Strange sightings

This Chair is Not Designed for a Child . . .


The vertical slats on the seat are digging into the back of my thigh, just above my knee. I pull up my socks to add some protection, but as soon as I bend my knee, the socks inch down my leg.

“Eat your egg, the bus is coming around the corner.”

I can’t see the bus, I can only hear my mother’s footsteps, high heels clicking with purpose on the hardwood floor. Back and forth, from refrigerator to the yellow-tiled counter with red and black roosters impaled every 12 inches on the back-splash, marching toward the sink and stove.

The egg. Its orange yolk has escaped the membrane and spread across the translucent mucous. It’s headed toward my toast, which is succumbing to the onslaught. I close my eyes, and swing my legs back and forth, so furiously that my black patent Mary Jane’s fly off my feet and scoot across the floor, hitting my mother’s ankles. The distraction works. She lifts me up, I can see the short van, through the sheer curtains.

“See, now you’ll have to run to catch it, in your socks.”
I escape. The bowl with the egg will be sitting on the chrome legged table when the bus brings me home from Miss Buckley’s School. I have all day to figure out where to slip the congealed formation into the bougainvillea that covers the kitchen window, like a magenta-tainted spy.

California, I love You!

If you live in California, and are breathing after January 1, 2017, you will be able to

Have one free beer while having your hair cut in a barbershop or beauty salon – this will make a bad new-do appear better.

Wear your Denim with pride as it’s the official California fabric – rest easy, my 1960s high school superintendents who wouldn’t allow patten leather shoes or Levis.

Companies with 25 or more employees will pay $10.50 per hour, up by 50 cents – this will put me out of business, as I am my boss and go shopping too often.

Drivers for Uber or Lyft can’t have a blood alcohol level of 0.04% or more – wish some of my passengers had the same content rule.

Ban on Text While Driving now includes searching for Pokemon Go characters – who does this?

A program providing electric-car rebates will now only be available to people making $150,000 or less – The X P90D starts at $109,000m so I could spend my savings and get $7500 income tax credit and in California, at $2500 tax rebate, which would mean I could drive 24 hours a day for Uber and eat once a day.

Every autographed collectible sold in California must come with a certificate guaranteeing that it’s not a forgery. Thanks Mark Hamill of Star Wars who must have had a real challenge with documents that came from far, far away.

If you see an animal trapped in a heated car, you may break the window – after calling law enforcement – do they ever come when you need them?

MOST IMPORTANT, getting ready for the 2018 election . . . you can legally take a selfie of you and your BALLOT. I needed this in November.WalkCake.jpg

Sharks in Baghdad By The Bay


No place on earth – this one or any other in the universe  – is as peculiar as Baghdad By The Bay.

Several years ago The City gave everyone a little compost bucket, to discourage using the left-over machine shark that shreds what’s left of food and sends it got-knows-where that’s probably not good for the earth..

My tenants took mine. Would I be caught by the Disposal Police if I turned the disposal on to scrape the little clumps of oatmeal that didn’t make it into my mouth.

I turned on my disposal. Nothing. Like a car that’s lost its battery, I turned the crank again. And again.

A smell pervaded the kitchen. I pushed the ‘restart’ button on the bottom [this NEVER works] and whips of smoke crept out the bottom edge of the machine.

I started off for Discount Builders Supply, 7 am in the morning . . . I was the ONLY woman, except for check-out clerks. Why didn’t i think of this before? Forget I like men in belts . . .

Never mind. I’m off subject. Returned home and Renato my handyman gift from another country installed the new one. Then, I needed to get some vinegar at Trader Joe’s.

I walked up Brannan. By the time I returned back, I had to weave myself through a demonstration of Janitors assembling in front of the Jewelry Mart.

Someone tried to hand me a sign with “Janitors Deserve Health” printed in crimson letters. I’d spent the morning cleaning stuff, but next time I’ll take off my sweatshirt before venturing out the door.


Please Follow This Blog . . . it might be famous someday.

Uber Gas Buddy




My late afternoon ‘ping’ passenger was down the hill from my house, in the industrial park. “Patty” jumped in my backseat without entering a  destination.

“Where are we going?” My usual question, before my passengers offer “How long have you been driving for Uber?”

“I can’t say, that’s why I didn’t put a place in. We do have to make one stop, before that,” she said. “I ran out of gas, somewhere on the I-5. Don’t worry, we can find it. But a gas station would be the first stop.”

We headed to the first gas station. I say ‘first’ because that station had run out of gas cans. It was only Thursday and the cans were gone. Not a good sign. The second station had one. Then, off we went down the I-5. [Or, is it plain I-5, without the ‘I’?]

“Where do you think your car is?” I thought I’d get a wee idea of the area. I-5 runs smack dab into Camp Pendleton, one of America’s largest Marine base, hugging miles and miles of scenic California coast.

We passed the last south of San Clemente exit, passed Trestles beach and kept trucking south.

“What brand is your car?”

“A little Fiat. ”

A little Fiat. On the northbound I-5.

“Yes. I was late for an appointment, so I thought I’d just get to San Clemente, but when a Fiat gas gauge registers “E,” it’s empty, no leeway.”

Camp Pendleton covers both sides of the highway. No way to turn around, unless sneaking through the Highway Patrol turnaround dip, after the INS Stop-and-Desist installation.

NOTE: Mr. Dictator: We do not need a wall, not with those guys who peer into your car when the INS system suspects a breach.

At last, I could see her car, three miles further toward Mexico [I’m a writer. Instead of saying ‘south’ I thought the reference to Mexico is stronger.] I was surprised that her car was still there. Someone could have come along with a truck and shoved the wee car into the truck’s belly and disappeared..

I urged the car off the highway at the first off-ramp, did a U-turn and headed north. I turned off the Uber fare as soon as I pulled up behind her car, parked a car-length behind her, put on my emergency signals and waited for her to fill her car with the gallon of gas. Of course, the thought that we both could be smushed flashed through my mind. I ignored it.

It took ten minutes, but she got every drop of gas into her tank, came back to the car, picked up her purse from the seat, then handed me $10.

“This is cheaper than AAA,” Patty sold software for a living. She’d figured out the trip and expenses. She’ll go far.

I don’t think Patty will run out of gas again.

I looked at my gas tank. One eighth of a tank. Now, that would be a great ending, but my S-Ca-Pay is like an old VW, and would get me back to San Clemente, another 20 miles, unless I was attacked by illegal aliens, running down the hill, escaping from a band of Marines.

How Many Cenks at LAX?


The Young Turks

Most of the time, my Uber celebrity experience means that I’m the only soon-to-be-famous person in the car.

Not so, late one Friday afternoon.

The name on the ‘ping’ was unusual.

“Couldn’t be,” I muttered. It was awkward. First time picking someone up at LAX. I’d waited 12 minutes before, got a ride who cancelled [do NOT cancel when you’re ordering an Uber at LAX. It takes 20 minutes to get back to the holding pattern!]

So, the second time, I waited 15 minutes.

Pick up at Terminal Three. I called, just to make certain. And to let him know that my car wasn’t black. It is silver grey. The shot of my car on Uber isn’t right. Many times, people don’t see me.

Even though I recognized the name, he didn’t sound familiar.

I lurched into World Way then pulled up toe Terminal Three. I went past him; called again and this patient man sat down in my back seat. I turned around, just to check if this person were the one I thought it might be.

It was. The Cenk of The Young Turks!

I think I scared him. “Oh my goodness! It’s YOU!. You’re The Young Turk of the Turks! I’m on your list. Get twitter feeds all day long from TYT!”

“So, we’re working for each other, here.” Yes. An Uber driver who thinks Cenk Turks is something that everyone should listen to. Why? Because, I was a Young Republican. For many years, standing alone for capitalism, working hard to get more work, figuring out how to get myself out of danger, then getting back into it. Not so since GWB took a huge bonus and destroyed the Middle East . . . but you know all that.

Last year, at Politicon, I’d met Newt Gingrich. Tried to get an answer as to why he never responded to my letter of resignation to the Republican Party. If I’d seen the light, where were anyone else with a brain?

“Where is everyone else?” I would ask myself, after I’d realized that the [R] didn’t stand for Abe, Ike or anyone with a heart anymore.

Now, in my back seat, was another one. Only famous and noteworthy as a spokesperson.

We talked of current events, most notably the Turkish upheaval into right-wing camps. And, the one we have here, with the [R] party’s final – they’ve been working on this since Nixon – take into the realm that begins takes on 20th century fascism.

He also told me about where he asked his wife to marry him. Not far from where I grew up.

At the end, he shot me in my grey car, and I heaved a sigh of relief. I’d gotten him home, while engaging in a decent conversation.

That’s what Uber-ing is all about. Oh, check Cenk and the rest of what the world needs to hear at The Young Turks!


Rudy | The Bucks Stop Here

Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts containing random insights into the seasonal saga. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly. This is #24. It is Christmas Eve, the night of magic and hope.


The refrain circles in his head, an endless loop of melody sung in liquid soprano tones. His antlers serve as radio transmission towers. The tundra shakes and sways to the beat.


“Deer flying high and crimson sleighs on the wing
Snow banks and snowmen, a chorus that sings
Wide chimneys of bricks and sacks full of bling
These are a few of my favorite things.”


Time to fly. Rudy looks up. The sky is filled with a million stars. The full moon looks like the backlit clock tower in a Disney movie. The glow flickers. A cloud? A wisp of smoke from Santa’s chimney?


No. A flock of Amazon drones heading south, like geese in reverse migration.


Rudy paws the ground with his freshly polished hoof. Dasher and Dancer call out the words as they appear, like those of fumes from a solitary Piper Cub trailing an advertisement for suntan lotion across the sky on the fourth of July.


“The. Bucks. Stop. Here?”


Rudy | Labor Bullying

Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts. This is #7. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly.


Bullying rears its ugly head in subtle ways. Direct hits hurt, such as prancing and chanting “Rudy Rud-ee, Rude as he can be . . . “ in circles around a fellow trying to get through the snow.

Or, “Can we use your nose to read after lights out?” at boarding school.

As an adult, Rudy hoped that the tyranny would cease. Not so. The contemplative image of Reindeer and Tree appears innocent to humans, but is a stinging example of unfair practice.

The photo shoot took ten hours. Rudy’s fee and royalty check from Getty Images is not and never will be ‘in the mail.’

Moveable Beasts

Either I am losing my mind or I have a personal poltergeist. Zeitgeist or poltergeist? I don’t care who moved my cheese. Where are my car keys?


Until I looked it up, I thought Bluetooth was invented by Soupy Sales, infant terrible of the 1970s who was kicked off the air for telling kids to purloin cash from their parents’ wallets and forward the ill-gotten gains to him. His White Fang and Black Tooth pets, were hands and forearms without bodies. Only voices. So, when Bluetooth came along, I assumed someone in my age range [and of the engineering persuasion] had a sense of humor.

They did. Norse humor.

The Norwegian corporation, Ericsson came up with the technology. “The name ‘Bluetooth’ comes from the 10th century Danish King Harald Blåtand or Harold Bluetooth. King Blåtand was instrumental in taming feuding factions in lands that are now Norway, Sweden and Denmark. So, Bluetooth technology was created as an open standard to allow connectivity and collaboration between disparate products and industries.” Not unlike hairy Norsemen, PCß and Apple.

I hope that the technology will include ‘where’s my bluetooth’ app soon. No bigger than my pinkie finger or a besotted tomato worm, I take it out of my ear for fear that the microwaves will damage my brain. Too late. I never remember where I put it. Or, it crawls away on its own. I only find it after I’ve ordered another off the Internet.

The Toilet Paper Caper

Before the bathrooms got remodeled, the roll of toilet paper was encased in a miniature, arched recess, within reach of the toilet. It was always a good idea to replace the roll before it surrendered its last sheet. A courtesy, as I’ve ruined many a manicure trying to separate the crescent roll construction of the hollow cardboard tube. Now, courtesy has left the building. The little recess was covered up in the last remodel. Toilet paper now resides atop a weighted stand, much like a microphone stand for little people, Nothing wrong with this, except that jokesters in my family never leave the utility in the same place. It wanders just out of reach of the toilet. Sometimes, it has left the room.

The Telephone

It weighed about five pounds and sat like Darth Vader’s headpiece on a stack of Yellow Pages and phone books. The three-foot chord eliminated the possibility of a private conversation — hence the low divorce rate in the 1950s. But, in the 1960a, along comes the Princess Phone and all hell broke loose. However, we still could find the phone, without having to call it from another of the same species. Then, cordless and now the mobile phone. I suggest a better name than ‘cell’ or ‘mobile’ as it’s closest relatively on the evolutionary tree is “remote.”

The universe is expanding. Everything is becoming remote.

Recycling is a sport.


Winning the CR8 Contest at Lobo School in San Clemente is an honor. The contest is on and some students are more proactive than others.

This explains why the “No Students Allowed Inside” signage  on the trash bin.

Any other explanation would be disturbing.