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Showing posts with the label humanity

That's Life. Really?

My stomach is untying knots of annoyance right now. Bleah! Something was aligned in space that I found myself going from one annoyance to another today. Yesterday, that is. No, I'm not going to describe them. Not worth it.

But, I will describe an attitude we encountered the other day that continues to disturb the husband and me.  I was ordering a sandwich at a supermarket deli. A frail elderly man was next to me holding onto his empty cart. He took a step backward, fell against me, and slid to the ground. The cart fell on top of him. Without hesitation, I pulled the cart off him and the husband called 9-1-1. The young deli clerk ran quickly around the long sandwich counter and pulled a display pole away from his head. The store manager was there in less than a minute, and a customer who was a first responder or a nurse, came forward and took care of the man. A few minutes later, the man's son was there.

"Don't worry," said the husband. "The ambulance is coming…

Yours, Randomly Thursday

I took a spin on my bicycle before breakfast this morning. Just a short one. Just enough to get my heart pumping to my brain so I could think properly. Coffee doesn't do that all the time for me.

I started off chilled, as the fog was still burning. But as I pedaled onward, the less uncomfortable I felt and the more I glanced around me.  White picket fences. Fences blown down. Shade trees of all sorts. Tall, fat droopy sunflowers. City guys pruning trees. Construction guys taking a break from building the hospital expansion. Lone jogger. Aging couple walking tiny dog.

Today was garbage day for some streets. I saw a baby car seat in one can and a wicker basket in another, and wondered how I could revamp them into other things. Fortunately for the husband, I didn't pull them out of the cans.  Passing by the blue recycled cans made me think of the night before when I was taking out our garbage cans.  A mother and child were about to open the garbage cans across the street. She saw…

The Declaration of Independence

Happy Fourth of July Dear Readers!!!

The United States of America is  234 years old! Happy Birthday to us! Whoo-hooo!!! 

If you haven't read the Declaration of Independence yet this weekend, well then here is a transcript of the Declaration as written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 members of Congress. To read more about the who, what, when, why, and how, head over to this page at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Web site.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident,…

C'mon, Rebecca!

The little old lady walked slowly, slowly, painstakingly slowly across the street.

The grandpa waited impatiently for her to cross completely pass his car.

"C'mon on, Rebecca," he muttered from behind the wheel.

"Do you know her, Grandpa?" asked his young, earnest grandson.


"How do you know that's her name?"

"They're all Rebecca," the grandpa said. "All little old ladies."

C'mon, Rebecca.

The earnest young grandson was the husband. He told me this story (of course not exactly in those words) after our first time sitting together in a car waiting for a little old lady to slowly, slowly, painstakingly slowly do something. I say "something" because I don't remember what it was, though most likely the little old lady was in her car, and we were waiting for her to turn left or right, drive across the intersection, or edge into a parking spot.

C'mon, Rebecca.

We have maintained the husband's Gran…

Finding Things

Don't you just hate it when you can't find find what you want?

And, you know it's where it ought to be.

Back in April, I wanted to start reading Craig Ferguson's memoir, American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot.  (Click on that link and it'll bring you to Amazon. Just saying.) It was one of the books that the husband and I got for ourselves last Christmas. He finished it at the beginning of the year and placed it on my pile of books to read that I stacked on the recliner in the bedroom.

Because I got tired of feeling bad that he had to move all the books onto the bed when he wanted to sit on the recliner to read, and then back again when he was done sitting, I thought I'd switch the books elsewhere. I did in February. I brought the pile into the office and wrote a blog post (not an link) about what I was not reading.  I must have been still in a got-to-be organized mood because I stacked them neatly away somewhere.

I forgot…

Helping Our Fellow Creatures

"Oh, my God, my God, my God," I cried, just seconds after saying a bright "hello" to the black bird that landed on the neighbor's trellis, which was the day before yesterday.

"What? What?" said the husband, looking up from washing dishes.

The other neighbor's fat grey cat was walking along the top of the fence, firmly grasping a torn-up blackbird in its mouth. The black bird that I had seen was swooping at its head. The fat cat did not care.

God, how I dislike that neighbor's cat.

"I wish she'd keep that cat in the house where it belongs," growled the husband. "Or, just get rid of it."

The husband dislikes the cat, too. He's constantly picking up its poop off the front lawn. The mama picks up its poop in the back yard, but unlike the husband, she throws the poop over the fence so the neighbor can pick up after her cat. The mama feels sorry for the cat.  The mama thinks the cat kills birds because the neighbor doesn'…

1, 2, 3 Senryu

Senryu, what? 

It's a type of Japanese poem that is similar in format as the haiku.

Haiku, huh?

Okay, this is not English class, but I know you wish to be enlightened. If not, you will, by golly. Or, you can simply scroll down to the poems.  My education of all things haiku came last night when I finally wrote the last line to my haiku-in-progress. I felt that it wasn't really a haiku. So, off to Google my questioning mind and tippity-tap fingers went.

In short, the haiku and senryu are three-line poems composed of 17 syllables. The pattern is five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Haiku poems are about nature; no mention of human foibles allowed. Senryu poems  are about  human nature; no reference to the natural world at all.

Now, you know. It didn't hurt, did it?

Here's a true haiku by Basho Matsuo, who is said to be the first great haiku poet. He lived during the 17th century.
An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond,

Poems for Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day.

Here, then, I share with you two poems from the public domain.  Be forewarned: The poems are graphic. They are ugly. They are painful. As they should be. These poems give us a glimpse into the world of  men and women who live and risk dying in war, any war, so that corporations, businesses, churches, and other institutions may continue.

I am not advocating for or against war by presenting these two poems. I'll tell you this though: I would love the ideal conditions that beauty contestants want, "World peace."

This first poem was written by Alan Seeger, an American poet who joined the French Foreign Legion in 1914 so he could fight in the war against the Central Powers. He was killed in action in France two years later.
by Alan SeegerI have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air -
I have a rendezvous …

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

I had no idea what this movie was about. I didn't know it was directed by Terry Gilliam. Nor did I know this was the last movie in which the late great Heath Ledger acted and Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell stepped in to play his role after he died.  Netflix categorized the film as fantasy/science fiction, so I  stuck it in the queue for the husband. I'm glad I did.

The movie is stunning. I can't think of any other word for it. The story, the acting, the direction, the scenery, the camera work, everything about it is incredible. The storyline is simple, yet intricate: Dr. Parnassus makes a deal with the devil for immortality. Flash forward a thousand or so years, the man falls in love. He makes another deal with the devil so that the woman will fall in love with him. The catch: Should Dr. Parnassus have a child, the child becomes the devil's when she turns 16. Just before her birthday, Dr. Parnassus tries to make deals with the devil to change his mind. How Gi…

Haiku, One Day Later

Yesterday was designated Haiku Day for the Wordcount Blogathon. I missed it. Well, I could've posted my haiku, but then I'd have to think up something for today.  Drum roll please. . . . I give you the haiku that visited my mind.
The Lawrence Welk Show

Tenor Feeney sang.
Daddy listened and then said
"He earned his two bits."I have a feeling my haiku is really not one. Oh, well. That's all that's in the old noggin for now.

Simply Love

My Lola Julia told me that the ideal man to marry is one who is twice your age plus seven years. I was pretty close with the first husband. He was 33 years older than me. Some people thought I married him so I could get a green card. The husband and I were/are both second generation Americans. Early in our marriage, we were in an emergency room  where a doctor asked the first husband if he was an actor or some kind of famous guy. Guess only actors and famous guys marry younger women. Of course, some people thought at first that the first husband was my dad. I liked to say that I had robbed the grandpa cradle.

Ours was a marriage of love. That was all. We met at a party I gave and in the middle of it we left so I could show him my new red truck. I don't know why I did that.

We found that we had a lot of things, beliefs, and values in common. We moved in together, then married. We hiked down the Grand Canyon, backpacked through the Sierras, and traveled here and there.  We talked an…


"I came down to check out the chicks," said the middle-aged man, still looking quite youthful in a charming way. We were standing by the egg vendor at the local farmers market.

"The chicks you eat or the other kind?" I asked.

"We ate chicks last week," he answered, looking amused with himself.

"Okay." I noticed the straps holding up his glasses. "You won't get anyone wearing those straps."

He pulled off his glasses and looked at them with concern. "I can't lose these glasses. This is my last pair. These are more important than chicks."

"So, you're seeking middle-aged chicks then."

"Yeah," he said, looking confused.

I enjoy interchanges like that.

Guest Blogger Tara

Dear Gentle Readers, You're in for a very special treat. The Wordcount Blogathon chose today as the day that blogathoners switch it up and do guest posts. My guest blogger  is Tara  of Two Hands and a Roadmap. She's one of a kind. Everyone, say, "Hey Tara!" 

Su-sieee! Mac and I didn't know each other until early in the Wordcount blogathon, but we managed to find and enjoy each other's blogs (unless she's lying, which is totally possible). I'm so glad to do my first guest post for her.

Because neither one of us was flush with ideas for this assignment, we used a random writing prompt generator. Here is what I got:

"Think of a real experience you have had that would be hard to forget. Think about what makes it so hard to forget. Tell what happened."

OK, I started to write the story of how one night in the '90s I was in my underwear when a song from The Full Monty came on the radio, so naturally I had to ham up a little Fully Monty sarcastic

Rambling Away Today (Yesterday)

Today (which will be yesterday by the time I post this) is a brunch day. It was 10:30 by the time I went down to the kitchen to eat breakfast.

Why so late? Because I woke up at 10:04.

Why so late? Because I stayed up to 4 a.m. doing some gratis work for my high school class alumni scholarship fundraiser, and okay, I kept falling asleep on the documentary The Botany of Desire. (P.S. If you click that link, it will take you to Amazon. Just saying.) The parts I did see were quite interesting.

Did you know that apples originated in Borat land, and that Johnny Appleseed dressed like a beggar but was some smart cookie of a business guy, and that the first apples in America were too sour to eat but perfect mash for getting drunk?

I also woke up to learn a bit about marijuana. Naturally, it can grow to seven feet or more. I didn't know that. Because folks have been furtively growing marijuana indoors, a new species was created so that the plant doesn't grow as high and that the stuff t…

The Solicitation

Ding dong.

"Who can that be?" asked the husband, not getting up from his desk.

I scrambled up from mine and down the stairs.  I hoped it wasn't another salesperson from the carpet cleaning or bug zapping service. I also didn't want to get down there and find someone clutching slick campaign material to give me. I doubt it was religious people. They rarely show up around dinner time. Aw, gee. I hoped it wasn't anyone we knew. The husband and I bought hot dogs at the Farmers Market for dinner. There was only enough for the mama and us.

Our front door was open. I saw a young man on the other side of the security gate. "Hello," I called, as I walked down the last few steps.

"Hello," he said, pressing his face into the gate. I love that security gate. I can see the people on the other side of it, but they can't see me. I'm just a voice behind it.

"What do you want?"

He stepped back quickly. "I couldn't tell where you were.&…

Hollister, My Hometown

"What's with all these Hollister tee shirts?"

That's the kind of question folks would ask me when they learned I was from Hollister, California.

"I was standing behind this gal wearing a sweatshirt that said Hollister on it. 'Hey, I'm from Hollister, too?' She looked at me like I was some kind of perv."

That's the kind of story I would hear from local folks (or folks who used to live here) about their first encounters with the Hollister line of clothing sold by Abercrombie and Fitch.

Most of you, dear readers, most likely know that the Hollister clothes sold in stores nationwide popularize a fabricated beach town called Hollister, California. It would be funny if it weren't for the fact that a few years ago, Abercrombie and Fitch came through our very real town and told small business owners to stop selling any and all clothing that have Hollister printed on it. If they continued,  the corporation would sue the small business owners to hig…

What Daddy Told Me

My dad didn't advise me much when I was growing up. When he did, they were humdingers, and usually they were one-liners.  For instance, on the day of my senior prom, he told me rather placidly, and unexpectedly, "Don't go f***ing around." The idea hadn't even entered my mind.  And, when I was attending community college, Daddy pronounced suddenly in his usual unruffled way to me, "Don't be a hippie." Nothing more.

Probably the most profound guidance Daddy gave me was when, as a teenager, I decided to check out different churches. Not because I was looking for a church to join but because I was curious about how different churches worshiped. I didn't know that Daddy had noticed what I was doing. Even if he had, I didn't think he would've cared since we were not avid churchgoers. But before I went on my fourth Sunday outing, Daddy said, calmly, as always, "I don't want you going to any other church as long as I'm alive."


Getting a Zero Placeholder Wrong

What a ditz I am! What a dope!

I could blame it on my  progressive lenses that give me trouble finding the  sweet spot in which to read my computer screen. Yeah, I can blame my glasses. No personal responsibility here for reading $.045 as 45 cents instead of 4 1/2 cents. What a big difference that is!

Last month, I contracted to write three articles for a reputable publisher based on $.045 per word, which I read as 45 cents a word. I would've been none the wiser if I hadn't received an e-mail yesterday from the editor seeking writers to complete a few  rush articles. He wrote that the pay would be the usual "4 1/2 cents per word." What? I quickly looked up the initial query I received and my contract. The wording was "$.045 per word." Such a dumbo, I am. Sigh.

Now I could turn my frown upside down by saying that 4 1/2 cents per word is better than the zero cents per word I give myself for blog posts. Four and a half cents is better than nothing, right? Some…

Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

I learned recently that the Pulitzer people give out an annual prize for criticism. The mama would win one if she was a journalist, or if the prize was for the most, best, and consistent criticizer around.  That doesn't sound good, does it?

On a positive note, she is less critical than she was in our younger days. That could be because I am just as less critical about her. Ah, the joys of this daughter-and-mother relationship. I digress, as bloggers are sometimes meant to do.

According to the Pulitzer Prizes Web site, the winners in the criticism category are awarded for their " distinguished criticism." In other words, they have written in print or online acclaimed, celebrated, esteemed, respected, important, and influential words of assessment, appraisal, judgement, disapproval, condemnation, and/or censure. Imagine.

Some winning critics have offered their opinions about movies, books, music, art, architecture, or media. Others have commented about social, cultural, eco…

What Day is this Date?

I bought a 2010 calendar last year. I don't know where it is. I only care now because I have work assignments for different clients that I need to keep tabs on.

Don't worry clients, if you happen to be reading this. I know my deadline for each of you.

Some moments, I just feel anal-retentive and wish to have a calendar that's not on my computer (as if I look at that one) but strewn on top of a noteworthy pile on my desk. That's just how I operate.