Friday, October 30, 2009

Bubbling Over...

Put a glass of wine in front of me, or any
alcoholic drink, and the vapors
will get me giddy.
Alcohol is a foreign substance to my bloodstream.

Only occasionally will I even have a beer.

Something happens after one glass: I start
giggling over the slightest things.

You’d think that an Irish gal would tolerate

alcohol better than I do.

Jen and I went out recently to Uno Chicago

Grill for Happy Hour--which, in my case,
is an understatement.

No sooner had I taken a few sips of my Bud,
that I began giggling. Tears down my face hysterics.
Jen began laughing too, since it’s contagious.

Thank goodness, my outburst only
lasted a
couple of minutes.

Once, Jen and I went to a members
reception and
art exhibition at the von Liebig Art Center.

I’d already enjoyed half a glass of Cavit Grigio.

We stepped up to a piece on exhibit: a wood
of the male form.
Needless to say, I began erupting,
and made
a comment, ”That’s quite a 'diplodocus'. "
Jen was laughing uncontrollably.

Unfortunately, the artist was standing next to us…
Believe me, the statue was disproportional.

Tonight, I’m exhibiting a photograph, Aspen Glow,
in a juried
show, the 48th Founder’s Exhibition
at the von Liebig.

There will be tables of food, wine and entertainment.

I’ll definitely eat something before I have any wine.
I sure hope I don’t run into Diplodocus II...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In One Ear ...

More and more, I see guys wearing
their caps backwards, the bill hanging
down the back of the head.
What’s with that?
The bill of the hat is meant for sun protection.

I also see people running around in the
blazing sunshine with their sunglasses
perched on top of their heads.
The next thing I'll see will be hearing
impaired people wearing their hearing
aids in their noses.

As our kids are growing up, we go out of our
way to protect our children.
I always cringed and comforted the kids
when they would get badly skinned knees.

I was waiting to be served at a bookstore café
once when a very nice looking young college
fella stepped up to the counter.
Wedged inside of both earlobes was a black
plug, the size of a wine cork.

I was envisioning the size of the needle
for that piercing. He told me it hurt a lot
at first. No kidding…!
Where did he get that done,
Big Bruno's Piercing Palace?

A pretty young gal was sporting two nose
rings, a lip and tongue piercing, and several
piercings along her outer ear.
Won't she feel dumb when she's 50...
Nose rings--big ouch, but a good place to
hang the car keys.

Paul has a snook swimming up his arm--
a small tattoo he got a few years ago, when
we moved here to Naples, ’snook land’.

Paul said there was some pain.
No way would I go out of my way to pay
someone to stick a needle in me.
Getting my ears pierced years ago
was pain enough.

Jen fell into the trap as well.
It seems to be a very sporty thing with
women to have a pierced navel.

Jen tried hiding the fact with longer t-shirts,
but being the wise mom detective that I am,
the little bulge gave away the ghost.
She said I should get one too.
Yeah, when it snows in Florida!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Drip-Dry Brains…

Either age or Florida’s rain this past
summer has put my brain in a spin
cycle. Mine is tagged: Handle with care, delicate
cycle, cold water. That explains everything:
My brain has shrunk.

It seems like I’m always looking for
something--simultaneously forgetting
where that ‘something’ was placed.
Drives me nuts…

A day doesn’t go by that I’m asking:
“Has anyone seen my phone?”
Definitely the number one thing that I
misplace, or think I do.

I had it clipped to my shorts when I asked
Paul that question a few days ago.
“It’s on your waistband, Mom.”

At times, I’ll be thinking of something
that I need to buy or do--and whoosh--
gone--flown right out of my head.

So, I stand there, glued to the floor,
trying to recount what I was doing that
hopefully, will bring me back to the matter
at hand--or,in my case--brain.

I write stuff down now.
Tom’s called me 'old forgetful' for years.
Funny, I didn’t forget our 37th wedding
anniversary on the 21st ,or my dental
appointment this morning…

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cell Destruction...

My cell phone has been abducted
by Jen.
She made the unwise
mistake of calling
her carrier to
check if it was possible
to lengthen
the ring tone.
Her Smart phone
rings for only 7 seconds.

Who, short of a roadrunner, could
answer a phone that quickly?
It takes me that long hunting
for the darn thing, usually buried in
no-man's land--my purse.

One simple question to tech
support was
all it took to turn
her phone into a vast wasteland.

A code here and a tweak there done
by a tech
support trainee, sent her
phone into Never-land.

Another frustrating, pot-boiling
90 minutes was spent
trying to
restore the phone back
to its
factory defaults. No such luck...

It would’ve been easier ordering

takeout from China.

After much phone discussion with a
Jen's getting a free smart
phone today.
She's waiting anxiously
for her HTC Diamond...
so am I.

So, for now, I’m letting her use
my new phone, the myTouch, with
visions of my remaining minutes
rapidly dissolving. I had 236 minutes
left for the next
18 days,now withered
to a paltry 48 minutes,
and counting down...

When I run out of minutes, guess
who's going to lend me their phone
for non-Fave calls until Nov. 9th?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Open At Your Own Risk...

Products that need opening require
the heavy handed strength of a
Sumo wrestler...
The caps and lids never budge,
and the foil or plastic seal under the
cap must have been fused on by NASA.
I’ve invented cuss words trying
to pry up the seals.

Life is hard enough, so why do
companies have to make it so
impossible to use their products to begin with?

Manufacturers must sit around at a
huge table devising new ways to
drive consumers nuts.

Aspirin bottles are annoyingly difficult:
Line up the arrows and pull off.
The only thing I usually pull off is
my fingernail--
and they’re real!

I tried feverishly to twist off a jar lid
of spaghetti sauce.
I twisted, pried, whacked the lid--
it stayed on like it had been vacuum-
packed by some gigantic air-sucking creature.

This over-tightening, over-sealing is done for
product freshness and safety.
How many times have I tried to rip open a
foil or plastic package, resorting to yanking
the edge open with my teeth?
Teeth are more convenient than scissors...

All products need to come with a warning:
Try to open--we dare ya--at your own risk,
which may include the following side effects:
A broken wrist, fingernails pulled back to the quick,
and a migraine the size of the Moon…
Exactly where I’d like to Pow-Zoom
the cap and lid inventors…

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Wise-Acre Lounge...

There are a lot of good intentions about health
and other issues that sometimes get sidelined,
or slightly altered from concept to delivery.

For instance:

1- To maintain good health, one should have
plenty of fruits and veggies every day.
Let’s see, I ate part of a water-logged avocado,
some grapes that tasted like a dose of medicine,
and a banana I could have used for a door-stop.

2- Everyone is supposed to drink 8 glasses
of water a day.
Yeah, if you hook up a hose to your waistband,
and put the toilet in the living room…

3- Get 8 hours of sleep every night.
Yeah, sure, after having 8 glasses of water that day…

4- Exercise every day.
My hosiery runs more than I do…
I’ve bought exercise equipment that eventually
just sat unused-- the pieces robotically
fused together into patio furniture.

5- I’ve bought several Chicken Soup For The Soul books.
How about Chocolate Truffles for the Chocolate Deprived?

6- I thought I’d try a veggie burger--it was great
after I loaded it with water-logged avocado, stringy
onion fries, and a spongy tomato.

7 -I’d love to have a guava jelly donut from
Whole Foods--that’s fruit, right?

8- I bought a pair of workout shoes.
I wore them to the fitness room twice-
they didn’t work out that great.

9- I also bought some Dri-Fit workout clothes,
made in the Arab Emirates.
Who’d they test them on, some dried up dromedaries?

10- Abiding by a meatless diet is a good idea…
Until I get the Caveman instinct to swing
a club at a juicy side of beef…

11- Uno Chicago Grill has a new snack menu
to die for: The Short Rib Slider, make that 2,
was delicious.
I followed it up with a huge salad when I got home.

12- I’ve come to the conclusion to kick it
up a notch, do more of the good stuff.
After all, I’m getting older.
When my next birthday rolls around, I’ll take it
as a grain of proverbial salt; stonewall it,
or rim my Mango Margarita glass…

Friday, October 16, 2009


Cartoons courtesy of the 'Net

It may be The Year Of The Ox, but it’s been--
and still is--the Season of The Mosquito.
Yep, another mosquite story…

Mosquitoes are more productive than the
rabbits hopping in the neighborhood gardens.

At night, we stealthily sneak from the house to
step outside. The door is opened one millimeter--
swoop-- they buzz in, like vultures zeroing in on road kill.

Paul always manages to decimate one or two
skeeters in the computer room, late at night.
His speed of light smacking reflexes are amazing.

When I lived in the San Fernando Valley years
ago, mosquitoes were hard to see because of
their light tan color.
They were bigger, too.

Florida mosquitoes are charcoal colored.
I swear I saw one in a “Skeeto”[Speedo] the
other day flying around the pool.

I read somewhere that the Everglades National
Park has forty-three kinds of mosquitoes living
and feeding in the environment of thick mangrove
and saw grass swamps.

In 1893, a naturalist living in Flamingo--so named
for the large population of migrating flamingos from
Cuba and the Bahamas-- reported that swarming
clouds of mosquitoes extinguished his oil lamp.

We’ve exhausted every known repellent known
to humans. Nothing really works.
If we’re ever invaded by cosmic aliens,
They’ll have a heck of a time…

Somewhere in this world, in some remote science lab,
a researcher must be hard at work figuring out the
perfect mosquito potion.
Kick it up a notch…

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boo, Hiss...!

October is a beautiful month for those
who live in a seasonal state: Leaves changing,
that feeling of crispness in the air.

People are beginning to flock down here
from the north and Midwest.
Why? It’s been hotter than a witch’s cauldron.
We’ve been steeped and boiled in the high
90’s every day.
Sure, the sun is lower and the shadows are longer--
that’s the only seasonal difference so far.

The insects are madder.
Tom’s been chasing wasps in the garage,
swatting them with a towel.
They’re infiltrating the holes in the overhead door.
They’re not stupid wasps.
The second he whacked one wasp to the garage
floor, another one swooped in for the kill.
Zing! On the neck...

I just got a call from the von Liebig Art Center
curator who is accepting Artist Statements for the
upcoming Founder's Exhibition.
“Nancy, can you resend the statement to me?
I can’t open the file attachment”

Let’s see, somewhere in the recesses of my sometimes
linty brain, sits my statement.
I wrote a great statement--in my head and threw
it quickly into Works--where is it?
I saved it then and sent it to Jack, but for the life
of me, the file has vanished.

Tom’s having knee surgery Friday.
No real biggie, thank God.
He has a torn meniscus.
Must have been caused from all that walking he
does on the beach…
I could see that problem happening to someone,
say, a rock climber or a contortionist…

I haven’t received my early Social Security check
yet for this month. Last month's check arrived on time.
I’m supposedly eligible based on my husband--
I don’t have enough work credits yet.
Hmm...have to pay for that new digital camera
I just bought a couple of months ago.

I accidentally transposed a number when sending
a text to my friend.
I keep tabs on him, making sure he’s still alive
and well. I sent four texts to him over the last few days.

I didn’t hear back, which is very unusual.
I spent a few worried days, until my left brain kicked
out the cobwebs and I checked the faculty roster online.
There it was--I’d mistakenly switched two digits.
Someone in Outer Mongolia got four of my texts…

I went to the fitness room in the clubhouse Saturday.
Kids under 16 aren’t allowed.
While I was working out, “dad” opened the door and
peeked in, ushering his four kids--under the age of 6.

Running, bouncing, overtaking the treadmill and cycles.
Simmering, I finally indicated the sign on the door.
He told me “Lady, don’t sweat the small stuff…”
I left, and quickly composed a letter to management,
who's always ranting about following community rules.
Remember John Ritter in the movie, The Colony?

There’s been some good stuff in October, though:
Jen is back, and we girls get out together now.
I’m looking forward to the Founder’s Exhibition
at the end of the month.
I’m not looking forward to my dental appointments.

October will be over before I know it.
Mondays dissolve quickly into Fridays.
I thought I just put away the Christmas decorations ...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Open Wide...

I visited the dentist last week.
It’s not something you mark in red on
the calendar, like maybe, a trip to
Disney World or the Bahamas.

A full set of xrays were taken--I felt more
exposed than a stripper without her tassels…
“Mmm, 22&23,19," the hygienist said to
her assistant. Lotto numbers? No such luck…

After poking and prodding, Odalia, the
hygienist, said, "Nancy, not bad at all--you
have two cracked teeth.
You'll need two half-crowns.”


So, I’m pondering, how did I get two
cracked teeth? What was I eating--
Jawbreakers, or one-month old French bread?
Couldn’t have been the over- roasted chicken…

The receptionist handed me a description of
the proposed work: 2 porcelain crowns,
one small filling: $1988.

Holy cannoli! Where does the porcelain
come from--the Queen’s Royal cabinet?
$1988 is equivalent to a high end digital SLR
with two lenses, or an exhilarating Caribbean cruise.

I’m thinking, as I leave the cold office and
step out into the midday oven, What if I
hadn’t taken care of my teeth?

Tom might have left me for that stripper,
and I'd be gumming and thumbing
along Route 10...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Its A Tropical Heatwave...

It’s been hotter than Death Valley on a “cool” day.
If I were a camel, my humps would have
dried up by now.

Last night, I heard some peculiar noises
emanating from my husband, Tom, sitting
in the living room adjacent to the foyer.
He was watching the weather on Fox 4.
Sh-- came out as a growling cuss word.
“I can’t believe this damn weather…”

Tom Johnston said it was going to be another
record heat day for Friday.
The heat index is supposed to reach 105.
Thursday the temp reached 98 degrees with as
much humidity.

I flipped through the growing number of cable
channels. I don’t know where any of my
favorite channels are since Comcast decided to
play the game, Find Me, rearranging and
throwing some channels into the 700’s.

I finally hit on a program with delightful,
scampering penguins, twittering along like
old men in tight underwear.

They were having a great time, flopping
one-by-one off the ice shelf into the
freezing blue water.

The heat isn’t that bothersome to me.
Tom, on the other hand, has Nordic blood.
He used to swim in the San Francisco Bay,
off Coyote Point and Aquatic Park, when we
lived on the Peninsula years ago.

Tom would have been a great explorer or
mountain man. He’s very outdoor oriented--
has a sense of adventure, but is stiffled by
Florida’s climate.
He takes a morning walk and swim at the beach,
while I usually get dropped off at Books-A-Million.

It’s great here in the winter when the rest of the
country is unfortunately in a deep freeze.
Beautiful, cloudless days: dry, in the 70’s, low 80’s.

We stepped outside this morning at 7:00--
it already feels in the low 80’s.
Last night about 11:00,the temp was 87.
At bedtime, I felt like Scheherazade:
Shedding the seven veils to keep cool...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Ambiance Of The Weed...

I was flipping through the pages of Florida
Design gathering decorating ideas.
I came across an ad, The Ambiance of the Gate.
Pictured was a massive, ornate gate protecting
the endless driveway to a palatial estate.

We don’t have a gate--or an endless driveway.
We might have ambiance, though.
Do weeds with pretty flowers count?
The two Royal Palm trees are stately.
Jen's SUV parked in the driveway with her
yellow Tarpon fishing kayak perched atop
the rack makes a statement of sorts...

All the gorgeously appointed homes lining
Gordon Drive and Gulfshore Blvd. have the
most awesome gardens, many adorned with
koi ponds, Asian-inspired bridges and waterfalls--
and gates with superior ambiance.

A weed would be largely intimidated if it
dared to sprout among such a garden of wealth
and enterprise. The weed family, on the other
hand, has decided it enjoys our unadulterated,
understated front, side and back yard.

It’s clearly an endless battle.
We spray, pull and curse the insidious growths.
I developed a case of carpal tunnel from endlessly
ripping the deeply rooted sprouts from the grass.

Yes, ambiance falls into the gardens and
homes of the wealthy.
Those koi fish have it made…

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's For Dinner...?

While I was cooking dinner one evening,
I flipped on the television program featuring
Andrew Zimmern
, the bald-headed guy who
travels the far corners of the

world sampling exotic fare.

He’d just opened his mouth to a forkful of
some steaming dish which included disgusting
post-wiggling insects, better left on garbage.

A few minutes later, he spooned up a kind
of stew
with round meatballs--not the kind
I’m used to
serving up with spaghetti.

Another dish he devoured so enthusiastically
resembled a head of cauliflower...ugh.
As he traveled on through the city, he came
a street vendor offering a plate of
skewered scorpions,
from which he took one
and so spiritedly crunched, grinning broadly.

As my stomach tried to settle back to normal,
I finished up in the kitchen and brought dinner
to the table--a very all-American dish of teriyaki,
orange-glazed salmon, rice and steamed veggies.

Since Jen has moved back home, I’ve
creating menus--nothing fancy, just good,
wholesomely nutritious food.

Having been a Key West gal for the last 6 months,
she's gotten used to scallops and fresh lobster.

Cooking mainly for Paul and myself for
quite awhile,
our dinners were often just salads
and veggies, tilapia,
or my famous pizza:
Baby Ray's Original BBQ sauce,
skim mozzarella,
cubed grilled chicken, pineapple tidbits,

all topped with chopped cilantro.

Just yesterday, out in the garage, Paul yelled
"Mom,come out and see this gigantic bug crawling around."
It sported a huge, beetle-like shell with front extended
pincers and four long legs.

Either Halloween is coming earlier this month,
or this indescribably scary insect fell out of that
television show I’d been watching.

It looked at me with its multiple orbs.
Hmmm…might be interesting roasted and dipped in a
mango and honey-dijon sauce...

Friday, October 2, 2009


Speed Traps. Photo enforced red lights.
These are things which drive the average
motorist nuts--even good drivers.

Most everyone, except law-abiding, hat-wearing
senior citizens, exceed the speed limit.
Drivers in a rush zip around those elderly
drivers, hardly ever honking at them.

I usually drive in Sunday mode: Relaxed, often
waiting patiently for the local egret to cross
the street corner .
If at all, I’m usually over by 5 m.p.h. to keep up
with the flow of traffic.

Our city has installed photo enforcement at
most major intersections.
It’s a tricky thing.
Your car will be flashed if your corner-turn stop
isn’t long enough.
I stop for at least 5 seconds. No tickets for me.

Green to yellow is dicey.
Naples intersections are wide--a nervous anxiety
overwhelms me when the green light has been on
for awhile, and my car is still a couple hundred yards
from the signal.

Do I slow down, anticipating the change, or
boost the speed to make the light?
The car behind me might decide that kissing
my car bumper will excite me enough to quickly
cross the intersection.

Many drivers act as though they’re driving in
the middle of no-man’s land, or the Autobahn.
Speed of light doesn’t register on the radar detectors…
warp speed is for test pilots or the Space Shuttle.

I think some drivers are Starbucked to the gills--
cranked up and ready to shred the highways…
Maybe I should wear a hat while I’m driving...