Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Contrasts ...

Liberal Thinking At Its Best

This morning's Daily Breeze front page headlined a story "Lethal Injection Protocol Upheld" where in the Supremes by a 5-4 vote decided to go forward with the three drug lethal dosage thus potentially sending sadistic and senseless criminals to get in line for execution.  They have been enjoying life for the past nine years.  Granted it was on death row, but some of these men should have been killed at birth, such were their crimes.


Terminally ill patients and their loved ones are fighting for the Right to Die privilege to (currently) no avail. 

So:  let us coddle those poor murderers!  God forbid they should suffer the pain of their victims! 

 People that were careless enough to get a terminal disease, well?  They're gonna die anyhow, let's not waste any good drugs on them!    Just keep their screams muffled and let Nature take its course. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Beautiful Edible Summer Favorite

Here in American Foodlandia, we celebrate season changes by what we eat.  This is a favorite for several reasons - first and foremost it's not only good to eat, but cooling, too.  It's lovely on a plain white plate.  The eyes have to get hungry first...

Basically it's a "starter" or appetizer at the dinner table.  It's a wonderful addition to the cocktail hour.

What am I babbling on about?  You must know that it involves the French where the first of anything of the season is honored by a plate devoted to and only for the first of any season -- new peas, fresh corn, etc.

Thus Charentais or Cavalier melons, cut in large bite sizes
Wrap in prosciutto and put them on a shallow dish
Drizzle a good quality olive oil over them
Dust with two grinds of coarse sea salt

Preferably on a shaded outdoor spot.  Bon appetite!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

30 Hours in the Hospital

What They Do to You (none of it painful per se) but annoying never the less.

First off for a CT scan.  They were looking for a clot of blood in my skull which could prove a transient ischemic attack (TIA) and none found.  Not satisfied, they decided to keep me in for 24 hours' observation.  Good as I am, I couldn't keep a rat entertained for 24 hours, but they insisted.  Remember this was after the paramedics pronounced me "Okay."

After a wait, I was taken up to a single room on the 4th floor.  Nothing much happened until evening when I was taken back downstairs for a carotid sonogram to see if anything was blocking them.  There was not.

This was followed by an MRI -- or as I think of it trapped in a washing machine with boulders -- of my head

Nothing wrong there either.

Back to the room.  A nurse told me that they weren't going to give me any hypertension drugs as they wanted to run my blood pressure 'way up to "saturate your brain with blood "So if you see, for example 200/180, don't be frightened." 

In retrospect, why didn't they just let me go home?  I'd cleared all of the other tests.  Why did they want to give me a stroke?  Hadn't I done enough for them by presenting "normal" in everything they could throw at me?

At bedtime, I was asked how I'd been sleeping? and I said "Not well - moving around in bed a lot to find a comfortable position.  Soothingly I was told, "We'll we're just going to give you a light shot of morphine so you'll sleep well!"  To my sure and certain knowledge morphine is not a sleep aid!  Although abusers might find themselves "nodded out." 

Subsequently somewhere in the dead of night, I was sleeping well.  The only reason I woke up was hearing my name softly but repeatedly being said.  Somewhat confused, I opened my eyes to find the face of the Asian male nurse 4 in. from my own.

Warning:  if you're going to Providence Little Co. of Mary, pack a lunch.  The food is beyond ghastly.  This is what I ate during 28-30 hours there - 1/2 pack Cheetos and one half sparsely spread peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread.

If you are hydrated for any length of time you will pee like a racehorse for the next two days.

And I hope passionately that none of you ever do have to go there.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

30 Hours in the Hospital

How I Got There in the 1st Place
Coming home from an errand, as Richie began to back down the driveway, my left hand began to tingle with "pins and needles" and when I dismounted from the front seat, I ... felt funny.  Richie handed me the walker and I said something to him and noticed I was slurring my words and the left side of my lower lip was numb - like Novocain. 

I sat on the edge of the daybed in the office while he called the paramedics.  Soon enough they showed up - four of them with more on the way..  Three were in uniform and the 4th had on his turnout's jacket.  I looked at him and asked, "Did you think I would pee on you?"

They ran me through the heart attack drill (which I'd already done for Richie - raise both arms straight up, smile/grimace, touch your nose, stick your arms straight out and touch the para's nose) took blood pressure, EKG,asked many questions as to onset, duration (15 to 20 seconds and gone.  Slurring gone.

The guy examining me said that everything was normal, implying false alarm as there was nothing the matter with me.  "Good," I said.  "I thought I'd be a catch and release.

But!  Wait!  The other three launched into protests, aimed at me - better to be safe than sorry  Let us take you over to the ER for a better look and foolishly I acceded.  Which I will never do again - even if they are stark naked except for a loincloth and closely resembling a much younger Brad Pitt.  Fuhgeddabout it.

On the other hand, in my defense (Ladies, many of you will understand) when three devilishly attractive - handsome men, totally fit, 30s to early 40s - want you to do
something you may well do it.

We all had a nice visit in the ambulance while Himself followed in his car.  We will take our leave of our heroine in the ambulance bay of the Providence Little Co. of Mary ER door.

Friday, June 26, 2015

1st Things 1st

I feared a hip replacement.  However, I can npw put my fears back in a suitcase in the closet.

CT Report
Findings - There are fractures of the superior and inferior of the right pubic bone.  Fracture lines are seen within the body of the rt. pubic bone as well.  Callus formation is seen at both fracture sites, but these fractures don't do not yet appear completely healed.  The soft tissues are unremarkable.  The sacroiliac joints appear intact.

Good alignment of the rt. femoral neck following hip fracture.

The screws across the fracture are in the femoral head and appear to be in a good position.

Incidental right superior and inferior pubic bone fractures with fracture lines involving the rt. body of the pubic bone as well.

There is callus formation of the pubic bone fractures as well.

There is callus formation but the fractures are not healed.  THIS COULD ACCOUNT FOR THE PATIENT'S EXCESSIVE PAIN.

Healing is taking place.  Patience and no further incidents and I should be okay.

And some good dope wouldn't hurt!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Erasing History?

This is a reference to the South Carolina natives fussing about displaying the Confederate flag. 

I agree with a Letters to the Editor writer who pointed out that is foolish to think that abolishing a flag will stop the seriously deranged from going on rampages and conducting mass shootings.

But an underlying tinkling bell of concern in my thinking is that the Civil War happened.  It's fact.  The United States of that day went to war against each other.

Is this proposed flag ban the beginning of an attempted historical change?  You know -- like the 6 million Jews that never died in the Holocaust?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lifelong Compliments

There are compliments that one will remember for life, possibly because they are so far afield of what you think of yourself.  Someone has seized on something good about you that you never would have expected.

I have had three such compliments in my life and currently I'm 75.  Sadly they were given me in the '70s (and none since) and I was in my 30s back then.  Clearly I peaked early and haven't done anything noteworthy since.

Ah, well.

First:  I worked as a secretary for East/West Network which published the magazines found on airlines.  I wiggled my way into non-secretarial jobs (wrote the PSA coming events column and shot the first Long Beach Grand Prix) which is neither here nor there.

I stopped at Reception one fine day and in conversation with Audrey,  said receptionist, we got into some kind of conversation that came to a conclusion when she took my hand and told me, "You've got soul" which, since she was of mixed race, really tickled me.

Second:  I worked for a Jewish lawyer in Beverly Hills and one day he looked at me and said, "Goyisher punim; Yiddisher kupf."  I looked puzzled.  He laughed and said, " Gentile face, Jewish brain" which I thought was so notable that I've remembered it to this day.

He later blotted his copy book when I came back from lunch, prancing and strutting around his office to show off my white, brand new London Fog raincoat.  He studied me, laughed and tossed about a paragraph of Yiddish on me.  "Huh" I gaped?  He said, "Only a slob buys white."  I think that may been a curse because ever since that remark, I have never worn white that I didn't spill on it.

The third:  And I kind of think you had to be there - I was a word processor for Daum/Johnston, a commercial real estate firm with some 27 salesmen so a second woman was hired and we shared an office.  We got along immediately;  we socialized - we were close. 

One fine day, we were working away and she asked me to hand her something or do something for her - can't remember - and I stuck out my forearm and said, "Does this look black to  you?" (and the compliment was) that she exploded into laughter.  And thereafter, if I asked her for something, she would wordlessly stick out her forearm and look questioningly at me.  And we'd roar all over again.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

News The Way It Should Be Reported

This morning's newspaper in the "News Feed" section ran an AP short squib "Detroit   1 dead, 9 others shot at a block party"

I'm sure this caught my eye due to the other 9 -an immediate reference to the events in Charleston.

But upon reading the entire piece (admittedly short) there was no mention of race or ethnicity which in America is so unusual as to merit interest.

I went online, dug out a Detroit TV station which had also covered it and found additional details - there were 400 people at a birthday party at the basketball courts at Dexter and Webb, Detroit West Side.  No mention again of the ethnicity of the attendees.

However a little further digging implied that the Detroit West Side is a hotbed of drug dealers.  Since the Detroit population is largely black a cognizant reader would know all too well what wasn't said (and I leave that to your individual imaginations) and for which I say:  God bless the AP for finally getting it right.   Their headline could have read, "1 dead, 9 others shot at a BLACK block party"

Onward, AP!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Not Exactly What I Was Expecting to Hear

Yesterday's visit to the orthopedic surgeon brought unwelcome news.  The x-ray of the bones showed that they  may not be healing as they're supposed to heal.   I'm in too much pain after 2 2/2 months seems to be a give away  - "The only time I've been pain-free was on your operating table!"

He ordered a CT scan for Monday; come back to him Wednesday for the results.  When I asked "So what's next?" he laughed and said, "Let's see the CT scan first!"

I'm privately betting  a hip replacement might be next.  Having to return to surgery is almost never a good thing but this may be the exception in that replacements heal faster than pins and we are already set up for home care -- we have the hi-rise toilet seat (for minimal sitting down) the waffle cushion for butt-ease when sitting, a walker and a transporter wheel chair.

Oh! and the drawings of exercises for post surgery.

But there is no point in worrying until Wednesday afternoon.  What will be, will be.  We're prepared, pretty much. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sorry, I Was On the Phone

GEMINI THE TWINS  5-22   6/21

Fast as greased lightning, these two-faced escape artists are shifty-eyed with receding hairlines unveiling a mind that thinks fast.

The have to as they are often on the run from the law.  Born with a phone in one hand (see above) they are always early or late, never on time for anything,

Given the twisted thinking powers of any average politician, they change their minds faster than a prom queen in the back seat of a '57 Chevy, a person and the location a Gemini loves. 

Born blackmailers, the Gemini has a selective memory and is shifty by nature. 

All Gemini's have a nickname and, in some cases, a police record.

All is not as you see it with a Gemini - Camelot's Jack Kennedy with a girl in every closet is the perfect example of a Gemini.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Contrast In Styles

I think (hope) that The Jenner Story is waning in interest by the great unwashed, squealing in corners about his bravery.  Snort!

By contrast, more than 25 years ago at LAX, this was taking place.  Richie worked for a Major American Airline (MAA) and in those days workers and their  spouses were allowed to park in Employee Parking and grab one of the trams at the various locations and ride into the bowels of LAX to catch their flights.  

The "trams" were actually shuttle buses.  One of the drivers was named Mickey Jean and was formerly a man.  She was no better looking as a lady than she'd been as a gent a point that seems to have totally been ignored by Caitlin Jenner, presented as she was on the cover of Vanity Fair.  She went for a 26 year old glamor puss at the ripe old age of 65.  (However the hands never lie - take a look at hers.)    

Mickey Jean remained age appropriate and I never heard a word against her.  The general attitude seemed to be honest curiosity as to why any male would ever want to be a woman?

Mickey Jean continued on her gruff way, black work shoes thumping briskly up and down the stairs of her tram.

Many years later after her retirement, the ground crew was augmented by an actually young man who was clearly into change because his  was clearly on  display through his uniform shirt, over his navy work pants and black work shoes.  I wondered what the passengers must be thinking as the yglanced out the window during boarding and saw "her."  

The only thing even remotely detrimental that  I heard was "She male" in reference to her  and it was always said with honest bewilderment by the ground crews.

So Bruce to Caitlan was pretty much an ode to narcissism. But the MAA employee -  During transition... working with very few females ... very much in the public eye - that's bravery to me.
MAA'S Employee Retirement once had Bruce Jenner as a guest speaker at one of their monthly meetings.  Somewhere in the '90s he was still bragging about his 1976 Olympic win. 
It was billed as an "inspirational story" but how much braver would it have been for him to casually take off his sport coat and shirt and address the audience in his training bra?

Monday, June 15, 2015

At the Piano Recital

This event is traditionally the same - adorable children, ranging in age from 5 to early teens - marching across the stage to a baby grand piano to perform a bow, seat themselves and play.  The bows (kid sticks out his butt) are the most amusing part of the program.

Yesterday was different and provided shock and awe in a different way.  The audience was up to the third or fourth performance when the kid lost his place or the next part or something and went into full meltdown, banging the keys in rage, and starting to storm off of the stage when a teacher? Parent? intervened briefly before the kid's older brother took him aside and sat down on the bench - wild applause from the audience, but not from me.  I refused to applaud bad behavior and speculated mentally when his undisciplined ass would be sent to anger management classes.

The other surprise was the average age of the last performers which hovered in the early 20s and one dude that I thought was pushing 37.  He was black, wearing a white tuxedo suit, a shaved head and little Santa gold-framed glasses.  He sat down and with a captive audience played about three numbers which was two over the usual. 

It was "different" and I say, "Give it back to the kids!"  The next recital is listed for March, 2016.  Mark your calendars.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Raise Your Kid to Be a "Jeopardy" Champion

To my surprise I've noticed that a lot of things I didn't pay attention to as a child, pop right back into my conscience during some of the Jeopardy categories.  Summer Bible Classes taught me more than I ever realized.

My Dad had a favorite set of games for car trips, all of which tested the memory.  Counting car colors  didn't interest him.  He started with simple, age-related topics.

Mammas and their Babies - Cat - Kitten

List the States in the Union  - Alphabetically

United States Major Rivers

States and their Capitol Cities

It passed the time, we all played (everyone in the car) and refreshed our memories.

Make up your own categories,   perhaps on a more adult level...mental Twister, anyone?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Some Days Just Require a Re-Do

Take my yesterday for example.  The day started well enough knowing that Richie's brother Charlie and his wife Rosalind were flying in from New York and that we would meet them and their daughter Kate for a late lunch/early dinner at Tin Roof Bistro, a favorite.

They finally appeared and we settled down to a nice family reunion.  Eventually I had to visit the Ladies.  My business finished in the handicapped stall, I rose to return to the table -- and couldn't get up! 

 I didn't know it then but my underpants had got caught in a wheelchair part.  In my ensuing  struggles, I fell on my head and found myself looking in surprise at drops of blood falling off of my head onto the super-clean slate floor" and the next thing I did was scream, "HELP!" whereupon two strange ladies and Richie came tearing into the bathroom.

They fluttered around getting me upright and mopping blood off of my still bleeding wound (about a half an inch into the hair bordering my right  side forehead.)   

Finally I was respectable-looking and Richie wheeled me back to our table and thankfully, none of them made a big deal about it.  I wasn't much of a conversationalist; I think I was a tad shaken up.

But the day wasn't over yet ...we went to bed as usual around 9:30 p.m. and were settling in, looking forward to a good night's sleep.

It wasn't to be.  All cat owner's are familiar with a cat's "fits" wherein they tear through the house at breakneck speed, launching off furniture and landing barely long enough to regroup and tear off again.  Fred had such a episode last night and in his craziness, landed right square on my face.  He weighs 12 lbs.  He didn't linger but took off again with alacrity, leaving three puncture holes on my face.  Naturally all three bled like a bastard so on with the light and out with the Kleenexes. 

I can only wonder what today will bring and am somewhat wary of speculating.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Slogans and Groups

Of late, I've been paying more attention to politics in general or rather how organizers of said groups get it wrong.

One of the biggest faux pas that I've noticed is the black group advocating "Black Lives Matter" which strikes me as the very wrong message the phrase conveys.  The assumption from the group itself that they themselves don't think they do.

To start a project in which you state unequivocally that you are the underdog is an admission of defeat.  And that's before you ever get out the door with this self-defeating slogan.  When group leaders admit there's an error in their thinking or phrasing, then what've you got?

Misguided "leaders" - be careful whom you follow.  I'm talkin' to you Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Walters ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Go to a Wine Tasting; See a Giraffe

Wine can hit you a nice double hit which may or may not explain the giraffe. 

Unusually, the site is a 1,000 acre vineyard and ranch.  in Malibu.  There are three tiers (and prices)  to see the animals which include Zebras, camels, alpacas, bison and Stanley the Giraffe.

The Explorer is $65 per person for the safari and tasting six different wines
The Family Safari is $55/person - same as above but don't know if that is also per kids whom, at any rate, have to be 48 in. tall to go.
Giraffe Lunch Safari - $135/person - same as above + lunch.

Crack a bottle wine, go online to lasafaris.com and attend for free.

Editor's Note:  I don't think it's such a great idea to take kids to a wine tasting and then Daddy, who really loved the Syrah, drives them home on PCH 1. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Upscale Flea Markets

Architectural Digest has composed a list those that they like - ranging all the way from the Randolph Street Market in Chicago to the longest - the Michigan to Alabama - 690 miles.  It takes place from August 6 - 9.

Poor old Southern California's Pasadena Open Air Market never got a look-in.  If it's on the East Coast, it gets respect.  Not the West.  Out here we don't seem to have to buy other people's cast-offs.  Take THAT AD!  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Triple Crown Triumph

Traditionally, I have never won any of them - not the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness or   the Belmont Stakes.  Whether this is due to my penchant for ALWAYS betting the grey horse and in lieu of one, a name that appeals to me  or just plain bad luck.

Yesterday was different.  I bet the grey horse and he came in second, just where I'd put him.  I put down $2 to Place; he did and the payback was $3.50.

Granted, this is not how great racing fortunes are built.

But American Pharoah went off at 5 to 3 and to a Degenerate Gambler, those odds are just as good as buying a house and only being allowed to use the front porch.  Worthless, in short. 

'Tis a small victory - I'd be the first to say it, but 'tis mine.  God love ya, Frosted.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Vaguely Disrespectful

Today - June 6th - celebrates D-Day with its attendant massive loss of lives - and National Donut Day.

There is something unsettling about this to me.   Donut Day is frivolous; D-Day is anything but.

A friend helped me out by doing some research and apparently the first Saturday in June is and always has been claimed by the donut people.  I think it would have been tactful of the donut-ters to hold off for a day.  But they didn't and here we are.  I for one am not happy about it. 

Mentally I pulled up all of the photos I've seen of cemeteries with row after row of graves, with plain white crosses, each surmounted with a small American flag, flittering in the breeze.  Much more soothing than any donut could have been.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Politicians Perks

There was an editorial in this morning's Daily Breeze that at first reading, I couldn't believe it.  The gist?  The California Senate drunks don't have to be bothered to call a cab or Uber (and pay their own cash for them.)

Instead the Senate has a new perq for the knee-walking drunks-- a part time driver's job that pays $2,532 a month. 

The Senate's legislate chief of staff remarked that it's an effort to curb legislators driving drunk.  The article lists several of the major offenders.  You might want to read it and if your legislator is on the list, perhaps re-think your vote. 

I'd like to see something passed -anything -  that mandated legislators paying for something themselves.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Of Course It's All About Me!

But you knew that, right?   A few trivial updates

I slid into raptures about the "waffle pillow" after a brief explanation as to what I was doing at the wound care clinic.  Yesterday at an 11 a.m. appt. I was dismissed from further visits.  The "superficial" pressure sore was gone.

Next was the lift-maker.  Very often a broken hip causes a shortening of the attached leg.  To avoid future back problems, you need a lift in that shoe.

Having had "orthotics" from a podiatrist MD I was rather dreading this not because it's painful in any way, but it takes a long time to measure it, more time to cast it to make a mold that is expressly designed for you and all at a cost of about $800 if I remember correctly; it was some time ago.  And they've been lying on the floor of my closet since then.

This was totally different!  The technician took my right shoe, disappeared for about five minutes and returned with the shoe and the prosthetic inside it.  The device is a hard plastic which may account for the speed with which it was made.

Alert:  Go for a "lift" and not an "orthotic" - you'll save a lot of money.

Best remark I've heard (so far) about Bruce to Caitlin was in the Comments section that followed an article:

"Well, at least she's perfectly positioned for the 2016 Olympics women's events."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Everything Old is New Again?

Can the trendies only find things that existed long, long ago?  Is copying the only thing they're good for?

I'm referring to a new word/phrase in our American lexicon and that word is "shaming" as in "fat shaming" (and subsequent law suits.)  How do you "shame" a fat person anyhow?  Every time you spot a morbidly or clinically obese person start singing, "Fatty, fatty two by four; couldn't get through the kitchen door?"

Pointing out the obvious hardly seems "shaming"  Presumably they buy their own clothing (size 22) and have seen themselves in mirrors.

What amuses me is that public shaming has existed since medieval days when a person who was caught redhanded at a minor sin was punished by being put in stocks in the public square or market entrance for a predetermined length of time.   The villagers were free to stand in front of the prisoner and lecture and/or jeer - "How could you have been so stupid!" as much as they wanted.  And if you remember, stocks held that person very adequately.  Once put in them, they weren't going anywhere until they were freed.

Today the insulters take to online media.  This is hardly effective and not nearly as much fun (presumably) as standing in front of the malcontent, looking them straight in the eye and castigating them at length.

All I can say is "New, huh?  I don't think so."

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mourning the Thud of Horses Galloping

Hollywood Park Race Track's stands are gone.  They were imploded at 6 a.m. the other morning.  But the track did have something of a run from 1938 when it was built to 2013 when it closed.  They only got around to final destruction today.

I haven't been there since the '70s and '80s so I really shouldn't be donning my black crepe.  Some nerve, eh?

But I do have only pleasant memories of attending.  In the '70s, I was buddies with a guy named Van, who was the advertising VP for Vogue magazine.  He, in turn, was tight with a bunch that referred to themselves as "degenerate gamblers," a group of about eight guys.  Among them was the actor who portrayed Dr. Ben Casey (the only "famous" one of the bunch. 

We all hooked up on the Clubhouse level.  The guys (I was the only woman present) all made fun of my traditional bed - $2 to Place - but when I began winning (paltry sums to be sure) they began to sidle over and ask what I thought about the next race.  Meanwhile, they were betting $100 a pop or more.   They were fond of trifectas, etc. all of which confounded me. 

I learned an interesting thing - degenerate gamblers don't have checking accounts.  They put their money in safe deposit boxes and visit on an as-needed basis. 

I also learned a sad fact - it was not unusual for one of them to get mugged.  Canny robbers only had to keep an observant eye on the $50 and $100 windows. 

We often went to Chez Jay, Santa Monica, for dinner - the day's big winner bought - and it became a satellite clubhouse.

They were good days and upon reflection, I can miss them.  RIP Hollywood Race Track.