Saturday, January 23, 2010


Oh Mercy! A day of shopping on a glorious day! First, we stopped at the Apple store. The Husband is looking for a car charger for his I-phone, but of course I'm lusting after a new laptop and he's drooling over a system, (you know you're in trouble when you're looking at a system!) I grabbed him by the arm and got him out of there, just in time. Whew!

Williams Sonoma. What a store. You can spend 18 bucks on a jar of jam. I saw a double-sided omelette pan that caused me to have lust in my heart, but I got a grip, after all I've been rustling up omelettes with a regular non-stick pan forever--did I really need the double-sided one? Not really. I spotted one of those nifty silicone-coated paring knifes. I need that! Don't I? Not one of my paring knifes is coated in silicone, surely they're defective? What about the giant-sized electric paella pan? That could come in handy. The Husband grabbed me by the arm and got me out of there, just in time. Whew!

We were walking along and I said, "What a sky! I gotta take a picture of that." So, I took the picture. All last week we had rain, rain, rain, so I had to take the time to celebrate the mostly blue sky.

And do I have to say more than TJ Maxx? I am a bargain lover and man oh man does TJ Maxx give good bargain. My eyes were rolling back in my head.

On the whole it's been a lovely day. We came home and I made dinner and now we're going to watch a movie. This is one of those, this is what I did today blogs. Terrific is my word for the day. If you're in the mood to leave a comment, tell us what's terrific for you, right now.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Surreal Tale

According to the comments you all so kindly left on my previous post it looks as if we all agree, Anderson Cooper is a brave man. And the more I hear about him, it sounds as if that occurrence with the boy in Haiti wasn’t an isolated display of his heroic character.

After a lengthy conversation with a friend yesterday, I started thinking, what, (if not downright heroic, but certainly helpful act), have I ever performed for a complete stranger?

A peculiar incident came to mind. One afternoon I was driving my three-year old daughter and thirteen-year old son to Target, my son had just gotten out of school for the day. We pulled off the 57 Freeway in Orange County to get gas. My daughter was in her car seat and my son was sitting alongside, doing his best to keep her amused. I climbed out to pump the gas.

A pretty dark girl stood at the pump in front of me, next to a moped. A young boy (I’d venture to guess he was around six or seven) was standing next to her, wearing a backpack that looked way too heavy for his tiny shoulders. Well, her card wouldn’t work in the machine, and she told the boy they were out of money and she didn’t know what she was going to do. Just then a man walked over from the other side of the pump and offered to buy her some gas. “I couldn’t,” she said.

“Hey,” he said, “I’ve been in a jam before, Let me buy you some gas.”

I was pleased to see that there were still gentlemen in this world. I went about my business, but soon heard the girl call out, “Get your hands off me, you dirty bastard!”

I looked up to see the guy pawing at her, right there at the gas pump. Seemed he wanted a little something/something before he shelled out a few measly bucks! I hurried over and screamed at him, saying, “Let go of her—now!”

He launched a few choice words in my direction before kicking the moped over, which nearly struck the little boy. In a rage, he stomped it a few times before hopping in his oversized-brand-new-shiny-pick-up-truck and taking off like a bat outa hell.

I helped the girl right the moped, but it was obviously damaged. “I can’t ride it this way!” She cried. “Why me? Why is everything bad happening to me lately?”

The little boy threw his arms around her slender hips, and said, “Oh, Mama.”

She looked too young to be his mother. I’d mistakingly pegged them as brother and sister. “Look,” I said, watching my son hop out of my mini-van. “We can load the moped in the back of my van. And I'll drive you home.”

My son said, “Mom, I used the mobile phone to call 911, I gave them that man’s license plate number, they’re on they’re way over.”

“Damn it! No!” The girl cried. “You called the cops?”

The design firm I was working for at the time had seen fit to give me a mobile phone to use in emergency situations, (they were super-expensive to operate back then, and I might add the size of brick), but I hadn’t even given the phone a second thought, as the thing baffled me anyway. But my son had been clear-headed enough to use it, (bragging moment, he’s a micro-biologist now), and when confronted with the girl’s displeasure his hopeful face crumpled. “My son did the right thing,” I told her, “That maniac will have to pay for damaging your bike, and besides, he can’t run around accosting girls.”

“I don’t have a license,” she said. “They’re gonna bust me!”

I put my hand on her shoulder, she was so distraught the little boy was whimpering. “Calm down. They won’t ask to see your license.”

I told my son to go sit with his sister. A motorcycle cop drove up, dismounted, and asked what happened. The girl told her story. He looked at me then, asking, “And just who are you?” I told him that I'd been pumping gas nearby and witnessed how the guy manhandled her, and how he kicked the moped over and stomped on it.

“So, you’re telling me, he offered to buy her gas, and then he made advances?”

“Yes,” I said, adding, “And when she pushed him away he freaked out.”

“You two want me to believe that he did all that, right here at the gas pump? In front of everybody?”

Everybody?” I said, “Not everybody. Nobody else was here, except us.”

“Who called 911?”

I pointed to the van. “My son did.”

He walked over to the van and peered inside. Then he walked over to the moped and looked at it. “Have you been drinking?” He asked the girl.

Were we on Candid Camera? I thought. Surely this couldn’t be happening? “Look,” I said, feeling more than a little out of sorts with the slow-witted husky cop by then, “Give her a break, she’s with her little boy in the middle of the day, all she needed was some gasoline.”

“Be quiet," he warned. I shut up.

The jerk leaned over the girl, and asked, “Were you propositioning that man?”

I just had to interfere. I flipped out, saying, “Pleeaassee! Are you insane! I told you, I was standing here the whole time. I told you exactly what I saw. That’s all that happened!”

So his partner pulled up, they went off and had a little pow-wow, and the girl turned to me and whispered, “Great. I’m going to jail.”

“You aren’t going to jail,” I muttered. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“You wait. You’ll see.”

The cops strolled over and asked for the girl's license (I'd been wrong on that count) and she told them she'd forgotten it at home. I told the mean cop that I was going to load her moped in my van and drive her home. We had three hungry children to think about. I gave them both a piece of my mind, telling them that they should be off chasing the pervert, not harassing the girl. So, they took her information down, they took my information down, and off they went. They didn’t even offer to help load the moped. The experience was quite surreal.

We got in the car. I told her I was pulling into the McDonalds across the street because I had promised my kids a snack. I ordered three Happy meals and the kids ate while I drove her home. “So,” I said, “We’ll see if they catch that guy, and he’ll have to pay to have your moped fixed. I hope he goes to jail.”

She replied, in a deadpan voice, “Not gonna happen. I gave them fake information. And that’s not my bike. And I’m moving back to Arizona, tomorrow. They treat me like this because I’m Mexican. My folks are in Arizona—they’ll help me. I should have gone home a long time ago. Since I came to California my life’s been one long screwed-up downhill ride.”

“Sorry to hear that,” I said.

“Mama, I don’t wanna leave,” said the boy.

She turned around, glared at him, and snapped, “Shut the fuck up.”

I didn’t appreciate her language or attitude. You could see the shock on my son’s face, and shortly thereafter he handed the boy the Happy Meal toy, as if he thought that might make the kid feel better.

The girl certainly wasn’t the most likable person I’d ever run into, but I sure did feel sorry for her son. And I hoped their lives would improve, if indeed they were returning to Arizona. When I dropped her off, and after we helped her unload the moped, she didn’t thank us. She simply turned away and began to push the moped down a narrow driveway towards a ramshackle house, the boy tagging behind.

I did help her though. I’m pretty sure I did.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I was in the car, driving somewhere I didn’t want to go to, to do something I wish I didn’t have to do…

When, one of those talking heads on the radio related a story about Anderson Cooper in Haiti. The talking head said that Anderson witnessed crazed looters throwing cinder blocks off a building, down into the crowd on the street, and a boy was hit in the head. It seemed the blow to the boy’s head caused him to be so unsteady on his feet--he could not stand up--let alone run for cover. More cinder blocks were poised from above, and nobody was doing anything to help the injured boy. If he didn’t move he would be hit a second time. Anderson Cooper rushed to his side and helped the boy to safety. News reporters don’t do that kind of thing, they just don’t.

The talking head started laughing and mocking Anderson Cooper, saying that everyone in Haiti has AIDS, and just wait, when the do-gooder reporter returned to the USA he would be shunned by all his buddies, because nobody would want anything to do with a guy that had been covered with the blood of a Haitian boy.

If I could have reached through the radio I would have socked that IDIOT smack dab in the kisser.

Look, I’m not Anderson Cooper fan. I don’t watch the news all that much. But I have to ask, how many people do you know that would rush to help that boy, putting their own life in jeopardy, in such a manner? Could you be so brave?

I had no idea that Anderson Cooper was gay, (for the record I almost feel as if the radio guy was holding that against him, GAG.) I had heard that his mother was Gloria Vanderbilt. I once saw a movie about her childhood, seemed the heiress had a tumultuous beginning. She married several times, and had Anderson and his brother later in life. His brother committed suicide right in front of her. It must have been horrifying to see her own son jump out of the window while she tried in vain to stop him.

Anyway, that’s about the extent of what I know about Anderson Cooper—except this—he’s obviously a better person than most. He did what so many would never do. I am a fan now. A big fan.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Outer Limits

Hey there! I've been out of loop. MIA. And all I can say is, I've been way out there, in the outer limits. The periphery so to speak. Go ahead, tell me you haven't been there, but I won't believe you.

But, here I am, back! Good or bad, this blog is like a garden, I may not weed it all the time, I may not plant new seeds (or bulbs), and I may not water as much as I should, but doesn't that make it less of a garden. I think not!

It is winter, so cut me some slack. Spring's on it's way and I know the garden will benefit. All I can say is, I'm glad you're with me now, it means so much. And I plan to drop by and visit you soon. The truth be known, the outer limits are kinda scary, and lonely.


There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits.
— Opening narration – The Control Voice – 1960s

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.