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Sunday, September 30, 2012


The latest fashion craze from across the globe is giving me an epic headache.

Basically, you get some 13 ounces of saline solution injected into your forehead, then use your thumb to make an indentation.

Presto! You are now sporting Japan's newest fashion craze, the Bagel Head.

Sadly, for those into this trend, the whole shebang disappears in a couple of days. 

If you feel the need to learn more about this insanity, there are photos of Bagel Heads all over the internet for your viewing (dis)pleasure.

Curiously, I know a lot of people who have been avoiding bagels as of late, mostly because of their carbohydrate content and their wish to avoid a spare tire around their waistline. 

Amen, and please don't pass the cream cheese.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Merlin came into my life some 17 years ago
when the last thing I wanted was a scrawny skritchy cat.

At the time, I was totally in love with Wilma, a gorgeous angora that was living with my friend Lee, who decided one afternoon that she was going on some kind of errand of mercy at the local animal shelter. And I got conscripted to go along.

Once there, I ran straight into what the shelter people called "the kitten room" with its huge glass window, where all the cute little balls of fur were cavorting, and soon as I saw them I sat on the floor and began to play with all of them.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this skinny black one in the doorway, yowling and staring straight at me. Merlin was way past the kitten stage where most folks would likely adopt her. She was no Wilma.

But man, she was loud, and she was working it for all she was worth. Lee and some of the shelter people told me the cat had followed me into the kitten room, and I decided to check whether or not that was really true.

So I walked past this creature into another section of the shelter, and sure enough, I had a follower, louder than before and working it even harder. I spent the next several minutes going from one end of the building to the other, and yep, so did the cat, yowling and purring simultaneously. Talk about a major sales pitch. But I went home.

And the next day, went back to get her. I was right, she was no Wilma, she was Merlin, which is what she was yowling at me while she was following me around. It just took me a bit to hear it.

Merlin sits near me as I write, and to this day follows me wherever I go in the house, a six pound bit of fur with incredible self promotional skills that wow me to this day.

Amen, and pass the kibble.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


California today gave the green light to self driving cars, joining Nevada on that road.

No, we are not talking cars that will zip along the highways by themselves; they must have at least one human passenger.

All those who are touting them claim that these babies will be safer and blah blah blah, I won't go into it here.

Cars are a means of transportation, which is their primary purpose. But as a person who absolutely, positively and totally (find another qualifier and insert here if you will) loves the act of piloting an automobile, this notion not only freaks me out, but totally depresses me.

I am an "active" driver when I get behind the wheel. The ritual: click the seat belt, check all the mirrors, turn the key and look at the various gauges and dials to make sure my car is ready to go. (Okay, I am not Danica Patrick but in another dimension, I could be.) The road is full of problems and pleasures, and I do my best to be in the moment  for whatever is ahead or behind me. 

Don't get me wrong, vehicle safety is paramount. A few weeks ago I had a tire blowout while I was on the freeway and that was no joke.

Self-driving, however? Is this a reaction to motorists (and we have all seen them) who perform assorted functions too numerous to mention while they drive because they are clueless and irresponsible? Not for nothing but I'm not crazy about giving up control of my car and my ability to do something on my own because some people want to send out text messages or put on eye makeup while sitting in the driver's seat.

I respectfully suggest those same individuals take public transportation and get off the roads. That will definitely make them safer for the rest of us. 

Amen, and pass the mustard.

Friday, September 21, 2012


I have never understood the fascination with autumn, or fall, whatever you want to call the time between summer and winter (which rots but that's another rant).

Autumn is awful, a dreadful season, really. I mean, think about it. Everything is falling apart, pardon the pun.

The leaves are drying up and dropping from the trees. Your carefully tended vegetable and flower garden? Toast. Those ten pounds you lost with all that great weather exercise? Surprise, they are going paste themselves right back on your waistline. Worse, now you will be wearing layers -- meaning that you will look rounder and rounder as you pile on bulky sweaters.

And let's not talk about how we are going to spend the next five months with our shoulders permanently hunched around our ears in response to the increasingly colder weather. 

I've got friends who love this time of year, pointing out how great it is to look for pumpkins or the energizing feeling of the cooler, autumnal air. The words "refreshing" and "crisp" are part of their lexicon. And I'm happy for you. One of those friends lives in Alaska and just adores winter. But then Richard is a musician, brilliant and completely nuts.

Me, however? I think autumn is like Sunday nights when you are killing those last few weekend hours before the grind of work is about to clobber you with a major wallop. 

Fall means "Winter is Coming," and if you are a Game of Thrones fan, you know what that means. 

Amen, and pass the vacation brochures.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


My father died a bunch of years ago on September 13.

Papi was an engineer by trade, studied subjects like electricity and mechanics during his university days. He was an incredibly intelligent man, and I'm not bragging here. If he got it into his head to do something, he would do it, and involved everyone else.

I was born into a very funny and creative family.

One time he and his brothers spent several hours playing with a sewing machine, tailoring a man's shirt. It was an art to master.

Another time they got it into their heads that the family hamster wheel was not terribly efficient and added ball bearings to the whole shebang, yelling "Eureka!" soon as they thought they had discovered a new system for generating energy.

And let's not forget the day he borrowed all the blankets my mother owned to cover the walls of the living room, the better to absorb the sound and improve the acoustics for the new stereo system with which we all listened to Beethoven's Ninth.

Today I find myself thinking about all these things and then some, grateful that I was fortunate enough to be this guy's daughter and the niece of his siblings.


Amen, and to the men and women who are my cousins because we are the sons and daughters of Manolo, Antonio, Ignacio, Emilio, Lily, Dario and Olga, guys, we are millionaires.