Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I’ve just picked up a new hobby. Doodling.  I never doodled in the margins. I don’t get images in my head of things to sketch – not things that can be represented quickly and simply. I read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.  Those drawings take hours, and while they look like serious art, they aren’t fun to do.  I wanted something in between.

My Cancer Survivors network sent out an email.  They were going to have a class in Zentangle.  I looked it up on the web.  Youtube has plenty of zentangle videos.  Rather than take a one hour each way bus ride in order to attend the one hour class, I opted for Youtube.

This stuff is fun!  It creates attractive designs without much planning. The technique is not time consuming.  It puts my mind in a light meditative state. It’s a good quick break from concentrating on something difficult.

But like all hobbies – it starts out with stuff around the house – pens and paper. But now I’m craving colored marking pens. Thick ones and thin ones. And maybe a book, so I can learn more about this style of doodling.   Nothing is ever truly simple.

Friday, February 15, 2013

He's Dead: Joel

My chiropractor Joel is dead. He had throat cancer that spread to his lungs and his brain. He spent years on chemo and even went to Mexico for an experimental program.  He tried everything he could find. Homeopathy. Anti-cancer diets.

Joel did everything full-tilt.  His chiropractor’s office had a massage chair, a sonic pulse machine, an adjustment table that gave stretching rides.

Joel wanted everybody to know how he got this cancer.  We don’t think of cancer as a contagious disease.  But cervical cancer is an STD.  There are vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix which can be given to boys and girls as early as age 9, through age 26.  Joel had oral sex with his partner. She had cervical cancer. The viruses that cause cervical cancer infected his throat, and eventually killed him.

He called radio talk shows. He persisted even though DJs and other callers laughed at him.

A chiropractic adjustment doesn’t last.  Education does.  Spreading the word is Joel’s legacy. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Green Smoothies

I like to ignore trends.  It’s a combination of laziness and ego.  First of all it means I don’t have to learn something that will probably be of only temporary use.  And secondly, I like to think my values don’t require me to follow fashion.

But my mother called.  She had just seen an ad for a blender. In the ad, the blender made green smoothies.  I’ve heard about them for years, but never tasted one.  They reminded me of juicers.  I inherited a juicer from my mother-in-law.  I used it once and after laboriously cleaning it, I gave it away.  The recipient told me these things cost hundreds of dollars.  I got it for free and I wasn’t going to use it – she may as well have it for free.

My mother assured me that green smoothies use the pulp. There’s nothing to clean up, other than the blender jar and blades, and any accidental spills.  She wasn’t just sold on green smoothies – she was sold on the blender in the ad.  There was urgency in her voice: where could she buy one locally, today?  Good old internet to the rescue.  I found the blender.  It has decent ratings on review sites.  And they were in stock at a store near her home, for which she had a discount coupon. The store was even in the same street mall as a grocery store so she could pick up the veggies on the same trip.

She called later.  She loves green smoothies.

I had to try them.  All you do is cut up any fruits or veggies you have in the house – no need to peel or core them. Okay, I cut off the thorns from the outside of the pineapple – I’m a wimp.  But I didn’t peel my orange or pit my apples. Add a couple handfuls of kale or parsley or cilantro or lettuce or other green leaves. Pour on about a cup and half of water, put the lid on the blender jar and whirrr. 

Then my older daughter had to try them.  Her daughters didn’t like the seeds from the raspberries. She had to have a stronger blender.  

I think there’s a trend going on with stronger blenders because I was out walking my dog and somebody had put a perfectly operational blender with all its parts out on the sidewalk.  I picked it up, took it home, tested it, and gave it to my niece – who is now also hooked on green smoothies.  

Who knew?  The power of advertising!  I wonder if this is how most people feel when they try the latest trends or if this one time, the trend was tasty.

Friday, February 1, 2013

It's All Random

After I woke up from a concussion 3 years ago, my friend Jean kept worrying that I might have a personality change.  Not that she’s uncritical of my personality – I think she just didn’t want to have to get used to somebody new.  After a few weeks, she reported that she couldn’t detect any changes.

But there has been one change that I’ve noticed.  I’ve developed a voice in my head that interrupts my thoughts with the statement, “that’s random.”

I can be enjoying a fresh peach and the voice will tell me “it’s random to like fresh peaches.”  I can be walking down a grocery aisle and find my self hurrying away from the perfumed soaps. The voice will tell me, “It’s random that you don’t like that smell.”  It’s random that I like cuddles. It’s random that I like to write. It’s random that I dislike crowds and noisy places.

Okay – my life is random.

Recently, my Toastmasters board meeting was scheduled to be held outdoors. Our President was concerned about the weather.  I promised him that it wouldn’t rain. I’m a weather witch. I can make such promises.  We met outdoors. We heard thunder. We saw dark clouds. We even felt a few sprinkled drops.  But it didn’t rain.  I biked there and I biked back without problems. Sometimes people believe me. Sometimes they don’t.  That is random.

Today I got a rave review of one of my screenplays that I wrote with Jean.  The reviewer said, “This has clearly been written by a couple of professionals who know exactly what they are doing. The structure, the plot, the introduction of new ideas, it’s all been executed almost perfectly. Nothing, of course, is ever perfect, but this comes pretty damned close.” But it didn’t win.  That, too is random.

I mentioned this voice that says, “that’s random” to my husband, the alien.  He agreed that everything is indeed random. He’s so used to the concept that he doesn’t think it’s worth mentioning.  So, it’s even random if people notice that everything is random.