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Does anyone think anymore?

WHAT’S GOING ON???

What’s going on? Are they giving out free stupidity pills? More people’s brains are on vacation or something these days. Is it part of a nasty plot to destroy us all? Computers don’t yet know how to think and people have already forgotten how. I’m at a total loss to explain it.

LOOKING FOR AN EXERCISE CLASS

Looking for an exercise class for seniors at a nearby facility, I ambled over and spoke with their ‘Program Director’. (Impressive title, no?) She told me the program was on their bulletin board.

I have macular degeneration and don’t see well. Besides, I’m shorter than I used to be and was short to begin with, so the sign she pointed at was impossible for me to see.

OH, I GOOFED. THIS PHOTO WAS FOR ME

‘Please write it down for me.’ I politely requested and asked about membership fees and what the classes cost. I’d never been a member. Wouldn’t these questions hint at that??? She’d certainly never seen me before.

At home, I read: Tues. 8:30 am – 9:30 am, Thurs. 9 am – 10 am. It was Wednesday. The next morning, I got up extra early. Everything takes longer than it used to, but I did well and was at their door at 8:45 a.m. They weren’t there. The receptionist came out, locking the doors behind her. I asked about the class.

WHAT WAS SHE THINKING???

Oh, that doesn’t start until next week. It says so on the notice.’

‘Can you tell me why I wasn’t told that by the program director? Especially since I told her I couldn’t see the notice? What was she thinking?

Seems like no one knows anything anymore. I may even need to include myself — especially when I count on others. But, I won’t give up.

Grab today…

NO POINT DWELLING ON THE PAST

Occasionally I found myself thinking about the many mistakes I made throughout my long life. I know I did the best I could under the circumstances and with what I knew then, but I certainly goofed. Finally, I realized there’s no way to change the past, so it’s a waste of time to dwell on it.

Tomorrow I may not even wake up. I’m in what the famous scientist David Suzuki calls the ‘death zone’. No point worrying about what may come then.

All we have for sure is right now so we might as well grab it and enjoy every moment possible. I’m determined to live within this plan, so I wrote a little poem for myself about it.

YESTERDAY, TOMORROW AND TODAY

Yesterday is forever gone
Nothing can change that.

TOMORROW MAY NEVER COME, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT
TODAY IS OURS TO HAVE, GRAB IT AND ENJOY

Tomorrow may never come
There’s no guarantee of that.

But today is ours to have
So reach out and grab it.

Being rude by accident.

Our provincial premier lost it yesterday and used the F-word in frustration at the legislator. I found it human and amusing. It also reminded me of the time I did that, albeit by accident.


I volunteered for a charitable organization which served the deaf and hard-of-hearing. I liked what they offered to those needing help and was often on the board. The meetings were fascinating and complicated with interpreters to keep everyone abreast of what was being said or signed. Those, like me, who didn’t sign could read everything on a large screen as well.

SIGNING M FOR MURIEL


I wondered how they signed my name so quickly and asked. They just used ‘M’, since I was the only one on the board whose name started with that letter. Aha!

SIGNING THANK YOU


One year we had a deaf Chairman. I decided, smarty-pants that I am, to learn how to sign a little, like ‘thank you’ so I could thank him at the end of our meetings. I was shown how. I did so. He smiled. It went so well I planned to thank him again after our next meeting — in a month.

SIGNING RUDELY


By the next month I didn’t quite remember it correctly, so apparently instead of signing ‘Thank you’, I signed something rude beginning with ‘F’. Ahem! (The word our premier used yesterday.)


The poor chairman. His face turned red with embarrassment. He shook his hands to show me that wasn’t correct. Someone else told me about my blunder. Do I embarrass easily? I just burst out laughing and asked how to sign ‘I’m sorry’.


I still think it was hilarious…

Blessed are the weird people…

SON RAFI, HIS BEAUTIFUL CHANDRA, AND ME

My San Francisco kids visited at Xmas. It turned out to be a White one and Rafi, Chandra, and grandson Remy loved walking in the snow. (It doesn’t snow in S. F.) On one of their many excursions, they passed a sign in my neighbour John’s window. Rafi, of course, had to take a photo of it.


John is one of those special, interesting and multi-talented individuals who is interested in everything and everyone. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to know him, but what I like best about John is his kindness to others — including me.


I first saw John acting onstage when I was writing a column covering the arts. Aside from that his photography is so beautiful, if I had any more room on my walls, I’d try to purchase one from him if he’d sell it. What else does he do well? I don’t at all know because the guy never brags. I asked John if he had written the words in the sign below. He said he hadn’t. If you know who did, do let me know.

In case the photo of the sign is difficult for you to read, this is what it says:

B L E S S E D
* A R E T H E *
Weird People
The Poets & Misfits
T H E A R T I S T S
T H E W R I T E R S
& MUSIC MAKERS
The dreamers & the
O U T S I D E R S
For they force us to see
THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY

Eating out — thank goodness.

ONCE UPON A TIME…

Once upon a time long, long ago, I worked full-time and invited friends to dinners too. We’d have a children’s table, our large dining-room table extended with a folding table, plus extra places on the upright piano seat with place-mats on the flat surface over the keys. Those days are looonnnngggg gone.

A friend and I had lunch together yesterday. She’s interesting, I love her. She’s a devoted vegan. I didn’t have to worry — we ate out. Friday I’m having dinner with a young vegetarian. He’s my kind-of grandson. He’s been busy and hasn’t had much time for us to get together so I’m delighted. Again, I don’t have to worry — we’re eating out.

WHAT CAN I FIX FOR HER??

During this pandemic, some people won’t eat in restaurants. I respect that. Sometimes one special friend and I have lunch on a park bench nearby. She has definite food needs and always brings the lunch. I want to reciprocate, but aren’t brave enough. What can I fix for her??

MY OLD ARTHRITIC BONES DON’T MAKE APPOINTMENTS

Meanwhile years have passed and everything seems to take more energy. Energy? Where did that go? It eludes me at will and some days I can’t seem to hustle any muscle at all. My old arthritic bones act up whenever THEY choose. They aren’t thoughtful. They never make appointments ahead of time. I can’t picture many dinners happening at my place anymore, which is just as well. What would planning a homemade dinner look like? I’d rather treat when we eat out.

WHAT PEOPLE EAT TODAY IS MORE COMPLICATED

It seems what everyone eats today is more complicated. What my older friends consume is sometimes affected by health issues like high-cholesterol, diabetes, ulcers, medications requiring them to avoid certain foods, or allergies — and goodness knows what.

Do we become delicate flowers with age? Yup! What I used to call a cast-iron stomach doesn’t exist any more! I, myself, have developed allergies! (I’ve been told these develop as we get older, but I also believe some of it is due to chemicals added to our food to extend shelf life.)

MY KIDS ENTERTAIN A LOT

My San Francisco kids do a lot of entertaining. Their friends are younger and don’t seem to be affected as much by medical conditions as my older friends. I guess I’ll just leave the dinner parties to them. If you visit me — let’s eat out.

Computer spell checks?

PHOTO BY CHANDRA

Christmas is in the air and before you know it the New Year will be here. I wish everyone a happy holiday season and a year free of unpleasantness.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


I haven’t made New Year resolutions for years — I rarely managed to keep them anyway. This year nonetheless, as a kindness to my children, I intend to continue culling the papers I’ve accumulated through many years of writing.


Here’s a poem a friend sent me in 1991, which I’d included in an article about our complicated English language. Spell checkers have improved since then, but beware. They can still goof.

COMPUTER SPELL CHECKS???

Eye have a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

CAN THEY BE TRUSTED?.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
Eye am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

Author unknown

Revenge of the coyotes…

Island of plastic in the Pacific

It was hot! A long drought in our rain forest led to roaring forest fires, devastation and the destruction of whole towns and some deaths.

Extreme weather, floods, mudslides, tornadoes and hurricanes took more lives. People became homeless all over the world.

Islands of plastic formed in our oceans. Millions of creatures in local waters perished in the extreme heat. The coyotes could smell it, it was unbearable.


‘We’ve got to do something,’ declared Tara, their old leader, ’Call everyone. We must have a meeting. Those stupid humans have gone too far. They need to be taught a lesson. ’

Tara, elderly leader of the coyotes


Word travels fast throughout the park. All the coyotes gathered to hear what Tara had to say. Even the skunks and raccoons, hearing about the meeting, gathered on the fringes of the large group.

The skunks heard, they came
Word travels fast in the park


‘People are unbelievably stupid,’ Tara said, ‘If we don’t do something, we’ll all perish. Attack them, their children, and their beloved dogs — starting now. We must have our revenge…’


‘But their children tried to teach them,’ spoke up Cotu, ‘Why attack them? They’re innocent.’ Cotu was young, but coyote young are listened to.


‘Humans don’t listen to their children, those kids have no power,’ replied Tara, sadly shaking her head.

Raccoons Came too


Her word was law. And so it happened. After years of peace, the war was on — between coyotes and humans.
And so, it came to pass this summer, for the first time, dozens of humans in this beautiful city’s famous Stanley Park, were attacked and bitten by coyotes. What was going on? Why was this suddenly happening?
The humans didn’t get it.


‘Coyotes don’t belong in a city park,’ they argued, although coyotes had always been there. But this was new, coyotes had never been a danger before. The officials needed to act. They’ve now decided to ‘cull’ the coyotes. The plan is to catch and kill 35 coyotes. And, how will that help??? If they must ‘cull’ the coyotes, why not trap them and move them to an uninhabited area? Why kill them?

Coyotes had always been there


Humans don’t understand the coyotes are trying to make them aware that they’ve gone too far and they are destroying our planet. Will they ever learn?


Run, coyotes, run! Avoid their traps. They know not what they do…

It is really hot!!!

I don’t do heat graciously.

It IS hot!!! I don’t do heat graciously. We’re breaking records daily. How anyone can doubt the warming of our planet is beyond me. Meanwhile our current weather is more than I can deal with.

I had good intentions and was planning to write about something else, but I can’t concentrate. I think my brain is fried — so instead, I’ll tell you what happened on my walk this morning.

I think my brain is fried.


It was early and already too hot. My clothes were sticking to my body. I was miserable. I meandered into a local AIR CONDITIONED drugstore to cool off. As I slowly walked up and down each blessedly cool aisle, I spotted the blood pressure machine.


I’d been fine and my doctor hasn’t seen me since before the pandemic started. My blood pressure hasn’t been tested. Brilliant! I’ll sit down and check it and be COOL while I’m at it. Ahhhhh…


I did just that. Sat down and placed my left arm into the cuff. Turned the machine on and waited patiently as it told me the test was in progress.

When it was over, the results printed for the world to see were: 0 0 0. Does that mean I’m dead????

Does that mean I’m dead???


Goodbye November…

My goodness it’s the end of November. I must say I’m glad to kiss this month goodbye. Our building is being upgraded — absolute madness during the pandemic! What were they thinking???


They’re replacing our balconies, glass windows and doors, repairing and painting, etc. etc. Workers hammer and bang and saw all day long five days a week. Yuk!

it’s making me crazy

They also busy themselves making appointments to do the abatement in my suite and cancel at the last minute after I’ve covered every single piece of furniture (it happened three times already) and it’s all making me crazy.

On top of it all, we (and our whole area) lost power for a day, our hot water didn’t flow for five full days (although the plumbers came each day to try again) and our elevator refused to work for almost a week! (They had to send for a part.) What’s going on??? Could it be a plot???

Nonetheless I did write a post yesterday. When I read it this morning, I hated it, so I’ll borrow again from daughter Susan. Here’s another of her ‘Muriel Says’. She is truly funny…..

Poor Susan looks really scared

Me in prison? Really?

on one of my daily walks.


On one of my daily walking/shopping excursions, I stopped to buy some lip balm. I put my mask on, entered the drugstore and saw a selection on a rack at the corner of an aisle. An employee was stacking shelves nearby.

Turning the corner, my walker hit the display and I heard a tube fall. I looked on the floor in front, behind, around me, and twirled again and saw — nothing. Then, behind all of the tubes, there it was. Well I thought so.

I had walked out with that darn thing

The employee saw it and said not to worry — she’d pick it up later. I thanked her, selected one to buy, picked up some vitamin B12 tablets, paid for them both and left the store.

It wasn’t until I got all the way home that I discovered the troublesome tube. There it was in full view in my walker’s basket. Is that where it went? I had walked out with that darn thing where anyone could see it, except me.

I was as innocent as a newborn babe

The rack wasn’t very sturdy and I guess the tube we saw on the floor was not the same one. Oh, dear. I was as innocent as a newborn babe. I had no intention of stealing anything. If I was going to do so, I’d certainly pick something of more value. What would they do to me?


Do I need a lawyer?

Every time someone rings my bell I wonder if it’s the police? Do they now have a file on me? Do I need a lawyer? Will they put me in shackles and drag me to court? In front of all my neighbours, who will be saying: ‘I knew there was something I didn’t trust about her when she first moved in 30 years ago.’


Will they put me in jail?

Will they then put me in jail? How long will I have to serve for a tube of lip balm? Will I get some awful prison guard who hates me on sight who will abuse me until my sentence ends?

Will you send me cigarettes? No, I don’t smoke but don’t they send cigarettes to everyone in jail?

Yup, he hates me!