Random Observations 17

One never knows from whence inspiration will come. Today, it came from Wells, England.

My very dearest friend, Alys, a wonderful cook and master baker, found a recipe for the American dish called Green Bean Casserole. I thought it was my responsibility as a true, patriotic American, to tell her – ugh! We don’t eat that stuff anymore. If you’ve had it once, you’ve had enough of it. If we are of ‘a certain age’, I’m certain we could all write books, the titles of which would be “Green Bean Casseroles I Have Known”. It is one of those ‘traditions’ about which passing I do not lament.

And then there’s this. I had a wonderful gentleman friend, Les – an Englishman and submariner – who used to make me laugh whenever he spoke about English food. It seems to this American that the English have a lot of ‘food rules’. I was rather forcefully informed that one never eats toast that is dark; one must always put the clotted cream on the toast first and then the ‘conserve’ or the lemon curd. Only someone ‘naff’ would reverse the order. With rules in mind, I share with you the video Alys shared with me this morning:

I don’t consider myself an ‘animal person’. I would never hurt one but aside from the (a little more than casual) desire for a French bulldog, I don’t have much interest. Now I’ve discovered Bondi (pronounced bond – eye) Vet out of Australia. There are several vets that the program features but more so Dr. Chris Brown – who is the poster child of “My word, what a hunk!” But he’s a nice guy, family man, quick to laugh and he loves animals. They have another Bondi Vet production called The Vet on the Hill – out of London in the UK. As I watch these videos, I’m struck by the great big hearts of those folks who treat animals big and small. I don’t know that I could do it. I thought the human body could produce some pretty disgusting things but we’ve got nothing on the animal kingdom. Please be advised, these programs show more than we’re apt to see on US vet programs – they show their animal operations and while I’m not squeamish, they can be a little – what is that phrase our cousins across the Pond use … ‘eyewatering’.

I’m still not talking about the you-know-what and now I’m not talking about the non-election, either. What will be, will be and all we can do is hope and pray. A lot of praying.

Random Observations

Election uncertainty. Shudder. Way too stressful. A very dear friend wrote, “It’s like a fly ball with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth with two out, in a tied game, in the seventh game of the world series.” Brilliant!

There IS a cure for the virus! I just found it. As it turns out, it’s excellent for any number of ills and upsetments – like, say, for instance, unending election. If it’s a rainy day where you are, if you’ve had all you can take and you can’t take anymore, if the squirrel on the lowest limb of the tree is starting to look good to you, here is the cure:

I miss whistling. I don’t think men whistle anymore. I don’t hear any of them. My dad was a great whistler; he was never a vain man but he took a bit of pride in his whistling. My great grandfather built the four apartment house we lived in when I was growing up. We lived top floor right, Aunt Georgie and Uncle Willie lived top floor left, and my maternal grandparents lived bottom floor right. There was an airshaft between the two sides and when dad was down in the basement feeding his guppies, you could hear him whistling while he worked. When he came home from work each day, he’d come through the vestibule door into the stairway and he’d whistle his certain whistle that said ‘daddy’s home’. I find no charm in women who whistle. There’s an old, old saying, “Whistling women and cackling hens, sooner or later come to no good end.” I guess I should research where that saying came from. Ta-da! Look what I found, “Whistling women and crowing hens are both feminine noise-makers who are drawing attention to themselves. So, whether she is trying to take on a man’s role or simply drawing attention to herself, the bottom line of these proverbs is that women should act lady-like.” ‘Cackling’ is also used. Quote from everything2.com

Can’t not mention it so here’s what I’ll say for now: it’s time to go into the underwear draw, pull out, and put on, our big girl panties or big boy jockey shorts. It is what it is. We don’t riot, we don’t loot – we remain ever vigilant and mindful. Perhaps the Republican majority Senate and the newly elected Republican Congresspeople will offset the desires of those folks who hate us and hate America.

Boy, oh boy. Do I need a French bulldog. Can they be trained to bite Democrats? Never mind …

Random Observations

Not funny at all – but hilarious. The cartoon of the person with his glasses on his head, searching the house for his glasses. Walking into a room and forgetting why you went there. I had something I wanted to write and in the space of time of a couple of clicks – I forgot what it was. Sigh. My excuse, however, is that I’m tired. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I have some very dear friends that live in England; I so enjoy them and they share so much of their lives with me. I’m a hopeless Anglophile and these relationships have proven my wisdom – delightful people. There are two expressions that I just love. In families, when speaking to someone on the street or wherever, they are apt to refer to a family member as “our Robert” or “our Emily”. I think that is so charming. It sounds so homey and loving. But the expression that does me in is ‘darling’. We haven’t used that word in decades so it especially catches my ear. They tend to use it when there’s concern for a friend or loved one and when there is joy to share. “How wonderful you got that award, darling!” or “Oh, darling, I’m so sorry to hear that.” It just makes me catch my breath.

Because I’m Christian before I’m anything else, I always have an eye out for idolatry. I watch President Trump’s rally and enjoy them – he’s a natural-born comedian and has a New York sense of humor that I know and understand (I’m a native New Yorker). I see the excitement on the faces of the attendees and their great enthusiasm for our President but I have to admit, sometimes I get uncomfortable. Where is the line between support and idolatry? It’s sometimes difficult to tell.

We’re all adults here so I can mention that the Tampax company has announced that ‘not all people who bleed women’. I’ll just let you think about that awhile.

Random Observations

We are getting deeper into October and closer to the Witching Hour of the 31st of October. When I was younger (maybe last week, wink), I was much more ‘literary’ than I am today. I was a voracious reader and consumed large volumes to the tune of two to three a week. Good stuff. I have an intrinsic hatred for ‘romance novels’ because if your female and have at least reached the age of 14, you’re already pretty savvy to the lack of Princes on white chargers. But I found Poe first. I think I may have been 11 or twelve at the time and there’s something in pre-teens and teens that just draws them to the dark side. It may be hormonal, I’m not sure, but it seems to affect boys and girls alike. After Poe, I found Hemingway and was floored by him. I loved his style; if you’ve got something to say, say it – don’t tell me how the air smelled, the differing shades of the clouds in the sky – tell me the story. Which is exactly what Hemingway does. But I digress.

As a young married woman with children, I found Stephen King. It seems that only these last few years have I lost my taste for horror or the macabre or however one wants to define those stories. But I have fond memories of the fright and delight gained from reading the horror writers.

Horror has a long history in America and sometimes we don’t realize how much a part of the American landscape was shaped by our horror writers. A failing, I guess, is that I wasn’t as interested in the people who wrote the stories. I had a vague knowledge of the life story of Edgar Allen Poe but I just viewed this video and was hugely surprised by poor Edgar’s life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uknWHw32ZMI

While I have never read a Lovecraft story, my beloved son-in-law is a huge fan, even now in his 50s. My son-in-law is brilliant, a really fine mind, and because of him, I’ve included this clip about Lovecraft. I must confess, however – my son-in-law is a bit of a geek; Cthulhu lives large in their home, from knitted Cthulhu caps (!) to poster art. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIdf3DHLjMQ

Washington Irving was the biggest surprise to me. I was born and raised in New York and we cut our baby horror teeth on Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. But the life and times of Washington Irving are jaw-dropping. Like Who’s Who of the times. Note James Fenimore Cooper, also Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Sir Walter Scott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens (!) and Nathaniel Hawthorne, not to mention Martin VanBuren. Washington Irving is where, it seems, politics meets horror (which may sound like an oxymoron). The clip is from 2010 and the images are a little lacking and the sound is a little tinny but do watch this clip – the names alone are worth the watching.

What sharing this with you has done is it seems to have fanned the flames of that old love of mine. I may have to reread Poe and Irving – and maybe even peruse Cthulhu.

Random Observations

We forget what we once knew. Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s not. Killing time, waiting for a delivery, and just sort of wandering around YouTube without purpose and just randomly (! hey!) picked this one. I had forgotten how absolutely dim little kids are. It’s why they are so hysterically funny! They haven’t got a clue and we know it and we revel in their innocence. It’s why people love baby anything – puppies, kittens, mice; if it’s a baby, people will ooh and ahh because they are tiny things of the big things we’re so familiar with. If adults did this stuff, we’d be looking to get them put away somewhere safe, lol, but we delight (and sometimes encourage) this behavior. Dads – you know who you are! Take a few moments to delight in this video.

October is, of course, the spookiest month of all and I’d be greatly remiss if I didn’t include this video. No; it’s not a scary video, it’s a great tutorial on how to create something that looks like it may have existed in some place in time. You can advance the video if you want the ‘speed version’ but I really like this gentleman and have watched several of his tutorials.

Lots and lots of talk again about ObamaCare. I’ll be frank, I don’t quite know what to make of it. I’ve never had to apply for it; we have our own insurance, not tied to an employer. I had a bad attitude about it because I personally know two people who were fined $960 each by the government (pre-Trump) because they didn’t have any health insurance. Outrageous! If they’d had that kind of money, didn’t the government think they’d have health insurance? Tuesday a self-employed friend was here and she just happened to mention that she loves her ObamaCare insurance because her payment is based on her income ($93 a month) and she doesn’t have to pay a co-pay. So I don’t know what to think.

I once lamented that with the dawn of personal computers, we would never again see a book entitled “The Collected Letters of … ” because no one writes letters anymore. A friend laughed and said the new title would be the collected emails of … My, my, my; how current headlines bear that out!

And never forget – French bulldogs.

Random Observations

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better – check out this video.

Those are Hasidic Jews or Orthodox Jews; if you don’t think it’s a bold thing they’re doing, you have no idea how wrong you are. They are already targets – long before the Trump flags went up. This puts them right in the cross hairs of Antifa and BLM. I am humbled by their bravery.

If this doesn’t scare you – and hurt your heart – I don’t know what to say.

The Rabbi refers to procedures in New York as ‘soft pogroms’. Makes me shudder. Who would know better?

Another one. I’m stressing this because it is so important; we know ‘other things’ are at work during this virus. I don’t think these folks are wrong. 

Moving right along – I have collected (so you didn’t have to) the latest eye rollers on YouTube. I hesitate to say too much because sometimes, you just gotta see it to ‘believe’ it. But you’ll be happy to know (?) that the folks you assumed were gone, ummm, aren’t really. Check out these videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOuJItEozJc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxAvZXINSqc. You know I have a love for museums and thought you’d appreciate this one. Hey folks; I just do ’em, I don’t explain ’em. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThDYazipjSI.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear; I am only ‘off grid’ as far as bigfoot are concerned – they, at least, have a chance of being something of actual, earthly, species. The rest of the ‘stuff’? I leave it to your own understanding. Or lack thereof. Or care thereof. Or … ya know, whatevah…


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