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Showing posts from April, 2010

The Elephant Seals at Point Año Nuevo

Last Friday was the husband's and my fourth "23rd" date this year. Recap: Last Christmas, the husband and I gave ourselves a day each month to run away from everything.  We don't do much planning for the date other then determine our destination point the night before so we can tell the mama. We get up the next morning and take off. It's nice being spontaneous at least once a month. I  feel like we're courting each other again on these 23rd dates. This month's destination was Año Nuevo State Reserve on the coast to see the elephant seals. It's about 20 miles north of Santa Cruz. Since the 1970s, elephant seals go the  reserve's shore every winter to give birth to their babies. Once the cutie-pies are weaned, the adults swim off leaving the kids which wait until they have strength to take off. During the spring and summer, the elephant seals come back to Año Nuevo to molt. Last Friday, we saw both pups and molting adults laying about on the beache

What Day is this Date?

I bought a 2010 calendar last year. I don't know where it is. I only care now because I have work assignments for different clients that I need to keep tabs on. Don't worry clients, if you happen to be reading this. I know my deadline for each of you. Some moments, I just feel anal-retentive and wish to have a calendar that's not on my computer (as if I look at that one) but strewn on top of a noteworthy pile on my desk. That's just how I operate.


What do I like about this movie? Let me count the ways. Summertime starred Katharine Hepburn. She played Jane, a middle-aged single lady from the United States. Shy and lonely, Jane decided to take a risk and vacation alone in Venice. She fell in love with Venice, as did I, when I saw this movie for the first time. David Lean, the director of Summertime , seduces me each time with his slow panning of squares and canals, as well as lingering shots of statues and buildings. When I finally saw Venice in person, it was exactly as the director portrayed it. Sigh. I also like how Lean captured the nuances of rapture, seduction, love, fear, joy, and all the range of emotions of the main and minor characters. What else do I like about Summertime ? That Jane let herself go and fell in love with Renato, a local man, who is played by Rossano Brazzi. The scene in which Renato checked out Jane for the first time is so sexy. When I first saw the movie, as a teenager, I didn't get the attractio

Today the DSL Modem Died

I learned this about myself today: I NEED access to the Internet. If you heard a whine in that, then I probably was being a whimpering witch. It's 3:08 p.m.  as I'm writing this sentence. I haven't been on the Internet for 14 hours. I had big plans for today. I was going to submit my first article to Demand Studios, do research for a writing sample, and update my Web site. OK, maybe not the last bit, but I would have found out what freelance writing jobs are available by now. I also would've been to Facebook a few times to catch up with with friends as well as play a few games of Bejeweled Blitz and Jungle Jewels to keep my hands busy as I thunk out thoughts.  Not to say there may be an e-mail message from a publisher wanting me to do a project for it. Sigh. At this moment the husband is setting up the new DSL modem that we bought an hour ago. To help him along, I stay quiet and out of the way until he wants my assistance. Oh, wait. He just asked, "What shall I do

Sowing Color

April showers bring May flowers. I hope so. On Saturday, I sprinkled a large bag and a half of random seeds (over 8,000 seeds) amid the mama's organized flower beds. She said I could, even after I said some of the flowers may be vines. Messy yards drive her nuts. She curses the leaves of other trees in the neighborhood that end up in her backyard, as she sweeps, picks, and deposits them into the green recycling bin almost every day.  In the fall, the mama clucks at front yards full of dead leaves. "If that was my yard," she would say, "I would get rid of that tree." And, if a neighbor happens to annoy her at the moment, she mumbles about the weeds in his or her yard, but only I would be able hear or understand what she is saying. Why then did the mama allow me to shake seeds throughout her orderly garden? There was a starry far-away look in her eyes at the mention of four-o'clock flowers. I think, though, it's mostly because she has a strong sense of cu

A Spring Squash Surprise

"Mama, come quick," I called as the mama came through the door. As fast as the mama could, she climbed down the steps into the garage, took off her indoor slippers, and slipped into her outdoor shoes. She steadily made her way across the garage to the side door and then out behind me. I bounded ahead to the black compost tumbler by the fence and waited patiently for her to walk the short distance. As she reached me, I opened the compost maker door. "Look at this!" The mama peeked into the compost maker. I like to think I saw a tiny bit of surprise register on her stoical face. Ever the gardener, she said, "We'll plant them when they're stronger." Over 20 squash buds had sprouted in the dark, rich compost. Cool, huh? For the next few days, I'll be trotting outside first thing in the morning to open the compost maker door. That is, if the mama doesn't beat me to it.


Departures is a film directed by Yojiro Takita. It is a simple, but elegant, story that won the 2009 Oscar for best foreign language film. Be forewarned. There are no scenes of violence, crashes, bombs, car chases, or graphic sex, but there are scenes of death. Essentially, the movie is about people and their humanity. The main character is Daigo Kobayashi. He is a cellist. When his orchestra is dissolved, he decides that he is not talented enough to continue his career as a professional musician. Because they cannot afford to live in Tokyo, he tells his wife Mika that they will move back to his hometown.  Mika supports Daigo wholeheartedly, but she is upset to learn that he had recently bought a high-priced cello without first talking with her. Finding work is difficult for Daigo because he has no skills besides playing his cello. He reads a newspaper ad for an agent who assists with departures. No experience necessary. Daigo thinks that it may be a job with a travel agency so he app