Monday, January 28, 2013


       The decision to upgrade/re-do/modernize/'go wireless' - *which I hitherto associated only with bras - sort of evolved.  It was most certainly not in the 2013 'game plan'.  No, that entity, inchoate at best, would never be tainted with even fleeting (and aren't they all lately) thoughts of things electronic.  Rather necessity called the shots - to a degree whereupon we just wanted to order a few - neat and often.

       (Along the way, though, there were perks.  For example, I developed a first-hand appreciation of what being "at the point of distraction" feels like.  And why, you must be thinking with hungry curiosity, would she consider this a 'perk'?  Or not.  But if you do want to know, here it is:  those with a proclivity toward pragmatism would no doubt reach the conclusion that "point of distraction" is not a good thing.  This same type of  thinker, then, will avoid going there.  Suffice it to say, for now, they could be wrong. But then what price pragmatism, or 'being right, or asparagus, for that matter)

       Necessity - with her boastfully ample artillery, was firing away at an alarming pace.  Machines - some not even visible to the naked eye but 'about' nevertheless - were invading, crowding even, space so recently rendered almost sterile in its tidiness after the holiday trappings were tucked out of sight.  It became necessary to 'deal' with them.  Do Tell and I had a meeting - just us two as the Shaman was absent - ". . . in my study!!" - which means one level (physically) down from the main living space, sequestered in the dimly-lit (by preference) carpeted bowels of what we call 'home', doing 'serious' business-type things with his staff of most likely cloven-footed, dusty, unshaven creatures who do his bidding, such as it must turn out to be.

       By contrast, Do Tell and I were packing away some mid-morning "strawberry cheesecake" frozen yogurt and deciding which of the far-too-many 'support' phone numbers we had acquired along with the invaders to call. 
"I told you the very first improvement to this house should be a top- notch, professionally designed, deep and un-swimmable moat - in the round.  That would have obviated the need for this meeting as the invasion would have been foiled and. . . "
"Enough!  Let's remember why we are meeting, which one of us is slimy and green and just get on with the 'support' endeavor."
"Touchy, touchy. . ."
"I'm ignoring that and calling, uh, oh yes, "Safeguard-and-don't-deal-with-any-impostors".  They did remotely fix his computer.  Must have been an impressive resuscitation after house guest left it at the point of near-meltdown."
"We don't need reptilian attitude.  We need to get this little gem, Surface, to make friends with a printer."

       (And this, boys and girls, is where 'point of distraction' reared its ugly head.  I made the call;  suffered through repeating my credentials to several different people - all of whom spoke with a clipped, rapid, Mid-Eastern snip - and began to wander mentally after each "Thank-you-for-your-patience-I-shall-be-back-in-two-minutes".  There I was - happy, sitting alongside William Devane, as he flew his comfy whatever over teal blue amorphically-shaped bodies of water, interrupted by copper-hued mesas, and reminded his vast audience - world, as we know it - that when he's ". . . up here, I feel secure.  I'm not involved in the financial woes of the world.  That's because I buy gold every chance I get . . ." and I was safe and secure and happy, too.  "Last Stop: 'Point of Distraction'")

       I was finally speaking with Sam, the Head Supervisor.  Having called on my cell phone, I became irritable when Sam told me to take my "tab" - Sam's word for my Surface.  For the record, I assign the names around here and had already decided on Cole Porter's "Well Did You Ever" for Surface.  Moreover, "Well" was not because having been online when I first made this dastardly call, Well was now not able to get online, an event that followed the non-supervisor's instruction to turn Well off, count to 15, then turn it back on.  Though obviously not savvy, I am, unfortunately, obedient.

       Sam, at a loss as to my tone of annoyance - in addition to his dubbing Well "tab", he was instructing me to carry this paraphernalia downstairs - where we would be close to the router and, of course, have a better chance of resolving the 'off-line' issue.  Of course whether we succeeded would remain a SECRET BECAUSE THE CELL PHONE DOES NOT WORK DOWNSTAIRS, Sam-you-is.  Naturally I explained this potential glitch before 'going' anywhere and this ass, it came to pass, announced with unwarranted confidence, "Not to worry.  I shall call you on the land line."

      (William and I landed smoothly and I leaped down to stand by his side as he leaned an elbow on a glistening wing, smiling broadly such that his right canine tooth sparkled just like that of the superhero he is, and prattled on about the advantages of purchasing gold with one's hard-earned money.  As for me, being solidly-embedded in "the Point", I just grinned, glancing around occasionally to see if I could espy an iguana or, better, an asp, to toy with while luring it into William's wall safe.  I admired his wall safe, accommodatingly/accordingly - should opportunity slither by.)

       Did I mention I'd told Sam that I was post op and moving slowly, reluctantly, even?  I had.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I heard that demanding land-line ring at a stage in my transport mission that could not respectably be called 'half-way'.  Of course I was met with blissful silence as I trundled into the dungeon-study, encumbered with Well, manuals, writing tablet and pen.  In fact, the only bit of rescue equipment I'd not thought to bring was Sam's toll-free number.  And presumably company policy does not allow for re-dial because Sam remained a destructive memory until I returned upstairs, fetched his number and made another fateful call.

       (Back at the ranch, William and I cuddled on buttery-soft leather, discussing the fashion wisdom of investing in paisley suede chaps BEFORE I called the magic ". . . gold you want delivered when you want it."- number.  He seemed 'iffy' but brightened when I asked to see his wall safe, cleverly camouflaged behind a Woolworth Special 'Currier and Ives' number.  So engrossed was he - and squinting for having forgotten to grab his Ray Bans before opening the door to 'Goldshine Hollow' - that I succeeded in making my loosely-netted new best friend deposit just before William 'barred-the-door', as it were.  Hate to miss the fun but I had to bid 'the Point' adieu lest it became a pattern.)

      My second round of successive hand-offs was just as snippy as the first but my patience was rewarded when the now-familiar, clipped-hiding-immense-frustrational voice of Sam-the-Man made its entrance. 
Question:  "Were you able to get tab back on line?"
"I didn't know that was MY task.  I was amusing myself carting everything downstairs just in time to miss your three-ring call, Sam."
"I am begging your pardon?"
"I don't know what you are doing.  How about getting my Surface back on line?"
"I am going to give you a toll-free number to call.  These people will help you to get back on line.  I will call you tomorrow.  What time it will be good for you?"
"My granddaughter is playing basketball at 8:30 AM.  So you should call between 10 and 11 o'clock."
"That is not good for me.  I will call at 8 AM.  I will spend the night doing research on your tab and tomorrow we should be able to interface with the printer."

       I had nothing further to contribute to this dodge.  I called the toll-free number and was delighted to speak with a Surface expert who resolved the Internet issue in record time after a few questions about my exchange with Sam.  We chatted for some time and she resolved other issues as well.  Re: Sam, I told her he'd have to have wrapped his turban (Profiling?  Yes. Taking jobs away from our young people? Yes.  Accepting American aid/military support with impunity?  Yes.) rather tightly during the wee hours of research to figure out what she had done with such ease.  A bona fide professional, she ignored my asides and simply offered further assistance at any time.  (I guess that would be 10 or 11 AM if necessary.)

       And 'we've only just begun'.  We're moving right along to upgrading our router such that I don't have to stand next to it to receive a text on my cell phone.  Then we'll be taking said phone to its infirmary so we can make some changes on Face book.  I shan't make too many, there.  The most warm and loving respite from all of this technical madness came via FB on Sunday.  Quite serendipitous, really.  But in a matter of 45 minutes, I 'happened upon' five different, old friends - not even from the same era of my life - and took the time/opportunity to ". . .stop to wonder" how they were doing and how precious my thoughts and memories of them have and will always be.  Never forgotten - like "Green Eggs and Ham".  

       Sam I am not.  Later, Lorane. . . .

Thursday, January 24, 2013


       Today - in that it appears to be cold and dreary most everywhere (weather lady so reports), I thought I'd chat with my children - loin-sprouted as well as 'ersatz-acquired' over time and so many 'spaces'.  Cope-ers every one, you have given me MUCH joy so by way of 'thanx' and, it is hoped, some wisdom accumulated lo, these 60 some years (I know. Hard to believe I'm not 112.)

       I am blessed in having the luxury of the time to amuse myself thus for several reasons.  While chatting/day-planning with my new best friend, "DO Tell", a masterfully & frugally sculpted little metal frog (Sits about 18"; webbed-footed legs crossed, holding a red mug of jo & staring up engagingly with those ex ophthalmic reptilian eyes.), it occurred to us that it was a fine day to concoct some "Iadi" (self-christened, baked, herbed veggie casserole;  may be consumed that day or frozen "If Anyone Drops In" - ergo the name- unexpectedly in the future.)

       It fills the home, permeating crevices with dust balls now cheerful and cozy from the wafting aroma.  All things bleak must flee under its power.  The other phenom that gives me leave to so indulge is the absence of interference.  My mate of 45 years is mastering - with the discipline and focus of a Zen monk - what appears to be a 'finally-living-out-of-a-youthful-dream'. There must have been a time when he yearned to be ordained into one of those cloistered religious orders, the hermeneutic membership of which practices absolute SILENCE, engages in rigorous/ritualistic/mental devotional activities and restrains from ALL UNNECESSARY MOVEMENT.  His success at this endeavor is staggering to date.

       It is, then, with this unfettered freedom and blissful accommodation that I come to you, little gems that you have become, with - again, but a goal - some pearls for a cold, rainy day and other such life-interrupting/pace-changing 'happenings'.  (It may also serve to explain what could become an otherwise diverse oleo of seemingly unrelated factoids and suggestions (which played a big role in the titling of this opus, in truth, interjected by DO when he saw how I was 'rolling'.)

       The 'iadi'-of-the-day was spontaneously assembled.  (NB:  Grand-Daughters - We have 3, I may have mentioned in past posts, who, for the non-initiated, are 6.5 year-old Molly, presently in school but wishing she was outside, catching the scant falling flakes on an eager, healthy, pink tongue; 5.3 year-old Emma, also in school and most likely regaling classmates with a re-play of her first 'whale watch' outing - enjoyed on the Monday holiday.  (If possible, she'll simultaneously use ASL & throw in some Spanish for color)and 4.3 year-old Mia who lives in Boston so may not be in school but tearing/spinning down fresh, white powder with indoor breaks to nurse her recently-injured dog back to play-level health. Oh, yes, the 'NB'.

       You have all had iadis but Mommy just called them dinner veggies.  A real iadi is made WITH a big person supervising - whose permission was obtained - and it is 'special' in that the main ingredient you add is 'secret sunshine' that cheers/warms the eater and contributes to that yummy smell that makes everybody glad to be indoors - where it's warm and friendly and home!  Ours did the trick today using potatoes, onions, celery, red cabbage (shredded & inspected), green beans - added for the last 5 minutes of baking - and fresh herbs.  The entire masterpiece was drizzled with olive oil.

       A few words about 'inspected'.  So many fresh veggies are "pre-prepped" for our convenience.  Welll, you just have to wonder just how the assigned peeler/chopper/washer/bagger was thinking while 'tasking', you know?  Were we thinking celery or Cecile, hot date tonight?  Cabbage or Carl-the-new-payroll-guy?  It's just "Good Practice" to always inspect: "Exceptions": If it says "NO sugar", you needn't personally test.  "Slippery When Wet".  Why check it out?  "I just know he's 'Mr. Right'".  Don't sleep with him until you're "Mrs. Right". Because I said so.  "Has been Known to Cause Hair Loss".  Get another brand.  Ya wanna be a statistic just to save a few bucks?  These are just a few.  All Good Practices and Rules have exceptions.  But, in general, inspecting - especially when it comes to feeding your family - is GOOD.

       DO Tell is giving me that look.  I was so excited to share my iadi (and use my new Surface) that I've allowed myself to fall for that 'oldest-trick-in-the-book' - procrastination/avoidance.  (OK, so it's 2 tricks.  NOW you're all about paying attention?)  I must get to the remainder of the day's plan - which includes "The Walk" - cold/dreary or warm/sunny.  Sooo, we shall meet again on the morrow when I can share more adventures (called 911 for first time in my life Saturday) and 'hood' news (That new dog has now bitten the newer dog as well as Bridie) and helpful hints (People parked in multi-colored jeeps in a non-driveway probably are NOT there to inquire as to whether you've seen their lost cats and should be ignored.)

Later, Lorane

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I can .Splain, Lucy. . .

  Talk about being left just wondering.  And how about trying to follow what will not stop wandering.  And, of course when there is no attempt at follow up the following day.  OR the next.  Well, there's simply no excuse for poor manners.  Can't even begin to think of how you, dear reader, felt - if, in fact, you've actually returned and are reading this.

       That's how it must be, you see, when we enter the world of the clandestine; when the waters of bewilder overtake the solid ground of 'but-of-course' and drivel decomposes further into the dung of codified mush.  It was rough going at this end of the quill as well.  So accustomed had my literary auricle become to 'snappy repartee', the format/content of that last outing sent those tiniest of marrowed sculpture top-spinning in and around their normally shell-like, pink and white tunneled nest to the point of near 'heave' while tumbling uncontrollably down, down into a hole SO like that of little Alice.

       And now for some semblance of analysis; some sense of nonsense.  (I daresay - even though I've not yet earned the right to be so bold - it was only in hindsight, with its blinding clarity, that the genesis of the entirety - "One Mo' Notch in Life's Gun of Experience" - (should I be asked to give it identity although I'd certainly understand were I asked not to give it 'ink' at all) became understandable as a complete episode with a beginning, middle and end.  As (your) luck would have it, I've elected to jump in at the beginning.

      Several months ago, before our national elections coupled with our usual over-hype of the rushin' atcha 'holiday season', I was a regular online shopping dervish - in a number of categories so large, a tally board of sorts was needed.  Now, in my defense I must say that this 'time of year' sans the added garni of major elections and holidays is always a-wash in family observances.  Birthdays, marriages, religious as well as sports 'hot-lights' abound in succession and converge in their cacophony of cash register bells.     

       To avoid the rush, I generally begin Christmas shopping - for the Grand peeps - during the summer months when the focus is on outdoor, wet and colorful activities, a genre in which I am rarely a participant.  This Summer, alas, was a sticky and painful veritable 'boot camp' for yours truly with more than a soupcon of 'fry' but nary a 'Frye' in the picture.  In my hungry quest to heal the so-recently surgically re-built spine I'd snatched up in Pittsburgh, I embarked on my 'continued-on-the-next-page' rehabilitative essay on Stride with Prejudice, amusing myself along the way with pithy mental commentary on neighborhood life - some of which we shared; some I didn't dare - such that the rigors of rehab took on a 'She Snoops to Conquer' tenor.

       SO, by the time the scenery changed to falling leaves and toppling podia mis-handlers, I was, along with the hoards of publicly aware/civically aghast brethren, embroiled in the hoopla of selection/election/detection/uglification scenarios abounding.  My first online shopping misadventure occurred in this setting.  I had ordered and remitted payment electronically and watched/enjoyed the so-acquired CD, then read/lost composure over my bank statement purporting to reflect this activity. 

       Therapeutically, I used the 'shoeleather express' - our bank branch is close to the neighborhood and en route seemed to rival passing rose branches in anticipatory self-flagellation.  Armed with my scorched statement, I entered, crossing the cool marble with surprising stealth - secondary to tennis shoes as the true 'hot-footing' of my gait would have set off alarms.  And then the calm, ever-welcoming face of bank-exec, Fran.  The lady could provide quietude and peace to the cumulative tension electrifying an entire Summer of Kansas storms and tornadoes.

       She quickly noted the additional Ninety-Eight Dollar per month (!!!) charge attendant to the cost of the CD.  Apparently I was not the first to be duped by this scam and with ONE phone call she discreetly made it 'disappear'.  But THEN.  Dear Fran asked, gently - as one would speak to a patient who, back in the early sixties, had just been shot with a volt or two of electro-cranial-shock therapy, "What's the story on this one?"  My eyes followed her indicating, manicured fingertip to numbers that seemed to have been extracted from a fortune cookie - in their native symbols.  "SEOProfiler - 99 (USD) per month".

       MIND:  "How could I . . .", "Who or what is SEO. . .". "Ninety-nine . . .!"  Then, aloud, "Gee, Fran, I didn't even see that one.  I don't believe I've ever h-heard of th-th-that company."  (PAUSE)"Who-are-these-people??!" 
"I think we'll just issue a new debit card here.  Then there will be no number to which fees like these can be charged."
"Right.  And meanwhile, my account will be credited back, right?"
"We'll contact the company first.  Sometimes they trade under different names and . . ."
"Fran, there's no way I committed - knowingly - to paying Anyone ninety-nine dollars a month."

       Now all of THAT happiness took place just after Thanksgiving.  In the interim, there was a visiting/live-in family guest through early December, Christmas itself - with its joyous revelry, familiar/comforting aromas, excited/giggling little ones and then the New Year which brought hopeful traditions, wonderful news of yet another grandchild on the way and a business letter-sized envelope from the bank - over-stuffed with seventeen pages of material related to the still-mysterious "99.00 (USD) per month" automatic draw from my checking account.  No "Cheers!"

       The cover letter, its signatory a stranger to me from " Card Services", informed me that I was to inspect the enclosed "Sales Receipts", and, if the transactions were valid, call the number included, and if they were not, to remit a statement to the bank which included an explanation of how SEOProfiler acquired my address and telephone numbers -  by January 11, 2013 or the payments would be made from my account to "Mystery Company".  I called Fran.  No return call.  Exterior - 'business-as-usual.'

       Interior - (Primal scream) - then determination.  I would remain calm - the very image of 'unflappability'.  And I will 'get-to-the-bottom-of-this', as they say - whoever "they" are.  I just know 'they' are never around when there's a real problem.  I was also determined not to allow this - whatever it turned-out to be - to interrupt my /'will-be-ordered' life.  I was faithful to my walking - sometimes with the dog/wearing a 'je-ne-sais-quoi'-attitude hat (the dog didn't wear a hat); I did the 'football thing' - watching with others, buying/preparing snacks (wore a costume, sprinkled black top hat to market for that prep chore); kept up with correspondence and wrote blogs (so often disjoint/interrupted by phone calls/poring over the sixteen pages of data sent by bank-card-lady each of which had to be copied/enlarged by 135% to be read).

       In the end - it DID end - after checking both of my email sites from October 1, 2012 through January 06, 2013 and finding NO emails from SEOProfiler on the site published in my blog profile but some nine or so emails in my Gmail account from both SEOProfiler and the purported sister-company, DRI - Digital River, Inc. - on Sunday evening, 01-06-13, AND OPENING/READING THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME, it was apparent that "SEOProfiler", in an effort to appear to be a company called SEOP - Search Engine Optimization Performance - had managed to attempt an agreed upon withdrawal from my checking account in the amount of "99.00 (USD) per month".  My address (obtainable from the phone book) is in my profile.

       The two batches of "sales receipts", when enlarged, were a run-on cascade of messages in MIME format, the only discernible English words - repeated twenty times throughout were "Dear Lorane", "Thank you", "for support in using your subscription" and "Sunday 16December2012."  I hand-delivered all of the printed materials to the lady in Card Services on January 11, 2013.  The debit card company is pursuing the fraud charges and my account information, like the card, has been changed and is monitored constantly. 

       I sincerely hope not to render non-discernible posts under the guise of literary license.  It is hoped, as well, that no other hapless (but never hat-less) innocents fall prey to such schemes.  However, as is my wont, it's been hard NOT to recall the sage words of my fedora-clad Dad - AKA Poppy - "Ya live, ya learn and ya die stupid."  Later, Lorane. . . .

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


       I promised myself that things were going to be different.  I was all tuned up, ready to split my new persona with you but first - some fresh air and - if I wanna keep moving - my walk.  "A body in  motion. . . " so goes the ad and so did I - move these bones outdoors and then off to the 'hood and its envrons for that oh-so-invigorating, rehabilitating ofttimes annoying break in the day's planned activities.

       (Today's were not so much planned as mandatory.  MORE unfinished business.  By now, I've swept SO much of it under the rug, I'm in real danger of tripping over the hazardous surface I've created.  Indead, I was reminded of this fact on my parapatetic outing.  Decided to turn left - toward the aea inhabited by 'the swells.')

       Planning is quite 'de rigueur' in these parts.  But you musn't let on that you've been planning or - lest you risk being snubbed even by yourself - that said plans were to be executed by one paid to perform such services - as opposed to being a regular 'Jo', grabbing your trusty, monogrammed hoe (or whatever) and 'doing' the yard.  Lord knows, you don't need 'Angie's List" to find the old sneaks, some protective (Protects you from being fund out as the actual yard schlepper)  Fotunately, it's not "Only the lonely. . ." but the healthy, who really dig in.

       (Digging - in, around and as close to these neighbors' window dressing as I coud get without some embodiment of Homeland Security - on break from keeping our armed forces safe - jumping those referenced bones to see just what they were up to - was my game; 'flake m- to be sure the name as I dutifully my way to a better, more solid, calcium + Vitamin D-infused skeletal assemblage.  And just my luck  I was rounding)

       . . . out his sentence and there's the doorbell.  Better get that.  If I don't get to our UPS guy before hubbhy, well, dinner getsa tediously quiet.  Till tomorrow
Later, Lorane. . . .



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Made It!

         I was just so involved in the ritual passage from 2012 to 2013, that I was totally unaware of any discomfort, difficulty, disingenuous pranks - if you get my drift - that after what seemed like a very long, focused and concerted effort, I was in a strange place with no recollection of 'passing' anything or 'body'.
       Nope.  I was aware of a sense of non-reality but in no way threatened by it.  (Truth be told, I've always seen the world in composition - since I was a kid.  Still do.  Still am.  Stuff is around me - all interesting - and, in some odd way, blending - going together, as it were.  So this sense of 'non-reality' had the quality of adventure rather than threat.  In case you were wondering.  Even if you weren't, 'non-reality' is OK by me.  Guess that's the point - if there MUST be one)
       Now there was this 'poster' - for lack of a better word - sort of planted, attached to a two by four, in the brightest of green grass right in front of me.  I noticed it not because of its message or design or colors even.  Had I taken one more step, I would most definitely have tripped over the damned thing.  Having thus stopped, I thought I might as well read it. Aha!  No fool I.  Gremlins were most assuredly about.  (Never quite got that usage of - "about".  Rather like the incessant employment of "they" as in "They say. . .", or "What will 'they' think?".  Who/what is the entity 'they' and why are we such slaves to its input?  Well, "about", when one really means, ". . .seem to be all around us" has the same grating effect on me.  So please accept my apologies.  Like any other common sheep, I was just blindly herding along, inflicting an awkward usage of a word that should be banned from erudite parlance unless one is re-creating or buffing up one of the tales Grimm.)
       Clearly, although not aware, I must have endured some form of difficulty during my passage into the new year. Had I not, you would not be suffering through this tripe as I fumble around verbally, in an attempt to describe a simple transition.  It's a new year.  I'm apparently going to be functioning my way through it in some fashion and that should be that.  But that Irish adage does not bode well.  Why, I ask you, did it present itself to my consciousness at the very threshold of 2013?
       I can only turn to my ever-constant mentor, Dr. Carl G. Jung, Swiss psychiatrist/rejector of his own mentor, Freud, and the man who gave us the definitions of introvert and extrovert such that we could categorize and, to some extent, better understand ourselves.  In this instance, I must rely on Dr. Jung's emphasis on dream interpretation.  For him - and by association, us - dreams play an important role in our psychic integrity and makeup.  Indeed, he would probably rely on what he calls the "day's conscious leftovers" to confront this vision of an Irish-clad placard.
       Carl Jung - at his intellectual sharpest - would see this image as representing the after effects of 'things Irish' with which my mind/life has apparently been affected.  Of course, although 'Jung at heart', I'm not in his 'intellectual clarity' league.  So of course, I would scratch my head (never disturbing any cranial tissue involved with awareness or logic) and wonder aloud, "What's up with the Irish adage?"  On deeper reflection, I realize - and probably had repressed - I've been rather deeply involved/affected with things/people Irish of late.  And, sadly, said issues have not been pleasant.
       This, of course, explains my confrontation with this particularly acerbic Irish 'tude instead of rolling down the green hills into the new year humming a little merry jig or recalling the comforting strains of "Turaluralura" as my husband's grandmother would sing/whisper it to a crying child.  No.  I came face to face with that devilish Irish trait of superiority laced with wishes of ill fortune befalling the unfortunate among us who were not lucky/smart enough to actually be Irish.
       Well, I'm certainly glad that's solved.  Now I can just get on with 2013, ever aware that most likely there will be tests - of fortitude, fortune, fealty and, Lord save us all, perhaps finality if I have to keep up this alliteration fixation.  And I was so hoping for an easy, breezy kind of 'enough already with the troubles' kind of year.  In truth, we all know there can be no real growth without controversy and conflict.  And,  you are reading one girl for whom growth has its own rose marble altar, studded with little cushy velvet kneelers and scented tapers for the rare moments of true need in this arena.
       You also may have noticed, or not, that learning/accruing bales of useless but fascinating bits of information is yet another of my passions.  So then.  Beginning the new year, after a trying but immediately forgotten passage - kind of like labor and delivery with La Maze - only to be faced with a foreshadowing of time spent in the arduous but oh-so-rewarding enterprise of knowledge acquisition is, uh, well, OK by me.  Like Alice, I'll make it an adventure.  There.  Here's to 2013 and e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n!  Here's to Mr. Carroll's description of it:
"Reeling and writhing, of course, and then the different branches of Arithmetic - Ambition, Distraction, Uglification and Derision."  It shall be just as confusing to me as it was to Alice.
       But I shan't turn my ankle.  Nay, you shall know me by my primping - not my limping.  We made it to a new year, can see clearly now and we say, "Bring it on, Leon!"  Or, "Cut off my Legs and call me Shorty!"  However you want to roll, I hope to see you rolling next to me.
Later, Lorane. . . .