One of my favorite pages on Facebook is called “Zen to Zany”.  If I didn’t know better I’d swear that more than a few of

Who are "they" that "say", and why do I waste so much time listening to them???

Who are “they” that “say”, and why do I waste so much time listening to them???

the postings are directed specifically at  me. Often it’s a boost right when I need it most; other times it’s a right-on-target zap that makes me flinch and ruefully acknowledge the truth before making some necessary (and usually long overdue) changes. The post above provided me with a mixture of the two, and impressed me so much that it’s become my desktop wallpaper (with a flamboyantly purple border to match the lipstick).

Which brings me to the subject of today’s sermon:  Who in blazes are THEY, and why in the name of all that’s unholy should I (or anybody else, for that matter) give a rat’s ass what THEY have to say about…well….anything?

To me, THEY bear a striking resemblance to the mean girls who made my life a misery in junior high school, swooping down like harpies on any deviation from what “everybody else” (according to them, at least) did/thought/wore.  Speaking for myself, I already did my time with those vicious trollops, and I sure as hell don’t need that kind of influence in my life now.

THEY also sound like The Committee in My Head, that unwelcome, fear-mongering Greek chorus I hear when I’m about to try something new/different/challenging. In fact, the two are so disconcertingly similar I sometimes wonder if THEY  put their larvae into my ear, like Khan did to Chekhov in the Star Trek Movie “Wrath of Khan”  (warning: this scene is not for the faint of heart), and the damned things reproduced.

Since it’s not likely THEY are going to obligingly disappear any time soon, I figure it’s up to me to decide how much effect THEY are going to have on my life.  As a start, I’ve adopted a few mantras:

  • Just because THEY talk doesn’t mean I listen.

  • Life ain’t always about “what if”—sometimes “why the hell not” works a whole lot better.

  • Haters gonna hate.  Let ’em.

  • The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on.

On that note, will somebody please help me down from this soapbox?

 Take care, all!



Peanut the Three-Legged Wonder Cat

Peanut helping me with the grocery list

Peanut helping me with the grocery list


Peanut is a petite gray-and-black striped cat whose fur has an orange undertone that earned her the nickname Rusty-Butt.

She has other nicknames–Demonique, Beelzebeth, Pestilence–appropriate to the all-powerful seven-pound ruler of the household. She’s not at all shy about voicing her opinion (hence another nickname: Bansheeba) and is as stubborn as a Missouri mule. To say  the lady is determined is the understatement of the millennium, but I’m not complaining.

That determination saved her life, and has been instrumental in her amazing adjustment to losing a front leg. Seems like Judd and I are constantly saying things like “How did you get up there?”, “Give me that!” and “Quit picking on Syd!”

Syd, Master of HIS side of OUR bed

Syd, Master of HIS side of OUR bed

She’s here, there, everywhere, and I fully expect to see her swinging from the ceiling fan any day now.

One of her favorite activities is taking a leap of faith from the dining room  table to my desk, executing a (literal) three-point landing among papers, crystals and framed pictures.  Once her equilibrium is regained, the terrain is all hers.

“All your paper clips is belong to ME!”

We race each other for any stray rubber bands or paper clips.  My tea or water must be sampled and any inconvenient books or papers shoved to the floor.  Anything new or relocated since the last Peanut-ian invasion must be closely inspected at great length, regardless of what obstacles must be plowed through to reach it.

Peanut inspects a new incense burner.

Peanut inspects a new incense burner.

Next comes a critique of whatever appears on my computer screen.  Words are boring, as are pictures that don’t move.  The cursor is of mild interest when it’s in motion but becomes a Pearl of Great Price when  combined with something neat like a shark or blowfish.

But the all-time favorite is, of course, BIRDIES. After thoroughly decimating my desk, Peanut plants herself at my elbow like a furry monolith and fixes the computer screen with a steely-eyed stare until our Vulcan mind-meld finally kicks in and I click on a link that magically populates the screen with birds. For the next twenty minutes, wild horses couldn’t drag her away. She sits up on her haunches and bats at the screen with her front paw, then looks behind the monitor for any stray birdies that may have escaped.  The speakers are also inspected (“Is chirping! Is birdies in there, I know it!”)



She has two favorites.  One is a close-up view of winter birds feeding  that runs for a bit over twenty minutes.  The other is a cluster of blackbirds feeding on the ground that runs a bit over fourteen minutes.  This last one features her particular nemesis–a big, puffed-up blackbird that chirps warningly right at the camera.  She goes bat-shit crazy every time she sees him, even tries to bite the screen.  Syd watches from a safe distance on these occasions in case her head starts spinning around and I can’t blame him.

black and white cat

Syd pretending Peanut doesn’t exist

Even with my computer doing double-duty as a feline entertainment center, I can’t blame Peanut or Syd for my not keeping up with my writing…..


On that note, may we all be as brave and resilient as Peanut!


Pasta for the Depressed

It must say something about me (I shudder to think what) that, although I struggle with depression myself and know how rough it can be, I spit a huge mouthful of mint tea into my keyboard laughing when I saw this:

Pasta for the Depressed

Pasta for the Depressed

I can’t claim credit for it, but kudos to its creator, who has obviously been-there-felt-that.

takei 2There were a few other “drown the keyboard” moments this week thanks to the fabulous George Takei, who played Sulu in the original Star Trek series and is now raising merry hell all over the internet as himself. I had a great time reading two of his books: Oh, Myyy! There Goes  the Internet and Lions and Tigers and Bears: The Internet Strikes Back (Oh, Myyy!).  Both are quick reads, hilarious and surprisingly informative about the freaks and foibles of social media. The man has a way with words that just won’t quit, and absolutely nothing is sacred.  His description of two particular Star Trek-related memes he’d come across had me howling like a coyote, but the pictures in the e-book were too small to see.  So I betook myself to the Intertubes, and here they be:

captain kisses like a girl

 safe word











On that note, I think I’ll take my leave….

Reminder that my e-book Sliced But Not Diced–A Love Story is available FREE for the month of January at Smashwords.

Live long and prosper!