Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oy vey ... it's been a year.  Yikes and ughh.

There have been things to say ...

First, we live in Santa Cruz now ... too many people, for reasons I don't really understand were hyper-critical of our move.  "Oh, the commute will kill you," or "How can you drive that freeway everyday?" or "I did it, I hated it, you will too."

None of these things were true and are true for me nor for my husband.

I find the commute which varies from 35 minutes to 55 minutes and once or twice 90 plus minutes, very important.  It's quiet time, thinking time, organizing my thoughts time ... well, you get the point.

The view from my car seat is spectacular and often breaktaking.  There's so much history on this highway.  I often wonder where all the little side roads lead to ...

Here's one.

I've often noticed 'GLENWOOD' Historical Landmark #449  ... Here's what i found before Jerry and I went on an adventure to see it:

Historic town founded by Charles C. Martin, who came around the Horn in 1847, and his wife, Hannah Carver Martin, who crossed the Isthmus. First homesteaded area in 1851 and operated toll-gate and station for stage coaches crossing the mountains. Later Martin developed lumber mill, winery, store, and the Glenwood Resort Hotel.
State Registered Landmark No. 449

Here's the marker - we missed it twice.  We traveled to see it through lands that made us cross-fingers that our car would not break down.  Think DELIVERANCE ... "what's that banjo playing I hear in the background?"  

Wikipedia says, "Now a ghost town, Glenwood was a stop on the narrow gauge railroad from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz from 1880 to 1940. The railroad was acquired in the early 1900s by the Southern Pacific, which operated weekend excursion trains on the line. A tunnel was built between Laurel and Glenwood. The April 18, 1906, earthquake twisted some of the rails and damaged bridges and tunnels along the line. The Southern Pacific repaired the railroad and it continued operations until March 1940. The routing of State Route 17, completed during 1940, bypassed Glenwood, contributing to its decline.

Glenwood officially "disappeared" with the closing of the U.S. post office in 1954. By 1990 the town had but one resident left, Mrs. Margaret Koch, who is the great-granddaughter of the founder, and served as last postmaster.

The area is now sparsely settled. Glenwood Drive, also known as Glenwood Highway, passes through the site of the town."

NEXT UP: Santa's Village ... then, Holy City.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Trader Joe's vs. Food Max

Right.  So, it's been awhile.  I can't come up with a really good reason why it's been so long ... uh, my dog ate my blog, my dog ate my notes ... my dog did eat my MYSTERY SPOT, SANTA CRUZ bumper sticker, but that's another story.


My love and I thrill in shopping at FOOD MAX.  It's full of people who are larger than life, in all that that implies, and there's no pretense.  Just people searching for cheese, or beer, or Cheetos, or, as today proved ... vodka.

I heard out of the corner of my ear, a woman's cry for help ... "which vodka do we choose?"

I couldn't help myself.

"Well," I said, "the shelves are arranged in order of quality ... lower shelf, lower quality ... luckily, you can get Smirnoff for $16.99.  That's a good price for THAT much vodka.  Yes, you can get an even higher quality (behind locked cabinet,) but that's a smaller bottle.  Also, cheaper means bitter taste,  bigger headache, and not a very good blend with other liquids ...

"Wow," the woman said, "I had no idea the liquor was arranged in order."

"Yes," I said, giving a mental thanks to my husband, who knows these things.

We had a nice conversation, and then we were on our separate ways.

The cashier was impressed by the organization of my purchases, and, talked of the 49ers (I'm fairly certain he did not mean the 19th century stewards of gold mining,) and asked if I found everything I desired.  Or words to that effect.

Trader Joe's.

I'd like to start by saying, the aisles are too narrow, the people who frequent the establishment, too full of themselves, and the shelf stockers, and cashiers, as well as those people previously mentioned, are too pre-occupied with the notion that they are intelligently superior because they know the difference between "less" and "fewer" ... if you have 15 items or "fewer" ... I think you know what I mean.

If you don't ... my tale will have no less meaning.  I hope.  I can only hope.


I suffered the same sense of claustrophobia. The aisles ARE too narrow.  I reached for the portobello mushroom pizzas my husband loves, and apologized for entering the space of a blonde woman occupied in thought over contemplation of ... I don't know actually ... but she didn't budge.  She backed away as if I had the plague, or bad breath, or both.  I grabbed my pizzas ... and moved on.

More of the same for the next 7.5 minutes ... and, then, I arrived at the designated check out area.

I contemplated the choice of checkout counters for awhile.  It's an important decision. The right cashier can make you feel valued, and the wrong cashier ... well ... I did have ... really ... fewer than 15 items, so, I went for it ...

One woman before me, checked out ... she never looked the cashier in the eye, but she did have her own shopping bags, and lots of lettuce ... I don't know what that means, but I noticed, so I mention it.

The small shelf that allows one to rest one's purchases pre actual purchase was not "out" far enough for me, but I placed my bag (full of my items) on the shelf, using my own body to hold it in place.  Very considerate, I thought.


The cashier scolded me (I don't use that word casually,) because I didn't have a basket. "This shelf doesn't work without a basket. You need a basket."  He grabbed one, nearly slammed it on the shelf, and, close to nearly, threw my bag into the basket.

I couldn't help myself.

"Thank you for correcting me.  And the next time I'm in your aisle, I'll be sure and not make that mistake again."

I bagged my own groceries.

I wanted to report him, but wondered if anyone at TJ's would give a crap.  But, my pups were waiting for me in my car ... and, would it make a difference ... and ...

I had had enough joy at Food Max to make up for TJ's.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Love, My Husband

The handkerchief represents my love for vintage.

"Vintage" can be defined in so many ways– it represents a past time, maybe something old fashioned or even something that is considered the best of its kind.

I would consider myself old-fashioned … and this handkerchief symbolizes the renewal of the past in my marriage to Jerry. It represents the feeling that we had, and have for each other. That we still see in each other the innocent, lovely young person that we once were forty years ago … and it has given me tremendous hope for my future … that my marriage to Jerry will be the best of its kind.

I want to tell you about this wonderful beautiful man … but before I do, I want to tell you a little about my family. But first, thank my friends and family who saw me through a rough couple of years … and particularly my sister, Sandy and my mother, Margaret. I would not be standing here, marrying the love of my life, if it weren’t for you.

Many of you may not know but I have 1 sister and 3 brothers. We grew up with music in the background of our lives – my mother, Margaret, brought home the album soundtracks of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and HAIR. I used to sing along to all the songs, singing them to entertain the young folk of the Broadway ES playground … of course, I didn’t know that, particularly where HAIR is concerned there are just some songs that are not appropriate for the playground … thank you Miss Gifford, for setting me straight on that one. I didn’t know what the words meant … I still don’t … mostly.

My mother also brought home Herb Albert and the TJ Brass- my father, Ken would dance to it [show] … there was also Peter Paul and Mary, I used to torment my brother Stuart aka Buzz with the song, “Ole Stewball was a race horse” with “ole Stewball was a brother, and I wish he weren’t mine …” OR the Mousekeeters Favorites … I dedicated the following song – ANNETTE to my brother Ken … “whose the little lady that’s as dainty as a bee, whose the one you can’t forget, I’ll give you just 3 guesses, Kennette, Kennette, Kennette …” I had no song for my sister, Sandy, I just cut all her hair off at 2, I was 4, it bored me, and I dressed my brother Ed up in girls clothing, and called him Edwina.

But there was this one album –HOOTENANNY AND THE HIGHWAY MEN … I practically memorized it. There was one song I used to listen to and even taught myself to play on the guitar – it’s in a very very minor key … it was called THE OLD MAID SONG. It’s a sad Irish folk song about a woman who at 6 and 40 still hoped for a man who knew her well, loved her well, and lived with her into old age. Her time was running out. It struck me even at 11 that was never a fate I wanted for myself.

Throughout the next 30 plus years I’d pick up my guitar and play the song … no matter what relationship I was in or not in – the song always rang true to me and it made me long for something, for someone, and well … sad.

About a month ago, I picked up the guitar and played the song … or tried to … and … it bored me. I didn’t feel it anymore … I didn’t feel like the song had truth for me … and it’s because of this man. This beautiful, slender, wonderful man .. He knows my faults, sees my warts, and loves me anyway. More importantly, he sees in me, and I see in him, the lovely, optimistic young person we once were 40 years ago, and I love him more than I could ever tell you or him. But … and in a full circle moment, showing how music still continues to have a place in my family, I’d like to try.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Must we let EVERYONE in?

I was driving to work today ... pondering the agenda for the day.

Oh, my, what will I teach today and how will I align myself to the teaching standards required by the state of California, that I am a teacher who "encourages the highest achievement of every student, by defining the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire?"

All this before I've even finished my caffeine for the morning ... by the by.

And while in that state of contemplation (well, really, state of PANIC!), I noticed the car in front of me stopping frequently, allowing entry to EVERY single freaking car waiting by the side, seeking said entry into our lane.

Questions:  who appointed this person judge to those attempting to merge?  I can understand allowing one car, perhaps two ...but five?

I thought it a great metaphor ... should we let everyone who revs their motor into our lives?

Similar thoughts occurred to me when I was bombarded with friend requests via Facebook not too long ago.

A friend, I wrote, is:  1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. 2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter.  3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: 4.a member of the same nation, party, etc.

I asked those that wished to befriend me ... is that we are?  

Do I let you into my life?

If so, are you prepared for the commitment?

Do I ask too much of people?  Perhaps the subject of another blog ...
My mind tends to go off on these tangents.  

Ask my beloved.  He once asked me, "what made you think of that?"  

I regaled him with a path of destiny, of twists and turns, of this-to-that-and-then-there stepping stones ... all of which took place in about 30 seconds give or take ...within the labyrinth of my mind.

Welcome to my world.  

How was your morning?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Uncle Colonel the Tap Dancer

So, I grew up, Catholic ... meaning, in a family with more than the average number of siblings ... as did my Catholic cousins ...
When we got together - which I think we did frequently enough - we were a massive bunch.

Oh, while visiting, we'd drive carelessly through the streets, and hills of West Point, sans those pesky seat belts, ten in a car - with an adult at the wheel (I think, or was it my cousin, Patrick, age 9 at the time? Hmmm, hard to say.)

Ah, the '60s ... while the country was fighting in a foreign land, or fighting in our land because there was fighting in a foreign land … we were young and free ...

Free to go jutting forward into the dashboard when the car stopped just a little too abruptly. I think we all have THOSE scars ... I do, still do, on my right eye.

I digress ... again.

I recently came across a picture of one particular summer spent in the company of my cousins at West Point. We are a happy, very rumpled familial group starring intently on my Uncle, the Major's hands - he is frozen in time, gesturing, I think, the universal symbol for "small word." I'm sure we never got it ... I'm sure it was "the" or "an" or "a" ...

But the picture reveals so much ... ah, the commitment from my Uncle ... the "in the moment" need to perform the "small word" with such clarity, urgency ... it's on his face, it's on our faces ...

I also came across another picture of my Uncle, the Colonel, who for reasons I can't recall, is wearing silver tap shoes in my mother's backyard. He was good, as I recall ... or maybe not ... all I know, he was wearing tap shoes, and looked again ... "in the moment" with precision toe-heel movements.

That's my Uncle, the General.
And I think that reveals so much about my relations.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Ah, children, children ... "

This is for Jerry, the man with the child in his eyes ...

It has come up before ... and has come up recently ...

I do not have offspring, children ...

Well, it wasn't for lack of trying.

In fact, I went through many years (yes, freaking years!) of fertility treatments that left me altered hormonally, physically, and produced nothing other than a fruitful inclination to question everything.

Nothing says love like your husband sticking your backside with a very long and burning painful needle full of some hideous hormone concoction ... perhaps taking out his frustrations with his own questioning manhood, jabbing that needle just a little too much like he was playing a not-so-friendly game of darts, working out the seemingly inadequacy of his manhood. Who am I to question that? I wouldn't. I didn't ... it was me ...

It was my fault.

I questioned G-d, yes, I questioned my faith, I questioned my purpose, while standing full of toxic hormones that inflated everything - my body, and my emotional well-being ... if I couldn't make children, like EVERY single person I know ... including family members who were told they could never do so ... what good was I?

So, I struggled with that ... for a long time.

My marriage failed ... for many reasons, owing to this? Maybe. But probably not ... that's another blog.

But there's a universal truth that, as a woman, one's purpose is tied into her ability to reproduce. I couldn't. My parts don't work.

There are medical reasons ... owed to my uterus and my colon and the battle they fight, being so close together ...

Too much information ... sorry.

Where was I?

Yes, present day.

I stand here ... well, sit here ... recognizing the significant and profound strides I have made as a human being since those desperate days of very painful injections and hormones and those feelings, back then, that I failed at the one thing that I, as a member of the female species, have been programmed to do ... and I get it.

I understand why.

I'm lovely and complicated. I'm selfish and well, actually, probably more than a little narcissistic.

I've been married ... been in relationships, well, more "situations," a plenty, and it wasn't until recently that I understood WHY (big picture "why") I wasn't able to reproduce.

I teach. I'm a teacher. In a way, I'm adviser and parent to more than 200 teenagers ... who are like my own children.

But, it's not just that.

I've had to work on myself, and I can't even imagine bringing a child into this world given my personality and tendency for the dramatic, traumatic and hysterical ...

And it wasn't until recently that I realized ...

I'm OK. I don't have children, and I'm alright.

More than alright ...

But ... fast forward to my present performance in a play (merely in the rehearsal process incidentally) in which I play a woman who is in a long-term marriage, troubled, albeit British and colored in the Edwardian era ...

There's a moment ... when the husband to my character says, "if only we'd had children ..." and during this rehearsal, I instantly stopped in my tracks, understanding completely what that would mean to a woman who is unable to produce ... it was about as real as I think I've ever been in my acting endeavors.

And I didn't feel resentful. I felt grateful that I understood what this woman felt ... I was her.

I am her, and I'm lovely.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Left My Heart in the Theatre ...

No, now, I mean it literally.

I wear two hearts around my neck. Chained, silver. One is hollow and intricately detailed, the other tiny and slightly hollow.

I left one in the dressing room Sunday after my recent performance.

I fell in love this weekend.

I bought that heart in North Carolina. I know, it sounds like a song cue … but it isn’t. My niece, Eliza, picked it out. It was purchased at a time in my life in which I needed comfort, needed definition, needed to wear my heart on the outside.

I have always more or less done that in life. I’m very emotionally based and, you know, from my previous blogs … I cry easily.

(Funny that I can cry pretty easily on stage. One production I asked the director if he wanted me to cry during this one moment in a scene. “Well, if you can,” he said. “How much?” I asked. “What?” he said. “How much crying?” I said. “Enough to make me want to hug you, but not so much that I see snot running down your face.” “Got it. Done.” And it was … )

But that necklace … my heart … isn’t on the outside anymore.

Somebody has it. I thought you should know.