Monday, November 30, 2009


Well . . .
I had a great post for today. . .
All about The Nutcracker . . .
But it's gone!
Somewhere out there in cyberspace . . .
Is my post for today.
I'm in LA now and before I left last Friday I drafted today's post.
And this morning, bright and early (at least in LA time) . . .
I used my Asus computer . . .
A solid state computer that is a great backup for my real laptop that I left at home because it's too heavy.
A great little computer except . . .
It has a keyboard only Barbie can use.
But with my coffee close by . . .
And my enthusiasm way high . . .
I took a deep breath and began to edit my post and  then . . .
I couldn't (still can't) find it.
And please, everyone reading about this, please resist the urge to tell me what you think happened or what you think I should have done . . .
Because . . .
I did it!
And it's . . .
So this is my thrown together blog today.
And I'd spend more time blogging . . .
Except that while I'm here in LA . . .
I'm going to spend my time . . .
Experiencing LA. . .

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, November 27, 2009


OK . . . drum roll . . .
Now that Thanksgiving is over . . .
Now is when I’ll listen to Christmas songs on the radio.
Now is when I’ll pay attention to Christmas TV commercials.
Now is when I’ll look at Christmas cards to buy.
Now is when I’ll look at Christmas decorations to buy.
Now is when I’ll think about shopping for Christmas gifts.
So, sorry all you slick advertising people who thought you were going to woo me into Christmas shopping early.
It didn’t work!
If you thought you were going to get me excited about Christmas shopping just as soon as you put away the Halloween stuff you were wrong.
Each holiday deserves its own time.
And shouldn’t be rushed.
And after Halloween comes Thanksgiving.
And I love Thanksgiving.
I wanted to relish Thanksgiving.
So . . .
Now that Thanksgiving is over . . .
I have to buy and send out Christmas cards!
I have to buy Christmas presents! And wrap them!
I  have to bake Christmas cookies!
I still have to do . . .
Everything . . .
Always, Em-Musing

I swear! Next year I'm going to start earlier!
Twenty-six days and counting!
I can't stand the pressure!

Thursday, November 26, 2009




Gobble . . .

Gobble . . .


Slurp . . .




Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The season is just beginning.
And they’re on the horizon . . .
They're there every year . . .
You’re tempted at every house you go to . . .
You can’t resist them . . .
Your friends urge you to . . .
Your family and co-workers too.
They make you feel guilty . . .
If you don’t indulge . . .
Even though you protest that you really shouldn’t . . .
They plead with you into tasting . . .
Just one little morsel . . .
And then another . . .
And then another . . .
Till . . .
You’ve gained another few pounds!
But don’t say you haven’t seen the warning signs.
How could you miss them?
They were all there.
The FAT turkey!
The FAT man in the red suit!
And right around the corner is the FAT New Years baby!
And not long after him comes the other FAT baby . . .
That’s right . . .
FAT cupid!
Oh it never ends this indulgence in sugar!
And the bingeing is just beginning.
Ah yes, the holidays are here!

Always, Em-Musing
a.k.a. Em-FAT!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I want to say here and now that I am not a prude.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I watched and loved the AMA show.
And I love performances that “push the envelope” with choreography and costuming.
But does “pushing the envelope” always have to include sexual “in bed” moves?
OK, when Michael Jackson grabbed his crotch the first time, the country gasped.
And then Madonna did her version.
And then everyone else has.
And it was effective those first few years.
But you know what?
The shock value is over.
All that’s left are crude, in your face gyrations that don’t promote . . .
Songs, singers, or CDs.
So can we move on? 
I mean, why aren’t the music & lyrics and the singer singing them enough?
Yes, it’s wonderful that some singers can also dance.
But I can’t imagine that if Diana Ross had writhed and wiggled on stage as if she was in bed, it would have made her songs more effective.
Or Donna Summers
Or Frank Sinatra
Or Whitney Houston
They didn’t/don’t have to.
And I can’t help but chuckle when I see many choreographed routines. They remind me of my grandkids who are going through a phase where they think their private parts are so cool.
“Look grandma.”
“Yes, I see your underpants. Now put your dress down.”
“Want to see my butt, grandma?”
 “No thanks. Grandma’s already seen your butt a hundred times when you were a baby.”
Yes, choreographers, we all know what it looks like to move and groove in bed.
So it’s really not shocking.
It’s just unnecessary.
I, and the rest of the world, know how to shake our booty.
And singers shaking their booty doesn't make a song better or make me want to buy it. OK?
Just last night while watching Dancing With the Star, it occurred to me that while these dancers and the dances they perform are sexy . . .
They're not raunchy.
So, please choreographers . . .
Take all those gyrating, pulsing moves and use them in your bedroom.
Maybe if you shake your own booty enough times, you'll get over the novelty of it.
And perhaps choreograph something really new and different.
Always, Em-Musing

Monday, November 23, 2009


Some things are worth losing ZZZs over.
For me, it was last night’s AMA in LA.
I wasn’t so much amazed about the winners . . .
Because we all guessed that Michael Jackson was going to win BIG.
And, Taylor Swift? Of course she deserved it! And who could blame the poor girl from being thousands of miles away from Kanye West?
As I was amazed by the performances.
One right after another.
Janet Jackson, Shakira, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige,  Rhinana, Jennifer Lopez and . . .
Whitney Houston!
Of course there were many others.
But these were my favorites.
And especially Alicia Keys when she sang “Empire State of Mind.”  
I’ve played the video clip of it over and over this morning.
But the another thing that amazed me?
Were all the thighs!
One performance after another.
Especially in Shakira’s performance of “Give It Up To Me.”
Dozens of dancers with thunderous thighs on the stage, up the aisles, and down the ropes . . .
Thighs seemed to be the theme.
The smallest thighs were Carrie Underwood’s.
Well, perhaps Lady Gaga’s too.
But then she was flaunting much more than her thighs. Ga-ga-ooh-la-la! What a shattering performance!
And I guess what I was really amazed and happy to see was  . . .
In an era of stars in Hollywood touting  thin, thinner, thinnest bodies . . .
Last night the singers were proud of their curvaceous, toned, and healthy bodies.
I (or "thigh") loved it!

Always, Em-Musing
P.S. I guess a few of the performances or costumes last night might be considered by some to be a bit over-the-top, or controversial. But as a viewer, I formed my own opionion. No one told me what to think. When I was doing research this morning for this post, I found something on Wikipedia that was totally offensive to me. This is reprinted exactly from Wikipedia:
Kings of Leon were an American rock band that formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1999, consisting of inbred brothers Anthony "Caleb" Followill (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ivan "Nathan" Followill (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Michael "Jared" Followill (bass guitar, backing vocals), with their cousin Cameron "Matthew" Followill (lead guitar, backing vocals). The band's early music was an upbeat blend of shit and sad pathetic music for pricks southern rock and blues influences but the band has gradually expanded their sound to include a variety of genres, including alternative rock.
This is not fact. It's someone's opinion. Is it just me? Or is this totally offensive?

Friday, November 20, 2009


My friend and I finally made it to the hotel in the province of Gwangju. If I haven’t mentioned it before, this was her business trip to Korea and I was just a tag-along.
The clock on the desk said midnight, but my body clock was so confused having traveled forward in time by fourteen hours and flying from day to night to day to night again, that I felt giddy and wired. I needed sleep. I hadn’t even had a chance to get an impression of this “city of lights” of 1.4 million people.
“Do you care if I use the bathroom first?” I asked.  
“No go ahead. I’m going to see if can get the Internet in our room.”
One minute later.
Squirt, splash, splash swizzle
Squirt, splash, splash swizzle
Squirt splash, splash swizzle
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh
Giggle! Giggle! Giggle!
“What so funny in there?” my friend asked.
 “I’m using the bidet.”
 “Too much information!”
“Well you asked.”
Two minutes later.
“Wow! That was incredible!”
“You need sleep.”
“I’ve never used a bidet before. Have you?”
“Yes, they have them in Europe. Are you done? I need to go in there now.”
Grabbing her toiletries, she headed into the bathroom. 
One minute later.
Squirt, splash, splash swizzle
Squirt, splash, splash swizzle
Squirt splash, splash swizzle
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh
Giggle! Giggle! Giggle!
“OK! You’re right,” she yelled from behind the bathroom door.
 “See? I told you.”
“That’s an incredible bidet, she said leaving the bathroom. “They definitely don't have that kind in Europe. At least not in the hotels I stayed in.”
“What’s the difference?”
“There, the bidets only splash up.”
“They don’t have three water settings?”
“They don’t have the dryer?”
“Maybe I am just tired, but I thought the heated blow dryer was way too funny.”
“No, I wasn’t prepared for the heated dryer.”
 “I want one. I’m going to Google and see where I can get one of these.”
“Do me a favor?”
“Promise me you won’t tell anyone how silly I behaved over a bidet.”
As I dropped into my bed and turned out the lights . . .
I realized . . .
My first impression of Korea?
Clean! Refreshingly clean.
Always, Em-Musing
P.S. These multi-function bidets are everywhere Korea.  Who knew? 

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Prior to this trip to Korea, the longest time I’d traveled to a destination had been about ten hours.
Car → shuttle → plane→ plane → shuttle→ ship→ the Caribbean!
I thought I’d become a travel trouper.
Preparing for my new adventure, I was excited to be on a 747 for the first time.
I had visions of seats that become lounge chairs and a second floor bar where I could cocktail my way to the East.
Only first class had those seats.
And the upper deck lounge went bye-bye long-long time ago.
The transit for this trip was twenty-four hours.
The ordeal however, felt like eternity. Too much exasperation!
Pull, push, lug, lift—OW!  My useless carry-on luggage.
Unzip, dig, rummage, dump—DAMN IT!  My useless new multi-compartmental purse.
Shove, squeeze, squish, plop—UGH!  The tiniest airplane seat ever.
Pew, yeesh, cough, gag—LORD!  Hundreds of people on my flight.
After car → plane → tram→ plane → plane → bus → plane → van 
I finally settled at the hotel in GwangjuKorea.
Kicking my luggage to the floor and hurling my purse to a chair, I vowed:
No more carry-on luggage! What’s the point? I never could get to it!
No more purse with dozens of zippered pockets. I couldn't remember where I put anything including my passport.
No more sitting like a sardine. I will either pay for first class tickets, or buy two seats! 
No more traveling without a mask. Not out of fear of catching H1N1 or other bug.
Because there are no antibiotics, no herbal supplements, no homeopathic solutions, and no air freshener . . .
That can protect you from the pong of that much contained humanity.

Always, Em-Musing

P.S. I used the word, pong because it sounds Asian, although it's not.
pong [pɒŋ] n, Brit informal, disagreeable or offensive smell; stink 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Hunting season!
Now, I’m not saying I don’t believe people shouldn’t hunt.
I’m just saying I never could.
Unless I needed to survive, that is.
I’m just saying I don’t understand the thrill of hunting.
And I guess I don’t need to.
And that’s why hunters don’t have to justify—at least to me—why they like to kill animals.
But still they do . . .
“I like being out in nature.”
Well, so do I. That’s why I take early morning walks in the park.
“My mom used to kill chickens on our farm. What’s the difference?
I bet your mother never put on orange camouflage fatigues and stalked the chicken coup.
“It’s the sport of it.”
“So is archery.”
“The deer population is out of control.”
“Let rangers to do it.”
I freeze the meat and then eat it all year long.”
Yup, Me too. Beef, chicken, pork, and turkey.
So, let me say again . . .
I respect your right to hunt.
But please don’t expect me to understand why.
Because I never . . .
Well, now wait a minute . . .
Obviously there must be some emotion hunters get out of hunting.
Maybe some kind of satisfaction?
Let me think about this.
I guess if someone rounded up all the perverts and predators  . . .
Let them loose in the woods. The deep woods.
And then rounded up all the other parents whose children (including grown ones) have been harmed by a predator and gave them stun guns and tazers . . .
“Take that you sicko, sado, son of a bitch!”
Oh, yeah . . .
I definitely could hunt those animals.
Always, Em-Musing

P.S.  Off to Korea tomorrow morning!   Can’t wait!  Don’t know the logistics of blogging while there because I’m going to be in a province about three hundred miles from Seoul. But I’m sure going to try.
Daume bayo. Or see you next time.


Was heading north up U.S. Route 23 to Trader Joe’s in Ann Arbor, about a forty-five minute drive.
I had to stock up on coffee.
I know—a long way for some java.
But in my defense, coffee is my one indulgence. For years, I’d been on the hunt to find the perfect blend—for my taste buds.
And then I discovered Trader Joe’s Bay Blend.
Ten minutes up the highway, I passed a billboard for Cabela’s, that humongous sporting and hunting store.
On the billboard was a photo of a deer looking almost seductively at the camera
Silly, I thought.
Then I remembered . . .
Oh, yeah. Hunting season.
I smiled thinking that the graphic designer of the billboard knew exactly how to get hunters excited.
And then I remembered all the billboards on interstate 75 for “gentlemen’s clubs” where young women look seductively at the camera.
Obviously, the graphic designers of those billboards knew exactly how to get men drivers excited.
Finally, I was at Trader Joe’s.
In the coffee section.
My head was swimming, my eyes dancing
There, before me were all the different coffees. French Roast, Moka Java, Organic Breakfast Blend,  Peaberry Blend, Safari Blend, Costa Rican Tarrazue, Sumatra, Kanai, Italian Roast, Fair Trade Five Country Expresso Blend . . .
And who knows how many more! 
Of course I put two large cans of Bay Blend into my shopping cart.
But couldn’t stop there.
I had to have at least one other different blend. Maybe two.
Not because I was looking for a new blend . . .
I was attracted to the artwork on all the cans.
And I know I’m not the only one who thinks like this.
One of my friends actually cut out the picture from the Trader Joe’s French Roast can, framed it and then hung it in her kitchen.
As I was checking out with three “new-to-me” coffee blends (and cans), it occurred to me . . .
Guess the graphic designers for Trader Joes’ coffee knew exactly how to get me excited.

Always,  Em-Musing

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Yesterday, Connie, a writer colleague of mine, had in interesting thought on her blog. 

“As a writer trying to get published I find myself dissecting other works. Whether it be books, television or the movies; when something resonates with people, I try to pull it apart to see why. What is so appealing about this scenario, characters, or plot-line?”

Well, that got me thinking about the books I read, and why I enjoy some more than others.
Is it a driving plot? Or an author’s writing style?
Currently, I’m reading two books.
One book is in my bathroom—a down and dirty quick read.
The other is in my living room—a lounge on the couch read.
The bathroom book is Straight Man by Richard Russo.
The living room book is Eclipse, third in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer.
Obviously, two very different types of books.
One is literary. The other commercial.
And I must say that the writing in Straight Man is phenomenal! Every word, every sentence is perfect. I love his wit.
Unfortunately . . .
I don’t love his protagonist enough to keep me reading more than a page or two at a time. If I did, I'd have hemorrhoids by now.
The writing in Eclipse however is, well, so YA.
And of course it is. The intended audience is young adults.
But, although Eclipse is YA, I'm enjoying the story more than Russo’s because I care more about Bella and Edward than I care about . . .
Well, see there?
I can’t even remember the poor character’s name in Straight Man.
I guess, the bottom line for me is . . .
Doesn't matter if I’m reading commercial or literary fiction . . .
Besides a compelling story . . .
And more important than well-written, witty, or beautiful writing . . .
I have to care about the characters and what happens to them.
I'm going to have to go back and analyze my manuscript now and see if besides wit and 
and plot . . .
Will my readers care?

Always, Em-Musing

P.S.  I just found out today that Russo has a new book out titled, That Old Cape Magic. And yes, I’ll buy it because he is a phenomenal writer and I can learn a lot from him. But . . .
First, I’m going to buy Breaking Dawn, the last book in the Twilight series because I can’t wait to see what happens next to Bella, Edward, and Jake.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Sunday—an unseasonable day for November in the Mid-west.
Sun shining, temps in the low 70’s.
I know I've said I'm not fond of autumn because winter is right behind it.
But yesterday was perfect.
I wanted to get out and feel the warm fresh air on my face. See the last of autumn's colors. And smell the leaves.
A perfect day for a walk in the park.
Seems everyone in the world owns a dog but me.
Or at least everyone at the park.
And besides walking in the park. . .
Dogs poop in the park.
Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. Used to have two.
But the stink in the air was overpowering. Was I the only one gagging?
Let alone hopping over and side-stepping doggy do?
Yes, I saw some owners with their hands deep into the doggy bags picking up the presents that their dog deposited.
But somewhere there were cheaters. Owners who let their dogs go in the bushes.
Or those who didn’t “bag” the do.
Because there was evidence that some poor unsuspecting nature lover had walked, head up, and then . . .
Stepped in doggy do!
And then they unwittingly smeared it down the asphalt trail.
So, for fear of doing the same, then stinking up my car, and then having to wash off my good walking shoes back at my apartment. . .
I had to walk head down the entire trail.
And those were not the colors of nature I wanted to see.
Now, I’m not saying people with dogs shouldn’t take their doggies for walks.
I’m just saying there ought to be trails just for people.
So dogless people like me can walk head high, and breathe in clean, fresh air.
And not have to jump, hop and gag our way through the park.

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, November 6, 2009


“One-sixty-three,” the cardiologist’s assistant broadcasted.

“Let me take off my shoes.” Cripes! Did she have to say it so loud?

“One-sixty-two point eight.”

“Let me take off . . .

“It won’t matter that much,”she said, already jotting down my weight.

I put my shoes back on in defeat. Was she smirking?

“You’re almost twenty pounds more than the last time, in ninety-six.”

Was she gloating now? Does the doctor allow gloating?

“One-forty over eighty-five,” she announced as the pressure cuff deflated. “The doctor will be in soon.”

This appointment was my own doing. My cousin had a heart attack a few weeks ago. She’s 57. Had no symptoms. With heart disease on both sides of my family, I thought it wise to get  checked out again. In 1996, I came here because of bouts of tachycardia and WPW syndrome. Both benign conditions, but annoying. Since then, I’ve felt great.

But one never knows what evil lurks in the heart and arteries. Better to be safe than dead.

“Your EKG looks normal,” the cardiologist said while he listened with the stethoscope to various places on my neck, abdomen, back and chest.  “Your blood pressure though is borderline.”

“What could cause it?”

“Sodium in your diet, stress, not enough exercise.”  

“I don’t want to go on prescription meds.”

“I want you to have a stress test. Let’s see how your heart looks.”


“I see you’ve gained some weight since last time. It’s borderline, but you should lose a few pounds. Have you had your cholesterol checked lately?”

“Yeah, about a year ago. The doctor said it was borderline. He wants me to try and get it down nutritionally before he puts me on medicine. I did have the CRP test though and it was good.”

“Set up an appointment for your stress test. I'll make a determination after that.”

On the drive home, I got to thinking. Is that all I am? Just borderline?

My weight, my blood pressure, my cholesterol . . .

My writing?

I wonder . . .

What will it take to drop those pounds and get my blood pressure and cholesterol down?

What will it take to get published?

Last year I was at the Playas de Tijuana. As I walked the beach, I found it fascinating and odd that Mexico and the U.S. are divided in the ocean by a mere wooden fence. I stood there imagining how someone might feel seeing beyond that fence to the other side and wanting to take a chance, but afraid of unknown obstacles under the water.

Is that what’s going to happen to my writing career? Seeing success but afraid of obstacles and the unknown?


I will write that winning query letter!

I will research agents and submit appropriately!

I will keep writing!

I will keep editing my manuscripts!

And . . .

I will get published one day!

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Last night I stopped by my daughter’s house.

But only because all three kids—and me—were feeling better.

“Mom? Since you’re here, could you watch them while I run out for something?

Probably to find her sanity, I thought.


“If they ask for more candy, don't give them any. They’ve already had one piece.”


No sooner was she out the door . . .

“Grandma? Can I have another piece of candy?”

“No, sweetie, mommy said no.”

 “Please grandma? P L E A S E?”

“No honey, Mommy said no.”

“Mommy’s mean!” my granddaughter huffed and stormed off.

And that got me thinking.

Halloween really is a mean holiday.

We get kids all excited weeks before.

We fantasize with them what they’re going to ‘be.”

We point out scary costumes in stores.

We point out beautiful princess costumes in catalogs.

We make funny, outlandish costumes you can’t buy anywhere.

We dress them up and take them to Halloween events like at the mall and zoo.

We dress them up again for school.

We dress them up again for Halloween night.

We put make-up, wigs, tiaras, or whatever on them.

We take lots and lots of pictures.

And finally . . .


We walk them around the neighborhood “dressed-up.”

We oooh and aaah when candy is thrown in their bucket, bag or pillowcase.

We take them home.

We say,” Let’s see what you got!”

And then we say . . .

“You can only have one piece of candy. It’s almost bedtime.”

One piece?

Weeks of anticipation! Weeks of dreaming of candy!

For one—or two—pieces of candy?
What kind of sick demented tease is this?

And then if that wasn't mean enough . . .

We keep the candy in plain site for weeks, teasing and taunting them even more!

No, Halloween’s most frightening creatures are not witches, goblins, ghosts or monsters.



“Yes, sweetie?”

“Please can I have one more piece of candy? Please?”

“OK, but promise not to tell mommy?”

“Promise! Grandma, you’re the BEST!”


Always, Em-musing