Friday, March 29, 2024

They're Done - A Mini Rant

My hometown team is down and out.   Even though my pool didn't have them going any further than this (cue silver lining music) I'm sad.

They made it to the Sweet Sixteen, which is better than they did last year when Princeton showed them the door in the first game of the first round.  They lost that game to a better team.  Tonight, they lost to a team that wanted it more.

Occasionally, the Wildcats showed brilliance and power.  At moments, the big man was ferocious.  Mostly, they were cavalier with the basketball.  Errant passes were the norm.  Air balls replaced jump shots.  Three pointers were launched randomly, with no one following the ball for a rebound and a second chance to score.  

There was more energy on my couch than there seemed to be on their bench.... and I was barely awake.  

We really tried to like this team, strangers who were wearing Arizona's uniform this year, but who were playing for Alabama and North Carolina and San Diego State last year.  That matters.  It's a team game and it's hard to feel like a team when guys drop in and out.

I'm really cheering for laundry at this point.  I find that I'm more disappointed than sad, and, somehow, that's even worse.

Okay.  I'm done.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

A Garden Epiphany

It's the last six weeks of school.  The 5th graders are in the process of checking out entirely.  Middle school looms large, bringing waves of nostalgia and terror in equal measure.  There's a new vibe in the garden and it took me a while to figure out my part in it.

This is the first year that we've grown enough produce to eat more than a taste.  I'm so proud of it.  I love watching it grow.  I love how fecund it looks.  There are marigolds blooming everywhere; their open pollinating system is right out there for the touching and teaching.  

And every time someone asks me for a blossom or a scallion or a strawberry, a little piece of me cries.  

I've noticed it and wondered about it for a few weeks.  Spring Break clarified things, thanks to Landscape Guy's efforts to have a crew clear the weeds we'd been pulling at for weeks.  Everything seemed clearer once the detritus was swept away.

I was letting nature take her course, instead of taming her to my will.  After all, isn't that a definition of a garden - organizing nature to your advantage?

The first thing to go was the giant nasturtium, an inadvertent seed which has been overtaking the vegetable garden.  The thing was stubborn, but I had an able assistant.  
She used the sharp secateurs to prune off the branches once it became apparent that we were not going to pull the whole plant out at once.  Even without all its branches, we needed a trowel to dig it out, tracing the gigantic root system back further and further, its tentacles holding tightly until, with her digging and my pulling (and landing flat on my butt) she ended up with a trophy.
I started saying yes with a smile when the big kids ask for those cutting things and a cup.  I looked on with appreciation as the more experienced gardeners explained to the newbies which scallions to cut and where to cut them.  They were turning them into one inch pieces, to share more easily with their friends.
These two kept quite busy pruning off the tops of the scallions in the raised bed outside the garden fence.  They are free to one and all, even if Grandma isn't in the garden.  They have tiny brown tips where the pruning was done, tips which were examined with exquisite care and precision.
I decided not to feel terrible about how small those scallions were, because the onion bulbs themselves were absorbing all the nutrients that had no where else to go.  Some are red, some are yellow, all are quite amazing.

And we planted them ourselves.  We put seeds in the ground and out came fruits (white strawberries are waaaayyyyy sweeter than our very tasty red ones) and vegetables with super powers (extreme bad breath) and beautiful flowers.
For the next six weeks I'm going to be agreeing to just about everything.  Why not?  It's spring and school's (almost) out for summer.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


I'm surprised that I'm surprised.  Actually,  royally pissed off is closer to my current state of mind.  Once again, the Lying Liar has escaped the fate reserved for mere mortals like you and me.  I leapt past furious when I heard the news; typing this hours later has left me with steam coming out of my ears.

Without explanation, the NYState Appeals Court cut the bond to a mere $175 million.  

Try that the next time you're arrested for a crime.  Stay out on the street on your own recognizance.  Appeal the judgement because you just really really can't raise the exorbitant amount required by that very mean judge.  Get a reprieve at the next to the last minute - less money out and more time to find it.

There was no explanation attached to the ruling.  Apparently (note irony), that's not necessary.  

Someone's offering $3 billion for Truth Social.  The judge in his criminal trial told him to shut up, citing his behavior surrounding his other court cases where the judges also told him to keep his mouth shut.  

Did you know that the jurors' personal information is shared with the defense team?  I wonder if I'd be brave enough to serve.  

The guy just keeps winning and winning.  Even when he loses he manages to win.  Should he lose this criminal case he can appeal the judgement, stretching it out well past his expected life span.

Even in death, he'd win.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Should It Stay?

Or should it go?
You probably have one or three or more of them in your pantry or a cabinet or under the oven in the drawer that's supposed to be used to keep muffins and things warm while the rest of the dinner catches up.

There are four of them that look just like that.  They get the job done.  I don't worry about getting every corner as clean as it might be because the stains are from cookies and biscuits and crescent rolls and other goodies I made for those I love.  

I bought a new one last summer.  It didn't take long for it to acquire that same patina.... only slightly less unsightly.  

The ones in the drawer worked for these potatoes

as they've worked for similar meals over the last who knows how many years.  

Did I move them with me from California or did I treat myself to new ones for my new home?  

Do I want to spend money on something that won't look new for very long?  

Does it really bother me that much?

I think, once again, that my fingers typing to you have answered the question.


Monday, March 25, 2024

 Part Two about March Madness will be brief, because I was wrong about Yale (who advanced) and surprised by the Pac12 and I slept or read my way through most of the weekend's games once Arizona won in the morning slot.

The reading and sleeping went hand in hand because sometimes acorns fall far from their trees.  Dick Francis's British horse racing series was quick witted and quickly plotted and written in a sparing, blunt style.  His son, whose bio on the book flap says he could not deny that his family's gift of writing had been passed along to him, should have stuck with teaching A-level physics instead of continuing in his father's footsteps.

The father's books could be read as stand alone novels.  There were no characters for the son to bollix up.  But his dense paragraphs on the intricacies of the Value Added Tax, no matter how intrinsic to the plot, led to some of the most restful moments of my weekend.

I slept on the couch.  I slept on the bed.  I slept on the comfy chair in the library and the twisty-turny chair in the living room.  I plodded through the book between naps.  

It was only 260 pages.  It took me three days.  

The title is No Reserve.  You have been warned.

Karin Slaughter, on the other hand, wrote a page turner that made me glad the kiddos were on Spring Break and I didn't have to stop reading to start gardening.  After That Night follows the characters she created eleven novels ago, and they've matured nicely.  It can be read alone, or you can start at the beginning.  

Perhaps the best thing about this book was on the back cover.  James Patterson's blurb still makes me smile - Karin Slaughter has -by far- the best name of all of us mystery novelists.

I'm about to pick up Patricia Cornwell's newest Kay Scarpetta novel, Unnatural Death.  I remember not liking the last one, yet I remain hopeful.  I have Alexander McCall Smith's latest in my book bag if she disappoints.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Water Cooler Conversation

Are you watching March Madness?  Have you completed a bracket to be entered to win zillions of dollars through ESPN and its marketing affiliates or are you in a family pool dating back to the last century?  Do you not care at all, but fraternize with those who do? 

I watched so you didn't have to.  If you need some tidbits to make it seem like you're part of the conversation, try these:

  • Oakland beat Kentucky in a close game.  If you agree that that Oakland kid sure could shoot you'll be fine.
  • Arizona looked flat as a pancake in the first half, then acted as if their half time beverage was Red Bull spiked with amphetamines.  They won  by 20 points.
  • Tom Izzo's Michigan State team looked just fine as they trounced Mississippi State.  He's got a long record of near success in the tournament.  We shall see.....
  • Tommy Lloyd, Arizona's coach (okay, I know a lot about Arizona for some reason.....) got his first basketball coaching job from the man whose team he beat in the first round on Thursday.  What goes around comes around.
  • Yale just couldn't compete.
  • Duquesne confused me - the announcers kept referring to Duke and I kept looking for Coach K.  How wrong I was on all counts.
  • Oregon is looking real good now that their big man is healthy.
  • It's fun to see St. Peter's (last year's Cinderella team) back again.
  • And did you see Sister Jean?? She's 104!!
That should be enough to hold you until Monday.  I'll be back then with the weekend's round up.  My brain will be overflowing with basketball, balanced with a sprinkling of mysteries to read.

I love March Madness.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Who's Next?

This week has been filled with people telling me they're moving.  It's been a lot.

My physician, a woman whose advice I believe and whose manner I cherish, got a better job offer in Scottsdale and will be gone in September.  She promises to leave me in good hands, but I liked her hands.  

She is the fourth young, female, primary care doctor I've seen here in Tucson who has moved on to brighter pastures in other cities.  It's getting harder to imagine starting all over again as I get older.  Having some history with those advising me on life (and death?) matters would be lovely.

G'ma always said to be sure your doctors are younger than you so they won't be retiring (or dying) just when you needed them most.  Apparently, that advice is moot in the 21st century.

She was the first.  Today, the New Neighbors came over to visit in our driveway.  We admired the bluebells. They told me they were selling their house.  

I finally got used to them being in JannyLou and Fast Eddie's house and now they are leaving.  They have family near Lake Winnipesaukee.  Their house is beautiful but really big for two.  They can snowbird between Tucson and New Hampshire but they won't be next door.

Some things come in threes.  I'm wondering who will be next.  

At least I won't be surprised.   

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Woe Is Me

 Definitely a first world problem, but a problem nonetheless.  

Honey Bunny is celebrating the anniversary of her birth.  TBG and I, her grandparental units, would love to join the festivities.  

Flying makes more sense than driving.  United has a pleasing schedule and a basic fare that feels generally reasonable.  Seat assignments are buried at the end of the reservation section, after you've entered all that information, checking the long numbers more than once.  Deciding to pay for something they have to give me anyway seems absurd.  We don't need more than a carry on, and ours fit under the seat if need be.  It shouldn't be as hard as it is.

Did I want Basic Economy or Economy?  Would I be able to pay to secure a seat assignment, should TBG need me by his side?  I had to go all through the process to find out.  There's a fare breakdown on the side of the page, but seats and baggage costs are buried.  Somehow, that didn't seem right.  

And the more I thought about it, the less sense it made to me.  If, as it was in the past, they let me assign myself a seat when I book the ticket, there is one less piece of the process requiring the gate attendants' attention.  I don't have to stand in line.  The agent doesn't have to deal with me.  Sounds like a win/win situation to me.

It wasn't broke, so they fixed it. 

I moaned and groaned and figured it out and entered the credit card and scrolled past the agreements and clicked BUY NOW and the page flew to the very top and sat there.  No little ball rolling or dots dotting, no indication that the transaction had occurred.  I scrolled down, clicked again, and was sent to the top once again.

Okay, maybe try another credit card.  Nope, that didn't work.  I was afraid to refresh the page; what if I lost it all and had to reenter it again? I moaned some more, then came here and began this post.  Two paragraphs ago I decided to close random tabs as I cogitated where to take this post.  In doing so, I found two identical tabs.  I went back one page on one of those tabs, clicked BUY NOW just for kicks, and wonder of wonders miracle of miracles there was an arrow slowly making its way around and around.

So, it all worked out.  I have a complaint to send to Secretary Pete's transparency team.  I'm going to see some of my family and I have plans to see the rest of them once we have Show Choir's spring performance date.  I'm paying a lot more for a lot less to get to do all this travel. 

Like I said:  First World Problem

Tuesday, March 19, 2024


Apparently, between Bell's Palsy and March Madness and a myriad of nonsense I forgot to schedule a post for today.

Thanks for pointing it out, Little Cheese.  

I'll be back tomorrow, as originally and most beautifully planned.

(Bonus points if you get the movie reference.)

Monday, March 18, 2024

Springtime in the Desert

Apparently, my phone can take panoramic pictures.
This allows me to show off my bluebells.  These are not weeds, TBG's protests to the contrary.  A weed is a plant in the wrong place.  These, while not intentional, are not weeds.  These babies have seed packets you can buy in the store.  Fortunately for my garden spending, my bluebells were naturally seeded by the members of the animal kingdom who pollinate and defecate in my yard. 
The yellow flowers are brittle bush, and are also volunteers, deposited not always where I'd choose but appreciated none the less.
I spent the day in the garden out back, pulling out the rose bush remains that perished when the irrigation system crapped out last summer.  There was no there there anymore; my foot kicked out the stumps with ease.  The face lift was noticeable, but there was more to be done.  

I replanted the not-hanging-but-standing-on-a-post basket with the remains of other failed containers.  I examined the sticky little bugs I found attached to and crawling on an irrigation nozzle; I'll bag it and take it in to the master gardeners tomorrow for diagnosis and treatment.  I cleaned off the pretty metal rack that holds the I-can-live-outdoors tools and swept the potting shed floor clean.  

Tomorrow, if the weather holds, I'll plant the roses in the front and ask Mr. 21 to come over and dig me a hole for the rose tree in the back.  I tried to dig it myself; I gave up almost immediately.  

I may even finish the cacti-and-succulents-in-pots situation I'm trying to create at our front door.  I've had the tools and the soil out there for months, without the urge to complete the job. But it's been high in the upper 60's and sunny here and these are them weeks we cherish.  I can be outside and do whatever I want to do at any time of the day, wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt to protect my arms from the sun and the prickers as I clip and dig and get soil under my still perfect manicure.

We've had a lot of visitors, sharing the bounty.  Look who showed up this morning.

Friday, March 15, 2024

St. Patrick's Day

Reposted, with additions.

I know nothing about the origins of the holiday.*  I do know that once the boys made it clear that corned beef and cabbage and boiled potatoes did not hold a candle to pizza, Little Cuter and I began a delicious tradition of eating, ravenously, voraciously, turning to our fingers when that bite eluded the fork.  

I've missed her every March 15th since she went to college.  

Her brother in law brines his own meat, creating three huge trays, each with a different recipe, enough for the family and friends that filled his house.  I'm jealous of the food, but not the public setting.  Part of the joy I take is in the messiness, the pure hedonism, the lack of propriety or respect for anything except getting the tastes into my mouth as efficiently as I can.

I usually use a dish towel instead of a paper napkin.

I am slovenly and unapologetic.

So, for whatever reason we celebrate you, thank you St. Patrick for having a day.


According to the interwebs, this 5th century priest was never awarded sainthood and was either brought to Ireland as a slave or sold a few of his family's slaves to pay his way there.  He probably didn't drive all the snakes out of Ireland, but he certainly used the clover to explain the Holy Trinity.  I'm not sure how the 3 leaves made it to 4 leaves for luck, but there you have it.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

What A Day

There were wonderful moments in the garden today.  The green onions are sprouting everywhere, and the kids had a great time sharing their bad breath.  We have arugula and rocket lettuce and red lettuce and spinach and big romaine leaves. 

Rocket lettuce tastes like mustard, which surprised a few taste buds.  The spinach was also a surprise, in that they really liked it.  With mint and cilantro and scallions, the scholars made their own garden grown salad.  Nobody asked for ranch dressing.

The irrigation system needed adjusting and the beds and buckets needed watering, which was done by young gardeners who kept the water on the plants.... for the most part.  The daisies are blooming and ready for picking, and all the girls who asked left with a yellow or an orange flower.  

But then there were the fifth graders who didn't know odd numbers from even numbers.  Even the teachers were amazed.  

Two of the scholars who ate the celery we used for a lesson on xylem and floem appeared .  I soon afterwards in the nurse's office.  One had a rash on her neck.  One had a scratchy throat and an ear ache.  The celery was the only thing they had in common.  Neither the nurse nor I thought of celery as an allergen.  The girl's necklace might have caused the rash.  The boy's symptoms defied explanation.  

Since it was close to dismissal, the nurse decided to let the families sort things out. 

I closed the garden and walked to my car which did not respond to my key which was logical since I'd left the key in my wallet in the garden.  I walked back and then back again.  I got gas and a chicken and yellow roses at Costco, adding Tana French's newest novel to my basket as a reward for surviving the day.

TBG's got Bell's Palsy.  .  

It's uncomfortable but not fatal.  He's well medicated and we understand the process of recovery.  He's a trooper, making the best of a bad situation.  But everyone needs to wallow in misery from time to time, and this is one of those times.  He's as upbeat as a man with half a face can be.

I should rearrange our usual places on the couch.  I'm looking at the droopy side and it's making me sad.  The unaffected side still smiles at me.  I just have to move over so I see it more often.

As I said, it's been a day.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Clocks - A Short Rant

The only person who knows what time it is is the one who owns only one clock.

I have children in the Eastern and Western time zones.  I am in the Arizona zone (it's true; look at the options for your clock).  I never know what time it is anywhere.

My computer decided that my clock should change.  This was confusing for a few moments early on Sunday morning.  I didn't think I'd slept that long.

There is so much to be said for leaving things alone.  

That's it.  I'm done.  No one listened to me when I insisted that school start after Labor Day.  I don't think anyone will listen to me on this, either.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Tucson Festival of Books

The sun was shining, a breeze was blowing, the clouds were high and white, and there were books everywhere I looked.  People reading books, people buying books, p eople sorting through books..... you get the picture.  The TFOB is my favorite weekend of the year.

I took a different approach this year.  Instead of working through the list of Author Events and marking out a packed schedule for both days, I just wandered.  Open seats were inviting me to hear about Martin Luther King, Jr first thing in the morning, eating my bagel and lox before hardly anyone else arrived.  

I waited in a comfy chair on the patio outside the North Ballroom before listening to Alysin Camerota and Luke Russert talk about their childhoods.  A mathematician from Britain made the case for the marvelous connections between mathematics and literature.   T.C. Boyle  read us a story.  I had lemon Italian ice for lunch.  And that was just the first day.

Reminding me why I love books and authors and authors talking about books and other authors was the morning panel with T.C. Boyle and Linda See and Viet Thanh Nguyen. I wandered through Science City and the Children's Village, collecting stickers and pens and post it notes emblazoned with logos and affirmations.  A sorority was giving away free books and I filled my backpack with goodies for the kiddos at Prince.  I have some lovely bookmarks, many small stress balls in the shape of brains, and very colorful pipe-cleaners which a delightful science educator encouraged me to fashion into my very own, very silly, very oversized glasses.  

With a philosopher, I considered whether TBG's watch, which has had every piece replaced over its life, is still the same watch he bought long ago.  A panel on Religion's Grip on Politics was a frightening glimpse into the vortex of right-wing, Evangelical Protestants, from people who'd been deep in the belly of the beast.  Their philosophy is bad religion and bad history, and they had the pages from Scripture and reality to back up those claims.

I ran into friends, randomly.  I chatted up strangers while we waited in line.  I walked without feeling all that tired.  What used to be a long long walk was suddenly right there.  

It's my favorite weekend of the year.  

Monday, March 11, 2024

Watching the Oscars

We've seen one or two of the movies, which is about par for the course.

Billie Eilish was wearing knee socks standing next to Ariana Grande, whose sleeves were weirdly gigantic puffballs of pink satin, and Cynthia Erivo, whose deep green dress had lizard scales down her (very lovely) back.  Ryan Gosling scampered about in a sparkly pink tuxedo.  

So far, that's the most exciting thing that's happened tonight.  The speeches are, for the most part, unintelligible.  We wondered, more than once, if the winners were speaking English.  

The fawning over the Best Actor nominees was cringe worthy.  Bradley Cooper brought his mother to the show, and her big blue sunglasses were just fab.  

I always like the hugging when the winners are announced.  Christopher Nolan must be a wonderful human being; everyone hugged him and mentioned him and enthused about him.  Steven Spielberg smiled benevolently as the passersby nodded in his direction. 

Emma Stone defined gobsmacked when her name was announced.  The fact that her dressed popped its back seam made me love every bit of her. 

Was Al Pacino high?  He shuffled out, opened the envelope without reading all the nominees, and then wandered around behind the throng of filmmakers involved in Oppenheimer who joined the producers on stage.  

Jimmy Kimmel wore a series of ever more ridiculous tuxedo jackets, tailored to highlight his least attractive features.  He made a joke about the Lying Liar and not everyone clapped.  

Children and parents and music teachers were thanked from the stage.  They were, I am sure, happier than I was to listen to it.

Can you tell that this is not my favorite show of the year?

Friday, March 8, 2024

A Disappointment

No, this isn't a commentary on the State of the Union.  Joe hasn't started speaking yet.  

No, this is a commentary on the sad state of the stationary department in Target.

Yes, I went into Target.  I needed a picture frame and pens; it was the store that had them both and was open at 9:15am.  It's been upgraded since my last visit.  The aisles are wider and it seems like there are fewer options.  I had to ask for directions to the picture frames, of which there were none worth buying.  

I searched out the writing implements.  I found them    There was no way to test them, no small white pad of paper and a variety of tied to a console pens.  How was I to choose?  

Understand that I write a lot - transferring thoughts to paper by moving a marker over paper, not depressing buttons..... although even there I need just the right keyboard to feel fully at ease.  I have a lot of requirements, starting with no leaking and ending with how it works on a coated piece of stationary.  I

I was attracted by a lot of the packaging, and was glad to see that the pretty pencil box was also the least expensive alternative that met my needs.  The pens were a different story.  The hand feel and the ink flow and the color of the (always) blue on the paper - these are things that cannot be determined by looking through plastic.
I chose these.  Medium point, blue ink, click top so useful when only one hand is available, all at a low price.  I took a chance.  I made a mistake.
This is the most uncomfortable writing implement every invented.  
The square padded finger rest felt like it was correcting my grip.  I was taught how to hold a pen.  There is nothing wrong with my grip.  The edges kept poking into my fingers' tender inner flesh.  No matter how I tried, it never felt right.  

Plus, right out of the packaging, it was blotting the paper.  

I'm going back to Target in the morning with my receipt and my request to exchange the pens, only one used, and then only to fill in five or six answers in a crossword puzzle.  Then I'll go next door to Office Depot and see if I fare any better. 

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Goodbye, Nikki

It was refreshing to notice that the talking heads never once mentioned Nikki Haley's sex or ethnicity when announcing the suspension of her campaign.  The last candidate standing was her moniker and it made me happy all day long.  

I'm not happy that she's out of the race; I enjoyed someone calling herself a Republican who actually had the audacity to say that the Lying Liar wasn't fit to be President.  Why she didn't start that line earlier in the campaign is a question for another day.  Anyone who takes a step across the line from blind obedience to maybe there's another way gets a small round of applause in this house.

We're trying to be kind to those who might be persuadable, the uninvolved voter whose family has always pulled the Republican lever (remember the giant handle which closed the curtain and revealed the voting machine?), the twenty-something who gets his news from the sports channels, the guy from bike class who stopped coming because everyone else knew right from wrong.  

It's better than being furious with them.  We've tried that for years and have gotten nowhere.  

But I digress.  Back to Nikki Haley, whose major donors stopped writing checks.  Will those people now send The Indicted One their donations, to help with his legal bills?  Will she endorse the Lying Liar (I'm writing this early in the day)?  Will she go on the lecture circuit and keep her options open for 2028?

Would she be a Vice Presidential Candidate?  The notion of two women of color supporting two old white men leaves a lot to consider.  Nikki Haley doesn't believe in identity politics (I heard her say it this morning) but she does believe in breaking glass ceilings.  Fifty years ago, this image seemed impossible.

And that's where I am going to leave this discussion.  I don't want to be upset about November.  I don't want to consider the what if's, like what if the primary vote in Iowa had been counted in a timely manner for the news cycle to pick up Mayor Pete's win there and create the momentum it should have.  Lis Smith, his campaign guru, outlined a credible path to the White House if Mayor Pete prevailed.

What if it had happened?  

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Eighteen Dollars

Sister is quite involved in getting Andy Kim the Democratic nomination for US Senate in New Jersey.  The machine wants the state's First Lady, Tammy Murphy, to carry the torch in the general election.  

Sister likens Rep. Kim to Allard Lowenstein, the political hero of our adolescence, so when she asked for a donation on our sibling chat, I made my usual $18 donation.  

In Hebrew, where letters serve as numbers, 18 is chai, life in English.  It's a throwback to my parents' generation and theirs before them.  

Apparently, it's ingrained in my family tree.  Brother sent $18 too.

Actually, being who he is, he sent $18.36.  

I get that 36 is twice 18, but otherwise it's a mystery, just as most of the wonderfulness surrounding him is mysteriously charming.  He and sister went back and forth, tossing the missing 64cents between them, and I was back in my childhood kitchen with them, feeling and seeing and smelling it all.

I wonder if G'ma and Daddooooo realized the tradition they created.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Thank You

I'm so happy to be preaching to such an appreciative choir.  Yesterday's comments helped me move on from lonely railing at the wind to knowing that I'm not alone.

Friends from LaMaze class are in town; we're seeing a lot of them.  Each time, we find ourselves saying Oh, no, let's not talk about him as the conversation strays in that unfortunate direction.  He's omnipresent.  

I do have confidence in the American people and in our system.  It held against his minions once on election day and again on January 6th.  That doesn't stop me from being terrified. 

It's time to start writing Get Out the Vote postcards again.  The first request just came to my inbox.  These are going to be important months in American History.

Do you think everyone throughout time imagines that they are Living In Interesting Times?

Monday, March 4, 2024

I'm Done

I've been anxious for several days.  Driving home on Friday, I catalogued all the pieces of my life.  There is nothing to stress over, beyond the fact that age is taking its toll on our bodies.  Everything is fine and yet I'm still antsy.

The cd I was playing ended.  As I hesitated to turn on NPR, I realized the source of my angst.  It's the Lying Liar and all the tentacles he's using to poison my America.  

I once wanted to be a Supreme Court justice.  Now, the thought of sharing a room with Clarence Thomas makes me quiver and quake.  There was a bipartisan border solution, which was just what he asked for, yet he stomped on it for political gain, putting the legislative process up for sale.  And don't get me started on the ChristoFascistFool's minions have in store for reproductive rights.  

Naming the source helped..... a little.  But today, Sunday, my brain nearly exploded.  The news was filled with a NYTimes poll (the NYT.... gee, it must be legit, right??) showing Trump trouncing Biden in November.  The front page stories included that tidbit, plus other ways to make America seem hopeless and in crisis.  

I threw out everything except the Magazine and the Book Review and the Style section.  There's the rest of the paper, recycled before being opened and certainly before being read.

Then Substack came to my rescue.  I follow Jay Kuo, a Stanford/Berkeley educated lawyer.  He explains complicated situations in almost real time, except on Fridays when he gives us memes and funny animal videos.  He exposes the inadequacies of the poll here.  For those who want the TLDR version (Too Long Didn't Read for you neophytes), here are some highlights:
  • I do not believe Biden is tied with women nationally 46-46… Biden got 57% of women in 2020. You're telling me that, post-Dobbs, his support among that demo group will drop to 46? Not credible
  • The poll was conducted in English, although it included non-English speaking Hispanic voters.
  • Older Latino voters, whose native language is often Spanish, are some of the most reliable Democratic voters out there. To ignore them in the poll and focus nearly only on English speakers understandably delivers wacky results. The Univision poll, by the way, had Biden over Trump 58 to 31 once you included Spanish speakers, who skewed 62-26 for Biden.
  • The youth result skews toward Biden, but at half the rate other major polls suggest.
Finally, it's 200 days out from the election and most people aren't as obsessed as I am.  I'm not sure where the bias comes from, but I'm done with the NYT.... except as noted above and the games during the week.  For me, as the article in Vanity Fair suggested last month, the NYTimes has become a gaming platform with an occasional news drop.

Friday, March 1, 2024

I Love My Brother

It was a wonderful birthday, with cards and flowers and a balloon.

Little Cuter found a beautiful spaghetti fork

which she packaged with two more practical ones and a butter dish.

My brother sent me this:

It was packed within a few cardboard boxes cut to size, bubble wrap, foam paddiing, and enough scotch tape to humble a less determined package opener. I gave up on the scissors, moved on to the Exacto knife, and with the sender listening on speaker phone I revealed the gift. He's taken a class at the local community college and created my birthday present.

It came with its provenance detailed on the side of one of those boxes:

Contains: Recycled brownie container (part of a Hanukkah gift I sent them), part of a left over bag of concrete mix, red pigment, recycled copper gutters (from his house), abandoned copper tubing, telephone wire, 14 gauge wire, almost properly sized brass rivets, traces of tin/silver solder and flux. Wilt proof flowers are impervious to desert heat and bitter cold. Guaranteed to tarnish like the Statue of Liberty. Requires no routine maintenance. Prefers bright sunlight or deep shade or anything in between. Impervious to pests and disease.
WARNING: Contents will hurt if dropped on your toe. Do not eat unless you have very strong teeth. Various components probably known to cause cancer in California.

He's taking two more classes now - Creative Writing and Tap Dancing.  Creative Writing made sense to me; I've been reading his occasional newsletters since I went away to college.  But Tap Dancing?  

Why not?  I have two heels and ten toes.

Yes, he now owns tap shoes.  

I love my little brother.