Quit Saying That!!!

Filed Under All Posts, Connie Stetson, Rants | 11 Comments

pussy willow twig

Why, oh why, do we throw the word “pussy” around like that’s an undesirable thing? Most of the men I know chased pussy before they even knew what they were going to do with it, even if they caught up to it.

I just saw the very good, Gran Torino, another great American film directed by Clint Eastwood, that tells a story of the awakening of the human heart, of friendship and sacrifice. Why, I cried like a little girl. The next time I see it, I’m gonna man up, blow my nose, and count the number of times Walter (Eastwood) calls Toa a “pussy.” Could we please just quit saying that!!!?

I just read a story in our local paper, The Fresno Bee, about Emily Cox, the current Miss Kentucky winning the Evelyn Ay Sempier Quality of Life Award for promoting a workshop called “Uniquely Me—Promoting Self-Esteem in Adolescent Girls.” Good on her. A much needed platform to be sure, and how ironic that the message comes out of a beauty contest, one of the most backward, silly, irrelevant, girl-fights embraced by our culture. Yeah, yeah, I know—it’s all about the scholarships.   Read more

Do the Write Thing

Filed Under All Posts, Prudence Baird, Technology | 12 Comments


“I can hardly remember the last time I received an actual letter let alone one I enjoyed as much as I did yours.

So begins a recent email I received last week. The writer wasn’t responding to a holiday form letter I sent, but a personal letter written only to her, telling of events transpired and thoughts I’ve had since my move to Vermont.

I sat down at my desk one wintry afternoon and wrote while a gentle snow tucked the world outside my window under a sparkling blanket of white. An email would have taken half that time, but would have given a quarter of the pleasure—to both writer and recipient.

Email replaces letter writing as our principal means of both casual and formal communication; it is, after all, so terribly convenient. But in bowing down to expediency, we are losing the detailed records of individual lives that inform the future about today. Read more

The Future Looks Delicious!

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Miscellaneous | 4 Comments


I saw these wonderful cookies at Citizen Cake in San Francisco. Yummm…

10 Things I Plan to Accomplish in 2009

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Humor, Politics | 11 Comments


1. To stop the nonsense uttered by Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber and other circus freaks that pass for commentators on world affairs, I will invent a supersonic chip that makes microphones go dead whenever they try to speak.

2. Simply by spraying my yet-to-be-invented secret potion in the air, Israelis and Palestinians will fall madly in love with each other and forget why they ever started fighting in the first place. I plan to call it Love and Forgetfulness.

3. I will engineer a price increase of corporate executive bonus proportions for the hormones injected in poultry so that organic chickens become the cheaper alternative at the supermarket. This way, the next generation of 12-year-olds won’t be found shopping bra racks, wondering if they look sexy enough in their midriff tops.  Read more

With Hope, Good Morning America

Filed Under All Posts, Christie Healey, Politics | 12 Comments

Photo by Elizabeth Eisen

Photo by Elizabeth Eisen

Winter has stilled us on the tundra and once again we have made the news with -5 as a daily high and wind chills resembling basketball scores. I propose a new state slogan, “Minnesota—we live here so you don’t have to!”

This winter is as inhospitable as the economic times, but we have a presidential inauguration to lighten and warm our hearts. January 20th is the dead of the season and a time that makes us all a little more quiet and reflective. We have time for poets in the winter. There may be other countries that commission poets to bring their special language songs to national ceremonies, but I cannot think of one at the moment. Four poets have held us in their thrall at a presidential inauguration; the first was Robert Frost in 1961 for President Kennedy.
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Roadside Table

Filed Under All Posts, Melissa Howden, Reinvention, Travel | 8 Comments

Photo by MA Howden

Photo by MA Howden

If you’ve been following my recent exploits, you might recall that I was planning to relocate for love. The move complete, I find myself in new country, learning a new language, even though I reside in the 47th U.S. State of New Mexico.

I’m no stranger to New Mexico, my parents and grandparents were born and raised here. I spent most of my childhood summers here, and graduated from high school here. But even so, after 39 years, I’ve moved from the cosmopolitan, urban San Francisco Bay Area (7,000 square miles and approximately 7 million people) to a rural county (2,200 square miles and about 50,000 people) where the main town of Taos (meaning Place of Red Willows) has a population officials estimate as between 5,000 and 7,000 people within 5.4 square miles. Having also moved from sea level to 7,000 feet, the adjustment is not only cultural but also physical—I am simultaneously gasping for breath and learning the local language. One might be best served with a set of regional flash cards to help the transition.

Roadside Table: To some such a sign might signify something poetic, but in my new neck of the woods it means just what it says: table by the road, nothing more, nothing less.   Read more

Wigging Out

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Courage, Health | 23 Comments

Breast Cancer update: I had donated my breasts to science last June, got new ones (no they’re not bigger), went on Tamoxifen and thought I was back to the “new” normal. But, things have changed. I’ve since decided to go the chemo route, based on second and third opinions, and to cover all my bases. I’ve had one treatment thus far and, as predicted, my hair started falling out precisely two weeks after my first chemo blast. I kept a diary of sorts: from hirsute to hairless, in just three days.

Hair Fall-Out: Day One

I’m taking my wig for a test drive today. My hair is starting to come out. It’s much shorter, since I cut it a couple of weeks ago to the nape of my neck; so it’s not as bad when I see a sink full of hair. But, it’s no frickin’ picnic.

I’ve long been a shedder. Lots and lots of hair: hair to spare. How long until bald patches happen? When do I go for the military buzz cut? When my part resembles parting of the Red Sea?

I put the La Charme wig cap on my head. I pulled the nylon (as in pantyhose) cap down over my face, and looked like I was ready to rob a bank. I really didn’t want to draw that much attention to myself on my first outing, so I pushed it back, which reminded me of the actresses of days gone by—Gloria Swanson, Garbo, those true glamour girls of Hurrell’s Hollywood portraits. I was ready.    Read more

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