Category Archives: Memoirs

The Pinball Machine


I gotta admit, I’m already tired of all the politics, and it’s just really gearing up. Tonight, there’s a Democratic Town Hall Meeting with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. I’m recording it to watch later. Right now, I am waiting on my husband to get home with our tortilla soup from our favorite Mexican restaurant. We’ll watch Richard Dreyfuss as he portrays that scumbag Bernie Madoff, while we eat.

While I was looking for something on YouTube today, I ran across a video about my pinball machine. I have mentioned that I love pinball a time or two on here. My husband surprised me with it for Christmas in 2006.

He told me he was going to be spending a little money on my present, and when I asked how much and he vaguely told me, I was like – that sounds like a lot of money we probably didn’t need to be spending, and since we had recently lost our beloved dog of over thirteen years (and my husband and daughter kept saying we needed to get another dog, though I wasn’t ready) I was worried that’s what he wanted all that money for. So, I told him I had transferred the money he needed from savings and that he best not be bringing anything home that breathed, ate, or peed. He laughed . . .

Fast forward to Christmas Eve – he had been storing the pinball machine at my sister’s house, and he brought it home that day. I have to admit, I was surprised as hell, happy and honored that he had put so much thought into my surprise gift, and excited to start banging balls.

Once he got it in the house and all set up, I noticed the images on the machine. After doing some research on it, I found references like the porn of pinball machines at the time. I couldn’t help but laugh at that one, and when I asked my husband about it, he said of the four machines the guy had for sale, this one was the cheapest nice one he had – and it was $600 – the next nicest one was over $2000. So, the porn of pinball machines was the one.

Anyway, I LOVE the machine, though it is old and is starting to show a little wear (fading a little on the wooden deck and the cabinet). It was fun finding new rubber gaskets and bulbs and a few other parts I had to order – okay so now I had invested another $300 or so in it.

BUT, it is an excellent stress reliever, I can tell you that, and often I play so hard, my aging wrists, finger joints and shoulders ache. It’s a good kind of ache, though – especially when I score high. I keep a list of my highest scores taped to the side and my goal is always to beat my highest score to date. And when you score high – it makes a lot of noise!!!

So, getting back to the video – I found this video today and it cracked me up! I felt like we all might need a little comic relief, so thought I’d share it.

Here’s a shout out to Wyrd Smythe over at Logos con carne – I was looking to ensure the date was right (1979) when I ran across this video 🙂

So here’s the Bally 1979 Future Spa pinball machine I work out my frustrations on!

(Laughing – my husband said this woman’s  big cheesy grin reminds him of Olivia Caridi from The Bachelor . . . )

Just something I was thinking about . . .

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Thank You & Happy Thanksgiving!


Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving – if you celebrate it! I spent mine with my family and we ate until we hurt 😉 Yes, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner!

I doubt seriously that I am going to “win” NaNoWriMo by completing my 50, 000 words, but I managed to get a little over 25,000 words and I am continuing to work it as much as possible through the weekend, but regardless I will keep working on it after, as well. I have made great progress this month – more than I ever have before. I have other pieces to the story that I had written previously that can be incorporated and woven into the overall story – so certainly not a wasted effort by any means! I have gotten some good feedback in various places – and would look forward to more should you decide to peruse a few tidbits I shared and provide comments.

I have so been missing reading your blogs and plan to catch up with everyone next week!!

I also have quite a few topics on my list of future posts that I want to start knocking out 🙂

Thought I might share this song with you – it’s another one of my favs! May we all have someone like this in our lives, be it spouses, lovers, friends, family, kids, grandkids 🙂

Just something I was thinking about, as I’m reflecting on my many blessings today  ❤

[This song came on as I’m listening to my iTunes writing my novel – so of course I wanted to share & got distracted LOL!! Hope you enjoy it!]

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Some FLUFF is always good


I don’t know about y’all, but I need a break from the news.

I love all kinds of music – though not head-banging or rap so much – rock and roll, blues, jazz, R&B, some pop, some country, and even a small amount of classical. Growing up in the 1970s , I was a huge Black Sabbath fan! My first real boyfriend turned me on to them – they were his FAV band, and his room was covered in their posters. As we listened together, I fell in love with the driving beats, and what I considered at the time as rebellious, independent, free-spirited, anti-establishment, beautiful, truthful lyrical compositions. BUT my favorite compositions were their instrumental pieces. They are just beautiful and soul-touching.

My very favorite of these instrumental pieces & one of my all time favorite songs is Fluff.

Then there’s Laguna Sunrise, a very peaceful, introspective piece.

Black Sabbath did a few other instrumental pieces, as well, but these were my favs.

Feeling nostalgic and working on feeling peaceful this evening . . .

Got some interesting stuff coming soon, a few new topics I have been probing around in – hope you’ll stick around and check it out!

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

Thanks For Letting Me Do It My Way!


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Don’t you hate when people take your picture and you’re talking & they catch you with your mouth open! YES this is me – when I was about 16 or 17 🙂 I remember this girl – though it was a long time ago 😉 If I knew then what I know now – damn I would’ve been an incredibly dangerous woman LMAO!!

Today is my birthday – I am 53. Sometimes I am shocked that I made it this far, and sometimes I can’t believe how fast the time seems to have flown by.  I have learned so much, yet still have so much to learn! Spent the day very low key and spontaneous 🙂 (Nothing earth-shaking yet – still feel it coming though!!!!)

As I am about to end my  “special”day, I was sitting here thinking of all the things I am grateful for – & my WordPress family/community is on that list. I want to thank you all for sharing your time with me – taking the time to read and comment on my assortment of musings!

I so enjoy reading your posts, too – though I am seriously behind this past week for sure! I have read some fabulous thoughts/features/narratives/poems that were inspiring, funny, thoughtful and/or thought-provoking, informational/educational, and everywhere in between. [My Nook and bookshelves have been feeling a bit ignored lately 🙂 ]

I’m getting close to 200 followers, almost doubling over the summer – which has been a pleasant surprise. Thank you all for the great inspiration and motivation you provide! I look forward to continuing writing my way 🙂 And I look forward to your continued visits and comments, and visiting your pages and commenting, as well!

Here’s to the coming year!! ☮

Just something I was thinking about  . . . ❤

A 9/11 Memory


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Today is the 13th anniversary of one of the worst days in American history. I am sure many of us remember where we were and what we were doing that horrific fateful day. I was working at NASA as an education project manager and journalist. I had an interview that day with one of my subject matter experts onsite at 10:30 a.m.

I had just gotten out of the shower, and had walked into the kitchen in my towel to get a glass of water, when I noticed on the television that a plane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. The sound was down on the television, so I couldn’t hear what was going on and just thought there had been an accident. About that time, my phone rang. I answered it, and my sister, almost frantically, asked if I had heard what happened. I explained to her that I had been in the shower, but from what I was looking at, some fool had hit one of the towers. At that point, as I am watching the television, another plane struck the other tower.

“What the hell is going on,” I asked my sister. She is a first grade teacher and was at school, which is why I thought it so odd that she had called me.

“We are being attacked!” she replied, her voice cracking.

“No, we’re not,” I said. “We are not being attacked! No way!!”

She asked me if I was going to work that day. “Yes,” I said, “I’m getting ready to go in and interview this cool scientist.”

I was stunned, as she begged me not to go in. “You can’t go in today! Please stay home!”

“I have to,” I told her. “This guy’s real busy and I have been trying to pin him down for weeks. This is going to be an awesome interview and I’m not going to miss it.”

“You CAN’T go in to work. PLEASE stay home today – NASA could be a target,” at this point she is crying so hard I can barely understand her.  She continues to plead with me to stay home and not go to my place of work.

“Okay, okay. Calm down. Let me get online and see what’s going on. If it’s a true threat, the center will post a message telling employees and contractors not to come in. Let me get dressed and then I’ll check it out and call you back.”

“Okay, we’re on lock-down here, so call me back,” she said as we hung up.

I got off the phone, and got dressed, combing out my hair wondering if we were truly under attack ,and if so what would that mean. I turned the TV up so I could hear it. Back then, my Internet access was dial-up, so I couldn’t be on the phone (no smart phones back then either) and get online.

I got on my computer and signed in via VPN to the local intranet for my NASA center. I didn’t even have to log-in to the internal network when I saw the message that all NASA centers were closing down and would be closed until further notice, and all non-essential employees were instructed to leave.

I called my sister back and assured her I wasn’t going to work, and asked how things were going at school. Some of the teachers were freaking out, and this was starting to make the kids uneasy. They were all doing the best they could to keep things as normal as possible under the circumstances.

I called my husband at work, and he and his co-workers had found a television and were gathered around watching in shock, too. I thought about my child and her safety – but had already heard her school was on lock-down, too – no one in and no one out; so nothing I could do there at this point. (Yes, I must admit, this made me quite uneasy as a mother!)

Okay, now I was in total disbelief and was completely glued to my television. (Actually, as a journalist, by this point I had 3 TV’s on – the 2 with recording capability were set to record different channels.)  I had hoped that this Twin Towers accident was all just being blown out of proportion, but by now the Pentagon had been hit, also.

New York City was completely shut down – all airspace, bridges and tunnels. Then one of the towers collapsed. Then the second tower collapsed. I watched this and was absolutely horrified at the images I was seeing and the knowledge I was now aware of. The fate (and heroic measures) of Flight 93 were now being discovered, as well. [My timeline may be off a little, but I believe this is an accurate one.]

At some point, it was announced that ALL flights in the continental United States airspace were grounded. This had never happened in my lifetime; as a matter of fact this had never happened before in American history. As I sat and watched all of this play out in my living room, I was completely shocked. I was on the phone here and there when people who knew I might be home would call for more info.

I continued to watch all day and late into the night. The United States was on its highest military alert next to ready for nuclear attack. (I believe we were at DEFCON 2.) I woke early the next morning to see the news coverage continuing. It was like this for days (as almost all regular programming on television had been pre-empted), and after about three days, I had to disengage for a bit. That’s when having a large CD and movie collection helps.

I was also about to turn 40 and had a huge party planned, margarita machine rented and all. This had been planned for months. I had no idea if I should still have the party under the circumstances. Though it was planned for 4 days after the attack, I just wasn’t sure I was in a partying mood, of if anyone else would be either.

I discussed it with several family members and friends, and I decided to go ahead and have the party. Looking back on it, I’m so glad i did, as it was obvious people needed something fun to focus on. People needed to laugh and spend time with those they cared about and loved. THIS is what living and life is all about.  The terrorists want us to live in fear – that’s one of their goals. I think I can safely say, as a nation, we do not live in fear, per say – though there is a huge amount of information and data gathering as a result.

My heart went out to all of those involved, those who knew the fear, had a sense of what was coming, those who died just for being there, and those who died trying to save those in the wrong place at the wrong time. This country may be divided on many things, but I think we all feel the same about the events of this day. As a country, we were violated. We were raped. We were maimed. And after the reality of what had happened set in, we were outraged.

[I am sure many who live in other parts of the world wonder about American’s “false sense of security.”  They wonder why we feel we are above being attacked on our own soil. It’s not that we think we are above it all, it’s that except for the American Revolution and our own Civil War this is not part of our experience – particularly anyone alive today; that was not part of our everyday world. It has been mentioned in a few conversations I have had that our location on Earth with the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans separating and buffering us from Europe and Asia and the Middle East, have made us less of a target than many other countries. But if we were attached in land mass, things might very well be different. I don’t know, thoughts for another day, maybe. I have a few thoughts that might be for another day, but not for today.]

Today, on the anniversary of one of the worst days in the history of this country, I am bowing my head in respect, honor, reflection, sorrow, and prayer. I don’t mind telling you, I shed many tears as I wrote this. I can only hope this never happens here again . . .

I wish this kind of violence, murder, intimidation and oppression never happened anywhere, but I know that’s not even a pipe dream . . .

Just something I was thinking about today . . . Peace ☮ ~ ☮ ~ ☮
Just realized this is my 50th blog post!