Random Friday

I remember being in a car back in college with a driver at the wheel who was stoned. It was terrifying. That’s what being an American feels like right now for me. Apologies to the governments of Ukraine, Australia, and Finland. Syria, apologies aren’t enough. We’re better than this. Also, shout out to England which has it’s own terrifying leadership. At least Johnson isn’t trying to corrupt the whole damn world while selling out to dictators. Rather than bury my head in the sand (or in my book which must be finished) I’ve been cleaning and cooking and reading and writing and whistling in the dark (mostly Elton John’s “Nikita,” that sucker is a real ear wig). Also got my stitches out, took down the curtains in the two bedrooms to have them dry-cleaned, and bought Veronica some more t-shirts. Anything but look at the damn news.

Karl-Heinz Wellmann from Wikipedia
I’m starting to think that bok choy is one of the building blocks of the universe. I’m putting it everything lately, the crunchy whites go into the pan first and then the leafy greens at the end. I do not like dark leafy greens although I will sigh and add spinach at the end of pasta because it’s Good For Me, but I love dark bok choy leaves. Turns out that what I’ve been eating is Shanghai bok choy, which is fine by me: “Raw Chinese cabbage is 95% water, 2% carbohydrates, 1% protein and less than 1% fat (table). In a 100 gram amount, raw Chinese cabbage supplies 13 calories and is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin A (30% DV), vitamin C (54% DV) and vitamin K (44% DV), while providing folate, vitamin B6 and calcium in moderate amounts (10–17% DV)” [Wikipedia]. Plus the stuff is just gorgeous to look at.

The Washington Post had an article on Steve Miller (the musician, not that vile bigot who works in the White House), who is evidently difficult to work with, a perfectionist who’s kind of a jerk. I can sympathize; I told Krissie that I knew I had a reputation as a real bitch in the industry and she said, “Well, you have a reputation for being outspoken.” Which is not the same thing as being a truth-teller, by the way. It just means I’m tactless. I should work on that. So I was feeling some sympathy for Steve Miller already and then I read this about his approach to writing: “I had choices to make,” says Miller. “You have to be really disciplined, but at the same time you want to get this great, spontaneous feeling on the record and you know you’ve got three seconds to capture people’s attention at the very entrance of a song.” That’s writing a novel, right there. Music, painting, fiction, it’s all the same at the bottom: reach people with clearly defined work that’s spontaneous and disciplined. And if you’re writing romance, you do it backwards in high heels.

I want to start painting again. I say that every year and never do, but I might actually do it this time. I’m fairly sure that all my paint tubes dried up years ago, but the brushes are still good. I’m not looking forward to stretching canvas again, but I can gesso hardboard with the best of them. Or maybe I’ll just finally paint that rug on the floor I’ve been thinking about for years. I was going to do something geometric with flowers and then realized I could put the dogs in there, too, and then maybe the grandkids, and then maybe Krissie as a flying nun. It’s my floor, I can do whatever I want with it. Cogitating now.

In the meantime, there’s collage. I keep finding stuff for the Paradise Park collage even though Alice is in my head. I have the starts of the Haunting Alice and Stealing Nadine collages somewhere, probably in the garage, so I should dig those out, too. The air is brisk these days, but still not nippy, so today is a good day to crawl into the garage (there’s a lot of stuff in there to crawl over) and get my magic books and ghost books that I bought years ago for Alice and the collages.

If I can find my copy of Michael Gilbert’s The Long Journey Home that would be good, too, since it’s not on Kindle and I really would like to reread it. I’m not sure why I love that book so much, it’s not my kind of thing at all (bad things happen to good people and then worse things happen to the bad people who did the bad things), but I think it might be because it addresses a pretty common fantasy: What if you could just walk away from your life? The protagonist is a wealthy Englishman who gets on a plane in Italy, decides to get off without telling anybody, and then finds out later that the plane went down and he is missing presumed dead. He can call his business and tell them he’s alive (he has no family), or he can just start walking. It’s an exhilarating story, full of competence porn, and then people he likes are murdered, and he turns to vengeance competence porn, which is also satisfying, especially right now when the bad guys appear to be getting away with treason (grrrrrrr). Gilbert is like Dick Francis that way: his Bad People are really bad, but then they come to really bad ends. Catharsis. (I don’t know where the British got their rep for being phlegmatic; Gilbert and Francis both have vicious streaks when it comes to putting down evil.) I could buy the paperback new for $860.48 plus $3.99 shipping, but I think I’ll just look in the garage. (Seriously, who buys a paperback for $860?)

Speaking of outrage, my BookBub list had TWO slept-with-her-professor-isn’t-it-romantic romances in it. Sweet Jesus, people, NO, that’s not romantic, it’s an abuse of power and it almost always ends in disaster for the student, if not the professor, too. Don’t sleep with your professor. Don’t sleep with your boss. It’s ICKY. Bleah. Must think better thoughts. Quick change the subject. Or get brain bleach. BLEAH.

Okay, new thought. You know what I like about October? Pajamas. Good, soft, cosy knit pjs. I have Nita’s poodle pjs, but they’re flannel which is good, but not as good as medium-thick knit. Also long knit nightgowns. There are times in the winter when long knit nightgowns and knee socks are pretty much what I wear 24/7. Which reminds me, Walmart (it’s where I get my prescriptions filled) had Nightmare Before Christmas knit sleep shirts that went down to the knees, which was great, BUT they also came with over-the-knees stripped sock which was FABULOUS. I’m probably spending the winter in them, flashing my socks whenever I take the trash out.

Fortunately, my neighbors are open-minded. It helps that my house is not in their eyeline (lots of trees and forsythia) except for Kathleen, the back of whose house faces mine and who spends a lot of time in her kitchen which has windows that overlook mine so she can make fun of me when I try to back into my driveway. She opened her window once when I’d backed over my peonies again and said, “Jen, when you moved in seven years ago, I told you not to worry, you’d get the hang of backing in there. I was wrong. You’re never gonna get it.” This is true, but it’s not something that keeps me up nights. The peonies were done anyway. Of course Kathleen is also the person who opened her window and yelled, “Jen, are you all right?” when I tripped and fell at the end of the driveway trying to fix my shoe while walking (I’m a multi-tasker). I wasn’t even on the first bounce before she was offering aid. And when Veronica sashayed out in her new T-shirt for the first time, Kathleen opened the window and said, “Oh, I LOVE Veronica’s shirt.” And when the rescue squad showed up last December at 6AM because I had vertigo and couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on, Kathleen was out there like a shot, taking care of me and answering questions because the vertigo was so bad it was hard to talk. What I’m saying is, Kathleen is the best. Our politics are completely opposite, as is our approach to religion, and it doesn’t matter. We’re friends. Kathleen restores my faith in human nature daily. Which is good because it needs to be restored daily these days.

So I went out to the garage and dug out my Alice research and what was left of the Alice collage which turned out to be mostly a ripped up and bent background. It also turns out that when you think about a book for six years, you accumulate a LOT of research. I can put the collage back together and start collecting images since I have a really good grip on it now, but the research . . . I’m gonna be doing a lot of reading.

Now I’m thinking I might go to Walmart and get more of those sleep-shirts-with-socks. You know those suckers are going to sell out. That would mean changing out of my blue-striped Ellen Degeneres pjs (woven, not as good as knit but lovely and cool for summer) and getting in the car and driving into town, but I could also drop off the curtains at the dry cleaners and possibly pick up some crab rangoon while I’m at it (there’s a lot of crab rangoon in Nita). Although I have much cooking to do today: the fridge is full of bok choy and steak and I’m thinking stir-fry and steak sandwiches (I bought ciabatta rolls and tomatoes and mozzarella) and also I’m thinking my bedroom is sunny and warm the dogs are all snoozing and maybe I’ll just stay home in pjs all day and write. And read. And eat.

And not look at the news.

57 thoughts on “Random Friday

  1. Geesh! You have said a lot. I know every day is like another assault on the mind and the only thing I have to combat it is my vote.

    We had a stir fry the other night with those cute little pot stickers and broccoli, bok choy and mushrooms over rice.

    Have you tried the library for a copy of the book?

    Winter pj’s, so the last three days I’ve been going up to the attic and rummaging through the bins looking for a white top that goes with the pj bottoms. It has sequins on it so I don’t wear it to bed but underneath a cardigan during the day. Only to find out when I finally dug it out that it is not white but grey and I kept overlooking it in my search. When I told my husband my story he said that he thought I was upstairs on the treadmill every day. Actually I was shoving the treadmill out of the way to get to the bins.

    1. Here’s a horrible confession:
      I have never been to the library here. And I’m a BIG fan of libraries, they saved my life when I was a kid.
      Maybe I’ll finally go today. I’ve only been here seven years.

  2. My daughter would love pjs like that.

    I’m being cautious with the news. I can take little bits at a time.

    In good news, my kids had dentist appointments yesterday and no cavities. My son needs to floss because he’s getting gingivitis though.

  3. I’m rationing myself to looking at the Guardian app at lunchtime only. It’s an improvement.

    I’ve been making myself a meditation space, to help me focus and move forward on the work and money front. This has involved sawing an Ikea shelving unit in half* and shopping for a cloth to cover my dad’s 1920s school tuckbox, to convert it into a shrine/altar. Next I want to get clear on my blocks so I can create affirmations for them; and hunt through boxes of pictures and old magazines for images to cover the pinboard I’ve propped at the back of the tuckbox (which is actually a little pine chest that I want to strip one day).

    *Had to make a low set of shelves to replace the tuckbox with stuff on top that’s been acting as propagation space and side table by my proof-reading chairs.

    1. I have a convertible table to put together, and an upholstered footstool to bring in from the garage, and a dining room table to figure out what to do with. Furniture. Argh. I feel your pain, or at least your to-do list.

  4. We can do more than vote. A lot of folks in my area do work on current campaigns —calls, post a Cards, knocking on doors—to get others who will vote for their candidates to vote.

    Also speaking as a person who works in DC I can assure you that no matter who your Senators and Representatives are calls matter. The ones who always vote the right way can use lots of calls to show leadership they need to stick to their guns; the ones who always vote the wrong way need to know their constituency is not as one-sided as they think.
    And right now when it comes to impeachment a lot of RepublicNs are keeping their mouths shut snd teyinf yo figure out what their constituents want. So tell them.
    Also you don’t need a long statement because the staff answering the phones just keep a tally sheet for each issue showing for or against. But believe me, tbeir bosses want to know how many calls are for and how many are against and also what issues are generating calls.

    1. The only way I can take the news is through Stephen Colbert. Although I keep checking CNN and BBC to see if Trump has boarded his getaway plane to Russia yet.

      Right now we are mainly checkbook activists, especially supporting journalism (Pro Publica, WTF Just Happened Today, the WaPost, the NY Times, local news).

      Among my many bookmarks for “someday” project is a link to Blick Medium Weight Cotton Canvas Roll, Acrylic Primed – thinking floorcloth. Will keep thinking.

      And thanks to Debbie for the insight that calls matter. Will keep dialing.

  5. Baby shanghai cabbage is great. I’ve optimized a process to combine it with meatballs and cup ramen for a hearty work lunch.
    You put the boiling water in the cup to start cooking the noodles. Then put a little bit of water in a separate bowl with the cabbage and meatballs, and microwave it for 45-60 seconds. Then once the cup ramen has done its 3 minutes of soak, pour it into the bowl. Slicing the meatballs beforehand lets more meat juices soak into the soup. Chopped carrot is also a good ingredient to add.

    The other most basic stir-fry is shanghai cabbage, oyster sauce, and protein of choice (such as hard-boiled quail eggs, or chinese sweet pork sausage/xiang chang). That’s it. I did a rice plate where you have a thin layer of cooked rice over the entire plate. Half of the plate is then covered with the stir fry. The other half is covered with classic Chinese yellow curry (slow-cooked with carrot, protein of choice, and potato chunks). It’s good stuff.

    1. I’m pretty much putting it in everything now. Bok choy, onion/scallion/shallot/mushroom, and then whatever I have around for protein, extra veg. Plus tamari, ginger, and garlic, splash of sesame oil. It’s always so good.

      Now I’m getting emails from WaPo’s Voraciously and Bon Appetite and NYT’s cooking section . . . so many great options. But in the end, it’s bok choy, onion, mushroom, tamari. I’m a simple woman.

      1. It really does well with soup, too. Blanch the larger leaves, but let the heart get nice and soft. Could almost replace the celery in mirepoix.

      2. I do not like Soy Sauce. I just ordered some reduced salt Tamari from Amazon – reduced salt means just 700mg per serving instead of 980mg. Serving size 1 Tbsp.

        My goal is 1500mg or less per day. What’s yours? We need to avoid CHF.

        1. I figure 2000, and then I don’t count the grams. It’s more avoidance than anything else. I don’t do anything pre-packaged because the sodium there is nuts, so the vast majority of my food is no salt, no sugar. Until I go face down in Neopolitan ice cream sandwiches.

          ETA: The NYT just ran a story that heart patients who have dogs are vastly more likely to survive than those who do not:

          “The researchers found that compared with people who do not own dogs, those who do have a 24 percent lower risk of death at any given age, and a 31 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Among people who already had serious heart problems, dog owners had a 65 percent lower mortality rate than those who didn’t own a dog.”

          I have three dogs. I’m gonna live forever.

  6. This is a really scary time. I believe the decision to conduct an impeachment investigation is right. I also think Trump will do whatever he can to distract us from it and a lot of those things are dangerous.

    1. Yes. But the good thing is, if we can put him down and out of office, it’ll prove that checks and balances work. Which is still very much up in the air. I’m still clinging to the idea of extinction burst, which would include most of my generation finally getting their butts out of office and letting in some fresh air.

  7. Neil Perry has a fantastic recipe for steamed beef. It’s highly flavoured, but I bet you could also add in some veg to steam with it. I usually serve it with rice, and veg on the side (often steamed greens or a salad). But I think it would be excellent with onion, carrot, bok choy, spinach, etc.

    Hmm now I’m thinking it would be great with cauliflower rice.

    Anything Neil Perry recipe-wise is excellent.

  8. I worry less about climate change these days than about regime change.

    Stop all the crap about impeachment. Vote him out and arrest him for treason instead. It’s the only way to be sure.

    1. He’s just essentially allowed Turkey to murder the Kurds.
      He’s firing ambassadors who won’t slander his political opponents.
      He’s inciting people to turn on immigrants (see his Minnesota speech).
      He’s taken needed funding from the military to build his stupid wall which will do absolutely nothing.
      And he’s losing his mind, saying crazier and crazier things while illegally refusing orders of law and hiding something horrible in his tax returns because he knows impeachment is coming and his only hope is that McConnell holds a rubber stamp court and protects him.

      Another year of this and we’ll be so corrupted and weakened that there’ll be no point to voting him out of office. Russia will be running things anyway.

        1. I think it’s only treason if it happens during war, but I’m not 100% on that.
          And it’s still more than a year til the election. Bernie had a heart attack, Shep Smith just quit Fox News, the former ambassador to Ukraine is mad as hell and telling Congress all about it, the courts are telling Trump he has to release his tax returns . . . and that was just this week.
          I’m just going to keep stir frying bok choy and pouring tamari.

          1. You’re right, legal charges of Treason are strictly a wartime crime — the last US treason charges were WWII-related! I suppose now it’s “betraying the United States.”

            My educated guess is that whether Bernie continues his campaign will probably depend on the outcome of a Very Serious Talk that Mrs. Sanders will conduct with him — continuing the campaign would mean thirteen months more, mostly on his feet, and it just may not be feasible.

          2. I think it depends on how Americans feel about electing a 78-year-old man with a heart condition when the country is in such turmoil that democracy is at stake.

          3. I don’t want another old, white person in the WH. I’ll settle for Warren. But my plan is “vote blue no matter who” and pray.

  9. Somebody cursed us to “live in interesting times.”

    The problem with the US is that their aid is dependent on the aid-receivers submitting to the dominant policies of the US. This is a terrible thing. The problem with the UK is that damned Commonwealth where all the formerly-colonised-by-Britain countries are part of trade, culture, and sport initiatives that then influence the countries internal policies. This all is hair-tearingly distressing.

    I’m trying to focus on myself. Lots of spiritual practice and outward-focused reading and learning. Recovering my health by reducing sugar and increasing water consumption. Last week Friday I was on a re-hydration drip because of gastro that I caught at work.

    I think I’m going to bring the patchy puppy over for a visit to see how she reacts to Riker and how he reacts to her. Yes, I do want to name her Troi. But that’s dependent on if I get her. There. That ended with a smile. :-*

    Kate – I hope you write Glimmer Girls. I loved the bit you sent out to some of us who’d asked.

    My thanks for the found-family book recs to all. Really enjoyed both of the Shard & Shield books by Laura VanArendonk Baugh – thanks Peggy. Already read Sharon Shinn. Going to try to see if I like the others.

    1. Hooray, so glad you liked them! I’m still only 60% through Blood & Bond myself but I know she’s hard at work on the third book too. In the meantime, I will probably piggyback the other suggestions people gave you, because who doesn’t love found family?

  10. You could try making a floor cloth instead of painting the floor…that way it can come with you if you relocate. Plus it kinda sounds like a fun project!

    Per wikipedia: “Most modern floorcloths are made of heavy, unstretched canvas with two or more coats of gesso. They are then painted and varnished to make them waterproof. “

    1. I had thought of that, especially since I have canvas and gesso someplace. But at this point that part of the floor is destroyed anyway.

  11. Since random: Will you be putting teeth into that painted rug?

    I have found that getting really active politically has allowed me to sleep really well. I’ve stopped doing all sorts of random actions and am focusing on non-partisan group like the League of Women Voters, anti-gerrymandering, and my local Board of Elections (that last should get me out of a few centuries of purgatory). Also, I, too, have cut back on the news.

    I love greens and broccoli. I just roasted a big bach of broccoli with sweet onion and garlic. I throw it in everything. Not everyone’s favorite but it works for me.

    Hoping the night temps hold for another 10 days or so. I have no time to get the houseplants in just yet.

    1. I really like your brand of activism, Audrey. Not sure what the equivalent would be in the UK, but will keep a look out.

  12. I’ve been distracting myself from the news with foster kittens, which is equally as exhausting but a lot cuter.

    Kale is my bok choy. I grew two different kinds this year, and I *think* I can blanch it and throw it in the freezer for winter.

    1. One more random: I really want to see a cartoon showing Pelosi and an FBI agent racing each other to arrest Giuliani. Can’t draw so I can’t do it myself.

      1. Trump just said he’s not sure Giuliani is his lawyer.
        That bus is going to need a new suspension by the time this is over.

        1. Just a cofeve boy . . . .

          I’m inclined to the theory that the two guys arrested Thursday evening are Putin plants / henchmen. Of course, if they are, they will promptly drop into the Counterterrorism Black Hole.

    2. I buy frozen raw kale to put into smoothies and cooked dishes, and it works very well, but I don’t actually like kale (just like the fiber and dislike kale least of the leaves) so there may be sooner nuances of flavor or texture that I’m missing….

      1. There’s a trick for the texture…you crush it up in your hands and that breaks up the tougher fibers. (With baby kale you don’t need to do that.)

  13. I’m not fond of bok choy but I do like Swiss chard. I chop the stems up with onions, garlic, and mushrooms and stir fry them until tender. Then I add the chopped greens and cover until they are tender too, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! When I was a youngster, I hated vegetables but every so often, my father would prepare Swiss chard as I mentioned (without mushrooms, that was my idea to add them in) and I would happily join him in eating it. For some reason, when he made this in the evening, long after dinner was over, it didn’t seem like a vegetable but a treat.

  14. alibris.com lists copies of The Long Journey Home starting at $1.49 and some in Very Good condition for $1.98. I also second the look at the library suggestion. With all the postings about ebook sales, I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one who uses the library (until I see the waiting lists for popular titles).

    1. I mostly get ebooks from the library (search, download, and read at home… And when they’re due they just evaluate with no fines!). I do get lots and lots of children’s books there so that I can constantly refresh kiddo’s collection at no cost (other than occasional late fees when I forget to renew online). Thank goodness for libraries!

  15. I spent yesterday at a carbon zero conference. So yeah, I’m with you on the brain bleach requirements. I took the kids to the art gallery, then lay in the sun on my living room floor and read romance for the rest of the afternoon. Then spent two hours glued to the TV watching Eliud Kipchoge run a a sub 2 hr marathon. 🤩

    But purposively not thinking is hard, it’s all still there, climate and politics and broken systems. Gotta hunt the joy and hold it when you can.

  16. I have to say that after the 2016 election and every time our political representatives do terribly awful things as they did this week, it is a relief to come to this blog and see even a brief acknowledgement. And, it’s heartening to know that several people in this group are taking big and small steps to right the ship.

    Re: Ear wigs/worms- Funny you should mention it. I’ve been talking everyone about mine this week– music from Maggie Rogers. She has become very popular over the last three years, but I hadn’t heard about her until she was listed on the Obama’s Summer play list a few months ago. This is the moment her life changed three years ago: https://youtu.be/TyimCGEkiUc

    Re: Bok choy- Thanks for all the info! I’m going to make more of an effort to eat it now.

    Re: outspoken Steve Miller- love his music. In defense of being outspoken, I don’t think of it as tactless. I’m a great fan of being straight-forward/blunt. Although if I’m on the receiving end, maybe not in public.

    Re: Neighbor- You mention that her politics and approach to religion are the opposite, but she restores your faith in human nature. I’m assuming you’re the same race/religion. Guessing I would be treated differently if she were my neighbor so she wouldn’t restore mine given my own race/religion. I have little time for people who may be friendly to my face, but who are actively working for the oppression of those of a different race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or economic class.

    Re: comfy pj’s- Just bought some myself and I now I want to throw away all my other clothes and just wear these.

    1. You know, I try to keep it apolitical here as a safe space, but when things go this wrong, there is no apolitical.

      My neighbor would be lovely to you and not say anything different behind your back. I do not know how she can be evangelical and support the current admin, but then I don’t know how any human being can do that, so her thought processes are a mystery to me, but the anybody who supports this course of events is a mystery to me. The only thing I can think of is that she can support suppressing immigration as an abstract, but then when confronted with the human being, she’d open her arms and make sure they had enough to eat and a place to stay. It’s just perplexing. She’s definitely not a racist; I don’t think she pays that much attention to what’s going on, to tell you the truth. Which in itself is a kind of condemnation.

      1. It is no mystery. Support of Trump is rooted in bigotry/racism. It is not simply an issue of suppressing immigrants. How many Trump supporters complain about Melania who came into this country under questionable circumstances? How many complain about white immigrants? As far as your neighbor being nice to me, I believe you. Throughout my life I have overheard people whisper that I am an “exception” simply because they know me personally. In any case this is probably a much bigger conversation than this blog can handle so I will leave it at that.

        1. You know what? You’re right. I am in no position to understand how this works for you.

          I know the “You’re one of the good ones” compliment; I’ve gotten them for being a woman.

          I think the biggest disconnect I’ve had is when my daughter told me her aunt (my ex-sister-in-law) who is a lovely woman thinks that Trump and Melania are a “magical couple.” How anybody could look at him snapping at her, leaving her behind in the limo, trying to take her hand on the tarmac and having her bat it away, and say, “Isn’t that magical?” is beyond me. And anybody who’s still supporting him at this point is, you’re right, flat out racist.

          And I just had a lovely talk with my neighbor about dogs and the weather. It’s just weird. My neighborhood is full of nice people who are voting for Trump. I do not understand it at all.

  17. Don’t apologize to Australia – we (well, not me or anyone I know, but a small majority) just returned Scott Morrison, #1 Trump Fanboy to power.

    Actually, we’re not sure who voted for him, apart from a bunch of retirees who don’t have shares and seem to think that the government is going to give them some, and the usual RWNJs who parade around in ‘Australia Is Full’ tshirts.

    At least you’ve got an election next year – we’ve got another three years of completely disfunctional and blatantly corrupt government before we next get to vote.

  18. As an American who lives in the UK, I feel as if I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Everywhere I look, the news just keeps getting worse. In the morning when I wake up, I read all of the bad things things that Trump did/tweeted overnight, and then as the day progresses, I hear about the absolutely crazy stuff going on here with Brexit, and by the time the working day ends here, Trump is awake again causing mayhem, death and destruction around the world. I should take a page from JaneB and limit the news to once a day. I fear that the balance of power may never recover in the US and that constitutional democracy is being pushed to its limits.

    Funny thing, after living in Germany for ten years, we were offered jobs in Sydney, Australia, and in England. We picked England because we felt European and wanted to stay in Europe.

    1. I think America has a constantly shifting idea of what democracy is, in part because we have a constantly shifting power dynamic. Right now, the old white male construct is cracking and falling, and a new order is forming. It doesn’t seem like it, it feels like we’re moving backwards, but from the perspective of a very old person, where we are now is so much better than we were even twenty years ago. The old order is collapsing, but the center still holds. I think Trump was a horrifying but necessary interruption in our stability. He’s destroying the Old Guard from within. And he’s practically funded the ACLU, the Washington Post, and the New York Times because people are waking up to the knowledge that they have to fight for the freedoms we’ve been taking for granted. It’s hell to live through, but I firmly believe we’ll be a better country if we live through this.

      Unless he gets re-elected. Then we’re toast.

  19. I always drive into my parking space forwards. It seems easier to reverse out, plus if anything goes wrong you’re already leaving the scene of the crime.

    1. Wait, you don’t combat park?
      I look for a parking space I can drive through into the next space so I don’t have to reverse out. I always thought that was just obvious, especially since my back skills are not good. Then I started writing with Bob and he informed that was called “combat parking.” Made it much cooler than “unskilled reversing parking.”

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