Friday, February 23, 2007

Fellow clique member makes good

This week there was a flurry of emails among my old friends from high school. We had a very tight group, lo those many years ago (35 years? could it be?), and some of us still have each other's email addresses. Pete Pitchford, who as far as I knew, disappeared off the face of the earth around 1977, suddenly emailed everyone with an update on Chris Mouganis. He is in an indy-produced movie (still in post-production, according to called "Final Reckoning". Chris liked acting and film - he was in the drama club with the rest of us weirdos. According to some updates over the years, and google, he lives in South Carolina and has been acting in a Columbia theater. Another photo of Chris is here.

The other oddity of the week is that Russ Fox, who I blogged about last week, or someone claiming to be him, has commented on this page. That makes two appearances from out of the blue in one week. If he'd like to email me directly, I would be glad to put him in touch with all of these other emailers - Duane, Teresa, Jack, Pete, Donna D, Dave Boyd, etc.

One activity that tied us together when we were in high school was the "Animal Game". To seem rebellious and 'out there', we would sit on the floor or the ground in public and begin to play this silent 'simon-says' like game, with gestures that indicated certain animals. I would gesture like a monkey and then quickly follow with another gesture, like an elephant, say. The person identifying as the elephant would respond with their gesture and then another one, say the lion. These gestures would pass around the circle with increasing speed until we broke down into laughter.

We were the "freaks" or hippies in our school, strongly divided from the jocks. We were also mostly the smart ones, which I think kept us from getting into too much trouble.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Italy ahead

We are planning a vacation in Italy this year. I have only been in Italy once before, in 1970, when we passed through Milan on the way to my summer abroad in Switzerland. Since I've never studied Italian, I'm looking forward to learning a bit before going, and have downloaded some Italian lessons for my ipod. Last night, we watched Two Women, an early film with Sophia Loren as a feisty and sexy mother who is unable to save her daughter and herself from the scourges of war. Having the subtitles speeds up the language immersion process and gives you a false sense of understanding what's being said. It does seems quite similar to French, Spanish and Portugese (well duh, they are all latin languages), so I'm hoping to be able to converse a little by the end of April.

We are going to spend a week in Sicily and spend the rest of the time (at either end of that week) in Rome. We'll have to save lovely Tuscany and the famous sites in Venice and Florence for another visit. I'm not sure why I'm drawn to Sicily, but part of it is that it's more like a Greek island than the mainland. It's sure to be warm and sunny.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Russell Fox

I had a boyfriend in high school named Russ Fox. He was a tall guy with red hair who had an intense desire to read my diary. He drove a van, which made him very popular and useful as a friend. We used to pile the whole clique in there and drive around for hours. I remember that he got in an accident once and it really messed up his knee, because that van did not have much between the driver and the next car.

We broke up when he became a jesus freak. He got very involved in the pentacostal church. I saw him last when I was in college, and he had fallen in love with some woman in the church. They were engaged because he felt that god had told him they were meant for each other. God had then told her that she was NOT meant to be with him, and she split. He was extremely upset about this, naturally, and was questioning his faith.

I wonder what happened to him after that...his birthday was in February, the 7th, I think. People often come to my mind in connection with dates.

Friday, February 09, 2007

It's not so bad

I really shouldn't complain about cold weather. Right after writing the post about how cold it is in California, the temperatures here warmed up to the 50s and 60s, and in Oswego, it snowed and snowed. I guess it helps to post pictures like this one, taken in downtown Oswego, just to keep things in perspective.

Snow is very pretty when it's falling, but not very pretty when you are shoveling it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


From time to time, I check the site that keeps track of visitors to this blog. (If it's your first time, welcome!) When the title of my blog was "harmonic convergence", I used to get lots of people looking for information on planetary alignment and so forth.

These days, my visitors seem to be focused on "Lydia, the tatooed lady", which is a song that I posted lyrics for, popularized by Groucho Marx many decades ago. I imagine I am one of the few people who has posted anything online about this tune, but it's amazing to me that so many others seem to care about it!

Another hot topic is my collection of photos of Milford Sound in New Zealand. This week, many people from the Czech Republic are interested in the Milford Sound. Perhaps a local paper ran a travel story, which triggered people to google it?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wearing a hooded sweatshirt and thick socks

This has been the coldest California winter I have ever experienced since moving here in 1979. I lived in San Francisco for the first 12 years or so, and I remember once or twice seeing frost on the windows, and one year, we had freezing rain. After moving north 15 miles, to Marin county, we were startled at the few frosty mornings where we had to pour water on the car windshield, and enjoyed seeing the glittering grass as we went out to pick up the morning paper. We'd have about a week of frosty mornings scattered through December or January. A couple of years ago, there was even a dusting of snow on the hills one morning. So that's the context for my comparison.

This year, there is much discussion of the extremely delayed winter weather back east, and the draught conditions on the west coast. But what I can't believe is just how cold it's been! For more than a month, a hard frost in the mornings. Our trumpet vine, survivor of many winters, has died. Of course the banana tree down the street is completely gone. Our lemon tree has lived, but it is the largest and hardiest lemon tree I've ever seen. Lemon production seems to have gone into remission, however, and usually January is the big month for lemons around here.

This may not sound like much to those who choose to live in the frigid states, but I can complain, because I moved here to escape the cold winters. In Oswego NY, where I went to college, they had to string ropes between the dorms and the classroom buildings, so that students wouldn't be blown away or lost in the blizzard conditions. One year the snow drifts along the streets were so high, that drivers put poles on their front bumpers, with little flags on top, so that motorists approaching intersections could see each other.

If this is global warming, when will it warm up?