Tears for Bill Evans: An Ode

February 27, 2017

I don’t know why it is
The music so much like a kiss
Close your eyes and enter bliss
Surrendering all to enter this
Wonderful realm of warm caresses
Muted color, how it dances
Hoping it can never end
But then.

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Tongue In Cheek Optimism

February 18, 2017

I am optimistic that we are in for a very interesting next four years.
I am optimistic that even though one political party may at the present control/influence all three branches of government at least one will attempt to hold in check any of the others if they tilt just a little too far towards batshit crazy.
I am optimistic that if I am wrong about number two then we should all get our hand baskets ready and don our best flame-retardant casual wear.
I am optimistic that eventually, we will all have at least one friend who will have the loving courage to point out that our own current course of action might better be rethought and remain the friend that helps to pick up the pieces after we ignore their advice.
I am optimistic that people with brains and the capacity to use them for more than their own advancement and comfort will one day come to the fore. At least before it is too late.
I am equally optimistic that I may never live to see that day but for those who do, you enjoy your better life.
I am optimistic that one day we will all be able to laugh at our shortcomings, learn from them and change ourselves for the better.
I am guardedly optimistic that we can eradicate ignorance without resorting to killing every last stupid person on the earth. Besides, where would we end up burying them all?
This knave will now curb thine own tongue but stopping my fingers from pounding letters/words from my keyboard is another matter indeed.

Gee, I Didn’t Know That

February 17, 2017

While preparing a new post a little while ago I came to the point where I had to decide which of two words would I wanted to use to make my point. So, like any person who would want their readers to see ideas expressed as succinctly as possible I looked it up. Well, I actually “googled it”, which in this digital age produces the same result.

Much to my surprise, there was no difference, degree of sameness or better of the two words to use. I had long thought one of these two words would be the correct one in the sense that I wanted to use it. Lo and behold, one of those two words in my vocabulary does not even exist in the English language.

Of the two words, “input” and “imput”, imput is not a word at all. The Google search of the two words together led me to the opinion that the “m and p” together are easier to say than “n and p”, something about “m and p” being similarly made sounds by both lips. There is a word for that but if you are interested enough I think you can take the time to look it up yourself. You can impute, you can impugn, you can be impure, but you can not imput, you can only input.

I guess you can teach an old dog new syntax.

The Things I Miss the Most

February 14, 2017

My birthday follows on the heels of Valentine’s Day. This year, deemed to be an exceptionally more significant anniversary, my 70th, by one sister, it was suggested that instead of the usual sibling house gathering with pizza, wings and a homemade cake of choice we should all gather at a local restaurant for the festivities. The cake would still be homemade, carrot with cream cheese frosting, thank you very much. Pie, almost any type except pumpkin, would be equally acceptable, but cake goes farther even though I am unaware at this point in time just who will show up, it will probably be just the usual suspects. Seeing that the suggested restaurant happens to serve a particularly excellent type of French Fries, I am sure I can build a meal around that that I will enjoy, so I acquiesced, maybe a little too quickly. I am hoping no one noticed. Also, no attendees will be expecting to do the dishes. Always a plus.
Presents are something that both Valentine’s Day and birthdays have in common even though one’s selection maybe a little more heartfelt than the others. Not being, at least in my viewpoint, a particularly close family it is always a struggle to find a meaningful gift for any occasion. I always have to ask another of my siblings just what the remainder of them could possibly want and even they come up wanting.
When in doubt go to the source is always good advice. So when I was asked what I would like for my birthday, I had to ponder for a moment. There are many items on my Amazon Wish List that I would like but could live without and that is why they are on a wish list. At times such as these, my wants tend more to the intrinsic and very few stores do indeed stock such items.
This being, as I have mentioned before, a significant anniversary and with the U.S. Actuarial Tables in mind, I told her, “I would like to fall in love one last time.”

Not an unreasonable wish, but one none the less I will be making when blowing out a multitude of candles.

There are very few things in life that are so conclusively true. We invariably fall back on death and taxes.
Every politician seems to be working on the taxes bit, either trying their best to make them as little as possible or actually raising them enough to pay for the things that benefit society instead of putting it all on the National Debt Credit Card.
There is probably a small number of scientists and doctors, mad or not, working on the aging thing, but I imagine that by the time they come up with anything remotely promising I will have aged beyond the point of wanting to remain in the physical condition that I will then be. Now if they can also reverse the aging process, that may be something I could consider. Sort of like a video game do-over.
So everything else seems to be destined to fall into the category of opinion. Granted there are some areas of knowledge that have a such a preponderance factual research to back them up that you could almost quite safely say that these were truths/facts and move them out of the realm of opinion. But then there is always someone who believes that you can’t say with 100% assurance that this is the case. As a matter of fact, they can usually offer an alternative idea which is nothing more than fanciful speculation. In other words, their opinion. This is the point where were it not for the law and the punishment for breaking these laws you would like to introduce said person to one of the truly inevitable things in life. And baby, it ain’t taxes.
And that is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

Exercise

February 8, 2017

I hear that if you do not keep moving you’re either going to be dead or dead already. I have enjoyed exercise in the past when I was trying to get healthy after a couple decades of smoking and the not too occasional battle with the demon rum. Well, not exactly rum but if you drink enough alcohol based drinks, even if it is only beer, for an overly extended amount of time your body does get used to it and your brain does also and eventually it will develop into a lifestyle problem. I did feel better, after a time, but usually after the exercise was over. Oh yes, and of course by eliminating the bad habits.

I still like to keep moving even though my aging body is curtailing many of the activities that I used to love to do. If I run eventually my knees wish that I had stuck to walking. If I cycle my neck wishes that I had stuck to walking. With the advent of the Winter season, I still like to cross-country ski which, depending on how much snow piled up overnight, is much like walking except that you have a long pair of thin boards attached to your feet and long poles attached to your hands. Your heart and breathing rates are easily accelerated in a short time but usually not to the point of any debilitating pain and you actually become used to it. Until you fall down.

Now, like many, I have put on a few pounds since my 1965 high school graduation. Coupled with slightly atrophied musculature and the fact that I am exercising just below the threshold of being out of breath and the aforementioned cross-country ski equipment, my first action, after berating myself for being so stupid to have put myself in this situation in the first place, is to think just how difficult, not to mention slightly exhausting, it is going to be to try and right myself.

After, what seems to be an interminable amount of time and effort I am finally rid of the equipment and it is far easier to get to the standing position. I am lucky my cross-country skiing area is the now snow-covered corn fields across the street from where I live. Not feeling like donning all the equip again to make it back to my home, I make the short trek on foot in the not too deep snow. It takes a long time for my body to recover to its sitting at my computer norms.
This mishap has not soured me on further winter exercises or even eliminating the cross-country skiing altogether just awakened me a little to the limitations that aging puts on myself and my activities and learning to put myself in these tenuous situations less often by just planning a little better.

Opine Revisited

February 7, 2017

There are probably, and I say probably because I just do not care to think that long and hard so early in the morning, many things that I take for granted. Just what and why these things are is a mystery, at the moment, to me. It could be nature, it could nurture and of course, it could be something totally different of which I am, at the moment, ignorant. I am, of course, assuming(ass, u, me, we all know this definition)everyone knows the difference between ignorant and stupid. If not educate yourself and look it up, I am not a teacher and this is what I do when I try to use words that I think I know what they mean and upon investigation find out that either I was correct, sort of correct or totally off base. Granted that I usually use the Internet to find my answers, I have to be equally vigilant that what I find is fact or fiction. As I do often, I am wandering further astray from my original thought. Opinion.
Now and again I question my own just for the reason that, if I stop and ponder it a bit I begin to wonder just where it came from and upon what foundations is it built. When in doubt turn to someone whose judgment and/or opinion, and there is a difference between the two, again look it up, on a specific topic you trust. At the moment I can think of only one living person, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
If you have ever listened to, on radio or podcast, or watched on television, or had the opportunity to see him in person I can only imagine that noone could argue that Mr. Tyson does not, in the true sense of the word, have a unique cosmic view.
In his most recent National Geographic Channel Start Talk show he summarized, quite elegantly, I believe, the various types of opinion. While you may not agree with most of the views of his main guest, Bill Maher, it is well worth wading through, or just fast forward, just for the conclusion of the show. If it does not give you pause for thought then, well, we both may be lost.
At least that is my opinion.

Yup. Everybody has one. No not the only hole in our body that can not be seen in a bathroom vanity mirror, at least not unless you are still young and supple and very inventive. Opinions.

Now, where they come from is another matter. I imagine that you have spent much of your formative years being bombarded by the opinions of parents, relatives, school mates and even, maybe, a street ranting crazy person occasionally. All of those people, in turn, did much the same as you growing up. And now that you are old/experienced enough, it is time to make up your own mind about things. Beware, lest there be dragons.

It can not be a factually proven that anyone takes the time to examine where all or any of their opinions have come from or whether or not there exists any truth/fact basis for these opinions. Some of them are so ingrained in our psyches that we actually have a physical gut feeling whenever a current thought, word or deed brings such opinions to the fore. Usually, it is very difficult, but not impossible, to stop this runaway train of thought. The scar tissue on your tongue, if you have any, is proof of this but tempers more often than not win out.

Changing one’s opinion, because of new facts is quite difficult, frowned upon and considered a sign of untrustworthiness  in political circles, unless, of course self serving expediency dictates. The electorate seems to have short attention spans but Twitter, Twitter never ever seems to forget or forgive.

So, the next time you casually utter, in public, or write for posting on the Internet, something that piques someone else’s sensibilities you may be in for an unexpected debate, a Trumpesque tweet reply or just the sound of teeth biting tongue. Everyone has one and they are hardly ever the same and if you think you are the smartest person in the room, there are probably just as many others who think the same thing.

I know I can usually only speak for myself when it comes to having a short memory. I tend to blame it on either the fact that I most probably am not paying that close attention to what may be going on around me or that I may be entering the realm of some kind of age-related memory disorder. Of course, those two reasons may also be connected but as of yet I have not been tested and my primary care physician insists that I do not really want to know. That decision is still solely left up to me and I have not yet figured out what I want to do. This in itself may be related to the two issues above. There seems to be a Catch-22 issue involved.
I am also not much in the public eye and have very few close friends so the number of avenues able to be used to remind me of past positions is limited. Even with the very few close friends and family members, I think that people are very reluctant to remind us unless there is a point to be made or an advantage to be gained. In either case, most just do not want to get involved.
Politicians on the other hand always seem to glom onto the limelight of the 24-hour news cycle cameras for both of the above reasons. Do they forget that what is recorded in this technological day and age is digital, broadcast endlessly and shared on social media to the point of exhaustion? And I might add much more easily retrievable than just from someone else’s recollections.
So when someone steps before a camera and/or microphone to feign disgust at the latest outrage being perpetrated, it is somewhat, if not totally scurrilous, that not too long ago you just might have been standing before these same cameras doing just the same thing.
Sir, you have a lot of balls and a much worse memory than my own. And we have it all recorded in digital memory.

Hot Button Catch Phrases

January 31, 2017

Politicians and the vindictive beware.

As we go about our everyday routines we probably do not intentionally pay close attention to everything. The people talking nearby in our workplace, the radio in our cars, the tv’s that provide the white noise we so desperately need while we do the humdrum chores at home, the feeds on our Facebook and Twitter pages, the notifications that incessantly pop up on our phones and computers.
But every so often our minds do something akin to owl or Exorcist head spins just at the mention of a certain word or phrase. Suddenly undivided attention comes into play, tempers rise and that sense of injustice roiling in our chests. Usually, at this point, it is a raw emotion which can govern our immediate actions.
There are several groups of people who know and use this reaction to their benefit-see above. Some even seem to delight and thrive in its creation and aftermath.
Calm down. Take a deep breath. Or two. Let the moment pass. Let your rational mind regain control. See these actions for what they are. Tactics. An agenda.
Forego the lashing out. Let cooler heads prevail. Add to the ever increasing number of biting-your-tongue scars and resist uttering/typing those words, once said/published, which will forever remain irretrievable. This course may not, at this particular moment, be in any way fulfilling but we shall see another day with one less pushable button.

Most Interesting Times

January 28, 2017

From varied points of view and even more varied times in our history it could be said by any particular group of people that we are living, or soon will be, in most interesting times.
Unfoundedly originating from an old Chinese saying, purporting to be an ironical curse, the times indeed they are changing and very soon may become most interesting for many.
Now that one political party has influence, if not complete control, over each of the three branches of our government, most of the state’s governorships and at least half of both houses of all our states legislative bodies, it is inconceivable for one not to assume that the word “mandate” will not become much overused in the coming years. If it is said often enough and loud enough and purported to be the truth by those who govern us, those who daily give us the news they have chosen what we need to know and any radio/tv show personality and blogger with a dedicated following, it will one day be the truth, as we will come to accept knowing it.
Let the most interesting times roll.

Promises, Promises

January 24, 2017

The words flow so easily from one’s lips. Words that you want to hear, words that you hoped to hear, words that you need to hear in order to go on believing in the person speaking them.
We can look them in the eye, we can listen to their tone, we can look into our own hearts and try to discern whether or not these words convey the truth.
We will believe because we want to believe. Until the next anger-issue punch comes out of nowhere, the next demeaning tirade attempts to belittle into submission or some sanctimonious political representative lauds the fact that he/she is acting for the welfare of the American people and still we will want to believe.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Stronger, yes, but no less likely to judge correctly between and empty promise and a promise fulfilled.

Change

January 23, 2017

We carry change in our pockets. Yes, the few coins receive when the paper money was just too much for the overall asking price. That is unless we eschew cash and rely on plastic.
We change our clothes. If we are lucky enough to have a closet with extra garments just so we do not look the same day after day and start to take on a ripe, personal space increasing smell.
We change our habits. Usually only after a life altering event that hopefully has just scared the beJesus out of us.
We change our minds. Rarely. We have put so much time and effort into becoming the person we are, the person we aspire to be, the person others think we should be that a change on this scale is probably harder than kicking an acquired drug/nicotine/alcohol addiction. Interventions based on data, facts, alternate facts, testimony hold no sway. Our minds have been made up and will never ever be altered. Unless we can say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” And just when was the last time anyone of us voluntarily said that? And meant it?

Ain’t No Sunshine

January 21, 2017

We knew it was coming. For months now we have been ignoring the forecasts. We have silently kept our fears at bay hoping that it would not be as bad as predicted. We have weathered the initial precursors of the expected change. It is now upon us all full blown. There is no circumvention, it must run its course. Our only hope is to keep open a watchful eye lest we are swept up in the ever darkening currents that threaten to engulf us. Vigilance will be the key and the courage to make a stand when stand we must to hold back the darkness in whatever frightening forms it may take.

Memorable

January 20, 2017

Should never have watched that Program on PBS about Alzheimer’s. True they showed some of the scariest aspects of the disease but I am sure that most could recognize some of the small initial symptoms in ourselves, especially if we happened to be baby boom generation. There are surely medical tests that your doctor can run to find out if you are at risk and a myriad of things online that a Google search will turn up. My doctor, as kind and thorough as she is, says “Do you really want to know?” I do not know just how I would react to the information but I do know how I have reacted to past medical issues and the fear of dying or just the fear of the unknown itself has never bolted its way to the forefront. One step at a time, do what you imagine you are supposed to do, call 911, get to a doctor or hospital and let the professionals sort things out. Whatever is going to happen will happen and hopefully we come out the other side with a little more knowledge, a speck more appreciation of the life we have or we truly come out on the other side, if there indeed is another side.

In my little walk here, I seem to have stumbled into, what some may call, The Land of the Morose. It was never my intention but, occasionally, what we do and what we intend to do somehow get jumbled up along the way. Is there a way back to the initial point I thought I might have been making. In writing there always is, the new paragraph. Here we go.

Oh yes, memorable, the loss of the memorable and the loss of the just plain mundane because of a disease. It is by all accounts a slow and steady process, more painful to those witnessing it rather than the frustrated afflicted. Because let’s face it, to the afflicted, at least early on, the frustrations to recall things stored in memory can be consciously moved to some back burner to let the brain itself resolve this retrieval problem, which it usually does in its own flash of inspiration moment, though the time lag usually makes the eureka moment seem very out of sync with present circumstance. Usually this lapse can be artfully managed with a little trick of misdirection, magicians themselves would marvel at our dexterity, and we continue on with only the internal shadow of shame to mark the seemingly ever increasing number of incidents.

I can be fabulously clumsy, but since I live alone there are never many around to see the funny things that I do and/or happen to me except for my cat and she is pledged to silence, less I stop feeding her and giving her fresh water almost every day.
During the winter, when I am seasonally unemployed, and I do not leave the house very often so that cuts down on witnesses but take it from me goofy things happen to me or I actually initiate them. Perhaps it may be because I do a lot of repetitious things that keep me doing what I need to do to make it through most days. Without the routine, I invariably fall into my default state of procrastination (You do not want to know just how long it took me to pull that word from my increasingly failing memory even though I knew I knew the word I just could not retrieve it. This may not be goofy but just a reminder that other things may be at play here.) with the occasional bout of binge-watching. Maybe with the routine comes not paying attention or paying attention to the wrong things.
It helps to have a sense of humor to get through these moments. If you can not laugh at yourself, just what business do you have laughing at someone else unless it is just to keep from crying.

One does not always need a reason or even a season to write a few thoughts down in bits and bytes and I choose this medium over pen and paper only because my handwriting can become so atrocious when I am hurriedly trying to keep up with my thoughts. A keyboard is, at least sometimes for me faster and much, much more easily edited should I decide to change something later on. I have been told and I can also sense that something handwritten is a little more personal than an inkjet printed page of thoughts in that one might be able to gather a better sense of a person by their handwriting rather than the cold mistake free printed page. I guess I could agree but my scrawl is becoming worse with age and can sometimes not even be considered writing anymore. More a mixture of semi-block printed letters and cursive remnants dictated by habit than long ago grade school lessons on coarse lined paper.

I do still buy pens with which to write at times when a computer is not easily accessible and not the proper medium for jotting down the brief note about a passing thought of which you desire to keep a more than tenuous mental memory. I know that there are apps for that on one’s phone but that would entail more effort unlocking the phone and running the app than there would be just grabbing an always present pen from my pocket. I do like the way the new gel-based inks flow from a large rollerball tipped pens even though I may not be able to accurately decipher just what I wrote at a later point in time or connect the jotting to the whole thought stream I might have been having. At least I made the attempt.

I love the English language, American English that is. Probably because I can only profess to be semi-literate in the only one dialect. Speak to me in any of the other English dialects or one of the 6900 plus other languages on our planet and I will most probably look at you like the proverbial indignant American tourist abroad until my senses kick in and I once again return to some sense of humility and the less than worldly American that I am.
Sometimes a word or series of words pops into my head and I marvel at its meaning, cadence, connotation and several other traits that I just can not seem to recall at the moment. A couple of words prompted the start of this post but as happens so many times concentrating on these words have left those words lost in the foggy confines of my own mind. If I happen to remember at some point in the future I will continue with this post. If not I do believe that these words will be relegated to “Draft” status and may never see the LCD lights of your computer screen.
Okay, it is the future and I still have no idea what those initial words were and rather than condemn these words to the pit of “Drafts” I release them just to give you, the reader, a little insight to the everyday happenings in my world, as limited and boring as it is. I have learned to live with it and not be too disappointed that this is all there may be.

PS This was supposed to be titled, “Sorry, English Is My First and Only Language”, but since I got a little off track here I will have to come up with a new title. Perhaps I will revisit the original thought at another time. Mind willing.

Ha Ha Funny, But Not Funny

January 16, 2017

There are just some things that we laugh at, involuntarily of course, at first reading or seeing. Something that strikes our humorous neurons just so, that the giggle, chortle or outright belly laugh comes forth without any thought to political correctness, offensive nature or any other societal blockages that usually keep us protected from scornful, unbelieving looks and the occasional tirades from the Twitter and Facebook faithful.
It probably has something to do with our value system and the ridicule of something on the far end of our acceptance spectrum but then again there probably has never been any research done on this so we can not fall back on any studies to validate our suspicions. Invariably we just laugh and think about what we laughed at afterward and hope that we do not have to offer too many apologies later. Yet in our heart of hearts, there is a small chuckling voice whispering, “Now that, that was really funny.”
Sometimes though after much reflection, I come to think that we laugh some of the time in order to keep from crying.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

What you don’t know. An awful lot and much of which will never, in any way, affect, influence or be more than a “Gee, I did not know that.” moment in a conversation.
What you do know. It is much too easy to just continue along the path of a chosen cozy life. Friends, a few if you are lucky and actually take the time to cultivate them. Money, you are not rich, rich but you do pay all the bills, have a somewhat secure sense of where it will come from tomorrow and you might, if you are frugal enough, have more than the average American, set aside for those unexpected occurrences and the future when you just do not want to participate with the daily grind of a job one second longer. Family, hopefully, still generations deep, healthy and not dysfunctional enough to cause any serious commotions on holiday and birthday gatherings. With the previous comfortably in hand, you can almost safely assume that tomorrow you will have a roof instead of an underpass over your head for the coming chilly night. At least for the time being.

The door, long closed and presumed locked, is now ever so slightly ajar. Every dark, malicious thought or action now assumes it is time to once again to attempt to gain a foothold in the light. Enough said.

We all have experienced that gut wrenching feeling that things are not going so well down in our stomachs. Whether it be from something we have eaten or drank or the latest tweet drivel from someone with whom we do not quite share the same views.
Usually the best remedy, though the taste is never quite pleasing, is to just let it happen. Expel the vile bile that is causing the discomfort, get past it, watch what you ingest in the future and hope that you do not so frequently repeat the experience. Much easier to do with food/drink, not so with tweet drivel. I guess you could unfollow but you would also be opening yourself up to a level of unknowing ignorance that you may have to answer for later. Better to develop a thicker skin, I guess.
Now I do realize that this goes both ways, right and left, our sensibilities can be easily trifled with no matter the side and I too can be as culpable as the next person. Let’s just work on thicker skin and solutions and hope that it never comes to a much worse situations.

It is a new year, a little time for reflection and a look toward the future.
I used to shiver, and do still harbor some fear, at the thought of rereading my own words. Curiosity, as is often the case, trumps better judgment and an awkward trip through old thoughts and memories usually ensues.
Occasionally, I am pleasantly surprised that my old words still retain their resonance and I do not have to embarrassingly scurry to the delete key in order to save face. I hope that I can say the same for future words when and/or if they too are revisited.
As for the future, we can not, at the present moment, predict coming events. We can look at the past, try to see parallels to present events and try to stave off the worst possible outcomes. Unfortunately our attention spans are becoming as long as our last tweet and grandiose self interest seems to be the mission of the day. We can only do our best and hope that someone else’s best and well intentioned efforts do not injure us beyond the point of recovery.

Tweets for the Tweet

December 30, 2016

It may have come to your attention, and I do not know just how you might have missed it during the marathon presidential primary campaign season, the actual presidential candidate pre-election face-off, all the post-election recriminations, soul searching, abounding coulda-woulda-shouldas, that our soon to be inaugurated president tweets. And he tweets a lot, it seems.
I don’t know if it is inherent in the nature of a tweet to be a sudden, gut inspired emotional welling out on any topic, which at the precise moment, is about to have your undivided attention, the next 140 characters of your life and be irretrievably shared by one’s followers and whomever else follows your followers retweets. It can all be very social media confusing.
I propose that we all take a moment and give the snarkiness a little time to pass, let thought and reason, somewhat, regain control. After all, none of our basic attitudes are going to change in the brief respite and we are less liable to have one of those, “Oops, did I just really say that out loud.”, unless that indeed was the intended purpose in the first place.
Then, to quote the once famous Rosanna Rosanna Danna, “Nevermind.”

This Petty Pace

December 29, 2016

I am not much to look at. You could walk by me on a crowded street, or even one not so crowded, and you might not take notice of me at all.
My hair is greying/whitening, getting a little sparse in the typical hereditary spots, yet I still need haircuts unless I want to be mistaken for a homeless man. No offense to homeless men who, when it probably becomes a choice between haircut or food, food probably wins every time.
I may walk a little slow at times, usually when there is no place I have to be at no special time or if I am early getting somewhere and the leisurely pace suits me. At the present time there are no physical infirmities which dictate my pace but I am quite sure that time will someday change things.
When, and if I leave the comforts of home, it is usually for the necessities-food, fuel, haircuts, family gatherings, and preventative doctor visits. Fuel, food for myself, and for my precious MINI which carts this boney ass around when destinations are out of walking range. Living out in a rural area of Central New York pretty much guarantees all destinations outside walking range. But, if push came to shove I could make do. There happens to be a market just down the road well within healthy exercise range but on the edge of being able to physically carry, without discomfort, too much weight back home. I know from experience.
Interaction with other living humans is not one of my limited fortes. When I am indeed out and about in my small pond of humanity, it is also for food, though of two different sorts, physical and for thought. I do like a good breakfast, usually around brunch time. I have yet to find the perfect spot that not only serves up eggs, toast, hash browns and a good cup of coffee or juice to my hard to please expectations but also has comfortable seating, pleasant, attentive staff, an interesting view and at least a few people to watch when/if I am not engrossed in the latest novel by one of authors whose hardback books line the shelves at home.
All in all it is a good life. I might, at some point, consider trading it in on a new life but the new life would have to be way, way more better. Comfort being what it is, at least known comfort, compared to expectation. And then again would I even recognize a better life if I stepped into it tomorrow. One can hope. One can hope.

Fickle Finger

December 23, 2016

The past can often have a long, long cold reach.

He had hoped that she would once again accept his offer to join him for coffee. Christmas was fast approaching and finding free time with her job commitments, a growing, maturing child, friends and family could be a scheduling nightmare. Nonetheless.
“Coffee. Pre or post Xmas” he texted. Texting could be so much more thought out than an awkward phonecall. Spur of the moment was never his forte. Texting also offered an invisible cloak of comfort against the possibility of disappointment. It was easier to shrug off a “No” in text rather than speech. The voice can be so betraying. Their initial coffee meet-up had proved to be less intimidating than expected and her offhanded comment of “Doing this again.” was much appreciated. Friends are often much harder to cultivate than lovers as the lifespan of one can far exceed the other.
He had liked her from their first meeting. She had reminded him, of course, of another woman from the distant past. Who knows just why we make these connections, sometimes we just do. She had always seemed to be friendly and outgoing to most of the people she encountered and over the years this had never seemed to change. It was hard to imagine that she might have a darker side but then just being on the periphery, the outside looking in as it were, it was next to impossible to know enough to learn either way. Why spoil the illusion with the truth, if there was indeed one to be told.
Her return text, “Pre. 9am. Where? Have meetings in am prior to leaving for Christmas with family.” Subsequent texts arranged an agreed upon location.
Being the person that I am, it would occur to me to be somewhat late just to see what would happen but also being the person that I am that kind of subterfuge would never take place. If anything I would be early and would be comfortable waiting.
She would be the one to be late. Her life always seemed more hectic than my own as I am wont to simplify my life in order to avoid most complications. As always, once settled, she would be her personable self, far from hard on the eyes and a comforting influence. Conversation, also not one of my fortes, was easy, the coffee hot and the breakfast rolls both warm and extra sweet enough to make the teeth sing.
I had brought with me a gift, appropriate for the holidays, expecting nothing in return except perhaps a wonderful smile. A small silver colored carved box, long ago purchased from some now forgotten flea market, wrapped with a decorative red ribbon from a previous West Coast chocolate purchase, housing the gift. A gift once purchased with other intentions in mind at the time. Perhaps now it would find a rightful home.

In This Petty Pace

December 20, 2016

Each and every day we, the living, move ever closer to an end, a journey which all men before us have taken no matter how unconsciously in our youth or reluctantly as our age advances with an ever increasing preponderant search for meaning and a long, sometimes wistful, look back at the regrets.

Imagine if you will, that for as long as you can remember many of the beliefs that you hold dear, the ones held at bay by a political system the polar opposite of your world, causing your gut to rebel and your sensibilities to rankle.  But then, miraculously, as though moved by the hand of God himself, an avenue, lit by what may seem the glorious lights of heaven above, is opened where all things may be made right again. Praise be.
The righteous can now, for the first time in their own short living memory, come forth and lead all to a better, saner world as intended. Where once there was a house divided there is now a house consolidated where anything is possible.
A congress of elected men, and a few women, will propose new laws that will sweep away the misguided tyranny of old. A nation’s new leader will give legitimacy to these visions with the stroke of a pen and an newly appointed judiciary will confirm that legitimacy with the pounding of their gavel.
As it is written, so let it be done. Clunk.
All things ARE truly possible. Amen.

A Brisk Morning Walk

December 8, 2016

Okay, I’ve had my morning walk on a cool, shall we brisk, Fall day and my head has cleared of all its nonsense. Let’s just start from scratch and assume I want some specific things from the people who govern me and will, in my own self interest, vote for the candidates, on local, state and federal levels, who I, using my own sense of decency/morality, logic and knowledge, will give me the best chance to feel that I have indeed done the right thing and not wasted my vote.

I would like to see Social Security continued, as it sure does help pay the bills, even though I still work 6 months out of every year to also help pay the bills. I do enjoy the healthcare coverage Medicare and my employer provide but even that coverage could leave me one extended illness away from bankruptcy, unless something changes. I would like to see something humanely done about immigration without the Statue of Liberty ripping out the pages in the book she holds. After all we are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants many of whom suffered the same slights and prejudices as our immigrants of today suffer. I would like to see something done about National Security without the treading on and shredding of our constitutional rights in the name of safety and without the hysteria. I would like to see everyone pay their fair share of taxes for all the benefits of living in a country of such freedoms. The list goes on and on and now I just have to find a candidates or candidates who will give me a path towards such a country. Any suggestions? And please not anyone with just promises wanting to get on the government gravy train, but someone with vision and desire. Again, any suggestions? PEOTUS the ball is in your court.

Connotations

December 6, 2016

In the only language that I sometimes consider myself semi-fluent, English, there are few words that do not carry the excess baggage of connotation. It is becoming increasingly more difficult, perhaps because the extra effort is being made, to not marginalize perspective readers of our words. I know we are most always trying to make a statement from a particular viewpoint but losing the reader due to a particular connotation of a certain word sort of defeats the purpose unless you are only preaching to the choir or actually meant to inflame.
A case in point. I think that we could all generally agree that an assembly, an audience, a throng and a mob could effectively describe a bunch of people gathered together. Where the difference lays, and I can never figure out if it should be lays or lies even when it is explained to me, is as I see it the intent which one wishes to convey.
I imagine that an assembly can embrace all the other three options in varying degrees. An audience could equally do so but with the possibility of a bad outcome in one of the cases. A throng likewise. And a mob. A mob is just the other three most likely tending toward a less than desired outcome.

And my dilemma. Trump supporters. Individually they could easily fit into anyone of the categories on any given day following any given tweet or rally. We will have to wait and see. After all we all have to live together and I could be pleasantly surprised and find myself wrong, yet another time.