Lions and Tigers and Hair…

My first instinct was to continue that thought and add the obvious “Oh, My!” but that would merely add a lame cherry to the top of the already lame title.

So I resisted.

It’s part of my new Say-No-To-Temptation-Self-Improvment-Program.  It’s only taken me fifty plus years to learn that giving in to everything you want can often lead to unpleasant consequences. But that’s another story and it involves admitting to a previously hedonistic youth that I’m not ready to admit just yet.

What this story is about is how I judge a good night’s sleep.

It’s all about the hair and what it looks like in the morning.

Crazy morning hair equals a good night’s sleep in The World According To Me. But along with aforementioned good night’s sleep comes the crazy nighttime dreams that I have to endure in order to get the much sought-after crazy morning hair. I guess it’s a yin and yang kind of thing.  Or, translated into the American vernacular:  you-can’t-have-the-sane-without-the-crazy rule.

And the dream that came with my crazy morning hair this week was about lions. Not the kind of lion dream that involved Romans and Christians and Nero blaming them for burning Rome to the ground. But rather a lion being paraded on a leash through an otherwise “normal” dream by some guy I didn’t know.

[Normal, of course, being relative as it relates to me and my dreams.]

I know that dreams have meaning so off I went to get an answer from the World Wide Weird as I often do when I want to a completely accurate, objective answer to some of life’s most pressing questions.

This is the answer I’m going with:

For a woman to dream that she sees Daniel in the lions’ den, signifies that by her intellectual qualifications and personal magnetism she will win fortune and lovers to her highest desire. 

Okay… so I don’t know if it was Daniel or whether or not we were in his den but whatever. I rarely let details get in the way of enlightenment.

But I digress.  We were talking about hair, right?






The Nirvana Chronicles – Day Four – Waiting For Godolphins

My new obsession is paddle boarding. It’s awesome. It’s  freeing. It makes my face ache from smiling so much, not to mention making my arms ache from rowing my proverbial ass off.

But here’s the best part.  Every morning in the cove near our hotel, a huge pod of spinner dolphins comes through.  If you’re lucky, they swim right by the paddle boards and leap out of the water and spin around like they’re made of pure happiness.

On day two, I saw them from a distance while slamming back my second pot of Kona coffee [I live for Kona coffee, btw]. There were so many of them I thought my contacts were  going all wonky and making me see quadruples of everything.  But my contacts were fine. I vowed that every morning, I would paddle board and wait for the dolphins to come…

And so I did.

And on Day Four they came.

At first, I thought it was a bunch of people swimming in the water near me.  Then it dawned on me that humans don’t have dorsal fins or swim super fast [except Michael Phelps who not only swims super fast but may also have a secret dorsal fin].

No….it wasn’t a herd of swimmers. It was a huge pod of spinners.

And on Day Four….I was happy. I was covered in salt, sunburned and prune-y from waiting and rowing so long but I didn’t care.  I was happy.  Come to think of it…I have been happy every day no matter what I’ve had to wait for.

And that’s all the matters here in Nirvana.


I Am Secretly A Fashionista

I know what you’re thinking.  That I’m a poodle. It’s a common mistake.  I forgive you…because you are partially correct.  I am indeed a poodle.  A grand specimen if I do say so myself but I rarely indulge in self-aggrandizing.

This you must know:  There is more to me than meets the eye.

Trapped in the gangly body of a sporting breed may be my cross to bear…but do not pity me. Oh, no.  I am fashionista. Hear me bark.


Operation Bambi

When I was a kid, I rescued a group of newborn possums. I blocked out the tragedy that befell the mother.  I tried my best to save them. I failed.

Yesterday, I was on my cell phone chatting about this and that with a friend.  My other friend who had just left my house rang through. She could hear from the sound of the ring that I was on another call.

[I’ll call her back]

My house phone rang immediately after that.  Ruh roh…..that’s the emergency code for no, this can’t wait… pick up the goddamn phone NOW.

I did.

“I need help!  I have a baby deer in my car!” she said in a panic.

[What?! How is your dog handling this situation?]

Funny what goes through your mind when someone calls and says they have a baby deer in their car.

This is my same friend who called when she was run over by a car while on her bike, came to dinner after getting run over by a golf cart despite the hematoma on her shin and bits of rubber tire still embedded in her thighs, rescued a number of dogs, volunteered during seal pup season and would risk life and limb to save an animal in distress. This is one tough cookie and when she says she needs help?? She ain’t jokin’.

I jumped in my car and called the SPCA on my way to meet her.  I was connected to Wildlife Rescue. They assured me they would come right away.

[Man, I love our SPCA!]

I was there in about three minutes and found her in her car with a newborn deer on her lap. It was the size of large cat albeit with super log legs.  It lay limp with surrender, completely spent. It had gotten separated from its mother on one of the gnarliest, curviest sections of 17-Mile drive with no shoulder no bike lane and pretty much surrounded by stone fences, driveway gates and jungle-like underbrush.  The mother undoubtedly jumped a fence which baby couldn’t manage. My friend did her best to slow down the line of traffic that just kept relentlessly flowing.  No one would stop.


Until a nice couple took pity on my friend who was now prostrate in the middle of the road trying to get some help. She was used to this kind of thing having been run over numerous times in the past but I’m sure she feared her luck may eventually run out at the worst possibly moment.  Thankfully, it didn’t.

They were able to get the poor thing away from traffic.  It collapsed on a driveway and my friend scooped it up and took it to her car.

After I arrived, we waited in the car for Wildlife Rescue all the while trying to figure out how we would mend our shattered hearts if the mom couldn’t be found. “We’ll raise it ourselves” we vowed even though we knew that wouldn’t be possible. My mind raced back to the possums and my woefully inadequate mothering skills.

[Shake those thoughts this instant!]

The Savior came as promised. A caring young woman wearing a jacket emblazoned with the SPCA insignia and driving a Toyota Tundra with emergency lights on top.  Hell yes!  Lights! This was, after all, an official rescue.  A rescue that would hopefully result in a deer baby / mommy reunion.

We spotted a doe in the area.  She was staring at us intently, motionless. The Savior gently coaxed the baby toward the doe and on wobbly legs the newborn bolted toward her.  The Savior followed as far as she could.  My friend and I hung back waiting for news.

Oh happy day! The little one was spotted in the company of not one but two doe farther up the path.

And we were joyful.






Defending Barney

Sometimes I retain some really useless information.  Stuff that only comes in handy if I’m gettin’ my nerd on with a rousing episode of Jeopardy.  Other times, what I’ve retained is useful.  Like personal responsibility and when I learned it as a kid.

Maybe I was about seven-ish or so?

We had these neighbors I’ll call the Stevensons.  That’s their real name.  No need to protect the innocent since they’ll probably never read this.  But if they do? I’m cool with that because I really don’t care.  I knew what was up and I’m proud to admit it.  That doesn’t mean I was smarter, mind you.  Anyone with a reasonable number brain cells and a nose knew what was up at Casa Stevenson.

They had a dog named Barney.

They also had a daughter called Jan who was big for her age, scary and really, really good at softball.  Jan may have actually been a boy who was just pissed that they gave him a confusingly feminine name but I can’t be sure.   [Don’t quote me on the Jan-could-have-been-a-boy thing. My memory has been compromised by things I choose not to mention here]

Anyway, Barney was a basset hound.  And that is something that I do remember very clearly because basset hounds are very memorable dogs and I only knew one family in my entire half century who ever had one.   Barney was a sweet dog but even as a kid I wondered what kind of Island-of-Dr.-Moreau breeding went into putting this poor animal together.  A dog who is eighteen inches high should not have 30-pound ears for fuck sake.

Sorry….odd anatomy gets me sidetracked….

Barney Stevenson’s  house smelled like farts pretty much all the time.

Fred, the dad, blamed Barney for the poor air quality in the house but he always delivered it in a Don Rickles kind of way. “You smell that?  Goddamn dog ate too much saurkraut for lunch”…gnut, gnut, gnut.

I knew, of course, that dogs did not eat saurkraurt for lunch.  My dad would smile politely at Fred’s “joke” even as we kids stampeeded toward the door.

Later when we got home?  I would hear my dad discreetly tell my mom that “Barney” was at it again. She understood the importance of speaking in code, after all she lived through wartime. No one spoke of such things louder than a whisper behind closed doors  in our house.  We did not fart.  E.V.E.R..  It was an unspeakable offense probably punishable by death but since no one ever did, all us kids remained alive.  We carried the fear with us, though, passing it [no pun] to our children around the eerie light of a campfire…second only in scariness to the man with a hook for a hand who terrorized campsites.

Yeah, poor Barney took the fall for his flatulent master but I learned a lot about blame and personal responsiblility because of it.

Thanks for the lesson, Fred Stevenson.  Wherever you are.




A Dubious Distinction

Remember wax lips?

They still have them.

One night when I was with a couple of girlfriends, we ran across one of those vintage candy stores in Laguna Beach.  The kind of place that has all that great candy from your childhood like Cow Tails and Bit-O-Honey.

Naturally, we migrated toward the lips.

Big, giant red ones.

I was never into the wax mustaches or funky, hillbilly teeth but those  lips….now that’s what I call fun.

I couldn’t wait to get them in my mouth.  Just the memory of sinking my front teeth into that soft, chewy Red #6 brought a tear to my eye.  Oh, to be young again.


Mmmm. Eee rrrr lvvv tees thnns.



I remove the ruby reds from between my teeth to clarify; little specks of red still clinging to my veneers.


I said:  I really love these things!


Wait! Put them back in.

She grabs her camera and I schmooze  for my close-up.


Holy shit!  You actually look good in those!

She eagerly shoves the digital image into the face of Friend #2.


Oh, my god!  She’s right!  You look like that figure skater, Oksana Baiul!  Your short blonde hair, your—

I snatch the camera and look for myself.


They’re kinda right.

I pass it back.


Fuck you both!  Why don’t you go suck on a Sugar Daddy and leave me alone.  Better yet, go take a giant puff off  a candy cigarette. 

I sulked the rest of the night.  I mean, why couldn’t I have looked like Marilyn Monroe or Angelina Jolie or some other hot mama with full, sexy lips?

Oksasa Baiul?


And no, I will never post that photo.

But here’s one of my dog.

Guess he shops at the same store.  His could use a little color, though.


A Very Short Memory

I wonder what Michael Vick would think if NFL officials adopted a policy that required ritual drowning of players who don’t perform well.

Perhaps the Georgia Dome could become a modern-day Circus Maximus.

I mean, if the player is no longer useful, they should just be killed, right?

Yeah, I know.  That’s ridiculous and absurd.

But I’m appalled.

And confused.

This isn’t like a politician who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants, is it?

This was deliberate cruelty to animals.

I’ve thought a lot about those words:  deliberate cruelty.

That means he didn’t think what he was doing was wrong.

This is one of those times that I have to ask myself what has become of humanity.

But then again, cruelty has always been a part of being human.

And I know that.

And I also know that over time the cruel images fade and we reset our memory banks to zero, or try to…

Until we get another reminder and the clock starts ticking again and we’re all outraged for a fleeting moment and it all gets pushed back and excused and debated and ratings increase and ticket sales could go up and something can be exploited for maximum financial gain and so on and so forth.

And the cycle continues.

And it is distressing.

Fleece Makes Me Sweat

I’d like to say a few words about bears.

I am afraid of them.

Yeah, I know, they’re adorable looking especially when used in ad campaigns for fire safety.  Nothing is cuter than an animal in a ranger hat unless it’s a Chihuahua speaking Spanish but the Chihuahua probably wouldn’t kill you over a Twinkie.

And bears would.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an animal lover. After all, I grew up in the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Era.  I know Marlin Perkins helped bring wildlife into American living rooms, but come on!  That was T.V. and Marlin Perkins was….well, obviously really brave and I’m not.

We’re currently visiting a place where bears are prevalent and that means being really, really careful about leaving food where they can’t smell it because those dudes get ravenous ‘round about 3:00 a.m. and nothin’ – short of specially designed solid metal boxes – can keep them from a hearty snack.  I mean, an entire cottage industry has sprung up around the sale of “bear boxes” in mountainous areas where humans have taken over bear habitats in the name of good family fun.  I think it’s quite sad for the bears but it hasn’t stopped me from taking vacations like everybody else.  I try to assuage my guilt by thinking that all that wasted food – unique only to humankind in industrialized countries – is somehow integral to the bear’s survival.  On the other hand, I worry that they’re getting way to much high fructose corn syrup which should not be part the typical bear diet. I’m not an animal expert but I will put myself out on a limb and say I think Marlin Perkins would agree if her were here and I could ask him. Damn!  Being human is so complicated!  I give a shit.  I don’t give a shit.  I’m concerned but I’m not concerned. Let’s consult an expert! Argh!

And then there’s a good night’s sleep.

Now, I love a good night’s sleep as much as the next guy but my husband and I differ on one fundamental issue.  He likes to sleep with the doors wide open all night long regardless of weather conditions.  Fortunately, I own a lot of fleece.  Unfortunately, I don’t love sleeping in it but for the sake of marital bliss, I do.

But sleeping with the doors open in bear country is muy stupido.  Especially when sleeping on the ground floor with nothing between you and Gentle Ben but a flimsy screen and some medium weight damask curtains.   

No. No. No. This will not do.

I tried to scare Artic Man with bear mauling stories I found on the internet.  I tried using diagrams to compare bear bodies with human bodies and how bears clearly have the upper hand in a human/bear confrontation.  He didn’t buy it.  He accused me of being shrill. I probably was but in the face of possible mauling, I think shrill is within the confines of  “acceptable”.


Time to pull out the big gun:   A real live LOCAL newspaper article. 

Yeah.  This’ll do it.


I’m telling you the truth. This hungry bear just came inside the house!  Just waltzed right in like one of the kids; didn’t even wipe his feet.  This poor guy had to hold him off with a dining room chair until animal control arrived with one of those tranquilizer guns. 


This isn’t about bears.  It’s about fleece.


No. It’s about bears…..and Twinkies.


We don’t even eat Twinkies.


I’m using Twinkies to represent all forms of human food and human food has become the food of choice for bears these days and they’ll do anything to get it including climbing over sleeping humans who leave their doors open at night.


Look, I know fleece makes you sweat but—-


It’s not about the fucking fleece! 

This is not working.

So I tried another tactic.  I solicited a few of my fellow bear-fearing friends to stage an intervention since being told you’re prodding fate with a red-hot poker by your friends is much more effective than hearing it from your spouse.

It worked.

And I am fleece free.

When Bad Things Happen To Good Dogs

First of all, I would like to thank my loyal and wonderful human friend for coming to my rescue at 1:00 am Monday night.  During a crisis, it helps to have someone who is a) always there for you and b) single – so getting a call in the wee hours from a friend whose dog is having a seizure and the Ambien she took 3 hours ago has rendered her unable to operate a motorized vehicle doesn’t result in relationship conflict.

Thank you single friend.  Please don’t change.

Okay…that’s selfish.  Feel free to seek a suitable partner but make sure he loves dogs. 

And me. 

And shocking late night calls that jolt you from dreamland and  make you think someone is dead.

My dog is fine.  Thank goodness.  Canine seizures suck! (as if I actually needed to say that)

As for my friendship….well….

Do you still love me?

Oh, pashaw!!  I know you do!