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This is basically a writing diary where I write all kinds of stuff that will be immensely boring to anyone who stumbles across it.

Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly. ---- Harry Lime

The Borking of Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh did not impress me when I listened to the Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings on NPR.

I mean that he did not impress me positively, and he did not impress me negatively. He was a nothing. A complete nonentity. A burp from the rumen and reticulum of the Patriarchy. A white man molded from privilege like a butter statue at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Plus I have extreme misgivings about whether a President under investigation for treason should be allowed to nominate a Supreme Court justice in the first place.

Nevertheless, this whole 11th hour derailment of the confirmation process fills me with consternation.

I am really fucking tired of being told I must stand on one side or another of the lines various maneuvering politicians are drawing in the sand.

I have no idea whether Kavanaugh groped the redoubtable Dr. Ford at a drunken party when they were both 15.

If he did, I guess my feeling is, So fucking what?

Bad behavior on the part of the boyZ? Well, sure.

Certainly very common behavior, however.

Everything inside me just loathes this practice of applying today’s behavioral standards to incidents that took place 36 years ago. Hello! The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

I happily embrace the concept of a zero point in time! From now on, no 15-year-old boy gets to grope a girl at a party. From now on, the rule of consent prevails.

But this whole weird retroactive policing reminds me a bit of the Victorians dressing up the naughty bits of Greek statuary in crinoline petticoats.

It’s the mark of a self-righteous, reactionary culture.

###

That said, if the allegation turns out to be true, and the behavior can be proven to be part of a pattern of behavior, then yes, Kavanaugh should be disqualified.

The operative word there being “proven.”

And, no. Unsubstantiated allegations are not proof.

Apparently, nobody in the #MeToo movement has either read or seen a live performance of The Crucible.

###

The other highly annoying thing about this whole thing is that it’s such an obvious ploy on the part of the Democrats to derail a process whose outcome they don't like. A blatant power play!

To my mind, Democrats are only marginally more palatable than Republicans at this point. They are not the good guys.

When God finishes testing me and lifts me from my present humble circumstances to assume my rightful position as World Dictator, I swear I’m gonna line them all up against a wall and shoot them. Bam! Bam! Bam! No blindfolds! No cigars!

I heard Maizie Hirono on NPR yesterday say (words to the effect): And if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, every woman in America is going to rise up against it and protest!!!

And I thought, Not me, be-atch!

One of the only interesting things about Brett Kavanaugh, by the way, is that while both were on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, he and Merrick Garland voted the same way more than 90% of the time.

Merrick Garland, of course, is swathed in the rosy pink aura of Obama Nomination, and he does appear to lean left on gun rights and abortion. I’m wondering why Democrats assume Kavanaugh wouldn’t too, although of course, I am way too lazy to look that up.

###

This is almost certainly gonna blow up in the Democrats’ face.

The smart thing for Republicans to do at this point, of course, would be to have the goon squad persuade Kavanaugh that he needs to spend more time with his family. He steps down; five minutes later, Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination is announced.

I don’t think Amy Coney Barrett groped any girls at drunken high school parties; furthermore, her ideas about abortion are a lot more inflexible than Kavanaugh’s. Though she did tell the student newspaper at the University of Notre Dame where she once taught, "The fundamental element, that the woman has a right to choose abortion, will probably stand.” Note her intriguing use of that word “probably.”

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


The rest of the weekend, though, was fab.

On Saturday, I went over to Lois Lane and Billy’s new place, which is a gated apartment complex right on the edge of the War Zone. We sat on their balcony smoking cigarettes and babbling a mile a minute. Lois Lane and Billy are great babblers, on a par with moi!

“I used to live three blocks over,” I told them. “On North Clinton. When I was doing my AmeriCorps Vista stint. I didn’t have a car. I walked to and from my posting. It was a rare day when I didn’t stumble across half a dozen syringes and crack pipes. The syringes I understood. But the crack pipes! Who does crack anymore? Crack is so retro!”

“That’s Poughkeepsie for you,” Lois Lane said. “Mired in the past. Though the big thing these days is synthetic marijuana—“

Why?” I said. “The real stuff is so easy to get!”

“I don’t know why it’s called synthetic marijuana,” Billy said. “The effect is more like PCP. Coupla days ago, we saw this guy take off all his clothes and play toreador with the cars. Right from our balcony. I assume he was bath-salting. Who needs television? Life is good.”

Lois Lane has a new ESL student for me—the Head Lama at the Buddhist monastery in Wappingers. Who knew that Wappingers even had a Buddhist monastery?

“Perfect!” I said. “You know, I specialized in Tibetans when I lived in Ithaca. They loved me, for some reason. I became the English Instructor of Choice for all the Tibetans who lived in Tompkins County. They even brought me their taxes to do. They were wacky! Really materialistic! You couldn’t find bigger fans of Black Friday in all of Tompkins County. They loved spending money on electronics! And it was so crazy talking to them. You’d be talking about the weather, and they’d say, ‘Yes, but this rainstorm is nothing like the rainstorm I went through two reincarnations ago! You should have seen that one!’ It was wild.”

From there, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to talking about our own experiences with reincarnation. Like me, Billy was born with a complete set of memories from a previous life. Unlike me who’s forgotten all those experiences—what I remember now is remembering remembering—Billy still has the ghost outlines: He died in a fire. He used to dream about it as a kid and wake up screaming.

“Night terrors,” he said, shaking his head. “They used to call them night terrors.”

###

Next day, I trained back to NYC. Finished Harry Crews’ A Childhood: The Biography of a Place on the ride down.

A very interesting book.

Two things really stood out:

#1: Crews briefly mentions what happened to Georgia subsistence farmers when they switched from growing the things they needed to growing a single cash crop (either tobacco or cotton), which they would then sell. Plugging into the cash economy made the farmers and their families dependent. They began buying the things they once made themselves.

But, of course, cultures change far more slowly than economic realities. In their hearts, the farmers remained independent. Hated and resented the system that had robbed them of their independence even as they participated in it.

Fast forward a hundred years: I suspect this has something to do with Trump’s election.

#2: This passage: I first became fascinated with the Sears catalogue because all the people in the pages were perfect. Nearly everybody I knew had something missing, a finger cut off, a toe split, an ear half-chewed away, an eye clouded with blindness from a glancing fence staple. And if they didn’t have something missing, they were carrying scars from barbed wire, or knives, or fishhooks. But the people in the catalogue had no such hurts. They were not only whole, had all their arms and legs and toes and eyes on their unscarred bodies, but they were also beautiful. Their legs were straight and their heads were never bald and on their faces were looks of happiness, even joy, looks that I never saw much of in the faces of the people around me.

He's describing the onset of celebrity culture.

###

Met up with—ahem—Camille at the Brooklyn Book Festival. It was very hot. Hundreds of white tents lining Borough Hall Plaza. Who knew there were so many small presses and MFA programs in NYC?

We met up at the statue of Henry Ward Beecher:



While they’re taking out Confederate statues, they might seriously consider taking this one out as well. I find that Whatever-you-say-White-Bwana! expression on the face of the bronze figure to the left of bronze Beecher’s feet extremely offensive.

Ahem Camille and I wandered a bit, but mostly we sat in an air-conditioned café drinking ice tea and chatting.

We ducked into an interview with Jennifer Egan, the Festival headliner.

I liked A Visit With the Goon Squad a lot when I first read it, though I have been unable to make any headway into Manhattan Beach, and that’s twice now that I’ve tried since Ed came running across the road just a couple of days ago with the novel in hand and shoved it at me, intoning, “This is your kind of book!”

I suspect I’m unable to read it because I’m much too superficial and lightweight to give a shit about plucky female workers at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during WWII. Bor-r-r-r-r-r-ing! sez the Little Voice in my head.

And listening to Egan talk about Manhattan Beach further solidified my determination not to read it. She is not a very inspiring interview subject.

Afterwards Ahem Camille and I ducked into the Worst Diner in Brooklyn for dinner, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Gordon Ramsay who would roar, "Shite! This is shite!" as he watched us try to find the edible bits in what the menu had told us were "hamburgers."

Then we went for a walk on the Brooklyn Heights promenade, which was splendid, splendid, splendid in the long rays of the setting sun and thence, repaired to Ahem Camille’s exquisite apartment where we watched Baaad Television, a wonderful ending to a wonderful day.

In the morning as we trotted toward the subway, I saw this to add to my photographic collection of Sunset Park kitsch:



Else?

Max and I are gonna collaborate on a blog about policy issues and the American criminal justice system.

Tentative title: “With Justice for Some.”

I’m gonna do the WordPress programming, the sysop stuff, the editing, some writing.

Probably wisest for him not to let me do too much of the writing, though, since the whole point of the blog is to position Max as a Social Justice Warrior to Be Reckoned With, and an increasing number of my own thoughts on just about everything these days are Politically Incorrect and getting Politically Incorrecter all the time.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


I don’t even like Delacroix that much.

French painting before Manet leaves me cold. The 19th century French Romanticists are only marginally less cloying than the 19th century French Classicists. All those scenes from bad Walter Scott novels!

(I make exceptions for The Death of Marat and The Raft of the Medusa ‘cause, you know: They were The Daily Mail of their day.)

But the Met was hosting the first Delacroix retrospect outside France in 100,000 years, and as a Met member, I get to go to the previews, and it’s always fun to wander about the City and about the Met.

I asked the Beautiful Pollster if she wanted to accompany me, and she said, Yes, yes, yes with ten exclamation points.

We exchanged some texts that morning: MetroNorth from the boonies was running late.

But when I got to the Met, the Beautiful Pollster wasn’t there.

After waiting for her for 10 minutes, I texted a cheerful I’m here followed by 15 exclamation points.

And she texted back: Hey - Im so sorry- I got tangled up in resolving an issue for Tom - just off the phone. He went to lga when he should have gone to jfk. Had to get him new tickets.
I know it's stupid
And expensive
Please go on inside
I'm really sorry


And I was really irked.

Assuming she was not lying—had not been hit by a sudden compulsion to wash her hair; had not been suddenly invited to the Lake Como compound by George and Amal—this was still pretty rude since it would have taken her maybe ten seconds to text Family emergency! Must cancel! So sorry! so long as she kept those exclamation points to a minimum.

And it would have taken her an hour at least to get to the Museum from her place in Queens by subway. So, if she hadn't left an hour before, she must have known she would be late or have to cancel.

Did she somehow think that the fact that her 50-year-old boyfriend is such an idiot that he does not check his airplane tickets was gonna extort extra sympathy from me?

Or was I just disposable? Someone who doesn't really matter? Someone who doesn’t bring much to the table, so it’s perfectly okay to blow me off?

Things happen, I texted back.

But I was irked entirely out of all proportion to the incident.

I mean—I had a perfectly fine time wandering through the exhibit and then later through the streets of Manhattan. Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue in the Seventies and Eighties are the places where rich people live; a hundred years ago, Madison Avenue was the place they did their own shopping, and Lexington Avenue was the place where they sent their servants to shop for household necessities. Even today, those distinctions still prevail.

The most stylish young woman in the world sat next to me on the museum steps:



(Check out those charm bracelets at a higher magnification!)

And it is ridiculous to feel pushed out of shape by something that is this minor: Half the world is starving; an appreciable portion of the world is being bombed or flooded. I know this, so in addition to feeling bad because—sniff—I’m unpopular (in the true High School sense of the word)—I also felt bad because I’m superficial and petty.

How can I be unpopular? I ranted to myself. Little Megan liked me. Sincerely liked me, I could tell! And not only is it difficult to make true friends with someone that much younger than you, but Little Megan is pretty picky! I know this because she was constantly bitching to me about every other person she knew here!

What are ya gonna do?

The mind does what the mind does.

###

I got home and did scut work at the benefit dinner the Garden does each year to fund fence work. Claud used to teach at CIA, and then for many years, he owned a restaurant. He is a good cook!

All the while I was washing dishes and serving vegetables, I kept thinking, Maybe I would be more popular if I did something about those marionette lines running from the edges of my nostrils to the tips of my lips! Maybe if I got hydraulic acid injections, I’d be more popular! Hydraulic acid injections and mink eyelash extensions!

###

On the train down and the train ride back, I reread The Shining Girls, and I must say, Lauren Beukes is a genius. There's not a single false note in that novel.

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I Dream of Rock Stars Who Tease Their Hair

Dreamed I was stalking this Famous Rock ‘N’ Roll musician who lived in this huge dilapidated mansion in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. He had a reputation for being intellectual, so I figured if I couldn’t snag him with my beauty, I’d snag him with my knowledge of post-modern literature. He was pleasant enough toward me in a distracted kind of way, although there were tons of other people around having various misadventures—some engaging—so I had to struggle hard to keep his attention.

One night while I was there, he, the other members of the band, and everyone’s entourage were going to a party.

It wasn’t clear to me that I’d been invited to the party, but dammit! I was gonna go.

Two limos were going to transport us all to the party: One was going to pull up in front of the mansion; the other, behind.

Somehow, I lost him in the pre-party confusion, but then when I saw him again, he had teased up his hair into this crazy-looking Afro. Should I tease my hair, too? I thought. All I have to do to my hair is brush it hard to make it stand up straight.

I ran outside because I was afraid the limos had left without me. But no, a white limo was pulling up. Limos in the dream were charged with doing a bunch of crazy stunts when they pulled up in front of places, and this one actually flipped on to its top and skidded up to the front of the mansion completely upside down.

###

Uneventful day. I’m behind in my revenue generation, but it was sunny, so I was in a happy mood.

Watched an episode of House before I went to sleep.

Gregory House in this series is so much like my friend Tom that my heart would break if Tom hadn’t been dead these 20 years plus or more.

No, really! The voice, the physical appearance, the cold intelligence, the biting cynicism. The Sydney Carton affect.

It’s uncanny.

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It's Called Fashion, Brenda! Look It Up.

I was miserable all day yesterday.

It was cold and grey and wet and dreary.

The reason why I was miserable yesterday was because it was cold and grey and wet and dreary.

But humans being storytelling animals, naturally I’d devised a narrative: I was miserable because I was the most repulsive person on the planet! Nobody loved me! Nobody even liked me! There were people who pretended to like me—God knows why—but shortly, they would see the error of their ways.

I suppose I need to start popping Vitamin D again.

###

I decided not to go hear Steve Bannon at The Economist’s Open Futures event on Saturday.

Bannon does really fascinate me even if he is yesterday’s news.

But honestly? Bannon is not gonna sit in a café with me talking about books and wisecracking about that outfit that woman over there is wearing. (“It’s called fashion, Brenda! Look it up.”)

Instead, I put out tentative feelers to Lois Lane whom I have not seen in many a moon but whose odd combo of sharp intelligence and well-nigh Prince Myshkin-like levels of saintliness and humility guaranteed her an automatic seat in my Inner Circle when we first met.

I fully expected her to say, Sorry, Patrizia, I’m washing my hair! because, after all, I am the most repulsive person on the planet, so who would want to hang out with me?

But instead, she said, Oh wow!! For sure!! That sounds so neat!!!

Like I’ve said before, the one downside to living in the Hudson Valley is that there are so few people with whom I can really have the types of connections I crave. Oh, there are lots of people with whom I can exchange little packets of positive socialization.

But when I listen to the exchanges around me—Oh, you didn’t like the purple one? Did they show you the pink one? But you decided to go with the orange one? I would have gone with the green one—I often think, Better to be a hermit living in a fuckin’ cave

Yep. I’m a snob.

###

Meanwhile, they are reporting on the hurricane that’s poised to take out the Carolinas and Virginia as though it is some kind of sporting event.

I suppose I should be grateful that weather reportage has cut down on the number of times I have to see Trump’s name in the headlines.

But honestly?

I think the 24/7 news cycle’s relentless crisis mongering is driving everyone insane.

I get it! No man is an island! But you know what? It’s happening over there. It’s not happening here! So, there really are limits to how much I should have to care about it.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.

Animal Misadventures

As I trotted down into the parking lot yesterday after a slow Walkway run—the Rules say you have to be jogging when you touch your car—I noticed a small group of people standing around on the other side of the street.

I craned to see what they were looking at, and it was a woodchuck that had somehow gotten its head into a jar and was running around crazed.

Nobody appeared to be trying to help the little creature, so I got out of the car, walked across the street.

“Can you just shoe the little guy in my direction?” I asked one of the men.

“Careful it doesn’t scratch you!” said someone in the crowd.

But it was a pretty easy thing to grab the jar and let the woodchuck dangle. In a second, gravity did its work: The woodchuck was free! It scampered away.

###

This must be the season for animal misadventures.

The day before yesterday, I saw a little grey fox shivering miserably in the rain in front of Pat and Ed’s house. It must have been hit by a car.

Foxes require more caution than woodchucks.

A guy in a truck had noticed the fox, too, and had called the police. (What? They don’t have Animal Control in Hyde Park? Apparently not.) The cop rolled in while I was talking to the guy.

“We’ll have to put it down,” the cop said.

Why? I wondered. In California, they go to great lengths to save animals that are hurt and lying by the side of the road.

The truck driver and the cop tried to corral the fox so that they could pick it up, and it rose and ran—limping—across the road to the little copse of reeds and bushes on the road in front of my house.

“Doesn’t look like its leg is broken,” I said. “Why don’t you let it be?”

“Let nature take its course,” the truck driver said ponderously.

Either the fox will recover, or it will get eaten by a predator. There are a lot of coyotes in these parts, which is why my cats are indoor cats.

I felt very, very badly for the poor little fox! The day was so wet and so cold. Nature red in tooth and claw.

I wonder why I care so much about hurt animals and care so little about hurt humans?

As a sidebar, I’ll note that I’ve been seeing quite a few grey foxes around here, which is a bit odd: Grey foxes are supposed to live in the Western part of North America.

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September 11



My friend Stephen—who is much more diplomatic and grown up than I am and who was therefore able to survive Dan Okrent’s purge of People Magazine with his job intact—was living in a funky old penthouse atop the old Delmonico’s four blocks away from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

One time, he described that day to me. We were having drinks at an overpriced and fairly mediocre French restaurant.

“My patio was completely covered with rubble that included bits of the inflight magazines, the airline tickets, Cantor Fitzgerald documents ...,” he told me. “I saved some, but the rest I turned over to the FBI, which had set up headquarters in a makeshift trailer in Bowling Green, near my apartment. I also told the agents I had a favor to ask, because Battery Park was closed, with barricades. I said, in exchange for my handing over the papers, could my dog run in the park? Coco got special permission.”

He shook his head. Tears welled in his eyes. “Nearly all the dogs down here got sick from the air. Coco developed a brain tumor that soon killed her.”

“Oh, my God,” I said. “That’s an amazing visual, your patio.”

Stephen shrugged. “Not to be gross, but people living in Battery Park City had body parts on their balconies. Friends living in the building where I live now witnessed those who jumped from the Towers.

“And what came next… The tanks rolling down Lexington Avenue near the Armory. The horror of those missing people posters. The smell of burned wire. The only sound on the subway when cars tunneled under the rubble was the sound of crying.

“I hear it still. The crying. The wailing.”

###

Two friends went mad directly as a result of the events of September 11.

Gerard, a real-life Sydney Carton, upon whom I’d entertained a crush for years and Loca, an ultra-rational, somewhat pedantic but extremely funny X-Boyfriend.

In the space of about a month, both men went from being run-of-the-mill liberal progressives to raving, ranting, salivating conspiracy theorists who hated all Arabs and would have liked to turn back the clock to those warm, fuzzy times just before WW1 even though the Turks (Ay-RabZ!) had an Empire, ‘cause the Ottoman Empire was going d-o-w-nnnnnn.

I didn’t have all that much real-time contact with Gerard whose metamorphosis I watched—appalled—from a distance. But Loca was a real-life friend who was always at my Thanksgiving table. One afternoon, he and I began talking politics, and I tried to reason with him; by the following morning, he had ghosted me.

By espousing cultural relativism, I had revealed myself as one of the Enemy.

In his new reactionary zeal, there was no room for traitors to Judeo-Christian values.

###

My everyday life was disturbed by the events of September 11, 2001 in one immediate way that felt significant to me, but in the larger scheme of things, probably wasn’t.

I was in the habit of walking Max’s dog, Xena, up the Franklin Street hill every morning, through the Monterey Presidio, and up into the Huckleberry Hill Nature Preserve. Though the Presidio of Monterey was an active Army installation and the home of the Defense Language Institute, it had always been completely open to civilians. You never had to present ID or subject yourself to searches.

On September 12, when I tried to enter the Presidio, a nine-foot-tall soldier blocked my way and aimed his rifle at me. “Off limits!” he said. He did not make eye contact.

One thing. One very, very small thing.

Of course, my life had changed in ways far more significant than this one small thing. Everybody’s had.

But I didn’t know it then.

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This is Thai basil from my garden. It’s very pretty when it flowers, and it seems to have developed a woody stem, which is making me wonder whether it’s a perennial in other parts of the world.

I don’t think it could possibly be a perennial here, given the severity of our winters.

I have got tons and tons of Thai basil—appreciably different flavor from Italian basil, by the way—so later this week, I imagine I am going to have to make several quarts of curry sauce.

###

Meanwhile, it’s cold! It’s grey! It’s wet! It’s miserable!

The good news is that the Category 3 Hurricane is unlikely to take out New York.

The bad news is that it’s primed to take out northern Georgia through southern New Jersey.

Although, taking out southern New Jersey. Never a bad idea…

###

I roasted and deep-froze approximately half of the 40-pound tomato haul last night. I could not face making More Tomato Sauce. Just. Could. Not.

Can barely face roasting and deep-freezing the other half of the haul today, but it seems so inherently wasteful not to preserve the bounty, like you’re slapping God in the face, you know?

L’s gentleman friend, C, watched as I prepped. He drives down from Albany every weekend to visit.

I like C, but he is kind of a caricature.

Like one time, I was in the kitchen with L and C, and L put the kettle on for tea and then left the room and forgot about it.

The kettle came to a boil and began to whistle.

C kept doing his crossword puzzle.

I deliberately let the kettle boil down because I was conducting a scientific experiment. I wanted to see if there was a point at which C might actually get off his ass and do something.

There wasn’t.

When the kettle was almost dry, I refilled it. And set it on the burner to let it boil and whistle again.

And C remained sitting at the table, pencil in hand, scowling ferociously. “Who was the actor who played the Professor on Gilligan’s Island?” he asked me.

Finally, I turned the kettle off. And went to find L: “Your tea water is ready.”

###

Yesterday evening, L was off at a birthday party for one of her grandchildren, so C was here alone. He was obviously hungry! But in a billion years, it would never dawn on him to go to the refrigerator, use the stove, and prepare himself something to eat.

That’s women’s work!

C, by the way, is my age.

He kept darting hopeful glances at me!

I was coring tomatoes, stuffing them with basil leaves and garlic cloves. Blasting from the radio was that bland replacement for A Prairie Home Companion—have I mentioned that I am never gonna give another cent to NPR because of the disgraceful way they treated Garrison Keillor? Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang! was simultaneously blaring from the TV.

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang! may well be the worst movie ever made.

I have a pretty high tolerance for annoying stimuli—hey! I grew up in the heart of Manhattan—but this was a bit much even for me.

“Do you actually like this movie?” I asked.

“Well, it’s upbeat,” C said. “I figured it would be cheerful with all this low pressure moving in.”

“Wait! You get depressed when barometric pressure is low?”

“Yeah. Sure. And every joint in my body aches—“

He proceeded to describe the individual aches and pains. With great relish.

What these aches and pains had to do with the Presidency of Donald Trump, I’m not sure. But somehow I found myself listening to a long rant about how Trump voters were out in the woods, randomly shooting at things. Trees, people. They don’t give a shit. Trump doesn’t give a shit—

“Wait!” I said. “It’s deer season?”

“No, it’s not deer season! Trump supporters just like to shoot at things!”

This could just as easily have been a rant about Crooked Hillary and the Pizza Hut pedophiles. It was pretty amazing. And one of the most amazing things about it is that C is incapable of seeing that there is essentially no difference between him and the so-called Trump base.

He’s not stupid.

Had he been drinking?

Maybe.

When L got home, she looked defeated. Visits with the grandchildren are always tiring; complicated family dynamics there.

But she immediately trotted to the fridge and began assembling a dinner plate for C. Plopped it in the microwave.

What? C couldn’t have done that himself?

C is pretty typical of the men in this part of the world.

No wonder when I get the occasional hankering for male company, I scavenge in New York City, 100 miles away.

###

I forced myself to go running because however cold, grey, wet, and miserable it is today, it will be colder, greyer, wetter, and more miserable tomorrow—possibly so cold etc. that running won’t be an option.

And running is one of the things that keeps me from turning into C! Narrow-mindedness; that conviction that because something cost a buck ninety-nine 40 years ago, it shouldn’t cost ten bucks today; and immobility are the three defining characteristics of old age, after all—and lets face it, old age is the demographic pool in which I swim.

These pretty yellow flowers were blooming everywhere:



Blooming when everything else is withering and dying! Now that’s hope.

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I'm Making a List



Twelve-year-olds are probably my favorite people on this planet.

As I was putting the garden to sleep yesterday afternoon, 12-year old Kaden and his Mom wandered in, and Kaden and I had a perfectly lovely conversation about jalapenos, and capsaicin, and the difference between annuals and perennials, and all the while, I wondered, Why did the Universe have to make sex the method by which animals procreate, anyway?

In another year, Kaden will hit puberty, and nobody will ever be able to talk to him again.

Kinda sad, really. He’s such a great kid.

Harvested what will probably be my second-to-the-last round of tomatoes:



I’ve made just about all the tomato pies and tomato sauce I can bear to make this season, so I guess these get roasted with garlic cloves and olive oil, popped into freezer bags, and then frozen for January soups.

And, of course, there are plenty of Brussels sprouts!



And I still have tons of basil. I never thought it would be possible to get tired of eating pesto. But I was wrong.

Also, oddly enough, my peppers are really flowering and fruiting now. I feel kinda sorry for them since weather forecasters are predicting high winds and flooding rains later this week, courtesy of Hurricane Florence. Poor peppers! They don’t really want to be growing in the Atlantic Northeast!

L gave me this box, which I’m gonna turn into an Art Installation for Robin’s b-day:



“What’s your favorite color?” I asked him.

“Salmon-ish. Light red,” he said. Of course, he’s a manly man, so the word “pink” will never cross his lips.

“And what’s your favorite memory of things we’ve shared together?”

“Fun, sunny days on the bike path,” he said. “Or walking with the dogs on Del Monte beach!”

So-o-o, the Art Installation will be a celebration of those experiences.

Though, of course, the big present will be money. Offspring shouldn’t have to suffer because their parents have crafty aspirations.

###

Other than that?

I did boring remunerative work.

And I made a list of all the practical things I have to do.

Surely, that’s almost as good as doing them.

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