Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Spooky Scary Things Are The Order Of This Day.....


And More Spooky Scary Things.....

And A Few More Scary Images......

And Then We Have These Goodies.....

Or maybe these yummy things....
And Most Definitely, There Will Be These Tasty Pretty Things, For Sure......

So....All This Is My Way Of Saying.....

And this last image is gross, but it did make me laugh out loud.....

Sunday, October 29, 2006
age is relative

For those of you over a certain age...Enjoy!

For those who are a lot younger....Just read and see what you have to look forward to....lol!

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was your husband?" "98," she replied. "Two years older than me." "So you're 96," the undertaker commented. She responded, "Hardly worth going home, is it?

I've sure gotten old.! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

A 97-year-old man goes into his doctor's office and says, "Doc, I want my sex drive lowered." "Sir," replied the doctor, "you're 97....don't you think your sex drive is all in your head?" "You're damned right it is!" replied the old man. "That's why I want it lowered!"

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker.

The good news is that even as we get older, guys still look at our boobs. The bad news is they have to squat down first.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."

I've tried to find a suitable exercise video for women my age, but they haven't made one called "Buns of Putty."

Don't think of it as getting hot flashes. Think of it as your inner child playing with matches.

Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up!

Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing.

THE SENILITY PRAYER : Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Friday, October 27, 2006
elizabeth taylor

I just love Elizabeth Taylor. Always have, always will. She is an amazing woman in so very many ways. She is an inspiration to any and all of us who are "of a certain age"....and for me it's mostly because she has suffered in so many ways, yet, perseveres...and always has.

I remember when Mike Todd, her then husband who she seemed truly crazy about, was killed in a plane crash. I cried for her. No, I don't know her...(but I sure wish I did)....
Elizabeth Taylor has been in my life almost as long as I have been alive. She was a stunning child, and a stunning child actress...starting at 5 or 6 years old...a beautiful child who grew into an even more beautiful woman. And when Mike Todd died...it just seemed so truly tragic that when this 'icon' even then, had finally been swept away by the love of her life...she should lose him. She herself was almost on that plane that crashed. If that had been the case...what I'm writing now would have absolutely no meaning whatsoever! If that had happened, most of you wouldn't even know who I was writing about...in fact, you may not know now...since Taylor's Movie Star status was a long time ago....but just to give you a context: She was bigger than anyone you can name today, and I mean anyone! Trust me on this!

But, Elizabeth Taylor was not on that plane because she was sick and didn't think she should go...Was this fate? I don't know. I just know she didn't die in that plane crash as everyone who was on that plane did....
Elizebeth Taylor went on to make God knows how many movies...marry, all together as of this writing, 8 times....She went on to win two Academy Awards....And then later went on to bring AIDS to the forefront as no other person had been able to do up to that time. And it was because somebody she dearly loved died of this dreaded disease. What she did when her dear friend Rock Hudson died was incredibly wonderful and completely selflessly brave. She used her "celebrity" to put a real face to a disease that up to that time had been treated as if it was the piriah of our age because it was then associated with mostly gay men. (And unfortunately it still is by many people when that is not the case at all, at this point in time....). God Bless Elizabeth Taylor. She is a survivor and just recently even, appeared at an AMFAR Benefit and I understand from people who were there that she was in a wheelchair but rose up out of it by herself, not accepting the help that was offered to her, and spoke once again with great passion saying...'it's still out there and it is not over by any means so must keep fighting....', inspsiring all who were there at that event with her continued dedication to this cause in spite of her own health problems.

To be so incredibly beautiful and talented and smart and funny and real, in a town that thrives on a lot of 'unreal' and on cutting people down when this 'business of show' feels they have gotten too big for their britches...and to know so clearly who she was and is in spite of the tabloids, the leeches, and the hangers on who will shoot you down at every turn just to make themselves feel better----this, is a great broad. (I can say that being a broad, myself. )
To raise four...count them...4 children, all of whom are decent productive caring sensitive human beings....in the eye of all the tabloid malarky.....this is a terrific woman!And, Miss Taylor has always been 'true to herself'...and I quote for the umpteenth time..."This above all to thine own self be true, And it nust follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man..." William Shakespeare, from "Hamlet"...Polonius to his son Leartes....Elizabeth Taylor personifies this being "true to yourself", God Bless Her.To be as big a movie star as she has been for...what.....almost 70 years? And to survive in 'the eye of the celebrity storm'....well my God, I wish I did know her. I just posted my 214th post...(well, somethimg like that...) And being only eight months older than her and living with the health problems I live with....I read about her and the incredible things she has survived physically and she still continues to press on and show up for the important things in this life....Well, this inspires me.

That story I reported in my Andy Warhol post, says so very much about Elizabeth Taylor and the truth of her life, and the misconceptions that abound! It took one of her dear sons who loves her and has a close relationship with her, to set the record straight on her feelings about Andy Warhol and the series of paintings he did of her. I'm sure it made a good story to certain people to believe she had no interest in those paintings, but to me, the better story is that she has one of the paintings hanging in her bedroom.

Often great great beauty is given a 'free pass'. Well, Elizabeth Taylor never got a free pass. (Oh I can hear the naysayers and the cynical among you doubting this....). Well, you are wrong, truly. She never ever really got a free pass. She was vilified and practically strung up and hung by the press, "back in the day", (except for the time she almost died of pneumonia and then she was given the Academy Award for "Butterfield 8" when she should have gotten it for "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", but didn't...)....And guess what...(Paraphrasing Stephen Sondheim) She's still here! Yeah! (I smile...) She is still here!!!

I LOVE YOU, ELIZABETH....I always have and I always will.

More To Come.....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
memories of the 1960's

Over the last few weeks I watched quite a few documentaries on PBS. They were mostly repeats, but they were for me, as it tirned out, very important to watch at this point in time. One was a Review of The 1960’s political scene…covering all the important things that occurred politically domestically, that effected all of us here in our country during that period, in the 1960’s. It was a heartfelt reminder of how important the 60’s were in almost every way---good and bad---the bad being the loss---the terrible loss, of some of the most important leaders this country has ever had. And then, starting in the 60’s and going into the 70’s was the last time---till now, that we had an unconscionable war that divided our country bitterly. Namely, The Viet Nam War.

It was good to be reminded of the passion of the 60’s. And to also be reminded that once upon a time there were leaders that we could respect and support and that there was somebody to vote for….”Vote For”---the operative phrase. There were bright caring articulate people running for office and in office. Speeches were made that were memorable beyond words and inspiring and moving, too….these are etched in our minds and hearts forever, with the eloquence they bespoke.

One of the documentaries was called RFK. (I did not remember seeing this….because, in fact, it is a new documentary….). It was a truly illuminating, thoughtful and deeply moving evaluation of a man that we watched grow and change as the years went on, starting back in the '50's when he worked for the House Un-American Activities Committee under the thumb--so to speak--of Senator Joseph McCarthy, (a shocking time in our history…) to the election of his brother, John F. Kennedy to the presidency, to being appointed Attorney General by his brother, to his brother’s horrific assassination in 1963, to his being elected to the Senate by New York State, to his decision to run for the Presidency which then led him to that most important and terrible June of 1968, and his assassination. Watching this now through the understanding of where we are right now in 2006, I found this film deeply deeply moving.

Before RFK joined that race in 1968, the man who gave us hope was Eugene McCarthy, that erudite gentle soul who spoke out against the war in Viet Nam and swept the campuses of this country with his honesty, as well as those of us still reeling from JFK’s death who were looking for someone to believe in who would take up the mantle of peace….

My great and wonderful friend, Norma Crane, (who died of cancer at the age of 43---a terrible loss to all who knew and loved her...) a lovely actress and a terrific person,
asked me if I would like to help out in the McCarthy campaign, I had never before actively campaigned for any candidate for office….Oh, I was ‘for’ some candidates, like John F. Kennedy, but I had never gotten involved in doing anything concrete in a campaign before. I asked her what she had in mind because I was indeed, very very much FOR Eugene McCarthy…I really did feel he was our only hope….She said that she had been asked, along with her decorating partner Barbara Windom, to decorate a nightclub that was going to be called “Eugene’s” and was to open in an existing space on Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills, for the purposes of raising people’s awareness of McCarthy and also for raising money for his campaign in a setting that would be fun and would attract the ‘Hollywood Crowd’ who weren’t on board already.

I kind of loved the idea of that…and asked what she wanted me to do….She suggested maybe I could make a big collage of McCarthy to be hung on one of the walls as part of the decoration...Norma was familiar with my collages and loved them a lot….and I loved that idea a whole lot. And a very dear dear man named Dick Dunlap, who was a director in Television, who had directed many of the Academt Award shows was also working on this project, and said he thought he could get me a very large canvas, if I needed it. In thinking about it, it occurred to him and to me that a big ‘flat’ which is like a moveable wall---used on stage sets and in the sets of many tv shows at that time---would be perfect! And it was.

Dick was able to get that for me and I had asked Norma if she could get lots of printed material as well as
pins of all sizes, and flags of different sizes, etc, for me to incorporate onto this enormous collage. I loved the idea of using three-dimensional pieces for this collage….though it was a concern that some people might take the pins off…(Which they did, of course…) still, I wanted as many varied things to do with McCarthy as I could get. The collage was about 14 feet wide by 9 feet high....here are some pictures of it.....

These pictures are all that is left of that huge huge collage....after the primary it was broken down and destroyed....That very first picture is a kind of over all look at the entire collage as it sat on the wall in "Eugene's" in front of the cocktail tables and such....

Soon after McCarthy’s big win in New Hampshire, Bobby Kennedy decided to run for President. Many people felt he came into the race awfully late and were angry that he was going to take focus away from McCarthy who's momentum was building in an incredible way….Kennedy had said he would not run and then changed his mind, it seemed, because he saw how well McCarthy had done in New Hampshire (according to the documentary RFK, that was not the case...)….whatever the case, he had now openly declared his candidacy, and soon after that Lyndon Johnson said he would not run again, nor would he accept the nomination of his party…so now with Johnson out of the race completely, the field was wide open for Bobby Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy.

Many of us spent many evenings at “Eugene’s” and as some of those pins disappeared, I would replace them….but some could not be replaced and they were never seen again. So by the time the collage was moved to The Beverly Hilton Hotel, McCarthy’s Southern California Headquarters for the night of the Primary, there were almost no pins left to replace the ones that kept getting ‘lifted’….still, it was a pretty impressive piece.

I remember going to the Beverly Hilton that night…it was incredibly exciting and again, a first for me, never having been at a candidate for anything’s Primary Night Headquarters. They had put the Collage against a wall in one of the huge wide hallways leading to the main ballroom. It was horrendously crowded and noisy and I finally decided I was going to go home and watch the results at home on television. The few people that I knew that I had literally bumped into there decided to do the same…by this time it did not look good for Eugene McCarthy. It looked like Kennedy had, with his charismatic being, stolen that primary right out from under McCarthy…

I went home and I was cutting up “melts” for my then four cats….sitting on my bed watching the results, as Bobby Kennedy finished his acceptance speech.
Bedlam ensued when it became clear that Kennedy had been shot as he had left the stage and had gone through the kitchen on his way back to his suite upstairs at The Ambassador Hotel, his Headquarters that night. I screamed…”Oh No!!! Oh Oh Oh….how could this have happened….”…I was crying as I called my friends Ken & Mitzie Welch who had been at The Beverly Hilton and gone home, too…”Are you watching this?” Mitz had answered the phone….”How could this happen, again?” I sobbed….She was sobbing too.

It was too much to bear. Just two months before, Martin Luther King had been shot and killed….a terrible terrible inconsolable loss….and now, this….this unspeakable unbelievable horror. What was wrong with our country? What was happening that we were killing our best men…our finest hopes for the future of this country? Since November, 1963, John Kennedy, Malcolm X., Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, and now, Bobby Kennedy….

The next day I had one of my very long horrific dental appointments and I was pretty wrecked….the dentist gave me Nitrous Oxide gas, thinking that would calm me down...and as always, it made me cry a lot before it finally put me in a strange half-life state….and along with the Novocain I was pretty doped up. My dentist had this little black and white television set that was in the room with us, and as we all were waiting for news of Bobby Kennedy, Dr. Ramos had the little tv on and going. At that point Bobby Kennedy was still alive but not in good shape at all….in this strange half-sleep-haze I heard things through an almost seemingly hallucinogenic state…it sounded like they were saying Serhan Serhan…what kind of name is that? This must be a hallucination…this Serhan Serhan person was the one who shot Bobby Kennedy…how could someone with this strange name...two times...oh...ohhhh...ooohhhhh......I gave up trying to make sense of this dream I was seemingly having…..Hours later…these were long long dental sessions….when I came out of my Nitrous Oxide haze I realized that indeed, a man with the unlikely name of Serhan Serhan had shot Bobby Kennedy. The next day, Bobby Kennedy was dead. The mourning that ensued was like a replay of the inconsolable mourning that this country went through with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy….it was reported that when Bobby Kennedy announced that he was going to run in this election, that his sister-in-law Jacquie Kennedy had said in a terribly worried and prophetic way, “….they will do the same thing to Bobby that they did to Jack…”. She was right.

What stays in the memory when it is jogged by these kinds of documentaries is what I said before. We had people to vote “for” back then. There was a passion on the part of the leaders and on the part of the people….where is that passion now? It is incredible that our present leaders are passing laws that are chipping away slowly and not so slowly at our hard won rights. It is incredible that I do not see any potential leaders in the ‘democratic party’ who stand out and make you want to fight for them and work for them with the hope of saving this country from this very very dangerous road we are on now.

It is incredible that these things are happening and have been happening and it feels like ‘the people’ are indifferent….or maybe it’s because so very many people are on drugs in this country….
and I’m not talking about illegal drugs. I’m talking about all the tranquilizers and anti-depressants and other drugs that are legal prescriptions written by doctors. Just the way old people are housed in nursing homes and ‘alternative’ living places and are given all sorts of drugs to keep them quiet which makes it easier for the ‘caretakers’, but keeps these people in a kind of constant stupor….not caring, not feeling, because their feelings have been shut down or dampened by these drugs…doctors are keeping their patients in a kind of a stupor, too. The pharmaceutical companies are in bed with the doctors and visa versa,

I think that more than half of the population are on some kind of drug that has taken away any possible passion they one might feel. Are the people on these drugs feeling better this way? I guess so, but meanwhile this drugged state keeps everyone in kind of a ‘ho hum-who-cares’ state and the “powers that be” have stolen our democracy right out from under us.

Meanwhile the most important people in any doctors waiting room are those men and women with those traveling bags on wheels who all look like they might possibly be flight attendants,
but are pushing their company’s drugs to these doctors who are more than happy to have this lucrative relationship, while those of us who are really sick and waiting to see the doctor can’t get in there till the doctors are finished with these legal drug-pushers. And our country has been high jacked while we are all dulled down by the drugs the doctors are more than happy to push our way, because it shuts us all up and keeps us docile, and puts money I their pockets.

Where are the Martin Luther King’s and the Eugene McCarthy’s and the Bobby Kennedy’s and even the Barry Goldwater’s? Where are the men and women who haven’t been bought and paid for? Who have true convictions and haven’t been “groomed” to the Enth degree in the ways of politics to the point of having no convictions what-so-ever! Where are they?

Obama. Yes, the only possible hope in a country of 300 million people? And who knows if he actually ran for the highest office in the land would whatever convictions he seemingly has be compromised by the system of politics and the PR of politics?….Oh Dear God, Help Us And Save Us.

Yes, the 60’s were frightening times in many respects and horrifically sad times in many ways too, but it was also a time of strong beliefs, of people really caring about things with an incredible passion…It was a very ‘alive’ time and a very very exciting time, too….The hardships endured during the late 50’s and the 60’s to change the Jim Crow laws in the south----to get equal rights for everyone, particularly in the southern states----is this fantastic lesson in endurance and the passion of an idea who’s time was long long overdue, and the passion to fight on, in spite of the worst kinds of odds imaginable….If you have never seen the three part documentary “Eyes On The Prize”, (which was also re-run in the past few weeks for the first time since 1987, I believe, on many PBS stations) run out immediately and rent it. It should be required viewing in every school in this country as a primer on how hard it was and is to change things that are our constitutional and human right, but how those 'rights' were trampled on mercilessly by our fellow citizens. Watch “The March On Washington” and be thrilled and inspired by that "I Have A Dream..." speech that Martin Luther King gave that very warm warm day in August of 1963. And think about the fact that there has been no one to stir our hearts and minds like that, since that time. Oh, how we need someone like that....someone with strong beliefs and convictions who is articulate and caring who's heart is truly filled with the milk of human kindness and who will inspre us as a people to rise up and start a revelution if that is what it will take to get rid of the crooks running our government right now....where is that truly loving person who has the same beliefs that Anne Frank did when she said..."that in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart...."! Where oh where is there anyone like that?

More To Come......

Monday, October 23, 2006
more further close-ups

This is such a beautiful flowerimg stalk...from a different type of Agave than the other flowering projectile in my last 'close-ups' post....This agave is incredibly beautiful, too...Look at the color of those flowers...they are totally different from that one in my last post...And, by the way, after an agave flowers, it then dies. (Except for certain Agave's....) And as I said before, this flowering can go on for months and months.....but, when it is over, so is the life of the agave....Sometimes it takes a whole year for that process and of course the minute you see that it is going to flower, you have plenty of time to get used to the idea that the days of the life of that particular plant are numbered....I wonder if it hurts as the 'life' is slowly leaving them?

And here is the 'far away shot' of this same flower before I got into playing with the getting-in-closer-cause-it-pleases-me-so-much mode.... The thing about this particular agave (and many agave's for that matter...) is that you can plant a single one and within a few years you have a cluster of them....thats how they do....they give of babies and then those plants give off more babies....wonderful, isn't it?

Do any of you remember when I had a pair of doves sitting on some eggs down in the very tall Euphobia Amak Verigated on the side of my house last spring? Well, here is one of them in 'close-up'...I honestly don't know if it Momma or Poppa.... But I got a wonderful picture of this one's mate, too....which was a truly amazing thing for me.... I love watching Morning Doves sit on their eggs, because nothing deters them. They sit like peaceful meditative statues with only one important thing that they must do at this time---magnificent caring little sweethearts that they are---protecting their offspring....there certainly are some humans who could learn a lesson from this devotion, aren't there? (Pickalish knows who I'm talking about....)

And here is a 'close-up' of this bed of succulants I posted many months ago....from a picture I took on one of my walks. You can really see why this plant is called a 'succulant'...it looks absolutely edible here, doesn't it? The color of this plant is magnificent, too and is somewhat afffected by the rays of the sun....it sure is pretty....

This is another 'George' flower picture. There were these tiny little bugs on this particular flower one day...teeny tiny....but the light was hitting the flower in such a way that I was able to get some pictures of them....I couldn't get this picture any bigger than this...I'm sure there is some reason but it is just too deep for me to understand....anyway, I'm thrilled I got this to post at all! There are a couple of others that just will not post...and I think it has to do with their size....anyway...I love this picture because the petals with the light coming through when blown up this big are just stunning, stunning, stunning....!
This one is not quite as dramatic, but I am just thrilled to be able to see the definition of these bugs so wonderfully...the light is quite different in this one, but still, this picture pleases me a lot!

And one more of these 'George' Flower bug pictures...again, the light just knocks me out here....this is the best of the best, for me.... Remember, this flower is only 1 1/2 inches when it is wide open....And this next picture is the original photograph....and the flower looks huge in this picture....but it is not. Again, natures miracles in a cactus! And now, for a complete change of pace....I give you a little sweet bird in silouette....I think he is just adorable, standing on one leg! This is that beautiful Night Blooming Cereus that has so much fruit on it right now...he kind of looks like he is doing a little dance here....

Here are some lush flowers from that Date Palm I have written about before and in the last 'close-up' post I showed some fronds of this plant. The flowers on this beautiful Palm are in huge clusters, as you can see.... And the color is such a rich rich yellow....it almost looks good enough to eat....like popcorn!

Here is a 'close-up' of the inside of the Euphorbia Lambii Flowers...this is the beautiful plant that is part of my template up there at the top and to the right.... These are so very delicate and intricate in their simplicity....each of those little pea like things inside that beautiful small soft cup....wow!

And last, (at least for this post) but not least....here is my darling buddy...my dear dear warm and loving little pal, in all his beauty...."The Mister"....aka.....Sweetie.... He is the softest, warmest, dearest, and sweetest kitty I've ever known....I am so very grateful that he is in my life. I love him with all my heart and feel so very lucky that we met up seven years ago....He is the best of the best, I tell you....

And here is something I found on Mar's blog....it's fun to do and is my little nod to 'the season'.....

Carve your own pumpkin at pYzam.com!

More To Come.....

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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