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luna mezzo pensieri

My shopping world has changed.

This might seem silly to some people, but it's a big part of my life, grocery shopping. 

My pattern for a very long time has been a trip to Costco twice a month, along with a side trip to Target (usually a small trip one time and a large trip the other time,) and a stop at Kroger for a few things. About once a month we also went to Jungle Jim's, as well. The Costco I go to is northwest of here in Springfield, and the original Jungle Jim's is in Fairfield, just a bit farther north of that.

This isn't much different than it was in New Jersey, still a half hour drive to Costco with a Target next to it, another Target 5 miles away near my favorite grocery store, Wegman's, and then a store called Acme half a mile from my house that the kids would walk to. But no Jungle Jim's, of course!

Kroger is actually a half mile from our house here (there are 4 within 3 miles) yet we can't walk to it; it's a 2 mile drive, instead. I'm usually in Kroger a couple times a week for milk and little things, and I go in there often on Sunday morning for flowers, as well.  

Only now, the new Jungle Jim's is only a couple minutes farther away, to the east. You could definitely do all your regular grocery shopping there but I'll still use Kroger about the same way I do now. It's convenient and pleasant, and has self check-out. :-)

It's all really very highly privileged, despite the fact that I don't have the same east coast aesthetic I was used to. In addition to all that, I've been having produce delivered by GREEN B.E.A.N. It took a few weeks to get the knack of it so that I'm comfortable with it as part of the grocery budget, without added expense.

Tomorrow is a semi-monthly shopping day. I think I should start making my Costco trips once a month, since I can now stick to this area for everything else. Even though my grocery budget goes a lot farther in Cincinnati than it did in New Jersey, I like to maximize the dollars. 

Our life with Kairos

Now I will tell you about Kairos. 

We got him when he was 4.5, in late winter, 2005. He was at the SPCA in Monmouth County, New Jersey. His name there was Tigger. We were told he'd been rescued from a heart medicine testing laboratory, and that he'd lived for a few months with the rescuer. She fed him McDonald's cheeseburgers for a treat. All the papers for him were destroyed, as is the rule with the SPCA, but it was easy enough to determine he was a full breed American Foxhound. 

Those guys like to run and chase things, having been bred for the purpose. And this one was mad for cheese. When we brought him home, he went through a "puppy stage," which made us wonder what his previous life had been like. I am told, though, that those dogs don't necessarily live bad lives, just confined ones much of the time. He would get excited or nervous and start peeing. And he was a little aggressive about his food. Territorial. But he grew out of that, and kept getting more relaxed about it as he matured. He never matured about cheese or sweet things. If he could get to them, he would, and at first he was ruthless about it. 

He grew to love us in his own way, but I'm not sure you could say he had much of an inherent sense of loyalty. We got a kitten a few months after we brought him home, and he was easy-going with her, but would try to steal her food if he could. And if he saw a squirrel to chase, he'd go after it, willing to just run all day if necessary. Watching Kairos run was beautiful. I never saw a creature so fast and so thoroughly inside the moment. However, our yard had no fence. We had him on a 50 foot line when he was outside, and he'd strain sometimes to get away. His daily walks were quite a wild ride for us. He was not easy to train to the leash. 

After a year, we moved to a place with a fence. But twice the gate was left open, once by a meter reader, once by a kid, and he was off in a flash. It took awhile to find him and it was very scary. He just ran and ran and ran, until some impediment would slow him up. He had an embedded ID chip, and a tag on his collar with a phone number for the location service. They called us and we went to pick him up from the person who found him. 

Continue reading "Our life with Kairos" »

Summer's End

All too briefly, the air was still, warm, a blanket of calm


Unlike Damocles, not given to flattery

yet a single hair bears the dagger twisting overhead 

revealing not the perils of power, but of Limbo

or the vain grasp for illusory freedom


Now the air is charged, cooling, crawling over my skin like

ants over a pool of spilled honey


It never was summer; it was a trick of the mind.


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2012-09-17 11.50.51

15 things about me, now slightly hyper-linked

A few people were doing this on Google+. It reminded me of my first blog post, bones of which are here. So I updated that and added more. 

1. I still love Captain Picard. But I suspect I love Patrick Stewart just as much or more.

2. Technically, I do own a belt, and a few pairs of socks. But I don't actually wear them. 

3. My favorite meal is probably still milk (whole,) Italian bread, and olives, but I could round it out with a tomato and some goat cheese or ricotta.

4. I'm not actually afraid to fly. I am wildly (I mean wildly ) unnerved at the TSA scenario. I'd fly only if it was a charter flight or I was being given a house overseas (tax-free) and couldn't get there by ship.

5. I adore car trips. If I could take a summer and do nothing but drive around the country, that'd be a dream come true.

6. I really like watching men kissEtcetera.

7. As of about age 44, I no longer get acne, except once in a great while. I am really okay with this.

8. I would be willing to go back in time for a one night stand with Dean Martin. But I mean, not literally. I say things like this because they're fun to say. I mean it theoretically or abstractly or something.

9. However, I would be quite willing to go back in time for a one night stand with a few other dead celebrities, literally. Well, not a few in the same one night. And not just traveling around through time whooping it up in bed like Gary Cooper or Doris Day before they turned precious. Anyway.

10. I think about this sort of thing pretty often.

11. I did not walk until I was over a year old, talk until I was nearly three, read until I was six, or ride a bike until I was seven. I am very successful at all those tasks now, though, and the ol' "IQ" is high enough to not share, which, how sad and annoying is it when people do that in news forums, etc? I mean to say. Awkward.

12. I own over 1000 books (no idea, really) and have read about 90% of them. I suppose I've read between 5k and 10k books, but I doubt there's any way of telling about that. Good books and bad; I just like reading stories. 

13.  Nearly all my favorite books are children's books. Madeleine L'Engle said, "I am all the ages I've ever been." So. 

Screen Shot 2012-09-09 at 7.30.55 PM

14. I like hard manly cocktails, and ale you can stand a fork in. Ahem.

15. Three things I'd hate to give up: Hendrick's gin, my iPod, my hair.

Irregular vinyl LP review

These are just phone pix with an old phone. I didn't have the energy for more better ones because I canned food today. And made a lot of chili. But someone on Google+ posted some of those really funny tragic album covers a little while ago, and I thought, well, these aren't tragic, but they are pretty interesting or odd. I've shared a couple before in lists of things.

If I'm too lazy to note the year of these albums as I type, I'll go back in and edit later. I canned food today, did I tell you that? 

First, there were these LP compilations; instant music collections for people who wanted to appear cool without having to actually work at it. The covers demonstrate how to be cool in case anyone needs extra help. I have several; here are two of my favorites.


If Jackie Gleason presented it, it had class. I realize that for people who saw him only as Ralph Kramden or who just have no idea who this is at all, that's hard to grasp. But he was an arbiter of musical taste for awhile. The young woman's bag and gloves are of the evening dress variety, and those glasses were swank. These people drank wine. So this album would be good for those nights when the ashtrays were freshly emptied, the pillows fluffed on the naugahyde couch, and the Gallo Rosé was ready to pour.

This compilation is by The Dell Trio. Last time I looked them up, this album is what appeared. But it's been awhile. No matter. Despite the details on the previous cover, I think this one tried to appeal to a more cosmopolitan set. But that must be some music, because they've already abandoned their drinks to it. However, she's going to get distracted by something in a minute, which will annoy him, because he was just getting somewhere. He should have encouraged her to drink more of that old-fashioned first, maybe teasingly offered her an olive from his martini. 

Here are a couple of ladies who knew just what I am talking about. Olelee

I will admit that I don't actually understand this cover, and it might be obvious to everyone else. But to me, the surprising thing is that Peggy doesn't have a matador on each arm, because I am fairly certain she could take two on at once.

Latin music was for lovers, you know, back in the 60s. And when people listened to it, they could pretend they were sexy. Or maybe actually be sexy; what do I know? I know that Doris Day was, and that despite the happy homemaker reputation she developed onscreen, there's probably a reason she was making this face, just out of camera view to the right. 

Men didn't have to look sexy to sell albums the way women seemed to. I'm not sure what exactly it was they needed to convey, though...

This album won a Grammy Award in 1959 for best design. And by design they mean this actual cover right here. Frank
Frank is a sad clown. Probably because he was still working off his contractual obligations to Capitol Records before moving on to his own Reprise label. I dunno.

This is one of my favorite album covers of all time, but not because of the front. Happydean

Chatty Cathy was a really big deal around the time this record came out, and whoever designed this had the driest sense of humor in the world because I hadn't started talking yet. But anyway. The liner notes on the back are by the sublime and unequaled Stan Cornyn, who said this, "Martin: the biggest sex symbol to hit neighborhood taverns since the heyday of the Rheingold Girl, may she in our secret imaginations requiescat in flagrante delicto."

And then there was Tom. Tomcaesars

Did you know that Tom Jones once lived in the Bel-Air mansion previously occupied by Dean Martin and did you further know they had the same birthday, 23 years apart? If Dean Martin had been only 31 when Happiness was Dean Martin was produced, I guess that wouldn't have been Chatty Cathy he was holding.

Nice sandals, Tom.

Holodeck Musings, part eleventy-one

Off the top of my head, the living actors I sometimes have thoughts about in idle or not-so idle moments are Simon Baker, Rupert Graves, Dermot Mulroney, David Tennant, Ewan McGregor, and then if you just create a nice fantastical scenario that would fit a certain personality or three, I'd still include Hugh Laurie, Craig Ferguson, okay, that's seven, which I think is enough to be going on with. :-)

Yes, I just typed a smiley. Deal with it. 

It was brought to my attention that I left out Robert Downey, Jr. And...that needed to be corrected, because. Is all. He's just my age, too, which means he's always the correct age to be. 

The age range of this fantasy pool is currently 41-53. That's -6/+6, slightly wider than the range I've been considering appropriate lately, but I think, really, that this isn't something to quibble over. 

One of them was two of them were born in the United States. One of them has light-colored hair, how weird is that? But these things can't always be helped. 

What I was realizing as I typed all this nonsense just now is that although the urge is always present, the will to create some scenario for it usually appears only in what we used to refer to as "winter."

Here are the rules, though, if you are new to this game. This isn't about you as you actually are. The fact that you love romance or commitment or whatever is terribly sweet and all, but this is a game. You do not get to take it seriously. You do get to woo or be wooed. You get to have the most dirtiest sex you can imagine, if you like to call your sort of thing dirty, which I do not, or you get to just end the night with the most impossibly amazing kiss you could ever dream up. Matters not to me.

What you don't get to do is think about it the way you think about real life. You already do that, all the time. In my Holodeck game, you go where you will never get to go, anywhere you choose, and do what you like there, and then you leave it and get back to your thing, that you do, the rest of the time. 

Someone said recently, "But the holodeck isn't real. It would be just a hologram person you'd be with!" If this was the thought you were just having, I have no help for you. For all the rest of the regular-type people, where would you go? Who would you go with? I have an ongoing dead famous person list, too, but today I'm talking people who are still among the living, but annoyingly far off, too famous to get near, and, like, married or whatever. On a holodeck, they aren't any of those things if you don't want them to be.

So maybe Hugh Laurie and I take a motorcycle ride up the west coast into Canada to see my friend the lost dwarf. Maybe we never quite...make it there. She'd understand. She's busy with some tall red-headed character, or Twitter, or looking for her pants, I dunno. (Please don't hurt me, funny lady.)

How 'bout it? 

The Holodeck: A Review

The most pertinent posts are missing. But I'm going to do a new one later, anyway, that is like those. Only better-written.

And I was 37 when I started these! Such a baby. Two notes: A) For a few years, I had this computer with a wonky shift key so I used to just not capitalize i most of the time. Sorry. B) I was an okay writer then. But I'm much better now. Makes you wonder...


Holodeck List #1

March 10

i love making lists, but then they seem so unsatisfying afterwards. they're exciting and inspiring while i'm making them, then all i can think of is who or what i left out, how i could get more out of the experience, is it inspiring to someone else, or only me?

so, yes, a one night stand on the holodeck, as opposed to anything approaching, say, a meaningful relationship based on reality. totally different vibe, totally different set of blokes. men i'd pretend to have something ongoing with would have more stringent requirements, in a whole range of categories.

here's my top ten. wait, does that seem sorta skanky? like i chose just a few out of this whole crowd of fictional sex partners i'm clammering for? cause, hello, fiction. that really is the point. i'd never be jaded or whatever people are when they do this sort of thing for real. and some of these men are actually figments of the imagination, so, pretty safe there.

as far as these one-night stands are concerned, i didn't go too far back in time, because it somehow felt unclean. so that makes me think there should be a historical one-night stand list as well, separate from the other one. maybe a list should have more consistency: i mixed both real and fictional, dead and still living. on the other hand, that is why it is the top ten. a sort of K-Tel compilation of men.

Mer's Current Top Ten List of "I Brought Him Home From the Holodeck Bar" one-night stands:

10. Dean Martin
9. Fox Mulder
8. Agent Dale Cooper
7. Bobby Darin
6. Bruce Wayne, as portrayed by Michael Keaton
5. Mark Darcy, from Bridget Jones' Diary (book, not movie. Colin Firth characters themselves would probably belong on the 'other' list. )
4. Steve Martin
3. John Cusack
2. James Bond (as played by Sean Connery, not the book character, and not any other actor.)
1. Robert Smith, of the Cure

Continue reading "The Holodeck: A Review" »