Bigfoot or Brawny? Which the rarer sighting?

Bigfoot and paper towels got something in common.

They exist.

But I expect to see one sooner than the other.

Charmin toilet paper and Brawny paper towels do exist. In abundance.

Trees from which the products are sourced haven’t disappeared. They’re plentiful.

Ditto paper processing and manufacturing plants. Ditto delivery systems and trucks (bless these truckers in trying times!).

The ONE reason the ONLY reason shelves are ghost towns is:


In their utter greed. Their reprehensible selfishness. Their total disregard for or AWARENESS of others.

I’ve not seen even one roll of TP or paper towels in any of the dozen stores I’ve visited, some on the daily, in the past two weeks — and growing.

I’ve now concluded that I won’t. No time soon, probably months.

I stand a better chance of spotting Bigfoot in the Cascades of  the Northwest … Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands …the kraken in Norwegian waters …

… than I have of finding just one roll of TP or paper towels on ANY shelf ANYWHERE in massive PHOENIX: population: 5+ million!

This ain’t rinky-dink-middle-of-nowhere USA.

Expecting to see no paper products for months, I’ve prepared, taken inventory of my supplies.

(1) Two rolls of paper towels.

These I won’t touch unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY — when no substitute will do, i.e., cleaning windows and mirrors.

“Unfortunately” for me in these times, I’m quite the clean freak! Neat freak. My place is pretty spotless all the time so a moratorium on paper towels presents a challenge.

However, even before this  absurd crisis, I was strongly mindful about using resources conservatively — i.e., reusing paper towels repeatedly until reusability was exhausted.

To preserve this precious commodity that is a single sheet of paper towel, I’ll be using a cheap thin flimsy washable cleaning cloth from China — a cruel joke!  Poor substitute for paper towels indeed but it’s all the store had, thank you motherf-ing hoarders.

(2) Two packages of toilet paper.

Will not touch unless ABSOLUTELY necessary, if you get my drift. Otherwise, another washable Chinese cloth to catch pee drips suffices.

Truth is:

Human Greed does not go away.

Hoarding, a consciousness of ME ME ME AND ONLY ME AND NO ONE ELSE BUT ME … here to stay.

Depriving others for one’s selfish gains … injustices … wrongful actions that cause hurt, harm, suffering and lack for others  … these and worse are ever present.

(p.s. unsurprisingly, these behaviors have sent gun and ammo sales soaring.)

So as I adapt to “What Is: According to the People’s Rules Book that I Did Not Write, Co-Author or Edit” I pen with unabashed conviction:

I shall be sighting Bigfoot before a bundle of paper towels.




NEW MYTH 2020:




Virus Vote: Verizon: Yay. Cox: Nay.

We’re all gettin’ ’em.

Emails from businesses, service providers, eateries, every email list you’re on regarding changes in policies, procedures, operating hours, during this pandemic.

I wanna give a shout-out to Verizon. Yeah, that telecommunications behemoth with its indelible “Can You Hear Me Now?”

Yes I can!

My text alert buzzed a few days ago. I very rarely receive texts — and most are telling me some bill is due — so I didn’t open it with anticipation.

‘Twas a surprise awright:

“We have added 15GB of data to your plan at NO CHARGE.”


“For use from March 25-April 30.” A deadline, awrighty, I’ll take that!

“You can even use your phone as a mobile hotspot.” No need but nice to know.

See, I’m on Verizon’s cheapest bare-bones plan — 2GB a month. Piddly — even laughable — amount. Millennials and snowflakes would roll their eyes.

Yes, I’d tell ’em, I do live on data crumbs! ‘Cause my phone is a separate entity NOT welded to my body!

Anywho. This data gift comes at a great time! With the gym closed — and Phoenix weather still pleasant (though not for very much longer ) — I’m out walking every day, often listening to the radio on the phone. Bumps up my data use big-time.

Now I needn’t add overage fees to my stacked plate of worries!

Ultimately it’s not about the data bonus — still very nice! It’s about the goodwill: the heart of customer service.

And this gesture I shall remember should I re-evaluate my carrier down the road.

I Can Hear You — And Don’t Like What You’re Saying


Cox Communications on the other hand … too that telecommunications giant and leading Internet provider in my region.

My monthly bill just abruptly shot up from $60 to $90 — a 50% increase. No forewarning, no announcement, no knowledge and certainly no consent from me.


I’ll spare you the grisly telephone scenes … the sum hour on hold … shoddy “customer service” … Cox dropping the ball. We don’t need the stress.

In these troubled times, EVERY local service provider is recognizing tough times and stepping up with pretty remarkable and generous offers to ease the burdens on customers.

Everybody except Cox, to my experience.

Not only did they jack up my Internet costs 50% with no warning or *any* change in service whatsoever!, they played hard hard hardball in negotiating a new rate.

To be noted: I’ve been a model customer this past year. Not that they care, reward that or incentivize my continued business in any way. They don’t.

After grueling conversations, my increase is now “only” 15% instead of 50%.

Insert me on my knees in classic: “We’re not worthy. We’re worthy” from “Wayne’s World.”

Is it about the money?

It is, yes, in part.

Everyone’s finances are getting hit. Most of us are cutting back, cutting out and operating in survival mode.

Innumerable businesses and service provides are extending discounts, forgivenesses of late fees, etc. etc. etc. to ease burdens.

Cox is doing the opposite.

It’s raising my rate, regardless. Giving no incentive to continue giving them my business or loyalty.

It is partly about the money, the increased stress imposed during incredibly stressful times.

And it’s about the goodwill — or lack thereof.

Just as I shall remember Verizon for its generous gesture in a crisis, too shall Cox be remembered for being, really, cold-hearted dickheads.

(Were my Stressors Plate not already overloaded, I’d have dumped ’em. Just don’t have wherewithal for demanding research into Cox competitors, technology and equipment changes.)

So yes, Verizon, I can hear you now! MERCI.

Cox, I can year you too. Cold-hearted Careless Meanie.

Patience wearing thin like these Chinese cloths

The banjo strings are tightening.

I’ve been supremely patient and adaptive since this whole coronavirus thing erupted.

(After abundant rigorous reading and research, I’ve arrived at my own conclusions — but no postings on that.)

I’ve also, to my credit, taken the higher road — or at minimum the right road — at every step.

I’ve participated NOT AT ALL in greed and hoarding. To me, they are revolting, repulsive and make me ashamed to be part of the human race.

I’ve mindfully been present in all public transactions — momentary though they be. Smiling at another during a walk. Social distancing, particularly for the comfort of others. Striking up (socially-distanced) conversations with strangers.

In rotten times, I become nicer, kinder. My better self emerges because it can.

Meaning: In normal conditions, I become invisible, insignificant, irrelevant — rendered so in a gluttonous Western society of ME ME ME ONLY ME ALWAYS ME NO ONE BUT ME. I’m the proverbial tiny goldfish in a sea of sharks and they are vicious!

So! Acts of kindness, expressions of acknowledgement, appreciation and gratitude — these are at my forefront and heaped particularly upon every market cashier.

Their jobs are SHIT now …. made so by SHIT people. I’ve worked retail. I know its hells in normal times. My heart truly goes out to employees on the public front lines during these shambles.

So yesterday I walked to the nearest (large-chain) market as I’ve done nearly every day for the past week.

I was in search of — rather hope for — one roll of paper towels. That’s it.

ONE. Not 100. Not 1,000. Not 1 million to sell at 10,000% markup on eBay. ONE.

It was the exact same scene that it’s been for nearly 2 weeks there and everywhere. Shelves stripped of toilet paper, paper towels. As usual.

I left empty-handed as usual.

On my way out, I chatted with the clerk. Of late, this is my ONLY interaction with another human being. Not exaggerating.

And I uncharacteristically vented.

About the absence of paper products. Not seeing TP, tissues, paper towels for nearly 2 weeks everywhere I go. Of shelves stripped bare.

“Not mad at you!” I assured the young clerk, who remained friendly, apologetic patient. “It’s everywhere. I’m just so TIRED of this. I’m venting. I’m just venting.”

He understood.

Fact is, there’s no SHORTAGE of paper products. Manufacturing is still happening — big time!

It’s people’s GREED the unending stream of GREED and HOARDING that’s creating this.

It’s been about 2 weeks since this whole thing erupted. You’d THINK that all the hoarders and “greeders” would’ve overstuffed themselves, overfilled their plates by now — resulting in products on shelves again.



My patience is wearing thin.

My graciousness is being strained — by this whole ShitShow.

By people being TOTAL DICKS.

There’s NO REASON FOR IT. Buy your roll of paper towels or TP or Kleenex. BUY WHAT YOU NEED AND LEAVE SOME FOR OTHERS! DICKHEADS!

I’m done.

Not a single roll of paper towels to be had.

I left with the sole unsuitable substitute for paper towels in the store. Cheap reusable cloths from China (ugh) … flimsy and thin … like my patience is becoming:


What a roll of paper towel looks like amid human Greed. Recorded March 27 2020.

Many people are truly suffering — and worse — now.

My problems don’t amount to a hill of beans.

Yet ALL of us are experiencing stress, hardships, frustrations and, for me, a heightened unmitigated disgust with people’s bad behaviors — which are making things WORSE and adding gasoline to a fire that none of us started or invited.

In these times, there’s the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

I’ve reported on the Good in prior posts. Today I report on the Ugly.

I’m exhausted.

End of today’s post.








Meeting My Maker? Nah. My Manna.

Do you remember that very special birthday present you got as a child?

One that was a real surprise, not one you nagged for week after week. Coulda been anything … teddy bear … an article of clothing … a train set … a sketchpad with colored pencils … a bracelet … a rock ‘n’ roll album … pair of Keds … endless are the possibilities.

As a share, for me it was my first diary, hardbound in presumably faux brown leather, with “Diary” in cursive gold print.

Best of all, it had a little lock with a little key! A key that I assure you never got lost! Even as a child, I was extraordinarily meticulous and organized. It’s the German in me.

The diary was a total surprise. I was at the perfect age for one too (early adolescence). Even if the tag read “from mom and dad,” my mother, I’m certain, was behind it. We had a truly horrible traumatizing relationship indeed. Yet I must give credit where it is due. She had a real knack with gifts. Her gift was the ability to give spot-on thoughtful gifts.

I digress. Back to the question. Do you remember that surprising birthday present?

That’s what I experienced — albeit in muted fashion — yesterday.

I saw … for the first time … in 1-1/2 weeks … in any of some 10 stores I’ve been frequenting, some daily …  {drum roll} …

YES!! YESSSS! YESSSS! {insert Meg Ryan’s infamous orgasmic scene from “When Harry Met Sally}


Here, I’ll show you the (not-award-winning) snapshot so’s you can see for yourself the sight that stopped me dead in my tracks:


Boxes of Tissues. Witnessed for First Time in 10 Days. Recorded: March 26, 2020.

That, my friends, is: tissue.

Boxes of tissues!

Not just one brand but several brands and price ranges to pick from!

As you can see, the shelves were fairly stripped bare already, no argument there. Still. There were SOME! Blog-worthy!

Meanwhile, for full disclosure, the adjoining toilet paper shelves remain as barren as I’ve seen them also for the past 10 days (and growing).


Toilet Paper Used to Reside Here. It’s Since Been Relocated By the Human Hands of Greed. Recorded March 26, 2020.

I saw boxes of tissues!!! You’d think I’d spotted Yeti!

I studied those tags, price per unit, etc.etc. etc.  in a manner unprecedented for (1) one box of tissue and (2) an inherently careful comparison shopper.

Sorta like buying an iPhone! I wouldn’t waltz in and grab the first one that catches my eye. I research. Study. Break down. Discern. Decipher. Calculate. Meticulous Thinking German me.

I chose wisely. I chose well.

And — hear me, world — I chose one box. O-N-E.

1. 1. 1 1 1 1 1 1. ONLY ONE.

I could have taken 2 boxes — the store’s posted limit.


If more’s needed down the road, I’ll take my chance, roll the dice.

My rage at the greed, hoarding, blatant unfettered SELFISHNESS could set the universe ablaze. So I won’t venture there. Suffice it to say that reasons why I hate people are on full 24/7 display.

I walked the half-mile home last night with precisely two items in the bag: a container of ice cream (mistake) and one box of tissue.

I’ll be honest. I wondered what might happen if someone knew I was carrying … and by carrying, I do mean tissues, not heroin.

Hopefully you’ve seen the pix and vids of what people are doing to one another for coveted paper products … the assaults … arguments … fights … glass from a broken bottle in a store held against customers … so’s I don’t hafta explain this mad, mad, mad, mad world.

I arrived home safely. Opened that tissue box with indeed the care and attention I give a gift received.

Pulled a single sheet, whoooooosh! Two came out. I pushed the second sheet back in. Set the box in a place of prominence so I may enjoy its presence.

My single box holds 80 tissues. Each sheet I shall use over and over and over in thrift and mindfulness. I know, so know how to survive in lack and hardship.

I shall say: It is a true pleasure, this single box of tissues.

For what you don’t know in this story — and now shall — is that it’s now high-pollen season here in Phoenix / southern Arizona.

And though I’m not typically allergies-prone, the stuff — from pollens to pollution — in this desert metro sprawl are murderous.

I make due with little to nothing. That’s my nature (survive). My childhood damage. So using rough ‘n’ rugged paper towels as I’ve been doing for blazing allergy symptoms is no biggie.

But a TISSUE on a nose turned raw in this gawd-awful pollens-polluted Phoenix! … what luxury! Soooo soft! It’s manna, man! It. Is. Manna!

Meet My Manna in a Box:


There Is No Heaven. But There Is Manna in My Studio. Recorded March 27, 2020

Then, for a giggle, meet my other Manna in a Box … manna that nobody’s hoarding, stealing, price-gouging, selling on eBay for the price of a monthly mortgage. Give thanks to our blessings where we have them:


Merlot is Manna Too











Thorny predicament yields treats for two

There’s a beautiful and restful riparian preserve in my area.

And it was packed yesterday.

Not surprising in the new state of affairs.

Additionally, the pandemic is intersecting with the finest weather Phoenix offers in the year — day temps around 73 F (23 C). Pandemic or not, now’s when residents of desert southern Arizona flock outdoors.

To remain positive, I’ll refrain from comment on my observations and state them simply:

Many people showed no respect toward others by social distancing;

Wide paths felt ironically cramped;

Achieving a sense of solitude and healing in the great wide outdoors is rather challenging.

Hence I ventured far afield — no pun intended — to escape cramping crowds. This fortunately landed me in delightful discovery!

Along the preserve perimeter is a stretch of ranch-style houses — eh. With big backyards — nice. In some yards: horses!


Two horses in one yard.

Initially I tried to connect with a strikingly handsome tall brown horse. S/he was disinterested. Continued to pace back & forth back & forth along a stretch of fence. I acquiesced to the horse’s will — no choice really!

Looked toward the second horse. White. Shorter and stockier than the other. Wearing a coat of dirt — evidence of mud baths that protect against annoying flies and such.

He stood smack against a chain-link fence chomping away at a tree.

Botanically it may be a bush — but its height suggested tree so I’ll go with that. A quite thorny tree, I discovered as I sought to wade through toward fence and horse. Effort aborted.

Whatever that tree with hefty thick thorns is, it’d certainly make a deterrent to nefarious characters at a residence!

White Horse (I’ll call him) had already done an exemplary job stripping branches within his reach of their bright soft ferny greenery!

Still he kept on poking, nudging, stretching, reaching for morsels.

What opportunity!

I tore off — carefully I might add! — pieces of brush. Took a spot along the fence some 50 feet away from dangerous thorny tree. And waved them.

Suddenly White Horse who minutes prior was paying my presence no heed had a change of mind.

He lumbered over. Houston, we’ve made contact!

He took hold of that offer of brush I held firmly in hand. And he pulled.

I mean puullllled. Hard. Really hard. Even alarmingly hard — for me who hasn’t been around horses much — or nearly enough — since childhood.

What an awesome experience!! The power of a horse!

Suddenly equine eyes were riveted on me!

Time and time again I clambered to dangerous thorny tree for treats delivered to a horse waiting with unabashed anticipation.

To illustrate my human brain, once I even did my best to blunt thorns before feeding.

Totally unnecessary! Waste of time too.

The dude’s cinder block-like teeth tore through that fibrous feast, thorns ‘n’ all, like an errant child’s hand through delicate shoji.

He got his treats and I got mine, for sure.

I, lover of animals, got up close to a horse. A horse!

I caressed his cheek and muzzle.

Listened to the gnarly crunch crunch crunchcrunchcrunch. (Music of the animals!)

Inhaled chlorophyll woody mouthy scents.

Sighted incisors browned with age rising and falling in awesome mastication (Just how many pounds of pressure are happening in there?)

What beautiful moments!

And synchronicity. Now for the rest of the story.

Earlier, a strolling man, 60-ish, happened to stop to view the horses. Turned out he knows horse-racing.

He opined that that tall handsome brown horse — named Hotshot, said a passing neighbor dishing out carrots — has the physique of a racehorse. (Is Hotshot possibly a retired competitor?)

And, the man continued, White Horse has the build of a lead pony.

What’s that? I didn’t know either. Lead ponies conduct highly important roles and tasks paired with racehorses. (google it)

White Horse may too be a racing retiree, who knows.

Dusk forced departure. I thanked him for being before he resumed efforts at dangerous thorny tree.

But return I shall and soon!

Counting one’s blessings these days is vital.

None of these blessed moments would’ve happened were it not for this pandemic. It’s forced me — all of us — to get creative, do things differently, do new things, reinvent lifestyles, move differently and ideally mindfully in this world.

Today’s Pretties in a Pandemic goes hand’s down — no pun intended* — to that equine. *Horse heights are measured in hands; a hand is 4 inches (10.16 cm).

Plus a little sumthin’ I picked up on the way home to make someone very happy.


White Horse … lights up my day


A mouth hard at work


2 pounds of effortless thornless treaties


Debuting Positivities in a Pandemic

I’m being “citrusy.”

Turning lemons into lemonade during this pandemic and lockdown.

Preface. I’m NO stranger to isolation. My strong tendency to isolate, to speak to no one for days and days, to survive with no human interaction for extended periods have been quite problematic and detrimental to my health and wellbeing for a very long time.

So isolating and social distancing are neither a challenge nor an adjustment. Crawling OUT of isolation amid widespread isolation and social distancing seems incongruent, contradictory.

BUT I live alone (duh). And I go stir-crazy holed up in a tiny studio.

I lovelovelovelove to read, always have!

Yet I can read only so much social media … corona virus news and updates.

This crisis and isolation, for better or worse, has raised hard introspective questions — and illuminating answers that demand I change my stubborn ways.

Come OUT of virtual autism and isolation. Feed my life, not invisibility.

Hence my goal is to write daily to capture a Moment in these unprecedented times. Express. Put on record moments never seen in my 63 years in which I’ve seen and experienced A LOT A LOT A LOT A LOT.

Here we go. The debut of Positivities in a Pandemic.

So when the clock strikes 5 p.m., I spring alive. Can’t go to the gym or favorite pub like usual. Instead I go for a walk.

It’s a positive that this pandemic struck Phoenix — aka Purgatory of the Southwest — in a window of good weather: 75 high / 54 low (24 C high/11 C low).

Being outdoors is pleasant and doable! (That’ll change rapidly in another couple months — all the more reason to appreciate timing.)

By no stretch of the imagination could my walks be called “scenic.”

I reside in an Urban Sea. Cars, concrete, a constant cacophony, a fair share of chaos and crime.

Climate notwithstanding, none of that compels local outdoor recreation!

My immediate choices are:

(a) walking along the shoulder of the major interstate just outside my studio — no;

(b) walking along VERY busy noisy main thoroughfares also just outside my studio — nyet;

(c) walking through subdivisions of nice modern homes — can do.

I’m living in the moment … open to all things good … taking notice of all things big and tiny as I venture into unchartered subdivisional territory!

On today’s evening stroll — my second — this “star flower” in a large bush caught my attention.

‘Tis a moment in a category I’m calling Pretties in a Pandemic.

We all need them.

Its texture is that of a thin magnolia and its fragrance subtly floral and sweet.


“Starflower” is sweet