Category Archives: Say it isn’t so!

September 11

I have nothing to say about September 11 that hasn’t already been said.

Whatever anniversary it is of that dread day, it is also the anniversary year of my dad’s death. So… 2001 was not a good year.

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Our neighbors have a grandson in Afghanistan, in the Marines. In his honor, they built a flagpole, installed a solar light, and fly the American flag and Marine banner 24 hours a day. If I stand up right now, I can see them flying, eerily lit against the black sky, through the windows in the front room.

Today, when I got home from work, Tim was down at the stable. He wouldn’t be home for hours, so I didn’t have to rush in and make dinner. Instead, I leisurely watered the dying Sweet Alyssum in the front of the house. After a futile drenching, I pulled my camera out of my pocket and snapped a shot of Old Glory and… whatever nickname the Marines give their emblem.

Then I noticed the clouds. Clouds are a big deal. Living in So Cal, and especially the IE, the sky is typically a flat, colorless, smog-dulled pale blue. But this evening a tropical wind was blowing, and glorious clouds rippled across the sky.


I pointed my camera upwards, then across the street at the flagpole, then at the sky again. I took around 250 photos in less than half an hour. (Using the “continuous capture” mode helped.) Out of all those pictures, I got a few nice images of the American flag, taken on September 11, 2009.



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I was so busy facing east, that I almost missed the show going on in our backyard, as the sun set into the west.



The Rachel Show

I’m thinking about re-naming my blog. I realized tonight how much I’ve been posting about Rachel Alexandra (almost as much as my own horses) and I wonder if this Rachel-centric flavor might be turning off people who read this blog, expecting pithy, sarcastic non-Rachel posts. Maybe I need to break out the horse racing commentary to a separate blog. “Say It Isn’t Rachel?”

The wrong god

This morning I got up and went to the dresser to put on my watch and ring. Normally I place my ring over one ear of the tiny statue of Bastet that sits on my dresser… but it wasn’t there! I panicked, running around the house looking for it.

On occasion, I have left my ring on the coffee table in the den; did the cat get it, and knock it onto the floor so he could bat it around? (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the sound of nickels and dimes hitting the floor, only to enter the room and find Mini delightedly chasing a rolling coin.)

Not there, couldn’t find it, oh dear!

Back to the dresser in the bedroom… and there was my ring, hooked over one of the long, slender ears of Anubis!

I had placed it on the wrong god.

Secret Wave

There’s a journalist that I miss terribly. He wasn’t a face on the news, he was the behind-the-scenes executive producer for Ted Koppel on Nightline. I didn’t get to “know” Leroy Sievers until I signed up for the daily Nightline e-mails, which he wrote. Slowly I became aware that these daily throwaway e-mails, intended, of course, as a marketing hook for the television program, were really well written. Some of them stepped outside of their marketing purpose and became “found prose.” Some of them I held on to for a long time, like the heart-stopping letter he wrote about his experiences in Ruwanda, traveling with Ted Koppel and the Nightline team. I wish I had saved all those Nightline letters, but I didn’t.

And now this honest man, this truly excellent writer, is gone from our world. He died in August 2008, just a little over a year ago. He died from cancer, and he left an amazing legacy in the form of a blog titled “My Cancer,” hosted on the NPR website.

I love reading his words, even when they break my heart. Which happens, when he writes about the effects of his cancer. One of my favorite entries was written less than a month before his death. It’s not necessarily profound, and it’s probably not his best writing. But I just love it, because it’s about Jeeps, and it’s so… authentic. (I’ll copy it here; hope NPR doesn’t mind!)

One Last Secret Wave

There’s one other thing I’m going to miss about getting rid of the Jeep.

The subtle, secret Jeep owner’s wave.

Here’s how it works. If you’re driving your Jeep Wrangler, and you pass another Wrangler going the opposite way, you raise your fingers off the steering wheel in a subtle wave.

That’s all. Just a way of acknowledging that we all have cars that we think are cool.

So from me to all of you, here’s one last secret wave.

7:00 AM ET | 08- 1-2008

I miss my Jeep. And I miss Leroy Sievers.

Seek and Ye Shall Google

This is why I stay up until 3 am playing Farmville: “Seeking: How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that’s dangerous.”

Does this describe you? “We search for information we don’t even care about.” <Raises hand.> “Ever find yourself sitting down at the computer just for a second to find out what other movie you saw that actress in, only to look up and realize the search has led to an hour of Googling?” <Raises hand.>

If you use the Internet, you must read this article by Emily Yoffe. And please try to remain focussed enough to read all the way to the end.

Will constant Googling make it impossible for us to read a single, long piece of writing? Say it isn’t so!

Surviving Humility


On Survivor tonight was the aftermath from last week’s blindside of “Coach,” when his staunchest ally was voted off. I had been wondering all week what his reaction would be. It was a surprisingly humble Coach that arrived back at camp. He didn’t gloat, or boast, or moan and whine. He actually admitted that he was not in control. C’est incroyable! The humility looked good on him; it was the first time this season that I actually started to like the guy.

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My Cat is a Hobbit

I had just fed Mauser and Mini Mau their lunch, when Tim came into the kitchen and implied that he had already fed them lunch. “You mean I gave them a second lunch?!” These cats (meaning Mauser) are going to eat us out of house and home. They eat like a horse… and we should know.

“He’s a Hobbit,” Tim said, walking out of the room.

“What do you mean, a Hobbit?” I demanded.

“Hobbits always have two lunches. They eat all the time.”

I had no idea my husband was so well-versed in Hobbit behaviour.

Mrs. Taravella Eyes

Swooshy Eyeshadow

Got home from church today and looked in the mirror: “Ack! Why didn’t anybody tell me I had Mrs. Taravella eyes!!”

I had to explain to Tim that Mrs. Taravella, my high school history teacher, was known for her “swoopy” eye shadow.

“You know how wives are!”

Midnight on a Friday night, and we’re flipping channels before hitting the sack. Wait, look there… it’s Huell Howser! He’s at a watch convention in 2007. One of the vendors, a little old lady, is showing Huell a clock and says, “You can buy one of these for your wife!”

We fell out of our chairs laughing.

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6 Word Autobiography

In the e-mail from DailyLit came a challenge: “Tell the story of your life in just 6 words.”

The complete rules read: “That’s right, just six little words–no more, no less. And no fair making up words-that-don’t-exist-normally-as-hyphenated-words so as not to exceed the limit!”

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The Jobsless Keynote

There’s no Steve Jobs, and no live webcast, but CNet provided a “live blog” of Apple’s ’09 MacWorld Keynote Address. It’s kinda fun to refresh every three minutes and read the next entry.

Hmm. I guess that means I’m blogging about a blog.

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Three things that will rock your world on January 1 (or sooner)

As of January 1, 2009, Polaroid instant cameras and film will cease to exist.

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