Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Better Thanks

Statement-making in a Brazilian shopping mall.
Tomorrow is a national holiday. According to law -- "On October 6, 1941, the House passed a joint resolution declaring the last Thursday in November to be the legal Thanksgiving Day. The Senate amended the resolution establishing the holiday as the fourth Thursday, which would take into account those years when November has five Thursdays. The House agreed to the amendment, and President Roosevelt signed the resolution on December 26, 1941, thus establishing the fourth Thursday in November as the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday" -- we should all give thanks for our bounty, which supposedly we received during the year from God or Mother Nature.

The following day everyone is supposed to go out and get more bounty at places like BestBuy and Macy's and Sephora and Yankee Candle and Old Navy and all the other stores in the shopping malls across this great nation. We then are instructed to wrap up all the newly-purchased bounty and give it away to friends and family at another designated holiday in late December, when they will give us some in return. If we don't like the bounty we get we can return it, with proper identification and sometimes proof of purchase.

It's nuts, plain and simple, since there are so many people the world over with no bounty whatsoever. Instead of consuming, be it food or goods, all of us should spend tomorrow eating yogurt and oatmeal and writing checks to charities. I know that doesn't sound like much fun, but I'm betting it would be way more filling than all the turkey, stuffing and pie.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Trouble with Maine

Hardly anyone lives in Maine. This explains why there is no traffic, and almost no crime. It's quite relaxing. Of course, the flip side is that there are few professional standards, certainly not enough to go around. All the women look like moose and all the men smell like fish, so if you decide to move here you'd better already be hitched and have a job.

Besides those warnings, another one is that it's tough to buy a house here because none of the real estate agents have a lick of sense. They never answer their phones or return calls when you leave a message. They are rarely available to show properties. It's sad, really, for all concerned.

Today I was scheduled to see a house at 12:30. It was a firm appointment I made with an agent two days ago. He knew I would be driving some distance to meet him, and yet when I arrived, the house was dark with no sign of life. I had given the agent my phone number in case of any emergency, but he did not call. Finally, after waiting long enough for a college professor were I in college, I called his cell and he answered--a fact that is important for the story--and said he had spent the morning "out in the sticks with no cell service" and couldn't call to cancel, and could I meet him tomorrow instead?

I then asked if he was still out in those same sticks and he said yes. I asked why he was out in the sticks when he had an appointment in the city and he said he wasn't sure. I asked if he had cell service yet and he said "probably not."


Monday, November 24, 2014

Blah, Blah Ferguson

The word on the street, amplified by the media, is that apparently whatever decision comes down, the good folks of Ferguson, Missouri plan to riot. Thanks to Al Sharpton, a.k.a. the Flame-Fanner-in-Chief, and his sidekick POTUS, the Commander-in-Chief, black citizens everywhere are convinced that the white policeman involved deliberately shot an innocent child in the back for absolutely no reason! This is of course crazy talk, since the "innocent child," roughly the size and stature of Smokey the Bear, had just robbed a convenience store, an act caught on surveillance video. But crazy talk gets ratings, and so everyone who earns a living by blabbing about what other people are doing are blabbing about that. So I'll stop.

Ain't No Sunshine

Here in Maine, today never arrived. While the calendar says Monday, November 24, it just never showed up. Instead, we had daylong dusk, heavy to ridiculously heavy rain, and dense fog like in Hitchcok's "Dial M for Murder," or whichever one it was where Doris Day was being followed by Rex Harrison, or possibly Ray Milland. (It might have been Grace Kelly.)

My point is that from six in the morning, which is when I got up, until right now at 4:17 in the afternoon, the sun was not involved. It was downright scary, and this is from someone who always finds those bright, sunny days annoyingly pushy, sort of like that spinster aunt who's always nagging you to go outside and get some fresh air. Still, without even a hint of the sun--whether hidden behind clouds or reflected off of something somewhere far away-- it might as well be night, except it's day. The world takes on a science-fiction quality that is quite disturbing, giving rise to spooky fantasies about off-the-charts global warming a thousand years from now.

We all take the sun rising each morning for granted, but after one of these days, I will kiss the hem of its garment the next time I see it. (I love mixing metaphors.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Things Could Be Worse

Lately I have been in what can modestly be called "a funk." I'm not sure what started it, but a variety of thorny health issues have certainly not helped. All I know for sure is that being depressed is, well, depressing. That's the worst part about it. Weight loss is the one positive, and that's only if you're tubby to begin with. (Fortunately I was.)

Anyway, this morning I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that jolted me out of my funk, reminding me of why it's good to read the paper. It was all about a terrible situation regarding medical errors and how many women have died because of a bad practice involving a device called a morcellator that actually spreads uterine cancer while purporting to cure it. Reading the sad tale of a woman in the prime of her life who was basically murdered by her well-meaning gynecologist made me happy that things in my life are not worse, admittedly a state of affairs less desirable than being happy because things are all the way to good, but I'll take it.

So now, newly de-funked, I am committed to making every day as good as it can be. I truly believe this is a mind-over-matter skill that is enhanced by staying busy and not thinking too much. And most of all, keeping one's interaction with the medical community to a bare minimum.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Just in Time for Christmas

It's so obvious I am surprised nobody has made the connection, but it seems to me that the terrible snowstorm in Buffalo which has thus far dumped six feet of snow on that beleaguered city and caused the deaths of at least 13 people is all Bill Cosby's fault. That would explain this timely print by artist Justin Hager entitled "Buffalo Bill Cosby." One of a limited edition of 20, it can be yours for just $40.00, and would make a perfect gift for a friend or loved one on your gift list who was sexually assaulted by the famed comic. (Surely someone was.)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

No Dead Bird

One week from today is the day we call Thanksgiving. Everyone who can afford to will eat the same meal, for some reason it's a roast turkey accompanied by all the usual suspects. But since this has been my year to rebel, and the first year that I did not purchase one lick of Halloween candy, I am going rogue. My husband and I reasoned that if we were going to eat thousands of calories worth of fattening foods, like gooey stuffing and gravy and yams and pie and all the rest, why not indulge in something we really crave and never enjoy? And so for our Thanksgiving dinner we shall have lasagna made with fresh pasta and grass-fed beef and organic cheeses of several varieties. And garlic bread, and lots of it. And cheesecake for dessert--screw the pumpkin pie.

Most important, there will be no dead bird on the table. I am pretty excited, and I bet I will be thankful too, since besides less guilt--there is still that grass-fed cow-- I won't have to spend half the day basting him and the other half dealing with his carcass.