Saturday, July 23, 2005

The rest of the story...

Wednesday before I went to the movies a flock of blue jays flew into the trees in front of my window. Blue jays with their dark Mohawk top knots fluttered, squawked and roosted in the trees for several minutes and then, as one entity, they flew off, scattering in different directions. It's summer. Blue jays don't migrate at this time of the year.

I was stunned and delighted by their antics and the surprise of so many birds in the trees in front of me. Unusual? Yes. Very unusual. But not nearly as unusual as what happened the next day.

I had just finished a very long night of typing operative reports and was checking my email. I had some music playing on the computer and was singing, stretching my vocal cords and calming myself for sleep. I looked out the window just as a huge flock of crows flew into the same trees the blue jays had occupied exactly 24 hours before. The trees, leafy and green, were suddenly black with crows, the air full of their raucous cries. They hopped, twittered and chattered at each other. Just as suddenly as they arrived, the flock took off in a cloud of shining ebony feathers, scattering to the four winds as they flew.

Psycho Ken says when he looks at this house when he comes over he sees a white light surrounding it, blazing with pure white brilliance. Ever since I first walked into this house I have felt at home, resonating with the energy at a deep level. I belong here. The landlady and my next door neighbor, Nello, share my beliefs and feelings about this place. In many ways we are a family, looking out for each other and yet knowing there are times when we need our own space and silence. We share meals and histories and thoughts.

I shared my birds with Nello and she gave me a book to read about totem animals and their meanings. Blue jays and crows/ravens are of the same family. Blue jays signify magic and dabbling in magic. Crows are powerful magical signs and they straddle the unseen and seen worlds. In some Native American cultures crows are believed to have helped create the world. The crow can also be a trickster, harbinger of magic and the touch of the Great Spirit. It is said that once the crow was all white but was changed to black when he gave the wrong message to Apollo.

Whatever this miraculous appearance of birds means, it is magic to me, a gift, just as finding this place was a gift.

My wish for the rest of the world is that they open their eyes to the magic in the world all around them and not to get so caught up in the day to day problems and details that they forget to look around them and accept the gifts of the Almighty.

That first blue jay I saw when I moved here was a welcome sight, a gift and a reminder that though I was far from the cabin where I spent two peaceful and wondrous years the sights and sounds of the natural world were still around me in the song of the birds that greet the morning, the beautiful huge fluttering yellow butterflies I first mistook for falling leaves, and the squirrel porn performed in the crook of the tree just outside my window. All of it is a gift to enjoy every single day if we only take the time to stop and look.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Signs and portents

Let's see. Last time I left off I was being posty and headed to the movies to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the ever sexy and surprising and incredibly talented Johnny Depp and The Fantastic Four with hot and juicy stud muffins, Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced YO-an Griffith), Julian McMahon and Michael Chiklis. You heard me, I said Michael Chiklis. Ever since he went buff and brawny for The Shield he has gone from cute and cuddly to dangerously muscular and hot. Julian McMahon is predictably and deliciously dark and intelligent with that demonic edge to his subtle charm and Ioan Gruffudd is cool, intelligent and cuddly. Of course there is Chris Evans who plays Johnny Storm, but I never did go for the irresponsible attention seeking types. Still, he is cute and when he flames on he FLAMES ON.

FF is what I expected when I heard that one of my favorite comic book hero crowd was making its way to the big screen. There are dazzling special effects, but they do not over shadow the characters. Granted, I missed the first few minutes of the movie and came in after they had been zapped by the cosmic cloud and were faced with altered DNA that took them by surprise, but what I saw was a lot of fun and true to Stan Lee's vision of FF as a group of scientists, misfits and reluctant heroes. Each of the characters was fully formed and fit the view I have always held of them in my mind. The only clinker was the olive-skinned brunette Jessica Alba as blonde Sue Storm, but that is because I actually expected an actress who looked feminine and fragile and not a decided blonde and Alba is nowhere near fragile or naturally blonde. Her character did, however, fit Ioan Gruffudd's Reed Richards and didn't detract too much from the overall story.

All in all, FF was good summer fun and worth paying to see. In fact, this is one I will probably buy when it comes out on DVD. I'd like to see it again and again. Chiklis nailed the confused, angry and heroic Ben Grimm during and after the change and when he chose friendship over comfort.

As for Depp as Willy Wonka, do I really need to say that Tim Burton has added a creepiness level beneath the surface with his back story and with Depp's portrayal that outdid my wildest expectations. Having seen Gene Wilder's portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I expected something darker and not so frothy and silly, but I got more than I bargained for. The combination of Burton's darkness and Depp's flawless immersion in the kid hating character of Willy Wonka is priceless.

There have been claims that Depp's Wonka closely resembles Michael Jackson, but I think those people are on crack. Depp's surface civility is a super thin veneer hiding a palpable and visceral disgust and hatred of children that goes to the bone. Even his rubber gloves to keep him from touching the children or their parents is reminiscent more of Howard Hughes or the germophobe in Creep Show's They're Creeping Up On You than Jackson's childlike and childish antics with children. Where Wilder was a happy and approachable Wonka, Depp is more like the scent of death and putrefaction found aboard a derelict ship marooned in the deep cold of space. Roald Dahl's vision under Burton's direction is well worth the price of a ticket if only to feel the creepiness crawling its slimy way across your skin. The only sour note is the schmaltzy ending, but it is a children's story after all. No getting away from the schmaltz when entertaining children is the main focus.

Coming out of the theater into the sledge hammer of heat that greeted me was nearly enough to make me run screaming back through the doors, but I decided to stick it out and go home. I still had errands to run. I did, however, forget that I-25 is torn up between Fillmore and Garden of the Gods, so I exited the freeway at Fontanero and headed north, getting turned around along the way. My navigational mistake did take me past a trashy lot full of nodding sunflowers beaming in the blazing heat abuzz with bees and I found out I didn't need to go to Garden of the Gods Road to finish my errands because a new store was opened on 19th and Uintah where I again met a lady who greeted me with, "Hi. You're the author." We dispatched my business and talked about books and authors for a few minutes before another customer rushed into the cool air conditioned lobby out of the brutal heat and I left to go home to the sweltering semi-comfort of my treetop apartment just in time for a rare and magical event that was repeated in a little different way the next day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

No secret is safe

Image hosted by

One of the most fascinating things about life is that we really do believe that we can tell a lie and it will never come back to haunt us. Our secrets will remain in the closet with the skeletons and last decade's bad fashion choices.

Life doesn't work that way.

People are social animals. They congregate, talk, interact and gossip -- and they tell their secrets, never revealing to the confidante (except in some cases) that they are in possession of a bit of information that will eventually turn back and bite them like a loved pet biting the hand that feeds them.

Secrets are like geysers, building pressure below the surface, struggling towards the light and eventually bursting forth in a dazzling display of power and fury.

Several months ago I offered to help someone out, someone who acted and talked like they couldn't afford the services of a professional editor. I offered to help for free. After a couple false starts, the author sent me their manuscript. When I received it I unwrapped the package and began to read, marking changes in grammar and punctuation and making notes. During this time I was told I might have breast cancer. The manuscript was put aside and I struggled with letting go of close friends and the man I love in the aftermath of the news. The manuscript was the last thing on my mind for a while. I finally forced myself to finish the task, put my notes and the manuscript in a box, wrapped it up and sent it off. The author, who had been on a long vacation, came back and asked where it was. I explained I sent it back to her a couple weeks before. She said she didn't get it. I hadn't insured the package. I didn't have the funds to do so and it wasn't insured when it reached me. I didn't think it was necessary.

She said the manuscript didn't reach its destination.

I explained to the author that I had made a copy of the manuscript and would go back thru it and edit it again, recreating the notes. Petulantly, she ordered me to forget it and just throw it away. Then she asked me why I would offer to help when I had no intention of doing so. My first answer, true to form, was a glib and sarcastic remark, "Because I wanted to steal your book and sell it as my own." Then I explained about my recent personal situation but she didn't care. She wanted her manuscript. I offered again to go back through the manuscript and she again ordered me to throw it in the trash. I explained I didn't work like that and went back to work editing. She shot more flaming emails at me and I got angrier and angrier at her. She could have afforded to pay someone for editing and she could afford to pay me, but I offered to help and because the post office lost her manuscript I was being blamed, flamed and defriended. The more I thought about her attitude and her lack of interest in my life the angrier I became until I realized I could not edit her manuscript in that state. I couldn't detach her attitude and vituperative comments and actions from the words. I could not remain impartial.

I did what she asked. I threw it away.

Nothing more was said and I considered it a closed case. After all, she didn't want me to redo the work and now I couldn't because I had emotionally crossed the neutral boundary and couldn't separate her actions towards me from the work. I went on with my life and continued writing in my Live Journal blog. In the meantime I didn't know it but she was trashing me on her journal in locked friends only posts. One of the people who friended me and has been reading my journal for a long time was also a friend of hers. In fact, the friend found me through the author's Live Journal blog.

During a recent dust-up with a close friend who showed her ignorance and venom publicly on my blog the author's friend offered a real life friendship. During the course of our phone conversations she told me how she found my journal. I related the manuscript debacle and she in turn told me that she finally understood the author's cryptic comments about the editor who was planning to publish the author's book under their own name. I could not believe my sarcastic comment had been taken literally. At first I wanted to confront the author publicly and tell her she needed to retract her statements and come out with the truth, but decided against it. No sense making things worse than they already were. The friend also told me she knew the allegations were specious because who and what I am shows clearly through my writing and were even clearer when she got to know me personally.

Then the author defriended my friend because she had gotten too close to me and my friend told me about it. I wanted to confront the author again but decided against it.

Lately I have been very busy with work and trying to make enough money to survive and set up my new apartment. I came here with only what I could pack in my car and since I drive a four door mid size car there isn't much room left when most of it is taken up by computers -- and not the laptop variety. I hadn't posted on my Live Journal blog for about a week and the friend was bugging me to post something -- anything. Yesterday I did.

Starting with the beginning of my silence during the week, I laid out the most interesting events of the past week, including an oblique reference to the author. Little did I know the author, despite defriending me back in December, continues to read my journal every day -- just like the close friend who made her journal friends only to keep me from reading her posts.

(Hint: I have no interest in reading someone who spreads lies and creates drama. When I am finished with a relationship, I don't go back to it like a dog to its own vomit. I simply walk away and don't look back. I suppose it's a fear of turning out like Lot's wife.)

The author fired off an email to my friend saying she was told the friend was really not a friend and that I "...would be attacking her behind her back as soon as [the friend] told her what [she] said" and that she didn't deserve " be called all those names." My friend is understandably upset.

I had second thoughts about what I wrote on my journal, but I stick by what I write and I don't screen 99% of what I write or make them friends only posts because I believe in being honest and up front about who and what I am. I have bad days like everyone else but I don't pretend they don't happen. They're out in the public eye in plain sight. I don't do anything behind anybody's back, although it could be said that this post is just that because it is on a blog that very few people have access to or know about. Basically, I consider this a haven, a place to let go with the things that bother me or hurt me or I need to say without worrying or fearing that someone will jump down my throat because they are protrayed in less than glowing terms. Few here know about my Live Journal blog and that is the way I want to keep it. I have to have some place where I am free to cast off the negativity that falls into my lap and slaps me in the face.

What I wrote was: "Oh, and I am utterly smitten by a tall young man with a shy smile holding a diploma in a cap and gown. His picture is in the frame that came with the box of stationery a certain Kansas City, Missourian left here and who has been bugging me, despite being chastised and castigated by a prevaricating, narcissistic drama queen obsessed with baseball an LJ denizen."

Nothing I wrote was inaccurate or false. She said I was cruel to her. I wasn't. In fact, she said she needed a Zip drive and couldn't afford it so I sent her a Zip drive that I wasn't using -- for free. She returned my favor by sending me a lovely little mouse pad that looks like a Persian rug. I still use it every day and it is my favorite mouse pad. She didn't get her manuscript so that means I was cruel to her. I'm to blame for the post office not getting her manuscript, despite the fact that since I didn't have any money coming in, outside of a few small checks for book reviews, I sent her manuscript back with the money I would have spent on food. But I was cruel.

My friend called me this morning and asked if I had gotten her email with the attached note from the author. I told her I had just read it and was about to reply. I expected her to be upset with me for the post but she said she was upset about what the author wrote to her and because the author assumed she had told me more than she had. Outside of telling me about now understanding about what the author wrote about the cruel person who planned to publish her manuscript under her own name and about being defriended because she had recently gotten too close to me, the friend told me nothing else.

The next shock was still to come.

The friend told me there was a lot she hadn't told me that the author had written about me in her journal in friends only posts and intimated it wasn't good at all. More than ever I wanted to email the author and jump down her throat. I didn't. I do not want this to escalate into another Live Journal drama like the one I just went through with my one time close friend, someone I called sister.

What surprises me most is that the author obviously still reads my blog. I guess she's waiting for news of a publishing contract for a book about a visibly half elf female bartender in California who ends up in the middle of trouble and murder and all kinds of mayhem. I keep an open mind about subject material in books and I have had to really stretch my imagination on a lot of things. But I would never steal another author's writing and certainly not something like that. I prefer to write darker fiction or fiction based on fact or biographies and true stories.

In some ways this situation is my fault. If I hadn't been open about what happened between the author and I when the friend and I first spoke on the phone, none of this would have happened. I wouldn't have found out the author has libeled me, and more than likely slandered me to her real life friends, or that she is still reading my journal. I should be flattered, but flattered is not how I feel.

I don't dismiss my friends because they choose to be friends with people I neither like nor respect. That's their call. That's their friendship and not mine. I do not play follow the leader nor do I defriend someone based on their choice of friends. I can't say the same for most other people and that has been clearly proven many times over the past weeks.

I also choose to live my life in public, putting my thoughts -- good, bad and indifferent -- out in the public on the Internet in plain sight. There is nothing up my sleeve but my arm and I don't use sleight of hand with the truth. I have been bitten in tender fleshy spots before and I didn't like the experience enough to spend the rest of my life wearing iron underpants. I don't sugar coat my words or pander to anyone's ego and there are no geysers full of secrets waiting to erupt in my future. I have enough trouble dealing with the truth to worry about secrets and lies. People don't like it when you tell the truth and they like it even less when you lay it out in clear view of the rest of the world. They are too wedded to their masks and makeup.

So, if the author ever finds her way here, she will see the truth in plain black and white and she can deal with me face to face instead of locking her lies and secrets behind friends only posts instead of dealing with me personally like a mature adult. Eventually more of her friends will get curious about the cruel and evil editor who hurt her feelings.

Which brings up another point. If she didn't get the manuscript, how is it possible that I hurt her feelings and was cruel to her over her writing? I wish I had copied the notes and re-edited the book so people could read how cruel an editor I am. Outside of telling her she needed to cut to the chase and cut out the first half of her long, involved introductory history of the main character to get to the middle of the action and then work the character's history into the story -- in other words: show and not tell -- the rest was all a matter of punctuation, grammar and word choice suggestions. I guess she didn't realize she needed to work on those, too.

What it all comes down to is what a practiced prevaricating Lothario once told me. Tell one person a secret and you tell the world. He was right. Too bad people need to lie and keep secrets -- except for the kind that end in happy celebrations.

I'll shut up now.


Sleight of hand, prestidigitation, the art of seeming to do something while everyone looks on as you misdirect their attention so you can retrieve something you concealed up your sleeve or behind your back. It's a fascinating art form and requires a manual dexterity most people do not have. It's magic. Or is it?

How can anything done in full view be hidden?

It can't. Not if you're looking at it. Forget the razzle dazzle and pay attention to what is really going on and you will never be surprised.

It's like life.

Perform a little prestidigitation with the truth and eventually the trick will be discovered. It always is. That's the thing about lies -- they will come back to bite you when you least expect it.

Prestidigitating prevarication. New term of the day.

See it.
Read it.
Use it in a sentence but don't use it for yourself or it will bite you in the end.

As my landlady says, "Have an excellent day."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Okay, I've been busy and things have been hectic, but I guess it's time to write something, even if it's only highlights of the past few days.

Work has been scarce during the normal daylight hours so I've been putting in a lot of nights and weekends to make sure I have a paycheck. Chasing after a paycheck is a sorry business, but at least it means that for about 24 hours on payday I have enough money to pay my bills and buy a second hand glass or three. Not much else at this point.

I got my probation review and they mentioned that they are dissatisfied with the amount of work I turn in on any given day because it is inconsistent. It couldn't be that when I first started and was blasting away with anywhere from 50-60 pages a day they told me to slow down or that the doctors then went on strike and getting any work at all was iffy at best. Naw, it couldn't be that. But you can bet I mentioned it. For a whole two weeks we had loads of work and were behind about three days and now we're back to hitting the button to get work and getting nothing but nothing, which has forced me to switch my schedule to when everyone else in the company is sleeping and get my work then. Of course I am having a bit of trouble adjusting to nights, but I'll get there eventually and I have all the operative reports I can handle in 8 hours -- or more.

Besides work I have also been sleeping some and getting ensconced in my new digs. Yes, I have actually bought items that make this move more permanent and more difficult to get away from should I choose to go driveabout again any time soon. I am actually putting down roots -- and not just in the garden and yard. All the clothes are off the bed and on hangers in the closet, which for some things is pretty interesting since I do not have a dresser or bureau right now. I had extra space in the bathroom cabinet and I dare anyone to go looking into my cabinets because they will get a face full of lacy, silky and frilly underthings. In one of the huge vanity drawers I put my socks, stockings and garter belts (or suspender belts for the Brits among you). The rest of the clothes are hanging in the closet away from prying eyes, along with the feather bed on which I spent my first month of floor sleeping and which the landlady gave me to keep. I'll use it when and if the snow flies on this side of the Divide.

I cleaned, I polished and I washed dishes, especially now since I can't think of leaving dishes in the sink without remembering the landlady's story about her mother who didn't like dishes (I must have been channeling her since I moved away from home) and left them in the sink for a week at a time when the landlady and her sister had to wash them, spending hours up to their armpits in hot, soap water. I picture Cinderella and I'm sure she felt the same. I don't leave the dishes for a week and there aren't THAT many to do since I live alone and do not own pots, pans, dishes or silverware yet, outside of a couple bowls, some plastic silverware (two three forks, one spoon and a knife), three kitchen knives, three big Gladware containers, one sauce pan and a 9x11" sheet cake pan. So you see? I don't have that much to wash. I do wash the plastic TV dinner trays before I pack them up and taken them for recycling, but that's just good manners and keeps down the rats. Keeps them down here, too. Doesn't work for the spiders who happily spin their webs on every available surface, but not have a lot of available surface for them to web -- like furniture, knick knacks and, well, furniture, they are forced to keep their webs in corners and on window sills and blinds.

I have one more load of laundry to do and I'll do that today and get it put away so that the floor in front of the doorway between the living room and bedroom will be bare again. It will also show the little flecks of lint and feathers from the feather bed, but it's all good.

Last week I also got a call from Beanie to tell me Mom had her blood served to her on Friday (she goes for monthly fill-ups because of really nasty pernicious anemia but really it's just vampirism so she can go into the sun occasionally without the black tinted windows on the van/hearse) and Dad visited his doctor to have get his PSA results. There was a 1-point jump in three months and the doctor told Dad it was cancer, but not in the prostate this time. It has been six years since his radiation treatments and we won't talk about the pad he has to wear because of bleeding (no, not THAT kind of bleeding -- the other end -- he IS a GUY), but he still has four years to go on his supposed remission. Guess someone forgot to tell his manufacturer. Doc thinks it might be throat cancer because Dad has this tickle in the back of his throat and keeps coughing, which drives Mom batty and she yells at him to COUGH OR QUIT, but he believes it might be colon cancer. A PSA is prostatic specific antigen and is a blood test to test for the presence of cancer in the prostate. I'm still figuring out how that would tell if he has cancer in some other portion of his body. His prostate isn't enlarged so it is doubtful he has prostate cancer again. The radiation took care of that and ruptured nearly all the blood vessels in his rectum and colon. I think it's a false alarm and the doctor needs to redo the test and check the results, but instead the doctor has opted for two very expensive tests, both of which involve radioactive isotopes. One is a bone scan and the other is called propaising, but I haven't heard of it and can't find anything on it, so I think they got the test name wrong. We will see what we will see.

Of course Mom has another problem. She's forgetting time. Not like she always has so that we are late to every family and social function where she is involved, but fading out like having more TIAs or mini strokes. She's terrified because that is how Granny Goodwitch was before the multiple strokes that put her in the nursing home with half her brain solidified and nonfunctional and eventually led to her prolonged and protracted dying where she was cut open, tubed and kept alive without dignity or decency, but that's another story. So all is not well with Casa Cornwell in the wilds of southern Ohio.

This prompted my father to ask me two weeks ago when I was coming back. I asked him, "When are you dying?" He laughed and said not for a long time, not knowing what the next week held in store for him. I answered, "Well, then I won't be coming back for a long time." He laughed and liked the conversation so well he has repeated it to family, friends and strangers. Last week's news about more cancer and the possibility of chemotherapy and losing his hair prompted a similar exchange. I told him, "If you think this news will get me back there any sooner, nice try but it ain't gonna work. I'm still not coming back." He laughed and began telling the latest installment in our running joke.

You see, when I left Ohio nearly three years ago I swore I wouldn't come back until someone died. Looks like they're trying awfully hard, but it isn't going to work. I've been through these situations before. I go back and no one dies -- FOR YEARS. I'm happy where I am and if they really need to see me so badly (and I'm sure most of you will remember the week of horror that ensued when Mom visited last fall) they can come out here. If I won't consider moving to New Mexico for good money and a good friend, I certainly am not going to contemplate moving back to a place it's better to be FROM than living IN. Solly, Chahllie, you got no egg roll with this one.

All of this brings me up to Sunday night when a strange occurrence, well, occurred.

I was working in my office on the sun porch where there are lots of windows and no blinds, drapes or curtains of any kind to screen me from the rest of the world -- or the rest of the world from me -- and why I wear clothes most of the time now (at least when I'm actually in this room. Okay, so I just wear a T shirt and nothing else, except occasionally socks, but no one can see that I'm naked below the waist. Anyway, on this particular night I was fully dressed and wearing shoes (too lazy to take them off from my jaunt earlier in the day) and beginning another work day/night. I was working on a particularly technical operative report when something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. A car was sitting next to the curb across the street at the stop sign with its turn signal blinking away. It wasn't moving and there was no traffic. No one got in or out of the car. It just sat there, turn signal blinking and blinking and blinking. I watched it for a couple minutes, feeling somewhat unsettled, and finished the dictation. When I was done about 10 minutes later, the car was still sitting with the turn signal blinking and no traffic going up or down the street. It should be noted that it was after 11:00 PM. I watched for a few minutes and the car finally moved, but I got the sense that I was being watched. The only light was from the two computer monitors and a little lamp on the top of the CPU so the watcher probably only saw my silhouette, but it was obvious they were watching. There are no tree branches or trees in the way between the stop sign and my windowed perch. The car angled toward 24th going north and waited, turn signal blinking, not moving. About 90 seconds later a car drove south down 24th and when it passed the car pulled onto 24th going north. It was a little old silver Subaru station wagon. I should have thought to get the license plate number, but I wasn't thinking about the details, just watching the watcher watch me. The thing is that I've been told that particular car has watched this house and me on previous occasions and I believe I know who it is. Can't say for sure until I have proof, like the license plate number, but you can be sure I'll keep watching for the watcher.

That brings me up to yesterday. Since my paycheck posted yesterday instead of today, and since they delivered my brand new 27-inch color TV (that I have still not plugged in or hooked the DVD player to), I called and double checked the cable installation date on Saturday, got a cheaper monthly rate and paid the first month in advance. Like I said, it's getting harder and harder for me to pick up and move by packing my meager possessions in my car and hitting the road. Computers I will move, but not a TV. It's like sticking a bullseye on the roof of my car and saying BREAK IN - NEW TV IN BACK SEAT. I like to travel light and the TV and pictures and bed and feather bed and the table I have to buy today to put the TV on are not light in the least...unless of course I decide to leave this apartment furnished if I get the urge to go driveabout again.

The only other news of the past week is the package I received from Beanie on Saturday. I have a new Aztec amulet and wear it on a cheap silver chain that once contained a jeweled flip flop that I bought at the visitors center on the way to Pikes Peak when was here last month. So I asked my mother, who has more jewelry than Mr. T (pay attention to the reference), if she had a simple single chain in silver or gold (the amulet is raised gold tracery on silver) she could send. She gave Beanie five chains to send. When I opened the very heavy package and ripped off the covering paper Mr. T's jewelry stared back at me in ropes of gold, silver and black. The landlady said, "Your mother must not know you very well. They don't look like anything you would wear." She is right.

I called Mom to ask her if she had ever met me before and thanked her for the gaudy and unusable chains that I will be sending back when I can afford the freight on so much weight. She said that is what I asked her for. I replied, "When did simple single chain ever mean THIS?" She launched into a technical and very detailed discussion of the types of links that make up a chain ad infinitum and nearly ad nauseam. "But these are ROPES not chains," I protested. "They are chains. One of them should do. Or you can go to K-Mart and buy a simple chain for $4 or $5." I may just stick with my $2.99 jeweled flip flop-less chain and forget about jewelry for a while. It's like asking for food and being faced with a banquet of bat's brains, jellied monkey guts and big fat bugs and losing your appetite for the rest of your life. I'm cured. When she goes to the great furnace in the dells she can give her jewelry to the rest of the females and Mr. T wannabes in the family. I don't need any unless they can be easily and quickly converted into electronic equipment and travel vouchers for a closer association with the world.

So this long and rambling post comes to an end with one more small hint at what is coming in the future. Chicken love has turned my father into a raving lunatic and Beanie is going down the mazy path with him.

Oh, and I am utterly smitten by a tall young man with a shy smile holding a diploma in a cap and gown. His picture is in the frame that came with the box of stationery a certain Kansas City, Missourian left here and who has been bugging me, despite being chastised and castigated by a prevaricating narcissistic drama queen obsessed with baseball an LJ denizen.

That is all. Disperse quietly and orderly to the exits.