Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm Not There

This week we went to the Nick to see the Bob Dylan film, "I'm Not There". There were 12 of us in the theater and the starting time came and went and we all sat and sat. Finally I got up and went over to a woman I know from a writing group. I said, "I've heard people say this is a strange movie. Maybe this is the movie!" Finally an employee came in to say they were having problems "striking the lamp". I thought, it's not the lamp's fault, but oh well. Soon though the movie did start and I spent the 2 plus hours moving through fields of comprehension and incomprehension. Afterwards in the lobby we picked up a pamplet entitled "The Official Guide to the Movie". I will admit I'd see this film again, especially now that I have the guide.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Road rage

Gee, is this the same sweet Lindsay Wagner who was in Marcus Welby, MD? Somewhere something has gone horribly wrong. Or terribly right, depending on your perspective.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One last treasure

This thing has a few more lawns left in it.


90% of all the things you see in this picture came from the flea market. And 50% of the people.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Brain fog

Overheard at the flea:
1st hippie: Who's got the joint, man?
2nd hippie: I don't know, man. Either you've got it or I've got it.

It's amazing any of us found our way out of the 60s.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Staying safe

When going out, it's important to wear protective clothing.

Flying high

When my sons and I lived in the Mojave Desert we lacked a few basic things. Like a vacuum cleaner for example. Every few weeks, (or longer) we'd go up to town and borrow the Elfring's vacuum cleaner.

I'd vacuum like crazy then my boys would return it and we'd watch the sand and rubble accumulate around us until we couldn't stand it and we'd borrow the vacuum again.

Finally after years of this my kids presented me with a vacuum of my own. Brand new. Apparently they'd been scraping their money together for a while, (maybe from their worm farm wages).

I wasn't exactly the housewife type but I have never been so touched by a gift in my life. I didn't change my ways. Just vacuumed when absolutely necessary but I figured I was one of the luckiest mom's in the whole town.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Apparently people all over the land started lining up in front of stores as early as Thanksgiving morning to get a chance at bargains.

In 30 degree temps and below men, women and children sat on lawn chairs wrapped in chenille bedspreads and waited through the night for the stores to open at 4 AM on Friday morning.

Then they rushed the doors, scrambled over their fellow shoppers and ran at breakneck speed through the stores swooping up the latest in whatever.

I'm just wondering what these people do with their lawn chairs, chenille bedspreads, weber's barbecues and jugs of water? Nothing earth shaking...just something that's kept me up at night wondering.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

tofu and turquoise

Happy Thanksgiving to all! And no, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is a robust tofu loaf in a turquoise oven. What fun we're going to have!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A poet's eye

I bumped into Adrienne Rich, leading feminist poet of the 20th and probably 21st centuries today. Not literally but I found myself driving beside her this morning on my way to town. She had a bumper sticker that said, "I (heart) Steinbeck".

I've never met Ms. Rich but since she lives in my neighborhood I do see her from time to time at Trader's or on the road. The only conversation I ever had with her was at Capitola Book Cafe. She was trying to park her car in a very crowded lot and she was being cut off by a Brink's armored car. I stepped in and directed traffic a little so she could park. I then went into the bookstore and was browsing when I heard her voice. She came up to me and thanked me for helping her with the traffic situation. We went on to have a short conversation about the parking of cars.

I wondered this morning as I threaded my way through the holiday throngs watching Ms. Rich from the corner of my eye, what she was seeing. I wondered how she must see things differently. I imagined she sees this same crowded roadway but that she sees it with the eye of a poet.

Thinking of family

Tomorrow, November 22nd marks the 30th anniversary of my mother's death. Coincidentally it is the 7th anniversary of my sister's death. This photo was taken in March 1957 in Mexico in an adobe house the whole family built. My mother is in white and in her heyday celebrating with the village mariachis. Today my thoughts are with both my mother and my sister and other family members I won't see this year.

Stress Center

In today's Santa Cruz Sentinel they've printed my letter to the editor:
Dear Editor,
In your Nov. 17 edition, in the upper lefthand corner of Page A2 is a little blurb titled, "The end of the flea". It states flea marketers are "a little sad."
"A little sad?" Who writes this stuff anyway? To say that flea marketers are a little sad is the antithesis of hyperbole. We've collected 20,000 signatures in support of Sutter giving us one year in their "empty parking lot" so we can find a different site for the flea market. I just hope with yet another alternative Santa Cruz icon biting the dust that Sutter hospital plans to include a "stress center" in its new conglomerate. Cooper Gallegos, Santa Cruz

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Going with the Flo

When I was a little girl I was in love with Florence Chadwick, American swimmer, Olympian and 1st woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. Before she succeeded in this swim though, she'd tried and failed in one of her 1st attempts. I remember getting this news, flinging myself onto my bed and sobbing into my pillow. Fortunately for my delicate psyche she did eventually succeed.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Six degrees

I was buying a book yesterday at the flea from old friends, two women in their early seventies, sweet women who volunteer at soup kitchens and frequent independent movie theaters and sell at the flea to supplement their Social Security incomes.

I don't know how the conversation started but I said: If republicans win the next election I'm going to hang myself from the town clock. They looked at me. Do you want a bag with that book, they asked? Then they turned away.

I left their booth wondering: Could it be? Could these women be republicans? Could I have actually missed this about them all these years? Do we ever really know anybody? Then I remembered: The old six degree of separation rule.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Swan Song

Drive-in theater, 20 left in California. Ist weekend in December: 19.
Now where can you find a discounted blue toilet except this place?
Everyone is getting rid of inventory...
Even these two guys are sad...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Going Underground...

Yesterday in Santa Cruz 1000 people were exposed to some kind of "highly contagious stomach virus" in a local hotel. Last week they sprayed Santa Cruz County with a poison it turns out has only been tested in the Australian Outback. Now, I hear a killer mutant strain of the common cold is on the March from Washington and Oregon. All I have to say, is where's the bomb shelters from the 1950s?


You can loose your sense of self if you let the bad guys get you down...

Civil twilight

They call it civil twilight and no one is awake on this planet except me and my dog.


Some call them "loose-boweled flying rats" but these gulls hanging out on the beach look pretty good to me.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Looking through our old family albums I find a rare photo of my (younger) brother, Mike. Here he and I are propped up in front of some professional photographer who probably went house to house...
Mike was a whistler as a kid. Everywhere he went he whistled. I mean always. Here's the 4 siblings with Mike in front with our sister Beki. I'm in back with our brother, Vaughn.
Mike, all grown up! What a handsome dude, huh? He and his wife, Berta take their boat for a swim somewhere on the coast of California...Happy Birthday little brother!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Aaron!

Here is my beloved 1st born son on Nevada St. in ELA in front of his grandmother's house sporting a home-hair-cut and wearing a jacket I bought him while I worked downtown LA at Bullock's Department Store as a shoe repair clerk. You can clearly see the resemblance between Aaron and his son, Amado...
Aaron, frolicking on his other grandmother's bed, looking very cute and mischievous...
Take notice! Aaron flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico once to meet us for a week long visit. None of us had enough money for two hotel rooms so we snuck Aaron up the back stairs and he slept on the floor of our room! A very Happy Birthday, dear Aaron. I am proud to have you for a son. Your creative spirit, gentle nature and incredible dad skills keep me in a state of awe!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sink or swim

This morning at Rio Del Mar
there was a woman in a full length black spaghetti strap dress
wading deeper and deeper into the surf.
I couldn't help but think about a friend of ours who a couple of years ago drove her car to the end of the Capitola wharf, climbed over the railing and plunged in. Her body was found 5 days later in Seaside, a few miles from Santa Cruz. She was 86 years old.
So this morning I thought, should I stop this woman? Or is she just frolicking on a very beautiful fall morning? Hard to tell who needs saving and who doesn't.

Lost and found

For the last couple of months I've been watching my Canadian grandson, Amado on his pre-school webcam. There are about 8 pre-twos running around like wind-up toys doing their own thing, rolling on the floor, rushing from activity to activity, bouncing off each other.
If these were adults they'd be thought to have lost their minds. But because they're 20 months old we all know they're just finding theirs.

Starry starry sky

This morning at 4:37 when I was out on our front deck I looked up and and was treated to the most incredible star filled sky! What a way to start my day! (did anyone else see it?)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Return from my blog-break?

I've been a little pre-occupied these days and pretty blog-less but here's Annie Bones helping me get back in the swing of things on the computer...
It rained a little last night and AB and I came across a little rubber duckie floating in a rain puddle. How did it get there we wondered and it took all of my leash skills to keep Annie away from this little prize so I could take this picture!
Irene is selling at the flea this morning. For old time sake really. Meanwhile we sign petitions and go to meetings with the city counsel. But being realists we're also all planning a big party on the 25th, with food, music and dancing on the very last day of our beloved flea market...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Burden of the Blog

Maybe, just maybe I'll actually update my blog tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

An early morning walk at the harbor

Sometimes I think it would be neat to work as a dredger, wear blue jumpsuits and smoke and swear a lot... Other times I'd like to just wander the beach making art from found green army men and feathers...
The thing I'd like to be best though is a lighthouse keeper creeping up and down the metal stairs sounding my horn at boats in peril.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A beautiful evening

Last night we went to the Actor's Theater downtown Santa Cruz to see Marian Oliker's one woman show, "Mariama".
A brilliant, sensitive and powerful rendering of the lives of 2 women, one Senegalese, the other white American and their struggles to follow their individual spirits.
It is a poignant blend of grace and humor and African and modern dance.
If you are in the Santa Cruz area try to catch this act. Your life will be richer for it. Thank you, Marian!
(Marian has a website: please check it out!)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Girl on the edge

When I was about 12 I'd take the bus from my little town to skidrow in LA where I'd go in search of alleyways.
The seedier the better, the more garbage strewn. Stray cats and dogs a plus.
My very favorite alleys though were the ones filled with unwashed men drinking wine straight out of the bottle.
Smacking their lips and crashing the empties against the damp brick buildings.
Where was my mother, do you spose?


Today I saw a man in a copse of trees under a makeshift tent surrounded by his possesions and scratching enthusiastically at a lottery ticket. I'm reminded, we're not so different are we? I didn't hang out long enough to see if he won.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Six of one

Tonight when we go to bed we set the clocks back one hour. People seem overjoyed at the prospect of an extra hour of sleep. For me it just means I'll wake up at 1:00 AM rather than 2:00 AM and stare into the dark for a couple of hours before nodding off into a restless sleep and getting up at 5.

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Annie Bones and I were on our walk this morning when suddenly a brand new tennis ball fell from the sky. We don't know where it came from and it wasn't a coke bottle but Annie jumped on the opportunity. Nice catch, Annie

The Santa Cruz holiday

Scenes around the "hood" this morning. Santa Cruz has been accused of not being able to let go. In this case "we" just can't seem to give up the ghost.

If you're over 65 you'd better be healthy

I see in today's paper that the government has cut doctor's reimbursement rates for Medicare patients by 10.8%. In this town where it costs $1700 to rent a room and a million to buy a rancher (TLC) out on the westside why would a doctor take on anyone over 65? And even if she would... how could she pay her mortgage?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bumper sticker..

Seen downtown today..."Psychoamazon warbitch from hell with an attitude". Since I was feeling a little like that myself at that moment, I chuckled and backed off.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jolly, my eye

This morning at the post office I was in line behind a man in a motorized wheelchair. It was one of those complicated chairs with batteries and levers and straps. The man was almost completely hidden in blankets. When his turn came he wheeled up to the clerk and asked for his mail. I could see only the very top of his head and one hand as he handed the clerk a change of address form.
Clerk: I'm sorry but you didn't complete this on time. Your mail is going back to sender.
Man: But I need my mail.
Clerk: Your mail is not available to you. We're sending it back. You didn't complete the change of address on time.
Man: Okay. Thank you. And he wheeled out without his mail.
When my turn came the clerk smiled brightly and said "Good Morning". I didn't smile and I didn't speak. But I did give her the evil eye.

Advice for the day..