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Tchotchkes

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Location: Connecticut, United States

marybb1@gmail.com

Saturday, September 30, 2006



Finbar giving the finger?












Finbar waiting for his dinner.















Finbar on sofa.





















Finbar in Big Dog Bowl.















Finbar Playing the Piano


















Many, many thanks to the talented photographer who took these pictures for me!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

P-Town Calls!


Oh joy of joys!!! We’re leaving for vacation on Sunday and off to three nights and four days of fun and frolic.

Actually it will be an eating, drinking, reading, shopping, vacation. I watched whales last year so I’m not doing that again.

We’re driving up with Doc and DJ and meeting our new friends, a NY city lesbian couple we met last year on vacation; husband and I get along with L and W so well, it feels like we’ve known them for years.

So there are three men and three women and I know at times people are trying to figure out who goes with whom.

The thing is we three couples all get along amazing well and it obviously isn’t our sexual orientation that makes that happen – it’s our commonality.

For example, all of us love to read, love music and are big time animal lovers. We all love wine, not just drinking wine but learning about it and trying different selections.

Some of us love to talk about baseball, and some of us love to talk about birding and we all love to talk about books, politics and the news.

Trust me, I would never vacation with other couples, straight or gay, unless I was certain we were going to be with flexible people who enjoyed doing group activities but also enjoyed spending time alone too. This makes for a no pressure vacation where everyone does what they want to -- when they want to.

We meet up at the cocktail hour hosted by the inn at 5 PM and then usually eat together at night.

We never run out of things to talk about. And we laugh our heads off, so needless to say, I am anxious for vacation to begin.

I am dreaming of chowders and lobster rolls, scallops and cod, shrimp and maybe some more shrimp, and the best damned Gimlets at Front Street restaurant.

Yummo, as Rachael Ray would say!

See you next week!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The following is a real email I sent out this morning.


Hello Bumblebee Executives,
I have a question: my husband was making his tuna sandwich this morning and drained the water out of the Bumblebee tuna can to give to the cats. He looked at the tuna "juice" and he noticed a white foamy substance, but didn't think much of it, especially since you are now including vegetable broth and soy in the tuna can which is relatively new I think.
He gave some juice to the cat and the cat threw up.

Cats do throw up as a hobby, so I wasn't too concerned about that, but the juice looked like it had soap bubbles in it and in all my years of eating Bumblebee tuna I never saw white foamy bubbles come out of a can of tuna.
My husband took his tuna sandwich to work and intends to eat it at noon. I want to hear from someone that this white foam is normal and not an indication that the tuna has gone bad or been contaminated. I like my husband and don't want him sick or poisoned.
There is no phone number to call on the tuna can. (You really should have that on the can so people with serious questions can get an answer!)
I found a phone number finally on Google, but the message says it might take 24 hours for a response....
Too long of a time when there's a potentially dangerous tunafish sandwich that's going to be eaten in three hours and counting.
Please advise me if it's okay for my husband to eat this tuna and perhaps let me know what on earth the white foamy bubbly stuff is. The can does not have an expired date nor was it dented when he opened it this morning.

Bottom line: can my husband eat his tuna sandwich??? The clock is ticking and the tuna sandwich lies in wait.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Enough with the Hurt Feelings Already

So the pope said something Muslims didn’t like. Take it from me: the pope says stuff all the time I don’t like. Don’t get your panties in a bunch over every little thing you don’t like, okay?

It makes me think Muslims think their religion is a weak one and needs constant defending. It’s been around a long time and I think it can hold up to cartoons and comments from popes.

By the way, Muslims have done their fair share of offending. I personally don’t like the comments that indicate Islam wants to take over the world.

I don’t want any religion taking me over.

I certainly don’t like al-Qaeda Islamists, yet I am not crazy about the pope either. Both have recited extremely biased and hateful comments in the past. Both think homosexuality is a sin and both have shown extreme, fundamentalist views that I don’t agree with.

Both seem to like women covered in black robes.

Actually, when you delve deeply into religion, much of what all the religions say is very similar and god is always on their side, no matter what religion.

The hurt feelings thing has got to stop. It is so “preteen, premenstrual drama” and foolish – especially when one incident of hurt feelings leads to chaos and murder.

My mother once told me that the only time you can get hurt by something someone says about you is when it’s true.

She also taught me: sticks and stones can hurt your bones but names will never hurt you.

If everyone would lay down their “sticks and stones” and when they were ticked off --just call each other names instead – it would be a much more peaceful world.

Gesturing with rigid digits is okay too.




Monday, September 18, 2006


Finbar look alike





















This is not actually Finbar but he is almost identical to Finn except he doesn't have double paws.

I am the world's worst photographer and don't own a digital camera as a family member takes all our pictures for events....when she comes over I'll have her take a picture of the real Finbar and you will see how identical they look!

Life is busy here now. The older cat is terrified of the baby cat; the baby cat is terrified of the dogs who are terrified of the older cat.

I know they'll get used to each other soon, but in the mean time it's a tad chaotic here!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It's a Boy!!!!


Please welcome our new kitten, Finbar Huckleberry. He’s adorable! He’s polydactyl both front and back feet, black, white and tiger coloring and has a smidgeon of Maine Coon in his ancestry, according to the vet.

He was born on or around July 1, 2006 and was found in the woods. A kind lady brought his mother and the kittens into her home and kept the mother but gave up the kittens to the animal shelter where we found this little ball of fluff.

The quest is over and in 24 hours he has declared dominance over our older cat and is not showing great fear of the dogs either. We’re keeping the dogs behind the kitchen gate and letting them sniff each other.

When the dogs bark, he runs, but I know it won’t take long before they’re all cuddled up together.

The cat karma in my home is better with two; must be some form of feline feng shui.


Now everything is purrrrrrrrrfect!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thank you America!

Have you seen this TV ad? It seems so nice on the surface. Finally some Iraqis seem happy about our presence in their country. Children are smiling; people are waving; everyone’s happy and healthy and loving us big time.

Only it’s sponsored by the Kurdistan Development Corporation and the ad agency doing the “happy Kurds ad” is a public relations firm with close ties to the right-wing faction of the Republican Party.

Do “they” think we are all stupid as a rock? Isn’t it convenient that right before a coming election we are spoon fed a video of contented Kurds for cud chewing?

(See folks, we’re winning in Iraq. Look how happy these people are and how much they love America! Aren’t we Americans the cat’s ass for helping these poor folk out? Throw them another Hershey bar, will you?)

I’m tired of fake news, aren’t you?

Speaking of political ads, there’s a new one with Joe Lieberman standing in front of a chalk board where the words Democrat and Republican are printed out with a line between the two words like this:

Democrat | Republican

Joe takes an eraser and rubs out the line, positioning himself between the two words as a visual indication of his middle of the road stance and of his desire to solicit votes from anyone at all –heck a vote’s a vote.

But I wonder if he is attempting to deceive us? He’s in front of a chalk board with an eraser in his hand – is he pretending to be a certified teacher? After all, you don’t see too many chalk boards or erasers being used by non-certified teachers, do you?

Perhaps the Lamont people should wage a counter attack on Lieberman for posing as a teacher.

Silly season is definitely here.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lieberman's Latest Ludicrous Lash-out


Did you think Ned Lamont was a certified teacher?

I didn’t.

I can’t figure out why the Lieberman camp has accused Lamont of pretending to be a teacher.

Doh.

Every time Lamont’s written about he’s described as a Greenwich millionaire who started his own cable company.

Every article about him that refers to his “teaching” says that he has volunteered in Bridgeport high schools, teaching a course on how to start your own business.

I would think most people agree that the use of the word “teacher” is not meant to confuse, but to clarify what he was doing in the high schools.

He was not painting walls; he was not cooking in the cafeteria; he was not running a cheerleading camp; he was not making copies for the office staff; he was teaching.

Pick a synonym.

Here’s a list of what Microsoft WORD will give you for teacher:

Educator

Tutor

Instructor

Coach

Trainer

Lecturer

Professor

Governess

I especially like governess. If Lamont had called himself a governess I could see why Lieberman would have a gripe.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Word is in on what Jonathan Edington’s two-year-old daughter, Rebecca told her mother that was then relayed to the father which was so horrendous that Edington broke into his neighbor’s house and stabbed Barry James to death.

According to the Connecticut Post, Rebecca and her mother were on vacation and when the child heard that the vacation was over and they were going home, she balked.

“The report said Rebecca told her mother she did not want to go home. When asked why, the report states that the girl motioned to her groin with two fingers and said, ‘Barry is this.’ ”

Other news sources have reported that the child said that Barry puts "it" on her belly and her nose.

Also, reported by the Post:

“Two-year-old Rebecca Edington told her mother that her Fairfield neighbor, Barry James, came into her room and molested her "on starry nights," according to a police report made public Tuesday.

"He makes her make noises that sound like hee-haw and then it feels like rain on her," the report says.”

The article says nothing about the Edingtons taking Rebecca to a doctor to be examined so we only have the toddler’s testimony, told to her mother when she didn’t want to come home from a vacation with relatives.

Wouldn’t you think someone in the Edington family would have heard Barry’s alleged intrusion into his neighbor’s home?

Wouldn’t you think the child would cry out and waken her parents?

Wouldn’t you think that since the Edington’s had already complained about Barry James’ window shades being up while he was not completely clothed that the child might have heard some negative talk at home about her neighbor Barry?

Wouldn’t you think that a child who was having a great time on vacation would fuss about going home?

Starry nights, hee-haws, rain, two fingers, noses and bellies and a child not wanting to leave a good time, so far, does not add up to either molestation or a reason for murder. Right now "it" just sounds to me like toddler talk.




Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Moving on...


Someone said to me yesterday, “What can we do to honor the people who died on 9/11?”

It was a rhetorical question so I didn’t reply, but what I wanted to say was: Drive better. If every American would just drive better in honor of 9/11 we’d be a better country.

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I woke up thinking about childhood misconceptions I had, and I’d love to hear yours. Here’s a few I was thinking of:

1) I thought only females played the piano. Then when I was around 4, I saw my first male piano player and wondered what was up with that. Prior to seeing this guy play, every person I’d ever seen play the piano was a female so I thought playing the piano was like playing with dolls – a girl thing.

2) I also thought there were quite a few angry apes out in the world. It seemed like newscasters were always talking about gorillas killing innocent people…only later did I realize it was guerillas.

3) When I was about 3, I thought male ballet dancers were dancing in the nude. Those skin-hugging tights looked like bare buns and legs to me as I wasn’t schooled in genitalia.

4) One of THE biggest misconceptions I ever had was about food. I thought eggs came from cardboard boxes and bacon came from plastic pouches and chicken breasts came from the back of the butcher shop.

Then came kindergarten when Billy Boman told me milk came from cow boobies. He went on to explain where every single thing in my lunchbox had come from and I wanted to barf and never eat again.

Once I learned what I was really eating I had a hard time. I refused all food except cereal and bread. Eventually I got over myself --but to this day, not completely. If I think too much about what I’m eating, I lose the joy of it all.

5) I thought nuns were the priest’s wives. I also thought they must have all been pretty ugly or why would they cover themselves up from head to toe?

---------------------------------

I am going to the dentist today. In the past I would be creating my excuse to back out. “My car won’t start; I’m getting a cold, can’t come. My house is on fire and I have to stay home to put it out.” Etc.

But because I love and trust my dentist Dr. Edward Kozinn, I am happy to go! I will never forget how I found him, how he emailed me back with soothing words and took the time to call me on the phone to let me know he’d help me get over my phobia in any way he possibly could. He’s a hero to me!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mornings and Mournings


I’m not sure where I saw it, but there was a photograph of a beautiful little girl dressed-up in her kindergarten school clothes. The photo captured the child’s happy anticipation of beginning her first year of school.

She had shiny, taffy colored braids and big brown eyes. She carried a Hello Kitty lunch box and it was obvious she was wearing new school shoes.

On the top of the photo, or maybe the bottom as I can’t quite recall, these words were printed:

Born September 11, 2001.

I’m starting this national day of mourning by thinking of morning: a little girl, dressed for school on a crisp September morning.

Terrorists --and politicians who use terrorism as just another campaign ploy -- don’t want us to think of beginnings on this day – they want us to remember endings. Which, unless you live under a rock, you will do all day today.

But to me terrorism wins when it takes over a whole country and gets every one of us biting our nails, looking over our shoulders, and allowing government to invade our privacy (for our own good of course, everything is always for our own good.)

What I will also think about today is how a sheriff in the old west could hang up a photo in the post office which showed a picture of a person and underneath the photo it said Wanted: Dead or Alive.

Some mercenary with a gun strapped on his hip would ride off into the sunset and in a few days, ride back into town with a body over the back of his horse.

George Bush, so he said, wanted Osama bin Laden dead or alive, but Osama keeps on keeping on. Have we run out of mercenaries?

I would think with the intelligence tools we have, the weapons we have, the money we could put up as a reward for bringing this murderer to justice, we would have him by now.

And we would have him by now if our resources were directed towards catching him, a real life person rather than spending billions of dollars and thousands of lives looking for imaginary weapons of mass destruction.

Osama is a living, breathing weapon of mass destruction. He is wanted dead or alive.

I want Bush to keep his promise and go gunning for the son-of-a-bitch.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Kitten Quest

Yesterday I tried again to get a kitten. This time I went to a shelter and the rescue group hosting the adoption fair seemed like it was composed of normal people! Wunderbar!

The first thing that happened was they were nice to talk to and seemed happy I was interested in adopting an animal or maybe two.

Wow, friendly people how odd?

Unless George Bush calls them up and tells them if they let me adopt a cat he’ll have them put in jail for life – I think I’m cleared to adopt.

Which is joyous, because if it were impossible for me to adopt a kitten I would become a terrorist and blow up all suburban do-gooder, you-can't-have-a-cat-people's houses.

Kidding kidding kidding.

Now the dilemma: I can get a kitten, but I must take two. Or I could take one of the older cats that are passed their kitten prime.

I can’t make up my mind what to do. I would love a tiny, baby kitten, but kind of relate to the older cats now since I’ve been unworthy of adoption till yesterday. (Again, barring a George Bush veto!)

Some of the cats were 5 months old, some 2 or 3 years old, still very young but not a baby kitten.

Then there’s the mother of the litter of kittens…what about her? She looked like she would love a home.

So now there might be too many cats/kittens for me to choose from; another kitten dilemma but a far more pleasant one.

Oh, and none of the cats are beauties, and I did want a pretty cat since every cat I’ve ever had has been a stray that needed an extreme makeover.

But I have a new view on that too: homely cats are just as lovable as the pretty ones.

Why break my streak of happy, homely cats in my home?

I know the feeling now of being deemed unworthy of adopting…so I really do empathize with the older cats that people deem unworthy of adopting.

There by the grace of a meow go I.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Going out but before I go...

Congratulations Bradley on your beautiful new baby boy!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Stopping By for a Quick Hello


I must have gotten 30 phone calls today…oy!

I feel like I spent all day on the phone…with the exception of when DJ called me and said: I’m on the way to your house, I’m picking you up and taking you on a ride with me while I drop something off in Clinton, and I’ll have you home in a couple of hours.

Which he did and we even managed to sneak in a lobster roll…yummmm.

I still have no kitten. I made a second attempt online to a rescue agency, but they must have a zillion people looking for kittens and only a dozen kittens up for adoption. Either that or I’ve been blackballed and don’t know it. Or the do-gooders with the ‘tudes googled me and read what I said about them.

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If you’re ever in Bridgeport Connecticut, and like steak treat yourself to a wonderful dining experience at a restaurant called Joseph’s. They serve the best steak in the universe!

The bartender Joe makes the best cosmopolitans I’ve ever had and the place is friendly and cozy.

Our friends drove up from the Bronx and we met them there for a wonderful dinner – exceptional, right down to the crème brulee!



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We also went to an extended family picnic on the weekend which was very nice – no fights, no slights, no barbs and nothing bad happened.

In both the restaurant and the family picnic, the buzz was everyone was voting for Lamont…hope that comes true.

People are so fed up with the Iraq war and putting our troops in harm’s way when most people agree that the fighting is going to go on there about as long as the Catholics and Protestants have been fighting in Ireland.

Holy wars are about souls and not bodies…although they generate bodies.

If I heard right, we now have more American troops dead from the Iraq war than nine eleven and we’ve been in Iraq longer than we were in Europe for WWII.

Correct me if I’m wrong as I’m hurrying to get this up before the phone rings!!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006


Murder, Mayhem and the Media



Something isn’t right about the recent murder in a quiet Fairfield, CT neighborhood. Something isn’t being told that should be told, but what is it?

The first strange thing that came to me about the report that a 29 year old lawyer, Jonathan Edington had broken into the home of his 59 year old neighbor Barry James, and stabbed him to death was this: why?

Then the media said it was because Edington’s two year old daughter had told her mother that she had been molested by James and Edington had gone into a blind rage and acted upon this rage.

Hmmmm.

Must be one smart kid. Most of the two year olds I have ever known aren’t that articulate, and even if they do have a great command of English by two, they still wouldn’t be able to talk about molestation and name names. And even if they could do the former, well, a professional should interview them to make sure the child is competent to make such an accusation.

None of this rings true to me…what else is odd?

What wife would tell a husband over the phone that their child had been molested? Isn’t that a bit odd? Wouldn’t you want to be with your husband to discuss the incident? Wouldn’t you want to file a complaint immediately after this oh so articulate and believable child made her accusation?

Or is the mother interpreting for the child? Is the mother inciting the husband to riot?

According to the NY Times, Edgington had another bout of rage once:

“In 1998, while Mr. Edington was enrolled at Finger Lakes Community College, he was charged with harassment and disorderly conduct for flinging items from a Planned Parenthood display at a health fair onto the ground, according to the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department. After ripping the display down, Mr. Edington told the Planned Parenthood representative, “How many babies have to die?” and “How’s your conscience,” according to a police report.

Mr. Edington told The Finger Lakes Times at the time that he was “trying to make a statement” about his opposition to abortion, but “it wasn’t a violent thing.”

Interesting.

I see now that cable news has picked up this story and will hash and rehash it. Already the sleepy little street in Fairfield where this murder occurred is being bombarded with news media.

Now Edington’s wife is filing charges of molestation against the dead Barry James.

Very interesting.

Edginton had filed a complaint in the past that James was naked by an open window.

Neighbors say James struggled with alcoholism and had been shouting obscenities at neighbors and passing out in his driveway.

Abortion, nudity, obscene language, a small child, alcoholism, molestation and big shiny carving knives –oh boy! Looks to me the media circus has moved from Boulder and is relocating in Fairfield.