From SHK came this delightful birthday present on Friday! A bottle of wine shaped like a cat! What could be more suited to moi??
Yes, tomorrow is almost upon us, which means it is THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN!
I’ll be a fabulous 56, gang! Hope we all have a terrific year.
Loyal readers of this lofty-though-sporadic blog will no doubt recall that I acquired a new used car recently. It was supposed to be an interim car, pending the settlement of a car accident, however, I wound up falling in love with my interim car and now I am hoping to keep it for all time!
Yes, it’s that 2001 sparkling silver Mercury Sable LS Premium sedan! I paid $950 cash for it. The first — though somewhat lowly — miracle was that in the car’s ashtray, I found $1 in loose change. I guess that was a rebate of sorts, so I really only paid $949 for it!
In all seriousness, though, gang, I really, really, REALLY love this car.
It has a 3.0 L DOHC Duratec 30 V6 engine — 200 horsepower. The same engine used in the Jaguar S series that year. The car is fast, gang. I can get to Kroger, to Sur La Table, and to the ATM in nanoseconds!
And yesterday, I discovered that the strange plastic thing attached to the inside of my (really, really spacious) trunk, the plastic thing that has a Compact Disk logo on it that befuddled me because, as far as I could tell, I could only play the radio or cassette tapes in my car, even though it had all the indications that it could play CDs…
Anyway, I finally discovered that the plastic attached thingie in the spacious trunk is, in fact, a 6-CD changer! OMG!! I immediately ran into the house, grabbed 6 CDs, loaded the thing, got into my car and hit the CD button, cranked the volume and, WOW, the car has an awesome sound system, gang! I was so overjoyed!!
Where, once, all I listened to, over and over, was either old cassette tapes of Frank Sinatra’s hits from the Capitol Years, or Cosmic Thing by the B52s, the car is now loaded with the Best of David Bowie, the Best of the Beach Boys, the Best of the Mamas and the Papas, the Best of Tony Bennett, the Best of Tom Jones, and Harvest by Neil Young! All geared up to be played at top volume!
Yippee ki yi yay!
I sat in my car, in the garage, all the windows up, the doors closed, and I punched the “shuffle” button, and what to my wondering ears should explode into the speakers, but Tom Jones, singing the Green, Green Grass of Home.
I was overwhelmed by the surround-sound-ness of it!
I was instantly transported to a better time, a better place! Think: Cleveland, 1960s, gang. When I was just a wee bonny lass, unaware that life was going to go on and on and mostly suck!
If you have never heard Tom Jones’ original version of this song, I regale you with it here! Maybe listen to it with headphones on, with the volume cranked so that you can sort of experience what life is now like in my amazing car! Oh, and, while listening, imagine you are a wee bonny lass in Cleveland, Ohio, that it’s still the 1960s, and you are unaware that life is going to go on and on and mostly suck!
All righty! How’s that for a Monday morning??
Enjoy! And thanks for visiting, gang!! See ya.
Fluffy surprised me yesterday evening by getting out of bed all by herself, walking across the room and sitting happily by Lucy’s food bowl! I came in from the kitchen and found her, unexpectedly sitting there, very alert. I was so thrilled.
PS, gang: She also got back up onto the bed, by herself. And that is usually the harder part for her. She’s been having a few good days & nights in row.
Here’s a rough idea of what it looks like in and around my house this summer. (See post below, where I said that everything imaginable was in bloom.)
I’m not a very good photographer. However. These photos should give you an idea of how it looks from inside my house — every window looks out on something blooming!
If you click on the photos, you can see larger photographs.
First, my favorite view looking out one of my kitchen windows:
My two office windows:
Here’s what you see when you go into my upstairs bathroom (try to overlook the screen):
And lastly –for now– a shot of the front of my house, the view is from the driveway:
Even though these are not very good photos, you can maybe guess that it is a little overwhelming on a sunny day. Everywhere I look, I see all these flowers, and so many colors. But it overwhems in the best way.
Okay, gang. I leave you with an additional good vibration! Have a great Monday, wherever you are and thanks for visiting. See ya!
Yes, pretty much everything in my life these days would benefit from a miracle, however, the current needed miracle involves an incredible invitation I’ve been extended from the folks at SomethingDark in the UK.
I am the North American editor for that lofty publication. They are preparing an awesome gallery exhibition and official relaunch arts extravaganza in Berlin in early September, to which I am invited to attend. However, a truckload of money would have to fall on me before I could afford a trip like that right now.
Or, in short, it would take a miracle… But you never know. Perhaps I should start an ongoing Kickstarter campaign to raise constant Miracle Funds so that I can, once again, have a life? We shall see!
In other news… I made homemade cherry-vanilla ice cream in my Cuisinart Fruit Scoop (see a post below somewhere re: this awesome appliance) and it was unbelievable, gang! Just 1 cup of fresh cherries, some milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste, a pinch of kosher salt, and then 15 minutes later — voila!— ice cream to die for!
[Editor’s Note: I have a long list of incredible things I am planning to die for; sadly, ice cream is way at the bottom of that list. ] But all kidding aside, you should buy a Cuisinart Fruit Scoop post-haste, if you haven’t done so already. The summer is still young!
Speaking of summer…and, by default, of 90-degree temperatures and ridiculously high humidity: This past Wednesday evening, a friend and I did one of those Summer Literary Picnic thingies at Thurber House and we had a truly terrific time. In spite of the high heat and almost unbearable humidity, we sat out in the grass, had a picnic supper, and were highly entertained by author Robin Yocum, reading from his new novel, A Brilliant Death.
I really enjoyed the book — I read it a couple months ago. And I loved his presentation. He was very entertaining and it made the summer heat much more bearable.
Here are some official photos of Thurber House, of the dining room with the “haunted clock” and of James Thurber‘s bedroom — he grew up in this house, which is now a museum and a literary gathering place of sorts. Followed by an unofficial photo of Robin Yocum giving his presentation that I took with my iphone!
I will leave you with one more note about Summer… My yard is bursting with flowers this year. You would simply not believe it, gang. Everything imaginable is in bloom. I will try to get some decent photos to post here soon, but I am not the best photographer. But I’ll see what I can do!
Meanwhile, enjoy this wonderfully sunny, mild, flower-filled Saturday wherever you are and whatever you end up doing!! I’m going to spend most of the day hanging out here at the laptop, writing, for a change. and partaking of homemade cherry-vanilla ice cream. I am happy!
See ya, gang. Thanks for visiting.
Just a note to let you all know that I’m once again participating in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale.
Three of my ebooks will be available for $1.00 throughout the month of July.
The books included are Freak Parade ( an Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal winner from 2011); Twilight of the Immortal (a novel about old Hollywood in the Silent Screen era); and an anthology of my early erotica, The Muse Revisited, Volume One.
Please note that Freak Parade and The Muse Revisited contain explicit material and are decidedly not for every taste.
Enjoy, gang! Thanks for visiting!
It will be around 93 piping hot degrees around here today and I am totally okay with it!
Yes, gang, 8 HUNDRED dollars later… the 25-year-old central AC in my 60-year-old house was finally fixed. Alas, no, my home warranty company still would not approve a new & improved, energy-efficient AC for my house, but at least the old one finally got fixed and just in time for all these upper-80s, lower-90 degree temperatures.
So, even though it ate up all the money I had been trying to save to get the AC fixed in my 2001 Mercury Sable LS Premium sedan from yesteryear, I am really, really grateful that my house is cool.
And Fluffy is really grateful, too. Yes, gang, she continues to persevere. I do not know how she does it. She can barely breathe, and she weighs next to nothing, but she is still in there. Still engaged with her surroundings. Still eating whatever is placed in front of her in her small white bowl.
So on we go! Yippee-ki-yi-yay
New in my world, besides a functioning AC, is THIS:
I bought it because it makes incredible fresh fruit sorbets. The first recipe I made was banana-chocolate chip sorbet. No added sugar, no dairy, very low fat, and it was really, really good. However, if you visit that link above, you’ll notice that, not only does this ingenious little machine make healthy, nondairy fresh fruit sorbets in around 20 minutes, it can also make “totally rich, creamy, and decadent desserts” in the same amount of time!
What that means is that, once I tried my hand at organic strawberry-chocolate chip ice cream, loaded with sugar and fat and, most importantly, indescribable FLAVOR, suddenly the healthy, nondairy fresh fruit sorbets were no longer quite so taste-tempting.
Whether I find it in me to go back to the healthier recipes (and they are interesting, gang — balsamic strawberry-basil sorbet, for instance), or stick to homemade ice creams to die for all summer long, I am really, really happy I bought this little machine. (Plus, I got it on sale! I paid under $70 !! Yay!)
So, yes, everything is looking up this summer. For the first time in many years. Plenty of homemade ice cream. And the lawn and the gardens are finally getting back to how they used to look 3-and-a-half years ago — before the developers came knocking, saying they were tearing down my house. The weeds are still a tiny bit out of control, but at least the grass is green and healthy again and there are plenty of flowers blooming amid all the weeds.
It helps a lot with my stress levels — to walk around my yard and see it looking a little bit “organized.” Alas, that also costs a fortune, so I need to sell a screenplay and/or a book, here, really, really soon!!
Okay, gang, on that merry note, have a delightful Sunday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, or not doing, as the case may be! Thanks for visiting. And I leave you with this timeless favorite! Enjoy your Sunday. See ya!
(For some reason, the volume on the video is not working. Click the link to the YouTube version if you want to actually hear it!)
For the love of Pete!
The producer in L.A. was working out at the gym on Tuesday — yes, the very day of the much-anticipated meeting with the production company on Hollywood & Vine re: my script for The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parsons Ridge — when he tore something in his knee, ended up spending the entire day at the hospital, only to be released on crutches and so he had to POSTPONE the meeting!!
What is this madness for physical fitness?? I’m only partially physically fit and I’m doing just fine. And while I was considerate enough to express concern, to say things that denote “empathy” and not dwell on the totally self-centered elements of this development, I am also searching high & low for a Get Well card that reads:
For Christ’s Sake, Get Better Already!