I’ve been going to see the chiropractor for about a month or so.  I’d been to one many, many years ago after a car accident and it seemed to help.  I thought I’d give it a go again since I’m lopsided from walking with a limp for so long.

The twins who run the place are very gung ho on the proper placement of the Atlas bone. This is the top cervical bone in your neck – the one that your skull is supposed to rest serenely upon.  Apparently, mine is out of whack because I am not even close to serenity at the moment.

They have a funky machine that looks as if it going to deliver a lethal stab into the base of your skull.  What it does is gently adjust the degree of angle in the Atlas.  No more, “take a breath, relax and try not to think that I’m about to snap the hell out of your neck” stuff. Nope, just a gentle, almost unfelt tap.

My Atlas has been reset oh, six times now.  I’m guessing the little bugger is quite happy being crooked. It just won’t sit still and every time they adjust it, I end up with these excruciating bothersome muscle spasms between my shoulder blades.  You know the kind where that’s pretty much all you can think about?

I was dancing with Yoda yesterday and with every move my back had it’s own little disco party. Today, I’ve been attempting to study for my Archaeology final, but the spasms in my back are making me wonder if I need my own forensics done.


Female: approximately 50 years old

Height: feet touch the floor

Weight: filled out

Race: hasn’t run one in 30 years

Teeth: still her own, although they could use a whitening

Body shape: filled out

Musculature: apparently doesn’t eat spinach

Handedness: both there

Scars: emotional and physical present

Past bone injuries: two screws in right ankle; one slightly skewed Atlas


There was a crooked woman and she walked a crooked mile,
She found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
She bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Until she underwent chiropractic manipulations and ended up in worse straits than before.

Anyone know a good masseuse?

The King and I

Sometimes I think about Elvis.

I know it’s an odd thing just randomly thinking of Elvis.  Its not like he’s a major topic of conversation around the house.  I don’t even know if Bashert likes his music.

What sparks these ruminations, I’m not sure.  Perhaps I catch a snippet of a song on the radio or a phrase from one his songs.  It’s not as if I knew the man, but think of him I do.

The life he led was crazy and he used some of his fame to do stupid things, but I’d like to think that underneath it all Elvis was a nice guy.  Who knows what we would do in his place? I like to think that I would make a better deal of things – you know, Oprah style, but if I was ‘suddenly’ given everything I never had as a kid when I was younger, who knows?  What would you do to maintain?

My family lived in Memphis for four years during the mid-sixties.  We visited Graceland a couple of times before it became a fortress.  I even dipped my hand in the swimming pool.  My Mom says someone came out of the big house and spoke to them about something – probably along the lines of please leave the premises.  We wonder now if he was in residence that trip.

This Polaroid is from 1964 and that’s me on the standing on the bench in my red and white dress.  Hard to see, but that’s my sister, brother and great-grandmother in front of Graceland. Don’t we look excited?  Who knew this would be the home of a legend?

I used to sing Wooden Heart to Nenè back when she was just Munchkin to me.  I barely remember the movie G.I Blues, but the song makes a great lullaby. It’s kind, gentle and surprisingly sweet for a German folksong.

That’s how I like to think of Elvis when I think of Elvis – kind, gentle and surprisingly sweet.

Can’t you see

I love you

Please don’t break my heart in two

That’s not hard to do

‘cause I don’t have a wooden heart.

And if you say goodbye

Then I know that I would cry

‘cause I don’t have a wooden heart.

There’s no strings upon this heart of mine

It was always you from the start.

Treat me nice

Treat me good

Treat like you really should

‘cause I’m not made of wood

And I don’t have a wooden heart.

(words and music by Wise, Weisman, Twomey, Kaempfert)


Ah, spring time.

The moment in the year where we take a moment or two to luxuriate in the wonders of mother nature. All the beautiful colours bursting forth through the earth, the green of the trees returning, the pollen choking the air.

Young people are getting ready for their proms and formals, children are nervously giving recitals to show off the wonderful talent his or her parents are sure they possess.

Some slightly older kids are experiencing their first spring break away from home (safely, I hope).

The Florida Snowbirds are beginning to make their way back up Interstate 95 on their reverse migration.

Yes, Spring is full of life and rites.

Here in our fair city, we have a fairly famous rite of spring.  School children call it spring break, others refer to it as Golf Week, others still say its Master’s Week, but those of us who do not have vacation during this week to come have another name for it: The Traffic Jam from Hell Week.

And it has begun.

The first full week in April people literally from around the globe descend upon our town. Presidents, movie stars, celebrities, the quietly rich, the corporate makhers, the media and the lucky few, who are on the “list”, come to see the most prestigious golf game in the US.

It is a boon to the restaurants, the nursery’s, the golf cart companies (we have two major producers), realtors, hotels, cleaning businesses and souvenir hawkers. People rent out their homes, front yards and businesses, sometimes for astronomical prices.

To many of us, its one long Cutters vs. the College Kids week.

One of the main thoroughfares that bisects our town is shut down during the game’s peak hours, roughly 8am to 5pm.  The main drag where my favorite grocery stores and restaurants reside are all but impenetrable beginning Monday and ending next Sunday – late.  As seasoned veterans of this week, we usually go the Saturday or Sunday before the practice rounds start and stock up on things we anticipate needing in regards to food staples. Its kind of like being prepared for a tornado or hurricane.  Stock up on bread and milk cause you’re not quite sure when you might ever see them again.

This is the only week of the year that Taco Bell takes reservations.

I once had a job on the main drag.  What normally took 10 minutes to travel, took an hour during this week.  I learned to arrive early, leave late and brown bag my lunch.

I attended the tournament back in the dark ages of the 70s courtesy of Indiana Jones my best friend in high school. Indy’s father was a long time resident of our city and was on “the list” back when there was only 20 people on the list.  This was the tournament itself, not the practice rounds, mind you.

Once you enter the course, it makes a lasting impression.

The grounds were Stepford wife immaculate. Nary a leaf fell before it was removed so as to not mar the beauty of the surroundings.  The azaleas were some of the deepest colours I had ever seen.  The dogwoods, perfect in their pink and white halos. (Television does not do them justice, even with HD.)  Its rumored they ice the plants to keep them from blooming too early. The staff were polite and helpful, although ever on guard should anyone not wearing the official Green Jacket attempt to enter the sacred main house. There was no such thing as a red Solo cup.

It was fun to walk about the timeless and beautiful greens and listen to the conversations of the gallery and the players.  We heard Jack Nicklaus swear under his breath when he missed a shot in jail and laughed with Lee Trevino when he said of a less than stellar bunker shot, “If it had been any other course, I’d made it.”

The years we went together, Indy and I laughed as smug locals when we knew to leave the grounds before the rain storms hit.  It was a great lark for two silly teenagers to enjoy.

But thirty some odd years later, as an adult, the tournament and its effects on my city have come to mean different things, aside from the fact that I have to relearn all the back roads in order to get anywhere.

There is a grudging pride that our town has a famous cause célèbre and I wouldn’t mind attending again some day to see if my thirty-five year old memories are true to life, but other things tug at my mind at the same time.

The course is sandwiched in between commercial and residential areas.  The powers that be have been slowly buying up the outer edges of each of these communities and transforming them into havens of retreat and money making.

The restaurant that served my prom dinner is gone.  The area now houses hospitality suites for the big name attendees. The neighborhood where Indy was born and lived his entire life, the house his father built is gone – bulldozed, sodded and graveled for parking. It is difficult to drive through knowing that this is all for one week’s golf game. Our history is being paved over.

Glaring examples of racism and sexism still exist with the private club where the game is held.  It was national news 10 years ago when it was brought forth that women could not be members on their own accord. They had to ride on a husband or father’s coat tails. Women are still not allowed as members even though one of its major sponsors this year has a woman CEO.

Up until 1975, no African American players were seen.  Lee Elder broke that boundary, but he suffered death threats to have the honor of playing.  The first African American wasn’t even admitted as a member until 1990.  Tiger Woods was the first to win and even then it was amongst racist remarks from his fellow players.

These are things that tend to be swept under the greens this week for the love of tradition and home town honor.

To those who scream, the private club is within its rights to determine who can and cannot belong; that men should be allowed to have their own bastion of refuge, please bear in mind that this not a some unknown private supper club.  This is an internationally known and visited establishment, that boasts of members the likes of US Presidents and international CEOs.

It is the home of one of the most prestigious invitational golf games in the world.  Host to some of the finest players in the world.  It should represent the best that world has to offer, not some antiquated idea of social propriety.  It is possible to remain dignified and sophisticated without shutting out people on the basis of sex, colour or religion for that matter.  It will still be a private club.

As for me, I will continue to rant about the traffic and laugh at the sudden golf interest my non-golf playing friends have this week.  I will watch the final moments on television to see who wins and I will continue to quietly campaign for an even playing field for all.

For those of you who have made the holy pilgrimage to our fair city this week, I realize you are here for the game and companionship of those who love it, not because of social reform.  Enjoy your visit, our local fare, both food and merchandise, but please keep these things in mind.

The middle lane is not called the “suicide lane” for nothing.  Please be kind and move along the appointed golf traffic routes (some of us do have to go to work). Tip your wait and cleaning staff well, it takes a lot to go to work this week. And please keep the outside of the course as clean as the inside.

The Doggie in the Window

Feeling the empty nest left by Shit Dog and Elisheva, we have been searching the rescue centers to see if we can give another dog, as the shelter people put it, a forever home.  Looking at them on-line is not the same as touching and seeing how they interact, so this weekend we visited a couple of the weekly adoption fairs.

Bashert had a previous engagement today, so Yoda and I went to the tractor supply store to take a look around.  We were looking specifically for a small, adult dog, an apartment dog; one that wouldn’t swallow up the space in our little townhouse and one that would get along with the feline and human residents.  Not too tough of a list.

The selection for adult dogs was slim.  There were six puppies two of which were pretty aggressive.  They got into a nasty tiff right front of us that kind of stunned Yoda. Good thing we weren’t searching for a puppy.

Only two adult dogs fit close to the bill.  Sheila, a Jack Russell mix and Maxwell, a terrier mix. We have a few friends with Jack Russell dogs and they tend to be a bit too excitable (the dogs, not necessarily the parents).  I knew Bashert would not approve, so we moved to look at Maxwell.

Maxwell has a face that deserves a Disney career.  Beautiful light brown eyes, mottled brown and white, scruffy coat.  He was rescued from a high kill shelter one day before the execution date.  Ms. G, who operates the adoptions knows Bashert and knows we would give a good home to any animal (just don’t ask about the wild bird fiasco) loves Max very much, but like all who run such things, she just doesn’t have anymore room.

He was very calm, something necessary in the face of Yoda’s vibrating self.  He was larger than we wanted, but his personality and somewhat non-shedding coat were pluses.  He was nonplussed with the puppies and children milling around, so I caved.

Ms. G. had us signed up and we were walking out the door with Maxwell before I knew it.

I think I realized my mistake as soon as we entered the door at home.

When we got Elisheva, she claimed us right away.  She lived in the vet’s office and had been seen by several people before we came.  When she came around the corner, she peed on the floor and went nuts to see us.  The vet staff was embarrassed and said she had never acted like that before.  We belonged together.

Shit Dog fell in love with Elisheva first, us second, but was automatically part of the family as well.  We all fit together.

The magic isn’t there with Max.  Maybe it’s because he’s too big, maybe it’s because he’s too normal (we tend to attract the odd and neurotic), maybe it’s just too soon.  When pulling up a photo of him to show someone, I ran across one of Shit Dog and began to cry.

Max will spend the night with us, but tomorrow we will take him back to Ms. G.

Maxwell will make a wonderful companion for someone, just not us.  He is a sweet boy who deserves a big yard and a kid who will wrestle with him.  He deserves the magical fit and so do we.

Emergency Waiting

“Hurry up and wait.”  Or better yet, “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here”.  Pick one.  Either will be more than sufficient for the hospital emergency room entrance.

Monday night, our friend and neighbor, Desdemona was having chest pains and difficulty breathing, so asked that Bashert take her to the hospital emergency room.  She has a couple of life-threatening conditions and didn’t want to take any chances.

Bashert, who doesn’t do hospitals if she can help it, but who is a devoted friend, of course put Yoda in the car, picked up Desdemona, her son Jehan and carted them all down to the ER, which is less than five minutes away by personal vehicle and more than thirty by ambulance.

This is where I come in.

Bashert called me at work in that voice that prompts the question, “What’s wrong?”.  She explained the situation and asked that I come pick up the boys so they wouldn’t have to spend the night in the ER.

Now, having known Bashert for some time, I immediately translated the question into, “Please come here and stay with Desdemona because I am going to freak out if I don’t get out of this hospital very soon.”  So, I spoke with my partners and made arrangements to leave work early.

The patient parking lot was overflowing when I arrived, but there was only one car in the physician’s reserved spots. Not a good sign.

The waiting area bore the truth of the parking lot.  Without exaggeration, there had to be about 50 people in various states of jammies and distress.  And even though Bashert and Desdemona had been there for over an hour already, Des still had not registered.

After the change of guard with Bashert, I realized that in my haste to get in the hospital, I had left my study materials and phone charger in the car – parked in the secondary lot away from the building.  I couldn’t leave Desdemona alone, so there I was left to entertain myself with the comings and goings of the inhabitants of the night emergency room.  Well, that and the wholly inappropriate choice of the Travel Channel showing repetitive episodes of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods.

I heard conversations about some people’s innards that I really didn’t want to hear.  I saw a gentleman come in with a four inch gash across the side of his brow.  I saw one very experienced ER patient come in with a book, crossword puzzle book, phone, and bag of various snacks.  I couldn’t believe she was eating, I was trying not to breathe the air.  We all sat and waited.

I drank a large cup of coffee at work and it was pressing to come out, but I was determined not to use the bathroom facilities.  People were throwing up in there for goodness sake.

Many people simply gave up after several hours of emergency waiting.  As each person left, there was a small and collective sigh from those who remained; one step closer.  The same was done, but with exasperation when an ambulance was seen to pull up.  Ambulance patients trumped the walk-ins; one step back.

Desdemona started to get more anxious when an elderly couple said they had been waiting for five hours.  I don’t think she realized at that point we had already been there almost as long.

Did you know that they eat raw camel meat in Ethiopia? And that when you are eating an oyster, you are eating its digestive and reproductive systems at the same time? And that in Korea you can eat live octopus?

It was into hour five that we were finally called to the back.  In the exam room, I learned that I could lose weight by eating all I want and get a new body in just six weeks.  Bizarre Foods had been replaced by infommercials, curiously all about weight loss and physical fitness without effort.  I missed the magic bullet.

In hour six, Desdemona was finally examined by not one, but three different nurses and a respiratory therapist.  Each asked the same things, no one wrote anything down.  The little vampire came by and took blood, but left the vials on a tray next to the bed.  I could see that the wheels of efficiency were slick with grease in this operation.

Perky, the student resident ordered a CT scan for Desdemona.  She still hadn’t seen a full doctor.

While we waited for the results we had full view of the ER staff.  Apparently, they have time to make decorating decisions – they were pushing a couch back and forth between rooms – and update their phone apps.  They had time to do pretty much anything but reassure their patients.

Dr. No Chin showed up to cover the results of the CT.  After he sufficiently scared the both of us with talk about blood clots and such, he prescribed an inhaler for Desdemona and left.

After over seven hours of waiting then being busily ignored, Dr. No Chin discharged Desdemona into the cold of the morning, with a diagnosis of unexplained shortness of breath and chest pain. Basically, what she came in with.

Seven hours held hostage to the medical system and sent home with a pat on the head.  I sure hope the guy who came in with the severed finger faired better.

Day Tripping

The Bedlam family went traveling yesterday.  We hit the ATL; Hotlanta.  Well, we sort of went to Atlanta.  We actually landed in Decatur. It’s a small suburb south of the great city.  It is a city reborn, full of great little boutiques and wonderful eateries.  Our daughter Nené attended their premier women’s college, Agnes Scott for a year.  It’s the county seat of where we lived a while when I adopted Yoda as his legal second parent. It’s a beautiful little city to visit.



We had two missions, the first was an appointment Bashert made to see one of the downtown shop owners.  Bashert is an artist, too and a good bit more enterprising than I.  Since college, she has actually made money.






The shop, Wild Oats & Billy Goats, is a funky little place chock full of fabulous folk-art.  We were both in seventh heaven to be immersed in good art again.  A refreshing breath of air.  I believe we would have stayed much longer if we didn’t have Bashert’s second mission to accomplish.  We usually stick around and take all the photo ops we can, but time was pressing, this was a day trip and the weather reports for later were rather ominous for driving.

After a quick lunch at a local pita establishment, we were off to find Dick Blick’s Art Supply.


Here is where it gets a little tricky.  You see, I had a couple of very long days/nights this past week.  My archaeology professor guilted me into digging the site for several hours this week on top of having to be at work until 5:30 – 6:00am (yes – AM) and attending classes.  Exhausted doesn’t cover it.  I was asleep when Bashert printed out the routes and all the way up to Decatur.  I didn’t check  the maps.

Turned out that what Bashert thought was just Roswell road, was actually Roswell, the city, just north of Atlanta.



Unless we have an absolute, written in stone map, traveling with Bashert can be a bit dicey.  She can locate her childhood home with the barest of landmarks, but give her a map?  So when we discovered that the route involved a toll highway, we were put a little on edge.

The day was saved by my new(ish) toy, the iPhone.  We were able to pull up a decent enough map (I refuse to activate the GPS) to guide us around the toll and to the right destination.

Much to our delight, by not taking the highway, we also got to experience downtown Roswell, a place neither of us had been, despite the fact we are both from Georgia; Bashert being born in Atlanta!

Roswell is a historic city, built on the labors of slaves and mill workers.  This month the town hosts the largest Black History celebration in Georgia.  If we had known our travels were going to take us through there, we would have made arrangements for time to stop.

After the shopping excursion in Dick Blick’s (another slice of heaven for us, even though we were just there for supplies for Yoda’s school), we headed back to visit with Nené for a minute or two.  She was at work so it wasn’t a long visit, but Yoda was overjoyed to see his big sister even for a short time.








The torrents of rain held off until we got home – not that I would know, I was fast asleep again once the car got moving. Bashert must have known how tired I was because normally I’m not allowed to doze in the car.  I’m navigator and wingman to keep the driver alert.  Bless her little heart.

All in all it a good day trip.

Passion Doesn’t Pay the Bills

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Unless you are five years old or were born to just know your destiny, this can be quite an enormous question.  And since I am no longer five and long ago gave up my dream of being Tarzan, I find myself asking this question almost daily.

The trade I ply presently came by way of accident, really.  It was an opportunity that presented itself when needed.  A steady income, with insurance benefits for my entire “alternative” family, not something easy to find.  The job came with great bonuses, an energetic atmosphere and interesting people to work with.  OWL used to say it was like going to work at that place with the cheery mouse.

Work really was fun. But the tide has turned with the economy. What was once joy has turned to stress inducing drudgery. I find myself mired the muck of corporate offal, my feet stuck by the very things that once offered succor.

The clouds were on the horizon three years ago, so I decided to go back to school.  Actually, I spoke about going back for so long, Bashert told me I need to shit or get off the pot.

I have a degree already; a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  My About page kids around a bit, but the part about being an artist is true.  I didn’t take a whole lot of advanced sciences and maths the first go around.

My idea was to go back, shore up my maths and sciences and then apply to the Medical University, get into a PhD program and into research, preferably in the neurosciences.  I would leave the corporate world behind and submerge myself in the world of discovery.

My plan isn’t going so well.  What started as a couple of biology and math classes blossomed into, “I might as well go ahead and get the second bachelor’s degree since I’ve already done all the core work.”  So I declared as a Biology major.

Turns out though, I’m not that crazy about Biology and Math still hates me.  I take part of that back – I’m not crazy about my lab classes or some of the Biology professors or the fact that our Biology department concentrates primarily on environmental studies.  I’m not big on reptiles or plant reproduction.  The other part about Math remains.

My next thought was to look into data mining or Biostatistics.  Either would still be research, but not in the lab.  Turns out that you need a boat load of mathematics to do either.  Advanced math, such as the likes of Linear Algebra and Calculus.  You recall I mentioned Math hates me?

So, I’m back to square one.

I could slip quietly back into this good night, return to the day shift and make myself more visible to the powers that be and claw my way up the next ring of the spiderweb.

I could turn to a more stodgy major such as business (sorry Dad) and use it to advance toward the next life- sucking level of management.  Doesn’t the joy of that idea just ooze out?

All the classes I’m taking are getting farther and farther from what I originally intended.  I mean,  come on: Creative Writing?  I’m thinking someone’s trying to tell me something, but what I’m not quite sure.

Guess I have more pondering to do.  It will keep me occupied while I’m digging my next hole for archaeology.