Embarrassing moments. We’ve all had them. I remember an incident at Saint Monica High School. I was participating in an awards ceremony, and I was waiting off stage with some other girls. My name was called eventually to receive a religious honor.
I was petrified. My legs were glued to the ground beneath me and my feet wouldn’t move forward. I very gawkily forced my white buck uniform shoes to move across the stage. I think I blushed every shade of red during those moments.
Another time was on a flight to New Zealand. There had been a long, dancing line to use the bathroom. When I eventually went in and came out, I was walking to my seat--unspooling almost the entire roll of sub grade toilet paper which had somehow stuck to the edge on my clothing…
A handsome male passenger alerted me. I looked back to see that I’d left a runner of at least 20 feet along the length of the aisle. What could I do but laugh at myself! I’m sure that most of the passengers were too embarrassed to initially bring it to my attention.
There have been times while on a dinner date before I was married, that I had something wedged between my front teeth. I tried for what seemed like endless minutes to force it out--all the while holding my one hand coyly in front of my mouth. I finally tugged it out, and felt safe enough to withdraw my hand and smile across the table at my date. He sweetly told me, “You have something stuck in your teeth…”
Why is it that one never forgets those Kodak moments, but birthdays and other important things float out of one’s brain?
With the current state of the economy, it's propagated more criminal acts across the country: Bank robberies,convenience store holdups, carjackings.
If I had to, I’m not a weenie about defending myself--depending on the event, of course. I know of some good defensive actions one can do with their hands:
*The heel of a hand can be shoved up under a person's nose. May be the end of him, however...
*Put all of your finger tips of one hand together and thrust them hard into one's eyes, ear, or on the carotid artery. These moves may deter the attacker just long enough for one to get away.
Back in 1970, after moving to the Bay Area, I was confronted while walking home from a movie; an old guy tried to manhandle me.
I kept a sharp hatpin in my pocket my aunt had given me given me for protection. I grabbed it and jabbed him in the side with it. He ran off, yowling. No one messes with this gal…
Jen found herself in a bank situation once. She was taking the store night deposit bag across the mall parking lot to the bank.
The front door was locked--the sign said Closed. People were sprawled on the floor. Jen ran back to Papyrus. A few minutes sooner and she would have been in the middle of the robbery.
Flipping channels one day, I caught the Rob and Big show on TV. It's an amusing program. Rob had a net gun which blasted a net several yards away, capturing Rob's massive bodyguard, Big. How effective and cool was that?
Too bad someone can’t develop a personal defense product, besides mace and pepper spray. I was thinking of a small canister, which becomes activated when thrown at the perpetrator, enveloping him/her with a noxious chloroform-based spray, thereby knocking him out.
I went shopping for a pair of jeans yesterday, and found three--until I discovered holes in them. Moths in Marshall’s?? No, the jeans are supposed to have holes in them. No holes in the price, though. $48.00.
I remember throwing clothes away that had holes in them. Years ago, some companies were buying back your old jeans. I thought that was odd, but mailed some in.
I walked over to Petites, and began looking. A woman in the petite section thought I should be shopping in the Misses section, since I don’t fit the size category for Petites.
Taking two pairs of size 4 pants to the fitting room, I slid into them. I’m tall but small framed and can wear some petite sizes.
The clam digger khaki pair and Lee jeans fit like a dream. I continued to look with a wide smile on my face, since the lady was still peering at me.
I could use a new jeans skirt. I found one skirt that looked vaguely familiar to me. Same stitching and pockets…could it be? Nah…
I'm posting once more today on a sad note. My beautiful and dear friend , Guerline Damas, 32, along with her 5 young children , were mercilessly murdered Thursday in her home here in North Naples. Her husband, Mesac Damas has fled to Haiti, and is considered a definite person of interest.
Guerline worked at our Publix supermarket. She was sweet and always wore a smile for everyone. She exuded warmth to all, and was especially interested in knowing how my family was doing.
I spoke to Guerline Thursday as she left the store to go home. She gave me one of her loving hugs and wished me a happy weekend. I'll miss her so much.
I was in my favorite bookstore café Saturday enjoying a pleasant conversation with a friend who shares my interest in photography.
All of a sudden, from my friend’s row of seats, a very nasty man stood up and told us both to "Shut up! I'm trying to read." Judging from his speech, he must have just been transported from way up north or maybe an alien planet. He was so rude.
I told him to lighten up--the café is a social atmosphere with some degree of noise: Music playing, ice machines cranked up and children playing about...that if he wanted it quiet he should go to the library or to church.
He used some profanity and threw out a few goddammits whereupon I explicitly told him not to take God’s name in vain. He said, "What God ?"and walked off fuming, as I told him he should go to Rosh Hashanah services, instead.
Naples is a relaxed, happy and laid back coastal town where nearly everyone wears a smile. So if any uptight grumpies out there are planning to visit, leave the attitude at home, grab a swimsuit and try not to swim with the sharks… heh-heh.
I was always the kid who sat in the back of the classroom according to last name. Problem was I never could read what was written on the chalkboard.
Sister would scribble math examples on the board which looked like hieroglyphics to me. Forget reading the homework assignments. It used to drive the nuns nuts...
Every night I called my best friend, Gloria to get the homework, which drove her nuts after awhile.
After a couple of years of squinting like a weasel and pulling at the corners of my eyes to see anything, I had my eyes checked. Yep, just as I had thought in my 10 year old brain-- I was blind as a bat. Nearsighted, to be exact.
Not only was I skinny and the tallest girl in my class, but also the Girl Who Wore Blue Rhinestone-embellished Glasses. The lenses were so strong and thick that they gave the appearance that my eyes were pinched together, like a goldfish's. Achhh….
Nothing much has changed since then. I’m still 5’8”--haven’t shrunk a millimeter, and my wire frames are parked on my nose. I don’t look like a goldfish, though. The lenses now make my eyes appear slightly larger, which is good.
The only difference now, because I’m older and living in a high UV state, I need cataract surgery in a couple of months. I should be able to see much better than I do now, which is like seeing the world in 3-D. I’d be a great asset working at Pixar…
We’re approaching runny nose season. My first encounter with a drippy faucet was yesterday. I’d just paid for a magazine and the bookseller cordially bagged the purchase--after he had sneezed an Oscar-worthy sneeze into his hand and wiped his nose with his bag hand.
Yikes! I took out a Kleenex and used it as protection for holding the bag. I imagined all the germs enjoying Pastel Journal, multiplying into little pods, like in the movie, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers... When I got home I sprayed Lysol into my car and on the magazine. Over the top? Heck no! Not with swine flu flying around. Even ol’ Harry Reasoner couldn’t escape the virus.
“Season” is fast approaching when thousands of people, particularly ‘snow birds’ descend on Naples. This coastal town will soon be bumper to bumper-- on the roads and the beaches.
So far, there have been very few cases of the flu in our town on the gulf. So travelers, please be healthy when you decide to travel anywhere. Don’t fly, especially--keep the town you intend to visit a healthy place.
I’ve been making a noble attempt at checking food labels before I buy anything. Paul and Tom are also careful about what they eat. They have cut way down on things they used to have more often, like deli meat sandwiches. Sodium is the big decision breaker--and the first thing I look at on a food label.
Why is there so much sodium in food? The shelf life must be 100 years… If salt could prolong human longevity, by now, I figure I 've got a good shot at living until I’m 300.
Soup always tips the sodium scale. I ‘X’ it off my list. Occasionally, a TV dinner comes in handy, but TV dinners are loaded with sodium--even those which are supposedly healthier for you. One dinner had 2300 mg.-- good grief, can you imagine the size of the salt shakers? Some little lady at the food company must use a hose to spray all the salt on the dinners…
Grocery shopping takes me longer, but I figure I’m saving quite a bit since my cart is mostly empty except for salad fixings, Tilapia, fruit, soymilk, unsalted butter, fruit juice jam and unsalted sprouted wheat bread; also, trans-fat free Voortman dark chocolate chip cookies, Shredded Wheat and Uncle Sam cereals.
Sounds like an exciting cart round up. As I wait in the Express line, there’s a bulging cart that’s been allowed, waiting in front of me. Everything known in the artificial food world is in that cart. By the time I reach the cashier, she smiles and says, ” You and your husband don’t buy much…” I’m thinking, thank God…
Florida reached the peak of hurricane season on Thursday. Thankfully, hurricane predictions have been way off this summer--not to say it still couldn't be a possibility. Our worst hurricanes have occurred in mid September-October.
Every summer, Tom cringes at the thought of another hurricane season when the predictions are revealed by the National Hurricane Center.
He says that I can’t bury my head in the sand about the possibility of still getting one this season. I don’t think about it so much. What’s scarier are the heavy downpours we get sometimes, like yesterday.
Naples got 2” of rain and the thunderstorms were shattering. I’d met up with a gal friend for a late lunch and became stranded at her place. Electricity flickered for hours until 9:00 p.m. when the storm let up a bit. By the time I got home safely, I’d passed by three severe accidents.
The back yard is a pond, teeming with tadpoles. The woods are noisy with cicadas and frogs. Cruiser is wading this morning, enjoying her morning feast.
Paul and I are attempting to train Cruiser, resident duck, to ‘do its thing’ on the grass. Cruiser’s favorite spot is right behind Paul’s truck--specifically under it.
We chase her from the garage with a push broom. She snorts at us as she's flapping off... It would be nice if said pooper would help with fertilizing the lawn. It’s the least the mooching duck could do. She leaves her molting feathers everywhere.
Paul would love to train Cruiser to mow the lawn. It’s a tough job on these hot, 97 degree days. Rain makes the lawn grows twice as long, and fast-- mowing it almost twice every nine days is a nightmare. Weeds poke through and defy any treatment we use.
Today, the air will smell of smoky barbecued chicken, dogs,burgers and steak. There’s nothing like the tantalizing aroma of grilled meat circling one’s nose…
I tried barbecuing once, or twice. Actually, I used a hibachi grill--some cheap grill I had picked up just to see if grilling was my thing.
It was Memorial Day, 1988, and Tom was flying a trip. Paul was at his friend’s house. Jen invited her gal friend over since I declared that I’d take the girls to Coyote Point in San Mateo for a barbecue.
I was armed with briquettes and free-range chicken breasts. I prepared the bed of briquettes and lit them. I waited. I waited some more…
Fifteen minutes had passed and not a hint of a lit briquette. While the other successful barbecuers were already scarfing up morsels of golden brown meat, I was forlornly standing over the dead zone, pale chicken just lying there.
I packed up the chicken and the girls, and drove back home. The hibachi was small but I could at least grill up 3-4 pieces of chicken. I’d not used the hibachi yet, so…
I lit the briquettes. Someone at Coyote Point had told me I should use a little lighter fluid, so… Whooosh!
Flames licked up and out almost 2 feet from the hibachi. I screamed. Thank God the decking was concrete. I’d never been so scared.
Convinced that grilling wasn’t my bag, I put the grilling grids of my stove in place and turned the stove on. We had the best chicken that day.
Recently, we had the mother of all storms. Lightning hit all around the area with deafening cracks of thunder.
Our resident duck, Cruiser, wet and bedraggled, had just made its third pass around the house, hoping to beg Paul or me for a tortilla chip or bread handout.
The noisiest crack sounded overhead, sending Cruiser running like its tail feathers were on fire. Cruiser! Fly duck, fly!
The storm dumped 2” of rain in 30 minutes-- Cruiser's contribution, 3 clumps… Water on the lanai came almost up to the sliding doors, before finally seeping through the drain channels on the decking. The rain lessened, but the boomers were still making me jump.
Cruiser came back a few days later, its butt-waddling, bobbing-headed self cruising by the computer room window. She caught sight of me and picked up her webbed feet, swaggering to the front door.
This weekend is promising a tropical wave, due to sweep Florida’s east coast over to Naples. I better clue Cruiser in…
If I were to be reincarnated someday I’d probably come back a fuzzy, multi-legged, slithering eight-eyed monstrosity: a configuration of the numerous bugs, insects and snakes I’ve killed over the years. I would be stomped, sprayed, or whacked for sure.
Some people have signed on for cryogenics, hoping to be brought back to life someday. That takes trust and a huge investment. I doubt if any of that will ever happen--if anything, the frozen lab owners are thawing in some exotic paradise several times a year…
With my luck, I’d stay frozen… unless Romanian mad scientists found me first. I sure wouldn’t want to hear, “Vlad, Let’s Do Lunch…”
You never know what the future will bring. Instead of freezing people, I sure wish someone could figure out how to make a frozen dinner with just a trace of salt and lower cholesterol...