Star Trek, Timing and Alternate Reality

Yesterday I went over to Vicki’s to watch the new Star Trek movie on Joe’s new PS3/Blu Ray player. I was fascinated with Star Trek back in the 60’s, but never latched on to the subsequent movies. This movie was good – a prequel that is almost believable, though shifty in its timing explained by an ‘alternate reality’. The characters were wonderful, and original Spock makes an appearance. I stopped and bought a copy on the way home so I can sort it out. Do normal people do that? Or just my children and I?

I came out of Walmart $150 less because their movies are so cheap, and Jaime/Neil set me up with a DVD to iPhone video converter that makes the movies half the size of iTunes. Thus I’ve scrapped my plan of buying only eMovies. Thankfully Snow White was not back in the vault – it’s been on my list for a very long time, and perhaps one day I can share it with a granddaughter. Then there was the new Batman and Harry Potter I hadn’t snatched up immediately. Cinderella Story and Another for $7.50 – how could I not? Sisterhood of the Traveling Pant and II, $9.00. Star Trek and Four Christmases both came with eFiles. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past tugged me to watch again. I watched it on an airplane this summer, somewhere over the country. (J would be so proud, and that I came home and added them to my DVD list in Evernote, and filed them alphabetically in my DVD binder).

I am sitting in front of my Christmas tree drinking hot tea brewed from leaves of black, white and green, contemplating blogging and photographs and timing. And whether timing matters. In Star Trek? In Blogging?

I have stashed the instruction book to my new camera in a very safe place. When I unearth it I will determine how to save photos to the SD card, eliminating the need to tether the entire camera to the computer to download the pictures.


My daughter, Vicki II, and Granddogs – Stumpy and Captain Jack.  Stumpy refused to pose – he wanted to sniff my camera.  I waved him away, told him to ‘go get Jack’, so this is the best I get.  He is the sweetest, most gently puppy I find it hard to believe he skinned a rabbit and brought it to his people for Christmas.

One further thought – I have one Grandchild and three Granddogs.  That may have been fated.  God knows I’ve always preferred dogs to people.  But listen up God, that did not include GRANDCHILDREN!

A few weeks ago Vicki and I were oohing and ahhing over a tremendous doll house in Toys R Us.  Joey was off with my iPhone thumbing his Christmas list into notes.  He walked up as I was lamenting, 

Grandmama: “I want a granddaughter.”  

Joey: “I want a brother.”

Grandmama:  “Oh, look!  There are cookies in the oven!  Do you mind if he’s gay?”



New Adventures

Although I won’t make New Year’s Resolutions, I can plan that this will be a year of new adventures.  I wouldn’t buy myself a kayak because I am afraid of alligators, but Blaise bought me one.  I will enjoy it very much.

Vicki bought me a book I wanted, “Blogging for Bliss”, and I’ve been leafing through it.  The best blogs are those full of images, and the author, a popular blogger, admits that she writes best when inserting a photo first.  I got a new Nikon SLR for Christmas too, and it is amazing.  There are beautiful photo opportunities on this island and I’m looking forward to pursuing them.

Blaise took the photo above on his iPhone, from the dock, of my maiden voyage in my new little boat.  I’m told it needs a name and I will contemplate that.  I had never been in a kayak before, but it’s similar to a canoe and I took off paddling before it stopped rocking.

All of my life I have had a need to be outdoors.  Nature is peaceful to me as nothing else is.  Engaging it with hiking, biking or rowing and there is my heaven.

I don’t like years that end in zero; it’s my history that makes me wary, but things are well.  My holidays were filled with my family, baking, cooking and old Christmas tree ornaments. My To Do List is alive and well, but not lethal and I have high hopes of conquering it.  My job is overwhelming this time of year, but allows me to feel very accomplished.  Fewer responsibilities allow me to live more for the moment and I find I love that freedom, although I tend to get caught up in something particular to the neglect of all else.  I am going to strive for more balance.  I have read 6 books since Monday and forced myself to stop and write, take a photo, knit a row, watch football, enjoy the Christmas Tree.


Woke up this morning thinking about television. I couldn’t sleep last night and didn’t feel like reading so I spent some time browsing Netflix Instant Watch. I finally chose a movie – Gross Pointe Blank, which so reminded me of my son, and I would never have watched if I had not been open to wasting time (by my own definition). None of the television tempted me. I don’t watch much television, and never have.

 I probably haven’t followed a dozen shows religiously in my life: 1. Partridge Family; 2. Hill Street Blues; 3. NYPD Blue; 4. Charmed; 5. Bones. There may be some I’ve forgotten. There are others I’ve happened across in the middle, and many I’ve lost interest in (House). I’ve popped in and out of Days of Our Lives for nearly 40 years, it’s become nostalgic now. I’d get in a mood to watch a sitcom and would turn on Golden Girls or Designing Women or Mad About You or Everybody Loves Raymond or King of Queens (Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother), but I’ve never turned them on because “it’s 8pm Tuesday”. I’ll watch a rerun of any of those if the mood strikes, but it’s rare.

 I’ve been taking a hit or miss survey of people in an attempt to find an intellectual series that will keep my attention and enable me too, to converse about episodes at the water cooler. NCIS got enough first and singular votes that I’ve watched the first 4 episodes. So far, so good. I was talking to one of our doctors last week, who told me she got her son hooked on NCIS, so I was excited to get her vote. Someone else told me his wife loves Bones and NCIS because of the character dynamic – also a very good reason.

 I’ve watched all of Castle online, but that could fade fast. Like Ghost Whisperer, which I thought I loved. For one season. Medium kept my attention for a couple seasons, but then started to scare me. Trying on Eastwick this season. I have odd taste, no one likes those shows. It’s all reality or dancing or Law & Order or CSI, none of which I can handle.

 So, why am I bothering to write about a medium I have to force myself to entertain? It’s always the nostalgia factor. When I was a kid there were cartoons after school and Saturday. My brothers were obsessed and never let anyone (me) choose the channel(of 4). I recall that I have watched some Bugs Bunny, Felix the Cat and Speed Racer. Many nights I would stay over at my grandparents and they watched Lawrence Welk, and Wild Kingdom and any Christmas or Country Music special that was on. At some point I requested and watched Petticoat Junction. There was another point in our life when we went to my grandparents house every night for dinner. I was pre- or early teens and I sucked up the tv. Gramp let us watch the Munsters and Star Trek every night. My mother was deadset against anything scary or sci fi, but she wouldn’t argue with Gramp.

 If my parents watched tv at home it was after I was in bed. If my father was at home on weekends he would watch westerns or war movies (I also hate to this day).I was between 4 & 8 when we had a babysitter who watched American Bandstand. I HATED that show. It felt out of place in our house. I remember being other places and people would be watching The Three Stooges, or those kids with Alfalfa, or Rin Tin Tin and I hated it all. I’m not sure why and I’m curious so I’ll have to contemplate on that. Maybe I had a deep seated dislike of having all attention riveted on that box. It wasn’t because we had to be quiet, I was always quiet, but perhaps it was that everyone else was quiet. I was an observer and that had to have been deadly boring to me, especially since I had no interest in the television.

 As I got a later bedtime I saw my mother didn’t watch tv either, though I hate to admit to being like her in any way. In fact, I recall her attempting to watch Peyton Place and Bewitched when they were all the rage. When I was about 15 our television broke, I listened to the Partridge Family because the picture was faint. It wasn’t replaced for years. We lived in another house later where Charlie obsessed over cartoons again, but as a teenager I had no interest whatsoever – I only wanted to be in the woods. I did some babysitting for two little boys and we watched cartoons every Saturday. I’d be reading the Trixie Belden books I bought with my wages, but I did enjoy Scooby Doo. That was an intriguing bit of television. Those little kids loved it, but it also seemed to be aimed at my own age group.

 Gramp liked to watch baseball and the sound of it still is very soothing to me because it reminds me of being in that house, which was the only safe haven of my entire childhood. I would sit next to him and he taught me about baseball and rooting for the underdog. Family lore tells that my great-grandfather, James Seaman, played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. I can’t find online evidence, but we have pictures in his uniform. Apparently the entire family was shattered when the BROOKLYN Dodgers defected. They could never take up with the Yankees, but those underdog Mets became the family team.

 Gramp also watched the national news every night of his life (along with reading two newspapers everyday). A habit that would be very out of place now is that when the news, or the ball game, or Lawrence Welk was over he turned off the television. It didn’t run all day, he didn’t channel surf to find something else to watch, he turned it off and went about his life. There was a small rectangular button that pushed for on and off, and a dial to choose the channel. It went up to some ungodly number that I never understood (30? 50?); I asked but no one knew. (Gramp would glory in technology of today). We lived 50 miles from New York City and we got their channels through a giant metal antennae on the roof. We had channels 2 (CBS),4 (NBC), 7(ABC) and 13(public television). The networks are still the same to this day.


And, oh, another important note to my descendants – the television was all in black & white. You know, like that option on your digital camera to make photos look OLD. Although, the kids I babysat for had color – it was a little bright and alarming, but Scooby Doo in my memory is colorful!

Paracord, Small Towns & Grandma

In a sort of six degrees of separation way, paracord is related to my grandmother.

It all started with my penchant for survival gadgets, which prompted my son to send me a bracelet braided from paracord that can be unraveled in an emergency.  Next I found online instructions for making my own, at which time I asked Blaise for a source of colored paracord.  Not finding the latches, I let the whole thing stew for months.  Last week on another blog, instructions once again pop up, siting supply sources.  I checked Blaise’s recommendation for cord and it’s the same.  I order everything and notice the Supply Captain is on Western Avenue in Marlboro, NY.  I guess they’ve become popular and their website mentions their proximity to West Point.

Marlboro is a tiny little town with an IGA and an Italian bakery on the main street.  We’d stop to buy bread (and sometimes Italian cookies) on our way up the mountain to my grandparent’s for dinner.  Ziti, sausage and meatballs.  I would grate the cheese into a bowl as Grandma prepared individual bowls of salad on her small kitchen table.  I’d carry them into the huge dining/family room off the kitchen that was at one time an outside deck.  The cloth covered table was actually a large slab of wood on legs.  Apparently they didn’t make a table large enough for our entire family when gathered on holidays.

The little house, that my grandfather built, was on a hill over a creek.  The front door was level with the street, but the back had an entire staircase down to the back sidewalk that ran around the house.  Out front was a giant flagpole.  When it was time to change the flag the family all coincidentally had gathered.  Pickup trucks were backed up to the pole and the men had a grand time.  There were two bedrooms and one bathroom and a living room that was never used.  I would take a book and hide there.  Everyone eventually walked by on the way to the bathroom.  The basement was finished but not heated., and the garage housed Grandma’s little red Nissan three speed.

In the summer she tended her gardens and hung clothes on the line strung on the side hill.  The house was dark red with white shutters and there was a skinny porch on the front.  My sister and I would go out there to play Barbie or paper dolls.  The creek would be lower in the late summer and purple flowers would erupt everywhere.  Grandma fed the ducks everyday.

Reading ” Marlboro, NY” makes me want to go back to that house.  Makes me want to check the real estate listing.  Makes me imagine that it’s really fall as I cuddle in my blankets in the chilly air pretending that the heat is really on and the sliding glass door is not really open.  Is it really the house that lures me back?


My Favorite Holiday Candy:  Anyone who knows me can answer that question!   PEEPS. 

I don't recall when I first had one (how long have they been around?)

One of my favorite pictures is of my eldest daughter at around 8 months old on her first Easter.  We had recently moved to Florida and she was sitting on the front l lawn of her grandmother's house.  She was born with a lot of dark hair and looked great in yellow, so naturally she was wearing her first yellow Easter dress, hair in pigtails.  She was sitting with a blowup bunny that was taller than she was, whom she was offering a bite of her PEEP.  It's absolutely precious.   She had a couple licks of a candy cane on her first Christmas, but that PEEP would have been only the second piece of candy in her life.  (She was nutritionally overprotected – never had a sip of soda until she was 5 and went to a kindergarten birthday party).

Last Easter she bought me two sets of stuffed PEEPS – the chicks and the bunnies.  I keep the yellow chick on my desk at home, and the purple on my desk at work – they make me smile.

Needless to say, my children received PEEPS from the Easter bunny EVERY year.  Carefully and lovingly packed into colorful plastic eggs, one at a time  (Florida = invasion of the ants).  I believe my son,  (not nearly as cute on his first Easter) took great pleasure in informing me that they all HATE PEEPS, at some point in his late teenage years.  I was stunned.  Who does not like PEEPS?!

Several years ago my younger daughter, Jaime Jo, gave me PEEPS MAKER for Easter!   This Easter I got PEEPS from Jaime and Jessica and Heidi.  (They quite often gift me with other holiday PEEPS as well).

Do you know there is an entire Food Network episode on PEEPS?

Morons and, oh yeah, PEAS!

I just wanted to post a comment on Vicki’s journal about the “subjet to flooding” signs.  Is nothing easy in my world?  My little doggie, I suppose.  The signs are all over the Summerlin College construction and they are not  even temporary!   They can be folded up and carted all over the county.  Heidi thinks they were made in a prison.  I can’t bear to focus on them.   Trivial stupidity is almost worse than the Universal kind.

An appropriate random quote appearing on igoogle today:

“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. ”         Rich Cook

One of our accountants sent me a link to a “keep the Red Sox’ petition.  I started scanning it to see if I had already signed it.  I had, so had Heidi and Vicki.   So had half a dozen MORONS, who wanted to voice an opinion on why they hate the Red Sox and their tax dollars shouldn’t build a new stadium.  How stupid must you be to think that your “signature” won’t be used to KEEP THE RED SOX?   It is incomprehensible to me!  The depths of stupidity astound me every day of my life.

I’m think I just accidentally ate a pea, hidden in one of the bitty shell noodles in the low fat/low sodium/flavorless Minestrone I just ate for dinner.    I wonder if other, smarter,  people would view that as stupidity?  It is inexplicable.  It is irrational.  It is unreasonable. It is not up for discussion.   Once I began to suspect is was a past life thing, or an infancy thing, I have not worked on past life regression.  Reliving a choking episode might endanger my slim grasp on normalcy.

Why is perplexed not a mood?  I am quite often perplexed.  And what is recumbent?  Good Grief Charlie Brown.


Comments on LiveJournal

Vjj97       Submitted on 2008/09/24 at 12:48 am

Heehee. I’m so glad you were able to verify that the signs were not a figment of my imagination. You would think there would be at least one white collar criminal in the prison responsible for doing a spell check. Or maybe he did and is now laughing hysterically about the whole thing. Jerk!!! I’m very sorry that you maybe accidentally ate a pea. I feel your pain. Remember my soup on Sunday? I don’t think it’s stupid. Having been raised knowing that peas are poison, I think it’s endearing.

JaimeJo22      Submitted on 2008/09/24 at 12:32 pm


Neil has learned to live with many of my eccentricities but the peas thing is one that he just cannot stand! Especially because I’ve given in a time or two and actually consumed a pea. Now every time peas come up, it’s Pavlovian that I object which drives him nutty. I have to say, I think it’s funny how flustered he gets by the whole thing.

Vjj97    Submitted on 2008/09/24 at 11:19 pm | In reply to jaimejo22.


I cannot believe you have eaten a pea!!!!!!! You weren’t there for the soup, but I’m pretty sure it had peas in it, so I stopped eating it so that I didn’t accidentally ingest one.

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