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Only in America and probably only then from the greater Philadelphia area. It’s nice to see New Jersey in the news for something other than a political corruption scandal.

Car Wreck Saves Choking Driver’s Life

It even made the local broadcast news…

Car crash Saves Man from Choking on Onion Ring

Gotta love it.

What if you were told you had to give up three of your five senses? Which could you stand to do without. Which two would you rather die than never experience again?

I’ve given this a lot of thought this evening, for lack of anything better to do while I do laundry and listen to The World on NPR. I know I could easily do without vision and taste. I’ve come to the conclusion that both are highly overrated, overstimulated and derive far more emphasis than they deserve. Besides, I’ve had my fill of both of them. I don’t mean I’d prefer never to see a beautiful vista or piece of art again but I’ve seen enough sculpture and valleys to have memories aplenty.

And taste? Hasn’t our American gluttony gotten us into enough trouble? Greed for oil. Hunger for more, more and ever more food and the obesity that results from it. I’ve eaten enough succulent strawberries and pumpkin pie with whipped cream to last a lifetime. I sure would miss ice cream but it’s a sacrifice I could make.

So I’m left with three sense and have to unload one more. Which one?

Music. Voices. Babbling creeks. Crickets and katydids. My son. My grandboy. Hmmm.

The silkiness of a bubble bath. The sting of salt water on my calves. The feel of my skin after I’ve had an Indulgence Day.” Clean, crisp, line-dried cotton sheets on a well-made bed. I don’t know.

The scent of a bakery or pizzeria. The aroma of my lover as we simmer against each other. An old-fashioned rose. A summer rain after a dry spell. Lily of the valley. An infant. What to do?

I just got back from putting my next load of laundry. The rain has come to the Delaware Valley. Thank God, because it put out the fire in the New Jersey Pinelands! It rained hard last evening and a cool front moved in. Today was about perfect, in my opinion…high about 69 F, mostly sunny, clouded over a bit and cooled off nicely as the sun set. I have new hostas and ferns freshly planted and getting a nice, easy drink.

I walked back up from the basement laundry room. The rain was steady but quite light. The ground smelled of gratitude. The rain wasn’t yet heavy enough to penetrate the canopy of the maple tree that shades the walkway to my home. I stood and felt the rain on my face, listened to it gently splatter on the jewel green leaves and breathed deep the scent of the earth as she accepted the first of the offering from the sky.

I would give up sounds, I think. I couldn’t conceive of walking in the world and not feeling that on my skin or to never smell freshly-baked bread. To never feel the sensation of butter melting on my tongue, smell a deep, old forest or feel my grandson kiss my cheek? That would be more than I could bear.

Hell, I’m going to spellcheck and link this post up later. Right now I need to go eat something!

So, what would you choose?


From the AP, via AOL news:

Green Apple Scented Condoms

Grandma Finds Condom in Kid’s Happy Meal

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A grandmother was alarmed to find a condom in a happy meal gift pack bought for her 7-year-old granddaughter at a McDonald’s restaurant in New Zealand, local media reported Thursday.

The condom was discovered Tuesday night in a bag that came with Maia Whitaker’s meal, which her grandparents bought at a McDonald’s outlet in the city of Wellington.

Grandpa Rowan Hutch told The Dominion Post newspaper it was lucky his wife was first to look inside the small sports bag that came with the meal.

She was aghast when she found the green condom and its packet inside the bag, he said.

“I was pretty horrified really. The fact my granddaughter was going to look in the bag and find this thing. It would be difficult to explain, she’s only seven,” said Hutch.

The outlet quickly swapped the happy meal for a hamburger and pencil case. McDonald’s is investigating the find.

Spokeswoman Joanna Redfern-Hardisty said because of its popularity, the previous happy meal gift had sold out at the outlet and prepackaged sports bags were substituted as children’s gifts.

One was left unsealed for display purposes and “somehow” had ended up with the customer, she said, without explaining why the condom was present.

Hell, I started talking to my son about sex, condoms and personal responsibility at the tender age of 6. I’ve always figured a class about the mechanics (and sanctity/responsibility/ownership) of sex and our bodies would be much more helpful than that stupid menstruation cartoon we were made to watch in fourth grade. Dancing ovaries? I’ve never known mine to even do a jig, though I swear my uterus is in there kickboxing some months!

Here’s hoping the AP doesn’t track me down for my flagrant violation of their copyrights.


A Right-this-Minute List of Ten Movies I’d take to a Desert Island

The Hudsucker Proxy on IMDB

1. The Hudsucker Proxy: Source of one of my favorite movie quotes, “You know, for kids!” as uttered by the Mr. Deeds of the film, Tim Robbins, the quintessential starry-eyed idealist, sucker and proxy. The Coen Brothers in one of their best, most inspired moments.

Out of Africa on IMDB

2. Out of Africa: For the sheer, raw beauty of the film and the soundtrack. For the poignancy of the lives it reveals. For the beauty of the land, in a time when much of the world’s land was still quite pristine. And, ahhh, the Mozart!

When my son was six, I decided I really wanted to watch Out of Africa on a given evening. I seem to recall with fair clarity that I as premenstrual at the time. As I bawled my eyes out watching them as they flew over the countryside or as the lions rested by the grave on a hill, my son asked me, plaintively, “If it makes you so sad, why do you watch it, Mommy?”

I’d take this movie for that memory alone.

The Princess Bride on IMDB3. The Princess Bride: I might as well since I have most of the movie memorized by now. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” I think it’s a fabulously witty spoof, cleverly cast and executed perfectly. There’s just the right amount of camp.

Want to know which Princess Bride character you are? Take the quiz. I am:


Miracle Max


Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

The Lord of the Rings4. The Lord of the Rings movies…counted as one choice, of course. Having by now read all four books (including The Hobbit) over twenty times, I’ve made myself sit through every pathetic cinematic attempt at bringing the book to life.

A particularly dismal example was a movie in the 1980’s which tried to blend animation and live action. Rent this someday if you have a burning desire to torture yourself. I commend them for their inventiveness in being the first to combine the two genres but the movie they produced in their effort sucked!

My first (real) car was named Gandalf!

Star Wars5. The Star Wars movies…all six of them…counted as one choice, of course. I love them all, to varying degrees, though I was seriously tested by the woodenness of both Hayden Christiensen and Natalie Portman. (I’m afraid Ms. Portman is becoming another Sean Young!) The story so transcends the mediocrity of the films that I must watch.

Besides, Mike and I would have Star Wars Film Festivals when he was young…all day long, episodes IV, V and VI in a row, popcorn and blankets and good junk food to nibble on. Yes, they have to go with.

Mad Max, the Movies6. Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. I will try to rein in my greed after this one. The first of the trilogy for its spectacular, artistic vision of a post-apocalyptic Australia. A wonderful Kennedy-Miller collaboration. And Tina Turner’s thundering legs!

The Road Warrior

Mad Max II: The Road Warrior is my favorite, though I like the original quite a bit. Thunderdome is my least favorite…except for those gams!

Nina Takes a Lover on IMDB

7. Nina Takes a Lover would be stranded with me to help me retain a little sense of sensuality as I slowly broil to death. Great movie, if you’ve never heard of it.

Enchanted April on IMDB8. Howard’s End, Enchanted April, Sense and Sensibility or Jane Eyre (Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine), something Merchant-Ivory-ish. One of them would go to remind me of propriety, decorum, elegance and grace…none of which is a quality I have yet to cultivate. Something to evoke a period of great literature, great chivalry, great restraint, great love, great reserve and great rewards.

I think I’d probably prefer something magical, like Enchanted April.

The Last Emperor on IMDB9. Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor. Or maybe Lawrence of Arabia. Something epic and splendorous. I might have to opt for the former, as it is so much lavish than the latter. Besides, I’m turned on by just about every actor or actress in that movie. The scene with Joan Chen beneath the sheets with the Emperor and Empress. Oh my. The Last Emperor it is.

(Interesting side note: Lawrence of Arabia was the first movie I ever saw. In 1962, my parents took us to the drive-in where we all watched a movie about a pedophile. Interesting, huh?)

Only one more?

The Ice Storm on IMDB10. Update: I had the Indiana Jones trilogy here originally but realized I’d made a glaring omission. The Ice Storm has got to make the island trip. Before American Beauty tore us all apart, Ang Lee had already dissected the suburban American dream in all its gritty glory. It’s one of the most poignant and disturbing films I’ve seen.

Interestingly, when my son was 16, I took him and his half-sister to see this film, having no idea it was about marital infidelity, drugs, sex and untimely death. I hid behind my hand for most of the film. I bet Mike wanted to crawl beneath the seat!  Interesting, huh?

I’ll have to make sure Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade makes the next cut.

Could one not adore River Phoenix as the Young Indy?

I miss you, River!

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these or do in the future.


(Last word: I stumbled upon the most amazing site while “researching” this post. The Celebration of Women Writers is an online collection of the writings of women authors from the University of Pennsylvania. Look at this lineup…there are hundreds of authors here and all the “books” are available to read online. What a treasure chest!)

Old London TowneThere’s fog in the city of brotherly love and its immediate environs tonight. I walked outside with Sadie on leash into a soup of near-London proportions. Okay, maybe not London but I certainly thought, “This is what New Orleans must be like in ‘winter.’ ” Funny, but when I was down there in November one year I liked to have froze my bloody arse off, but that’s another story.London Towne Fog

So, the fog here might be a mere consomme compared to Europe, but it’s powerful just the same. This is a fog which captures the sound, muffles and alters it slightly, and holds it down near the earth’s ear. You can hear it all…a dog bark from the other side of town, the planes taking off from the airport. The drip, drip, drip of the water that should be running down the downspout had it not released its grip on its moorings last week. The sound of a horn from the river or the Boeing plant. The far-off wail of a fire siren

Our steps were squishy and loud in the night, Sadie’s and mine.

A couple arguing in the parking lot.

One couldn’t help but strain the ears to catch the frequent “fuck”s from the young man and talk about “her” from the young woman. I took it to be a third party argument. At first I wanted the issue to be resolved but I reconsidered. I think I would prefer that the girl arguing with the man in the fog, who was possibly terribly in love with him and decidedly more worthy than the woman in the discussion, have her wish granted. I desire the young man to realize the error of his ways and kiss the young woman deeply and passionately. I wished for them to ride off, clippety-clop, into the fog on a white steed (hers).

White Horse at Dawn

Instead, another couple had joined the discussion by the time Sadie and I had made our loop and I believe I heard the sound of laughter. I’d had visions of the young man driving hellishly through the lot and ending up on a trauma stretcher at my old place of employ. Well, not quite visions but a suggestion that that possibility lie down one of the possible trajectories from the event. But that’s Einsteinian and also for another post.

I’ve spent the day; the winter thus far, really; hibernating. I’ve been taking a little journey inside myself and finding out all sorts of yummy stuff but that, too, is for another post. Today, Saturday that is, I slept until almost 2, had an Angus bacon cheddar burger for my meal, nodded off to some of my favorite sounds in the stereo and watched what may have been one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen take place, live, in New Orleans, Louisiana…the NFC playoff game between my Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints. I bet you this one winds up on some best playoff games ever dvd, but that’s yet another post.

Cheryl’s Sweet, Warm Christmas Lights

I’ve still got my Christmas tree and lights up and am enjoying one more night of their sweet, warm glow. () They’ll have to come down tomorrow, shortly after whatever time I wake up. It’s 4AM and I still haven’t gotten in the tub…

I just now ate a very slightly stale white cream with chocolate icing doughnut washed down but ice cold milk in a frosted mug. I keep two mugs in the freezer, mostly for soda. Oh, and I also had the most delicious orgasm. Wow! It just doesn’t get much better than this.

Cheryl’s Candlelit Bubble Bath-in-Waiting

Now it’s off to a candlelit bubble bath then off to bed in my silky cotton sheets. I’ve determined that what I want most right now for my body to be as soft and smooth from head to toe; nails filed, legs shaved, heels pumiced, hair slick; as possible. A variety of scents and lotions and textures then a blissful nights sleep.Funny how sometimes you have to go into the fog to see clearly inside.

Yes, I’ve been holed up here, yes I’ve been cocooning, but isn’t that what one has to do at certain stages of the game? Hell, I turn fifty in less than two months. If it was ever time for an epiphany…

So, I’m sorry I haven’t been writing or even reading much. I’ll be back around again in the near future, I believe. Hell, I’ve got at least three new post ideas in this one alone. If you know anything about me at all, you should have guessed that it’s rather hard for me to shut up. I’m especially loud in the fog. I hope my grandboy is just like me!

I once said I’d like my grandson to tell me one day that I’m “cool,” or whatever the corresponding terminology of the day is. I realized the other day is I want my grandson to say to me, “Grandma, you’re not a grownup!”

I’ll come back and fix the pictures and spell-check later. It’s fucking four-thirty o’the clock and I needs me beauty sleep.

Until next time.

700 victims. Can you imagine what this ship must smell like? You couldn’t pay me enough to go clean it up!

Cruise ship stricken with virus docks in Florida

I heard it first on the weekend edition of All Things Considered.

Before that she bitched about: