Friday, July 29, 2005

Shouldn't Be Too Long Now.....

New computer ordered - should be delivered Saturday and set up soon. I miss all of you!! Judy

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Gone, But Not Forgotten, I Hope

Hi, everyone, I thought I should explain. Last Tuesday, our computer get fried in a huge thunder and lightning storm. I have been blog-less for 5 days! I am in TN, visiting my cousin, and hopefully, when I return home, the computer will either be fixed - or we will buy a new one. I have really missed reading, commenting and getting them. Hope to be back on-line soon! Judy

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"Maintain Your Brain"

A recent article in our paper tells how to prevent or delay Alzheimer's disease. Among the recommendations:
1. Exercise your brain: do a new type of puzzle, learn to play chess, take a foreign language class or solve a vexing problem.
2. Socialize: Don't sit in front of the TV. People who are part of a group, whether it is a church or a book club, age healthier. Declining social interaction predicts declining cognitive function, government research shows.
3. Relax: People who have chronic distress - extreme worriers - are twice as likely to develop some forms of dementia; their brains are more vulnerable when disease strikes.
4. Exercise your body: Bad memory is linked to heart disease and diabetes, because clogged arteries slow blood flow in the brain. Elderly people who were less mentally and physically active in middle age are about three times as likely to get Alzheimers.
5. Eat right: Avoid artery-clogging fat and try for omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and nuts. Eat dark-skinned fruits and vegetables (high in vitamins E and C). B vitamins and folic acid are also important.
The goal is to build up a "cognitive reserve", so that if illness strikes, you have the ability to withstand the attack longer before symptoms become obvious.

May I take the liberty of adding a # 6? My answer to growing older (in mind, at least) is to write. Everyday. It forces you to exercise your brain. To that end, I blog, and reading other blogs also exercises my brain - and often provides humor - which is shown to be extremely useful for good health. I am sure all of you reading here know this already - but it bears repeating - doesn't it?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Amusing Signs in Other Places

These were sent to me by the wonderful Maria, at , after reading the post about my "dyslexia". Apparently some of us have problems in translation as well!






On Athi River highway: this is the main road to Mombasa,leaving Nairobi. "TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE."



A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer: "DO NOT ACTIVATE WITH WET HANDS."



On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: "OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR."







Advertisement for donkey rides, Thailand: "WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?"

The box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong: "GUARANTEED TO WORK THROUGHOUT ITS USEFUL LIFE."

In a Swiss mountain inn: "SPECIAL TODAY - NO ICE-CREAM."

Airline ticket office, Copenhagen: "WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS."


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Is There Such A Thing As Adult-Onset Dyslexia?

Edit below!
What is happening to me?

Lately I cannot type the word "that"; I leave out the "a" every time. I have also noticed that I am transposing letters and numbers; for example, I type the phone number 555-1586, when it really should be 555-1856. Or I type the words "beautiful dreamer", for example, and it comes out "baeutiful draemer".

I am spending more time correcting typing errors than I am in actual post writing. Do any of you have that problem? I hope I am not the only one!

There was an article recently floating around the web purporting that it doesn't really matter if some of the letters in a word are scrambled, since we tend to read the word as a whole and process the meaning anyway. Though it may be true, I spend so much time trying to correct my errors in consideration of my readers. God forbid I should tax your brains any more than absolutely necessary!

Numbers are an entirely different story, however. If I am typing a phone number - or some such important numerical info - it behooves me to type it correctly. Short of proof-reading again and again, I don't know how to cure the problem. Any advice?
I feel so much better now tht I know many of you have the same problem - or a smmilar one. I have always been a good speller too, but a typist, I am not! See, I told ya'! I read that addition as perfect, until I hit publish, and then I saw the errors. LOL

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Armchair Travelogue - Miscellaneous

Top: The Biltmore House in Asheville, NC
#2. The Washington Monument
#3. Sunrise in Virginia Beach, VA.....2000
#4. Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon, AZ
#5. The Grand Canyon
#6. Red Rocks outside of Sedona, AZ

Can you tell I am too busy to write a post? Perhaps I'll have a good story to tell after tomorrow's wedding is but a memory. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Curious Incident of the Catalog Order; or Why I Didn't Get the Bathing Suit I Wanted!

All I wanted was a new bathing suit; bought with a minimum of trouble and time. A catalog came in the mail, and while I don't usually succumb to their charms, I decided that the 30% coupon on the front page made it very worthwhile to choose something. So, I picked out the 2 pieces I thought would look the best on my increasingly "dough boy" type body, filled out the order, enclosed the check and mailed it on June 4th or 5th.

After almost 6 weeks with no UPS delivery, I checked my online bank site and sure enough, the check had cleared. So armed with that information, I called the catalog customer service. You know what that entails, don't you? Number upon number to press, after listening to what seems like a recitation of the whole phone book (with the ever-present admonishment to "listen closely, as our options have changed"). Finally, I was connected to a live person (at least I think he was live; I could barely understand him, as he sounded like a robot. Perhaps this company outsources their customer service to a foreign country?

I explained my problem and gave him the requested info, only to have him report that "We have no record of your order". I replied "How can you have no record of it if you have cashed the check?" He had no answer for that, but he decided I had ordered the bathing suit from another catalog company, not the one he represented. I was speechless, but quickly regained my voice. "How can you say I ordered it from another catalog if the following things are true:

1. The front cover of the catalog says Lane Bryant.

2. The back cover of the catalog says Lane Bryant.

3. Every other darn page in the catalog mentions Lane Bryant.

4. My check was written to Lane Bryant.

5. It says "Brylane" on the reverse of the check.

At that point, HE was speechless, and decided he had to transfer me to his superior immediately. I had to repeat the entire problem, of course. At least the superior spoke with a somewhat more recognizable accent. She concluded that I had to look on-line at the reverse of my check again, and read her the routing numbers. The trouble was, there were four separate ink stamps on it, some of which were overlapping, and impossible to decipher. She was satisfied, however, when I finished reading what I could see, and asked me for the catalog numbers of the items I wanted, so she could re-issue the order.

This is when I discovered that I had forgotten to make a copy of the original order. Of course without that, I had no way to remember what I had ordered, how much the pieces cost, what percentage off the coupon had been for or what the shipping cost should be. I felt like a dunce (doesn't happen often). I don't suffer fools easily - especially when the fool is me! We settled on a refund, to be sent in 7 days. A further problem is that since it is well after July 4th, and all the bathing suits have gone on sale, I will have a very hard time finding a suit that fits and has all the other qualifications I require. So if you see a black, 2-piece swim suit with a small skirt, only a little decolletage, skinny straps, and a price tag under $60, will you buy it for me? I promise to pay you back!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Welcome Stranger

A few months before I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger? He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind. Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to her room an read her books. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.) Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in the home, not even for cooking. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... and NEVER asked to leave. More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you were to walk into my parent's den today you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name?.................... We just call him TV.

Author unknown. I received this in email from an old friend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Do You Know These People?

Do you know these people? Because I don't, but I'd like to! I found these photos in my mom's desk and true to form, they were neither dated nor named. Some of the clothing and the cars appear to be from the 1920's.

I do know the woman in the center, with the guy in the white shirt. She was my mom's sister, and the guy was obviously one of her boyfriends. He looks too old for her, but he may have been prematurely bald....LOL... Check out the old guy in the lower right corner. That's a fox skin hanging on the shed to his right. Perhaps that old hound was responsible for flushing out the fox. The dude on the lower left looks a lot like my dad, but it isn't. He fancies himself quite the gay blade (as they said back then), holding his Homberg hat, foot propped on the running board of what was undoubtedly a fine car back then.

Too bad these photos weren't dated and named. For the sake of your decendants, don't make that mistake. Always date and name the people in the photos. Too bad that I haven't followed my own advice; but I have that on my list of things to do when I retire.....

Monday, July 11, 2005

Maximum Entertainment - at the IMAX Near You

****See addendum
If you live near an IMAX Theater, go quickly to see Coral Reef Adventure. We went Sunday afternoon; found a packed house and enjoyed every minute of the movie. The scenery is to die for; aerial scenes of Tahiti and Figi and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as well as numerous underwater scenes of lusciously-colored tropical fish, sharks, octopi, Moray eels, etc. Some of the dives were as deep as 350 feet; few people will ever dive that deeply and live to tell about it, let alone show video of it.

We learn that our coral reefs all over the planet are suffering, mainly from three things: 1. global warming, 2. over-fishing and 3. siltation from logging activities above rivers which feed the ocean near reefs. We can heal the reefs by curbing the activities which lead to coral damage. We have no idea what may ultimately happen to the natural balance of the ocean if we allow the reefs to continue to die through our selfish use of natural resources. Cause and effect principles are at work here, and we must all do what we can to stop the process. Start by educating yourselves; see the film. Please.

****I make it a point to see as many IMAX films as I can. Everywhere we go that has an IMAX, I'm there. My husband teases me for seeing the IMAX at the Grand Canyon, but he doesn't understand that you see it in ways that never would be possible if you are standing at the rim, looking down. As one of the comments mentions; you can see a beaver dam being built from the inside. How cool is that?! In the Grand Canyon IMAX, you soar through the canyon on a hang glider or ultralight and you thunder down the river on crashing waves (without ever having to get wet or be bounced around). In the space film, you can almost experience the G-forces as the shuttle takes off and you can float around the night sky when the astronauts do their space-walks. I haven't yet seen a commercial film in 3-D at the IMAX, but I plan to soon. Whatever the fare for an IMAX film, it is definitely worth it!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I Believe

Top: The Luna Moth. At the time I took this photo, I had no idea how fragile or short-lived these creatures are. I feel incredibly blessed to have seen one "in the flesh".

Bottom: A Monarch on last year's lantana.

Read this slowly - it's a keeper for sure. There are so many truths here. I did NOT write this; it was sent in email from a friend.

I believe- That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe- That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe- That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe- That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe- That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be..

I believe- That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe- That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I believe- That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe- That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe- That regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I believe- That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe- That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe- That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe- That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe- That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe- That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe- That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe- That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe- That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe- That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe- That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe- That two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe- That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe- That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I believe- That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe- That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I believe- That you should send this to all of the people that you believe in. I just did.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Armchair Travelogue - San Francisco

Coit Tower: the view from up there is amazing.

Under the Golden Gate; surfers brave huge rocks and sharks to surf these surprisingly large waves.

Downtown San Francisco with the Transamerica Building just right of center. Photo shot from the hill near Coit Tower.

The"painted ladies"; shown in nearly every TV show ever shot in San Francisco. The color is not so hot in this photo; they are a little brighter than they appear here.

Fisherman's Wharf. The seals lie on the piers to sunbathe, and amuse each other and the crowds by knocking each other off the piers and trying to find space to climb back on.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Stolen from Nearest Distant Shore.........

I stole this from Terrilynn at

A is for Age: Nearing Medicare
B is for Booze: In summer mostly beer, but I love margaritas and Bloody Marys and red wine.
C is for Career: floristry
D is for Dad's name: Daddy
E is for Essential Item to bring to a Party: A bottle of wine and a good attitude!
F is for Favorite Songs at the Moment: Always jazz of some sort!
G is for Goof-off thing to do: If I lived close to the beach, I'd do that - but since I don't - my goof-off thing is blogging!
H is for Hometown: Charleston, WV
I is for Instrument you play: piano and organ
J is for Jam or Jelly you like: there is NO flavor I don't like, but my favorite is raspberry.
K is for Kids: three
L is for Living arrangement: a house way too big for the two of us, now that the kids are grown.
M is for Mom's name: Mom
N is for Names of best friends: Pam, Nancy, Peggy, Marilyn, Cam, Patty
O is for overnight hospital stays: when the children were born, when I had pneumonia, when I had a cyst removed and when I had my deviated septum repaired.
P is for Phobias: none, maybe spiders? Does that qualify as a phobia?
Q is for Quote you like: See the one at the top of the blog.
R is for Relationship that lasted longest: The one I am in now = 41 years on July 2nd.
S is for Siblings: none, I am sad to say.
T is for Texas, ever been?: Yes, to Dallas and Houston for conventions.
U is for Unique trait: I am not aware of any.
V is for Vegetables you love: corn on the cob and asparagus
W is for Worst traits: Lots, but I admit to a complete lack of tolerance for stupidity (as did Terrilynn)
X is for Xrays you've had: nearly everything at one time or another.
Y is for Yummy food you make: fried chicken and mashed potatoes, eggplant parmesan.
Z is for Zodiac sign: Triple Scorpio (sun, moon, ascendant)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

More Hawaiian Photos - Kauai

Top: the falls shown at the beginning of the old TV series "Fantasy Island". Remember "de plane, de plane"?

Middle: a view from the Top of Mt. Waialeale, the wettest spot on earth at 451" per year, height 5,148 feet. This photo does not do it justice; when the sun is out, the canyon walls are emerald green and the water below is aqua and turquoise.

Bottom: A view of Waimea Canyon; truly spectacular and so unexpected in Hawaii, at least by me. It is very similar to the Grand Canyon, but there is a lot of vegetation, making it look very different in character.

Kauai is not a large island, and you could conceiveably tour all of it in two days. There is much to see and do there; the beaches are among the best in the world. Poipu beach, on the southern coast has been named the Travel Channel's #1 beach in the world. Close to that is a feature called "Spouting Horn", which is a "geyser" formed by an old lava flow. Every time the waves come into shore, the water is forced upward through a hole in the old lava, creating the spout.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

About Being Old.......

This is another gem sent to me by a friend. I have no idea who wrote it, but it sums up my thoughts about growing older. I sent it to Hoss, and he agreed, so we offer it for your perusal:

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.
Old age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body ... the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m., and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten ... and I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so any have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself any more. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day and drink soda!

Author unknown.

Monday, July 04, 2005

That Addiction Thing Again

We have all written about being somewhat addicted to the computer; especially blogging. I was hard at it this morning early, when my hubby walked into the room with a disgusted look on his face, and said "That is your new husband!". I laughed, and then I began to think about it. We can get almost everything from the computer that we get from our spouse:

friendship, appreciation for our abilities or appearance, interesting and important news, compassion, recognition, pretty pictures, knowledge, humor, sex (sort of, if you are into porn), weather, directions, travel, income ......I could go on and on, and I am sure I have left out something important. But it seems to me that just about the only things a computer cannot provide are touch and smell.

I can only imagine how soon we will have an anouncement that one of the large computer manufacturers has added "smellavision" to their computer programs! Imagine that! When Angie posts her birthday menus, we could get a whiff of each and every mouth-watering morsel. When I post photos of the latest wedding flowers, anyone could sniff the lilies and roses with just a click of the mouse. If you frequent any of the many sites which provide video of nubile young things (NO link provided!) running around in the get the idea. I am surprised they haven't invented it already!

My Latest Wedding.....uh...well, not "mine"

Here are some photos from my latest wedding on July 2nd. I couldn't get a good shot of the ceremony arbor due to the chairs being in the way. There was garland on the arbor, with three sections of flowers, and two big urns on either side.
The cake had white chocolate curls all over it; when they first rolled it into the ballroom, I thought it was seashells.
The stair railings in the club had to be swagged with tulle, and tied off at intervals with sprays of foliages and blue hydrangeas.
Each table centerpiece was in a silver plate container. I have a collection of Victorian teapots, bowls, cachepots, etc. that I use for these. The bride requested French blue and raspberry colored flowers, and I used snapdragons, lilies, bells of Ireland, phlox, bouvardia, roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, blue delphinium and dendrobium orchids.
This wedding presented an odd situation for me: I was initially contacted by the bride's mother, who lives in PA. The bride's father lives here in our area, and the bride was in CA. I never got to meet the bride or her mother; my meetings and all communication were with the father and his current wife. I always feel sort of funny about not being able to speak with the bride before the wedding. It is hard to know exactly what she wants if I have to imagine it through the voice of her father (in person) and mother (via email). I do know the father was happy with everything, but until I hear from the mother or the bride, I will not rest on my laurels.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Childhood Photos

The top photo is of me at age 2, in my zinc washtub "swimming pool" - and I assure you I do have panties on - even if you can't see them. Hoss, I promised you a bathing beauty's this one?

The second photo is my friend Doris and me at age 8, playing "dress up" and posing like models. I am on the right. My mom had a great trunk full of old clothing, hats, shoes and accessories for me and my playmates to fantasize with. It brought us hours and hours of fun. Doris and I attended the same school for the first three years; we both moved away from the neighborhood after that, and I seldom saw her again. Many years later, she learned my whereabouts; she was coming to my town for a geneaology convention, called and we had lunch together. I had not seen her in about 40 years, and it was great to play catch up and find out about her family. We stay in touch now via email. Old friends are the best; as the Girl Scout camp song says:

"Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver and the other's gold".

Friday, July 01, 2005

Moonflowers and Roses

The moonflower vines grew on the pump house last summer. The blooms were often 9-10" across; looked like dinner plates and the aroma was intoxicating. The roses were at their best in May, and now there are only a few blooms on the trellis. If we get good rain in the next several weeks, the roses may perform again this summer, but the beetles finally arrived, so the foliage looks like lace again. I guess you suppose that a florist has a beautiful garden, but in this case - you would be wrong. Our soil is very poor and I have never had the patience to amend it. I plant in pots - or not at all. This year, due to an early heat wave, no pots were planted, so I have no flowers except the roses and a gardenia bush with rapidly browning blossoms. It is depressing. The current heat wave is making everything more difficult.

Another Email Funny.....

Good Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the
Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial
tax cut saves you thirty cents?

In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird
and people take Prozac to make it normal.

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to
realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

I had amnesia once -- or twice.

Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.

If the world were a logical place, men would ride horses sidesaddle.

What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up,
he'll never be able to merge his car onto a freeway.

Two can live as cheaply as one, for half as long.

Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

One nice thing about egotists: They don't talk about other people.

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.

Is Marx's tomb a communist plot?

It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.