Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 30, 2007

Beaded Tchotchkes

Just finished this project a couple of weeks ago and I'm really pleased with the way it came out. This is what I was working on when I took that mental health day. I got the outer silver ring with the little loops from Fire Mountain Gems, and then just beaded blue and pink penctacles on it and added the beaded danglies. Those were lots of fun to make. This is one of those projects that I was sorry to have to see end, as I enjoyed it and it came out better than I thought it would.The weight of the front fringe pulls the project down just enough to be able to see the design on the top, and makes the whole piece that much more unusual. This was completely unintended on my part, as I don't have the mathmatical ability to calculate weights, so it came as a pleasant surprise when it was done and I held it up by the top loop and it looked like this.

I tried to get all of the focal beads to match the colour of the seed beads.

Roy G. Biv

We've had a lot of unstable weather this past week with thunderstorms, hail, downpours and bright sun. While it wreaks havoc on the highways with auto accidents, it also makes for very dramatic skies. This is looking east from our back deck at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 6/29. It was pouring buckets at my house, but the sun was also hitting the tops of the trees, making for a lovely and huge rainbow.It was so huge that I couldn't get it all in one picture. Here's the other side, which was extremely vivid. I had a very short window of opportunity to get pictures before it faded.

What a freakin clown. We bought these "lips with cigar" for Pepper a few years ago, but she never grabbed it the right way to make it look like her mouth. Sagan, on the other hand, being the clown that he is, knew exactly what to do. It's too bad that he's chomping down because there are big white teeth too.

June 29, 2007

Happy 48th Birthday Vincent D'Onofrio!!!

Wishing Vincent much luck, love, health and happiness now and always.
Thanks to Val, Eliza, Madi and the Valentine Cat for the pics!

June 27, 2007

Truckin' Up to Buffalo & Other Honeymoon Stories

This is July 3rd, 1989. The first Dead show of our honeymoon tour was the night before at Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts, and it was great! Now we were getting ready to head up to Buffalo, NY, or "truckin', up to Buffalo", if you will, for the July 4th show at Rich Stadium. The Dead played "Truckin'" the night before and the crowd went wild when they sang that line since Buffalo was the next stop.

We'd all crashed at Jef's apartment in Pawtucket, RI the night before, and here we are outside a diner in Plainville, MA, about ready to leave. Left to right are: Holly, Brian holding Mooey on my head, Jef, and our friend Dave, who needed a ride home to the Rochester area. He'd found us inside Foxboro Stadium the night before and asked if we could take him. So we left on the long 10 or so hour drive from southeastern Massachusetts to western upstate New York, in Holly's 1966 Dodge Dart with the ragtop roof. We dubbed her car "Bertha". Of course we had the top down the whole way up to Buffalo. (Note to Mark: We had THE top down, not OUR tops down!) That was a crazy ass trip because every single car on the Mass Pike and New York Thruway was full of Deadheads going to the next show. We made for quite the colorful and merry traveling band of hippies. Bertha was really pushed to the limit on this entire road trip, and we encountered more than a few mechanical problems along the way. Here we see Jef, Dave and Brian pushing Holly's vapor-locked car to the gas pump, deep in upstate NY. When Deadheads follow the band, they know how to make themselves at home. It was really amusing to pull into the rest stop and see it completely taken over by hippies. VW vans and school buses blasting live Dead tapes, people playing hacky sack & frisbee, wandering around talking about last night's show and what they might play tomorrow and you know they'll do "U.S. Blues" because it is after all July 4th; others have turned on the rest area's water spigot and are filling their water jugs. We tumble inside to the restaurant and Deadheads are everywhere, eating meals & lined up to use the restrooms. It really was a boon to those roadside rest stops when the Dead would come to town because they'd get loads of business, and they were very accomodating. Although occasionally you'd see Mr. & Mrs. America with little Bobby and Sally, staring at us like we are hippie freaks! Oh wait, we are.

After the July 4th show, which was great, we had another couple of days to get from Buffalo all the way south to Philadelphia for the July 7th show. We did the drive in one day, again another 10-11 hours pushing poor Bertha down the Thruway again. When we got outside Philly in New Jersey, Brian called his parents and they came to meet us at the exit. They knew that we were coming, of course. We were going to stay with them for a couple of nights, while Holly & Jef stayed with one of his friends outside Philly.

His folks had never met me before and in fact Brian hadn't even seen his family in about 4 years. They welcomed me with open arms and they were actually quite tickled when they found out we were already married. So I got to meet the whole family and it was a really nice little side trip.

Everyone who sees this goes, "who's in the picture with Brian?" which always cracks us up. Because no, he doesn't look ANYTHING like his high school graduation photo AT ALL.

The Philly show was July 7th and it was rough. It was at JFK Stadium and it was a scorcher. Easily over 100, with 100% humidity. Nothing you did kept you hydrated. Cold water was tepid within minutes. I knew I was gonna have a heat stroke episode fairly early on when I felt the nausea start, but I thought if I can just keep still, quiet and drink lots of water, I'll be OK. Well, our seats were 5 rows off the field, where it was registering 110 degrees, and we faced west. The sun was going to be on us all goddamn night. I made it through Bruce Hornsby & the Range's set OK, but when a woman sat in front of me wearing a long sleeve argyle sweater, I started to get the cold-n-clammies, and the shakes. Brian grabbed me and started pushing me up the stairs ahead of him, to get us up into the breezeway where there was a nice breeze, open air, and shade. He was yelling to me, "GO GO GO GO HANG ON! WE'RE ALMOST THERE!" and my vision was going and my hearing was buzzing. When we got to the top he yells to me, "OK!" and I dropped into his arms and was out a good 20 minutes. He'd elevated my legs by propping them up against the wall and just waited it out. When I finally came to, many kind Deadheads had stopped to offer water, ice and good cheer. Rock Med stopped by and said I was just one of many who were dropping from the heat.

We couldn't bear the thought of going back to the hot seats with that crush of people, so we left poor Holly and Jef to wonder what happened to us, and we exited the stadium. We could hear the show just fine from outside, so we spent most of the show picking up trash in the parking lots, and sitting under a tree once night came. It was a bad scene though; a steady stream of ambulances came and went from the stadium, and later on, Holly and Jef told us that another person in front of them had a complete freak-out, probably from bad drugs, and it was very difficult and painful to watch. Some of the people we encountered outside were also clearly on very bad drugs. That was the last event ever held at JFK; it was torn down by summer's end.

Brian and I took a cab back to his folks' house, because originally Holly & Jef were hooking back up w/ us for the last leg of tour. But all I wanted was a shower, air conditioning, cold drinks and a bed. We conferred w/ Holly and Jef to discuss the revised plan, and we left. We got this wicked cool black cabbie who was game for this trip from Philly all the way to Voorhees, NJ and oh by the way, none of us really knew exactly how to get there, but between the 3 of us, we managed to figure it out. It was a $75 trip with tip, but well worth it. Needless to say his parents were surprised but happy to see us and I gladly let his mom dote on me the next day!

These next photos are from the last 2 shows we went to, at Giants Stadium (aka The Meadowlands), in New Jersey, on July 9 & 10. The last night of the shows we had a thunder and lightning storm the likes of which we'd never seen before. It started raining during the Dead's first set. As the time went on, the harder it rained. Everyone was completely soaked to the skin, but it was still warm out. Then we could see the lightning coming. So they start playing this killer song called "The Music Never Stopped" and as they are playing, the lightning is literally dancing above the stadium. It was a dangerous situation, in retrospect, with all the water, people and electrical equipment, but we didn't care. We could hear the thunder over the roar of the rain, crowd and band, but we kept on dancin'.

Then it happened. One of the most unbelieveable Grateful Dead "oo-ee-oo" moments I've ever experienced. As Bobby sings the lines, "crazy rooster crow at midnight, balls of lightnin' roll along..." a bolt of lightning hit the top of one of the light towers above the stage. It was blinding. The crowd. Went. Mental. I have the tape of the show.....every time I hear that collective cheer and applause, I get goosebumps. And to this day I've never heard a version of "Music Never Stopped" played like the way it was played that night. Jerry coaxed some amazingly fast, "lightning fast" if you will, licks out of that guitar during the jam at the end. After the rain subsided as they finished Set 1 with "Don't Ease Me In", the bad weather had passed, but we found out later that there had been tornado warnings during the height of the storm.

We had to give this guy props for his brutal honesty and yes, we gave him "spare change for more drugs."

Just one of the many buses used by Deadheads to get around from place to place. We were particularly fond of The Cool Bus, with half a VW welded onto the top, and painted in Rastafarian colors. And another fine example of how Deadheads make themselves at home in the parking lots. Oh yeah, and we had been living in San Francisco only a few weeks when Brian saw The Cool Bus parked in Haight Ashbury, although neither of us ever saw it ever again.

"Don't Grateful".

We headed back to Cape Cod on July 11th, sunburned, windblown but really, really happy, although it was a bit of a paradigm shift to go from being on the road with hundreds of friends to being the only Deadheads on the road at all. This tour was one of my many dreams that I'd had, wistfully wishing I could hit some shows without a care in the world. It was the best honeymoon ever.

We stayed in Massachusetts till July 17th, when we hit the road in a U-Haul, towing my '87 Toyota Corolla, for the first leg of our move to San Francisco.

June 22, 2007

Saving the best for last

Here's the last of the amusing ads from the April, 1964 GH magazine.

Did I tell you all that I've taken up quilting too? Yes, yes I have. So all of my female friends can expect ga-roovy patchwork aprons like those seen below, for holiday and birthday gifts. How lucky are you? I'm especially fond of the long one. Nothing else says good cookin' like a riotous patchwork of color. I think this ad was for carpet, but what cracked me up was the incredibly chaste scene it portrays. Obviously the man and young woman went to dinner with the woman's parents, seen over by the stairs. Everyone's all dressed up, mom and dad looking on in delight from the staircase to see that nice young man proposing to their virginal daughter in the living room, while at the same time trying to give the couple some privacy. Yeah, just wait mom and pops. This was 3 years these two younguns will have long hair, wearing beads, doing acid and be living in San Francisco. We can only hope, anyway.

"Spring Cleaning is an awful job!" the Stepford Wife says exasperatedly. Well, um, maybe if she wasn't wearing a dress and shoes it wouldn't be so bad! Did women really dress up to clean their houses in the 60's? Did all mothers look like June Cleaver? ("Ward, you were a little hard on the beaver last night" snicker snicker). Hm. That reminds me. I have to move the tires out of my bathroom later today. Page 2 of this ad showed a happy and perfectly coifed Stepford Wife, now that AJAX had stepped in to help with the spring cleaning. Now she can go make hubby a martini and fetch his slippers and paper like a good little 60's wife, because if she does......

....maybe he'll come home tomorrow with A Deserving Treat For Kitchen Queens!!! Oh bliss! Oh joy! He's brought me home the Lustroware Elegante Kitchenkeeper set I saw at the S&H Green Stamp store last week! He remembered!!!! The ad goes on to read, "You were meant for each other....because Lustroware Elegante Kitchenkeepers are your 'golden' opportunity to realize dreams of elegance without extravagence." WOW! I believe that 'golden' is in quotes in the ad to point out the fabulously faux gold knobs on the tops of the containers. "You were meant for each other" ? Who, the woman and her set of kitchen canisters? Yes that's it; that's it exactly. We women always have a special relationship with the canisters. Her fixed smile and vacant stare really, really scare me.

Oh now here we go, the ultimate pinnacle of 60's efficiency and space age technology! I bring you the Westinghouse Laundry Center!! You can fit them both under a counter! "Think of all that extra counter space!" Oh that's right, she needs that counter space for her new set of Lustroware Elegante Kitchenkeepers. But check out mom....she is sitting at the built in ironing board, all dressed up and in pumps, dutifully ironing hubby's hankies, but she has her purse on her arm, ala Queen Elizabeth (no disrespect intended). This lady is ready to go, to spring into action, at a moment's notice! And there is sweet and obedient little Sally, playing quietly, waiting for mom to finish.

These next two ads surprised me because I did not know that weight loss was such an issue in the 60's. I thought that this was something relatively knew, since the 80's. There was Tab soda and Fresca, but I had no idea that weight loss products were advertised. This one is for something called "Metrecal dietary", but I can't quite figure out what it is. Is it sweetener? Does it have meals like Jenny Craig? Is it liquid like Slim Fast? Did anyone die after ingesting it?

This was the one that was incredibly offensive, so much so that I couldn't stop laughing when I read it the first time. It's for Sego Liquid Diet Food. "Your Slender Figure was Part of Your Charm.....Would he think so today?" Oh the humanity!! Then it says, "Wouldn't you like to win back the tender admiring glance?" Can you believe this? Oh yes, because I'm sure he's stayed the hunk of burning love he was when she cast tender admiring glances his way!!

"Baked with a Man in Mind". Because it was, after all, all about the men, back in the day. Yeah, um, no. Stepford Wives of the 60's! Stand up! Take your lives back! Throw out your Sego liquid diet food and tuck in to this chocolate cake instead.

June 21, 2007

1964, Volume 3

"I think my boyfriend is ever so dreamy". Actually it's not that this ad is amusing, but it's amazing to think that calling long distance was something new in 1964, and now we can hold conversations with each other, from all over the world in real time. Like the other day, Julie called me at work from Oregon, and while on the phone w/ her, I was IM'ing Val in London.

I have nothing against this ad or the outdated furniture, but it's the wallpaper that I want to point out. That's a whole lotta paisley. I would not want to be looking at this wall while under the influence of psychedelics. Apparently the people in this ad say that their house came alive after purchasing this piece of furniture. As one who has seen "The Shining" many times, I really do not want my house to EVER come alive.

You mean to tell me that all these years we've been pumping Ritalin into our kids, that attractive glasswear is the secret to obedient and compliant children? Well smack my ass and call me Judy!!!
Also, who slugged this little girl in the face and gave her the black eye? Is that supposed to be cute?

These early ads for "feminine products" are just a SCREAM. "Internal sanitary protection". Could it be more clinical?! Compare this to the "have a happy period" ads that run on TV during dinner and the evening news. "You never have to worry about odor. Or chafing. Or telltale bulges....You feel clean. With no belts, pins, pads to bother you." Criminy. Who knew menstruation used to be so difficult? How did women through the centuries survive? Ok, I guess that's easy for me to say because stick-on pads were available when my childhood was robbed at age 11. But that's another story.

Oh geez, "Kotex Miss Deb - made especially for her" pads for girls......"A soft pink covering on her Miss Deb napkin makes her feel feminine and dainty-just the way a young lady wants to feel at this time." OK, get real people. When I was in 6th grade and got my period, the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do was advertise that fact to every kid in my class, especially to the boys, by carrying a bright pink covered pad to the bathroom. It's not very discreet. You might as well put a flashing arrow over your head that says, "SHE HAS HER PERIOD!" And I gotta tell ya, I've never felt "dainty" in my entire life, much less "at this time."

1964, Volume 2

Volume 2 of Wretched Ads from Good Housekeeping, April 1964.

There are three words that should never, ever be put together, and that's "Crusty Tuna Surprise." No matter how you mix-n-match those words "crusty tuna", "crusty surprise", "tuna surprise", it's all just wrong.

Oh boy! Dinty Moore Beef Stew served over white bread! Can life get any better? I submit that it cannot!

Mmmm, yummy, Kraft cheese pizza in a box. Not a frozen pizza, but with all the fixens, including the easy one-step crust. I've seen some gross looking pizzas in my day, but man, that one is grim.

A "meaty new idea, all smoked, sauced and cooked": Ribs In a Can. 'Nuff said.

More food from a box!!! Chef Boy-Ar-Dee spaghetti meal in a box! I would hope to god that spaghetti does not really look like this in Italy.


One of our clients dropped off a Good Housekeeping magazine from April, 1964, so that my boss could read the article about how Jackie-O was coping with life 5 months after Jack was killed. However, what is causing great mirth in my office, are the ads. I'm really not sure which is scarier - that this client actually still has a magazine from 1964, leading me to wonder what her house must look like (think "the Collier Brothers"), or the way life was 5 months before I was born. I think if you click on the ads, they will get bigger.

And so I bring you Volume I of ads from 1964:

Dream puff panties. There's something kind of sick about how this ad reads, "Sweet as sugar candy, that's new candy-stripe Dream Puff Panties." I mean are they edible or what? And again with the kiddie porn drawing. Oh, then check out the ad below it for Empire Baby Pants! These are the styles they come in: Bloomer, Snap-On and Rhumba. Rhumba. What the fuck is that? Baby pants for a dancing baby? Did my mother make me wear rhumba style baby pants? I'm not at all comfortable with the level of kiddie porn in this next one. I can't quite tell but it looks like the woman is a bride? Or a lady wearing a frilly nightie? Imagine her husband's shock when she strips down to reveal this stunning and attractive girdle. I'm not sure he'll be able to get it up ever again. Oh and dig the tag line, "Perma-life knows what it means to be a woman."
Do they now?! Apparently they have "a patented Magic Oval Panty that keeps a Perma-life panty from riding up, from binding, from yanking down....from doing all the things you wish a panty wouldn't.' Those naughty, naughty panties. I can't tell you how many times I day my panties suddenly, out of nowhere, just yank down. It's really quite annoying. Eat your heart out, Victoria's Secret....oh honey, peel me a grape. Come hither my little pomegranate and allow me to serenade you.
"What you feel in a Warner's isn't the girdle". Eegads. That's just wrong.
Here's the description. "Decorative and dangerous. The double derriere panel and unique Warners construction supply that makes any woman feel dangerous."

I'm keeping my bouffant stiff and erect AND destroying the ozone layer at the same time! How efficient am I?! "And it never leaves that stiff and sticky look." Too....many....jokes.....

Can you imagine having to sit under one of these every morning in order to dry your hair before work? And look, she's on the telephone as well. WOW! It's even got a quiet, lightweight, portable motor that you can strap to your waist. And let's not forget the smart, white case for storage and travel! Could you imagine taking one of these portable hair dryers in your checked luggage on a plane in 2007? The Dept. of Homeland Security would probably keep the flight from leaving and evacuate the plane, then they'd have one of those robotic bomb thingies maneuver up to it and blow it up on the tarmac. And I can't tell, does the giant clock radio come with it too?

"Just what has gelatine to do with beauty?" I'll bite, what does gelatin have to do with beauty? Apparently unflavored gelatin is not only good for cooking, but fingernails, hair and dieting. You drink one envelope mixed with water an hour before a meal and voila! No more hunger! Gag. Oh wait, I have to go make some jello parfaits, soak my fingernails in the leftovers then pour it on my head to achieve the groovy "That Girl!" look in the picture.

"My hair's gone grey and now I like it that way!" AS IF! Looks blue to me.