Monday, October 31, 2011


I am a skeptic. Almost all encounters 99.99% with “ghosts” can be logically explained without involving paranormal activity, please refer to the blog posted on October 26th. However, I have encountered a few unexplainable instances.

The first occurred when I was about seven. My teenaged sister had received an Ouiga Board for Christmas. She soon tired of it and placed it in the abandoned toy area of the basement. The pointer has always moved on its own for me so I got out the board. I thought it was funny and probably due to subconscious urges to spell out certain words. It started spelling mean words and phrases. I didn’t like it so I walked away; when I looked back I saw a dark shadow emerge from the Board. I packed up the game and hid it; I didn’t want bad stuff coming into the house.

During college, some of my dorm friends wanted to use an Ouija Board so I dug it out of the basement and brought it to campus. I refused to play with the game and warned them of the dark shadow. They laughed and played with it anyway. I went back to my room to study; within an hour they knocked at my door and threw the board at me. It brought in something negative to their dorm room. I went to the room and I saw a dark image sitting near the couch, which then slipped out the window. The residents of the room brought in a preacher to bless the space and pray for me. That was creepy, both the dark shadow and the minister speaking “in tongues.” I haven’t touched an Ouija since then and destroyed the old board since my sister didn’t want it.

If the “spirit” isn’t neutral, then the haunting falls into the category of angel or demon. The argument continues that if you believe in angels, you must also believe in demons. I know that positive and negative energy exist but I don’t think that “God” or the “Devil” control it. I’ve encountered the negative shadows brought in by the Ouiga but only one poltergeist. A friend of mine lived in a big renovated barn. We were in Junior High School and Donna’s family was having a rummage tag sale in their garage, located in the other half of the barn. She wanted to show off something in her room to me, I was about to walk up the stairs to their home when something dark oozed out the front door. I froze at the bottom of the stairway and knew that I should not go in. I told Donna, she was irritated but didn't press me to enter. I learned the next year that they had been dealing with a full-throttle poltergeist. The spirit moved items, made noises and smells. The local priest had blessed the home but only got stuff thrown at him. A special team of Archdiocese priests had to come from the Twin Cities to bless the house and talk with her elder sibling. The older sister was having emotional issues and the priests concluded that the poltergeist was feeding off her excess energy. After their intervention, the problems ceased.

These encounters are atypical. As I stated before, most people mistake hauntings for electromagnetic memory images imprinted upon a place or object. The possibility of a real ghostly spirit is virtually nonexistent (pun intended). The barn poltergeist and a couple other odd instances are the only unexplainable experiences of my entire life. Perhaps I'll write about those phenomonon at another time.

© 2011 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


WoooOOOooo! Don Knotts in “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” encounters bumps in the night, creaky floors, and odd sounds which make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. He concludes that there must be Paranormal Activity in the mansion. Not! Almost every instance that anyone reports can be explained logically. It is a hilarious film, though.

Most “ghosts” are merely electro-magnetic (EM) imprints. Humans are energized bags of water; a weak EM field surrounds us (our aura), which becomes stronger during times of high emotion. Perhaps the EM leaves an imprint in a place. Somehow the space absorbs a bit of the energy. Some people are sensitive to the EM imprints. What they think is a ghost is actually a memory of what occurred in that location. Like watching a few seconds of silent film flickering on a wall.

I think that ghosts are possible but exceedingly uncommon, approximately .01% of the time. Ghost implies that it is a Sentient Being aware that it is nonphysical and conscious of current conditions. More likely “it” is caught in some type of purgatory where it can latch onto physical items in current time but not really aware of the situation. Maybe it is a feedback loop, parallel universe, or time-space-continuum issue. Perhaps a theoretical physicist will explain the phenomenon someday.

If it is a sentient being, it is probably neutral. My best friend during high school, Mike, lived on a farm. I had visited numerous occasions and oftentimes we would be alone (no hanky panky since he was gay and I was saving myself for marriage). Anyway, we were watching a videotape one night and in the next room I saw two baseball sized balls of light bouncing around. No one else was home and no pets. I calmly asked him what was causing the lights. He said it was probably the ghost of the person who died in that room just before they bought the house. It would show up once in a while but never bothered anyone. I wasn’t afraid; I went into the room and watched them bounce around for a while. It was much more interesting than the movie.

More ghost stories later...

Happy Haunting.
© 2011 Ima Boo Musing

Monday, October 24, 2011


Blood splattered sidewalks and a few skull posters were the only reminder that the streets were filled with lurching zombies groaning for a drink the night before. The morning offered gorgeous blustery summer weather for art viewing in St. Paul, MN. Parking is free on Sundays so I located a central spot in Lowertown, visited the Farmer's Market, toted purchases to the auto, and then began crawling on October 9th. No zombies in sight but Central Corridor Light Rail Transit destruction continues to haunt the area.

Consistent signage is direly needed by the St. Paul Art Crawl. Most sites had balloons but I couldn't always determine if it was an official participant. They need to adapt LOLA's (Longfellow neighborhood, Minneapolis) huge neon yellow signs because they were much easier to notice. Encouraging messages on the stairwell from Caprice Kueffner Glaser compelled me to trudge to the fourth floor of the Jax Building, worth the effort but an elevator is sorely needed. She builds and paints wood tableaus at Took the wrong stairwell and ended up in the smelly Jax loading dock. Better interior signage is needed for the art crawl. Visited about a third of the locations due to lack of time and energy. Eighty plus degrees Fahrenheit can be rather draining. and

Saddened by the lack of hospitality. Very few artists seemed happy to have visitors. Perhaps they were grumpy because the Minneapolis-St. Paul Zombie Pub Crawl VII scared off patrons on Saturday night. If you can't kill the zombies, then invite them to join the art crawl! Zombies should visit the sites and purchase artwork. Lisa Jaster wins the Congeniality Prize. She was personable, had terrific munchies, vino, and altruistic. She shared her space with a youthful emerging artist who is nine years old and displayed items from the Pet Haven of Minnesota nonprofit organization. She creates great photographs, too. definitely an artistic social entrepreneur.

Please contact the artists mentioned in this blog and let them know where you saw their name. I wish that I had a digital camera so that I could include photos of their work.

Best of Show:
Shout out loud for the big bold and brassy work of Diane Simon. Jasper Johns would be impressed by Dyne’s huge murals, painted furniture and accessories. 651-235-4200

Honorable Mentions:
* Zombies may have died on the floor (paint spatters) but DeAnne L. Parks artwork is quite imaginative and dream-like.
* Bright enameled eruptions dance across canvas for Christina Habibi. Fantastical images open one's visions.
* Band-aid plasters are ingeniously repurposed by Beth Barron into wall mounted sunbursts. She creates wonderful fabric art.
* Fairies would approve of jewelry fashioned by Amy Purdes, who wears wings, blithely spirited designs at
* Calm meditative landscapes with exquisite Maxfield Parish inspired skies are painted by Tom McGregor.
* Stunning aurora borealis and funky jewelry are Marla Gamble’s forte. 651-224-6711
* Flowing fabric falls into woven masterpieces by Sara E. Williams

LOLA art crawl reviewed on September 21st. This review was completed and then some stupid zombie computer glitch ate it so I had to reconstruct the words, thus delaying this posting. ARGH!

Zombies eat AAARRRTTTT!
© 2011 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Toto was the family pet during my childhood. My first memory of Toto was when I was around three years old. She was a brown mass of fur that wiggled when I petted it, licked me a lot, and smelled funny. My eldest sibling, who was eleven at the time, convinced our parents to adopt this animal because it was being neglected. Toto was a small terrier mix and weighted about twenty pounds. We had had another dog but it grew too large for being in town and was given to friends who lived in the country. Unfortunately, the neighbor of our friends didn’t like the dog and shot it.

Toto was about one year old and belonged to an elderly woman who kept her outside all the time. The newspaper delivery boy would spray Toto with water and hit her with the rolled up newspaper. Thus, she had a lifelong abhorrence for young boys, anything rolled up or in a tube, bicycles, and getting wet. She would transform from a sweet puppy into a vicious wolf when confronted with these items. Her neglect and abuse haunted her until she died. She must have considered me to be a member of her pack because when I would annoy her she would only growl and move away. She never bit me except an accidental nip while we were playing.

Every Easter, I recall the basket incident. My siblings and I had ventured to Grandma Daisy’s farm for Spring Break week. I was five years old and still believed in the bunny. On Sunday I received a small basket with a note from the Easter Bunny stating that my big basket was at my parent’s home. What a conscientious bunny!

Upon arrival home, I rushed to see what the bunny had delivered. I plunked my luggage onto the bed and grabbed my basket. One quick glance was enough to show that the bunny had only given me jellybeans and foil-wrapped mini chocolates. I was utterly devastated because I had really tried to be “good.” I couldn’t hide my disappointment and began to quietly cry. Mom walked into the room and asked me what was wrong. “The Easter Rabbit must not like me because he only gave me jellybeans and I don’t like them,” I sniffed. She put her hands on her hips and frowned. The tone of her voice was serious when she replied, “I know the Bunny left you some chocolate, I saw it myself.”

It was a great mystery because my siblings were with me, my dad doesn’t like chocolate, and my mom always kept her own private stash on the top shelf of the cupboard. This was back in the day when no one locked their house doors in a small town and everybody left their car keys in the unlocked vehicle with driver’s license and charge cards in the glove compartment. She was probably wondering if someone had come into the house while my parents were at church to play a trick on me. All I knew was that I there was no chocolate or my favorite sugar coated malted milk “robin eggs.” Jellybeans got stuck in my teeth and I didn’t like their flavor. The foil wrapped chocolates always tasted a bit tinny and was usually dark and bitter.

I was feeling sad and my mom was mad. Toto had already zoomed into woof hello to my sisters and finally made it to my room. She looked at me with her big brown eyes and could see that I was sniffling and my mom was irked. She tail stopped wagging her plump body as her head lowered. Her tail went between her legs as she tried to sneak out of the room. My mom grabbed Toto and placed her on the bed right at my eye level. She said, “Dog, what did you do?” Mom pried open Toto’s lips to reveal a ring of chocolate. A tiny bit of foil was on a tooth, where she had attempted to peel open a covered treat. The mystery was solved!

The commotion caused my siblings to investigate. My mom told them what had occurred while I told Toto that she was a bad dog. She laid on the bed in a submissive pose and let me rub her soft treat filled tummy. One of my sisters asked if chocolate kills dogs. Mom said yes. My heart sank. I was angry that my goodies were gone but I didn’t want Toto to die. I was bereft with guilt, because candy kills. I grabbed the wiggling dog and sobbed loudly.

We lived in a small town and there was only one veterinarian who treated small animals. My mom called him and interrupted Easter dinner because it was an emergency. Dad was irritated that the call would cost money for the stupid dog. The vet said that it was too late to pump Toto’s stomach. All we could do was make her comfortable as she went into shock and died. Mom broke the bad news.

I erupted into full panic. I dragged Toto into the living room and held her in my lap expecting her to drop dead at any moment. I clutched tighter and tighter as she squirmed and woofed. She was darn energetic for a critter nearing the end. Finally, she broke free and was running around at full speed. This perplexed my parents. Dad called the vet and asked what we should expect. The vet was shocked, usually little dogs who consume a half-pound of chocolate toxin die within an hour or so.

Toto did not pass on. She was awake for two days and ran around endlessly. We concluded that she was among the small percentage of dogs not allergic to chocolate. The silly mutt didn’t even get diarrhea! She was thirsty but absolutely fine. After that she would dance on her hind legs for “candy” and gleefully nibbled chocolate.

End of this tale.
© 2011 Ima B. Musing

Monday, October 17, 2011


I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive by Steve Earle Three and a half worms
Ghostly tale of characters fighting to survive on the outer fringes of society. Befittingly, the characters swore a lot. Addiction is horrible and leads to terrible consequences. It would be intriguing to learn the fate of the two characters that follow the butterflies.

Reign of Madness by Lynn Cullen Three worms
Well-written tale of the woes of the European monarchy. Many generations of inbreeding create monsters. The main character’s mother would have been more fascinating subject. Happy that both a map and genealogy chart were included. Loosely based on historical fact.

Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man by Steve Harvey Three worms
Good humor, practical advice but a subtle under-current of chauvinism. He mixed in some specific theology, which was not needed. When will men see equal partnership as not threatening?

No One in the World by E. Lynn Harris and RM Johnson Not Rated (see note)
Reads like a soap-opera movie. Intriguing plot but should be placed in pre-DNA era because the crime scene would have been checked. Needed a concluding chapter taking place a few years after the climatic scene to learn the fates of the characters.
Note: This book is not rated because it was not completed by the primary author but based upon his notes.

The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers One worm
One of the most tedious books that I have ever encountered. I nearly stopped on several occasions and then a brilliant page or two would inspire me to read more. Highly creative ideas but the journey was never ending. The editor should have trimmed out about a third or half the book, it would have been much better.

Most recent review was posted on September 15th. I am searching for the “perfect book” if anyone has suggestions, please send me a note. The book needs to be available in the MELSA library system since I read only library books at this time. Alas, I can’t afford to purchase literary volumes…

Read on!
© 2011 Ima B. Musing

Monday, October 10, 2011


Love and hate entertaining simultaneously. I have to clean, set up the place, prepare food, prepare myself, provide the party, and then clean up while exhausted. Thankfully, people remain on the first floor so I can ignore the upstairs and basement. I prefer company during the summer because we can sit outside, weather permitting. Let the ants and critters eat the crumbs instead of having them scattered throughout the house. Adults can be just as messy as children.

The house transforms into an oven facilitated by hot weather due to lack of air conditioning. During late August I had about a dozen people over since friends were visiting from out of town. We were able to sit out under the oak tree; the only problem was the acorns falling. I had to warn people that they might get knocked by an acorn or bit of husk from a squirrel munching above. We really needed umbrellas to shield ourselves but at least no one became angry when a husk fell into their drink or food. A few years ago a squirrel would purposely chuck acorns at dogs and humans. It zapped me numerous times. It had really good aim but either died or moved on.

I have to clean extra when people stay overnight. A single person can use the guest bedroom on first floor. Couples have to use the master bedroom upstairs so I have to clean second floor, too. Whenever my parents visit, I clean intensively. My mom was a domestic worker for many years so she is picky about cleanliness. I strive but never seem to get it clean enough. My worst downfall is paperwork. As a result, the office is chaotic. I can never keep it in order no matter how much I file. I really need a cabinet to organize my items instead of using boxes. I haven’t had very many overnight guests since my shower quit working, no one wants to take a bath and I can’t afford a plumber right now.

Socializing takes a lot of energy. As a geek, I have to really concentrate on the interactions of humans. It is so blasted complicated and I often make mistakes. I’ve learned not to be too controlling during a gathering. It is just best to not regulate people. One friend, Peter, likes refreshments and sweets. It is not unusual for him to have three types of drinks and four desserts in front of him. I endeavor not to criticize his greed. Sweets are his weakness but he should wait until everyone has had a taste before he indulges in seconds, thirds, and etcetera.

A current complication is the fixing of the spare room closet on second floor. I made a huge mess to complete the task. Ugh. This DIY project is taking much longer than expected and I don’t know when I’ll complete the task. Of course, my parents are visiting soon. Plus, I need to haul in plants from outside before the frost nips and freeze kills them. I have to clean up the office to make room for the plants since the window faces south. A homeowners and gardeners job is never done. I’m a better guest than host.

Invite me, please.
© 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I adore parties. It’s wonderful to chat with people, sip refreshments, and nibble on food. During the cool months, I attend a Fun-and-Games (FNG) gathering once per month. Two friends share a large house and they have hosted this assembly for years. People bring along food to share and pitch a couple dollars into the “bucket” to pay for the cost of hosting. Very few people consume alcohol since it would interfere with the ability to play.

Some of the FNG’ers are serious gamers; they are competitive participants. The hosts probably have fifty types of board games but guests bring along others. Usually the Guitar Hero karaoke is turned on and people are transformed into musicians and vocalists. I am not a fan of karaoke unless the vocalist is good. My dear friend Walt is a wonderful person but I wish that he would not sing… There are those of us, like me, who play an occasional game but focus on socializing. We are mostly geeks.

Every January the focused gamers hold a Dune Marathon where they start the game after work on Friday and play until about 10pm, adjourn until 10am Saturday and play until the end of FNG, and finish the game on Sunday. Way too involved for me. I know that many of the attendees engage computer competitions, and on-line sport at home like World of Warcraft. I haven’t become interested in that, yet. I suppose a high-speed Internet connection would assist.

My favorite board game is Rumicube. It is basically rummy with tiles the a bit larger than dominos. It is easier for me to play because my brain has difficulty differentiating between spades and clubs due to the dyslexia. I can make faster decisions with colors. Mexican Train is okay but takes too long. I don’t really like games that consume more than an hour or are terribly complicated. One time I tried a game where a book had to be consulted for every move, it took about five minutes for each player and I got bored during the two and a half hour endurance contest.

I am shocked that few of the new games are inclusive. Fifty percent of the characters should be female and include diversity. Gamers tend to be smart people so I am surprised that the gaming community hasn’t raised this issue. I don’t like it when someone who knows the answers plays a game. Usually, it is a game that they own and have played enough to learn its nuances. They have an unfair advantage. I went to a MENSA game group and they only played brand new games. That was fun but the group was not welcoming.

The FNG gang is very convivial. There are probably about sixty people in the mailing list and twenty are regulars. We can bring along friends at any time, just need to RSVP. I usually meet a friend or two before the gathering to eat dinner and then we go to the house. There are lots of game groups in the Twin Cities area, especially during the chilly months. has a very good listing and most are free to join.

Game on!
© 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011


My first memories of flight are from the late 1960s and early 70s. We traveled from a small regional airport in Minnesota to St. Louis, Missouri to visit relatives every other year. It was in economy class and not luxurious like the tv show Pan Am. I was young enough to sit on my mother’s lap and my siblings were nearby. The flights were crowded and people smoked. I didn’t enjoy the experience. I only fly because it is fast, though expensive.

About fifteen years ago I experienced a near mid-air crash from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Nashville, Tennessee. I could see the faces of the people in the other plane as we suddenly gained altitude. The meal had just been served and I don’t think that anyone else realized our peril. The Flight Attendant noticed my shock and brought me a free beverage. I profusely thanked the pilot when we landed. He and the other plane’s pilot had only moments to avoid the collision. The flight was mentioned in an expose in the Star Tribune a couple months later. There would have been no chance for survival at that speed and altitude, strike number one.

Another misadventure was from MSP to Los Angeles, California about ten years ago when the co-pilot’s windshield cracked at 30,000 feet. An odd flat tone sounded in the cabin and the Flight Attendants turned pale and went running up to the front. When my area’s Attendant returned I asked him what was going on, he looked grim, shook his head, and wasn’t allowed to say. He urged me to go to the bathroom if I needed, I did. The pilot came on with a somber voice and calmly explained that we had to return due to an issue with equipment. Thankfully, no one panicked and the Attendants made sure that every item was stored away.

The plane turned around and I could hear the loud whoosh of a full load of fuel being dumped as we descended for an emergency landing. We were greeted by a parade of emergency vehicles flashing in the night. Everyone cheered as the wheels touched down and then the Attendant could tell us about the windshield. Again, I thanked the pilot and co-pilot upon exiting. The crack looked like a spider web and would have been deadly if it had blown into the cockpit. We had to transfer to dirty plane and didn’t get any compensation. I was irritated because I missed a dinner party in LA and had to endure another alarming circumstance. A friend of mine worked for the same airline and told me the seriousness of the situation. Apparently, the leak was beginning to decompress the pilot’s cabin so they had to wear oxygen masks, strike number two.

Most recently, on a flight from Atlanta, Georgia to MSP the navigation computer ceased functioning. The plane itself was fine but they didn’t want to rely solely on instruments. Considering how busy the skies are these days, I understand completely. It was disconcerting to have to return to Atlanta, switch to another plane (which was clean but very hot in temperature), and take off again. At least we were never in danger, but I wonder if I should avoid flying.

I generally take the Blue Van airport taxi service since it picks me up from home, ferries me to my gate, and is cost effective. Sometimes I share the ride with other passengers but that is okay. I neither want to park my car in an airport lot for several days nor burden my friends with a ride to/fro. Public transport is not feasible from my home to the airport at this time. I have to convince someone to check on the cats and that is enough hassle.

I’ve learned to eat lightly, take an aspirin before boarding the plane, settle my nervous stomach by chewing several Altoids, bring along snacks, gum for the ascent and decent, and an empty bottle to fill up with water from the bubbler/drinking fountain. I wear headphones to listen to on-flight music. I wish that I could listen to the cockpit communication, but I suppose that is a security issue. I bring a book to read, eye-visor and earplugs if I want to rest. I rarely sleep because I’m too nervous. I like to sit next to the window because I feel better when I can see the earth. I despite flying through clouds or at night. I’m plump but can still squeeze into the seat. Most of the time I have a friendly person sit next to me who will chat a bit and let me lift up the armrest for a little more wiggle room. I try to get up once during the flight to stretch my legs and go to the bathroom. My sister has had thrombosis so I am careful about monitoring for blood clots.

Statistically it is safer to fly than be in an automobile. I’ve been in several car accidents but none were life threatening. America’s public transportation system is pathetic. I wish that the United States had super-fast trains (curse Wisconsin’s Governor Walker for blocking the fast train service from Chicago to MSP). I’ve enjoyed train journeys from San Diego to Los Angeles and north to San Jose, California and from MSP to Chicago. Sadly, Amtrack is slow, never on time, and the routes are limited. I don’t like driving; it takes too much mental energy and is physically stifling. Buses can be uncomfortable for many reasons. I love to visit new places but loathe the journey.

Beam me up Scotty!
© 2011