Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cowgirls Don't Get the Blues

I went horseback riding the other day with a group of gals at Bobby's Ranch in Acton. Boy, did we have fun! I didn't take any pictures, so I looked up some vintage cowgirls. They look pretty happy too.

We didn't try this pose.....

Monday, April 28, 2008

Head Over Heels x 2

Two favorite tunes from the 80's, with the same title! Got to love those hair styles!! And the over-sized, boyfriend's torn sweatshirt look.... And guys with earrings and curly hair!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


After watching Shrek 3 for the second time (nephew visit) I've come to appreciate how funny and brilliant this movie is. My new superstar hero and favorite character is Gingy, the Gingerbread Man. Since I didn't see Shrek 2, I didn't know Gingy's tortured past, but when I saw Shrek 3 again and did some reading, I understood the flashback of his life (very hilarious).

Gingy fights back and has spunk!!! Yeah Gingy on the treadmill!

I also love when Gingy's says to Prince Charming: "The only thing you'll be king of is Stupid."

And of course, when Gingy pooped out that gumdrop, I cackled so loud my poor nephew was startled off the couch...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Walkie Walkie

Went for a nice stroll in the Middlesex Fells yesterday afternoon. With my keen scouting techniques, I noted the following wildlife:

1. red breasted robins
2. 2 snakes

3. dogs

4. red squirrel

5. bumblebee

6. creepy guys

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Teeny -Weeny Scooters

Collect them all!!! Trade them with your friends!!!

I've always had a thing for tiny models of the real world. Here is my collection of little Vespas. They are about 2 inches long each! Completely accurate!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Shot Heard Round the World

Yesterday my nephew Zack and I started the day early, getting up at 5 am. We drove over to Lexington Green to watch the annual reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Stupidly, I forgot my camera in the car, so there's no video. Zack's comments will have to suffice. At first, he didn't want to go. He said, "I'm a lazy kind of guy," and wanted to stay in bed. Being so short, he also couldn't see much. But, I think overall he was impressed, especially with the American long rifle.

"The shots sounded like they could be heard in New Hampshire. When the reenactment was over, I saw a stand with play guns. And hats. The gunpowder smelled like rotten eggs."


Zack and I went to see the Boston Marathon yesterday, with some of my friends. It was an awesome day out. Here we are near Coolidge Corner.

Zack said, "One of your friends kept screaming."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Books I Share- Part 3

Of all of the dead writers cataloged on LibraryThing so far, clearly Ernest and I would get along famously. He shares 55 books with my library.......
Abraham Lincoln: the prairie years and the war years by Carl Sandburg
The adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer's comrade by Samuel Langhorne Clemens
The adventures of Tom Sawyer by Samuel Langhorne Clemens
The age of innocence by Edith Wharton
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
The brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The catcher in the rye by J. D. Salinger
Chickikov's journeys; or, Home life in old Russia (Dead souls) by Nikolaĭ Vasilʹevich Gogolʹ
The cloister and the hearth: a tale of the Middle Ages by Charles Reade
Crime & punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Dubliners by James Joyce
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
The garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
Giants in the earth: a saga of the prairie by Ole Edvart Rølvaag
The grapes of wrath by John Steinbeck
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Kon-Tiki: across the Pacific by raft by Thor Heyerdahl
Kristin Lavransdatter: the bridal wreath, the mistress of Husaby, the cross by Sigrid Undset
Light in August by William Faulkner
Lolita by Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
Look homeward, angel; a story of the buried life by Thomas Wolfe
A lost lady by Willa Cather
Lust for life, the novel of Vincent van Gogh by Irving Stone
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Nine stories by J. D. Salinger
Of human bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
On the road by Jack Kerouac
Other voices, other rooms by Truman Capote
Out of Africa by Karen Blixen [Isak Dinesen]
Pale horse, pale rider: three short novels by Katherine Anne Porter
Pickett's charge: a microhistory of the final attack at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 by George Rippey Stewart
The portrait of a lady by Henry James
The red badge of courage by Stephen Crane
Reflections in a golden eye by Carson McCullers
Remembrance of things past by Marcel Proust
The return of the native by Thomas Hardy
Shadows on the rock by Willa Cather
Silas Marner by George Eliot
A stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton
The sun also rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swann's way by Marcel Proust
Taras Bulba by Nikolaĭ Vasilʹevich Gogolʹ
To the lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The turn of the screw by Henry James
The well of loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
West with the night by Beryl Markham
Winesburg, Ohio; a group of tales of Ohio small town life by Sherwood Anderson
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

MaNaMaNa Deutsche Version

Friday, April 18, 2008

The PopeMobile

One of the kids in school mentioned the PopeMobile in class today. I hadn't seen it. I did a search on the PopeMobile. Personally, I don't like the modern look. To me, he looks like he's riding around in a dunk tank.

I think the Pope would be better observed in something more traditional & distinguished, like this......

Or, if he's going to go modern, I say something playful and environmentally friendly, like this......

Books I Share- Part 2

LibraryThing is now listing the libraries of famous authors. It's called the "[I see dead people]'s books" project. I compared myself to this great feminist. You would think Susan B. Anthony and I would have more in common. But there are only 3 books I share with her library.....

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Uncle Tom's cabin; or, Life among the lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe

A vindication of the rights of woman: with strictures on political and moral subjects. by Mary Wollstonecraft

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Watch Out! Elephant Roaming Main Street

You have to admit, this video clip from LiveLeak.com is pretty funny......

Is That a Moped?

Having a scooter is a bit like having a cute dog or baby. People feel free to come up and start talking to you, signal, or yell something out. While I'm on my bike in traffic, this can sometimes be annoying. But overall, people are nice. Here are some various interactions I've had, now that the weather is fine and people are out and about.

1. Guy in Pickup Truck From N.H. (This is my usual exchange with most men)
Man (chomping on bagel) "What's it cost to fill that up? 10 bucks?"
Me (on scooter) "No. About 3."
Man"Ha, Ha. How many miles does it get?"
Me "About 40-50 m.p.g."
Man "What's it go for?"
Me "About 2000 dollars."
Man "Wow. That's a lot of money."

2. Man on Kawasaki motorcycle, pulls up beside me.
Man "That looks like a lot of fun."
Me "Yeah."
Dead Silence.
Me "It's great for the city."
Man "Yeah."

3. Woman in the back seat of a car on Charles Street in Boston. Waves and smiles very excitedly.

4. Two guys pass me in the opposite lane on Washington Street. One beeps and flashes me the peace sign.

5. Teenage girl in car. "Whoooooo!"

6. Guy in downtown Boston, late at night.
Guy: "Wow. What's that? A Harley? Give me a ride."

7. Toddler in Davis Square.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Books I Share- Part 1

LibraryThing has a new feature. A bunch of folks are inputting the library collections of famous writers. It's the [I see dead people]'s books group. An obsessed bibliophile can then discover the books he/she shares with a dead but great writer. Here are the books I share with Sylvia Plath.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

The bell jar by Victoria Lucas [pseud.] by Sylvia Plath

The Bostonians : A Novel by Henry James

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dubliners by James Joyce

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

The mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Nine stories by J. D. Salinger

Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

A room of one's own by Virginia Woolf

Selected Short Stories Of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

To the lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The Trial by Franz Kafka

Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Right Down the Line

I'm reluctant these days to post YouTube videos anymore. Eventually, they are 'no longer available' and my blog has a dead link. I love this song by Gerry Rafferty-- 1978-- Right Down the Line, so here's an mp3 link, and the lyrics. Enjoy.

You know I need your love
You've got that hold over me
Long as I've got your love
You know that I'll never leave
When I wanted you to share my life
I had no doubt in my mind
And it's been you woman
Right down the line

I know how much I lean on you
Only you can see
The changes that I've been through
Have left a mark on me
You've been as constant as a Northern Star
The brightest light that shines
It's been you woman right down the line

I just wanna say this is my way
Of tellin' you everything
I could never say before
Yeah this is my way of tellin' you
That every day I'm lovin' you so much more
'Cause you believed in me through my darkest night
Put somethin' better inside of me
You brought me into the light
Threw away all those crazy dreams
I put them all behind
And it was you woman
Right down the line

I just wanna say this is my way of tellin' you everything
I could never say before
Yeah this is my way of tellin' you
Everything I could never say before
Yeah this is my way of tellin' you
That every day I'm lovin' you so much more

If I should doubt myself, if I'm losing ground
I won't turn to someone else
They'd only let me down
When I wanted you to share my life
I had no doubt in my mind
And it's been you woman
Right down the line

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom's birthday! It's a milestone year---- 70. She doesn't want to admit that age, but I told her 70 is the new 55. She's good with that. Here she is in the second grade. Cute! She commented: "I look like a little immigrant waif."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Modes & Manners of the 19th Century

After seeing so many old books this weekend, I've started reviewing my own collection. Here are some pages of a book I own: "Modes & Manners of the Nineteenth Century," published in 1909. I got the book at a Somerville Public Library sale some years ago for 1 dollar. The book consists of illustrations, paintings, and photographs of European and American women's fashions from 1843 to 1878. There are two other volumes to the collection, which I don't have. What I like about the book is the romantic, idyllic illustrations of women strolling around together in pastoral settings, linking arms and staring into each other's eyes. It's like a dream! (I'd almost be willing to wear one of those horrid dresses....)

The Cackle Sisters

Here are my two cats, Willa & Harper, having an affectionate moment with each other, and cackling at the doves outside.... Their morning routine.....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Women's Softball

Yesterday at the Boston Antiques Fair, I kept my eye out for vintage pictures of Women's Softball or Baseball teams. No surprise I didn't find any. Here are some examples I found on Google.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Willa Cather

Today I went to the Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair in Boston. I was in heaven, looking at all the rare old books, postcards, sheet music, advertisements, maps, cards, photos, etc. It was like a museum to me, most things out of my price range (a book of poetry by Emily Dickinson, 2,000 dollars).

Finally I settled on one item, a signed novel-- "Sapphia & the Slave Girl" --by my literary heroine-- Willa Cather.
It wouldn't be my first choice. I would rather have "O Pioneers!" or "My Antonia." But the book is in excellent condition, and it's signed. This was Willa Cather's last novel, written in 1940.

Fox Trotting

I told my friend Dame E.F. that I wouldn't get caught dead in her shoes. But here I am, dancing away......

Grandma would be proud.....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Missed Connections

I love reading those ‘missed connections’ entries on the Craig’s List Personals . Of course, I'm always looking for a tantalizing description of myself. No luck.

As a joke, I’ve always wanted to submit something like this:

YOU: were returning boxes of Bud Light empties to Kappy’s Liquors in Medford. You had on hot pink yoga pants and black boots. You dropped a can & said, “Shit.” You gave me a weird look but smiled too….
ME: I had on a black t-shirt with a big chicken on it. I had a white yipping dog with me that bared his teeth at you. I had a kind of dumb ‘smitten’ look on my face. Can we do it again?

YOU: I saw you in Target. You had on a white jogging suit and orange sneakers. You were carrying a canvas bag that said, “Muhammand Ali: Float Like a Butterfly; Sting Like a Bee.” You were bending over picking up a bottle of Mylanta, when I saw you……
ME: I was the Buddhist monk lurking near the toilet cleaning solvents in aisle six. How long do I have to wait?

Who says there ain’t true love?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Funny Place Names

Dildo, NFLD
I guess if you're going to live in some shit town in the middle of nowhere, you might as well give it a funny name. Here are some funny place names (there are many). I've actually been to Dildo, Newfoundland, Canada! My grandmother grew up about 4 miles from Dildo!

In the U.S., it seems Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Kentucky have a lot of funny place names. Of course we do have our Belchtertown here in MA!
Why, Arizona

-------------------------------Anus, France

Twatt, England

Oddville, Kentucky

Warning: Salamander Crossing

Last week my friend J nobly set aside a weekday evening and made an 'on-call' emergency trip, summoned by The Lincoln Conservation, to a nearby nature spot. His purpose: to aide scrambling salamanders to safely cross the road. He called the Baron at the last minute, figuring I could be of assistance on this adventurous & risky outing. I missed his bugle call.

There's a whole science behind our little amphibians' waddle across the road, which is explained in this article,
"Why did the Salamander Cross the Road?" in today's Globe.

People love this yearly amphibian quest because it is a ritual that signals spring. Though difficult to see, apparently it's warm enough for the salamanders to make their way from winter slumber to warm vernal pools nearly. There the salamanders do that thing that they do.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr.

40 years ago this past Friday, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated. I was five years old then, but I do not remember this event. Nor do I recall Robert Kennedy's death in the news later that same year. Perhaps my parents & grandparents & teachers shielded me from the news. I was too young to understand.

Here is Martin Luther King Jr.'s last speech in Memphis, Tenn. The following evening, he was murdered. His speech is eerily prophetic; it seems he knows he's going to die.

But he's at peace.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Picasso Le Elephant

Watch this. It's intriguing.

I searched around the internet to see if this video is a fake. Is the elephant really painting? I think she is, but apparently people train elephants in Thailand to paint representations like this. (which is still amazing). I would guess that's what happening here, since it's a bit too cutesy to imagine the elephant choosing to paint herself holding a flower.

It's a tourist gimmick, probably. I bet that painting was for sale to all the oohing and ahhing people in the audience....

Hopefully the money is at least going to provide an elephant sanctuary.

On their own, some elephants do like to paint, but rather abstractly I would think.
Elephant Paints Self-Portrait
Elephant Paints Self-Portrait

Above, some 'real' elephant paintings

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's Jokes

My sister J is a master at pulling off April Fool's or practical jokes, & is generally the family trickster. Usually her target is me, or my father, or my brother-in-law, the three most gullible people on the planet. She didn't get us this year though, as far as I know. (It's not midnight yet.... & I don't know where my poor father is right now, or whether my brother-in-law is still among the living).

Years ago (when I was a teenager & J was 8), I came home late & famished from a night out. J immediately approached me & told me my mother had made
butterscotch pudding.

My mom's butterscotch pudding was something to be had. It was "waiting for me in the fridge", J said innocently.

My mom always put wax paper over pudding, to keep it from forming an unseemly 'film'. (A Betty Crocker tip) I looked in the fridge, & there it was. A small brown bowl, with a wax paper top. Yum.

I sat down, peeled away the top, & eagerly scooped into the "butterscotch pudding" -------only to discover that it was a disgusting glob of congealed turkey gravy .
I screamed & J laughed her butt off & ran.


Who can resist the Muppets on April Fool's Day???? My 3 year old niece & her considerably older auntie, Nana, & great auntie loved watching this recently. Does this say anything about our genetic pool?

Gwen's Letter

Here's one page of a love letter my grandmother wrote to my grandfather (before they were married) on July 25, 1935. Pretty sweet.