Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Gentle Readers,

Some day I shall retire, although I don't do anything.

Hence, I visited an investment person because I need to do something with the retirement funds I received from my husband who has ceased to exist - at least as far as I'm concerned.

I feel pretty safe that I can tell you about the meeting with the investment person because I have so few readers. It's not as if she's going to come across my message center because of its popularity.

Everything started off fine although when she shook my hand I thought Shake it, don't break it. She helped me figure out a problem I already had and made a couple of good suggestions.

But then she asked me how I "feel" about the market. I told her I don't worry about the market. It's been down before and it will be down again and it's best to remain calm. She said that was a good attitude and that the market is better this year, but then she felt compelled to launch into a diatribe against President Obama because although the market is better this year, that lousy rotten bastard (my words, not hers but the implication was there) did not attend the boy scout jamboree, the only U.S. President not to have done so. I bit my tongue to pieces resisting the urge to tell her that her information was incorrect and that presidents do not always attend the jamboree. More than one has missed out on this glorious experience.

She said, however, that Obama had sent Defense Secretary Robert Gates who as an adult holds some high position in scouting, something about the order of the arrow, and that Gates was really great. I chewed my tongue a little more because I thought how intelligent it was of the president to send someone to the jamboree who's really into scouting.

She was pissed, though, because her son is an eagle scout and he's really special.

I resisted the urge to ask if that meant he rode the short bus to school.

She then went on and on about just how special her son is - so intelligent, all A's.

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, fighting the desire to tell her that my kids could beat up her kid intellectually and physically with both hands tied behind their backs and only using a quarter of their brains.

I have another meeting set up with her next month. We'll see what happens then, but I don't know if I can work with someone who wastes my time complaining that President Obama didn't go to the boy scout jamboree.

I have more important things to worry about, like retiring from nothing. When you don't do anything, then what do you not do when you retire?

A point to ponder.

Infinities of love,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Gentle Readers,

I promised you a work of art that achieves transcendence despite its creepiness factor and here it is: Manhattan, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, and Mariel Hemingway.

I LOVE this movie.

The glory of Gershwin, the sweet loveliness of young Mariel Hemingway, the skyline of our beautiful city. This film is a love affair with New York, in glorious black and white.

Its creepiness factor? Woody Allen's character, Isaac, is having an affair with 17-year-old Tracy, played by the oh-so-innocent looking Mariel. It become even more creepy knowing that Woody had an affair with his now wife when she was quite young (she's still very young), and she grew up with Allen as the father figure in her life.

Who has an affair with the daughter of his longtime girlfriend with whom he's had a child and lets Mama find out when she discovers nude photos of her daughter in her "husband's" apartment?

Woody Allen.

We all know it. We know it's wrong. But somehow most of us look past it (it's o.k. Mia we still love you) and we still love his films.

I am extraordinarily fond of Annie Hall. Was Diane Keaton ever more beautiful? La di da, la di da.

But it's Manhattan that I truly adore.

It's magic.

I read on IMDB that Woody offered to make another picture for free for Universal if they would shelve Manhattan. He supposedly thought it was terrible and the worst thing he had ever done.

I hope he got over it, and if he didn't, then I disrespectfully disagree with him.

Isaac Davis: Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion. Better. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. Uh, no, let me start this over.

Isaac Davis: Chapter One: He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street smart guys who seemed to know all the angles. Ah, corny, too corny for, you know, my taste. Let me, let me try and make it more profound.

It's profound, Isaac.

Splendor in the skyline, glory in the concrete. I love New York. And it just doesn't get any better than Rhapsody in Blue.

Infinities of love,


Thursday, September 16, 2010


Gentle Readers,

Occasionally a work of art transcends its flaws to become very good or, sometimes, even great.

The first work up for discussion is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey.

I won't go so far as to say that this novel is great, but certainly it falls into the very good category. It has been much loved for quite some time and was made into an excellent movie.

The movie came out when I was in high school. One of my English teachers said he would never see the movie because the book meant too much to him.

I understood.

And what flaws must Cuckoo's Nest transcend?

The book is misogynistic. The female characters fall into one of two categories: heart-of-gold prostitute or Queen of Emasculation.

Yet, I defend this novel. Randall P. McMurphy is an unforgettable character and the drama of the story is overwhelming. I quite often give this novel to young people, especially young men, who tell me they don't like to read. Invariably, they give Cuckoo's Nest a thumbs up and say, This is the best book I've ever read.

And getting them to read is what it's all about. It's not as if I'm giving them pornography or crap. This is a very good novel that transcends its flaws.

Next time: A movie that transcends its creepiness factor to be on Lola's Great Movies List.

One flew east
And one flew west
And one flew over the cuckoo's nest.

Infinities of love,


Monday, September 13, 2010


Gentle Readers,

I have noticed an alarming trend during the past three or four months.

Some people are using "incidences" as the plural for "incident."

Example: So many incidences happened on my way to school that I missed English class and didn't hear the lecture on word usage.

The plural for "incident" has always been and remains to this day "incidents."

I consulted Fred, a.k.a. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, and he confirmed my belief. So I also took a look online and every dictionary or language use page I saw also confirmed "incidents" as the plural.

So how did "incidences" come into use?

I have no idea; I only know I'm seeing it more and more often and I don't like it.

But this is how language changes. In another six months, I betcha incidences will be all over the place and in another five years it will be accepted by some modern grammarians and a few years after that it may well be standard usage.

I'm sticking with incidents. It's correct.

What sayest thou, Gentle Readers? Have you noticed the trend?

And when you see it are you prepared to join with me in a futile attempt to nip it in the bud?

That which does not change dies; thus, language must change.

But I don't think that means I have to tolerate incidences.

And you don't either.

When I was a grader for the best English professor ever, he did not tolerate the use of "impact" as a verb. Although sentences such as "the car impacted the brick wall" are all over the place, you won't see impact used in this fashion in my message center.

I want to have a positive impact on the English language.

Infinities of love,


Wednesday, September 8, 2010


O.K., Gentle Readers, don't even try to tell me that the first thought in Catherine's head when she found out her elderly husband has cancer wasn't Oh Thank God, old Crag Face will be off the viagra for a while and I won't have to look up and see all those valleys among the mountains.

Catherine, Catherine, Catherine, am I spelling your name correctly or are you Katherine? I figured typing it over and over might give me a clue.

Now where was I?

Yes, the train is back on the rails.

Catherine, do not feel guilty. Your husband will probably live forever, just like his dad who had a stroke a million years ago and has hung around ever since.

I often wished my husband dead but damn it, it's the beautiful, talented wealthy women who have all the luck, not poor little broken-backed Lola.

Infinities of love,


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Gentle Readers,

Since the death of my beloved, my other two dogs have changed.

About two weeks after the terrible day, they suddenly seemed to realize that the King of the family was not returning.

One now approaches me far more often to request petting and attention. The other sits on my lap, which he usually does only during the winter.

Do they need comfort because He is gone, or do they realize that I now have more time for them?

When my son and his young lady love come to visit, they also request more attention from them and even dole out a few kisses, which they tend to give sparingly.

They are good dogs; they are not dogs of His caliber; they do not communicate with me as He did.

But they are good dogs.

And Robin is still here and Robin is a good dog too, and I wish she could be with me for many more years.

I love them all, infinitely.

Treat your children well.

Infinities of love,


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


It is my opinion, Gentle Readers, that Jon Krakauer writes damn fine books.

I have already read Into the Wild and Under the Banner of Heaven.

Excellent, excellent books - such rich detail and no jumping around in time, no confusion. Everything clear and perfectly laid out.

And now we have Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.

I admit, I don't think Glory is as good as the other two Krakauer books I've read, but it's still very, very good.

Once again, complete and detailed. Gets more and more interesting as you go along even though you (or most of us anyway) know what happened to Pat Tillman.

I don't want to go into detail in case you're not totally familiar with the story. And an excellent way to learn the truth about the way this case was handled is to read Krakauer's book.

I thought I knew all about it, but I learned more from this book. Krakauer leaves no stone unturned.

And by the way, I'd like to mention how pleased I am that I first learned about this book when I saw Krakauer on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart has the best of the best on his show and his interviews are unusually intelligent. I get the feeling he actually reads most of the books of which he speaks; he's not just working from some staffer's synopsis.

I should also congratulate Stephen Colbert for having Krakauer on The Colbert Report when Glory came out in paperback.

And last, but certainly not least, Tillman Family: You are way cool. Thank you for all you do. And Marie Tillman, thank you for creating such a meaningful scholarship program. Way, way cool. Not calling attention to yourself. Not out picking on the people at fault (Krakauer can handle that, but it's not picking - it's intelligent reporting). You just keep on keeping on and make life better for young people.

Infinities of love,