Thursday, March 26, 2015

Love Beyond Stars

My life, my love, my beloved husband Bob, passed beyond this earthly boundary on January 2, 2015. Almost three months have gone by and the grief is more than words can say. 

I have tried, with poems, to express my loss.

I have read previous posts here and it seems a decade passed since he received his final diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis, unknown cause. Ten years of suffering and decline. He went from a normal "fighting" weight to just skin and bones. 

First he railed against Type 2 Diabetes. Then the IPF (idiopathic means "unknown reason"). Then in the last few years, liver cirrhosis, also unknown cause. Bob was never much of a drinker! If he had 6 beer over the course of 365 days, that was a banner year. Chronic anaemia meant blood transfusions every month or sometimes even every two weeks.

He was so loving and so brave in the last couple of years. His health had declined to the point where he was only able to walk on flat surfaces--no stairs--and only about half a dozen steps before resting. He was breathless, struggling for air even on constant oxygen. His life comprised sitting in his computer chair and participating in the Pelican Porsche forums; playing World of Warcraft; playing World of Tanks; online Poker at various sites; the Lottery and keeping up with world affairs, especially American political issues. Crime type TV shows. Netflix movies. Recent movies were also seen on his big computer screen. What a monitor! Still awesome after nearly 4 or 5 years. He slept a lot.

His bedroom had to be moved to the main floor since he could no longer do stairs. He was so patient, so amicable, and so stoic. He made the best of every bad situation. Of course he was angry at his health from time to time and near the end he imagined a life where he could ride his Harley chopper just one more time. He said he wished he had known ahead of time, so that he could have taken that "one more ride" to savour it. 

He had ended up selling his beloved Porsche 69  911S. That was hard for him but he knew it went to a person who would finish restoring it so that was some little consolation. The chopper is still in the garage. If I ever figure out where its registration is, I could sell it, as well. There are motorcycle parts to sell. I wish he had done that in previous years! 

A day never passed that he didn't tell me how much he loved me. We developed little scenarios around it. Cute little scenarios that made sense only to us. One of them was when he would say, "Love you, dear" and I would reply, "How much?" and he would show me with his arms spread so wide. He even invented a little diagram to explain that. So cute. "Love you, Bobby. Love you sooooooooooooooooo much!"

Monday, July 15, 2013

Generation of Broken People: Toddlers in Tiaras

I am not referring to the TV show of a similar name. I am refer to the generic insanity of pageant parents and tiny tots faking themselves on stage to win something.

I was searching for a YouTube video and noticed something on the related sidebar. It was a multi part program which followed 3 little girls who were competing in a statewide "beauty" contest. I think the state was Florida.


I'm pretty sure the featured contestants were chosen ahead of time because they represent three different layers of socioeconomic reality. The oldest girl looked to be about in 5th or 6th grade and lived in a mansion. Her parents were not short of a buck, that's for sure. I inferred that the dad inherited hugely because he didn't seem to have a job, but had time to get manicures and pedicures with the wife and daughter. Being a pageant dad is his raison d'etre. The girl took home the biggest crown of the day. She seemed like a poised and reasonable child.

The three year old was SUCH a brat! She had tantrums and lipped off her Mom while screaming the place down. She's a kicker and a hitter, too! She lived in a modest home, but apparently it was some sort of farm because she had a miniature horse that they dyed purple. Part of the show involved prepping the little horse for its own beauty competition which involved applying temporary horse hair dye with food coloring. Who knew? The shade du jour was lavender. And to my great surprise, they used a hair straightener on the horse's mane as well. Back to the contestant: this child was completely unmanageable off stage, really a diva, the kind of child you just wish someone would take in hand and give the mother some decent parenting lessons before it's too late. It might be too late already; however, on stage this one was amazing. She actually loved playing to the audience and is an absolute 'natural'. She won some minor crown. Man, I would hate to be her teacher when she gets old enough to attend school!

The tiniest competitor was about 2 years old--a natural fair redhead who played the part of Pebbles from the Flintstones. Well, she was supposed to play that part: in fact, all she really did was suck on her drumsticks. Her family represented the lower strata on the socioeconomic ladder. On stage, Pebbles was a puppet and didn't seem to have a clue.


This show was, in miniature, showcasing much of what is wrong with people in today's world. Rich parents with nothing better to do with their money than promote their daughter's so-called beauty. My opinion of the oldest girl was that she had many unnamed talents. She seemed to have an excellent memory, be musical, could dance well, and seemed to have high social intelligence. Why, in God's name, would well-meaning and loving parents choose to focus on outward beauty when their child is a complete package? That girl could easily excel, and be noticed/rewarded, in many more worthwhile endeavors.

As for horse-Mom: omg. Someone needs to force that lady to learn a harsh reality lesson in parenting. The little brat was certainly a mirror of the parent. Get some values, like really. Invest in parenting lessons already. Again, the child--for all her brattiness and very unattractive personality traits--showed that she, too, has an excellent memory, is well-spoken, intelligent and probably athletic. She seemed very well coordinated for her age. She DESPERATELY needs to be interacting with her peers in a noncompetitive atmosphere. She needs to learn how to cooperate with others, take turns, play games, have fun so that her life and values are not entirely self-centered. Going to school will be a series of heartbreaking downers for such a self-centered child.

And lastly, Miss Pebbles. She's an ordinary looking child who is still very much a baby. Why, oh why, would her Mom set her up for a lifetime of failures starting at such an early age? This one needs to live a normal life starting right now. It's definitely not too late for her to give up on such a superficial nonlife and get real.


Little kids need fun times to socialize and learn social-interaction strategies. They don't need to be placed into forced competitions where they learn to focus only on their fake appearance. Each child wore hair pieces, heavy makeup and one wore a "flipper" (like fake teeth). Can you imagine false eyelashes on a toddler? Don't just imagine it because it's their reality.

Life Lessons Learned Via Beauty Pageants
  • you are not good enough as you are
  • in order to win, you must be more fake than the next girl
  • there is value in crowns, ribbons, and statues
Diversity for the ten year old. Parenting lessons and preschool for the three year old. Playschool and an ordinary life for little Pebbles. All those Moms and Dads need to see a psychologist to deal with their own issues. Along the way, I'm going to apologize ahead of time to the rich parents. Their daughter really does seem like a complete package and for all we know, does participate fully in extracurricular activities involving sports, music and art. She probably socializes very well at school and does have a peer social group. If beauty pageants are a small part of her life, so be it. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm Outdoorsy -- I Like to Drink at Outdoor Patios

Yeah, pretty much I hate being outside and allergic. But still...we have this cute little patio that gets summer morning light from about 11am onwards and would be perfect with a 3 piece Bistro set. The problem? Can you guess?

It's that green grunge that accumulates on the cement and outdoor furniture. Ewww.

When I get myself motivated to either use the compressor-thingy to wash it or the 30 seconds stuff, finally we will be able to sit out there and drink. Coffee of course during the day. Wasps and stuff might keep us inside at twilight, though. 

Today we went to visit our friend Rick. We've known him for more than a decade and he's always been such a good guy. He got married last fall--they bought a new house not far from us--and we popped in for coffee this morning to see the final results of all the hard work they contracted out. Painting. Lots of electrical. Some drywall. Many new cabinets. A complete new kitchen and laundry/bathroom on main floor. We were planning on visiting on Friday but Rick's wife works one day per week and this week it was Friday, so Saturday was agreed by all. We narrowed a half hour time window.

They already  had beautiful outdoor shrubs but I thought a good housewarming gift might be an innocuous little and delicate mini rose. Went to the nursery to pick it up on our way. I was pretty sure that Rick's wife might have her own ideas of decorating since I had seen the walls painted in their bare state a couple of weeks ago and they were many shades of taupe. Greyish taupe. 

I was so happy to see another old friend, Dave the water guy, there at Rick's when we arrived. Nice to see him after about 5 years or so. In the meantime he's now married and settled down. Good for him! He looked well and very contented. 

The house? Immaculate. Looks like everything was chosen and placed to perfection by a professional decor diva; even though I know that Rick's wife decorated all on her own. Great job, lady! I wasn't prepared for such perfection. 

I also wasn't prepared for the fact that SHE wasn't even home when we arrived. Especially since ... well, with Bob's illness, we kind of have to plan our outings to coordinate with his health issues. She was out buying plants. Did I  mention that they have enough plants--already in the ground--for about 2 or 3 homes? 

Not sure. Maybe I am just being weird here but I actually felt insulted that she wasn't there.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Experiment in Terror

Experiment in Terror

Welcome to the home page of my favourite author, Karina Halle. She is the @MetalBlonde author of the Experiment in Terror series of novels. Dex Foray and Perry Palomino are characters that you will NEVER forget! 

In lieu of NOT providing spoilers let me just say that this series covers the lives and extremely scary / realistic / romantic / sexual but-not-explicitly-so paranormal  jobs of two normal young adults who just happen to produce an Internet weekly show.

You will relate instantly to Perry, the lovable but quirky female lead. You'll want to confront Dex in RL just to shake him, hard. Or maybe just smack him. And as for me, I also wanted a ride on Perry's little motorcycle to see what she sees.

Books in the series include Darkhouse, Red Fox, Dead Sky Morning, Lying Season, The Benson, Old Blood and The Dex Files. As ebooks, you can get them at all the major booksellers' sites but they were originally published by

From the author's site:

A (very) mature young adult novel that is scary, sexy and relat­able, filled with the super­nat­ural and things that go bump in the night.
In a large, flaky nut­shell, the Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Series is an eight-part sci-fi/fantasy/horror series that revolves around a pair of ghost hunters. Well, aspir­ing ghost hunters, any­way. After film­ing a creepy expe­ri­ence in her uncle’s dilap­i­dated light­house, 22-year old Perry Palomino becomes a YouTube and inter­net star overnight. She attracts the atten­tion of Dex Foray, a pro­ducer and cam­era­man for a site that spe­cial­izes in var­i­ous webisodes, who con­vinces her to be a host for a low-budget ghost hunt­ing series. The only prob­lem is, nei­ther Perry or Dex are entirely “with it” — I mean, they see ghosts, after all. And when the duo isn’t wrestling with their very notion of real­ity, they’re grap­pling with a work­ing rela­tion­ship that’s deep-cut with sex­ual ten­sion. As the series moves on, lead­ing Perry and Dex to new locales and super­nat­ural sit­u­a­tions, their lives become more and more inter­twined, where they dis­cover that ghosts aren’t the only things that can haunt them.

As books go, they are VERY reasonably priced and I exhort you to read Darkhouse to begin with. You'll be hooked.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sleeping Neurons, Awake

Yawn. That was a loooooooooooong sleep. I kinda lost track of this blog for a few years, looks like. All in all, I see the longevity of personal thoughts' ebb and flow being quite useful for me. Cathartic almost. 

In 2005 I was worried about having a Starbucks and TH close by. That happened.

I was annoyed at Mr. Man's temper tantrums over commuter's traffic snarls. That ended and now he's "retired" and not really driving at all. That's so sad.

I saw the Porsche as being a source of continuing annoyance and now it's gone, too. [heh heh. So happy when he sold it. *singing the Happy Camper song*]

I was majorly involved in WW but that didn't last. Now I'm looking into something new called Qsymia and still searching for that diet pot of gold at the end of my own rainbow. Kira and Candice are valiantly surviving the Dr. B. Diet first week blues and I'm glad it's them not me.

Post MAEd, I am ed-researching like crazy every minute of the day. PBL is the flavor du jour as well as PBIS [positive behavioral support instead of punishment for bad behavior]. 

Tablets have enriched my life beyond reason. I meant tablets a la iPad but those other ones too for stomach and high blood pressure.

Still playing WoW though. Seems like I am the only loyalista in the group.

Along with Rick/Lorraine, Dave/Maggie, Mr Man and I are now engaged so that has been the romantic highlight of this year. 

Ty and Cindy went to Britain and oh, yeah! announced their pregnancy due in December. Kira went to Montreal, got a new apartment in New West, got a new car and a new job with Cindy. The Zeds went to Cuba and Miss Q is going to enter Kindergarten in a little more than a month. 

Went to The Marble Slab Creamery for the first time tonight, accidentally on Senior's 15% day as well. I had to show id to prove that I am over 60. HAHAHAHAHA. LOLOL. Luv that. Their ice cream sure is creamy.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Phew, what a scorcher: The world's hottest chilli pepper

Its lethal effects include burning eyes, streaming nose, uncontrollable hiccups and much, much worse. And it is about to be sold at Tesco. The world's hottest chilli pepper, the Dorset Naga, will be available in 10g sachets containing up to three tiny fruits, at a price of 89p.

read more | digg story

16 of the Most Timeless Catchphrases of Television History

Every TV show wants one, but few achieve it: a catchphrase. The best ones not only propel their show into the limelight, but eventually take a life of their own, sometimes getting into the dictionary, sometimes even electing a president. Here are the stories behind some of the most memorable ones from the history of television ...

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How hotels help themselves to your money

If you think your hotel is done with you when you check out, think again. It might just be getting started.

read more | digg story