Wednesday, December 26, 2007


The sun has just come out on what has been previously a bone-chilling cold day after Christmas. I spent the morning combing the thrift stores which is a treat for me and the first thing I think of doing when I have a weekday off. Now I’m home, I’ve built a fire and will try to pick up some.

Clutter is getting to me. At least BEFORE Christmas, the packages are all tucked neatly under the tree. The lights and garland hung nicely (except when Vince’s tail swooshes by and half the garland falls down – damn that happy dog anyway). Now that Christmas has past, all the debris remains. Random boxes, pieces of ribbon, wads of tissue. I pick up a little each time I pass through. Hopefully I’ll clear a path for the vacuum by tomorrow.

For now, my de-clutter project is my desk upstairs. Classes are over for the fall and grades are in…. I got A’s in both classes?! Yeah me. If I had a report card, I’d pin it on the refrigerator. Instead, I’ve cleared out my binder and tossed the syllabi (that’s two syllabuses, I think). I’m keeping the book from the database class for future reference but the Evidence book will soon be listed for sale to be replaced by some other text. At the cost of those things, you’d thing they were heirlooms. I’ve tucked all my new Post-It notes and flags along with shiny pointy highlighters in my desk – Santa often hit’s the office-supply store and fills our stockings with cool stuff.

As I clear, I purge. I’ve found homes for much usable-but-not-by-me stuff by offering them on freecycle. If you haven’t yet discovered freecycle, it’s the ultimate in recycling and regifting and I highly recommend it. You list what you have and are willing to give away and the ads are read by people who want your stuff. Some people list “wants” so you scan the ads see if you have what they’re looking for. Of course, there are occasionally ballsy people looking for valuable items but I suspect I’m not the only one that rolls my eyes when someone asks for a laptop or digital camera THEN get picky about the specs. It’s a great opportunity to get and share. I’m back to the big purge. Am I the only one with a drawer full of return-address labels from various organizations.....

Monday, December 24, 2007


Here are my last two batches of cookies. The cookie cans are full and there's nothing left but the chowder to worry about.
I had to make a quick run this morning into town and I was struck by the diversity of the season....unmistakably Humboldt on Christmas Eve. First, the stable and livestock (camels and donkeys) on the lawn of the Episcopal Church, encircling the stable that houses their living Nativity. Then, a garbage man driving his truck wearing yellow coveralls and a Santa hat with a cigarette hanging off his lip. THAT'S festive, huh?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Three down...biscotti to go

I've been getting caught up on my Christmas baking and have three batches mixed, shaped, baked and stuffed into their tins. I didn't do doubles this year because it seems we always hit a point of "no mas" on the cooky front. I made our favorites - Russian Tea Cookies, Candy Cane cookies and Thumbprints with fudgy chocolate frosting in the middle. I have biscotti dough just chillin until I bake it and that should do it. Considering it's just a few of us for Christmas, I'd say that's MORE than enough. I suspect I'll be sharing. Thank goodness for the yummy smell of butter and vanilla. Merry Christmas.


I’ve got cookie dough mixed up and am well on my way to a celebration of sprinkles, powdered sugar and crushed peppermints. That should keep me out of trouble this weekend. Should help keep the house warm, too, with the oven in overdrive and we could use that.

I’ve noticed a little bit of hostility this year when some people say Merry Christmas and I don’t mean the grinchy kind. It started this year with the open invitation by e-mail to view and help decorate the “Holiday Tree” at work. It was quickly followed by “Don’t you mean “CHRISTMAS tree”? which was followed with “here here”. Oh man, here it comes….yep, the e-mails began to flow…including the eventual retrospective into the historical ramifications of the Christmas tree….geez loo-eez!

I’m a Catholic which I'm pretty sure makes me a Christian. I am not a CHRISTIAN. I don’t have a fish on my car. I am not a member of the Jesus fan club with the WWJD jewelry, the pin, the patch, the decal. I worship at the beach and the trees and the sunsets…occasionally in an actual church. I am not offended should someone sincerely wish me Happy Holidays or Happy Hannukah or Joyous Solstice. Consequently, I don’t understand why someone who is pagan or atheist would be offended by a “Merry Christmas” greeting. Nor do I understand the joy that Christians seem to get from snarling “MERRY CHRISTMAS” as if to say “I’m saying Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays because CHRIST should be in Christmas blah blah blah”. I feel as if I should question Christmas cards from years back that said Happy Holidays --- “what did they mean by THAT?” Isn’t the Happy Holiday greeting just a shortened version of Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Solstice….Enjoy your holiday of choice? Perhaps I should only wish glad tidings to those who believe EXACTLY as I do... Yikes..does anyone believe the way that I do?

Christmas should be about happiness and joy and love for your fellow man/woman/transgender/whatever. It’s about dropping a tip in tip jar when you don’t usually bother. Or dropping the money you were going to spend on a mocha in the red bucket and wishing the bell-ringer a Merry Christmas. Maybe even NOT snarling at the people begging with signs at the mall exit. It’s about warm and fuzzy not anger and confrontation. I want to hear “Merry Christmas” again and with sincerity dammit. So, as I head for my weekend of Christmas baking and last-minute shopping, I wish you all a MerryHappyChrismahannkwanzukah. Oh, a joyous solstice today as well since it signifies a journey towards longer days and hopefully warmer ones. It’s all good!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Funniest past life explanation for drug experimentation ever, overheard at a recent dinner ……

“I never liked the idea of drugs. I did try LSD once in the 70’s. I didn’t really want to but… we were out of beer”. What more incentive do you need to keep beer in the frig..

Friday, December 14, 2007


So, I’m sitting in post-work traffic on Broadway last night. I’ve got my music in my car turned up playing Christmas music…the day was harried preparing for graduation and I needed to ….mellow out. The song changes and all of a sudden my car is vibrating. Oh HELL, what is wrong with my car. The windows were buzzing. My EARS were vibrating. Crap, did I blow out my speakers with Christmas music? Is that even POSSIBLE?! I turn down the music. Still the vibration continues. I turn OFF the music and I hear this bmpfh bmpfh bmpfh sound. I roll down my window and realize this DORK in a silver Durango, BIG ram decal in the back window just in case we didn’t know it’s a Dodge…is noddin’ his head to this noise. His passenger side window is down -- apparently to let in the balmy forty degree air …. Or perhaps just to share his “music”. Honest to god, this crap about “If its too loud, you’re too old” is bullshit. NO, if I can’t hear MY music, yours is just TOO FREAKIN’ LOUD. He glances over at me and grins as if to say “ain’t I neat”. I rolled up my window. What an idiot! Small penis syndrome...
I was in a quandary about posting this because that would be TWO blogs in a short period that illustrates I may be aging in the music world. But ya know what, I’m not too old. I’m not… I’m not…I’m…what, huh? oh yeah….I”m not!

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's Beginning to Smell A Lot Like Christmas

Making a cross-campus trek this afternoon, the smell of Christmas greeted me. There has been some trimming of the trees on the hill but this was strong…and somehow festive. Coming back, I heard the sound of the chipper. Aah! Our grounds crew cleaning up AFTER the recent winds and likely catching loose branches BEFORE they blow down on a car. There’s a fine line between winter ambiance and just plain scrappy (see previous blog on my pathetic garden) when it comes to yard maintenance but the grounds crew here manage to keep things looking tidy but not artificial. On this particular winter afternoon, it was perfect timing. I will head off into the weekend with the smell of pine … or fir…or some form of evergreen in my nose putting me in the mood to decorate and bake and maybe listen to Perry Como and the Tran Siberian Orchestra do battle over Christmas songs… Fa la la la la


So I have to bring up a point about big, gas-guzzling vehicles that never gets mentioned. The apparently inability of the drivers to PARK. I went to Costco after work. It's pretty busy at that time so parking is generally at a premium. Mind you, I don't mind walking and will usually park out in the boonies before I'll SIT and WAIT for an easy spot. Mind you also that I used to drive a full size van. Did it for YEARS. Found it somewhat annoying that parking spaces were getting smaller and it was often a tight fit in the compact spots for a decidedly UNcompact vehicle. I now park my xB smugly in a half of a spot. What PISSES ME OFF is people like this guy that selfishly took up two, maybe three spots when he whipped his behemouth truck into an entire zone of the lot. Just a thought people but....if you can't park it PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN'T DRIVE IT!

Friday, November 30, 2007


So, Friday has become the day Glo and I listen to HER iPod on the way to campus. I can’t begin to tell you what a joy that is. Mind you, my music is far from easy listening and stodgy but she makes up special play lists just for me. I don’t have, say, Will Smith though I don’t mind listening once in a while. It helps that my car has some good speakers for “bumpin”. Been getting some Black Eyed Peas and tend to listen to lyrics much to Gloria’s dismay. I imagine sitting down , pen in hand to put lyrics to paper, much like, say, Johnny Mercer or Bernie Taupin. And THIS is what he produced:

They say I'm really sexy,
The boys they wanna sex me.
They always standing next to me,
Always dancing next to me,
Tryin' a feel my hump, hump.
Lookin' at my lump, lump.
You can look but you can't touch it,
If you touch it I'ma start some drama,
You don't want no drama,
No, no drama, no, no, no, no drama
So don't pull on my hand boy,
You ain't my man, boy,
I'm just tryn'a dance boy,
And move my hump.

My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump,
My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump.
My lovely lady lumps (lumps)
My lovely lady lumps (lumps)
My lovely lady lumps (lumps)
In the back and in the front (lumps)
My lovin' got you

Gawd…I feel old!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy 16th Birthday, Gloria Rose

Hard as it is to imagine, sixteen years ago I was probably curled up in a birthing room at Carson-Tahoe Hospital in Carson City, holding my newborn baby girl. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I had gone in early for a stress-test to make sure she was turned around (she had been breech for a while) in the oven and not over-done. After the pitosin drip had been turned off and contractions stopped, Dr. Breeden looked at me and said…ya know, if we induce, we can BOTH enjoy our Thanksgiving tomorrow”. Mark and I looked at each other knowing that the minute I got dressed and headed home, my water would break. Family was on their way up from Santa Cruz. What the heck – do it! Four hours later, just before Days of Our Lives was scheduled to start, Gloria Rose made her appearance. Hot damn…bring me lunch and turn on my soap!

My family arrived at our house to find a note on the door telling them where we were. They let themselves in and started meal prep and we came home with Gloria on Thursday with the smell of turkey already wafting through the air. Sixteen years have flown by. Glo has always been her own person - smart, independent. Not one to do what everyone else is doing (unless of course she REALLY wants to do it). She loves her Will Smith and Michael Buble as well. She played drums when the other two girls played clarinet. Mark was pleased that he finally had a small child that would sit with him through an entire NASCAR race. She was riding on the back of the motorcycles at four and a half. Started kindergarten a early and was reading when first graders were still guessing at words. She was ahead of the other older kids in her class all the way through elementary school. Even now, she’s the youngest junior at the Academy of the Redwoods.

So, Happy Birthday Gloria Rose. You’ll always be my baby and probably will always be “Shorty” to Hope, even though you're almost as tall as she is.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


This has been a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and I am appropriately grateful for where I live and the people I live with.

After making pie crusts and an apple pie on Wednesday night, I put the pie punkins in the crock pot to cook overnight (BTW, whoever invented the Crock Pot should be knighted). On Thursday, after an early rise and some more meal prep, including turning that punkin into a couple of pies, we (the dog, the girls, Mark and I) loaded into the Xbox and headed to Pepperwood to the old bridge where we took our Thanksgiving picture about seven years ago. We had the late great 100-pound Grizz with us then and Mark wanted to recreate the photo with Vince in Grizz’s place. Nice walk, if a little short. Photos were taken. Lunch was eaten – a traditional Thanksgiving lunch of Ritz and Easy Cheese on the river bed. We returned home to the heavenly smell of turkey. Food prep was completed. Guests arrived with more food. Turkey was carved. Grace was said. Room was saved for dessert. Tryptophan coma to follow.

Yesterday, the girls joined the hoards at o-dark-thirty for the Black Friday traditional storming of the stores. I, on the other hand, took advantage of a weekday off to comb the thrift stores which I don’t often get to do. I came home empty handed which seemed a little odd – I almost always find SOMETHING I can’t live without but I’ve been going through a purging mode of late so I suppose nothing looked important enough to bring back. Not a bad thing. I did find that the ridiculously early holiday decorations and news stories were getting me a bit stressed….How can I already feel behind and it’s just Thanksgiving?! I’ve had to prioritize lately, putting homework near the top and moving anything else that can wait down the list. Unfortunately, if I wait until the end of the semester to shop and get at Christmas cards, nothing will get out in time. So, I calmed myself by hitting a couple local stores for gifts which put me mentally “partially done”. Sounds silly but it worked.

Today, back at homework but managed to treat myself to a trip to the beach. I checked the magic seaweed website and it seemed as if seas were up. Cowabunga! I’m not a surfer but I do live vicariously. I grew up in Santa Cruz and, in days when drive-ins were just that, it was common for my mom and dad to take us to Foster Freeze to pick up burgers then we’d head out to Pleasure Point or Steamers in our baby blue 59 Fairlane to watch the surfers while we ate. There was always a pair of binoculars in the car so we could get in closer when the surf was good. I still find it one of my favorite pastimes. So, I headed up to Camel Rock. There was not a parking spot to be found, it was so crowded. That was a good sign. I drove up to Lufenholtz and managed to find a spot and walked back and down to the beach. Surfers were running out so as not to miss a single wave and the waves were awesome, at least to my eyes. Got some good pictures. There are times I would love to be out there….then I see someone go ass over tea kettles into the salt and remember body surfing as a teen and that sandblasted sinuses thing when you got tumbled. Nope…I’m good on the shore with my lens.

Oh, Hope did a beautiful job on our family Thanksgiving page so please check it out.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


As the end of the semester approaches and final project deadlines loom on the horizon, I've decided that preparing my garden for winter will have to wait. It's embarrassing to look at. There is not much that is more pathetic than my slug-eaten tomatoes and zucchini and the 8-foot high sticks that used to be hollyhocks. Actually there is one thing more araucana hens as they enter into annual moult. This goes double for poor Rosemary. She moults first then, because chickens peck at anything that catches their eye, the others peck at her bare spots. As you can see, Ginger looks pretty full and shiny but alas, poor Rosemary. Egg production has fallen off to one a day for four hens and I'm guessing it ain't Rosemary's baby. If this were Chicken Run, I believe she'd be joining Edwina on holiday before long.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Out of the Nest and Into the Laundry Basket

I have to know. Am I the only working mom out there that folds their kids’ clothes? I realize that I’m somewhat OCD when it comes to domestic skills (that murmuring sound is my girls saying “SOMEWHAT?!”). I know there are families out there that are content to live out of huge piles of clean and sometimes sorted clothes. I was buying hangers today and the clerk said…”Nope, I don’t fold my kids clothes. I sort them and they’re on their own.”

When I went back to work full-time, I missed cooking. I missed keeping house. I didn't necessarily miss laundry but I still want it done right. And I don't want my kids doing their own if it means running a tub full of laundry to wash a pair of jeans.
I fold clothes as they come out of the dryer since they’re warm and generally wrinkle-free at that point. Sometimes they get tumbled around in the dryer with damp towels for DAYS with a t-shirt getting folded here or there when I don’t have a lot of time to spend. I feel like I spend an inordinate amount of time with freakin’ TANK TOPS. It’s not like we live in Sacramento. These are tanks for LAYERING….ohhhhhhh. Crap! There are a bunch when they’re worn two at a time. And my babies are teenagers. They will throw a load in the wash on occasion but pretty much their laundry work beyond that is limited to pulling jeans out of the dryer to wear.

Am I the only dinosaur still alive? Is it time to teach them? I think so.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I should be working on a quiz for my Intro to Evidence class. I decided to get it done FIRST thereby earning any more entertaining activities over the weekend. Thus far, I’ve perused everyone’s blogs and found a few new ones. I’m so fascinated with people. Stories. Activities. I find that other people inspire me so I guess it’s not a bad thing to be a bit of a voyeur even if I am doing what I scold my kids for doing.
The weekend is off to a busy start. Yesterday was Mark’s birthday. Being a Friday, we did our regular dinner out, just Mark, Glo and I. His choice was Chapala, one of our favorites, with a promise not to have the Tumbleweeds sing Happy Birthday. He knew he could trust me because I hate being serenaded in public places. Glo, however, was not such a sure thing. SOMEone ratted her out last year and she got the Tumbleweed Happy Birthday. She knew it wasn’t me (for the aforementioned reason) but she suspected Dad….and his turn was up. But, we toasted him in appropriately reverent tones with plans for a family steak dinner on Sunday, complete with the presents and chocolate chip cheesecake.
Then, about 11:30 last night, we heard sirens. Not unusual since we’re just a block off J Street and Eureka Fire often heads up this way to 14th. There seemed to be a lot of sirens so Mark got up to look out the window. “Holy Shit….something’s fully involved!” Spoken like a former volunteer firefighter. It looked to be just down the street so we woke the kids and started to head down there THEN we realized the puppy was freaking out. Vince WOOFS when he’s unsure of anyone or anything and he was woofing so….I stayed home with him and let Mark, Hope and Glo head up to the corner. Apparently the fire was contained in a carport in the alley behind the apartments on K and 14th. Easily accessed by the firefighters. No obvious cause. Mark and the girls left once the fire was knocked down and the building’s attic was being checked for fire damage. Damn, I missed it.
I used to love to go to the fires in Nevada when Mark was on the volunteer fire department, camera in hand. Mostly neighborhood fires but I did hitch a ride in to a brush fire once in shorts and Birks, got scolded and rewarded by the District Chief with a set of brush turnouts that I carried in the car with boots, just in case.
So, back to work on my 1500 words for Professor Sokolow. I’m partially there and once I get my mind and heart into it, the words will flow. Hopefully this blog will help with the brain circulation. LISTENING TO: Brudda Iz (Israel Kamakawiwo'ole)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


As Queen Mother (and Father) of the 2004 Rutabaga Queen, Mark & I join the Kinetic universe in mourning the passing of Glorious Founder, Hobart Brown. I found a quote attributed to him that can't help but make you smile -- it's all relative: "Money doesn't always bring happiness. People with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars". Hobart Brown.

For the happiness and utter silliness brought to the world ...Go with Glory, Hobart.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What The *&%$...Heck?!

So...I'm shopping in the hardware store and see a family...husband, wife, boy teenager and girl teenager.....maybe even a younger kid as well. Dad is wearing a t-shirt that says "RESPECT BITCHES". What the &%$#?! My mind reeled:
  • Have I totally lost my sense of humor or what?
  • Exactly what message is that sending to his kids?
  • What is his wife thinking?!
  • What message is that sending to his son?
  • I hope to GAWD my girls don't date his son because the parents have NO sense of parenting.
  • This is not all right.
  • What message is he sending to his daughter?
I actually googled the shirt as an image for this post but decided against promoting crap like this. Maybe Dad wears a "My wife's a HO" shirt on Sundays. Maybe the kids bought it for Father's Day. Geez Loo-eez!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Put A Head on It

As the title of my blog indicates, I’m a rabid beachcomber. I love to scour the beach for shells and consider it a successful trip to the beach when I come home with a perfect specimen. Our north coast beaches are pretty disappointing when it comes to beach scrounging. I have found some nice intact shells but they’re few and far between. When I’m in the mood for combing the beach, I generally end up at King Salmon doing the “stoop” WAAAAAY down to see the teeny tiny shells I find there. I have bottles full of perfect shells, including sand dollars, the size of a pencil eraser. So small that hundreds fit into a vitamin bottle.
Unfortunately, King Salmon is NOT the beach to enjoy the big waves of an ocean storm. For that, you must go to the ocean side. With the weather report calling for 10-12 foot waves, I took the opportunity to head out to “power poles” on the North Spit after work on Friday. Since I can’t go on a walk without the dog, Vince and I headed to the beach. The sun was beginning to drop and the waves glowed but the best part for Vince was the foam. As the sets would gather strength, churning up the brine, enormous piles of foam would tumble out on to the sand. Then the wind would catch it and Vince would chase it. I remember playing the foam as a kid but I’m SURE I didn’t have as much fun as Vince did. Such a simple toy. And cheap entertainment for both of us.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Remember when kids would dress up for Halloween as cowboys and princesses and firemen and baseball players and flower children? Do you have any idea how difficult it is when you work on a college campus on Halloween and you pass a guy wearing a plaid shirt and a cowboy hat standing with a duck-hunter guy in full camo and then you pass a "Mormon Boy" in short-sleeved white shirt, skinny tie and satchel then a girl with purple hair and zebra-striped pajama pants and you can't compliment ANY of them on their costume just in case THEY WEREN'T WEARING ONE!
Thank goodness for the people in the Business Office, HR, Financial Aid and Counseling offices that do the Halloween dress-up thing proper. Even on this campus, there's no mistaking a witch with a purple feathered hat or a man in top hat and tails for standard college kids. Dr. Blair from Disabled Student Services in her black leather, spiked wrist bands, tattoos and piercings would have blended in had I not recognized her face. It's fun having such a diverse population to work around. Is this a great country or WHAT?!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I was so proud of this pie I had to share it -- at least pictures of it. I made a pie crust that was either a little dry or (more likely) I hadn’t rolled it out thin enough. So, figuring the top crust would crack I decided to do a lattice top. I was digging through my drawer of kitchen tools looking for the edger I used to cut the strips and came across the noodle cutter…hmmmm. I used it to cut tiny strips and put them on the pie. Is this not fabulous?! Raw was pretty. Baked was better.

This was just a standard apple pie save for the bits of thyme I added. I’ve been trying that more lately since I’m always overrun with fresh herbs from the garden and looking for new places to use them. Peach and basil pie was also to die for.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I'm angry and feeling the need to vent. I found out that a boy we know had his 18th birthday party last night. NO ADULTS in the vicinity because the parents had to go out of town and the son assured them he could be trusted....yeah right! They decided to trust said son with a few rules and not force them to have grandparents present. Needless to say, all rules were broken. There was alcohol, 25 kids and a slumber party (if you call young men and women sprawled in every room a slumber party...). I was a teen a helluva long time ago and I KNOW how even chicken-shit me would have handled that without an adult to supervise. What in the HELL were the parents thinking!? Do they not realize that 18 means ADULT in the real world?! Congratulations, you’re eighteen. You can now go to JAIL!

Here’s another question…. since these parents had no choice to be out of town so they really had no control over what was going on in their absence….Where did the parents of the guest kids think they were all night? Staying at Suzy’s? Did they call Suzy’s house – not her cell, duh -- to check? Who provided the alcohol? And the kids that had a curfew, what condition were they in when they left? What pisses me off and scares the crap outta me all at once is that my family may have been out there on the road with drunk kids leaving that party. Friends and family could have been killed by yet another car load full of kids from hell. Mark had driven to pick up Gloria. Gloria’s friends that have licenses were driving themselves home with minimal driving experience which means without the ability to avoid an accident that might happen to them. Monica was probably coming back to her place after a late night out. They were out on the road when drunk teenagers may have been on the road. I am SO angry.

So here’s the deal….were YOUR kids at a toga dance at school on Friday night? Where did they go afterwards? Where did they spend the night? Where are they now….Saturday morning and in what condition? Did you check their breath? I was a teenager once. If my kids are out late, they MUST come and kiss me good night. Warm and cuddly, perhaps, but I’m also checking breath and they know it. If your friends have high school age kids, please forward this blog to them. Somebody has to start asking the hard questions of their kids. Sixteen doesn’t mean, “Here’s the keys. Thank goodness I don’t have to drive you anymore”. For me, it was “Here’s the keys. Now I will worry more than when you were five and walking home from the bus stop alone.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I went to “Courage Night” last week. This week, Oprah had guests that were basically in the process of dying from cancer. The reoccurring theme seems to be “Living a Life with No Regrets”. It’s difficult to decide if the point is to not regret your past (since it made you who you are and you can’t unring the bell anyway….) or if you shouldn’t DO anything you’ll regret. I suspect it’s the former though both are good plans to live by. No sense crying over spilt milk goes without saying. Apologize for what you’re TRULY sorry for (especially if hurt feelings were involved) but don’t waste time with a flippant “sorry” that you don’t mean. Take a deep breath, buck up and move on.

You may have seen the essay about the date on a headstone showing the birth date and death date with the dash in between. The important part of life is how you spend that “dash”…I suppose we all worry about who will show up at our funeral or what will be said in our obituary. Not so morose if we give it thought BEFORE the time comes, while we still have time to modify what time we have left. I realized that the people whose opinions matter most are my girls.

Should a parent have to be reminded to enjoy their kids? Actually, when the kids are in their teens and beyond, we DO have to be reminded. When children are little and….more malleable….moldable, it’s easy to enjoy them. Even during the terrible twos and threes when they’re finding power in the word “NO”, you can balance a crazy day with them standing on a stool helping to mix cookies or rocking them to sleep or cuddling with a bedtime story. Once kids hit their teens, the talks are more serious and the nagging more frequent. The eye-rolling…oh don’t get me started with eye-rolling. You get so used to everything being a “teaching” opportunity that you forget to stop when they stop hearing you.

But, I am getting to a point where something Dr. Phil said has hit home. Kids reach a point where you’ve taught them all you can. You’ve given them every lecture and pointed out every flaw in their study-plan. At this point, all you can do is sit back and watch. Be there to celebrate the victories and hug them through the failures. At this point, they need to use all of the ammunition you’ve given them and make the best shot at the target that they can -- maybe even blast out the entire bullseye. Or as we say in our house…we have given them the rope. Now it’s up to them to water ski or hang themselves. I have no doubt they will water ski like champs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Mark and I had a weekend of remembering when we made a whirlwind trip to Santa Cruz for the funeral of a friend’s dad. The Carlson’s lived across the street from my family growing up in Santa Cruz. It was a new subdivision and ours was the first house. Free-standing mailboxes at the curb – no sidewalks. You had to honk to get the neighbors’ dog to move from her napping spot in the middle of the street. The Griffins were the first to have a color TV so we would all go down there to watch the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night. The “field” was at one end of the street where we would fly kites and collect pollywogs and could climb through the culvert to the next neighborhood. We sneaked our first smokes there in our teens. The “orchard” was at the other end where we would build tree forts, pick apples, pears and blackberries, collect walnuts. The “creek” was where we hung a rope swing. We never thought about someone owning those properties. I walked to school and rode the bus with the same kids from kindergarten through 8th grade. Black and white snapshots surface of us all at neighborhood barbecues where the families hauled picnic tables to a central driveway and the kids played in the sprinkler in the street. Needless to say, lots have been subdivided and there are houses filling every possible piece of real estate now.

Bill Carlson passed away a couple of weeks ago and, since I hadn’t seen Linda in more than 30 years, I felt compelled to head down for the memorial. It was more of a wake and we saw SO many faces from the past while we reminisced and laughed at pictures. We’ve all grown so much into different adults than we were kids.

Mark and I decided we needed this weekend to ourselves so spent it just driving around old haunts. Remember when this was built? Or that was an empty lot? We walked a bit on Twin Lakes beach, grabbed pastries at Gayle’s and sat on the cliffs over Capitola enjoying breakfast. The world we grew up in has changed so much yet some of it still feels like home. We cruised Pleasure Point where traffic is now diverted into odd little one-way sections but there are still kids on single-speed bicycles with their boards tucked under one arm on their way to the waves. Shaggy-haired kids riding skateboards with bare feet not chunky shoes. The Boardwalk and the wharf smell the same as they did when we were kids but parking is a bitch and you have to pay for the privilege. . The waves at Steamers are still awesome so locals still stand alongside tourists to watch the surfers…as always.

I often miss Santa Cruz, but realize that the Santa Cruz we visited is no longer the home town I remember. Humboldt is so much like Santa Cruz used to be which is why I’m so comfortable here. We have the ocean here but not the same “beach” mentality of SC. It’s hard to walk or ride your beach-cruiser to the waves. Beach umbrellas and bikinis are seldom seen on our beaches. You’re far more likely to see Frisbees and sweatshirts. But it’s good. I miss Santa Cruz but this is home now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Other than the tuning note of “my – dog – has – fleas”, there is no similarity between my ukulele playing as a youth and what Jake Shimabukuro produced on stage at the Kate Buchanan Room tonight. I didn’t know there was such thing as a “concert ukulele”. Jake is an ‘ook” virtuoso. Classical ukulele. It was a solo show – he performed with no accompanists and the audience was amazingly polite. Jake is adorable and shared anecdotes about a recent tour to Japan and background on the covers he does on his most recent album, many of which he performed. Covers of Zepplin AND Cindy Lauper?! On ukulele?! Very awesome indeed.

I’m not qualified to critique a performance but I do tend to critique the audiences of shows I attend. I’m one of those that hates when a performer rips it up on a section of a song and the audience applauds in appreciation … right over the top of the continuing song. Not this audience. You could hear a pin drop when he covered the Beatles’ “In My Life”, the title track on his new mini-CD, and George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. I’m never sure why people insist on bringing small children to shows like this. Even the best toddler gets bored and the most bestest whisperer whispers REAL LOUD. There are more appropriate places to teach small kids how to be a good audience…or do what we did, sit in the back and take them out the second they make noise. Before long, they figure out they miss stuff when they make noise.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Am I the only one that hates to be called sweetie? I don’t mean grandma's “sweetie bring me my slippers”. Or the "hi sweetie" from a friend". I mean, the “sweetie” that comes with a condescending tone…there is an implied…”you moron” that follows. It drips with pity that you should be so unfortunate and …. simple”.

Several months back, I received a “sweetie” from someone who I believe to be an equal though her tone told me unmistakably she felt I was FAR below her station”. The “sweetie” told me that I just didn’t have the brains to figure this one out without her help.

Today, the “sweetie” came from a girl in a local shop. I went to buy supplies for a craft project. I chose not to go to Michael’s for this because the products they carry of this type have been poor quality. When I talked to this girl, I presumed I could get benefit of her knowledge of the products she sells. When I mentioned what I had been using, I got the first “oh sweetie…….” “What an utter and complete incompetent must I be to even THINK of using THAT” her tone said. We chatted a little more as she packaged up the items I bought - $20 worth that fit into a bag the size of my iPod. As I asked another question about another part of the process….again I get “oh sweetie.....” that just faded off. This is a girl the age of my daughter speaking to me, a customer, with such a demeaning, condescending tone. Not unkindly, mind you. Sweet and kind, like you might speak to a poor stupid animal. She could have easily said, “hmmm, I hadn’t thought of doing it THAT way…this is the way I do it….I’ve always had luck doing it this way”. I would have been thrilled to have a helpful suggestion from someone who knows what they are doing. But she didn't. And I left confident that my ignorance would be discussed among the employees at a later date.

The thing is, this is a locally owned shop and there are several others just like it. I chose this shop today but likely won’t do it again. I will go into another locally-owned similar businesses where I have been treated politely in the past and received help when I asked.

Here’s my suggestion. If you are a business-owner in Eureka and you have an employee that calls you “sweetie”, listen carefully to the tone. She may be saying it to you in a respectful tone but…does she use a different tone with customers? If so, you might ask her to stop. For the sake of your business.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Pumpkins orange and smooth
Children search for the great one
Autumn fills my eyes

AKK! Pumpkin haiku. I was inspired ... then I bought a white one.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Considering this is Humboldt, this blog will probably get more hits than it deserves. Unfortunately, and especially so for the menfolk who might read this, I’m talking herbs aimed for the menopausal. It was brought to my attention by someone I have loved passionately for over 32 years that I’ve become cranky – not the same girl he married. Yeah well, screw you! That was a JOKE! Anyway, I knew I’d been feeling down and thought I had all the reasons figured out but argued, yes ARGUED that I was same DAMN happy girl he married. Okay, so deep down, I knew I was not my normal happy self.

I’m at THAT AGE….it sucks but the influx of hormones that got us into trouble in our teens, get us into more trouble when we start running low in our fifties. I started checking into herbal menopause remedies. I knew about St. Johns Wort but the articles state it's use is for depression. I truly didn’t feel depressed and didn’t want to get into taking the herbal equivalent of prozac. I looked at Black Cohosh which is indicated for malaise (being a whiney sad-sack) and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. I’m not yet at the stage of having my own private summers but I AM beginning to see signs of what they call perimenopause, a “transition period” of fluctuating hormones. So, why not.... Black Cohosh went in the basket to be taken twice a day.

I’m here to tell you, I’M CURED! Well, maybe not cured but I feel much better. Maybe it’s a placebo affect. Maybe no one is PISSING ME OFF as much…joking again…but I am feeling in better spirits. So, to all my friends who are still in possession of their girl organs so are going through this same stage, try the Black Cohosh. Be warned that “currently available data are not sufficient to support a recommendation”, yeah yeah. Call this purely anecdotal but it’s better than getting more wrinkles from having a cranky face. Take your Black Cohosh and a walk on the beach. Smile.

And to the men who might be on the receiving end of kind, bring chocolate and hugs...I suspect it will get worse before it gets better.

I have a rubber stamp that says I just get through metamorphosis and a long comes menopause….Thank God, I’m not alone.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


As much as I lament the end of what has been a perfect summer here on the north coast, a warm windy October day is the perfect start to autumn. Oranges and browns. Tumbling leaves. Pumpkin spiders. Those little creme pumpkins that taste better than candy corn. Perfect!
I stepped out on the back porch this morning to let the cats in and caught a glimpse of perfectly awesome cumulus cloud (Dr. Pedicino would be proud of me) in orange and dark gray. I stood out there for a minute, reveling in the wind blowing through my hair. When I sat down at the table, Mark looked up from his paper and laughed…”Were you outside?” “Yeah. Why?”. “Your hair’s kinda... big…” Yep, nature’s blow-dryer gave me a big ol’ Farrah Fawcett. I love the fall!

Sunday, September 30, 2007


"As a mother, I’m only as happy as my unhappiest child” -- words spoken by a mother being interviewed on Oprah. She was discussing her youngest son's pain in dealing with his sister, Julia becoming his brother, Jake. There have been a number of shows on the transgender topic stemming from the current Oprah book club selection, Middlesex, which centers around a transgender character and past generations in his family. Anyway, the statement really struck a chord as I suppose it would in any parent.
On that note, here are Glo & Hope on a recent day of bonding at the piercing parlor. Hopefully I’ll edit this later with a picture of all three girls who all have new piercings to show off. Aah, kids!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


You may have read this post earlier this week and are wondering what changed. Yep, after I read it over a few times, I realized how cranky I really sounded and realized maybe I sound that way too often. No sense in hanging that out there for the word to get depressed over. So, lets focus on the positive things from the weekend.

I’ve always been okay with being alone when necessary, when I can’t find someone to go with me. Sometimes, though, I’d prefer company and occasionally that lack of company has kept me from trying new things. Not always but often. Well, this year I tried kayaking, something that has always intrigued me. Last weekend, I went on the Coastal Cleanup with a bunch of amazing, selfless young people (hell, that makes me sound ancient!) where we picked up the encampments of the homeless that live at the Palco Marsh. Eye opening and disgusting but an amazing day as we all trudged through what should be a beautiful wetland area to pick up trash and human waste. My most interesting find? Could be the skeleton mask... or the subpoena…or the prescription bottle…or the needle…or the 75 shopping carts heaped with belongings hoarded by an obviously mentally ill man. It wasn’t the beach which is what I had intended to clean and perhaps I’ll do that next year, but this year I’m glad I went out to the marsh with the AmeriCorp kids.

This past weekend, I went to the North Country Fair in Arcata. Hippie fest. Home. Reminds me of the Spring Fair they used to have on the banks of the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz. Do they still have the Spring Fair in Santa Cruz? I remember when Monica was tiny enough to put in the Snuggli (27 years ago?). Mark was away on a stag motorcycle ride so Monica and I rode the city bus to the Spring Fair. I remember walking around, smell of patchouli wafting on the breeze as we sat on the grass watching the Flying Karamazov Brothers juggle. The North Country Fair feels that way. Face painting. Booths with batik clothes. Farmers Market relocated around the corner. And a girl strolling ahead of me with a burning stick of incense. I didn't stay too long since I was there a little early for the music so I made a couple laps, I bought some pieces to make a necklace, some apples at the Farmers Market and came home. But it felt good to be among “my people” even for a little while.

Someday I will, as Mark has told me, likely be the little old lady that dances the “ethereal dance” in tennis shoes on the Plaza, though I’ll be barefoot, having kicked off my Birks to do a little ska.. Dancing to my drummer. Hippy at heart and not really concerned about it. But hopefully Mark will be dancing with me and we’ll finally pull off a decent waltz for the crowd.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Man, I LOVE Friday. To be caught by a photographer while enjoying a local fundraiser Friday night on Woodley Island was one thing, but to find myself on the front page ABOVE the fold was quite another. Oysters & Ale coverage. Apparently he had been on the hunt for the perfect shot of both the oysters and the beer in one shot and I managed to hold them both in one hand in a way that pleased him. Mark and I were having a good time and I apparently had enough beer that I didn't care.

I have to tell you, the Lost Coast Double Porter is to die and will give their 8-Ball Stout a run for my money. It was running a little foamy apparently through no fault of the tap-tender, Paul Gallegos though it was fun to give the D.A a bad time about having no beer-tapping experience. I will definitely give that brew another shot.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Remember Iron Eyes Cody and the Keep America Beautiful campaign of the 70’s? OK, maybe some of you are too young but, trust me, it was a memorable campaign. Of course, NOW we learn that the old Indian, sitting on horseback with a tear streaming down his cheek as he looked over a land covered with trash wasn’t a Native American but rather an Italian American named Tony Conti... BUT, I digress.

On vacation this summer in British Columbia, I was walking along a little beach along a man-made lake and was shocked...OK not shocked but ... amazed by the trash left behind. How can people go on vacation to a beach then think nothing of leaving behind all sorts of crap…..otter pop wrappers, straws, bottles, paper, cigarette butts….ugh cigarette butts EVERYWHERE!? How can people justify leaving their shit behind and letting their children SEE them do it. Who exactly do they think will pick up after them?

Then, several weeks later, I took the puppy to the beach. Because it was just days after Independence Day, I presumed their would be fireworks debris so I took a heavy duty bag and good thing I did. By the time I came home, my tip bag was filled with mortar tubes and wrappers and the fallout from the beverages consumed along with them. While it seems like the beach is at least a relatively save place, fire wise, to shoot off incendiary devises, I sure wish the people that brought them would pack their trash. Needless to say, a walk on the beach anymore is a minefield of doggy stools (we take bags and try to be responsible….) and cigarette butts (did I mention…UGH!). Odd how people go to the beach to take in the beauty and leave such ugliness behind.

On that note, I’m finally on board for the local Coastal Cleanup. Seems like every year I hear about it AFTER it happens and I’ve never taken part. Last year, I made a note on the August page of my calendar to find out the date of this year's cleanup and it worked. I tracked down a website and was directed to the Northcoast Environment Center. There was the date (turned out it’s always on the third Saturday in September) – September 15 and a contact. Susan Penn contacted me and matched me up with AmeriCorp who will be cleaning the Palco Marsh this Saturday. Looks like I’ll be joining them in cleaning up after the hobos who, as it turns out are no better at cleaning up after themselves than the rest of “civilized” society.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


With homework assignments looming, I felt the need to go play first this weekend. This morning, I had what I would consider a complete Humboldt experience. I had checked out the Humboats website to see about the kayak rental process and found that they offer “Learn to Kayak” sessions made for people with no kayaking experience. I wanted to get back out on an enclosed kayak again and thought that lessons for the neophyte would be perfect.

Hawk Martin is an incredibly patient teacher. He limits the class size to four so I really felt as if I was receiving adequate attention to keep me out of trouble. I tend to be nervous then, as soon as I have JUST enough information, I’m off and often in trouble. But, we paddled and learned, learned and paddled some more. More than two and a half hours on the water and I really feel confident enough to head out again. I even managed to climb back OUT of the kayak without falling in or embarrassing myself too much. I look forward to checking out the social paddles on Thursday evenings now that I’m getting the hang of this.

As if the paddle around Humboldt Bay wasn't enough, I spotted a TUNA banner on a vessel down Dock A from Humboats when I arrived so, after I said goodbye to my paddling partners, I walked up to see about dinner. It was great to find the crew of the FV Gladnik busy filleting on deck which meant they had some thawed fish. Often, you have to talk to the captain on Saturday so they can thaw a fish to have for Sunday dinner. I happily stood by while they dressed out a nice 15+ pounder. If you’ve ever fileted a tuna and had a kitchen covered with scales, you know that five bucks is a small price to pay for someone ELSE to do it. I had them give me the red meat and belly meat for the cats.

I still have canned albacore left from last season when I put up a BUNCH so I think we’ll be barbecuing this baby for Sunday dinner tomorrow. THAT will be the full Humboldt experience.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm Gonna Miss Ya Harry....

I may not be the first in town but I’m sure I’m not the last to FINALLY finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – the final installment of the series. I tried desperately to finish it up before the semester started since I knew I’d have actual ACADEMIC reading to do. Plus, I was sure someone would spoil it for me. In an effort to refresh my memory on what happened in previous books, I checked Sparknotes but found that often references were made to events that were in the future of where I was so I slammed the door on that. I’ve been carting that enormous final tome around with me, reading pages whenever I could manage a break to "commune with Harry" but it seemed I would NEVER get to page 759. Not much leisure time for reading anymore, I’m afraid.

Last night, I was close enough to the end and the book was getting edge-of-your-seat intense so I decided the world would have to wait while I finished. "NO -- No dinner till I’m done with Harry! " I'm sure the neighbors heard me yell when I got to the last word. Just so you know, the last word is “well”….. That’s ALL I’m telling you. I’m not a spoiler.

It was a great book. A great series. I’m glad I started so I knew what my kids were reading oh so many years ago…. And I’m REALLY glad I’m done. I’m exhausted. But now there's no more story to look forward to. Wait! I still haven't seen the movie for year five so I guess I have three more movies to anticipate.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Except for soggy behind syndrome, I came out of my second (and third) kayaking experience relatively unscathed. And, yes, Monica finally got out on the bay. My oldest daughter was working a remote radio booth at a kayak demo day on Sunday. The stores that were doing the demos are good customers of the radio station and she was enjoying some good-natured ribbing from a coworker and the store owners. Monica does NOT do water in which the contents are in question. She doesn’t want to SEE what’s down there but she REALLY doesn’t want to NOT see them either. Anyway, they had a nice Hobie Mirage kayak with pedals and they convinced her to try it. And she DID! Yeah Monica. She was hell on pedals, scooting herself out beyond the Samoa bridge and back. Then they used her as a good example of .... "Seeee? Monica did it and if Monica can do it ANYBODY can do it."

I came down to the dock with some trepidation after a virgin voyage at the last Paddlefest. I took beginner lessons from HSU Center Activities and while it was really fun, it was also a little scary. I didn’t dress correctly (who knew "cotton kills") and it was a little chilly. I was nervous and afraid of embarrassing myself. It was a regular enclosed deck kayak so I had the “ingress and egress” issues one would expect but a basically positive experience. However, I was by no means relaxed on my second time out. In fact, the longer I had to wait (we’re talking mere minutes here but it feels like SO much more when you’re nervous), the more ambivalent I became. The Outdoor Store staff were great and put me into a Hobie Quest “sit on top” model as requested. The ingress was much easier than with the enclosed model. I grabbed the paddle and off I went towards the Samoa Bridge then west to Woodley Island. Got fairly close to a few egrets and had a lovely conversation with a seal. Came back and tried a second model, a Caper, just for comparison. I do enjoy the quiet and the ability to get into little still-water spots you can’t access on foot.

I was REALLY intrigued by the fact that Monica’s co worker had paddled in that morning by putting in at slough near his house in Myrtletown and coming in on the water. That’s TOO awesome. Guess this means the expense of the kayak and, of course, a roof rack and proper pants. I’ll need a “dry sak” for a camera because I can’t go ANYWHERE without a camera. Ooh boy….this could get pricey, huh?

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I could SO be a professional berry picker. Is there such a thing? I guess it would involve traveling but, in our family, I’ve got the fastest fingers. Check out these beauties. Gloria and I had puppy duty so we took Vince with us down to the turnout by the old tallow works on Herrick. I remembered seeing bushes along the path but, upon checking, they were still green. Undaunted, we walked down to the slough but found no berries there either. There WERE a bunch along the road so, while she supervised the sniff-happy dog, I picked and picked and picked. Considering there not very many bushes, I ended up with four baskets full and nary a stain on my hand. Then we came home and I made a pass down the alley behind our garage for another couple of baskets. I had plenty to make my second batch of jam this season and put away a tray in the freezer. I figure I should be able to make one more batch before the berries are done for the year. Then I HAVE to cut down those brambles behind the garage. I think there's a couch under there.

Friday, August 17, 2007


That's what the damn raccoons get when they wake me up a half-hour early with their bickering. I roused out of a sound sleep to this odd, squeaking noise. My first thought was a transient wheeling a stolen shopping cart down the alley in search of aluminum cans. A moment of lucidity presented another option -- raccoons! Damn.

We've had some problems with varmints in the neighborhood. This summer, we've been "woofed" several times by skunks fending off attackers....unfortunately they're residing under the house and it sneaks through every crack and crevice. This hundred-year-old house has a LOT of cracks and crevices. Last week it was an opossum that woke us up four times in the night. More accurately, it stirred up the hens and it was the girls distress that woke us except for the time the silly critter got his big ol' butt stuck in a ground-mounted wind chime and did a bunch of ringing before he pulled himself free. I'm sure it was sheer embarrassment that kept him away after that. Worst of all, it was raccoons that killed the neighbor's bunny that was in a hutch in the back yard. Their little girls were the ones that discovered the grisly mess left when two raccoons had fought over their prey. I'm sure it those coons I spotted this morning.

...this morning. Five o'clock. Squeaking. Mark is out of town so I grabbed the flashlight and scanned the yard from our upstairs bedroom window. No sign of anything. The hens were nestled all snug on their perch. I listened a little more then shined the light into the neighbors' yard. What were those four shiny things? EYES! Those two critters were sitting on the footbridge (we call it the Bridge on the River Koi) preparing to feast. I cocked my BB gun and "pow" -- BULLSEYE! A couple more successful shots (not bad for five in the a.m. with an underpowered and inaccurate weapon) and they were gone. I heard them again about twenty minutes later but couldn't see them anywhere. I'm sure they heard my window fly open and thought better of bickering around that crazy woman.

What an invigorating start to a Friday! Don't these critters know we live in the damn city?!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Carnivorous Ms. Judith Hindle

This is Judith. Judith Hindle. SHE is a Sarracenia, aka Pitcher plant and an amazing bit of divine engineering. I’ve looked at Venus Fly Traps with passing interest until it struck me that a carnivorous plant is JUST the thing to clear out those nasty little fruit flies and such that gather around my summer fruit bowls. Up until now, my cure was to put the hose on the vacuum and stand in the kitchen CHASING the flies with the hose. Need I say that this was LESS than dignified?! Although I did get some small pleasure thinking about those pesky flies meeting their maker in the form of Kirby’s little turbine from hell, it seemed so…..violent.

Several weeks ago, browsing the farmer’s market, I came across Judith. She looked tropical and lovely yet a little like something from Little Shop of Horrors. I set her in a pot with stones in the bottom and set it on the table near the baskets where I keep fruit and veggies. We occasionally hear buzzing coming from her cones though we don’t see anything actually happening. There are far fewer fruit flies and gnats. Very cool and much more attractive than hanging a fly strip in the middle of my kitchen.

Friday, August 10, 2007


According to employees at the Child Development Center at work.....the words "bye bye" followed by the flushing of a toilet. It is almost always followed by a call to the custodian.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Recent iPod trainwreck....Carly Simon - The Way I Always Heard It Should know the nice, quiet ending where she fades off into "ma....rie......ed".....then RIGHT into Alice in Chains' Them Bones. Ho-lee crap. I was grocery shopping and seriously jumped. I'm not sure if the lady who was passing me in produce KNEW what happened but I'm sure she thought I was quite insane.

This week I turn 50 and, for some reason, that doesn't bother me. Today I did do something for me ... for my self-confidence..... to remind myself that I can do some things that other women won't try. I got on the motorcycle for the first time in better than a year (or was it two?). We sold my BMW a while back and I haven't had a bike or, honestly, the time to ride anyway. Today, I asked Mark to make the "extra" bike ready. It's an older beast he bought and fixed and decided it was quick enough to take to the drags -- an 86 Yamaha Faser with a lightswitch for a throttle. Apparently they used the same engine for sport-bikes so it's zippy and a little scary though lacking style as most things built in the 80's are. It took some acclimating but I rode. I'm sure Mark was worried the entire hour and a half I was gone but I did it. I rode around Old Arcata Road, up 101 to 299 and through Fieldbrook back south to Arcata and Samoa. Haven't done that ride for a while. Some twistees, some freeway, some potholes, some sun dappling the pavement making it a little hard to tell where to FIND the potholes. I adjusted to the hair-trigger throttle about the time I pulled into the driveway. It felt nice knowing I could still ride. Although Mark assured me I wouldn't forget, I wasn't convinced until I headed down the road. I'm not sure I like the Faser....I CAN sit flat-footed which is nice but I'm not fond of that immediate throttle response Mark loves so much. I'm not really a speed girl...more of a cruise the twistees kinda girl. Now I'm thinking it's time for another bike. Something Glo and I can ride to campus and I can go on weekend putts with Mark. Maybe I'll take the time.