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Tossed Salad Friday


~~ Overheard: “It may sound silly to you, but I never touch those things.” [What things, dammit? Don’t keep walking…]

~~ Overheard:  “His mind was made up five seconds after he was born.”

~~ Overheard one-half a phone call:

“What? Who? What? What?

“What? Why? Why?”

“No, no, I know, but why? Really, why?”

“Wow. Just wow. I mean, wow.”

~~ Overheard a conductor saying to train passenger: “You bought a ticket for Mineola, not Penn Station. They aren’t even close.” [Price-wise and distance-wise.]

~~ Yesterday, the wind was blowing so hard I watched my poodle try to figure out which way to stand so he wouldn’t be peeing back on himself. He only semi-succeeded, but boy did he try!

The evening before, the rain came down so hard I had three dogs in raincoats beat a super-hasty retreat from the door the moment it was opened. The only time I’ve seen them run faster was when they are upstairs and someone opens the refrigerator downstairs.

~~ A man called me, saying that I’d been his attorney in 1976 when he bought his house. I replied that I hadn’t even attended law school by that time, but he insisted that his recollection was correct. “I don’t want to embarrass you, but I remember you were a good lawyer and quite a looker, too.”

“You can’t embarrass me because I’m not who you’re looking for,” I advised him. “I’m sure if you pull out all your old paperwork you’ll find the name of the lawyer who did your deal.”

This answer only semi-appeased him. “OK, I’ll go look, but if I’m right and you’re wrong, I won’t be hiring you now. Know why? Because you’re a bit ruder than I remember.”

Rest assured, former colleague, that if he calls back, I won’t be referring him to you.* He’s apparently addlepated, lost a decade, or is some kind of stalker.

*I won’t even be answering the call.

~~ Rest in peace, Rep. Elijah Cummings. You epitomized public service and so much more. You  incarnated justice and embodied humanity.

~~ John Lithgow wrote an excellent, insightful op-ed in the NY Times. He didn’t say it so inelegantly, but it’s time to cancel this tRump shitshow. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/opinion/john-lithgow-trump.html

~~ So tRump gets the G-7 at his resort, because what’s the use of hiding your grift anymore? And he starts a genocide in Syria before claiming to have settled it. First, if you’re the arsonist as well as the firefighter, you don’t get credit. Second, the “historic” deal this POS engineered is an agreement to pause Turkey’s criminal invasion of Syria for a few days while the Kurds run for their lives… to where?




Go ‘Stros!



Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard: “There’s no way on earth she told him her real age.”

~~ Overheard: “He didn’t have to get huffy. I simply asked the doc for a little bit of free advice. You think I had asked him to do surgery or something.”

~~ The woman was getting annoyed at the store clerk who appeared to be someone with a mental challenge. “Can’t you go any faster?” she said in a rather ugly tone. “I can,” the clerk stammered, “but then I make mistakes. Don’t you like fine better than wrong?”

To the shopper’s credit, she shut up. To my credit, I glared at the back of her head in the parking lot. Well, maybe I don’t get credit for that. But I did feel fine!

~~ During Yom Kippur services, the rabbi introduced a song many of the congregants probably didn’t know. Don’t fret, she assured us. Getting lost in the beautiful melody and the warmth of the cantor’s lovely voice would make it easier to hear “the divine” in the song.

That’s true. Sometimes words do get in the way. Especially if your Hebrew is rusty, like the man behind me who confused the F sound with the PH sound. I swear I could feel my hair part down the back every time he vigorously sang or chanted “tefillah” as “tee-PHEE-la.”

~~ The rabbi spoke at length about a mistake many parents (and one so-called president) make when it comes to raising kids and running countries. The goal is not for parents to raise an independent child but an interdependent child, she said. No child can stand alone in the world, she reasoned (unless their goal is to be a hermit or a monk, I guess). A child needs to be part of a reliable network of people who will teach them, support them, nurture them, and correct them. All adults need the same network (see previous careers as exceptions) — people who will stand by to nurture, shield, uplift, mentor, set standards, and remind them that no matter how awful things are, they are not alone.

I took her sermon to heart. There’s no reason to bemoan, “I have to do this, this, this, and this by myself” when someone close to you might be happy to step in and help. Nor should we ever feel forsaken when our super-parent or super-worker cape slips off or rips. A person in your circle may be able to help or at least commiserate with you by sharing the story of the time he screwed up the dentist’s visit by taking his kid to the pediatrician instead.

We won’t always like or love the people we’ll depend on. For instance, the boss can be an SOB, but the paycheck is steady. The neighbor can be a gossip, but when you lock yourself out, she’ll call a locksmith for you.

Interdependency is a two-way street. It means we need to give as well as take and applaud as often as we bask in adoration. That sounds OK to me; as someone who frequently gets lost, I’ve always found it easier to turn in the right direction when the road goes both ways.

~~ As for applying that lesson to the resident in the White House, you know as well as I do that supportive allies (whether they were existence during WW2) make all the difference. It’s a big friggin’ world, you know? When you go it alone, that means almost 200 other countries are against you or, at best, indifferent towards you. Not even hermits or monks have that many potential enemies.

~~ Speaking of enemies, abandoning the Kurds after they fought with our troops against ISIS is morally wrong and puts innocent lives in present danger. What’s more, by pulling U.S. troops out of Northern Syria and letting Turkey attack the Kurds, thousands of ISIS fighters could be released. But according to tRump, that’s Europe’s problem. It’s not like ISIS hates the U.S. or anything.


Dasvidaniya. Happy Indigenous People's Day.
~~ Overheard in synagogue: “She’s more Jew, he’s more Ish, but it works.”

~~ Overheard: “Why would you ask him that? He’s in denial about his hair.”

~~ Overheard: “Bernie Sanders is too old and annoying. I like that candidate who looks like a housewife. Amy something. She’s smart but doesn’t look it.”

~~ Overheard: “She doesn’t listen to anything her mother says, but she calls her every day.”

~~ Overheard a conversation between two women walking in front of me:

“My boss is a complete bastard. He’s setting me up to get fired because I can’t work past 5.”

“What time are you supposed to work until?”

“Well, 5:30, but I eat lunch at my desk so I tell him that counts for a half hour.”

“He is your boss…”

“Now you sound like HR.”

~~ As I sat down to write this blog, the temperature has swung wildly and quickly. On Wednesday it was a sunny 90 degrees while on Thursday it was a cloudy and damp 60. I was all set to complain to you readers about the damn cold after my yoga class, but the teacher tossed off a folktale that made me reluctant to complain.

It was a cold winter day, and a heavily dressed man noticed Nasrudin outside wearing very little clothing.

"Mulla," the man said, "how is it that I am wearing all these clothes and still feel a little cold, while you are barely wearing anything, and seem unaffected by the weather?"

"Well," replied Nasrudin, "I don't have any more clothes, so I can't afford to feel cold. But you have plenty of clothes and thus have the luxury to feel cold."

Yeah, well, it’s still cold, but I’d feel like a piker complaining about the cold since I do have a warm sweatshirt and thick socks.

~~ Yom Kippur occurs this week, but I wanted to share with you the “sermons” delivered by the rabbi of the synagogue we attend. I put sermons in quotes because she doesn’t lecture and she certainly doesn’t harangue (oh, boy, once I heard a rabbi who used the word “must” at least 50 times). She explains, suggests, and gives her opinion, but that’s all.

On the first day of the holiday, the rabbi spoke about being a Jew who follows rules or one who lives a Jewish life. As an example, she cited food Jews — ones who keep kosher but don’t abide by the majority of Judaism’s commandments. Is it better to refrain from eating shrimp and putting cheese on a burger, she wondered, or to encourage education and perform acts of humanity?

Though most of us dwell in the gray areas and not the either/or region, I really like her takeaway: Embrace or disregard the rules created by men centuries ago but live a life focused on justice, respect, kindness, and education.

On the second day, the written speech was about the history of Israel. But what resonated most for me was when we joined as a synagogue to pray for the USA and the world. The rabbi said, “Even if you never pray because you doubt the effectiveness of prayer, there’s a comfort and strength that radiates inwards and outwards when a community gets together to yearn for a common solution.”

~~ This meme made me laugh! I had just written to my sister-in-law that I would honor her request to bring a dessert to break the Yom Kippur fast, but it wouldn’t be vegan. “Whenever I bring a vegan dessert, no one even tries it,” I bemoaned. I always end up bringing it home and eating it all. Which actually is a very good thing.

~~ I read The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. The author artfully weaves together two tales —  a WWI female spy network operating at great peril and a post WWII search for a beloved cousin that enlists one of those now-retired spies. There’s espionage, intrigue, revenge, and melancholy laced with happiness. It was, as they say, a real page turner.

~~ Someone on Twitter suggested that it was time to stop calling “Conservatives” by that name, as they aren’t for conserving the environment, the rule of law, lives already born, etc. The suggestion was to term them "Regressives." I like that, because it's easier to type than "Treasonous, hateful, bullying, hurtful, cruel, racist, misogynistic SOBs."


~~ Dasvidaniya. Have a great weekend.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard one side of a phone call: “You didn’t get stood up. You must have misunderstood where to meet. They closed that place years ago.” [Pause.] “Oh, you think so? Then you did get stood up.”

~~ Overheard at We the People March: “tRump screwed my uncle out of $800.00 in plumbing supplies in the 90s. In 2016, my uncle told everyone who would listen, ‘He’s a bum.’”

~~ If you know someone who dumped on Greta Thunberg, there’s help for him or her:  https://twitter.com/i/status/1177178666402365440

And why the heck haven’t you cut such a cruel person out of your life?

~~ All we wanted to know was if the shop had Mets’ tee shirts in sizes smaller than 18 months. Turns out the answer was no, as they didn’t want to have too much inventory on hand if the Mets didn’t make the post-season. While that info should have taken just a few seconds to impart, the salesclerk we asked was in a very talkative mood — by the time she came up for air we knew she was one of four girls that weighed at least eight pounds each at birth, but that their older brother “greased the skids and broke it down for us” when mom gave birth to him naturally at almost nine pounds. TMI? Of course, but she wasn’t done! Her family calls her the “baby whisperer” because she can induce her nieces and nephews to sleep quickly no matter how they fuss for the parents. She was ready to share more, but people who wanted to make actual purchases were getting antsy at the register. So the nap enticer left us before she had a chance to bore us to sleep as well.

~~ The Mets’ season comes to a close this weekend, again without a postseason appearance. Nevertheless, the second half of the season was (mostly) a lot of fun and an escape from our country’s reality. Wait until next year!

~~ Two things many people know about me: 1) I detest the fall and winter seasons, and 2) I love my family. Now they come together as I get to write about the commencement of a new season this past Monday and the start of Rosh Hashanah Sunday night.

For a week, most of what I’ve heard from yoga teachers is about the new season. “It’s a period of transition,” a time for “reflection and letting go,” “a reminder of life’s fleetingness,” and “nature’s lesson on embracing the present.” Enjoy, they say — days and nights are semi-equal so we should be in balance, the winds of autumn blow out all the summer’s heat, etc.

The problem is, I don’t want to blow out anything but the blather about the fall being a marvelous time of year. I bring a lot of negative energy into fall celebration classes because I want to hold on to every bit of summer heat. I enjoy the season’s carefree nature — a tee shirt, shorts, and flip-flops are all you need to set out on an adventure. I relish the greens, yellows, pinks, purples, reds and other lush colors of summer, and I adore the smell of salt air and ripening melons. Why is it OK for so many to squeal with delight at corn mazes, pumpkin spice, and multi-hued dying leaves, but I can’t defy the season’s greeting with a frown and a longing to linger in summer?

I know the seasons change whether I’m aboard or not, and I’m sorry if I upset the rejoice and renew karma in my classes, but I am not veering from the liveliness of summer to the autumn die off with any inclination towards dignity or gratitude.

Rosh Hashanah
This is the holiday that kicks off a brand new year for Jews. In a way, it’s as futile to pray to some capricious deity for a long, healthy, prosperous life as it is to yearn for a return to flip-flop weather. However, with Mother Nature being so rightfully vengeful, it’s probably a coin flip whether I win the lottery or enjoy 80 degrees in November.

Therefore, I’ll just reflect on the comfort to be found in familiar faces and welcoming hearts at the holidays. At the synagogue we attend, there’s no preaching about retribution. And at the holiday table, there’s just love without judgment (OK, there is that whole chocolate versus cheese fondue thing, but I don’t partake in either). What more can a person pray (chant, implore, beseech, plead, hope) for than a table bursting with love from a supportive family?

No matter where you stand on autumn’s graces and regardless of whether you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, I wish you and yours kinship and happiness.

Dasvidaniya. Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard: “It sucks when you get voicemail nowadays. You can’t yell ‘Pickup, pickup, dammit, pickup’ like you used to do when you knew someone was home.”

~~ Overheard: “Ugly and smelling bad are just not the same thing.”

~~ Overheard: “I’m so mad. I just don’t really know why.”

~~ She was so upset about her ankle pain, especially because she couldn’t pinpoint the cause. “I’m getting old!” she wailed from time to time amidst her swearing and details of the throbbing discomfort. “It’s not fair. I’m not old enough for this. Pain is for old people.” As someone who is not fond of her daily pain but even less enamored with being called old, I decided I’d had enough of the whining by this friend of an acquaintance who was bringing me down.

“Listen,” I kind of barked at her. “There’s a Russian saying: If you wake up feeling no pain, you know you’re probably dead. Not O-L-D but D-E-A-D. Get it?”

She looked taken aback. “So you’re saying I’m gonna die?”
  Now I feel bad, so I try to soothe things over. “No, of course not! I’m just saying that people feel pain for different reasons — or no reasons—at many ages, not just old age. You’re not going to die from a twinge-y ankle.”

“Apology accepted,” she chirped.

Huh? I’m too old for this.

~~ He’s been taking care of his elderly father for as long as I’ve known him. They go everywhere together (he’s taken over dad’s business and so dad still comes into the office). He finds out that somehow, someway dad connected with a scammer online. “Poof, $4,100 disappeared from our joint bank account! I call the police but dad insists the scammer is honorable and will be sending us half a million dollars in repayment of the short-term loan. This all happened while I was watching dad. What happens to the elderly who are alone and vulnerable?”

~~ Speaking of scams, my dearly departed dog Willie got this letter insisting his made-up name (Willie K Nine) made him heir to a Native American millionaire.

~~ Saturday is International Coastal Cleanup Day and the We the People March. I had a dilemma — what was I going to do? I could join in to clean a beach and help do my part to save the ocean. Or I could march against corruption in DC and the GOP and help save the Constitution. Then I realized there was no problem, because there’s no government if we lose the oceans, and there are no oceans if we don’t stop the government!

~~ If you are totally transparent and so smart you’d never make a traitorous statement while others were listening to your call, why stop Congress from seeing the latest whistleblower’s complaint, Donnie?


Dasvidaniya. Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ A woman sitting on a bench is conversing with a man:
“How long have you been divorced?”
“About five minutes.”

~~ While striding down the boardwalk with my husband, a man directly behind us says, “Ma’am, I love your perfume.” I turn back and laugh as I thank him. “It’s bug spray!” I say. “Oh, well, you’ve made my night,” he proclaims.

~~ Overheard: “How many times do I have to say ‘you drink too much’ before he listens?”

~~ Overheard: “People get so mad just because I never agree with them.”

~~ Overheard at a recent Mets’ game: “I wanted to audition to sing the national anthem, but I always vomit right before I sing. I call it 'somit.' I can’t somit on the field before I’d sing.”

~~ Also overheard at the game: “He doesn’t really care if the company makes money as long as he gets a paycheck. They need to fire him yesterday.”

~~ The woman next to me at a yoga class had a serious case of flatulence. I mean like you’d find at practice after an entire football team consumed bean burritos.
  Surmising she was ill and on medication, I felt sorry for her. But the aroma was atrocious, so I edged as far away as I could (as did the women on the mats in front of her). Afterwards, she announced to no one in particular, “Sorry if I disturbed anyone’s karma. I drank my soda too fast at lunch.”

Rapid soda gulping causes rancid, eyelash dissolving gassiness? I didn’t know. But I’m always willing to learn.

~~ My house is a disaster. It has been since Dementia-ville was established on the premises and it’s been worsened by a flood, flagging finances, and geriatric doggies forgetting what they are supposed to do outside. It’s our thing and we have to overcome it, but in the meantime I found that we are not alone and, even better, there’s a name for it:  Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome (CHAOS)!

If you hear me say my “house is in CHAOS,” please respect that. It’s a syndrome and you have to be considerate of those suffering with this residential disorder.

~~ I stopped by an office as a party was in full swing. I picked up the paperwork and wished the woman wearing a crown, “Happy birthday.”

“It’s not my birthday, hon. I’m just the Queen Bee around here.”

Bee, I salute your queenliness.

~~ To anyone who thinks that only a shithole third world country would roll back clean water regulations, govern by graft, lose residents to random and frequent violence, and fail to protect their Constitution and elections, welcome to the USA in 2019. What is it about the GOP and supporters that makes them hate clean air and water, detest a sustainable environment, prevent a living wage, suppress medical treatment for all, and cheer for refugee suffering?



Dasvidaniya. Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard: A lot of words in rapid Spanish, followed by “Are you a moron or what?”

~~ Overheard: I am so not into the gym scene. Who wants a bunch of randos looking at my ass?

~~ Overheard:
 You know that coach that molested the kids?
 Which one? There’s quite a few.

~~ Overheard: If your father wants to be her sister, then I’m not gonna be your mother. You understand?

~~ Overheard: Pancakes are the worst breakfast of all. They are so, so disgusting. I mean, really? They make me want to barf.

~~ Spotted on a passing tee shirt: Reality called. I hung up.

~~ She was commenting on her mother-in-law’s toxic narcissism. “This woman had a chance to meet with the Pope and give confession. But she thinks she’s perfect, so she said, ‘I don’t have anything to confess to, so why would I meet with him?’”

~~ He was excited about a Groupon deal to see James Taylor for $19. “What’s the catch?” I asked my husband twice. He assured me there was none, and just before he went to order us two tix, I looked at what he was doing. “Umm, that’s Livingston Taylor, not James Taylor,” I advised. Atypical for him, he uttered a curse and thereafter bailed on the order. It must be hard being JT’s brother with people like my spouse in this world.

~~ My husband and I were crossing the parking lot at a state beach a few strides behind two women I’m guessing were Latina. A car coming down the lane honked as if to hurry them along, but when we entered the lane, the (white) driver stopped and made a flourishing hand gesture for us to feel free to cross his path. That is white privilege; no wonder it reeks of ridiculousness and elicits resentment and so much more.

~~ We were window shopping in a nearby village when we saw a baby clothing store. Of course we were drawn in, and after looking at the merchandise, the proprietor came to greet us. She introduced herself as Something Something, Baby Celebrity Stylist. All I kept thinking as she chatted on was does she style babies who are celebrities themselves, or style the children of adults who are the celebrities?

~~ I read two books back to back, by sheer coincidence, that were as astonishingly similar as they were different. Educated, by Tara Westover, tells the author’s story of growing up in a family that had little use or time for education (or medicine). Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens, is a fictional tale of a child abandoned one by one by family until she is alone — except for nature's creatures — in the marshland. Both books are a testament to overcoming a lack of learning, and yet neither is truly about that.

~~ The next two books I read (see what happens when you skip a bit of blogging) were also excellent. The Editor by Steven Rowley is a work of fiction that almost every novelist (or wannabe) would like to have lived. Imagine what it must be like to have your work championed by Jackie Kennedy Onassis when your own mother doesn’t even want to read a draft of your book?

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh was easily the best of the four worthwhile books. The main character was unlike any other I’ve read since my J.D. Salinger and Ken Kesey days — a tragedy wrapped in a comedy, a roaring feminist, a neglected and needy orphan, a non-Houdiniesque escape artist, a beauty devoid of softness, a master manipulator, and someone too weary to sleep without help. Wow, I just loved this book.

Here’s an online excerpt of the book: https://www.lennyletter.com/story/my-year-of-rest-and-relaxation

~~Pete Buttigieg said, "I feel sorry for the President and that is not the way we should feel about the most powerful figure in this country." I like you, Mayor Pete, but I have to disagree. I feel loathing, repulsion, and downright hatred towards this cruel, racist, traitorous threat to the Constitution, but not one ounce of compassion. I fear Donnie won’t get what he deserves, but if he does, I won’t let a smidge of sorrow interrupt my celebration.




Dasvidaniya. Have a great weekend!

It Sounds Ridiculous, but It’s True

I was having one of those days. You know the one where the clock just didn’t seem to have 60 minutes in the hour? Yeah, one of those.

To save time commuting to and from the yoga studio, I decided to take an online class.

As I’ve done a gazillion times in this very spot, I put on the video and began doing what the instructor directed me to do. Twenty minutes or so later, she instructs me to lay down, and so I did.

BAM! I saw stars and thought my time on earth was about to cease. There was an immense weight on my head and blood in my eyes. From yoga? Who bleeds from yoga?

I realized I wasn’t dead, so I reached for my head. On top of it wasn’t a boulder, or an anvil, or a roof-piercing asteroid.  What crashed into my cranium was a fireplace! Yes, you read that right.

Last year, before they moved to North Carolina, my son and his partner acquired a portable fireplace that they didn’t take with them for some reason. It has sat for a year against the wall of my yoga room, never moving, never toppling. Until now, when it launched itself onto my noggin.

I lifted it off (it’s a heavy sucker) and ran to the bathroom for a towel. Blood was pouring everywhere as I screamed for my husband. He grabs the first aid kit and our handy dandy canine cut stopper powder and comes to my rescue.

“I don’t want to get stitches, please. Don’t say I have to go to the hospital!” I beg him. He cautions me to slow down and let him see.

“No stitches — I don’t want them to cut my hair! And I don’t want to do the concussion protocol, because they will ask me ‘who is the president of the USA?’” [You can see my senses returned.]

He administered the first aid, and after a few minutes, he assured me the blood was clotting as it was meant to do.

After the weekend, I did go to see my family doctor. She confirmed the wound was “healing nicely” and she would have done the same thing herself. “Never let them cut your hair unless it’s a matter of life, death, or guaranteed infection,” she decreed.

They say that most accidents occur in the home. Remember that next time you have a choice to go out or stay in. Because staying in might just get you a knock on the coconut from a rogue fireplace.

What I Didn’t Do On My Summer Vacation

Though a five-day-sail around Maine in an old schooner was not my usual jam, it had the elements I enjoyed: my husband, a getaway, and time to read and knit. So I agreed, and a month later, after reading all the literature they provided and watching the video, we set out.

My husband loved the rental car, the ferry ride to Connecticut was a pleasant break, we had an engaging meal with a Boston-based friend, and discovered a lovely village with a veg-friendly chocolatier. Then [cue the ominous music] we made it to the ship.

We knew it was “cozy” and “rustic” — we’d read the literature. But we didn’t know those words actually meant “cramped” and “somewhere between unsavory and gross.”

Since pictures are worth a boatload of words, let’s start with our cabin. Here it is in its totality:

Now we’ve joined up with the tour of the rest of the ship. Let me show you the bathroom that all the cabins on our side of the ship will share:

Yes, it’s an actually a boat head, and I’m OK with that. I’m a boater and I know how these things work.  But look again at that photo. Do you see a sink? No, you don’t!

“Use hand sanitizer” they say. You know, the alcohol-based stuff that “kills 99% of germs” but removes zip that might be clinging to your hands?

Before moving on, I just want to say that my boat, about half the size of this one, HAS A SINK.

We leave our side of the ship (mind the ladder-steps) and cross the deck, dropping in on the galley where they prepare the food and we, the passengers eat. Oh, yes, this is also where the one and only shower is located:

To recap, you make your way up, across the deck, and down into the galley where you take a shower in the very near vicinity of staff and vacationers. If you’re unlucky enough to be the “third or fourth person in a row to take a shower” you are requested to “please either empty the shower basin or call a crew member to do it, happily, for you.” While you are freshly washed and in view of staff and vacationers, of course.

Want to get clean but avoid the whole shower scene? You can leave your cabin, come up on that same deck, ask a crewmember for hot water, and then carry it down to your cabin where you can’t stand with the door closed, so you have to sit on the bed and wash yourself. Remember those ladder-stairs? Let me show you what you need to descend holding a basin of hot water:


Speaking of water, it begins to rain heavily. Post dinner, we find our cabin soaked and seek out the captain. She sends a guy who looks like a cast member of Mutiny on the Bounty to “see,” but it turns out he already knows. He grabs our stuff, moves it to a vacant and dry cabin (same size) and goes about stopping the leaks. He doesn’t grab towels made of paper or cloth, but he does grab something from the closet that’s made to soak up liquid:

Yes, that’s a diaper. And that is Cookie Monster.

On the outside, I look like I’ve just seen the ghosts of Fred and Mary tRump. On the inside, my brain is beating back my stomach before it launches into a gastric hurricane.

I turn to my husband and say, “You’ve known me a long, long time. You know I can’t handle this.” This better-than-anyone man sighs and says, “I know.”

However, the part of me that eschews shirking what she’s started doesn’t want to disappoint him, as I know he’d love to help crew the rig. Since we’re spending the night in port, I muster up my recently departed fortitude and declare, “I’ll give it a try tonight before deciding.”

We venture to the galley where we see someone bang her head on a very low beam, another person complaining about leaking, and drips emanating from a few spots. The crewmember by the stove (not the cook) says they know the ship leaks. “It’s old. It was built in 1916 so that makes it 126 years old.”

No, bud, it doesn’t. I guess they don’t care about math skills when hiring the crew.

Finally, we return to our mini-cabin. My husband fetches a basin of water so we can brush our teeth (oh, ick). He takes the smaller part of the berth because the light is closer to the other side, and he knows that I want to read. He starts watching a movie on his phone; I ask him what he’s watching. “Red Sea” he says without even a teeny trace of irony crossing his face. Oh, this man is amazing.

I text my kids and my son’s partner, telling them how miserable I am and how I’m convincing myself that bolting would not define me as a quitter. And even if I was a quitter, so what? I had my sanity and a commitment to all things sanitary to protect, right?

I start reading Where the Crawdads Sing. Delia Owens is a talented writer! My husband falls asleep and I keep reading, only to pause so I may stress eat all the vegan chocolate I bought. Well, not all of it. I saved one piece because I think I may have been full — it’s hard to tell when a bunch of line dancers are doing “Cotton-Eyed Joe” in your stomach.

Halfway through the book, I guessed the ending. Thrillers have never been my thing because I don’t like death and I’m kind of particular about details, but I digress — the book is incredibly well written and so I read it all.  Now it’s about 4:30 am, I’ve got chocolate-covered teeth, and I have to go to the bathroom. Oy, don’t even ask.

[I’m going to skip the part where the people in the next berth were whispering quietly most of the night, except for when someone went to the bathroom and pumped, pumped, pumped to flush—then they giggled like first graders.]

So I started another book. (See? I have coping skills.) And I kept reading until my husband woke up. There’s a lot of shimmying, swaying, and getting out of each other’s way (impossible, really) so we could each get dressed.

And then we packed and told the captain we were leaving. “OK,” she said and shrugged. Google tells me we weren’t the first ones to vamoose from a Maine Windjammer, and we may not be the last.

Sinks, dear readers, are not luxuries.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard conversation: “She wears glasses, right?” “No.” “I’m sure she wears glasses.” “No, she definitely doesn’t. But she talks a lot.”

~~ Overheard: “I didn’t say that. I thought it, but I didn’t say it.”

~~ Overheard: “Luke [redacted], get back here before I make you eat Grandma’s pie!” (I could have misheard “Grandma’s pie,” but I can’t for the life of me think what else sounds similar for the mom to use as a threat to a kid of about five.)

~~ The situation was growing a bit tense. The cash register clearly showed the change due as $11.20 but the person on the purchasing side said he only received $11.10. He was told twice — quite loudly the second time — that he got 20 cents.

The mystery was solved as the exasperated cashier tried a third time to enlighten the purchaser. “Lookit, I gave you a ten, a one, and two nickels… oh, damn, I forgot how much nickels are worth!”

~~ I went to a marvelous wedding last week. The participants and their families were stunning, the church was magnificent, the reception venue was lovely, and I was able to have extended conversations with my daughter, son-in-law, and some cherished friends. As readers know, my daughter is enceinte, and my friends all gushed with excitement for her and her husband. One friend said, “You know you have a bunch of aunties here, right?” and my heart just about exploded with joy and love.

~~ An (actual) aunt of the bride told me a funny story about her father. Seems he has a routine of walking to his basement each time he needs a new kitchen trash bag and comes back upstairs with just one. So she grabs a bunch from the basement and puts them in the kitchen. Once dad sees them, he brings them all back down and scolds his daughter, “Stop treating me like an old man!”

Her reply: “In three years, you’re gonna be 100. You ARE an old man!”

~~ Boaters in the August issue of my new magazine are bottomless, topless, barfing, arguing, selfie-ing, imbibing, singing, insulting, and jiggling! (That’s just one story!) Please check it out: https://boatingmagli.com/

~~ This is where I’d talk about the economy, but the same colleague who called me out for predicting a recession in 2006-07 wrote me earlier this week to chide me for doing it again. She wrote, “I’m not saying you contributed to anything, but it doesn’t help when you talk down the real estate market or car sales or consumer confidence. We all need to be optimists!” I thanked her for being such a loyal reader and disavowed any ability to make the markets tank. But in case I’m being terribly naïve and I do possess the key to economic stability, the fiscal outlook in the USA is just rosy!

~~ Did you read the reports about starving/dying reindeer and the die-off of fireflies? Having a climate denial occupant in the White House isn’t supplementary to Putin’s plan. Melting glaciers, forest fires, droughts, floods and the disappearance of creatures before they can be saved gives Vlad more places to make scads of money. Ushering in tRump has weakened the US, driven former allies to bond with Russia, and made the world Putin’s oyster (well, not literally — the oysters are dying off, too).

Oh, yeah, and China’s having a grand old time at our expense, too.






Dasvidaniya. Have a great weekend! I may or may not write another blog this August. I’m sapped of energy by Thursdays and I could use a month of naps.  See you in September unless I feel refreshed sooner.




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October 2019



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