Friday, February 26, 2010

Chris Matthews' mojo

I'm so excited and happy!
I think Chris Matthews got his mojo back!

I used to watch his show, "Hardball" in the 90s -- I used to love it so much, I thought if he were not married, I'd marry him.

He talked about politics and Tip O'Neill and Washington and the movie "Casablanca."
I said -- there's an excellent man!!

Then I got tired of him & stopped watching his show in 2000.
He got off-track. Like the other talk show radio/TV guys, he was devolving into a ranter and purveyor of scatter-shot, gratuitous criticism.

(Makes me think of Don Imus -- I mean, how long can we listen to one over-paid white guy with a fun job complain??)

The two things that made me switch the channel on "my man" Chris Matthews were --

1) in 2000 he got wound up one night and kept referring to somebody-or-other as being "in the tank" for Gore. Over and over. "In the tank -- in the tank -- in the tank."
For God's sake, a person is allowed to support Al Gore or George W. Bush or whomever. It was like if you supported Chris Matthews' favorite candidate you were "supporting the candidate" but if you supported the one Matthews didn't support, then you were "in the tank."

He himself was "in the tank."
I got tired of it.
I mean, I had liked him in the first place because he would talk about politics in a balanced way, praising and criticizing and questioning both Democrats and Republicans, conservatives, progressives, and liberals equally.

He would converse about the TOPIC, not bash INDIVIDUALS.
Then he seemed to change and sort of "go downhill."

2) The other thing was -- one night "Hardball" showed film of then-President Bill Clinton and Mrs. Clinton walking. And Chris Matthews made some scoffing remark about the way Mrs. Clinton was walking -- he said she was walking with "a sense of entitlement."

That's when I began to think that people with their own talk show should be term-limited, as legislators are in some states. You get your talk show for three years and then you're done.

Well last night after work I caught a "Hardball" special edition -- "The Health Care Summit."

It was educational and hilarious. I was cracking up; it was great. (They showed this film where you could see how orchestrated some of the arguments were. One side kept saying "step by step."

Senator after senator was shown saying, "What we need is a step-by-step approach." "Step-by-step; step-by-step" over and over and over again, coming out of different senators' mouths. finally one of them said, "What the American people want is a common-step, er - uh -- erm -- "a common-sense, step-by-step process..."

It was hilarious. If you can find it on YouTube, highly recommend it.)

It was the party with which I'm registered that was utilizing the "phony talking points," as Chris Matthews referred to them -- step-by-step, side-stepping, whatever.

Right now the main reason I don't switch parties is -- if I stay where I am, I can vote against the worst extremists twice -- once in the primary, and again in the general election.


Senator Boehner from Ohio was on. I have read that name, but never heard anyone say it, and had wondered how you pronounced it.

B - o - e - h - n - e - r.
How does one pronounce that?

Last night I heard them say it: they pronounced it

"bay' - ner."

Thank goodness.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

explain self?

On "Friends" the wonderfully silly "Phoebe" character occasionally would respond to something somebody said by giving a small, excited gasp & saying, "That's a good idea for a business!"

Like -- the one where Chandler says, "It's like they created my worst nightmare -- and charged me $32 to see it!"
Phoebe: "Oh! THAT's a good idea for a BUSINESS!"

I might be a little bit like Phoebe in that I'm an independent, creative thinker.
You know that expression, "think outside the box"?
I don't actually spend too much time IN the box.

I don't mean to be the way I am -- God made me that way.

Some days I wonder why, as there doesn't seem to really be a place for me.
But it's better now -- kind of.

So sometimes -- like Phoebe -- I will get an inspiration to think that something might be "a good idea for a business."

And when someone else is really good at something, I tell them they should go into business.
But that's a whole different thing.
People want to do what they love; they don't necessarily want the pressures and limitations that come with owning the place; it can end up owning you.

Some friends of mine "hired" me to do some shopping for them when I was out of work, & I still do some of their shopping but not as much.
Mostly, now, I only go to the liquor store for them.

They entertain a lot: stand-up cocktail parties; sit-down dinners.
They do a beautiful job with everything, all the time.

The thought occurred to me: "Start A Business" of being a personal shopper??

In this market it probably wouldn't be a dependable income.
That's probably a VAST understatement.

The "Official Reason" my friends asked me to do this was to save them time, obviously -- and I felt their other reason was to help me because I needed to earn money -- my income had been de-stabilized, then demolished.
(It was terrifying. Even before you get to the psychological and emotional feelilngs of Constant And Total Rejection, it's terrifying.)

At first when they asked me to "help them out" I felt embarrassed that they looked at me as a "charity case" or something. But then -- told self, "YOU NEED THE MONEY, TAKE THE JOB!!!!!!!!"

After I had been "Working as a Personal Shopper" for a little while, the manager of the liquor store I did business with passed by the cash register while I was standing there; guy behind counter was ringing up five or six bottles of wine -- probably one red & the rest white.

And the Manager grinned and said cheerfully, "Well, here's the wino!"

I was a little taken aback; it was on the tip of my tongue to explain to the guy that I was doing shopping & errands for my friends, but then I thought, I don't want to mention their name and -- I don't know -- have it get around that "they're so rich they don't even do their own shopping...blah blah blah"

and I also thought suddenly, "You know, I don't have to explain myself to this bozo."

And I didn't.

Let him fantasize that I'm going to sit in my living room with jazz on the stereo and my two cats, Chess and Genie, next to me, and all three of us having a glass of dry white wine.

Cats do enjoy a quality Pinot Grigio.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

dead terrorist bounce

During the 90s I listened to CNBC a lot. I would turn it on in the morning instead of the radio and listen to Wall Street news while I was getting ready for the work-day.

For a while they were using an expression -- "dead cat bounce."
For example:

"Yes,that company's stock went up today but we think it's a dead cat bounce."

I think it meant, the stock is going to keep going down, so don't get optimistic just because it went up, some, on one day -- that's "a dead cat bounce."

The expression didn't bother me that much
but I wasn't a fan of it.

People who have dogs and cats love their pets; why bum them out unnecessarily?

So one day I called up CNBC; some intern talked to me -- sounded like a young college student, or something.

I told him, I'm not criticizing -- I'm just saying, people love their cats, and instead of that particular expression, couldn't they say something else?

Like -- "dead terrorist bounce"?
There isn't a lot of sympathy for terrorists and they cause tragedies for other people, so ---...

The intern understood. He was real nice.

And the next day I heard them say it on the air.
I don't think they adopted "dead terrorist bounce" as something to use all the time, but what they did was, they discussed the fact that they'd had a call from a viewer who suggested substituting "dead terrorist bounce" for "dead cat bounce," and they had a chuckle over it.

And after that I heard them say "dead cat bounce" a very few times -- not nearly as often, and I thought maybe it kind of wound down & they stopped using it at all.

And now -- I don't know; haven't listened to that channel for a while.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

attractive people

What makes us think someone is "attractive"?

For a long time I have thought a particular actor was sort of attractive and wonderful.
Christopher Meloni.
The only place I ever saw him was on "Law and Order SVU."
I never read anything about him or looked at any photographs of him; only saw him on the show.

Then one day I heard him announced as a guest on some day-time talk show.
I was like, "Oh! great -- I've got to watch this."

And then I didn't find him nearly as attractive as he is on the show.

He looked exactly the same. Nothing different in appearance.
And he wasn't obnoxious or anything. He didn't say or do anything to make me think, "Oh I don't like him after all." Nada.

What was the deal??

Thought about it: apparently the man I think is attractive is
"Elliott Stabler," the Character Mr. Meloni plays in the series! -- not Mr. Meloni himself.
(Not putting him down at all. It's just -- he's not the guy.)

That's acting!


Then I asked myself, what is attractive about the "Elliot Stabler" character, to me?
What is it that I like?

He's tough.
And competent.
Saves people; helps people.
Gets the bad guys.
The way he is very strong and tough, and yet, at the same time, he can shift gears in an instant and be gentle, and careful, with people.

He can treat the person the way they need to be treated.
He can be interested in who people are.

And the way he (and Olivia, of course) figure things out. I love that part.

I'm always trying to figure out things;
so guess I relate to people and characters who are Figuring Out.

So the "attractive" about a person may involve appearance, and appearance may certainly be the First Impression, but the personality -- the fact of WHO and WHAT the person is -- and how you relate to that, is by far the Powerful Thing.

That's it, plus -- I think -- some Mystery Component which poets, philosophers, songwriters, matchmakers, psychologists (heaven help us), and others have been trying to understand or pinpoint all through human history, and haven't got it done yet.


Monday, February 22, 2010

thanks, Colin Powell

Yesterday evening some news show played an excerpt from Face The Nation's interview with Colin Powell (former Secretary of State and a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).

There was Colin Powell speaking to me from my TV set, saying things that were in my head.

That's weird.

But not really. If I am trying to figure out certain things, so are a lot of other people, I suppose.

This is a big subject, one we will re-visit at blue collar lit.

I observe current political climate, and ask myself,
"What in the hell happened?"


* OK, it isn't only in politics; it's throughout American culture.

* More rudeness, incivility, negativity, anger, impatience ("road rage," etc.) and other stuff of that nature.

*And -- here's how I'm going to approach thinking about it -- there are two "strands":
a) whole culture
and b) our political discourse

*What are the reasons for it?

Today, just the Political area.
Politics has always been somewhat "contentious."
They argue about issues and ideas.
That's what they are supposed to do.

And I've asked myself, "What went wrong? When did this current Rhetoric Style of vicious sarcasm and personal attacks start? And -- Why? Why? Why?"

what I've come up with, so far:

It started in the early 90s.
Before that, I remember President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill working together and being civil.
Joking together. Getting together on what they could get together on (as Pres. O. reminds us -- "finding common ground") and getting some bills passed, and making things work.


Governing is a different ball game from campaigning.
During the campaign you compete.
Then when it's over, you do a different job. You govern.

Since sometime early in the 90s, it seems to me, it became a situation where the campaigning Never Stops, and the Governing is hard to do because each party looks at the short-term goals of their own best interest for the next campaign.

And it's not even to make themselves look good;
it's to make the other guy look bad.

It's like trying to win the voters by default.

Where did all this negativity come from?

Critics were just relentless and vicious and -- it was just Overkill, on Bill Clinton.
They were battering away at him long before he messed up his own image by having the affair with Monica Lewinsky.

What was it?
Newt Gingrich?
Karl Rove?
Rush Limbaugh?

Remember in Clinton administration when the government shut down because House Republicans simply weren't going to let Clinton govern?
"That just ain't right."
That's being a poor sport.
Whomever wins the presidency, they are Our President, and you work with 'em.

OK, here's a list.
Talk Radio. TV Talk shows. Cable TV. More "News" Channels, on - air 24-7. Internet / e-mail. Internet / YouTube. Internet / blogging. (I plead guilty!)

I think the answer we're getting to is:
Too Much Talk.
Too Much Talk Too Fast.

It spirals. It's viral. It spirals virally out of control.

And because it goes too fast and too constantly, it has become harsh and (in my opinion) kind of crazed.

Colin Powell:

They asked him, Does democracy just not work anymore?
(That scared me a little bit.)

And Colin Powell said (something along the lines of) -- These days, with cable TV and the 24-hour news cycle, there's more back-and-forth and it becomes negative. With the internet and the bloggers, the debate goes too fast, it's repeated and twisted to mean something else; things get blown out of proportion -- "everything becomes heightened."

I say "crazed"; Colin Powell says "heightened".
Potato -- po-tah-toh....


Saturday, February 20, 2010

exuberance !

If your Computer has Speakers --

Go on YouTube.

Type in: sound of music
(not THE sound of music,
just -- sound of music)

and enter.

On the list will be
sound of music do re mi

Click on that

under that
(probably at top of list)
will be

"Sound Of Music" Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

Click on that, turn on Volume, watch and listen.

Funny! Surprising!

Exuberance is a good thing !

Possibly it could solve all World's Problems.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

wicked classy

In the Boston area some people use the word "wicked" in a funny way -- different from most of us.

They use "wicked" as an adverb -- modifier -- to make something more intense.
Like -- "My sister doesn't keep her room organized. I mean really, she's wicked bad!"

It's like --
very bad, or
really bad, or
super-bad, or --

wicked bad. ...

Everyone in the Boston metropolitan area does not do this.
It's kind of -- the younger crowd, I think -- people under 30.
And -- the socioeconomic groups that don't make as much money --
"working class," or whatever it's called.


This anecdote needs one piece of "Intro" and then three pieces of information, first.

INTRO: The year after I graduated from college I worked at what was then The First National Bank of Boston (been bought several times since, merged, re-named...).

My boss was Mr. Connolly, who had a wonderful British accent.
("Hall'--oh!" in the morning....)

Outside the hallway door to our department was a reception area with a receptionist -- a nice girl in her twenties who was from one of the towns outside of Boston. She was pleasant and complimentary to everyone.

In my section of the department was a short, handsome AVP (Assistant Vice President) named J. Crandall.

One day I told the receptionist I noticed J's name was just an initial and I was wondering what the name really was -- like, what the "J" stood for.

With an enthusiastic smile, she said:
"It's just the initial!
I think it's wicked classy!"
When I repeated that exchange to Mr. Connolly, he fairly shouted with laughter and repeated, with his accent, "Wicked clah-see."
I'd say.
It was like -- Mr. C. knew it was funny because "wicked classy" is amusing if you yourself do not use the word "wicked" that way;
meanwhile, I was enjoying it on two levels --
1) "Wicked classy" is funny to me because we don't use "wicked" that way where I come from -- AND --
I get to hear him laughing at it and saying "clah-see" with that adorable accent, & he's blissfully unaware that
instead of "classy"
is funny, TOO.
I'm sort of --
laughing WITH him
laughing a little bit AT him
And -- there is no summary or Universal Wisdom at the end of this story.
Just that -- after many years, I still
Wicked Classy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rewind and observe

How many of the things we do in our lives are sort of -- by prescription -- like, that's what people do.

That's what you do.
So that's what I'll do.
That's the thing.
That's the way it's done.

And then how much of our idea of What To Do
and What To Do Next

is shaped by --
someone else's plan for you
...lack of other options.

Thought came to my mind, Gee, would my Life be better if I had Not made
A Particular Choice - ? If I had -- gone a different way, in one department?

And the answer is -- not really, because with One Choice, I did not turn down ten other choices which I now think might have been better.

No. Not ten other choices, not even one.

Sometimes a Choice which turns out to be someone using you and ultimately hurting you (because that's what they do -- it's not even personal, not about Me)
is not something you could have easily and smoothly (or even with lots of effort) substituted a different choice for --

it's for lack of better options.

I used to automatically believe that we all have lots of options.
(That's an American thing.)
It's a deeply-held belief, with me, and so it's not easily parted with, but--
I'm having to see things from different angles now.


The wiser I get, the older I get --
Ha ha!
(It's probably supposed to be the other way around.)


Monday, February 15, 2010

World turned upside down

"Woke Up This Morning"
(theme song for "The Sopranos" -- HBO TV show)

For some reason, this song makes me feel much better, whenever / listen to it.

"I woke up this morning
Got myself a gun,
Momma always said you'd be the --
chosen one.
She said you're one in a million,
'Cause you got that --

You were --
born under a bad sign,
With the blue moon in your eyes....

Woke up this morning...
All that love had gone....
Your papa never told you about --
right & wrong --
But you're lookin' good, baby,
I believe 'at you're-a feelin' fine,
(Shame about it,)
Born under a bad sign
with a blue moon in your eyes....

Woke up this mornin' --
World turned upside down,
Things ain't been the same, since the
Blues walked in our town.

Said you're --

I love it.

I love music, and get inspired by it, and I write, but I could not even begin to think of
Writing Music.

Not gonna happen.
I don't think up new melodies;
and I don't really think in terms of poetry.

I can take it in, but can't come up with my own.

My only musical talent is --
buying CDs - !

When I was in fifth grade the teacher, Mrs. Otterson, used to have us write stories, or essays, sometimes. I'd sit there and write and write, really fast, with pen (didn't like pencil) on lined notebook paper.

Once we were supposed to take either a sentence or an idea -- can't remember which -- and write a story from it.

My story was a mystery. The bad guy had the good guy in his power, at one point, & was going to tie the good guy's hands behind his back.

The good guy was struggling, trying to get away, and my bad guy said to him, "Hey, do you want this rope around your hands, or around your neck?"

I had just heard that line in a TV show the night before.
Was it wrong to use the same line in my story?
I was a little worried about it, but I liked the way it sounded so much, that I went ahead and used it.

Mrs. Otterson asked me to get up in front of the whole class and read my story out loud.

I was pretty shy and ordinarily wouldn't have wanted to be "up in front" but since it was about my story, and I was used to reading aloud, I wasn't too scared, and I did it.

My classmates were riveted.
I believe they liked my story;
and I also think they were each relieved that I had to be "up there" and not them.

After class a kid named Alvin (the things we remember! -- it's been 400 years ago !!) said to me, with a big grin, "I really like that part where he said, 'You want this rope around your hands or around your neck'!"

Sure! The line from the professional television writer was more popular than my stuff!
Well at least at the age of 11 I was smart enough to borrow the good stuff ...!

(And still feel a tiny bit guilty about that...Neurotic Monday.)


Saturday, February 13, 2010


take it off of YouTube!

("They" might NOT take it off, but you never know...)

Some kid texted in a message that warned all the versions of this song might be yanked from the internet by the "music companies' hatchet man" ... so -- got concerned.

The song is "Woke Up This Morning" -- the song played with the Intro to HBO's series, "The Sopranos."

I recommend experiencing it this way:

Three best versions -- posted by

malakatandrunas (type in): The sopranos intro

lolapagola (type in): The Sopranos theme song

stselo (type in): The Sopranos (theme song)


If you listen to them in that order, the sound quality improves with each one.

The first one is a recording of the actual HBO series-intro.
(There's a Sunoco sign in it -- don't know why, but I really like that sign.)

The second version listed is a longer version, with variations in it.

Third one, best Sound & more variation, "d.j."-style.

(I feel like people will appreciate the versions of the song with variations after they have heard the compact, short version and sort of know the song.)


Friday, February 12, 2010

art of the possible

"They say 'politics is the art of the possible.'"

I used to know a guy who liked to quote that;
I heard heard him say it more than once.

Would propose expanding it:

everything in life -- Life -- is "The Art Of The Possible."


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stones fan

There used to be a television show (in the 50s maybe??) called
"Kids Say The Darnedest Things."
Art Linkletter.

And they actually do.
Say the "darnedest" things.

Several years ago, between jobs, I did substituting for teachers in the local high school.
(In the state where I live you don't have to have a teaching degree in order to "sub.")

Once, for half a day, I filled in for a Math teacher.
Students doing work-sheets; me walking around.

One young man who was faithfully working on his math problems abruptly asked me, as I passed behind his chair, "Are you a fan of the Rolling Stones?"

There's a question that is unexpected in Math class.
I'm -- like -- drawing a blank, doing a double-take, trying to figure out where he's getting this, and then I just said,

"Yes! I mean -- well -- what made you think of that?"

He replied, "You look like an old hippie."

I loved that.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ferocious tenacity

[From Beverly Hills, California, in The New York Times]:

Robert Evans has long been good theater. Now comes the actual stage play.

Having been involved with pictures as grand as “The Godfather,” as troubled as “The Cotton Club” and as self-referential as the documentary “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” which chronicled his checkered film career, Mr. Evans is becoming the subject of a play. It is currently being written, and producers hope it will make its Broadway debut in the next year.

[stop quote]
Reading this article, came across the following:

[quote from article]: create a story that Mr. Evans hopes will be inspirational — at least for those who may be inspired by the tale of a movie producer’s ferocious tenacity.

[end quote]

Ferocious tenacity.

I thought of that word, tenacity, recently -- a few weeks ago, maybe.

When I was working as a lobbyist a state senator told me over a drink one evening, "I've always admired your tenacity."

That's a nice compliment for a lobbyist. And I just happened to remember it recently.

Maybe, in Life, tenacity is not enough. Maybe the thing you need is ferocious tenacity.

"Ferocious" ( --
savagely fierce, as a wild beast, person, action, or aspect; violently cruel: a ferocious beating.
extreme or intense: a ferocious thirst.

I'm afraid I'm not a very ferocious person.

I am passionate; I have passionate interests.

Work on it.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I finish work, M-F, at 10pm. It's a cozy time to drive home -- not frantic and ticked off, like 5pm.

Last night in the dark as I was about to turn south on a downtown street, noticed a tall person -- a man, I thought -- walking right down the middle of the street. Not crossing the street. Not walking by the curb.

Just walking right straight down the middle of the street.

There were no other cars but mine, at the moment, so he was all alone.

I thought, "Geez, what now? The mothman?"

Fast-reflection inside my head: (when a person walks straight down the middle of a street -- anytime, and maybe especially later at night -- you just don't know what his thought pattern is....)

I drove over a block and turned south there, instead.

It seemed like it was a person, not a mothman --
but the way he was in the middle of the street, alone, -- and would have been in front of my car, had I turned there -- reminded me of "The Mothman Prophecies."

Movie, 2002, Richard Gere.

It's based upon real events in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in the Sixties.

Local people reported seeing -- well, a lot of weird things.

One of them was a real tall -- "person" -- or, something, with wings. It was referred to as "mothman".

The movie is scary -- spooky and mysterious, not grisly or horrifying.

Highly recommend it.
To read a good description of the film, type in on Google:
Movie Review: The Mothman Prophecies

Second from the top (probably) will be the review from ""


Monday, February 8, 2010

great line / wrong word

This morning, early, a movie on TCM: don't know the name of it, Spencer Tracy was in it.

At one point he says, "I've never been in a situation yet where havin' a little money made things any worse."

Isn't that great?
Kind of Mark Twain-ish.

This weekend on a cable talk show, Andrew Young, author of The Politician, a book about John Edwards' presidential campaign.

The interviewer asked Mr. Young why he saved the sex tape; Young answered, "Because it would collaborate what I was saying."

He meant "corroborate," not "collaborate."

A few seconds later, he said it again.

I'd assume that would be a dream job, working for a presidential candidate, but it obviously has its flip-side.

From very small amount I've read of The Politician, John Edwards comes off, predictably, as a classic phony.

I was taken aback by something I read about Mrs. Edwards -- surprised.
We automatically like her because our empathy -- and

sympathy -- is triggered by --
a) the cancer, and
b) the betrayal in her marriage.

But when you read about how she treats people --
she sounds like an awful, awful person.

I feel sorry for their children.


Sunday, February 7, 2010


Preparing for a social situation where I might be asked about someone else's family / relationship problems.

First I'll say cheerfully, "I don't know. But I'm sure they're doing well."

And then if I get pushed I'm going to say,

"You know, I never report any information about you to anyone else, and by the same token I'm not going to report any information about them to you."

Think they will instantly back off and say something like,
"Oh I wasn't asking you to gossip--"
"I wasn't trying to get you to report anything, I just..."

And I'll swoop in with,
"Excellent -- then you and I are in agreement."
And I'll quickly continue:
"You and I agree on most things. If you knew how many times I quote you, about the best way to do things, you'd be amazed!"

God, that sounds so good "on paper" -- hope I can pull it off.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

We need the eggs

Woody Allen, at the end of the movie Annie Hall,
talks about his former girlfriend and what a pleasure it was, "just knowing her" and the last words at the end of the film are --

~~~And...I thought of that old joke -- This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says "Doc, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." The doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?"

And the guy says, "I would -- but I need the eggs."

Well I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships -- They're totally irrational and crazy and absurd.

But I guess we keep goin' through it because most of us --
need the eggs.

I was very disappointed and bummed out
for a long time
because of a relationship.

It ground to a halt, and I couldn't believe it.
I couldn't get over it.
I was shellshocked.

And I thought of this today while driving.

When the man got a dog -- I thought, Great, he will learn the pleasures of having a pet -- he had not done that. ("Animals belong outside.")

I was 90% happy that he had got a dog,
and 10% (I can admit now) concerned that the dog might not be happy.

Not that the man would be mean to it, but
I thought
he might
be cold / rude
to the dog.

And of course what I couldn't face then
and I understand now without crying
is --
I was worried he would be that way to the dog
he was being that way to me.

But only part of the time.

So then you get into the tenuous and stressful mind-set
and heart-set

of waiting around waiting for the Situation to go back to being the
way it was when you were happy with it / him.

Being extra nice and loving to him, to make up for the deficit of anything coming back.
Reminding yourself, "Nothing's perfect -- you have to work at it!"
Trying to make things good again.

That shit'll wear you out, I can tell ya.

I was crushed.
And it would have been worse, if he had married me.

Scene: In his office, him in the chair, dog on mat next to the chair.
I came in -- the dog lifted his head and thumped his tail on the floor enthusiastically.
Me: "He likes me!"
Him: "He just wants attention."
in a cool, dismissive tone

He's "king of the hill."
(I think we women are attracted to men who are "king of the hill" naturally -- it's in our DNA or something.)

But (I see now) in a personal relationship, some of those king-of-the-hill dudes can be a poor bargain.

an example: There was a governor
of a state
whose wife wouldn't live with him. He went to the capital alone and she stayed in the state's largest town, working (I heard) in a department store.

Give me that choice: doing First Lady things, or live apart from my husband and work in a department store, at first glance, I know damn well what MY choice would be and it wouldn't be the department store!

However, I didn't have to live with that husband.

I am no longer a fan of the man I used to be with.

I am a fan of the kind of man who makes things
better, not worse.

And -- I think I might be done with that "crushed" thing.

When I get home today I'm going to put on "Time Out Of Mind" (Bob Dylan album).


Friday, February 5, 2010

club member

This week, referred in two posts to Groucho Marx famous "one-liners."

Two of those are in Woody Allen's Annie Hall.

At the end of that film, talking about relationships, Woody Allen says (paraphrasing this quote): "Relationships are hard and most of the time they don't work out -- but, it's like the Groucho Marx joke: (or maybe he doesn't credit Groucho-- maybe he just says,
'It's like the old joke...') --

My brother thinks he's a chicken. We don't talk him out of it because --
we need the eggs.

And as difficult as it can be to find a relationship and make it work, & make it last --
"most of us keep goin' through it because --

we need the eggs."

And at the beginning of that film, Woody Allen speaks directly to the audience, looking at the camera (breaking the "fourth wall") and says as he is trying to figure out his life,
and -- Life --
he thinks of the "old Groucho Marx" joke where he said, "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member." --That basically seems to sum up my relationships with women..."

Something like that.

Watch it on YouTube.

I like to remember the first time I saw "Annie Hall."
My boyfriend took me to see it, end freshman year in college.
He had seen it before, and believed that I should see it.

Sitting in the dark, packed theater, up on the screen comes this person -- curly red hair, black-framed glasses, thoughtful, worried expression, questioning. Talking right at me. Right out to all of us in the audience. Talking, talking. Trying to figure things out while we watched.

I had not seen that done in a movie before.
It was revolutionizing.

Like, "Okay. You can do this.

This can be done."



Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Return of Groucho

The other day, thought of Groucho Marx during my blog post.

More "Groucho-isms":

A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five.

Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.

I’ve known and respected your husband for many years, and what’s good enough for him is good enough for me.

I'm not feeling very well - I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course.

In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people.

I wish to be cremated. One tenth of my ashes shall be given to my agent, as written in our contract.

I was married by a judge, I should have asked for a jury.

If women dressed for men, the stores wouldn't sell much -- just an occasional sun visor.

If you fall out of that window and break both your legs, don't come running to me.

My brother thinks he's a chicken - we don't talk him out of it because we need the eggs.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Interesting / Exciting

Check this out:

Type in on Google,
The new york times,
then hit enter
then type in
after massacre, guinea sees hope

you get an article from N.Y.T., Feb. 3 2010

It seems that country is evolving with surprising speed into democracy.
People are cautiously optimistic.

It seemed interesting to me because it looked like the typical prototype of the third world country that has had a series of dictators.


Something rare has happened in a region often given to brutal autocracy: power has been peacefully transferred to a civilian, just four months after an army massacre that recalled the worst of Africa’s past.
Now, the swift and unexpected turn of events has surprised Guineans, who wonder warily if the new prime minister, Jean-Marie Doré, a gaunt and wily opposition leader who left the stadium bleeding, can actually deliver democracy in a country that has never truly known it.

"Things have happened so fast,” said Sydia Touré, a widely respected opposition leader.
“This is something we couldn’t have imagined two months ago,” he said. “It’s a new vision.”

... “We now know to what degree the international community is allergic to violations of human rights in general, and unpunished massacres in particular,” Mr. Doré said in an interview last week, outside a raucous but hopeful — and aboveground — meeting of former opposition parties.

[end, excerpts]

Sometimes good things can happen.
I guess that's what I liked about that story.

"Trying to make something good happen."
That's a mission.
It's worth getting up in the Morning for.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

in my pajamas

When posting yesterday, I typed that Sunday night I had been "writing in my pajamas."

It sounded "off" -- like it should be worded differently but I didn't have time.

And then it reminded me of a wonderful line from Groucho Marx -- he said it in one of the Marx Brothers movies.

They're on a safari in Africa, camping out in the jungle.
Groucho says,
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.

How he got into my pajamas I'll never know."


I'm a fan of Groucho Marx.
He's the same guy who was known for saying, "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would accept someone like me as a member."


Monday, February 1, 2010


I love Tony Blair.

Prime Minister of Great Britain, 1997 - 2007.

Last night he was on C-Span, just about all night.
"British Inquiry Into Iraq War."
He was taking questions.
Parliament, or part of it, wants to analyze and understand and explain actions taken in that deal.

I love listening to the English accent. (Of course over there they don't call it an accent, to them it's just Talking...)

Instead of the phrase "make a decision," the English say, "take a decision."
Like: "I took a decision that was the course to follow..." or whatever.

This went on for hours.
The English evidently have a long attention-span (and ability to sit) for these exchanges.
(It had been taped Friday.)

He said:

"I try my level best to bring people back together again."
"We had to stick in there and see it through."
"...stick it through until the end...."

"There are people who take both sides of that."

"You will be nation-building after that....It's a different task."

I like him.
He's smart and gentle.


I also very much enjoyed President Obama's talks last week -- both the State Of The Union speech Tuesday, and a discussion he had with House Republicans either Thursday or Friday...

(When I reminded one of my co-workers that the State of the Union was on, Tuesday, she replied, "I don't like Obama."
I said, "I'm not asking you to like him, I'm just saying the State of the Union speech is on. He's the only president we've got, right now.")... --

I guess I just like presidents, whether or not I voted for them. I always want to hear that speech, if I'm near a TV or something. ...

Things President Obama said that I wrote down:

"Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it is not leadership."

He pointed out that an attitude has developed between the political parties where politicians believe, "If you lose, I win," and so all they do is try to beat each other down (paraphrasing, there).
He said, "Neither party should obstruct every bill just because they can."

(Hello, Common Sense !! -- Thank you!!!
The American people have been saying that for years. I know, because I've listened to a lot of them say it.)

He mentioned "freedom and human dignity."
(Yep, we like those.)

He suggested "a tone of civility"
-- (!!!!!!! I've been thinking -- and sometimes saying -- that for YEARS !!!!)

He said the "tone of civility" should replace former tactics of "slash and burn."

Slash-and-burn sounds awfully harsh, but it's not an exaggeration.
That style is why a lot of people don't pay attention to politics or news anymore.

The president suggested if we adopt the tone of civility that Congress and the White House can work together in a more "productive" way:

"Productive" is a word I often use, or think of: when somebody, in any segment of life, is disruptive or negative or rude or whatever, I always think think it's "unproductive."

I remembered that from when I was a teenager: an adult I knew said that her husband referred to the two-or-three years they spent socializing-to-excess as "unproductive years." I always remembered that, and it became part of my personal value system: productive is good; unproductive, not good.

This is why this president amazes me -- he totally says stuff that I've been thinking. It's like I wrote the speech, only better.

When he was talking with House Repubs, he spoke of some of the tactics -- how politicians "on both sides of the aisle" use "talking points" to "push buttons" with the voters.

In his frank discussion, President Obama basically laid bare the myopic preoccupation in Washington with
a) battering the other party, and
b) the tactics used to do that.

It's about time.

And then -- back to the idealistic, high-minded, State-of-the-Union content:

"We find unity in our incredible diversity."
"I will not give up on trying to change the tone of our politics."

He speaks what I feel.

Senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia spoke on TV after the President / House Repub. discussion: I was at first disappointed when Sen. Rock. didn't seem pleased or optimistic. But then, listening to him, I realized he was worried about getting Republican votes for the health care plan; he was focused on the practical; he wasn't swept up in the idealism of the possible, as I was.

Sen. Rock. spoke of the need for congressmen to "act like adults."
That's another thing I've thought, a few times....


I like it.
The president helps me to have courage.


The man I used to love
was also sort of my "hero" --
a corny word, but yet you need heroes.

Listening to Tony Blair last night while writing in my pajamas, I realized something:
as part of the work I'm doing to leave the pain of that relationship in the past and try to live well now, I need new heroes.

Heroes (men)
and icons (women)
are people I admire, whom I think of when I want inspiration, courage, or solutions, possibilities, or options.
I imagine, "What would they do?" "What would they think?"

The women I think are terrific are
(in no order of importance, they're all equal) --
Princess Diana, Tina Turner, and Jacqueline Kennedy.

And, engaging in "hero replacement," last night I quickly realized who my three heroes are --
one guy I know personally
(not a date, and I don't know him that well,
but well enough to respect and admire),

+ President Obama,
and Tony Blair.

MMMh....Yeah. That's workin' for me, baby.