Monday, July 31, 2006


Took the grandbabies to the Berkeley Kite Festival at the Marina. Walked for miles but it was fun. We had no bottle for five-month old Evan, but I bought a plain pretzel and he sucked on that until he went to sleep.

Lots of people, kids, dogs, cops, and KITES!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Thank God. I learned on Monday and Tuesday that there wasn't a fan left for sale in all of the East Bay. I tried 10 more stores, from Richmond to Oakland, and they were all sold out of fans, coolers and air conditioners.

I have one good fan but when the grandkids sleep over, I need a second one for the bedroom.
Today it's cool. Cool enough for me to wear my favorite garment, a lavender down vest.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Saturday night was at least 100 degrees in Oakland, CA and my two grandbabies were miserable. As was myself and my grown son. We sat in front of my oscillating fan and drank water and juice by the quart. On Sunday I went to stores in Oakland, Alameda and Emeryville and all the local stores were completely sold out of fans.

A friend who is leaving for London this weekend is concerned because the asphalt on London roads has been melting. Another friend is off on an Alaskan cruise, but I wonder if he will even see any ice or glaciers.

Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is under attack by the Right Wing and its Poodle Press, which is a pretty good indication of how accurate it is. And we all are inundated by automobile ads and consumerism philosophies.

Reduce, reuse and recycle. Add to this: mend things (which many of us have forgotten how to do); keep things that we can use next year; make things for your own use, cook things instead of eating out; wash things instead of throwing them away and buying new ones.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Here are Los Bebes. Nima, at 4 months is almost as large as his three-year old sister Munai.

After taking care of legal matters this morning, I went to our neighborhood second-hand store for kids' clothes. Spent $47 on 4-5 summer outfits for Los Bebes for when they stay with us.

Some of our legal woes have been laid to rest, but there are more to tackle. All it takes is time and money.

My friend Barbara Rose tells me, "We choose our parents." When I think of my own parents, I wonder why. I look at my grandkids and also wonder why. They have genetic and cultural influences from Scotland to South America to the Middle East.

Then a quote from Terry Pratchett keeps coming into my mind when I think of people going OTT (over the top). "You never know you've gone too far until you've gone too far." And we all have gone too far at one time or another. Can we forgive?

Thomas Hardy's "We are too many," in Jude the Obscure. How careful we must be about what we tell our children, especially when they are small. How much we must love and protect them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


One of those days.....

My first caller at work called me a g** d*** f***ing white bitch (next time I'll answer, "How do you know I'm white?"), and the last caller had a nervous breakdown on the phone.

And I'm shaving off minutes here and there from a 10-11 hour workday to take care of frivolities like paying bills and other paperwork.

But it could be worse, so much worse.

And there are magic moments: when Oakland is beautiful in spite of itself. Driving from Alameda to Berkeley, I stop at a red light and see a flock of fat Canadian Geese stopping for a snack on the grassy shores of Lake Merritt.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Last weekend I watched the film Turtles Can Fly, an Iranian-Iraqi coproduction. The story tells of Kurdish orphans and how they make a subsistance living digging up mines from minefields--because they have no choice. One teenager has had both arms blown off by a mine, but he continues to disarm them--with his teeth.

I didn't think I could stand to watch it until the end, but I did. I don't recommend if for anyone but adults and adults with a very high tolerance for tragedy. It is a film you will never forget.

It also puts our little American problems in perspective.