Monday, January 31, 2011


It was time for another mother/daughter field trip. We got Sarge to sign our trip slips (he thought he was signing the renewal for his Playboy subscription) and we headed to -- you guessed it from the title of this post, didn't you -- Farmers Market!

And it's not just any green market where farmers gather outdoors to sell produce to the general public; every nook and cranny city has that. But this is the original Farmers Market (no apostrophe!) in L. A. And guess what? The price was right: $Free.99, or as Baby Girl puts it, "If it's free, it's me."

Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax is a historic fixture that is over 75 years old. It's famous for celebrity sightings (we saw two film crews there that day) and now I know why: There's over 80 shops on the premises. You can find anything you want there. There's gourmet shops, vintage clothing stalls, a butcher, a baker, and a chicken-on-a-stick maker. The delicious aroma from Bryan's Pitt BBQ had our mouths watering, but we decided instead to eat lunch at a tapas bar called Little Spain. The crab croquetas Espanolas was mmm-mui magnifico!

We shopped and bought little trinkets. Shine Gallery specializes in vintage memorabilia from bygone eras. They have authentic Pez dispensers in the original packaging. I even found a button that had my name on it, and I never find things that bear my name. You'd think I was named Shataquaneka or something. (My apologies to any Shataquanekas out there.)

We spent a whole day walking, looking, eating aqua blue taffy. The last time I'd been to Farmers Market was a field trip during elementary school. this excursion brought back old memories, and Baby Girl and I created a new one.

Farmers Market, Number 130 on my Bucket List.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Don't Be A Lookie-Loo

Remember the old real estate commercial about people who just go from open
house to open house looking and not buying?
Well, the same thing happens with blogs. People look, but are somehow
reticent to comment.
It's a phenomenon!

The following is an incredibly enlightening post from my friend over
at Kay Elam Writes.
She writes a blog about writing, but she also reads a lot of blogs,
and she's shed some light on this very subject.

Friday Favorites: Why Leave a Comment?


Posted: 14 Jan 2011 10:07 AM PST

I’ve spent the day catching up on my Blog reading. It doesn’t take long to get behind. If I go a couple of days without reading the 150+ blogs I subscribe to via Google Reader I could easily have over 300 posts to read. While some people post a few times a week (like me), others post daily and some several times a day. On the other end of the scale there are those who post once a month or even less frequently, but I tend to delete them from my list. I want to follow active bloggers.

I have my Google Reader set up into subcategories such as agents, editors, publishers, writers, friends, random, etc. This way if I have a large number to read I can go in, read one category, leave my comments, and know I’ve knocked out a whole category.

Wait a minute! Leave a comment. Why do that?

Until last summer I’d never left a comment or done an online review in my life. Visit a forum? What the heck was that? If you’d told me a year ago I would dare leave daily comments on multiple blogs or be an active participant in several forums (including my awesome critique group) I’d have called you a liar … to your face. But I have learned comments matter. They matter to the author, they matter to other readers, they just matter.

Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia. It’s about a young woman who at 29 is in a funk. She decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and about it blog daily. Yesterday I caught the movie after it had already started (but I’d seen it before). I watched as she joyfully told her husband she’d gotten twelve comments. Twelve comments! That was something to celebrate. Her readers became a community as is true with several blogs I read. Obviously you can’t do this with all blogs–who has the time–but it is fun to see a name you recognize every once in a while.

Spoiler Alert (if you’ve not seen the movie): She goes on to get lots and lots of comments, to have followers, to become the third most popular blog in a major blogging community and to be featured in the New York Times. After that, the rest is history. Her answering machine is filled with messages from agents, editors and publishers who want to talk to her, television producers who want her on their shows … and it all started with some comments.

Bloggers want to make a difference in your life–to make you think or make you angry or make you laugh. We want to evoke some emotion or somehow tell you something you didn’t already know. And we’d like to know from time to time we did make that difference. Writing is a lonely world.

So how do you leave a comment? Forgive me if this is too elementary to you, but some of MY friends don’t know this so indulge me: If you’re reading a web-based blog it’s pretty easy to figure out. But if the post comes to you as a subscription in your e-mail or via a web feed like Google Reader, it may take one extra step. Depending on the format it’s delivered, you may or may not have the opportunity to leave a comment directly. If not, all you have to do is double click on the title and it will take you to Kay Elam Writes. Click on the Comments button at the bottom of the post. You can take it from there.

Bloggers don’t want pretty words. We want real. And while we’re wanting, we’d like for you to say something more than “good post.” If you think my post is garbage, then tell me. But tell my why. I can take it. It you think it it’s good you may leave those pretty words just tell me what you liked. Was it funny? Thought-provoking? Educational?

I will tell you I have the ability to delete comments. I won’t delete legitimate negative or controversial comments but neither will I allow personal attacks on other readers, X-rated profanity or slurs. This is a PG Blog. Other than that, anything goes. Your first comment has to be approved. Then it will post right away.

If I do a post that makes you think of someone else, please forward it to them. Feel free to tweet it, or post it on Facebook . . . Okay, now I’m begging. Way past time to stop.

Thanks to the handful of readers who have been commenting all along (Aileen, Karen, Sue, Brenda, Tanya, Nancy … ) and to those of you who e-mail me your comments (Rod, Rob, Angela …).My stats tell me my blog is being read by lots more of you. Either that or a bunch of people are opening it before they go wash their hair. Surely some of you have an opinion.

Now my job is to write blogs worth reading. Have a great weekend. Stay warm.


© 2011 Kay Elam

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Where you write the caption....

This gives a whole new meaning to drunk dialing.

Monday, January 24, 2011


If you were a court reporter for thirty years because you went to steno school right out of high school;

If you wrote down trial proceedings in a high volume criminal court for eight hours a day because the judges you worked for were making a name for themselves on the backs of their staff and wouldn't take decent breaks, even for the love of God;

If you then developed carpal tunnel syndrome bilaterally -- that's in both hands -- and bilateral cubital tunnel (that's carpal tunnel of the elbows), and three of the discs in your spine began to rebel and protrude so much that you couldn't sit for prolonged periods of time except with excruciating pain;

If you then beseeched your employer for modified or alternative work to minimize your pain and suffering, and said employer told you to kick rocks and pound sand;

If you were then forced to file a worker's comp claim and sue said employer, and win. . .

Then you, too, could retire at 50.

But don't try this at home, folks. It can be dangerous to your health.

Retire at age 50, Number 13 on my Bucket List.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Add this to my Bucket List: Have a chocolate bust of myself made (just like Emmit Smith has) Of course, I'd want mine made with almonds, too.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Going Rogue?

Number 127 on my Bucket List is Vacation Alone. Now, preferably, that would take place in Paris, my favorite European city. I could go there every year if the economy would only allow it.

That being said, I'm terrified to travel to a foreign country alone. What if someone kidnaps me and holds me for ransom? (Good luck getting a dime out of Sarge, buddy!) Or what if I'm sold into the sex trade? (Don't laugh; someone might want a fifty-some-odd year old woman with a bad back and a trick knee!)

Despite the dangers both real and imagined, foreign and domestic, I am still game. But I think maybe I should practice first. So I pack my bag and tell sarge Hasta la vista, baby, and I get in my car and drive. A dry run, so to speak, although I never travel without a bottle of Veuve Clicquot in my luggage. A girl's gotta have a cocktail no matter where she ends up.

Two hours and one hundred twenty miles later, I'm in beautiful downtown Palm Springs. Alone. I feel so bold, so daring, alone without Sarge! But I'll get over it. I stop at Stater Brothers to get snacks for later. I pull into the garage of the home I'll be staying at, and two men working in the yard next door stop and stare at me lasciviously. Or am I being paranoid, and they are really looking at something down the street?

Silly moi, because I had a really good time that weekend. I felt like a superhero. I didn't leap tall buildings in a single bound, or run faster than a locomotive, but I did go to the movies alone, restaurants alone, window shopping alone, and I didn't get mugged or kidnapped even once!

Sarge calls my escapade "Going Rogue." I call it "Baby Steps." Just a little rehearsal for a much bigger show to come. You've gotta crawl before you can walk.

Friday, January 14, 2011

How To Repel Rodents

It's hard to believe it's already another New Year. Why didn't time fly like this when I was pregnant with my daughter? Those nine months seemed like ten years. But that was eons ago, and this is a new year, and a new year always drags in with it the urge to reflect on what will be accomplished this year.

I must tell you, it's getting pretty tight on Ye Olde Bucket List. I've pulled off, racked up, and carried out over 80% of it by my count, but I'm no math wizard. (See pregnancy referenced above.) So now I have an appetite for new adventures, new escapades, new shenanigans to be added, preferably the kind I can do in my home town (as I have two, count them, two destination weddings to attend this year), and preferably ones that don't involve me trespassing into Sarge's man cave, because he hasn't given me the combination to the lock yet.

(Just kidding about the lock. If there was going to be a lock, I would be the one to put it there, if only to lock out the odor of smelly socks and flatulence, a pungent combination that could be bottled and used to repel rodents.)

But I digress.

I am seeking suggestions from you, my dear friends, as to what I should add to my Bucket List this year. Perhaps you could share something from your own list that you think would be a good fit. The life you save may be my own.

Help a sistah out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011



1. Is that my reflection?
2. ?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Royal Hawaiians

Picture yourself on the Island of Oahu in a fabulous hotel. You're lying in a three-foot high four poster bed basking on a duck down feather mattress. You're snuggling with the love of your life under a soft fluffy comforter that is covered with a duvet made from the finest white linen. Of course it's embroidered in a cherry blossom pink that matches the rose colored wallpaper, and rivals the oak wood floor. You sit up and rest your back against the oversized pillows while your lover pours Taittinger Rose into etched crystal flutes that room service has gently placed on a gilded tray at the foot of your bed. Needless to say, you're languishing in luxury at the famed Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
You don't want to walk down to the tourist-filled Waikiki Beach where it looks like some huge gila monster has vomited flowers all over everyone's clothes. And you'd rather not go on your scheduled excursion to Pearl Harbor to see where the Pacific Fleet was annihilated during World War II, even if your father had been stationed there (on clean-up duty, after the fact, because the navy hadn't been integrated yet). You could stand to do a little shopping -- always -- but you certainly don't want to go to some silly magic show at a stupid theater downtown.

You simply want to luxuriate in the hotel you vowed you'd return to some day once they'd ejected you from their property back when you were 19 and on your first all-girl's vacation. But that's a story for another time.

And then you hear a thump coming from the adjoining room. You're startled at first. You rack your brain when you hear loud familiar voices. Then your shoulders slump in disillusionment, for you realize you must get up and do all the things you'd rather not because you just remembered your kids are here, too.

The Royal Hawaiian at Waikiki Beach, Number 79 on my Bucket List.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Their Bucket List Just Got Shorter

Here is a couple after my own heart who are ticking things off their Bucket List surely, but slowly.