Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hit The Road To Dreamland

Betty Hutton

(We'll take a trip
Gonna take a journey, baby
We'll take a trip
Gonna take a journey, baby
We'll take a trip)

Bye bye, baby
Time to hit the road to dreamland
You're my, baby
Dig you in the land of nod
(Hold tight, hang on)

Hold tight, baby
We'll be swinging up in dreamland
All night, baby
Where the little cherubs trot

Look at that knocked out moon
Been a-blowing his top in the blue
Never saw the likes of you
(What a gal, what a guy)
What an angel

Bye bye, baby
Time to hit the road to dreamland
Don't cry, baby
It was divine but the rooster has finally crowed
Time to hit the road

(Look at that knocked out moon
Been a-blowing his stack in the blue so high
Never saw the moonlight so blue
What a gal, what a guy)
What an angel

Bye bye, baby
Time to hit the road to dreamland
Don't cry, baby
It was divine but the roster has finally crowed
Time to hit the road

(Bye bye, baby)
Time to hit the road

(Bye bye, baby)
Time to hit the, time to hit the road
(Time to hit the road)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)

Electric Prunes and Mark Tulin

Last night your shadow fell upon my lonely room
I touched your golden hair and tasted your perfume
Your eyes were filled with love the way they used to be
Your gentle hand reached out to comfort me

Then came the dawn
And you were gone
You were gone, gone, gone

I had too much to dream last night
Too much to dream
I'm not ready to face the light
I had too much to dream
Last night
Last night

The room was empty as I staggered from my bed
I could not bear the image racing through my head
You were so real that I could feel your eagerness
And when you raised your lips for me to kiss

Came the dawn
And you were gone
You were gone, gone, gone

I had too much to dream last night
Too much to dream
I'm not ready to face the light
I had too much to dream
Last night
Last night

I had too much to dream last night
Too much to dream
I'm not ready to face the light
I had too much to dream
Last night
Last night

Oh, too much to dream
Oh, too much to dream
Too much to dream last night
Oh, too much to dream
[repeat to fade]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dream A Little Dream Of Me

"Mama" Cass Elliot

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper, "I love you"
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me

Say nightie-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries far behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

Monday, March 28, 2011


Frank Sinatra

Dream, when you're feeling blue
Dream, that's the thing to do

Just watch the smoke rings rise in the air
You'll find your share of memories there

So,dream when the day is through
Dream, and they might come true
Things never are as bad as they seem
So dream, dream, dream


Things never are as bad as they seem
So dream, dream, dream

Friday, March 25, 2011

100th Anniversary Of The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

In New York City on March 25, 1911 a fire broke out in the "fireproof" Asch building which housed the Triangle Waist Company factory. In the first eighteen minutes of the fire 146 people died. Most were young immigrant women between the ages of thirteen and twenty. They died because their boss had them working in a fire trap with oily floors and too many work tables crammed into too small a space. They died because the doors to the stairwells and other exits had been illegally locked. They died because the only fire escape on the outside of the building, which did not reach the ground, collapsed. They died because fire sprinkler systems were not required in commercial buildings. They died because they were on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of a building when fire ladders and hoses could only reach the sixth floor. Some died because they decided that jumping from the 8th, 9th and 10th floors of a building seemed better than burning alive. They all died because making money was more important than human lives.

The outrage provoked by this tragedy and the not guilty verdict reached in the manslaughter trial of the factory owners led to the growth of the newly formed International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, new labor laws and fire safety codes in the State of New York and, slowly, the rest of the country.

The ongoing tragedy of the Triangle Factory fire is the fact that sweatshops still exist in this country with workplace horrors continuing as shown by the 1991 Hamlet, North Carolina chicken processing plant fire and the 1995 enslavement of workers in an El Monte, California garment sweatshop. The Republican Party's efforts to dismantle both unions and the labor laws in this country is a misguided, self-serving, greedy attempt to continue receiving gigantic sums of money from the U.S. business sector. Shame on them and shame on us if we let them get away with it. The business of business is to make as much money as possible and history has shown us that when this goal gets in the way of worker safety, worker safety gets kicked into the gutter.

Remember the Triangle Fire!


1. The names of the victims including 16 year old Tillie Kupferschmidt whose grave marker is shown above.

2. The many ways in which the building was unsafe.

3. Cornell University, Remembering The Triangle Factory Fire 100 Year Later, website.

4. The New York Times coverage of the anniversary.

5. Stop Sweatshops!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy 137th Birthday

Harry Houdini, world's greatest showman.

In another bit of news related to Harry Houdini, I just learned that Dorothy Young, Houdini's last stage assistant, died on Wednesday at age one hundred-three.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Doggie Update

It is now two weeks since Little Sally Pumpkinhead's surgery.  She had her stitches and e-collar  removed on Monday and is no longer on pain meds or tranquilizers.  We no longer have to do the flexion (Doctor word.) and extension exercises on her elbow joint either, so life is a little easier.  On the negative side she is feeling so much better that it is hard to keep her quiet and her activity limited to 5 minute leash walks.  What she wants to do is chase squirrels and play with Duke or us.

An interesting thing about the pain meds and tranquilizers,  while she was taking them together they worked very well.  Once the pain meds were off the table and we only had the tranquilizers things changed.  The first day off the pain medicine the tranquilizer did not seem to works as well so for her night time dosage we increased the amount. Since we we giving her the minimum allowed  up to that point we did  did not think anything about it.  Now that I have  perused some of the Vet forums I see what went wrong.  These tranquilizers have a boomerang effect on some dogs and instead of calming them down the product revs them up.

I have told you before about Little Sally Pumpkinhead exhibiting  "tiny bear on crack" behavior when she was younger but now that she is older she has calmed down some.  She still has episodes of TBOC but this mostly occurs at bedtime.  Any of you who have had small children knows what this is like.  Well, guess who was revved up by the tranquilizers?    Yep, Little Sally Pumpkinhead.  Instead of a tiny bear on crack that night we had a tiny bear on crack who had just slammed down 20 cups of espresso.   She was so out of control I finally had to put her in her crate and throw a blanket over it just to calm her down.  Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, we have not given her another tranquillizer since that night.

She is still a handful but we are keeping her as quiet as possible by limiting her movements.  She is in her pen except when it is time to go outside on her leash walk or for bathroom breaks.   We find that giving her a chewy in the morning and one before bedtime helps too.  She is healing remarkably fast so, hopefully, she will not be out of commission as long as the doctor has predicted.  Oh, please, please, please, please, please.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Break On Through To The Other Side

There are times in therapy when you have an emotional breakthrough; an insight into a bit of information or a belief you carried with you up to that point in time.  I remember once talking about my older sister, the one who was sent away at the age of twelve,  and I at the ages of five and six.  I told my story and near the end of it I fell silent.  My therapist must have see something on my face because she asked what was wrong.  It hit me, a gut wrenching sense of lost and grief, and I blurted out, "I miss my sister."

Then I started crying. 

Right up to that moment I had not missed my sister because I had not really thought of her as my sister but only as ghost from my childhood. At the time she left I was already overwhelmed by life and, since my parents did not explain to us why she was taken away, I think that there was also a fear that my parents would send me away without warning if I asked questions about her.  At ten I had already learned to bottle my feelings and the fear, grief and lost I felt  when my sister vanished from my life  poured out that day in therapy.

Last weekend it happened again.  I was making the bed when I noticed volume one of my copy of Sherlock Holmes stories and novels sitting in the file holder on the back of the door next to husband's side of the bed.  (Our bedroom is so tiny  there is no bed stand on that side of the bed so I had I attached a file holder on the back of the door to give him a place to put the things that would usually be put on a bed stand.)   I've had this book for so long it was falling apart with a broken spine and a torn loose front end paper.  When I looked at the book I did not see the green front end paper peeking out but the white first page on the book.  I picked it up and opened it and saw that the front end paper was gone.  I flipped to the back of the book to see it it had been tucked between the last page and the back cover.  Not there either.  I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach and went looking for my husband.

"Where is the front end paper of this book?"

"I don't know."

"Did you throw it away?"

"Yes, it got in the way when I was reading.  The book is damaged anyway."

By now I was shaking in fury and I could feel a headache coming on.

"You had no right to throw it away.  This was my book."

"I don't see why you are getting so upset.  The book was damaged already."

"That's not the point, it is my book and you had no right to throw pieces of it away."

"OK, fine.  I won't touch any of your books again."

I stood there looking at him and realized I hated him.  I hated him because he didn't think throwing away something of mine was a big deal.  I hated him because he had no idea what it was like to lose things  that belonged to you, things that are important to you, due to no fault of your own. I had bought that set of books  at a used bookstore in Denver with my own money.  I had carefully carried them around with me for the next 40 years of my life.  They represented every tangible thing that I had ever lost while growing up; school photos, family photos, books, clothes, toys, treasures, friends, schools, and neighborhoods. I also hated him right then because he was a child of the suburbs and clueless. I hated him because he had always had a father, a father who never beat him or tried to kill his mother.  I hated him because he had never wanted for anything growing up, never went hungry, never went to bed in fear of what would happen the next day, and would never understand why this book was so important to me.  I left the room, the pressure in my head unbearable.   My husband followed me in to the  living room carrying the book.

"Look, we can  buy another copy of this book on the Internet and then  take the end page out of that one and put it in this one."

The solution of a desperate man.  I stared at him,  my head ready to explode. I was not going to destroy another book to "repair" a book that was beyond repair.

"It can't be repaired, " I said.

My head exploded in excruciating pain as understanding ripped the doors off the room in my brain where I kept the secret from myself.  

My childhood can't be repaired,"  I blurted out.

I looked at my husband in complete misery and as he put his arms around me I uncontrollably sobbed my heart out.

I am not sure what I meant when I said my childhood could not be repaired.  I'm not even sure why I subconsciously thought it could be repaired at all.  I do know that facing the fact that  my childhood could never be repaired and expressing the grief that surrounded this knowledge helped me.  Once I  was done crying I realized my headache was gone and that I felt at peace.  Maybe the person who said that which does not kill you makes you stronger was right.

Monday, March 21, 2011

To The Shores Of Tripoli

From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea

-U.S. Marine Corps Hymn

When I first heard we were bombing Libya the words and music to the Marine Corps Hymn started running through my brain. I knew the Halls of Montezuma referred to the Mexican-American War between Mexico and the United State which started in 1846, the year after we annexed Texas, but Tripoli? When and why had the U.S. sent Marines to Libya? It had to have been sometime after the American Revolution as the song has been around since before the mid 1800's. After a little research I found out what the words "the shores of Tripoli" refer to in the hymn.

The story starts in 1783 when Corsairs (pirates) from what was then know as the the Barbary States of Northern Africa (Now the countries of Morocco, Algiers, Tunisia, and Libya.) started attacking American ships in the Mediterranean. The U.S. ended these attacks by agreeing to pay a yearly tribute. This went on for fifteen years until the Pasha of Tripolitania, angered by the fact that the U.S. had by this time only paid one-fifth of the monies owed to them,  had the flag staff, still flying the American flag, in front of the American consulate in Tripolitania cut down. This act, of course, was interpreted as a deceleration of war.

The Tripolitan War lasted from 1801 to 1805 but the line in the hymn is specifically  about a detachment of Marines, along with 400 mercenaries, who marched 500 miles from Alexandria, Egypt to the port of city of Derne in Tropolitania. Durning the battle there a U.S. Marine, 1st Lt. Presley  O'Bannon,  led a successful  attack on the harbor defenses which panicked the Tropolitania soldiers into running away and leaving their loaded cannons behind. O'Bannon then raised the American flag and turned the cannons around to face the town and the retreating soldiers. Legend has it that the Pasha of Tripolitania was so impressed by O'Bannon's bravery that he gave him his sword. This supposed act has become such a part of Marine Corps mythology that every Marine Corps officer is given a copy of that sword when they graduate or are commission  into the Corps.

So here we are back in Tripoli, or as least over the skies of Tripoli, and if at some point we do have Marines on the ground in Tripoli, what then?  Tripoli is a highly charged symbolic place in Marine Corps history and I cannot help but wonder how charged  the idea of Marines being back on  Tripoli-an soil will be to the people of Libya.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

"I Am Become Death, The Destroyer Of Worlds."

-The Bhagavad Gita and Robert Oppenheimer

In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that damaged three of their nuclear power stations I find myself waking up each morning wondering if country is still there. According to this graphic at the USA TODAY website Japan has 17 nuclear power stations spread throughout the county. Yes, 17 chances of a nuclear disaster in a earthquake prone country. This morning I awoke to news that the roof had blown off the building holding the number 3 reactor at the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant. There are 6 reactors at Fukushima 1 but the good news is that only 3 of those 6 are operating as the others were shut down for repairs before the earthquake hit.

I am surprised by my reaction to both the human toll of the earthquake and the news that Japan could be heading for a huge nuclear disaster. When I first heard, in the aftermath of the quake, that one of Japan's nuclear reactors could not be cooled down visions of  Chernobyl danced in my head. Now, I feel pretty much indifferent about the whole thing. The Japanese government is downplaying the dangers of what has happened in their country by pretty much taking a World Nuclear Association  stance while television news is hyping the "it could happen here" angle.

Maybe my lack of empathy is because I have become so hardened to disaster that I am not able to invest any more emotional energy into them. Maybe I have just reached the age where I understand that everything old is new again;  earthquakes happen, tsunamis happen, nuclear incidents happen, and people die. The truth is that life can be tough and the world a dangerous place.  In the end there is nothing we can do about this but accept it, take a deep breath, and keep on keeping on.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Doggie Owners Woes

If the last sixteen hours are any indication, the next two months are going to be stressful and tiring. Little Sally Pumpkinhead sees no reason not to do all the things she did before the surgery (Running, jumping, playing with Duke.) after the surgery. This means she is spending her time either in the portable pen,  in her crate, or at the end of a leash. This is hard on her, hard on us, and hard on Duke. Hopefully as we all adjust to these changes things will get better.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doggie Woes

Little Sally Pumpkinhead comes home today. She has been up in Fort Collins at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital where she had surgery on her right leg. She had been limping off and on for the last four months and, after several attempts at treating the limp with rest and pain medicine, x-rays were taken of her leg and sent to a specialist. He could find nothing wrong so our Vet thought it could be some sort of muscle injury and suggested we rest her again and see how she did. She did great for a couple of weeks and then started limping again so our Vet gave us a referral to CSU.

CSU gave us an appointment for Tuseday of this week but my husband left on Monday as that big storm was heading our way. After a thorough examination and a CAT scan, Little Sally Pumpkinhead was diaganosed with Elbow Dysplsia , more specifically, Fragmentation of the Coronoid Process. The cornoid process are the little knobby ends of the two bones that form the elbow and support a dog's weight. One of Little Sally Pumpinhead's cornoids was degenerating and a fragment of bone has broken loose. Using a combination of Arthroscopy and regular surgery (the fragment was too large to remove with a Arthroscopy size opening*) the Veterinary surgeon removed the fragment and reshape the cornoid process. Little Sally Pumpkinhead did well but she did have to stay at the hospital last night as the doctor was concerned by the fact that she had not come out of the anesthesia as quickly as he thought she should have done.

The surgery was the easy part for Little Sally Pumpkinhead on this trip away from home. My husband stayed with family friends and at one point one of our friends said of Little Sally Pumpkinhead, "That is one lost little dog."
This because she was either crying and wandering around the house or just lying quietly staring off into space. Not normal behavior for her. My husband said she also had trouble settling down at night and we are sure all this behavior was brought on by her missing Duke.** She had not been away from Duke since the first night we brought her home. Both dogs have stayed at our friend's house and we think she was confused by the fact that she could smell Duke but could not find him. My husband was worried about leaving her at the hospital overnight but after seeing Vet students crawl into the large cages to comfort or cuddle other animal patients there he felt better. He also took off one of his socks and left it with Little Sally Pumpkinhead so she would have the scent of something she recognized with her.

So, Little Sally Pumpkinhead is doing as well as can be expected but my biggest worry right now is keeping her quiet during her recovery as ordered by the doctor. I hope my husband comes home with a large jar of Doggie Downers.

*He made a 3 centimeter opening because he did not want to remove the bone fragment by slowly shaving it down. Using a 3 centimeter opening shortened the time Little Sally Pupkinhead was in surgery by 45 minutes.

**I must say that Duke was moping around the house while Little Sally Pumpkinhead was gone, too.

More information about Elbow Dysplsia and Fragmentation of the Coronoid Process in dogs here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Groovin', On A Snowy Afternoon

The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just a moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.

Big storm last nigh with light snow falling all day today. I decide this was a good reason to hunker down on my couch and watch movies. I started five and finished three as two of them did not hold my attention. My first two films were, Outsourced (2006), which is about an American sent to India to train his replacement when his department, his company's customer call center, is moved overseas and Bollywood/Hollywood (2002), which is supposedly a spoof on Indian movie musicals. I guess I wasn't in the mood for comedy today.

I did watch Travellers and Magicians (2003), a movie filmed and produced in Bhutan. It tells the story of a man travelling to Bhutan's capital city from his village in order to come to America. Along the way he meets a monk who tells him a folktale of another man not happy with his life who also sets out on a journey. I then watched, Don't Tempt Me (2001), which is about two angels, one from heaven and one from hell, who come to earth to try and win the soul of a soon to die boxer. I am now in the middle of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), which is about the immortal Doctor Parnassus' attempt to get out of a deal he made with the devil.

After listing them all I see I have been in an escape reality mood today; all of these movies are fantasies and/or dreams on film . That makes the quote above as true about movies as it is about dreams. With movies there is always a moment when you move from the reality of sitting on your couch or in a theater watching a story unfold to being inside the movie with the story. At that moment the story becomes reality. I love that moment, it's like entering a dream state while still awake.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Oh My, It's Monday Again?

Bah-da bah-da-da-da
Bah-da bah-da-da-da
Bah-da bah-da-da-da

Monday, Monday, so good to me
Monday mornin', it was all I hoped it would be
Oh, Monday mornin', Monday mornin' couldn't guarantee
That Monday evenin', you would still be here with me

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day
Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh, Monday mornin' you gave me no warnin' of what was to be
Oh, Monday, Monday, how could you leave and not take me

Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
A-you can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday, Monday, so good to me
Monday mornin', it was all I hoped it would be
But Monday mornin', Monday mornin' couldn't guarantee
(That Monday evenin' you would still be here with me)

Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah (yeah)
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day
Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way

Oh Monday, Monday, won't go away
Monday, Monday

Friday, March 04, 2011

The President's Speech (Trailer)

The trailer for a new movie, The President's Speech, debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live the other night.  I'd watch it....maybe.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

All Is Gone, All Is Gone

"The girl on the cover of the Bob Dylan album" died this week at age sixty-seven. Suze Rotolo was an artist, an author, a civil rights activist, a mother, and forever an iconic figure in Bob Dylan's life. When I first saw this album cover as a teenager I was mesmerized by it. It represented everything I thought my life should be at the time. Look at her, she is happy, confident, living in New York City's Greenwich Village, and hanging on to her boyfriend's arm; a soulful, sensitive artist.  Who could want anything more out of life?

Her death caused a great ache in my heart.  Part of the reason for this is best explained by Neil McCormick of the British newspaper The Telegraph. He wrote that at some point in life you "get to a certain age when the obituary columns start to fill with characters who have populated your world." In fact, he explains just why Rotolo's death saddened me so better than I ever could that I'm sending you here to read his article.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Things I Truly Believed Were True When I Was Younger (Part 2)

There is no truth.  There is only perception. 
-Gustave Flaubert

I got some interesting replies in Part 1 of this subject and see now that I need to explain what the post was about a bit clearer.  The Things I Truly Believed Were True When I Was Younger post is about my learning that there are no absolute truths in life.   Every item on the list is something I believed to be the unalterable truth.  Believing eight of them caused me almost unbearable pain, and/or sorrow at some point in my life. My belief did not match reality and reality is that there are no absolute truths in life.  Here is the list again but with each item qualified:

1. Up is up and down is down...except in outer space.

2. Life is hard...except when it isn't.

3. Love will keep us together...except when it doesn't.

4. All parents love and protect their children...except when they don't.

5. Bad things only happen to bad people...except when it happens to good people.

6. Lots of money will make a unbearable job bearable...except when it doesn't.

7. All bosses will treat you fairly...except when some don't.

8. If you work hard enough you can overcome anything...except when you can not.

9. All people are basically good...except when they are not.

10. The sun rises every morning and sets every night...except when you live at a latitude above 66.5 degrees North.

Opens up the world in ways you didn't imagine, doesn't it?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A Phenomenon

Yesterday Nic over at Planarchy for the Yookay and London Nature Photo Blog left a comment on my blog post Things I Truly Do Not Care About saying his nephews were sporting Justin Bieber
hair styles. I replied that I did not know Justin Beiber had become a global phenomenon. The instant I thought of the word "phenomenon" another two words popped into my head..."Mahna Mahna."