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Dear Diary

Tilt-a-What the F@&??

The flower fields in Lompoc were beautiful, although not what I expected. I thought they would all be in one huge valley all together but now I know they are farms and those farms are located all over the place. Some people gave us general directions where most of them were but then driving along the highway, you come around a bend and there’s one all by itself – a stunning carpet of orange and purple flowers. But more than the flowers, we saw acres and acres of grapes being grown. I forgot that we were in wine country. If I had known what was to come, I would have had a lot of wine before going in search of a Tilt-a-Whirl.

It was opening day at the Flower Festival so there were not a lot of people. And there was no Tilt-a-Whirl. But I found one that looked kind of like a tilt-a-whirl and the operator was just hanging around waiting for someone to ride. I bought the ticket, got on, and then two other kids got on, all about 8 years old.  I was so excited! This would be my Tilt-a-Whirl. The music was loud and I was ready. It only took about 15 seconds for me to start screaming, “Stop! Stop!” I had no idea this thing would fly up into the air, start heaving down to the bottom, then up to the top… but that’s not all. The seats went vertical… but that’s not all. Then they started spinning!!! Got it? Loud music, flying up and down, seats VERTICAL and SPINNING! I was so scared and was screaming as loud as I could to stop. But the other kids were screaming for joy so he didn’t know the difference. Suddenly I remembered that someone died of a heart attack in an earthquake last year. You can die from fear!! Would I die up here? Would I pass out and fly out of the seat? I think I just peed on myself. He finally noticed me screaming and stopped the ride after about 4 hours (Denis says it was 30 seconds but he lies).

I had to be helped off the ride like an old person who can’t get out of a chair. My heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. I was crying and hyperventilating. I thanked the operator for stopping (I think I recognized him from the audience at the prison!). But all that’s not even the worst part. The operator had to start the ride back up for the other kids who seemed to have no problem with this death-trap called The Orbiter. The worst part was the looks I got from the kids for interrupting their ride. Can an 8-year-old girl be condescending?  This bitch was.

No prison this time

The last time I was in Lompoc was in 1978 when my band played at the Lompoc Federal Prison. Don’t ask me how we got the gig – I have no idea. I remember going through all kinds of security as they searched us and our instruments. When we started playing, the prisoners’ cheering was so loud we could not hear our own music. We actually got out of sync and didn’t know it as we kept playing through the pandemonium. No one in the audience knew or cared that we were playing out of sync. They kept screaming for me to turn around and I thought maybe one of the prisoners got loose and was coming up behind me. Security guards were stationed at both sides of the stage but they didn’t move so I finally turned around and the crowd exploded. They just wanted to see my ass!

Fast forward to 2013… I’m gong back to Lompoc, but no prison this time. I always wanted to see the flower fields in Lompoc and we’re going tomorrow.

There’s a flower festival this weekend and  I love taking pictures but what has me even more excited is… there might be a tilt-a-whirl!

Bon voyage!!

Spring is here… so what?

Is everybody happy that spring is finally here? Me… not so much. I was happy until a series of events have put me on edge. First thing: There was a spider in the bathroom. Second: Last week there was a baby rattle snake in the backyard. The gardeners got rid of it but what if his mom, the big one, comes looking for her son?? Third thing:  Denis and I were standing out in the backyard last night around 6:00 (it was still very light), watching the hummingbirds, when a skunk walked right past us – like we were invisible. I went for my camera but Denis said not to make any sudden moves – if he feels threatened, he could spray us. Mr. Skunk strolled away like he owned the place. Now I can’t just walk outside carefree any more. In the morning I have to watch where I step not to corner a rattle snake, and in the late afternoon I have to look over my shoulder for the skunk. And as if spiders, snakes, and skunks weren’t enough… the tomato plant came back! YES!! IT’S BACK!! In the exact same spot, right between the roses.

It’s just a little sprout right now but that’s all it was last year and I wound up picking over 8,000 tomatoes! I’m not doing that again! I don’t care how delicious and sweet those cherry tomatoes were…. oh, they were soooo good…. well, maybe I’ll just pick the first five thousand. The rabbit can have the rest.

Pass the bamboo

Denis and I took a weekend getaway to the San Diego Zoo. We saw a lot of animals but nothing compared to seeing this giant panda in person. This was not what I expected. It’s much bigger than I thought – about 5 to 6 feet tall. We watched him for about ten minutes and all he did was eat, eat, eat. He stuffed himself on huge branches of bamboo. It’s no wonder he was lying back like that – just like us after Thanksgiving dinner… in a recliner, can’t get up, need a nap.

Beverly Hills

I ran some errands today and took a short cut down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. I saw two Rolls Royces, a Bentley, two Ferraris, a chrome car, a Porsche racing car, and a very long, low, sleek  yellow and black & shiny sports car (don’t know what that was!).

I got out to window shop and everybody walking around was dressed to the nines! The right fashions, the right shoes, hair with the right highlights in just the right place. I need to dress better next time I go there.

I’m surprised they didn’t ask me to leave. “I’m sorry but we have to ask you to leave Beverly Hills. We have a certain standard to uphold… and here’s some money so you can buy a mirror.”

My Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day to Denis, my  partner of 27 years.

I call him my “precious little puppy fluff.”

He makes me laugh every day.

He still tells me he loves me every night.

Is this a bad day to ask him to clean the garage?

Whatever happened to me?

In the tabloids again? When I heard that I was in the National Examiner, I was expecting the worst.  It was a relief to see that it was just updates on what we’re all doing except there was no mention of my cooking!

Oh well, it could have been worse…. It could have been “Stars Without Makeup” or “A Tub of Cottage Cheese or Jenny Jones’s Thighs? You Decide!”

The Who – Rock On!

Me, Denis, and about 20,000 other people were at the Staples Center last night for The Who concert. I’ve never been to a concert like this before (does Donnie & Marie count?) and it was LOUD! How do I describe the level of loudness? I could physically feel the thumping of the bass in my chest like it was pounding against my heart. If someone you know goes into cardiac arrest, get them to a rock concert! It’ll snap that puppy right back to life! Once I got my earplugs in, I really enjoyed the music by the two remaining members of The Who, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend. They played their entire rock opera, “Quadrophenia” followed by some of their big hits. The drummer, Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr’s son), was incredible and there were six video screens with fantastic graphics. They also used the screens to play nice tributes to Keith Moon and John Entwistle with their solos integrated into the live music so well it was hard to tell them apart.

We had center floor seats in the 12th row but we didn’t use the seats. Everybody stood for the entire two hours so if you didn’t stand, you could only see the screens. They rocked. Roger was bare chested, swinging the microphone. Pete was doing windmills on the guitar. They’ve still got it! They’re pushing seventy and performed for over two hours. And I was whining about having to stand up. I have a new perspective.

It’s a mystery

This morning I decided to walk out on our second floor balcony to check the gutters that face the backyard. What I saw was one of our cushions laying on the floor of the balcony and I have no idea how it got there. It’s a 12-inch square patio cushion that looks like it was tossed onto the balcony.  The last time I saw this cushion, it was on a patio chair that sits below the balcony. We have no children and the only people to frequent the backyard (besides the deer, coyotes, and various annoying critters) are the gardeners who are nice guys and would not pull pranks. How did it get there? Is it possible a hawk or owl picked it up and dropped it there? Maybe there was an animal on the cushion and the bird picked up the animal and cushion together, then dropped the cushion? It’s a mystery.

I did not need to hear that

I went back to the gum guy on Thursday. Here’s my problem: If I was having open heart surgery, I don’t want to hear, “We’re going to crack open your chest with a chain saw, pry you open with a huge metal vice, then start slicing up……” No! I don’t need to hear that! All I need to hear is, “You’re not going to die.”  So I get there and am in the chair with the woman who’s about to work on my infected tooth. This time I know not to look at any of the sharp, pointy, metal tools. Then in comes the gum guy, who said hi to me and then started to review my x-ray with the technician, telling her what needs to be done. “You’ll have to use that long blah-blah tool and get way up into this area here – it may take some time – but you’ll have to scrape all of this out. If she needs more numbing, you can give her another injection.” Hello!! I’m right here!! I did not need to hear that.

I thought about making a run for it. Maybe I should ask for a bunch of Advil & Tylenol… not for the pain… I want to get high. Next time (and there will be a next time) I’m bringing my ipod. If I ran things, every dentist’s office would serve wine.