Sunday, November 25, 2018

Ready for a Parade

I drove through downtown Venice on Friday morning. In truth I drove around downtown because the actual downtown street was blocked off and filled with paving equipment. I drove past the brand new library which will open this week.

Several streets were lined with collapsed folding chairs and blankets spread out. I don't mean just a few here and there. The streets were lined end to end. People staking out their territory. Hmmm, must be a parade is scheduled for the afternoon?

Well, actually, the parade was scheduled for Saturday night at 7 o'clock. What? All the spaces taken by noon the day before? I don't get that compulsion.

Honestly, it is one of the reasons I avoid dinners and pot luck events at the park clubhouse. If the event starts at 5 or 6, everyone has rushed down by 10 a.m. to leave a sweater or some other demarcation -- "MY SPOT!"

Am I the only one who finds this vaguely hostile?

Thursday, November 22, 2018



Monday, November 19, 2018

Motor Vehicle Problem

That was the report that went out to warn those on their way to work on Friday morning that I-189was closed.

Here is the motor vehicle problem:

A semi jack knifed and blocked the west bound lane.  I didn't see it happen but I did arrive on the scene early in the process.

I had planned a weekend with family in Connecticut and I didn't want to give it up, but the roads were so bad I was making up my mind to get off the highway and go home until it stopped. Instead I sat there for two hours.

Special equipment had to be brought in to move the truck. No one was hurt. I had a good book.

The young man behind me had one of those heavy on the bass speakers and a good supply of rap music he was willing to share with those around him so that was good too. (She said somewhat sarcastically).

The snow stopped before the fire truck and police car got there.  By the time we were waved on past, the roads had been salted and plowed. I was on my way with no more problems.

It all works out in the end.

Safe travels over the holiday.

Monday, November 12, 2018

I enjoyed this book . . .

Familiar Things by Hwang Sok-Yong (translated from the Korean original)

This is a work of fiction although the conditions do exist in the world.  A thirteen year old boy's father has been taken away to be "re-educated" by the South Korean government. Bugeye, as he is known on the streets, and his mother sink from poverty into extreme poverty. In order to survive, they end up  on Flower Island, a make shift community of tiny shacks around a huge landfill where the people spend their days sifting through garbage to forage what ever they can find to eat or wear or sell. Dirty and dangerous work.

They have to pay a fee in order to be licensed to do this recycling work.

The refuse sifters are not the only beings on the island.  There are those, mostly unseen, who remember the island's history.

It has so much potential to be a bleak and depressing story and yet there is so much humanity and a bright spirit that shines through.  I really loved it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Folly of Frugality

There are people my age who still have at least one living parent.  Had my mother lived past the age of 92, she would today be 105.  Had my father lived past the age of 73, he would be 108.

Well, that doesn't make objective sense, but you know what I mean.

I had older parents although I didn't notice at the time because all parents were old then.  My point started out to be that my parents were just coming into adulthood during the great depression and they were tremendously affected by it. Habits of frugality got handed down.

I don't leave lights on. I try not to waste food. I repair and reuse before I replace. So . . . in my shower this morning, I was determined to use that last little bit of shampoo.  I put water in and shook it, poured out the watery shampoo and suds up my head.

Then I decided to turn around and put the shampoo bottle on the back edge of the tub so I would remember to put in the recycle bin. I had to bend over a bit to place it on the tub rim and some got in my eyes. I whipped myself around to get my face under the shower water. My foot slipped. I reached for the grab bar which I couldn't actually see because of my stinging eyeballs. I found it but wrenched my back a little in the process.

I didn't really hurt myself. I thank my yoga practice for what strength and balance I may have. But the experience did make me contemplate the wisdom of a fraction of a penny's worth of shampoo versus the costs of medical care today.

And let's not even contemplate the scenario of falling, knocking myself out, drowning in the shower or, worse yet, having to be rescued while naked on the tub floor.

Stay safe and VOTE if you haven't yet.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


I have been watching Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown on Netflix.

Let me say that I am not a foodie.  Frankly, there is nothing about this series that makes me interested in world cuisines. The food that man would put in his mouth. Nope, not for me. There are limits on my willingness to try new things.

I continue to watch for the glimpse into different cultures, the spirit of the people, and the scenery.  Incredible scenery. No matter what I think, the food that people grow up with is certainly meaningful in their lives. It's a sense of home, a sense of family, a sense of their history. And so many countries have been affected by wars and conflicts.

And of course there is knowing that Bourdain ended his life with suicide. I look for signs of depression in him and pop an extra Prozac for myself. It makes my heart ache for the human condition because it seems so clear that we are all fundamentally the same and yet there is so much discord in the world.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Trick or Treat

Three trick or treaters came to my door last night.  That is the most little beggars I have seen at my door since 1992.

Three years ago neighbors who moved away by the next Halloween brought their toddler. Then no one until this year.

The first time the doorbell rang a handsome young police officer was standing there.  He was little and his parents had to prompt him to say "trick or treat" and "thank-you."  A bit later two youngsters, probably six and seven years old, tapped on the door. I greeted them with a "Happy Halloween" and dropped candy into their little buckets. They immediately said "thank-you" and then the little boy said
"Have a wonderful rest of your evening."

Politeness.  What a very amazing thing.