Monday, December 22, 2008

Hector is Happy!

The Husband was lamenting our lack of Christmas Spirit tonight. He plays Bob Cratchit from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, making the season merry for his audience but we hadn't made ourselves merry. So after braving the crowds shopping tonight, he went to the shed and brought out the fiber optic tree. So what if Bob Cratchit never cut down a self lighting tree for Tiny Tim?? Hector is Happy!!

Merry Christmas to all!

God Bless Us Every One!

C'est la vie!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hector is Sad!


Well, dang, it’s been a long time since I wrote here. The Day Job is getting busy and I’ve been running around, just like everybody else, getting ready for Christmas.

However the house is not decorated with one candy cane, stocking or iota of tinsel.

And this is why Hector is sad.

Here is Hector

Hector is a big, furry hand puppet given to me by my best friend, Zan, when I left the East Coast for the Wild West. Hector sat on the front seat of our station wagon, between my mother and I, on our journey to Cali. Ever after, his chief function became as our tree topper at Christmas. Anybody can have a feathery winged angel or shiny star. We have Hector and his Evergreen Enema.

But without a tree this year, Hector is sad.

Think good thoughts for Hector. Maybe he’ll get a tree after all. It’s all the poor little guy wants *sniff*.

C’est la vie!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's on Mare's Cell Phone?


I had a lovely day to wander my favorite mall and generally goof around last Saturday. When I first moved to California, my mother and I lived within walking distance of South Coast Plaza, a very upscale mall. At that time, the Sunflower Ave. area was made up of a few apartment complexes, flat fields and the one mall, plus The Village, which was filled with cool shops and boutiques, many with one of a kind items and crafts. Now, it's all condos and strip malls and The Village has lost it's sweet allure. What used to be the Crystal Court, a smaller mall across from the main South Coast Plaza, is now connected to the Mother Mall with an umbilical bridge across Bear Street and carries the same name, SCP.

But still, I always like to go there around the holidays to see the decorations and people watch. This year, I had to go early and luckily, the giant Santa Claus tree was already erected in all it's splendor. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how low my camera charge was but I did get this one great picture.

This tree is smack in the middle of the mall and goes up three stories! A little train big enough for small passengers runs around the trunk on the ground floor and the little kids and their parents and grandparents seem to love it. It's a shame you can't see more of this tree--it's full of huge ornaments and there's a Santa on each side. Having this on my phone will give me a lift all season long!

The Husband has a friend who calls him Grumpy. Don't ask me why, he's very seldom in a bad mood. Perhaps it's his reaction to her??? Anyway, it's given him a thing for Grumpy now. He saw this t-shirt at Wal-Mart and had to take a picture to send me. Not only is it Grumpy, it's also filled with "Bah, Humbug"s. He's played Scrooge at Knott's since the 80's, so if this hadn't been a women's shirt (why a woman would wear this, I have no idea...) he would have snapped it up in a flash.

So, me and my cell are all set for the Holidays!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What I Learned from the Fire

I don’t know that these pix are the most focused but you can see my rose bushes with spider webs filled with huge black and gray ash over a week later.

One thing I learned: My department at the Day Job needs an emergency contact list, which I’m in the middle of creating. We didn’t have a lot of people’s cell phones and would like to have gotten hold of folks to make sure they were ok.

Another Thing: We should have made a list of things we’d grab in an emergency BEFORE the emergency. Several days later, to my horror, I realized I would have left behind the thing I’d always said I would grab first after The Husband and The Cats--the Grandma Remembers book that my grandmother created for me over 20 years ago. It has family pictures I could never duplicate and it’s done completely in my grandmother’s handwriting.

The Last Thing: There were so few things I felt were important enough to save. Why do we have all this crap cluttering our house?? So much stuff… Changes are gonna come. Goodwill may run out of room!

C’est la vie!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In the Thick of It


Here’s what my neighborhood looked like this afternoon:

We’re in the middle of the Brea and Yorba Linda/Anaheim Hills fires, literally. It’s kinda scary but I don’t think we’re in any danger. We’re miles away from the closest fire, which is Brea. The Husband came home early when I texted him one of these pictures. We’ve made a list of what we want to take (really, evacuation is such a long shot) if the worst happens. Of course, the cats top the list! Plus all the usual stuff, prescription drugs, etc. The Husband has identified two guitars he wants to take and me, I’ll grab all the finished jewelry and artwork, plus some of my own personal jewelry, the pieces with meaning.

When The Husband came home, he backed into the driveway, which is one of the major things you learn in the fire zone. We’re not really in a fire zone (we don’t live near a canyon or brushy area) but I know a lot of people in South OC who are and I have one friend in particular who’s a pro at prepping for evacuation, so we know the basics. But I never thought we’d have to seriously enact them. Which I really don’t think we’ll need to do now but we just want to be prepared. I was a Girl Scout, after all.

We know folks in Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills, though, and I’m praying that they and their houses and families are ok.

C’est la vie!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ben Stein is My Hero!


Who would have thought I'd devote a blog entry to Ben Stein?? The guy with "red eye"...

My mother sent me this in an email and I had to share it with more than just my email list.

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu If people want a crèche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too... But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina) & without hesitation; Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein
'Nuff said. Go Ben!!
C'est la vie!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunset with Moon


Oh I wish I'd had a better camera but all I had was my cell phone. When I came out of work tonight, the sky was a beautiful dusty blue streaked with pink ribbons. And the moon was shining in the middle of it all! Very cool!

C'est la vie!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What's on Mare's Phone?


Monday, The Husband and I went to Sea World for the last time on our current annual pass. It'll be a while till we get another... The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the park wasn't crowded at all, which made it easy to gaze at our faves, the polar bears and manatees.

So, here's what's on my phone. One is wallpaper, the other screensaver.

The Husband loved this cow, for some reason. It talks, saying things like, I'm a Jersey Cow. It's right across from the flamingoes.

You don't need kids to walk around the newish Sesame Street kids area. The stuff I'm standing on is squishy and soft. Wish they made that for flooring. I'd love it in my living room!

The rest of our vacation has been about cleaning and recycling. We're off to recycle a bunch of dead electronics that have been cluttering the house and storage for waaaayyyy toooo long. One is the VCR we bought with some wedding money in 1980! It's a beasty - top loading and weighs about a 1000 pounds. No, really...

C'est la vie!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Yes we can!!! I can't tell you how elated I am to see Barack Obama win! I remember Kennedy but only just. I see that Obama has that charisma and I hope that the House and Senate will help him to become the president he has the potential to be. I hope that he can rouse this nation from its coma and get us all out into our neighborhoods, doing what we can to foster our own potential. I hope we'll be gradually welcoming home our soldiers from foreign soil. I hope we'll all have jobs and health insurance in the near future.

But right now we have something precious--HOPE!

God Bless Barack Obama!

C'est la vie!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I made a Halloween Artist Trading Card, intending to put it on Etsy. But I thought it was too cute to sell… So I made it into Halloween cards for the folks and friends. Maybe by next year, I’ll be able to actually make into something less lame than this year. I cut slits into blank cards and slipped copies of the ATC’s I’d printed into the slits, sort of like old fashioned photo albums. They weren’t my best work--working a full time job really cuts into my creativity time--but they got the message across. Here’s the ATC itself:

So, this week I’ll be reading my proposition book so I can vote with some knowledge of what the hell’s going on out there.

My alter ego, Bear Chick, put some really cool necklaces and a bracelet on Etsy today. I love how she counts the time it took to make a piece of jewelry by the tv shows she watched while she was working her magic!

C’est la vie!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ironman Leaves My Butt Chilled


If you were following my other blog late last year, you may recall The Husband and I going up in the balloon at Orange County’s proposed and slow growing Great Park. Well, here we are again, this time to see an outdoor showing of Ironman, complete with free parking, movie and popcorn. As we approached the Great Park area, we could see the balloon, with it’s Halloween face on. Somebody’s thinking and having fun doing so!

Folks hauled in their camp chairs, blankets and coolers and I have to say, the people around us were very considerate and made sure their kids were as well. The popcorn, popped on the premises, surprised the old taste buds by actually being very tasty and buttery. But here’s the kicker: It’s been 95 damn degrees for the last few weeks and suddenly, low and behold, the fall 50 degree weather arrives just in time for an outdoor movie! I swear, my butt was the coldest thing on me last night! How can that be, when I’m sitting on it and it’s getting the least cold air of anywhere on my person?? It must be some scientific thing. Maybe I’ll write to Mythbusters…

Anyway, we’d seen the movie in the theatre (the only one this summer, except for my chick flick outing a few weeks ago, scroll down to see Nights in Rodanthe) but this just sounded like fun. We both thought we were bundled up… Silly us. The Husband had the heater on in the car before he’d even closed the door!

If you haven’t seen Ironman, I recommend it but be warned there’s a lot of war stuff, which I wasn’t anticipating. Apparently, the original was written during the Vietnam era and that’s where Tony Stark did his thing. Aren’t we lucky to have a war going on now for the filmmakers to refer to. (Bitter, bitter, bitter. Sorry)

Anyway, the real reason to see this is for two of the best actors on the planet, Robert Downey, Jr. (I prayed for him when he was having his “troubles” because I didn’t want to see such a talent be extinguished so young) and Jeff Bridges (he of the malevolently shaved head). They’re both excellent in this and Robert Downey, Jr, even though he’s not stereotypically buff, is not hard to watch, if you know what I mean. Wink, wink.

C’est la vie!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hang Up Already or CA Cops, Where Are You???


First, let me say that cops have more pressing issues some days than pulling over some dufus on his or her phone. HOWEVER...

As of July 1, 2008, the fair and sunny state of California enacted a law saying folks can't drive and talk on their cell phone unless it's hands free (the cell, not the car...). We passed this law. It's a good law. It's a law that most definitely will save lives. During the first of the summer, I was happy to see that the majority of Californian's were adhering to the law. It amused me to see people talking to themselves a mile a minute in their cars. But recently The Husband and I have both noticed more people ignoring THE LAW, tooling along, driving like morons again. I saw a woman over the weekend stop where there was no stop sign, too busy talking on her hand held phone to actually watch what she was doing. I've seen people try to negotiate traffic one handed and watched the pissed off people who had to accommodate them...

Folks, driving with a hand held cell is DANGEROUS! Not to mention AGAINST THE FREAKIN' LAW! Is your phone call worth someone's life?? PAY ATTENTION to the road, since you're driving a multi-ton vehicle!

Cops, pull these people over! Besides letting these folks know that this is not permissible behavior, we can be raking in revenue for our poor, budget screwed state!

Steppin' down from the soap box now :-)

C’est la vie!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Plea for Voting--Bring Your Brain With You!


Ok, it's a little more than a month to that First Tuesday of November. I beg you, don't vote based only on TV commercials! Read your voters manuals. Understand the propositions. Break out the No Doze to stay awake and the magnifying glasses to read the fine print.

Remember, TV commercials are paid for by big money, who wants you to vote their way. Be aware of who is sponsoring commercials. QUESTION! If it sounds fishy, it probably is. If it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is. Don't let BIG MONEY influence the way you vote. Take some time out of your life to examine what you're voting for or against. Yeah, yeah, I know we can sometimes feel like what we want in this country/government/scheme of things just doesn't matter but it does. We are the architects of our government and if we continue to vote in yahoo's and laws that discriminate against citizens and put money in the pockets of the folks who need it, and certainly deserve it, the least, we're going to be in worse trouble than we are right now, and I don't think even a Republican can disagree about the shitheap we're in right now.

Make me proud, kids! Wear your I Voted sticker with pride. It's amazing how those stupid stickers make me tear up. I'm not one for big shows of nationalism or patriotism but knowing that I've participated in the system gets me all verklempt. What can I say? I'm an old Girl Scout who gets emotional when she votes and angry when she sees a flag flying in tatters.

C'est la vie!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Movie Stuff


First the sad stuff: RIP Paul Newman. There hasn’t been a time in my life that I haven’t been aware of Paul Newman. He’s always been there. This blows.

Thoughts/Other Stuff:

The first time I went to see Butch Cassidy, (if you’ll remember, it starts out in black & white/sepia), I remember some woman in front of me saying, totally out loud, “You mean we don’t get to see his blue eyes?!”

He wasn’t one of those Look at ME kind of actors. I always read that he was somewhat shy and didn’t like to make personal appearances except for political or charitable causes.

A few weeks ago, I read a headline on AOL or somewhere, saying what would happen to his Newman’s Own brand/logo if he passed away. Well, they still use the Colonel and Orville Reddenbacher extensively and wouldn’t it be a good thing to keep Paul Newman on the Newman’s Own brand since it’s not just marketing, but the spirit of his altruistic nature?

I believe he married Joanne Woodward in 1958. I can’t even imagine the loss she must be feeling. Ah, life is so hard, knowing that eventually we lose the ones we love. Or have to say goodbye to our loved ones and go on before them. The Husband and I have her in our hearts.

Which leads me to my other Movie Stuff (hope that wasn’t a *spoiler*).

Went to see Nights in Rodanthe today because I want to BE Diane Lane. She’s so classy and natural and I love her in chick flicks (my DVD of Under the Tuscan Sun is much used). If for nothing else, you must see this film for the inn that her character is hotel-sitting for. I love color and antiques and shiny things and this house, sitting right on the beach, in the waves, magnificently blends all those things. I must do my homework and see if this place existed or was built for the film. The story is good, with a comfortable ending (notice I don’t say happy, in the traditional chick flick sense) and lovely performances. I like Richard Gere, most particularly, of his later movies, in Runaway Bride and I have to say, he is gorgeous in this film. Why is it men get better looking with age and us chicks have to work so hard to retain our chick status??? So NOT FAIR!

So I recommend Nights in Rodanthe, but bring a small supply of Kleenex.

C’est la vie!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Some Funny Words from the Signals Catalog


Are you familiar with the Signals catalog? They’re a high end doo dad shop and I mean that in the most flattering way--fun, imaginative, inspirational things you don’t need but really want.

Here are some of my favorite sayings from the current catalog:


National Sarcasm Society Like we need your support

I was promised there would be no math involved

I am the grammarian about whom your mother warned you

Baby onesie--Hi! I’m new here

Sisters: Emotional Tech Support

I took the road less traveled… And got here on time

(Under a drawing of snowy egrets) Egrets? I’ve had a few

At what age am I old enough to know better?

If I’m talking you should be taking notes

The dog ate my lesson plan

Dangerously overeducated

Traveling 33 RPM in an iPod world

I’m sick of being my wife’s arm candy (I bought this one for my husband last year) (and yes, he does wear it)

Doolittle and Loafmore Retirement Planning

Your participle is dangling

American Association of Retired Pirates We put the RRRRRR in retirement

Of course I live in the past It’s cheaper there

Careful or you’ll end up in my novel

Wall hangings and other things words show up on:

If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called Research (A. Einstein)

Many people have eaten my cooking and gone on to lead normal lives

Act Old Later

Door mat: Please stay on the mat. Your visit is very important to us. Your knock will be answered in the order it was received.

This isn't a garden, it's a botanical masterpiece

She is too fond of books and it has addled her brain (I have this hanging at my desk at work)

Since I couldn’t seem to copy a pic of the Signals cover or any of their products (which is probably smart of them), you’ll have to go here to see all these cool things:

C’est la vie!

Friday, September 26, 2008

What's on Mare's Phone?!?


The Husband bought this cute ugly guy called a Screamer last night at Michaels. When you touch his back, his eyes glow red and he screams. I thought it was so funny, I had him hold it against the toaster (nice clean background) and trigger the red eye. It's a great seasonal wallpaper for the cell phone.

We told the cashier we were going to torture the cats with him. She said they probably wouldn't appreciate that and The Husband explained that they keep us up at night, so this is just karma. However, the cats were totally not phased by the flashing eyes and screamies. We'll have to try harder!
C'est La Vie!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crappy Photo Day!


Today is Crappy Photo Day here in Mareville, courtesy of my new camera phone.

First, here’s my boy cat, Watson. If you look real close, outside the window, you can see Luna, the neighborhood cat, who has come to torture Watson, just by looking through the window at him. I love this picture, crappy as it is, because Watson’s looking back at me, seeming to say, Mare-thing, why me??

Second, here’s a picture of the jazz group, Reno Jones, at the Brea Jazz Festival last Friday night. Doesn’t it look like something out of Ghost Hunters? “And the air turned chill as the ghost band took the stage, their ectoplasm shining in the night.” We had seen them last year and totally loved them, so we made a return trip (all 10 minutes of it) to see them again and now we know why people bring their own chairs to the festival--I was in pain by the time we left, halfway through the second set (see cheap, offending chairs in foreground). But we bought one of their CD’s to enjoy in the COMFORT of our home and/or vehicle.

Check them out here:

C’est la vie!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Animal, Environment and Gay Haters, Vote for Sarah Palin


Get ready for a rant Extraordinaire!

It makes me physically ill to think about this. The self-proclaimed soccer mom is also a proponent of slaughtering wolves by chasing them in helicoptors until they're too tired to run, then killing them. The big, bad hunters won't get out of the choppers until there's no danger from the poor, exhausted animals. How do they, and she, sleep at night, knowing what barbarians they are? I don't care what the situation is, the answer is NEVER killing a healthy animal. NEVER! I don't care what kind of economics she's hiding behind, the slaughter of animals (she doesn't like bears or polar bears either), especially in such a cowardly fashion, is wrong.

This is what the republicans are offering us?? Two morons who don't care about the environment, don't care about our wildlife and are trying to rape our resources so I'm sure their oil-y friends will be able to raise gas prices more-not less, because somebody will have to pay for all this drilling and transporting of local oil--thus lining their already bulging pockets.

Just heard about the Pray Away the Gay routine... Huh!!??!! There's no such thing, whether that means praying they'll go straight OR praying they'll just go! What a lovely, Christian way to think (NOT!).

And she's got an unmarried, pregnant teenage daughter... What does that tell you? That the kid's looking elsewhere for love because she sure as hell isn't getting it at home. You know, I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one, but as I learned more about her, I decided that no, I don't HAVE to give her anything. She's a selfish, money grubbing, ass kissing politician, like all the rest, only her pretty little exterior makes too many people not realize what a good ole boy politician she really is.

Please folks, let's give the Democrats a chance to clean up the mess of the last 8 God forsaken years. When the Clintons left office, we weren't at war in a place we had no right to be and we had a balanced budget. If the republicans get in, with a Democratic Congress, we'll be mired in place for the next FOUR years.

C'est la vie!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Letter to My Muse

Dear Muse,

Where the hell are you?? My workroom is scattered with unfinished projects and piled high with materials just waiting for a purpose. Are you dancing with the devil? Drinking in Brazil? Two timing me with some other artist?

Stuffed with ideas, my brain suddenly has no outlet. The ideas build and build but the hands, they sit idle. Muse, inhabit my hands! Help me to fulfill my creative destiny! Isn't that your job?

Maybe I should pink slip you and find a creativity coach...

Signed, Frustrated in Fullerton

A background with no foreground!

Homeless Beads--very sad :-(

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Admit I’m Part of the Health Care Problem


I read a very interesting article on rising health care costs a while ago in the AARP Magazine (which I'll link to at the end). It makes several different points about factors that make health care expensive. But one really made me stop and think. I've drawn no conclusions because I am among the culprits of this particular expense.

Being a person of the female persuasion, I've read my share of "women's magazines". In that these magazines set out to demean us if we don't have the current crop of trendy goo gahs in a size fit for Auschwitz survivors and further terrify us with tales of big bad corporate America ripping us off because we have vagina's, I have decided to subscribe only to art magazines for the rest of my woefully untrendy life. Ah, this is a subject for another day… Anyway, in my wayward youth of women's magazine perusal, there was usually an article outlining the horrors someone went through with the health care system, usually with a male doctor patting the woman on the head and saying, well, we'll keep an eye on that potentially fatal bump on your boob, bleeding from the nether regions that's lasted 6 months, etc. So, consequently, when my body is doing or extruding something it shouldn't, I expect to have as many tests as possible as soon as possible. For instance, at my last physical, my doctor detected a small lump on my breast. I have fibrous breasts so I wasn't too worried, however, if she hadn't scheduled an ultrasound that very day, I would have felt nervous at not having this dealt with right away. That wait and see attitude from back in the day is not acceptable to us enlightened women's magazine readers.

Well, it turns out that doctors are ordering as many tests as possible as soon as possible because if they don't and the patient goes to another doctor who does and finds something serious, Doctor Weenie gets shafted with huge malpractice problems. So, doctors seem to be damned if they do (resulting in high medical costs for tests that aren't strictly necessary) and damned if they don't (resulting in malpractice insurance and payouts up the ying yang). And folks like me expect this treatment now, for fear of not detecting something serious in a timely fashion. Doesn't this seem like a vicious circle? Sadly, it's a vicious circle I'm not willing to break because I'm so not into that wait and see thing.

As I said, no conclusions here. We live in a time when medical science can save the lives of people who would have died 40, 30, even 10 years ago because we have the ability now to detect the bad stuff earlier. If I can even come close to a conclusion, it's that the way we deal with health care in this country needs to be changed. We have excellent models in England and Canada to base a new era of health care on, but we also have big ass lobbyists who don't want their power and big bucks to decrease, even if it means better health for an entire nation. To paraphrase Barack Obama, it's time we take responsibility for our woes and demand the change we want.

Off the soap box. Take care of yourselves! Here's the link to the whole article that set me off. In understanding the problems with health care, maybe we'll understand better what our politicians are proposing--and ignoring. Ok, really, off the soapbox now... Go read this!

C'est la vie!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mare’s Excellent Weekend


I had an event filled weekend. Met some friends for our Bead Society meeting on Saturday morning. We’re dark in July so some folks I hadn’t seen all summer. It was good to see people I have so much in common with, who I’ve known for 4 or 5 years. Had lunch with my friend, Anneliese, and we exchanged presents we’d bought each other in our summer travels. She gave me a couple of really big cool buttons made of white pearly beads and some peace symbols destined to be earrings. I’d gotten her a nail file with polar bears on it from Sea World.

Went home and goofed with The Husband for a while, before heading out for my friend Shannon’s 40th birthday party. She’d decided on a Tahitian theme and our friend Trish’s boyfriend, Tony, catered and provided the entertainment. We’re the ones at a party usually imitating the wallpaper but last night, we chatted with Shannon’s next door neighbors, who informed us that Oregon is much hotter than So Cal. Who knew?! I also got to eat dinner with an old friend who used to work with us, Lucy. She’s the nicest person you’d ever want to meet. I always strive to be like her because she’s always cheerful and sees the best in people. To Mare-the-Cynic, this is alien thought. Anyway, after dinner came the entertainment. Trish’s daughter, Noe, and several other folks who do competitive Hawaiian dancing came with their band and danced for us. Unfortunately, our little digital camera and The Husband’s camera phone didn’t do such a great job in the twilight but here’s a pic or two.

They were great-so much fun to watch and listen to-and they even got me up and dancing (I use that term lightly!). Too bad it was too dark by then for The Husband to record that for posterity (NOT!).

The dinner was yummy and the cake yummier! The Husband got to try a Hawaiian delicacy called a Spam Sandwich. No, really… Apparently in Hawaii, spam is a big thing. The Spam Sandwich is something like a California Roll with spam instead of sushi. So… A good time was had by all!

This morning, we were awakened by our organic alarm clock, Luna, the neighborhood cat, a little after 7. I needed to trim our bougainvillea, which was about to take over the neighbors yard and Happy Plant, a snail plant, that covers the side of our carport. Both these plants started life at Casa Carter as tiny green sprouts in little containers. Now they’re monsters from Planet Green-Invaders and I did valiant battle with them. Three garbage bags later, my legs and shoulders ached and I DESERVED a Big Mac.

So that’s my weekend. I feel a rant coming on. Or rather a dazzling essay on why health insurance is so bloody expensive and how I seem to be an unwitting culprit… Till then…

C’est la vie!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Rant on Red Light Runners, Damn Them!


Today I’m going to rant about red light runners. What’s their problem??!!?? Sometimes I’m waiting for a light to go green and then I have to sit and watch while as many as FOUR cars keep going through a RED turn filter. Studies have shown that red light runners aren’t showing rage or frustration--they’re just “in a hurry”. Well, for God’s sake, leave earlier or just be late!

Here’s a web site and organization that could use your help, if only by signing their federal petition to make the roads safer.

I read the article in Ladies Home Journal (believe me, they were preaching to the choir) and was shocked to find that most people who cause fatal traffic accidents by running red lights get a FINE and that’s ALL. What?!? This is reminiscent of the Mother’s Against Drunk Driving campaign years ago that finally brought America to it’s senses about bringing consequences to drunks who kill people by driving their cars while they’re absolutely freakin’ senseless. With red light runners, they have even less of an excuse than drunks!

Please sign the petition and get yourself some free bumper stickers while you’re at it. And quit runnin’ red lights!

C’est la vie!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Paris or Bust!


I want to go to Paris. Here’s some prophetic dialogue I just read yesterday in High Wizardry, by Diane Duane: “It’s like a spell. You have to say the words every time you want the results.” That puts me in mind of the Law of Attraction, the reason I recently started a Paris book. It’s a journal that I’m adhering all things Paris/France in, to keep Paris at the top of my mind. I once heard about someone who wished and wished to go to Paris and they ended up in Paris alright--Paris, Indiana! This book is very specifically Paris, France, so the universe will not be confused about where I want to go.

Here’s a partial list of things I want to do in Paris:

Walk everywhere!
Find the burial places of Heloise and Abelard
The Louvre
The Musee D’orsay
Attend an organ concert at Notre Dame on a Sunday afternoon
Flea Markets!
Cruise the Seine
Window shop on the Champs-Elysees and The Left Bank
Eat at sidewalk cafes
Musee National Picasso
Moulin Rouge
The National Library

Let’s see, have I forgotten anything??? Ah, The Eiffel Tower! I hear it’s expensive and you stand in line for hours to actually go into the structure and up to the top, so I will content myself to stand nearby and marvel. And if I happen to get up to the top, preferably at night, I’ll literally thank my lucky stars.

The Husband has been to Paris… He’s not a big city person… Every time I mention Paris, his shoulders droop… He will be as much a challenge as finding the means to get there in the first place… I am not deterred.

C’est la vie!

Mare's Journey Begins


I'm going to start this personal journey by making a confession. The picture on my profile? Taken a long time ago when I was much thinner. I've struggled with my weight since my afterschool treat was white bread smeared with butter and dusted with sugar. I'm a Lifetime Weight Watcher twice over but I can't seem to get motivated right now. I either eat pretty well or exercise consistently, but never at the same time. The latest strategy--The Husband and I are walking again every night after Jeopardy and I'm trying to think of food as Fuel, not comfort or friendship or reward. This is really how I want to be treating eating for the rest of my life--I'm tired of being a slave to food. We'll see how it goes. I'm trying to be patient with myself but damn it, I want to fit into a certain flirty little skirt sometime soon!

Mare's Journey is the companion to my creative blog, Bear Chick's Journey. Hope you'll tune in to both once in a while to see where the journey's are taking me!