Monday, June 30, 2008

Last Day in June


One more day left.  Some people say that after the Fourth of July, it's all downhill.  After the Fourth of July, summer is over.  


My dad sometimes says, "Cheer up, cold weather's coming!"  I don't know what that means.

I will be getting my computer back in the next couple of days, I presume, so I can resume wasting my time on the internet and trying to figure out the ending to my book.

I had a wonderful weekend at a writers' meeting.  One of my friends wrote a hilarious story about buying underwear.  It involved taking the escalator up and down several times.  I myself did some thinking about some decisions in my story.  It helps to talk about stuff like that sometimes.  And of course sometimes It's not helpful.

Also recently, I went to the Berkshires and saw Shaw's CANDIDA.  It was great.  Very heavy and Victorian and intellectual.  Ponderous you might say, although tastes have changed greatly in our time.  I love being in that area because everyone seems so smart and well read.  They use words bigger than "futon," and it makes me swoon.

The cats departed with their mommy and daddy in my absence.  I miss them, although I do like keeping the bathroom door open and the garbage in a more accessible place.  GOODBYE HANSEL AND GRETEL.

I did surprisingly well for weight on the weekend.  I was on a tequila diet.

Hot and humid here in New England, dear reader.  Hope it's nice where you are.

A bientot

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cat Tales

Gretel loves me this time.  She was always the more aloof of the two, the one you couldn't find for two or thre days because she  wedged herself into the inner springs of a chair or under the bed.  Speaking of that, I was napping the othr day (I know, dear reader, you thought I was a fount of energy at all times--HAH!) and thought my sinuses were making a weird noise.  Every time I breathed in or out I was making this little high-pitched squeak and it started to freak me out.


Then I ascertained that it was not related to my breathing.  What could it be?  My stomach?  God, I hope not.


Then I thought, what if there is a cat under my bed.

And there was.  It was a little bit like waking up after a bad dream and feeling so happy that it wasn't true.  There she was, cute little Gretel snoring away between the suitcase and a box of old photographs.

Speaking of old, I have resurrected an old laptop and am online by a hair.  The other thing about cats is their propensity to get in trouble when you are not looking.  When you are in the same room with them, they are models of grace and comportment.  YAWN.  Then when you are upstairs you hear bangs and thuds and these two do something that sounds like the dining room chair is going in and out under the table.  Maybe they're having a fancy dinner party down there and getting the place settings ready for their friends. 


When you walk into a room, you will frequently see them jumping down from the countertop or down from the mantelpiece or wherever they have gotten to.

But anyway, they are cute and inquisitive and heavy nappers.  And Gretel loves me.  She walks on me when I am in bed and I love that.  The only part I don't love is when she settles somewhere on the terrain of me and flexes her claws in and out.  HEY.

Parceling out these June days, dear reader.  They are jewels.
Have a great weekend.

A bientot

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Arrival of the Cats

No pix today (keep reading).  But summer vacation is launched  for Hanse and Gretel, my son's two elderly felines who are visiting Grannikins for the week.  It's a litte like working in a nursing home.  Pretty much all they do is sleep , though they get somewhat frisky at least twice a day..  Most of the time they are very laid back despite a few arguments like any married couple.  Feeding time is their opportunity to show me how disappointed they are with what I'm giving them. They each have a way of walking past the food dish and lifting their head in disgust.  WHAT A PEASANT. WHAT A CHEAPSKATE.  I used to be more liberal and generous with them, opening delicious cans of wet cat food for their pleasure, but I learned not to be.


Gretel ate an entire can of food the first time and went into the living room and puked it up.

That will take care of generous impulses every time.

It gets down to some pretty basic questions when you care for animals.

Do you prefer puke or shit?

Hopefully, you won't have to choose and also hopefully they recognize and accept their fate as litter box users.  

Enough of that. More computer problems, yaay!!! Once again I rely on the Blanche Dubois strategy--using the kindness of strangers to get by.  Well,  that's not true.  They are my very good friends and don't seem to mind me ducking in here at all hours of the day and night to check emai and blog.

Water problems also from my pump/well system which is run by the same gerbils in the same wheel that run everything else here.  But I am Living the Dream, dear reader.  
And isn't that all that matters?
A bientot

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Tom Brady Picture
T: They love me here. Don't you think they love me? Don't you think they would rather look at me than all these basketball players?
G: Yes, definitely. Honey, I really don't want to eat nachos. They are gross.
T: I think most people have forgotten what happened. Don't you, Giselle? You're not still thinking about it, are you?
G: About what, darling? The Super Bowl loss?
T: OOOOh, can you keep your voice down, please?
G: I don't want popcorn either. I get little pieces of it in my teeth. My teeth are expensive, darling.
T: Well, if we come to this game against Detroit, we won't have to come to any potential championship game. They'll never win anyway.
Tom Brady Picture
T: You don't think people are talking about it here, do you?
G: About what, darling? My dress? Whether I will fall?
T: No. About you know.
G: This is New York, sweetie. They are happy you lost.
T: OUCH, that's harsh, Giselle. "Lost" is a cruel word.
G: Well, what would you call it, my sweet? You are the only, how do you say, weak link in the perfect storm in Boston?
T: Perfect season, not perfect storm. And it was almost a perfect season. And we shouldn't have lost.
G: No one is saying it was your fault, lover. It is just that all the other teams were winners. Please I don't want to eat onion rings.
G: My feet are killing me, darling. Can you go a little slower?
T: Do you think these people are thinking about it?
G: Oh my darling, I think we should stay home. But I don't like the cooking shows. Okay?
Another precious June day, dear reader. Enjoy.
A bientot

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Now That's What I Call a WIN!!!




Celtics win NBA title!
Photo from awesome coverage in the Boston Globe.
1) Doc Rivers is one polite guy. When Pierce doused him with the red Gatorade, he didn't flinch. Pierce must have apologized to him because I heard Doc say "I don't mind at all."
2) Phil Jackson's pre-game pep talk had at last one person in the locker room openly yawning. This is not a good sign for your team.
3) Paul Pierce's emotional remarks to --who is that woman, the reporter-- at halftime. "We want it bad," he said. And they did. Doc wouldn't even let himself touch the trophy until it was his. I saw him touch it for the first time and it must have been so satisfying.
4) Kobe is a great player, but you can't do it all yourself. Dan Shaughnessy says in today's Globe that the Lakers have "too many Europeans." I guess he means they don't have the passion? The love? I remember a few years ago when Michael Jordan won the trophy and he was writhing around on the floor of the locker room, kissing it. He said he was going to keep playing while he still felt this way. "My love is strong," he said.
5) Ray Allen finally did a chest thump. It was so nice that no one guarded him during the game, allowing him to hit all those treys. Thanks, Lakes.
6) Wonder why Larry Bird didn't show up. In general, the quality of our celebrity audience members is more on the B list....
7) Bill Belichick doesn't look right with that blonde woman. They look like they got seated together by accident.
That's all I can think of right now.

Monday, June 16, 2008


No party on the coast for C's
But we didn't want to win in LA anyway. The only bad part about the 04 and 07 Red Sox World Series wins was that they were on the road. I mean it's just more satisfying to stand on the table and scream and yell when you're at home.
Not to mention less embarrassing. Nobody wants to see Jack Nicholson doing things like that. Wonder if he does a Wicked Witch of the West imitation as fierce as mine. I'll bet he has something.
So we'll take care of business tomorrow night, okay?
The trophy will be awarded. The rings will be ordered.
Here is Pat Riley with his six. Good grief. I guess you wouldn't have to invest in brass knuckles if you had that many. Pat is looking a little grizzled , but still good. I think he personally got that slicked back hairstyle going for men.
Referee Dick Bavetta (left) talked with Celtics head coach Doc Rivers (center) while Jack Nicholson chimed in from the sidelines.
Jack is still using it, in fact. Here he is assisting Doc Rivers and ordering a double from the bar.
Thanks to the Boston Globe.
A precious day in June, dear reader.
Even though it's kind of a crappy one outside.
A bientot

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why the Yankees are Different than the Lakers

We don't hate the Lakers. At least we don't hate them with every fiber in our beings. We only look down our noses at their good weather and show-offy sunglasses. We save our true loathing for the other group.

With that in mind, one can watch the Celtics/Lakers playoffs without too much angst.

CELEBRITIES SPOTTED IN THE CROWD (but I can't get their pictures to show up):
1) Sly Stallone looking truly odd, as though he has been in a fire or something. I'm glad he can enjoy the game. But don't give us any of that Rocky crap, gloating and waving your fist in the air. Don't act like a Yankee fan.

2) Jack Nicholson. He is why we tune in, isn't he? God, I've got to see Jack sitting courtside so I can feel the hate. Get this rivalry thing turned up. It's been a long time, but Jack looks exactly the same. He was with his daughter during the first game and I confess to a sharp intake of breath, thinking OHMYGOD, A REALLY YOUNG ONE! But no. She was drinking water with her dad and looking totally too cool for the room.

3) And speaking of that, Curt Schilling, who has raised Dorkhood to new levels in his white tee shirt with Celtics Larry Bird shirt on top of it, had his daughter next to him as well, who was texting to a friend. I AM SITTING COURTSIDE AT THE NBA FINALS, BUT I HAVE BETTER PLACES TO BE.

4) Hugh Hefner was also with his daughter. Or maybe it was his granddaughter. YOU ask him.

5) Tobey Maguire, looking very un-spiderish with his mouth open for flies to get in.

6) several Red Sox players showing solidarity

Will Smith (right) and wife Jada Pinkett-Smith were on hand for Game 4.

A good time was not being had by everyone, one senses. Maybe Will leaves the toilet seat up.
Anyway, I'm starting to get into it. Go Paul! Go Celts!

Roaring back
Thanks to the Boston Globe for these.
A bientot on a fine June day

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit: Melissa Senate

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE MARRYING already sounds pretty good to me and the fact that it is written by bestselling author Melissa Senate doesn't hurt either. In fact, it sounds as though it ought to be handed out at wedding expos, though nobody at those events wants to deter anyone, I'm sure. You're not already married, are you? might be one. As soon as I read Melissa's book, I will know if that is on the list. Great title, though, and hats off--veils off--to Melissa. Here's a little more scoop:

A very popular New York Times article lists fifteen questions couples should ask (or wish they had) before marrying. Ruby Miller and her fiancé, Tom Truby, have questions 1 to 14 almost covered. It's question 15 that has the Maine schoolteacher stumped: Is their relationship strong enough to withstand challenges?

Challenges like…Ruby's twin sister, Stella. The professional muse, flirt and face reader thinks Ruby is playing it safe. And that the future Mrs. Ruby Truby will die of boredom before her first anniversary or her thirtieth birthday, whichever comes first.

Challenges like…sexy maverick teacher Nick McDermott, Ruby's secret longtime crush, who confesses his feelings for her at her own engagement party.

But before Ruby can plan the wedding that may never be, Stella announces she's pregnant by a one-night stand whose name might be Jake (or James? Maybe Jason?) and who lives somewhere under the glittering lights of Las Vegas. Ruby and Stella hit the road to find him—with a lot more than fifteen questions.

And after three thousand miles, a stowaway relative and hitchhiking teen lovebirds bound for an Elvis wedding chapel, the Miller sisters might get some answers.

“Senate’s prose is fresh and lively.” –The Boston Globe

Bio: Melissa Senate is the author of seven novels, including her debut, the bestselling See Jane Date, which was made into a very cute TV movie for ABC Family, and Theodora Twist, her first YA. A former editor of romance novels and teen fiction, Melissa lives on the southern coast of Maine with son, his Pokemon cards collection, and their two witchy black cats. She’s hard at work on her next YA for Delacorte, and just sold her next two adult novels to Pocket Books.
Buy this book

A bientot dear reader
Button Example!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lincoln in London and Heat Wave

Imagine my surprise as I inched along in a cab through Parliament Square and saw.....was that....Abraham Lincoln? It was indeed and it gave me a start. Hey!! that's our guy!!!!
According to, it is a replica of the more famous stateue in Chicago's Lincoln Park and I guess does not commemorate a visit of his to London as I had thought. I would love to think of Lincoln addressing Parliament, but I don't think it happened. I felt proud, though. Here is a better shot of the English version.
In other news:
This map is directly from One presumes it is correct.
It shows severe weather. Please note THE RED PARTS.
Watches & Warnings

that means HEAT. High temps. Sweaty grouchy citizens. The only state that looks completely covered with red is New Jersey. Good luck to them, though a lot of Yankee fans live there and are used to the hell of no World Series wins since 2000. [ed. note: stay tuned for immature Celtics gloating]

We is suffering, baby!! Why can't that red blob move just a bit south and then we'd be out of it and into the lovely June weather we deserve!!

It was only a few weeks ago it snowed. Come on--let's show a little moderation here, okay?

Here's another map showing recent lightning strikes:

Isn't this great? I wonder if there are times when the map is blank. No lightning is striking anywhere. I wonder if people are winning the lottery right now in Oklahoma--don't they say the odds are similar?

Hard at work on my book, dear reader, making my initial descent into the ending. HELP!! Dunno what's going to happen, well, aside from the main thing, the important thing, the Big Revelation.

Enjoy this sweaty day, dear reader.

A bientot



Thursday, June 05, 2008

Flaming June

I saw this painting at the Tate Britain just last week. It is on loan from the Ponce Museum of Art in Puerto Rico, where it has resided since 1963 and I feel terribly lucky to have seen it.
Second of all, IT IS FREAKING GORGEOUS, is it not? It was painted smack in the Victorian era in 1895 by Frederic Lord Leighton and by the 1960s, Victorian art was not much in favor and so did not attract a high price. That is how the Ponce got their hands on it and thank god they did

I also post it because I love the title. The dress is flaming, of course, and perhaps the sleeping woman's personality is too. We are in the month of June now and it is slipping by and I don't WANT it to. I jealously guard each day. Even though today I have to do something hateful at the dentist's, it's still a day in June and I want to enjoy it and appreciate it.

Here is how I want to feel.
All I need is Cary Grant.

I saw Sex and the City the other night.
I've read lots of ho-hum reviews of the flick, but honestly, I could have sat and watched it for another hour (it's already 2.5). On Lifetime network, you generally get a new outfit every 90 seconds, but in SatC, it seems more often (I read there were 300 costume changes). Love love love it. Also the main plotline of Carrie and Big was mesmerizing to me and speaks to any woman who has been in love. The way Carrie gets over her disappointment was very realistic and her friends helped her and it didn't happen overnight (2.5, remember?)
A good friend of mine said she does not like SatC and I agree that there is a bit of a "revenge" theme in the series. Sort of "watch us behave as badly as the men do" type of thing. And I think there is a certain frivolousness to the show, the love for fashion especially. Well, certainly fashion is frivolous. Who would disagree with that? But here's my question: SO WHAT?
I am reading Time Traveler's Wife and it is very engaging.
I am working on my book every day--rolling the snowball, dear reader, as I savor this beautiful month.
A bientot

Monday, June 02, 2008

London Bits

The weather was cool. The wind would whip by and make you think of November instead of May. In Oxfordshire on the Bank Holiday, I never took my sweater off, even indoors, and thank god I brought a rain jacket. Plenty of winter coats were in evidence and I could have used my Mistress of the Stables boots.

I don't think anyone goes to England for the food (although a friend of mine prepared a fabulous roast beef dinner with Yorkshire pudding--it's a little like what we would call a popover). I tried everything that seemed traditional, including a cheese plate, a Ploughman's lunch, fish and chips, and bitter ale. Lager has fizz to it and bitter doesn't--that's how it was explained to me. They like to serve mushy peas and baked beans with everything and on all tables you will find this brown sauce.

Here it is next to the ketchup.
It's a little like barbecue sauce or A-1, but thinner and sweeter. I liked it.
I ain't big on beans, though.

They always give you vinegar, too. Note my chic scarf. I am into scarves now, though it's a little hot for them in Massachusetts.

This was our regular pub, the Prince of Wales near Belgrave Road. The back entrance had a tiny cement step in front of it, over which I tripped several times. There's nothing like a dramatic entrance, which I have always known. We were in there on the night England played the USA in soccer ("football") and the place was jumping. Actually, it was jumping every night. I could definitely get into it.
Brits wear "trousers." They don't say "pants." In fact, a friend whispered to me that "pants" are worn, well, underneath. Oops, didn't know that. I was probably spouting "pants" "pants" "pants" without a break.
Brits don't disembark from trains or get off them, they "alight." I love this. 'DO NOT ALIGHT HERE. It makes me feel graceful.

A road detour is a "diversion," which I also love. I expect to see a group of people around a table playing cards and amusing themselves. Or someone doing magic tricks to try and take your mind off the traffic.

They don't say "exit." They say "Way Out." I have brief flashbacks of the 60s/70s hippie era when I see this--far out, man. WAY OUT, DUDE.

"Baggage Reclaim"makes me ponder. I suppose this is more correct than "Baggage Claim," and I don't know which I prefer.

An "inky swot" is a bookworm. Someone who studies night and day. Isn't that great? THE INKY SWOT could be a book title for sure.

After being so polite in some of their terms, it's a bit jarring to see the word "Toilets" displayed prominently. We Yanks are far more inhibited and modest in some ways--Ladies' Room, Rest Room, geez, we make it sound like we're going to sleep in there. I guess we don't like to mention what really might be happening. Sometimes the Brits say "going to the gents" and I don't know if there is a parallel term for females.

Only the lower classes hold their pinkies up when they drink tea. Who knew?

Scones are good.

They don't say "Yield," but "Give Way," which seems quite elegant and deferential, like nodding one's head.

Some signs resist translation.

In the very busy sections of the city, when you approach a street corner, you can look down and see LOOK LEFT or LOOK RIGHT painted on the street itself. This is very helpful. However, when it is NOT there, I tend to bolt out into the middle of things without thought. That's always been how I lived anyway.

Driving on the lefthand side seems very dangerous.

They don't have garbage cans, but "bins." I know we have bins too, but I think we keep things in them. "Put this in the bin" would tell me to store the thing, not throw it out. And speaking of that, there are precious few places to throw things out in London. Come to find out, garbage receptacles have been used to hide bombs in, so that makes sense. You just have to keep your gum wrappers in your pocket until you get to your home or your hotel and throw then out in your own "bin."

It's very expensive just now for an American in London. Yikes.

A six-pound inexpensive something-or-other doesn't seem so cheap when you realize it is twelve bucks. Fifteen pounds for fish and chips and you are having a thirty-dollar lunch. After a few days, who the f cares?
I wish I was still there. A bientot, dear reader.