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Today in My History

2000:  Over in Kilarney
2001:  Have a Heart
2002:  Clean Bill of Health
2003:  In Spite of Whereases
2004:  Tinkle Tinkle Little Star
2005:  Crash Test
t's You Must Go and I Must Bide

2007:  It Is Good to Be Merry
2008:  Miscellaneous Sundries at Longs
2009:  A Near Miss
2010:  All The World's a Stage

Bitter Hack
oby Dick Variations

Books Read in 2011
Updated: 5/27
"Deliver Us From Evil"


The Bells of Wuhan from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

And on YouTube

Most Recent on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

The China Pictures
(not complete yet)

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

My Compassion Kids

Postcrossing Postcards

The Pen Pal Project

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May 29, 2011

My jet lag continues.  (I also may have a touch of Confucius's revenge.)  I have literally slept the day away again.  It is 5 p.m. and I have accomplished nothing but have had three naps that were at least two hours each!  This is so "not me."  I'm the one who never notices jet lag.  Well, I'm making up for it in spades now!

Since my day has consisted in doing nothing but sleeping, I thought it was time for a meme.  Unless you want a page that consists of zzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzz.

This one is called "The Life Game" and it is short.

What was the first injury you remember? Do you have a scar?

I guess I have been fortunate in that I have never had any serious accidents.   The first "accident" (if you can even call it that) that I remember was when I was in high school.  I was spending time at my friend Madelyn's house and we were carrying a box of something or other into the house.  I dropped my end of the box and it cut my wrist.  The only reason I can think of that I remember this incident, since it wasn't like it was a huge cut or anything, is that it left a small scar.  My only visible scar.  It's about 1/4" long.

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Did your family move when you were a kid?

Nope.  My parents moved into a 2-bedroom flat in San Francisco when my mother was expecting me.  They intended to buy a home eventually, but they didn't move out of that flat until after David was born, in 1972.  I think it was 1975 when they finally bought a home. My mother desperately wanted to move out to "the avenues" where all their friends were buying homes, but my grandmother put the kibosh on any plan they had, saying that buying a home was too financially risky.  (She lived in the same apartment from when my father was a small child until she was in her 80s!) 

What do you remember about your first back yard?

Cement.  It was all cement except for a little raised plot of dirt where my mother tried to teach us to grow vegetables.  I remember anemic carrots.  The yard had several clotheslines, were my mother would hang her wash and when there was no wash hanging, my sister and I would ride our tricycles around.  I can't remember how big it was, exactly, but I'm guessing something like 30' square, if that.  Tiny.   The interesting thing is that the guy who owned Seabiscuit lived in the penthouse of the apartment across the street and his housekeeper told my mother that he would look at Karen and me playing in the yard and tell her that this was what real happiness was.

Who was your best friend when you were 10 years old?

Gayle Tarzia, who lived in a flat 2 blocks from me.

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(She's the one on the right).  We were best friends until grammar school graduation and then we went to different schools.  Ironically, we are Facebook friends, but she has never ever contacted me, other than approve my request for friendship. From reading her posts it's obvious she's a born-again Christian whose church is the center of her life and I guess my radical gay-supporting views are too much for her to speak to me!

What was your home like?

It was a 2-bedroom flat on a steep hill in San Francisco.  It is, incidentally, across the street from the described neighborhood where Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" was set, though when he described it, he was really describing a little alley half a block away.

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To describe our flat, you came in the front door and were facing the kitchen straight ahead, Karen and I shared a bedroom to the right.  If you instead turned left down a hall, my parents' bedroom was on the left, the bathroom on the right.  At the end of the hall was a long room that was the livingroom/dining room.  The living room had a bay window with a seat that looked out over the street and it was fun watching tourists try to drive up the hill (which had a stop sign at the top).  The dining room had a window that looked out at Coit Tower.  When I lived there, there was no diagonal parking and my father made sure I could parallel park, with the  stick shift, on the hill before he would let me get my driver's license.

The thing I loved most about that house was floor heating.  On cold mornings I would stand over the heater in the living room to get warm.

What was your grandfather like? What did he teach you?

I knew both of my grandfathers and had no relationship with either one.  My paternal grandfather was someone I saw constantly, since they had no car and so they went everywhere with us.  He was henpecked and had little to say, though he had been a well known tenor in vaudeville.  My grandmother, a chorus girl, was probably embarrassed about those days.  I only heard him sing twice, a strong voice still into his 70s.  My grandmother just rolled her eyes whenever he sang.

My mother's father lived an hour's drive from us and we rarely went there.   He was bald and toothless and I was afraid of him.  I don't remember his ever saying much to me, but I remember he could eat corn n the cob without false teeth and he loved tomatoes sprinkled with sugar.  The only interaction with him that I remember was when he took me out to the hen house to show me some newly hatched baby chicks.

Who taught you how to be a friend?

Good question.  I think my high school friends, Joyce and Anne, with whom I was inseparable for the last 2 years in school.  We are still in contact, though I haven't seen them in decades.

Who inspired you?

Being a good Catholic girl, I was always inspired by saints and nuns.  I had a special affinity for St. Therese of Lisieux ("the Little Flower") and several of the nuns in high school, especially Sister Anne,for whom Jeri (Jerilyn Anne) is named.   If we'd had another girl, there probably would have been a "Therese" or "Theresa" in her name.

When were you betrayed?

I can't ever remember being betrayed as a child.  It wasn't until I was into my 40s that I experienced betrayal.  Both people are dead now, and it still hurts.

What did you survive?

Throughout my life, I survived the death of my sister, the divorce of my parents, the death of my best friend, the betrayal of another good friend, and the death of two children.  And I'm still here.

What’s your passion?

I was writing a pen pal letter today to someone who is learning the piano.   She was asking if I play a musical instrument and I was telling her how my whole life my father was angry with me for "wasting" money by taking piano lessons and giving up after 2 years (he wasn't the one whose knuckles Sister Mary Victor used to hit with a ruler!) It was not until this morning, in fact, that I realized that the family musical genes skipped me and went directly into all of my children, but that I inherited the writing genes of my mother's side of the family.  They were all writers and left behind a wonderful legacy of family history in the form of letters and newspaper articles (my great grandfather was a newspaper editor).  Writing has always been my passion.  That and taking photographs.  Not music.

What animal do you identify with?

I have the body of a hippo and the personality of a dog.

Do you remember a vacation away with your family?

We went away for 2 weeks every summer to some resort.  For many years it was Sunnyside Cabins in Boyes Hot Springs, near Sonoma.  We had a cabin with an ice box (to which they delivered a big block of ice each week) and we spent a lot of time at the big pool, which was also a mineral bath. 

Later we tried Konocti Harbor Inn, when I was in high school.  I don't think we went there more than once.  I don't remember any other places where we went for vacation.  My father didn't like to leave San Francisco.


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My grandparents in their vaudeville days.


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