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Friday, August 14, 2015

Cementing My Relationship With Cement.

One of my fast walks had a quick ending this week -- I had a last minute burst of energy and was going for it when BLAM! I was horizontal instead of vertical on the sidewalk.

Knees, elbows and hands caught the brunt.  I took quick stock to determine whether or not any bones were sticking out. Nope. Two days later, I'm sporting a few bruises, several scrapes and yes, I'm sore. And now I have as yet another instance to add to the collection of close encounters of the Ana kind with this manmade material.

When I was a kid my cousin and I were riding a bicycle built for two when we slipped on a patch of dirt and keeled over, scraping along on cement until  the bike stopped rolling. I still bear the scar on my right knee. Another was the night my forehead made contact with cement stairs leading into my house thanks to brand new and slippery shoes. I got nine stitches for my trouble.

And now I've got another divot on my right knee about an inch from the first one. I'm hoping it will heal nicely but the jury is out on that one. 

I suppose I could blame gravity, but I think there's something deeper going on, a cosmic search for something which yet eludes me. Perhaps it is the Universe trying to tell me that like all other humans I'm a bag of bones and blood that will encounter forces stronger than myself and must learn to cope or avoid them. 

Whatever. All I know is that I have flashbacks to the bicycle ride or those cement steps coming at me from time to time, and now they will be joined by the sidewalk.

If anybody can invent spongy cement, call me and I'll help you market the product.

Amen, and pass the bandaids.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Not Queen of the Hill at the Bottom of the Heap. Again.

So here are the figures from the Census Bureau -- and once again Rhode Island is at the bottom of the  proverbial heap. This time, the numbers show the state is in last place for women owned businesses -- curiously tied with the District of Columbia for the dubious honor.

There's a message in there somewhere. It's a message I wanted to post given that today is the birthday of Sally Ride, the first woman in space. 

After all, D.C. is the cradle of the Old Boys' Network, a place where women are making strides but not fast enough or long enough to suit my taste. (Nothing like matching up on that count.) We have women in politics but nowhere near what the numbers should be given the supposedly enlightened day and age in which we live.

Rhode Island? When you've got a business climate that already makes it tough for businesses to get running and ultimately survive, what can you say if women owned enterprises don't have an easy time of it? It took people long enough to elect women to high offices. And who knows how long it is going to take those same women to kick some serious butt in order to get the state going where it should be going.

Meanwhile, this latest news makes me think of the infamous line written by Abigail Adams to her husband John while they were ironing out the kinks of the American Revolution. "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

Not nearly enough, ladies, not nearly enough.

Amen, and pass the mustard and the muskets. There could be a revolution in the making.

Monday, May 25, 2015

All Rulers Are Butchers Or Meat.

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin's penchant for killing off his characters as quickly as he creates them is legendary.  A cottage industry of items bearing testimony to this fact exists.

But if GOT producers and writers aren't careful, they could be heading down a road on which another TV series is careening -- Grey's Anatomy. To steal a line from them, "Seriously?"

The header line "all rulers are butchers or meat"uttered by the dashing Daario "hell yeah I want to be King" Naharis while lying in bed with Daenarys "I've got killer hair and real fire breathing dragons at my beck and call" Targaryen during the latest episode sounds very much like a line we've heard before -- kill or be killed.

There's nothing particularly new about that axiom, nothing particularly unusual that Naharis is amongst a line of suitors for the tremendously appealing Daenarys.  And we GOT fans have become sadly accustomed to watching some of our favorite character's sudden demise -- one too Stark for me, and I meant that pun. Who didn't love Ned Stark?

However,  we have our limits -- Shonda Rhimes has jettisoned a boatload of people from Grey's and it's not fixing things much, if anything the show (which at one point was fun to watch) is now an epic yawner.

All I can say is this: George, save a few of them, or we'll just stop reading and viewing. Seriously.

Amen, and pass the mustard.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Attention Snow Bunnies: Snow is A Four Letter Word

This is for all you Snow Bunnies that for the last few weeks have been chirping about how happy you are about the white stuff that has been continuously falling on us this past winter.

PHOOEY. Snow is a four letter word.

Your platitudes that snow is pretty, charming, and that walking in a winter wonderland is fabulous are officially old hat.

Those of you who romanticize the stuff take a clear look at this picture.

See the grey area? That's a combination of dirt and car exhaust, the end result of the massive pileup that won't go away.

Doesn't look much like a holiday card now, does it?

And in case you haven't looked close enough, underneath all of that is a sidewalk. Some of them get shoveled, some don't, so taking a single step just outside of your front door becomes a major hassle.

So, people, winter is about gone. And along with it all of this miserably cold, icy and endless gunk that has cluttered up our lives for the past month or so.

Soon, the heat arrives. You've had your day, Snow Bunnies, now it's our turn.

Amen, and pass the sunscreen.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Thank You Leonard Nimoy

Artistic individuals are born with a need to express their point of view through the process of creation. And depending on the genius of that person, a work becomes synonymous with their name and legacy. This is the case with Leonard Nimoy.

Yes, I'm a Trekker, a card carrying diehard fan of the series that began on television and exploded on the big screen.  Mr Spock, the logical, pointy-eared First Officer of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, got me hooked. 

Thanks to Leonard Nimoy, the iconic actor whose talent put life into the green blooded half Vulcan/half human character, Spock became an icon. Years after Star Trek: TOS went off the air, Spock's gestures remained part of lore. There was the raised eyebrow that communicated enough disdain to confound Queen Victoria. There was the single, cryptic "Fascinating!" uttered at moments of scandal, of nonsense, of drama. And there were the rare, but hilarious, moments in which the deeply nonsensical humor that was inside Spock shone through brilliantly.

All these were Nimoy's gift as an artist, such a large gift that the actor became synonymous with the character, something that plagued Nimoy throughout his life. Ultimately, he made peace with that. "But given the choice, if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock," said Nimoy. 

Thank you, Leonard Nimoy, for giving life to that character on behalf of your fans. We realize that as an artist you struggled with being typecast, and we thank you for embracing that struggle on our behalf. We all realize that your gift was far wider in scope than the character Spock, and we thank you for that as well.

And while you lived to a robust human age, we wish your alter-ego Vulcan side had prevailed so you could have lived even longer, and prospered even more.

Amen, and "Dif tor heh smusma." 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fifty Shades of (Stupid) Grey is Abuse

For the last month we've been seeing promotional trailers for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. In case you've been living under a rock, it's based on a "trilogy" of books in which a naive and malleable Anastasia Steele is besotted by Christian Grey, rich, handsome, and seriously into domination.

Hardly a rom-com, the film's release on Valentine's Day weekend, a commercialization of love at its worst, is very curious. Or perhaps it's a brilliant marketing ploy. Whatever.

The point: most of the plot involves Anastasia's loss of "innocence" as she gets to know Christian. The guy has some serious issues with respect to women -- and his method of showing "love" to them is not at all romantic. Domination involves the subjugation of one individual to another. Christian has a whole room in his mansion devoted to just that concept. And he intends to dominate Anastasia in more ways than one, some potentially painful.

If Christian Grey was toothless and had sallow skin, if he were not rich, if he did not have a helicopter and a gazillion dollars, would his antics be less acceptable? Probably in too many cases. And completely flabbergasting that supposedly savvy women don't see through that.

In a day and age in which women like Malala Yousafzai endure being shot in order to get an education, where rebels are selling young girls into slavery and others are physically mutilated -- it's incredible to think that women in a supposedly enlightened country like the United States are willing to read and watch such drivel.

Amen, and pass on abuse.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Yeah, winter. Yeah, you all know I loathe it. All of it, the snow, the slush, the glop. I made an attempt at cross country skiing some years back and it made the whole thing quasi-tolerable.

But at this juncture, enough. I'm tired of shoveling, sliding and scraping off windshields.

I've especially had it with FLAKES.  And I just don't mean snow.

View from inside my car. By Ana Cabrera 

Some people turn into FLAKES during wintry weather, most notably some SUV drivers who tear up the roads under some mistaken notion that their vehicle can "handle it." Well, surprise, Mr or Ms SUV Driver/Flake, you are fishtailing up the road. You mean to tell me you can't feel that?

I'm always amused at the number of bangs and dings that most of these SUVs have on their front and rear ends. Watching their attempts at parallel parking is horrifying and amusing at the same time.

Dude or Dudette, the evidence is right on your car. Doubly true if you wear a hat, and we all know what types of hats I'm talking about. If I have to explain it to you, you probably wear one.

Learn to drive/park or get off the road. Don't get on the highway unless you know what you are doing, and for crying out loud when there are blizzard conditions get used to the notion that you have to drive more slowly because your car just might not stop in time.

So have I made myself clear, or are you still going to act like a FLAKE next time the flakes are out?

Amen, and pass me a one way ticket to the tropics, please