Monday, September 30, 2013

CAT CARTOON Fed Up - Simon's Sister's Dog with the RSPCA (+playlist)


     As I entered Roberta's room today in the morning to check her blood pressure and give medicine, she looked particularly agitated from under her fluffy blanket. "Last night was freaky!" - she blurted out. "Freaky? In what way?" She sat up and told me the story.
     She was sleeping peacefully last night, when her hospital bed, the one that has a remote to raise legs or the top portion of it, started to work! The legs' portion began to rise. Roberta woke up and tried to get off the bed. As she put one leg over the side, it got caught between the bed's rail and it's rising part. She hollered to Park to help her. I guess, he was too tired to understand what was happening, because he began to argue with her: "Can't you  get off the bed by yourself?" Roberta insisted and Park got her off, brought her to a chair, sat her down, said: "Sit here!" - and went back to sleep! Roberta was too surprised to say anything. She sat on the chair for ten-fifteen minutes, then went to bed, made it flat, lay down and fell asleep holding the bed remote to her chest, so nobody else could use it!
Now, 2 points:
1. How did the bed start working? The remote was hanging on the lower portion of a rail, that's where Roberta found it afterwords. Park was too far to reach it accidentally. I told my sister that it could be my dad, whose room that used to be. Maybe, he looked in on us and said: "Someone's sleeping in my bed!"
2. Roberta must've been too flabbergasted, because she sat in that chair for ten-fifteen minutes. Imagine, someone sits you on a chair at 3 o'clock in the morning and tells you to sit there. 'Til the roosters start to crow?
3. Yes, I need to make the third point, even though I promised just two! This is Roberta we are talking about, the woman who one other night told me, after I heard her talk in her sleep: "I'm OK, but I don't know, where all these other people are going to sleep!" "Who, Roberta?"  "Him, and her, and her!.."

Sunday, September 29, 2013


    Here is another adventure of Sonny and Joon at the Golden gate Park.

     "Life is just not fair", - Sonny thought as he ran through the Golden Gate Park toward the California Academy of Sciences. Today he was supposed to be researching this new tourist attraction for his class in Communication. As once before, the clear directions to the place turned out to be useless on the paths of the gigantic park. 
     Sonny passed a lady with a poodle. The tiny dog was excited to be outdoors. It refused to listen to the owner and jumped all around her, hopelessly tying her legs up with a leash. Sonny thought it to be an amusing situation, but he saw that the dog's owner was for some reason terrified. 
     Joon emerged into the sweet sunshine and breeze with a joyful heart. But somewhere very close he could feel another being's distress. Before he could orient himself, though, he was assaulted by tiny clawed paws. "Beware, stranger!" - the lady lying tied up on the ground yelled at him - "this is not what you think it is!" 
     As if on cue, the dog's appearance began to change. Gone were the puffs of fur from around it's head and ankles. The paws that harmlessly scratched at Joon's jeans grew to frightening proportions, as did the whole body of the animal. He still looked goofy and friendly, but everywhere where the saliva from his impressive jowls fell, the grass died. The very friendliness of that "dog" was a threat, because it didn't seem to understand anything and aimed to lick and rub itself on Joon. 
     Joon quickly climbed up a stout tree. He needed time to find the way to subdue the obnoxious pup. The lady informed him that she was a part of IASCTDAHWTWDNH - an Intergalactic Agency that Specialized in Catching and Transporting Dangerous Animals to some Habitats Where They Would Do No Harm. The animal which now beseechingly barked at Joon on the tree and pawed the ground while wagging it's behind up in the air, was a Solomoan Groat. Someone, probably, brought it to Earth as an exotic pet, but couldn't deal with the growing monster.
     Joon couldn't think of anything he could use to restrain the Groat, but the lady called out to him and said that in her bag there was some expanding tarp, big enough to wrap around the Groat. Joon just had to get down to the ground and avoid the pup while he retrieved tarp. 
     Joon jumped down from the tree. The Groat was right there, thinking that it was a great game. The only thing that Joon could do to escape being trampled and burned by the drool, was to duck under the animal's belly. He emerged from the other end and desperately sucked fresh air into his lungs. The other end of the Groat smelled worse than refuse pits on Kloagmora! 
     It took only a few moments to get the tarp out of the bag. Once it was out, it expanded considerably. When the Groat hopped over to make new advances on Joon, our superhero grabbed it from the back with the tarp and wrapped it securely in it. Joon and the intergalactic officer could hear the Groat start mournfully howling inside the tarp. They did not care!
     Sonny could not believe his bad luck. How did he get his jeans all torn up and burned? And what was that slime on his shirt? OW! 
     The line to buy tickets to the California Academy of Sciences was too long! What's more, it didn't move for the last forty minutes. 
     Sonny couldn't figure out, why people in front of him were stuck in one place. Weird! Some of them looked like they were frozen! As he pushed his glasses to their rightful place at the top of his nose, the light blinked and became brighter.
     As soon as Joon awakened in Sonny's body, he felt cold go up his spine. Everything looked fine: the sky was blue, the grass and trees were green, people... people were too quiet! There was no usual clamor of voices or movement of any kind! Joon crouched where he stood. He saw that some men were moving. They were on the steps of the Academy's building, filing into the doors at an unhurried pace. The only unusual thing about them was that they all were alike! Same chiseled features on the same tanned faces, the same massive necks and shoulders... 
     Two or three of them were scanning the crowd. When they saw Joon move, they all converged on him. There was no animosity in their eyes; only the business-like efficiency and purposefulness of robots. 
     The first one grabbed Joon by the collar. Joon twisted out of his grip and brought his fists crushing into the middle of the opponent's chest. He might have been hitting the wall: his fists bounced from the man's (was it really a man?) flesh and hurt like crazy. The man swung at Joon then. Joon flew half a building away from the impact of the blow. If he was a regular human, that would be the end of him. Fortunately, he was not. Sonny's body while in his possession, could take amazing amounts of punishment. The rest of the robots (for that's what, he decided, they were) surrounded him and tried to move on him together. Joon jumped to the roof of the building. He was rapidly thinking, how to defeat this enemy. The robots below started to get on top of each other's shoulders to construct a pyramid to climb to the roof after Joon. The only thing that Joon could find was a tub of tar that the roofers used to rain-proof the top of the building. It was still bubbling, but the workers were frozen in place around it.
     Joon grabbed the tub, lifted it over the lip of the building and poured tar over the pyramid of robots. They did not scream or fall apart. The tar bound them together and deprived them of all movement!
     Back on the steps of the Academy, the scene was the same. An old lady's face looked at him impassively from the ticket booth. Then she blinked! The booth simply disintegrated around her. She began to grow to many times the human size! She still had white hair and a modest hairstyle of a librarian, but her eyes glared at Joon with unmistakable hatred. She stomped on the steps, trying to squash Joon. He was too fast for her. She gnashed her teeth and screamed. Out of her mouth flew horribly smelling goo. It splashed right in front of Joon, and the concrete of the steps crumbled to dust. 
     High in the sky the birds appeared. Even from a distance one could tell that they were enormous! Huge eagles screeched their own hatred at the beings unnatural on Earth. They attacked the lady, tearing her with their beaks and talons. She resisted, but they had advantage of an aerial attack. Soon nothing remained of her except some pieces of cloth and a huge shoe. 
     The eagles made one last turn in the air and flew away. Joon was wondering, what to do with the robots and a huge shoe. He just dragged the shoe to the pyramid, when people in line began to come alive. 
     Soon the customary noise replaced the silence. Everyone was complaining about the delay. Sonny watched the tarred pyramid of robots and a giant shoe, both liberally splattered with what seemed to be the birds' guano, with distaste. "I can't imagine, what was going through that artist's mind, to make such a disgusting statue!" - he finally declared to his neighbor in line. Together they tssked and shook their heads in disdain.


     I was looking for a video about Baba Vanga in English or with the English subtitles, but could not find it. Too bad. All week I watched the series Vangelia that my sister sent me. It's a movie about a famous seer from Bulgaria. I never heard her name before. The series shook me up not only because of a mere possibility that Baba Vanga, a woman who grew up as a peasant, could foresee and foretell such things as the WWII or different world leaders' fates and fortunes, or the attack of 9/11, but also because the women's life stories in the series are powerful and poignant. 
     How close to truth are those stories? I don't know. Vanga herself was a force of nature. Some people say that she was a charlatan or a KGB operative. Who knows! I am not saying here that I believe or disbelieve her. I am saying that I loved the telling of that phenomenal woman's and her phenomenal women friends' lives.
      Imagine any peasant girl who lost her eyesight, but was taught after that in a school for the blind in a city. She learned a different way of life and thinking, was on a verge of a marriage with a man who loved her, and then her father came and brought her back to a remote village to take care of her siblings because their mother died! She chose to go back because it was a right thing to do. What heartbreak! It would seem that her life ended there, if it wasn't for the gift of prophecy. It lifted her from the poverty of day to day strife for survival, made her a beacon for everyone who came in contact with her. 
     To be a light onto others: that is enough. That would be enough.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


     Those of you who love classical music and ballet will understand me. Those who don't, I just really hope that I can convey the joy that I felt today listening to this music by Chopin and watching a young ballerina dance. It was an unlikely setting: a small cafe's outside sitting area. They cleared most of the tables and chairs, put a ground cover from the nearby martial arts' studio - interlocking squares in blue and green, set a few rows of chairs. The performers were two sisters from Japan, daughters of a friend of the cafe's manager. 
     The older sister played on a keyboard and the younger one, in her ethereal tutu and pointe shoes danced. Two dances were to Chopin's music and two - dances from the ballet Don Quixote. One couldn't guess by their performance that this was a big departure from the usual stage and a Grand piano that they were used to. They gave their one hundred and fifty percent to bring us the beauty of their art. The dancer had to deal with the unusual flooring as well. You can't do the pirouettes from Don Quixote on the interlocking  mats. She did great still. 
     When her sister played Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu, I had the strongest desire to cry. If I was at home, you would, probably, hear my sobs and nose slurping. Since I was in public, I only grimaced a little and hoped that no one will notice. Such nobility is in that short piece of music! How? How does it come to Chopin, Tchaikovsky or Beethoven - this harmony of form and content, mere sounds that move us to tears? 


     This was supposed to be a lazy morning. I got up later than usual, took a shower, was taking my sweet time getting dressed. Suddenly, - Park's voice: "Sonny, your mom's friend is here!" Notice, how he didn't even try to address me? 
      I ran into the living room already knowing whom I will find there. The Red Headed Monster, her brother and mother were sitting on the couches, their bright faces immediately raising my spirits. As soon as she saw me, the Red Headed Monster sang:"I will watch TV!" Her brother joined the chorus: "I will eat popcorn!" They had a thought together and sang in unison: "I will watch TV and have popcorn!" It's their usual program in my house. Lacking the popcorn this time, I opened a box of Almond Cookies. Kids satisfied, I turned to mother. She brought one of her home made cakes and set it on the table. She wanted to just sit and talk in the living room though. In a few minutes, Roberta's door opened and we heard the scraping of her walker on the dining room's tile. She wanted to come down to the living room, but the memory of her falling there was still too fresh in my mind. I insisted that we join her around the dining room table. I made tea, cut the cake, brought out the pretty plates and forks to eat it. Sveta is a really good baker. Whenever I say that, she replies that she just follows  recipes. Modest as well as talented!
     Sveta speaks English very well, but - too quickly! Roberta can't catch what she is saying. I became an interpreter again, although, I sometimes have the same problem listening to Sveta. We had good time despite that. From Roberta's room came the sounds of Park talking on the phone. It sounded like he was giving a speech. Roberta winced every time that she caught  those sounds. After he finished the phone call, she went back in. She was tired. I felt bad because today I was too late to give her breakfast or greet her in the morning. Of course, before Park came back to our house, she woke up comfortably at about 10 o'clock and went about her day with a much better disposition. For two days already she is feeling down, tired of pain and the nagging that she constantly receives from Park.
     Sveta and I continued to talk. Her husband is coming from his visit to Russia in a few days. She misses him. 
     The Red Headed Monster, Katya, demanded some juice. She is adorable: loose red curls bounce over a fresh, tender face. I made her say "Please" before pouring the juice, but that lesson had to be repeated every time that she got thirsty. She felt quite taken with me today, leaning on me and asking to play with her. Katya went to the kindergarten this September. There are thirty kids in her class and one teacher. Katya doesn't like to do her homework or write her name on every sheet of it. Her brother is a more conscientious student, I think!
     Kids went through their whole repertoire before their mother could talk them into leaving: the TV, cookies, turning the fan on and off, swinging on the Nordic Track that we have in the living room. Today Katya added another item to that list: jumping on my aged couch. I was expecting her to tumble to the floor any time now, or a spring from the couch busting out and hitting her in the foot. I don't know how her mom can take that constant barrage of movement and demands. God knows what He/She does. He gave me only two kids and parents who babysat them!

Friday, September 27, 2013


Mr. P.! Wow! 
     I didn't tell you yet, but I went to see a new counselor. He is more like a life coach, though. At first, I was skeptical. My last counselor looked great in the beginning, but the end of out relationship was very puzzling to me. My best theory of, why she, for example, forgot a point of our last conversation (that was all we discussed that last session), along with her slurring her words while talking to me, is that she, alas, drank something other than coffee while talking to me. I could be just paranoid, of course!
     A few of my friends began telling me about this guy that they saw. It was still when I was with the previous doctor. I was not sure if I wanted to leave her yet. Then my husband changed his job, we got a new insurance - Kaiser - and I found out that there I would meet my personal counselor only once a month, and the rest of the time I would have to do the group therapy. Anything to save Kaiser a buck! So, that new guy that my friends recommended began to look better and better!
     The first time I met Pablo was at a diner. The second time - in a room at a public library. I guess, he saves a lot on the overhead expenses. The difference between him and the previous counselor was obvious: he is more into the practical solutions for dealing with the problems that we face. He gave me precise instructions of how to deal with Park or any other person who is out of control. 
OFNR. What is it? 
O - observe. "I noticed that you are yelling at me instead of                   speaking respectfully."
F - feel. "I feel upset that you don't let me finish what I am saying."
N - need. "I need you to calm down and try to treat me the same as    you like to be treated."
R - request. "Would you try to afford me some dignity and respect?    If not, we'll have to finish it when you can calm down."
     I tried it on Park. When he began to shout at me, I told him all that. I had to raise my voice a fraction to stop him from interrupting me ("No, you will let me finish talking, and I will listen to you after that. This is how it's usually done!"), but he shut up after that. 
     Pablo is Hispanic. He carries the pride and passion of his people, but as I looked at him for the first time, I guessed that he is also a descendant of the Jews who escaped from Spain in the middle ages. He confirmed my theory. I just hope that he wasn't just trying to humor me!
     The things that I took from the last session with Pablo:
1. We can't become what we want to be by remaining who we are.
2. "Condemning my imperfections has never enhanced my             appreciation of life or helped me to love myself more."  This is from a Daily Reader - a book of inspirational quotes.
3."We may not control our circumstances but we can control how we chose to respond to them." This is from Victor Frankl, an Austrian Holocaust survivor.
4. Take what you need and leave the rest. That means that I can chose what helps me in conversations with Pablo and in my daily life and forget the rest.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


     What are those things that I tell you about my life or family? Does it help to dwell on the past joys and bitter memories? Never again on this Earth I will see my parents' faces, laugh with them, eat my mom's exceptional cooking. They say that in the spirit world we will reunite with our loved ones. I know that my mom tried to reach out to me, time to time, from out there, over the rainbow. How will it go, once I'm there too? Will we still be at each other's throats like we were before? Every time that I had a dream of her, she seemed like a very warm, benevolent presence. Maybe, she learned something? 
     It's funny, I was much closer to my father when he was alive, but I almost never have dreams about him. Sometimes, sometimes.


     As I told you about my dad, I felt so close to him! He would've really laughed at that story. He loved humor. Of course, when he chose to tell a joke, it usually finished in a crass phrase in Yiddish, which none of us understood. Dad would deliver the punchline and laugh at it all by himself, invariably ending up in a paroxysm of a cough. I could always count on him catching up to my jokes, though. He would listen to them with a ready smile and shout "Huh!!!" as he understood what was funny. He was quite timid and well behaved, but, as they say in Russia: "In quiet waters the devils abide." It was all in his mind, you see! When a nurse visited him at home, or we met a pretty lady, he would study her with his tiny red rimmed eyes and then start to fawn over her. It was like there was a totally different person inside of him, someone who could act on his love for the fairer sex. 
     My mother was absolutely opposite of him. Life with her was very emotionally uncomfortable for my father, but she wasn't a fool. In New York both of them had to go to classes in English and American history. Dad and she were in different classrooms, but mom would spend every recess with him. She knew that there were a lot of the lonely women who could make him much happier than she did. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


     My sister lives in Denmark. Skype is an amazing invention: it lets us talk face to face any time we want to! Today she called and reminded me about our father, how his perceived reality colored his world and made him happy. 
     Here was a man who experienced so much hardship in his life! Living in Russia and being Jewish, going through the war, the Antisemitism, every day's fight to survive and support his loved ones, the immigration to the U.S. and starting life from zero over here. You would think that, he was a bitter and desperate individual. Well, he could be a little pessimistic, after all - he was Jewish. But he could take small joys and turn them into some epic occurrences that he told about on regular basis. 
     That could get a little annoying. Like the story he told about his miraculous recovery after the bypass (he called it "Bay-pass") surgery.
     Dad's surgeon was an old man himself. In fact, he retired right after he operated on dad. Perhaps, his experience of dealing with my father's case was more than he bargained for. He did a good job. I still can't believe that, people can one day have their ribs cracked and their hearts out of the chest cavity and half a month later feel like they've got a new lease on life!
     After the surgery, dad went to stay at a convalescent home. We did it because we thought that the nurses there can better look after him. That was a very naive decision. As requested, I went and got a list of dad's medications from his doctor's office. They had at least fifteen different drugs on it, and I warned the nurses a few times: my father did not take all of those! They dismissed me, like I was a gnat in their ears. Two days later, we picked up my dad to bring him to a post-op appointment with a surgeon. He could hardly keep his head up. On the way we had to get off the freeway two times to find a bathroom for him. We were 45 minutes late. The surgeon met us at the door to his office building. He was red as a beet from anger at our tardiness, but as soon as he looked at my dad, he changed his attitude. Upon reviewing the list of medications that the convalescent home dosed my father with, he said: "I wonder, how he is still able to be alive! There are two medications to bring his blood pressure down, two  strong pain killers and a bunch more pills the combination of which should make anyone very unlikely to survive! He needs to go to the ER immediately!"
     Here I am, telling this story from my point of view! When he told it, dad simply said that he could not even sit straight from weakness, but that his surgeon sent him to his, the surgeon's, private hospital, and the nice nurses there made my father all better! He then was put under the observation for a week or so. 
     Since I was the one to bring him there and witness all of the above events, it became quite difficult for me to hear my father tell me his version of the story every couple of days. Time to time, the flood gates of my patience would brake, and I would irately tell him that those were  just a usual hospital and an ER. Dad was  genuinely surprised every time to hear it but, fortunately or unfortunately, he would quickly forget all about the stark truth that disturbed his inner happiness and look for the next opportunity to tell the story of his good fortune. 
      We went to see him every day. The only problem with this was that my mom and I fought like cat and dog. So, one day we sat in the hospital's waiting room before going to see dad. The nurses told us that he was being transferred to another floor to an overflow room. I guess, that was a room to house patients when there were too many of them. 
     Mom and I had our normal squabble. I went away to clear my head. When I came back, she already was admitted to dad's new room. It took me some time to find them. Mom was feeding dad pudding, and both of them wore curiously blissful expressions on their faces. When he saw me, my father who was, usually, a really, really nice person assumed a lordly pose and declared: "Hmm, Dina, we need to have a talk!" I had an immediate flashback to the movie Lethal Weapon 2, where a crime boss calls his subordinate in to discuss his mistakes. The poor fellow asks: "Why is there plastic on the floor?" "To make cleaning it easier" - says the crime boss before shooting the guy in the head. Hearing my dad's unusual tone of voice, I fought an impulse to look if there was plastic on the floor! He only asked me to arrange some things for him. Later on, when he told us and everyone within an earshot about his stay in the hospital, I realized what made him and my mom feel and look so self-satisfied. They chose to assume that dad's surgeon provided that wonderful, special room for him as a special favor. I never had a heart to challenge this part of the story!  


     Last night I sent the story about Sonny and Joon (by the way, did I tell you that Sonny's real name is Sung Joon?) to Hanah. She thought that it was hilarious! In reply she sent me a picture of herself in theater makeup. It almost killed me! 
She looked like one side of her face was aging (from stress, as she informed me). There was a deep groove that went from her nose to the side of the chin, and wrinkles on one side of her young forehead. One of her eyes was bulging out amid the red, puffy lids. The hair had white streaks in it.  It was terrible! I was looking at myself! After I had time to calm down and my blood pressure returned to normal, I wrote and told her about the effect that photo had on me and demanded to now make herself up and send me a picture of herself where she would look ten years younger than her own age. I am still waiting for that picture. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


     My son, Sonny, had to go the Museum today. He had some adventures getting lost, but nothing like what I made it out to be!

     Sonny was lost. For the life of him, he couldn't figure out how he could've made that mistake. He remembered that he thoroughly checked the directions to the Museum where his class was meeting to do a project. Now he found himself on the other end of the Golden Gate Park and only hoped that 50 minutes was enough to get to the Museum on time.
     The road in front of him veered to the right. He saw a young man on the grass and a few others who surrounded him. Sonny stopped and peered at the group from a safe distance. He felt tingling in his spine and knew what was coming. Ever since he became 13 years old, he suffered from blackouts. He was always OK afterword, only carrying some unexplained cuts and bruises. The light blinked and became more vivid somehow. 
     Joon was aware that he was Sonny's alternate persona, but he also knew that Sonny had no idea about it. That's why he tried to be extra careful not to injure Sonny in one of his exploits. He looked at the scene in front of him from the corner of his eye to see why he was needed this time. The attackers appeared to be human, but he recognized them as a band of the Khompians, who were always on the look out for some blood sport. Usually, a female led the attack.      Yes, even now a girl grabbed her victim around the neck and ordered him to hand over all his money. The guy who was attacked surprised her by shoving his elbow in her ribs and throwing her off of him. He fell on the grass, though, and Joon could see the eyes of the girl's companions glow red and their yellow fangs bare in an anticipation of a good fight. The young man didn't stand a chance against them. 
     In less time than it took for an average person to blink, Joon was by the side of a fallen man. The Khompians roared, but they realized that they were no match for him. They turned their backs to flee, but Joon knocked them out one by one. The man that he saved already called the police. 
     Sonny came to and opened his eyes. He saw people being apprehended by the police. In fact, a police car with a girl sitting in the back of it was right in front of a bench where he was reclining. As Sonny looked on, a young man in a torn shirt came to the girl's window and quietly but distinctly called her a few unflattering names. She went berserk! Sonny, reproachfully looking at the man, asked him: "Did you really have to do that?" 
     As he hurried on, Sonny kept glancing at his watch. He had just thirty minutes to make it to the Museum on time. Where did the time go? 
     He was passing by a wide field of grass, with couples and moms with children playing or laying on the blankets. A street woman walked from group to group, probably begging for food or money. 
     Joon shook himself. Sonny's tee shirt felt tight in his chest and shoulders. What was going on? He focused on the grassy field and people. The street woman just left one couple, and they slumped on the blanket, obviously unconscious. The figure in rugs stopped by the next group. They also fell over. Harsh blue and green streaks of color ran from their closed eyes to the sides and the tops of their heads. Joon noticed the woman's unusual gait. It looked like her legs were set not side by side like a normal human's, but in front of each other! He caught up with her and, lightning quick, clamped his hands on the woman's neck. No matter how the Lazuli Witch tried, she could not turn to him to suck out his life energy by looking him in the eyes. Joon scanned the area, wondering, how he was going to get rid of the Witch. A hot dog vendor stood on the sidewalk. He nodded to Joon, as if he saw and understood everything that happened, and opened the top of his cart, exposing the large pot of hot dogs in water. Joon dragged the Witch there. He now could see that the hot dog vendor was a member of the Zephram Brotherhood, committed to ridding the world of evil. Joon shoved the Witch's face into the hot dogs' pot. She began to sizzle, shrivel and, finally, disappear. The hot dog vendor said gloomily: "I now have to go and change the cart. These hot dogs are pure poison!" 
     Sonny felt groggy. He got up from the edge of the grass and saw that there were a lot of people sleeping peacefully in the green field. Blue and green haze was dissipating in the air, and Sonny sadly decided that there was too much pollution in the City. 
     He could already see the museum from where he was walking. Just a few more minutes, and he'll be there! Sure, he'll be late, but - not by that much! 
     A loud yowling stopped him in his tracks. A kitten was sitting on a tree's branch, too high to attempt getting down by itself. 
     "Sorry, little fellow, you'll have to wait for some other sucker to help you! I'm too much in a hurry!" 
     But the tingling already told Sonny that his plans might have to wait. 
     Joon watched the kitten for a few minutes now. Cute little ball of fur also looked at him, but it hissed quietly, and when it did, small puffs of smoke drifted from it's pink mouth. No matter, it needed help. Joon had no trouble getting up the tree, but when he was there, he heard some really loud yowling this time! In the tree next to his, a large cat, the size of a puma, was narrowing her eyes at him and preparing to spring. She knocked him and a kitten from their perch, as she leaped. Joon grabbed the kitten in the air, but it sunk it's small fangs in Joon's hand. Joon landed on his feet and spun to face his latest opponent. The mama-cat circled him and, as she snarled, she licked the flames off her maw! It was hard to see her, she kept disappearing in the light. She raised a spiky crest from her spine and would've attacked Joon, if the kitten didn't distract her by meowing piteously. Immediately, she went to it, nuzzling and sniffing it to calm it down. With one last sneer and a snarl at Joon, she led her baby into the bushes. 
     "What is wrong with me?!" - Sonny thought, as he ran toward the Museum. His palm hurt, there was a tiny puncture and a singed spot on it. "I really should see doctor for these blackouts!" 
     Sonny's teacher was already in the middle of giving instructions to the students. 
     "Mr. Toyoda, are you late again? This is the fifth time this semester! If you continue to interrupt your fellow students in their study, you are not going to graduate from my class. Isn't it time that you start to think of others instead of yourself?!" 
     Sonny hung his head in shame.

GREAT FILM! Hachiko - Hachi: A Dog's Tale - full movies in English, come in!

I dare you not to cry!


     The last part of the story is about the switchblade...
     I was again running through a town in California, praying and trying to keep a good attitude. That morning I and another person were dropped off at a truck stop and told to go through that little city and in the evening take bus to the next town over, where we can meet with the rest of the team. It was the first time that I had to spend the whole day somewhere in an unfamiliar place. The cell phones were not invented yet, so it would be hard to get in touch with anyone I know, in case if anything happened.
     It was alright! People were friendly, I had no trouble. At about four in the afternoon, I found myself in the part of the city where there were just a few businesses on the road. I walked for half a mile seeing only the tall shady trees, when, in an empty lot, I saw a trailer. I didn't usually go to trailers. people who live in them rarely buy anything. But there was nothing else there! 
     An old man (he seemed old to my twenty five years old self. For all I know, he could have been in his forties) invited me in. I didn't particularly like the look of him, but, for some reason, I decided to go in. The man didn't want to buy anything. I already said good bye to him, when he told me that he wanted to give me a present and brought out a small rectangular box. On it was a picture of a switchblade knife! The hair on the back of my head rose up, and I began to creep towards the door. He took out the knife. My eyes were bulging out so much from the fright  that I felt the lashes touch my eyebrows. In the moment that he pushed a button to release blade, I think I lost ten years of my life. A comb popped out! It was a comb! I would've been amused, if the look on his face didn't tell me that he enjoyed my fear a little too much. Nevertheless, with the boxed toy in my pocket, I continued the search for some paying customers. Two minutes later there it was: a bar! People there were a rough bunch (bikers, I think), but they loved interacting with me and my product. They bought a lot! My theory is that, when we overcome a personal difficulty or go through a situation that elicits strong emotions in us, the energy around us changes. Whether it's our ancestors or just that charge that surrounds us, we then are able to break through in whatever we are trying to achieve.
     By the way, when I showed my team leader the knife and scared the heck out of him, he gave me a scolding and took the knife away. Later I saw him demonstrate the trick to his superior, also get scolded and lose the toy to him. I wonder, how high up that thing went? 

Monday, September 23, 2013


     A few months after that I was transferred to San Diego. We did a lot of the ecumenical work, but, life being what it is, we still needed to sell roses on the weekends to pay our expenses. I was getting tired of having to do it time after time, and, one weekend, refused to go out. My team leader came back for me a little later and convinced me to try just one place.
     It was a Mexican Restaurant in Chula Vista. I think, I was the first person that they allowed to go around the tables peddling roses. This time, when I came in, there was just one booth occupied by a bunch of men. As I approached them, I didn't hope for much, but they were already tipsy and ready to exercise their manly bravado. 
- "Wait, what? What is this? Are you selling those?" 
     All that I was capable of at that moment was to wave a rose at them. 
- "How much?" The tequila on their breath almost blew me away, but I stood my ground: 
- "How much do you want to spend?" 
That amused them. 
- "How much for everything?" 
I quickly calculated the cost and told them. They had to haggle a little, otherwise there was no sport in it for them, then we agreed on the price. 
- "Shoot, we have to keep these roses somewhere! How much for a bucket?" 
     The bucket also sold (for an exorbitant amount of $ 30), I took my library book out of it and prepared to get out. 
- "Wait a minute, how much for your book?" 
     Why they wanted my book, I would never understand. If it wasn't a library one, I would've sold it to them, though. As it was, I kept the book, got a rose back as a present to me and a tip of $ 20. 
     As I came to the car, my mood was very different than the one before. My team leader napped in the driver's seat. He opened his eyes to see me rapping at the window with a rose. The whole way back home he had trouble keeping his jaw from dropping onto the steering wheel!


As someone said, this dancer was not a talent. She was a genius, complete in herself.


     Have I ever told you about a beer joint, roses, a library book and a switchblade? Well, gather together, children, and listen to these tales of unexpected victories and, perhaps, terror...
     Sometimes, when faced with sudden challenge, I was later able to break through some energy barrier, and bring high results.
     I was often selling stuff to support my church. These are the stories from that period of my life. Once I walked into an Irish bar somewhere in Seal Beach, California. The guys were sitting on their stools, as usual, watching football and talking about... What do guys talk about in these situations? Nothing good, I assure you!
     The barkeep fixed me with an icy stare: "What do you want?" That was not an auspicious beginning, but I cheerfully replied: "My roses need a home!" That got the attention of a few patrons. Most of the time, my first line elicited some laughter, but not here. 
- "Where are you from, girly?" I love Irish accent, don't you? But it didn't look like they liked my, thick then, Russian accent.
- "I'm from Russia."
- "Russia?!"
- "But I'm Jewish."
- "Jewish?!!"
- "Yes, sir, I'm raising funds for my church!"
- "Church? Are you a Moonie?!!!"
     By then, all of the men on the stools turned around and were glaring at me. I heard some swear words and a lot of negative responses to my admission that I, indeed, was a Moonie. No matter how much I tried to turn the conversation into a light banter, it didn't work. 
     They surrounded me and began to scream hateful remarks about my church, Rev. Moon, Russia, Jews and everything else they could blame me for. To tell the truth, I also got really hot under the collar. I get that way sometimes, and then there is no stopping me. 
     After about five-ten minutes of this, I felt that it would be prudent to make my way to the door. The mob followed me out, and a barkeep shouted at my back: "And don't ever come back!" I drew my whole being up, all 4 feet 11 inches of me, and yelled back: "Yes, I will!" I admit, it was not the wittiest as the responses go, but something in the spiritual energy around me moved then, and in thirty minutes more I sold out all of the roses! 
To be continued...


"My religion consists of a humble admiration of a illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind"

Albert Einstein.


     It looks like the tensions eased over Dr. Park's and my disagreements. I should be happy. I should start smiling at him and listen to his nonsense and nod again, right? 
     Taka did a good job putting Park in his place. I can't help thinking, though, that the peace is not going to hold. Can you change a 73 year old Korean bully? The one that already began to talk behind your back and showed complete disrespect to you n front on others? I don't think so. I will not sit at the table with him or trust him anytime soon. 
Another thing is, nowhere did Taka say that he will not stand for Park harassing me. He never let the troll understand that he is on my side. It was all just business talk. It worked: Park realized that it's to his advantage to keep a civil relationship. But I am alone in my humiliation, and there is no way to communicate it to Taka. After all, he is a hero.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


     Although I thought that Taka could've taken a stronger approach, ,I generally, liked what I was hearing. Park, as usual, didn't understand anything at first, because he didn't listen to Taka, also, as usual. We had to repeat things a few times, with me "translating," time to time, Taka's difficult to understand  English. Basically, he told them and I supported him that, they are welcome to stay paying the same rent if I can be still Roberta's caretaker. Otherwise we would get bankrupt, for sure. supporting two more adults.Roberta said that she wanted to be with her husband and with me. Park had no other choice than to say that they both wanted that and that he was just too distraught when he gave me hard time. Right! Just distraught! Smeared my reputation and humiliated me because he was momentarily upset! 
     I avoided looking at him, but also said that I should've had more patience. It's true, I should've. They assured us that they had no other plans than to live at our house. Hurrah for peace among nations!


     My husband... Over the last twenty five years we had more differences than things in common. I don't know, how we stayed together, certainly not because of my abilities. With time, it became easier to tolerate each other's opinions and behavior. Now it seems, we, at least, agree on most things. Like Dr. Park.
     Actually, after I insisted that Taka would get involved in that situation, he tried to approach it from a, safe in his eyes, practical point of view. Yesterday morning I overheard him talk to Park in the kitchen. Park, as usually, when talking with Taka, was simpering and looked like he was wagging his tail. Taka asked him, what his and Roberta's plans were about their place of residence. He and Park made an appointment for all of us to get together and talk today. 
     In the afternoon today the peace talks began. Taka told Roberta and Park that, although he always thought that as husband and wife they should be together, it's been six months since Park came to stay with us as Roberta's visitor. Now, did they have any plans to find their own place? We need to know it because, if they do, we need to insulate the house for the winter. 
     "What? Is that the only reason why he started this?" - that was my frustrated thought.
     He wanted to convey also that, if they wanted to change to another caretaker instead of me, he would have to increase their rent to $ 685.00, since the $ 300 that Roberta pays now for both of them, including rent, food, gas, electricity and Internet. 
To be Continued

Saturday, September 21, 2013

HAPPY MACHINE, UNHAPPY DINA - repost from a couple of years ago.

     Are you happy? Are you healthy? I didn't feel either of those things. For a few weeks my teeth are clamped tight, even when I'm trying to sleep. 
     Today was a Happy Health Day in my church. I made an appointment for Roberta and brought her there. In a small room there were a few Japanese ladies from our congregation. They put three mattresses on the floor, and on them laid the happy recipients of the treatment. One of them was even snoring!
     The machine is called the Happy Health machine. It's based on a principle of positive and negative charges interacting in our bodies. Because we have iron in our blood, sometimes, the positively or negatively charged, iron enriched blood platelets clamp together and prevent the healthy circulation. By using the Happy machine and with the knowledge of the energy points of the body one can promote healing, or so I was told
20090805-Utamaro dojouji.gif (418×569)     Anyway, Roberta, with our help, lowered herself onto one of the mattresses. The ladies began to work on her, and I dived into my book. Time to time, I would raise my head and look at what they were doing or answer a question. It was very peaceful. The ladies spoke in Japanese - like water running over the pebbles. My book was very interesting, so I was surprised to see Roberta already being helped from the mattress. She was done. One of the ladies came up to me from behind, massaged my shoulders and made some comment in her own language, which elicited a lot of Japanese sounds of either astonishment or concern. That made me feel a little worried, but the lady behind me put a small version of the Happy machine to the top of my back, and I felt all relaxed and even sleepy. She continued to work on me for a while, as another lady knelt in front of me and started to do the same thing to my feet. Some of their ministrations hurt, but not too badly. 
1302389211_caturday1.gif (500×375)     Since I was not prepared to be treated, I expected the ladies to leave me alone any time now. I didn't make an appointment for myself, after all! They stopped and told me that I needed to lie down for fifteen minutes. That made sense, I felt incredibly relaxed. Of course, it was one thing to agree to lie down on a mattress on the floor and another - to get my large, stiff, un-exercised-in-a-century self down to that level! It was an air-mattress. As I plopped on it, it retaliated by bouncing under me and almost throwing me off. I kept my eyes tightly shut from the embarrassment of it all. Once I was down, I realized that they were going to use the large machine on me now. In utter misery, I looked on as they began waving a flat pad with studs on it in front of me. It had to go under my dress and under my back! The mattress was not done with me yet. I had to sit up to let them put the pad in, but the mattress bent under me, making me flop up and down, my legs sticking in the air in a decidedly undignified manner. I solved the problem by simply rolling to the side, while they stuck the blasted pad under me. 
tumblr_meio3sxLWO1rmd2bno3_250.gif (245×180)     Why did I let them continue? I could've made any excuse and refused to be treated. How would I ever look them in the face every Sunday, after they saw me flopping around like a beached whale? But the ladies were so cute and nice, they were inescapable! One of them massaged my belly (it seems to be a big thing with the Japanese). I felt very uncomfortable and, at the same time, very sleepy. 
resize (320×240)     The final test was to get up from the floor. I managed to do so without any help, but, I think, I left what remained of my dignity on that mattress!

Friday, September 20, 2013

103. C.S. LEWIS: To love at all

103. C.S. LEWIS: To love at all


it all depends upon
the view we have on life:
does light fight dark or makes
tolerable the night?

Copyright Dina Toyoda


the velvet night is
luring me outside.
like a bird that sees
a snare yet goes there,
i know the danger
but still open my
door. the night comes in.

Copyright Dina Toyoda

Thursday, September 19, 2013


     Whenever I told Taka that Dr. Park is out of control, he would dismiss me with a giggle. However, today when I explained that the troll can claim that our house is his simply because he gets mail here, Taka became dead serious. We have a plan now, and I feel better. I'll go to the post office with the proof that this is our house and request that they stop delivering the troll's mail here. It might seem too extreme, but we don't want to lose our home, because the troll took advantage of our hospitality. I just pray that, this will be the end of the whole sorry episode. 
Today, Dr. Park bought a car. He, probably, saved enough money by not buying any food for all these months. In one Russian book I read a joke: "The Communist party has a left wing and a right wing, I hope it will just take off and flies away!" This is what I thought about Dr. Park: "Now he's got a car, I hope, he'll just take off and go away!" 

PLACIDO DOMINGO placido domingo una furtiva lagrima.wmv

I am so very, very sad about the whole Dr. Park situation. Only music and a voice like this can lift the heaviness from my heart, and if the sight of Placido Domingo as a country lad destructs you, simply close your eyes and - fly away!


     I decided to start doing everything for Roberta again. Even if the troll gives her a meal or does something that is my duty to do, I will do the same. The main thing is that I offer my service. It's very painful for me to live like that. My teeth are constantly clenched! When I leave the house, I think of all the things that the troll could be doing to undermine me and my family. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


And so it continues... 
     Today I told a lady, friend of mine, about the problem with the troll Park. Before that I told Roberta that, the moment that I find out about him smearing my reputation and messing up my life will be the moment when he'll have to leave my house. I meant it. It seems that he already tried to call my pastor and today he went somewhere without telling Roberta, where he was going. He is on the war path. So am I. My friend informed me that, even though it is my house, if someone gets mail here, they can establish their residency here. To get the troll out I'll have to document everything that he said or did wrong, and tell him three days in advance that he has to go. If he doesn't leave, I'll have to go to court with him to evict him. 
     The mystery aspect of this whole story is Roberta. He will, for sure, try to say that I didn't work for her as much as I should. Never mind that he was elbowing me out of the way. But will she stand up for me? It depends on her, whether she wants me to still be her caretaker or not. They are welcome to change me. Then they'll have to find an apartment to live, the car to get there and to the appointments, etc. So far, she didn't have the backbone to go against the troll. I don't blame her. Her backbone is fractured! But I will not stand for being humiliated again, like in the doctor's office. 
     The question remains: will the troll be in control of the situation or will I? In any case, he is bound to make a lot of trouble for me! And my blood pressure is already though the roof! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


     I've been trying to be more conscientious about checking Roberta's blood pressure. Every 4-5 hours I brave going to her room to do it. The troll Park sulks like a little girl when I come. Just now I've been there. He and Roberta began watching America's Got Talent and I interrupted. Of course, they can pause the TV or even record the program. I showed the troll Park how to do it. As I checked the blood pressure and talked to Roberta, the troll was walking around the room, self-importantly toting his IPad and listening to the contestants on the show. He threw me a few dirty looks, but didn't say anything. When Roberta wanted to say something, he shouted: "Hey!" at her and pointed at the TV screen. Roberta hung her head. I can't imagine being subjected to this kind of rudeness after such a long life. Behind the troll's back, I pretended to sing opera, like the guys on TV, to make Roberta smile. I also made a face at the troll and a couple of gestures. Not the rude ones, I promise.

CAT VIDEO Cat gets caught barking


     In the midst of all the drama and anxiety about the troll Park (it began to chafe on me to call him Dr. I don't even think that he is really a Dr.) and Roberta's injury, yesterday I took Sonny to get his Driver's License. Understandably, he was very nervous. Not only is it an exam, but it's an exam with the teacher sitting right next to you and checking off your every mistake! I don't recollect if I told you, but it took me, personally, 7 times to take that test! Yes, 7! My wise, in most things, husband, told me to go and try for it every day. Well, if the people at DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) see you there every day, they know that you have not been practicing driving too much. After I, finally, gave up on the test and started to drive everywhere (I had to take care of my children, parents and some other people), I got enough practice and confidence to ace the Driving test.
     Sonny has been driving with me every day. He became quite good. I took him to the DMV yesterday, saw him through the necessary lines and procedures and waited. In no time at all he was sitting at my shoulder, - a big grin on his face! I also squealed a little from the joy for Sonny. Then he gave me the keys to the car and said that I should drive home because he was too nervous still!

Monday, September 16, 2013


     Doctor called:
- "Is this Roberta?" 
- "No, this is her caretaker."
- "Can I talk to Roberta, please?"
     Well, at least he said, please. I went to Roberta's room and handed her the phone, even though the troll Park extended his hand to take it. In a few minutes, he came out of the room and said: "She.. she wants to talk to you!" I went in. Roberta was sitting on the bed. She told me that the doctor thought that she has a compound fracture of the spine. Of course, she didn't think to ask if it could get better, and what her prognosis would be. Usually it's my job, but now her doctor doesn't want to talk to me. 
     I asked if she had a chance to  ask for an authorization to see an orthopedic surgeon. Nope. She began saying that she didn't want to leave my house. The troll Park doesn't have anything to offer her. No money, no car, no apartment. He wants to take her to L.A. to his sister to take care of her. The sister doesn't even speak English. The two of them are going to eat Roberta alive. She wanted to stay with me. At least, that's what she told me. I told her that, I was happy that she felt that way, but she had to talk to her doctor and set things right. I can't go there and have his office think that I am a crooked caretaker. I also told her that I don't want the troll Park cooking or cleaning for us. He can do it for the two of them until he leaves. She assured me that she will talk to the doctor and Park.
     I started to make curry. The troll Park came out again, and I used that opportunity to tell him that he doesn't need to cook or clean for us anymore. Before I could continue to say that he can do it for Roberta and himself, he started to yell that he just wanted to feed her now. I calmly asked him to speak politely. No surprise there: he didn't. At the end, I said with sarcasm: "Bye, bye!" I am not perfect, you see. Troll Park began to yell: "Harassment!" He was screaming at me for no reason, and I was the one accused of harassment!
     It turned out that we didn't have enough curry paste. I told Sonny to meet me in the car to go buy curry. As I was sitting in the car, I heard the troll Park talking on the phone in their bathroom. The fact that he didn't want Roberta to hear him, made me suspect that he was up to something slimy. I thought that I heard him say in English: "Please, we need it right away!" As I went driving, I kept thinking: what if he called some agency and lied to them about me? What if I come home and the police will be there? What if they believe the "poor old man" and arrest me? That was the longest shopping trip that I ever took! Fortunately, everything was fine when we came back. Imagine if it wasn't! Imagine if the police took me in front of Sonny! I want the troll out of the house. He will find how to spoil my life, but, at least, I won'r have to be nervous every minute of my life!


     I am not the greatest person. I have short temper and my housekeeping can improve significantly. I know those things about me. But I am generous and never actually lose my temper with Roberta. I did my best all these months, a year, to take care of her to the best of my abilities. Could she have a better care giver? Yes, if there was one when she needed them. They say, "no good deed goes unpunished". I got some of that punishment today.
     I made an appointment for Roberta to go see her Family doctor. Dr. Park came with us. Before the doctor came to the room, Dr. Park said that he was going to the bathroom. Both, he and doctor didn't come in for a long time. When the doctor was there and  asked Roberta a question, but she didn't know the answer, I tried to tell him. The doctor interrupted me immediately: "Excuse me, I'm talking to her now!" I was more surprised than anything. Roberta kept on telling him some things right and some things - wrong. He made me understand that he will not listen to me. I understood. Dr. Park talked to him before the appointment! That snaky troll told the doctor, probably, that they didn't want or like me as Roberta's caretaker anymore. The doctor didn't bother to check his facts. He doesn't know that they stay IN MY HOUSE, with Roberta paying just $300 per month for room, electricity and both of their food. Dr. Park himself doesn't pay a thing. He cooks, that's true, but before he came, I cooked and I didn't ask him to do anything. He, basically, told lies on me, and now my job is in jeopardy and people think I am a crooked caretaker! 
     If I thought that Roberta doesn't want me to work for her anymore, I would behave differently. First of all, she tells me that she "LOVES ME SO MUCH!". Second, she tells me that she doesn't want to change caregivers or move somewhere with Dr. Park. Third, they have no money or possibility to move somewhere else. No car either. What's he thinking? 
     He was so rude today! When I tried to get in their room to check Roberta's blood pressure, he threw at me: "What do you want?" I want him out of this house, that's what I want!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

CAT VIDEO いろいろな小さ過ぎる箱とねこ。-Many too small boxes and Maru.-

EDIT PIAF - Padam Padam


     I'm going to church today. It's not in my nature to sit in meetings for an hour or more. I'll do it because today there will be a District Counsel meeting as well. What will they tell us? The same people are in power for at least 20 years. They will not want to change anything. If they do, I'll be pleasantly surprised. Dr. Park, who himself whines and complains about the church and doesn't do any of the things that the UC member should do, accused me of not being a "Unification Church member". I'm, probably, not. I am curious, though, to save what's good in this movement. If we step away from the Moon family, stop supporting their lifestyle and activities, we can be useful to the world. By the way, I was financially supporting this church and increasing it's membership when Dr. Park was just looking out for himself, as he usually does. Without people like me there would be no church. Too bad for me, it seems.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

CAT VIDEO Impudent cat (Наглый кот)

CAT VIDEO kitten vs a scary thing (котенок против страшной неведомой хрени)


     Have I ever told you about the dinner and a show in a Vietnamese restaurant?
The kids were about 4-5 years old. They are a year and a half apart, so I can just say that. My husband discovered Vietnamese soup Pho, and both of us fell in love with it. It's a big bowl of soup, which is a meal in itself. It's made by boiling, I believe, beef shanks for a long time and then adding to it some gooey tendon, tripe (not the favorite of mine), cilantro, onions and thinly sliced beef or beef balls. or seafood. The beef is not cooked; it cooks when introduced into the hot broth. Pho is served with some bean sprouts, jalapenos and lemon or lime wedges. Mmmm!
     We found one of the Vietnamese restaurants nearby, that had reasonable prices and also offered an extensive menu of Chinese food. Sonny was still in the stage when he either fell asleep in the car before we got to a restaurant and then refused to wake up and slept with his head on the table or my shoulder (great), or was just really messy. In any case, feeding him at an eating establishment presented a problem. Usually, by the time we left the place, the waiters looked desperately at the floor under our table, strewn with most of Sonny's dinner.
     The place that we found was a family restaurant, so they were used to children. This one time, we went there thinking to get soup for us and Chinese for the kids. Taka, though, got tempted by an offer of a combo. We could get a lot of food for a little more money than we were going to spend. I said: "I don't have that much money." Hanah piped in: "I have money!" We ignored her. How much money could she have? Taka and I went back and forward, he - trying to convince me to get a combo and I - telling him that I didn't have enough money. I became aware that every minute or two Hanah would interject: "But I have money!" People at the neighboring tables began to notice our lively discussion and pay close attention to it. "But I do have the money!" Hanah took out a tiny wallet from her pocket. It was a little bigger than an inch in diameter. To the rapt attention of our audience and our own patronizing eyes, she pulled a $20 bill out of it! My jaw almost hit the table. She took out another $20 and another! The bills were crumpled to fit into that ridiculous wallet, so it took Hanah a long time to unfold them and present to her astonished public. We couldn't even find words to ask her where she got her treasure. It turned out, she picked up the grocery money for the next week that I left on the dresser. Needless to say, we did get a large meal that evening. And the restaurant patrons got a show.


     A doctor at the ER didn't find anything wrong with Roberta. Of course! Last time, when they didn't find anything wrong with her, she turned out to have a hairline fracture of the spine. Please, God, let the doctor be right, at least this once! 
     I don't know, what it will be like with Dr. Park. We came to a breaking point last night. Why can't I be more patient? I should punch myself in my big mouth!


     I don't know where to begin. The trouble with Dr. Park has been brewing for a few days now. It seemed OK today. We had an easy day. In the early evening, at about 7 o'clock, I called Dr. Park because Goldie came to the back porch. While he was putting food out for her, Roberta came to the living room. She was going to sit in an armchair. I was stuck behind the little table that I use for my laptop and some minutia. I saw her bend over to get Chicky out of the chair, heard her say: "Chicken Bone!" and before I blinked, she was on the carpet. We lifted her up to the chair, and she seemed to be alright. I asked her many times, how she felt. We laughed and joked for a while. The phone rang. It was Taka's sister from Japan. Every time she calls, it means that someone died. My heart slowed. She said in her halting English that this time it was Taka's uncle who passed away. He was 98 years old! I was sorry to hear that, but at least it weren't Taka's father or his sister's father-in-law. Both of them are in their seventies and in really bad health. Taka came home, I was serving him dinner, when Roberta asked Dr. Park to help her get from the chair to her room. And then I saw that she could hardly walk! The pain was so bad that she was sagging in her husband's arms from not being able to put any weight on her legs. I could not believe it. Dr. Park wanted to wait and go to the Emergency Room in the morning, but she and I were convinced that, if something went wrong at night, we wouldn't be able to deal with it here in the house.
     The ambulance came and took her. I ran to get dressed. When I came out, Dr. Park was washing dishes. I asked him if he was coming with me. He, in a very irritated manner, told me to wait a minute. I said: "A minute has passed!" He took great offense to that, but didn't say anything because Taka was sitting right there. When we got to the hospital, though, he left the car quickly and without waiting for me made his way to the ER. In Roberta's room he proceeded to almost shout at me. I wanted to wait until we could find out the results of the tests that Roberta underwent and talk to doctor. Dr. Park wanted to just go home. When I refused, his voice became louder. Everything that happened, I guess, was about him. When I tried to get him to quiet down, he became belligerent. He was out of control.You can find out what a person is like by watching them at the times when they are unpleasantly excited. He was pointing his stubby finger at me and a couple of times he looked ready to attack me physically. In other words, he is a lout. I wish, I could at that time calm down and say that I was sorry for wronging him. I could not do it. I told him, if he hits me, he'll find himself on his butt on the floor. He wanted me to leave and go home (although a minute ago HE wanted to go home), but I said, I was Roberta's caregiver and I had to know, what was going on with her. "I can't stand this!" - he cried. I made a "good bye" gesture with my hand. Unfortunately, in Korea it means something bad. You should've seen him! It looked as if he was bouncing off the walls in his righteous anger. He shouted at me a few times never to do it. I answered that I didn't mean anything that bad (I don't really know, how bad) but I didn't care, because he needed to forget about himself and let Roberta rest.
     In other words, it was a shameful scene. Finally,  I forced myself to calm down and tried to read or talk to Roberta. Dr. Park ran around, huffed and puffed and settled to wait on a chair. Time to time he still told me to leave, because he was uncomfortable, or accused me of being a bad caregiver and a bad Unification Church member and that he was going to unmask me in front of everyone. I stuck to my guns and stayed there.