Tossed Salad Friday


~~ Real life chatter:

“My mother cooked spaghetti and meatballs for our dogs growing up. They loved the meatballs.”

“Do you think anyone notices that no one is looking?”

“If you wear a mask all day long, your nose will bleed. It’s just science.”

“I ran home for a beer because today got too long.”

~~ Zooming here and there:

“How many times do you need to resume the Zoom before you give up?”

“Sorry I missed most of the class; I was here early, but I didn’t see anyone so I went to do the dishes and almost forgot to come back.”

Teacher: “Your background is amazing.”
Student: “I don’t have a background. Just my house and cat.”

“Whether you believe in karma or not, karma knows where we all live.” [Me to a doubter at the beginning of a yoga class].

~~ Yoga nuggets:

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change ~ Wayne Dyer

Meditation is about awakening, not sleeping

It’s OK to say ‘I don’t know,’ but you’ll never grow if you say, ‘I don’t want to learn’

~~ My grandson is enamored with mobile phones. He’s also fearless about pressing every single “button.” While he was on my lap, he was snapping selfies of the two of us. Cute and harmless until he texted one! Uh-oh, I thought, I hope it’s not an embarrassingly silly selfie sent to a business contact. It was, and it wasn’t. The boychik texted Debra Messing! (Yes, the activist actress.)

~~ I received gift cards as a lovely birthday present. I tried to buy something online, but when I got to the part where it said name on card, I typed in “A Gift for You.”
  That didn’t work after three attempts, so I tried typing in my name, but that failed as well. That’s when I called the customer service line and explained the situation. “Just put in your name,” the woman said. When I replied that I did, she inquired, “Did you spell it correctly?”

~~ Wednesday was a day of celebration, euphoria, and a teensy bit of group congratulations among the 83 million or so official and unofficial members of the Resistance. I adored so much of the day both for its inclusiveness and its normal tone (plus poetry), and enjoyed the virtual party much more than looking at snapshots of who wore what. (I mean, Katy Perry and those fireworks — c’mon.)
(I’m the cone consumer.)

~~ Despite my blithe day because Donnie is finally done, I know that the people who enabled him are not. tRump made it “acceptable” for haters of every stripe to crawl out from under their rocks and scream at us in stores, jump out of cars and try to rip off bumper stickers, drive their trucks into BLM activists, plot to kidnap a governor, spread their shit in the Capitol, and vote to overturn legally cast votes. These past four years are a memory, but the fight against white supremacy, fascism, and ignorance goes on.




 

                 

         


Have a normal and kind weekend, stay warm, and be safe.
LET’S GO RANGERS!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Real life chatter:

“I didn’t really think about it from her perspective. She might not even have one.”

“I think playing sports is good because exercise prevents Covid.”

“The guy had a simple job and he couldn’t do it. Now he wants to be a supervisor? That’s hysterical.”

~~ Zooming here and there:

“I find it hard to concentrate if everyone puts their video on.” [Told she can switch from gallery to speaker view to avoid multiple people, she’s puzzled.] “I said I didn’t want to see people. I never said I didn’t want to hear them!”

“He said it was the worst migraine he ever had. And he never gets migraines.”

“There are quite a few people who need to get off their asses and get back to bars.”

“I thought I heard the voice of G-d but then I realized it was the kids watching YouTube in the next room.”

“Anyone else feel like their whole world is more Humpty than Dumpty?

[Woman 1] “Are you going to meditation later?”
[Woman 2] “No, I think I’d rather eat a brownie and self-soothe.”

“If you’re able to take your hand off your hip and lift it into the air, go right ahead. But if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up about it.”

~~ Yoga nuggets:
If you slow down, it’s easier to focus.

When a thought keeps returning, it deserves examining.

Stretching your body is really learning how your mind works.

~~ Note to online retailers based in the US: if you want me to buy your product, don’t describe it this way: Dimensions - Width (10mm) Length X Width (183mm - 61mm). I have minimal grasp of the metric system (please don’t tell my third-grade teacher) and besides, if I have to go to another site to convert your measurements, you’ve already lost me.

~~ I was presented with a tub of vegan cookie dough as a birthday gift. Mmm! I turned the package around. Wait, what?  The serving size was ONE COOKIE and the entire tub contained 97 SERVINGS. Who* in their right mind thinks baking one cookie (or eating one spoonful of dough) is sufficient?

I sent a text thanking the gift givers, but added “Ha” next to my surprise about the 97 servings. This was the very reassuring message I received in response:

*OK, probably my husband would bake and eat one cookie, but he’s not normal when it comes to food satisfaction.

~~ Speaking of my wonderful husband, I saw an author in my general age zone with pink hair. I showed him a photo and asked, “What do you think about this for me?”
“Nah,” he said rather emphatically, “I don’t think pink hair is attractive.”

Flash forward a few weeks to me bemoaning moving into a different demographic because of that darn birthday. “Don’t worry,” he reassures me, “I don’t see you as anything but the beautiful young woman I met and fell in love with.”

You’d think that would work for me, correct? It should set my heart aflutter and soothe me. However, we all know that’s not how my logic works.

“So… if you found me alluring then and only see me as you did at that time, why would you not find pink hair attractive on me now?”

He tried to maintain a straight face, but I did see the edges of his mouth curl upwards. Which is ideal, as the pink (temporary) hair color I ordered is scheduled to arrive Friday!

~~ My birthday wasn’t all bogus serving sizes and banter, however. I did get to see democracy burgeon through the manure dumped upon it. Watching Donnie being impeached a second time was momentous, though I would have gladly taken a boring day without a preceding insurrection and riot.

~~ While listening to the impeachment hearings on Wednesday, two of my dogs repeatedly growled and barked at seemingly nothing. Then it dawned on me: My dogs detest the sound of GOP voices!

~~ I agree with my pups. GOP voices reveal their racism, their sedition, their hated, lack of compassion, and plain absurdity. Some of their defenses of tRump and insurrection included Madonna and Maxine Waters said something or other in 2016, so we can burn down the Capitol now; nobody made a big deal about Black Lives Matter wearing masks in the summer, so we don’t have to wear masks while we’re lying across our colleagues, cowering in a safe room; and Colin Kaepernick took a knee in the NFL to protest racist police violence, so terrorists are justified in smashing a police officer’s head in during their insurrectionist melee. WHAT? These subverters of justice were screaming “Law and Order” before the election and are now tweeting “I776” while giving directions to probable murderers.


   


       

 


Have a kind weekend, stay warm, and be safe. Let’s all count down the final days until we can achieve a day and week as boring as pasta without sauce.
LET’S GO RANGERS!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Real life chatter:

“I was going to call you about that very thing! I swear we share the one brain.”

“Do you have any idea how many of those things I could eat?”

“My mom told me that, but you know moms.”

He: “Hello, this is…”
She: “Why did you call? Don’t you know what’s going on in the world?”
After she hangs up, he wonders why she bothered to answer.

~~ This exchange happened:
He: “I found that Edith Piaf CD you were looking for! Here.”
Me: “This is Elaine Stritch.”

~~ Zooming here and there:

Woman 1: “I know we weren’t supposed to travel for Christmas, but I was careful.”
Woman 2: “Are you saying all the people who get the virus are careless?”
Woman 1: “No, but you have to know what you’re doing and I do.”
Eye rolls in the Zoom boxes abounded.

“It was very cloudy the other day, so I guess the sun had a hangover.”

“I was in a rush, so I didn’t toast my toast.”

“I’ve demonstrated this a few times, but I don’t think anyone gets what I mean. I think the universe is telling me to move on.”

“As soon as I lay down on the yoga mat, my nine-year-old shih tzu becomes an old Italian grandmother.”

~~ Yoga nuggets:

In the silence is where the answers are.

Every beat of your heart is the rhythm of your soul.

When you’re pointing one finger of your hand at others, you still have four fingers pointing back at you.

~~ Despite having left the profession years ago, a lovely woman called me this past Monday to say I was "chosen as a top lawyer." All I need to do is advertise this accolade in her publication!

~~ Speaking of being a lawyer, here’s reason number 17 why I don’t miss the legal profession — this situation happened to me so many times it no longer seemed remarkable:


~~ Did I tell you I joined a book club? I think I did, because I shared my review of our first selection weeks ago. It’s a virtual club, of course, and as it’s run by a yoga instructor, it’s spiritual, too. Not in a worshipful religious way, but in a let’s learn what’s in us and outside us way. The December book was not as exciting as I’d hoped, mostly because a good story was related in a mundane manner and lacked editing. However, I devoured the January selection: Signs: The secret language of the universe by Laura Lynne Jackson.
The book was well written, a plus. In addition, if you’re someone who’s open to energy existing beyond our earthbound reality, it’s very interesting. Having traveled a bit into a space that wasn’t here or there, and being the recipient of rainbows I’m sure come from my mom, the book was a good read. The only downside to a book about signs from beyond is that beings we love have to leave us; sad tales are told throughout the book.

~~ A Christopher Buckley novel was always a delight, ever since I picked up Thank You for Smoking in the mid-1990s. All his books are well crafted; some strayed from merely amusing to outlandish — such as killing off all the old people so the US didn’t go broke, or nominating a reality TV judge to the Supreme Court. After 2016, though, I’d reflect on his books, realizing that his farces weren’t very far-fetched anymore.

When my library’s hold system finally reached me, I downloaded Buckley’s Make Russia Great Again. Published in 2020, it had all the earmarks of his literary craft. Yet this “fictional” tale told by tRump’s jailed chief of staff just wasn’t doing it for me. I read fiction to escape, and this book was not a diversion. If you’re a Buckley fan and oblivious to politics, or can handle farce that sounds more like the daily news, enjoy. As for me, I’m going to find a palate cleanser such as a frothy novel where the woman and her dog live happily ever after.

~~ To quote one of my favorite political organizers, Jason Berkenfeld:  “We did it! We are sending Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate with utterly historic victories! No more Majority Leader Mitch McConnell! Democrats will now control the House, the White House, and the Senate for at least 2 years. There is so much to do, but we now have the power to do it. Let's get to work!”

I worked my Ossoff to flip Georgia, as so many others did. It was invigorating to both make history and to send Perdue and Loeffler to the political trash heap. My hands may never recover from all the postcards I wrote, and some of my friends were likely overwhelmed by my entreaties to get involved, but who cares when you’re fighting for democracy?

~~ This, dear readers, is white privilege in a nutshell:

"...the police appeared to be overwhelmed. One wiped tear gas from his eyes.

When a man approached to ask where the bathroom was, he said softly, “We just need you guys to get out of here safely.”

A person of color may be shot at a traffic light or choked for selling loose cigarettes, but a white guy who has unlawfully burst into a secure area can stroll around, pee, and then exit under the watchful eyes of law enforcement. Full story here: https://nytimes.com/2021/01/06/us/politics/capitol-breach-trump-protests.html?smid=tw-share

~~I usually write this blog Thursday afternoon, and we know that hell can break loose in a second, making it difficult to write timely commentary. However, I am able to compose this with certainty: in the 24 hours surrounding Donnie & Co’s insurrection and attempted sedition, 4,100 people in this country died from COVID-19. They didn’t succumb to a hoax, and they didn’t expire from some media BS. They died because there’s no one in the White House who gives a shit about them. Even if he wasn’t the most malicious, narcissistic, psychopathic, incompetent, and toxic man to walk the face of this earth, Donnie must be held accountable for not caring about we, the people.

Just one more thing: “American exceptionalism” is a phrase that should never again be uttered by anyone who witnessed the USA’s complete descent into debasement.

   
   
 
 
               

 

Have a great weekend, stay warm, be safe, and count down the days until we can have the kind of week that is as boring as vanilla ice milk. By the next time we meet up, I’ll be older. But don’t get your heart set on me being much wiser.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Real life chatter:
“He never said ‘don’t buy me a gift.’ He only said ‘no presents.’”

“Did you see SNL? It was great, but I haven’t watched it yet.”

“The online pictures were gorgeous and the models were beautiful, so I bought like eight outfits. When I saw the total price, I congratulated myself on being an awesome bargain shopper. Ha! Actually, when the box arrived, it was full of cheap, tacky clothes from China that feel like plastic.”

~~ Zooming here and there:

“I get invited to this baby shower in a restaurant for a couple that postponed their wedding because of Covid. What the f- are you doing inviting me to an in-person shower after you canceled an in-person wedding? Am I wrong here or what?”

“Can you see my roots yet? Say ‘no,’ please, because I don’t want to go to the salon.”

“It’s harder to get up in the morning than it used to be. It’s colder, it’s darker, and everyone is depressed.”

“Anyone know how I should order deli coffee when I want it extra strength?”

“If you need alcohol to get through a Zoom meeting, put it in a mug. Blow on it as if it’s hot a few times at the beginning and everyone will assume you’re drinking tea or coffee.”

“What do you crave more, chocolate or a hug?”

~~ Yoga nuggets:

The beauty of the season shines through you.

How many times a day do you say, “I’m perfect”? Whatever the answer is, the number’s not high enough!

If you don’t start to stop, you’ll never stop.

~~ This exchange happened:
Me: "If the sock in the laundry basket isn’t mine, and it isn’t yours, do you think it’s some sort of sign?"
He: "If it’s a sign, best to ignore it."

~~Want to know what true love is? Having a spouse who will traipse to different supermarkets to find the brand of vegan chocolate chip waffles I like.

~~  What the hell kind of suggestion is this, phone?


~~ When you were growing up, did you learn about the USA being an extraordinary country?
I sure did, but then Viet Nam, Kent State, Nixon et all happened. The gloss was off the country, but I still loved it, notwithstanding Thomas, Reagan, Gingrich, DeLay, W, Cheney etc., and many people who perceive discrimination and subjugation as fine and dandy. However, the present state of our nation has frayed my second-to-last nerve — the transition between presidents is excessively long and the seditionists enabling Donnie’s butchery of our laws is intolerable. On top of that, we’re in the midst of a pandemic begging for food, protective gear, medical care, small business relief, adequate unemployment compensation, and true leadership. Our present leaders aren’t treating us with even the minimum of respect, considering we pay their salaries (and are $^%#& human beings). Instead, they watch stone-faced as we implore them for empathy, compassion, and vaccines.
Unblinking, they cut the lines to be inoculated and stuff their pockets full of our money just for good measure. Damn them all.
   


 


~~Sigh. I wanted to go out on a hopeful note, since we will have a competent and compassionate administration in place on January 20 (though we all need to be alert for further attempts to annihilate the will of the people and sow insurrection).
To me, hope is cashing in the promise of a brighter future, so I guess I can be hopeful for 2021, as my short-term expectations are for decency and survival.

When it comes to my readers, I want only good things to happen to and for you. Happy New Year! Be safe, be healthy, be happy, be helpful, be hopeful..., and be prepared to fight for your right to live in a commendable country.



Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Real life chatter:

One woman greeting another on the street: “Why are you here?”
Other woman: “Why am I here? Why is anybody here?”
They both laugh uproariously as I get out of the way…

He: “Does the green one work for you?
Me: “That’s more chartreuse.”

He:  “What the hell is chartreuse?
Me: [Googling to show him] “Didn’t you read the names of the crayons when you were a kid?”
He:  “Who does that?”

Me: “Oh, I made the mistake of entering the Publishers Clearing-whatever contest and now I get 15 emails a day from them!”
He: “I entered, too. Desperate times call for desperate measures!”

~~ Zooming here and there:

“Do what you can. Or don’t. You’re just a tiny square in a sea of squares; I can’t actually tell!” [I think she was kidding.]

A dude is droning on and on for quite a while about a hike the other person must take. “So then you take this trail… and then you hike up this steep hill where your knees are under your chin… and then you turn by the [something or other] and then you see the Long Island Sound and it’s breathtaking.”

Another minute more of this travelogue and then he admits, “Well, I never actually went to this place. A friend did and told me about it.” Just give the name of the park and trail and move on, then!


“I saw a lot of symbolism in it. I think you can say that about everything, can’t you?”

“When you’re six, you feel fine. When you’re 36, you worry about when you won’t feel fine. When you’re 60, you don’t feel fine at all.”

“Did Biden and Harris win yet again today?”

“Do you celebrate Hanukkah, too? I heard someone else on Zoom does.”

“Don’t ever say you won’t take the vaccine because ‘you don’t know what’s in it’ if you eat American cheese or chicken nuggets.”

~~ Yoga nuggets:

The Dalai Lama said, “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

Breathing through your lungs also clears your mind.

If you don’t visualize it, you won’t realize it!

~~ After finishing the book club selection I blogged about last week, I cleaned my palate with a book from a recent favorite author. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman was a complete joy to read, from its intentionally puzzling (or deliberately misleading) beginning through the highly satisfying ending. An assortment of Swedes respond to a listing by the House Tricks real estate agency (say the name fast and it amuses everyone, according to the agent). They show up to attend an open house on December 31, the same day a robber tries to hold up a bank because the rent is due the next day. Turns out robbing a cashless bank isn’t the smartest of plans, but I’ll say no more as to the rest of the plot of this delightful novel. Give it a read. If you aren’t grinning by the end, well, stop reading my book recommendations — we’re not on the same library shelf at all!

~~ Now we have in writing what we all already knew: Letting millions of us die was Donnie’s plan to curtail the coronavirus. Incompetence alone can’t kill this many people — you have to be especially malevolent to carry out this kind of massacre.

~~ If a Democratic woman calls Republicans “deplorables” or “fuckers,” the GOP clutch their chests and gasp. However, burning signs at traditionally Black churches, emblazoning swastikas on the American flag, and suing to throw out millions of votes? Fine as rain, folks, fine as rain.

~~ Although at first I thought the Russian hacking of the Treasury and other federal departments was beneficial to Comrade Vlad, facilitated by Donnie firing all the competent people and sharing the password on his hackable phone. Now, I’m starting to buy the conspiracy theory (heaven help me) that the “hacking” is just his and Vlad’s agreement to destroy all the incriminating material at the end of their working relationship. What? It’s not that far-fetched if you grew up watching the Mission Impossible TV show, where the tape destroyed itself as soon as the team finished listening!

       

 


 

 

Have a great weekend, stay warm, be safe, send a few bucks to Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and please wear a mask. If you’re observing Christmas, I hope it is as holy and blessed as you desire. If you’re celebrating Kwanzaa or any other festivities, I wish you delightful and abundant fêtes. Whatever you do, party responsibly!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard in real life:

Nada. I haven’t gone anywhere except for a mostly virtual birthday party.

~~ Zooming here and there:

“I am loving Zoom because I don’t think at all about what to have for dinner the day before a meeting.”

“If they don’t Venmo, the meeting’s a no-go.”


“My doctor got distracted yesterday during our call and he wasn’t at all happy. Apparently, someone in the office forgot that the rule is ‘no birthday cake,’ only individually wrapped snacks. That’s 2020 for you, I guess.”

“I need to duck out in the middle to take care of something in real life.”

“Does your husband ever ask you what’s for dinner during a late afternoon Zoom?”

“My dog should meet your dog.”

[In book club] “The parallels are amazing, but still, 2020 isn’t really comparable to anything.”

Her: “Who’s afraid to get the vaccine because of the side effects?”
Me:  “Not me. About a zillion people are in line before me, so I figure they’ll work out the kinks long before I get to CVS.”

“Put your shoulders under your wrists. Wait. NO! STOP! Put your wrists under your shoulders.” [I appreciated the caution, but I wasn’t even attempting to put my shoulders under my wrists while on all fours.]

~~ Yoga nuggets:

You need to head in different directions or everything always looks the same

Einstein said, ‘Everything is energy.” But he was talking about physics, which is reality, not philosophy.

If your head and your body aren’t in agreement, what fills the void? [I’m still working this one out.]

~~ Let me tell you, you haven’t really lived 2020 Zoom until you experience a canine in a urine-trapping diaper plunk himself in front of a circulating fan at the beginning of a 75-minute yoga class.

~~ Wow, 30 percent off! On a cruise! Who doesn’t love a deal like that in the winter — especially this upcoming one?

~~ While shopping for books for my grandson’s Hanukkah gift, I couldn’t find this one anywhere. It must be sold out!



~~ I decorated for Hanukkah yesterday afternoon. I mean, there are no kids around, no one’s coming to visit, and I’m not one to seek out extra things to dust. I think it looks awesome.

~~ As for the rest of my readers who celebrate the Festival of Lights, I wish you only brightness and cheer for eight days and beyond. I miss having children around, especially a soon-to-be toddler, to ooh and aah over gifts, light the candles, and enjoy the oiliest of meals. I miss much of my immediate family gathering for a party, a group photo, and the joy of meeting new significant others.

However, the gifts I received recently are amazing, whether small or large. A hug from my grandson, a book, an amaryllis, a big-hearted offering that erased some real dread, a card  expressing what I needed to hear, and a compliment from out of the blue. Maybe 2020’s emptiness was what I needed to absorb fully how wonderful life is when munificent people surround you.

 

~~ Yes, Dolly Parton gave a boatload of money to seed coronavirus vaccine research, and we love her more for that. But did you know she also gives books to kids that might otherwise never have books? If you have any money to spare, her cause is a great one to support: https://imaginationlibrary.com/

~~ What the hell, USA? (How many times have we said this?) Donnie’s self-serving, fund-raising, face-saving attack on democracy is appalling, and his cronies and wannabes are even worse. The fanatics and fascists are in charge of the GOP, and the danger is very real not only to our republic but also to the people. If you’re not scared of a mass of maskless people threatening civil war, you should be. When a town board can’t debate public safety without their kids being threatened and an elected group of public servants want to obliterate the votes of the people, we’ve got anarchy.


 


Have a great weekend, celebrate responsibly, stay warm, be safe, and please wear a mask.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard in real life:

“You need something stronger than that to banish evil.”

[Guy screaming to kid on bicycle pedaling down my street] “Andy! Slow up! Andy! Andy! Andy! Shit, I mean, Joe, slow up! Jooooooooooooooooooe!”

~~ Zooming here and there:

“Am I here?”

“I can’t write more than 20 postcards a day or the people who get 21, 22 etc. won’t be able to understand my handwriting.”

“He’s very spiritual in a totally non-spiritual way.”

“Who else is thinking what I’m thinking?” [Total silence from everyone on the Zoom call after this totally out-of-context statement.]

“I only eat Taco Bell three times a week. That’s not super crazy or anything.”


~~ Yoga nuggets:

What happens if you squeeze an orange? All the juice runs out. That same thing happens to you if you put too much pressure on yourself!
Picture one of those rhythmic dancers waving their ribbon. Now picture yourself — your ribbon is a ribbon of peace waving towards everyone in the world.

If you’re not on the top of your own list no one is getting the real you.

~~I was the only student in  a Zoom yoga class last week, which wasn’t as awkward as it would be in non-cyber life when the teacher has 100 percent of her time to focus just on my form. But it became strange when my geriatric mutt started to scream bloody hell to have me lift him up the stairs and into bed. I usually just pop out for a moment when that happens and no one notices. Now I was it, so should I chat with her about my quick errand, unmute and explain myself, or just sprint away and return? The decision was occupying too much brain space and time, as Mookie was now screeching at an even more unimaginable pitch, so I decided I was not a train — I didn’t have to announce my departure! I popped up from downward dog, ran and grabbed the upward yelper, tucked him into my bed, and hurried back to my mat. Looking at the screen, I saw the instructor was just about to sign off, so I unmuted myself.

“Sorry, I had to relocate a canine,” I said.

“Oh, I thought you left,” she replied.

“Without announcing my departure? Heck, no!”

Readers, I apparently live the most mundane life of any writer.
However, it seems you enjoy reading banality, so we’re good together!

~~ Books often engage me; every so often one enthralls me so that I share it with you. That’s happened again — A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield is my newest non-fiction recommendation. It’s supposedly a book about meditation, and all the words to make it about meditation are certainly there. However, this book is about life, coping with life, and not letting life knock you down more often than is necessary to enrich your life. I had to buy the book because I was jotting down so many notes and quotes from the library book that my night table was littered with scraps of paper.

A few quotes:

“The unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are.”

“There are two kinds of difficulties. Some are clearly problems to solve, situations that call for compassionate action and direct response. Many more are problems we create for ourselves by struggling to make life different than it is or by becoming so caught up in our own point of view that we lose sight of a larger, wiser perspective.”

“To open deeply, as genuine spiritual life requires, we need tremendous courage and strength, a kind of warrior spirit. But the place for this warrior strength is in the heart. We need energy, commitment, and courage not to run from our life nor to cover it over with any philosophy—material or spiritual. We need a warrior’s heart that lets us face our lives directly, our pains and limitations, our joys and possibilities. This courage allows us to include every aspect of life in our spiritual practice: our bodies, our families, our society, politics, the earth’s ecology, art, education. Only then can spirituality be truly integrated into our lives.”

See what I mean? Living life!
Even if you don’t think you need a life primer, you might someday. Then please remember this book. Written in 1993, it felt as fresh and timely as any 2020 survival hacks, and it was on sale for $13.99!


~~ My laptop died (it had an amazing run of 11 years), so I got a new computer. Well, not a new one, actually. It’s a no-frills desktop that was left behind after an employee was fired years ago. One keyboard leg keeps collapsing, it refuses to allow me to install my editing software, the delete button is in a strange place, and it keeps sticking on cap locks. Therefore, this blog has been un-capped two dozen times at least and been proofed only by my eyes. If you catch any typos, let ‘em go. If I’ve made the kind of glaring grammatical error that would keep both of us up at night, do message me privately. Thanks.

~~ There was an email offering a sound healing and Reiki session with a master for a socially separated group of eight people. I’ve been battered and achy for a while (see temperatures, cold and weather, blustery) so I was thisclose to replying “Count me in!” when I remembered that I spent Thanksgiving alone with just my spouse last week because of coronavirus. The cases of Covid-19 are growing in my area, as they are across the country, so of course I bailed on the needed indoor healing.
Because the selfish people who declared, “I’m ENTITLED to have all the people I want for Thanksgiving” are those who’d likely infect me this week. With said selfish people, I share this tweet:


~~ I’m no psychiatrist, but shouldn’t even the most psychopathic, narcissistic imbecile ever to waddle along the face of this earth understand what “Loser” means?

 









Have a great weekend, stay warm, be safe, and wear a mask.

Tossed Salad Friday

As next week is Thanksgiving and we’re almost within two months of Inauguration Day, I’m sending this week’s blog in another direction. I’m not eavesdropping or quoting anyone sans context, just sharing what I’m grateful for as this year from hell continues to wreak havoc upon our health, sanity, and world. Thanks for indulging me!

~~ I’m grateful for the most adorable baby to have graced our family. He’s going to be one-year-old soon! Though he really doesn’t know me, I know I am totally head-over-heels in love with him.


~~ I’m appreciative of my wonderful children and fantastic partners. Though they aren’t close in miles, they are in my heart every day. (Also, my two grandogs!)
 

~~ I’m thankful to have a nice new sister-in-law to complement the two wonderful sisters-in-law I have had for many decades.

~~ I’m grateful to have two of my brothers nearby. From immensely valued “services” like providing rides to taking an occasional trip down a memory lane only we share, they are the best.

~~I’m so happy to have spent this pandemic with my spouse. I know lots of people have found the tension of being cooped up too much for their vows to bear, but I lucked out in the most enjoyable way.

~~ I'm appreciative that I had so much time to spend volunteering on the successful Biden-Harris campaign. Of course, all that free time was courtesy of a floundering business and a moldering bank account… but maybe, just maybe, my work was the work that made a difference?

~~ I’m beholden to Zoom for so many things:

    Watching my brother’s Kentucky wedding.

    Enjoying familiar High Holidays in an unfamiliar way.

    Brainstorming in real time with my Biden compatriots.

    Practicing with my yoga instructors and saying “hi” to my yoga buddies.

    Providing this writer with bon mots, confessions, and other fodder for blogs.

    Bringing seminars and presentations to my couch that I would have otherwise foregone because they would be too crowded, too far, too late, too cold, etc. Just this week I’ve revisited the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair with a traveler’s club, enjoyed Billy Joel interviewing Andrew Cuomo, and learned about the life and times of Molly Picon.

All this enrichment and entertainment flows while I lounge comfortably with my husband, two of our three dogs, and my knitting.

 

~~ I am thankful I enlisted CBD oil as an ally against pain. And grateful that since I stopped buying the delicious vegan treats made by a racist pro-tRumper who called for “civil war” when he lost, I’ve got a bit more wiggle room in my jeans.

~~ I’m appreciative, as always, to learn new words. Too bad this year’s winners were “doomscrolling” and “ragetweeting.” Oh, yeah, and learning that “malign” can also be an adjective.

Actually, I did learn another new word: “paronomasia.” I tried to figure it out from its root, but I went in a different direction towards, you know, suspicion and distrust. When I looked it up, it was fun to realize that it was another word for pun!

~~ I’m thankful (kinda, sorta) that the slowdown in my business also meant more time to read books. Truthfully, I would have preferred not to have felt the necessity to understand current events by reading Rage, Too Much and Never Enough, Hoax, and A Very Stable Genius. These books may be edifying, but they were certainly not enriching.

~~ I’m grateful to have a friend who recommends a good book to me and then, out of the blue, sends me the book as a gift!

~~ I appreciate the friends and relatives who catch up, check in, and share at a time of such isolation. As for the ones who don’t — yeah, well, that’s how it goes.

~~ I’m thankful to have a cousin who arranged for me to get a box of yarn just as I came to the conclusion I had no funds to buy any. That yarn went into scarves and hats that I donated, and it’s in the baby blanket that will go to some mom or dad who needs to warm up a new kiddo.

~~ I’m grateful for my Corona coiffure — one last chance to wear my hair long before I become too "mature," as they say, for a long ‘do.

~~I appreciate how close I live to beautiful spots and how lucky I am to have a camera in my purse or pocket all the time.

  
                     




~~ I’m grateful to every single person who wears a mask.


I am also indebted to masks for their ability to hide the abundant wrinkles that have taken up residence on my face.

Masks are the bomb for muffling the utterances I’ve made towards maskless people, as well as cro-MAGAts wearing profane and/or merely idiotic tee shirts in public. Seriously, who copulates with feelings or diagnoses “demensia” from watching Fox TV?  (News flash, corpulent dude: 2016 is over and you’ve expanded your pudginess since you bought that flagrantly foul tee shirt defaming our former NYS senator and US Secretary of State.)

~~ I’m beholden to all the people in my neighborhood who put up their Christmas trees and decorations last week. It gives me something to critique as I drive/walk around now that the tRumpers have all taken down their signs. (No, I don’t flip Christmas trees the bird like I did with a MAGAT sign, but I do silently judge these homeowners’ accelerated need for speed).

~~ I am thankful for 75 million voters.

There’s so much more, but I don’t want to seem as if I’m lauding or justifying being an impoverished shut-in while 250,000+ people have died just in the USA.

Besides, I bet you’ve got your own list to reflect on, so have a festive, safe, healthy, and socially responsible Thanksgiving. I am very grateful to you for reading. See you in December!


   



  

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard in real life:

“Get out! He did that and his mother was OK with it? Get out!”

“I lost my glasses. That’s why I bought these. They aren’t as nice as the ones I lost, but they were cheap.”

“It wasn’t what I imagined at all. It was really nice.”

“We never get double-time-and-a-half unless it’s like a gas fire.”

“We should order dinner now. Last time we waited so long you got annoyed.”

“She’s always telling me how much she hates her job, but I don’t tell her to quit anymore. She nearly took my head off for suggesting it once.”

“Is Abby or Ann or doc-whatsis still around? I’m thinking no one reads advice columns anymore, but they should.”

[Man on cellphone] “Still… but… still… but, but, but, still, oh, hell.”

Tee shirt walking by: I’M NOT A RAPPER. I JUST CUSS A LOT.

~~ Zooming here and there:

“I rarely attend Zoom things. Will this be worth my time?”

“You’ll excuse me if my phone rings or I walk away, OK?”

[Woman on screen talking to man off-screen about a friend and me chatting on Zoom before class starts, apparently too dense to realize we could hear her] “Those two are talking to each other and I don’t want to hear anything they have to say.”

“You can’t believe the opposite of what you believe, even if someone convinces you. You can’t be convinced.”

~~ Yoga nuggets:
               
How many of us live our lives on automatic pilot?

Breathing happens no matter what. Mindful breathing is a gift you give yourself.

~~Visiting with my grandson, I was drawn to his pile of books. Especially one that I thought — at first glance — was called Antichrist Baby. Luckily, I took a second look before questioning!

~~ Musing aloud: What will we blame crappy happenings on when it’s no longer 2020?

~~
The stress leading up to the election burst into a torrent of jubilation when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won. There were tears of relief, fist pumps, and occasional yips of joy. But, of course, the malevolent man in the White House refuses to acknowledge reality. He denies, blames, sulks, rage tweets, whines, finger points, and plots while his toadies support him in these petulant plans.

Imagine if Al Gore hadn’t conceded to W, despite believing Rehnquist owed HW a solid favor? What if Hillary Clinton had refused to concede, knowing as she did that Russia was behind pre-election misinformation and suspecting they had a hand in some vote count manipulation? (See Report, Mueller.) Or what if Barack Obama had said, “We’re not welcoming my birther-tormenter into the People’s House one second sooner than Inauguration Day”? Holy hell would befall them, with no one saying, “Just give her (him) a bit of time to absorb the news.”

 

~~ I’m neither naïve nor in denial. I knew when Joe Biden won Donnie would do his damndest to gunk up the works. But his military and other defense moves both weaken us as a country and increase the amount of bootlickers answerable only to him. He’s acting as an autocrat, and the GOP is giving him the green light to proceed. With 60-some-odd-days to go, I am fearful of his moves, as Donnie seemingly answers only to Vlad’s desires (a still weaker USA) and his psychopathic yet juvenile impulses for revenge and indictment avoidance.

~~ Covid-19 is ravaging the USA, many are hungry and/or on the brink of homelessness, and businesses are failing right and left. The electorate spoke loudly and overwhelmingly, but you wouldn’t know that on the GOP side of DC. They aren’t working, just twiddling their thumbs and liking Donnie’s madmanesque all-cap tweets about having the election stolen from him.



As if that amount of gaseous avoirdupois would permit anything to be yanked from beneath his feet!


   

 
     



  



 

Have a great weekend, stay warm, be safe, and wear a mask. I need a new “sign off” now that I’ve retired “dasvidayna.” Suggestions welcome.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard in real life:

“Everyone likes candy. That’s why it isn’t called food.”

Man: “That cheese was delicious. Call up and find out what it was.”
Woman: “You call. I don’t want to get into a thing when all you want to know is about the cheese.”
Man: “She’s your friend.”
Woman:  “Text her then. Just keep me out of it or I’ll be on the phone forever. Over cheese, for Pete’s sake.”

“She has a new thing for pale ales.”

“My kid asked us how much money we make, and we said that it’s not a polite question.”

“Just wait while I decide if I want a sandwich or a drink.”

“She got fake lashes put on yesterday for one hundred bucks.
Why would anyone care about such a thing in a pandemic? She doesn’t even video chat.”

~~ Zooming here and there:

“Just chill for a hot sec.”

“If we didn’t have all this technology, we wouldn’t be able to talk. I mean, we could still talk, but not to each other.”


“Can you see what happened to my highlights on the camera? I did blue hair for Halloween but all my streaks are green now.”

“I love fall! It’s so exciting to see everything well, not die, but you know, turn colors and fall on the ground and stuff.”

“Thanksgiving is coming and I don’t give a flying you-know-what! I emailed everyone and said, ‘Make your own plans, gang!’ No way we’re hosting 20-odd people this year and maybe we never will again. See my smile?”


“I’m looking smaller than usual because this isn’t my phone.”

~~ Yoga nuggets:

Practice the pauses. It’s where the real action takes place.

Don’t look for peace. Close your eyes and find it   

~~We were in Hoboken for Halloween, and most of the residents ready for Halloween were really, really prepared. It was a golden sunshine kind of afternoon, and Elsas, Frankensteins, Einsteins, Minions, and characters I didn’t recognize stood in the doorways of their spider-webbed brownstones or low-rise apartments, with bowls of candy waiting at the bottom of the steps. (I noted an abundance of Biden signs and nary a tRump placard.) One house was taking separation quite seriously: there was a large tube attached to the top of the bannister; when a child stopped and proclaimed, ‘Trick or treat,’ the ghoulishly dressed apparition on the front step placed candy in the tube and the chute transported it directly into the child’s waiting bag or bucket. No muss, no fuss, no virus.

~~
   I’d love to share a book report with you, but all I’ve been reading for the past few weeks was dreck. I was exhausted from Team Joe-ing and charitable knitting* when I settled down to read each night, and I knew I didn’t have the time or brain cells to delve into anything engrossing. I read two library books, one about how to live a super life and another on the way to make a million bucks all by yourself. I’ll save you the time — cut out acidic foods and have an idea no one else did, outsource the manufacturing and shipping, and rake in the moola.

I’ve now started on an absorbing book. It’s so good I keep writing down quotes on scraps of paper! I’ll share it with you next week or whenever I finish.

* Yes, I volunteered to create hand knits for families fallen on hard times, with a deadline of yesterday. No, I didn’t quite make it: I have half a scarf to finish.

Now that I reflect on my knit giveaway, it occurs to me that I am a contestant for Hard Times Queen (no kids at home division). Yet no one is likely to be coming to my rescue. I don’t begrudge anyone anything, but it’s really hard to do for others when you’ve had no income since April. I go to bed (after reading my library books) sad that I can’t take my dogs to the vet or replace my unreliable clunker cars. Ahh, screw it! I am healthy (ish) and haven’t missed a meal yet, so scratch that whole vying for distress royalty. I am neither as shallow as this paragraph would indicate nor prideful enough to delete what I wrote.


~~ You know the drill, readers. I usually compose this blog on Thursday for Friday, so as of the time I write, Joe Biden is not yet the president. But I type every letter with fervent faith.

 

 

         

 
 

And for the last time (I pray), I say Dasvidaniya!