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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…

Water…

It has been raining constantly lately. I must be really tired of it. It is obviously getting to me because yesterday I wrote this very ‘serious’ poem about water. Ahem!

Water is an essential element

They say I’m 60% water
I thought it was more, still
Water is an essential element.

PERHAPS I WOULD HAVE DROWNED

If there were no water
I’d never have learned to swim
Perhaps I would have drowned.

MAYBE WE’D ALL DRINK WHISKEY

What would we drink without water?
Maybe we’d all drink whiskey
with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

WE’D FALL INTO THE FLOWING RIVER

We’d all be so drunk we’d fall
into the flowing river
On the way home.

WE WOULDN’T HAVE UMBRELLAS.

Without water there would be no rain
We wouldn’t have umbrellas
And would get soaked through and through.

P.S. I’ve been writing this blog for a long time. You may enjoy this old post, ‘Favorite Sayings’, dated June 8, 2012. Just go to the upper right where the eyeglass is and type in the name.

After the rain…

Still going through my papers. Still finding things which I find interesting.

This poem was written by a very young daughter Susan and dated 2/14/80.
I like it, although I’m sure Susan would write it very differently today.

AFTER THE RAIN

A singular droplet of crystalline water fell upon my brow,
Drawing my face upwards to see if the sky would begin to
Cry in earnest.


The heavenly shower began to pour around me;
Washing away the sins of the world in a sporadic burst of
Innumerable silver amulets.
The horizon was clothed in dismal grey as the relentless
Storm sent the nectar of the clouds crashing to earth in
Wind-blown fury.


My consciousness soon became as drenched and distraught as
The sparrow in the treetop, being thrashed about
By his maker’s own discontentment.
After the clouds had scoured the earth with efficient grace,
They retreated to their mountaintop mansion,
Allowing the sun to once again bathe the earth in brilliant,
Warming rays.


A spectrum of colours danced across the heavens
As the mist evaporated into clear, blue skies,
Reflecting the light of life in it’s entirety,
Radiance and joy were to be found everywhere:
For even in the frail web of the spider,
Translucent, shimmering specks of water gleamed like
Diamonds on a string.


Beauty was granted a chance to show full face
As the world responded to the precious gift the clouds
Had bestowed upon the earth.

*P.S. Don’t be concerned if I don’t post for awhile. I’ll be busy with other things.

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

Happy Valentines Day…

PHOTO BY CHANDRA

We are all tired of COVID:19. We want it to go away!!! We miss friends and family we can’t see. I certainly do.


I miss my book club. I miss my loved ones. I miss seeing many of my friends. I miss being physically close to them. I miss touching them and feeling okay about it AND, it’s Valentines Day!


I even find keeping a safe distance from strangers lonely. It’s difficult to have conversations with people standing in line with you. You’d have to holler for them to hear and that’s not so cool.


But, what I miss most of all is HUGGING loved ones and friends. Don’t you??? I feel like squashing them. Have you almost forgotten what it was like to hug someone dear to you? To cuddle? To feel really close to someone? Well, here’s a little poem to help you remember:

Would you like a cuddle
with me, and to huddle?
No – not in a puddle
where ducks like to waddle
that would tend to befuddle
and leave us amuddle.

My wanting to cuddle
Is not empty twaddle,
My sentiments floodle
my heart – my cheeks ruddle,
I tremble, I shuddle –
And it all came so suddle.

By Hans Muller

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.

More weird deaths…

Following my last post of quirky death possibilities, here are a few I’ve known about myself.

ISADORA DUNCAN, MOTHER OF MODERN DANCE

American dancer Isadora Duncan, (1927-1977) known as the mother of modern dance, was strangled by her own long scarf which got tangled in the rear hubcaps of her open car while driving in France. (She was right to avoid ballet. Feet are destroyed by dancing on your toes.) Duncan had, herself suffered a terrible loss. Both her children and their nanny drowned when their car rolled into the Seine.

I paid my respects at her grave while visiting the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

THE FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD SIGN
ACTRESS PEG ENTERWHISTLE

I lived for awhile in the Hollywood Hills of L.A and passed the famous sign every night driving home from work. I couldn’t help but think of actress Peg Entwistle, who leapt to her death from that high sign. Peg (1908-1932) was only 24. In her suicide note, she started by saying ‘I am afraid, I am a coward, I am sorry for everything… Peg was distressed because roles didn’t come her way. I believe I once read an offer of a role reached her father a few days after her death.

I once had a neighbour who was a compulsive hoarder. We worried about fire from all the papers and magazines. We also worried about the woman having to manoeuvre around and over all the stacked stuff. Her bed was piled high and couldn’t be slept in. (She apparently slept with her sister nearby.) We were required to clear out her apartment.

MY BROTHER’S KEEPER, BY MARCIA DAVENPORT

THE COLLYER BROTHERS, COMPULSIVE HOARDERS

Our manager suggested I read ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ by Marcia Davenport. I did — and will never forget it. It is a true story about Langley and Homer Collyer, who lived in a 5th Avenue Manhattan Mansion they inherited from their mother. They never married. They never worked. Money was not a problem. They also never threw anything out. At their deaths in 1947, they’d accumulated more than 140 tons of dilapidated stuff.

HOMER’S CHAIR

The brothers feared intruders and set up traps. Langley, himself, was caught in one and crushed to death by trash falling from above. He was on his way to bring brother Homer some food. Homer, who was paralyzed and confined to an old, rotting chair, died about 12 days later from starvation.

ABOUT 140 TONS OF HOARDED STUFF WAS REMOVED AFTER THEIR DEATHS

Interesting book. Read it if you can. It IS fascinating.

Life: a risky business

PHOTO BY CHANDRA

Have you ever thought about how risky life is and what a miracle it is so many of us manage to make it into adulthood? I’m not paranoid, but dangers do lurk at every turn.

I’M NOT PARANOID


What with nature’s furies — hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, fires, floods, lightening and storms; the billions of microscopic bacilli and viruses around, on and in us; man made hazards like guns, explosives and weapons of war, it’s amazing I’m still here!


I can’t help but think of accidents with cars, trains and planes. I step onto my balcony and imagine it falling down to the cement patio three floors down — with me on it. gosh! Well, it could happen.


Normal people just live their lives, but I think of these things. Your chances of dying in an earthquake are one in 11 million. Not much. But what’s if I’m the designated driver?

EVIL PEOPLE?


They say one in 20 million die after being bitten by a dog. I constantly meet dogs on my daily walks. Does a snarl mean I should say goodbye right now? Then there are also evil people who may attack me even if a dog doesn’t. Oh, my….

WHY DO NEIGHBOURS TAKE THE STAIRS?


Apparently the risk of being injured in an elevator is one in six million. My building has one. I use it every day. Some neighbours always take the stairs. Do they know something I don’t? And, why aren’t they telling me?

A CELESTIAL BODY??


I’m not a scared person, but what I’m really terrified of is being hit directly by a celestial body. I have a one in a 150 trillion chance of this happening, but what’s if I’m the person standing right where the darn thing comes down if it does, when it does? Yikes!


There are a lot of other reasons why life is a risky business, but I won’t go there. You’d have to be a little nutty to worry about everything.