Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Power of the Press

Some 30 years ago I worked as a secretary for Daum Johnson Commercial and Industrial Real Estate on 190th in Gardena.  Due to getting a chance at racing PR, I regretfully resigned and pursued PR.

"Not very interesting." you murmur.  Ah, but!  Two days I got the following message:

Nina
The moon has passed the sky many times since we last spoke.

The good news is that your letters are still being published.  The bad news is the fall at Veteran's Park.  We send you our support and chicken soup.

Your fans -
Harry O     Brad Levin     Rudy     Joe     Bob O     Allen

I couldn't believe that - they recognized me from the paper...that someone picked up a pen and wrote that ...  How amazing is it?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Seen and Heard at a Party

Saturday, April 25th - private room and patio, Las Brisas, 1969 Artesia, Redondo Beach

The DJ stopped the music to introduce the hostess who began by saying, "I'd like to thank Jay Simpson for the beautiful graphics work he did on the invitation.  Stand up Jay!"  (wild applause)  Turning to the DJ, "And our DJ the very talented John Mason! (aside) our DJ has a Brit accent!  How's that for class, parvenus?" More wild applause.

Hostess "Many of you who aren't sodden drunk will remember that -- WAIT A MINUTE!  Why aren't you sodden drunk?  (turning)  People!  This is an OPEN BAR!  Free drinks!  Have we all forgotten our open bar behavior?  (quirk of an eyebrow, questioning look?)

"As I was saying, I billed this event as a 'Pre-Need Funeral Afters and I did it because the old World War II hit by Vera Lynn called "We'll Meet Again"  resonated with me. (nod to DJ)."

And half of the audience got up and began dancing!   So enthusiastic was the response that the DJ had to play it again!  Vera Lynn, ya did it again!

  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Letters to the Editor

Daily Breeze, April 23, 2015

Paramedics in Redondo Beach deserve kudos

Dispatch (12:05 p.m. Thursday April 2nd)  Elderly woman on the sidewalk, in front of Veteran Park Senior Center.  Awake and aware.)

Paramedics (12/10 p.m.)  It's a  suspected hip fracture; on way to emergency room.

Paramedics (12:20 p.m.) arrived at Providence-Little Co. of Mary

Since the paramedics rarely get to hear the end of the story, it was a fractured neck of the femur and after emergency surgery,, I came home April 5th.

If you're treated by the paramedics, please let them know how it ended.

They're human, too, and they care.

If you can't do it yourself, have a family member or friend do it for you. 

Thank you, Redondo Beach Fire Department Station 1.

Nina Murphy
Redondo Beach

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Exciting Social Calendar

Ohhh, I'm just in a whirl with all that awaits me!

Yesterday the physical therapist came and we had a merry old time on the stairs.

Today we have haircuts at the Tonsorial Parlor with Dale whose been doing our hair for 30 years in El Segundo.  I look forward to see him and El Segundo again.  It's an adorable flash back in time to the mid-50s and enjoyable for it.

Tomorrow is Thurs. Writers and Cerberus is allowing me to pop in -- and right back out again.  This is the site where I fell on April 2nd and he is wary about it.

Friday the physical therapist comes again.

Can you stand it?  lol

Jay Simpson's ramble to day was:  I'm not bossy; I just know what you should be doing.

If that doesn't describe me down to a T I can't imagine what would.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wise, But Warning Words

The first day of the rest of my life
had better not be today!
     courtesy Jay Simpson, South Bay Writers Workshop.com


I would never have thought of this until this morning.  Suffice to say that the previous night had not been all that restful.  In short Richie and I had to change beds - not horses - in the middle of the night.  This involved shifting all of the bedding, rearranging pillows and so on into the night which hardly makes for a relaxed, refreshing sleep, especially for Richie who had to do it all.

By morning I was ... disgruntled.  My mood hardly lifted as I woke enough for the morning activities.  The cleaning lady showed up at 8:30 a.m. which is early in my book.  The pain pills still hadn't kicked in despite getting up at 6:30 a.m. and immediately slamming one down. 

I forced myself to think of something positive.  At last I found it - this morning was foggy so I didn't have to try to read the paper in glaring sunshine.

Moral of the story:  Even in deepest despair, there is something you can find good about the day. 

But don't bet to it.  It's 3:46 p.m. as I type this.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Comfort Books

They are first cousins to comfort foods.  Grilled cheese sandwich and cream of tomato soup is still the most popular comfort food.  And has been for a long, long time.

Maeve Binchy, doyenne Irish writer, is still the Queen on Comfort, but she died.  (the nerve) and I've read all of the previous books.

Richie, in a desperate scramble through our massive collection, handed me three books by Lilian Jackson Braun.  She has written more than 21 books with these characters:  Jim Qwillern, nicknamed Qwill, is a writer on the Moosetown newspaper in the northeast quarter of the U.S.  He inherited millions, prefers the quiet life and started a foundation which is more or less the fairy godmother of the area.

He has two Siamese cats - Koko and Yum Yum - in a cat focused community.  He and the head librarian love each other but have no desire to change their life styles and marry.  Qwill has a number of colorful friends.   His column, the Qwill Pen, is avidly read by the locals. 

He and the cats solve murders, such as there are in Moosetown.

Braun takes us behind the scenes for such time-honored events as the 4th of July parade, the Christmases - Qwill is forced to be Santa - and all in all, brings a lovely slice of Americana to the table.

Normally I would run a country mile from all of the above, but I actually enjoyed them.

Don't get sick or shut in just to read them.  They'd be a pleasant beach read as well. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Clinton Follies

The Funniest Show in American Politics Today!  Step right up!

During her much bally-hooed trip to Iowa to show the people she's just like them ... in no particular order, her van parked in a handicapped space but whether this was before or after it was driven past a group of people in wheelchairs waiting too see her is unknown.

She called that all of her ancestors were immigrants; only one was.

She and Huma lunched at a Chipotles and were not acclaimed, let alone noticed.  They didn't tip.  In retaliation?  The practice of tipping is unknown to them?

She held a press conference with selected media and prior to it confiscated cell phones and cameras.   

Much ado - "The Little Lady" pulled her own wheelie onto a commercial flight back to NY.  The effect was rather blown when the limo and Secret Service vehicles pulled up to the flight to take her to Chappaquiddick

I wake up every morning all excited about what boner she might have pulled while I slept..

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Life in a Recliner

It's not a bad place to be - think of a recliner as a tiny version of a hospital bed - legs up?  Legs down? Sitting up like a person?  Flat on your back?  Baby, it's all there!

It's a fairly snug fit and you can insert rolled towels to shift your weight to spare the "bad spot" and ice packs are easily inserted - and they stay there!

I can't be the first person to have discovered all of this -- nor the last to recommend it.

I think Laz-E-Boy is having a sale ... word to the wise...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Domestic Matters

Landed Gentry

I  hired a house cleaner, well recommended to me by a friend I trust.  Among her remarks - "She's been with us since before Ella was born (oldest child.")  I was quietly amused at the thought of dating events  relative to children's births. 

My previous experience with house cleaners is limited to  the days when I was single and lived in Beverly Hills.  Mind you it was a one bedroom flat and I couldn't even be bothered to keep that clean.  She wanted to bring a friend to keep her company while she worked (fine) and the two of them lectured me unmercifully -  that a woman my age could be such a slob.  In my turn, I think they were a little over-the-stop when she was cleaning the wallboard to the wall with a pin!

I took to letting them, letting know what was for lunch and taking off until I thought it was safe to come back.

Richie and I have never had help, but we need it now and I'm delighted to have it.  Just from the sounds floating up the stairs I can tell she's into some heavy stuff.  Bathroom - the tub was scoured which must have been a considerable shock to it!  She will apparently spend the afternoon upstairs so I can "take notes" - rah rah ha ha ha ha

When she's done downstairs, Richie will grab his camera and take pictures to show me here upstairs.  Always make your brain work rather than your butt.

New Mailing Address
Nina Murphy
Dark green recliner, 2nd floor
Redondo Beach

The stairs were killing me so I decided to spend last night upstairs in the recliner.  BLISS!

Richie - who would not sleep alone downstairs because what if I fell and he didn't hear it? cobbled himself a bed out of a club chair and a well-filled hassock across the room.  Covered in down coverlets we slumbered peaceful and restfully all night long.  He had a couple of pillows but I didn't need any.

Best of all, I woke knowing I would not have to fight my way out of heavy blankets, hand walk my way down the end of the bed, grab the walker, discard it at the bottom of the stairs and then, using both railings, haul myself painfully up the stairs. 

I may never go downstairs again.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Correcting a Misapprehension

Mrs. McGillicudy and Mrs.Stein were sitting on their usual park bench discussing  neighborhood matters.   Let us listen in ...

Mrs. McGillicuddy - Didja hear about poor Marge? (Mrs. Stein looks quizzical.)

Broke her hip (nodding solemnly)
"Oh no!" said Mrs. Stein.

"Dead in a year" they chorused.

Uh, as a recent hip breaker, I'd like to call Bullshit! on that.  Had I been a fragile, older lady that might have come to pass.  But I'm not fragile by any means or measurement.  .  My shins have at least three bone bruises (those never go away apparently) and they never broke.  Just bruised.

If THIS is why everyone is being so solicitous and good, quit worrying!  When I finish taking the percoset, I intend to open the bottle of wine my nephew sent today and toast your good health!  Bottoms up!  And not on a staircase either.

Effectiveness of the Domesticus Feline as an Alarm Clock

This was an unexpected lab that took place in our bedroom at a little after 6 a.m.

Fred, male cat, aged 14 months came pounding across our bed, hooves muffled by the bedding.  Giving a leap, he pounced, landing directly on my pubic bone.

It was extremely effective and snapped me wide awake.  I can only imagine the effect on a male. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thoughts and Comments from a Shut-In

You know you're not going to get much news from someone who can't walk well enough or long enough to go out in search of the news.  I have to rely on incoming for excitement - The Drudge Report, White House Dossier, the Daily Mail.

I can count on the morning chaos here to provide a little insight on what it's like to be locked up at home.  We usually get up around 7 a.m.  Richie trails me as I head to the bathroom to either pee or dump a sodden diaper, wash and arm myself with a clean diaper.  Then Richie follows me up the stairs, carrying my walker.  At the top of the stairs I head straight for the big green recliner and flop.

He then switches on the coffee pot and starts feeding the cats.  The Old Girls are easy enough - after 12 years they know the routine as well as we do.  Fred, however, is full of fun in the morning!  He turns up his nose at his bowl and goes raiding theirs, after waiting patiently, nose to nose, until the other cat quits eating.  Then he tears into the leftovers. Unfortunately leftovers include pawing Streak's bowl off of the chair next to her, until it clatters on the floor like the A-bomb and eating the contents directly off of the floor.    

This morning was the same with the exception that after he dined, Fred knocked a plant off of the shelf-mirror  in the living room and Richie went ballistic.  Fred went into the upstairs bathroom.

Then Richie poured me a cup of coffee and handed me the Daily Breeze.  After I peacefully read the paper, he helped me to the computer and here we are.  The Ladies are quietly digesting breakfast and Fred is about to be allowed outside of the bathroom.

So, off to other sources.  The papers are wrongly saying that the White House has installed a gender neutral bathroom.  It isn't in the White House but the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.  And why on earth is a gender neutral bathroom of any importance whatsoever?

Barry Manilow just married his male long-time manager.  I never knew he was gay - and apparently a number of other people didn't know either.  Frankly I never paid that much attention to Manilow so this was non-news to me, but bless the happy couple anyhow.

Update:  I had a 10:15 a.m. appt. with the surgeon.  Results - he showed us the x-rays that had just been taken and we saw the three pins he'd installed.  He took out the staples (3) and had his nurse put strips over the holes and glued them down.  I guess so that I wouldn't leak?   He was surprised that the only pain medicine we have in the house is Aleve and wrote a Rx for Percogesic.  He doesn't want to see me for another three weeks.  In dismissal, he all but slapped my flank and said, "Git outta the barn, Bossy."

I hired a well-recommended house cleaner named Sylvia and she starts next Monday at 9 a.m.  If I can wind up with a house cleaner it will be a bright side affect from the various recent horrors.   Onward!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Quick Note on Medications

Home from the hospital, I received a call from "our" pharmacist.  He wanted to tell me that he had a new Rx for me and I did I actually want him to fill it - it cost $1,200.

What is it? I asked

Blood thinner.

No!  I don't want to take blood thinner meds and certainly nor for that amount of money.  He sounded disappointed, but there you are.  I talked to the surgeon's office manager who told me, "Doctor says just take an aspirin a day."

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dear Pope Francis

Your Excellency - I wish to respectfully ask you to look into the qualifications of my candidate for sainthood in the Church.  I understand that canonization is a lengthy process but my candidate has plenty of time, preferably post-death.

Why does he appeal?  At a time when divorce finishes off 50% of all marriages, he has been married for the past 32 years.  In mindfulness of your remark that Catholics are not today expected to "breed like rabbits" the couple is childless by choice. 

His wife had to have emergency surgery for a broken hip.  When she gladly came home after four days in the hospital she was unable to do much more than hobble short distances with the aid of a walker.  She was unable g to do any of her routine household duties.

As quickly as a cop downing a donut, he assumed her job.  She tries to use him for only things that she needs with requests like, "Will you help me pull up my pants?""" "Hand me the lotion?

In short, she will heal and his life will go back to normal.  But for the moment, his life as it was is all gone.  And no complaints..  I think this kind of example should be celebrated.  If you agree, then the exploration should begin.

 Sincerely, the wife..

Monday, April 6, 2015

In The Hospital

This will, of necessity be a little vague; I was doped up to the eyebrows.  An even up to today, vague traces of the anesthesia linger.  They gave me all of this because the ER MD said, "I'm going to give you a light dose of morphine because we need x-rays of your spine and a CT scan of your brain - the fall - and we're going to be moving you around (apologetically) and it's going to hurt."  (What good news!  /sarc)

I would come to find that this involves "musical gurneys."  Having been shot, I was gurney-ed up to a private room and left to the tender ministering of the nurses.

Time passed and I was told, we're going for the CT scan now and away we went.  Next the first transfer from gurney to gurney.  This involves them matching table heights exactly, picking up my sheet and sliding me, tenderly as a soufflĂ©, to the CT table.  Zip, zip - second transfer and back to the room.   

Time passed and then "We're taking you down for the x-rays now."  Third and forth transfers and this time it was painful.  Chinese acrobats aren't put into poses like these were.  But the transfers were as smooth as calf slobber on a door knob.

Time is passing - did I want to order dinner?  I elected for cream of potato.  It was as thick as Chinese algebra.  But it was filling.

Another doctor came in and showed us a Xerox of one view of the x-rays.  He showed me the little crack where the neck of the humerus was "fractured."  

Repair would be done tomorrow.  Friday.

The next morning I expected to be taken down to the OR around 7:30 or 8 a.m.  Not so.  A long day stretched out, brightened by my day nurse, Charles.  He was drop dead gorgeous with clear blue eyes and black hair.  Alas, he also had A Partner.  Then the blood samples lab guy appeared and he was so  hot that he made Charles look like a dog's dinner.  Many of the nurses seemed to be of Philippine or Mexican heritage and they, too, were absolutely gorgeous.   Gentlemen:  you know where to find them now.

Anyhow we had a long wait and laughed long and hard during it.  His experiences as a Traveling Nurse and some of his private patients were hilarious.  He only works weekends now; he's in school studying for a nursing Master during the week.  Beautiful and smart.  

Finally - probably @ 3:30 - I was taken down for the surgery.  A brief conversation with the surgeon about what would happen and the anesthesiologist  put me down like an old dog.  But probably not the gentle caring affection.

I came to (sort of) back in my own room.  Due to the drugs, I spent a night in hallucinations  - some I remembered - a paramedic sneaked in a breast caress and outraged, I yelled "That's a 13 year old boy!"  They switched rooms on me because when I came true I was in a different room but with a disturbing view - some of the original stuff was still there, but there were additions that made it very disorienting.  It was also 2:30 a.m. and the sun was as bright as a new day.  The red planet thing it turned out; I didn't find that out until later.

I couldn't stop waking up at ungodly hours - next day it was 3a.m., then 4.  It takes a long day indeed to get to 9 a.m.   Especially the only interruption was taking of blood, checking my BP and whatever else they did to me, such as giving me shots for nausea, vitamins in pill form and I had  an IV line running the whole time I was there.  "Re -hyradtion" said Charles. 

A further note on the room switcheroo.  Next door was a room furnished like mine, but with a bunch of boxes and equipment; room objects that were different...So perhaps I wasn't Entirely Crazy after all.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

I'm Home From the Hospital!

Scenario for those that may missed the drama ...

Last Thursday Richie dropped me at the sidewalk in Veterans Park for our weekly meeting.  Halway up the concrete walk, I had a major dizzy spell and decided to take shelter on the concrete, right side down with a terrifying" clunk"  Despite offers of help from fellow writing enthusiasts, I decided to opt for the RB paramedics...

They entered the scene with their own positive excitement - four trucks and two cop cars - and after some discussion decided it might be good PR to takethis sorry carcass for whatever help could be offered it at Torrance's Providence Little Company of Mary hospital. 

Richie, who'd been fetched from the adjoining Farmer's Market, was greatly surprised to find his bride being hauled away by the paras, but he recovered quickly and joined in the parade to Providence Little Co. of Mary,  Torrance.

There it was decided to admit me for the dinner show and I was promptly taken to my premiere box

To Be Continued until you're all sick of it.  Sordid tales of night time hallucinations...food distaste ...a flirtatious male nurse (my new BFF) and other tales of swamplike behavior amongst their personnel ...Wait for it!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Quirky Book - and Then Some

"Almost Famous Women  by Megan Mayhew Bergman   Scribner   235 pages   $25   

This is a brief look at  women such as Standard Oil heiress, Joe Carstairs on her personally-owned island.  I should have stated that she was a cross-dressing, cigar chewing heiress.  Marlene Dietrich frequented her island and was a ... close-personal friend.

Others who were out shadowed by a more famous relation include Lord Byron's illegitimate daughter, Allegra; Oscar Wilde's wild niece Dolly; Edna St. Vincent Millay's sister Norma and James Joyce's troubled daughter Lucia.

But the most interesting has to be Daisy and Violet Hilton, co-joined twins.  They were born in Brighton, England, to an unmarried barmaid on February 5, 19908 and died aged 60 in Charlotte, NC , January 1, 1969.

A woman named Mary Hilton helped to deliver the babies and as they continued to survive  as the only pair of  Britain's co-joined twins  to survive -  , she began to see commercial possibilities so she offered to buy them from the barmaid who accepted her offer with alacrity.

True to her word, she had them out touring as The United Twins by their third birthday.   Home conditions at the Hilton were not warming.  They were kept as virtual prisoners, forced to learn to tap dance (four legs, four arms) and later to play music instruments - saxophone and violin. 

They did relatively well financially first in vaudeville and when that died in burlesque.  In 1931 they made changes - Daisy dyed her hair blonde and they quit dressing alike.  They were co-joined at the hip and buttock but did not share any major organs, only blood.  Despite their forced proximity they had a series of affairs with various show biz types.  One of them wanted to marry but the judge wouldn't issue a license  saying it was illegal to issue one to three people. 

They spent their last years in Charlotte, NC, working as grocery store clerks.  When they didn't show up for work, the store manager sent someone to the house to check on them.  Both were dead of the Asian flu.  The coroner decided that Daisy died first and Violet followed her two to four house later.  How chilling is that?  I can shudder right now, thinking about it.

It's a good, brief read; you might like it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

App Alert - the Newest Thing

Richie's cousin, John, sent us early breaking news about the Screen Savour which is an app for your cell phone.  It allows you to take a photo of food and then lick your cell phone screen to taste it!

It's handier than a pocket in your shirt with many money saving uses.  In a restaurant, you can taste before you order.  No more food sent back to the kitchen.  If another diner's plate appeals, just take a quick shot of it and lick your screen.  Be polite and ask for permission first. 

There's a new and very popular restaurant and you want to visit but reservations are impossible and the line of cancellation hopers is around the block..  You don't even have to leave your comfortable home!  Just pull up the restaurant's Website and snap away.

Didn't make it to the group potluck dinner?  Have those that did send you a picture of the food.  

Please note that licking your unsanitary screen is not a good idea.  Keeping it sterile with a Clorox wipe will ruin the taste of the food. 

Maxis Screen Savour - you need one!