Tag Archives: nonsense

California Crazy

31 Dec

One can tell I am a southern California born and raised individual because the second our “winter” arrives, I am crying and miserable.  I know, I know…our low of 40 degrees Fahrenheit is nothing comparatively speaking.  But it is something to me, because I am a certified “California Crazy.”  When the temperature drops below 60 degrees (F) I am convinced the world is ending.  Though now that the Mayan calendar is proven wrong I will have to convince myself of a different fallacy.  To combat these dreadful and extreme climate conditions, I have (since the solstice) been donning two sets of pajamas, simultaneously; as well as my down jacket or down robe (to bed mind you), my woolen scarf, and a knitted beanie.  In addition to this very sexy get up, I crawl into a bed made up of one wool blanket, two down comforters, and one handmade quilt (courtesy my grandmother and mother).  Oh I forgot to mention socks, I wear those as well.  To me, this is normal California winter.  To others, I am a California lunatic.

I do think the comedy show, Saturday Night Live, depicts us best with their sketches called, “The Californians.”  Not because they are true renditions of how we act or think, but because within the overly dramatic portrayals is the hint that we have it so good, here in our western zone, that when our comfort is slightly impinged upon, we act in a manner which appears to be ridiculous to the rest of the nation (if not the world).    What I can say?  I am born and bred of this state.  I have not ever lived in the snow, nor have I experienced the true conditions of a seasons change.  In fact, just a few days ago the weather was absolutely beautiful, warm in the sun and sparkly (though I still felt the need to wear several articles of clothing, including my wool scarf).  Today it is the same.  No breeze, sunny and warm (relatively speaking).

So to everyone who passes by this way, via BENTRIVKA.com, I give to you a video link of SNL’s, “The Californian’s.”  It is my HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone.  May you be blessed and safe and may you know that “yes, I AM California Crazy; and yes, I am still cold!”

**2013 Here We Come**

Mandibular Trauma

2 Dec

Though my last post was long winded, and I’m sure only those who take the time to read my blog from their place of employment could justify the long haul to the end of my story (except for one lady I know, but she is queen of the Woodglen thus time just spills from her plate–wink, wink), I could re-use my title, from that post, again and again and again.  “Unintentionally Imperfect”…I am pretty sure that is my crowning achievement as well as my pain in the ass!  Now the title, mandibular trauma, is just a beautiful grouping of words which have a syncopated and rhythmic effect when placed next to each other.  And because of that, I needed to investigate their connection further.

When I first read the words, mandibular trauma, they were written from a man who was describing Randy Newman.  Odd, right?  Well I think it an odd description, but then again, I have not been in the company of Randy Newman.  The man of many talents, Van Dyke Parks, was being interviewed about his work with various artists.  When it came to him describing Mr. Newman his response was less than favorable about Randy as a person, while keeping the genius of Newman’s writing intact.  To paraphrase and get to the point of my title, Mr. Parks sentiment went like this, “He suffers fools not wisely.  He has a tendency to mandibular trauma.  He comes out slugging” (Uncut July 2010, pg. 89).  I confess, I read and re-read that statement several times.  The description of, tendency to mandibular trauma, hooked me.  All of a sudden I found myself investing my personal ‘thought time’ (personal thought time=opportunities for following various trains of thought i.e while doing the dishes, applying makeup, folding clothes, etc.) into the contemplation of the description while trying to figure out what that means in a practical sense.  Did Van Dyke intend to say that Randy literally began throwing punches toward the jaw, either that of Park’s or himself?  Or, was the terminology used as a metaphor with no literal connection at all?  Meaning, did Mr. Newman spew out such hurtful words that Van Dyke Parks likened the verbal regurgitation to being traumatic to the mandibles?

Am I alone in this area of word scrutinization?  Am I the only ‘nut’ who reads, pretty much everything?  Yes, I actually do read everything.  You can find me investing good time perusing the manual of a new cell phone.  Or the warning label which is adhered to an electrical appliance cord.  Even the label on a mattress and/or pillow.  I read, read, and read…and sometimes it is just a bunch of junk.  Cereal boxes, hair care products, ingredients, fine print, etc.  Then I have the audacity to evaluate the meaning of said junk.  But on the flip side, I am a lover of language…its intentions, its construction, its etymology, its music.  And when certain words are used which, for one reason or another, catch my interest and hang out in the contemplations of my mind, I get excited to traipse down the road of clues toward unraveling the mystery of the verbiage.  Another example: Last year my daughter gave me a sample packet of a skin scrub from a company who call themselves, Skin Food.

Skin Food body scrub

Coffee Body Scrub…shall I eat it, or wear it?!

And just this past week I spied the packet hanging out next to my face lotion (ok, ok, anti-wrinkle cream) as it has been there every day since she gave it to me.  I asked myself, “What are you waiting for?  Just use the damn stuff already!  Then I corrected my brash tone to, “darned stuff”, and pulled it off of the shelf.  Being I am who I am, I turned the packet over to make sure I understood the intention of the maker…in case theirs was a supernaturally different body scrub and scrubbing it on the skin and then rinsing it off was not the proper modus operandi.  Well sure enough their instructions differ from that of my previous knowledge.  Though their variation is due only to lack of proper editing and attention to detail.  Here I type the instructions verbatim, “After liberally in the shower or bath, using gentle circular motion.”

Now really, what is a girl to do?  At least this girl, who is a fanatic about the cohesive use of language (and to this end, I apologize for subjecting you to my past written faux pas, as they are due to my laziness.  When I am tired, I turn from taking the time to properly edit a post and choose to “publish” with errors intact.  Bad form, bad form–though I am not marketing my prose for money…at this point!).  Well me being Bent Rivka and all, I conversed with the packet as if I were standing in front of the entire marketing team.  Once finished berating them their error, I had to get my head around the erroneous directions.  I played with word substitution for a bit, and then decided a complete re-write was in order.  At one point (and I admit I should have begun here), I said to myself, “Oh hell, Rivka, you know how to use stupid body scrub.  Now get in the shower and shut up!”  And so I did.  I used the product but could not bring myself to throw away the packet because the directions were haunting me.  I have been looking at that packet for a solid week.  I periodically pick it up and double check that the error doesn’t lie within my interpretation.  And now, I am utilizing this beautiful blog forum to lay to rest the confusion of the issue.  RIP, Skin Food…r.i.p.

Ok, the truth of this post is this, my son has been suffering to a significant degree this past week and a half.  As he struggles with severe pain, medication withdrawal, and the emotional stress of processing his prognosis, his dad and I shoulder his reality in different ways.  For me, to discuss the irrelevant and absurd, such as the word choice of the Van Dyke Parks article from 2010 and the beauty product from a year ago (though freshly opened last week), helps me release the pressure which comes from not being able to “fix” the hurts of my son.  After all, a mother is the one who comforts her children and who by doing so, makes all the wrongs right again.  In Cole’s case, I cannot touch that which ails him.  Additionally, as I shared in my previous blog story, this week has been filled with other circumstances of stress which are burdensome in and of themselves.  So skin food, Randy Newman, and Van Dyke Parks it is.  And thankfully, because I have this forum in which to deflate the ‘ol brain a bit, I can now throw out the packet of gelatinous goop which holds a smidgen of salt, sugar, and coffee grounds.  I can also assure you my jaw is doing just fine!   Once again, thanks for listening with your eyes. 🙂

Living Like the Queen I am

11 Oct

I had the BEST day today!

First I began my morning by waking up completely drenched with sweat.  For those who know me well, know that being cold is my absolute nemesis.  Thus awaking to warmth to the degree that I actually perspire is a welcomed experience, I assure you.  My son, Cole, likes to give me a hard time about the fact I do NOT break a sweat when relaxing in a 100 degree sauna (actually 104 degrees, & celsius).  It is true; the sauna has to be at about 113 degrees before I begin to feel ‘over heated’, when perhaps a trickle from a bead of perspiration will alert me to the idea that I might be too hot.  Oops, I have digressed; now back to my morning…  After changing into something dry I headed to the kitchen to start the morning meal.  Since Cole was still retired in his room, Esther at school, and Brian not in need of a morsel, I was able to conjure up a breakfast just for myself, the Queen!  I made myself an egg-white omelet, stuffed with Port Salut cheese from France, cooked in olive oil brought to me from Italia, and sprinkled with roasted kale which I had prepared the night before.  Yummmm

Omelet with Port Salut and Kale

Egg white omelet with Port Salut cheese, and roasted kale sprinkled on top. Yum!

I then ground my coffee beans and made a fresh pot of joe.  As I sat at the dining room table, by myself, with my delectable meal, I thought…”this meal is fit for the queen that you are, Rivka.” 🙂  And so I created my title.

And while masticating my last morsel, my boys emerged to the kitchen and were ready for the “royal” treatment themselves (though not exactly the queens portion).  They require a bit more goo for their palate.  But since Cole is beginning to meet with a personal trainer, twice a week, and the trainer has him documenting his diet, I ‘upped the ante’ to make sure Cole looks good on paper (and I look even better as the queen mother!).  Theirs was a 3-egg scramble with sauteed spinach, basil, scallions, and cream cheese.  I have decided, or learned from a dear friend rather, that keeping a basil plant on hand is a better choice than purchasing sprigs which tend to spoil quickly, even if kept in a glass of water in the refrigerator.  And mornings, such as this, proves her theory well.

With the completion of breakfast behind me, I pondered my next move.  Do I walk the dogs and then shower, or do I shower and walk the dogs eventually?  Amidst my pondering a rain, thunder, and lightening storm came upon us and forced the hand of my decision toward the shower now option.  I must say, I absolutely love it when nature or other factors, out of my control, guide my choices.  Sometimes I want to let go of being the one in charge, you know, the one who bears the burden of responsibility…you know, the queen.  And when lightening strikes and thunder rolls, and rain pours down, life is just that much simpler.

Post the upright bathing ritual, the storm began to move away.  The clouds were puffy and white, and the skies a beautiful azure.  I was ready for some real adventure, the only problem which presented itself is that I allowed my staff the day off.  A mid week holiday of sorts.  Okay, okay…I don’t have staff, but this was my “Queenly” morning, as my omelet could attest, and therefore within my royal delusion I had staff–only they weren’t around! 😉

HOWEVER, it seemed the good Lord was willing to tickle my fancy and allow me my fun.  I will explain…

As I hunkered down and decided to get with the ‘actual’ program and go out to the garage to get the empty laundry basket so I could begin tearing down the Mount Kilimanjaro looking pile of filthy clothes, I noticed four large trucks and one long white van, congregated within the area of our culdesac.  Bypassing the laundry area, I went out to the street to more easily check out the scene.  There were lots of men, in jump suits.  Some with orange, reflector vests.  And while the van was unmarked, the trucks showcased our city’s logo on the side of the drivers’ door.  Intimidated at first, I shrunk back and began to retreat to the laundry area where the empty basket awaited me.  Then all of a sudden my inner royal took the lead and urged me to investigate the scene further, more intimately, and to find out the issue which caused the congregation of men.  Lo and behold a city water main had broke.  The men, with their tools in hand, were shutting down the water for our entire neighborhood.

Well you can imagine their surprise when I jumped up and down with glee.  I was so happy!!  I even asked if they wouldn’t mind taking a week to complete the task–a forced vacation from the city was all I was asking for…it’s not like I was begging for the Taj Mahal!  The workmen laughed and looked at each other with an agreed expression of their happening upon  a nutcase; me.  No matter, not the first time I garnered such an expression from strangers.  I was too happy to care what they thought of me;  for once again, nature (or other causes out of my control) interfered in “my plans” and helped direct the day.

I ran into the house and told Cole to gather his things, we and the dogs were heading to the harbor.  Though he gave me a look of concern, I assured him the skies were clear in that direction and we were going to walk the dogs and enjoy the harbor facilities for we were “out of water!”  Or perhaps I responded to his scowl with the following battle cry, “obey your queen and get yourself into the car!”

Cole in action

Are you my mother?!

Which ever it was, I had a marvelous day and I thank the city, cheese imported from France, kale, and Italian olive oil for starting me off on the right foot.  Those are my servants, they are my staff.

And Mount Kilimanjaro?  It waits patiently beside me, knowing the water main is repaired and the time for conquering is drawing near.  Cheers! 🙂

 

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