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Tossed Salad Friday

~~ The yoga teacher was a brand-spanking new graduate embarking on her first solo class. I think she did fine, though she elicited quite a few chuckles from the class when she advised us to turn onto our right sides and “curl up into the fetus position.”

~~ Anybody can apparently get a driver’s license nowadays.

~~ I lectured my husband about my extreme dislike for viewing the 11:00 pm news before retiring. “I know the world’s a terrible place,” I said, but “stabbings, rapes, and hit-and-runs before bed are quite disturbing.” Thereafter, I left him and went to take out my contacts. I turned on the NPR broadcast of BBC America, hoping to hear the usual insightful reporting on far-flung places. And did I ever! There was the story about Chinese ranchers grinding up an antibiotic to feed to cattle — the same last line of defense medication employed in US emergency rooms to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And the one about Tanzanian candidates for elections paying big bucks to witch doctors to procure the limbs of albino people so as to sway the mojo towards the office-seekers.

~~ The moral of the story above? I should listen to sports 24/7.

~~ Spotted on the first floor of an office building, right next to the staircase:

~~ Someone was talking about a baby named James and the performer James Taylor. A friend remarked that her favorite song by Taylor was Sweet Baby James. I laughed aloud and said that my favorite James Taylor song clearly showed how different we are!

~~ Thanks for reading my blog (last week I was gently chided for choosing a topic by someone who had just looked at the photos). I don’t mind the feedback I receive from readers, like the woman who emailed me a few weeks back and said, “You’re still picking on Barbara Bush? She’s an old lady who hasn’t harmed this country since spawning awful children.” Or the reader who wrote, “Why don’t you change the name of your blog to Tales from the Liberal?” Stuff like that makes me smile, laugh, and continue writing!

~~ Speaking of thanks, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s the best holiday for everyone except turkeys.
And if you can find it in your heart to adopt a turkey rather than have a gentle creature slaughtered, this organization will put your $30.00 donation to great use: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/giving/adopt-a-turkey/

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ What am I missing about the social media holiday uproars? People are up in arms about changes in malls, hot beverage cups, and cashier greetings, maintaining they are "breaking with tradition." But since when are shopping centers, coffee shops, and checkout lines tied in with religion?

~~ People used to say "Yuletide greetings," but no one wants to bring that saying back, right? Or is there a group that feels persecuted because the clerks at the dollar store are saying “Happy Holidays” instead of wishing all a good Yule?

~~ Mother Nature Network has a post making a great point about the real brouhaha we should all be creating over the Starbucks brew-in-a-red-cup story: the damn cups are just sips away from becoming garbage. And we are already drowning in trash! http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/blogs/problem-Starbucks-cups-not-design

~~ Did you watch the Republican debate earlier in the week? It was filled with lies told by asses with straight faces. The voluminous falsehoods have already been fact-checked and ridiculed. However, what sticks with me is that, with the exception of John Kasich, every person on the stage that night would break up families. I heard all about their superior morals and values, but when it came down to it, they declared that once you’ve crossed the border illegally, you don’t deserve any compassion, even a smidgen of understanding, and a fair shake at protecting and remaining with your family. [And way to go, Donald Trump, invoking Ike’s “Wetback” program. Shudder.]

~~ Not that I’m defending Kasich. Apparently he fears for his 16-year-old daughters if Hillary Clinton is elected (no specific reason given) but doesn’t give a rip if anyone else’s pregnant daughter conceived via rape or had a life-threatening condition exacerbated by the pregnancy.

~~ This week, I heard about a woman who is “filthy rich” and read about a woman who is “fabulously rich.”  Are they the same thing?

~~ Speaking of rich, the headline in the NY Times proclaimed, “Billionaire Buys Modigliani Painting for $170.4 Million.” I love art — really, really, I do — but I dream of seeing a headline that proclaims, “Billionaire Buys Food, Clothes, and Shelter for Homeless for $170.4 Million.”

~~ Yeah, about the homeless:

Have a great weekend!


Tossed Salad Friday

~~ The weather’s been lovely around here (for November), and I’m semi, sorta enjoying autumn. I mean, here’s the sight of people wearing bathing suits at the beach on Wednesday as I strolled about, sans coat:
The sun was beautiful:
Then there’s the view from my office window:
And check out the huge leaf that fell from an equally huge tree:

~~ My son was packing for a chillier location. He thought it best to bring gloves, and asked me to help him locate a pair in the hall closet. Much to my dismay, I found that we have exactly zero matching pairs of men’s gloves and six single gloves (and one hand-knit hand warmer). How the hell does that happen?

~~ An acquaintance and I were chatting in a parking lot. A woman walking by us stumbled. We reached out but she re-balanced herself quickly and looked around to see what tripped her up. Not spotting anything, she laughed and shrugged. “Oh, well, nobody to sue,” she said.

~~ All this week, my turtle has been banging on his tank at 11:00 am, reminding me to give him his noon meal. And my dogs start nudging me at 4:00 pm for their 5:00 pm dinner. Who the hell is in favor of turning the clocks forward and back anyway? Does this group have a well-funded lobby or is Congress just too damn caught up in repealing Obamacare to repeal Daylight Savings Time?
I found this petition: http://www.petition2congress.com/6284/end-daylight-savings-time/ and a lot of articles that disprove every justification set out in favor of Daylight Savings Time starting and stopping. Apparently keeping the clocks the same all year increases productivity and keeps us in sync with most of the world, not to mention the states in this country that get along just fine without springing forward and falling back.

~~ There’s a big new study showing the parents in a two-income family are stressed. This is newsworthy? My spouse and I were stretched to our physical and mental limits starting in the 1980s. That’s a big part of why we started our own businesses. Invariably a child became ill just when we both had obligations, but we worked it out after a lot of juggling and stressing out (actually, that was just me — he rarely stresses). My advice for the newer parents in the study who resent their partners not doing a fair share of the housework: screw it. If both of you care, you’ll clean without prodding. If only one does, then suck it up and breathe easier. If neither of you gives a rip about a spic and span house, then it’s only an issue to clean when company’s coming or someone reports you to the Board of Health. You’re welcome.

~~ He tells me “Congress proved Hillary Clinton is a liar. She lied about that guy who got murdered in Benghazi.” Ladies and gentlemen, your low-information voter, parroting the RNC/Fox talking point! You want to slam Hillary, that’s your right as a citizen, and I’m open to hearing any truths you have to share. But know what the hell you’re talking about, bud, and maybe read the congressional records — taxpayers footed the bill for a gazillion million dollars to turn up nothing nefarious (but, nevertheless, the deaths of the four were horrendous and security was obviously lax).

~~ Speaking of low-information voters, who’s worse: the jaboneys in Kentucky who elected a governor who ran vowing to eliminate their health insurance, or the yahoos in Houston who opposed an anti-discrimination bill because they were hopped up to believe that sexual predators would have the right to dress as the other gender so as to prey upon them in restrooms?

~~ This tweet sums up a big part of my life:
Have a great weekend!


Tossed Salad Friday

~~ A friend asked me a question and I said I’d get the answer for her.

You know what? Absolutely no one believes you when you say, “I’m asking for a friend.”

~~ I received an email from the dean of the law school I attended:

Dear Hofstra Law Community,

The July 2015 New York State Bar results were released and our pass rate for first-time takers was 67 percent, a decline of 6 percent from the previous year. The average pass rate for first-time takers at New York law schools declined 4 percent this year to 79 percent.

I won’t single Hofstra law out (but really bad job, guys), so let’s look at it this way: law schools regularly collect a gazillion dollars knowing that at least 20% of graduates won’t find law firm jobs within a year after graduating and more than 20% won’t pass the Bar at least the first time around. Excluding the people who go to law school merely as a means to delay reality, how do about one-fifth of graduates justify the time and expense? More importantly, how do the law schools?

~~ On a semi-related note, did you know Larry Lessig, a Harvard law school professor I’ve long admired, is running for POTUS as a Democrat? Me, neither. https://lessig2016.us/
Seems he’d resign office as soon as he gets big money out of campaigns, which is good and bad.

~~ The NY Times did an interesting piece matching candidates with the books they sound like. Check it out if you missed it: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/28/upshot/matching-candidates-with-the-books-they-sound-like.html?_r=0

I think a semi-tangential part of the article explains the voters who wear Make America Great Again tees and hats, but can’t for the life of them tell you what Donald Trump will actually do and what time frame he means by “again.” The complexity gap between the parties may reflect their ideologies. Research on statements from senators dating to the 1980s, by the psychology professor Phil Tetlock, suggests that Republicans tend to be drawn to “cognitive simplicity.” Where liberals prefer contingency and context, conservatives prefer certainty and clarity.

~~ A lovely client I’d represented 21 years ago called me, looking to engage me again on the sale of her home. I thanked her but advised that I’d retired. After an expression of regret, she related how I’d been “the sole bright spot” in her life at a time after losing her spouse, being separated by thousands of miles and an international border from family, and feeling very alone and vulnerable. Tears were flowing as she talked, and I’m still misty-eyed as I type this.

~~ Is it a sign of getting older when I don’t know what half the TV commercials are selling? And that I can’t see any reason whatsoever to eat/drink/drive/wear/download the other half of the products and services?

~~ “Is this your car?” she asks me in a parking lot. “No,” I say as I keep walking. “Well, aren’t you the rude one!” I hear from behind me as I pick up the pace.

~~ Looking for my thoughts on the Mets’ present predicament? I have no thoughts. Only a belief. A very, very, very strong belief.


Tossed Salad Friday

~~A mystical guru said, “Drink the tea.” His explanation was that when you’re drinking the tea, just savor everything about it, enjoying the experience. Don’t gulp, don’t rush, don’t stress. Just be in the moment and, well, drink the tea. Therefore, that’s what I decided to do yesterday. I made the tea and started to sip when my dogs made it clear they wanted to go outside. So I brought the mug to the back door and out they went. One wanted in, and so in he came. I stood at the door, gazing out its window while relishing my Earl Grey’s warmth and taste. When the outside dog wanted in, I remained in my tea moment as I opened the back door. Wherein I promptly clobbered the little pup who’d been standing at my feet patiently awaiting his brother’s return. Bam! went the door. Crack! went his head. Splash! went the tea. Shatter! went the mug. Poof! went the freakin’ guru’s message.

~~ I’ve always thought that Benjamin Netanyahu was a hawkish ass, but now he’s revealed that he’s a card-carrying Holocaust denier. In my opinion, the Israeli electorate should show him the door quicker than you could say, “Hitler and Germany started the Holocaust.”

~~ Speaking of an electorate, WAY TO GO, CANADA! Your election result rocked.
~~ Speaking of Nazis, anyone who votes for Ben Carson should first grasp and be willing to own the pure stupidity (or possibly evil intentions) behind statements of his including that people read Mein Kampf to understand what the POTUS is doing and that the Holocaust would have been “greatly diminished” if Jews in Nazi Germany had been armed.

~~ Ahem, Maine. How the hell could you elect a sexist like this to be your governor? http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/gov-paul-lepage-public-campaign-financing-is-like-giving-your-wife-your-checkbook/

~~ Oh, hell: in for a penny, in for a pound on politics. Hey, Paul Ryan, how is it that your family is super-specially-important, but others’ families are not? I mean, you oppose family leave and advocate that those receiving public assistance work longer hours, yet you want to get extra taxpayer money to be the Speaker of the House while protecting the sanctity of your family time. The fact that you feel entitled to embrace this hypocrisy with a straight face shakes me to my core.

~~ I saved the best stuff for last. How about the Mets? I repeat, how about the Mets?
Video won’t load and my husband forgot to send me the photo of me watching game one of the NLCS via my phone in my purse at a wedding, but you get the picture, anyway.

~~Do I have any Chicago-area readers? If so, thanks for reading and have a great day!

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I remarked that I should have the number in my Roldex and would let her know. “You still have a Rolodex? You must be the last person on earth!” she exclaimed.
Am I? I never add anything to it, but it still sits there with numbers I frequently call on my landline. Am I officially an antique?

~~ Never mind. Don’t answer that question — I labeled myself a dinosaur the other day when I took a survey posed by a multi-media company. It asked me to rate TV, computer, newspaper, smartphone, and radio in the order I value each (1 being most valuable). My answer:

1.      Radio
2.      Newspaper
3.      Computer
4.      Smartphone
5.      TV

~~ What can I say? I love radio. What would your order be?

~~ Some women appreciate receiving jewelry as proof of their spouse’s affection. Not me. The other day, my husband saw that I was down to one banana and so he picked up a bunch for me. That’s true love!

~~ We’re still shocked that Jeb! Bush would say “stuff happens” about a mass shooting when we recall that his mom said this about Hurricane Katrina victims?

~~ I was truly angry about a poor response from a web-support company and when asked to rate my interaction with the customer service tech, I labeled it “poor.” The tech emailed me and asked if I’d reconsider my unsatisfactory rating, as he’d done nothing wrong. Though the company couldn’t meet my expectations (it could, but it wouldn’t), he wrote, why jeopardize his job? I changed my rating and hope it wasn’t some cyber-ruse to bolster the company’s online profile.

~~ Even if it just costs $1.00, who needs this?

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Exactly what are we celebrating on Columbus Day?

~~ I see the same woman every week and ask her how she is. She smiles, says, “I’m good, thanks,” but never reciprocates. Am I wrong to be puzzled why she can’t engage in this little nicety?
Or should I just say “Hello” and stop inquiring about her well-being?

~~ If you’ve written a book and want the public to buy it, here’s how not to pique my interest, Chrissie Hynde: http://www.npr.org/2015/10/06/446083413/chrissie-hynde-im-just-telling-my-story. I feel so bad for the interviewer, David Greene.

~~ I suffered from carnesia earlier this week. Not familiar with this affliction? I bet you are! It’s where you think up a great idea in the car yet have no idea what it was by the time you are near a pen and a piece of paper. Suffice it to say, you’d likely have been pretty wowed by what I wrote today if only I hadn’t succumbed to carnesia.

~~ The pundits are saying that Kevin McCarthy bailed because the Tea Party wouldn’t blink. Has it nothing to do with the fact that he opened his mouth and let the country know he’s an idiot?

~~ Wednesday was one crappy day. I needed to cancel an appointment for a physical with my doctor but her office couldn’t reschedule for months. So I went to a new doctor and was in her office for two friggin’ hours. I detested everything about the doctor, I was starving (I was told to fast, but that was for an 11:30 am appointment, and I left after 1:30 pm), and on the way back to the office I got a flat. My spouse came to change it, but couldn’t budge the rim. He said he needed a screwdriver but I didn’t have a screwdriver. I had brought my knitting with me to the doctor, so he used my knitting scissors. He broke my knitting scissors, but fixed the tire. He and I had appointments for massages later that afternoon, and when we walked in, found they erroneously booked us into their other massage office, 30 minutes away.

~~ So I came back to work again, grumpy and achy. And proceeded to read an email from a former client who wanted to let me know that her daughter, also a former client, had been involved in a car accident and died.

~~ Wednesday was a fine day for me. How about you?

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Another school shooting. More lives lost. Who gives a crap about what I have to say? You should contact your representatives and insist that sanity and safety prevail over the NRA.

~~ Still here? Well, then…

~~ The Pope said, “Who am I to judge?” Then he met with Kim Davis and high-fived her judginess.

~~ NPR had an interview with Bill Withers (“Lean on Me” “Ain’t No Sunshine”). He talked about admiring his brother’s happiness, but when asked if he was happy, replied, “No. I think to be truly happy you have to have blinders on.” Thanks, Bill. You just cut through mounds of psychobabble and self-help tomes! You don’t need no stinkin’ 10 steps to happiness or a think it and be it blissful epiphany. If you want to be happy, just ignore reality.

~~ I had to make a decision about something that was tearing me up. Then I remembered a coping technique I used to do with my son: just pick one option and see how your gut reacts. I did, chose to do the thing, and my stomach flipped twice before sinking to my ankles. I immediately announced I’d do the opposite, and 20 minutes later, I found myself singing. [This likely contradicts my pontification above, but I don’t give a rip. Sue me, happiness acolytes.]

~~ If you’re keeping score at home, the light was still off yesterday (see last week’s blog).

~~ I opened my backdoor to let one of my dogs out, and encountered a raccoon on the step.

Startled, I guess, s/he hissed and went after my 11-pound dog. Frantic, I screamed at the raccoon and started flailing my arms at him or her (I figured I stood a better chance of survival than my little canine). My dog ran off and the raccoon followed. I stood outside and shrieked at the top of my lungs, pleading for Mookie to return. I was frantic and very, very loud. Mookie came back, seemingly unscathed, though I was quite shaken. Once my adrenaline receded, I realized that not one of my neighbors came to see why I was wailing; I don’t recall even a light being flipped on or a window opened. My dog-raccoon encounter may not be a Kitty Genovese incident, but it could have been, right? Shame on my neighbors.

~~ I heard an adorable story about a five-year-old who wanted to know if “badass” was a bad word. His mom said probably, depending on where he’d heard it (he was watching Shrek and she thought maybe someone in the movie said that Donkey was acting poorly.) Next time the movie was playing, he called out to his mom that the word was coming up, then he sang the along. “One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do …Two can be as badass one… It's the loneliest number since the number one…”

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Almost every Thursday for six months I have driven back from a class via the same route. There is a house facing the intersection where I invariably meet a red light.
In the upper left window of that house, there is an overhead light that’s always on despite the bright sunlight of midday. Yesterday, for the first time in about 25 weeks, the light wasn’t on, and I started to speculate while I waited for the light to change. Maybe he or she was ill (or worse); maybe the person worked from home and lost his or her job. Did s/he move? Did the electric bill grow so high that no lights go on before 5:00 pm? Or… maybe the bulb blew out? Yeah, that’s probably it.

~~ I know a woman who is uber-conservative. She came to this country from Germany 60+ years ago but is now adamantly opposed to letting “any of those people” in the U.S. She detests the POTUS, but she was most gleeful when she shared the news with me that FLOTUS was divorcing him the moment his term ends. I wondered how she knew this tidbit, and she said, “I read it in the Enquirer.”

~~ She also hates the Pope, because he’s “too liberal.” I said he’s a very conservative liberal, or perhaps a very liberal conservative. “Nah, he’s just liberal,” she replied. “He doesn’t talk about people going to hell.”

~~ About the visit to the U.S. by Xi Jinping: “You watch. He’s going to join up with Hillary and try to make us all Communists.”

~~ Earlier in the week, it was downright chilly. I shivered and (as I do) started to complain. A lovely woman said, “I like autumn so much more than summer. Nobody snuggles when they are sweating but everyone gets snuggly when it turns crisp.” I don’t love fall, but I think she’s onto something.

~~ Talk about shifting perspectives. During savasana (a final, deep relaxation pose in yoga), a woman near me snored quite loudly for about five minutes. I peevishly thought, who the heck was she to disturb my repose? Then, as we gathered our mats to leave, the teacher walked over and gently awoke the snorer. The woman smile, stood up to reveal she was pregnant, and thanked the teacher. “That’s the first time I’ve slept in days.” Bam! Who the heck was I to begrudge a mom-to-be a mini-nap?

~~ I’m eating lunch yesterday while reading the paper. Having a surprising amount of time, I read a story on motels in Brazil (hang with me here): http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/24/world/americas/intimate-escapes-for-a-few-hours-in-brazils-love-motels.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0. While you might think I’m commenting because of say, that puzzling last quote, that’s not the case. Here are the words that caught my attention:  Scholars who study motels say that their use varies widely… Seriously?

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I’m walking back from yoga past some homes. I pass one without a fence and at the back end of a long driveway I spot a guy barbequing. A naked guy barbequing. I’ll admit I looked twice because I couldn’t believe it. Doesn’t hot grease splatter when you barbeque?
~~ No, I didn’t take a photo. That’s an invasion of his privacy (tee hee, as if he had any) and besides, you really didn’t want to see his not-so-spare ribs.

~~ I’d like to discuss the GOP debate a bit, but after I declare that it was one of the worst things I’ve seen on TV save for coverage of disasters, wars, and sitcoms with Kirk Cameron, what do I have to add?

~~Oh, yeah, maybe I have some more things to say. Like Carly Fiorina: Trump is an ass, but you’ve trashed a woman’s appearance, ordered mass layoffs, and lately showed your ignorance of climate change and sworn to the validity of a scene that doesn’t exist in a videotape that was highly edited and completely discredited.

~~ OK, and Mike Huckabee: We’re not a Christian country. We’re a country with many Christians. Big difference, bud.

~~What the heck. Chris Christie: You didn’t serve as a prosecutor starting September 10, 2001. You started in January 2002, so invoking one of our nation’s greatest tragedies to show your alleged empathy elevates you from regular bully to a macabre goon.

~~ CNN asking who should be on the $10.00 bill was nonsensical, but Jeb (Or is that Jeb!) Bush answering Margaret Thatcher was preposterous.

~~ And how the hell did none of the other candidates say, “Um, Jeb? Your brother DID NOT KEEP US SAFE!

~~ I obviously could go on and on, but I need to calm down. So, I’ll share some photos I took yesterday:

Have a great weekend!



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