Thursday, July 17, 2008


Okay, after you have gone to a bad place in your brain you may continue reading.

I have had a love affair with Q-Tips for years. After a shower I must immediately take a Q-tip and dry out my ears. It is an experience that does bring to mind a bit of pleasure that causes me to half close my eyes, my head will tilt back and if I am not careful, I have been known to make sighs of pleasure.

At this point all of you are reacting in one of three ways...

Don't you know you aren't supposed to clean your ears with Q-Tips?”

Too much information...stop, please, stop!”

or both. I have always expected that if I wasn't careful I would develop hair on my palms from the practice.

I don't get this thing about not using Q-tips to clean or dry your ears. I have been doing it for over 40 years. What the hell were they made for? I have never hurt myself or my ears with a Q-tip. Maybe the box should come with a warning...

Do not use if you are subject to seizures.”

Do not use if you have ever put your eye out with a BB gun.”

Do not use if you have never operated a pencil, potato peeler, toothbrush, needle and thread or put a key into the ignition of a car.”

So, all I want to know is this, of those of you who have broken the rule about Q-tips in the ear, does it feel as good to you as it does to me?

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Saturday, July 12, 2008


When I watched this all I could think of was what I would have been saying in 1969. It went something like this:
"Hey, man, I got an idea."
"Huh, how about some popcorn?"
"No, let's mix up some corn starch and water on a cookie sheet and set it on top of that DLK 150."
"What? Let's just make cookies."
"Wait, you won't believe this..."
"Hey, don't bogart that joint man....WOW, look at that!"
Thanks to:


(Original link lost...subsituted another one...still funny.)

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Monday, July 7, 2008


Larry McMurtry has a new memoir out. I liked the title and picked it up to read the blurbs. Apparently he lived a "Texas childhood in an isolated, 'totally bookless' ranch house." He has since gone on to collect over 28,000 books and become quite a connoisseur of books and their values. I picked it up at the bookstore to look at and add to a "to read" list in my head and then started thinking of my own personal adventure with books and reading.

I remember, in a displaced memory type of way, of learning to read before I started school. I had a "babysitter," a retired school teacher who always wore black and smelled of some faint, dusty flower. I don't remember any of the details, she taught me to "color," also. (Always outline in black, stay within the lines and short strokes of waxy crayon that never turned out as nice as I wanted it to. Hypercritical, even in those days.)

Then I remember school. I believe it was first grade as kindergarten was not necessarily available in the time and place that I existed. And the book. The book, that to this day, I cannot bring myself to think about or read or recommend. The one with the repetitive line..."I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." Screw that little train. I knew the book by heart as I had to listen to it daily during "nap time." And, even at the age of seven, I knew it possessed a simplistic message that would mean nothing to me in the bizarre life that I was living.

There were also no books in my home. There was alcohol, arguing, bugs, anger, and in addition to no books, no hugging, snuggling or any sort of "nice touch." I grew in my head, my world was in my head, my life was in my own world. There were no books to escape into.

Somewhere around the third grade books came into "existence." It could have been because of Miss McClellan, my page-boyed, blonde third grade teacher. (Yes, it was my first first crush!) She loaned me books to take home. I started to read. Constantly. Hiding in closets. Sneaking books out of the house under my skirt with my legs clamped tightly together. Sneaking into other people's garages and discovering stashes of Popular Science and True Crime magazines. Through all of the books that were available for "young readers" and then moving on to Reader's Digest condensed novels in the homes of the children I babysat for.

It went on and on, until, finally someone gave me my very own book. I was in the 7th or 8th grade. It was an encyclopedia of science of sorts. it had a hard back and front and the pages were held together with metal rivets since it was so thick. I loved this book. I read it front to back, back to front, and hid it constantly so that it would never be found in the 'wrong' place and confiscated.

I was hooked. And to this day I have books with me always. I work in a bookstore and have on and off, full and part time for the past 35 years. I have stacks of books to read, stacks of books read and stacks of books to pass on to others. (Yes, I have finally developed the ability to let some books go. This does not count the boxes of books yet to be unpacked from my life altering marriage a year and a half ago. (As he helped me unpack my books at my previous home, before I had truly fallen in love with him, it was his comments on the books that I owned that pushed me further towards him.)

And now, as my daughter says, "You'll have to read when you're dead." resounds in my head, I still compulsively touch, rearrange, and continue to puchase books...

Whoever would I have been without them?

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