Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Time flies, except when you’re stuck in the doldrums. There is a dead calm and any motivating winds seem to be a world away. Where are the winds of change when you need them? If we’re stuck here much longer, we’ll have crazy Billy Zane, climbing aboard the otherwise peaceful vessel with Nicole and Sam. Two’s company, but three is a cheesy TV series. Ménage à terror. Stuck in a boat with b-list actors and then Ralph Furley and Tallulah Bankhead show up with a life raft and you just want to drown. Not even a laugh track can save this fiasco.

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can feel as if one is stuck in the horse latitudes. Legend has it that when the sailors became stuck in subtropical ridges, thinking that they would run out of fresh drinking water, they threw their horses overboard. One would think, with all that horsepower, they could have high-tailed it out of there, but evidently not. "What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?" Well, I don’t think I’d throw my horses overboard, but that’s just me.

The days are getting longer now – they have been ever since the winter solstice – but it’s subtle. With the holidays over, most of the festive lights have come down, so now dark is just dark. Some folks leave their lights up quite a while – possibly in an attempt to battle SAD. I know that the extra illumination helps to cheer me and alleviate my winter doldrums, as I walk through the neighborhood at night. I don’t consider it white trash at all. Now, if you leave the faded plastic Santa and his eight tiny reindeer on your roof throughout the year, that is white trash.

You should always be careful what you wish for. Calm is good, but the opposite of calm is chaos. Sometimes the winds of change come and they’re not a spring breeze at all. Instead of just enough wind to get us going in the right direction, we end up in the middle of a shit-storm. Babies don’t wash up ashore due to calm seas. The remaining family members – once on land – are often given a hostile reception and turned away. Anne Frank and her family were denied entry into the United States due to restrictive immigration policies at the time.

If you think that’s bad, we now have a maniac at the helm. He’s never captained a vessel as big as a country before and yet the ship’s wheel is now in his tiny hands. If you think the Titanic was a disaster, just wait until you see the iceberg we’re headed towards. First Mate Bannon keeps saying, “Full speed ahead!” but who was lynched and left him in charge? Pastor Pence is in the chapel on the ‘tween deck, conducting church for all the young boys onboard. We’re going to hit and we’re going to hit hard and there are not enough life rafts onboard the U.S.S. Fascist. This ship wasn’t equipped with life rafts. Just pro-life rafts

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Settle Down Now

Well, the first thing you know, our landlord gives us notice to vacate. Seems she’s ill, and it’s time to sell. So we loaded up the truck and we headed easterly...Wedgwood, that is. Fancy schools. Prius cars. Now that I'm a grandma* it’s time to settle down. I've traversed the country more than a few times. I’ve lived in New England, North Dakota, and Washington, where I make my home. When the time comes, my ashes will be scattered at Kalaloch or used as garden fertilizer. Ashes to ashes and all that.

The Jeffersons
We are now nestled in the woods, up on a hill. It’s a new way of life akin to the Waltons…or maybe it’s closer to the Jeffersons. It’s upstairs downstairs with a shared kitchen. Competition is fierce for baked goods that are pulled from the oven. All animals are relegated to the basement. It’s a matter of hierarchy. The neighborhood is full of dogs and their walkers, always with a friendly hello for fellow dog walkers, which makes me think that having a dog would be a perfect cover for a serial killer; but then again psychopaths usually torture their pets, so that wouldn’t work.

Settling down also means getting used to the what’s and wherefores of my new surroundings. It means finding a space and making it my own. In our last house, I was lucky enough to have an office. Here I am in the process of converting part of the garage into a Cynic’s Sanctuary. Sounds better than man cave, doesn’t it? There’s music, movies, reading space and a comfy chair to torture the unsuspecting that stumble into my lair. I’ve done all the necessary acoustic tests and I can without a doubt, turn the volume to 11 without fear of offending the neighbors.

I haven’t really addressed the third word in the title: Now. Mindfulness is very trendy these days, so most folks are aware of the fact that there is only the present moment. The past is gone (if it ever existed) and the future is yet to happen. (“What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today!”) The time to settle down is now, not someday. Moss doesn’t grow on a rolling stone and grass don’t grow on a busy street. Fish don't fry in the kitchen. Beans don't burn on the grill. That being said, if you kids don’t settle down back there, I will turn this car around right now!!

 *My grandson calls me grandma, because he calls my wife, who is -- of course -- his grandmother the Japanese term for grandma, which sounds like "Byjon." He's bilingual, but gender confused.