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Archive for August, 2009

Lacey (name changed) sat behind me in secretarial class my senior year, 1956. I knew the stories she whispered to me could not be true, yet they seemed so real a part of me believed. Lacey and I weren’t close friends, didn’t run around together, rarely saw each other outside of the two hour secretarial class, which left a lot of time for those who were one with the manual typewriter. Lacey and I were.

The first whisper was about how cool she thought Russ Tamblyn was. He was a rather short standout dancer in movie dance groups like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. His rather unruly hair had a red tint and his face was what we called cute back in the fifties.

Lacey’s fervor for Russ Tamblyn was so strong I began to look forward to her little fantasies. One day she became very excited and had to be hushed by the teacher. When the coast cleared she took a deep breath and told me Russ stayed at her house last night in a spare room. I don’t remember the circumstances of his implantation into her physical life from the screen, but it was so real to her. I could hardly wait for secretarial class the next day. Lacey was beside herself with her idol present in her own home and I began to feel how real it was. She never mentioned conversations or meals with him and the family, just seeing him, knowing he was sleeping beyond her bedroom wall.

One day Lacey burst into class extremely calm, but I could see she was boiling underneath. When the chance came, she leaned into my ear and whispered, “Russ and I did it last night.” This story needs a large piece of white space here because that’s what the time and room became for me. Everything was so real for Lacey—and for me. Your first time was a big event in your life and Lacey had experienced it with her idol!

I sat bolt upright and faced the front of the class. What was I thinking? Of course, this was all a fantasy in her head. Russ Tamblyn didn’t come to our little town. Lacey didn’t sleep with him.

“We met on the living room couch during the night like I knew we would. The look was in his eyes earlier,” Lacey said, “it was wonderful.” Then Lacey went into a sort of trance.

For several days after that Lacey first gave me that knowing smile and nod and said they met again. Sometimes she added they were almost caught by her mom.

* * *

It’s 2009. I haven’t seen or thought of Lacey in years, but I did today. Amber Tamblyn was featured in the Parade Magazine. I’ve followed her because she was Russ Tamblyn’s little girl, so I read a celebrity piece, which I rarely do. Amber is asked how it feels to be an only child. And there she discloses that she learned she is not an only child, that she has an older sister her father produced in the sixties. Suddenly for the first time in years I think of Lacey. I know Lacey’s tale was spun in 1956 and Amber’s sister was born in the sixties so there can be no connection. Yet I hear those breathless whispers and don’t know where fantasy ends and reality begins.

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Hummer!I don’t promise these are great photography, but they are a triumph for me. I finally caught a hummer on camera. Through a double-pane window  and screen, but I caught him. This is the first time I have seen a hummingbird perch. They are always in a tizzy, flitting from flower to flower. This time he sat right down on my red pepper cage and waited until I got the camera. He wiped his beak back and forth on the wire like a chef sharpening a knife, then preened for a while. I’m in awe. So not good photography, but a great accomplishment for me.

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You must be very careful when e-mailing not to be misunderstood. And it is such an easy thing to do. Follow this morning’s e-mails if you have doubts. As soon as I opened my computer this morning I read this from my son.

From: Son

Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009 4:07 AM

To: Mom

Subject: Re: This gun toter did a GREAT job (from a recent e-mail I sent him)

Sent from my iPhone.

Just wanted to tell you I am in the ER in *town* pain to much in knee I will call when I get out. I just got here love you

From: Son

To: Mom

Sent: Friday August 14, 2009 6:24 AM

Subject: Re: This gun toter did a GREAT job

Sent from my iPhone

I am at home now. They gave me two big shots in my ass and some weird prescription and told me I need a orthopedic doc. Now my ass hurts too. I am ok if I do not answer your call that is because I am sleeping

(Of course, I write my sister to tell her what is going on by forwarding son’s e-mails. ) Message to sister:

From: Me

To: Sister

Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009 7:35 AM

Subject: Fw: This gun toter did a GREAT job

My first email from *son* was at 4 a.m. He was in the ER at hospital near here. This is follow-up. I hurt. I know that shot probably put him out. I’ll keep emailing and see if he needs me to bring anything.

From: Sister

To: Me

Sent: Friday August 14, 11:20 a.m.

Subject: Fw: This gun toter did a GREAT job

What…….never mind. I will call.

And then the phone rings. It’s my sister from Texas all frantic, wanting to know how *son* is. I started explaining it was just his injured knees again and the pain had been too much.

“He didn’t get shot?”

And then I re-read what she had received: Gun toter did a GREAT job…..shot probably put him out…..

Oh sure, NOW we can laugh. Hope you did, too.

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I sent the following comment online to White House this morning.

Let me propose a simple solution that may take more time, but *can* hold out the possibility of getting many naysayers (including me) on board. I quote a myth and myth buster from Mr. Axlerod’s email today:

“We can’t afford reform: It’s the status quo we can’t afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis. “

DO THIS FIRST. Forget everything else until sufficient time has elapsed to prove whether this projection itself is a myth or not. I can’t believe that showing a huge savings after implementing your plans would not bring the majority on board. America is sick of RUSH RUSH RUSH, slick talking salesmen, and that includes you. It is demeaning. Show us the money or saving of it in this case. Then we’ll sit down and talk. After all, just choosing a proper dog for your children took months. Please give healthcare the same consideration.

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I wasn’t wrong. I had such high hopes for this movie and they were all fulfilled. Food was prominent, of course, but Julie & Julia was about so much more; filling your life with things you love, two romantic relationships and writing/publishing. The writer (and blogger) in me was touched so many times by two writers’ letdowns and triumphs. It was a beautiful movie without a single slow part. If you write–and I know you do–get to this movie. You will be inspired.

This movie gets writers in the gut. Pun intended.

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Cat Attraction

Are all cats drawn to computers? Are they the ultimate technophobes or is the spot between you and the computer commensurate with you and the newspaper? Neither Emma nor Luther will dare sit in my lap. Oh no, but when my “lap” is the computer desk I can’t keep them away. P1060531

So today Luther parked himself right where I needed to spread receipts to enter in Quicken.  I just pretended he wasn’t there and stacked them right on him. He hardly twitched, sat there the whole process.

Now Emma comes along later as I am viewing the picture I took of him. She sees brother on the screen, figures it’s her turn and plops in front of the screen. In a way, Emma is the bigger challenge because she doesn’t know the command “lie down” and he does, and she has that lush plume of a tail that Luther doesn’t. P1060541On the positive side, it is well dusted behind the screen everytime she loops back there.

Are you quite sure Hemmingway got any writing done in Key West  with all those cats roaming around?

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I wanted to post this as a clue in the Twitter hacking that happened today. Apparently hackers were able to invade millions? of computers and jam the Twitter site, shutting them down. Facebook got squirrely, too. During a real slow down of my machine I checked processes and there were two Picasas listed and together they were using almost 100% capacity of my computer. No new photos had been downloaded so no reason for that to happen. I am assuming that was one of the portals through which they took over mine and others’ computers. The last few days my Mozy backup has been work ing almost constantly also. Those are the two main sites that have access to my computer.

I am in no way a computer whizz, but I can feel a slowed down computer and read processes taking place. I immediately shut down and reopened my computer and Picasa was not even on the processes page.  These are probably only two of many sites that were compromised. Just thought you’d like to know and perhaps try shutting down briefly to see if it helps.

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I quote Linda Douglas, communications director for the White House Health Reform Office at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

I don’t think I can add anything to that. Re-read what I put in bold. Now re-read 1984 by George Orwell.

Now I must worry if this blog will end up at the Whitehouse. Think about that.

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