Sunday, July 12, 2020

Pence with a pistol

People have been talking about the Broadway musical  “Hamilton” because it’s been on TV lately.  The stage version on Broadway was such a smash several years ago that tickets, if a person could manage to locate any at any price, were super-expensive.  It’s a filming of that original stage production on TV now, so it’s kind of a big deal.  I was fortunate to see it live on stage when the Broadway touring version came here to Minneapolis a couple of years ago.  It’s impressive, although the hip-hop music isn’t so much my cup of tea.

A strange hero for a Broadway musical, though — Alexander Hamilton, one of our U.S. “Founding Fathers”.  And even though Hamilton was important in those early years, such as being the first Secretary of the Treasury, he is perhaps best remembered in history for how he died — gunshot wound from a duel with Aaron Burr.  Although it’s hard to imagine how any intelligent men would ever agree to a gun duel, no matter their disagreement, what made this duel even stranger was that Aaron Burr was the sitting Vice President of the U.S.  The duel was illegal, but Burr was never charged.

Can you imagine our current U.S. Vice President in a duel?  Actually, it’s scary to think of him with any weapon of any kind in his hand.  But one thing is for sure:  If he were to survive a duel and be charged with a crime, he could count on a pardon from Trump.  All that butt-kissing would have paid off.

Friday, July 10, 2020

sweating it out — summer 1968

Mid-July in Minnesota, and it’s hot.  On these muggy, miserable days, I take some sort of comfort in the memory that this is nowhere near the miserableness of my summer of 1968.  That’s when I was drafted into the Army and spent those dreadful months in basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Polk, Louisiana (Two U.S. Army bases named after Confederate generals — 🙄).

So can you picture me trudging through the swamps of those Southern states with a rifle on my shoulder and a full backpack weighing me down — all for the  now-laughable purpose of preparing mostly-pacifist me to be a killer in those even more miserable swamps of Vietnam??

It was bad, but that was as bad as it got.  After all that prep, I didn’t have to serve in Vietnam.  The universe was watching out for me.  I wish I would have known that as I was sweating profusely, shaking mud out of my boots, swatting mosquitoes and watching armadillos scoot by.  Get the picture?

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Proverbs 3:3

“Never let loyalty and kindness leave you....”

But then — how many people never knew what loyalty is and never had any kindness in their soul?

I could name names.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

next plane to Amsterdam

Now that Europe is forbidding Americans to travel there because of our out-of-control mishandling of the coronavirus, I’m of course dying to get back there!  And it’s been too long.....

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

what to do in a sports bar

I stopped at a nearby sports bar, had a glass of scotch on the rocks and a few chicken wings... sitting at the bar, counting at least twelve large TVs around me set on channels that struggled to be something about sports... But what news is there?  Fretting about whether there will be any Major League Baseball this summer or any football games this fall or NBA or NHL or whatever else there might be?

And, just because it has something going on, has NASCAR ever gotten this much attention?  And how the heck is NASCAR a sport?  I drive a car every day, and I love driving, and why would I want to watch simebody else driving a car?

Another scotch, please.... and what might be on the other channels?

Monday, July 6, 2020

her reasons for social distancing

So here is my question for the day:  How is it that Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend has tested positive for Covid-19 while he has tested negative, considering how contagious this virus is?

The way I see it, there are only two possible answers:

—  They are lying, and he really is positive, or
—   They as a couple aren’t, shall we say, “intimate”?  Maybe she has laid down the rules:  “Stay away from me, you creep!  Be like your dad and go hire whores!”

Take your pick.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

virtually perfect attendance

My weekly calendar stays full during this COVID lockdown, but too many of those appointments are Zoom meetings or FaceTime connections or other iPad conveniences.

This morning, for instance, being a Sunday morning, I sit here watching the virtual Sunday morning service at my church.  Since none of us for now can attend in person (and it’s rare for me to miss Sunday morning church), virtual is all we have now, and, while I’m thankful for having such technological inventions just in time for this pandemic,  I — people-person that I have somehow become — sure do miss seeing friends at the other end of the pew and hugs and handshakes and hearing the pipe organ and the choir in person.

Looking on the bright side,  I at least can now watch the service while drinking coffee and maybe only marginally dressed.

That first Sunday back in that welcoming, beautiful church, though, will be sweet.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

the 2020 version of the 4th

Hey there, on this, the 4th of July, the 244th anniversary of Independence Day.....

.... and it has to be one of the weirdest  4ths ever.  I could dwell on that, but I find myself wondering today how July 4, 2021, might look different from this one —

—  A different U.S. president?
—  A less divided country?
—  Major anti-racist progress?
—  The Washington DC NFL team with a different name?
—  The final defeat of Covid-19?
—  A re-invented “back to normal” that reflects some positive lessons that we may have learned from the first half of 2020?
—  Peace?

We together need to have hope and faith.

Friday, July 3, 2020

I know who you are. I see your face.

A couple of nights ago, my niece Ruthie and I went to a nearby bar/restaurant where we had never been (because it was Trivia Night, and we are trivia-team people).  In this stage of the pandemic here in Minnesota, rules for re-opening of businesses vary by city and by venue, but masks and social distancing are encouraged and sometimes required in all public places.

So we walked into the place,  hopeful for a new place to hang out but not sure what to expect.  She and I were wearing masks and there were plenty of people there — but none of them, other than the servers, wearing masks — and customers lined up along the bar with no distance between them.

We didn’t know any of these people, but it was easy to figure them out with just a glance.  They were making a statement as an act of defiance, following the lead of their so-called president and Leader, who has made this coronavirus a political issue by his denial and ignorance.

So I wouldn’t mind finding a new bar, but it’s not going to be one where we would be surrounded by Trump-lovers, especially in a place that has lousy scotch choices.  And we didn’t do very well at Trivia, either!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain

In an effort to give my pacemaker a break and keep this heart going for at least a little while longer, I’ve been trying to do a lot more walking and am then keeping a count of my steps on my iPhone.  8000 to 10,000 steps a day (4 to 5 miles) is a cool goal, but, man, is it hard to get cooperative outdoor weather:  it’s too hot, too cold, too rainy, too windy, etc., and an excuse is all I need to not walk on any given day!  Today, for instance, it was 91 degrees, muggy and windy.  I especially hate the wind, because it seems like no matter what direction I’m walking, I’m going into the wind.

So for some of those weather-forecast-unfriendly days, two or three days a week, I’ve become an early morning mall-walker at the Mall of America, that mega-mall a few miles from me.  It’s perfect for a just-barely-motivated walker like me because it is circular around a big center space of carnival rides and has four levels of interesting but un-tempting chain-store fronts. Except for Starbucks, the stores aren’t open until later in the morning, so a skinny latte is my reward at the end of the trek.

And there are other aging mall-walkers every day there too, probably recovering from heart attacks or knee-replacement surgery, so I’m never walking alone.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

greetings from minneapolis

For 856 days straight, from August 10, 2010, until January 2, 2013, I blog-posted here -- a mix of inspired prose and absolute silliness (Actually, I struggle to remember the inspired prose).  After that, my posts were sporadic at best.

As we today start the second half of the weird year of 2020, I am more and more feeling the need and urgency to do some semi-serious writing but am searching for direction:  A play?  A story?  My Manifesto?

My friend Alicia has suggested that at a minimum I begin journaling or, more to my liking, blogging daily -- just to be back in the habit of obsessively writing something -- until I find that direction.

So here I am, maybe starting a new streak of lovable nonsense with occasional words of substance.  Hopefully.

And there should be plenty to blog about in this world of today, and I'm a person who doesn't struggle for opinions.  Here we are with a pandemic, a politically-divided country, worldwide re-invigorated racial justice protests and discussions that began right here in Minneapolis with the murder of George Floyd..... and the daily ins and outs of ordinary life (assuming that we eventually have ordinary life again).....

I realize that blogging maybe isn't the thing that it used to be, but, if you decide to follow me again, I'll feel honored.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

as changes await us

Yeah, I’m moving soon, down-sizing from a house to an apartment.  I have lots of work to do — sorting and throwing stuff, getting my house ready to sell — so you might see and hear me moaning and whining until I’m in the new place.

In my background, as I write this, the TV is on, and results of the New Hampshire Democratic primary are trickling in.  I could moan and whine about that too.  Maybe I’ve already had a rough enough day.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

waiting for the plow guy

It was snowing when I woke up this morning, and it snowed until about noon.  It added up to six or seven inches total, which of course could have been a lot worse (this, after all, is Minnesota in February), but it was enough to make my driveway passable only if I floored the gas pedal, hoping and praying no cars were coming down the street as I gunned it out into the unknown.  But that’s the only way to not get stuck!

My plow guy is usually great, but today he didn’t show up til 6:30 PM, so I fussed all day that he wouldn’t show up at all — especially since I have friends coming to watch the Oscars with me.  So he came through for me after he probably had a super busy day.

I won’t have this minor driveway-stress next year.  I’m moving, ya know.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

it’s so hard to not give a damn — part 2

Up til yesterday, I had watched every minute of the Democratic presidential debates.

But I’ve hit a wall of discouragement and couldn’t make myself watch last night’s debate in New Hampshire, knowing the candidates would be viciously attacking each other at the cost of a unified front against Trump.  Predictably, Democrats have formed a circular firing squad, making Trump’s re-election even more likely.  Risking a second Trump term risks our government potentially heading to fascist dictatorship, and I can’t watch that happen.

So, instead, I spent a pleasant evening with my friend Mary O, while having guilt the whole time that I wasn’t watching.