Wednesday, May 24, 2006

future monarchs - NOT Charles, William or Harry...

I love gardening. Plunging my hands into warm earth, sans gloves, is one of life’s great pleasures for me (to the dismay of every manicurist I’ve ever encountered). I love the scent and texture of freshly turned soil, and I love to prepare a place for a new plant of any sort, whether it’s a flat of Impatiens that I’m planting outside my front door for the summer or a Ficus tree that will hopefully thrive for years in a pot in my living room. In the 22 years that I’ve lived in my house, I’ve planted untold numbers of flowers in my yard. I enjoy the ephemeral annuals, but over the years I’ve come to really appreciate perennials. I love their reliability; the way they appear, year after year, without any effort on my part. Accordingly, each year for the past several years, I’ve been trying to find more perennials that will thrive in our hot, dry Texas summers and yet withstand the blue northers and winter freezes that are also a part of living here.

Several years ago, on a trip to the nursery for my usual array of annual bedding plants, I picked up a small perennial called "Butterfly Weed". It was one of the first perennials I ever purchased, and I bought it for the name alone. I loved the name; how could I not love a plant called Butterfly Weed? The name is almost oxymoronic, because to a gardener, butterflies are beautiful and desirable, but a weed is...well, a weed.

At first, I thought the name derived from the bright orange clusters of tiny flowers, that, viewed from a distance, look a bit like butterflies. But the sticker said that Asclepias tuberosa is a perennial that attracts butterflies.

Uh-huh. Sure. An appealing concept, but I was skeptical. It sounded too much like the plant equivalent of any number of other appealing but elusive concepts that have ultimately proved disappointing to me over the years, such as "Achieve financial success!" or "Be your own boss!".

Still, I liked the name, and the plant was inexpensive, so I bought it. Regarding where to plant it, the sticker said: "Butterfly weed grows best in full sun, with sandy, well draining soil". That was a perfect description of the most inhospitable spot in my yard. The flower bed beneath the mailbox is a sunny, dry, quarter circle of earth that not only never gets any shade, but is additionally baked by being adjacent, on two sides, to the sidewalk.

With some misgivings, I planted the baby Butterfly Weed there. To my surprise, the tiny plant took hold...and grew, and eventually thrived, apparently sending its taproot down deep. It requires no care, and each spring, I’m rewarded with clusters of tiny, bright orange flowers that last throughout the hot, dry Texas summers, whether the plant gets water or not.

In late September, I always cut it back to nothing, after which it goes dormant, survives the winter, and revives each spring. And yes, it does attract butterflies, which is a nice bonus. In fact, since then, I’ve planted so many butterfly-attracting plants that Katharine once quipped that coming to see me made her feel a little like she was going to visit Snow White in the forest...but I digress.

One day earlier this month when I walked out to get my mail, I found the Butterfly Weed covered in monarch larvae, happily munching away on the tender green parts of the plant. I was delighted, but also worried. Larvae are voracious feeders, and the plant was covered with more than a dozen of them; would they destroy it? That thought only lasted a moment before I was overcome with the wonder of what I was seeing.

I ran inside and got my camera, and trying not to imagine the conversations I might be inspiring in my more conventional neighbors, ("Look here, George! She’s at it again! Look at her, rolling around on the hot sidewalk out there! And you wanted me to fix her up with my brother, NO WAY! Look at her, rolling around out there, what’s she DOING?"), I laid down on the sidewalk and started shooting.

The next day, they were gone, and although the plant looked a little worse for wear, other than that, it was as if they’d never been there.

Except...I know that they were. Since then, I’ve read up on Monarchs. The larva stage only lasts for about 12 days, after which the larvae become pupae, spending the next 9-14 days suspended inside chrysalides, before emerging as gorgeous, full-blown, Monarch butterflies. I’ve searched the shrubs and trees around my house, looking for chrysalides, and I haven’t found a single one...

But I know they’re out there. And some morning soon, whether I see them or not, any number of full blown, gorgeous Monarch butterflies will emerge and fly away. And one of the plants in my yard played a part in all that.

Very cool.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot: Nap Time!

I haven't done Scalzi's Monday photo shoot in a while, but I couldn't resist this week's topic: Nap Time. Scalzi's instructions: Show off your favorite place to nap, that's not your bed. Couches, hammocks, recliners -- let's see where you doze in repose. If you want to play, click on the link above.

Here's where I doze in repose. I bought this chaise a couple of years ago, and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. It's incredibly comfortable, and it's made this corner of my bedroom, formerly rather stark, absolutely the most relaxed and cozy place that I know. Note the basket containing diary and magazines on the floor beside it, evidence that I regularly spend time curled up here. And I'm not the only one; others who have been known to enjoy spending some quality time here include my female bengal, Mia (who thinks she owns it) as well as various adult children (who shall go unnamed) but who've found comfort in curling up here beneath a quilt or a throw, and talking into the night with me from time to time, while I repose on my mile-high, 4 poster bed (on which I stood to take this pic).

Takin' It Easy at Central Market

I went to Central Market Saturday afternoon. Central Market describes itself as a destination, fresh market for people who are passionate about food. That’s an accurate description, and in addition, I would add, Central Market is a happenin’ sort of place. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there’s live music, and Saturday as I made my way through the crowded aisles of the store, looking for vine-ripened tomatoes, broccolini, and croissants, among other things, there was a guy playing guitar and singing old Eagles songs in the background (a balcony performance): Take it easy, take it easy,Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy...

Last month, when a friend of mine flew in from Denver for a few days, I took her to IKEA in the morning, and then in early afternoon we went to Central Market, where in lieu of lunch, we grazed our way through the store, finally sitting down in CM’s Café on the Run, where we purchased excellent Paciugo gelatos (she had rosewater, I had chocolate mocha), for dessert.

But Saturday I was in a hurry, and in no mood to spend any more time than necessary at Central Market. I just wanted to get in and out, as quickly as possible, but I’d picked the wrong day to shop. As I hurried through the store, looking at the almost bewildering assortment of food available, I realized it was a madhouse: in addition to the live music, almost every aisle had a food demo set up, and customers crowded around the displays to sample chips and salsa, toasted muffins with Irish butter, hot fudge sauce on vanilla ice cream, and even wine and cheese, to name a few of the products that were being offered.

I found myself feeling frustrated and impatient as I tried to negotiate my cart around the plethora of young couples with children in carts and rather large, elderly women, who seemed to make up the majority of the Saturday shopping crowd, all moving s l o w l y through the narrow aisles. To further slow things down, the market seemed to be flooded with patrons who wanted to know, and were taking the time to ask, the produce clerks, deli clerks, wine clerks, butchers, etc., a variety of philosophical questions about food that required long-winded answers that further tried my patience.

Just as I was at the point of losing my good mood altogether, I saw a big display of avocados...once known as alligator pears...and I suddenly remembered the first time I ever tasted an avocado. I was 19, and it tasted so delicious and wonderful and exotic, to me...that I wondered what else I’d been missing up until then. Shortly thereafter, I set out to find out, and I’ve had an interesting love affair with food ever since.
That recollection snapped things into perspective for me. What’s the hurry? Where’s the fire?...not at my house, I hope...

I turned my cart around, and found the line to sample the hot fudge sauce, where I queued up behind some young couples with children in carts and a number of rather large elderly women...(of whom I realize, should I keep sampling things like hot fudge sauce at Central Market, I’m eventually in danger of becoming one myself)...

It was delicious, and well worth the wait.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

more tuition in the School of Hard Knocks...

I've been driving my 20-year-old son, Chris, to and from his job every day for a little over a week now, because his car has been in the shop for repairs. Chris has to be at work by 8:00, so this means that I have to be at his apartment by 7:20, and then in the afternoon I have the pleasure of driving down to pick him up and drive him home in rush hour traffic. I’m not an early riser by choice, and yet I’ve enjoyed the unexpected pleasure of having some regular one-on-one time with Chris. Also, I’ve been bringing him breakfast most mornings. He’s tall (6'4") and painfully thin (about 150 pounds), so it gives me great pleasure to provide some simple breakfast and see it accepted so eagerly. He reminds me a little of a young bird still in the nest, as he scarfs down whatever I give him.

I went with him to drop off his car a week ago last Saturday at a garage in Rowlett, a zillion miles from where we live. "Why such a far away garage?" I asked. Chris has a Mazda. He explained to me that his buddy, Kevin, "knows all about cars, and especially Mazdas," and Kevin recommended the obscure garage. A word about the garage: I’m not going to reveal the name, because I don’t want to get sued for libel, but as I looked around the place, a quote from Nelson Algren (who was no stranger to trouble) leapt to my mind. The Algren quote was this: "Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own." Uh-huh. I stood in that garage, thinking that both Chris and Kevin needed to read some Algren.
Chris asked the mechanic to call him with the estimate before they started to work on the repairs, and the mechanic agreed to do so. The mechanic told him he could expect to have his car back by last Wednesday. Ha!

Never play cards with a man called Doc. Chris hadn’t even received a call giving him an estimate by last Wednesday, and although he called the garage repeatedly himself, he could only get through to an answering machine. Thursday afternoon, however, his persistence paid off. After getting the answering machine a number of times, Chris actually got through to one of the mechanics, who said that the estimate still wasn’t available because the garage owner was out, "test driving" the car. On Friday, Chris spoke with the owner of the garage. The guy placated Chris by promising to have the parts "Fed-Exed overnight and I'll pay the shipping, so your car will be ready by Monday afternoon for sure."

Uh-huh, and the check is in the mail, etc. Today, when I drove Chris to work, I asked him to call the garage and make sure the car was ready before we drove a zillion miles after work, to pick it up. Chris called me at 4:00 and said, "Mom, you’re not going to believe this: the phone at the garage has been disconnected!"

But I did believe it (Never eat at a place called Mom’s). Many thoughts went through my head, not least of which was that if the garage owner is so far behind on his bills that his phone service gets disconnected, I don’t want him working on Chris’ car, because I worry whether he would actually replace the parts that needed to be replaced (struts, brake pads, etc.). One of Chris' co-workers teased Chris that the car was probably in pieces in a chop shop as they spoke.

I picked up Chris after work and we drove out to get his car. We arrived at the garage at a little after 6:00, which is pretty amazing, considering that I’d picked Chris up just south of the city at 5:00. At the garage, we discovered that although they’ve had Chris’ car for 10 days, no one had even begun to work on it yet. The garage owner hemmed and hawed, and studied the floor and refused to meet our eyes. He said the phone was turned off because his bookeeper hadn’t paid the bill "because he’s been too busy." Uh-huh. He said that the requisite parts hadn't come in, and as soon as he said that, his two mechanics, who'd been hovering, hurried away, as if to distance themselves from him. Chris said he thought he'd arranged for them to be shipped Fed Ex, overnight. "I did!", he said, "and I paid $42.00 to do it, and they were supposed to arrive Friday, but they didn't, and then they were supposed to come today, but they didn't, and I have no idea where they are!" I said, "Well, if you paid Fed Ex for overnight shipping, it should be easy to figure out exactly where they are, because there'll be a tracking number."

He wouldn't meet my eyes. He ignored my comment about a tracking number, and simply repeated that he had no idea when the parts would come in.

Chris took his car (Never sleep with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own), and I followed him back to Dallas. Sometime this week, we'll start all over again, at a different garage...preferably one that’s closer to home, and not recommended by Kevin.

In the meantime, I’ll be driving him to and from work the rest of this week. And for tomorrow morning, I have a bottle of orange juice and a blueberry muffin on a shelf in my refrigerator, all ready to go.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

the art of knitting

Aren't these socks gorgeous? My firstborn, Alex, knitted them for me when she was home on spring break. I've never had a pair of hand-knit socks before, and I've never, ever, had such a beautiful pair of socks. I just had to show them off. Thank you, sweetheart!

p.s. - She knits really beautiful handbags, too, as Kath can attest.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

100 things about me

OK, Tammy and TJ have done this, so I'm playing too. I'm temporarily posting it here, until I figure out how to put a link in my sidebar.

1. I’m 6th of 7 kids.
2. My birthday is September 11th and I am very much a Virgo.
3. I grew up on the Mississippi, and although I’ll always miss the river, I’ll never move back to the frozen north.
4. One rainy afternoon when I was 5, I decided it was time to learn to tie my shoes the way grown-ups tied. We had an abandoned car in the yard (don’t ask) and I crawled inside and locked the doors and refused to come out until I’d mastered the task. It took me all afternoon, but I did it.
5. I didn’t go to kindergarten because there wasn’t one at the first school I attended. I went straight into first grade.
6. Toward the end of first grade, when I was 6, I almost died from a severe skull fracture.
7. We didn’t have indoor plumbing until we moved into town, when I was 8.
8. When I was young we moved around a lot. By the time I started 4th grade, I’d attended 4 different schools, in two states.
9. People said "Uff-da!" all the time when I was a kid, and I never thought anything of it.
10. When I was a kid, we had lutefisk and lefse every Christmas. I ate the lefse but passed on the lutefisk.
11. When the Beatles became popular, I spent hours in my room, trying to teach myself to say "Yeah" instead of my usual, "Ya!"
12. I can remember when President Kennedy was assassinated. I was in junior high, in my 9th grade civics class. The PA system sputtered on, and the principal came on sounding funny...weird funny, not ha-ha funny...saying that President Kennedy had been shot in Texas. The next thing we heard was Walter Kronkite, announcing that President Kennedy was dead...and suddenly my civics teacher, a middle aged, unmarried woman, went into hysterics. Tears streamed down her face as she began chanting shrilly, over and over, "Hearsay! It’s just HEARSAY! I tell you it’s HEARSAY!"
13. We didn’t have a car or television when I was a kid. It didn’t matter to me; I walked everywhere and read a lot. When I was in high school, we got a tv, just in time for me to develop a huge crush on David Janssen, the smoldering older guy who starred in The Fugitive.
14. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16. Imagine my disappointment when I turned 16 and no one asked me out. That may account for a lot.
15. I’m a lousy swimmer. I have great stamina, but no style in the water. When I was 16, I was once "rescued" by an overzealous life guard who dove into a cold lake and swam furiously toward me, refusing to accept my explanation that I was simply attempting to demonstrate the butterfly stroke for my friend, Cheryl. It was damned embarrassing.
16. I’m adventuresome, but I didn’t realize that about myself until a few years ago.
17. I moved to Chicago on my own the day after I finished high school. I was 17.
18. I didn’t go to Woodstock, but on Sunday afternoons when I was 18 I used to paint flowers on my face and go to "Be-Ins" in Lincoln Park in Chicago, with the guy I was dating at the time, a young (23 years old) lawyer whose goal was to pass the bar in all 50 states. That goal seemed reasonable to the two of us at the time, and he did manage to pass the Illinois, California and Florida bar exams before he disappeared for good from my life, having, insofar as I could tell, disintegrated from one of the brighter bulbs on the tree into a semi-permanent, drug-induced haze.
19. I was 19 (almost 20) when I met my ex. He was 30 and just starting a job as a law clerk to a federal judge..
20. When I was 22, I began my freshman year at the University of Chicago. I started late because I worked first, to save up the money for tuition and living expenses, because no one in my family went to college or believed in it. My year at the U of C changed my life forever, for the better. Mike Nichols (director of The Graduate, among other things) also went to the U of C, and I’ve read that he said this about it: "Everyone was strange. It was paradise." That pretty much sums it up. My daughter, Alex, went there too, for undergraduate and graduate work, and her fiancé, Chris, did his undergraduate work there and is finishing up his doctorate there. Until recently, they didn’t award any honorary degrees. To have a U of C degree, you had to go there and earn it. That is so cool, and I’m sorry they’ve changed it, but I still love the U of C.
21. I like a challenge. I was a C student in French, but I aced Russian in college.
22. At U of C, I was taking a full load of classes and working 20 hours a week at a dead-end job at Marshall Field’s to support myself. It was wearing me out. At the end of my first year, I dropped out of school and went back to work full time.
23. I got married when I was 24. We had a small, happy wedding at St. Chrysostom’s in Chicago. I was a December bride.
24. Two years after we got married, Alex was born. I was 26, and absolutely thrilled to have her. I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. I loved kids so much I used to borrow them when I was single, and figured I’d adopt if I couldn’t have my own.
25. I refused to name Alex, or any of my kids, until they were about two weeks old. I always had to look into their eyes to see who they were before I could decide on their names. As a result, the birth certificates for all 4 had to be amended, because the initial ones were all issued as Baby----
26. I had a planned home birth with a midwife in attendance when Katharine was born, one cold November night almost 3 years after Alex’s birth. That night, when my contractions were 8 minutes apart, I got out of bed and walked down two flights of stairs and on down the street to the grocery store, a couple of blocks away. For weeks I’d been imagining having a pot of white mums beside my bed as I gave birth, but that night, in labor, I didn’t trust anyone to run that errand for me. If my older sister (who’d come to see the birth) or Anthony had gone to the store and come back with yellow or purple mums, I’d have lost it, and I knew that, so I insisted on going myself, and I stood in line and counted my contractions and waited my turn. It all worked out, and the white mums smelled so good beside the bed. The home birth was a wonderful experience, although I have to say...every birth is an incredible experience, no matter where it occurs.
27. I didn’t learn to drive until I was 30 (I know, I know...that doesn’t sound very adventuresome...but we didn’t have a car when I was growing up, and then when I finally learned to drive, it was in Chicago, on some partially one-way streets, with a stick...and that really was an adventure!).
28. I learned how to walk a tightrope when I was 31. The girls were taking gymnastics, and the coach was really cute, so a bunch of us moms asked him to teach us. He came up with a class called Circus Skills. I only mastered tightrope walking. It’s a very cool thing to do (dunno if I still could, though).
29. In 1983, we moved from Chicago to Texas. I was 33.
30. In 1985, I gave birth to Mike and Chris. At 8 lbs each (yep, you read it right) they were the biggest twins my doctor had ever delivered. They were born by C-section, and I was awake but my doc wouldn't let me watch. I nursed them on the delivery table, though, and that was a happy moment. Mike is 2 minutes older than Chris, and although they're fraternal, they can still complete each other's sentences.
31. None of my kids ever had a bottle, and as a result, when my girls were little they always "breastfed" their dolls..
32. When my kids were little, I had a song for pretty much everything. I taught them to sing our address, so they could all recite it by the time they were 3.
33. I know all the verses to Jingle Bells, and so do my kids.
34. When my kids were little, I made sure that each of them had the experience of making ice cream on a hot summer day with a hand-cranked freezer that I still have. It’s one of life’s great pleasures, I think, and every kid should have the fun of that at least once, and then the fun of licking the ladder. In the winter we made noodles, and hung them on the backs of the kitchen chairs to dry.
35. I don’t believe in spanking. My kids all got "the Look" when they were little, and that worked (when they were little). "But Mom, what was behind the Look?" Mike and Chris asked me recently. "What was the big threat?" There was no threat...just that they wanted to please me, and I knew it. If they got rowdy or tried to unfasten their seatbelts when I was driving, I did threaten to make them walk behind the car, but they never actually had to do it.
36. Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun. Yep, memorization always came easily to me...I also remember: On old olympus towering top a fin and german viewed some hops (a mnemonic for the 12 cranial nerves)
37. Sometimes I like to show off (see #36).
38. I finished college at 42 and started grad school at 44, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
39. I never rode a roller coaster until I was in my 40's, and I haven’t ridden once since, because I didn’t like it...but don’t feel sorry for me, because I’ve seen Antigone by moonlight, done in Greek, at the Theater of Epidaurus...and that was very cool.
40. I want to go to Machu Picchu and I want to trek Anna Purna.
41. I’m 5'3".
42. Humor is delicious to me.
43. I’ve never smoked a cigarette.
44. I’m too self-conscious to dance.
45. I love my house, and sleep best in my own bed, always.
46. That said, truth be told, I’m a horrible insomniac, and have been since I was a kid.
47. I’m easily distracted, and the piped in music at restaurants drives me crazy. I do better with classical, but it’s still a huge distraction for me.
48. I am highly intuitive, and highly impulsive.
49. I hate confrontation, but I’m getting better at it.
50. I love Christmas. We open our presents on Christmas Eve (it’s a Scandinavian Lutheran thing), and each year we punk someone in the family at Christmas (that’s my own tradition - my own revenge on the past).
51. I love dark chocolate.
52. I love a good steak, rare.
53. I love road trips, and want to take one to the places in Lucinda Williams’ song, Jackson: Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Vicksburg, Jackson.
54. Some of my favorite places to stay are The Gage (Marathon, Texas); the Hamilton-Turner Inn (Savannah); and the Azure Gate (Tucson).
55. I like to stay in on New Year’s Eve, and to stay up late and drink a champagne cocktail at midnight while watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies.
56. If I could time travel, I’d go back and hang out with Mark Twain, and I’d hear Maria Callas sing Carmen (two separate trips, obviously).
57. I love orchids, and I also love bougainvillea and always have a pot of it outside my front door in the summertime (knock-your-socks off magenta!).
58. I know how to make fire by rubbing sticks together (you actually make something called a bow drill and a hearth). And yes, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever learned to do.
59. I love classical music, but I also love some rap.
60. I’ve never eaten chicken-fried steak...but that’s going to change, come Friday, when I’m scheduled to try it with a friend.
61. My favorite movie is Sex, Lies & Videotape.
62. I usually read several books at the same time.
63. I love to play Scrabble.
64. I have a green thumb but for some reason, I’ve never been able to grow ivy.
65. I often neglect my fingernails, but you’ll never see me without a pedicure.
66. I almost always wear open-toed shoes...lucky for me I live in the south.
67. I keep my money in order in my wallet, biggest bills to the back (HA! That’s when I have money!)
68. I always use cloth napkins at home, albeit washable ones that don’t have to be ironed.
69. I have great sheets and pillows on all the beds in my house.
70. If I had to choose between mascara and panties, I’d choose mascara every time.
71. I’d like to be able to ride a unicycle, but I’ve never mastered that.
72. I love going to New York, and visiting MOMA and the Metropolitan.
73. I’ve co-authored a chapter in a psychiatry textbook, and I’m very proud of that.
74. I’m not big on cut flowers - they’re too ephemeral for me. I prefer flowering plants, and maybe that’s part of why I love orchids. The blooms last for about 3 months!
75. I’m not squeamish.
76. I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, although I’ve met some dogs that I’ve loved.
77. I’ve gone on two cattle drives, which isn’t bad for someone who doesn’t really ride.
78. I’ve gone on a camel trek, and discovered I prefer camels to horses...camels are more sure-footed.
79. I’m a die-hard romantic, which means I’m something of a savage, when it comes right down to it.
80. I love the Dallas Bach Society. I’m a big fan of hearing baroque music on antique instruments.
81. I love fireworks (and fireplaces).
82. I love my independence. I don’t mind eating alone in a restaurant, or going to the movies or a concert by myself.
83. I think TV makes people lazy, myself included.
84. I love storms, and rainy grey days.
85. I’m a night owl.
86. I love Paolo Conte (he’s a singer/songwriter, still alive). I also love Cole Porter and Gershwin (both long dead).
87. I’d like to learn to play the piano.
88. One of my favorite junkfoods is frozen White Castle cheeseburgers...they’re really bad.
89. I can make a halfway decent margarita.
90. I love going to the airport to meet anyone coming to see me, even now, with all the hoopla...there’s something about the anticipation that really appeals to me.
91. When they were growing up, my kids probably got incredibly tired of hearing me say, "That’s just more tuition in the school of hard knocks."
92. Cooking with friends and/or family in the kitchen with me is one of my greatest pleasures, even though it doesn’t happen often these days.
93. I love picnics, and we had some pretty elaborate ones, fairly often, when the kids were growing up.
94. I like Fort Worth better than Dallas for museums and music.
95. I have a confession to make. When my girls were little, I shamelessly told them that the world was black and white "until the planets aligned, in 1953" . Alex was skeptical, but Katharine believed, and I think maybe I wasn’t the only parent who had told a version of that story over the years, because in 1985, when Katharine turned 7, Sam Watterson had that very story line in a Calvin & Hobbes segment. I was able to use this to my advantage: "See? What have I been telling you? It’s in the paper!" Apparently I was so convincing that Katharine only discovered my treachery in junior high, when she tried to do a science fair project on the phenomenon and experienced a certain amount of humiliation at having been so successfully duped. I have to admit, it’s only one of many things I told the kids over the years that were completely bogus but highly entertaining. Is that bad?
96. I have no sense of direction, and have to turn the map in the direction in which I’m going.
97. I’m fairly resistant to most anesthetics but I’m super sensitive to caffeine.
98. There aren’t many things I regret, but I wish I’d gone to medical school. I would have been a terrific doc, probably a shrink.
99. I love my kids, and I’m very proud of them. They’re all funny, bright, and good human beings.
100. Friends and family are what it’s all about...everything else is just extra.