Wednesday, November 26, 2008

turkey and lamb

I'm not much of a cook, but somehow I do manage to do well at roasting a turkey. So that will be my job tomorrow, the turkey and the stuffing. Jerry will be doing everything else. I think. Cooking, eating, maybe watching a little football on TV: that's Thanksgiving, I guess. When I was still living back in my hometown, Thanksgiving always also meant going to the Millville/Vineland high-school football game, a major South Jersey tradition. If I were there, I'd go again. Oh well. Hope you all have a nice Thanksgiving... and go, Millville!

I'm still on a kick reading Wally Lamb novels, currently his new one, The Hour I First Believed. It's an accomplishment getting through these long books, but at least I also get some good weight-lifting carrying these things around. Joan and I enjoyed seeing and meeting Wally Lamb last week as part of the "Talking Volumes" series sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio. This was held at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, a sell-out crowd of about 800-people, 90% of them women (Remember -- Wally Lamb is sort of an Oprah discovery). He turned out to be fun to listen to, a crowd-pleaser, has a great personality (With novelists, you never know what to expect, personality-wise). His novels take place in New England, mostly Connecticut, generally flashing back to multiple generations of dysfunction. If you have a lot of time on your hands or are a fast reader, I recommend them very much.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the 23rd bond

Sitting here with my laptop, watching the Vikings game with Tom...

Last night we went to see the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. You know I'm a Bond fan, and, yes, I realize that the Bond movies aren't as much fun as they used to be -- too dark and brutal! --, but I love our tradition of going to the new ones when they come out, which is always somewhere around my birthday. Jon and Tom and Joan and Jerry go with me, maybe partly just to humor me, and the best part of going is watching with them... I do think Daniel Craig is a good Bond. I just wish they weren't doing away with the Bond traditions, like Moneypenny, the gadgets, the awful puns, etc...

You know I like traditions, things that don't change too much. Those are the things that will go through my mind as I'm lying on my deathbed!

My all-time favorite James Bond movie: You Only Live Twice. 2nd favorite: Goldfinger. Least favorite: Moonraker. Best Bond: Connery (of course). Best of the Roger Moore films: The Spy Who Loved Me. Best Bond song: "Nobody Does It Better" (Carly Simon), from The Spy Who Loved Me. Worst Bond song: whatever that song was in Quantum of Solace. Worst gadget: the invisible car in Die Another Day.
Our 28-day "cleanse" ended yesterday. So Jerry and Tom and I re-started a Sunday morning tradition: bacon and eggs (and coffee!!) at the Dinkytown Cafe... Ah, the sweet pleasures of life... :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

danger: heartbreak dead ahead

victims of the real estate market...

Jerry and I own two townhouses, the one where we live and the one where we used to live, which is about five blocks away. The latter property we were renting, until our tenant moved to Atlanta a few months ago. We decided to not rent it again, to sell it instead. It's still on the market. Nobody is buying.

Which means we have been paying double mortgage payments with no rental income, this at a time when Jerry's income is down dramatically (he's a real estate agent -- a double whammy!) and mine is not up.

So we have made a drastic decision. We have put the house where are living on the market also and will live in the one that isn't the first to sell.

The problem is that we fear we will sell where we are living first -- it is the more desirable of the two properties -- and we love this house.

I realize that, in these days of foreclosures and job losses, people are going through much more traumatic things than this, but that won't stop me from shedding tears if we have to leave this, the best house I've ever lived in or will ever live in.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

'wicked' thoughts

I was walking through downtown yesterday afternoon on my way to the gym and realized I was surrounded by people scurrying to the Saturday afternoon matinee of Wicked, currently here on tour. Then I realized that it was cold and windy, temps in the low 20s -- it's winter again. Indoor activities will be providing most of our entertainment between now and April.
And we are falling right into indoor scheduling.. This week, for instance: Joan is treating us to Wicked tickets this Wednesday, then Thursday we're going to see Joan Baez.
Then next weekend, something I always look forward to: the new James Bond movie comes out... and then....
All kinds of good stuff to fill up the winter months... But, wow. It's such a long time til April. It sure was hard to put on a winter jacket again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

the survivor

One of the best things about yesterday was that there was no more political advertising: No piles of junk political mail, no political phone calls, no political TV advertising. Suddenly, overnight, the country changes back to Dr. Jeykll from Mr. Hyde, and the desperate viciousness goes at least into hibernation.

I mean, when you think about it, isn't our political system a total embarrassment? After the past year of so-called debates, isn't it amazing that there still has been so little in-depth discussion of real issues? And who would put themselves and their family through the degradation that it takes to run for President these days?

The election, despite it all, ended somewhat happily from my perspective. At least something will change. When I saw Barack Obama and took this picture at a rally a couple years ago, I was concerned that his handshake wasn't firm enough, it was limp. After seeing the excellent campaign that he has run since his nomination in August, I'm thinking that maybe his handshake has gotten stronger by now. Or maybe he is saving his hands for more important things. I think he'll make a pretty good President -- and an inspiritional one for many. He might not be a JFK, but, let's face it, neither was JFK.