Fish lights today!!!

Zappos sent me a note last night with a tracking number. UPS would be delivering my new fish crocs on Tuesday. But, this morning, UPS says, WRONG! They are Out for Delivery today!! I'm very excited.

So I really don't know what that huffing and puffing and can't get air thing was about yesterday but it's totally gone today. Very strange but Yeah.

I'm going back to using an alarm, at least for Mondays. The pool is most crowded on Mondays so it's the day I really need to get there as soon as they open to secure my lane real estate. This morning I woke up at 1:30, 2:30, 3, 3:30, 4... yeah, I need the alarm so I can sleep! I had a really nice swim. I finished one book yesterday and have another lined up but I listened to music instead and just used the time to random think.

One random thought was a correction to one of my Continued entries. I remembered, when I was little, that Daddy used to take us to the rodeo in Winston-Salem. So I had seen horses in real life. I also remembered that the Winston-Salem Coliseum was the first (and only) place I ever saw water fountains labeled 'colored' and 'white'.

I got some other good thinking done, too. Nice to get things organized in my brain. I get such joy on so many levels from swimming.

I do not get joy from leaves. The Tree That I Hate is growing in... again. There's a tree, right outside my terrace. It was planted by the city about a year after I moved in here. For about the first 10 years I could not even see it. And then... it started creeping up to my level. The guy below me, at the time, snipped off the top of it once and nearly got jail time for his efforts. He did have to pay a giant fine. But, it bought me a couple of years. Now, from May through October, it totally blocks my view of the stadium, the parking lot and the apartments across the street. It's anathema to my love of voyeurism.

I think I'm going to head on back to the sewing room and see about making more dolls.

Note for me

My breathing got substantially easier late this afternoon. It's now 9:15 pm and all the problems are gone. Weird Very Weird. I'm glad it's gone and I hope it never comes back.

I loved Fargo the movie and Fargo the TV show Season 1. I did not like Season 2 and didn't watch after the first 10 minutes of episode 1. But, so far, I'm liking Season 3. Maybe I didn't give 2 enough of a chance.


Aiken was a very interesting and fun place to live for a while and it came at kind of an interesting time in my life. Vietnam was winding down. I was losing my professional training wheels and building my own life.

I had my first orgasm.

I had my first interview with the FBI.

I had my first time seeing lightening come into my bedroom.

I covered the Masters Golf tournament.

And, I retired from journalism.

Those things really had nothing to do with one another except they all happened in Aiken.

Besides horse people, Aiken had physicists. Down the street was the Savannah River Site, a nuclear reservation. It was known then - early 70's - as the bomb plant or the bum plant. The population of Aiken was about 12,000 - horse people, scientists and red necks. It was quite the mix.

I was dating a physicist who was being considered for a hot job at the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington and he had to get security clearance. It was a weird experience. I was interviewed 3 times by the FBI about him and me and his work and what I knew about it. The FBI guys were so not fun. I mean really, it got to be kind of a pain the ass.

He ended up getting the job and moving to Washington. So I guess I passed the FBI test. Then I dated a guy who made his living playing backgammon. That was WAY more interesting. Although he really wasn't.

Every evening in the Summer, we had thunderstorms. You could almost set your clock by them. One evening I was in my bedroom getting dressed to go out and I saw a bolt of lightening come in one window, cross the room, and go out another. Scared the ever loving shit out of me. Both sills had burn marks on them after but the screens appeared untouched. So freaky.

The Masters Golf Tournament was down the road about 30 minutes. It was a BFD. One year the sports editor/reporter/photographer (one very tired guy) had to have his appendix out in emergency surgery just before the tournament started and the editor sent me. I knew zip about golf. I'd never even dated a golfer. I was not even that good at PuttPutt and there I was standing on the grass being serenaded by golf clapping.

It turned out to be fun and interesting and pretty with really good food. I did get the tops of my feet really badly sunburned but still... it was a great assignment.

But, I was getting frustrated. The fun stories were fun but not sustainably so. The non-fun stores were frustrating. I could never write about all I knew because even though I knew it was true, I didn't have credible sources and/or couldn't prove it. And no one cared anyway. I enjoyed the license to be nosy and I was great at ferreting out info but I lost my enthusiasm for sharing that info. Kind of a problem for a news reporter.

Then one Sunday morning Parade Magazine had a piece about Helen Thomas who, at that time was the much revered doyenne of print journalism. She'd been working her ass off as a reporter for 30 years. Parade reported that she made $27,000.00 a year.

So... I was frustrated with a dismally destitute future. Time to make a change.

To Be Continued

Is that my glass?

I nearly always have a glass of ice water next to me. Lately the cat has taken to drinking my water out of my glass. WTF?? That's my glass of water. So I finally got another glass (exactly the same) and filled it with water and left it on the counter next to her food dish. Now she drinks out of her glass and not mine. Problem solved but what a weird cat.

I am having a very rare COPD day. I can't seem to get enough oxygen in. It feels like I'm on an air diet. Weird. It's just like being out of breath for no reason. It's not painful or even horrible but annoying all the same. I didn't have a problem swimming this morning. I first noticed it about mid morning. I'd like it to go away and not be a thing.

Salty Seniorita

A few months ago, on the bulletin board in the garage, someone left 3 days passes to the expensive gym near Pike Place Market. One for Feb, one for March and one for April. I really enjoyed my first two trips and today used the last one. Early on a Sunday morning, it's a piece of cake to get there, find parking and get home. Plus they have a salt water pool. Swimming in salt water makes your skin feel amazing all day.

I like the gym a lot and if the cost was the same to me as LA Fitness (i.e. $0 through my insurance), I might be more of a regular there but it has just enough negatives to not be too tempting. Fun place to visit, though. I'd love to see some more free passes on the bulletin board!

I couldn't decide which place out of several options to go to for breakfast so I came home and made my own - scrambled egg, bacon, cheese quesadilla. I totally forgot I had an avocado which initially annoyed me but then I checked and it won't be good until at least tomorrow.

Zappos says my light up fish crocs will be here Tuesday. I cannot wait. My dream shoes. I wonder if I should get a backup pair.

Cheap incense for the win. I have an exhaust hood over my stove BUT it does not (and cannot) vent to the outside, it's pretty worthless unless you need a loud wind sound. It does nothing to dissipate smoke or smell. I hate the smell. I've tried everything. Dishes of baking soda, odor elimination beads, candles, sprays - everything. Finally, not long ago, I thought to give incense a try. I got the cheapest I could find on Amazon - cones - and gave 'em a try. The incense smell is not strong at all and what little there is does not last long. But, it eats the food smell!! It really does work. And it's so cheap and easy.

There's a baseball game this afternoon and that's all I know for sure about the agenda for the rest of today. We'll just see what happens.

Happy Birthday to me!

Nope not my birthday yet. But, it will be in a little more than 11 months and I will be ready because I bought myself a present today. It's Totally Ridiculous Absolutely Unnecessary and something I do not need. But, did that stop me? NO. I tried to talk myself out of these but totally failed. They will be here on Tuesday.

They are fish Crocs that light up!

How wild are these???!!! They are the kind of shoes I often see on kids and wonder why in the heck don't they make cool shit like that in big feet sizes. So not only am I going to have the coolest feet in the whole world but I'm also showing shoe makes that big girls will buy fun stuff so make more! Please.


Aiken was a fun experience in many ways. The newspaper was fascinating. They were small and scrappy and pretty much let me do whatever I wanted as long as I did what they wanted. As I look back on stuff in general, some of the most important life lessons I learned were drawn from my experiences writing for that paper.

One of my first assignments was to write the copy for the Horse Special. What??? March was horse month in Aiken. It was the last month before the horses went north (to New York) and south (to Florida) for the racing season. The first weekend was flat races, the second weekend was trotters and pacers and the third weekend was steeplechase. So at the beginning of March, the paper put out a special Horse edition. I had told the editor that I was a morning person. That's all he needed to know. (Most professional horse stuff goes on pre-dawn to noon).

Didn't seem to matter that I had never met a horse. I'd never even seen one in person (in horse?)*. The editor gave me a list of stories he wanted and off I went. My first interview was with a trainer who turned out to be my horse savior. He was an older guy and very classy. I fell on my sword immediately and admitted I knew nothing. On the spot he created and enrolled me in his special College of Horses.

He introduced me to everyone I needed and was always on hand and willing to answer any and all questions. He gave me ideas and open doors and made that years Horse Special The Best One Ever - editor's words, not mine! It was a great way to start.

I covered city hall, the crime beat, the school board. Once I needed a photographer for a story and the regular guy was out for the day and the editor shoved a camera in my hands and said 'give it your best shot'. So I did. And my shot was good. Later I got the photographer to show me how and to teach me how to develop the film I had shot. That was really fun - stinky but fun.

My parents moved from Aiken to a small town in western North Carolina after about a year. And one time driving back from there house one weekend, on a Sunday night, I saw a KKK rally. The real deal. White hoods around a fire in the middle of a field. It was the most amazing and creepy and scary thing I'd ever seen. I parked the car and got my camera and recorded the event. I wrote the story in my head all the way back to Aiken.

The next morning, I developed the film and took the pictures and the story into the editor. I was a bundle of outrage.I was just filled to the brim with anger and protest. The editor took the pictures and story and told me he'd call me back in when he had read it. I steamed. I stomped. And then he called me back into his office and sat me down.

"This is a good story and these pictures are great. But, I'm going to leave it up to you whether or not we print them in the paper."

He went on to explain that our readers at the time - 1973-ish - were pretty much split. About half of them would see a story about a local KKK and be as outraged as he and I were. The other half of them would see a story about a local KKK and would call us to see how/where they could sign up.

"Do you want to give them that publicity?"

We did not run the story and I cherish the lesson.

To Be Continued

*Edited two days later when I remembered this was not true. In Winston-Salem, for several years, Daddy took us to the Coliseum to see the rodeo. They had real horses :)

Also the Winston-Salem Coliseum was the only place I ever saw water fountains labeled 'colored' and 'white'.

Busy busy busy ... but not me

To and from the pool today was pretty exciting. There's an urban trek (kind of a localized Amazing Race) with their color teams in various places. An outdoor apparel outlet store is having their annual sale and that line was down the block on my way to the pool and twice as long on my way back. The line for the record store (National Record Store Day) was around the block and, delightfully, the parking lot sported several very excellently restored vehicles. On my way home I saw a dude headed that way in a 1960s convertible winged something. Such fun.

In addition to that, there was an accident that somehow took down power lines on I-5 that has it closed in both directions all the way through town and a fair bit north as well. And ... the science march. Holy moly.

The rain has held off so far but it looks like all of the above is set to get pretty wet pretty soon.

I'm back home and in for the day. There's a Mariner game on this afternoon and I might do laundry. I'm out of breakfast quiche muffins so I need to make more of them.

And no telling what else might happen...

Don't tell, but I ate kale

Last week when I had Barrie over for lunch, I needed a salad to go with the quiche. I was looking at the bagged, ready to eat section when I found Taylor Salads which I had never seen before.

I mixed it up right out of the bag. I didn't add anything or subtract anything. It was really good. So I got another bag and mixed it up. I ate it over the course of 4 days and it was just as delicious for lunch today, on the 4th day as it was when I opened the bag. I am thrilled. I am not a fan of veggies or salads so when I find one I like, I rejoice. REJOICE!!

But, I'm not rejoicing about my latest FICO score. I'm being dinged because I make no installment payments. I have no loans. I may let one of my credit cards accrue a balance and not pay it all off at once to see if that will edge it back up. It's a fine score but I want it back where it was.

I dropped off some dolls and the bears this morning and Jeannie, this time, sounds like her retirement is definite. Likely towards the end of the year. And there may be no life after in terms of any bears and dolls. She said 'time will tell.'

For the past year I have been making as many dolls as possible and every stitch I knit went into a bear. (All, self imposed, by the way.) I think I'm going to take a little vacation for a while. I have other knitting I want to do maybe. And other sewing. Or other things. I have so much time and I love making the bears and dolls (and I have some new monster ideas) so no way am I going to abandon them.

But, I'm going to give myself a little break I think. But, I do have a bear to keep me company.