Friday, July 30, 2010


Yesterday after enduring my annual mammy-grammy in the city, I told my obedient chauffeur, "Let's go pick peaches!!"

Now, Big Bore is not too keen on laboring in the afternoon summer heat, but I played up the fact that I deserved to get my way since my poor buh-zooms had been squished--plus, it wouldn't take very long. It wasn't like we were going to be picking a bushel and a peck. So, off we went to an orchard near Whitewater. We'd never been there before, but it wasn't hard to find and the owners were nice and picking peaches on low branches was easy except for when some ornery little "buzzers" gave Big Bore a scare. It's amazing how quickly he can move when he feels threatened.

Aside from playing with the flowers in our yard, the second-best enjoyment of summer is eating the wonderful fruit. We've been overdosing on cantaloupes, grapes, and our own homegrown watermelons the past few weeks. Yummy! Oh, and I can't forget the strawberries and blueberries with my birthday cake. Now, I can add fresh peaches to the party in my mouth. In a few days they should be riper and ready to serve. Add some vanilla ice cream to the bowl and, mmmmm, heaven. -----The orchard owner said pears will be ready to pick in a month. I'm going to be first in line.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The other day Big Bore asked me if I’d ever been to a professional baseball game.

“Heck, I practically invented baseball!” I told him.

From approximately 1975-80, my first five years living in Eureka, I racked up “frequent driver miles” to Kansas City on weekends to hang out with Dr. Maureen and a cast of rowdy characters. As often as possible, we would cause calamity at Royals baseball games.

Since we were all operating on shoestring budgets, we typically sat in the first-come/first-serve bleacher seats in right field. I think they went for $1.50. Only the rejects sat in this section. Our favorite fan was “Toe Lady,” so named because she had the ugliest, stubby toes in the modern world, proudly displayed in equally ugly sandals, regardless of the weather. Toe Lady was a short, stocky, overly-tanned bleached blonde who looked like she could have socked a baseball out of the park with one pinky. But I digress.

In spite of slumming it among the lower class, Maureen and I were first-class authorities on the Royals. We made it a point to know EVERYTHING about EVERY player, even the benchwarmers. Does Jerry Terrell ring a bell to anyone other than Dr. M? Or course, not. --Maureen’s favorite player was Freddy “Big Things Come in Small Packages” Patek, and I was partial to Pete La Cock, a hunky blonde reserve first baseman who is the son of Hollywood Squares original host Peter Marshall. We lived for Photo Day, when we could roam the field before a game to take pics of all “our guys.” Fortunately, for the players, they posed behind a roped-off area and adhered to a strict “look but don’t touch” policy.

(Pete, "Be Still My Heart" La Cock makes eye contact with me over the Photo Day crowd.)

After games, sometimes M and I would hang out in the parking lot with the other groupies, stalking the players, who totally ignored us. I took lots of pictures of them trying to get to their cars, scowling, as if they wanted to say, “Get yourself a life.” Third baseman George Brett didn’t live too far from Maureen, so we made drive-bys at his place and even trick-or-treated there one year. George didn’t answer the doorbell, surprise, surprise, so Maureen left him some beer. I think shortly thereafter, he moved to a gated community.

(George Brett tries to get to his Porsche after a game. "Move it!!!")

So, yes, Big Bore, I’ve been to a professional baseball game, and I have the ticket stubs to prove it, but it’s probably been 25 years or more since I’ve been to one. Once the tickets were jacked up out of my price range, I quit going. Heck, nowadays it costs $10.00 just to park your car at the stadium. I’ll pass. Anyway, I no longer get excited seeing men in tight uniforms adjust their balls and strikes in their protector cups. Seeing Toe Lady again might be a kick, though.


Saturday, July 24, 2010


World-renowned movie critic The Flaming Bore has recently seen a classic horror flick, classic as in old, not good. Berserk stars the late, not-so-great Joan Crawford as circus owner/ring mistress Monica Rivers, who has about as much three-ring energy as a fence post. The only time her voice seems to elevate is when she’s griping out her poor employees. “We’re running a circus! Not a charm school!”

I decided to watch this 1967 flick because the movie trailer on TCM was so cool and campy. “Can your heart stand to be shocked?” Check Yes or No. “Do you faint at the sight of blood?” Check Yes or No, and so-on. I just HAD to see this movie. To tell you the truth, though, the only thing shocking about Berserk is how awful it is. My kind of flick. Bring it on!

The general plot is that a tight rope performer, Gaspar the Great, and the circus business manager, Dorando, have been killed. Gas was hung when the rope snapped during a show and hung him, and Dorando had a metal peg hammered into the back of his head. Ouch. The usual suspects are the cold-hearted, bitch-slapping Joan, of course, and Gaspar’s replacement, Frank, played by a husky, hunky tightrope walker Ty Hardin, who puts the moves on Joan even though she’s about thirty years older and wears her hair in a beehive bun.

Unfortunately, most of the movie consists of circus acts like “Miss Carol Ann and her Intelligent Poodles.” Ho-hum. Where’s all the berserko murders? Up until the grand finale, there’s just been the two aforementioned ones plus a little saw-to-the-gut episode when Lazlo the Illusionist hits a snafu while performing a magic act with his ever-cheating hussy of a wife. I wanted my heart to be shocked, for gosh sakes!! Big Bore had his jumper cables on stand-by, ready to zap me back to life when the fear got too much for me.

The movie comes to its merciful conclusion when Joan/Monica’s misunderstood teenaged daughter Angela shows up from prep school and tosses a knife into Frank’s back as he’s tightrope walking, blindfold, over a bed of spikes. She then explains, in her best berserk, wild-eyed acting, that the circus has ruined her life…long story…and as she flees in a thunderstorm, ka-pow, she steps on a live electrical wire. The end.

On The Flaming Bore Movie Review Scale, I give Berserk two flames out of five, which means if you have 96 crazy minutes of your life that you don’t mind wasting, then I highly recommend this movie.

Friday, July 23, 2010


As much as I love summer, I’m not too keen on sticking my feet into a body of water, unless I’m in a hot tub. Oh, I can swim okay, but it had better be in a quiet, heated pool. I don't like sharing my water space with fish and turtles and snakes and other slimy creatures.

I can’t dive. I took lessons for one day at the old Fredonia pool when I was 8 or 9. After swallowing what seemed like a gallon of water on my first attempt off the board, and choking so much that the instructor had to toss a lifesaving device to me, talk about embarrassing, I never went back. “If at first you don’t succeed, quit.” That’s The Flaming Bore Diving Motto.

I’ve traveled via water…speedboat, sailboat, steamboat, canoe, and the like, but it’s never tripped my trigger. I’m not even interested in taking one of those Titanic-sized cruises on a luxury ship. And, I’ve taken dips, ho-hum, in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, the latter being the site of a near-death experience trying to save a #$@! inner tube that my younger sister let slip away into the wild blue. You’ve seen one wave, you’ve seen ‘em all.

Need I say more? Of course, I should. When my one-time husband sold OUR motorcycle so he could buy a jet-ski that he knew I would never ride, the marriage came to a screeching halt. That’s how much I dislike water sports. Plus, I look lousy in a swimsuit. That, in itself, is reason enough. One look at me in my 20-year-old, black and gold, skirted, 1-piece floral number, and you’ll know for certain why I’ve decided to “Just Say No to H2O.”

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Even though our birth certificates indicate that Big Bore is considerably younger than The Flaming Bore, he has a much older soul. He gets a buzz out of slowly driving out in the country looking at wildflowers and crops, and the highlight of his week is showing off the bargains he gets at the grocery store. Ho-hum. So, I should have known better than to interrupt his viewing of The Lawrence Welk Show" (PBS, 7-8 PM) last Saturday.

"Whoa! What's going on here?" I asked, while passing through the living room. Two guys wearing bright orange slacks and matching, sequined jackets were performing a piano duet.

"Theme from Love Story," BB said, matter-of-factly from his man chair.

A singer joined the piano pair, dressed in the same startling outfit. "I can't believe those men were talked into looking like that. They look hideous."

No comment from BB.

Then, on came Lawrence Welk himself (splendiferous in baby blue) with his Champagne Lady, hot-footing a smooth waltz to "Moon River." It must have been Movie Hits Night. Since I was still standing, I motioned to BB:

"C'mon, get up. Let's dance."

You've heard of the old saying: "Actions speak louder than words." Right? Well, BB didn't say anything back to me. His butt stayed plastered to the man chair, while he tried to watch the TV around me, dancing by myself, shades of Teentown, 1963.

"Party pooper. I bet Little Bit will waltz with me." I went to the sofa, picked up our 15-year-old cat (that's 76 in human years), and did a few cheek-to-cheeky steps across the living room floor with him, 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Quickly, he wriggled out of my clutches and sought safety in BB's idle lap.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm living with a bunch of fuddy-duddies. This coming Saturday night when LW comes on, I'm going to pop open some champagne, blow some soap bubbles throughout the living room, and liven up this joint! Just don't expect me to drag out any orange sequined dance duds from the closet.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hey, kids! In case you haven't noticed all that campaign crap invading front yards lately, it's time once again to cast your vote and make your voice be heard. I'm a moderate Demo-publican, or Republi-crat, whatever you want to call it, but I'm a registered Republican since this assures me of receiving the largest amount possible of politically-related junk mail and nuisance phone calls polling my opinions.

And, boy, do I have opinions to give--provided I'm not in the middle of something of monumental importance, like watching "Jeopardy" or giving my cats a pedicure. If my social schedule is clear, though, I generously serve the State of Kansas, donate five minutes of my precious time, and answer away. I especially like the open-ended questions, when I get a chance to ramble.

The other day when a pollster inquired why I was "definitely sure" I would NOT be voting for either Pompeo or Hartman, I delivered such a long-winded oration that the poor fellow, finally getting a word in edgewise, responded, "I don't know how I'm going to fit all that into the single line provided," so I condensed it for him in 25 words or less.

When he finished with his questions for me, I turned the table and had several for him: "Gosh, how can you stand to ask the same questions over and over all day long, day after day? I'd be nuts!" "Do you ever just make up the answers?" "Do you get paid well for doing this? I sure hope so." He was good-natured with my prying--possibly even relieved to say something besides reciting his canned quiz. So, I've decided that the next time a pollster calls and I'm not butt-deep in solving the world's problems, I'm going to ask even more probing questions: "Do you prefer Leno or Letterman?" "Que is mas macho y stupido: Mel Gibson or Tiger Woods?" "Have you ever, literally, had ants in your pants?" Oh, I could go on and on, but time is of the essence and I must get back to scraping paint off my front porch. I suggest you come up with your own stellar questions to make your political experience more meaningful and pleasurable the next time a pollster calls.

Don't forget to vote. May the best man--or woman--win!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


My friend Library Lady reports recently being around some teens playing a trivia-type game when she became appalled at hearing something like the following:

Teen #1 "Who's John Travolta?"

Teen#2 "Oh, he's some old fat guy."

Some old fat guy?? John Travolta? Vinnie Barbarino? Tony Manero? Danny Zuko? Say it isn't so!!!!

Well, come to think if's SO.

John Travolta was born in 1954. He's close to 40 years older than these Travolta-trashing girls who know nothing but the Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, and the werewolf from Twilight whose names escape this old gal. Taylor somebody. Of course, to these girls John Travolta is just another pudgy, hair-receding has-been. He's not the gorgeous, gangly lothario that we old gals remember shake-shake-shaking his tight booty across the disco floor.

The other day I received an email that had pictures of famous men at the peak of their hunkiness and then years-later pics of what they look like now. Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Val Kilmer, and the like----all wrinkled up chubs without muscle tone. I think the whole idea of the email was to make women feel less depressed about their waning foxiness. Since I was never foxy in the first place, it's not too hard to deal with losing what I never had, but I guess there IS some consolation in knowing that the rich and famous eventually end up looking like everyone else.

I still cling to the idea, however, that age doesn't mean we lose everything. I can still ride a bike and tie my shoes and spin a hula hoop around my bulging middle, even if I do look stupid doing it. And I suspect that as long as he is "Stayin' Alive," John Travolta will still be able to out-dance most clueless teenagers today, even if he is "some old fat guy." He just won't be wearing a tight, white, 3-piece, polyester suit, which is just as well.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Every time a rain-filled cloud bursts open over our fair burg, like it did earlier this week (see July 13 blog), the backyards adjacent to us in our square block turn into lakefront property. Big Bore and I have come to call this Stuber Creek, after the neighbors closest to us. After the tornado sirens stopped wailing and the rain subsided, BB came up with a goofball idea for a photo op. “Get your camera out and come to the front porch,” he ordered. And that’s where I shot the above picture, much to his delight. “I didn’t catch anything,” he reported, “but I had a few nibbles.”

Friday, July 16, 2010



Here's a picture I took a few months ago of my great neph William sleeping in his daddy's arms. I thought it was cute since he appears to be pondering his dreams. William has changed a lot since this pic was taken. He's now saying a few words and walking and wanting to play with his big bro's toys, which doesn't always sit too well with Boomer. "Let William play." "Be nice to your little brother." "You have to share." I was the third child in the family, just like William, so, if he's anything like I was, I suspect he may be thinking about ways to aggravate his older siblings. I was a champion at that. Perhaps I need to start giving him some suggestions.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I got some of my senile keratosis blobs scraped off Tuesday, four to be exact. My doctor called them “horns.” If that’s the case, judging from the number of them on my back, I’m the horniest person this side of the Mississippi. After he removed them he cauterized the spots and put Band-aids on them, but he warned me that they might “ooze” for a few days.

When I got home, Big Bore asked me how it went.

“Oh, it was kind of like when you take a razor blade to the glass top on the oven and scrape away the crud that’s burned on it.”

He made one of those wincing faces like he was uncomfortable. “Gee. You didn’t have to tell me THAT much.”

“Well, you asked how it went.”

"That's right. Not how they were removed."

Later in the day, the oozing began. “You’ve got a bloody spot on the back of your shirt,” BB advised me.

“Oh, will you check it for me?” I asked, raising up my shirt.

Surprisingly, Dr. Bore didn’t balk at the task. All he had to do was put a bigger Band-Aid over the smaller, oozy one. He was even game for reinforcing the other three that weren’t oozing yet. What a true friend.

By evening, I was oozing through the second Band-Aids and the two shirts I was wearing. Yesterday morning, --“You look like you’ve been shot in the back,” BB said. He was right. Buckshot.

After I showered last night, “Paging Dr. Bore!!“ it was time to yank off the old saturated Band-Aids and replace them with fresh ones. I sat on the bed putting on my best dramatic interpretation of agony, my face shoved into a pillow. “Oweee, oweee! You have a bullet I can bite?”

I was ooze-free this morning, so I think the worst is over. At least it doesn’t look like my back had a nosebleed overnight. Dr. Bore will perform the same medical procedure tomorrow night in a follow-up appointment. It is good to know that in a pinch I have someone who will tolerate my senile histrionics--horny or not.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Every week or two I trek down to the local library to weed and deadhead the garden areas and pick up any trash that's found its way on the lawn. Sometimes I go solo. Other times, some teens help out. Monday morning two boys were there, making the work zip by.

When we got the front done, they headed to the back of the building, while I checked for weeds around the trees. And just as I got into a comfy squat to yank out the bad stuff--swish!! On came the automatic sprinkler system, which was aimed straight at my broad backside. By the time I got to dry ground, I was soaked.

But that wasn’t nearly as bad as what was to happen next. What’s that on the ground? Some wadded up black plastic? I bent over, swooped up the trash, and brought it closer to my face for a better look. Oh, yuck! It’s a fat, dead bird! I quickly dropped it into my plastic bag, not missing a beat, and kept working.

Eventually, the boys and I met back up. I explained away my wet T-shirt and shorts, ha-ha, and then told them about the "trash" I found. They were appalled.

"You picked up a dead bird? I would NEVER pick up a dead bird!" one of them said.

"Neither would I," the other chimed in.

"Well, I didn’t think that’s what I was picking up," I said defensively. "I wasn’t paying any attention."

If anyone ever writes the story of my life, it will be titled, OOPS!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


“This is crack meteorologist The Flaming Bore reporting live via weather feed from west of Eureka, Kansas this afternoon, along with my trusty sidekick driver Big Bore. There’s a vicious looking storm brewing to the west of us and we’re approaching it now in our Mobile 12 Saturn Weather Tracker like idiots instead of being at home where it’s safe. There’s lightning streaking all around us and it’s just starting to rain. We have an excellent vantage point here in the Flint Hills and can see the front rolling in. Batten down the hatches, matey.---F***!!!! That lightning was close!!”

“You can’t talk like that over the airwaves,” BB advises.

“Sorry, folks. The Flaming Bore just got a bit startled. The storm is right on top of us and, quite frankly, I don’t care so much for lightning. Sonuvab****! There it goes again! I’m gonna roll up my window! That hurt my ears!”

“You aren’t very professional with your reporting,” says BB, steering slowly over the dirt road, fighting to see through the windshield wipers, which are working in overdrive.

“I apologize again to my listening audience. But I hate lightning! I think we should turn around our Mobile 12 Saturn Storm Tracker and head back to town. --Holy crap!! Did you see that?! More lightning!”

“The wind sure is blowing us around! We just drove through a tornado!” BB proclaims, finally showing some sign of concern.

“Oh, we did not. We’d be blown over in a ditch if we were in the middle of a tornado. We’re okay, folks. Big Bore is just kidding.”

“No, I’m not! Feel how the car is shaking!”

“That’s just wind. That’s not a tornado. But, just in case, maybe our listeners should head for cover and get to their basements as quickly as possible. Only experienced storm chasers such as ourselves should be out here in the middle of this mess. Run for your lives! Now! Damn!!!! Lightning is so scary! I wanna go home! ---We now return you to your regular programming. This is The Flaming Bore, west of Eureka in the middle of a downpour, signing out. ”

“Whose brilliant idea was this, anyway?”

Monday, July 12, 2010


My great neph Bo recently got his learner’s permit, so I no longer have a good excuse when he says the age-old teen mantra: “Can I drive your car?” Always before, I’ve just said, “My insurance company won’t cover you until you get your permit. Sorry.”

So, when I was in Pittsburg for my recent birthday, it wasn’t long before he hit me up. Well, what was I going to say? No? Heck, no. I had to live up to my word. I remember how I was foaming at the bit to drive when I was 14. He’s 17. He’s earned it for being patient, if nothing else. I handed him the keys and off we went.

Surprisingly, I was mellow about it--unlike my first passengers/teachers back in 1963 who made me so nervous I could barely keep the steering wheel from shaking. Mom took me driving out on a country road north of town, and we ended up in such a huge argument that I stopped the car, got out, and slammed one of my hands in the door. Damn! Not only was my driver’s ego shattered, but the hand hurt like hell.

I got along somewhat better with my driver education teacher, Mr. Hall, once we got past my first lesson and the curb I drove over when making a left-hand turn. Fortunately, there was no fire hydrant in the way. Then, a dog ran out in front of the car and Mr. Hall slammed on his instructor’s brake so hard that we all (two classmates in the backseat included) practically flew out the windshield. “That was a little lesson on what NOT to do.” I didn’t blame him for being a little nervous on the job. The man was putting his life into the hands of 90-some high school freshmen. He deserved battle pay, as far as I was concerned.

The only other run-in we had was when we were driving from Fredonia to Independence and I kept making excuses as to why I couldn’t pass the slow car ahead of us. “I can’t see if it’s clear yet.” “There’s a car coming.” “There’s a hill up ahead.” “We’re coming to a curve.” “I think I see another car coming about 10 miles down the road.” Finally, Mr. Hall got fed up with me.

“If you don’t pass this car, you don’t pass this class!!”

Well, as long as you put it that way….say a prayer and hang on. I still hate passing.

---When Bo got done driving me around P-burg in my car the other day, he thanked me for staying calm. “You’re the first person who hasn’t yelled at me,” he said. I figured considering my own checkered driver’s education past, keeping my big mouth shut was the least I could do.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The 12th edition of “Big Brother” began on CBS Thursday night, and, of course, I was there to soak it all in, except when the satellite dish flipped out a few times, causing me to have a mild tantrum. I have everyone fooled into thinking that I only watch this crass program because of my close personal relationship with author George Orwell. “Big Brother is watching you! Watch this stupid show, or else!”

Big Bore, not to be confused with Big Brother, one time asked me if I would ever want to be a contestant on this show. Heck, no! I barely survived living with my own big brother during the 1950s-60s. Why would I want to voluntarily subject myself to that kind of misery again? Also, I do not possess the most important requirement for a member of the female cast--a body that looks smokin' in short-shorts and a bikini top. I don’t look too hot in revealing clothes, mainly because I reveal a belly bulge, plus I have blubber blobs in places where foxy women shouldn’t have blubber blobs.

I would also not want to share my living space with smokers, indoors or out, cough, cough, or listen to all the yelling and screaming that typically goes on as soon as the newness of the show wears off on the “houseguests” and they realize they can’t stand each other.

And another aspect of BB that I would not enjoy would be participating in the so-called physical challenges, which are usually beyond moronic. The other night the guys and gals had to leap onto a giant, swinging, leather hotdog slathered with slippery fake mustard and catsup and ride it maybe 50 yards. Now, I ask you: Who wants to hop onto a wienie unless it’s the real thing? Not I.

The only reason I watch “Big Brother” is because I have voyeuristic tendencies that are best satisfied by just crashing on the sofa in my baggy shorts and ratty T-shirt, stuffing myself with Reese’s peanut butter cups, and being in the home audience from afar. It’s much safer that way. There’s no one jumping out of the TV to make snide comments back at me. In the immortal words of KC and the Sunshine Band, “that’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it,” brother.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Six years ago I was getting dressed and noticed in the mirror that my back looked funky. Some big blobbish freckle-like aliens had sprouted across the upper part of it. “What the heck are those?” I asked myself. Some of them were huge. This called for action--a trip to my doctor.

“You have senile keratosis,” he said. “It’s harmless.”

“Senile keratosis? But I’m only 55! I can’t be senile yet!”

“It’s caused by too much sun exposure when you were a kid and also by heredity.”

Okay, so I shouldn’t have slathered up my body with Crisco when I was a teenager, hoping to get a golden fried chicken tan. Damn. Where was the information about SPF-31 sun blocks back in 1965? As for the heredity issue, I’ve always known I was the product of mutated genes. Nothing new there.

Fast forward a few weeks ago and the gal who gives me massages said, “You’ve got some odd-shaped moles on your back that you might want a doctor to check out.” I explained it was just senile keratosis, but I would still get a doctor‘s appointment. It wouldn’t hurt.

When I got home from the massage, I asked Big Bore to check over my back. “Are there any of those keratosis deals on my back that look different to you?”

“Well,” Dr. Bore examined, “one is scalier than the others.”

Great. Not only am I senile. Now I’m turning into a reptile. A senile reptile.

Long story short, I asked my current doctor to take a look. And guess what. I have--surprise, surprise--senile keratosis. And next week he’s going to remove some of the bigger, uglier, more senile ones. I think it’s some sort of scraping procedure. My back will still be senile but just not as much. I hope I can remember to keep the appointment.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


OMG! I have witnessed two certified miracles this week! Number one: After years of living in silence, my sweet one-eyed Fluffy, the Helen Keller of the Cat World, has found her voice. I’m flabbergasted! The other day while on the computer, I heard an unfamiliar cat meow. It was sort of like the same sound Little Bit makes when he’s getting it on with his Sponge Bob doll, but not as loud. Was I ever surprised when around the corner walks Fluffy, still making the noise, with an orange hair scrunchy gripped in her mouth. “Fluffy! You can speak! You can speak!” I suspect her motherly instincts kicked back in and she thought the scrunchy was a kitten. She deposited it at my feet and hasn’t said a word since, but at least we now know she can talk if she has something important to say. What a relief.

Miracle number two: I beat Big Bore at horseshoes! Oh, happy day! And he didn’t even let me win. By a score of 21-15, I am the new Bore family champion of the pits! I attribute my victory to checking out the website of pro horseshoe phenom Walter Ray Williams, who offered up some lessons on grip and delivery. Instead of a center grip, I have changed to a side grip with a half-twist swing delivery. What a difference it has made. Big Bore, gracious in defeat, was incredulous at my improvement, but when he tried it out, ka-plunk, it didn’t work for him, so he went back to the center grip. I can’t wait to get back to the pits to make sure this is not a once-in-a-lifetime fluke.

Here’s to another amazing day!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


All right! I admit it! I'm guilty as charged! I’m a hardcore addict of the reality TV show “The Bachelor/The Bachelorette” and nothing can be done to rid me of my inner demons. Monday night I was glued to my front row sofa watching former honey pies Jake and Vienna verbally duke it out six months after they professed their undying love for each other on the show.

It was high drama of the lowest proportions. Vienna called Jake a “liar” and a “media whore” and Jake called Vienna “disrespectful“--and probably would have called her a lot more except she kept interrupting him. Finally, after about 45 minutes of “she said/he tried to say,” Jake raised his voice to her and asked to speak, at which point she burst into fake tears and dashed off the set. It was great.

Now, while I was relishing in all the whining, Big Bore was in the next room on the computer, shaking his head in wonderment. How could a person with some degree of intelligence, as in me, be hooked on this show?

“This is just ABC trying to get the ratings,” he said. “This shouldn’t be called a reality show. It’s a stupidity show.”

Did his remarks offend me and send me into a Vienna-sized snit? Absolutely not. I totally agree with him and told him so. I know that being a fan of this show is asinine, but it’s sort of like watching a train wreck. You know you should be turning the other way, but you still want to see how the disaster turns out. It sort of validates your own relationship catastrophes. And, believe me, I’ve had a few of those.

Some people are hooked on drugs, alcohol, phonics, whatever. I’m addicted to this dumb show. It’s cheap, doesn’t harm my body, and provides me with a few laughs. So, until someone develops a 12-Step Program for Reality TV Junkies, I’ll be tuned in to the chaos every Monday night, helping ABC win the ratings race. Love is in the air--but sometimes it stinks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Recently I have had two cool close encounters with butterflies, and I was lucky enough to have my trusty Canon digital camera with me and quiet enough not to scare them away while excitedly tramping about in my size 10s. The zebra swallowtail was hanging out around our new butterfly bush. When it (the bush, not the insect) arrived from a mail order house this spring, about four inches tall, I was somewhat skeptical about its chances of survival, but it has thrived and is over four feet high already. And, of course, the butterflies love it since its flowers emit a romantic aroma that drives them into a frenzy. The zebra swallowtail is the state butterfly of Tennessee. This one must have been on summer vacation.

The other butterfly pictured is a “limentis arthemis arthemis” (not a repeat typo), more commonly called a “red-spotted purple,” even though it actually looks like an “orange-spotted blue.” I saw it while hiking Woodson Cove at Toronto Lake with great neph Bo a few weeks ago. It reminded us of a picture that accompanies a Ray Bradbury short story in the sophomore literature book at both our high schools. “The Sound of Thunder” is a time travel tale about how stepping on a butterfly negatively alters the entire future of mankind. "Don’t get off the path!!!"---Ooops. You never know what kind of consequences and curses your behavior can generate. So, always remember: quietly carry your camera, be kind to butterflies, and watch your step. That’s The Flaming Bore’s moral of the story for today.

Monday, July 5, 2010


My 61st birthday celebration in Pittsburg over the weekend was lots of fun. I received some cool gifts and Big Bore succeeded in getting my angel food cake to look patriotic. The cake is long gone, but I'm still riding a sugar high!

Saturday, July 3, 2010





Friday, July 2, 2010


JUNE 24, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010


This past school year I helped a foreign exchange student at the local high school survive English II. The hardest aspect of improving her English was filtering through the American slang. If it weren’t for phrases like: “Hootchie hoodrat” and “Stepford Barbie Dolls,” which she encountered in one book she had to read, her life would have been so much easier. Mine, too. Try explaining those two terms…to ANYONE! Once she started on a Steinbeck classic, reading was less of a pain. I’ve read Of Mice and Men probably 15-20 times, as I used to teach it to my senior communications class. Even though the characters use bad grammar and swear occasionally, that’s a cinch compared to interpreting Ghetto Speak and Valley Speak.

I admire any teen who would come halfway around the world to experience life in these United States. Wrestling with language issues aside, there is absolutely no way I could have done the same when I was in high school. I would have been too homesick for my friends. God forbid if I’d missed out on prom and being in Pep Club and acting in plays and chasing guys whose language I understood, all too well. Why, I never could have given up all those everyday hootchie hoodrat activities that American teenage girls enjoy!