A Lightbulb Moment.

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 I just spent 3 hours and $89 replacing the bulb in my kitchen counter clamp-on light.


Years ago when it came time to bring some light to a dark corner of my kitchen,  I blew-off electricians as well as esthetics and purchased a cheap, Ikea clamp-lamp. This clever light fulfilled its duty faithfully and without fuss until one morning, about 6 weeks ago, it failed.

I could write a dissertation on the lightbulb but won’t. It’s enough to note that certain light bulbs are difficult to find. Apparently, (trust me on this) the only place to find a replacement bulb for a cheap, Ikea clamp-lamp is Ikea.

My tirade on stores of this ilk must be imagined by you, kind reader. It should include the words: alienating, scourge, lowest denominator, and evil vortex of mass consumption. Why I went there in the first place is an example of  fatuity.

Anyway, it took until today for me brave-up for the dreaded big-box odyssey. I remembered to put the burned out bulb in my purse. (Wouldn’t want to come home with the wrong one.) I drove, I parked, I walked and walked through the maze of enticing crap that is Ikea.

Along the way I decided not to buy a new table nor one of those woodblock rolling cabinets. I picked up and put down a set of knives, an assortment of colorful throw pillows, some odd shaped glassware that would be perfect for juice or vodka, and a clock. It was easy to say no to the cowhides. I stood in front of a tres-cool, orange plastic chair for a solid ten minutes wondering where it could fit in my house. Nowhere.

I know better than to buy anything at Ikea but I couldn’t resist the 100% cotton spa robes. They were twenty bucks. My Gaia, you can’t even buy a box of chocolates for twenty bucks! I stuffed two into the huge yellow bag that had been floating empty off my arm.

You know how it goes once you start putting stuff into one of those bags. . . Polka-dot bowls become  necessary. It would be flat out wrong to pass up the massive bamboo tray.  A bright red umbrella  will be handy when this drought ends.

By the time I got to the lighting section I was tired and needed to pee. Worse, the merchandise- monster was jumping out from behind the enormous bins of sheep-skins and pot holders hollering, ” BUY BUY BUY.”

“Remain calm,” I said aloud, as the sales-associate went in search of a replica bulb. It didn’t help. Next thing I knew I was clutching a tiny light bulb, a huge and heavy yellow bag,  and the elbow of a stranger. “I need to get out,” I begged.


Everything Blog

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Ever since I gave myself a blog for my sixtieth birthday I’ve been everything BLOG. I now use the word blog the way the word fuck is used: for everything.

“What the blog are you doing?” I ask Duke, who appears to be digging through my underwear drawer. He’s naked and a bit excited. “Oh, for blog sake,” I say in exasperation when he holds up my silk-robe sash.   “Get your blogging ass over here and show me something good,” he says, taking up my new lingo. “We’re blogged now.”

You get my point.

I turn SIXTY day after tomorrow! Blog me!

I was up fretting about it last night. I left the bed to wander the house, looking for an easy way to feel.  It was too hot last night.  I opened the refrigerator door and stood in its special, cool light.  Maybe I was thinking the answer to my age-angst was somewhere in the small jars huddled together on the middle shelf. They’re a fine collection of special ingredients, aging in cold silence: mustard, olive paste, capers, lemon curd, marinated artichokes,  and a tiny, unopened jar of Russian caviar  I bought 4 years ago to impress dinner guests who turned out to be vegetarians. Or maybe I was finding answers in the mouth chilling 2012 Chardonnay I took a couple slugs of. When the warning alarm sounded–the blogging door is open too long–angst still intact, I made my way to the living room to sweat out a couple of hours thinking about the past.

It’s easy to think of your past for the simple fact that  you, and you alone, know what it contains. Oblivious youth followed by decades of illusion filled adulthood where dreams came true and nightmares stayed in the sleep-realm. Things start getting all blogged up somewhere around fifty-five and crash hard at fifty-nine. That’s how it was for me anyway. But that’s the past.

Here and now, I’m blogging.

Day after tomorrow , what the blog do I know?

This Is Friday?

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Voice came as soon as I pulled the vacuum cleaner from the closet.  I’d had every intention to finally suck up a weeks worth of dog hairs, crumbs, and street grit from my once ago well-kept home until  jabber, jabber, jabber–Voice lavished me with interesting musings and brilliant wisdom I wanted to get immediately  onto the page. This stuff was good. This stuff was going to give you something.

I abandoned the vacuum.  (Should I insert a sad face here?)        

 Aquiver with excitement I  sat down to write it all out on my sparkling  new blog…only to discover I couldn’t remember how to access it.

Is this normal for a sixty year old? Does it mean anything that earlier this morning I wasn’t exactly sure what day of the week it is? How many times must I play the two-minute tutorial from WordPress before I expect myself to retain it?

Meanwhile, Voice went scurrying along with the dust bunnies to a hiding place under the bed . I can hear it, taunting, whispering promises, practically daring me to turn on the blogging vacuum and suck it out.

Could this be a writing tool?


Now,  3 hours later and still flummoxed as to how to get rid of italics once I have mistakenly italicised the entire top portion of  this post, I’m ready to push the blogging start button and get to work.

Every day a little something more.

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About a month ago I decided I better get my heart beating faster at least a couple times a week. I dusted off my bike, a Breezer most excellent and suitable for a sixty year old, and began taking morning rides along the bay shore. This morning I was out and peddling before dawn. I keep an average speed of 8 miles an hour – poke slow as some say – yet I sweat and and my heart beats hard enough for me to feel it. The view I get as I effort along is one of the best in the world. Elegant egrets dipping their beaks into the glassy bay water selecting their morning morsels, Emeryville skyscrapers boasting LED signs: ART HEALTH, reflect the changing light, miles across the water San Francisco stands proud on its peninsula, connecting to Marin by way of the Golden Gate Bridge. Marin seems to always get the first direct rays of sun. It shines yellow in an otherwise gray-hued expanse. This is one side of the world I could look at forever.
On the other is 880. The roar of traffic, even at Six thirty in the morning allows me to sing at the top of my lungs and still not be heard. The cars, trucks & busses, so many shapes and colors speed toward their occupant’s work days, headlights beaming, windows rolled up tight to keep the incessant speak of NPR audible, and my off key rendition of an old Sonny & Cher toon out.
I love these mornings. The ridiculousness ness of racing the dawn, the traffic and the days of of my sixtieth year. Today the little something more was noticing the calm this ride brings to my thoughts.

What the Blog am I Doing

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Just like I figured. After years of friends telling me I should have a blog, like they knew I would have an instant & vast readership who would read-me-up to the blogosphere in much the same way dear old Scotty was beamed aboard the Starship, enabling me  to impart my opinion, wit, intelligence, bad grammar and typos to any passer bye who keys in the number sixty–I’m here doing it. And, if I might add -shockingly inadequate to the task.
Sixty is a brave undertaking. There is no going back. No pretending to be young. No passing for anything younger – the way woman who use Palmolive dish soap can fool you into thinking their sixty year old hands aren’t covered in bulging veins and liver spots. Even my hands look young when they’re hidden behind mounds of white bubbles.
Sixty is sixty, six decades into life with only the home stretch in front of you. Could be today or thirty years from today but if a sixty year old knows anything for certain: the blog will end.