cat, Stretch

The Jerry Bruckheimer Effect

I suppose it is the curse of anyone who is musical to be unable to ignore music. I am plagued by the piped in music in stores and I choke when I hear the top 40 selections on a passing radio.

What increasingly irritates me, though, is the tendency of some directors to include musical tidbits at the end of their television shows. The music takes 10 to 15 seconds or longer. It is played loudly while we are treated to an overly long montage at the graveyard or of the man and woman approaching each other or some lonely figure on a rooftop or some similarly trite image. I suppose it is a cheap way to replace dialogue and sets. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the music were not so awful. I call it the Jerry Bruckheimer effect because he uses it so relentlessly on just about everything he makes.

As opposed to a show like House, where when there is music at the end it is at least good music, and it usually doesn't last long. Instead, it accompanies relevant meaningful action.

Adventures Downtown

Yesterday I went downtown three times. The first time I passed by the pasty place and decided to stop and get one. The second time was to pick up a pair of shoes given me as a gift from Roxanne's Birkenstock's. The third time was to go to dinner with a group of friends at Novo restaurant. And I had not been downtown in months. I have not gone because walking is not yet the most comfortable thing for me, so I find places where I can park nearby and in the downtown area this is not usual.

Somehow, though, the bug bit me. Today I finished off all of the hair conditioner I had while at the gym and I thought perhaps I could go get some more. Usually I'm big on finding a big bottle at a low price - but of good stuff. Don't so much want the cheap stuff. I thought of Sephora. I knew I would not likely be getting a great deal but the idea of venturing downtown again appealed to me.

I went around and around the block until I found a parking place a block away from Sephora. Walking, as predicted, not so wonderful. I have been leaving my cane at home so I can work on walking without it. It might have been better to have it with me. Nevertheless, I made my way to Sephora, which was not just a block away but up a large flight of stairs. Fortunately, the stairs, although many, had low risers. It makes a big difference to some of us if the risers are low and therefore our climbing is easier.

I found my way to the back of the store, to the hair care products. Almost immediately I had help. A Sephora employee asked if I needed help finding anything. I did, actually. I wanted hair care that was animal-free and not tested on animals. She directed me to some nice products and explained options for purchasing them - in kits or separately. They looked good so I grabbed a kit. She then asked if I were interested in skin care and I said maybe, that I don't do much with makeup but could use something. She led me to the "Fresh" collection of expensive monk-made skin care products. I kid you not - the monks make at least some of the products. I grabbed the cleansing cream because it was an all-in-one - no need for separate toner and so on, and she recommended that I try some others and gave me samples and explanations. Finally I was at the register, explaining that I had left my birthday gift email at home. No problemo! Into the bag went the birthday special, lipsticks by Fresh. Nice! I left there with my wallet significantly the worse for the venture but I had my cool Sephora bag and cool little birthday gift. I did not regret it.

So there I was, downtown, and a few doors away was a new restaurant - the Urbane Cafe. Cool looking place, quite popular. A person up front rolls and cooks the bread in pizza ovens, and the bread is used for sandwiches. I ordered a "Californian" - avocado, of course, plus artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and more. No cheese or mayo, please. I got one of those electronic thingies with my number on it. I found a seat and read for a bit, waiting for the gadget to light up. Which it did, very soon, flashing red lights and vibrations all over. I had a delicious sandwich and side salad and headed back to my car.

In two days I visited three eateries that I had not gone to before. Am I on a roll? Or just trying my new legs? I think rather the latter. I'm still not ready to wander around downtown. I am looking forward to when it will not be painful to do so.

Going to dinner

I am going to have dinner with my veg group tonight. It wasn't too long ago when I looked forward to these gatherings, but now I don't, most of the time. I have been thinking, wondering, why the change. I think I have a couple of answers:

1. friends. I don't feel a real closeness with anybody else in the group. I think I would look forward to the time if I were there with somebody I really enjoy.

2. responsibility. I feel like I have abdicated responsibility for a lot of things in this group. I just don't feel like stepping up sometimes. Much of the time.

In some ways I have become more reclusive. Yet I go to the gym and join water exercise classes and sit in the hot tub afterwards, in part so I can get to know the other class members. And I go to sewing classes on Tuesdays and enjoy the company of the other class members there. I think the key here is responsibility. I don't have leadership roles in these places.
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Lucky me

I just happened upon Pink Martini on KCET tonight, shortly after the concert started. Large audience, diverse. Yes, it's pledge week but that's okay. They gotta get money somehow and Pink Martini is surely a good way to get some attention.

tripping from LV to SLO

Today I drove home to SLO from Las Vegas. When I left LV I was listening to a Sherlock Holmes radio drama. Following that, I heard:

- Interview with Wilbert Rideau, author of In the Place of Justice, memoir about 44 years in prison, on Fresh Air (NPR). I want the book now.
- Part of a Ted Talk featuring a strange singer (I switched after a bit) (see for the fascinating collection of these talks)
- A podcast of a guy talking about his obsession with Soren Kierkegaard, complete with his visit to Denmark to talk to a Kierkegaard expert about the religious stage (I really liked this)
- Repeat of a podcast from This American Life (replayed on Public Radio Exchange - by a young woman whose bf broke up with her, leaving her with the desire to write a torch song about it. She interviews Phil Collins about how to write one and then works with some musician friends to get a melody. Kinda cute. Called "Dr. Phil".
- Podcast by a hospice nurse, talking about death and about a book he has written about - death. He found that people need to know what to expect.
- Radio play from 1945, starring Jimmy Stewart - The Vivacious Woman, I think it was called. Not much of a plot.

and more I can't recall right now. I should take notes sometimes.


Some things about my new mytouch 3G phone:

I admit I did not investigate thoroughly, did not read the reviews as well as I should have. I was tired of looking at options and decided to go with what T-mobile offered and I liked the sound of the mytouch.

What I don't like:

Bluetooth compatibility is spotty. For whatever reason I can't send or receive files from my computer through bluetooth and so far I have been unable to get my phone to connect with my radio so I can talk through the radio. These two things were really helpful to me with my old, regular razr and I do not know why they are not available. Supposedly more and more will become compatible over time but until then I am especially annoyed at the radio-phone disconnection.

When I am calling an automatic robot, whatever they call those help lines with the "press one for...", I have to grapple to get the dialpad back to press the right keys. Awkward and a delay. The old regular phone was better for this too.

internet doesn't seem to be as fast as it should be.

No manual came with the phone. And there is no mention of one on the T-mobile site. I found one, at the suggestion of a Best Buy guy, at, the makers of the phone, but it isn't completely accurate for my phone. I expect T-mobile modified some of the functions for its purposes. In general I feel a lack of support and understanding, although i admit I have not hunted relentlessly. It just seems like T-mobile should be offering a whole lot more than it does.

What I do like:

Well, having the internet is the biggie. I love finding things out while out and about, especially on trips.

I like testing out the apps, doing odds and ends of things, and so far I have hardly scraped the surface on this.

I like the camera, the way it works. I can take successive photos without having to save each one immediately. It works more like a regular camera. I enjoy being able to upload to my facebook account easily too.

I'm divided on the size. It's smaller than the iphone, which has advantages. i can tuck it where I might not tuck an iphone. But what this means is a smaller screen and more room taken up with odds and ends to make the small size work, like a "back" button and a "menu" button on the phone itself. Those things seem odd and because they are mechanical they can mess up, I think.

what have i done today?

Sometimes I feel like I do nothing all day. So today I am going to list:

made bed
cleaned bathroom countertops, both bathrooms
swished toilets, both bathrooms,
washed and dried load of laundry
folded another load of laundry
did quick mop of both bathrooms
finished family calendar and ordered it!
cleaned sinks in both bathrooms thoroughly
mailed phone to joey, holiday card to aimee
finished one Christmas stocking (five to go)

to do yet:
quick vacuum of carpet in all carpeted rooms
make slow-cooker ratatouille
complete another stocking or two
there's more...can't think...