Friday, January 17, 2014

Take a Break

All I want
Is one break
Which is not
My neck.
 - J. P. Donleavy, The Ginger Man

I have to be a bit pickier about breaks. I want a break that is also not nervous and/or down. Also, not a break for which there is a designated room, as in Employee Break Room where, for all I know, employees are either broken, or only admitted if they’re already broken. I’ve been there and I’m never going back. Besides, I’ve had my neck literally (not figuratively) broken and it’s now held together with some titanium sticks and bolts. So, I’ve got the whole bionic thing going for me.

But enough about breaking things and throwing china and cleaning possibly deadly spiders’ webs out of old cars and figuring out how to put stuff on e-bay to attract people with too much disposable income and an un-satiated lust for “collectibles” of no discernible intrinsic value. You know who you are.

Instead, let’s talk about the amazing weather and the lovely sunshine that is so warm and gold I can hear it whispering for me to come and bask. Of course, everything outside sounds like its whispering from in here sitting inside in front of my computer pursuing my eternal quest for enlightenment on the internet and pondering the wisdom of some of my bookmarks.

I need a break anyway. I spent the morning reminding myself that I can still craft a hella legal document, specifically an amendment to a trust document, replete with herebys and witnesseths and pursuants sprinkled liberally among the bold and underlined important stuff, and the stuff that is in CAPS just so you know it’s the most important in the hierarchy of importance.

So, then I made some sun tea and added enough sugar to induce an insulin coma and then my kombucha starter. Now it sits for a couple of weeks to ferment. The violet kombucha I made last month has carbonated the heck out of itself in bottles and a double shot adds a delicious sweet fizz to the nasty smoothies I make out of leafy greens, fruit and nuts. No matter what smoothie components I use I end up with this thick green mush that I will generously admit is an acquired taste, and not to be taken from a clear glass where you can see the sludge left behind.

I’m not as fussy as my roommate in combining smoothie ingredients and use what comes to hand. Princess (let’s call her that) flatly refuses to acquire a taste for my recipes and finally objected so strongly that I had to stop using mustard greens, the wimp. And, as Princess Wimp fancies herself a culinary wizard, she prefers to add bananas and avocados and often almond milk to achieve a nice creamy consistency, which I admit looks and often tastes better than mine.

I’ll use water and/or fruit juice and often end up with grassy strings of chard or stems of broccoli rabe. I also toss in a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, which tends to make my concoctions on the tart side.

Now, some would say I’ve always tended toward the tart side and I wouldn’t deny that in terribly unladylike terms, at least until happy hour was well underway. So I’ll now take my grey smoothie (kale, chard and pomegranate juice mix together into a purplish gray that is a slightly more appealing color than spilled tile grout. But I’ll be drinking it in the golden afternoon sun, taking a break from my labors and reading a good book.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hit Lists

"I saw that my witticism was unperceived and quietly replaced it in the treasury of my mind.”
I have been wondering lately about whether I should have a hit list. It takes my mind of wandering whether I am on somebody else’s hit list.  I realize, that as we get old we can’t keep up mentally with the pace of life and sometimes things that we used to cope with can unexpectedly  overwhelm us. And when confused, the best defense is first paralysis, followed by paranoia. That which I do not understand, I fear. Thus, I feel the need to start composing my own hit list just as an exercise in keeping my mind nimble.

As my 95-year-old MIL with dementia will tell anybody who listens, the Jews are trying to take her money. There are several problems with this, besides the fact that there are probably no Jews where she lives and she has no money. Those problems are, in no particular order: she’s crazy as a bedbug, nobody wants anything she has, if she had any money she would have no idea where it was or whether it was gone. Also, she can’t understand why the machine next to her bed rings and rings and when she tries to answer it by putting the speaker to her ear and the receiver to her mouth there is nobody on the phone. Her skill set has been whittled down to a few pretty rudimentary tasks like eating and peeing. Critical thinking went overboard sometime in the last century along with personal hygiene and table manners.

 But back to hit lists. I think we all need one  - even if we never have any intention of hitting, which I assert unequivocally that I don’t. Besides I have no personal enemies. It’s strangers. Like the nameless jerk who took two parking places at the grocery store, or the guy who used his snow blower to clear the snow from his driveway into his neighbor's freshly shoveled driveway, or the stupid woman at the dog beach who walked in front of me as I waited in line at the doggie water fountain and watered her dog first – like I was invisible or something. Too bad my dog is a lover not a killer or she’d have had her throat ripped out by a very salty thirsty dog.

 I’m not at the paranoia stage yet, but I do find it troubling that so many people my age lack situational awareness. It’s almost as bad as intentional malice. Stop parking your shopping cart in the middle of the frickin’ aisle while you try to find tarragon. The spices are in alphabetical order you stupid frail freak. Look under T!

 So much for people on my hit list.  I don’t have to engage in transatlantic flights of fantasy to imagine the kind of people whose hit list I’d end up on.  I don’t judge young men whose pants are falling down, but when they catch me smirking at their silly clothes I suspect they judge me because I have cat hair and quilt thread on my pants.

 Then there is, regrettably, the group of people who oppose vaccinations because they cause autism; and those who think a sever winter storm proves global warming is a myth. If such opinions are expressed within my fortunately very limited hearing range, I make my opinion known. You’re all idiots.

 Seriously, you people who take the Bible literally, you should think about this. Since scripture says death is the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, it makes perfect sense that your life must be the fruit of the Tree of Stupidity. Also, I don’t think god-fearing people are allowed to have hit lists since you’re supposed to love your neighbors. So, love me you wackos, and I won’t add you to my personal hit list.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Predictions for 2014

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
 - Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Well, I predicted some bad shit for 2013 and was, sadly, wrong about the spontaneous combustion of over-tattood people and the resulting loss of innocent bystanders lives. Of course, I mean I’m sad that my prescience was so misplaced. I suppose the up-side is that people didn’t combust and explode.

I was better at some of my other predictions: in 2013 the heterosexual population of America didn’t succumb to The Gay Flu, and traditional marriage survived.  Whew, eh?

So although the accuracy of my predictions is not precisely inversely proportional to my dwindling patience and cognitive functions, it was less than 50-50 last year. But what the hell, I might as well go ahead and predict some stuff for 2014.

1.     French will continue to be the primary language spoken by people from France.
2.     Corporate banks will continue to financially rape and pillage besieged Americans without fear from regulators, prosecutors, or the whimpering whispers of the atrophied individual consciences of their board members.
3.     The rich will continue to get richer.
4.     No one will invent a perpetual motion energy generation machine, an effective cold remedy, or a soupspoon with a built-in thermometer that will beep softly if the soup is too hot.
5.     No one will come up with the answer to the universal question “what could possibly go wrong?” (Although I predict the next-best answer will continue to be, “Nothing too bad surely.”)
6.     No one will discover a new color in the visible light spectrum. In the unlikely event that this prediction is wrong, the new color will positively not be named “grumble”.
7.     An asteroid will not strike earth causing nuclear winter and killing off homo sapiens to make room for the rise of the cockroach evolution. At least this year.
8.     The android Dick Clark will not be perfected in time for New Year’s Eve 2014 and we’ll either have to go to bed early or get drunk enough to enjoy watching the continued decline of one-time-journalist Anderson Cooper.

That was the easy stuff. Now for the more daring predictions for which I’ve become a legend in my own blog.

1.     Strange moth-winged creatures will appear in Tierra Del Fuego, and by the end of 2014 will have conquered South America as far north as Rio De Janeiro.  They will eat the brains of humans shorter than 5 feet and leave taller people alone.
2.     South Americans will evolve into a taller species than humans on other continents and will never, ever adopt the metric system. Because of, you know, the 5 foot tall thing.
3.     Bright LED lights placed at the Southern edge of the Panama Canal and facing south will both attract and deter the mothmen from migrating further north. They will surround the southern border of the Canal flapping their stupid moth wings in frustration. Sadly this lesson will be earned by the sacrifice of millions of short South Americans who will try to deter mothmen with incandescent bulbs and will not survive.
4.     Sustainable LED lighting will become all the rage in North America and we will save hella energy by replacing all those old inefficient lightbulbs. So, silver lining there.
5.     America, bread-basket to the world, will become gluten-free almost over night due to the emergence of a new pest: the wheat boll weevil that destroyes the entire Archers-Daniels-Midland GMO wheat monoculture that will have replaced all the other grain crops produced in the USA. China will win the 2014 “____-basket-to-the world championship” for rice.

6.     Number One on the list of reasons to go to war will continue to be religion, beating out plague, pestilence, invading mothmen, and all other causes combined. The God of Peace will continue to have the last laugh on his pitiful creatures.