abandoned since the 1960s. The HMA discovered the mysterious story on MSNBC a couple of weeks ago. The first part is HERE and the second part is HERE. And now there's an update (with lots of wonderful photos and videos -- watch them all) about criminal charges...could this story be more delicious? Not possible. That's what the HMA thought when he first stumbled across it -- it involves a mysterious heiress and empty mansions around the world that are worth millions that haven't been lived in for years.

Once I saw a photo of the Montecito mansion that is called "Bellosguardo" I had to know where it was. And that wasn't too difficult. This lovely Santa Barbara blog even included a Google map to guide me right to the beach in front of the empty mansion. Are we having fun, yet? Oh boy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paddling My Own Canoe

When I turned the television on at 6:00am this morning I discovered that TCM was showing a documentary called 'All About Me' about Katharine Hepburn. She has always been a hero of mine. And the older I get the greater my affinity for her. When the film was made she was still playing tennis at 85. She had a gorgeous brownstone in New York City and a full staff attending her needs. There were some wonderful scenes of her filling a giant Buick full of flowers to take her family home in Connecticut for the weekend. She said two things that really resonated with me -- one was that she always lived by her family's motto -- "life should be lived to the song of life." And the other was that she referred to Spencer Tracy as being the perfect man -- strong, yet vulnerable. And he had a really good head. I think that's exactly how I would describe the Handsomest Man Alive.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

Under the weather? I can't stay beneath the clouds when Julia Child is demonstrating how to make a meal. Maybe it's because I always think she's also demonstrating how to have a long life -- laugh a little!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sip Savor Laugh

The new Julia Roberts movie, "Eat Pray Love," opens this weekend. I read the book, so I want to see the movie. Plus they cast Javier Bardem in the role of the love interest. I mean, seriously. What's not to like?

I am fascinated by these kind of books -- my favorite was Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes -- you know, the ones that are memoirs about dropping out of life for a year or two and traveling around the world and having adventures. I can't imagine it. I do know that if I was to take time to do what I wanted it would involve some food and wine. Quiet time in a garden and some belly laughs with very good friends.

Monday, August 9, 2010

There's a cat at the end of the tunnel

I bought Roxy a tunnel. It's made out of special fabric so it crinkles when she runs through it. At top speed. Usually, she goes through it one way and then turns around and zips right back through it. Now and then, I come into the living room and find her with her front half in and her back half out. It's very cute.

Do you remember the film "Broadcast News?" Sometimes I feel like I'm living it. One of my favorite parts of the film is when Albert Brooks (who's been fired for being too smart) is at home phoning in important information to the station where everyone is running full out in order to put on a breaking news program. I became involved in a breaking news event last week. Only I wasn't the smart guy at home calling information into the studio. I was one of the little rats attempting to pull on the show. It was stressful. I usually try to catch up on the relaxation time over the weekend, but this weekend, for some reason or other, the Handsomest Man Alive and I had a full social agenda. I attempted to nap in a chair yesterday afternoon during a baseball game, but then Joey (the cat) begged to get up into my lap. I couldn't resist so I sat up straight and gave him a nice flat lap to curl up in. I figured his comfort was more important. So I'm hoping that very soon I will find a place to relax and unwind and take it a little easy. I'm an optimist.

Reading THIS and THIS. Thinking about downloading THIS onto my Kindle.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Heroes Have Four Feet And Fur

I always say hello to soldiers when I see them in the airport. I think they are the true heroes in the world we live in. I saw one guy in Starbucks buy the soldier behind him in line a cup of coffee. He told him that it was the very least he could do for him.  This guy has a very warm place in my heart. And those two puppies have just fallen into a big tub of butter.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mission: Impastable Perfection

Last night I ruined dinner. Twice. The first time was when I was at the grocery store and I bought ingredients that I thought went with the ingredients I had at home to make something very tasty and fun. Only I didn't have that ingredient at home. So I did what all of my favorite chefs on Top Chef do when they're thrown a curve -- I bunted. And it didn't turn out well -- it wasn't inedible -- but it wasn't anything I'd want to share with a friend. Or the Handsomest Man Alive -- who ate it with little to no grumbling.

Perhaps that's the reason he suggested we go to Mission Impastable tonight. Our favorite restaurant cuts their prices on pasta and wine in half on Tuesday nights. It's hard to get a table. But we know everyone there -- from the owner to the busboys -- and they all treat us like royalty and the food is beyond delicious. I've been thinking about food all day. It could've been because a box of doughnuts was passed around the office this morning. Twice.  It could also be because I went shopping last night. And I had a feeling something wasn't right.

I watched the video of Chef Eric this morning. I have no idea what he said or what he's talking about. It's just that he's so dreamy and his accent is so French -- I could watch him for hours. He's almost as good as candy. Almost...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Tale of The Tail

It's Tuesday. I'm in a funk. But there's so much out there to read and see. There's a play in New York City. There's some very nice firefighters in Vienna. There's a very big cinamony bear hopping a fence in Montana.  There's a book that's in production to be a movie. And all I ever find at garage sales is other people's stuff. It's all good.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Best Recipe For Happiness

It is a truth universally acknowledged that most of the general population is more clever than I am. I spend countless hours toiling over a few lines of prose -- wrestling a plot line into submission -- while a group of people have already come up with one of the most hilarious web videos I've ever seen. The mash up of Jane Austen and "Fight Club" -- a movie about bored young men who (led by the scruffed-up-yet-still-prettier-than-me Brad Pitt) beat the crap out of each other for the adrenaline rush. The plot is a little more complicated than that -- but I think that's all you need to know.

The New York Times was full of pet stories today. Turns out the latest trend is pet-friendly home decor -- which it turns out is more complicated than having a throw on your sofa. And then there was this poignant farewell to a beloved family member.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Winken Blinken & Nod

Do you remember the heart-warming story I told you about the soldiers in Afghanistan who adopted some stray kittens? Turns out that one of the soldiers is getting a commendation from PETA for his compassion towards animals. Turns out the soldier and little KeyKey are now living in Michigan. An American hero who loves animals? I guess I should've guessed that he'd be a Michigander.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Sickness Sucks. Seriously.

I'm finally starting to feel a little better. It's Day 17 of the Summer Sickness. I no longer have to take medicine for symptom relief every night. I'm able to get through the day without using up an entire tissue box. I don't cough until my eyes tear up anymore and I'm starting to be able to breathe through my nose. But over the last two weeks, I had my moments. This was not the kind of sickness where you can take enough NyQuil to make an Irishman beg for his mommy and hit the pillow. Nyquil didn't even touch my congestion. I had to sit up most nights. I couldn't even prop myself up on pillows on the bed in a glamorous pose ala Bette Davis. No, I had to sit straight up on the sofa.

I watched a lot of reruns on TVLand and then I got bored. So I started watching some Summer replacement television. I watched Psych -- which was set in Santa Barbara and I thought I would love -- but while it's set in SB, it isn't actually filmed there. The show had no purpose for me other than as a travelogue, so that was disappointing. I watched The Good Guys -- which is set in Dallas -- Yikes! But I love the way the writers deconstruct the structure of the show and the characters are a lot of fun. I understand their ratings are horrid. I watched Rizzoli & Isles -- which I thought was handmade just for me because I'm a middle-aged woman who loves mysteries -- but it ended up being a horrific psycho-sexual mystery that seemed very grisly and disturbing. And I couldn't identify with the female characters who must've been written by men who've never actually met a full-grown woman. Or heard one speak. Out-loud. I did discover a show called Covert Affairs, which was about a female spy working for the CIA and actually had a romantic and intriguing subplot. It's been fun watching all this television, but seriously, I'm ready to get back to the real world. It's much more fun.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Can I get an order of Won Ton Soup?

It's Monday. I've been planning dinner since lunch. I'm not sure why...sometimes it's just nice to have something to look forward to. In the late afternoon, the sun comes through my kitchen window and turns my world golden. And Roxy keeps track of my cooking by sitting in the pass-through. It's my idea of Heaven.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Still Putting Up A Fight

I'm still sick. Airplane virus day #11. Turns out my virus became bacterial pneumonia/bronchitis overnight. The next thing I knew I was really really sick. I've been taking all kinds of antibiotics, decongestants, inhalants and vitamins just to get through the day. The nights are the bad parts -- I can't breathe -- I can't breathe -- seems to be my mantra. They say summer illnesses are the worst. I think any illness is the worst. I must say that I'm tired of being sick and can't want to be able to sleep through the night horizontal on a bed like a normal person. Until then I'm grateful that TVLand runs old sitcoms all night long. I love M*A*S*H! Found this story a couple of days ago on CNN. It warmed the cockles of my heart. And I noticed this story in yesterday's New York Times. (I don't think I do one of the tips on this list.) Today it's the most emailed story on the website. Oh! La! La!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I've Lost My Dignity. If Found, Please Call

I believe it has best been said in lyrics by Mary Chapin Carpenter -- a woman who's a lot better writer (and singer) than I ever could hope to be.

"Sometimes you're the windshield. Sometimes, you're the bug."

The problem is that I feel that my time as the bug is too frequent. And my time as the windshield is so infrequent that I often don't even know that I'm in the circle of power until it's over.

I caught some sort of nasty little virus on the plane back to Michigan. I figured if I gave it a few days and took it easy it would go away. Instead, the nasty little bug has decided to set up camp in my sinus cavity and lungs. I sneeze and people say, "God bless you. I have allergies too." I just nod because I figure if I try to talk and they hear a croaking frog instead they'll run off screaming. And then I cough. But it doesn't really sound like a cough anymore. It's more like a giant sexually frustrated manatee in Florida barking for his long-lost mate. It's definitely not human. I feel like such a freak. One of the guys in my office walked past my cubicle today to get a look at what was making those noises.

It's not enough that I'm feeling poorly. This morning when I was driving to work, a giant piece of plastic that was floating over the freeway wrapped itself around the front of my car and wouldn't let go. So there I was. The giant barking sea manatee driving to work at 75 mph in a Civic wrapped in plastic. So much for the bugs.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Post-Holiday Diet From Hell Plan

I'm on a diet. Yes, there was something about watching this little varmint enjoying a cookie while luxuriating on a leopard skin blanket that made me say to myself -- "Self, you could stand to lose a few." I've also heard that blondes are preternaturally drawn to animal prints. That could explain a lot.

You can call it whatever you want -- Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Lap Band, O Band, The Cookie Diet, The Cleanse, or SlimFast...it's all Hell. Don't kid a kidder...if it was any fun at all they'd call it a Ribeye Steak with Gorgonzola butter.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And Cuddling Ensues...

I'm back in the saddle having just returned after being away for a few days to celebrate Independence Day. I can think of nothing finer than a small town Fourth of July. A parade, a picnic and some fireworks over a body of water are what come to mind. Unfortunately on the plane trip out, I must've picked up a bug because I came down with a cold two days later. And so there I was struggling with the sniffles and a scratching throat in eleventy-hundred degree temperatures and 87 million percent humidity. It was not a pretty picture. I was so glad to return to my home in the desert where there is air conditioning and a fur-faced cat to snuggle with me. Roxy got a good report from her babysitter. It was just after my trip home for the Fourth of July last year that she came to live with me. It has been my great pleasure to get to know her. Here's a heartwarming story about some other guys who are enjoying the pleasure of some kittens, and some kittens who need homes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How Much Is That Kitty In The Window?

So...there are people in Japan who would pay to spend time with a cat? Where do I sign up? I know a cat who is open for bidness from 7am-6pm every day. She would be happy to entertain callers and you can make your own tea. Assorted flavors in the cupboard just above the stove. There's the kettle. That's not your thing --- well this should cheer you up. And if that doesn't work -- try this!

Friday, June 25, 2010

You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

You've Got to Love London from Alex Silver on Vimeo.

It's been a long time since I've wandered the back alleys and dark streets of London. The day I was leaving I was in tears on the train and I promised myself I'd return in five years. Twenty-five years later, I'm still breaking promises. Someday, some way...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Casa Dule Casa

Sometimes I wander through my own home, sweet home and can hardly believe I live there. There's a lovely pool out the front window. A big pot of lavender beckons visitors with heavenly scent at the front door. Sweet jasmine and a lounge chair on the patio. A sink under the window in the kitchen, this is important because it gives me something to do while I'm rinsing off dishes. My window looks out on the car port of the complex. So Roxy and I can keep track of our neighbors' comings and goings. I've got a crockpot full of beef stew in there cooking on the counter today. There's a dishwasher in the kitchen and a washer/dryer in the hallway. My bedroom is filled with my great-grandparents' furniture -- and a pillowtop mattress waiting for me and my Kindle at all times of the day and night. (I am a middle-of-the-night reader when I'm really engrossed in a great read.) I guess for me, it's all about the home. That's probably why these articles in the New York Times caught my eye today. One was about a brownstone in New York -- something I have always fantasized about owning. The other is about a Lake Michigan beach house -- another house I have always dreamed about owning. It's good to dream when you have a nice house to come home to.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Hottest Thing Under The Sun Umbrella

We spent the weekend at the Ojai Valley Inn. It was wonderful. The campus is beautiful and it was so much fun to be away with friends and family. We've been to Ojai before and I've fallen in love with the little town. There's a wonderful little wine bar and Rains -- a family-owned department store on the Main St. that reminds me of Milliken's that stood at the center of downtown Traverse City for many years. Across the street from Rains is a tiny movie theatre. I noticed that the Sunday afternoon show was going to be "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

I've become fascinated with the mystery series of books by Stieg Larsson after downloading the first in the series onto my Kindle and becoming completely absorbed in the complicated and dark mystery story. All of the details of the classic veddy veddy British mystery (raise your hand, Ms. Christie) tales that I've grown up with were there -- but this guy told a tale that was even darker and more twisted than any of those. I was so engrossed and overwhelmed by the time I reached the end of the story that I decided I wanted a breather before continuing on with the next book. Instead, I did some research about the author.

Stieg Larsson died before his books were published -- and he's become a phenomenom. Publishers are now flocking to Sweden to find the next great American author. Not kidding! And then there's Larsson's own family drama -- who gets all to benefit from his posthumous fortune? O yeah! They're fighting. And just to make this more interesting -- even though the books have been turned into films in his native Sweden -- American movie business wants to make their version -- and the casting wars have begun. Daniel Craig? Really? It's all so very fascinating -- and will probably be the next book to movie sensation. Just like Twilight. Only this time, it's not just teenage girls that have read the book.

The book is a great read -- but it does have some very graphic and upsetting sexual violence that may not be everyone's cup of tea. To be quite honest -- I skimmed that part -- not my cup of tea -- I prefer English Breakfast...the kind Agatha Christie serves with scones. But I have a feeling that if Aggie was still around, she'd be a big fan of Stieg. I know I am...and I'll be downloading the next in the series on my Kindle soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Legally Blond CopyCat

I found this post because someone tweeted the photo about Reese Witherspoon's 'plaid face plate.' Much to my surprise when I clicked on the link, I discovered they were talking about her iPhone case -- I have the same one. And I love it! It is one of my most prized possessions. The HMA picked it out for me. He said it was very "Nancy Drew." That was all I needed to hear -- wrap it up, I'm taking it home. And now I know that not only is Reese Witherspoon one of my very favorite actresses (and a part-time resident of Ojai), she also has very very good taste. Hazzzah! And just in case you were starting to think that I was the craziest cat lady you know -- the New York Times proves you wrong.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Want To Be Alone

I spent too much time at home this weekend. That's the word according to Roxy. Usually she looks forward to my company when I get home at night. But at the end of a long weekend, I could tell she was like, "lady you have got to go back to the office because you're driving me nuts." I think everything she does is more adorable than the last and want to get a photographic memory of it. She just wants to get her beauty sleep.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Little Grass Shack

I thought you might enjoy the view from the front porch of my little grass shack on the north shore of O'ahu. No, I have not recently become a home owner. And no, I'm not currently in Hawai'i. (I've returned to L.A. in body, but not in spirit.) A piece of my heart will always be there. On the first morning that we were in Hawai'i, the HMA and I went exploring. We drove up the coast and rounded the point until we came to the ghost town of Lai'e where we found this beach. It was like something out of all of my favorite movies -- from "Romancing the Stone" to "Jurrasic Park." I couldn't believe I was standing there with the waves lapping at my toes. There was a little creek that ran into the ocean near the beach. On the other side of the creek we could glimpse the roofline of a Japanese-style house nestled into a lush tropical jungle. We were both enchanted by the beach and returned to take photos on our last day on the island. If I was going to build a little grass shack, this is the spot. Have you ever?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On The Sunnyside Up Side Of The Street

It's the day after the primary election here in California. I've been election central for the past 24 hours -- cranking election results out of my living room until after 11:00pm last night. Fortunately, I have two assests. One is a little feline named Roxy who loves to have her people gathered in the living room. She alternates her time between cavorting with her toys, and curling happily into a sleeping donut next to you on the sofa. There is nothing nicer than a sleeping cat. Last night we discovered she snores! My other asset is the Handsomest Man Alive. He enjoys my "work-from-home" election results coverage -- throwing himself into it by yelling numbers from the sofa and manning the controls of the television, flipping from channel to channel for the latest results. Good times.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sit Down And Say Cheese!

It's Friday. I think that's a really good thing. And I found this video online a couple of days ago that absolutely delighted me. I watched it several times and decided that you might enjoy it too. It will take your mind off of all those horrific photos of oil-covered animals from the Gulf. And while we're on the subject of animals -- I thought this New York Times article was well-done and instructional.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Funky Cold Medina

I'm in a funk today. One that I won't soon be able to shake. There is only one thing that can change my mood -- dancing in the streets. Com'on! Shake your groove thing! We're riding on a grooveline tonight...I'll stop now and let you enjoy the booty shaking treat.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Kiss A Vet

Today while I was out for my morning stroll, seven military prop planes flew overhead in a diamond formation. It was a wonderful reminder that it is Memorial Day. Because this national day of remembrance always falls on a Monday at the end of May, Memorial Day has become a national day of BBQs. It isn't necessarily a bad thing -- especially if you have a secret passion for ribs and potato salad. (That would be me!) Memorial Day weekend has also become the unofficial kick-off of the summer vacation season, as well as the first time you can wear white pants -- according to some. Personally, I try to avoid white pants. I can't wear them and not spill something like red wine or chocolate ice cream on them. But I digress...

A week ago I was at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It's a very sobering experience. Both my dad and stepdad were vets -- but neither were at Pearl Harbor -- and I still found the trip out to the Arizona memorial to be sad and solemn. When the boat arrived at the memorial, we were instructed to stay seated until all the Vets and their families onboard had disembarked. I thought this seemed like the least we could do for these brave soldiers. One of the most poignant parts of the memorial is a small monument near the main memory wall that marks the internment of the soldiers who lived through the attack on Pearl Harbor but requested to spend all of eternity with their brothers on the Arizona. I was glad to see so many people there honoring the memory of the fallen soldiers -- and it wasn't even Memorial Day -- but I think it's even more important to remember to honor the soldiers who are still in harm's way every day in service to their country. They make bravery seem like an everyday kind of thing -- I can't imagine being that courageous every day. I honor them as well on this day of remembrance.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Charlie Chan Couldn't Find Me

That's because I've been hiding out on the north shore of O'ahu for a few days. It was heavenly. And while I've returned in body -- I'm still there in spirit. How could I ever leave? I've dreamed for so long about going to Hawai'i -- I must say that the island and its people exceeded my expectations in every way.

This happy photo was taken by the Handsomest Man Alive during an afternoon visit to the House Without A Key in the swanky Halekulani Hotel. One of many precious memories. Yes, that's the Diamondhead volcano in the background. The old guy in the striped bathing trunks I know nothing about.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chew Me Up Buttercup, Baby!

Meet Millie the turtle. She's out in the backyard enjoying the first blooms of spring as only a little turtle girl could. She reminds me very much of what I must've looked like devouring a plate of angel hair pasta Pomodoro last night. Go, girl!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No Tickling During Naptime

I've been kind of busy lately. I've been trying to catch up at work -- and only seem to be more behind. And at home there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to pick up and clean up. I've been trying to get organized -- but that ends up looking like making piles. I have piles of things I need to tend to spread out all over. Piles and piles. It's frustrating. So I surf the 'net to avoid dealing with the piles.

People seem to be very upset over the whole cougar thing. Not the predatory wild animals -- the predatory wild women. Everyone has an opinion and a judgement to issue. I say -- go for it, sistah! It's not the way I like to party, but I wouldn't want to slow down anyone who did enjoy the company of much younger men.  The most recent ploy to prevent older women from being seduced by young handsome men is to tell them if they do, they will die young. And I would like to add...they'll die with smiles on their faces -- so what?

And in no particular order, I thought this People magazine article was interesting (but contained a bit too much personal information) and this New York Times wedding story was fun -- The writer added the favorite coffee drink of each invited guest after their name. The writing seemed to match the whimsy of the wedding.

[Eds. Note] A couple of late additions. An article about all the fabulous clothes that no one could ever afford that the girls of SATC will be wearing in the new movie. And I'm a horrible person, because I couldn't stop laughing after watching this video.