Sunday, August 22, 2010


Techie Toys are always fun and waste a lot of time on a rainy Sunday afternoon. This show is on one of my favorite sites for sharing photos. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny, summer day and a perfect time to wander around Longwood Gardens.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Makin' your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Takin' a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same,
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

You wanna go where people know, people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.

Cheers Theme Song Lyrics
Title: Where Everbody Knows Your Name
By: Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo

Cheers TV Show

Anyone over thirty remembers those lyrics and the odd assortment of characters that came to visit once a week on TV in the years from 1982 - 1993 through eleven seasons. The actors have moved on to other shows and movies, but the music still rings in my mind. It reminds me how I like my comfortable routines where I know what to expect and it relaxes me. I like to be around the familiar and with people I am used to seeing. I've always felt that "people are all the same" even though some often forget that. I like my rut in life. 

This morning I visited my local supermarket for the last time because it closes at the end of the week. It opened a few years after we moved to our home in 1985. My visit today became a very nostalgic experience with Carly Simon wailing Let the River Run from 1988 on the PA system. The shelves were practically empty with the few remaining items selling for 20% off rock bottom prices. Half the lights were off and only a few staff members remained. Customers seemed very subdued like it was a wake.

Certainly the supermarket folks know my face but only call my name when I've used a credit card. That's not the source of the nostalgia. I liked zipping in for a few minutes multiple times a week to grab what I wanted because I knew what was on every aisle and shelf. It was a compact, well-stocked store located a quarter mile from my house. Now I will have to go to a market five miles away. It has practically everything but car tires and far too much floor space with too many aisles and non-grocery items I neither need nor want. I like to grab the milk and bread and keep moving. I will miss the little market nearby.

I don't particularly like change. I like to "go where everyone knows your name and they're always glad you came."  I started to wonder where that might be for me. I don't hang out in local bars and I don't report to a job now. Mostly I like to hang out with family, long time friends and the blogs are a big comfortable community. Most of the folks in the blogs that I choose to read recognize that "people are all the same,"  even though we've assumed some new monikers. I love roaming the blogs because they remind me-- "Takin' a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away?" Life changes and that is the way of the world.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Old Wives Tales would have us assume that we could tell when a person had reached an advanced age when their penmanship became sloppy and was filled with messy mistakes as though the hand that was writing the letters had become unsteady. Small motor control is necessary to produce the beautiful penmanship that used to be treasured until the technological age hit us.

How often do we have to actually write anything with a pen in hand? If we need a grocery list, put it on the cell phone--punch those buttons, or touch that screen. If we need to do numbers, use the calculator on the cell phone. If we need to sign a legal document, we can type it on the computer and call it an electronic signature. We even have programs available to turn that typing into a script that looks like our signature.

Thankfully, doctors order prescriptions electronically now which might lead to fewer mistakes that resulted from their notoriously poor penmanship. I always thought that sloppy handwriting had a deliberate purpose--to deceive possible criminals--who knows? It certainly led to lots of mistakes on drugs received in drugstores.

If we want to compose our thoughts to write books and essays, we have a large number of options. Word processors are everywhere--on computers, and cell phones or the latest gadgets like IPad.

If we want to pay the bills, who writes checks now? We go online and log into our bank account to pay everything electronically. I noticed this morning at the food store that even though I charged my bill to the credit card, they still wanted me to sign the receipt. Occasionally, I make a short list to myself of something around my desk, but if it is more than a few words, I turn to the keyboard and type it. I might sign my greeting cards but addresses go on envelopes electronically or with pre-printed labels. Soon no one will use paper greeting cards or send them by mail because they are so much easier as e-cards and more variety is available. However, e-cards seem so cold and impersonal.

Is penmanship like the multiplication tables and is it headed for the lost skills list? Spelling, punctuation and grammar are already victims of the technological age. I had a rare occasion today that I needed to write a few sentences by hand and I noticed my handwriting had deteriorated. That's not due to age or poor health, just a lack of practice. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gourmet? NOT!!!

As a general rule of thumb, I have a mantra: don't look at food, don't think about food, don't take pictures of food, don't watch TV advertisements featuring food, don't read recipes and don't read dieting advice web sites. Like everyone else in the world, my daily attempt to keep my BMI in a low range has its good days and bad days. My heroes are those folks who join the Lean Plate Club and succeed in being trim and fit.

Yesterday, was a good day and a bad day--totally blew my diet on my greatest weakness. This baby calls to me every summer and thus far this season, I've had one.

You can tell if you're an alcoholic if you sneak a drink alone. I'm an addict when it comes to ice cream. Nobody comes between me and a chocolate-dipped, soft-serve ice cream cone. It isn't an experience that I want to share. I don't eat ice cream to socialize. I just want to savor the cold, creamy flavor as it melts on my tongue and slides down my throat. If I'm listening to someone talk, I miss it. It's an experience best savored alone. It's a spiritual experience like meditating.

I drove completely across town for the real deal, no frozen yogurt, low fat, ice milk pretender will do. It was full of calories, cholesterol and enough heavy cream to choke a cow. So I told myself it was full of calcium. It was yummy and delicious and I can still taste it. I kept telling myself to remember it as I dragged myself to the fitness center and walked it off for an hour this morning. I walked four miles in an hour, but I don't think that was enough to compensate for falling off the wagon. I thoroughly enjoyed the ice cream so I have to challenge the magnet on my refrigerator that says, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." It tasted pretty darn good, but I have to remember that other expression, "A minute on the lips, forever on the hips." Back to rabbit food. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Summer of Murder, Spies and Sex

Now what on earth does a 66 year old librarian know about any of those subjects? Hey Mars, you'd be surprised what Venus knows about a thing or two. This isn't true confessions, but I refer to my reading and entertainment habits.

On the subject of murder, I'll get to the sex later, I've been wading through the swamp of Prey books of John Sandford starting with Rules of Prey, I'm currently reading number six in a series of 20. It is called Night Prey. Number three was called Eyes of Prey and it was the creepiest so far. I found it so gory, it was hard to read, and forget watching a movie about something like that. So why am I reading it? I'm a sucker for mysteries and the hook was so strong, I kept reading and I was starting to really like the main character, Lucas Davenport. I read Sandford's latest book in the series called Storm Prey released in 2010 before deciding that I liked the author well enough to spend time on his other books. I'm pretty adept at blowing off the parts I don't want to cope with so I'm hanging in there through the whole set.

I read spy novel authors like Vince Flynn and Robert Ludlum. Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp is supposedly the prototype for Jack Bauer in the TV series 24 and Vince Flynn served as adviser on the program. Of course spies like Mitch Rapp are strong Alpha Male characters and always "out of control" according to those who want to control them. Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne character was cast from the same mold. I got hooked on watching the Bourne Trilogy again on cable recently and they just keep running them and I just keep watching. Matt Damon is so easy on the eyes and I have loads of time to watch him. Of course he always wins in the end so spy novels and the following movies are like old westerns because we know ahead who wears the white hats and who is going to win at the end. Murder mysteries in books are unsettling and sometimes the movies are even more unsettling.

The most rewarding read is always a good romance novel.  The category of romance novels outsells all others in the book market. According to NBC, romance novel sales are not only thriving, but increasing in sales in a depressed economy where the publishing industry shows a decrease in sales in all other categories. People are always looking for an escape from the realities of life and what better than a  "trashy" novel with a happy ending,

We romance novel readers know there are romance novels, then there are spicy romance novels. If the spice of life appeals, one of the best authors on the market today is Stephanie Laurens. I just finished her third book in her Black Cobra quartet. It has mystery and romance with graphic, spicy, yes sexy details! I eagerly wait for the fourth due in the fall. I've read all of her books and will read anything she writes. That ex-Ph.D. biochemist, Stephanie Laurens, knows a whole bunch about sex. Oh, those Cynsters and that Bastion Club with the mysterious Dalziel are fascinating!

Another of my favorite authors is Lisa Kleypas and her Sugar Daddy with sequel Blue-Eyed Devil which were very enjoyable reads. Of course the queen bee of all romance fiction, Nora Roberts, is still going strong and producing a dazzling number of books each year on her way to the bank. I finished her third in the Brides quartet about the four young ladies who run a wedding consulting business. The photographer, the baker, the florist and the coordinator of the whole show  find their grooms also.

After dealing with fictional serial killers and spies, I have to look for some reading of a happier variety and I'm addicted to romance novels.